Offbeat

Offbeat
10:55 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Michigan's "Fightin' Fifth" Rep. Dan Kildee on Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert 'vogueing' Michigan U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee.

In last night's Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert featured an interview with U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-5th - D), in his segment "Better Know a District."

In the course of the segment, Colbert "vogue's" Kildee, 'does' some sugar beet sugar, and steals Kildee's wallet.

Have a look:

(If the video doesn't load for you - follow this link)

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

Offbeat
10:13 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Michigan is a nice, underrated, and overall mediocre state according to this poll

We like you, Michigan.

1,603 people responded to a Business Insider poll about standout qualities of each state in the U.S. 

Does Michigan have a weird accent? No. But Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Louisiana do. 

Best food? Not even close. But apparently South Carolina weirdly has better food than we do. What do people in South Carolina even eat?

Worst food: Alaska.  Ah, yes. In this category, Michigan barely scrapes by. We don't have the best eats, but we don't have the worst.

The vaguely sweeping categories of "greatest state" and "craziest state" and "state with the hottest residents" was won by California, while Texas takes the cake as the "worst state." What does that mean?

Read more
Offbeat
12:12 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

'Practice bomb' on sidewalk in Port Huron found to be safe

Robert Gratton talking on video to a Times Herald reporter.
screen grab Times Herald

Police got a little nervous yesterday when a man showed them a bomb he said he found when diving in Lake St. Clair.

Here's how it went down, according to the Times Herald:

Port Huron Police Sgt. Dave Seghi said a Port Huron man came into the police department around 12:30 p.m. to explain that he had found the object on the bottom of Lake St. Clair and would be taking it home.

Read more
Offbeat
3:14 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Every single person is on this map of the US

The entire country by race.
Credit Dustin Cable / Cooper Center

Dustin Cable is a demographer who mapped race in the U.S.

Every dot on the map is smaller than one pixel and represents one person. 

Yes, there are 308, 745,538 dots on this map. 

Cable used population data from the 2010 Census to create this comprehensive image. Here's the key to different colors he used to represent different races:

  • Blue: White
  • Green: Black
  • Orange: Hispanic
  • Red: Asian
  • Brown: Other/Native American/multi-racial

If you take a look at the whole country, you can see a lot of segregation. But there are also colors that blend together, like the purple area that covers Chicago.

Read more
Offbeat
12:18 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

George Clinton's 'Mothership' will land at the Smithsonian

The 'Mothership' landeth.
rhizome.org

Some serious learning is about to happen.

Parliament-Funkadelic's "Mothership" will land at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

Here's the Mothership landing in its heyday:


George Clinton Dr Funkenstein Mothership by oublierleracismeskyblog

Read more
Offbeat
1:58 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Ann Arbor's iconic Blimpy Burger holds 'last supper' for the public

The restaurant is selling tickets for an exclusive 'last supper' event.
Credit Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger

Owners promise it's not the end. They say they're still looking for a new location, but it IS the end for Blimpy at its historic location on the corner of Division and Packard Streets in Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan bought the building and plans to build a dormitory on the site.

Today is the last day for the public to stop by and enjoy a "quad (or a quint!) on a kaiser bun with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg with fried veggies on the side."

The line is around the block, expect long waits. And remember:

Read more
Stateside
5:29 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Grand Rapids man swims across Lake St. Clair pulling a ton of bricks

Jim Dreyer's Facebook page Facebook

Forget those sharks we’re hearing about off of Cape Cod.

We’ve had a shark of our own swimming in the Great Lakes. And he just crossed Lake St. Clair, swimming 22 miles, all alone, while pulling two inflatable boats carrying a ton of bricks.

Jim Dreyer of Grand Rapids calls himself “The Shark.” And, when you look back over his extreme endurance feats, you’ll agree: he’s earned the right to call himself just about anything he pleases. Jim has set records swimming across all five of the Great Lakes, distance records, speed records. All of this from a guy who says he had to overcome a deep-seated fear of water.

Jim Dreyer joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:46 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Michigan has its fair share of UFO sightings, but Ohio takes the cake

Flickr user © Stranger Flickr

If you are a baby-boomer who grew up in Michigan, chances are good you remember a particular point in time when you were out in your backyard, peering into the night sky, searching for UFOs.

