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What's The Most High-Profile, Insignificant Job In America?

You'd think being vice president was an important task. But there are a lot of reasons you'd be wrong.Here are three reasons being VP is totally meaningless, and one reason it's totally not.

What's The Most High-Profile, Insignificant Job In America?

1. A lot of people — including actual vice presidents — think it's a stupid job.

John Adams called it "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived."
John Nance Garner, vice president to FDR, said the position was "not worth a bucket of warm piss."
Daniel Webster, in turning down the nomination, said "I do not intend to be buried until I am dead."


2. Until 1967, we didn't even care if there wasn't a vice president at all, and the position was left vacant 16 times.

Times we didn't have a VP:

1812-1813 George Clinton died in office
1814-1817 Elbridge Gerry died in office
1832-1833 John C. Calhoun resigned from office
1841-1845 John Tyler became President upon the death of William Henry Harrison
1850-1853 Millard Fillmore became President upon the death of Zachary Taylor
1853-1857 William King died in office
1865-1869 Andrew Johnson became President upon the death of Abraham Lincoln
1875-1877 Henry Wilson died in office
1881-1885 Chester Arthur became President upon the death of James Garfield
1885-1889 Thomas Hendricks died in office
1899-1901 Garret Hobart died in office
1901-1905 Theodore Roosevelt became President upon the death of William McKinley
1912-1913 James S. Sherman died in office
1923-1925 Calvin Coolidge became President upon the death of Warren G. Harding
1945-1949 Harry Truman became President upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt
1963-1965 Lyndon Johnson became President upon the death of John F. Kennedy
1973 Spiro Agnew resigned from office
1974 Gerald Ford became President upon the resignation of Richard Nixon


3. The position apparently leaves enough free time for veeps to shoot people.

MORE THAN ONE of them has done this while in office. First Burr:


Then Cheney:


1. And why it actually matters a lot? Being VP leads to being president a lot more often than you'd think.

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush all became president after serving as vice president.





When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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