MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two weeks of political conventions are over.

But how did the political parties end up being represented by an elephant and a donkey? Sharon from Eagan wondered.

Weird choices, right?

The donkey came first in 1828. Democrat Andrew Jackson’s opponents called him a…donkey. He was amused, used the image on campaign poseter.

A political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, used the donkey in newspaper cartoons.

Nast also gave the Republicans the elephant in 1874. He drew a donkey scaring off all the animals in the zoo, except for the fearless elephant, which was labeled: The Republican Vote.

Bebe from St. Paul asked: What’s the difference between the University of Minnesota and MNSCU?

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is pretty new. It’s been around since 1995, and the idea was to combine all the two-year colleges and non-U-of-M state universities.

The 54 campuses used to have three separate governing boards and three chancellors. Now there’s one board and one chancellor for the entire system.

The University of Minnesota system is the Twin Cities, plus Duluth, Crookston, Morris and Rochester.

Loris from Rogers wanted to know: Why do we stick out our tongue when we concentrate?

Let me think.

The tongue is constantly getting information and commands from the brain, such as: swallow, watch out for your teeth, taste this, form a word.

When you stick your tongue out, you slow down all the data going to the brain, and that frees up part of your brain to concentrate, for some people. That’s the theory from Science Focus Magazine.


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