Stories tagged minneapolis


Minneapolis from space: Here's the view today of Minneapolis from the International Space Station.Courtesy Kjell Lindgren
It's not uncommon to see the International Space Station fly over the Twin Cities. You just need the proper time and coordinates. But what does Minneapolis look like from way up there? Astronaut Kjell Lindgren tweeted this view of his former stomping grounds. Here's the link to his tweet.

Feb
13
2013

The Science Museum of Minnesota is a partner with the University of Minnesota on its Islands in the Sun project, which is monitoring the urban heat island in the Twin Cities to find ways of lessening its effects through landscape design. More than half the global population now lives in cities and so there is urgent need to understand and mitigate urban heat islands, especially during heat waves when the risk of heat-related illness and mortality can increase dramatically.Islands in the Sun temperature sensor
Islands in the Sun temperature sensorCourtesy Courtesy Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota

Islands in the Sun is setting up temperature sensors throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area. This temperature network when completed will be one of the densest in the world. Would you like to be a part of this effort? Islands in the Sun is especially interested in volunteers willing to have a sensor installed on their property and who live in the following locations -- downtown Minneapolis, downtown Saint Paul, Saint Paul – east of Rice St, West Saint Paul, South Saint Paul, Mendota Heights, Inver Grove Heights, Eagan, Oakdale, Woodbury, Cottage Grove, northern Roseville, Arden Hills, and Plymouth.

Information about the sensor and its placement can be found here. If you are still interested after reviewing this information, then fill out and submit a volunteer form. Please note that your interest does not guarantee that a sensor will be installed because each site must meet certain criteria. If selected, a temperature sensor will be installed at a location on your property acceptable to you with the expectation that it will remain onsite collecting data for up to four years. A technician will visit the sensor every two to three months to download data.

Thanks for considering being a part of this ground-breaking research project.

Jan
20
2011

With breaking weather news like "Hey! It's the coldest week of this winter," and "We're only 30 inches from breaking the record for annual snow fall," I'm beginning to wonder why we Minnesotans live here. And it's only January 20th. We have another two months of winter to go. At least. Sheesh!

Coupled with the winter weather and winter wind chill advisories -- not to mention the copious snow emergencies! -- of this winter is the fact that I've been waking up in the dark for far too long and leaving work after dark as well. I don't think I quite have seasonal affective disorder yet, but I could sure use some good news on the Spring front, couldn't you??
You Are My Sunshine: I am depending on this photo of Camogli, Italy to get me through the next few months.  (Sigh.)
You Are My Sunshine: I am depending on this photo of Camogli, Italy to get me through the next few months. (Sigh.)Courtesy KelsiDayle

Well, here I am to brighten your day:

The sun is already setting after 5pm! It has been since this past Monday (the 17th). Your commute and evening will be noticeably brighter over the next few weeks. By February 24th, the sun will rise by 7am in Minneapolis. That's just over a month away! There will be at least two more minutes of sunlight EACH DAY for the rest of January and most of February. By February 21st, there will be over THREE additional minutes of sunlight each day. Finally, there are only 5 months until the Summer solstice, or the longest day of the year.

Hang in there Minnesota... we've got this!

(Not from Minnesota? I'm sorry; that's too bad. But, you can find your own sunrise and sunset information using this sun calculator.)

In an age of Google Earth, University of Minnesota professor, Rebecca Krinke's, map of Minneapolis still manages to capture the imagination.
Krinke Pain and Joy Map: From UMNews: "Memories of pain permeate this part of the map, from places including the Minneapolis impound lot (upper left), Hennepin County Medical Center (bottom center, next to the Metrodome) and the interstate freeway system, presumably at rush hour. At least the river runs through it."
Krinke Pain and Joy Map: From UMNews: "Memories of pain permeate this part of the map, from places including the Minneapolis impound lot (upper left), Hennepin County Medical Center (bottom center, next to the Metrodome) and the interstate freeway system, presumably at rush hour. At least the river runs through it."Courtesy University of Minnesota

Krinke, an associate professor in landscape architecture, and a team of students, created a simple laser-cut maple vaneer map of the Cities this summer. Then they mounted it on plywood, armed themselves with both a gray and gold colored pencil, and hit the streets. That's where the magic happened and the map transformed into both a public art piece and an informal sociology investigation.

The map traveled to public spaces in both Minneapolis and St. Paul where curious passerbys were

"...invited to use the colored pencil of their choice—gold for joy and gray for pain (or both)—to express their memories of places.

The stories they told as they colored the impound lot nearly gray and entire city blocks gold provided a powerful emotional release. (To read more about the participants memories, read the full article here or check out Krinke's blog, Unseen/Seen: Mapping Joy and Pain.)

