Bubbler Talk

What's got you scratching your head about the Milwaukee area? What have you always wanted to know about Milwaukee and the region?

WUWM News reporters and Lake Effect producers have started investigating and answering your questions.

Participate in the process and submit your question below:

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Joy Powers

Bowling. It’s as Wisconsin as cheese curds and Packers gear. Some have even called Milwaukee "America’s 10-pin Capital" in reference to ten-pin bowling, the most common form of the sport. But there’s another kind of bowling that’s also popular in the area, and it’s a little quacky. 

Listener Shelley Peters reached out to Bubbler Talk because she wanted to know more about it.

Why Doesn't Milwaukee Have A College Football Team?

Mar 9, 2018
Milwaukee Panther Football Facebook page

Wisconsin has a lot of love for its football teams. Year-round, you see folks decked out in green and gold to show their "Packer pride," or hear fans dissecting the upcoming Wisconsin Badgers season. But football fans -- including one Bubbler Talk question-asker -- might be interested to know: Why doesn’t Milwaukee have a college football team?

The short answer: It did. And technically, it still does.

LaToya Dennis

Why aren’t there more positive portrayals of black men in the news? That’s the question 18-year-old Terrance Robinson, 14-year-old Victor Barnett Jr., 17-year-old Darius Simmons and 16-year-old Ashanti Travers posed to WUWM’s Bubbler Talk.

In order to attempt to answer this question, I had to enlist a few media professionals.

Teran Powell

The Pabst Mansion, the Schuster Mansion, the Villa Filomena... Milwaukee is home to a handful of historic mansions - often hidden in plain sight, appearing seemingly out of place. The Kalvelage Schloss Mansion, located near 24th and Kilbourn Avenue, is no different. 

Image courtesy of Matt Zumbo

Pikosso, Chicken a la Koss, Rebel with a Koss. If you’re familiar with the iconic billboard for Koss Corporation along I-43 in Milwaukee, you may have seen one of these ads -- or even have a favorite design or catchphrase of your own.

For this week’s Bubbler Talk, listener Michael Croatt wanted to know more.

IT IMAGE COMPLIMENTS OF MILWAUKEE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

An impressive collection of old Bugle American newspapers are spread out on a table at the Milwaukee County Historical Society. I'm here looking at these because a listener reached out to Bubbler Talk, wanting to know: “Why did the Bugle newspaper end and where are its employees now?” 

Vanessa Radlinger

On this week's Bubbler Talk, we dig into a botanical mystery involving a 'banned' tree, stinky fruit, and the age of the dinosaurs.

Listener Vanessa Radlinger noticed something out of place in Milwaukee's Third Ward: what she presumed to be a mirabelle plum tree -- which she thought was banned in the US.

The mirabelle plum brought back memories for Vanessa who first saw one of the trees while growing up in Germany.

Courtesy of Andy Gorzalski

Years ago, if you stood on the corner of Fourth and Mitchell Streets on Milwaukee’s near south side, you would have been greeted by images of dolphins. The purpose of the porpoises was to mark the entrance of one of Milwaukee’s most unique dining experiences.

The Public Natatorium featured Wild Boar Chasseur and Porterhouse Steak on its menu -- and five daily dolphins shows in its pool.

Milwaukee Athletic Club

A listener wondered if it was true that there were underground baths in Milwaukee where powerful men once met in secret to do powerful things.

To answer this Bubbler Talk question, Bonnie North met up with OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo, who tends to know this stuff, and Eric Nordeen, of the Wells Building, to find out.

Mitch Teich

"Why doesn't Milwaukee have an NHL team?" That's the question Dave Brown of Wauwatosa submitted to WUWM's Bubbler Talk.

Before we look into 'why,' let’s make the point that Milwaukee has had professional hockey for a long time – the Admirals, who play in pro hockey’s highest minor league, are the latest in a long line of pro hockey teams who have played here.

Ann-Elise Henzl WUWM

Winter is officially here, even though we have yet to see a big snowfall. But that'll probably come soon enough. And then you'll hear the sound of plows making their way down snow-covered streets.

The snow removal process -- especially the salt that's used -- fascinates one of our Bubbler Talk listeners, who asked us to look into it. So we stopped at one of the City of Milwaukee's salt domes in the Department of Public Works yard near 35th and Lincoln. The big structures house the salt supply in wintertime.

Teran Powell

You’re probably familiar with the dozens of huge sculptures of human-looking heads, known as Moai, on Easter Island. What you may not know is that there’s a piece of the Polynesian island right here in Wisconsin -- well, sort of.

A 14-foot-tall Moai statue stands proudly in a New Berlin neighborhood.

Aisha Turner

This week’s Bubbler Talk is rooted deep in Wisconsin history... in the story of escaped slave Joshua Glover. Glover fled Missouri for Wisconsin in 1852 and was imprisoned in Milwaukee under the Fugitive Slave Law.

You can see parts of his story driving on Fond du Lac towards Milwaukee’s downtown. A large mural spans the walls of the I-43 underpass. It depicts abolitionists storming the jail, helping Glover escape to freedom in Canada.

Tom Farence

From roughly 1944 until 1954, steam locomotive Number 265 carried load upon load of freight and later folks for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St.Paul & Pacific Railroad. 

However, the locomotive's career bumped up against progress when steam engines were out and diesel was in.

In 1956, the retired locomotive jumped the tracks and the City of Milwaukee replanted it off East Conway Street. And, that's when Number 265 became known as Old Smoky.

David Banks/Getty Images

Certainly, Wisconsin and Illinois have storied rivalries in the sports arena: the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears, the Brewers and the Cubs, the Bucks and the Bulls. But a few of our listeners have been wondering if that competitive spirit runs deeper than the action on the field.

One such listener, Jason Gessner, reached out to Bubbler Talk and asked, “Have Wisconsin and Illinois always had contentious relationship or is that a more modern development?”

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