Offbeat

Stateside
5:46 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

CMU class teaches religion by examining 'The Walking Dead'

Central Michigan University

An interview with CMU student Carl Huber.

A college class that involves poring over ancient biblical texts might not inspire much excitement.

But a college class that teaches some of the same lessons using zombies? Ah, that's going to grab 'em!

That's the idea behind a religion class at Central Michigan University that has, indeed, grabbed a lot of attention. It's called "From Revelation to 'The Walking Dead,'" and it’s taught by religion professor Kelly Jean Murphy.

CMU student Carl Huber is a junior who is double-majoring in Comparative Religion and Sociology, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
8:02 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Daylight saving time: Set clocks ahead 1 hour

Most Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night. Daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time.
Jaltembabaylife.com

WASHINGTON (AP) - Spring is closer than you think, and here's a sure sign: Daylight saving time arrives this weekend.

Most Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night. Daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time.

You may lose an hour of sleep, but daylight saving time promises an extra hour of evening light for many months ahead.

It's also a good time to put new batteries in warning devices such as smoke detectors and hazard warning radios.

Offbeat
10:00 am
Sat March 8, 2014

$138,000 Michigan Lottery prize goes unclaimed

The lottery said Friday that the winning Fantasy 5 jackpot from the March 9, 2013 drawing was bought at the Smokers Depot & Convenience store in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan Lottery ticket worth more than $138,000 has gone unclaimed for a year and been deposited into the state's fund for K-12 schools.

The lottery said Friday that the winning Fantasy 5 jackpot from the March 9, 2013 drawing was bought at the Smokers Depot & Convenience store in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.

Terminal-based tickets are valid one year from the draw date.

Another Fantasy 5 top prize of $100,000 is set to expire Tuesday. It was purchased at Gould's Mini Mart in Sand Lake, and the drawing was held March 11, 2013.

Offbeat
11:08 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Intense ice coverage leads to dramatic animal rescues

Jodi Benchich (right), owner of the lost dog rescued by the Coast Guard on Monday, and Michelle Heyza, founder of A Rejoyceful Rescue, are all smiles during their time with KC at Wilson Veterinary Hospital, March 5, 2014. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay rescued the dog four miles from shore during ice-breaking operations Monday afternoon on Lake St. Clair.
Credit Kim Gordus / U.S. Coast Guard

Update: 11:08 a.m., March 7, 2014

The 14-year-old pup we wrote about earlier in the week was reunited with its owner (woman on the right):

From the Coast Guard's press release:

Jodi Benchich of St. Clair Shores, Mich., visited with her 14-year-old pet “KC” at the Wilson Veterinary Hospital before taking him back home. The dog sustained frostbite on his paws and also lost a significant amount of weight during the time he was lost.

"KC is happy to be back home and is eating everything we give him," said a very happy Benchich. "We're forever grateful to the Coast Guard and hope to be able to thank the crew in person sometime soon."

Read more
Offbeat
11:18 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Here are our 10 favorite photos of what your winter looks like

#PSWinterWhere
user: @dottidee Instagram

A few weeks ago, we asked you to show us what your winter looks like on Instagram using the hashtag #PSWinterWhere.

We coordinated with KPCC (Southern California Public Radio) and NPR  and sent out a call to public radio listeners around the world and asked them what their world looks like this winter.

Here are 10 of our Midwestern favorites.

Read more
Stateside
4:56 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Vote now to get your favorite food added to the Fifth Third Ballpark concession menu

Fifth Third Ballpark
Mandy Warhol Flickr

All right, you fans of West Michigan's Whitecaps, it's your chance to decide what treat will be added to the concession menu at Fifth Third Ballpark.

The annual online poll lets fans choose their favorite item from ideas submitted by fans. The team has pulled a top-10 list from hundreds of ideas.

Mickey Graham is with the West Michigan Whitecaps, and he joined us today to discuss some of the top choices. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
9:46 am
Tue February 25, 2014

The last treasure hunt: ‘Wyoming Riddler’ retires after 34 years of silver bounty

Joe Cramer, aka "The Wyoming Riddler," shows part of the this year's prize. The riddle hadn't been solved as of today.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Every winter, hundreds of people living around Grand Rapids go on a treasure hunt of sorts. They’ve been doing it for decades.

