Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, July 22

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The controversial Judge

The Reader and I are thinking alike today. We both wrote about a Cook County election issue that's been getting an underground push lately: judicial retention and circuit court Judge Susan McDunn. Since the Reader's story isn't online, you can check out my summary of the issues to see why you might want to consider voting "no" on Judge McDunn. As we told you a few weeks ago, you can go to for more information on judicial retention candidates and evaluations in Cook County.

Clout-Heavy Schadenfreude

Chicago Public Radio's sketch comedy show, Schadenfreude, will feature some interesting guests for their election special: The Reverend Jesse Jackson and Congresspeople Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Jan Schakowsky. Tune in at 8pm Sunday to see what goofy things Jan and the Jacksons say!

Second Cubs broadcaster leaves

Speaking of baseball, Cubs broadcast analyst Steve Stone announced his resignation last night; it follows his former partner Chip Caray's resignation earlier this month. Both broadcasters were well-liked by fans and respected in the industry—except, that is, by certain Cubs players and management. Sentiment seems to be running with the broadcasters and against the organization both in the papers and online.

Sammy and the Mets?

Just two days after the season ended, and Chicago baseball teams are in negotiations with their players. The Tribune reports that the New York Mets are eyeing Sammy Sosa, who the Cubs are looking to dump, though at a high price. It looks like Nomar Garciaparra could still be with the Cubs next year, but only on a 1-year contract. The Cubs are also taking an interest in Astros' outfielder Carlos Beltran, who, according to the Sun-Times, might be ready to leave Houston. The White Sox, meanwhile, have re-signed Frank Thomas and Carl Everett, as well as Shingo Takatsu, while dropping injured catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. Is it time for spring training, yet?

Fine Print Snags Daley

A follow-up to this post yesterday: Apparently Daley didn't read the fine print when he signed the petition at the Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame Wednesday. He thought it just supported same-sex marriage, not a pointed demand that the county begin issuing marriage certificates immediately. The Chicago Anti-Bashing Network is denying that they tried to trick our gullible mayor.

A Stranger a Day

Since January 1 of this year, Roark Johnson has been taking a picture of a complete stranger each day, using an 8"x10" camera. The resulting images are stunning. [Thanks, Archie]

Don't Label Me Christian!

A patron at the Palatine Public Library is objecting to the library's use of stickers with "a little white and yellow cross with a purple background" to designate Christian fiction. The patron believes a "generic religious label" for Christian fiction would be more appropriate. The library staff have been using the labels for a couple of years and defend the practice, noting that Christian fiction is a recognized genre, but they are looking into new label types. Read the full story here.

Blow Up the Perimeter

The Plasticene theatre company debuts its new show, "The Perimeter," tonight at 8pm at The Viaduct, 3111 N. Western. "The Perimeter" is a wordless, physical performance exploring "how central power exerts its influence at the geographical and human edges of its authority." It runs through November 21.

Daley Signs Gay Marriage Petition

Mayor Daley took his support of gay marriage a step further yesterday at the close of the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame celebration, signing a petition calling for the repeal of the state's ban on same-sex marriage and demanding that Cook County begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately.

The Donald Tears It Down

At noon(ish) today, Donald Trump will be outside the Sun-Times Building, 401 N. Wabash, for a press conference, and will then start demolition of the fabled news building to make way for his new 90-story tower, which just got financing. Expect to see plenty of S-T staff nearby, bidding a fond farewell. [Thanks, Leah]

Code Blue: Darfur Fundraiser

The current situation in the Darfur region of Sudan prompted one local Evanston resident to action this month. Kelly Grotke began a fund-raising effort in October, with a goal of raising funds for Doctors Without Borders, an international medical aid group. Tonight is the culmination of Code Blue: Darfur; a charity auction occurs at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Street Church, 1458 Chicago Ave in Evanston. Donations are also gladly accepted.

Saturnine Detractor: The Election Issue

A new issue of the Saturnine Detractor is up. They're calling it "The Election Issue," but don't let that scare you away; Ben Adams' feature on No Child Left Behind and his experience working as a middle school tutor in Chicago is definitely worth checking out. Actually, all the articles are good this round. Get over there.

Billy Corgan, Wandering Poet

Former Smashing Pumpkins star Billy Corgan is reading from his new book of poetry, Blinking with First, at Borders, 830 N. Michigan, tomorrow night at 7pm. The line starts forming at 5pm, though if you want to get close you should arrive at, say, 8am. Check Slowdown for more info. If you don't get in, don't worry: this description of his reading in Vancouver [via BookSlut] will fill you in on the likely scene.

WomanNews Removed?

An anonymous tipster emailed us about a curious incident with today's Tribune: "If you checked out the print edition of the Trib today, apparently WomanNews was yanked from most editions b/c at the last minute they deemed a story too vulgar or something, although apparently it still made it into a few editions." Anyone have a copy? Know what the article was about? Email inbox at [UPDATE: Crain's tells the story.]

World's biggest book: no, you can't borrow it

The West Chicago Public Library just received a copy of the book "Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across The Last Himalayan Kingdom". Measuring 5 feet by 7 feet, this is the world's largest book, and they're going to put it on display this Sunday. You can attend the opening reception (see the library's site for info) or, if you've got $10,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you can even buy a copy of your own from, yes,

The Beautiful Face of Feminism

GB's own Cinnamon Cooper was interviewed in a recent Sun-Times article about the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). What's it like to be a young feminist in Chicago? How did a trip to Disney World influence one local NOW leader? Read and find out.

It's Now, or 2007

Tonight's the last full lunar eclipse until 2007! If you haven't made plans, head down to the Adler Planetarium. The Adler'll have free telescope viewing and field any questions you might have. There's also a Sky Show inside the Planetarium for you space junkies.

Next Stop: Palookaville

Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, will be performing at Metro this November in support of his new album, Palookaville. Apparently naming the record after a nonsensical quote from the late Marlon Brando, I imagine plenty of people forsee a parallel fate for Cook — involving an island, piles of money, and creative irrelevance. Regardless, his One Way Ticket to Palookaville tour is remarkable simply because Cook now has a band touring with him this time around, and will be playing on a stage that's been done up to look like his new video. All we need now is a Christopher Walken look-alike and synchronized dancing, and we're set!

Commercial potential

GB contributor Phineas X. Jones recently started selling a calendar featuring 12 of his excellent photo collages, as seen on his site. There are some wonderful Chicago images in the calendar, including ones taken at Wrigley Field, various lakeshore beaches and the late lamented Marigold Bowl. And if you like something you see in the calendar, you might peruse Phineas' catalog of prints for sale. These items make wonderful holiday gifts for those who enjoy lots of tiny pictures in close proximity to each other. Check 'em out.


Rearview contributor (today's in fact) Alessandra Gillen belongs to a collective of sorts, called Statisfield. The site deals with experimental audio and visual art (with a strong focus on the audio) and is nicely designed. There's a lot of interesting stuff going on there so whatcha waiting for?

