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, June 24

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Armed Mental Health Counselors

A person with mental health issues is at 16 times greater risk of being shot by police in an encounter, a new study [PDF] reports, and few of the city's 12,000 officers have received crisis intervention training. The result is a very dangerous situation for those already having trouble.

Finally, a South Side Trauma Center

The University of Chicago Medicine announced today that it will build a level 1 adult trauma center on its Hyde Park campus, canceling plans to partner with Sinai on a trauma center at Holy Cross Hospital on the Southwest Side.

Smoke'em if You Got a Prescription

Dispensary 33, Chicago's first licensed marijuana dispensary, opened today. If you've got a patient ID card, you've got seven to 10 strains of pot to choose from.

Cancer at 24

Touchvision has produced a three-part documentary about Reader editor Brianna Wellen's journey through diagnosis and treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Definitely worth setting aside a half hour to watch.

Diet Agent Orange?

A Tribune investigation finds that the EPA ignored serious health concerns when approving the WWII-era pesticide 2,4-D for use by Dow Chemicals on GMO crops. Here's a Dow-backed fact site telling you how great the stuff is, and here's a toxicology profile outlining its dangers.

Carbon Monoxide Leak Hits Another School

More than 30 students at Horace Mann Elementary in South Shore were taken to the hospital to be checked for carbon monoxide poisoning. At least this time the newly installed CO detectors went off.

The Healing Power of Pets

Dr. Rob Garofalo has helped hundreds of young AIDS patients at Lurie Children's Hospital -- but when he learned he was HIV positive himself, he fell into a deep depression. His dog Fred saved his life, and inspired him to launch the nonprofit Fred Says and start When Dogs Heal, a photographic project of patients and the pets that helped them.

Post-Assault Plan of Action

After finding errors in the police report of her rape, U of C alumna Michele Beaulieu created a decision matrix for college rape survivors to decide what course of action they want to take.

Monday Buddy Monday

Medical marijuana goes on sale today in Illinois. Here's a map of dispensaries; the closest to Chicago is Pharmacannis in Evanston.

That's a Wrap Thankfully, it's much less NSFW than you'd think.

Raising Eyebrows and Awareness

A "TOPLESS Girls" storefront entices passersby to actually learn more about breast cancer.

They'll Pry Our Rashers From Our Cold, Dead Hands

As you can imagine, the founders of Bacon Fest are less than pleased about the news that bacon, along with other processed meats and red meat, increase the risk of cancer.

Using Human Decency as a Wedge

Gov. Rauner instituted limitations to day care subsidies that help homeless families and domestic violence survivors survive. As a Capitol Fax commenter noted, Rauner's tactic was to make this a wedge issue against unions.

Living Clean in Lakeview

Despite some protests from neighbors, a new sober living home for young adults was approved for the corner of Ashland and Waveland.

Where not to Picnic

ToxicSites, a new resource for finding Superfund hazardous materials cleanup sites near you, lists the Lake Calumet Cluster on the South Side. Unfortunately, there are a few more still to be added. [via]

The Doctor Will See You Eventually

Chicago magazine analyzes wait times in 10 Chicagoland emergency rooms. It's gonna be awhile.

Karen Lewis Removes her Hat

CTU President Karen Lewis talked with Channel 5's Carol Marin and Mary Ann Ahern to talk about her brain cancer, and took off her hat to show her scars publicly for the first time.

Arrests Made in Bad Heroin Case

Two men were arrested in connection to a rash of 74 heroin overdoses in 72 hours.

Your Health is Always First to Go

Mayor Emanuel has proposed privatizing City-run primary care clinics and is cutting an HIV-AIDS training program as a cost-cutting measure.

Ending "Patriotic Tetanus"

Firework injuries were fatal for many in the early 1900s so the Tribune tracked tetanus infections in the days following the 4th of July, attracting a national spotlight to the issue.

Doctors on Demand

New app Orunje brings back old-school doctor home visits as an "Uber for doctors."

C4 Sale

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago is negotiating a possible sale to avoid the closure at the end of the month.

Fighting for C4 Answers

Staff, clients and supporters marched Tuesday in protest of the closure of C4, one of the city's largest mental health services agencies.

Still not Lead-Free

There still thousands of kids in Chicago suffering from environmental lead poisoning, but cleanup funds have been cut from the city budget. See if your neighborhood is at risk.

Don't Drink, Kids

A report from the Lurie Children's Hospital found that underage drinking at Lollapalooza is a major problem.

C4 Closing

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, one of the city's largest mental health services agencies, is closing at the end of May.

The Bloomingdale Trail has an Opening Date

The Bloomingdale Trail will officially open on June 6 with an opening ceremony featuring music, dancing, and a series of processions on the trail.

In the Wake of Death

Life Matters Media is an online resource for end-of-life planning, founded by WGN-TV reporter Randi Belisomo and Northwestern oncologist Dr. Mary Mulcahy, inspired by the 2010 passing of Belisomo's husband, Carlos Hernandez Gomez.

Imported Drug Addicts

Puerto Rico has been sending drug addicts to Chicago for treatment and rehabilitation -- but the centers they're supposed to attend are unlicensed and chaotic, so many end up wandering the streets, homeless. Reporter Adriana Cardona-Maguidad explained how she stumbled onto the story on "This American Life."

Bike This Way

Fans can sweat near Lady Gaga by buying a seat in the same SoulCycle class as her as part of a fundraiser for her foundation.

Everybody Poops

And Curious City is here to help explain to your kids where it all goes. If you'd like another look into Chicago waste processing, check out The Grid's visit to the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant.

Anti-Antivaccination Legislation Coming

Illinois' non-medical vaccine exemptions doubled between 2009 and 2013. A bill being considered in Springfield would make it harder for parents to skip vaccines for their kids and put her immunity at risk.

Thinning the Herd Protection

Twenty-five elementary schools in Chicagoland have vaccination rates under 80 percent, according to an investigation by the Tribune. Most are religiously affiliated private schools.

What Green Can Do for You

Aside from the health benefits of medical marijuana, a bill legalizing adult possession of up to 30g of pot could mean far fewer black men in Illinois prisons, HuffPo's Kim Bellware points out.

Measles on the March

Five infants who went to the same daycare in Palatine were diagnosed with measles.

Give this Beagle Some Love

Last week, an 85 pound beagle was surrendered to Animal Care and Control; the rescue group One Tail at a Time has rescued the pup, named him Kale Chips, and has launched a fitness challenge for humans to get in shape while they help the dog get healthier. Jay Ryan has also designed some wonderful swag for the occasion.

Cold & Flu Season's Here

You need to stay healthy this winter. shows where in the city you can get a flu shot, including a few spots where they're free.

Ready for Anything

While it's unlikely anyone will be diagnosed with Ebola here, four local hospitals are prepared to treat the disease.

Don't Believe the Internet

You can tell your alarmed aunt on Facebook that no, there haven't been any deaths in Chicago from ebola, despite what some sketchy satirical website says. (Thanks, Dee!)

No Cigarettes in Horto

The Park District has banned smoking in public parks, beaches and harbors. The ban goes into effect immediately and includes e-cigs, but won't be strictly enforced right away -- so Riot Fest attendees needn't worry too much.

Call in Case of Cold

Emergency rooms are seeing a spike in the number of children needing treatment for respiratory illnesses, possibly due to the spread of a virus with no known treatment.

Smoke Those Outside City Limits

While officials aren't enthusiastic about a proposal to ban smoking in all the city's parks, the idea isn't off the table.

The Real ALS Challenge

Researchers at Northwestern say they have discovered a common cause behind different types of ALS, taking a big step towards finding a cure for the disease.

No Closure on Clinics Decision

A long-awaited hearing on Mayor Emanuel's closure of half of the City's mental health clinics showed opinions remain divided on whether it improved care or left many mentally ill without treatment options.

In Robin's Honor

The Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's annual Out of the Darkness community walk is Sept. 20 in Grant Park, and is currently $500,000 short of its fundraising goal. If you were touched by Robin Williams' life and work, consider donating or participating.

Bringing the Ebola Outbreak Home

A Chicago family is visiting relatives in Liberia amid the Ebola outbreak. Chicago's hospitals are preparing for potential patients, and O'Hare is scanning international passengers for the virus, just as they did in 1995.

Kids and Their Cancer Cures

South Side teen Keven Stonewall worked on a colon cancer vaccine at Rush University during his senior year of high school.

Protective Custody

A man suffering from schizophrenia gouged out one of his own eyes while detained in southern California for a parole violation, and attempted to gouge out the other after he was transferred to Cook County Jail. He's been outfitted with a hockey mask and mittens to prevent further self-harm while in custody.

Bad Beaches

Curbed analyzed NRDC data and Yelp reviews to determine the most polluted beaches in the city. Meanwhile, dog poop may be contributing to the problem.

Very Hospitable

Lurie Children's Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital received high marks in U.S. News & World Report's national hospital rankings. [via]

Giving Equality

LGBT groups and individuals are challenging the FDA's ban on blood donations from gay men.

Englewood Asana

I Grow Chicago executive director and Englewood resident Tameka Lawson is teaching yoga as a means of reducing violence in her neighborhood.

Punky QB in a Funk

Former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon talked about his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts as well as early onset dimentia, which he blames on his years in the NFL.

Before the Donut Craze

The life expectancy of Chicagoans increased to almost 78 years old, and may be on track to exceed the national average.

Going After Big Pharma Dealers

The City is suing five drug companies for pushing consumer use of opiod painkillers, then driving prices up after patients become addicted.

Take That, Cleveland

Chicago beat out some of its Midwestern neighbors and moved up the rankings to become the 15th fittest city in the country. [via]

Taste That Fresh Air

Chicagoland has the 20th most polluted air in the country by ozone, and has the 14th worst short-term and 20th worst year-round particle pollution according to the American Lung Association. (Thanks, Dee!)

