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.

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.

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.

Construction cam, as of, 12/28/16



(Photo credit goes to the Bell Museum)


‘A Little Book of Abundance’ poetry release party

SubText bookstore, in downtown St. Paul, is hosting a release party, on Oct. 17, for local Minnesota writers and their A Little Book of Abundance chapbook.

At the release party, you’ll hear excerpts from the eight authors who contributed to A Little Book of Abundance.

This special book holds fast to the theme of self-effacing positivity, in contrast to at least three of the authors featured in the chapbook: see “December” by Joan Johnson,  “Death” by Barbara Jones, and this untitled piece by Sharon Hilberer, for example.

A Little Book of Abundance will available for purchase during the release party.

Visit the SubText Facebook page for more information.


We’re going to the chapel and we’re going to get married

Except, there is no chapel–this is modern day.

We’re actually getting married in a bomb ass art gallery, so take that, religion!

I’m going to marry one Keith Bohnen and soon my last name will translate as “beans” in German. I don’t think my maiden name has any direct translation, aside from the fact that it has ties to Jewish heritage (I’m pretty sure my great grandpa Snyder was a Jewish refugee who wiled his way into the ranks of the US Army).

This is the main thing on my brain, lately. Not because I regret anything. I do have regrets in life (like, not rescuing my dad’s Heat jacket–which was originally his dad’s–from this storage facility when I intuited that it would be lost forever along with all of my other belongings, at 14) but I really want this.

We’ve only known each other a year and it seems that we’ve been connected for all eternity, somehow. And maybe this is a whimsical 14-year-old dream of mine, but I’m living it, so there’s that.

You can’t deny your fate, especially when it’s slapping you in the face.

I told my friend Rachel the other day that I had found a glowing crystal in the dust and decided it was mine, so I picked it up and put it in my pocket. That’s Keith. He is that crystal. And I’ve dusted him off, put him on a shelf, to remind me every day that there is beauty in this world. And he’s stayed with me. We’ve learned so much about each other, the thought of separation seems impossible.

Where have you been my whole life, dear? Up here, shivering in the cold, while I melted away part of my soul down south, ripening for a taste of you.

It’s really all I can think about. Collision is imminent. And my mom couldn’t be happier. That’s a plus. I’ve lost a cousin due to my insatiable love, but you really can’t help the feelings of others.

You have to look out for number one, right? Number two and number one.

So, here we go. Sept. 24 is the date. And while people are dying, others are having babies, some are creating art by pricking their thumbs and smearing their life’s blood all over the walls, and I’m getting married. It’s a big step. And I feel I’m a little late to the game, but there is no other way. This is the path I’ve chosen. Keith is the one.


And here are a couple of photos of our rings, carved from Alan Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams”, courtesy of the artist himself, Jeremy May of Little Fly

350 2 350 4


The sure-fire way to get a job in Minnesota

If you live in Minnesota, you might have noticed simple signs touting, “Now Hiring”, all over the Twin Cities. The economy is booming up here in the Midwest. Whether you’re looking for summer work or something more full-time, look no further than the nearest cross-street.

Who’s hiring?

  • Trucking companies

    via R & J Trucker Blog

    They’re always looking for drivers to haul our general merchandise around. When you’re stuck in traffic on the way home tomorrow, jot down the number on the back of the semi in front of you. Having a CDL is required, but some companies pay for training.

  • Manufacturing companies

    via Venture Outsource
    via Venture Outsource

    Minnesota is known for its prowess in the realm of steel, flour, and all the essentials that serve as the backbone for modern society. If you’re hardworking and you’ve got some cojones, put your car in park and call the number on the sign sticking out of the grass in that cul-de-sac you so love to traverse through day-in, day-out. You may soon have the privilege of getting a workout while you’re at work. (KING is also hiring. Visit for details.)

  • McDonald’s

    via McDonald’s

    One of the largest companies in the U.S. also happens to have one of the largest turn-over rates for employees. Feeling a little like Chris McCandless and want to give your butt a break after all that hitchhiking you’ve been doing this summer? Pop into your nearest McDonald’s and fill out an application. You’re likely to get yourself a job there, no questions asked. Plus! You’re significant other will just adore you when you come home smelling like greasy French fries. Yum.

