Updated Thursday, Dec. 18

A Seoul court ordered that Shin Jeong-ah, of “Shin-gate” notoriety, receive 150 million won ($113,000) in damages from a local paper that published a nude photograph of Shin, according to The Korea Times. But it was not all good news for Shin: the court also confirmed the photograph was genuine, dismissing her claim that it was doctored.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s (D-New Haven) chances at being named Labor Department secretary were short-lived in the blogosphere. Citing “sources familiar with her travels,” The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that DeLauro is a top contender. The Huffington Post chimed in Thursday to say that DeLauro is not a likely candidate, citing “several sources” who “were well positioned to know about the discussions.” But Politico put the nail in the coffin: DeLauro is no longer in the running, according to “a person familiar with the discussions.” A final decision is expected later this week; a call to DeLauro’s office was not immediately returned.

Tina Fey’s rendition of Sarah Palin topped Yale librarian Fred Shapiro’s list of the most notable quotations of 2008 (“I can see Russia from my house!”). The real Sarah Palin snagged the no. 2 spot; when CBS News anchor Katie Couric asked her in October what newspapers she reads, Palin responded, “All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.” University of Florida student Andrew Meyer’s memorable “Don’t tase me, bro!” took the top spot in 2007.

Dec. 17, 2008

Elizabeth Alexander ’84, will be the poet at the presidential inauguration in January, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Committees announced Wednesday. Alexander is a professor of African American Studies and is slated to serve as the next chair of the department. The last time a ceremony featured a poet was in 1997 when Miller Williams read at the swearing in of Bill Clinton LAW ’73, the Washington Post reported. Alexander, the author of four books and a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, will read her poetry immediately after President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural address, according to the line-up released today.

The Whiffenpoofs a capella group sang for President George W. Bush ’68 at a White House private function on Friday night. Whiffenpoof Business Manager James Warlick described the party as a relatively intimate gathering. After performing for 45 minutes during the party’s cocktail reception, Warlick said, the Whiffenpoofs were requested to sing a few songs after dinner, as well. Bush’s uncle and cousin, both of whom are alumni of the group, joined the ensemble for the traditional Whiffenpoof song. Remarked Warlick: “Bush made a toast to us and everything, it was really quite spectacular.”

Eight days after telling a crowd of Yalies at the Slifka Center that he would be named to a top post in the Obama administration, the New York Post reported that Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion is to head the newly created White House Office of Urban Policy.