Curious Minnesota

Curious Minnesota

What do you wonder about the people, places and culture of Minnesota? Listen to our community-driven reporting project, which invites listeners to ask questions that our newsroom researches and answers.


Episode 8: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic

What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic

As the novel coronavirus spreads across the world, we've asked readers what they most want to know about the pandemic. Host Eric Roper talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Jeremy Olson and Glenn Howatt to answer your most pressing questions. Read more here: www.startribune.com/virus


Episode 7: How to see the northern lights

How to see the northern lights

The elusive aurora borealis has an attraction that's indisputable. Host Eric Roper talks with reporter Kelly Smith and photographer Brian Peterson about where and when to find the northern lights — and how to capture them when you do. Read the story: http://strib.mn/2Neo9Dd. Check out Astro Bob's blog: http://bit.ly/astrobob


Episode 6: How did Minnesota settlers make it through the cold, dark winters?

How did Minnesota settlers make it through the cold, dark winters?

Most modern-day Minnesotans take pride in their ability to cope with, or even embrace, the cold weather. But what did surviving extreme temperatures look like for the state's first settlers? Host Eric Roper talks with reporter Mara Klecker about creative ways settlers coped. Read the story: http://strib.mn/39soP0v. Minnesota Historical Society with Anna Ahonen: http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/largerimage.php?irn=10388879&catirn=11459703


Episode 5: Where did the idea for Minneapolis' skyways come from?

Where did the idea for Minneapolis' skyways come from?

Love them or hate them, the skyways have permanently changed the way pedestrians get around downtown Minneapolis. Host Eric Roper talks with reporter Emma Dill about how the idea of the elevated walkway system originated. Read the story: http://strib.mn/31KwS5d.


Episode 4: Why are Honeycrisp apples still so expensive?

Why are Honeycrisp apples still so expensive?

The honeycrisp apple, one of the University of Minnesota's most profitable inventions, continues to be a best-seller despite its top-priced status. Host Eric Roper talks with retail reporter John Ewoldt about the thin-skinned, sweet-tart treat. Read the story: www.strib.mn/2Zd47LX. "20 things you didn't know about Minnesota's famous Honeycrisp apples," www.strib.mn/2vTMsuP.


Episode 3: Why does the Stone Arch Bridge cross the river at such an odd angle?

Why does the Stone Arch Bridge cross the river at such an odd angle?

Older than most historic buildings still standing in the Twin Cities, the 136-year-old bridge has long been Minneapolis' de facto welcome mat. But why was it built the way it was? Host Eric Roper talks with Dave Wiggins about why the bridge crosses the Mississippi River at an odd angle. Read the story: www.strib.mn/2JAnqJN. Read about "Hill's Follly," www.gngoat.org/stone_arch_bridge.htm


Episode 2: How did the Twin Cities become a hub for Somali immigrants?

How did the Twin Cities become a hub for Somali immigrants?

Minnesota has 52,333 people who report Somali ancestry — the largest concentration of Somalis in America. This week, we're answering a question from Erik Borg, who wondered about the roots of the Somali influx. Host Eric Roper talks with race and immigration reporter Maya Rao about how it unfolded. Read the story: www.strib.mn/30ztTvA. Listen to Abdisalam Adam's oral history: education.mnhs.org/immigration/narrators/somali/abdisalam-adam.


Episode 1: Where does 'Minnesota Nice' come from, and what does it even mean?

Where does 'Minnesota Nice' come from, and what does it even mean?

Tracing the roots of "Minnesota Nice" is difficult, partly because people don't agree on what the term means. This week, we're answering a question from Sara Skinner, who has tried to explain it to immigrants at the "Life in Minnesota" class she teaches. Host Eric Roper talks with Rachel Hutton about the double-edged meaning of Minnesota Nice. Read the story: www.strib.mn/2QL9Bgp. How to speak like a true Minnesotan: www.strib.mn/2QAcpfE.