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

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Chicago Women Who Owned 2015

I'm stealing the headline from FoGB Veronica Arreola, because it is perfect. There are so many Best of lists at this time of year, but if you want to know 15 (thankfully there are far more) women who did awesome stuff in Chicago this year, then go read about them. They're all awesome.

RIP Haskell Wexler

Chicago-born filmmaker Haskell Wexler, best known for writing and directing Medium Cool, passed away Sunday. He was 93.

Rahm's (one of) the Worst

GQ has ranked the worst people of 2015, and our dear mayor is number 26, sandwiched between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Johnny Manziel. [via]

RIP DJ Timbuck2

WGCI DJ Timbuck2 passed away over the weekend after a battle with cancer. He was 34.

RIP James Lemons

The eponymous owner of Lem's Bar-B-Q House, James Lemons, has passed away. He was 87.

23 Makes Good

Michael Jordan split his $8.7m settlement from Dominick's into donations to 23 charities throughout the area, among them the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Casa Central.

Here's everywhere he donated, should you care to be like Mike:
After School Matters
Casa Central
Children's Literacy Initiative
Chicago Scholars
Chicago Youth Programs
Christopher House
Common Threads
Erikson Institute
Gary Comer Youth Center
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund -- Illinois
KEEN Chicago
La Casa Norte
La Rabida Children's Hospital
Make-A-Wish Illinois
New Moms
New Teacher Center
The Ounce of Prevention Fund
Project Exploration
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Sinai Health System
SOS Children's Villages Illinois
Tutoring Chicago

What Happened to Sandra Bland?

Bryan Smith tells the story of Sandra Bland, the Chicago woman who killed herself after being taken into custody in Texas under odd circumstances. (Previously.)

Meet Ethan Renoe

A shirtless jogger interviewed on WGN this weekend became a bit of a viral sensation on Facebook. Turns out Ethan Renoe is single, a Christian, and a recovering porn addict.

Meet Some People

The Reader's annual people issue is out, with a whole bunch of interesting folks to get to know.

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.

Rahm's Next Fight

In the New Republic, Eve Ewing predicts Rahm Emanuel's next scandal. No, not CPS and another teacher strike. Public Housing.

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.

Pretty Cool People

Chances are you know one or two of Chicago magazines Chicagoans of the Year.

40 is the New 40

Crain's announced its 2015 40 Under 40 list, and it may be their most diverse group yet.

Not About the Money

Ever wonder what MacArther "genius grant" winners do with their $625,000 windfall? The NYTimes finds out.

Reshaping How People Imagine the South Side

Theaster Gates gave a TED Talk earlier this year about how art and community centers can revitalize a neighborhood.

RIP Bill Siebel

Bill Siebel, head of the Siebel Institute of Technology, a brewing and cicerone training school, passed away Nov. 8 of esophageal cancer. He was 69.

It's Jojo Baby!

Filmmaker Greg Reigh made a short documentary about one of the city's most colorful characters.

A Flouring Business

Plate profiles Megan and David Miller, owners of Baker Miller, whose second location opens Saturday in Ravenswood Manor.

Remembering Meghan

In the Reader, Leor Galil explores the legacy of Meghan Galbraith and her band, 8 Inch Betsy. The Mean Days, the band's final album, comes out on Friday.

Kane Cleared

The Blackhawks' Patrick Kane won't face charges in the case of alleged rape that's dragged on this summer, through one bizarre twist after another -- and brought out the worst in his fans.

Blind Ambition

TouchVision profiles Chef Laura Martinez, who has been blind since she was 3 years old. She opened her own restaurant, La Diosa, in Lincoln Park earlier this year.

RIP Oba Maja

Oba Maja, the panhandling poet of WickerPark, passed away last week. He was 71. Read some of his poetry here.

Follow Your Passion

Above the Law talks with Liz Glazer, a former law professor (including stints in Chicago) who left to pursue stand-up comedy.

RIP Jose Guerrero

Jose Guerrero, a muralist and leader of tours of Pilsen's many murals, passed away Oct. 7 after a long battle with colon cancer. He was 77.

Long Reads on Rizzo

Grantland makes the case for Anthony Rizzo for league MVP, while former Cub Adrian Cárdenas writes in the New Yorker about watching his friend Rizzo lead his team to the playoffs. [via]

Obsessed with Work

Tony Dreyfuss, cofounder of Metropolis Coffee, opens up to Crain's about his diagnosis of bipolar disorder and how it's changed his relationship with work.

Mr. Cub Blue

Despite his happy public face, Ernie Banks' last few years were tinged with loneliness, writes Ron Rapoport in Chicago magazine.

RIP Rep. Esther Golar

State Rep. Esther Golar passed away Monday morning after a battle with cancer. She was 71. Rep. Golar had represented the 6th District for nine years.

Beyond "Thou Shalt Not Kill"

The Reader profiles Father Dan Brandt, a Catholic priest and chaplain to the Chicago Police Department who often finds himself counseling officers regarding the use of deadly force.

Where Aunt Jemima is Buried

Nancy Green, the original Aunt Jemima, was buried in Oak Woods Cemetery nearly a century ago, but nobody was sure where. Sherrie Williams, president of the Bronzeville Historical Society, finally founder her.

The People that you Meet in Your Neighborhood

If your neighborhood happens to be Rogers Park, anyway. People of Rogers Park profiles regular people who live north of Devon and east of Ridge.

Halting the Hoaxes

Your long read of the day: Chicago-based day trader Taryn Wright explains how she came to become an Internet hoax buster -- and why she keeps doing it.

Local Roots

Chicagoans Charlene Carruthers and Theaster Gates -- as well as expats Common and Hannibal Buress -- made the 2015 The Root 100 list.

RIP Phil Free Art

DJ, artist and music personality Phil Pelipada, aka Phil Free Art, has passed away.

RIP Harry Volkman

Meteorologist Harry Volkman, the first weather man to announce a tornado warning on TV, passed away Thursday. He was 89.

Dad Body Wars

A new contest is on the hunt for Chicago's best dad bod.

RIP Yoshi Katsumura

Yoshi Katsumura, chef and owner of Yoshi's Cafe in Boystown, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Ten Years Later

On the tenth anniversary of his senseless death from a devastating car crash (also killed were Returnables guitarist John Glick and Exo/The Dials' Douglas Meis), a former colleague penned a remembrance for Silkworm drummer Michael Dahlquist today. (A memorial show for the three will be held Aug. 8 at the Hideout.)

Speaking to Grace

On the latest episode of the podcast WTF, Marc Maron talks with Against Me! singer and recent Chicago transplant Laura Jane Grace about her life, her experiences with transgender dysphoria and her music.

Love Wins, Gaga Stays Home

Lady Gaga, who performed with Tony Bennett at Ravinia on Friday and Saturday, celebrated Pride in Chicago on Sunday, posting photos from her apartment above Millennium Park. Unfortunately, she appeared to mistake a mariachi concert at the Pritzker Pavilion for the Pride Parade.

Watching over Chicago Pride from my apartment and smiling so big. So many happy people. Happy pride!! #lovewins

Posted by Lady Gaga on Sunday, June 28, 2015

This is just about the coolest things I ever saw. It feels good to know how many of my friends and loved ones are out celebrating and feeling valued. #lovewins

Posted by Lady Gaga on Sunday, June 28, 2015

Saying "Goodbye" to Arkansas Red

For the last 30 years, Arkansas Red hosted "The Blues Excursion" on WHPK. His final show was last weekend. Relive the experience through last summer's video profile on The Grid.

RIP Big Time Sarah

"Big Time" Sarah Streeter, one of the city's most beloved blues singers, passed away Saturday. She was 62.

Get a Piece of Judy

Today through Saturday, there's an estate sale for the late state comptroller Judy Baar Topinka at her Riverside, 20 minutes by bus from the Harlem-Forest Park stop on the Blue Line.

RIP PJ Paparelli

American Theater Company artistic director PJ Paparelli died today after being injured in a car accident while on vacation in Scotland. He was 40.

Martha Lavey Hospitalized

Martha Lavey, the artistic director of Steppenwolf, suffered a stroke Monday night. A statement from the theater said she's making "clear improvement every day."

Achatz & Kokonas on What's Next

Ten years ago, Alinea opened and turned fine dining on its ear. Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas talked with the Trib's Kevin Pang about the past decade and what's coming with Roister and Alinea, and Achatz chatted with Elyzabeth Alfano about his career.

RIP Homaro Cantu

Homaro Cantu, chef of Moto, the shuttered iNG and Berrista, was found dead yesterday of an apparent suicide outside a building in which he planned to open a brewery. He was 38.

The #chicagoGirl on Film

Chicago college student Alaa Basatneh talked with Channel 5 about her efforts to support the Syrian revolution and the documentary about her. #chicagoGirl screens at the Family of Woman Film Festival at the Wilmette Theatre tonight.

Hannibal at the Gates

Fader profiles Hannibal Buress as he tours the country post-Bill Cosby rape joke.

RIP Jack Haley

Jack Haley, a two-time Bulls player and member of the championship '95-'96 team, passed away Tuesday from heart disease. He was 51.

RIP Willie T. Barrow

Civil rights leader Rev. Willie T. Barrow passed away this morning at age 90. Nicknamed "Little Warrior," Barrow walked with Martin Luther King Jr. at Selma and worked with Rev. Jesse Jackson on Operation Breadbasket and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. President Obama released a statement calling her "a constant inspiration, a lifelong mentor, and a very dear friend."

Beautiful on Paper

Silkscreen artists Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi, aka Sonnenzimmer, are profiled by the Trib.

"It's been been everything for me."

Oprah's closing up shop (a.k.a Harpo Studios) and moving west . . . to West Hollywood, that is. She recalls, "We were here when there was nothing but hoes and rats on the street, and now it's one of the hottest neighborhoods."

RIP Mark W. Anderson

Journalist Mark Anderson, formerly of Ward Room and a past contributor to Gapers Block, passed away yesterday after a battle with stage 4 cancer. Scott Smith has details on how to contribute to a fund to help Mark's family pay for medical bills and funeral expenses.

Our Richest Citizens

White Sox and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf joined the list of Chicagoans on the 2015 Forbes Billionaires list, along with 17 others (six of whom have the last name Pritzker).

Our Local Minister

The new finance minister of Ukraine, Natalie Jaresko, was born in Chicago and grew up in the western suburbs. She lived in Ukrainian Village while she attended DePaul.

RIP Minnie Minoso

"Mr. White Sox," Minnie Minoso, passed away Sunday. Minoso was the first black player from Latin America to play in the major leagues, and was a seven-time All Star. His exact age is unknown, but he was believed to be 90.

Chicago's Wrestling Clown

Rolling Stone profiles Colt Cabana, the hometown pro wrestler who keeps things fun and funny .

In Right Field, Bill Murray

Back in 1978, Bill Murray played a few weeks of minor league baseball in between "Saturday Night Live" seasons. [via]

Look to the Stars

Chicago-born astronaut Dr. John H. Grunsfeld is being inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Date These Hotties

The Reader introduces you to 10 singles looking for love and companionship.

Not So Hot

Doug Sohn has been enjoying his time not being Hot Doug so far -- and he's only gone past his beloved former restaurant once.

RIP JoAnn Thompson

Sixteenth Ward Alderman JoAnn Thompson passed away last night during open heart surgery. She was 58.

RIP Andrew Patner

Writer and WFMT radio host Andrew Patner passed away suddenly on Tuesday. He was 55. Neil Steinberg wrote a lovely obituary about the quietly influential critic.

Garbage Man

From dodging squirrels to dealing with ominous odors, the work of a trash collector is dirty, necessary work.

What Makes a Great Bartender?

Chicago magazine's Tom Chiarella looks to Jeff Magill, bartender at the Billy Goat Tavern for 34 years, for the answer.

RIP Berny Stone

Former 50th Ward Alderman Bernard Stone passed away last night. He was 87.

Stone was one of the city's longest serving alderman, and served as vice mayor from 1998 until 2011. He lost the 2011 aldermanic election to Deborah Silverstein.

Gate-Crasher Supreme

Get to know James Leo "One-Eye" Connelly, world-champion gate-crasher.

RIP Lee Sandlin

Lee Sandlin, longtime Reader contributor and author, passed away suddenly Saturday night. He was 58.

RIP Judy Baar Topinka

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka passed away today after suffering a stroke on Tuesday. She was 70. She had just won her second term as comptroller, her most recent role in a long political career.

Past Professions

Stars from the Chicago area share where they worked before they got their big break.

RIP Salvatore Ferrara II

The former CEO of Ferrara Pan Candy, Salvatore Ferrara II, passed away on Thanksgiving after a long battle with esophageal cancer.

Meet Mitzi

Refinery29 introduces us to Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of Ebony magazine.

The Somebody Nobody Sent

Former congressman and judge Abner Mikva received the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Obama yesterday. He is the founder of the Mikva Challenge, a foundation encouraging civic engagement among students.

RIP Mike Nichols

Writer/director/producer Mike Nichols passed away at age 83. Nichols got his start in entertainment while attending the University of Chicago, beginning with the Compass Players improv troupe where he met his longtime collaborator, Elaine May.

RIP Jane Byrne

Former Mayor Jane Byrne passed away. The city's first and only female mayor was 80.

Batman v. Superman v. Unseasonably Cold Weather

It's not exactly the best time for the cast and crew of superhero flick Batman v. Superman to be filming exterior footage, but that's fall in Chicago for you! Several streets in Uptown are already closed, and will be until Friday. Let's hope those super and bat suits are well insulated.

A Toast to the Dead

Eater maps Chicago's most haunted bars and restaurants, while the Tribune shows you where the famous and infamous are buried.

Operations for Operation

John Spinello, the creator of the game Operation, can't afford needed surgery. A crowdfunding campaign has been set up in his name, and you can also buy signed copies of the game.

Barbarians at the Gates

Neighbors in Humboldt Park are organizing so they aren't displaced as the area is gentrified.

From Paris to Hell's Kitchen

The Daily Beast's Bill Schulz interviewed Joakim Noah about his life and loves -- and pot.

Bad Pass to Pippen

Former Bull Scottie Pippen's former financial adviser, Robert Lunn, was found guilty of bank fraud for taking out a $1.4 million loan in Pippen's name and using the money for himself.

Chicago's Own Epic Royals Fan

Do312's Jeremy Scheuch has unexpectedly become the emblematic superfan of the Royals this postseason.


This Year's Geniuses

The 2014 MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant recipients include Tara Zahra, a history professor and author at University of Chicago; Mark Hersam, a Northwestern materials scientist studying the properties of nanomaterials; and Tami Bond, an environmental engineer at University of Illinois studying the global effects of black carbon emissions.

Interrupt Cancer

Ameena Matthews, one of the central figures in The Interrupters documentary, is battling Multiple Myeloma, a form of leukemia. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help her raise money for a bone marrow transplant.

Final Bows

Chicago's theater community lost three of their own last week. Sati Word passed away on Sept. 3, and actors Molly Glynn and Bernie Yvon died Sept. 6, Glynn after being hit by a falling tree while caught out cycling during Friday's storm, Yvon in a car accident in Munster.

"I'm 36. I'm almost dead."

Have a drink (of green tea) with Harper Reed.

Happy Birthday, Peggy!

Peggy Gelsomino has been making pizzas at Gino's North since 1992, and has been in the restaurant industry for decades. Her 85th birthday party will be at the Edgewater restaurant this Sunday.

Jane Byrne Memorial Spaghetti Bowl

The Circle Interchange will be renamed the Mayor Jane Byrne Interchange by Gov. Quinn on Friday. (Previously.)

RIP Kimball Paul

Kimball David Paul, an artist and former bouncer once known as "the King of Neo," has passed away. He was 56.

kimball paul

RIP Robin Williams

Chicago-born comedian and actor Robin Williams died Monday of an apparent suicide. He was 63.

Joly Reigns Supreme

Charles Joly of the Aviary won the 2014 Diageo World Class Champion Bartender in London this weekend. Add that to the World's Best Cocktail Menu award the Aviary won at the Sprited Awards earlier in July and Joly's having a very good year.

40+ & Awesome

Open Books founder Stacy Ratner and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rodkin Rotering are among this year's 40 Women To Watch Over 40 list.

RIP Karen Gerod

The former owner of the West Town establishment Swim Cafe, which closed late last year, has lost her battle with cancer.

Irony, Thy Name Is

Bill Hillmann, co-author of Fiesta: How To Survive The Bulls Of Pamplona, who was gored by a bull in this year's event. Hillmann is also author of The Old Neighborhood, published by Curbside Splendor this spring.

You Are a Beautiful Woman and Mother

Michael Davis wrote a love letter to his wife -- using his feet and GPS.


Beauty Queen Consolidates Power

Marisa Buchheit, already Miss Chicago 2014, was crowned Miss Illinois this weekend.

After the 20-Game Run

The third winningest "Jeopardy" contestant lives in Wilmette. The Reader's Gwynedd Stuart interviewed her.

RIP Dan Ronan

Comedian Dan Ronan, a writer for the Late Live Show, died Friday. He was 24.

For Your Dating Consideration

Chicago magazine's annual Most Eligible Singles issue is out.

RIP Bob Abrahamian

Bob Abrahamian, Chicago soul collector, historian and host of WHPK's Sitting in the Park, died Thursday of an apparent suicide.

A Link Back to the Cubs' Glory Days

Lennie Merullo, the last living member of the 1945 Cubs team that played in the World Series, threw out the first pitch at Saturday's game.

Top Cop in the Shop

Police chief McCarthy had a heart attack Thursday morning, followed by emergency angioplasty to open two clogged arteries.

Next Stop: Red Planet

Three Chicagoans are in the running to be part of the first mission to Mars.

Really Casual Fridays

Anne Ford profiles nude model Roger Billhardt in the Reader.

Special Agent in Charge

Jack Riley, chief of the the DEA's Chicago division, has been fighting drugs in the city for more than 30 years.

RIP Jim Karr

Jim Karr, a legend in the coffee industry who used to be director of brewing technology for Intelligentsia and more recently founded SteamVolt, died Saturday when a coffee machine fell on him in Grant Park. He was 48.

RIP Sam Greenlee

Sam Greenlee, author of The Spook Who Sat by the Door, passed away Monday at age 83. The film based on his book is credited with launching the blaxspoitation genre.

When Humanity Gets Real

An old friend of Lance Armstrong paid a visit while the former cyclist played Cards of Humanity this past weekend.

We're Ready to Believe

The Toledo Mud Hens minor league baseball team got Bill Murray to do a promo for their upcoming Ghostbusters Night May 30 -- and for some reason he impersonated Harry Caray for it.

Who is Fred Eychaner?

He's a Chicago businessman who's given more than $14 million to liberal super-PACs but stays out of the public eye.

Never Too Old to Rock

Students at Marquette University created a short documentary about Tribune rock critic (and Marquette alumnus) Greg Kot. [via]

JJJr. Begs Forgiveness - for Others

Imprisoned former congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. asked President Obama to pardon several of his fellow inmates.

Keeping Up with Joan

Joan Rivers talks with Michigan Avenue magazine about her time at Second City in the early '60s and how it affected her career.

Miles and the Chair

The Illustrated Press tells the story of Miles Turner, a high school linebacker stuck in a wheelchair after being shot eight times in the back while trying to protect a cousin.

Here to Make You Feel Unaccomplished

Crain's 20 in Their 20s list is sure to get you thinking about what you've been doing with your life.

RIP Gary Becker

Gary S. Becker, Nobel Prize-winning University of Chicago economist, passed away Saturday. He was 83. In 2004 he started a blog with law professor and federal appeals court judge Richard Posner; Becker's final post was on March 3, on the Cuban embargo.

Freddy's a Hustler

The Reader profiles bank pool master Freddy "the Beard" Bentivegna.

RIP Brooks Golden

Street artist Brooks Golden, aka "Be Golden," passed away on Saturday after a brief illness. He was best known for his owl illustrations, such as this mural in Pilsen.

RIP DJ Rashad

Rashad Harden, aka DJ Rashad, was found dead Saturday, possibly due to an overdose. DJ Rashad was a house DJ and rapper who helped popularize Chicago's footwork scene.

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.

Vivian Maier, Bag Lady

Before she was a posthumously celebrated street photographer, author and FoGB Ted McClelland knew Vivian Maier as a bag lady, part of the colorful, frayed fabric of Rogers Park.

RIP Otis McDonald

Otis McDonald, the lead plaintiff in the case that struck down Chicago's handgun ban, passed away Friday after a long battle with cancer. He was 80.

Good People to Know

Architect Kathryn Darnstadt, teacher and Tabula Rasa founder Chelsea Armstrong, The Yellow Tractor Project founder Wendy Irwin, Experience Institute's Victor Saad and Yuri Malina are part of Good magazine's Good 100 list of people making a positive impact on their communities and the world.

A Woman with Drive

Molly Cantrell-Kraig, founder of the Women With Drive Foundation, is one of the CNN 10: Visionary Women.

The Green Six

Chicago magazine announced this year's Green Award winners.

Taking Care of Friends

Two of the victims of the drunk-driving incident at SXSW were had Chicago ties; Jamie West died, and Evan West is in intensive care. Friends are fundraising to help Evan recover.

RIP Vernita Gray

Vernita Gray, a longtime LGBT rights advocate and one of the first to marry under Illinois' same sex marriage law, has passed away. She was 65.

On Each Other's Team

Lorde, who's in town for a show at the Aragon tonight, live-tweeted the Bulls game last night ...sort of.

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.)

The Internet Interviews

Interviewly takes Reddit AMAs and turns them into more traditionally formatted interviews. Chicagoans getting the treatment so far include John Cusack, Bill Murray, Audrey Niffenegger, Gary Sinise and of course, President Barack Obama.

Noted Without Comment

A Brief History of Billy Corgan Losing His Goddamn Mind, by Noisey. [via]

The Life Aquatic with Jimmy Fallon

The talk show host, along with Mayor Emanuel, took the Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics this morning in Lake Michigan. He looked a little cold afterwards.

What's the Statute of Limitations on Cereal Theft?

John C. Reilly, who grew up in Chicago Lawn, admitted on "Conan" last night to stealing 500 boxes of Sugar Pops from a train car when he was a kid.

Rolling Out the Law

By day, Jaclyn Stacy is director of external relations for the Legal Assistance Foundation. By night and weekend, she's Anihilist Nin of the Fury roller derby team.

RIP Harold Ramis

Filmmaker Harold Ramis passed away early this morning of a rare autoimmune disease. He was 69.

The City's Power Rankings

Chicago magazine's annual Power 100 list is online. Number one is the mayor, number two is Michael Madigan. Beyond them, you may be surprised.

DePaul's Top Basketball Player No Longer Enrolled

The men's basketball team had hopes of a comeback with star player Cleveland Melvin on the team until his career came to an abrupt halt on Monday. The player is no longer enrolled at DePaul and is suspended indefinitely for violating an unspecified team rule. (Related.)

Street Walking

In NewCity, a former sex worker talks about life on the street.

Out from Behind the Scanner

Last week former O'Hare TSA agent Jason Edward Harrington, outed himself on Politico as the anonymous blogger behind Taking Sense Away, a blog about what airport security really thinks of us. He wrote about the aftermath over the weekend.

Daley Hospitalized

Former Mayor Richard Daley was hospitalized Friday night after returning from a business trip to Arizona. According to the Sun-Times, Daley exhibited stroke-like symptoms.

The Scoop on Graslie

The Reader delves into how the Field Museum's Emily Graslie became a YouTube star with her show, The Brain Scoop. (Previously.)

Hadiya, 1 Year Later

A year ago, Hadiya Pendleton was killed. Her parents reflect on the anniversary, and the foundation they created in her honor.

RIP John W. Rogers Sr.

A Tuskeegee airman who went on to earn a law degree from UofC, Judge John W. Rogers Sr. passed away Tuesday. He was 95. [via]

Get to Know Matthew Churney

You might have seen him at a concert or music festival, dancing up a storm in knee pads and a shredded t-shirt. Vice finds out who that guy is. [via]

After Aaron

One year after Aaron Swartz committed suicide, his father talks about the loss.

UNO to Zero

Chicago mag's Cassie Walker Burke and the BGA take a look at the rise and fall of Juan Rangel, former CEO of the United Neighborhood Organization, and
UNO's charter school mismanagement.

Remembering Tyshawn

On Monday, 17-year-old Tyshawn Carter, suspected of armed robbery, hanged himself in Cook County Jail. ChicagoNow blogger Elana Anthony was his teacher.

Where Kahan Cooks

Home design site Houzz gives us a close-up look at chef Paul Kahan's kitchen.

People of Chicago

The Reader's annual People Issue is out today, and the online version is really slick.


Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is taking the top job at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She doesn't leave till Sept. 1 of next year, leaving the CSO plenty of time to find a replacement.

Giving Half Away

Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky and his wife took the Giving Pledge to donate half their wealth to charity, though they haven't said exactly when that will happen.

Here's the Lefkofskys' pledge letter, via The Giving Pledge website.

Lefkofsky Giving Pledge Letter

RIP Lorna Donley

After what has been described as a brief and unexpected illness, Lorna Donley, the vocalist and bassist of the Chicago punk/post-punk band DA! passed away on Sunday. Arrangements are forthcoming, and will likely be posted on the DA! Facebok page.

Donate a Liver for Hot Type

The Reader's Michael Miner needs a liver transplant.

RIP Vinny Garcia

Vinny Garcia, former co-owner of Bleeding Heart Bakery (which closed in 2012), passed away over the weekend from leukemia.

Interrupting from a Different Place

CeaseFire (now Cure Violence) isn't the only group trying to stop youth violence. The Chicago Reporter interviews Eddie Bocanegra, one of the stars of The Interrupters who is now co-executive director of YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago's Youth Safety and Violence Prevention initiative.

The Next 40

The 2013 edition of the Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40 includes a rapper, a cartoonist and coffee roaster among the usual mix of financial and tech super stars.

Praised by Unanimous Consent

Betty Brewer, who prevented a man from (allegedly) abducting a girl at a Rogers Park grocery store, was honored by Mayor Emanuel and the City Council.

A Fond Farewell

Art Smith, Emeril Lagasse, Carrie Nahabedian and Rick Bayless were among the mourners at today's memorial service for notable chef Charlie Trotter.

The City's Best People

From Buddy Guy to Lulú Martinez, meet Chicago magazine's Chicagoans of the year.

Your Friends & Neighbors

Meet The Chicagoans, a video series produced by Groundfire Pictures and writer Anne Ford. [via]

Charlie Trotter Dies

The famous chef was found unresponsive at his home this morning. He was 54. Former employees and colleagues will hold a candlelight vigil in front of his former restaurant at 816 West Armitage at 4:30pm today.

