I was traipsing through my friend's woods this morning and found a pond full of chorus frogs. If you've never heard chorus frogs before, check out the video I took. They sound kind of like car alarms, but with better harmony.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Vault of Midnight is hosting celebrations for International Tabletop Day at high noon today. You should go because OG Wil Wheaton wants you to. Also, in the above video at 0:41 does the picture they use for the quad look familiar to you?
Friday, March 29, 2013
|Percent of users changing their profile picture to HRC's red equality sign. Darker indicates higher values.|
You may have noticed everyone on your Facebook feed changing their picture to the HRC's red and pink equality symbol in support of the two marriage equality cases before the Supreme Court this week. Now, this may be because all your friends are uber-liberal and love showing it on facebook. Or it may be because all your friends live in Washtenaw County. Check it out:
Which counties saw the largest increases in profile photo changes? Much to our surprise, we found that Washtenaw County -- home of Ann Arbor, Michigan and the University of Michigan, this author's alma mater, topped the list. Our model estimated that approximately 6.2% of Facebook users who logged in from this county changed their profile photos in response to the campaign.Hat tip: @rifferaff
Image via Facebook.
This weekend is your last chance to catch The New Theatre Project's bold adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's "Edward II" at the Mix Studio Theater in Ypsilanti. The source material follows the largely disastrous reign of a bratty king who struggles with his family, struggles with love, struggles with accepting a place in this world that he neither wants nor excels at. Jason Sebacher's script punches up these highly relatable themes for a decadent but ultimately substantive mix between a coming out story and "My Super Sweet Sixteen." It works.
The scene opens on decorative candles and a glittering cross on the wall, empty prescription bottles and booze huddled in a corner. It's the Sunday-morning bedroom of any hard-partying 20-something twink. Except this twink is King Edward (Chris Jakob), ruler of England. And Gaveston (John Denyer), his favourite, his lover--indisputably; TNTP's production does not play with this ambiguity the way the original material does--is coming home.
Meanwhile, Edward's queen (an impeccable Andrew Papa in drag, lording a few inches over the rest of the cast) is making a power grab. She can't control her otherwise-interested husband, so Queen Isabella lures his brother Kent (Artun Kircali) into her web, and they effect the downfall of Edward II. Isabella is an exciting character to watch. Her ruthlessness is utterly predictable, and yet still enthralling. Is she a woman wanting to rule as a man? A man who has to rule as a woman? It's a gender pretzel where Isabella's only hard-and-fast characteristic is her hunger for power. Delectable.
The veneer of the play shines a cold light on poor Edward, whose gallivanting seems reduced to reality-TV tropes and very privileged teen angst. "It's my country, it's my life!" he shouts; he might be arguing for more time on the Internet, or permission to take the car out on Saturday. But the core of the play is deeply sympathetic to the character, and the re-imagining of "Edward II" around the gay narrative feels natural and redeeming for the failed king. Things would have been different for Edward, this production suggests, in a different time.
Can you spot your favorite farmers in Abigail Stauffer's music video? I see Nate and Jill from Green Things Farm dancing a bit. Shannon Brines from the eponymous Brines Farm is in the background of a shot too. You can find out more about the video's producers, Rap For Food, here.
Via: The Com.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Have you checked out the Ann Arbor Craigslist's free section? It has some pretty great stuff. There's the free trampoline above. A whitetail that wondered onto someone's yard and died. Expired contact lens solution and these 7 bottles of expired apple cider from 2011.
Pretty sweet, eh?
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Hey all you Detroiters who occasionally stumble through Damn Arbor, I just thought I'd let you know that some of the fine folks from Nerd Nite A2 are working with Detroit Labs to launch Nerd Nite 313. The innagural event will be this Thursday, March 28th at Great Lakes Coffee Roasting. Doors are at 6:30 and cover is $5. I know Josh has enjoyed our local Nerd Nites so much that he has now presented at one. Though, maybe that was just for the free drinks.
Here's a little video of the first A2 Nerd Nite that might give you a flavor of what to expect:
Just got an email from Big Ticket Productions, a Umich student group that works to bring national acts to Ann Arbor. They are bringing We The Kings and Hellogoodbye to the Michigan Theater this Friday, March 29th. Tickets range from $20 to $30 and you can buy them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This is pretty cool because it avoids the fees of going through Ticketmaster.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
La Nain Rouge is a Lutin--a kind of friendly, but potentially troublesome hobgoblin who haunts Detroit. Some say he has always haunted Le Détroit, while others say he followed Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac here from France.
In Montreal in 1701, a fortune teller warned Cadillac of the troublesome dwarf:
"Shall my children inherit my possessions?" asked Cadillac, unconsciously giving utterance to the secret desire of his heart.Things were good for Cadillac until Mayday of 1707. On that fateful day, Cadillac finally encountered the Red Hobgoblin:
"Your future and theirs lie in your own hands, beware of undue ambition ; it will mar all your plans. Appease the Nain Rouge* (Red Dwarf). Beware of offending him. Should you be thus unfortunate not a vestige of your inherit- ance will be given to your heirs. Your name will be scarcely known in the city you founded."
