Thursday, Feb. 4th, 2010

First Avenue concept design

What you see above is a concept design floated by Citizens for Accountable Jail Expansion (CAJE) for that land along First Avenue which is currently a big dirt lot. The idea is that – if our new justice center gets built outside of downtown – this land’s gotta get used for something and here’s a “mixed use” solution that’s trying to stay in line with the West Grand Ave. Business district’s historicalness-icity and downtown’s comprehensive plan and all that.

Regardless of your feelings on where the jail should be built, if at all feasible, something like this would be pretty cool. (Take a closer look.)

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Wednesday, Feb. 3rd, 2010

RAGDOLL CANNON!

Good fun to be had, here, yo. Description: "A mixture of projectile and physics game, on Ragdoll Cannon you need to fire dolls (no kidding) away, with the objective of hitting the “Here” pad on each level. There are many obstacles along the way, and you need to to use your brain more than once to finish the game." Sweet cannon blast sound effect, as well.

PLAY IT!

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Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, 2010

Bicycling adds about $1.5 billion to the Wis. economy (per year)

Leave it to a Portland area bike blog to cover the Wisconsin economy! BikePortland.org informs us that a recent study out of UW-Madison found that bike-related tourism and industry adds about $1.5 billion to our great state’s economy every ding dang year. From the aforementioned blog:

  • “Recreational bicycling” had the largest impact, accounting for $924 million. Of that amount, the study says, $533 million is direct spending and $391 million is due to “indirect and induced effects, such as increased purchases of supplies and labor by restaurants and hotels serving cyclists.
  • But wait, there’s more:
  • • Bicycling creates 13,000 Wisconsin jobs
    Bicycling has a larger economic impact than deer hunting ($926 million) and snowmobiling ($250 million) combined.
    • 49% of Wisconsinites participate in recreational biking
    • A 20% increase in biking could increase economic activity by $107 million and create 1500 more jobs

Um, holy crap and wow. And apparently, this study even details the bicycle industry’s positive impact on Wisconsin's health care costs. So, lest some of you snarky-yet-lovable commenters out there think Volume One is excessively pro-bike, just remember – when we post about biking, we’re really posting about the economy. And health care. Whatever that means.

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Totally local Twilight news!

In case you haven’t heard, the Daily Shakedown blog (which you are reading right now) was created for one purpose: to deliver you the finest, most important, most earth-shattering news possible, using only the power of blogging and the strength of the world wide web.

With this noble mission firmly in mind, we present to you the photographic evidence above – proving that, yes, the skinny pale vampire guy with the huge hair/head from those Twilight movies, well ... he loves Eau Claire. It says so right on that box of Sweethearts “Forbidden Fruits” Valentine candy up above ("I heart EC").

As Skinny Teenage Vampire reminds us, “The Forbidden Fruit Tastes the Sweetest.”

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Monday, Feb. 1st, 2010

Locally made Avatar iPhone app

Chuck Gamble – the Chippewa Falls artist who runs Lucky Radish Studio – is at it again. Last year, he released what could very well be the Chippewa Valley’s first locally made iPhone app, the funky and fun Slide-a-ma-jig. And now he and some West Coast buddies at a company called Spinapse have created Avatrivia - an iPhone-delivered, Avatar-based trivia game that tests your knowledge of the film’s fictional world of Pandora, as well as “the subtle nuances of the film.” They say you don’t even need to speak Na’vi to play.

Chuck loved the movie and says, “[Spinapse] actually made the app and pulled me in to do the art and UI. I made all the art from scratch based on the 'tone' of the film but not using any actual imagery from the movie.”

So check it out and see what you think: iTunes link.

