Plus, the US Poet Laureate
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Today’s Forecast

39º | Cloudy | 24% chance of sleet | Sunrise 7:13 a.m. | Sunset 4:22 p.m.

🕹️ Have a (pin)ball
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NerdHaven, an arcade in Monona, has the 2nd most pinball machines in the state of Wisconsin. | Photo taken by 608today
Xenon. Pinbot. Medieval Madness. Fill your pockets with tokens and start playing. Orbitor One. Willy Wonka. Cyclone. Be careful not to tilt the game.

There are a plethora of pinball machines in Madison. In fact, Monona’s NerdHaven Arcade has the 2nd most pinball games in the state of Wisconsin.

The arcade is owned by locals John Karalis and Adam Wood. Karalis does the daily operations while Wood is the main head tech. Sometimes, after all, Pac-Man goes on the fritz and someone has to fix it. The two run the whole operation, but still find time to play Attack from Mars and Bubble Bobble.

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NerdHaven, in Monona, has regular pinball competitions for prizes. | Photo by 608today

The establishment, which opened in 2020, has 58 pinball machines and 133 video arcade games.

“We want to bring happiness,” Karalis says. “A haven to experience a moment of joy and excitement.” He continues, “It brings families together; giving them a place to come together to try something new…old video games.”

Wood concurs. “I wanted to create our own little portal that people can enjoy.”

Enjoy, Madisonians do, by sidling up to Gorf, House of the Dead, Zaxxon, Arkanoid, and more.

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The first modern-looking, coin-operated pinball machine was invented in the 1930s. It was created by the company Automatic Industries, which named it a “whiffle board.” | Photo by 608today

“Seeing people genuinely enjoying themselves is great. They end up finding a game they really like and having a blast,” says Wood.

A blast means, sometimes, blasting space invaders.

NerdHaven isn’t the only game in town for pinball and video arcade fun:

Aftershock Classic Arcade, 1444 E. Washington Ave., Madison
Wisconsin’s first dedicated classic arcade opened in 2000. The game room has all the classics and pinball games like Doctor Who, Monster Bash, and Phantom of the Opera.

Geeks Mania Arcade, 6502 Odana Rd., Madison
An assortment of video arcades are available to play, as well as pinball machines like Foo Fighters and Ghostbusters Premium. A $15 wristband gives you all day play.

I/O Arcade Bar, 924 Williamson St., Madison
Dubbed “Madison’s place for drinkers with a gaming problem,” I/O’s pinball selection includes Jungle Queen, Stranger Things, Deadpool, and more.
What’s the best classic arcade game?

A. Pinball
B. Pac-Man
C. Donkey Kong
D. Galaga
E. Other
Thursday, Nov. 16
  • Why She Writes | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 3-4 p.m. | Monona Public Library, 1000 Nichols Rd., Madison | Free | Join online for a thoughtful discussion with US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo.
  • Edible Cookie Dough | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 6-7 p.m. | Library, 5530 Lacy Rd., Fitchburg | Free | You had us at “edible cookie dough.”
Friday, Nov. 17
  • Friday Jazz Series | Friday, Nov. 17 | 5-7 p.m. | Tandem Press, 1743 Commercial Ave., Madison | Free | Bebop into the weekend with some toe-tapping jazz.
Saturday, Nov. 18
Sunday, Nov. 19
  • Mini Meditation Retreat | Sunday, Nov. 19 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr., Madison | $30 | Bliss out on a Sunday.
  • Dessa | Sunday, Nov. 19 | 8 p.m. | Majestic Theatre, 115 King St., Madison | $20-$49.50 | Listen to a member of the indie hip-hop collective Doomtree.
Monday, Nov. 20
Click here to have your event featured.
How you can support 608today’s 2024 vision
City Editor Jonathan poses with his dog and a colorful mascot.
Becoming a member is a powerful way to support our local news team. | Photo by 608today
It’s hard to believe it’s almost a wrap on 2023 — and what a year it’s been. We’ve been privileged enough to bring you incredible Madison news stories straight to your inbox.

