Category Archives: Fun

Strength & Vibrancy of Twin Cities

There was a display at the Cargill room in the Downtown Minneapolis Library a few years ago, celebrating the sesquicentennial (150 years) of Minnesota. It contained displays showcasing Minnesota’s inventions over the years. They included an extensive array: Medical (pacemakers, etc.. work by Bakken and many others), Computer, Food (wheat varieties created by Borlaug, credited with saving  the lives of millions; zillions of apples and much more at the University of Minnesota). Also random things like the Tilt-a-Whirl, Roller Blades, and Spam (which has, again, saved the lives of millions probably).

The University of Minnesota, one of the original Land-Grant institutions, has been doing everything possible to improve life for Minnesotans – and Everyone – since the 1850’s. I graduated with a degree in Accounting from there. I don’t know if you can tell. Anyway, even with the University’s various campuses and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system,  we have a wealth of smaller Universities and Colleges as well. Truly something for every interest and life path.

We have much more diversity here than others imagine. Minnesota schools  are helping kids learn English in addition to their own languages – 200 different languages are spoken in their homes. Our four main languages in Minneapolis are English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong. We are a vibrant community of cultures, ethnicities, neighborhoods  and communities.

We have a thriving arts community, more theater per person than almost anywhere else, storytelling, dance, live music and much more.

Politically, there’s just no end. But let me just stress our high voter turnout, and leave it at that. Except to also mention politics at its best – the Center for Victims of Torture, based in Minneapolis, doing everything possible to heal the human spirit.

That is one nonprofit of hundreds in Minnesota – part of a thriving nonprofit community that seeks to ensure the vitality and well-being of its citizens and address today’s challenges in coordination with government entities, foundations, benefactors and volunteers; in a way that is transparent and accountable.

We have a thriving technology arena with innovation and real-world application, new breakthroughs and efforts to bring technology’s benefits to as many as possible.

Our Minnesota State Fair is perhaps a good place to stop. For many on the coasts (the reason this post exists, see here and here), the State Fair justifies your belief systems about Minnesota. And, as I’ve said before, there’s a certain level of inevitability about all this which I accept.

Despite that, I’ll just say this: the State Fair is like life.

You have huge numbers of people, all of whom are doing what they want to do for their own reasons. Some have brought to the Fair the best of their years’ efforts – animals, artworks, recipes, large vegetables, seed art. Some have brought information and arguing points to try and change others minds and spark action. Some have brought items to sell, and/or money to buy. Many are artists and performers, there to incite joy, laughter and dancing. Many-many are present to take it all in and have a wonderful time.

There is a little bit of almost everything, and a zillion choices at every turn. You can – as in life – decide what experience you want to have, and then set about to have that experience. Things may go a different way, and you can adapt. There may be streets filled to the brim with unwashed masses – and alternate routes. Long lines at these times, shorter lines earlier/later. Coupons and deals to utilize. Extensive work and volunteer opportunites. Too much heat, rain, cold and blah days, disappointment, social goings-on with drama and heart break, families (in matching t-shirts sometimes) with best intentions, crying babies and their huge baby carriages always in the way, people moving about with assistive technology, people physically adjusting themselves to all those around them constantly, people who’ve been coming to the fair for decades, people who only recently landed in Minnesota and are still just their bearings, breaking technology and the newest in kitchen convenience. It’s all there, it’s all in the Twin Cities, it’s all the same in slightly different ways everywhere.

We are completely engaged in what we’re doing here. You are welcome to join us. It’s ok if you want to keep doing what you’re doing where you are. But we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing our own selves, in any case. Namaste.

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Filed under Business, buy local, Community, Cooking, Entrepreneurship, Food, Fun, Infrastructure, Leadership, Local, Marketing, Minneapolis, Minnesota, NonProfits, St. Paul, Technology, Uncategorized

Fun Friday: Gay Pride!

Clarity Solutions celebrates Gay Pride for the wellbeing of our entire community.

We urge all citizens of Minnesota to vote NO on the marriage amendment in 2012, and to help organize the defeat of that amendment until then. The constitution is not about discriminating against groups of people. Our community is most well when all members of our community are well.

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Great Review of ‘Life After Sleep’

The DAILY s-PRESS reviews briefly CCLaP’s newest release, the futuristic Life After Sleep!

Always exciting to see the word get out.. Congrats Mark Brand (author) and Jason Pettus (publisher)!

CCLaP Publishing is an imprint of the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (CCLaP), an organization dedicated to promoting the best of the underground and cutting-edge arts.

