Five by 8 – 6/24/10: Carpmania

Sex and the Asian Carp, iPhones and the cultists, tax credits and criminals, planes and people, and heroes and their stories.

1) I am designing a new sport that involves a boat, a bat, and a river full of Asian Carp. The rest of the details are still a little sketchy but it’s part of my contribution to solving the Asian Carp invasion in the Upper Midwest’s waters. I better hurry because an Asian Carp has been found six miles from the line in the sand that was drawn in Illinois. A conference is taking place in Minnesota this week to figure out what to do about their inevitable arrival here. The answer? Sex. Carp sex. Or, actually, denying it to them. One plan involves changing their sense of smell so the males will not know there’s a female around. Another involves genetic modification so that only males are born. Another plan — OK, it’s my plan — is to change their name to something exotic, tweet how delicious it is until people will eat it because it’s cool, even though it tastes terrible, and wait for the inevitable overfishing that will result.

A silly idea? Tell it to the people of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They’re holding an Asian Carp Cook-off today, challenging local chefs to use Asian carp in signature dishes.


2) Apple cultists customers spent the night waiting in line for the opportunity to buy the new iPhone and be able to tweet “I got the new iPhone.” Even in Chicago, where severe weather was hammering the city, there they were. Same for New York, and Paris, and, of course, the Twin Cities.

(h/t: @threevolts)

Here are pictures of iPhone lines around the world.

3) It’s a drop in the bucket, but an audit of the homebuyer’s tax credit shows people who are in prison are getting the credit, according to Inman News:

The report also estimated “tens of millions of dollars” in credits were issued to 10,282 taxpayers who claimed to have purchased homes that were also used by other taxpayers to claim the credit. In one case, as many as 67 taxpayers listed the same home to claim the credit.

The audit also said people who work for the Internal Revenue Service were claiming the credit, even though they’d owned a home within the last three years, an obvious requirement that makes them ineligible for the credit. (h/t: Teresa Boardman)

From the looks of things, the housing crisis, and thus, the economic downturn, isn’t over. The Big Picture blog explains why: Housing prices are too high as it is and wages are flat. The government’s tax credits for homebuyers stopped — only temporarily — housing prices from finding their natural level. Simple.

4) St. Cloud is the center of the airshow universe this weekend. The Great Minnesota Air Show features the Blue Angels and a host of aerobatic performers, including a Minnesotan or two. The Star Tribune has produced a nifty video profile of one.

In July, the Duluth Air Show gets into the act. It’s billed as the largest air show in Minnesota, and comes a week before the largest general aviation air show in the world, that turned Oshkosh, Wisconsin into a household word.

There are a lot of events taking place this weekend, which makes me think that this is the weekend to do News Cut’s annual “Weekend in Minnesota” photo extravaganza. It requires you to submit a photo of your weekend — whether it’s going to some big event, or weeding your garden. Should we do it?

Here’s last year’s:

5) From the Department of Good: Twenty-three people are being honored with the Carnegie award for heroism. Some of them won’t be able to get their reward in person.

Willard Van Fleet, for example. He entered water after a girl fell in. “Van Fleet handed the girl to her mother, and both were rescued by firefighters, but Van Fleet drowned.” A 55 year old man who was helping, had a heart attack. He died, too.

The girl lived.

Here is the Web site with all of the stories. Bookmark it. It’s a good antidote for a day of bad news.


Organizers of this weekend’s Twin Cities Pride festival want to keep a Christian evangelist from handing out literature there. Should a gay pride festival have to allow dissenting views at its own event?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Rev. Peter Morales has strong opinions about the need for immigration reform and has promoted inclusion in his Unitarian Universalist ministry. Midmorning discusses the challenge of preaching a creedless theology without boundaries that reaches out to all denominations.

Second hour: We sometimes think of our memories as under our control. But research suggests that they change over time. And perhaps more disturbing, can be altered by others.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: As the Supreme Court nears the end of its term, Vanderbilt University professor Suzanna Sherry looks back at the term, and ahead to next week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Elena Kagan.

Second hour: Jonathan Alter, Newsweek columnist and author of “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” speaks at the Westminster Town Hall Forum.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the freshly fired commander of the troops in Afghanistan minced no words when it came to those who criticized his strategy in Afghanistan. What happens now?

Second hour: The Reduced Shakespeare Company.

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  • There are a lot of events taking place this weekend, which makes me think that this is the weekend to do News Cut’s annual “Weekend in Minnesota” photo extravaganza. It requires you to submit a photo of your weekend — whether it’s going to some big event, or weeding your garden. Should we do it?

    I am going up to Ely for the weekend, so if you do it, Bob, I am definitely going to participate, since my camera will be in hand…

  • Bob Collins

    We’re going to do it, Paul. It’ll be nice to have something from outside the 494/694 belt.

  • Doug Follick

    Stop press! Seriously fabulous jewelry just in from shopindream. Perfect