Tuesday, December 30, 2008

60 Minutes E-mail Alert


A person dies every 39 minutes in the U.S. because of drunk driving. In our first segment you will learn the story of one of those victims and why the district attorney fought for and won a murder conviction against the drunk driver. Kathleen Rice, district attorney for Nassau County in New York, believes one of the reasons drunk driving hasn’t gone down despite all the campaigns against it because the punishment is often not severe enough. She also acknowledges that jurors, some of whom may have driven under the influence, may identify with the perpetrators. Those jurors have it backwards, says Rice. “We need, as a society, to identify first with the possibility that we could be a victim of this crime before we say. ‘Wow, I can identify with the drunk driver.’ We need that shift to occur,” she tells correspondent Bob Simon.


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Next up you are going to witness something you probably didn’t think was possible. Neuroscience has learned so much about our brains that it is now using functional MRI scanners and computers to read simple thoughts in a person’s mind. Scientists demonstrate the mind-reading technique for correspondent Lesley Stahl, who also explores the controversial implications for the future with Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. Says Wolpe, “I always tell my students that there is no science fiction anymore. All the science fiction I read in high school, we're doing.” 


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Then correspondent Scott Pelley reports on a football coach they call a "mad scientist." Working with less of the usual ingredients for a top 10 team, coach Mike Leach has nonetheless cooked up a monster of a squad at Texas Tech. He’s made up for a lack of money and top talent by creating an innovative offense that’s changing the game of college football and beating bigger schools which regularly attract the best talent in the nation. His influence can’t be ignored says author Michael Lewis. “If you look at a big-12 football game now, versus ten years ago, it’s a completely different event. It’s because everybody’s watching Mike Leach’s offense.”


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Those stories, and Andy Rooney’s seen a few presidential inaugurals in his day, on this Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. 





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