Offbeat

Offbeat

Eran Finkle/Flickr

Failing schools, emergency managers, and problems at nuclear power plants have populated Michigan headlines lately.

Important, but not very cheery.

We thought we'd lighten your Friday by sharing a few stats from Banfield Hospital's State of the Pet report. Here are a few of our favorites.

YouTube

The new "YouTube Trends Map" shows you the most the popular videos by city. It can also be broken down by sex and age group.

What's trending in Michigan right now?

Well, apparently you like your country music in the northern part of the state:

Your dating advice in West Michigan:

Your vampires in southern Michigan:

And in the UP, you are in a time lapse kind of mood:

That's what is trending now. But I venture to guess that it won't be long before this interview with Charles Ramsey becomes the most popular in your area:

H/T to Heather Bryant

missdrumettemajor/flickr

If you bought an engraved brick to help restore the World's Largest Stove, the state of Michigan would like to give it back to you.

The state Land Bank tomorrow  will return 1200 bricks that lined a pathway to the stove at the State Fairgrounds at Cadillac Place in Detroit. The bricks were installed in 1998 as a fundraiser to help restore the stove.

The stove was initially built for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, and was later brought to Detroit. The stove was destroyed by a fire in 2011.

YouTube

So much for the "no contact" order from the health department.

These guys suited up and went places they normally can't go:

One commenter asks "That's pretty awesome, but isn't the water disgusting?"

Looks like the fun outweighed the "disgusting" in this case.

H/T Dustin Dwyer

Every college has its traditions.

Some of them become popular nationally. That's what happened in March of 1974 on college campuses around the country.

What were college students doing? Streaking.

If you were in college or remember the spring of 1974, you'll remember that naked explosion on campus. 

The streaking phenomenon at first was not widespread nor was it well known. The first news reports of these events had to define streaking.  The earliest events happened on Florida's campus.

In February and in early March, news networks began reporting the story. It began to catch the attention of the New York Times and that's when streaking was in full swing.

Jim Tobin, a writer and historian, described the buildup of the campus phenomenon at the University of Michigan.

"The wildfire effect that happened in the first week of March was the week that Michigan students were on their spring break, so no one was in Ann Arbor, but all of the students were hearing about it and dying to get back in Ann Arbor to take part," said Tobin. "That Monday after spring break, there were announcements that there would be a couple of events that would take place."

Tobin describes that past streaks were more of a solo thing and that Michigan students wanted to introduce the idea of mass streaks.

By the Tuesday after Spring Break, and after announcements in the Michigan Daily, groups gathered  at lunch and in the evening to streak. The groups had about 70 students Tobin explains, "The real crowd was the 1,000 of students who came to watch the streakers," he said.

With previous streaks being smaller and more spontaneous, Ann Arbor became home to the first mass streak.

Listen to the full interview above.

Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist / Facebook

Sure, the three sisters from Ann Arbor's Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are probably going to beat you in a game of trivia about the Bible.

But you wouldn't expect them to take you on the physical challenges as well.

It turns out Sister Evangeline, Sister Peter Joseph and Sister Maria Suso are pretty darn good at flipping forks into glasses:

user thebridge / Michigan Radio

Why is it so cold this spring?

Jeff Masters, PhD, Director of Meterology at Weather Underground, tried to shed some light on our slow seasons.

MLive / screenshot from video

The Palm Beach Times, ABC, the Guardian, UPI, the Examiner, even "Perth Now" covered the amazing story of Evie Branan.

The 79 year-old woman woke from a five-year semi-coma in the spring 2011 and said "I want to go to a Bob Seger concert."

Two years later, she got her wish. Here she is dancing at last night's concert with a little help:

From MLive's Sarah Schuch:

At 79 years old, Evie Branan still cheered, threw her hands in the air, shook her booty and rocked out the Bob Seger concert Thursday night.

She met Seger and his family, chatted with crew and band members and received VIP treatment at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Complete strangers recognized her after hearing her name or seeing her pushed through the halls of The Palace.

When she came out of the semi-coma in 2011, Branan wrote a letter to "whomever" looking for love.

"I'm full of pep. I like doing things. I love dancing," she said:

Branan lives at the Willowbrook Manor assisted living facility in Flint Township

Wikipedia

The Who's "Pinball Wizard" was an anthem for the baby boom generation who grew up going to arcades where dozens of pinball machines would be lined up.

But, in these days of Xbox and PlayStation 2 there are still young Pinball Wizards.

The Michigan Pinball Expo is coming to Oakland University this week. The expo is a family friendly event which hosts over 125 pinball machines over 15,000 square feet of space. Here's the catch: all of the machines are free to play, so no quarters are required.

Dave Crispin/Facebook

There is a growing trend on Facebook of people setting up pages devoted to finding their birth parents.

It’s helped some adoptees. But some long time advocates worry that such a public search could create barriers to a reunion.

Dave Crispin has known since he was about eleven years old that he was adopted.