Condo Hotel in the South Loop

Wanna buy a hotel room? Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which owns the Hotels Burnham, Allegro and Monaco, is opening a new condominium hotel in Printers Row, to be called The Morton. What's a "condo hotel?" Most of the rooms will be owned by individual investors, who share in the hotel's profits and can stay there free -- whenever it's not already rented. There are a few rooms left, ranging in price from the mid $100Ks to about half a mil. The International Herald Tribune reports that three other condo hotels are planned for the city, including the new Trump building and one planned for the Mag Mile.

Undead Walking Tour

Graceland Cemetery is one of the city's most beautiful; it's dotted with mausoleums by Louis Henri Sullivan and Laredo Taft for such luminaries as Daniel Burnham, the Palmers and Marshall Field. The Chicago Architecture Foundation conducts its last walking tour of the year this Sunday at 2pm, starting from the entrance at Clark and Irving Park. Since it's Halloween, reader Mike Hanline and friends will be dressing like zombies for the cemetery tour, then heading to McGee's Halloween Pub Crawl. If you care to join them, email michaelhanline at

Roller Derby, Chicago Style

Did you know that the roller derby phenomenon started in Chicago? The women who competed in the first contests were just as tough as the men. The Windy City Rollers are ready to prove that hasn't changed as they polish their skates and practice their elbow jabs before their inaugural season this winter. You can see them at the Derby Doll's Debut Ball at The Liar's Club Thursday night. These ladies aren't just raising money to get "Chicago's only all-female flat track roller derby league" off the ground -- they'll also be donating some cashola to the Chicago Abused Women Coalition and Planned Parenthood.

Rest in Peace, John

Arguably the world's most influential radio DJ, John Peel has sadly passed away while on vacation in Peru. Redefining the medium for an incredible four decades, Peel consistently championed new music from up-and-coming Chicago bands — such as Shellac, Tortoise, Braniac, and Labradford — and gave them an outlet on his now seminal Radio 1 program. Pulling from a variety of genres, both new and old, Peel's uncompromising, independent aesthetic served as an inspiration to music fans everywhere. Tributes are being compiled here; you can also submit a request for the BBC to air your favorite Peel Session.

Trib editors discuss Bush endorsement

On today's Fresh Air, two editors from the Chicago Tribune were interviewed on the topic of the Trib's endorsement of Bush for President. They also touched on related topics, such as the paper's endorsement of Barack Obama in the IL senate race and the history of the editorial page in general.

It's Like Punk Rock Never Happened

Local experimental rock imprint Kranky is getting a lot of press lately, mainly because one of the label's best-known bands has decided to record their anticipated new album for the venerable Seattle-based Sub Pop instead. This seemingly amicable split hasn't slowed Kranky's release schedule, though: a slew of new releases from Greg Davis, Autistic Daughters and Chicago's very own Pan American are on shelves now, with plans for a 2-disc compilation in the works. Touring in support of his new album, Davis will also perform at the Empty Bottle on November 14th as part of a Carpark Records showcase.

Michigan Avenue Make-over

Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin says that in a few years, the Michigan Avenue "streetwall" may not look anything like it does now. The Trib provides a block-by-block view of the Boule Mich's transformation.

Rocky Horror at Music Box

Few things are as beautiful as looking up in a movie theater and seeing many rolls of toilet paper flying towards the screen. This weekend is your chance to do it too -- Midnight Madness, the local RHPS performance group, is giving a show at the Music Box at midnight on Friday and Saturday. This show always sells out, so it might be a good idea to get your tickets now so you can Time Warp this weekend.

Prospecting property

A new study tracks the ten "hottest" zip codes in terms of real estate growth for major metropolitan areas. Oak Park leads Chicago's list; cross-reference it with a zip code map for a more clear summary.

Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy

Playwright Tony Kushner won two Obies, two Tonys, the Pulitzer, and, last month, an Emmy for his brilliant play "Angels in America." In his new play-in-progress, "Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy," Kushner explores the mystery of the mistress of beige, First Lady Laura Bush. In the first scene of the new work, Mrs. Bush goes to heaven to read the Grand Inquisitor segment of "The Brothers Karamazov" to dead Iraqi children; in scene two, she argues with Kushner himself about the place of politics in art. The play gets an election-weekend reading this Friday evening at Next Theatre. See details in Slowdown.

Fall Color Peaks

According to the weather channel, we're now in the peak viewing season for fall foliage and colors. So head out to one of these fine spots near Chicago for checking out this autumn's treasures.

Fotolog's View of Illinois

Have a few minutes to kill? Want to see what people in Lombard take pictures of? Or Rockford? Or Chicago? has their fotologs classified by geographic region (though it seems sorta loose - there are a lot from other places which happen to have IL in the name). The one for Illinois makes good fodder for aimless surfing.

Muslims Take to the Airwaves

Radio Islam is a one-hour Muslim talk show broadcast at 6pm on 1450 AM. The show, which debuted Oct. 1, has been very popular, and plans are afoot to take it national. Listen to a profile of the program on NPR's "All Things Considered," or check out the show's archives online (Windows Media Player required).

A Prickly Paradigm -- For Free

Prickly Paradigm Press, a pamphlet-publishing press distributed by the University of Chicago Press, has released much of its back catalog for PDF download under a Creative Commons license. Check out the list here.

Driving Votes in WI & OH

The Chicago chapter of Driving Votes has a big GOTV push planned for Madison this weekend. Trips leave every morning Friday through Tuesday; there's also a Friday-to-Sunday Cleveland trip. If a canvassing road trip sounds like your idea of a good time, contact the trip leader for the day you'd like to leave and let them know if you can drive, your cell number, and your t-shirt size (t-shirts! yay!).

Vote early, then pARTicipate

Schubas has just announced an addition to their election-night programming. "A Night of Apocalyptic Possibilities" will now kick off at 6pm with the premiere screening of "pARTicipation," a documentary filmed during August's Interchange music-and-voter-registration festival, featuring performances by Andrew Bird, Bobby Conn, Tortoise, the M's and more. That's still followed by a screening of "Fahrenheit 9/11" at 7:30 and live band karaoke at 10, and it's still all free.

You Are / I Am Books released

You Are Beautiful, purveyors of fine guerilla arts have released their You Are/I Am books out into the public. Reminiscent of the 1000 Journals Project, you can find out how to get a book or take a sneak peek at some pages of the ongoing project.

Sanctuary for Primates

Did you know there's a home for baboons being built in Pulaski, Indiana? The Peaceable Primate Sanctuary will be the first such place in the United States, giving safe harbor to baboons from pet, entertainment and research industries. They've got a weblog so you can follow along with their progress toward developing this important center.

Dave Matthews Sops Up Mess with Money

In the latest installment of Poopgate, Dave Matthews Band issued an apology and donated $50,000 each to the Chicago Park District and Friends of the Chicago River in hopes of putting the tour bus sewage dump fiasco behind them. The organizations are much obliged, but the band isn't admitting blame and Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the civil suit against the band will go ahead anyway.

