Star Tribune’s Richard Chin refers to Brian Krohn ‘09 as a “Minnesota Genius” in his article. Among Krohn’s creations are surgery tools, wizard staffs, a cycling workout app, and more recently, Soundly, a cell phone application designed to help people who snore by getting them to play a voice-activated game to strengthen their upper airway muscles.
While at Augsburg, Krohn switched majors from film to chemistry, that’s when his interest to becoming a scientist began. His undergraduate research led him to “Good Morning America” where he talked about a process to produce environmentally-friendly fuel, which was later commercialized in the development of a $9 million pilot plant.
“A lot of times I get a little bug about something, I kind of just do things and see where they go” says Krohn about his ventures.
Housing prices are going up, and so are the number of evictions in the Twin Cities. Evictions are specially affecting some of the most disadvantaged populations. Matthew Demond, professor at Princeton University, spoke at Augsburg University about his Pulitzer prize-winning book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”. In this book, he follows eight families in Milwaukee and documents their struggle to keep a roof over their heads.
“Oftentimes evictions aren’t a condition of poverty, they’re a cause of it. In the Midwest, with cold winters, evictions spike in the summer because many people who struggle to pay for housing expenses pay their landlords in the winter, when utilities companies are banned from shutting off the gas, and switch to paying the utility company in the summer”, Desmond explained to a packed house at Augsburg University.
In a conversation with radio host Frank Stasio, Michael Lansing, history professor and chair of the history department at Augsburg University, explores the beginnings of processed food in America. Lansing takes a step back to the 1870’s, the root of the industrial food take off in the diet of Americans.
He identified processed meat, canned food, and carbohydrates as the three primary sectors in this new diet. Lansing touched on some factors that affected the change of diets, declaring that intensive marketing campaigns convinced consumers to believe industrial food was better for their lifestyle. Cheap railroad transportation and the negotiations made by mass producers allowed them to sell at a cheaper price than local makers. In the early 20th century, more people began to move from rural to urban areas, which reduced the opportunity to farm their own food, making industrial food more reliable, explains Lansing.
“The Surprising Promise of Bicycling Study in America” is a study conducted by Jay Wallasper, Senior Fellow at Project for Public Spaces and an Urban-Writer-in-Residence at Augsburg University. In the study, Wallasper and Melissa Blamer focus on advocacy, along with information useful to the cycling industry, such as the growth of bike share and infrastructure, the untapped demographic potential, and the deepening influence of grassroots advocacy. The study’s findings explain the impact that infrastructure for cycling has on the future growth potential, as well as the health benefits to bicycling, and the economic worth of cycling for transport.
Joseph Underhill, program director of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum talks with the Star Tribune’s John Rash about how ICAN’s award “fits very squarely within the mandate and framework of the Nobel Peace Prize as outlined in the will of Alfred Nobel, given its emphasis on disarmament, peace conferences and promotion of fraternity among nations.”
Geneva-based International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for “its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”
Weapons are “seen as an ongoing concern,” but that the Nobel committee was clearly “signaling concern about the current risks of nuclear conflict given the level of tension and the rhetoric around the Korean Peninsula and the leadership in both the U.S. and North Korea” adds Underhill, who is also an associate professor of political science at Augsburg University, where the Nobel Peace Prize Forum took place last month.