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Thursday, December 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Overcast


Our Dream Green House

The wind was howling on Jan. 6 as I awoke to the coldest day in 10 years in the rolling hills west of Madison. The thermometer read -22 F. The wind was gusting over 20 mph. My husband, Doug, and I suited up to venture out into the predawn. The arctic blast almost snatched the storm door out of my thick-gloved grip. >More
 The scourge of shingles

Last spring I struck up a casual conversation with a stranger and heard about how the debilitating pain of his wife's shingles infection had been overwhelming both of their lives for months. Though I had heard of shingles, I thought it was a nuisance rash that troubled a few overly sensitive seniors. >More
 Beware of Madison-area sinkholes!

In August, a 60-foot-wide sinkhole formed under a resort in Florida, forcing the evacuation of about 35 guests before a three-story building collapsed and another sank. Last spring, a Manitowoc man had to be hoisted out of a sinkhole about three feet wide that wasn't there the day before. >More
 Trapping in Wisconsin state parks: Can it be done without hurting people and pets?

Carolyn Schueppel was walking her dog in a privately owned conservation area near Lake Waubesa where dogs were commonly, but illegally, let off the leash. She let Handsome, her three-year-old Border collie mix, stretch his legs, and he raced out of sight. She found him just beyond the conservancy border in a Conibear trap that had been set to catch and kill raccoons. Terrified, Schueppel struggled with the trap but was unable to open it, and was forced to watch Handsome die. >More
 Where the wild places are: Get lost in nature around Dane County

Summer is a classic time to get away from the asphalt jungle, but that doesn't mean you have to make reservations and pack your bags. Anyone in Madison is just minutes away from some impressively preserved natural areas tucked in and around the city. In no time you can leave the pavement behind and begin exploring some of the remarkable landscapes that south central Wisconsin has to offer. >More
 Dazed and confused: Adverse drug reactions take a heavy toll on seniors

Olivia Carriola was frightened. The 67-year-old was dizzy and disoriented. "I didn't know what was happening to me. I was bouncing off the walls," she says. "In the hospital, the doctor told me I had low sodium, but they didn't tell me where it was coming from." >More
 Public Health Madison & Dane County turns attention to neighborhoods, violence prevention

Keeping their candles burning was a challenge in the falling temperature and rising wind as 150 committed Southwest Madison residents gathered in Hammersley Park in late November to walk the half-mile to Falk Elementary School. The crowd assembled in response to racist graffiti spray-painted in red the week before on fences and buildings in the neighborhood. >More
 A first-of-its-kind study analyzes how much Madison-area gardeners produce and why

When Vincent Smith came to Madison to study urban agriculture, he picked fertile ground. Gardening is a growth industry here. One in three Madison-area households grows some of its own food. There is a waiting list for plots in many of the area's 50 community gardens, and there are more than 40 organizations involved in local food production, with some of that produce going to food pantries. >More
 Everyday scientists

A full moon rises over Owen Conservation Park on Madison's far west side. The air throbs with the mating calls of chorus frogs. A pair of mallards try to corral their ducklings skimming through the rippling reflections on the surface of the pond. Barely visible, bats cut through the cooling air to scoop up the insects that have been drawn here by the pond and the street light. >More
 Science Constellation concept unites campus facilities

Tom Zinnen sees it as a matter of geography. "If you fold a map of the UW-Madison campus in quarters, Babcock Hall is at the center of the creases. It's the heart of the life sciences and engineering campus," says Zinnen, the university's biotech outreach specialist. "The center of gravity on campus has shifted." >More
 UW-Madison has become a world leader in sleep research

By any measure, Donna Pahuski takes her health seriously. At 51, she exercises at least 45 minutes each day and makes good eating choices. So when she gained 20 pounds and her sleep became increasingly restless, at first she blamed it on menopause. >More
 Tera Johnson's big idea: tera'swhey

Tera Johnson begins the tour of her one-of-a-kind organic whey processing plant at its back entrance, in front of a double-wide delivery bay. Here, on busy days, 20 tanker trucks roll in to deliver up to a million pounds of the sloshy cheese byproduct. >More
 Cameron Currie: The Ant Man

The long, windowless room is uncomfortably warm and humid. The counters and shelves are filled with Tupperware boxes, like the ones people use to store sweaters under their beds. But these boxes are filled with gray mold and crawling with leaf-cutter ants. Don't run for a can of Raid. Instead, cross your fingers and hope that the keeper of these ants, UW-Madison associate professor of bacteriology Cameron Currie, can tease secret recipes for cheap biofuel out of these teeming ant tunnels. >More
 Global warming hits Madison!

Remember June 2008? Madison recorded almost 11 inches of rain that month, easily breaking the previous June record set way back in 1869. Flood damage to homes, businesses, roads, bridges and water treatment plants in southern Wisconsin totaled $766 million, making it the most costly natural disaster in Wisconsin history. >More
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