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Curious Minnesota
October 4
Jack Weber drove his wheat combine on his field. The wheat doesn't bring much cash but it does improve the health of his soil.
] GLEN STUBBE ¥ glen.s

Is Minnesota part of the Midwest? Should it be?

Sure, it's roughly in the middle of the country, but some think of the Midwest as more than a location.
Curious Minnesota
September 27
Honeycrisp apples begin the process of being cleaned, sorted and boxed for shipment to high-end retailers at the Pepin Heights facility in Lake City,

Why are Honeycrisp apples still so expensive?

One of the University of Minnesota's most profitable inventions continues to be a best-seller despite its top-priced status.
Curious Minnesota
September 20
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson took to the mound during the first inning as the Twins took on the Tigers at Target Field, Wednesday, May

Playing favorites: What's the story behind the Twins' game jersey picks?

Pitchers generally pick the game jerseys worn for home games, but each one goes about the selection process differently.
Curious Minnesota
September 13
New University students cheered before the Convocation, the official welcome ceremony for incoming freshmen, at Mariucci Arena, Thursday, August 29, 2

Why is it so much harder for U students to graduate debt free compared to the '60s?

Fall college tuition bills are coming due, and if the number behind that dollar sign seems high, well, it is.
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.