Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Myra Klarman

There is no questioning the data: Buddhism is a force to be reckoned with. Estimates of the number of practicing Buddhists around the world ranges from 350-million all the way up to 1.6 billion.

 Buddhism is also recognized as one of the fastest-growing religions in the world. A University of Michigan professor has spent the past 12 years putting together what's being hailed as the most authoritative and comprehensive reference on Buddhism ever produced in English. It is "The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism," co-authored by Robert Buswell of UCLA, and Donald Lopez. He is the Chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and he is a Distinguished Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan.

FAILURE:LAB / FAILURE:LAB

Bill Gates once declared, “It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Of course, we all fail at times. But many of us try to cover those mistakes up, or at the very least, choose not to broadcast our failures.

One Michigan group is looking to change that — not only talking about our shortcomings and errors, but sharing them on a stage. FAILURE:LAB brings together storytellers, talking about when they’ve failed, and gives the audience a chance to reflect on the stories told. Because according to the folks at FAILURE:LAB, failure can help inspire us to take intelligent risks.

FAILURE:LAB is coming to Detroit this Thursday. We talked to Austin Dean, co-founder of the group, about what FAILURE:LAB is, and what it can do for audience members and storytellers alike. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

user MIKI Yoshihito / Flickr

A recent essay in The New York Times poses an intriguing question: Is music the key to success?

A striking list of notables from many different fields have one thing in common: they all played some sort of musical instrument. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who played clarinet and saxophone, Microsoft co-founder and guitarist Paul Allen, and Condoleeza Rice, who trained to be a concert pianist before becoming our 66th Secretary of State all have linked their music training to their professional accomplishments.

We wanted to take a closer look at the impact playing music can have on the way we learn and how we work.

We talked to Siobhan Cronin, a Masters student at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Cronin, who studied economics, French and music as an undergrad, is now working on her next degree in violin and viola performance.

Listen to the full interview above.

The Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council

The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame has just announced its latest list of inductees. Among them are six contemporary women and three women from Michigan's past.

We took a closer look at one of those women from the past. Elizabeth Eaglesfield broke ground as one of the first female lawyers in Michigan history, but she didn't stop there. 

Just wait till you hear more about her remarkable life and career.

Joining us was Jo Ellyn Clarey of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, who nominated Elizabeth Eaglesfield.

Listen to the full interview above.

Lisa Beth Anderson

A non-profit group in Grand Rapids is re-energizing its effort to get people who are homeless into permanent homes.

Well House has been around since the late 1970s. About a year ago, the non-profit emergency homeless shelter Well House was in danger of closing. That’s when its new executive director Tami VandenBerg pushed the group to switch gears and provide permanent homes instead.

Most people agree that a myriad is a lot, but there’s less agreement about how to use myriad correctly.

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan examine three words that mean a lotmyriad, plethora and ton.

When choosing between myriad possibilities and a myriad of possibilities, which phrase is correct?

Myriad of is older than myriad with the noun,” Curzan explains. “Myriad comes into English in the 16th century when the word originally means 10,000, a specific number.” The word changed from referring to 10,000 of something, to meaning a countless number of something.

When myriad first appeared in English, it was always plural and followed by of, such as many myriads of men. Then, in 1609, the singular form of myriad was first used, followed again by of. This allowed for phrases like a myriad of bubbles. Finally, in the 18th century, the noun was first dropped from the phrase. At that time, the saying myriad beauties was then considered correct.

Today, both phrases are used. Although myriad of is a bit more common than myriad followed by a noun, either expression can be used.

NCWD/youth

As social media has embedded itself into our lives, so too has the national conversation about bullying.

Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media have given bullies boundless opportunities to torture their victims. What used to be something that happened in school halls and classrooms now finds its way into every corner of the lives of our young people.

One of the voices that has joined this conversation about bullying is that of a Michigan filmmaker. Her newest film, shot in Oakland County, is called "The Bully Chronicles."

It brings us the story of teen bullying through the eyes of the bully, and she recently turned to the Huffington Post, where she wrote to the teens accused of bullying a 12-year-old Florida girl to the point where she committed suicide by jumping off a tower.

Her post was headlined "From One Bully To Another: An Open Letter to Rebecca Sedwick's Bullies."

Amy Weber joined us in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

user: doug_coombe / Instagram

Update:

The Heidelberg Project's Executive Director Jenenne Whitfield told the Detroit Free Press that security cameras and extra lighting will be added to the project.

Fire has destroyed another home that’s part of the Heidelberg Project, a world-famous Detroit public art installation.

historicdetroit.org

It was one of the more memorable vacant buildings in downtown Detroit, but its days of being vacant and decaying are, happily, in the past.

The historic Grand Army of the Republic Hall at Cass and Grand River is getting a new lease on life thanks to brothers Tom and David Carleton and their partner Sean Emery.

They bought the little castle-like building in 2011 from the City of Detroit for $220,000 and started cleaning and restoring it at once.

Now this architectural gem will be home to the partners’ media production firm Mindfield.