Honoring Frankie Knuckles

The Elton John AIDS Foundation has set up the Frankie Knuckles Fund to support HIV awareness, testing and support in African communities worldwide. [via]

Latest Pot Headlines

Springfield lawmakers decided not to ban medical marijuana cardholders from also being concealed carry cardholders. Meanwhile, would-be medical marijuana growers are complaining that it's too expensive to get licensed.

Faulty Reasoning

Just in time for the no-comments policy at the Sun-Times, Jenny McCarthy wrote an editorial claiming not to be anti-vaccine. Fortunately, the Internet has a long memory -- not to mention logic.

A Saline Solution

A new "spa-like" IV clinic on Wells Street will pump fluids into customers suffering from hangovers or otherwise looking to hydrate themselves.

Where's the Late Crown?

It may not surprise you to learn that 911 calls are answered about three times slower in parts of the South Side than those on the North Side, according to a Sun-Times analysis.

Tag, You're Fit

If the typical workout routine fills you with dread, maybe Chicago Recess is your speed. Play kids' games like kick the can and keep away in Lincoln Park on Saturday mornings.

Don't You Believe It

According to University of Chicago researchers, Americans believe all sorts of medical conspiracy theories, even once they've been debunked. Hey Kristen Cavallari, maybe you should read this.

On Reluctant Vegetarianism

Chicago author, Joe Meno, writes about "surrendering" to a vegetarian lifestyle in this month's Chicago magazine.

Cavallari is Anti-Vaccine

Kristen Cavallari (and presumably husband Jay Cutler) doesn't believe in vaccinating children, she revealed in a Fox Business interview, despite overwhelming evidence that they're safe and the thorough debunking of the study linking vaccines and autism. (She's cool with marijuana, though.)

False Start

Organizers of the Chicago Marathon pushed registration back two weeks, hoping to avoid the headaches of last year where the website crashed once people began signing up.

Docs' Dumb Endorsement

Doctors in the University of Illinois Hospitals' Chicago surgical department is under scrutiny after endorsing a surgical robot in a NYTimes advertisement. Some of the doctors failed to report compensation from the company running the ad, violating U of I's code of ethics.

United States of X: Nookie Edition

According to an app called Spreadsheets that tracks sexual activity data, Illinoisans do the deed in about 2 minutes, 49 seconds -- or at least those of us who take our iPhones to bed with us do. Nevertheless, we're right about the middle of the pack.

Eugenics 2.0

Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting here in Chicago last weekend, researchers warned against the dangers of scientific racism arising from genomic research.

Unwelcome Bedfellows

Chicago ranked first in bedbug infestations again this year, according to the Orkin pest control company.

E-Smoke Outside, Please

City Council is picking back up that ordinance banning e-cigarettes from being smoked indoors (previously).

Is That Guy Coughing?

If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, you might want to hurry, because it's here.

Suburban Outbreak

The CDC has traced the largest-ever outbreak of carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

Demon in a Bottle!

"The comic books were my childhood refuge from an alcoholic father, but they helped me overcome my own battle with the bottle, too," writes James Orbesen at The Atlantic.

Financial Fitness

Ms.Fit magazine, a "body-positive, LGBTQ-friendly, unapologetically feminist women's health and fitness webzine," is just shy of making its fundraising goal to continue publishing in 2014. Pitch in here.

Wait Less at an ER

ProPublica has created the ER Wait Watcher app, which gives users the average wait times at nearby emergency rooms. The app has data on Chicago hospitals and includes how many patients are likely to recommend the hospital.

Mental Health Crisis in the Making

WBEZ's Shannon Heffernan reports on the rise in "psychiatric lockouts" of mentally ill teens due to the State of Illinois' growing resistance to providing services to families with children with severe mental illness.

GB Gift Guide: Fitness Boxing Classes

New Year's resolutions are right around the corner, which means putting up with listening to your friends ask themselves repeatedly which gym they should join. Give them the gift of punching power this holiday season with a membership at the Franklin Street Boxing Club. If anything, after six to eight weeks, they'll get your back in a barroom brawl.

Heroin is the Business

The Reader and WBEZ begin an investigative series today on the effects of the heroin trade in Chicagoland, with a look at the business structure of dealers on the West Side and the how heroin has evolved in this market. Catch Mick Dumke and Natalie Moore on WBEZ's "Afternoon Shift" discussing the article later today.

Find Health Services Close By is a tool for finding public health resources -- from warming centers to community service centers -- near a location in the city. It's accessible by SMS as well as the web.

Business as Usual

What's Chicago's heroin market like these days? A junkie files his report.

Last to Arrive, But a Winner in Our Book

The last participant to cross the finish line for yesterday's marathon was a Venezuelan man who has a rare muscle condition -- it took him 16 hours to complete the course.

Seriously, Don't Do This Drug

Krokodil, a Russian drug used as a cheap "alternative" to heroin, has arrived in Chicagoland: three women in Joliet are being treated for the drug's side effects, which include severely damaged skin, gangrene, and abscesses that expose bone to the elements. [via]

A Good Use for Baby Weight

A Lincoln Park gym is offering a fitness class for new parents where they use their little ones as weights, lifting and pushing them around in strollers.

Stop Washing Your Face

Stop using cleansers containing "microbeads," anyway. The tiny beads are made of polyethylene plastic, and they're ending up in Lake Michigan, adding to the pollution and possibly entering the food chain. Thankfully, some companies are phasing microbeads out.

Quiet That Cough

Do you recall Smith Brothers cough drops? The brand is undergoing a resurgence, under the guidance of new CEO Steve Silk.

Smith Brothers Cough Drops ad 1939

Hard Work Down the Toilet

Toilet Hackers is an international organization working to improve sanitation conditions in the developing world. There's a fundraiser this Thursday in Chicago; you can still show your support even if you can't make it.

FBI Mobilizes on Mobile Doctors

The FBI raided the offices of Mobile Doctors, a service for arranging house calls, and arrested its CEO and one of its doctors on charges of health care fraud.

Plus or Minus 40 to Model

Nikki Muffoletto was a plus-size model until losing 40lbs., dropping from a size 14 to an 8. In order to find work as a model, she'll need to lose another 40 or gain it back -- so she's going to make a documentary about the process of trying to drop to a size 2. You can back her on Kickstarter. (See more Chicago-based Kickstarter campaigns on GB's curated page.)

He Did What!?

Chicagoist has a firsthand account of the guy who cut off his nipple at the Gathering of the Juggalos. NSFW, obviously.

Phat Beats, Fat Beets

Michelle Obama is releasing "Songs for a Healthier America," a hip hop-inspired album about eating and fitness.

The Weedly Reader

Illinois' medical marijuana law isn't going to mean dispensaries on every corner and safety for home growers. Mick Dumke gets the goods.

New Bill to Bring Trauma Care Back to South Side

Congressman Bobby Rush has introduced a bill that would relieve the "trauma desert" on Chicago's South Side by providing $100 million to promote access to trauma centers in underserved rural and urban areas.

H.R. 2660: Trauma Relief Access for Universal Medical Assistance Act by Gapers Block

Public Health at Your Fingertips

Get an overall health profile of your neighborhood (birth/death rate, disease incidence, crime, etc.) through the Chicago Health Atlas, a newly launched online tool brought to you by the Smart Chicago Collaborative.

Drinking to Their Health

Un86'd is a charity aimed at helping injured restaurant professionals pay for medical care after an accident (in- or outside work). You can contribute by buying special cocktails at Carriage House or La Sirena Clandestina this weekend.

How the City Feels

The Smart Chicago Collaborative just launched the Chicago Health Atlas, a resource for citywide health information and data.

No 3-Day Next Year

Susan G Komen for the Cure is canceling next year's 3-Day in Chicago and six other cities due to falling participation. This year's walk is Aug. 9-11

Prof Says You're Not That Pretty

Claire Zulkey interviews UofC Prof. Nicholas Epley, author of the recent study that found we think we're better looking than we are.

The McDonald's Diet? Not Exactly

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson says he lost 20 in the past year while eating at McDonald's every day -- the key being that he also began working out. Salads only make up 2% to 3% of McDonald's sales in the US.

Ambulance Fleet in Need of Emergency Care

Is Chicago's aging ambulances putting people at risk? The Better Government Association and CBS2 investigate.

Pollen Tsunami is my New Band Name

This year's allergy season is predicted to be worse than last year's, thanks to conditions that have made pollen and mold counts spike.

Fighting Teen Pregnancy with Strange Ads

A new ad campaign by the Dept. of Health promoting ways teens can avoid pregnancy has created some controversy for its depiction of pregnant teen boys. Meanwhile, the Dept. of Health is also trying to reinvigorate interest in the female condom.

Fighting Cancer with a Cloud

The University of Chicago's Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology has launched Bionimbus, a secure, cloud-based computing system that will allow researchers to access and analyze cancer data.

Waiting the ER

Crain's examined emergency room wait times and found that University of Chicago Medical Center had a median wait time of 9 hours, 22 minutes -- only a little over an hour faster than notorious Stroger Hospital, which was the slowest in the region. Presense Resurrection and Weiss Memorial had the shortest wait times of hospitals in the city.

Everything Runs Through the 5th Floor

Curious about how the Boston Marathon bombing affected Chicago's emergency preparedness, reporter Howard Wolinsky contact the City. Instead of an interview with the people in charge, he was offered a video of the mayor.

Kanye & Kim do Children's a Solid

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West announced that they don't want baby gifts for their love child. Instead, they requested well-wishers make donations to Lurie Children's Hospital.

Missing the Airwaves

Last fall, Martha Bayne wrote a deeply personal story about getting pregnant and the subsequent miscarriage. She was interviewed by Terry Gross of "Fresh Air," but it never aired. At the Rumpus, she reflects back on that experience with her friend Zoe Zolbrod.

