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New audio interviews with The Big Wu and No Wait Wait. More to come...




Students at HCIS Bike the high road! - take the survey

As part of spring symposium this year, some students at Harbor City International School (PDD training dojo) are reCYCLING old bikes for use as freerides downtown. Please take their survey and email it back to them...or just email them with your support or ideas. Duluth Youth are Couth!


If you're just tuning in...

You've missed the game of a lifetime!!

You'll never walk alone!



Housewarming Party

Gonzo Science BYOB Housewarming Party on Thursday 9PM. We have moved out of our 3rd St. house and are now back in the Professor's house on 8th Avenue E, for those of you familiar with that location. If not, email gonzoscience@hotmail.com if you want directions. Semi-formal/formal just for laughs.

UPDATE: Okay, party starts at 8 in deference to those who have to work Friday morning. Rejoice!


Elephant Water

UPDATE: Geez, you people are watermelons. I'm sorry for giving a hoopdeedo about the rabbit hole in which you and I and a few other twizzle sticks exist. And I'm ashamed for not knowing that the cumquat is the result of pink elephants, who's clay nostrils were illuminated by asteroids a hundred years ago. Gosh, elephants move? And when elephants move they move? Crazy! Conspiracy? Yes, I thoroughly believe that Lionel Ritchie, Corey Feldman, the Girl Scouts and some long-dead marshmallow caused the elephant. Damn elephant.

Gold bananas to Bobr, Bad Cat! and C-freak for having big toes! Chunk of bituminous asphalt to Jeff. C-freak: Eat more elephant.


What's with the elephants in Lake Superior lately? My guesses:

1. Ants doing yoga work (or something) in the road on Park Point
2. Auras from the burial sites of several HUGE elephants on Park Point
3. An evil elephant

Anyway, yuck.


MPCA environmental emergencies: 651-649-5451 or toll-free 800-422-0798
MPCA - Duluth general public line: 218-723-4660
MPCA - Duluth beach monitoring: 218-723-4953

Or, send a complaint online.


How Duluth almost started WWIII

Saw the last posts in the Duluth movie thread about the teachings of fallout plans. I had saw this story on the Discovery Channel a while back and you brought the memory back. I had to find it and I did. Funny, but probably scarey back then.....

At around midnight on 25 October 1962, during the CubanMissile Crisis, a guard at the Duluth base saw a figure climbing thefence. He shot at it, and activated the "sabotage alarm". Thisautomatically set off sabotage alarms at all bases in the area. At VolkField, Wisconsin, the alarm was wrongly wired, and the Klaxon soundedwhich ordered nuclear-armed fighter aircraft to take off. The pilotsbelieved World War III had begun, and might have used their nuclearweapons. The duty officer at Volk Field kept his cool. He calledDuluth. There was no war. By this time aircraft at Volk Field werestarting down the runway. A car raced from command center and managedto signal the aircraft to stop. When things had settled down it wasfound that the original intruder had been a bear, not a saboteur.


{shameless plug} Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore Whore {/Shameless Plug}


Saturday, May 21st * 9:30pm Sharp * $15 * 21+

Board Behind Fitger's and Ride the North Shore Scenic Railroad

[FOR THE ADD ADDLED: The Black Labels, The Little Black Books, The Keep Aways, The Moons of Jupiter, The Crew Jones and The Sleepfarmer Redux. It's $15, bitchass. Tickets @ The 'Fetus until Friday--on sale Saturday at the Tap Room.]

* Train runs 9:30 - 11:30

* Yes, there will be beer. Plenty. Enough already.

* Tickets are going fast. Buy yours in advance at the Electric Fetus so you're not like one of those sucker MCs from last year with the crying and the whatnot.

* No.

Ann Martin Counselor-at-Love-Presents… the Crazy Train: a spring fling on a far flung train with favorite local fans, friends and bands; all aboard the North Shore Scenic Railroad. The Cacophony boards on the Lakewalk behind the Fitger’s Brewery Complex--9:30pm sharp--and provides two hours of locomotive musical entertainment by The Black Labels, Crew Jones, the Keep Aways, Little Black Books, Sleepfarmer and Moons of Jupiter.

Whilst the train is away, and upon our safe return--from 10pm–2am--enjoy lively music at the Tap Room from Sight Like December, Crew Jones and The Black Labels (21+, $4--free with your Crazy Train ticket).

Sponsored by the Transistor, the Tap Room, Grain Belt Premium and Grain Belt Premium Light, the North Shore Scenic Railroad and Ann Martin Counselor-at-Love-Presents… .

