Friday, September 29, 2023

Jesse Owens Olympic Oak Plaza Dedication

 Jesse Owens was a true hero disproving Hitler’s Aryan myth and one of the greatest athletes of all time.  Not only the 4 golds in Berlin but perhaps the best 45 minutes in history when he set 4 world records at a track meet in Ann Arbor in that short time frame. 

 Cleveland played an important part of Jesse's life. At the age of nine, Jesse and his family moved to Cleveland from Alabama and first came to national attention when he was a student of East Tech and practiced at Rhodes High Schools in Cleveland and later attended Ohio State University.  

Pictures and videos of the Jesse Owens Olympic Oak Plaza dedication 

How far could you jump?  In this video we see Jesse Owens’ Gold Medal, world –record long jump length of 26 feet and 5” marked on the track.  It’s amazing to think he jumped/flew that far. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Cleveland Asian Festival 2023

 Over 45,000 people attended the Cleveland Asian Festival (CAF) on Saturday May 20 and Sunday May 21, 2023.  The AsiaTown neighborhood was packed with families and people of all ages to enjoy the annual festival that kicks off summer in Cleveland.

Since inception in 2010 the Cleveland Asian Festival highlights Cleveland’s AsiaTown, Diversity, and Asian Culture in Northeast Ohio.  It was organized in 2010 by volunteer community leaders to celebrate Cleveland’s diversity and Asian Pacific American Heritage month (May).    This signature event defines AsiaTown and brings tens of thousands, including many first-timers, to the neighborhood. 

Surveys show that a large percentage of visitors will return to AsiaTown to shop, dine and enjoy the neighborhood.  By being in AsiaTown, CAF has led to the creation of new businesses in the area as well as neighborhood beautification with arts and cultural displays and decorations throughout the district.

Attendees enjoyed two stages of performances that featured traditional and modern music and dance as well as martial arts.  The Asian Pop Dance competition was especially popular with the younger attendees. The Trivia Contest had an Asian theme.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an important recognition of the contributions of the AAPI community and a chance to stand together against recent anti-Asian sentiments.  CAF attracts the Asian community but also groups representing the numerous diverse ethnic heritages of Cleveland. 

The CAF team is already working on plans to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at the Cleveland Asian Festival next May 18 and 19, 2024.  

Here is our coverage of CAF in case you missed any.
That branches to 3 photo pages:
There are also performance pages:


Monday, February 27, 2023

Henry VIII Book Collection at Cleveland Museum of Art

 This was a very intersting exhibit.  As a mathematician (and geek), I was very interested in the Astronomicum Caesareum books. Henry VIII had a large and impressive book collection

from Henry VIII’s astronomy book collection

from Henry VIII’s astronomy book collection

Photos and videos of the Tudors Exhibit at CMA.

Geek Font Humor


International Mother Language Day

 International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance held on February 21 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism. The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh.

A ceremony was held in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall on February 24, 2023 to commemorate and educate.

International Mother Language Day in Cleveland

We have coverage (video and pictures) of the entire event spread over 3 pages

International Mother Language Day Main Page

International Mother Language Day Page 2

International Mother Language Day People Page

Martyrs of Bangla

The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England - Cleveland Museum of Art

 The Cleveland Museum of Art opened a new exhibit - The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England - which is the first exhibition in the US to trace the transformation of the arts in Tudor England.

The Tudors exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art

It includes huge tapestries that fill entire walls, suits of armor, sculptures, portraits and more.

The Tudor dynasty ruled for only three generations but it transformed England from a land devastated by the War of the Roses to a major player in Europe and eventually the rest of the world. This exhibit covers the larger than life personas of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

Tudor Family Tree

Tudor Family Tree

Photos and videos of the Tudors Exhibit at CMA.

Watch my video walkthrough of the exhibit.

Another Syrian Garden Vigil


Syrian Garden Vigil
As of February 21, more than 50,000 deaths had been reported and hundreds of thousands displaced and injured. It is a tragedy of immense proportion. As a gesture of support and reflection, the Board of the Syrian Cultural Garden endorsed holding a vigil event at the Garden on February 19, 2023. A list of active civic organizations that are involved in humanitarian relief efforts were provided to the attendees.

