Five at 8 – 4/16/09

  • The state’s unemployment rate is being announced this morning. We all know it won’t be pretty. Neither is this map on Slate, which shows the vanishing jobs in the country. Play with the map and you can see Minnesota didn’t add that many jobs a few years ago, while the Eastern Seaboard was. Advance the timeline and the blue (jobs added) turns to red (jobs lost) on a county by county basis. Still, it’s interesting that there are pockets of blue in Minnesota.
  • Lots of news organizations are trying to figure out ways of tracking the bailout money from printing press to, well, wherever. ProPublica has launched what appears to be the most compelling site on the subject yet. There’s also a map of bailout money in Minnesota. Nothing very surprising, except that a bank in Redwood Falls has gotten some of the cash.
  • The Pentagon is making a 1983 interview with Jimmy Doolittle available today. Saturday is the 67th anniversary of Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo during World War II. There are only nine crewmembers of the raid left. The Web site being launched also is providing first-hand accounts of the Battle of Midway. The site is due to “go live” at this hour.
  • “Imagine if a team of researchers could fly into a brain as though it was a world and see tissues as landscapes and hear blood density levels as music.” That’s JoAnn Kuchera-Morin describing the AlloSphere, “an entirely new way to see and interpret scientific data, in full color and surround sound inside a massive metal sphere.” She gives you a tour in one of the latest TED videos, including flying through the vortex of her colleagues brain.
  • More grist for the talk shows. The BBC reports the Vatican has rejected several names floated by the Obama administration for the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. The Obama administration denies the story. One of the names said to be rejected: Caroline Kennedy, who suddenly can’t catch a career break. “The Vatican is unhappy about President Barack Obama’s support of abortion rights and his lifting of a previous ban on embryonic stem cell research in the US,” the story says. This comes on the heels of the flap over whether President Obama should be allowed to speak at Notre Dame.

    WHAT WE’RE DOING

    Midmorning – Faced with rising costs and burgeoning prison populations, states and some at the federal level are revisiting the get tough on crime statutes of the past. I’ll be live-blogging the hour. There’s a related story here about efforts to cut prison sentences n Minnesota.

    At 10, a renowned theoretical physicist ponders the possibility of force fields, time travel, and other themes of science fiction.

    Talk of the Nation – The Mexican drug war in the first hour, and then a fat softball-pitch to Public Radio listeners in the second hour: Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. One linguist calls it “50 Years of Stupid Grammar.” Perhaps we should have a protest at the Capitol, then, when we end all of our sentences with prepositions.

    Midday – Gwen Ifill is speaking at the Westminster Town Hall forum at noon. You can hear it live on Midday. If you can’t wait, listen to Kerri Miller’s interview with her in February or her January event at the Kennedy Library in Boston, which was broadcast on Midday.

    • Jim!!!

      re: Obama and these Catholics, further proof that “Religion Poisons Everything”