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The Bookbyte Blog

Every November, the staff at Bookbyte breaks into groups to compete in a food drive. Each team gets a giant metal barrel and gets a short amount of time to decorate it according to a theme. Then we stuff the decorated barrels with as much food as we can scrounge up and donate it to the <a href="">Marion-Polk Food Share</a>, a charity that feeds the needy in our community of central Oregon.

It's gotta be tough coming up with new things to talk about when you're basically just selling bubbles with water in it. That's why the people at Polar Seltzer were kind of brilliant for jumping into the comments of this USA Today article on bad college essays , just because ...

<p style="text-align:center;"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-1107 aligncenter" title="FBdidyou" src="" alt="Message saying &quot;I voted... did you?&quot;" width="400" height="300" /></a></p> Anybody who logged onto Facebook on election day got hit with a crazy number of "go vote!" messages. Most were from your friends, many were from the companies you've Liked. (We tried to make ours go down easier by pairing it with <a href=";set=a.443035592378151.117322.123909837624063&amp;type=1">a picture of an adorable puppy</a>.) But there were also some messages from Facebook itself. They were either just general messages to go vote or a list of your friends who've already voted (who then told Facebook that they voted, of course).

Disney just bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. This was our first thought.

[youtube=] With Hurricane Sandy, which you might know better as the Frankenstorm, pounding the East Coast, it got us thinking about the weird practice of naming hurricanes after people. It was odder still in the not-too-distant past, since from 1954 to 1979, <a href="">hurricanes only received ladies' names.</a>

You can educate yourself about candidates, but at the end of the day, most people will vote along party lines. That's just the way things are. But in most elections, there are other things at stake than just who will take office. The times democracy really gets to chance to shine are with propositions (or ballot initiatives or measures or whatever your state calls them).

<a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1066" title="vote" src="" alt="Vote pin on an American flag" width="540" height="230" /></a>I was an out-of-state student. For four years, my family and mailing address were in Virginia, but I spent the majority of the year up in Massachusetts. I kept my voting registration in Virginia, mostly because I'd rather cast a vote in a swing state than in one that tends to lean blue.

<a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1052" title="supremecourt" src="" alt="The Supreme Court of the United States" width="540" height="364" /></a> The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in <a href=""><em>Fisher v. University of Texas</em></a>, a case that could potentially change the way our country handles affirmative action. Here's the bare-bones facts of the case. Abigail Fisher, a student whose application to the University of Texas was rejected, sued the school for discrimination. She's white, and arguing that if she had been a racial minority, she would've been accepted.

<a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1041" title="florida" src="" alt="The Florida State Flag" width="500" height="301" /></a> In its official strategic plan, Florida's Board of Education projected its goals for the next few years. The document set targets for the percentages of students the board hopes will be at grade level in the near future. But then it further breaks down those targets. By race.

I have news that's incredibly disappointing to my younger self, age 3 to 9. Sadly, we'll never be able to build a real-life Jurassic Park, because of the half-life of DNA strands.

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