Five at 8 – 2/26/10: On class and grace

1) You can have your Sports Illustrated bikini images of your favorite Olympian, I’ll take this one, thank you very much (click image for larger version):


That’s Jenny Potter’s son with the Olympic spirit after mom’s team lost to Canada in the gold-medal game. Not in the picture is a line of other kids. Four years ago, the White Bear Lake native also reminded us that not winning a gold is not the same as not winning:


Meanwhile, this one, and several ones like it are the big controversy of the day.


After the medal ceremony, and presumably after everyone was gone, Canada’s women’s hockey team came back on the ice, lit the cigars, popped the sixpacks and celebrated.

Where to start? Is this the embarrassment that the wags are saying it is? Would people make a big deal out of it if it were the men? Why are they still wearing all of their pads an hour after the game?

2) There was a lot of attention — deservedly so — for a former child actor who was found dead yesterday. He killed himself. But right here in Minnesota, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people 15-34. See if you have any words after reading this story about a fourth grader who killed himself in the southwest metro. I don’t. Ten-year-olds shouldn’t be killing themselves.

3) From the how-do-you-feel-about-that file. Group therapy can help ease back pain.

“The exciting bit here is that with a lot of back pain interventions, you’ll get a feel-good factor and patients will feel better while they’re undergoing the treatment but it’s a short-term effect.

“But we showed they improve up to six months and then this is maintained for up to a year as they learn to manage their condition.”

4) A comedy show — the Daily Show — was perfectly positioned to provide the best coverage of yesterday’s big health care summit. It did not disappoint. Caution: May not be suitable for workplace.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Bipartisan Health Care Reform Summit 2010

5) A huge cheer erupted on Twitter this week when Conan O’Brien made his first two tweets. 361,000 people are hanging on his every word. Like this:

This morning I watched Remington Steele while eating Sugar Smacks out of a salad bowl. I was naked.

Who wants to be the one to tell O’Brien that he’s 1.2 million followers behind a cat? The Boston Globe today profiles the person behind one of the hottest Twitter accounts.


The 2010 Winter Olympic Games conclude this weekend, after what the Olympic Committee’s president describes as “sixteen days of magic.” What moment from this year’s Winter Games will live in your memory?


I’m out sick today so posting will be very light. Talk among yourselves below.

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: To many observers, Washington appears more polarized than ever. The recent health care meeting between the president and members of Congress could either produce some common ground or provide further evidence of the partisan divide.

Second hour: John Hope Bryant rose from a childhood of poverty to become a social entrepreneur and an advocate for financial literacy. In a new book, he argues that the best type of leadership is based not on fear, but on love. (Rebroadcast. Find the original here.)

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: An assessment of the ideas and accomplishments of the big health summit, from former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger.

Second hour: Dr. Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health, live at the National Press Club.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – Science Friday! First hour: Why grizzlies are invading polar bear turf. Plus, sperm whales rounding up squid. And the math of everyday life, with writer and mathematician Steven Strogatz.

Second hour: How do you take pictures of objects that are too small to photograph? A talk with the authors of an image-heavy book about nanoscience. Then, before Darwin was old and bearded, he was young and troubled. Guests are the creators the movie Creation about young Darwin’s inner turmoil.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Another Twin Cities non-profit closes its doors today. Hearthstone of Minnesota ran small group homes for deeply troubled teens in the Twin Cities. County social services placed boys with Hearthstone when families, relatives and foster care weren’t an option anymore. And now Hearthstone, a place that gave second chances to hundreds of young people in its 18-year history, is at the end of the line itself because of money troubles. MPR’s Sasha Aslanian will have the story.

NPR will have another installment in its investigation to rape on college campuses, and why authorities and campus officials don’t seem to take it seriously.

People who commit sex crimes will likely get put on a government list of sex offenders. What about an offender registry for people who are cruel to animals? California considers boosting its animal protection laws — with an animal cruelty registry.

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