Energy Advocacy Beyond the Midwest; The Total Eclipse of the Sun 4/8/24; Chillingly Good News from Ice Cube; Energy 101

For Wednesday,  June 21, 2023

Hi WN@TL Fans,

 It’s the Summer Solstice, a good day to make like the Sun and stand still for a moment–while the Sun radiates, we reflect.  If we circumspect, we see the first few volleys of orange daylilies bursting in the morning and shriveling by the gloaming.  

 Out on the lawns and in the fields, it’s dry.  The bluegrass is brown. The corn is curling like pineapples, trying to conserve what little water remains in the rootzone.  Alfalfa fields recovering from the first cut made a couple weeks ago are hanging fire, waiting for the rain that might set the shoots regrowing again.  This summer of 2023 is reminding me of 2011, and worse, of 1988.  I can’t remember the wet years, but the drought years sear both the crops and the memory.

 The drought could be even worser if not for the shading effect of the hazes from the blazes burning for weeks now in Canada and the western US.  Nevertheless, the average high temperatures at many places in the northern hemisphere are also off the charts.  In turn, the AC is cranking and straining the grid. 

 It’s a good day to stand still for a moment, and reflect. 

 Tonight we get to hear about the current and near-future options for making energy here in Wisconsin and across the nation & world.  Few challenges have greater bearing on the health of our Earthly home and on the outlook for our lives and our livelihoods than the ways we will power our transportation, heat & cool our homes and workplaces, energize our farms, and drive our mines & manufacturing plants. 


 On June 21 Grace Stanke, UW-Madison nuclear engineering student and Miss America 2023, will speak at a special Wednesday Nite @ The Lab to be held in conjunction with the Summer Academy of the Positive Youth Development Institute (including Wisconsin 4-H) of UW-Madison’s Division of Extension.  She’ll talk about her outlook for nuclear engineering to help meet our future energy & environmental needs.

 Title:  Energy Advocacy Beyond the Midwest:  How the Culture of Wisconsin Influenced My Future

 Description:  My journey in advocacy was not always crowns and sparkles – sometimes, it was working with people who I thought I would never be able to convince.  Becoming Miss America has taught me a thing or two about advocacy, and has taught me a thing or two about myself! However, I wouldn’t be able to be the clean energy advocate that I am, nor Miss America, if it weren’t for my Wisconsin upbringing. From a good work ethic, to a friendly demeanor, all the way to truly knowing the best cheese, all of these things have helped me with national advocacy. It’s time to spend some time near home though and look at my roots: what is Wisconsin doing to move its energy portfolio forward, and how can we as Wisconsinites help?

 More to Explore:

 Note:  To accommodate the larger crowd, we’ll meet across the street in Room 1125 Deluca Biochemistry Building, 420 Henry Mall 

 Accessibility Note: If you come in the front door of the Deluca Biochemistry Building on 420 Henry Mall, there’s a lot of steps to climb.  But if you come in the back door at the southwest corner of the building, that door enters on the ground floor, and you can stroll or roll step-free to the elevator and up to the first floor.


On June 28 Jim Lattis of the Department of Astronomy and director of the UW Space Place will be here to help us prognosticate and plan for the Total Eclipse of the Sun coming up on April 8, 2024 and viewable from the Midwest, skies willing.  

 Bio:  Jim Lattis is a historian of astronomy and director of UW Space Place at 2300 S. Park Street, Madison.  His areas of interest include the history of astronomy and cosmology, specializing in the medieval and early modern periods, the age of Galileo, and astronomy in Italy & in Wisconsin.  He provides opportunities for observational astronomy in educational and recreational settings, including hobby astronomy, public and park programs, as well as astronomy education for schools from elementary to undergraduate levels, in-service teacher training and public outreach programs, including at the Washburn Observatory on campus.  

 More to Explore: