November 2011 Archives

Fatality at Yale Tailgate Crash

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One woman is dead and two others injured by a U-Haul truck while tailgating at Yale.

The U-Haul suddenly accelerated and sped into a field where it then hit other U-Hauls in the lot.

The U-Haul was carrying kegs of beer, according to a report from MSNBC.

It is not uncommon for fans to rent U-Hauls and fill them with food and beer and create elaborate buffets.

Spectators observed a moment of silence during the Yale vs. Harvard game that followed the accident.

Age Isn't A Factor in a Math Whiz's Equation

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At St. Paul's Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet School nearly half of the students are placed in math courses that are one or two grade levels above their peers, however, there is one elementary-aged student who is taking courses at a high school level.

Mani Chadaga, a third-grader, walks up the stairs from the elementary part of the building into the middle school division to take Geometry and Algebra II.

When Mani started taking courses upstairs he slouched in his seat and tried to blend in while casually reading his textbook, according to the Pioneer Press.

It didn't take long for this shyness to change.

"He literally taught the rest of them the entire problem," Alex Ford, Mani's math teacher, told the Pioneer Press. "He could stand in front of a room full of eighth graders and describe the solution to problems with poise and confidence and perfect mathematical reasoning."

Fulton Brewery

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From a one-car garage to downtown Minneapolis, Fulton Brewery becomes the first brewery in the city with the ability to sell beer on-site.

The co-founders of Fulton had humble beginnings hopping from garage to garage huddling for warmth over the beers they were brewing.

The "Surly Bill," which was signed by Gov. Mark Dayton,will allow other breweries to move their operations into the Minneapolis city limits.

Councilman Gary Schiff plans to eliminate an old ordinance that prevents alcohol from being sold within 300 feet of a church, according to the Minnesota Daily.

"It's bringing our dream to fruition in a way," Diley told the Minnesota Daily. "We always said we wanted to build a brewery in Minneapolis."

Clashes in Cairo

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Violence erupted between mobs of protestors and security forces leaving two killed and over 600 injured.

The Boston Globe set the scene with strong images of protestors hurling stones and setting armored vehicles ablaze.

BBC paints a similar picture, but with much milder words, saying that protestors lobbed rocks and set police vehicles on fire.

However, both reports cover the actions of the police force in a similar light.

"They were shooting rubber bullets directly at the heads," Malek Mostafa, a protestor told the Associated Press. "I heard an officer order his soldiers to aim for the head."


Factory Farms

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Sparboe farms fired all employees seen in a hidden-camera video taken by animal rights activists.

Mercy for Animals released footage of employees swinging chickens by their feet, burning beaks, and suffocating the animals.

The footage from Mercy for Animals was played by ABC News Sparboe Farms invited ABC to the facilities for a one hour tour, in which, the conditions appeared to much different.

However, McDonalds has vowed not to purchase eggs from Sparboe farms anymore.

The written and broadcast reports have brought attention to the commercial farming industry and called their practices into question.

Berlusconi resigns

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Parliament accepted the austerity conditions that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi submitted as terms for his resignation.

The austerity measures included increasing the resignation from 65 to 67 by 2026, offering tax breaks to companies that hire young adults, and selling state assets according to the New York Times.

The debt in Italy is $2.6 trillion dollars which Time Magazine reports to 120 percent the country's economic output.

With these numbers being broken down by Time and the New York Times it brings a greater clarity to the 380 to 26 vote that approved his terms for resignation.

Greece to beef up bailout

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As economic woes continue for the country new bailout plans were discussed at a meeting of the European summit.

The bailout plan rose from 109 billion Euros in July's plan to 130 billion Euros according to a report from Businessweek.

The article outlines the debt of the nation by stating its debt will reach 163 percent Greece's gross national product by the end of the year, and forcasts an even worse fate with this total reaching 198 percent of the gross national product by 2012.

These numbers are telling, but the anecdotes in the New York Times gives these numbers a face.

"I am not a protestor," Giovanni Urciulo, a small business owner, told the New York Times. "But soon the top on the kettle will pop."

11/11/11

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The day of the perfect palindrome, 11/11/11, had 75,000 couples lining up at the altar.

CNN broke down the statistics from the number centric day in a palatable manner.

The article contextualizes the 80 weddings for 11/11/11 that the Chapel of Flowers had planned by comparing it to their average of about 20 weddings per day.

The Chicago Tribune let a statics professor take the reigns in explaining the significance, or lack of, for the date.

Though both papers did a good job of breaking down their numbers, there was no hope of breaking down the wishful thinking of those celebrating 11/11/11.