Reading the poem

Watch a video and see photos from the Vigil

Ceata Romanian Folk Ensemble

 Ceata Romanian Folk Ensemble is a cultural dance group led by founder and director Mariana Somogyi and dance instructor and choreographer Ovidiu Ghioda. They performed three dances from the Fagaraa region in Transylvania Romania at the annual Slovenian Kurentovanje Festival in the Slovenian National Home in Cleveland Ohio.

Ceata Romanian Folk Ensemble dancers at Kurentovanje

Ceata Romanian Folk Ensemble dancers at Kurentovanje

See photos and videos of the Ceata Romanian Folk Ensemble performance

Kurentovanje Festival

 The annual Cleveland version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - was a week long event featuring cooking demos, language instruction, a dance party, fun run and more. But the highlight was the annual Kurentovanje Parade followed by the festival celebration on Saturday February 18, 2023.

Kurentovanje Queen Eva Ozbolt Kisley and Prince Blaz

Kurentovanje Queen Eva Ozbolt Kisley (born in 1921!)
and Prince Blaz Vavpetic

See lots of photos and videos from Kurentovanje

Paczki Day - and Favorite Paczki in Cleveland

 Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent which is 40 days of fasting. That used to mean only one meal a day and full fasting on Friday. (It's been greatly relaxed in modern times but Fridays are still meat-free). Rich foods were not allowed. So the Tuesday before Lent, people of Poland used up their eggs, butter, sugar and fruit by treating themselves one last time before Lent began. Ash Wednesday is on February 22 this year. That means February 21st is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday - and Paczki Day! Another popular Polish-American tradition is celebrated the week before (February 16 this year) with Fat Thursday or Tlusty Czwartek (pronounced Twoosti Chvartek).

But Paczki (punch-key) Day has become much more than a Polish-American tradition. And nobody does it better than Rudy's Strudel in Parma where lines will form early and continue all day. People will ask for paczkis, not realizing that paczki is already the plural of paczek (punch-ek).

Dozen paczki from Rudy's

Our website visitors voted for Rudy's Strudel as having their Favorite Paczki in Cleveland.

Lidia Trempe - Favorite Paczki Award

Lidia Trempe - Favorite Paczki Award

Photos and videso of Rudy's Favorite Paczki and Paczki Day

Kurentovanje Parade

 The annual Slovenian Kurentovanje Parade in Cleveland Ohio was held Saturday February 18, 2023. The large Kurents (kurenti) are there to scare away winter and usher in spring. Thousands lined the street near the Slovenian National Home at 64th and St. Clair to watch the Parade and then have music, food, dancing, drinks and lots of fun with the Kurents and thousands of people of Slovenian heritage - at least for the day.

Here are some video highlights from the Parade

See more photos and video from the 2023 Kurentovanje Parade

Prayer Vigil for Turkey and Syria


Prayer Vigil for Turkey and Syria
Members of the Turkish and Syrian communities in Cleveland Ohio gathered with family, friends and supporters in the Syrian Cultural Garden on MLK Blvd. on the evening of Friday February 10, 2023. Leena Zahra from the Syrian community and Mehmet Gencer from the Turkish community spoke at a prayer vigil lit by candles.

One young lady holding a picture of her best friend who was killed in the earthquake told how her friends and family back in Syria were reporting that dozens of family members had been killed. The crowd learned of suggested places to donate funds and foods and prayed for the victims.

Mehmet Gencer and Leena Zahra speaking

Photos and videos from the vigil

Fun with Maps - Carpathian Mountains and Rusyns

 In this episode of Fun with Maps, host Dan Hanson looks at the Carpathian Mountains. The Carpathian Mountains are in Eastern Europe and form an arc through several countries including Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Czech Republic, Austria, and Serbia. Important cities such as Krak√≥w (Poland), Bratislava (Slovakia) and Cluj-Napoca (Romania) are in or near the Carpathians.

