Treating soldiers with dogs (5×8 – 7/26/11)

1) A DOG SHALL SAVE THEM

Dogs sit in a shelter awaiting their destruction, soldiers sit with cocked guns to their heads. Who would have thought that each would save the other?

A soldier started Pets to Vets after a dog saved his life. “There’s 18 veterans that commit suicide every day in this country,” he said, “and one animal is put to sleep every eight seconds.”

After that piece aired on CBS last night, dozens of people went to the P2V Facebook page and offered to help.

2) TAG, YOU’RE IN U2′S CONCERT

u2_tag.jpg

If you went to Saturday’s U2 concert in Minneapolis, you can probably find yourself in the picture above. U2′s website has posted a panorama picture of the crowd, and is inviting people to find and tag themselves. Go here.

If you didn’t go to the concert, you can still have fun finding people in the crowd doing interesting things.

U2_PICK.jpg

3) FROM THE “THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW” FILE

red_river_16.png

This is usually the beginning of drought season in parts of Minnesota, but the Red River in Fargo is still in flood stage. It hasn’t completely receded within its banks since the annual spring flooding started in March.

4) WHAT THE WINEHOUSE REACTION SAYS ABOUT US

Her fans are leaving memorials outside the home of the late singer Amy Winehouse, whose funeral will be held today. Many of them don’t really “get it.” Like hundreds of people all around us — people who get no attention and for whom strangers shed few tears — Winehouse self-medicated a mental health problem.

Judging by some of what people are leaving at the memorial, some of her fans are just fine with that, as long as she left her music behind for them to enjoy.

winehouse_memorial.jpg

If she’d died of lung cancer, would people leave a carton of cigarettes?

5) THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON FOOTBALL

NFL training camps are set to open this weekend — the first Vikings open practice in Mankato will be Monday — now that the NFL lockout is over.

You may not want to watch this video from The Guardian. You may not want to think about it on Sundays this fall while you applaud the big hit. It’s the brain of a former player, who donated his brain to research on what playing football does to it. There are 75 athletes’ brains on dry ice in the brain bank outside of Boston.

The Guardian reports on the research into former NFL star Dave Duerson…


On 17 February 2011, aged 50, Duerson killed himself inside his Florida apartment. He did so in a manner that was in keeping with his unimpaired earlier self – meticulously, neatly, and with a thought to others. He had placed his NFL Man of the Year trophy, awarded in 1987, on a table beside the spot at which he fell, along with several notes setting out his financial and other arrangements. One of the notes carried a request that he repeated in a text message earlier that day to his ex-wife, Alicia. “Please, see that my brain is given to the NFL’s brain bank,” he said.

The request might have been deemed a quirk had it not tallied with the unusual method of Duerson’s suicide. He shot himself in the heart.

Bonus A kerfuffle anew has broken out in the NPR firing of Juan Williams. He’s got a new book out that tells his side of the story. Today, former NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard pens a column that suggests NPR was pushing Williams out the door long before his “Muslim garb” comment on Fox got him fired, and Williams never got — or at least, took — the hint.


“If you are a staff person and all the sudden your employer says that we are going to cut your remuneration and cut your expectation of how many times you can be on the air,” said the editor, “how would you interpret that?”

Considering his diminished capacity, I wonder why Williams stayed at NPR. Particularly if he felt frozen out and undervalued, as he writes. I concluded that NPR gave him the credibility among the mainstream media that he enjoyed; while Fox gave him visibility and credibility among conservatives. But then that is my opinion, not a fact.

MPR’s Kerri Miller will interview Williams about all of this on Friday night in Saint Paul.

TODAY’S QUESTION

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner addressed the nation last night to give their different views of the debt-ceiling impasse. Today’s Question: Do you find Obama or Boehner more persuasive?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: How well are colleges preparing students for today’s job market?

Second hour: Internet dating.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: The economics of government default.

Second hour: E.J. Dionne, syndicated columnist with The Washington Post.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The mechanics, hurdles, purpose and leadership of a viable third party in politics.

Second hour: Why the rich get richer, and what it might mean for America.

  • Joanna

    I wish our society acknowledged the price men pay for fulfilling the celebrated roles of soldier and athlete.

    Everyone says Friday Night Lights is a great show, and I’m sure it is, but when I think of American football, I think of Any Given Sunday or other movies, and stories like this that bring home the cost of and the brutality players inflict on each other, and then the consequences to their bodies.. It sounds as if Dave Duerson was a good person who saw that he was literally losing his mind to his injuries, and whose family lost him as well, before he took his own life. I can’t watch the game any more.

  • Suzanne

    Wonderful story on P2V

  • Bob Collins

    There was very little about Friday Night Lights that was about the game of football, per se.

  • kwatt

    When more information started to come out about concussions prior to last season, it ruined football for me. I still watch it and enjoy it, but big hits make me cringe, and I cringe even more when fans and announcers cheer after them. If this weren’t sports, societal pressure or government, or both, would step in and force an employer to mitigate the damage their employees receive in working for them.