Category Archives: Public Radio

MPR Open House

Minnesota has great Public Radio. It’s the people.
This is Bob Collins, blogger on the MPR site. He often will “liveblog” some of the more interesting discussions the other hosts have. He also blogs other stuff. I comment there often:
Bob Collins, Monochrome
This is Kerri Miller, who hosts Midmorning. She’s a strong book fanatic, too. Every time she talks books, I send in a question that touches on SF. I send in questions on other subjects, too:
Kerri Miller Monochrome
This is Cathy Wurzer, who hosts the MPR side of the NPR show “Morning Edition”. She wrote a book on Highway 61. I forgot to bring my copy for her to sign!
Cathy Wurzer Monochrome
Meet Chris Farrell, who can explain economics and the economy for the average person. A sane and sensible voice especially during bad economic times:
Chris Farrell Monochrome
John Moe is the newish host of “Future Tense”, a segment which handles all things technological for Morning Edition.
John Moe
Lastly, Gary Eichten, who hosts the Midday program. He can and has interviewed all comers, ranging from the Governor, to the local weather expert. No serious candidate for statewide office turns down an interview with Gary. He is really a Minnesota Treasure.
Minnesota Treasure Gary Eichten
A few more photos here:

The consequences of the Wolf Pen vandalism
You may have heard the story (I don’t know if it went National) about the vandalism of a mexican gray wolf pen at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake. Someone pried open the enclosure. The alpha female, “Medium Toast” escaped, leading to a merry chase that led from Forest Lake into the main Metro area before she was caught.
Now the consequences of that act of vandalism are clear–her return has led to her sisters rejecting her as leader. She was stressed, emaciate and weak from her excursion, and her sisters have displaced and rejected her so thoroughly, she is being moved somewhere else.
I hope the person who opened the enclosure in their misguided effort to “free” the wolves are happy about what they have done. These wolves, an endangered species,are not suited at this time to living in the wild–ESPECIALLY a metro area. I have no idea what the person responsible was thinking. This was not good for the wolf at all.

MPR Question: What Relic would you like to see?
Every day, MPR asks its listeners a Question that people can respond to via text message, or via a comment on the question’s page. They usually later read, on the air, some of the responses. I thought yesterday’s question was intriguing enough to post about here after the fact:

What relic, from all of history, would you most like to see?
The Science Museum of Minnesota opened its exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls over the weekend. Other recent exhibits have featured artifacts from the Titanic and Pompeii. Today’s Question: What relic, from all of history, would you most like to see?

I said that I would like to see the City of Pompeii and the artifacts therein, but some of the answers from others have an almost Doctor Who like quality (e.g. the Ten Commandments; the Library of Alexandria)
So what do YOU think?

Historic Map coming to Minnesota!

MPR had a story a couple of days ago that makes me jump in my seat for joy.
One of the world’s rarest maps — a massive print from 1602 showing the world with China as its center — will soon be on permanent display at the University of Minnesota.
The James Ford Bell Trust announced this week that it has acquired the “Impossible Black Tulip,” the first map in Chinese to show the Americas, from a London books and maps dealer for $1 million. Only six copies of the map remain and several are in poor condition.

The Library of Congress will display the map for the first time in North America on Jan. 12, where it will be scanned to create a permanent digital image available to scholars.
The map will then travel to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for a brief exhibition, before moving to its permanent home at the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota in the spring.

Matteo Ricci, the Jesuit cartographer I read a biography of a couple of years back, was instrumental in the creation of this map. I recall the biography mentioning that he had collaborated on a map with chinese scholars; Clearly this is the map.
I definitely will go and see this map when it moves up here.

Christmas Kudzu

Via NPR, Sunday Edition looks at Asiatic bittersweet, a very pretty fruit laden vine that has spread from New England to the South and Midwest.
Asiatic bittersweet has spread from Maine to Louisiana and the Midwest since it was introduced from Asia in the 1860s. It can climb more than 60 feet, spiraling up the trunks and branches of its host trees like a snake. And like a boa constrictor, it chokes those trees.
Widespread infestations of the plant are nearly impossible to eradicate without herbicides. It’s now illegal in many states to collect, move or sell Asiatic bittersweet.

Sure its a pretty plant, but its a biome wrecker. (Something we are very concerned with in Minnesota, with Emerald ash bores, invasive zebra mussels and other water species, and other exotic plants and animals). I think calling it Christmas Kudzu is entirely appropriate, don’t you think?