Cheeseburgers, health care & rural identity: adventures in podcasting

At this point, the words “blog” and “podcast,” once trendy markers of an innovative agent of media disruption, have reached the point in their life cycle where the words themselves are pretty boring, perhaps even grating, on their own. But people read and listen to blogs and podcasts in great numbers, particularly if you count the… Read More →

St. Paul Saints will play for Duck, Duck, Glory this summer

You remember the game. Everyone sits in a circle on the floor. One kid walks around the exterior of the circle tapping each person on the head while saying “Duck” each time. “Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck …” Until finally, the kid taps another kid on the head and says something different. The utterance of this word… Read More →

FARGO, Season 3 premiere: “The Law of Vacant Places”

The FX series “Fargo” takes viewers on a “true story” adventure through the snow-swept landscape of Minnesota. Based on the Coen Brothers Academy Award winning film “Fargo,” each season of the TV series explores different stories within the themes of innocence lost, human failings, and the redemptive power of goodness. Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown… Read More →

So then, who do you trust for your MN-centric ‘Fargo’ Season 3 reviews?

So, then. We’re back at this again. It’s time for the “Fargo” review. The Season 3 premiere of Noah Hawley’s “Fargo” airs tonight at 9 p.m. CST on FX. This Minnesota-based crime noir serial is based on Joel and Ethan Coen’s Oscar-winning movie of the same name, but has since taken on its own… Read More →

Orchids to Mesabi Daily News for Onion reform

The world boasts no shortage of internet trolls. Anonymous criticism, partisan blather, all designed to divide and demean members of the community. Rarely, however, does the anonymous vile of your average online comments section get full page treatment in the printed editorial page of a daily newspaper. For the past two decades, however, the Saturday… Read More →

We’re (probably) gonna win Twins, we’re (occasionally) going to score

Javier Ponce?  Pedro Jaramillo? Francisco Velasco? Who are these guys, and how did they end up on the roster of the Minnesota Twins? Major League Baseball kicks off its 2017 season on Sunday. The Minnesota Twins open Monday at Target Field. And it doesn’t look good. For instance, Ponce, Jaramillo and Velasco? Those are actually members… Read More →

Dylan talks hunting, fishing and Northern Minnesota in new interview

Like most who grew up on the Iron Range, Bob Dylan reminisces about hunting and fishing. He also insists there’s a profound difference between Northern and Southern Minnesota. Dylan, born in Duluth and raised in Hibbing, doesn’t give many interviews. When he does, they become their own art form. His answers, rarely direct, ebb and flow around some ambiguous concept,… Read More →

‘The Ballad of Newton Badger’ and the spark of community potential

Every semester I ask my Iron Range college students to identify a “community problem” and then argue for a solution to that problem. In recent years, without fail, the most common problem identified is “nothing for young people to do on the Iron Range.” The solutions, of course, all include some variant on “here’s something… Read More →

Art project to brighten Bob Dylan’s Iron Range hometown

After Bob Dylan received his Nobel Prize in Literature, something clicked in Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. A group of community members formed the Hibbing Dylan Project, with the goal of celebrating the legacy of the folk troubadour’s Iron Range roots. As I’ve written, I was active in Dylan Days, which enjoyed a 14-year run in Hibbing…. Read More →

‘Flowetry in Motion’ for 2017 MN State All Hockey Hair Team

Northern Minnesota continues to celebrate the exciting conclusion to the Minnesota State High School Boys Hockey Tournament. For the first time since 1998, two northern teams won the Class A and Class AA championships, respectively. But the real fun is only getting started. After the tournament, Game On! Minnesota released its 2017 Minnesota State High… Read More →