I’m back after a couple of weeks off. Sorry for the sudden departure. I had to go back to New England on short notice for a funeral, and then back to Minnesota, only to head to Oshkosh on vacation. Now I’m back for a few weeks before going on vacation again. Only this time I’ll spend vacation working in the MPR booth at the State Fair. Yeah, it’s that fun.
Let’s see, how do I do this 5×8 thing?
1) The state comes in for plenty of criticism in today’s MPR story about the the rise in Chlamydia in Minnesota.
“It isn’t going to come from the Health Department,” Hadsall said. “It’s going to have to come from the people of Minnesota who say that having this level of Chlamydia is unacceptable,” said Candy Hadsall, who is an STD specialist at the Health Department. She said if Minnesotans want to stop the chlamydia epidemic, they need to come up with a new game plan.
Clearly, the people of Minnesota have spoken. Chlamydia? Meh. The only way to stop the spread is to (a) not have sex (that’s not going to happen) or (b) use a condom. After decades of AIDS, surely condoms aren’t much of a secret. And yet, people — mostly young people, and mostly African American people — are having unprotected sex at whatever risk they’re willing to accept, and getting Chlamydia.
It’s a political issue, too. Some pols and parents believe if you teach kids about safe sex, they’ll have more sex.
The frightening part of this is Minnesota has one of the lowest rates of infection. It, North Dakota, the New England states (except Connecticut), Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Kentucky, West Virginia, and New Jersey are the states with the lowest rates of Chlamydia.
Here’s the overview of the counties in Minnesota. Red is a high rate. White indicates no reported incidents.
So, who’s got a plan that will work even if parents don’t step up?
2) The Sunlight Foundation is scheduled to make its PoliGraft app live sometime today. Behind the name is a bucketload of cynicism, even by my standards — when politicians are awake, they’re on the take. Here’s how this thing will work: “Using Poligraft is simple: just type or paste the URL or text of a news article, blog post or press release into it, and Poligraft will automatically scan that text for individual donors, corporations, lobbyists and politicians. Within seconds, you’ll see how they’ve been doing business with each other. Once Poligraft highlights the names of donors, corporations, lobbyists, or politicians, you can click on those names to learn more.” This is going to be fun. You’ll be able to find it here.
3) A new Ted video. “After he swam the North Pole, Lewis Pugh vowed never to take another cold-water dip. Then he heard of Mt. Everest’s Lake Imja — a body of water at an altitude of 5300 m, entirely created by recent glacial melting — and began a journey that would teach him a radical new way to approach swimming and think about climate change.”
4) Pulitzer winner Mark Fiore suggests gadgets are the new fur and diamonds:
More tech: A booby-trapped Web site can reveal exactly where you live, the BBC reports.
Robbery victims willingly gave up their cash, but drew the line when the thieves demanded their game consoles.
5) Pillsbury has sent a cease-and-desist order to “Dough Girl Bakery,” a small shop in Colorado. Apparently, the name is a little too close to “Dough Boy,” the Pillsbury trademark. And, there was a Pillsbury Dough Girl at one point. The owner of the bakery has been told — reportedly by General Mills’ lawyers — not to talk to the press. But the shop’s fans are fighting back.
A Star Tribune poll finds that President Obama’s approval rating among Minnesotans has fallen to 44 percent. How has your opinion of President Obama changed in recent months?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The centerpiece of the financial reform law is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Midmorning asks what the new agency will do to protect consumers from dishonest financial industry practices.
Second hour: The “Gospel at Colonus” updates a Greek tragedy with gospel music and a Pentacostal sensibility. On Midmorning we’ll hear Oedipus’ trials and redemption set to song and find out why gospel music still has a place in modern theater.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – Meet the Candidates: DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza.
Second hour: From the Aspen Ideas Festival, a discussion about the role of social media in journalism today.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services.
Second hour: Our image of the wise and happy old preacher may be as outdated as a sharp slap on the knuckles from the nun. That’s because of clergy burnout. Research shows members of the cloth are now more likely to suffer from obesity, high blood
pressure and depression, than the rest of us.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) –