Neil Abercrombie, The Autobiography of Mark Twain & Back-Up Survivor | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Neil Abercrombie, The Autobiography of Mark Twain & Back-Up Survivor 

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Island Child
Some people don’t like to be corrected. But don’t tell Neil Abercrombie. He’s the new Democratic governor of Hawaii who’s pledged to beat back the “birthers” who insist that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and probably is even an illegal alien devoted to the destruction of the American Way, God and country. Abercrombie was a friend of Obama’s parents while Dad was studying at the University of Hawaii, and he got to see Baby Barack soon after he was born. Documentation doesn’t help, either. That’s underscored by a recent University of Michigan study that found people pretty much dismiss facts in favor of “non-rational beliefs.” Sorry, Governor. The president is a socialist alien, for sure.

Reports of His Death Exaggerated
And you thought the Kindle, iPad and Nook were threatening the book-binding industry? Not. Along comes the Autobiography of Mark Twain—100 years after his death—and readers can’t get enough of it, not even at $35 for the 760-page first volume. Whew—really, this is weighty bedtime reading, at best. Apparently, the University of California Press was a little uncertain of the potential, and only planned for a measly 7,500 copies. But in the short time since its release, the late Twain is on best-seller lists, and The New York Times reports that the university press is now thinking that 275,000 isn’t enough. Salt Lake City bookstores have run out of copies a couple of times, and Ken Sanders of Ken Sanders Rare Books says he’s about to sell out of the third printing.

Do You See Me?
It was a Christmas miracle of sorts. A Payson 2-year-old had only minor injuries after an uncle backed over him in their driveway on Christmas Eve. This was one of many back-up bumps that kill nearly 300 and injure 18,000 children and old folks each year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Just under half the fatalities are of kids under 5—hey, they’re small, and it’s hard to see them. That’s why the NHTSA, responding to a congressional mandate, has proposed a new rule to expand the field of vision in vehicles, and it wants automobile manufacturers to install rear-mounted video cameras and in-vehicle displays in all vehicles by 2014. Yes, it means pricier cars, and more than likely a pushback from tea-party activists who are just fed up with the Obama administration’s protective directives.

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