‘Surreal’ Beats Out ‘Fascism’ As Merriam-Webster’s Word Of The Year

‘Surreal’ Beats Out ‘Fascism’ As Merriam-Webster’s Word Of The Year

“Surreal” is Merriam-Webster’s 2016 word of the year.

A few weeks ago, lexicographer and Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowskitold Morning Shift that “fascism” was the favorite to top its annual list of words that best reflect the year.

But Merriam-Webster announced Monday that “surreal” -- which it defines as “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream; also unbelievable, fantastic” -- took the year’s top spot because of several search spikes at different times in the year -- after the Brussels terror attack, the coup attempt in Turkey, the attacks in Nice, France and the presidential election in the United States.

Does being stalked make you more likely to become a stalker?

Does being stalked make you more likely to become a stalker?

A forensic psychologist is conducting a nationwide survey to find out more about stalking. She wants to know who the stalkers are, how common stalking is and what effect it has on victims' lives. And she has a controversial hypothesis she wants to test: That in rare cases, the victims of stalking may become stalkers themselves.

'I reckon that one in a hundred will then become stalkers,' says Dr. Lorraine Sheridan, a lecturer in forensic psychology at Curtin University. 'With certain people, the destruction stalking causes is so great—and the magnitude so enormous—it changes the way they then attach to other people in relationships.'

David Bowie and Tony Visconti: The Men Who Stole The World

David Bowie and Tony Visconti: The Men Who Stole The World

Tony Visconti started strumming the ukulele at age five, playing the bass guitar in his early teens, and writing arrangements when you could barely call him an adult. That’s when a British record producer caught wind of his talent and offered him some production work. Visconti moved from Brooklyn to London in April 1967. He was 22 years old.

Meanwhile, David Bowie had just released his first solo LP, slated as “an amalgam of pop, psychedelia, and music hall.” The record failed to chart. Bowie was 20 years old, very broke, and mostly unsuccessful. His song publisher arranged a meeting with a young American producer/bass player who had recently immigrated to the UK, thinking the two might hit it off and develop a mutually-beneficial relationship. Before the day ended, Bowie and Visconti had spent hours discussing Andy Warhol and underground American music, taken a long stroll down Oxford street, and wandered into a Roman Polanski film ...

The Shure SM7: A Studio Staple and Industry Standard

The Shure SM7: A Studio Staple and Industry Standard

Imagine the year is 1982 and you are Michael Jackson. You are 23 years old. The commercial and critical success of Off The Wall is nearly three years behind you. But you’re disappointed. Disappointed because Off The Wall didn’t win Record of The Year at the Grammys, and you feel undervalued by the music industry.

So you get back together with Quincy Jones to make an album with nothing but hits. Pop music’s version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. With a $750,000 production budget, you have almost unlimited options in fancy microphones and high-end production equipment. But you, Quincy, and your sound production team decide to go with the Shure SM7 – a modest dynamic cardioid microphone used primarily in radio broadcasting and spoken word – to record most of your vocal tracks, and all of Vincent Price’s (in two takes, no less!) ...

Bernie Sanders' Presidential Campaign Buffers Into Chicago - And Everywhere Else

Bernie Sanders' Presidential Campaign Buffers Into Chicago - And Everywhere Else

Gathered in the back of Lakeview’s Redmond’s Ale House Wednesday evening, about 35 people watched Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders deliver a short and impassioned speech, streamed from the web onto a half-dozen flat screen TVs hanging above.

The gathering was one of more than 3,000 organizing events occurring simultaneously across the country – in pubs, coffee shops, and private residences – as the self-described democratic socialist sought to rally early support for his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for president.

“Forty percent of people don’t even know who he is yet,” said Nicole Barba of Uptown, one of the event’s co-organizers. “People would believe in his message as long as they know who he is, because he’s talking about issues everyone is affected by.”

