Five by 8 – 6/29/10 – Rain, rap, and Russian spies

The Five by 8 for June 29, including a triple lightening strike, Russian spies in the U.S., local Minneapolis hip-hop stars, and bike polo.

1) Minnesota’s weather may have been rough this past weekend, but at least we didn’t have doomsday lightning like Chicago (via Gizmodo via LikeCool).

According to WCCO’s weather report, the only lightning we’ll see this weekend should be fireworks. Probably.

2) It sounds like something out of a 1995 bond movie; 11 people accused of spying for Russia were arrested in Yonkers, Boston and Virginia on Monday. The New York Times reports:

…on Monday, federal prosecutors accused 11 people of being part of a Russian espionage ring, living under false names and deep cover in a patient scheme to penetrate what one coded message called American “policy making circles.”

Emphasizing the theatrical nature of the crime even more, the neighbors commented to the Times about how surprising the charges were:

Jessie Gugig, 15, said she could not believe the charges, especially against Mrs. Murphy. “They couldn’t have been spies,” she said jokingly. “Look what she did with the hydrangeas.”

3) Looking for something to do on a lazy summer day? Try this… or, if you prefer to avoid injury, don’t.

It looks harmless enough while they’re playing, but check out that guy’s arm at the beginning! Dangerous stuff…

4) Elana Kagan, the Obama administration’s nominee for the Supreme Court, survived the Senate Judiciary hearing introductions yesterday, though today will likely push the current Solicitor General to her limits.

In a 1995 book review titled “Confirmation Messes, Old and New“, Kagan criticized the hearing process and said that it should be more rigorous. Maybe she’ll see the kind of scrutinous and investigative questioning processes from the Senate Judiciary Committee she’s always wanted, or maybe she’ll just keep giving the death stare.

5) The members of the increasingly popular local rap group Doomtree have a show at CO Exhibitions right now, featuring never-before-seen pieces by the artists and fan-submitted artwork. Poet and Doomtree rapper Dessa released a new video last month titled “Alibi”:

Photo of the day via Minnesota Today:

Boat photo.jpg

Photo by Bryan Hansel

Edit 08:24 a.m. CT: Bob Collins is off today and tomorrow. Today’s 5×8 is written by Elliot deBruyn.


As of Thursday, state law will bar anyone under age 18 from getting a tattoo, even with a parent’s permission. What advice would you give a young person who plans to get a tattoo?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Preview of today’s Kagan Supreme Court hearings with David Yalof, assistant professor of political science at the University of Connecticut, where he specializes in constitutional law. He is the author of “Pursuit of Justices: Presidential Politics and the Selection of Supreme Court Nominees.”

Second hour: Live coverage of the Kagan hearings.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – Live coverage of the Senate confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. (During the lunch recess, a recorded interview with federal judge Gerald Heaney from MPR’s Voices of Minnesota series).

(Broadcast of Talk of the Nation will be pre-empted for the Kagan hearings but are available on the NPR Web site.)