Five at 8 – 7/2/09

1) Has it really been 10 years since the big blowdown (scroll down on that page to see great Jim Brandenburg photos) in the Boundary Waters? On July 4, 1999, wind wiped out a wide swath of forest and planted predictions of devastating forest fires. What’s happened in that 10 years? MPR’s Stephanie Hemphill provides an update and has this video of the blowdown.

Far more difficult to assess is why YouTube’s “related video” recommendation for the blowdown is an ABBA reunion.

2) Your odds of surviving a heart attack in a hospital are not very good, a study concludes. If you’re African American, they’re even worse.

3) I’m not sure how much coverage this is going to get nationwide, but this is huge. Says the New York Times:

All his life, Robert Bowman wanted to be a lawyer. He overcame a troubled childhood, a tragic accident that nearly cost him a leg and a debilitating Jet Ski collision.

He put himself through community college, worked and borrowed heavily to help pay for college, graduate school and even law school. He took the New York bar examination not once, not twice, not three times, but four, passing it last year. Finally, he seemed to be on his way.

Nice story, right? No. He can’t get admitted to the New York Bar because he has too much student loan debt. The paper notes that the state’s courts “have overlooked misconduct like lawyers’ solicitation of minors for sex, efforts to deceive judges and possession of cocaine.” But student loan debt? That cannot be ignored.

4) This person is right. “Awesome” is used far too often. Does 1,000-2,000 dolphins in one spot qualify. It’s called a “superpod” and they’ve been captured on film off the British coast.

5) News Cut is off Friday, but I’ll probably post a few items anyway. I’d love to get your July 4th celebration pictures. Picnics, parades, fireworks etc. Did someone say fireworks? How to shoot fireworks. And here’s some tips on setting up the shot from Smithsonian photographers.

Bonus: When I was at AirVenture in Oshkosh a few years ago, I spent an afternoon talking to women who were Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). They ferried airplanes to war zones. They flew the planes that towed targets for gunner practice, they’d pack for an overnight trip and come back 30 days later. They served every bit as much as men in World War II, but they got nothing. They got no military benefits and they lost their jobs when the war was done. But at least now they’re going to get a medal.


Don’t eat a glow stick.


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – In the first hour we’ll be discussing affairs that politicians have and whether that’s any of our business. I’ll be live-blogging it so I look forward to your participation here. Second hour: n his 2008 book “Predictably Irrational,” behavioral economist Daniel Ariely unmasked the role of emotions in our financial decisions. In a revised edition of the book, he examines how our collective financial decisions helped bring the economy down. It’s all about us.

Midday (11 a.m. -1p.m.) – First hour: Education commissioner Alice Seagren will be in the studio to discuss the latest math and reading test results. Second hour: Mark Zdechlik’s new documentary about the U.S. Senate election . “Al Franken’s Road to the Senate.”

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – How violence affects a community. Why NPR doesn’t use the word torture and the prescription for pain management.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Does Rochester have a gang problem? MPR’s Sea Stachura will have the answer. Brandt Williams will look at how Minneapolis plans to replace thousands of trees it may lose to the emerald ash borer. And another look — this time from NPR’s Ben Nelson — on how Al Franken may change things in the Senate.

  • Kim V

    4. I also agree that “awesome” is thrown around too much today, and I know I’m part of the problem. I frequently call funny jokes “awesome,” but not a garden full of flowers at Como that actually did inspire awe.

    Bonus: Congrats to the WASP’s! I remember learning about them when I was in middle school (there was a small blurb-column about them in the history book). It sounds like a long overdue recognition.