Five at 8 – 9/8/09: Chase your passion

The kids are back in school? Say “yeah!” Here’s the Monday Morning Rouser, special Tuesday edition.

1) Passion. You’ve got to have it or life gets boring in a hurry. What’s your passion? Scott Johnson’s is music, so he runs a radio station… from his porch in Montana. (If you know someone like this, let me know. I’d love to meet him/her.)

Did someone say passion? Summer’s last gasp. Taken at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on Monday. That’s amore!


Which brings up this topic: Whatever happened to the birds and the bees?

2) Wait! I just got here! Lane Wallace asks, “Could we be outgrowing Facebook?

So in that context, texting, Facebook and Twitter are all terrific developments that, among other things, certainly free up the family phone. The puzzling thing is why they’ve been so popular among people who are supposed to be a bit beyond that stage. At some point in our development, we’re supposed to let go of that obsessive focus on what everyone else is doing in order to focus on our own work and achievements. We’re supposed to mature into valuing fewer but more meaningful friendships over the herd social groups we favored as teenagers. And hopefully, we’re supposed to get busy enough with more significant contributions to family, community and the world to either care about, or have time for, the movements and chatter of people we’re not that deeply connected to. As free time becomes more limited, choices have to be made. And there’s a trade-off: to go deep, you can’t go as broad.

Without Facebook, how will we spy on our kids?

3) Courtesy of Open Culture: The opening of the Beatles Rock Band:

Sure, marketing is a big part of this, but has there ever been a video game that has generated more buzz?

It strikes me a demographic challenge. As Ars Technica points out, the Beatles long ago ceased being a band, and there’s some question about whether a younger crowd — the kind that buys video games — sufficiently reveres the group:

This game is a love letter to the legend and music of the Beatles, and if that isn’t attractive to you, then the game won’t be able to convince you that it’s worth your time. But if your interest is piqued, however, get ready for an experience that captures, encapsulates, and re-contextualizes a huge part of our collective popular culture.

Some video stores — hey, remember those? — are opening tonight at midnight around here when the game is officially released.

4) President Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. The August congressional break is over and now it’s time to decide whether anything is going to be done. Today’s Washington Post has eight questions and answers about health care. Meanwhile, the Associated Press looks at several communities where health care already is reformed. La Crosse, Wisconsin is one of them.

… where astoundingly, nearly 95 percent of senior citizens have living wills to guide end-of-life care, meaning more hospice care and less hospitalization while dying. That has Medicare paying about $18,000 for the last two years of a beneficiary’s life here, compared to nearly $64,000 for end-of-life care in Miami, the nation’s priciest health market, according to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.

This morning on CBS, Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the health care debate is Obama’s opportunity to “put meat on the bones.”5) Here’s something Hooper Tomato Days had that the Minnesota State Fair didn’t have. Free sponges dropped by air.


How will you remember the summer of ’09?

It’s the summer I got all of the around-the-house chores one the list completed. Mostly.


I’ll have another installment in the News Cut series, “The Unemployed” posted by early this afternoon.

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: MPR education beat reporter Tom Weber and others dissect the president’s speech to the nation’s school kids (available here) .

Second hour: Political observers are anticipating the release of the memoir of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. Will the memoir reveal new details about the personal life and struggles of the late senator, or merely recount his storied political career?

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: More discussion about President Obama’s speech to school children, and studio guests Tom Dooher of Education Minnesota and Charles Kyte of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.

Second hour: A panel discussion from the Aspen Ideas Festival about how we learn to read. Speakers include former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, a reading specialist and a brain scientist.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: One college already established a quarantine dorm, for students with swine flu. Massachusetts is considering forced quarantines, and home inspections. The latest on the H1N1 flu.

Second hour: Matthew Shepard’s mother, Judy, discusses her book, “The Meaning of


All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – MPR’s Tom Weber looks at some of the new schools that are opening. Are they just really nice — and expensive — buildings or do they really help improve the education of kids?

MPR’s health reporter, Lorna Benson, looks at how colleges and universities around here are preparing for H1N1.

NPR’s Brian Mann reports that while the National Guard is meeting its recruiting goals, it’s having a hard time finding members of the clergy to serve. Neda Ulaby looks at how words move from acceptable to slurs. Take, leotard, for example.

  • Joanna

    Item #2: Creepy stalker mom, ew!

  • Bob Collins

    It was a put-on. It’s from The Onion.

  • phil

    I know very very few people who friend their parents on facebook. It’s really weird. Actually only one, and she did it by mistake but doesn’t have the heart to un-friend her mom.