Fun in the Frozen North: Winter Carnival is Coming to Michigan Tech

It’s almost Winter Carnival time.  Student organizations at Michigan Technological University are perched on scaffolding under lights, working deep into the night on their gigantic snow statues, a month-long effort.

The theme this year is “As snow accumulates at alarming rates, we show our love for the 50 states.”   Statues are expected to reflect that theme.

Winter Carnival, sponsored by the Blue Key Honor Society, officially starts on Wednesday, February 3 and runs through Saturday, February 6, although some activities have already begun, including ice bowling at the Dee Stadium and curling at the Calumet Drill House.

In ice bowling, students curl up in giant plastic shells, while other students hurl them across the ice at oversized duckpins. Curling, of course, has nothing to do with hair. It is the Scottish sport of heaving a round stone down a lane of ice while teammates sweep furiously ahead of the stone with brooms, to help direct its movement and increase its speed.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, February 3, All-Nighter overnight statue building begins. The Alumni Association will serve hot chocolate from 5 to 8 p.m. at Alumni House. Campus will be lit and lively all night, with karaoke from 9 to 11 p.m. and classic Winter Carnival snacks like chili and deep-fried Twinkies.

Thursday morning, February 4, all statue building ends and judges make the rounds.

Saturday evening, the Winter Carnival hockey game against Lake Superior State University starts at 5:07 p.m. at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena, and at 8:15 p.m. a torchlight ski parade down Mont Ripley will be followed by fireworks.

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Burak Yeter with Delaney Jane

Please enable images to see artist photoBurak Yeter’s first collaboration with Delaney Jane, “Reckless” is highly anticipated to be released the first week of 2016.

Burak Yeter is turning a new page fulfilling his new concept with his new album entitled, New World. His first single is being brought to life with the very talented Delaney Jane.

The Official Music Video to the single “Reckless” has been filmed and produced in the Butterfly Valley of Antalya, Turkey and the Greek Islands. During that time four different remixes were made with this single by Ricky Mears, Lucas & Steve, Mango Ibiza.

At the age of 22, Yeter came into recognition by winning Burn & MTV Dance Heat DJ Contest 2004. He performed at MTV Dance Floor Chart Party in Malta as a result. The same year, he came second in Miller Master Dj Contest, earning himself a respectable place in EDM scene.

Yeter’s debut album, For Action was released under the record label DSM in 2005. The album is his first solo DJ album to be released worldwide.

In 2007 his second album, For Message Vol 2 was released in support of raising awareness of global warming.

Yeter signed a contract with the world renown audio company Pioneer in 2008, and opened DJ schools in Amsterdam, Istanbul and Los Angeles, giving professional education. Burak Yeter, is the CEO of Connection Records DJ School and has developed nearly 2000 certified students to this day.At the age of 22, Yeter came into recognition by winning Burn & MTV Dance Heat DJ Contest 2004. He performed at MTV Dance Floor Chart Party in Malta as a result. The same year, he came second in Miller Master Dj Contest, earning himself a respectable place in EDM scene.

French Circus Drops Elephant Act After Abusive Past Emerges But Film That Used Mistreated Elephant Gets Academy Award Nomination

January 20, 2016, LOS ANGELES, CA – In a dramatic move, Circus Bouglione in France has dropped elephant trainer Lars Holscher following protests and negative publicity after Animal Defenders International’s (ADI) undercover video revealed Holscher’s abuse of elephants during his Great Britain tour a few years ago.

ADI’s hidden cameras filmed Holscher’s act in 2009, when he was touring in the Great British Circus with three elephants, Vana Mana, Sonja and Delhi. ADI exposed a staggering level of casual violence, including elephants hit in the face with a metal elephant hook, broom, brush, and pitchfork, and a worker cruelly twisting an elephant’s tail. The elephants are seen and heard on screen afraid, retreating and crying out. Holscher himself was seen striking the elephants with a metal bar, using a small concealed hook to control the elephants during performances, forcing a lame elephant to continue performing and overseeing the chaining of the elephants for 11 hours a day – while the circus claimed they were never chained.

