This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Posts about Minnesota Parks

Every player's daughter gets a pony, too

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: June 9, 2014 - 12:19 PM

#superbowldemands is the official hashtag of people who are heaping amused ridicule and contempt on the NFL’s 158 page lists of requirements. Start here. 

In related news, the paper reported that the Yard, which is what we’re calling the park next to the Stadium, is sorta-kinda public. Most of the time you’ll be able to go there. Eighty days out of the year, it’’ll be devoted to sports events. So it’s not a public park, then. So we shouldn’t have to pay for it. Or at least for the 80s days. Seems simple. 

Think that’s how it’ll work out?

HISTORY What job would you have had in the Middle Ages? would be the Buzzfeedy formulation of this story.

A unique source from 15th century Germany gives us some beautiful images of medieval people at work. Known the House Books of the Nuremberg Twelve Brothers Foundation, these were records of a charitable foundation started in the city of Nuremberg in 1388. The foundation would take 12 poor and needy people and provide them with training in a trade.

Starting around 1425 their books would contain one-page illustration of the people they had helped, usually giving their name and what profession they were in.

A detail:

We even know his name: Hans Lengenfelder. The page has 20 examples; the entire book is here. A remarkable resource. But if your taste in art leans more towards the feline, here you go: Mastepieces of painting improved by adding a “fat ginger cat.” This is perfect:

Svetlana Petrova & Zarathustra the Cat FatCatArt) Via Metro.

ADVERTISING Creepy-crawly ad that stresses the importance of frogs, in case you wondered:

Thing is, the ad suggests we will become quite comfortable with the eventual situation.

Votd A metaphor for Monday:

Are the stadium-area buildings too bland?

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: May 15, 2013 - 12:16 PM

No. More? Okay. 

Reading the comments here and there about the stadium-area development, you almost get the sense that people have pre-existing ideas about the world they can plug into anything that happens anywhere, and be proven right. This proposal to replace one structure with an expanse of green and some office buildings proves the validity of the political perspective I also offered in the story about zebra mussels. My work here in the comments section is done, at least until there is a story about the TSA or genetically-modified organisms. We’re all impressed, and thanks for playing.

Some have complained that the buildings are bland . . .



Ryan Co.

Ryan Co.



.... but I don’t agree. I think they’re perfect for the site. It needs a wall, and that’s what it gets. It has symmetry, which balances the other messy elements it can’t do anything about. In a way, the buildings recall the great 20s and 30s apartment buildings around Central Park, and their conservative design enhances the modern style of the stadium by contrast. Of all the big BIG plans we’ve seen for downtown, this one might be the best.


FOOLED YOU It’s called The Coyote Illusion.Warner Brothers drew blurred lines to indicate speed and activity - also because it was more suggestive than a literal depiction of limbs moving quickly. Mainly because it was easier. As it turns out, “motion blur increases apparent speed.” The proof:



More illusions here.

Since I mentioned animation, barely-related good news: there’s a new Toy Story short coming. And it’ll be 30 minutes.


IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU There’s been a sudden drought of irritating headlines that use the YOU format - you know, ’36 things you’re doing wrong, Best Solar Flare You’ll See today, etc. I thought the trend was dying, but no. Today’s thing YOU are supposedly doing, from the Daily Dot: “Not Only Are You a Criminal, You’re Bragging About it on Facebook.” The editors must have loved that one! People can’t help but click on that.

It’s an Amnesty International site that analyzes your pictures and contacts and figures out whether you’d be beaten to death in Nigeria for drinking alcohol and associating with unrelated persons of the opposite sex, and so on. There’s a surprise.


FOLLOW-UP The link yesterday about the restaurant owners who took to Facebook to demolish their brand in front of the entire internet? It was all Teh H@XORZ.

Obviously our Facebook, YELP, Twitter and Website have been hacked. We are working with the local authorities as well as the FBI computer crimes unit to ensure this does not happen again. We did not post those horrible things. Thank You Amy &Samy

By all means, read the comments, which include all sorts of speculation about what’s really going on at the restaurant. Forbes piles on some more.

This does seem to suggest someone guessed her password, though. She’s not capable of coming up with lulz-related text like that.

BTW, does it bother anyone that the Facebook comments link says “View Next Comments”? Shouldn’t it be “view more,” or “view additional comments”?


ADS Tweet what’s boring and they’ll make it brilliant! It’s an ad campaign you may have missed with a rather innovative site. By which I mean almost incomprehensibe. Of course, this is fake:



You can tell it’s fake because no one in the waiting room is looking at a phone or other type of glowing rectangle.

Great moments in door design

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: October 27, 2009 - 1:12 PM

 So . . .  the door was designed using average height statistics from a much smaller state? They didn't realize how tall Minnesotans can be? It was set too low? Whatever the reason, it's amusing. And you know that if they replaced the door, the plate would go in the exact same place. 




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