Saturday, November 28, 2009


USA Today profiles Grand Forks' Lamoureux twins, hopefuls for the 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Byron Dorgan draws a map of North Dakota for National Geographic Magazine. It's kinda shaky looking.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Same Title, Different Song

Lyle Lovett: North Dakota

Doesn't really have anything to do with North Dakota.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

Painting Below Zero

Turns out there is an influential New York artist who grew up in North Dakota, and he wrote a book.

Review: Painting Below Zero

Monday, October 26, 2009

Past Propaganda has a long, multi-part feature on doctored photographs from the Depression, some of it involving drought in North Dakota in the 1930s. In case you're interested in that sort of thing.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Finally, someone reports some negative news about North Dakota.

CNN: Back to work but still a bit nervous

Thursday, October 01, 2009

We're No. 7

... According to Forbes.

The Best States for Business, including an older interview with John Hoeven.

Were we more interesting when our economy was lousy?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Greetings from Asbury Park

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's solution to his state's near-10 percent unemployment rate? "Go to North Dakota."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

We're Awesome ... Wait

"People from Bismarck are pretty relaxed ... They're not worried, not at all."

It's always embarrassing when a magazine hypes your low unemployment and then the town's biggest manufacturer closes its plant.

BusinessWeek: What's North Dakota Doing Right?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Turf or AstroTurf?

Protesting and rallying are quite the thing to do nowadays. Other than famous dead people, it's about the only thing on TV lately. Despite the many people who will go out and shout about things for free, there seems to a market for people who will protest against things or rally for things for money.

Rob Port, a blogger who has been active protesting things by drinking tea, made the big news this week accusing an environmental group of buying support.

NY Times: Enviro Ad Sparks Debate -- Grass Roots or AstroTurf?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Future of Health Care

... is North Dakota? Conrad, Pomeroy, MeritCare and the state Blues all enter into discussion of health care co-ops.

NY Times: Alternative Plan as Health Option Muddies Debate

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Great In-Migration

We are being invaded by economic refugees, poor, tired, huddle masses yearning for call center jobs. What's more, the state is going out and recruiting these outsiders, who will no doubt reshape our culture in unknown ways (like refusing to wave at other drivers while driving around in the country or mispronouncing "Sakakawea.")

Washington Post: In N.D., the Road to Economic Recovery

Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch: North Dakota wants you

Thursday, August 13, 2009


NPR reports on a program that helps student scientists to study the environment. George Seielstad of UND worked with NASA to create the program and is interviewed for the story.

Among the students' activities is flying around in a DC-8 and collecting data on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

NPR: Earth Science From the Sky: The Next Generation

Sunday, August 09, 2009


Missed this commentary on last spring's floods.

Economy ... Ho, Hum

Getting repetitive now: The Financial Times reports on the state's kick-ass economy.

Warm welcome for businesses as wintry plains lure investors

But the real news is that apparently we are now America's chickpea capital. Who knew? Go eat some hummus.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Alternate Reality

Once again, North Dakota proves itself to be Bizarro America when it comes to the economy.

USA Today: Fargo, N.D., real estate market, home sales going strong

Monday, July 13, 2009

Satchel Paige

A new biography of Satchel Paige was recently published. The hall-of-famer played in Bismarck briefly in the '30s and helped lead the way for integrated baseball in the 1940s.

The author gives a long interview on NPR's "Fresh Air." Discussion of Bismarck is around the 15-minute point.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Should we allow hunters to shoot elk in overpopulated Theodore Roosevelt National Park? The New York Times says no.

And, since the New York Times forms my every opinion, I say no, we should not allow hunters to shoot elk in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Monday, July 06, 2009

"Shaking Hands With a Dinosaur"

We need to find a way to make this dinosaur thing pay. Perhaps something involving Jeff Goldblum.

NPR: Fossil Hunters Uncover Rare Dinosaur Skin

Monday, June 29, 2009

Nekoma Pyramid

The Web site BoingBoing (whatever that is) mentions the Nekoma missile installation in Cavalier County, calling it "a monument to man's fear and ignorance."

Or maybe a monument to North Dakota's historical dependence on the federal money teat.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


About a week late, as usual.

Friday, June 05, 2009


As usual, North Dakota is out of step with the rest of the country, where the economy is in the crapper and states are flat broke. The state is the opposite of California in every possible way, just like it's always been.

WSJ: In North Dakota, the Good Times Are Still Rolling

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Byron Dorgan made another appearance on the Colbert Report last night, plugging his book about financial regulation and touting North Dakota's homespun, earthy values.

Did he forgo the comb-over for a hairpiece? His bald spot seemed more effectively (though not realistically) concealed. Free your scalp, Byron. It's 2009. Bald men no longer have to be ashamed.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Beets of Wrath

North Dakota looks to economically ravaged Michigan for some Joads desperate enough to move in and take some of our abundant jobs. If this doesn't work, there's always illegal aliens.

