The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another Book from My Stack of Reading...

Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from ChicagoWhy Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago by Blair Kamin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blair Kamin has been writing about Chicago's architecture for more than a decade for the Chicago Tribune. This book was part of my reading before I began my walk all the way around Lake Michigan. I wanted to better understand Chicago -- since I began and ended my Lake Trek there -- and understanding its architecture was part of that.

This readable collection of Kamin's essays gives a wonderful overview of the choices that have made Chicago's skyline and city so special.

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 18, 2010

From my stack of reading...

Leelanau: A Portrait of Place in Photographs & TextLeelanau: A Portrait of Place in Photographs & Text by Ken Scott & Jerry Dennis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book combines the photographs of Ken Scott with essays by Jerry Dennis. And it's all about the Leelanau Peninsula, one of my favorite places in Michigan. Through all four seasons, this team portrays the riches of Michigan's 'pinky,' that spike of land jutting off the NW of the state's mitten.

Ken Scott is a master photographer and his images draw me back to this book. Jerry Dennis lives in this region; he knows it well because it's a part of him. His essays pair wonderfully with the images, rounding out each photo with stories that live.

A great holiday gift for people who love Leelanau!

I read a huge stack of books while doing research for my Lake Trek and I'll share some of them here over the next months leading up to the release of
A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach
March 1, 2011

Here's what Jerry Dennis had to say about my upcoming book:

"In her walk around Lake Michigan, Loreen Niewenhuis accomplished what many of us have only daydreamed about. Her adventure is told with verve and boldness, and she is a clear-eyed observer of the lake and its beautiful and sometimes ravaged shore. This book is a welcome addition to the literature of the Great Lakes."

- Jerry Dennis, author of The Living Great Lakes

Monday, November 15, 2010

I LOVE the Indies!!

I had a fantastic weekend Up North celebrating my sister's birthday with a bunch of her wild friends.

Happy Birthday, Leslie!

While on the road, I stopped in at several bookstores to tell them about the March 2011 release date for my book
A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach.

During the Lake Trek, I stopped in at many bookstores along the lakeshore. Driving around the state has given me the freedom to visit stores farther inland.

I stopped in at Great Lakes Books & Supply in Big Rapids, Local Flavor Books in Boyne City, Round Lake Book Store in Charlevoix, and Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord.

Check out the links in the sidebar to get to each stores' website!

I also visited some stores I'd hiked to last year including Horizon Books in Traverse City, McLean & Eakin in Petoskey, The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague.

Books + coffee = PERFECTION

I tried to visit the stores in Grand Haven, but Washington Street is all torn up for the brand new snow melt system they are installing under the sidewalks. Looks like the place to do some holiday shopping (once the construction is complete!).

So, I found my way to the beach to enjoy the waves and mild weather.

The official March launch of my book will be at Brilliant Books in Suttons Bay, Friday, March 11, 2011.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Q&A on Lori A. May's Blog

A big thanks to author extraordinaire Lori A. May for featuring me in a Q&A on her blog today.

Here's a bit about Lori:

Lori is a poet, novelist, and freelance writer whose work has appeared in publications such as The Writer, Tipton Poetry Journal, and anthologies such as Van Gogh's Ear. Her novels include The Profiler and Moving Target. Her latest book is stains: early poems. She is a college writing instructor and Editor of The Ambassador Poetry Project. Coffee is her greatest addiction next to the tradition of putting ink on paper.

Check out the Q&A HERE.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2010 Michigan Green Chemistry Governor's Award

The Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network, an organization whose mission is to promote the practice of Green Chemistry in the binational Great Lakes basin, has won the 2010 Michigan Green Chemistry Governor's Award for outstanding work by a public sector organization to advance green chemistry. "Green Chemistry is an innovative approach to how chemicals are designed and created that uses twelve principles to guide the elimination and reduction of hazard. Green Chemistry is all about finding safer alternatives to toxic chemicals in an effort to protect human health and the environment," said Lin Kaatz Chary, project director of the Network. "We believe it has tremendous potential for addressing the many environmental challenges in the Great Lakes basin."

Here are the 12 guiding principles of Green Chemistry:

The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry

1. Prevention - It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.
2. Atom Economy - Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.
3. Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses - Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.
4. Designing Safer Chemicals - Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity.
5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries - The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.
6. Design for Energy Efficiency - Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.
7. Use of Renewable Feedstocks - A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.
8. Reduce Derivatives - Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/ deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.
9. Catalysis - Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.
10. Design for Degradation - Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.
11. Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention - Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.
12. Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention - Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.

This all sounds like a common sense approach to 'greening up' our industries.

Check out their website -- including their many recorded seminars you can stream -- at:

The Sea Lamprey STARS on Dirty Jobs

The sea lamprey is the focus of the most recent episode of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs"

Mike Rowe, the show's host and willing participant in these 'dirty jobs,' will shadow scientists as they attempt to corral and control the lamprey population in the Great Lakes.

The sea lamprey was one of the earliest species to travel the shipping canals dug to allow transport of goods from the lakes out into the St. Lawrence Seaway. These waterways allowed the lamprey to enter and colonize the lakes back in the 1920s.

Lamprey attach themselves to large fish and suck the life out of them. By the 1950s, the lamprey had significantly depleted the lakes of large, predator fish. This allowed the population of alewives (a smaller fish) to explode.

Controlling the lamprey population and restocking the lakes with trout and salmon allowed some semblance of balance to return.

(Photo is from the Inland Seas Education Center located in Suttons Bay, Michigan)