A Brit assesses us, let's waste some time, what don't Minneapolitans get about snow parking, a leg for Mustafa, and depression and mental health on the college campus.
Newark Airport's Terminal A was closed briefly today when a computer monitor set off whatever alarms are set off when something emitting radiation passes by.
That must have been some computer, because just about everything gives off radiation. By the end of the day, hopefully, somebody will ask why this computer monitor gave off more radiation than any of the other things we use on a daily basis. And after that, the next logical question is who on earth travels with a computer monitor? And who checks a computer monitor for baggage, then flies a different flight? Suspicious activity at the airport? That qualifies.
But back to radiation. Here's a great little Web page from the American Nuclear Society which calculates how much radiation you're exposed to on a daily basis. While Minnesota might be more protected because it's not near the ocean or the plateaus of Colorado, it has its share of coal-fired and nuclear power plants.
Do you live in a stone or brick building? That's 7 millirems (you're allowed about 5,000 millirems a year before it gets serious).
Presumably, today's incident involved a CRT monitor. That's good for about 1 millirem, or an exposure equivalent to two hours of flight time in a jet. If you smoke half a pack of cigarettes a day, that's 18 millirem.
What else has significant radiation in your home? CFL light bulbs, smoke detectors, and even granite countertops according to a fact sheet this year from the Health Physicians Society. Make a note of that. Next time you go to the airport, leave your granite countertop at home.
None of this, however, is particularly comforting. In fact, it serves to point out how insignificant a computer monitor's radiation is. So why was this incident so significant?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg today joined the growing list of people urging Congress to pass legislation allowing more benefits to first responders on 9/11.
"It 's a vote on whether we should stand by those who stood by America in its hour of greatest need. It's a vote on whether we should fulfill our obligations to the men and women in uniforms and hard hats whom we rightly call heroes," he said.
Bloomberg's comments mask the reality behind the politics of this bill. Even if Congress should pass legislation, good luck to some 9/11 workers trying to get help from it. It seems it's always been that way with 9/11. An apparent end of a battle, is actually only the beginning of another.
The bill is named after a New York police officer who is believed to be the first to die post 9/11 of complications from working amid the debris of the World Trade Center. Shortly after James Zadroga's death, Mayor Bloomberg didn't support the conclusion that Zadroga died as a result of his work after 9/11.
"We wanted to have a hero, and there are plenty of heroes, it's just in this case, science says this was not a hero" he said in 2007, later backing away from the remarks.
It got ugly in a typical New York City kind of way. The same medical examiner who publicly proclaimed Zadroga a 9/11 victim, reportedly privately blamed Zadroga's misuse of prescription drugs for his death.
Getting help, even when it's approved, can be an agonizingly long process.
It was only last month, for example, that the city reached a settlement to pay millions of dollars to ground zero workers, who said they were not properly outfitted for search-and-rescue efforts following the attack.
Nothing has come easy for the first responders of 9/11.(5 Comments)
Last week in Dayton, Ohio, a police officer went to a store to get security footage of a robbery that had taken place there earlier in the evening. When he walked in, however, another robbery was underway.
Let's go to the videotape:
Bonus News Cut points if you noticed the following:
-1- It was a long time before anyone bothered to help the cop.
-2- The world's largest man apparently helped subdue the suspect.
-3- It was apparently just another night in Dayton, given the way customers came and went.
-4- What is in the hand of the person in the yellow hat?
-5- A cop's gun to the head doesn't faze the criminals of Dayton, Ohio.(3 Comments)
Generally speaking, we're inclined to read any story that is attached to a headline "Mother of two was cut in two to remove her cancer ." That was certainly the case today with the story of Janis Ollson of Manitoba, who underwent a surgery that had never been performed at Mayo Clinic in Rochester before.
This morning, according to the Mayo Clinic's blog, she was the hit of the Surgical Quality Conference, a quarterly meeting of all of the departments involved in surgery at Mayo Clinic.
By this time tomorrow, we'll know whether Minnesota is losing one of its eight congressional seats.
