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Burning Man on ice

The 31st Annual Eelpout Festival wrapped up in Walker, Minnesota, last weekend. The eelpout is an large, ugly, slimy freshwater cod. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Feb 25, 2010 - 16 comments

Great Lakes to be filter-fed to carp

Asian Carp update: since 2003(previously), the inexorable advance of Asian Carp up the Mississippi delta has brought them to within 6 miles of Lake Michigan. These invasive "100-pound Zebra Mussels" suck rivers clean and starve native fish. Asian Carp are now 97% of the fish biomass in the Mississippi delta. The "electric fence" across the canal didn't stop them. The poisoning of the canal won't stop them. Closing the Chicago sewage canal locks is the only way to be sure. But the Army Corps of Engineers have the jurisdiction. Feel safe? [more inside]
posted by anthill on Dec 3, 2009 - 66 comments

"I am an American as you can see from my shirt."

Ya'll remember Johnathan "The Impaler" Sharkey, Minnesota gubernatorial candidate for the Vampires, Witches, and Pagans Party? Of course you do. But have you seen Impaler, the documentary about him? hulu
posted by Pope Guilty on Nov 3, 2009 - 10 comments

Minnesota Politics, dont'cha know?

An NYT primer on MN politics A quick, breezy explanation for those wondering, "WTF?" about a state that has elected anyone from Bachmann to Ventura to Franken. You betcha.
posted by ShadePlant on Jul 5, 2009 - 42 comments

Senator Franken

The verdict is in. Absent U.S. Supreme Court appeals, meet Senator Franken. (Decision)
posted by Muddler on Jun 30, 2009 - 152 comments

It's Good To Be The King

Unallotment. Minnesota, known for its colorful politics now adds today's announcement by Governor Pawlenty that he is using his executive power to unilaterally cut $2.7 billion dollars from the state budget. The list of impacted state projects includes heavy cuts to education, health and human services, and funds municipalities rely upon for their own local budgets. Lawsuits claiming Pawlenty is overreaching his executive power are likely. You are probably not from Minnesota, so why should you care? Well, in addition to bringing the 2008 Republican National Convention to the Twin Cities and co-chairing John McCain's presidential campaign, Governor Pawlenty recently announced he is not running for a third term - and it is widely speculated that he may become the 2012 presidential candidate for the "new" GOP.
posted by Muddler on Jun 16, 2009 - 80 comments

Poet and essayist Bill Holm died Wednesday February 26, 2009

Minnesota poet and essayist Bill Holm died on Wednesday. Bill Holm passed away less than a year after receiving some of the recognition he deserved when he was named the 2008 McKnight Distinguished Artist of the Year. He was 65. [more inside]
posted by nanojath on Feb 26, 2009 - 14 comments

Democracy in Action

Minnesota recount live!
posted by bonobothegreat on Dec 17, 2008 - 104 comments

1987 Minnesota

The events in the movie Fargo didn't really happen in Minnesota in 1987 like the opening text says. But besides the Twins winning the World Series, what did? Well for one, Robbinsdale Cooper's senior class took some rather awful 80's hair pictures, almost deliberately bad. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Dec 12, 2008 - 27 comments

You be the [election] judge

You be the [election] judge. View and vote on six hundred challenged Minnesota ballots. Each is accompanied by a link to a PDF of the full ballot with the name of the challenging candidate and the reason for the challenge. (registration required) via fivethirtyeight.com
posted by Saucy Intruder on Nov 28, 2008 - 24 comments

I, for one, welcome our new lizard people overlords.

Minnesota's recount of the Senate race between incumbent Norm Coleman (R) and challenger Al Franken (D) began yesterday. Some results are already being reported. One unintended consequence of the recount is the exposure of a shocking write-in challenger: Lizard People.
posted by nathan_teske on Nov 19, 2008 - 70 comments

Doesn't everyone exaggerate the size of Lake Ontario?

