Who else? (5×8 – 10/6/11)



There are a million places to get more informed coverage of the death of Steve Jobs than here (might I recommend this article? And also, this one.), and I’m just smart enough not to try to outdo people smarter than me on the subject.

So just one question for discussion: Who else could generate the kind of outpouring that Jobs’ death elicited last night? The death of a president? Obviously so, but who else? John Lennon certainly did, but that was then; there doesn’t seem to be anyone in popular culture to whom people felt an emotional connection because of their connection with the gadgets he created.

Andrew Phelps made this video showing what his twitter feed was doing after Jobs’ death last night:

In Beijing, the Wall Street Journal reported, “29-year-old Wang Xi, bought lilacs for her husband to place at the door. He kneeled down in front of them for a few minutes after propping them against the glass building, just outside a large iPhone display. The card read: ‘Thanks, Steve!'”

One question: Who else?

(Photo: Sticky notes left on the windows of an Apple store in San Francisco overnight. Via Instagram)


Our enjoyment of some sports is killing the people who play them. That much can no longer be denied as more information comes out daily, it seems, about brain injuries to athletes.

Today, the CBC is reporting, Boston University researchers have determined that former Buffalo Sabres star Rick Martin, who died at a young age in March, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — a disease that causes cognitive decline, behavioral abnormalities and ultimately dementia.

BU has been studying the brains of dead athletes and has found that all three former NHL players who agreed to have their brains studied post-mortem — Martin, Bob Probert and Reggie Fleming — all had CTE.

In the recent past, apologists noted that goons — enforcers for those who don’t like the term — are the ones with brain injuries from fighting. But Martin, unlike Probert and Fleming, wasn’t an enforcer.

Martin also had only one concussion in his career.

“But when we look at this most recent case of Mr. Martin, that’s a problem because he wasn’t a fighter, he’d only had perhaps one concussion,” neurosurgeon Robert Cantu told the CBC. “And so we’ve got to be concerned that the jostling of the brain just from the skills of the sport of playing in the National Hockey League led to him having chronic traumatic encephalopathy when he died.”

Not fighting. Not hitting his head. Just playing the sport can cause brain damage, if the neurosurgeon is correct.

Watch the documentary that aired on the CBC last night.

As you might expect, this is big news in hockey-crazed Canada. This comment added to the report’s website was typical:

My nephew turns eleven today, and he is becoming quite the little hockey star. Watching your report worries me, though. As a teacher, I know that children are highly motivated to please others. They will go back on the ice to gain approval from their parents, their coaches, their teammates… pretty much anyone, really. Boys do not like to look weak, and they don’t see their role models going off the ice when they get hit, so they think that they should try and be tough. It is very worrying. My little guy is only four, but I don’t know if I will ever let him play this sport. It makes you think twice. I’m going to share your findings with my sister, that’s for sure.

Related: An introduction to hockey:

Hockey 101 from J-Scott on Vimeo.


The manager of a St. Paul Rainbow Foods store was fired after he was stabbed by an irate customer, the Pioneer Press reports today. Scott Ostrom told the paper he was fired for “job abandonment,” because he had to take frequent breaks after the attack because of post traumatic stress disorder.

“I worked hard for the company,” Ostrom said after the sentencing hearing of his attacker in Ramsey County District Court. “I guess I was just another number to them.” He gave a victim’s impact statement to the court:

The stabbing had “altered my life in a huge way,” Ostrom said in the statement. He found it difficult to work in the same Midway-area store, but the company refused to relocate him, he said. So he would leave the floor or go outside for breaks, trying to quell his anxiety.

Anytime he heard someone begin to raise their voice, Ostrom said, it brought back the trauma of the attack.

Asked later if he was offered a different position in the company that would not involve dealing with customers, he said no.

He was fired in July, “one week after the (Johnson) trial ended,” Ostrom said.

“It’s the first time in my life I’ve been out of work,” said the father of two sons in college. “I’ve always been a good provider for my family.”

Ostrom says he was fired a week after the trial ended, then Rainbow (Roundy’s) contested his unemployment claim.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi says this sort of thing — PTSD — often happens to crime victims after an attack.


The war films spawned by America’s longest war aren’t anything like the post World War II, or even the post-Vietnam war flicks, which focused primarily on battle. The BBC looks at a Marine’s journey after the war in the latest film, Hell and Back Again. The film was released to American audiences yesterday:

“By focusing on one US marine’s journey to hell and back again, (Photojournalist Danfung Dennis) says he hopes to shake viewers from their apathy towards complex events in distant lands – and show that for some veterans, their tour of duty does not end when they finally come home,” the BBC reviewer says.

Dennis says the long war has desensitized people to war. He’s probably right. 2008 was the first time a major U.S. war was barely a blip in a presidential campaign. 2012 is the second.

Related: A study out today says 44 percent of returning vets report having trouble readjusting to civilian life.


“If you think online dating is the domain of the young, maybe it’s time to check in with your mother,” the New York Times says. People 55 and older are visiting American dating sites more than any other age group. The No. 2 group? Singles 45 to 54.

Related: A woman is suing match.com because a picture of her is being used in its advertising. She says she’s happily married.


In a recent interview, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison whether America was “on the skids.” Ellison replied, “No way. America’s best days are ahead of her.” Today’s Question: Do you believe that America’s best days are ahead?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Journalists often strive to get more than one side to a story in an effort to be fair and objective, but how well does that serve the audience? One press critic says “he said/she said” stories are among the lowest forms of journalism, and leave the audience more confused than informed.

Second hour: Geologist and climatologist Richard Alley has been known to break into song to explain how the orbital variations of earth influence climate.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: The Wall Street protest comes to Minnesota on Friday. Guests: Metro State historian, social science professor Tom O’Connell and Osha Karow of “Occupy Minnesota.”

Second hour: An MPR Forum moderated by Stephen Smith, about the skills college graduates need to succeed in life and work. Guests included two college presidents and an economist, among others.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: This past spring, record floods rolled down the Mississippi basin, from South Dakota to Louisiana. The water overwhelmed levies, flood gates and dams and destroyed billions in property. Is there a better way?

Second hour: The protests to occupy Wall Street.

Speaking of which…

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Parks and Demonstration
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Radiohead is arguably among the most influential bands making music today. But their sound nowadays differs greatly from when the British group emerged in the early ’90s. NPR provides a conversation with Radiohead on their latest sound from the new album “The King Of Limbs.”