What is most interesting about the Carpathians are the people who come from there. You may hear them called Rusyns, Rutheni, Ruthenes, Carpatho-Rusyns or another variation but basically they are an East Slavic ethnic group from the Eastern Carpathians in Central Europe. They speak Rusyn, an East Slavic language variety, treated variously as either a distinct language or a dialect of the Ukrainian language.

The Rusyns are inexorably linked to the Carpathian Mountains and vice versa. The Rusyns do not have a specific country to call home. The traditional homeland of the Rusyn people, Carpathian Rus', lies in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains, on the borders of modern-day Ukraine, Poland, and Slovakia. Today, approximately three-quarters of Rusyns reside within Ukraine, specifically the geographic region known as Transcarpathia (historic Subcarpathian Rus') The United States holds the largest population of Rusyns outside of Carpathian Rus', mostly within the former industrial centers of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States like Ohio and Pennsylvania. At the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, approximately 225,000 Rusyns immigrated to the US. This video also covers Aleksander Dukhnovich who is a sort of 'George Washington' of the Rusyns. He is famous for saying "I was, am, and always will be a Rusyn."

This part of Europe has had tremendous geopolitical changes over the years even through the 20th century with the world wars and the forming of Czechoslovakia and dissolution of Yugoslavia and other factors. You will see why Carpatho-Ukraine has been called The One Day Republic. The Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine existed for just one day on March 15, 1939, before it was occupied and annexed by Hungary. The most famous Carpatho-Ukrainian might be Andy Warhol, the pop artist who pioneered the concept of 'fifteen minutes of fame'.

See more Fun with Maps episodes

Black History Month Flag Raising Celebration

 For 50 years the City of Cleveland has celebrated Black History Month with a Flag Raising Celebration.

African Flag over Cleveland City Hall

African Flag over Cleveland City Hall

Despite brutally cold temperatures the crowd marched outside singing and chanting "Ashay". Joining in were Mayor Justin Bibb, Community Relations leader Angela Shute-Woodson and Khalid Samad from Peace in the Hood. After witnessing the flag raised above Cleveland City Hall the crowd went back inside for the rest of the program which included music, speeches, poems, food, community resources and more.

Khalid Samad speaks at Flag Raising

Khalid Samad speaks at Flag Raising

Mayor Justin Bibb with Buffalo Soldiers MC members

Mayor Justin Bibb with Buffalo Soldiers MC members

See photos and videos of the Flag Raising Event

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Fun with Maps – Condominiums all over the Globe

 In this episode of Fun with Maps, host Dan Hanson explains a new meaning of a common word that applies to maps and international law – condominium. (No, it's not what you think)

He looks at maps of Antarctica, Pheasant Island, Sudan, the Gulf of Fonseca and Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, Colombia, Jamaica, Andorra, Cyprus, Bosnia, Croatia, New Hebrides – Vanuatu, Hans Island, Togo and even the Oregon Territory in the US.

He also looks at some proposed new condominiums that would involve Australia, England, Spain, Gibraltar, Israel, Palestine and Northern Ireland. He predicts that you will never again hear the word ‘condominium’ again and just think of a building with shared units.

See more Fun with Maps episodes   

Monday, December 19, 2022

Annual Magnum Holiday Lunch

 Each year we like to gather an eclectic group of friends and business associates for a holiday lunch. Media, non-profits, politicians, business and, of course, lots of our ethnic cultural friends were all represented.

The food and atmosphere at Emperor's Palace in Old Chinatown is always terrific and they opened up just for our 70 or so guests.

See lots of photos of attendees

Who do you recognize?

Margaret Wong

Dawn Kendrick and Ingrida Bublys

Dick Pogue and Alex Machaskee

Nela Park GE Lighting Holiday Light Display 2022

 Nela Park is the headquarters of GE Lighting, located in East Cleveland, Ohio. Nela Park was the first industrial park in the world and was home to most of the lighting breakthroughs of the last century.

Thomas Edison was a founder. Albert Einstein and other notables visited. Dan Hanson was raised in East Cleveland and his family visited the world-famous Christmas lighting display every Christmas season. You used to be able to drive through the campus but in recent years the display is all along Noble Rd.

