The secret stadium fix (5×8 – 5/9/13)

Secret plans and stadiums, a brother’s gift to a sister who took her own life, Minnesota’s declining voter participation, the absence of passion, and the most startling videos you’ll see today.


Reminder: I’ll be live-blogging the same-sex marriage debate at the Minnesota House of Representatives today, starting at a still-undetermined time. Join us with your comments and observations.

1) SECRET PLANS AND STADIUMS

Whatever the plan is for handing over taxpayer money to the Minnesota Vikings for their new stadium, it’s clear that you’re not going to get much time to (a) find out what it is (b) have any say in it, at least this year.

Last year’s session-long debate on the stadium has turned out badly for stadium supporters; the pull-tab gambling expansion has been a bust.

Gov. Mark Dayton spent the first half of this year’s session assuring people that everything will be OK, and the second half of the session trying to come up with a new way of funding the project, keeping it secret if it really exists at all.

Two legislative leaders who serve on the stadium task force say they’re not involved and don’t know anything about it, and yesterday, Dayton played “go ahead and guess,” when he said “you’ll never imagine” what the solution is.

Dayton doesn’t face much of a deadline here. The state is making enough money to pass along to the project and the governor could punt the problem to the next session.

Or it could show up in the last, late hours of this legislative session next week

2) FOR ANYBODY HURTING

When Tanya Lim took her own life at age 20 in 2011, her brother, Eric, inherited a portion of her personal savings. He used it to make this movie, which was released yesterday, along with a website to help connect people with the help they may need.

3) THE DECLINE IN VOTER PARTICIPATION

When it comes to virtually every list that ranks states — you name it: health, education, wealth — you can usually find Minnesota up near the top, and Mississippi down at the bottom.

Now, there’s one that has us looking up at the state we usually look down on.

Minnesota no longer leads the nation in voter turnout, the Pioneer Press reports. It’s number three — behind Mississippi and Wisconsin.

Blame the younger demographic for the decline.

Related: The politics of the Millennial Generation. (Swampland)

4) THE ABSENCE OF PASSION

We’re constantly told we should follow our passion. What if we don’t have a passion?

A young man recently asked an economist that question, something NPR’s Planet Money team inexplicably described as “a luxury.”

And didn’t answer the question.

Discussion point: What do you do if you don’t have a passion?

5) THE MOST STARTLING VIDEOS YOU’LL SEE TODAY

Thirty years of Landsat satellite pictures have been assembled into a time-lapse video of how we’re changing the earth. See cities spring up in the desert, forests disappear, and lakes evaporate.


It took the folks at Google to upgrade these choppy visual sequences from crude flip-book quality to true video footage. With the help of massive amounts of computer muscle, they have scrubbed away cloud cover, filled in missing pixels, digitally stitched puzzle-piece pictures together, until the growing, thriving, sometimes dying planet is revealed in all its dynamic churn. The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail. Consider: a standard TV image uses about one-third of a million pixels per frame, while a high-definition image uses 2 million. The Landsat images, by contrast, weigh in at 1.8 trillion pixels per frame, the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs assembled into a single mosaic.

You could spend a lot of time on this site today — in particular, watch the Oil Sands stripping the earth away — while wanting to look away.

Find them all here.

Bonus I: The most haunting photo from the Bangladesh factory collapse. (Time Lightbox)

Bonus II: Survivor guilt. Some Boston Marathon runners are suffering guilt problems because they didn’t rush in to help with the bombs exploded. (Boston Globe)

TODAY’S QUESTION

Last year, in Aitkin in north-central Minnesota, a solid majority of people voted for a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, effectively banning same-sex marriages. Even so, the first-term representative from the area says he will vote for the bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Today’s Question: When is it OK for a lawmaker to vote against the will of a majority of his or her constituents?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

It’s the beginning of a membership drive. Many of these programs are rebroadcasts.

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Author Dennis Lehane talks about his love for Boston.

Second hour: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo talks about his new novella ‘Nate in Venice’

Third hour: Author Richard Ford talks about his latest novel, Canada, which revolves around a 15-year-old boy whose parents rob a bank.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Live update on House floor debate on gay marriage, and short MPR historical documentar,y “No Jews Allowed.”

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The escalating civil war in Syria.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - We’ll obviously have the latest from the debate over same-sex marriage, which may still be underway.

In the box-office driven world of modern movies, the socially aware films of British director Ken Loach and his screenwriting partner Paul Laverty are very unusual. They make remarkable feature films about the challenges facing working people. Euan Kerr has a profile.

Illegal alien. Illegal immigrant. Undocumented immigrant. Which of those terms should be used by journalists? That’s the question being asked in newsrooms throughout the U.S. And their answers evolve as the political backdrop changes. NPR will have the story.

  • Ryan V.

    RE: #4

    I ask myself this question all the time (I’m 27) and also have no answer. But I can’t stop living just because of that. So I try to take things day by day and figure life out as I go along and be ok with not knowing everything.

    It’s going well so far…I *think*

  • BJ
  • Bob Collins

    Please let the record show that nothing — nothing — brightens my day more than the unanticipated invocation of a West Wing episode.

  • BJ

    #5 – pretty cool, you can get down to a level that you can see the main roads. watching highway 100 expand was neat.

