Five at 8 – 2/26/10: On class and grace

1) You can have your Sports Illustrated bikini images of your favorite Olympian, I’ll take this one, thank you very much (click image for larger version):


That’s Jenny Potter’s son with the Olympic spirit after mom’s team lost to Canada in the gold-medal game. Not in the picture is a line of other kids. Four years ago, the White Bear Lake native also reminded us that not winning a gold is not the same as not winning:


Meanwhile, this one, and several ones like it are the big controversy of the day.


After the medal ceremony, and presumably after everyone was gone, Canada’s women’s hockey team came back on the ice, lit the cigars, popped the sixpacks and celebrated.

Where to start? Is this the embarrassment that the wags are saying it is? Would people make a big deal out of it if it were the men? Why are they still wearing all of their pads an hour after the game?

2) There was a lot of attention — deservedly so — for a former child actor who was found dead yesterday. He killed himself. But right here in Minnesota, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people 15-34. See if you have any words after reading this story about a fourth grader who killed himself in the southwest metro. I don’t. Ten-year-olds shouldn’t be killing themselves.

3) From the how-do-you-feel-about-that file. Group therapy can help ease back pain.

“The exciting bit here is that with a lot of back pain interventions, you’ll get a feel-good factor and patients will feel better while they’re undergoing the treatment but it’s a short-term effect.

“But we showed they improve up to six months and then this is maintained for up to a year as they learn to manage their condition.”

4) A comedy show — the Daily Show — was perfectly positioned to provide the best coverage of yesterday’s big health care summit. It did not disappoint. Caution: May not be suitable for workplace.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Bipartisan Health Care Reform Summit 2010

5) A huge cheer erupted on Twitter this week when Conan O’Brien made his first two tweets. 361,000 people are hanging on his every word. Like this:

This morning I watched Remington Steele while eating Sugar Smacks out of a salad bowl. I was naked.

Who wants to be the one to tell O’Brien that he’s 1.2 million followers behind a cat? The Boston Globe today profiles the person behind one of the hottest Twitter accounts.


The 2010 Winter Olympic Games conclude this weekend, after what the Olympic Committee’s president describes as “sixteen days of magic.” What moment from this year’s Winter Games will live in your memory?


I’m out sick today so posting will be very light. Talk among yourselves below.

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: To many observers, Washington appears more polarized than ever. The recent health care meeting between the president and members of Congress could either produce some common ground or provide further evidence of the partisan divide.

Second hour: John Hope Bryant rose from a childhood of poverty to become a social entrepreneur and an advocate for financial literacy. In a new book, he argues that the best type of leadership is based not on fear, but on love. (Rebroadcast. Find the original here.)

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: An assessment of the ideas and accomplishments of the big health summit, from former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger.

Second hour: Dr. Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health, live at the National Press Club.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – Science Friday! First hour: Why grizzlies are invading polar bear turf. Plus, sperm whales rounding up squid. And the math of everyday life, with writer and mathematician Steven Strogatz.

Second hour: How do you take pictures of objects that are too small to photograph? A talk with the authors of an image-heavy book about nanoscience. Then, before Darwin was old and bearded, he was young and troubled. Guests are the creators the movie Creation about young Darwin’s inner turmoil.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Another Twin Cities non-profit closes its doors today. Hearthstone of Minnesota ran small group homes for deeply troubled teens in the Twin Cities. County social services placed boys with Hearthstone when families, relatives and foster care weren’t an option anymore. And now Hearthstone, a place that gave second chances to hundreds of young people in its 18-year history, is at the end of the line itself because of money troubles. MPR’s Sasha Aslanian will have the story.

NPR will have another installment in its investigation to rape on college campuses, and why authorities and campus officials don’t seem to take it seriously.

People who commit sex crimes will likely get put on a government list of sex offenders. What about an offender registry for people who are cruel to animals? California considers boosting its animal protection laws — with an animal cruelty registry.

