10) Take someone who is nine months pregnant to the Miracle of Birth barn.

9) Go in the Food Building between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

8) Wear unbroken-in shoes or high heels — unless they’re cowboy boots.

7) Wear a white shirt or pants.

6) Assume you can use your credit card to pay for everything — unless you enjoy getting to know people in the ATM line.

5) Swear while going down the Giant Slide. (Note the microphones.)

4) Text while walking through the cow barn.

3) Go on the slingshot ride after drinking a malt.

2) Stand under the slingshot ride.

1) After a full day of eating, get your cholesterol checked in the health care booth, even though the testing is free.

Lynn Strauss, Plymouth


The sound creates the fury, but a soft helmet might be better

I liked Richard Lawson’s Aug. 23 commentary on why he was going to stop watching professional football (“We spectators bear the blame, too”). While I have not made that decision yet, I want to share a story on concussions and brain injury that I am sure most football fans haven’t heard. Meet Mike Dennis of Oregon, a genius inventor who developed the padding used by fighter pilots in helmets worldwide to protect against G-forces much greater than a 255-pound linebacker hitting another player going 25 miles an hour (http://patents.justia.com/inventor/mike-dennis).

Someone early in the concussion discussion asked Mike what he thought about the whole issue. He said the problem was not trying to make a better existing helmet for football players. He said the hard helmet itself was causing most of the problem because its hard outer surface, in severe collisions, caused unnecessary pressure to be distributed to the brain. Mike said we needed to think completely “outside the box” and create an entirely different kind of helmet. He did that by making a prototype using specially created head cushioning — without a hard shell — that actually absorbed the pressure of a football hit. There was no sound, however, when two players wearing this helmet hit each other. A National Football League franchise tested the new helmet in preseason workouts and found it to be very promising. Here is the kicker (no pun intended): The NFL wanted to hear the sound of the helmet hitting a surface. Without the sound, the game would not be the same. It is stories like this that make me think of making the same decision Lawson did.

James Gambone, Orono


Whose history taken away? Not Trump’s, so he’s pandering

At his Phoenix rally, President Donald Trump claimed concern for Confederate statues by saying, “They’re trying to take away our history and heritage. You see that.” I don’t see that it is his history, given that he has no family connection to the South or the Confederate rebellion.

Trump’s mother, Mary Ann McLeod, immigrated to the U.S. from Scotland in 1930. His paternal grandparents were born in Bavaria, Germany, after the Civil War: his grandfather Friedrich Trump in 1868, and his grandmother Elisabeth Christ in 1880.

Friedrich first came to the U.S. in 1885, and lived in New York City and Washington state, but also in British Columbia and Yukon Territory, Canada. He returned to Germany in 1901 and married Elisabeth, moving to the U.S. the following year, but returned to live permanently in Germany in 1904.

German authorities determined that Friedrich originally left to evade the draft, stripped him of German citizenship and ordered him to depart the country. The couple moved to the U.S. again in 1905, settling in New York, where their children — including Trump’s father, Fred Christ Trump Sr., — were born and raised, as was Trump himself.

Given the lack of Trump family historical connections to the Confederacy, his false sympathy is yet another instance of misrepresentation to pander to the Trump base.

Nahid Khan, Brooklyn Center


Thank goodness Walter Mondale is still fighting on our behalf

Thank you, former Vice President Walter Mondale, for your continued civic engagement around sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (“In the Superior National Forest, we can’t afford to get it wrong,” Opinion Exchange, Aug. 23). You demonstrate that we should never stop fighting to protect those things we care deeply about — in this case, the pure joy that comes from undisturbed wild places. Next time I’m paddling a wilderness lake, I will dip a cup into (for now) clear blue water and thank you.

Sandy Wolfe Wood, Stillwater


At some point, the financial accountability has to stop

A Sept. 1 letter writer is all for “liquidation of the archdiocese” of St. Paul and Minneapolis — supposedly meaning that all of the assets of the parishes should be forwarded to the “young lives ruined forever” and to their lawyer or lawyers.

With the courts having been involved in the clergy sex abuse situation since the early 1990s, and alleged abuse instances dating to the 1970s, one has to wonder why this goes on and on. When were the last abuse cases reported, and when did they occur? There were previous settlements made, and very few priests jailed.

The headline on the letter asks “What matters most: hierarchy, victims, the faithful?” In another letter, the writer counts the hierarchy as seven male bishops. Victim claimants, according to a Star Tribune article of Aug. 30, number 400-plus. The “faithful” in the archdiocese total more than 800,000 (how “faithful” is defined in this case is not clear to me). The first letter writer claims the “church and its officials committed crimes, and there should be a price to pay.” I agree, except my definition of “church” is more than just the mere hierarchy (officials) and the faithful. The “church” cannot commit a crime; the hierarchy, like the faithful, can commit crimes, but only as individuals. It’s unlikely that the seven bishops (or their predecessors) and the 800,000 faithful colluded to abuse these “young lives.”

Not being a member of any archdiocesan parish, I am not directly affected monetarily in this fight, but it seems to me that before liquidating all of these parish assets, do not those 800,000 individuals get their day in court? I say punish only the wrongdoers (when you find them guilty in court).

The letter writer states that “real change needs to follow.” Well, in studying the last 50 years of church history, this whole mess seems to coincide when the personal attitudes of the majority of bishops “changed,” after the council called Vatican II ended in 1965. Some of those changes led to relaxations that allowed some immoral men, a small few who became abusers, to be ordained to the priesthood, who then “preyed” mainly on young boys. Yes, maybe the “real change” the letter writer suggests would be to reinstitute the church that existed prior to the 1960s.

James P. Lynch, Edina

• • •

A Sept. 1 letter complained that many Twin Cities-area Catholic churches aren’t open past normal business hours for people needing a spiritual break. As it just so happens, many are! In the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis alone, there are more than 43 Perpetual Adoration Chapels at local parishes (more than any other diocese in the U.S.). Most of these are open almost 24/7 for anyone, even “faithful strangers,” who want to just get away and say hi to our Lord. A full list can be found on the archdiocesan website (www.archspm.org).

Patrick Freese, St. Louis Park