Life After MJ

Crain's Shia Kapos checks in on Juanita Jordan, seven years after her divorce from Michael Jordan.

"I will always be from that 312."

Grantland's Rembert Browne imagines Michelle Obama's response to Kanye West's odd comments about the president and first lady on Ryan Seacrest's show. [via]

An Account of Two Men

The Reader takes us through the lives and circumstances leading up to the moment Ryne San Hamel's Mercedes hit cyclist Bobby Cann on Clybourn Avenue this summer.

The Bartered Wedding Party

Saya Hillman and Pete Aiello got married recently, and managed to bring their cash outlay down from $24,000 to a little over $200. Here's how.

Honoring Bobby Cann

Today at 1pm, the section of Clybourn Avenue near Larrabee will be renamed Bobby Cann Way, in honor of the cyclist who was hit by a drunk driver and killed in May. Tonight is also Critical Mass, and the route will likely swing past to pay respects.

Bid on a Bit of Oprah

Oprah Winfrey is auctioning off a bunch of stuff from her homes in Chicago and elsewhere, including antiques, fossils and several portraits of hers truly, to raise money for her foundation's college fund. Beachwood Reporter notes some of the odder items for sale.

RIP Josh Marks

Josh Marks, a finalist on the third season of "MasterChef" who earlier this year was arrested for assaulting a UofC police officer during a bipolar epsode, passed away Friday night, of an apparent suicide.

Gals in the Garage

NewCity profiles Kamaca Reavis and Crystal Kimmey, the "greaser girls" of Bucktown.

Walking the Walk

Two men are going the distance to speak out against bullying, walking 921 miles from Chicago to New York City.

Ex-CBOT Chief on the Lam

Former Chicago Board of Trade Chairman Patrick Arbor is in Europe, allegedly to avoid paying millions in child support to his ex-wife. A warrant had been issued for his arrest.

The Chicago Voice

Groupon staffer Sam Cerniglia is trying to go big with his singing career as a contestant on "The Voice."

Chicago's Wine Knight

New short documentary Wine for the People profiles Humboldt Park-born Charles Stanfield, master sommelier, chevalier in France's Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne -- and Binny's wine expert. [via]

RIP Svengoolie (the First One)

Jerry G. Bishop, the original "Svengoolie," passed away Sunday. He was 77.

Here, Bishop passes the torch to Rick Koz as "Son of Svengoolie" debuts in 1979.

"Lesbians rule!"

Chicago's dearly departed Cameron Esposito was on Craig Ferguson's "Late, Late Show" last week, as was Jay Leno. And beyond the approval of two veteran comedians, it was Leno's endorsement of her lifestyle that made her night.

Albini State of Mind

Chicagoist talks with Steve Albini about the forthcoming Shellac album, remastering Nirvana's In Utero and more.

Find Love Next Exit

Entrepreneur Gordon Engle is looking for love with a billboard ad off the Stevenson Expressway with the caption, "I'm GORDON -- Let's have dinner!"

RIP Don Wade

Radio host Don Wade passed away Friday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 72.

RIP Ronald Coase

Nobel Prize-winning U of C economist Ronald H. Coase passed away Monday. At 102, he was the oldest living Nobel laureate, and helped create the field of law and economics.

RIP Frederik Pohl

Science-fiction author Frederik Pohl passed away this weekend in Palatine. He was 93. His most recent book, All the Lives He Led, was released in 2011, and he had been blogging right up until his death.

Married to the Chef

Lisa Kornick may not be the typical chef's wife -- she runs operations for husband Michael Kornick's mk. But she can definitely give perspective on what it's like being in a restaurant marriage.

After the Rowing

It's been a year since Jenn Gibbons returned from her rowing trip around Lake Michigan to raise money for Recovery on Water (previously) -- a trip that nearly ended when a man tried to sexually assault her while she was docked for the night in southwest Michigan. She gave RedEye an update on her life and what's next.

Help Find Mister Junior

Alberto Ramón Gutiérrez, aka burlesque performer Mister Junior, disappeared Monday night, and friends and family have mounted a search.

Skilling's Coral Anniversary

Last night Tom Skilling celebrated 35 years on the air at WGN-TV.

Here's a weather break from 1980, courtesy of FuzzyMemories.TV:

A Little Help for a Little One

Through Project 143 and the Little People of America, Southwest Side couple helped an Eastern European teen gain self-confidence and learn how to function in a world not built for her.

Son of La Creperie Owner Dies

The son of the owner of La Creperie was discovered dead of a heart attack last week. Jeremy Roignant was back in town, after moving to LA with his wife and children, to help his father close the restaurant later this month.

Everyday Hero: Betty Brewer

The Rogers Park resident prevented a kidnapping by confronting a man waiting for a 12-year-old girl to come out of a convenience store.

Daley Dating?

Two years after his wife Maggie passed away, former Mayor Daley is apparently dating -- or at least had a date for the Lucas-Hobson wedding last month. Dr. Adele Joy Cobbs is a member of the Board of Chicago Department of Public Health (Daley happened to appoint her in 2010) and is also an emergency physician at Rush.

Where is David Gimelfarb?

Chicago grad student David Gimelfarb went on a hike in Costa Rica in 2009 and never came back. Chicago mag's Dave Seminara tries to pick up the scent.

Cop Turned Actor, but Always a Cop

"Dennis recently told me he had 10,000 partners on the police department. Every guy claimed to be his partner." The Sun-Times' David Hoekstra talked with one of Dennis Farina's actual partners, Nick Nickeas.

RIP Dennis Farina

I can't believe it, either. The Chicago native, actor, and former police officer died today at age 69.

Notable Chicagoan: Jackie Ormes

Jackie Ormes was the first published African-American female cartoonist. Her comics appeared in the Chicago Defender, among others, and she was a founding board member of the DuSable Museum of African-American History.

Chicago's Top Young Jews

Oy!Chicago and the JUF Youth Leadership Division have chosen their second annual Jewish 36 Under 36.

Devastation to Destiny

Love rose from the ashes of a devastating fire for Milio's Hair Salon owner Dahlia Dalia Awdisho and Chicago Bagel Authority owner Greg Gibbs.

Didn't They Check Bieb's ID?

Justin Bieber apparently had a drink or two at Bodi while he was in town this week, and the club has been fined for serving a minor. The 19-year-old pop star was also shirtless in the bar despite the clearly posted sign...

Remembering Ron May

Friends and fans of the late tech writer Ron May can pay their respects July 25 at a memorial service and "life toast" at the Artisan Cellar in the Merchandise Mart.

George Ryan is a Free Man

Former Gov. George Ryan was released from home confinement today, and is now free to travel at will. He still has a year of court supervision, though. (In case you're wondering, Blagojevich is in prison till 2024.)

RIP Jim Nayder

Jim Nayder, host of NPR's "The Annoying Music Show" and "Magnificent Obsession" and former program director at WBEZ, has passed away. He was 59.

The Young Pride of Chicago

Meet Windy City Times' 30 Under 30 for 2013.

Feels So Right, Finally

Doug Shorts has been trying to make it as an R&B singer for more than 50 years. Now, with the help of a local label and producer, he might finally make it.

Tech Support

Ed Domain, publisher of the Chicago/St. Louis tech blog Techli, was in a head-on collision with a cab driver who was texting a couple months ago, and is suffering from serious injuries that prevent him from working. His sister has organized a fundraiser to help pay for an electric wheelchair and cover other medical expenses. (Thanks, Kathryn!)

Kerry Wood, PI

Well, not really, but the former Cubs pitcher did find a body in Belmont Harbor on Monday.

The Prom King's Out

Seventeen-year-old lesbian Aleksandra "Ola" Wolan was named Prom King at Lane Tech's senior prom earlier this month. She also won the school's Spirit Award in October.

RIP Ron May

Ron May, tech reporter and publisher of the eponymous May Report, has passed away, as first reported by tech blog on Twitter. May battled diabetes for years, and was hospitalized earlier this year in connection to his illness. He was 57.

Here's Ron trying to interview Harper Reed, then CTO of Threadless.

Ron May with Harper Reed of Skinny Corp & Threadless from The May Report on Vimeo.

Chet Haze is Full of BS

Tom Hanks' rapping son and endless source of entertainment graduated from Northwestern this past week with a Communications degree. The Hanks clan was spotted at Second City on Saturday night.

Love is Crazy

NewCity offers the story of a marriage falling apart. NSFW.

The Force is Strong in This Marriage

George Lucas and his longtime girlfriend Mellody Hobson are marrying June 29 at the Peninsula Hotel here in Chicago. Former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley will give the bride away.

RIP Bernie Sahlins

Bernard Sahlins, cofounder of The Second City, passed away Sunday; he was 90. Here's an excerpt from his memoir, Days and Nights at the Second City.

Sahlins delivered the commencement address at Columbia College in 2006, beginning his speech with, "Art is not a matter of life and death. It's much more important than that. We come, we go; art endures."

A Series of Bad Dates

Solo in the 2nd City cofounder Carly Oishi is pretty sure she's the worst dater in the state, and has the TV show appearance to prove it.

20 Lovely People

Chicago magazine's most eligible singles list is out. Sharpen your résumé and meet them June 21.

2,152 Consecutive Blackhawks Games

Tonight, Bob Gertenrich will make it 2,153. Look for him in Section 333, Row 1, Seat 18.

"Awesome Truth and Awesomeness"

Kanye West talks to the NYTimes about his new album, Yeezus, and a whole lot more.

Whatever Happened to Brandon Baltzley?

Sarah Nardi profiles chef Brandon Baltzley in the Reader this week. Baltzley flamed out of Chicago's dining scene two years ago, has a memoir out now, and will soon open a small restaurant and boarding house in Michigan City.

RIP Piano C. Red

Bluesman Piano C. Red, who played with BB King, Muddy Waters and others, passed away at 79. He drove a cab by day before being paralyzed in a robbery attempt in 2006.

White Flight Resister

As African-Americans moved into Chatham, Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church's white congregants began to leave. Marie Moe stayed put.

RIP Bobby Cann

Cyclist Bobby Cann was struck by a car in Old Town and killed while riding home from work last night. The motorist has cooperated with police. Cann recently rode in the Ride of Silence, which honors cyclists killed in car accidents. There will be a memorial at the accident site tonight from 4 to 6pm to honor him, and tomorrow night's Critical Mass may also swing by.

Fardon Nominated for US Attorney

Zachary Fardon, a partner with Latham & Watkins, has been nominated for US attorney in the Chicago district, succeeding Patrick Fitzgerald. Fardon is best known for prosecuting ex-Gov. George Ryan.

Reinsdorf's Achievements

Sports Business Daily gave Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the White Sox and Bulls, a lifetime achievement award this week, and provides in-depth looks at his history with the Sox and his more hands-off approach with the Bulls. The 77-year-old owner also mentioned a succession plan that recommends selling the Sox.

RIP Ray Manzarek

Ray Manzarek, Chicago-born keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away Monday after a battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74.

The Bird Lady of Miami

As Joakim Noah left the game Wednesday, a Heat fan angrily flipped him off. The was identified as Filomena Tobias, a widow whose been in the news before. Now that the Internet has had its way with her, the Sun-Sentinel shares more of her story.

Wedding for the Record Stacks

DJs Dani Deahl and Fei Tang got married in Gramaphone Records last weekend.

Memorializing John Stroger

The late Cook County Board President John Stroger still has supporters, and they're hoping to preserve his legacy through a donation of memorabilia to the DuSable Museum of African American History.

20 & Under

After decades of 40 Under 40 lists, Crain's has launched its first 20 In Their 20s list.

After Hadiya

The Tribune caught up with Hadiya Pendleton's three closest friends to see how they're coping with the loss of their friend. (If you've already blown through your DigitalPlus free views this month, you can read the beginning here.)

Duck People

Chicagoans Nettie Kossart and Alex Huen and their pet ducks, Victor and Ming Mei, were recently featured on NatGeo Wild's "Spoiled Rotten Pets". Nettie sells ducky diapers and other products for pet ducks on Etsy. (Thanks, Dubi!)

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.

RIP Jimmy Damon

Jimmy Damon, the famed Chicago saloon singer who inspired Bill Murray's lounge singer character on "Saturday Night Live," passed away Saturday on his 75th birthday.

A Lovely Person

Melissa Fisher was chosen as one of People's "Real Beauties at Any Age," showcasing women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Chicagoist talked with her about the experience.

Fielding Dreams

Leroy Franklin has coached the Simeon Wolverines to victory on the baseball diamond for decades, but one triumph has eluded him: the state championship. Could this be the year?

Well Acquainted with the Authorities

Shermain Miles has been arrested 396 times since 1978. That puts her ahead of Darryl Marlow (previously), who's continuing to add to the 253 arrests he'd racked up by September 2010. (He's still going, though.)

Our Local Influencers CEO and OKCupid founder Sam Yagan, New Life Covenant Church pastor Wilfredo De Jesús, Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and, of course, Michelle and Barack Obama are among TIME's 100 most influential people in the world this year.

MJ's Poison Pizza?

Michael Jordan's infamous "flu game" in the 1997 NBA Finals was actually a case of food poisoning by Utah Jazz fans, MJ's former trainer claims.

Inspiration to Walk

Ina Pinkney tells a touching story about meeting Maria Tallchief, who was her inspiration to overcome childhood polio.

Swoopes Swoops In

WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes has been named head coach of Loyola's women's basketball team.

RIP Maria Tallchief

Prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, who was instrumental in the development of Chicago's dance scene, has passed away. She was 88.

RIP Jimmy Dawkins

Blues guitarist Jimmy "Fast Fingers" Dawkins has passed away. He was 76.

Ebert's Funeral This Morning

Funeral services for Roger Ebert are this morning at Holy Name Cathedral at 10am. If you can't make it, reading his final movie review might be a good way to remember him. (Westboro Baptist Church released a statement saying they'll be there to protest.)

Remembering Roger

As we continue to mourn the passing of Roger Ebert, read the Sun-Times' in-depth coverage, from the cover to the statement from Chaz Ebert. The Tribune also has a package, including a poignant editorial cartoon and remembrances by Michael Phillips and Mark Caro. Many, many more stories and links in yesterday's Merge post.

RIP Roger Ebert

Just a day after announcing a "leave of presence" to fight another bout of cancer, Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert has passed away. Here are obituaries by Neil Steinberg and Rick Kogan.

Read his 2010 interview with Esquire about surviving cancer, his own thoughts on death in Salon, his recollection of O'Rourke's bar in Granta, some of his choice quotes from over the years, Carol Felsenthal's Roger Ebert: A Life in the Movies, and perhaps pick up Enemies: A Love Story, the oral history of "Siskel and Ebert."

Watch the first episode of "Opening Soon... At A Theater Near You," Siskel and Ebert's original show on WTTW -- and of course, the classic '80s out-takes from "At the Movies":

Chicagoist shares more videos of "Roger being Roger."

There's also the 1991 Playboy interview with Siskel and Ebert (link is SFW). And take time to read 40 hilariously mean Ebert reviews -- and his tender post about his 20th anniversary with Chaz.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement honoring Ebert. Lauren Chooljian's "Year 25" project for WBEZ today features Ebert and an excerpt from his memoir, Life Itself.

Roger and Chaz Ebert did a TED Talk in 2011 about the computerized version of Roger's voice, reconstructed out of audio from his TV appearances and other recordings.

In Drive-Thru: Ebert on Food.

On Twitter:

More remembrances from Twitter at Chicagoist, WBEZ and Slate rounds up tweets from directors and actors.

Roger Moore shares a tale of getting Ebert to come to the premiere of Roger & Me at Sundance. And here's Time Out's profile of Roger and Chaz from 2008. Shia Kapos talks about what his loss means to Chicago in Crain's.

The Onion: Roger Ebert Hails Human Existence As 'A Triumph'

More obituaries and remembrances: Gene Seymour on CNN; The New York Times; the New Yorker; Kenneth Turan at the LA Times; Jim DeRogatis at WBEZ; Maureen Ryan at Huffington Post; Michael Phillips and Mark Caro in the Tribune; Randy Masters, Ebert's one-time sparring partner on Intelligent Design; Roger Simon at Politico; Scott Tobias and othersat AV Club; Robert Feder at Time Out Chicago; Ben Sachs at the Reader; Scott Smith;

Monica Eng tells about her unique relationship with Ebert.

Photo by Mike McHugh

Birth of a Cellular Nation

The Verge talks with Marty Cooper, the man who invented the cellphone at Motorola in 1973.

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.

Catching up with Cleetus

I talked with Cleetus Friedman shortly after he closed City Provisions, his locavore deli. Now Guys Drinking Beer talk to him about landing at Fountainhead and becoming a finalist for "Check, Please!" host.

Ebert Takes a "Leave of Presence"

Film critic Roger Ebert is taking a step back from his day job reviewing and blogging for the Sun-Times and syndication, and revealed that his recent hip fracture is a recurrence of cancer. He plans to continue writing, though, both for the Sun-Times and on his own, which will relaunch with a new design April 9.

Props to Nightwood's Vincent

Nightwood's James Vincent is among Food & Wine's Best New Chefs of 2013. He shares his thanks on the restaurant's blog.

RIP Jack Pardee

Jack Pardee, a Texas college football star who went on to coach the Bears from 1975 to 1977, passed away after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 76.

Likes: Pro Wrestling, Tea Rooms, Conspiracy Theories

As if owning both a pro wrestling league and a suburban tea shop weren't weird enough, turns out Billy Corgan is a huge fan of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' InfoWars.

Happy Birthday, Mies!

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born on this day way back in 1886, and he made Chicago his home 75 years ago. If you're yearning for some background, check out the Mies Society's website, or if you want something more tangible, maybe you'd like to drop some change at tomorrow's Wright auction.

Bring Back the Magikist Lips

Mary Schmich profiles Mike Perrone, a graphic designer whose love of the old Magikist lips (last seen in 2004) has driven him to make a t-shirt memorializing the signs -- and to buy one of the signs in hopes of getting it put back up somewhere in the city.

Modesty is a Family Virtue

Rahm Emanuel and his brothers Ari and Ezekiel were interviewed by NBC's Brian Williams this past Friday night to promote Ezekiel's recent memoir about their family; however, Ari later sent a legalese-heavy letter to the network demanding that parts of the interview be edited out, as Williams asked several non-softball questions about the brothers' involvement with Israel, as well as Ari's reputation for being too Jeremy Piven-like (NSFW).

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"The Natural" Inspiration Dies

In 1949, Ruth Ann Steinhagen lured former Cubs first baseman Eddie Waitkus up to her hotel room and shot him, an act that landed her in a mental hospital and was fictionalized into the book and film The Natural. Steinhagen passed away in December at age 83, the Cook County Coroner's Office announced Friday.

The Man Behind the Soft Machines

U of C physics professor Heinrich Jaeger gets attention from Crain's for his work in soft robotics, inspired more by sand than science fiction.

From Shelters to Hallowed Halls

Lane Gunderman, a senior at University of Chicago Lab High School who was once homeless, is headed to Stanford after making the finals in the Intel Science Talent Search.

RIP, Jason Molina

Jason Molina of Songs:Ohia and Magnolia Electric Company, died this weekend -- "died from a body that had been drowned in alcohol for years on end." Molina lived in Chicago for a number of years and collaborated with many local artists.

Meet Joe Lake

The 76-year-old Ravenswood resident wields his Facebook account and many groups as a means of political involvement.

Lee Bey Leaves CCAC

Former Sun-Times architecture critic and current WBEZ blogger Lee Bey has resigned as executive director of the Chicago Central Area Committee, a planning and advocacy organization for the Loop.

RIP Marty McNeeley

Marty McNeeley, former WGN-TV "Nightbeat" newscaster and host of the "Creature Features" late-night monster movie series, has passed away. He was 86.

Editing Dogs' Behavior

Former Reader editor Kiki Yablon is now a dog trainer.

"My face retains a little too much Illinois"

Nick Offerman is featured in Paste magazine's first online-only issue. The "Parks & Recreation" star wrote a little ditty about being a cover model. [via]

Dawn Clark Netsch Dies

The former state comptroller, state senator and gubernatorial nominee died overnight at age 86 after a battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.

Punk Pilsen

Los Crudos singer Martin Sorrondegoy talks about punk, Pilsen and more with WBEZ. For more about Sorrondeguy, check out his new photography book, Get Shot!

Simultaneously Alert and Exhausted

Fast Company ended up with Andrew Mason's last interview as CEO of Groupon.

RIP Cleotha Staples

Cleotha Staples, founding member of the Staples Singers and oldest sister of Mavis, passed away Feb. 21 after a 12 year battle with Alzheimer's.

RIP Magic Slim

Chicago blues great Magic Slim passed away Feb. 21 at age 75. He released his last album, Bad Boy, last August.

Hip-Hop on the Down Low

"There's more than one way to be a black gay man," and hip-hop artist Tim'm West is exhibit A, says David Zarley in this week's Reader.

MJ at 50

ESPN's Outside the Lines has a great profile of Michael Jordan as he turns 50 that feels a little like "Michael Jordan Has a Cold."

The Grace of Curtis Duffy

Kevin Pang spent a year and a half working on this long, engrossing profile of Chef Curtis Duffy -- as well as a documentary film that will debut later this year.

How the Fork Gets Pitched

Pitchfork Founder Ryan Schreiber talks about his job with MediaBistro.

The City's Power

Chicago magazine has published its annual ranking of the city's 100 most powerful people, from Rahm Emanuel (#1) to Andrew Mason (#100).

Some quick stats on the list:

• 22/100 are under 50 years old
• 18/1000 are female
• 12/100 are black
• 6/100 are Latino

• 21/100 are directly involved in government (22 if you count former Mayor Daley)
• 8/100 are in education
• 7/100 are in the arts
• 6/100 run sports teams/organizations
• 6/100 are in the media (7 if you count Sam Zell)
• 3/100 are in technology (and all are involved in Groupon)
• 3/100 are restaurateurs (7 if you count McDonald's and Kraft)

rellerpS esreveR noipmahC

Chicagoan Krishna Pandey is going for a world record in "reverse spelling," or the spelling of words backwards.

Wesley Willis, Wonder Woman's Half-Brother

In a shocking revelation, dearly departed outsider artist and rock star Wesley Willis is revealed to be the half-brother of Wonder Woman, Milan, in an upcoming comic book. This doesn't explain why he whupped the asses of both Spider-Man and Batman. [via]

RIP, Cardiss Collins

Former Rep. Cardiss Collins passed away at age 81. Collins was the first African-American woman to represent Illinois in Congress, taking over in 1973 for her husband George, who died in a plane crash.

He's Just Like the Rest of Us

Mayor Emanuel is sitting in the Daley Center right now, on jury duty.


He's lucky the smart phone ban hasn't gone into effect yet. (Actually, the Daley Center is exempt from the ban.)

Skating Blind

Glenview teenager Tommy Carrol has been blind since he was 2 -- and skateboarding since 10.

BRAVE from EyEFORcE on Vimeo.

Big Hurt "Bad" at Twitter

Steve Bogira thinks we should all be following Frank Thomas on Twitter -- for the unintentional comedy.

The People's Fraudster?

Warren Ballentine, the self-styled "People's Attorney" on radio, was indicted for mortgage fraud on Monday. Ballentine grew up on the South Side.

Permanent Cubs Fan

One indication you might be a superfan: You have the signature of your favorite player, his number and the team's logo tattooed on the back of your head.

RIP John R. Powers

Mt. Greenwood-born author and playwright John R. Powers, most famous for Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, passed away yesterday at age 67.

RIP Harry Heftman

Harry Heftman, who ran Harry's Hot Dogs in the Loop for 55 years, passed away this week at 103. He worked right up to the end, most recently as a greeter at East of Edens.

Resistance on My Way to School

While we won't celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day until Monday, today is his birthday. The Neighborhood Writing Alliance posted in his honor the remembrances of K.C. Hagans from the fifth anniversary of King's death.

RIP Daniel Edelman

Daniel Edelman, founder of the eponymous communications firm and a public relations pioneer, has passed away. He was 92.

Vintage Aaron Swartz Interview

Fourteen-year-old Aaron Swartz was interviewed on WBEZ's "Eight Forty-Eight" in 2001, talking about web standards and the future of the web. Swartz's memorial service will be held Tuesday in Highland Park.

The Grid: Shine On

The newest installment of our documentary film series The Grid features Rev. Henry Isaac, journeyman window washer and preacher to two Chicago congregations.

RIP Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz, one of Chicago's old-school bloggers (in his early teens) who coauthored RSS 1.0 standards, helped create Reddit and founded Demand Progress, committed suicide yesterday. He was 26. Cory Doctorow wrote a touching remembrance. UPDATE: A site collecting memories of Aaron has been set up, and is of course open-source.

Aloha, Lanialoha

NewCity profiles Lanialoha Lee, the beloved 'ukulele teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Sammy Sosal Media

Former Cub Sammy Sosa has joined Pinterest, as well as flickr and Twitter. Follow if you're really into photos of Sammy Sosa. [via]

The social media push is apparently part of a marketing push for Sosa's new company, Injex 21, which is developing needleless injection technology. Sammy Sosa

Don't Mean Nothin'

FoGB Ted McClelland tells the story of offending Richard Marx with an offhand remark in a blog post, which led to the '80s rock star showing up at a Rogers Park bar.

Marx has a penchant for going after people who take the piss out of him on the Internet. Back in 2006, he went after Chicagoist editor Scott Smith after taking offense to a post about what he'd been up to lately, and this past December he went toe-to-toe with WBEZ producer Justin Kauffman after Kauffman and "Afternoon Shift" host Rick Kogan gave him grief on air when Marx bailed on a live taping at the Christkindlmarket because of bronchitis-- but made it to a WGN taping. He's not just local: he went after a Nashville critic recently, too.

Here's a dramatic reading of Marx and Smith's email exchange, performed at Schadenfreude way back when.

RIP Daniel Blue

Sculptor and art scene personality Dan Blue passed away on Jan. 2.

Gone Fully Gray, Still Walking

A photograph of "The Walking Dude" posted to Facebook in June is still getting theories about who he is. At time of writing, there are 423 comments.

Chief Keef Moves to the Suburbs

Chief Keef apparently moved to Northbrook recently, but forgot to tell his parole officer, putting his probation on gun charges at jeopardy.

RIP Terry Glover

Terry Glover, the managing editor of Ebony magazine, has passed away after a two-year battle with colon cancer.

Back from a Stroke

Sun-Times reporter Monifa Thomas tells her own story of suffering a stroke at age 30 and battling to return to work and a normal life.

