The News Cut editorial board (me and the dog) is split over whether it's a good idea to spend even one minute of your life doing relatively pointless things. Take Jim "Mouth" Purol, who is trying to set a world record (kept somewhere) by sitting in all 92,542 seats at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.
As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, MSNBC reported, the 56-year-old Anaheim resident had sat on at least 30,000 seats after starting his mission Monday morning.
"I've been wanting to sit in the Rose Bowl's seats for over 20 years, but I kept getting turned down by the city of Pasadena," Purol said. "They thought it was dumb."
It's not all dumb. Purol is raising money for Outward Bound.
He's got an assistant keeping him hydrated and "facilitating the continuous interviews with the media."
I'm going to write this, and I'm going to walk away from the computer knowing there's a 50-50 chance it'll be outdated within seconds.
Such is the nature of the "now you see me, now you don't" personality of Jesse Ventura, who has been floating the notion that he's going to run for Senate in Minnesota.
The Ventura watch began this morning when ABC News is said to have reported he's definitely in. But links to the story -- a blog post -- regurgitate the "he may be in" data that we've gotten pretty used to up here in flyover country. The ABC story is said to have attributed things to David Welna of NPR (Jesse doesn't talk to any local media except, perhaps, Gary Eichten). Welna's interview doesn't yield a lot that we haven't heard before -- lots of factoids you can take to the bank if you don't mind the distinct possibility that they'll bounce.
Today's flurry then set Ventura up perfectly, giving him an opportunity to stay in the news cycle without actually doing anything other than denying anything's changed, by saying he was speaking hypothetically.
Nobody can play the media like Jesse Ventura.
Is Ventura using Brett Favre's playbook? Or is Favre using Ventura's?(13 Comments)
How do you want to "go?" Quickly or slowly?
Yes, it's creepy to talk about it but fascinating nonetheless as Jen Gross proves on the New York Times' blog The New Old Age. She writes this week about a recent presentation that asked people when they wanted to die. Most, as you might expect, chose when they are "old."
Then the presenter asked
"How many of you expect to die?" she asked.
The audience fell silent, laughed nervously and only then, looking one to the other, slowly raised their hands.
"Would you prefer to be old when it happens?" she then asked.
This time the response was swift and sure, given the alternative.
Then Dr. Lynn, who describes herself as an "old person in training," offered three options to the room. Who would choose cancer as the way to go? Just a few. Chronic heart failure, or emphysema? A few more.
"So all the rest of you are up for frailty and dementia?" Dr. Lynn asked.
On the screen above the dais, she showed graphs describing the three most common ways that old people die and the trajectory and duration of each scenario. Cancer deaths, which peak at age 65, usually come after many years of good health followed by a few weeks or months of steep decline, according to Dr. Lynn's data. The 20 percent of Americans who die this way need excellent medical care during the long period of high functioning, she said, and then hospice support for both patient and family during the sprint to death.(7 Comments)
Deaths from organ failure, generally heart or lung disease, peak among patients 10 years older, killing about one in four Americans around age 75 after a far bumpier course. These patients' lives are punctuated by bouts of severe illness alternating with periods of relative stability. At some point rescue attempts fail, and then death is sudden. What these patients and families need, Dr. Lynn said, is consistent disease management to head off crises, aggressive intervention at the first hint of trouble and advance planning for how to manage the final emergency.
The third option, death following extended frailty and dementia, is everyone's worst nightmare, an interminable and humiliating series of losses for the patient, and an exhausting and potentially bankrupting ordeal for the family. Approximately 40 percent of Americans, generally past age 85, follow this course, said Dr. Lynn, and the percentage will grow with improvements in prevention and treatment of cancer, heart disease and pulmonary disease.
I can tell just by the sheer intelligence of the comments that are regularly posted on this site, that News Cut readers are smart -- smart enough, I'm betting, to come up with a way around the fees that Northwest Airlines has decided to impose on the traveling public.
To recap, they are:
Alright, let's put our heads together here and figure out a work-around.
Can we expect to see people trying to jam Titannic-sized trunks into the overhead compartments? How much can we squeeze into a backpack. Is there a market out there for disposable jeans and T-shirts that only last about a week and can be purchased at your destination, used, then tossed?