Offbeat | Michigan Radio
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Offbeat

Offbeat

Clock
Chuttersnap / Unsplash

As Michiganders get ready to "spring forward" their clocks this Sunday, state Representative Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton) has introduced a bill (HB 4303) to eliminate daylight saving time as a way to stay on Eastern Standard Time all year.

However, this isn't the first time legislation like this has been introduced in Michigan. It was last debated in 2017. And before that in 2015. And chances are you hear grumblings against (and perhaps praise for) the move each fall and spring when clocks make the switch.

paczki
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Throughout Michigan today, thousands of people will be indulging in a rich, delicate fried pastry. It might be filled with jam or custard, covered in powdered sugar, or granulated sugar, or a glaze. It’s like a donut, but it’s lighter and the dough is less sweet.

From steamy Motown soul to sweet modern acoustic, Michigan has a long history of love songs. So we decided to compile some of our favorites to celebrate the romantic side of our state. 

The House of David's Shiloh Mansion in Benton Harbor
Zak Rosen / Mismatch Podcast

Things do not always fit together easily or neatly. But truthfully, life would be pretty boring if they did.

That’s the idea behind the podcast Mismatch, which is now launching its second season. Mismatch is hosted by veteran Detroit reporter Roger Weber and produced by Zak Rosen.

Rosen joined Stateside to talk about the third episode of the podcast's new season, titled “The House that Beards Built."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

2018 is almost in the books.

If you’re having trouble “wrapping your mind around” 2018 coming to an end, take some comfort. That phrase (as well as “in the books”) is on a list of words and phrases people want to ban.

Every year, Lake Superior State University comes up with a tongue in cheek list of overused and tired expressions and words.  This is the 44th year for the list.  

Jimmy Izbinski, Santa at the Toledo Christmas Weed.
Joey Horan / Michigan Radio

Shades of A Charlie Brown Christmas are playing out on a busy intersection in West Toledo.

The Toledo Christmas Weed, a lonely sapling growing out of a crack in the sidewalk, is now adorned with tinsel and surrounded by gifts. It even has a dedicated crew of Santa and his elves, one of whom was passing out free lottery tickets on Wednesday. 

Lee Erck smokes his pipe in the basement of his home just outside Marquette.
Dan Wanschura

Just off U.S. Highway 41 outside of Marquette, there’s an old man who lives alone in a small, one-bedroom house. Most days he's upstairs sitting at his desk or downstairs in his workshop. There he makes some of the best tobacco pipes in the world.

Not just blowing smoke

“My name is Lee Erck. I am a tobacco-smoking pipe maker. I live here in Negaunee Township,” he says on a cloudy Friday afternoon.

Vintage photo of Faygo's headquarters in Detroit.
The Feigenson Family Archives

"Remember when you were a kid? Well, part of you still is. And that’s why we make Faygo," goes an old jingle for one of Detroit's most iconic companies.  

Faygo was born on Detroit’s Eastside more than 100 years ago, and it remains a well-known pop brand in the United States today.

Joe Grimm is a journalism professor at Michigan State University and author of The Faygo Book

MBME Media

As a long-suffering Lions fan, I've learned to appreciate the things they've taught. Things like the brief moment of hope before the season begins, or the benign satisfaction of a meaningless last second win after already being eliminated from the playoffs.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the past year, to reconnect with family and friends, and to express gratitude for the all that is good in our lives.

But more importantly, Thanksgiving is a time to eat.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The big winners in this weekend’s big lottery jackpot drawings may be Michigan retailers.

About one and a half billion dollars is up for grabs in the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries.

scan of The Michigan Essay newspaper
Archives of Michigan

For much of American history, newspapers were the main source of information for citizens of all backgrounds.

And although profits may have been a top priority, newspapers helped form and inform communities, and provided a check on government.

A letter urging the governor to suppress the film
Michigan History Center

Nowadays, watching sports highlights is as easy as looking at your phone. But a century ago, not so much. 

In fact, more than 100 years ago, groups were urging the Governor of Michigan to suppress the showing of a film that recorded one of the biggest sporting events of the age. 

Kyle and Bryce at a library
Michigan Radio

  

Taking that first step down a career path can be daunting. It's like stepping into a world completely unknown. On the flip side, if you’ve been walking that road a long time, chances are you’ve learned a thing or two. 

woodcut of le griffon
Wikimedia Commons / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Today, we’re taking you way back to the summer of 1679. It was on this Friday, 339 years ago, that the French ship Le Griffon appeared on the Detroit River.

It was the first large scale, European style sailing ship to reach the shores of what would eventually become Michigan.

Cydni Elledge

  

Being a black woman in America is equivalent to feeling like a “double, triple, quadruple minority,” says Florence Noel. She argues that this is not only reflected in national statistics, but also in their everyday experiences.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Each year, Native American kids can enjoy a cultural summer camp experience at the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi's Rodgers Lake campus. Many of the camp activities are built around cultural teachings, and a big part of that is telling stories passed down through generations. 

