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My Detroit


Augustus Woodward's plan following the 1805 fi...

Augustus Woodward’s plan following the 1805 fire for Detroit’s baroque styled radial avenues and Grand Circus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a Detroiter, I was born in the city, and I love the city. I no longer live in Detroit, I now live about 30 minutes outside of the city, but still consider myself a Detroiter. It pains me to hear negative news stories of Detroit, but it seems that’s all we ever hear. Murder, Rape, miss use of Government powers, Kids killing Kids, Drugs and other horrid actions. It saddens me when I do venture to the City to see all the majestic buildings and homes is shambles to see the empty lots filled with trash and the parks and streets empty of life.

Detroit is a shell of its former self, many do not know the true Detroit, they only know the current Detroit. The one that is on a path to self destruction, the one that fills the national news with murder and deception. Detroit is more than that, Detroit has 300 years of history, of pride and accomplishments. No, not just Cars and Motown, but Art and Architecture, Culture and Innovation. Detroit is a city of many first, The first expressway, phone book and more. Detroit is not what you think she is, she is a diamond in the ruff.

Detroit…

• is home to the Motown sound founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1957

• is home to the first Van Gogh painting in a public collection in the U.S. at the Detroit Institute of Arts, "Self Portrait," Vincent Van Gogh, 1887

• installed the first mile of paved concrete road, just north of the Model T plant, on Woodward Avenue between McNichols and 7 Mile Roads in 1909

• built the nation’s first urban freeway, the Davison, in 1942

• is home to the oldest state fair in the nation — the Michigan State Fair, first held in 1849

• is the potato chip capital of the world, based on consumption

• has country’s largest island park within a city — Belle Isle Park

• is home to the world’s only floating post office, the J.W. Westcott II, can be found on the Detroit River

• is north of Canada

• is second in the nation in fishing rod sales

• shares the world’s first auto traffic tunnel between two nations – the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel

• is home to the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere – the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center, at 727 feet/73 stories

• the nation’s first soda — Vernors — created in Detroit by pharmacist James Vernor in 1862. Detroit is also home to Sanders hot fudge, Better Made Potato Chips, Faygo soda pop, Stroh’s Ice Cream

• has the most registered bowlers in the United States

• was the first city in the nation to assign individual telephone numbers in 1879

History of Detroit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ste. Anne de Détroit, founded in 1701 is the second oldest continuously operating Roman Catholic parish in the United States. The present Gothic Revival cathedral styled church was completed in 1887 and serves a largely Hispanic community.[1][2]

The city of Detroit, Michigan, developed from a French fort and missionary outpost founded in 1701 to one of the largest American cities by the early 20th century. As reflected by the emblems on its flag, Detroit has been governed by three world powers: France, Great Britain, and the United States. The city, settled in 1701, is one of the oldest cities in the Midwest. Detroit experienced a large scale fire in 1805 which nearly destroyed the city. After the fire, Justice Augustus B. Woodward devised a plan similar to Pierre Charles L’Enfant‘s design for Washington, D.C. Detroit‘s monumental avenues and traffic circles fan out in a baroque styled radial fashion from Grand Circus Park in the heart of the city’s theater district, which facilitates traffic patterns along the city’s tree-lined boulevards and parks.[3] Main thoroughfares radiate outward from the city center like spokes in a wheel.

During the 19th century, Detroit grew into a thriving hub of commerce and industry, the city spread along Jefferson Avenue, with multiple manufacturing firms taking advantage of the transportation resources afforded by the river and a parallel rail line. Beginning in the late 19th and early 20th century, many of the city’s Gilded Age mansions and buildings arose. Detroit was referred to as the Paris of the West for its architecture, and for Washington Boulevard, recently electrified by Thomas Edison.[1]

Following World War II, the Detroit area emerged as a global business center with the metropolitan area becoming one of the largest in the United States. The Detroit area is the second largest U.S. metropolitan area linking the Great Lakes system. Immigrants and migrants have contributed significantly to Detroit’s economy and culture. In the 1990s and the new millennium, the city has experienced increased revitalization. Many areas of the city are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and include National Historic Landmarks.

