University of Michigan and Tart Cherries

Dr. Sara Warber of University of Michigan Integrative Medicine researched the benefits of eating tart cherries and found that the Antioxidants may help with heart disease and inflammation. This is one of the topics discussed at the Experimental Biology 2009 meeting in New Orleans.

Read more about Michigan cherries and check out a consumer's guide to dietary supplements and alternative medicines.

And here's a story about cherries for the kids.

Ideas for Michigan's economy

Is anyone except me tired of hearing bad economic news about Michigan? If you're ready for some inspiring ideas on how our economy might improve in the future, check out the new book Coming Clean: Breaking America's addiction to oil and coal, especially the chapter about how carmakers can save themselves and help save our planet. Or read the fascinating article “Getting Airport City Off the Ground” from the The Center for Michigan. The article says, among other things, that Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport has a branch of the famous Rijksmuseum. Maybe someday a Michigan “Airport City” will have a branch of the newly reopened U-M Museum of Art.

Before MSU game - read this

I know virtually nothing about college basketball, but apparently MSU has a fighting chance of becoming the national college basketball champ. Suddenly, I’m a fair-weather MSU fan. Looks like I’ll have to wait my turn for When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball, by Seth Davis, which recounts the season leading to the March 1979 NCAA finals, in which MSU’s Magic Johnson squared off against ISU's Larry Bird. Sounds like a good history of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Betty Ford!

Next month former First Lady Betty Ford will turn 91, and to help us all anticipate that, her former assistant press secretary will appear at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library at the University of Michigan. Patti Matson will talk about “Betty Ford: Strength in a Package Marked Fragile” on March 31 (Tuesday), at 7:30 p.m. Mrs. Ford is the founder of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction and a Congressional Gold Medal recipient. You can see wonderful images of her life in our AP Images database.

Speeding ticket campaign is hoax

A Michigan “speeding ticket campaign” is a hoax, maybe even an urban legend. Check your e-mail for this: "Beware all you lead foots!!! Spring is Coming! . . . and so is Operation Yellow Jacket. Look out for MI-DOT trucks parked along the road or suddenly appearing behind you pacing you - it could be a Trooper driving the truck. Called 'Operation Yellow Jacket', each Michigan State Police District has a truck cleaned up and ready to go! These trucks have specially modified engines that can virtually catapult the truck from snow-plow speed to intercept speed in seconds. And when the engine boost kicks in, the warning lights automatically change from flashing yellow to the dreaded red and blue! . . . “

Detroit's Healing Work of Art

In 1968 Detroit Receiving Hospital began an art collection designed to provide an environment colorful, attractive, and beneficial to patients, their families, and the hospital staff. Today, that collection includes more than a thousand works of art. The Healing Work of Art : From the Collection of Detroit Receiving Hospital documents this amazing collection, highlighting the diversity of its holdings as well as its history. Detroit Receiving Hospital is home to major sculptures, as well as hundreds of paintings, works on paper, textiles, and crafts. Over the years, the collection has been broadened by the addition of African beadwork, tapestries from the USA, Africa, and Columbia, a site-specific Pewabic tile water fountain, and large photo murals in the Emergency Department. The collection, which continues to grow in scope and quality, retains its original purpose of lightening the burden of illness carried by patients and their families. Art enthusiasts, as well as those interested in Detroit culture and history, will appreciate this book.

Asparagus! Stalking the American Life

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Think Local First presents a screening of Asparagus! Stalking the American Life tonight at 7:15pm at the Michigan Theater. “For 30 years, Oceana County Michigan has been the Asparagus Capital of the World. Now its spear-struck residents and family farms take on the U.S. War on Drugs, Free Trade and a Fast Food Nation, all to save their beloved roots.” Asparagus’ director Kirsten Kelly will be available for a Q & A session after the film. Proceeds from the screening of this multi-award winning film will benefit Think Local First. Planning on having asparagus for dinner before you go? Check out some of AADL's tasty vegetable cook books.

Michigan Turns 172!

Michigan is turning 172! On January 26 1837 Michigan entered the Union becoming the 26th state. Michigan has many beautiful natural attractions such as: The Great Lakes, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinac Island and Tahquamenon Falls. Michigan was originally home to Native American tribes before the French settlers came. Michigan's largest city is Detroit aka the Motor City, Motown, Hockeytown or The D. Detroit is home of Defending Stanley Cup Champions the Detroit Red Wings, Tigers, 1228887 Pistons and Lions. Our Capital is Lansing and this is the only state that is made up of two peninsulas. Michigan has also produced a number of renowned people such as Henry Ford, Gerald R Ford (raised in Michigan) Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine), Sam Raimi (producer), Thomas Edison and Stevie Wonder to name a few. For a more complete list click here.
Michigan is also home of Meijer, Better Made Potato Chips, Faygo and Kellogg Cereal. To learn more about the history of our state check out the local history room at the Downtown library. Happy Birthday Michigan!

Michigan Notable Books 2009

The Library of Michigan's annual selection (annotations are from the Library of Michigan list):

Asylum for the Insane: A History of the Kalamazoo State Hospital by William A. Decker, M.D. (Arbutus Press)-- The Michigan Asylum for the Insane opened in Kalamazoo in 1859 as Michigan's first state institution created solely for the care and treatment of the mentally ill. In this outstanding history, complete with dozens of images and schematic maps, Dr. Decker, a former medical superintendent of the hospital, places emphasis on the treatments themselves, including hydrotherapy, electro-convulsive therapy and psychoanalysis, the various instruments used, and the growth and development of the hospital's campus and buildings.

The English Major by Jim Harrison (Grove Press) --Harrison's 14th book of fiction is a humorous novel exploring a man's journey to self-discovery. After being dumped by his wife, Cliff, a 60-ish former English teacher turned farmer, hits the road in his old Ford Taurus with a plan of renaming all the birds and all the states. Told in a believable first-person voice, the story describes Cliff's attempt to shed his former life, by crossing the boundaries of as many states of the Union as he can reach in a year. The novel revisits many of Harrison's longtime interests: travel, literature, food and man's interaction in the natural world. This is Harrison's sixth time on the Michigan Notable Books list.

The Expeditions: A Novel by Karl Iagnemma (Dial Press)-- This debut novel by suburban Detroit native Karl Iagnemma is set in historic Michigan during the 1840s. Elisha Stone, a 16-year-old runaway, heads to Detroit to get away from trouble at home. He winds up working with a party of naturalists, embarking on a voyage to the Upper Peninsula to both discover treasure and prove theories about the origins of man. Iagnemma skillfully displays the interactions of the unstable research party, richly describes the historical attitudes and conditions of this frontier era, and reveals the interaction between father and son, as Elisha's father comes in search of his prodigal son.

The Victors: Michigan Jazz with Hazen Schumacher

Come celebrate the publication of Hazen Schumacher’s A Golden Age of Jazz Revisited, on Sunday, December 14, 2-3:30 at the Downtown Library. The book makes the case that the years 1939-42 were the artistic highpoint of popular jazz, and it includes 2 CDs with the tunes he feels back up his claim. Schumacher, who was jazz radio host at UM for thirty years (WEMU-89.1 FM has taken over that role), will discuss and play recordings of the most loved jazz in Michigan and on the UM campus of the mid-twentieth century. He is a master of the genre and will entertain and enlighten new and old jazz lovers.

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