  • Carnac the Magnificent

    “From the general fund.” “Where is the money for the stadium going to have to come?”

  • Matt W.

    Re: #4

    I wing it. It’s not a nice measurable answer that’ll sell books and seminars, I guess, but I can’t really think of better way to put it. Do what seems interesting at the time and, if nothing seems interesting, blindfold and a dartboard. Some of my favorite times have been jobs and/or situations that have come out of random choices.

    I’ve had over 30 different jobs since I turned 16 (33 now), never had the same address for more than 2 years (although my favorite on and off job involves 100% travel so my address has quite often been my parents to allow me to receive my federally mandated allowance of credit card offers). Consequently I’ve had this discussion with numerous people, my parents more often than most. Always the same thing – what do you like doing, what do you want to do, or (my favorite) if you won the lottery what would you want to do. All these things trying to tease out what your ‘passion’ is. The problem is, though, that only certain things seem to be allowed as a passion. Passions have to be quantified as a career of some sort. Even when my dad would trot out his favorite saying, “do what you love”, there was always the addendum – “then find a way to get paid for it”. But what if your answer to the lottery question is (via Office Space) “I would do nothing”? Is that a passion or a fault?

    Personally if I’m upbeat at the end of day, I consider it a victory, whether the day was spent washing dishes or planning the next big project in a staff meeting. Unfortunately, what make me happy each day changes. As a person with severe Bipolar, not ending the day in the hospital with bandaged wrists can be enough. Other times I’m not satisfied unless I’m governor and fixing all the issues facing the state that day. Or maybe it’s just surprising a coworker with that jersey their daughter’s been asking them for but could never find. How does one boil that down to a career path you can target?

    One of my most treasured sayings (can’t remember where it came from, though) is “The more you plan, the more the universe unplans.” Wing it, Max. Try something, then try something else if that’s not fun. Maybe you’ll find something worth sticking with till the end, maybe you’ll bounce around forever. If you’re happy at the end of the day more than 50% of the time what more could you want?

    . . . and if you’re ever on the wrong side of that 50%? White Castle and M&M’s. Only constants in the universe.

  • BJ

    Oh Bob now that I know….

    “No, I did not. Let me be absolutely clear, I DID NOT do that. Except, yes, I did that.”

  • BJ

    Matt W – I was 29 and had about 30 jobs, very similar story to what you told.

    But I found it. (Left it but passion gave way to frustration, but my passion was/is politics)

    You have passion(s) for something you just might not consider it a passion, or you don’t know how to make money (enough money) from it, yet. I used to be skeptical about those sayings, but stumbling on it once makes me a total believer that I can do it again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonderusha Jason DeRusha

    I think we mistakenly think we need to find out passion with a line of work. I happen to passionate about my work, my wife is not at all passionate about her work. However, she’s exceptional at her job. Weird, right?

    She finds her passion in our family, our kids, and our adventures. It’s not about finding the right job.

  • David

    BJ – Those are the exact scenes that I thought of when I heard of the secret stadium funding plan. Thanks for posting!

    re: #5 – looks like you can see the path of the north Minneapolis tornado on the Google time lapse as well.

  • C

    Telling people to “Follow their Dreams” absolutely comes from a place of privilege. For many (young) Americans paying the bills/student loans, contributing to family expenses, or balancing the needs of family (such as those of a small child or ill parent) takes precedent over finding the perfect jobs. Following dreams is the luxury of people with extraordinary luck, connections, or financial support.

    Additionally, telling young people to “follow their dreams” is not pragmatic in the current labor market. Following dreams leads many good, smart, talented people down paths with lower likelihoods success. Realistically we need to tell young people to develop their marketable skills, figure out what their goals are, and find a job they like. For some people this will be following their dreams, for others it is a realistic way for them to be successful in their careers.

  • BJ

    // Following dreams is the luxury of people with extraordinary luck, connections, or financial support.

    Following dreams doesn’t mean you run off and play xbox all day, following your dream doesn’t mean you don’t have a crappy job. It means while you are paying the bills/student loans, contributing to family expenses, or balancing the needs of family while you build the skills and self awareness that allows you to follow your dream.

    If you read above I left a job that was my passion; passions change, family needs change. Doesn’t mean I will not keep looking for something that combines dream and passion again, I know it can be done.

  • http://www.nathanhunstad.com Doctor Gonzo

    Did anybody else notice the tornado damage right at the end of the video for Minneapolis? Eerie!

  • http://www.leonesent.com/ MN cleaning services

    #1: Something we’ve never imagined? Hmm… a funny statement from our Governor!

    #2 I really applaud Eric for his attention to his sister’s legacy and turning a situation filled with grief into an opportunity for art.

    #4 A passion doesn’t have to be grandiose (travel, wine, etc.) for it to be a passion you can pursue in real life. Quality communication can be a passion. Customer service can be a passion, or teaching. A specific industry.

    When these passions become employment and many of us deem them “luxurious,” and to the eyes of the public the situation seems unfair or darn lucky, well, why criticize? If you’ve been given the opportunity to combine passion with work, we should celebrate with you. And if you can’t, it doesn’t mean you’re cut off from pursuing passion forever – many people choose to spend their free time pursuing passions, in addition to working jobs that might not be as passion-inducing.