Offbeat

Offbeat
12:23 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

The Ann Arbor Shopping Cart Race speeds down Main St.

Elaine Ezekiel Michigan Radio

The annual Shopping Cart Race attracted a crowd of about one hundred people outside the Fleetwood Diner in downtown Ann Arbor last night.  Each year, competitors personalize their shopping cart(s), don costumes and protective gear and push their teammates down the half-mile Main St. slope from E Ann St. to the railroad bridge past Depot St.

Scroll through the photo gallery above to see some of the racers and their creations.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Offbeat
10:03 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Michigan Lottery contacted by $337M jackpot winner

Feeling lucky?
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Lottery says it has been contacted by the winner of last week's $337 million Powerball jackpot.

In a news release issued Wednesday, the lottery says details about the ticket-holder won't be released until the prize is officially claimed.

The winning ticket for the Aug. 15 drawing was sold at a Sunoco station in Lapeer.

It was the third-largest Powerball jackpot in the game's history. Lottery officials have said the winner could take home a $241 million lump sum.

1:29 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Winning Michigan Powerball ticket largest in state history

Lead in text: 
06 27 46 51 56 21. Those were the lucky numbers for the winner of over $300 million from a Powerball lottery ticket sold in Lapeer, Mich. That's the most money ever won in a Michigan lottery jackpot. Follow the link to read more.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Elaine Ezekiel
LAPEER, MI -- The winning Powerball lottery ticket sold at a Lapeer gas station is the biggest ever sold in Michigan's history, a spokeswoman for the lottery said. The $337-million ticket was sold at the Odish Family Market and Sunoco gas station on Lapeer Road next to McLaren Regional Medical Center.
Offbeat
3:36 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Relax: It's all part of the plan in Grand Rapids

Matthew_Hull MorgueFile

In 1985, nine-year-old Sean Moeller came up with an idea for a new holiday.

He wanted there to be a national relaxation day.

He's getting his wish, at least on a smaller scale, because today Grand Rapids is observing its own Relaxation Day.

"It doesn't have to be a whole day, just a few minutes at a time, to refresh and invigorate your mind and your body and just take a break for a few minutes," Moeller says. "There are tremendous health benefits."

Offbeat
9:32 am
Tue August 7, 2012

"Bee Sting" sentenced after pleading guilty

Bee Sting talking to Lansing 6 News.
YouTube

A Michigan man who once belonged to a costumed band of self-professed real-life superheroes has been sentenced to time served in jail after pleading guilty in a deal with prosecutors, the Associated Press reports.  More from the AP:

Adam Besso was nicknamed "Bee Sting" and pleaded June 22 to a misdemeanor charge of attempted assault with a weapon. The agreement with prosecutors calls for the 36-year-old Sterling Heights man to be released after sentencing. Besso apologized at his court appearance Monday before formally receiving the sentence of 102 days already served and two years' probation. Authorities say Besso's shotgun fired in April as he struggled with a man at a trailer park in the Flint suburb of Burton. Police say he was wearing a bulletproof vest, black leather jacket with a bee logo, shin guards and knee pads.

"Bee Sting" was once part of a larger group known on the Internet as the "Michigan Protectors."

Read more
2:48 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

U-M students, faculty cheer as NASA rover Curiosity lands on Mars

Lead in text: 
Read about U of M scientists' and space enthusiasts' reaction to last night's successful landing of Curiosity on Martian terrain after the dreaded “seven minutes of terror." Follow the link to also see the accompanying video reaction to the landing at NASA.
  • Source: Freep
  • | Via: Elaine Ezekiel
As the Mars Rover Curiosity raced towards the surface of Mars early this morning, tension was thick in both NASA's mission control and in an auditorium at the University of Michigan, where more than 100 faculty and students gathered to watch the landing. Nilton O.
Offbeat
1:03 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Pushed for 'poundage,' Michigan Governor Snyder evades weight question

Michigan Gov. Snyder gets cagey on subject of weight loss.
Facebook

For a Governor who creates online "dashboards" to measure goals he has set for the state, he gets a little evasive when it comes to one of his goals.

