Carnage at the old Washington Park Zoo

I was doing research on something else today when I came across a Milwaukee Public Library blog post from October 2015 about a whole slew of bear deaths/killings in a mixed species/order exhibit at the old Washington Park Zoo from 1932-1935.

Here’s that MPL post if you’re interested in reading more:

The zoo director always seemed to be conveniently out of town when the horrifying attacks occurred. Hmmmm. And I have to wonder how well his “bears will be bears” nonchalance would go over with the public today.

It’s always amazing to stumble across stories like this that bring history to life in a new way.

Posted in History, Life, Milwaukee, Nature, Popular culture | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Milwaukee Bucks Arena – Entrance at Juneau and 6th

Progress on the new Milwaukee Bucks arena (official name: Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, or WESC, Wikipedia article here) has been slow but steady. Here’s what appears to be an entrance to the complex at the corner of Juneau Avenue and 6th Street.

That sign with the deer logo is really just a series of wires, which you can see in the photo below.

It has been fun to watch this little section of the new arena come together over the past year. Below is that same area before the entrance “annex” was added onto the main building. See the interior staircase? And see the tiny man walking up that staircase? It kind of lets you experience the scale of the building!

By June of last year they’d pretty much closed up that wall.

By the end of September last year (2017), they’d built this little “box” attachment.

By the end of November they’d hung the white sheets, presumably so they could work inside during the winter. See the little construction workers in their chartreuse jackets up on the roof of this entrance annex?

And finally here are a few photos I took in the last week of the nearly-finished area.

The picture below was taken during the evening rush hour in early May. The cars are going north on 6th Street, and I’m sitting on Highland a block south of where I took all the other photos. (They’ve closed Vliet/Winnebago/Juneau, my usual route, to do sewer/utilities work under the street . . . no doubt related to the new arena and sports medicine facility.) You can see the “annex” entrance area at the far left (and far north) end of this photo. The other lower structure appears to be a loading dock, hence the large garage-type doors. They hadn’t even really started building that when I took the photo above last November.

Below is a photo I took two days ago (Wednesday 7/11). Since May they’ve put some kind of brick/tile facade onto the loading dock. This week Wednesday was also the first time I noticed the wire infrastructure that turned out to be the “sign” that carries the deer logo in this post’s first photo. When I first saw it,  in fact, the sign was a weird neon aqua, the whole mass of wires illuminated with the same color. Then the entire mass switched over to red. I tried to grab a picture of the color blocks, but by the time I had my phone ready, it was just plain old wire. And then the traffic light changed and I had to drive on.

So that’s this week’s little update on the new Bucks arena. There is SO MUCH construction happening in Milwaukee right now. We’re a happening place, I guess 🙂

In fact, check out this Vogue magazine article (link here) on “Why Milwaukee Is the Midwest’s Coolest (and Most Underrated) City.” We knew it all along, of course, but it’s nice to get a shout-out when others discover us, too.

Posted in architecture, Milwaukee, Travel | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Color and Composition

I liked the sudden coalescence of color and composition that caught my eye while I was walking down the hill to Starbucks this morning.

Posted in Milwaukee, Photography | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

When seeing is disbelieving

Sitting in a waiting room this week, I picked up the November 2017 issue of National Geographic and opened to the cover story about “happiness.” It was a good article, and I was reading and learning and taking it all in . . .

Until I came to this page with the world map of smiley faces purporting to show the places on this earth where people are happiest.

And suddenly, even though the underlying data set came from Gallup, I just couldn’t buy it. If Central America were really so much happier and healthier than the U.S., why would so many people from those countries keep risking their lives—and more significantly, their children’s lives—to cross the border into America? It just doesn’t make sense.

Maybe I was reading it wrong?

If you’re interested in seeing for yourself, the National Geographic article is here.

And I found the map posted not in the online version of the article itself but on a cartography buff’s blog, here. (I was able to link straight to the image of the map itself.)

Posted in Life, News, Political Analysis | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

You knew me when :)

Oh hey, I’m famous sort of.  I’m quoted in an article that went out over the AP wire nationwide today about the new Foxconn plant that just broke ground in southeastern Wisconsin.

It’s so strange how this all came about, too. I had gone down to Starbucks for some coffee a couple days ago and on the spur of the moment decided to sit at one of the “bar” chairs and scroll through my Twitter feed for a few minutes before heading back up to my office. That’s when the reporter approached to ask if I’d be willing to answer a few questions. I guess you never know what interesting turns your day might take 🙂

You can read the entire article HERE. This is the New York Times version, but because the story went out over the wire, you’ll also find it in the Washington Post, etc.


Posted in News | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The Weather Channel’s amazing new “Immersive Mixed Reality”

The Weather Channel this week introduced new technology that will add astonishing visual effects to their broadcasts. Check out this Co.Design article, with video, where you can see a demo in which the anchorman barely escapes being crushed by a flying car and struck by a downed power line during a tornado. It’s startlingly realistic.


Update: The article link is no longer good. But I found the video on YouTube.

Posted in Creativity, News, Popular culture, Technology, Television | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Homage in The Shape of Water – Monsters who like candy

Colonel Strickland, the cruel government agent who pulled the amphibious fish/man out of the river muck in South America, continually crunches on green (lime?) hard candy throughout The Shape of Water.

Strickland isn’t cinema’s only early-’60s  antagonist with a sweet tooth, though. Who could forget Psycho‘s Norman Bates, the mama’s boy with a taste for candy corn? (shown here nervously chewing away as he disposes of Marion Crane’s car, her freshly-showered body in the trunk)

Candy adds an intriguing dimension to these two tormented monsters. It makes them somehow vulnerable, possibly even childlike. The line separating the truly evil from the rest of us becomes a little more blurred.

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