  • World of Beer

    via World of Beer
    via World of Beer

    They’re opening up a new location in Downtown St. Paul, and they’re looking for happy, smiling faces to corral patrons to the trough. Of course, you’d probably rather work at Bedlam, right around the corner and listen to live music while you work, but this will do in a pinch.


And there are plenty of other places that are hiring in Minnesota.

So, if you’re looking for a job in a state where foreclosed houses loom like old ghosts and abandoned shopping malls spell dread for even the most accidental tourist, move to Minnesota*.

Forego those laborious internet applications, where you have to type your skill set in quixotic fields over and over to the point where you’ve already stultified yourself long before you’ve even received the automatic reply email. Just walk right up to some shady place with the “Now Hiring” sign clinging to the window. Make a little buckage, and move onto better pastures.

Now, you’re living in the 90s and beating the system. How neat is that?

*I am not being paid by the Minnesota government to recruit out-of-towners, I just like this state. All of the above statements are true.


Feature image via DNA Footwear


Growing backwards, and moving forward

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

– Pablo Picasso

Something Paul Lisicky wrote in his latest book triggered something in me. He was once in the habit of posting quotes from Catcher in the Rye on Twitter. One post, in particular, spiked some angst amongst his followers.

“… that all legitimate religious study must lead to unlearning the differences, the illusory differences, between boys and girls, animals and stones, day and night, heat and cold.”

One argued that it’s impossible to unlearn something, but I believe it is possibleDon’t be afraid to build a foundation for knowledge that you can tear down later.

For example: Writing essays. We were taught the 1-3-1 method, where you have your introduction, three body/supporting paragraphs (one example, described in detail, with anecdotes if possible), and a conclusion to wrap it up. In the first paragraph, you open with a powerful statement, a hook, or a question and the last sentence is your thesis, typically including a summary of the three topics you’re planning on discussing in the subsequent paragraphs. The conclusion is basically the same paragraph as the introduction, just worded differently. We were also taught that we should “brainstorm” before we begin, or draw out a web to plot our devices. How stiff and stolid these methods were. There’s no room for improvement here. Then again, the structure of the story might as well have been implemented as a tool to help teachers more easily skim student’s works while they’re lazily grazing on a microwaved meal, propped up on a tray table in front of the TV.

Then you get to college and your professors ask for a six-page paper, no rules, no guidelines, just don’t plagiarise. All right. I can work with this. Let the rants inspired by poorly cited scholarly journals begin!

Leaning toward a more esoteric of model for growth, how satisfying is it to think, “Hey, my parents forced me to sit at the kitchen table until all of the food was gone from my plate, and I’ll be damned if I keep that tradition alive. Come to think of it, I’ll raise my own kids without boundaries. Hell, I might even let them size their own portions, teach them to think about what they’re putting in their bodies. Why not home school them, while we’re at it?”

Along those lines, why can’t we change our minds? We’ve evolved to adapt to living in noise-infested cities as much as we’ve learned to steel our stomachs against high fructose corn syrup. Our nerves are fried, our digestive systems are all gunked up, and it’s just wrong, isn’t it? It’s a privilege to be able to take control of the trajectory of our lives, to be able to put ourselves in the positions of children and take a sick day to restore our mental health. We’re adults, but we don’t have to think like adults. We can play, we can make mistakes, and we can say ridiculous things, make up new words, if we like.

Last night, my fiancé and I were playing Super Nintendo and I was going back through a level, when he said I should never go backward, always forward. This is the one case in which you can safely stray from the “Always forward, never backward,” mantra.

Just look at us. We do what we want. Let’s grow backwards, I say. Society has tamped down our will to create, instead laying the brickwork for self-confidence, modesty, and responsibility in all things. To hell with it. We’ll make our own way. Smash down the walls of our parents’ designs and carve our own paths. We’ll make a mess and that’s OK.

