Quoted: Omar Poler wants people to recognize that and to remember the people who lost their battle with COVID-19.
‘We never take the time to stop and reflect on the loss we’re all experiencing,’” “A friend said to me, ‘We never take the time to stop and reflect on the loss we’re all experiencing,’” Poler said. “At the same time, a newspaper article came out that said no collective mourning had emerged within the United States.”
Poler is UW-Madison’s Indigenous education coordinator. He wanted to change the way America looks at coronavirus-related deaths. He wanted people to spend a moment grieving.
“What we do is I spend some time before Thursday trying to learn about specific people,” Poler said. “I look through obituaries and try to come up with a way to remember them.”
Noted: Zone designation led to job growth in urban but not rural zones, according to a study led by Alina Arefeva, an assistant professor of real estate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. Her study didn’t look at activity in 2020.
Quoted: Then there are antioxidants that aren’t exactly considered essential nutrients, but still have effects on cells and tissues, Bradley Bolling, Ph.D., an assistant professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tells SELF. You can find these in plant, animal, and other dietary sources.
Many of these non-essential antioxidants are being studied for their potential effects on optimizing health, preventing chronic disease, promoting longevity, and reducing inflammation, says Dr. Bolling. “There are varying grades of evidence for the effectiveness of these non-nutritive antioxidants,” he says.
Noted: Jonathan L. Temte, associate dean for public health and community engagement at the University of Wisconsin and a liaison to to the covid-19 work group that helped the CDC advisory panel issue its guidelines, called the result a “free-for-all.” The decisions could become even more torturous when a third vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson — which is expected to gain regulatory approval this weekend — joins the mix, though with only a trickle of supply at first.
Noted: Manny Teodoro, a public policy scholar at the University of Wisconsin, suggests that states should prioritize simplicity over precision — by using an allocation formula based on population and poverty. He argues in favor of a two-tier system. Large utilities, which generally have more experience with financial assistance programs and more administrative resources, should be capable of handling outreach and distribution on their own. Smaller utilities, which have less sophisticated billing systems and fewer staff, should be assisted by regional social services agencies.
Denia Garcia, a UW–Madison sociologist whose specialty is race and ethnicity. The answer is that immigrants are a self-selected group. They have the resources and motivation to uproot themselves for a foreign shore. Often, they move to the U.S. to provide better opportunities for their children. Social networks of kin and friends are extraordinarily helpful in navigating their strange new world, including its prejudices, Garcia points out.
Quoted: “Indoor settings with prolonged exposure present the greatest risk for transmission, hence why universal masking is particularly important – even if the individuals are immunized,” said Jim Conway, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Global Health Institute.
Patrick Remington, former epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s preventive medicine residency program, said if lawmakers who choose to go maskless are vaccinated against COVID-19, then the risk is lower.
“One obvious question for people not wearing masks is whether they have been vaccinated. If they have, then it seems to be a reasonable thing to do,” Remington said. “That is, the vaccine provides sufficient protection to significantly reduce the risk of becoming sick or getting others sick.”
But according to Jeff Sindelar, meat specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, higher meat prices and empty store shelves weren’t simply due to problems with production. Just like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, consumers who don’t normally buy ahead were stockpiling meat in their home freezers.
As for the future, “We might only be seeing the tip of the iceberg here. In the future, we expect to find many more associations between high-energy neutrinos and their sources,” said Francis Halzen of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was not directly involved in the study. “There is a new generation of telescopes being built that will provide greater sensitivity to TDEs and other prospective neutrino sources. Even more essential is the planned extension of the IceCube neutrino detector that would increase the number of cosmic neutrino detections at least tenfold.”
“So it’s going to go up from $2,000 to $3,000 for all children, and then an additional $600 for young children,” said Katherine Magnuson, who runs the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Growing cow numbers and increased milk production have dairy experts walking on a knives edge when predicting the trajectory of milk prices for the coming year.
Mark Stephenson, director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Center for Dairy Profitability and Bob Cropp, emeritus professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, delved into the factors impacting milk prices for 2021 during the February “Dairy Situation and Outlook” podcast this week.
Quoted: David Canon is a political scientist at UW-Madison, and he echoes many of Gardner’s concerns.
