Archive for September, 2008

"The Most Un-American Member in the American House of Representatives"

Let me start out by saying I’m a recent covert to the hilarious Mr. Keith Olbermann, so I am not sure how many times our fair Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, has been featured on Mr. Olbermann’s show, but oh man: did you hear? Michele Bachmann is Keith Olbermann’s worst person… in the world! Do you know why?

Sixth District Representative Bachmannn read into the congressional record, from the magazine Investor’s Business Daily, that a Clinton-era rule pushed:

“Fanny and Freddy to aggressively lend to minority communities,” to offer “home ownership for blacks and other minorities to enter the middle class.” In other words, Congresswoman Bachmann blamed the meltdown on blacks and other minorities. In other words, Congresswoman Bachmann is a racist!

HOLY SHIT. Did she actually say that? I don’t care if those were her words, if she read them from somewhere else, or she even vaguely hinted at them. I say again: HOLY SHIT. I always knew Ms. Bachmann was not exactly aligned with my politics, but… wow.

Please, PLEASE, let the world know what you think in the comments section.

RIP 2008 Twins

In case you don’t follow baseball, our Minnesota Twins lost the season-ending tie-breaker against the new New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox, with a score of 1-0. This is a profound disappointment, especially considering A) how close this game was, and B) they only needed to beat the Kansas City Royals, who had a .463 record on the season, two of three times. Two of three! .463! Alas, our miracle 2008 team could not pull it out.

But, on the bright side, they were never supposed to in the first place. Right?

So, who do you like for the World Series?

Grace’s Race

I’ve contemplated running a marathon numerous times. I run. I used to run more. I’ve run the TC10 twice and I’ve run a couple of (rather difficult) half marathons. While the accomplishment of those longer races should spur me on to even longer ones, it usually has the opposite effect. So perhaps what I’m lacking is the proper motivation. Or, rather, the proper perspective.

Grace Ngunu is running the Twin Cities Marathon this year. It’s her first marathon.

Imagine having to walk over 1/2 mile each way to get clean water… My name is Grace Ngunu and this year, I will be running my first marathon! The Twin Cities Marathon will be held on October 5, 2008. I am passionate about both running and helping others in need and I am excited about combining these two passions. Kiandutu is a slum in Kenya, East Africa that is in desperate need of clear running water.

The name Kiandutu literally means, “a place with jiggers” and the living conditions of this town reflects that difficult environment. It’s considered to be the second largest slum in Kenya and is occupied by 50,000 people. A majority of these residents have no near-by access to clean running water. Several times a day, Kiandutu residents have to walk a little over 1 kilometer to fetch water in non-sterile containers at the cost of two shillings per container. The water in the closest river many kilometers away, is severely contaminated with both humans and animal waste; and is therefore unfit for consumption. The short video below gives you a snapshot of life in Kiandutu.

I will be running the Twin Cities Marathon to raise money that will be used to pump water into a section of this slum. The water supply (tap) will be strategically located and will service 2000 people.

This will be a great relief to the many families who now send their young children to fetch water over ½ mile away several times a day in the evenings after school. This will also be a tremendous help to all the parents who also have been making the same trip to fetch water all their lives.

I urge you to join me in making a difference to these families in desperate need of clean water. It costs about $600 to generate one water source (tap). Please make a tax deductible donation of any amount-100% of your donation will go directly toward making this clean water source a reality. I believe that together we can build several water sources in Kiandutu.

Fund management will be coordinated through my local church, the Faith Christian Center in MN. You can donate through Pay-Pal here or send checks to the address below:

Faith Christian Center
7917 Sunkist Blvd
Brooklyn Park, MN 55444

Please contact me via EMAIL if you have any questions or need additional information.
Thank you for joining me in this effort to provide clean water and to provide a huge positive impact to the lives of others!

Now that’s a good reason to run a marathon. More information on Grace’s Race for running water for a slum in Africa can be found at raceforwater.wordpress.com.

(via MinneAfrica)

Pirates and Ninjas, Together at Last

If there’s anything worse than a bunch of nerds who think they’re relevant, it’s a bunch of nerds who think they’re relevant and funny. Nevertheless, this weekend, Nerds are proud to present: Pirates and Ninjas picnic!

The Pirates and Ninjas picnic will take place next Saturday (October 4) from 11-4 at Hidden Hills Park in St. Paul. Free and open to the public! Nerds are sure to abound. You are encouraged to bring your own picnic lunch, and of course to dress as a pirate and/or ninja. There will be cosplay.

This sounds like it would actually be a pretty sweet thing to bring your children to. However, as I don’t have children (that I know of! Har har), I tend to look for more grown-up themed nerding events.

[via]

Roundup

Coon Rapids to Saint Paul in <3 minutes

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA436MSC_yk[/youtube]

A time lapse drive from Coon Rapids to St. Paul down US Route 10, with bonus pop-up video-style commentary pointing out the 35W bottleneck, radioactive munitions factory and more!

