December 2017 Posts

How tall trees feed themselves

A faculty member at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Biology Department has conducted research on tall trees that has been published in Nature Plants and will be highlighted in the journal Nature. Assistant Professor Jessica Savage has been teaching at UMD for about a year and is the lead author of a paper detailing the process tall trees use to transport sugar or feed themselves.

The article, “Maintenance of Carbohydrate Transport in Tall Trees,” was published today on nature.com. An online subscription is required to fully nerd out and read the work, but a 277-word abstract is available for free.

Videos: This Week in Duluth Snowy Owl Rescues

Richard Hoeg spotted a snowy owl on Duluth Harbor ice this morning and at first didn’t think it was out of the ordinary. Returning a few hours later, he noticed the owl had only moved a few feet and didn’t flush when a pair of dogs were checking it out. So with the help of a fish net, wood and duct tape, he pulled the owl in and passed it along to Wildwoods Rehabilitation. Hoeg tells the full story on his 365 Days of Birds blog.

UWS Chancellor’s Ball protested over program cuts

Two dozen spirited students, faculty, alumni and community members braved the cold on the evening of Dec. 2 to protest in front of the UWS Yellowjacket Union. The protest was held outside of the glitzy Chancellor’s Ball fundraiser to show outrage at the devastating academic program cuts that were announced on the morning of Halloween.

Protesters wore costumes to symbolically reclaim the Halloween that was ruined by the announced cuts. They handed fundraiser attendees candy with the following message printed on them: “Thank you for supporting UWS students! Please ask Chancellor Wachter to reconsider the program suspensions at UWS. More choices for students, not fewer, is what make UWS great.”

The response from those attending the fundraiser was overwhelming supportive, demonstrating yet again how deeply opposed our community is to the gutting of our university. The action closed with a rousing chant of “We’ll Be Back, We’ll Be Back!” And rest assured we will be – again and again – until these draconian cuts are consigned to the dust bin of history!

New brewer takes the stern at Voyageur in Grand Marais

Voyageur Brewing Company recently hired Stuart Long to head up its 20-barrel operation on historic Highway 61 in Grand Marais. The new brewer hails from Southern California and intends to make a few changes at Voyageur, which he hopes will usher in a new era of growth for the company.

X-mas FAQ

The Christmas holiday is a joyous celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed through gift giving, wreath hanging, carol singing, tree decorating, card exchanging, egg nog drinking, fruitcake chewing, chestnut roasting and other questionable behavior. Not everyone believes in Jesus Christ, or fruitcake for that matter, but all decent human beings are expected to be just a little nicer than usual in December and tolerate all the crackpots.

For those who are unsure how to comply with society’s expectations, I’ve put together a few quick answers to some frequently asked Christmas questions.

Should my family put together a holiday photo card or just do the general Hallmark greeting card thing?

No matter how crappy a photo card is, a majority of recipients will save it their entire lives. Hallmark cards are completely pointless and will be in the recycling bin on Dec. 26 by noon.

Moving Image Impressions – Headlong into the Void

An Impression of Kathy McTavish’s Video/Audio Mixed-media Installation Chance

Destroy the binaries. That was the phrase echoing in mind after considering Kathy McTavish’s new site-specific installation, Chance, at the Tweed Museum. McTavish is a cellist and media composer who works in the often underrepresented world of multichannel video and sound environments, or digital, code-driven works of art. She uses layered, interchanged information in order to “create cross-sensory, polyphonic landscapes,” combining digital elements of animated video patterns and sound in a kind of seismic virtual collage.

As Duluth’s image improves, economic cup half empty/full

Duluth is the only metropolitan statistical area in Minnesota to see its gross domestic product decline in 2015 and 2016. That’s the subject of a story by Greta Kaul, data reporter for MinnPost.

But the news isn’t nearly as dire as it might sound.

Selective Focus: Sugar on Top Sweet Shop

Kristina Amys makes elaborate, detailed cakes and baked goods. After stumbling into success with her decorating skills, she left her corporate job to build a business based on food and art.

KA: My main medium is sugar! Whether it’s buttercream, fondant, gum paste or chocolate, I make art out of food! How cool is that job right? I actually started decorating cakes in 2009 when I was planning a very special baby shower for a dear friend. I had my heart set on a very specific cake and after much debating decided to take a stab at it myself. It turns out I was pretty good at it and I uncovered a hidden talent that I didn’t even know I had. After that word of mouth spread like wild fire and people started asking me to make cakes for their special occasions. Never in a million years did I think I would be making cakes for a living!