Five at 8 – 4/13/09

Cool. We can give you the Monday morning rouser and diss on the insane attention to a dog named Bo all at the same time. Because there’s only one Bo.

  • A dog story that actually has news value won’t get much. Scientists at Harvard are studying dogs to try to understand the human mind better. In many ways, dogs are closer to humans than humans are to chimps. (Pausing to scratch the back of my ear with my foot).
  • Alyssa Rosenberg of FedBlog has the story of a reporter who was covering a public meeting at a VA center when a veteran complained about the care he was receiving at the hospital. That’s when the VA communications staff stepped in to immediately solve the problem. Help the vet? No, they rousted the reporter. Here’s another account. No doubt there are many caring people who work for the VA, but the actions of a few don’t help an organization that’s had more than its share of well-deserved bad publicity.
  • I’ve pretty much given up on the possibility that I’ll be able to one day check off “watch Cleveland Indians win World Series” on my bucket list, but I still have hope for “go storm chasing with people who know what they’re doing.”

    So a article on a new effort to deploy 40 vehicles onto the Oklahoma prairie has gotten my attention. At one time, the theory goes, they’ll track up to 20 potential tornado-producing storms. There are storm changes at this end of the Midwest. If you’re one of them, we should talk. I’d love to live-blog a storm chase this summer.

  • In another post I’ve been tracking the Red River predictions of the National Weather Service people. The last projection suggests the big fear of a second crest was overstated. The crest will be at 38 feet, more than a foot lower than predicted on Saturday, and two feet lower than last month’s crest. Barring any rain this week, it may be time for a sandbag-removal party by next weekend.
  • Art or barbarism? The Spanish bullfighting season has started. This photo slideshow is gripping.


    Minnesota kids are taking the MCA II standardized tests. No pressure, kiddies, unless you want to graduate.

    Midmorning – In the first hour, Kerri Miller looks at the Obama administration’s education proposals. In the second hour, the lost city of Z.

    Midday – Tim Pawlenty is in the studio to take your calls. By the way, I renewed my license tabs this weekend. The registraton was $99 with a $4.50 “filing fee,” a $1.75 “tech surcharge,” a $5 wheelage tax, and $1.75 online fee. Just sayin’. It’s not like the governor and Legislature haven’t been raising taxes. So why is there so much debate from both sides over this year’s budget as if they haven’t?

    Oh, the head of the IRS is live at the Press Club in the second hour.

    Talk of the Nation: Here’s the promo provided by National Public Radio:

    On Talk of the Nation, we learn a lot about our guests…like journalist Bob Woodward, who noticed that we really like to listen to our callers. Even Woodward’s been shuffled off other programs!! Have your say — and a follow up with host Neal Conan on Talk of the Nation from NPR News.

    I have no idea what that means. Either Bob Woodward is the guest, or their planned guest canceled and they’re going to fill an hour taking phone calls. In the second hour: Decoding the latest nutrition news.

    All Things Considered: John Marty officially announces his candidacy for governor. A few months ago he launched an exploratory campaign. That brings up an interesting question: How often to politicians launch exploratory campaigns only to discover they shouldn’t run?

    Daniel Zwerdling is beginning a two-part series on the Green Revolution in India. It worked for awhile, but it’s sucked the water supply dry in one region, and is pushing farmers deeper into debt. Can we have a “green revolution” without environmental damage? Here’s some mostly favorable background on the subject. And here’s a dose of reality from the BBC this week: A large number of farmers are killing themselves.

    • bsimon

      “How often to politicians launch exploratory campaigns only to discover they shouldn’t run?”

      good question. Did Sen Russ Feingold (WI) fall into this category for the 2008 election?

    • BJ

      @How often to politicians launch exploratory campaigns only to discover they shouldn’t run?

      A lot actually.

      Then there are those that discover it but run any way.

    • Joanna

      Wow. The photo essay of the bullfighting is indeed amazing. I wrestle with this: it IS art and it IS barbarism. I have friends in Spain who are doing their utmost to end bullfighting, and I support them. But the appeal to me is undeniable. I eat meat. I’d prefer if all of it were slaughtered by hunting or that all the animals were raised in more humane conditions, but bullfighting reminds me of how human beings have turned their carnivorous nature into sacrifical rituals. We’ve given up some forms of human and animal sacrifice, but we still practice war and kill animals in barbaric ways for our table.

    • Mary L.

      2 girls and a new puppy? It’s the love story of the year. I can use a break from the current headlines *and* still appreciate the original Bo.