i still can’t get over criminal minds as a concept,
the team be like “this un-sub orders her dishes at a spice level of 3, see if there are any women who entered the foster care system between 2004-2008”
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Summary List Placement
Zach Newkirk was on his babymoon in Florida when he received the invitation to audition for “Jeopardy!”
Newkirk got the email in April 2019, when he and his wife, who was pregnant at the time, were sitting at Uncle Chicken’s — a roadside shack serving wings with 14 different sauces and buttered lobster rolls. He’d taken the test on a whim earlier that spring while clerking for a federal judge, who would yell out questions listed on his “Jeopardy!” calendar, the kind you tore a page off every day.
Newkirk, more often than not, would be first to answer correctly.
“I thought, what are the odds? Probably one in a billion,” said Newkirk over the phone before adding, in a lawyerly fashion, “It’s actually more like one in 100,000.”
Two weeks later, he drove to Savannah, Georgia to play a few sample questions in front of the camera, and landed a spot on stage.
Newkirk, a voting rights attorney at Perkins Coie, has since skyrocketed to trivia fame, snapping up six consecutive wins on “Jeopardy!” at the end of January.
Newkirk’s childhood in Gainesville, Florida, was punctuated by the voice of Alex Trebek — which he described as “authoritative, stern, but kind” — and “Think!”, the show’s playful theme song, its tempo kept to speed by the ominous ticking of a clock.
He would sit in front of the TV with his dad, and they’d both shout out answers at the screen. Though his dad started off getting most of the questions right, over time, it was the younger Newkirk who began to one-up his opponent.
Surprisingly, Newkirk doesn’t read encyclopedias for fun, nor does he religiously study facts of the day. Instead, the attorney ascribes his mental bank of trivia to “a slow accumulation” of knowledge over the years.
When he was in sixth grade, for instance, Newkirk participated in his middle school’s Geography Bees, where he stood on stage and answered questions like “Riyadh is to Saudi Arabia as Kigali is to?” (The answer, in “Jeopardy!” fashion, would’ve been, “What is Rwanda?”)
Even after he scored a spot on the show after passing his audition, many years later, Newkirk would study relatively lightly, tooling around on a website called J! Archive, which lists “410,503 clues and counting” at the time of this story’s publication. His wife, who’s also an attorney, regularly quizzes him, too.
“At the end of day, it was sort of winging it,” Newkirk said with a sheepish laugh.
Growing up in the swing state of Florida, Newkirk became interested in voting rights law as he watched the national landscape take on an increasingly partisan valence. He cites the 2000 election, which resulted in the monumental Bush v. Gore case over a recount dispute, as an “eye-opening experience,” even for an 11-year-old.
At Perkins Coie, Newkirk recently represented veterans of the civil rights movement and current civil rights leaders in Black Lives Matter DC v. Trump, a lawsuit lodged against the then-president, William Barr, and law enforcement officers who were involved in the attack against protesters in Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020.
His colleagues at Perkins, who sent good-luck messages and held a virtual watch party for his return to the show in January, have been “super supportive,” said Newkirk.
Newkirk added that his training as an attorney — especially the LSAT, the standardized test that is a prerequisite of law school applications — has also, unexpectedly, come into play on “Jeopardy!”
“The LSAT involves a lot of dense reading in a short amount of time, so you have to quickly spot the issue. It’s a similar concept in ‘Jeopardy!’, where you only have a couple of seconds to read the question as Alex [Trebek] or Ken Jennings is also reading the question,” he said.
Brian Chang, the seven-time winner that Newkirk defeated in January, is also a lawyer, at Eimer Stahl in Chicago. Though the two haven’t explicitly discussed how the practice of law may have boosted their trivia prospects, Newkirk said they have a lot in common, from their jobs at Big Law firms, clerkships with judges, and a shared penchant for wearing quarter-zips.
When it comes to his career ambitions as an attorney, Newkirk said he wants to continue “working to make voting as easy and accessible” for all voters.
When the pandemic struck the country in full force in March, “Jeopardy!” went into a forced hiatus. It resumed taping in September, with additional safety precautions in place on set. Contestants’ podiums are separated six feet apart and Covid tests are mandatory, as are masks and frequent spritzes of hand sanitizer.
After a three-month pause in appearances due to the pandemic, Newkirk returned to the stage in December. For him, there was another major change: Trebek, the legendary “Jeopardy!” host for 36 years, had died on November 8 after battling pancreatic cancer. Ken Jennings, who holds the record for the longest winning streak on the show with 74 consecutive wins, helmed the stage, instead.