Beginnings

The first recorded mention of what became Detroit was in 1670, when the French Sulpician missionaries François Dollier de Casson and René Bréhant de Galinée stopped at the site on their way to the mission at Sault Ste. Marie.[4] Galínee’s journal notes that near the site of present-day Detroit, they found a stone idol venerated by the Indians and destroyed the idol with an axe and dropped the pieces into the river. Early French settlers planted twelve missionary pear trees "named for the twelve Apostles" on the grounds of what is now Waterworks Park.[5]

Statue of French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac commemorating his 1701 landing along the Detroit River.

Siege of Fort Detroit during Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763.

The British surrender, following the American Siege of Detroit during the War of 1812.

The city name comes from the Detroit River (French: le détroit du Lac Érie), meaning the strait of Lake Erie, linking Lake Huron and Lake Erie; in the historical context, the strait included Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.[6] Traveling up the Detroit River on the ship Le Griffon (owned by La Salle), Father Louis Hennepin noted the north bank of the river as an ideal location for a settlement. There, in 1701, the French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, along with fifty-one additional French-Canadians, founded a settlement called Fort Ponchartrain du Détroit, naming it after the comte de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine under Louis XIV. Ste. Anne de Détroit, founded July 26, 1701, is the second oldest continuously operating Roman Catholic parish in the United States and the church was the first building erected at Fort Ponchartrain du Détroit.[1][2][7][8]

France offered free land to attract families to Detroit, which grew to 800 people in 1765, the largest city between Montreal and New Orleans.[9] Francois Marie Picoté, sieur de Belestre (Montreal 1719–1793) was the last French military commander at Fort Detroit (1758–1760), surrendering the fort on November 29, 1760 to British Major Robert Rogers (of Rogers’ Rangers fame and sponsor of the Jonathan Carver expedition to St. Anthony Falls). The British gained control of the area in 1760 and were thwarted by an Indian attack three years later during Pontiac’s Rebellion. The region’s fur trade was an important economic activity. Detroit’s city flag reflects this French heritage. (See Flag of Detroit).[1]

The City of Detroit (from Canada Shore), 1872, by A. C. Warren

During the French and Indian War (1760), British troops gained control and shortened the name to Detroit. Several tribes led by Chief Pontiac, an Ottawa leader, launched Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763), including a siege of Fort Detroit. Partially in response to this, the British Royal Proclamation of 1763 included restrictions on white settlement in unceded Indian territories. Detroit passed to the United States under the Jay Treaty (1796). In 1805, fire destroyed most of the settlement. A river warehouse and brick chimneys of the wooden homes were the sole structures to survive.[10]

Father Gabriel Richard arrived at Ste. Anne’s in 1796. While the local priest, he helped start the school which evolved into the University of Michigan, started primary schools for white boys and girls as well as for Indians, as a territorial representative to U.S. Congress helped establish a road-building project that connected Detroit and Chicago, and brought the first printing press to Michigan which printed the first Michigan newspaper. After his death in 1832, Richard was interred under the altar of Ste. Anne’s.[1][2]

Detroit was the goal of various American campaigns during the American Revolution, but logistical difficulties in the North American frontier and American Indian allies of Great Britain would keep any armed rebel force from reaching the Detroit area. In the Treaty of Paris (1783), Great Britain ceded territory that included Detroit to the newly recognized United States, though in reality it remained under British control. Great Britain continued to trade with and defend her native allies in the area, and supplied local nations with weapons to harass American settlers and soldiers.

