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"Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment" -- Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism.

* The Center for Michigan broke the story back in 2009 that the Michigan school calendar was shrinking right before parents' eyes. The Legislature subsequently made changes to state law on the subject, but, for the 2012-13 school year, Michigan schools are required only to provide 170 instruction days (180 is the general national mark). But a special state entity created to run struggling schools is under a mandate for 210 school days:

* Coal, like oil, operates off a global market. So, even if U.S. utilities are scaling back use of coal to create electricity, the big trend doesn't change because developing nations are using cheap coal to generate more power:

*Ingham County (Lansing area) is trying to get ahead of unseasonable weather by improving monitoring of populations vulnerable to excessive heat, such as the elderly. The worry is for days above 90 degrees. says the average highs in Lansing over mid to late June range from 78 to 82 degrees:

* Only half of the Michigan Legislature -- the 110-seat House -- is on the ballot this year. Still, there will be plenty of new faces in Lansing in January 2013 thanks to term limits, part of a national trend that leaves legislative bodies with very little experience in the techniques of government:

*Public Policy Polling is known for Democratic leanings. It has a poll out that says, in the generic ballot for the Michigan House this year, 50 percent of voters favor the Dems and just 35 percent the Republicans, who now hold a commanding 64-46 edge in the current House. PPP also says that support is growing for legal recognition of same-sex relationships, something now barred by constitutional amendment in Michigan: 70 percent of Michiganians back either gay marriage or civil unions, PPP says, and that includes 51 percent of Republicans.

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