The Hmong Have Caught On To Minnesota Fishing

The Hmong have been in Minnesota for 40 years. Which aspects of a culture does a people bring to a new land? Which do they leave behind? And which aspects of the local culture does one adopt when entering a new land? These are the questions I’m asking in an article I’m working on. And I’ve…
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Faces In The Crowd At The Rice Street Parade In St. Paul

  Parades are tried and true. I’ve been going to them my whole life, and they’ve been part of down-home American culture for longer than anyone on Earth’s been alive. Parades are great for a couple of reasons: 1. They display the different aspects of the area culture. Pageant queens, politicians, cowboys, police, athletes, performers, a…
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The Incredible Experience Of Being A Twin Reveals How We’re All Connected

  There is more to the human experience than I believe meets the eye. There are bonds between people. There are coincidences that aren’t really merely coincidences at all, but are so-called because the forces at play are invisible. At a fundraising benefit dinner on April 24 for the school in Tanzania at which I…
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The Minnesota Mike Rowe

  Meet Chris Hensiak, welding instructor at Hennepin Technical College. I met him while researching a story about work being done to help lives in inner-city Minneapolis. His school is partnered with a north Minneapolis nonprofit to provide welding and machining education to local young adults. The demand, on both ends, is high. “They’ll take…
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Connections And Coincidence: Tomorrow I’m Taking Computers Back To The Third World

In the 90s, a Minnesotan family by the name of Jacobson was in central Tanzania on a mission trip through their Lutheran Church. While there in the empty, hilly, rocky farmland of East Africa, their adolescent son befriended a local boy by the name of Evaristo. The boys stayed friends through their teenage years–whether together or apart.…
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Book Tour Update: Thank You Fargo And Grand Forks. Minnesota, You’re Next.

Every week, I tap, tap, tap away at the letters on my keyboard to share a travel story with readers in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and beyond. Now I’m spending less time tapping and more time talking (and showing photos and footage). Friday and Saturday, I was honored to share my East African experiences (and China…
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Connecting A Minnesotan Father To His Ugandan Sons

On January 15, 2014, I was getting my car washed. It was one of those where you hand the car over to workers, they vacuum it out, it goes through the wash, and then other workers wipe it down and clean the interior. I was inside paying the Latina cashier when a man walked behind…
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My China Book Revised, Re-released…and Free This Sunday

About a year ago, I finished a book about my travels and insights while living in China in 2010-2011. I held two book release events in Bemidji and Minneapolis. (I almost had to cancel the Minneapolis one, because as you recall, last winter was brutal.) But people came out on this below-zero January afternoon, and we had a…
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The Difficulty Of School Behavioral Policy, Of Policy In General

This week at my job at a Twin Cities charter school, I was asked to review their new discipline policy. In accordance with the state of Minnesota, and also the school’s own standards, the document stretched 17 pages addressing everything from what constitutes (and how to respond to) food fights, firearms, bullying, sexual harassment, improper…
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I Bought A Pork Sandwich With Bitcoin

“Ladies and Gentlemen! Step right up and try one of our world-famous BBQ Pork Sandwiches! It has onion. It has pickles. It has pork. It has BBQ. All on a soft, chewy bun. “It will only cost you 6.2 millibits of Bitcoin!” Milli-what? Bitcoins? *** Chances are, you’ve heard of Bitcoin; chances are, you don’t…
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