In 1794, a Native American alliance, that had received some support and encouragement from the British, was decisively defeated by General Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Wayne negotiated the Treaty of Greenville (1795) with many of these nations, in which tribes ceded the area of Fort Detroit to the United States. Detroit passed to the United States under the Jay Treaty (1796). Great Britain agreed to evacuate forts held in the United States’ Northwest Territory. In 1805, a fire destroyed most of the settlement. A river warehouse and brick chimneys of the wooden homes were the sole remains of the structures.[10] Detroit’s motto and seal (as on the Flag) reflect this fire.

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

 

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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in History, Just for Fun, Michigan

 

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NASA… Our best investment


The Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-memb...

Image via Wikipedia

It has been 25 years since the space shuttle Challenger exploded upon lift-off, and our space program has never truly recovered. After the tragic explosion President Reagan comforted the American public but also pledged to continue with space exploration. With the second space shuttle tragedy President Bush began the process of grounding the shuttles altogether. With only three more flights scheduled, Americas domination in space is set to end. And along with it our investment in our future is also set to end.

Our vision of one day traveling space, the final frontier, like Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise is becoming a pipe dream. The reality of it ever happening is becoming less and less. America needs NASA and all her innovation, the space program has saved lives made our day-to-day living more pleasurable and is a source of pride for all Americans. 

One of President Obama’s fist acts as President was to reshape and refocus NASA, with the directive to become a quasar diplomatic are of the US government.

 “Bolden: I am here in the region – its sort of the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s visit to Cairo – and his speech there when he gave what has now become known as Obama’s “Cairo Initiative” where he announced that he wanted this to become a new beginning of the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. When I became the NASA Administrator – before I became the NASA Administrator – he charged me with three things: One was that he wanted me to re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, that he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.” (source)

NASA as an outreach to the Muslim world, really, that’s our space program. Yes President Obama also had some ambition that also included space, but the simple fact that NASA is not in public relations with the Muslim world sets a new tone for our space program. One that is not space oriented, but rather one that is diplomatic in nature.

This is a new tone for NASA, one that is as far as you can get from the tone that JFK set for America:

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.”
(Kennedy’s Speech: + HTML Excerpt, + PDF Excerpt, + Full Text) (source)

The American space program is part and parcel to American exceptionalism, we must continue to spend time, talent and money in this endeavor. American needs NASA now more than ever, we need something to place our dreams in and we need to see achievements that we once thought were impossible. The Space Program has given us many modern technologies, such as:

1. SATELLITE TELEVISION: Our world would not be the same without the satellites now in orbit around the Earth – all thanks to the space program. They not only give us satellite broadcast television and radio but also power telecommunications including mobile phones and terrestrial TV networks.

2. SAT NAV: The global positioning system on which our in-car navigation systems are based was developed by the US Department of Defense. They would not exist without the space satellites.

3. GOOGLE EARTH: Mapping was never as accurate as the images we can now get thanks to satellites which from space can even see a dog in your back garden.

4. VIRTUAL REALITY: NASA-developed research and advanced technology devices allow users to project themselves into a computer-generated environment. When coupled with a stereo-viewing device and appropriate software, it creates a feeling of actually being there.

5. ARTIFICIAL LIMBS: Prosthetic limbs are not new but advancements in space robotics are being adapted to create more lifelike, functioning limbs.

6. DIALYSIS: Modern machines to do the work of the kidneys – for patients waiting for or unable to have transplants – were developed as a result of a NASA-developed chemical process.

7. MRI AND CAT SCANS: NASA did not invent magnetic resonance imaging but it has contributed to major advances thanks to research into computer enhancement of pictures sent from the moon. Digital image processing has led to enhanced images of human organs.

8. BREAST CANCER SCREENING: A silicon chip originally developed for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope makes the testing process less painful, less scarring and less expensive than traditional biopsy methods.

Heroes ... Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin

Heroes … Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin

9. ULTRASOUND TO ASSESS SKIN DAMAGE: An advanced instrument uses ultrasound technology to assess the depth of burn damage immediately, improving patient treatment and saving lives in serious burn cases.

