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  1. #1
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    [img width=450 height=337]http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/2008-01/emptied-north-dakota/images/emptied-north-dakota.jpg[/img]

    The robin’s-egg blue kitchen looks out on the brown grass of the empty plains. The gas stove lurches away from the wall, and, in the wild yard, the white bones of a deer bleach in the sun. Plaster fragments litter the floors of the rooms, and down in the cellar a galvanized wringer washer stands watch by the long-dead coal furnace. In the upstairs bedroom, a window sash has slipped and become a trapezoid framing the abandoned orchard to the west. Two old cars rust nearby, caressed by the moan of the wind. The stone footing of a vanished barn stares east at wheat and grass. Ghost towns stud North Dakota, and this empty house is just one bone in a giant skeleton of abandoned human desire.

    This is the place where American assumptions about the land proved to be wrong. The homesteaders believed rain followed the plow. In the grasslands of western Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, they learned better. And so for almost a century we’ve watched stranded towns and houses fall one by one like autumn leaves in the chill of October. In most of the United States, abandoned buildings are a sign of change and shifting economic opportunities. On the High Plains, they always mean that something in the earth and the sky mutinied against the settlers....

    Read the entire National Geographic piece on North Dakota at:
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/2008-01/emptied-north-dakota/bowden-text.html

    By the way, the ND governor wrote a "stinging" letter to the publisher of NG and ABC news has been doing some positive pieces on the state.
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

    When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.

  2. #2
    Marrdro's Avatar
    Marrdro is offline Beware My Spreadsheet, Bitches!
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    Re: North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    Very interesting.
    I love shows of this nature.
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  3. #3
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    Sad but true.

    It is funny, you can tell when a person from "civilization" writes these articles.
    There is always that perspective of arrogance. It is too difficult for them to fathom why someone would put themselves through living in that rural area.
    At least that is how it seems anyway.

    I also lived in a smaller town in rural SD, for my Jr and Sr High days.
    When we got there, there were 2 hotels, 2 grocery stores, 3 bars, 3 gas stations, 1 pharmacy and a dairy queen.
    When my parents left 10 years later, the city had dwindled down to no hotels, 1 grocery store, 1 bar, 1 gas station and no more pharmacy or dairy queen.
    People started spending money in the larger communities.
    It is sad, but it is how it panned out.
    "Mom and Pop" communities can't exist unless it is someplace that can draw tourists.
    Declining communities can't support "Mom and Pop."

  4. #4
    NodakPaul's Avatar
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    Re: North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    This came out a few weeks ago, and most of the state was up in arms about it.
    I wrote two seperate letters to the editor myself.
    It was a horribly inaccurate, biased view of North Dakota.
    None of the "cities" that they visited for the piece had a population of over 8000, and two of them had been decommissioned as cities in the late 70's.

    It makes no mention of the F-M area's transition into the "silicon prarie"
    We hold the largest percentage of tech jobs per capita outside Seattle, and are the second largest Microsoft campus in the world.
    It doesn't talk about the D-1 hockey prestige of UND, or the D-1 championship division football powerhouse of NDSU. It doesn't mention the manufacturing increase in ND.
    It only briefly mentions the oil boom in Western ND.

    NG responded by saying that it wasn't meant to be a piece on North Dakota as a whole, but instead focusing on just the declining rural populations.
    I don't buy it.
    NG was writing that piece to sensationalize the misconstrued story of a state they thought no one cared about, and nothing more.

    It is a shame that NG has declined from the informative magazine that it used to be into the supermarket tabloid that it is now.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  5. #5
    Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    I read that article when it first came out.
    I agree with SIA that the it is somewhat annoying when people from 'civilization' visit somewhere and give their 'expert' analysis of the situation.
    I didn't find it to be as negative as NP is saying though, I just saw it more as an overview of the decline in small towns in the prairies.
    It's interesting to hear about the points they conveniently left out though.
    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

  6. #6
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    Re: North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    "NodakPaul" wrote:
    This came out a few weeks ago, and most of the state was up in arms about it.
    I wrote two seperate letters to the editor myself.
    It was a horribly inaccurate, biased view of North Dakota.
    None of the "cities" that they visited for the piece had a population of over 8000, and two of them had been decommissioned as cities in the late 70's.

    It makes no mention of the F-M area's transition into the "silicon prarie"
    We hold the largest percentage of tech jobs per capita outside Seattle, and are the second largest Microsoft campus in the world.
    It doesn't talk about the D-1 hockey prestige of UND, or the D-1 championship division football powerhouse of NDSU. It doesn't mention the manufacturing increase in ND.
    It only briefly mentions the oil boom in Western ND.

    NG responded by saying that it wasn't meant to be a piece on North Dakota as a whole, but instead focusing on just the declining rural populations.
    I don't buy it.
    NG was writing that piece to sensationalize the misconstrued story of a state they thought no one cared about, and nothing more.

    It is a shame that NG has declined from the informative magazine that it used to be into the supermarket tabloid that it is now.
    Seriously, F-M calls itself Silicon Prairie?
    I am in the semiconductor business and cover the eastern half of the country and have never once heard of a company in F-M that is in the silicon business.
    Do they just mean there is a lot of high tech (software) jobs such as Microsoft in the area?
    I've heard that the F-M has grown a lot over the last 10 years, but haven't been up there to check it out.