Although he eventually lost his seventh game, which aired on February 1, Newkirk will be among the 15 top contestants facing each other in the show’s tournament of champions later this year.
Despite the loss — “What is synergy?” instead of the correct answer, “What is entropy?” was the fatal blow — Newkirk has experience recovering lost ground.
The attorney went into his first ever game in June 2020 with the goal of just winning one round, but quickly had to readjust his mission “to not embarrassing myself” when he was down by $1,200. After a fortunate daily double early on in the game, he quickly took the lead, ultimately wiping out his contestants at $9,400.
Newkirk said this first game was his favorite moment thus far. In fact, he uploaded a photo from that game as his Twitter’s header photo.
“I have that there to show, don’t ever count yourself out,” he said.
SEE ALSO: The late Alex Trebek hosted more than 8,200 ‘Jeopardy!’ episodes, with his last slated to air on Christmas Day. Here’s a look at his life and legacy, from his start as a Canadian sports announcer to Emmy-winning millionaire.
On /r/CriminalMinds, fans had a lot to say about the supposed reason that Criminal Minds never followed up on Reid’s addiction to Dilaudid. In a post about the many dropped storylines on the series, user riders0nthest0rm stated that Matthew Gray Gubler “didn’t like the storyline, so that’s why it was dropped.” While it’s true that the actor expressed struggling with portraying his character’s addiction in an interview, it’s hard to say for sure whether that was the impetus for the storyline being dropped (via TVGuide).
Still, Criminal Minds fans weighed in on whether or not that was a sufficient reason for the series to leave the storyline unresolved. After someone asked why Gubler didn’t like the storyline, Reddit user fullhoutz, explained “I’m pretty sure he felt like it didn’t fit how Reid’s character was planned on being portrayed (which I agree).” Another fan, TrainingSecret, pointed out that even though other actors like Friends‘ Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc disliked key storylines for their characters, they still fulfilled their obligations: “There is input and then there is actors hurting the show. Or the writers not listening to the actors who knew the characters way better.”
Whether or not Matthew Gray Gubler’s opinion was truly the deciding factor in Reid’s addiction storyline being phased out, it’s clear that some fans are still frustrated at the way the series handled it — and more importantly, at the lack of closure.
President Joe Biden’s revocation of the March 2019 permit enabling the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline will likely result in more crude-by-rail volumes, according to industry observers. But how much volumes will increase could largely depend on the price that heavy crude oil can fetch in the global market. “The cancellation of the Keystone pipeline project was inevitable once the government changed. Despite its merits or drawbacks, it is now a deflated political football,” said Barry Prentice, University of Manitoba supply chain management professor and former director of the Transport Institute there. “This means that more crude will have to move by rail. The huge investments in the oil sands will not be abandoned, and the oil has to go somewhere.” But crude-by-rail “has been problematic because with the low price for oil, and the relatively higher price for rail transport, nothing looks very appealing. The problem is not oil supply, it is the reduced demand during the pandemic. Once we come out of this period, demand will return, and $100-per-barrel oil will, too,” Prentice said. Indeed, the oil markets serve as one highly visible factor determining how much crude gets produced and shipped. For the production and transport of heavy crude oil from western Canada and the U.S. to be profitable, the pricing spread between a heavy crude product such as Western Canadian Select (WCS) and a light, sweet crude such as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) needs to be favorable. WCS crude is typically priced at a discount against WTI crude because of its lower quality and its greater distance from the U.S Gulf Coast refineries. The COVID-19 pandemic was among the factors that contributed to WTI crude oil prices’ tailspin in 2020. Why the interest in crude oil production and transport? The oil market isn’t the only factor that dictates crude oil production and its subsequent transport. Another is the vast oil reserves and the amount of investment already directed into crude oil production, as well as crude oil’s export prospects. According to the government of Alberta, the province’s oil sands represent the third-largest oil reserves in the world, following Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Its reserves equal about 165.4 billion barrels, and capital investments to the upstream sector have equaled as much as $28.3 billion in 2016 and $26.5 billion in 2017. Furthermore, according to Natural Resources Canada, 98% of Canada’s crude oil exports in 2019 went to the U.S. Those investments and vast oil reserves have also resulted in significant investments in other areas of the energy sector, including investments in pipelines. The pipelines bring Canadian heavy crude south to U.S. refineries because American refineries were built and optimized to mostly handle heavier crude oil, according to Rob Benedict, senior director of petrochemicals, transportation and infrastructure for the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Association. Crude oil pipelines from Canada to the U.S. have been viewed as an efficient way to transport large amounts of Canadian heavy crude oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. TC