Michael Reneau

Michael Reneau is WORLD’s deputy editor based in East Tennessee. Follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelReneau.

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Burning out

News analysis | A decade turns to smoke, leaving unanswered questions for a new year
by Michael Reneau
Posted 1/02/20, 09:13 am

One of the brightest stars of the night sky is fading, and scientists aren’t sure why. Since October, Betelgeuse—the right shoulder of famous constellation Orion—has continued to dim. It’s possible the star, which goes through cycles of darkening and brightening, is experiencing a particularly dim cycle. But scientists say if it continues, Betelgeuse could burn into a supernova, blazing through the firmament.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Time for do-overs

News analysis | We all need second chances, and the news saw a fortnight full of them
by Michael Reneau
Posted 11/05/19, 11:20 am

The 1991 film City Slickers, about a trio of buddies who go on a cattle drive adventure to stave off midlife crises, is mostly fun but offers poignant moments. In one, a main character grieves the mess he’s made of his life back home, which includes adultery and losing his job. Billy Crystal’s character says to his crying friend, “You remember when we were kids, and we were playing ball, and we hit the ball over the fence out of bounds, and we yelled, ‘Do-over’? … Your life is a do-over. You’ve got a clean slate.” 

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Pitched battles

News analysis | Americans fight their demons and dragons in baseball, society, and politics
by Michael Reneau
Posted 10/23/19, 09:35 pm

The slang term “86” in restaurants refers to an item no longer on the menu, but in baseball it’s meant futility and perseverance. Boston baseball fans waited 86 years (1918-2004) for their team to win a World Series and shake off their demons. Washington fans waited 86 years (1933-2019) for their team even to be in a World Series. But from Oct. 11 to Oct. 15 the Washington Nationals swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four straight games to win the National League championship and face the Houston Astros in the World Series.

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