Feb. 5, 2012: Super Bowl XLVI Edition

Well, there’s one obvious top story this week… which we’re going to put off until the end. Because I can.

First, it looks like Mitt Romney regaining his advantage in the Republican presidential primaries. After scoring a convincing 14-point victory over Newt Gingrich and the rest of the field in Florida, Romney has a big early lead in Nevada, as well. While Romney tries to build an insurmountable lead over the field, his main remaining opponents, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Gingrich are desperately clinging to their campaign hopes. If the prediction market players at Intrade are to be believed, though, Romney has the nomination all but wrapped up — in fact, he’s taking some of his focus off the primary race to lodge an early set of attacks on the incumbent Barack Obama. As for who will win the presidency in November, well, that’s a little less clear.

Perhaps you remember the cruise disaster from a few weeks ago. On Jan. 13, the Carnival-owned cruise ship Costa Concordia deviated from its scheduled route and struck a rock off the coast of the Italian island Giglio. The ship capsized, killing at least 17 passengers; 15 are still missing as of this writing, and the search for missing passengers has been halted since the half-sunken ship is in danger of falling off its precarious perch and trapping rescue workers. In the wake of the tragedy there have been far fewer cruise bookings than usual during this part of the year, its peak booking season. As the saying goes, though, bad news comes in threes, and that unfortunately seems to be true for the cruise industry as well. Officials for Princess Cruise Lines say that more than 200 passengers and 27 crew members on two of their ships are suffering from a norovirus. Both ships, the Crown Princess and the Ruby Princess, were headed to Port Everglades, Florida. The ships are set to reach port today, and their next departures will be delayed by several hours for the sake of extensive disinfecting. Royal Caribbean has its own tragedy to deal with: as the Allure of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, proceeded toward Cozumel, Mexico on Friday morning, a British man “intentionally” plunged from the balcony outside his stateroom. The 30-year-old has not yet been located and is now feared to be dead. The Allure of the Seas’ current voyage had been billed as the world’s largest gay cruise.

Okay, so we’ve dealt with a few serious headlines. Really, though, I know what most of you will be doing tomorrow: watching Super Bowl XLVI. Whether you’re in it for the gridiron action or the commercial fanfare, today’s game will offer something for everyone. Unless, of course, you’re tired of the northeast U.S. hogging all the major championships. After all, the New England Patriots and the New York Giants fought for the coveted Lombardi trophy merely four years ago. With that in mind, do you think the Patriots will avenge the 2008 defeat that ruined their perfect season, or will the Giants stun them again? (My call: 24-20, Giants. Until the AFC Championship, New England hadn’t played a truly dangerous opponent all season. And hey, the Giants’ website already agrees with me.)

Still, the Super Bowl isn’t the only football news of the week. Peyton Manning made headlines by revealing that doctors cleared him to play before this season. (The Indianapolis Colts never actually let him play, and the team only won two games, earning the league’s worst record.) Six players were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, while Aaron Rodgers was named this year’s MVP and Purdue alumnus Drew Brees earned offensive player of the year honors.

Oh, and apparently the AFC won the Pro Bowl 59-41 last Sunday. But no one really cares about that. On with the Super Bowl!

Other articles of interest:
Storm over climate change among weather forecasters
NASA flooded with applications for next class of astronauts
Reports: Iran successfully launches small Earth-watching satellite
Spectacular High-Res Image of Earth: The Other Side
“Alien” matter beyond solar system spotted by NASA probe
Does Mars have life? New study says it’s unlikely on the surface
Habitable Zones Around Alien Suns May Depend on Chemistry
Officer struck by brick as mounted police clear Occupy DC tents from federal park; 7 arrested
Thousands Rally Against Putin
Zuckerberg’s 2012 personal income tax bill: $1.5 billion
Anonymous hacks call between FBI and Scotland Yard about hackers
Case of N.Y. teens’ tics makes psychological sense
Eggs recalled in Colorado for possible listeria contamination
Malaria deaths hugely underestimated – Lancet study

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2 responses to “Feb. 5, 2012: Super Bowl XLVI Edition”

  1. klingermajoshua says :

    Wow! I didn’t even know about the cruise ships in disaster! That’s another reason why I don’t go on cruises because of that very reason. Not to mention, I’m afraid of sharks and don’t like swimming in the ocean. I think the gays are just getting struck down by bad luck or by an act of God? Sorry to say it but that’s a whole different can of worms that I do not want to get into. I really hope that they find the missing people, and that I hope they did not get eaten. Ouch!

  2. brianbritt says :

    The funny thing, Josh, is that I’ve gone on a couple of voyages like these — including one through Princess Cruises, the cruise line dealing with that norovirus outbreak. They’re generally quite safe, in my experience. Personally, the Costa Concordia incident was a tragedy, but it was nonetheless just one isolated incident caused by a single worthless captain. If it wasn’t for that incident, we wouldn’t be talking about the Princess or Royal Caribbean troubles at all. Perhaps it’s just because of my experiences (which, mind you, may not be representative of all cruise lines), but I’m not quite so quick to condemn the entire industry over this.

    As for the “gays” comment, I’ll decline to directly address the prospect of God orchestrating an anti-homosexual genocide. I can’t imagine even the staunchest opponents of the legalization of gay marriage would support something like that. You’ve made your stance on the sexuality issue itself clear, but in the future I would recommend thinking very carefully about the particular actions for which you’re implying support.

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