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Thursday, April 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 39.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Paper


Madison galleries offer an art collector's paradise

Building up a collection of artful things -- whether craft or fine art -- doesn't have to be off-putting or even expensive. While Madison may not have the range of galleries found in larger cities, it does have an array of places where you can nab treasures to adorn yourself and your home. From jewelry and ceramics to paintings and sculpture, here's a look at just some of the places in town where you can scratch your aesthetic itch. >More


Rebecca Kleefisch, stealth Mama Grizzly

Rebecca Kleefisch, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, is a proud Christian woman. She's a wife and mother who drives a minivan, clips coupons and has what she calls "kitchen-table common sense." She also boasts a large Tea Party backing for her ultra-conservative beliefs and platform. Sound familiar? You betcha! >More
 Some web providers fail visually impaired accessibility test

Betsy Gruba takes it personally, as well she should: "As someone who uses this technology for my daily quality of life, it's very frustrating to go to a site and not be able to get the information I need." Gruba is referring to the failure of some websites to integrate features that make them more accessible to people like herself who are blind or visually impaired. >More
 Breaking up is hard to do at Capital Newspapers

It came as a complete surprise -- at least to some of those who will be affected. On Sept. 17, Wisconsin State Journal editor John Smalley announced via email that some previous areas of cooperation between his newsroom and that of the jointly owned Capital Times would be suspended. >More


E-cigarettes: Test before trashing

Once again, I'm searching for middle ground - balance in an increasingly polarized world. Early this summer, I wrote a series of blog posts for Isthmus' on electronic cigarettes. They generated the most heated and lengthy debate of anything I've ever written, which took me by surprise. Why on earth did these tobacco-free cigarette substitutes engender such passionate responses, pro and con? >More


The Mary Lou Williams festival toasts an overlooked legend

She may be the First Lady of Jazz, but many have never heard of her. Mary Lou Williams was an important composer and pianist -- and woman -- whose story has been too often overlooked. This year marks what would have been Williams' 100th birthday -- she died in 1981 -- and Madison is one of several cities nationwide that are presenting a year's worth of programs in her honor. Madison's celebration culminates Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, with the Mary Lou Williams Fall Festival Weekend. >More
 Dirty Disco Kidz help launch clothing brand

The Dirty Disco Kidz don't just want fans to attend their shows. The DJs, producers and visual artists making up the Madison collective want fans to identify with the DDK experience, the DDK movement. Yea.Nice is a new clothing brand with a similar goal, and its styles have been showing up at snowboarding competitions and other events worldwide. The brand will be formally launched at a Dirty Disco Kidz show on Oct. 2 at the High Noon Saloon. >More
 The Thermals get personal

The Thermals' punkish brand of indie rock is definitely not made for moping, even when the Portland, Ore., trio are contemplating love gone wrong. Their 2006 album, The Body, the Blood, the Machine, is a pointedly political tale about a young couple trying to escape a fascist regime of religious zealots, while their new album, Personal Life, takes a closer look at the politics of love, from heartfelt promises to outright lies. >More



Broom Street's Invisible Boy explores childhood sexual abuse

Broom Street Theater often takes on difficult topics, but its latest play comes with a "mature audience" warning and opportunities for counseling after the show. Invisible Boy, written and directed by Broom Street artistic director Callen Harty, explores childhood sexual abuse. Using narrative and poetry, the play traverses time and memory as its central character fuses the broken pieces of his past to become a survivor rather than a victim. >More
 Outlaw's lawyer hero is bizarrely divorced from reality

Outlaw features Jimmy Smits as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice -- but unfortunately, not one from planet Earth. Unlike any known justices, Cyrus Garza causes a ruckus at casinos and flagrantly comes on to every hot woman he meets. >More
 Shattered Dimensions is the most fun Spider-Man in years

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is an ambitious superhero game that is much, much better than its stupid, stupid subtitle. The plot: A bad guy breaks into a museum to steal the most literal tablet in the universe. It's called the Tablet of Order and Chaos. You will be relieved to know the Tablet of Order and Chaos controls order and chaos. >More


The Social Network portrays Facebook's creator as a tragic a-hole

In Ben Mezrich's engaging nonfiction book The Accidental Billionaires, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a fascinatingly enigmatic figure defined primarily by what looks like an undiagnosed autism spectrum condition; it's a central irony that the guy who has connected millions seems incapable of creating his own social connections. >More
 Unlikely spies trade secrets in Farewell

The number of people who mourn the collapse of the Soviet bloc is presumably small and dwindling. But I can't be the only one who mourns what went away along with it, Cold War dramas. From The Manchurian Candidate through WarGames and beyond, geopolitical conflict made for fine screen entertainment. So I cry a little tear of moviegoer nostalgia now that I have watched Farewell, the French film that tells an exciting and true story of Cold War espionage. >More
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Nostrano restaurant prepares homegrown Italian flavors for downtown Madison

Nostrano, the name of the new restaurant soon to open at 111 S. Hamilton St., means "ours" in Italian. It's appropriate because it's the first restaurant from husband and wife chef team Timothy and Elizabeth Dahl. But "nostrano" also means "ours" in the wider sense of "homegrown," notes Tim, sitting at one of the tables in the newly refurbished space. And that's also appropriate, as most of Nostrano's food will be housemade and locally sourced. >More


Too much football on TV?

The concept behind the Red Zone channel is simple. On Sunday afternoons, when as many as nine NFL football games are being played at the same time, the action on the screen cuts to any game where a team has driven to within the opponent's 30-yard line. If a score is imminent in more than one game, the channel cuts from one to the other in rapid-fire succession. The pace can be frenetic, and a split screen is often used. >More
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