Lakeshore News, News Around the World

It’s a Rotary Cellphone!

Ever wonder what it would be like to combine the nostalgia of a rotary phone with the compact size of the smartphone? Well, wonder no more.

A scientist named Justine Haupt has built a rotary cellphone. According to Colossal, she spent three years constructing the “anti-smartphone,” calling it The Portable Wireless Electronic Digital Rotary Telephone.

It has a rotary dial, fits in your pocket and can make phone calls. That’s about it.

“This is a statement against a world of touchscreens, hyperconnectivity, and complacency with big brother watchdogs,” Haupt writes on her website.

She adds, “So it’s not just a show-and-tell piece… My intent is to use it as my primary phone. It fits in a pocket; It’s reasonably compact; calling the people I most often call is faster than with my old phone, and the battery lasts almost 24 hours.”

Haupt has open sourced her technical design files – so while her rotary cell phone isn’t for sale, you could conceivably build your own.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Know What ELSE Exercise Is Good For?

“Money can’t buy happiness,” the saying goes…but a new study says exercise can.

A large survey of 1.2 million Americans conducted by researchers from Yale and Oxford universities noted that a higher income doesn’t impact happiness as much as you may think…but getting off your couch does.

The researchers say people who described themselves as active have 35 days of “poor mental health” per year, which is 18 fewer days than those who were sedentary.

What’s more, the study found that a sedentary person needed as much as $25 grand more to match the levels of happiness of an active, but less financially stable, person.

Here’s the rub, however: According to the study, which was published in the medical journal Lancet Psychiatry, doing more and more exercise won’t make you happier and happier. You’ll get the most bang for your buck being active 30-60 minutes three times a week, scientists say.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

New Barbies Being Created Before 2020 Olympics

Tokyo 2020 is around the corner and Mattel has added an array of sporty new toys including five new Barbie dolls to its starting lineup ahead of the Olympic Games.

In partnership with the International Olympic Committee, the toy brand collaborated to create licensed toy products highlighting the five new sports that will be added to the summer sports program, according to a press release.

The Barbie Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 international line will roll out this spring and include baseball/softball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing.

“In line with our Global Licensing Strategy, this new international licensing collaboration with Mattel is a great way to engage with an important audience, our younger fans and their families, and through these high-quality products to connect them with the Olympic brand and values,” Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC television and marketing services said in a statement.

“Tokyo 2020 is a monumental event that brings the world together through sport and inspires fans of all ages,” Janet Hsu, Mattel’s Chief Franchise Officer added. “The Mattel Tokyo 2020 Collection honors these sports and inspires a new generation through the Olympic spirit and outstanding athletic tradition.”

Mattel’s Tokyo 2020 products will also include a new Hot Wheels collection to represent iconic sports from the first Games in Athens to sports making their debut in Tokyo and a limited-edition UNO deck that features the mascot, Miratowa.

Community Events, Concert Announcements, Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Kids From Wisconsin will be Live! In Living Color in 2020 and Still Accepting Audition Applications

2020_SocialMedia_1 (002)The curtain opens in June and closes in August with over 60 performances of “Live! In Living Color”. The tour will take the group over 7000 miles this summer. The Broadway style performance will take a look at some of the greatest live music venues throughout the history of this country and the musical artists that helped define their legacy’s. The Ed Sullivan Theater, Caesars Palace, The Grand Ole Opry, House of Blues, and Broadway just to name a few.

22 Singer/Dancers and a 14-piece show band will be selected to perform professionally this summer. Talented and serious performing students, ages 15-20 may still apply online for the opportunity to audition.  Auditions will be held February 21 through March 1. Audition information and an online application can be found on the audition webpage.

Walk-on slots are available, although it is advised to apply online before these dates.

February 21 – Eau Claire / February 22 – Madison / February 29 to March 1 – Milwaukee

Join us this summer as “Live! In Living Color” takes the stage in a Hometown near you. Ticket and show information are on the tour page of the website.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Most Sinful States

Every state is known for its own virtues and vices. But harmful behavior on the individual level can result in staggering economic costs, considering that gambling addiction costs the U.S. $5 billion per year and smoking costs dwarf that with over $300 billion per year.

With Mardi Gras coming up and sure to be full of drinking, drug use and sex, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2020’s Most Sinful States as well as accompanying videos along with its Mardi Gras Facts – Booze, Floats, Money & More infographic. To determine where the U.S. has the most moral growing to do, WalletHub compared the 50 states based on seven sinful behaviors: anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.

