Lifestyle & Recreation

Fireworks over Lansing
Flickr - Betsy Weber

For some veterans, the sound of fireworks brings back disturbing memories. Now, there's an effort to subdue the noisemaking aspects of Fourth of July celebrations.


Rick Wyble photo at still
April Van Buren / WKAR

A new company is helping to build a craft spirits movement in Michigan. April Van Buren visits Lansing’s first craft distillery, American Fifth Spirits.


Scott Pohl with painting
J.F. Weese / Paint Nite

Paint Nite is merging art instruction with the social scene of local bars. Current State’s Scott Pohl went to Paint Nite last week to see what’s going on.


Author Doc Fletcher has merged his love for kayaking and baseball in his new book "Paddling and Pastimes: 6 Midwest Cities, the Rivers that Made Them, The Baseball Teams that Entertained Them." Current State talks with Fletcher about the intersection of paddling our rivers and our national pastime.


http://www.vermontlaw.edu/

It might be the “mother of all hiking trails.”  A devotee of the Great Lakes is proposing a nearly 11-thousand mile path that would circumnavigate all five of the lakes.

The next election in Lansing is not until August, but city officials always want to instill the importance of voting in their citizens. Tomorrow, they’ll try a fun new approach. During Lansing’s annual Be A Tourist in Your Own Town event, the Lansing city clerk’s office will set up three polling sites for people of all ages to cast their votes on some pressing issues such as chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?

Courtesy Chateau Grand Traverse

There’s a unique new partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and one of the state’s best-known wineries. Chateau Grand Traverse is launching three wines with labels related to Michigan’s park experience, and will be donating part of the profits to one of three projects selected by people voting online.

Courtesy MSU Quidditch Team

Quidditch is a pretty big deal for the young wizards and witches at Hogwarts. The Quidditch World Cup, held every four years since 1473, is like the Olympics of the wizarding world. But you don’t have to get your Hogwarts acceptance letter or make it through Platform Nine and Three Quarters to get in on the fun. Us Muggles have our own version of the Quidditch World Cup that takes place next month in South Carolina.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The calendar says it’s spring. You may be getting over a dose of cabin fever and dreaming of a getaway Up North. If you’re pulling your dusty bicycle out of the garage, then a Michigan author has your guide to some of the best trails in the Lower Peninsula.

http://www.cdtjourneyforthekids.com/

Like thousands of Michigan baby-boomers, Ken Dawson is planning to retire soon. Dawson has spent six years at Michigan State University, most recently as a project representative in the school’s Infrastructure, Planning and Facilities Department. Unlike many of those retiring boomers, he will soon be embarking on a challenging adventure. Beginning in about a month, the Farmington Hills resident will begin a 3,100 mile hike atop the spine of North America: the Continental Divide.

Courtesy - John Murphy

Most Midwesterners are ready to thaw out after this cold and snowy winter. It's pretty exciting to see above 40 degree temperatures forecasted for next week. But there’s one group of people who aren’t ready to say goodbye to the ice and snow just yet: the North Coast Cycling Association in Bayfield, Wisconsin. They rely on a frozen Lake Superior for their Saturday trips to Madeline Island.

Michigan’s expanding brewing culture will be well-represented today and tomorrow in Grand Rapids. The 10th Annual Winter Beer Festival will feature more than 100 Michigan breweries with over 1000 different craft beers available to sample.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Greater Lansing Orchid Society’s annual show and sale is coming up this weekend. Current State’s Scott Pohl met up with a leading local orchid grower to learn more about these beautiful flowering plants. Bill Porter would say that successfully growing orchids isn't terribly hard as long as you treat them right.

http://www.msurodeoclub.com/

The 46th Annual Spartan Stampede starts tomorrow at the MSU Pavillion. It’s presented by the MSU Rodeo club and features much of the stuff you’d expect at a rodeo.

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

From ancient China to modern day Michigan, the history of falconry spans both continents and centuries.

In medieval Europe, hunting with birds of prey was known as “the sport of kings,” with certain breeds reserved for the aristocracy.

While you don’t have to be royal to be a falconer anymore, it’s still a pretty exclusive club.

