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Offbeat

Offbeat

Manspreading, presser, vape on 2015 list of Banished Words

Dec 31, 2015
Gabrielle Emanuel / Michigan Radio

So, Lake Superior State University has started a conversation with stakeholders of the English language.

The university has identified problematic words that are breaking the Internet and ruining the Queen’s English.

In a tradition that dates back more than four decades, the university picked words that are misused, overused or generally useless.

Tom Pink, who helped selected 13 banned words from over 2,000 submissions, says ‘so’ was the most nominated word on this year's list.

The biggest Environment Report stories of the year

Dec 30, 2015
Kalamazoo Valley Bird Observatory

About 44 feet below the surface of the water, 12 miles northeast of Sandusky in western Lake Erie

The Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE) discovered the wreck on August 28th. It was believed to be a vessel called the Argo that sank in 1937.

Ali Lapetina / Michigan Radio Detroit Journalism Cooperative

It's been just over a year since Detroit emerged from bankruptcy. As 2015 draws to a close, it will be the first full post-bankruptcy year for Detroit.

For city residents, life continues. Some city services have improved, many people are optimistic about the city's future, and some people see no difference at all.

We asked photographer Ali Lapetina to take her camera all over the city in a single day, and shoot pictures from before sunrise until after sunset.

Our most popular Stateside stories this year

Dec 28, 2015

Do you say Meijer or Meijer’s?

A lot of us have a real habit of adding that possessive "s" to a store or company’s name. Is it just a Michigan thing?

Is it art or just a mess? You had a few thoughts.

Carson Brown wants to make people think critically about what he calls the American landscape, and he’s not talking about mountains and vistas.

What it takes to make snow when nature's not cooperating

Dec 24, 2015
Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

Artificial snowmaking is a complicated process, but it's one that's important to ski resorts this year as Michigan's weather stays balmy.

While it's possible to go really granular in explaining how snow guns work (everything from humidity to water pressure can change when snow can be made), it boils down to four basic "ingredients."

Click through the slideshow at the top for your snowmaking basics.

The magic of kayaking on freezing water

Dec 17, 2015
Tamar Charney

During the summer, cars with kayaks or canoes on top are a common site. But even in the winter – when you'd expect to see skis – you can sometimes spot a kayak on the roof rack. One of those kayak-toting cars of winter is mine.

There's nothing wrong with kayaking in the summer. I do it all the time, though some weekends it's hard to escape the hordes of drunk tubers on the river or the throngs of pontoon boats on the lake.

Winter kayaking is a whole different scene.

A Minute with Mike: Move the Holidays

Dec 16, 2015
Vic Reyes

Even if you're a devout atheist, the end of December can be quite stressful. There's a lot of expectations to fulfill in a limited amount of time.

 

Jim Harbaugh pleads his case.
MGoBlog / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

At a recent press conference, Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh was asked how he was preparing his team for the upcoming games with Penn State and Ohio State.

Harbaugh responded that he coaches them like it's playoff football: If you win, you get to keep playing.

He likened the games to the pick-up basketball games he played at Pattengill Elementary in Ann Arbor.

The "Holy Quintet" in Detroit.
Kevin Fox / Fox Photography

Halloween is Saturday, but that won’t stop people from dressing up early.

Youmacon kicks off in Detroit today.

It’s the biggest anime, gaming, and comic convention in the state. The event is in its 11th year, and – along with a lot of other “cons” around the state – it continue to grow.

The popularity of these conventions piqued Lorraine Schleter’s curiosity, so she posted her question to MI Curious:

Rachel Titiriga / Flickr

A bump in the night, a creaky floor in the attic, a scuffling sound across the room…. The causes?  Maybe the house is settling, a strong wind, a small rodent, or maybe the sounds came from an unknown realm or even, the other side.

Samantha Harris is the founder of the Michigan Paranormal Research Association, based in the Traverse City area. After an “encounter” at an early age, Harris has dedicated herself to researching and documenting the unknown. She has experience with hauntings and dealing with “entities.”

My relationship with VW just isn't the same anymore

Oct 12, 2015
Even the view from my panoramic sunroof isn't helping.
Bruce Berrien / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

I found my Jetta Sportswagen TDI in 2013.

I bought the car after extensive research, and it was exactly what I needed -- roomy but sporty, solid construction, room in the back for my dogs, excellent safety ratings, and the sweet, sweet gas-mileage-and-carbon-footprint cherry on top of that automotive sundae.

I was seduced. I "spreche die Deutsch."

The last couple of years I have raved to friends and family about my Jetta -- how I can drive to Chicago and back on one tank of gas. I loved how impressed my friends were by the panoramic sunroof.

Even my parents liked this car.

What's your favorite apple? Honeycrisp, by far

Oct 8, 2015
Paula Friedrich / Michigan RAdio

We asked, you answered: Honeycrisp is the best apple. If we're being real, it wasn't much of a contest. Almost 50% of you voted for the Honeycrisp in our poll for "'Best Apple to Eat." 

A clear showing of Michigan's refined culinary palette--Honeycrisp apples are known to be kind of a "diva" to grow. 

The winning numbers were sold in Michigan.
Powerball / screen grab

The winning ticket to a $310.5 million Powerball jackpot was sold in a small town in southwestern Michigan.

Michigan Lottery officials are urging the winner to step forward. The jackpot can be paid over 30 years or the winner can choose a lump sum of about $197 million before taxes.

Part of a polished Petoskey stone.
Michelle Pemberton / Wikimedia Commons

Tim O'Brien might be regretting the fact that he talked to reporters about the 93-pound Petoskey stone he found near Northport, Michigan.

The Grand Rapids Press story on his haul was the "most read" thing on MLive this morning.

And the stone continued to build momentum on Twitter:

The Friends of the Historic Masonic Temple / https://www.facebook.com/bcwizardfest?fref=ts

Grab your wizard's hat and wand, Bay City is the place to be this weekend.

It's the first-ever Wizard Fest, A Harry Potter Fan Festival running this Friday through Sunday around Bay City.

Bella Solviva / https://www.facebook.com/bellasolviva?fref=photo

A new way to enjoy the great outdoors is coming soon to northern Michigan. 

It's called Bella Solviva. And it’s opening next spring near Torch Lake, northeast of Traverse City.

Bella Solviva is the campground for those who want that outdoor experience without, say, the communal showers or having to plop your sleeping bag on a blow-up air mattress. 

Brad Carlson and his wife are getting this all ready. 

A button promoting marijuana legalization.
Danny Birchall / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Everything you ever wanted to know about marijuana in Michigan was discussed this week on Stateside.

From the politics - to the business - to the potential downsides.

We sat down with reporters, business owners, and law enforcement to learn more about the topic.

Here's a quick rundown of what we covered:

The Founders baby will remain on labels in other states.
Mike Mozart / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

"You wanna sell beer in this state? You gotta go through me, kid."

While not an exact quote, that's essentially what Michigan's Liquor Control Commission said when it found that the label for Founders Breakfast Stout was in violation of its rules, which say:

Emojipedia / http://emojipedia.org/unicode-9.0/

The recent announcement that new emojis are coming to a keyboard near you in 2016 caught our attention. The emoji powers that be (and yes, that exists!) are now deciding which new ones will make it onto our keyboards next year.

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.

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