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Curious Minnesota
September 6
Single family home construction is booming at the Kingston Fields development in Cottage Grove. ] Shari L. Gross ¥ shari.gross@startribune.com Over t

How did Minnesota become one of the most racially inequitable states?

By almost any measurement, Minnesota is plagued by racial disparities — in unemployment, in poverty, in homeownership. Readers want to know what's behind the inequities.
Duluth
September 3
FILE ART For Northern Lights Project -

What's the best place, time to see the northern lights in Minnesota?

Although the lights can be seen any time of year, spring and fall, especially September and March, are the best chances to see the northern lights in Minnesota.
Curious Minnesota
August 23
Lorraine Robitaille, right, handed Margarita Nunez a large stuffed dog as they hung prizes at their game stand in the Midway the day before opening da

Nearly $60M flowed into State Fair coffers last year. Where did it go?

We asked what State Fair facts you were curious about, and several readers have done the math and want to know what happens to all that dough.
Curious Minnesota
August 17
A Chinese ban on accepting American recyclables is having a ripple effect in Minnesota, where the price of recycled goods has imploded. The economics

How much of what we think we're recycling is actually getting recycled?

One reader wants to know what percent of Twin Cities sorted recyclables are actually recycled. Another wondered whether most of it is just sent to the dump. We get to the bottom of both questions.
Curious Minnesota
August 12
What makes a manhole cover go airborne during storms?

What makes a manhole cover go airborne during storms?

Urban "geysers" are rare. But they do happen. We get to the bottom of what makes manhole covers dance, levitate and, sometimes, explode off storm drains.
Curious Minnesota
August 12
Green Bay Packers' Clay Matthews wears a Cheesehead during media day for NFL football Super Bowl XLV Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP P

We call Wisconsinites cheeseheads. What do they call us?

There have been some mostly halfhearted attempts to label Minnesotans over the years, mostly in reference to its sports teams.
Curious Minnesota
August 7
Riders on the Equinox got a thrill during the last day of the Minnesota State Fair Monday, Sept. 3, 3018, in Falcon Heights, MN.

What do you want to know about the Minn. State Fair?

We're asking readers to tell us what they want to know about the people, history and culture of the State Fair. Your question could be our next Curious Minnesota story.
Curious Minnesota
August 6
Curious Minnesota icon

Ask a question now: What are you curious about, Minnesota?

Help us answer questions that matter to you.
Curious Minnesota
August 2
Miguel Fidler (12) of Edina celebrated after scoring a goal in the third period. Edina beat Duluth East by a final score of 3-2. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgo

Why does everyone love to hate Edina?

The "cake eaters" of Edina have been a target for generations. Why all the hate? Curious Minnesota tackles this reader question.
Curious Minnesota
July 26
Has Minnesota ever had a major earthquake?

Has Minnesota ever had a major earthquake?

Residents of the North Star State will persevere through the toughest blizzards, of course, and kids are drilled to take shelter away from windows during tornadoes. But earthquakes?
Curious Minnesota
July 19
How did these 11 Minnesota towns get their unusual names?

How did these 11 Minnesota towns get their unusual names?

From Climax to Nimrod, Embarrass to Nowthen, we get to the root of some of Minnesota's most unusual place names.
Curious Minnesota
July 13
GLEN STUBBE ¥ gstubbe@startribune.com ÐÐÊTuesday, October 19, 2010 -- Minneapolis, MN --

Why is 'southeast' Mpls. actually northeast of downtown?

The area considered southeast Minneapolis actually sits, from a bird's eye view, in the top-right quadrant of the city and north of I-94, which many consider the city's unofficial north-south divider.
Curious Minnesota
July 5
Ope! illustration for Curious Minnesota article

Sorry, but why do Minnesotans say 'ope' all the time?

Have you ever bumped into someone and uttered this phrase? Chances are you're from the Midwest.
Duluth
June 28
The sun rises over Duluth harbor as seen from Skyline Parkway, a perennial favorite view for sightseers.

