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September 26, 2007

Germs in space, come back more deadly.

The germ, Salmonella, best known as a culprit of food poisoning was sent along with scientists on the Space Shuttle STS-115 in September 2006, to see how space travel affects germs.

Arizona State University science team has shown for the first time that space makes germs more deadly.

They did the test by feeding mice the space germs. They found out that the mice were three times more likely to get sick from the germs in space then the mice fed on Earth.

Cheryl Nickerson, an associate professor at the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at Arizona State University, reports the results of the salmonella study: Researchers found 167 genes changed in the salmonella when it went into space. Results were in today's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nickerson said that some germs may become stronger and some may become weaker on spaceflight.

Studies have also shown that astronauts immune systems become weaker in space.

Researchers tested the germs in hopes to finding a vaccine to treat or prevent outbreaks of salmonella and other infectious diseases on Earth

"These bugs can sense where they are by changes in their environment," Nickerson said. "The minute they sense a different environment, they change their genetic machinery so they can survive."

Attribution Anaylsis

I will be looking at the article about the arrest of two teenage boys in connection with the shooting of Vernice Hall.

I thought the sources used in the article were very good and credible sources. They included: Lt. Amelia Huffman, head of the homicide unit, Police Chief Tim Dolan, Mayor R.T. Rybak, another murder victim's father Guy Jones, and witnesses.

They sources were spaced out well and didn't jump around, other than when she told about Guy Jones' daughter and then jumped down towards the end to quote Jones.

The reporter set up the attributions well by starting with Lt. Huffman talking about what exactly happened then continuing with the Police Chief on his thoughts about what happened followed by Mayor R.T. Rybak on what they are trying to do to prevent his from ever happening and closing with Guy Jones on thoughts of his daughter's death in regards to Vernice's death. There is also information given by witnesses who heard the gun shots and saw that Vernice was shot in the head.

There were, however, a few times in the article where some of the information I was unsure of how the reporter new the information she was relaying. They made statements about crime rates going down but there is no attribution to how they know that.

September 25, 2007

2 teens arrested for death of Minneapolis girl

Minneapolis - A 12-year-old girl was shot near her north Minneapolis home. Two teenage boys have been arrested in connection with the shooting of the girl.

Vernice Hall was shot in the head just two days before the two boys were arrested.

The Minneapolis Police Department's violent-crime apprehension unit picked up the two boys, 16 and 17, on Monday afternoon said, Lt. Amelia Huffman, head of the homicide unit.

Huffman believed the incident was gang-related but did not elaborate on the role the teenagers played in the shooting.

Vernice walked outside her family's home about midnight Friday as a siblings party was winding down. Witnesses told Vernice's father that four men were shooting at people leaving the party, but that Vernice was not the intended target. She is now located at Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition.

Witnesses said they heard about eight or nine gunshots and saw that Vernice had been hit in the head.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed that we're on the right trail," Police Chief Tim Dolan said Monday night. "We're hoping and praying for her."

New efforts in tackling youth violence are being made by Mayor R.T. Ryback for a new truancy curfew center with prevention programs.

Initiatives to help fight crime seem to be working with violent crime rates down 14 precent compared to last year and juvenile crime down 20 percent from last year.

NBA Timberwolves travel to Europe for preseason games

Wolves start their preseason games in Instanbul and London. On Oct. 10, Minnesota will play past teammate Kevin Garnett with the Boston Celtics in London.

When the Wolves return to the States they will have a few more preseason games before the actual season kicks off on Nov. 2. First pre-season game back will be against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 15. Followed by Atlanta Oct. 16, Indiana Oct. 19, and Milwaukee Oct. 20. Wolves will be back to Minnesota to play two preseason games on Oct. 23 against the Pacers and Oct. 26 against the Bucks.

On Oct. 4, the Timberwolves will dedicate a new NBA Cares Learn & Play Center presented by the leading home textile brand Taç, at Avcilar Atatürk Ilkögretim Okulu, a school affected by the earthquakes of 1999. The Center will give kids access to educational resources and a safe place to play with the features of a newly created basketball court as well as a Reading & Learning Center for the community.

The NBA Cares efforts in Istanbul started in 2002. This year NBA Cares, Minnesota Timberwolves players and team owner Glen Tayler partnered up with Starkey Hearing Foundation to distribute state-of-the-art hearing aids for over 1,000 children

NBA Cares works with internationally-recognized youth-serving programs to support education, many health related causes such as UNICEF; the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis and works with youth and family development as well.

