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Offbeat

Offbeat

An image of a silver bitcoin
Zach Copley / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or the more than 1500 other cryptocurrencies, are making some people rich. 

They're also opening up something new: your computer could be using its processor power, its memory, and your electricity to help make money for someone else. The process is called cryptojacking.

 

Chase and Drew Kegley headshot
Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

 


 

The world of video games is meeting the world of school athletics.

 

This weekend brings the final round of a three-month online gaming competition among 32 Michigan high schools.

pintandpoppy / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

This Friday marks the 172nd anniversary of a uniquely Michigan milestone. On May 18, 1846, Michigan became the first English-speaking government in the world to vote and pass a measure to abolish the death penalty.

Mark Harvey, State Archivist with the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to talk about Michigan’s progressive past. Judge Avern Cohn, the Senior United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, also joined the conversation.

Bob Anderson on stage in his Frank Sinatra show
Courtesy of Bob Anderson

 


Today is the 20th anniversary of Frank Sinatra's death, but he lives on in Bob Anderson​. Anderson has been a fixture in Vegas and on stages all around the country with his show, "Frank. The Man. The Music."

Michigan ad
Michigan History Center

If you recognize the lyric, "Yes Michigan! The feeling’s forever," you’re probably not alone (and no longer in your 20s). The words stem from the “Yes Michigan” tourism ad campaign from the 1980s.

New York City's Asylum for the Insane on Blackwell's Island
Moses King / British Library

This past Saturday was the 154th birthday of Nellie Bly, one of the first (if not the first) American investigative journalists.

Her willingness to be checked into the New York City Women's Insane Asylum helped change the way America treated people who were mentally ill.

Detroit police inspecting equipment found in a clandestine underground brewery during the prohibition era
Wikimedia Commons - U.S. National Archives


   

Last week, the Board of State Canvassers approved a ballot petition that might end the prohibition of recreational marijuana in Michigan

 

Meanwhile, this week marked the 100th anniversary of another important social experiment: Prohibition. 

Ruth Willet with an antennae for radio outside
Courtesy of Ruth Willet

 

She may be busy with her double major in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics, but Kettering University student Ruth Willet always finds time for her passion: amateur radio – also known as "ham radio." 

The front of the Mackinac Island Dr. Beaumont museum and fur trade shop
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

 


 

With eight hospitals and a medical school named in his honor, many Southeastern Michiganders are familiar with the name William Beaumont. But just what did the doctor do to acquire such acclaim in the world of medicine?   

A photo from 1881 of Moses Fleetwood Walker with the Oberlin team
Courtesy of the Baseball Hall of Fame

 

 

The baseball season is once again upon us. The national pastime carries an overwhelming sense of history and tradition that continues to make the game fascinating to watch — even if your favorite team is struggling. 

The branded label on the front of a snow motor
California Agricultural Museum

 

This winter driving season has created many white-knuckled moments throughout our state.  

If you find yourself thinking, “There’s got to be a better way to get around in the snow,” then you wouldn’t be the first. 

It's Been a Minute is nearing its first anniversary. NPR Extra caught up with NPR journalist and podcast host Sam Sanders about his move to NPR West in Culver City, California, transition from NPR's Washington Desk, and what he hopes to accomplish before IBAM turns one year old.

David Mertl / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Get a group of Michiganders together, add a deck of cards, and chances are pretty good you'll wind up with a game of euchre.

It was once dubbed "the queen of all card-games" and was wildly popular in the late 1800s. But its popularity waned through the 20th century. That is, except in Michigan and a handful of Midwestern states, nicknamed the “Euchre Belt.”

a squirrel
Steve Burt / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Leaping from branch to branch, bearing nuts and acorns, teasing backyard dogs by staying just out of reach; let’s face it — squirrels are so common in Michigan that it’s easy for us to take their presence for granted.

But, just as Holden Caufield worried about where the ducks go in winter, we got to wondering: where do squirrels go? Do they cluster up in hibernation holes? Or perhaps join Michigan snowbirds and head south to warmer locales?

Infrogmation of New Orleans / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A century ago, as the US was deep into fighting WWI, General "Black Jack" Pershing issued an urgent call to American women to volunteer for a new unit with the US Army Signal Corps.

More than 200 women from across the nation responded, including women from Michigan. They became known as "The Hello Girls."

Suka the polar bear
Henry Vilas Zoo

Sometimes you just need to look at cute animals to start your week off right. Luckily for us, the Detroit Zoo gained a fuzzy new resident this week!

