One day on earth (5×8 – 4/23/12)

The Monday Morning Rouser:

1) CROWDSOURCING A DAY IN THE LIFE

I’ve always been a huge fan of specific-time media from multiple locations that shows us the breathtaking diversity of life at a single moment. One Day on Earth premiered at the U.N. and other locales around the world yesterday afternoon. It was entirely crowdsourced project based on the experiences of volunteer filmmakers on November 11, 2011.

Using the map at the website, you can choose anyplace in the world, and see the produced video for that date, at that location. A few were produced in the Twin Cities. Unfortunately, none were produced outside of the metro area. What’s wrong with you, outstate? Does nothing interesting happen there?

2) KID CAINE

A few weeks ago, I posted the video of Caine Monroy and the game arcade made out of cardboard in East LA. You’ve probably seen it; it’s been everywhere (if not, go here). The Los Angeles Times follows up with a look at how the dad who watched it unfold ended up with a great kid.

There’s a lesson of some sort in the answer:


“I didn’t have a baby sitter,” Monroy said. His wife works at a restaurant; his two older sons are teenagers. “So Caine goes where I go.” And while Dad works, the boy has to amuse himself.

What grabs me in the video is a single tale: Caine asks his dad to buy a mini arcade game, where a claw is maneuvered on a chain through a slot to pluck a prize from a toy-filled box.

That request would have had me reaching for my wallet, feeling guilty that my child was hanging around my work yard, stuck in such an uninspiring environment.

But Caine’s father waved him off: Build it yourself. So Caine did — with a hook, a piece of yarn and a cardboard box, and a track cut through the top.

It’s amazing what our children can do when we let them think for themselves.

3) WHO ARE THE NEW POOR?

Grab six people and the odds are one is using food stamps. Fifty million Americans need food assistance, which is has now eclipsed cash assistance — by 10 times — as the most common form of welfare assistance.

“Some people would say it is bad because dependency is on the rise because people are on food stamps,” New York Times reporter Jason DeParle tells NPR. “I think there’s also a strong case to be made in the opposite direction, that this is a safety net program that has responded to the worst economy since the great depression.”

4) THROWING IDENTITY AWAY

There’s a sign on the garbage cans at Carlos Car Wash and Laundromat i n Alexandria that’s pretty clear: “No household garbage.” People toss bags of trash there anyway, and if the owner wanted to, he says, he could easily steal the identity of the evil-doers, the Alexandria Echo Press says.


One man’s H&R Block income tax return documents, his Progressive insurance card and motor vehicle registration card were recovered from the garbage at Carlos Car Wash and Laundromat. Other days it’s bank statements, phone records and hospital bills – all complete with names, addresses and account numbers.

“People are always complaining that people are stealing their identity,” said Greg Dropik, co-owner of Carlos Car Wash and Laundromat. “They’re giving it away.”

5) SMELT HEAVEN

The smelt are running at the mouth of the Lester River along Lake Superior.

Duluth held its smelt festival over the weekend, culminating in last night’s naming of the smelt queen.

(h/t: Duluth Outdoors)

Bonus I:Some people’s Mondays are more interesting than others’.

Bonus II: We cut the cable at my house last year. We watch less TV now and life seems just fine. A Wired.com reporter tried the same thing five months ago and has been providing updates. Today, he posts another.

Bonus III: In southeast Minnesota — Zumbrota, specifically — artists have taken the work of local poets, and created a visual medium around it. What happens when one artist interprets another’s?

TODAY’S QUESTION

The Twin Cities population is expected to grow larger, older and more diverse over the next three decades. A new report from the Metropolitan Council forecasts growth of nearly 900,000 residents and a population that is more than 40 percent people of color. Today’s Question: How will a larger, older and more diverse population affect life in the Twin Cities?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The cost of ending a presidential campaign.

Second hour: Using the arts to develop community.

Third hour: Rebecca Skloot, author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” It’s the story of a collision between ethics, race, medicine, and faith.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Westminster Town Hall Forum, featuring Parker Palmer, author of “Healing the Heart of Democracy.”

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Egyptians elect a president next month, for the first time since the Arab spring. And it’s already a messy affair.

Second hour: TBA

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - The Sibley County commissioners will vote tomorrow on whether to join what could end up being a $70 million publicly-owned broadband project. Many residents in central Minnesota and other rural parts of the state, deal with less-than-modern Internet speeds. MPR’s Dan Wilson will have the story.

In politics, campaigns often need unflattering footage of their rivals. Enter: the political operative with a camera in hand — the video-tracker. Some hide and ambush candidates. Others make no secret of their presence. Wherever there are politicians, video-trackers are not far behind. NPR reports on the dangers and rewards of stalking the opposition.