Five at 8: It’s Tuesday!

1) Your friends at In the Loop take a moment to thank the wide world for all that it’s provided us media types this year.

2) But Halloween was last month, you say? Too bad, here’s a horror story:

For 23 years Rom Houben was ­imprisoned in his own body. He saw his doctors and nurses as they visited him during their daily rounds; he listened to the conversations of his carers; he heard his mother deliver the news to him that his father had died. But he could do nothing. He was unable to communicate with his doctors or family. He could not move his head or weep, he could only listen.

3) Even as President Obama is set to announce his strategy for Afghanistan, the Iraq War still won’t stay out of the news as British officials begin an inquiry into the 2003 invasion.

British officials heard the “drum beats” of war with Iraq emanating from the US government more than two years before the 2003 invasion and several months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq inquiry has heard.

4) Be sure to set this aside for your coffee break this morning. The Big Picture has a dozen striking images from National Geographic’s International Photography Contest.

5) And finally, a bit of public radio news. Carl Kassel is retiring as NPR’s Morning Edition newscaster. Fun fact: He gets up at 1:05 a.m. everyday in order to be prepared for the first newscast at 5 a.m.


What’s your spending plan for the holiday season?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Road safety. The auto industry is developing new lifesaving technologies that allow roads to send information to drivers, and give cars a mind of their own. But will such advances take too much control out of drivers’ hands?

Second hour: Can our friends make us fat? Is our neighbor’s happiness contagious? The science of social networks.

Midday (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) – First hour: On one of the biggest shopping weeks of the year, Chris Farrell answers listener questions about the importance of the retail sector of the economy. Pioneer Press business reporter Gita Sitaramiah joins to talk about local retail.

Second hour: Stephen Dubner and Stephen Levitt, the authors of the best-selling new book, “SuperFreakonomics,” speaking at the Commonwealth Club of California.