Is this the hardest game on the internet? Photo courtesy of Flickr user jimmywayne

The State Highway Signs Quiz

Proceed to quiz   Most people, when they’re giving directions, describe all highways with the uncomplicated prefix “Route” (pronounced as root or rawte, according to taste). Take Route 85 for a few miles, then merge on Route 151, then south on Route 16….

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A Worrisome Growth

Except for one and a half blocks on Blackhawk Avenue, Wisconsin’s Prairie du Chien has successfully dodged gentrification. The city’s downtown grid encloses a few square miles of plain single-family homes, some of which show off the simple cleanliness of…

A lot on our plates

A lot on our plates

Drive almost anywhere in the United States and you’ll spend a good deal of time staring at advertisements. Not advertisements for private businesses splayed along the highway on billboards (although you will certainly see those too), but advertisements for states…

Wherever Works

“What did you do today?” my girlfriend is in the habit of asking over the phone. (For variety, sometimes she asks: “Anything new up there?”) Invariably my reply: “Well,” followed by a moment’s pause as if to ponder the deep…

Prose in different area codes

Last Tuesday was primary election day in Wisconsin. An urgent circus of emails trouped into my inbox; a room in the Memorial Union was temporarily repurposed for ballot machines and clipboards. By the evening many of my friends bore stars-and-stripes…

A Wedge of the In-Between in Madison

A Wedge of the In-Between in Madison

An average passenger car has a turning radius of about 15 feet. Buses and trucks can execute turns with a radius of about 30 feet if they hold their breath, or else more comfortably around a circle of about 50…