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Electric Fetus (12 E. Superior St.) until Friday. Tickets on sale Saturday at the Tap Room until they're gone! Price includes (Crazy) train ride and free admittance afterwards to the Tap Room for Sight Like December, Crew Jones and the Black Labels. Limited tickets available!


Duluth Movie

I made this short film for my upcoming high school reunion. I thought other Duluth folks might find it amusing.




NO WAIT WAIT will hold an in-store performance and CD release at the Electric Fetus on Tuesday, June 7 at 5pm. Mark your calendars and show your support for Marc Gartman's much-lauded guitar-pop band. Afterparty TBA.

baby hungry - need sandwich!

i've been giving some serious thought to the end of the subway stamp program. i have a few leftovers, and i figured there must be a lot of other people out there with stray stamps floating around the bottoms of your purses or whatever.

my solution: stamp drive! if you mail me your stamps and your address, i will mail you something worth at least as much (like a really pathetic dear abby, an unsigned birthday card for future emergency use, or a diagram of how i plan to lay out the furniture in the nursery). then i will eat sandwiches!

send to:
marisa "piggy" ring
4107 w 4th st
duluth, mn 55807

Osa Loves Elmo.

Music by | Elmo and Bjork


Vlogging in da paper!

Barrett and I were recently interviewed by the St Paul Pioneer Press for a piece on Vlogging. It came out today. Read on if you like.

Can't get your film funded? Vlog it!
From home movies to polished productions, the Web is festooned with video clips
Pioneer Press

Documentarian Dawn Mikkelson has fought to get an ecological opus, "Green Green Water," funded and finished. Now the St. Paul-based filmmaker has a new way to spread the word about her pet project: a video Web log, or "vlog," with online samples of the work in progress.

Call it Blogging 3.0. The Internet's now-ubiquitous text-based Web logs and its audiocentric "podcasts" are being upstaged by newfangled video blogs consisting primarily of moving imagery. From Duluth and Minneapolis to Mikkelson's downtown St. Paul digs, a new breed of bloggers is festooning sites with pithy, click-to-view clips.

The local vloggers aren't alone. Video bloggers across the country are proliferating to the point where big names in the tech and media realms have begun to take notice.

Google, the Web-search giant, recently solicited home-brewed footage for use online. Open Media Network, a Net firm backed by Web-browser pioneer Marc Andreessen, aims to provide a mixture of professional and vlog-based video. Current, a cable-TV network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore, is focusing on "short form" shows. It has staged a series of video-submission contests, offering the winners money to develop programs for the network.

But vloggers don't necessarily need the MSM — blog-head shorthand for "mainstream media" — to get their work seen. Some are assembling their own media mini-empires. Rocketboom, a top vlog, has evolved from a Manhattan-focused amateur newscast into one that is recruiting national correspondents. The correspondents include Chuck Olsen of Minneapolis, who recently filed his first vlogcast from the Living Green Expo at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Olsen, a prolific videographer and creator of the recent blog-themed "Blogumentary" documentary, has tirelessly preached the vlogging gospel. He maintains his own vlog, Secret Vlog Injection. He has a companion site, Minnesota Stories, in the works. He's jazzed up the left-leaning local New Patriot political blog with video, and is mulling a New Patriot vlog. He's sweet-talked the CEO of a local company into toting a tiny video camera for a firm vlog.

Olsen also has helped guide Mikkelson's firm, Aquaries Media, as it prepares "Green Green Water" for an autumn release.

"Green Green Water," being created with a California production partner, details the effects of hydroelectric dams on the aboriginal Pimicikamak and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nations of Northern Manitoba. The movie has a Minnesota connection because Xcel Energy is among the U.S. utilities that buy dam-generated electrical power from Manitoba Hydro, a lead figure in the film.

Yet few Twin Citians are aware of the topic, Mikkelson said. Rather than wait for her film to debut and, she hopes, make an impact, she is raising awareness now with a vlog featuring portions of interviews with people on both sides.

This vlog, like others, demonstrates a growing potential for distributing video online. Internet users can subscribe to vlog "feeds" using tools called "aggregators" that alerts them when the sites have been updated.

The latest aggregators, including the Web-based Mefeedia.com and software called ANT, are intended for vlog watching because they organize video for convenient consumption. Those using ANT on their Macintosh computers — a Windows version of the program is on the way — can access the footage they've automatically downloaded in a TV-like lineup with a bit of "Green Green" here and "Vlog Injection" selections over there.

Other Minnesota vlogs in such an ANT array might include "Le Garage" and "The Product," both out of Duluth.

Scott Lunt, creator of "Le Garage," said he got into vlogging because "I'm not a really good writer, and I never felt super comfortable with it." With the digital camcorder and laptop computer he carries everywhere, however, he can film and fine-tune visual nuggets of northern-Midwest life to amuse his subscribers. "I just like the happy accidents of a bunch of raw footage that would be boring without a little editing and music."

