Current State #249 | January 6, 2014

Feb 6, 2014

Today on Current State: Gov. Rick Snyder's 2015 budget; BWL Community Review Team holds first public hearing; the impact and legacy of the Olympics; China smog and the U.S. auto industry; Book Review: "The Goldfinch"; and a Corigliano Rehearsal.

Budget director explains 2015 state spending plan

Feb 6, 2014
Flickr - borman818

Governor Rick Snyder unveiled his budget for the 2015 fiscal year yesterday. Overall, the plan increases state gross spending by 2% over this year's budget, with increases in education and educator pensions, the rainy day fund, roads, and many more.

Why host an Olympic Games?

Feb 6, 2014
Flickr - rapidtravelchai

The opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics will be held tomorrow, but some events begin today. Global competition to host the Olympic Games can be fierce, so what motivates officials to seek the Olympics? What have past host cities gotten out of all of the work and expense?

Flickr - kevin dooley

You’ve probably seen the pictures of the Chinese smog problem, including shots from Shanghai or Beijing that show buildings disappearing in what appears to be a thick, brown, fog. There are a number of things that cause smog, but one of them is the increasing numbers of cars and that has implications for U. S. automakers like General Motors, which counts China as its biggest market.

Literature is a living art form.

Yes, books are printed out of dead forests and each story comes with its own customized ending or demise, but that is never really the end. Mythologist Joseph Campbell used to argue that all stories are variations on one story, what he called the hero’s journey. I always thought of that as a beautiful theory, creating a nice feeling of unity to all tales, everywhere, no matter the culture of origin.

I like to picture literature as a great tree with hundreds of branches. If one of the branches on that literary tree was Charles Dickens, the next one branching off from it would be Donna Tartt.