Humorist and candidate for the US Senate for Minnesota Al Franken draws a map of the United States from memory.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 5, 2008 - 83 comments

That's funny, he never has a second cup at home!

Green screen or not? The latest advertisement for incumbent Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota is raising questions about whether his wife (actress and model Laurie Coleman), shown drinking coffee with him presumably in their home, was anywhere near her husband during the shoot. The controversy might amount to nothing more than the many terrible photoshop disasters we've all seen before if it weren't for all the rumors about the state of the marriage between Senator Coleman and his wife, where she resides, and the growing internet accusations and general political hackery over the new advertisement. [more inside]
posted by Muddler on Jun 20, 2008 - 74 comments

Critical Mass Arrests

Police overreact, and attack bikers with no provocation at Minneapolis Critical Mass. Responses from witnesses tell one picture of what happened, but local news says "nobody was hurt" despite squad cars knocking bicyclists from their bikes. What gives?
posted by taursir on Sep 1, 2007 - 206 comments

Speak softly and carry hotdish on a stick

On September 2, 1901, then vice-president Theodore Roosevelt first articulated his theory of diplomacy: "Speak softly and carry a big stick" at the Minnesota State Fair. In some sort of hideous misinterpretation of Roosevelt's quote, Minnesotans have ever since provided a dizzying array (YouTube link) of foods on the ends of sticks to be eaten as one strolls the state fair. Hotdish. Teriyaki ostrich. Pork chop. Scotch eggs. Alligator. Drugs. This year's complete and rather breathtaking list.
posted by Astro Zombie on Aug 8, 2007 - 21 comments

Collapsed bridge leaves mess, quarantines locals

Deliberately turning her camera from the wreckage, That Red Girl gives us a look at what's going on in her now quarantined life mere blocks from the recent Minneapolitan bridge collapse.
"Several neighbors and I stood in our driveway late into the night debriefing the day. We now live in lockdown. Police must escort us around. We must meet any guests at the corner, they cannot approach the building alone. Residents are told to ask people they do not recognize to show their keys and prove themselves. We joke about seeing everyone’s “FOBs” to those we know well. The dogs are all leashed, tying themselves together as they try to play like normal. It’s frustrating to everyone that we can’t run around as normal. The word “quarantine” is tossed around. People are nervous. One of the residents hasn’t been seen since Wednesday morning. She may be on vacation… no one knows. We see one of the neighbors being interviewed on the corner and a few young girls trying to flirt with the police to gain entrance to our complex. The dogs continued to wrestle and we continued to talk."

posted by taursir on Aug 3, 2007 - 39 comments

I would have liked to have known you/But I hate the Twins

Requiem for a Bat Girl. Three years ago, writer Anne Ursu started a blog devoted to the Minnesota Twins. Pretty much immediately she was lauded as one of the best baseball bloggers. And then came the Lego reenactments. (Favorites: 1, 2, 3) And the Boyfriends. Yesterday, she ended the blog to spend more time with her young son. She will be missed.
posted by dw on May 24, 2007 - 16 comments

World's Largest Hockey Rink

A set of ideal conditions earlier this week -- cold weather, little wind and snow -- created a large skating rink. On Lake Superior. Beautifully clear (YouTube - minor swearing if you're at work). Ever skate for a mile? Cracks on the ice. With sound (YouTube). And of course, hockey (YouTube). Or maybe just some skating and kite flying (YouTube). Duluth News Tribune's story. (With annoying registration but nice photo gallery)
posted by starman on Feb 22, 2007 - 24 comments

Now for some actual Bruce Schneier facts

You know Bruce Schneier the polymath security genius. Now meet Bruce Schneier the kind-hearted reviewer of local Minnesota restaurants. (He doesn't like to give bad reviews -- sounds like "security through obscurity" to me!)
[previously, also]
posted by grobstein on Feb 13, 2007 - 15 comments

Hokey Smokes!

