Archive for April, 2008

Soft Power

In networks,  you have to attract, not command. – Joseph Nye

How You Like Dem Apples?

A press release from the University of Minnesota, on the naming of its new apple. Yes, I am proud of the apple related achievements of this magnificent institution. They’ve been pretty successful in the past, with the Red Delicious, etc, let’s see what this one does.

The wait is over. The University of Minnesota has announced the winning name of its newest apple, Frostbite.

Formerly known as “MN447,” Frostbite dates back to 1921 when the cross-pollinating of two apple blossoms was made at the university’s Horticultural Research Center (HRC), now in its 100th year. The apple is actually a grandparent of the most famous U of M apple, Honeycrisp, and joins a long line of successes including Haralson, Zestar and Snowsweet apples. The center is also responsible for several new grape varieties, including the LaCrescent and Frontenac, and plants such as the northern-hardy “Lights” azaleas.

The naming of the apple was chosen following a contest at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum that saw more than 7,000 entries worldwide. Ten Minnesotans who independently submitted the winning name are Lisa Rolf of Eden Prairie, Ted and Caroline Larson of Chaska, Ann Stout of Woodbury, Bonnie Winzenburg of Brainerd, Matt Zitzow of Roseville, Dianne Brackett of Wayzata, Kelly Olinger of White Bear Lake, Cindi Cardinal of Coon Rapids and Linda Davis of Coon Rapids. They will each receive a certificate of congratulations and a basket of Frostbites.

“We’re excited to finally have a name,” said Jim Luby, a professor in the university’s department of horticultural science. “The public interest in this naming was tremendous.”

Luby and David Bedford, an apple scientist at HRC, coordinated the judging process. The committee selected two runners-up: “Munchkin” and “Small Wonder.”

“It was an exhausting process, but we’re very happy with the results,” said Bedford.

Frostbite is a specialty apple with striking characteristics — it is small in size; it has an unusual, almost tropical, flavor; and it is the most winter hardy apple ever released by the university. It is suited for home gardeners and orchards that market directly to consumers.

While the Frostbite name is here, consumers will have to wait to eat the apples. Commercial nurseries will soon start propagating the trees, which will be ready for gardeners and orchards to plant in one to two years. The first trees will then bear fruit to sell around 2014.

Interview with Bitch Magazine Founder

The Columbia Journalism Review has been one of my favorite publications as of late. They recently podcasted an excellent talk by one of the founders of Bitch Magazine, Andi Zeisler. “Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture.”


Minneapolis Bike Love

Minneapolis’s Critical Mass Arrestee Support group recently released this statement on their website. Link.

Critical Mass is a group of bike riders that, once a month gather for a mass ride through Minneapolis, through the busy city streets, in a public showing of Biker Solidarity. The gathering has also been grounds for political activity, as you can see in the statement.
(Minneapolis Critical Mass Arrestee Support) On Monday, April 7th, a full seven months after the police rioted in the streets, maced, tased, threw to the ground, and used pain compliance holds on hundreds of bicyclists, the first of the four people that the city is trying to scapegoat for their own brutal actions will appear in a trail before a jury of his peers.  Gus Ganley will have to arrive Monday morning with his lawyer from the National Lawyers’ Guild and the citizens who support him so that the cops and the city can try to save face and have someone else to blame for their own misconduct.

Just as it is plain that the city with its helicopter, undercover officers, and specific targets had pre-planned the brutal attack on the 8.31.07 critical mass ride, it is also plain that we have to pre-plan our support of those people being scapegoated by the city. The lawyers, defendants, and their families can’t do this alone and shouldn’t have to.  A large showing of public support will send the clear message to the city that this issue is not one that will fall silently out of the public eye as well as encourage a verdict in favor of the defendants.

Don’t let the city get away with its attempt to intimidate political speech by bringing unsupported charges against a few individuals. Plan on coming to show your support for Gus Ganley, the first person to go to trial, on Monday, April 7th at 9:15 AM.  Bring your own friends, family, and co-workers to support bicycle, civil, and human rights and don’t let political oppression go unchallenged!


Arrive before 9:15 to give time to get through the security checkpoint. The Hennepin County Government Center is located at 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487. Ask at the information desk where to find the trial of Augustin Ganley. Food and drink is not allowed in the court room and all supporters will have to pass through a metal detector. While in court, supporters must remain silent and will not be allowed to carry signs through the security station; the strength of our collective presence will send the message we need to send.

Note: Gus’ full trial will most likely last several days and you are encouraged to attend as much of it as you can.  Monday morning the courtroom and judge will be assigned at 9:15, the jury will be chosen, and the trial will begin later in the day.  If you cannot attend this important trial, please consider donating money using the button on the support site.

The Editor

Today we chronicle the life of a twenty five year old newspaper editor.

The desk, the computer, the phone, the computer, the notepad. A remarkable and unexpected March blizzard pounds outside the second story window.

Well, the was somewhat depressingly easy…