Stateside Staff

University of Michigan medical historian Dr. Howard Markel stops by and gives us a quick history of the person behind the Nobel Prize: Alfred Nobel. Nobel’s big first big breakthrough was in 1863, when he mastered detonating nitroglycerine, which many know as TNT.

Later in life, Nobel wanted to recognize those who had made great advancements in a variety of arts and sciences including medicine, physics, chemistry, physiology, and literature. Later, other disciplines were added to the list.

Alas, Detroiters, this is going to be our first Christmas without Northland Mall. And that raises a difficult question for the black community — where will we go to find a black Santa Claus?

Ever since I can remember, Northland was the sure-fire place where parents could take their kids to see a black Santa. My children grew up with two astounding life experiences that, for me, are the hallmark of the progress we have made as a race: They've never voted for a white president, and they've never sat upon the lap of a white Santa.

  • Gov. Rick Snyder was hoping lawmakers would do something to fix Detroit’s schools. Instead, the governor, Detroit’s parents, and schoolkids will have to wait until next year.
Edda Photography

    

You've heard the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Well here's another take on that saying: "When life gives you stage-four lung cancer, open an improv comedy club that's also a brewery."

Tori Tomalia and her husband, Jason, are preparing to do just that: the Pointless Brewery & Theatre is about to open in Ann Arbor nearly two years after she was blindsided by the cancer diagnosis.

Congressman Dan Kildee speaks at the announcement of the USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / flickr

    

Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan tells Cynthia Canty about how he is working on a way for the federal government to help Flint following the lead water crisis of 2015. Kildee is trying to get Michigan and the federal government on the same page about a loan forgiveness program that could result in $22 million for fiscally strapped Flint.

Kildee also explains his vote on a new visa program and expounds on the dangers of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's statements about Muslims. 

Daymon J. Hartley / Facebook

Ron Scott’s lifetime of community activism in Detroit ended recently when he died at age 68.

His quest for peace and justice led him to found the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, but his activism goes all the way back to when he met Grace and James Boggs. He was 16 years old.

His friend and longtime Detroit activist Rich Feldman tells us that everything Scott did, from his early involvement in the Detroit chapter of the Black Panthers to DCAPB, came from a place of love for his home and the people who live there.

People were polled on a variety of topics.
users Automobile Italia, lyle, michigan municipal league, chrismetcalfTV, / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

As 2015 winds down, it seems like a good time to see what Michigan voters think about a variety of issues that made headlines over this year.

Michigan Radio and Public Sector Consultants explored voter opinions on topics ranging from drinking water safety to concealed pistols to making the Legislature more effective and lots more.

Here are the topline results from the topics we explored:

Water Safety

  • Enbridge has made promises to keep the aging Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac maintained and said it's got an emergency response team in place, but there's a complicating factor no one can control: big, turbulent waves.
Enbridge Line 5 runs from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario.
Enbridge

There are many Michiganders feeling uneasy about the idea of those 62-year-old twin oil pipelines running along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.

The aging Line 5 can carry 540,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids each day.

Enbridge has made promises to keep the pipeline maintained and said it’s got an emergency response team in place, but there’s a complicating factor that no one can control: big, turbulent waves.

flickr user Intel Free Press / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

If there’s a teen or 20-something in your life, chances are that you’ve seen plenty of “LOL” and “BFF” in your texting conversations.

It seems like text abbreviations are becoming an increasingly prevalent part of written correspondence. Are they making communication more efficient, or are they just making it harder to do so clearly?

  • In Detroit and across Michigan, there is often talk about becoming the next Silicon Valley. But Detroit has its own set of unique challenges and opportunity, and Razi Jafri is here to tell us we should strive to be something new and different.
John U. Bacon

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joins us to talk about the Spartans' ninth Big Ten Championship and the upcoming bowl season.

Spartans take Big Ten 

The Spartans emerged victorious on Saturday, winning their ninth Big Ten Championship and giving Iowa its first loss of the season.

The Hawkeyes stayed on top until MSU pulled out a nine-minute, 22-play, 82-yard scoring drive to secure the winning touchdown.

  • Windsor is preparing to take in between 200 and 600 Syrian refugees over the next few months. Mayor Drew Dilkens tells us about the city's preparations.
Windsor's financial district
wikimedia user Tkgd2007 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The public debate about welcoming refugees from Syria isn’t just happening here in the States. Canada is planning to receive 25,000 Syrian refugees over the next three months.

This week, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens joined with municipal leaders from all across Canada for a meeting in Ottawa to hear the newly elected Liberal Party of Canada's plans for resettling the refugees.

Dick Siegel will mark the 35th anniversary of his album "Snap!" with a show at The Ark on December 5
Dick Siegel

Dick Siegel’s ode to one of Ann Arbor's signature breakfast spots sums up a perfect weekend morning.

“Angelo’s” is just one of the countless songs Siegel has written in his many decades as a singer-songwriter. It’s on the album “Snap!” and he’s marking the 35th anniversary of its release with a show this Saturday night at The Ark.