Here are some highlights from the report:

Most Sinful States Least Sinful States
1. Nevada 41. North Dakota
2. Texas 42. Minnesota
3. Florida 43. Utah
4. California 44. Iowa
5. Georgia 45. South Dakota
6. Tennessee 46. New Hampshire
7. Louisiana 47. Maine
8. Illinois 48. Idaho
9. South Carolina 49. Wyoming
10. Mississippi 50. Vermont

Mardi Gras Key Stats

  • Over $1 Billion: The economic impact of Mardi Gras on New Orleans.
  • $408.6 Million: The economic impact of Mardi Gras on Alabama’s Mobile.
  • Over 25 Million Pounds: Weight of beads thrown during Mardi Gras in New Orleans each year.

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:


Lakeshore News, News Around the World

New Parents Picking Unique Names for Kids…for Social Media

Chances are you’ve encountered some, shall we say, interesting names for new babies of late.  Now a new survey shows part of the reason is that some parents are choosing names for their kids with social media presence in mind.

A poll of 1,772 British parents revealed 72% of all respondents believe a unique name will help their child stand out from the crowd — and nowadays, that includes social media searches.

One in 50 say they chose a “made-up” name specifically for social media purposes. In the business world, that’s known as SEO, or search engine optimization.

All told, 7% say they’ve already bestowed a brand-new, never-heard-before name on their babies, and 65% say they’re considering doing so. Which is how we get names like Jaspin, Wrenlow or Tovin.

The survey was commissioned by the website ChannelMum. Its baby name expert SJ Strum noted, “Shakespeare invented many names that have stood the test of time, like Imogen and Jessica. Now the social media boom means we are all writers and publishers, so parents are making up baby names that gives their child a unique start in life.”

Then again, the average soccer mom or hockey dad ain’t Shakespeare — hence names like Jessalie and Elisobelle.

While the survey noted the popularity of the “made-up” names, 92% of the parents surveyed admitted that giving their child such a name could have ill effects. Two-thirds worried that an odd name will be hard to spell, 62% feared a name would be seen as “tacky,” and a third feared that their kid’s future teachers would give them some payback for a name that’s out of the mainstream.

As for other popular sources for unconventional names, shows like Game of Thrones remain an inspiration, with three in ten parents looking to pop culture as inspiration. Also popular are gender-neutral names, and names that are, like the Impossible Whopper, “plant based,” such as Cedar.

Here are ChannelMum’s top-ten “New Age Names” for boys and girls:

1. Jaspin
2. Charleston
3. Brigham
4. Ranger
5. Wrenlow
6. Eastley
7. Graylen
8. Albion
9. Tovin
10. Cedar

1. Maevery
2. Faelina
3. Idalia
4. Evabeth
5. Tessadora
6. Anaveah
7. Jessalie
8. Sylvalie
9. Sophiel
10. Elisobelle

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

AAA Fuel Gage

Gas prices may be 16 cents more expensive than last year, but that price gap has been shrinking steadily. It’s the smallest year-over-year difference seen in two months.

At $50/bbl (West Texas Intermediate), crude oil prices are at their cheapest point in a year. That, plus steady gasoline stock levels and low demand have helped to push the national average lower – a dime cheaper than three weeks ago.

Today’s national gas price average is $2.44. That is four cents cheaper than last week and 16 cents cheaper than last month. Motorists across the country can find gas for less than $2.25 at 1 in 3 (38%) of all gas stations.

On the week gas prices are as much as nine cents cheaper in the Great Lakes and Central region, but as much as 23 cents more expensive year-over-year.

Regional gasoline stocks built by 700,000 bbl, pushing total stocks to 58.6 million bbls, per Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Regional stock levels have not been this healthy since March 2019. Stocks are expected to increase this month and push gas prices even cheaper, with the potential for more states in the region selling gas under the $2/gallon mark.

  Monday Sunday Week Ago Month Ago One Year Ago
National $2.432 $2.435 $2.470 $2.595 $2.278
Wisconsin $2.305 $2.310 $2.342 $2.463 $2.187
Appleton $2.263 $2.268 $2.281 $2.437 $2.128
Eau Claire $2.355 $2.357 $2.436 $2.552 $2.166
Green Bay $2.281 $2.283 $2.318 $2.453 $2.147
Janesville-Beloit $2.224 $2.217 $2.252 $2.404 $2.177
La Crosse $2.379 $2.381 $2.381 $2.521 $2.201
Madison $2.269 $2.272 $2.311 $2.407 $2.158
Milwaukee $2.230 $2.235 $2.269 $2.414 $2.192
Wausau $2.330 $2.330 $2.369 $2.486 $2.180

Click here to view current gasoline price averages