Men who hit kids (5×8 – 2/18/13)

Some stories show we’re still capable of outrage, solace on the court in North Dakota, still padding toward Key West, when TV is a force for good, and the owls of Minnesota up close.


The Monday Morning Rouser. (h/t: Chuck Pederson)

1) SOME STORIES SHOW WE’RE STILL CAPABLE OF OUTRAGE

Joe Rickey Hundley’s career is over. It didn’t take his employer long to fire him, after the shocking story of how he allegedly hit a little kid on an airplane for crying. And it wasn’t just that. It’s that he allegedly threw in the “N word” to boot.

His mother, Jessica Bennett, talked to WCCO

2) SOLACE ON THE COURT

Hannah Linz of North Dakota State found out in November that her Hodgkins lymphoma had returned. There was no question, ESPN reports in its ongoing series on the young athlete, that she would play in the basketball game that night. She did. But, like the return of her illness, not everything is a happy movie. Her team lost by 35.

3) STILL PADDLING

Our friend Daniel Alvarez is still at it, the end of his quest to kayak from Minnesota’s Northwest Angle to Key West almost in sight. He was able to spend some time at his home in Tallahassee, but is back on the water.

When last we checked in with him — about a week ago — he was near Tampa.

Originally, he thought he might make it by New Year’s Eve, but Daniel doesn’t approach time away the way many of us might — scheduling when we’re supposed to be where when, and needing to get there.

Gulfport Patch has just posted videos here. Follow Alvarez’ blog here.

And over the weekend, the Tampa Bay Tribune featured Alvarez.

Because it autostarts, I’ve put the video below the fold.

4) TV: A FORCE FOR GOOD?

Is it that you watch or what you watch? A study released today

shows that kids’ behavior improves simply by turning the TV to less violent fare.

The study, reported by the Associated Press, involved parents in Seattle, some of whom were coached on good TV programming, and some who weren’t.


Half were coached for six months on getting their 3-to-5-year-old kids to watch shows like “Sesame Street” and “Dora the Explorer” rather than more violent programs like “Power Rangers.” The results were compared with kids whose parents who got advice on healthy eating instead.

At six months, children in both groups showed improved behavior, but there was a little bit more improvement in the group that was coached on their TV watching.

By one year, there was no meaningful difference between the two groups overall. Low-income boys appeared to get the most short-term benefit.

The study’s authors say the report shows that TV, used correctly, may be the key to raising a better-behaved person.

But, before we get ahead of ourselves, another study out today — this one in New Zealand — shows kids who watched a lot of TV were more likely to grow up with a criminal conviction.

5) THE IRRUPTION

Boreal Owl Irruption: Duluth Minnesota 2013 from Sparky Stensaas on Vimeo.

Bonus I: The great Blondie crisis of 2013 is over (Duluth News Tribune)

Bonus II: Most traffic jams are caused by just a handful of idiots (Gizmodo). h/t: Brian Hanf.

TODAY’S QUESTION

A record-setting $1.92 billion was spent on political advertising during the 2012 campaign season. The spending is up nearly 30 percent from the previous presidential election cycle. Today’s Question: Has the growing role of money in elections changed the quality of the candidates?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

It’s a company holiday. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Pessimism about innovation.

Second hour: Do we still need libraries in a digital world?

Third hour: Wright’s new book, “Going Clear.”

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): A Chautauqua Lecture by historian Richard Norton Smith about the lives of presidents after they leave office.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The gun violence in Chicago.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Violinist Joshua Bell confesses there have been many frustrating times when he’s wanted to relieve an orchestra conductor of his baton and do the conducting himself. So the violin virtuoso has decided to wield his own baton. NPR will report.