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July 31, 2006

Heat Awareness

As summer temperatures continue to soar, John Shutske, a safety and health specialist with the U's Extension Service, reminds people working outside, homeowners doing yard work and others enjoying outdoor recreational activities to take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke, a life threatening emergency.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:14 PM

July 28, 2006

INFO-U

INFO-U, the pre-recorded phone system from the U of M Extension Service, has become a valuable resource of information for Minnesotans, ranging on topics from lawn care to losing weight. Debby Newman, INFO-U coordinator, says the phone service is important for people who don’t have access to the Web, or aren’t comfortable with computers.

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Posted by jfalk at 8:51 AM

July 27, 2006

Universe in the Park

U of M astronomy experts will help members of the public become more skilled at observing the night sky with the Universe in the Park program this summer. Jessica Ennis, the program’s coordinator, says interested people should bring insect repellent, prepare some questions, and get ready to be wowed by the night sky.

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Posted by jfalk at 8:49 AM

July 26, 2006

Nature of Life

Students entering the U’s College of Biological Sciences in the fall began their academic journey this month at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park at Nature of Life, a unique program to help freshmen make a successful transition to college Life. Former biological sciences student Ashley Gray, who attended the program three years ago, is program coordinator this summer.

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Posted by jfalk at 8:46 AM

July 25, 2006

Healthy Forest Fires

While dangerous and destructive, the Cavity Lake Fire inside northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area will provide a needed boost to the area’s long-term environmental health according to Lee Frelich, director of the U’s Center for Hardwood Ecology. Frelich says fire is critical to regenerating a forest, helping to maintain its natural cycles.

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Posted by jfalk at 8:42 AM

July 24, 2006

Corn Yields and Dry Weather

If weather predictors are correct – and our exceptionally warm and dry forecast holds true – corn yields in Minnesota this summer will be significantly lower than the potential yield that was developing, according to Dale Hicks, agronomist with the U of M Extension Service.

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Posted by jfalk at 4:38 PM

July 21, 2006

Interstate History

The National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly called the Interstate Highway System, is an every day thing for a lot of Minnesotans. Whether you’re taking I-94 to get from Minneapolis to St. Paul or I-35 to get from Duluth to Albert Lea, it’s an integral part of our daily lives.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:58 PM

July 20, 2006

Aggression

Later this month, the International Society for Research on Aggression will hold its biannual meeting in Minnesota. With Minneapolis and other communities seeing an upswing in crime, U of M assistant professor in pediatrics and psychology Mike Potegal says you don’t have to look too hard to find why studying aggression is important.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:51 PM

July 19, 2006

The Physics of Superheroes

By day Jim Kakalios is a mild-mannered university physics professor, by overnight, he’s becoming a media magnet due to his book “The Physics of Superheroes? and because Superman Returns has become a summer blockbuster. Kakalios says that he isn’t offended that people are more interested in his superheroes book than his research.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:47 PM

July 18, 2006

Hunting and Eagles

Each year, the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center finds a number of eagles with lead poisoning. Most people are simply amazed when they find out what kills these beautiful birds. Dr. Patrick Redig, a professor at the U’s College of Veterinary Medicine and director of the university’s raptor center, tells us more.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:41 PM

July 17, 2006

Summer Grass Care

It’s been hard not to notice what’s happened to our plush lawns the past few weeks. Bob Mugaas with the U of M’s Extension Service explains why our green grass has turned to brown.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:10 PM

July 14, 2006

Curiosity Camps

For people who need a summer vacation but can't get away for long periods, the University of Minnesota's unique "Curiosity Camps" for adults provide a one-day get-away-from-it-all experience. Margy Ligon with the U's College of Continuing Education says adventure-seekers can choose from 21 different camps hosted by university faculty and community experts.

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Posted by jfalk at 8:21 AM

July 12, 2006

Organic Farming in Minnesota

Organic farming is on the rise nationwide as consumer demand for organic produce has seen major increases over the past decade. Jim Riddle, the U’s coordinator for organic agriculture outreach, says more and more Minnesota farmers are converting to organic farming.

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Posted by jfalk at 2:40 PM

July 11, 2006

Hybrid Poplars

In times of high fuel prices, the demand for homegrown renewable energy is at an all time high. The University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute, NRRI in short, is spearheading an array of projects aimed at meeting the growing demand for biomass energy needs. Bill Berguson, director of NRRI’s forestry program, is heading a project that grows hybrid poplars, a fast-growing, disease-resistant tree – an ideal biomass source that can be grown on cropland across Minnesota.

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Posted by jfalk at 7:23 PM

July 10, 2006

Neutrinos - The Universe's Ghost Particles

U of M researchers are currently working hand in hand with the U.S. Department of Energy in an effort to make sense of neutrinos, the universes’ so-called ghost particles. They are called the ghosts of the universe because they have little or no mass, no electrical charge and rarely interact with other matter. Ken Heller, a U of M professor of physics, says much of the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search project, MINOS in short, plays out at the Soudan Underground Mine, 100 miles north of Duluth.

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Posted by jfalk at 7:18 PM

July 7, 2006

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Alumni

The inventor of the "Post-it" and the "father of modern chemical engineering" are just two of the many accomplished U of M chemical engineering and materials science alumni. Frank Bates, the department's head, says the chemical engineering program has a long-standing culture of excellence, underscored by its current ranking as the top program of its kind in the nation.

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Posted by jfalk at 4:00 PM

July 6, 2006

Farm Family of the Year

Fifty-six families from around the state, one from each participating county, have been named a "2006 Farm Family of the Year." The winning families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 3 at the 25th Annual Farmfest in Redwood County. Beverly Durgan, U of M Extension Service dean, says farm families are the foundation of Minnesota agriculture.

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Posted by jfalk at 2:57 PM

July 5, 2006

Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussels, small, striped shellfish that reproduce at rapid rates, are settling into the Mississippi River, killing native species and wreaking havoc for fishermen and related businesses. Doug Jensen with the U's Aquatic Invasive Species Information Center in Duluth says the zebra mussel is the poster child of the aquatic invasive species world.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:43 AM

July 4, 2006

Secret Gardens Exhibition

Minnesota families can explore a world of wonder and hands-on learning and imaginative discovery at the U of M Landscape Arboretum’s Secret Gardens Exhibition, June 3 through September 10. Peter Moe, the Arboretum’s director of operations, says imaginations will soar as children and their families discover the hidden secrets of 20 uniquely designed and interpreted exhibits on the Arboretum grounds.

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Posted by jfalk at 3:39 PM

July 3, 2006

Blueberries

July is blueberry month in Minnesota, when people across the state head out of the city to go blueberry picking. While wild blueberries have grown around the state for ages, Dave Wildung, a U of M horticulturalist, says commercial blueberry production is fairly new to Minnesota.

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Posted by jfalk at 4:46 PM