It stands as an example of an historic building being saved, not by a tycoon with very deep pockets, but some small business owners with a vision.

One of those partners, Tom Carleton, joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Instagram

A Detroit Free Press photo editor won a $3,000 grant for her latest project — capturing her community through her iPhone lens.

The "House of Soul" was destroyed by fire this morning.
Heidelberg Project / Facebook

This Tweet came from The Heidelberg Project this morning:

user: sylvar / Flickr

Grand Valley State University plans to reinstall a campus sculpture by December 6. 

The sculpture was removed on September 17 because students began to ride it.

The 'riding-the-ball' trend was in response to Miley Cyrus's hit single "Wrecking Ball." In the video, Cyrus is naked and rides the wrecking ball as it swings back and forth.

Apparently, the Grand Valley ball was not up to the task. The University said the steel cable that the ball was hung from began to fray, and the sculpture was removed.

Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith spoke with Tim Thimmesch, the associate vice president for facility services at GVSU. After the sculpture was removed Thimmesch said they would meet with "select students this week to get input on the best options to reinstall the piece."

“The intent is not for anybody to continue to use this as a ride. Again the intent will be to have this reinstalled as a scientific exhibit,” Thimmesch said.

And that's what we really want to know more about, right? The science behind this ball?

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It's Veterans Day, and all across Michigan, small ceremonies are taking place honoring the nation's military veterans.

A light rain fell in Flint as a small ceremony was held at 11 a.m.

Veterans Day has it's roots in the Armistice that ended World War I. Under the terms of the armistice, that war ended at "The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month."

Vietnam era veteran Raul Garcia told the small group assembled in front of Flint city hall of his pride of being part of a military family.

"To me, it's just a great pride to wear this uniform knowing that we are the greatest nation around," Garcia said. 

There are more than 650,000 military veterans in Michigan.

Texting has changed the conventions of punctuation, and given the period entirely new emotional clout.

Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the evolution of written conversation on this week’s edition of That’s What They Say.

Curzan and her students have been investigating how electronic conversations work. Those via text or email. One significant change they found is the "power period," which creates the difference between okay (without a period) and okay (with a period).

“Without a period, that’s the neutral or unmarked okay,” Curzan explains. “The okay with a period is a little bit abrupt, a little bit more serious and maybe even a little bit angry.”

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - More than 114,000 people visited the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing in its first year.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the museum recently held a celebration to thank donors, leaders of Michigan State University, where the museum is located, and staff members.

kellinahandbasket / Flickr

Let’s say you’ve been watching episodes of “Antiques Roadshow,” and now you’re inspired. So you want to find out what that old painting you bought at a garage sale for $5 bucks is really worth.

There’s a place in Detroit where you can do just that and get feedback from experts who are regulars on the TV show. Of course, if you’re in the mood to buy things, you’re also in luck.

Michigan Radio’s Kyle Norris tells us about DuMouchelles, an auction house in Detroit.  

Imagine this - a Detroit rock band from the 1980's disappears from the music scene, until a producer in England rediscovers them and helps them put out a new album.

Well, that’s what happened to our next guests. They call themselves Art in America. The band name for three siblings from Michigan, Chris, Dan and Shishonee Flynn. After nearly 30 years they are out with a new album called The Hentschel Sessions.

Listen to the full interview above.

There's an intriguing movie premiere happening Thursday night at the Fillmore Theatre on Woodward in downtown Detroit.

"The Michigan Beer Film" will be screened along with samples of some of the Michigan brews featured in the film.

We're always happy to talk about Michigan beer here on Stateside, so we welcomed the producer and director of "The Michigan Beer Film", Kevin Romeo. He joined us today from Kalamazoo. 

Listen to the full interview about.

Twitter

Whenever you talk about the key players in Michigan's music scene, one of the names that inevitably comes up is that of Stewart Francke.

Born in Saginaw, he's made his home, raised his family and built his music career in Metro Detroit.

Writer and critic Jim McFarlin calls Stewart Francke "Detroit's workingman's troubadour," a title he's earned and maintained over decades of making his music.

But today we are going to hear about another journey Stewart Francke has been on, a journey into the world of cancer. A journey that began when he was diagnosed with leukemia that forced Stew and his family and circle of friends to join together to wage a ferocious battle.

He's now telling the story of his cancer battle in his e-book from Untreed Reads. The title says it all, "What Don't Kill Me Just Makes Me Strong."

Stewart Francke joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Tomas Sobek / Flickr

Back in the 1990s, we began to see coffee shops pop up in cities all around Michigan — Starbucks, Caribou, Biggby.

Now, a similar trend is happening with yoga studios, here in Michigan and nationwide.

As the Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton put it:

“To track the economic transformation of Washington, here's a simple rule: Follow the yoga mats.”

How do yoga studios change the cultural landscape of a city? Are these changes positive or are long-time residents being kept away from the table?

Royal Oak writer Pete Wurdock has just published his fourth book. It's a collection of short stories, all of them set in Northern Michigan.

