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The theatre appeared in the crime section more than the arts section ...

Bloodletters and Bad Actors Mefi's Own Max Sparber looks at the early days of Omaha theater, back when it was a frontier town, its amusements were questionable, and vice was rampant, with occasional forays into more recent performing arts misbehavior. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Jun 11, 2014 - 4 comments

The Pareto of our Discontent

College football attracts a lot of rabid fans. Of late, college football (and football in general) has also attracted an increasing number of stats enthusiasts peddling increasingly obscure metrics to quantify success and failure. At MGoBlog, a popular Michigan fan blog, one intrepid poster has turned the statistics tools on the fanbase itself. A Season in Profanity details the usage of various swear words in open game threads. Among the relationships detailed are the usage of various colorful expressions by game, mood of the fan base by opponent, swearing efficiency, which coach(es) should be fired, and even the individual play outcomes that inspired the greatest amount of swearing. As it was kind of a rough season for the team, there was a substantial amount of data to comb through. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread on Dec 17, 2013 - 13 comments

Lincoln Highway, the first (attempt at a) transcontinental US highway

On July 1, 1913, a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry officials established the Lincoln Highway Association "to procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all description without toll charges," and to be a lasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Highway efforts started about three years before the first federal road act would provide funding to states to improve the broad network of roads. Never officially finished, the first transcontinental highway eventually became renumbered as various interstate and US routes. To celebrate its centennial, there was a cross-country tour in June. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 17, 2013 - 33 comments

He could go all the way.

At the University of Nebraska's football, Spring Game (essentially a practice scrimmage that is attended by more than 60,000 rabid fans) on Saturday, there was an incredible play that you must see. It was 4th and 1 from the Red's 31 yard line. Into the game came 7-year-old Jack Hoffman, a 7 year old brain cancer patient. Just watch the play. [more inside]
posted by spock on Apr 7, 2013 - 45 comments

Meet Michael Forsberg, Conservation Photographer

I think it is high time that MeFites meet Michael Forsberg, a Lincoln, Nebraska based Conservation Photographer who works primarily in the Great Plains of North America, once one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth. (His bio.) His goal has been to try to capture the wild spirit that still survives in these wide-open spaces and put a face to the often overlooked native creatures and landscapes found there. His hope is that the images can build appreciation and go to work to inspire conservation efforts on the land far into the future. Here is a great 48 minute presentation that Michael gave at the California Academy of Sciences after completing his most recent book simply entitled "Great Plains". In the video he unselfishly shares not just his photographic images but also his equipment and techniques. [more inside]
posted by spock on Jan 10, 2013 - 9 comments

Steve Martin, Home Crafts Expert, Endorses Bob Kerrey

Steve Martin, Home Crafts Expert, Endorses Bob Kerrey
posted by roll truck roll on Oct 5, 2012 - 19 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

On June 7th the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska briefly lost the ability to cool spent fuel rods after a fire at the site. The FAA issued a directive prohibiting aircraft from entering airspace in a two mile radius of the plant. Since last week the plant has been under a "notice of unusual event" because of the Missouri River flooding. Local news reports that the "facility is an island right now". The flight ban remains in effect. [more inside]
posted by thescientificmethhead on Jun 16, 2011 - 121 comments

Right Here in Nebraska

We're the makers of Spam. We invented Kool-Aid, and this is where the first Reuben sandwich was made: Right Here in Nebraska. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by etc. on May 7, 2010 - 33 comments

One if by land, two if by sea.

Started in 1930 (by the by the lieutenant governor while the sitting governor was out of state) to protect the great state of Nebraska from all that wish it harm, Nebraska has it's own navy. Want a commission? Just ask the governor and join these notable members.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Mar 19, 2010 - 26 comments

Zeroing out the long term economic stimulus

Science & technology funding has an enormous long term impact on the economy, a fact that has not escaped China. Yet, Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have proposed cutting all National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Office of Science funding from the Senate American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, along with almost all other proposed funding of the sciences and technological development, as a part of a $77.9B reduction effort. Why? Well, you'll notice that Nebraska & Maine don't contribute much to science & technology in the United States, nor win many grants, and hence no bacon for Nelson and Collins. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Feb 6, 2009 - 86 comments

Safe Haven

"Please don't bring your teenager to Nebraska," Gov. Dave Heineman told CNN. "Think of what you are saying. You are saying you no longer support them. You no longer love them."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Nov 14, 2008 - 78 comments

"It was the parents not wanting to continue the journey with their kids," Landry said...

Safe Haven laws have been around for almost a decade. Not wanting to be left out, Nebraska passed their own this past year, with some possible unintended consequences.
posted by docpops on Sep 25, 2008 - 43 comments

"The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor..."

The Willa Cather Archive is an incredible resource provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, including biographies, letters, photos, and even full (often annotated) text of much of her writing, including scholarly editions of two of her greatest (and most famous) works, My Antonia and O Pioneers. About the archive.
posted by dersins on May 22, 2008 - 8 comments

Chaka, When the Walls Fell.

Reagan at Neshoba. Some time ago, a blog post was authored at Mahablog which suggested that movement politics can best be understood when their rhetoric is viewed as a series of metaphors, with an allegory made to a spectacular episode of Stark Trek: The Next Generation featuring Paul Winfield titled "Darmok". Picard and crew stumble across an alien race that speaks only in metaphor. The alien captain, frustrated by the failure to communicate, transports Picard to the surface of a planet, where they must learn to communicate or die. The alien captain does finally reach Picard, but dies as a result of his injuries battling an invisible predator. By way of comparison, examine Candidate Ronald Reagan's speech at Neshoba [audio, 57MB, via, additional context here]. Some pundits are claiming that it is an example of the Southern Strategy codified as dog-whistle politics, whilst others view it as an honest mistake, and others still find an inconvenient long sequence of other "honest mistakes". [more inside]
posted by rzklkng on Nov 13, 2007 - 128 comments

God, it's time we had a talk--call my lawyer.

