When is funny not funny? (5×8 – 2/7/11)

The only question remaining from the Super Bowl, the great Ziploc controversy, the South Shore gets its day, snowblowing the roof, and should college kids be allowed to rent in your neighborhood?


I’m going to be in the Moorhead area today and tomorrow so I will not be posting here for the rest of the day, nor will there be a 5×8 tomorrow. Don’t fret. A small cadre of smart people will be (‘cept for tomorrow’s 5×8).

Here’s this week’s Monday Morning Rouser to help dry your tears.

1) THE ONLY QUESTION REMAINING FROM THE SUPER BOWL?

What was Groupon thinking?

Even though the culture of Tibet is in trouble, they can still cook a mean dish, actor Timothy Hutton imparts.

Over the line?

It went over… real big…

old_hoss_tweet.jpg

Groupon treats the whales the same way…

If you didn’t care for the half-time show, it turns out you’ll have to hand in your “proud Minnesotan” card. The costumes were made in Baxter.

Columnist Rick Lubbers in Duluth has a decent list of things that would’ve made for a better halftime show.

2) THE GREAT ZIPLOC CONTROVERSY

The world was turned upside down this weekend after a blog in Quebec reported that a young boy was denied entry into a class contest because his lunch came to school in a Ziploc bag. The world was outraged. (Here’s the French version). Then the school was outraged. Then the blogger admitted he didn’t talk to the teacher before venting. Then he was stunned that his country was repulsed, apparently, by the teacher’s actions. He hasn’t been able to put the cork (biodegradable) into the blogger bottle:


When we met with the principal, she explained the school’s « Green Plan » and the many challenges the school faces every day. We also understand the school receives criticism far more often than praise for all the good things it does. It’s sad, but it’s human nature to talk about the bad things, instead of the things that are going well.

We explained to the principal that the story grew to unexpected proportions and that we did not intent the blog post to go so far. We made it clear that we never released the name of the school or the names of the individuals involved. We simply talked about a very specific issue that is the symptom of a much larger issue.

“Things haven’t changed,” Michael Sanera, co-author of the 1999 book, “Facts Not Fear: Teaching Children About the Environment,” told ABC News. “Here we have the same sort of pattern we documented in the book — teachers are becoming activists and training their kids to be activists. Secondly, they are latching on to environmental dogma and teaching that as science to kids. Who is to say that kids don’t wash out the baggies and re-use them? Why is the Ziploc a problem?”

This reminds me of a situation when I was in the 5th grade (it was 1965). In Massachusetts, when we went to the dentist, you got a little orange card to take to school, showing that you had undergone some sort of dental care. The teacher would “thumbtack” it onto the bulletin board. But it was optional. A visit to the dentist wasn’t a prerequisite for an education.

At the end of the year, the teacher had a picnic. If you submitted a card, you got to go on a picnic. That year, Jimmy Burgess, was the only member of the class who didn’t bring in a card. All these years later, as plain as day I can see Jimmy Burgess sitting on his bike by the road, watching all of his classmates playing at the picnic nearby.

3) THE SOUTH SHORE GETS ITS DAY

What does the south shore of Lake Superior have in common with Napa Valley? People who love the drink, the New York Times says:

Here winter delivers a hefty wallop: about seven feet of snow annually. With their snowmobiling and their ice fishing, Northlanders revel in it. Northland brewers revel in winter too, savoring the opportunity to experiment with spices and fruits, bigger bodies and higher alcohol contents. It all makes for a kind of north woods Napa Valley for the beer tourist.

4) SNOWBLOWING THE ROOF

Question: If the roof can support, I’d say, a 200 pound person in one location, couldn’t it support more snow considering the load is shared across all of the roof? Let’s hear from you engineers with your fancy calculations.

5) SHOULD COLLEGE KIDS BE ALLOWED TO RENT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?

“We need students, and we need to make them feel welcome. But we also need to have a balance,” A Duluth woman tells the News Tribune. “We can’t have our neighborhoods completely flip. If they do, who are your kids going to play with, and where are you going to park?” She’s in favor of a proposal before the Duluth City Council that would build a “protection zone” around the University of Minnesota Duluth to keep the kids from renting in the area, and taking over the neighborhood.

