December 10, 2013
Marty shared this photo and also some information about the CR510 Pennsylvania Truss Bridge in Marquette County from historicbridges.org:
This is one of the largest, most beautiful, and most significant truss spans in Michigan. Not only does this truss bridge display the Pennsylvania truss configuration, it appears that it may have actually come from the state of Pennsylvania. In 1919, the Michigan State Highway Department purchased the bridge which originally crossed the Allegheny River. Relocating and reusing truss bridges was not unusual in this period of history. An example notice indicating bridges for sale from 1921 is shown to the right. At this time, CR-510 was a state trunk line route and purchasing and relocating this bridge would have been an inexpensive alternative to building a new bridge from scratch. It was erected on the CR-510 location in 1921. The Michigan State Highway Department’s Biennial Report stated that the bridge was one of two toll bridges crossing the Allegheny River within 500 feet of each other and was being removed due to the redundancy. Unfortunately, the report did not state exactly where on the river this bridge came from. Since most of the Allegheny River is in Pennsylvania, it is assumed the bridge came from Pennsylvania, although the Allegheny River does dip into New York State for a short time. Depending on where on the Allegheny River it was originally located, it may have been part of a multi-span bridge.
Pennsylvania truss bridges are an uncommon truss type, and the nature of their design means that they are reserved for longer truss spans. However, even among pin-connected highway Pennsylvania truss spans, this bridge’s span still stands out as fairly long. It is the longest pin-connected highway truss span in Michigan. The truss type is extremely rare in Michigan, and so the bridge has additional significance in the context of Michigan. The bridge also retains excellent historic integrity with minimal alterations despite its long service and being located in two different states over its service life. The bridge has decorative details on its portal bracing, another feature that is rare among Michigan truss bridges.
Read on for more.
More bridges on Michigan in Pictures.
December 9, 2013
If there’s a front page of the internet, it’s probably Google. They manage to pack quite a lot into a spare layout. Today would have been computer science pioneer Grace Hopper’s 107th birthday, and in addition to a tribute doodle, Google is featuring a ridiculously star-packed video about An Hour of Code.
An Hour of Code is a project of Code.org, a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science education by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and under-represented students of color. The state of Michigan has 13,484 open computing jobs (growing at 4.1x the state job growth average), 1,930 annual computer science graduates and just 78 schools teach computer science. You can get all the details on how you can help encourage schools to require more computer programming from code.org!
December 7, 2013
Waaaay back when I started out on the capital “I” Internet with an online publication called the Northern Michigan Journal. For over five years I edited NMJ, producing around 4 issues a year that featured some interesting work from a wide range of writers & artists.
Two of these were my friends Jerry Dennis and Glenn Wolff, a writer/artist duo who collaborated on several books. Their first was called It’s Raining Frogs & Fishes: Four Seasons of Natural Phenomena and Oddities of the Sky, a fascinating romp through the oddities and beauties of the natural world through Jerry’s captivating prose and Glenn’s engaging drawings. You can click that link to learn more about the book from Jerry’s website. Trust me, it’s the perfect gift for the nature lover or scientist in your life!
There is more to the birth of a snowflake than Aristotle’s assertion that “when a cloud freezes there is snow.” Snow is not merely frozen rain. Rain occasionally freezes, falling to the ground as sleet or freezing rain, but snow originates independent of atmospheric drops of water. Individual ice crystals for high in the atmosphere when water vapor freezes around dust or other particulates. Without particles to serve as condensation nuclei, water vapor can be cooled to -40 degrees Fahrenheit before freezing occurs. A supercooled cloud of this sort seeded with a few particles often escalates into a snowstorm. The individual crystals collect additional molecules of water vapor one at a time, building on one another symmetrically in a rapidly growing, widening circle. Temperature, wind, humidity, and even barometric pressure will determine the growth and ultimate form of the crystal. Large and elaborate crystals for at higher temperatures and humidity while, while the small, basic crystals such as those common in polar regions form when temperature and humidity are very low. As the crystals fall they bump against each other, breaking off pieces of ice that in turn serve as nuclei for new crystals. As they pass through warmer layers of air they adhere to one another, congregating into snowflakes that may contain a thousand or more crystals.
Snowflakes, then, are aggregates of snow crystals. When the temperature is near or slightly above freezing, snowflakes become wet, adhere to other flakes, and grow to two or three inches in diameter. On very rare occasions, they can grow larger yet. According to a report in a 1915 issue of Monthly Weather Review, a snowfall on January 28, 1887 dropped flakes “larger than milk pans,” measuring fifteen inches in diameter by eight inches thick across several square miles near Fort Keogh, Montana.
