Five at 8: 6/4/09

  • Keeping an eye on reaction to President Obama’s speech to the Muslim world today: Al Jazeera plays it pretty straight, although it piggybacks a story about America’s growing unfavorable view of Muslims, and then heads for the not-exactly-mainstreet state of Montana for the quotes. “I don’t care about co-existence,” one resident said.

    Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post wrote an odd headline on the speech. “US president defends Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy.” Slate Magazine riffs on that theme, too, with “Obama the underminer.”

    Midmorning tackles the speech and the Middle East in its first hour at 9.

  • The killing of Dr. George Tiller at church last Sunday is prompting churches to review their security plans, the Wichita Eagle reports today. I’ve written about this in the past with this church shooting and this interview with a church security specialist.
  • Maybe this is an idea for the St. Paul waterfront — a barge community. Construction of Waterpod is underway in New York, the idea of an artist to create ” a self-sufficient community on the water — a kind of aquatic version of the Biosphere 2 complex built in the Arizona desert in the 1980s — that might offer an alternative to living on land in the future, if ‘our resources on land grow scarcer and sea levels rise.’ Advantage: You don’t have to worry about watering the lawn in a drought.
  • You know those magazines that rank U.S. colleges (and just about everything else?), prompting the colleges to send out press releases touting the magazine rankings? Apparently they’re a crock. A Clemson official has provided an unsettling glimpse of the length to which her school went to game the survey.
  • Mystery solved. Neil Armstrong did blow his famous line when he set foot on the moon, researchers determine.

    WHAT WE’RE WORKING ON

    I’m off today (I can’t start a day without News Cut, though. How about you?). In honor of my youngest son’s 21st birthday, we’re heading to the Twins-Indians day game at the Metrodome. Julia Schrenkler (and hopefully others) will be your host here today.

    Midmorning – Obama’s speech in the first hour. Then a short segment on the D-Day anniversary, which gives me a reason to plop this video in that I took yesterday at South St. Paul Airport. The Commemorative Air Force’s B-25 going for a morning stroll:

    At 10, a tale of two wars, with the author of “War of Necessity, War of Choice.”

    Midday – Carleton College international relations professor Roy Grow joins us from Hong Kong on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in China. In the second hour, a replay of the Obama speech in Cairo.

    Talk of the Nation – The Obama speech in the first hour. Second hour: Russell Peters, a comic of Anglo-Indian descent, he skewers several nationalites in his act. Like this: (Strong language warning!)

    All Things Considered – Chris Roberts has the latest Art Hounds. Tom Robertson reports on the search for manganese in Emily, Minn. And we’ll talk to St. Paul residents at ground zero of the Emerald Ash Borer infestation.

    NPR continues its excellent Rethinking Retirement series with a look at how a collapsing pension fund has affected one family.

    • bsimon

      “You know those magazines that rank U.S. colleges (and just about everything else?), prompting the colleges to send out press releases touting the magazine rankings? Apparently they’re a crock. A Clemson official has provided an unsettling glimpse of the length to which her school went to game the survey.”

      Happens with those ‘best employer’ surveys too. One of our executives beats us over the head to take the survey, then touts the results when he’s trying to boost morale “voted one of the best IT companies to work for”.

    • JohnnyZoom

      >>A Clemson official has provided an unsettling glimpse of the length to which her school went to game the survey

      While the standard disclaimer of this is an allegation applies, I am of the opinion that not only did those things happen, but that it is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • http://davincidad.wordpress.com John

      Businesses try to manipulate the customer service surveys, too. I’ve been given some and been told “All that really counts is a 10 so if you don’t feel you can give us a 10, don’t bother filling it out.” I used to work at a place where our bosses told us to make absolutely sure the happy and/or regular customers would take the surveys to fill up our quota with good scores so when someone had a bad one to call in it wouldn’t count.

    • Bob

      Bob C, in regard to the Mitchell bomber, do you mean the Confederate Air Force?

      We all knew that Mr. Moonwalker blew his famous line, (assuming he meant to go from the singular (one small step for a man) to the inclusive.

      In regard to the St. Paul bargefront idea, perhaps the Kevin Costner film Waterworld is a more apt, but obviously way more dystopic, model…

    • Bob Collins

      It was once known as the Confederate Air Force, but no longer. It’s name was changed 5 or so years ago at the height of the political correctness movement.