Pork: the other fight meat

Whenever I see classmates move to Florida or former co-workers relocated to Texas, they always go on about the weather. Isn’t it nice to be warm? And I suppose “warm” is better than 25 below, but at what cost? American author Truman Capote once said, “It’s a scientific fact that if you stay in California… Read More →

When past meets future

I was on the Wednesday, March 15 KAXE Morning Show with my friend Heidi Holtan talking about my most recent column for the Mesabi Tribune, “Saving our energy for the future.”  You can hear the interview at KAXE’s webpage. We talked about skepticism over electric cars, historical comparisons to the advent of automobiles 100 years… Read More →

Saving our energy for the future

The other day actor Will Ferrell appeared on my television screen to say that General Motors is going electric. You don’t have to be a business expert to realize that by the time a company hires Buddy the Elf to star in a Super Bowl ad, a large strategic move is already well underway.  Within… Read More →

Beaver dams inspire bad ideas

Setting off an explosion that floods your neighbors’ property sounds bad. I guess it is bad. But I see how it might happen. Last month in northern Michigan’s Montmorency County, a man shoved a large block of Tannerite into a beaver dam near his property. Tannerite is a kind of explosive used in firearm targets…. Read More →

Rich town, poor town

  A century ago, Iron Range communities like Hibbing, Virginia and Eveleth drew the ire of conservative business and political minds for their lavish spending on public works and education. Hibbing even boasted the nickname “the Richest Village on Earth” for its ability to levy enormous tax revenues off of the unfathomable wealth of nearby… Read More →

For peat’s sake

Today, I share my latest column for the Minnesota Reformer, “Bog is Dead: The waning defense of Minnesota wetlands.”  When most people think about northern Minnesota, they picture forests and lakes. That’s understandable. We have a lot of trees and lakes up here, to be sure. But many overlook the vast peatlands that span the… Read More →

In a beastly world, beauty is precious

I recently found myself in one of these modern hotel ballrooms, the Bougie kind of space that half the population never sees unless they are paid to clean it. Amid a roiling sea of business chatter I looked up at the ceiling the way a sailor might note the moon through a gap in storm… Read More →

Notes from the basement

The world seems awash with news and events I’d have blogged about in recent years. Mining industry scuttlebutt. Duluth fighter jets shooting down UFOs. Fortunately, some other writers are on the job, including Jerry Burnes and Leah Ryan of the new Iron Range Today. It was no surprise that former State Sen. Tom Bakk signed… Read More →

Get wise to the age

I tend not to subscribe to doom and gloom. Even as real world problems stack up, I know from history and experience that humans remain a crafty species, capable of adapting to all sorts of hardships. But there is one area where I think we struggle more than we know. As we humans grind through… Read More →

Shoulda, coulda, woulda

It’s tempting to imagine alternate realities. We hear talk of the “multiverse,” a philosophical theory suggesting that infinite parallel universes exist, one for every imaginable outcome. The animated show “Rick and Morty” explores the multiverse with hilarious nihilism. But that’s not the only place we dabble in the multiverse. You don’t have to be well… Read More →