The Hub Sheet – Jan 4, 2016: #Yallqaeda, coal mines, and tow truck conspiracies

How a balanced budget amendment “con con” could lead to bigger government and higher taxes.

Four new elements will be added to the periodic table.

Ammon Bundy and armed militia have taken over a federal building at a bird refuge in Oregon, resulting in some fun hashtag trends. #yallqaeda

Monte Wells cautions against lumping the family at the center of the Oregon issue with armed militia members, and former Salt Lake Tribune reporter Jim Dalrymple says to understand the standoff, you need to understand Mormons.

More on the Bundy brand of Mormonism.

Utah closed 2015 sixth in the nation for growth.

Tim Donaldson jumps in early with his take on The Obama Legacy.

A Utah tow truck operator is accusing the Utah Highway Patrol of contract conspiracy.

China announced a ban on new coal mines, plans to close 1,000 existing mines.

Real Women Run is hosting a winter training.

Star Wars is still setting box office records.

Sleepy Providence, UT consistently delivers soap-opera worthy political scandal.

While you were distracted, 2015 was the year Congress quietly started working again.

A gas leak in California has been bleeding up to 100,000 lbs of methane per hour for two months now.

How Bishop and Chaffetz used seats of power to fight the President, push pet issues.

Ted Cruz lays out his plan to eliminate five federal agencies, including the IRS, the Dept. of Energy, and the Dept. of Housing.

Today in 1896, Utah officially became a state. Fox 13 News has some great historical photos of the celebrations and more.

Giving birth is as hard on your body as running a marathon.

Many Utah incumbents filed today to collect signatures to be on the ballot, the “duel route” created by SB54.

From the aftermath of the Arab Spring to social media campaigns in Iran, check out the top political science books of 2015 on the Middle East.

The Atlantic’s James Fallows has been chronicling the sociology and economics of “omnipresent” suburban noise, and the leaf blower. It’s fascinating stuff.

And finally, smart bacteria and choose-your-own-adventure movies: What science has in store for 2016 and beyond.

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