Frank Calabrese Sr. Dead

Convicted mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. died on Christmas in a North Carolina prison.

Brick to the Future

Did you see the new LEGO Back to the Future set? It was introduced by Chicagoan Tim Courtney, who helps oversee LEGO's CUUSOO builder community.

The People Make the City

The Reader introduces you to a few of your neighbors this week.

Six-Shooters Holstered Permanently

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, the Bulls' Joakim Noah is ending his practice of pretending to shoot and holster pistols, Wild West style, after scoring.

RIP, Susan Stursberg

Susan Stursberg, co-owner of the Gold Star Bar on Division in Wicker Park, passed away yesterday after a battle with pancreatic cancer (previously). She was 45.

Helping the Other Side of the World

Chicago sports photographer Bill Smith and his wife founded A New Day Cambodia to help the children of families that live on trash heaps in the Asian country.

RIP, Reinhold Weege

Reinhold Weege, the Chicago-born creator of "Night Court" and producer of "Barney Miller," died Dec. 1 at 63.

The Mustache Ride is Closed

As promised President Obama's campaign adviser David Axelrod shaved his mustache today, after raising more than $1 million for epilepsy research.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Meet the Chicagoans

Anne Ford's series for the Reader now has a video counterpart:

Crain's 40 Under 40 Announced

Crain's Chicago Business announced its 2012 40 Under 40 list, which includes such notables as Obama campaign CTO Harper Reed, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Executive Director Christine Poorman, Greatest Good managing partner Amee Kamdar, and Robbin & Co. founder (and GB officemate) Scott Robbin.

"I try to avoid the ordinary."

When have we not been a sucker for a Bill Murray story?

"There's really no other."

Jet magazine interviews the only black comic book shop owner in America, Third Coast Comics' Terry Gant.

Playing In Uncle Dick's Shadow

ChicagoSide's Ben Strauss talks with Don Butkus, Mount Carmel quarterback and nephew of Bears legend Dick Butkus.

Harold! 25 Years Later

This week marks 25 years since Mayor Harold Washington's death in office. The Sun-Times offers a timeline of his ascent to mayor.

Up from Englewood

The Sun-Times profiles Rhianna Gunn-Wright, who grew up in Englewood and is one of this year's Rhodes Scholars.

"I guess I don't like the 'politics' part of politics."

Chicago magazine interviews statistician of the hour Nate Silver.

RIP, Steve Starr

Celebrity photographer Steve Starr passed away yesterday after collapsing outside the Drake Hotel.

RIP, Olivia Neubauer

Olivia Neubaer, a teacher who was still working when she turned 100 earlier this year, passed away this weekend.

The Last of the WACs

For Veteran's Day, the Tribune visits with the Chicago chapter of the Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association. There's an exhibition about WAC, WOW, WAVES and other WWII women's service organizations at the Pritzker Military Library right now.

Honoring Herbie Johnson

The Chicago Fire Department honored 32-year veteran Capt. Herbie Johnson, who died fighting a Gage Park fire last week, with a full funeral parade yesterday. The Sun-Times has minute-by-minute Storify coverage.

A Rose Bud

Derrick Rose tweeted three pictures of his newborn son, PJ, yesterday. Pretty adorable.

pj rose

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

Steve Downes, a DJ for WDRV-FM "The Drive," is also the voice of Master Chief in the Halo video game series.

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.

Cyborg to Climb 103 Stories

Zac Vawter will be climbing the Sears Tower Sunday in the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's SkyRise Chicago stair climb challenge -- on a bionic leg.

Mr. Show's in Town

Energy BBDO's Creative Salon Series brings Naperville native Bob Odenkirk to the Wrigley Building tomorrow, Nov. 1 from 4 to 6pm to talk about his career and what he's up to next. RSVP on Facebook.

Madge and Shaun

Shaun Sperling, the infamous "Vogue" Bar Mitzvah kid, was in the audience of yesterday's "Ellen" show and got a lot closer to his idol.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Fitzgerald Goes into Business

Former US District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is becoming a partner at corporate law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom on Oct. 29.

Ira Glass the Sex Magician

"This American Life's" Ira Glass explains how to make a balloon animal -- and how to get a guy to wear a condom "without being a total buzzkill," among other sex-related questions -- for Rookie.

Balloon Animals: A Video Tutorial by Ira Glass from Rookie on Vimeo.

The Nerdist at Zanies

Nerdist host Chris Hardwick is coming to Zanies in Old Town and out in Rosemont for a couple standup shows in December. Get your tickets now.

Kate Gosselin Kicked Out of the CouponCabin

Formerly Chicago-based CouponCabin fired reality star Kate Gosselin from her job blogging for the deal site.

Team Murray

A kickball league in New York got an interesting visitor this past weekend.

To Get a Little, You Gotta Give a Little

Oprah is reviving her "My Favorite Things" project for the OWN Network--reportedly, a group of military families are this year's recipients.

Losing Air

Has Michael Jordan lost his mojo? Time Out's Frank Sennett assesses.

Tables Turned

Ira Glass is today's "Ask Me Anything" host on Reddit. Also Table 52's chef Art Smith is answering questions on a separate page.

Meet M. Diddy

Martha Stewart will be at the North Avenue Home Depot this Thursday for a decorating workshop. Good luck getting in.

"I live in mortal fear of Chicago winters."

Read a 1985 letter from Barack Obama to a friend back in New York.

Someone's Resume Just Got an Impressive Boost

A former aide for downstate-based US Rep John Shimkus was briefly arrested on assault charges this past weekend after actress Lindsay Lohan accused him of taking cellphone pictures without her consent in a New York hotel room. Police later found Lohan's story to be without merit.

The "Walking Chicago Encyclopedia"

NewCity profiles Tim Samuelson, the cultural historian of Chicago, and learns how he got there.

Writing Out of Addiction

Bloomberg Businessweek interviews Srinivas "Cheeni" Rao, a former homeless drug addict from the South Side who wrote a memoir, In Hanuman's Hands, and is now in business school.

Caught On Camera

Social Media Week is taking place in Chicago and we briefly caught one interesting groovster at the Silent House Party at Pioneer Court yesterday afternoon reinventing the grapevine. Chicago's got moves.

His Talk is Gonna Be Dope

Chicago Ideas Week announced yesterday that Lance Armstrong will speak at the invite-only Edison Talks on Friday, Oct. 12.

Our Local Innovation Champion

Chicago CTO John Tolva was named a Champion of Change by the White House for his (and the City's) efforts to modernize city services and develop tools for open government.

Chicago's 0.1%

There are 13 Chicagoans on the Forbes 400 list of America's richest people -- but none are in the top 100. Sam Zell tops us out at #103. Meanwhile, Groupon's Eric Lefkofsky dropped off the list.

Skilling's 10-Year Forecast

WGN signed chief meteorologist Tom Skilling to a new 10-year contract, ensuring many more years of weather geekery.

Showing it Can be Done

Gozamos launched "Sí Se Puede Attitude," a new series on Latino professionals with a profile of Diana Rodriguez, a senior auditor with Deloitte & Touche who grew up in Pilsen

Meet the Madam

NewCity profiles Rose Laws, the "Gold Coast Madam" whose autobiography will be out in November from Lake Claremont Press.

Ride Along with a Hack

Filmmaker John McNaughton's "video portrait" of Dmitry Samarov during his last days of driving a cab is now online.

RIP, Sharon McGhee & Julie Shannon

The Chicago theater world lost two of its own this week. Playwright and WVON news director Sharon McGhee passed away Tuesday of ovarian cancer. Julie Shannon, composer and lyricist for The Christmas Schooner, passed away Wednesday, also of cancer.

Bob Greene Says "Hi"

Some of you have no idea who Bob Greene is. The rest of you might be curious to learn what he's been up to in the 10 years since the scandal. Eric Zorn adds some additional thoughts.

I Believe I Can Fly (from Responsibility)

TMZ reports that R. Kelly owes over $6 million in unpaid taxes that date as far back as 2005.

Big Birds

Crain's gives us a list of the local Twitter accounts with the most followers, and explains who this @DarrenWillinger guy is.

That Gevinson Look

GB could be accused of having a crush on Tavi Gevinson, but Chicago magazine takes it a step further in their latest issue, calling her the queen of new media and following her on the recent Rookie road trip.

Armstrong Can't Runstrong for Livestrong

Runner's World reports that Lance Armstrong has been denied entry to the Chicago Marathon, which is a month from today. The disgraced cyclist had planned to run with the Livestrong Foundation-sponsored team.

McMahon's Memory Loss

In this week's Sports Illustrated, former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon and his girlfriend Laurie Navon discuss his early onset dimentia due to the several concussions he suffered in the NFL.

Chief Keef Laughs at Rival's Death

Chief Keef is under fire after tweets apparently mocking the shooting death of rival rapper Lil JoJo Tuesday night.

Lil JoJo had posted a video on YouTube earlier on Tuesday in which he appeared to drive past Chief Keef associate Lil Reese and shout obscenities at him. "Ima kill you" can be heard in the video. The police are allegedly investigating the tweets and video in relation to the murder.

Capone on Trial

The Tribune recently unearthed glass-negative photos of Al Capone from his 1931 trial for tax evasion, found in its archives.

RIP Michael Clarke Duncan

Chicago-born actor Michael Clarke Duncan passed away today after two months of treatment following a heart attack he suffered July 13.

Our own Steve Prokopy interviewed Duncan back in 2005, and here he is on "The Late Late Show" with Craig Ferguson in April of 2011.

Fried's Favorite Cleaning Lady

37signals' Jason Fried looks to his cleaning woman as a business icon.

The Cost of Going to the Moon: $2 Million

Courthouse News Service reports on the economic pitfalls of an encounter with the moon.

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:

Michelle Obama Depicted as Nude Slave in Spanish Magazine

First Lady Michelle Obama is currently on the cover of a Spanish magazine called Fuera de Serie. The article is called "Michelle Tataranieta De Esclava, Dueña De América" (Michelle Granddaughter of a Slave, Lady of America), and features a portrait that superimposes the her head onto the body of an African Guadeloupean female slave painted by French artist Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist in 1800.Of course, people in the states are outraged.

Let's Hear it for the Hawk

Speaking of the Sox, Chicago magazine has a great feature profiling Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, the team's sometimes reviled, longtime announcer and one-time GM.

Coming Soon: Maggie Daley Park

The northeast corner of Grant Park, including Daley Bicentennial Plaza, will be renamed Maggie Daley Memorial Park and receive a $55 million renovation.

His Airness, Nordic Thunder

Justin "Nordic Thunder" Howard won the Air Guitar World Championship this weekend in Oulu, Finland. We interviewed him in 2011 after he won the US Air Guitar championships right here in Chicago. He became a two-time champ in Denver earlier this month.

"Yes, he was demanding."

Jacquelyn Heard describes her experience serving as Mayor Daley's press secretary for 14 years.

RIP, Von Freeman

Legendary tenor saxophonist Von Freeman passed away over the weekend at 88. The Tribune's Howard Reich offers an appreciation.

UPDATE: Astrophysicist Sean Carroll also eulogizes Freeman. (Thanks, Mitchell!)

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.

One Danger of Being Internet Famous

The stars of the local show All About Chris had quite a time during last weekend's Bud Billiken Parade, particularly because they were being hounded by their female fans throughout the parade route. One swarming event is after the jump.

Cash and a Card

The president and first lady will be in Chicago this weekend to raise a bunch of campaign funds; three of the four fundraisers are birthday themed.

Keeping Rosemont in the Family

A joint Tribune and Medill Watchdog investigation exposes the extraordinary level of control and corruption of Rosemont's ruling Stephens family.

How Jesse Jackson Jr. Ended Up in the Hospital

Ald. Sandi Jackson shared details of her husband's collapse and hospitalization with the Sun-Times' Michael Sneed. She said it was due to debilitating depression, possibly brought on by a recent gastric bypass surgery, exacerbated by an overloaded work schedule.

More Food, Less Liquor

Lupe Fiasco brought vegan food to Englewood's Payless Grocery as part of his foundation's pledge to feed 100 people every night of Ramadan, as they did last year.

WTF, Maron

Comedian and podcast host Marc Maron opens a six-show stand at Mayne Stage tomorrow night. Chicagoist's Chuck Sudo interviewed him on the occasion of his 300th podcast.

RIP Ron Washington

Ron Washington, a chess hustler who worked at North Avenue Beach for more than 20 years, drowned in Lake Michigan on Friday.

"Hi, I'm Lana."

And with that, director Lana Wachowski, formerly Larry, made her public debut in a video promoting the upcoming film Cloud Atlas, which she made with her brother Andy and German director Tom Tykwer.

The Wachowskis, who grew up in Beverly, built Kinowerks, a film pre- and post-production studio in Ravenswood, in 2008.

Here's the "really long trailer" they mention in the video:

FBI's Top Chicago Agent Retires

Chicago is already losing US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald; now Robert Grant, head of the city's FBI bureau, is retiring and going to head up Disney's global security team.

RIP Shelby Harris

Shelby Harris, the oldest man in America, passed away this weekend in downstate Rock Island.

Alderman Thomson Hospitalized

Sixteenth Ward Alderman Joann Thompson was hospitalized after collapsing at an Englewood music festival on Sunday.

Ghosts of Lupe's Hood

Lupe Fiasco broke down on MTV's "RapFix Live" last night while watching a tour of his neighborhood he did for the network in 2006. "The dudes in that video are in prison, a couple of fed cases, and then there's ghosts," he said. "You see people that, that ain't there."

Shorty's Story

The Reader shares the story of a heroin addict getting one more chance at getting clean

Foreclosure is Common

But Common and his manager, Derek Dudley, narrowly avoided foreclosure on an apartment they own together.

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

Corey Brooks Makes a Pit Stop

Pastor Corey Brooks has been walking across the country (previously) to raise money to build a community center on the site of the seedy motel he helped get demolished. He stopped here at home this weekend, halfway through his journey.

The Knight of Michigan Avenue

WGN profiled Cecil Locke, proprietor of the Touch & Go Chess Party that's in front of the Art Institute most days in the summer. We did the same earlier this year, in comic form.

When Pac Met Kells

Actor Gary Oldman did a dramatic reading of a passage from R. Kelly's memoir Soulacoaster last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Bill Murray House Party

If only this tour announcement was real.

Own a Piece of the Untouchables

A collection of Eliot Ness memorabilia is going up for auction later this year. You'll be able to bid on such items as his Department of Justice credentials, a business card and posters from his failed bid for the mayorship of Cleveland.

House DJ, Esq.

Attorney Alan King is also a DJ, part of the Chosen Few Chicago house crew.

The Woman Who Does Everything

Would you like to hear Tina Fey rap?

Meet Christopher Brown

If you've been pickpocketed on the CTA, there's a really good chance it was by him.

Congrats, Hedy & Mort!

Hedy Ratner, co-founder and co-president of the Women's Business Development Center, married her longtime friend, Mort Kaplan, in a surprise ceremony this weekend.

Blagojevich Bored

Blagojevich's former attorney told the Sun-Times that the ex-governor is "totally bored" and would rather be "teaching Shakespeare" than washing dishes.

"Where are you from?"

Columbia College professor Teresa Puente shares her experiences being a Chicana in America and abroad.

Third Time's a Charm

President Obama will make his third appearance as Grand Marshal of the August 11th Bud Billiken Parade.

"I'm Not With Them"

Scott Whitehair, founder of Story Lab Chicago and producer and co-host of This Much Is True, also moonlights occasionally as Gay Rights Jesus, protesting the protesters.

Challenging the "Latin Lover" Over Powder Puffs

The Smithsonian blog chronicles the 1920s film star Rodolfo Valentino's enemies, chief among whom was the Trib.

Southern Whites on the North Side

Newcity's David Witter provides a contemporary treatment of Uptown's Appalachian influences and history. For further reading, view Whet Moser's January post about the history of Appalachian migration to Chicago.

RIP, Leroy Neiman

Leroy Neiman, an SAIC alumnus and professor whose art regularly appeared in Playboy and other magazines, passed away yesterday at 91.

Poetry: From Inane to Encouraging

The UofC Magazine is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Poetry magazine by publishing excerpts from a few letters to the magazine's founding editor, Harriet Monroe.

Real Person Search

CenterSquare Journal profiles Julie Lynch, the "historical search engine" at Sulzer Library.

The Sport of Smug

Former Sun-Times sports columnist/agitator Jay Mariotti, whose career took a nosedive after domestic abuse charges by an ex-girlfriend, traded heated emails with Deadspin's A.J. Daulerio.

Spoon Steps Down

In this week's Reader, Jake Austen profiles Fletcher Weatherspoon, a fixture on Chicago's African-American social club scene for more than 60 years.

Lurrie Bell's Blues

AB Brasho saw Lurrie Bell at Blues Fest last week, and shared some thoughts on Bell and the power of music and mental illness.

More than Ron Swanson

HuffPo Chicago talks with Nick Offerman about his ties to Chicago, acting, woodworking and mustaches. He's performing at the Vic on Saturday as part of the Just For Laughs comedy festival.

Deb Mell has Breast Cancer

State Rep. Deborah Mell has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I will resume the body."

Nora Schweihs, daughter of Frank "The German" Schweihs and star of "Mob Wives Chicago," got her wish this week as her father's body was res-er, exhumed from St. Mary Cemetery in Evergreen Park, to confirm that it was in fact The German in the grave.

RIP Philip Corboy

Philip Corboy, the nationally known personal injury attorney whose name graces Loyola University's law school building, passed away today at 87.

RIP Richard Crowe

The hunter becomes prey. Richard Crowe, one of Chicago's top paranormal experts, has passed away at 64.

Aztec Eagle Bayless

Rick Bayless is now a member of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor in Mexico awarded to foreigners, for "his important work in the promotion and dissemination of cultural expressions of our country." [via]

Ray Bradbury RIP

The celebrated science fiction writer and Waukegan native died today at age 91.

Curtis Mayfield Kept on Pushing

Chicagoist takes a look at the musical evolution of Curtis Mayfield on what would have been his 70th birthday. (In a similar vein: Sam Cooke and the Civil Rights Movement.)

Sexy Sereno

Rockstar UofC paleontologist Paul Sereno made AARP's 21 Sexiest Men Over 50 list.

Boy Genius, PhD now Also MD

Sho Yano, who in 2003 got a full ride to UofC's Pritzker School of Medicine and in 2009 received his PhD in molecular biology at 18, just became an MD at 21.

Departed Actress Had Chicago Roots

Actress Kathryn Joosten, known for her roles on "Desperate Housewives" and "West Wing," died yesterday at age 72 from lung cancer. Joosten began acting in community theater in suburban Lake Forest, and took classes at Steppenwolf; she was also name-checked in A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius for working as a housekeeper for Dave Eggers' family.

Meet Jackie Taylor

Ex-GB staffer Marla Seidell tells the story of Jackie Taylor, who grew up in Cabrini-Green and went on to found the Black Ensemble Theater.

Howard Brown's Controversial CEO

Time Out's Novid Parsi tells the tale of Jamal Edwards' tumultuous rise to power at the Howard Brown Health Center.

Beating the Spread

Ted McClelland introduces you to Charles K. McNeil, the Chicago securities analyst who invented the point spread.

"Chicago actors are more hard-nosed."

In an interview in Esquire, Bill Murray talked about Chicago actors, his improv mentor, Del Close, and the Cubs, among other things. [via]

The Secret Startup

Chicagoan Eric Simons, founder, recently spent two months squatting in AOL's headquarters.

Batman Tumbles in Chicago

Bat fans before this summer's release of The Dark Knight Rises, you can check out the movie's Batmobile (aka the Tumbler) and Bat pod motorcycle on tour today from 4-6pm at the Merchandise Mart and tomorrow at these Bat-times: 6-7am at NBC tower and 12-5pm at Navy Pier.

RIP Janet Carroll

Janet Carroll, Tom Cruise's mom in Risky Business, passed away Tuesday. She was 71. (Thanks, Marc.)

Nominate Under 40 Folks

Crain's Chicago Business' 40 Under 40 nominations are open. Who do you know who ought to be listed?

The Original Channel Surfer

Eugene Polley, Lombard resident and inventor of the first remote control, the Zenith Flash-Matic, passed away Sunday at 96.

The Vedder Chelios Wood Band

Eddie Vedder and Chris Chelios performed "The Weight" with Live Band Karaoke at Stanley's Kitchen on Sunday, while Kerry Wood watched. According to Live Band Karaoke's Facebook page, Vedder also sang some Who songs.

Living Off the Grid

Dave "Gone" Brault is squatting in the basement of the abandoned Damen Silos, in hopes of being able to someday teach people how to live in a post-apocalyptic society. [via]

Comedy isn't Pretty when it's Accurate

In his newest standup special Animal Furnace, comic and Chicago native Hannibal Buress talks about a 2009 interview he did in the Eastern Illinois University student newspaper in advance of a stand-up gig at the school, criticizing EIU for emphasizing that he was brought in to increase diversity on campus (and stating how much he was paid to appear). The newspaper is not amused.

RIP Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr.

Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr., founder of the Versatones and one of the country's foremost polka players, has passed away at the age of 70.

Here's a tribute to Blazonczyk, Sr. at Pulaski Polka Days last year.

And here's a polka version of "Bear Down, Chicago Bears" performed by the Versatones in 1986.

James E. Sierzega, the Versatones' trumpet player, died in February

The Formation of Emanuel

Northwestern's alumni magazine has a long profile of Rahm Emanuel from childhood to first term as mayor -- along with a fun analysis of his rhetorical toolbox. [via]

Happy Hundredth, Studs

Don't forget, the Newberry Library is celebrating Studs Terkel's 100th birthday tonight at 5:30pm. Take a listen to our interview with Studs from back in the GB archives.

So Long, Cameron

Comedian Cameron Esposito is, sadly, moving to LA in June. A.V. Club has her exit interview.

Balfour is not Englewood's Fault

William Balfour was found guilty of killing Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew on Friday; Natalie Moore writes in Ebony that Englewood is not to blame.

Ask Albini Anything

Steve Albini went onto Reddit last night for an "Ask Me Anything" Q&A. If you don't want to wade through all the comments, check out this convenient table.

RIP Chris Drew & the Eavesdropping Law He Fought

Activist artist Christopher Drew passed away on Monday after a battle with lung cancer. His last post on his blog April 1 questioned what was next after the state legislature failed to change the eavesdropping law that he'd protested for years, ultimately leading to his arrest in 2009. The felony charge against him was thrown out in March, but unfortunately, he didn't live to see the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago declared the law unconstitutional yesterday. He'll be missed.

Decision of Seventh Circuit US Court of Appeals in American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois vs. Anita Alv...

Matthew Leone's Alleged Attacker Found Not Guilty

Justin Pivec was found not guilty on Friday of beating Matthew Leone, bassist for Madina Lake, in 2010. Multiple benefits were held to help Leone pay for his medical bills.

Remembering Ingrid Bergstrom

Grub Street expands on the obituary for Ingrid Bergstrom, matriarch of a long-gone gathering place for Chicago's Scandinavian community.

Tavi's Still Figuring it Out

Rookie editor Tavi Gevinson did a talk at TEDxTeen on March 31.

Amy's Still Single

The RedEye checked in with Amy Bergseth, the die-hard Cubs fan whose name is immortalized on a brick outside Wrigley that caught actor Jason Segel's eye.

Ebert on PR; EbertFest this Week

Roger Ebert talks showbiz and public relations with PR Daily. In other news, EbertFest is this week down in Champaign; if you can't go, you can watch this year's selections online.

Nobel Prize Winners Running Amok this Week

UIC hosts a summit of Nobel Prize winners today through Wednesday; former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, as well as the Dalai Lama, will be among the attendees. Actor Sean Penn will be receiving a humanitarian award for divorcing Madonna his charity work in Haiti Wednesday night.

Run Through a Quick Tour

New City profiles Marlin Keesler, manager of the Chicago branch of City Running Tours.

Favorite Actor: Dennehy

Brian Dennehy recently appeared on The Interview Show, and was thoroughly unfiltered talking about his film work, The Iceman Cometh and more.

Bill Lavicka, RIP

Bill Lavicka, the West Side preservationist who last year was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer, passed away this week.

Appetite for Destruction

Trib columnist Mary Schmich joined GB Managing Editor David Schalliol on one of his many trips around the city to photograph buildings facing demolition. You can see some of David's brilliant work here at To Be Demolished.

The NYTimes on the Closing of Trotter's

Chicago magazine's Jeff Ruby: "In the Mount Rushmore of Chicago, his face would probably be up there: Michael Jordan, Al Capone, Charlie Trotter, Mayor Daley -- and they'd all be scowling."

The House that Ferris Built

The family of late filmmaker John Hughes has put his (gorgeous) Lake Forest mansion on the market for $5.89 million; based on pictures, the place reminds me of where Gary and Wyatt lived.

A Titanic Connection

Palatine resident Christine LeBrun is related to a Titanic victim, a Haitian-born engineer who was possibly the only black passenger on the ship when it sank.

"The only four-letter F-word I use now is 'FOIA."

The Mayor's Office played an April Fool's joke on Facebook yesterday, claiming Mayor Emanuel had filed several FOIA requests "to learn more about himself."

Blago the Grey

Our recently incarcerated ex-governor will be grey soon, says his longtime barber. Prisons don't allow hair dye, and Rod has apparently been dying luxurious mane for quite some time.

Pet Me, I'm Irish

Two Pitties in the City visited the Saint Patrick's parade this past Saturday, and recorded the experience from the dogs' point of view. It's totes adorbs.

The Bionic Wrench Man

Crain's profiles Dan Brown, the inventor of the Bionic Wrench and other innovative hand tools.

Trump Talks Trump Tower

The Donald visited his namesake tower this week and talked about the strength of the River North neighborhood and what's going on with all that empty retail space in his building. In other Trump Tower news, Derrick Rose is its newest resident.

Rod's Final Words

You can watch the former governor and soon-to-be prisoner's final address to the media at 5pm tonight online.

Studs at 100

In honor of what would have been is 100th birthday, the Studs Terkel Centenary Committee has put together several events throughout May and June to honor the city's great oral historian. Amongst the highlights: screenings of his innovative television drama "Studs' Place" that haven't been seen since 1951.

Bookmark for Future Time-wasting

Open Culture collects interesting audio and video from 290 cultural icons, including Saul Bellow, Bill Murray, Shel Silverstein and Frank Lloyd Wright. [via]

Women are Makers

Makers is an online video series featuring short interviews with trailblazing women. Past and current Chicagoans interviewed so far include Tavi Gevinson, Billie Jean King and Hillary Rodham Clinton. [via]

Your Local Billionaires

Eighteen Chicagoans appear on Forbes' list of the world's richest people.

