Land O Links

"The old believe everything; the middle aged suspect everything, the young know everything" -- Oscar Wilde.

* It's March Madness, so everyone's trying to figure out how to use the temporary obsession with brackets to convey interesting or amusing information. WARNING: At this point, Michigan State University alumni and fans should stop reading. At the link below you'll find a March Madness bracket with games determined by which school has the higher "starting median salary." In this formulation, the MSU Spartans fall fast -- in the first round to Long Island University-Brooklyn. LIU-Brooklyn? C'mon Sparties! The University of Michigan, meanwhile, advances all the way to the Elite Eight in this "nerdy bracket." All I can say is, it pays to be an engineering school. Hat tip to Senior Writer Ron French, who went to Purdue yet ended up a journalist. Go figure:

http://www.nerdybracket.com/starting-median-salary.html

* Does your neighborhood have a vacant lot ready to be put to productive use? Do you have a great idea on how to inject more vitality into your community's downtown? Well, the Michigan Municipal League -- the advocacy arm ofMichigan's cities -- has a contest for you. "Let’s Save Michigan will award up to three prizes, ranging from $500 to $1000, to partially or fully fund your project. Your community will be more attractive, more welcoming, safer, and more economically successful. Your city will adore you." To learn more, go to the Let's Save Michigan website:

http://www.letssavemichigan.com/placemaking-contest

* As your local school board, or the Michigan Department of Education, will tell you,Michigan's K-12 enrollment is declining. One of the consequences of this decline are unneeded school buildings. What the heck are we going to do with them?

http://blog.preservationnation.org/2012/03/08/saving-schools-in-shrinking-cities/

* State leaders from Gov. Rick Snyder on down have been touting the prospects ofMichigan's agriculture industry. Now the website below might seem a backward way to get into the topic, but knowing from whence your food items come has a much greater appeal after being confronted with some of the practices of our industrialized food culture. Hat tip to Staff Writer Nancy Derringer for suggesting this blog to me in a discussion that began with the term "pink slime." Read on and you'll find out what that means:

http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/barfblog

* Another thing to blame on those darn baby boomers: Michigan's housing woes. "Baby Boomers putting their house up for sale could flood the market in coming years, while the younger generations may not be interested in buying, a new report says. 'It's already happening in some states like Michigan,' says Rolf Pendall of the Urban Institute and a co-author of the report by the Bipartisan Policy Center. ... The problem is that echo-boomers, or Generation Y — those born between 1982 and 1995 — may not be buying up the inventory, says Pendall, whose retired mother is trying to sell a home and downsizes ... The Bipartisan Policy Center's report states that young adults are struggling with higher levels of credit card and student loan debt than their elders — some of which could take decades to pay off.":

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46667801

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