Mall of America's aphid population under attack from 72,000 ladybugs

Image by Tatiana Craine
At the Megamall and broke? Take some ladybugs home as free souvenirs!
There are 30,000 air-purifying live plants, including 400 trees, in the Mall of America. And there are also thousands of aphids trying to eat them.

SEE ALSO: Sarah and Bristol Palin receive a lukewarm welcome at Mall of America

So officials have decided to one-up the aphids by releasing a whole shit ton of ladybugs into the mall.

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Bomb squad investigates suspicious package at Mall of America, finds no threat [UPDATE]

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Mark Gstohl on Flickr
The suspicious MOA package was found in a garbage can, just as the Boston Marathon bombs were.
-- Updates at bottom --

In the wake of yesterday's Boston attack, people throughout the country are understandably on high alert.

SEE ALSO: Boston Attack: Hennepin County judge finished race 20 minutes before explosion

That's apparent this morning at the Mall of America, where an entrance on the west side of the mall has been closed after a suspicious package was found in a garbage can.

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Idle No More flash dance brings more than 1,000 protesters to Mall of America [VIDEO]

Idle No More protests like the one at MOA Saturday are a response to the Canadian government's effort to abrogate treaties signed with Native communities.
Shoppers at the Mall of America on Saturday evening got more entertainment than they bargained for, as the mall's eastern rotunda was packed with more than 1,000 people, including hundreds of Native Americans, for an Idle No More protest flash dance.

SEE ALSO: Twitter sparks Mall of America shooting rumor; turns out to be false alarm

The Idle No More movement began earlier this month in Canada as a response to the conservative government's effort to allow the sale of land originally set aside for indigenous people, but has since spread to America and Mexico. A smaller-scale protest dance in the IDS Center's Crystal Court on Christmas Eve resulted in the controversial arrest of American Indian Movement co-founder Clyde Bellecourt. Bellecourt was also in attendance at the Mall of America on Saturday.

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Twitter sparks Mall of America shooting rumor; turns out to be false alarm

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Mark Gstohl on Flickr
In the Twitter age, rumors -- and panic -- spread quickly.
One year to the day after a violent melee at the MOA was caught on camera, folks listening to Dave Sinykin's drive-time show on KFAN yesterday evening got quite the scare.

Just before a commercial break, Sinykin's sidekick hit the breaking news sounder and relayed reports that nobody wanted to hear: A number of people on Twitter were saying there had been a shooting and mass panic in the Mall of America.

SEE ALSO: Owner of Trail's End gun shop in Fridley reports "feeding frenzy" for military-style weapons

Thank goodness, those reports turned out to be only half true -- there was a mass panic, but no shooting. After the jump, we take a look at a Twitter timeline of how the rumor spread.

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Mall of America "eye-searingly awful," should be demolished, says California Home and Design

Categories: Mall of America
California Home and Design does not think bigger is better.
California Home and Design pours some serious Haterade on the Mall of America in its list of "25 Buildings to Demolish Right Now."

America's largest mall is featured as one of 25 "eye-searingly awful" buildings that Home and Design's staffers and team of 15 architects would "take a wrecking ball to" if "given the chance."

Much to Home and Design's chagrin, instead of tearing the place down, mall officials are actually planning to break ground next spring on a $200 million expansion that will add a second hotel, more retail space, and a medical office tower.

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Bloomingdale's Mall of America location to close

Categories: Mall of America
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For the first time, the MoA is losing one of its anchor stores.
It appears the Mall of America isn't immune to economic malaise.

Cincinnati-based Macy's announced today that it is closing the Bloomingdale's store at the MoA after a 20-year run.

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Sarah and Bristol Palin receive a lukewarm welcome at Mall of America

No throngs to pal with the Palins.
The rules set up by Mall of America officials for Sarah and Bristol Palin's book signing yesterday seemed to have been written in anticipation of an army of fans.

"'Camping out' is not allowed," the rules read. "Beginning at 5 a.m., guests will be allowed to line up."

But there was no teeming crowd of rabid Palinites at 5 a.m. And less than a half hour into the appearance of Bristol, Sarah, and Todd Palin, the crowd had dwindled to a trickle of latecomers.

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Lego plans brick-by-brick renaissance at Mall of America

Categories: Mall of America

Image courtesy of Mall of America
The Lego Mall of America store is rebuilding
​Despite what it may look like, the Lego store at the Mall of America hasn't fallen apart. It's just rebuilding.

The store/awesome free kiddie playground darkened its doors two weeks ago, leaving small children and adult nerds going into Lego withdrawal. The four story monument to plastic and primary colors has been stripped to the studs and hidden behind yellow slabs of sheet rock.

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Mall of America to star in Learning Channel TV series

Categories: Mall of America
Just in case actually visiting the thing isn't enough to whet your curiosity/appetite/desire to wander inside large cacophonous buildings, hear this: The Learning Channel is set to launch a reality series devoted our monument to consumerism.

"Mall Cops: Mall of America" kicks off at 9 p.m. May 27. The 12-part series will examine among other things Black Friday, Sarah Palin's visit, and how mall cops go about doing whatever it is that they do. Kevin James is not involved with the project.

Said it before: Our much-maligned mega-mall represents a highly evolved, if slightly mutated, specimen of a genus that sprung into being more than 80 years ago. It's a colossus of consumerism. So colossal, in fact, that we were way ahead of the Learning Channel with our own take. Read it here.

Dakota Rey Kohler-Lander, of New York, was 3rd Mall of America falling death this month (UPDATE)

Categories: Mall of America

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Via Wikipedia
Dakota Rey Kohler-Lander, of Schenectady, N.Y., was the man who died after falling from the fourth floor to the ground in the building's rotunda area just before 7 p.m. yesterday.

Security officers had approached him after responding to reports of a man with a knife. That's when he climbed over the railing and fell.

He was alive but barely breathing, with a faint pulse, when he was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center. The county medical examiner said he died of blunt-force injuries, according to the Star Tribune.

You may remember that on March 1, a police chase that began with a hit-and-run accident at 98th Street and Grand Avenue in Bloomington ended with a man leaping to his death from the seventh floor of the east parking garage. And on March 8, another body was found outside the mall, this time on the ground beside the west parking garage.