Dan Harmon

Automotive Contributor

Dan Harmon was one of the original members of Lake Effect (formerly At Ten). He started at WUWM in November of 1998 and left December of 2015 after 17 years of production.

He continues on as one of Lake Effect's automotive contributors, which he's been since the early days of At Ten.

Dan's interest in cars goes way back, before he even had a drivers license. He usually finds something to like about any car and thinks we live in a very exciting time for automobiles.

"We're at a low in automotive aesthetic design, but the changes in technology make up for it," Dan says. "I love 'old' cars, but always look forward to what comes next.”

Dan interviews auto writer, Mark Savage, each month (among others), and can be seen haunting car dealerships and auto shows. He lives in Portland, OR, where old cars refuse to die.


For a long time, electric vehicles were neither practical nor especially affordable. To add insult to injury, you also couldn’t go very far in them before you needed an often hard to find charging station.

But Tesla’s newest Model 3 is the first mass produced electric car. It will also be the company’s most affordable car to date with a list price starting at $35,000. And the distance you can go between charges has improved to 215 miles.

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Long gone are the days of compact pickup trucks where the fanciest gadget you may have inside the cab is a radio. Today, pickup trucks are the top 3 selling vehicles in the North American market. But even as their sales numbers have risen, they’re used less and less for work and more as a luxury family vehicle.

New trucks are able to seat up to six adults, have a multitude of gadgets, and can easily cost up to $50,000.

Philipp Lücke / Flickr

Not all that long ago - at least in automotive history - luxury cars were promoted in a lot of ways. There was the rich, Corinthian leather. The comfortable passenger space and the huge trunk. And of course, there was the soft - sometimes practically squishy ride.

That's not the way Cadillac, Lincoln, or really any luxury manufacturers advertise their cars any more. It's all about speed and performance, and maybe passenger space, too. But it's a trend that caught the eye of  Lake Effect automotive contributor, Mark Savage.

State Farm / Flickr

Horse racing fans have had two big dates on their calendar already this spring, with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.  Auto racing fans have a huge one coming up on Sunday, with the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

"It's a team sport, so it's who has the best aerodynamicist and work best with the driver, who has the best team as far as making good pit stops and getting the car set up properly for the driver, and then who has the best driver," says automotive contributor Mark Savage, who writes about cars for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and on his website.

Kaspars Grinvalds / Fotolia

There are probably still a few cars on the road that have only a radio, or perhaps even a cassette deck. However nowadays, it's kind of a throwback to even find a CD player in some newer models.

Electronics are a huge deal in the cars of the 21st century, from the way the engines themselves are controlled, to how drivers and passengers are kept safe and how they’re entertained.


Wisconsin writer Lesley Kagen applies a nostalgic look to difficult circumstances in many of her novels. In her latest title, The Resurrection of Tess Blessing, the difficult circumstances come fast and furious.

There’s mental illness, cancer, aging, loneliness and even marital stress. But through it all, Kagen maintains perspective, and often a lighter tone. 

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

When the singer Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in 2011, she became just the latest example of a musician on a seemingly promising trajectory to have their life cut short by drugs or alcohol.

Getty Images, Kevin Winter

There was an internet sensation briefly this month when it was discovered by baseball researchers that Ferris Bueller’s day off occurred exactly 30 years ago. Meanwhile, another 1980's staple, The Breakfast Club, also turned 30.

Marcelo Acosta / Flickr

The movie industry has two especially busy times – there is the flurry of activity towards the end of the year, when holiday movies and potential award-winners come out, and then there is the highly anticipated summer movie season as well. Lake Effect film contributor Dave Luhrssen gives a preview of what's to come and his recommendations:

Chris Vanderlinden

While Milwaukee has a well-deserved blue collar reputation, its creative class has been growing in more recent years. But the creative economy isn't always visible - and might not be as entrenched yet as the manufacturing, tech and health care sectors.

An offshoot of an international organization is working to change that. CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series featuring a monthly theme. It now exists in 115 cities around the world, from Auckland to Dubai, and has been in Milwaukee since last fall.

General Physics Labratory / Flickr

Not long ago, the idea that you could design a car that could drive itself and its passengers from place to place safely was something out of science fiction films. But the idea has gone from drawing boards to a prototype to the road.

At least two companies have set early versions of the self-driving car out for a spin – Audi, the German maker of some high-end cars and SUVs, and Google.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is still deciding what the future holds for its most successful international show.

Top Gearthe car culture show, was thrown into disarray recently when the BBC fired one of the hosts, Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson had been in hot water several times before, but finally went over the line when he berated and physically attacked one of his producers.

Illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren

Many fairy tales have resurfaced in various forms on film, stage, musicals and even operas to appeal to large audience of all ages.

However, the classic fairy tales originally written by Brothers Grimm were gruesome, sexual and slightly violent - a far cry from the sanitized versions of today. The 2015 Cinderella film by Disney excludes pigeons pecking out the stepsister's eyes, and the sisters cutting off their toes and heels in attempt to fit into the glass slipper.

Stijn Nieuwendijk / Flickr

This month’s Milwaukee Magazine is billed as the Food Lover’s Guide – or the Epicure’s Guide – to Milwaukee.  But if you think that means a list of great restaurants, you’re mistaken.  It’s a guide to all-things-food related, such as preserving food, top tools, raising animals, and even knife lessons.

Nicholas Rumas / Flickr

People who came of age in the 1980s often think back fondly on those days of skinny knit ties, shoulder pads, and Brat Pack movies.  It’s a period that people coming of age today might think of as, well, thirty years ago.