10. EAR THERMOMETER: Removing the need to use intrusive, mercury-based thermometers on newborn babies and critically ill patients, the ear thermometer uses infrared astronomy technology to measure the amount of energy emitted by the eardrum. This is how NASA measures the temperature of stars and planets.

11. ATTENTION GETTER: Techniques used to measure brain activity in NASA  pilots are being used to improve attention spans for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

12. ROAD SAFETY: The cutting of grooves in concrete to increase traction was developed to reduce space shuttle accidents on runways. It is now applied to roads and has cut US traffic accidents by 85 per cent.

13. IMPROVED RADIAL TYRES: Goodyear developed a fibrous material five times stronger than steel for NASA to use in parachutes to land the Viking explorers on Mars. They expanded the technology to produce a harder-wearing radial car tire.

14. LANDMINE REMOVAL: Surplus rocket fuel is used for a flare that can burn a hole in the case of a mine and burn away its explosive content.

15. STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS: NASA software engineers have created thousands of computer programs to find imperfections in aerospace structures and components which has proved invaluable in air safety.

16. WATER FILTERS: Water-cleaning technology has existed since the early Fifties but NASA came up with ways to filter it in more extreme situations. The activated charcoal with silver ions used in commercial filter systems cleans the water and kills bacteria.

17. FREEZE-DRIED FOOD: NASA carried out extensive research to reduce the weight of food to be carried on missions. The result was a method for cooking food, freezing it quickly, then slowly heating it in a vacuum chamber to remove the ice crystals. The end product weighs one fifth of the original, while retaining 98 per cent of its nutrition.

18. TEMPER FOAM: NASA developed a soft, high-energy-absorbent padding to improve crash protection in aircraft. Now ?memory foam? is used in mattresses, pillows, military and civilian vehicles, sports safety equipment, amusement park rides, furniture and artificial limbs.

19. SCRATCH-RESISTANT LENSES: A modified version of a process developed by NASA involves coating the lenses with a film of carbon that helps avoid scratches and decreases friction and reduces water spots.

20. RIBBED SWIMSUITS: The swimsuit worn by Olympic sensation Michael Phelps was developed with NASA technology. Aerodynamic research came up with material which give 15 per cent faster speeds than any other swimsuit thanks to small, barely visible grooves that reduce friction and drag.

21. AERODYNAMIC GOLF BALLS: Technology is behind the design of golf balls with 500 dimples in a pattern of 60 triangles which allows the ball to maintain its initial speed longer and produce a more stable flight for better accuracy and distance.

22. ATHLETIC SHOES: Moon-boot material has been incorporated into running shoe midsoles to improve shock absorption and provide better stability and motion control.

23. PERSONAL ALARM SYSTEMS: A pen-sized ultrasonic transmitter used by prison guards, teachers, the elderly and disabled to call for help is based on space technology.

24. SPACE PENS: Most pens depend on gravity to make the ink flow to the ballpoint. The space pen was developed for the gravity-free space environment so that the ink cartridge contains pressurized gas to push the ink towards the ballpoint, so you can write upside down.

25. CORDLESS POWER TOOLS: The household and DIY products firm Black & Decker came up with a portable drill capable of extracting core samples from below the lunar surface during the Apollo missions. The same technology has been used on cordless miniature vacuum cleaners.  (source)

Think cell phone, microwaved dinners and the computer I am using to post this blog. NASA may not have invented all of them, but it is because of NASA and the innovations created for our space program that I am able to post to the net at all.

So instead of looking to high-speed trains as an investment into America, look to NASA. I would consider that to be a nobler investment, and one that would have a far greater impact on American than a train that can get me from Detroit to DC in 1 hour. With NASA fully funded and achievable goals the sky truly is the limit for the American Dream.

God Bless

Paul

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Posted by on January 27, 2011 in History, Life, Politics

 

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