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First-ever Michigan Design Prize now taking entries

Jan 11, 2016
Jennifer Guerra/Michigan Radio

The Next Idea

At more than 4,000 strong, Michigan has the highest concentration of industrial designers in the nation.

Yet few people know about it unless you live here, says Jeff DeBoer, chair of the Michigan Design Council and a principal at Sundberg-Ferar, a Michigan design firm.

Founded early last year, the Michigan Design Council has been tasked with a mission to change all that.

Southwest Michigan Volunteer Militia members training in 2010
Pete Tombers

A self-styled armed militia continues to occupy a wildlife refuge building in Oregon. The FBI says it is hoping for a peaceful end to the occupation.

The story out of Oregon got us wondering about Michigan’s history of militias, and whether what’s happened in the Beaver State could happen here as well.

  • We look at Michigan's history of militias. Could what's happened in Oregon happen in Michigan? Amy Cooter, faculty member in Vanderbilt University's Sociology Department did field work with the Michigan Militia as part of her dissertation research. She joins us to talk about Michigan's militia scene.
  • Pure Michigan is undertaking a new campaign: to sell itself and what it's done with the taxpayer dollars that pay for all of those Pure Michigan commercials. Lindsay VanHulle of Bridge and Crain's Detroit Business updates us on the Pure Michigan campaign.

Courtesy of Erin Wilson

West Michigan, you're getting a chance to see unique performance art in the form of music, movement, choreography, film happening Jan. 8-17 at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids.

A Gallery Exhibition of New Works in Screendance is a collection of three short films along with dance photography and video all presented by ArtPeers and Dance in the Annex.

The short film “Pull Me Back” features actor Joshua Burge (The Revenant) and tackles the theme of addiction.

Where do the truly great innovations lie?

Jan 7, 2016
https://www.flickr.com/photos/phm_sinan/1364979311

The Next Idea

Cool, shiny, sleek:  These are the qualities we associate with top-shelf innovations.

That’s because we’re constantly confronted with magazine and Internet lists of the most innovative companies that are essentially just beauty contests. At the top of all these shimmering lists are blustery bands and glitzy gadgets and chic designers.

farming equiptment
Helen Hanley / creative commons

It’s called a "discussion meet," and the Farm Bureau’s been doing it for decades. It's a way to bring young farmers together to talk about the challenges they face. And it's also a competition.

While the farmers are talking, they’re competing for a place at the state-level discussion meet, and then a shot at representing Michigan in the national competition.

  • Our "It's Just Politics" team joins us to talk about straight-ticket voting, the state of emergency in Flint over the water crisis, and a death threat tweeted at Gov. Rick Snyder by the singer Cher.
  • A number of high-end luxury carmakers are taking a pass on this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader joins us to tell us why.
  • Michigan's teen birth rate dropped 60% between 1991 and 2013, beating out the national decline of 57%.
Larry and Priscilla Massie

Historians Larry and Priscilla Massie have opened Massie's Michigan Books (by appointment only) at their Allegan home.  

“For the last 35 years I’ve stuck away any book about Michigan that I came across with the intention of opening a book shop,” said author Larry Massie, who has written numerous books about Michigan. 

Massie built an addition on his home for the new store that houses about 5,000 books from fiction and poetry to railroading and shipwrecks.

  • Paul Eisenstein joins us from Las Vegas to talk about what GM and Ford are showing off at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.
     
  • The DIA is offering us a chance to see work by some of the most important modern African-American artists in an exhibit called "30 Americans." 
Ryan Grimes

Linda Gregerson’s poems explore a wealth of themes from parenting to social inequality, the environment, illness, and so much more.

She has won a wide array of honors, from Guggenheim Fellowship to finalist for a National Book Award. She is Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a professor at the University of Michigan.

And now, she’s out with her first collected volume: Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976-2014. The collection includes 10 new poems and 50 poems pulled from some 40 years of writing.

The Rust Belt is home to the Inland North accent
wikimedia user Uwe Dedering / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

We Michiganders tend to think of ourselves as having no accent, instead speaking with a perfect, neutral broadcast voice. But according to Ted McClelland, that’s not the case.

In his piece for BELT Magazine, McClelland argues that we in the Midwest speak a strain of English that’s shaking up millennia-old conventions.

ford, dash board, car
antefixus21/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The march of technology continues, bringing us closer to the day when owning your own car may be less important than on-demand transportation services.  And closer to the day when we expect our cars to be super-connected to just about everything.

Automakers are laying the groundwork for this new era, as seen in some  announcements this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Mitch Albom signing autographs in Taipei in 2010
Wikimedia user Shack / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The latest novel from Mitch Albom is a magical walk through much of the 20th century’s best music.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto tells the story of a Spanish orphan who becomes the greatest guitar player anyone has heard. Through his life, he encounters some of the biggest names in 20th century music and changes lives with his musical talent.

Albom first made his mark here in Michigan as a sports columnist for The Detroit Free Press, a role he continues 30 years later.

