Five at 8 – 6/11/09

5) Business is good for repo men. Salon has a story about a fearless pilot who makes his living repossessing the jets of the rich and famous.(h/t: Michael Wells)

All commercial and private planes were grounded, but Nick Popovich wasn’t one to turn down a job. So he waited for the storm to clear long enough to charter a Hawker jet from Chicago into South Carolina. There was just one detail: No one had told Popovich about the heavily armed white supremacist militia that would be guarding the aircraft when he arrived.

4) Patchwork Nation. I’m still trying to play with this and figure out how it works, but PBS has an interesting project that tracks communities over time. Mouse over a county in Minnesota, for example, to see the land of emptying nests, monied ‘burbs, or tractor country, for example. I was surprised at the relatively low number of “evangelical epicenters” in Minnesota. It appears they’re still building the project out, but it has real possibilities.

3) What happen when you click? In a New York Times Magazine preview, Tom Vanderbilt provides an insight into the “factories” of this generation — data centers.

Facebook’s numbers are staggering. More than 200 million users have uploaded more than 15 billion photos, making Facebook the world’s largest photo-sharing service. This expansion has required a corresponding infrastructure push, with an energetic search for financing. “We literally spend all our time figuring how to keep up with the growth,” Jonathan Heiliger, Facebook’s vice president of technical operations, told me in a company conference room in Palo Alto, Calif. “We basically buy space and power.” Facebook, he says, is too large to rent space in a managed “co-location facility,” yet not large enough to build its own data centers. “Five years ago, Facebook was a couple of servers under Mark’s desk in his dorm room,” Heiliger explained, referring to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder. “Then it moved to two sorts of hosting facilities; then it graduated to this next category, taking a data center from an R.E.I.T.” — real estate investment trust — “in the Bay Area and then basically continued to expand that. We now have a fleet of data centers.”

2) St. Paul is ditching “good teachers,” according to the Star Tribune. The last in are usually the first out, which makes us wonder how graduating seniors are going to get a sniff of a job interview in the field. At the same time, Harris out with a survey that says half of us believe teachers aren’t paid enough. Southerners are most likely to believe that teachers aren’t paid enough. The Midwest? Not so much.

Your turn…

Do you believe Minnesota pays its teachers adequately?(poll)

1) Some preliminary images of the planned World Trade Center Memorial have been released. “You will literally and physically be surrounded by the victims,” said Alice Greenwald, director of the museum. The idea of a memorial seems perfect for an online site. I hadn’t paid much attention to the Memorial’s Web site until this morning. Families are being asked to contribute memories of the victims to the eventual physical site. But it would be a perfect project for the virtual world, first.

Bonus: Time-waster. The Post-it Note video. (h/t: @newcoventry)


Midmorning – First hour: A preview of election in Iran. Second hour: Singer Bettye LaVette.

Midday – Dick Edwards of the Mayo Clinic will be in the studio to talk to Mike Edgerly about aging issues. Second hour: The National Press Club speech by Gen. James Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps.

Talk of the Nation – First hour: The dark side of fame. The media, primarily responsible for the dark side of fame, will tsk-tsk what the media does to people like Susan Boyle. Second hour: A talk with Elmore Leonard about his new book, Road Dogs

All Things Considered – Is St. Cloud about to become the high-tech capital of Minnesota? And NPR has a segment planned on the down side of technology. You know all of those programs to put laptops in the hands of students? Laptops break, maintenance is required. How are schools supposed to keep up?

  • boB from WA


    You are not the only one. Our Daughter just graduated with her BA in Elem. Ed. W/all of the layoffs she is too is wondering if she will get into her chosen field. Fortunately there are a few more jobs in the west then there are here. And yes, I did vote that teachers are not paid enough. Not only do they have to try to teach , and maintain discipline w/in the classroom, but they also have to put up w/apathetic parents, and administrators that are not always supportive.

  • kennedy

    I’d have liked a voting option for “It depends on the teacher”. Having parental experience with about 20 teacers to date, I feel that some are underpaid and some are underperforming. Voted “I don’t know” because it depends on the teacher.