 The collection is entitled "Bending Water and Stories Nearby" and it's as interesting to hear what it took for Pete to get this stories written as it is to actually read these 14 stories. Pete Wurdock joined us in the studio. *Listen to the audio above. 

Philip Jarmin / Facebook

Anyone who has spent time driving around the city of Detroit has seen ruined buildings. They can be found just about everywhere within the city limits.

Among those decaying buildings can be found some of the finest examples of early 20th century architecture, the kinds of buildings that remind us that Detroit was once known as the “Paris of the Midwest.”

Canadian photographer Philip Jarmain first discovered these disintegrating beauties while he was a student at the University of Windsor. And ever since 2010, Philip Jarmain has been documenting these vanishing early 20th century buildings.

Twenty of his fine art prints were recently on exhibit at the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, with interest in these large format architectural photographs certainly fueled by the headlines surrounding Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.

The exhibit was called American Beauty: The Opulent Pre-Depression Architecture of Detroit.

Philip Jarmain joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

There is one word that lots of people hate—moist. What makes this an icky word?

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan talk about icky words and why we dislike them.

It’s difficult to pinpoint why people detest the term moistMoist-haters often claim the problem is the way the word sounds, yet they don’t have the same reaction to similar sounding words like foist. The sexual connotation of moist probably adds to the discomfort the term creates.

In the spring of 2012, the New Yorker’s Culture Desk blog ran a contest that allowed participants to vote for a word to drop from the English language. As expected, about 1 in 10 people voted to throw out moist.

Mercedes Meija / Michigan Radio

Wheelhouse Detroit, a bike shop right next to the Renaissance Center, puts on all sorts of guided bike tours through the city — tours of churches, urban agriculture, and painted murals. But for those looking for something, well, a little more creepy, the shop also offers a haunted bike tour that takes brave riders through cemeteries, ghostly spots, and long-gone homes with a murderous past.

The ride takes you to the cozy, produce-filled confines of Eastern Market down to St. Aubin Street, which, as the tour guides will tell you, was once a hot spot for the Purple Gang, a gang of bootleggers and hijackers who ran booze from Canada to Detroit. The gang, which got its start when Michigan banned alcohol in 1917, remained active up until the early 1930s.

Wikipedia

 Famed folklorist Alan Lomax prowled through Michigan on his legendary 10 year cross-country trip, collecting American folk music for the Library of Congress. In that collection is a lively reel by a fiddler named Patrick Bonner recorded on Beaver Island, Michigan in 1938.

Now, Alan Lomax’s hundreds of Michigan recordings are being presented in a traveling exhibition from Michigan State University. It’s called Michigan Folksong Legacy: Grand Discoveries from the Great Depression.

Flickr user Terry.Tyson / Flickr

 You drive around most neighborhoods these days and there is absolutely no doubt we love Halloween.

Once upon a time, you carved a pumpkin, popped in a candle and put it on your porch to greet trick or treaters.

Now, homes are decked out with giant webs and big spiders, ghouls and witches, and don't forget the lights. Halloween is now second only to Christmas for consumer spending.

Just when and where did this all begin? And how far back does Halloween go here in Michigan?

We turn to historian and contributor to the Detroit News Bill Loomis for the answers. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Facebook

Short stories are in the spotlight in the literary world after Canadian writer Alice Munro recently won the 2013 Nobel Prize in literature. She's widely considered to be the "master of the short story."

The Michigan writer Donald Lystra is just out with his collection of short stories called "Something That Feels Like Truth."

Donald Lystra is an engineer who turned to writing later in life. His debut novel "Season of Water and Ice" won the Midwest Book Award and the Michigan Notable Book Award.

Donald Lystra joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arbor Web / Arbor Web

Traditional wisdom has it that kids aren’t especially into their parents’ music.

But that’s not the case for Sandor and Emily Slomovits of Ann Arbor. Just this year Emily released an album with her father San, “Innocent When You Dream.”

The daughter-dad duo has been making the rounds, sharing the stage at venues like The Ark in Ann Arbor.

Listen to the full interview above.

user Biodun / themedicalhealthplus.com

We've started noticing something when we've been going out to eat.

These days, instead of handing out a menu in the traditional plastic-coated paper, some restaurants are handing us iPads.

Chili's Grill and Bar has been testing tablets that allow diners to order their drinks, desserts and pay the bill without having to flag down a waiter. It's been so successful in the 180 or so test restaurants that the company plans to install tablet menus at most of its 1,266 restaurants in the United States.

In Ann Arbor, the Real Seafood Company recently began using tablet menus.

And that got us wondering about menus and going out to eat. What does the way a society eats at restaurants say about us?

Listen to full interview above.

Facebook

"Defiant jewelry with a purpose!"

That's the slogan for a unique jewelry business that launched in the Midtown area of Detroit.

It's called Rebel Nell.

The goal? To turn actual pieces of graffiti found on the ground into jewelry. The company is hiring disadvantaged women, hoping to give them a hand-up from poverty and dependence.

Amy Peterson is a co-founder of Rebel Nell. She joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

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