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Friday, November 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 14.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


The Capital Times: Still kickin'

When he's not giving speeches and writing books, or traveling the country as The Nation's Washington correspondent, The Capital Times' John Nichols is usually churning out editorials on his wireless laptop at Ancora, a 21st-century version of the hard-bitten reporter phoning in stories from the local tavern. >More


American Airlines to local Buddhist monk: You stink!

David Tenenbaum can say one thing for sure about his friend Soy Seng: He doesn't smell bad. Not at all. "We have sat side by side more or less once a week for at least 10 years, and I have never smelled any body odor on this man at all," says Tenenbaum, a local writer who has tutored Seng in English since he moved to the Madison area from Cambodia. "I've sat as close to him as an airline passenger." >More
 Are you ready for kamikaze carp?

On the Mississippi River near Cassville, John Lyons of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is looking for Asian carp. Twice a summer for the last five years, Lyons has dragged the river bottom with trammel nets, seined the near shore, and electroshocked the shallows, in search of silver and bighead carp. >More
 MPD fires parking enforcer

Kendall Hallett was right. The Madison Police Department, the parking enforcement officer's employer for 11 years, did indeed "want me gone," just as he told Isthmus. On Dec. 5, Hallett was fired, setting up a battle between the MPD and Hallett's union. >More


A missed opportunity for 4K

A new report on kindergarten readiness from the United Way of Dane County is a major disappointment. The report, the product of a task force chaired by Madison School Supt. Art Rainwater and attorney Ave Bie, certainly means well and provides modestly helpful suggestions for launching 5-year-olds into schooling. >More
 Paper or plastic

I'm wondering what you think about the whole real/fake thing and how you would tell two kids, ages 12 and 10, that Christmas doesn't necessarily mean sticking a real-live tree in your living room. >More


Eric Church wants to scuff up Nashville

Eric Church likes to take on uncommon points of view when he sings a song. On his 2006 debut, Sinners Like Me, he was the voice of a death row inmate, waiting to be executed. One track later he morphed into a nervous teenage boy, pacing in anguish while his girlfriend took a pregnancy test in the bathroom. >More
 Smokin' With Superman: Together again

Popular local bands generally don't duck out when they're on top. But that's exactly what the sprawling seven-piece jazz-funk-hip-hop hybrid Smokin' With Superman did after a final sold-out show in 2003. Had there been dramatic creative differences or heavy disappointment over the fact that some promising national nibbles didn't pan out? >More

Untrue is destined -- for now anyway -- to be the landmark album of a 21st-century electronic genre called dubstep. The recording is awash in reverberating bass lines, waves of synth, two-step beats and impressionistic vocals, capturing dubstep's essential mood of cinematic darkness. >More



Enter, Roth

Has Philip Roth finally said goodbye to Nathan Zuckerman? Over the course of three decades and nine novels, Zuckerman has been Roth's fictional alter ego -- once the literary hell-raiser and now, in Roth's new book Exit Ghost, an infirm writer in decline. >More
 The money man

Eric Salisbury is ecstatic about being back in Madison. After working outside of Wisconsin, Salisbury, a graduate of the UW's Bolz Center for Arts Administration, has returned as a full-time fund-raiser for the Overture Center, and he's already plunged back into the local arts world. >More
 Tidings from the Seasonally Affected: A group-home Christmas

It's become a contemporary truism that the "most wonderful time of the year" really isn't so wonderful for a lot of people. From shopping stress to fractious family visits, the holiday season can test even the most placid. >More
 Queens of spleen

I love beauty pageants for taking themselves so seriously. The straighter they play it, the more unintentionally funny they are. With a name like Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants (Wednesday, 8 p.m., CW), I was afraid that this mother-daughter reality series would wink at pageant camp. But folks, I'm thrilled to report that both the CW and the contestants are completely committed to hair helmets, tears, plastered-on smiles, earnest Q&A's and gender politics out of the 1950s. Let the derisive laughter begin. >More
 Shocking violence

 Too much coffee, man? Heck no!

Jeff Hagen has plenty of time to talk about his new book, Brewed Awakenings: An Illustrated Journey to Coffeehouses in Wisconsin (and Beyond) from Blue Mounds'Itchy Cat Press. He's recuperating from a recent surgery. Unfortunately, it's a recovery period during which he's allowed only one cup of coffee per day. "Down from two or three," Hagen says. "It's my black gold." >More


The Golden Compass: Kinder, gentler heresy

"My books are about killing God," Philip Pullman has been quoted as saying, and you don't have to be the pope to view that as a rather provocative statement. Pullman's young-adult trilogy, His Dark Materials, which imagines a world much like our own, only with organized religion more organized than ever, is a thinly veiled attack on the Catholic Church's tendency to speak in the name of God. >More
 Out of the Blue: Senseless killing

It remains the deadliest rampage in New Zealand history. On Nov. 13, 1990, David Gray, a classic loner type in the remote village of Aramoana, went berserk and started shooting his neighbors. And by the time he was done, some 22 hours later, 14 of them were dead, three were wounded, and nobody who lived through the experience would ever be the same. >More
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Nancy Kolberg and Rhonda Shapiro, owners, with Dan Almquist

Why you should go: For a delectable breakfast or lunch, buttery, utterly fresh bakery treats to eat there or take home, and even gourmet dog biscuits for your best friend. My dog loves 'em, so I tried one. They're delish! >More
 Tapas time

The Icon really wants you to have fun, and a lot of people seem to be diving right in. It's getting rave reviews from critics, and the crowd on a recent buzzing Friday night all seemed to be enjoying themselves. In fact, the woman sitting at the table next to us - and Icon is a convivial place that invites confessions, partly because the tables are so tightly spaced - said she thought the tapas were great. >More


Whose athletic department is it?

Last Friday's UW athletic board meeting began on a gleeful note until Jeremi Suri, an associate professor of history, turned up the heat on board chair Walter Dickey over a letter signed by Dickey, Alvarez and UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley on Nov. 2. >More
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