Only when the temperature remains consistently below freezing will complete, individual crystals fall to the ground. If the temperature of the cloud they form in and the air they descend through is warmer than 27 degrees Fahrenheit, the crystals tend to be flat and hexagonal. Between 27 and 23 degrees, they tend to be needle-shaped. Between 23 and 18 they are likely to be hollow and columnar, with prismatic sides. At temperatures below 18 they can be columnar, hexagonal, or fernlike. Virtually all have six sides. That hexagonal tendency is something of a mystery, although some scientists suggest it is produced by electrical charges in the crystals, while others say it is basic to the molecular structure of water molecules. The atoms in a molecule of H20 are arranged, in physicist Hans C. von Baeyer’s graphic description, “with two little hydrogens stuck onto a big oxygen like ears on a Mickey Mouse’s head.” Scientists like von Baeyer believe that the angle at which the hydrogen molecules protrude from the oxygen atom–about 120 degrees–causes snow crystals to grow to a six-pointed symmetry that repeats the molecular structure of water.
Read on for much more including whether or not two snow crystals are alike, heavy snowfalls and snow words & myths.
December 2, 2013
If there’s a King of Flickr, it’s probably Thomas Hawk. One of his projects is to document the 100 Largest American Cities, and back in June of 2010 he visited Detroit. His massive #11 Detroit, MI slideshow is heavy on the ruin of the Motor City but I think you’ll really appreciate it!
November 30, 2013
Small Business Saturday is a campaign backed by American Express to keep your holiday dollars local. It really seems to have some traction this year (unlike most of the cars in the pic above). I hope you’re shopping with your neighbors where you can!
creed’s grandfather took this photo on Monroe Center in Downtown Grand Rapids in 1978. While I couldn’t find a photo from the same vantage, a look at his pics on Monroe Center will tell you that this is a vibrant area today. View this photo background big and see more in his Grandpa Molt’s slides slideshow!
November 28, 2013
I hope that everyone is gearing up for an enjoyable Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for all of you who take the time to check out and share Michigan in Pictures every day, and I am hoping to be thankful this afternoon for the Lions beating the Packers … though I suppose many of you U.P. readers would be happy with a Green Bay victory.
In any case, Happy Thanksgiving , and if you want a happy memory, here’s a great post on the 1962 Thanksgiving Day Massacre where the Lions handed the Pack their only loss of the season.
More Thanksgiving on Michigan in Pictures.
November 27, 2013
While the blizzardy blowing going on this morning in northern Michigan and the U.P. isn’t the best for “over the rivering”, it is ensuring that Many of Michigan’s ski resorts get to enjoy their earliest opening date in tears with plenty of white gold!
If you’re looking to check out Michigan’s ski scene, head over to goskimichigan.com from the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association. They have updates from Michigan ski resorts on snow conditions & planned opening dates. Their Discover Michigan Skiing program will give you a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard rental equipment and a beginner-area ski lift pass or cross-country trail pass at 23 Michigan ski facilities! It’s available through January 31 and costs just $20 for cross-country skiing, $30 for downhill skiing and $40 for snowboarding. While you’re there, check Cold Is Cool – a promotion that gives every Michigan 4th Grader FREE skiing at participating Michigan resorts.
This photo from yesterday (Nov 26, 2013) shows Crystal Mountain’s new PistenBully Winch Cat roaring up the ski hill “Buck” – they open for skiing and riding Thanksgiving Day! Stay up to date with their ski & snow report.
More Michigan skiing on Michigan in Pictures!
November 21, 2013
John Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the trade of Detroit Tiger superstar Prince Fielder for second baseman Ian Kinsler is official.
The Rangers and Tigers have agreed on a blockbuster deal to send Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler, pending physicals and the approval of at least Fielder, CBSSports.com has learned.
There was no word yet of any other players being involved, so it may just be a one-for-one swap of stars. Fielder’s salary is much larger, and it is believed Texas will get money in the deal but it wasn’t certain how much. (note: $30 million is the reported figure)
…The Tigers would free up some money in the trade plus fill their second-base hole created by Omar Infante’s free agency. Detroit could use big prospect Nick Castellanos at third base, and move two-time defending A.L. MVP Miguel Cabrera to first base.
The Tigers had been floating Max Scherzer as a trade possibility. But a deal of Fielder could possibly free up extra cash to try to sign Scherzer, the 2013 Cy Young winner, long-term. The Tigers also will aim to lock up Cabrera this winter, and that will take a lot of money, as well.
Read on for more, see what the Tigers have to say and also check out the discussion over on Bless You Boys. Also see Roar of the Tigers take on the trade via the talented pen of Sam. Here’s a summary of Price Fielder’s career via Wikipedia.
Fielder, a first baseman, is the son of former Detroit Tiger first baseman Cecil Fielder. He was selected in the first round of the 2002 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002 out of Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida. He spent the first seven years of his career with the Brewers before signing with the Detroit Tigers in January 2012. Fielder is a five-time All-Star and is the active iron man leader for consecutive games played.
He holds the Brewers’ team record for home runs in a season, is the league’s youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season, and is one of only two players to win more than one derby. Fun fact: Prince and Cecil Fielder are the only father-son combination to each hit 50 MLB home runs in a season!
PS: My dad Al McFarlane used to always say “Goodnight, sweet Prince” when he would drop the hammer on me in a game. I love Prince’s play, hustle and heart but I think I would have tried to make this deal if I were Dombrowski.