December 2012 Archives

In 2009, Zach Sobiech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, Pioneer Press reports.

Sobiech, 17, was told in June that he only has a year, maybe even just months, to live.

When his mother heard the news, she suggested he should start writing letters to say his goodbyes. Instead, Sobiech began writing songs.

The first song he wrote was "Clouds" for his girlfriend. Sobiech also wrote songs for his sister and a long time friend.

"It feels good to be able to write a song and feel fulfilled. And getting everything out on one page and then being able to share it with people is even cooler" Sobiech said.

Sobiech and his friend Sammy are currently working on their first CD, "Blueberries" that will be released Dec.15.

More snow for metro area expected tonight

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After Friday dusted Minneapolis with the first snowfall of December 2012, a winter snow storm is expected Saturday, StarTribune reports.

The storm is expected to begin at 10 PM and leave 5-7 inches of snow when it comes to a hault.

The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities area has issued a winter storm warning for the area because of the heavy snowfall.

The snowfall is expected to come to a close Sunday afternoon, a strong wind is predicted to follow causing strong drifts of snow, likely to create blizzard like conditions in some areas.

Supreme Court to hear gay marriage cases

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On Friday the Supreme Court announced that it will hear cases challenging the state and federal laws that define marriage as being between a man and a woman, New York Times Reports.

One court case is from California and challenges weather same-sex marriages should hold the same constitutional right as heterosexual marriages. The other, from New York, challenges a federal law that denies benefits to gay marriages.

Gay marriage is legal, or on its way to becoming legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington.

A total of 31 states, though, have amended their constitutions to prohibit gay marriage.

The Supreme Court will be heard around March, with the decisions expected by late June.

Peace talks with Congo rebels expected to begin this week

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Peace talks are set to begin this week between the Congolese government and eastern rebels in Kampala, Uganda, Chicago Tribune reports.

The peace talks will begin after the rebels, known as March 23 or M23, withdrew from Goma, a principle city of the Democratic Republic of Congo that the rebels had captured this month.

The eight-month-long battle between the rebels and the government is the worst conflict the government have faced in years and officials fear the conflict developing into a war.

More than 100,000 people have been displaced by the recent fighting, urging officials to patrol the streets and ports to unsure a safe influx of humanitarian aid.

In the story, Glamour beasts:The dark side of elephant captivity, there is information on the breeding and inbreeding of elephants as it relates to elephant infant mortality, a recent problem in Zoos.

In this study, there was a Data map that showed the breeding and inbreeding of elephants and their untimely deaths shortly after birth as time elapsed from 1979 to 2006. This was an interesting perspective because it showed the how the "family tree" of the elephants and how they inter-breeded which almost always resulted in the death of the baby elephant. Often the baby elephant was not even named, and this graphic was a dramatic way to show these reports.

For this graphic reporting, the reporter needed to have a fairly large amount of computer graphic knowledge. The graphic tool engaged the reader because it was interactive. The data map showed lines that indicated which elephants breeded which each other, and were different colors of the line showed weather it was inbreeding or not. When an elephant passed away, the circle with it's name turned black. This graphic was a way to tell the story of elephant inbreeding in capitivity in an easily understandable way.

Mattel introducing a Barbie construction set

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Mattel is introducing a Barbie construction set just in time for Christmas, New York Times reports.

Mattel is combining with Lego to create a line of pastel colored Legos for girls to create Lego-luxury hot pink mansions, to encourage girls to develop math and science skills early on.

The hope is that young girls will see the iconic Barbie character in the Mega Bloks Barbie character and be inspired to try the new toy.

Studies also suggest that dads will feel more comfortable spending time building with their daughter than they have playing "doll" with Barbie.

Wisconsin headed to Rose Bowl for third consecutive year

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After beating Nebraska 70-31 on Saturday, the Wisconsin Badgers are headed to the Rose Bowl for the third consecutive year, ESPN reports.

The Badgers will head to the Rose Bowl after scoring seven touchdowns in their first nine possessions.

The Badgers are the first team to have a five loss season to head to the Rose Bowl. The team is also the first team to go three consecutive years in a row since Michigan in the late 1970's.

The Badgers will play Stanford Jan 1, filling Pasadena with red -- a major color in both team's uniforms.

Minnesota women's hockey continues winning streak

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Minnesota women's hockey continues there winning streak on this weekend, beating Wisconsin on both Saturday and Sunday, Minnesota Daily reports.

On Saturday, the Gophers beat Wisconsin 4-1 and continued to triumph on Sunday, beating them 2-0.

This is the first time Minnesota has swept Wisconsin since the 2004-2005 season.

Amanda Kessel scored in both the Saturday and Sunday game and goaltender Noora R├Ąty kept Wisconsin from scoring, blocking a total of 19 shots in Sunday's game.

Saturday also was the first time the Gopher's sold out the Ridder Arena, a total of 3,400 seats.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2012 is the previous archive.

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