North Dakota Seeks Workers

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bobby Vee

After Buddy Holly died in 1959 en route to a show in Moorhead, a group of Fargo teenagers played the date instead. The bandleader, Bobby Vee (ne Villine), is today best remembered for a couple of hits now in endless rotation on oldies radio, and his connection a kid named Bobby Zimmerman who played piano for him in Fargo for a summer.

The piano player, who later became Bob Dylan, still admires Vee and wrote in his memoirs, "Bobby Vee and me had a lot in common, even though our paths would take such different directions. We had the same musical history and came from the same place at the same point in time. ... I'd always thought of him as a brother."

Vee discusses his career and meeting Dylan in Fargo again in 1991 in a long article in Goldmine.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Saberi Freed

Journalist from Fargo no longer pawn in international chess game.

NYT: In Turnabout, Iran Releases U.S. Journalist

Monday, April 06, 2009

Told Ya

According to this Newsweek interview, Byron Dorgan saw the financial crisis coming way back in 1999. Alas, no one listened. Especially Larry Summers.

"Big companies have spun out of control," Dorgan said. "Like hogs in a corn crib."

"Hogs in a corn crib?" Who talks like that?

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Nancy Eiesland, a philosopher of disability and noted theologian, was born in Cando. She died March 10, according to this obituary. Emory University, where she was an associate professor of sociology of religion and disability studies, posted a tribute.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Staying Put

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker discusses the decision not to evacuate with NPR and the NY Times.

He's lucky he turned out to be right.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


As the country watches Fargo-Moorhead get mercilessly stomped by Mother Nature, the question arises, Why would we put up with this crap?

The NY Times provides a couple of good explainer pieces on the geology and politics of flood control and forecasting.

Permanent Flood Solutions Just Out of Reach for Fargo

A River Prone to Flooding, and Misunderstanding

And then there's this.

Friday, March 27, 2009

All Eyes on N.D.

Every morning, top of the news, there's North Dakota.

NPR: Kent Conrad tries to maintain his budget hawk cred and remain Obama's buddy. It's a lot of money, $3.6 trillion.

Then there are more immediate concerns.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Saberi Update

Journalist and Fargo native Roxana Saberi's imprisonment in Iran drags on. NPR broadcast an interview with her father, Reza, and Byron Dorgan, who's working for her release. The Washington Times has also editorialized about Saberi and its treatment of journalists and bloggers.

More complete coverage of Saberi's ordeal can be found at the Free Roxana Saberi web site.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

N.D.'s Got Jobs

The North Dakota economic miracle claims another victim. Sykes Enterprises will close a Minot call center because it can't find enough applicants for its positions, according to an AFP article.

For the record, call center jobs are usually pretty crappy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

March Madness

Holy crap! The Bison are seeded for March Madness. Having spent a total of around 30 minutes over the course of my life paying attention to NCAA basketball, does this mean I now have to start caring?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Roxana Saberi

Journalist, Fargo native and former Miss North Dakota Roxana Saberi remains in custody in Iran on unspecified charges (though possibly for buying wine), despite calls for her release by Hillary Clinton and journalism groups.

You can read more about Saberi at the Committee to Protect Journalists' web site.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Klosterman does a quickie interview with Newsweek on his favorite books. Big revelation: Wyndmere has no black people.

Why is Chuck starting to look like that guy from Hollywood Squares?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Engery Boom

The Economist is the latest to visit Stanley, the setting of North Dakota's version of "Dallas."*

Economist: Pumped up

*It will be called "Bakken" and tell the story of a Norwegian oil dynasty and the family's struggles over what color of F-150 they should spend their money on.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Give 'Em Measured Reasoning, Kent

Sen. Gaylord "Kent" Conrad defends the stimulus plan on Face The Nation this week.

FTN: Democrats Support Stimulus

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We're Fine, Thanks.

Prairie Public Radio reporter Dave Thompson files a report for NPR on North Dakota's economic miracle. The secret? Microsoft and oil.

All Things Considered: N.D. Economy Goes Against the Grain

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Not missed in the big inauguration coverage is an appearance by "the only Jewish legislator in North Dakota," Eliot Glassheim, at the National Jewish Inaugural Ball. Enjoying even greater prominence was a delegation from the United Tribes Technical College that marched in the inaugural parade.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chicago Is For Wimps

The Windy City, in the grip of sub-zero weather, looks to Fargo for advice on surviving a real winter.

Chicago Tribune: Battling Cold

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sorgatz Alert

According to the New York Observer, Mike "Rex" Sorgatz, formerly of Napoleon, is the toast of the New York new media crowd, possibly due to his spiky hair and oversize Elvis Costello glasses.

New York Observer: Rex and the City

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Literary Bonanza

One book section, two North Dakota authors.

Chuck Klosterman and Louise Erdrich are both reviewed in the latest NY Times Sunday Book Review. One writer is accused of "pop culture name-dropping" and "intentionally obscure" cultural references. The other is called a "master tuner of the taut emotions that keen between parent and child, man and woman, brother and sister, man and beast." Can you guess which is which?

Klosterman: "Downtown Owl"

Erdrich: "The Red Convertible"