Tuesday, June 25, 2013

List of Publications - Isthmus 2013

Playtime unplugged: Madison designers help reinvent the board game

Once upon a wintry eve, before the advent of Netflix, DVDs, television and radio, families would gather around a piano to sing songs, or around a board game to pass the time. This was largely a function of not having a whole lot else to do. Today we have the opposite problem.

Doesn't Madison's bike polo team deserve a real court?

THWACK! In Minneapolis, a bicyclist in shockproof gear fighting through the North American Bike Polo Championship 2013 slams a polyvinyl chloride ball into the net with a customized fiberglass mallet, then skids to a halt.

Madison Vines: The new mini-video platform already has its stars

What's a Vine? It's a six-second video that lives mostly in the world of mobile devices like iPhones. Download and open the free app, touch the screen to start recording a video -- a cat stretching in a sunbeam, a friend dunking a basketball, a stupendous steel drummer -- then publish with a push of a button.

An introduction to Madison billiards subculture

Bars from Madison to Sydney have pool tables. But you don't see many 10-by-5-foot carom billiards tables, the kind with no pockets. And these days you mostly won't, unless you're obsessed with the antique game of three-cushion billiards ...

Pork peaks in Madison restaurant culture

Pork has become incredibly popular, both locally and nationally. At the center of this pork renaissance is the class of animals referred to as heritage pigs: larger, purebred hogs with a mass of bristles, many inches of back fat, and a distinct lineage.

Foodie firmament

Adam Powell charts pork's rise above prejudice as a culinary star in "Serious Pig."

Apple Apps from Madison: Meet eight local developers

Young men and women with Apple ear buds are packed into a room, intent on their work. Some are doing graphic design, some are writing code, some are writing marketing materials. Flannel, odd haircuts and freshly scrubbed faces abound. Ethernet cables spool into closely arranged desks stacked high with computer gear. A delivery guy is loading the break room table high with moo shu shrimp and mushroom egg foo yong. Is this San Francisco in 1998? No -- it's a gaming company on Madison's west side in 2012. What's going on here?

Cyberspace, USA

Our cover story this week, "Apple Apps from Madison," describes the new cyber ecology that these firms inhabit and how they have helped put Madison on the road map of cyberspace. The author, Adam Powell, is the vice president of technology at SupraNet, a local cyber purveyor, and someone who has made the journey of discovery into the new digital world.
Powell was born in Arizona but raised in Madison, attending Van Hise Middle School and West High School. He got his philosophy and English degrees from the University of Arizona and has also taken many classes at the UW. He spent the '90s in San Francisco, working for Wired magazine and setting up what were then called "cyberstations," such as WebM.D., before anyone knew to call them web pages.

Supposedly it's a big surprise that this kind of activity would take place in Madison, far from either coast, and a smallish place in the corporeal scheme of things. But cyberspace is a place that you can enter from anywhere and be wherever you want. So you might as well make your home in a physical place that appeals to you.

Powell returned here in 2000, in part because "it was totally impossible to buy a house in San Francisco." And Madison is as good a place as any to write code and a better place than most to ride the growth of a nascent industry. He and his wife now own a house on Madison's near west side, have two kids that go to Van Hise Middle School and are content. There's no app for that.