Don't Say the "R Word"

March 7 is "End the R-Word Day," an effort to get people to pledge to stop using the word "retard" to describe people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Workers at local organization Clearbrook made a video recommending some other things you could call them.

Lipstick Killer Dead

William Heirens, the man who confessed to being the "Lipstick Killer" in the 1940s, died today at 83. Wikipedia has a surprisingly thorough history of Heirens and the Lipstick Killer case.

Drawing History

Franklin McMahon died Saturday- the Chicagoland artist who did around 9,000 sketches for the Sun-Times, Life, Look and many others, covering events from the Emmett Till lynching trail to the Obama/Cinton debates.

Hair in the Clink

Prison isn't going to be easy for Blago's hair.


Len Kendall proposed to his girlfriend, Katie Holland, via Buzzfeed, and the social mediasphere went wild. Thankfully, she said yes.

#23 for $29MM

Michael Jordan has listed his Highland Park mansion for $29 million, making it the highest-priced home in the Chicago market. I can only assume this includes a three-bedroom guest house filled with Rayovac batteries.

Common's Freestyle Flow at Park West Theater

Hip-hop artist Common joined Johnson publishing CEO Desiree Rogers at Thursday night's 28 Days program hosted by AT&T. He wrapped up the evening with a freestyle over the "Sweet" beat off of his album, The Dreamer, The Believer.

It's Not the Green Tom Show

Comedian, talk show host, and oddball actor Tom Green will be at Zanies, 1548 N Wells St., tonight and tomorrow at 8:30pm. There will be a second performance at 10:30pm; tomorrow only. Check the Slowdown Calendar for ticket information after taking a look at one of his earlier visits to the city below.

Obama on Camera

Buzzfeed shares a timeline of Barack Obama on video going back to 1991. As Chicagoist notes, a lot of this is old news to Chicagoans.

RIP Steve Kordek, Pinball King

Steve Kordek, the man who designed the first pinball game with two flippers at the bottom, passed away this week at 100. [via]

Here's a list of more than 100 pinball games Kordek designed, and here's footage from his 100th birthday last week:

Singles Found & Wanted

Today's Chicago Woman's annual top 40 singles issue is out, and Chicago magazine is looking for some to feature.

RIP Maude the Pug

If you ever made it into Wicker Park's Paper Doll, you probably saw a very adorable pug named Maude (whose human Stacy co-owned the store) working the counter. Sorry to say that Maude died this past Monday at the tender age of 11.

Don't Idolize, Identify

The RedEye's Ernest Wilkins talks about Whitney Houston's death and celebrity worship.

100 Powerful People

Chicago magazine ranks Chicagoland's 100 most powerful people (along with a handful of expats). You might be surprised at how far down the list Daley landed.

A Valentine for Mendoza

City Clerk Susana Mendoza made Anderson Cooper's Ridiculist last night for her handling of the Herbie Pulgar vehicle sticker design controversy.

Had a Little Help From His Insane Friends?

Two local attorneys investigating John Wayne Gacy's acts of disgustery have proposed that the infamous murderer may not have acted alone in his work.

RIP Jeffrey Zaslow

Jeffrey Zaslow, best-selling author and one of two journalists who replaced Anne Landers as advice columnist at the Sun-Times, was killed in a car accident in Michigan on Friday. He was 53.

Here's an interview with Zaslow from 2001, when he ended his column. And here is a recording of him speaking at TEDx Alva Park.

Zulkey on Gevinson

Claire Zulkey interviews Tavi Gevinson, who's in a movie debuting at NY Fashion Week this weekend.

Hanks & Hanksy in the News

Chet Haze's sister, Elizabeth Hanks, interviewed Chicago/New York street artist Hanksy for The Awl.

Former Polish President Honored by the Lincoln Foundation

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation honored former Polish president Lech Wałęsa Thursday night in an exclusive dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel. Wałęsa was the first democratically-elected Polish head of state elected since World War II. His leadership was instrumental in ending Soviet domination of Poland and setting the stage for the rest of Eastern Europe.

RIP Nello Ferrara

Nello Ferrara, chairman of Ferrara Pan Candy Co., passed away last Friday. He was 93.

Here's a long interview with Ferrara from two months ago, on the show "I'm a Busy Guy with Vince LoCascio."

Eric Cartman is a Chicagoan

Columbia College student Chris Kutill gained internet fame yesterday after being photographed on the L wearing a hat and coat that make him look like the South Park character Cartman. Kutill fully embraces the resemblance. UPDATE: A.V. Club interviewed Kutill today.

You're Unique, Just Like Everybody Else

Actress Zooey Deschanel, who briefly attended Northwestern University, says she dropped out because her "specialness [was] not appreciated."

Speaking to the People in Englewood

Matt Damon and Lupe Fiasco visited TEAM Englewood High School yesterday, following their appearance at the Metro Tuesday as part of The People Speak, Live!

This Is What Good Comedy Looks Like

Local comic Ever Mainard had a set this past Tuesday at Chicago Underground Comedy that people are still talking about. Not just comics; people who have never done a stand-up set in their life are talking about it. Luckily, it was caught on video so that those of you who weren't there can witness the moment that people will talk about for years to come. Right now, though, I'm going to stop talking about it, and let you see for yourself.

Pronounced "Con"

Kevin Pang profiles Paul Kahan, probably the city's most beloved reluctant celebrity chef. His latest venture, Publican Quality Meats, soft opens Monday.

RIP Don Cornelius

"Soul Train" creator and host Don Cornelius was found dead this morning of an apparent suicide.

SNL Cast to Have One Less Chicagoan

Naperville native and iO alum Paul Brittain, who joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2010, is leaving the show effective immediately.

Wheels of Pre-Presidential Steel

Another former car of Barack Obama's is for sale on Ebay....for one million dollars. Obama leased the 2005 Chrysler 300 Series 300C (which currently sells used for around $25k) for a little under three years.

Burnett: Man of the People?

The Reader's Mick Dumke gets up close and personal with Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. John Greenfield talked with Ald. Burnett about transportation for us last year.

Magic with Your Meal

The Trib's Kevin Pang profiles Al James, the last of the restaurant magicians.

"Chicago is such a part of me"

The Trib's Chris Borrelli put together an oral history of Fred Armisen's time in Chicago.

President Obama to be at UIC

President Barack Obama is confirmed to appear at the UIC Forum tomorrow, the latest addition to his scheduled fundraisers in the city.

"You're the ring to my Smeagol"

Jason Segel took fan Chelsea Gill and her twin sister to the Chicago Film Critic Awards this weekend after she recorded a song asking him out for a drink. [via]

Sort of Celebrity Sightings

What's the expiration date of celebrity status? The Tribune features a collection of photos that, while including some Chicago greats, goes into a debatable realm of relevance in terms of the people that still pass for famous.

Brick by Brick

The Tribune profiles Adam Reed Tucker, master LEGO architect (previously).

Social Media Helps the Homeless

AnnMarie Walsh was homeless until her Twitter account brought her fame and good fortune.

Chicago's First Babies of 2012

Adrian Karol Kois and Lamaya West, both born at midnight Sunday night.

Whiteboard Words of Encouragement

Have you seen a woman holding a whiteboard on Michigan Avenue this month? She's Lauren Lawson, and she's hoping to inspire you.

Mac Irvin, RIP

McGlother "Mac" Irvin, known as the "godfather" of basketball in Chicago, passed away this weekend. He was 74.

If it's not One Thing...

Julia Sweeney talks sex, SNL, the suburbs and storytelling on TheLocalTourist.

Daley, Clark & the Christmas Clowns

Footage from a 1960s Chicago Christmas parade shows the city's 48th mayor Richard J. Daley, the legendary Dick Clark, and curiously enough, some creepy clowns in cars.

Daley's Next Deals

Big news from former Mayor Daley: He's joined the board of directors for Coca-Cola, and he's founded an investment and advisory firm called Tur Partners with his son Patrick.

Jimmy Fallon at JUF's Big Event

Jimmy Fallon was in Chicago over the weekend as the host of the Jewish United Fund's annual fundraising event kickoff.

52 Portraits

Not quite every week, photographer Jay Schroeder posts a portrait of a Chicagoan.

The Tiniest Baby Grows Up

Madeline Mann and Rumaisa Rahman were two of the smallest babies ever born. Doctors were concerned the girls might had developmental problems, but so far they're doing just fine.

Apocalypto, Esq.

Meet Tom Benno, lawyer by day, lucha libre wrestler by night.

The Latest 40 Under 40

The 2011 Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40 class has been announced. The list includes some literally and figuratively related inductees: brothers Jerrod and RJ Melman, GrubHub's two co-founders and the three co-founders of Akira.

The Professor on a Bike

GB Flickr Pool member Viewminder has taken many portraits of his friend "Professor Bikenstein."

Fast Eddie's Out

Former alderman Edward Vrdolyak was released from prison yesterday. He's home

Surmounting Disability

Chicago magazine climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro with Steve Baskis, an Iraq War veteran who was blinded by a roadside bomb.

Daley Goes to Harvard Yard

Former Mayor Daley will be a visiting fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics at the John. F. Kennedy School of Government.

Happy Bill Kurtis Day!

Later today Chicago's Cultural Affairs Commissioner will proclaim today in honor of Bill Kurtis and his partner, Donna LaPietra.

Bill Lavicka's Last Battle

Chicago News Cooperative profiles West Side preservationist Bill Lavicka, who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.

Mother of Hillary Clinton Dies

Chicago native Dorothy Rodham, mother of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, passed away this morning at a hospital in Washington at the age of 92.

Rahm's Wife, at the Edge of the Spotlight

Meet Amy Rule, Chicago's publicity-shy first lady.

Rahm, Zombies

The Mayor's Office shared an interesting photo on its Facebook page today. Happy f***ing Halloween! [via]


Na Na Hey Hey, Goodbye

Paul Leka, songwriter best known for writing "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)," the song played at the end of every White Sox win, when the opposing team pulls a pitcher and lots of other times, actually, passed away Oct. 12. He was 68.

We'll Give Him Tomato Pie

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia called Chicago-style deep dish pizza "tomato pie" in a talk at Chicago-Kent Law School this week. He likes it, though.

Dear Self...

Chicago-born Jim Belushi and Gillian Anderson among the celebrities who wrote a letter to their 16-year-old selves for the book Dear Me. (We had a similar Fuel thread a couple years ago.)

Smashing Groupons

Groupon teamed up with ex-Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin to produce that Ferris Buehler screening at Wrigley, tonight's Umphrey's McGee show at Lincoln Hall and another event in November. Crain's talked with Chamberlin about the partnership.

Helping the Kids of Albany Park

Alan Lake introduces you to Sherri Fenton, director of Asian Youth Services in Mechanics.

Drawing Jack

In Book Club, Rose Lannin profiles comic artist Tony Akins in the latest "One-Shots."

Bull Bucks

Actually, Luol Fivers: The Bulls' Luol Deng is featured on the latest version of the Brixton five-pound note, part of that south London neighborhood's local currency initiative.

The Women of Chicago Comedy

We asked Nellie Huggins to profile some of Chicago's most influential female comedians. She came back with full interviews with five of them: Elizabeth McQuern, Rachel Mason, Susan Messing, Kelsie Huff and Ever Mainard, talking about what it's like to be a female comedian in Chicago.

Live Long & Prosper, Spock

This past weekend, Leonard Nemoy attended his final Star Trek convention (though not necessarily his final appearance as Spock) here in Chicago.

The Secret Day Job of an Air Guitar Legend

In Transmission, Niki Fritz interviews her coworker at Rotary International, Justin Howard -- otherwise known as Nordic Thunder.

DXO Messes Things Up

Technori profiles Daniel X. O'Neil, EveryBlock co-founder, past GB contributor and current executive director of the Smart Chicago Collabrative.

Miss Ketty, RIP

Ketty Teanga, matriarch of Chicago's Latin-American transgender community, died last week. She was featured in an A/C article about La Cueva in Little Village, and was profiled in the Reader a couple years ago.

Ebert on Life, on Radio

Roger Ebert's latest memoir, Life Itself, is reviewed on "Fresh Air" today. He was also on "All Things Considered" last week, talking about the book and the cancer that robbed him of his (speaking) voice.

Meet Your New Neighbor: Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie recently proclaimed her love for Chicago, and now she's buying a house in Lakeview.

Kal-El on Canal

If you're around Union Station today, keep your eye out for the Man of Steel. If you're not in the area, you can see some photos of the Superman shoot on that same site and Explore Chicago has a general list of filming locations.

Talented to the Point of Genius

A letter from a doting teacher provides details of the dramatic early years of Orson Welles.

Meet Howard Tullman

Technori profiles Howard Tullman, web innovator, serial entrepreneur and founder of Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. Read more about him here.

The Second Chance Salon

Alex Kotlowitz writes about Eddie Lopez, owner of Xclusive Cuts in Cicero.

One Amazing Father

The Sun-Times profiles LeVan Williams, a bachelor raising six adopted children by himself.

Cool Design Hand Luke

Check out the portfolio of Luke Williams, which IdN chose as its portfolio of the month in August.

Backing Beal

If you were intrigued by the Reader's feature on outsider artist-musician William Earl Beal (previously), you'll want to read about Urban Eyez's efforts to put together a band for Beal -- and attend the concert Sept. 15 at Town Hall Pub.

Pinup Power

The pinup calendar Thought You Knew has launched a Kickstarter project to cover printing expenses. Now in its third year on the walls of bike shops and homes worldwide, TyK seeks to support a community of confident women who bike. Gapers Block's curated Kickstarter page features this project, along with other exciting local ventures.

Remembering 9/11

Ten Chicagoans reflect on Sept. 11 and its aftermath.

Chicago's Nordic Thunder Places 2nd in the World

Nordic Thunder, aka Justin Howard, came in second in the World Air Guitar Championships this weekend. Read our coverage of the US finals in Transmission.

RIP Honeyboy Edwards

The last of the Delta bluesmen, Dave "Honeyboy" Edwards, passed away early Monday morning at the age of 96. Howard Reich and Dave Hoekstra have remembrances.

World's Worst Kids

With the help of their attorney father, Steven and Kathryn Miner of Barrington unsuccessfully sued their mother Kimberly Garrity for "bad mothering" [PDF] following their parents' 1995 divorce. Did she shove hot sauce down their throat? No. Did she learn parenting tips from Joan Crawford? No, not exactly. The two (now adult-aged) children claimed that Garrity caused emotional distress by failing to include a cash gift with birthday cards, enforcing curfews, and changing her last name when she later remarried.

Finding a Small Amount of Solace

Nearly 50 years ago, Chicagoan and Peace Corps Volunteer Larry Radley was among 30 people who died in a plane wreck in the Colombian jungle. His brother vowed to visit the site, but didn't realize how difficult that would be.

Read the First Pages of Roger Ebert's Memoir

To be published Sep 13.

Nathan Lane, Brian Dennehy to Lead in Iceman Cometh

And with a cast that good, how bleak can it be? Coming next April to the Goodman Theater.

Getting a Job Sewn Up

Alex Urbanec is looking for a job. So he did what anyone would do: he stitched a sign and put it in his window, where it caught the eye of Forbes blogger Susannah Breslin. [via]

Face to Face via Facebook

Chicagoland resident ArLynn Leiber Presser is trying to meet all of her 325 Facebook friends face to face this year. The catch is, they're scattered around the globe. A local documentary filmmaker is going along for the ride.

Who Are Chicago's Wikipedia Editors?

These people.

RIP Christiana Santiago

One of the victims of the grandstand collapse at the Indiana State Fair was Christiana Santiago, manager of programming at Howard Brown Health Center's Lesbian Community Care Project.

Chicago's Martha Stewart of Biking

Frequent GB contributor John Greenfield interviews Dottie Brackett, author of bike blog Let's Go Ride a Bike! in NewCity this week.

Doing Shakespeare on 63rd & Woodlawn

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

IPhone Owner Chases Down a Criminal

Corrie Besse definitely deserves a high-five after chasing down the thief who stole her iPhone on the train -- and has since pleaded guilty to pushing a 68-year-old woman down the stairs to her death in another CTA iPhone robbery back in April.

Make Some New Friends

Best Buddies is an organization that helps intellectually and developmentally disabled people find one-on-one friendships. Though it's mostly aimed at high school, the Citizen Buddied and e-Buddies programs make it easy for adults to get involved. You can learn more at a benefit mixer at Rockit tonight.

Chicago Reunited

Tony and Janina Wasilewski, a Polish couple whose deportation troubles were subject of a documentary last year, will be reunited today.

Lee Hartung, RIP

Lee Hartung, proprietor of the fascinating Hartung License Plate & Auto Museum in Glenview (previously), has passed away, leaving the fate of his sprawling collection in question.

Meet Todd's People

Photographer Todd Diederich has a knack for going places most people don't. Vice magazine is asking him to do it for them once a week; his first piece features Pam, a woman with a wig and a knife.

Outsider Artist

Meet Willis Earl Beal, an artist and musician who's the subject of a new limited edition box set from Found magazine.

Celebrating a Living Legend

Chicago jazz legend Von Freeman will be awarded the NEA Jazz Masters Award this winter, but he'll be celebrated here this Thursday with a tribute concert at the Pritzker Pavilion.

Have You Been Rescued by (Fake?) Batman?

After receiving another screenshot of the Batman seen near a Chicago ambulance, Justin Kaufmann really wants to know the identity of The Caped Crusader. Of course, this means that Kaufmann now occupies the role of evil-newspaperman-who-wants-to-unmask-superhero in a D.C. comic.

Buress & Wilkins

The Red Eye's Ernest Wilkins talks with comedian Hannibal Buress about hip hop and his recent gig at Zanie's.

A Voice for Chicago

Monocle profiles longtime newsman Rick Kogan. (Thanks, Jim.)

R. Kelly May Have to be Trapped in Another Closet

R. Kelly's south suburban mansion is threatened with a $2.9-million foreclosure lawsuit.

"Up in the Air" for Real

Meet Tom Stuker, an Chicago-based automotive industry consultant who on Saturday became the first passenger to log 10 million miles on United Airlines.

Royko Knocks One Out

An oldie but a goodie: Royko at the Goat, a short film of Mike Royko telling stories about 16-inch softball. Now with a preface from cinematographer Scott Jacobs.

There's a media league playing today -- head over to Trebes Park on Monday and Thursday nights this month to catch Gapers Block, Chicagoist, RedEye, Time Out, CHIRP, WBEZ, The
Reader, WSJ, WCIU and ChicagoNow battle it out on the dirt diamond. We play at 6 and 7pm.

Next up: Edward V.

Murphy's Bleachers' Open Mic Night attendees got quite the surprise when Eddie Vedder decided to hang out after the Cubs game and perform a few songs last night.

Blago's Brother Speaks

Chicago magazine has an exclusive interview with Robert Blagojevich regarding his trial and his brother's retrial.

Friends on the Internet

Oak Park Patch profiles Revolution McInness, a homeless man with bipolar disorder finding community through the Internet. (Previously.)

Nub Reactions

Local Reddit member April Hill (aka Opiebreath) was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, which left her with a "nub" for a left hand and feet. She recently started a novelty account, Reaction_on_my_Nub, in which she responds to posts by drawing things on her nub. She was recently profiled on The Daily Dot.

RIP Nick Charles

Chicago-born CNN sportscaster Nick Charles passed away over the weekend after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was 64.

Ditka Meets Ari Gold

Mike Ditka will make a cameo appearance on the final episode of "Entourage." Jeremy Piven tweeted a photo of Da Coach from the set yesterday.

Meet Reggie Brown

That Obama impersonator who got yanked from the stage at last weekend's Republican Leadership Conference? He's Reggie Brown, and he's from Chicago.

He has also appeared on John Stossel's Fox News show in recent weeks.

Colbert GraduNation

Northwestern alumnus Stephen Colbert delivered the commencement speech at his alma mater today; the Tribune has video.

Street Change is Gonna Come

Honorary Sam Cooke Way will be unveiled in Bronzeville this weekend. Read our feature on Cooke's Chicago legacy. [via]

Building Moment by Moment a Comic Valentine

WFMU's Beware of the Blog tells the rambling tale of the rise and fall of Chicago-born comedian Shecky Greene.

R.I.P., Mr. Fabulous

Trumpeter Alan Rubin, who you probably best remember as the Chez Paul maître d' in The Blues Brothers, has passed away.

Change Champion

Daniel X. O'Neil, EveryBlock's "people person" and a former GB staffer, is at the White House today, being honored as a Champion for Change for his work with open data on

Meters & Mayors their Specialty

Mayor Daley is joining Katten Muchin Rosenman, the law firm that negotiated the parking meter deal and the Skyway privatization.

The Resurrection Will Not Be Televised

Spoken word performer and Chicago native Gil Scott-Heron died today at age 62.

88 Years of Cubbies

Speaking of baseball, Ronny Woo-Woo may get all the press, but Gladys Nunley, aka Gladys the Cubs Fan, has been doing it for a lot longer.

Dear Opera...

The developers behind the Opera web browser are going to miss Oprah -- because of the great misdirected emails they get. (Don't worry, guys, she's just moving to cable.) [via]

Blago's Filibuster

Rod Blagojevich took the stand today and told his life story for two hours. Follow Susan Berger's live tweets for a blow-by-blow of his testimony

Thinking Ahead to Halloween

Fantasy Costumes already has a Rahm Emanuel rubber mask, available for $39.99 online. Shop employees told the Trib the store's owner figured Emanuel would win the mayoral election and got a jump on designing the mask.

Nicki Minaj Gets Schooled

Rapper Nicki Minaj played principle for a day at Collins Academy yesterday as part of the Get Schooled project.

Superstar Nicki Minaj Surprises Students as "Principal for the Day" at Collins Academy High School in Chicago from Get Schooled on Vimeo.

RIP Macho Man Savage

Professional wrestler and Downers Grove native Randy "The Macho Man" Savage died in a car accident brought on by a heart attack he suffered while driving today in Florida. He was 58 years old.

Two TV Titans Talking

Ebert interviews Oprah.

Your Public Meeting Representative

Meet George Blakemore, "concerned citizen."

A Common Controversy

Chicago rapper and actor Common was invited to participate in a White House poetry event -- which became one of the points of debate between Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly.

Uncompromising Cocktails

Apparently one of the Bulls went to Aviary after the game last night -- and asked for a vodka and seltzer. The bar denied the request, and the baller left.

Rick Uchwat RIP

Rick Uchwat, owner of Zanies comedy club, died last night at 64 after a long battle with lung cancer.

I am a Wildcat (And So Can You)

Northwestern grad Stephen Colbert will receive an honorary degree from the school during commencement June 17. Think of it as a delayed two-for-one special.

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]

Raised in the City (& Suburbs)

Well-known Chicagoans share stories of growing up in the city and environs in this week's Time Out.

Steampunk in the City

Time Out talks with K.L. Kenzie and Joseph Rovner , two of the founders of Steampunk Chicago.

Rosie Dumps Trump

Rosie O'Donnell was planning on staying at the Trump Chicago Hotel when she tapes her new show for OWN (previously), but thanks to Donald Trump's birther jackassery, she's decided to stay elsewhere. [via]

Empire Carpet Man, RIP

Elmer Lynn Hauldren, the writer and star of countless Empire carpet commercials, passed away last night in his Evanston home. He was 89. Here are some of Hauldren's classic Empire commercials.

More on

Influential Achatz

Thomas Keller sings the praises of his protege, Grant Achatz, in this year's Time 100.

Impressive Youth

Refinery29 picks its Chicago's Hottest 30 Under 30.

Symbols of the Zodiac

Over 40 years ago, California was terrorized by the serial killer known as the Zodiac. The Zodiac is particularly remembered for the bizarre cryptograms he sent to the police, one of which has never been decoded. After several years of research, local Chicago Police lieutenant John Lewison claims he's finally cracked it.

Choose Your Hero

I Know Chicago lists the many reasons to vote for Dawn Hancock in GM's Our Town, Our Heroes contest. The other two finalists are worthy of your vote, too.

Local CNN Hero: Diane Latiker

The founder of Kids Off the Block in Roseland was profiled last week in CNN's "CNN Heroes" series.

More about Roseland and Kids Off the Block:

Commissioner Iceman

The longest serving member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners was once one of the biggest stars in soul music. The Reader tells the story of Jerry "Iceman" Butler.

Another Billionaire You Might Know

The Sun-Times profiles Mark Pincus, Chicago native and founder of Zynga. You may not know the company by name, but you probably know some of its products, like FarmVille and Mafia Wars.

Sha-nana-nah, Hey Hey Hey

As Sox fans say goodbye to organist Nancy Faust, they'll be getting to know Lori Moreland.

Shopping with the NBA

What people won't buy from Scottie Pippens' former home.

Muti Recovers, Stumps for the Arts from the Italian Stage

Riccardo Muti, the CSO's music director, is now well enough that he was able to take the stage in Italy and argue for the arts. Given his recovery, it looks like this April is finally on track.

RIP James Tyree

Jim Tyree, chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial and chairman of the Sun-Times Media Group, died yesterday after a battle with stomach cancer. The Sun-Times has multiple stories, including tributes from Obama, Daley and others; Tribune offered a substantial obituary; and Ron May eulogizes him as a champion for Chicago's tech and media community.

The Queen of Soul Visits the Bulls

GB flickr pool contributor swanksalot photographed Aretha Franklin taking some photographs of her own at last nights' Bulls game.

Capturing Hizzoner

Photographer Art Shay shared more photos from his archives over on Chicagoist today -- this time the lens is trained on the Honorable Richard J. Daley.

RIP Ron Helizon

Ron "the Polish Princess" Helizon, an icon of the gay rights movement in Chicago, passed away over the weekend. He was 65. Here's an interview with him from 2007.

Award-Winning Audio

Devin Katayama, whose interview with Sierra Leone refugees now living in Chicago was featured in A/C last week, is the winner of this year's Studs Terkel Scholarship from the Community Media Workshop.

The Art of Winfield House

Long-time patrons of the Chicago art scene Ambassador Louis B. Susman and his wife, Marjorie, have merged their love of art and their roles as the U.S. representatives to Britain with an American art collection anyone would envy.

The Last Doughboy, RIP

Frank Buckles, the last living member of the WWI American Expeditionary Forces in France, passed away Sunday at 110 years old. Local photographer and GB flickr pool contributor Brad Gillette photographed the veteran on his 109th birthday.

Getting Indie Gaming Growing

A.V. Club Chicago talks with Erin Robinson about the city's growing indie game industry. We covered similar ground with her in December.

