SUNDAY PICK | Free Wi-Fi for here

Photo credit masukomi (Creative Commons)

My friend has the best grandpa + modern technology story; it must be retold. Her grandpa walks into a coffee shop, orders his cup of joe, takes a peek at the bakery, decides on a muffin, and adds, "... and I'll take a couple of those free wiffies too." 

Sometimes, you just don't want to use the Internet connection you're paying for in your home or apartment. Good thing Minneapolis has some great alternatives in which you can make yourself comfortable with a caffeinated drink, get some work done, people watch, and catch some free waves.


TUESDAY PICK | Let's talk about food, baby

Food is more than just sustenance. It holds cultural and, yeah, emotional value. As I think everyone in my family has said at one point or another: "We're Halaskas, we like to eat." Because it makes us feel better. We don't need much of an excuse to get together and celebrate with food at the center. Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift realize food's place at the table (har har), as their syndicated radio show The Splendid Table reflects. On Tuesday, April 3, the pair will talk about their latest collaboration The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends (their book that contains 100 recipes for enjoying Saturdays and Sundays). And, I can't say for sure about this book club, but there's usually food ... 

MONDAY PICK | TwitQ, a conversation in #s and @s

Photo credit Jamie Millard

If I had to explain today's pick in 140 characters or less: Behind the scenes at the Oscars, @ArtsOrbit asks @IceCrmSocialite & @jjmillard to spill it all #tcdptwitq

If I didn't: First, a little background. Courtney Algeo and Jamie Millard covered the Academy Awards for the TC Daily Planet back in February (the only Minnesota news source to do so), taking their reporting prowess to a national level. On Monday, April 2, Jay Gabler will be facilitating a conversation via Twitter for all the juicy celeb gossip and pro-tips they picked up during their epic journey through Tinseltown. You and your handle are invited to join in with any questions or comments you may have. The time is noon and the place is the Internet. Let's be real, chances are you'll be at your computer or connected to some-kind-of-G network already. 

MONDAY PICK | What happened in Vegas: Tao Lin and Megan Boyle's alt doc on Bebe Zeva

"It's like Warhol," I said, "or Don't Look Back."

"If you choose to make that association," said my friend, "go right ahead."


WEDNESDAY PICK | Kelly Barnhill tells "The Mostly True Story of Jack"

In The Mostly True Story of Jack, a boy travels to Hazelwood, Iowa to stay with family and finds himself receiving a lot more attention than he ever did at home—some good, some bad, and all of it linked to mysterious supernatural forces. Sounds odd, and it is—but it's earned raves from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and the Los Angeles Times, and been featured as an Amazon.com pick of the month. The author is Kelly Barnhill, a local author who just happens to be the sister of Daily Planet contributor Sheila Regan. Barnhill will present the book on March 21 at Normandale Community College.

MONDAY PICK | App the ante on your smartphone

It's Monday, which means you're not unlikely to get home and crash on the couch. While you're there, why not download some life-enhancing apps for your smartphone? Here are some winners—all available for iPhone, some for Android and Blackberry as well—that you might not have.


WEDNESDAY PICK | Take another look "Across the Universe"

If you were one of the thousands of Minnesotans who enjoyed the return of The Lion King musical, consider taking another look—or a first look—at Across the Universe. The 2007 movie is a tour through the Beatles' song catalog directed by Julie Taymor, the visionary who turned The Lion King from a cartoon to an IRL stunner.


MONDAY PICK | Get lit-er on Twitter

It's a slow night on the local literary scene, so go looking for literature in a seemingly hopeless place: the Internet. Twitter is a good place to learn about local lit via the accounts of Rain Taxi Review of Books, Paper DartsThe Loft Literary Center, Graywolf Press, Coffee House Press, Milkweed Editions, Magers & Quinn, Common Good Books, BirchBark Books, and of course the Daily Planet—but writers are increasingly realizing that Twitter is writing, and using it as a venue of personal expression. A couple of good lists to start picking and choosing talented writers from are @altlitgossip's list of "alt lit players"—young writers who speak Internet as a native tongue—and, if the alt-litsters are a little too absurd for you, Tracy Marquez's list of underrated comic tweeters.

THURSDAY PICK | Minnesota designer Sarah Holm: Red carpet worthy

Model Shannon wears a design by Sarah Holm. Photo by Sasha Landskov, courtesy Sarah Holm.

When our writer Courtney Algeo and photographer Jamie Millard were headed to the Academy Awards and needed an answer to the question "Who are you wearing?", they turned to Minnesota designer Sarah Holm, who whipped up custom dresses for both women to wear proudly. But you don't need to be on the red carpet to wear a Sarah Holm original: her designs are available through multiple outlets locally and online, and are often seen on Twin Cities runways. (Yes, we have runways.) Visit Holm's website for more information about this designer inspired by "mid-century silhouettes, femme-fatale attitude, modern art and architecture, ridiculous horror and science fiction films, and the forms that we encounter in everyday life."

TUESDAY PICK | Colin Hay goes to work in Hopkins

Courtesy Colin Hay

There are a lot of cool things about being Colin Hay, but one of the coolest is the fact that his name is recognized by a whole new generation who may not even realize he was the voice of 80s monster hits like "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under." Though he still tours occasionally with his band Men at Work, Hay has developed a large and wide-ranging solo catalog that includes the song "I Just Don't Think I'll Get Over You," a favorite from the Garden State soundtrack. Hay is a fine raconteur as well, as he'll surely demonstrate March 6 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

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