“It’s like the big unanswered question in my life,” Crispin says at the dinner table of his Springport, Michigan home, “I don’t know where I’m from.”

Steven Depolo / Flickr

It might not feel like it outside, but warmer temperatures are around the corner.

MLive has A LOT (including live coverage from Bell's Brewery) on the release of one of Michigan's favorite brews:

At least 64 Oberon kegs are ready to be tapped at Bell’s and at least four ‘Oberon Kings and Queens’ were crowned at midnight keg-tapping parties across the state. The brewery opened early on Monday for the event. 

Oberon is a seasonal ale in most markets, but is sold year-round in Florida, Arizona and Puerto Rico. The summer beer is fermented with Bell's yeast, spicy hops and fruity aromas, giving it a light malty taste, most commonly complemented with an orange peel.

The opening day is held at the end of March every year, to coincide with the start of the baseball season and more sunshine.

Our thanks to everyone that participated in our Spring, 2013 Pledge Drive Bracket Challenge to guess the shows they thought would perform best during Michigan Radio's Spring 2013 pledge drive (April 3-10),  based on average number of pledges per hour. Everyone that correctly picked the top performing show  won a Michigan Radio keychain flashlight.

Here were the top performing shows.

#1) Car Talk (124 pledges per hour)

#2) All Things Considered (123 pledges per hour)

#3) Morning Edition (112 pledges per hour)

#4) Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me (111 pledges per hour)

 

Howell Conference & Nature Center

Woody says she's sorry.

She got it wrong.

Woody lives at the Howell Conference & Nature Center and is Michigan's official groundhog. She predicted an early spring back on Groundhog Day. Spring arrived today -- with snow flurries and temperatures in the 20s.

Dick Grant is Woody's interpreter.

"It takes a big woodchuck to admit that she's wrong," says Woody's interpreter, Dick Grant. "And Woody came out today and said 'I'm sorry. I missed it. We all make mistakes.' And it looks like we have gone through six more weeks of winter."

hiphoplaw.blogspot.com

A Michigan medical marijuana facility is partnering with a member of the Grammy-winning rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to cultivate and distribute a new strain of medical marijuana.

The Flint-based medical marijuana dispensary "The Green Oasis" and Stanley "Flesh-N-Bone" Howse say their new strain, "Phifty Caliber Kush," has a noticeable floral taste and is an effective pain reliever.

The Flint Journal's Gary Ridley broke the story and has covered this unique agreement between the rapper and Flint-area dispensary over the last few days.

The Flint-area dispensary's owner, Anthony Butler, calls the new pot strain "the best of the best."

Letter from boot camp in 1953 returned to sender

Mar 17, 2013
Jean & Bob Rodgers

An ex-soldier living in southwestern Michigan says the U.S. Postal Service has returned a letter he wrote to his wife from boot camp 60 years ago.

Oakland University Campus
Oakland University

ROCHESTER, Mich. (AP) - A man suspended from a Detroit-area university for writing about his attraction to teachers has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $2 million and four credits for the class.

Joseph Corlett says his First Amendment rights were violated by Oakland University officials. The school suspended him last year after saying he violated a policy against intimidating people on campus.

The 57-year-old Corlett was enrolled in a writing class. He titled his journal entries "Hot For Teacher," a song by the rock band Van Halen.

Corlett compared his instructor to Ginger, an attractive woman on the 1960s TV show "Gilligan's Island." He also wrote about other teachers. His lawsuit, filed Friday, calls the writings "whimsical exaggeration."

user psychonaught / Wikimedia

A 6th grader in Taylor brought $20,000 in cash in her backpack to school on Monday, school officials told the Taylor police. 

Taylor Police Chief Mary Sclabassi told the Detroit News that the 12-year-old girl said she received the money from another girl who lives across the street from her. 

"The school district called us and said a 12-year-old student had a backpack full of money," Sclabassi told the News. "The principal became aware of it when she heard the student was giving money away to friends. They brought in the student, secured the backpack and retrieved the money she had given away. This is a real first for me."

Location of L'Anse Creuse High School.
Google Maps

Just in case you were thinking about it, you might want to reconsider walking into a school at 6 a.m. dressed in camouflage, a flak jacket, and a holster.

When a 21-year-old airman from the Selfridge Air National Guard appeared at L'Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Twp. this morning, he caused several schools to shutdown.

From the Port Huron Times Herald:

Downtown Grand Rapids to see an increase in bike racks

Feb 15, 2013

Folks in Grand Rapids could find it easier to ride their bikes if they plan to be downtown this summer.

Eric Pratt is with the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority. He says a proposal to install more than 200 off-street bicycle racks and six on-street racks is being finalized for the upcoming season.

Bob Johnson of The Saginaw News posted a piece on Sandy and Don Bonem's lock-picking horse this morning.

The Bonem's shot video of their horse last year and were hoping it would wind up on America's Funniest Videos.

