Offbeat

Offbeat

Frog legs on the grill.
Tomas Castelazo / Wikimedia Commons

Treating yourself to a good restaurant meal in Detroit these days might mean biting into some great Coney Islands, or a plate of flaming souvlaki in Greektown, or barbeque, or soul food.

Now roll the clock back about 90 or 100 years.

How about frog leg salad? Frog ravioli? Frog leg pie? Pickled or poached frog leg?

It seems early 20th century foodies just loved frog legs, and Detroit was happy to provide them.

As one New York columnist gushed in 1905: "If you have never eaten frog legs in Detroit, you have something to live for, something for which to strive."

Food historian Bill Loomis wrote about this often-overlooked period in Detroit's culinary history for the May issue of Hour:Detroit magazine.

The piece is called "When Frogs Were King."

Loomis joined us today on the program.

*Listen to our interview above.

user: jacdupree / Flickr

Now that the Detroit Red Wings are going to get a new home in 2016, Joe Louis Arena seems destined for the wrecking ball. 

And that is focusing fresh attention on Detroit's riverfront, as the city searches for a new use for that riverfront site. 

There could be some valuable lessons Detroit could learn from Buffalo, which is doing more than just about any Great Lakes City to reconnect with its waterfront after generations of industrial abuse and neglect. 

Writer Edward McClelland spelled out the story of the ongoing process of reclaiming Buffalo's waterfront in a story for Belt Magazine. He joined us to discuss what Buffalo is doing, and what Detroit could do. 

Listen to the interview above. 

Peter Martorano / Flickr

Even before Detroit got itself an emergency manager and became the biggest city in American history to declare bankruptcy, the headlines and images coming out of the Motor City have been pretty grim. 

And, as travelers abroad are discovering, that has led to all kinds of encounters with "the locals" when they discover you're from Detroit. 

So, do you tell them that you're from Detroit, or do you hide it?

That's the question posed by Detroit Free Press travel writer Ellen Creager. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Catholics trying to support Detroit's oldest churches are encouraging people to fill the empty pews.

The latest effort comes Sunday at the 11 a.m. Mass at St. Charles Borromeo church on Detroit's east side. The group has a Facebook page called the Detroit Catholic Mass Mob.

user: GoBlue / imgur

For those students studying in the University of Michigan's Shapiro Undergraduate Library, relief is not far away.

The Central Student Government has implemented its first napping station.

The idea is geared toward those who are studying hard for tests but live too far from the library to run home for a quick nap. It was pitched to CSG by engineering junior Adrian Bazbaz, who was interviewed for an article in the Michigan Daily

The Holy See (Catholic Church)

A west Michigan Catholic priest can claim the rare distinction of having spent time with both former popes who will officially be raised to sainthood on Sunday.

“I knew them before they were saints,” Father Charles Dautremont says with a laugh as he talks about the photos of himself with Pope John XXII and Pope John Paul II on his parish office wall in Wyoming.

He met the two men while he studied in Rome.    

Dautremont says at the time he saw the holiness in both men.

user: Beverley Goodwin / Flickr

America, on average, gets to work at 7:55 a.m. People who are employed in Ann Arbor get to work at 8:15 a.m. That's not very impressive. Granted, it's better than New Yorkers, who leisurely arrive at 8:24 a.m. –nearly 30 minutes later than the national average.

All of these numbers are from Nate Silver's blog.  He analyzed and explained data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau's "American Community Survey."

Jason Hicks going for his ninth strike.
Amber Taylor / YouTube

We're talking the traditional, pitcher-of-beer, middle America, tenpin bowling.

Chad McClean set the official record in Gainesville, Florida last year. He managed 12 strikes in one minute.

Unofficially, Jason Hicks tied that record at his family-owned Clio Bowling Arcade last month. MLive's Aaron McMann says Hicks actually hit a 13th strike, but it was a second too late.

Here's a video of his last attempt:

Humane Society of Huron Valley / Facebook

Why did the turtle cross the road? The answer is that it is just that time of the year again. Michigan's turtles are hitting the roads to go and lay their eggs on the other side.

The Humane Society of Huron Valley is urging drivers to keep on the look out for these little guys making their way across our roads, and to avoid them as safely as possible. If the mood strikes you, get out and nudge them in the direction that they are headed. 

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. 

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.

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

If you seek a pleasant pothole...

Apr 13, 2014
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!"

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.

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

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

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.

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. 

Mark Sebastian / Flickr

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.

Flickr user herzogbr / Flickr

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.

http://failure-lab.com/

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.

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.

Lyon thinks this years clue leads to one of four light poles at this intersection.
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.

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.

Central Michigan University

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.

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.

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.

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 Cutte
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."

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.

Mandy Warhol / Flickr

All right, you fans of West Michigan's Whitecaps, it's your chance to decide what treat will be added to the concession menu at Fifth Third Ballpark.

The annual online poll lets fans choose their favorite item from ideas submitted by fans. The team has pulled a top-10 list from hundreds of ideas.

Mickey Graham is with the West Michigan Whitecaps, and he joined us today to discuss some of the top choices. 

Listen to the full interview above.

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