Five at 8: May 13, 2009

First this bonus. The Legislative Auditor’s Office has just released a report on security at the Capitol. The claim is there are vulnerabilities at the Capitol which leads to the obvious question: “How accessible by the people should the building of the people be?” And by pointing out the flas (no weapons screening), are we inviting evil-doers?

  • When you say “unemployed,” what do you think? Auto worker? Newspaper reporter? How about lawyer? The Above the Law blog has another installment today of “Notes from the Breadline.” It’s a great — if depressing — read that makes me wonder why so many people are so anxious to go to law school.

    Also on the economy front, a must-read is Annie Baxter’s story about couples that live apart in order to keep working.

  • We live in a suspicious society, which makes it difficult sometime for us. I was talking to Mary Lucia last night about being an older guy in the neighborhood, kids grown, when, for example, the Girl Scout rings the doorbell in January to sell cookies. I’m a sucker for kids selling anything, so I always buy. But there’s the old guy at the door; there’s the kid on the step, and we’re both freezing. What do I do? I sit out on the stoop and consider the merits of Samoas. What else can you do these days? Invite the kid in? Not in a suspicious society.

    After that, Jason Samuels sent me a link to a piece his colleague wrote, Putting Men Into Mentoring, a piece spawned by another colleague’s question: “”If I sit for a few minutes on that (park) bench, will I look creepy?”

    Coincidentally, the blog “A Day in the Life,” is on a similar theme, asking whether the co-worker who drove past his house — 15 miles out of the way — stalking. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

    These are the things that consume us while waiting for an end to the stalemate at the Capitol.

  • Astronaut Mike Massimino is using Twitter from space. He’s got 238,810 people following him but he’s following only two people, which goes to show you: You can be smart enough to fly in space and still not get the social (as in two-way communication) part of social network. Those quarter-million people who are following him will be happy to learn that “launch was awesome.” If you were privileged enough to fly into space, would you spend even one second of it on Twitter?
  • The Minnesota Orchestera won’t be at the Lake Harriet venue this year.
  • Question: Should family members of members of Congress file financial disclosure forms? If not, how will we know when prominent members — or even non-prominent ones — direct taxpayer money to them? The Washington Post examines one such member in a piece that reminds us that good journalism is good.

    Speaking of which, you missed the Frontline documentary on Bernie Madoff? Then you need to spend a lot of time on the accompanying Frontline Web site. Does America have the attention span to follow stories like this?


    The News Cut bike ride is still on this morning.

    Midmorning — Rita Dove from the Talking Volumes appearance at the Fitzgerald Theater in the first hour. July Collins in the second.

    Midday — No listing has been made available.

    Talk of the Nation — The Rush Limbaugh – Wanda Sykes controversy or: Which is worse: Joking about Rush Limbaugh being “the 20th hijacker,” or claiming Michael J. Fox is faking his Parkinson’s? In the second hour: Obsessive compulsive disorder.

    All Things Considered — How can Minnesota grow the next crop of teachers if we’re laying the young ones off?

    • Bob

      As a guy of similar age, Bob, your creepy comments resonate. There’s things I won’t do because I’m self-conscious about the creepy aspect — the park bench is one of ’em. And that’s a little bothersome, as I live close to a very nice park.

      I don’t tend to take walks in my neighborhood alone, out of concern that that may seem creepy.

    • Jim!!!

      After watching Madoff I’m worried about the UBS link. My 401k is with UBS.

    • bj

      @Bob Collins

      you asked “If you were privileged enough to fly into space, would you spend even one second of it on Twitter?”

      Answer depends on how many times i’ve been up in space first 4 times, no way, 5th ok let’s tweet.

      But since I can’t find a wiki on Astronaut Mike Massimino, I am loosing interest…. now