You Can Take The Mobster Out Of Chicago

You Can Take The Mobster Out Of Chicago

THE LINGERING STORY OF A BIG CITY CROOK AND HIS SMALL TOWN MURDERER

Most towns in America have at least one entrepreneurial black hole. A geographical oddity, where business after ambitious business will start up before unknown forces coincide to ensure its failure. I’m sure you can imagine the one in your hometown: the pizzeria that was a Mountain Mike’s, a Peppy’s, and a Pizza Milan all while you were in fourth grade. Or the hardware store that changed names and owners each year you were in high school. Whether it's abnormalities in their foundations or curses on the soil beneath them, these burger joints and private practices end up as tombs of the aspirations of men and women. They uproot American dreams. They are unlucky pieces of real estate.

At the corner of Poplar Street and Vine Street in Greencastle, Indiana, there once stood a two-story, Victorian-style house that frequently doubled as a restaurant. It looked more like a place to raise nineteenth-century children. It had a storybook window where the roof meets, nooks and crannies where toddlers could hide, and you might not be surprised to see a grandmother baking cookies in its kitchen ...

Controversial Call Keeps Monon Keg at Wabash

Controversial Call Keeps Monon Keg at Wabash

The DePauw men's rugby team suffered a 13-10 overtime loss to Wabash in the annual Monon rubgy game on Friday, keeping the coveted "Monon Keg" in the Little Giants' hands for the third consecutive year. DePauw clung to a 10-7 lead in the final minutes of regulation when a decision made by the head referee spurred controversy from the DePauw bench.

"He had told us that there was one minute left and he played on for three or four more minutes," said JooWon Park, the team's unofficial coach. "It gave Wabash the chance to tie up the game."

The referee called for the end of regulation after Wabash evened the score with a three-point penalty kick. Wabash notched the winning points on another penalty kick in the second half of overtime ...

Couple Says 'I Do' To Green Wedding

Couple Says 'I Do' To Green Wedding

Environmentalism factors into every part of life for Nik Kaestner and Kristy Wang, from using public transportation, to minimizing waste, to Kaestner’s employment as a green business consultant.

“Everything we do we have to think about the environmental aspect. We do that on an everyday basis,” Wang said.

So naturally, the Palo Alto natives wanted their wedding day to reflect their avid concern for the environment. They were turned off by the consumerism of traditional weddings, and instead wanted to emphasize the coming together of friends and family while creating as little waste as possible ...

Growing Strong

Growing Strong

GARDEN CLUB OF PALO ALTO CELEBRATES 85 YEARS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE

There was no momentous party Tuesday at the 85th birthday celebration of the Garden Club of Palo Alto. No conga lines, no oversized cake adorned with candles. Instead, club members celebrated by reflecting quietly on the club's 85-year history of growing things in the Palo Alto community.

"It's an incredible club," President Joan Jack said, citing a long list of achievements to help spread the joy of gardening ...

Dock Diving Doggies

Dock Diving Doggies

CANINE SPORT SWEEPS NATION — INCLUDING LOCAL WOMAN AND HER FRIEND, GUNNER

Two years ago, all was relatively normal in the home of Ursula Kinley. But one day the Mountain View resident came across a dog jumping competition on television that featured ordinary dogs performing spectacular feats of skill and grace, and that made an envious Kinley say to herself, "Oh my God I wish I had a dog that could do that."

Shortly thereafter, Kinley found Gunner at the Northern California Border Collie Rescue, "And it was love at first sight," she said. At first, her young collie wouldn't even wade into the lake at Redwood Shores Lagoon in Redwood City. Instead he would stand at the water's edge and bark at the waves lapping against his paws.

Today the 4-year-old Gunner not only will hop in for a swim, he'll fly 24 feet before splashing down, making him one of thousands of dogs across the country participating in big-air dock jumping ...

Podium Finish in State Track Finals

Podium Finish in State Track Finals

LANCERS ROCHE, SITLER AND MILLS-BUNJE ENJOY BANNER WEEKEND

The level of competition amongst high school track and field athletes in California is fierce. So fierce, in fact, that at the CIF State Championships last weekend at Cerritos College in Norwalk, the final marks more closely resembled those of Division I collegiate athletes than of high school students.

Such was the case for the boys of St. Francis, whose performance at the 2006 state meet proved to be the most successful in school history. Only a week after winning the Central Coast Section Championship, the Lancers scored 18 points in Norwalk on Saturday to tie for eighth overall ...