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Harry Potter's birthday


Since I posted July's saved comments yesterday, I have today free to do something not related to my blogging and commenting life elsewhere. WXYZ provided me that something yesterday with On Harry Potter's birthday, a reminder: Daniel Radcliffe is a Red Wings fan.


After 28 years of living here, I've learned that Detroit media will celebrate any connection with Detroit.
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I was very busy elsewhere blogging about Winter Storm Ion yesterday. At Crazy Eddie's Motie News I opened Metro Detroit bracing for Winter Storm Ion with my experiences shopping yesterday.
Last night, I told my readers Winter Storm Ion is on its way. I just returned from the grocery store and, as I expected, the place was crazy busy. This was as bad as the night before a major food holiday, and the workers there said it had been worse earlier, with lines for the butcher going down the aisles and sales 50% above normal. Fortunately, the clerks were busy stocking, so the shelves were full and I was able to find everything I was looking for that the store normally carried.
An hour later, things got worse, so I posted Warning issued for Ion in Metro Detroit after WXYZ uploaded Winter Storm Warnings.


Then over at Daily Kos, I headlined Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Winter Storm Ion) with this article from The Weather Channel: Winter Storm Ion: Rockies, Midwest, Great Lakes, Mid-South Snow Followed by Brutal Cold
By Chris Dolce
Published: Jan 4, 2014, 10:46 PM EST
Winter Storm Ion is spreading a swath of snow from the Rockies to portions of the Midwest, Great Lakes and Mid-South this weekend. Following closely behind Ion will be a blast of brutally cold air in the Midwest.

Ion's upper-level energy, which brought snow to the Rockies through the Central Plains and into the Great Lakes on Saturday, will pivot eastward into the nation's midsection through early Sunday. As a result, low pressure will begin to develop over the Southern Plains and then head towards the eastern Great Lakes by Sunday night.

This will lead to the development of widespread accumulating snow from Missouri to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and southern Lower Michigan through Sunday morning. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for portions of these states.

The snow will be heavy at times and will be accompanied by increasing winds, which will lead to low visibility and very poor travel conditions Sunday.
Stay warm, everyone.
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The prediction is for nice mild weather the rest of this week, which I'm looking forward to. It beats the heat we had late last week along with the storms that hit on Saturday from which the area is still recovering.  It also means that the air conditioning can finally go off.  My wife and I have the windows open and the cool evening breeze blowing through them.

As for the storms themselves, I chronicled Saturday's wild weather and its aftermath in Thunderstorms disrupt Michigan season opener, Arts, Beats, and Eats, and other events and Last night's storm knocked out power to 120,000 customers and damaged mobile homes on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Surf over and read about the first calling of a U of M football game for weather and all kinds of other weather-related mayhem that happened all around me.
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People are talking about their Dream Cruise dream cars as we ramp up the preparations for Saturday's Woodward Dream Cruise.
As you can see, this has become a major cultural event, even if it's one that celebrates a pre-sustainability ideal. I'm not going to burn any extra fossil fuel as part of the celebration of automobiles, as Woodward Dream Cruise passes within walking distance of where I live. I should know; I walked to it last year. I'll be walking to it again.

Two more videos with commentary at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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More on an event I can walk to.


GM Woodward Dream Cruise
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I'll be able to walk to see this.



Chevy is preparing to celebrate their centennial at the Dream Cruise.
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Yesterday afternoon, I posted a video in Next Media Animation on the Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis that portrayed Chinese displeasure with the debt ceiling deal, which I'm just going to call the Satan Sandwich from now on (I'm also adding a "Satan Sandwich" label/tag to all my posts about it), along with all kinds of wild financial news from the day before yesterday. Yesterday was even worse, as the rest of the financial markets weighed the deal and wrote "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin" on the walls of the exchanges.


Stock market tumble


Investors flee economic gloom, policy paralysis

Wall Street suffers worst selloff in two years

Gold eases below lifetime high; investors cover losses


Stocks are falling again on more fears of economic weakness in the U.S. and Europe's debt crisis.


More at The financial markets think it's a Satan Sandwich, too and WXYZ has local reaction to yesterday's and today's stock plunge on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

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First, Next Media Animation for the global perspective.



The US is going through a prolonged heatwave that has blanketed the eastern half of the country. Although the heatwave hit the South and Mid-west the hardest, the hot weather is moving towards the East Coast in the coming days.

As people in the affected areas turn on their air conditioners, the nation's power grid is coming under strain. This summer is a hot one not just for the US, but also in other corners of the globe.

Beijing recently hit 105F, nearing records. A Stanford study says heatwaves could become common in the US in the next 30 years due to global warming.

But more and more Americans are becoming skeptical.
Now the local one from WXYZ-TV.



Today's forecast.


More, including how the blackout in Ferndale resulted in my driving to Troy for dinner, at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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In the intro to part one of last week's sustainability news linkspam, I mentioned "a local sustainability issue that looks like just a zoning and development issue, but has turned into something else entirely" in passing. In the spirit of "a picture is worth 1000 words," I give you these videos from WXYZ-TV. Issues of sustainable local business and sustainable built environment pop up all through both videos, including a mention of Royal Oak's walkable neighborhoods and walkable downtown. Then, there's the accusations of corruption by a lobbyist for the convenience store competitors of the proposed Kroger. And you thought city council meetings were boring.







