Tag: michigan

Flint Water Crisis Book Selected as “Great Michigan Read”

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s groundbreaking What The Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City has been selected as this year’s “Great Michigan Read.”



Dr. Mona

Image Via Oakland University


Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician and public health expert, played an integral role in exposing the Flint Michigan Water Crisis nearly four years ago in 2014.

After the crisis, Dr. Mona was “[n]amed one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2016,” but many were still left wondering why this crisis had happened in the first place and how it got so bad.



Cover of "What The Eyes Don't See"

Image Via Society of Environmental Journalists.org


That’s the question this book sets out to answer. Published on June 19, 2018, What The Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City—written with the help of a team of researchers, parents, friends, and community leaders—delves into the ins and out of why this crisis even occurred in the first place and how hard it was to expose it. The book’s description informs not only of the work’s contents, but also of its significance:

Here is the inspiring story of how Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, alongside a team of researchers, parents, friends, and community leaders, discovered that the children of Flint, Michigan, were being exposed to lead in their tap water—and then battled her own government and a brutal backlash to expose that truth to the world. Paced like a scientific thriller, What the Eyes Don’t See reveals how misguided austerity policies, broken democracy, and callous bureaucratic indifference placed an entire city at risk. And at the center of the story is Dr. Mona herself—an immigrant, doctor, scientist, and mother whose family’s activist roots inspired her pursuit of justice.

What the Eyes Don’t See is a riveting account of a shameful disaster that became a tale of hope, the story of a city on the ropes that came together to fight for justice, self-determination, and the right to build a better world for their—and all of our—children.



Michigan Humanities Council
Image Via Publicity – Michigan Humanities CounciL


Thankfully, this book is now getting the recognition it deserves.

US News quotes Michigan Humanities CEO Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki as saying she hopes the “book will increase opportunities for civil discourse in our state.”


The Flint Water Crisis in acation at a hospital

Image Via HuffPost


In the mean time, the crisis still continues. If you wish to donate, click here.


Featured Image Via Access

Book Company Gifts Marijuana With Every Purchase

Getting a free gift when you purchase a new book is always fun, but how would you react if that gift was some pot?

BlazeMichigan is a new Ann Arbor based book-selling company that gives patrons a small portion of marijuana with every book bundle purchase. You can purchase a $65 bundle that includes two used books and four free “edible” gifts or a $400 bundle with twenty-four books and fifty-six gifts.

The business was started in January by Stephanie Swearengin and Chris Rau. As of today, their website has reported over 759 books have been purchased and counting.

Marijuana laws in Michigan is a bit tricky. As of December 2018, recreational marijuana is allowed, but selling it is still illegal. Swearengin insists that they do not sell marijuana, but she acknowledges the gray area that her practice creates.

“We’ve talked to multiple lawyers about the issue and as far as we can tell it’s just a large gray area. Just like medical dispensaries. I mean with the state and the federal law, it’s already a gray area. Even though medical marijuana has been legal, they can still get shut down by the feds. So if you ask me it’s all kind of gray.”

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz has issued a stern warning to the company. “People engaging in this activity are definitely subjecting themselves to potential prosecution.”



Featured Image Via Medical News Today.

A Book Made Out of Cheese Is Actually a Thing

If a book doesn’t contain any words, is it really a book? That’s the question a lot of people have been asking after the inclusion of a very curious piece of “literature” at the University of Michigan library.

Jamie Lausch Vander Broek, the art and design librarian for the university, acquired a book titled 20 Slices last year. It is a small book containing twenty Kraft cheese slices sandwiched together. And that’s it. That’s the whole book.

Related imageImage Via Saveur


The inclusion of the cheese book has garnered a divided response from people at the University. Nevertheless, it has sparked an interesting discussion on what a “book really is. According to Broek, that was the idea.


“It engaged this part of people that has a really developed, but probably not conscious, sense of what a book is and should be. There’s almost a morality associated with the physical nature of a book, and this was an aberration. And I thought, ‘Wow, if it can make people who talk about books every day feel like that, then this is perfect.’”


The book was designed by New York artist Ben Denzer. Other book-related art pieces he’s made include books made out of ketchup packets, ice cream sandwiches, and even books on wheels.


You can find them on his website.



Featured Image Via Saveur