Friday, June 29, 2007

This Just In

North Dakota has no traffic.
But if you're going 83 mph on I-94, watch out that you don't smash into the little old lady going 45. (No offense, little old ladies.)
Bonus link: The above photo is from a web site that, for some inscrutable reason, collects photos of road signs and includes a North Dakota page. Thanks for your work, road sign afficionado

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Proof, I Tell You! Proof!

UFO pilots love rural America.
This American Chronicle seems like a reputable source, right? I mean, it's no Coast to Coast AM, but ...

Monday, June 25, 2007


In case you missed it in Sunday's Forum, Matt Von Pinnon's column about the Fargo-bashing at a Falls Church, Va., graduation. True, the teacher is an ass, but I don't know if publishing his e-mail address is the right approach. Internet etiquette being what it is, are a thousand wrathful e-mails telling him to do who knows what to himself the best way to convince him to reconsider his view of the town?
But the guy sounds like a true ass. Washington, D.C., already has its share of people who think life's winners and losers are apparent by the cars they drive, the people they know or what's on their business cards. Why would a teacher encourage kids to look down on people they don't even know?
Here's a link to the newspaper story Von Pinnon referred to in his column.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

John Ydstie

John Ydstie is a host and correspondent at National Public Radio and is a native of Wolford, N.D. Among his NPR pieces are several in which he reflects on his upbringing in North Dakota. One of the best was about playing in the finals of the Class B basketball tournament for his high school, a good evokation of the state's smallest towns and the spotlight of Class B sports.

A Big Ballgame for a Small Town

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Our Favourite Classical Liberal Magazine ...

... takes note of the pro-hemp movement in North Dakota. Maybe the first Economist article to reference both "Pimp My Ride" and BioWillie (though records are lacking).

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Different Conrad

Not Kent, but ex-Canadian and erstwhile media mogul Conrad Black is on trial in Chicago for allegedly using his publicly held company as a personal expense account and in general being a weasel. Part of the evidence against him is the millions of bucks he directed to himself through questionable non-compete agreements in the sale of his media holdings, including the Jamestown Sun.

Trial account in the Toronto Globe and Mail. The Jamestown mention is about two-thirds into the article.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hooray for Energy!

A blog from the National Association of Manufacturers ("The business of America is business," according to Coolidge) visits North Dakota and says the state's healthy attitude toward the energy industry can help reverse outmigration. It's true that with gas prices above $3 oil companies will want to explore new sources, but it would nice for the state to develop through a less volatile industry. It probably looked like the sky was the limit for the oil industry in Williston around 1979. But that didn't last long.

Goodbye, Bismarck, and Thanks for All That Energy

Nice headline, though.

Friday, June 15, 2007

What, no Judy's Tavern?

Something old, from 2006: The New York Times tells us what to do for 36 hours in Grand Forks. Seems about right, but I think they could've cheated a little and included Whitey's, even if it is in EGF.
The author, upon investigation, is a Twin Cities freelancer who also wrote a book about Northern League baseball called "Slouching Toward Fargo." Might be an OK read.
My only quibble is the sentence that says the Red "would have destroyed the city were it not for the legions of hyperorganized volunteer sandbaggers." Having been one of those (terribly unorganized) sandbaggers in 1997, I don't know what the river could have done that it didn't actually do. Those sandbags didn't make much difference when the town was under water.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Here's an article in the Stars and Stripes about an airman in Okinawa who gets caught ripping off his buddies' packages at the post office. But then there's this weird non sequitur near the end of the story. Are they saying North Dakota makes people want to smoke pot? Was that really relevant to the story? Was it to make the point that he's a dumbass?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Stop the Presses

America's Next Top Model CariDee English (Fargo's own) takes on the heartbreak of psoriasis.
OK, so some people become knee-jerk, um, jerks whenever beautiful model types adopt Important Causes. Sorry for the sarcasm. Kudos to CariDee for her efforts.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, Louise Erdrich

Belated. Gary sends his regards via "The Writer's Almanac."

The link opens a RealAudio file of the program. Here's a link to the text.

(I'll try to get less Public Radio-oriented here. Rob the Say Anything Guy might start fingering me as a mouthpiece of the left.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Camp Snoopy

Another NPR story, this one not so heartwarming: hepatitis, meth and inmates' nickname for the joint on the outskirts of Bismarck.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I've enabled the blog-o-matic to accept anonymous comments, so all of you who have not posted your thoughts on the controversial, hot button topics addressed here for fear of retaliation, you may now do so.

But please, no jackassery.

Some Old Stuff

If you're a liberal elitist like me, you love the hell outta the National Public Radio, maybe while driving your hybrid car to a wine tasting or a protesting.

NPR has a nice, homey feature called StoryCorps, in which people interview their grandmas and talk about all sorts of touching stuff. From the archives, here are some North Dakotans telling stories about their childhoods. I like stories.

When Hard Labor Taught a Lesson

Keeping Time Across the Ages