How I Dealt With Those Pesky Thanksgiving Questions

I have a very large extended family. They’re goofy and loud and, above all, prone to asking the same questions repeatedly. If there’s one thing I hate about seeing my family, it’s having to answer the same question a dozen times during dinner. And since I’m a very tall college senior who’s just returned from China, their questions tend to be incredibly predictable.

So I came up with a new strategy tonight. Before leaving for dinner, I wrote down the following words on a piece of paper:

1. School is good.
2. No, I don’t have a job yet.
3. China was fun.
4. Yes, I grew again.

Then I copied those questions answers onto a dozen pieces of paper and handed them out to all of my uncles and aunts upon arrival. And wouldn’t you know it: I didn’t have to deal with any repetitive small talk tonight, leaving me free to watch the game instead.

Was Mexico’s No. 2 Government Official Assassinated?

Last Tuesday — just as Americans were tuned into the Presidential election, a Learjet crashed into a neighborhood in downtown Mexico City. Onboard was Juan Camilo Mourino — the Mexican government’s Interior Secretary, with a similar cabinet role to U.S. Vice President — and Jose Luis Santiago Vasconelos. Both men have led the country’s war on drugs. Vasconelos has survived assassination attempts from drug lords. Now, the real question: did that Learjet crash by accident, or was it taken down by those who wanted to see Mourino and Vasconelos killed? I produced a piece at at that takes a closer look.

Click here to watch.

Yes We Did

That’s what the Obama campaign headquarters in Columbia, Mo., looked like the day after the election. Boone County, where Columbia is located, went strongly for Obama, but the Illinois senator didn’t win the state. But you’d never have known it from the post-election window signage.

He Says, He Says

You wouldn’t guess it, but for a town of 100,000 people, Columbia, Mo., has a surprisingly high number of news organizations. (Yes, having a massive school of journalism here has something to do with it). Add to the list one new place for news that opened up just this week:, a video aggregator of sorts.

I’ve been doing some work for Newsy for one of my classes. Yesterday, I put together a wrap-up of what the pundits were saying the day after the election. Nothing quite like Olbermann saying that O’Reilly doesn’t matter, and O’Reilly responding by saying that he’s more important than ever.

Door By Door in Mid-Missouri

Chris Kelly spent nearly each night in the months leading up to the election knocking on doors in Missouri’s 24th congressional district. At his campaign offices, they kept track of each door, more than 10,000 in all.

Tonight, Kelly won election to the state House of Representatives by 411 votes.

Obama Has a Big Lead… on

Just did a quick search of both candidates on to see how their books rank. Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” is ranked 32nd overall in book sales. His first book, “Dreams from My Father” is ranked 74th overall. Even “Change We Can Believe In,” a collection of speeches and proposals from the candidate, is selling well. That book ranks 487th overall in books sold.

Meanwhile, John McCain’s autobiography, “Faith of My Fathers,” is ranked only 1,655th overall on His newest work, “Why Courage Matters,” which was released in July, is ranked 21,529th.

Also worth noting: the third, fourth and sixth entries that come up when searching for Senator McCain’s name are for a Halloween masks of the candidate.

The Election, In a Word

The New York Times is asking readers to submit the word that best describes their mood today, and they’re pairing those words with readers’ political affiliations. They’ve combined it all into a cool Flash graphic featuring the most popular one word submissions.

Here’s to hoping that the Times keeps this graphic going as the networks call Virginia and Indiana tonight.