Technology & Internet Media

Cold enough for ya?

Blindfold 2XA friend & Michigan expatriate sent me the Michigan Temperature Conversion Chart. I thought it might be nice to pair with some photos, and also that you might enjoy COLD, as performed by the Absolute Michigan Pool.

I’m told that sculptor Jim Gavril of East Lansing deserves the credit for the chart! Click the photos to view them bigger!

28/365/1489 (July 9, 2012) - Squirrel Pancake at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)@ +70 degrees

Texans turn on the heat and unpack the thermal underwear.
People in Michigan go swimming in the rivers.

Future Garden@ +60 degrees

North Carolinians try to turn on the heat.
People in Michigan plant gardens.

Dwarfed by the giant crane@ +50 degrees

Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Michigan sunbathe.

Fly By@ +40 degrees

Italian & English cars won’t start.
People in Michigan drive with the windows down.

Fozen Odyssey ... Lake Michigan January 2007 color version@ +32 degrees

Distilled water freezes.
Lake Michigan water gets thicker.

Brothers in Arms@ +20 degrees

Floridians put on coats, thermal underwear, gloves and woolly hats.
People in Michigan throw on a flannel shirt.

Not Gonna Grill No More@ +15 degrees

Philadelphia landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Michigan have the last cookout before it gets cold.

N. State St.@ +10 degrees

People in Miami all die.
People in Michigan lick the flagpole.

winter morning ritual@ 0 degrees

Californians fly away to Mexico.
People in Michigan get out their winter coats.

Zero degree windchill@ -10 degrees

Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Michigan are selling cookies door to door.

Walk in the Woods@ -25 degrees

Polar bears begin to evacuate the Arctic.
Michigan Boy Scouts postpone “Winter Survival” classes until it gets cold enough.

No Better Artist than Mother Nature@ -30 degrees

Mount St. Helen’s freezes.
People in Michigan rent some videos.

Drunken Fools@ -40 degrees

Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Spartans get frustrated because they can’t thaw the keg.

Curious cows@ -45 degrees

Microbial life no longer survives on dairy products.
Cows in Michigan complain about farmers with cold hands.

Winter Surfing!@ -60 degrees

ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero in the Kelvin scale).
People in Michigan start saying, “Cold ’nuff for ya?”

Hell Froze Over!!!@ -100 degrees

Hell freezes over.
The Detroit Lions win the Super Bowl!

Photo Links…

Detroit’s Sixto “Sugar Man” Rodriguez on 60 Minutes

Sixto Rodriguez performs at TCFF by Gary Howe
Sixto Rodriguez performs at TCFF by Gary Howe

This summer I had the great good fortune to see the documentary Searching for Sugar Man at the Traverse City Film Festival. If you haven’t seen it, seek it out as it’s a wonderful film.

Watch the interview with subject Sixto “Sugar Man” Rodriguez below and check out Searching for Sugar Man from Sony Pictures Classics.

They also have him performing a song and an extra about how success was measured in the Rodriguez household.

Miguel Cabrera wins Triple Crown!

Carl Yastrzemski, Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Ted Williams, Joe Medwick, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Chuck Klein, Rogers Hornsby, Nap Lajoie and the Tigers own Ty Cobb. All are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and all are on the short list of Triple Crown winners since 1900.

This elite group is now joined by the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera who last night became just the 15th player and the first since 1967 to win the Triple Crown. The Tiger superstar led the American League with a .330 batting average, belted 44 homers and knocked in 139 RBIs, numbers made all the sweeter by the fact that they helped lead the Tigers to a second straight postseason berth.

Roar of the Tigers has three lovely crowns for Miguel Cabrera. The Freep has a roundup of what national writers are saying about Miguel. You can read the in-depth article on Cabrera’s feat on the Detroit Tigers website, see what Drew Sharp and Bob Wojnowski have to say and also check out quotes on Cabrera’s Triple Crown and a gallery of his 2012 highlights from the Freep.

photo credit: Miguel Cabrera by Keith Allison



The Michigan Pages: Spring Peepers

Mike aka Mr. Toad shot the video above and wrote to us: I am glad you enjoyed my video of spring peepers. It is worth noting that video was taken at the University of Michigan’s ES George Reserve. There are several other frogs that begin calling very early in Michigan, including the wood frog and the chorus frog. A few videos and more information on these frogs can be found at my blog.