Robert Lyons has been hooked on the treasure hunt for 25 years. Over the years, he’s taken his kids and even his grandkids.

Lyons found the treasure once. He’s still got the newspaper clipping.

“I think it says right on here, I got a 1997 champion cup, which of course is about as proud as you can get of anything,” Lyons said. His treasure also included 34 silver dollars and a complete set of silver tableware.

Read more
Offbeat
5:07 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Sexism addressed at Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan.
Michigan Technological University Michigan Technological University Photo Services

In response to what they call palpable hostitlity toward women, a group of students at Michigan Technological University has been publishing a newspaper called Beyond the Glass Ceiling. 

We wondered what this says about the campus culture and attitudes toward women at the campus in Houghton in the Upper Peninsula, and what those who write in Beyond the Glass Ceiling are trying to say to fellow students, faculty, and school administrators.

Katie Snyder, a PhD candidate in rhetoric and technical communication at Michigan Tech, joins us today.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
5:23 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

World's largest indoor yoga session to take place at Ford Field this Saturday

Saturday's session will look like this, only bigger.
Flickr user Synergy by Jasmine Flickr

Picture this: thousands of people rolling out their yoga mats and getting into downward-facing dog, all in unison.

That's the vision behind the upcoming "Yoga Rocks Ford Field." It's happening this Saturday at the home of the Detroit Lions with the hope of getting 3,000 people to form the world's largest indoor yoga session.

Justin Jacobs is the president and founder of ComePlayDetroit, which is organizing Saturday's session, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
1:38 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Michigan Humane Society staff to sleep in doghouses

DETROIT (AP) - Some Michigan Humane Society staffers will be spending the night in doghouses as part of an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving pets outside in freezing temperatures.

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Offbeat
2:46 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Ira Glass wishes you a happy Valentine's Day

Public radio takes over Google today

If you haven't seen it yet, the Google Doodle is all about love today. This American Life's Ira Glass narrates a candy heart collection of bite-size love stories.

Middle school love. Married love. Love and loss.

The stories are short and sweet and might make you have a little Story Corps moment right at your desk.

And if you haven't gotten a Valentine's card yet, there's always the NPR valentine option:

Stateside
4:53 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Michigan Humane Society uses social media to place animals in homes

Jennifer Waters Creative Commons

This is worth taking a look at as Facebook marks its 10th birthday. Social media is being used by the Michigan Humane Society to find homes for its orphaned animals.

Kelly Stork is the social media specialist for the Michigan Humane Society, and she joined us today to tell us more about it.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:52 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Michigan milkweed played a key role in WWII

Milkweed
Flickr user keithcarver Flickr

Think about World War II and the ways Michigan helped the war effort: The Arsenal of Democracy, Rosie the Riveter, heavy bombers rolling off the assembly line at Willow Run.

And milkweed.

Yes, the common weed found in the northwest Lower Peninsula went to war.

Gerry Wykes is a historian and freelance author/illustrator who recently wrote about milkweed for Mlive and Michigan History Magazine. He joined us today to explain how this weed helped in the war effort.

Listen to the full interview above.

Made In Michigan
3:10 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Ball Park Franks: A Michigan-made tradition

Did you know Ball Park Franks came from Michigan?
user andrewmalone Flickr

Joel Stone, curator at the Detroit Historical Museum, tells us the history of Ball Park Franks.

Some might argue there's nothing more American than baseball. 

Well, did you know those Ball Park Franks that go with it are Michigan-made?

Back in 1958, the owners of Tiger Stadium were not happy with the hot dogs served at the games. So they asked Detroit-based company, Hygrade Food Corp., to come up with a better version. 

Gus Hauf, a Hygrade employee, had already developed his secret recipe for the hot dog that decade. His co-worker, Mary Ann Kirk, came up with the "Ball Park" name, cementing the relationship between baseball and hot dogs. For her out-of-the-park idea, Mary Ann earned $25 and a leather chair

"Michigan had kind of the best frankfurters in the country," said Joel Stone, the curator of the Detroit Historical Museum. "And the Ball Park was a perfect example of that."

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
4:21 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Are stray animals taking over Detroit?

