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Doug's Diggings: Smarter than I thought; movie treats

I live in North Hudson and if you believe in surveys, I'm part of one of the "smartest" communities in the state of Wisconsin! Much smarter than the "rubes" in Hudson, or other communities around the county!

Before I get a big head, however, I've decided the survey has everything to do with statistics. You've probably heard the famous Mark Twain quote: There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, there are survey results published in this week's Star-Observer that show the village of North Hudson has 15th highest brainpower for small-size Wisconsin communities. The summary was put together by G. Scott Thomas, a correspondent for Business Journals. From Thomas' matrix, North Hudson's brainpower index scored 12.134. River Falls has an index of 8.531 and Hudson's is 7.532.

Already my brainpower (or lack of) is being tested. Because there are different community size ranges in the survey, Hudson is in a different category than North Hudson.

So how does North Hudson's 12.134 compare to Hudson's 7.532, or New Richmond's 1.113. Are North Hudson people nearly twice as smart as Hudson people, or 12 times smarter than New Richmond people? Somehow I don't think so.

Each locale's score is based on its percentage of adults (25 years or older) according to educational achievement, including:

  • dropped out before high school graduation;
  • obtained a high school diploma;
  • obtained an associate degree or attended college, but did not obtain a four-year degree;
  • obtained a bachelor's degree; and
  • obtained a graduate and/or professional degree.

    The village of North Hudson in St. Croix County ranked 15th among 294 small-size Wisconsin communities in the brainpower analysis. North Hudson also ranked 1,086 nationally among 10,450 communities with populations between 1,000 to 9,999 persons.

    In the same analysis, River Falls ranked 18th and Hudson 21st among 71 Wisconsin communities with populations of 10,000 to 49,999. Nationally River Falls ranked 772nd and Hudson at 852nd among the 3,012 communities falling within the mid-size population range.

    I'm not sure what it all means, but for the time being, I'll go with the simple version -- I'm part of the smartest community in St. Croix County and one of the smartest in the state! Love those statistics when they tell a story I like!


    I don't attend too many movies, but I made it to a couple last week. The first was "Mission Impossible" at the Hudson Theater.

    The action-packed movie stars Tom Cruise. Cruise is nearly 50 years old, but is in excellent physical shape. As one reviewer said, it is hard to imagine the feeling of anxiety filled awe as Tom Cruise scales the largest building in the world, but once you witness it on screen, believe me you feel it. The scene creates an almost dizzying effect. The building is the Burj Khalifa (the Dubai building which stands over 160 stories tall).

    Some are calling it the best in the "Mission Impossible" sequence and it kept me on the edge of my seat most of the evening. One reviewer said the "only minor problem is that the action is so utterly intense that the few times it slows down a bit you can feel it."

    The other movie I saw was "Sherlock Holmes." I saw this flick with my son who lives in Eden Prairie. Movie prices in the western Minneapolis suburb are a bit higher than those around Hudson. The movie was $10.50 and a large popcorn was $7.50 (refillable).

    The movie, however, was excellent. It stars Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. John Watson. The game is afoot for Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson when they run up against the evil genius Moriarty (Jared Harris) who threatens to plunge Europe into war with his nefarious scheme.

    The twists and turns require good listening skills, but as the movie unfolds it offers a great mixture of action and intellectual challenges.

    Both movies offer an entertaining night at the theater.

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