The University of Minnesota is seeking $14,000 to fund an ecology project in Tanzania.

The project involves the use of 200 cameras over a 1,000-square-mile area to capture images of how lions coexist with their habitat.

Yasin Mohamud from the Minnesota Daily did a good job of explaining the idea of "crowdfunding" in his article, but he could have done a better job of breaking down the numbers involved.

It would be more meaningful to read that there is one camera for about every five miles in the park as opposed to seeing that there are 200 cameras in 1,000-square mile territory.

Rocket Hub, the website enabling crowd funding, does a good job of breaking down the costs related to the project, and has infographics that make it clear that they have only reached seven percent of their funding goal.

Minneapolis Home with No Furnace

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A Minneapolis man husband and wife removed the boiler and fireplace from their house in hopes of being certified as the first "EnerPHit" home in North America.

MinnePhit House explains that EnerPhit is an energy efficiency code that was designed with older houses in mind.

It is clear that the standards listed on MinnePhit will increase energy efficiency by 10 percent, but the list of hard and fast requirements concerning British Thermal Units (Btus) and Kilowatt hours (kWhr) has little meaning to those outside of the renewable energy circle.

The Star Tribune article does a good job of relating numerical values to information that is meaningful to the average reader.

The idea that space heaters will be sufficient to heat a 2,000-square-foot home may hard to believe, it is an idea that is easy to understand.

Profile on a Cup

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A news profiles is typically thought of as a chance for the media to paint a picture of a person, but this type of story is effective for companies and objects as well, even if that object may be a red plastic cup.

National Public Radio's ode to this plastic cup was an interesting report on a rather mundane topic.

The profile discusses the history of the cup from it's advent to it's status as "Every party's most popular guest."

The cup has had a place in American hearts since the 1970s, but the recent design switch from a circular bottom to a square one gave the story a more meaningful time peg.

However, this article came nearly a month after Slate Magazine's take on the same thing.

Cheers to both publications for taking a risk and profiling a different side of American pop culture.

Muammar Gaddafi Killed by Rebel Forces

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Former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi was killed by rebel forces.

Gaddafi became the ruler of Libya in September of 1969 when he carried out his collegiate plan to overthrow the Idris monarchy and had remained in power until August of 2011.

BBC News describes his rule as an Arab nationalism mixed with a socialist welfare state and popular democracy, however, the democracy doesn't allow for a challenge to national power.

However, rebel forces challenged his regime.

The Guardian reports that Gaddafi was hiding in a drain after a NATO airstrike and was captured by rebel forces. Graphic photos were released of Gaddafi's bloodied corpse.

Cory Smoot Found Dead on Tour

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The lead singer of the sci-fi metal band GWAR, Cory Smoot, 34, was found dead in the band's tour bus.

Citypages reports that Smoot, who was known by fans under the stage name of "Flattus Maximus," was found by band mates after a pit stop to a fuel station in North Dakota.

The band was on its way to Canada and was only two weeks in on its North American tour.

According to the Huffington Post the cause of Smoot's death is unknown.

The lead singer of GWAR, Dave Brockie wrote a statement on the band's website, "We have lost a brother, a husband, a son, and one of the most talented musicians that ever slung an ax."

David Olson Obituary

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David Olson, an ex-KUOM newsman, died at the age of 72.

According to the Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel Olson's death was the result of a battle with heart disease.

Olson was diagnosed with heart disease 20 years prior, but his wife told the Star Tribune that he remained active singing bass in a choir and mentoring the staff at Senate Media Services (SMS) for as long as he could.

In his professional career Olson had worked for ten years as the moderator for SMS, and was the news director and anchor for KUOM radio.

"He could interview anyone about anything," a friend and development director at KUOM, Stuart Sanders said of Olson. "He was amazingly talented."

Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, died at the age of 56 in his home.

Jobs, best recognized as the face of Apple, was worth billions of dollars at the time of his death, but he came from humble beginnings.

Jobs was given up for adoption as a child. Chrisann Brennan, Job's first serious girlfriend, wrote in Rolling Stone that the insecurities and taunts about being adopted wore on Jobs.

Feeling like an outsider for most of his life, Jobs took refuge with Apple as a stand-in family, but his abrasive personality got him booted out in a vote from the board. His replacement, John Sculley, was a friend of Jobs', but in an interview with Businessweek, Sculley said that their friendship didn't survive this change.

Steve Jobs was a visionary, but he was human. Andy Hertzfeld, a Mac programmer, described him to Rolling Stone, "Steve simultanewously has the best and worst qualities of a human being."


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This page is an archive of entries from November 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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