Why don’t you grow up? (Five by 8 – 8/19/10)

Considering emerging adults, the hero whose weapon was a bagpipe, a new golden age of editorial cartoons, affording solar, and tango in the Twin Cities.

1) Let’s pile on the twenty-somethings! “Why are you taking so long to grow up?” the New York Times Magazine asks.

The 20s are a black box, and there is a lot of churning in there. One-third of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year. Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once. They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other stretch. Two-thirds spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married. And marriage occurs later than ever. The median age at first marriage in the early 1970s, when the baby boomers were young, was 21 for women and 23 for men; by 2009 it had climbed to 26 for women and 28 for men, five years in a little more than a generation.

I’m not entirely certain any of those things are a bad thing. You’re not married by the time your 20s are over? From what I can tell from my Baby Boomer generation, good. You saved yourself a likely divorce. You have more jobs than most other generations had in their 20s? Couldn’t that be because you have more opportunities? More skills? Or just don’t want to retire with a gold watch from a firm you’ve been with since the day you graduated from college?

The article says the 20s are becoming a period of “emerging adulthood,” but not necessarily adulthood. But maybe we should consider this question: What exactly is adulthood? A blogger — beeeeeep! Blogger! Disqualified — offers some suggestions here. Here’s my definition: “It’s when you can make small talk without the first question being, “What do you do?


2) Bill Millin has died. He was a World War II soldier whose weapon was a bagpipe. He played his comrades ashore on Sword Beach during the D-Day Normandy landings.

He was portrayed in the film, The Longest Day.

3) Mosque/community center controversy re- re- revisited. Mark Fiore has tackled the issue. You just knew Mark Fiore was going to get in on the controversy, which — so far — seems to be ushering in a new golden age of editorial cartooning.

Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Peter King have taken their show to another network. They debated on Good Morning America the other day. Last night they appeared on Larry King’s show on CNN.

Ellison was also on Fox9 News with Jeff Passolt last evening.

“But it’s such a sensitive issue,” Passolt said.

“You would not want me to put your constitutional rights up for popular approval,” Ellison responded.

“You’re right about that,” Passolt said.

On Monday, Newt Gingrich compared the situation to Nazis, and claimed that it’s equivalent to putting up a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington. He was wrong about that, Slate says.

4) How many people will be calling Xcel today to get in on the deal outlined in today’s Pioneer Press? Under a program, some people will be able to lease solar panels rather than pay the huge cost of buying them outright. But there are three other ways to afford solar, according to Earth and Industry: Group purchasing, community solar gardens, and a levy on property taxes. (h/t: Midwest Energy News)

Meanwhile, MPR blogger Molly Bloom writes that a new Iron Range solar plant is the 14th solar-component company to open up shop in Minnesota. And MPR’s Stephanie Hemphill has a look at a project in Minneapolis that takes advantage of solar thermal technology.

If you’ve gone solar, let’s hear how you did it.

5) It takes hundreds to tango. The Heartland Tango Festival moves into the Twin Cities for the weekend tomorrow. Here’s a piece on the subject that colleague Marianne Combs produced in 2006. And there was this antique from 2005, which featured one of the best quotes ever: “I think you can dance a tango at 18, but you can dance it better after life’s kicked you in the teeth a few times.”

Bonus: Looking for a “green” way to leave this world? Aquamation.

We interrupt 5X8 for this breaking story. Bret Favre…


A district judge in Minnesota has ordered that private attorneys be hired to replace overburdened public defenders, and the cost billed to the state. Does the right to an attorney trump the state’s need for fiscal restraint?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The FCC holds a public hearing in Minneapolis tonight on the future of the Internet, on the heels of a deal between Google and Verizon that could create different levels of access for web service. Advocates for net neutrality say the deal could mean the end of the Internet as we know it.

Second hour: Saxophonist David Sanborn has often been associated with smooth jazz, but he says his roots are in the blues. He joins Midmorning to talk about his influences and his long career.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Michael Semple, from Pakistan, answers your questions about the Taliban.

Second hour: Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, addresses the National Press Club. (Live)

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The art of jury selection.

Second hour: Living with chronic pain.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Aaron White, Sr. is the only band member facing potential charges for fishing against state law during the protest over Native American fishing rights. MPR’s Tom Robertson reports on why.

Raw milk farmer Michael Hartmann tries to convince a judge today to lift the Health Department’s embargo on his food. MPR’s Mark Steil is monitoring the hearing.