The2NDHAND Release Party

THE2NDHAND celebrates the release of its 15th issue, "LE2EMEMAIN," tonight at Skylark, 2149 S. Halsted, tonight (Sunday). Editors Todd Dills and Jeb Gleason-Allured are joined by Joe Meno and Jonathan Messinger in some brief readings and prolonged debauchery. The event is free, begins at 7:30pm, and is only open to those of us lucky enough to be 21 and older. Read, drink and be merry.

Wheatpaste for liberty!

Our friends at Punk Planet and In These Times are two of the sponsors behind the November 1 Swing State poster project, which will paper the streets of swing states on Election Eve with poster designs contributed by artists including locals Lynda Barry and Josh MacPhee. Click over to the site to make a donation or download some posters for yourself in PDF; if you wanted to spend the evening hanging posters in, say, southern Wisconsin, that'd be cool too. Email to volunteer.

Desperately Seeking a Logo

Do you like logos? Sure, we all do! The Oak Park Farmers' Market is seeking a new logo, and is accepting submissions through November 1st. Two finalists will be picked in two categories: under 18 years old, and 18 and over. The only catch is the prize - or lack thereof: the winner only gets to see his/her logo all over the place. If you can live with that, get crackin'.

Chicago's Sound Experiment

Despite being located in Evanston, Northwestern University's student-run radio station, WNUR 89.3 FM, holds a unique spot in Chicago's musical history. Not only does it compete with many of the big boys in terms of physical range, but it provides an honest alternative to the drab, commercial options that populate much of the FM dial. Weekdays are a perfect showcase of WNUR's genre diversity, featuring everything from Jazz and Blues to Experimental and World Music. After 9:30 PM, a nearly 20 year old portion of programming begins, focusing on electronic, hip hop, and dance-oriented music. Be sure to tune into Clinically Inclined and Subsystence Radio, two of the city's most tenured house and techno broadcasts.

Dead Authors Party

There's nothing wrong with playing dress-up in the privacy of your own home, but if you're ready to take your costume public, check out the Guild Complex's Dead Authors Party Saturday night from 6-9 pm at darkroom (2210 W Chicago Ave). Come dressed as your favorite dead author, dead character from a novel or poem – heck, get some friends together and come as the play Our Town. It’s a great way to try out that Halloween costume and helps support Chicago’s premiere literary center. Individual and group costume competitions will be judged by celebrities for prizes. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To reserve yours, please call 773.227.6117 x16.

Childhood Obesity Efforts Praised by AMA

The Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children was "praised by the American Medical Association as it begins a two-day obesity summit here Tuesday." Due to the great reaction to the consortium's efforts, the AMA is taking note of the efforts to curb childhood obesity on a community level. Some projects promoted by the CLOCC include dance and yoga workshops for children and offering free bike locks to kids to encourage riding bikes to school.

Rock for Jesus

So you thought only godless, heathen teenagers were the types to hang out in garages and listen to rock'n'roll and play guitar and tape themselves? Well, you'd be wrong. Willow Creek is sponsoring a Battle of the Bands and you can listen to the kids' songs and vote online. The winner gets $1000! Cool, eh? What do you expect from the church that Mr. T attends?

The Asian Mack Daddy

AsianMack Super Filter is a new, locally based site that "sifts through Apple's iTunes Music Store so you don't have to!" Each day another album, old or new, gets posted. Says creator Jamie Dihiansan, "The idea is to add a web recommendations interface into Apple's iTunes Music Store. Hopefully readers might discover something new that they wouldn't have otherwise listened to."

Photoblog Friday

For your viewing pleasure, a couple of local photoblogs:
No Traces
Exposing Myself

Munchkin Movies

If you're looking for some cinema time with your kids that doesn't insult your intelligence, check out the Chicago Children's Film Festival, over the next ten days. The festival kicks off tonight with a gala event featuring LeVar Burton (yup, from Reading Rainbow!) and most tickets are cheaper than going to a regular movie (just $8 for adults, $6 for kids). Films are being shown at Facets, the Vittum Theatre, and Burnham Plaza until October 31 and range from a new clay animated mockumentary by the makers of "Chicken Run", to several created by children in Chicago. There are also workshops, a tribute to Shel Silverstein, and an awards presentation. Plus, read Kid Reviews of the films.

Redmoon Theater Classes

Redmoon Theater, known for their ethereal location-centric productions, is offering classes to "create objects in the style of Redmoon Theater." The two classes currently offered are Lantern making and miniature mechanical Pop-up cards. Both classes are $60. For more information, call 312.850.8440, ext. 110, or email

Do the Math

Could you pass today's 8th Grade math, or would you be a child left behind? Take the actual test on MSN Encarta and find out. [via Coudal]

If You Know What Linux Is, Read On

In the heady days of hobbyist computing, installing operating systems on computers was really difficult. People would get together and hold InstallFests - you would bring your computer and some people (possibly nerds) would help you install Linux on it. This tends to happen less these days as most operating systems are lot a lot easier to install. But that isn't stopping the DePaul Linux Users Group from having a meeting this Saturday, which they are billing as the DePaul Linux Expo. (It's open to anyone and hey, they have free food too.) Learn about Linux if you haven't already.

Instead of spare change

Chicago Shares is a voucher program that lets you order vouchers in $1.00 increments to give to people on the street asking for money. The vouchers can be redeemed for food and other necessities at places like White Hen, Dunkin' Donuts, Jewel and Subway, though they cannot be used for alcohol or tobacco. Or you could do what I do and carry around extra granola bars to offer people who are hungry, but the vouchers provide opportunity for a more complete meal.

Spicing Up the Season

The Spice House is one of my favorite shops. The staff is always friendly and super-knowledgeable, always ready to answer questions. This Saturday and Sunday 10-11:30am, owners Patty and Tom Erd will be at the Chalet Nursery Education Center, 3132 Lake Ave. in Wilmette, presenting "The Lure and Lore of Spices," featuring the fascinating history of spices, interesting trivia and spice tastings. The first 50 people at each session get a goodie bag. Call the Chalet at 847/256-0561 for more info.

The Other Yellow Pages

Sometimes it's difficult to open the Yellow pages and figure out which plumber, electrician, or pizzeria is going to be any good. The Chicago Alternative Yellow Pages doesn't promise better results, but they do guarantee a smaller list to choose from.

911 Upgrade

By the end of the year, the city's 911 emergency call center will be able to pinpoint the location of cell phone calls to within 400 feet.

Down with Chain Stores, Shop Local

Andersonville's chamber of commerce announced a study that found local, independent stores are better for neighborhoods. For every $100 in sales, independent stores generate $73 that stays in the local economy, while a chain store provides just $43 in local economic impact on average nationally. The chamber intends to persuade city hall to protect the neighborhood from chain stores, hoping to avoid the fate of Lincoln Park.

Direct From the Manufacturer

Looking to get a fresh turkey this year, raised in Illinois by a family farmer? HoKa Turkey Farms delivers its turkeys to butchers and independent grocery stores across Chicago and you can even order one that hasn't been frozen. Plus, their "Where to Buy" page acts as a list of independent butchers for Chicago and the suburbs.

