Offbeat

Offbeat
5:30 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Ann Arbor staple Blimpy Burger finds a new home

The burgers (and stomach aches) return.
Credit Blimpy Burger / blimpyburger.com

The Blimpy Burger lives on. 

According to MLive’s Lizzy Alfs, owners of Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger signed a lease on 304 S. Ashley Street — the former home to the Eastern Flame restaurant.

And more notably, right next store to the Fleetwood Diner.

As Michigan Radio’s Mark Brush reported in August, the 60-year-old restaurant shut its doors last summer after the University of Michigan bought the burger joint to make room for a new dormitory. 

Offbeat
4:03 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Graphic novel explores Japanese internment camps in US during WWII

A Japanese internment notice posted in San Francisco.
Credit National Archives and Records Administration / Wikipedia

It's quite a long line to draw from a writer's studio in Michigan in 2014 to the West Coast during World War II. That's where over 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry were ordered by the U.S. government to walk away from their lives and report to internment camps.

This dark chapter in history ultimately resulted in more than $1.6 billion in reparations being paid to the Japanese-Americans who had been interned, or to their heirs. 

Matt Faulkner describes himself as an author and illustrator for kids. His new graphic novel tells the story of the internment camp through the eyes of a teenager named Koji Miyamoto. Koji's father is Japanese and his mother is white. The title of the graphic novel is Gaijin. 

Faulkner joined us today to discuss the book.

Offbeat
1:55 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Turning a brownfield into a green space in Flint

The exact timetable and cost of the ‘Chevy Commons’ project is unclear.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A place where General Motors built cars for nearly century may later this year begin transforming into a city park in Flint.

The last building was torn down at Chevy in the Hole a decade ago. Efforts have been underway since then to transform the 60 acre brownfield into a public green space.Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan RadioEdit | Remove

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Offbeat
9:34 am
Sun April 13, 2014

If you seek a pleasant pothole...

When life gives you potholes, make pothole portraits
Credit Mike Perini / Michigan Radio

It's spring, and hope springs eternal. Even the pothole pictured is reflecting on the possibilities. Granted, it's going to cool off in the week to come, with some snow possible on Monday, but we Michiganders are a hopeful bunch, and we won't let that stop us. To paraphrase the state motto, "If You Seek A Pleasant Pothole, Look About You"...or, if you prefer,  "Si Quæris Potholam Amœnam Circumspice!"

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Offbeat
2:07 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

Census: People more than 100 years old tend to be female and more likely to live in poverty

A new U.S. Census report says those centenarians are overwhelmingly women, with less education and higher rates of poverty than other American retirees.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The 2010 census showed about 1,700 people in Michigan were more than 100 years old.

A new U.S. Census report says those centenarians are overwhelmingly women, with less education and higher rates of poverty than other American retirees.

Brian Kincel is a statistical analyst with the U.S. Census Bureau. He says the numbers reflect social and economic conditions in the 1920s, when the current crop of centenarians came of age.

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Offbeat
11:25 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Watch this to see what sound looks like

A picture that shows the shock waves around a T-38 Talon aircraft on December 13, 1993.
Dr. Leonard Weinstein NASA

Two parabolic mirrors, a barrier, a camera, and voilà! – you have a way to photograph sound waves – or more specifically, a way to photograph changes in air density.

Check out this video from NPR to see how it works:

H/T Lucy Perkins

Stateside
3:49 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

The fresh air of Sault Ste. Marie once made it a popular destination for allergy sufferers

The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Credit USACOE

We've been hearing from the experts that, thanks to the great winter and our friend the polar vortex, this is going to be quite a year for allergy sufferers.

Perhaps it might be time to revive The Ca-Choo Club.

The Ca-Choo Club was a very unique way to attract visitors to Sault Ste. Marie.

Beginning in 1928, it welcomed allergy sufferers who turned up to breathe that clean, cool, pollen-free air that swept in off Lake Superior.

Writer Deidre Stevens dug into the history of this quirky Ca-Choo Club for Michigan History magazine, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
8:28 am
Sat April 5, 2014

It's Hash Bash Saturday in Ann Arbor today

ANN ARBOR – Thousands of people are expected to attend an annual pro-marijuana rally that's been held on the University of Michigan campus for more than 40 years.

The 43rd Hash Bash is to be held Saturday in Ann Arbor.

This year marks the return of longtime organizer Adam Brook, who was released from prison in October after serving a two-year sentence for a weapons violation. He told The Ann Arbor News for a story this week that the experience only served to reinvigorate him as a pot activist.

