Tuesday, Mar. 30th, 2010

Stout Rubes go all the way

No idea how this came to be, but UW-Stout may be poised to become a Rube Goldberg powerhouse. Just last Saturday, their Rube Goldberg team one first place in the national collegiate Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, beating out 12 other teams that also battled their way to the national contest through various regional competitions. And this is the first year they’ve competed.  The university also hosts a regional qualifier for the high school version of the competition.

UW-Stout’s Egyptian-themed design topped a medieval-themed machine by runner-up and defending champion St. Olaf College of Northfield, Minn. Third place went to Penn State, which had an Indiana Jones-themed machine. In case you don’t know, Rube Goldberg is an annual competition in which students create a complex machine to solve a simple problem or perform a simple task. This year, machines were required to dispense the proper amount of hand sanitizer into a hand after at least 20 steps. UW-Stout’s machine had 120 steps, including pop-up obelisks, a row of gods whose eyes lit up, a boat that floated on the Nile River, a sphinx and catapults. It told the story of events leading up to the burial of King Tut, which, as you know, is a chapter of history steeped in hand sanitizer. Watch a video of the final competition.

The St. Olaf machine had 240 steps. But they lost because Stout rocked their 120 steps So. Dang. Hard.

“The judges were star struck. They had a look of astonishment after they saw our machine,” co-captain Andrew Behnke said. Modesty was not among the 120 steps. First place at this thing gets you $1,000. And a big ol' trophy. Nice job, Team Stout!

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Monday, Mar. 29th, 2010

This one will probably be sunny

As of today, the Sun Gods working over at Weather.com tell us the forecast for Thursday of this week is 78 degrees and sunny. Wow. We’ve got the big annual April Fool’s Day Pillow Fight on that day and ... wow. The weather has been cold, cloudy, and/or rainy for the past four fights, and this is amazing. Last year, it snowed that day. This year will be a blast. So we’re asking you to get the word out. This could easily be the hugest and most awesomest pillow fight in the history of Eau Claire – possibly Wisconsin – and it’s right in your own backyard. Let’s rally. Let’s make this big. Let’s fight with pillows for a whole five minutes.

WHAT: V1’s April Fools’ Day Pillow Fight
WHEN: Thursday, April 1.  6pm, sharp.
WHERE: Parking lot at the corner of Madison Street & Forest Street (across from the downtown Farmers’ Market, in the official Stella Blues parking lot).
WHO: Families, Friends & Neighbors – the more people the better!
WHY: A celebration of a great American holiday.


• DO take off any glasses or any sort of headgear

    • DO pick on people your own size and don’t try to hurt them

    • Do NOT swing at people WITHOUT pillows or WITH cameras

    • Do NOT be stupid and ruin this for everybody

Anyone who participates in the pillow fight does so at their OWN RISK. Volume One, the property owners, or any other affiliated party are not responsible in the unlikely occurrence of personal injury or wounded pride. If you do not wish to assume your own risk, then you must leave the premises. NOT leaving signifies you accept your own responsibility and are ready for some feathery fury.

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Sunday, Mar. 28th, 2010

To Do Today: Art

Menomonie's Gallery 111 is proud to present its first Member Salon Show, exhibiting art from Gallery 111’s sustaining artist members and board members. Many different styles and mediums will be represented. The gallery is open Sunday noon-6pm. The show ends Tuesday, March 30. A few snapshots here, gallery info here..

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Saturday, Mar. 27th, 2010

This Weekend: Baaaaah.

If you do a Goggle image search for “lamb” you get nice mixture of cute little sheep and kabobs. Well, no matter what it is you like about sheep, Govin's Lambing Barn is the place to be this weekend. You can enjoy watching the lambs nursing and bouncing around their mothers, while learning more about these wooly creatures. It may even be possible to see the birth of a lamb (woo-hoo!). There will be chicks and other baby farm animals to see and touch, plus horse drawn wagon rides and wool spinners, and crafters. (Govin’s Meats and Berries; Sat/10am-4pm/$5, Sun/10am-4pm/$5; 2009 photos)

PIANO: Jim Brickman and John Trones | Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling recording artist/romantic piano sensation Jim Brickman and international recording artist/actor/cosmopolitan crooner John Trones team up to share an incredible evening of romantic music. Brickman's lush, original romantic melodies combined with Trones' Broadway vocals promise to make for an unforgettable evening of world-class entertainment. (State Theatre; Sat/7:30pm/$45)

SWEET JAZZ: Walk/Klenz Jazz Sextet | Over the years, the Walk/Klenz Jazz Sextet has become a fixture on the Eau Claire jazz scene. The sextet consists of some of the most prolific musicians in the Chippewa Valley today. Led by trumpeter Jeff Walk and vocalist Adrian Klenz, this sextet is a powerhouse group that plays original compositions, classic and mainstream jazz and everything in between. (Haymarket Grill; Sat/9pm/free)

SYRUP: Maple Syrup Sunday | Bring the family to explore the tradition of maple sugaring with a guided tour of the sugar bush. Learn about what trees to tap, how to tap, carry and boil the sap. Finish with a taste of fresh maple syrup over ice cream. (Beaver Creek Reserve; Sun/1:30pm/$2-8)

Saturday: See it all. Sunday: As well.

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Friday, Mar. 26th, 2010
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