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PODCAST: Markets watch and wait, a sasquatch blimp inflates

Biological anthropologist Jeffrey Meldrum at Idaho State University has recently launched a blimp, equipped with thermal imaging, to float above the Pacific Northwest, looking for sasquatch.

It's hard enough to find a place to live in New York in normal times. Sandy, in her aftermath, has made things a lot worse. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city will need to find housing for 30,000 to 40,000 people due to Hurricane Sandy.
 
The growth of the U.S. service sector slowed a bit in October, but markets are steady ahead of tomorrow's election. Not much in the way of economic or other data headed out way this morning, so how about a little survey from across the pond. People in the UK were asked which public figures appear most often in their nightmares. The winner: Finance Minister George Osborne. Now, he's been the face of the tough budget cuts that have affected people there. But that still seems a little strange. I'm sure Americans have plenty of vivid nightmares. But if you find yourself dreaming night after night about Timothy Geithner, you might want to talk to someone about that.

This could be one of the tightest presidential elections ever. That means the race to be first among the news media will be intense. And yet, not screwing up is also important. So how are news organization threading that needle for tomorrow's big night?

In swing states, local TV has been blissfully free of ads for car dealerships and furniture stores. Unfortunately, they've been displaced by political ads, which have crowded out everything else and sent ad prices sky high.

Through the recession and so-called jobless recovery, community colleges have assumed a heavy burden: Get people ready for jobs at a time of tight employment and tight budgets. Tomorrow, Brice Harris takes over the biggest community college system in the U.S. In fact, California's community colleges make up the country's biggest higher education system, of any kind. Harris has worked in community colleges almost all his career. And he's taking over on the same day as California voters could deal his system a $340 million budget cut with their vote on a ballot proposition -- Prop 30.  

And finally, there aren't many folks in official academia who study Bigfoot. One of the few is biological anthropologist Jeffrey Meldrum at Idaho State University. And the school has recently approved his dramatic new research project: A blimp, equipped with thermal imaging, to float above the Pacific Northwest, looking for sasquatch. Meldrum will be the first to concede the evidence is limited -- that's the point. The challenge is the same, he says, as with any animal that is "rare, solitary, nocturnal and far-ranging in habitat." And what better than a blimp, I say, to prove his critics are full of hot air.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.
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