Essay: Bridging America's Racial Divide

Jul 14, 2016
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For all the efforts to create unity in the wake of a violent period in this country, there are still many open wounds.  Lake Effect essayist Laura Marshall has some thoughts on how we might start to heal them.

It's 3 am and I am following the developments in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Baton Rouge.

I know that tomorrow, there will be fingers pointed.

Essay: A Wedding and a Divorce

Jul 7, 2016
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Lake Effect essayist Kirsten Wisniewski had a unique view of the Brexit fallout.  The Milwaukee native, who has been teaching in Austria for two years, found herself in the UK in the days following the historic vote, and found herself trying to understand it:

An Ausländer's View of the European Refugee Crisis

Jun 29, 2016
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The humanitarian crisis in Europe continues to deepen, as stories emerge each day of migrants dying or barely surviving their journeys from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa. Some of those refugees have settled in Austria, where they have received a mixed welcome. Lake Effect essayist Kirsten Wisniewski has also recently resettled in Austria. But coming from Milwaukee, via London, she has a different view of the experience:

I’ve been back in Austria for 24 hours. I’m finally home.

Since You Never Asked: 'Take My Keys, Please'

Jun 2, 2016
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Since you never asked…

…go ahead. Reach in my front right pocket.  You’ll find a substantial tangle of metal that’s like a yoke around my neck. Take it. Grab that ring of keys, the ones that turn over the engine of a couple of cars and open doors I often enter and exit. Now throw them off a cliff and watch as they disappear into some great void. You’re doing me a favor, trust me.

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Despite the American Revolution and the War of 1812, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland enjoy what is termed a special relationship. Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says that diplomatic closeness is a good thing:

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Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is due to meet with Republican leaders in Washington today.  At issue is whether they can bridge the policy and personality divides between the candidate and the party rank and file.

But Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank believes Democrats have just as daunting a task ahead of them:

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It’s a rule of thumb around public radio that many of us got into the field so that we wouldn’t have to dress up.  Compared to other professional positions, the number of days in which I come to work wearing a tie is pretty low.

Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West takes a different view of dressing up:

Since you never asked...

Since You Never Asked: 'Regifting'

Apr 8, 2016
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Earth Day is fast approaching.  Have you bought your cards and gifts yet?  No matter.  Lake Effect Jonathan West has some thoughts about maybe an underrated part of the recycling equation:

Since you never asked…

…it is perfectly acceptable to rip the wrapping paper off of a present from your Aunt Frannie and then take that homemade tissue box cozy she’s given you and neatly put it in the back of your closet stacked with all the other gifts primed in the pump for you to rewrap and give to some other worthy schmuck.  Er…I mean, good friend.

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There are a lot of debates about the direction of medicine in this country, but the experience of being a doctor was brought into sharp relief by a trip Lake Effect essayist Bruce Campbell took:

Essay: Phrase Book

Apr 7, 2016
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Foreign language phrase books have a tendency to keep things simple. Making connections in a foreign language, however, are rarely that straight forward. Lake Effect essayist Kirsten Wisniewski has learned that no matter how well you speak a language, sometimes the phrase book has more to teach you:

I’ve got a ton of books in Austria. One day I’ll either have to send a very expensive box back to the US or I’ll have to ditch them. Either way, heartbreak will ensue.

Essay: The One Constant

Mar 30, 2016
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When I was a boy, my father and grandfather fought for my soul, taking me either to Cubs games at Wrigley Field (Northsider Dad) or White Sox games at Comiskey Park (Southsider Papa). We went so often that I thought the national anthem’s last words were “Play ball!” Paternal love won out, I suppose — I became a benighted Cubs fan. Also, I loved Ernie Banks, the irrepressible Mr. Cub.

Since You Never Asked: 'All Day Breakfast'

Mar 29, 2016
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Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West is a big fan of chewing. But he says there is a time and a place for everything:

Since you never asked…

…it’s important for me to let you know that if you ever invite me to eat from the all-day-breakfast menu I will fling my plate of corned beef hash and poached eggs right at your freshly poured after work martini. Listen to my words, “Breakfast.  It’s what’s for BREAKFAST!”

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In 2013, 5 exabytes of data were created every day. That’s five billion gigabytes each day. To put that in context, 5 exabytes of content were created between the birth of the world and 2003.

In 2016 it’s safe to say there is even more information created daily and then stored in data clouds around the world, and there’s no end in sight. And as essayist Art Cyr reminds us, the battle over who has access to all that information is still being fought:

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Despite is relatively small size, downtown Milwaukee can sometimes have large city-style issues with on-street parking.  At the same time, there have been some parking innovations worth mentioning.

Resident Lake Effect curmudgeon Jonathan West has some thoughts about one of them:

Since you never asked…

Since You Never Asked: "OMG You Need to Stop the LOL"

Feb 29, 2016
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Facebook made news last week when it rolled out a group of emoticons to go along with its infamous “like” button.  Those new options, like “wow” and “angry,” have generated perhaps predictable controversy.

No one asked Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West, but he believes the downfall of communication goes a fair amount further back:

Since you never asked…