Five at 8 – 6/9/09


  • Jeff Skiles (right, next to the more-famous “Sully” Sullenberger) , the Wisconsin pilot who was the first officer on the US Airways plane that ditched into the Hudson River last winter, isn’t exactly instilling confidence in aviation today. Appearing on the CBS Early Show this morning, Jeff Skiles lamented FAA work rules — especially at regional airlines — which he says “are less restrictive than truck drivers work under.” And he says the judgment of someone who works 16 hours has “the response rate of somebody who is legally drunk.”

    The NTSB is launching three days of hearings into the Hudson River ditching today, but the best account of the incident published to date comes from a small Wisconsin publication — Midwest Flyer — which interviewed Skiles (download mp3 audio).

    You can watch a Webcast of today’s hearing here.

  • What’s not to love about the Internet? Without it, I never would’ve known there is a magazine called Obit. Nor would I know that the top story there is about how obituaries have changed over the years. Let’s just say I like the old obits better:

    “On Friday morning, Mr. Jonathon Russel of Brockport put a period to his existence by shooting himself through the head with a musket, loaded with powder and shot. Mr. R. was about 50 years of age – he left a wife and seven children in Salem, Ashtabula County, Ohio; and another wife in Brockport.”

  • Somebody somewhere put an awful lot of design work into re: tardation, a site that has no sympathy to the plight of General Motors.

    Meanwhile, in real life, about 800 GM dealers have yet to decide whether to shut down or stay in business, the Wall St. Journal reports today. The deadline is Friday.

  • What is the role of Twitter for journalists? Some view it as just another “platform” to pass along the news. For example, last week’s announcement that Gov. Tim Pawlenty would not seek a third term was primarily distributed by the state’s political reporters on Twitter. But Twitter also presents an old ethical problem for journos: Should you know about their personal lives? Should they be your online pals, or should they have a more “arm’s length” relationship with you? In her PBS Media Shift column today, Julie Posetti tells “How Journalists Balance Work, Personal Lives on Twitter.” Some of us don’t bother, anymore.
  • Over a 13-year period, injuries in the home from trips, bumps, and falls increased 732 percent, the BBC reports. The reason? Killer computers.


    Midmorning – Robert Kaplan discusses his Foreign Policy article, “The Revenge of Geography” in the first hour. He says people and ideas may influence events, but it’s geography that determines the outcome. In the second hour: Master violinist Jorja Fleezanis, concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, talked about her career and provides an intimate concert. Well worth listening to.

    Midday – Two guests will talk about education on this last week of school. Charlie Kyte of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators and Tom Dooher of Education Minnesota, the teachers’ union. Here’s hoping the math test comes up.

    Talk of the Nation – Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan tells us how he plans to

    fix your public schools. Second hour: Joseph Booker, a Mississippi doctor, discusses why he performs abortions.

    All Things Considered – MPR’s Dan Gunderson has the fascinating story of a system in Detroit Lakes that will call people when there’s an emergency, such as a tornado. But few people are signing up. MPR’s Lorna Benson will have the story of a man who’s traveling the country donating platelets. He started out in Vermont. Here’s a story from Burlington about him.

    From Washington, how the auto industry crisis is affecting the Lowrider 2009 Tour. And we’ll hear about Bryce Harper, who is said to be the LeBron James of baseball. He won’t be eligible for the Major League Baseball draft for three years. He’s only 16, and he’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He’s a high school sophomore. Is this wrong?

    (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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