Michigan is an oven mitt with a spare thumb. The spare thumb is called "UP", which is pronounced "da Yoo Pee" or "da Yoop" by its residents. These two landmasses, which are separated by the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet, form a state that is a signatory member of the United States.
Michigan builds a lot of cars. Michigan builds a lot of cars so people can get the fuck out of Michigan.
 The Mitten
The "Mitten" is officially known as the Lower Peninsula. Many years ago, somebody saw a map of Michigan and said, "Hey, that looks like a mitten." As a result, when ever you ask somebody from the Mitten where they live, they'll hold up the palm of their right hand and point to the corresponding spot. A non-Michigander's typical response to this is usually "No wonder Toyota is kicking GM's ass."
 The Thumb
The "Thumb" is a small appendage on the eastern side of the Mitten. The largest town is Caro. That's about all there is to say about the Thumb.
 Da Yoop
"Da Yoop" is officially known as the Upper Peninsula. It's bigger than New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and every New England state except Maine. But its population is smaller than every other state. The largest "city" is Marquette (about 21,000).
Denizens of the UP are known as Yoopers. Most of them speak in a dialect reminiscent of the MacKenzie Brothers on SCTV. The dialect is thought to be so unusual for United States residents that it has earned its own Wikipedia page.
The UP is especially isolated because very few roads go there. As a result, the UP is a place people go to hoping to get lost—it's like Alaska, but for people who don't want to be that isolated. The UP is so isolated that the central and western counties are the only places in the country where Finns are the dominant ethnic group.
Typical activities in the UP include drinking beer (especially Leinenkugel's from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin), watching the Green Bay Packers (Detroit Lions fans stay away), and hunting bucks. The last is so popular that on opening day (15 November) the news directors of the central UP's three local TV stations will sometimes jettison coverage of the NFL, NBA, NHL and other pro sports. Instead, they will cover the first bucks shot that season. Actor and Michigan native Jeff Daniels wrote Escanaba in da Moonlight, a play and movie about these typical activities. Don't mention this title to any Yoopers unless you know they have a good sense of humor.
Some Yoopers also partake in "polar bear" activities, like the Heikenpaiva dive in Hancock. Sometimes even little kids join in.
 Indigenous tunage
The greatest musical group in the world, Da Yoopers, are from the UP. They operate a store called Da Tourist Trap in Ishpeming. They sing about fishing, hunting, digging rusty Chevrolets out of snow banks , farting like their dads and cheap beer, mostly.
 Higher edumacations in Da Yoop
Oddly, for all its isolation and backwoods traditions, the UP has three public four-year colleges—Northern Michigan University (NMU) in Marquette, Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Houghton, and Lake Superior State College (LSSU) in Sault Ste. Marie. This means that the UP has more per capita access to public higher education than many states. Go figure.
The UP is also the home of Finlandia University, the last private university founded by Finnish immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was originally named Suomi College -- "Suomi" being the Finnish word for "Finland" and "Finnish." It is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and is the only private college in the UP. Founded in 1896, it is also the oldest college in the UP.
There are also two community colleges in the UP: Bay College in Escanaba and Gogebic Community College in Ironwood.
 Rust never sleeps
They used to make a lot of cars in Michigan. Ask Michael Moore - he made a movie about how they had to start killing rabbits in Michigan once they stopped making cars.
Upton Sinclair once wrote a novel about Michigan's auto industry, The Flivver King, which is to the Great Depression what Michael Moore's film is to the 1980s. The more things change, the more they stay the same, sadly.
But, never fear! Laid-off automobile workers can always give Michigan's own Amway a try.
It has the University of Michigan - a bastion of radical socialists that ranks among the best public universities in the United States. There's also Michigan State University, which also has some top-notch grad programs.
Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo hosts the annual International Congress in Medieval Studies, the largest conference in the field. Why they would want to hold the conference in a field is . . . anyone's guess.
In Flint, the most populous city in the United States with a single-syllable name, the rat population is higher than the human population.
 More edumacations
Besides the host of the medieval conference (obviously the most important edumacational institution on the mitt), Michigan plays host to two universities. The University of Michigan is, despite its somewhat snobbish population, all in all a good institution, but of late its football team has sucked balls. Michigan State University's worst academic programs are worse than those at the University of Michigan, yet oddly its best programs are better than the former's best, much to the annoyance of its intelligent students, the jubilation of its stupid ones, and the confusion of its mediocre ones (of course, none of these students feel any of this when they are not soaked in some form of alcohol, i.e. drunk, which is often).
