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Thursday, November 27, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 20.0° F  Partly Cloudy
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Manual labor

Ready or not, here comes the 2010-11 Isthmus Annual Manual. There's no reason not to be ready; it's been an entire year since the previous edition.

The Annual Manual actually predates the poll, having made its debut on Aug. 21, 1981. It was designed to serve as a guide to getting by in Madison, produced at the time of year when the city is infused with new talent, both at the student and faculty levels at the city's institutions of higher learning, along with the family members who often accompany them and other folks who find their way between the lakes. It's also useful for the rest of us who've failed to keep up with the changes in Madison during the year.

If you're new to the area, you may have come from a place that had its own annual manual. Know that while often copied in other markets, this is the original.

The Annual Manual, in addition to the Madison's Favorites Poll results, gives you a wealth of essential knowledge about the city in the resource directory. We also have an entertaining quiz on local lore put together by news editor Bill Lueders. Production design artist David Michael Miller is responsible for the lead story, a delightful look at Madison logos, the symbols that designate the local landscape of commerce and culture. And while we're at it, let's give a shout-out to intern Jonny Worrell, responsible for many of the photos in this image-laden edition.

We aren't forgetting that in about a week's time footballs will fill the air as the college season begins. The Badgers will be on the road, in Las Vegas no less, but to entertain you in the team's absence, in this issue veteran sports writer Vic Feuerherd gives us some background on UW coach Bret Bielema, a man for whom expectations run high this year. Before we get wrapped up in the drama of the season, Feuerherd lets us get to know the man and where he comes from a little better.

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