Press-Republican

FYI...

December 31, 2013

Which celebrities, politicians had the best and worst 2013?

What do the cast of Duck Dynasty, Jennifer Lawrence and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have in common? According to the latest Harris Poll, they've had among the best years in 2013, while Barack Obama and Paula Deen are seen as having had the worst.


The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive and surveying 2,039 American adults online between Dec. 6 and 10, provided respondents with a pre-selected list of names. Nearly half (45%) selected the Duck Dynasty cast — which in addition to its hit television show also produced a hot-selling Christmas album — as having reason to celebrate this season. 
Other stars deemed to have had a stellar 2013 include:

• Jennifer Lawrence (36%)

• Sandra Bullock (30%)

• Justin Timberlake (23%)

On the other hand, revelations that Paula Deen had used racial slurs in the past — which came to light in a legal deposition in June — and the subsequent fallout involving the cancellation of her Food Network show, contributed to her selection as the celebrity having the worst year (46%), followed closely by Miley Cyrus (44%), whose twerking appearance on the MTV video music awards in August sent waves of reaction across social media. 
Political highs and lows
One politician who should be glad to see the year come to a close is President Barack Obama. Among the politicians tested, the president came in third among those politicians as having the best year, but he also placed first – by a wide margin – as having had the worst year. According to the poll:
 Christie placed first (32%) as having the best perceived year, followed by Hillary Clinton (26%) and Obama (19%). 
Rounding out the list is Senator Ted Cruz (12%), new Senator Cory Booker (7%) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (3%).
On the negative side, the verdict was clearer as nearly half the respondents (46%) said Obama had the worst year in politics. Anthony Weiner, the former Congressman and New York City mayoral candidate caught up in a sexting scandal, received 26% of the overall vote, while Speaker of the House John Boehner came in third with 13% of the vote.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
FYI...
  • Why it's basically impossible to delete those naked selfies you text

    If you're selling an old Android smartphone on an online auction site, you could be giving away rather more than you intend to, according to a recent investigation by anti-malware company Avast.

    July 21, 2014

  • Why does the Vatican need a bank?

    The Vatican Bank's history reads more like Dan Brown than the financial pages, but its worst -- and weirdest -- days may be behind it.

    July 18, 2014

  • Almost half of the world actually prefers instant coffee

    Americans' taste in coffee might be getting more high-end _with a growing fixation on perfectly roasted beans, pricier caffeinated concoctions, and artisan coffee brewers - but it turns out a surprisingly big part of the world is going in the opposite direction: toward instant coffee.

    July 17, 2014

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can plants hear? Study finds that vibrations prompt some to boost their defenses

    They have no specialized structure to perceive sound as we do, but a new study has found that plants can discern the sound of predators through tiny vibrations of their leaves - and beef up their defenses in response.

    July 12, 2014

  • wheat1.jpg Backlash has begun against gluten-free dieters

    The swelling ranks of Americans adopting gluten-free diets have given rise to another hot trend: people calling the whole thing a bunch of baloney.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140516-recalls_1357_88cb85dbc81b724b4ae9c83db4426fd8.jpg Auto recalls break single-year US record with six months to go

    With six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the United States than in any other year on record.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • The science of shyness

    Shy people have quite a bit to contend with - not least the word itself. It has a number of different meanings, none of which are flattering. To "shy away" from something implies avoidance; to "shy" can also mean to move suddenly in fright; to "be shy of" something can mean to come up short, or be insufficient.

    July 8, 2014

  • Wanna write a pop song? Here's a foolproof equation

    Pop songs (generally) stay in one key, are in 4/4 time, last between three and five minutes, are organized into chunks of four or eight bars, have a repeating chorus played two to four times, include the title sung at least three times, and feature short melodic fragments that repeat a lot to help everyone to remember them.

    July 7, 2014

  • Americans falling out of love with shopping malls

    Abandoned malls are hot: The Dead Malls Enthusiasts Facebook group boasts almost 14,000 members; a Google search of "dead malls" produces 5.7 million results; and the desolate interiors of these unused retailing meccas keep making cameos in thrillers and horror films.

    July 6, 2014