“In my view, it’s clearly voter suppression…Our elections are very secure. The number of cases of voter fraud are so infinitesimally small that it’s just not something that changes the outcome of elections,” Canon says.
Clark-Pujara is advocating that the move is the first of many, hoping it would lead to commemorative monuments, statues and museums in every state to celebrate Tubman and teach people about her life and legacy.
Benjamin Baird, a sleep researcher at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who wasn’t involved in this study, told Scientific American the findings “challenge our ideas about what sleep is.” SciAm has more:
“People are hungry – literally hungry to eat these foods,” says Mr. Cornelius, who is also a technical adviser for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, based in Billings, Montana, and an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “But also, in a more figurative sense, they’re just hungry for knowledge.”
Francis Halzen, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Principal Investigator of IceCube, who was not directly involved in the study, said, “We might only be seeing the tip of the iceberg here. In the future, we expect to find many more associations between high-energy neutrinos and their sources. A new generation of telescopes will be built that will provide greater sensitivity to TDEs and other prospective neutrino sources. Even more essential is the planned extension of the IceCube neutrino detector, that would increase the number of cosmic neutrino detections at least tenfold.”
Elizabeth Howard, founder and director of Journey North at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, told The Nature Conservancy’s “Cool Green Science” that the birds “can withstand very cold temperatures. In most places you can see robins in the wintertime. You’ll see them wandering around and yet it’s not considered migration because basically they’re moving in a nomadic way, following the food.”
Quoted: Benjamin Baird, a sleep researcher at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who wasn’t involved in this study, told Scientific American the findings “challenge our ideas about what sleep is.” SciAm has more: Sleep has classically been defined as unresponsiveness to external environmental stimuli—and that feature is still typically part of the definition today, Baird explains. “This work pushes us to think carefully—rethink, maybe—about some of those fundamental definitions about the nature of sleep itself, and what’s possible in sleep.”
Noted: Brenda Gayle Plummer is a historian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in African American history, the history of U.S. foreign relations, race in international affairs and Caribbean history. She is the author of several books, most recently of In Search of Power: African Americans in the Era of Decolonization, 1956-1974.
As we approach a full year of this pandemic and attempt to survive sub-zero Wisconsin winter, many of us are tired; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I teach at UW-Madison and the beginning of the semester is always an intense energetic marathon for me so I find myself having to be extra mindful about resting. So this month’s piece isn’t about food, but about rest as a political practice of resistance.
Quoted: “That high-resolution temporal record is, I think, pretty impressive,” says Brad Singer, a geologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies the history of the Earth’s magnetic field but was not part of the research team. “This is only a small number of specimens that they measured, but the results look fairly reproducible in the different trees, and I think that’s a pretty impressive set of data.”
Quoted: These findings “challenge our ideas about what sleep is,” says Benjamin Baird, a postdoctoral researcher who studies dreams at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was not involved in this study. Sleep has classically been defined as unresponsiveness to external environmental stimuli—and that feature is still typically part of the definition today, Baird explains. “This work pushes us to think carefully—rethink, maybe—about some of those fundamental definitions about the nature of sleep itself, and what’s possible in sleep.”
Quoted: “This work challenges the foundational definitions of sleep,” says cognitive neuroscientist Benjamin Baird of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who studies sleep and dreams but was not part of the study. Traditionally, he says, sleep has been defined as a state in which the brain is disconnected and unaware of the outside world.
Noted: Demand for electricity goes up when temperatures drop, said Dr. Line Roald, an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The surprising part of what happened in Texas was that so many generators — from nuclear and natural gas plants to wind turbines — stopped producing energy due to the freezing temperatures, she said.
Quoted: “That would be a really interesting future direction of this methodology,” Benjamin Baird tells Inverse. Baird is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison who studies lucid dreams, but was not involved in this study. He also has lucid dreams himself.
“It’s a mix of everything coming together,” said Line Roald, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison. “It’s the generators we think of as being super reliable not being reliable at all.”
Like so many great scientific discoveries, Tom Brock started the research that would go on to revolutionize the field of biology — and pave the road to the development of the gold-standard COVID-19 tests used to fight a pandemic — with a question.
