Five at 8 – 4/15/09

  • Are you chasing your passion? You may recall that during my News Cut on Campus project, I was taken by the story of a young woman with a dream of being an artist who was pursuing another career because her family told her there’s no money in the arts. The story of Tiffany Clay in today’s New York Times reminds me of that. We’re creating a generation of the most talented and wonderful kids, who are giving up their dreams to work as car-hops at Sonic. A dog at the White House gets more attention. (By the way, the day’s most vapid story is here.)
  • I don’t get much (snail) mail at the World Headquarters of News Cut. What mail I do get, however, is almost always a pamphlet for some ridiculous award. A lot of organizations have figured out by sponsoring some cockamamie newsie award, organizations will spend money on entry fees for the right to scream “we got some cockamamie award” later. Where online is concerned, the Webby Awards are an exception. They’re the real deal, which is why I’ve never gotten one.

    The finalists were announced on Tuesday. They include Rock the Vote (which should lose because they didn’t bring the big Guitar Hero game to the RNC), this neat climate design wizard (if you live in Australia), the BBC’s Spanish for beginners project, the Mafia Wars app on Facebook, and the Web site for the Asbury Park Boardwalk. You could easily waste all day browsing the nominees.

  • Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. But no sex? Researchers have found an ant in the Amazon that reproduces by cloning itself. The Arizona researcher who made the discovery says there’s an advantage to a world without sex. “It avoids the energetic cost of producing males, and doubles the number of reproductive females produced each generation from 50% to 100% of the offspring,” she said. The down side is that the species is more susceptible to parasites and don’t live that long.
  • There are protests today in which a few dozen people will wave tea bags and several dozen more news photographers, desperate for a tinkle of news, will take pictures of them. And nobody will ask, “Hey, how do they make those things? Too bad, because it’s a way more interesting story.
  • Phascinating Photos. Discover’s gallery of the National Ignition Facility. It’s the world’s largest laser. Ignition experiments begin next year with a goal of creating a self-sustaining source of energy.

    Bonus: I know I write too much about aviation, but the audio tape of the conversation with the man who had to land a plane after the pilot died is pretty compelling stuff.


    Midmorning – In the first hour, the state of black America. At 10, reflections on life in Iran.

    Midday – A discussion of Somalis in Minnesota in the first hour. At noon, Pulitzer-Prize -winning playwright Tony Kushner

    Talk of the Nation – “Political Junkie” Ken Rudin discusses New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “reconversion” to the Republican Party. Second hour: Author Nelson George.

    All Things Considered – Laura Yuen and Sasha Aslanian talk to three young women questioned by the FBI about their friendship with some of the missing Somali men in Minneapolis. Pam Fessler at NPR begins a series, Immigrants’ Children, and finds they often don’t get the help they need. Related: Check out Elizabeth Baier’s excellent story on the children of deported parents.

    • JC

      Re; the young woman who is chosing a different career because she was told that “there’s no money in the arts”.

      I can empathize because I was told the same thing in the late 70’s when I was graduating. I was also told by my parents that you have to be “really good” in order to make it in the “art world”.

      This pretty much put a stop to ANY college for me(let alone the money wasn’t really there) but the point remains that parents, mentors or any other important person in a young persons life should NEVER deter them from pursuing what they enjoy doing.

      Let them find out on their own. Let them go to college for whatever they feel is what they want to do, trust them to make the right decisions for themselves and keep the discussions open.

      I now have a child who is a junior and is thinking about colleges.

      She is very talented in art and has intrests in other careers also but I WILL NOT do to her what my parents and school staff did to me.

      I am encouraging her to do the things tht she loves, otherwise what kind of career are you going to wind up with if you listen to everyone else and don’t follow your own loves and intrests. (You can always change you major if you feel it’s not right for you)

      Just my thoughts, Thanks

    • GregS

      Except for a few, well connected and heavily subsidized artists, there is no money in art.

      But the same can be said of baseball, acting and Feng Siu consulting.

      If someone wants to do these things, why not?

      But why should they expect to make a living with an avocation?

      Why not follow both a vocation and an avocation then discover which brings the most satisfaction?