Holscher fled the UK, but has since appeared in at least seven European countries and even supplied an elephant to one of this year’s Academy Award nominees.

Jan Creamer, ADI President: “By their nature, circus acts are able to change location easily and often change the names of acts and the animals they use. We have been shocked with the lack of background scrutiny that circuses and filmmakers employ when hiring animal acts. With ADI’s Watch List we work to ensure that trainers and suppliers can’t escape their abusive history.”

While Holscher was touring with Cirkus Scott in Sweden, Vana Mana (then known as Ghandi) joined the set of the Felix Herngren comedy ‘The 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared.’ Co-produced by Buena Vista International Sweden, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company Nordic, the film has been nominated for a 2016 Academy Award for Makeup and Hairstyling.

When Cirkus Scott became aware of the abuse Vana Mana and her companion Sonja (known as Baby) endured, they announced they would stop using wild animals altogether, after 76 years of doing so.

This ADI footage was already in the public domain along with a damning report by experts, including Professor Donald Broom, MA, PhD, ScD Emeritus Professor of Animal Welfare Science, Cambridge University; Samantha Lindley, BVSc. MRCVS, Edinburgh University, veterinary expert, behaviorist; Dr Joyce Poole, expert in elephant welfare and communication; and Simon JR Adams, BSc, BVMS, MRCVS, zoo & wildlife veterinarian. Still, Holscher continued to use the elephants.

At the time, Dr Mel Richardson, a renowned wild animal vet with 40 years experience with captive elephants, noted: “Sonja, Vana Mana, and Delhi are being caused unnecessary suffering…. the day-to-day existence of these elephants is a living hell….. LH Hölscher is not using the bull hook [ankus] as a guide to communicate his desire for the elephant to move up or move back or stand still (steady). He is using it as a club to beat the animal. He is inserting the hook into the ear and on the ear flaps to torment the poor animal with maximum effect for the least effort on his part.”

In the United States, Have Trunk Will Travel became America’s most notorious elephant act supplier after an ADI undercover investigation in California revealed staff beating, hooking, and electric shocking the elephants to force them to perform tricks. The company had supplied Hollywood films including Water for Elephants, Zookeeper, and Operation Dumbo Drop.

Most facilities in California have severed links with the company, including fairs and zoos that employed Have Trunk Will Travel to give rides, but last year the company trekked elephants across the country to Southwick’s Zoo in Massachusetts.

Jan Creamer said, “These trainers use such abusive techniques because the elephants never forget, trainers then rely on seemingly harmless gestures in public to control animals who know all too well what will happen if they disobey. This is a national problem because these acts move from state to state with ease. ADI’s Watch List will provide a valuable resource for people wishing to challenge the claims of discredited trainers but we really need the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act to be reintroduced to Congress to eliminate this suffering.”

The Lars Holscher video is the first ADI Watch List video, with more to be released.

New exhibit Grand Fish, Grand River opens Saturday at Grand Rapids Public Museum

Juvenile lake sturgeon in the palm of someone's hand

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) announced today a brand new exhibition, Grand Fish, Grand River, will open Saturday, Jan. 23. This new exhibit is a thematic extension of the current West Michigan Habitats exhibit, and includes two 10-month-old Lake Sturgeon.

Grand Fish, Grand River explores how the Great Lakes region’s largest and oldest fish, the Lake Sturgeon, once found in great abundance, is now a threatened species in our watersheds. The exhibit takes visitors through the connections to Native Americans, fishing history in the region and current science. Using artifacts from the GRPM Collections, along with the two live sturgeon, it will tie together the cultural, historical and scientific connections and explore rehabilitation efforts for this species in the Grand River and throughout the Great Lakes region.

On Saturday, Jan. 23, the GRPM will celebrate the opening of this exhibit in conjunction of the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference taking place at the Amway Grand Hotel. This event at the Museum will include special book signing of “The Great Lake Sturgeon” by author Dr. Nancy Auer. Grand Fish, Grand River will be free with general admission to the Museum. For more information visit

Lake Sturgeon live along the rocky bottoms of our lakes and rivers, and are an important environmental indicator for the health of our ecosystem. These fish have fossil ancestors that from the Early Jurassic Period – the age of the dinosaurs. Lake Sturgeon have affected the region historically and culturally and still do today.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has identified 24 lake sturgeon populations as distinguished by major watersheds in Michigan waters: 2 in the Lake Superior drainage, 11 in the Lake Michigan drainage, 9 in the Lake Huron drainage and 2 in the Lake Erie/Lake St. Clair complex.

