MORNING BUZZ: Great Apes, No and Plateau

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Good Morning!

Everybody seems to be getting sick right now and we’re not even to the heart of cold and flu season.  Take care of yourselves.

The News:

Great Apes

What was once seen as a scientific coup for Des Moines is now turning into something of an embarrassment.  The Great Ape trust opened with the backing of Ted Townsend and seemed to be the premiere research facility for Bonobos in the US. Townsend pulls his funding…the Trust almost went under and now a big chunk of the staff says the lead researcher isn’t mentally fit to care for the animals.  This may be a facility that has important work to do but from where I sit, this place hasn’t exactly endeared itself to this community since it opened.  There are people, me included, that would take pride in having this facility here…if I knew anything about it.  I would take my kids there…I might even support it with donations…but the researchers seem to want everyone to just trust that they ARE doing important work, instead of helping us all understand WHY it’s important.  Science is only good if it leads to broader understanding.  I hope the internal issues are resolved and that this can actually become the gem it promised to be for Des Moines.


It’s tough to swallow a tax increase for a new High School.  Either the District didn’t do enough to explain why it needed the money, or people think they’re spending too much.  My parents used to say they didn’t care how much they paid in property taxes, as long as it went to the schools.  They argued, higher home values follow good schools.  Iowans seem to be more reluctant to spend on school facilities.  

I understand wanting to know where your tax dollars go, but I’m not sure we can conceive of the kinds of facilities our kids SHOULD BE learning in right now.  Someone once said we shouldn’t educate our children about our past…we should educate them for THEIR future.  We seem to be grappling with this right now…holding on to a very old way of educating children.  The way we were all educated” will not be good enough for our kids.  We have to do it differently…and that is going to be uncomfortable.  

I hope the district comes back with a better proposal. 


Apple’s iPhone5 is coming out today.  I am excited to see what they’ve come up with.  Bigger screen, thinner, faster.  All nice but I want to see something new like mobile payments.  Experts are already telling consumers to manage expectations.  After all there are limits to what you can do with a rectangular phone that has an operating system we’re all familiar with. 

I hope you have a great day


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