Saturday, March 23, 2013
The Michigan League of Conservation Voters are doing an interesting take on March Madness this year. In their Mitten Madness, they are letting people vote for their favorite natural features and recreation areas in the state. I'm a little worried about the East Side's ability to compete with the rest of the state.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Animal Acts: Beasts of the Northern Wild is a "performance festival and symposium exploring the question of the animal through the lens of multimedia solo work." Sounds pretty cool. The performances are tonight and tomorrow at the Duderstadt Media Commons. Be warned though "Performances may include nudity, sexual content and viewer discretion is advised. No one under 17 will be admitted to the evening performances." May contain nudity? Oh Beasts of the Northern Wild, you tease.
Inspired by Detroit Soup, the first U of M Soup will be this Saturday at Live. Here's the skinny: Soup is a monthly community dinner. You pay $5 and get a simple meal of soup and salad. During the evening, you'll hear proposals for micro-funding local projects. At the end of the night you vote and whichever project gets the most votes get's the money collected that night. Pretty cool. Here's the menu:
1. Lentil and butternut squash soupSounds tasty. U of M Soup is tomorrow night at Live.
2. Zingerman's bread rolls
3. Quinoa vegetable salad
4. Spinach garden salad
5. Zingerman's brownies
Thursday, March 21, 2013
And if the person participates in the vowel shift, he or she might say something like “Butsy, do you want these sacks in a bayg?” instead of “Betsy, do you want these socks in a bag?” So this is why people sometimes say Michiganders sound nasally.
These happy people in the video above are just not part of someone's youtube reunion videos. They are also an example of the standard Ken Burns Effect. Set to some jazz. The Ken Burns Effect is something everyone has been exposed to through PBS documentaries or family slideshows. He will be speaking, panning and zooming out tonight at the Penny Stamps Lecture Series. The lecture is, as always, at the Michigan Theater and is free to all. See him around five ten.
Those cool kids over at Facebook have made a series of maps color-coding each county based on the most liked team taking part in March Madness. My favorite map, is the one above, which looks at the geographic distribution of U of M versus MSU fans.
|Josh Stoolman, Damn Arbor's senior sports/influenza correspondent|
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's County Health Rankings project places Washtenaw County in first place for health factors. In terms of health outcomes, mortality and morbidity, we come in 5th. Not too shabby folks.
According to legend, ever since Antoine Cadillac arrived in Le Detroit, the area has been haunted by Le Nain Rouge, the Red Dwarf. Le Nain Rouge has appeared time to time in the city's history and always proceeds a terrible event. For the past three years there has been a parade in late March in an attempt to banish the dwarf from the city. EJ and I were at the scene of the parade last Sunday to cover the event for Damn Arbor. Here are our pictures:
To banish the Nain Rouge from the city, you need to scare him. A scare mask like Jon has is essential.
Above, you can see my favorite part of SB 78 which aims to amend PA 451, the "Natural resources and environmental protection act." It's really interesting that, beyond removing conservation of biological diversity as an acceptable criteria for the DNR to use in managing state parks, the authors of the bill want to do away with the finding that human activities are the cause of most losses of biodiversity. Michigan Radio's Environment Report had a good segment on the bill a few weeks back. In it they have this great quote from SNRE professor Brad Cardinale:
Brad Cardinale is a professor of conservation biology at the University of Michigan.Oh snap, Brad totally burnt Sen. Casperson (R-Escanaba). Brad and I are currently part of a team working on an awesome paper about biodiversity and ecosystem services within agricultural landscapes. Keep you're eyes peeled for it.
“That is an extremely well justified scientific principle that humans are the direct cause of modern biodiversity loss. By striking it, it leads me to believe that Casperson is perhaps not aware of the vast scientific evidence for that,” he says.
Cardinale says areas with more biodiversity offer all kinds of benefits for people and wildlife... and he says this bill doesn’t consider those.
“And all of the language is essentially arguing that we need to give people higher priority to have access to the land, to be able to extract resources from the land.”
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
A2HappyHour.com has just announced the A2 Happy Hour Club. If you buy the club card, you get extra discounts at select businesses during happy hour. The first 100 people who order get it for free, and by free, I mean $0.01 plus $0.80 shipping and handling. Still, that's basically free, right?
The Moth returns tonight to Circus, which is sure to entertain you and terrify the performers. I say that because the theme is "Stranded," and I have a story that would be PUUUUURRRRfect for it that I just could not get together in time, but just the little bit I did get together made me sweat like a turkey on Thanksgiving Eve.
StorySLAM starts at 7:30 sharp, but the doors open at 6. Presale tickets are available here and are $10 plus a $2 "unit fee," whatevah that is. Tickets at the door are $5. Also! You can buy your booze as usual at Circus, but bring cash.
Monday, March 18, 2013
You may remember Joel Batterman, the urban planning student and occasional Damn Arbor contributor. Well, Joel has graduated and is now working at the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. He also has himself a new blog: the Michigan Monitor. So far, this Southeast Michigan focused blog only has two articles. Nevertheless, I'm excited to see where it goes.