Barrett Chase, author of "The Product," is proof that vloggers don't need fancy, expensive recording equipment to make an impact on the Web. He creates his vlog fodder using a compact, low-cost digital-still camera of the sort that also records low-resolution video onto its flash-storage card in 10- to 15-minute spurts.

That gear recently was enough to create a multichapter masterpiece, "Making Beer w/Barrett and Paul," filmed with a pal. And one recent dawn, when Barrett, a postal worker, had finished a night shift and couldn't fall asleep, he wandered nearby Superior, Wis., and captured the eerie "detritus of the night before. On the video, it looks how it felt (at the time), bleak and just strange."

In a sign that vlogging might spread into the business world, one local CEO has dabbled a bit in video-blog posting with a push from Olsen. The vlog veteran equipped Eric Worre, head of Hopkins-based Better Life Media, with a tiny video camera that stores footage on a miniaturized hard drive.

The firm, which aims to become a self-improvement-themed media giant, eventually posted a handful of vlogs with such titles as, "What makes you happy?" "How not to suck at sales" and "A search for the soul of kindness."

Olsen said the company has been less prolific and enthusiastic a corporate vlogger than he envisioned. But hey, the vlog evangelist said, it's a start.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata can be reached at jojeda@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5467.


Monday Madness

New workweek got you down? Check out the greatest music video ever. "Move Your Feet" by Junior Senior.

[via Mass Distraction]

Now, the fun starts! Human Blood For Electrical Power

Tokyo - A Japanese research team has developed a fuel cell that runs on blood without using toxic substances, opening the way for use in artificial hearts and other organs.

story here

Laid Off

I guess a lot of us saw it coming, but 50 Below let go of about 30 people on Friday, myself included. The whole market department (save 3 people) got the kaibosh, along with lots of long-standing staff members from other departments. This is on top of the 10 or so people that left, on top of the several that have left over the last few months.

As much as I'd like to just take the next 2 weeks and relax, I find myself needing to find another place to work sooner than later. About now I don't care where - question is, any of you in the geek network have any good ideas? Should I try to stick it out here in Duluth or take the opportunity to move out to the west coast? With my last check and unemployment I should be able to retain the current quality of life for probably 3 months, OR I could take a gamble and pick a place on the map and hope for the best.

Any thoughts?


1844 - "The Fatal consequence of masterbation"

Without any futher comment from moi.
A bigger version

Whysa nobody post here no more?

(photoshop editing by Dr. Thunder)

1. That last post was great. But why do people use this site less lately?
Is it because:
a) you have no ideas
b) you have no time/computer access
c) you don't care
d) deep down you really hate everybody
e) the weather is too nice to be on the computer (yeah right)
f) other/all or combo of the above(please specify)

2. fresh Milk is available at selected local fine establishments.

3. I have bad hair - thick, coarse, cowlicky, frizzy, helmety. But I'm tired of the cheap places mangling it even worse. Does anyone know of a place where they will take some time to do a decent job at a decent price? And are halfway sociable?

4. Check out this guy's promo videos. A co-worker of mine went to a reception where he performed. He must either be stopped or elected to higher office.



Remember Google Montage? Well the Google hacker has taken it a step further with Guess-a-Google. 20 images all related to one keyword and 20 seconds to guess that keyword.




I will be putting together some kind of video recap of Homegrown this week but in the meantime I present to you the Cacophonic Choir in fine form.


git famous

Hey, what better time than Homegrown to post a call for musicians? mnartists.org is going to make a CD mix and distribute it to Independent Public Radio stations (like KUMD, KFAI, etc) as well as distributing it at events (like the State Fair). We're looking for musicians--check out the call on the front page of mnartists.org. Any and all flavors allowed; local hero Chris Godsey is one of the panelists, along with other interesting types. Hope to hear from lots of the hundreds of musicians in Duluth. You'll need to post your work to the website (that is, start a website for yourself) to be eligible, as you submit work by sending Colin Rusch (colin.rusch@walkerart.org) the URL for your work on the site.

The CD project should get a lot of publicity; I hope it becomes an annual event. Please come out to play.

Last year

Thought i'd share some homegrown pics from last year.

A couple kickball, a few norshor, and mostly the mac.


Free Comic Book Day

Saturday, May 7th is Free Comic Book Day!
Get your ass down to a comic store and pick up some free comics!

