1) Duluth News Tribune columnist Sam Cook asks some serious questions in the wake of the publicity surrounding Hope and Lily, the baby and mama bears who have been Internet stars since Hope's birth via Webcam.
It's a debatable practice, this matter of naming wild critters and using them to promote a nonprofit organization. So, for that matter, is feeding them and following them around the woods, which Rogers does under permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
When does a bear become less a subject of research than a creature exploited for its marketability?
When is a wild animal no longer truly wild?
Hope has taken off again and the North American Bear Center is leaving bottles of formula around for the cub.
The best way to tell if it's Hope is with a trail cam. We mentioned that this morning on Facebook and discovered again the power of Lily and Hope's fans. A caring couple purchased seven trail cameras and a volunteer drove an hour each way to get them to us. We configured and deployed 4 of them this evening. Hopefully we have them set up right and will have some answers to the identity of the formula-slurpers tomorrow. When we went out to set them up we found the same 2 containers had again been disturbed. One had been licked clean and the other had been pulled out of its hole and tipped over. We filled them with fresh formula and added pecans and banana chips.
2) The second-biggest thorn in the side of BP has come forward. The @bpGlobalPR Twitter account has been a sharp stick on the sunny-days Twitter account of the real BP. The oil company has been almost as interested in shutting him up as shutting the oil off. He says his name is Leroy Stick.
You know the best way to get the public to respect your brand? Have a respectable brand. Offer a great, innovative product and make responsible, ethical business decisions. Lead the pack! Evolve! Don't send hundreds of temp workers to the gulf to put on a show for the President. Hire those workers to actually work! Don't dump toxic dispersant into the ocean just so the surface looks better. Collect the oil and get it out of the water! Don't tell your employees that they can't wear respirators while they work because it makes for a bad picture. Take a picture of those employees working safely to fix the problem. Lastly, don't keep the press and the people trying to help you away from the disaster, open it up so people can see it and help fix it. This isn't just your disaster, this is a human tragedy. Allow us to mourn so that we can stop being angry.
Here's some raw video just posted from the beaches:
Now, back to a live view of the scene of the crime:
A News Cut reader commented last evening that the disaster could propel alternative energy into the mainstream. Maybe this will be the impetus for more electric cars. But the BBC has a story today about one such car that, as it turns out, isn't ready for prime time, but it doesn't matter:
"I never used to consider how far my journey would be," he says. "I now reckon my average journey is five to 10 miles. I guess people think they drive more miles than they actually do.
"Clearly, if you do 90 miles per day, then this is probably not the car for you, but how often do you drive more than 90 miles in one stretch? And how often do you have sub-zero temperatures in Britain?"
3) The secret power of time.
(h/t: Open Culture)
4) A Wisconsin woman tried to start a movement to convince people to send in extra money to the government to help pay down the national debt. She figured if everyone paid about 3 percent of their income every year for 10 years, the country could pay off the existing debt (currently $13 trillion). She figured wrong.
5) Who sets the media agenda online? Tech heads. As information consumption shifts online, is this a good thing. The Pew Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism compares the top "story" on social vs. mainstream media.
On Twitter, for example, 51 percent of the Tweets related to Apple. In the stodgy media, it was the oil spill in the Gulf.
The birth control pill turns 50 years old this year. How would society be different without the pill?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
I'll be on the couch tonight on TPT's Almanac with David Brauer and McKenna Ewen as part of the "media panel."
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: "The pill" promised freedom from unwanted pregnancy and, some feared, a total breakdown in morality. University of Minnesota professor Elaine Tyler May writes in her new book that oral contraceptives changed the lives of women, but not in ways people predicted 50 years ago.
Second hour: A college education has become increasingly unaffordable for many Americans, and some would argue that a college degree has less meaning that it used to. Will technology, and a re-envisioning of the college experience, make higher education more accessible, and more meaningful?
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: MPR's Dale Connelly will talk about his 34-year career on the radio,-first as a reporter, then as a popular music program host and writer.
Second hour: Historian Mark Stoler speaks about Gen. George C. Marshall, who 63 years ago Saturday announced his "Marshall Plan" to rebuild Europe after WW II. Stoler spoke at the Minnesota Historical Society.
Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Researchers at Cleveland Clinic say their new vaccine "will someday be used to prevent breast cancer." What does this mean for cancer prevention?
Second hour: Hundreds of thousands of gallons of dispersant have been dumped into the Gulf. Ocean expert Sylvia Earle discusses the risks of this cleanup technique, and the latest on the leak. Plus, a psychologist shares tips for avoiding bad-news burnout.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Chevron faces a multi-billion dollar lawsuit for its alleged role in polluting the Amazon. A filmmaker produced a documentary about the suit... and Chevron wants his raw footage that was left out. All 600 hours of it. Is he shielded by journalistic privilege?
After his final broadcast on a Minnesota Public Radio program, Dale Connelly got the send-off by the working folks at MPR News a few minutes ago, even though he asked that no going-away party be held. "It's true what they say about the news media," he told us. "You really don't listen."
We gave him a teddy bear, a pillow, some pajamas, and some tea to help him sleep, now that he won't be getting up early in the morning anymore.
A lot of people -- and correctly so -- will point out that MPR owes its growth to Garrison Keillor. But it also reflects the work of people like Connelly, who reminded us today that few people listened back in the day when he was part of the news operation. "You'd call people and nobody would call you back and why would they?" he recalled.
Many years ago, an MPR executive decided to brand us with a "Your News Source" slogan, which Dale turned into "Your News Horse," and a different slogan: "We may not get there first, but we'll stay longest."
Like most people in the mainstream media, we've gotten pretty good at holding these little going-away affairs with their trips down memory lane. But the institutional memory of organizations like this is fast disappearing, too. And fewer and fewer people who grew up with radio are coming into the radio business because fewer people are growing up with radio as a primary form of communication.
Technology has made the challenges of live broadcasting almost disappear. Twenty years from now, these little parties will have stories like, "hey, remember the time my computer crashed?"
It just won't be the same.(22 Comments)
BP has started a new ad campaign on television, to try to repair its image. See if you can find any actual images of oil after the 4-second mark:
The company used an ad agency operated by Republican and Democrat marketing experts who have some experience in putting lipstick on things.
Not surprisingly, comments have been disabled on the YouTube page hosting the ad.
But some people don't need words...(5 Comments)
I posted this a few months ago, but it's appropriate for us to watch it again. John Wooden, who will be described mostly as a college coach , died today. It would, perhaps, be more fitting to note that he was married to the same woman for 53 years and that his last love, was his first love. She's been gone for more than 20 years, but he still wrote her love letters. She was a lucky woman.(1 Comments)