There are only about 130 licensed falconers in the state of Michigan.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/

Today, the 100-million-plus purchasers of the erotic romance novel “Fifty Shade of Grey" can  see the movie adaptation of the story by E.L. James. Actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star as a couple whose relationship is focused on pushing sexual boundaries. The controversial story led to some interesting research at Michigan State University.

http://up200.org/

From "Iron Will" to "Balto", American pop culture is full of books and movies about the Iditarod. The 1000 mile race through Alaska is probably the most famous sled dog race in the world. But it’s not the only one. This weekend, mushers from across the Midwest and Canada will gather in Marquette for the UP 200, Midnight Run, and Jack Pine 30 races.

https://natsci.msu.edu/

Evolutionary biologists at MSU have determined that a spouse in the hand is better than one that might be more suitable down the road.

http://www.ethnobotanicalcouncil.org/

“It’s as if a well has been sunk deep into the sediment of my life, an artesian well drilled into the stratified, impermeable bedrock of the past, and every memory that is forced to the surface breeds another ten in front of my eyes.” Those provocative words come from Sting’s 2003 memoir, "Broken Music." They recall his 1987 experience with a South American psychotropic brew called ayahuasca.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

In recent years, we’ve asked MSU corporate chef Kurt Kwiatkowski to whip up a new idea for your Thanksgiving table. Our premise is that it’s Thanksgiving morning, you have out all the stuff you’ve purchased for the meal, and you decide you want to do something different with it. Being a busy morning, and maybe your favorite grocery store isn’t open, you’re limited to what you have on hand.

http://www.sandhillcity.com/

When you think about surfing, your imagination probably takes you to places like Hawaii or California. You think palm trees, lots of sunshine, and bright blue water. Lake Michigan in November probably doesn’t cross your mind. But while the rest of us are raking leaves and breaking out our winter coats, Michigan surfers are making their way to the beach.

Most of us are up for some spooky fun this time of year. You might break out the Ouija board or watch a classic horror movie. But for some Michigan State University students, seeking out supernatural thrills is a year-round activity.

www.facebook.com/harnicapumpkins

Just in time for Halloween week, Current State’s Peter Whorf brings us this monstrous tale. It's a tale of competitive pumpkin growing in Michigan.

G.L. Kohuth/Michigan State University

Yoga’s popularity has skyrocketed in America in recent years. Once thought of as mostly a spiritual practice, it has grown into a multi-billion dollar exercise industry. It’s also gotten the attention of mental health experts who are increasingly interested in yoga’s potential to help treat depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

Scott Pohl / WKAR

There are 83 counties in Michigan, and a local author thinks there's something interesting about every one of them.  In fact, Barbara VanderMolen has written a two-volume set of books called "Discovering Michigan County by County: Your A-Z Guide to Each of the 83 Counties in the Great Lakes State."

Current State's Scott Pohl speaks with the author, who says it's for anyone who likes to explore every nook and cranny of the state.

http://www.auctioneers.org/

If you’ve ever attended an auction, you know how entertaining they can be. It’s fun to see items go on the block, with competing bidders trying to one-up each other. A big part of that is to watch and hear a skilled auctioneer wielding the microphone and the gavel. One thing you may not know about auctioneers is that the best have been enshrined in a have a Hall of Fame.

capitalcitydragonboat.com

This weekend in Lansing, boaters and rowers enact an ornate tradition dating back millennia: dragon boating. Dragon boats are long, decorated watercraft with up to 20 paddlers.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Thousands of people flocked to the Straits of Mackinac yesterday for the 57th annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. It’s one of those things that truly brings a cross-section of our state together at one time.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

A once vibrant green space in Lansing shuttered nearly 30 years ago has come back to life. Yesterday, Mayor Virg Bernero and others stood on a new boat dock on a 15-acre lake to cut the ribbon re-opening Ralph W. Crego Park.

Courtesy - Gourmet Gone Wild

Healthy. Local. Sustainable. The words capture the priorities of the group ‘Gourmet Gone Wild,' a non-profit organization with a dual mission.

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