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Offbeat

Offbeat

After much discussion, and pandemic delay, the Tokyo Olympics begin this month. It’s an exciting moment for both athletes and viewers. While the Olympics can be really fun to watch, they’re also a stage in which the discrepancies between global haves and have nots is in plain sight. And the politics of who gets to host the games can tell a story, too. Today, we’ll dig into Detroit’s multiple bids to host the Summer Games, and whether those bids could have changed the course of history for the city.

jennifer dowker with a message in a bottle she found in the cheboygan river
Courtesy Jennifer Dowker

When Jennifer Dowker went diving in the Cheboygan River on June 18, she wasn't expecting to find a piece of history.

Dowker owns and operates Nautical North Family Adventures in Cheboygan, which does glass-bottom shipwreck tours, snorkeling, and other activities in the area. She says she was with a potential client who was hoping to scuba dive, and was going to clean the windows of her glass-bottom boat when she found the message in the bottle.

A sign points out a Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission meeting in Midland.
Brett Dahlberg / WCMU News

Today on Stateside, former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s pretrial begins in the ongoing legal battle over the Flint Water Crisis. We check in on what the committee in charge of redrawing political districts is hearing in public comments. Then, a conversation with a former head coach of the Detroit Pistons about race and politics in the NBA. Plus, the best cicada recipes for your summer cookout.

Updated June 4, 2021 at 6:27 PM ET

Amazon is building a wireless network – using your internet bandwidth.

It's called Amazon Sidewalk, and the company touts it as a way to help its devices work better, by extending the range of low-bandwidth devices to help them stay online.

It does that by pooling neighbors' bandwidth to help connectivity for devices that are out of range.

Sazerac

  • 2 oz rye
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup* 
  • 4 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
  • Rinse: Absinthe or Herbsaint
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Chill rocks glass by storing in fridge/freezer. Rinse chilled glass with absinthe. Combine all ingredients in mixing vessel with ice. Stir well, strain into glass. Garnish.

French 75

Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic is featured prominently on Lake Superior State University’s annual ‘tongue-in-cheek’ list of banned words and phrases.

Seven of the 10 words and phrases on the banned list this year are pandemic related.

No surprise “COVID-19” tops the list. Many people who submitted nominations were tired of phrases like:

“We’re all in this together"
"In an abundance of caution”

“In these uncertain times”

In a Jam
1 tbsp jam*
1 1/2 oz vodka
3/4 oz lemon juice
3 oz sparkling wine
Garnish: lemon twist
Combine all ingredients except sparkling wine in shaker with ice. Shake, strain into champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine, garnish.

*Any kind of jam will do – looser is better than super chunky

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Fourth of July is going to look a little different this year.

Michigan flag.
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

If you live in Michigan, you’ve probably heard the debate over what we should call people who live here. For the most part, it’s a battle between Michiganian and Michigander, although there are few other odd-ball choices thrown in there, too. (See the suggestions of Stateside producer, Mike Blank.) 

Our new Stateside host April Baer mentioned on Twitter that she thought Michigander was a strange way to refer to people from the Great Lakes State. So, we decided to throw the question to the Twitter-verse. Our not-so-scientific poll showed an overwhelming preference for Michigander—with 92% of the votes.

Year in Review 2019: Our best stories about Michigan

Dec 31, 2019

This year, Michigan Radio’s reporting looked at local traditions, explored life in prison, and took a deeper dive into communities that aren’t always in the spotlight.

These are the stories only Michigan Radio reporters could bring you. 

When it's a big year for news, political cartoonists have plenty of material. Michigan Radio cartoonist John Auchter definitely took advantage of this year's chaotic news cycle.

2019 was such a big year for news, we couldn’t fit it all in a single round-up. But here are some of the biggest stories that has Michigan talking this year.

2019 was one of the hottest, wettest years on record. 

Courtesy of Cynthia Canty

If you drew up a list of Michigan’s top radio talents, one name at the top of that list would be Jim Harper. For decades, metro Detroiters got their day started with Jim each morning on stations like WNIC-100.3, WDTX-99.5, and WMGC-105.1.

man in car looking out windshield at traffic
Unsplash

For the latest installment of our Learn to Drive series, we’re talking about that center turn lane—the one you probably have used to pull out onto a busy road before entering the flow of traffic. That common traffic maneuver, it turns out, is illegal. Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw broke down what the law says about how you should be using that center turn lane, and what actually happens on busy roads.

Al McWilliams and Gordie Garwood
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Dungeons & Dragons is having a cultural revival, and not just in Hawkins. In Ann Arbor, the tabletop fantasy roleplaying game is being played regularly by all kinds of people — including those nerdy kids-now-adults that played it in the 1970s and 80s.

Kids like Al McWilliams. When he heard a friend was playing D&D, McWilliams recalls, he instantly wanted in.

people cheering glasses of red wine
Unsplash

It's that time of year when people are stocking up on wine for festive dinners and holiday parties. Despite a sizable winemaking industry in the state, Michigan wine often is stereotyped as being overly sweet, and not on par with products from other areas of the country.

But winemakers and sommeliers around the state want to break that stereotype, and maybe even convince you to pick up a Michigan-made wine for your holiday table. 

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.

man in a wolf costume
Pixabay

He was seven feet tall with glistening eyes of blue or yellow and a terrifying, humanoid howl. He looked like a man, but also had the qualities of a canine-like creature. He was the Michigan Dogman. 

a moving image of someone pulling a slice of pizza
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Halloween night is one of the busiest pizza delivery nights of the year. If you're having people over after trick-or-treating, there's a good chance you'll have a rectangular deep dish delivered to your home. 

That style of pizza—with the cheese pushed to the edges, forming a caramelized crust—that's Detroit style pizza. The Michigan invention is now becoming more popular in culinary scenes across the country.

moon among trees
Unsplash

With a chill in the air, seasonal gourds decorating doorsteps, and candy lining store shelves — all signs are pointing to the fact that it's nearly Halloween. And what better way to celebrate than listening to chilling tales — both real and mythical — about our beloved state?

alligator in a pond
Steven / Adobe Stock

An alligator rescued from a southeastern Michigan school pond is doing well in its new digs at a zoo.

Staff from the Indian Creek Zoo in Lambertville on Friday captured the American alligator - originally believed to be a caiman - from a pond on the Bedford junior high/high school campus in Temperance. It was discovered the day before in the pond used for academic study.

Looking underneath a bridge at sunrise, a group of boats in the water surround several swimmers attached to orange buoys.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

More than 300 people braved the Straits of Mackinac Sunday for the 13th annual Mighty Mac Swim.

Michigan Radio’s Kaye LaFond rode along on a security boat and got a first-hand look at what goes into herding swimmers across four miles of the straits.


Hash Bash
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

The 1970s were an era marked by bohemian wardrobes, protest marches, and groovy disco music. Leaning into this flair, Ann Arbor held its first annual pro-cannabis rally known as Hash Bash in 1972.

This Saturday will be the 48th anniversary of that first event. And it will be the first Hash Bash since Michigan voters legalized recreational marijuana at the polls in November. 

The Ghoul
theghoul.com

Ron Sweed, also known by his late-night television host character "The Ghoul," has passed away according to reports from friends and his ex-wife Barbara J. King.

Even though Spring is here, the ice on is still 12 inches thick on some inland lakes. Because of this, you can see ice boats cruising along the ice on West Grand Traverse Bay or Lake Leelanau on a clear, windy day. 

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.

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