Quick Takes Summer 2015

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Photo: Jeff Miller.

A group of UW students claims to have created the world’s largest Rice Krispies Treat. Led by Joe Tarnowski x’17, Project Freshman 15,000 (which does not refer to the weight gained by participants) aimed to mix 5,500 pounds of cereal, 9,000 pounds of marshmallow, and 850 pounds of butter to make a 15,000-pound confection. Ultimately, the team made a Krispies cuboid that measured ten by ten by six-and-a-half feet. At 11,327 pounds, it fell a little short of its goal weight, but it still topped the previous record of 10,314 pounds. Yum?

Bucky Badger is on the rise! When researchers under Chris Hittinge PhD’07, an assistant professor of genetics, discovered a rather aggressive species of yeast, it was natural to name it for UW–Madison’s fierce mascot. Blastobotrys buckinghamii emerged from the soil of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to become one of approximately 1,500 known species of yeast, and one of eight new species the group found.

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Photo: Jeff Miller

Mealworms could be the next meat replacement. According to graduate students Rachel Bergmans and Valerie Stull, the critters provide an economical and sustainable source of nutrition. The students created a project to distribute kits for insect farming in rural Zambia, and it was selected as the winner of UW-Madison’s Climate Quest competition. Mealworms take up little space and require little water, and their capacity to convert feed to body mass far exceeds that of traditional livestock. And they taste a lot like Rice Krispies.

The Union Terrace will close early this season — at the beginning of September — as the Memorial Union Reinvestment project enters its second phase. The closure will allow for the construction of Alumni Park and for Terrace improvements. The popular gathering spot will reopen in summer 2016. Get your bratwurst while you can.

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Photo: Jeff Miller.

Watergate chronicler Stanley Kutler passed away in April. The retired UW history professor was a champion of open records; his lawsuit against the National Archives won the release of former president Richard Nixon’s White House tapes. He was the author of The Wars of Watergate and Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes. Kutler was eighty years old.

Published in the Summer 2015 issue

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