April Knutson is lifestyle-focused journalist producing stories for the Forum News Service about people, health, community issues, and services. She earned her degree in both English Literature and Mass Communications. After working as a digital marketing specialist and web design consultant for a few years, she joined Forum Communications in 2015. She grew up on a farm near Volga, S.D. Follow her on Twitter @april_knutson.
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In the year of #MeToo and #timesup, a painful but practical reminder emerged from an unexpected place: an old notebook full of supply-demand graphs. I recently recycled some old notebooks. As I flipped through pages of graphs, I recalled my professor's efforts to explain the supply-demand relationship, as students' eyes glazed over. • The law of demand states that if all other factors remain equal, the higher the price of the item, the less the people will demand that particular product.
FARGO — Picture this: Your coworker Jill is loudly talking about her upcoming trip to Jamaica. You sigh and listen politely while silently wondering how she can afford a beach getaway while you are resigned to a "staycation" under your infrared lamp. Fargo natives Nick Serati and Jared Kamrowski of ThirftyTraveler.com want others to learn that finding and booking a budget getaway is now within reach.
FARGO — During these long winter months, Midwesterners tend to spend long hours in their home, soaking up the light when they flip on a switch instead of sprawling out under the sun's warm rays. Like the sun, interior lights are expected to shine bright without thought. But to simulate sunlight in each room of the home depends much more on the type of light bulb in order to produce the desired effect for the homeowner.
FARGO — Flowers, jewelry or chocolates may have been expected in the past, but this Valentine's Day more and more couples are opting for an experience together rather than purchasing traditional tokens of love. "There's a depth to non-material gifts. It's more thoughtful, it's more intentional and it's not something you can discard," says Randi Kay Olsen Heinold, a bodyworker, registered yoga teacher and self-care mentor. "It's a memory that can stay with you forever." Heinold says technology creates ongoing distractions in our modern world.
FARGO — Ask most people when camping season is, and they'll probably tell you May through early October. But to a growing community, these people are missing out on a significant, magical and character-building season to camp. "Every time I go camping during the winter I learn so much, improve skills and develop friendships," says Jon Walters, the 29-year-old founder of Nature of the North, a community organization dedicated to promoting outdoor adventures, interpersonal connection and character-building experiences.
FARGO — If you've driven down Main Avenue in Fargo this January, you may have seen a lone man with an American flag bandana leaning over a 3-by-3 foot block of ice. If the light happened to be red, then you may have observed the mysterious bandana-wearing man expertly shearing off chunks of ice, creating an intricate sculpture. "There's something romantic about creating this beautiful piece in ice because nothing lasts forever," says 33-year-old artist Dave Belling.
FARGO — Last year many pop culture stars, including Last Week's Tonight's John Oliver, used a slang term that first emerged on the internet to describe 2016: Dumpster fire. Words and phrases like this are constantly being created through culture icons, fiery tweet storms and shareable social videos. In 2017, there is no shortage of new English words emerging from television, movies and our dynamic digital world. (In February alone the Merriam-Webster dictionary added more than 1,000 new words.)
FARGO — American online's messenger — known as AIM to its once-loyal users — says "G2G" (got to go) and takes its final bow today after 20 years of virtually connecting people. In 1997, AIM set fire to now commonplace practice of communicating via instant messenger. Before there was Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Skype, SnapChat or even MSN Messenger, AIM ruled the online communication world.
FARGO — As we age, the hastily homemade or purchased item becomes the unpopular and inappropriate gift. Instead, gift-giving requires thoughtful consideration and hours spent in search of suitable presents, strolling through endless big-box stores. Etiquette experts say these guidelines and communication techniques will help others to master the art of giving as an adult. "Let thoughtfulness drive your gift-giving. You do not want your gift-buying to be driven by pressure," says Sharon Schweitzer, a cross-cultural business consultant and international etiquette expert.
FARGO — Craving those dedicant holiday treats doesn't just happen because of enticing smells wafting from the kitchen. Area nutritionists say the stress hormone cortisol increases our body's cravings for high sugar and carbohydrates while simultaneously influencing overall mood. When willpower wanes, area nutritionists say that certain foods can sustain and reduce the physiological need for Grandma's sugar cookies.