Mark Brush http://michiganradio.org en Michigan's unemployment rate falls and the labor force ticks upward http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-unemployment-rate-falls-and-labor-force-ticks-upward <p>The state's unemployment rate fell for the seventh consecutive month to 7.5% for the month of March 2014.</p><p>The unemployment rate is the measure of people who are out of work, but are counted as part of the overall labor force. The labor force is a measure of those folks who are actively looking for work in the last month. See my explanation of the rate <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/5-things-know-about-unemployment-rate">here</a>.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:55:40 +0000 Mark Brush 17271 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's unemployment rate falls and the labor force ticks upward An MSU physicist believes he has solved the "black hole information paradox" http://michiganradio.org/post/msu-physicist-believes-he-has-solved-black-hole-information-paradox <p>Ever since Stephen Hawking came out with his theory about how black holes work, physicists – including Hawking himself – have been wrestling with a "hole" in that theory.</p><p>Hawking postulated that if you threw something like a chair into a black hole, given enough time that chair would "dematerialize." It would disappear, leaving no trace of its existence.</p><p>But the laws of physics don't allow for things to simply disappear. Things can change, or be altered, but they can't disappear. You can burn a piece of paper, and it's no longer there, but the carbon, water, and other molecules still exist somewhere. Again, it can't simply&nbsp;disappear.</p><p>It's called the black hole information paradox.</p><p>PBS' Kate Becker quoted Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind in describing Hawking's theory in her post "<a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/physics/2013/12/do-black-holes-destroy-information/">Do Black Holes Destroy Information?</a>":</p><blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As Leonard </span>Susskind<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> wrote in “The Black Hole War,” his 2008 book on the problem of black holes and information loss, “The possibility of hiding information in a vault would hardly be a cause for alarm, but what if when the door was shut, the vault evaporated right in front of your eyes? That’s exactly what Hawking predicted would happen to the black hole.”</span></p></blockquote><p><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The solution?</span></strong></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Now comes a theoretical physicist and computational biologist from Michigan State University who believes he has solved Hawking's black hole information paradox.</span></p><p>Chris&nbsp;Adami&nbsp;joined us today on Stateside.&nbsp;<em style="line-height: 1.5;">(You can listen to how he explains his theory above.)</em></p><p>Hawking discovered that black holes emit a glow called the “Hawking radiation.” That radiation, Hawking theorized, consumes the black hole and all things in the hole are lost. Poof! Nothing left.</p><p>Adami theorizes that a copy of the chair is made before it goes into the black hole.</p><p>More on Adami’s solution from <a href="http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/plugging-the-hole-in-hawkings-black-hole-theory-1/">MSU</a>:</p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:25:18 +0000 Mark Brush & Stateside Staff 17260 at http://michiganradio.org An MSU physicist believes he has solved the "black hole information paradox" Michigan native fails to make it in NYC http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-native-fails-make-it-nyc <p style="padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.19px; margin-bottom: 15px; vertical-align: baseline;">It was Bill Gates who declared,"It's fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."</p><p style="padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.19px; margin-bottom: 15px; vertical-align: baseline;">And it's good to realize that we all fail at times. It's just that most of us try to cover that up, or, at the very least, we don't broadcast our failures.</p><p style="padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.19px; margin-bottom: 15px; vertical-align: baseline;">But that’s not how it works at&nbsp;<a href="http://failure-lab.com/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(12, 76, 162); vertical-align: baseline;" target="_blank">Failure:Lab</a>.</p><p style="padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.19px; margin-bottom: 15px; vertical-align: baseline;">It’s a program designed to get us thinking about the meaning of failure – to realize that failure happens to everyone and to inspire us to take intelligent risks.</p><p style="padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.19px; margin-bottom: 15px; vertical-align: baseline;">You can see our past Failure:Lab posts&nbsp;<a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/failurelab" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(12, 76, 162); vertical-align: baseline;">here</a>.</p><p style="padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.19px; margin-bottom: 15px; vertical-align: baseline;">Today, we hear about Rick Beerhorst’s failure: his attempt to move his family to New York City. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:30:54 +0000 Mark Brush 17257 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan native fails to make it in NYC Spring from the air in Munising, Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/spring-air-munising-michigan <p>Spring in Michigan's Upper Peninsula means watching the layers of snow melt. Thomas Dolaskie of Roam, Inc. in the UP put together this video of a spring weekend in Munising, Michigan. He writes:</p><blockquote><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17px;">Filmed the first weekend of April, 2014 – we got in the last snowshoe and frozen lake roaming of the year, and watched the waterfalls start to flow. Relax, it's spring.