We’re 50th!

The Best Colleges website has ranked the top 50 most amazing college campuses in the US and the University of Minnesota has made the list…just barely, at number 50. [SEE THE LIST.] Here’s why:

Not only is the main campus of the University of Minnesota located in the “Happiest City in America” it also starts our list of the prettiest college campuses in the country. Ranked as a Public Ivy school for its excellence in academic standards, this campus boasts great facilities like the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, and the oldest building on campus, Pillsbury Hall. Students will enjoy the view between the East and West sides of campus as they cross the Mississippi river via the Washington Avenue Bridge.

Certified Escort Vehicle?

I recently spotted this New York State Certified Escort vehicle in downtown Minneapolis. I thought it was odd for a vehicle to bear an official seal declaring it as such and it prompted me to question just what is a Certified Escort Vehicle? Who or what do they escort and why do they require a Certified Vehicle? If you can enlighten me, please do so in the comments.

Photograph of a New York State Certified Escort Vehicle in Downtown Minneapolis
New York State Certified Escort Vehicle


Michael Cuddyer Drives In A Run

Minnesota Twins OF/IF Michael Cuddyer knocks in the Twins first run en route to a 8-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday, June 11, 2011. During a complete game performance, pitcher Scott Baker gave up only one run on five hits. Rookie centerfielder Ben Revere went 2-5, scoring two runs and making a highlight reel diving catch of a fly ball in center and shortstop Alexi Casilla had three hits and scored two runs, one on a wild pitch. Michael Cuddyer RBI from David Erickson.

Light Rail

Minneapolis Light Rail
Minneapolis Light Rail

I admit to being highly skeptical that light rail would work in the Twin Cities.

You had to convince me–someone who loves to drive (Seriously? I get to do this every day? For free?!?)–to get out of my car and take a train, with a bunch of other people?

No way.

Then, during a trip to Washington, DC, I tried their subway system and I was sold. I’d totally use light rail, if the Twin Cities built such a system.

Well, years removed from that revelation, I finally took my first light rail ride two weeks ago from my office in Bloomington to three blocks from Target Field. It was a breeze and I imagine I’ll be doing a lot more of it once the Central Corridor system connects Minneapolis to Saint Paul.

In the meantime, I’ll need to endure this (still, no pain, no gain):

Light Rail Construction on University Avenue
Light Rail Construction on University Avenue In Saint Paul

Minnesota Author: Ethan Rutherford

HL Hunley Confederate Submarine
HL Hunley Confederate Submarine

Reading the author bios at the end of The Best American Short Stories 2009 gave me a Minnesota angle to discuss the collection: Ethan Rutherford.

Ethan Rutherford is a fiction writer who lives in Minneapolis and teaches writing and literature at Macalester College. His short story, “Peripatetic Coffin,” was included in the 2009 Best American Short Stories collection.

The subject of the story, Ward Lumpkin, is a confederate soldier serving on the H.L. Hunley, the infamous Civil War-era submarine deployed by the rebels to break the Union blockade of Charleston.

“The question I struggled with, the question that kept me interested, was what gets someone–voluntarily–aboard an invention like this? Another friend told me about the bombardment of the city, and it was the relentlessness of this bombardment that allowed me into the story,” Rutherford writes about his story.

What makes “Peripatetic Coffin” equally compelling and jarring is the modern tone with which Rutherford writes the story. The dialogue feels right at home in a collection of stories from 2009 yet provides a strange counterpoint to the era during which the story takes place. Somehow, Rutherford makes it work.

The collection is edited by author Alice Sebold and includes stories from authors such as Alice Fulton, Richard Powers, and Annie Proulx.

All in all, they were a great read.

Half Off Stadium Village Punch Pizzas On Weekends Through April

Half Off Stadium Village Punch Pizzas On Weekends Through April

I’d be all about this even if Punch Pizza were not a client of my employer, Tunhiem. My favorite pizza will be half off at the Stadium Village Punch Pizza location on Saturdays and Sundays through April. You’ll need to redeem this hilarious coupon to take advantage:

Punch Pizza Late Night Out Coupon
Punch Pizza Late Night Out Coupon

This week, we helped Punch launch their latest online initiative, PunchPizza.tv, so when you go, take your video camera with and tell your Punch story: Punch Pizza Wants Your Stories from Punch Pizza.



ARTCRANK began in Minneapolis in 2007 but has since expanded to other cities across the nation. It is a show of bicycle-inspired poster artwork that introduces people to talented local artists they’ve never heard of before and sends them home with affordable, original works of art. Every ARTCRANK show features posters created by local artists from the host city. Admission is always free, and posters are priced to let everybody take home at least one. ARTCRANK runs from yesterday through about mid-May. [DETAILS.]

Here’s a video of scenes from last year’s ARTCRANK. Found at Vimeo from red23films.

This is a preview of some of the posters that will be available at this year’s ARTCRANK: