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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

OK, have you ever stopped to think about how many times in a single day you say "OK"?

If you're like millions of others around the world, that number is probably more than you can count on your fingers and toes.

The ubiquity of "OK" is undeniable. It's used as a noun, a verb, an adverb, an interjection and a signal of agreement, not to mention the basis for one of the most famous self-help books of all time.

Believe it or not, we're coming up on the 178th anniversary of "OK," so we thought we'd take a look at the origin of this globally-recognized word.


Stateside 3.3.2017

Mar 3, 2017

Talking about race isn't always easy. But today, we hear how a table, an "equalizer," can help black people and white people begin the conversation. And, Artisans of Michigan is back with a trip to the printing press.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Fritz Swanson is a writer. But he says even when he was little, writing alone just wasn’t the end of it. It had to be printed. It had to be a book.

“Writing the story and then making the way that it’s communicated seemed essential to me, seemed all to be part of the same game,” he explained.

When his dad took him along to help a friend fix a tractor, he found something that changed his life.

Stateside 3.2.2017

Mar 2, 2017

Today we hear why, without EPA support, Lake Erie could become the "poster child of pollution" once again. And, we learn how singing, dancing and acting with young kids sets the stage for academic success.

In this historical photo, a group stands outside of a drugstore on the corner of St. Aubin and Mullett streets on May 8, 1950 in Black Bottom, an area that was torn down in the 1950s to make way for the Chrysler Freeway and the Detroit Medical Center.
Burton Collection

In today’s Detroit Free Press, there's an article titled Bringing Detroit’s Black Bottom back to (virtual) life.

It tells the story of a young Detroit architect named Emily Kutil who's trying to bring a neighborhood that no longer exists back to life ... in digital form. 

Courtesy of John Semper Jr.

In the D.C. Comics universe, Superman has Metropolis, Batman has Gotham, and now Cyborg has Detroit.

When D.C. rebooted its universe a few years ago, the superhero Cyborg got a promotion. He joined Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as part of the Justice League and has become a higher-profile character. 

When it comes to making a noun plural, there are a few general rules we follow in English. 

Most are are pretty easy. Slap an "s" on the end of "book" or "dog" or "desk" and suddenly you've got more than one. If the word ends with a vowel followed by a "y", the same rule applies, like "keys" and "boys."

If you've got a "y" preceded by a consonant, no sweat. Just trade out the last two letters for "ies" to get "cherries" or "babies" or "buddies."  

There are other rules, and of course, they all have exceptions. But today we want to talk about pluralizing one word in particular: maître d'. 


Stateside 2.24.2017

Feb 24, 2017

Today, we learn why conversations about bias should talk about skin color, not "race." And, we discuss what's left of Fordlândia, the transplanted Midwestern town in the Amazon.

Courtesy: Valentine Distilling

Detroit is known worldwide for its cars, for its music, and now for its vodka.

The top prize for vodka at the World Drinks Awards in London last year did not go to a Russian vodka. It went to a Detroit vodka.

This cheeky promotional video suggests it was a sad day for Russia.

miss vichan / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

When classic English poet John Keats coughed up blood in 1821, he knew it wasn’t a good sign. According to medical historian Dr. Howard Markel, Keats was able to diagnose the disease that would end his life: consumption.

Wayne State University Press, 2017

The story of the Great Lakes is one of remarkable beauty and extraordinary violence.

According to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, the Lakes have collectively claimed some 6,000 ships and 30,000 lives. As long as ships have been on the Lakes, ferocious storms have been swallowing those ships—and their crews—whole.

It’s that grim yet compelling history that Cindy Hunter Morgan explores in her new collection of poems, Harborless. The collection is Morgan’s telling of 40 different Great Lakes shipping disasters, stretching across two centuries.  

Courtesy of the Flint Scottish

For over a hundred years, the Flint Scottish Pipe Band has celebrated the Scottish highlands in mid-Michigan. It is the oldest pipe band in the state of Michigan, and the eleventh oldest in the nation. 

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The possessive “s” could be in danger.

At least, that’s what linguist Anne Curzan says. 

Davies said the characters in his book all "struggle with the burden of representation. How do these individual Chinese and Chinese-Americans somehow represent or speak for a group, and it’s an impossible burden.”
flickr user futureatlas.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

It’s been about ten years since Peter Ho Davies came out with his first novel, The Welsh Girl. It was long-listed for the 2007 Man Booker Prize.

Now, Davies is out with his second novel: The Fortunes.

He offers four linked stories that explore what it means to be Chinese in America over the past century and a half. Three of the stories are built around people and events that actually happened.

Courtesy of David Kiley

Two young people kept their love alive throughout World War II with letters – hundreds of them.

