Well, Kamala Harris has certainly had a great week. She was the talk of the first round of presidential candidate debates. In fact, according to polling data from fivethirtyeight.com, Harris was only outperformed on the debate stage by Elizabeth Warren, and they weren’t even on the debate stage on the same night. Polling data also shows that Warren has seen an almost ten percent boost in cable news coverage as well as an 11 percent bump in online media attention. And, in what seems to be the best measure of support these days, Harris picked up close to 60,000 Twitter followers, more than any of her competitors.

Last week, a story about Keanu Reeves made the rounds on social media. Some fans of the actor started noticing that while posing for pictures with fans, or even fellow celebrities, Reeves does not touch women. Reeves maintains a hands-off approach with women in order to remove any potential awkwardness from unwanted touching during an encounter. This approach is in stark contrast to the first “meeting” between pop star Ke$ha, and comedian Jerry Seinfeld back in 2017. During that encounter, Ke$ha (and I can’t tell you how annoying that name is to type) tried to kiss Seinfeld three different times, each time being politely denied. Ke$ha, not having the misfortune of being male, never received any negative press for this. Reeves’ method eliminates such awkwardness.

Warning: We’re going a little out of the box this week, but bear with me. In professional wrestling (told you, out of the box) there has historically been an effort to portray the events taking place in the ring and in storyline as real-life events and competition. The term used to refer to this illusion is “kayfabe.” For the majority of the history of professional wrestling (which began as early as the late 19th century), wrestling had been portrayed as real competition with real combatants who really despised each other. In fact, as recently as the mid-‘90s, most performers would go out of their way to stay in character even while not performing so as to keep the illusion alive for the fans. Good guys would only travel exclusively with good guys. Bad guys would only be seen in public with other bad guys, and would even behave as the character when sighted. All of this was in the name of keeping up the impression that wrestling is real.

Individual biases exist. I have them. You have them. Even scientists conducting fact-based experiments have them. The old thinking in behavioral economics was that people tended to analyze data, and based on their analysis they make their decisions. However, more recent studies suggest that this is not the case. Political economist at Stanford University Francis Fukuyama explains that people tend to “start out with an emotional commitment to a certain idea, and then they use their formidable cognitive powers to organize facts to support what they want to believe anyhow. So the partisan affiliation comes first, and the reasoning process by which you justify it comes second.” In other words, people believe what they want to believe, and when faced with facts, they either accept them as proving their beliefs, try to make them fit their world view, or discard them as inaccurate.

Let me start off by saying that I don’t want to talk about this. The Democratic primary is heating up, President Trump launched his reelection campaign, and oh, the US is potentially on the brink of war with Iran. But apparently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a statement that has the entire Jewish population talking. AOC stated outright that the United States is operating concentration camps at the US-Mexico border. She also invoked the “never again” slogan associated with the Holocaust. This caused a massive debate in the media, as well as on social media, as to whether or not this is an apt comparison. But to tell you the truth, AOC’s comments shouldn’t have caused any firestorm whatsoever.

April 26, 1974. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-5 in 15 innings. The game pitted the two teams that would meet later in the season for a chance to go to the World Series, and featured future Hall-of-Famers Reggie Jackson, Jim Palmer, Rollie Fingers, and Brooks Robinson. It also featured one of the greatest anomalies in baseball history. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Page 2 of 4