This exhibit has been made possible through partnership with the DNR, Fisheries Division, Tribal Coordination Unit; Oden State Fish Hatchery; Michigan State University, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and through sponsorship by Aqua Blue Aquarium Solutions, Blue Fish Aquarium, Grand Rapids Steelheaders Foundation, Great Lakes Fishery Trust and Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is located in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. The mission of the Museum is to be a living monument of artifacts, ideas and stories told through exhibitions, events and educational programming designed to inspire, motivate and celebrate our human bond. We enrich the life of our community through experiences of the wider world in a uniquely Grand Rapids context. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit


Please enable images to see artist photoWildflower- An Alternative Indie/Rock band with a free-spirited 70’s freedom vibe.

A group of six like-minded individuals came together in 2015 to share their musical talents and formed the group, Wildflower. The spark and musical connection was immediate and in less than a year, the group had recorded their first album, “At the Station.” The name, “Wildflower,” was a nickname of lead singer Tiffany’s since childhood and seemed to be a fitting name for the group. To enjoy life and spread their music and love in the direction the wind blows, as does that of a Wildflower.

Tiffany Petrossi, Singer-Songwriter, had written some new music and was eager to share it with a band. Tiffany, Dan and Dee Moe had collaborated on her last, self-titled album, “Caravan,” in 2006-7. Dan’s steady and malleable beat, along with Dee Moe’s melodic but rhythmic bass lines was a perfect fit. Alecia, Paige and Robert came aboard to bring a balance, layers and depth to the music. Paige’s expressive violin, Alecia’s interpretive keys, and Robert’s jam band guitar lead sound help to grow the seed that was planted when they first all jammed together.

The theme of, “At the Station,” is that of transition. We find the characters in the songs searching for direction, getting lost and finding their way. Catching a, “Glimpse,” of what could be. Choosing the path of love and letting their passions and compassion for others help them out of the, “Rabbit Hole,” join the “Caravan of love,” and find themselves at, “The Rainbow Ground.”

Peace~ Wildflower

Detroit Lions’ Tahir Whitehead talks school and life success with Detroit fifth-graders

DETROIT, Mich. – Detroit Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead demonstrated healthy eating and engaged in fitness fun today with a group of fifth-graders to share ways students at Detroit’s Fisher Magnet Upper Academy can be healthier and fitter during this festive time of year, while underscoring the importance of education.

Together with a team from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan State University Extension, Whitehead prepared a healthy holiday-inspired snack and participated in fun relay races.

Students also learned about the support teams from MDHHS, including an on-site Community Schools coordinator, a Pathways to Potential success coach and a MDHHS-funded school-based health center and community partners available at their school to help them and their families.

“Tahir is inspiring students to get active, stay healthy and develop the habits that will help them to succeed in school and life,” said Nick Lyon, director of MDHHS. “We are pleased to team up with him this football season to reach students with the same positive messages and habits our department works to share and spread every day with students and their families.”

Reaching students with positive health and fitness messages and role models just as they are approaching their middle school years can help set them up for school and life success.

“I can relate to these students. I want to help them develop some of the habits that will make a difference in their lives and have some fun doing it,” Whitehead said. “My background is similar to many of these students. If my story can help them to overcome obstacles and set themselves up for success in school and life then it’s my way of paying it forward.”

Fisher Magnet Upper Academy is one of six community schools in Detroit that are partnering with MDHHS.

A community school model creates a school where parents, teachers and the community work together to support the academic success and healthy development of all students in the school.

The other Detroit community schools are Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School, East English Village Preparatory Academy, Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School, Detroit International Academy and Osborne College Preparatory Academy.