&nbsp;</span></p></blockquote><p>Here's the video:</p><p>http://youtu.be/aMNpjN7Shog</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:05:34 +0000 Mark Brush 17256 at http://michiganradio.org Spring from the air in Munising, Michigan Former Detroit Public Library official pleads guilty to bribery charges http://michiganradio.org/post/former-detroit-public-library-official-pleads-guilty-bribery-charges <p>Forty-seven year old Timothy Cromer was the focus of the FBI’s <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/fbi-raids-detroit-public-library">raid of the Detroit Public Library back in November 2012</a>. Cromer was the library’s chief administrative and technology officer.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:48:34 +0000 Mark Brush 17252 at http://michiganradio.org Former Detroit Public Library official pleads guilty to bribery charges UP cattle farmer linked to wolf hunt accepts plea deal in animal neglect case http://michiganradio.org/post/cattle-farmer-linked-wolf-hunt-accepts-plea-deal-animal-neglect-case <p>When the Michigan Natural Resources Commission voted to allow a wolf hunt in Michigan, they did so with the idea that the hunt would help curb the number of so-called "problem wolves" in the Upper Peninsula – wolves that preyed on livestock owned by cattle farmers.</p><p>But <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/11/michigans_wolf_hunt_how_half_t.html">MLive reporter John Barnes</a> looked at the wolf predation records in the Upper Peninsula and found that one farmer accounted for the majority of predation reports.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:08:39 +0000 Mark Brush 17232 at http://michiganradio.org UP cattle farmer linked to wolf hunt accepts plea deal in animal neglect case Detroit bankruptcy mediators announce a deal with police and fire pensions http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-bankruptcy-mediators-announce-deal-police-and-fire-pensions <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Mediators for the federal court overseeing Detroit's Chapter 9 bankruptcy&nbsp;say&nbsp;a deal has been reached between the city of Detroit and&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association over&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">pension and health benefits.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The deal calls for no cuts to current pension benefits, but does cut future "cost of living" increases in their benefits.</span></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:07:19 +0000 Mark Brush 17234 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit bankruptcy mediators announce a deal with police and fire pensions You pay about a penny per gallon of gas to clean up pollution, but is that money spent well? http://michiganradio.org/post/you-pay-about-penny-gallon-gas-clean-pollution-money-spent-well <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Every time you fill up, you pay seven-eighths of a cent per gallon of gas for a “regulatory fee” that was originally set up to help clean up the thousands of old underground storage tanks in Michigan.</span></p><p>Those pennies you pay at the pump add up to a $50 million pot of money each year.</p><p>It’s called the Refined Petroleum Fund. The fund worked initially. The money helped remove tens of thousands of old underground storage tanks in Michigan. When those old tanks leak, they can pollute the soil and ruin nearby water sources.</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:57:21 +0000 Mark Brush 17193 at http://michiganradio.org You pay about a penny per gallon of gas to clean up pollution, but is that money spent well? GM puts two engineers on paid leave in wake of ignition switch problem http://michiganradio.org/post/gm-puts-two-engineers-paid-leave-wake-ignition-switch-problem <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Two engineers have been put on paid leave at General Motors as the company has an outside attorney investigate why it took more than 10 years for GM to recall millions of cars with faulty ignition switches.</span></p><p>GM says the switches have been linked to at least 13 deaths.</p><p>More on the suspension of the engineers from the Associated Press:</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:57:40 +0000 Mark Brush 17183 at http://michiganradio.org GM puts two engineers on paid leave in wake of ignition switch problem Watch this to see what sound looks like http://michiganradio.org/post/watch-see-what-sound-looks <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Two parabolic mirrors, a barrier, a camera, and </span>voilà<span style="line-height: 1.5;">! – you have a way to photograph sound waves – or more specifically, a way to photograph changes in air density.</span></p><p>Check out this video from NPR to see how it works:</p><p></p><p>http://youtu.be/px3oVGXr4mo</p><p><em>H/T Lucy Perkins</em></p><p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:25:03 +0000 Mark Brush 17158 at http://michiganradio.org Watch this to see what sound looks like Company considers drilling for oil west of Ann Arbor http://michiganradio.org/post/company-considers-drilling-oil-west-ann-arbor <p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/04/michigan-based_oil_company_exp.html">Ben Freed over at The Ann Arbor News</a> has more about the plans being developed by Traverse City-based West Bay Exploration Company. Freed reports the company has approached landowners in Scio Township looking to obtain their mineral rights.</p><p>West Bay says it would drill for oil using a "traditional" method. The company's vice president, Patrick Gibson, said it wouldn't use horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking:</p><blockquote><p>“We’re a conventional oil and gas exploration company, we do not utilize hydraulic fracturing,” Gibson said.