Comments: Remembering 'Horshack' actor, adding 'f-bomb' to dictionary
"Welcome Back, Kotter" fans are mourning the loss of Ron Palillo, who died of a heart attack Tuesday at 63.
August 14th, 2012
09:44 PM ET

Comments: Remembering 'Horshack' actor, adding 'f-bomb' to dictionary

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

Today we're hearing about a wide variety of things on CNN.com, including coffeemaking techniques and python management. We're highlighting a few stories today with comments that caught our eyes.

1. Remembering 'Horshack'
2. Hypersonic test flight
3. Lost my kid in public
4. Jennifer Aniston
5. 'F-bomb' and other words

1. Ron Palillo, TV's 'Horshack,' dead at 63

Horshack was a beloved persona from "Welcome Back Kotter." Readers are mourning Ron Palillo, who played the 1970s TV character. For some, it's a generation thing.

Irv Kaage: "A sad day for all Sweathogs and a day that makes us all feel a little older."

Horshack paved the way for others who would dare to act like high school students, says this person.

SuthunYankee: "Hello. How are you? MY NAME is ARNOLD HORSHACK! He had many imitators: Urkel, Screech, etc. ... But Horshack was the best. R.I.P."

Or, more specifically ...

Maverick2591: "He was one of the first television nerds who made being a nerd cool. Everything else is superfluous ... Ron was decent and passionate, and he will be missed."

We heard from a couple of people who had gotten to meet Palillo, including one person who says they work at the G-Star School for the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. Palillo taught acting at the charter high school. FULL POST

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Filed under: Celebrity • Comments • Showbiz • TV
Comments: Running mate Ryan spices up election, spurs economic conversation
Mitt Romney has chosen Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate in the 2012 presidential election.
August 13th, 2012
08:03 PM ET

Comments: Running mate Ryan spices up election, spurs economic conversation

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

Mitt Romney has announced his pick for running mate in the 2012 election: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Readers have mixed feelings about him, but they've definitely been talking. The next five stories are all about Ryan.

When the news initially broke, many readers argued about what it means. All seemed to agree that the game was suddenly a little more interesting. Several iReporters, like Mark Ivy of Farmersburg, Indiana, said they felt this choice was the right one.

"As the news began to trickle out late last night, and turn into a cascading waterfall, that House Budget Committee chairman and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan had been selected by Mitt Romney as the person to be his running mate and the next vice president of the United States, I began to read and research all I could on the congressman. That study led me to the conclusion that this morning as Romney was announcing his choice of Ryan, Romney had indeed made the correct decision. That decision puts the question of fiscal responsibility and a right direction for the country squarely on the table."

And Matt Sky  of New York said having Ryan around changes the conversation.

"Adding Paul Ryan to Mitt Romney's ticket changes this election from simply being a referendum on Obama into a core philosophical debate about the differences between conservatism and liberalism. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is an exciting figure for many Republicans, but also represents the core divisions between the parties in a way that could also rally more Democrats behind Obama. We have very articulate, intelligent candidates across the board, so I think we can expect a fascinating, very unique election year, not about personality or popularity points, but one of substance."

On CNN's Facebook page, readers were critical of Ryan's economic vision, which was the subject of an opinion article by Donna Brazile. But some were in support.

Chris Perrin: Ryan's budget would destroy the middle class and the working poor. We would all become serfs to the rich. Now that is class warfare if I've ever seen it.

Colleen Warman Meyer: "Does anyone find it ironic that democrats keep saying Ryan's budget proposal is too radical when the dems in power haven't bothered to even pass a budget in years? I think a little radical is better than nothing. Our national belt has needed a lot of tightening anyway."

Ralph Quaas: All this means is money for Republican pockets and not a dime for seniors and the needy.

Charlotte Booth Davidson: "Can anybody ANYBODY tell me why I should vote for Obama? And not because of Romney/Ryan. Convince me how our country is better off then three years ago?!!! Please!"

Michael Sercu: "Ryan and Romney declared: 'We do not want our kids stuck with trillions of dollars in debt.' The bad news: They want other people's kids stuck with that debt."

CNN.com commenters also had plenty to say.

1. Romney's pick of Ryan as his running mate energizes conservatives, opponents

This reader said they weren't originally planning to vote, but decided to do so. They were one of many who alluded to author Ayn Rand, author of the influential and controversial novel "Atlas Shrugged." Ryan has said conflicting things about his stance on Rand's work.

aabbccddee: "Thanks Romney, by choosing Paul Ryan you helped me to decide that I'm voting for Obama. The last thing we need is a conservative Ayn Randian objectivist in the White House."