Metra Announces Public Hearings

Metra has announced its schedule of public hearings on the 2005 budget at a time difficult for most people to get there. All meetings-- one for each of the collar counties and regions of Cook County--are from 4 - 7 pm on either the 3rd or the 4th of November. The 2005 budget doesn't contain any huge surprises. Except for one: despite refitting most of the cars and engines and spending $70.5 million for stations and parking, including over $8 million in new parking, not one penny is going towards letting bikes on trains. Metra's one of two commuter rail lines in the country (yes, even Texas beats us) that do not let bikes on trains. Pace gets it. The CTA gets it. When will Metra?

Pip Lit in Chicago

Pip Lit is a new online publication that bills itself as "Chicago's Online Literary Magazine." Pretty ambitious for an initial issue, especially in a city that supports so many excellent lit mag sites. However, the poems are good, and the contributors page lists the contributors’ connections to Chicago. Definitely worth checking out, seeing what develops over future issues.

Be Big in Japan

If you have the ability (and flexibility) to live abroad for a year, consider this: The JET Programme of the Japanese government pays you ¥3,600,000/year (about $33,000) tax free, and they fly you over and give you health insurance and vacation time. In exchange, you teach English as a Second Language classes. The only pre-requisite is a bachelors degree -- in any major! More info here, or at an informational session November 6 at the Japan Information Center, 737 N. Michigan Ave.

CBS wipes Chicago off the map

Chicago is the setting for a new CBS disaster movie that airs next month. "Category 6: Day of Destruction" depicts the Windy City getting hit with a "perfect storm" caused by a number of smaller storms meeting in Chicago (no doubt at a convention at McCormick Place). And yes, of course it wasn't filmed in Chicago (Winnipeg stands in for us), so don't expect to see your own house or apartment building being blown away. The movie airs on Sunday, November 14 and Wednesday, November 17. (Because a Chicago disaster can't be contained to just ONE evening!)

Free Movie: Vera Drake

Gapers Block and Chicago NOW are inviting you to the movies. Well, one movie. Vera Drake will be showing for free at Webster Place tonight (Wednesday) at 7pm. Download this PDF invite and bring it and a friend to the theater. Only the first 100 people get in free, so get there early. If you feel like it, Chicago NOW will be more than happy to take the $8.50 that you'd normally have spent.

Movie summary: Vera Drake is a selfless woman who is completely devoted to, and loved by, her working class family. She spends her days doting on them and caring for her sick neighbor and elderly mother. However, she also secretly visits women and helps them induce miscarriages for unwanted pregnancies. While the practice itself was illegal in 1950s England, Vera sees herself as simply helping women in need, and always does so with a smile and kind words of encouragement. When the authorities finally find her out, Vera's world and family life rapidly unravel.

Down Under The Loop

Here's a nifty site about the tunnels and rail operation that existed under the Loop until the 50s, and what a lot of the tunnels looked like in the 1980s. "Construction on Chicago's unique freight tunnel network began in 1899 in the basement of a tavern in the heart of the Loop near LaSalle and Madison Streets..."

Animal Grossology

Word is the new exhibit at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Animal Grossology, isn't quite as gross as the human-centered "Grossology" exhibit from a few years ago. But visitors can still get hands-on with fake animal "barf" and "dookie," giant ticks sucking blood from a giant human arm, vials of animal smells like skunk scent, musk deer scent and fox urine, a 60-foot tapeworm, and a ton of interactive games designed to teach kids about biology. Exhibit runs through the end of the year.

Going for the Record in Eww

UC's Chicago Maroon reports on fourth year student Mel Grubbe's attempt at getting into the Guinness Book of World Records. The category: World's Longest Eyelash.

CTA Story to Beat All

ThisIsGrand's Jonathan Messinger reports in the RedEye (?!?) what has to be the CTA complaint to end all complaints: "The CTA burned my house down."

Find Your Geek Match

Are you a geek? Do you have trouble meeting other geeks with which to share your life experiences? Perhaps it's time to check out Geek2Geek dating service. Its retro-styled site is filled to the brim with swinging, uh, geeks waiting to meet you. And it's based right here in Chicago!

Love That Body

Embrace the embraceable you today, and all days, starting tonight at the Poetry Slam at Filter, and tomorrow during NOW's 7th annual Love Your Body Day. Check out the haunting statistics on women and body image, advertising, health, and well-being online, then print out a poster, plan a get-together, and start thinking some body-friendly thoughts.

Daily Herald Endorses Kerry

Speaking of endorsements... In a somewhat surprising move, the Daily Herald has endorsed John Kerry for president, calling him the better of two "imperfect candidates." A stunner from a paper based in the largely Republican suburbs.

Good News From Fannie May

The Mae family has had a string of bad luck lately. Both Freddie and Fannie Jr, of home mortgage fame, are facing a lot of heat from Congress. But Chicago's beloved Fannie May, the candy store, had some good news this week: stores are reopening! While it doesn't seem like the jobs that left with the factory are returning, seeing the stores with the lights on will make me feel better. (If you really think candy made in Chicago tastes better, then try Peerless, which are still made in Lincoln Park.)

Tribune Endorses Bush

This morning's lead editorial in the Chicago Tribune endorses George W. Bush. The editorial says that opposed to the usual weighing of candidates' "views on a mosaic of issues," this year "force vectors we didn't anticipate turn some of our usual priorities -- our pet causes, our own economic interest -- into narcissistic luxuries."

Top Food Roundup

The November issue of Chicago Magazine hits the stands soon, and subscribers already know which restaurants top this year's Dining Awards. EatChicago has a preview for the rest of us, and Epicurious just happened to feature five of the top 10 in its Corner Table section last week.

Say It with Glass Block

The Glass Block Factory might not be the first place you'd look for unique gifts this holiday season, but it'll be your last. How could you pass up such cool furniture as this?! (Thanks, Cat.)

Local Info

Care to try Chicago's new home-town search engine? recently relocated here from London, and Sun-Times tech reporter (and occasional GB photo contributor) Howard Wolinsky says it rivals Google in power.

That's all for Alice

If you were hoping to catch the Neo-Futurists' critically acclaimed show "Alice" on its final weekend (October 23 and 24), you're out of luck! The final two dates are sold out, and the show isn't going to be extended past these dates. Fortunately for you, you still have at least two more chances to see special Neo-Futurist theatrical presentations this week: Thursday night at the Abbey Pub, where the Neo-Futurists will open for Monty Python musical collaborator Neil Innes; and Friday & Saturday night, when you can catch a special presentation of "43 Plays for 43 Presidents."

Kiddie Kingdom

One of my earliest memories was a visit to Dispensa's Kiddie Kingdom out in Oak Brook. I remembered very little, but this simple fan page jogged my memory. The scariest thing is that the site now holds the state's tallest building outside of Chicago - Oakbrook Terrace Tower.

You've Got Frankenfish!

Most fish names are soothing - trout, salmon, blue gill. The Northern Snakehead, however, sounds scary, and the fish looks just as scary as it sounds. The DNR has announced that one of the dreaded suckers has been found in the Great Lakes (in Chicago's harbor no less). Whether this is a one-off occurance or a change in lake's ecosystem isn't known yet -- but let's hope this nasty little fish doesn't stick around.