To bring surgical and cloth masks up to par with N95s and KN95s, you can opt for a mask brace, which is an even better solution than double masking, says David Rothamer, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has conducted work evaluating mask braces.”It’s kind of interesting that it’s taken awhile for mask fitters or braces to have more visibility,” Rothamer tells Popular Mechanics. “The whole double masking thing is really trying to do the same thing as a mask fitter or a brace, but in a more indirect way. My main concern with double masking is that it’s going to depend on the combination of the two masks.”
While the life expectancy gap between Black, Latino and white populations were narrowing before the pandemic, overall life expectancy was steadily declining because of a variety of public health issues, said Michal Engelman, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In Wisconsin, while the maternal mortality ratios are lower in absolute terms than the nationwide average, the magnitude of the gap between Black mothers and white mothers is larger, said Tiffany Green, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor in the Departments of Population Health Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology.
These national figures likely reflect similar trends in Wisconsin, says Kristen Malecki, professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
But the US experienced a backslide due to the pandemic, according to Michal Engelman, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“This has been an issue of concern for a while, that we weren’t making progress and we were sliding a little bit backwards,” Engelman told the newspaper. “After a couple of years of worrisome declines, we dropped as a country a whole year just in the first half of 2020.”
“You’ve got a small number of academic and public health labs that have been basically doing the genomic surveillance,” said David O’Connor, an AIDS researcher at the University of Wisconsin. “But there is no national coherence to the strategy.”
Adrian Treves, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is concerned about the quick opening of a season. He says the population’s data is not current enough to justify holding a season without putting the wolf population in a tenuous situation.
In this episode, UW-Madison journalism professor Michael Wagner, speaks with Girard and Reilly about how political attitudes and behaviors are affected by the ways in which information flows across the state.
Quoted: “When you’re talking about winter, (humans) are really wimps,” said David Drake, professor of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It helps our appreciation of wildlife, I think, to understand how the animals are able to make it through the season.”
“It doesn’t make you a bad person because you have these kinds of feelings,” said Robert Enright, a licensed psychologist and professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison who studies moral development and the science of forgiveness.
In addition to the tantalizing possibilities of growing whole furniture, the plant-based materials could enhance fuels and chemicals production, says Xuejun Pan, a professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who wasn’t involved in the study. “You don’t have to necessarily grow a strong piece of wood. If you can produce a biomass, for example, as a future feedstock for bioindustry—competitively and productively—that could be attractive,” he says
Of course, panpsychism is likely not falsifiable. There’s no experiment that can determine whether or not your mailbox has a mental life, much less a quark. Yet that doesn’t mean science isn’t working on the problem. Giulio Tononi, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has developed something called the integrated information theory of consciousness (IIT). IIT holds that consciousness is actually a kind of information and can be measured mathematically, though doing so is not very straightforward and has caused some to discount the theory.
While Obama also used equity in the more modern, social-justice sense of the word, he did so less often than Biden already has — a possible sign of his reluctance to center race as a national issue as the country’s first Black president, said Dietram A. Scheufele, a social scientist who studies political communications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“This formula we have, the technical term would be ‘completely wacky,’” said University of Wisconsin-Madison law and education professor Julie Underwood.
On Feb. 10, I had the pleasure of talking with Jennifer Cheatham from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and John Diamond from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on our Education Week show A Seat at the Table. When participants register to view the live or on-demand show, they are able to input one question they would like me to ask our guests, and the questions they offered focused on many different facets of racial equity.
In this video from UW-Madison, scientist Tom Brock talks about the importance of basic research and how he discovered life in an unexpected place.
Quoted: Two researchers at UW-Madison began sequencing SARS-CoV-2 samples in February 2020. Virology professor Tom Friedrich and pathology professor Madison Dave O’Connor have a background in HIV research, and began sequencing SARS-CoV-2 samples from around Dane County as soon as local spread began.
“The sort of architecture of how the virus looks at the genetic level is a little different,” O’Connor said. “But the basic principles are the same as for HIV, and flu and other viruses.”
Quoted: When studying the impact of mask mandates, it’s important to consider whether people follow them and if they’re enforced, said Ajay Sethi, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He said it can be difficult to assess mandates individually when they’re issued with other public health guidelines, but he believes the Kansas study offered compelling data on the matter.