Census data is to be released which will determine how many seats the state should have in Congress. The latest word is if Minnesota holds onto all of its congressional seats, it will do so barely.
Here's a great map from the Census' Web site that explains the population shift. Find the one you can play with here, this one is just an image.
What does this tell us? That Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest isn't building population fast enough to sustain whatever influence it has in Congress, and hasn't been for a long time.
It also shows that we badly trail the national average in the number of people per member of Congress.
What happens if Minnesota loses a seat? The Legislature will take a crack at redrawing district lines. Now that both houses are under Republican control, it may be less acrimonious than usual. It also may be difficult to knock off a Democrat in the process, there are only four of them left. Two of them are in the Twin Cities -- Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Betty McCollum -- and it's unlikely any district can be drawn that's going to turn either of the city's into non-Democrat strongholds.
Keep in mind that the state's congressional district have to be roughly equal in population. Adding territory from a neighboring Republican district is as likely -- or more likely -- to result in one less Republican member of Congress.
The other two Democrats -- Tim Walz and Collin Peterson -- already have huge amounts of territory in their district. It might be possible to combine, say, pieces of Rep. John Kline's 2nd District with Rep. Tim Walz's 1st District, but that also creates a district bigger than some states. And, besides, Rochester -- in Walz's district -- is actually gaining population, which might make it dicey to carve into Kline's.
Peterson could be a target. His district could expand to include not only more of the Republican-leaning 6th District, but the heavy-Republican-leaning portions of the 6th District. Or he could pick up some of the Iron Range, which probably wouldn't affect new Rep. Chip Cravaack much since his district figures to become more suburban Twin Cities influenced.
If the state doesn't lose any congressional seats, the 6th District will likely change shape. Why? Because the 6th District is always ground zero in redistricting. And if Rep. Michele Bachmann decides to run against Sen. Amy Klobuchar, it'd be an open seat.
It's quite a game, which is why it's perfect to be quite a game. In the last redistricting battle, USC's Annenberg Center created The ReDistricting Game. It's still a great tool, and helps to explain why gerrymandering is only a small part of the, ummm, game.
Outdoor stadium. Football. Snow. Should be fun tonight at TCF Bank Stadium, right? Don't dress for football. Dress for a snowball fight.
Sometimes, the players throw back:
Great fun, right? Not really.(1 Comments)
LiveScience.com considers the possibility of something that a look out the window suggests shouldn't be too hard: What are the chances that all of earth would be covered in snow?
Is it possible that snowfall can occur across the entire Earth? If the temperatures are low enough and if there is an excess of humidity present, then it can," said Caspar Ammann, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. "Is it likely? No."
What a buzzkill, Caspar.
It likely did happen more than 600 million years ago, he acknowledges.
But what if we were able to give the world some of our snow? Could we give a "white Christmas" to the rest of the world? Heck, we've got plenty to share, and you know you've asked the question "where are we going to put it?" at least once today.
Let's do the math and make some ridiculous assumptions to figure out an answer.
At the Woodbury bureau of News Cut at the moment, there is about
24 25 26 27 inches of snow on the ground. We'll assume that's true for the entire state (yes, I know, it's not. And if you're in one of those areas, give me a call. We've got something for you),
There are 57 million square miles of land on earth. There are about 84,000 square miles in Minnesota. The earth, then, is made up of 678 Minnesotas. Assuming (there's that word, again!) it takes a half inch of snow on the ground to unofficially make a "white Christmas," we have enough to provide one for only 7 percent of the world. We'd need another 28 feet of snow to pull this off.
It's true, of course, that parts of the world are already covered by snow, but still half the world's population hasn't seen a snowstorm. We're not going to be able to provide it. Sorry, world.
Do we have enough to cover the U.S. only? There are 3.7 million square miles (44 Minnesotas). With our mythical amount of snow on the ground, we could spread it to a depth of more than an inch throughout the rest of the country.
Here's the current snow cover in the U.S.:
We really only need to cover about half the country.
Let's get started! Arizona, come get your snow!