By Addie Whitlow, Chattanooga, Tenn.–

  1. New memes – Last week, your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feeds were no doubt bombarded with two new sets of memes. The bromance between President Obama and Vice President Biden was probably the first to show up. The Barack and Joe memes may be a result of the President and the VP leaving office soon, but no one knows for sure. All we know is that they’re best friends forever. And Kermit the Frog is back, but this time he’s not throwing shade; he’s dipping his toes in a bit of evil. The “Evil Kermit” memes feature normal Kermit telling you the right thing to do, and then there’s Evil Kermit, wearing a black hoodie pulled over his eyes and offering you bad advice to counter the good.
  2. Forest fires continue – The battle against wildfires in the Tennessee Valley, which has been raging for the past month, still isn’t over. Luckily, though, the smoke and haze are finally starting to clear. However, the air quality in Chattanooga has been sitting at Code Red for quite some time now. Chattanooga isn’t the only place suffering from forest fires; they’ve been popping up all over the Southeast due to the extreme drought the region is in. While many of the Chattanooga fires were due to arson, there have been arrests made, so that’s one step in the right direction. Thousands of acres have already burned and are continuing to burn, but most of the fires in the immediate area are 70 percent contained or more. Now all we need is some rain.
  3. Leon Russell – Leon Russell, the famous American pianist, guitarist, and songwriter who has been active in pretty much every genre and collaborated with many of the biggest names in music history, passed away at the age of 74. Russell, who was from Oklahoma, passed away peacefully in his sleep in Nashville. Russell’s music career lasted for roughly sixty years, and in that time, he has collaborated and/or performed with Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Elton John, and so many more Hall of Fame artists. Some of Russell’s biggest hits include “A Song for You,” “Tight Rope,” “Lady Blue,” and “Delta Lady,” just to name a few. He will be missed.  
  4. Mannequin Challenge – The Mannequin Challenge may have ‘officially’ started last month, but it’s gone pretty viral over the last week. The challenge involves someone filming people doing exactly what the name says: Acting like mannequins. Quite a few of the challenges are so good that if it weren’t for the moving camera, it’d look like the video was paused. Some of the notable Mannequin Challenges include the Clintons and Bon Jovi on the campaign plane, Blac Chyna in the middle of labor, the Dallas Cowboys in the locker room, and so many more. My personal favorite is the Boxer dressed up in human clothes doing human things because that’s true devotion to the game.
  5. The Supermoon – Last Monday, Nov. 14, the supermoon was a sight to see around the world. While a supermoon occurs roughly every 13 months, this month’s supermoon was special because it was known as an ‘extra-supermoon,’ the largest one in 68 years, according to NASA; we won’t get another one quite that large until 2034. This event happens when the moon is full at the same time that its orbit is closest to Earth, hence the term ‘supermoon.’ On Dec. 14, another supermoon will be seen in the night sky, although it might not be quite as large as this month’s. However, at the same time, the Geminid Meteor Shower will also occur. While the December supermoon will no doubt be a breathtaking sight, the brightness of the moon will limit the number of meteors we’re able to see. Officials from NASA said that we will probably only see about 12 meteors fly by Earth, when a normal shower has over 100 meteors every hour during peak viewing times.