For those that don't read comics, or have been away from them for a long time, I suggest you go pick some up. Comics have really "grown up" in the past 20 years. They have evolved from super-hero stories for kids, to genuine works of literary and artistic value for adults (though there are still plenty of super-hero stories for the kids out there). Even some web comics come out to play in the printed world on Free Comic Book Day.
More Info
Find participating comic stores
In Duluth, Collector's Connection (mall) and Robin Goodfellow (downtown) are participating.


downtown weather

A few weeks ago, Harbor City Intl. School lost one of our students. Alex Sahlberg was quiet, funny, polite and LOVED WEATHER...some of you may have noticed at the fetus his dvd -Extreem Wx which featured video he'd shot of storms on Park Point. THis was a kid who followed his passion. He was working on a new documentary about storms on the lake as his senior project. He did grerat things and was a one-on-one friend with many many people. Often I'd walk the beach and find Alex, alone, sitting with a fire watching the lake. Special guy. His passing was unexpected and related to recent illness.

In memorial, HCIS has set up a weather station at the school and it realays information to weatherunderground. So the next time you want to know what to wear to a rock show, art opening or happy hour at Luce', check it out here.

They were ALL perfect duluth days in Alex's book.


Reaching out for him, she cried:
"That which cannot coexist
- Desire/Unattainability -

its knife-edge of perfect symmetry
slices through my wrists
like suicide"


Frankenstein Exhibit Opening & Lecture at the Duluth Public Library tonight

Frankenstein Exhibit Opening Reception
Monday, May 2, 6:00 p.m.
Duluth Public Library Green Room
The public is invited to this reception, sponsored by the Friends of the Duluth Public Library. Enjoy the exhibit Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature and then stay for the following lecture.

Feature Lecture: It's Alive! The Science and Myth of Frankenstein
Monday, May 2, 7:00 p.m.
Duluth Public Library Green Room
This richly-illustrated talk explores the scientific background of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, how her famous tale of horror became a modern myth and how that myth has influenced the course of science and technology. Presented by David Rhees, Executive Director of The Bakken Library and Museum and adjunct professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.

Frankenstein - 2005 Area Reading Project Book Selection
Frankenstein Resource Guide
Frankenstein Events

The picture above is Pablo Picasso's "Frankenstein".

T minus 35.5 hours

In less than a day and a half I'll be stepping triumphantly off a plane at Duluth International Airport.

So stoked for Homegrown.


Gettin' Greasy

Sustainable North Shore is in the early stages of creating the Duluth Biodiesel Co-op. In a nutshell, we're gonna make our own fuel and stick it to the man.

We're using the successful model of the Twin Cities Biodiesel Co-op with some help from the region's youngest biodiesel mad scientist, Kai Curry and the folks from Peace Coffee, who will both be at Green Man.

Anyway, we want to know if you'd be interested in helping start the DBC and learning to make your own fuel. Shoot us an email to get involved.

bicycle time

it is indeed time for bicycles; they've been flowing in and out of my life like lake waves this month. first, a huge mountain bike very fancy, though not new; then 3-speed simple Raleighs and a little red Sekine. A friend of mine was driving around St Paul to used bike shops looking, for me, for the 3 speed Raleigh of my youth (actually a couple of them or their clones) to give to my kids, so they could fly like little birds rather than lumbering along on the knobby tires of their Target kid-type bicycles. While doing this he stopped at a coffee shop and encountered a young man in racked with pain in his shoulder, which he'd totally blown out going headfirst over the handlebars of his mountain bike (cadaver tendons, steel rods, etc.) and which was still giving him trouble. This guy was trying to unload the bike that had done this to him, and, being a wealthy kid (in passing mentioned his alma mater expensive private school in river neighborhood) didn't much care what he got for it. So friend, struck with insane desire at bright red ProFlex full suspension carbon swing arm etc etc, bought it. But it's way large, literally, that's the size frame it is, "way large," and so now he needs to sell it.

And then shopping it around one discovers the weird niche nature of certain things--that high end things, like certain styles of human being, when they get a couple years on them, even if they're in most excellent shape, become not the utterly prestige-defined things they once were, and hence dwindle in value. As the bike man said, the extra 4 millimeters in flex in the new carbon fiber is impossible to live without, for the truly gearmad.

So, as the bike guy says, one must tap the forthellofit market. Is there anyone out there that would love, for itself alone, for its truly amazing physical characteristics devoid of the cachet of being this years' model, this big beautiful red bike? For the hell of it?

Let me know.

Angel's Birthday bash!

Location?: The Historic Norshor Theater
When?: May 2, 2005 8pm till close
What?: DJs mixing Depeche Mode through out the evening. Cake, raffle prizes, and buttons too!!

Show up and celebrate Angel's birthday on May 2!
NO Door charge!