From the same man who wrote poetry to the state treasurer and brought segregation back to Omaha Public Schools comes a new lawsuit... against God. Says Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers: "People might call it frivolous but if they read it they'll see there are very serious issues I have raised." PDF of suit alleging that God "has made and continues to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons."
posted by dead_ on Sep 18, 2007 - 30 comments

Great, not-so-plain

The Nebraska Sandhills [wiki] make up the largest vegetated sand dune in the Western Hemisphere-- almost 20,000 square miles of rolling dunes covered with prairie grass. The region is sparsely populated-- dotted with tiny towns, and contains the only man-made National Forest in the US and one of the best golf courses in the world. All told, the area's pretty damn photogenic. Just ask NASA.
posted by dersins on Sep 7, 2007 - 38 comments

A Praire Pompei.

"Hundreds of skeletons of prehistoric animals have been found in a volcanic ash bed buried beneath the rolling farmlands of northeastern Nebraska. Some of the best-preserved fossil rhinos, horses, camels, and birds known anywhere have been, and are being, excavated by museum crews working in the Ashfall Fossil Beds in northern Antelope County." [*]Guide from the Nebraska Game and Parks with a quick video tour [*]More information from Nebraska's NET page [*]Wikipedia Link [*] Photos from a Field Trip of Geologists
posted by j-urb on Dec 18, 2006 - 19 comments

Great, plain.

Nebraska's small towns. Some of the smaller ones actually have a lot going on. Some of the (slightly) larger ones, maybe not so much. But no matter how small they are, they do all have bars. Even the two smallest.
posted by dersins on Jun 6, 2005 - 26 comments

Baby Steps to Justice

A federal court puts an end to Nebraska's ban on gay unions Although it doesn't mean that gay partners can start marrying each other, the court's ruling opens the doors to their appeals. Also, at the NY Times.
posted by Jon-o on May 13, 2005 - 46 comments

i have nothing clever to put here

It took nearly four months, but to the relief of neighbors miles around, the 2,000 ton burning manure pile in Nebraska has been extinguished.
posted by tsarfan on Feb 23, 2005 - 34 comments

If you could fly an airplane to the moon...

Population: 1 Plus 5,000 Books. "Rudy's Library is less than 350 square feet. The books are worn, disorganized and eclectic beyond description. It's impossible not to linger."
posted by naomi on Feb 13, 2005 - 10 comments

African-American == Black?

African-American == Black? Several high-school students at a predominantly white (well, predominantly NOT black) Nebraska high school were disciplined for a campaign to get 16-year-old student Trevor Richards awarded the school's annual "Distinguished African-American Student" award. Richards is from South Africa, now lives in America (not sure if he's a citizen, the CNN story isn't clear), but here's the catch: he's white.
posted by Bluecoat93 on Jan 23, 2004 - 111 comments

"Brandon Teena lived and loved as a man. For that, she paid with her life."

"Brandon Teena lived and loved as a man. For that, she paid with her life." Exactly ten years ago today , John Lotter and Tom Nissen hunted down Teena Brandon on a quiet farm near Humboldt, Nebraska (just west of Falls City) and brutally murdered her along with two of her friends (Lisa Lambert and Phillip DeVine), leaving only an eight-month old baby at the bloody crime scene. They had raped her that Christmas and when she reported it to Richardson County Sheriff, Charles Laux (currently working at the Tecumseh prison, where Lotter is ironically housed), she was subjected to a humiliating line of questioning that the Nebraska State Supreme Court would later call "beyond all possible bounds of decency". No action was taken to apprehend the cowardly pair until it was too late. [more inside]
posted by RavinDave on Dec 31, 2003 - 13 comments

Is state government finally doing something right?

Is state government finally doing something right? Who knows? this seems legit enough. Apparently, if you register you can get cyber security alerts delivered to your mailbox. Can I register if I'm from say, Nebraska? Furthermore, how real is the threat to Florida's cyber infrastructure anyways?
posted by Captain Supermarket on Nov 21, 2002 - 11 comments

Helder admits to mailbox bombings:

Helder admits to mailbox bombings: "Helder admitted manufacturing eight pipe bombs in his apartment in Wisconsin," according to the affidavit. "Helder further admitted to assembling an additional 16 pipe bombs at a motel in Nebraska." I hope he gets thrown into a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.
posted by Kevin Sanders on May 8, 2002 - 45 comments

Pipe-bomb suspect sent campus paper a suicidal manifesto

Pipe-bomb suspect sent campus paper a suicidal manifesto The Badger Herald received a letter from pipe bomb suspect Luke John Helder postmarked Omaha, Nebraska, Friday, May 3, 2002. In the letter, signed by Helder, he said he is willing to die for his cause and threatened the lives of others. "I will die/change in the end for this, but that's ok, hahaha paradise awaits!" the letter said. "I'm dismissing a few individuals from reality, to change all of you for the better, surely you can understand my logic."
posted by sacre_bleu on May 7, 2002 - 27 comments

There's lots of controversy

There's lots of controversy about Nebraska playing for the national championship in tonight's Rose Bowl because they didn’t win their division or conference and got crushed 63–26 by Colorado in their last game of the season. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jan 3, 2002 - 29 comments

Clinton opts not to become the first prexy since Garfield and Harding (who? kidding) not to visit Nebraska during his term in office. Obviously, he's trying to avoid the dreaded curse: "Both Garfield and Harding died before completing their terms." Coincidence or Illuminati subterfuge?
posted by highindustrial on Nov 29, 2000 - 8 comments

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