Why do disasters recalibrate us, redshirting kindergarteners, public radio comedy, the moral dimensions of art, and a sled dog protest against sulfide mining.
Some of Hollywood's biggest names -- Brad Pitt, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon, Martin Sheen, George Clooney included -- performed a play on Saturday based on transcripts from the court case against Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.
The entire play, directed by Rob Reiner, was streamed live. Several gay actors played the part of proponents of the ban.
Video of the original trial has never been released.(1 Comments)
There's a bit of a disconnect between national gas prices and what's going on in the upper Midwest.
AAA's press release on gas prices today says the national average for gasoline is up 2.6 cents since Friday The price has risen for 27 straight days, to $3.77 a gallon, it says.
Not close to the situation in Minnesota. Late last week, the price jumped 15 cents a gallon -- to $3.69, then dropped to $3.59 and over the weekend the price dropped a couple of pennies at some stations.
It's true, the price is trending higher over the last month, but while the U.S. average has seen a steady increase, the gasoline prices in the metro have jumped, fallen back a bit, then jumped more.
Things could be worse. You could be in Wisconsin (the green line).
Check out this chart from TwinCitiesGasPrices.com (click image for more readable version).4 Comments)
Players and teams in the National Hockey League are sponsoring an effort to rid sports of homophobia.
The You Can Play project rolled out the first of several PSAs yesterday:
In the video are: Patrick Burke (Philadelphia), Brian Burke (Toronto), Rick Nash (Columbus), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Brian Boyle (New York), Matt Moulson (New York Islanders), Joffrey Lupul (Toronto), Claude Giroux (Philadelphia), Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa), Scott Hartnell (Philadelphia), Corey Perry (Anaheim), Andy Greene (New Jersey), Dion Phaneuf (Toronto), Henrik Lundqvist (New York).
Last year, a small number of baseball teams produced the "It Gets Better" campaign in the wake of the suicides of gay teenagers, but most teams did not join in. The Twins promised an effort in the project this coming season.(4 Comments)
At the rate we're going, this is going to be something you can tell your grandchildren about: The day when it was possibly to play hockey outdoors, including on the ponds.
Time.com says researchers are finding the "outdoor-skating season" is continuing to narrow:
Researchers from McGill University and Concordia University in Canada studied historical weather data in the country going back to the 1950s. Using that information they calculated the beginning and end of what they called the outdoor-skating season (OSS) each year -- the months when the temperature was consistently cold enough to support outdoor ice hockey.
Of the 142 weather stations they surveyed, the vast majority reported temperature data that meant the OSS was getting steadily shorter, with warmer winters and less time for outdoor hockey. They found that the biggest decrease in the skating season was occurring in the prairies and southwestern Canada. Extrapolating into the future, they estimated that outdoor hockey soon go extinct in warmer parts of the country like British Columbia and southern Alberta.
Their study was published today in the Institute of Physics journal Environmental Research Letters. Here's the complete paper.(1 Comments)
A Republican and a DFLer in the Minnesota Senate have finally found common ground: Soil.
Republican Gen Olson and DFLer Patricia Torres Ray today filed SF2254, designating Lester as the official state soil.
Can you have a state soil if it's only found in a small part of the state?
The Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Scientists has already declared Lester the state soil.
The Natural Resources and Conservation Service describes Lester:
The Lester Series consists of very deep, well drained soils that formed in loamy, calcareous glacial till, on ground moraines. Slopes range from 5 to 70 percent. Mean annual precipitation is about 28 inches and mean annual soil temperature is about 49 degrees.
These soils formed under wooded vegetation that has been removed in many areas for agricultural production. Where used for crops, corn and soybeans are the principal ones. Corn yields range from 139 to 187 bushels/acre and soybeans from 42 to 55 bushels/acre, depending on percent slope and climate in Major Land Resource Area 103.
Lester soils are of moderate extent, occurring in 75 map units in 17 counties in south-central Minnesota. Total acres are over 600,000.
At least they didn't try to make frac sand the official soil.(8 Comments)
In the effort to reduce medical costs, computerizing records and making patient history more accessible to doctors doesn't seem to be working.
Doctors who have easy computer access to results of X-rays, CT scans and MRIs are 40 to 70 percent more likely to order expensive tests than doctors without electronic access, the Washington Post reports this afternoon on a study to be published in the March issue of the journal Health Affairs.
It's a challenge to the notion that health information technology can cut costs.
Researchers found that doctors who did not have computerized access ordered imaging tests in 12.9 percent of visits, while doctors with electronic access ordered imaging in 18 percent of visits, a 40 percent greater likelihood. Doctors with computerized access were even more likely -- about 70 percent -- to order advanced imaging tests, such as PET scans, which experts said are most commonly used to detect cancer, heart problems, brain disorders and other central nervous system disorders.
The study found the results hold true even after taking into account other factors, such as patient demographics, doctor specialty and physician self-referral.
Researchers were not able to determine why physicians ordered the imaging tests, or whether in those cases, physicians had looked at patients' prior chest X-rays. Nor were they able to assess whether the increased imaging helped or harmed patients.
The data also didn't indicate whether a doctor's computer system had sophisticated features, commonly known as online clinical decision support, that help doctors make treatment decisions.
Electronic patient records has been a key part of modernizing health care.