Des Moines

The Color Of

14 Aug 2011

Via the fabulous "the color of" website, here is the color of Des Moines:

The Color of Des MoinesThe Color of Des Moines

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What are We Called?

18 Jul 2011

What do you you call someone who lives in Des Moines? No, seriously, this isn't a spectacularly bad joke set-up. Are we:

  • "Des Moinesians"
  • "Des Moans" (rhymes with Samoans)
  • "Des Moiners"
  • "Des Moinistas"
  • "Des Moinae"

Any ideas I'm missing?

Go visit Scott Rocketship's newest web venture, "What If Des Moines". It's basically the same idea behind DMPerspective, except that he is able to distill the what ifs down to a single sentence, on a much more frequent and regular basis.

Reminds me quite a bit of another website called "People Who..." run by an evidently very snarky friend of a friend. The schtick is this: distill a rant dow to a single meaningful sentence and encourage people to respond with their own reactions and ideas. For example:

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The Census Bureau releases annual population estimates by City. The most recent (2009) estimates were released last week.

I pulled statistics for the Des Moines metro area and created a couple graphs to show trends over time. Here are the top five things I noticed in these graphs:

1 - The City of Des Moines has clearly turned a corner

Like many central cities that have experienced declines in population, the City of Des Moines is is now gaining population in absolute numbers. This is good for the City and good for the region.

Des Moines MSA Population Trend by CityDes Moines MSA Population Trend by City

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Chicken: Photo by Erica Zahn via Wikimedia CommonsChicken: Photo by Erica Zahn via Wikimedia CommonsI would love to raise chickens. In theory. The reality is, of course, that I don't have enough time to raise chickens. I don't even change the kitty litter often enough.

Yet, the idea of going out to the coop on a Saturday morning to gather eggs for breakfast is very appealing. I also like the idea of utilizing the "natural fertilizer" they create to power the garden I have planned. Oh, and chickens are fun.

When my fifth grade class hatched chickens, I took home two of the hatchlings "Abbott" and "Costello", and kept them for eight weeks. The agreement was that I could keep them until they got too big for their cardboard box in the garage. At that point, they would be relocated to my dad's co-worker's farm, where they would live happy and productive lives. Unless they were actually an Abbott and a Costello instead of an Agatha and Costella. If they couldn't produce eggs, they were to end up at the kitchen table themselves.

Luckily for them, my names were incorrect.

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I make no secret about my opinion of the Des Moines Library Central Branch design. Despite its green bona fides, I think it is inappropriate for a public building to be so architecturally inaccessible.

Enter the Atlanta Public Library downtown branch! I am in Atlanta for a conference (learning about the new EPA lead paint rules among other things - more on that later). After classes today, I went on a long walking tour of downtown Atlanta and stumbled upon Marcel Breuer's Bauhaus/brutalist older cousin to the Des Moines Public Library (designed by David Chipperfield).

Atlanta Public Library Main ApproachAtlanta Public Library Main Approach

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According to Quirkology, most people who make New Years resolutions fail to keep them.

At the start of the study, 52% of participants were confident of success. One year later, only 12% actually achieved their goal.... An extra 22% of men achieved their resolution when they engaged in goal setting, and women were almost 10% more likely to be successful when encouraged to persist in the face of setbacks.

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After decades of serving Chinese food to Beaverdale and surrounding Des Moines area residents, the Mandarin restaurant will be shutting its doors at this location for good by Christmas. The owners are heading to Taiwan for an extended vacation from Iowa cold, and the restaurant business.

The woman who rang up my carryout last night said they may open another restaurant at a new location, possibly in the Beaverdale area.

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Larry Bradshaw of the Living Downtown Des Moines blog has posted video of a Sunday Morning stroll through the downtown Des Moines skywalk system. This stroll (sans people due to the morning hour) makes me even more sure of my earlier analysis of the skywalk system: it needs to go.

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Schools rank right up at the top of any respectable list of urban "issues".

When children, morals, and big money are thrown together in the political blender, the mixture is likely to explode every so often. It looks like this September 9th, there will be an explosion of sorts in Des Moines.

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