Don't Breathe In

The American Lung Association gives Cook County's air quality an F in its annual State of the Air assessment. Lake County also failed, but DuPage, Kane, McHenry and Will got Bs; Lake County in Indiana rated a C. But don't hold your breath for too long! Their data are from before the Crawford and Fisk coal-fired power plants were closed, which likely considerably improved the air quality. [via]

Plunging for Lungs

There are plenty of charity stair-climbing events now, but the truly hardcore rappel down skyscrapers. The second annual Skyline Plunge "rappelling adventure" sends people down the side of theWit Hotel May 5 to benefit the Respiratory Health Association. There's still time to register.

Padded History

Anne Elizabeth Moore and Laura Szumowski of the Ladydrawers explain the strange legal history of feminine hygiene.

First, Do No Harm

The FBI raided Sacred Heart Hospital and arrested CEO Edward Novak and five others on charges that the hospital performed unnecessary procedures on patients, such as tracheotomies, to collect higher Medicare payments.

Breakthroughs in Medical Museum Technology

A new satellite branch of the National Museum of Health and Medicine will open in the Loop in 2015. DNAinfo has a sneak peek. Meanwhile, you can visit the Museum of Surgical Science right now.

Big Hurt's Liquid Diet

No, Frank Thomas isn't going on an all-Big Hurt Beer diet -- he's juicing (the veggies and fruit kind, not steroids) to lose weight. But speaking of beer, he's rolled out a low-calorie version of BHB.

The City is Blue Tonight

The skyline will be lit blue tonight in honor of World Autism Awareness Day.

The Trauma Care Desert

In These Times details one of the contributing factors to Chicago's high murder rate: the dearth of trauma care units in South Side hospitals.

Completing the Tests

Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky has launched Test400k, a nonprofit dedicated to clearing the backlog of untested rape kits sitting in police departments nationwide.

It's Quittin' Time

As of today, Cook County's excise tax on a pack of cigarettes will increase by $1, bringing the total tax on a pack of cigarettes sold in Chicago to $6.67. Here's betting there'll be more false walls in convenience stores.

Bad Case of the Clap

Cook County's gonorrhea and syphilis stats are pretty bad, but they're not the worst in the nation.

Aging on the Spectrum

Autism is on the rise, but how society will help and handle autistic adults is not yet clear. Chicago magazine covers a growing issue.

Fighting for Sex Workers

End Demand Illinois and Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation are working to shift the focus in prostitution from prosecuting the sex worker to going the johns and traffickers.

Peaceful Protest Turns Physical

Four protestors were arrested following a sit-in at University of Chicago Medical Center this weekend intended to draw attention to the lack of trauma centers on the South Side. A petition has been created in response to the rather physical arrests by campus police, and the protest group involved has released a statement.

The Segregation of Murder

The NY Times takes a look at Chicago's 2012 murders and breaks down the demographic differences between those near and far from homicides.

Keep the Hangover at Bay

File this for tomorrow: Revive is the city's first "hydration clinic," ready to help you with that hangover. (We've got some good advice for you, too.)

These Boobies Definitely Do Not Rock

You've no doubt seen "Boobies Rock" breast cancer awareness t-shirts being sported and hawked around town. But think twice before buying them if you're serious about donating to legitimate cancer research organizations.

Make Axelrod Shave

David Axelrod said he'd shave his mustache if Romney won. That didn't happen, but the 'stache could still come off if $1 million is raised for epilepsy research.

Kirk Conquers the Sears Tower

Sen. Mark Kirk participated in the SkyRise Chicago stair climb on Sunday, which benefited the Rehab Institute of Chicago, where he continues to recover from his stroke.

After climbing 37 stories with the aid of a brace on his left leg, Sen. Kirk gave an interview to NBC5's Mary Ann Ahern.

Pencils & Lead

Are Chicago Public School students' low test scores a result of lead poisoning? Megan Cottrell investigates in this week's Reader.

Stay Flu-Free for Free

Need a flu shot? Here's a map of where to get a free one from the Department of Public Health.

The No. 2 City

The Wall Street Journal had a number of cellphones from an unnamed Chicago office tested for bacteria, and found "abnormally high numbers of coliforms," aka "fecal contamination." This news, paired with a study from last summer that turned up the disturbing statistic that 79% of men at Wrigley Field don't wash their hands, indicates that Chicago needs to work on the personal hygiene. Or at the very least, think twice about using someone else's iPhone.

Ready, Set, Crawl!

Connecting families across the city, the first annual "Strollers in the Front" 5K Walk & Run on Sunday, Oct. 28 welcomes walkers, runners and strollers alike. With a Kids Dash and a Halloween Finish Line Family festival, this family oriented race is the first of its kind to make its way to the city, so register your strollers now and be a part of crawling to the finish line!

Testing for Lead

Whet Moser explores the correlation between student test results and lead exposure. Chicago has one of the highest rates of lead poisoning in the country; here's how to help prevent it.

The Tylenol Murders, 30 Years Later

Chicago magazine's October issue has an oral history of the Tylenol Murders in 1982, from first death to today. State prosecutors continue to work the case, and may even be close to taking it to a grand jury.

Getting Bigger All the Time

A new report estimates that by 2030, the obesity rate in Illinois could shoot from 27 percent to 53.7 percent -- a strain not just on joints and respiratory systems, but state finances as well.

Edwards Out at Howard Brown

On Friday, the Howard Brown Health Center's controversial CEO, Jamal Edwards, announced his resignation. He spoke with the Phoenix about the decision.

Knocked Up Out

Writing about pregnancy is often overly political or interesting only to people who know the pregnant person personally. Occasionally a piece comes along that is able to personalize all the political issues and make you wish you knew the writer personally. Martha Bayne (of Soup & Bread fame) has written a piece just like that.

TV Show of Strength

Tonight at 7pm, WGN will air "MDA Show of Strength," the annual entertainment telethon, which benefits more than 200 muscular dystrophy clinics, including the brand new one at Lurie Children's Hospital.

Activism is in Vogue

Shaun Sperling, the kid who vogued at his bar mitzvah in that viral video a couple weeks ago, is now an attorney and an advocate for HIV/AIDS issues.

The viral video:

Chicago's Trauma

As a way of personifying the violent summer here, CNN spent a night with the Cook County Hospital trauma unit.

Dying Poor

The Reader's Steve Bogira delves into statistics that show that poverty is Chicago's deadliest killer.

Legionnaires' Outbreak in Loop Hotel

Three guests at the JW Marriott Hotel at Adams and LaSalle have contracted Legionnaires' Disease in the past month. The hotel has notified 8,500 guests who've stayed in the hotel to watch for symptoms.

Update on Jesse Jackson, Jr.

The latest on Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s health condition: The Mayo Clinic announced that he's being treated for bi-polar disorder.

This Could Be What You've Been Needleing

The air is cooling off, the summer winding down and the general feeling of fall is setting in. If you feel like you need to kick off Chicago's most comfortable season with a little pick-me-up, consider acupuncture at the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine. For $5 a session you can experience the benefits of this traditional Chinese process and maybe be inspired to make it a regular part of yours.

Moldy Old Town

If your nose is stuffed up and your sinuses are aching, there's a good reason: Chicago's mold count is the highest on record this week.

Rowing to Recovery

Jenn Gibbons completed her mission to row around Lake Michigan yesterday, raising $45,000 for Recovery on Water, the rowing team for breast cancer survivors she founded in 2007. (Previously.)

Promise of Future Health

At the Chicago Phoenix, Joseph Duggan Lyons writes about the opportunities and challenges posed by new HIV prevention drugs.

Charity Rower Attacked

Jenn Gibbons, the founder of Recovery on Water who's been rowing around Lake Michigan to raise awareness of exercise's role in breast cancer recovery (previously), was sexually assaulted as she slept in her rowboat in rural Michigan. She posted on her blog that she intends to keep going, although she'll be bicycling from her current location to Muskegon MI, from which point safe harbors will be more assured.

The Five Ring Diet

Terin Izil, creator of Camp Promise, is eating, drinking, wearing, and maintaining personal hygiene only with products that have the Olympic rings until the end of the Olympics to raise money for her organization. Follow along at

No Excuses

In a new program being piloted in Chicago and Washington D.C., Walgreens is now offering free HIV tests.

Rowing 'Round the Lake for Recovery

Jenn Gibbons, founder and coach of Recovery on Water, a rowing team for breast cancer survivors, is rowing solo around Lake Michigan to raise raise awareness of the role exercise plays in the fight against breast cancer. She left this weekend, and is already up in Kenosha, WI. Read our profile of Gibbons and ROW in Tailgate.

Goodbye Children's Memorial

ChicagoNow blogger Mary Tyler Mom penned a touching farewell to Children's Memorial Hospital, which closes this weekend. Saturday is Move Day, which you should probably learn about if you're heading to Lincoln Park that day.

Starting between 5 and 6am, up to 200 critically ill patients will be moved via ambulance to the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, which will require the closure of Fullerton from Lincoln Avenue to Lake Shore Drive for 10 to 18 hours.

View Larger Map

Put on Your Sunscreen

Chicagoan William E. McElligott drove a milk truck for 30 years. Now, at age 66, the side of his face that was closer to the window looks 20 years older than the other side, an extreme example of unilateral dermatoheliosis -- aka photoaging.

unilateral dermatoheliosis
Photo credit: The New England Journal of Medicine / Dr. Jennifer R.S. Gordon, Northwestern University

Depression in Pictures

The Trib explores teen depression through a graphic novelization of one kid's experiences. (See it as it was in print here).

Lip Syncin' for the Kids

Keenan Cahill's latest video is an original track recorded to help raise funds for the new Lurie Children's Hospital, which opens next month. You can donate on the Race for the Kids 5k website.

