MN Power’s natural gas plant shows changing industry

Last week, Minnesota Power announced it would build a new natural gas power plant in Superior with Wisconsin-based Dairyland Power Cooperative as a partner. From a Brooks Johnson story in the Duluth News Tribune: “It’s really about giving customers affordable, reliable, less carbon-intensive energy,” Julie Pierce, Minnesota Power vice president of strategy and planning, told the… Read More →

Journalists should be ashamed of delicious Doritos™ air drop

ID: Hey, ego! Did you see that they’ll be dropping Doritos™ Heat Wave chips over the city of Duluth at noon today? All the TV stations promoted it on the news! You should blog about that. EGO: Yes, but I can’t report that. It’s just a free ad for Doritos. ID: Doritos™ — and what’s… Read More →

Duluth-Superior Film Festival opens today

Summer movie season has arrived, and if you’re like me you’ve noticed a sea of derivative retreads slated for our cinema multiplexes. “Blah Blah IV.” “Blah Blah: The Remake.” “Blah Blah: Based on the Popular Video Game.” The film industry has always balanced its urge for creativity with its need for money. It seems money… Read More →

There be titanium dioxide in them thar’ hills

If you’ve never heard of titanium dioxide, you’d qualify as normal. But you’ve probably used white paint, eaten red candy, or applied sunscreen before. All of those products use titanium dioxide. So do plastics and some electronics. The stuff sells at $3,200 per metric ton. Today, researchers release a report showing that the Iron Range region could… Read More →

Dylan Fest 2017 honors Northern MN’s own Bob Dylan

Every May, Bob Dylan’s shared hometowns of Duluth, where he was born, and Hibbing, where he grew up, celebrate music, poetry and culture in his honor. This year, Dylan is fresh off his Nobel Prize for Literature. And while the former Bobby Zimmerman isn’t expected to appear at this year’s festivities, a full lineup of… Read More →

FitBit names Duluth ‘fittest city in America’

In what’s either a tremendous bragging point or a disturbing product of a corporate surveillance state, FitBit announced this week that Duluth, Minnesota, is the “fittest city in America.” FitBit formed this conclusion from tracking fitness data like steps, activity and sleep duration from its customers across the nation. To be perfectly fair, all this… Read More →

Short film shot in Duluth shows horror of modern workplace

What drives the modern worker? Is it money? Ambition. Or have we been conditioned to press on with increasingly meaningless office tasks in fear of what might happen if we ever stop? Perhaps, like the shark who must swim to survive, the office worker must print, copy and collate. “Take Your Non-Vaporous Apparition to Work… Read More →

New band ‘Hazardous Weather Outlook’ opens Duluth Homegrown

The annual week-long Duluth Homegrown Music Festival opens today. Nearly 200 local bands will perform at venues throughout the Zenith City. Homegrown is a cornerstone of the Northern Minnesota music scene, showcasing the depth and variety of artistic talent in the region. That’s why the choice of opening band is such a surprise. This year’s… Read More →

Study adds new fuel to mining vs. tourism debate

Iron Range newspapers and TV stations have given considerable air time to a study sponsored by a pro-mining group showing that while tourism provides more jobs in Northern Minnesota, mining, railroading and shipping provide far better paying jobs. From the Duluth News Tribune: The [Mining Minnesota] study found current iron ore mining and directly related… Read More →

NASA scientist predicts future raid on Great Lakes water

Natural resources spur debate in Minnesota. Mining and forestry find their way into many controversies. But water? Well, people want it to be clean, but no one begrudges anyone a cool glass of water. Have another! Water your lawn if you want. No need, of course, because there’s plenty of water everywhere. This is, after… Read More →