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Sunday, February 1, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 14.0° F  Light Snow Blowing Snow and Breezy
The Paper


State of chumps

Todd Berry blames it on our genes. The president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance suggests the state's chronic indifference to federal help is buried deep within our political DNA. I think the late Sen. Bill Proxmire -- not genetics -- is mostly to blame. But however you apportion responsibility, the legacy is the same: Wisconsin does wretchedly as a recipient of federal spending. >More


MPD tries new ways to curb bad behavior at Olin-Turville

On March 27, in the early afternoon, a mother and her daughter were having lunch while parked at Olin-Turville Park, off John Nolen Drive in Madison. Their experience was less than pleasant. >More
 But can the MPD 'autoChalk' vehicles read bumper stickers?

Perhaps you've seen them. The Madison Police Department's parking enforcement team recently began using vehicles with space-age scanners on their bumpers and roofs. >More
 Lyme, an overlooked epidemic

Kim, a resident of rural Green County who works in Madison, doesn't blame her doctor. "My doctor was concerned about me," she says. "She tried to find out what was wrong." Kim, who asked that her last name not be used discussing a sensitive medical issue, says her doctor ordered tests for Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis. Both were negative. >More


Say no to new UW-Madison germ lab

In April 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) wrote to the UW-Madison, saying it was "extremely concerned" that experiments occurring here had "serious potential consequences to public health." Documents recently released to me in response to an open records request show that a graduate student aided by others genetically modified undisclosed "select agents" to be resistant to antibiotics. They did it without NIH approval, which is required. >More
 Tell All: Will a nose ring make me cool?

Dear Tell All: My friend and I made a pact to get nose rings, but now I'm having second thoughts. Part of what's bothering me is I'm not really sure why I want one. I guess I want to make a statement, or maybe show people that I'm edgier than they think. I work in a school and I worry that people might think wearing a nose ring is unprofessional. But if I can't wear it to work, then what's the point? What do you think I should do? >More


Madison tribute bands let musicians be fans

The phrase "same old song and dance" doesn't have positive connotations, and in the world of local live music, bands that play hits by other musicians are equally loved and loathed. The thing is, how much of the loathing is warranted? >More
 Lou Barlow dreams of a perfect fusion

Lou Barlow's music straddles the line between noisy alternative and softer acoustic rock. The dichotomy shaped his previous bands, Sebadoh and Folk Implosion, and informs his new solo album, Goodnight Unknown. >More
 Tracy Nelson and Ben Sidran join for a cause

Hard-core Madison boomers like me will be thrilled to hear that two of the most famous musicians to come out of this town -- Tracy Nelson and Ben Sidran -- reunite Oct. 9 at the Barrymore Theatre. It's the quintessential Mad City event -- a benefit for a great cause, the Hackett Hemwall Foundation, which takes medical care to our sisters and brothers in the Third World. >More



Ricardo Gonzalez reopens his beloved Cardinal Bar

This weekend the Cardinal Bar, with Ricardo Gonzalez back at the helm, is reborn. Ochun, orisha of love, rejoices, dancing voluptuously. You can, too. The Cardinal's gala opening lasts all weekend long. Let me fill you in. >More
 The Metropolitan Opera is in HD at Point Cinema

On Saturday Marcus Theatres begins the fourth season of "The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD." Now a welcome annual fixture at Point Cinema, these high-definition video transmissions parallel the familiar radio broadcasts. >More
 Latin Music USA traces a remarkable progression

After all the dreadful series that have premiered in the last month, it's downright therapeutic to watch Latin Music USA. Here, finally, is a well-made production, full of humor and drama. >More
 Scribblenauts is a gaming revelation

It's remarkable how little you need to hear about some games to get a feeling for how they play. >More


Bright Star chronicles a poetic romance

Bright Star is romantic. It is comic. And it is very sad. If you know anything about the tubercular John Keats, you can guess how this story ends. >More
 Under Our Skin: Epidemic proportions

My favorite documentaries are by filmmakers like Frederick Wiseman and Barbara Kopple, who let the cameras roll as interesting people go about their interesting lives. The resulting films feel emotionally true and, often, satisfyingly ambiguous. >More
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The big beers of fall

Those who enjoy a good malted beverage know that this time of year reflects the seasonal change in more than the color of leaves. It's when the lighter, crisper brews of summer are nudged aside by the deep browns and big malty brews of fall. "I love the bigger beers. They're my kind of beers," says Jamie Martin, brewmaster at Wisconsin Dells Brewing. Dan Carey of New Glarus Brewing has a similar passion: "I really like a malt-accented beer, and an Oktoberfest is right up there for me." >More
 A veggie ropa vieja recipe

There's a little Cuban restaurant in Los Angeles called Versailles, and it's there that I fell in love with a folksy stew called ropa vieja, or "old rags," given the appearance of the shredded beef prominently featured in this dish. Ropa vieja is roughly a Cuban equivalent to our traditional meat-and-potatoes beef stew, minus the gravy and potatoes but with wine and peppers. >More


Carrying a ball for Bret Bielema

Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema is trying a high school motivational tool with tailback Zach Brown, who turned the ball over for the third time in three games at Minnesota last week. >More
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