Friday, November 04, 2005
Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, November 4, 2005
Fun stuff for a Friday: MIKE WENDLAND: Cyber sport: Spamming Nigerian 419 scammers, Michigan Wine Pioneer Bernie Rink and Holland's 600 Pound Pumpkin Pie.
Granger Turns Trash to Gas in Michigan
The Lansing State Journal reports that at 12 sites around Ingham country, Granger Energy drills deep into heaps of decaying garbage to get landfill gas - a gas it collects, processes and uses to create electricity or sells to large commercial clients. At the end of 2004, there were 378 landfill gas recovery projects in the United States, up from 86 in 1990. Granger runs six landfill gas recovery sites in Michigan and 6 more elsewhere while Waste Management Inc. (US's largest solid waste company) 57 has landfill gas-to-energy projects nationwide and 6 in Michigan.
Granger web site
Google Print Posts First Online Books
The BBC reports that Google has posted the first wave of books in its Google Print project. Works include books about the US Civil War, government papers and the writings of Henry James Books. Books found by a Michigan search include Geology of Michigan, Best Hikes With Children: Michigan, Michigan Trees: A Guide to the Trees of the Great Lakes Region and the 781 page Michigan by Willis F Dunbar.
UM Library Michigan Digitization Project
The Open Content Alliance web site
Michigan Robots Could Save Jobs
The Detroit News that robots produced by by Methods Machine Tools in Wixom let manufacturers increase production with fewer workers. Nonetheless, the company contends that automation can help keep jobs in Michigan by keeping plants open. In the past 6 years, Michigan has lost 1,400 small and medium-sized manufacturing plants, most employing about 60 or 70 people, as many companies moved overseas.
Methods Michigan, Sales Office and Technical Center
Edmund Fitzgerald Remembered 30 Years After
The Detroit News has a feature on the last major shipwreck on the Great Lakes, the Edmund Fitzgerald which sank almost 30 years ago in a major storm on November 10, 1975. The story details the sinking, explores how it has remained in the popular mind and includes photos and commemorative events. It also talks about how family members of the lost crew brace for an inevitable wave of phone calls and questions every November and of course the annual playing of Gordon Lightfoot's Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Also see Decades later, various sinking theories persist in the Detroit News
Read The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald from Michigan History Magazine
Ted Nugent's New Reality Show
The Detroit Free Press talks with Ted Nugent about his new Wanted: Ted or Alive reality TV show that will air in January of 2006. Five "city slickers" are spending a week living in a white tepee. Several say they answered an ad to live like a rock star and win $50,000. The star was Nugent and the lifestyle includes going to the bathroom by digging a hole in the woods.
Wanted: Ted or Alive information from TedNugent.com
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Going for the gold: Bush approval rating could soon rival Nixon's by The Detroit News Politics Weblog
Bonnie Bucqueroux writes: A new CBS poll shows President Bush's current approval rating at 35%. Or, as George Bush said, "You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on."
THE INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL BANKRUPTCY OF TODAY'S LEFT by Dr. Sanity
Dr. Sanity writes: The Left of today is considerably different from the liberal Left that I became acquainted with during my college years in the late 60’ and early 70’s. At that time, although I disagreed with many of my fellow students about their methods, I could still completely relate to the underlying idealism and desire to improve the world. Back then, the Left was attuned to the values of classical liberalism—freedom; equal opportunity; the rights of the individual. The Left, at that moment in history was compelled to go beyond mere rhetoric and act to promote the liberal ideals and values they espoused. That is when the Civil Rights movement went mainstream in American society.
Trick-or-Doggy Treat by NOISE PhotoBlog
NOISE writes: More than 100 dogs went trick-or-treating in Old Town Friday. Sponsored by Gone to the Dogs and Absolute Gallery, the event raised money for the Animal Placement Bureau and included trick-or-treating for dog treats at local businesses and a costume contest for dogs and owners.
Idgy gets my vote!
Secrets of Pronoia: How the World is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings by ypsi~dixit
ypsi~dixit writes: THE NOVEMBER "SUN" MAGAZINE has a magnificent essay by Rob Brezsny, writer of the widely syndicated "Free Will Astrology" column. He expounds upon the idea of "Pronoia." The opposite of "paranoia," "pronoia" is the belief that the world is conspiring to shower you with blessings.
PGA Tour to pull a NASCAR by adding the FedEx Cup by Northern Michigan Detroit Sports Blog
Leelanau Sports Guy writes: In what could turn out to be the biggest thing to hit golf since, well Michelle Wie, the PGA Tour is announcing a playoff format that would culminate with the FedEx Cup at the end of the golf season.
