Lake Effect

In my opinion, REI, a purveyor of outdoor equipment and clothing, got it right when they announced they would close all one-hundred-forty-three stores and pay twelve thousand employees to take Black Friday off. They call it #OPTOUTSIDE. I say, instead of shopping, go find a micro adventure.

Lynn Friedman, flickr

For almost a hundred years, the descendants of a German immigrant owned the meat company he founded in Chicago in 1904. But the Oscar Mayer company was eventually sold – several times – and is now owned by Kraft Heinz. Its headquarters are currently in Madison. But as Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank notes, that, too, will soon change.

Svyatoslav Lypynskyy, fotolia

Back in the day, the notion of the family business was a part of our cultural vernacular. But a report in The Economist found that while the number of family-controlled businesses is still growing globally, it is diminishing in this country.

John Nienhuis

Of all the things you can be grateful for this week, the one that often tops the list is love. (Awww.) Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s entire season is devoted to the theme of “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

Random House

The last time Lake Effect spoke with writer Adam Johnson, his novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, had recently been released to some critical acclaim.

Caitlyn Tompkins

Thanksgiving is approaching and if you haven't started shopping yet, you might want to get busy.

Mike Burns is the Visual Merchandiser for the Willy Street Co-op in Madison. It's a grocery cooperative owned by the people who shop in the store.

Burns says merchandising is one of the most studied fields in America. In this edition of Radio Chipstone, he tells contributor Gianofer Fields that no matter what you are trying to sell, there is only one goal in site.

Taken from

Matt Berninger and his band, The National, are known for their sometimes dark, sometimes moody, introspective songs.  So some of the reviewers of Berninger’s collaboration with Brent Knopf have expressed some surprise at the lighter feel of its songs.

wickerwood, fotolia

Two of the most popular movie out now could not be more different. The animated Peanuts movie is becoming a family favorite just in time for the holidays and on the other end of the spectrum is Spectre - the latest entry in a long line of James Bond films.

Film contributor Dave Luhrssen say where the Bond franchise has been and where it’s going makes this film an especially noteworthy addition.

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program, Facebook

Though the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra has been playing since 1956, its Community Partnership Programs didn't begin until 2003. The Progressions program, an intensive string training for middle school students, has helped put the orchestra on the map.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Last year, the podcast Serial, a spin-off from public radio’s This American Life, captivated millions of listeners as it examined the murder of a Baltimore high school student.