Peeper on a Leaf by Jamuudsen

There are few more signature sounds in Michigan than a chorus of spring peepers calling. While the peepers fired up early and then stopped during our incredible heatwave, they are back out in force as temps have become more normal. Regarding pseudacris crucifer (Northern Spring Peeper), the Michigan DNR begins:

Spring peepers are one of the earliest callers among the dozen frog species found in Michigan. During the first warm evenings of spring in late March or early April through May, their distinctive single note, high pitched “peep” is considered a harbinger of spring. The intensity of calling increases and can become a deafening chorus during humid evenings or just after a warm spring rain when many males congregate.

Only the male frogs call. They establish territories near the edge of permanent or ephemeral wetlands. They may call from elevated perches of submerged grass or shrubs near the water. The faster and louder a male sings, the more likely he is to attract a mate. (sort of like American Idol I guess)

Spring Peeperpedia


Happy World Water Day

"September Gale" by Michigan Nut
"September Gale" by Michigan Nut

(our most popular “water” photo)

World Water Day is today, a day to celebrate fresh water and consider the many issues we are confronting around water and its use.

From our rivers, lakes and streams to our boats, beaches and bass to the very shape of our state, water defines Michigan. Like it our not, the Great Lakes State is placed firmly at the center of water issues, so it makes a lot of sense for us to spend some time exploring these issues.

We’d like to share with you some of the 12,000+ photos in our water slideshow from the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr, and we hope you can share with us a thought about Michigan’s water.

Five Things You Need to Know about Michigan snowstorms

Fit Strip snow storm panorama_Web_BWa_contrast boost_lrg blk border
Fit Strip snow storm panorama by tifranta

The majority of our snow comes from lake effect. We don’t usually see that heavy cement-mixer type of snow.”
~ Gaylord-based National Weather Service meteorologist John Boris

5thingsMarch came in like a lion this year. A 2011 Detroit Lion to be precise.

Back in the day we would mark notable items with a special “Five Things You Need to Know” so here you go, and please post your thoughts in the comments.

Better Late by Elizabeth Glass
Better Late by Elizabeth Glass

1 On the evening of March 2nd, 2012 a late winter storm roared through Michigan. The National Weather Service pegged the total at 27 inches in Ishpeming while Long Lake near Traverse City totaled 26″. A state of emergency has been declared in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties with schools closed in all three counties. Michigan Radio has a nice overview of the storm and the damage.
2  Over 250,000 people lost power across the state as wind gusts of up to 55 MPH and heavy wet snow took their toll on power lines. Power companies and other utilities scrambling, and mLive reported last night that over 50,000 people were still without power. The TC Record-Eagle has an update this morning, and Consumers Energy is updating their Facebook with outage reports and they also have a list of open shelters.

3 The   Northern Michigan March Blizzard of 2012 has a collection of pics from the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr – we’ll add more as we find them!

Houston, we have a problem by farlane
Houston, we have a problem by farlane

4 If you’re wondering where this storm ranks on the all-time list, it’s certainly behind the Great Blizzard of 1978, a brutal storm in Jan 26-27 that dropped almost 30″ on parts of Michigan and was “The most extensive and very nearly the most severe blizzard in Michigan history.” 20 people died, many were hospitalized and 100,000 cars were abandoned on Michigan highways. It was perhaps eclipsed by The White Hurricane of 1913. The Detroit News has a feature on the worst snowstorm in Detroit history from April 6, 1886 which dropped over 2 feet on the city, piling drifts 12 feet high.

5 WOOD-TV took a trip north to check out the situation. Check it out below and you can also go for a drive around Traverse City.

MI recovers after storms black out 264K:

Here’s the cover photo from the Absolute Michigan Facebook page. Feel free to use it on your page and/or share YOUR photos in the Michigan cover photos group on Flickr!


Online placemaking discussion via Twitter on February 29th!

Join Let’s Save Michigan  TODAY (February 29th) for a live discussion–via Twitter–with four of the nation’s leading experts on placemaking. Let’s Save Michigan advocates for policies and practices that support, revitalize, and promote Michigan’s cities and they’ve assembled an all-star team to talk about how small, inexpensive, and creative investments in public spaces can have a big impact Michigan communities.