Minnesota is a state rich in study material for fans of political oddity. The state has faced famous (and infamous) political news in the last few years, from the legendary surprise independent gubernatorial victory of Jesse "The Body" Ventura to the tragic death of Senator Paul Wellstone and its ensuing fallout, controversy, and lunacy. It holds a unique variation in the usual two-party system with the DFL replacing the Democratic Party. St. Paul will host the 2008 Republican National Convention. And now, the ongoing oddity that is Minnesota politics will now enter a new chapter as Comedian Al Franken, who moved his Air America radio show to his home state of Minnesota a year ago, will be leaving radio in February to run for his late friend Paul Wellstone's old Senate seat against incumbent Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. Another unique fact would be should Franken win the DFL nomination, it would be a rare instance of both candidates from the major parties in a statewide race being Jewish- Franken and Coleman are two of the less than 50,000 Jews living in the state.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Jan 31, 2007 - 48 comments

"Good wishes and better wishes...until you wish for the best!"

A concession e-mail to returning House Rep Satveer Chaudhary from loser Rae Hart Anderson. [via]
posted by bardic on Nov 18, 2006 - 187 comments

"Don't ask, don't care"?

Openly Gay Soulforce Activists in Minnesota, U.S., attempt to enlist in the Minnesota National Guard because they wish to serve, but are rejected or have their applications put on hold. Here are some local news reports (beware possible sound-enabled ads). Should the U.S. policy change?
posted by taursir on Aug 10, 2006 - 43 comments

Is Keith Ellison liberal enough?

Is Keith Ellison liberal enough? Ellison is currently the representative from Minnesota district 58B. Now, he's the DFL's candidate to replace outgoing DFLer Martin Olav Sabo as representative for Minnesota's 5th district in the US House. Ellison got the nomination pretty easily. If he wins, he'd be the first Muslim in the House of Representatives.

Some people are worried about him, though. He's apparently had links to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, but it's mostly only conservatives pointing that out. A better question might be, Is he liberal enough for Minnesota's 5th district? The Fifth District (located in Minneapolis and the western suburbs) has traditionally been a very strong Democratic stronghold. Ellison will probably have little trouble defeating his opponents (who were they again?), so the question for liberals in his district is: Is he liberal enough? One of the few opportunities for liberals to get someone who really goes the whole nine yards -- so does he?
posted by jiawen on Jul 1, 2006 - 16 comments

are they matched to the access code and do you keep a record of what code is mailed to what person?

So if you run the CD in your personal computer, by the end of it, the Minnesota GOP will not only know what you think on particular issues, but also who you are. --a cd being sent out to home by the Minnesota GOP is polling people who use the cd, sending their personal info, including name, address, and phone, among other info, back to party headquarters. No privacy policy or statement identifying what the cd does is visible anywhere: ...As far as I could tell, nothing tells you that the answers are about to be e-mailed or otherwise transmitted to the Minnesota GOP. So you finish, and then the phone rings. "Hello, Mr/Mrs. Voters, it's Joe and I notice you support gun control and the marriage amendment, would you like to donate some money to us?" That might startle the person who may have thought he/she was viewing the presentation in the privacy of the computer room. ...
posted by amberglow on Feb 28, 2006 - 80 comments

That's what you get for sleeping with the undead.

Sharkey's wife/friend may not be able to do her job anymore. You remember Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey, the undead, bloodsucking candidate for Minnesota governor, don't you? Julie Carpenter's association with her husband/friend and Wicca affiliation makes her unsuited to drive the school bus, according to the Princeton Schools Superintendent. [by]
posted by Captaintripps on Jan 16, 2006 - 92 comments

"Politics is a cut throat business"

Voters in the US state of Minnesota may find a self-proclaimed vampire on the ballot for the office this year when Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey of the Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party announces his plan to run for Governor, expected later today. Acknowledging that "politics is a cut-throat business", Sharkey has let voters know that whilst he is a Satanist, he dosen't hate Jesus, "just God, the Father."
posted by Effigy2000 on Jan 12, 2006 - 39 comments