Courtesy of Nessa

Kelly McDermott’s musical career is well-established in the U.S., Canada and Europe with degrees in flute performance and music therapy from Michigan State and graduate degrees from Temple University.

McDermott talks with Stateside's Cynthia Canty about going from working as a teacher, a chamber and orchestral flute player to Celtic music. 

"I started to just really find some amazing kind of energy in singing these old ballads, the old really, really sad stories."

The new album, Ancient Song Discoveries Vol 1 is available now.

  • Leaders from around the world have converged on Paris this week for what many are calling the most important environmental talks of our time: the Paris Climate Conference. How might those talks affect our lives here in Michigan?

The flooding event in Detroit fits the global warming pattern, according to reports such as National Climate Assessment.
Michigan Emergency Management & Homeland Security / Flickr

In 1997 world leaders met Kyoto, Japan to set goals to curb carbon emissions in response to the threat of global climate change. While some nations strove to meet those goals, other countries ignored them. Almost 20 years later, the world community is meeting again to come up with a global plan to fight climate change. 

  • With the state legislators' holiday break right around the corner, Detroit Free Press reporter Kathy Gray takes a look at how they voted this year and what to expect from the House and the Senate over the next few weeks.
The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

As of today, our state legislators have nine session days left before heading home for the holidays on December 17.

So it’s a good time to review who’s been most effective in getting bills passed and what we might see come out of the final few sessions before we bid farewell to 2015.

Ralphie taking aim in 1983's "A Christmas Story"
screenshot

For many of us, the holiday season just wouldn’t be the same without the annual viewing of A Christmas Story.

  • Could 2016 give Democrats a chance to break the GOP's total control over the state House, the state Senate, the governor's office and the courts? It's Just Politics team Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta weigh in.
Michigan State football
User: spartanjoe / Flickr

Michigan Radio’s sports commentator  John U. Bacon and Stateside Host Cynthia Canty break down last weekend's Big Ten Football action.

Ann Arbor and East Lansing were the scenes of some BIG butt-kickings over the weekend: Michigan State served up a 55-16 shellacking to the Nittany Lions—setting up the Spartans to face the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis next weekend, and Ohio State came to the Big House and embarrassed Michigan, 42-13.

Plus, Bacon gives predictions on the Big Ten Championship and the college football playoffs. 

People who feel drawn to a comeback story are moving to Detroit bring their narrative and point of view to what the city is all about.

But sometimes these narratives and views of Detroit come from outsiders. 

Writer and critic Aaron Foley decided it was time to give the visitors and the newcomers a dose of Detroit realism.

His new book pretty much says it all: How To Live In Detroit Without Being a Jackass.

Portrait of Oscar Wilde, taken by Napoleon Sarony circa 1882
Miscellaneous Items in High Demand collection, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsca-07757

115 years ago today, a great literary voice was silenced.

Oscar Wilde died November 30, 1900. He was only 46 years old.

Since then, it has been widely held that Wilde succumbed to the ravages of end-stage syphilis.

But some determined modern physicians have done some medical detective work and have developed a much different theory about what killed the great writer: an ear infection.

  • The State Senate moved at lightning speed last week to get rid of straight-ticket voting. Michigan Radio's senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry says this bill is all about partisan advantage.
     

  • John U. Bacon discusses College Football Playoff rankings, Harbaugh's visit to Bo Schembechler's grave and the upcoming showdown between the Wolverines and the Buckeyes in this week's sports roundup.

Picture from the Michigan-Ohio State game in 2013.
MGoBlog / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

  

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joins us for this week's sports roundup.

Big Ten in College Football Playoff rankings

Big Ten teams are dominating the College Football Playoff rankings with four teams holding positions in the top ten.

Both Michigan State and U of M rose in the rankings this week, State from ninth to fifth and UM from 12th to 10th, while Ohio State fell from third to eighth place.

Bacon says the most surprising move was Iowa's rise to third.

Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

As we draw near to the annual Thanksgiving feast, those whose menus include turkey may find themselves tempted to pay more for a bird advertised with some special buzz words.

But Detroit News Finance Editor Brian J. O’Connor tells us not to be fooled by the marketing.

According to O’Connor, there are a number of labels that ultimately don’t mean anything.

“Things like young, hormone-free and cage-free, for example, are completely meaningless,” he says.

  • How well is Michigan making the transition from a roll-up-your-sleeves manufacturing economy to a knowledge-based service economy? Lou Glazer from Michigan Future Inc. has the verdict.
  • With Thanksgiving right around the corner, East Lansing food writer Maureen Abood brings us some Thanksgiving side dishes from her Lebanese kitchen.
     

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is beset by many challenges and problems, which means the city’s newly elected mayor has not had the luxury of gradually learning the ropes.

Karen Weaver ousted incumbent Mayor Dayne Walling on November 3, making her the first woman to hold the office of mayor of Flint.

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