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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

This week on That's What They Say, we turn to A.A. Milne's classic children's novel, The House at Pooh Corner

We love this line from a passage in which Piglet has to squeeze himself through a letter box in order to get out of Owl's house: "Piglet squeezed and he squoze, and with one last squoze, he was out."

Maybe it's just us, but we think "squoze" is a pretty great non-standard verb.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The copper mug was on the mixing table, but I knew Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings was probably not going to be mixing a Moscow mule. She was about to throw me a curve.

March 7, 1919. Reindeer teams.  In the background is one of the churches of Archangel.  339th Inf., 85th Div. Archangel, Russia.
Public Domain

November 11th is Veterans Day. 

The national holiday was formerly known as Armistice Day, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the very bloody stalemate of World War I.

But for one group of American soldiers — known as the Michigan Polar Bears — the fighting did not cease.

Michigan Radio will welcome Live From Here with host Chris Thile to Detroit on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at 5:45 p.m. for a special live broadcast performance. The show will take place at the historic Detroit Opera House in downtown Detroit, and marks the show’s first visit to Michigan.

cover of I got to keep moving
Wayne State University Press

Bill Harris has been a central figure in the cultural life of Detroit for a long time. The Kresge Foundation gave him their prestigious Eminent Artist Award several years ago, and his plays have been produced around the country. He has also published poetry and innovative interpretations of African-American history that defy any easy categories.

Actor Marc Evan Jackson portaying Shawn on NBC's The Good Place
Photo courtesy of NBC's The Good Place

Actor and comedian Marc Evan Jackson has appeared on Parks and Recreation, Reno 911!, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He currently stars as an all-knowing immortal judge named Shawn on NBC’s The Good Place, which he describes as “the smartest, dumbest show on television.”

“Within an episode of the show, within the body of the show, within single lines of dialogue, this show deals with fairly deep and complicated aspects of ethical and moral philosophy, and also fart jokes,” Jackson said.

Today on Stateside, a voting rights expert with the ACLU shares what Michiganders should know ahead of tomorrow’s midterm election. Plus, a conversation with actor and comedian Marc Evan Jackson who plays Shawn, an all-knowing immortal judge, on NBC’s The Good Place.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Once you start thinking about words that merit spelling reform, it can be hard to stop.

Each year, Professor Anne Curzan asks students in her introductory linguistics classes to decide on one word that should be reformed in terms of spelling.

The students have tournaments and eliminate words until they're left with a winner.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Cheers! cocktail this week comes with lots of flavor, but none of it from the alcohol in the drink.

“For me, cocktails are all about the interplay of flavor,” said Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings.

Vodka brings nothing to the glass as far as flavor is concerned.

It’s odorless, flavorless, and colorless.

“It's meant to be very neutral and very smooth,” Tammy noted.

There’s an advantage if you have a drink that already has great flavors: vodka doesn’t interrupt the ingredients as they play off of each other.

Bella Isaacs

The leaves are falling. The pumpkins are on the steps. It's the perfect time of year for a good ghost story!

From now until Halloween, Stateside is bringing you creepy, spooky stories of hauntings from across the state. 

So grab some candy, cozy up under a blanket, and take a listen. 

When baby sitters first started baby-sitting, we had no way to talk about what they were doing. That's because at first, all we had was a noun – there was no verb to speak of.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the noun "baby sitter" was first recorded in 1937. The verb "baby-sit" didn’t come along until 1946.

Linguists call this a back-formation.

There used to be a certain level of glitz and glamour associated with being a jet-setter. A jet-setter might attend a fashion show in Paris, then take off for an exclusive party in Dubai.

But today we often hear jet-setter used to describe someone who simply travels a lot, even if it's from one dimly-lit hotel conference room to another for business.

It was 1823. The land of Michigan wasn’t yet a state. The indigenous people far outnumbered the white settlers. The Erie Canal hadn’t opened. The flood of European immigrants was yet to arrive.

New York Public Library Digital Collections

We are of the dirt.

That’s what Willie Jennings believes.

“My mother was a gardener,” he says. Each spring, as she got her garden ready, she would spray water on the dirt, and tell him to plunge his hands deep into the wet soil.

