Thumbs up to Hilary Putnam, Vera Rubin and Piers Sellers: All huge minds who died in 2016.
No, you won't see dozens of memes on Facebook about their work. They aren't likely to appear in those bizarre lists damning an arbitrary number, 2016, for somehow taking pop icons too early.
But, make no mistake, the world of deep thought and research lost its share of giants, too.
Putnam was a Goliath in modern and postmodern philosophy. The long-time Harvard professor did battle with oversimplification of ideas. He left an indelible mark on metaphysics, epistemology and logic. Putnam was 89.
Astronomer Rubin spent her life at the forefront of physics. She was integral to the search for the elusive dark matter, which, in theory should constitute most of the universe. Her work detailing far away galaxies will influence humankind for centuries. Rubin was 88.
Astronaut Sellers became one of the leading researchers of climate change. Unlike so many scientists, he was able to speak eloquently, yet clearly, about the damage humankind is doing to the planet. Sellers was 61.
Thumbs down to whatever the hell is going on in the farce of an election in Moline.
Mayor Scott Raes thought he would have the April ballot to himself after driving two challengers from the ballot on a technicality. But the number of write-in petitions now means that a primary will be held in February.
Wait. There's more.
City officials apparently just forgot that Alderman Mike Waldron should be up for re-election in April, according to the The Dispatch-Rock Island Argus. And, to top it off, the newspaper reported Friday that Alderman John Zelnio's seat was supposed to appear on the 2015 ballot, but city officials slaked on that one, too.
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Moline's various attorneys and clerks can't even keep track of when terms are up, the most basic of duties.
What a joke.
Thumbs up and good luck to the Hawkeyes, who play the Florida Gators in Monday's Outback Bowl.
The matchup of 8-4 squads should be a slug-fest. Neither team is known for scoring many points. Both teams have tended to live or die by defense throughout the 2016 campaign.
Oddmakers have favored the Gators since the pairing was announced. But Florida's defense is banged up, and, hopefully, Iowa's running game proves too much for it.