Learning to Speak

It’s a bit foggy aboard the Queen Mary 2 on our second day out of New York. The sky merges seamlessly with the ocean, obliterating the horizon in mushy blue-grayness. But deep inside this massive vessel—the newest, largest, fastest, and most luxurious ocean liner in the world—and behind the doors of the Illuminations auditorium, the […]

Trust But Verify & Serve With A Light Burgundy

A few weeks ago, Twin Citizen waking up to their coffee and toast were surprised to hear that one of our beloved local bakeries, the French Meadow, had been raided by federal agents. Was the French Meadow aiding and abetting terrorists with its awesome vegan lunch menu? Or was its name a tip-off to general […]

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Loud Pipes Save Lives

Mainstream is attending the Episcopal Church. Non-mainstream is practicing Zoroastrianism. Mainstream is owning a golden retriever. Non-mainstream is breeding Rhodesian ridgebacks. In the universe of non-mainstream things, it’s hard to conceive of two things more arcane than Michael Barone’s passions: pipe organs and Citroën automobiles. The host and producer of public radio’s Pipedreams, Michael Barone […]

Your Lunch, On the Hoof

Don Nelson’s white minivan looked pretty much like every other vehicle in the parking lot behind the Green Mill restaurant on Hennepin Avenue. But the moment Nelson opened the rear door, out of the dark interior came frantic grunting. When he opened the gate to a portable dog kennel sitting on the floor, the grunts […]

Allowed to Die

These past harrowing weeks, we’ve heard a lot about the “Culture of Life.” Perhaps it would be edifying to take a closer look at the Machinery of Death. Sometime in the coming weeks, we may hear more about reinstating the death penalty here in Minnesota, a favorite subject with some of our legislators. Regardless of […]

A Pumpkin Gun

Minnesota’s technology underground is a loose confederacy of extreme tinkerers and technical self-expressives—guys, mostly, with day jobs in corporate labs and academic facilities—who spend incredible amounts of time and money on odd stuff that goes boom, whoosh, and splat. It is a netherworld of guerilla science, cobbled together with pneumatic pumps, reclaimed solenoid valves, and […]