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Baby_Balrog (2)

Celery: from silver vases and glass bowls, to tonics, malts and soda

If you've browsed collections of glassware from decades and centuries past, you might scratch your head and wonder, what exactly was the use of this item? This reverse glossary of vintage and antique terms may help, or it might confuse you further. For instance, why were there fine glass celery dishes and celery vases of glass and silver? Take a look back, at home in the nineteenth century with celery at the dining table. Celery was once a status symbol, due to its high cost (Google books preview), and was included in tonics and sold in the 1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue in a malt compound (Google books preview). Kalamazoo even boasted of being the Celery City in the late 1800s and for a few decades to follow. But the craze faded as celery cultivation became easier. One of the few remaining products from the celery craze is Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda, an acquired taste.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 24, 2014 - 64 comments

"We don't understand what happened. Nobody really understands..."

For several months, bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands has been leaching out of the ground near Cold Lake, Alberta, so far amounting to roughly half of the oil leaked in the Enbridge-caused disaster in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Nearby sites of high-pressure steam injection used to extract the bitumen (and which is already associated with violent seismic activity in natural gas fracking operations) are suspected to have caused fractures that push bitumen "sideways" and out to the surface. As Vice reporter Sarah Berman notes, "The oozing leaks will continue until the underground pressure subsides. How long that will take is anybody’s guess." While tons of contaminated vegetation and dead animals have been removed from the sites, access to the region and to government data by First Nation representatives has been repeatedly denied.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 20, 2013 - 23 comments

Another sign that I graduated too soon.

Kalamazoo Promise has come up in discussion a couple of times. The program, funded by anonymous donors, covers tuition and fees for all graduates of Kalamazoo public high schools. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Sep 13, 2012 - 13 comments

Oil Spill in Celery City

Sometime Sunday evening, an oil pipeline burst over Talmadge Creek near Marshall, Michigan, spilling an estimated 840,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River. [more inside]
posted by Baby_Balrog on Jul 27, 2010 - 31 comments

Obama Goes to Kalamazoo

Do you remember who your high school graduation commencement speaker was? Yeah, me neither. Fortunately, the class of 2010 at Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, MI won't have that problem: KCHS was just selected as the winner of the White House Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, and will host President Obama at this year's commencement ceremony.
posted by 40 Watt on May 4, 2010 - 61 comments

Kalamazoo Residents against T&J Towing

Kalamazoo Residents against T&J Towing is a facebook group with over ten thousand members. Initially, Justan Kurtz said the towing company took down his parking pass so they could tow him. The facebook group quickly filled up with gripes about shady practices, but the towing company says they have done nothing wrong. Now, T&J Towing is suing Kurtz for $750,000. Perhaps a SLAPP suit is not the best course of action. So, First Amendment Right, or libel? [more inside]
posted by rebent on Apr 27, 2010 - 58 comments

Free college for kzoo kids.

City full of kids gets free college. 6 anonymous donors cover the college bill for any and all graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools. Including those who immigrate. Neighboring white-collar town says, "No thanks."
posted by Baby_Balrog on Nov 12, 2005 - 42 comments

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