Agriculture day

Agriculture day, or Ag day, is a celebration showing animals we eat, and plants we grow. Everything farmers do, and their hard work and labor, is also shown and celebrated.

This was the 8th annual Ag day celebration at HPSH. There were chickens, pigs, ponies, and a bunny that was really big.

The lady that had the really big bunny said that she also competes in contests where there are prizes for the biggest animal and biggest crops they grow. During those gatherings they learn different tips and tricks on how to grow their crops so they can be more healthy.

While we were at Ag day we saw tractors, hay bales, and many stations that taught you how to do things related to agriculture. All the animals were with their caretakers, who would tell you about the animal while you were petting it.

Ag day is important because it educates kids on a topic that most won’t go out and look for information on their own. They do it in a way that is fun and interests us so it doesn’t feel like we’re being taught.

Some agriculture facts according to agday.org:

  • Minnesota has 74,542 farms, on 26 million acres of land
  • The agriculture business makes $75 billion dollars a year for Minnesota, with soybeans, corn, and wheat being the most commonly exported crops out of Minnesota
  • We have 188 farmers markets
  • The agriculture business looks like it will keep going strong in Minnesota.
  • Ag day’s purpose is to educate people on how food and fibers are made, “Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products” and “Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry”

Some priorities of Ag day are: to “Involve the agricultural public relations community in support of National Agriculture Day, inform trade and general media about National Agriculture Day, provide information to increase awareness, and support and encourage programs and activities in observance of National Agriculture Day by organizations, companies and individuals”.

For more information, please visit: https://www.agday.org/about

St. Paul and Minneapolis summer ideas

School officially ends on June 8th, just a few short weeks away. That means sun, freedom, and a lot more downtime. As a student without a job at the moment, trying to make plans while still conserving my bank account can be hard. Everything seems to cost just a little more money than I have, but the thought of spending three months in my bedroom is depressing. Thankfully, St. Paul offers many free or cheap activities and resources for high school students. Here are some of those things:

The Metro Transit Student Summer Pass

Metro Transit is providing $29 student passes for kids of all grades. If an outgoing senior (graduating class of 2018) wants to purchase one, they must have been enrolled in a participating school in 2018. The student pass can be used June 1st through September 4th, from 5am to 10pm. Metro Transit partnered with Second Harvest Heartland to provide free meals for children and teens 18 and under. Below is the link to free meal locations throughout Hennepin and Ramsey county. These student passes have been available for purchase since May 16th. You can buy them online here or at your school. Below are the participating schools.

Ramsey County Free Meals

Hennepin County Free Meals

Details and Participating Schools

Summer Camps

Star Tribune has supplied a lengthy list of summer camps in the metro area, and throughout Minnesota, available to kids and teens. It is comprehensive and provides information such as the camp description, the price(s), the length, date and type (overnight, half-day, full-day), the organization, and the location and phone number. From an all girls basketball and volleyball camp, to a French immersion for 4 – 18 year olds, and a crash course on how to run a business, there is an abundance of summer camps and programs for any interest at any age. The collection includes camps that are free, camps with sliding fees, and higher end programs. Go to this link to explore your options for the summer of 2018!

Parks and Nature

According to metrocouncil.org there are 53 parks and nature reserves in the metro area, along with 40 trails, and 8 special recreation features. In Ramsey County parks, you can access activities such as archery, bird watching, boating and fish, and swimming, and even golf. Click here to access the Parks and Recreation page, and get a comprehensive list of activities, parks, and their locations.

If you are more interested in Hennepin County, then click here for parks, and here for Events and Activities.

If you are interested in the surrounding areas click here. Get out there and enjoy all the wonderful things our state parks have to offer!

Swimming and Aquatic Centers

The St. Paul/Minneapolis area offers multiple aquatic enters and public beaches. The prices vary on location and size of swimming party.

Great River is located on Lexington Parkway, across from the Lexington-Hamline Community School. It has a 25 lap pool, a kids activity swimming pool, swimming lessons, water aerobics, and sailing lessons. You can also go here for lifeguard training. However, Great River will be closed July 4th through September 3rd.

Como is located on Wynne Avenue, close to Hamline University. It includes a zipline, a lazy river, an aquatic climbing wall, a kids pool, a lap pool, diving platforms and more. It also provides swimming lessons and water aerobics. It is open June 9th through September 3rd.

Highland Park is located on Edgecumbe Road, close to the Golf House. It offers a two-story water slide, lap swim pool, children’s splash pad, diving boards, aquatic climbing wall, party rentals, concessions, swimming lessons and more. It is open June 9th through September 3rd.

