Arts and Culture

roller coaster

Writer B.J. Novak imagines a roller coaster that's modelled after real life, and designed by the artist Christo.More

What Hath God Wrought cover

When and how did American get so polarized? For answers, Jonathan Chait recommends reading "What Hath God Wrought,"  a history of American politics from 1815-1848 by the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Daniel Walker Howe.More

British writer Martin Amis is 68 years old. He’s written 14 novels, hundreds of essays, memoirs, even a screen play. But he has strong feelings about writers who work past their prime. So he feels the clock ticking — is it time to pack it in? When will he know?More

James Dewitt Yancey – also known as J Dilla — was a hip hop super-producer and pioneering beat-maker. J Dilla died at just 32 years old, and worked right up until the end, making music and creating beats from his hospital bed. His mother was there for every bit of it.More

Three magical doors to places across the globe.

The Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid sets his newest novel, "Exit West," in a world of permanent mass migration, in a city ripped apart by civil war. He told Steve Paulson he modeled it on his own city — Lahore, Pakistan.More

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe had a shocking lack of hubris when it came to his journalism. He said what he did as a reporter took no special skills, requiring only the willingness to leave the building and take notes. He also found that to be the best way to craft naturalistic fiction, which he only began writing at 54. He was 88 when he died Monday.More

We told Milwaukee DJ Tarik Moody we were doing a whole show about water. He created the perfect playlist to complement our interviews. He shares a few secrets on how to find a track by mood, reference, or feel.More

The Great Lakes mobile, by Melanie Ariens

Melanie Ariens has become known for her water-themed art, a focus of her combined loves of art and environmental activism. She uses mostly recycled materials to make art that makes people think about the Great Lakes, the rivers, and the water we drink.More

(Left to Right) Charles talks with Good City Brewing cofounder David Dupee and Lakefront cofounder and president Russ Klisch.

Beer has gone back from macro to micro. Russ Klisch (Lakefront Brewery) and David Dupee (Good City Brewing) talk with Charles Monroe-Kane about how returning to smaller scale has opened up new creative and business possibilities for beer makers.More

Kim Blaeser on stage at "Making Waves" at Turner Hall.

Wisconsin’s former Poet Laureate Kim Blaeser leaves us with a benediction, calling out the sacred dimension of water.More

The Dog of the South

The author of "Blood Will Out" recommends Charles Portis' comic tale of a hapless Southerner on the hunt for the wife who done him wrong.More

Acclaimed novelist Colson Whitehead got the magazine assignment of a lifetime: a week in Vegas, playing in the World Series of Poker.  He tells Doug Gordon about high stakes poker and his own "anhedonia," his difficulty experiencing pleasure.More

What if Karl Marx were alive today and came back for a visit?  That's the premise of the one-man show "Marx in Soho," starring Brian Jones and written by the late historian Howard Zinn.More

For all that's been written about Karl Marx, there's been no book about his marriage to Jenny Marx - until now. Biographer Mary Gabriel explains why Marx's family life had a profound influence on his thinking.More

Tree

Richard Powers’ “The Overstory” is overturning a lot of conventional thinking. It’s been called “visionary” and “monumental.” And though human characters shape the plot of this 500-page epic, the real heroes are trees.More

hands

Humans are the only creatures on the planet with hands that can knit, draw, throw pots and build houses. More

Typewriter

A few years ago, Tyler Knott Gregson challenged himself to write a poem a day on a vintage typewriter. Today, he's a daily Instagram poet.More

First it was vinyl; now, it's the typewriter. Vintage Smith-Coronas and Olivettis are hot items on Ebay and making a comeback in the age of computers. As cities around country are hosting "type ins" one can't help but wonder: are we seeing a hipster fad or the analog rebellion?  Philosopher Richard Polt assesses the typewriter revolution.More

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