Facing the driving emergency, a Parkinson’s breakthrough, spunky kids and the prom, the Best Buy scandal, and gondoliering the spoon and cherry.
1) FACING THE DRIVING EMERGENCY
The tragic story of a 19 year old man who jumped out of his car when its tire blew out on the Mendota Bridge is a painful reminder that car drivers are ill trained. The other day — the day I took off from NewsCut — I was taking an every-two-years mandated three-hour flight review to prove I can fly an airplane safely. The flight instructor pulled all the power at one point, simulating an engine failure (hope we didn’t scare you when we got low over your field, Norwood Young America farmer), and I had to call upon training to make an emergency landing properly. We went through several other emergency scenarios. And we spent an hour on the ground reviewing regulations and procedures. What if we required that of people who drive cars?
When we’re taught how to drive, there’s no focus on the things that can go wrong and the way emergencies can be safely addressed. We have no requirements for staying proficient at a dangerous task from the time we’re given the driver’s license at 16 or 17, and the time a relative finally takes the keys away from us in our 80s.
Would it be an undue burden? What if we just required people to watch a two-minute video every few years?
2) BREAKTHROUGH OF THE DAY?
There are only a few diseases more horrible than Parkinson’s. There’s no happy ending with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Or is there? Some researchers in the UK say they’ve created a gene therapy that reversed the effects of the disease in a woman. They’re warning it’s not a cure, just a life-changer.
(No video? Go here.)
3) YOU’VE GOT SPUNK, KID
The kid at Tartan High School in Oakdale who asked a porn star to the prom got a lot of news coverage. Pfft! Anybody can ask a porn star to a prom. It takes real pluck to woo a date via the Minnesota Timberwolves. Seen at last night’s game:
The kid showed more guts than the team.
Meanwhile, in Fargo, a young woman found out two days before the prom that she can’t go. She’s got the $700 dress she’s been working to pay for, and she’s got a date. She’s also got a detention.
4) WHAT’S THE STORY, BEST BUY
From the sound of things, there’s more to the Brian Dunn scandal than simply an affair with a 29-year old woman. The Star Tribune reports an “elite legal team” has been brought in to investigate disgraced CEO Brian Dunn. And the story is gaining national steam.
5) GONDOLIERING THE SPOON AND CHERRY
This week’s NewsCut props for chasing a dream go to Rachel Knoll, who sees Venice in the Sculpture Garden.
Bonus I: It’s been a complaint festival in recent months in Minnesota as newcomers regale us with their stories of how much they dislike the non-welcoming atmosphere in the state. The people who love it here don’t get much coverage, but this thread on Reddit (ignore the crowd-surfing politician looking for attention) should be required reading if we need reminding of why people live here.
This story, in particular, warms the heart:
I was 13 or so and helping my godparents with a show in an Ely B&B. My parents were cooking, my godparents were serving/hosting, and I was just in the back, doing dishes. This was a while back, so Charlie Parr and Dave Simonett were just playing to a small crowd, maybe 40 people or so. I spent the night in the kitchen so I didn’t see either of them play.
Then, at about 11pm, after the show was over and everybody had left, my godfather came in and handed me a plate of Tiramisu and asked me to come out to the dining room.
7 chairs were pulled up in a circle, and we all sat down with our desserts. My dad and Dave began a discussion of Lucinda William’s “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”, and then Charlie pulls out guitars for each of them and they play the whole album, from start to finish, all from memory.
Since then, I’ve dreamed of being able to have that experience again–listening to wonderful musicians improvise and laugh with loon calls and wildlife echoing across the lake outside.
Friday morning rouser, anyone?
Bonus II: You could live in the hills…
(h/t: Adam McCune)
… which reminds me. My sister stopped to take a picture of this house on the backroads of Maine yesterday, specifically with the NewsCut audience in mind:
Former Sen. John Edwards is standing trial on charges relating to secret payments allegedly made to keep an extramarital affair secret. Before the affair was revealed, Edwards was a popular politician with a promising future. Today’s Question: When have you felt let down by a politician you believed in?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Stories of bad employees.
Second hour: Rebecca Kolls on spring gardening.
Third hour: Friday Roundtable. Guests: David Cazares, MPR News editor; Larry Jacobs, professor of political science and director of the Humphrey Institute’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance; Jose Leonardo Santos, anthropologist and associate professor of social science at Metro State.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, speaking yesterday at the U of M about his decade as mayor.
Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: A conversation with two astronauts on board the space station about research in microgravity.
Second hour: Can you learn about humans by studying ants?
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The Legislature is due back on Monday, and GOP leaders hope to finish the session soon. But there are still big disagreements over major issues including the bonding bill and a Vikings stadium. So what does the Legislature have to do and what will it do? MPR’s Tom Scheck has the answers.
NPR profiles Haiti’s capital city. Port-au-Prince is the size of Chicago, but it has no sewer system, cholera is spreading rapidly, but there are signs of progress.