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eyes on the U.S.

Obama Plays It Safe And Serious, Still Sets Internet Alight



US President Barack Obama took to the stage Thursday to officially accept the Democratic nomination for a second term in office.

Delivering his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, North Carolina, his promise to America was a far cry from the exuberant speeches along the 2008 campaign trail. "Forward" replaced "Change" on the signs delegates waved for the cameras.

Noting the speech's somewhat more serious tone, The New York Times wrote that Obama: "laid out a long-term blueprint for revival in an era obsessed with short-term expectations."

“You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades,” Obama said.

Obamaplays safe: "the speech of a front-runner who thinks he can win if the current dynamic is maintained" nyr.kr/OrSl6o

— John Cassidy (@TNYJohnCassidy) September 7, 2012

However, there were still plenty of one-liners that sent the audience and the twittersphere into a flurry, as the President set a new Twitter record - at least in politics - by receiving 52,757 tweets per minute (TMP).

Twitter's government page reported that Obama's line "I'm no longer just a candidate. I'm the president," was the most popular on the social network.

Other quotes that prompted the most reaction include:

"I will never turn Medicare into a voucher" Obama's direct hit at Paul Ryan and his now infamous voucher plan for elderly health care.

— Cherron(@sweet_amBtion) September 7, 2012

Word. “@barackobama: “No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.”—President Obama”

— Leslie Anne Sy (@lesliesy) September 7, 2012

"Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did." - @barackobama #dnc2012

— Mashable US & World (@mashusworld) September 7, 2012

In comparison, Mitt Romney last week only managed 14,289 TMP during his speech, with both Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama topping the Republican nominee with 22,000 and 28,000 tweets per minute respectively.

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For Seniors, Friendship May Be More Important Than Family

Even if the aging and elderly tend to wind up confined to family circles, Argentine academics Laura Belli and Danila Suárez explore the often untapped benefits of friendship in our later years.

Photograph of two elderly women and an elderly man walking arm in arm. Behind the, there are adverts for famous football players.

Two elderly women and a man walk arm in arm

Philippe Leone/Unsplash
Laura F. Belli and Danila Suárez Tomé

Updated Dec. 10, 2023 at 10:10 p.m.

BUENOS AIRES — What kind of friendship do people most talk about? Most often it is childhood or teenage friendships, while friendships between men and women are repeatedly analyzed. What about friendships among the elderly? How are they affected when friends disappear, at a stage when grieving is already more frequent?

Argentines Laura Belli and Danila Suárez Tomé, two friends with PhDs in philosophy, explore the challenges and benefits of friendship in their book Filosofía de la amistad (Friendship Philosophy).

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They consider how friendships can emerge later in life, in profoundly altered circumstances from those of our youth, with people living through events like retirement, widowhood, reduced autonomy or to a greater or lesser degree, personal deterioration. All these can affect older people's ability to form and keep friendships, even if changes happen at any stage in life.

Filosofía de la amistadexplores the place of friendships amid daunting changes. These are not just the result of ageing itself but also of how one is perceived, nor will they affect everyone exactly the same way. Aging has firstly become a far more diverse experience, with increasing lifespans and better healthcare everywhere, and despite an inevitable restriction in life opportunities, a good many seniors enjoy far greater freedom and life choices than before.

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