An ordinary day of the Wisconsin State Journal

We weren’t planning to… but yesterday, after praising the randomly-selected Friday, July 27, 2012 stories in the New York Times, it occurred to us that we should go back and check out the local paper, the Wisconsin State Journal, for the same day:


  • Lane’s Bakery to close in September. This could easily be misunderstood as a small thing, but Lane’s is an important social hangout for the retirees who have gathered there for years we are told
  • increased police patrols in nightclub area just east of campus.
  • school board considers hiring a ‘chief of staff’ for interim superintendent
  • Romney gaffes in London  (AP)
  • village of Lake Delton (WI Dells) pays $29,000 to get its algae-filled lake dyed blue

Science, p 2:

  • normally solid “Seely on Science” gets adorably weak-in-the-knees as son gets married

Local, p 3:

  • Business lobbying group WMC urges no discussion of mining until a Republican majority can be reestablished in Wisconsin Senate (AP)
  • Madison Mallards collegiate summer baseball team introduces 600-lb. crossbow to hurl rubber chickens at upcoming games (that is, during the games)
  • Verdict expected soon in eastside traffic death trial.

Nation, p 6:

  • HIV patients living longer (AP)
  • London an extremely cosmopolitan city (AP)
  • Syrian army general who defected 3 weeks ago suggests he could be new unifying leader. (AP)
  • Obama: no push for new gun laws (AP)
  • Judge bars release of Aurora gunman’s student records (AP)
  • People doing Iraq reconstruction died in large numbers (AP) (really old news)
  • Approval for state/federal plan to reduce phosphorus in Wisconsin lakes (20 years ago, this would’ve been too ordinary to mention)
Leaving aside the Associated Press stories to focus on the local content, we’re left with 2 impressions.
  1. It’s informationally thin.
  2. It’s almost amazingly small town. Are we reading the Hooterville Weekly Shopper? The old bakery is gonna close, 50 miles north they’re dye’n their lake blue, and we’re flingin’ rubber chickens at the local ballpark.

An ordinary day of the New York Times

Over at TheDailyTissue building we’ve still got the New York Times from last Friday lying on the breakfast table. We’re still reading the damn thing. This is what a newspaper is supposed to be like, filled with interesting things that we were already following, and then jam-packed with stuff we had no idea about.

Sure, the Times has faults. We’ll get to one in a minute, but it’s still amazing.

On the front page:

  • new science shows big summer storms pump H2O into the stratosphere, reacting with legacy CFCs, destroying ozone. Damn.
  • cocaine flows unchecked through Venezuela. U.S. spy map shows hundreds of flights Venezuela-to-Mexico. Drug war complete failure.
  • John McCain reinvents himself, again, this time as a party-line, non-maverick.
  • China’s official suspect in poisoning plot follows a familiar (not familiar to us) storyline — “conniving, bloodthirsty vixen whose hunger for money derailed her husband’s promising career”.  Wow. Seemingly without irony, the Times story says the husband “has so far remained in a parallel justice system reserved for the party elite.” There’s a parallel justice system reserved for America’s elite, too, but you’ll never find that in a Times story, much less tossed off as a known fact.

International, p.4:

  • Singapore locals resent immigrants. Wow, it’s just like here! And everywhere! Except in Singapore they’re all Chinese (both the locals and the immigrants). And who knew Singapore had a red light district? We thought they’d banned chewing gum (they did indeed) but they’re OK with a red light district?
  • geneticists and paleoanthropologists can’t agree, exactly, on what happened a hundred thousands years ago with humans in Africa. More to come.
  • Syrian army shelling Aleppo, Syria’s most densely populated city. “We are terrified,” says city resident reached by Skype.
  • according to guy whose agency budget is boosted by more reported cyberattacks, the U.S. is experiencing more cyberattacks.
  • sad village in Siberia, home to ennui, alcoholism, and the remains of 248 fetuses

National, p. 11:

  • Excellent! “Strip Clubs in Tampa Are Ready to Cash In On G.O.P. Convention”. Turns out Republican conventioneers spend 3 times as much as Democrats at their conventions.
  • Romney blunders in London
  • American financiers fly to London to attend Romney fundraiser
  • Head Start fears loss of $590 million in fiscal “cliff”


  • “Candidates Cower on Gun Control” (bi-partisan cowering!)
  • Sandy Weill changes his mind (20 years too late): Now says banks are too big. Suggests return to Glass-Steagall rules. Irony.
  • Krugman: Bond markets continue to demonstrate the hysteria about federal debt is, well, hysterical. What we need is jobs.
  • David Brooks: typically worthless, he phones in a random lollyganger


  • Floyd Norris: “Scandals May Cost Banks Their Clout”… (Well, they should, but they never do.)
  • Facebook shares plummet 
  • London. Barclays #2 bank official who resigned after rate-rigging scandal still in line to receive $13.6 million payout
  • New York Times Company posts $88 million loss
  • Lawsuit forces General Mills to defend accuracy of its ‘Natural’ labeling

Arts, C1:

  • Dragons! Incredible moving theatrical dragons. Jeebus!  23 of these monsters “that stomp around, blow smoke and fly, all quite convincingly.” Bring this DreamWorks show to the Overture Center. You know, for the kids, mostly.

Lisa Lake/Getty Images

There’s still more in the Friday NYT. But every dang day, they deliver another edition. Seriously, if you want to know stuff, and you can afford it, you want to subscribe to the NY Times.