Posted at 12:07 AM on July 20, 2010
by Elliot deBruyn
1) I don't know about you, but this weekend seemed particularly stressful. This looks like a nice place to cool off, assuming the weather doesn't get overwhelmingly hot again.
2) As attention shifts from Iraq to Afghanistan, the New York Times brings perspective back towards Iraq. Many stories have come out of Iraq depicting Iraqis working for the US and the hardships they endure, but not one so explicit and heart-wrenching.
[Hamid Ahmad] spoke good English and believed in America. He got a job, his family says, with the United States military. Late last month, he wound up dead at the hands of his 32-year-old son, who had turned into an insurgent who sought money and purpose in fighting the Americans.
President Obama's efforts to withdraw American soldiers from Iraq has been front and center in the media -- this vantage point displays the amount of influence our presence has had on an already delicate country.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Middle East is focused on the Kabul Conference, where world leaders hope to direct funds, and possibly expedite, the supposed power shift from the Western powers to the Kabul government being. From the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan website:
The Kabul Conference is a critical stepping stone in a "Kabul Process" of transition to full Afghan leadership and responsibility, building on previous international commitments including the London Conference and outreach activities of the Afghan Government.
Maybe throwing money at Afghanistan's problem can help -- obviously throwing soldiers at their neighbor didn't.
The Police Department has withdrawn a theft ticket issued to a Shorewood High School student who was handcuffed, photographed and fingerprinted after being accused of stealing a chicken nugget meal from the school cafeteria...
The charges were from March. Wait... the March that came and went FOUR MONTHS AGO?? Good thing we spend time and money on important things.
Photo from Flickr user donjd2
Plug in the price tag of an item you're interested in, along with the APR, balance, and your current monthly payment on your credit card, and it'll figure out the true damage. Once you've got a more accurate picture of the price, then you can decide if it's worth it.
Of course, you could always try to educate yourselves using the New York Time's incredibly comprehensive credit and debit card guide, at which point, after filling your head with words you don't even think are in the dictionary, you ask yourself "why did we give up the barter system?"
Photo from Gregory Curley
Extra relaxation technique This guy looks like he needs to relax... there's something about that smile that just doesn't look honest.(4 Comments)
Posted at 9:44 AM on July 20, 2010
by Nate Minor
After Sunday's dramatic win (celebrated, above left), Star Tribune sports columnist Jim Souhan asked whether the win might be a turning point for this year's inconsistent Twins club.
"We don't yet know whether this game represents a tipping point or merely escapist entertainment, but as the Twins chased [Delmon] Young around the infield from sunshine to shade, it felt like our quaint, Midwestern, divisional drama was only beginning."
After last night's brutal loss to lowly Cleveland (that's Joe Mauer, above right, after striking out looking with two men on in the sixth inning), it seems that enthusiasm was a bit premature.
Starting pitching has emerged as a main concern, and Scott Baker's performance last night further demonstrates the need to trade for an ace. Now that the Cliff Lee sweepstakes are over, bloggers and fans (this one, at least) are hoping Twins' GM Billy Smith is turning his sights elsewhere. Looking at moves the Twins have made in previous years though, I'm not getting my hopes too high.
The New York Yankees also failed to land Lee. Their top pitcher, Andy Pettitte, is out for about a month with a groin injury, but for some reason the team is opting to "plug the hole" with talent already on the team instead of trading for a replacement.
That won't go over well, writes Brian Costa in today's Wall Street Journal:
"Plug the hole?"
"The notion is so modest, so un-greedy that Yankees fans might have trouble comprehending it. The Yankees don't plug holes. They replace the leaky boat with a 300-foot yacht. Duct tape is for Minnesota."
Posted at 3:08 PM on July 20, 2010
by Nate Minor
No, I'm not referring to the normally frigid Lake Superior. We all know that's a veritable jacuzzi this summer.
Instead, Duluth's thrill-seekers are taking advantage of the city's rocky landscape and hills to go cliff jumping. Not surprisingly, a few people have been injured in recent days after they jumped from rocky ledges to a wide part of Amity Creek, the Duluth News Tribune and Fox 21 reported today.
Ashley Holt, 14, told the paper jumping from the rocks isn't dangerous if you know what you're doing.
"It's fun," she said. "You get a rush from it. It's not really hard. You just have to push yourself away (from the rocks)."
Apparently, one of those injured couldn't remember what he had done, reporter John Lundy wrote. "Bystanders said he attempted to do a double flip from a height of about 25 feet and belly-flopped."
Cliff jumping is a time-honored tradition in the northeastern part of the state and especially the Boundary Waters, as a quick Youtube search shows. If done right, it can be a lot of fun and one heckuva adrenaline rush.
If done wrong ... well, let's hope only the more cautious adventurers make it to where an ambulance is more than a phone call away.