The Bell Museum is moving to downtown St. Paul

The Bell Museum is moving to downtown St. Paul

After what feels like years of gentrification taking place on the east side of West 7th Street, namely the OXBO debacle, the city is starting to unearth its historical side. As of Jan. 1, 2017, construction will begin for the big move of the University of Minnesota Bell Museum of Natural History, from Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul.

Now, through Dec. 31, the hours of operation will be extended to give guests ample time to soak up the charm of the 1940s-style building where the museum has resided for the last 75 years. Then, the Bell Museum will be closed for a year during the move, with the grand opening of the St. Paul location slated for summer 2018.

The Big Move

The reason for the move? Expansion isn’t enough for all of the added features you can expect from the new location, says the Bell Museum.

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A rendering of the new planetarium

After the University of Minnesota teamed up with the Minnesota Planetarium Society, members decided to dream big, investing in a $64.2 million plan to develop highly interactive science labs, a 120-seat planetarium, and much more.

Learn about the origins of the universe, as we know it, with the latest high-tech audiovisual equipment theater has to offer. The journey will conclude with a closer look at the flora and fauna currently inhabiting Minnesota, while the narrator promises to possibly posit our place in the great scheme of things.

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The Timber Wolf exhibit at the Bell Museum.

One of the crowing features of the Minneapolis Bell Museum are the 3D dioramas depicting surreal scenes of wildlife the state over. Many of Francis Lee Jacques’ stunning dioramas will make the move, says the MinnPost, but most of the museum will consist of brand new exhibits, including digital tours depicting the Earth’s changing climates, replete with animal migration maps, and the anatomy of the human body will be on display as well.

The U of M plans to build outdoor learning environments, such as a rooftop telescope observation station and sustainable water management area for eternal students wanting to extend their research beyond the bounds of the museum itself.

Also, two new children’s programs will take center stage, implementing a day camp program featuring hands-on activities and field trips.

Construction Cam

Check out the construction cam for hourly updates.

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Construction cam, as of 6.pm., 12/28/16

 

 

(Photo credit goes to the Bell Museum)

Snow Day

I wish I was a crow, so I could see the the sky disappear onto rooftops, where I’d alight, not knowing whether I perched upon a weather mane or a stove pipe.

It’s the kind of day where, walking, you suddenly find your feet straddling the curb of a street where the sidewalk once was. Everything buried in a 12-inch quilt of white.

Looking down, eyes sparkle with rainbow-strewn dots flitting in and out of comprehension’s way. What is color?

The few people out and about are sweating in their winter fluff, rediscovering the true shape of their girlfriends’ cars while the women stand there, dutifully watching.

It’s hard to breathe. The air 50/50 mixed with engines giggling methane, left idling by whilst masters keep toasty inside. The biting cold freezing dripping snot runs that you can’t feel until lungs feel fit to combust.

No one should be working today. Why try and drive someplace? This winter Sunday is best enjoyed with screwdriver in hand, staring out the window at the splendor of nature’s destruction.

It knows not what it does. It just is.

Introducing the most comfortable and secure cell phone stand

Knuckies has launched their full line of cell phone stands, including nine (9) different models, available in nine bright colors.

Where other cell phone stands fall short, Knuckies fill the niche for any application. Whether you need to prop up your iPad to watch Netflix in bed or you want to safely and securely adhere your phone to your dashboard to make sure you don’t miss your next turn while following GPS, these phone stands are the only tool you need to keep your phone on hand, wherever you go.

The Facts

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Knuckies are unlike any other phone stands you see on the market. They’re not some phone case with ugly grooves cutting through them, doubling as a kick stand. They’re not stiff, stuck at an awkward angle to the point where you can’t extend them as far as you like.

“No other stand does that.”

“I can prop my phone at 45 degrees in portrait mode,” said Knuckies inventor and founder Michael Diaz. “No other stand does that. It also has a larger point of contact with your table for wobble-free stability.”

Knuckies are made of a highly durable 3D-molded plastic polymer that allows them to contour to your hand–or any surface you desire–so you can be confident in where you place your phone when you’re busy doing the dishes or even trying to pick up a beer, chips, a napkin, and a coaster all at once, for instance. This phone stand will grip to your hand, making it impossible for you to drop it, no matter what.

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These innovative little guys even spin 360 degrees, so you can practice your mad quick-draw skills and impress your friends.

See something super cool off in the distance that you need to take a photo of? With Knuckies, you don’t have to worry about digging in your purse to find your phone, or wresting it from your pocket in a moment when time is fleeting and you need that phone now.

Just spin your phone and blam! Photo taken. Proof that Sasquatch exists.

Background

Michael Diaz has been all over the place, picking up inspiration, here, and education, there. He was born in New Jersey into a 100% Cuban family who were mostly raised in New York.

Aside from a four-month excursion in San Francisco, he’s been living in Florida for the last 20 years, where he earned his Bachelor’s in Business Marketing from the University of Central Florida (where I graduated, too!)

Now, he’s been bitten by the creativity bug and he can’t stop inventing things, which is why he designed nine different models of Knuckies, right out of the gate.

“I absolutely love inventing and creating things,” Diaz said. “I am sure my future holds many magical gizmos/ projects aimed at making the world a better place.”

The Process

“I had just received an important phone call and my friend was continually interrupting me,” Diaz said. “Afterward, I thought it would be hilarious to see a cartoon of someone with a brass knuckle phone case punching their friend who was interrupting them. I would call it ‘Not Now Knuckles!’ ”
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Then he Photoshopped a sample image and posted it to Facebook. It wasn’t until he woke up one morning in San Francisco that he decided to buy the website notnowknuckles.com. Being consistently exposed to this ambitious culture, he felt inspired to pursue one of his ideas.

“I later went on to change the project name to Knuckies and drastically adapt the model to be a more ergonomic and incapable of being used as a weapon,” he said. “San Francisco exposed me to a community of people who were expressing and embracing themselves for who they were. By embracing myself more fully and learning to follow my intuition (like the people I met in CA) I was able to overcome obstacles and launch this product.”

Diaz chose Shapeways, a 3D printing company in New York, to produce his Knuckies.

“The process is absolutely magical.”

“They are individually 3D printed with a $100,000+ machine (Formiga P110)  through the process of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS),” Diaz said. “Layer after layer of fine plastic sand is shot and fused together with a laser until the entire model is completed. This process allows for super small gaps (.5mm) between moving/spinning/articulating parts with absolutely no assembly required. It is truly fascinating to me and one of the things I find most beautiful about Knuckies.”

There you have it. Knuckies are the future of phone stands. Get this gift for your favorite runner in the family, or someone who is simply very clumsy.

“Over the past few years I have seen Knuckies absolutely transform the way people use their phones for the better. It gives me hope for a breed of products that bring us back into the moment with tactile interaction,” said Knuckies founder, Michael Diaz.

Find Knuckies on Facebook, or visit the official website, for more information.