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Ready to feel old? Glimpse into mindset of the incoming Class of 2018

If you want to feel old, this might do it: Madonna's daughter, Lourdes Ciccone Leon, has enrolled as a freshman at the University of Michigan.

Leon's choice of the same university her mother once attended is one of the milestones marked this year by the Beloit College Mindset List, a nonscientific compilation meant to remind teachers that college freshmen, born mostly in 1996, see the world in a much different way.

They've grown up with Facebook, selfies and web-based TV. And to them, watching cartoons has meant catching "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" instead of Saturday morning fare.

The compilation, released Tuesday, has been assembled every year since 1998 by Ron Nief and Tom McBride, officials at the private college in southeastern Wisconsin. Over the years it has evolved into a cultural touchstone that entertains even as people wonder where the years have gone.

Here's a look at a few of the landmark events that took place around 1996, the year Leon and most of her incoming classmates were born:

___

HELLO, DOLLY

No. 23: Cloning has always been a fact, not science fiction.

Scottish scientists announced in 1997 that Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned animal, had been born the previous year. She'd been cloned using a process in which DNA was removed from one sheep's egg cell and replaced with genetic material from another sheep, and then implanted into a surrogate mother. Dolly was euthanized in 2003 after she developed lung disease.

Since then scientists have cloned more than a dozen kinds of mammals, including pigs and lambs.

Dolly's creation captured the public imagination and instantly became a scientific sensation, opening up a range of human therapeutic options but also raising serious questions about the ethics of cloning.

___

CASUALTY OF BROWSER WARS

No. 46: They have probably never used Netscape for web browsing.

Netscape Communications helped popularize and commercialize the Internet during the mid-1990s with its Navigator web browser. Around the same time, Microsoft Corp. released the first version of its Internet Explorer browser, which it went on to integrate so tightly into Windows functions that many web users simply used Explorer by default. The U.S. Justice Department and several states ultimately sued Microsoft, accusing it of using its monopoly control over Windows to shut out competitors in other markets. The company fought the charges for years before settling in 2002.

Microsoft's strategy also contributed to another item on the Mindset List:

No. 37. Bill Gates has always been the richest man in the U.S.

The Microsoft co-founder has been the nation's wealthiest man for 20 straight years, and the richest in the world for 15 of those years. Forbes estimated his net worth at $72 billion last year, helped by a rebound in Microsoft's stock price. However, he believes in sharing the wealth. He has helped convince over 100 super-rich people to pledge to donate at least half their net worth to charity.

___

WOMEN IN SPORTS

No. 32: Female referees have always officiated NBA games.

Violet Palmer broke barriers in 1997 when she became the first woman to referee an NBA game. She withstood plenty of scrutiny from her first tipoff, proving she could handle players' complaints and histrionics with professionalism. She has officiated playoff games and the 2014 All-Star Game.

In 2012, Shannon Eastin became the first woman to be an official in an NFL regular-season game when she was the line judge in a Rams-Lions matchup. Bernice Gera became the first woman to work in baseball's minor leagues in 1972 as an umpire in a New York-Penn League game. Pam Postema umpired major league spring training games in 1989 and Triple-A baseball for six seasons.

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DEBATE OVER EBONICS

No. 42: "African-American vernacular English" has always been recognized as a distinct language in Oakland, California.

A school board in Oakland sparked a national debate when it suggested that black English was a separate language. Although the board later dropped the suggestion amid criticism, it set off a discussion over whether African American vernacular English, also known as Ebonics, was a language, a dialect or neither.

The board's initial resolution called for conducting some instruction in Ebonics in recognition of its students' needs and upbringing. It eventually passed an amended resolution saying African-American languages were not mere dialects of English.

Congress debated the question hotly in 1997 but the issue faded away after a few months.

___

AIDS DEATHS VS. HIV INFECTIONS:

No. 39: While the number of Americans living with HIV has always been going up, American deaths from AIDS have always been going down.

More than 1.1 million Americans are believed to be infected with HIV, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number is increasing, in part because medical advances are helping people live longer.

More than 650,000 have already died since the AIDS epidemic began in the U.S. in 1981. The number of deaths peaked in 1995 at 50,877, but declined the following year as multidrug therapy and other treatments became available.

___

Dinesh Ramde can be reached at dramde@ap.org.