The Toxins in Our Bodies

A new Tribune investigative series looks at toxic products in our homes and the campaigns tobacco and chemical manufacturers waged to get them there. First up is flame retardants; more coming all week.

"It was the perfect storm for Derrick Rose to rupture his ACL."

Dr. J. Martin Leland, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine, talks about how anterior cruciate ligaments, or ACLs, are torn, repaired, and what may have happened when Derrick Rose's ACL was injured.

Hip Hop Healing

Adam Levin and Troy Brundidge created Organic Beat Market to help troubled Oak Park teens work out their issues through hip hop.

Snakes Monkeypox on a Plane

Fortunately not, but a Delta flight from Detroit was quarantined at Midway Thursday evening after concerns that a passenger with a rash might have contracted monkeypox while visiting Uganda. The CDC checked the woman out and gave the all-clear after two hours, so you're totally safe.

The Occupation of Woodlawn Mental Health Center

Twenty-three people were arrested at an Occupy protest last night against the closure of Woodlawn Mental Health Center. Ramsin Canon reports in Mechanics.

Don't Get "Butt Cancer"

A billboard on the Ike from the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine warns that hot dogs cause "butt cancer" -- in other words, processed meats are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Fight Jet Lag by Fasting

Need to combat jet lag? In 2009 Harvard researchers released an improved version of the Argonne Anti-Jet Lag Diet, which was developed by Charles Ehret at the Argonne National Laboratory in the '80s. [via]

Lab Coats at the Ready

A Northwestern study found that wearing a white lab coat, associated with attentiveness and carefullness, increased scores on tests that involved attention-intensive tasks. [via]

Transgender Clinic for Kids in Chicago?

Dr. Joel Frader, chief of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics at Children's Memorial Hospital, wants to open a clinic for transgendered children.

Better Seats for the Buds Below the Belt

The University of Illinois at Chicago is conducting a study examining the correlation between bike seats and male impotence.

Free Weights

From today through Jan. 9, residents are invited to use any of the Chicago Park District's 71 fitness centers for free. For 2012, they've also add more flexible membership options, and there's a complimentary Nike cinch bag for anyone who extends their free week into a three-month or annual plan.

Syphilis Is Back, Again

The syphilis rates in Chicago are like a yo-yo. They're down. They're up. And now? Well, Cook County is the county with the most syphilis cases in the country. The highest rates of infection can be found among people who live in Uptown, Lakeview, Austin, Edgewater, and Rogers Park. Know the symptoms and Get Tested Chicago.

Maneuvering Through Marijuana Laws' Moires

The Reader's Joravsky and Dumke dig into the politics of pot.

Careful Buying Kids Toys

The Illinois Public Interest Research Group released its annual report on toxic and potentially dangerous toys -- and for the first time included loud toys on the list.

Here's the Illinois PIRG report. The toy list starts on page 17.

Illinois PIRG Trouble in Toyland

The Illinois Attorney General's Office also released its safe shopping guide [PDF] this week, alerting consumers to recalled toys that may still be found in some stores or resale shops.

2011 Safe Shopping Guide.

Planning on "Being Sick" Tomorrow?

"Fake" sick days are on the rise, especially to take care of actually sick family members.

Cook County is #1 - But Not Without Your Help

That's right, of all US counties, the Centers for Disease Control rates Cook first in number of documented syphilis cases. Finally, a victory worthy of abstinence.

Old School Medicine

An inmate at Stateville Correctional Center is suing the prison's physicians for cruel and unusual punishment--because they gave him mere aspirin for treating the pain and tumors associated with his neurofibroma, which "can result in a range of symptoms, from physical disfiguration and pain to cognitive disability."

Out of the Shadows, into a Budget Crisis

WBEZ's special series "Out of the Shadows" explores issues surrounding mental healthcare for children in Illinois -- at a time when the state is cutting services.

Hand Bras Fight Cancer

My Boobs Hate Cancer is a photo contest to benefit breast cancer. Take a photo of yourself in a "hand bra" (using your own hands or someone else's) and submit it for voting; each entry raises a dollar for Crickett's Answer for the Cure, and could earn you a mini photo session with three glamour photographers.

Helping with Health 2.0

Local startup mHealthCoach won the Health 2.0's Walgreens Health Guide Challenge.

The Pink Dress Run

The Chicago Thirstday Hash House Harriers' Pink Dress Run to raise money for Imerman Angels will be held this Thursday.

A Resource for OCD Chicagoans

It's difficult to resist making a dumb joke about visiting the site again and again, but OCD Chicago is no doubt valuable to its community.

Own a Pee-ce of History

The Empty Bottle finally redid its bathroom and floors recently, but it couldn't bear to consign those many years of graffiti, scuffs and stickers to the dump. So instead they've turned them into coasters and are auctioning them off in sets of four to benefit the American Liver Foundation. The online auction opens tonight and runs through Oct. 22; head to the Bottle tonight for a kickoff party from 6:30 to 8:30pm. [via]

Outta that Car!

Tomorrow is the Active Trans Alliance's Car-Free Day--instead of driving, try taking mass transit, or walk/bike to your destination(s). I donated my last car to WTTW a few years ago, which was a relief for me and my beloved wheels--perhaps it's time to get rid of your jalopy?

More Common than Unicorns

Northwestern University research confirms: Bisexual men really exist. (Didn't realize this was unsettled territory.)

Major ALS Breakthrough

Researchers at Northwestern and elsewhere have discovered a common cause behind all versions of ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease. The study was published this weekend in Nature.

West Side Health Care Mission

The Remote Area Medical Foundation is offering free dental, vision and medical care Friday through Sunday at Malcolm X College in collaboration with the CURE Network.

Internalizing the Brand

According to research conducted at UofI, people defend their favorite brands because they perceive attacks on the brand as an attack on them, personally.

Doing Shakespeare on 63rd & Woodlawn

The Reader profiles David Mailey, one of the many African-Americans living with schizophrenia.

Toxic H2O

It's not just lead in our water, apparently. High levels of hexavalent chromium, a particularly nasty carcinogenic, were found in the city's drinking water.

Leaded Glass of Water

High levels of lead were found in seven of 38 homes tested by the EPA this year, the Tribune reports. Read some of the backstory on how the paper found out.

Mind Destroyers

Researchers continue to delve into the lasting effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the disease that affected Bears start Dave Duerson and led to his suicide.

The Battle for the Bathroom

For the transgender community, choosing which restroom to use in a public place can be both a political statement and a risk to one's safety. Joe Erbentraut explores the issue in A/C.

Illness in the Spotlight

Crain's talks with Chicagoans who traded privacy for advocacy to raise awareness and funds for medical issues.

Our Criminals are on Drugs

A whopping 83 percent of men arrested in Cook County last year tested positive for at least one illegal drug. UPDATE: The Reader's Steve Bogira points out those stats are kind of old.

For Bike Lovers

Do the smart thing and register your bike tomorrow with the Chicago Police Department at Smith Park, 2526 W. Grand, from 11am-1pm. Free helmets and locks will be given away to adults who register their bike while supplies last. Kids get free helmets, too.

North Ave. Beach Closed Early Monday

Eight people fell ill at North Avenue Beach on Monday, probably with heat stroke or related illnesses, prompting the CPD to close the beach.

No More Fucksaws

The controversial human sexuality class at Northwestern (previously) will not be returning to the curriculum in the fall, the university announced yesterday. At least one Wildcat hopes the school changes its mind.

Riot for Health, Get Art

This fall, help the Chicago Women's Health Center move: you'll support health care, education, and counseling for people of all backgrounds and get bonus prints, minicomics, or uterus-sporting flags from illustrator Laura Szumowski.

Duerson's Battered Brain

Former Bears safety Dave Duerson was confirmed to have brain disease caused by severe trauma, according to the autopsy analysis he requested in his suicide note earlier this year. The Miami New Times has an excellent profile of Duerson. [via]

Half Off Brown Elephants

If you want to get your thrifty shop on and help out a worthwhile cause, get yourself into any of the three Brown Elephant resale stores this weekend and save 50% off your entire purchase. Proceeds benefit the Howard Brown Health Center.

LINKing Farmers Markets

Good news for low-income Illinois residents who use LINK cards — Chicago farmers markets doubled the number of sites where they now accept the card as payment for fresh produce. Especially important in an area hampered by food deserts, this expanding service hopefully will get healthy food into more homes. There are also participating markets around the state. Chicago farmers markets open on May 12, 2011.

Expecting Together

Expecting parents might be into KickSprout, a social network just for them.

Not Enough Nurses

In Mechanics, Samantha Winslow reports on the perceived "crisis in emergency room care" on the South Side due to staffing cutbacks.

Illegal Billboards

A few weeks ago, we wrote about these anti-abortion billboards which feature an image of President Obama on the south side of Chicago. Well, it turns out they're illegal and there is a petition to get them removed.

Smoke'em if You got Blackjack

The Illinois House voted to allow smoking in casinos; the bill now moves to the senate. As Kyle Hillman notes, money always wins out.

Billboards Kick Up Controversy

A controversial anti-abortion ad campaign debuted on three South Side billboards that feature President Obama's likeness. The Chicago Abortion Fund and Planned Parenthood have responded. Here is photograph of the billboards:

Life Always Anti-Choice Billboards on Chicago's South Side

Regrets, I've had a Few

A study by two professors at Northwestern and U of I found that romantic regrets were the most common among typical Americans.

Donate Organs by Phone

Donate for Life Illinois has launched a mobile version of their website, making it easier for you to donate organs while on the go.

United States of X: Happiness Edition

The New York Times mapped the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index gauging Americans' opinion of their quality of life. They've mapped the results according to congressional districts; Chicago's range from 61 to 69. (The highest I spotted was a 73.)

Stopping the R-word

The derogatory word "retard" is used 24,000 times a day on Twitter. The Social Challenge is a locally based effort hoping to change that.

