The last text (5×8 – 2/1/11)

Why do you text while driving, people doing good, more embracing winter, should federal law pre-empt Minnesota gun laws, and voices from Egypt.


A recent documentary from a company that makes its money from text messaging:

Police in Fargo yesterday unveiled a new media campaign to also try to get people to stop texting while driving:

Now, do you get it? from Paul Amundson on Vimeo.

Confession time: Why do you text while driving? Share the latest text you sent while driving.

By the way, it’s illegal in Minnesota not only to text while driving, but to look at the Web on a smartphone while driving. Here’s my confession: I watched Kurt Rambis’ post-game news conference on the way home from a game last Monday night. But I was at a stoplight.


In Atlantic, Iowa, Dr. Keith Swanson is still going at age 78. But he gave up charging 99 percent of his patients years ago. “Many people have lost their jobs. And they’ve lost their insurance,” Swanson said.

Now, listen up!

“The fun of life is giving, and most people miss the fun of life,” Swanson said. “Money is the least important thing. If people would forget about money, and provide service, it would be a wonderful world.”

In Duluth, meanwhile, scores of volunteers are keeping the John Beargrease sled dog race on track, the News Tribune reports. “This is a fun spot,” volunteer Josh Capps said. “It’s out in the woods and in a beautiful spot away from the crowds. It’s more of a wilderness experience.” Capps left sunny Arizona to return to the tundra.


It’s a good time to be an otter in Minnesota, even if you’re stuck in a small pen. From the Minnesota Zoo.

Humans can have fun, too. Especially if they have one of these:

How long do you think it would take for a legislator to file a bill to ban that thing?


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent investigators to Arizona a week or so ago, to show how easy it is to buy guns, and get around federal guns laws.

“Mayor Bloomberg and his ‘task force’ have no legal authority in the state of Arizona, or in any other place in America except New York City,” the gun show promoter said. “These forays into America’s heartland committing blatant acts to entrap otherwise innocent gun owners is an unlawful scheme.”

Minnesota lawmakers are considering eliminating the state’s gun permitting laws. They say they duplicate the federal laws already in place.

In South Dakota, lawmakers are protesting the health care mandate by filing a bill requiring people to buy guns.


Of the many fascinating ways people have found to get information out of Egypt, this one is the latest, and has the capacity to occupy us for hours today.

Speak 2 Tweet is offering short audio messages from tweeters in Egypt. Many are not in English, some are. This was made possible by a small group of engineers at Google, who developed an international voicemail system over the weekend to allow people to leave the messages.


There’s a growing ambiguity in how Americans describe their ethnic backgrounds. There is also a growing number of mixed-race marriages producing multiracial children. Who are you?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Egyptian opposition leaders have called for massive protests, and the Egyptian army has said that it will not fire on protesters. How much longer can Hosni Mubarek last?

Second hour: Home owners throughout Minnesota are dealing with ice dams this winter, and the winter is only halfway done. Midmorning’s home repair experts will try to provide some guidance on how to handle ice dams, and answer other winter home repair questions.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Latest on the protests in Egypt.

Second hour: MPR president Bill Kling.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: What’s next for Egypt.

Second hour: The measures of power used to be finite: tons of gold bullion, millions of

people, numbers of battleships, or nuclear missiles.. The cyber-age has changed all that. And while America may have started the 21st century as the most powerful nation in the world, China, Brazil, India, and Russia are catching up. Joseph Nye talks about his new book, “The Future, of Power.”

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Record prices for copper are helping to fuel controversial new efforts to mine the red metal in Northern Minnesota. Copper set new records earlier this year and continues trading near record highs of over $4.40 a pound. Most market watchers predict continued strong prices; but some see a bubble getting ready to pop. MPR’s Bob Kelleher will have the story.