He takes us on a video tour of the 2022 display.

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Fun with Maps - The Underground Railroad

 In this episode of Fun with Maps host Dan Hanson looks at a very special map – a map that wasn’t recorded because it was dangerous to do so.  It’s the map of the Underground Railroad. 

 The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early 1800s to help slaves escape into free states and Canada.  It was run by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees.  Ohio had many stops on the Underground Railroad.  Canada was an ultimate destination since they had abolished slavery in 1793. The short distance across Lake Erie from Cleveland to Canada made the city a popular destination.  Cleveland was codenamed Hope on the Underground Railroad and the ultimate destination was Port Stanley in Ontario Canada which was codenamed Praise the Lord. 

 We recorded this episode at the Cozad-Bates House at the corner of Mayfield and East 115th Street in University Circle (just north of the Little Italy Neighborhood) in Cleveland. It is the only surviving pre-Civil War building in University Circle. The house has been restored by a non-profit called Restore Cleveland Hope and we spoke with board members and docents Kevin Cronin and Kathryn Puckett to examine the maps.  

We began with a map of Cleveland Ohio in 1957 and then widened to a map of the Western Reserve which shows how close (50 miles!) Canada is to Cleveland.  Then we looked at Underground Railroad maps in Ohio. Experts say there were more routes to Canada through Ohio than anywhere else.  This included the town near Cincinnati which was the setting for the book which influenced Abraham Lincoln, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  

We looked at St. John’s Church, still in existence at West 28th and Church in Cleveland.  This Church has been documented as a site that house slaves on the Underground Railroad.  We heard about John Brown the black barber who operated on Cleveland’s Public Square.  And Kathryn reminded us that where her family came from in Oklahoma was very different than in Ohio because Ohio was a free state and Oklahoma wasn’t a state until 1907.  

Finally we see how the geography played a role.  The slightly elevated terrain let people spot slave catchers and the location on Doan Brook which emptied into Lake Erie was ideal for escaping. 

 See more Fun with Maps episodes

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Fun with Maps - Greenalnd

 The story is that Erik the Red named the ice covered Greenland and the green covered Iceland that way to attract settlers to Greenland and dissuade them from coming to Iceland. 

 In this episode of Fun with Maps host Dan Hanson looks at that story about naming the largest island in the world, Greenland.  (Isn’t Australia bigger? Watch and find out). 

Many are surprised that Greenland is part of North America and part of the Kingdom of Denmark.  Greenland is 80% covered with ice and has historically, and currently, been affected by changes to the climate. 

After the US bought Alaska from Russia in the 1860’s, Secretary of State William Seward tried to buy Greenland and Iceland.  Congress voted it down.  Other attempts by the US to buy Greenland have also been rejected.  

See more Fun with Maps episodes

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) Open House

 For more than 30 years, the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) has been providing Northeast Ohio manufacturers with the guidance they need to achieve long-term success. They service 18 counties in Northeast Ohio and consult on a wide range of manufacturing needs to create jobs and drive change by collaborating with manufacturing CEOs, governments, community leaders and educators to solve problems and build opportunities.

The grand opening was October 27, 2022 and the next day Great Lakes Geek Dan Hanson took a walk through the amazing new facility. As you will see, there are robots, arc welders, tools for forming metal, grinders, vacuum lifts, 3D printers, injection molding, die cutting and much more. Plus state of the art classrooms and information showing the well-paying job and career opportunities in manufacturing.

Watch the quick walk-through.

More pics and video of the new MAGNET

What happens when liquid nitrogen and boiling water are combined?

 A team from the Great Lakes Science Center was on hand at the MAGNET open house in Cleveland. MAGNET is a non-profit consulting group focused on growing Northeast Ohio's manufacturing industry and they have a great new facility at 63rd and Chester in Cleveland. 

 In this demo liquid nitrogen at -320 degrees Fahrenheit was poured into a container and then boiling water at 212 degrees was poured in.  Watch the cool (or hot?) reaction. 