The Coming Plague

The University of Chicago researcher who died of the plague in 2009 was the first lab-acquired plague death in 50 years, and the first ever by a weakened form of the bacterium, according to a CDC report.

Healthy Eating

Perhaps not so coincidentally, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week overlaps with Restaurant Week. Dr. Kathrleen Young has some suggestions on how to observe it.

GiveForward Gets Life Support

GiveForward, a startup that helps people raise money for out-of-pocket medical expenses, raised $500k in venture capital.

Achoos Protect You

People with certain allergies may be protected from a common form of brain cancer, UIC researchers report.

Pregnant Lady Pose

Can yoga help you get pregnant?

Another Food Fear

Some strains of the food-borne bacteria Lysteria have evolved to attack the heart, researchers at UIC College of Medicine have discovered.

Take My Compost, Please!

Erlene Howard's burgeoning green business helps those who can't compost for themselves. For under $11 a week, she'll take northsiders' compostables and put them to good use (not a landfill).

Get Weighed by Special K

Would a (confidence-boosting) scale help you keep those healthy resolutions? Stop by Union Station on your way home Tuesday between 3 and 6pm for a complimentary box of Special K Red Berries and an opportunity to learn more about weight loss benefits. It's all a part of their nationwide "What will you gain when you lose?" tour. RSVP on Facebook.

No Pets, No Smoking

The Kingsbury Plaza apartment complex began transitioning to non-smoking on Jan. 1 -- as in, no smoking even in your own apartment, under penalty of fines. The 15 percent of current residents who smoke have a year to either quit or get out.

Howard Brown Changes Board

Howard Brown Health Center, which has been in the news recently for its precarious financial condition, is making some major changes to its board of directors. The center isseeking a more diverse board that better reflects its constituency.

An Ocean of Good

Jenn Gibbons is planning to row across the Atlantic Ocean in January 2012 to raise money and awareness for Recovery on Water, a rowing club for breast cancer survivors we profiled in Tailgate earlier this year.

Help Out Howard Brown

Due to a combination of reduced grant funding and increased client loads, the Howard Brown Health Center is in danger of closing, and is seeking donations to help keep the doors open.

Weird Science

This year's Ig Nobel Prize winners have been announced. One of last year's winners, the locally produced Ebbra, a bra that can be used as two emergency protective face masks, is now on sale.

Binge on Pasta, Then Exercise, Then Beer

The Chicago Marathon's right around the corner. Put your feedbag over your race number for Frasca's half-price-pasta Carb Cram on marathon eve, then trade your Bibs for Beers at Dunlay's on Clark post-race.

The Sun Shined on the Disability Pride Parade

Camaraderie ran, walked and wheeled rampant at the 2010 Disability Pride Parade downtown last July. Ruthie Kott reports in A/C.

Your Oral Report

Grant Achatz is the cover model for an advertorial insert on oral health in the Tribune last Friday. Positioned as a "report," it was produced by Mediaplanet, whose concept page says, "We convert advice-seeking readers and viewers into customers."

Will Walgreens Mend Our Food Deserts?

Walgreens, Northwestern Medicine and Near North Health Service are teaming up to launch a new Food Oasis program. Walgreens says this will combat Chicago's food deserts through more healthy groceries and store locations, and Northwestern Medicine says the project will fight diabetes. Meanwhile, RedEye wants Wal-Mart or Aldi to fix the problem.

How's Michelle Obama's Baby Doing?

No, not Sasha or Malia. The Urban Health Initiative, a U of C Medical Center project that redirects low-income patients to community hospitals on the South Side, was partially created by the first lady when she was the hospital's vice president. Five years later, the press is re-examining the effort. The Kaiser Family Foundation rounds up the reviews here.

Share and Share a Bike

Chicago launched its own bike-sharing program today, called B-Cycle, starting with 100 bikes in six locations all near downtown. (Previously.)

Just Over the Border

Mosquitoes in Evanston have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Don't fret, there are easy ways to protect yourself.

Run, Guest, Run

Guests of the Hotel Palomar Chicago can stay fit and explore the city's sights with the help of the hotel's own running concierge.

Lose Big

On the heels of Michael Ventrella's recent win, NBC is once again looking to Chicago in hopes of finding "The Biggest Loser." The reality weight loss show will be holding an open casting call this Saturday from 10am to 6pm at NBC Tower, 454 N. Columbus Drive. Already have weekend plans or don't want to brave the heat? You can still send in an application and videotape the old-fashioned way.

Getting Healthy with Leslie's List is a free, local resource for Chicago's uninsured and underinsured, enabling people to comparison shop for free or low-cost medication and medical services. [via]

Not Exactly Progress

Kids see fewer ads for sugary foods and drinks on TV, but they're seeing more for fast food, according to research by UIC's Institute for Health Research & Policy.

Get Healthy, Get Creative

Your health and creativity go hand in hand, i.e. it's hard to paint when you can't afford antibiotics, and anyone who romanticizes consumption probably never got an emergency room bill. The Artists' Health Insurance Resource Center is a directory of health care resources for artists, performers, freelancers and the self-employed -- and wouldn't you know it, Chicago's part of it too.

Making Your Appointment

ZocDoc just launched in Chicago, with the aim of being sort of an OpenTable for doctor and dentist appointments.

A Misguided HIV Clinic

The FDA is seeking to ban a doctor specializing in HIV research from doing future work due to false data, lack of protection for study participants, forged documents, and missing experimental drugs.

Beware the Mosquitoes

The first Illinois mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus were found on June 3, but don't run for the hills just yet -- they were found in Gallatin County, in southern Illinois. And with only five human cases of the West Nile virus reported in Illinois last year, there's no need to close yourself up in a plastic bubble; bug spray will do just fine.

The City Sounds Loud

According to info sent to us by hearing loss non-profit Hear the World, Chicago is damn hard on our ears. See their decibel readings after the jump.

Decibel Levels in Chicago
Hunt Club: 91.3
Wrigley Field: 84.7
Grand Red Line subway stop: 97.3
Navy Pier: 70.7
Buckingham Fountain: 74
Millennium Park (@ The Bean): 72.7
Magnificent Mile (Chicago and Michigan): 86.3
....With Ambulance Approaching: 107.3
For comparison, a normal conversation rates about a 60.

Girls Can Kick

The Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy teaches girls soccer skills. They've taught former National Team star Mia Hamm not only how to play soccer, but how to lead. Danielle Slaton, the current assistant coach at Northwestern University and Olympic Medalist, will be teaching this year's training camp in Oakbrook. It isn't cheap, but they do have scholarships available for the daughters of military service members between the ages of 12 and 18.

Your Genes from Walgreens

Walgreens is selling genetic tests that claim to detect for diseases such as Alzheimer's and cancer. The FDA is investigating just what that means, exactly.

Tattoos Now OK for Blood Donors

Illinois blood banks will now accept blood donations from people with tattoos.

Head of NIH @ Northwestern Tomorrow

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, will be lecturing at the Thorne Auditorium at Northwestern tomorrow (375 E. Chicago) at 2pm to discuss the NIH and its role in scientific advancements. If you can't make the event, it will be webcasted live as well.

Medical Marijuana Legal in Illinois

Technically, Illinois already has a medical marijuana law. But until another law passes, you still can't smoke.

On Your Mark

Individual registration for the 2010 Chicago Marathon is now closed, but you can still get involved by signing up to run on behalf of one of these great charities.

Health Care Bill Reactions

The health care bill got Obama's signature today, and county health officials and random local people are bracing for the changes it will enact. Tell us how you feel in Fuel.

26.2 Windy City Miles

Chicago's running season has officially begun. So, if you're thinking about training for the Chicago Marathon (Oct. 10), here's the RedEye guide on where to begin. For more insight, RedEye's Connie Reyes, AKA Marathon MissFit, blogs her first-time running journey, while TimeOut's Liz Plosser captures Chicago's running culture in The Rundown.

Get Your Filters Checked

It's National Kidney Month, and local kidney screening program KidneyMobile and Cardinal Fitness are teaming up on Tuesday and Wednesday to offer free blood pressure tests, blood sugar tests, and educational tips, as well as guest passes and special gym promotions.

Fighting Tooth Delay

The Chicago Dental Society conducted a survey of Gapers Block readers earlier this month (you may have noticed it in the ad slot on the front page) and found that 52 percent of respondents hadn't seen a dentist in the past two years. The poor economy may be to blame.

Oh No She Didn't

Following Kevin Smith's Southwest Airlines incident, Vanity Fair can't wait for Smith to duke it out with Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington who wrote that Smith is in denial about being "fat and in trouble."

See a Doctor and Get Rid of It

Speaking of dirty sex, a bill just passed allowing Illinois doctors to prescribe treatment for the partners of people with STDs without examining them first.

Sun-Times a Charity Case

This Friday, Feb. 5, the Sun-Times will be donating 10 cents from every paper sold to the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign.

Still Time to Move

You've got a few more days to work on your fitness free of charge, thanks to the Chicago Park District.

Transporting Pollution

Last month, Chicago Reporter published an article estimating that Chicagoans living within half a mile of the Cicero Intermodal Facility and other area railyards have a cancer risk as much as 10 times higher than people living 4 miles away. CSX Corporation, operator of the Cicero railyard, has now responded.

Champaign-Urbana's Most Famous Drive-Thru

You may not want to eat at Champaign-Urbana's most famous drive-thru, although you can if you want.

Cures Come From Chicago

The Trib reports that Chicago is a unique hot spot for diabetes research, due to a diverse population and a high concentration of people living with the disease.

Get some information on H1N1 and seasonal flu resources at this growing site. The Illinois page also has links to state resources.

Crip the Mass! @ Daley Plaza

Maybe you've participated in Critical Mass before, but you haven't seen it like this: the Disability Studies Student Council at UIC is calling for wheelchair users to Crip the Mass! -- showing off their own wheels and boosting awareness of wheelchairs on the streets. Join the fun at Daley Plaza today at 5pm.