</p><p>“What we’re looking for is geological formations that are already fractured so that we don’t have to do any fracturing ourselves, hydraulic or otherwise.”</p></blockquote><p>Landowners are being advised to educate themselves before signing contracts offered by the company. MSU's extension office offers insights into oil and gas leasing on this <a href="http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/oil_and_gas">page</a>.</p><p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:37:28 +0000 Mark Brush 17144 at http://michiganradio.org Company considers drilling for oil west of Ann Arbor Seven mile stretch of I-96 will be completely closed starting tomorrow http://michiganradio.org/post/seven-mile-stretch-i-96-will-be-completely-closed-starting-tomorrow <p>Construction crews will soon start working on the long stretch of highway east of I-275 that connects Detroit with outlying areas. Officials say the highway will be closed for six months. The project was originally scheduled to get underway in January, but weather delayed the start.</p><p>The freeway will be closed starting tomorrow at 7 a.m. Ramps will begin to close tonight starting at 7 p.m.</p><p>Transportation officials have put together a <a href="http://www.96fix.com/">website </a>to inform motorists, and they have been counting down the days on their Twitter handle:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Da Da Da Daaaaaaa!!! .... 1 DAY TO CLOSURE: No more needs to be said. Review information on this page and... <a href="http://t.co/7grzwtF6Qb">http://t.co/7grzwtF6Qb</a></p>— 96fix (@96Fix) <a href="https://twitter.com/96Fix/statuses/452086606371909632">April 4, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><span style="background-color: transparent; line-height: 1.5;">More about the $148 million project from their website:</span></p><blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is reconstructing a 7-mile stretch of I-96 from Newburgh Road in the city of Livonia to Telegraph Road in Redford Township. It will require complete closure of the interstate ... Work includes reconstructing the road and repairing 37 bridges, including on and off ramps. The project will bring the corridor to current design standards and improve safety. Clearances at the 37 bridges/overpasses also will be increased to improve safety.</span></p></blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Go <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/map-will-show-you-where-michigans-big-road-construction-projects-will-be">here </a>for more information about other major construction projects around the state.</span></p><p><em>*A previous post reflected the estimated closure time listed on MDOT's website - 7-12 months. An&nbsp;MDOT&nbsp;official said they expect the highway to be closed 6 months. The post is now updated.</em></p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:25:23 +0000 Mark Brush 17102 at http://michiganradio.org Seven mile stretch of I-96 will be completely closed starting tomorrow Sights and sounds from President Obama's speech in Ann Arbor http://michiganradio.org/post/sights-and-sounds-president-obamas-speech-ann-arbor <p>President Barack Obama spoke on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor today. His speech focused on raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016.</p><p>Here's the text of his <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/02/remarks-president-minimum-wage-ann-arbor-mi">speech</a>, and you can watch it <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/watch-president-obamas-speech-ann-arbor">here</a>.</p><p>And you can listen below to hear how the speech wrapped up:</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142743799&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Click on the slideshow above to see some of the images captured during his speech.</span></p><p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:18:00 +0000 Mark Brush 17080 at http://michiganradio.org Sights and sounds from President Obama's speech in Ann Arbor Watch President Obama's speech in Ann Arbor http://michiganradio.org/post/watch-president-obamas-speech-ann-arbor <p>President Obama is in Ann Arbor on the campus of the University of Michigan today to give a speech on raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">You can watch his speech below (or you can follow this </span><a href="http://youtu.be/qpDn6BAu4_g" style="line-height: 1.5;">link</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">):</span></p><p>http://youtu.be/qpDn6BAu4_g</p><p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:48:54 +0000 Mark Brush 17078 at http://michiganradio.org Watch President Obama's speech in Ann Arbor President Obama stops at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor http://michiganradio.org/post/president-obama-stops-zingermans-ann-arbor <p>President Obama was in Ann Arbor today to <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/watch-president-obamas-speech-ann-arbor?nopop=1">give a speech</a> on raising the federal minimum wage. Prior to the speech, Mr. Obama stopped at Zingerman's Delicatessen&nbsp;and ordered a Reuben sandwich.&nbsp;</p><p>From the White House pool report:</p><blockquote><p>POTUS and motorcade stopped at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor just before 1:30 p.m.&nbsp;With his suit coat off and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters by his side, the president ordered a Reuben sandwich.</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:35:22 +0000 Mark Brush 17077 at http://michiganradio.org President Obama stops at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor President Obama in Ann Arbor today calling for a minimum wage increase http://michiganradio.org/post/president-obama-ann-arbor-today-calling-minimum-wage-increase <p>A minimum wage increase is something President Obama has been calling for since he was a candidate.