Five at 8 – 10/19/09: Transitions

Aquí está tu Monday Morning Rouser!

1) If you can handle death row, can middle school be that tough? In Atlanta, Tom Dunn has traded in a life working with convicts for one working with school kids. He quotes Frederick Douglass: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

2) Why does the number of homes for sale continue to drop when the number of home sales is lagging? It sounds like a case for Teresa Boardman, who writes the St. Paul Real Estate blog. “For buyers there are fewer choices and the most desirable homes are selling very quickly. Buyers still seem to think that the home they want will be around for awhile and that has not been the case for the last several months,” she writes.

3) Tell the truth, now. You’re keeping an eye on whether your colleagues are washing their hands in the rest room aren’t you? Some Brit researchers are, too. They monitored a month of restroom traffic to see what messages on an LED worked best. “Is the person next to you washing with soap?” was the overall winner, which the researchers said showed people respond to what others might think of them.

All of this, of course, is prevention for H1N1, which people are still saying is not a big deal, ignorant, apparently, that some hospitals aren’t taking new patients and the health care system is already being maxed out.

Last week it was revealed that three little pigs at the Minnesota State Fair had H1N, which brings up the question: Can our pets get H1N1? Experts aren’t saying “yes,” but they’re not exactly saying “no” either.

4) Two stories in the major papers today hold little optimism surrounding the “war on terror.” First, New York Times reporter David Rohde — you may recall he was rescued from his Taliban captors a few months ago — is recounting his ordeal.

On the first day there, I went to the bathroom and returned to find Tahir with a fresh cut on his calf. It looked as if someone had drawn a line across his leg in red ink. A local Waziri militant had taken out his knife and tried to cut off a chunk of Tahir’s calf, saying he wanted to eat the flesh of an Afghan who worked with Westerners. One of Atiqullah’s guards had stopped him.

In the same issue — today’s — the Times reports the Taliban’s war chest is overflowing, thanks in part to heroin addicts.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports today that a rising number of Western recruits — including Americans — are traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan to attend paramilitary training camps.

5) Miracle, schmiracle. What are you doing leaving your stroller unattended on a subway platform?

Actually, there wasn’t a kid in the stroller. He was hiding in his parents’ attic.


After a few months away, I’m back doing newscasts on The Current starting today. But there’ll only be one per day — 4:20 p.m. with Mary Lucia.

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Public health officials are trying to figure out why a majority of Americans, including many public health nurses and doctors, have told pollsters recently they are wary of the H1N1 vaccine.

Second hour: Blues and pop singer Maria Muldaur. OK, I’ll spot you Midnight at the Oasis. What else?

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Mitch Albom, columnist and author of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” joins Midday in the studio to talk about his latest book, “Have a Little Faith.”

Second hour: Explorer and Minnesota native Dan Buettner speaks about his latest research into regions of the globe where people live particularly long, healthy lives.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Is Afghanistan another Vietnam?

Second hour: The state of women in the workplace.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The Army Corps of Engineers is considering ways to prevent flooding in the Red River Valley. MPR’s Dan Gunderson has that story.

NPR’s Melissa Block pulls the tough duty, profiling the outgoing governor of Oregon while fly fishing with him.