Hope They Have Good Pedicurists

Some Chicago runners are hanging up their sneakers and hitting the trail barefoot, or in new glove-like shoes intended to simulate the au natural feel. It's more natural, they say, and even cuts down on pain (once your feet get tough enough to handle the rocks and gravel).

Widow Maker Indeed

That chest pain is evidently the least of your worries in Chicago. Unlike other cities, our ambulances don't come with the equipment that identifies "widow maker" heart attacks, meaning delayed treatment and increased chance of permanent heart damage or death. "We are doing a disservice to our patients," said one local director of cardiology.

Calling Florence Nightingale

A result of the economy, a lack of nursing graduates, and a possible wave of nurses retiring from the field, more of these health care professionals are needed, and Chicago is no exception.

Talk Health Care with Chicago Tonight

WTTW's Chicago Tonight is devoting its September 1 show to health care reform, and is looking for interested audience members. "We'll be hearing from legislators, insurers, doctors and hospitals...but we also want to hear your questions and concerns," says an alert the channel sent to supporters today. To request a ticket, email the show or call 773-509-5590.

Cubs on Life Support?

"If health reform were a baseball team, it would be the Chicago Cubs," says Bruce Reed on Slate. GB reader Zac Thomspon says, "Maybe it's finally our year?"

Autism Language Center to Open

By Your Side, a new autism-focused speech and language therapy center, will open in Burr Ridge on October 5. The center is conducting free in-home program evaluations until that date (a $225 value); to learn more, call 888-288-7667.

Nobody Watching

Illinois' mental health community homes have no regulatory oversight, leading to patient neglect and worse. the Chi-Town Daily News discovered. Some nursing homes aren't much better.

Wal-Mart Gets Applause

"We believe strongly that everyone should have access to affordable health insurance. Everyone." That line from a Wal-Mart executive at the National Council of La Raza convention here last weekend got big applause. And WBEZ is getting calls from Wal-Mart trying to stop the clapping.

Daley Plaza to DC: Walking for Health Care

Dr. Ogan Gurel, an uninsured physician, left Daley Plaza June 27 on a walking journey to Washington, D.C., highlighting the struggle of patients and physicians to fix our health care system. He's due in D.C. on July 26; you can track his journey on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

L.A.T.E. Ride

There are few things as enjoyable as riding a bike through the streets of Chicago during the late nights of summer. The L.A.T.E. Ride organizes a community of cyclists to do just that. It is Chicago's only midnight bike ride, and it takes place this year on Saturday/Sunday, July 11/12. Early bird registration has ended, but you can still save $5 if you register by June 30.

Fitness is Back at Millennium Park

Tomorrow Millennium Park brings back its popular free summer fitness program for a fifth year. Each Saturday morning they'll offer tai chi, yoga, and pilates classes, along with a martial arts/aerobic dance class such as Capoeira or Zumba. Classes start at 7 AM on the Great Lawn.

Illegal Dumping in Hyde Park

Chi-Town Daily News reports that Congressman Bobby Rush is calling for an investigation into patient dumping practices at University of Chicago Medical Center.

Get Tested

"A first-of-its-kind study looking at HIV infection rates found that half of gay men in Chicago who have HIV did not know they were infected, and two-thirds of infected black men were unaware." Alarming statistics in the Chi-Town Daily News.

U of C Hospitals Closes More Clinics

The administration of the U of C Hospitals seems all too eager to drag its name farther through the mud, this time by making plans to close its Women's Health Center in addition to its April closing of the Walter G. Zoller Memorial Dental Clinic. Both clinics primarily served the poor.

Fitter, Happier, More Productive

In honor of the 6th Annual Chicago Moves Day, the Mayor's Fitness Council and the Chicago Park District have put together a few events for tomorrow that are meant to encourage healthier, more active lifestyles. The day starts bright and early with a 5K and continues with free workouts at Daley Plaza from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Run for the Buck

If you're into philanthropy, running, and winning Lollapalooza tickets I've got just the activity for you. On May 30, participate in the Buckingham Foundation 5K Fun Run and help raise money to restore Buckingham Fountain. All racers have a chance to win two 3-day passes to Lollapalooza.

A Local Women's Health Hero

GB's own Jenni Prokopy is one of 20 2009 Women's Health Heroes. Congrats!

H1N1 Flu Questions Answered

In case you still have some questions about the disease formerly known as swine flu, CAN TV is doing a live call-in this afternoon at 3:30 on channel 21. Your questions will be answered by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Mason.

Kiss Chlamydia Goodbye!

A nationwide effort to educate young people about chlamydia (and encourage testing) kicks off today at Columbia College, featuring a music performance by local band Lip Tease and the launch of a new site, getSTDtested. The event is at Columbia College's Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th floor, from 7 to 9pm.

First Probable Case of Swine Flu in Chicago

A Rogers Park elementary school is closed for at least the next two days as officials survey parents and try to curtail the spread of germs between students. One student at the school has been noted by City Public Health officials as a probable case of swine flu.

No One Ill In Illinois

So far, so good when it comes to swine flu cases in Illinois. Not so in the rest of the world. But school officials here are taking precautions to make sure it stays that way.

Doctors List

Chi-Town Daily News reports on the new Leslie's List, a database of local health care prices.

Get Smart at DePaul's Chronic Illness Symposium

"After Graduation: Creating Opportunities for Employment, Education, and Community & Family Involvement" is the focus of this year's Chronic Illness and Post-secondary Education Symposium at DePaul University on April 28. It's designed for those with chronic illness and disability, as well as those who work with them - and this year's keynote speaker is Karen McCulloh, executive director of disabilityworks at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Get more info on registration and speakers in Slowdown.

The Twittered Tibia

A double bilateral knee replacement surgery at a Wisconsin hospital was Twittered today in its gory glory (with pics!).

Hospital TB Scare

A 26-year-old pediatric resident physician at Children's Memorial Hospital may have unwittingly exposed hundreds of patients and coworkers to tuberculosis.

It's Parkour Kids!

It seems not everyone is impressed with the Chicago parkour scene. [Thanks, Dubi!]

Deep Steaming

It may not be lined with animal pelts and come equipped with peyote, but the Chicago Sweat Lodge looks to be a good option for an Old World-style detox. UPDATE: Just FYI, it's men only. (Thanks and sorry, Kristen!)

Four South Side Clinics Safe for Now

The city is putting plans to close four South Side mental health clinics on hold following a report in the Chi-Town Daily News that known problems in the city's Department of Public Health billing system may have caused a critical funding shortage.

Chicken Buckets of Asphalt

Since the City is more interested (apparently) in repaving park district roads, maybe we can get KFC to fill some of Chicago's 25,000-plus potholes.

Coughing Up Fewer Lungs

Chicago's tuberculosis rates are at an all-time low.

Fight For Uninsured in Illinois

Next week (March 22 to 28) marks the Robert Woods Johnson Cover the Uninsured Week campaign, and local blog Ill In Illinois suggests concerned Chicagoans can participate by heading to Springfield for a Legislative Advocacy Day on March 24 in support of The Health Care for All Illinois Act, HB 311. You gotta fight! For your right! To insurance!

U of C Hospitals Changing Course

In response to recent criticism, the University of Chicago Hospitals are revising plans to divert patients who do not need emergency care.

IL Medical Marijuana Bill Moves Forward

Yesterday, an Illinois House committee voted 4-3 on a bill that would bring medical marijuana to the state. Chicago Public Radio spoke to Rep. Lou Lang (D) and Rep. Patricia Bellock (R) to get perspective from both sides of the aisle. (Interesting side note: medical marijuana has apparently been legal in Illinois since '78, but never put into practice.)

Do Ya Think I'm Vegan?

Hoping to dispel whatever myths and stereotypes are out there concerning vegans (think sensible shoes, biking everywhere and some article of clothing made of hemp), PETA is sponsoring a "Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door" contest and a Hyde Park resident is carrying the banner for Chicago. You can vote for her here.

Are the U of C Hospitals Dumping Patients?

Following emergency room organizational changes, the U of C Hospitals have been accused of coming "dangerously close" to deflecting uninsured and otherwise cost-intensive patients to other hospitals by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Not Just Any Old Pinups

What happens when you get a dozen fabulous female cyclists together in Chicago, introduce some introspection and give one of them a camera? The Thought You Knew Us Pinup Calendar, of course. Twelve Chicago cyclists, ranging from road warriors to bike messengers to everyday saddle lovers got together to explore public perception of women cyclists and to raise money for the Chicago Women's Health Center which keeps many of them on the road. Learn more, including where you can get your own here.

Massive Changes at the U of C Hospitals

Chicago BioMedicine (which includes the The University of Chicago Medical Center) announced a major reorganization with 450 layoffs -- 5% of its workforce.

Got Lupus? Get Empowered!

Attend a free seminar this Saturday, sponsored by the Lupus Foundation of America - Illinois Chapter, with speakers on the latest research, exercise options and healthy behaviors. (Disclosure: I will be one of the presenters.) Get more info and registration details in Slowdown.

Survival of the (20th) Fattest

Chicago is the 20th fattest city in America, according to Men's Health magazine. Just ahead at no. 19 is perpetual Chicago frenemy New York.

Helping New Year's Resolutions

Said you'd exercise more? The Chicago Park District's 60 fitness centers are there for you: the first two weeks of the new year are free.


A man flew 125 feet off of the Dan Ryan this morning when his car struck a wall and "ejected" him. The Stroger Hospital spokesman reported that his injuries are not life-threatening.

Getting More Than What You Paid For

The Trib's investigation of food mislabeling and hidden allergens found 117 products that violate federal law. While seeking the correct ingredient listings, it also conducted more food laboratory tests than the USDA and FDA have done -- combined -- over the last several years. How many tests did the Trib do? Fifty.

