Offbeat

Offbeat

Flickr user Justin C Lenk / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Beer is big in Michigan. The state is fifth in the nation for its number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs. This growth is creating a demand for workers to brew, serve and market all of that beer.

Schoolcraft College is launching a new brewing program this fall to help turn out those workers.

Rich Weinkauf is the Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. And he’ll be teaching one of the courses in the new brewing and distillation technology certificate program.

Steven Depolo | Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

We asked you on Facebook. We went outside the studio (*gasp*) and asked people in the street. You tweeted us on Twitter. You told us 70 experiences every Michigander should have at least once. 

These are in no particular order...except to note Sleeping Bear Dunes was, hands down, the most popular response.

Flickr user Christian Schnettelker / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

When you think northern Michigan you think Cherries. So why is it that the Guinness Record for the wold's largest cherry pie is held by Oliver, British Columbia?

Two Michigan cities previously held that title.

Patrick Sullivan wrote about the battle of the cherry pies for Northern Express.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A small group of people gathered outside the Saginaw Children’s Zoo Monday to protest the removal of a carousel horse painted with the Confederate flag.

“They want their right to freedom of speech,” said a man, wearing a ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ t-shirt, who declined to give his name. “We want our right to freedom of speech”

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

To get an idea of how bad the roads in Hamtramck, Michigan are, you could just drive around

Or you could go talk to Jon Sucher.

A lot of times if you hear about a bad pothole on the news, I’ll know about it first because if it’s around here, people come to me,” says Sucher, the owner of Sucher Tire on East Davison, right across the street from Hamtramck.

Miranda Bono is on track to open the very first "cat cafe" in Michigan.

"A cat cafe is basically a coffee shop and a cat rescue center in one place," says Bono.

Cat cafes originated in Asia and traveled to the United States, with the first opening in California last fall.

As maybe the only 89-year-old who can claim to be a cult favorite on Twitter, former U.S. Rep. John Dingell has some 31,000 followers. 

But his wife, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell? Not so much.

So the two announced they'd made a politically savvy wager: If the congresswoman could get to 5,000 Twitter followers by last weekend, then Mr. Dingell would read mean tweets about himself on camera - something late-night host Jimmy Kimmel popularized on his show.

The internet complied. So, here you go:

   

 

 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. military has been very active in Michigan and around the country this summer. 

The Pentagon insists it’s just routine training.   But others see something more sinister at work.

Historical Society of Greater Lansing

When the Historical Society of Greater Lansing hosted an oral history with the owner of Lansing's longstanding Jim's Tiffany restaurant, more than 80 people showed up to listen.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

I sure would.

"Mean Tweets" is a popular segment on the Jimmy Kimmel late-night TV show.

Kimmel has convinced famous movie stars and even the president of the United States to read mean tweets about themselves in front of a camera.

Now, John Dingell has a bet with his wife, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, that she can't get 5,000 Twitter followers by Sunday.

But if she does, he'll read mean tweets about himself, Jimmy Kimmel-style, and post the video online.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

This weekend, thousands of people across the country took a swim at the same time, without bathing suits.

Michigan Radio’s Lindsey Smith went to Union City, near Battle Creek, to witness part of the world record skinny dip attempt.

She filed this audio postcard.

More than 200 people skinny dipped at Turtle Lake on Saturday.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Decades after they were laid to rest, a marker has been placed at a mass grave in South Haven for the victims of a plane crash. The grave was only discovered a few weeks ago.

Northwest Airlines flight 2501 crashed in Lake Michigan on June 23, 1950. All 58 aboard people died. At the time, it was the deadliest commercial airline crash in U.S. history.

The wreckage and their bodies were never fully recovered. Human remains washed ashore that whole summer, briefly closing the beaches in South Haven. The remains were buried the next summer in an unmarked mass grave.

"Words mean things."

Our favorite podcasters, Crissle and Kid Fury of The Read, are fond of saying that.

It's true now more than ever, but particularly when it comes to tough conversations. 

Americans, in person and online, are discussing race and racism.

courtesy of Big Rock Chophoue

You might not expect to find thousands of bees at a popular, busy restaurant, especially one in a big city.

But that's exactly what you'll find at Big Rock Chophouse in Birmingham.

The press arrives to grab images of the Giant Tire.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

When we heard that the Automotive Press Association was holding an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Giant Uniroyal Tire along 1-94, we couldn’t resist.

Not only because, well, it’s the GIANT TIRE – who wouldn’t want to see inside of it?! – but also because it gave us a chance to look into a question put to our M I Curious page.

Message in a bottle
Flickr user Laura Alvarez

Not many people find messages in bottles. Terry Smith just found his second--though this one was technically a message-in-a-film-canister.

