Things you can do in the snow (5×8 – 2/27/12)

Sningo, the price young students pay, would it kill you to help, the golden age of stupid, and optimism and the baseball fan.

The Monday Morning Rouser:

Tedeschi Trucks Band – Bound For Glory (Live from Atlanta) from Tedeschi Trucks Band on Vimeo.

Susan Tedeschi is one of the musical guests tonight on Red, White & Blues, the tribute to blues legends at the White House last week. It airs on PBS this evening at 8 CT.


Big storm! Big storm! We’re going to get a big storm! Maybe. It’s Monday so we’re casting off the history of big storm warnings this year and as a public service we’re providing this helpful video of things you can do in the snow.

And, there’s always SNINGO!

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It’s taking Minnesota by storm!

Some politician is asked if the storm will have any effect on Vikings stadium negotiations.. News anchor reminds us Minnesotans are "hearty." Some sports guy looks all smug while doing a report from spring training. TV or radio report begins with car spinning tires. TV: Minnesotans stocking up, buying groceries.
Total Snowfall 7-9" Phrase that pays: "Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico." Your business closes or gets out early. Another pick-up falls through ice somewhere. Live report with snowplow driver.
Interview with hardware store owner selling shovels They blow it. We get only flurries.
Storm leads newscasts
Playful reporter tosses snowball at camera. Reference to high school tournament blizzard tradition.
I-94 closed and it’s Happy Hour at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria! Meteorologist uses term "computer model." Car owner who should’ve known better complains about being towed. Total Snowfall 10+" Governor makes official statement about snowstorm wearing sweater.
Morning top photo: Kids sliding on hill. Someone asks you to explain snow emergency rules and you actually CAN. TV: Wisconsinites stocking up, buying beer. Blogger posts that storm is evidence global warming is a hoax. Total Snowfall 4-6"

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I saw a comment that someone posted on one of our MPR social networking posts that claimed young people today don’t work hard enough to put themselves through college, presumably as they did when the commenter worked two jobs while going to class. So it’s important to note the Winona Daily News story – Fully Scheduled — which chronicles a day in the life of Elisabeth Golat, who works two jobs while attending college.

Elisabeth’s schedule and expenses may startle many who attended college and entered the workforce in earlier times, never facing some of the challenges present today, like rising tuition costs coupled with declining aid and the struggle to find steady work in a recession.

Her life looks all too familiar, however, to many of her contemporaries at both public and private schools.

Trying to stay one class ahead

Elisabeth, 24, is a student in the administrative assistant program at Southeast Tech. She got a four-year degree in marketing from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, but she went into the job market at the height of the economic collapse, and was head to head with people with years more experience.

“It was horrific,” she said. “I have a box full of rejection letters. It gets to you after awhile.”


Detroit, we’ve got a problem. When an 86 year old man is car jacked and crawls across a parking lot, in the daylight, and nobody helps, it gives us all pause to consider what we would’ve done if Aaron Brantley had been asking us for help.

“I never bothered anybody, and I always try to help somebody else when I could,” he said Friday from home, his leg in a soft cast to his hip and not a tinge of bitterness in his voice.

Brantley was on his way home from Bible study at Corinthians Baptist Church in Hamtramck, where he’s a trustee, when someone hit him from behind and grabbed his keys at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday. The thief drove off in Brantley’s 2010 Chrysler 200 — bought to replace another car recently stolen.

“I noticed when I was crawling to the gas station, people were walking past by me like I wasn’t there,” he said. “I said, ‘Lord, have mercy.’ I said, ‘Lord, some of them didn’t even look around, just going to get their gas.’ “


Is our species devolving? Are people getting dumber? The New York Times explores the notion that not only are we not as smart as we think we are, we’re moving to the dumb side.

In its debate today, a New Zealand professor suggests it’s not our fault, that our brains have to process more information than ever before:

I would prefer to say that our minds are “more modern” than those of our ancestors. Our ancestors lived in a world that was concrete and utilitarian. In 1900, schoolchildren were asked, “What are the capitals of the 48 states?” Today they are asked, “If rural representatives dominated a state legislature, where would they put the capital?” (The answer is that, because they hate big cities, they would put the state capital in Albany rather than New York City.) In other words, we take applying logic to hypothetical situations seriously, plus of course playing video games that take us into hypothetical and symbolic worlds.