A Stark Look at the Health-Care Have Nots

Although some nonprofit hospitals are raking in the dough, Lawndale's Mount Sinai Hospital struggles in its attempts to provide quality health care to this inner-city neighborhood.

More Great Medical News from Local Conferences

Are you missing any needles, staples, paper clips or pieces of glass, wood, plastic, graphite, crayon or stone? Get the nearest teenager an ultrasound or an X-ray.

World AIDS Day in Chicago

December 1 is World AIDS Day. Free HIV testing at several locations in the city, the Fourth Annual Long-Term Survivor Awards, a candlelight vigil in Boys Town, and 6,000 Steps for 6,000 Orphans, a walk to commemorate the children who are orphaned daily due to AIDS are among the events going on in the city.

AIDS Fund in Jeopardy

The Chicago Reporter reports that the African-American HIV/AIDS Response Fund, created just two years ago, could be on the chopping block along with several other important health initiatives due to the state's budget shortfalls.

Dramatic Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Mortality

A recent study demonstrates that the death rate from breast cancer in Chicago is 116 percent higher for African-American women than white women, twice the national average. What's worse: in 1980, the rate was identical.

How Deep are Your Compressions?

A researcher at University of Illinois' College of Medicine in Peoria has determined that a good guide for performing CPR is to match chest compressions with the beat of the Bee Gees' 1977 hit "Stayin' Alive", as they both clock in at 100 beats per minute.

C'mon, Have A Heart

A Chicago surgeon is being sued by a Niles woman for implanting an experimental heart device in her chest without her consent. The surgeon reportedly earns royalties every time he uses the device.

Let's Get Physical

Sunday's Chicago Marathon promises to be a spectacle of athleticism and CTA transit reroutes. If you know someone running and want to keep an eye on their progress, you can track their feet in a few different ways.

The Breast Cancer Gene

There is a genetic mutation that puts its carriers at much higher risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer. Chicago filmmaker Joanna Rudnick tested positive for it at age 27. Her new documentary, "In the Family," debuts on PBS this week; WTTW will air it at 9pm on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Tune in.

Apparently We're Pretty OK for Allergies

Chicago is the 86th worst city for allergies ... not that people with allergies will feel any better knowing that.

Trumpie Says Relax

New spa guestrooms, opening September 1 at the Trump Hotel and Tower Chicago, come with amenities like yoga kits, fresh orchids, and are staffed by "spa attachés" to customize the experience.

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a...Runner?

If you're bored with running on the Lakefront Path, maybe you'll want to sign up for the Athens Sister City Shuffle 5K, which will take place on the new 9L/27R runway at O'Hare. Gives new meaning to the word "takeoff," doesn't it?

Nine Feet of Discomfort

Shaw's would like you to know the tapeworm did not come from them. Of course, the guy with the lawsuit doesn't see it that way.

Hospital Nightmares

Swedish Covenant Hospital is the new Gitmo? Chicagoan Alice Singleton documents her 2007 stay at the north side hospital in an ongoing five-part series published by the Huffington Post, alleging poor care, negligent staff, and unsafe conditions.

Texters Everywhere, Beware

Be forewarned: the American College of Emergency Physicians and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggest texting while riding horses, walking, driving and cooking noodles can be dangerous.

When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go... MizPee to find the best nearby toilet. Walking the Mag Mile and need to tinkle? The site recommends the Intercontinental Hotel, ranking it a "Royal Flush." Help other Chicagoans by rating your own favorite public potties, and use your handheld to search on the go.

You Say Tomato and I Say... might want to make a note of one particular restaurant chain in Chicago, which has been pinpointed by the Chicago Department of Public Health as one of the major sources of the local tomato-based salmonella outbreak.

Clash of the Bed Pans

The University of Chicago Medical Center throws off the gloves and plans to set up shop down the street from their "arch rivals," Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Streeterville. The move supposedly is prompted by U of C's desire to treat more well-heeled patients.

Sweet (Asbestos-Filled) Summer

Ready to enjoy a nice day at the Oak Street beach? Here's a few tips, including: "Avoid Disturbing the Sand! Microscopic asbestos can be released from the sand when agitated."

Beer And Running--Tonight!

The Chicago Hash House Harriers (a drinking club with a running problem) are celebrating Polish Constitution Day tonight at Czerwone Jabluszko aka The Red Apple, a Polish buffet. There is talk of beer (and thus drinking). Some running might be involved too.

Breaking Boards for Kids

I was eating lunch in the Flat Top by Harpo Studios today when a man asked permission ... to break a 2"x4" in the restaurant. It turns out the man, Ron Werstler, is representing Caring Now for Kids and came to Chicago to raise $250,000 for a girl with cystic fibrosis, perhaps by getting on Oprah.

Syphilis Really is Back

It looks like those "Syphilis is Back" advertisements all over the city are right. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report in town yesterday that confirms the trend for the seventh straight year.

Buy Our Newspaper ... I Mean, What an Interesting Study!

Reuters helps newspapers boost sales with a story about a flu pandemic study that used Chicago as a model. Oh-so-surprisingly, flu contagion reduction strategies would not be "like a snow day."

Wii as Medicine

The New York Times reports on the success of the Nintendo Wii video game system as a rehabilitation (and therapeutic) tool for patients at several hospitals, among them the suburban Hines VA Hospital and downstate Herrin Hospital. No word on whether patients have suffered ''Wiiitis'' as a result.

Bike the Drive Opens Registration

Even though I write this from an igloo, note that registration is now open for the May 25 Bank of America Bike the Drive, the ultimate car-free bicycling event (everyone should do this at least once in their Chicago lives). You can save $5 if you register before midnight on February 10.

Spelunking in the City

The artificial iodized salt cave complex at Galos Caves Spa supposedly provides many health benefits -- but it just looks cool, too!

Colorless, Tasteless and Odorless

The Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago reminds us that January is National Radon Month. Radon is the number two cause of lung cancer. During January, radon tests are free.

What are You Getting From the Doctor?

According to a recent U of C study, 48% of Chicago doctors surveyed gave placebos to patients. Only 12% were against the practice.

NOW What's Your Excuse?

The Chicago Park District is making it easy for you to stick to your (perennial?) New Year's resolution of getting in shape by offering two weeks of FREE admission to any of its 55 fitness centers beginning January 2.

Not a Biological Weapon

Frequent flyers take note: O'Hare and Midway will be offering flu shots near the gates this year.

Illinois - We're Just So Damn Happy!

Mental Health America has released a study finding Illinois to be the 8th least depressed state in the nation. Don't get too excited, though. The group says that no state should be happy with its current status. Bummer.

Sadie Hawkins' Day Race & Style Ride

The now annual Sadie Hawkins' Day Race & Style Ride is back again, November 10th. What is it? "Sadie Hawkins Day Race/Style Ride is an on-street, in-traffic, point-to-point bike adventure for couples or pairs... There are prizes for the fastest couple, fastest tandem team, fastest out of towners, best dressed, and more." Last year's inaugural event drew people from out of town, generated a ton of missed connections and suffice to say, there were a few couples that are still together to this day.

Running with the (Heat) Devil

Today's LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon will be a memorable one, as the unusually warm forecast is causing alternative preparations to be made by race officials to ensure the safety of the record 45,000 runners. Also, a number of CTA bus lines will be temporarily closed throughout the morning to accommodate the race route. Trains will be operating as usual. UPDATE: Despite precautions, one man died and 302 others were hospitalized as a result of participating in today's race.

And Justice for Cyclists...

GB alumni and fellow teammate Luke Seemann recounts a hit-and-run during the team's weekly Saturday morning ride up to Highland Park and back on his excellent Chicago Bike Racing. Clearly an attack on the riders who were paying attention to the rules of the road, the culprit turned himself in and is now facing felony charges in court. Luke has further details on Thomas Lynch.

We're the Cleanest!

According to the biennially disturbing survey of public bathroom hand washing, those at the Shedd and MSI washed their hands 81% of the time, compared to lower totals elsewhere. A word to the wise: avoid men at Atlanta baseball games.

Cheetah by the Bank

More details on the surprisingly quick Cheetah gym re-openings: the bank that held David Wilshire's loans, MB Financial, will be calling the shots. The Bucktown and Andersonville locations re-open today, Edgewater will be back up by Wednesday.

Crazy (Not Lazy) Sunday

If you're planning to head to the lakefront tomorrow, be warned of two major events that may affect your plans. The Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon will close Lakeshore Drive going south from the Bronzeville area to East 67th Street throughout the morning, with a post-race festival taking place in front of the Museum of Science and Industry. Cyclists from the Boulevard Lakefront Tour will be biking along the path as far south as Hyde Park, with their post-event fun taking place on the Midway Plaisance.

On the Fly

If you've ever been down Ravenswood near Wilson, you might have seen the rather large stickered and logoed truck with bright red, yellow and black graphics that say, "On the Fly." The Chicago Traveler has the scoop: On the Fly is a mobile bike mechanic shop. Joe Ebervein and Rich Kwaitkowski will go where you are to get you on the road again.

Waiting... For a Cure

Local waitress (and performer) Jade Phillips had a bright idea: why not get Chicago's enormous service community to come together for a good cause, and bring much-needed attention to one of the deadliest forms of cancer that, also, affects only women: ovarian cancer. The result: Waiting For a Cure. On August 31st, waitstaff from across the city will pledge the night's tips to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). I know the service industry reps GB hard: why don't you take a second to get involved and spread the word about this unique way to raise money and raise the profile of a serious illness? Visit here to sign up, here to donate.

City Running Tours

Combine running with sightseeing with City Running Tours. You'll run side-by-side with a guide who, along the way, points out sites and conveys the history of that particular site as well as little-known facts.Choose from set tours that are designed to deliver the best of each city as well as customized runs for individuals with a specific training regimen, fitness ability or the desire to see specific sites.

