Finding our soul in the wake of a soulless act: Where does Chattanooga go from here?

879720925d315dd1bee002fccd596b5963021_largeIn the coming days and weeks, counterterrorism investigators, the FBI and other federal law enforcement officials will attempt to figure out what Chattanoogans and millions of others across the globe want to know: Why did Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez go on a shooting rampage that killed five U.S. service members?

Was he a Muslim extremist or simply a troubled young man? Was he battling depression or engaged in a holy war? What happened, exactly, during his time in Jordan last year? Did he go there, as his parents claim, to get clean and get away from some questionable friends, or was there a more nefarious reason for his trip? Was his attack inevitable, or was there anything we could have done to prevent it?

These are important questions all deserving of answers, answers that will come slowly.

Regardless of the answers, however, what ultimately matters is how this unfathomable tragedy will shape our city going forward. What matters now is what we do in response.

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The Verdict on “Serial”

0c89f3e75c770e778f0a5da51580812c57517_mediumIf you haven’t heard the true crime podcast “Serial” by now, you’ve likely at least heard about it. A spinoff of “This American Life,” “Serial” is the most downloaded podcast in history.

Host and executive producer Sarah Koenig—also a producer for “This American Life” and formerly a reporter at ABC News, The New York Times and The Baltimore Sun—applies her journalistic skills on “Serial” to answer the following question: Did Baltimore high school student Adnan Syed kill his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, 15 years ago—or was he wrongfully convicted?

For 15 months, Koenig and her team combed through documents and conducted numerous interviews with people associated with the case. And although Koenig didn’t drop any bombshells in Thursday’s season finale, her work on “Serial” is noteworthy for a few reasons.

Read the rest of this article at Nooga.com.

How to get the most out of your totally unnecessary Thanksgiving night holiday shopping trip

7ac0807163594874a9e84b08d629c43633373_mediumTo the dismay of an increasing number of Americans, Thanksgiving has replaced Black Friday as the official start of the holiday shopping season.

Those opposed to the new tradition say Thanksgiving should be a day for families to be together and that retail employees should have the day off. Others say every dime counts and if the stores are going to open anyway, they’ll be there to take advantage of the savings.

Of course, Thanksgiving is not the only day that shoppers can find bargains. They can shop on Black Friday, every day until Christmas, the day after Christmas and/or pretty much any other day of the year. And if they can’t find what they’re looking for in stores, they can always join the millions of people who shop online year-round.

However, if you count yourself among those who feel the need to take advantage of the totally optional savings this Thanksgiving, consider the following tips.

Read the rest of this piece at Nooga.com.