Archive for June, 2008

Bars Can Close Later for RNC: Meh

You know, sometimes I don’t like compromise.

I was excited at the prospect of all bars in the Twin Cities metro area (or even just the cities themselves) having 4 a.m. bar closing times. But, thanks to our wonderfully effective, not-stupid, puritanical phobia of alcohol (despite our great love for it, both from our economy and our stomachs), there are only thirty-two bars that even have the option of staying open, assuming they pay $2500. Which many of them won’t.

I wanted to be happy and excited about this, but not one of these bars is a bar I’ve been to more than once, which is to say none of my favorite bars are on the list. Dag, yo.


Jesse Ventura was on Wait Wait (NPR’s “oddly informative news quiz”) back in May.

Metronet Library Wire. “Metronet is one of seven state-funded multitype library networks created by the Minnesota Legislature in 1979. Unlike the regional public library systems, which were also established that same year, the multitype networks serve all types of libraries—school, public, college and university and special libraries—in their respective regions. Metronet’s region is the seven county metropolitan area including the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.”

Am I crazy, or did get a design refresh? I suppose both could be true.

Aaron says Electra Tune is a great place to have your car serviced. cities celebrates the perfect Minnesota summer night.

Johnny Northside has a marketing plan for North Minneapolis. It’s pretty detailed, and with a counter-point/counter-counter-point in the comments. (via The Deets)

David Brauer tells us why the oxo-biodegradable bags the STrib is now delivered in are not actually that environmentally friendly.

MNspeak now requiring registration to comment. And y’all complained when we did it.

Bob Collins loves the blimp. I assumed it was here for that golf tournament thingy that was going on all week.

At a minimum, the Urban Renaissance Coalition blog is always good for a frothy rant on the issue of the day. More often than not, it’s a case of well-placed righteous anger that’s just a little bit lacking in coherent argument. Por ejemplo: “Minneapolis Community Engagement … Why is this so difficult” and “Juneteenth shooting .. Where is the outrage”

Graeme Thickins has the scoop on the Minnesota Cup business plan competition at Minnov8. Semifinalists were named last week.

Zoo Blogging (pt. 2)

zoologo.jpgWhile the Minnesota Zoo is always a favorite, there’s a special place in my heart for the Como Zoo.

According to Wikipedia (which someone has yet to update to reflect the new Tropical Encounters Exhibit):

The first zoo in Saint Paul was on Harriet Island when in 1897, the city of St. Paul received a gift of three deer. Additional animals followed, when more room was needed to house the animals they were moved to facilities at Como Park.

Set within the lush 384 Como Park in North Saint Paul, Como Zoo has all the animals you would expect at a zoo (including many the Minnesota Zoo doesn’t) — namely lions, tigers, (polar) bears, seals and penguins.

Sparky the Sea Lion presents "Sparky's Coastal Journey"
Since I was too little to sit up in a stroller, I’ve been coming to Como to see Sparky the Sea Lion. Sparky turned 52 years-old this year, and he’s looking as spry as ever.

Sparky the Sea Lion presents "Sparky's Coastal Journey"

His new show is called “Sparky’s Coastal Journey” and features all sorts of propaganda about recycling, polar bears and global warming. Apart from the messaging, Sparky turns on the stereo, jumps through hoops, barks and waves on command — all to the delighted satisfaction of the children under 10 in the crowd (including myself).


This summer Como also has a temporary walk-through butterfly exhibit in the shape of a giant caterpillar. At any time there are 300 butterflies fluttering throughout the 2,500 sq. ft. greenhouse.


It’s the best butterfly garden I’ve ever seen and is highly recommended for a trip in itself.

Parking is free, and the donation to attend the zoo is a suggested $2 adult/$1 children donation.

DWI Counties of Doom

DWI counties of doom!
Originally uploaded by swirlspice.

This was posted at the Hennepin County Service Center in Eden Prairie. I forgot to take note of who produced the poster, and of course when I googled “DWI Counties of Doom” this photo is the only thing that came up.

Just Another Music Friday

Get local with a Dan Israel & The Cultivators Music Video.

In the words of famous music critic Homer J, Rockstars . . . Is there anything they don’t know?

What’s in your shuffle?

MPR + BarCamp = PublicRadioCamp

Minnesota Public Radio is head and shoulders above the rest of Minnesota’s major media outlets in terms of audience involvement and has been for a long time, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised that they’d host their own BarCamp-style event, but it blew my mind grapes a little.

