May 23, 2005Arts)
A new ad campaign for the Minneapolis Public Library's new downtown library, which will open in 2006, is drawing lots of criticism. The ad drawing the most complaints features former Chineese leader Mao and contrasts his totalitarian reign with the freedom of the library. Other ads in the series include J. Edgar Hoover, Casanova and Batgirl.History)
A Minnesota missionary family rescued from the Japanese-controlled Philippine islands in 1944 was part of a larger effort to secure lost Japanese war plans. The entire story is part of a documentary on the History Channel based on the book The Rescue.
The Lindholm family were Presbyterian missionaries in the Philippines and for two and a half years they and their four children lived in hiding in the mountains of the Philippines to avoid capture by the Japanese.Culture)
The Pioneer Press has a series of stories on the Hmong community in St. Paul. Thirty years ago Hmong soldiers were conscripted into a secret war to fight the communists and as Laos fell, many Hmong became refugees. They were eventually settled in the U.S., and St. Paul is home to one of the largest communities of Hmong in the world. It's a culture many have never heard of (I hadn't until I read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down in college and volunteered at a local school and Hmong community group), and few understand the role the Hmong played in Vietnam (I certainly don't know all the details--even my summary above hardly covers it). Which makes collections of articles like these a good start to understanding a new culture in America.
May 10, 2005News)
Two airplanes collided at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this evening in what appears to be a minor on-the-ground fender-bender. One plane lost its steering and plowed into another parked plane. Some injuries reported, possibly critical. No major details yet.
Of course UPN-29 seemed to think it was breaking news--enough to cut into prime time programming and stand there--uh--telling us a couple airplanes crashed and we--uh--don't know anything. After some lame gesticulating they finally showed some live helicopter footage of two parked planes and a whole bunch of emergency vehicles. They did point out that the emergency slides were deployed, which is--uh--big news.
Apparently it's not the only recent accident at the airport: a tanker truck crashed into a plane after the driver blacked out.
Update: The Star Trib finally has a report on the accident, though apparently they're just watching TV like the rest of us.
Update: And the full story.Minnesota Blogs) Business)
Forbes magazine has ranked Minneapolis/St. Paul as number 18 on their list of best places to start a business. Apparently we've got good "educational attainment" but a fairly high cost of living. So far it's worked for me. (link via MNSpeak)
May 9, 2005Business)
Bethel University in Arden Hills was named one of the best Christian places to work in the higher education (300 or more employees) category as reported by Christianity Today. My wife works for Bethel and I'm not sure if she'd agree or not (though working off campus probably has an impact), but I for one appreciate their no-tuition plan for employees. Putting my wife through grad school couldn't be easier.
May 7, 2005News)
St. Paul Police Sgt. Gerald Vick was shot multiple times and killed early Friday morning, prompting an urgent manhunt. Two men were taken into custody and expect to be charged by Monday. It's the first time a St. Paul police officer has been killed since 1994. The media is all over the story, including the following stories:
Gunshots in dark alley lead to tense manhunt
A decorated cop, life saver and hero
Black men scrutinized in search
Suspect not a violent man, friends say
Suspects had long criminal histories
Courts know suspects well
Neighborhood reflections, flashbacks
Kelly vows to mend flawed legal justice system
Services for the slain officer will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.Sports)
Nothing says Happy Mother's Day like a sunrise baseball game. The St. Paul Saints will be playing a 5:30 a.m. game against the Sioux Falls Canaries on Sunday, May 8: Mother's Day. It will be the earliest starting time ever for a pro baseball game, and the first time a ball game started under the lights and finished in daylight.
So why are they doing it? A portion of the ticket sales will go to the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Darkness to Light, a non-profit organization that teaches adults how to protect children from sexual abuse. That and it sounds goofy, which is sort of the modus operandi for the Saints.
As a special bonus, fans who attend Saturday's game can stay overnight at the stadium and sleep on the field.
May 4, 2005Random Facts)
It's the 75th anniversary of Scotch tape, a product invented in Maplewood, Minn. in 1930 by 3M. Who knew?
Apparently Scotch tape has been hailed among the greatest inventions of the 20th century. The Encyclopedia Britannica listed it along with the wheel, Astroturf and Viagra as one of its "Great Inventions."
May 3, 2005The Greater Good)
Starting on Earth Day recycling happens every week in St. Paul. Eureka Recycling upped their schedule from every other week to once a week.Construction)
Lake Street in Minneapolis is about to get its first major reconstruction since 1954 when the streetcars were shut down. A combination of county, city, federal and private funds will pay for the $25 million, 3-year project that will bring wider sidewalks, more street lights and more left-turn lanes to Lake Street. The project will ultimately extend from Uptown to the Mississippi River, through one of the most culturally diverse sections of town.
May 2, 2005Sports)
Speaking of the Saints, they're looking for a few good men. The minor league team is holding open tryouts tomorrow morning, Tuesday May 3 at 9:00 a.m. Registration begins at 8:30. Bring your own glove and cleats.
In previous years the Saints have actually offered on the spot contracts to several players at their tryouts.Business)
Newsweek covers the booming business of minor league baseball, which owes a major tip of the hat to actor Bill Murray and his fellow co-owners of the St. Paul Saints, one of the teams that started the minor league turnaround.
The charm of attending a Saints game is what it's all about. The smaller, more personable stadium lets the sun shine down on the field like it's supposed to, a far cry from the astroturf and indoor lighting of the Twins and their Metrodome. Then there's the goofy between innings antics and the announcer who deadpans, "Train" every time a train rumbles by the outfield fence, which happens several times a game. It's baseball the way it's supposed to be.