1) What causes a stir in financial and economic circles? Mortgage foreclosures? Hedge funds? Ponzi schemes? Sometimes. But today it's teenagers and Twitter. And the buzz is being caused by a 15-year-old intern for Morgan Stanley who wrote a research report on teenager media habits, according to the Guardian:
His report, that dismissed Twitter and described online advertising as pointless, proved to be "one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen - so we published it", said Edward Hill-Wood, executive director of Morgan Stanley's European media team.
So what's the more interesting story here? That Twitter isn't for teens? That Morgan Stanley gets its research from 15-year-old interns? Or that a 15 year old writes better and more thought-provoking insights than the rest of the gargantuan company?
Now, the typical reaction of the marketing people will be to say "OK, the heck with Twitter, then. The kid says it's pointless." The kid, though, said he doesn't know anyone who reads a newspaper, saying kids prefer to get their news from the Internet and TV. Wait, did someone say "Internet"? That's where Twitter is, isn't it? So maybe someone should say to the kid, "Twitter is a great place to get news. Maybe you and your pals should think about not being quite so proud about being so ignorant."
2) - The American Wind Energy Association has released a report card on the Department of Energy proposal to generate 20-percent of U.S. electricity from wind by 2030. We're going to need more creative ideas than slapping up windmills. So Popular Mechanics (still the best site for contraption geeks!) looks at 10 wind turbines that push the limits of design.
3) They're building a Habitat for Humanity house out in Worthington (Daily Globe - reg. possibly required) , which is always a reminder that there still is plenty of it -- humanity -- out there.
"I've had guys just call me up and say, 'If you need anybody to help, don't be afraid to call,'" said (Dan) Wagner of other contractors in the area. "It's a matter of the time (when the work needs to be done). That's the important thing."
4) Our weeklong celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon shot continues. Today: We used to pay attention to space launches. You'll love the New York Times' Lens blog's pictures of us noticing.
These days, you'd have to block out a month to have a chance to see a space shuttle launch. The latest scheduled flight has been delayed again.
Whose old check (remember those?) from a living human being is worth more than any other currently living person's? Neil Armstrong's.
5) The big story locally is the continuing investigation into the disappearance of Somali young men in Minneapolis, several of whom have turned up dead in the civil war there. Slate steps back from the present to ask a significant question: Why aren't people blowing themselves up in Jerusalem anymore? Christopher Hitchens writes:
But, actually, none of these would explain why the suicide campaign went into remission. Or, at least, they would not explain why it went into remission if the original cause was despair. If despair is your feeling, then nothing can stop you from blowing yourself up against the wall as a last gesture against Israeli colonial architecture. If despair dominates your psyche, then targeted assassinations of others are not going to stop you from donning the shroud and the belt and aiming yourself at paradise, even if only at a roadblock. If despair is what has invaded your mind, why on earth would you care about this or that short-term truce?
Bonus: The gems of St. Paul: The Wabasha Bridge and Raspberry Island (on my personal blog).
Should employers be able to regulate your personal life? Just to show I'm not a 15-year-old kid, I thought this pertained to the use of Twitter.
WHAT WE'RE WORKING ON
It's Day 2 of the Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination hearings, now featuring more Sonia Sotomayor. The hearings start online and on air at 8:30 a.m.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - During the hearing's lunch recess, we'll be joined by David Stras, associate professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School and Ann Althouse, law professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - Unlikely to air on the radio because of the hearings, but if it does the first hour of the show will consider whether members of the Bush administration should be investigated for war crimes. Hour two: Focus on Sotomayor.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - MPR's Laura Yuen is tracking the missing Somalis story and she may have a report this evening. Dan Olson profiles Loaves and Fishes, the program that was supposed to be temporary when it started back in 1982. Twenty-seven years later, Loaves and Fishes has expanded from two dining sites to eight, one of the largest meal programs in Minnesota. Volunteers serve thousands of people each day. Demand is up. Two of the founders lament the growing need for the service.