Our First Asian-American Alderman

When Ameya Pawar won the 47th Ward race, he made history. The Center Square Journal interviewed him in the midst of Tuesday's celebration, and the Sun-Times and Tribune give you a more in-depth look at the 30-year-old incoming alderman.

Daley's a Lettuce Guy

The Stew published the first post-election interview with Mayor Daley yesterday -- about his interest in food.

Your Morning Detour: John Fischetti

Peruse the John Fischetti Manuscript Collection at Columbia College, and get to know a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist.

Daley's Next Gig

Mayor Daley could get as much as $50,000 per speech after he leaves office. He's signed with the Harry Walker Agency, who also represent Phil Jackson, Roxana Saberi and The Second City for speaking engagements.

From Hemingway to Hogan to Hefner

Art Shay shares memories and photos of his many mentors over at Chicagoist.

Achatz Redux

Not to be outdone, the New York Times has a profile of Grant Achatz today, too.

Composition: Achatz

Past, present and future blend together in Chris Borelli's profile of Grant Achatz.

Sarah Jindra with Your Traffic

Claire Zulkey interviews traffic reporter Sarah Jindra about the blizzard, shortcuts and her side project, INSPIREme Chicago.

Freeze at the North Pole

Recently Soon to be laid off Fox meteorologist Amy Freeze is competing to go to North Pole; vote by Feb. 15 and she might make a smooth transition from TV to blog. [via]

RIP Tura Satana

Tura Satana, who lived on the West Side with her family after they were released from a WWII internment camp, passed away this weekend. Watch her best known film, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, for free on Google Video. [via]

Chicago's First President

The Hyde Park apartment Ronald Reagan spent a year in as a child may be at risk for demolition. (he was apparently fond of the place.) Meanwhile, Nancy Reagan's Chicago-area roots were highlighted in a documentary that aired on WTTW last night.

The Refrigerator Broke Down

A less happy tale from the '85 Bears: How 'The Fridge' lost his way.

RIP Joyce Sloane

Joyce Sloane, longtime den mother of The Second City, passed away last night. Memorial service info here.

Live Your Best Life, Pay Your Highest Mortgage

You can live in celebrity decorator/Oprah entourage member Nate Berkus' old place in the Gold Coast for $2.65 million.

More Health Troubles for Muti

The CSO's Riccardo Muti fainted at yesterday's rehearsal and was taken to the hospital. Last night's performance was held without him, and tonight's will be led by Mitsuko Uchida and Leonard Slatkin.

RIP Judy Niedermaier

Judy Niedermaier, noted furniture and window display designer, passed away Monday.

Vive le Gunn

Tim "Make It Work" Gunn stopped by Vive la Femme on Tuesday. Store owner Stephanie Sack said the "adorable" Mr. Gunn had heard great things about her boutique that specializes in larger sizes of very stylish clothing. Tim is in town to do a makeover show for Oprah.

Very Datable

You may recognize some of the names on Today's Chicago Woman's Top 50 Singles list.

Know and Own...If You're Quick

New York fashion site (and first ever Tumblr store) Of A Kind was started at the end of last year by two U of C alums, and is already selling out its limited editions within 24 hours, or less. A piece by Chicago-based Cursive Design is still is in stock...for now.

MObama is Not Google Maps

You get to meet the First Lady by surprise while visiting the White House. Are you really going to ask her where Ben's Chili Bowl is?

Cultureless Affairs

Lois Weisberg, head of the Department of Cultural Affairs since Harold Washington was mayor, is resigning Feb. 1. In her announcement, she slammed plans to privatize the city's summer festivals.

Noteworthy Passings

In addition to Ric Hess, Sargent Shriver, founder of the Peace Corps, died yesterday, and South Side environmental activist Hazel M. Johnson passed away over the weekend.

Sheffield's' Ric Hess Dies

Ric Hess, the owner of Lakeview's Sheffield's bar/restaurant, passed away Monday night from a heart attack. He was 48.

Second to Zuck

Considering Groupon's meteoric rise, it's not surprising to see Andrew Mason sit at number two on Under30CEO's list of the most influential CEOs under 30 years old.

Phil Donahue, Old Soldier

Oprah, ivoryonics, Rosa Chang, and other unique thoughts on a flier found posted in Pioneer Court.

Donkey Kong Nerds and Music Nerds Unite Today

Donkey Kong aficionado Steve Wiebe, who achieved fame with his controversial documentary King of Kong, will be on hand at Logan Hardware today at 2pm to commemorate the reopening of the record store (at 2410 W Fullerton) and to give a tutorial on how you can get more points on the classic video game.

High School Hoops on the Rebound

John Lucas, a former minor league basketball star, has helped vault his alma mater to the top of its division. Etheria Modacure tells his story in Tailgate.

Sennett on Mason

Consider his feature last month a first draft: Time Out's editor, Frank Sennett, will write a whole book on Groupon and Andrew Mason.

Collect'em All

Robert Young (aka Marcus Welby) is the latest and last in If Charlier Parker Was A Gunslinger's series of Hollywood tobacco cards.

Meet Chicago's "Most Durable Corporate Dynasty"

You know, the Smiths.

Oprah's Hopes & Dreams

Alan Sepinwall reports: "'What were your dreams when you were a kid? What did you aspire to be? And it seems like you won every lottery in the country. What were your hopes, and what were your dreams?' Oprah smiled broadly at this and said, 'God, that's such a wonderful question. Nobody has ever asked me that. That's a lovely question. I have to think about it.' So she thought about it for a moment. And then she began to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk... for the next 18 minutes and 15 seconds."

Stump Speaks

Chicagoist has a two-part interview with Patrick Stump, former frontman of Fall Out Boy, about life after the band, what he's up to now and his deep connection to Chicago.

High Holy Days and Heavy Metal

David Draiman, frontman of Disturbed, talks with the Jerusalem Post about growing up Jewish in Chicago, among other things. [via]


Margaret Vinci Heldt created the beehive hairdo on Michigan Avenue just over 50 years ago and will be celebrated throughout the year.

R2D2 is a Fine Actor

BoingBoing dug up vintage Bill Murray, filming an anti-high tech rant in 1982.

RIP Chris Blumer

Christine Ward Blumer, former Gapers Block staffer and winediva, passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

Father of the 4+1 Dies

Jerome Soltan, the architect responsible for the four-plus-one (previously), passed away recently at age 81.

"Every one of us has erred in their personal lives"

Jesse Jackson, Jr. grants a rare interview with the Associated Press.

Pretty Awesome People

Chicago magazine has picked its six Chicagoans of the year for 2010.

Rodney the Singing Mailman

The A.V. Club's mailman, Rodney Johnson, has become a minor celebrity thanks to his singing voice, which is on display in his "Silent Night" duet with Andrew W.K.

Ryan Stays in Jail

Imprisoned former governor George Ryan lost his latest bid for early release, despite pleas that he be allowed to spend time with his wife, who is dying from cancer.

As FoGB Veronica Arreola said on Twitter, "There are many, far less powerful, people who endure agony of watching loved ones die while they are in prison."

RIP Cliff Doerksen

Film critic Cliff Doerksen passed away on Friday. His former publications, Time Out Chicago and the Reader, have remembrances. (More.)

Biodynamic Drinkability

In Drive-Thru, meet Shebnem Ince, a Chicago-born sommelier who specializes in biodynamic and organic wines.

Antoine's One of Us

The Sun-Times profiles Antoine Dodson, Chicago expat and star of the "Bed Intruder" viral video and song.

Fiasco on Kanye & Bush

Yesterday, during his time on Vocalo, Lupe Fiasco commented on the recent public exchanges between Kanye West and George W. Bush

A Cock in Every Pot

Cynthia Plaster Caster, the mayoral interview.

A Comedy Bat Mitzvah

You can now see the full program online of the ceremony honoring former Chicagoan Tina Fey, who received the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last night.

Skating Past the Physics Board

The Reader's cover story this week is about Yung Tae Kim, aka Dr. Tae, your favorite skateboarding physicist.

Kristin Cavallari Goes Diva Over Diss

Jay Cutler's girlfriend, Kristin Cavallari, recently threw a fit at the Mag Mile Guess Store after being denied freebies from the manager. Can we get a misconduct penalty?

ZEB Busted

Zebadiah Arrington, a South Side native and SAIC student, was arrested in New York for tagging subway trains over the course of the past three years.

Reflection, A Little Personal Growth and Regret

George W. Bush and Kanye West may have a reconciliation in their future.

Things Just Got a Little Harder for Rahm

Cynthia Plaster Caster is running for mayor.

What Makes You Want to Buy Pistachios?

Perhaps you can add Blago to the list.

Family Advertising Values

Carl, Amy, Layne and Kaitlyn are the Billboard Family, and you can hire them to wear your company shirt "all day long." They're from St. Louis, but according to their site they sometimes visit Chicago, Seattle, Walt Disney World, and the Southern Illinois University area. Let us pray this doesn't escalate into tattoos.

Get to Know the Hot Doug's Bride-to-Be

Huffington Post Chicago's Jen Sabella inteviewed Shannon Bucaro, the women who was proposed to in line at Hot Doug's and author of horror-film cooking column Slash and Dine.

Encased Meats, Engagements

Shannon Bucaro's boyfriend proposed to her in line at Hot Doug's yesterday. She said yes, and posted a photo. [via]

A Ripple Through the Chicago Sandwich Community

My (and everyone else's) secret television girlfriend Tina Fey presents her thoughts on Chicago's best restaurants, sandwiches, and why we're superior to New York.

Political Blog in a Window

Ever walk along Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Square and notice long political rants taped to a bead store window? CenterSquare Journal interviews Sam Wolfson, the author of those screeds.

Making Playboy's Grade

A Columbia College senior is a finalist for Playboy's Hottest College Girls contest. [via]

Prodigy on a Triple Word Score

Meet Brian Cappelletto, Chicago's resident Scrabble prodigy.

You're Always the Underdog

Who said it, John Mayer or Mayor Daley? [via]

Dye the River Black

Mark Butler, who for 25 years led the crew who dye the Chicago River green for St. Patrick's Day, has passed away.

Cult of Abby Update

Fans of Abby Ryan, WBEZ's cult-inspiring former traffic reporter, might be interested to know that she got married last December, and can still be heard on the radio -- in the commercials.

The Creative Type

Quite Strong, demonstrating the power of female designers.

Blagoween Mask

It'll be even easier for you to dress up as Rod Blagojevich for Halloween this year, thanks to Fantasy Costumes in Portage Park. [via]

Beating the Lizard

Marketing guru Seth Godin was recently in town. Meet some of his fans.

This Reporter's in Jeopardy!

Sun-Times reporter Kara Spak appeared on "Jeopardy!" recently and walked away with a hefty sum. Naturally, she wrote about her experience.

Documenting a Conspiracy

You usually can't do much research on people you see in the Loop carrying conspiracy theory signs. Not the case with Marty Lawson; he posts documents on street poles and has a couple YouTube accounts.

Our Richest Citizens

Forbes released its list of the 400 richest Americans today; here are the local ones.

Warm Day Misdemeanor

As the Chicago Police Department tweeted, "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

Aimee Mann Likes Us

"What a truly great city Chicago is. It's like NYC without the baked urine smell or masturbating-guy-on-the-subway episodes. Three cheers!" (Thanks, George!)

More Traveling Bar Food

The Tamale Guy is no longer the only game in town for late-night bar snacks sold out of a cooler: Time Out Chicago introduces the Burger Guy. Wonder when he'll have his own tribute t-shirt, too.

Reacting to Mayor Daley's Retirement Announcement

While there will surely be countless tributes to the Daley years, here's a sampling of coverage of Daley's announcement.

YouTube's Latest Star

Teen lip-syncer Keenan Cahill is apparently the new hotness in YouTube memes. Even Katy Perry's a fan.

Kristin & Cutler?

According to Perez Hilton, the Bears' Jay Cutler is dating Kristin Cavallari from "The Hills." Might explain a few things from Sunday's game.

Deon Cole Hits the Big-Time

In A/C, we've got an interview with Deon Cole, a Chicago comic who's gone on to write for Conan O'Brien and is working on a pilot for Comedy Central.

Chicagoans Unfortunately in the News

Leonardo DiCaprio won a restraining order against Chicagoan Livia Bistriceanu, who claims to be married to the actor and pregnant with his child, Jesus.

Katrina at 5: a Chicago Perspective

Chicagoist's editor, Marcus Gilmer, himself a Katrina refugee, talks with New Orleans transplants in Chicago about the hurricane and its aftermath, five years later.

Chicago Can Still Claim Him, Right?

Ira Glass gets fed up with New York Magazine's questions all the while identifying his mortal enemy in a pretty entertaining recent questionnaire.

Deng is Visiting Home After a Long Absence

World News America is following Bulls forward Luol Deng as as he returns to Sudan for the first time since his family fled the country when he was five.

Mariotti Arrested

Beloved former Sun Times columnist Jay Mariotti was arrested in Los Angeles last night on a domestic disturbance charge after having an argument with his girlfriend.

The Wrong Kind of Change

In Mechanics, Michael Volpe tells the story of Mario Benitez, a legal resident alien from Chicago facing deportation for stealing $130 in change from a neighbor.

The Other Blagojevich Family

Chicago Public Radio checks in on Robert Blagojevich and his wife as they live with their 27-year-old son in his Uptown apartment.

Agribusiness and Backyard Chickens

Drive-Thru writer Joanna Ericson has been telling her story to Anne Elizabeth Moore in Revision Street.

This Celebrity Gay Wedding Brought to You By...

Missed this last month: Chef Art Smith is looking for corporate sponsorship for his marriage to longtime partner Jesus Salguerio.

Out Front in Back of the Yards

In A/C, we learn the story of Rosario Ramirez, a Venezuelan immigrant making a difference in Back of the Yards.

Vince Vaughn Can Fly

The Huffington Post has a video of Vince Vaughn skydiving over Chicago at the Air and Water Show. Unless it's just extra footage from Wedding Crashers.

Buy a Poster, Help a Back

To help Laura Park get her back fixed, we're donating $5 of every purchase of the awesome 3rd anniversary party poster she designed for us!

Two Stops Past a Mole

This guy will never get lost on the CTA.

Hey Ladies

If Paul Narang is interested in you, he'll give you his card. [via]

War on Cancer

Designer Chris Courtney recently learned he has stage 3B Hodkins' Lymphoma; on the3six5, he declared war.

Dan and Marty

Chicago magazine's August issue coincidentally has a profile of Marty Cook, an alcoholic at rock bottom when he began an unexpected friendship with Dan Rostenkowski.

Pritzker Heir in Hit & Run Scandal

Did the police try to help cover up a hit and run case against one of the Pritzkers? A federal lawsuit says yes.

Who is that Guy?

It's not Blagojevich, but he does look a little like him.

Twitter Jockey

Local twitterer Gabi "@gabifresh" Gregg is MTV's first "TJ."

Moving Beyond Hatred

Christian Picciolini used to be the singer in a white power punk band. Music also played a role in transforming his feelings about race.

Obama's Lonely Birthday

President Obama will be back in Chicago for his 49th birthday this Wednesday, but the rest of his family won't be with him. Michelle and Sasha are heading to Spain, and Malia is at summer camp.

From Dropping 3-Pointers to Dropping Bombs

NewCity traces Louder than a Bomb's Kevin Coval's trajectory from high school jock to hip hop poet.

Jesse Jackson Jr. Flexes Non-Political Muscles

In 1997, Jesse Jackson Jr. was featured in People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue. Looks like he's still got it. From Chicago magazine: "His career may be in the tank and his White House dreams shattered, but there's some good news for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. this week: He made The Hill's "50 Most Beautiful People 2010" list--even cracking the coveted top ten." Jackson came in at number nine, beating the Cosmo-famous Scott Brown.

Who is That Masked Fan?

With the mysteries of the Cubs' Pink Hat Guy and the Sox' M&M Jacket Guy solved, Deadspin turns its reticles to uncovering the story of the recognizable front-row South Sider who hexes pitchers and wears a goat mask during crosstown games.

Berliant Meets Blago

Infamous party crasher Jerry Berliant showed up at the Blagojevich trial this morning.

Jack Jaffe, 82

Chicago photographer, arts philanthropist and former car repair business owner Jack Jaffe passed away on Thursday at 82.

Mick Dumke Up Close

The Huffington Post sat down with the legendary Chicago Reader journalist to talk about his new job at the Chicago News Cooperative, Mayor Daley's graphic threats, and the Windy City.

An Audience of One

Chicago expat Bill Murray gives a rare interview to GQ.

Meet Our Oldest Citizen

106-year-old Pilsen resident Ignacia Moya became a US citizen yesterday, more than 40 years after immigrating from Mexico.

Roger Ebert Up Close

Sarah Hampson of The Globe and Mail has written a short and sweet profile piece on Roger Ebert, who lives in Lincoln Park with his wife Chaz. The Pulitzer-winning Sun Times movie critic has only a partial jaw thanks to a long fight with thyroid cancer, but can still crack jokes with the aid of his Mac laptop. Sustained through an abdominal feeding tube, Ebert is about to publish a cookbook called, The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker.

The Groupon Guy

How well do you know Andrew Mason?

Looking at Lady Gaga

Chicago Art Magazine studies the pop star from a visual arts perspective.

Feared Even by the Mob

The Sun-Times gives a peek inside the FBI files of legendary hitman Frank "The German" Schweihs.

The Wire Meets The Viagra Triangle

Tony Demasi, former owner of Reserve and Crescendo, was wearing a wire for the FBI, John Kass reports. Michael Volpe, who wrote our article about torture victim Mark Clements, has a long profile of Demasi and his strange story.

A Culture of Torture

In Mechanics, learn the story of Mark Clements, an alleged victim of the Jon Burge torture machine at just 16.

Nominate a Latina Star

Know a successful Latina? Nominate her for Café Media's Nueva Latina Star awards.

Remembering Fred Anderson

We've got details in Transmission about the public wake for saxophonist and Velvet Lounge founder Fred Anderson, as well as a round-up of remembrances.

Teaching Through Hip Hop

Joe Becker is a middle school teacher and hip hop artist trying to inspire his students to overcome adversity in their homes, neighborhoods and school.

Jody Watley Comes Home

Singer Jody Watley talks in Transmission about her experiences growing up in Chicago, her upcoming album and her show at the Harold Washington Cultural Center this Friday.

Do Not Mess with Neko Case

"I will seriously pummel your f*cking face."

Fewer Low Notes in Chicago

Lynn Becker and the Trib's William Lee eulogize Aaron Dodd, who most knew best as the Michigan Avenue tuba player.

The Minds Behind the Velvet Rope

Lauren Rivera, a professor at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, looked into how nightclub bouncers determine who's cool enough to get in and who stays outside.

Ebert Wins a Webby

Roger Ebert was named Person of the Year at this year's Webby Awards.

Soul Food Restaurateur Edna Stewart Passes Away

Edna Stewart, owner of the legendary Edna's Restaurant on the West Side, passed away on Friday. For background about Stewart, her restaurant and her role in the civil rights movement, check out this interview from the Southern Foodways Alliance Oral History Project.

Ira Glass: So Wrong

Though not really a Chicagoan anymore, we still have a soft spot for Ira Glass. He talks with Slate about being wrong with regards to This American Life.

"Take Me to the Next Phase"

Marvin Isley, bassist of The Isley Brothers, died Sunday in a hospice near his Chicago home.

Whoomp, There's the Prez

Did Barack Obama appear in a music video for "Whoomp! There it Is" by Tag Team? Probably not.

Lost and Found

If you've misplaced your kinkajou, one was just found down in Pilsen.

Out in the Race

Is Congressman Mark Kirk gay? One gay activist says yes, and tells how he found out. [via]

Your Friendly Neighborhood Socialist

In Mechanics, Micah Uetricht profiles Chicago author, socialist and LGBT activist Sherry Wolf.

I Know You Were Concerned

The Baltimore Sun is excited to report that Bo had a great time in Chicago. In case you're interested in more information on the Obamas' trip, here's a summary.

Blago's Defense Spending

Rod Blagojevich has spent three quarters of his legal defense fund before his trial has even started, the Chicago News Cooperative reports. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court turned down his delay of trial request.

RIP Gary Coleman

"Diff'rent Strokes" star Gary Coleman, who grew up in north suburban Zion, died today of a brain hemorrhage. He was 42.

Our Local Beauty Queen

Nicole Suarez, a native Chicagoan and a student at DePaul, recently won the title of Miss Tolima in Colombia, and will be competing in the Miss Colombia competition -- the first non-native in the pageant's history. Help Suarez celebrate her win next Friday at Las Tablas Steakhouse, where she's a server.

SOLVE Stickers On

Street artist Brendan Scanlon, aka SOLVE, was murdered in 2008, but his stickers live on and are being posted around the world.

Coolness in Shortpants

This week in Book Club, One-Shots talks to comics artist by day, accordionist by night Sarah Becan.

White House Can't Muzzle Bayless?

Did Rick Bayless violate the White House rules against tweeting while cooking the state dinner for the Obamas and Mexican President Calderon? Lynn Sweet says he did, but Bayless took to, where else, Twitter to deny it and demand an apology.

The message cited by Sweet was posted in the 7am hour, according to the timestamp on Twitter; his next tweet was 17 hours later -- his response to Sweet's column. I asked Bayless where he was when he made the early morning tweet, and he replied that he was at his hotel. UPDATE: Sweet apologized. UPDATE 2: Time Out Chicago pulled together further tweets from Bayless explaining the situation.

Mob Hitman Harry Aleman Dies

Harry Aleman, the only American ever to be tried for the same crime again after being acquitted, died in a downstate prison yesterday.

Dio in Chicago

Beachwood Reporter collects clips of the dearly departed metal god's local performances.

Ever Wanted to Own Drew Peterson's Motorcycle?

Well, now's your chance, and he'll potentially autograph it. Great...

What Would Skilling Do?

Tom Skilling is off galavanting around the Great Plains in search of tornados, allowing us rare glimpses into his psyche. For example, he uses forks as pointers instead of high tech tools when he's not delivering his broadcast, and he leans out of moving SUVs to take iPhone pictures of severe weather.

First the Spindle, Then the Artist

Dustin Shuler, the artist behind the Spindle in Berwyn, passed away last week.

Reporter Goes Resale

Nate Miller was once a reporter for the Sun-Times; now he's Mr. Thrift.

Chicagoan Replacing a Chicagoan with a Chicagoan (Sort of)

President Obama announced this morning that Solicitor General Elena Kagan is his nominee to replace Justice John Paul Stevens. Kagan taught at University of Chicago Law School and even played 16-inch softball, so I think we can claim her as one of our own.

Reviewed from Prison

Jim Warren thinks Blago should take some pointers on how to spend time in prison from Conrad Black.

A Long Time Coming

Toby Williams graduates from Northeastern this Saturday. (You know it's more interesting than just that if we're linking to it.)

Major U of C Philanthropist Passes Away

Max Palevsky, the Chicago-born and educated computer entrepreneur whose name may sound familiar to U of C graduates, passed away yesterday at 85. Among other accomplishments, Palevsky saved Rolling Stone, co-founded Intel and funded the construction of the theater used by Doc Films.

Studs on TV

A new documentary about Studs Turkel will make its debut on HBO later this month, the director was on "Eight Forty-Eight" to talk about it today.

Hollywood Sign Saved from Chicagoans by... Former Chicagoan

Building on our earlier post: Former Chicagoan (and Steinmetz High School alum) Hugh Hefner chipped in the last $900,000 needed to transfer ownership of the property surrounding the iconic Hollywood sign in California from Chicago-based real estate developers Fox River Financial to the Trust for Public Land.

How Quickly She's Abandoned Us

Michelle Obama is on the cover of Conde Nast Traveler magazine this month, explaining why she loves her "new hometown." Really, Mrs. Obama? You spent your whole life in the Windy City but after a year in D.C. you've decided to forsake Chicago as your hometown?

Studs Over the Transom

What was it like working with Studs Turkel? [via]

Palin the Flesh

The Admiral will be holding an x-rated Sarah Palin lookalike contest May 12 -- the same day the former governor of Alaska is making an appearance at the Rosemont Theatre.

Chicago's Real McCoy

In A/C, LaShawn Williams interviews LisaRaye, South Side native and star of TV One's "LisaRaye: The Real McCoy," about her childhood in Chicago, her reality show and life after being the first lady of the Turks & Caicos Islands.

DeRogatis Leaves the Sun-Times

Jim DeRogatis is quitting the Sun-Times to blog on and join the faculty at Columbia College.

Oprah Doesn't Do Stairs

Kitty Kelly's upcoming biography of Oprah doesn't paint a pretty picture.

Justice Stevens to Retire

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a Chicago native, announced today that he will retire this summer.

Behind the Comic Con

In Book Club, we've got an interview with Lance Fensterman, vice president of pop culture at Reed Exhibitions, about his love of comics and this weekend's Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo.

Kiss Her Goodbye

The 2010 season will be Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust's last.

Bar and Notary Public

Lake Effect News profiles Ollie Latiker, owner of Ollie's Lounge in Edgewater.

Health Care and Hoth

A recent visit to an Iowa City bookstore shows the President's kind of nerdy. [via]

Kid, You'll Go Far

Aron Pobereskin has worked at Alinea, Lockwood, Moto, Graham Elliot Schwa and Perennial. He's 16 years old. [via]

Obama's Got Kansas vs. Kentucky

The President's March Madness bracket is now available for copying, mockery.

Roger Ebert -- NERD!

Continuing the lovefest, writer/editor Scott Edelman reran a fun interview he did with Mr. Ebert for Sci-Fi Entertainment about, yes, science-fiction. Fun fact: Ebert started the science fiction club at his high school.

Like Dating a Cartoon

Billy Corgan dishes to the Trib about rumors he's dating Jessica Simpson, pro wrestling and the in-progress Smashing Pumpkins album.

Tween Blogger Owns Fashion Week

Thirteen-year-old Tavi Gevinson from Oak Park is making a name for herself in the fashion world through her blog, writing a column for Harpers Bazaar, shilling for Target, and making attention-getting appearances at runway shows. She even has her own backlash.

"The Essential Man"

Esquire profiles Roger Ebert.

RIP Peter Venkman

I know, he's barely a Chicago guy anymore, since he's lived in the Hudson Valley for 30 years, but holy crow! Bill Murray confirmed a third Ghostbusters movie is happening -- and he's coming back as one of the ghosts.

Chicago's Fastest Skater

As Chicago-born speed skater Shani Davis prepares for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, his mother carefully guards his reputation.

