And The Salt Lake Tribune’s Utahn of the year is … an airport? | Opinion | Salt Lake City Weekly

And The Salt Lake Tribune’s Utahn of the year is … an airport? 

Smart Bomb: The completely unnecessary news analysis

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We've been waiting with baited breath for 364 days and finally it's here. The Salt Lake Tribune's Person of the Year is—wait for it—The Salt Lake City International Airport. We are not making this up.

So, you may be asking, how does an airport become a person? Probably the same way corporations became persons and money became speech. It's complicated, so try not to think about it too much.

The other thing is that the Trib folks may have found themselves in a bind because there weren't a lot of real people standouts in 2023. Gov. Spencer Cox made national news for imploring everyone to disagree more nicely. That didn't cut it.

Salt Lake City got tapped to host the 2034 Winter Olympics, so the Trib could have made the Kimball Jct. Olympic Park ski jump the person of the year. But no.

Here are some other potential would-be Utah Persons of the Year: Attorney General Sean Reyes, for helping Tim Ballard find trafficked children with the aid of a psychic; Rep. Chris Stewart, for quitting Congress (thank God); Ogden brothers Raland and Loy Brunson, who sued to get Joe Biden thrown out of the White House; and finally, The King James Bible. It made the news for containing pornography that could get it banned from Utah schools—in which case, more kids would read it.

Five Ways to Better Enjoy the New Year
Well Wilson, we're halfway through the 2023 Holiday Season, which is kinda like mile 13 in a marathon—you're thinking, I'll be glad when this is over. Gird your loins and cowboy up.

We probably wouldn't have made it this far were it not for a wonderful feature in the Deseret News headlined, “5 ways early Utah pioneers enjoyed Christmas (Holidays) more than Americans today.” This, of course, was before Christmas became a celebration of capitalism and stuff.

In the holiday spirit, the DNews spells out how they embraced the joyous season with: 1. Dancing; 2. Singing; 3. Speaking and Performing; 4. Splendid Dinners; and 5. Sitting and Visiting.

It got the staff here at Smart Bomb to thinking about ways to live out the remainder of the holidays in our times with an emphasis on “live,” as in to survive. 1. Don't drink a lot of eggnog—sweet stuff can give you a bad hangover. 2. To avoid hangovers after too much eggnog, drink a quart of water and take three aspirin before bed. 3. If the bedroom is spinning, stick your fingers down your throat and throw up. 4. If you do have a hangover in the morning, avoid visiting your spouse's family. Use any excuse to get out of it—but don't say you're hungover. 5. Before visiting the in-laws, it's advisable to have a strong drink or two. Repeat from No. 1.

Escape Winter—Cheap January Getaways
OK, Christmas is over and you're practically broke. It's dark and it's cold, the air tastes like Mag Corp and January has 62 days. What to do? Blow out of this puke hole!

It's really a no-brainer, except that you're short on Benjamins and your credit card is about to explode. When things get scary this time of year, Wilson and the Smart Bomb Band jump in the van and take a bead on Death Valley. It's in the mid-60s there and all you need is a tent, a warm bag, a Coleman stove and lots of Ramen, beer and weed (optional). Under sunny skies you can strip down to your skivvies, race desert tortoises and work on a winter tan. But you might have to fight the chuckwalla lizards and horned toads for space on the toasty rocks.

If you've got a little more stamina and know someone with a Hobie Cat, you can venture to Puerto Peñasco at the tip of the Sea of Cortez, 60 miles from the U.S. border. The town has a shrimp fleet and you can buy it by the kilo for a song along with a case of Mexican Beer. You'll be in heaven.

If you're even more adventurous, travel another 150 miles south to Guaymas, where you can camp at Mish Mash Beach (where the original Catch-22 was filmed). Go easy on the tequila and don't be afraid of the hippies, they're only looking for a good time and they like to share.

Postscript—Holy tamale, some dudes in California have succeeded in producing nuclear fusion, when two or more atoms smash together releasing huge amounts of energy. It's the reaction that powers the sun and fusion doesn't create waste that requires long-term storage like present-day fission nuclear reactors do.

It's a breakthrough of immense import. But for some Utahns the word “fusion” is like a kick in the gut. That's because in 1989, electrochemists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced what they called “cold fusion,” which they reportedly created in a Hellmann's Mayonnaise jar. Before you could say, “we'll all be rich and famous,” then-University of Utah President Chase Peterson announced the mind-blowing details to the world.

But alas, no other scientists could replicate their work and it was discovered that Fleischmann and Pons didn't actually detect nuclear reaction byproducts. Oops. The pair, along with the University of Utah, became late-night TV joke punchlines. Now, however, the scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have produced energy from nuclear fusion on three separate occasions. The future is here—again.

Chase Peterson, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons could not be found for comment. They could be racing desert tortoises in Death Valley.

Well Wilson, talk of Guaymas must bring back some fond memories for you and the guys. OK, maybe there were some that weren't all that fun, but you can't have adventure unless you go on an adventure. So how about you dust off the wanderlust and give us a theme song for January:

Nibblin' on sponge cake, watchin' the sun bake
All of those tourists covered with oil
Strummin' my six-string on my front-porch swing
Smell those shrimp, they're beginnin' to boil

Wasting away again in Margaritaville
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim there's a woman to blame
But I know it's nobody's fault

Don't know the reason, stayed here all season
With nothing to show but this brand-new tattoo
But it's a real beauty, a Mexican cutie
How it got here I haven't a clue

Wasting away again in Margaritaville
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim there's a woman to blame
Now I think, "Hell! It could be my fault."

I blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop top
Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home
But there's booze in the blender and soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

Wasting away again in Margaritaville
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim there's a woman to blame
But I know, it's my own damn fault
"Margaritaville"—Jimmy Buffett
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