Ask Me Six Questions, the Vikings run the Los Angeles play, what would Glee do, the Story of Stuff, and another fine athletic mess at the University of Minnesota.
This month marks the third anniversary of the start of the Great Recession. It's officially over now, according to the economic statistics, but the economy is still horrible for many people. Remember back in 2008 how far away it seemed when the economists said things wouldn't improve significantly until late 2010?
It's late 2010 and an analysis from the liberal think tank Economic Policy Institute suggests it's getting worse, at least for people looking for meaningful work. It says the "underemployment rate" is going up, not down.
The large numbers of workers who have stopped looking for jobs or can only find part-time work suggest that high rates of unemployment will likely persist even when more jobs are created. Moreover, even the 17% underemployment rate does not include people who are working full-time but have had to take jobs below their skills, training or experience level.
Or is it?
Black Friday drew big crowds, CyberMonday sales were up 19 percent, consumer confidence is at the highest point since the beginning of the summer, and today the stock market is having its best day in three months.
Harvard researchers have appeared to reverse the aging process in mice...
Next, the researchers will try to better understand precisely what causes the youthful bloom to return to the mice when the telomerase switch is flipped on, and also follow mice for a longer time to assess whether there may be a risk of cancer, according to the Boston Globe.
The obvious benefit would be that you could live to be 100 -- or more -- and not have the bad health that usually goes with being 100.
Is that good or bad?
The ethical question in all of this is can the nation afford for people to live longer?
"Are we set up for people to live 50 years after they retire?" ethicist Jason Roberts asks. "Do you change the retirement age? If you live to 120, do you retire when you are 90?"
No hurry on this question, apparently. Today the the commission considering ways to cut the deficit released its report. Despite criticism, it's recommending the Social Security retirement age go up to to 68 by 2050 and 69 by 2075.
The Harvard researchers might finish their work before the country agrees on the Social Security changes.
In the meantime, to what age do you want to live?
It's tempting to make fun of the people behind some of the challenged ballots in the recount of the Minnesota gubernatorial race.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer for conservation district? How many of you who voted in that race actually knew anything about the candidates? How much do you know about Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Exactly.
I think this is a vote for Tony Curtis. He, of course, is dead:
The media almost never covers races like sheriff or county commissioner or water resources commissioner. Would you pay attention if we did?
I always feel cheated when I'm asked to fill in an oval circle in a race where only one person is running. This person at least thought he (or she) would make a race of it.
By the end of a typical ballot, aren't most of us just guessing who these people are?
Which is not to say that some voters are not entirely deserving of derision ...
It's almost as if the person filling out this ballot knew a recount was coming.
We'll have more of these on the MPR News Web site later.
Sarah Shourd, one of the three American hikers arrested by Iran and thrown in prison, has released video of a song she hopes will build support for the two remaining hikers, one of whom is Minnesota native Shane Bauer.
"I wrote 'Piece of Time' when I was in prison," she writes. "The last time I saw Shane and Josh they asked me to use my music to raise support for them and get them out of prison. Every second for the last 2+ months since my release I've been fighting alongside the families and countless others around the world solely for this end. I hope the song and video can bring people closer to our story and give you a glimpse of who Shane, Josh are, why their detention is so completely unjust and why their freedom is so tremendously important to fight for."
There is also a new video documentary on the Web site freethehikers.org.