About a week ago, the New York Times published a cute feature called “The United States of Thanksgiving,” which profiled a signature dish for the Thanksgiving table from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Don’t be so quick to ice that head wound. Build up enough subdermal scar tissue, and you might just change your personality!
What I couldn’t do with some clippers and a Sharpie. [ferris.edu]
My friend James would be quick to point out that this is actually a pretty lame misunderstanding of the lost medical science of which he is a practitioner. James is a bona fide Phrenologist. That means he can measure the bumps and indentations in your skull and, based on the readings, make certain educated guesses about your personality.
The motto of Phrenologists: “Know Yourself.” A worthy pursuit, yes? Better be honest, though. The only way to cheat this test is to hit yourself in the head — and that’s no fun for anyone. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing.) I hesitate to think of the revelations that would result.
As one intrepid reporter from Twin Cities alternative weekly The Rake recently discovered, all the benefits of craniometric examination are yours to be had at the Science Museum of Minnesota in sleepy St. Paul.
(Those benefits, we learn, incidentally, do not directly include improved sexual prowess. But of course one must always ask, mustn’t one?)
The device James uses, a psychograph, is one of hundreds of items acquired by the formidable museum when it absorbed Minneapolis’ Museum of Questionable Medical Devices, where James gave demonstrations, in 2002. (Why should Minneapolis have all the fun, right?)
As one of the few experts in the discipline, James was rightfully retained by the science museum.
So, the next time someone tells you that you ought to get your head examined, rest assured you have nothing to fear. James is a very nice guy. (And kinda cute.) And he handles his instrument with a gentle and expert hand.
A friend of mine who writes a column and blog about transportation for the Minneapolis Star Tribune took a cameraman with him to the annual MetroTransit “Roadeo” to do a story. He ended up behind the wheel of one himself with hilarious results. This is what most of us would look like driving a bus.
Jeff woke me up this morning by telling me that there are still cars in the Mississippi River with bodies inside. It’s so, so sad, what happened yesterday.
The video I’ve seen on TV makes the whole scene look relatively small, I think. That bridge was just a freeway overpass across the river, but it was huge. A crack in the bridge would cause chaos, let alone the whole thing tumbling into the river.
It’s cliché, but I can’t help but think that I drove across that bridge almost daily for more than six years. It’s freaking I-35, after all.
What I remember most, and most endearingly, was the spectacular view of the Minneapolis skyline available crossing southbound on that bridge. In all the years that I saw it, speeding across the Mississippi, I never took it for granted. The sight of it at night, as the creamsicle sun was setting and the lights were beginning to show against the shadows of the city, made me proud to live in such a beautiful place. On winter mornings, with intensely clear skies and air cold enough to suck the breath out of your lungs, clouds of steam not normally visible rose from buildings downtown, and I was happy to belong to a city, my city, that had been radiating defiance against the cold for more than 150 years.
I still don’t know for sure that no one I know was hurt or killed yesterday. My fingers remain crossed. My heart and sympathies go out to the folks who will never see that skyline again — and to their families, for whom that view will surely be heavy with memories and meaning.
On this day, in 1858 the state of Minnesota was admitted into the Union. It was from Minnesota that we got the stapler, water skis and roller blades, Scotch tape, Bisquick, Bob Dylan, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Spam.
Mmm… Spam. I do so like Spam.
Minnesota also gave us Garrison Keillor, the creator of The Writer’s Almanac and much more. Can’t forget Loni Anderson, also a Minnesotan. Or Jesse “The Mind” (née Jesse “The Body”) Ventura. Judy Garland. Winona Ryder. Prince.
Apart from Scotch tape, Scotchguard, Post-it Notes and various and sundry other 3M products are all from Minnesota. Kitty litter was invented in Minnesota in 1947 by a guy named Edward Lowe. And where else but in the Land of 10,000 Lakes could teenager Ralph Samuelson have invented water skiing in 1922.