Occupy around the nation, the things we don't have, dying to please in the NHL, why people crash, and NPR's new boss.
The Monday Morning Rouser features Hubert Sumlin, who died yesterday:
1) A DAY IN THE LIFE OF OCCUPY
It's a familiar problem in the foreclosure crisis. Someone makes timely payments until a health problem sucks up the money, then the bank forecloses. That, apparently, is the story of a Minneapolis man, who will be the third person the Occupy Minnesota movement has tried to help forestall foreclosure. The group is 1 for 2 so far in occupying homes of people who have been foreclosed upon.
The Uptake interviewed Bobby Hull at his Columbus Ave. South home which the group will attempt to occupy on Tuesday.
In Chicago, about 30 Occupy protesters have climbed atop an old motel to support a pastor who's been camped out in a tent there. He wants to tear down the former drug den and build an economic development center. The pastor came up with the idea after attending a funeral for a young man in the neighborhood. (Video)
A few dozen protesters were arrested at the OccupyDC site after a shed became the lightning rod for the protest. The incident was the first confrontation at the protest site which has largely been spared the showdowns in other cities.
In Massachusetts, a Boston Globe-Suffolk University poll showed residents there split on the Occupy movement. But it clearly seems to break down along political lines.
2) THE THINGS WE DON'T HAVE
"Sam," who blogs fairly anonymously at the blog, "Blogging at FL 250," is a good example of a terrific writer who gives blogging a good name. He's a Minnesota-based pilot for a regional airline with the ability to connect the rest of us to his exploits and observations. He has a poignant story in his latest post about our ability to fixate on the things we don't have.
It's a post called "Wanting," and it's based on a miscarriage.
3) DYING TO PLEASE
The New York Times is taking a long look at the life and death of Derek Boogaard, the former member of the Minnesota Wild who died last year. Thousands of Wild and NHL fans made Boogaard their favorite, and it wasn't because he could score. It was because he entertained them with what appears to ultimately have killed him. As much as the New York Times series focuses on the systemic problems of concussions in sports, it's hard to escape the notion that it's also a look at the kind of people we are.
4) WHY PEOPLE CRASH
In the last week there have been an unusual number of accidents in which cars ended up in rivers and lakes. Just last night, for example, a pick-up truck traveling east on Vadnais Boulevard in Vadnais Heights went into the lake and ended up upside down. What are the odds that a deputy on a dive team happened to be driving by. He put on a wet suit and rescued the man inside, who wasn't breathing, the Pioneer Press says.
Yesterday morning, a woman died after the SUV she was driving rolled down a hill and into St. Louis Bay in Billings Park.
Pick-up trucks and SUVs tend to be involved in dry-weather accidents because drivers, especially men over 45, have an improper sense of security. Women crash at a high rate because they don't adjust for road conditions, the Purdue University study, reported in the Chicago Tribune, says:
"My theory is that women tend to drive at the same speed regardless whether the road is wet or dry, failing to compensate for the reduced friction. But interestingly, women's crash rates do go down on snow and ice," (Purdue University researcher Fred Mannering) said.
An earlier study conducted by Mannering found that there was no major decline in serious-injury accidents in the 1990s when antilock brakes and air bags became standard equipment on vehicles. His hunch was that people drove faster or more easily became distracted, perhaps lulled into feeling safer thanks to the safety technology.
5) THE NEW BOSS
The new boss of NPR (formerly National Public Radio) is beginning his first full week of work at the news organization with an age-old dilemma: How to make or keep NPR relevant in all sorts of media without alienating the local stations which have made it an information powerhouse?
"One of the strengths of public radio is localism," Gary Knell tells the New York Times. "The fact is the stations need NPR because we find these anchor programs, and NPR needs the stations for the local connectivity that they provide."
Last Thursday, Knell went on NPR's Talk of the Nation and said, "I think we have a fantastic product with millions and millions of listeners who support us each and every day, and I want to continue in that tradition and try to work to build a sustainable economic plan for NPR that's going to last for years to come."
Seems innocent enough, but the comment angered some listeners -- public radio listeners are notoriously detail-centered -- when he referred to NPR's content as product.
"When did NPR become a product, not a service? I know this sounds nitpicky, but there is an important distinction in the corporate world. A product is something for sale or profit. A service is something which is provided, hopefully, independent of vested interests. This country desperately needs information services which are passionately independent and neutral, not a product for sale," one listener wrote.
Bonus: Jazz for cows. Why not?
An Intelligence Squared debate being aired on Midday today looks at the question of whether too many young people go to college. Unemployment among college graduates is high, and student-loan debt now exceeds credit-card debt. Today's Question: Is the value of college overemphasized?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Making sense of congressional redistricting.
Second hour: Flying with children.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: St. John's University historian Nick Hayes, on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union.
Second hour: A debate from NPR's Intelligence Squared series: Do too many kids go to college?
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: U.S. options in Syria.
Second hour: Actor John Lithgow.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - New findings in the psychology of dishonesty. Are creative people more likely to be dishonest? Some researchers say they could be, because they have the creativity to talk themselves into lying or cheating.
// it's hard to escape the notion that it's also a look at the kind of people we are.
I'd like to contend that if you can watch that video without getting sick to your stomach, there's something seriously wrong with you.
And yet in the comments of your February 19 post about hockey fights, you mocked and sneered at the suggestion that there was something wrong with being entertained by two guys clubbing each other with their fists.
Hard to escape, indeed.
There was no post on February 19, Judy. The closest was a post in April on goalies fighting (which is a little different than when goons fight). I called it "silly," which it is. Silly, as in stupid. A couple of people dressed up like the Michelin man trying to inflict ....what, exactly?
