The Minnesota Daily

All content by Mike Mullen

Ben Van Handel: Surrounded himself with friends to the end

April 25, 2011

As a freshman at the University of Minnesota, Ben Van Handel usually left his door open. That way, Van Handel could welcome friends into his room, or at least say hello to them as they passed in the hallway. Now...

Daily Digest: Michelle’s near-miss, Muammar’s mess; playing with time, and playing for cash

April 20, 2011

- The Washington Post has the story of a near-miss and aborted landing for First Lady Michelle Obama at Andrews Air Force Base. Apparently a 200-ton cargo jet was coming in just in front of Obama's plane,...

Daily Digest: Sugar’s sour story, Hugh’s sweet revenge; Planning for creation, and destruction

April 13, 2011

-Oh, dear. The New York Times Magazine's next feature, "Is Sugar Toxic?" tells the story of pediatrician Robert Lustig's war on our sweet, sweet sucrose. Lustig's argument is that sugar is not only a main...

Justice, in the balance

Justice, in the balance

April 12, 2011

Sometimes when they argued, Kelli DoublinâÄôs boyfriend would say, âÄúYouâÄôre lucky IâÄôm not like the guy I used to be.âÄù Only later, as she prepared to testify...

Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey discusses the effects the budget cuts will have on his department on Thursday in St. Paul.

Dept. of Human Rights faces cuts

April 12, 2011

Only a few weeks after accepting the job as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Kevin Lindsey began wondering what kind of department heâÄôd have left. In his budget, Gov....

Daily Digest: Gbagbo’s last throes, Marable’s parable; Marrying the U.K., divorcing the U.S.

April 6, 2011

- For those of you who were planning to stage a coup, or fake an election, and start an autocratic terror-state... maybe just hold off until things cool down a bit. This is officially the worst time,...

Daily Digest: Bouncing back, at the airport and the stock market; great drama in court, and bad drama at the theater

March 30, 2011

-This morning's Washington Post has a frightening read on aborted landings at Reagan National Airport in D.C. Apparently, between 10 and 20 times a month, a plane approaches the runway, drops its landing...

Daily Digest: Biography of a screen queen, and of a terrorist; a custom room and a colorful custom

March 23, 2011

- The iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor has died. Described in the New York Times obituary as "a constant star," Taylor got famous young, and stayed famous, even as her work rate dropped off. ( According...

Daily Digest: NPR fallout, NFL lockout; the rich on trial, and the trials of the rich

March 9, 2011

- The normally dull world of NPR executives has received a serious shake-up with the resignation of CEO Vivian Schiller. Schiller's ouster comes a day after investigative cheese-and-nut roll James O'Keefe...

Daily Digest: Defensive manuevers and offensive speech; Peter and David, gone, but not forgotten

March 2, 2011

- We begin in Libya, where Mo Qaddafi seems ready to kill as many of his people (people who love him, he swears!) as it takes to hold on to power. The Washington Post reports on 14 deaths in Ajdabiya,...

Daily Digest: Flare-ups in Libya, and on the sun; watchdogs and showdogs

February 16, 2011

- The protest momentum rolls along in Libya, where Muammar Qaddafi is clinging to power with slightly less integrity than that awful mustache clings to his upper lip. Qaddafi -- who, with the ouster of...

Daily Digest: Dying (Egypt), living (England), smoking (Boston), Vikings (Arden Hills?)

February 9, 2011

- Cairo's unrest is still simmering, and we should all keep a watchful, hopeful eye on the day-to-day goings-on. But today's Washington Post has a great, so-far overlooked story, on the death of a single...

Daily Digest: Egypt’s moment, and the search for its analogy; National Signing Day, and the three Foer brothers

February 2, 2011

Today's Daily Digest, from editor Mike Mullen. - In Egypt, embattled President Hosni Mubarak’s compromise to not seek another term of office has done little to quell ongoing protests. The addition to...

Daily Digest: State(s) of the Union, state of the world, 2nd amendnment solutions, Oscar nods

January 26, 2011

- Last night President Obama gave the State of the Union to a sold-out crowd at the U.S. Capitol. The phrase that seems to be capturing everyone's attention, and might stick around a while, is Obama's...

Daily Digest: Hu, booze, Bo, Poe

January 19, 2011

- Today, President Obama - the most well-known world leader - welcomed China's Hu Jianto, the least well-known, in a White House ceremony that conjured up all the conflict and cooperation between the...

Daily Digest: Tunis, Regis, trente, Sarte

January 18, 2011

Welcome back. - Don't blink. Tunisia's had some sort of democratic -- or at least anti-dictatorial -- revolution, but the outcome seems to be changing by the hour. Earlier today, according to the New York...

