7/27/10 – Five by 8: Don’t worry, be happy — except in Iraq, Iowa and Comic-Con

1) The northern Twin Cities suburb of Lino Lakes last night passed a resolution making English the city’s official language. The measure bars the local government from translating official city actions and documents into other languages, and as MPR’s Laura Yuen reports, several people in attendance were not happy about the measure:

“You all scare me. It’s like Nazi Germany. I’m scared, really,” said Dora Salazar-Rolfzen addressing the council.

Salazar-Rolfzen asked the council if she would be arrested if caught speaking Spanish to her children. She had several outbursts during the night and was eventually escorted out by police.

However, the story also reports that in the community of Brown County, Wis., which includes Green Bay, the adoption of English as the “official language of the government” had almost no impact on the way the city was run.

What do you say? Is the measure over-the-top or simply a misunderstanding of what the measure says?

2) Simultaneously heroic and disheartening, a report from the New York Times describes a rising trend of insurgents holding up blood banks to steal blood for their wounded soldiers.

The Iraqi security force members that guard medical facilities have often stood idly by as the armed robberies take place, according to workers. This has reinforced doubts about Iraq’s ability to take on even a diminished insurgency as the United States continues to reduce its troops in the country.

Instead, I would argue that the U.S. would (and probably has) done the exact same thing. On the battlefield, in the middle of a foreign country, medical assistance isn’t always immediately available. If there’s a blood bank nearby and one of your comrades needs help, I trust that American soldiers would do anything to save him or her.

A man who claims to be a Qaeda fighter, who identified himself with the nom de guerre of Abu Mustafa al-Mejmai, said insurgents has been compelled to steal blood due to military pressure from American and Iraqi forces. The insurgents, he said, had also established their own clinics staffed by doctors and nurses.

“During the great jihad battles we were wounded severely,” he said. “Therefore we tried to be self-reliant to prevent the mujahedeen from falling into the hands of the invaders.”

The New York Times article not only has quotes from an al-Qaeda fighter, but also unbelievable stories of police and insurgents conflicting over blood supplies. The war continues, this time in the hospital beds.

3) Don’t stand, don’t stand, don’t stand so close to me.

I mean, when you’re at a comic conference, you probably are going to be on edge anyway… crazy events, those Comic-Cons.

4) After some crazy weather in the midwest (again — we should be used to this by now), a dam has broken in Iowa. There is raw video out now of the gushing waters:

Rising waters washed out the berm, and large chunks of the road on the dam broke off. “It just peeled off eight-foot sections and dumped them,” said Shirley Helmrichs, the Delaware County supervisor. “The light poles started falling like match sticks; they just started snapping over. You could hear this crunching, this rumbling. It was like the dam was just growling.”

Here’s to hoping that our weather won’t reflect that of Illinois and Iowa. Oh, thanks Paul Huttner!

5) And now, if you woke up on the very bad side of the bed, check out this article from Lifehacker.

The statistics show that people who believe in bad luck will have more accidents on Friday the 13th. Those who have a negative attitude are more likely to endow normal little mishaps with some mystical significance. Some psychologists even suggest that it’s a way of subconsciously avoiding responsibility for our actions.

The age-old “keep-your-chin-up” attitude wins again. So let this be a lesson to ya!