Offbeat

Offbeat
3:30 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

3 ways to procrastinate and feel like a better person

Procrastination and productivity can be one and the same.
user: .reid. Flickr

It's Friday. Your Facebook news feed is stale and if time slowed down any more it would stop. Here are three ways to procrastinate, while simultaneously making yourself think that you're becoming a better person.

1. Curate your LinkedIn profile, iTunes library, and Facebook "Likes"

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Offbeat
3:11 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Two big jackpots stoking lottery fever in Michigan

Do you feel lucky?
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan lottery players are dreaming of winning two huge jackpots these days.

More than 700 million dollars is on the line in this weekend’s Powerball and Mega Millions drawings.

Andi Brancato is the spokeswoman for the Michigan Lottery. She says the two big jackpots are pushing lottery ticket sales.

“Maybe you have regular Mega Millions players who think ‘Gee, maybe I’ll get a Powerball ticket as well’,” says Brancato, “and vice versa with the Powerball players.”

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Offbeat
4:23 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Flint's emergency manager tries to sell Santa and his reindeer

Credit City of Flint

When Flint's emergency manager put the city's Santa Claus display up for auction, some local residents decided that was going too far. 

Melodee Mabbitt says her hometown doesn't need more bad news, so she and her husband bid $150 for the jolly old elf, his sleigh and four reindeer that sit atop Flint's city hall during the holidays.

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Offbeat
4:08 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Most popular names for Michigan dogs and cats

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.

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Offbeat
4:21 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

The most popular YouTube videos in 4 Michigan cities

YouTube's Trends Map
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

Offbeat
2:02 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

State to return bricks that helped fund restoration of 'World's Largest Stove'

The World's Largest Stove at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in 2006. The stove was destroyed by fire in 2011.
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.

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Offbeat
5:41 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Jet Skiers let it rip on the flooded Grand River (VIDEO)

Jetskiing on the flooded Grand River.
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

Stateside
6:33 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

The glory days of streaking in the 1970s

Aristotle streaking behind David Niven.

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.

Offbeat
2:00 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Ann Arbor nuns going to finals on 'American Bible Challenge' game show

Sisters Evangeline, Maria Suso, and Peter Joseph appearing on GSN's 'American Bible Challenge.'
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:

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Stateside
3:39 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Is this normal-ish Michigan weather?

Midwest weather makes 'normal' something hard to define
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.

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Offbeat
11:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

'I want to go to a Bob Seger concert' - 2 years later, a wish granted

Evie Branan.
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

Stateside
4:59 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Going "full tilt" at the Michigan Pinball Expo

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.

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Offbeat
12:40 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Adoptees searching for their birth parents....on Facebook

Dave Crispin's facebook page which he is using to search for his birth mother
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.”

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Offbeat
2:33 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

With winter caps, Michiganders celebrate the tapping of a summer beer

Oberon beer. A summer favorite in Michigan.
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.

Offbeat
11:48 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Play Michigan Radio's Pledge Drive Bracket Challenge

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)

 

Offbeat
4:18 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Spring? What spring? Michigan's official groundhog issues apology for bad call

An embarrassed Woody, Michigan's official woodchuck, offers an apology for her way-off-the-mark prediction of an early spring.
Credit 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."

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Offbeat
1:17 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Rapper sparks up a deal with medical marijuana dispensary in Flint

Stanley "Flesh N Bone" Howes
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."

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Offbeat
3:50 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Letter from boot camp in 1953 returned to sender

Credit 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.

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Offbeat
12:12 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Oakland University sued for suspending writing student

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."

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Offbeat
11:20 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Girl brought $20,000 in cash to school, hands it out to friends

A roll of cash (not THE cash that turned up in Taylor).
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."

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