Whitehead is donating his free time on select Tuesdays during football season to help kids in Detroit and make more people aware of the ways we can help children and their families tackle obstacles to opportunities that impede success and their long-term self-sufficiency. These school programs touch on health, fitness and staying/succeeding in school.

Physical fitness, nutrition and positive behaviors including staying in school, getting regular check-ups, avoiding drugs and alcohol and preventing violence and suicides are key components to developing healthy student lifestyles. MDHHS is realizing Gov. Rick Snyder’s River of Opportunity vision of putting people before programs to better meet the needs of students and their families by bringing services to school settings.

Learn more about Whitehead’s partnership with MDHHS at For more information about how Pathways and Community Schools are helping families remove barriers, visit

Twyla Tharp Dance Celebrates 50 Years at Wharton Center – Nov. 3

East Lansing, MichiganOctober 30, 2015 – Praised as “Nonstop, fierce, bravura” and “Deli vered with mind – boggling stamina” by The New York Times , TWYLA THARP DANCE returns to Wharton Center to celebrate their 50th anniversary. TWYLA THARP DANCE , part of the Dance Series , will be featured on Tuesday, November 3 , 2015 in the Cobb Great Hall . Tic kets are available at the official source to purchase Wharton Center tickets online, , at the Auto – Owners Insurance Ticket Office, or by calling 1 – 800 – WHARTON.

John Zorn , an American avant – garde composer, provides the vibrant introductory Fanfare for each act of the “50 th Anniversary in Dance” performance. The first act features Preludes and Fugues , which radiates with Tharp’s generous spirit and humani ty. The dance is set to J.S. Bach’s Well – Tempered Clavier . The wild and raucous humor th at Tharp locates in the jazz of Steve Bernstein and MSU alumnus Henry Butler runs rampant through Yowzie , featured in the second act of the show. Put simply by Ms. Tharp, “ Preludes and Fugues is the world as it ought to be, Yowzie as it is. The Fanfares ce lebrate both.”

With their immaculate technique and joy, Twyla Tharp’s fierce band of dancers brings the choreography to life. In each premiere, Tharp turns her decades of experience – dances for Hollywood films, television, and the Broadway stage – into l iving proof that time is her partner as she continues to deepen and expand the singular imagination which makes her one of the century’s most treasured artists.

An insight preview will be occuring before the performance at 6:45 p.m and an after chat will directly follow the performance .

T.J. Martell Foundation Celebrates 40th Anniversary – Oct. 15

New York, New York October 12, 2015 – An All-Rock Star line up has been announced for the The T.J. Martell Foundation 40th Anniversary New York Honors Gala to be held at Cipriani on Wall Street on Thursday, October 15, 2015. In addition to this year’s honorees the event will be hosted by original MTV VJ’s Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman and Alan Hunter. Legendary rock superstars Alice Cooper, Foreigner and REO Speedwagon, TRAIN’S Pat Monahan and new pop artist Grace will be among those attending the event which is themed “Top 40” to coincide with the Foundation’s 40th Anniversary. Superstar maker and music industry icon Clive Davis will also attend. Red Carpet arrivals begin at 6pm. Media requested to reserve spot on red carpet in advance with press contact noted below.

The 40th Anniversary Honors Gala will honor John Amato, Co-President of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, Bruce Bozzi Sr., Co-Founder and Co-Owner of the Palm Restaurants and Palm Restaurant Group, Wally Ganzi, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of the Palm Restaurants and Palm Restaurant Group, Janice Min, Co-President and Chief Creative Officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, Dinesh Paliwal, Chairman, President and CEO of HARMAN International and John Varvatos, Chairman of John Varvatos and President and CEO of John Varvatos Records. In recognition of further research and medical treatments the Foundation will also announce the newly created Clive Davis Research Fellow Award, an annual grant bestowed upon a young investigator whose dedication has made innovative strides and extensive research in cancer and AIDS. Red carpet begins at 6pm est.

About the t.J. Martell Foundation:

The T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS. The Foundation, headquartered in New York, is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded in 1975 by music industry executive Tony Martell and his colleagues in loving memory of his son T.J., who died of leukemia. The Foundation has provided more than $270 million dollars for research that supports top hospitals in the United States.