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  • An 86-year-old Philadelphia woman allegedly pushed her walker into a bank Tuesday afternoon and . >> Read more trending news Bank employees told police the woman, identified as Emily Coakley, brandished a gun and demanded $400, CBS Philly reported. It didn’t take long for the police to arrive, and they arrested the senior citizen. Authorities say the woman had a .38-caliber revolver. They said the gun was not loaded, but, she did have bullets in her purse, according to The Morning Call. University of Pennsylvania police responded to a robbery call at the TD Bank at 3735 Walnut St. around 2 p.m. Tuesday. Coakley has been charged with aggravated assault, robbery and other related offenses. According to witnesses, Coakley had visited the bank the day earlier and was under the impression she had been shorted $400 from her withdrawal that was the specific total she demanded from the teller. Her family later arrived and tried to defuse the situation. Despite this, people near the bank weren’t happy. “Someone could have got shot, even accidentally. You have to have concerns. People bring their kids here,” customer Will Duggan told Fox 29 in Philadelphia. The Morning Call said she did not offer comment as police escorted her from the bank.
  • South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal increased the jail sentence for former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius to 13 years, 5 months, the reported Friday. Pistorius was originally sentenced to six years in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.  'The sentence imposed by the … [High Court] with respect to murder is set aside and substituted with the following –- the respondent’s imprisonment for 13 years and five months,' Justice Legoabe Willie Seriti said.  He said Pistorius should have been sentenced to 15 years, but the Supreme Court of Appeal took into account the time he had already served, News24 reported.  Pistorius was arrested on Valentine’s Day in 2013 –- the day of the killing. North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa initially sentenced Pistorius to five years for culpable homicide in 2014, News 24 reported. Pistorius served only 10 months of the five-year sentence in prison before being released and put under house arrest. The state appealed the culpable homicide conviction, and it was later replaced with murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2016, and Masipa handed down a six-year jail term, News24 reported. Previously, the six-time Paralympic gold medallist had made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics, in 2012 in London, running on prosthetic 'blades.” He had his legs amputated below the knee as a baby, the BBC reported.
  • In September of 2016, enough signatures were certified on an initiative petition to put medical marijuana on a ballot in Oklahoma, but so far, Governor Mary Fallin has not designated a date for voters to decide the issue. Members of Oklahomans for Health, an advocacy group which favors State Question 788, aren’t happy with the delay, and have begun a campaign to turn the heat up on the governor’s office. Shawn Jenkins, a spokesman for Oklahomans for Health, spoke with KRMG on Wednesday. “We have started a phone campaign and an email campaign that is currently going, that started this week,” Jenkins said, “specifically requesting that it be put on the ballot - and some people are a little bit more not requesting, but demanding that it be put on the ballot - and not just on the ballot, not in November, because that’s too late. This issue was petitioned in 2016.” But the language of the ballot title became an issue when then state Attorney General Scott Pruitt removed the word “medical” from it, which sparked a court battle which restored it, but delayed the issue long enough to prevent a vote that year. Now 2017 has come and gone, and the governor still hasn’t acted, though she could do so at her discretion. Jenkins, a veteran who served with the 101st Airborne Division, suffers glaucoma and also has a son with a rare disease. When KRMG asked him why he advocates for medical marijuana, he discussed the potential benefits for himself, his family, and his fellow veterans. But first, he talked about his rights. “I first got involved with advocacy for it because of being so conservative in my philosophy, and individual rights, and aspects of freedom and liberty,” he told KRMG. If the governor doesn’t call for an election, the issue will still appear on Oklahoma ballots, but not until November of 2018.
  • On every Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to take some time and think about what you and your family are thankful for in 2017 – but at the same time, we may as well try to figure how Turkey Day is playing in political circles as well. In terms of political news, reporters on Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C. are currently going through an almost never-ending avalanche of stories, erupting daily (or even hourly) in what seems to be a high rate of speed in this new social media atmosphere. Let’s take a look at a few things on this Thanksgiving 2017: 1. Roy Moore – Roy Moore might be thankful for a lot right now, mainly a number of men in high profile positions in the Congress and the news media who have been ensnared in the recent swarm of news about sex. The latest person to hit the news – and take the focus off of Moore – is Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who had a nude photo of himself leaked on to social media by a woman he was once in a relationship with, which some say might be ‘revenge porn.’ No matter what the details might be of how this occurred, the Barton story is a reminder of the perfect piece of advice that my father gave as he dropped me off at the U.S. Capitol on my first day of work in 1980, when he told me that ‘They call it the House of Representatives for a reason” – members of Congress are no different from our neighbors and friends. Some are good. Some are bad. Some make bad choices along the way. Roy Moore is thankful for Al Franken, John Conyers, Joe Barton, Charlie Rose, and many others. Their stories keep Moore out of the headlines. So the count for today if I'm not mistaken is two more accusers against Al Franken, one more against John Conyers and a picture of Joe Barton's genitalia splashed across the Internet — Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) November 23, 2017 2. President Donald Trump. – Mr. Trump may be most thankful for political opponents like Hillary Clinton, who continues to be a Trump punching bag on Twitter. While many Inside the Beltway cringe at “Crooked Hillary” tweets, those missives continue to delight the President’s legions of fans, as it helps to keep the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee in the news. (While Mr. Trump is probably also thankful for sports figures like Lavar Ball, Steph Curry, Richard Sherman, and others, I’ll stick to the political arena.) Over the last year, this President has proven himself to be very adept at verbally smacking people on Twitter – whether you think it’s right or wrong for Mr. Trump to be doing that isn’t the point. The longer that President Trump can keep Hillary Clinton in the news, the better for him, and maybe the better for the Republican Party. Donald Trump is thankful that Hillary Clinton is still around. Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017 3. Tax lawyers and accountants. – Yes, Republicans say their tax reform plan will make the tax code simpler to deal with, and for some individuals, it would be easier to file your taxes under the plans envisioned in the House and Senate. But before you think that it’s going to change everything, a simple review of Congressional tax plans shows there will be plenty of work for people who need to explain the intricacies of the tax code, like tax lawyers and accountants. You don’t have to go very far into the GOP bills to feel confused about what’s being changed. Tax lawyers and accountants are thankful for the GOP tax reform bill. There will still be plenty of business for them, even if that bill becomes law. 4. Federal workers. All the talk for years from Republicans has been about making deep cuts in the budget of various federal agencies. On the campaign trail, President Trump promised much the same. But this first year of a combination of a GOP House & Senate, and the Trump Administration, produced almost nothing in terms of spending cuts and budget savings. Last week, the White House proposed $44 billion in (generic) budget savings to offset disaster aid for recent hurricanes – except it would come between 2025 and 2027, when Mr. Trump would be long gone from the White House. So, as they enjoy a big turkey dinner, federal workers can say ‘thanks’ that the Republican Congress and the President, as they really haven’t been able to wield a budget axe on the Executive Branch. Mr. Trump said before Thanksgiving that he would push for budget cuts in the next year. On Thanksgiving, President Trump visited a Coast Guard facility in Florida. Back in April, Mr. Trump wanted to cut over a billion from the Coast Guard budget. That didn’t make it through the Congress. Pres Trump to reporters 'Admin. Dept. heads will work next on spending cuts, welfare reform ('very shortly aftr taxes') & infrastructure' — AWPS NEWS llc (@AWPSNews) November 20, 2017 5. Politics at Thanksgiving. A year ago, the recent election of Donald Trump was a prime topic for many families, as a lot of Democratic voters were struggling to come to terms with President Trump’s election. Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2017, and it’s possible that a lot of those same people are still somewhat aggravated about the way things have gone in political circles after Mr. Trump’s first 10 months in office. And that leads me to believe that some of you will have a few things to say at the dinner table about President Trump, good and bad. Some will be saying “thanks” for the President – others, not so much. But it isn’t hard to argue over whether you should talk about politics at the table, eh? If you’re a republican having thanksgiving dinner with your democrat family, as you go around the table saying what you’re thankful for, I highly encourage you to say “the electoral college.” — Lord Single Malt (@Singlemaltfiend) November 22, 2017 My advice: Don't print anything out. Don't bring a chart to dinner. At Thanksgiving tell weird stories about when you were a kid to the kids and funny stories about loved ones no longer with us. Politics aren't that important. — Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) November 23, 2017
  • Just in time for Thanksgiving, more than 100 members of Oklahoma's National Guard arrived at the Broken Arrow Armed Services Reserve Center Wednesday night. KRMG's told the unit had been serving a six-month deployment in the Ukraine as part of a joint, multi-national training group. They also provided training support to Ukrainian forces. The soldiers were thrilled to see their friends and family. “I’ve been waiting for this feeling,” one soldier said.  “I’m proud of everything we did over there, but I’m happy to be home.” More soldiers from the unit are expected to return home over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to thank the soldiers in the comments.