Along with the MinneBar/MinneDemo folks, MPR presents PublicRadioCamp.

Minnesota Public Radio produces tons of really interesting content, data, audio, meta-data and feeds. PublicRadioCamp will be a day spent collaboratively remixing and mashing up these goodies.

In addition to their public feeds and data-sources… we’ll have the same highly-granular access to audio-clips, transcriptions, photos, etc. used by their own newsroom. Their newsroom uses them to create their on-air and web-stories. What could you do with them?

Expect studio tours and other goodies.

Saturday, July 12th, 2008, 9:00am (registration at 8:30am), at The UBS Forum at MPR studios in downtown St Paul.

I have nothing to offer in terms of actual technical skills, but this looks like great fun to attend (and I’m unavailable that day, dammit). I hope there’s some sort of organized public display of the results.

(via @sandentotten)

MinnesotaMinute Online Video Contest Showcases Minnesotans’ Commitment to the Environment

My Minnesota Minute is a short video contest sponsored by the Bell Museum. Make a short video that shows how you or someone you know is helping to improve or maintain Minnesota’s natural environment. Upload your video to YouTube and tag it with the words My Minnesota Minute. Selected videos will be featured on the Minnesota Minute Blog, where you can learn and discuss how ordinary Minnesotans are taking a Minnesota minute today to protect the natural world for tomorrow.

Also sponsored by the Blandin Foundation and e-democracy is also somehow involved. Top prize is a Sony Palmcorder (proprietary formats and all).

Entries thus far are up on the Bell Museum’s Minnesota Minute website. Submission guidelines are pretty straightforward. Contest runs through the State Fair; September 1 is the deadline for entries.

NIP Offering Support Group for Family and Friends of Sexual Abuse Victims

LJ Twin Cities has the details.

The Concerned Persons Support Group is run by the Rape & Sexual Abuse Center, part of the Neighborhood Involvement Program. It is aimed toward loved ones [friends, family, partners] of victims/survivors of sexual abuse or sexual assault. They have developed an excellent set of new workshops which will provide information, support and answers to your questions.

Beginning Wednesday, July 23, they will cover six different topics:
7/23/08: Introductions and the Basics
7/30/08: Understanding Common Feelings
8/6/08: Working with the Legal System
8/13/08: Healthy Boundaries & Respecting Your Needs
8/20/08: Emotional Burnout & How to Avoid it
8/27/08: Transition from Victim to Survivor

Workshops are free of charge, begin at 6:00, and take place at NIP’s offices at 24th and Hennepin.

Complete details in the LJ post.

Just kidding, no problems here.

From the Star Tribune, Minnesota Teacher of the Year resigns and the commenter speculation goes wild.

Naturally this has become something rather* sinister, quite conspiritorial as a battle between poor parents and horrid teachers, worthy of threats ‘I was going to call the StarTribune Editor’ and full of tired disgust ‘The Strib should shut off the commenting features on this story (and all others.) ‘

 * [Some of the more outrageous comments have already been deleted]

All I know for sure is this; Carleen Gulstad cited personal reasons and I’m certain that it’s the students who will suffer the most.

It’s a shame.

 Though, I know how sometimes things just have to play out; so I suppose that if people are looking to blame someone maybe they should blame themselves. Responsibility is one of the hardest lessons to learn so maybe there’s something to it.

What do you think?

Minnesota is full of werewolves?

How do I know?

The Star Tribune said so with a stunningly brilliant piece of thought by Thomas M. Greaney: We’re far too easy on drugs and drinking .

 Mr. Greaney says ‘Don’t be fooled. There is no silver bullet for the addiction issues we face. It will take education and nationwide zero-tolerance laws ‘

Or, you know, a silver bullet.

That’s right. Zero tolerance.  

You let your teen have a sip of wine? Silver Bullet.
Your kid was caught smoking? Silver bullet.
Your 20 year old has a beer at the lake? Silver bullet.

Hey, not just for the kid, for you too.

Disagree? Silver bullet.

We need zero tolerance. I mean, heck, zero tolerance has been an amazing success so far. It’s time we  take it to the next level and find Mr. Greaney’s silver bullet because that combined with zero tolerance is the only thing that can save society from the lycanthropic ways of the intolerable werewolf.

So which zero tolerance laws do you think Minnesota should pass that allows the state to justify this silver bullet policy?

Me? I think we already have the laws. With about 1 in 38 American adults jailed, if you’re not already in prison, maybe you should beg Thomas M. Greaney for your silver bullet.

Our local paper thinks it’s best that way.


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