China laywer detained for writing about human rights disaster.

BEIJING — A Chinese lawyer was convicted of subversion again and detained after writing to U.S. lawmakers asking for their help in exposing what he called an "ongoing human rights disaster in China," said an activist friend.

Gao Zhishen was taken from his Beijing apartment on Saturday night, activist Hu Jia said, citing his information from Gao's relatives who had no idea where Gao was taken or if he faces new charges, Hu said.

A letter was released by the Falun Gong spiritual group and opened from Gao to the U.S. Congress saying Congress could help bring change to China by opening up of the internet and supporting free media outlets.

In regards to the letter signed Sept. 12, Gao said, "More and more Chinese people are speaking out against the coming Olympic Games in China, which they often refer to as 'the bloody Olympics' and 'the handcuff Olympics."

Held every five years, the Communist Party congress, will gather to set the agenda for the party and the country of China for the next five years. It will likely include a re-evaluation of some of the top leaders that may be shuffled around.

Gao was arrested on August 15, 2006. He was later sentenced to jail for three years.

Minnesota. Smart State?

Minnesota is well above average according to the National Assessment of Educational Pregress. The state ranks second nationwide based on math test scores among eighth-graders and ranked fifth for fourth-graders on test scores.

The NAEP gives out tests every year to measure how the states compare on student achievement. They are given out every year to the fourth and eigth - graders along with science tests administered in the intervening years.

Massachusetts was the only state to rank higher than Minnesota on the eighth-grade tests.

In 2005, Minnesota ranked near the head of the class nationwide in math and reading scores.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Education commissioner Alice Seagren have been worried that Minnesota wasn't keeping up with the rest of the world in math, science, engineering and technology so money has been poured into more resources for the students to get the teachers who will help them in those disciplines.

According to the report card there seems to still be a significant academic achievement gap between Minnesota's white students and students of color. However the gap has narrowed among the African-American students and the Hispanic students.

September 24, 2007

Take a walk in the Pope's shoes.

Two huge boxes from Rome arrived at the Sharing and Caring Hands, a downtown Minneapolis homeless mission. Friends of Rev. Joseph Johnson, the rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul, were visiting from the Vatican and received a tour of the Twin Cities area.

Mary Copeland, director of Sharing and Caring Hands, opened the two big boxes brought in by Rev. Johnson not sure what was inside.

Rev. Johnson told Copeland the boxes were from the Pope. "What do you mean? The Pope," said Copeland.

Copeland opened the boxes to see several dozen pairs of handmade Italian shoes to give to the poor.
Take a walk in the Pope's shoes. | Entries | News Blogger | Movable Type Publishing Platform
"These are just grand! This is just the best gift. That Pope Benedict, wherever you are, God bless you!" said Copeland.

"It's a blessing for everybody. All the kids love them. The parents love them, too. I just can't stop smiling. Thank you pope," said Tasha Allen, who received a pair of shoes.

Copeland received a note from the Vatican and a picture of the Pope.
"That was very nice because now the pope is praying for me, I know I'll keep going," said Copeland.

September 22, 2007

U of M Strikers return to Work

After 17 days of being on strike, University of Minnesota AFSCME Union workers decide to return to work after reaching a settlement with the University's Administration.

The reached an agreement for a two-year contract of a 2.25 percent cost of living increase for clerical and technical wokers, a 2.5 percent cost of living increase for health care workers, and annual step raises for experience plus a $300 lump sum each year.

There are still 1,000 of the 3,100 workers still on strike. Monday, students, faculty members and union supporters decided to go on a hunger strike by only having water and juice. One participant was impacted by the hunger strike so the group needed to contact a nurse said Marion Traub-Werner, a geography graduate student.

September 21, 2007


The story about the 17-year-old who was shot only had two sources. One was Sgt. Tammy Diedrich and a police report. There were no witnesses, nothing from the victim. It doesn't explain much and does give much credential to the story. It makes you just aware that something happened but doesn't give any more clue as to if the boy is safe, who shot at him, why they shot at him, or what was even really going on. I think he should have tried to get witnesses or the victim or maybe someone who works at Supershuttle.

I didn't think it was a very informative story.

