Secret plans and stadiums, a brother’s gift to a sister who took her own life, Minnesota’s declining voter participation, the absence of passion, and the most startling videos you’ll see today.
Reminder: I’ll be live-blogging the same-sex marriage debate at the Minnesota House of Representatives today, starting at a still-undetermined time. Join us with your comments and observations.
Whatever the plan is for handing over taxpayer money to the Minnesota Vikings for their new stadium, it’s clear that you’re not going to get much time to (a) find out what it is (b) have any say in it, at least this year.
Last year’s session-long debate on the stadium has turned out badly for stadium supporters; the pull-tab gambling expansion has been a bust.
Gov. Mark Dayton spent the first half of this year’s session assuring people that everything will be OK, and the second half of the session trying to come up with a new way of funding the project, keeping it secret if it really exists at all.
Two legislative leaders who serve on the stadium task force say they’re not involved and don’t know anything about it, and yesterday, Dayton played “go ahead and guess,” when he said “you’ll never imagine” what the solution is.
Dayton doesn’t face much of a deadline here. The state is making enough money to pass along to the project and the governor could punt the problem to the next session.
Or it could show up in the last, late hours of this legislative session next week
When Tanya Lim took her own life at age 20 in 2011, her brother, Eric, inherited a portion of her personal savings. He used it to make this movie, which was released yesterday, along with a website to help connect people with the help they may need.
When it comes to virtually every list that ranks states — you name it: health, education, wealth — you can usually find Minnesota up near the top, and Mississippi down at the bottom.
Now, there’s one that has us looking up at the state we usually look down on.
Minnesota no longer leads the nation in voter turnout, the Pioneer Press reports. It’s number three — behind Mississippi and Wisconsin.
Blame the younger demographic for the decline.
Related: The politics of the Millennial Generation. (Swampland)
We’re constantly told we should follow our passion. What if we don’t have a passion?
A young man recently asked an economist that question, something NPR’s Planet Money team inexplicably described as “a luxury.”
And didn’t answer the question.
Discussion point: What do you do if you don’t have a passion?
Thirty years of Landsat satellite pictures have been assembled into a time-lapse video of how we’re changing the earth. See cities spring up in the desert, forests disappear, and lakes evaporate.
It took the folks at Google to upgrade these choppy visual sequences from crude flip-book quality to true video footage. With the help of massive amounts of computer muscle, they have scrubbed away cloud cover, filled in missing pixels, digitally stitched puzzle-piece pictures together, until the growing, thriving, sometimes dying planet is revealed in all its dynamic churn. The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail. Consider: a standard TV image uses about one-third of a million pixels per frame, while a high-definition image uses 2 million. The Landsat images, by contrast, weigh in at 1.8 trillion pixels per frame, the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs assembled into a single mosaic.
You could spend a lot of time on this site today — in particular, watch the Oil Sands stripping the earth away — while wanting to look away.
Bonus I: The most haunting photo from the Bangladesh factory collapse. (Time Lightbox)
Bonus II: Survivor guilt. Some Boston Marathon runners are suffering guilt problems because they didn’t rush in to help with the bombs exploded. (Boston Globe)
Last year, in Aitkin in north-central Minnesota, a solid majority of people voted for a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, effectively banning same-sex marriages. Even so, the first-term representative from the area says he will vote for the bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
It’s the beginning of a membership drive. Many of these programs are rebroadcasts.
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Author Dennis Lehane talks about his love for Boston.
Second hour: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo talks about his new novella ‘Nate in Venice’
Third hour: Author Richard Ford talks about his latest novel, Canada, which revolves around a 15-year-old boy whose parents rob a bank.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Live update on House floor debate on gay marriage, and short MPR historical documentar,y “No Jews Allowed.”
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The escalating civil war in Syria.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – We’ll obviously have the latest from the debate over same-sex marriage, which may still be underway.
In the box-office driven world of modern movies, the socially aware films of British director Ken Loach and his screenwriting partner Paul Laverty are very unusual. They make remarkable feature films about the challenges facing working people. Euan Kerr has a profile.
Illegal alien. Illegal immigrant. Undocumented immigrant. Which of those terms should be used by journalists? That’s the question being asked in newsrooms throughout the U.S. And their answers evolve as the political backdrop changes. NPR will have the story.