  • Debt payments for Detroit Public Schools are already the highest of any school district in the state, but things are going to get even more dire next month. Chad Livengood takes a look at the year ahead for DPS.
     
  • Mitch Albom joins us to discuss his latest book, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.
flickr user Motown31 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Public schools in Detroit are looking at a rough year ahead.

Debt payments for Detroit Public Schools are already the highest of any school district in the state, but things are going to get even more dire next month.

Chad Livengood of The Detroit News' Lansing Bureau tells us that DPS will owe $26 million every month through 2016 to pay back this year’s operating debts, as well as debts carried over from previous years.

opioids, prescription drugs, vicodin
Sharyn Morrow/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan has a growing problem with what's called "uncoordinated prescription opioid use," and it's putting hundreds of patients at risk.

“In Michigan we went from 81 deaths in 1999 to 519 deaths in 2013 from opioids,” said Marianne Udow-Phillips from the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation.

A new report from CHRT finds that most opioids are used and prescribed appropriately, but a small number of patients receive numerous prescriptions from separate prescribers within a short period of time.

Steady decline in wetlands endangers Great Lakes

Jan 4, 2016
Flickr/barbaragaillewis / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Next Idea

In Michigan and across the country, wetlands are known as marshes, swamps, bogs, fens and pocosins.

They are also known as threatened.

A recent study by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which used data collected by our (Ducks Unlimited) mapping experts, points to staggering losses.

  • The way civilians talk to veterans matters. But what about the way we talk about them? Jason Hale is a veteran of two wars, and he has a message for the media: we’re not all broken.
  • Ann Arbor-based writer Rebecca Scherm joins us to discuss “Unbecoming,” her first novel.
  • More than 20,000 youth around the country age out of foster care every year.
  • As newsrooms get smaller, and more people hop online for information, will the industry be able to reinvent itself and keep up with the times? Why should we care about the decline of newspapers in Michigan? We discuss the state of the newspaper industry
  • Everyone says a dog is a man’s best friend.
  • More economists are telling us that the gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing in America. Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard joined us to talk about this.
  • Emily St. John Mandel joins us in-studio to talk about her novel Station Eleven, set in post-apocalyptic Northern Michigan.

Do you say Meijer or Meijer’s?

A lot of us have a real habit of adding that possessive "s" to a store or company’s name. Is it just a Michigan thing?

Is it art or just a mess? You had a few thoughts.

Carson Brown wants to make people think critically about what he calls the American landscape, and he’s not talking about mountains and vistas.

  • When we talk in Michigan about "food insecurity" and "food deserts," it's usually about Detroit, Flint and cities battling poverty.
Roots are one of Chef Young's favorite offerings this time of year
flickr user Ruth Hartnup

Alex Young is the James Beard Award-winning chef at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor and the founder of Cornman Farms in Dexter.

He’s cooked all over the world, and really loves fall and early winter in Michigan.

Anne Curzan
University of Michigan

It’s nearly the end of the year, and we’re seeing all sorts of end-of-the-year lists, including Word of the Year.

Anne Curzan is an English professor at the University of Michigan and co-host of That’s What They Say, and she joins us today to go over some of the words in the running for Word of the Year.

Muslims hold a vigil in Royal Oak in response to attacks in Libya
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

In the U.S., random attacks against Muslims – or people the attackers think look like Muslims – are on the rise. Michigan is not exempt.

In her recent article for The Islamic Monthly, Michigan public school teacher Zeinab Chami wonders why, 14 years after the most significant incident of violence in the name of Islam ever, we are now seeing more vitriolic comments against Islam – not fewer.

The article is called The Prayer of the American Muslim. That prayer: “Please, God, don’t let them be Muslim.”

Ian Freimuth/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Detroit is often called the comeback city by politicians and boosters. The central business district is recovering. But many of the neighborhoods are still struggling. There are a lot of empty houses. If they don’t sell, they’ll quickly become derelict, blighted, another problem.

A major obstacle to buying a house is getting a traditional mortgage.

What is a true cappuccino?

Dec 22, 2015
Guido Gloor Modjib/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Pour-over method. Water quality. Solid extraction. The world of specialty coffee-making can seem a lot like chemistry class. 

This December some baristas may actually feel like they're in class as the Specialty Coffee Association of America is certifying coffee professionals this month. 

Todd & Brad Reed Photography

If there was ever any doubt about the beauty of Michigan, the new book Michigan: Wednesdays in the Mitten will convince your out-of-state friends they need to visit.

Ranging from some of the state’s most pristine natural areas to images of downtown celebrations, the father and son team of Todd and Brad Reed capture it in their new book. 

"Michigan has a story to tell and we love to help tell that story," said Brad Reed.

Dan Varner
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Next Idea

Many of Detroit’s potential workers are leaving school without the math or reading skills required to enter training programs.

There doesn’t seems to be a clear plan for educating Detroit’s children. There doesn’t seem to be a clear plan for training a future workforce.

  • Rick Pluta and Jake Neher join us to talk about new legislation heading to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk that would, among other things, put an end to straight-ticket voting in Michigan.

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