Five at 8 – May 5, 2009

  • A video just posted on TED: Sean Gourley, a physicist, organized a team of scientists to get data from newspapers and cable TV to analyze war, and found that there is mathematical order in the chaos of war. Here is war’s formula:


  • Continuing with the math theme: How much is the $100 million that President Obama wants to cut out of the budget? Not much, of course. But this visualization of how much it isn’t is pretty interesting.

  • Have you ever noticed how much of the news consists of demands for someone to apologize? In the last 24 hours: Italy’s premier is demanding an apology from his wife, politicians in Arizona are demanding an apology from a sheriff for saying 40 percent of a school’s students are in the country illegally, a congressman has filed legislation providing an official apology to Native Americans, a Canadian politician has refused to apologize for blowing up beaver dams, and Massachusetts physicians are lobbying for protections against the damage caused by apologies.

    With so much apologizing, you’d think we’d be better at it:

    The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
    Harry Truman Was Not a War Criminal
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Economic Crisis First 100 Days
  • Who’s responsible for alerting the world about the flu-that-must-not-be-named? A couple of newspaper reporters, according to the LA Times. In other flu news, it turns out the flu is just the flu. By the way, tomorrow marks one week since the first case was diagnosed in Minnesota and the state’s total still stands at one. By comparison, in the great flu outbreak of 1918, a week after the first diagnosed case, there were 1,000 cases. Wisconsin already has 105.

    The NY Times blog has a couple of very funny viral photos from Mexico.

  • You may have to register to view the page on the Bemidji Pioneer Web site but it’s worth it. The “e-cigarette.” Seriously.


    Midmorning (9-11) – Kate Smith hosts. In the first hour, is college really worth the cost? Second hour: You know those pangs you occasionally have about dropping out of the rat race and returning to your simple, rural ways? Michael Perry tried that. Tune in and hear how that went.

    Midday (11-1) – Maybe we should’ve combined Midmorning’s and Midday’s first hour. University of Minnesota president Robert Bruininks is in the studio.

    Talk of the Nation (1-3) – The Supreme Court will decide if Barack Obama’s election means that the 1965 Voting Rights Act is no longer needed. Second hour: A discussion about a study that says the fear of predators stalking children online is overblown. If that sounds familiar to you — or even if it doesn’t — I told you about this story a month ago.

    All Things Considered (3-6:30) – Does a recession propel purloining? MPR’s Marty Moylan will answer the question. Find the story online late this afternoon, too. NPR’s Elizabeth Blair finds out why stealth marketing is all the advertising rage (answer: it’s cheap). Stealth marketing is when you’re being marketed to, but you don’t know it.