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Sight Returns Just Before Death
February 6, 1907

Sight Returns Just Before Death
Eau Claire Leader | February 6, 1907

Miss Mamie Kentbon died at the home of her niece, Mrs. Joseph Hintz, last week in the town of Sherman, with who she had made her home for the last thirty years. Twenty years ago she went bind, but almost two weeks before her death she again recovered her sight and once more beheld the surroundings amid which she lived for the last thirty years. She could easily distinguish the distant hills and the pictures, which were hung in her room. The cause of her returning eyesight is a mystery, which had has been exciting much interest. Doctors are unable to explain it and many people regard it as a special act of providence.


Chad’s Take:
I have some good news and bad news.

Generally speaking I feel as though I have explored a lot of Wisconsin. Having researched several books on strange Wisconsin stories, I have been given the opportunity to travel around much of the state. Yet even with my extensive wandering throughout Wisconsin, I am still puzzled by the endless towns and cities that I have simply never heard of. The Township of Sherman was one such place, and to make matters worse, it is located right over in Dunn County, just north of Menomonie, where I spent my college years. However, it is not the close proximity of this case that grabbed my attention, it was Miss Mamie Kentbon’s tragic good news that sparked my interest.

Over the years I have stumbled across dozens of stories similar in detail to this one. In each of the stories, before death settles in, the person recovers some physical or mental function that had been lost for years. Normal people have reported gaining back their eyesight, hearing, use of limbs, and even their ability to speak, just as death was a knocking. Of course the doctors at the time we seemingly baffled by the drastic change, leaving many to attribute it to an act of providence (an act of divine intervention). However, with nearly every case that I have researched, the good news (the return of some missing function), was always followed by the bad news (death), as evidenced by this case. So if any of you suddenly regain some previously lost ability, you can bet that death is not far behind….or maybe not.

Keep an eye out ...

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Saturday, Jan. 30th, 2010

Weekend Wonder: Because of Poppy Weisz

We’ve been talking about the UWEC Players production of Because of Poppy Weisz around the office, and this weekend presents an excellent opportunity to see it, on either Saturday or Sunday (full details on times and prices). From the description: “What if what you read in the papers isn’t exactly what happened? The relationships between four young New Yorkers and their ties to a grisly Capitol Hill murder magnifies and reflects the obsessive sense of connectedness of the 21st century. This nearly two-hour play is the UWEC Players’ longest student-produced piece since their 2007 resurrection.” Check it out! And check out the cool website!

Also on Saturday: Swiss Miss Rumble in the Jungle Snowshoe Races, Planetarium Show, an authentic Indian meal to raise money for Haiti, Cabaret!, Persepolis (film), Doktor Kaboom!, fashion show at Raw Deal, and holy moley, The Daredevil Christopher Wright + Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps + Starfolk + Cedarwell.

Art shows: Anatomical Autonomy, Eric Lee & Jason Lanka Art Exhibit, Stout Faculty Show, Genesis, and Holy Mackerel.

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Friday, Jan. 29th, 2010
Thursday, Jan. 28th, 2010

Pssssst! Hey, Eau Claire!

Some call it therapeutic or cathartic, but I’m going to just go ahead and call it art. Post Secret (in case you haven’t heard) is a web concept started in Maryland in which people send in anonymous postcards that confess a secret of some kind. These range from highly creative or funny to highly personal or serious. The former making the concept have wide appeal, and the latter providing some kind of comfort to the confessor (off chest) or reader (not alone). The concept has since been replicated all over the place, but now a bunch of locals (Lori Chilefone, Jill Olm, Eric Jennings, and Jyl Kelley) have brought the concept to Eau Claire (calling it "Secret Post"). They are encouraging people to send in postcards from now through March 12 to be a part of the art project. You can drop them off at McIntyre Library, Just Local Food, and Haas Fine Arts (room 104). You can pick them up at the above locales, plus Eclectica on Grand, Midwest Tattoo, Benny HaHa, Brickhouse Music, the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, Globe University, Grand Little Theatre, Infinitea, Purple Petunia, or LE Phillips Public Library. The end result will be an April display in McIntyre, Haas Fine Arts, and Eau Claire Regional Arts Center.

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