Monday, December 15, 2008

Detroit Science Center: An Open Letter to Senator Shelby on the future of our children

As a native born Detroiter, I use my newsletter to try and tell people about some of the great things that are going on in Detroit. We have a great city and many free opprotunities to experience our treasured institutions.

One of my favortie places to visit is the Detroit Science Center, where even a cheapy like me has paid for a yearly membership for the past five years. Today the Detroit Science Center published an open letter to Senator Shelby, who has held up the bailout of the Big Three. As we think about the future of our city, and the legacy that we will leave our children, I thought I would share the letter with all of you...
J.R. Harper

Shelby's efforts discourage future engineers
An Open Letter to Senator Richard Shelby

Dear Senator Shelby:

You must be quite proud of your success in spearheading the collapse of government loans to help the American Automobile Industry get through this period of extraordinary financial chaos and uncertainty. As the head of a major science museum that exists to inspire young people to pursue careers in technology, I have an important question to ask you: What do I say to America's future engineers?

How do I inspire children to pursue a career if they see the best educated most accomplished engineers in America standing in an unemployment line?

What do I say to the 486 students who will begin attending the Science and Math Middle School at the Detroit Science Center next September when they watch America's largest employers of engineers disappear?

Asking for your support of the American automobile companies was not about nostalgia for their past glories. True, they created the American middle class, revolutionized personal mobility worldwide and enabled us to be the "Arsenal of Democracy" that powered the Allied victory in World War II. Engineers like Walter Chrysler and Charles Kettering shaped an industry that shaped the modern world. But Henry Ford himself said "History is bunk" so let's focus on today's accomplishments.

Engineers from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are leading the world in the development of battery technology, fuel cells, vehicle safety technology and sophisticated on- board microprocessing that puts NASA and Boeing to shame.

American automotive process engineers have enhanced basic Japanese production techniques and quality systems to create the country's most integrated high volume production network of assembly plants and multi-tiered suppliers.

American automotive engineers continue to pioneer the use of sophisticated design software to enable the rapid prototyping of parts and the virtual designing of new models.

The Department of Defense aggressively adapts breakthrough American automotive technology to battlefield communications, logistics and warfare.

Yesterday's "Arsenal of Democracy" is truly today's "Arsenal of technology. Isn't that worth saving, Senator Shelby?

While the great engineering minds of Silicon Valley fret over packing more songs into an Ipod or downloading television shows faster, the engineers and scientists of the automotive industry are searching for the technology to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and the world's consumption of fossil fuels.

Senator Shelby, please help me explain to my museum's young visitors why your home State of Alabama spent billions of dollars to entice foreign companies while encouraging the demise of three companies that account for 12% of all the corporate research and development in America.

Help me understand why a State consistently ranked lowest in education quality and number of engineering degrees awarded feels compelled to eliminate the nation's largest concentration of professional engineers.

I know you don't believe Michigan's most important industry deserves help. Perhaps you still believe that Michigan's most important assets, our children, deserve some answers to the questions that will determine their future.
Kevin F. Prihod
President and CEO
Detroit Science Center

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Find Travel Deals @

Everyone loves a deal, and these days, there's no excuse for paying more than what you need to, right?'s team of editors uses proprietary systems (in addition to good old-fashioned elbow grease) to scour hotel sites, emails, magazines, and other sources for deals. They analyze them so you don't have to. The Deal Analyzer breaks down a hotel deal and its included items, and compares these to regular rates and prices. Are you really getting a discount or not? You'll be able to see the % savings you're actually getting (or not!).

Click here for more information...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

FREE AAA Internet Trip Tik

You used to have to be a member of AAA to get the paper Trip Tiks. But now, they are available for FREE online....

Map it. Plan it. Go!
Exclusively from AAA, the new Internet TripTik® Travel Planner is a great way to plan your trip online. Not only does it provide turn-by-turn directions, but it also offers colorful easy-to-read maps, the exclusive Modify-My-Route feature, the AAA Diamond-rated hotels and restaurants locator, a Fuel Pricing Indicator, and the ability to book at great member rates.

Use the Internet TripTik® Travel Planner to:
-Find detour & construction information
-Check gas pricing information (updated daily)
-E-mail maps to PCs and portable devices
-Locate hotels, restaurants, attractions, auto repair facilities
Plan a trip with up to 12 destinations The Internet TripTik® Travel Planner is the perfect tool to get you on your way.
Click here

WIN ME Tickets to CARMINA BURANA 3pm 12/14 @ DSO - DEADLINE 12/12 Noon

Leonard Slatkin's DSO era begins Sunday

Today, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra presents Leonard Slatkin as the new music director. "The Leonard Slatkin Era" begins with the DSO performing "Carmina Burana" through Sunday. Enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets to see the 3 p.m. Sunday performance. Five winners will be selected. Send entries to with your name, address, phone number and "SLATKIN / Detroit News" in the subject line. All entries must be received no later than noon Friday.

(Reprinted from

Friday, December 5, 2008


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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Panera Bread Offers Free Holiday Recipe Idea

Panera Bread is offering a free holiday recipe idea to all you great cooks looking for a quick and yummy addition to your holiday meal. Included below is a recipe for Cranberry Butternut Bruschetta. The photo of the completed dish looks delicious!

An American seasonal version of an Italian favorite


½ cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons orange juice
¼ cup walnut pieces, diced into ¼" pieces
1 small butternut squash 2 tablespoons butter ¼ cup finely minced shallots (or onions)
1 clove finely minced garlic pinch of cinnamon
pinch of sage leaves (optional) pinch of nutmeg pinch of salt pinch of cracked black pepper


Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Slice the whole grain baguette across to create coin-shaped slices about ¼" thick and place on a cookie sheet. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil and bake for five minutes or until the bread is lightly toasted.

Cut the squash from blossom end to stem. Wrap one half in plastic and save for another time. Using a tablespoon, remove the seeds from remaining squash. Spread 1 tablespoon of butter over the surface of the cut portion of the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the squash into a baking dish, cut side down with about 2 tablespoons of water and tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil. Cook the squash for 1 hour or until fork tender and the skin is evenly wrinkled. After cooling slightly, separate the meat of the squash from the skin and set aside.

Sauté 1 tablespoon of butter and all of the shallots or onion and garlic until translucent but not caramelized. Add the squash to the pan and slowly cook the mixture for about 10 minutes to evaporate some moisture and intensify the flavors. Season the mixture with cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, salt and pepper to taste.

Blend the squash mixture until smooth and thick. Remove from the blender and set the spread aside until service.

Garnish: Simply combine the dried cranberries, orange juice and walnut pieces in a bowl and allow to stand for 30 minutes before service time.

Service: Spread a small amount (about ½ teaspoon) of the squash mixture onto each slice of whole grain bread using a teaspoon. Top with about one teaspoon of the cranberry garnish and place on a decorative serving platter. Serve while crostini is crisp and fresh.

Local Doctors offer servies at a flat-rate for the uninsured

Doctors offer flat-rate, low-cost fees
Discounted services serve a growing uninsured population.

The Detroit News has an article on local doctors that are seeing patients based on a flat fee so that the uninsured can be medical services at a reasonable cost. Click here to view the article...