Wisconsin Life #101: “Voyage of Discovery”

February 4, 2014


An eclectic collection of people, including a myth-busting professor and a teen crew member of a Tall Ship, share what matters most to them in their Wisconsin lives.

This episode’s collection of stories include Green Bay’s Brianna Thom.  The 15-year-old Thom isn’t being shanghaied into serving on a ship like in days of old, but has voluntarily signed up to join the only all-female tall ship crew in the world. The teen will board the Unicorn and spend a week “under way” as part of the “Sisters Under Sail” program.  The program’s goal is to help young women learn that they can be self-resilient… on board the ship and in life.  Thom’s adventure inspired Wisconsin Life to also take a voyage on a Tall Ship. Find out what happened.

Next, it’s over to Jacksonport, in Door County, to meet Sandra and Wence, a pair of artists who share a two-story studio as well as an intimate portrait of how their work and lives became intertwined.

Then, Wisconsin Life catches up with La Crosse professor Brian Udermann, who is on a mission to debunk common age-old health myths – many of which may have originally come from well-intentioned parents.   Think carrots improve your eyesight?  Or that sitting too close to the TV will damage your eyes?  What about waiting for 20 minutes to swim after eating?  According to Professor Udermann, you may want to check your facts.  Think you know your stuff? Take Professor Brian Udermann’s six question quiz and see how you do.

Next up, it’s a trip to Nekoosa in Wood County.  That’s where Brandon Jacoby’s family business is located – a Wisconsin business that is known internationally for creating some of the best, high-end pool cues in the world.  Jacoby’s father was working full-time in an area paper mill when he got the bug to craft custom cues.  Now people wait up to six months for their cues to be created by the family of renowned perfectionists.  And it’s not just the Jacoby’s… Wisconsin is tops for producing high-end pool cues. Find out why in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article

Finally, River Falls librarian Heather Johnson shares her passion for getting people to read.  She came up with a novel idea to promote reading.  Instead of trying to get people into the library, she brings the library to the people – in area taverns.  Several River Falls bars have teamed up with Johnson to offer “Book Clubs in the Bars”… an idea that hasn’t been too hard for some community members to swallow.


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