Why's That?

Second Friday of the month at 6:44 am, 8:44 am and 5:44 pm

Why's That? explores the things in Southwest Michigan – people, places, names  – that spark your curiosity. We want to know what makes you wonder when you're out and about. 

Maybe it's a question you've had for years, or maybe it's just come up. Perhaps it rests on a subtle observation, like this one about ABC streets in Kalamazoo. Or maybe you just saw something, found it strange, and wanted to know more about it. That's what happened in "A Tiny Park with a Tragic Story."

From train signals to watersheds, from unusual houses to water hardness, we hope you'll let us know what in Southwest Michigan makes you ask "Why's That?" It could be the start of a great radio story.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Picture a nineteenth-century school, and what do you see? Simple design, tall windows, somewhere to put a bell? That’s a fair description of a building on Stadium Drive near 9th Street that caught Sue Grossman’s eye.

“I’ve been driving by it all my life because I grew up in this town,” Sue says as we study the front of the building while traffic zips by on Stadium. 


WMUK radio is working on a series of stories to help our listeners better understand Islam and the culture of people who are Muslim.

What do you want to know? Click the link and ask your question.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Even mild winters sometimes get icy. People throw salt on sidewalks and roads, and unless it’s really cold the ice melts.

“But then obviously that liquid goes somewhere at some point,” says Western Michigan University chemistry professor Andre Venter.


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Every city has its major streets, often with familiar names like Lincoln or Vine. Then there’s Kalamazoo’s Westnedge Avenue.

“I’m interested in words and the origins and I’d never encountered this word before,” says Kate Kirk-Greenberg, a grief counselor in Kalamazoo, who asked “Why’s That?” how the street got its name.


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

It’s easy to see snow as a nuisance when you’re trying to remove it. But perhaps a look at the science of snow can restore your sense of wonder. Maria Drouillard of Kalamazoo wants to know: why is it that the texture of snow varies so much from powdery to damp? In other words, what makes snow wet or dry?


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