Big hair, polyester, and the first laser light beam show? It screams Monday Morning Rouser, doesn't it? (h/t/: Lorrie Sarafin via Facebook)
1) Eighty-five percent of kids say they have experienced "cyberbullying," the use of the Internet to bully another student. Minnesota law requires school districts to have a policy against it but no guidance on what that might entail. Late last week, the Worthington Daily Globe reports, school officials around the state heard about some of them:
Often, such high-tech bullying comes via mobile telephones, when students send text messages about other students. A problem that is becoming more and more common is the distribution of nude photos of youths as young as 10 via mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices. Those photos often are spread well beyond the intended recipient.
When Aftab asked how many schools have mobile phone policies, most school board members' hands went up. Many schools ban students' mobile telephones in the classroom, some in the entire school, but that raises the ire of parents who expect to be able to contact their children at any time.
They may need more than that. Perhaps they need a Nintendo DSi policy, which can send photos. How far can or should a district extend its reach?
2) The Atlantic's James Fallows looks at why the death panels claim is "working." It has laid bare the prediction that blogs would fact check each other so aggressively that mere horse-hocky would never take root. It has taken root, he says, and it's too late to do much about it.
The truth is having absolutely no effect on the people who've bought this toxic nonsense. I had a very illuminating conversation with a neighbor, whom I like (even though I know her to be quite a government-hater), and she believes all of this stuff. She even believes Medicare is not a government program. She believes that if I think otherwise I'm naive and/or being hoodwinked. It looks to me as though the health-care reform plan/s have been thoroughly swift-boated and are dead in the water, just as you say. (Taking care not to mix my metaphors, you will please note.)
Whatever. It's worked. Last week, the provision that was the basis for the fear was removed. Over the weekend, the "public option," the part of the health care package that would involve the government providing insurance, seemed headed for the ash heap.
Meanwhile, Time.com puts down the hyperbole long enough to examine how end-of-life care and counseling is handled now.
3) The Upper Midwest has the highest concentration of binge drinkers in the country. Kids, eh? Maybe. Maybe not. A Duke University survey, published in a medical journal today, shows 22 percent of older men have engaged in binge drinking in the last month. The effects of binge drinking on older people are considerably more damaging, researchers say.
4) Ninety-five percent of the dollar bills in Washington have traces of cocaine on them, the BBC reports today. That's up 20 percent from two years ago. That may be true of the money in most big cities, Science Daily says. I'm trying to get a copy of the study to find out if Minneapolis-St. Paul's money was analyzed. The American Chemical Society, which issued the release on the study, says it doesn't have a nationwide breakdown.
Update 8:17 a.m. I heard back from the study's author:
Thank you for your interest in our research. We have not examined the banknotes from Minneapolis-St. Paul yet. If you are interested in having this examination done soon, you may collect some paper money, let's say 20 single dollar bills, from a local bank or supermarket and send them to us. We can have the examination done in two weeks and send money back to you.
Top that, Archie!
SHOW ME YOUR AUGUST!
From reader Cheryl Taylor: Sunday Aug. 16, 2009 around 8:30 p.m. Taken at Como Park as the lanterns were being lowered into the Frog Pond during the Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival.
Send me your photo that screams "August!" Here's an idea: The pre-dawn conjunction of the moon and Venus. It was spectacular this morning, but I don't have a camera capable of adequately capturing it.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - Hour one: A look at the skeptical public when it comes to health care. Hour two: Lane Wallace, whom I've written about several times here on 5@8, is Kerri's guest when we talk about taking risks. Why leave a safe job for a life that is more interesting? What risks have you taken? What risks do you wish you had taken? I'd like your stories when I live blog the program at 10:06 a.m. You can post them below now if you'd like.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1p.m.) - First hour: D.J. Leary, who's been a public affairs consultant for 50 years, will be in the studio with Gary Eichten to talk about the state of political discourse in the Internet age. He recently stopped writing a blog and has some ideas about how we can "end the bickering." Second hour: Matt Miller, speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival this summer about his book, "The Tyranny of Dead Ideas."
