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The Spill: SCOTUS Tosses Texas

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Making Sense of Texas

The 2020 election for president has seen a lot of controversies – many think Joe Biden was the winner, but President Trump and his supporters are claiming that the results were not gained honestly.

The Trump campaign and others have made several legal challenges, asking courts to look at the evidence and use it to affect the vote counts in some disputed states.

The state of Texas joined in, trying to sue four states, which it accused of running illegal and improper elections. It claimed that new election rules in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania went against the Constitution, since they were made without being passed through the states’ legislatures. Those states were also under scrutiny for perceived ballot counting irregularities as part of President Trump’s focus on alleged election fraud tactics.

When states sue each other, the case goes directly to the Supreme Court. Many were wondering if this could be the biggest court case in U.S. history – and possibly change the official result of the election. But the Supreme Court refused to hear the case. The statement from the Supreme Court reads in part that Texas “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.” Simply put, Texas did not provide a valid legal reason why it should be able to challenge the defendant states’ election certifications.

Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were in favor of hearing the case. No other justices publicly expressed their vote on the matter.

Yet Texas is just one state that wanted to participate in the case – many other states joined on one side or the other. The Supreme Court may still be busy sorting through the avalanche of legal filings for some time.

So, what’s next for the 2020 election results? The Electoral College will vote officially for the winner on Monday, December 14.

Mount Everest Stands Even Taller

China and Nepal – who have argued incessantly over the height of Mount Everest, have now together declared the shared peak to be at 29,032 feet tall. The decade long squabble between the two nations has added an agreed-upon three extra feet to the iconic Himalayan mountain summit. Everest is the highest mountain on earth above sea level.

Reaching the top of Mount Everest has for well over 100 years been a challenge for climbers and sports extremists. The first mountaineer to plant his flag at the top was New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953. It is recorded the attempt has been made 10,184 times by 5,789 people beginning the quest from both China and Nepal bases.

It’s quite a challenging undertaking with the harshest elements with which to contend, including altitude sickness, weather, wind, and potential avalanches. The Khumbu Icefall on the Nepal side is large ice crevices known to open without warning with ice towers (called seracs) that simply and suddenly collapse. At least 311 people have died climbing Everest – some of those bodies unable to be recovered remain in an icy burial.

Yet diehard mountaineers are excited about the recorded new height of the mountain. One such adventurer, Garrett Madison of the U.S.-based Madison Mountaineering company, who has reached the summit ten times, texted this message upon hearing the added height: “Surely some new records for climbing the ‘highest Everest’ will happen in 2021. Hopefully, I get Everest summit #11 in 2021!”

China and Nepal will arguably agree that sharing the mountain has its perks and privileges.

Breakdancing Will Debut As Olympic Event

The Paris 2024 Olympics has a new sport in line to win gold, silver, and bronze: Breakdancing. Yes, the ultimate urban style of dance will now be congratulated on the podium as a sport along with the traditional summer Olympic sports like gymnastics, track and field, and swimming and diving. It might just be time to dig out the boombox from your grandparent’s closet and learn to bust a few moves.

The International Olympic Committee recently introduced breakdance as a new Olympic sport detailing the thought behind the addition of sport – which happens on the rarest of occasions. IOC president Thomas Bach explained the decision would provide a “more gender-balanced, more youthful and more urban” style for the games. Already on the list for the 2021 Tokyo games are surfing, skateboarding, and sport climbing.

Breakdancing should be easy to judge. The dance style consists of mainly four types of movement: toprock, downrock, power moves, and freezes. Breakdancing is typically set to the music genres hip-hop and funk, emphasizing percussion and fast-paced drumbeats.

So far, the reception has been positive with the Olympic addition of Breakdance as sport. British breakdancer Karam Singh summed his feelings up like this: “It’s going to be great for breaking as it gives us more recognition as a sport. And for the Olympics, it will attract young people who may not follow some of the traditional sports.”

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