Recommended Reads, 22 August

The Minnesota State Fair begins today, unleashing 12 days of fried food, Midway rides, and the special kind of hokey nostalgia that is wonderful once a year - but would be a nightmare for much more than that. In honor of the Fair, I'll start off with a few Fair-related stories:

New Fair Foods for 2014

Grain Belt Blu, a blueberry-infused beer, on tap exclusively at the state fair - Loren Green

"Cold beer and fresh blueberries just seemed like the perfect summer combination," says head brewer Jace Marti. The beer is a state fair exclusive, with no distribution plans beyond the 2014 fair.

And on to the rest:

E-Bike Sales Are Surging in Europe - Danny Hakim

Ms. Marossek rides one of the 6,200 e-bikes in service for Deutsche Post, the German mail service. E-bikes use electric motors to make them easier to pedal and have been gaining popularity in bike-loving countries like Germany, appealing to older people, delivery businesses and commuters who don’t want to sweat.

Minnesota Wild Fans Commission Awesome Painting Of Their Dog As A Hockey Player 

One awesome family has found a fantastic way to combine their love for the family dog, Copper, and their favorite hockey team, the Minnesota Wild – by commissioning this amazing painting of the pup as a Wild player.

Gruel Britannia: 10 Abandoned Little Chef Restaurants 

Serving up American style with British flavor, hundreds of Little Chef roadside restaurants once warmed up the UK‘s motorways but less than 80 remain today.

Twitter, Big Data, and Jobs Numbers

Economics Professor Matthew Shapiro has found a new way to harvest employment information from tweets and hashtags faster and more accurately than the government’s official reports.

How bad weather around the world is threatening Nutella - Robert A. Ferdman

Poor weather in Turkey, the world's largest producer of hazelnuts, is causing a major shortage of the nuts.

Energy-Rich U.S. States Saw Fastest Economic Growth in Late 2013 - Ben Leubsdorf

Growth late last year was uneven across the nation, with some energy-rich states leading the pack while economies slowed in New England and on the Plains.