Lake Effect

John Sturdy

There’s a growing body of research on the importance of human-to-human contact. Studies have found that physical interactions with other people can reduce stress, improve physical health, and increase compassion.

So it may be unsurprising that more and more people are turning to professional cuddlers to improve their overall well-being.

Ex Fabula: Money

Mar 24, 2018
Art Montes

Money: the root of all evil or what makes the world go ‘round? In light of the upcoming April 3rd election and the proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate the office of the State Treasurer, we’re taking a look back at how money has influenced some of our favorite stories. We also encourage you to remember Michelle Obama’s words, “Elections aren’t just about who vote but who doesn’t vote,” and vote on April 3rd.

adam121 / Fotolia

If there is anything you should know about contributor Gianofer Fields, it's that she doesn't drink coffee to wake up - she wakes up to drink coffee. Next to exploring the avenues of Material Culture, it's her favorite thing.

Department of Commerce collection

Lawrence Baldassaro had been interviewing baseball players of Italian-American heritage for a while when a realization hit him.  "Here I am," he recalled thinking, "the grandson of four Italian immigrants, I teach Italian, I love baseball - why don't I write about Italians in baseball?

"It turned out that virtually nothing had been written about that subject," Baldassaro says.

Jonathan McIntosh / Flickr

Since the election of President Donald Trump, the conversation around U.S. immigration has been tense. As Trump’s calls for a border wall have become more fervent, the realities of what it takes to emigrate to this country have often been obscured. Marquette University hoped to illuminate the experience of crossing the U.S. border in an immersive spring break trip to Texas.

Maayan Silver

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games and the Paralympics that followed it both played out in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  Both games were praised for the way they were run and the example it set for unification and sportsmanship.  But for some of us, the Olympics may have sparked a bigger interest in understanding Korean culture.

Paramount Pictures

Many science fiction movies qualify as visual spectacles, but there are only a select few that bring up the essential question of what it means to be human.

Alex Garland has been a novelist since the 1980s and emerged to mainstream audiences as a formidable science fiction screenwriter and director with Ex Machina four years ago.

Both that film and his latest, Annihilation, leave audiences pondering far after the credits roll.

Essay: A Place Where Water Sparkles

Mar 22, 2018
dendron / Fotolia

In honor of International Water Day, essayist Eric Hansen offers this meditation on water. 

We know we are fortunate to spend our days here, in a land we know as Wisconsin -- a place where water sparkles -- and is well worth caring for. Where gurgling streams and wave-washed shores sooth our lives.

Where the bubbling springs of the Moraine Country -- and the timeless flow of the Mukwonago River -- brighten our Sunday afternoons. Where a canoe trip to Horicon Marsh -- or the Wolf River is a nearby treat.

NASA

Last month our Astro Chat with contributor Dr. Jean Creighton began a short series on the impact NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has had on our understanding of the universe.

Previously, we talked about how the Hubble confirmed for us that the universe is expanding. This month, it's all about exoplanets. As Creighton points out, "the Hubble Space Telescope was not the first instrument that saw exoplanets. But it was one of the first that could photograph an exoplanet."

Alec Soth / Courtesy of Magnum Photos

The Milwaukee Art Museum's current photography exhibit, The Open Road, features the works of many groundbreaking international photographers who were enamored with the idea of the Great American Road Trip. But there are American photographers, as well, who have the ability to show the country to their fellow Americans in a different way.

Pinehold Gardens / facebook.com

There are some people who cannot cook without garlic, it’s an integral part of some cuisines.

The plant is part of the allium family, which also contains onions, scallions, leeks, shallots, and chives. But contributor Dave Kozlowski of Pinehold Gardens says that farming garlic is a bit different from most of the other produce he grows.

"Garlic is such an interesting plant...because it is a vegetable, but it's not; and it's a spice and a herb, but it's not; and it's a medicinal plant, but it's not. It's all of those but it's none of those - it's garlic," he jokes.

Joy Powers

Distiller Brian Sammons is a do-it-yourself kind of guy. As founder of Twisted Path Distillery in Bay View, Sammons has taken his own twisted path to the profession and an equally unorthodox approach to his craft. 

ustas / Fotolia

When you get a cold, or the flu, or other viral illnesses, your immune system adapts to keep you from getting that particular strain of illness again. So, too, with vaccines, which essentially train your body to fight off infection from the virus or bacterium they’re designed to protect you from.

Except your immune system doesn’t always cooperate. Some vaccines need booster shots over time, and some people - especially the elderly - are susceptible to diseases they would not have caught at another time in their life. So what’s going on here?

PunkToad / Flickr

Leadership in Milwaukee - at one level - has been pretty consistent for a long time. Since 1948, the city of Milwaukee has had only five mayors.

Four of them - Frank Zeidler, Henry Maier, John Norquist, and Tom Barrett - have spent nearly 70 years in office.

There has been much more turnover on the Common Council - and the presidency of the Council.  One person who has experienced both is Marvin Pratt, who served as mayor in the four months between John Norquist’s resignation and Tom Barrett’s election, and was common council president from 2000-2004.

Courtesy of 'Wisconsin Foodie'

Wisconsin Foodie turns 10 years old this year, but it first began as a vague idea sketched out on a cocktail napkin. The Emmy® Award-winning television series and companion website was the brainchild of Milwaukee-based documentary filmmaker Arthur Ircink, who back in 2007 was watching the popularity of cooking shows explode nationally.

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