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The Ann Arbor Film Festival Opens

Last night was the opening night gala but that's no reason to imss out on the rest of the fun! Now in its 52nd year the Ann Arbor Film Festival, under new directorship with Leslie Raymond, is looking to attract audiences to its one-of-a-kind work.

Excerpt:

"The Festival’s boundary-blurring legacy lives on bringing us brilliant tastes of what’s happening in experimental and independent film today. Program Director David Dinnell travels to film festivals around the world as part of his job. He spoke about some of his favorites, beginning with “From Deep,” a feature-length, experimental documentary about basketball created by Brett Kashmere — a timely choice as the Wolverines bask in the glow of the Sweet Sixteen."

Read the rest here.

More coverage here. And here. Recommendations for what to check out here.

A.V. Club to shoot secret performance in Ann Arbor this weekend

The location is a secret but if you follow the Onion's non-satiric site A.V. Club on Twitter you may end up with an invite to a rock show with Those Darlins.
 
Excerpt:
 
The second city The A.V. Club intends to visit on their road-trippin' series is Music City, where they'll chill out with Cream faves (and recent inaugural performers in the Cream's "Live in the Morgue" series) Those Darlins. The Club will also kick it in Ann 
Arbor, Mich., with Protomartyr, who I very recently described as making "extremely The Fall-esque post-punk that vacillates between heavy and tuneful." This Friday, March 21, 
 
Those Darlins will play their "Pioneering" set in a secret location, and if you'd like to attend, all you have to do is a Twitter thing.
 
Read the rest here.
 

Popular podcast reveals secret Ann Arbor destination

Okay, so not only do I have a new podcast I must listen to but there's a place in Ann Arbor I simply need to find. If anyone can take a lowly editor to Heyoon it would be much appreciated.
 
Excerpt:
 
"Mars focuses on the nearly invisible. "It tries to focus on all the thought that goes into the little things that people don't think about,” he added. For example, a personal favorite was when he delved into the logic behind revolving doors. The simpler the concept, the better it resonates with listeners, such as one of his bigger hits about a secret place in Ann Arbor, Mich. called "Heyoon."
 
Read the rest here. Here's the episode in question.
 

U-M grad student ends Jeopardy! champion's reign

Brilliant strategist or cold-blooded villian? Whatever your opinion of Jeopardy! champ Arthur Chu, his nearly 3 month reign has come to an end - at the hands of an Ann Arborite. I knew we were smart.
 
Excerpt:
 
"She won the game that aired Wednesday night, ending an 11-win streak by Chu that earned him $297,200 -- the third-largest haul in the popular show's history."
 
Read the rest here.
 

Transit use outpaces vehicle use in U.S.

Ann Arbor is just one of many communities cited where transit use is on the rise. While local naysayers argue that expanded public transit isn't a necessity, trendlines show that they may be on the wrong side of history.
 
Excerpt:
 
"Cities showing big ridership increases include Ann Arbor, Denver, Cleveland, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles (yes, car-crazed L.A.), Indianapolis and Tampa. Some 17 of 27 transit systems report light rail drawing bigger crowds. Bus ridership, meanwhile, is stable, but up 3.8 percent in smaller cities (those with a population below 100,000.)"
 
Read the rest here.
 
 

Could Michigan's minimum wage get a raise?

All across the country there are states wrestling with the issue of minimum wage. Michigan is just the latest to start debating an increase to $10.10 per hour, and polls indicate there's string support for such a change.
 
Excerpt:
 
"Denno Research conducted the poll of 600 likely voters in the state’s general election.
 
"We had 65 percent were strongly supportive or somewhat supportive,” Dennis Denno told WWJ’s Marie Osborne. "Only 32 percent that were somewhat opposed or strongly opposed."

Denno said he had expected a wide variety of the results."Not surprisingly 85 percent of Democrats were supportive, but even 65 percent of independents were supportive,” Denno said. “I thought we would see significant drop off in older voters, but we didn’t see that either."
 
Read the rest here.
 
 

Oscar nominees get taste of Zingerman's Zzang! candy bars

We wonder how many Hollywood celebs still have those delish Zingerman's chocolate bars left in their Oscar gift bags? Probably not many.

Excerpt:

"This year's Academy Awards ceremony was famous for all-star selfies, Liza Minnelli potshots, John Travolta's name mangling, Jennifer Lawrence's red carpet pratfall, and Ellen DeGeneres's pizza delivery. But for Zingerman's Candy Manufactory,  the highlight of the Oscars this year was the inclusion of the company's Original Zzang! Bar in swag bags handed out to celebrities and Hollywood insiders at events leading up to the awards."

More here.

And in other Zingerman's news, website delish named the deli to its list of the nation's top cool grocery stores.

Ann Arbor-based Underground Printing makes Inc. "Build 100" list

Just out: Inc. magazine's list of companies that have consistently upped their headcounts every year, recession or not. Custom T-shirt and apparel maker Underground Printing is one of a tiny percentage of U.S. mid-market companies that consistently hired.

