Things can now be "going gangbusters" because of a WWII-era radio crime-fighting drama with sirens and gunfire and other loud noises.
"Gangbusters is a great word which I had not thought very much about until one of our listeners wrote in and said ‘There’s an interesting word for you to talk about,'" says University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan.
"Then I started hearing the word everywhere, and realized it was on my radar. Gangbusters goes back to what it sounds like it might go back to, which is a gang buster, someone who busts gangs."
Adult coloring books are everywhere and they're filled with images of just about anything. There are adult coloring books that feature owls, butterflies, secret gardens, dream doodles, lighthouses, mandalas, kaleidoscopes and fantastic cities.
Adult coloring clubs are also popping up throughout the state. They’re often affiliated with a local library. The basic idea is that for an hour or two adults can drop in and spend some time coloring, using coloring books and markers and pencils that the library provides.
David Maraniss’ earliest memories are in Detroit. He's the associate editor of the Washington Post. Maraniss lived in Detroit until he was six years old and remembers the strong taste of Vernor's. He remembers the Boblo boat.
His book Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story tells us what Detroit gave America. It also details the first signs of the city's troubles. Maraniss joined us on Stateside to talk about his strong feelings for the state and about the country’s view of Detroit.
Rock stars like Gene Simmons and Sting used to be teachers, not long before having sold-out concerts across the world. For Crashing Cairo, this serves as a good omen as they prepare to open for Eddie Money at the DTE Energy Music Theatre on Friday.
The Michigan pop-rock group's lead singer, Robert Wax, is a fifth-grade teacher at Norwood Elementary in Royal Oak. Drummer David West is a software engineer who also advises future engineers.
The Magical History Tour, a 10,000-square-foot exhibit that explores the full history of the iconic rock band is coming to Dearborn. The exhibit takes fans through the band's early days in Liverpool through its break-up in the 1970s and the solo careers that followed.
While there are millions of fans of the band in the Great Lakes State, the number of significant connections to Michigan is relatively minimal (Paul McCartney has a Detroit Red Wings sticker on his guitar!). So why was Michigan chosen as the first stop on this tour?
In recent years, Detroit hasn't just inspired local artists. It's also inspired artists across the world. Russian rocker Vladislav Yermachenko, drummer for a Kazakhstan-based Russian rock band Polygon, has been inspired by the city since childhood when his father gave him a book on the world’s automotive industry. After seeing pictures of Motor City-made cars, he fell in love with Detroit. He's now a journalist for automotive magazines.
But cars aren’t the only thing that has inspired Yermachenko. Detroit’s resilience in the face of struggle inspired him to write Polygon’s song, “Winners in This Life.” His love for cars and resilient nature show in his lyrics.
Many around the world will be celebrating the birthday of Sherlock Holmes creator Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle on Sunday, May 22. However, as we learned from University of Michigan medical historian and PBS Newshour contributor Dr. Howard Markel, there's another reason to celebrate.
Doyle was working on his first Sherlock Holmes book while practicing as a doctor and also writing for the London-based monthly journal, Review of Reviews. Doyle used his deductive reasoning to play a role in the discovery of a cure for tuberculosis.
Thinking about the upcoming Mackinac Island Policy Conference, Tammy Coxen with Tammy's Tastings offers a new riff on the cocktail called the Conference. The original Conference cocktail originated at Death and Co. in Manhattan's East Village. In turn, that drink is a spin off of the classic Old Fashioned.
The changes made to make the Michigan Conference include substituting Michigan maple syrup for the sugar in the drink, and using chocolate bitters as a playful nod to the fudge shops found on Mackinac Island.
Marilyn McCormick only expected to stay in Detroit for a year or two before moving to New York to live the “bohemian lifestyle.” Then she got a teaching job at her alma mater, Cass Technical High School. “I was totally enjoying what I was doing…[and] I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing,” McCormick said. Now forty years later, the performing arts teacher will be retiring.
The vast woods, rivers, and wildlife of Northern Michigan captured Hemingway’s heart and imagination early in life.
“Michigan always represented a great source of freedom for Hemingway. Everything that he’s associated with – outdoorsmanship, hunting, fishing, that all came from his time in Northern Michigan,” says Chris Struble, president of the Michigan Hemingway Society.
