Fracking 101, in search of a proper punishment, the outdated Constitution, the Russian plane crash on video, and hangover cures.
I'm not going to lie to you and pretend there's any news going on worth writing about so I'm spending the day going over some old NewsCut posts for a "whatever happened to" series of updates.
In the process, I found this from New Year's Eve two years ago and it reminded me to be more penguin-like. The world needs more penguiny people.(2 Comments)
It was the world's top story for a week or so in January. A cruise ship hit the rocks and capsized in Giglio Porto, Italy. Among the dead was a couple from White Bear Lake.
Whatever happened to the ship?
It's still there.
It's after dark on New Year's Eve in Giglio Porto, but the local newspaper provides this ongoing webcam shot of one of the largest salvage operations the world has ever seen.(7 Comments)
A week or so before the big floods in Duluth, about 7 inches of rain fell over a swath of Dakota and Rice counties. The subsequent hail, and then the drought didn't help farmers any.
A third of Dayna Burtness' Laughing Loon Farm in Northfield was washed away.
Her friends -- and a few strangers -- pitched in to help restore Ms. Burtness' dreams.
It worked. There was a big harvest...
Photo: Laughing Loon Farm (via Facebook)
Dayna Burtness writes on her Facebook page today...
Today I'm looking back at the 2012 farming season, Laughing Loon's first. What a wild ride! We ended up having a successful year (and being able to pay the bills) despite the flood, hail and droughts only thanks to you all. Thank you first to Seeds Farm for allowing LLF to be a part of your program and community. Thank you to all my employees, especially Daniel and Nicole, who worked SO HARD EVERY DAY. Thank you to everyone who donated their time, energy and money to help us recover! Thank you Lundberg Family Farms for the season extension grant and to all of you who voted. Thank you chef supporters for buying everything we grew and giving me valuable encouragement and feedback. Thank you volunteers for helping clean up and replant the farm! Thank you media for covering the flood and drumming up support, especially Reg at WCCO, Bob Collins at MPR News, Asha Anchan at the Star Tribune, and many others. Thank you farmer friends for transplants, words of wisdom, and being shoulders to cry on. Thank you The Bachelor Farmer and Common Roots Cafe for sending groups of staff members to volunteer. Thanks to my parents, Paul and JeanMarie, who give me love, advice, support, food, and cash flow loans. Thanks to my Northfield family, especially Monica, Molly and Aaron, for feeding me and letting me use your shower. Biggest thanks of all to my sweetie Nick for supporting me and my dreams with love, bug squishing, financial support, and being the best doggy-daddy in the world. Here's to next season!!
2013 will bring more disasters and more people responding to help out. They will be large problems or disasters only to us as individuals. But people will respond to both. As you become aware of these, please drop me a line and help tell the stories.(2 Comments)
Last March, I wrote about Joel Beeson, a journalism professor in West Virginia who was all set to be the recipient of a new liver -- via "living donor" transplant -- when the Cleveland Clinic lowered the top age of donors to 55, and his donor was older than that.
"It is unlikely he will survive long enough to get a cadaver liver," his wife told me. So they waited for a living person to donate a portion of their healthy liver. And waited.
Things got bad in September. He had a negative reaction to 68-80% of the general population pool, because of antigens he'd developed.
And then Rachel Fetty stepped forward.
He got a piece of her liver in October.
(Photo: Livr4Joel Facebook)
He was released from the hospital in November.
Unfortunately, I've so far been unable to get a medical update on Mr. Beeson.
These faces never change. For more than 10 years, they've been bringing dead soldiers from Afghanistan to Arlington National Cemetery, accompanied by family members with these expressions.
This is the family of Gary Stouffer, who came home from Afghanistan with anxiety disorders, PTSD, and physical disabilities, only to be killed when a train in Texas hit a parade float on which he was riding.
This is the week when most news organizations cover a slow news week by running lists of top stories of the year. But a continuing war in Afghanistan isn't one of them.
Here, for example, are some of the ones that did make top-10 lists in its place.
General Petreaus had an affair (The Hill)
A guy in Miami chewed on a guy's face (Yahoo!)
There was better food at airports (USA Today)
The potential of a fiscal cliff (Pew)
Felix Baumgartner's jump from space (Google)
At year's end, then, here are some war facts:
-- There are still 68,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. Despite suggestions the troops would be removed by 2014, there is not yet a specific plan to remove them.
-- 309 U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan this year. The 14 killed in December was the lowest monthly loss since April 2009.
-- One in five 1 in 5 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are diagnosed with PTSD. And veterans account for 20 percent of U.S. suicides, according to George Washington University.
-- 10 percent of Gulf War II veterans are unemployed, almost double the rate of Gulf War I veterans.
It's not much of a secret why the "It Gets Better" video campaign only caught on with a few Major League Baseball teams. Openly gay professional athletes are still rare and comments by former and once-beloved Minnesota Twin Torii Hunter might go a long way toward keeping it that way.
Hunter's actual quote is in some dispute, but the Los Angeles Times quotes Hunter this way on the subject of the homosexual athlete.
"For me, as a Christian ... I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right," he says. "It will be difficult and uncomfortable."
Hunter, however, says he was misquoted:5 Comments)