Purely on entertainment value only, the popularity of one of the hottest videos on YouTube isn't hard to understand. A UK air crew chief marshaling jets while dancing. What really gets you, possibly, is the concept of enjoying one's job so much that it moves one to dance. It's Monday. Feel like dancing? See?
Senior Aircraftman Dean Tabreham is the talent in this video, which was shot at an air show for a cancer charity. He lost his mom at age 13 to cancer. His wife lost her mother to cancer, too.
The filler material in the Sunday paper -- comics, coupons, etc. -- are printed days and, in some cases, weeks in advance.
So perhaps it's not surprising that the Parade magazine cover story on Benazir Bhutto ("I Am What The Terrorists Most Fear") didn't mention that she was killed last month.
The Pioneer Press didn't run an editor's note about the discrepancy, like those "today's advertisement for GigondaMart incorrectly listed the hobby horse price. The actual price is $9.95. GigondaMart regrets the inconvenience" announcements.
For that, Pioneer Press editorial boss Thom Fladung accepts full responsibility. "It's not an excuse, but Parade sent me an e-mail on January 2nd, and I was in Ohio on January 2nd. It's always a mistake when you don't communicate well with readers."
The mistake may have been a topic at the journalistic water cooler, but it's unlikely that folks read the Parade interview on Sunday, only to be shocked to find out on Monday that she's dead.
The online version of the magazine contains the missing detail
Randy Siegel, the editor of Parade, said the insert was printed before Christmas and the only other option was not to distribute it at all. "We decided that this was an important interview to share with the American people," he told the Associated Press.
At the Rapid City (SD) Journal, editor Mikel Lefort told readers, "After a brief e-mail exchange, the Journal decided we would include Parade in Sunday’s paper — but with an A1 explanation detailing the publication’s print schedule as well as our decision. Ultimately, we think that the interview — which includes Bhutto acknowledging that both the terrorists and the Pakistan government were targeting her — is compelling journalism and now a historical profile."
But one reader wasn't buying it, posting on the newspaper's blog...
The fact that it would have cost the Tribune “millions of dollars” (according to its Public Editor) to amend or replace this article TEN FULL DAYS after Bhutto’s assasination gives a hint of just how obsolete the print media has become.(1 Comments)
The Editor’s note on page 2 of the newspaper was only more troubling than the ludicrous gaff of running the story (unedited) in the first place.
The absurdity of not being able to pull a story that was tragically obsolete a week and a half before it ran eloquently answers the question, “Why has Internet news outpaced the print media?” But according to this logic, television–or radio news before it–should have put newspapers out of business half a century ago. So part of the problem newspapers face may not be in the competition posed by the Internet, but in the increasingly prefab nature of the medium.
Surely the behemoth of the Tribune has got to become more agile if it is to serve as anything more than a bit of irrelevant entertainment adhering to its raison d’être: advertising.
Posted at 1:24 PM on January 7, 2008
by Bob Collins
(A local official tries to calm a group of Kikuyu refugees during the distribution of clothing in Nakuru, Kenya on Monday . Local volunteers and charities are helping thousands of Kikuyu refugees who have sought shelter here after fleeing their homes in the Rift Valley. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Last week I wrote about what it's like to be a Kenyan in Minnesota, while violence was gripping the East African country. Today, let's look at it from the other direction. What's it like to be a former Minnesota resident living in Kenya?
Katie Springer, originally from Waukesha, Wisc., graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2003, and now works in Nairobi for the Joint Voluntary Agency, which interviews people who want to be resettled in the United States.
I talked her today (it's a nine-hour time difference) after she returned from work, her first full day back since the violence erupted.
(Interview below the fold)
The Washington Times gives a bizarre voice today to a subject previously reserved for the water coolers: Barack Obama as a target of an assassination:
"For many black supporters, there is a lot of anxiety that he will be killed, and it is on people's minds," said Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a Princeton University professor of political science and contemporary black culture.
The right-leaning newspaper uses a favorite mainstream media trick to justify its focus: blaming the Internet.
The Internet is rife with theories that someone may try to assassinate the senator — typing into Google "assassinate Obama" brings up more than 2,000 hits. Anyone from Islamist terrorists to racist Americans to operatives of Halliburton and Blackwater are speculated about, but other, more nefarious Web sites are for real, according to reports from the Associated Press.
Typing the phrase into Google actually returns 264,000 "hits" (an odd choice of words, indeed). A little over 2,000 items pop up when searching "news," but none appears to be from "nefarious Web sites" (unless you include the Washington Times) and most are actually about Obama discussing the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
Typing just about anything into Google is going to yield a ton of results. It's a poor indicator of the severity of any threat. Here, for example, are some other Google search results and the number of "hits."
Obama Zucchini - 34,800
Britney Obama - 2.3 million
Marshmallow Obama - 59,100
UFO Obama - 271,000
Ointment Obama - 59,000
Underwear Obama - 280,000
The Web site Editor & Publisher employed another long-standing journalistic trick to get its point of view into the discussion: the unnamed "some."
...but some may wonder if this kind of attention -- mentioning that "Obama assassinate" already gets 2000 Google links -- may only increase the threat.
