Monthly Archives: March 2014

Feel Good Friday: Hero Coach Halt School Shooting

Several weeks ago, CBS’s 60 Minutes told the amazing story of Frank Hall, an assistant football coach at Chardon High School.  When a a shooter entered the high school and started spraying gunfire into a crowd of students, Hall confronted the shooter and chased him out of the building. 

Here is how the story began: 

Two years ago this week three students were killed and three were wounded in a high school shooting you probably don’t remember because there are so many. An assistant football coach named Frank Hall helped stop that shooting. But when we sat down with him recently, Hall told us he wished there was no reason to know his name or, God forbid, think of him as a hero. He’s the type you’d call a “regular guy.”

On February 27th, 2012, Hall was doing what he always did. With hugs and fist bumps, he kept order among a hundred kids gathering in the school cafeteria before class. Then, Hall was confronted by a question no one can truly answer. What would you do at the sound of gunfire? No time to think. There’s only the reflex of character. This is the story of a fraction of a second and the months of consequences that follow. . . .

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March 28, 2014 · 7:29 pm

Women Are Not Men

That was the title of a recent rebroadcast of the Freakonomics podcast, which asks what do Wikipedia edits and murder have in common? Answer: women statistically do them far less frequently than men.  The podcast also explores why women tend to be less competitive than men, why they make less and why they have become less happy.

Here is a description of the episode from the Freakonomics website:

We take a look at the ways in which the gender gap is closing, and the ways in which it’s not. You’ll hear about the gender gap among editors of the world’s biggest encyclopedia, and what a study conducted in Tanzania and India has to say about female-male differences in competition. You’ll also hear about the female happiness paradox and one of the biggest gender gaps out there: crime. Which begs the question: if you’re rooting for women and men to become completely equal, should you root for women to commit more crimes?

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March 26, 2014 · 11:58 am

Inside the Boston Bombing Investigation

Yesterday, linked to a This American Life story about an Orlando FBI shooting loosely linked to the Boston Marathon Bombing.  Today, we take you inside the investigation of the investigation of the Boston Bombing.

60 Minutes went “the inside story of the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt.” Here is how the story began:

The two explosions that tore through the Boston Marathon nearly a year ago were like a starting gun on a second race against time. Unknown terrorists were on the loose and they had more bombs. Now, for the first time, you’re going to hear the inside story from the federal investigators who ran the manhunt. They led a taskforce of more than 1,000 federal agents, state police and Boston cops.

Tonight, they will speak of the disturbing evidence that cracked the case and of a debate among the investigators that ultimately led to the dragnet’s violent end. The afternoon of April 15th, the FBI’s man in charge of Boston got a text, “two large explosions near the finish line.” For Special Agent Rick DesLauriers, the marathon became a sprint to catch the killers before they struck again. . . .



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March 25, 2014 · 5:55 pm

Boston Bombing, Orlando Shootout

This American Life investigated the mysterious death of Ibragim Todashev, someone “loosely linked to the Boston Marathon bombing.”  Todashev was shot seven times by the FBI in his Florida apartment.  Allegedly, confessed to a triple, execution-style homicide and then went ballistic, requiring the FBI shoot and kill him.  Even more odd than this, the FBI has remained silent about what occurred.

Here is a description of the fascinating podcast from the This American Life podcast:

Last May, a weird story made the news: the FBI killed a guy in Florida who was loosely linked to the Boston Marathon bombings. He was shot seven times in his living room by a federal agent. What really happened? Why was the FBI even in that room with him? A reporter spent six months looking into it, and she found that the FBI was doing a bunch of things that never made the news. HerBoston Magazine story.

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March 24, 2014 · 11:32 pm

Prison Grandma

This edition of Sunday Funday brings a CBS Sunday morning (Steve Hartman) tale of the prison grandma, an elderly woman who passes the time in a very unlikely location–a Kansas prison.

Here is a description of the segment from the CBS website:

SuEllen Fried, of Prairie Village, Kan., started coming to Lansing Correctional around 1980 for what she thought would be a little volunteer work, but the now-81-year-old-grandmother ended up committed to these guys for life. Steve Hartman reports.

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March 23, 2014 · 10:08 pm

Feel Good Friday: 8-year-old paying it forward

This edition of Feel Good Friday brings a bittersweet story of an 8-year-old boy, a fallen soldier and a random  act of  kindness.

Here is how the CBS News story (from Steve Hartman) began:

At the Ohio Air National Guard base near Toledo, Lt. Col. Frank Dailey still can’t believe the honor recently bestowed upon him. . . .

It happened at a Cracker Barrel, of all places. As the security camera shows, Dailey entered the restaurant on Feb. 7 for an early lunch. At about the same time, 8-year-old Myles Eckert came in with his family.

Myles was very excited. He’d just found a $20 bill in the parking lot. . . . “I kind of wanted to get a video game, but then I decided not to,” Myles says.He changed his mind when he saw the guy in uniform.

“Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad,” Myles explains.

And so, with his dad in mind, Myles wrapped the $20 in a note that read, “Dear Soldier — my dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now. I found this 20 dollars in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a gold star kid.”

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March 21, 2014 · 6:01 am

Economics of the Ukrainian Crisis

With Russian on the march in Crimea, NPR’s Planet Money podcast recently discussed the economics of the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine and the role natural gas plays in the dispute.

Here is a description of the podcast from the Planet Money Blog:

On today’s show, how a policy that made natural gas very cheap for every household in Ukraine almost bankrupted the nation. And how that led, in part, to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

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March 20, 2014 · 5:45 pm