+

As the Iowa caucus wrapped up last night, America was hard-pressed to find a real winner.

The caucus, which was the first (and weirdest) nominating event in the 2016 presidential campaign, let America know definitively ... that we don't really know anything.


Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

Ted Cruz took home a victory on the Republican side in Iowa, but his win was preceded by interestingly victorious speeches from Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, who came in second and third, respectively.

On the Democratic side, the race remained too close to call all evening, with some media outlets calling it for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Martin O'Malley and Mike Huckabee, who both received single-digit vote percentages, also announced that they were ending their campaigns.

It was an eventful couple of hours.

The real victory, though, went to voter turnout.

With democracy, the catch is that it only really works when people show up. Apparently the voters in Iowa understand that pretty clearly, since voter turnout was record-breaking.

Roughly 182,000 people showed up to Republican caucus events, which shattered the previous record of 122,000 back in 2012.

The Democrats threw a well-attended caucus party as well. One precinct in Des Moines had so many people that lines spilled out into the hallways, and non-participating observers were asked to leave to make space.

Caucus-goers waiting in Des Moines. Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images.

Several caucus sights even had to print more ballots so that everyone could participate:


It's not just about how many voters showed up. It's who showed up, and why.

According to data from The Washington Post, about 4 in 10 caucus-goers said they were attending a caucus for the first time.

Of those first-time caucus voters, 6 in 10 said they supported Bernie Sanders.

Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images.

This high voter turnout is reminiscent of 2008, when a surge of young voters and first-time caucus-goers showed up to Iowa and gave Barack Obama a handy victory.

Democratic Iowa voters also told the Washington Post what qualities matter most to them in a candidate: For Clinton, it was her experience and ability to beat the Republican nominee in November. For Sanders, it was his honesty and the perception that he cares more about the American people.

On the Republican side, Cruz emerged with a majority of support from men aged 45-64. He also received a lot of votes from the born-again Christian population in Iowa, thanks in part to the campaigning efforts of his father, a Texas pastor.

Ted Cruz hugging his father, Rafael Cruz. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

The Iowa caucus is over, but the games have just begun. Now, attention is on the New Hampshire primary.

All of the remaining candidates are headed to New Hampshire, where they will participate in the nation's first primary election.

There they will all face a brand-new set of voters — more moderate and, overall, less religious than their supporters in Iowa. Fresh off his victory, Cruz will have to play catch-up in New Hampshire, as he has spent relatively little time and effort there.

Clinton and Sanders will also face their first vote without O'Malley in the mix.

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images.

Unlike the strange Iowa caucus, the New Hampshire primary will be a one person/one vote election. The twists and turns aren't over, and we still have a long way to go. But if you want to have an impact on these races ... it's time to get involved.

The primaries are a long and arduous process. What matters most is that people make their voices heard. Candidates are supposed to be representatives of the people. So when you cast your vote, or stand up and voice your opinion, you really are the true winner.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

Keep ReadingShow less

Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

Keep ReadingShow less