THX1953: "Ha! Like your vote wasn't already cast!"

aabbccddee: "It wasn't. I dislike Obama's conservative policies so I was going to sit out this election. To me, Romney and Obama are two of the same. Romney's choice of Ryan has awoken me from my apathy."

Another reader said they were glad that a person with vigor was joining the race. FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Elections • Mitt Romney • Politics • Republican Party • Wisconsin
Comments: Mars rover indulges readers' Curiosity about mysteries of Red Planet
Reader's caption: "Woke up late on first day of vacation. Lots of red sand. Locals are ... not any. Miss you all. Love, Curiosity."
August 9th, 2012
08:45 PM ET

Comments: Mars rover indulges readers' Curiosity about mysteries of Red Planet

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

"Space ... the final frontier. These are the voyages of the rover Curiosity. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."
–ARAKUN, CNN.com commenter

As we get more pictures back from the Mars rover Curiosity, readers seem to be talking about it more and more. Light Years asked readers to caption three photos of the Red Planet and got more than 300 responses. The caption above, given by user talkhazin, was one of the three selected by editors. The social media galaxy has been buzzing about the fourth rock from the sun all week.

1. Why we love Mars
2. Drought vs. food
3. Running on a broken leg
4. Fossil research
5. Pet names

1. Why I love Mars

This opinion piece by Greg Bear brought out even more joy from our readers, who say space and science are important to our country. We also saw counterarguments from those who think space research is nice but are concerned that there are other things the money is needed for. You could see these views at odds.

fasteddie09: "Mars is important because it is Earthlike. Mars used to be much warmer and wetter than it is today. What went wrong? By trying to understand Mars' history, we can improve our understanding of Earth's geology and climate. When you study only one world, Earth, your knowledge is limited to a data set of one observation. The more you expand that data set, the greater your understanding can become. Closed minds narrowly focused on the ground and the now have little hope of making discoveries."

sandMonkeys: "Wow, go back to watching 'Star Trek,' nerd. We're not going to colonize Mars. That's too expensive and ultimately it gives us nothing in return. It's a pipe dream."

Justanothermonkeyman: "I love the Mars missions! The only sad part is that more people don't care about them. I think it is a shame that most people care about celebrity news more. I mean COME ON - we landed a probe on another planet! That's so amazing and intriguing to me!"

CanadaPride4: "You want to know why I love Mars? Because I don't. It is a big rock that doesn't do anything. It is a stupid big rock."

Some readers were concerned about what humans plan to do on Mars. FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Science • Space • U.S.
Comments: Randy Travis, how did 'such a talented guy end up in a mug shot like that'?
Randy Travis was arrested Tuesday after he was found naked lying on a roadway in northern Texas and smelling of alcohol.
August 8th, 2012
07:40 PM ET

Comments: Randy Travis, how did 'such a talented guy end up in a mug shot like that'?

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

We saw a lot of interesting conversations spring up in the news today, and on topics beyond the main headlines of past days.

1. Randy Travis' arrest
2. Record heat
3. Long waits at the doctor
4. Factory jobs go unfulfilled
5. School sports vs. classes

Here's a look at the variety of topics covered.

1. Country singer Randy Travis arrested, accused of DWI

Country music star Randy Travis was arrested late Tuesday after being found naked, smelling apparently of alcohol and lying on a remote stretch of roadway in northern Texas just before midnight, authorities said. His mug shot is circulating, and readers are talking about the lives of country singers.

Some talked about the ills of the bottle.

Penny Pinkerton Gearing: "My heart goes out to him as it seems he is having issues with alcohol. I hope that he receives the help that he needs soon before things get any worse and he injures someone (or himself worse than he already has)."

KENNNY: "Now I like Randy Travis' music but my problem is that they all say: 'I'm committed to being responsible and accountable, and apologize for my actions' and then they go out and do it again and again and again while John Doe, who is a 'Regular Citizen' gets the book thrown at him for the same offense. Sooner or later Mr. Travis is going to do what many drunk drivers do and that is he will be involved in an accident that will result in loss of life, either his life, someone else's life or both and it can be avoided. I hope he will get it together before it is too late."

For some, the situation sounded like the fodder for another sad country song.