The Woman Behind the Playboy Centerfold Database

We've mentioned the database of Playboy centerfolds maintained by a sysadmin at U of C before. The Reader's feature story this week is a full profile of that sysadmin and her special relationship with the magazine and its founder.

Jury's Out for Obama

President Obama won't be reporting for jury duty today.

I Heart the Weather

The Trib profiles some Chicago "weather geeks," including the person behind the Midway weather readings.

Madigan's House Rules

Speaker of the House Michael Madigan's "day job" is as a property tax lawyer. The Trib finds that his two gigs often intersect.

Are We Really That (Bleeping) Angry, Idol?

Looks like Chicago had a low showing of talent on yesterday's "American Idol" auditions -- only 13 made the cut. While showcasing our wild and foul-mouthed side, "Idol" has Chicago Breaking News wondering how some Windy City contestants were filmed in front of palm trees and the Amway Center in Orlando.

JFK, King, Counterfeiting and the Social Service

Abraham Bolden, the first African-American White House Secret Service agent, lives on the South Side and has quite a history to share.

Celebrity Food

I know when I want a steak, nothing is better than a Michael Jordan signature steak. They go great with my Mike Ditka wine.

Rod Blagojevich has a Cold

Rod Blagojevich talked at length to Esquire's Scott Raab, variously comparing himself to Galileo, Mordecai in the legend of Purim, and Robin Hood -- and claiming he's blacker than Obama. (He's already apologized for that. Further thoughts in Mechanics.)

A Real-Life Ryan Bingham

The Sun-Times interviews Jim Morehouse, a Chicagoan who's reached the 10 million frequent flier mile mark dreamed of by Up in the Air's protagonist.

Threadless Identification Request

Threadless is offering a variety of cash rewards for information leading to the identification of these men. They are "most likely" in the Chicago area. [Thanks, Sandor!]

"I don't think there's any doubt that he misses it."

It seems heading back to Hyde Park is hard to do when you're President of the United States.

Huffington Speaks

Ariana Huffington, of the eponymous Post, will be speaking at Columbia College on Jan. 27. It's free, but you'll have to RSVP -- and if you want a seat, you better do it soon.

Support Those Who Support Others

The Chicago Foundation for Women is requesting nominations of local men and women "whose leadership and achievements are making the world better for women and girls."

Life in the Closet?

R.Kelly is working on a memoir. It's as yet untitled, leaving satirists with a golden opportunity to shower him with suggestions.

Wesley Willis Rocks On

Wesley Willis's Joy Rides, a documentary about Chicago folk artist and rock star Wesley Willis, is now out on DVD -- and is streaming on Pitchfork.TV all this week.

Loneliness is Like the Flu

Loneliness can be contagious and spread through social networks, according to research from the University of Chicago.

Get to Know Joe

That's good advice for any aspiring band -- the Joe in question being Joe Shanahan, owner of the Metro and "father of alternative rock in Chicago."

Telling Their Stories

Chicago Storytelling got homeless people and CTA buskers to tell their stories in their own words.

Chicago Boxer Dies, But Saves Other Lives

Ken Green wrote in Tailgate yesterday about the death of up-and-coming boxer Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez in a bout this weekend. While his death is tragic, it did have a silver lining: he was an organ donor, and gave a kidney to his uncle and other organs to at least seven people. Learn more here. [via]

A Challenging Catch

Dave Lamoureux spends most of the year as a futures and options trader in Chicago, but he sets world records catching bluefin tuna from a kayak on the Atlantic, unassisted.

Eye in the Sky

Robert Cameron, photographer, known for his aerial shots of Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and other places, has passed away at age 98.

Meet Joe Laiacona

The Reader's cover story this week tells the most interesting Chicago political story (not involving a scandal) in recent history: an openly gay leather master running for state rep against the incumbent lesbian daughter of a clout-heavy alderman.

Studs Under Surveillance?

Newly disclosed documents reveal that the FBI tracked Studs Terkel as a suspected communist for much of his life. His complete file is available in this (rather large) PDF.

Searching For C.T.

Local musician and co-editor of THE2NDHAND C.T. Ballentine left his McKinley Park apartment on Friday afternoon and has not been heard from since. If you're able to help locate him, his friends have set up a Facebook group for the search. UPDATE: Looks like C.T. has been found.

Crain's 40 Under 40 -- Now with 100% More GB!

Crain's Chicago Business just announced its annual 40 Under 40 list, and our very own Andrew Huff was selected as one of the luminaries. Congratulations, Andrew!

Meet The Ricketts

The new owner of the Cubs is profiled in both the Trib and Crain's today.

Is Kanye West Dead?

A weird rumor swept Twitter over the weekend, claiming that Kanye West was dead. It's been denied, of course, but the story has interesting parallels with a rumor 40 years ago about another popular musician...

A Boy Genius Grows Up

An update on a story we covered in the very early days of GB: Sho Yano became the youngest-ever person to earn a doctorate from the University of Chicago when he received his PhD in molecular biology last month -- at age 18.

Michelle Obama's Plastic Arms

Jailbreak Toys has now immortalized Michelle as well as Barack as action figures.

A Baby Named Ike

ABC7 anchor Judy Hsu delivered her fourth baby in the front seat of a car on I-55 I-290 early this morning. And yes, she's naming it Ike. (Yeesh, you'd think we'd know which route the Ike was.)

A Few Chicagoans are Still Rich

The economy may be in the tank, but 18 Chicago-area residents made the Forbes 400 list.

Finally Landing at O'Hare

Greg Krause arrives home in Chicago today after using JetBlue's 30-day All You Can Jet Pass to fly around the world raising money for a school in Zambia.

From Slave Quarters to the White House

Michelle Obama's family tree traces back to a young slave named Melvinia in rural Georgia.


Roger Ebert is now on Twitter.

Somehow This Seems Entirely Plausible

Here's a 1987 Chicago Tribune spot featuring the great Mike Royko at the Billy Goat Tavern. The sound seems a touch off at the beginning--Royko sounds a little like Barry White.

Supporting School Sustainability

Joey Feinstein, founder of Climate Cycle, is a finalist in Nau's $10,000 Grant for Change. The program seeks to support those who "those who instigate lasting, positive change in their communities." Climate Cycle definitely does that.

Walt Disney's Chicago in San Francisco

The Walt Disney Family Museum is now open in San Francisco, and it includes plenty of his Chicago history.

Order Now to Riches

Crain's profiles Lori Greiner, a local entrepreneur who's made a mint selling stuff on QVC.

David Byrne Talks Chicago Biking

The Trib took some time to chat with David Byrne about his new book, Bicycle Diaries, and got him talking about his cycling experiences in Chicago.

The Other "O" Goes to Copenhagen

The president still isn't attending, but Oprah will be headed to Copenhagen to promote Chicago's bid for the Olympics. Meanwhile, Dave Zirin frets about what will happen if we win in The Nation.

Where Will Walter Payton Stand?

Will his statue find rest outside of Solider Field, or will it be somewhere else?

MJ's 23

In honor of Michael Jordan's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame tomorrow, ESPN has collected the 23 most memorable moments of his career. (Surprisingly, Space Jam is not included.) More in Tailgate.

Contemplative Pumpkin

Billy Corgan has launched a new website, Everything from Here to There, which is intended to be a place "to discuss openly and without fear concepts of Mind-Body-Soul integration." If that's the sort of thing you're into, he's apparently taking submissions. [via]

Hero of the Day: Dwyane Wade

NBA star Dwyane Wade is donating money to help the public library in his home town of Robbins stay open.

Have $2.6 Million on Hand?

Then you may want to consider buying Al Capone's Wisconsin retreat. It has "407 secluded acres with a 37-acre private lake, an eight-car garage and a guard tower."

There You Are

Hey, did you get your photo taken by Ian from IDM Photography at the Gapers Block Party on Friday? If so, it's now posted in our Flickr account.

Twitter Burner

Longtime Chicago tech guru and Feedburner founder Dick Costolo is becoming Twitter's chief operating officer, according to TechCrunch. [via]

Scotty Iseri Down Under

Former Chicagoan Scotty Iseri (star of Scotty Got An Office Job and creator of the Paper Hat Game) is moving to Sydney. The move was hinted at in an article that appeared in Salon (!) and (!!!), and confirmed by Aussie marketing Website mUmBRELLA.

The Search Isn't Over

The Red Cross has given up searching for David Gimelfarb, the Chicago grad student who went missing while hiking in Costa Rica three weeks ago. His family plans to hire locals to continue the search; you can help by attending a fundraiser at Dollop tonight; details on Facebook.

Emmett Till's Original Casket Going to Washington

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will take possession of Emmett Till's glass-topped coffin on the 54th anniversary of his death. The ceremony will take place at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, the same location as his funeral.

Steve Stone in Playgirl?!

The things you learn from someone's Wikipedia entry. Here's the semi-SFW (no full frontal) pictorial. Delicious innuendo: "Many ballplayers were dazzled by Steve's slick curve ball."

NYC Pigeons Beware!

Yet another Chicago comedian has been plucked to write for Saturday Night Live in only a few weeks. This time, it's standup comedian Hannibal Buress. If you're wondering about the title of this post, it refers to this. (Language may not be SFW.)

"How can you criticize me forever?"

The Coronation of Todd Stroger.

White Sox, Black Ops

"Scholar, Lawyer, Catcher, Spy," a fascinating 1992 profile of Moe Berg, a third-string catcher for the White Sox -- and a WWII spy. [via]

Celebrities for 2016

I'll withhold judgment as to whether he's the worst person in Chicago (despite his egotastic tweets), but Billy Dec sure knows how to put together vapid celebrity interviews in support of the 2016 Olympic bid.

The Fascinating Ricky Jay

A captivating anecdote in the bar of the Chicago Ritz-Carlton leads off this 1993 profile of the magician turned actor Ricky Jay, dug up in the New Yorker archives by

Political History for Sale

Well, "history" may be a strong word, but Tony Rezko's 8,400-square-foot mansion just sold at auction for $2.8 million. Even after the sale, Rezko still owes more than $3 million on the house.


Ex-guv Rod Blagojevich has launched a website: "It was time," his publicist said.

DIY John Hughes Tour

Should you feel the need to make a pilgrimage to John Hughes' favorite fictitious Chicago suburb, Shermer, here's a great resource page for shooting locations. And here's a handy schedule of upcoming broadcasts of Hughes' movies (well, some of them).

Bike Love

Riders in Friday's Critical Mass witnessed a very public marriage proposal ... and subsequent acceptance!

Dan Kelly, Coyote Hunter

Our own Dan Kelly wrote about urban coyotes for Chicago Journal, and now they've written about him. (Er, the Journal, not the coyotes.)

The Poet Trader Passes

Rest in peace, John Dickson. Some examples of his work.

Blagojevich on Blagojevich

You can now pre-order The Governor, "a proclamation that one man will not be silenced, that his side of the story must be heard and that the fight for American liberties and freedom must sometimes occur within its own borders," by Rod Blagojevich. Coming out September 8.

Belmont Gets Heads

Carfree Chicago profiles artist David Csisko and gets a sneak peek at the public art he's creating for for the Belmont CTA stop.

From the Moon to Chicago

Former astronauts--and Louis Vuitton icons--Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell visit Northwestern tonight to discuss their journeys, while Aldrin signs copies of his new book, Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon. Or, you can also celebrate everything Apollo 11 at Adler Planetarium.

Log Cabin in the Basement?

Decider's David Wolinsky takes a tour of R.Kelly's former abode, and finds surprises around every corner. Also, Space Jam.

Surprise Caller, Line 1

Ex-Smashing Pumpkins bassist D'Arcy called into Q101 on a whim last week to chat about Davy Jones, her current life on a horse farm in Michigan, how much she misses Chicago and a few other gems that you really have to hear to believe.


Barack Obama has joined the refreshed Hall of Presidents at Disneyworld. (He looks a little doughy.) More background here. [via]

Big Lizard in My Backyard

Uh, I don't want to panic anyone or anything, but... um... there's a big old monitor lizard running around Libertyville right now. No, really. Well, we can't say the Dead Milkmen didn't warn us.

R.I.P., Mladen Sekulovich

Karl Malden, born in Chicago and raised in Gary, has passed away. So long, Lt. Stone.

The Mighty Fallen

The Sun-Times' Mark Konkol tells the story of how ex-Bear Roland Harper lost the American Dream.

RIP Michael Jackson

Though Michael Jackson never lived here, his youth in Gary made him sort of an adopted son of Chicago. Remembrances and tributes are happening all over; share your thoughts in Fuel.

Another Year of Blago

His wife may be off her reality TV show, but we'll still be talking about the ex-governor a year from now. That's because his trial is set for June 3, 2010.

Confessions of a Corrupt Alderman

WindyCitizen points us to The Untold Stories of Alderman Don Perillo, "the most admittedly corrupt Chicago politician you probably never heard of," by Anthony DeBartolo.

Latinos Making a Difference

Esther Cepeda unveils the first annual Chicago Latino List, 10 people of Hispanic descent who are making the city a better place.

Bennett's Death Explained

As noted in Transmission, a coroner's report revealed that ex-Wilco guitarist Jay Bennett, who died in May, succumbed to an overdose of fentanyl, a very potent pain medication.

The Classic Huge Tip Story

It happens with enough regularity to have almost become a cliché, but a server at Gibson's got a $4,000 tip this weekend -- from Johnny Depp and friends. [via]

Was His Bratwurst Showing?

A Hudson News store at O'Hare used a blinder (a black plastic square usually reserved for porn mag covers) to obscure the "racy" cover of the latest GQ. No, it's not the ingenue du jour cupping her breasts and crotch. It's Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Brüno. Uh, hubba-hubba?

4 Under 40

Chicago has a reputation for being a hard-working town. And I'm delighted to say that not only is that reputation well-deserved, but it's a reputation owned by young Chicagoans. The New Leaders Council recently chose the winners of their "40 Under 40" awards and Chicago owns at least four of those slots. Making up that 10% of the list are 1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman, and Nate Silver founder of Work on, Chicago!

Cameras and Stars and Money, Oh My!

If you like screaming crowds and the glimpse of a famous person's arm, you should check out the red carpet screening of the Chicago-based Dillinger pic Public Enemies tonight. Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard and director Michael Mann are expected around 6pm at the AMC River East. And if you don't like crowds, simply stay home and give a silent thanks to the movie, which pumped $47 million into the local economy, more than The Dark Knight.

Thoughtful Interior Design

In A/C, Katherine Raz profiles designer Suzanne Trocmé, who's debuting a new chair at NeoCon this week.

But Does He Have Grabowski?

The #1 Bears Fan has collected quite a few more tattoos since we last took a look.

We Fell for You, Baby, Like a Bomb

Queen of the Blues Koko Taylor, who got her start singing in Chicago blues clubs has passed away at the age of 80. R.I.P.

Tour Guide Turns Firefighter

Jessica Herum, a tour guide for Chicago's First Lady boat tours, is being hailed as a hero for helping control a fire that broke out when a propane tank exploded at Cyrano's Cafe this morning. [via]

1990 Oprah Cake

Once seen, it cannot be unseen.

49 to 1

After Leon Despres passed away during the first week of May, the Hyde Park Herald published a special section about Despres, including remembrances, reprints of his columns and other interesting pieces.

The Foul-Mouthed Bandit?

The Chicago feds have rigged up a Web site alerting citizens about bank robbery suspects. The nicknames alone are worth a look.

It's Bleep'n Golden!

Have you been seeking additional information about Blago Shampoo? This CNN report has all you need.

Get Patti Out of Here

Both the Tribune and the Sun-Times report that NBC has approached Patti Blagojevich to take the slot offered her ex-gov husband Rod in the reality show "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" The deal should be finalized this week, as filming of the show starts June 1st.

A Local Women's Health Hero

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

Memorializing Richard J. Daley's Nemesis

Following the news of Leon Despres' death, pretty much every media outlet in town has a memorial. Here's a quick rundown including the Trib, Crain's, the Sun-Times, WBEZ's blog and, of course, the Hyde Park Herald.

RIP Leon Despres

Chicago Public Radio reports that former alderman and activist Leon Despres has passed away at the age of 101.

The Semi-Pro Wrestler

As we discovered in The Wrestler, pro wrestling isn't always glamorous. When you get down to the local level, it can be downright gritty. But the allure was still too great for Vito "Two Fingers" Fontaine, sausage purveyor and local wrestling star. [via]

Biden Speaks

Vice President Joe Biden is giving the keynote at the Richard J Daley Urban Forum today at around 11:45am -- and you can watch a live webcast or read the liveblog.

Hard Hitting News

TMZ gets to the bottom... sort of... of Blagojevich's hair care regime. [via]

RIP Harry Kalas

Harry Kalas, Hall of Fame broadcaster of the Philadelphia Phillies, the voice of NFL films and Naperville native, died today after collapsing in the booth before a game. Anyone who has imagined them self in grainy slow motion catching a touchdown should take a moment.

A Letter from Roger Ebert to Bill O'Reilly

"Dear Bill: Thanks for including the Chicago Sun-Times on your exclusive list of newspapers on your "Hall of Shame." To be in an O'Reilly Hall of Fame would be a cruel blow to any newspaper." [via]

Cornell West Interviews Lupe Fiasco

Professor Cornell West interviewed rapper Lupe Fiasco at Calvin College April 3, and a Lupe fanblog posted it online. [via]


Michael Jordan was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame today. Here's a slideshow of His Airness through the years. Share your thoughts in Tailgate.

Do You Know Any Former Pullman Porters?

If so, tell them to get in touch with Amtrak, who wants to speak with and honor them. The NY Times has more background information.

Saying "Goodbye" to Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson fans will be disappointed to know that she is selling her Magnificent Mile condo.

RIP, Janet Jagan

Who was Janet Jagan, you ask? She was the first white, female president of Guyana, and she grew up in Hyde Park.

Blago Radio

Wednesday from 7am to 9am, former governor Rod Blagojevich will host a two-hour talk show on WLS-AM, as a fill-in for the "Don Wade & Roma Morning Show," which is on break this week. The station says it's a one-time deal, but you never know.

Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins are down to just Billy Corgan and a bunch of hired hands after the departure of Jimmy Chamberlin Friday. [via]

Cubs Still the Trib's for Now

It looks like the Tribune Company won't be selling the Cubs until after opening day. MLB insiders say the sale probably won't actually happen until mid-May at the earliest.

Achatz on Oprah

Chef Grant Achatz appeared on Oprah this morning, talking about his cancer diagnosis and recovery. Chicago Celebrity Examiner has a couple quotes from the show; catch it again on ABC-7 tonight at 11:05.

Underground Comics Queen Tells All

It hasn't been easy, but formerly Chicago-based independent cartoonist, teacher, and wind energy protester Lynda Barry has risen through a troubled childhood and rocky adulthood to become a creative legend.

Nizzle of Izzle

Snoop Dogg announced that he's joined the Nation of Islam after appearing at Saviours' Day celebrations here in Chicago this weekend.

With Friends Like These...

This week's Reader feature investigates the financial troubles threatening the eviction of Loren Billings, the 89-year-old widow who lives in and runs the Museum of Holography.

The Curious Case of Abraham Lincoln

Well, not the late president himself, but his bust which sits at 69th and Walcott on the South Side and has undergone some interesting changes. Update: Here are two other shots of Abe.

"The President's Mayor"

The Wall Street Journal's Collin Levy interviews Daley.

Drunken Goat News

No, not about Cubs fans. Serious Eats has an interview with Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard about her upcoming restaurant, The Drunken Goat. She mentions she's on Twitter, and MenuPages Chicago cleverly tracked down her account.

It Must Have Been Love a Publicity Stunt, but it's Over Now

In an effort to show the world that she's not completely insane (or that she's just as attention-starved), the woman who Drew Peterson claimed was his newest fiancee went on CBS News' "The Early Show" this morning to claim that their brief "engagement" was a stunt that Drew cooked up in order to stay in the public eye.

A Kitchen Savant

GQ's Alan Richman profiles Schwa's Michael Carlson and gains new insight into the restaurant's abrupt closure and reopening.

Patti Smith Hearts Chicago

Patti Smith shares some memories of her childhood in Logan Square and Humbolt Park.

The Would-Be Senator Oprah

In case you were wondering, she's not interested. But she thinks she could do the job.

Ever Wanted to See Obama with a Plunger?

If so, here you go.

Crack-Smokin' Oprah?

One of Oprah Winfrey's exes claims in a tell-all book that they smoked crack together. The fact that he told his story exclusively to the Enquirer should probably not surprise you. The Chicago Celebrity Examiner says, so what?

The Obama Reader

Obamaniacs should pick up a copy of this week's Reader: there's a special section devoted to our president-elect, including their 1995 profile of the young politician.

One of Many Couples in America

In 1996, Mariana Cook photographed couples across the country. Among them were Michelle and Barack Obama, whose interview yields gems like Michelle's "There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it's unclear."

Robbed the Sun-Times? Write for us!

Being imprisoned isn't hampering Conrad Black's ability to blog. See for yourself, and admire the lack of prison references in his bio.

Flying Through the Air

The Reader profiles Michael "Frosti" Zernow, one of Chicago's parkour stars.

Commemorating the Pigeon Man of Lincoln Square

Street artist Saro is looking for photographs of Joseph Zeman from which to create a tribute. Zeman was struck and killed by a van in the December of 2007.

Take Me With You, Obama

While the bitterly cold weather turned my eyeballs to ice today as I walked outside, Obama and the fam are in Hawaii until the end of the year.

RIP, Beauty Turner

Beauty Turner, journalist and public housing activist best known for her "ghetto bus tours," died yesterday after a brain aneurysm.

Obama Racking Up "Person of the Year" Kudos

Ebony named their inaugural Person of the Year: Barack Obama. One cool feature on their website is audio excerpts from their Obama interview, which took place the day after the election.

Who Else Would They Pick?

Barack Obama is TIME's Person of the Year.

"I am Not a Crook"

Time Out finds photographic evidence of Blagojevich meeting Nixon.

A Life of Reform

Northwestern's law school recently created a new site dedicated to Florence Kelley, one of Chicago's most important social reformers at the turn of the century.

Kenwood = Kennebunkport

The Obama family plans on coming home to Chicago "every six weeks or couple months" while in the White House. Which makes this recently sold home just outside the barricades around Mr. President-elect's home a pretty sweet move -- or a hassle, depending on your perspective.

What a Difference Five Years Makes

From Sunshine Governor to Mr. Unpopularity. (Note the irony of that first headline -- and this whole day, really -- in light of Blago's comments yesterday.)

Meet Me in Humboldt Park

Now called Nothing Like the Holidays, the movie centered around one Humboldt Park family's holiday hi-jinx had a premiere at the Music Box. Hollywood Chicago has a few pictures of the stars in attendance.

The Obama Food Tour

Where does Obama eat in Chicago? Anywhere he wants. Actually, Sky Full of Bacon has a more precise list.

Fresh Ayers

NPR's "Fresh Air" today will feature an interview with former Weatherman, current professor William Ayers about the election and his relationship with Obama. Tune in on WBEZ at 11am or 10pm, or catch the podcast later.

St. Charles Beach

If you're like me and somehow missed this tidbit of trivia, you may be surprised to learn that Brian Wilson, who played a show at the Chicago Theater Sunday, has a local connection.

Ayers Speaks

The latest issue of In These Times features a column on the election from Bill Ayers, the ex-Weatherman and current UIC professor oft brought up during the campaign. [via]

Patrick Swayze is OK

It's hard for me to imagine anything else going on in the world right now than Obamania, but we can all be happy that the white powder at the Berywn police station did not harm Patrick Swayze.

Yes We Did

Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. (Like we had to tell you.) Listen to his acceptance speech here.

Hope Dies Last

An excellent Obama/Terkel sticker design -- someone print these up!

Say Goodbye to Allison Payne

Popular Ch. 9 anchor Allison Payne suffered a series of mini-strokes earlier this year, and has decided to take an indefinite leave of absence. Send your regards here.

RIP: Christine Durbin

Christine Durbin, oldest daughter of Senator Dick Durbin and Loretta Durbin, has died from complications due to a congenital heart condition. She was 40 years old. A statement from Durbin's office notes that funeral arrangements are pending.

RIP: Studs Terkel

Chicago legend Studs Terkel has passed away. It's a very sad day. Here's his obituary, by his longtime friend Rick Kogan. Ex-GBer David Elfving interviewed Studs in 1999; we published the interview in 2004.

RIP: Ben Schaafsma

Another loss to Chicago's art community: Ben Schaafsma, curator and co-founder of InCUBATE, died on Saturday after being hit by a car in New York. New City's Art blog has an obituary.

Ladies Love... Sears

LL Cool J is at the State Street Sears this evening to promote his new line of kids' clothes; reader Kristin snapped some pix of him out at the company's headquarters this afternoon.

Local Visionaries

The Empowered Fe Fes are a local support and action group of young women with disabilities. They're one of 50 Visionaries featured in the November Utne Reader, along with Patricia Watkins of the United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations and State Representative Constance "Connie" Howard.

A South Side Soccer Game

Obama when no one is watching.

Chronicling the Red Hot Lovers

UIC News recently profiled reference librarian Lynn Westney, author of the ever-popular article "Dew Drop Inn and Lettuce Entertain You: Onomastic Sobriquets in the Food and Beverage Industry."

RIP Patrick Welch

Local artist Patrick Welch unexpectedly passed away last Thursday. He originally hailed from England, and founded an art movement he called micromentalism. Welch was interviewed for Gapers Block in 2007. You can also listen to an interview he did for Chicago Public Radio this past June. Memorials are appearing on his MySpace page. Welch will be much missed by Chicago's art community.

Oh THAT Sixties Radical Agitator...

Bowing to pressure from politicians and donors while citing "safety reasons," the University of Nebraska rescinds a months-old speaking invitation for Bill Ayers.

Ayers on Controversy: "Life Happens"

The Tribune caught up with 60s radical du jour William Ayers at a dissertation defense at UIC. When asked about the controversy, he remarked, "What could I possibly add?" and "Life Happens."

No Clout at All

Experience the astounding coincidences of Pool Boy.

They Call Him "The Cleaner"

Mr. Clean actor House Peters died recently at the age of 92. In case you didn't know, Mr. Clean was created here in Chicago by Harry Barnhart and Ernie Allen at the Tatham-Laird & Kudner ad agency. The hairless, obsessive compulsive, controversial, and sexually ambiguous corporate mascot's first name is Veritably, by the way, and he's known as Mr. Proper in England and Don Limpio in Spain. There you go: more than you ever wanted to know about Mr. Clean.

