A manifesto manifesto, U2 in the rain, a more perfect Union in St. Paul, Cuddyer in focus, and the land of 10,000 Santas.
Anders Behring Breivik , the Norwegian terrorist, made his first court appearance in Oslo today, indicating he expects to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Theoretically, the "rest of his life" can be defined as 16 years.
That was the most shocking -- to me -- nugget that came out of Scott Simon's interview on Saturday with Halvard Sandberg, a reporter for the Norwegian broadcasting corporation.
"This person, he will be convicted," Sandberg said. "with the harshest penalty we can give him, which is 21 years. That means he is out after 16 years. He might be out after 14 years. He might be a free man. And he killed so many. We don't have laws that can lay out a penalty for what he has done."
Sandberg says that's the biggest topic of conversation in Norway right now.
The Associated Press reports that it might be possible for Norway to continue to incarcerate the man behind Friday's attacks by declaring him a threat to society.(1 Comments)
The Wall St. Journal has today's most sobering graphic: An interactive map that documents the percentage of unemployed people who have been out of work for at least a year. Minnesota, with a comparatively low unemployment rate, ranks 41st in the category. Nevertheless, one out of five people unemployed in Minnesota, has been jobless for at least a year.
The majority of out-of-work Minnesotans are unemployed for between five and 14 weeks.
Find all the data and play with the map here.
When the Federal Aviation Administration's authority to collect a tax on airline passengers expired the other night, a lot of experts predicted a windfall for travelers with airfares dropping slightly without the tax.
What were they thinking?
Instead, the airlines raised their fares an equal amount. The traveling public has seen nothing out of the deal. It's the airlines who are reaping the benefit of the failure of Congress to pass an FAA budget.
Keep in mind, the tax that expired was not a tax on airlines, it was a tax on the passenger. In some cases, the tax was as high as 10 percent.
The airlines argue it's no big deal because the passenger is paying the same amount of money as before, it's just that the money that was going to the federal government is now going to them.
"One of the major airlines could have said, `Hey, at least for a week we're going to give this money back to the consumers," said Rick Seaney, who tracks prices as CEO of FareCompare.com. "I'm surprised no one made promotional hay over this."
Scientists who have been looking for intelligent -- or any other type of -- life in the galaxy have assumed through various models that there might be as many as 10,000 tech savvy civilizations out there looking for us while we look for them.
But a new report, published on LiveScience.com today, suggests the number may be closer to zero.
Astrophysicist David Spiegel at Princeton University and physicist Edwin Turner at the University of Tokyo debunk the models, based on taking the fundamental laws that established life on earth and calculating that they apply elsewhere, too. The pair argues that the laws don't translate to the rest of the galaxy.
"Although life began on this planet fairly soon after the Earth became habitable, this fact is consistent with ... life being arbitrarily rare in the Universe," the authors state. In the paper, they prove this statement mathematically.
Their result doesn't mean we're alone -- only that there's no reason to think otherwise. "[A] Bayesian enthusiast of extraterrestrial life should be significantly encouraged by the rapid appearance of life on the early Earth but cannot be highly confident on that basis," the authors conclude. Our own existence implies very little about how many other times life has arisen.
In other words: The genesis of life in other worlds is not inevitable.(3 Comments)
Word reached us today that Leonard Parker has died at age 90 after a long illness.
Parker, an architect, designed several iconic buildings including the Humphrey Center, the Minneapolis Convention Center, an addition to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Minnesota Judicial Center (an awesome combination of integrating the old with the new). He also worked on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
He could carry a tune, too, as this video from January showed:
The funeral will be held at Temple Israel at 12:30 on Wednesday.