This week's Monday Morning Rouser comes courtesy of reader (and my former boss) Ken Paulman.
1) How Alzheimer's affects families. A man's wife has Alzheimer's. She's forgotten much of who he is. He meets another woman and falls in love. And the three live happily ever after? CBS' Barry Petersen reported on his own story on Sunday. And he dropped these bombshells, too. While most major illnesses are dropping, Alzheimer's is skyrocketing. And by age 80, half the population has the disease.
2) Is marathoning a truly healthy sport? One person died in the Grandma's half marathon event this year. A Hermantown man has been identified as the victim of the race. The rest of the medical report is pretty startling too, the Duluth News Tribune says:
Nelson said 230 runners were treated at the medical tent this year, primarily for dehydration, muscle cramps and fatigue. Seven runners were sent to Duluth hospitals, four from the medical tent and three from the race course, none with serious problems
But the number of people treated for the effects of marathoning was lower than last year. Dying in a marathon is still rare, the New York Times Well blog said last year, even as it cited three deaths in Detroit, one in Baltimore, and two in San Jose. All of those were also in half marathons.
3) Amazingly, it's taken two months before someone went back to the site of the previous worst oil spill in U.S. history to find out what the people of the Gulf Coast can expect. The people of the Gulf Coast aren't going to like this part. The BBC found that because Exxon threw so much money at the clean-up, plenty of unsavory characters descended on the area:
"Exxon would hire virtually anybody that would go on and sit on those islands and clean rocks," said John Devens, "because Exxon threw a lot of money at this to try to get things taken care of."
Oil residue is still found on the shores of Prince William Sound But efforts to minimise damage to nature came at a high cost to the inhabitants.
"People who didn't get hired by Exxon were not the kind of people you wanted left over in your community," he said, adding that the unusual influx of people created a crisis of accommodation and increased criminal activities, including violence and drug abuse.
The clean-up effort ended in 1992. There's still an estimated 20,000 gallons of oils on the beaches. So, sure, someday things in the Gulf might be better than they were before the Deepwater Horizon explosion. But not in our lifetime.
4) A week after lightning destroyed a statue of Jesus near Cincinnati, the people of Wadena apparently are drawing inspiration from a statue of Jesus that survived Thursday's tornado (a tornado that Weather Service people have rated an F4. F5 is the worst). The Wadena Pioneer Journal says:
Finally, a lot of people have been talking about how the crucifix at the cemetery is still standing strong with downed trees and downed headstones all around it. Don't go out there, but I took some photos and will have them on our website later tonight so you can see it. It's pretty amazing, Jesus was unscathed except for losing his right hand, which someone placed at the base. And just feet away, UNDERGROUND grave markers were moved a foot. Look for the photos soon.
A tornado hit Billings, Montana yesterday and dropped two questions into the Twin Cities today: (1) When is it time to put the camera down and seek shelter and (2) Why are the people in the cars still in their cars?
Meanwhile, they're calling for volunteers in Wadena now. Volunteers should be prepared to deal with debris including broken glass. They should bring gloves, sturdy shoes, and some food and water. Meet at the former Pamida parking lot on Highway 71. If you're going, let me know.
5) Nurses are voting on another strike in the Twin Cities. Hospitals offered to return to the bargaining table if the nurses vowed not to strike before July 31. The nurses said "no." That should give a clear indication what the results of the vote are likely to be today.
Bonus: In Kiev yesterday, the Red Bull Flugtag featured the results of its challenge to build human-powered flying machines:
The Flugtag comes to St. Paul next month. Or, as Red Bull says, Minneapolis.
PICTURE OF THE DAY (SO FAR)
The Southern Lights:
The image was taken over the Indian Ocean by a crewmember of the International Space Station. Says Discover's Bad Astronomy blog:
This aurora was probably caused by subatomic particles from an explosive event called a coronal mass ejection from the Sun five days earlier. The particles interact with our magnetic field, which channels them to the north and south poles. They slam into the air, ripping electrons off the atoms and molecules. When the atoms recombine, they give off light. The green glow seen here is characteristic of oxygen.
Runner(s) up: These images of the Twin Cities by air taken yesterday.
A campaign is underway in Minneapolis to discourage people from giving money to beggars. How do you respond to panhandlers?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Cleaning the coast after an oil spill. President Obama promised to clean up the Gulf Coast's habitat, but many question his vague restoration plan. Midmorning experts describe the science behind coastal restoration and the complex ecological challenges they face from the gulf to the wetlands.
