Defining the line of holding kids responsible, the 'ice out' debate in Minnesota, the hidden Vietnam, pipe down for the pine trees, and that's not Olive Garden; that's an octopus!
In stiff competition, today's "say, what?" news award goes to Onamia where James Richard Thoen, 23, of Onamia, has been charged with possession of bombs, bomb-making materials and a sawed-off shotgun, according to the Mille Lacs Messenger.
Acting on a tip, police found a sawed-off shotgun and "bomb-making materials including plastic and metal pipes, BBs, rubber balls, plastic balls, bullets, shotgun shells and shell components, gunpowder and other items."
He apparently was turned in by an acquaintance who couldn't take a little joke.
According to the complaint, the reporting party told Barnes that Thoen threw a bomb in her general direction while she was sitting in a lawn chair in her yard. She was uninjured, but the bomb went off and blew a leg off the lawn chair.
He could get 20 years in prison if he's ever found.(4 Comments)
If you can be carless in Duluth, you can be carless anywhere.
(h/t: Nate Minor)
Tim Tebow, the quarterback of the Denver Broncos, was replaced this week as the team quarterback by certain hall-of-famer Peyton Manning. It's something that happens every year to a number of teams but this is the first time it's happened to a quarterback who is known more for the symbolism of his evangelical ways than the talent he possessed.
Is Tim Tebow a victim because of his religion?
A Los Angeles Times sportswriter thinks so. Although Bill Plaschke acknowledges that Tebow is the least accurate quarterback in football and acknowledges that a lot of smart NFL executives think he stinks, he insists Tebow is getting a raw deal:
I don't want to face the truth that a quarterback can engineer four consecutive game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime and still get canned because he wasn't pretty enough. I don't want to believe that if this same quarterback makes religious gestures and references afterward, everyone forgets his victories and focuses on his beliefs.
Do you know that in the last five years, Peyton Manning has exactly one more playoff win than Tim Tebow? Just saying.
Plaschke said he wants "to believe that there is room not only for skill born of ability, but skill born of inspiration, and strength born of faith." It's a curious skill because there's little proof that Tebow has NFL-level skill. There was the day he was drafted by the Broncos to be a backup quarterback, and there's less so now.
It's true, of course, the Broncos won 3 games in overtime. It's also true that with the playoffs on the line, the Broncos -- I'm sorry, Tim Tebow since football isn't a team game in analyzing team results -- lost four of the last five games they played. They beat the Steelers in the first game of the playoffs, then got smoked by the New England Patriots in a game that showed that some smart NFL executives are actually smart.
But writing on NPR's "Monkey See" blog today, NPR's Linda Holmes said the game of football needs someone the fans can love.
If you feel disenchanted with your team as an entity because you're being treated shabbily in favor of zillionaires who don't even really care about the game, it helps to at least have individual guys you admire for some reason. And if you have made that kind of investment in a seat -- if you've practically taken out a second mortgage -- the team had better give you something to feel good about, even if it's not the win-loss record. A Tim Tebow, with his potential appeal to fans who admire his bearing in general and his public displays of his faith in particular -- or substitute Drew Brees, or Aaron Rodgers, or obviously Peyton Manning -- may become a better draw than even the team itself. Being a Cowboys fan (for example) is complicated when it feels like being a fan of a large, wealthy company that's trying to take you for every dollar you have. Being a Tim Tebow fan or a Peyton Manning fan is easy if you believe the worst thing the guy is going to do is play badly.
The writer says "a team might reasonably prefer that you be loved by fans rather than feared by opponents."
That's an odd assertion that might get a good test. Tebow was dealt to the New York Jets this afternoon. Nothing -- except, perhaps, a halfway-decent defense -- could make a Patriots fan happier than the prospect of getting to play against a good guy with lousy talent.
Some of the nation's backers of the "Stand Your Ground Law," under which a Florida man has so far escaped prosecution, appear to be rewriting history.
George Zimmerman, 28, apparently shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin to death last month after pursuing him and then claiming self defense.
The law, a version of which was vetoed last month by Gov. Mark Dayton in Minnesota, expands the "castle doctrine" in matters of self defense.
Zimmerman was warned by a 911 operator not to pursue Martin, who was unarmed.
Florida Sen. Durrel Peaden, who wrote the law in the state, says Zimmerman shouldn't be protected by the law because he ignored police advice to stay away. "They got the goods on him. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid," Peaden tells the Miami Herald. "He has no protection under my law."
