Want a job? Give me your Facebook login (5×8 – 2/24/11)

1) FACEBOOK: FRIEND OR FOE?

You’re unemployed and you certainly need a job. You’ve got a lead on one; you even have an interview. And it’s going pretty well right up to the part where the interviewer asks you for your Facebook log-in. What do you do?

The Maryland Department of Public Safety — the potential employer in this case — says it will review the policy.

2) THE WAY WE WERE

I grew up in the Sputnik and Telstar era. We played astronauts and everyone wanted to be John Glenn. I thought flying would be my ticket to a career in space. So today I’m wondering if anyone not my age has the same wistful reaction to this?

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This is the last time you’ll see the shuttle Discovery on the pad at Cape Canaveral. Later this morning, it heads to space for the last time. The U.S. is getting out of the manned space business. We’ll be hitching rides with the Russians. For generations, lots of people have said we shouldn’t be spending money on space because there are problems right here on earth to spend money on.

So now we’re not going to space, and we don’t have the money to do much of anything, anymore. Spectacular? Maybe later.

The wonder at the achievement of getting off terra firma was lost years ago and interest in it only seemed to return when astronauts died.

Today’s discussion point: What separates the U.S. from everywhere else now? Are we running out of gee whiz? Or have we just gotten so used to see it that we don’t recognize it anymore?

Today’s launch is set for 3:50 p.m. Here are three ways to watch it.

3) WAR STORIES

Concordia College’s women’s basketball squad in Moorhead takes on St. Benedict tonight in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semifinals. That’ll be a couple of hours of not thinking about her husband for its star, Maggie Bauernfeind of Rosemount. She married her high school sweatheart last October, and then he shipped out to Iraq.

“Basketball helps me keep my mind off of it and it gives me a focus. I’m dreading basketball being done, because I think it’s going to be a lot harder for me,” she tells the Fargo Forum.

4) WHEN PEOPLE DO GOOD

The kids at Sauk Rapids-Rice were just about finished with their entry in next months regional robot competition in Duluth. Then they realized that key parts to make the thing go were missing. It appears they were stolen.

Robot rivals at Apollo High School in St. Cloud had extra parts and extra space in their high school. So their coach and team members invited Sauk Rapids-Rice over to help them finish.

5) TABLET WARS

Apple now has competition firing live ammo, the Boston Globe’s tech guru says:

TODAY’S QUESTION

The regime of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi has reacted violently to street protests. Hundreds have been killed and Gadhafi himself has vowed to die in his effort to hang onto power. How should the world community respond to the bloodshed in Libya?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: As Wisconsin politicians navigate their next moves, the outcome of the budget-labor battle may impact the labor movement for the next generation. Will unions, and public opinion of them, become weaker or stronger?

Second hour: Over the past 30 years rap and hip-hop have emerged as a powerful and influential cultural force. Midmorning examines the power and the poetry of rap music, from the “old school” to the present day.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Professor Michael Barnett of George Washington University on the uprisings in Arab nations. He is author of “Dialogues in Arab Politics.”

Second hour: Congressman Keith Ellison, speaking at Westminster Presbyterian Church about interfaith dialogue.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Is single motherhood is bad for society?

Second hour: What can the U.S. do about Libya?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - What happens if the government shuts down? There is a budget showdown approaching on Capitol Hill. And, if Democrats and Republicans do not come to an agreement on a spending bill, the federal government could shut down. It happened in 1995. Social Security checks didn’t go out, National Parks were closed, passports and visas weren’t issued, and people were angry.

  • Aaron

    Kerri Miller covering the history of rap? Is there anything she cant do?

  • Bob Collins

    I’m pretty sure she can’t rap.

  • John O.

    #2) The drive during the NASA heydays of the 1960’s and early 1970’s can be traced to the fear of the Soviet Union and it’s space program. Many of the folks who led that effort had either been in World War II themselves, or were the “baby boomers” who did those old “duck and cover” drills at their school–like me.

    They believed that technological advances would keep “us” ahead of “them” out of fear of nuclear annihilation. Many of those early innovations used by NASA (like the integrated circuit chip) are now largely taken for granted.

    When the original IBM PC “XT” was released in 1981, the lowest end configuration had 8 times more memory than Apollo’s Guidance Computer — 16k, vs the Apollo’s 2k. The read-only storage of the AGC was 32k. Compare that to your iPhone or Blackberry that’s on your belt or in your purse today.

    Today’s innovations aren’t based on geopolitical fears–they are based on satisfying shareholder demands.

  • Tyler

    Bob, part of the loss of interest in space exploration (IMHO) is that it’s gone from rocket science to rocket *engineering.* We’ve solved the basic problems of motor design, ballistics, materials, etc.

    Look up SpaceX – they’re a rocket-building company founded by the creator of Paypal and Tesla Motors. In short order, NASA will be buying seats from SpaceX to put astronauts on the space station.

    Getting from Earth to Low Earth Orbit is now old hat. It’s the next jump we need to start financing…landing on comets, meteors, and inter-planetary exploration. Then the excitement will return. I get shivers just thinking about it!

  • Heather

    Aaron and Bob, you made me snort!

  • Dale

    Bob,

    I had some of the same thoughts you did about the last space shuttle launch. I was at Boy Scout camp in July 1969 when we landed on the moon. I remember looking up at the full moon and saying to my fellow scouts: “Think about all the years people have been looking at the moon and as we look it at tonight, there are people walking on it.” What a great moment that was.

    For my children, all in their 20’s space flight is nothing. I wonder if they will have the same wonder I did in 1969. Maybe it will happend as Tyler stated when we think beyond earth orbit.

  • Alison

    Why are we getting out of space exploration?

    It’s called greed, and it’s driving much of the political climate of this country. Space exploration is one of many victims. It’s all about ME and MY money. Thoughts of the common good and common dreams are lost on to many people.

    Space exploration in recent histroy has really been about using space and earth orbit ot learn more about our planet. And this is largely a picture of the planet that many of the powerful in our society don’t want you to see. The more we learn about our planet the more we see the damage we have done. And that’s not good for those in power, because it might undermine their ability to make money in the ways they traditionally have. Which brings me back to the first point. It’s about greed, not the common good.