Is Duluth the most inland seaport in North America?

The Port of Duluth-Superior serves as a transportation epicenter, connecting railroads and interstates with the marine "highway" used to ferry millions of tons of cargo around the world.
Curious Minnesota
June 26
Why can't Minnesotans zipper merge? Here's how.

Why can't Minnesotans zipper merge? Here's how.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says zipper merging reduces the overall length of a traffic backup by as much as 40 percent. Here's how to do it right.
Curious Minnesota
June 21
Ubah Jama, widow of Hussein Samatar, took a selfie while standing on the walkway opened in her late husband's name. The late Hussein Samatar, the firs

How did the Twin Cities become a hub for Somali immigrants?

The state has 52,333 people who report Somali ancestry — the largest concentration in America. How they ended up in the Upper Midwest is a combination of available jobs and a generally welcoming populace.
Curious Minnesota
June 14
A 1910 postcard of the Foreman Double Mansion at the southeast corner of 23rd Street and Park Avenue. It was built in 1888 and demolished in 1953.

Why was Minneapolis' mansion street destroyed, but St. Paul's survived?

At its peak, about 36 mansions lined Park from Franklin Avenue to 28th Street, once known as the "Golden Mile." Most of them were owned by boldface families of the era. Now, just a handful of the mansions remain.
Curious Minnesota
June 10
Why won't anyone in Minnesota take the last piece of food?

Why won't anyone in Minnesota take the last piece of food?

Who hasn't seen the last doughnut at the office cut in half, then halved again and again, until only a sliver is sitting on the plate? Is it Minnesota Nice at play, basic courtesy or something else?
Curious Minnesota
June 3
Minnesota State Capitol. With just days before the end of session, lawmakers were locked in budget negotiations and unable to move ahead with major le

Why is the Minnesota Legislature's session so short?

The perennial end-of-session scramble raised a question for one reader: "They never get anything done, so why not extend it out and give them more time to get it done?"
Curious Minnesota
May 24
Big Ole, a 50-year-old wood and fiberglass viking sculpture needs $24,500 in repairs. He has a family of birds nesting in his shoulder, his cape may c

How many iconic roadside attractions does Minn. have? And where are they?

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Roadside Attractions, and no road trip is complete without seeing a giant ball of twine or one of the state's many Paul Bunyans.
Curious Minnesota
May 19
Emma Daniels, right, Abby MacFarlane and Marie Preston, back, walked across the rocks at the headwaters of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca in mid June.

Does the Mississippi River really start in Minnesota's tiny Lake Itasca?

The location of the headwaters of the Mississippi River has been debated for centuries, and the answer isn't as clear as you might think.
Curious Minnesota
May 10
A pedestrian crossed 3rd Ave. S. early Tuesday evening. ] JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com Falling snow slowed pedestrian and vehicular t

How much are electric vehicles affected by Minnesota's extreme cold?

Electric vehicles perform at their peak in temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees. Just how much does cold weather affect them?
Curious Minnesota
May 3
July 12, 1970: Nicollet Island, as seen in an aerial photo that was published in the Star Tribune's Picture Magazine.

How did Nicollet Island become parkland with private housing on it?

The sliver of land in the Mississippi River is home to a secluded enclave of historic homes sitting atop public parkland. But that's just one of the oddities of this place, an often-overlooked landmark of early Minneapolis that looks radically different today than it did half a century ago.
Curious Minnesota
April 26
Students sit in a circle and play Duck, Duck, Gray Duck in this file photo.

Why do Minnesotans play Duck, Duck, Gray Duck instead of Duck, Duck, Goose?

While 49 other states are stuck playing Duck, Duck, Goose, Minnesota plays something that's "different."
Curious Minnesota
April 26
We asked Minnesotans: Duck, Duck, What?

We asked Minnesotans: Duck, Duck, What?

We asked Minnesotans to pick the "right" way to play: Duck, Duck, Gray Duck vs. Duck, Duck, Goose. What do you say?