Check out some of City Editor Jonathan’s favorites:
We’re asking for your support to bring you even more stories like these next year.

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News Notes
  • To improve bus on-time performance and overall reliability, schedule adjustments will be made to most Metro Transit routes on Sunday, Dec. 3. Several stops scheduled to close next year along the future Bus Rapid Transit line will also close on Dec. 3. Refer to the schedule book for more information.
  • The city wants to know your eco-friendly goals for Madison. This week is your last chance to participate in the Sustainability Plan Community Survey. Your input will inform future investments and decision-making around local sustainability efforts. Also, you might win free ice cream.
  • Local schools not only hand out report cards, they get them, too. Madison Metropolitan School District schools performed better overall during the last school year than the year before, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s annual report card released this week. (Channel 3000)
  • Strictly Discs can be considered a golden oldie. The Monroe Street institution, with over 500,000 albums and operating for the last 35 years, has added yet another milestone - new leadership. Ron and Angie Roloff will step back from day-to-day operations. Rick Stoner will take over as owner and president. (Channel 3000)
  • It’s Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Puppies and kittens are cute, for sure, but so are the slow and scruffy. The Dane County Humane Society has senior dogs available for adoption at $100. Cats are $10 unless their adoption fee has been covered by a donor. (WMTV)
  • The Dane County Farmers Market has wrapped up its season on the square and is heading inside for the holidays. Weekly Holiday Markets, featuring 60 vendors, begin this Saturday, Nov. 18, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. (Badger Herald)
  • Sandhill cranes are beginning to wing their way south for the winter. One of Wisconsin’s largest birds, they will spend their winter months mainly in Florida — hey TBAYtoday + LALtoday. The DNR estimates that there are 70,000 resident sandhill cranes in Wisconsin. (Fox 6)
  • For what ails you, perhaps Ale Asylum’s Bedlam? It’s back, thanks to Karben4 Brewing. Karben4 acquired the labels and recipes of the closed Ale Asylum brewery earlier this year. They’re reintroducing the former brewery’s bestsellers, including Hopalicious and Ambergeddon. Bedlam is a Belgian-style IPA. (Isthmus)
  • Perhaps the trophy will be made of clay. The Green Bay Packers legendary linebacker Clay Matthews, and defensive end Aaron Kampman, will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame next year. The Super Bowl champion Matthews played for the Packers for 10 seasons. (Fox 47)
🦃 Talking turkey
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There are approximately 350,000 wild turkeys in Wisconsin with plenty of them in Madison proper. | Photo taken by 608today
Next Thursday, dining room tables will be bedecked with a host of holiday cheer. Thanksgiving pies and stuffing, sweet potato casseroles, and fresh-baked dinner rolls will be piled high on famished family plates. Also — turkey.

More than 46 million turkeys will be eaten in the US next week. There aren’t quite that many around Madison, but they are abundant. So much so, that there are avid Facebook groups and Instagram feeds following the gobblers.

Here is a rafter of local turkey facts:
  • There are approximately 350,000 wild turkeys in Wisconsin.
  • Due to settlement, disease, and unregulated hunting, there were no turkeys in Wisconsin by the year 1881. They were reintroduced to the state in the 1970s.
  • One of the greatest wildlife management success stories in Wisconsin history, spring turkey harvests rank among the largest in the nation.
  • The sale of wild turkey stamps brings in over $750,000 annually for the healthy management of the state’s turkey population.
As for Madison’s urban gobblers, they’re resilient and flourishing.
The Buy
Know someone who loves candles and cosmos? Add this candle to your cart this holiday season.
On Monday, we asked what types of developments you’d like to see in Madison. Here’s what you said:

Madisonians are eager for more mixed-use developments.
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The Wrap
Jonathan Shipley 2.jpg Today’s edition by:
From the editor
Before you head to the nearest arcade, did you know that a former student at UW-Madison, Roger Sharpe, is a pinball wizard who helped overturn a decades-long ban on pinball in New York City? The new movie about him, “Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game” is worth a watch!
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