Walk Scores

Walk Score gives you an idea of how walkable your neighborhood is by charting the proximity of nearby amenities in a handy-dandy Google Map.

Feeling Ill?

If so, and you're into the U.S. News ratings for this, that and the other, you may want to head to the University of Chicago Medical Center for the best hospital in the region and the 17th best in the country.

Paging Dr. Carter...Again

WBEZ reported today that a survey of 178 Stroger Hospital physicians revealed that over half of them are thinking about leaving their jobs in the next year due to the recent dramatic staff reductions, and the resulting decline of both staff morale and the ability to provide quality medical care. County Commissioner Jerry Butler seemed unfazed about the foreboding data, commenting that it "doesn't mean they're going to leave." I know that these talented veterans of County Hospital are available for work should Jerry have some vacancies in the future.

Where Have All The Patients Gone?

Crain's has an excellent analysis of an odd recent phenomenon: the dropoff in patients at Stroger Hospital. '"This is the first time we're not bursting at the seams," says Robert Simon, interim chief of the county's Bureau of Health Services. "It's a major concern because I don't think these patients are getting access to care elsewhere."'

Dance Dance Party Party!

If you're looking for a new workout, look no more. Dance Dance Party Party is your new best friend. With no teacher, you can feel free to do what you want, like spin, jump, yoga, interpretive dance - who cares? "It's like being out at a club with your girlfriends without the expensive cover charge (only $5 per class!) and sweaty dudes grinding on you," say its organizers. Classes are at 6:30-8pm every Wednesday at Perceptual Motion Dance Studio (4057 N. Damen Ave.).

Does This Look Infected?

Drug-resistant staph infections are spreading through Chicago's population, thanks to the public hospital system, a study says. Yikes.

IML Starts Tomorrow

Hey, kids! The annual International Mr. Leather competition returns to Chicago for its 29th year May 24-28. The fleshy festivities include The Leather Market at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe (open to the public), the International Mr. Bootblack Contest (they like it very much!) and the Black and Blue Ball to wrap things up on Monday. "Queer as Folk" star/comedian Hal Sparks is the headline entertainer. So lace up those boots and show 'em what you got!

See Michael Crichton Speak on Bioethics

Michael Crichton will speak at the Chicago-Kent College of Law today (at 4pm) as a part of a free, open-to-the public biotechnologies and bioethics conference. The presentation will examine ethical, legal and social issues surrounding the latest (and emerging) biotechnologies, including human gene patents and other topics that used to be considered sci-fi. (His recent novel, Next, dives into this topic, too.) Preregister at WhoOwnsYourBody.

One in Four Chicago Women Lack Health Insurance

New research commissioned by the Chicago Foundation for Women (and performed by Health & Disability Advocates) shows a despicable lack of insurance for women in Illinois. One in six women (age 19 to 64) don't have health coverage; the number's higher in Chicago, where 25% go without. Latinas have it even worse: One in three aren't covered. Grr!

ChronicBabe 2.0

ChronicBabe, the locally-produced website for women with chronic health conditions, just launched a redesign. New features include a chronic conditions resource center and an online store. Additionally, if you sign up for Goodie Bags, the site's electronic newsletter, you get a free ebook copy of How to Be a ChronicBabe: A Beginner's Toolkit.

Bike to Work Week!

Gather your colleagues for some heart-healthy, Earth-friendly Bike to Work fun. From June 9-15, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation is sponsoring events, supplying safe biking info, and staffing bike commuter stations in the city and suburbs. Ready to be your office's captain? Register your office ASAP.

It's American Diabetes Alert Day: Get Tested!

Today is American Diabetes Alert Day, a perfect day to take a few moments to get tested. According to the American Diabetes Association about one-third of the nearly 21 million Americans living with the disease are undiagnosed. Take a quick risk test, and if you score high, no cookie for you - it's time to schedule an appointment with your doc for further testing.

They Say It's the First Thing to Go

Researchers at Northwestern have discovered a possible -- and very odd -- link between vasectomies and Primary Progressive Aphasia, a rare form of dementia. So, ladies, even though experts are not discouraging men from getting their tube tied, be prepared to hear yet another reason why you should be solely responsible for contraception.

Chopping Block Offers Class Tonight on Gluten-Free Living

Folks with celiac disease (or who dine often with folks with celiac disease) can learn all about living well gluten-free tonight, at "Enlightened Cooking with Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner." Brought to you by the Chopping Block, the event takes place at the Merchandise Mart, 6-8:30pm. Register here.

Dominick's is Their Wonderwall

Or at least an oasis in the midst of a "Food Desert"! Researcher Mari Gallagher finds that the planned closings of 3 Dominick's would create food desert conditions (where fast-food restaurants are plentiful and grocery stores are scarce) for 75 city blocks that over 18,000 Chicagoans inhabit.

Granddad the Wii Master

Welcome to a world wherein grandparents in Lake County teach their grandchildren how to play video games.

Know Thy Physician

A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, which highlights the part religion and morality play in options physicians choose to present, has been making waves nationally. The results show effects are not confined to controversial cases, but can also crop up in discussions about legal procedures that don't vibe with a doctor's personal views.

Chicago author Paula Kamen will speak on women and pain care

As part of an ongoing lecture series on "Understanding Pain" sponsored by the International Museum of Surgical Science and the Hektoen Institute of Medicine, Chicago author Paula Kamen will speak this Tuesday, Feb., 20, on "Not All In My Head: Reflections on Women's Treatment with Pain Care." Paula's own experience with chronic daily headache is chronicled in her highly lauded book, All In My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache. More info on the event in Slowdown.

Bird Flu vs Chicken Little

It might sound like "the sky is falling" but the lessons learned in 1918 taught us that bird flu should be taken seriously. It's a good thing then that a UChicago law professor is passionate about chickens, and is headed to Geneva to tell the WHO.

Are You Wearing Red Today?

Today is the American Heart Association's "Wear Red Day," when millions of men and woman across the country will wear red to raise awarness of heart disease - the number one killer of women in the U.S. Visit the AHA web site to make a donation, and get your red on!

Cycle Of The Seasons

Hearty cyclists (the ones that're always talking about "base miles," even in sub-zero temps) as well as recreationalists dreaming of warmer days may want to check out this list of 2007 races and events.

Chicago Park District Hearts You

So much in fact, that if you sign up for their Winter fitness center session by February 14th, they'll give you the Spring session free. The average price is $50 per three month session, there are 44 centers to choose from around the city, and they've improved their fitness center equipment. Wow! A city service that serves people? Awesome! (Thanks, Roni.)

Bleeding Heart Bleeds Fresh

The Bleeding Heart Bakery located in the latest hotbed of development and hipness (Damen/Chicago) has just re-opened following remodeling. They say, "We want to show the city how we've grown since opening last year- we've transformed everyone's favorite organic bakery into a full café, featuring a new line of sandwiches, a full espresso bar, and a wider selection of ready-to-buy produce and dry goods." Yum.

Winter Bike to Work Day

Like it's sibling in the summer, the Winter edition of Bike to Work Day coming up features hot beverages and goodies at Daley Plaza this month on the 19th (Friday) from 7 to 9am. The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation hosts activities, a raffle with prizes and the chance to congregate and meet up with your fellow cyclists.

Cold + Precipitation + Tall Buildings = Trouble

What's the appropriate course of action when you see a "Beware of Falling Ice" sign? The Tribune helps you avoid an icicle in the head.

You're such a slouch!

That is, if you follow the advice of research reported in today's Chicago Tribune, promoting sitting back in your chair at a 135-degree angle as a healthier alternative to sitting up straight. So if you're leaning forward right now to read this on your monitor, pump up the font size and lean back!

A Big Guide to the Web

Big Fat Blog, a fat acceptance blog written by GB alum Paul McAleer, recently launched the Big Fat Index, a guide to FA websites and other resources.

Plan B at Planned Parenthood

In case you find your self in an unhappy position, kinda like the one Brienne imagined, you should know you can receive Plan B at any of the 10 Planned Parenthood locations in the Chicago area, as well as at the Chicago Women's Health Center. And Shasta MacNasty and her readers did some legwork and sharing about this pill and how to get it.

Check your pulse on National Oriental Medicine Day

In honor of National Oriental Medicine Day, local holistic health studio Source Healing is offering free info and refreshments from noon to 6pm Tuesday, Oct. 24. Get a Chinese tongue and pulse diagnosis, learn about Chinese nutrition for fertility, and prep for cold and flu season. More details in Slowdown.

Going through the motions

Stressed and needing to relax? Maybe attending the newly opened Taoist Tai Chi Society's space at 1922 W. Montrose is just what you need. They've got beginner classes starting ths week (Monday and Thursday 6-7:30pm) and membership is only $40 a month.

Surgery? Remove That Belly Ring

Crain's Chicago Business writes this week about the increasing problem of patients not removing body piercings pre-surgery. Many don't consider them "jewelry" or simply forget to remove the, um, more private piercings. Hidden piercings can cause injury during surgery, so if you're headed to the hospital, get rid of 'em - or hope your doc has a removal kit like those sold by MedPierce Inc.

Walking in Chicago

With all of this walking around Chicago, why not take an idiosyncratic video stroll through the city?

Bionic Woman, Courtesy of Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Claudia Mitchell is the world's first woman to receive a bionic arm, created by the Rehabilitation Insitute of Chicago. Using RIC's Bionic Arm technology, nerves located in Mitchell's shoulder were re-routed and connected to healthy muscle in her chest, allowing the re-routed nerves to grow into the chest muscle and direct signals they once sent to the amputated arm instead to the robotic arm. The result: When Mitchell thinks about moving her arm, it happens, and she's able to complete essential tasks with ease. And this is just a first step; in the future, researchers hope to create advanced bionic arms that provide recipients with full sensation.



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