MAGNET Community Playground

For more than 30 years, the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) has been providing Northeast Ohio manufacturers with the guidance they need to achieve long-term success. The grand opening of a new facility was October 27, 2022 and the next day Great Lakes Geek Dan Hanson took a walk through. This included the very cool playground for the community.

While the kids are having fun and getting exercise they are also learning. For example they can ride the seesaw but adjust the weights on either side and see what happens. Or they learn that a swing is really just a pendulum. They can try to lift the heavy container of bowling balls by pulling on ropes and can determine if the closer or farther ropes work better. There is a zip line and great things to climb on and more. Take a look in this video.

Pictures and video of the new Magnet playground

Monday, October 24, 2022

Direct flights between Cleveland and Dublin Ireland on Aer Lingus

 Paula Svadlena is Aer Lingus Regional Sales Manager for the Midwest USA and Canada. She sat down with Dan Hanson and told about Aer Lingus ( which took its first flight in 1937 and started transatlantic flights in the 1960’s.  

The big news for people in Cleveland and NEOhio and nearby is that Aer Lingus is launching 4 weekly non-stop flights from Cleveland to and from Dublin Ireland starting in May 2023. Paula told us the details and the great ease of making the trip (including clearing international customs) between the two cities.  

In addition, travelers can fly to Dublin and spend some time in Ireland before continuing on their final destination in Europe such as London or Paris without additional fees.  Plus travelers from Europe and Ireland now can visit Cleveland quickly and easily. 

Hopkins Airport Chief talks about the new flights

 John T. Hogan is Deputy Chief, Marketing and Air Service Development, for the Cleveland Airport System which includes Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport.  

He sat down with Dan Hanson and told about how both leisure and business travel are picking up since the pandemic with about 9 million passengers per year, almost back to the normal 10 million passengers. 

 For the 300+ people who travel from Cleveland to Europe each day they will be able to fly direct to Dublin, spend some time in Ireland if they choose, and/or continue on to Paris or Frankfort or Amsterdam or wherever.  Plus, with a US Customs Office in Dublin they can clear customs there and when they arrive in Cleveland they can leave right away.

 Chief Hogan said this direct flight is an opportunity for Europeans to visit Cleveland and the surrounding areas.  He credits several organizations for making this happen. 

Watch the video.

Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland's Ambassador to the US, in Cleveland

 What a weekend it was.  The new Ambassador of Ireland to the United States of America - Geraldine Byrne Nason came to Cleveland for the weekend.

The Ambassador just completed five years as Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations, most recently during Ireland’s term serving on the Security Council as an elected member, working for international peace and security.

Before the reception she joined former US Ambassador to Ireland Ed Crawford at the Irish Cultural Garden in Cleveland.

She was then the guest of honor at a reception in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall

Blaine Griffin, Brian Kazy, Chris Ronayne, Ambassador Byrne Nason,
Mayor Bibb, Kerry McCormack and Ambassador Crawford

On Saturday she gave a powerful keynote address at the Irish Network USA annual conference.  IN-USA is the national umbrella organization integrating the Irish Networks that exist in various cities across the United States. 

Of course she visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other sites.

See lots of photos and videos from the Ambassador's visit to Cleveland.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame Inaugural Induction Ceremony

 The Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame (CAS-HOF) is run by the Hall of Fame Sports Committee of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCACF) who strongly believe that it is time to recognize those athletes and coaches of Croatian descent for their exemplary sports achievements. The first ten honorees to the CAS-HOF are Fred Couples, Helen Crlenkovich, John Havlicek, Mickey Lolich, Roger Maris, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Mark Pavelich, Joe Sakic, and Joe Stydahar.

Jerome Jurenovich served as MC for the evening. 8 time Emmy winner Jerome Jurenovich is a well-known sports reporter/journalist known for his work on CNN Headline Sports and as voice of the Atlanta Hawks and Braves among other positions. Jerome shared stories of his career and sports and Croatian heritage.

Doesn't Kevin Maris (below) look just like his dad Roger Maris?

Pictures and video from the Croatian Sports Hall of Fame event