    I have a lot of family that lives in eastern ND and my parents both grew up on farms in that area. Isn't most of the population in the state focused in the east (Red River valley) and then primarily in the Fargo area.

  7. #7
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
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    Re: North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    I hope the publishers cat dies.

    They also didn't mention that ND has one of the highest number of millionaires in the US

  8. #8
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    "BadlandsViking" wrote:
    I hope the publishers cat dies.

    They also didn't mention that ND has one of the highest number of millionaires in the US
    Bottineau County, where I used to live, is said to have more millionaires per capita than anywhere in the US. It was due to oil and some of the best farm land in the world for growing Durum wheat.
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

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  9. #9
    NodakPaul's Avatar
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    Re: North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    "tastywaves" wrote:
    "NodakPaul" wrote:
    This came out a few weeks ago, and most of the state was up in arms about it.
    I wrote two seperate letters to the editor myself.
    It was a horribly inaccurate, biased view of North Dakota.
    None of the "cities" that they visited for the piece had a population of over 8000, and two of them had been decommissioned as cities in the late 70's.

    It makes no mention of the F-M area's transition into the "silicon prarie"
    We hold the largest percentage of tech jobs per capita outside Seattle, and are the second largest Microsoft campus in the world.
    It doesn't talk about the D-1 hockey prestige of UND, or the D-1 championship division football powerhouse of NDSU. It doesn't mention the manufacturing increase in ND.
    It only briefly mentions the oil boom in Western ND.

    NG responded by saying that it wasn't meant to be a piece on North Dakota as a whole, but instead focusing on just the declining rural populations.
    I don't buy it.
    NG was writing that piece to sensationalize the misconstrued story of a state they thought no one cared about, and nothing more.

    It is a shame that NG has declined from the informative magazine that it used to be into the supermarket tabloid that it is now.
    Seriously, F-M calls itself Silicon Prairie?
    I am in the semiconductor business and cover the eastern half of the country and have never once heard of a company in F-M that is in the silicon business.
    Do they just mean there is a lot of high tech (software) jobs such as Microsoft in the area?
    I've heard that the F-M has grown a lot over the last 10 years, but haven't been up there to check it out.

    I have a lot of family that lives in eastern ND and my parents both grew up on farms in that area. Isn't most of the population in the state focused in the east (Red River valley) and then primarily in the Fargo area.
    it refers to the high tech jobs - kind of a spin off of the Silicon Valley in Washington.
    Microsoft actually started the term as an internal joke I believe, and it kinda spread...
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  10. #10
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: North Dakota - The Emptied Prairie

    "NodakPaul" wrote:
    This came out a few weeks ago, and most of the state was up in arms about it.
    I wrote two seperate letters to the editor myself.
    It was a horribly inaccurate, biased view of North Dakota.
    None of the "cities" that they visited for the piece had a population of over 8000, and two of them had been decommissioned as cities in the late 70's.

    It makes no mention of the F-M area's transition into the "silicon prarie"
    We hold the largest percentage of tech jobs per capita outside Seattle, and are the second largest Microsoft campus in the world.
    It doesn't talk about the D-1 hockey prestige of UND, or the D-1 championship division football powerhouse of NDSU. It doesn't mention the manufacturing increase in ND.
    It only briefly mentions the oil boom in Western ND.

    NG responded by saying that it wasn't meant to be a piece on North Dakota as a whole, but instead focusing on just the declining rural populations.
    I don't buy it.
    NG was writing that piece to sensationalize the misconstrued story of a state they thought no one cared about, and nothing more.

    It is a shame that NG has declined from the informative magazine that it used to be into the supermarket tabloid that it is now.
    The state’s population has stabilized at around 600,000 thanks mainly to the growth around its cities—Fargo, Grand Forks, Mandan, and Bismarck. But out on the land, the population has relentlessly bled away.

    JMHO........

    No no no, I didn't read it that way.

    I read it and saw that it is not the state (ND) that people forgot about, but the rural areas that know one even the large communities in ND and SD and KS and ............. want to acknowledge.
    The big city always gets the glory.
    The big city always looks down on the rural areas, "we are better."
    It seems that the real reason for getting upset is that they lumped that depressing rural area with the populous, which they are outraged over.


    I saw the shift from small community to larger community.
    I think living in the state that at an article is written about "seems" like an attack on the whole state, but it isn't.
    It might have been better if they would have sampled more than one state but I see it as an example of that even if it was based only in ND.

    I thought they hit some history, hit some personal notes and yes they painted a bleak depressing picture of western ND.
    Everyone that has lived in a small town knows the truth (but rarely admit it) that it is depressing, that is why the "toughs" come out and fight on Fridays and Saturdays.
    You thought ultimate fighting was cool, live in a small town, the idea isn't original.

    They could have done a bit better on explaining the population distribution of ND, a simple map could have done the trick without even writing about it.
    You might be right though about the sensationalizing of the entire state.
    For someone that doesn't know anything about ND, they might associate it with the entire state.
    But once again, I don't think that was the intent.
    I hope they publish a few of the letters to the editor about the positives of the state.

    It would have been different if they tried to say that North Dakota was going under.
    They did say that the state was maintaining around 600,000 population.
    Which to me says that it is a flight from rural to populated areas.

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