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Sunday, September 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Overcast


Cheap Shots 2012: The Twitterverse responds to Paul Ryan at the GOP convention

When Paul Ryan accepted his party's VP nomination on Aug. 29 with a prime-time performance piece at the GOP convention in Tampa, his baffling mendacity alarmed more than half of the country and much of the Twittersphere. Here's an excerpt of how it sounded, in reverse, as is the way of the Twitter scroll. >More
 Cheap Shots 2011: Paul Ryan's very big year

Only Congressman Paul Ryan can compete with Scott Walker in the Cheap Shots medal count. The right's intellectual darling started 2011 as the new leader of the House Budget Committee and ended as a finalist for Time's Person of the Year. >More
 Tobacco farmers show off the tools of the trade: Photos and video

More photos of the local air-cured tobacco landscape, plus a documentary film from 1959 depicting a flue-cured tobacco harvest in Ontario, Canada. >More
 Tobacco subsidies: The USDA rules and how they worked

Federal price-support legislation helped farmers of all stripes who were reeling under the pressure of the Great Depression. Here's how the tobacco subsidy system worked. >More
 Tobacco epitomizes the 'botany of desire'

Tobacco is native to the Americas, like its sister plant the potato, and most likely originated in Peru. It was considered a medicine in ancient times, and really still is, at root, a nicotine delivery device. >More
 Sticking with tobacco: Dane County farmers still harvest the classic cash crop

It's a hot morning in late August. Outside of Stoughton, rolling fields of soybeans are shifting to golden yellow. The seas of feed corn are light brown, shrinking in anticipation of harvest. On a handful of farms, velvety green leaves peek from between the rows of corn and soy. It's tobacco. >More
 Turning leaves into cash: Tobacco farming in Dane County, Wisconsin

Parts of Wisconsin are extremely conducive to growing tobacco, including the south-central part of the state. But it can be tough on the land, sucking micronutrients out of the soil, and it is tillage-intensive as well. >More
 Innovation creates dream ovens and energy-saving ideas

I have a 19-year-old Kenmore double electric wall oven I want to replace. I got all excited recently when the cash-for-clunkers stimulus chatter moved to Energy Star appliances. Could I get some of my tax dollars back if I bought a new oven? >More
 The beards (and moustaches) of Dane County

What's with all the weird beards and woolly 'staches? I wander the Dane County Farmers' Market for some down-to-earth examples, and comb the virtual world for more answers. >More
 2009 Wisconsin Film Festival, Day Four: As the snow flies

Nothing more Wisco than a blizzard in April, but clutching a handful of festival tickets, we bundle up and get moving. We like it here, remember? The snow never materializes in any significant way, but birds and buildings do, memes that have popped up in all the movies we've seen this weekend. >More
 Sixty Six at the 2008 Wisconsin Film Festival

Sixty Six offered another poignant slice of humanity. I love a good cry at the movies, especially when humor is integral to the theme. It's 1966. Our central character is Bernie Rubens, the second son of a London grocer who anticipates the day he becomes a man as the moment when, finally, he will be the center of attention. >More
 British Television Advertising Awards at the 2007 Wisconsin Film Festival

It's easy to pinpoint the differences from American TV ads. For one thing, the Brits are happy to let a story build. There's more sex, more horror, more gore. More raw feeling exposed. >More
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