There's no question that deviled eggs are a staple at family reunions and church picnics. But what makes them "deviled"?

Maybe it's all the things they can be stuffed with that aren't very good for you.

Besides mayonnaise, we've found recipes that include cream cheese, bacon, condensed milk and ranch dressing.

That's not a bad guess, but these delectable little goodies actually get their name from a different ingredient. 


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We headed to the city of Monroe in the southeast corner of the state for our latest Artisans of Michigan. We visited Michigan Musical Instrument Service. Kevin Powers has been repairing instruments there since 1987.

“I do most of the work for the Detroit symphony, all the brass players, the Toledo symphony, some of the guys from Cleveland. Those would be my occasional clients. My everyday ones are the school kids that come in with a dent in the trumpet. That’s who my normal customers are,” Powers

Frontier Ruckus
Noah Elliott Morrison

Enter the Kingdom is the 5th LP from Michigan's own Frontier Ruckus.

Rolling Stone calls it "a serious and thought-provoking record."

As part of our Songs from Studio East series, we look at how the band continues to evolve musically while still holding on to their roots.

It took four years for Frontier Ruckus to come out with their newest album.

Spiegel & Grau, 2016

 

I first became aware of the writer Andy Mozina when he published a short story collection titled Quality Snacks, with Wayne State University Press’ "Made in Michigan" series back in 2014.

Stateside 2.15.2017

Feb 15, 2017

Motown's legacy eclipses a larger story about black music in Detroit. Today on Stateside, we unveil that history. We also speak with a Flint resident who says no matter what officials report, she won't drink or  pay for the "disgusting" water.

Courtesy of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

No matter where you are, when you say the words "Detroit" and "music," someone's going to exclaim "Motown!"

But Detroit's music history is much deeper and wider than Motown. There are some locations around the city that have been forgotten and are important in the telling of Detroit's black history, and the history of music.

Stateside 2.14.2017

Feb 14, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear the attorney for alleged victims argue for a third-party investigation of MSU's handling of Dr. Larry Nassar. And, we learn why Valentines Day is not just for "gauzy romantic love that exists only on a Hallmark card."

Leelanau raclette puts Michigan "on the world cheese map"

Feb 14, 2017
DAN WANSCHURA / Interlochen Public Radio

Anne and John Hoyt own Leelanau Cheese Company in Suttons Bay. Leelanau Cheese is famous for it’s raclette.

“When people ask what it tastes like, I often say it’s between a gouda and a gruyere,” says Anne.

Shelby Kroske, MSU Libraries

 

Michigan State University historian Liam Brockey has spent years studying the history of Catholicism. Now, that scholarship is generating something unexpected: Oscar buzz.

Brockey served as a consultant on legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s latest work “Silence,” the story of two Portuguese Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in the 1640's to find their lost mentor.

Courtesy of Monroe County Library System

 

Each February, the libraries in Monroe undergo a transformation. The Black History Month Blues Festival turns these sedate study spaces into concert spaces full of “laughing, singing, clapping,” and “stomping,” said Bill Reiser, the library manager at Ellis Library in Monroe.

Mike Ilitch (center) with Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander (right) and Alex Avila (left) in 2011.
Dave Hogg / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

DETROIT - Mike Ilitch will lie in repose for a public visitation Wednesday at Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Ilitch, the billionaire businessman who founded the Little Caesars pizza empire and bought the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, died Friday. He was 87.

Ilitch Holdings Inc. announced information Sunday night on how the public could pay respects. Events this week include the visitation from noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, and a public memorial display at Comerica Park beginning at 1 p.m. on Monday.

It's almost Valentine's Day, and we here at That's What They Say encourage you to think about the ones you love. Ideally with a Lionel Richie album playing in the background.

As you prepare to indulge your significant other or maybe your best friend with cards, candy and flowers, think back to when you first met.

If you hit it off right away, some might say the two of you were "like a house on fire."


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Capitol's aging infrastructure is starting to wear down.

  Out of sight behind the walls and beneath the floors, significant repairs and upgrades are needed to much of the Capitol's plumbing, electrical, mechanical and fire suppression systems.

Courtesy of Lawrence Technological University

Detroit and Ann Arbor are dotted with buildings designed by Albert Kahn, one of the region’s celebrated architects.

He’s responsible for the Fisher Building in Detroit, Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and the Highland Park Ford plant, to name only a few.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

In honor of Black History Month, we visited with Amas Muhammad at Selden Standard in Detroit. He has a drink recipe for us below, but we wanted to know more about the role of people of color in developing the craft cocktail industry.

Muhammad says for a craft that’s obsessed with the history of drinks and the bartenders who invented them, his colleagues miss a huge swath of contributors.

“People of color have been instrumental since the beginning of spirits in America,” Muhammad said.

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