July 2012 Odd Wisconsin
On Friday, July 27, 1894, the city of Phillips in Price County was wiped off the map. The summer of 1894 had been much like our current one. Hardly a drop of rain fell between June first and the end of July, with blazing sun and abnormally high temperatures. Phillips was a lumber town, and for miles in every direction...
Posted in Curiosities on July 25, 2012
This summer's heat wave renewed conversations about global warming. Science writer Bill McKibben summarized the scientific literature on climate change and concluded that the survival of the planet is already in jeopardy. This spring the World Wildlife Fund reported that humans are consuming natural resources faster than the earth can provide them. They presented data showing that, because the...
Posted in Curiosities on July 19, 2012
Most Americans probably know Alexander Hamilton only as the face on the $10 bill. But as a young assistant to George Washington and later, as a defender of a strong Constitution and as Secretary of the Treasury, he helped create our nation. Despite his revolutionary politics, he was a New York aristocrat who hob-nobbed with heads of state and wore...
Posted in Odd Lives on July 6, 2012
The current heat wave prompted us to investigate how our ancestors coped with oppressive conditions like these. Today, towns all over the country have opened air-conditioned cooling centers in their public libraries. Their municipal pools and parks are providing relief to thousands. Some have even trucked free bottled water into poor neighborhoods. But what did people do before solutions like...
Posted in Curiosities on July 5, 2012