Now That's Reporting

Apparently, the "Beanie Baby magnate" just bought the penthouse of the Chicago Spire. Keep in mind this is currently the lead story -- with graphic and all -- on the Trib's website.

Interview with an Imprisoned Cop

The Windy Citizen interviews Michael Mette, the Chicago police officer imprisoned in Iowa. Mayor Daley recently asked Iowa's governor for a pardon on Mette's behalf.

Class Reunion

Second City hosted a surprise reunion of cast members from 1968 - 1972 last night (minus John Belushi, obviously).

Outstanding Citizens

Time Out picks 40 "cultural heroes."

Things You Don't See Every Day

Mayor Daley in a floating chair. (Check out the magnetically levitating chaise lounge and other interesting stuff at Wired NextFest in Millennium Park for the next two weeks.

Cheaters Never Win

Is Alphonso Soriano having an affair? The Cubs star has been seen quite a bit with a woman other than Mrs. Soriano. [via]

Vini Vici Verde

Strange Closets interviews interior designer Michele Fitzpatrick of Verde.

3,800 Pounds of Carbon Dioxide a Year

Meet Ken Dunn, Chicago's greenest person.

Further Frank Lloyd Wright

...this time courtesy of Jason Fried: The Mike Wallace Interview.

World Famous Architect

Edward Lifson digs up a video of Frank Lloyd Wright on the game show "What's My Line?" in 1956. [via]

Mariotti Not Switching Teams

Ex-Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti will not be joining the Tribune staff as rumors had reported -- thus avoiding having to share a room with some of the very people he villainized in the past. Mariotti commented on the situation to the Reader's Michael Miner.

Goodbye, Abby

Abby Ryan, one of the few traffic reporters ever to have a cult following, leaves the air today, a result of Shadow Traffic eliminating live traffic reports. Read her own brief goodbye on her MySpace page. You can still catch her final reports this evening on WBEZ.

Can't Tell Me Nothing...Except that I'm Under Arrest

Musician (and Chicago native) Kanye West was arrested today at Los Angeles International Airport for vandalism after assaulting a photographer.

Turning Trash into Cash

This week is recycling week at GB, with two features exploring what is typically perceived as the underside of the economy. In A/C, we take a look at Scrappers, a documentary film featuring the lives of three local scrap metal collectors. Over in Detour, we visit with Barry "Can Man" Woodson, leader of a street crew of recyclers in Wrigleyville. After reading the articles, you may want to check out the Scrappers fundraiser on Friday.

Who Says There's No Money in Journalism?

Former Tribune editor Anne-Marie Lipinski, who resigned from the newspaper in July, has accepted a position with the University of Chicago as the Vice President for Civic Engagement starting October 1.

Where We're Missing Our Connections

Very Small Array has produced maps based on Craigslist Missed Connections, showing the most likely place to "miss" someone in general and by sexual preference as well as age, hair color and other breakdowns.

The Beckoning of the Lovely

On August 8, dozens of people joined author Amy Krause Rosenthal in Millennium Park to do... something. This is what they did. (You can do it, too.)

Ask Amy? He Did, and She Said 'I Do'

Amy Dickinson, who writes the Ask Amy advice column for the Chicago Tribune, wed childhood pal Bruno Schickel in upstate New York on August 16.

Accelerate Your Life

NASCAR's favorite son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., met with "his" new recruits at Naval Station Great Lakes on Wednesday as part of a new celebrity-sponsored effort to boost enlistment.

Scent of a Particular Woman

Chicagoan Jessica Dunne wanted to honor her grandmother, Eleanor, so she developed a custom perfume, Ellie D, on her own. You can order it online here or at June Blaker.

Rock, Legally Speaking

Meet Mike Roman, the rock star-slash-attorney who tried to give R.Kelly his demo tape during the rapper's trial.

A Long, Long Walk

John Greenfield walked from Milwaukee to Chicago, and wrote about it for New City. He wrote about some previous walks for GB.

Let's See How He Does Against the Cards

The Cubs' Ryan Dempster isn't just an ace pitcher -- he's also an amateur magician. (And a so-so Harry Caray impersonator.)

Holovaty's Star Rising

The Tribune profiled Adrian Holovaty of EveryBlock in the Sunday Magazine.

No More Jones

Perhaps still upset that he didn't get that raise he wanted, State Senate President Emil Jones is expected to announce his retirement this afternoon.

Anakin Goes to College

Remember little Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars Episode I: The Clone Wars? Well, rumor has it, that he is a film and video major at Columbia College. Or maybe its just his clone.

Memorial Service for Bernie Mac

Pay your respects at an open celebration of the life of Bernie Mac at House of Hope, 752 E. 114th St., at noon Saturday. That night at 5pm, WCIU will be airing a tribute to the late comedian as well. Donations in Mac's honor may be sent to the Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis, 40 E. 9th St., Suite 601, Chicago, IL 60605.

The Plot to Kill Castro

Chuck Goudie memorializes Robert Maheu, the FBI agent who hired the Chicago mob to try and assassinate Fidel Castro.

Say It with Me: "Sarcoidosis"

Speaking of famous folks, Bernie Mac is hospitalized somewhere in town. While he's being treated for pneumonia, the Trib has a good explanation of his other illness.

Here, There and Everywhere

Paul McCartney spotted in Joliet! Paul McCartney spotted in Springfield! Apparently Sir Paul is celebrating his 66th birthday by motoring along Route 66. And here I thought the McCartney sightings were a promotional stunt for this weekend's Fest for Beatles Fans... And here's an interview with one of the guys who saw him was interviewed on WGN. [Thanks, Andrew!]

Novak to Retire

After a difficult couple of weeks, Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak announced he is discontinuing his column. It ran for 46 years.

Snacking on Shrubbery

Nance Klehm teaches people about the edible plants growing throughout the city.

"Master of Markets"

Ron Slattery, expert scavenger and past GB columnist, is the subject of this week's front page feature in the Reader.

Novak Has Brain Tumor

Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak, who hit a pedestrian with his car last week, announced today that he has a brain tumor. In a statement, he said, "I will be suspending my journalistic work for an indefinite but, God willing, not too lengthy period."

Professor Obama

The New Republic on what U of C's right-leaning law faculty think of their former colleague.

"The German" is Dead

Frank "The German" Schweihs, allegedly The Outfit's most prolific hitman, is now dead himself.

Novak Hits the Gas

Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak hit a pedestrian with his black Corvette in D.C. today, according to Politico. Time Out Chicago wants to know what you think.

Pitchfork Pretties

Want even more Pitchfork crowd gazing? Chicago style blog The MidWasteLand has a spread of Pitchfork fashion.

Trash to Fashion

GB's own Lauri Apple is interviewed in a piece about found and recycled clothing for Chicago Public Radio's "Chicago Matters: Growing Forward" series.

Early Dark Knight Review, Premier Photos has a slideshow of photos from the red carpet premier of The Dark Knight at Navy Pier Wednesday night. Read Adam Fendelman's review here, and stay tuned tomorrow for Steve at the Movies' own review.

More Chicago on Project Runway

Project Runway fans will be excited to know a Chicago contestant will be on the show this year.


The Reader takes a look at Oprah's rabid fanbase.

Beatle Cupcakes

Yesterday some guy named Ringo Starr spent his birthday handing out cupcakes at the Hard Rock Hotel to spread "peace and love."

We Bet He'll 'Say Anything'

Evanston native and actor John Cusak swears he bleeds Cubbie blue...but he's learned to be flexible about liking the White Sox, especially after 2005. But we'll cut him some slack on being a "switch-hitter", especially since he has a connection to the Sox, cinematically speaking.

Dance Dance Travelution

Matt traveled the globe, making videos of himself dancing badly. Eventually, folks started to join in. It's pretty moving, actually. Chicago and the Bean put in an appearance at the 2:26 mark.

From Wentz He Came

With the opening of Angels & Kings Saturday and his major involvement in Fashion Focus Chicago, get ready to see a whole lot more of Pete Wentz (and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz) around town.

Honor His Memory

For Gapers Block readers who were fans of the work of recently slain street artist, SOLVE, there's a way you can help. Brendan Scanlon's family has requested that donations be made to support the art department at their son's Madison, WI-area high school. Funds can be sent to: “Madison East High School in Honor of Brendan Scanlon,” 2222 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53704. You can also pay homage at the impromptu SOLVE memorial at Grand and Milwaukee.

Tributes to SOLVE and an Arrest

Following his murder, the Trib profiles SOLVE and provides details about an arrest made in his case. Tributes are being posted in a new flickr group and an ongoing discussion, which has plenty of links to other tributes and information.

Another Mid-Century Architect Gone

Walter Netsch, primary architect of the UIC campus and numerous other buildings has died.

Talking to Stephanie

Chicago's own Chef Stephanie Izard is a finalist on "Top Chef," and she's going to be answering reader questions on the Tribune's website starting at 1pm tomorrow. Here's an interview with her to get your interrogation juices flowing.

He's Like the Wind(y) City...

Patrick Swayze is back! The actor will be on location in Chicago this summer filming the A&E drama, "The Beast." If you happen to run into him, give him a pat on the back and some encouraging words, as he's got a lot to deal with these days.

The Man Behind the Paint

The Windy Citizen profiles Preston Dunwiddie, one of the "living statues" who plies his trade on Michigan Avenue.

Wright Not So Retired

It's obvious Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. doesn't plan to spend his retirement in quiet rest -- but apparently he also doesn't want to give up the pulpit at Trinity United just yet, either.

Really? Never Used a Computer?

"No, I take Marx very seriously; I think [the computer] alienates the worker from his production—I do not understand. With a typewriter, I hit a key, and it goes bam." The Maroon interviews luddite religious studies professor J. Z. Smith. (Full transcript here.)

Second City Founder Paul Sills has Died

"Paul was the Orson Welles of improv," says Jeffrey Sweet.

Working for Good

Speaking of keeping kids out of trouble, last night NBC Nightly News profiled Harold Davis, a contractor with the CPS who puts kids to work refurbishing school auditoriums and other buildings. Davis wrote an essay about his work for the Tribune last month.

Sex in the Windy City

Hollywood Chicago snapped photos of the stars of Sex in the City headed for a taping of "Oprah."

Who Are Our Muckety Mucks?

An analysis of the 100 most networked people in Chicago (and in list form.)

Portrait of a Future Bomber

Robert K. Elder's full Unabomber feature is now up, including multiple videos, photo galleries and audio.

Exclusive Unabomber Feature Preview

The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, planted his first bomb in his hometown of Chicago in 1978. Thirty years later, Tribune investigative reporter Robert K. Elder has gained rare access to family photos and letters, and unpublished writings which contradict the Unabomber's public image as an eco-crusader. The feature will be published on Monday, but the Tribune shared an exclusive photo with Gapers Block; link after the jump.

This is a photo of Ted and David Kaczynski, taken in their Evergreen Park home in 1952.

Says Elder, "This is also a story about his brother, Dave Kaczynski, and Gary Wright, Ted's 12th target. Dave lost a brother in a very tragic, public way but formed a new, unlikely bond with Gary. Included in the story: family revelations about Ted's upbringing in Evergreen Park, the Unabomber's diary entries and news of a romance Kaczynski had in prison with a woman for 10 years via mail."

Commercial Wedding Reality TV Voting Fun Zone

A Chicago couple is competing in the Today show's Race to the Altar contest. Check out their website and decide if you want to vote for them.

Follow Along if You Like

Chicago Public Radio reporter Natalie Moore is blogging the R.Kelly trial. So is the Sun-Times.

Maybe that 2am Stroll Wasn't a Great Idea

Rashard Mendenhall, current Pittsburgh Steelers player and former Illini star was robbed at gunpoint along the lake late last night.

Grant Achatz and Cancer

The New Yorker tells the story of Grant Achatz's battle with cancer in the context of the rise of his career. (There's a nice photo set, too.)

Trusting in the Law

A man in Zion wants to change his name to "In God We Trust," for a couple of interesting reasons.

Cruise to Receive Harsh Welcome Outside Harpo

Tom Cruise will be visiting Harpo Studios May 5, and a group of anti-Scientologists will be waiting for him.

You Can Buy Prada Heels for $250...

only this time, they're Oprah's.

O'Hare's Alderman

Chi-Town Daily News profiles the city's only Republican alderman, Brian Doherty of the 41st Ward.

When An Obnoxious Ad Campaign Hits Home

The real Sarah Marshall wants the world to know that she doesn't suck.

Gene Lee Not Dead?

At least he doesn't appear to be, as we reported back in December. He's apparently alive and well in Berkeley/Oakland.

Major Media Mix-Up

Just under 10% of WBBM's staff has been cut, including anchor Diann Burns, other prominent on-air personalities and support staff members.

Chasing John Hughes

The LA Times looks for John Hughes, the revered director of such teen classics as Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, and comes up empty-handed: Hughes hasn't directed a movie in over 15 years, and lives in seclusion in the North Shore suburbs. Despite his absence from Hollywood, Hughes is still working, kind of: he came up with the premise for the new film Drillbit Taylor (which got so-so reviews).

Everyone Is Famous

Chicago-based photographer Clayton Hauck goes to parties and clubs and takes pictures. Lots of them. So if you want some wonderful eye candy, enjoy his site (Note: a tiny few pictures are NSFW.)

Big Brother Google is Watching

I wonder what's going on here at 3912 S. Vincennes Ave.? UPDATE: Google has taken the scene down; Gawker has the screenshots.

Embarrassed and Cursing Up a Storm

It probably comes as no surprise that Shia LaBeouf recently apologized for his Walgreen's escapade. More surprising (and funnier) is the Trib's insertion of "a nincompoop" in place of LaBeouf's more colorful language.

Working for Charlie

Trotter talks business with Crain's.

Really? Another R. Kelly Sex Scandal?

More allegations of inappropriate behavior are surfacing about R. Kelly. This time it's with a woman he'd known since she was "a little girl."

Hey, That's Our Money Too

Two Indian princesses who live in Chicago claim they have been cheated out of their inheritance. This, of course, raises the question: How many princesses live in Chicago? UPDATE: GB reader Dubi clarifies...

"The ... story includes a numbering system not used in the west. 'The government handed over Rs 217.3 crore to the eighth Nizam, Prince Mukkaram Jah.' Crore is an Indian word that means 10,000,000, so 217.3 crore Rupees is about $54.7 million." Thanks, Dubi!

Tracking Steve Kazmierczak is investigating the online activities of Steve Kazmierczak, the NIU gunman. UPDATE: Jessica Baty, Kazmierczak's girlfriend, was interviewed by WGN.

Common Joins JLA

Chicago's own Common has been chosen to play Green Lantern in the coming Justice League of America film.

John Smith, I Presume?

If your name is John Smith, This American Life would like you to email them at with a few words about yourself. They may include you in an upcoming show about people with your name.


What? Stephen Colbert was once (very briefly) in the Neo-Futurists!? (Thanks, Christopher!)

DeRo on Zulkey

Claire Zulkey (who got the profile treatment in Time Out this week) interviews Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis about "Sound Opinions," music crit and the Chicago hip hop scene, among other things.

Oh, Yeah, That Tony Rezko

It may be more embarrassing than meaningful, but Obama supporters are taking glee in the photo featuring Bill and Hillary Clinton posing with Tony Rezko.

Randy Salerno, RIP

Channel 2 morning anchor (and former reporter and anchor at WGN) Randy Salerno died last night in a snowmobile accident in Wisconsin.

Kid Sister on Car Share

Chicago rapper Kid Sister tips her hat to I-Go on the Canadian MuchMusic blog. [via]

Almost a "Feel Good" Story

A 114-year-old woman registered to vote yesterday; the downside is she probably won't vote because "she doesn't know who any of the candidates are."

Busking Underground

The Chi-Town Daily News looks into the lives of musicians in the CTA subway.

He Travels in Style

If, like me, you happened to be walking around the Northwest side this morning and ended up standing agape at a couple tandem rotor choppers barreling downtown roughly over the Kennedy; you can thank our Pres.

The Magic of America

The NY Times draws attention to Marion Mahony Griffin, the first licensed female architect in Illinois and primary illustrator of Frank Lloyd Wright's Wasmuth Portfolio, among other achievements. Visit her 1,600 page memoir for more background.

Gene Lee, RIP

GB reader Laura let us know that Gene Lee, best known for dancing in hotpants and not much else at the corner of Milwaukee and Damen, passed away last week. Fans may pay their respects on his MySpace page, where his family has posted many of his self-recorded songs.

Photo No No

Jean Johnson was in court dealing with a probation violation when she took four photos of R. Kelly on her phone's camera. What happened next? Jail time.

Tribute to Pigeon Man of Lincoln Square

Barbara Mahany, the author of the profile of Joseph Zeman that was found on him the day he was killed, wrote a heartfelt tribute.

The Top Seven

Chicago Magazine has picked their Chicagoans of the year.

Probably Not the Best Guy to Mug

Alderman Tom Tunney was the victim of a botched robbery on Saturday. Of course, two suspects have already been charged.

Through Worsom's Lens

Teacher and photographer Will Okun profiles his favorite photographer, Worsom.

Chicago and the Bomb

Speaking of doomsday scenarios, the Lyric Opera's upcoming run of Doctor Atomic gave the Tribune reason to explore the opera, its Chicago connections and the life of Robert Oppenheimer.

Do Not Look Mr. Cox in the Eye

John C. Reilly will take the stage at the Cubby Bear tonight - in character as Dewey Cox - to promote his upcoming film Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Fingers crossed that Chris Gaines joins him for a number or two. [via]

The Economic Force Be With Us

Keep your eyes pealed: George Lucas is in town tonight for a talk with the Economic Club of Chicago. He'll be appearing with his current girlfriend, Mellody Hobson, president of Chicago-based Ariel Capital Management. (Thanks, Adam & Andrea!)

Improv Vets Return Home for a Show has a good interview with actor and "SNL" writer Kevin Dorff, who's back in town along with Horatio Sanz and a few other veterans of the Chicago improv scene for a show at the Lakeshore Theater Tuesday night.

Big Obsession, Big Check

Chicago's (and GB's) Brenda Janish won's "Possession Obsession" contest! She was surprised with a giant check on Fox's "Good Day Chicago" this morning.

Sam Zell, Rough Rider

The New Yorker this week features a hefty profile of the new owner of the Chicago Tribune. (Thanks, Rick!)

40 is the New 30

Crain's 40 Under 40 feature includes the usual collection of business execs -- and Jay Ryan of The Bird Machine and Ryan Schreiber of Pitchfork Media (I thought he moved to NYC?)

More Celebrities in Town, Area Drugstores on Alert

Vince Vaughn is making an appearance at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St., tonight at 5:15pm for the Chicago premiere of his new movie, Fred Claus. Tickets to the premiere are sold out, but you can help create an atmosphere of celebrity-crazed pandemonium by lining up to watch Vaughn and director David Dobkin walk the red carpet.

A Punk in Phnom Penh

Anne Elizabeth Moore, former editor of Punk Planet and our own Sky in Five columnist, is going to Cambodia for a leadership residency at the Harpswell Foundation; she'll be teaching them media literacy. Unfortunately, the foundation doesn't have the funds to pay for her airfare. Help her out here.

Cinnamon on Design Sponge

GB's own multi-talented Cinnamon Cooper is interviewed at Design Sponge, talking about her business, Poise, the Chicago Craft Mafia and the DIY Trunk Show.

Conversations with Mario

Drive-Thru contributor Alan Lake posted an excellent interview with Mario DiPaolo, Jr., owner of Mario's Italian Lemonade, on LTH Forum.

Got a PhD in Oprah?

The folks at have given Chicago's most ubiquitous talk show hostess "topic" status, but are still looking for the special person to serve as their official Oprah guide. If you think you've got the writing and research chops to cover O with sufficient expertise and grace, go check out About's online solicitation and apply. As a side note, other available topics include Forex trading, infertility and cheese.

Meet Emmanuelle Haïm

Emmanuelle Haïm, the Lyric Opera's first female conductor, will conduct Julius Caesar [pdf] starting on November 2. Listen to a podcast interview with her [mp3] for additional information.


Bulls forward Luol Deng is blogging.

Out of There

Kevin Guilfoile weighs in eloquently on the trial of Jeanette Sliwinski.

Do You Know Albert Zeno?

The Chicago Public Art Group would like to meet him [top story] in order to help document and repair one of his murals.

Apropos of Nothing

Here's an old interview with Steve Albini, talking about food.

Polite in Space

Polite in Public is a photobooth project that's traveling the country; it has a different backdrop and props everyplace it stops. It landed at the Vic this past weekend -- with a space theme. (Thanks, Felix!)

The (Gold) Coast of Chicago

The MacArthur Foundation just released the names of its 2007 Fellows, and Stuart Dybek earned the award (along with its $500,000). If you've never checked out the program's details, you may want to check out the FAQ.

Reba Found!

A nice feel-good story to start the week. (Previously.)

The Tequilia Fund

A donation fund has been set up for partially paralyzed Windy City Roller "Tequila Mockingbird," (previous coverage here, here) to help pay for her medical bills (she was uninsured). You can donate via PayPal to All funds will be transferred directly into her North Community Bank trust account and are tax-deductible. (You can use that same address to send her well-wishings, too.)

Vote for the Local Collecter

The Collection Obsession contest has reached the finals, and local collector (and former GB staffer) Brenda Janish is a finalist! Vote for her collection of pin-ups every day through Oct. 19 to help her win.

Bachelor No More

Crain's reports that William Wrigley, Jr. -- just last month named Chicago's most eligible bachelor by Forbes -- just got married.

A Life-Changing Report

Tribune science reporter Peter Gorner is being credited with changing the lives of at least 13 children with a story about a rare form of diabetes -- as he himself was dying from lung cancer.

Word Jazz Online

Movie trailer watchers and late night WBEZ listeners familiar with Ken Nordine may want to check out his website Word Jazz, which includes a blog with unusual poems starting with "Maybe the moment" and a podcast of his late night stylings.

No, She Was Not on "Law and Order"

Did you know that former Senator (and presidential candidate) Fred Thompson's wife, Jeri Kehn Thompson, is from Naperville? It's true. The Senator's wife is getting a lot of press due to her heavy involvement in his campaign as well as the fact that she's cute and is 24 years younger than him.

A Body of Words

Dictionary editor and local blogger Erin McKean was the guest columnist for William Safire's "On Language" column in the NYTimes last weekend.

Ask a Music Scene Micro Celebrity

It's getting a little crazy, but Chicago music legend Steve Albini is answering a wide variety of questions in the Two Plus Two forums.

The Physics of Jail Bars

Former University of Chicago student and militant environmental activist Billy Cottrell has been in jail since 2004, but Stephen Hawking wants him freed.

Oh, Those Canadians!

The Globe and Mail reports on what is surely the most important aspect of the Conrad Black trial.

Jeff Tweedy <3 Chicago

Wilco's frontman tells American Airlines' magazine all about his city crush.

Son of a Preacher Man

Chicago magazine has an interesting profile of the least-known son of Jesse Jackson, Yusef, who recently moved into publishing by investing in the resurgent Radar Magazine.

Time to Head Elsewhere

Norman Finkelstein, controversial professor of political science at DePaul, has been denied tenure. Read his collection of articles about the situation. UPDATE: He spoke on 848 this morning.

Who's the Boss? Definitely Not Tony Danza.

Tastefully tying in with the last episode of The Sopranos, Sun Times reporter Steve Warmbir speculates on the current boss of the Chicago Outfit.

Official Oprah Winfrey Week

"We can maybe take that week and show her how much we really love her." We can definitely take that week, apparently.

37signals' Business Philosophy

Those familiar with 37signals will have heard a lot of this before, but Business POV's interview with Jason Fried gets to the heart of the company in a pretty succinct manner.

Nine Things I Know About You

Elizabeth, Illinois's favorite son, Andrew Bird, likes some things, dislikes some other things, and does stuff on occasion. Into which of those categories does Intelligentsia coffee fall? Grist knows.

Not a Family Values Pick

Greg Olsen, the Bears' first round draft pick, recorded an amazingly sexist song with other students while a freshman in college.

Circus Circus

Local circus freak Ken Harck just made another acquisition. This time it's a rare Ringling Bros. poster.

"My Happening, & It Freaks Me Out."

Wonder how Roger Ebert's appearance at the Overlooked Film Festival went? Mark Caro has a report.

Jordan Speculation

Here's one from the utterly unconfirmed & completely irresponsible gossip department: nice alleged pic of Michael Jordan dancing w/ cigar and some friends in Cabo San Lucas. Bonus speculation: what if Jordan was picked by the 76ers?

The Only Mayor of Rosemont

Donald E. Stephens, Rosemont's only mayor, died in office after 51 years of service. He saw the transformation of "a collection of septic fields and houses of prostitution" into a convention destination.

Dame Jane of the Jungle

Respected primatologist Jane Goodall stopped by the ape house at Lincoln Park Zoo this week. Interestingly, Ms. Goodall has groupies in both the ape and the homo sapien sets.

Richard Nickel's Photographs on the Radio

Yesterday, All Things Considered ran Edward Lifson's fine examination of the architectural preservation photography book Richard Nickel's Chicago. Bonus: the song that plays at the end of the piece is from the Rachel's album Music for Egon Schiele, which was composed for a Chicago theater production.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Novelist, essayist, playwright, artist, activist, and, yes, City News Bureau of Chicago reporter, In These Times contributor and University of Chicago graduate, Kurt Vonnegut, has died. "So it goes."

A Very Small Museum

Michael Horvich is more than a supernumerary, he's the curator of Michael's Museum. Unfortunately, the physical museum is currently not open to the public, presumably due to high demand because of a recent Tribune article. For now, enjoy the photographs and lists.

"Wordplay" Star Chicago Resident

Tyler Hinman, the 22-year-old three-time National Crossword Puzzle champ and star of the doc "Wordplay," is a bond trader here in Chicago. The Sun-Times has a nice little profile of him today, along with a sad-sack remark about how women aren't turned on by his crytographic acumen. Wise up, ladies!

So Green Architecture isn't a Passing Fad

Someone smart at the Tribune asked its arts and architecture critics what prompted them to reevaluate artists in their disciplines. Some second looks include the Trap Door Theatre, William McDonough and Walker Evans.

A Neighborhood's Tribute to Barack Obama

You're probably overwhelmed by articles about Barack Obama by now, but if you're still interested in learning about his local roots, you may want to check out the Hyde Park Herald's special Obama issue. The entire 24-page issue is Obama-centric, including a lengthy article about his wife, Michelle.

5 1/2 Years of Chicago Prosecution

In the wake of recent federal prosecutor firings, the Tribune/L.A. Times is running a short profile of Chicago's current prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald. You may recognize him from a certain high-profile trial.

