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How many of you feel math passed you by once you got beyond arithmetic? It's a feeling many of us have. Dr. Eugenia Cheng says too many of us.

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Sometimes kids' first brush with heroism comes from the imagination.

Just as Bill Watterson's Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes would dream of chartering unexplored galaxies as 'Spaceman Spiff,' the hero of a new children’s book series by Wisconsin writer Jane Kelley really needs outlets for his continuous creative urges.

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The majority of movies you’ll find at your local multiplex or even smaller theaters are high-budget Hollywood films.  But there are exceptions, such as a new film festival debuting Thursday night.

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Every month, contributor Jean Creighton joins Lake Effect to talk about things astronomical. This month, the topic was prompted by two people asking her the same question within twelve hours.

"People are intrigued by black holes," Creighton says. "They want to know what they are, how they work - but on the other hand they (don't want the myth broken)."

Creighton explains the science of black holes and breaks some common myths, as well as the black hole bubble we may be living in:

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Before the terms "farm-to-table" or "farm-to-fork" came to be, “slow food” was the watchword.

"Slow Food is an international organization that is dedicated to inspiring people to create a better, more fair and more delicious food system," explains Jennifer Casey. She's executive director of the Fondy Food Center and the Wisconsin governor of Slow Food USA.

Peter Mulvey / facebook.com

Milwaukee singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey has worked with a lot of musicians during his two-plus decades in the music business.  But perhaps none is better-known than Ani DiFranco, with whom Mulvey has shared many concert bills. 

Joy Powers

Refugees from a myriad of countries have been resettling in Wisconsin for decades. Some come from war-torn countries like Syria or the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Others are fleeing religious or ethnic persecution, like the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar. Most have had their educations disrupted in their home countries or during their time in a refugee camps.

Thomas Mohr Photography

Tuesday, April 25 would have been Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday. The woman known as the first lady of song and the queen of jazz had a pure tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and what’s been described as a "horn-like" ability to improvise. And while she wasn’t the first jazz singer to scat, she elevated it to a high art.

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Despite the increased attention autism has received, gaps in therapy remain. UW-Milwaukee researchers are helping to fill some of those gaps for children and teens struggling with physical challenges connected to their nonverbal learning disabilities. 

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Many of our social media feeds are lighting up with news of where this year’s high school seniors have decided to go to college next year.  It’s an exciting time for them, but - as Lake Effect essayist Jessie Garcia can attest - a stressful time for their parents:

Moriah Bame

On Monday, April 10th, the back room at Colectivo on Prospect avenue was home to a very spirited discussion between 5 Wisconsin radio talk show hosts, two moderators, and the studio audience.

It was the fourth in a series of community events called MilMag Live!, produced by Milwaukee Magazine and Lake Effect. This month’s topic was based on a feature story by the magazine’s managing editor Tom Tolan called, "Do We Even Need Talk Radio Anymore?"

Sarah Matthews

April 22 marks the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day. This day celebrates the unique culture surrounding independently owned record stores.

The Record Store Day organization works with both independent and major labels throughout the year to create the official Record Store Day List. On that list are special vinyl and CD releases made exclusively for the day.

Elizabeth Ferris

More than 1,300 people are expected to gather at Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Saturday afternoon to march for science. Organizers here drew inspiration from a march – also taking place on Earth Day – in Washington DC. Both marches, along with more than 600 others scheduled around the world, hope to draw attention to the role science plays in health, economies and governments.

Image courtesy of Mary Dowell

Mary Dowell is a well-known figure in the Milwaukee business community. She played a central role at Johnson Controls Inc. for nearly twenty years. Before retiring from the company in 2015, Dowell was vice president of foundation affairs and global community relations. 

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There are many interesting biographies you can find in the neighborhood library or bookstore. They often share a side of famous people we didn’t know or appreciate. Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist says there are two that should be on your radar screen.

I love reading biographies.

Sometimes they can be dry. But often they contain golden nuggets about favorite personalities that make you stop and think… Really?

It happened to me recently while paging through separate stories about a couple of big names.

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