Thousands of fans of all kinds traveled to Novi over the weekend for the 27th annual Motor City Comic Con. The Suburban Convention Showplace was full of fans who were dressed to impress. There was no shortage of variety when it came to the character costumes. Super heroes, super villains, movie, TV, and video game characters. If there's a character with a fanbase, chances are there was someone dressed up like them.
Pronunciation of the word divisive can be divisive.
Michigan Radio listener Connie of Grand Rapids wrote “I had always thought the middle syllable in this word was a long i, as in divided but I am hearing NPR hosts saying it with a short i, as in division.
Curzan and Miller admit they use both pronunciations.
“What we’re seeing here is a shift from what seems to be the standard pronunciation in a relatively short time frame – the last 15 years or so," Curzan says.
She checked with the American Heritage Dictionary usage panel, of which she’s a member, to see how they’re voting on this.
Michigan has its fair share of magnificent architects, one of whom is Minoru Yamasaki.
Author John Gallagher recently wrote a book about Yamasaki. He joined us today on Stateside.
Yamasaki lived during World War II, when life for many Japanese Americans was not easy. Some suffered in internment camps, and Yamasaki too faced discrimination.
“And yet he was so good at what he did and so brilliant that he got these sort of high-end commissions, you know, from early on designing a naval base for the military at the height of World War II,” Gallagher said.
After the war, Yamasaki moved to Detroit. Gallagher said he quickly became “the new modernist designer” in the city and its suburbs. He is known for buildings like the McGregor Memorial Conference Center at Wayne State and the One Woodward building.
Gallagher said Yamasaki's buildings feel connected to nature.
“Whenever you’re in one of them you begin to sense what he was trying to do, creating these oasis of tranquility for the people who would use his buildings,” he said.
As part of Michigan Radio’s Songs from Studio East series, this year we are exploring music that combines both contemporary and traditional music from around the world.
Today we met Ann Arbor native Tyler Duncan and Irishman John McSherry.
Despite being an ocean away, they play in a band together, called the olllam. The two have toured across the U.S. and in Europe producing a fusion of pop, rock and Irish music.
Duncan's musical career has included a variety of genres, like pop, rock and electronic. He has won international awards for playing traditional Irish instruments, like the uilleann pipes, a lighter version of Scotland's bagpipes, and whistles, a staple in Irish music.
He discovered Irish music when he was 11, when his aunt gave him a VHS copy of Riverdance. A pipe solo in the middle of the show grabbed his attention.
"As a kid I just was like, 'Woah, what is that? What is that instrument?'" he said. "And that got me really interested in the pipes."
Years later, as a 13-year-old Duncan moved to Ireland for a year with his family. His father took a sabbatical there.
He was given a tape he loved, which he later learned featured John McSherry, a rising star in the traditional Irish music scene. Then, when Duncan was in western Ireland, he had a chance to meet that musician.
He said it was a "serendipitous" meeting at a jam session in Milltown. Someone told Duncan that McSherry was at the bar. So Duncan started to stare. When McSherry's girlfriend noticed, the two introduced themselves.
That was the origin of the friendship that lead to the olllam.
Today’s show was broadcast from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Dr. Charles H. Wright was a physician, a gynecologist and obstetrician. Through the years he delivered 7,000 babies in Detroit alone. He also founded the museum in his office by first collecting small items.
The 22,000-square-foot museum holds the largest exhibit dedicated to the history of African Americans.
Stateside's Cynthia Canty spoke with curator Patrina Chatman.
Dearborn has become a flashpoint for many people in America. Anti-Islam protestors carrying weapons have rallied in the city. The Arab American National Museum has responded by inviting people to better understand the city through food. Lester Graham recently joined a group going on a food tour called “Yalla Eat!”
Writer and poet Kelly Fordon grew up as a Catholic altar girl in the 1970s, and has published The Witness, a chapbook centered around sexual abuse by Catholic priests.
Chapbooks are used by poets to focus on a single theme or topic.
Fordon never expected to write against the Catholic Church, but believes that people shouldn't be so quick to defend priests accused of abuse. Fordon joined Cynthia Canty on today's Stateside to discuss The Witness.