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36 hours of beer in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor's amazing beer scene has almost become a given for those that live here. For those that don't it's a revelation.

Excerpt:

"It doesn't take a visitor long to notice the ever-present bouquet in the air of malt and hops, thanks to numerous craft beer bars, brewpubs and microbreweries. Throw in a few stellar beer gardens and it becomes patently clear that this town belongs on every beer lover's list of must-visit burgs."

Read the rest here.
 

Director of UM Entrepreneur Institute talks future goals

Last fall, Stewart Thornhill stepped into the role of executive director of the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, which is part of the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business. His big idea is to intiate a Silicon Valley-style business accelerator.  

Excerpt:

"The accelerator will be modeled on Y Combinator, Techstars, Launchpad LA. The perfect company to enter an accelerator is the one that is quarter-baked. You want it to be half-baked before it's really in a position to get that early, seed or angel investor money. But if companies try to go for that early investor too early, they're going to fail or they're going to have to give up so much of their company because of the wildly risky nature of it that it's often not worth doing.

We often find that students who incubate ideas, whether in a formal incubator or just in their dorm room, often get to the point where they finish their degree, they'd love to be able to take it to that next stage, but they have to go get a job. They've got student loans, they have to pay rent, buy groceries."

Read the rest here.
 

Transformer hides out in Ann Arbor

Move over Violin Monster, Transformer Joslyn Paige is taking to the streets.

Excerpt:

"Paige says that he has spent about $800.00 on his ‘transforming’ costume that even moves electrically when he transforms into the vehicle. Judging by the video kids love him. The 28 year old Paige chatted with the Detroit Free Press about his life as a human Transformer. Paige tells the Press that at the end of the day his knees hurt and that his best day of tips was around $700.00. Not bad for a street performer…I wonder how much he would do in say, New York City?"

Read the rest here. Watch him here.
 

Are bike haters a sign of a successful cycling community?

While we have never understood the vitriole drivers express toward cyclists (other than they selfishly don't want to share the road and might have to pay more attention to what they're doing), the notion that more change means more friction and therefore it's a sign that things are changing is a provocative one.

Excerpt:

"The most thoughtful response, in the current case, came from Carl Alviani, writing in Medium. Alviani traces the source of much driver contempt toward cyclists to a basic cognitive bias called the fundamental attribution error—basically, a tendency to attribute behavior to personality or disposition, rather than a situation or environment. So, cyclists think they're above the law because that's how they are; not, cyclists occasionally make poor riding decisions because the road network wasn't designed with them in mind."

Read the rest of the story here.
 

Ann Arbor named top swimming city in USA

Holy seastar! Ann Arbor is ranked number one as a place for swimmers. That's pretty impressive conisdering that we're a land-locked community.

Excerpt:

"Combine the influence of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte with demonstrable health and social benefits, and the result is that competitive swimming has exploded in popularity across the United States. 

USA Swimming, the sport's governing entity, has released a study breaking down exactly where swimming holds the most sway. The cities most favorable to swimmers don't follow any geographic pattern, stretching from sea to sea and north to south. Metrics include the number of swimmers, swim clubs, and accessible pools, as well as the number of standout swimmers springing from each locale. The winner? Ann Arbor, Michigan."

Read the rest here.
 

A cautionary tale about downtown public parks

As Ann Arbor feuds and fusses over whether to build yet another park in our downtown, there are examples we might want to avoid repeating.

Excerpt:

"The greatest land-use mistakes in Minneapolis park history came from creating parks for purposes other than the relaxation, recreation, entertainment or edification of its citizens. Creating grounds for a pleasant stroll to a stadium eight days a year isn’t reason enough to make “The Yard” work as a park. Planning for those two blocks has to go well beyond landscaping only for the benefit of surrounding property owners, too."

Read the rest here.
 

St. Joseph's is tops for heart surgery

Usually it's ":U-M this. And U-M that." I'm sure St. Joe's in Ypsilanti is glad to get a piece of the limelight for a change.

Excerpt:

"St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor was named one of the top 15 hospitals in the country in Consumer Reports first-ever rating of hospitals in heart surgery.

More than 400 hospitals were rated in 45 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico based on data for two heart surgeries: surgical aortic valve replacement and coronary artery bypass graft surgery, an operation done to treat blocked coronary arteries."

Read the rest here.

How to make mass transit financially sustainable

Though Concentrate would argue that the notion that mass transit need to "pay for itself" is a faulty one (after all, roads are hardly profit centers), this article makes soime really powerful observations.