The comments I added were:
"Back when I was a kid, we'd see the occasional goalie fight. Of course, back then, the goalies had a little more flexibility. They didn't have pads the size of railroad freight cars."
"//hopes that it was penned by a guest author and not my beloved Bob Collins, but no such luck. Sigh.
Well, at least you didn't go with "I expect more from MPR." If you had, I'd have had to take a swig. (g)"
"high school has been"????? I'll have you know I garnered ...umm... er..... ehhh..... 0 points in my high school career.
I'm a proud "never was"
"This is a first. After nearly four years of doing News Cut, I have no clue what these comments are about. (g)
It's a very "Minnesotan" thread."
"I don't know when I've ever been more entertained by a thread."
In fact, the comment threat had almost nothing to do with the question of GOALIES fighting. What it had to do with, I still can't quite figure out. It was like coming into the middle of a conversation.
In September, I tackled -- no pun intended -- the question of concussions and goon hockey. Not sure why nobody commented. But nobody commented.
Also, Judy, next time you comment, it'd be great if you use a real e-mail address.
If NPR programming isn't a product, then why do the shows have "producers"?
It may not be a commercial product, but it is still the product of hard work by teams of writers, producers, technicians, hosts, etc.
When did NPR become a product, not a service?
I'd nitpick with that comment if I was with NPR. The methods of delivery are services (radio, web, social media, etc.) What they deliver (news, music, arts programming, etc.) is a product. It always has been, it always will be. The Free Dictionary defines product this way:
1. Something produced by human or mechanical effort or by a natural process.
Most public radio "purists" prefer "content," rather than "product."
"Content" is the lord's work. Product is madison avenue's work.
That's just the way journos think. I can't really explain it. But that's how they think.
Personally, I prefer "term papers." (g)
Re NPR as product:
I too cringe at business terms of art.
But Knell was ceo of SESAME WORKSHOP. Ever hear of a cute little red guy with a squeaky voice named ELMO? Ever seen an elmo toy? Perhaps better said, ever been in a home with small children where you DIDN'T see ( or hear) an elmo toy?
Sesame Street is arguably one of the best shows one television, ever. Extremely creative, educational, entertaining, humorous, egalitarian, and non-violent.
If NPR listeners have to put up with a new term or two from the big cheese in exchange for continued - and perhaps even improved - quality, maybe we can find something else to complain about.
Re #3 - Derek Boogard was as tough as they come and it was great to have him on the Wild. Hockey is a physical game and his mere presence provided protection to others on the team. The end of his life is a tragedy. A few years back, the league tried to curtail fighting with an instigator rule. I get the impression that cheap shots against star players became more prevalent. Evidently a fighter on the other team is more of a deterrent than a few minutes in the penalty box. Until the NHL implements a system of rules that adequately inhibits dirty play (including fighting), teams will resort to enforcers.
It can be done while leaving the game intact. I enjoy watching college hockey and olympic hockey, both of which are relatively free of fights. Fighting also seems less common during the NHL playoffs than the regular season.
// I get the impression that cheap shots against star players became more prevalent.
There was a time when the "star" player was also the "toughest" player. Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr come immediately to mind.
Of course, there were "goons" back then too -- I guess Bobby Clarke needed Dave Schultz, although I don't know why. But now the league considers all of its top stars breakable dolls.
Can't let you discuss tough hockey players without mentioning the great, mask-less goalie - Gump Worsely.
And a nice sense of humour as well: Early in his career with the Rangers, when Worsley was regularly facing 40–50 shots a night, he was asked "Which team gives you the most trouble?" His reply - "The New York Rangers."
Accused by Rangers' coach Phil Watson of having a beer belly, he replied, "Just goes to show you what he knows. I only drink Johnnie Walker Red."
(( S/R (stick raise) to Wikipedia))
I know I'm 4 posts to late, but I fear a time when there is a "tickle me Terry Gross" toy...
Really take one one from the list and put "Tickle Me" in front of their name, and try to keep a straight face (possible exception to car talk, where people tune in every week to listen to them laugh at what they just said.)
Jon - thanks a mil for the many laughs!
I too hope that the "product" paradigm does not become pervasive at npr.
That said, if they were to give a producers' club membership premium of a voodoo doll of that queen of affected delivery, Eleanor Beardsley...
"As much as the New York Times series focuses on the systemic problems of concussions in sports, it's hard to escape the notion that it's also a look at the kind of people we are."
"But now the league considers all of its top stars breakable dolls."
Classy. Let's emasculate men who play hockey and don't fight in a post pointing to fan's attitudes re: fighting as a contributing factor in Boogard's death. I do agree on the first point - it's hard to escape.
//Classy. Let's emasculate men who play hockey and don't fight in a post pointing to fan's attitudes re: fighting as a contributing factor in Boogard's death. I do agree on the first point - it's hard to escape.
Stating a fact, JP, does mean I agree with the system. But it is a fact that the NHL's stars require enforcers so "they* don't have to fight.
I think it's a ridiculous notion for the reasons previously stated, but I'm not going to stop pointing out the reality of these stories. The reason hockey has "enforcers" is to do the fighting so the stars don't have to; that's simply a fact.
It has nothing to do with class or lack of same.
The NHL should always be working to make the game safer for the players. However, they will never be able to completely eliminate risk. And a simple ban on fighting could actually put more players at risk. There are a number of other ways one player can injure another. A high elbow to the head, a check from behind into the boards, etc. Rules were just changed this summer to be more aggressive in protecting players from these. If the cheap shots can be eliminated, there will be no need for enforcers. As the need decreases, rosters will favor skills other than fighting.