A flight in a B-17 (5×8 – 5/31/11)

The Monday Morning Rouser, special there-are-only-four-days-left-in-the-workweek edition…

1) FLYING THE LIBERTY BELLE

Residents of the St. Paul area might have seen the B-17 flying around downtown on Monday afternoon; it’s a hard aircraft to miss. The Liberty Foundation tours the country with Liberty Belle; it spends very little time at its home base in Georgia because it has to earn its keep by giving rides. Next weekend, it will provide those out of the downtown airport. Yesterday, it took media people for a flight.


2) THE CURE FOR THE HIGHWAY 10 BLUES

That’s one way to fly; here’s another. A few years ago, I posted about the Martin Jetpack, which seemed like a nice way for some chap in New Zealand to lose his life’s savings. Update: It flew over the weekend, setting a record height of 5,000 feet.

Who wants one? Did I mention the jetpack sustained some damage on impact, err, landing?

3) WORLD OF MARRIAGECRAFT

Are video games really a leading cause of divorce. The assertion is getting some nationwide attention today after a warmed-over story that Facebook is being cited in one in five divorce filings and World of Warcraft is more alluring to men, was served up by the Daily Mail.


‘When it became serious he was playing up to eight hours a day. I was constantly trying to get him to cut back but he didn’t think he had a problem until I told him I wanted to leave. But by that time it was too late.’

Ryan G Van Cleave, an expert on video game addiction, said many partners were unaware that gaming can become an addiction.

He said: ‘The problem spouses encounter with video game addiction is that the non-gamer doesn’t appreciate that it’s an addiction. This means it’s not a choice to spend so much time in a virtual environment versus time with the spouse and family. It’s a compulsion.

The Daily Mail quoted a divorce Web site that said about 15 percent of couples are affected. But this morning, Computer World points out the flaw


The Mail reveals (in paragraph 13 of its story – what’s it doing down there?), that Divorce Online’s ‘study’ was based on just 200 “unreasonable behaviour petitions filed by women”.

Not exactly a fair cross section of divorcees up and down the land, when you consider that 113,949 UK married couples split in 2009 (the last full year on record at the Office For National Statistics).

Another possibility, according to Computer World: More men are escaping unhappy marriages with computer games.

4) THE CAPITOL MESS: WHO’S TO BLAME?

Over the weekend, the Star Tribune printed a story about Northfield residents being upset at the lack of compromise at the Capitol…


The voters are cranky in Minnesota House District 25B. And they aren’t shy about saying so.

In a strip of the state defined as much by its political diversity and tight legislative races as it is by its mix of college campuses, rich farmland and exurban neighborhoods, the budget impasse and prospect of a state government shutdown this summer has struck a nerve.

Who’s to blame for this? In this case, the voters of District 25B, writes Griff Wrigley today in Locally Grown Northfield...


Northfield’s liberal voters rejected this moderate Republican and instead voted for Dahle in large numbers. Likewise, Cox was not enough of a social conservative for a large number of voters in the western part of the district and so they didn’t vote in large enough numbers to offset the liberal vote in Northfield.

Northfield’s liberals won the battle of 2008 but they lost the war in 2010 when the Republicans fielded much more conservative candidates in Al DeKruif and Kelby Woodard who were able to get out the D-25 conservative vote in big numbers.

So for 25B voters to now complain about extremes, partisanship, and gridlock seems a little disingenuous. Al and Kelby and the rest of the freshman Republicans know who and what got them there. Why compromise with Gov. Dayton until you have to?

We’ll be hearing more of these “what’s the matter with them?” stories as we head for a state shutdown at the end of next month. The question is off by one pronoun.

5) TORNADO VS. SOCCER

Don’t “cheese off” soccer fans. That’s the lesson Fox9 may consider after a weekend dust-up between its news staff and fans of the UEFA Champions League Final. The station broke into the action to report a tornado warning had been issued, relegating the game to a small box in the corner of the picture.

When the fans complained, EPL Talk reports, an anchor warned the fans not “cheese us off.”


It’s one thing to keep viewers safe, but what FOX 9 News did was on the verge of weather porn. KMSP-TV FOX 9 decided to show weather news instead of the half-time show, but was it really necessary to continue the weather coverage for the last 40 minutes of the game? Would FOX 9 News have done the same thing if it was a NFL or college football game?

A similar situation happened a few years ago when someone complained that WCCO’s Paul Douglas was spending too much on tornado coverage. “We’re saving lives here, ma’am,” Douglas intones.

Discussion point: What’s the proper balance between regular programming and weather coverage?

TODAY’S QUESTION

One of the founders of PayPal is giving 24 people under age 20 $100,000 to skip or quit college and start a business instead. Today’s Question: Would you take $100,000 to forgo college?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Aptitude testing.

Second hour: The uncertainty facing baby boomers is more pronounced than ever, from job transitions to empty nesting to retirement worries. But is there a new way to live and grow professionally beyond midlife?

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Planetary scientist Robert Pepin, on the 50 years since President Kennedy sought to land a man on the moon.

Second hour: An America Abroad series, a discussion in Washington and Kabul, “Joined By War: Women’s Rights in Today’s Afghanistan.”

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: What it takes to turn around institutions.

Second hour: Ellis Cose joins host Neal Conan for a look at race and rage.