Go(ogle) jump in a lake

Duluth’s efforts to be selected as one of the test sites for Google’s new super high speed fiber internet technology have reached fever pitch. In addition to filming a high end short film with the entire community last weekend, organizers have been using all sorts of online, grassroots efforts to demonstrate the city’s desire for what could be a tinderbox of information age economic development. Today, however, might have been the biggest moment yet for many involved, particularly for one of the key leaders in the Google Twin Ports efforts: Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

I first heard about it on Facebook. It was something like:

“Holy f***ing s***, Donny Ness is on A1 of the New York Times!”

Don’t quote me, it was early. And no, it wasn’t Ness (a Facebook friend of mine) doing the posting, either. After a few more confirmations I started imaging what the picture must look like. Is it a trendy portrait of Duluth’s hip new young mayor bringing the steel and shipping town into the 21st century? Well, you tell me:

That’s Ness from A1 of the “gray lady” jumping into the frigid waters of Lake Superior to demonstrate just how very much they definitely want Google Fiber, for realz. The story is well worth a read. Here’s video of the whole thing. My favorite part is Ness attempting not to swear on camera after getting out of the water.

It would be tempting to unleash some good-natured teasing of the very cold mayor, but the second video for Come Home Bob drops tomorrow and I wouldn’t want to deal with the counter-punch. Who would have thought that when Don and I were both working our way up the ladder of the northern Minnesota political scene we’d both find ourselves simultaneously starring in different viral YouTube videos in fervent efforts to modernize the perceptions of our blue collar region? Life is funny sometimes. Funny ha ha.

In deference to the “Fail-Safe” principle, I’ll re-share the Come Home Bob You Tube channel.

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