Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


MinnPost Picks: on divining for corpses, the unstable future and an ice skating trail through the woods

Our weekly roundup of recommended reading, listening or viewing by MinnPost’s staff and contributing journalists.

overturned bike
Photo by Joël in 't Veld on Unsplash

He Teaches Police ‘Witching’ To Find Corpses. Experts Are Alarmed. The Marshall Project

You may have heard of “divining” or “dowsing” — an old and scientifically discredited practice of walking around with a stick or rods to try to detect water, minerals, or sometimes, I learned in this Marshall Project piece, corpses. Despite its dubiousness, the practice is taught at the National Forensic Academy in Tennessee, a top-notch forensic training program. It’s one of many forensic techniques that have been found to be unreliable, and experts are concerned about the ramifications that has for criminal justice.
—Greta Kaul, data reporter

The World As We Knew It Is Not Coming Back, BuzzFeed News

As an elder millennial, born in the mid-80s, I don’t really remember a time before the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed. While violent conflict has certainly been present in the world over the last 30 years, most of my lifetime has been more peaceful than most of the 20th Century, at least in the West. In this piece, Elamin Abdelmahmoud, a curation editor for BuzzFeed News, explores the unsettled feeling that this period of relative stability was just a blip and might not be coming back.
—Tanner Curl, executive director

Article continues after advertisement

Ice Skating at a Rink Is Fun. Gliding Through a Forest? Glorious. New York Times

There’s a skate path in Warroad that looks pretty great, but these forest trails for ice skaters look wonderful. A fun story that takes readers behind the scenes on how one builds and maintains an ice skating trail in the forest, too.
—Walker Orenstein, Greater Minnesota reporter

Challenging the Language of Power Onstage, The Forge

There’s a methodology known as Theatre of the Oppressed, and one branch of that, grown out of both popular education and community organizing, is called Legislative Theatre. This is a story of how groups in Glasgow used this process to work in local climate policy.
—Jonathan Stegall, user experience engineer