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Ann Arbor Farmer's Market featured on Today show

Truth be told, the guest was Joe Diaz from travel magazine Afar Media who suggested that the Ann Arbor Farmers Market would make a boffo fall getaway, touting it as "one of the most colorful and bountiful markets in the United States." But that still counts.

Watch the segment below.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Ann Arbor number two college town among small metros

With high scores in academic environment, good scores in quality of life and, well, less than good scores in professional opportunities, Ann Arbor still manged to take second place, sandwiched between Boulder, CO and Madison, WI.

Excerpt:

"The “college experience” is about more than simply attending a top-notch university. The city or town where the school is located also is important. The people students meet, the places they go, and the jobs they may hold are essential supplements to formal education."

Check out the rankings here.
 

Many support mass transit, but far fewer use it

Turns out that Onion headline ("98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others.") is pretty close to true. So, how does support turn into use?

Excerpt:

"They found no statistical connection between respondents who supported transit funding and those who wanted to drive less, or even those willing to use transit if it were more convenient. But respondents who believed "the community would benefit" had a 700 percent increase in odds of being a pro-transit voter. The researchers write in the journal Transportation: Put simply, Americans are more likely to see transit as a way to solve social problems than as a way to get around.

This doesn't have to be a bad thing, so long as people indefinitely keep paying for transit they don't use. Perhaps that's even a sign of societal maturity. But problems will arise if voters stop agreeing to devote their taxes to transit, because the broader benefits they've hoped for fail to materialize."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor-based musician creates app for bands and fans

What we at Concentrate love almost as much as a story about a local musician developing technology to help his fellow artists is that this U.K. publication considers Ann Arbor part of Detroit. Yay regionalization! That's the spirit!

Excerpt:

"The dad-of-two, who now splits his time between visiting his children in Preston and Ann Arbour in Detroit, has performed in front of 25,000 people at Ewood Park after winning the Rock FM Rock Idol competition back in 2002.

However, part of the ?reason for him developing the app was to allow musicians to have their music discovered without relying on radio play."

Read the rest here.
 

Another day, another best of list for Ann Arbor

So, the danger here is to point to the listicle and call it a day. But even if we are the 13th best place to live according to Livability.com (moving up a few spots from last year) that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, right? Or do we sound too much like a mom?

Excerpt:

"This quintessential Big Ten college town lays claim to the University of Michigan, which includes Michigan Stadium – the largest stadium in North America. Residents have easy access to the more than 300 restaurants located in a 20-mile radius of Ann Arbor, as well as the city's growing metropolitan area that features great schools, medical facilities, culture and more."

Check out who else made the list here.
 

The humans (and lizard people) of Ann Arbor

First there was the popular Facebook page "Humans Of New York," which supposedly sets out to capture the rich pageant of living in America's largest city. Then Ann Arbor created its rather more homogeneous counterpart. Then the inevitable happened. Grad student Jeremy Kaplowitz sought to unmask the lizard people of New York who actually control our world. Now that mission has spread to Ann Arbor as well… though no hidden reptilians have yet to be revealed. Yet. Further proof of a conspiracy?

Humans Of New York: https://www.facebook.com/humansofnewyork

Lizard People Of New York: https://www.facebook.com/lizardpeopleofny

Humans of Ann Arbor: https://www.facebook.com/HumansOfAnnArbor

Lizard People of Ann Arbor: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lizard-People-of-Ann-Arbor

Auto industry showdown: driverless cars vs wireless cars

With Detroit's auto industry developing cars that can talk to one another in order to avoid traffic jams and keep drivers safe, and Google's plan to develop driver-less cars, there's a battle a brew in' for which technology will set the course of our auto future.

Excerpt:

"Among the advancements automakers announced at last week’s conference in Detroit was GM’s “Super Cruise” system for 2017 Cadillacs, which will let drivers take their hands off the steering wheel and feet from the pedals for periods of highway driving. Like technology being developed by Toyota, Honda Motor Co. and other companies, GM’s system hands control back and forth between driver and vehicle.

The approach that Mountain View, California-based Google is taking is, literally, much more hands-off. In May it unveiled plans to deploy at least 100 fully autonomous, two-seat, egg-shaped test cars with a top speed of 25 miles (40 kilometers) per hour and no steering wheel. Google has since said it will include one, as well as brake and gas pedals, as California requires."

Read the rest here.
 

Aut Bar voted Ann Arbor's best neighborhood bar

The outdoor courtyard seating alone made this a slum dunk. But there's so much more!

