Saturday, April 25, 2015

Short film about climate change on Lake Michigan

Jason Kohl, a classmate from my undergrad days, has just released a short film about the impacts of global change on Lake Michigan. The Atlantic picked up the 7 minute short. I think you might like it, gentle reader.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Map of Weird Ann Arbor

I stumbled across this Weird Ann Arbor map a while back. There's tons of great, spooky stuff on the map. Did you know that both James A. Garfield and his assassin Charles Guiteau stayed at the same rooming house in Ann Arbor? Did you know that Ann Arbor was home to the first municipal parking structure? This is probably my favorite entrance though:

Mesmerism!

Claiming the powers of Mesmerism, in which "animal magnetism" can be used to "to control epileptics, cure migranes, and treat femine hysteria," a Mr. L. De Bonderville of Paris is the subject of a series of heated debates between the Michigan Argus and the Michigan State Journal over the months of April and May, 1843.

De Bonderville is beset by the Argus, who claims that any consideration of such claims is both foolish and sacreligious; State Journal argues that animal magnetism and mesmerism has been proven by the Academe of Paris, and that as "scientific" men, the people of Ann Arbor must be open to the use of magnetism.

De Bonderville first refuses to give a public demonstration, having until this point contented himself with entertaining at society homes, then recants and schedules one semi-public performance in front of eight leading Ann Arbor citizens, listed in the State Journal by initial only, but understood to include the Mayor, two judges, and a prominent local educator, in which he uses his mesmerism on the daughter of one of the judges. All men are impressed as the girl enters a trance, and De Bonderville instructs her to raise and lower her body temperature, which she does. Then unspecified other tests are conducted, which the State Journal contends were the very measure of modern science. De Bonderville then gives a larger public performance, drawing a crowd around 100. The performance is, the State Journal reports, well-received, though the Argus contends that there was widespread dissatisfaction with the small results produced by De Bonderville. The Argus supplementally holds that the only people who would be impressed are "Reubens and Yokels," and that such a demonstration happened at all is testament to the gullible and unsophisticated nature of Washtenaw County residents.

The Ann Arbor Argus--the newspaper from the 19th century, not the radical paper of the 20th century--makes a lot of appearance in the stories mentioned in the map.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A great day for Festifools

Gentle reader, will you be at Festifools this afternoon? The weather could not be better so hopefully I will see you down on Main Street at 4.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Freep: “Enough is enough - pass pro-LGBT laws”

It is time to make the policy changes that would recognize gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as full and valued members of society. This means granting same-sex couples the right to marry, with the host of legal protections that status conveys. This means conferring civil rights protections. This means taking steps to hasten, not slow, inclusion.
— Detroit Free Press Editorial Board, “Time Michigan got on the right side of history,” April 4 2015.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Check out the Saturday Six Pack on iTunes

Gentle reader, did you know Mark Maynard's hit radio show, the Saturday Six Pack is available in podcast-form on iTunes? You should totally check it out. Here are descriptions of the two episodes I was a guest on 9 and 10:
In the first hour, Mark talks with State Rep. Jeff Irwin about Michigans decline. In the second hour, Ben Connor Barrie gives Mark some creepy gifts.
And:
In the first hour, Mark talks with U of M professor Maria Cotera about Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. In the second hour, people eat weird food combinations.
With descriptions like that, how can you say no? On a related note, are there any other local podcasts I should check out?

Deer management public meeting April 16

The city will hold a third deer management public meeting on Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Slauson Middle School.

Additional details and background information are available on the city's website:
The public meeting will include the following information: flyover data and analysis, draft conclusions, and recommended options for community and council consideration.  
Previous deer management coverage from Damn Arbor:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Editorial: Oppose Michigan’s proposed Indiana-style “religious freedom restoration” laws

By now you've heard about Indiana and Arkansas introducing regressive “religious freedom restoration” legislation. This legislation, when enacted, allows businesses to deny service to any customer at the discretion of a religious business owner or employee.

Sadly, Michigan is considering similar legislation. Our state’s civil rights act doesn’t provide protection for LGBT individuals, so this legislation would effectively legalize discrimination by both businesses and individuals against that community. (A summary of the legislation, quoted from the Freep, follows this editorial.)

Michigan, we’re better than this. Right?

Neither Jesus nor Muhammad preached hate, but that’s what this legislation is: an embodiment of hate and fear of those different from our legislators, disguised as “restoring religious freedom” as if our country’s first amendment had been repealed.

Help fight this legislation. Contact your legislators and Gov. Snyder; urge them to oppose these laws.

And if any of these laws pass in Michigan, we’ll make sure the world knows about it. We will shame the legislators who vote for it, and we’ll have help: after unanimous outcry from the civilized world, Indiana’s and Arkansas’s governors have both been forced to backtrack on support for their states’ legislation.

But it would be better if our lawmakers didn’t drag our state through this shameful circus in the first place.


Friday, March 27, 2015

New Music From Ypsi: Junglefowl

Ypsi-based rock duo Junglefowl will debut their new EP "Strut" this weekend in a record release show at Crossroads Bar and Grill. Having received a super-secret sneak preview of the new album, we at Damn Arbor can testify that it's packed to the gills with badass female vocals, fuzzed-out guitars and the kind of two-person garage-rock punch that can't help calling to mind the White Stripes. We've known vocalist and drummer Melissa Coppola as a folkie for her past work in Match By Match, but who knew she could rock this hard?

Jam the single here, then go buy the record and hear all the new tunes live on Saturday. Plus all proceeds from the door benefit the excellent nonprofit Girls Rock Detroit. What more can you ask for?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wurst Challenge II this Sunday at Wurst Bar

Gentle Readers, the second annual Wurst Challenge is this Sunday at the Wurst Bar in Ypsilanti. EJ and I went to the Wurst Challenge last year and it was super fun. This year's event promises not to disappoint.

Street closures Sunday for the Ann Arbor Marathon

The city just sent out this reminder about street closures on Sunday. Plan accordingly, gentle readers…