Excerpt:

"We began the Build 100 project by collecting  data  on more than 100,000 U.S. mid-market companies (those with 85 to 999 employees). We then looked at how many increased head count in every year from 2007 to 2012. Remarkably, fewer than 1.5 percent of the companies met that standard...We focused on head count rather than revenue because we found that increased hiring is more predictive of future sustained growth, and that’s what this project is all about."

More here.

Try Ann Arbor's Sky-Tri triathlon, WSJ says

Area fitness buffs with day jobs don't have to travel far to get to the nearest triathlon. If you're already in good shape, how about Ann Arbor's Sky-Tri?

Excerpt:

"I'm a Jock who is...
Just Dabbling Training 4 to 6 hours per week – Six to eight weeks  could prepare you for a short-distance  event, like the  Sky-Tri  in Ann Arbor, Mich., on April 27."

More here

Forecast 2022: Where the nation's best jobs will be

Employment sector trends are mapped out in this interesting article that forecasts where the nation's plum jobs will be. Good job growth is predicted for the Ann Arbor area, which will also compare very favorably against the rest of the nation in creative-class jobs. 

Excerpt:

"...Between 2012 and 2022, the U.S. will add 15.6 million new jobs, according to BLS projections, with the overall workforce growing by 10.8 percent from 145 to 161 million. Of these, 5.6 million will be high-wage, creative class positions. The creative class will grow by 12.5 percent, the highest rate of all groups.  

Forty-five percent of metros (179) will experience employment growth greater than the national average of 10.8 percent. The darkest blue areas are along the East Coast, in parts of Florida, and in the energy-driven metros of Texas and the Midwest. The metros that will add jobs at the fastest rate include mainly smaller metros like Duluth, Minnesota; McAllen, Texas; and Greenville, North Carolina. College towns like Morgantown, West Virginia; Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Ann Arbor, Michigan are also projected to experience a relatively high rate of job growth."

More here


U-M student showcased in Academy Award's "Team Oscar"

Just one of five (out of 5000) student filmmakers, Bronx native and U-M student Zaineb Abdul-Nabi's short film was honored by the Academy Awards. Abdul-Nabi was then invited to hand out Oscar statuettes to the presenters at Sunday night's 86th annual Academy Awards.
 
Excerpt:
 
“I’m a Gonzo cinematographer siezing the richness of the everyday, searching for the infinite forms of strength and tenacity that make us all extraordinary humans,” says the budding auteur in a voice-over during her winning short, which lovingly features images of graffiti-strewn Bronx buildings and street scenes in Ann Arbor, where the 22-year-old senior attends the University of Michigan."
 
Read the rest here.
 

Buzzfeed gives 23 reasons to eat in Ann Arbor

There are the usual suspects in BuzzFeed's list of Ann Arbor's delectables (Zingerman's, The Fleetwood Diner, the now honeless Blimpy Burger, etc)... and a few surprises.
 
Excerpt:
 
"NOTHING, NOTHING is more comforting than a hot stone bowl BiBimBop at Kang’s, topped with a perfect runny egg, and doused in gochujang, glorious Korean hot sauce."
 
Read the rest of the list here.
 
 

With increased urbanization are we entering the age of "Peak Car"?

Are we approaching the ago of 'Peak Autos'? With the rise of urbanization and an increased demand for mass transit, some are seeing the future of the car as a neceessity in decline. Take note mass transit opponents.
 
Excerpt:
 
"More young people also are passing on pursuing drivers’ licenses, once a rite of passage. In 2010, 69.5 percent of 19-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license, down from 87.3 percent in 1983, said Michael Sivak, director of sustainable worldwide transportation at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor.
 
Better-built cars are damping demand for new ones: The average age of autos on the road today has reached a record 11.4 years, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co."
 
Read the rest here.
 

U-M developing solar cells with an aesthetic edge

Researchers at U-M are working on see-through solar cells that could be used as decorations and even stained-glass windows.
 
Excerpt:
 
"The cells, believed to be the first semi-transparent, colored photovoltaics, have the potential to vastly broaden the use of the energy source, says Jay Guo, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, mechanical engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering at U-M. Guo is lead author of a paper about the work newly published online in Scientific Reports."
 
Read the rest here.
 
 
 

Proponents of AATA transit expansion dissect opposition

On May 6 voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township will decide whether to fund the AATA's plan to expand services. An opposition group has formed, making various claims about the millages failures and shortcomings. Blogger Mark Maynard brought together a trio of proponents to discuss their campaign.
 
Excerpt:
 
"The small but loud opposition relies on this argument to fire people up. “We don’t benefit, so we’ll vote no.” They present it as black and white, and ignore the general benefits, which are numerous. They don’t acknowledge the fact that mass transit alleviates road congestion, improves safety, makes parking spaces easier to come by, etc. If they don’t have a bus stop right outside their house, and routes that take them directly from their first appointment of the day to their last, and back home again, they’re completely against it. They’re demanding something of a bus service that’s just not realistic. The truth is, our local transit service has been continually improving (AirRide service to Detroit Metro Airport, expanded NightRide service, increased frequency of service on routes 4 and 5, etc.), and there will be even more options for people if this millage is passed"
 
Read the rest here.
 
 
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