March 11, 2013
Over 300 years ago, around the same time the city of Detroit was founded, an evil was discovered in and around the city. An evil that has plagued the people and the city, and even wrecked havoc upon the founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. This ‘evil’ was said to have been a Nain Rouge, other wise known as the “red dwarf of Detroit.”
~La Marche du Nain Rouge
La Marche du Nain Rouge is held every year on the Sunday following the spring equinox. That’s Sunday March 24, 2013, and they explain:
La Marche du Nain Rouge is an annual Detroit tradition that purportedly dates back to shortly after the city’s founding by the French in 1701. Annually held on the Sunday closest to the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, it is parade and street theater similar in sensibility to Mardi Gras and other Carnival celebrations. However the impetus for La Marche is different.
La Marche drives Le Nain Rouge (The Red Dwarf) out of Detroit, preventing its evil spirit from plaguing the people of the city for the rest of the year. By forcing Le Nain Rouge from the city (and into the spirit plane), Le Nain is banished, transforming Detroiters’ fears and doubts into the hopes of new life and the coming Spring season.
Tradition holds that a citizen of Detroit dresses up as Le Nain Rouge, temporarily embodying its spirit, wearing a mask to conceal identity. As Le Nain Rouge, this person accepts responsibility for leading people through the streets of Detroit to La Marche’s final destination.
More portraits on Michigan in Pictures.
January 26, 2013
Today is Michigan’s 176th birthday. For the 175th birthday last year we compiled some fun facts that you can check out. Here’s hoping that you get a chance to get out and celebrate what Michigan has to offer this weekend!
If you’re staying warm inside, consider reading about Michigan’s statehood and associated documents at Seeking Michigan.
November 23, 2012
Today is Black Friday, and though many of us – your host most definitely included -get worn down by the constant march of “Consumer Christmas”, it’s important to remember that our dollars when spent wisely can build strength in our communities. Below is one great example and I’m sure people can suggest more in the comments! I should add that I’ve had this post saved as a draft for almost a month which is why Richard has a rare back-to-back feature!
This photo is of Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair in Ann Arbor. Stocking common items as well as more esoteric gear like positronic brains, they’re the source for all your robot needs in Southeast Michigan.
The store is also (literally) the front for 826michigan, a nonprofit student writing & tutoring center, and all proceeds go toward their free student programs. 826michigan is dedicated to supporting students aged 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. 826 opened its doors in June of 2005 and believes that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success and that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention.
I for one welcome our new robot overlords and encourage you to watch this great video about Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair and 826Michigan.
More Ann Arbor on Michigan in Pictures.
October 31, 2012
The Halloween Spectacle is an annual event that took place last Saturday in Marquette. Here’s hoping you can get out and make a spooky spectacle of yourself tonight!
October 22, 2012
The Annual Grand Rapids Zombie Dash bills itself as the most terrifying night race in the world. Much as in the forthcoming zombie apocalypse, participants are divided into 2 classes, hardy survivors who will run a 5k for their lives a 5k, and members of the zombie horde who will attempt to separate said survivors from said lives. All the details are on the web site, and there’s also a post-race concert.
The event is also raising awareness for a topic near and dear to the un-beating hearts of zombies everywhere and also Michigan citizens. They’re holding early registration where you can also register for Michigan Blood Stem Cell Program at Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids on Friday the 26th.
According to Barbara Hile, Program Manager for Michigan Blood’s Marrow/Stem Cell Program, “Patients needing blood stem cell (marrow) transplants can only find a suitable match within their family about 30% of the time. The remaining 70% of matches are made between complete strangers via the Be the Match Registry. Therefore, the more young people who join the Registry, the more chances we have of a match for thousands of patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases. A marrow transplant is often the patient’s last, best chance for survival.”
Read more at the link above or at www.BeTheMatch.org/join.
September 11, 2012
via Absolute Michigan…
Rob Bliss & Jeff Barrett, creators of the fantastic Grand Rapids lip dub video premiered their Pure Michigan Statewide Sing-along at halftime of the Lions game on Sunday. It was filmed in 50 Michigan cities in 7 days. It’s a pretty cool travelogue of the Great Lakes State in under 4 minutes.
August 23, 2012
July 21, 2012
July 4, 2012
My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
~Adlai Stevenson, speech in Detroit, 1952
The safety to be unpopular is a freedom we don’t always think of, but something we might well consider. It strikes me that in our relentless drive to get everyone on the same page, we’re not able to get anything done. There is a lot to be done and a lot of places we can find common ground to make our schools and communities better and protect the natural resources that make Michigan the place we love.
If it’s total agreement you’re looking for, that’s probably fascism. Democracy is messy.
Speaking of messy, you’ve no doubt noticed bigger booms over the last few days, That’s due to a new law in Michigan that allows the purchase of any federally allowed firework. The messy democratic process is already at work:
City officials across Michigan have scrambled in recent weeks to try to stymie the party in the sky — limiting when residents can set off fireworks in light of a change in state law that allows a more powerful category of explosives to be sold and used in the state.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts blasted the state law, saying “pyromaniacs” are terrorizing the community, scaring children, pets, seniors and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder with the louder explosions caused by the more powerful fireworks.
“The state has legalized these ‘consumer fireworks’ and people are going gung ho,” Fouts said. “People, who were hesitant to do illegal fireworks now are empowered.”
State legislators approved the looser fireworks legislation, which went into effect in January, to keep residents from taking their money to other states to purchase fireworks not available here. The new law forces communities to allow the fireworks on the day before, the day of and the day after federal holidays, such as the Fourth of July.
Warren, Grand Rapids, Ferndale, Novi, Birmingham, Royal Oak and other cities across Michigan are already creating ordinances to ban these fireworks during other times of the year.
Here’s hoping you have an explosively fun and very safe Fourth of July! Here’s many more Fourth of July photos from Michigan in Pictures!
June 29, 2012
Gas prices are at an astonishing low – $2.99 at the Lambertville Kroger – and the weekend weather looks hot but amazing. It’s probably time to make a trip to one of Michigan’s great parks or beaches. While I’m guessing that most of you don’t have a sweet boat car like this, it’s a great weekend for boating too!