Florida's expanded Castle Doctrine law passed in 2005. Two years later, the nationwide effort -- partly motivated by Florida's law -- found a hero in Joe Horn.
In Pasadena, Texas,. Horn chased down burglars of his neighbor's house, and shot them to death. A grand jury refused to indict him, Horn was hailed as a hero, and -- as Time magazine reported -- it was considered a victory for the expanded Castle Doctrine.
"If the Castle Doctrine were interpreted with the kind of sobriety and restraint espoused by my instructor (and responsible gun owners), it would be a good law," Nathan Thornburgh wrote. "But by celebrating its most overreaching interpretations, those who make a hero out of Joe Horn will ultimately only succeed in ensuring that it isn't."
Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies, notes that two shootings per week occurred under the law by 2009.
In Texas in 2007, Joe Horn also claimed that "he was afraid for his life" in justifying his fatal shooting. But like the Martin case, the 911 tapes are damning in showing that Horn's life clearly was never at risk -- he, like Zimmerman, pursued the supposed burglars, even though they weren't even on his own property.
But Horn apparently knew the law offered him no protection for his actions. It didn't need to. He had a grand jury to do that.(4 Comments)
Minnesota has a lot going for it, but it's a barber shop backwater, at least when it comes to barber shops on wheels.
Minneapolis Saint Paul Rep. Rena Moran filed a bill to require the Board of Barber Examiners to allow mobile barber shops.
Back to the future, people.
There's at least one mobile barbershop business in the Twin Cities that I know of, but apparently they're not legal.(3 Comments)
Had he lived, Bach would be 327 years old today. And that's really the thinnest of threads NewsCut needs to bring back an old favorite -- the time Joshua Bell played as a street musician in the Washington Metro (including the not-too-shabbyy "Chaconne" from Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita No. 2 in D Minor) and almost nobody noticed.
As usual in the immediate aftermath of a plane crash, some of the initial facts and witness accounts don't quite add up. That's the case for the plane crash in Glencoe today that claimed three lives.
The accident occurred around 11 a.m.
The plane was not under air traffic control supervision, according to FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory.
That's one part that doesn't add up. Here's why: This is the weather observation at the nearby airport at the time of the crash, according to the website, FlightAware.
The weather at the time of the crash was five miles visibility and overcast at 900 feet above the ground. In that area, the so-called Class E airspace begins at 700 feet above the ground and requires the pilot to stay 500 feet below clouds. That's fairly impossible in this case, it would have required the pilot to fly 200 feet above the ground (and there are three towers in the vicinity that are at least 300 feet high). Just minutes before the crash, the cloud cover was reported as "broken," indicating deteriorating weather.
That means the pilot was likely operating in instrument flight conditions, which would have required him/her to be in some sort of contact with air traffic control. If he/she wasn't -- as the FAA indicated -- it means the pilot was flying by visual flight rules in conditions when VFR flight isn't allowed.
Meanwhile, just a few dozen miles away at Flying Cloud airport, the clouds were 2,700 feet above the ground, plenty of room for legal VFR flight.
In the other direction -- Marshall -- the cloud ceilings quickly went from 4100 feet to 600 feet around the time of the crash.
There is, of course, no proof that the pilot wandered inadvertently into instrument conditions, however we know a couple of things: (a) the conditions were right to trap a pilot into flying into so-called IMC and (b) inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions is one of the most common causes of aircraft accidents.
Here's what it looks like when it happens:
It's not known -- yet -- whether the pilot in today's crash was instrument rated. If so, he/she would've contacted air traffic control. If not, it's very easy to lose situational awareness and a sense of which way is "up," that often leads to a stall/spin. So can efforts to stay out of such conditions.
It's possible -- since we don't know where the plane was traveling from or to -- that the plane encountered an engine malfunction, but the relatively concentrated area of the wreckage does not suggest an attempt at an emergency landing, at least judging by this photo from MPR photographer Jeffrey Thompson.
That, of course, is not to say there wasn't an attempt at an emergency landing, but even with wet and plowed fields, the flat terrain in the area is conducive to a successful emergency landing attempt.
The Star Tribune reported a witness in the area heard "popping sounds" shortly before the crash, but such reports have been shown to be notoriously unreliable in previous crash investigations.
It's a mystery, but not one without clues to consider.