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Friday Favorites Blogroll: What I Learned from Twitter

March 28, 2014Patrick NunnallyProgram & AnnouncementsComments Off on Friday Favorites Blogroll: What I Learned from Twitter

Yes, I know, this sounds like a bad 21st century parody of those old “what I did on my summer vacation” reports we used to have to write.  In all seriousness, though, social media such as Twitter, if used judiciously, can offer a window into a much wider set of conversations than any of us could have imagined being a part of five or ten years ago.

I recently highlighted specific accounts that we learn a lot from at River Life.  Today I want to narrow the focus to particular articles that caught our attention.

This article on Mark Twain and the Mississippi River has been tweeted many times (I saw it via @AnnEssippi).  There’s some interesting insight here, particularly about the very complex roles slavery and abolitionism played in Twain’s early life.  Other vignettes add more detail to some of the more common “broad brush” historical knowledge of the River, “Mississippi River 201” if you will: more advanced than the intro level, but not really expert.  This is as it should be; Smithsonian is a literate, general interest magazine and a good source for many substantial topics.

Orion magazine’s project on “reimagining infrastructure” offers many reasons to click on the site, the materials, and to keep up as the project develops.  Infrastructure is one of those seemingly-wonky words to actually describes stuff we really depend on like water and sewer systems, the electrical power grid, and roads.  The fact is, we built most of these systems at various points in the 20th century and haven’t thought about them since, except when they fail.  Nothing lasts forever, of course, and when we rebuild or improve these systems it is imperative that we do so with new insights and perspectives. The project and magazine can be accessed through @Orion_magazine.

Minnesota Public Radio’s Ground Level project (@MPRGroundLevel)  continues to explore complex and vitally important issues relating to water in Minnesota.  The most recent post directly takes on the question of why not divert the Mississippi River (or the St. Croix River) to refill White Bear Lake.  Once you’ve read through that, study the remaining five or six questions posed in the blog; they’re critical to understanding water and its future in this state.

Finally, some good news this week:  water flow is restored to the Colorado River Delta.  Learn all about it, and see some beautiful and very telling photographs, in this article from National Geographic Daily News.  Link was from @americanrivers.

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A joint project of River Life, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Open Rivers is an interdisciplinary online journal that recognizes the Mississippi River as a space for timely and critical conversations about people, community, water, and place.