Big Eye in the Sky

Big Eye in the Sky. A collection of absolutely incredible 360 degree panoramas by St. Paul photographer Ed Fink of the Twin Cities, Mt. Rushmore, the Post-Katrina Gulf Coast and more. He claims to be the first photographer in the world to do full spherical (180 x 360) panoramas from a helicopter. The effect is truly spectacular. Those with vertigo beware.
posted by panoptican on Dec 8, 2005 - 19 comments

Portraits of Home

Portraits of Home: A set of 55 wonderful pictures relating to housing issues in greater Minnesota. This comes from a "Photography Exhibit Documents the Housing Challenges Facing Minnesota's Working Families".
posted by edgeways on Nov 30, 2005 - 10 comments

Benedictine Manuscript Art Photography Repository

The Benedictine Vivarium "In the Benedictine tradition of reverence for human thought and creativity, the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library preserves manuscripts, printed books and art at Saint John's University and undertakes photographic projects in regions throughout the world." -- "Nearly half of HMML's holdings derive from libraries in Austria and Germany, but HMML also houses significant collections from Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, England, and Ethiopia. It holds archival materials, and of particular importance are the Archives of the Knights of Malta, housed in the National Library in Valletta, and the Archives of the Roman Inquisition, located at the Cathedral Museum in Mdina."
EXAMPLE PAGES -- Illustrations, Photographs , Paintings/Iconography, Pottery/Sculptures, Artifacts, Manuscripts and more - if this kind of thing interests you, then search around - I've only begun scratching the surface. Nb. See browser setup info at bottom of page in main link. [via]
posted by peacay on Aug 28, 2005 - 9 comments

The BWCAW online

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are a special set-aside in the Superior National Forest in the north woods of Minnesota. Containing over 1,000 lakes and streams, 2,200 designated campsites, and 1,500 miles of canoe routes, this treasure provides a great place to escape from the world of civilization. It also, apparently, provides a great reason for cool websites. The Swanson party website is one of the most impressive feats of private naturalism I've seen. It has everything from the 68 types of ferns and fern allies you can find in the BWCAW to lake commentaries for 356 of the biggest (and smallest) lakes that travelers encounter. There's also the DC3 website, which has diaries and pictures from a group of BW adventurers from 1977 to 2003. A truly impressive effort, if apparently not ...quite... finished. And while the diaries tell a story arc about a group of friends, the distance between the stories always leaves tantalizing details for the reader to imagine. Such as this tidbit at the end of the 1986 trip, which has as its central detail the fact that one of the party's wives received major burns and had to leave early:
They traveled almost ten miles and portaged four times, (a total of 465 rods), before they reached Snowbank Lake. The wind was very strong. They had to cross the lake the long way and directly into the wind. At one point they didn't move for twenty minutes even though they paddled as hard as they could. They finally reached the landing and headed for the A&W in Ely. From there, Tur called home to check on Beeps. There was no answer. But that's another story.
Naturally, there are also messageboards set up to discuss trips to the BWCAW, advocacy organizations to make sure it stays wild, and you can even make entry point reservations online nowadays. The Bee Dub previously referenced here on MeFi
posted by norm on Aug 25, 2005 - 15 comments

Recycling Grinds On

Recycling Grinds On in Minnesota even if the state doesn't have a budget; the Star Tribune is only too happy to tell us how it works with lots of interesting information. (I'm keeping an eye on the Star Tribune since the rightwing loonies are trying to tear it down over its support for Dick Durbin). Besides, it's a good paper. No, I don't work there and never did.
posted by etaoin on Jul 1, 2005 - 5 comments

Franken 2006

Al Franken, senate contender for Minnesota in 2006? He's got name recognition out the wazoo, a national radio program, and is returning to his blue state home to try and take Norm Coleman's republican seat in the US Senate. Is there any way he can lose? Are Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh next for making senate bids?
posted by mathowie on Apr 27, 2005 - 62 comments

