February 2009 Posts

Make Day at the Science Museum

Ads for Amazon

Cleverly disguised as an ad for a fantastic book by an amazingly talented artist and writer, Chris Monroe.  I work hard to promote the many excellent books I come across – a great number of them from within this region:  blogging (at least semi-regularly), writing a weekly newsletter and talking to people through facebook and twitter and, most rewardingly, at the store – talking about books and authors that I love and that people have shared with me.  It’s hard to then see a book that I’ve worked to introduce people to being used as a way to drive money to amazon.

I’m not saying you need to buy it at the store where I work.  Or buy it at Fitgers.  Or buy it up at the Mall.  Or even that it’s the end of the world to buy it from amazon.  But I do want to confront this notion that amazon is either neutral or the only game in town (which it most decidedly is not since it has nothing to do with our town whatsoever) when it comes to links about media, especially books. IndieBound lets you search all books in print and then, after you’ve learned a bit more about them, lets you find a locally owned, independent store of your choice.  You can search for varieties of local businesses across the US. You can add you favorite local businesses.  Authors can affiliate themselves with IndieBound and receive a portion of the sale (not being an author, I have to rely on rumor that the terms are more generous than amazon).

I’m not advocating amazon abstinence, but really try to measure your options more carefully. Get excited about local businesses. Get excited for local events. Celebrate our musicians, writers, actors, publishers, artists, etc. who really make this area so wonderful.

White Wolf


People Whose Houses Were Bombed Have Told Him They Don’t Remember Hearing Anything


The Rocky Mountain News ceased publication today. 55 days shy of its 150th birthday. The paper’s staff were informed yesterday. With the Duluth News Tribune contributing significantly to Forum Communication’s annual losses, and more layoffs looming, the RMN decision makes for an even more stunning reality.


DTV: Now with 25 percent more downtime

Don’t mess with my Seinfeld man.

Great Lakes Aquarium Volunteer Diving

Courtesy of www.margocavis.com

Bill Holm dead at 65

Bill Holm

I saw him read a couple of times since I first learned about his writing 15 years ago. Always captivating, always fascinating. Sometimes hilarious. Other times poignant.

He’ll truly be missed.

Details here. [via]

Charlie goes to Oz

If you’re like most Americans, I imagine few of you are familiar with Paul Kelly but I have a dozen of his cds and think he’s great. I’m seen him referred to as Australia’s version 0f Springsteen. From an email to his mailing list about an Australian May tour:

Joining him on the road is Charlie Parr from Duluth, Minnesota, whose style bears the influence of hours spent listening to country blues records and Smithsonian/Folkways field recordings. Charlie’s finger picking, freewheeling tune, ‘1922 Blues’ is the soundtrack to the recent, hugely successful Vodafone TV campaign. Charlie plays original and traditional folk tunes, plus blues covers by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt and Charley Patton, favouring National resonator guitars, 12-string guitar and banjo in his performance.

His self-taught mix of slide, finger-picking and quasi-frailing technique come together with a voice that’s low on drama and high on impact. Dignity, and the struggle to keep it, are central themes in Parr’s songs. The gamblers, the union workers, the criminals and the sinners that wander around his songs come straight from real life observation. The stories he tells get into some dark spots; that place where regret and remorse part company.

Cliff Dwellers Spin/Fact Check

As an Alien Anthropologist I think it’s worth pointing out that the original “cliffdwellers” were actually really advanced, built really amazing houses, and had some fairly sophisticated technologies and social structures. The term “cliffdwellers” doesn’t really work as an insult–it’s like saying “you advanced people who know how to build really cool houses, make great pots and baskets, feed yourselves using your own knowledge, and know how to keep mice outta the corn bin.”

Here’s some info:

Attn Duluth Bloggers

…and other folks creatively using e-technologies.

The Blandin Foundation and E-Democracy.Org are bringing an “unconference” to Duluth, April 3-4, 2009.

The unconference is supported through an online discussion for people using new media technologies to build community across Greater Minnesota.

Learn more and join from http://e-democracy.org/mnvoices

Bobby Jindal = The New Palin


Any bets on who Saturday Night Live skewers this week?

Not exactly Bigfoot prints, but …


This trail struck me a little strange.  I’m referring to the roughly 20-inch-wide path that’s been cleared in the middle. As if tracking some strange beast, I’m trying to figure out what cleared that path.


From Edward Glaeser, NYT Economix, "Revenge of the Rust Belt"

Economist Edward Glaeser recently wrote in the NYT Economix blog about the declining population of the Rust Belt. I found the accompanying graphic entertaining.

“from Duluth to Balad” Premiere March 5th

"From Duluth to Balad" Microposter

Crispy Kale Productions (aka Michael Latsch) is premiering his new documentary “from Duluth to Balad.” The video is sponsored by Veterans for Peace, Chapter 80 and the Northland Anti-War Coalition. It goes up Thursday, March 5th at the Friends Meeting House, 1802 E. 1st St at 7:30 PM. Admission is free, and the showing will be followed by Q+A with the producer.

The documentary uses historic photos and modern combat footage to tell the story of how the wing started making deployments to Iraq in 2005. It examines the costs of that deployment, asks if Duluth can find a different way to sustain its economy.

see the trailer at crispykale.blogspot.com. Questions, contact [email protected], 218-260-7047

Featured Artist for March at Bohemia Arts

print by nick brakel

print by nick brakel

Nick Brakel will be displaying Spirit Boxes and Prints of recent work for the month of March at Bohemia Arts.

There will be an artists’ reception held Saturday, March 7th from 6-9pm. Join us for refreshments and speak with Nick about his work. Music by Dan Dresser, Stephanie Dykema, and Dave Mehling.

Hope to see you there!


Bohemia Arts
Fine Art Supplies*Gifts*Gallery
22 N 1st Ave W Downtown Duluth

*Though we are clearancing the store, there are more art shows to come, through May 2009. We hope you’ll help us go out with a bang by coming out and supporting your local artists!