Daily Digest: Peace, explosions, sneezing in the rain, and book-learnin’

December 9, 2010

-- We begin in China, where Liu Xiabao, Friday’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, will sit in prison during the ceremony in Norway, becoming the first peace winner to miss his award ceremony since Germany’s...

Daily Digest: Stars, more stars, Mars, and cars

December 2, 2010

-- Whoa! A new study in the journal Nature, published by researchers from Harvard and Yale (my safety schools) suggests that there could be three times as many stars in the universe as previously thought....

The Underground Poet of St. Paul: A Tragedy in Seven Acts

The Underground Poet of St. Paul: A Tragedy in Seven Acts

December 2, 2010

Editor's Note: In July, the Minnesota Daily talked to Micheal Larsen in what would end up being one of the artist's final interviews. To hear the interview, click here. Raghav Mehta reports. He could never...

Supreme Court takes a lot to say a little, a (non-geology) rock book, Timberwolves rebound (especially K-Love), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows leaks, sort of

November 18, 2010

-- In a great piece by an often-great SCOTUS correspondent, Adam Liptak of the New York Times writes about how the Supreme Court's getting a little long in the pen. A couple of recent studies have found...

Daily Digest: College protests, college football scandal, chocolate scarcity and Veteran’s Day

November 11, 2010

-- In America, when we’re told of a tuition hike, we students grumble a bit and, at most, reach for a fifth or sixth beer. In England yesterday, they went nuts. Some 52,000 people gathered in London...

Chris Charbonneau works on his next painting Saturday afternoon in the Regis Center for Art. This painting will be a part of a new series he is producing and is being painted on plywood frames he built and is his first time working with oil bars.

Artists in their own words

November 9, 2010

Christopher Charbonneau: I was drawing in high school. Basically art class was the only thing left, it was either that or study hall. I had an interest anyway, but it was a good opportunity. I wasnâÄôt...

Franken, Ellison talk election results

November 9, 2010

After two consecutive âÄúwaveâÄù elections handed Democrats the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House in 2006 and 2008, the wave crested and rolled back Nov. 2, 2010. Republicans...

Daily Digest: Recounting, weight studies, tattoos, space-rocks

November 4, 2010

-- First, in statehouse news, the number of rejected absentee ballots in the governor’s race is only about 3,000, the AP is reporting today. At the moment, Mark Dayton leads Tom Emmer by about 9,000,...

Obama’s Mpls stop ends four-day campaign swing

October 25, 2010

President Barack ObamaâÄôs rally in support of DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton capped a seven-city, 75-hour trip âÄî the most extensive campaign effort of his time as president....

Daily Digest: Hockey fights, nature pics, and more

October 21, 2010

A daily rundown of news from Projects Editor Mike Mullen. --Rick Rypien, Vancouver Canucks center/punk, has been suspended indefinitely for shoving a Minnesota Wild fan during a game in St. Paul on Friday...

Earmarked for higher ed.

Earmarked for higher ed.

October 21, 2010

 In 1990, after 10 years in the Minnesota Legislature, Donna Peterson returned to the University of Minnesota. Peterson, a 1971 graduate, took a job lobbying on behalf of the University. At that point,...

Michele’s millions, drinking with foreigners, fake medicine and real, awesome pictures

October 14, 2010

A digest of today's news by Projects Editor Mike Mullen. Hello. Happy Thursday. -- Michele Bachmann is officially the best-funded U.S. House candidate in history, the Star Tribune reports. Bachmann has...

Study: news fuels rumors about Obama being Muslim

September 30, 2010

In a conversation during the 2008 presidential campaign, one of Brian WeeksâÄô friends said that President Barack Obama was a Muslim. WeeksâÄô friend said that heâÄôd learned about...

Jessica Sundin, a University clerical worker, speaks in front of her home, the site of an FBI raid, on Friday.

FBI raids homes of U staff

September 27, 2010

The FBI raided six Twin Cities addresses Friday morning, including the homes of one former University of Minnesota student and three employees. Early morning raids targeted the houses of Tracy Molm, an...

University environmental coordinator Janet Dalgleish walks through an area in the Como Student Community Cooperative on Monday which will be excavated starting next week. Several of the trees in that area will need to be removed.

Cleaning up the past

May 4, 2010

On Sept. 18, 2008, the phone rang in Janet Dalgleish's basement office at Boynton Health Service. Dalgleish, the University of Minnesota environmental affairs coordinator, was told that construction workers...

President Barack Obama speaks about health care during a rally held September 12, 2009, at the Target Center.

