Monday, October 7, 2013

Best of the Net 9/30-10/6

Poetic And Kinetic Michiganders

"We believe in a Michigan that can hold us up with the strength of a hundred pictured rocks even while the Dow Jones crumbles around us, we have been weathered by the worst storms and been carved out by glaciers over millennia."--Kinetic Affect

Michiganders Gabriel Giron and Kirk Latimer, who comprise the spoken-word poetry duo Kinetic Affect, proudly declare their love for Michigan in their "Michigan Poem." Even though Giron and Latimer first composed and performed the poem in 2011, it did not go viral until the last few weeks. The uplifting poem reminds Michiganders who they are and where they came from by highlighting Michigan's past, present and future.

When speaking of their home state, Giron and Latimer repeatedly and passionately state, "We Believe!" With 1,000 views per hour this past Saturday, it is clear that they are not the only Michiganders who believe in Michigan.

Mott Hospital Will Not Stop Fighting

This blog highlights the positive news and events from Michigan, so how is a kid who has not beaten cancer positive news? Young Gage's nine-year fight with cancer is not "positive," but his mother's account of her son's life with cancer is too beautifully worded and her message too important to not garner attention. C.S. Mott Children's Hospital is still fighting for Gage and will continue to fight for countless other children. The doctors, nurses and staff of this hospital are heroes to many Michigan families, and the story of their work for Gage and countless other children needs to be repeatedly told.

Please read Gage's story from his mother's heart here.

Detroit Is Flying Business Class

The auto industry is doing better, but Detroit is not throwing all of its eggs in that basket. Detroit is bringing a diverse array of businesses into the city. Now the big time tech companies are noticing Detroit. Google just announced that Detroit will be one of its seven North American tech hubs. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Tech Hub Network "is designed to connect communities and entrepreneurs — and to help foster their businesses outside Silicon Valley." Google will join the Detroit's Madison Block area, which hosts two dozen tech start-ups.

One of the Madison Block businesses making waves is Chalkfly, an online office and school supply website that gives five percent of every purchase to teachers. Chalkfly recently was named one of the 15 best young companies to work for in the United States by turnstone (a division of Steelcase) and Wharton Director of Human Resources, Peter Cappelli.

The U.P. Is Home To Rock Legends

The Upper Peninsula is known for the majestic sandstones of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, but it also a home to a wide variety of rock formations. The Lansing State Journal highlights the diversity of the U.P.'s geology in an article that also explores the U.P.'s mining history. The U.P. is a must-visit for amateur rockhounds and professional geologists. Even people who have no interest in the science of rock formations, will be impressed by the beauty of the U.P.'s rocks. The Lansing State Journal article includes a photo gallery of these natural wonders.

Like Zoos? Detroit's Got Two For You

The main Detroit Zoological Society operates two zoos, the Detroit Zoo and the Belle Isle Nature Zoo. If you are in the Detroit area and are looking for some fun Halloween related activities, check out the Boo Zoo. The Zoo Boo celebration will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening at the Detroit Zoo from October 11 to October 27. Zoo Boo includes a trick-or-treat trail for kids, a haunted reptile house, a games tent and Halloween related shows. Tickets may sell out, so purchasing in advance is recommended.

The Belle Isle Nature Zoo recently received $1 million in renovations to its infrastructure to update old and worn facilities and to make the zoo more eco-friendly. The 5-acre zoo includes undisturbed wetlands, a nature trail, an outdoor butterfly garden and indoor animal habitats. The nature zoo is free and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., April through October, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through March.

Precision In Pittsfield Township

Control Gaging, manufacturer of precision gauges for machine tools, recently broke ground on its new 24,500 square foot facility in Pittsfield Township, which is the company's U.S. headquarters. The company chose to build in the Ann Arbor area because of the talent-rich workforce that Ann Arbor has to offer. Control Gaging's president, David Hayes, said, "The talented machinists and engineers in Ann Arbor are second to none."

Detroit Loves A Parade

Thanksgiving in Detroit means good food, Lions football and the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Detroit parade was first held in 1924, tying it with New York's parade as the second oldest Thanksgiving parade in the U.S. Detroit's parade is now officially called America's Thanksgiving Parade, and it will extend a mile farther north into midtown this year thanks to the sponsorship of Art Van Furniture. The parade also will include eight new floats, and its new route will include cultural gems like the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Michigan Public Schools Inspire

This past week has seen some amazing stories involving teachers and students from public schools around the state. Utica Ford English teacher, Mark Julien, received the "Oscar of Teaching," the Milken Educator Award. He is only one of a few dozen teachers nationwide who will receive the award this year.

Two retired teachers in Eaton Rapids donated $10,000 each to install solar panels at Eaton Rapids High School. The donation from Gary Vittoz and Gerald Adams will save the school district approximately $1,500 in electricity costs while also providing a clean energy source to the school.

Not to be outdone by these teachers, students at two Michigan high schools proved that high school kids today can be a lot more accepting, loving and good-natured than we adults give them credit for. East Grand Rapids High School students elected senior Joshua Pitts, a senior with autism, as their homecoming king. Students at Rochester High School elected Emily Jacobs, a senior with Down Syndrome, to their homecoming court last Thursday. Her classmates did not stop there though. At the school's homecoming game on Friday night, Emily was crowned queen. To see her reaction to the good news, watch this video at 1:35.

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