Offbeat
4:49 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Marquette's walkability is a model for Michigan

Marquette, Michigan
mainfr4me Flickr

How do you guide your city or town into the future, without losing those elements from the past that make it special, livable, with a true sense of place?

That's a challenge many towns in Michigan face. Many small towns have lost their unique look, buried by a profusion of generic shopping strips, lots of gas stations, drug stores and fast food restaurants. And then there are the wide freeways and highways that carve a city up.

The city of Marquette is an example of how a city can redefine itself, yet make itself something special, livable and walkable. And what they're doing in Marquette can be a model for towns and cities all over Michigan. 

We are joined today by Dennis Stachewicz, the director of planning and community development for Marquette. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Made In Michigan
2:34 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

How a Michigan company unintentionally invented the cubicle

Love it or leave it, the cubicle has its roots in Michigan.
Mark Sebastian Flickr

An interview with Mark Schurman of Herman Miller.

The American office used to be rows of desks in a huge room with zero privacy.

All that changed when a Michigan-based company unintentionally invented the cubicle.

What led to the redesign of American offices?

We talk to Mark Schurman , of Herman Miller, to talk about how Michigan shaped the way offices across America look today.

Listen to full interview above.

Stateside
3:45 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

'Yooper' recognized as an official word by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary

Flickr user herzogbr Flickr

An interview with English professor Anne Curzan.

Welcome, dear "Yooper." And we’re not talking specifically to those of you who live in the Upper Peninsula. We’re talking about the actual word "Yooper." It’s official, according to the 2014 edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

Anne Curzan is an English professor at the University of Michigan, and she joins us every Sunday on Michigan Radio for "That's What They Say."  Anne joined us today to discuss the specifics of this new official word. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
2:54 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Singer-songwriter shares his story of failure: releasing his 1st album

http://failure-lab.com/

The audio for Dwele's Failure:Lab story

Failure:Lab is an event that's been happening in Michigan and is spreading outside the state.

It's a program designed to get us thinking about the meaning of failure, to realize that failure happens to everyone and perhaps to inspire us to take intelligent risks.

You can see our past Failure:Lab posts here. And on April 1, you can hear Michigan State University Athletic Director Mark Hollis and other Failure:Lab speakers talk about their experiences at MSU's Wharton Center. More on that here

Today we heard from Andwele Gardner.

Andwele Gardner, better known by his stage name Dwele, is a singer-songwriter and record producer from Detroit. He's released six albums including his last Greater Than One. He was featured on multiple Kanye West tracks and brought his vintage soul to the stage once again – to share a story behind the songs.

This is the story that Dwele shared at Failure:Lab Detroit on November 21, 2013 at the Detroit Opera House.

Offbeat
12:48 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

'Pick a perfect March Madness bracket, win $1 billion,' say people seeking attention

Update 11:48 a.m.

This is the week that "the-people-seeking-attention" are really cashing in on their bet.

They're betting that you won't pick a perfect NCAA March Madness bracket, but you will give them all kinds of personal information to take a shot at it. 

As Carl Bialik from the lauded Five-Thirty-Eight blog puts it:

No sum of money can beat the math.

(See how statisticians calculate the odds in the original post below.)

ESPN.com's Rick Reilly figures the company sponsoring the contest stands to make a lot of money by gaining "as many as 15 million new sales leads with the registration process alone on this thing."

"You can't buy that kind of PR," [the guy] says. "We love this."

Reilly sat down with the rich guy backing the bet, who isn't too worried about someone picking a perfect bracket. He knows the odds, and he's known how to play them to his advantage all his life:

[The guy] loves making bets that tilt toward his wallet. When his three kids were growing up, he paid them their allowance in dimes. That's because he had a 10-cent slot machine in the house. "By the end of the night," he says, "I'd have most of my money back."

Original post, January 21, 2014

You're more likely to get struck by lightning, but what the heck.

The odds of you picking a perfect NCAA bracket vary.

Some say it's 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

In his video, Jeff Bergen of DePaul University says there's a 1 in 128 billion chance of picking a perfect bracket. He says the odds are a smidge better given that you would  follow the rankings.

The organizers of the contest say the odds are better – 1 in 4.3 billion. (There's no indication of how those odds were calculated.)

If you pick a perfect bracket, they'll give you a billion dollars. More specifically, they'll give you $25 million a year for 40 years, or a one-time payment of $500 million.

So there isn't much in it for you, but there's a lot of free publicity for them. You'll see them in your Facebook feed, or on the Google.