The writer of “Dumb as a Blog” says we may seem dumber, but it’s the Internet’s fault:

Because of the Internet, the really dumb things that people do — even people of average intelligence — get amplified almost instantaneously. You can get a perfect score on your SATs and it will barely register in a world of 200 million tweets a day. But give just one stupid answer in a beauty pageant, and you’ll be the laughingstock of the world before you have time to clear your name on the next morning’s “Today” show.


Joel Zumaya’s career may be over. If he’d stay healthy, the reliever who can throw a baseball at 100 mph might have really helped the Twins. But he blew out his elbow and is done for at least the year.

So maybe Twins fans don’t want to hear about this but spring training teaches us about optimism, a commentary writer says today. Joe Baldoni echoes yesteryear, when baseball really was the national pastime.

It was Jacques Barzun, a French-born historian, who wrote in a book published in 1954 this famous quote: “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…”

If Barzun, who is still alive at the age of 104, were to revisit that comment he might replace baseball with football.

Yet there remains in baseball something unique to the game that contributes to its optimism. It is individualism. As much as baseball is a team came, it is really a game – unlike other team sport – that relies more on individualism than collectivism. Baseball is an entrepreneurial game. You can make a name for yourself and when you do you will make a name for yourself and earn a very healthy income.

Bonus I: Ten things to know if you move to Duluth.

Bonus II: We now know why this happened over at the EAA airshow in Oshkosh last summer:

According to a report today, the Air Force says the “environmental system” in the F-16 jet made the inside of the cockpit foggy and the pilot couldn’t see.


Estimates suggest that hundreds of thousands of children are homeschooled in the United States. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum often mentions that he has homeschooled his children, but it is not only conservatives who decide to teach their kids at home. Today’s Question: Could home schooling be a good option for your family?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: When Daniel Schlienz shot three people at the Grand Marais courthouse last December, it blew the lid off an open secret in the small northern Minnesota town: for decades, teenage girls have been having sexual relationships with older men. For a number of reasons, police and people in the community were unable to stop this disturbing trend. MPR’s Dan Kraker takes a look into Grand Marais to see how this happened and what people are doing to deal with the consequences.

Second hour: Writer James Fallows on conflicting narratives of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Third hour: Popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson joins Kerri Miller to discuss his latest book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier. In a collection of poignant and humorous commentaries, deGrasse Tyson looks at the role politics plays in NASA and makes the case that the American economy, security and morale needs space exploration.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The Supreme Court will take on the University of Texas case on the use of race in admissions decisions. Court-watchers believe they may decide to end affirmative action. But, is it time?

Second hour: It’s been 50 years since DNA was discovered, and genetic testing has taken off as a tool to diagnose and treat diseases. But learning what’s in your genetic code can be a heavy burden to bear. Dr. Robert Klitzman on his book, “Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing.”

  • Yay… time for Sningo!

  • KK

    Re: The price young students pay:

    As someone who is too old to be considered a kid but too young to complain about kids these days, I’d just like to point out that college is a lot more expensive than it used to be. I’m finishing up my MS and will have just shy of $70k in debt. This is after working during my final year of undergrad and all through the MS.

    With the easy access to student loans, colleges have moved very far away from the you-can-afford-to-pay-as-you-go model. This is a change that has come about recently, via the leadership and foresight of the many of the very same people who now say things like “Kids these days just won’t work hard enough to pay their way through school.”

  • David Wilford

    I can’t believe you forgot to include patchy fog, Bob.

  • JackU

    #5 – Personally I’m as optimistic as I was before this news. I didn’t really expect much, if anything, out of Zumaya. I suspect the doctors will tell him he’s done.

    I don’t know anything about the process involved with the “Tommy John” surgery, but would have to wonder if it’ll be possible on his already reconstructed elbow.

    On the Sningo card I think:

    Meteorologist uses term “computer model.”

    should be:

    Meteorologist uses term “multiple computer models.”

    After all any meteorologist worth his/her pay use at least one model. It’s when they break out the multiple models that you know things are serious.

  • Disco

    So are Minnesotans “hearty” or “hardy?” 🙂

    A couple more for the Sningo card:

    – Someone in the media uses the word “snowpacalypse”

    – People complaining about people “forgetting” how to drive in snow

    – News media personalities barely able to contain the palpable disgust in their voices when each successive model run predicts less snow

  • Lisa

    Any chance on getting a Snigo app? Or at least being able to post to facebook?

  • Bob Collins

    No chance. NewsCut is — appropriately — pretty low on the priority list for scarce and expensive development resources.