For the record, Obama was placed under Secret Service protection last May, at his campaign's request.(2 Comments)
A problem at the Minnesota Department of Human Services didn't pose much of an ethical dilemma for recipients of incorrectly mailed checks.
Fifteen-thousand checks were mailed to the wrong addresses, according to Chuck Johnson, an assistant commissioner for children and family services at DHS. But they had the correct name on them. He told MPR's Toni Randolph that 1,900 of the 15,300 checks mailed had already been cashed when they realized the error. He said some of the checks had made their way to the proper people, redirected through the post office. Half of the checks mailed out were returned as undeliverable.
"We had made a programming change in our computer system to fix a small problem we had with addresses and inadvertently created a larger problem," he said.
One recipient told MPR News her employer got 23 envelopes with checks. "I opened the first one in the automatic mail opening one does, assuming that all the mail in the pile is for us. That was a check for $81 made out to someone else. I didn't open the rest of them as they were obviously checks and obviously wrong," she said. "We did eventually get a check addressed to our company that was for us from that department. It was rent assistance for one of our tenants."
Most of the checks were payments to providers of group residential housing.
The state has promised to reimburse anyone who incurs bank fees as a result of its mistake.(2 Comments)
Gov. Pawlenty is back with a series of legislative proposals to crack down on illegal immigration in Minnesota.
Several of them died in the legislative session of 2006, but not because they didn't enjoy broad support among the DFL legislators.
Dismissing the governor's suggestions, Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller said...
"These are warmed-over proposals that couldn't pass the House of Representatives when it was controlled by the Republicans."
Pogemiller is wrong about that.
The most controversial one at the time, which is also included in the measures announced on Monday, would do away with local ordinances -- primarily in Minneapolis and St. Paul -- restricting police officers from asking immigrants about their legal status.
That measure passed the then Republican-controlled House 94-37 in 2006, before it was sent to a committee in the Senate, where it died a quiet death without a hearing. But DFL support for the measure made it one of the most bipartisan bills at the height of partisanship in Minnesota. Thirty-one of the 65 DFLers in the House at the time voted for the measure.
Pawlenty's proposals also introduce a potential wedge issue in Minnesota's 2008 campaigns. The immigration issue is among the most important for Republican voters and candidates, as Pawlenty's choice for president, John McCain, found out. McCain has spent much of the last year trying to repair the damage to his campaign after sponsoring immigration reform legislation in the Senate with Sen. Ted Kennedy.
The immigration issue here, however, is most real in the western part of the state. In Worthington, 200 illegal immigrants were nabbed in a raid on a meatpacking plant. Last month, MPR's Mark Steil reported the town is still trying to recover.
"Right now we're still living in the past," says Pedro Lira, a union official at the Swift plant. "We just try to rebuild this community because (there's) still no trust at all."
The issue sparks emotional debate based on often unverifiable claims.
A 2005 report to Gov. Pawlenty from his Department of Administration (See pdf) claimed an illegal immigrant population of between 80,000 and 85,000, and attributed rising costs in many state programs to them. In a 2006 report to the Legislature, however, the legislative auditor questioned the accuracy of the population estimates (See pdf).
Nonetheless, a 2004 MPR poll showed those surveyed think immigrants cost more than they contribute to the state.(10 Comments)
First, hit the local cafe....
Then, have a rally in a hall with a big American flag as the backdrop.
They've all read the same book. I wonder whose?
Will no candidate dare go skiing?
Posted at 9:08 PM on January 7, 2008
by Bob Collins
More victims have been found from the 9/11 attacks. According to a nationwide study, the post-9/11 era has led to a nation of worriers, who develop heart problems because of it.
"Chronic worriers -- those who continued to fear terrorism for several years after the attacks -- were the most at risk of heart problems. They were three to four times more likely to report a doctor-diagnosed heart problem two to three years after the attacks," the Los Angeles Times reported.
In a study of 1,500 people, researchers found a 53-percent increase in heart problems in the three years after September 11, 2001. Worry: it's practically the very definition of terrorism. Does this mean the terrorists won?
Coincidentally, this was the second study of the day that linked worry with heart disease.
A study from the University of South California finds older men with "sustained and pervasive anxiety" appear to be at increased risk for a heart attack.
"What we're seeing is over and beyond what can be explained by blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol, age, cigarette smoking, blood sugar levels and other cardiovascular risk factors," said Biing-Jiun Shen, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
According to the Science Daily Web site:
Although most people think of anxiety as intense worry, Dr. Shen and his colleagues looked much deeper, examining four different measures of anxiety. The first anxiety scale measured psychasthenia, or excessive doubts, obsessive thoughts and irrational compulsions. The second anxiety scale measured social introversion, or anxiety, insecurity, and discomfort in interpersonal and social situations. The third anxiety scale measured phobias, or excessive anxieties or fears about animals, situations or objects. The fourth anxiety scale, manifest anxiety, measured the tendency to experience tension and physical arousal in stressful situations.
Quoted in the U.K.'s Telegraph, Dr. Biing-Jiun Shen, went a little further.
Scientists found that men who displayed high levels of shyness, excessive tension under stress, fear of animals, objects or situations, or had irrational compulsions were 30 to 40 per cent more likely to have heart disease leading to an attack.
Fear of animals?