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Thursday, December 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 32.0° F  Overcast


How the #SweetScientists Amy DeJong and Maya Warren won The Amazing Race

If you're reading this, it's very likely that you followed Amy DeJong and Maya Warren as they traveled from New York to Los Angeles, taking the long way around the world, in a quest to win $1 million on the 25th season of The Amazing Race. Labeled the #SweetScientists by CBS, they visited 20 cities in eight nations over the span of about three weeks. >More
382 Pixel LineClarinetist Joseph Morris is splendid in Middleton Community Orchestra's 2014 holiday concert

The December holidays mean the concert calendar is full of music no one would think of tolerating any other time of the year. Who wants to hear "Silent Night" or "White Christmas" in July? >More
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The Paper

Union drive divides progressive Willy Street Co-op

Workers at the Willy Street Co-op were set to vote on whether to form a union this month. But on Dec. 15, United Food & Commercial Workers abruptly canceled the election, accusing the co-op's management team of violating federal labor laws and the neutrality agreement negotiated between management and the union. >More
382 Pixel LineHousing co-ops in Madison facing internal crisis over rent strike

Ava Jindra can't take much more. An internal fight over the management of the Madison Community Cooperative, an organization that owns 11 housing co-ops, has left Jindra and many others feeling defeated. >More
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The Madison dining scene breaks new ground in 2014

Madison dining seems to be heading for new territory, and that territory is (envelope please...) East Washington Avenue. >More
 Doolittles Woodfire Grill brings contemporary touches to American fare

The cynical among us may, during these holiday months, look at the paved expanse of East Towne with scorn. It's cold, hard commercialism all right, a shopping mall and a bunch of bank drive-throughs and scads of national chain restaurants. The hopeful among us? They're packing into Doolittles Woodfire Grill. >More
Drummer John O.Reilly stays busy making music with Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Drummer John O.Reilly may have one of the coolest jobs in rock. He's spent the past dozen years touring each November through early January with one of two traveling versions of the holiday rock-opera extravaganza Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and he's gigged with everyone from Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult to Yoko Ono and the late Richie Havens. >More
 Comedian Nate Craig enjoys a hometown holiday with standup and Townie Fest

Nate Craig has Madison in his blood. He was born here, and attended both West High School and UW-Madison. While Craig is open about the love he has for his hometown, it's hard to make a career in comedy living in Dane County. That's why he moved to California, where he now works as a writer and warm-up comedian for MTV's Ridiculousness. >More
Children's Theater of Madison keeps A Christmas Carol fresh in its 35th year

When the narrator invited the packed house in Overture's Capitol Theater to come closer to hear a very special story -- one that absolutely cannot begin with "once upon a time" -- there was a sense that hundreds of velvet- and taffeta-clad children and their parents leaned in to be newly amazed and enchanted by the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. >More
 Local fibers find a home at the Dancing Lamb in Evansville

The Dancing Lamb, a new yarn and fiber shop in Evansville, Wis., is located in a farmhouse-style Victorian house on a mostly residential block of Main Street. Set among other historic homes from the period, shoppers may feel as if they're no longer in this century. >More
Rob Marshall makes it work in Into the Woods

For large chunks of Into the Woods, it seems as though Rob Marshall is determined to do what we're all told never works: turning a stage musical into a movie while resolutely retaining its "staginess." But that's when Into the Woods is at its most delightful. >More
 Unbroken is a 'triumph of the human spirit' story that forgets the spirit

A life story generally doesn't fit a neat dramatic arc. When you're telling the cinematic tale of a real-life person -- as Unbroken does with the tale of Louis Zamperini -- you're going to be deciding what part of a cradle-to-grave timeline is part of your narrative, and what part isn't. >More


Thursday, December 25
Narayan Mahon Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
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Free Christmas Meal First United Methodist Church, 11:00am
Friday, December 26
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Narayan Mahon  Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
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Harlem Globetrotters  Alliant Energy Center-Coliseum, 7:00pm
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Madison Ballet's "The Nutcracker"  Overture Center-Overture Hall
Saturday, December 27
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Narayan Mahon  Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
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Ari Herstand, Anna Laube  Crescendo Espresso Bar, 7:30pm
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Madison Ballet's "The Nutcracker"  Overture Center-Overture Hall
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Dead Man's Carnival  Majestic Theatre, 8:00pm


Isthmus Picks: Madison calendar for December 23, 2014 - January 9, 2015

Here are this week's Isthmus Picks. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison. >More


Citizen Dave: The Cargo Bike Shop is ready to outfit workhorses

When you think of bicycles, it's likely that the first images to come to mind are super-fit Lycra-clad racers in summer or maybe bundled-up urban hipsters in winter. But Tim Staton wants you to think of a bike as a workhorse too. >More


Madland: City council races offer much more than the lesser of two evils

As reported last week, candidates are now declaring for the Madison Common Council elections in spring 2015. I've often wondered why so many people are willing to run for alder in the first place: Crazy hours for a job where the hourly pay probably doesn't hit minimum wage; all the joy of drawing the ire of the public with very little of the power of other elected positions. >More


Tell All: Where do I draw the line when my daughter dresses too sexy?

Dear Tell All: My sweet little girl has turned into a teenager -- with a vengeance. At 16, she's obsessed with guys, along with the way she looks. This whole thing has been building up since middle school, but recently it's reached crisis proportions. >More


Mama Madison: Talking about race with Families for Justice

Like many parents, I look at the wide world around my kids and do my best to prepare them for life. We talk about working hard, being kind and responsible, Internet safety, stranger danger, and the (gulp) birds and the bees. But what about a topic such as race? >More


Madison Snaps: December 25, 2014

Today's image titled "Christmas on the Square" was photographed by Steven Bauer. >More
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Yang Sao Xiong remembers the bizarre hissing sounds the most. He was 7 years old, a refugee with his family from Laos, when he arrived in California in 1987. "When we first got off the plane, all I could tell was that people were making all these 's' sounds," says Xiong, describing his first impression of English. >More


Whether you wish to bid a fond farewell to 2014 or just say good riddance, there are plenty of ways to party and dance your way to 2015. Here are some spots around town where bands will be rocking, bootys will be shaking and booze will be flowing. >More


Growth continues to seem boundless for craft beer in Wisconsin. Once again, the last 12 months have offered brewery openings and expansions, new faces behind the brew kettles, and plenty of memorable beers. These developments are evident around the state, while the region surrounding Madison continues to build a reputation as a brewing destination. >More


In latte art, there's more than meets the eye. Those frothy hearts and ferns are actually supposed to make your latte taste better. Painting, as the professionals call it, is all about the milk-to-espresso ratio with each sip. >More


When I pitched recapping the 25th season of The Amazing Race to Isthmus, all I wanted was to get paid to watch TV. That's the American Dream, right? I honestly hadn't thought about the possibility that contestants Amy DeJong and Maya Warren, a pair of students in UW-Madison's Food Science doctoral program, would actually make it all the way to the finale, much less come from behind to win it all. >More


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