Attempted Nazi March Digitization Project

In 1978 the National Socialist Party of America (Nazis) attempted to hold a march in the Village of Skokie. The suburb at that time was home to a large Jewish community, including many Holocaust survivors. The event received national attention and was even turned into a made-for-TV movie, Skokie, in 1981. Now, the Skokie Public Library brings us the Attempted Nazi March Collection Digitization Project, a comprehensive archive of materials relating to the incident. Download and read the original newspaper articles relating to the march, listen to real audio recordings from the 1977 and 1978 Village of Skokie Board of Trustees meetings, and watch a documentary film about the proposed march. Highly recommended.

Highwayman to Heaven

Holy moolah! A priest has been accused of stealing more than $1 million from the Archdiocese of Chicago. Father Brian Lisowski resigned earlier this year after relapsing into alcoholism and getting caught by the cops with a prostitute in his car. Talk about bad priests.

Batching It at Crobar

So, you want to be on reality TV? Here's your chance: ABC's "The Bachelor" is looking for the next bachelor and 25 bachelorettes tonight at Crobar, 1543 North Kingsbury. If you RSVP to right away, you can get on the list for free admission before midnight and an audition to be on the show. Show up between 9pm and 11pm -- good luck!

Architectural Artifacts

Located near the corner of Montrose and Ravenswood, a few blocks west of Graceland Cemetery, sits another of the Windy City's many architectural treasures. Established in 1987, Architectural Artifacts, Inc. collects and preserves certified antiques and other historic memorabilia from around Chicagoland, selling some of it in their shop and displaying the rest in a recently-completed museum. From stained glass to doors, furniture to religious artifacts, their collection boasts "more range, depth, and personality" than anywhere else in the area. It seems they also rent out their massive space for private events. Thanks to Chicago for the link!

Another CTA rate hike?

Yesterday, the CTA held the first of four public hearings on the subject of proposed schedule reductions, which were announced as a possible way of dealing with budget shortfalls. Another possible method of dealing with the shortfall is another 25-cent fare increase, which CTA board members asked their staff to investigate. WBEZ reported this morning that the rate increase could be set to happen as early as next year. Meanwhile, an editorial in today's Tribune offers other ideas on how to save funds, including charging customers for how far they travel and encouraging private competition for the right to run the bus lines. The next public hearing on the service cuts is next Tuesday, if you want to attend and make your opinions known.

Tru Order at the Darkroom

Love the music of New Order? Then check out Tru Order tonight at The Darkroom. Djs Traxx, Jesse De La Pena, and Trancid will be spinning a set of "their personal favorites, plus their own remixes" of New Order, Joy Division, Warsaw, and other Factory-related music. 2210 W. Chicago Ave., 21+, free till 11p.m. $5 after.


Jim Romanesko, Evanstonian blogger of Obscure Store and Media News fame, has started a new weblog. About Starbucks. Now you can get your fix without the jitters.

Watch Them Polls

Politically inspired by the debates last night? Want to make sure that every vote counts? You can train as a pollwatcher. The League of Women Voters of Chicago and i am the government are offering free training for those interested in becoming pollwatchers on November 2nd. You can watch the polls in your neighborhood, ward, suburb, or travel all around the state on election day to keep an eye on democracy for an hour, or all day long. Training sessions last just a couple of hours, and one happens tonight from 6–8 p.m. at the LWV offices downtown or there are others throughout October.

Mexican Coke: It's sweet!

After living on the edge of the Humboldt Park neighborhood for three years, Mexican Coke became a staple in life. Occassionaly, we would walk a couple doors down to the carniceria to pick up a few bottles of Coke. Now, this cultural phenomenon seems to be gaining notice. Head down to Pilsen, and the Mexican Coke outsells American cans at least five to one. Shipments arrive twice a month, trucked up right from the bottling plants in Mexico. Some say the use of cane sugar makes it taste sweeter, others just like the old school bottles. Bottles are used over and over again in Mexico, leading to the used look and feel. Unfortunately, after arriving in the US, these bottles don't get back to Mexico for reuse. But, if you can, please recycle.

Vote Judiciously

With the election coming up, everyone and their brother is talking about the presidential vote. But what about further down the ballot? is a new site dedicated to helping voters make informed decisions about judicial candidates. (Admit it: you usually just pick the coolest names, don't you?) The site also has a list of organizations that evaluate and endorse judges, so you can get a second opinion.

Sun Times Photo Collection

Way cool: images of Chicago through the decades from the Sun-Times. There are so many good photos in the group. I really like this one -- recognize the guy on the right?

Dining with Alsace

Alsace, the province frequently tossed between France and Germany and currently in France, has some kick-butt cooking. If you like the idea of German food but the stuff they serve at Oktoberfest-type gatherings doesn't excite you, then you might want to try one of a handful of Alsatian restaurants in Chicago. The New York Times has an article about the chef behind Brasserie Jo and Everest, both of which serve Alsatian food. (Useless trivia: Sauerkraut comes from Alsace and not Germany, and therefore might technically be considered French, not German. Or is it Freedom Kraut?)

Somebody told you...

...that you should donate to Rock for Kids, but you didn't. And since you didn't, you weren't at a concert by The Killers last night at Germania Place. Grey Goose Vodka threw a shindig and all the cool kids who donated to Rock for Kids were in attendance. Nyah, nyah.

Debate Watch: The Tussle in Tempe

If you're looking for some good buddies to watch tonight's final Presidential Debate, then head on down to the Chicago Historical Society for Debate Watch. President Bush and Senator Kerry will debate domestic issues in their final showdown, in Tempe, Arizona. The CHS event will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception and a discussion by Don Wycliff, public editor, Chicago Tribune and Alan Gitelson, professor, Loyola University with moderator Mark Jacob, editor, Chicago Tribune, followed by a viewing of the debate at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door and students get in free with ID. Watch it tonight, or you'll just have to read all about it tomorrow on the internets.

Blue Bag or Orange Ticket?

Alderman Thomas Murphy is proposing making recycling mandatory in the city, and fining homeowners (and renters, one imagines) for not separating recyclables into blue bags. The Chicago Recycling Coalition supports the measure, and has some ideas of their own.

Chi-town readings lowdown

As far as literary blogs go, Chicago has the widely-read Bookslut, but did you know about Golden Rule Jones? If you're interested in readings, check out the site's right frame, which contains a vast list linking to every upcoming poetry, fiction, and criticism reading in Chicago.

Drag Kings Everywhere!

Love chicks dressed as dudes? You're in luck! Drag kings from around the world are descending on Chicago this weekend. International Drag King Extravaganza 6 is a three-day conference with events held at area venues, starting tomorrow. This year's theme -- "gendeRevolution" -- will be explored through academic and non-academic panel discussions, and celebrated through visual art and live performances. Serious discussions plus red-hot fun!