Riverwalk by Marcus W
Riverwalk by Marcus W

  • Nate Berg: A writer and journalist currently writing for The Atlantic Cities, a publication focused on the most pressing challenges facing cities and neighborhoods.
  • Dan Gilmartin: Executive Director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, host of WJR 760′s The Prosperity Agenda, member of the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities, and mind behind The Economics of Place.
  • Diana Lind: Urban advocate, writer, and Editor in Chief at Next American City, a non-profit and publication devoted to socially and environmentally sustainable futures for America’s cities.
  • Kathy Madden: Environmental designer and director of the Project for Public Space‘s Placemaking Education and Public Space Research and Publication programs.

To participate in the conversation, follow the hashtag #LSMplace on Twitter TOMORROW February 29 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST.

You can also follow their Twitter feed (@LetsSaveMich) and those of the experts: @AtlanticCities(Nate), @DPGilmartin (Dan), @NextAmCity (Diana), and @PPS_Placemaking (Kathy).

Google Search Stories: Ypsilanti’s SolarYpsi Project

YouTube and Google have a feature called “Search Stories” about people who are using Google’s search to find new ways of doing things. One of the people they profile is Dave Strenski of Ypsilanti, who you can learn more about in the video below.

Dave and some like-minded individuals created SolarYpsi in 2005 with the hope of making their hometown a solar power destination through tying solar power generation to the electrical grid.

Their web site showcases real-time reporting of electrical production via solar panels, tracking panels are located on top of the Ypsilanti Food Coop, the Riverstreet Bakery, Ypsilanti City Hall and an Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus stop.

Here’s Google’s Search Story Creator in case you want to try your hand. Head over to for more Michigan solar information.


What’s great about the Great Lakes State?

Gulo guloMichigan officially became a state on January 26, 1837 which was a Thursday as well! Many (many) more fun facts at #Mich175 = Happy 175th Birthday Michigan!! on Michigan in Pictures.

We continue our Michigan’s 175th Birthday Bash giveaway today. What’s more, we’ve had so much fun doing a giveaway a day that we’re going to see just how long we can keep things going with our new program called The Daily Michigan that will feature a giveaway a day from the Great Lakes State! It all starts on Monday so tune in!

In celebration of Michigans 175th birthday, we’ll be featuring some tweets to #mich175 that we like, paired with photos from our Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr! They’ll also be on our Absolute Michigan Facebook page! Reload for updates, share YOUR thoughts in the comments below, in our Flickr group or on our Facebook and Happy Birthday to Mamma Michigan!!

The Ford Rotunda and the Christmas Fantasy

A couple of years ago, Michigan in Pictures featured the Ford Rotunda, and a lot of people search for it every year in the holiday season. The Ford Rotunda page at Automotive Mileposts explains that the Rotunda was commissioned by Ford and designed by legendary Detroit architect Albert Kahn for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. After the fair closed, Ford had the Rotunda disassembled and moved to Dearborn, Michigan (read more about the relocation from @ Ford). The Rotunda was closed and remodeled in 1952:

…at which time the center courtyard section was enclosed by the addition of a geodesic dome roof section weighing 18,000 pounds. The Rotunda reopened to the public on June 16, 1953, as part of Ford’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. A highlight of this celebration included 50 huge Birthday candles, mounted and lit along the rim of the Rotunda.

The ultra-modern Rotunda was a huge attraction, becoming the fifth most popular United States tourist destination during the 1950s. In fact, only Niagara Falls, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Smithsonian Institution, and the Lincoln Memorial were more popular. Yellowstone, Mount Vernon, the Washington Monument, and the Statue of Liberty all received less visitors.

The annual Christmas Fantasy held during the Holiday season was partially responsible for the Rotunda’s popularity, with nearly a half million people visiting during 1953, the very first year it was held. A giant Christmas tree was always a spectacular thing to see, and the Christmas Fantasy became more spectacular each year. Highlights from various years included animated characters from children’s stories, a 1/2″ per foot scale 15,000-piece miniature circus with 800 animals, 30 tents, and 435 toy figurines of circus performers and customers. In all, nearly 6 million people visited the Christmas Fantasy during the nine years it was held at the Rotunda.

When flames consumed a Christmas fantasy from the Detroit News Rearview Mirror relates that over 6 million people visited the Christmas Fantasy over the 9 years it was held and tells the sad tale of how it burned to the ground on November 9, 1962. You can see some more photos from Ford and see a Ford Rotunda slideshow from Karen Breen-Bondie.  Many of the photos below also appear on Television History – The First 75 Years. They also have a nice aerial of how the Ford Rotunda was located in relation to the Rouge Plant.