For one week in March of 1966, Michigan was awash with reports of UFO sightings. Scores of people called police to report suspicious items in the sky. Ultimately, the Air Force dismissed these sightings as nothing more than "swamp gas," causing then-Congressman Gerald Ford to fire off an indignant statement, declaring that people deserved a better explanation than something as laughable as "swamp gas."

Rudi Lindner is a professor of History and Astronomy at the University of Michigan. He teaches a class called "Discovery of the Universe" that includes the history of UFOs.

Read more
Offbeat
2:46 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Detroit's massive jar of Crisco up for sale on eBay

"The Vessel of Hope"
Jerry Vile

So... anyone need a four-foot-tall can of Crisco?

Last week, Detroit-based artist Jerry Vile left a present for his recently bankrupt hometown -- a massive can of Crisco, placed under the Monument to Joe Louis, better known as The Fist.

Now the installation, titled “The Vessel of Hope” is up for auction on eBay.

At last check, the Crisco’s current bid sits at $560, with 12 currently vying for the giant can (and no, there’s no Crisco inside it).

“This piece represents my peaking as an artist,” Vile said on the selling page. “I am most likely never going to be able to do anything that gets the kind of attention or hits the nerve that this did.”

Read more
Offbeat
11:37 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Cleveland fans chant 'Detroit Bankrupt' at last night's game with Tigers

Progressive Field in Cleveland (where the hurtful chanting took place).
beraxe wikimedia commons

It was only a matter of time for opposing sports fans to strike at Detroit's soft spot.

During last night's MLB game with the Tigers' American League Central rivals, the Cleveland Indians, fans in Cleveland chanted "Detroit Bankrupt."

Take a listen (ignore the voiceover):

The Tigers got the last laugh.

They beat the Indians 6-5 in extra innings, extending their win streak to 11, and going another game up on Cleveland.

Jeff Wattrick at Deadline Detroit had some words for Cleveland fans - saying they love their sports teams --

But those teams just don't love them back. The Browns moved to Baltimore and won two Super Bowls as the Ravens, while the replacement Browns remain subpar. Lebron James' free agency signing with Miami sent Cleveland into a tailspin culminating with their sad attempt to claim the 2011 Dallas Mavericks' championship as their own. Then, there's the Indians. They haven't won a World Series since the 1940s. Also, Jose Mesa and the 1997 World Series.

Offbeat
12:02 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Man lands in Detroit after swimming 22 miles with a ton of bricks

Jim Dreyer, third from the left, and his team before he began the swim.
Jim Dreyer's Facebook page Facebook

He very well may be the first shark in Lake St. Clair -- and certainly the first one hauling a ton of bricks.

Long-distance swimmer, motivational speaker, and Michigan native Jim Dreyer -- who calls himself “The Shark” -- finished up a 22-mile swim today from Algonac to Belle Isle. But just in case the swim across Lake St. Clair wasn’t enough, Dreyer raised the stakes on his charity swim for Habitat for Humanity: The Shark is pulling along two dinghies holding 2,000 pounds of bricks.

Dreyer was expected to finish his swim yesterday, but his journey took a day longer than expected.

A post on his Facebook page said he was in good shape as he finished up his swim:

And I am sure most of you figured out he has been swimming over 48 hours, non stop!! Making all long distance open water swimmers proud!! Making Pure Michigan proud too.

Read more
Offbeat
5:00 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

'Little House on the Prairie' star Melissa Gilbert moves to Michigan

A younger Melissa Gilbert playing Laura Ingalls Wilder on "Little House in the Prairie."
Melissa's Mid-life Musings

It's time to jump in the way-back machine:

Reports and tweets indicate that Laura Ingalls Wilder Melissa Gilbert has moved from Hollywood Hills to Howell, Michigan.

Read more
Stateside
5:23 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

An interview with Rosie the Riveter

The Wilow Run Factory was built in 5 months, and at the height of production during WWII, it was producing one B-24 bomber every hour.
U.S. Army Signal Corps

There's a song from 1942 written by Red Evans and John Jacob Loeb that celebrates one of the most important groups to emerge on the home front in World War Two.

Collectively known as "Rosie the Riveter," women covered their hair with bandanas and picked up their tools to work in war production in factories all across America.

One of the most important plants in the war effort was the Willow Run bomber plant in Ypsilanti Township. Henry Ford built it to make B-24 bombers. 8, 685 bombers rolled off the assembly line at Willow Run during the war.