I have a lot more to write about this issue, including coverage from Royal Oak Patch that follows up on the meetings and the provides more detail and my personal opinion of this (it's a very local issue for me, as the site in question is within walking distance of where my wife and I live--she has an opinion, too), but I have to run an errand and go to work. Stay tuned!

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News here.
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Meta note: I chose the following post to promote on Kunstler's blog this past Monday. There, I made the following editorial note.
I figured that you would write about President Obama, along with the rest of the International Energy Agency, releasing oil from their reserves. If I had written a Karnak predicts post, both of those topics would have been in it, but I didn't. However, I did write about that topic and predicted that you'd have something snarky to say about it, and I was right. Unfortunately, I buried the lede and made the title about falling gas prices in Detroit, when the story really was about Obama trying to stimulate the economy to help his re-election while at the same time kicking the oil companies and commodities speculators while the price goes down. So far, it's working.
It worked until yesterday, when the price for West Texas Intermediate went up $5/barrel. As a consequence, unleaded regular at the corner gas station from $3.49 to $3.58 as of yesterday. This morning, it rocketed up to $3.85. By this evening, it had dropped back to $3.79. Can you say overshoot? I knew you could.

Last week, I posted two entries about falling gas prices. From the second post.
If that price holds, AAA Michigan and the Detroit Free Press will have another price drop to report next week.
I'm sure they will, as the price of oil dropped 4% yesterday.
Not only did the price of gas drop this week, it will drop next week as well. On Monday, the price of North Sea oil (Brent Crude) fell because of worries about Greece (West Texas Intermediate had fallen earlier, but went up slightly). On Tuesday, the same two things happened, this time because of fears about Spain. West Texas Intermediate then fell on after-hours trading. As I keep repeating, a price drop like this is not entirely good news; it's a response to bad economic news elsewhere. This is true even for what happened yesterday.

Oil dives to 4-month low as emergency stocks unleashed )

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For my very last post of the month, I'm taking the easy way out and embedding videos of the damage from the latest storm. Yes, I'm totally mailing this one in, but at least you have interesting images. To start off, here are a pair of clips from WXYZ-TV showing where my wife and I lived from 2007 until 2010. All this is happening about two blocks from our old residence. We've walked down those streets and past those houses.


 

Cheryl Chodun reports from the flooded neighborhoods in Northfield Township and Hamburg Township - horrible flooding.


 

We moved out of there just in time.

For more, check out http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-know-weather-isnt-climate-but-check.html on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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Just as I started last month on Crazy Eddie's Motie News with a good news post based on a press release that assumed Business as Usual (BAU) will return, so I ended last month with a post based on another optimistic BAU press release, this time from one of my alma maters.

University of Michigan: Oakland economy is in the early stages of sustained recovery
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—After posting modest job losses last calendar year following an abysmal 2009, the Oakland County economy should add nearly 29,000 jobs over the next three years—the best years since 2000, say University of Michigan economists.

That looks really good, doesn't it?
In their annual forecast of the Oakland County economy, George Fulton and Don Grimes of the U-M Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy say that Oakland will add nearly 11,000 jobs this year, another 8,000 next year and more than 9,700 in 2013.
This year looks like the best of the three and next year the worst of the three. If you're a politician up for re-election in 2012, that may not be the best news, but at least the projection isn't for job losses that year, either.
Last calendar year, Oakland County lost less than 1,200 jobs after losing nearly 60,000 jobs in 2009, and is currently adding jobs—the majority in sectors most tied to the New Economy.

Now does adding 29,000 jobs in three years look that good? Not when you realize that more than twice as many were lost in one year.

Even so, the good news continues. )

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April2011BadgeDetroit Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten


What does $110 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate look like at the retail level here in Metro Detroit? I'll let WXYZ-TV tell the tale.





If anything screws up this current economic recovery, it will be oil. The higher prices are already causing gasoline consumption to decline year over year. In and of itself, that's not a bad thing, as I think the country consumes too much gas, but it's what those high prices could also do to the rest of the economy in the meantime, as outlined in the two video reports above. That said, allow me the following moment of bragging.

I am so glad I moved from Whitmore Lake, where I was 40 miles from work, into my walkable neighborhood in SE Oakland County a year ago. Not only can I walk to three restaurants, two drugstores, four convenience stores, a liquor store, a bar, and credit union in less than five minutes (this has come in really handy when I needed to get something five minutes before closing time), I can also walk to a many more businesses, including a grocery store, hardware store, and my haircutters, in 10 minutes, to one side of downtown in 15 minutes, and to one of my worksites in 25 minutes. My wife is amazed at how much I'll walk given a chance. On top of that, I live only seven miles away from my primary worksite. Finally, the nearest major corner has the cheapest gas in the county. No wonder we renewed our lease.

Now, excuse me while I knock on some wood to evade the evil eye. :-)

Above originally posted with a different video at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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march11

Not all the census data reported the day before yesterday (or yesterday, if you're west of Chicago) was bad. The city of Rochester, MI, which is literally right up the street from me, grew 21.8% during the past decade. This wasn't a complete surprise to me, as a couple of my students had told me that business that had been in Royal Oak and Ferndale had moved to Rochester and that the city was the next hot place around here, complete with a booming and walkable downtown. Looks like they were right.

News clip from WXYZ follows.


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march11Detroit Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten

The series on the Detroit 2010 Census figures continues today at Crazy Eddie's Motie News. The meat of the post is a video embed of a news story from last night, which I'm also posting below. Hey, lazy posts are what happens when I decide to play Civilization instead of blogging.

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