Madison Bike! Bingo – A Celebration of Community Biking

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Tomorrow kicks of Madison’s first ever session of Bike! Bingo. From May 12 – June 12, 2016 riders will be able to participate in a celebration of biking in the Madison community by riding to participating local businesses and receiving bingo stamps and prizes. For a suggested $2 donation, riders can buy a bingo card with over 30 squares of bike enthusiastic establishments. When a rider completes a five in a row bingo s/he will be eligible to receive a row prize. Larger prizes exist for the ever popular cover-all or blackout, when a rider stamps all of the locations on the bingo card. Cards are now on sale at bingo business partner shops (list here). Bike! Bingo will also be tying in with some of the upcoming Wisconsin Bike Fed events including the New Belgium Clips Beer and Film Tour at Olin Park on June 2.

The event took place last year in Milwaukee and was a big hit with the cycling community. This Radio Milwaukee article provides some detail. Bike! Bingo was originally started by Ian Klepetar, founder of Bicycle Benefits, an organization that aims to get more people out biking and increase related benefits. I helped to coordinate Madison’s version with Zac Barnes from Wisconsin Bike Fed, a small group of Badger Volunteers from UW-Madison’s Morgridge Center for Public Service, and a handful of other helpful locals. We’re really excited about the event and hope to be able offer future editions of Bike! Bingo with community support. Enjoy your ride!

Partner Businesses on the Bingo card:

4 star video, Ace Lakeside, Alchemy Cafe, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Anaala Salon, Bloom Bakeshop, Boulders Climbing Gym, Brasserie V, Community Pharmacy, EVP coffee, Isthmus, Mother Fools, Regent Market Coop, Servv, Short Stack Eatery, UW bookstore, Wine and Hop shop, Old Sugar Distillery, Wisconsin’s Water Library, Union Hair Parlor, Fair Trade Coffee House, Ian’s Pizza, Sardine, Higher Fire Clay Studio, Wingra Boats, Colectivo, Great Harvest Bread Co., Mimosa Books & Gifts, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Next Door Brewing Co., UW-Madison’s Morgridge Center and more!



No, not PCBs, PBDEs! Compounds used in Flame Retardants

PBDEs is the quick way to refer to polybrominated diphenyl ethers, toxic compounds used in manufacturing as flame retardants. Common household items that are routinely flame retarded include mattresses, television sets and computers. Since PBDEs have been identified in nature, researchers in UW-Madison’s Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology have been doing some interesting work to see what the implications may be, specifically on the Northern Leopard Frog. This UW Sea Grant video will give you a closer look.

Further information can be found in this Sea Grant news release.

Librarian Luncheon Panel Discussion

You’re invited to lunch on February 15th!

Join SLA-SC for a Panel Discussion.
Several special librarians will be in attendance to answer questions, as well as offer views and opinions about their current library positions and the field.
Our guest librarians include Katherine Wesenberg from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, Molly Hamm from Cogdell Spencer Erdman and Anne Moser from Wisconsin’s Water Library. Other guests may also be announced closer to the date of the event. Pizza will be provided for attendees by SLA-SC.
When: Tuesday, February 15th – 11:45am-12:45pm

Where: SLIS Commons in Helen C. White
Who: SLIS students, faculty or grads
Looking forward to seeing you there!

New Wisconsin Climate Change Resource

Recently, a new multimedia resource, Climate Wisconsin, was put together by the Educational Communications Board (ECB). This interactive website features stories about the rapidly changing climate. The collection of multimedia includes ten videos and two interactive resources along with background essays and teaching tips. Educators can also access the Teachers’ Domain where stories can be streamed or downloaded. The goal of this project is make these materials available in a variety of formats in order to support teaching and learning about climate change in Wisconsin.

Much of the content on the site, including background essays and teaching tips, was developed in collaboration with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Center for Biology Education at UW-Madison. Additional research contributions were made by the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI).

Screenshot of Birkebeiner video from Climate Wisconsin.

GreenHouse Students Love Lake Mendota

The GreenHouse is a residential learning community in the Cole Hall dorm where students are able to learn about sustainable practices through action and involvement. It focuses on the ability to connect students “to social and environmental advocacy organizations on campus and in the community” and allows them the opportunity to take a hands-on approach.

Lake Mendota: We Love Our Lake—We Love Our Land is one seminar of several available exclusively to GreenHouse residents. This field trip based course, listed under Rural Sociology, is meant to “provide the opportunity to see first-hand the strong relationships between land use activities and the water quality of the lake” (course syllabus) and is being taught by Carolyn Betz, a science writer at the UW Aquatic Sciences Center. Learning is constantly taking place out of the classroom for students living in GreenHouse. A recent UW News article gives another example and explains a bit more about the residential community.

For more information about the current happenings at GreenHouse, see their blog or Facebook Page.

Photo from GreenHouse blog.

Bacteria DNA Discovered through Mud Core Study

Last summer, the public swimming area was closed for a month at Lake Wingra on account of cyanobacteria. These bacteria are not only smelly, but some can produce toxins that attack the liver or nervous system. Some researchers even say that these bacteria can be linked to liver cancer. One problem in studying this has been that few lakes have adequate historical records of cyanobacteria over time.

Cyanobacteria has not just been an issue in the recent past for Lake Wingra and other area Lakes. UW-Madison researchers have now discovered that this bacteria is actually traceable back over 50 years. A modified kind of mud testing of the lake-bottom has shown Cyanobacteria DNA presence has risen over time as the climate has become warmer. This will be a way for many other lakes to be investigated as well.

See the full story released by UW News. For further reading on climate change, see our topical readings lists.

Lake Wingra photo Courtesy of UW Limnology Department.

Water is Quite the Molecular Party

Within fractions of a second, any amount of water, containing two molecular structures, is able to break apart and reform, frequently. There is no issue with the recently discovered tightly packed, regularly arranged, crystal lattice molecular structure reforming with the jumbled, loosely packed, blob one. These complex and dynamic bonds allow for the forming of complex organic molecules. Water molecules easily form weak bonds with other neighboring molecules to create more complex compounds. This may be the reason why so many life forms come from a wet environment.

These are just some of the discoveries of a recent study, published in full-text by The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. Science Magazine also recently wrote a piece on the article called At the Smallest Scale, Water Is a Sloppy Liquid, which quotes UW-Madison physical chemist James Skinner. This research has proven about water’s molecular structure what other studies could only suggest.

Image Credit: Rao et al/The Journal of Physical Chemistry B.