Can a community have a college/university and not have it take over neighborhoods? Discuss.

TODAY’S QUESTION

Several U.S. senators plan to introduce a bill that would give the president the power to restrict Internet traffic in the event of a cyber security emergency. Should the president have an “Internet kill switch” to limit damage to U.S. infrastructure in case of a cyber attack?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: A preview of the governor’s budget. Minnesota’s Republican-led Legislature has proposed nearly $1 billion in cuts, and next week Gov. Mark Dayton will release his own budget proposal. Two men familiar with Minnesota’s past budget battles share their thoughts on where the battle lines will be drawn.

Second hour: With the 53rd Grammy Awards coming up this weekend, Midmorning brings you Kerri Miller’s in-depth conversations about music and songwriting with Grammy winners Aaron Neville, Shawn Colvin, and Loudon Wainwright III

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Richard Sandor and Bob Litterman on environmental economics.

Second hour: Douglas Brinkley, Lou Cannon & Richard Reeves on Ronald Reagan’s legacy.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: TBA

Second hour: The rapid growth of food allergies among children and how the conventional wisdom on treatment has changed.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - As a bill to repeal local background checks for gun buyers moves through the Legislature, MPR’s Sasha Aslanian examines the impact of the carry law in Minnesota. Who’s currently not able to get a gun and will that change? Requests for permits to carry are way up. How about gun sales? And what effect has conceal carry had on crime in Minnesota? Is it making Minnesota safer, as the supporters claimed, or is it putting too many guns on the streets, as the critics alleged?

Chris Roberts looks at the astonishing beat boxing and vocal dexterity of local rapper “Carnage the Executioner.” On his new CD, “Worth the Wait,” Carnage opens up about his incredible ‘rough and tumble’ upbringing on the streets of Chicago and Minneapolis.

  • Bismuth

    A structure can definitely support more weight if the load is distributed rather than all concentrated at one point. But, snow is often heavier than you think, especially if it’s partially melted and waterlogged.

    Weight isn’t the only thing that contributes to roof collapse, though. Having all that snow on a roof for weeks at a time can slowly weaken the support structures, especially if they are made of wood and are allowed to get wet. If a section sags, then water is even more likely to collect there and cause more problems.

  • Jon Gordon

    Merle Haggard on News Cut? Finally, something good ;)

    And whoa, is that Jeff Foxworthy on the fiddle?

  • http://base0.net Michael Janssen

    A zone where a certain class of people are forbidden to rent or own houses? That can’t possibly go wrong. What if they are in the college age, but they aren’t actually in college? Can they still rent? What happens if they rent first, and then decide they want to go to college? What about continuing education people?

    I’d like to see what they think about a no-women renters zone, or a childless couples zone, or a family only zone. Maybe a gay-free zone because we don’t like seeing all those rainbow flags everywhere. It’s just to foster a sense of community, and make sure that the neighborhoods don’t “flip” to quickly, right?

    Segregation worked out so well in the past! But it’s different this time, because it’s about those annoying college students.

    Attacking people based on their age, educational status, income, race, gender, or orientation is wrong. If you don’t like the fact that you lose parking to people, make a new parking zone where you need to buy a permit. You can solve the “problems” of college renters without taking away the right to live where you want.

  • John P.

    “f the roof can support, I’d say, a 200 pound person in one location, ”

    The total load also matters. The roof trusses transfer the load to two points on the ends of the trusses. I’m no engineer, but I’ve seen a roof truss, and that’s how it looks to me.

  • Jeanne

    A cumbersome piece of machinery with rotating auger + human on icy, inclined surface = trip to the emergency room

  • Diane

    RE: Snowblower on a Roof – beyond the load issue and the incredible potential for a fall (even if the roof’s a 5:12 or so pitch…), duh, did this Bright Light Bulb consider that he’s likely broken or weakened brittle shingles and/or took off a good amount of surface grit????

  • Joanna

    “We’re going to hell in a handbasket. But now with Groupon, that handbasket will only be half-price!”