Stay curious. Your monthly scoop from the College of Letters & Science at UW-Madison. 
Tucked between Chamberlain, Lathrop and Birge Halls, the eight-room Botany Greenhouse is where faculty and students tend to more than a thousand species of plants, including a rare Amorphophallus titanum, known on campus as Little Stinker due to the odor it emits when it blooms.
Robots are the newest twist in the longstanding cultural "fetishization and overt sexualization of Asian women," says English professor Leslie Bow. They also serve as an alarming example of "techno-orientalism," the mingling of stereotypes with fears and fantasies about a future ruled by machines.
Researchers have confirmed that microscopic fossils found in a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old piece of rock in Western Australia are the oldest ever found. The discovery relied on new technology that took geoscience professor John Valley and his lab nearly 10 years to develop, and is the latest in the university's legacy of pushing back the accepted dates of early life on earth.
When's the best time to claim Social Security benefits? More than half of American workers choose before full retirement age, Newsweek reports, but Pamela Herd, professor of public affairs and sociology, warns that poverty rates accelerate as people reach their early 80s. "Social Security becomes your financial lifeline," she says.
Robert Roth, assistant professor of geography

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January 2018 Edition | Questions or comments? Email us at siftwinnow@ls.wisc.edu.
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