</p><p><a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/as-candidate-obama-promised-to-raise-the-minimum">Buzzfeed </a>has a whole collection of "I'm going to raise the minimum wage" videos from campaign stops Obama made in 2008.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Here's one of them:</span></p><p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 17:28:50 +0000 Mark Brush 17076 at http://michiganradio.org President Obama in Ann Arbor today calling for a minimum wage increase Watch GM CEO Mary Barra testify before Congress http://michiganradio.org/post/watch-gm-ceo-mary-barra-testify-congress <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The new head of General Motors, Mary&nbsp;</span>Barra<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, is on Capitol Hill today starting what will be two days of testimony.</span></p><p>She'll be questioned about a safety defect that's been linked to at least 13 deaths and has sparked a 2.6 million-vehicle recall.</p><p>At issue: What did GM know about the problems with ignition switches in its cars, and when did the company know it?</p><p>Watch it below:</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 18:05:36 +0000 Mark Brush 17064 at http://michiganradio.org Watch GM CEO Mary Barra testify before Congress Banjos will be banned at this year's Water Hill Music Festival in Ann Arbor http://michiganradio.org/post/banjos-will-be-banned-years-water-hill-music-festival-ann-arbor <p>A collective sigh of relief was heard today in Ann Arbor when the organizers of the Water Hill Music Festival announced a ban on banjo playing during this year's fest.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">From the&nbsp;</span><a href="http://waterhill.org/post/81391135878/banjo-ban-today-water-hill-music-fest-organizers" style="line-height: 1.5;">Water Hill Music Fest:</a></p><blockquote><p>Today Water Hill Music Fest organizers received a petition with over 500 signatures urging a ban on banjos at the festival. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:42:49 +0000 Mark Brush 17056 at http://michiganradio.org Banjos will be banned at this year's Water Hill Music Festival in Ann Arbor Students wait for tickets to see President Obama speak in Ann Arbor tomorrow http://michiganradio.org/post/students-wait-tickets-see-president-obama-speak-ann-arbor-tomorrow <p>President Obama will fly to Michigan tomorrow aboard Air Force One. He's scheduled to deliver a speech on raising the national minimum wage at around 3 p.m. on the campus of the University of Michigan in the Intramural Sports Building.</p><p>The event is open to those with tickets and the media.</p><p>Students on the campus of the University of Michigan started lining up last night for tickets. They had to wait overnight with their sleeping bags as the Michigan Union just started distributing tickets at 9 a.m. this morning.</p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/03/michigan_students_line_up_and.html">MLive's Ben Freed</a> spoke with students in line last night who told him that seeing the president speak is a "pretty unique opportunity." Janie Brown, Freed writes, was one of the first in line:</p><blockquote><p>“I came down here to get food at about four and then I decided to just set up out here so that I wouldn’t get shafted and not get a ticket,” [Brown said]...&nbsp;</p><p>“The last thing I waited this long for was the midnight showing of the last Harry Potter movie. I showed up more than 15 hours early for that and I was in full costume,” she said.</p><p>“But that was in daylight, and for a Harry Potter movie. Hopefully this is a bit more impressive.”</p></blockquote><p>The president's last visit to Michigan was on Feb. 7, 2014 when he signed the Farm Bill into law on the campus of Michigan State University. This will be Obama's third trip to U of M while president. <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/04/no_sitting_president_has_frequ.html">The Ann Arbor News' Kellie Woodhouse</a>&nbsp;points out that no other president has visited more while in office.</p><p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:25:52 +0000 Mark Brush 17054 at http://michiganradio.org Students wait for tickets to see President Obama speak in Ann Arbor tomorrow Last day to enroll for health-care coverage under the Affordable Care Act http://michiganradio.org/post/last-day-enroll-health-care-coverage-under-affordable-care-act <p>Today is the day.</p><p>If&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">you don’t sign up for health-care coverage by midnight tonight, you might not be able to get coverage until next year. And if you choose not to get covered, you might get dinged on your 2014 taxes –also known as the "individual shared responsibility payment."</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If you can afford health coverage, but you decide to do without, here's how much you might have to pay:</span></p><ul><li><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In 2014, it's 1% of your yearly income or $95 per person, whichever is higher.</span></li><li><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In 2015, it’s 2% of your yearly income or $325 per person, whichever is higher.</span></li><li><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In 2016 and later years, it’s 2.5% of your yearly income or $695 per person, whichever is higher.&nbsp;</span></li><li><span style="line-height: 1.5;">After 2016, the fee is adjusted for inflation.</span></li></ul><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">To avoid any potential fees, you need to sign up by tonight.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There are exceptions.</span></p><p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:01:21 +0000 Mark Brush 17049 at http://michiganradio.org Last day to enroll for health-care coverage under the Affordable Care Act