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The Hoot Owls – “Scandinavian Hot Rod”

The Hoot Owls - Alien ScrapyardRay Pirkola’s 1936 Ford Coupe debuted at the Million Dollar Motorcade car show at the Duluth Armory in 1955. Featuring 1940 Ford fenders and a hood grafted to a chopped and channeled 1936 five-window body, it was the first “full custom” car in the region. The song “Scandanavian Hot Rod” by the Hoot Owls celebrates the car and the self-determination of Ray Pirkola, father of the Hoot Owls singer and guitar player Barry Pirkola. The song is from the band’s 2010 album Alien Scrapyard.

Show off your Homegrown photos

As we do each year, PDD is putting out the call for some super skinny horizontal images to put in the banner at the top of the page during Homegrown.All the regular guidelines apply.

If you have your sights set beyond the PDD banner, the Homegrown committee and the Duluth Art Institute are currently accepting submissions for the show that will hang at the Red Herring.

Duluth’s Ten Most Endangered Properties in 2017

Pastoret Terrace

From a hidden stairway to the original rail line servicing the city, Duluth is not “anyplace, USA,” the Duluth Preservation Alliance announced in a news release today. “It is home to an abundance of historic buildings and sites.”

To bring awareness to some of the city’s most threatened sites, the DPA, released its list of “Duluth’s Top 10 Endangered Properties for 2017.”

1. Pastoret Terrace
131 E. First St.
What began as luxury townhouses in 1887 has since been divided into multiple apartments. In 2010, the Terrace experienced a devastating fire and currently sits as a fraction of its former glory. Now owned by the city, it could be razed, or it could be renovated and be a catalyst that helps revive First Street.

Remembering America and her life under water

SSAmerica-2012Noreaster

A post last week of a 1925 photograph of the steamship America led to a tip about this story from the 2nd Quarter 2012 issue of Nor’easter, the journal of the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association. The story, written by Gina Temple-Rhodes and used here with permission from the LSMMA, includes a more complete history of the vessel, including tales from Arthur Wright, a Duluthian whose father was a crew member on America. Wright was 99 at the time of the article; he died a year later at the age of 100.

Duluth City Council ready for first look at “Uber Ordinance”

Uber logo Lyft logo

It’s been eight months since Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs had his first formal meeting with City Attorney Nate LaCoursiere to begin crafting an ordinance to regulate ridesharing businesses like Uber and Lyft.

Both companies have expressed interest in operating in Duluth, and now Hobbs’ ordinance is on the city council’s March 13 agenda for a first reading. The soonest the ordinance could pass is March 27; it would then go into effect 30 days later.

Masculinity and History in Logan, in International Women’s Day, and in Munchkin

Three events this week made me rethink the past, present, and future of gender roles. The movie Logan draws deep in the past of gender roles, echoing them and updating them (just a bit) for the 21st century. Debates about the wage gap on International Women’s Day make me struggle with the present of gender. Playing Munchkin with some adorable children makes me feel optimistic about the future — of gender and of a better world generally.

Minnesota All Hockey Hair Team 2017: Flowetry in Motion

Austin HessJohn King is back with another roundup of the finest hair styles at the Minnesota High School Boys Hockey Tournament. Though Hermantown and Grand Rapids brought championship trophies north to the Arrowhead region, both teams landed zero players in the All Hockey Hair Team Top Ten this year. Several players and a team manager get shout outs, however.

PDD Quiz: Duluth in Popular Culture

ticket to rideReferences to Duluth abound in popular culture; how many are you aware of? Take this quiz to find out! (Hint: you might have an edge if you’ve been paying attention to previous quizzes and the PDD blog.)

Our next PDD Quiz, reviewing the events of March 2017, will be published on March 26. E-mail question ideas to Alison Klawiter at [email protected] by March 23.

Two-Thing Story

Eric Chandler - Saturday EssayI sat with my kids and played “two-thing story” as I tucked them into bed. This was a game where my kid picked two nouns out of the air and I had to come up with a story that included the two things. Then we swapped and I picked the two nouns and the kid would come up with a story. It was simple. Two kids, two things, and lots of laughs.

I like to make complex things simpler. I usually view my fellow man through a simple, digital filter. Ones or zeroes. Happy Shmo or Angry Shmo. Here’s an example: “There are two kinds of people: Those who think there are two kinds of people and those who don’t.” (Aren’t I clever?)

Here are some of the filters I use.

The first is called the Dunning-Kruger effect. David Dunning and Justin Kruger conducted studies and wrote a paper called “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments (1999).” They published it in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. I gather we live in a post-fact world, but this is science if you still care. This is what it says in the paper’s abstract: “People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.”

Things that will Remain the Same, Vol. 1

More video of glorious Lake Superior plate ice stacking itself on the shore and lurching like an upset stomach. This time Troy Rogers is the person behind the camera. Brace yourself for 48 minutes of nature at its finest.

Selective Focus: Paul LaJeunesse

SF-TeaserPaul-LeJeunesse

Paul LaJeunesse was recently chosen to be the Duluth Art Institute’s first Lincoln Park Craft District Artist-in-Residence. He talks about his work and his plans for the Lincoln Park project.

P.L.: My easel paintings are tempera and oil on canvas and the mural project will be acrylic on a substrate called PolyTab. The easel painting process is one I learned from Patrick Betaudier at the Atelier Neo Medici, which is often called Technique Mixte, which is just German for Mixed Technique. It’s a description coined by Max Doerner to describe the process used by the Northern European Renaissance painters, particularly in the Van Eyck studio. It uses alternating layers of achromatic, tempera paint with color, oil glazes. This layering can be repeated any number of times to create very luminous paintings that reflect light from within the painting. The mural process is one developed by Mural Arts in Philadelphia where the painting is created on the polytab cloth in a studio and adhered to the wall using acrylic binder, as opposed to creating the painting on site.

Public input sought on Duluth Traverse mini-master plan

Duluth-Traverse-Trail

The city of Duluth is compiling comments for the draft Duluth Traverse Trail Management and Mini-Master Plan and is seeking input on expanded mountain bike trail offerings with a goal of 100 miles of trails, bike skills park construction sites and improved/expanded neighborhood trail access and facilities such as expanded parking, showers and signage.

Missing Child in West Duluth: Darren Torcotte

Darren TorcotteUpdate: Darren Torcotte has been found.

The Duluth Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating missing child Darren John Torcotte. Darren is a 13-year-old white male, 5-foot 8-inches tall, 118 lbs., has brown hair and brown eyes. Darren was last seen wearing a baby blue jacket and light-colored gloves. He was last seen this morning leaving his home in the area of the 300 block of 59th Avenue West. The Duluth Police Department needs the public’s assistance in locating Darren to ensure he returns home safely. Anyone who sees or knows of Darren’s whereabouts is asked to call 911.

Ian Alexy – “High as a Plane”

Haley Bonar is now simply Haley

HaleyTwin Cities musician Haley Bonar, whose career took off during her years living in Duluth, announced today she is changing her surname from her paternal birth name, Bonar, to her maternal family name, McCallum. As a performer, however, she’s shortening it up to simply “Haley.”

Below is the statement from Haley’s Facebook page.

Her European tour begins March 25 with a sold out show in Glasgow, Scotland.