Last fall, Mr. Snyder called Michigan's system of health care "a broken system."

He said too many people in the state smoke, are overweight, and don't exercise.

To set a good example, Snyder said his goal was to lose 10 pounds by the end of the year.

Some time has passed since that speech, but I thought we should check in on the goal. Michigan Radio reporter Lindsey Smith sat down with Governor Snyder yesterday and put the question to him.

Here's his answer:

Michigan Gov. Snyder on his weight loss goal.

"I've lost some, but not enough," said Snyder. When Smith pushed for "poundage," Snyder wouldn't give it up.

It looks like his weight goal has gone the same way as another goal he set for the state in that speech last fall. He asked the legislature to set up a state health care exchange under the federal health care law: so far, this goal is out of his control.

Offbeat
5:42 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Studies: 'Sexting' normal among teens, adults getting into the act

A modern day Casanova?
Alton Creative Commons

"Sexting," the act of sending racy messages or photos using a mobile phone, isn't a sign of moral turpitude, according to researchers from the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. They say the act is just a part of normal dating for young people.

Researchers surveyed respondents for their study, which will be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

From a UM press release:

University of Michigan researchers looked at the sexting behavior of 3,447 men and women ages 18-24 and found that while sexting is very common, sexting isn't associated with sexually risky behaviors or with psychological problems.

The findings contradict the public perception of sexting, which is often portrayed in the media and elsewhere as unsavory, deviant or even criminal behavior, said Jose Bauermeister, an assistant professor at the U-M School of Public Health and co-principal investigator of the study.

Previous research has been done to identify who is "sexting," but the UM researchers say this "is the first known study to connect sexting with a behavioral outcome."

They found nearly half of the respondents said they took part in sexting, and most people who said they received "sexts" also said they sent them. The results, researchers say, suggests sexting likely happens between romantic partners.

And it's not just young people, more older adults are participating as well.

From Sarah Gates of the Huffington Post:

A recent Harris Interactive poll found that one in five Americans sext or share racy text messages with others on their smartphones.

Sponsored by Lookout Mobile Security, the results of the 2,097 adults surveyed focused on a particular rising trend -- adult sexting. While the convention may be popular among text-savvy teens, sexting has become more prevalent among older generations, as one in 10 baby boomers surveyed admitted to sending or receiving explicit photos.

While sexting might be risqué, it's also risky (to which Anthony Wiener, Kwame Kilpatrick and several other politicians can attest).

No doubt, there are, or there will soon be, privacy apps for the behavior.

3:04 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Top ten Northern Michigan beaches

Lead in text: 
Check out what MyNorth.com thinks are the top-ten best Leelanau Peninsula beaches the state has to offer. An up north escape from this heat sounds pretty good right about now...
  • Source: Mynorth
  • | Via: Elaine Ezekiel
Northern Michigan Beaches: Use the MyNorth.com guide to the best Leelanau beaches to find "the delight of your life." Jul 23, 2012 Intern Thea Senger Northern Michigan Beaches: The ancient Native American word Leelanau means "delight of life".
Offbeat
12:01 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Friday diversion: Two 14 year olds show us the scale of the universe

The size of a Redwood tree, compared to an Oak tree, a Blue whale, a 747, a cactus, and so on.
screen grab Scale of the Universe 2

Cary Huang (with a little help from his twin brother, Michael) built the interactive web page "The Scale of the Universe 2." It's their second pass at the concept, according to Discover Magazine.

With it, you can scroll down to see a representation of the microscopic (i.e. E. coli bacteria), and scroll back out to see the galactic.

ABCNews.com writes the ninth graders from Moraga, California were inspired by a teacher to create the page: 

"My seventh grade science teacher showed us a size comparison video on cells, and I thought it was fascinating. I decided to make my own interactive version that included a much larger range of sizes," said Cary in an email forwarded by his mother. "It was not a school project -- just for fun. However, my science teacher loved it so much she showed [it] to the class! My brother, Michael, helped me put it on the internet."

Cary said he worked on the project, on and off, for a year and a half, getting information from Wikipedia and astronomy books. It is now spreading virally online.

