Chicken egg production varies throughout the world, though US practices may be the most rigorous.
If you’ve ever travelled abroad and visited a food market, you might’ve found a peculiar sight: open stands with shelves of unrefrigerated, unwashed eggs on display. In the U.S., this would be unthinkable. So why do we take such care to wash our eggs, transport them in temperature-controlled trucks, and […]

Most of the world does not refrigerate their eggs. So ...


A Madagascar hissing cockroach makes an appearance at the "Who's Who of the Insect Word" booth during Science Expeditions 2007.
When a foot-long bearded dragon appears on a rock near Bascom Hill, or a turkey flies through a stained-glass window in Science Hall, who do you call? It turns out, the answer is almost always Richard Ness, an animal control specialist for UW–Madison’s Facilities Planning and Management. To find out […]

Dragons and turkeys and insects, oh my! A day in ...


NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) observed sand dunes in the north polar regions of Mars.
By Jim Lattis, Director of UW Space Place at the University of Wisconsin–Madison You may have heard that Mars reached opposition on 27 July 2018. But what does that mean? It means that Mars is bright and easy to find in the night sky. It’s called opposition because that’s when Mars is […]

Mars is at opposition, so what does that mean?



Today is Mandela Day. It is a worldwide event to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela, a once-political prisoner in South Africa who went on to become the president of that nation and help it cast aside its system of racial oppression called apartheid. Mandela passed away in 2013 but […]

In Madison, honoring Nelson Mandela


On July 16, 2012, one of several signs posted along Lake Mendota near the Memorial Union Terrace at the University of Wisconsin-Madison warn against swimming during the presence of toxic blue-green algae in the water. Known as cyanobacteria, the algae are photosynthetic bacteria that live in colonies, typically in lakes with excess fertility. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)
On June 7, the summer’s first blue-green algae bloom turned much of Lake Mendota a thick, putrid green color. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Center for Limnology concluded that several factors — including run-off from local farms, multiple days with hot temperatures, and low winds — created near-perfect conditions […]

Zebra mussels in Lake Mendota: the new kid in town


(Video below) One night, Pete Pokrandt, was out walking his dog when he witnessed a meteor streaking through the sky over west Madison. It broke through the atmosphere in a stunning flash of light. When he returned home, he realized there was probably video footage of the event – and […]

Speeding up the sky: Dramatic timelapse video shows weather in ...



As the executive officer of an ice breaking vessel on the Great Lakes for two years, Collin Tuttle learned that he really loved ice. His ship, a 140-foot U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, kept federal waterways open for shipping and transportation throughout the winter months by keeping routes clear of ice. […]

Melting Arctic sea ice is opening up trade routes


UPDATE: May 24, 2018 Since May 17, when this blog story was posted, the fissures that opened up in the Kilauea volcano’s Eastern Rift Zone have begun spewing rivers – yes, rivers of lava – out of the ground and towards the Pacific Ocean. According to the United States Geological […]

What’s next for the Kilauea volcano?


It’s finally spring – rain is falling, flowers are blooming, and trees are budding. At least, that’s what’s on the mind of someone without seasonal allergies. On the other hand, those with allergies know that the buds and blossoms actually signal the forthcoming itching, sneezing, coughing, runny noses and puffiness […]

April showers bring may flowers (and allergies)