Here's a presentation he made to Google staffers earlier this year:
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Anthony Kuhn reports on China's "marriage markets." Martin Kaste reports more and more members of Congress are turning to telephone-town-hall meetings rather than the face-to-face variety. And Cheryl Corley will look at Chicago's efforts to sell its own citizens on the idea of hosting the Olympics.(5 Comments)
I have to admit I like the risk-taking, swashbuckling Tiger Woods rather than the play-it-safe brand that blew the PGA Championship at Hazeltine yesterday. Easy for me to say, it's his risk, not mine. But watching two days of "safe" golf left me unimpressed.
I admit that I often sit and think if I were younger, I'd go work on an Alaskan crab boat, spend the rest of the year as a bush pilot, and then top it off with a few months of being an ice-road trucker. Or live the life of the sons of Jack Beck, whom I wrote about here, who explore the world because they have a willingness to, while Jack and his wife, Marmy, pursue endeavors without security (BTW, I saw Jack and Marmy at Oshkosh last month and they reported their boys were "somewhere in East Africa.")
Do you take risks? And has doing so paid off for you in the quality of your life? Or have you played it safe, choosing safe harbor over the exhilaration of white water?
Lane Wallace, creator of the Web site No Maps. No Guides. No Limits, explores these questions. You can find her e-book -- Surviving Uncertainty: Take a Hero's Journey -- here is the guest on Midmorning at 10:06 (CT).
What I'm looking for is your stories of facing risk and uncertainty, especially in these troubled times. Submit them below.
10:08 a.m. - Doesn't sound like News Cut is going to get an on-air plug, so I guess it'll just be the News Cut loyalists.
10:09 a.m. "If you really want to explore the world," she says, "there's risk that goes with that. Any entrepreneur knows that..." Interesting comment on "passion." "Passion is what gets you through the long night when things go wrong."
10:10 a.m. - So what is risk? "If-- by choice or not by choice, if you've been laid off or life changes on you without your permission -- or whether you say 'I'm not happy with my job and I want to form my own business,' you are agreeing to step into an uncomfortable place." She says there's never been an adventure -- whether being self-employed or flying relief supplies into Sudan or the Congo -- when she hasn't thought, "whatever possessed me to do this?"
10:13 a.m. - Question: Is the ability accept risk something we're "hard-wired" with? Consider this from Business Management Daily:
Now scientists find that a taste for risk is hard-wired in about 10% of us, with thrill-seekers making up a small fraction. When researchers compare brain scans of thrill seekers and controls, the thrill seekers' fear centers stay dark when a balloon explodes, while their pleasure centers light up. It's the opposite for everybody else.
10:17 a.m. - Calls coming soon. Ben writes in:
I'm not a risk/adrenaline junkie, but I perform better when I'm in new and challenging situations. I am more engaged and ambitious when I am living abroad or doing something that's new and competitive. If I'm at home in Minnesota listening to MPR, I'm not nearly as ambitious, emboldened, or hungry.
That brings up an interesting point. When are we most engaged at work? When we just started the job, right? It's new. It's a little scary.
10:18 a.m. - Caller from Rochester says she turned 50 and decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. She left one of the largest employers in the city to do so. Says her big risk was quitting her job. "People need to take responsibility personally for understanding their is risk. But risk is not death. Risk is not danger. You take responsibility for what may come your way," she said.
10:24 a.m. - Caller Michael tells story of his daughter who was stuck in the Rome airport at customs. "She found somebody and was able to persuade them to help her. I got her three voicemails at once and they changed to, 'No problem, Dad, I've got it.' If I'd been there, I'd have helped her and taken that world experience from her. She's a world traveler now."
10:29 a.m. - There are always people around to tell you you shouldn't take a risk. "Three-year-olds haven't learned that anything is impossible. You look at how alive they are and they think they can do anything. Along the way, the more that we hear people say 'you need to have a practical major,' or 'you have a family, you need to be more responsible,' put bricks around your heart," Wallace says.
10:35 a.m. - Related Wallace writing: "In Defense of Liberal Arts"
10:36 a.m. - Most of the time we're afraid of the future. Wallace says in any situation, look around and evaluate "how I am right now." Most of the time, you're OK.
10:42 a.m. - Caller has a good question: "When is the risk worth taking?" Answer: "It comes down to how badly you want it. If you think life is a dress rehearsal, think again. If you're at the point where you're saying, 'I don't like it here,' you have to leave. It's not easy. It's where passion becomes important."
