Destination: Tomorrow!

Later this month, the World Future Society brings its annual conference, including a Minnesota Futures Day, to Minneapolis. To mark the occasion, Dregni sat down with the most outspoken member of the Society’s Minnesota chapter, Hank Lederer, who forecast possible advancements over the next century for the book, Follies of Science: 20th Century Visions of […]

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Moving Water and Earth

When Father Louis Hennepin first saw the great falls of the Mississippi in 1680, he was on furlough from a prolonged captivity at Mille Lacs Lake. The Flemish cleric and his Dakota escorts portaged downstream along the east bank on what is now Main Street in Minneapolis, then beheld the cataract he would later document […]

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Specimen Days

Boys will be there but your parents will not,” promised the summer camp brochures that came in winter’s mail like seed catalogs. There were pamphlets for marine biology camp in Florida, space camp in Alabama, and some sort of geology road trip called the Central Rocky Mountain Institute. “I hear scientific greatness calling me,” I […]

The Life-Giving Secret of Bees

The long, pointed whisker stands out sharply from the undulating mass of curious bees beneath the Plexiglas. Next emerges a lonely ear. And finally the whole, unmistakable outline of the tiny skull: a common field mouse. It is completely lacquered in something dark, sticky, and resinous. Just three days earlier, this little skull—not much bigger […]

“It vibrates. But is it, y’know, a vibrator?”

I’d just been dumped by a guy when I first heard about the Bakken Museum’s vibrator collection. Minneapolis’s Bakken, for the record, bills itself as “The Museum of Electricity in Life,” and since my bulb had just gone out, I thought looking into the long history of self-satisfaction might be a pleasant diversion. I learned […]