Five at 8 – 6/23/09

First, this from the pond hockey championships in the Twin Cities last winter.


If that doesn’t work for you today, try this: Snow sculpting from the winter carnival in St. Paul last January.

You know what makes the heat worse than it really is? Newspeople telling you how hot it is non-stop all day.

It’s time for an “Embrace the Heat” campaign. We have to get ready for the dead of winter, when we’re complaining about how cold it is. So capture a good image that makes us sweat just looking at it, and send it to me. I’ll have something to post next January, when we can dream about the joy of hot days.

As long as we’re on the subject — sort of — let’s consider the science of skating. The New York Times details scientific studies that may ease the physical grind for figure skaters.

  • Tales from the DC train crash. If you’ve been a little down on people lately, read about how passengers helped each other.
  • The firm that operated a program to allow travelers to zip through security lines at airports has gone belly up. “The CLEAR service was known for its special security lanes in airports which allowed its members to bypass long lines and proceed directly to the screening process, which was enabled by background security checks and advanced biometric fingerprint and retina scanning technology used to authenticate the identity of the service subscribers,” according to ZD Net. It’s bankrupt. The company is not in charge of a similar program at the Minneapolis St. Paul airport, but its closing presents the obvious question: If the company’s currency is your private data, what happens to that currency in bankruptcy?
  • How much do we know about Mir-Hossein Moussavi, the Iranian presidential candidate? Not too much. The New Yorker rectifies that. There’s a history at play here that explains a lot:

    Mir-Hossein Moussavi, the Presidential contender whose legions of supporters have taken to the streets of Iranian cities, has a long and complex history with Khamenei. When Moussavi was Prime Minister, in the nineteen-eighties, he belonged to a faction known as the Islamic Left. It shared power with a rival faction, the Islamic Right, led by Khamenei, who was then the President. When Moussavi and Khamenei clashed, as they often did, the charismatic leader of the Islamic Revolution and the supreme leader of the country, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, intervened–most frequently on Moussavi’s side.

    So, in 1989, when Khomeini died and Khamenei replaced him as supreme leader, the Islamic Left was exiled to political purgatory. Moussavi did not lift his head in Iranian politics for twenty years. But during those years the rest of his Islamic Left faction, including Saeed Hajjarian, made one of the most dramatic turnabouts in Iran’s political history. It abandoned its hard-line commitments in favor of an agenda of liberalization, freedom of expression, the relaxation of Islamic social codes, and friendlier dealings with the world.

    On All Things Considered tonight, Joe Klein, who interviewed Moussavi before the election, will be interviewed about Moussavi’s history.

  • Your iPhone is an accident waiting to happen. A survey says 1 out of 5 don’t survive the accidental drop.
  • Why don’t we call dogs by dog names anymore? A new poll says most get “human names.” While you toil away at work today, remember: Someone actually went to work each day, to finish up the big research project on pet names.


    Midmorning – First hour: The politics of health care reform. Second hour: Happiness. What makes us happy. They’ve been studying this at Harvard for 72 years.Midday – President Obama has a news conference scheduled and we’ll be broadcasting it live.

    Talk of the Nation – You have to love how TOTN combines subjects. In the first hour: Is President Obama talking forcefully enough on Iran and the Zen of Phil Jackson. Second hour: Unemployment and the surprises it brings.

    All Things Considered – Three areas of the country. Three budget problems. National Public Radio looks at New York, California, and Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, lawmakers are wrestling with a $6.6 billion two-year deficit. Democrats are proposing an income tax increase on people making more than $225,000 a year. They’re also cutting aid to schools.

    Now, do me a favor. Bookmark this page. And add News Cut to your RSS reader. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why that’s important.

    Finish this sentence

    “It’s not the heat, it’s the …..”