Emma Rancour was one of those Rosie the Riveters who worked at Willow Run. She installed radios in the flight decks of those Liberators.

These days, Emma Rancour lives in South Lyon. She joined us today to talk about her time at the plant.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
1:00 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Detroit Mower Gang takes on neglected city parks

Tom Nardone started the Detroit Mower Gang in 2010.
Credit Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A bunch of guys and a bunch of lawn mowers.  That's the basic idea behind the volunteer Detroit Mower Gang - which cuts the grass at city parks in Detroit every other Wednesday night. This past week, the Gang mowed about 25 acres in Stoeppel Park Number Two on the city's west side.  Barbara Davis lives across from the park - where for many kids, the grass was chest-high. "It's terrible," said Davis. "They usually got to cut a path and tramp right to the swing set because the grass is so tall.

Read more
Offbeat
1:11 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Politics prompt Bell's Brewery to skip Michigan Summer Beer Festival

edwin.bautista Flickr

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - A well-known Michigan brewer is pulling out of a major beer festival because of planned political fundraising at the event.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Bell's Brewery Inc. won't participate in this weekend's 16th Annual Michigan Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti after the brewer's founder and president Larry Bell learned about the Protect Michigan Craft Beer Political Action Committee's plans.

Bell says he finds it "distasteful" to involve politics in the Michigan Beer Guild event.

Read more
Stateside
3:23 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

The Living Room: Running away with the carnival

David Chase Heston Sanders
Allison Downey Michigan Radio

In July's segment of The Living Room, Allison Downey investigated the lure of American carnivals.

She interviewed several workers about their experiences living and traveling with the carnival. Some of them were born into the carnival life, some of them turned to the carnival as a means of escape, but all of them are there because it's what they love.

The Living Room on Michigan Radio is produced by Allison Downey and Zak Rosen.

The song at the end of the story,"Take Me to the Fair" was written by Ann Arbor's own Annie Capps and performed by Annie & Rod Capps with Jason Dennie.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
1:35 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Daily Show takes on the Detroit bankruptcy, mostly makes fun of the media

Chapter 9 Mile on Daily Show
OfficialTDShow Youtube

Yesterday, The Daily Show’s John Oliver did a short feature on Detroit and the city’s bankruptcy. 

In a bit entitled "Chapter 9 Mile," Oliver takes a humorous look at the slow emergency response in the city and his lack of surprise that the Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr (a bankruptcy lawyer) declares bankruptcy.

But jabs at the media make for the greatest laughs. Oliver points out the abundance of bad puns about the bankruptcy and the amount of reporting on Detroit that actually takes place in Chicago.

Read more
Offbeat
1:47 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

The question everyone is asking about the royal baby

A royal kiss that led to a royal baby.
user: whitneyinchicago Flickr

We know the question everyone has been asking about the impending arrival of a new member of the British royal family. 

No, of course it's not, will it be a girl or a boy. We are, after all, public radio consumers. What we really want to know is: What will the economic impact of the royal birth be on the U.K. economy?

Read more
Offbeat
12:29 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Packard Plant might have a new owner who wants to rehabilitate the crumbling structure

Packard Plant
Julia Field

The skeletal remains of the rusting Packard plant in Detroit might soon have a new owner.

Built in 1911 by the legendary architect Albert Kahn, the factory produced luxurious automobiles throughout the early 1900s. It has since fallen into ruin, becoming a mecca for urban explorers and metal scrappers.

Read more
Stateside
5:27 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Michigan dentist plans move to 'bring good dental health to the people of Uganda'

Dr. Ryan Shinska will head to Uganda to begin treating the children and adults in Jinja, a city about 54 miles outside of Kampala.
http://hopesmilesuganda.com/

It wasn't so long ago that Ryan Shinska was quarterbacking his high school football team in Richmond in Macomb County.

Then it was off to Ann Arbor to the University of Michigan. Three years ago, he graduated from U of M's dental school.

And today, Dr. Ryan Shinska is a man with a self-declared mission: to end dental pain and bring good dental health to the people of Uganda.

Ryan will move to Uganda on July 25th to open a dental clinic there. His journey from U of M student to opening a clinic to serve the poor in one of the world's poorest countries is worth exploring and sharing.

Dr. Ryan Shinska joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Pages