It’s not the heat (5×8 – 1/22/13)

… it’s the way you respond to the cold, when someone at the door asks for help, the piano player without fingers, the stuff we flush down the drain, and David Carr plays Quizmasters.


Let us just admit that we get as obsessed with colder-than-normal temperatures as the rest of the country. There’s a “back-in-my-day quip” warning in effect for the region as several school districts have canceled classes for the day.

Respect the cold, but have fun with it.

In the winter in Finland, Minnesota, a young man’s fancy turns to butt hanging…

In Bayfield, Wi., the Madeline Island Ferry Line says it will operate its schedule through at least tomorrow, but after that, it’s unclear whether there’ll be open water.


Photo: Madeline Island Ferry Line via Facebook

It’s still a mystery how a snowmobiler survived two nights of -15 weather near the Nemadji River in Wisconsin.

And a father took a stroller with two kids onto Lake Harriet for Saturday’s kite festival, but the wind blew the stroller away.

Related: A Mille Lacs Lake reality show? (St. Cloud Times)


During Hurricane Sandy in New York, a woman with two small children, banged on the door for help to get away from rising waters. The people inside refused to help, and the two boys were swept away to their deaths.

Compare them to some kids in Michigan who were home alone when a woman who’s just been abducted and raped, banged on their doors. CBS tells the story…

He said Ramsey then put her back in the Ford Escape and pledged to kill her, but she escaped the moving vehicle and ran to a home yelling for help.

A 14-year-old boy, his 11-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother were alone inside the home when the woman banged on the door for help. The teenager, James Persyn III, told that he let the woman in, locked the door and grabbed his hunting knife.

He said he while the woman was using his phone to call 911, he moved her, his siblings and the family dog into the bathroom.

While the woman talked to an emergency dispatcher on the phone, Ramsey “ended up pouring gasoline on the house and then lit it on fire,” Mioduszewski said in a statement.

This account in the Detroit Free Press may be the most compelling story you read today.


Keep your fingers out of the snowblower. Especially if you’re a piano player.

Confession time: This almost happened to me last winter. Here’s the thing. Most snowblowers are two-stage throwers. It’s not the auger (the thing in the front that spins) that gets you; it’s the propeller, which you can’t see, that’s located in the housing. So even if the auger isn’t spinning, it’s not safe to put your hand anywhere near the chute because there’s a rapidly spinning series of blades in there that’s turning any time the engine is running.


You wash your hands with the anti-bacterial soap, rinse, dry, and move on. Simple. But where does that anti-bacterial agent go? To the bottom of our lakes, a University of Minnesota study says today.

“People who read about the research should look at the bottles of products that they’re using at home,” William Arnold, lead author of the study, tells the Minnesota Daily, “and decide whether they should continue to use it based on the fact that the compound they’re washing their hands with is getting out into the nearby waters.”

And there are lots of products with triclosan it, but the report says the only found effectiveness is in toothpaste to prevent gingivitis. Antibacterial soap is no more effective than regular soap and water.


David Carr plays Quizmasters by requiring the TV show that matches the city in which it’s based. He laments that Minneapolis doesn’t have a TV show based on it any more.


President Obama has begun his second term in office. Today’s Question: What’s your advice for President Obama as he begins his second term?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”

Second hour: Playwright and screenwriter John Patrick Shanley talks about his collaboration with the Minnesota Opera.

Third hour: Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Yesterday’s Martin Luther King Day speeches from ceremonies at the Minneapolis Convention Center, featuring Marian Wright Edelman.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – What’s at stake in northern Africa. The latest front in the war with Al Qaeda.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The history of Grand Central Terminal.

What is in Gov. Dayton’s budget and tax plan and how are people reacting to it? MPR’s Tim Pugmire will tell all.

Note: Time to make another plea for the people you think I should talk to as part of NewsCut. Who are the people doing some special things or who have led fascinating lives with little attention? Tell me here. Here are some samples.

  • Kassie

    It is hard to find liquid soap, and even bar soap, that isn’t anti-bacterial. I use hippy, hippy Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in my soap dispensers, but it isn’t a perfect solution. I’m hoping we can move past this anti-bacterial trend so I can buy normal hand soap again.

  • Josh

    Mrs. Meyers Clean Day hand soap isn’t anti-bacterial.

  • Robert Moffitt

    Always good to see an image of Pantsless Pierre, the iconic landmark in Two Harbors.

  • BJ


    Holy mackerel. If you are reading the comments and didn’t follow and read the link do it now.

  • Pat

    Ivory Liquid Soap is a non-bacterial option.