Jim Richardson (aka Lake Superior Aquaman) Posts

Lake Superior Aquaman of Duluth Minnesota

I’m just saying.

Alternate Duluths

Co-written with Allen Richardson

Dr. Mallard McPurdy disappeared in 2005 while surveying regional probability for the University of Minnesota Duluth’s short-lived Anomalies Department. A team led by Dr. Leon Oswald recovered McPurdy’s yellow pressure suit on Skyline Boulevard, but McPurdy remains at large. His suit contained video files from which the following transcriptions were made; we obtained these with a Freedom of Information Act request.

Duluth 1. Air analysis complete: Bacteria Spore, Origin Unknown. I hope these cheap-ass containment suits actually contain.

The dim, overcast light coming through my smeared faceplate told me little about season or time of day. “Dr. Oswald!” I screamed, weeping as the dread and isolation overwhelmed me. I put on a brave face, clenching my fists, unimpressed by the amount of courage I could muster.

Duluth’s Building For Women featured in abortion-access article

“For nearly three decades, long before the fall of Roe v. Wade, the blond brick Building for Women in Duluth, Minnesota, has been a destination for patients traveling from other states to get an abortion. They have come from places where abortions were legal but clinics were scarce and from states where restrictive laws have narrowed windows of opportunity.”

Paddling Blatnik

Is Duluth, Minnesota really paradise?

My Psychic Powers

Keeping in mind that I have no credibility, this is the true story of my psychic powers, which I don’t believe in. The reader may decide if I have psychic powers or not. I’ve already told you I don’t believe in them. I used to but not anymore. However, even though I quit believing, psychic things keep happening, which is profoundly irritating.

In chronological order:

Porky Pig Clairvoyance, 1st-2nd Grade (?)

Family Florida trip. A full-page ad in the back of a comic book transfixed me. I read it on my hotel room bed in a block of sunlight, sounds of the ocean in the distance. The ad was for a book about developing psychic and magic powers. It had fine print about the powers, psychic ways to make money, etc. I read every word, thinking it was real or could be.

Then I remember Dad driving and I was in the front seat with him. It was the just the two of us. Florida seemed particularly packed with road signage. A random thought flitted through my head as stores and restaurants flowed by: a line of Porky Pig dialog. No surprise there. It was fleeting and I paid it no mind. Within a couple minutes we drove past a barbecue place with a Porky Pig knock-off on its signage. I said, “Hey, I just thought about Porky Pig and here we are driving past this sign! That’s psychic!”

“Do you think so?” Dad asked, humoring me.

I did think so. Now I knew: I had psychic powers.

Lake Superior Aquaman on Community Connection

On underwater microphones and the acoustics of Lake Superior

In this video, the Embassy‘s Sub Superior Festival (feat. Troy Rogers AKA Robot Rickshaw) teams up with Cafe Scientifique Twin Ports. They address the technical challenges of producing an underwater music festival, review favorite moments, and dream about the future of Sub Superior. Broadcast live from the Embassy’s secret Industrial Temple.

Duluth Kayak Rescue

Via WCCO-TV, reported July 15.

Lake Superior Whale Shark


Escape From Wisconsin

If you’re wondering where I’ve been, three years ago I survived an assassination attempt on the Blatnik Bridge. Locally called “the High Bridge,” it is in fact 120 feet high over the St. Louis Bay. It is co-owned by Minnesota and Wisconsin, and when you cross the state line, you have a bird’s eye view of the bay, Park Point, and Lake Superior. For a moment, I thought it would be my final view.

Earlier that morning, I swam through the ruins off of Washburn, the tiny Wisconsin town with big secrets. On the way back to Minnesota in my blue 1976 Lotus Esprit S1 — the Aquamobile — I stopped at the Anchor Bar in Superior. Time: 11 a.m. The streets were quiet, church was still in session. I parked across the avenue and went inside. Joining my confidential informant for a burger in a booth, he slipped me a list of every crooked cop in Wisconsin. I put it in my shark-themed backpack, returned to the Aquamobile, and put the backpack in the passenger seat next to the speargun. I got in and rolled my window down. Now for a little drive to the U.S. Marshals office in the Federal Building at the Duluth Civic Center.

Duluth: Bird City

Raptors: The sight of a bald eagle stirs a person. I used to live in more southerly climes where they were less common, so it has been a treat to see one every now and then up here. I saw them a lot after my divorce, when I had to drive halfway through Minnesota every two weeks to exchange my daughter like a prisoner. I pointed out bald eagles to my child on these drives, barely able to contain my excitement, while she did that kid act of being bored with everything. Later I visited her at her mom’s house in a rural Winona valley. There was a field of tilled earth on the dirt road to their home, and it was positively overrun with bald eagles. As I drove past, I saw fifty of them together walking around in the mud with their dirty talons. I said to my daughter, “Now I understand why you’re never excited to see a bald eagle — you see so many of them every day, they’re like rats here.” She said, “Yup.”

Hawk Ridge overruns with bird nerds. Hawks soar over the city alone or in twos and threes, or by the dozen during migration. Cold air off the lake hits the warm hillside, a clash of airmasses creating lift — they love that. Unimaginably high with laser vision watching for unwary pigeons or rabbits, eating them on the roofs on people’s houses. I saw feathers raining past my window one day. By the time I figured out a hawk was eating a pigeon on my roof, it was gone.

Cole Pulice and Nat Harvie – “Parrish Blue”

Duluthian Nat Harvie‘s new collab album with Cole Pulice, Strawberry Roan, releases June 21 via the Texas-based Aural Canyon record label.

Recent Aquaman banners from PDD’s Facebook page


Avant-Garde Women: Emmy Hennings, “Shining Star of the Voltaire”

The Greatest Cabaret in the History of the World

It is criminal that Emmy Hennings’s books have not been translated from German to English after more than 100 years. She was arguably the founder of Dadaism in 1916, the most important art movement of the 20th century. To the press, she was unquestionably Dada’s tentpole performer. Dada — anarchic, nihilistic, and self-consciously weird — continues to inspire. All Hennings’s male contemporaries have translated books available, so what is the holdup? I’ll buy a German-English dictionary and do it myself if I have to. Her books run hundreds of pages so it will take me the rest of my life. But it’s not fair that German readers hog her work to themselves, especially with modern interest in the female Dadaists. The delay is perhaps explained by continual critical confusion over her true role.

Hennings was a political radical and anti-war activist. She faced prison, morphine addiction, mental health issues, and homelessness. Before Dada, “grinding poverty” drove her into sex work to feed herself. Among the literally starving artists in Europe circa World War I, Dada’s mama had to eat. Then, as artillery shells fell in the distance, she started the greatest cabaret in the history of the world.

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