5X8 – 4/16/2010: Drugs, money, politics, Twitter and journalism

1) With Cars as Meth Labs, Evidence Litters Roads

“The way to get rid of your meth lab these days is to put it in a plastic bag, then throw it out the car window,” said William V. Wargo, the chief investigator for the prosecuting attorney’s office in Elkhart County. [Indiana]

This is not your ordinary litter, because of the ‘recipes’ that include household chemicals, it is basically a toxic chemical meth-mess.

(h/t Sanden Totten)

2) MPR’s Mark Steil reports: Farm income in Minnesota dropped sharply in 2009. How sharply?

The median 2009 net farm income in Minnesota was just over $33,000, compared to $91,000 the year before.

I’ll hang up and listen.

3) Just in time for the 2010 UK election: The Slapometer.


The Slapometer is a ‘watch along’ website that lets you ‘vote with the back of your hand’ by slapping along to the live televised election debates. It’s a way for people to express their opinion on the leaders’ performances during the debate, by virtually ‘slapping’ them when they say something particularly wrong. Live graphs show what everybody is feeling, in real time.

Does online political discourse really need one more way to express dislike?

(h/t Michael Wells)

4) Why is the Library of Congress archiving Tweets? Catch Future Tense to find out, and maybe reconsider playing along with some of the trending topics.

5) Finally for the journalists, grammar geeks, “webmasters” (I kid!) and otherwise interested in the refined art of writing style… AP Style – it will be “website” and spell out state names.

AP is set to make some major changes in the upcoming stylebook. One of the most heatedly debated over the years is the spelling of “Web site” (AP) or “website” (as much of the online community does).

Who won the pool for 2010 to be the year for this?

(h/t Steve Mullis)


The U.S. Senate may act to discourage or ban airlines from charging passengers a fee for carry-on bags, as Spirit Airlines plans to do. Should the government stop airlines from charging for carry-on luggage?


Special thanks to Bob Collins for knowing and sharing what we’re doing. The following is compiled by Collins.

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Pulitzer-prize winning foreign correspondent Chris Hedges argues that our country is undergoing an economic, political and moral collapse. He says most Americans “cannot differentiate between lies and truth” because they’ve abandoned literacy and print culture.

Second hour: Journalist Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist who was charged with espionage and held in Iran’s Evin Prison. She chronicles her harrowing arrest, sham trial and eventual release in a new book.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: The Obama administration holds a conservation summit at the White House today. Conservationists and birders Chet Meyers and Jim Williams talk about the summit, and spring bird migration.

Second hour: Dina Temple-Raston, counterterrorism correspondent for National Public Radio, discusses terrorism on U.S. soil and abroad. Temple-Raston was at the University of St. Thomas this week as part of Minnesota Public Radio’s Broadcast Journalism Series.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: It’s Science Friday. A new government report says 100,000 people a year die from hospital acquired infections that are largely preventable, but can be hard to treat.

Second hour: This hour is pre-empted on MPR stations by Radio Lab.

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