Obama signs health care reform bill

March 24, 2010

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama signed into law the first major reform of the United States health care system since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid 45 years earlier. The Patient Protection and...

Humphrey Institute employee named elections manager

February 28, 2010

When Rachel Smith went to work in November 2008, her job had changed dramatically. Smith, then election manager for Anoka County, supervised a recount of the countyâÄôs ballots. Though recounts...

University professor Robin Brown said that his graduate students are “terrifyingly smart” in ways that are enabled by electronic technologies.

Going digital

February 21, 2010

Judge Denny Chin of the Southern District of New York held a final fairness hearing Thursday on the proposed settlement of Authors Guild, et al. v. Google Inc. Sometime soon, Chin will reconvene his court...

Gophers players run onto the field at their game against Ohio State.

Athletics finances: a balancing act

January 24, 2010

In recent years, a growing number of colleges have used corporate sponsorships, sold-out football stadiums and television revenue to monetize their athletics departments. The University of Minnesota is...

U investigating wrestling program

January 17, 2010

The University of MinnesotaâÄôs investigation into the real estate dealings of current and former wrestlers and coaches, including head coach J Robinson, is still six to 12 weeks from being completed,...

University history major Eric Swenson is a second lieutenant in the Army National Guard and is scheduled for duty in Afghanistan in early 2011.

A renewed commitment

December 7, 2009

On Sept. 11, 2001, Eric Swenson was stationed at the American naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Swenson, who joined the Marines in the summer of 1999, was gone from the base before Christmas of that...

Treating Autism

December 1, 2009

When her son turned 2 years old, Kammy Kramer asked her pediatrician why Elliott was still not speaking. It was KramerâÄôs fourth visit in six months, and her exasperated pediatrician told her...

Looking in on the autistic brain

November 30, 2009

Dr. Seyyed Fatemi has spent the past 13 years looking at brain disorders through a microscope. But he cannot forget what he saw with his own two eyes. In the late 1980s, after years as a scientist, FatemiâÄôs...

Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar talks and answers questions regarding the H1N1 Flu vaccine on Friday.

Klobuchar, panel discuss H1N1 flu and vaccines

November 14, 2009

Michael Osterholm , director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, has a daughter who is eight months pregnant and works in immunology. Knowing that his daughter works with patients...

Reporter’s notebook: Liberia: The untold stories

November 13, 2009

Editor’s note: “Reporter’s Notebook” is an occasional blog that will feature worthwhile content left out of a news story.  It will also give reporters an opportunity to talk...

Liberia: The untold stories

November 9, 2009

One morning in October 1990, Ahmed Sirleaf woke up early and prepared to leave. Charles TaylorâÄôs rebels had come, again and again, and the village was not safe. Sirleaf needed to leave Makpouma...

Army enrollment by college grads on the rise

October 28, 2009

Thanks in large part to the lackluster economy, each branch of the United States military achieved its recruiting goals for the first time since the establishment of an all-volunteer force in 1973. The...

The gorilla at the doorstep

October 20, 2009

In 1997, Joe Ring began to notice graffiti on the WitchâÄôs Hat Tower. Ring was already a Prospect Park resident for 20 years at that time, and had no plans of leaving. So every morning, Ring got...

‘A problem address’

October 19, 2009

On her second night in University Village Apartments, Nicole Norton and a roommate stayed in to watch a movie. Around 10:30 p.m. that night, Sept. 3, they heard a popping sound coming from somewhere outside...

Anti-war protesters rally in Uptown

October 18, 2009

More than 200 demonstrators shut down Hennepin Avenue on Saturday afternoon for an anti-war demonstration. The crowd proceeded peacefully toward Loring Park as police cars, slow-moving traffic and supportive...

A room for improvement

October 4, 2009

About an hour before the kickoff of MinnesotaâÄôs Sept. 19 game against California, a father and son sat alone, as they had for the previous half hour, at a table in the recruiting room at TCF...

A history of unknown pain

September 30, 2009

On New YearâÄôs Eve, 1904, an intern at a Chicago hospital made note of a peculiar finding. Through his microscope Ernest Irons saw dozens of healthy round blood cells and a small number of skinny,...

College football’s suspected killer

September 29, 2009

Sickle cell trait was long thought to be common but relatively benign in its carrierâÄôs body. Now, the traitâÄôs connection to a number of mysterious deaths has brought it to the center...

Two football players suspended

September 28, 2009

University of Minnesota football head coach Tim Brewster has suspended Cedric McKinley and Tim Dandridge for two games each, citing undisclosed reasons. A press release stated that the players had been...