The Smoking Ban – Does anyone care anymore?

So it’s almost been a year since the statewide ban went into effect, and the Minneapolis ban went into effect back in 2005. I haven’t heard much griping lately and according to this Pioneer Press article a majority of people agree with it.

I personally enjoy going to see a band in a club and not having a hazy nicotine hangover and being able to go outside and cool get some fresh air during the night is also a great even though I am not going out to smoke.

I also like to bring my kids to a restaurant and not have smoke drifting over from the smoking section. Has anyone seen any adverse effects – Bars closing, less tips for waitpeople, etc…

It doesn’t sound like it from the article, besides the fall in revenue from the pulltabs. Plus it looks like the health factor cannot not be denied. Hip Hip Hooray for the smoking ban!!

Smokers feel free to blast this post.

Minnesota Gets A New Giant Pumpkin Record (and all we get is this lousy pseudo religion)

It’s a giant pumpkin. And when I say giant I mean so-giant-that-it’s-bordering-on-getting-a-new-religion kind of giant, like John Lennon. Or Lenin. Or Linen. Seriously, who hasn’t prayed for 1200 thread count sheets at some point or another? I digress.

As the Strib reports in In search of the Giant Pumpkin, a state record emerges

A science teacher from New London shattered the Minnesota record for giant pumpkins on Saturday. It registered a whopping 1,427.5 pounds at the 4th annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off in downtown Stillwater. 

I, for one, welcome our new Great Pumpkin overlords. Matter of fact, I take partial responsibility. I like to believe the pumpkins I grow contribute energy to the spiritual harmonics of these peaceful squash. Metaphysical,I tell you.

Well, metaphysical, and a whole lot of fertilizer.

The stuff I use is organic.

Now I can’t decide whether I should post pictures of my personal pumpkin patch, make a video, or build an alter.

I mean, Did you see the size of that thing?

Big congratulations to Chad Reivier of Spicer, MN. I hope you like pie.

What to do with the extra lane on I-94?

With the re-opening of the I-35W Bridge, traffic on I-94 south and east of downtown Minneapolis was supposed to get re-striped so it returns to three lanes. It was temporarily converted to four lanes while I-35W traffic was re-routed along I-94 to Hwy 280.

Lots of folks liked having an extra lane and wanted to keep it. As I recall, MnDOT said no because, particularly on the bridges, having no shoulder is not safe when there’s an accident and there’s also the problem of having nowhere to plow the snow to.

According to Transit for Livable Communities, this is no longer the case. The additional reason they cite is because the shoulder was previously available for bus-only traffic during periods of congestion and of course is available to emergency vehicles as well.

Any plan to turn the temporary shoulder lanes into permanent lanes for mixed traffic clearly runs counter to both statutory and agency goals, which call for both safe transportation and increased transit use in urban areas. I-94 without shoulder lanes is simply not as safe as it was previously; federal design guidelines call for 12-foot lane widths, a 10-foot paved shoulder on the right, and a 4-foot paved shoulder on the left.

Further, our region has a national reputation for its bus-only shoulder lanes, which by encouraging transit ridership, are a proven congestion management strategy. When I-94 is very congested and the buses are stuck in mixed traffic, entire bus trips may be missed because drivers are unable to make a second run.

The bus thing, I’m sure, is the only reason TLC even cares, though the safety and snow reasons are perfectly valid as well.

I don’t typically commute that way, so I don’t have a dog in the fight (technically, though there are wider implications than traffic on any given day). But there are several good reasons to return that stretch of highway to its previous configuration.

TLC staff members were told that MnDOT would extensively study the costs and benefits of returning the shoulders to their previous use, and that there would be an opportunity for public input regarding this decision. As of publication, MnDOT has not communicated the dates for the study to begin or when public input will be solicited.

MnDOT’s “Interstate 35W Bridge – Traffic Impacts” page says:

I-94 lane additions between Hwy 280 and I-35W will stay OPEN while the state studies turning them into carpool/toll lanes or another type of managed lane.

So now the whole thing has to be a huge study? Studies cost money. And, wait, now they might be HOV lanes? Where did that come from?

What a cluster. Just restripe the damn road and get it over with.

Creature Feature Playing at Brave New Workshop Through October

Creature FeaturePut on by Huge Theater and staged at the Brave New Workshop, Creature Feature is “a fully improvised live comedic monster movie. Suggestions are taken from the audience, and a live monster movie unfolds right before your eyes, chock full of colorful characters, high drama, monster movie atmosphere, and hilarity!”

This year you actually get two shows. The second is Survivors of the Undead Plague, “the improvised zombie plague.”

Runs Thursdays in October so you have five chances to check it out.

Tickets available from the BNW.

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