Downtown Gamblin'

Block 37 keeps getting more interesting. Now the idea has been floated that the Block 37 development might feature a casino. No one's saying it's a done deal, but just imagine: gambling, right at your favorite El stop.

Chicago Vocabulary

"Hey, hey." So, you think you know your Chicago slang? Check out this unique Chicago vocabulary list and find out. So the next time your friend tells you that his car got booted outside of the Riv so he took the El to the Weiner Circle to get a chardog and some pop before heading to the Friendly Confines, you can smile and nod your head knowingly.

Gory garage sale

As Defiant Theatre staggers toward the grave—the company's final and well-received production, "A Clockwork Orange", closes this Saturday—they're getting rid of their inventory with a "Graverobbing Sale." They promise to have "tons of costumes, props, office equipment, phalli, and much, much more" on the cheap. The sale is Saturday, 10am-4pm at Defiant's warehouse space at 3711 N. Ravenswood.

Civic Book Clubs

I've considered joining a book club in the past, but never really knew where to go to get started. Turns out that I should have at least considered the local library first: libraries across the city have book club discussions once a month. This month is dedicated to "One Book, One Chicago" -- a novel titled In The Time Of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.


Not Chicago news, but fans of Movable Type (the software used to power this very site!) will want to check out this profile of MT and Six Apart in today's Wall Street Journal, if only to see the stipple portraits of Ben and Mena Trott.

Tour Free Market Chicago

Next time you're forced to take visiting friends and family on a tour of the city, consider the Heartland Institute's Free Market Walking Tour of Chicago's Loop. Then, just to mess with them, take'm on a tour of Illinois Labor history sites. You may never be asked to play tourguide again.

Waste of Bandwidth

You may be familiar with Andy Ihnatko's work as technology columnist for the Sun-Times, but you probably weren't aware that he has a weblog. Or a Flickr account, where he has a photo of Studs Terkel in a neck brace with Molly Ivins.


If you've ordered a button or poster from us in the past week or so, it's likely we didn't hear about it: PayPal has been having problems with its system(!) and is working on a fix. In the meantime, if you can't wait, just email us at inbox@ and we'll see what we can work out. (PS: We're almost done with our t-shirts! Yay!)

Little Utopias

Select Media Festival 3 is taking over the city this weekend. Of the events not to be missed is the Super Show, featuring an exhibition, live music, multimedia presentations, and a best of SMF3 shorts screening. The exhibition, Little Utopias: Alterations of Everyday Life, features an amazing showcase of artists, some of the best the city has to offer (Cody Hudson, Chris Silva, Jeff Zimmerman, You Are Beautiful, and so very many others). Visit the Select Media website for all the juicy details.

23 Skidoo!

Gothamist mentions an obscure slang term associated with the Flatiron Building (New York's, not the Wicker Park knock-off): "23 Skidoo," supposedly said by NYPD dispersing men hoping for a little upskirt action thanks to the breezes by that building. Turns out it may have originated in Chicago instead.

Pets Are Worth Saving

Did you know that spaying or neutering your pet increases its life expectancy? How about the fact that a female cat and her children can produce 420 thousand offspring in just seven years? PAWS Chicago is the largest local humane society, offering a no-kill alternative to the city's pet overpopulation problem. Operating for over seven years, PAWS supplies an incredible service to dog and cat owners throughout Chicagoland with their Little Village-based Lurie Family Spay/Neuter Clinic. Realizing that surgery is the only way to control unwanted breeding, the clinic helps pet owners afford the procedure by subsidizing it dramatically, and even making it free for low-income families.

Slow Food Chicago

The Slow Food Guide to Chicago is out, with listings for restaurants, bars, markets, and manufacturers recommended by Slow Food Chicago members. Places listed in the guide were chosen for their quality (ranging from Trotter's to West African lunch trucks in Streeterville), as well as their dedication to the Slow Food ethos: good food takes time. Other stated goals of its mission are to preserve food source biodiversity and to promote locally, sustainably grown food. Disclosure: I am a Slow Food member and wrote some of the listings in the book. Order it from Amazon or Chelsea Green.

Obama & Keyes debate (finally!)

Two months after Alan Keyes was picked by Illinois Republicans to run against Barack Obama, they're finally having the first of three debates tomorrow night in Springfield at 7pm. So if you were wondering when we were ever going to hear these two candidates debating, you've got your answer. As the presumptive winner (with a 45-point lead over Keyes in the polls), Obama is not only campaigning in Illinois, but is also donating money to, and speaking on behalf of, Democratic candidates in key states for this year's election, as the Washington Post reports (registration required).

Dads: No Cameras, Please

It's a classic scene: A mother giving birth, with soon-to-be dad orbiting her with a video camera, capturing the moment for posterity. But in many area hospitals, it's a thing of the past. Crain's reports that OB-GYNs increasingly are ordering cameras out of the delivery room, fearing the threat of a malpractice lawsuit (with convenient tape of the incident) if anything goes wrong.

Michael Jordan Motorsports

Did you know Michael Jordan is into motorcycle racing? Neither did I, until I spotted this article in the Daily Southtown. He's apparently a big fan, and owns a Ducati with his famous "Jumpman" icon on the side.

It Started With A Curse

Did you know that WLS's first ever broadcast started with a curse from actress Ethel Barrymore? Or that Sears once sold WLS brand tubes for your radio? I did thanks to WLS History, a site filled with hardcore trivia and loads of photos lovingly maintained by radio guy Scott Childers. (Note: old-school navigation.)

Second City . . . Again

According to the North American Vexillological Association (vexillology = the study of flags - who knew?) Chicago's city flag is the second most attractive city flag in the nation. Right behind Washington DC and their ugly clone of Chicago's clean blue lines and red stars. What were those vexillologists thinking?

Trail of Terror Needs Volunteers

Want to scare the living crap out of some kids this Halloween? Volunteer for the Chicago Park District's Trail of Terror. This event is held at North Park Village at Pulaski and Peterson. Volunteers over 16 are needed to act out roles and staff booths at the fest, held Oct. 22-24 and Oct. 28-30 from 6:30pm to 9 pm. Call the North Region Office at 773-/262-8658 to volunteer!

Bye, Bye 411

How many times have you been out and said "What the heck is that phone number?" or "What was her exact address again?" If you have a cell phone and know how to send text messages, you can now get the address from Google by text message. Send a text message (also called SMS) to GOOGL saying "Schuba's Chicago, IL" and the address will pop back. Or, building on the fuel question about pizza from this week, say "pizza 60625" and see what they recommend. Now if they only had movie times....

Chicago Theater's National Praise

Today's Wall Street Journal has a fine article about drama critic Terry Teachout's (possibly the best name ever) recent trip to Chicago. While you have to be a paid subscriber to read the article online, you can read large portions of Terry's mostly glowing reviews of the Court Theater's production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and Porchlight Music Theatre’s "Sweeney Todd" among others online at Arts Journal. Plus, some extra tidbits about his adventures in Chicago last weekend with another critic "Our Girl in Chicago." Come back soon, Mr. Teachout!