Phalen Beach is located close to Johnson Senior High School. It is on a Phalen Lake and is free admission. It offers a new splash pad, sand volleyball (bring your own net), a real sand beach, locker rooms, watercraft rentals, sailing, swimming, and kayak lessons. This is a participating location for Second Harvest Heartland and their free meals program. Below are the links for each aquatic center.

Great River

Como

Highland Park

Phalen Beach

Click here for more fun summer activities around the St. Paul/ Minneapolis area! Have fun and stay safe!

 

Album review: Pusha-T – DAYTONA

Since 2013’s My Name Is My Name, one has had the sense that Pusha-T is a genius rapper who has not been allowed adequate freedom as a solo artist. Of course, we know of his genius from his early days in Clipse, when he and his brother No Malice reinvented gangsta rap music with the Neptunes-produced Lord Willin’ and Hell Hath No Fury. But, since then, as a solo artist, Pusha-T has only shown flashes of the potential that he first showed as one half of Clipse in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the most notable of these being the Kanye West-produced “Numbers on the Board,” a mini-masterpiece which demonstrated the crucial fact that Pusha-T requires minimalist production to thrive. His cold elocution, deviously arrogant persona and dark ex-dealer rhymes are always painfully out-of-place on pop-rap anthems.

2015’s King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude was in many ways an improvement upon My Name Is My Name. So is DAYTONA, Pusha-T’s most recent venture, upon Darkest Before Dawn, and for the very same reasons; less bloated production, fewer appearances from second-rate GOOD Music artists like The-Dream, more experimentation, and an even shorter runtime. DAYTONA runs a meager 7 tracks and lasts hardly 21 minutes, but it accomplishes far more than any of the 90-plus-minute megamixes currently offered by Migos, Rae Sremmurd, and the like. Wholly produced by Kanye West, at least half of the credit is due to him. DAYTONA is an album of seven “Numbers on the Boards’s,” and it only further solidifies West’s reputation as the most innovative and important popular musician of the 21st century.

The album opens with “If You Know You Know,” a skeletal banger reminiscent of Yeezus which quickly explodes into ecstatic synths like “Father Stretch My Hands” on The Life of Pablo. “The Games We Play” and “Santeria” are darkly Latin-flavored beats based on guitar licks. The latter features a Spanish R&B interlude that goes over surprisingly well.

“Come Back Baby” is the hardest track on DAYTONA, with three verses consisting solely of a swelling bass-line and two hooks sampling The Mighty Hannibal’s “The Truth Shall Make You Free” without alterations. “What Would Meek Do?” is a conversation between Pusha-T and West about current drama over an eerie, energetic beat. What does Kanye have to say? “Poop, scoop! Whoop! Whoopty-whoop!” among other things. Suffice it to say, it goes over far better than West’s own “Ye vs. the People” with T.I., or “Lift Yourself,” for that matter.

DAYTONA closes with “Infrared,” which is proving to be the album’s most impactful track. Pusha-T brutalizes Drake, Lil Wayne and other enemies while simultaneously solidifying his reputation as the godlike gangster he’s claimed to be since “Dirty Money” in 2006. “The lyric pennin’ equal the Trumps winnin’ / The bigger question is how the Russians did it / It was written like Nas, but it came from Quentin.” “The only rapper sold more dope than me was Eazy-E / How could you ever right these wrongs / When you don’t even write your songs?” Drake was so offended that he fired back with the similarly excellent “Duppy Freestyle.” One can only hope this beef will produce more excellent tracks.

The only track on DAYTONA that feels slightly out-of-place is the slower and more luxuriant “Hard Piano.” Rick Ross offers one of his best verses, but the song still feels irredeemably unfinished. The “Maybach music” samples are delightful, but the “Santo Domingo” hook is utterly absurd and out-of-date; it sounds like a bad reject from the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy sessions.

DAYTONA is the type of rap album Pusha-T (and the world) needs. It is brief, (though maybe too brief), raw (though maybe too raw), and experimental. Even the album cover, supposedly changed at the last moment to a photograph of the late Whitney Houston’s bathroom, is bold. Apparently, DAYTONA is simply the much-awaited King Push renamed for artistic reasons. If not, I hope that that album (or whatever Pusha’s next may be) will only continue the trend of more experimentation and individuality begun here. DAYTONA shows, finally and categorically, that Pusha-T is still capable of making a masterpiece in the contemporary era, if he can only work with his producers to polish his sound for a bigger and more substantial piece. Its success bodes well for Kanye West’s own next album, which contains seven tracks also and is supposedly out June 1st.

8/10