Five at 8 – 6/19/09

Friday flashback: Many forecasters have one word for summer: COOL Our 8 a.m. temperature in the Twin Cities: 75. Discussion point: Which is hyped more: severe weather or swine flu?

  • A suicide bombing in Somalia puts the Twin Cities on edge. Does it have anything to do with the missing Twin Cities Somali men? The short (and long) answer? We don’t know. Time Magazine has a piece today, “Behind the Suicide Bomb in Somalia,” but there is no identity of the attacker.
  • I am not prepared for the death of Walter Cronkite.

    That’s the extent of the sobering news on today’s 5@8. It’s Friday, and Fridays are for “soft landings” into the weekend, even if it takes more than five items to do it.

  • What’s Stephen Colbert like when he’s out of character? Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has the video.

    He’s better when he’s in character.

    The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Murder in the White House – Jeff Goldblum
    Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Stephen Colbert in Iraq
  • Another installment in the New York Times’ “One in 8 Million” series: The struggling stand-up comedian. He’s not that funny.
  • During World War II, hundreds of German prisoners passed through New Ulm. The daughter of one visited the area recently, the New Ulm Journal reports. One of the debates at the time, according to this American Legion feature, was whether they had to buy fishing licenses.
  • I mentioned to The Current’s Mary Lucia during a “newscast” that if you’re an older guy around smaller kids, you have to be careful people don’t think you’re a pedophile. When the Girl Scout rings the doorbell in January when it’s 10 below to sell you cookies, you don’t invite her in. You sit on the stoop and freeze. It’s just the way it is. Just ask Charles Quimby of Across the Great Divide. He is documenting Twin Cities lemonade stands. He ran into the same problem in Crystal.

    Bonus: Rats gamble for the same reason people do.


    There will be a News Cut Quiz posted here later this afternoon. Earlier this week, a colleague complained that it was too hard. It made me wistful.

    Midmorning – What’s Barack Obama really like? Richard Wolffe was given extraordinary access to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. His new book chronicles Obama’s evolution as a candidate and the moments that shaped his campaign. He’s Kerri Miller’s guest in the first hour. Second hour: This may be the best hour of the week. The use of language in politics. It’s a minefield for journalists.

    Midday – First hour: The latest from Iran. Second hour: Meteorologist Paul Huttner.

    Talk of the Nation – It’s Science Friday! First hour: Can a health care bill survive Congress? Second hour: A look at new research on sperm and infertility. How does the way sperm is packaged affect development? I’m betting they won’t get around to this BBC story: Huge sperm of ancient crustaceans.

    All Things Considered – Cities are turning to volunteers to do the work once done by paid employees. How’s that working in Duluth? MPR’s Bob Kelleher will have the story.

    • Bob

      As a guy of a certain age, I have to wonder why a guy of a certain age is out profiling lemonade stands in the first place. That strikes me as an extremely esoteric pursuit, and a sure recipe for coming under neighborhood scrutiny — especially given the fact that he’s doing some photo activity as well. Major creep factor. Why didn’t he just enlist a much younger person to do the legwork?

    • Bob Collins

      I thought it was a great idea for a professional writer (think Bill Geist). But your keen observation that a younger person might be more “acceptable” is pretty much what I’m talking about.

      Somewhere — maybe it was here — someone commented recently that he gets funny looks when he sits on a park bench, especially if there are kids around.

      And I’ve thought of stopping and watching little kids play t-ball, but I don’t have a little kid and I didn’t want to appear creepy. Fact is: I think it’s fun to stop and watch. But I don’t.