Researchers try to find the true number of stray animals in Detroit.
user: RTD Photography

The question of stray animals in the City of Detroit has been in the spotlight ever since Bloomberg News published a story painting Detroit as some place where "abandoned dogs roam in packs as humans dwindle." The article estimated the number of stray dogs at 50,000, a number that has turned out to be grossly inaccurate. 

Michigan State University political science professor Laura Reese has completed the first academic study of the problem, which hopes to shed light on the reality of the situation.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Offbeat
4:28 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Livingston County food pantry to hold emergency food drive

Livingston County Salvation Army will hold emergency food drive Saturday
User Flickr

The Livingston County chapter of the Salvation Army is out of food.

Brighton Ford is organizing an emergency food drive called "Fill-A-Ford Full of Food" Saturday with the goal of restocking the food pantry of the Salvation Army. It will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Brighton VG's Fresh Market.

In recent weeks the food pantry was pulling money from a summer children's fund to purchase food from Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan, according to Karen Swieczkowski, community relations director at Brighton Ford. Brighton Ford is spearheading tomorrow's food drive.

Read more
Stateside
5:11 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Michigan fiber mill provides yarn for Olympic closing ceremonies sweaters

American athletes will be wearing these during the closing ceremonies.
Facebook

The Winter 2014 Olympics began today in Sochi, Russia. America's athletes will once again be sporting designs by Ralph Lauren.

 

What you might not know is that the sweaters and caps they'll be wearing for the closing ceremonies will be made from yarn produced in Michigan.

Debbie McDermott is a shepherd, a spinner and a fiber artist. She owns Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:09 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Mobile and Web app helps feed hungry children in Grand Rapids

Web designer, Adam Salois (left), and Managing Director, Jonathan Kumar (right).
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

Using the power of social media to do good – in this case, ordering a dessert or an appetizer and, in doing so, helping to feed a hungry child.

Our next guest has accomplished that with a mobile and Web app called FoodCircles currently up and running in Grand Rapids.

Jonathan Kumar is the managing director of FoodCircles and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:42 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Why is Detroit lacking in French influence?

Hurlbut Memorial Gate Detroit MI
Andrew Jameson wikipedia.org

A few centuries ago it was not uncommon to hear Detroit referred to as "The Paris of the Midwest."

Just look at the history of Detroit and you can see that there are good reasons to link Detroit and France. The city’s early settlers were, by and large, French and French Canadian. But unlike, say, Quebec, Montreal, or New Orleans, there is no special "French feel" to Detroit beyond some French street names.

We wondered why Detroit's modern identity is so lacking in that French influence. For some insights, we turned to Guillaume Teasdale, a history instructor at the University of Windsor.

Listen to the full interview above.

Made In Michigan
1:46 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Snowboarding had its beginning in a Muskegon, Michigan garage

Sherman Poppen, the inventor of the "snurfboard."
Screen capture from YouTube

The Sochi Winter Olympics are just days away.

One of the most popular competitions is undoubtedly snowboarding, which joined the pantheon of Olympic winter sports in 1998. 

But there might have been no Shaun White, the "Flying Tomato," grabbing Olympic gold for the U.S. without a man from Muskegon looking to give his little girls a reason to play outside in the snow.

The snowboard is another "Made In Michigan" story.

Listen to Sherman Poppen explain how the snowboard started.

"I took these two small skis and put them side by side and put a brace across them to hold them together, and something to put your foot against," said Sherm Poppen.

Poppen was the dad who got creative in his Muskegon garage some 48 years ago. "We literally started sliding down a hill standing up."

His wife named the new toy "snurfer" by combining the words "snow" and "surf."

Fourteen years later, Jake Burton Carpenter came to a contest in Michigan and saw the snurfers. He then went back to Vermont to make his own "snurfboards." 

"I wrote him saying the word 'snurf' and any derivative thereof belongs to Sherman Poppen and if you want to keep making these things you're going to have to pay him a royalty," Poppen said.

"That was probably one of the dumbest things I ever did, because he stopped making 'snurfboards' and started making 'snowboards.'"

Here's a longer interview with Poppen:

We want to hear from you. What surprising things do you know of that were invented or made in Michigan? We want to feature them as part of our "Made in Michigan" series.

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