Senatorial Drama

Another republican, Sen. Paul Koering, comes out of the closet after voting yes for an amendment setting out to legally define marriage in Minnesota. Meanwhile other Minnesotan senators, like Michelle Bachmann (R), are finding one way or another to land themselves in scandal, one of which was getting caught hiding in the bushes behind a rally contesting the anti-marriage amendmant. And yes, here are the pictures to prove it. (Anonymous login available for articles)
posted by taursir on Apr 13, 2005 - 53 comments

Worst since Columbine

School shootings in Red Lake Minnesota leave ten dead.
posted by Demogorgon on Mar 21, 2005 - 117 comments

Jail Vulcanus Rex LXVII?

Saint Paul's Vulcan King faces sexual harassment charges. No, nothing to do with Spock. The Vulcan King, or Vulcanus Rex, and his Krewe fights King Boreas every year to bring warmth back to Saint Paul during the city's famed Winter Carnival. Decades ago, the Vulcan Krewe used to kiss ladies and smear their faces with soot, but now, they have to ask first. They do a lot for the community, but their questionable traditions put a shadow on their charity work. Even so, some are still behind the Krewe. Hail Vulcans! Jail Vulcans?
posted by TacoConsumer on Feb 8, 2005 - 5 comments

seen yr video

Before they were nobodies. There are a few bands who never quite made it huge but influenced everyone who ever saw or heard them (the Velvet Underground, Capt Beefheart, Sonic Youth). The best were The Replacements. And recently from their defunct website comes a complete early show of theirs, broken up in bite sized chunks, via quicktime. (more inside)
posted by tsarfan on Jan 17, 2005 - 70 comments

Fresh Air Radio

Here in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, we are truly blessed to have a independent radio station that is not run by a big company or college. It's home to many shows including Crap from the Past, (Fridays at 10:30, CST), and the surf twang sounds of Radio Rumpus Room, (Fridays, 9:00 CST) or a big selection of other shows all available in streaming audio off the website. Take a look around, who knows what kind of audio gems will be found??
posted by crusiera on Jan 3, 2005 - 52 comments

Winter's nothing like she used to be.

Winter in Minnesota aint nothin like she used to be.

Once upon a time, winter meant more than an extra 15 minutes stuck in traffic in a car with heated seats, a CD player, and a good excuse for getting to work late.

"...After great toil they reached the scene of distress and found many dead; and what was more horrible, the living feeding on the corpses of their relatives."

posted by santiagogo on Dec 12, 2004 - 30 comments

We gotcher hangin chads right here, you betcha

A cold Florida. In 2000, it was Katherine Harris; meet this year's Sec-of-State in the hot seat.
posted by gimonca on Oct 11, 2004 - 4 comments

Hunting Stories : Colon : noloC seirotS gnitnuH

Hunting the Stanford University Lion Stanford University is now debating whether to send hunters into the hills surrounding campus to kill a mountain lion that may have mauled two horses pastured on university land. ................ ................STATE HUNTING REGULATIONS: Create mourning dove season for Minnesota Thirty-nine states allow hunters to take the most popular game bird in the nation, with Michigan set to become No. 40. .................... ................Cult Land Not for Hunting The polygamist cult that bought 1,300 acres of land near San Angelo will not be using it as hunting retreat after all.
posted by mcgraw on May 4, 2004 - 18 comments

Built to Fail

Every Child Left Behind: "The federal No Child Left Behind law is threatening to wreck public education in Minnesota and elsewhere."

"That's what it was designed to do."