Stories On Stage Winners Announced

Chicago Public Radio has announced the winners of the 2004 Stories On Stage "Now Hear This" short story competition. J. Adams Oaks, Dana Wood and L.C. Fiore will see their pieces performed November 7 at the MCA. You can read one of Oaks's other works in The Tap.

Lyric Opera Warehouse Sale

We mentioned this back in September, but it merits another shout-out: The Lyric Opera's warehouse at 2559 S. Dearborn is being sold for redevelopment, so this weekend the doors are being thrown open for a huge sale. Trunks for $50, costumes starting at $5 -- and all sorts of props, from swords to a giant Edgar Allen Poe face. It's free and runs 1-4pm Saturday and Sunday. More info in this Tribune article.

Jerkstore Opening

Tonight is the Jerkstore's grand opening party, stop by the new loft and get down to some great music. International Deejay Gigolo's Plastique De Reve from Geneva is headlining, along with Shitkatapult's Phon.o from Berlin. Hosts Atomly and Johnny Love are also playing, so expect everything from jackin' house to dirty electro to hard acid techno to new wave and more. 1550 N. Damen, $5, all night.

Friday Fish Tale

You know those goldfish you win at the local fair? The ones who barely live long enough for you to get them home, promptly dying minutes later? Well, Max the Fish has defied all laws of nature by living 19 years after his owner Steve Bennett brought him home to Mt. Prospect in 1985. 19 YEARS!!! Max has become quite the star, his story having appeared in several newspapers, on radio programs and cable television news shows. And of course, Max, the goldfish who will never die, has his own website and fan club.

Sun-Times' capsule opened

The Sun-Times building is being vacated by the paper's staff this weekend, because the building's being knocked down to make way for a Trump condo tower. Yesterday the Sun-Times staff opened up a time capsule that had been put into the wall of the building's entrance in 1958. And what was inside it? A frog with a tophat that sang only when one construction worker looked at it. Ha! Not really. It was actually just some old editions of the Sun-Times and the two papers that were combined to make the Sun-Times, the Chicago Sun and the Chicago Times.

A Call To Action

Chicago-based web magazine The Blacklist has just released their third issue, and it's well worth a look. Featuring Art Direction from local designer Ray Noland of Creative Rescue, the October installment contains interviews with DJs Lady D and Chris Quinn, artwork from Jon Nicholson, Chris Silva, and Justin Fines of Demo, and a spotlight on first-time voters. So, go on, get Blacklisted!

A Sad Day For Turkeys

This weekend will be the 26th Annual Turkey Testicle Festival in Byron, Illinois. Yes, you read that right. Bands, beer, the namesake treat, and the timeless classic "Run For The Nuts". If you want more info, you can visit the website or listen to their amazing song.

The City on eBay

The city is putting itself on eBay... sort of. The Great Chicago Fire Sale purports to be the first city-wide eBay auction by a municipality (assumably they don't mean of a municipality.) Starting December 2, you'll be able to bid on items ranging from a vintage Playboy Bunny costume to city manhole covers to sports memorabilia to "priceless" items such as helping dye the river green next St. Pat's or having lunch with Michael Sneed. Proceeds got to fund city arts and cultural programs. Get ready for a bidding war!

A Small Slice of Reality

The "Doomsday" scenario, the dire budget prediction coming from the CTA, was announced earlier this week. This promises to touch the lives of just about everyone riding the CTA; to see how the plan will affect just a portion of the NW side, read about it here. Some items include: complete elimination of at least 7 bus routes, major cuts along many routes and overnight Blue Line service eliminated between 1am and 4am. City officials say the voices of the people are absolutely necessary to put this doomsday budget to bed for good. Refer to the Campaign for Better Transit website for a schedule of upcoming hearings, and watch the GB events calendar as well.

Big poetry plans

When Chicago-based Poetry Magazine, the longest running poetry journal in the country, received a $100 million donation from Ruth Lilly two years ago, they seemed unsure of how to handle the windfall. However, at a kickoff banquet last night at the Gehry bandshell in Millennium Park, The Poetry Foundation displayed and announced some of they ways they will be using the money: to make poetry more mainstream. Besides awarding two five-figure cash prizes to lesser-known poets, they outlined plans for a national recitation contest and "the biggest and baddest Web site for poetry out there." Via Bookslut.

Swift Boats for Fighting

"Swift Boat Veteran" John O'Neill was in town yesterday to sign his book, Unfit for Command, and Kerry supporters were there to greet him. Vociferously. (Related: soon you can reenact the famous swift boat mission that earned Kerry his silver star.) [Thanks, Wendy]

Films, not movies

Ocular Loci is a resource with a great list of film and video screenings in Chicago, regularly updated. They also have a partial list of venues, theaters and festivals that show films, not movies.

Late Night with Found Magazine

Crank up the ole Zenith, Found Magazine's Davy Rothbart will be on "the Late Show with David Letterman" again tonight. And speaking of Found, they're going to be at the Hideout this Sunday for two shows presenting their wonderful collection of found items, at 7pm and 9:30pm.

Mom, You're Busted

You know you're getting high too often when your 7-year-old tattles on you for growing and smoking pot. Police confiscated 5,000 grams of marijuana, 77 grams of cocaine and five grams of shrooms based on the kid's tip.

Loop Cheese Happening

Looking for a great date spot? It's Sonoma Valley cheese month at the very posh Cafe des Architectes in the Sofitel Hotel at Water Tower. Create your own cheese plate! Three selections are just $8, four are $10, and five are $12. Pair your plate with a wine from the same region.

Learn About Chicago Architecture

How far did Van Der Rohe? All the way to the Chicago Architecture Foundation! Besides their awesome tours and lectures, CAF is offering a slew of interesting classes this fall. Interested in the fundamentals of architecture? Or Deco? The Prairie School? Now's your chance to get in the know.

Polish American Heritage Month

Who wants a little Polish in them? (wink, wink!) This month, celebrate your Polish blood at events around Chicago celebrating Polish American Heritage Month. The Chicago Public Library has scheduled a bevy of events from Polish folk dancing, readings, lectures, and more. Learn more!

Victoria's Been Grand for Elgin

While controversy has swirled around the state's last casino license, a little steamboat in Elgin has been quietly making money for both itself and the city. The Daily Herald has a report on the first 10 years of the Grand Victoria.

Chicago Photo Weblog

Chris Karr is on a mission of sorts. He's set some rules for himself:
1. Carry a digital camera as often as possible.
2. Every day until October 31, take at least one photo.
3. No seeking out sites for the primary purpose of photographing them. Interesting things from daily life only.
4. Let viewers come up with their own stories to go with the photos.
The result: Chicago Photo Weblog.

Dinner with Marc: 510/872-7326

Do you have the latest Crate & Barrel catalog at home? Then you have Marc Horowitz's phone number. The photo assistant managed to slip his digits into a product shot for the Chicago-based company, and has gotten hundreds of calls since. He doesn't mind, though -- it just so happens that he's in the midst of a project: The National Dinner Tour II, in which he's having dinner with strangers all across the country. Call him up and get on the tour.

