Remote mourning: Webcams bring the church to your living room

I found a new, sad but useful, use for broadband this week. Webcams in churches. I am in Ireland for a funeral. The funeral came up pretty suddenly – our “Irish Grandma” died after a brief illness. She has sons all over the world: Australia, London, New York, Florida and Minnesota. They were all able to be here but plenty of grandkids and other family members weren’t. Fortunately, the church was online. They maintain a webcam in the church at all times. So they whole funeral was livestreamed and is apparently archived.


Is there cheese after life?

Archaeologists have determined that a mummy entombed 3,600 years ago was adorned with lumps of cheese – apparently to give her something to enjoy in the next world.


First thoughts: Year of the Horse for Lao Minnesotans

This April, we’ll be saying goodbye to 2556, the Year of the Snake and “Sabaidee” to 2557, the Year of the Horse, which is considered the seventh animal on the traditional Asian zodiac. So, just for fun, what can we expect ahead?


NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | West End March 2014 calendar of events

This calendar of events is created for over 750 neighbors of the West End. Please see this new location for calendar additions, corrections and updates at


Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship 2014 at the Cathedral of Saint Paul: Cold weather, warm fans

Photos By: 
Jeff Rutherford
Maybe it was cabin fever that drove a record 120,000 spectators to the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship 2014 at the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Strollers pushed through massive amounts of snow, ladies terribly underdressed, guys jumping over and into snow banks, and plenty of hardy children. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. The Cathedral of Saint Paul was an exceptional host, opening up their doors to let in the huddled masses—for a temporary escape from the bitter wind ("Want to Hide from the Cold Weather at the Cathedral of Saint Paul?").


There is something delicious and decadent when a good storm comes and forces us to slow down and stay home. Of course, we can only appreciate being homebound if no one is hurt or stranded, the electricity is working, and there are staples in the larder. Thankfully our most recent Ice and Snowmageddon caught us with a full pantry and enough flour to make bread all weekend.


This week in Saint Paul: Monday, February 24–Sunday, March 2, 2014

A little over a week ago, I received a message from Kathy at Ginkgo Coffeehouse to let me know that Ellis Paul, who was scheduled to play two events there that Saturday, was snowed in—in Virginia! I resisted the urge to mock our southern neighbors for a lack of a heartiness that we fake so well. Our own storm arrived on Friday with its own spate of local cancellations and kvetching—naturally behind a façade of Minnesota Nice.


The storm

We had several days of above freezing temperatures and then a winter storm. It began as rain, which froze, then turned to wet snow, ten inches or more in many places. The combination of freezing rain and ten inches of snow made travel very dangerous. The governor has declared a state of emergency and ordered out the National Guard to help stranded travelers. The Department of Transportation advises no travel in the state.


Bulldogs to boa constrictors: Pet Expo features fur and fun

Hundreds of pets, and even more people, braved the snow and ice to attend this year's Pet Expo on February 22 and 23 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Bike Messenger Freedom (In the 80s bikes did not look like crayons.)

My Kid: “I think I need a new bike. What kind should I get? Can I ride in the winter?”

Me: “Hah! You asked the right guy! Back in the 80s, 85 to 88 or so I was a bike messenger year round through, sun, rain, sleet, snow …”

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