Rick Reilly of ESPN the Magazine-It isn't easy being green

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Rick Reilly has come to be one of my favorite sports columnists.  He balances wit with a supreme knowledge of all sports and their intricacies. 

Although some may argue he is just a columnist and blogger, he writes many columns that have the values and traits of a feature.  Such is the case in "It isn't easy being green."

In this column, Reilly attempts to do what no other sports journalist has done before, which is to do a completely green column.  This also seems fitting, considering all of the hype surrounding "going green."  It seems, however, his purpose is more to entertain than to save the environment.

In the column, Reilly chronologically describes the day he spends putting this article together, in a green way.  He bikes a full 30 miles with a friend to catch a Colorado-Boulder football game, and details all of the green facilities that the campus has. 

Still, in an ironic ending, Reilly realizes he has not been the green sportswriter he had hoped.  His son reminds him that publishing a column in a mass-produced magazine in ESPN is far from being green friendly.

"It isn't easy being green" is more for entertainment than anything.  Reilly is a master of humor and wit, and shows it in this article, even making fun of his own actions.  When categorizing the feature, it seems human-interest would be the most obvious pick. It was a feature I truly enjoyed

The New York Times-Cult Classic

"Cult Classic" is a delightful piece about the little thought of and perhaps underrated Mexican version of Coca-Cola.  The author, Rob Walker, takes a look at the cult classic and even inputs some enjoyable personal commentary.

Walker believes the Mexican coke reigns supreme in the world of Coke.  He begins by talking about the Facebook page for Mexican coke, looks at the misconceptions about it, and even gets American Coke's take on the recent surge in Mexican Coke's popularity.

The article is so great, in my opinion, because it is so simple, comical at times, and very original.  What I also like is that the writer isn't afraid to speak his mind and talk about his personal experiences with Mexican Coke.  He puts himself into his own story and it's no lie that Walker is a big fan.

I really found the author's use of quotes effective.  He has a great one from Andy Warhol, and even speaks to a Coke spokesman as if he were an actual reporter.  There is a great balance going on here.

"Cult Classic" is definitely a combination of entertainment and food feature, added with a dash of lifestyle.  In an obvious way, it is a consumer feature, but I think there is more to it.  This obsession with Mexican Coke is a relatively recent phenomenon, so the feature could also be considered a trend story of today.

The feature, in a time of hard-hitting news about economic uncertainty and war, is an example of a light-feature that is guaranteed to entertain most readers.

With the recent White House crashing by husband and wife Tareq and Michaele Salahi, it only seemed fitting that Esquire would put together a feature chronicling some of the best party crashers of all time. 

From the Beastie Boys to Jesse Ventura, this list was entertaining and true to its title in every way.  Also included were the Boise State Broncos, Christopher Rocancourt, and the Sex Pistols, to name a few.

11 total "party crashers" are looked at, each with their own page with a picture and a short paragraph. 

The feature falls into the entertainment category, but is also a portrayal of a certain lifestyle--the party crasher to be exact.  It could also be understood as a trend or even flashback feature, reminding the reader of some of the biggest partiers that have lived.

The style of the feature was very appealing to me.  The slideshow that profiled each party crasher, with both a picture and an explanation, was visually pleasing. 

Plus, it cannot be denied that this plain fun and entertainment.  Reliving the Ventura years and reading about the unique and animated Beastie Boys just brought back great memories for me. 

The New York Times reported twenty-two more bodies were found in a grave Tuesday, making the total 46 killed in the violence surrounding the elections in the Philippines.  President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took swift action in declaring a state of emergency in two provinces and one city known for its violence.

The turmoil surrounding the country's new election started Monday when around 50 civilians and journalists were abducted--now there are only a few bodies that have not been accounted for.

Along with the emergency declaration also comes expanded powers to government military and police.  "The government has to do what is necessary," said Jesus Dureza, a close adviser to Arroyo.

The Commission Rights and Reporters Without Borders both addressed the recent violence.  Reporters Without Borders said that there has never been a greater loss of life in one day for media.

The Star Tribune reported Tuesday that a man was shot and killed after a night of drinking with two other friends.

Logan Alhers was accidentally shot by friend Michael C. Schwartz, both 25 years of age and from Burnsville.  According to a police statement, Schwartz left the bars separate from Alhers and one other friend.  He then came home to his apartment alone, grabbed his .40-calibur pistol, and sat in his car with the loaded gun.  Then the other friend found Schwartz in the car, and the two of them subsequently found Alhers lying outside a door in the apartment building.  After some foul-play and wrestling with the gun, it fired and hit Alhers in the neck.  Schwartz contacted police after, and Alhers was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Guns and alcohol are a deadly combination as this tragedy clearly demonstrates," Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom said.

Manslaughter charges were filed in the Dakota Country District Court today.  Schwartz is being held on $150,000 bail with no conditions.

The Sun Current also recently posted a story detailing the events.         

The New York Times posted an article Wednesday that discussed President Obama's recent talks and meetings about future involvement in Afghanistan.  The article stated that Obama would make some final decisions over Thanksgiving and address the Afghanistan issue to the American public by early next week. 

One of the biggest questions hanging around is how many more troops Obama plans to send to Afghanistan in the near future. The Times reported that Obama would not give a specific number, but it is likely that he will send anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 more troops.

The most important thing Obama stressed, however, is that this strategy will "finish the job" in Afghanistan.  He wants to make sure that terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda, do not attack again.  It is also a plan that he hopes the American people will be supportive of. 
The Times also used White House and other anonymous sources close to the President to make some predictions about the new plan.

For example, after a recent meeting in the Situation Room, the following was revealed:

"The conversation settled around sending about 30,000 more American troops, two officials said, the first of which would deploy early next year to be in place in southern or eastern Afghanistan by the spring."

The President's announcement should come next Tuesday in the form of a national address, but where he'll do it has yet to be decided.