Energy’s 1,210-mile Keystone XL pipeline would have had a capacity of 830,000 barrels per day with crude oil originating from Hardisty, Alberta, and heading to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would then be shipped to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Had construction continued, the pipeline would have entered service in 2023. But TC Energy abandoned the project after Biden revoked an existing presidential permit for the pipeline in January. “TC Energy will review the decision, assess its implications, and consider its options. However, as a result of the expected revocation of the Presidential Permit, advancement of the project will be suspended.The company will cease capitalizing costs, including interest during construction, effective January 20, 2021, being the date of the decision, and will evaluate the carrying value of its investment in the pipeline, net of project recoveries,” TC Energy said in a release last month. The Keystone XL pipeline “is an essential piece that would have allowed Canada and the U.S. to continue the very good relationship they have with transporting energy products across the border,” Benedict said. However, suspending pipeline construction doesn’t necessarily translate into a one-for-one increase in crude-by-rail volumes, according to Benedict. “The gist of the story is, it’s going to have some impact on crude-by-rail. It’s not going to shift all 830,000 barrels per day onto the rails, but any additional amount is potentially going to have some impact,” Benedict said. Several factors will influence how much crude moves by rail. In addition to the WCS/WTI price spread, the railways’ capacity to handle crude-by-rail is crucial. Not only are there speed restrictions for crude trains and possible social ramifications, there also capacity issues. The Canadian railways have reported record grain volumes over the past several months, and crude volumes must compete with grain, as well as other commodities, for the same rail track. There are also other pipelines between Canada and the U.S. that could take some of the volumes that would have been handled by the Keystone XL pipeline, Benedict said. Those include Endbridge’s (NYSE: ENB) Line 3 pipeline, which runs from Canada to Wisconsin; Endbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, which runs under the Strait of Mackinac and Lake Michigan to the Michigan Peninsula; and the Trans Mountain pipeline that’s under development in Canada. It would run from Alberta to the Canadian West Coast and then potentially south to U.S. refineries. And one other factor that could influence crude-by-rail is how much crude oil volumes go into storage, Benedict said. “It’s not just a simple question of, does one pipeline being shut down ship all to rail? It’s complex because you have to consider all the different nodes of the supply chain, including storage that would come into play,” Benedict said. The Canadian railways’ views on crude-by-rail For their part, Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) and CN (NYSE: CNI) have both said they expect to ship more crude volumes, but neither has indicated just how much volumes will grow. CP said during its fourth-quarter earnings call on Jan. 27 that it has been seeing increased activity as price spreads have become favorable. The railway also expects to begin moving crude volumes from a diluent recovery unit (DRU) near Hardisty, Alberta. US Development Group and Gibson Energy had agreed to construct and operate the DRU in December 2019. As part of that agreement, ConocoPhillips Canada will process the inlet bitumen blend from the DRU and ship it via CP and Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) to the U.S. Gulf Coast. “These DRU volumes will provide a safer pipeline-competitive option for shippers and will help to stabilize our crude business into the future,” CP Chief Marketing Officer John Brooks said during the earnings call. CP President and CEO Keith Creel also said he sees U.S. actions on the Keystone pipeline as benefiting crude-by-rail and the DRU volumes. The actions “bode for more strength and more potential demand for crude. We think it creates more support for scaling up and expansion of the DRU. So, we’re bullish on that opportunity,” Creel said. He continued, “We still see the short-term, not long-term … pipeline capacity [eventually] catch up [but] we just think there is a longer tail on it right now. So, we think there’s going to be a space for some potential upside in both spaces.” Meanwhile, in a Jan. 27 interview with Bloomberg, CN President and CEO JJ Ruest called crude-by-rail a “question mark” in terms of what energy outlook the railway is seeing for 2021. Ruest said low oil prices, decreased travel and the Keystone pipeline cancellation are among the factors influencing CN’s energy outlook. However, crude-by-rail could be a “slight positive bump on the rail industry,” Bloomberg quoted Ruest as saying. CP and CN declined to comment further to FreightWaves about crude-by-rail, and CN directed FreightWaves to the Bloomberg article. Subscribe to FreightWaves’ e-newsletters and get the latest insights on freight right in your inbox. Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh. Related articles: Social risk trumps financial risk for Canadian crude-by-rail Transport Canada issues new speed restrictions for trains hauling dangerous goods Construction of Alberta crude unit expected to start in April Commentary: Railroad tank cars take a hit See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaForward Air Doubles Down Amid Heightened Interest From ActivistsDrilling Deep: Reviewing Q4 Earnings; How Did Werner Do So Well?© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.