“You could argue that with or without a mandate, people might wear a mask because that’s what they do and the mandate is just confirming what they do,” he said. “At the end of the day, an entire county had fewer cases.”
Quoted: The rate has stayed consistent in the state with the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Workers earning minimum wage who work 2,000 hours a year — 40 hours for 50 weeks — make about $14,500 before taxes and work expenses.
“That’s just about enough to keep one single person out of poverty,” said economist Tim Smeeding, a professor of public affairs and economics at the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Quoted: Erica Turner, a University of Wisconsin-Madison education professor who specializes in equity issues, said the incoming superintendent will face steeper-than-usual challenges. Education funding in Wisconsin, as in many states, hadn’t fully recovered from the recession more than a decade ago by the time the pandemic began. With some state revenue sources having taken a hit, and the unexpected costs of managing a pandemic, Turner said the new superintendent will likely have to contend with more limited funding.
“This is an equity issue because it has been the case, and it’s likely to continue to be, that a lot of the cuts will come from equalization aid — efforts to make school funding more equitable,” she said. “For educational equity, you need someone who can be an effective advocate around the budget, and then also will have to prioritize that what cuts happen, and how they happen, happen in an equitable way.”
Quoted: Barry Burden, director of UW-Madison’s Elections Research Center, said the fall spending levels appears to be a case of politics in Wisconsin “moving in line with some surprising national trends.”
He said both the presidential campaigns and congressional campaigns around the country more than doubled their spending from 2016, and the jump may be the biggest step increase ever between two consecutive presidential election cycles.
Quoted: “Overall, when I read the study, I think I’m looking at clear documentation of racial disparities in sentencing in the in/out decision,” said Pamela Oliver, an emerita sociology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Oliver said disparities in sentencing usually show up with a judge’s ruling on whether to lock someone up — which she called the “in/out decision” — not in the length of the sentence. She said that was the finding of the 2007 Wisconsin Sentencing Commission report, which was removed from the state website several years ago.
Walter Stern, a UW-Madison assistant professor of educational policy studies and history, said “some research has found diverse schools to be academically beneficial” but warned of potential negative unintended consequences to desegregation efforts of the past, such as poorer students and students of color having to travel long distances to desegregated schools outside of their neighborhoods — schools that can have few nonwhite staff.
Quoted: “Sometimes incorrect information is a simple data entry error, and other times, it could be a sign of fraud,” says Peggy Olive, University of Wisconsin-Madison financial capability specialist. “It is up to each individual to look over his or her own credit report for old information that should be removed, common mistakes or signs of identity theft. Better to discover an error yourself than to have a creditor find it first.”
Essay by Professor Beth Nguyen
Lunar New Year might bring to mind festivals and fireworks, but I’ve always associated it with a kind of isolation. Long before the pandemic, long before the rest of America learned about sriracha and pho, I grew up in a Vietnamese refugee family in a mostly white town in Michigan.
Quoted: Those data show that “it’s mask fit that really matters, and there are bunch of different ways to improve mask fit,” says David Rothamer, a mechanical engineer at the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Engineering.
But Barry Burden, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Elections Research Center, was confident Biden was playing his strongest hand since his campaign was “a pitch for national unity and a return to normalcy.”
David Rothamer, an engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has experimented with masks on mannequins in classrooms while studying the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus in college classes. He told the Post that he is not a proponent of double masking because it consumes more masks and can lead to more air leakage.
“This policy really mattered to union density in the state,” said Laura Dresser, a labor economist and associated director of the COWS research institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“The goal is to go to these one shot approaches,” Dr. William Hartman, UW-Health Astrazeneca covid vaccine trial principal investigator said.
“It’s like your friend in the bar,” said Lewis A. Friedland, a professor who studies talk radio and politics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where stations serve up six or more hours of right-wing talk a day. “He’s your buddy, and he’s kind of like you and he likes the same kind of people that you like and doesn’t like the same kind of people that you don’t like.”
David Rothamer, an engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison, has experimented with masks on mannequins in classrooms while studying the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus in college classes. He said he is not a proponent of double masking because it consumes more masks, and can also lead to more air leakage.