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News Roundup for Tuesday July 3 and Wednesday July 4, 2007

The Ants of Gaia — it’s only the end of the world, so quit bitching

Has anyone seen downtown Detroit lately? Of course not. No one goes there any more. Miles of cracked pavement, weeds and abandoned buildings that look like de Chirico’s Melancholy and Mystery of a Street. Hell, for all practical purposes it is uninhabited, though a scattering of drug addicts, alcoholics and homeless insane people wander in the shadows of vacant rotting skyscrapers where water drips and vines crawl through the lobbies, including the Ford Motor Company’s stainless steel former headquarters.

This is what just about every ignorant journalist is guilty of — parroting old stereotypes or preconceived notions not based on facts, without doing actual research (or knowing what you’re talking about). These “anecdotes” get repeated daily and who can blame the reader for believing it. Of course, it’s not true but the truth wouldn’t be useful to the point this writer is trying to make.
[via Online Journal]

Manila needs a new facelift

Manila was the place for business with American oil companies like Esso and Mobil Oil putting up distribution facilities in Pandacan. UN Avenue was also dubbed the “mini-Detroit” on account of the Ford Motor assembly plant in the area.

There’s a wannabe Detroit in every part of the world it seems. From Slovenia to Stuttgart in Germany, Manila, and several contenders in China. Outside the US, Detroit is something to aspire to for a city.
[via ABS CBN News]

Zattoo TV to offer over 60 online channels

Zattoo is built around a peer-to-peer streaming platform developed by leading technologists at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). It is based in San Francisco and maintains an office in Ann Arbor as well as in Zurich, Switzerland. By constantly adding channels, which are all subject to geoblocking, the number should grow to well over 60 in the near future.

[via Broadband TV News]

What you want? CityFest has got it

[via Detroit Free Press]

Rearview Mirror: Detroit’s riverfront Electric Park

Long before the advent of mega theme parks, amusement areas such as Electric Park and Edgewater Park were generally raucous centers of roller coasters, fun houses and other concessions. Although New York’s Coney Island set the standard, the Detroit shoreline was not far behind as a destination for immigrants hungry for entertainment.

A look back at the history of amusement parks in Detroit.
[via DetNews.com]

DTE creating urban oasis

DETROIT — A $50 million sprucing-up of DTE Energy’s downtown headquarters will turn acres of asphalt into tree-lined urban parks, walking paths and a reflecting pool.

Bulldozers have already begun moving dirt, and the first of three green spaces — an amphitheater and peace park — is expected to open later this year. The project will blanket more than half of DTE’s 18.5-acre campus in green space.

DTE’s 3,000 downtown workers will be the prime beneficiaries of the urban parks — two of the three sections are exclusively for the company’s use. Still, aesthetic improvements to one of the staple businesses of downtown Detroit are a boost for the entire city.

It sounds like there will be some other improvements to the streetscape in that quadrant of downtown Detroit such as street-facing retail although it will be awhile, if ever, when people besides DTE employees are using the park when there are already great parks like Campus Martius nearby. However, there is no doubt this is an improvement over surface parking lots.
[via DetNews.com]

Seize the summer: ways to make the most of the too-short season

Skip to towns you’ve never heard of, or head to those you remember fondly. Take in the beauty of Mackinac Island and see the finish of the Bayview Mackinac Race, starting July 21, or gorge yourself at the Fudge Festival Aug. 23-26. Visit www.mackinac.com.

Hit the bike trails at a local Huron-Clinton Metropark such as Kensington or Metro Beach. Eight of the parks offer a total of 44 miles of bike trails with a variety of terrains. Call (800) 477-2757 or visit www.metroparks.com.

There is a starving artist in us all. Try a mosaic or pottery class at the Creative Arts Studio of Royal Oak. Beginners are welcome. The studio is located at 114 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak. Cost varies. Call (248) 544-2234 to register or visit www.creativeartsstudios.com.

See the fascinating exhibit “Our Body: The Universe Within” at the Detroit Science Center through Sept. 3. Tickets to the exhibit are $19.95- $24.95. The center is at 5020 John R St., Detroit. Call (313) 577-8400 for center hours or visit www.detroitsciencecenter.org.

There’s more but I can personally recommend the Our Body exhibit at the Detroit Science Center.
[via DetNews.com]

Sitcoms Reborn In Motown

Detroit, MI -Screenwriter/Producer Gary W. Allison, Jr. has been hired by Executive Producers Billy Strawter and Noel Hicks to write a sitcom pilot script under the working title, “Not Everything Is Black And White.”

Home Improvement, Freaks and Geeks, what other network television shows have take

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