Former Michigan State Park Chief Argues for Selling Parks
The Michigan Privatization Report has an article by Russ Harding, former chief of Michigan state parks, that argues for selling certain state parks to raise money for the state, allow the park system to focus on "truly outstanding natural and historic sites", reduce competition with campgrounds and return properties to the tax rolls. Harding recommends Aloha, Baraga, Dodge, Hayes, Hoeft, Interlochen, Mears, Muskallonge Lake, Newaygo, Otsego Lake, Straits, Twin Lakes and Wilson State Park as well as Wetzel State Recreation Area for sale. Michigan's state park system consists of 97 parks, encompassing 265,000 acres.
Also see Sell parks? Unloading some state parks not palatable, but worth considering in the LSJ
Michigan State Park Map
Rosa Parks Ceremony
ClickOnDetroit.com has a report (with audio & video clips) on yesterdays funeral for Rosa Parks. Clips include Aretha Franklin singing The Impossible Dream, speakers including Reverands Charles Adams & Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Former President Bill Clinton, Senators Barack Obama & Hilary Clinton and Parks' Schoolmate Johnnie Carr.
Workers Have a Big Say in Michigan's Future Economy
The Detroit Free Press takes a in-depth (and excellent) look at the future of Michigan's economy, concluding that what workers choose to make of themselves through educational and other choices will be a critical factor in the outcome. Fun Facts: If Michigan were a separate country, its economy would have ranked 17th in the world in 2004, bigger than Switzerland. Michigan's total output of goods and services, ranked 9th among the 50 states in 2004.
Also see Growth industries: Where will the jobs of the future come from? in the Freep
And while you're there, read Economist sees state lag in changing times
Muskegon Amusement Park Posts Record Summer Attendance
The Muskegon Chronicle reports that Michigan's Adventure Amusement Park smashed its attendance record this summer and led all amusement parks in its national chain in turnstile gains. The Muskegon County amusement and water park is one of the top tourist destinations in West Michigan and 550,000 people (18% above 2004) visited this summer. The parks started as a petting zoo in 1968.
Also see Michigan amusement park sets all-time turnstile mark in the Freep
Michigan's Adventure Park web site
A Look at Speed Dating
The Traverse City Record-Eagle has a feature on "speed dating", billed as an alternative to the bar scene for singles looking for a more upscale and efficient way to meet. Couples are paired off and given a short amount of time to get to know one another before moving on to the next date. Sounds like a good fit for busy folks with short attention spans.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
SITH FUN by The Michigan Partisan
Michigan Partisan writes: With DVD of Sith out it is time to get jiggy with Yoda.
Knowledge Problem: Marketing and Selling Hybrid Vehicles by WDTK AM 1400 Detroit
WDTK writes: "U.S. auto manufacturers, sit up and pay attention: the long-run effect of these high gasoline prices may be a change in the preferences of customers. What brought this home to me this morning was this post from Glenn Reynolds about car shopping with his wife. They compared a Toyota Highlander hybrid and a Subaru Tribeca. Their conclusion is an example of the kind of change I'm talking about..."
GOP Vixen: Greenpeace ruins environment by The Royal Flushojok
The Royal Flush writes: "It's like the Exxon Valdez of environmental warriors -- a Greenpeace boat running into a coral reef and busting it..."
Daily: Bread Wall and Fairy Doors by Mike Hulsebus Photographyoc
Mike writes: (about the Michigan State dressed skeleton) Ulrich's bookstore put this up in their window facing South University the other day and some people complained because the skeleton was being lynched. I took a photo in case we wrote an article on it. We didn't.
This is just one of several creative and interesting photos. Check it out!
Local Currency by Oran Kelly's Adverse Cityy
Oran Kelly writes : (commenting on the article in the Traverse City Record Eagle, written by Warren Kline)Now, I am far from thinking that Bay Bucks are going to have a huge positive impact on Northern Michigan, but Cline really ought to get his facts straight before sounding off on Bay Bucks.
Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, November 2, 2005
The Freep's Tom Walsh had a tongue-in-cheek look yesterday at U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow's visit to Planet Detroit. And my goodness, if you're not getting Bob Allen's Business Casual Email, you're missing a great afternoon read!
Detroit Says Farewell to Rosa Parks
The Detroit Free Press reports that today (Nov 2), the city of Detroit will bid a final farewell to Rosa Parks, the mother of the civil rights movement. The paper has several great features (especially Voices from the Viewing). Also, at 10 AM, Freep.com will broadcast live video from the ceremony (Detroit News starts at 9 AM).
Read REMEMBERING ROSA PARKS: Our turn at farewell in the Freep
Be sure check out Voices from the viewing in the Freep
And see Good-bye, Mother Parks Photo Gallery in the Freep
While we're getting link happy, check out Rosa Parks photos on Flickr
Lansing's New Magnet Schools
The Lansing State Journal has a feature on magnet school programs in Lansing, funded by a 3 year, $8.6 million federal grant that seeks to foster interconnected studies of a particular field. In addition to Lansing Everett's Magnet Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, Eastern High School has a magnet in international studies and Sexton focuses on science, engineering and technology.