September 20, 2007

Not enough takers for the flu shots.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, only one in five babies and toddlers get the recommended flu shot.

There will be more than 130 million doses of the flu shot available this year, which is a record high from past years.

According to the health department, between October 2006 and May 2007, 88 Minnesotans died of the flu or flu-related complications.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, four ways you can stop the spread of influenza is, get vaccinated, stay home if your sick, cover your mouth, and wash your hands regularly.

Clinics will open in October, just around the time of flu season.

For all adults older than 50, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and anyone between with underlying conditions of pregnancy or chronic illnesses are recommended by government to get the shots.

Cast iron coffin identified - 15 yr. old boy

William Taylor White, 15-years-old, died in 1852 and buried in the Columbia College cemetery.

Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution who were working on this project believe the coffin was left behind when the cemetery was later moved.
White was from Accomack, Va., and was a descendant of one of the Jamestown settlers, Anthony West. White was a student at the preparatory school of the college formerly known as George Washington University.

The forensic anthropologists and pathologists reported that White's death was contributed to congenital heart disease, a ventricular septum defect, which is a hole in the heart.

White's death was confirmed Jan. 24, 1852, in an obituary published in the Daily National Intellegencer newspaper of Washington on Jan.28, 1852.

White was determined by clothing historians as wearing a shirt, vest and pants that were consistent with the clothing styles worn in the early mid-1850s.

His cast-iron coffin was a Fisk style Egyptian mummy case patented in 1848.

September 19, 2007

U. of Miss. frat appeals supsension

A University of Mississippi fraternity are asking school officials to re-think their one-year suspension after a student said he was assaulted and called a racial slur at a party.

Freshman Jeremiah Taylor, 18, attended a party at Delta Kappa Epsilon and said he was pushed down the stairs and called the N-word.

"We have filed an appeal that says the evidence doesn't support the penalty. The sanction imposed was not appropriate considering the lack of evidence against the chapter," said David Easlick, executive director of Delta Kappa Epsilon International, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The university judicial council announced the fraternity guilty after listening to 20 witnesses last week. They were found guilty of violations of harassment, assault, disorderly conduct, possession of alcohol and hosting an unauthorized party.

The appeal will be handled "expeditiously," said Jeffrey Alford, associate vice chancellor for university relations.

Taylor filed a complaint on Aug. 24 with the Dean of Students' office, Alford said.

Along with their one-year suspension, the fraternity was fined $1,000 to go towards an alcohol and drug education program fund on campus. Each of the members are required to do 20 hours of community service and participate in a racial sensitivity and alcohol drug abuse program said Alford.

O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson was charged with seven felonies on Tuesday. Simpson, 60, added suspicion of assault and robbery with a deadly weapon along with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping to his court documents, said District Attorney David Roger.

If Simpson is found guilty of the robbery at Palace Station casino, he is looking at life in prison.

"If it was anyone other than O.J. Simpson, he would have been released by now," Simpson's lawyer, Yale Galanter said.

Witnesses said they didn't think Simpson had a gun, but the people he was confronted with were armed.

Alexander, one of the men arrested with Simpson, told "ABC's Good Morning America" he thought Simpson was being set up because another memorabilia dealer who tipped him off recorded everything on tape.

September 17, 2007

Question: Links?

Just wondering if i did the links right? i pushed the lil button and copy and pasted but i dunno if they turned out right?

September 15, 2007

Winning the Powerball: Fantasy or Nightmare?

Jack Whittaker, of West Virginia, won the $314.9 million Powerball, but is now questioning whether it was even worth it.

His wife left him and his granddaughter recently died of a drug addiction. His daughter is currently battling cancer and he is stuck with no friends.

"Every friend that I've had, practically, has wanted to borrow money or something and of course, once they borrow money from you, you can't be friends anymore," said Whittaker.
People would show up at the C&L Super Serve convenience store where he frequently visited and where he bought the winning ticket in hopes he would be willing to give them money. Everyone always had some sort of sob story to get part of his winnings said Brenda, who sold Whittaker the winning ticket. Soon he stopped going to the convenience store because people kept bombarding him with plea's of money.

Whittaker was already a self-made millionaire even before his big jackpot win in December 2002. He started working for his father at the age of 10, and dropped out of school by the age of 14 to start working full time.

Ever since his big win, he's been involved in 460 legal actions and recently settled a lawsuit that alleged his bank failed to catch counterfeit checks of $50,000 from his accounts.

