RNC: Highlights from Day Two, including the canceled Rage show

When we broke the news of the surprise Rage Against the Machine show at the Ripple Effect concert, we knew there was a risk the police would shut the permitless operation down. But we couldn't have anticipated what would happen next. As Andrea Myers' on-site report shows, police precluded the band from playing -- but not from leading the crowd in song through a bullhorn.

That wasn't all.

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RNC: Highlights from Day One

You've probably noticed that there are new people in town. Many wear silly hats. Others wear gas masks. It's the Republican National Convention, kids! And we're blogging it at Elephants in the Room. Here are the highlights from Day One.

Bradley Campbell and Andy Mannix each have their own stories -- and videos -- from the chemical warfare in downtown St. Paul. Read about police using pepper spray on protesters and see the videos here and here. You can also see new videos as we upload them at our YouTube page.

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Breakfast of Champions 8/18: The night comes in ...

... on little minx feet.

It's a transitionary time here at the Pages. This space will look different over the next few weeks, as we become awash in convention coverage, change the look a bit, and bring in fresh voices. In fact, there's a good chance that this "Breakfast of Champions" series of posts will go away in favor of more prolific local news blogging.

But before that happens, and speaking of fresh voices, welcome in our new nightlife blogger. Some of you may recognize the Minx from around town; others may be aware of her Flickr page. Whether you are or you aren't, see what she has to say about Glamorama and other matters. We'll be seeing posts and photos a few times a week, mostly centered around weekends.

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Breakfast of Champions 8/14: Patriots and Games

If Colin Powell is really going to endorse Barack Obama, that's a huge coup for the Democrat given Powell's favorability ratings. But it's Bill Kristol reporting it, and Powell's people are denying it, so I'm skeptical.

Such skepticism isn't warranted about whether people are into Ben Palosaari's Tron Guy feature, though. Follow Ben's journey through the story, including video of a flight in the Tron Plane, and see exclusive photos.

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Breakfast of Champions 8/12: 30 reasons to enjoy summer

I like a lot of things stuffed. Peppers. Mushrooms. My face. But a lynx should be wild, not stuffed.

It's time to enjoy the Farmer's Markets while they last, and Rachel Hutton has a guide to mini-markets throughout the city of Minneapolis. In other summer cuisine news, Barbette's lamb burger might be the right taste for all you carnivores out there. Just as long as lynx is off the menu, you, me and the game warden got no problems.

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Breakfast of Champions 8/11: Fringed out

How's your Fringe hangover? It sounds coarse to say we have the hair of the dog, but I like dogs, so there it is.

Start with out 2008 Fringe Guide from this week's cover. Move on to our blog reviews on Culture to Go, with takes on more than a dozen shows. For your pure photo satisfaction, there's a "images of the Fringe" photo slideshow with 30 shots of shows, scene and more, with images from after parties, performances, and our cover shoot.

Photo of the show "Medusa's Riddle" by B FRESH Photography.

In that Fringe slideshow are extra images from our cover models this past week, the ladies from Lili's Burlesque. For more burlesque, celebrate 5 years of Le Cirque Rouge with this slideshow from Friday's performance at Nick & Eddie.

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Breakfast of Champions 8/8: Burmese Democracy

Twenty years ago this morning, an uprising in Burma demanded democracy. This resulted in thousands of unarmed students and Buddhist monks being slaughtered by the Burmese dictatorship, which was then known by the ominous acronym SLORC (State Law & Order Restoration Council).

Last year Rhena Tantisunthorn profiled Karen refugees living in St. Paul. Today's the type of day that puts world events in context of these lives lived locally, and how things came to be this way. It's a grim anniversary, but one worth marking.

Today also heralds the onset of the Olympics in Beijing -- another event that affects Burma. I wonder if they ever think about calling off August in the nation now known as Myanmar.

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Breakfast of Champions 8/7: Hiroshima Commemoration

I'll admit it: I miss Okinawa. It hit me most recently when attending yesterday's Hiroshima commemoration event, where an Okinawan sanshin group played.

If you've never heard of the sanshin (also called the shamisen, it's a three-stringed lute-banjo hybrid where the strings are plucked. The instrument's history is fascinating, and long, and I'll spare you. If you'd like to hear what it sounds like, here's a short video.

The Chura Ryukyu Sanshin Kai plays "Hana," which means "flower."

Having an Okinawan group perform at a ceremony like this is appropriate, too. Everyone remembers the atomic bombings. Few today recall that the Battle of Okinawa was one of World War II's most apocalyptic, killing one-third of the island's civilian population in a gruesome war of attrition. Yet the island's people still remain among the friendliest in the world, and they built a war memorial honoring everyone who died in the battle -- no matter what side they fought on.

Check out the slideshow for more. In other news:

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Breakfast of Champions 8/5: Animalized

It was critter day on the blogs yesterday, with a quick YouTube reference to Christian the Lion, an update on the status of wolf puppies, and a notification that your zoo is armed. But will the zookeepers be used as backup security during the RNC?

Future fuzzy (though not necessarily warm) stories of headed for the feature section of the paper, too.

While I'm foreshadowing: big changes will hit this corner of the Webiverse next week. Cue the John Williams music or possibly Thus Spake Zarathustra. Let's just say it'll give you about a dozen new reasons to check this site throughout the day.

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Breakfast of Champions 8/4: Doom, but no gloom

A triple threat of a weekend, the past 72 hours saw three hotly-anticipated events come to a boil. For theater lovers? The Fringe Festival, of course. For sports junkies? The triumphant return of Francisco Liriano and his apparently healthy (knock wood) lightning rod of a left arm.

For hip-hop heads, though, it was all about Doomtree's full-crew long-player and the accompanying First Avenue show where the bunch tore it down. Check out Amber Schadewald's review of the Doomtree CD release party (with complete photo slideshow by Daniel Corrigan).

Francisco Liriano's callup -- and the resultant rise of the Twins to first place -- inspired reaction as strong as it was immediate. Judd Spicer called for Liriano's promotion on July 18, and exults in the results. ESPN's own Jonah Keri checks in as well, inventing a new word to describe the lunacy of keeping Livan Hernandez over The Franchise.

The Fringe Festival runs through Aug. 10, and if you want the latest on what's hot, check our constantly-updated Fringe Blog. Among the raved-about shows so far: "Shakespeare's Land of the Dead," "Conundrum Rehabbed," and "Hero Cycle," a review of which should be up this morning.

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