Prefection: "Coincidentally, his new country single is titled 'Naked, Smelling Apparently of Alcohol and Lying on a Remote Stretch of Roadway in Northern Texas just before Midnight.' "

Snowcat764: "I get the part that he was driving while intoxicated but I think we're all wondering why he was naked."

The photo showing Travis' condition had many feeling a bit sad. FULL POST

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Filed under: Celebrity • Comments • Crime • Music • U.S.
Comments: Are Reid's tax allegations smart move or abuse of congressional power?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Mitt Romney went 10 years without paying taxes, and readers are talking about him.
August 7th, 2012
10:10 PM ET

Comments: Are Reid's tax allegations smart move or abuse of congressional power?

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

Politics took the reigns of Tuesday's fiery commenting discussions, followed by further debate over Mars exploration and a hard look at the influence of white supremacy groups in the United States. Here's the rundown.

1. Harry Reid vs. Mitt Romney 
2. The big Mars rover question: Is it all necessary? 
3. White supremacy groups 
4. Lupe Fiasco gets heated response 
5. Olympics update: Golden girls, dubious excuses

1. Harry Reid vs. Mitt Romney

This story generated more than 10,000 comments today, dominating conversation on the site. Republican sources say they're in a Catch-22 situation on how to reply to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's claims that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney went 10 years without paying taxes. They either play along with Reid and keep the conversation going, or they refuse to participate and risk rousing suspicions. Some of our readers say this situation is justified, especially after all the requests for President Barack Obama's birth certificate, while some other readers say they think Reid is playing dirty with Romney to harm his candidacy.

Reid puts GOP in a bind over Romney's taxes

What's Reid really thinking?

NoGasBags: "Harry's a genius. The only way for this issue to die down is for Romney to release the returns and disprove him. There's obviously something in there. Romney's too smart to evade taxes, but by some form of manipulation he may have avoided paying them for several years. I'd say keep the issue going. It's one more issue of secrecy in regards Romney, his ideas, plans and faith. Go too it Harry!"

oddjob3422: "A genius indeed. The move might be politically effective, but it's just another example showing how Harry Reid is the biggest embarrassment in our entire government. The man is absolutely reprehensible to abuse his power as Senate majority leader to hawk his unsubstantiated claims. Doubtless there is someone else pulling the strings, though, because Reid can hardly put together a sentence on his own. To watch the man talk on the Sunday morning political shows is to cringe in embarrassment. I didn't see the footage of his asinine Senate floor screed, but I have little doubt that he was, as usual, looking down at a cue card, slowly and haltingly sounding out words written by others. This is what we are down to – outright slander being tolerated, and the U.S. Senate floor being used as the vehicle to spread it."

Who's hunting who? FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Crime • Harry Reid • Mitt Romney • Politics • Race • Taxes • Wisconsin
Comments: 'This tragedy has helped me to learn more about the Sikh religion'
People wait for word on family and friends at the Sikh temple. The Oak Creek, Wisconsin, temple, or gurdwara, opened in 2007.
August 6th, 2012
09:16 PM ET

Comments: 'This tragedy has helped me to learn more about the Sikh religion'

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

There has been tons of conversation surrounding Monday's news, spanning the full range of humanity's capacities. Look below for a glance at these topics:

1. Wisconsin temple shooting
2. Mars rover landing
3. Situation in Syria
4. Culture of gaming
5. Underwater wreckage
6. Olympics update: Michael Phelps
7. Braydon Nichols

1. Wisconsin temple shooting

People have been going back and forth all day about =the shooting Sunday at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which left seven people dead including the gunman, 40-year-old Wade Michael Page. Details emerged after the shooting, painting Page as the front man of a white-power rock group known as "End Apathy." Thousands of comments poured in, and readers posted dozens of stories on CNN iReport.

Police identify Army veteran as Wisconsin shooting gunman

We were surprised to find that one of our readers wrote a comment saying they knew Page.

Cjrobillard: "Wade Michael Page was one of my closest friends from my time in the Army. We met and served together in the same unit at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While I don't support what he did, I love him like a brother and I will miss him greatly. I am sorry for the families of the victims and officers."

CNN interviewed the commenter, who in real life is Christopher Robillard of Oregon. He described Page as his "closest friend" in the service more than a decade ago, and added that Page was pushed out of the military for showing up to formation drunk.

Robillard said Page was "a very kind, very smart individual" who loved his friends, but "was involved with white supremacy." He went on to say that Page sometimes talked about "racial holy war," but didn't seem like the kind of person who would actually hurt someone.