 Some reasons Michigan is better than your state
- On 18 May 1846, Michigan became the first government entity anywhere to permanently ban the death penalty. (Well, except for treason until 1964. But nobody ever committed treason against Michigan--if you can figure out how that works. Not capital treason anyway, although some Michiganders have elected to attend Ohio State University.)
- Michigan is bordered by four of the five great lakes, more than any other state.
- The shoreline around the two peninsulas measures 3,288 miles (5,326 km). Only Alaska has a longer shoreline - most of which you can't get to anyway.
- Michiganders love winter because snow keeps undesirables like Floridians, Texans and Arizonans away. Thinking of relocating to Michigan? Check out this satellite photo.
- All other college rivalries pale in comparison to this.
- Michigan's no-fault car insurance coverage not only covers accident-related repairs to Michiganders' vehicles, it also covers all accident-related medical expenses. FOR LIFE!  Update: Maybe not. Fucking Republicans.
- Iggy Pop is from Michigan.
- Grand Funk!!!
 ...and some reasons Michigan may not be better than your state...
- Amway (Scamway) is headquartered in Ada.
- Michigan is a major stronghold of the militia movement.
- Mark Koernke, who called himself "Mark from Michigan," started the "black helicopters" myth.
- Devil's Night in Detroit.
- Detroit also is a city where raccoon hunting is a viable lifestyle. (And no, that's not a racial slur. Can we just A-bomb it and start again on the ruins, already!?)
- Ted Nugent is from Michigan.
- Currently 2nd highest unemployment rate in the nation. Finally lost 1st to Nevada.
 Some of the better known Michiganders include
- Gerald Ford
- Edmund Fitzgerald
- W. Mitt Romney - Former Massachusetts governor, son of George W. Romney[wp] former Michigan governor (1963–69) and American Motors Corporation CEO.
- Tim Allen -- More power!!!
- Jeff Daniels
- Kid Rock
- Chris van Allsburg (writer and illustrator of Jumanji and The Polar Express, both of which became feature films)
- Gillian Anderson (actress who gained fame from starring in The X Files)
- Ted Nugent, Jack White, Bill Haley, Kevin Saunderson, Madonna and Eminem, purveyors of alleged "music."
- Thomas Edison, until he moved to New Jersey
- You Might Live in Michigan if . . .
- You Might be a Michigander
- Michigan High School Helmet Project
- Michigan Highways
- Michigans Thumb
- MichiganRailroads.com - "Your Homepage for Michigan Railroading"
- Pure Michigan (tourism website)
- Some Yooper-centric stuff, eh.
- ↑ Eh? You hosers don't remember da MacKenzie Brothers?
- ↑ For you hopeless city folk, bucks are male deer.
- ↑ Until the 1990s, the UP had one local TV station. The rest rebroadcast programming from stations in Traverse City, Cadillac and Green Bay. That's how isolated the UP is.
- ↑ November 15th might as well be a paid holiday in the UP.
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escanaba_in_da_Moonlight
- ↑ Remember, Finns are the dominant ethnic group. And Germans are the UP's second largest ethnic group.
- ↑ Yes, that's a real town. So are Escanaba and Negaunee. And Menominee, too, which is not to be confused with the wrongly spelled Wisconsin towns of Menomonie and Menomonee Falls. (Those damn Badgers can't even agree on how to misspell Menominee!)
- ↑ My f***ed-up spell-checker says dat "Menomonee" is correct and "Menominee" is wrong. F***ed-up, Badger-loving spell checker! Dat's why ya can't trust dem spell checkers, eh?
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb9yhhflmvY
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50IgzksUqpQ
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2AJ8aiE4a4
- ↑ Most famous for the Banished Words List
- ↑ Note for pedants: This does, of course, ignore that bloody fractal problem where coastlines actually have infinite length.
- ↑ Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association website
- ↑ Jacobs, Samuel P. "Why Militias Love Michigan", Daily Beast website, 31 March 2010, accessed 1 April 2010.
- ↑ See the Wikipedia article on Devil's Night.
- ↑ http://detnews.com/article/20090402/METRO08/904020395/To-urban-hunter--next-meal-is-scampering-by