Excerpt:

"For the outdoor courtyard seating alone this one"Since we are talking about neighborhood bars, it certainly is not uncommon that neighborhoods have a particular political affiliation," said Orr. "You go to a Chicago neighborhood bar and there will be a certain political affiliation to it. Not that the LGBT community is completely monolithic in its beliefs, but we do believe in supporting the folks who are willing to step out and fight for our rights. So certainly in terms of political work for individual politicians, we have worked a lot in that way and we believe, for the most part, our clientele – our neighborhood, as it were – stands by us on it and understands why we do what we do." was a slum dunk."

Read the rest here.
 

Washington Monthly names U-M among 14 best universities in country

Ivy League, shmivey league. State schools are where it's at for world-class education. Or so say the scholars at The Washington Monthly.

Excerpt:

"The list is heavy on campuses from the University of California system, but we can't say we blame them. The University of Texas at Austin doesn't make the cut, but Texas A&M does, ranking ahead of both Harvard and Stanford. Compared to the U.S. News & World Report ranking, which the top 20 is entirely private schools, Washington Monthly's is mostly state universities. Brown, Columbia, Cornell and Yale all fail to even crack the top 50."

Read the rest here.

See the rankings here.
 

Pinkerton picks Ann Arbor as its HQ

Now you can apply to Pinkerton man in Ann Arbor. That's right, the security company that once protected Abraham Lincoln (but not on that fateful night) and chased Jesse James has come to town.

Excerpt:

"Pinkerton men tracked down Butch Cassidy and the Hole-In-The-Wall Gang and pursued Jesse James. Pinkerton agents were also a part of the historic Battle of the Overpass at the Ford River Rouge Plant in 1937.

Now, the 164-year-old security and risk management company is moving its global headquarters from New Jersey to Ann Arbor, Michigan."

Read / Listen the rest here.

Pinkerton announcement here.
 

Automated cars to be implemented by 2021?

We at Concentrate predicted this technology would be game-changing back in 2006, when few believed driverless cars would ever become a reality.  If only we could have made some bets...

Excerpt:

"The University of Michigan is working with carmakers on technology that would let vehicles talk to each other, all designed to reduce traffic congestion and automate cruise control and smooth out stop-and-go driving.

The hope is an automated car system will be developed and implemented by 2021. The system will be developed and tested in Ann Arbor, Mich., the location of the university, which is reportedly testing a pilot program."

Read the rest here.

More on this here. And here.


 

An ode to Ann Arbor's The Rock

At the corner of Washtenaw and Hill someone or ones make their mark - every day, for nearly the last 65 years.

Excerpt:

"While the multitude of writing it has accumulated over the years hasn’t lent it a lot of physical depth — in reality, the paint covering the Rock is only a few inches thick, as found by a Daily reporter who drilled through the paint in 2010 — its significance as a campus tradition both for students and alumni, as well as local residents, is uncontested."

Read the rest here.
 

Head of AATA Michael Ford tapped to head RTA

Inch by inch the Regional Transit Authority creeps into being, ever-so slowly moving toward the development of a regional public transportation system. Someday. Maybe. Hopefully. Yeah, we're cynical.

Excerpt:

"Ford faces many challenges in an area that has resisted regional transportation for decades. They include assembling a staff with a shoestring budget, helping to better coordinate services among the region’s transit providers and convincing voters in Macomb, Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw counties that a property tax hike is needed to fund RTA operations and the Bus Rapid Transit project up Woodward from Detroit to Pontiac."

Read the rest here

 

Hohokum video game debuts with Ghostly International's soundtrack

Hohokum is game and music album wrapped up in one.

Excerpt:

"It's somewhere between drawing and flying a kite," artist Richard Hogg tells me.

It's hard to explain what  Hohokum  is, but Hogg's description might just be the most apt. Launching today for the PlayStation 4 and Vita,  Hohokum  is a weird and wonderful world developed by British studio Honeyslug with Hogg providing whimsical, colorful art....

The music also plays a surprisingly large part in the experience. Your actions help bring each level to life, filling them with color and movement. But they also add more layers to the sound, with the soundtrack growing in depth the more you explore. And the Ghostly-provided tunes — some of which were composed specifically for the game — are a perfect fit..."

More here.

Biking has $668M economic impact on state, MDOT study says

Biking is going the distance in Michigan, in terms of economic and health benefits, tourism, and other outcomes, according to a recent study.

Excerpt:

"Bicycle riding in Michigan has an estimated $668 million economic benefit annually for  the state, according to a study released Thursday from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The benefit  comes from several factors, including sales of bikes and related equipment, money spent for tourism and reduced health care costs. The study also found that 39 percent of Michigan households reported using a bicycle for transportation last year...

The study also focused on how bikes are used in five Michigan communities...

In Ann Arbor, for example, people were more concerned about commuting and transportation..."

More here.
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