"It's the racial holy war talk I always took as something he would vent about, and not act on it," Robillard said. "I never pictured him as someone who would do anything. I thought maybe he was just saying it for attention." FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Crime • Religion • U.S. • Wisconsin
Comments: What does 'free speech' mean to you? Chick-fil-A debate strikes nerve
Eduardo Cisneros, left, and Luke Montgomery kiss in front of a Chick-fil-A in Hollywood on Friday.
August 3rd, 2012
08:47 PM ET

Comments: What does 'free speech' mean to you? Chick-fil-A debate strikes nerve

Editor's note: You may be familiar with the Overheard on CNN.com series, which looks at thought-provoking conversations posted by the community. In that same vein, we're trying something new by providing a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

Happy Friday. We're taking a look at five of the most talked-about stories yet again. The topics are pretty diverse:

  • Chick-fil-A
  • Gun culture
  • Unemployment numbers
  • Mars rover Curiosity
  • Parisian catacombs

Scroll down to read what people are saying about the news.

1. Chick-fil-A 'kiss day'

There’s a lot of heated discussion about the “kiss day” demonstration against Chick-fil-A, which follows up on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Will it have political impact come November? Does it matter what a corporation supports?

Most of our readers are once again expressing support for Chick-fil-A, including many gay readers. Check out iReporter Matt Zieminski's take on political gray areas. He is a young gay man with some very nuanced beliefs that have gotten a good response from our readers.

CVNeutron: "Whether you read this as a liberal or a conservative, LGBT or straight, Christian or atheist or any other religious belief, I want you to take from this a very simple message: We are all Americans and we all care about the same things. We all want equality, we just don't yet know the right way to achieve it. I am gay and I can tell you without a doubt I fully support those like me as well as those completely different from me because that's what makes our country better than most. We can disagree online and in person and on air as much as we want and at the end of the day nobody is hung for what they said and we all still can be united as people. This country faces serious issues and it's time that we get serious answers. I don't give a damn what Chick-Fil-A or The Home Depot or Gap or any other corporation thinks about gays. I care what my leaders think about equality. It's time to stop dancing around the issue and ask our leaders to give us real cohesive answers to this question: When? When will we have true equality in this country?"

Meanwhile, Thursday's piece on chicken with a side of politics garnered more than 5,000 comments. If you see Chick-fil-A demonstrations in your area, share your story on CNN iReport. FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Overheard on CNN.com
Comments: Chick-fil-A chatter, keeping tabs on 'tamale lady'
Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the country experienced massive crowds Wednesday as customers showed their support.
August 2nd, 2012
08:47 PM ET

Comments: Chick-fil-A chatter, keeping tabs on 'tamale lady'

Editor's note: You may be familiar with the Overheard on CNN.com series, which looks at thought-provoking conversations posted by the community. In that same vein, we're trying something new by providing a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

If you're hungry for debate, you might want to feast on these discussions. Below is a menu of five talked-about topics today. We may be hearing more about Chick-fil-A on Friday, so consider grabbing a doggie bag.

1. Spicy chicken chatter

We’re looking back on Wednesday's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day crowds and forward to planned events Friday in support of same-sex marriage.

On Thursday we've seen a bit of talk bubbling up about corporate image and the way companies and public figures use their words to cultivate their following. We also have seen commenters debating public displays of affection, both same-sex and otherwise.

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day sets record, restaurant chain says

Mike: "Ever notice how no one wants to be put in a box these days ... as if what they say doesn't define them ... and yet when it comes to Chick-fil-A, the most innocuous kind of "this is what I belive statement" put a box around not only (Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy), but the whole business and all of its employees and suppliers, some of whom I'm sure believe otherwise."

To what degree can one's actions affect anything?

ec: "It's impossible to boycott gas in most cities, thanks to oil companies getting rid of public transit and preventing investment in alternative fuels. What these people do is vote and support investment in alternative fuel, carpool, ride their bikes instead of drive when possible, grow their own food, etc. It's impossible to boycott every company that should be boycotted, but we do what we can. Our country is run by corporations, tell them how you feel by voting with your wallet."

Some felt restricted.

Darth Cheney:  "I like Chick-Fil-A. I support gay marriage. OMG, I don't fit into either pre-ordained pigeonhole in the Hate-olympics! My head is going to explode. I don't conform to my force-fed narrative!!!"

Readers also talked about kissing in public, for protesting or otherwise. FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Overheard on CNN.com
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