Best in snow (5×8 – 1/31/11)

Celebrating winter…. again, why are you here, from toys to men, online gym, and social media and the art of revolution.


Note: I’m getting ready for the annual 100-year-flood coverage in the Red River Valley. If you’re on the Red and are planning a flood flight, please drop me an e-mail.

The Monday Morning Rouser:

1)THE RALLY

The Twin Cities Art Sled Rally is, perhaps, the coolest of all of the Minnesota winter festivals — maybe with the exception of the ice house parade in north central Minnesota later this winter. It’s winter Flugtag. This year’s rally was held yesterday in Minneapolis’ Powerdorn Park. Here are a few pictures via Flickr to help make you feel bad you stayed inside.

Beat this, East Coast!

Or this…

Meanwhile, the ice sculptures are done at Rice Park in St. Paul, where the Winter Carnival is underway.

This finished product (photo by Luke Taylor) …

carnival_6_final.jpg

Looked like this a couple of days ago:

ice_sculpture_6.jpg

Winter brings out the artistic nature in us, you know.

Even the delightfully curmudgeonly 365 Things to Avoid in the Twin Cities is joyful:

We salute the craftsmanship exhibited at the St. Paul Winter Carnival’s ice carving competition: any medium in which the leftover materials can be used to make a rum & Coke is an art form we wholly endorse.

Up north, the John Beargrease race began yesterday…

Seems like only a few years ago that the race was canceled because of a lack of snow. Winter brings out the puppy in us, you know.

2) WHY ARE YOU HERE?

It’s a love story, really.

Why We’re Here: Twin Cities from Seven and Sixty Productions on Vimeo.

John Munson created the music for the film.

Now it’s your turn. Why are you here?

3) TOYS TO MEN

What’s a new week without an invitation to share your marital dirt? This week’s category: Men and their love of the GPS. What is it about that GPS voice that captures the heart of men, Beverly Beckham asks in a Sunday essay. Why do they — you know how they are, right? — pay more attention to a newfangled, and often wrong, gadget rather than the loving human with the map?


Last week, when he took her to Florida with us and set her on the seat in the rental car, I didn’t say a word. But it was the same old thing. Whatever she said, he did.

“Go straight. Turn left. Proceed 4.2 miles.”

On the way to Naples, she informed us that we had 81 miles to go. And then she said, 82 and 83 and went all the way up to 99 before the numbers started to decline.

“She took us in the wrong direction,” I said.

“She just took us a different way,” my husband replied.

Come on! Dish!

4) ONLINE GYM

This is the cure for oh so many problems… years too late, though, for many of us. No group showers, no dodgeball, no being the last kid picked, no guy running up behind you and pulling your gym shorts down on a day when gym is co-ed — not that I know anything about these woes, mind you.

In Sioux Falls, a teacher is testing out an online gym class. Kids don’t actually have to show up for gym is they don’t want to.

5) THE SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION

What if Facebook and Twitter had been around in revolutionary times in the U.S., and Longfellow were on them. Dale Connelly has an idea:


One tweet if by land and two tweets if by sea

And I on the opposite shore will be

Already connected to Facebook and Twitter

I’ll rally each farmer and rancher and knitter.

Assuming they all can arrange for a sitter.

Full poem here

What happens if you combine a poet with a geneticist? The winners in competition have been announced. The rules were simple: ” Entrants were challenged to consider the inherent ambivalence of advances in genomic technology.; the winners were picked from more than 200 entries from across the world, which considered topics including stem cell research, DNA profiling, artificial intelligence and the idea of playing God.”

TODAY’S QUESTION

A proposal in the state Legislature would require registered as well as unregistered voters to present a photo ID at the polls. Proponents say the change is necessary to prevent voter fraud. Should Minnesota require voters to present a photo ID?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: How can social media and technology influence the way students learn and the way teachers teach? Kerri Miller hosted a live forum discussion with a Minnesota-based entrepreneur who is pioneering a social teaching project called Sophia, an internet platform that aims to enhance student learning both in and out of the classroom.

Second hour: After more than a decade apart, the original members of the Jayhawks have reformed, and they say they’re more than just a museum piece. They join Midmorning to talk about what brought them back together, and what’s to come.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Update from Egypt.

Second hour: MPR’s “Bright Ideas” series, featuring Mark Addicks of General Mills.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Bill Gates on eradicating polio.

Second hour:Once a farm, and a battlefield, Harlem became the capital of African-America. Writer Sharifa Rhodes Pitts learned about it through the authors she loved.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - While Rochester’s population has grown, according to police records, there have been no significant increases in any of the serious crimes categories Law enforcement officials acknowledge criminals are now using more weapons to commit the higher-profile crimes and there are new initiatives to tackle crime and gangs. But police there’s a growing gap between reality and people’s perception of crime. MPR’s Elizabeth Baier will have the story.

We find out today who the finalists are for chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. Tim Post will reveal all.

  • John O.

    #3) Recalculating….

  • vjacobsen

    3) We changed the voice on ours because the female US voice sounded like she was judging us when she said “Recalculating”. Now we have a British guy, who is much nicer about everything. The only downside is that he pronounces “Dr” as “doctor.”

  • JackU

    I have the navigation option on my smart phone (a Droid for those who care) and I “tested” it by driving to places I knew how to get to and ignoring its instructions for the most part to see how it adapted. It did okay. Mostly I figure out my route and then use the navigator as a sparring partner. The only time this didn’t work out was last summer on the East Coast (New Jersey to be precise) it’s been 25 years since I lived there and the roads have changed enough that certain routes I was sure about weren’t there anymore.

    #1) My wife was watching the live stream from the Beargrease yesterday afternoon. It was cool to be able to see them head out live.

  • John P.

    ” Why are you here?”

    Born and raised here. Been other places and lived other places for a while, but never found a better place so I come back here. It’s big enough to have the benefits of a city (I’m thinking mainly about the arts) , but not so big that the hassles outweigh the benefits.

    It’s definitely not the climate.