Is there any hope for Somalia? (Five by 8 – 10/4/10)

The fight for the soul of Somalia, Donald Duck’s politics, how to stop teen suicide, whistling by the Twins’ graveyard, and the high price of coffee.


I’ll be live blogging the first hour of Midmorning today when we talk about distracted driving. Look for the post here around 8:45 and submit your comments and perhaps I’ll read them on the air. If you didn’t see it last week, here’s some background on a study that claimed laws against texting while driving don’t work.

Here’s the Monday Morning Rouser. It’s 1980. You’re in Montreux. And you always wanted to learn to play the saxophone.

1) THE FIGHT FOR THE SOUL OF SOMALIA

Is there any hope for Somalia? NPR is beginning a four-part series. The first episode has been posted. Frank Langfitt has the short version:Be sure to go to the Web site to see some pictures of the hopelessness of it all.

2) IF IT QUACKS LIKE A DUCK…

Then it’s probably this viral video. Watch it before the Disney lawyers get into work today.

(h/t: Open Culture)

3) HOW TO STOP TEEN SUICIDE

I’ve written about teen suicide dozens of times. It’s one of the best-kept secrets in Minnesota. In the wake of the suicide of a gay teenager at Rutgers, it’s an issue coming out of its own closet. But few stories in the last few weeks have noted the obvious: The best way to stop them.4) WHISTLING BY THE GRAVEYARD?

The Twins are heading for the playoffs against the Yankees, who are — for a change — vulnerable, we’re told. Minnesota could be a lab rat this week for a psychology class. Outwardly, we tell ourselves the Twins could win. In our most honest moment, we fear the worst. We are scarred souls of playoffs past.

Hardball Times rates the local nine:


If they can keep the ball on the ground against the Yankees, things could fall into place. The Twins have one of the worst outfield defenses, according to UZR scores, and with Liriano, Pavano and Duensing all scoring in the 50 percent groundball range, they may isolate the Yankees power.

* Scott Baker’s health. Baker’s shoulder woes should keep him off the mound against the Yankees. This may be a blessing, especially with his high homer per flyball rates.

The same site sees the Phillies as the playoff favorite. But that’s not why I mention it here. It’s because the article uses this word: crapshootiness.

MPR’s Rupa Shenoy went to the game yesterday for the traditional end-of-season assessment from the fans. Bottom line: The fans liked Target Field, which was also the beginning-of-the-season assessment.

5) HIGHEST COFFEE PRICES IN 13 YEARS

Ruh roh! Coffee bean prices have hit a 10-year-high, the Minnesota Daily reports. Perhaps it’s a small price to pay for a real-life lesson in economics — the theory of elasticity.

Bonus: Flight attendants perform Lady Gaga while giving the safety demonstration, because there are still some people out there, apparently, who don’t know how a seat belt works.

What music would be used to explain the airline’s fees?

TODAY’S QUESTION

Each Monday now through the election, we’ll pose a question on an issue that’s pertinent to the race for Minnesota governor. Today’s Question: How would you like to change Minnesota’s relationship with its immigrant communities?

PICTURE OF THE DAY (SO FAR)

Is this the best golf shot ever? It’s Tiger Woods’ errant shot heading straight for the camera lens.

woods_shot.jpg

The full story of how it happened is on the Daily Mail site. I’m hoping someone will track down to find the guy with the cigar.

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Recent research on distracted driving shows that laws against this behavior may actually encourage it. Midmorning explores issues of choice and will to determine why it is so difficult to put aside our urges and do the right thing.

Second hour: We take a look back on four of the most dynamic scientist guests in recent memory and find out what they’re working on now.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: IP gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner on MPR’s “Meet the Candidates” series running this week.

Second hour: TBA

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: What’s at stake in these mid-term elections?

Second hour: Robots, ethics and the future of war.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Lucinda Naylor, the former Basilica artist-in-residence, will be collected “Preserving Marriage in Minnesota” DVDs distributed by the Catholic Church at drop-boxes outside the Basilica of St. Mary on Sunday morning. MPR’s Sasha Aslanian reports.

  • Bismuth
  • John O.

    Ohhh….that had to have stung.

  • John P

    “Flight attendants perform Lady Gaga ”

    Finally, arilines doing something to make air travel more fun, instead of less.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Thanks for the clip of Van the Man. A musician friend who happens to be black refers to him as ” the coolest white dude on the planet.”

  • JohnnyZoom

    Looks like Sacha Baron Cohen’s clandestine love for golf has been let out of the bag. (Note he is with Steve Martin to boot).

    As an actual golf fan (and as not the photographer), that is one cool picture.