Minnesota Birdsong: An interactive poster Cute interface with birdsong content provided by the always amazing Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Let’s say you’re a writer, working a novel set in Minneapolis. Your protagonist arrives home after a long day of doing whatever it is your protagonist does all day. To this point, you’ve been very specific with local landmarks and a general feeling of the city — your protagonist rides the 21A, eats breakfast at the Grand Cafe, and meets his or her attorney in an office on the 12th floor of the Rand Tower. All good so far. You’ve set the scene very effectively. People are going to say, “This is a great Minneapolis novel" after they read it. However, the time has now come for you to insert a specific street address into the text. You like specifics, and you need a real-sounding mailing address for, say, a situation where the protagonist receives a mysterious letter. How will you accomplish this? Here you have a problem. You only have two options, neither one very good. [more inside]
Earlier this week, the Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives asked Bradlee Dean to give the morning prayer. [more inside]
Like eating brains? I know you do. Why not add some new dishes to your collection of recipes that use the "fifth quarter?" [more inside]
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.
The Cavity Lake Fire: On July 14th of this year a lightning strike in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (previous posts) started a wildfire that has so far burned over 30,000 acres, the biggest fire in the area since 1894. A large reason for the size of this fire is the 1999 blowdown of 400,000 acres of forests, that's 600 square miles of dead wood waiting to burn. Short video of firefighters creating a buffer zone, blogger's pics and comments on the aftermath in an area that was just reopened. Five photo galleries of related images: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5. This is my favorite pic to date, that is the smoke plume from this fire.
MN Governor Jesse Ventura announced he will not run for re-election -- Ventura said, "You've got to have your heart and soul into these types of jobs. You've got to want to do it. * * * I feel that it's time to go back into the private sector." (He also said that his decision was "partly tied" to allegations by former employees that his 22-year-old son had thrown parties in the governor's residence.)
Restroom Ratings is a site where you can scope out the possible nastiness of a bathroom before you need to go use it. Most of the rated bathrooms seem to be centered around the Minneapolis, MN area. You can even send a restroom e-card to your friends (or enemies).