1) An American tale. An 88-year old man didn't talk about his war experiences much, until he had an emotional reunion with an airplane.
More plane talk: MPR's Dan Gunderson has profiled the expansion of the unmanned vehicle industry. Thief River Falls, in particular, wants to be at the heart of the program. Said the head of a aviation maintenance program at Northland Community and Technical College:
"When the FAA opens up the airspace they're not going to open the entire national airspace," he said. "They're going to open up a piece here and a piece there. We'd like to be one of the first pieces opened up so you can fly out of Grand Forks to here and do whatever you need to do. That itself will bring a huge economic boom."
A good example of perspective. Here's the other side of the story: The government doesn't "open up" airspace for things like this, it closes it down, the aviation Web site AvWeb says in a story headlined "North Dakota Pilots Protest UAV Airspace Grab."
2) An East Metro controversy. "We're not trying to make any political statements or give a forum for political views, whether on the liberal side or the conservative side," Woodbury Mayor Bill Hargis says of the annual "Woodbury Prayer Breakfast," formerly known as the "Mayor's Prayer Breakfast." Hargis is trying to get organizers to reconsider this year's speaker: A woman who has said President Obama has Nazi tendencies.
"I don't think we are posing it as a political event at all," says Becky Harasyn, an Xcel Energy account manager who is chairing the organizing committee told Finance & Commerce. "We definitely made it clear to Hansi (Maria Hirschmann) that we want her to share her statement of faith."
She's got a heck of a story, though. As a kid, she was chosen by Nazis to be a youth leader:
3) You don't call. You don't write. Here's a new article "10 tips for spotting a news story" which might help you think about interesting people you know who need a little News Cut exposure in their life. Number 9 -- Will anything change as a result of your story? -- is a little lame and it's where most people stumble when it comes to considering themselves -- or someone they know -- newsworthy. A story that other people find interesting does not depend on whether it's about something should change. Quite often, it's about things that shouldn't.
4) Just another day on Planet Parenthood: One in four parents won't discipline their children - for fear of upsetting them, a UK study claims. "Researchers found the nation's mums and dads shy away from telling off their kids because they don't want to be seen as unfair or too strict.," the Web site News:Lite reports. The "study" was commissioned by an outfit that provides military-style training for kids.
In other parenting news today, a Washington state Army sergeant has admitted he waterboarded his four-year-old daughter because she refused to recite the alphabet.
5) Has there ever been a miracle drug quite like aspirin. From the Boston Globe: Aspirin may help prevent recurrence of cancer:
Scientists from several Harvard-affiliated institutions, including Brigham and Women's Hospital, reported today that women who took aspirin at least once a week after finishing breast cancer treatment were half as likely to die from the disease as women who didn't regularly use aspirin. Taking the centuries-old remedy also appeared to significantly reduce prospects that breast cancer would return, according to the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
More health and science: Is there a link between autism and diet?
President Obama signed the Recovery Act one year ago today. Have you or your community benefited from the stimulus bill?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Speaking of Faith's Krista Tippett explores the intersection of faith and science, how they co-exist and where there's tension. A new book collects some of her conversations with scientists and others.
Second hour: Motivating workers who already feel overwhelmed and overworked is one of the jobs of management. But according to author Daniel Pink, most captains of industry have no idea how to make the crew row faster.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - Both hours: U of M climatologist and meteorologist Mark Seeley.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Political editor Ken Rudin considers the Senate after Evan Bayh.
Second hour: Henry Louis Gates Jr, talks about genealogy and the PBS series, Faces of America .
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - NPR looks at the Unification Church, which has been called a cult. And its membership has been shrinking in recent years. So church leaders are adopting a mainstream approach to appeal to young prospective followers.(3 Comments)
It seemed like a good idea back in the '60s when Thor Kommedahl, a former University of Minnesota faculty member in the Department of Plant Pathology, decided to chart how far he jogged each day. He looked up how many miles it would take to jog around the world.
"I found the mileage around the equator and I thought I'd keep going for that," he said today. He recently met his goal when he jogged his 24,902.55th mile around the University of Minnesota gym. "Of course it took a long time. I'm sure a lot of these marathon runners have done it but they haven't recorded their mileage."
Let's do the math on that. He was 47 years old back then. "Normally if you run four miles a day, five days a week, you can run 1,000 miles a year and it'd take you 25 years to run around the world," he said. That's if you don't factor in the fact that you're getting older and running four miles a day is a near impossible feat for that long.
Thor Kommedahl is 89. He's still running.
He didn't realize that achieving his goal of running the equivalent of around the world was doable until he got to around 15,000 miles in his 70s. "I got to thinking I could live long enough to do that. I kept looking at the equator as a goal and to keep on going. Even though I got into my 80s. Fortunately I've had good health and have been able to go to the gym and do that."
"Obviously, I don't run as fast or as vigorously as I did when I was younger. I used to run four miles a day," he said today. "In my early 80s, I'd run three miles a day and now I'm down to two miles a day."
He's seen a lot of changes at the gym over that time. When he started hardly anybody else was jogging. Then Kenneth H. Cooper wrote the book, Aerobics, and "it was like you almost couldn't get a locker anymore. Jogging was kind of a fad there for awhile," he said.
He doesn't see as many people jogging as he used to; it might because more people are using machines, now. "Running around the gym is kind of a boring event," he acknowledges. "You're just running in circles, but the social part is kind of fun. There are other people there who are running. The gym is a very friendly atmosphere."
Especially if you have a cheering section:
Mr. Kommedahl is still running his two miles a day.
"I'd like to go to 25,000 because 24, 902 isn't an even number," he said. "So at least I'd like to run to 25,000. I just want to keep going for my health. I feel good from running. I sleep better. I eat better. I recover better from minor illnesses. I just think it's a good healthy program."
On Friday at 2 p.m., the university will honor Mr. Kommedahl with a party and a plaque.
· How he achieved his goal. Listen
· The original goal was 1,000 miles per year. Listen
· What's the next goal? Listen
· Was there any point where he didn't think he'd make his goal? Listen
· The changing nature of exercise. Listen
(Photos courtesy of the University of Minnesota)(12 Comments)
Following up a post from yesterday.
Lindsey Vonn may have won a medal today... or she may have skied off the course. MPR announced the story on its news station and, we're told, there were immediately four complaints.
And now the news.
Lindsey Vonn is "Vail's Lindsey Vonn," according to the newspaper there.
Meanwhile, Vonn must be a superstar. She's getting "the treatment" from no less than The Onion.
Childhood: Grew up in Minnesota, so there is a good chance she is a joyless judgmental jerk behind her smiling facade
Preferred Hill Direction: Down
Ideal Knee Position: Slightly Bent
Worst Knee Position: Frayed tendons hanging from nearby sapling
Marital Status: Wed fellow skier Thomas Vonn in an outdoor ceremony presided over by a snowman dressed as Parson Brown
Here's today's Fresh Eye on the Radio with The Current's Mary Lucia, and a sample of what a story sounds like when we don't want to spoil anything by telling you the news.8 Comments)