Beauty in the aftermath of horror (5×8 – 10/15/12)

Important lessons from the families in the Minneapolis shooting rampage, what’s in a name in Quebec, the jump from space… in Legos, Minnesota’s harvest, and how Michael Jackson rolls.

The Monday Morning Rouser…


Is it possible to have such beauty in the aftermath of something so horrible? The Star Tribune’s interview with Chuck and Carolyn Engeldinger was a masterpiece. Their son, Andrew, was the shooter in last month’s rampage at his workplace after he was fired. He killed himself.

Their story was not at all unusual. Their son was stolen by an out-of-control mind, and there was little they could to keep it from happening. They tried, of course. But among other realities, the mental health system requires the mentally ill to be thinking logically enough to accept help. That is, right up until the moment when they officially become “a danger to themselves or others.”

View video at the Star Tribune website

The Engeldingers said they wanted to tell their story, the paper said, “because they want their son to serve as a powerful example of why society must find more effective ways of identifying and helping people with mental illnesses.”

“We need to find some meaning in all the damage Andy inflicted,” she said. “We can’t undo it, but we have to try to do something for the sake of all those families and our son.”

Among the revelations in the story: the siblings of UPS driver Keith Basinski, he was shot to death in his truck, sent a sympathy note to the Engeldingers for the loss of their son.

Both of these families are delivering important messages to the rest of us.

Related: Carlton County has one of the highest suicide rates in Minnesota. On Saturday, family members walked in their honor.


Quebec is obsessed with the French language. There are laws in Canada’s province requiring the speaking of the language. Now, some of the biggest names in retailing are fighting a warning that they should rework their brands from English.

Joining the fight is the local company – Bon Achat.


And what did you do for excitement over the weekend?

Now let’s take a look at it in LEGOvision…

And what it looks like in German


Corn Harvest in Dublin Township, Swift County, Minnesota from Jannet Walsh on Vimeo.


Michael Jackson is only 18 and has already had 60 surgeries. He was two months old when diagnosed with cerebral palsy. “He used to be excited about going to the hospital and having surgery,” his mother, Mary Jackson, tells the Duluth News Tribune. “He thought it was fun to talk to other kids at other hospitals.” Now, he raises money for the hospital where many of his surgery took place and lobbies for the kids who are there. He’s a finalist for a national humanitarian award, the proceeds of which will go to the hospital.

Last week, he started a blog for the Huffington Post:

For me and many of my physically disabled friends, this situation is a reality more often than not. Here’s a not-so-hypothetical scenario of this in action. The other day, my mom and I were having lunch when someone she hadn’t seen for a long time came up to our table. They chatted for a while — the usual “how’s life” type of stuff. The lady eventually looked at me, turned to my mom and said, “Is this Michael? He’s so big! How old is he now?” My mom simply replied to the comment by telling the woman that I’m 18 and in college.

It doesn’t stop there, either. Not only do people talk down, they talk slower. And louder. Let me tell you right now, I have supersonic hearing. If you’re going to talk louder to anyone, go start a conversation with my parents.

Bonus I: What were you doing when you were 6?

Bonus II: Candy for public radio fans. The New York Times today looks at Morning Edition’s success, proving there’s life after Bob Edwards. But while the piece notes that the program is holding its ratings while radio listening drops, a recent story in Current, the newspaper for public radio stations, painted an entirely different picture.

Bonus III: What scares the heck out of a couple of guys who talk tough about facing the world’s dictators? A woman asking questions.

Bonus IV: Today’s Google doodle is an instant classic. It celebrates Winsor McCay, the genius behind animation.



We’re just weeks away from the end of a long campaign season. Today’s Question: During this campaign, have you changed your mind about any of the issues or candidates?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: As conceal-and-carry laws spread across the country, America has seen a sharp rise in the number of guns in civilian life. It’s estimated that there are currently about 300 million guns in private hands, up from 200 million in 1995. With the mass shootings this summer in Aurora and Minneapolis, we’ll examine how conceal and carry laws allow legal gun purchases and whether we can link the increase in guns in America to an increase in crime. Is it time for politicians to reconsider gun control laws – and what can we truly say about the relationship between firearm possession and violent crime?

Second hour: Nevada as an electoral battleground state.

Third hour: The broadcast of Kerri Miller’s Talking Volumes conversation with Abraham Verghese, author of “Cutting For Stone.”

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): A debate on the Voter ID constitutional amendment, sponsored by “Debate Minnesota.”

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – TBA

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – In our continuing series looking at artists as community leaders, MPR’s Marianne Combs follows Michelle Hensley and Ten Thousand Things theater company as they take Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure on the road to homeless shelters, jails and prisons. Hensley believes theater is better when everyone is in the audience, and that people living on the fringes of society are the most in need of respect for their imagination. Her work has become a model for the Public Theater in New York.

  • BJ

    I watched Stratos live on the net. Twitter was tweeting big time – I felt like I was part of the team. I can only imagine what the kids watching the lunar team felt like.

    Stratos was around two hours thirty minutes, the Apollo 11 mission was 4 days 7 hours.

  • essjayok

    The Engeldingers are brave and have given us an important message.

    That, Bob, is my version of a Monday Morning Rouser.

  • Jim Shapiro

    The families of the innocent victim and the mentally ill person who did the killing can teach us a lot about forgiveness and honesty.

    But let’s not forget to thank the NRA and it’s members and cowardly politicians for blocking or failing to pass more stringent laws: Two glocks and 12,000 rounds for someone who was clearly schizophrenic. Well done!

    First they tried to keep guns out of the hands of the insane, then they tried to keep us from owning automatic weapons, then they tried to limit the amount of guns and ammo that we could have…

  • BJ

    #3 Just realized the 14th was 65th anniversary of Chuck Yeager’s flight. As I looked it up I saw at 89 he did a Mach 1 flight yesterday – a little disappointed that he said he hadn’t heard about the Stratos jump.

  • Bob Collins

    Yeager is known for having a pretty big ego. I suspect he knew.

  • Loretta

    I think a lot of credit for the Engeldingers goes to their work with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It’s important to have a good support system.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Alas, my aeronautic double entendre was judged to be too blue and thus removed. Not bad though, eh Bob?


  • Bob Collins

    It wasn’t too blue. It was too childish. I’m done with junior high humor.