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Reading to Understand the Roots of Racism in the U.S.

I set a goal of reading at least 3 history books this year. The first one I picked up was recommended to me by a friend: “White Trash. The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.” by Nancy Isenberg. Little did I know how incredibly relevant the book would be in terms of current events in Minnesota when I started reading this at the beginning of May. The killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black…

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Why Are There Dinosaurs in My Plant Catalog?

A couple of months ago, I received a Farmer Seed and Nursery spring catalog in the mail. Having never received one of these before, I can only surmise that the Arbor Day Foundation shared my information with the company. I became a member of the Arbor Day Foundation in November 2019 and when I got my membership materials, something in them indicated they would sell my info for marketing purposes. Let me just say, aside…

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When Business Learned from Nonprofits

My good friend and museum colleague David Grabitske is back again with another erudite blog post. This one stems from the oft-recommended notion that nonprofits should operate more like businesses. We have discussed the topic many times and I have been contrary about it for years. In fact, I wrote about it back in 2011 on my blog, The Woo Woo Teacup Journal. David, however, has set about finding proof that businesses have learned something…

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Tarot for Enlightenment

Happy Easter! Given the pandemic and the necessary stay-at-home order we are under, this is not a normal Easter. On a typical Easter, we would be getting together with family to eat a nice dinner and socialize. It would also be somewhat warmer. Instead, we are all in our individual homes doing homely (in the British sense of the word) things and it’s around freezing in Minnesota, with snow in the metro. I am writing…

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Survival vs Thrive-al Services

One of the key points I keep making about history is that it is part of our infrastructure. Each community has a foundation of history, as does each state, and the nation as a whole. The unique history of each community, the events, people, organizations, and even its geography, gives the place its special character. These are the features that affect how the community develops. They also draw people to the community. The history of…

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