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Strib Ed Board Outdoes Itself, Credulously Endorses Apparent Hyperloop Grift

Plus Hollywood connections, a goofy Edina crime spree, and Super Bowl memories in today's Flyover news roundup.

4:21 PM CST on February 9, 2024

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You could probably convince the Strib Ed Board that this hyperloop train is zipping past the snowcapped peaks of Zumbrota.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlookedand/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Hyper-duped

We had a lotta fun earlier this week mocking the proposal to study hyperloop transportation between the Twin Cities and Rochester. Aside from the technology remaining mostly theoretical, the local push for it comes from a nonprofit with a slapdash website and a board member, Edina Mayor Jim Hovland, who also chairs the Met Council's Transportation Advisory Board. This matters because that nonprofit, Global Wellness Connections, is requesting "most of the $2.5 million" required for the hyperloop study... from that very Transportation Advisory Board! None of those "Marge vs. the Monorail"-evoking red flags could deter the professional opinion-havers at the Star Tribune Editorial Board from blurting out the goofiest possible position: taking this all seriously. "It's an indisputable fact that a 'hyperloop' high-speed transportation system between the Twin Cities and Rochester, Minn., would be really cool. No doubt about it," begins the adult-authored editorial that makes no mention of Hovland's apparent conflict of interest.

It does, however, regurgitate claims from Global Wellness Connections about the "audacious" leap Minnesota would be making by zipping people at 750 mph via vacuum-accelerated underground pods. The piece acknowledges that no completed hyperloop transit systems exist, and it spends little time exploring why engineers are souring on the tech. But! "We hope, at a minimum, that the [Minnesota] hyperloop study gets full consideration," its writers conclude. It's incredible to see the Strib Ed Board, a group with zero political imagination around progressive policies, become so enrapt by (apparent!) grifters dangling (apparent!) magic hyperloop beans before them. Elsewhere on today's Star Tribune Opinion page: a letter to the editor selling the promise of hyperloop from... you guessed it, Hovland & Co. at Global Wellness Connections. Unlike the promise of hyperloop, you just can't make this stuff up.

MPR Compiles Several Hollywood Local Angles

What do Netflix's Beef, motion picture Lisa Frankenstein, and HBO's True Detective: Night Country have in common? Minnesota connections, baby! And MPR is all over 'em with this fun feature that includes conversations with Beef writer Lee Sung Jin, Lisa Frankenstein writer Diablo Cody, and True Detective actor Isabella Star LaBlanc. (They missed The Curse's agonizing massage recipient, Barkhad Abdi; maybe we'll try and connect with him.) Says Jin, who was born in South Korea before living in Minneapolis as a teen: "Writing is all observations, so that’s probably the biggest takeaway from moving around in Minnesota so much is how it developed that muscle in my mind.” Says Cody, who famously wrote her 2007 breakout hit movie, Juno, inside a Crystal Target: "I don’t know what it is in the Twin Cities that really produces these great offbeat artists. I felt like I had found a place where I could spread my wings and where I belonged." And, finally, says Star LaBlanc, who's from St. Paul and acted with  the Children’s Theater Co.: "I look back on even just five years ago, when I was doing my first round of auditions, and just the roles were entirely different... It feels like just the tip of the [representation] iceberg.”

Crime Reaching Lock-the-Door Levels in Cake-Eater Land

Edina PD suspects nine recent burglaries of "affluent" homes might be connected. The nonviolent thieves reportedly travel by bike and target unoccupied homes, according to a law enforcement quote that WCCO simply attributes to "police." But, as flagged by our pals at Wedge Live!, this string of robberies might have something else in common...

Stay safe out there, non-door-locking Racket readers.

Our Favorite Minneapolis Super Bowl Memory

Hard to believe it's been six years, one pandemic, and thousands upon thousands of Will Stancil tweets since Minneapolis hosted Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018. To the delight of some Big Game NIMBYs such as myself, the weather proved punishingly cold as glitzy yahoos from the coasts pretended to have a nice time here. Some memories are bad, like when one of our favorite writers, GQ's Caity Weaver, described Minnesotans as Pepsi people. Some memories brought us together, like when the townspeople mocked Frozen star Idina Menzel. And some memories are hazy, like whether or not the supersized event actually benefited the Twin Cities economy.

But one memory jumps out as timeless and beautiful: When superstar rapper Cardi B told Star Tribune music writer Chris Riemenschneider to suck her dick. The wonderful moment in local history happened after Chris wrote that Cardi’s $150-$250 mini-concert featured "half-hearted dancing, lip-syncing and standing around on stage. That's it. Oh, and Migos & Fabolous did the same.” We appreciate the watchdog concert consumer reporting, and Riemenschneider is our buddy. But, Christ almighty, we also appreciate the singular Cardi B personality. Since Chris tagged Cardi, she found the Instagram diss and chimed in with: “Suck my dick .I wasn’t booked to perform I.T wasn’t on my contract and amigos came out cause they wanted too.”

Incredible. Maybe the Super Bowl was worth it after all.

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