5X8 – 4/15/2010: The fireball

1) The Twin Cities was cursed by clouds overnight, otherwise we might have had a better look at a fireball that streaked across the sky last night around 10. The National Weather Service in Iowa says:

The fireball was seen over the northern sky, moving from west to east. Well before it reached the horizon, it broke up into smaller pieces and was lost from sight. The fireball was seen across Northern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin. Several reports of a prolonged sonic boom were received from areas north of Highway 20, along with shaking of homes, trees and various other objects including wind chimes. As of late Wednesday evening, it is unknown whether any portion of this meteorite hit the ground.

Here’s an image captured by a webcam in Madison.


Click the image for a larger version. A sheriff’s deputy also caught the meteorite on camera. The video is here.

2) This should go over big. The Star Tribune this morning reports on several plans to finance a new Vikings stadium. One of the plans: Let the residents of Minneapolis pay for it. That’s the kind of bill that could pass the Legislature, of course, because that’s the type of bill that already did. Hennepin County taxpayers picked up the tab for Target Field. This proposal calls for special taxes that were assessed to pay for renovation of the Minneapolis Convention Center being diverted to the Vikings’ stadium.

What say you, Minneapolis?

3) The scariest words in the American workplace are “now what?” So you won a Pulitzer Prize? Great. Now what? Sure, an image of a dramatic rescue is a big deal…


But what if the next assignment is to take a picture of a visiting politician? That’s Mary Chind’s picture that won a Pulitzer for her work in the Des Moines Register.


That’s her picture of Mitt Romney a week ago. Nice (actually, really nice). Not Pulitzer-Prize nice. Expectations.

Mark Fiore, the animated cartoonist who won a Pulitzer, has released his first animation since the award.


It’s not much. Just a “thank-you.” Pressure getting to you, Fiore? In seriousness, most likely the pressure for talented people is self-imposed. What about you? Who puts more pressure on you in your job? Your boss? Or you? Share it below.

4) Tea Party members are wealthier and more educated than the general public, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows. Somewhat surprising: Most surveyed describe the amount of money they paid in taxes this year as “fair.” Most want less big government, but want Social Security.

“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”

The Times asked Tea Party supporters to make videos. Here’s a page of 20 who did.

5) The latest climate change worry: Your allergies are going to get worse, according to Time.com. This year, the joy of the warmer-than-usual spring will soon give way to the tuffy nose and stiffles of your allergies.

As the climate warms, it is likely to favor trees that give off pollen — like oaks and hickories — over pines, spruces and fir trees, which don’t. By 2100, once relatively cool states in the Northeast — including Vermont, New Hampshire and New York — could have the sort of highly allergenic trees now seen in the hotter Southeast, as species migrate north to adjust to the heat.

Bonus: There’s an RV community springing up around Los Angeles International Airport. They’re full of commercial airline pilots trying to save a few bucks, the Wall St. Journal reports today.

“I never thought I would be here, but pay cuts force us to be frugal,” he said. “Commuting is tough. I’d rather live at a base, but there are a lot of issues with airlines and I can’t just pick up and move my family and kids.”


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Randi Davenport struggled to find treatment and a new diagnosis for her autistic son after he developed psychotic behavior during his teens. The mental health system she encountered was willing to accommodate his developmental disability or his psychiatric diagnosis, but not both.

Second hour: From his 1970 debut album to his more recent work, the songs of Loudon Wainwright III have provided a keen and humorous commentary on his personal relationships, society, and current affairs. His most recent album takes a look at the country’s current economic woes.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Hedrick Smith discusses his PBS Frontline documentary, “Poisoned Waters.”

Second hour: Live broadcast from the National Press Club. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, speaking about aviation security and other homeland security matters.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: NPR’s Nina Totenberg talks about the shifts in and the future of the Supreme Court.

Second hour: Remembering the role of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

  • Isn’t MPR pre-empting the second hour of TOTN with Radio Lab this week?

  • Bob Collins

    I believe they are. But you can listen to TOTN online.

  • Jay Reeves

    I knew that wasn’t thunder last night. Heard it for about 10-12 seconds just after 10:00 in Rochester

  • Geoff Moran

    Have they determined if the meteor became a meteorite and hit ground?

  • bsimon

    “What say you, Minneapolis?”

    What is the process for seceeding from the state?

  • TJ

    Well, since we’ve sufficiently funded all of our city services, police and fire departments, made sure that our indigent and needy are safe, our schools are excellent and our property taxes are super low, I guess we’ll have to spend all that extra money on something?

    Thank God somebody’s finally thinking of the billionaires.