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June 2012 Odd Wisconsin

Open Source Dairying

Tim Berners-Lee is generally credited with inventing the World Wide Web in 1990 when he created HTML. That's the programming language that enables hyperlinks connecting one computer file with another (like the one on his name, above). Unlike most inventors, though, Berners-Lee didn't patent and license his software for profit. He gave it away for free. Programmers around the globe...
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Posted in Odd Lives on June 28, 2012

A Croak of Bull

"If any man wants to know what frogs can accomplish in the matter of making a noise, let him take a summer trip to Green Bay," wrote Alfred Cope (1806-1875) when visiting that city in 1849. To be completely honest, we must admit to a personal fascination with frogs that goes back decades and might lead us to see merits...
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Posted in Animals on June 21, 2012

La Follette at the Fire

Yesterday (June 14th) was the birthday of Gov. Robert M. La Follette. Every Wisconsin resident knows "Fighting Bob" as the Republican leader who restrained big business, made taxes fairer, protected the environment, cleaned up government, and opened elections to more voters. But few people realize that he also risked his life when theWisconsin Capitol caught fire in 1904. The Capitol...
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Posted in Curiosities on June 14, 2012

Hill of the Dead

That's the English translation of Butte des Morts, a name given to two places near Oshkosh. One, called Little Butte des Morts, was applied to a massive mound alongside a widening of the Fox River, opposite Neenah and Menasha. It's clearly visible in this 1827 color lithograph. A tragic story lies behind it. Indians Resist European Domination "When I came...
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Posted in Strange Deaths on June 7, 2012

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