This means it's time to come up with some new rules for the City Council Drinking Game. The game was originally developed by Urban Oasis based on some comments on Ann Arbor is Overrated. We here at Damn Arbor have made up our own rules in the past as well. Here are my ideas for new rules:
If a lawyer subtilely threatens a law suit, drink once.Some folks on twitter have suggested every CM should have a catchphrase, that would make everyone have to drink. Any suggestions for catchphrases or other rules?
If a lawyer says they would be "forced to take legal action to protect their client," drink twice.
If a lawyer representing 413 E. Huron says "We will sue the crap out of you hayseeds," finish your drink.
If a CM or public commentor advocates for a shadow study, drink once.
At the start of closed session, everyone bets on how long it will take. Everyone chips in to buy whoever is closest a drink.
Every time someone says "Councilmen Kunselman," drink.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
It was an uneventful interview with the two guests saying little of substance, but Snyder and Orr made a number of pleas to Detroit's stakeholders — most notably City Council — to come to the negotiating table in order to fix this mess over the next 18 months. Their theme is providing a stable, sustainable framework for longer term success after the emergency financial manager's term is up.
It remains to be seen whether even that relatively modest goal is achievable, but I'm hopeful. Jack Lessenberry recently and cantankerously wrote about the stark realities that Detroit faces right now:
There’s going to be an emergency manager and lots of difficulty to come. We can scream and kick our little feet — or we can rationally start preparing to try to work with whomever that emergency manager may be to try to save Detroit.
Fighting the inevitable is a waste of time. Detroit and Detroiters, right now, have little of either.Or in the words of Craig Fahle, "He is here. This is happening."
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The USDA's Economic Research Service has released a map of our nation's food deserts. They classified census tracks as food deserts if they were both-low access--meaning "a significant number or share of individuals in the tract is far from a supermarket"--and low-income. They defined low income at the level of census tract using the following criteria:
The tract’s poverty rate is greater than 20 percent; orThe map lets you change layers so you can see just the low-income tracts if you want. You can also set the low-access threshold to 0.5 miles for urban residents which dramatically increases local food deserts:
The tract’s median family income is less than or equal to 80 percent of the State-wide median family income; or
The tract is in a metropolitan area and has a median family income less than or equal to 80 percent of the metropolitan area's median family income.
So what do you think gentle readers, is this an accurate way to assess the presence of food deserts?
Hat/Tip Sarah K.
Lindsay Lou & Big Dudee Roo would make a great title for a Dr. Seuss book wouldn't it?
Just a reminder that we will be hosting our first ever City Council Viewing Party next Monday, the 18th of March at ABC. It's going to be awesome. Not only is it happy hour all day ($2.50 imperial pints). But the city council will be discussing the proposed moratorium on downtown site plan approval. Let me tell you, there's going to be some spirited public commentary. It's gonna be off the hook.
So, gentle readers, if you plan on coming, let us know, or RSVP on Facebook. Also, if you have any questions about issues facing the city/city council, or have issues you think we should be discussing on Monday night, let me know.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Well folks, the results are in and tabulated. Big thanks to the 546 of you that voted. Winners, well those of you who are real human beings, can expect your prizes soon. Runners up, we've got something special for you too. I can hardly wait for next year's Damnies™. Maybe we'll have an award show too. Click through to see the results.
|A Page from One Hundred Demons|
She'll be speaking and sharing at the perpetually free Penny Stamps lecture at the Michigan Theater, Thursday at 5:00 pm. If you aren't going to be doing anything, or even if you are doing something really important, say f*** it and go.
Today, 3-13, is National Vernors Day. A day upon which we celebrate all of the great things in Southeast Michigan. So wherever you may be, Michigander or Michigonner, crack open a frosty Vernors and grab a bag of Better Made Chips.
Image via sarrazak6881's flickr
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Anyways, this missed connection got a lot of things right and makes me less peeved. It also made me downright hungry for Cheetos, but didn't decrease my Jimmy John's disgust.
Sarah, a dedicated Damn Arbor reader, sent me an email about a cool concert coming up on Thursday at Cafe Ollie. Two bands from Illinois, the Hastas and the Hecks, will be playing with local artist Magics Marker. The show is from 7-11 You can check out a sample of the music below:
Perhaps no spirit is more iconically American than bourbon. Though it is most often associated with the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, bourbons can be legally distilled anywhere in the US. If you're interested in learning about this great American tradition and/or sampling a variety of fine bourbons, then you might want to check out the bourbon tasting tomorrow night at Sidetrack. Here are the details from their Facebook page:
Join us as we sample and discuss (at least) 6 bourbons. From local to craft, iconic to rare, we will be tasting an array of bourbons sure to impress any bourbon lover.There is a rumor that the snacks may include bacon-bourbon chocolate chip cookies.
WHEN: Wednesday March 13th, 7pm-10pm
WHAT: Bourbon, bourbon-friendly snacks**, bourbon geek commentary, distillery reps & bourbon tasting notes. Basically, bourbon HEAVEN!
WHERE: Our new space (Next to Frenchie's)
WHO: Bourbon lovers and those looking to explore the delicious nuances of this fine spirit. WHY: For the LOVE of Bourbon!
HOW: Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the Merch page of our website.