H/T to the A2Chronicle

Offbeat
5:34 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Facebook followers share 'up north' highlights

Lake Michigan Sunset
User acrylicartist MorgueFile.com

Earlier today, Michigan Radio’s Kyle Norris posted a story about Michiganders’ love of traveling north of their hometowns for an in-state getaway.  On our facebook page, we asked fans to join the conversation:

“Ok, let's hear your favorite thing about going ‘up north.’”

Followers posted comments detailing the perks of their favorite spots up north.

Several answered that the drive north is the best part of the experience.

Gary: Crossing the tension line (or "ecotone") between southern and northern forests. The pines and sand sneak in so slowly you barely notice, until they seem suddenly to dominate.

Cathrin: Not only do the trees change, but the landscape begins to rise and fall in drastic contrast to the flat plains of the center of the mitten. So beautiful!

Dani: crossing the bridge to the u.p ...being so close to 3 of the great lakes the beautiful scenery the falls the fudge in mackinaw smoked fish in st ignance and most of all being away from the big city

Read more
Offbeat
4:23 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

A bird's-eye view of Detroit and the coming 'Drone Age'

The ArduCopter posted on DIY Drones can take pictures in the sky for $549.
DIY Drones

This drone doesn't shoot missiles, like the military's multi-million dollar flying death machines.

It just takes some amazing pictures (and can cost in the neighborhood of $500 to $1,000).

The video from the four rotor hobbyist helicopter was posted by YouTube user "Tretch5000."

Bill McGraw of Deadline Detroit reposted on the video late last night. He writes:

Tretch5000's drone buzzes over the green lawns and trees of Belle Isle. 

It glides between floors of an abandoned factory and out over a meadow of discarded tires. 

It zig-zags among the pillars of an old church that looks like a Roman ruin. 

It soars up the back, over the top and down the front of the Michigan Central Station in a dizzying trip that gives the viewer the sensation of falling -- or flying -- off the roof.

Here's the video, flying to the sounds of Ruby Frost and Mt. Eden's "Oh That I Had":

Remotely controlled flying machines are nothing new, but their capabilities are significantly increasing while their costs are significantly decreasing.

Wired Magazine's Editor in Chief Chris Anderson attributes the "drone" boom to burgeoning smart phone technology in his self-promoting piece "How I Accidentally Kickstarted the Domestic Drone Boom." (One poster commented, "Next up: How I kickstarted the Internet, by Al Gore.")

Anderson writes:

—sensors, optics, batteries, and embedded processors—all of them growing smaller and faster each year. Just as the 1970s saw the birth and rise of the personal computer, this decade will see the ascendance of the personal drone. We’re entering the Drone Age.

And Anderson and his company hope to be there to capitalize on it.

Right now, these "drones" can't really be drone-like unless the Federal Aviation Administration steps in.

FAA rules require that UAS (or unmanned aircraft systems) have to be within the operator's line of sight, have to stay under 400 feet, have to be flown during the day and have to be away from airports.

To be a "drone" implies that it flies somewhere either far from the person controlling it, or on some type of pre-programmed auto-pilot course.

With increasing pressure mounting (the government says in the United States alone, approximately 50 companies, universities, and government organizations are developing and producing over 155 unmanned aircraft designs), the FAA is looking into how it can regulate the coming "Drone Age" safely. They expect to have new rules by 2015.

Who knows? In 2015, Michigan Radio might finally be able to afford its first news chopper.

Offbeat
12:04 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Online identity theft scam poses as Obama, lands in metro Detroit

user cohdra MorgueFile.com

If you get an email from President Obama, saying he wants to pay your electric bill, it's best to delete it.

A countrywide email and text message scam in which the sender offers to pay the recipient's utility bills through a new federal program in exchange for sensitive identity information has hit metro Detroit.

And some are taking the bait, reports The Detroit News' Charles E. Ramirez:

Read more
Offbeat
9:59 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Another hot day without electricity for many Michiganders

DETROIT (AP) - Utility workers are battling high temperatures as they work to restore electricity to tens of thousands of Michigan homes and businesses without power following thunderstorms this week.

