News From The Week You Were Born

Jason English

Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. It's casual. On to this week's topics of discussion...

1. I was searching for a story in Time Magazine's archives when I got sucked in—"Find Your Birthday Cover!" They had me at the exclamation point.

My birthday cover (July 30, 1979) featured an empty conference room. At first I thought it must have been a slow news week. But according to the cover story, I was born on the heels of "the most extraordinary week in the White House since Richard Nixon resigned in 1974." I didn't remember this chapter in American history.

What happened was this: With polls showing Americans had lost confidence in their country and their leader, President Jimmy Carter demanded the resignations of his top 34 Cabinet members and staff aides, then purged everyone he deemed disloyal or ineffective. This was meant to rejuvenate the Carter administration 15 months before the 1980 election. Carter would lose that campaign to Ronald Reagan by a wide electoral margin, 489-49. Maybe that's why the great shakeup isn't talked about much anymore.

For our purposes, the question is this: what was the big news story the week you were born? You can use Time's cover search.

2. The remaking of what movie would anger you the most?

3. I try not to let little things get me worked up, but often times I fail. Like the time a local political candidate put his sign in our lawn without permission (I made quite a scene tearing it out of the ground and hurling it in the trash. Glad nobody has that on tape.) What relatively small and harmless action has recently enraged you?

4. There's a good chance you're reading this at your desk. I've joked (but been completely serious) about the hit we'd take if all companies banded together and stuck us on the wrong side of their firewalls. If your employer has a firewall, what's the most bizarre site you've noticed is blocked?

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