Vice Debate

If you're looking for a place to watch the first (and only) Vice Presidential debates tonight, you can check out Debate Watch. This site, sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, can help you find a place to watch all the debates this fall, in Illinois, or anywhere in the country. Events range from informal gatherings you can plan yourself, or larger public viewings. You can also head to the site to read transcripts from past debates (Stockdale at his best!), get tips on getting people involved in debate watching, and download a debate viewer's guide.

Rogers Park Is Not On LSD

Lake Shore Drive inspires a lot of passion in this city. Some see it as a beautiful highway with excellent scenery, others view it as a blight on precious lakefront property. Like it or not, LSD is here to stay between Hollywood and 63rd. Some Rogers Parks activists are working to make sure that Rogers Park doesn't suffer the same fate of high-rises, highway underpasses, and traffic noise through a November ballot measure. Even though CDOT has no plans to extend the Drive, it seems that the possibility exists.

Derrick Carter Shares His Influences

A headliner at this year's SummerDance festival and widely regarded as one of the best DJs in the history of the craft, Chicago's Derrick Carter is an essential part of house music history. Co-owner of the esteemed Classic imprint, Derrick has been touring non-stop for nearly two decades. Tonight presents a rare — and free — opportunity to hear him play in his hometown, especially when you consider that he'll be performing an unmixed set of genre-defying classics. Local favorite J-Dub opens, with support from WNUR's Dave Siska and Karl Meier. More details in Slowdown.

His New Touring Technique is Unstoppable

David Rees, creator of "My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable," is on tour to promote his second book, Get Your War On 2. He'll be at Columbia College next Thursday, Oct. 14. The event is free and takes place at 6pm in Hokin Hall, Room 109, 623 S. Wabash. Call 312/344-8181 for more info. (Thanks, Kyle!)

Last chance for suffrage!

Today, October 5, is the last day to register to vote in Illinois. You can register with a mail-in form if it's postmarked today, or (your best bet) register in person: at the Chicago Board of Elections for city residents and the Cook County Clerk's office for suburbans, both at 69 W. Washington; at any branch of the Chicago Public Library; at suburban Cook County courthouses; and via deputy registrars at outreach tables across the city today. See Alice's current Ask the Librarian column for further resources.

"Check, Please!" Goes Franchise

Crain's Chicago Business reports [log-in available at BugMeNot] that the creators of Channel 11's hit show "Check, Please!" are planning to launch the show in other cities, including San Francisco and New York. "There's no reason why we can't be in a half-dozen markets," said creator David Manilow. There are apparently more than 9,000 people on the waiting list to be on the show.

The Encyclopedia of Chicago

After years of research, the University of Chicago Press has published the authoritative history of Chicago with the monumental Encyclopedia of Chicago. The website has a wealth of information including some gorgeous sample pages. To celebrate, the Encyclopedia will be publicly unveiled at a pro-am city-wide trivia contest on Wednesday at the Harold Washington Library (see more in slowdown). So here's the plan: Buy the book, memorize, win!!! What could be simpler?


If this past first Friday's slew of gallery openings really wet your whistle for some art browsing, then you're in luck. October is traditionally Chicago Artists' Month in our fine city, and there are tons of galleries, neighborhoods, and organizations sponsoring workshops, tours, lectures, community building activities and open houses all month long. Some highlights: Prints and Puppets for Peace workshops at Artesia Studio, CTA Train TranzART at Anatomically Correct Gallery and Promise Land fashion and wearable art performance at the Athenaeum Theatre.

Eat Those Words

The Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts at Columbia College has posted a gallery of creations from its 5th annual Edible Book show. My favorite: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Cheeseness. For more, check out the International Edible Book Festival.

Spot your favorite DJ

BlendChicago is another clubbing/ electronic music site, but what's really interesting about it is the the photo gallery Shots of the DJ, which features pictures of over 250 different DJs who have played in Chicago over the last couple years. Photography by Mike Rosley.

Keyes locked out

I don't want to say Alan Keyes' campaign might be in trouble, but he showed up to a dinner sponsored by the New Trier Township Republican Organization last night... and wasn't given time to speak. Granted, he hadn't been invited to speak in the first place, but this doesn't look good for the man from Maryland. Another sign that bodes ill for his campaign: Barack Obama leads Keyes in the polls by 51 points.

Baseball wrapup

Chicago's baseball season officially ended this weekend: the White Sox clinched their fate two weeks ago when they ceded the AL Central to the Twins, while the Cubs preferred a slow, agonizing slide to futility, keeping within reach of the NL wild card until Saturday. Both teams ended the year with wins yesterday and winning records overall; that and five bucks will get them a cup of Starbucks. Cubs play-by-play man Chip Caray announced yesterday he's joining his dad in the Braves booth (the Tribune has an early list of possible replacements), and his partner Steve Stone may or may not be sticking around. The Cubs and Sox both will move their cable games from Fox to the new Comcast SportsNet, which debuted this weekend.

Global Chicago

The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations has created, a site intended to "raise awareness of the various global connections that exist in Chicago, improve communication and cooperation among internationally-minded groups, enhance Chicago's global profile, and help Chicagoans respond effectively to the challenges of globalization." Wow. Of particular interest is the site's event calendar.

Your Local Tribe

Social networking site has decided to take on Craig's List on its home turf. The site slices up cities in a similar fashion to CL -- it even has a bare-bones, blue-links-on-gray design. Take a spin around Chicago's Tribe and see what you think.

CTA Reveals Worst-Case Cuts

The Sun-Times has just published lists from the CTA detailing the routes the CTA plans to eliminate or reduce if they cannot make up their $55 million budget gap. Among the bus routes to be cut: the 11 Lincoln and the 88 Northwest Highway. All together, the Sun-Times reports "the CTA's proposed doomsday budget would slice service by 20 percent, eliminate all overnight L trains, kill 30 bus routes and cut 1,000 union workers." Read the complete list of cuts here.

Capitol Fax

Capitol Fax is a faxed newsletter compiled by Rich Miller that covers Illinois state politics, published during the legislative session. The website for Capitol Fax includes news highlights from the current issue in a blog-like format. In addition, the website features an extensive list of links to Illinois media outlets, government resources and current campaign information. Definitely worth bookmarking.

Hershey's on the Boul Mich

Yet one more reason to avoid the intersection of Michigan and Chicago Avenues: Hershey's plans to open a chocolate "factory" on the Mag Mile sometime next spring. The very kid-oriented store will sell loads of chocolate goodies and allow customers to help create their own candies.

Mountain Goats rock at Open-End

If you've been to Depart-ment then you know that a ton of people can cram into this fairly little space. Through some amazing convergence, Open-End Gallery will be hosting The Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice and Will Johnson in concert Saturday night. Tickets available through Empty Bottle, but you better hurry cause the place is "cozy". But it's got a nice view.

Famous Court Cases

The Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court has a little-known section of its site devoted to Famous Cases. Browse through documents relating to the trial of John Wayne Gacy (note the Detour feature over there), Louis Armstrong's divorce and the Black Sox scandal of 1919, among others.



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