(Follow Bob Collins on Facebook)

  • Bob Moffitt

    The Canadian team showed some poor judgement bring cigars and booze on the ice, especially since some are underage. I’m sure my collegues in the Canadian Lung Association are not happy with that cigar shot — not the message you want to send to your young fans, ladies.

    That said, winning a Gold medal is (usually) a once in a lifetime event, the the Canadians played a great game last night. So enjoy the party, but remember, the world is watching.

  • Bob Moffitt

    Sad news about Andrew Koenig. I can’t say I remember seeing him perform, but of course a remember his father’s role on the original Star Trek. A hard time for any family.

  • Awesome Olympics pictures.

    By the way, I think the Talk of the Nation teaser line should be “Grizzly bears vs. Polar bears!” Live it up a bit. 😉

  • Matt H

    I have to say that if it was the Canadian Men’s team instead, there would be little attention paid to a cigars and beers celebration. It IS hockey after all, and a Gold on home ice too!

  • kennedy

    “You just won the gold medal. Now go celebrate quielty in a back room out of sight.” Please.

    They waited until the stadium was empty and then cut loose on the ice. The only wrong was that cameras didn’t leave the building with the public. Congratulations.

    I hope the men’s gold goes south of the 49th parallel, though.

  • David W.

    I couldn’t care less if female athletes aren’t always motherly role models for journalistic consumption, any more than if male athletes are fatherly ones. I’m happy to have read Jim Bouton on the subject of what athletes do behind the scenes when I was 14, and loved it not just because it was hilarious, but honest. So there.

  • Bob Collins

    I’m going to give the U.S. women’s hockey team the benefit of the doubt and suggest they’re better role models — mothering isn’t the definition — than most athletes.

    I’m also going to go on the record and say I’m not going to apologize for liking the idea that parents give a da** about their role of parents. I wish more did. We wouldn’t have half the problems we face in the world today.

    And the third item here — hopefully — will point out that my interest isn’t in one gender and their kids over another, it’s in keeping what’s important important. People who have their heads screwed on right enough to maintain perspective are usually better people than those who don’t.

  • vjacobsen

    Wow. I forgot how much fun it is to watch The Daily Show. Why did I stop?

    Imagine if a family set out to build a house. One spouse asked another for input on everything from design to minor things, like paint colors. And then, after the house is almost completely built, all that is left is to put the doors, the non-cooperative spouse comes by, walks through the house and says, “This is useless, tear it down.” What would a good response be? I’m just tired of people (politicians and citizens alike) complaining about the process, be it on TV, blogs, Twitter, etc, but refusing TO PARTICIPATE! I’m also tired of being told what I think.

    It’s also blowing my mind that maternity care isn’t a bigger part of the heath care discussion. There IS a discussion, from the CDC to the NIH to, thankfully, state policy makers. I would pay good money to hear our national leaders acknowledge that looking at the way we treat mothers and babies might be an opportunity to save money AND lives.

    Finally, When the Saints won the Super Bowl, their QB had his son on the field (with ear protection, no less!). I’m all for every instance of pointing out athletes who are proud parents as well. Sometimes in the whole parenting wars we lose sight that, yeah, some people do a better job of being involved.

  • Steve

    Re: the question about why they were still wearing their equipment.

    As someone who has played hockey and won some “championships”, I know that when you are mentally and physically exhausted the last thing you want to do is make the effort to scrape off your equipment (there is a lot). You want to sit with your teammates and soak up the moment. If I got to represent my country at the Olympics, I’d keep the jersey and equipment on as long as I possibly could. You never know if you’ll have that chance again.

  • Bob Collins

    Thanks, Steve. I have a very poor frame of reference for these things from my playing days. One year in high school, we were 0-19-1. We got dressed quite fast.

  • John

    I think folks should relax about the cigars. If the ladies want to celebrate with a big stinky cheroot and a beer, I say “Go for It”. Both are still legal, and they earned it. I just don’t go for the “role model” argument. It’s not their job.