Five at 8: 3/31/09

While Bob takes a well-deserved day off after covering the flood in Moorhead — if you haven’t read the [Saving Riverview Circle series](, please do — Steve Mullis and I will be house-sitting here at News Cut today.

  • A quick flood update… well, [it’s snowing now]( A lot. Perhaps the linguists among us can help with a cogitation I tooted about yesterday: [What’s the portmanteau for blizzard + flood?](
  • LIFE has partnered with Getty Images to put together a massive, time-sucking image library at []( Apparently there are 7 million images on the site now, which, if viewed at a rate of one per second during your work day (excluding holidays), you’d finally get to your TPS reports around March 5th, 2010. It will be an interesting complement/competitor to’s well-edited [Big Picture](
  • Laura Yuen has been writing fantastic stories about the disappearance of young Somali men from Minneapolis. (U.S. officials fear the men were recruited to join a terrorist group in Somalia.) Yuen’s latest story about [relatives of the men using their ties to their homeland]( in their search for the young men is no exception.

    If you’re not familiar with the story, consider this [primer on the group known as Al-Shabaab](

  • The U.K. is apparently in [a tizzy over Google Street View](, the mapping function that allows you to get a glimpse of life as it was when the Street View car and its 360-degree, panoramic camera drives past. This ‘outrage’ seems a little odd coming from the country with the [most surveillance cameras per capita in the world](

    The Brits have been having fun with it though, spotting a(n allegedly) [cheating husband](, [UFOs]( and (allegedly) [rocker Liam Gallagher](

  • OK, the weather outside is reminding me where I live — Fargo — so I have to pass on a couple of flood links. The NY Times has a story that asks whether Fargo-Moorhead will [‘lose’ by winning the flood fight](

    In other words, since the DIY levees are holding, the opportunity to have the feds pick up the tab for a massive flood abatement project is gone. After the catastrophe in 1997, Grand Forks now has flood protection that in some cases is nearly 6 feet higher than the ’97 crest.

    Also worth reading: profiles of Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker from the [Fargo Forum]( and [MPR’s Stephanie Hemphill](