The physical map is preparing for it's final curtain call, but Krinke is thinking about putting it online and making it more interactive.

Okay, there's gravity involved in this story so that makes it scientific, right? Check out this video report from KSTP-TV about a brazen BASE jumper at the W Hotel (old Foshey Tower) and the trouble that ensued. Evidently there are quite a few people jumping off buildings downtown these days.

Earth Hour Logo
Earth Hour LogoCourtesy Earth Hour
Okay, so nighttime in downtown Minneapolis will never be confused with the Las Vegas strip or Times Square in New York when it comes to building illumination. But read this and find out how wider that lighting gulf will get on Saturday.

Sep
21
2007

The last stand?: Elephants and their riders strike a pose at the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, recently. Some cities, like Minneapolis, are considering banning wild animals from circus performances (Flickr photo by Edith Frost)
The last stand?: Elephants and their riders strike a pose at the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, recently. Some cities, like Minneapolis, are considering banning wild animals from circus performances (Flickr photo by Edith Frost)

The debate at Minneapolis City Hall keeps churning on: should wild animals be banned from performances in circuses in the city?

If the proposed ordinance would pass, it would make it illegal for circuses to showcase lions, tiger, elephants or other exotic animals. Sponsors of the proposed ordinance say that animals in the shows are often mistreated.

So far in the U.S., only one city, Albuquerque, N.M., has an animal ban for circuses. And in action at the Minneapolis City Council on Thursday, Sept. 20, council members weren’t ready to go to an all-out ban, but passed measures for tighter regulations and fines for animal mistreatment.

So what do you think? Should wild animals be freed from circus performance? Or do they have a great life of easy food, great travel and fun companionship. Personally, I think I’d prefer to be a circus animal than an animal in a zoo. Would you be more or less inclined to go to a circus if it didn’t have wild animals? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

Aug
02
2007

7 dead, 60 injured (as of 1am, Aug 2)

I-35W bridge
I-35W bridge
tangled roadwayAt 6:05 pm, during peak traffic, the 35-W bridge over the Mississippi river collapsed. All eight lanes, all the way across, just dropped straight down into the river along with more than 50 cars, trucks, and even a school bus. How could this happen? Here is what I have found so far.

The I -35W bridge.

What does it look like? How is it made? It was a steel arch deck truss bridge. Its longest span stretched 458 feet between supports. It was built in 1967. (Link to photos and more data about the I-35W bridge.)

What might have gone wrong?

"The state, whoever did the inspection, which was likely to be MnDOT, noticed and observed cracking in the structural steel members, the main girders that hold the bridge up in the air. What it means is that the bridge is no longer going to stay stable," Galarn said.

Link to early video with a safty engineer about what might have went wrong.

How safe are other bridges?

Transportation Commissioner Len Levine who served under Governor Rudy Perpich (said) "between 40 and 50 percent of the 20,000 bridges in Minnesota are deficient in some way."

What is going to happen to traffic?

There will be added bus services from North metro area.
Map of detour routes.(pdf)

Where are photos of this disaster?

KSTP has lots of photos and updates.
Detroit Free Press had 25 photos.
34 photos on Flickr by blogger s4xton Read his story here.

Please use our comments to add updates, photo links, or thoughts.

I could not sleep so I started this after midnight. This story will keep growing so stay tuned and share what you know.

Apr
30
2007

We're #5!  Minneapolis-St.Paul is ranked as the fifth cleanest city in the world: Photo by kevinthoule at flickr.com
We're #5! Minneapolis-St.Paul is ranked as the fifth cleanest city in the world: Photo by kevinthoule at flickr.com

Forbes magazine has an article on the world’s 25 cleanest cities. Minneapolis comes it at #5.

The list comes from studies conducted by the Mercer Human Resources Consulting which rate quality of living in various cities. They looked at things like producing sufficient energy cleanly, handling waste responsibly, encouraging recycling, and efficient transportation.
According to the article:

It is interesting to note that size does not appear to be a factor either in terms of size of population or physical size of the city. The most common trait in common to each is a focus on high tech, education and headquartering of national and international companies along with an extensive public transit system.

The ecotality blog notices something interesting – all of the top 25 are in industrialized democracies. Normally, we think of industry as being very dirty. But writer Bill Hobbs suggests that

“…industrialization created wealth which, in turn, buys the things (mass transit, especially) and pays for the policies that create a cleaner environment.”

I would add that, in democracies, citizens can pressure government and business to pass laws protecting the environment. The actions necessary to make a clean city require money and political will. Clearly, capitalism is good for the environment!