“And she would turn to me and say, ‘You feel that? You feel that son? That’s life.'”

Unless you decided to completely avoid the internet in 2009, there's a good chance you've seen Susan Boyle’s first round performance on Britain’s Got Talent.

The Scottish singer’s rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” attracted millions of views on YouTube. No one was more surprised than Boyle herself, who told CNN she was “gobsmacked."

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Many would agree that all historic events are historical. But there's some dispute over whether all historical events are historic.

This week's topic comes from a listener named Cyndi who says, "It really 'gets my goat' to hear people use the redundant 'historical' when 'historic' will suffice."

 

Have you ever peeled the lid off a pudding cup, looked inside and said, “Aha, the proof is right here.”

Unless you were trying to prove that the cup really did contain pudding, we’re going to assume the answer is “no.”

The Brits have a way of talking about whining that we might want to import. The word is “whinge,” and a listener named Addeane recently asked us about it:

“Both ['whinge' and 'whine'] seem to mean to complain peevishly. But ‘whinge’ doesn’t seem to be used in the United States. I’ve seen it written in British sources but never heard it spoken. Can you help sort this out?”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s Stateside colleagues April Van Buren and Mercedes Mejia challenged the Cheers! team to make a pina colada using paw paw.

The Cheers! drink expert, Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings, loved the idea.

Debbie Stabenow being interviewed by Cynthia Canty
Matt Williams

Today on Stateside, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) on how a trade war with China is hurting Michigan businesses. Plus, Holocaust survivor Irene Butter explains why, after decades of silence, she started talking about her family’s experience during WW2.

 

Detroit Music Magazine founder and publisher Paul Young talks about the musical path set by long-time staples of Detroit’s electronic and art music scene.

 

Holocaust survivor Irene Butter talks about her family’s life before and after World War 2, as detailed in her recent memoir Shores Beyond Shores: From Holocaust to Hope, My True Story.

michiganopera.org

The founder of one of Detroit’s most important cultural institutions has died. Michigan Opera Theatre founder David DiChiera was 83 years old.

Gilda Radner in LOVE, GILDA, a Magnolia Pictures Release.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Today on Stateside, a young activist in Detroit is appealing her conviction for pulling an unloaded gun on another woman in what she says was self-defense. Plus, the ups and downs of the family restaurant are the focus of Ann Arbor writer Lillian Li’s debut novel.

If you have a box filled with items of the "what am I ever going to do with this" variety, we suggest the purchase of a knick-knack shelf.

A knick-knack shelf is the perfect place for a figurine of a flamingo wearing a shirt that says "Florida" or a collection of ceramic animals that came free with your tea bags. And how else does one properly display a  commemorative royal wedding plate?

a collection of glowing rocks known as "yooperlites"
Erik Rintamaki

Today on Stateside, why President Trump's tweets are unlikely to change Ford's decision to move small car production abroad. Plus, why rocks in the U.P. are giving off an alien glow. (No, it does not involve extraterrestrials.)

Listen above for the full show, or find individual segments below. 

Ford won’t be moving production of Focus hatchback to the U.S. Here’s why.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It’s after Labor Day, but the weather has been pretty hot in Michigan. The Cheers! team of Tammy Coxen and Lester Graham are not thinking about apple cider and fall cocktails just yet.

“Because it’s been so hot, I thought I’d take us in a Tiki direction today,” Tammy said as she was grinding ice in a vintage contraption (more on that later).

She’s been researching beer cocktails for an upcoming Tammy’s Tastings cocktail class. Beer might not be the first thing you think about in a fruity Tiki cocktail.

What better word to describe the kind of mischief you can get up to on the weekend than "shenanigans"?

That’s precisely why we thought “shenanigan” would be the perfect topic for this long holiday weekend.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This shop is Fidler Furniture Company… headed up by Steven Mark Fidler.

“We do primarily custom metalwork. We do some woodwork where we have exotic woods we mix with our metalwork. Sometimes people want a table and they want a wood top, but a metal base and we can do both of those,” Fidler explained. 

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