DTE Energy said early Saturday about 45,000 of its customers were without power, mostly in Oakland and Wayne counties. Consumers Energy reported about 23,700 of its customers without power.

Most of those without electricity lost service after storms late Wednesday and Thursday. DTE says most of its customers should have power back by Saturday night.

Read more
4:04 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Iowa man runs around Lake Michigan in 40 days

Lead in text: 
... And you thought you were hot this week!
Offbeat
11:58 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Many Michiganders still waiting for the power to be turned back on

user Coolcaesar wikimedia commons

Nearly 150,000 Michiganders are sweating through today without electricity.

Severe storms earlier this week knocked out power to more than 400,000 Michigan utility customers.

Spokesmen for DTE and Consumers Energy say it may be late Saturday or early Sunday before all the electricity is restored.

Dan Bishop is a spokesman for Consumers Energy. He says utility crews expect to make a lot of progress today, despite having to work in temperatures around 100 degrees.

“The heat is obviously the story of the day,” says Bishop. “The most important concern for us is to make sure our crews are well hydrated and working safely.”

Consumers Energy is getting some extra help from linemen from Missouri and Indiana.

Offbeat
12:43 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Hot as a firecracker! Many Michiganders are celebrating the 4th of July in the shade

A family watches Lansing's Independence Day parade from a shady spot
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The hot weather is not stopping most Michiganders from getting out and enjoying Independence Day.  

But organizers of many of today’s events are concerned.

Read more
weather
1:42 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

It’s hot… and only getting warmer the rest of the week

Several splash parks are open in the City of Grand Rapids, and free.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

The National Weather Service has put much of southwest and lower mid-Michigan under an “excessive heat warning” through Saturday. With the humidity factored in, it could feel as hot as 110-degrees in some places later this week.

Chapters of The American Red Cross are prepared for the heat wave. Chip Kraght directs emergency services for the west Michigan district.

“It can become a disaster, however, with some really easy preventative stuff and some careful monitoring people can really prevent any sort of side effects,” Kraght said.

Read more
Offbeat
11:16 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Revitalizing Detroit? Consider zombies

A rendering of Z World Detroit, a proposed zombie-themed game zone where players would run for their lives in one of the city's abandoned neighborhoods
http://www.indiegogo.com/zworlddetroit

People have come up with a lot of ideas about how to repurpose the large swaths of vacant land and abandoned buildings in Detroit, but turning them over to the undead is probably a first.

No, the zombie apocalypse isn't finally upon us, at least as far as we here at Michigan Radio know. The "zombies" in this case would be "professionals" there to chase paying customers as they flee through derelict neighborhoods and crumbling warehouses.

The zombie-themed "game zone" is the brainchild of Clawson's Marc Siwak who told Detroit's WWJ-AM that he envisions a structured game where an initial group of professional zombies catches participants and assimilates them, while the remaining "living" players try to avoid the growing horde.

Siwak is currently trying to raise funding through online crowd-sourcing.  WWJ reports that while he has failed to secure any sort of permission from the city, he thinks Z World Detroit would fit in well alongside urban farms and other projects aimed at transforming blighted areas.

From Siwak's website:

“There are formal proposals to essentially abandon some of Detroit’s neighborhoods. That’s not a solution.  Collectively we must be more creative than that. Let’s do something fun and unique that will revitalize an area while creating some jobs for Detroiters.”

Siwak told WWJ-AM that he's already received resumes from brain-hungry potential employees.

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Offbeat
3:55 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Facebook responses: Top three foods for life

Bacon was the most popular food mentioned in the responses.
user Jonathunder Wikimedia Commons

In a recent Michigan Radio Facebook post, we asked followers:

If you could only eat three basic foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Responses filled up our wall, ranging from the responsible:

Alison- Kale, eggs, and nuts...if I had to chose one I would say almonds

...to the indulgent:

Kyle- Pizza, Donuts, and McDonalds

...to the bizarre:

Paul- Bacon, wrapped in ham, wrapped in bacon

Bacon, it turns out, was the most popular food item with 13 votes.

Read more

Pages