Colin Wesaw is a tribal elder and leader in the Pokagon Band community. He often tells stories at Camp Kë Gbéshmen in Dowagiac. The 63-year-old started telling stories when he was just 18. 

He joined Stateside to talk about the importance of stories, and to share a tale about making choices. 

The LaSalle Hotel lobby, the site of the assassination of Detroit Radio personality Jerry Buckley
Courtesy of The Detroit News

Like something out of a gangster movie, radio personality Jerry Buckley was gunned down in the La Salle Hotel in Detroit 88 years ago this week.

Buckley’s killer was never found, and the mystery of his death involves mobsters, a city mired in violence, and a corrupt mayor who was recalled, in part, because Buckley protested his election on the radio.

Marijuana leaves
Unsplash

Michigan, like other states, is at a kind of crossroads when it comes to marijuana policy.

The drug is still illegal at the federal level. But public opinion is changing. More than 60 percent of Americans now favor legalizing weed.

And this November, Michiganders will vote on whether or not to allow recreational marijuana use.

So what does all this mean for the state's economy, health care, or criminal justice system?

Downtown Grand Rapids
Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the 1967 uprising in Detroit. What some call a rebellion, some a riot, left 43 people dead and thousands of buildings in the city destroyed.

Michigan Radio did a deep dive into the history and legacy of that event last year. This year, we’re focusing on a smaller uprising that started just two days later,  on July 25th, 1967, in Grand Rapids.

Matthew Daley, Associate Professor of History at Grand Valley State University, joined Stateside to talk about what happened. 

EMMA WINOWIECKI / MICHIGAN RADIO

There are some classic campfire stories we hear again and again, like Bloody Mary or the hitchhiker. Then there are stories unique to the place they are told.

Stories where the long-last camper or escaped madman is roaming around your lake, or where the ghost mentioned may be in your cabin.

That’s the kind of story J. Berry, manager for instrument services at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, tells us. 

Jason / FLICKR: HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

With the tap of your finger, you can access pretty much anything these days, whether you're streaming a movie or ordering a pair of shoes. But just 50 years ago, Michigan had a law banning most businesses from being open on Sunday. 

That law, which was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in 1962, fell into a category of “blue laws.”

A corpse flower blooming
Courtesy of Meijer Gardens

It's a momentous week at the Frederik Meijer Gardens.

Its once-tiny corpse flower is now a strapping plant, reaching several feet high, and it's about to bloom for the very first time. 

An image of a silver bitcoin
Zach Copley / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or the more than 1,500 other cryptocurrencies, are making some people rich. 

They're also opening up something new: your computer could be using its processor power, its memory, and your electricity to help make money for someone else. The process is called cryptojacking.

 

Ekaterina Selivanova on a beach.
Ekaterina Selivanova

Michigan Radio has been hosting a visiting journalist from Russia for the past week and a half. 

Ekaterina Selivanova works for the television channel, Dozhd, in Moscow. 

While in Ann Arbor, Selivanova hit the streets to ask Americans about U.S.-Russia relations. She also offers her own reflections on the two countries' relationship.

A sticky bun on a plate
Tombarta / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Summertime in Michigan bring an endless variety of festivals to explore. 

Some, like the National Asparagus Festival in Oceana County, are pretty self-explanatory. Others, however, are a little more quirky.

Take Sticky Buns Days, for example, which is happening this weekend in Grayling at Wellington Farm, USA.

Michigan History Magazine, Vol. 6, 1922 / Michigan History Center

You probably know the basics of how a typewriter works – even if you have never used one. What you may not have known, however, is that the “father of the typewriter” was William Austin Burt, from Macomb County.

As it happens, this Saturday is National Typewriter Day. Stateside invited Mark Harvey, state archivist with the Michigan History Center, to talk about what led to the birth of the typewriter. 

Peder Toftegaard Olsen

Plenty of us will be enjoying the water and exploring the outdoors in Michigan this summer.

But writer, broadcaster, and attorney Steve Lehto is taking these sorts of adventures to a new level.

This July, Lehto will be taking a 1,200-mile motorized canoe trip from Duluth to Detroit via Sault Ste. Marie. He is retracing the path of famous Michigan explorer Douglass Houghton in the 1830s and 1840s.

Charlie LeDuff's Sh*tshow
Penguin Random House

Charlie LeDuff has been busy. Over the last few years, he’s hung out at the Mexican border waiting for undocumented immigrants to be ferried across the Rio Grande on a jet ski. He's chatted up conspiracy theorists at the Cliven Bundy standoff with the federal government, and he's tried not to get hit by rubber bullets or worse in Ferguson, Missouri.  

Saugatuck Dunes
Wikimedia / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There's no better time than summer to enjoy Michigan's Great Lakes.

It is also a great time to learn something new about the freshwater seas that surround our state.

Because the lakes aren't just the perfect summer vacation spot, they're also a big part of Michigan's culture, economy, and environment.

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