Offbeat
11:55 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Veteran treasure hunter solves the last 'Wyoming Riddle'

It took Robert Lyons around a half an hour to dig all the snow away from this utility pole where he thought the medallion was. He ended up finding it about 60 feet down the road.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

I got some bittersweet news this morning.

Bitter because after more than 30 years running, the last “Wyoming Riddler” treasure hunt is over. Sweet because one of the veteran hunters I followed to tell the story last month turned out to be the winner.

I watched Robert Lyons do the heavy lifting one day, shoveling about five feet of snow packed around a utility pole in single-digit temps.

We found nothing.

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Stateside
4:30 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Scratch-and-sniff ads help sell perfume, but could they sell food, too?

Aradhna Krishna
Wikipedia

We know that scent unlocks a wide range of emotions and memories. A whiff of Chanel No. 5 can take you right back to when you were a little kid, watching your mom get dressed up to go out.

Or smelling Paco Rabanne might remind you of your first boyfriend.

Advertisers of perfume and other personal-care products have been tapping into this for a long time; think of the scratch-and-sniff-spots on perfume ads in magazines.

A University of Michigan marketing professor decided to see if the same holds true for food.

Aradhna Krishna is an expert in sensory marketing, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:46 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

CMU class teaches religion by examining 'The Walking Dead'

Central Michigan University

An interview with CMU student Carl Huber.

A college class that involves poring over ancient biblical texts might not inspire much excitement.

But a college class that teaches some of the same lessons using zombies? Ah, that's going to grab 'em!

That's the idea behind a religion class at Central Michigan University that has, indeed, grabbed a lot of attention. It's called "From Revelation to 'The Walking Dead,'" and it’s taught by religion professor Kelly Jean Murphy.

CMU student Carl Huber is a junior who is double-majoring in Comparative Religion and Sociology, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
8:02 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Daylight saving time: Set clocks ahead 1 hour

Most Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night. Daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time.
Jaltembabaylife.com

WASHINGTON (AP) - Spring is closer than you think, and here's a sure sign: Daylight saving time arrives this weekend.

Most Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night. Daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time.

You may lose an hour of sleep, but daylight saving time promises an extra hour of evening light for many months ahead.

It's also a good time to put new batteries in warning devices such as smoke detectors and hazard warning radios.

Offbeat
10:00 am
Sat March 8, 2014

$138,000 Michigan Lottery prize goes unclaimed

The lottery said Friday that the winning Fantasy 5 jackpot from the March 9, 2013 drawing was bought at the Smokers Depot & Convenience store in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan Lottery ticket worth more than $138,000 has gone unclaimed for a year and been deposited into the state's fund for K-12 schools.

The lottery said Friday that the winning Fantasy 5 jackpot from the March 9, 2013 drawing was bought at the Smokers Depot & Convenience store in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.

Terminal-based tickets are valid one year from the draw date.

Another Fantasy 5 top prize of $100,000 is set to expire Tuesday. It was purchased at Gould's Mini Mart in Sand Lake, and the drawing was held March 11, 2013.

Offbeat
11:08 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Intense ice coverage leads to dramatic animal rescues

Jodi Benchich (right), owner of the lost dog rescued by the Coast Guard on Monday, and Michelle Heyza, founder of A Rejoyceful Rescue, are all smiles during their time with KC at Wilson Veterinary Hospital, March 5, 2014. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay rescued the dog four miles from shore during ice-breaking operations Monday afternoon on Lake St. Clair.
Credit Kim Gordus / U.S. Coast Guard

Update: 11:08 a.m., March 7, 2014

The 14-year-old pup we wrote about earlier in the week was reunited with its owner (woman on the right):

From the Coast Guard's press release:

Jodi Benchich of St. Clair Shores, Mich., visited with her 14-year-old pet “KC” at the Wilson Veterinary Hospital before taking him back home. The dog sustained frostbite on his paws and also lost a significant amount of weight during the time he was lost.

"KC is happy to be back home and is eating everything we give him," said a very happy Benchich. "We're forever grateful to the Coast Guard and hope to be able to thank the crew in person sometime soon."

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Offbeat
11:18 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Here are our 10 favorite photos of what your winter looks like

#PSWinterWhere
user: @dottidee Instagram

A few weeks ago, we asked you to show us what your winter looks like on Instagram using the hashtag #PSWinterWhere.

We coordinated with KPCC (Southern California Public Radio) and NPR  and sent out a call to public radio listeners around the world and asked them what their world looks like this winter.

Here are 10 of our Midwestern favorites.

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