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Monday, March 2, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Emphasis: How old is your toilet? Flush in the new

How old is your toilet? Quite apart from where the top is chipped and the inside seat looks a trifle too used, there's another reason to replace it - old toilets use a lot of water. The Madison Water Utility wants to nudge you along the path to toilet replacement with rebates of up to $100 for residential customers who replace a high water volume toilet with an EPA WaterSense-rated High-Efficiency Toilet (HET). This is part of the utility's goal to reduce Madison's per capita water usage 20% by the year 2020. >More
 Innovation creates dream ovens and energy-saving ideas

I have a 19-year-old Kenmore double electric wall oven I want to replace. I got all excited recently when the cash-for-clunkers stimulus chatter moved to Energy Star appliances. Could I get some of my tax dollars back if I bought a new oven? >More
 Emphasis: Kitchen agility trials

If you're still trying to flip an omelet with that metal spatula your aunt got you at a Chef's Secret party, trade it in for the super-flexible silicone versions now on the market. Spatulas or turners come in a variety of shapes to match your kitchen task. The ZipFlip from Chef'n comes in small, medium and large and has both a turning end and a spatula end. The Mario Batali line offers turners in extra-wide. >More
 Emphasis: Antiques + adaptive re-use

If you're heading into the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin this fall for apple picking or leaf-color gawking, don't forget to bring home some vintage treasures. The area has plenty of antique shops to choose from, but two of our favorites make creative use of historic spaces. >More
 Emphasis: Spring 2009

Lodge Cast Iron Cookware is made in Tennessee, lasts forever, cooks food at high temperatures extremely well without burning and, oh yes, it does not need to be washed. Just tidy it up a bit before storing. The company is also making adjustments to lessen its impact on the environment. >More
 Take the easy path to a terrific-looking yard

$=TE2. Everyone who was in school the day they taught Einstein's Universal Law of Doing It Yourself knows this equation. The more time and effort you invest in something, the more money you'll save. It is one of the Fundamental Tenets of Everything in the Universe. >More
 Modern architecture in Madison is more popular now than ever

Ah, the 1950s American suburban landscape, where the modern ranch house reigns supreme. With nearly uniform design elements, all of which were deemed "modern," the post-World War II, '50s ranch-style house sprouted up in the cornfields that bordered Madison and presented to the community not only a new form of architecture, but also a new way of living. >More
 Interior design in the 2000s picks from the best of modernism

Clean lines, boomerang shapes, starbursts -- the simple yet dynamic design motifs of '50s modernism have returned in the '00s, especially seen in furniture, fabric, dishes and even silverware. >More
 The humble ground cherry is easy to grow and fun

Ground cherries look like a cross between cherry tomatoes and tomatillos. Like the latter, they're wrapped in a papery husk. Like the former, they're sweet, though in a different way. Some say they taste like pineapple. Others talk gooseberry. Whatever the case, they can be eaten raw, added to salads or cooked into jams, jellies, salsa, condiments or pies. Easy to grow, they add flavor and color to your summer dishes. >More
 The driveway's not the end of the road

Most of us don't think much about our driveways until they're buried under a half foot of snow. But traditional driveways, along with sidewalks and patios - hard surfaces (or hardscaping) that we harbor in our yards - are impermeable. They don't absorb water when it comes down in warmer weather as rain. >More
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