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Filed under Chicago, Fun, Publishing

New Site-Member Metro blog post!

Can you match these theaters with their Mission Statement?

The twin cities is of course known for its vibrant theater community (more theaters per person than NYC!), and Kathy’s blog brings fresh insight every month.

Try her quiz and see how many you get right!

(Two weeks of early Fun – we’ll have to be extra serious next week!)

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Filed under Fun, Local, Minneapolis, Site-Members, St. Paul

Fun Friday smorgasbord

For Fun Friday this week, here are some items for your enjoyment:

River Art from Friends of the Mississippi River!

Energy FunFest
with the Neighborhood Energy Connection, coming soon on April 9.

And Coffee House Press celebrates St.Patrick’s Day with literary conversations:
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig, or Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Andrea brought in delicious stout cupcakes and Tricia baked some traditional Irish soda bread. And everyone is in green! What’s your favorite Irish movie, Irish writer, or Irish song? (The Quiet Man, Joseph O’Neill, Fields of Athenry)

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Fun Friday!

Radio Trivia Madnesss just one week away!

And more skating this winter, woo-hoo!

Also Music!
On Saturday, February 5, the Twin Cities Women’s Choir will meet with traditional Irish musicians, the HiBs and special guests for an interesting and potentially powerful mashup called Celtic Fire. This article about it written by Ann Treacy, site-member (Treacy Information Services)!

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Filed under Community, Fun, Local

Social Media Experiment log – Day 8 (or so).

First, here’s the Brickfish contest link, which I’m involved in through a family member.

Ok, so last week was frenzy week, establishing web presence right and left, Tweeting and Stumbling and LiveJournaling and everything. Take away: there is a LOT going on in the internets! There are many choices to make and intentionalities to establish. I am excited about the nuances and varieties available for every possible message to every single particular distinct audience. Breathtaking!

Secondly, the contest itself has been like an amusement park ride. I’ve learned a lot through it.

It does provide gratification – when you post to another platform and there are votes – it shows on the viral map! But the gratification is delayed, and is not in a 1:1 correspondence with reality – the numbers for each platform are, I think, a proportion – but am not sure. I’m sure they aren’t votes specifically or views specifically either. So there’s response to action, but also a kind of looseness that makes it even more interesting sort of. I’ve learned about various platforms, and also about the Brickfish contest itself.

Sometimes I’ve learned about Brickfish that there is nothing to ‘learn’ – that sufficient information is not available. And that’s fine.. I would just like to know beyond that point sometimes.. For instance, I’m very curious about ‘other,’ which has aggregated a lot of activity. I first thought that was where sites with less activity were accumulated, but Hi5 and Xanga and MySpace showed up with ‘1’ and ‘2’ and so on. Kind of rules that out. So now I’m wondering – is it sites not based in the US? Non-English-language sites? Some whole other categorization completely? Would love to know..

I like the viral map a lot, but since all of us established it on so many platforms, it got really teensy tiny. And it doesn’t genie! Would be cool if it did the Apple-Dock thing, expanding on mouse-over, then contracting again.

You can expand the whole viral map, which makes it not fit in the window, then you can move the map around to see all of it bit by bit. So that works.

Also the Geo view is very interesting. According to it, all the views from Minnesota (where we’re from) total only about 1/4 of the views of this picture. I find that very surprising – I mean I appreciate everyone’s interest, but really? Just surprises me.

Then the whole mechanics as far as how often it was possible to vote, that’s been provocative. At first it was clearly once every 12 hours per browser/os/computer. Then sometimes the waiting period was 10 hours. Then… sometimes only 3 hours! Sometimes the browser would say ‘you can vote again in 7 hours’ for instance, I’d refresh half an hour later and it would say ‘you can vote in 1 hr’. I don’t know what to make of it! That sort of thing can almost become compelling, in and of itself.

Overall, I have to say it’s been a great fit for my own process, since I have this entity (Clarity Solutions) and my site-members and all, and I’ve been wanting to explore platforms and become more proficient with Hootsuite and all. It’s been Completely Perfect for that process of mine. Like when I was learning a new language, and at that point was working in the suburbs and had an hour-long commute, and so could listen to my language CD the whole time. A perfect fit.

I hope I haven’t been too pushy about it! On the other hand, any views/votes always welcome, and any ideas about further promotions (runs till 2/9) are very welcome! But also about staying this side of excessive..

Win/win is always my goal!

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