Monday, June 23
What do you get when you cross a centipede with a parrot? A walkie-talkie! How about crossing an elephant with a skin doctor? a pachydermatologist! One more - What do you get when you cross a Parisian expatriate with some Minnesota musicians? Pari-sota! Parisota plays "Hot Club" music, which I guess grows out of the Jazz branch of the musical tree. If you really want to find out what Hot Club is, check out Parisota for free in Rice Park at noon today. Maybe bring a hot club sandwich to enjoy while listening to the Hot Club music. Or bring a 9-iron and a lighter and . . . nevermind. Poke your head into the nearby Saint Paul Public Library while you're there. It's worth a peek.
Tuesday, June 24
Do you know why movies are sometimes called flicks? Apparently early motion pictures were viewed at 16 frames per second (fps), with a shutter opening and closing for each frame. At this speed, the human eye can detect a flicker - shortened to "flicks" - from the shutter action. Today each frame is viewed twice - films are shown at 24 fps, but the shutter opens and closes twice for each frame. The 48 clicks per second is too fast for our eyes to detect. Even if you're not fascinated by that bit of trivia, I bet you'll be enthralled by the Penguin World Surfing Championships covered in Surf's Up, this week's Toddler Flicks selection at the Mall of America. Toddler Flicks offers a different movie every Tuesday at 11:30 am for free. And just think, now you can tell everyone in the popcorn line why it's called Toddler Flicks! Yea!
Wednesday, June 25
My favorite part of going to a Twins game when I was a kid was when the guy with a cooler strapped around his neck would start walking up the stairs toward my seat calling out, "Malt cups! Get your malt cups here!" The ice cream was OK, but I loved it because the malt cup came to me. I didn't even have to leave my seat, and suddenly I was eating ice cream from a wooden spoon-like paddle. I still love it when stuff comes to me, like the Smithsonian traveling exhibition titled IndiVisible, for example. It's at Fort Snelling until July 20 and focuses on the intersection of African and Native peoples in the Americas. Not only did this important exhibit come to my town, but it's free to see. IndiVisible's got it all over a malt cup.
Thursday, June 26
I believe the Minneapolis park system to be one of the best in the world. No residence in the city is more than a few blocks from a park, and the land bordering major bodies of water are open to the public. One of the first park superintendents was Theodore Wirth. You probably have heard of him, thanks to his namesakes on the northwest side of the metro. But another name to know is Eloise Butler. She had to foresight to set land aside to preserve the native flora as Minneapolis grew. The Wild Botanical Garden opened in 1907 and was eventually named after Butler. If you visit the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden this evening at 6 o'clock, a naturalist will lead you on a free Garden Highlights Nature Hike. For me, garden highlights mean a patch without weeds, but I'm guessing there'll be a little more to this hike.
Friday, June 27
When people ask what you're up to this weekend you can say with a shrug, "We're going to a class hosted by the University of Minnesota's Institute for Astrophysics. No big deal." But the event is called Universe in the Park (UitP), so I suppose it really doesn't get any bigger than that. At UitP you'll hear a 20-30 minute presentation on an astronomical topic such as taking a journey through the solar system. Then, if the weather is right, you get to use their telescopes to take a guided tour of the Universe. The class tonight is at the Eastman Nature Center in Dayton from 8:30-10:30 pm. You'll get home kind of late, but would you expect anything different after a tour of the universe?