10:43 a.m. - Lane mentions Alan Klapmeier of Cirrus Design in Duluth. He transformed an industry, maxing out family credit cars at some point to meet payroll. He's a heck of a success story, but it's worth noting the economy has not been kind to Cirrus. James Fallows of The Atlantic, well connected with Klapmeier, notes he's left the company as CEO.
10:47 a.m. - Elise of Minneapolis writes:
This is such an important topic. The barriers to risk--especially other people--really makes sense to me. I stayed in a job I hated for four years and my contract was finally not renewed. It wasn't until then that I actually started my own business--something that I'd dreamed about for a decade. My husband was very worried about my being successful and I had some sleepless nights myself. But I was okay; we were okay and I got my business off the ground. And, I'm much happier. Last December, when I declared that I was writing a novel, so many people were skeptical. But I put what I thought I needed as a support system into place -- fiction writing classes, membership in writing associations, and a writing group -- and am working toward my goal. After hearing Lane today, I recognize some of the things I still have in my way on my journey to writing fiction. Taking risk, having passion is what makes me feel alive! Great topic, great guest.
10:50 a.m. - Caller tells the story of packing up the VW and heading west, then calling her boyfriend in Florida and saying "I'm coming back." He said, "no, you have to keep going." She says it set the stage for the rest of her life. But, no, she didn't marry the guy. I wonder what he's doing now?
10:54 a.m. - Caller Bonnie, 60, says "during the course of my life I've made some bold choices. I'm now in this place where I'm financial fine, retired, my husband died three years ago and I don't have any reason to take risks and yet I feel I need to move forward and be more bold. I'm having trouble because there's not the need that was there when I was younger."
Ah, how to find passion at age 60. Wallace says the goal in life is to stay interested. Suggests embracing freedom in later stages of life. "You can figure out what you want to see, what you want to learn, what you are curious about? You're not on autopilot until you die."
10:57 a.m. - Wallace refers to the women who flew back in the "old days," which gives me another reason to post this YouTube video.
10:59 a.m. - The show has now ended, and I'm off to get coffee, pretty much the same as I do every day around this time. But today, it's a bit depressing.(6 Comments)
Today, President Obama was in Phoenix, speaking to the VFW about his health care plan. Then it's on to Colorado.
Both sides in the debate were out in force early.
If we didn't have their signs, could we still tell which side they're on? Why? Or why not?
Here's one side:
Here's the other:
Click on the image for a larger version.
Think it's easy? Maybe. Maybe not.
Charles Quimby at Across the Great Divide had a great question on this picture.
Can you guess who stands for what in whatever this disagreement is about?
Answer later on the photos above.
1:38 p.m. Answers -9 Comments)
Remember when the computer was to usher in the "paperless society?" The Kindle is supposed to usher in a bookless -- hence, paperless -- world. Newspapers are going belly up.
Mo Rocca, the panelist on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, reports the use of paper doubled after the prediction of the paperless society. It's part of the debut of an online show, The Tomorrow Show.
A plane that crashed near Tea, South Dakota yesterday, was part of a squadron of private pilots that touted the benefits of ethanol by flying airplanes that use it. Todd Eslick, a corporate pilot, and a 12-year-old were killed when the RV-8 experimental aircraft crashed on Sunday. Witnesses said the plane's engine sputtered shortly before it crashed.
The Vanguard Squadron is sponsored by ethanol manufacturer POET.
It's not known, however, if the plane that crashed was running on ethanol.
Update 4:17 p.m. - The plane did use ethanol for fuel, according to the Argus Leader.
Maybe it's not Big Brother we should be worrying about; maybe it's the little friend in your pocket.
A five year study out today finds "the gadgets we carry day-to-day can accurately record the nuances of our relationships. Using cellphones for social science research could replace interviews, which are laborious and sometimes unreliable, to find out about people's lives."
"There are very serious privacy issues," says Gueorgi Kossinets, who researched online social networks at Cornell University.
Or maybe there's a public benefit to the data your cellphone reveals about you and the people you know. Here, for example, is what happened the night the Red Sox won the first of their two (tainted) World Series championships in recent years:
"Suddenly all our subjects became unpredictable; they all flooded into downtown Boston to a rally in the centre of the city.
"City planners approached us because they wanted to know how people were using urban infrastructure, to know when the people left the rally, how many walked across the bridge and how many took the subway, how many biked or took the bus.
"We can give them some real insight with the idea of helping them build a better city that reflects people's actual behaviour."(6 Comments)