This sounds like a pretty good plan to me.

pablo (28)


Featured image created using Pablo by Buffer


Why I’m no longer watching Game of Thrones

*Spoilers: If you haven’t seen se6e02, then don’t read this*

First and foremost, it’s all very predictable, really. Aria Stark was just getting good at something, losing herself in the kill, and fighting for a righteous cause–survival. And Sansa has always been a bit of a pansy, let’s be honest. Tyrion’s not doing a lot of anything, except for trying to tame dragons with sheer wit (not surprising, as he’s been doing this metaphorically throughout the series, except now in episode two of season six, he’s actually attempting such a feat physically).

And Jon Stark is alive again. We all knew this would happen, right? I, personally, thought the White Walkers would take him; there was this nonverbal connection between the two leaders of the clans at one point in the last season.

Either way, what a downer. And to see the Red Woman naked, aged to her appropriate stature (what is she, 120 years old?) was kind of a let down.

Trying to introduce this series to anyone two episodes into the sixth season is one of the worst ways to spend your night.

Now, if you were to show a friend any random episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that would warrant a rockin’ time, in my opinion, but don’t just show someone Game of Thrones mid-season, especially if the show has started careening downhill.


Featured image via SCREEN RANT


What are you saying with your body?

One billion people speak Chinese, four million speak Spanish, with English trailing behind at three million. Seems like an exorbitant amount of people speak English, right? Well, think again.

There’s another way of communicating that no one really talks about: Body Language.

This universal constant can get you by on the bus (when asking a fellow rider for fare, rub your hands together) or on the sidewalk (glance over at someone’s lips when they’re smoking a cigarette), but some people don’t consciously use this tool as a way to communicate with others.

Have you ever talked with someone who said they would love to go out for drinks, Friday night, yet their eyes gave them away instead? Inside, they’re thinking, “No, I actually don’t want to go out with you. At all,” and you’re too busy checking your Yelp account, looking for the appropriate attire to wear to said event, totally oblivious to what the person is saying, without using words.

via Watta Lyf
via Watta Lyf

Next time you’re holding a conversation with someone, why don’t you look at the way they’re standing, or where they’re looking. Are they crossing their arms, closing themselves off? Or are their eyes busy searching the ceiling, looking for an out to the increasingly uncomfortable one-sidedness of the entire affair?

Paying close attention to a person’s posture could also come in handy during a meeting with the higher-ups. Watch their eyebrows when you bring up a new idea. Are they arching in surprise? Or perhaps just one is raised, which could mean that they are skeptical of your next big brilliant design. Pay attention to the way they’re sitting, too. Do they seem more relaxed or are they leaning over into their phone, completely ignoring you?

Subtle social cues can be used to supplement a conversation in almost every situation the next time you’re asking for a raise, or trying to ask someone out on a date.

Just something to think about.

Featured image via Philosoraptor quick meme


Is it your destiny to be a modern day alchemist?

Pictured: Cannabis-infused vodka. Now, wouldn’t that be something? (via sousweed)

Are you an alchemist at heart, growing bored of drinking the same old peach-flavored vodka and looking to make your own? Or are you that RPG’er who buys out every magical shop in town before NPCs can “grow” their crops back? Now’s your chance to let your freak flag fly… in real life.

Traditional Roots Healthcare brings together the best of both worlds while helping you channel your inner holistician. The company hosts events where you can join a small group of like-minded herbalists in creating vitamin-infused booze, salves, tinctures, and other homemade remedies.

You can schedule an appointment to meet with a dietary counselor, as part of the nonprofit’s business plan, or you can RSVP to the party and take home potions you make yourself.

Follow Traditional Roots Healthcare on Facebook to receive notifications for upcoming events, and you might just find your next-door-neighbors are kindred spirits. Maybe they’re busy brewing up the next batch of locally-made moonshine, and maybe there’s a dash of a little something extra in it that helps you sleep, cures anxiety, or detoxifies your adrenal glands.

Upcoming Events

New Moon Infusion
April 7, 7 p.m.
Suggested Donation: $20

  • Infuse wine and liquor with herbs
  • Provide recipes for other useful infusions
  • Set an intention for spring and how this ties to the element Wood in Chinese Medicine or Aries in astrology

Tonics, Tinctures, and Brews
April 10, 1-3 p.m.
Suggested Donation: $20

  • Salves
  • Tinctures
  • Bulk Herbal Formulas
  • Essential Oil Blends


Featured image via The Key of Kels