Lansing School District directory of Magnet Schools
Michigan Heads into the Storm
Northern Express writer Anne Stanton explores how several factors, including high fuel costs, rising interest rates and a potential doubling of monthly credit card minimum payments, are creating a serious economic situation for many of us. Stanton writes "OH MY GOD this article is depressing" (correct). It is also an excellent look at the issues surrounding bankruptcy and financial troubles.
Also see How My Mom Stretched A Dollar in the Express
Detroit Pistons Season Preview
The Detroit Pistons open their 2005-2006 season tonight vs. the Philadelphia 76ers. With new coach Flip Saunders, additions like Dale Davis and this Darko kid, the Pistons have their eyes on a 3rd straight NBA Finals appearances (and hopefully another championship). Below are some of the best articles we found.
Read MITCH ALBOM: The Flip side in the Freep
Read Flip's Bunch in the Detroit News
Read Darko is ready to play pivotal role in the Detroit News
Wine Ruling Will Allow Out-of-State Wineries to Ship to Michigan
The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan wine lovers won a big victory Tuesday when a federal judge in Detroit ruled that out-of-state wineries can ship directly to Michigan consumers -- a privilege once accorded only to Michigan producers. Be warned: residents cannot legally order wine directly from out of state until the judge signs an order agreed to by lawyers for both sides.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Michigan History Magazine sent us a feature on Rosa Parks (we found a great photo to go with it). Also, be sure to check out our archive of Michigan historical features!
Delphi: The News Keeps Getting Worse
The Detroit News reports that Delphi Corp.'s bankruptcy will be the biggest hit to Michigan's economy in decades, resulting in thousands of job losses, deep wage cuts and millions in lost tax revenues for state coffers. Even "optomistic" scenarios show a loss of 12,500 jobs (over 3100 jobs in already hard-hit Flint) and a tax loss of $390 million for Michigan (or as much as $945 million).
Also see What the move means for Michigan's economy in the Detroit News
Great Lakes Cleanup: Needed, but Likely Unfunded
In the first of two stories, the Canoe Network says an EPA report on a long-range project to restore the Great Lakes ecosystem likely won't receive the huge infusion of US government cash supporters had hoped for. The Washington Post takes an in-depth look at how funding cuts will impact efforts and how years of studies are apparently not worth the paper they were printed on.
Also see Sea of Studies Doesn't Help Restoration of Great Lakes in the Washington Post
Michigan Farm Delegation Reaches Trade Agreement with Cuba
AP writer John Flesher reports that according to state Agriculture Director Mitch Irwin, a delegation from the state signed Michigan's first-ever trade promotion agreement with Cuba. Cuban food import company Alimport is expected to buy $10 million worth of Michigan farm products in the next 18 months, including apples, dry beans, potatoes and livestock. Michigan exported $919 million worth of agricultural products in fiscal 2004, led by soybeans ($201.5 million), feed grains ($191.4 million) and vegetables ($137 million).
Who Needs Halloween?
MITECHNEWS.COM has reports on some spooky numbers forecast by Michigan small businesses for 2006. Just 47% of business owners expect sales increases next year, the lowest level in the 12-year history of the Small Business Barometer. 44% expect profits to rise and only 23% anticipate hiring more employees next year.
Appeals Court Halts Same Sex Benefits
The Lansing State Journal reports that the Michigan Court of Appeals has halted a ruling that allows governments and public universities to provide health insurance to the partners of gay workers. An Ingham County Circuit judge ruled last month that public-sector employers can offer domestic partner benefits without violating a voter-approved gay marriage ban, but Attorney General Mike Cox requested a delay while the Appeals Court considers the issue.
'Buckyball' Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley Dies by Michigan Radio News-
Michigan Radio News writes: All Things Considered, October 31, 2005 - Richard Smalley, a chemist at Houston's Rice University who shared a Nobel Prize for the discovery of buckyballs, died last week at age 62.
Buckyballs are 60 carbon atoms arranged in a sphere that look like a soccer ball.
IMBB 20 Round Up Part 2: Sweet joy befall thee! by Kitchen Chick
Kitchen Chick writes: We covered the savory side of breakfast, lunch and dinner in part 1, and now dessert...
Failure and Regret - by The Hipcola - posted by Grand Rapids Podcasts!
Multimedia on the Go! from Grand Rapids.
Nigerian scam variation of the week by PC Mike's E-Journal
PC Mike writes: I love collecting these. They get more creative all the time. The latest I've seen comes from a guy who calls himself Hassan Mohammed and he has a very creative sob story with the message title "Kindly Fulfill My Last Wish."
