Ask Abe

Ask Abe, a popular feature that’s now part of Badger Voice, is your chance to get the answers to the UW-Madison questions you always wanted to ask, but never did. Like, “Why is the Humanities building so hard to navigate?” or “How long has Scanner Dan occupied State Street?” or “Can I really buy beer at the Union without a student ID?” Sure, there were rumors. But Honest Abe will get you the real answers.

Photo credit, Jeff Miller

Ask Abe: When will the ice melt on Lake Mendota?

This question asks me to predict the future, which is one skill I’m less than adept at. (If I were omniscient, I might’ve done the Rushmore crew a favor and gotten a haircut.) But because the good folks in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS) have helped to make Lake Mendota the most studied lake in North America, I can at least give you an informed guess. In fact, it’s likely that the lake will be thawed by the time you read this. How’s that for omniscient?

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Where the Hill …?

“You all take on fascinating historical questions and topics, some of which are obscure. Can you tell me what your resources are for the information?

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Ask Abe: Commerce Building

“The Dow Chemical riot took place in the Commerce Building in 1967. I no longer see that building listed. Was it torn down or renamed? What address was it at back in 1967?”

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Kohl Center Floor

A friend and I were at the Kohl Center for a Badger hockey game recently. Earlier in the day there had been a men's basketball game. How do they switch floors? Where does the other floor go?

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Alumnus, Alumna, Alumni

I am concerned by the ongoing misuse of the subject nouns. When I studied Latin in the late ’40s, a male graduate was an alumnus, a female an alumna and both, or many, were alumni (plural). Why is it that our shirts and other logo merchandise say ‘Wisconsin Alumni’? I am one singular male, yet I wear a shirt (proudly) even though it designates me as being more than one.

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Fudge Bottom Pie

During the early to mid sixties, a favorite treat at the student union was fudge-bottom pie — absolutely delicious, especially for the non–calorie counters! Do you have a recipe for it? When I returned to the Union last summer, it was no longer on the menu, and I could not find anyone who remembered it. Can you help?

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