But when that didn't happen, the decided to post it on YouTube:

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This week, Lansing will conduct its second gun buyback program in six months.

Violent crime declined in Lansing in 2012, according to the FBI.   But still the capital city recorded a dozen homicides last year.

The gun buyback taking place Saturday is intended to take a few weapons off the streets that might otherwise be used in violent crimes.

People who turn in firearms will receive gift cards worth between $50 to $150, depending on what kind of weapon is surrendered.

Port Huron Museum

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - A U.S. Coast Guard ship that participated in early tests of the atomic bomb has been sold by the Port Huron Museum.

The museum said it couldn't afford to keep the Bramble and had to sell it, despite protests by a Detroit-area man who tried to rally the public to the ship's defense.

Ingham county considers having urban goats

Feb 1, 2013
Ed Morykwas / River of Time Photography

Ingham county is considering a proposal that would allow people to keep goats in urban areas.

The proposal would allow up to three miniature dairy goats on residential properties.

wikimedia commons

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish humanitarian credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews during World War II.

To Me There’s No Other Choice,” the exhibition currently at the University of Michigan, celebrates Wallenberg’s achievements and spirit.

Ingrid Carlberg will be among the presenters at the exhibition. Carlberg is the author of “There is a room  waiting for you here.”

Today Carlberg spoke with Cyndy about Wallenberg’s history.

“It was some kind of a coincidence. He was a businessman; he was importing groceries from Hungary. When the Germans marched into Hungary in the spring of 1944, Raoul Wallenberg was alarmed by what was going on. But actually the initiative to go to Budapest and lead a rescue mission came from the American government,” said Carlberg.

Stateside: An app for that ancient manuscript

Jan 29, 2013
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

There is now an app for reading an ancient text.

The Papyrus App “Picture it: EP” allows one to browse the pages of the oldest existing manuscript of the letters of St. Paul.

Professor Arthur Verhoogt, Associate Professor of Papyrology and Greek at the University of Michigan helped design the app.

“The text is the most ancient manuscript of the letters of Saint Paul that exist. It dates to about [the year] 200,” said Verhoogt.

The texts are kept in a secure vault.

All Children's Hospital / mymodernmet.com

This post from Katie Hosmer on MyModernMet.com caught my eye. 

You've got to clean the windows, so why not do it with a little flair?

The photo to the right is from All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL.

Window washers from Clearwater's High Rise Window Cleaners got dressed up in Spider-Man costumes and then made several trips from the top of the building to the ground, washing windows and waving at ecstatic patients along the way...As the hospital states, "There were actually three Spider-Men on the job and their high-rise moves were the hands-down hit of the day."

And here's a video of superhero window washers descending on Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

H/T to Zach Feinstein

Pure Michigan: President Obama's Petoskey stone

Jan 25, 2013
Pete Souza / The White House

Jennifer Granholm might not have found a place in Obama's second-term Cabinet, but at least there is a Petoskey stone in the Oval Office.

A photo of Obama tapping the stone on his desk was posted by White House photographer Pete Souza last week.

Website screen shot. / http://tonitiptonmartin.com/

For many people, the name Aunt Jemima immediately brings a certain image to mind - pancakes anyone? The image -- with the broad smile, round face, and hair wrapped in a bandana -- is powerful, and often controversial.

Author Toni Tipton-Martin examines the image of Aunt Jemima through the recipes and histories of real-life African-American cooks. The Jemima Code is a blog, book project, and traveling art exhibition that looks beyond the bandana.

Tipton-Martin will be a special guest at Zingerman’s 8th Annual African-American dinner tonight. She will also present a special talk on food and diversity on Wednesday January 23rd at 7:00pm. You can visit this link for more information.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The city of Flint plans to use a $25 thousand grant to get the public involved in efforts to reduce blight in the city.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says blight is a multi-faceted challenge that includes demolishing abandoned homes and reclaiming neighborhoods.    He says volunteers are critically important to solving Flint's problem with blight.

Stateside: Author Kevin Hofmann on growing up as a biracial child

Jan 21, 2013
http://www.kevinhofmann.com/

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

One very clear aspect of President Barack Obama's story is that he grew up biracial in America.

His mother was from Kansas. His father was Kenyan.

Author Kevin Hofmann grew up in a similar environment.  

He was born in 1967 to a white mother and a black father, just two and a half weeks after the Detroit riots.

He lived in foster care before being adopted by a white family, where he became the fourth of their three children.

Hofmann’s memoir is entitled "Growing Up Black in White."

On “Stateside” today he recalled his adoption experience.

“They had approached the adoption agency and said we want to adopt. They only qualified at that time for what was called ‘hard-to-place’ kids. Back in 1967 and in some places today, biracial children are considered hard-to-place.  So that’s how I came to them. My dad was an associate pastor at a large Lutheran church in Dearborn. Much to our dismay, the church was very vocal about disapproving of having this biracial child in their congregation."

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