What say we all follow his advice and "Deluge this dude. String him along. Make him work. Get just as creative in your fake replies."
Monday, October 31, 2005
Pistons, Prince agree on 5-year, $47 million extension
ESPN's Marc Stein reports that the Detroit Pistons and their perimeter defensive ace Tayshaun Prince have reached an agreement in principle on a five-year contract extension believed to be worth at least $47 million.
Pistons president Joe Dumars and Bill Duffy, the agent for Prince, told ESPN.com that the deal will be formally signed Monday, just in time to beat the Halloween deadline on extensions for players entering their fourth season. Without an extension before the Oct. 31 buzzer, Prince would have become a restricted free agent July 1.
Press Release: Polanco, Bonderman and Shelton Named DIBS Award Winners by Northern Michigan Detroit Sports Blog
Leelanau Sports Guy writes: Detroit, Mich. -- The Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes proudly announced Sunday (Oct. 30) Placido Polanco, Jeremy Bonderman and Chris Shelton as its 2005 year-end award winners. Polanco took home top honors as the DIBS Player of the Year. Bonderman was named pitcher of the year with Shelton pegged for his breakout season.
Scaaary! Lions Toss First Place Away In OT by Out of Bounds
Out of Bounds writes: Surely if Joey Harrington had thrown the ugly, ugly pass that was picked off by Charles Tillman and returned for a game-winning touchdown in overtime, giving the Bears a crucial 19-13 victory Sunday, the cauldron would be brewing tar and feathers would be at the ready.
Happy Halloween by :neadfiles
neadfiles writes: Alas, we made time for pumpkin carving! Not just any oridinary pumpkin, but ALBINO pumpkins. They are actually called Luna's. And cool jack-o-lanterns they are! Check out the photos.
Today's Photograph by The Snowsuit Effort
The Snowsuit Effort writes (about the photgraph): "My son is in a halfway house - the woman who runs the halfway house has a white slavery ring."
Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, October 31, 2005
Wildly unrelated news: Acid rock drainage a concern, Mine plan proceeds, Cheeburger, Cheeburger and Lumberjack Camp.
Radio Features: Rosa Parks' Bus & 826Michigan
Michigan Radio has a pair of great features. The first is about the bus on which Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger back in 1955, now on display at the Henry Ford in Dearborn. The second looks at 826michigan, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting & inspiring students aged 6 to 18 with their creative writing skills.
Listen Rosa Parks' Bus from Michigan Radio (requires RealPlayer)
Legacy of Rosa Parks at the Henry Ford Museum
Listen to 826 Michigan from Michigan Radio (requires RealPlayer)
Visit the 826Michigan web site
Smart Growth Faces Big Challenges in Michigan
The Great Lakes Bulletin News Service reports that according to developers, planners, community leaders, and Smart Growth advocates, many attempts to build "mixed use" neighborhood and town center developments hit a very large wall: They are illegal. In Michigan, with 1,800 local governments in charge of local zoning laws, the challenge is particularly severe.
Small Business Association Supports Tax Reform
MITECHNEWS.com reports that the directors of the Small Business Association of Michigan is backing the Michigan Fair Tax. The new state tax reform concept would eliminate business taxation and instead tax goods and services only once and at the point of final purchase by the consumer. The bad news is that the plan would increase the Michigan sales tax from 6% to 8 or 9% to recover lost revenue.
Public Service Commission Grants Rate Increases
Crain's Detroit Business reports that the Michigan Public Service Commission gave Detroit-based MichCon permission to raise rates on November bills to $11.38 per thousand cubic feet of gas, 12% over the current $10.09 but below the $13.10 requested. The MPSC also allowed Semco Energy Gas to raise rates 15% (from $9.62 to $11.27). The PSC has not yet acted on a Consumers Energy Co. rate request.
A High-Tech Historical Society by ypsi~dixit
ypsi~dixit writes: Newsletter Article: "Trains and Trolleys of Ann Arbor"
A TEEN SALVAGES THE PAST
The sixteen-year-old boy stopped his bike in a forlorn area off Telegraph Road near Pontiac. He peered intently at the rusted metal abandoned diner, its broken windows conduits for the wind. Already a train nut in high school, the boy recognized the dead diner as a onetime early 20th-century interurban rail car, later converted to a greasy spoon and now, at mid-century, a forgotten ruin.
Congress Considers Pension Reform
The Detroit News reports that the US Congress is considering pension overhaul legislation would force companies with poor debt ratings to fully fund their pension systems. Michigan workers and retirees would of course benefit but struggling Michigan companies like General Motors, Ford, Delphi and Northwest Airlines would be required to pay outstanding pension liabilities in a shorter time frame.
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