Suka is a five year old polar bear. She was sent to the Detroit Zoo from her previous home at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Talini, the female polar bear that was born at the zoo in 2004, has been moved to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

mushroom pizza
Jim Winstead / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 


 

Michigan is known as an automotive capital, but with Little Caesars, Domino's, Hungry Howie's, and Jet’s headquartered here, Michigan can make a good case that our state is also a pizza capital. As far as we know, Michigan is the only state to have had a pizza funeral. 

 


 

Cole Williams is the founder of The Son to a Father Project and The Son to a Father Parenting Skills Training Program — a series of workshops that explore the journey of fatherhood. He is also a motivational speaker, parent, mentor and community leader in Grand Rapids.

Caricature created by Vic Reyes MBME Media

Perhaps it’s already spread to your corner of Michigan: those aggravating, irritating, nauseating and much repeated political advertisements. Yup, yet another election year.

And with five people on the U.S. Supreme Court declaring a stack of cold, hard cash is not money but free speech, we Michiganeers are about to get an ear and eye-full for the duration of 2018.

Photo provided by a friend of the Michigan History Center.

 


 

A lot of Michigan residents might know that Malcolm X grew up in this state, but beyond that, the facts might get a little fuzzy. 

 

 

Michigan History Center’s Rachel Clark joined Stateside to bring some clarity to that history.

Screen capture from YouTube

The opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics happens Friday in PyeongChang. Right out of the gate, the snowboarding competition begins on Saturday. 

Courtesy of The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

 

If you've ever visited Greenfield Village in Dearborn, you have walked right past the home and bicycle shop of Orville and Wilbur Wright.  

Of course, the Wright brothers are universally recognized as the inventors of the airplane, but did you know it took decades for that fact to be recognized by our own government?

shelves of liquor
WikiCommons

I briefly lived above a liquor store when I was an undergrad, and on my 21st birthday, it was my first stop.

Being newly-21, I was instantly overwhelmed by the choices that sat behind the counter. So when the owner asked me what I wanted, I panicked and just asked for “whatever’s cheapest” (the default answer of all college students).

Michigan State University
John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

We want to hear from people considering going to college, or from Michigan parents with teenagers considering going to college. Is Michigan State University on the list of choices?

If it's you going to school, have your thoughts changed because of the Nassar scandal, or no? And if you're a parent, have discussions with your children changed?

Warren G. Hooper
Michigan History Center

 

It's Wednesday, so it's time to talk Michigan History. This week, we observe the anniversary of the 1945 assassination of State Senator Warren G. Hooper.

 

Mark Harvey, state archivist, along with Scott Burnstein, Detroit mafia historian and author, and Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio's Capitol bureau chief, joined Stateside to help tell the story.

 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michiganders are buying Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets this week in hopes of winning their share of roughly a billion dollars in prize money.

The multi-state lottery jackpots get all the attention.   But it’s the smaller games that make most of the money.

Spokesman Jeff Holyfield says Powerball and Mega Million sales represent only about six to seven percent of the Michigan Lottery’s revenues.

 

How do we sort out fact from fiction on social media? Do we really want to? It seems that people are quickly and happily sharing things online that are pure fiction without question and without a critical thought.

 

Stateside host Cynthia Canty found herself asking these questions recently when something came up on her Facebook feed. Some friends shared a story describing an airplane flight crew "taking a knee," walking off the plane, and stranding the New Orleans Saints: the flight crew's "protest" of players kneeling during the National Anthem.

 

Somebody would share the story, and then his friends would pile on, saying, “Yeah, that'll show them what America is about.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

“Fake news” is real news today.     

President Donald Trump’s favorite way of describing news reports he doesn’t like tops this year’s list of banned words and phrases.

Lake Superior State University has been producing its annual tongue-in-cheek list of overused words and phrases for more than 40 years.   

List editor John Shibley says “fake news” received more nominations from the general public than any other word or phrase on the list.

“It’s telling you how to think. And I think a lot of people are rebelling against that notion,” says Shibley.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Sometimes, 2017 felt a bit overwhelming. Luckily, we found some stories that will brighten everyone’s year.

Here are some of the most popular uplifting stories from 2017:

Today on Stateside, Michigan Radio's sports commentator explains why Detroit was your city in 2017 if you like mediocrity in sports. And, a father says former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar assaulted his teenage daughter while under criminal investigation. 

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