NPR's Elizabeth Shogren will have a story on how charities might be negatively affected by the Cash for Clunkers car program designed to get you to prop up the auto industry. The charities think people will stop donating their old cars to them.(4 Comments)
The story of health care in America is loaded with lives that changed in a split second.
One year ago next week, Alan Henley, a popular airshow performer, was doing some chin-ups on a bar when it collapsed. He was playing with his kids at the time. He hasn't walked -- or done much else -- since.
His wife has been relentless in posting updates to his Caring Bridge site. But today, there's the desperation in her words that serve as a reminder that for millions of Americans, there's more to the health care debate than politics.
You all know how hard it is for me to update when things are not going well, but I so believe in the power of prayer that I'm just going to say, things are not going well at all. I'm assuming it has to be because we are almost upon the year anniversary of that night...the night that has forever changed our lives irreversibly. We had so hoped for more return but it's just not coming back, so now instead of hope we have to face reality.
Yes I believe that Alan will be able to do so much more in time but he needs help and equipment that BCBS just won't pay for. His therapy visits will be up in the beginning of August and then we are on our own. He said, "I guess they just give up on you when they no you have no hope of getting better." To say that this has impacted his frame of mind and determination is an understatement. I can't blame him and I find it hard to help him and relate from my able bodied state. I would be a fool to think I get it. But what breaks my heart is how do I get him back? He feels like he has nothing to live for and is just a burden. How did it get to this?(1 Comments)
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has said "nice try" to bars that tried to get around the state's smoking ban by claiming they were a "theatrical performance" and the customers were actors in a play. The smoking ban exempts actors in theatrical productions.
Ruling in the case of Tank's Bar in Babbitt, the Appeals Court confirmed that without scripts -- or patrons who knew when the play started -- a bar is just a bar.
But on this second day of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the ruling also emphasized the extent to which the decisions of the high court reach all the way to tiny Babbitt.
The attorney for bars owner Tom Marinaro cited Schacht v. United States, a 1970 case in which a man who was arrested for unauthorized wearing of a military uniform. The man was participating in an anti-war skit outside a military recruiting center in Houston and said the law had a "theatrical production" exemption.
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction, making clear that a theatrical performance need not take place in a theater:
It may be that the performances were crude and amateurish and perhaps unappealing, but the same thing can be said about many theatrical performances. We cannot believe that when Congress wrote out a special exception for theatrical productions it intended to protect only a narrow and limited category of professionally produced plays.
But the Minnesota court today refused to define what is and isn't a theatrical performance. Instead it basically said that -- as the Supreme Court did with obscenity -- it knows it when it sees it:
The Supreme Court appears to have evaluated whether Schacht‟s skit reflected traditional notions of a theatrical performance, and the Supreme Court appears to have concluded that the skit did satisfy that test because it included a script of defined length that was recited by actors with the intent of conveying a message to an audience...
But the reasoning employed in Schacht does not benefit Marinaro because the facts of this case are materially different. The district court in this case did not reject Gun SMOKE Monologues on the ground that it lacked "preparation and repeated presentation," was not intended to convey a message to an audience, or was too "crude and amateurish."
The district court essentially determined that Gun SMOKE Monologues was not real but, rather, was a sham.7 Comments)
This is one of those stories that makes you wonder what the world would be like if everything moved at the speed of science. More so than any other facet of our lives, hope doesn't seem pointless when the subject is science.
The heart can heal itself, researchers have written in a British medical journal.
Ten years ago, doctors transplanted a heart into Hannah Clark, but didn't remove her faulty one because "she also needed a lung transplant, and her doctors wanted to avoid doing two risky transplants at once," Discover Magazine reports.
After 10 years with two blood pumping organs, and cancer caused by rejection drugs she had to take, doctors discovered her old heart is new again.
Says the Associated Press:
Miguel Uva, chairman of the European Society of Cardiology's group on cardiovascular surgery, called Clark's case "a miracle," adding that it was rare for patients' hearts to simply get better on their own.
"We have no way of knowing which patients will recover and which ones won't," Uva said.
But you know some day they will.