Recent tests improve odds of big helium stake near Babbitt

In the early days of iron exploration on the Mesabi Range, the thrill of discovery was dampened somewhat by the slow process of assaying what they found. It’s a little like how we once had to wait for film to develop to see how pictures turned out.  The Merritt Brothers’ carried around inspiration for years… Read More →

Companies crowd to mine newly viable West Range iron ore

Last week, I met someone who knew my writing and he was shocked to see that I was “young.” I put “young” in quotation marks because it’s a relative term. I think in this case he was really saying that he was surprised that I wasn’t old, because he figured I would be.  It’s true,… Read More →

Rolling dice on housing

The affordability we can’t afford

Americans like to argue, but seem to agree that we don’t have enough money. The median household income in St. Louis County runs just below $58,000 a year, about $30,000 for individuals. Half make less, and these folks certainly know how hard it is to cover rising expenses. Nevertheless, candidates who support publicly funded health… Read More →

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

De’myth’tifying Minnesota

A couple weeks ago I reviewed a new novel reframing the Paul Bunyan myth that still prevails in Minnesota tourism and culture. Today, I share a new essay for the Minnesota Reformer entitled “Paul Bunyan and the weight of myth.” This piece digs deeper into the Bunyan story and how it shaped the cultural perception… Read More →

What goes up ain’t ever coming back

My latest essay for the Minnesota Reformer is out today, entitled “A Fistful of Helium.” This one’s been floating around my office like an old birthday balloon for several months. In fact, the helium discovery near Babbitt is one of the topics I’m most asked about when I’m out and about. I hadn’t written anything… Read More →


This just in

Recent tests improve odds of big helium stake near Babbitt

In the early days of iron exploration on the Mesabi Range, the thrill of discovery was dampened somewhat by the slow process of assaying what they found. It’s a little like how we once had to wait for film to develop to see how pictures turned out.  The Merritt Brothers’ carried around inspiration for years… Read More →