Whittaker has been donating most of his money to his "Jack Whittaker Foundation" which has spent $23 million on building two churches. His family also donates clothing, food and money for college scholarships to local students.

Whittaker was asked if he feels like a role model after the win he said, "I want to be a good example. I want to make people proud of what happens with this winning. I want to promote goodwill and help people."

Analysis Lead

Lead: (Star Tribune)

ST. PAUL - Next week, four teams bidding to replace the fallen Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis will learn which has the inside track on a project that could be worth a quarter-billion dollars.">

This lead tells when (next week), what (bidding to replace the fallen Interstate 35W bridge), where (Minneapolis), why (project could be worth a quarter-billion dollars), who (four teams). I thought the news was a straight-forward news lead because it gave all the hard facts. After the lead it continued to explain the story in more detail. I also compared this lead to's lead:

(AP) St. Paul The number of companies interested in building the replacement Interstate 35W bridge is now four after one company dropped out of the running.">

This lead didn't tell anything about the bidding portion and how much it was worth. That seemed to be the main point in the Star Tribune's story. Their story expressed their lead very well. WCCO didn't say when this bidding was happening, what it was really about, just mainly that a company decided to drop out.

I-35 Bridge Bidding

Losing bidders on the I-35W bridge project won't walk away empty handed.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is ready to pay unsuccessful bidders $500,000 which is a $200,000 increase from the day agency offered the stipend on August 1. The increase is reflected on the increase in expectations for the new bridge. A future light rail is in line for the future bridge.

This is the highest stipend that has ever been offered in Minnesota. The last closest was awarded for $425,000 to the teams competing for the Highway 52 reconstruction in and around Rochester.

Competition is getting down there after KTM Constructors withdrew its name from the project.

Full proposals are required to be submitted by Sept. 18 so the agency can pick the winning builder by the end of September.

DWI Crack down

Minnesota Public Department Safety did a two-week crack down on motorists who were intoxicated.

The "Safe and Sober" campaign of increased enforcement ran from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3.

During the two-week long campaign the State Patrol stopped 343 motorists for driving while impaired. Minneapolis ranked top with 58 citations, followed closely by St. Paul police stopping 57, Bloomington police with 48, Wright County Sheriff stopping 47 and Coon Rapids police followed with 30 motorists.

According to last years results, drunk driving was responsible for 166 deaths on Minnesota roads.

In 2006 there was a record high of 41,842 DWI arrests in the state of Minnesota. Of all the Minnesota residents, 493,059 have a DWI on their record.

Driving drunk is a big risk to take. A first offense can result in a loss of a driver's license for 30 to 90 days and can cost up to $20,000 in fines and legal fees.

Have a sober driver.

September 14, 2007

You Tube

Want to get college credit for watching "You Tube?" Well it's now an option at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Students will be viewing You Tube content and posting comments as well as making videos of their own to post.

The students will start off their You Tube kick by having their class filmed on the You Tube

The students are studying the impact You Tube has in the media. One video submitted by a student in the class was of a student at Ball State University in Indiana, who was filling in as the sports anchor. The teleprompter operator was moving the screen to fast, leaving the student to ad lib most of his newscast. After bombing the four-minute segment he ended with "boom goes the dynamite." The catch phrase became big and was aired on ESPN "Sports Center" as well as the new hit "Veronica Mars."

Professor of Media Studies, Alexandra Juhasz, said she was "underwhelmed" with the content placed on You Tube. She is hoping that it raises some issues on "corporate-sponsored democratic media expression.''

Pitzer student, Darren Grose, who is enrolled in the course said about the site, "You can learn a lot about American culture and just Internet culture in general."

September 13, 2007

Star Wars coming to the Science Museum

Only nine months away, the Star Wars will be at The Science Museum of Minnesota. (website link-

You can visit the museum's website ( to get updates and special offers. You can also join the priority email ticket club which will entitle you the opportunity for buying tickets to the blockbuster exhibit in March, along with many other opportunities said museum officials.

Admission for the Star Wars exhibit is $17 for adults and $14.50 for ages 4-12 and those 60 and older.

According to the Science Museum website ( there will be over 80 costumes, models and props from all six Star Wars films.

The Science Museum is one of only eight museums to host the exhibit in the United States, St. Paul being it's last stop before heading overseas.