The Ohio resident stumbled on the cannister while hunting for morels in the Grand River on the west side of the state.

"I always look inside something like this you never know what you will find," he wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Several thousand people are expected to swarm Sunday’s Ann Arbor Classic Bicycle Show and Swap Meet.

This is the show’s 35th year.

Organizer Paul Kleppert says people are drawn to see the rarest of the two wheelers.

All photography and graphic design by Dave Brenner / SNRE

Bearded woodsmen are everywhere.

The Associated Press calls the look "lumberjack chic."

Outside magazine dubbed it lumbersexual (think: opposite of metrosexual). It's loosely defined as someone who looks like a lumberjack but hasn't chopped down an actual tree.

Where did the iconic Detroit "D" come from?

Apr 16, 2015
Have you noticed the different Old English D's?
Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

The Old English "D" has become emblematic of the city of Detroit — it can be seen tattooed on forearms or stuck on the bumpers of cars, and of course, all over Comerica Park. The baseball team popularized the D, but where did it really come from, and why has the entire city rallied behind it?

That’s what Michael Hesser wanted to know.

michigan.gov

Michiganders are being encouraged next week to gaze into the night sky.

International Dark Sky week kicks off on Monday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Sunday is the deadline to submit ideas for what to do with the old Pontiac Silverdome.

The Silverdome’s owner is holding an online competition to determine what can be done to redevelop the 127 acre property.

Porta potties in a lovely setting.
E. Dronkert / Flickr

Researchers have set up two Porta potties by a bus stop on the University of Michigan's central campus today. They're hoping to gather enough urine to research whether disinfected human urine can be safely recycled to fertilize food crops.

In a press release, the University of Michigan said they're working with four other institutions in this "first of its kind" research project.

Why recycle pee? Good question.

The ice is still thick in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. When do you think this Saturn will sink to the bottom?
Rotary Club of Iron Mountain–Kingsford

The Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford decided to reach back into history and bring back an old fundraising technique. Instead of the usual pancake breakfast or rose sale, this time around they’re having a contest that asks people to guess how fast a 1998 Saturn will sink into Chapin Pit.

A Minute with Mike: What's in a name?

Mar 18, 2015

Like most of you listening, I am proud of being from Michigan. Trips up north, long summer sunsets and the joy of boating across a lake are experiences many of us hold dear. 

But there's one thing about being from Michigan I find quite disconcerting: being called a Michigander.

madonna on stage illuminated by spotlights
Flickr user M Prince Photography / Flickr

In a recent interview, Madonna called the people of her hometown Rochester Hills "basic, provincial-thinking people."

Mayor Bryan Barnett decided her statement went too far, so he crafted an open letter response that's now being shared all over the Internet.

Courtesy photo / Ben Schultz

It appears old man winter is finally loosening his grip on Michigan. (Dare I type that sentence?)

With temperatures close to the 50s over the weekend, some folks may have busted out the grill. I dug around my shed and got my bike out.

My office in Grand Rapids is only about a mile and a half away from my house. But it costs $14 a day to park there. It makes sense most days to commute on my bike.

But I don't bike to work in the winter. I’m just not that hardcore. The black ice, the wind chill, it’s daunting. I already hate driving in the snow. I can’t imagine riding my bike in it. I just can’t.

But people do it. Maybe you’ve seen them around your town? They’ve got those weird fat tire bikes and full face masks with icicle mustaches. They’re crazy, right?

Flickr user Fernando Revilla / Flickr

Tomorrow, for the second consecutive month, will be a Friday the 13th.

Professor Phillips Stevens of the University of Buffalo, whose research includes topics such as cultural anthropology and religion, says this fear could have religious roots.

FLICKR USER GEORGE THOMAS / FLICKR

The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere, and the fifth-longest suspension bridge in the world. While crossing the Mackinac Bridge in itself is breathtaking, sometimes it’s hard not to wonder what it’s like way up there on top of the bridge's highest cables.

shelf of wine bottles
Flickr user Geoffrey Fairchild / Flickr

About 10 years ago, when the occupationally snooty world of wine was introduced to the radical idea of putting screw caps on bottles of fine wine, the reaction in some quarters was utter horror.

Until then, the only wines with screw caps to be found anywhere were hip pocket-sized bottles of reinforced wines called Night Train and White Lightening.

In 2004, a study found more than half of American consumers and 60% of British wine drinkers the idea of screw caps on their fine wine.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Don Schneider loved movies. He really loved movies.

For a half century, he collected movie memorabilia.  Seriously collected.

After Schneider died last Fall at the age of 91, his friends got together to catalogue his collection.    Three months later, they are still at it.

Pages