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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 61.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Paper


Virtual Learning 2.0: How will UW-Madison respond to online education?

What if August came and there were no piles of old couches on downtown terraces? What if there were no crowds of wide-eyed freshmen tramping down State Street? What if autumn came to Madison not with the rush of confusion and excitement of 6,000 18-year-olds out on their own for the first time but with the yawn of an extended summer? What if autumn in Madison came silently? >More


The Resilience Research Center goes to great lengths to keep things local

The Center for Resilient Cities, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit committed to revitalizing urban communities, has opened shop on Madison's south side. Located just off Rimrock Road, the boxy faade of the Resilience Research Center seems a bit imposing, in part because of its disproportionately small parking lot. The limited number of spots encourages visitors to arrive by foot or bike, for which there is ample parking. >More
 Wisconsin Right to Life floats new abortion restrictions

With seven months to go before the Nov. 6 presidential election, Democratic partisans started accusing Republicans of waging a war on women. They pointed to a number of factors, including GOP opposition to President Barack Obama's health care reform provision that employers' health insurance policies cover birth control. >More
 Ronin uses gaming as a business training technique

If someone blindfolded you, spun you around and plopped you down on the third floor of the historic Madison train depot on West Washington Avenue, you might think you've landed in Seattle, Portland or San Francisco. But you'd still be in Madison, in the office of Ronin Studios & Consulting, a startup that designs and develops mobile and web-based learning games, simulations and applications for adult learners. >More


Treating employees right at Ian's Pizza

The day after the presidential election, Papa John's pizza chain CEO John Schnatter, a Romney supporter, declared that he would have to raise prices to cover the cost of providing health insurance to his employees under Obamacare. Nick Martin, co-owner and managing partner of Madison-based Ian's Pizza, was unimpressed. Ian's has offered its 50 full-time employees comprehensive health care coverage for the last nine years, Martin pointed out. >More


How DJ Shadow helped Man Mantis embrace instrumental hip-hop

Legendary producer DJ Shadow will play lots of other people's music during his "All Basses Covered" DJ set at the Majestic Theatre Thursday, Dec. 6. But his landmark contributions to instrumental hip-hop, namely his 1996 debut album, Endtroducing..., still resonate the most with his fans. One of those fans is Man Mantis, a similar-minded DJ and producer who will open the show. >More
 VH1 Save the Music Foundation equips five Madison elementary schools with new piano labs

Music in Madison schools is getting a big boost today from the VH1 Save the Music Foundation and the Madison Community Foundation. Besides bolstering the arts, a new program called Music in Education is expected to improve participating students' math and reading skills. Five Madison elementary schools will receive piano labs, as well as curricula, management software and professional development for teachers. >More
 Meshell Ndegeocello explores Nina Simone's 'bold world'

Meshell Ndegeocello begins her new album, Pour Une me Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone, with "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." It's one of the most begging, shame-faced songs in pop history, yet it's inextricably linked to Simone, one of American music's most defiant and stately artists. Ndegeocello, an accomplished R&B singer and bassist, uses it to signal that she understands Simone's complexity and incongruity. >More



Party like it's 1899: TeslaCon brings steampunk culture to the masses

Eric Larson wasn't at this summer's Renaissance fair for five minutes before strangers started approaching shyly, undeterred by his four-person "security detail." "There was an older couple, probably about mid-50s," Larson remembers. "He was straightening his hair, and I could tell he was very nervous. I turned, and I said, 'Can I help you?'" "A-a-a-a-are you Lord Bobbins?" the man asked. Ever magnanimous, Larson allowed that he was. >More
 Madison dance companies offer four takes on the timeless yuletide ballet, The Nutcracker

During the holiday season, The Nutcracker wafts through stores in myriad musical forms, from jazz to klezmer. There are also many versions of the ballet that goes with Tchaikovsky's famous score. I checked in with the directors of three local dance companies to learn more about their upcoming productions. >More
 Finding Mrs. Claus wallows in Christmastime greed and lust

Our cynical age will never be able to turn out a convincing movie about a Christmas miracle, like It's a Wonderful Life. Filmmakers keep trying, though, especially in December TV movies. It's refreshing that Finding Mrs. Claus declines to play this losing game, instead embracing 21st-century cynicism. >More


Anna Karenina brings theatrical energy to a stolid movie genre

Historical costume dramas based on literary classics are all over theaters during the awards-baiting winter months. They fill their casts with great actors, place these actors in meticulously decorated rooms and have them speak the words of the world's greatest writers. Also, a whole lot of them suck. >More
 Killing Them Softly stars a menagerie of criminal characters

Killing Them Softly -- the new crime caper from writer-director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) -- is set in 2008, during the panic over the financial collapse and the run-up to Barack Obama's election. You might miss that crucial bit of subtext if you're completely out to lunch. >More
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Gates & Brovi has an appealing concession-stand vibe

On the corner of Monroe and Glenway, a stone's throw from Lake Wingra, sits Gates & Brovi, and you could almost envision it as a lakeside or boardwalk concession stand. Driftwood, a touch of shabby chic, throwback beer paraphernalia -- if this interior isn't directly inspired by the North Shore Chateau at Devil's Lake State Park, it's certainly a conceptual confrere. >More
 Walk, learn and chow down on the Madison Eats holiday food tour

Culinary tours are popular from Brooklyn to Portland, giving tourists and townies alike a window into food cultures they may be unacquainted with. Even Madison now has more than one food tour organization -- Madison Food Explorers and Madison Eats, plus the Hop Heads beer tours. >More


UW-Madison is part of the college sports dollar dash

Back in January, when UW-Madison announced plans to construct an "athletic village" at Camp Randall, consisting of a training center and academic facility on the north end of the stadium, associate athletic director Justin Doherty explained why in simple terms. "We need to do it because it will help us remain competitive," he said. >More
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