Monday, October 20, 2014

NNA2 19: Nightmare on First St.

Are you ready for a spooktacular Ann Arbor Nerd Nite, gentle readers? It looks like this Thursday's is going to be great. There are two talks on the science of zombies, but I think that the most interesting might be James Mann's on Coroner’s Court. Via A2NerdNite:

The Coroner’s Court is a now rarely used legal procedure used to investigate a death under mysteries circumstances. The County Coroner, or medical examiner, would impanel a jury, usually six men, who would view the remains, hear witnesses and study the evidence. This was not a trial, as no one was then accused of a crime. The jury was to determine, first, if the person was dead...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Indignation Meeting!

C.Dzomb's awesome post yesterday on old Ann Arbor street names inspired me to do my own looking into the Making of Ann Arbor project. That's where I found this gem. I like the idea of summoning folks to Courthouse Square for an Indignation Meeting. Can we bring these back? Or at least have an annual reenactment of the historic Indignation Meeting of Dec. 20th 1849?

#a2tweetup Monday

Workantile on Main St. is hosting a meetup for us Ann Arbor Twitter-folk at 7pm on Monday (October 20). I’ll be there for a while; hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

1853 map of Ann Arbor from MoAA (also: lost street names)

I stumbled this morning across this amazing 1853 map of Ann Arbor. You can zoom in and browse it in high resolution, but here are some highlights:

The predecessor to the Diag is labeled “Michigan State University;” State Street was called University Avenue.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Be humane not insane

Noticed several of these anti-deer cull posters up on Liberty today. Regardless of your feelings on the state of Ann Arbor's urban deer population, I think we can all agree it's a pretty rare poster that specifically quotes City Council Resolutions. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

UM will transplant a 250-year-old tree later this month

The costly, months-long process of uprooting a 65-foot-tall, 250-year-old tree will culminate later this month as the University of Michigan has set a move day for the history burr oak at the Ross School of Business. 
Officials announced today that the relocation of the tree is scheduled to take place Saturday, Oct. 25, weather permitting.

— mLive, U-M sets date for $400,000 transplantation of 200-year-old burr oak tree

The University produced this animation of the process:

This whole thing does seem to be moderately insane. But unlike vocal critics of this operation, I don't particularly care how the business school spends its donors’ money. I will just be very sad if this tree dies after the transplant, and indifferent if nothing bad happens.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Man it has been a while since I have posted here. I remember when Ben first put this all together I had such grand plans for contributing to the blog. Then I got buried in my graduate research. I am an immunology PhD student studying Multiple Sclerosis at Michigan and I love what I do. Like most of my colleagues I expect to continue doing research and eventually run my own lab. My love of the work has sustained me thus far but, since the beginning of my graduate career there has been a major fear looming for all of us: will I be able to run my own lab one day? Since I started graduate school we have been inundated with information about how basic science funding has been crippled and now NPR has done a few pieces on it. Hopefully I can give you a little more information about what is going on after the break.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Secret Art show in Ypsi this Saturday


As for the show, which this new piece of mine will be a part of, I’ve been asked not to publicize it. All I can say is that, if you wonder around Ypsi this Saturday, and keep your eyes open, you should find us… And, once you find us, be sure to look down. There might be art beneath your feet.
Nothing quite like writing about not publicizing events.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Last chance to see Spamalot

Gentle readers, there are just 5 more chances to see the musical Ben Houston calls "A tour de force of medieval-themed slapstick comedy." Spamalot, which is also our very own EJ's professional theater debut, is playing at Dexter's Encore Theater tonight through Sunday. If you like Monty Python's Holy Grail and/or "British Humor" you will love this show.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kitchen issues at Taco King

On October 2, 2014, a state inspector from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) inspected World Call Shop LLC, doing business as "Taco King". The inspections revealed issues in the kitchen that led to the owner voluntarily closing the restaurant to address the issues. The facility has reopened as of October 3, 2014. I discovered this because I was at the restaurant with a big group just before they closed, and one person in the party had their money refunded.

These inspection reports are now online at a2docs as World Call Shop (Taco King) inspections, October 2 2014.

I like Taco King - they are reasonably priced and the food is tasty. But I think they need help in their kitchen to make sure that the people making the food know exactly how to keep food safe and keep dishes clean.

Grocery stores in Michigan have food inspections regulated by the State of Michigan and not by Washtenaw County, hence this facility is not part of the every six month routine inspections by the County Health Department. It's also worth noting that this data is routinely published online. See the following for Ann Arbor area inspection information.

Sword Solutions has inspection information from Washtenaw County Health Department. takes this data and presents it in attractive map and graph form, so you can zoom in on a restaurant and get a quick overview of their food safety.

For statewide grocery store and convenience store reports, see the MDARD Food Inspection Reports. I don't know how frequent the routine grocery store inspection is.