Focuses on my home state Minnesota, but the point is relevant to every state in the USA. What do we do to change it?
posted by mooncrow on Mar 15, 2004 - 34 comments

The Mischke Broadcast

The Mischke Broadcast — T.D. Mischke, or more affectionately known as Tommy among his regular callers is a radio personality like none other. Found on KSTP 1500 in the Twin Cities from 10pm to midnight, he keeps the evening hour uniquely his own. [RealAudio ahead] He sung an interview to Gordon Lightfoot tune, breaks out into rap about kidneys in India and pretends to be a long lost golfing buddy. He gained noteriety in broadcasting by showing up to work only to have two hours of dead air. Who makes you believe in great radio?
posted by pedantic on Jan 30, 2004 - 10 comments

The Father of the Shopping Mall

The Father of the Shopping Mall "His most remarkable innovation--unveiled in Edina, Minn., in 1956--was the first enclosed shopping mall, a climate-controlled community of retailing under a single vast canopy. But it was intended to be more than just a place to shop. It was to provide a center to otherwise centerless developments, offering community, entertainment and even enlightenment. Gruen lamented that Americans, at the time, were living 'detached lives in detached houses.' With his shopping-center designs, Mr. Hardwick writes, 'Gruen hoped to offer a corrective to this grim and soulless American environment.' "
posted by jamsterdam on Dec 24, 2003 - 30 comments

I think there's a frisbee of mine out there, too...

Shipwrecks of Lake Superior- Some are famous, others are obscure but amazing.
posted by COBRA! on Oct 28, 2003 - 13 comments

Big Urban Game

The Big Urban Game: Minneapolis and St. Paul have just been turned into a 108-square mile game board. The game ends Sunday, so you still have plenty of time to play.
posted by mrbula on Sep 3, 2003 - 4 comments

JobforJohn

This Guy in Minnesota just got laid-off and he's spending his time following around Bush's economic team on their tour of the upper midwest as they share their "upbeat outlook" on our nation's economy. He's following their tourmobile with his own tourmobile and has been chasing them around in parkinglots and at fast food places. He finally cornered the Treasury Secretary whose advice to the job-seeker was to "just wait." What's your economic reality? Is it closer to the sunny optimism of the big shiny tourbus, or the laid-off reality of the homemade minivan? (Check out the particularly funny bit about how he stumbled on the entire press corps only when he was looking for a dumpster.)
posted by amoeba on Jul 30, 2003 - 84 comments

Irwin Norling, the Unknown Photographer

Irwin Norling of Bloomington, Minnesota was a more modest version of Man Ray – with his family in tow, he documented crime and accident scenes for the local police. (The photo gallery is probably NSFW and not safe for delicate stomachs.) He also prolifically documented everyday Bloomington life from the 1940s through the 1980s. City Pages writer Brad Zellar (weblog) stumbled across Norling's photographic archives while visiting the historical society, tracked down the man himself, and wrote this terrific article ... unfortunately Norling passed away a month before its publication.
posted by kmel on Mar 21, 2003 - 5 comments

Coleen Rowley warns of more attacks

After her experience in the weeks before Sept. 11, she said, "I promised myself that in the future I always would try." Time magazine person of the year - Coleen Rowley warns of more attacks. Is she doing the right thing or out of line by going public with warning?
posted by specialk420 on Mar 6, 2003 - 45 comments

Saint Paul Winter Carnival Medallion Hunt

No Time For Cold Feet In the land of 10,000 lakes... 10,000 people dig for $10,000 buried in the snow. The 117th Saint Paul Winter Carnival is under way -- it's day 11 of the medallion hunt and it hasn't been found yet! The modern medallion is made of translucent blue lucite and is approximately two inches in diameter and one-half inch thick. It's hidden somewhere (on public land) in Ramsey County, which covers over 140 square miles. Here are this year's clues. Who says Minnesota isn't fun in January? Past medallion locations!
posted by loopy on Jan 29, 2003 - 5 comments

"It was amazing,"

"It was amazing," says 101, "we went to club after club. We never paid a cover, we never paid for drinks. We were escorted to the VIP tables. In Minneapolis the Geek Squad has been around for 10 years -- they're treated like rock stars. I mean, when has a computer tech ever been treated like a rock star?" "The Geek Squad offers a flat-rate service. You call them with a problem; they quote you a price; they fix the problem. No matter what. No matter how long it takes. And, each agent guarantees his work -- forever."
posted by bingo on Aug 25, 2002 - 14 comments

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