Excerpt:

"Just as the public sector pays the electric utility for street lights, it should pay the transit utility for services that the government insists on but that the transit provider cannot charge users enough for. The Paris transit system, RATP, charges local and national governments a "compensatory indemnity" for keeping fares below the break-even price. Governments recover this from an employment tax. Once profitable, the perception and mindset of the transit organization would change from a drain on society to an economic catalyst."

Read the rest here.

Siri meet Dom: Dominos takes its app to the next level

The robot invasion has begun! Well, sorta. If by "robot" you mean voice-based app and if by "invasion" you mean pizza delivery. Dominos = Skynet? Not quite.

Excerpt:

"The company, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says the updated app for iPhones and Android devices will deliver a "human-like, conversational" experience, but notes that it will take some time to work out the kinks in the technology."

Read the rest here.
 

Relive the glory of Totally Awesome Fest via Internet video

For 10 years now, Ypsilanti has been home to a sprawling DIY festival of art and music that takes over local venues, businesses and homes. It is known as Totally Awesome Fest and if you haven't had the privilege to attend, well, here's your chance to see what all the hubbub is about.

Watch it below...


A Totally Awesome Film from Adam Wright on Vimeo.


Comic blogger experiences the awesomeness of Vault of Midnight

Places like Vault Of Midnight make Ann Arbor's downtown a true destination for locals and visitors alike. Of course, feel free to add Literati and Aunt Agatha's and Perpetua and... well, you get the idea... to the list. We are glad VoM is getting an extra helping of love.

Excerpt:

"Vault's focus this year seemed to be on families, as they had face-painting outside for kids and were giving away free Green Lantern Corps power rings for the under-12 set. I'll admit to being a little jealous of the Sinestro Corps yellow power ring that the little boy behind me snagged. They didn't have ice cream this year, which was probably for the best since it was so excruciatingly cold. "

Read the rest here.
 

Ypsilanti DDA considers improvement funds for freight house

So close... the Friends of the Freight House are closing in on their funding target to properly rehab the hsitoric structure.

Excerpt:

"Currently, an estimated $300,000 is needed to address fire suppression, bathrooms and heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues that need to be fixed before the building can be occupied. Last week Ypsilanti City Council voted to approve $220,000 in funding for the project and an estimated $40,000 has also been committed by several other organizations."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor Avegant lands $4M in investment for 3D goggles

Three... no, four words: Hi-Def 3D goggles. Guess what's going to be the next hot tech development? At least, Intel thinks so, investing $2 million in Ann Arbor startup Avegant.

Excerpt:

"“It’s too late,” said another venture capitalist, this one in from Cleveland. “They closed their round at $4 million. I was trying to get in and couldn’t. Intel took $2 million of it and the existing investors took the rest. They took it off the table. I still can’t believe I got shut out.”

Having would-be VC investors salivating at the idea of writing you a check, and being able to say no, is a nice, and rare, spot for an early-stage company to be in. How Ann Arbor-based Avegant Corp. got to that spot is an interesting tale of being in the right place at the right time with the right technology."

Read the rest here.
 

U-M to develop ghost town for robotic cars

Think of it as our own version of Radiator Springs (that's a Cars reference btw), a place where driverless cars will navigate everyday environs. File under: "Kind cool and awesome."

Excerpt:

"Now, a purpose-built simulated town and suburb for that very same purpose--testing autonomous vehicles--is to open this fall on 32 acres at the University of Michigan's North Campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Mobility Transformation Facility will include straight and curving roads of asphalt and concrete, including traffic signs, stoplights, merge lanes, traffic circles, a railroad crossing, sidewalks, and streetlights."

Read the rest here.
 

Detroit Free Press says: Let's do brunch in Ann Arbor

What does a great brunch say about a city? Well, we're not sure but it's gotta be better than if we only had a Denny's. The Freep points to five bodacious brunches in our humble burg.

Excerpt:

"A friend from Ann Arbor recently described the home of the Wolverines as “brunch heaven” — a boast that almost begged to be tested. Detroit and its suburbs, after all, has more good brunch options than anyone could visit in a year, and the list keeps growing. But I adore Benedicts and waffles and all the rest — and occasionally, But I adore Benedicts and waffles and all the rest — and occasionally, I even have a Bloody Mary for research purposes — so I took the bait. I can’t say it’s better brunch territory than, say, Oakland County, but it certainly holds its own. If you want to taste for yourself, here’s a start: five great places for brunch in Ann Arbor.

Read the rest here.
 
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