Second hour: Environmental activist Bill McKibben warned of the dangers of global warming 20 years ago. His latest book takes an angrier edge as he urges a change in our lifestyles or risk living in an inhospitable world.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Former St. Paul Mayor George Latimer discusses the state of political discourse today, and other policy issues in the news.
Second hour: Dr. Edward Miller of Johns Hopkins speaks at the National Press Club about health care reform.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: TBA
Second hour: When it comes to writing a great song, some are for the dogs, and then, some make you croon. The art of songwriting. Diane Warren is among the guests.
There have been a number of videos of last week's tornadoes posted to the Internet, but few are as compelling as this one
So many questions are left? What did the house look like when it was over? What is it about a tornado that pulls a guy and his video camera away from safety? And where was this?
One tip: If you're going to film your home's destruction for the world to see, it's probably a good idea not to yell "shut up" to your loved ones at the height of the tornado while you narrate the scene for people you don't know.(5 Comments)
MPR's Cathy Wurzer was the grand marshal of White Bear Lake's Manitou Days parade this weekend. Click the image for a larger view and check out the sign on the side of the boat to see who plays second banana in this famous media family.
(Picture: Lucas Kunach)
Forum Communications last week announced it would begin separating readers' online comments from the news stories with which they're associated. It was the latest in efforts some media organizations are taking to rein in the hatred, racism, and stupidity that have become the hallmark of Web site "comments," especially for newspapers.
This weekend, the Buffalo News announced it would now require its online commenters to identify themselves by name, and their identity will be checked.
News Editor Margaret Sullivan writes as if it's as difficult as trying to stop an oil well explosion:
Media organizations all over the country, particularly newspapers with active Web sites, are struggling with this subject. There's no easy answer. The tension is between wanting to take advantage of the freewheeling expression of the Internet and wanting to keep standards of reasonable tolerance and decency on a public site.
There's no easy answer? Of course there's an easy answer. Newspaper editors have been able to tell the difference between something valuable and something hateful, racist, and stupid for generations. It seems an odd assertion that they so consistently profess to struggle with the question.
So what's the real reason? They don't want to spend the time doing it.
There's something else, though, that newspaper people don't want to do. They don't want to talk to you. One of the reasons "self policing" has failed is because there's no sense that there's any conversation taking place.
We know by simple observing of human nature that if someone actually thinks a real person is going to talk to them right back, they'll be less, shall we say, indelicate in what they say. And a
It's not hard. There's nothing to wrestle with or struggle over.
Reporters by nature object to taking more time to actually talk to readers and listeners, contending they don't have it to give. But if there's something Twitter has taught us by following reporters, it's that that's an entirely false argument.
(h/t: Quick13 via Twitter)
Leave it to MPR's Nikki Tundel to find the real story in the wake of last week's tornadoes in rural Minnesota.
It's a guy picking up barbed wire along a road, a family living in an uninhabitable house because they're not ready to leave their own beds, it's people appearing from nowhere to put tarps on the damaged houses of people they don't know, it's people recovering from a disaster the only way they know how: starting.
Anybody want to bet against the Zeller family?
Nikki consistently tells great stories, often without saying a word, or -- in this case -- taking credit.(1 Comments)
These are the days when walking on a sidewalk beats walking in a skyway, past many things we've seen so often, we don't think twice about them.
So here's News Cut's summer project: Find images in your day that scream "What's the story here?"
Here's an example: From a bike rack across the street from the Minnesota Children's Museum in downtown St. Paul:
What's the story with this bike? How long has it been here? Did the person ever get back home? Who needed handlebars badly enough to steal them? Why was one pedal taken, and not two? Which will happen first? A new stadium for the Vikings or the removal of the bike's skeletal remains?
I imagine the person was to meet someone on a blind date at the Children's Museum. It was love; the kind of love that makes you forget where you put the key to your bike. But it didn't matter, because it was love, and she had a car.
Got a better story? Write it below. Got a candidate for "What's the story?" Send your image and comments via this form.(1 Comments)
What would it sound like if you could stand in the corona of the sun? It would sound like this, according to scientists at the University of Sheffield in the UK:
"The harmonious sounds are caused by the movement of giant magnetic loops in the solar corona - the outermost, mysterious, and least understood layer of the Sun's atmosphere. Most importantly, the team studied how this sound is decaying, giving an unprecedented insight into the physics of the solar corona," according to a release from the university's Project Sunshine.