Derriere diaries (5×8 – 4/25/11)

Time to stand up, the chess race, five myths about religion, Eichten on the tube, and the end of the small medical practice.

The Monday Morning Rouser:


The stand-up-all-day-at-work craze hit the World Headquarters of News Cut a year ago. Today, a new study is out showing the stand-up crowd will soon be towering over the lifeless bodies of the sedentary. A study, reported by NPR, shows, even if people exercise regularly — you know the type, right? — it’s not enough to counteract the effect of sitting all day.

Specifically, he found that men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11 hours a week of sedentary activity. And many of these man routinely exercised. Dr. Blair says scientists are just beginning to learn about the risks of a mostly sedentary day.


You don’t usually see MPR’s Gary Eichten on TV; actually, you almost never see him on TV, and you almost never hear him talk about himself. He was on TPT’s Almanac over the weekend, declaring that he’s never considered himself a journalist. “I wanted to be either a great disc jockey or a sports guy, and so I’m doing news on Public Radio,” he said.

Worth watching here.


Doctors who have small practices want to retire, but nobody wants to buy their practices. An era is ending.


Five myths about the separation between church and state: America is more secular than it used to be, liberals are anti-religion, the Constitution has always protected religious freedom, the founders’ faith matters, and Christian conservatives have only recently taken over politics.


Should children be required to learn chess in school? Armenia is making chess compulsory, the BBC reports today. Authorities think chess improves critical thinking skills and intellectual development.


A discussion on today’s Midmorning looks at the ways music can trigger memories and emotional responses for the listener. We’d like to hear about music that you find especially expressive. Today’s Question: What piece of music stirs emotions in you?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Gov. Mark Dayton.

Second hour: What happens to your brain on music?

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Pam Wheelock, Stacy Becker and MPR’s Michael Caputo discuss public suggestions on how to balance the state budget.

Second hour: A Commonwealth Club speech by the head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten.

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

Second hour: Retired Marine Jim Lacy joins host Neal Conan to talk about the most recent

conflict between western and Asian forces.

  • Jon

    We should definitely teach games in school. It’s happening any how… Why not teach them some games that actually require thought.

    Teach Cribbage, in math classes. Teach poker in statistics classes. Teach kids how to operate in situations where a computer isn’t telling them how to interact with others in the game.

    We played Chess Jr. High when I was a kid… in math class, on a couple of Fridays out of the month. There was also checkers, but people who played checkers were poked fun by the chess playing crowd, and with in a few weeks every one wanted to play chess.

    Teach them to play “GO”… at least then they can play a game that the computer can’t even beat them in. Teach them that computers can’t always win, and don’t have the critical thinking skills so much as the raw computational power to figure out how things work.

    And last of all, Teach kids to think, not just to fill out the bubbles on the scan-tron. The current wave of “teaching” that I’ve seen roughly since no child left behind took effect doesn’t tell kids how to think critically… it tell them how to do this type of problem that will be on the test…

    And it’s not just schools, I’ve done third party run trainings at work, and they teach to the test as well, no teacher wants to look bad by having students fail… So they teach to the test, and people pass with no real grasp of what they were supposed to learn for that course… Then when we implement what we learned, only a few of us actually know what is going on…

  • Jim Shapiro

    Dear Bob –

    Thanks for sharing the Michael Franti video/song.

    and Regarding 5 Myths: Religion –

    Perhaps it should be little surprise that something that is in and of itself primarily myth would have myths related to it. A meta-myth kinda thing 🙂

  • JackU

    Thanks for posting the link to the Eichten on Almanac video. You are correct that it is well worth watching.

    With regard to the Myths about the separation of church and state, it’s nice to see someone collect that information in one place even if the treatment was a little superficial.

  • ccfMRF

    The Eichten segment was very good. IMHO the best journalists/reporters/hosts have an honest, everyday persona but have smarts and chops to show their exquisite skill. The best to do that in this market was Paul Magers but Mr Eichten possesses a similar understated genius.

    My only issue with the segment was Gary referring to the SJU refectory as the cafeteria and not the Reef, as those who have attended SJU so commonly refer to it.

  • ccJUKPrick

    Regarding religion: I suppose the whole, “Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God” wouldn’t have much of an impact on someone who is atheist.

  • TJ

    It’s true that, as an atheist, the whole “so help me God” clause doesn’t do much for me. On the other hand, integrity and perjury laws work for everyone.