Science


Wisconsin’s Fish Are in Hot Water

According to the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts our state has warmed by three degrees Fahrenheit since 1950, and as a result our waters are warming up too.  From our ponds and lakes to our winding rivers and cold, clear, trout streams these warmer temperatures spell trouble for some of our favorite fish.  To learn more about these impacts our local Citizen's Climate Lobby brings retired Senior Fisheries Biologist, Frank Pratt, to town for a discussion of his 45 years worth of research in Northern Wisconsin. If you love fishing you will want to hear ...

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Water Celebration Address

Welcome to the Second Annual Water Celebration. We have much to celebrate—there is no sulfide mine next to the Menominee River. If permitted, the proposed Back Forty sulfide mine would be a perpetual pollution machine discharging acid mine drainage to ground- and surface waters in perpetuity.1 So we have to continue with our opposition because the Gold Resource Corporation has taken over the permitting process after Aquila Resources was forced into bankruptcy. The effort to protect the Menominee River has been going on for over 20 years. How did we get to this point? ...

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Concerns about exploration drilling at the Wausau-Reef gold deposit in Marathon County

The long known gold deposit 10-miles east of Wausau is being considered for a 450-foot deep open-pit gold mine. Although gold is in abundance and already stored in vast quantities in bank vaults and jewelry collections around the world, advocates for the project are claiming that the world needs more for the new “green economy”. This is an unsupported claim as the manufacturers of smart phones and computers confirm there are only trace amounts of gold in their products and they are moving away from the mineral. However, even the small amount of gold contained in a ...

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Wisconsin Farmers Union News

Good day, friends and neighbors, Let’s all say it together, SpRInG PLEASE aRRive already! Meanwhile, I am certain it will be warmer by MAY 7, when we will have a spring membership meeting. We would love to see you there, at Whitewater Music Hall in Wausau at 1 pm. We will hear from Paul Daigle, Marathon County CPZ Department, about the EPPIC (Eau Pleine Partnership for Integrated Conservation) and watershed management, and updates from the state WFU staff. I am sure we will also discuss Kohlrabi Day!!  Watch for the card in your mailbox for more info and save the ...

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May 26th brings us a total eclipse of the moon

From 6:11 AM to 6:26 AM Central DaylightTime on that date (mark your calendar!) the moon will be completely in Earth’s total shadow (known as the “umbra,” Latin for “shadow.”

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The fascinating hobby of Moon study: Part 2

In my earlier article about the Moon, I suggested viewing the full Moon with binoculars as it rises in the east. That has been an especially awesome experience for me and I recommend it to others who may wish to learn more about the Moon.

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The fascinating hobby of moon study

First, watch the full moon rise from the eastern horizon — preferably with binoculars. It’s fun to see the top ridge of the moon come up first, then the rest of the moon. Select an eastern horizon that is free of obstructions. Your horizon should be as clear as possible and as level as you can find.

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Capella: four stars that appear to be one

As I mentioned in the February 1st issue article about the constellation Auriga the Charioteer, the name Capella means “female goat” or “little female goat” in Latin. Like many objects visible to us in the night sky, Capella is not just a single star. It consists of two binary pairs. A binary pair is two stars revolving around a common center, somewhat like two ice skaters holding hands while they spin.

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Look for Auriga on February 21

In the deep midwinter, gaze overhead in the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere in the late evening and you will see the constellation we call Auriga the Charioteer. The six brightest stars can form either an irregular hexagon, or an irregular pentagon with one outlier star. The brightest, Capella, lies to the northeast. Capella is actually a combination of two binary systems. What we see as one star is a close association of one of these binaries, two bright yellow stars that revolve around a common center. These are only about 43 light-years away from Earth. ...

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Journalism, politics and the scientific method

I have justifiably been called tangential. It comes from my ability to make seemingly random, sometimes obscure, connections between ideas. While this allows me endless hours of amusement it does not always help me communicate well with others. Please stick with me while I introduce myself by developing the connection between politics, the scientific method and why I support independent journalism. I grew up in rural California, far away from the beaches that many people associate with that state. Instead I grew up in the dry foothills around what I considered a small ...

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