New Direction for MCA

Robert Fitzpatrick, the Museum of Contemporary Art's Pritzker Director, will step down in 2008. His ten years in the job were marked by considerable change at the institution, including the acquisition of $16,000 worth of GAP t-shirts. So polish up your résumé and keep an eye on their job page!

George Lucas Shows Chicago(an) Some Love

Best-ever gossip blog Ohnotheydidnt reports that Star Wars creator George Lucas is dating Chicago executive and Good Morning America correspondent Melody Hobson

Congrats, Jennifer Hudson

Chicago native Jennifer Hudson won the Academy Award for best supporting actress.

Three Decades of Opinions

Now that the locally produced General Social Survey completed its 26th run, the New York Times published a sneak peek of the 2006 results. Some interesting findings include a precipitous drop in the percentage of those who have a "great deal of confidence" in the military since 2004, as well as a 50% decline in daily newspaper readership since 1972.

Chicago Adolescence

This month's Chicago Magazine contains a funny little feature providing high school portraits of area notables like Dave Eggers, Liz Phair, Harold Ramis and Donald Rumsfeld.

It's Official: Obama '08

Barack Obama's presidential candidacy speech.

Secret Benefactor

RIP Herb Linneweh, the frugal, mild-mannered retired janitor who stashed $700,000 away in envelopes around his house, to be given to seven charities after his death. Your feel-good story of the day.

Single in the City

How far are you willing to go for a date? Chicago magazine is looking for people to profile in their annual singles feature.

Serving and Protecting Via the Web

Nice profile of Adrian Holovaty, creator of and master of the Google mash-up, in the American Journalism Review. What they don't mention is his fine guitar playing.

Chicago, Still Bang Bang

We do have a love-hate relationship with Capone and The Outfit, don't we? On one hand the mob strengthens our tough big city image, and on the other hand it'd be nice if the tourists would just get over it.

Disappointed Fans and Blocked Media

The Mount Prospect Costco turned away disappointed fans and at least one camera crew after it stipulated that William "Refrigerator" Perry could only sign Costco-bought items. (Video has additional details.)

"Free Portraits Inside"

Check out this recent write-up of Thomas Marlow's Chicago Street Studio Project in the Australian media.

Time on Da Mare

Ahead of next month's election, Time takes a look at Mayor Daley and the political environment that has allowed him to reign for so long. (Thanks, Dee.)

Borat Obama?

The Morning News thinks our local presidential candidate could do with a name change.

Oprah In the News

It's been an eventful week for Oprah Winfrey. First, a lawsuit was filed against her and her show by a woman who was injured in the stampede to get a good seat at a taping. Then she got ridiculed for her comments in a Newsweek story about her building a school in South Africa regarding why she didn't build one in the US. Then news broke that police had arrested a man who tried to extort $1.5 million from our resident billionaire.

Our Environmental Report Card

Conscious Choice provides a quick rundown of Chicago's environmental status, including an interview with Mayor Daley.

From Slave to Priest

Interesting article on Augustine Tolton, the first black priest in America, who preached in Quincy and the South Side of Chicago in the late 1800s.

Couch Potatoes Go for the Record

Over at the ESPN Zone, four guys -- including defending champ Jason Pisarik of Lombard -- settled into black leather recliners and got ready for some serious vegging. Their mission is to sit and stare at a television for as long as they can, getting up only for 15 minute breaks every eight hours. If one can last until 8am Thursday, he'll set a new world record.

President Ford and Chicago

While I'm sure you've read several national tributes to President Ford, his local connections deserve a mention.

Squatting on Hester

Devin Hester is a top contender for Rookie of the Year, but the contest to squat on his name on the web has already been won, apparently by these guys. At least second place,, was nabbed by someone local.

Scared of Santa Again

If you're looking for a holiday laugh, check out the Tribune's reader-submitted "Scared of Santa" photo gallery. (Link pops due to window resizing.)

Call for Nominations: 35 Under 35

The Community Renewal Society is requesting nominations for their 35 Under 35 Leadership Awards. This Chicagoland-oriented award recognizes individuals under the age of 35 who are "using fresh approaches to tackle pressing social issues."

Art in America

United States Artists, a new nonprofit arts organization, announced its first round of $50,000 fellowship awards, and two Chicagoans are on the list: Nick Cave (no, not that one, this one) and Chris Ware.

Lupe Breaks Out

Lupe Fiasco's star just keeps rising: GQ named him the Breakout Man of the Year, and he'll be on "the Late Show with David Letterman" tonight. Check Transmission to find out how to see him free at the Park West Friday night.

Milton Friedman Dead at 94

Milton Friedman, University of Chicago Nobel laureate in economics, passed away today.

Pitchfork on Ritscher

Pitchfork has a long, thoughtful obit for Malachi Ritscher. Worth reading. (Thanks, Jen.)


For its Chicago Fame 150, Newcity determined celebrity the 21st century way: it compiled a list of Google hits. Winning by a landslide, Oprah. No surprise there. The methodology does lead to some odd results: surely more people know who Hugh Hefner (19) is than Rod Blagojevich (17)? Still, there are amusing comparisons to be made. Jim DeRogatis (93) handily beats out Greg Kot (136), while Crede (77) slides in one spot above Iguchi (78).

Obama 'n On'n'On

More Obama coverage, this time on the New Yorker's website. (Includes an mp3 of the whole 45-minute interview!)

She's the Running Back

Meet Lasaadia Jones, the first female varsity football player in Chicago Public League history.

George Ryan Joins the Nigerians

You've got to hand it to Nigerian scammers: they're on top of current affairs. The May Report published an email scam using the George Ryan corruption case as its set-up. [via]

September, National Preparedness Month

Fran Maher was General Counsel for United Airlines when the September 11 terrorist attacks occurred; today, she heads the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. With that background, she talked to All Things Considered about the importance of being prepared for disasters. Maher's organization is holding classes this month with that objective: "Get Ready Days" training has already taken place in downtown Chicago, but additional sessions are scheduled next week in Arlington Heights.

Where Do You Click When Love Dies?

Among other things, dating in the MySpace era is complicated by having to announce one's "status" clearly. James Kenler, who owns Chicago's Flameshovel Records, learned that the hard way earlier this year when a friend informed him his now ex-girlfriend switched her profile to "single" after a row; Kenler, on the other hand, thought they were still talking things through. Emblems of modern romance, the two of them told their tale to the Sunday Times. (And, ladies, James followed suit: he's single, too.)

The Mouth that Goes Pow

It's been a few weeks since Michelle L'amour showed up on television as a talent show semi-finalist. She didn't win, but, she figures, that's because the judges didn't get what she's about. After all, L'amour tells Newcity, at least one of the three (ahem, Brandy, ahem) is "'horrible and stupid.'"

Walter A. Jagiello, 1930-2006

Li'l Wally, the Polka King, has died; he was 76. Today's Sun-Times runs an obituary; for photos of Wally's later years, see Jolly James's Typepad gallery. Born Walter A. Jagiello, he tore up W. Division in the '40s and '50s; the area was then known as "Polish Broadway." Jagiello was one of the first inductees into the Polka Music Hall of Fame, which is located at 4608 S. Archer. These days, his work is perhaps best known thanks to the White Sox, whose fight song he co-wrote in 1959.

New Meaning to "Home Theater"

The Music Box Theatre, which recently got a shiny new website, is known, among other things, for its old-timey organ. As for the man behind that organ, Mark Noller, he's apt to be known for taking his work home with him: the Reader treks out to Noller's house in Manteno (south of Peotone, if that helps) and finds his double-wide doubling for, well, the Music Box.

The Schadenfreude of Mis-crediting

So that Colonel Sanders/Ed Burke separated-at-birth thing we linked to on Consumerist yesterday? Done by friend of GB and Schadenfreude member Justin Kaufmann. We should have recognized his handiwork.

Cancer Surgery for Cardinal, Mayor's Wife

News that Cardinal George would be undergoing surgery for bladder cancer topped what was a very busy news day yesterday. Doctors will be removing his entire bladder today in an effort to keep the aggressive cancer from spreading. And news also broke that Maggie Daley would be undergoing surgery today as well, to remove a "residual tumor" in her breast.

Cruising the Film Festival

Steven Spielberg received a Golden Hugo for lifetime achievement last night at this year's Chicago International Film Festival awards. And who should make a surprise appearance but Tom Cruise! Is it just me, or does it look like he's going to kiss Spielberg in CBS2's video clip?

A Public Service to the Car-less

In breaking news, the Kennedy is a dangerous place to stand. This morning, two young women stood on the side of the road with a sign reading "Gary." Beyond dangerous, as of 2000, this carried a possible year in jail and $2500 fine. If you're wondering what other crimes can cost you, and don't mind slightly outdated information, check out this chart.


Reader Jennifer noticed an interesting phenomenon at the Intonation Festival last weekend: "I looked around at one point during a set, and realized that just about everyone in my 10 foot radius was wearing the same footwear as their neighbor." Check it out in this Flickr photoset.

No more misses, connect

You may read our Public Notice column about Craigslist's Missed Connections. If you're absolutely addicted to them, you might be interested in delving deeper behind the scenes. GB staffer Jason Maslanka created a website with audio and video (including an interview with Craigslist founder Craig Newmark) called Connect to try to figure it all out.

Greg Hall Interview

Speaking of Goose Island, Chicagoist has an interview with brewmaster Greg Hall, about the brewery's recent business dealings and their latest brews.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Police Torture

The Reader has put up a convenient new section on the police torture case, collecting all of reporter John Conroy's 15 years of coverage, including a who's-who and a profile of the man behind the muscle, John Burge.

Rod About Town

Scoopsville: many Lincoln Square residents were surprised to see the governor running all by his lonesome on Lincoln Avenue this morning. Despite running at a good clip and definitely breaking a sweat, I have to say, his hair looked FABULOUS. The same is certainly not true of Judy T, whose hair mystifies more than impresses.

Hotties Behind the Bar

AOL Cityguide is running a beauty contest in a bunch of cities right now: Hottest Bartenders. Cast your votes for the local man and woman of libations. In the meantime, Playboy is looking for the country's hottest bartending ladies for a decidedly less safe-for-work pictorial.

Ware Tickles the Keys

Fans of Chris Ware know he's a big fan of ragtime music, but did you know he can also play it?

Sweet on The Swede

Yesterday's baldie; today's hottie. [via]

No Reservations about Pippin's

Last night, Thrown for a Loop spotted Anthony Bourdain at Pippin's, a bar he describes as "probably one of the worst" in Chicago. Our blogger's summing up of the situation? "It just goes to show that even if you earn a living off of your good taste, the occasional lapse is acceptable."

A Real Irish Wake

If you've ever been to Butch McGuire's bar down at Clark & Division, you probably have fond memories of its owner and namesake. Butch passed away recently, and to mourn him, Division Street between Dearborn and State will be closed from 10am to 8pm for his wake. Stop on down and have a drink in the street.

In Feminism She Believes

But Chicago designer Jane Hamill believes in Barbie, too.

Siskel & Ebert Mouth Off

It's well known that Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel hated each other for much of their career as a film reviewing duo. Someone dug up three outtakes of the pair sparring during the filming of promos for their show. The animosity is palpable.

Ben Gordon, Mixologist

Bulls guard Ben Gordon is the first NBA player with his own energy drink. Gordon signed with start-up H3Enterprises to create BG7, a white tea-based concoction expected to be on store shelves later this year.

Apple's Logo Creator Lives Here

The man who created the original Apple logo, Rob Janoff, now runs a graphic design firm in Chicago. Hear an interview with him here (mp3).

John Malkovich, Bus Driver

NPR's All Things Considered yesterday included an interview with John Malkovich, in which he discussed simultaneously acting in and producing Art School Confidential, being perceived as a movie villain and more. But most interesting was his description of jobs he had before he became a famous actor, including bus driver for a North Shore day school and "head cabbage cutter" at a fast food restaurant in Northbrook Court. (Speaking of Art School Confidential, our own Steve at the Movies, aka Capone, interviewed director Terry Zwigoff for Ain't It Cool News.)

Burns Steamed by Contractor

CBS 2 anchor Diann Burns is feuding with the contractor who designed and built her $3 million Lincoln Park home, claiming that build quality isn't up to par. The rub? Burns is playing the race card, claiming that the contractor sought to defraud a couple that was "gullible and inexperienced in construction matters."

Chicago's Most Wanted

A Chicago police officer is a finalist in an "all star first responder" contest on "America's Most Wanted." Alphonsus O'Connor saved a railroad police officer's life after a man pulled a gun and started shooting. Help him win the award (and $10,000 prize) by voting before May 8.

Mark Sinclair Remembered

I'd heard of Mark Sinclair through various cycling friends but had never met him. I never will. Comedy and Sports editor for Time Out Chicago, Sinclair passed away on April 14th. Family, friends and well-wishers will be meeting tonight at Lula Cafe in Logan Square from 6-8pm, not in mourning but in celebration of Mark. His parents wish those who attend to come in informal dress. If you knew Mark, celebrate the fierce spirit that he was to all who knew him. Jonathan Messinger celebrates him here.

Remembering Maggie Dixon

West Point womens' basketball coach Maggie Dixon was remembered at a memorial service yesterday in North Hollywood, California after dying last week of a sudden arrythmic episode. The ceremony was attended by 1200 mourners, including the basketball teams of both West Point and DePaul, where Dixon was an assistant coach for five years before being named head coach for Army just before the start of the last season. After a 5-7 start, Dixon took the Army team to a 20-11 record and the Patriot League championship, earning West Point its first-ever appearance in the womens' NCAA tournament last month. She and her brother Jamie, the mens' coach at Pitt, became the first brother and sister to coach in the NCAA tournament in the same year. Jamie, 11 years her elder, said Tuesday, "I've said this before—when I grow up I want to be just like her." Maggie Dixon will be buried Friday at West Point; she was 28.

A Peek at Joe & Marilyn

Sports and movie fans alike would be interested in the latest exhibit at the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, 1431 W. Taylor St: correspondence and other memorabilia from Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe. And those with deep enough pockets could take a piece of it home — it'll all be up for auction by Hunt Auctions in May.

Trump at the Trump

YoChicago reports that The Donald has decided to keep the 89th floor penthouse of his namesake tower for himself. The 14,000 square foot pied à air would retail at $28 million.

Skilling on Skilling

I've often wondered what super-weatherman Tom Skilling thinks of the scandal his brother Jeffrey got in at Enron. He finally spoke about it in today's Trib.

Underpass Mary travels west

Almost a year after Underpass Mary, reports come from Moline, IL of another sighting of the Virgin Mary under a bridge on I-74. Northwest IL blog The Inside Dope provides a small picture. (tip from Amy C)

Chicago Gets Another Friend

We're already David Schwimmer's home away from Hollywood, but the celebrity gossip rags are reporting that another "Friends" alum is moving to Chicago: Jennifer Aniston. She's donating Brad Pitt's old clothes and moving here, where her current beau Vince Vaughn lives.

The Barefoot Contessa at the Fox

If you're a fan of Ina Garten (of Food TV's Barefoot Contessa fame) like I am, then you might be interested to know that she's appearing today at Fox and Obel downtown at 401 E. Illinois from 4-6pm for a reception where she'll show off some of her stuff and her new line of products. [Thanks Jen!]

Protest Snarls Loop

There was a huge protest in the Loop this afternoon as 100,000 people marched opposition a proposed law that would send illegal immigrants to jail. Photos on Flickr here. (Thanks, Anne!)

Egg head, meet bed head.

Sure, Dr. Phyllis Zee has both a PhD and an MD, became a NIH fellow in Neurobiology and Physiology, and now heads the Sleep Disorders Program at Northwestern University. But what really makes her stand out is her appearance on the Today Show this morning, during which she sported pink jammies in bed next to Katie Couric.

Force of Habit

I think it's going to be a while before anyone really figures out Shani Davis (check out the Trib's article about his erratic mood swings). Let us know if you do; a good place to begin research would be Davis's website, where it's revealed that his favorite comedian is Tom Green, and that he poured soup in a nun's pocket when he was two years old. [Thanks, Adam!]

Zulkey vs. Dybek

Claire Zulkey has around 20 questions for Stuart Dybek, who happens to be author of this month's Gapers Block Book Club book.

Trapped in the Courtroom

Nothin' going on this morning? Unrequited Narcissism suggests heading down to 26th and California for the next round of the R. Kelly media circus. Just don't, ya know, bring the kids.

Reinventing the Family Name

A couple of weeks ago, we ran a bit about New York Times correspondents' profiles of various US cities, including our own. At the time, I conjectured that Jodi Wilgoren had been accidentally miscredited -- there was no one in the paper's archives with the surname Rudoren, and Wilgoren is (was?) the local bureau chief. It only made sense. Happily, turns out I was wrong: on the occasion of their recent marriage, Jodi Rudoren (ne Wilgoren) and her new husband (n Ruderman) combined their names, albeit to the bafflement of Cook County judge Sophia H. Hall.

Where the Weather Watchers go

If you're down with Tom Skilling like I am (as in, he's the person I go to for the weather), you might be curious where he likes to hang out. Or for that matter Tammie Souza and Phil Schwarz.

Podcast Antisocial

This week's Bad at Sports podcast features a rambling interview with Liz Armstrong, "Chicago Antisocial" columnist in the Reader. (Reminded us a little of our own.)

Rock Poetry

Spotted on the Metro sign as we headed into Gingerman for the GB Get-Together Friday: a haiku made up of band names.

Ira Glass Speaks

Ira Glass, host of This American Life, comments about the show's move to New York in the current Fuel thread. "Let me just say, we love this town and we pack our bags with tears in our eyes and lumps in our throats."

Pritzker Family Records Unsealed

Am I the only one that smells the makings of a great TV movie about Chicago's First Family?

Twista Hit Again

Chicago hip hop star Twista was in another car crash -- this time a hit and run. He was in a fatal accident back in September 2004. No deaths or injuries this time (as far as is known), and Twista's reportedly at home recovering.

Jim Zulevic, RIP

Comedian and actor Jim Zulevic died over the weekend; the name may not be familiar, but I bet his face is. Here's a 2004 interview with Zulevic by Claire Zulkey.

RIP Lou Rawls

Lou Rawls, one of the most distinctive voices to come out of Chicago, died today. He was 72.

Early Birds Catch Wedding Gifts

This morning, Joseph Clair and Deborah Stemel showed up at Cook Co. Clerk's office with intentions of picking up a marriage license. But, because they were the first applicants in 2006, they left married and with parting gifts. Mazel tov to the happy couple.

That's Why They Call Her Bookslut

Local literary luminary Jessa Crispin ranks high in Wired's list of the 10 sexiest geeks of 2005.

Cooking Casualty

You may recall our mentioning a backstage look at a local visit to Sur la Table by Rachael Ray a couple weeks ago. Turns out Sur la Table fired the blogger — apparently not because of the post but because of the comments people had made on it. Yikes!

Rachael Invasion

Food Network star Rachael Ray was at Sur la Table last Friday, signing copies of her latest book, Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats — A Year of Deliciously Different Dinner. Didn't make it? Here's a backstage look at the whole event, including the befores and afters.

McCarthy, RIP

Eugene J. McCarthy, the Minnesota senator and presidential candidate who was a central figure in the 1968 Democratic Convention and riots in Chicago, died this weekend. (NewsBusters points out an interesting error in the Tribune's profile of the senator.)

Oh Yes He Did!

If you missed Dennis Rodman's signing this afternoon at the Michigan Ave. Borders, Oh No They Didn't! has some pictures. Rodman's on the road supporting his new memoir (which makes what? three? four?), and authors appearing in Elvira drag is apparently the latest in book marketing. Or something.

The Artist Formerly Known as Barack

As you know, Senator Obama has been nominated for a Grammy. He and fellow nominee Al Franken sat down for a confab about that and some other stuff on Franken's Air America show yesterday, recorded with a live studio audience at the Steppenwolf. Hear the proceedings -- hilarious and otherwise -- here.

"I Love Your Work"

Here's something I never expected to read, let alone in the Tribune: an account of a dinner conversation between porn stars Nina Hartley, Shane and Stormy Daniels and Peter Sagal, host of NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me." Oh, and his wife.

Audible Frequency's new home

Last Saturday marked the six-month anniversary of the death of Alicia Frantz. Alicia was a Chicago blogger, sound archivist, a friend of GB, and one of my best friends. The domain for her site,, expired and was taken over by squatters. However, I have registered, where her recordings and pictures will stay archived for a long time.

Oh Oprah!

Why didn't you say something!

"A Brand. Like Coke."

Chicago Magazine calls Roger Ebert a bigger star than many of his subjects. And, for good measure, gives you that celebrity profile staple: baby pictures!

We are Family

Sure, you've seen their names on buildings, bandstands and ballparks, but you've probably wondered: who are the Pritzkers, the Wrigleys, the Walgreens? This week's Crain's breaks down local dynasties, giving readers the scoop on who's who, where their money came from and what they plan to do with it next.

Revise in print, not on walls

One of Chicago's finest graf artists, Revise, has an interview in the lastest Four Magazine. Read it and find out a little more about the way graf artists work and think. [via]

A Preview of Your Wait in the Jewel Check-out Line

File this under "If People says it, it must be true": A certain Jennifer A. and Vince V. -- perhaps you've heard of them? -- were spotted canoodling at the Vic on Tuesday night. (Actually, Zwecker says it, too, so what more proof do you need?)

Take That Macy's

Everyone likes to dress up when they go to Marshall Fields' Field Days, right? While some prefer pearl strands and the latest Lilly Pullitzer frock, others wear their super-trendy Antik denim and ugly Uggs, the best Field shoppers are definitely wearing these. Spotted at last weekend's depart-MENT, these snazzy t-shirts from might help you resist the urge to sport a grim reaper costume in honor of Chicago's dearly departing Marshall Fields.

Wayne Booth, 1921-2005

Wayne Booth, professor emeritus at U of C, died on Monday. Even 40 years after its publication, Booth's The Rhetoric of Fiction continues to have an impact on the field of literary studies. The university has announced plans for a memorial service after the first of the year; meantime, Booth was remembered in the Sun-Times and the New York Times, as well as by Chicago Public Radio's Eight Forty-Eight.

Nobel George

There's quiet buzz again about former governor George Ryan winning the Nobel Peace Prize, despite his pending trial on corruption charges. He's got odds of 1,001-1 according to a British bookmaker, but Eric Zorn once again reviews why Ryan might have a chance. Even if he wins, though, the Pantagraph says Illinoians' opinion of him won't change.

Jen and Vince and Everyone We Recognize

Whether it's citizen journalism or amateur papparazzi work is, one supposes, in the eye of the beholder. Regardless, if you had a celebrity sighting around town this summer and you caught it on film, a "burgeoning" magazine might be willing to make you rich. (Richer? All right, fine, it's on Craigslist...less poor.)

A Good Day for Nuts

Today is Kiwanis Peanut Day! Since 1951, Chicago clubs have been handing out peanuts to passers-by to support charitable causes. Nationally, over $60,000,000 has been raised over the past 54 years. Every cent of the contributions Kiwanis received today (save the wholesale price of the peanuts) will be used by local Kiwanis clubs for their charitable programs which include: Aid to Handicap Children, Educational Scholarships, Aid to YMCA's, Boys and Girls Clubs, and 4H Clubs. Kiwanis reps have been spotted on the corners of State and Washington and in front of the Daley Center.

The Turn of the Threaded Fastener

Product designer Kenneth LeVey of Illinois Tool Works in Glenview wanted to reinvent the mechanics of the screw, but he kept hearing it couldn't be done. After all, the "threaded fastener" had hardly changed in millennia; why should now be any different? With a little determination, however, LeVey proved the naysayers wrong. Forbes has the fascinating story.

New Criminologist on Daley

I'm not sure quite what to make of this: a convoluted opinion piece linking Daley's recent visit from the FBI to deceased Chicago mob boss Tony Accardo, published in what purports to be a British criminology journal. But hey, they've got a $6.99 DVD on John Wayne Gacy!

Ex-Cub DUIs

Remember Todd Hundley? He played for the Cubs a couple years ago, and grew up in the north suburbs. Back problems ended his baseball career last year, and now have landed him in trouble with the law -- he claims Vicodin on an empty stomach caused him to become "discombobulated" while driving to pick his son up in Glenview. Police pulled him over and charged him with DUI.

For Dennis Farina Fans

The Indy Star has a nice write-up on Chicago's own Dennis Farina. He has had bit and major parts in movies such as Saving Private Ryan, Manhunter (my personal fave) and Get Shorty in addition to his current starring role on Law and Order. Farina, a Chicago Police Officer for 18 years, will be back in his hometown to take part in "We Celebrate: A Salute to Chicago's Finest," a benefit for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation on Aug. 27 at McCormick Place.

Mix it Up

Mix-tapes are so 1993 2005! So believe Ilana Percher and Aay Preston-Myint, founders of The Chicago Tapes Project. The project establishes stations for mixtape exchange that are "hidden" from the public save The Tapes Project's signature stencil. An easter egg hunt for the experimental sound artist in us all, tape stations can be found outside Quimby's, and at Max Gerber's designer bathroom showroom. Map out the other locations (and ruin the fun of the search) with Chicago's social-mapping-tool The project receives some public attention in this week's Reader.

Missing One Josh Powell

At a small alleycat race I co-hosted recently, I was fortunate enough to meet a young man named Josh Powell. He was fast, won the race and was really humble — a nice polite guy. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Josh moved here quite recently and used to work at La Bodega on Addison and "lived" in the Southport/Addison area. Now he's been missing for a few days.

His roommates, two girls, posted on wondering where he might be. A few of us who he'd been in touch and ridden with responded. What at first sounded like perhaps a bailed rent situation seems to have gotten worse. This newer thread details a few recent facts, and that he left his stuff, clothes, even bike shoes (his bike needed them to be ridden) and other belongings behind. A friend has posted on Craigslist about this as well.

In the off chance that you might know him or have seen him, please drop me a line at nh{at}gapersblock dot com. A missing persons report has been filed and a detective is on the case. Thanks.

"You: white belt and aviators. Me: white belt and aviators."

If you want your Intonation wrap-up more textual than visual, have a gander at the Craigslist missed connections this week. Our Chuck Taylors runneth over with hilarious name-drops and tortured romance (incidentally, "Did we make eyes during Les Savy Fav?" is the title of my upcoming neo-retro- garage-dance freak-folk harp album, the first in a series of concept albums exploring the national parks). I wonder why the kids didn't use their indie rocker pick-up lines?

Bex Spotting

Keep your eye out for soccer superstar David Beckham; he and Real Madrid are in town for a Saturday game against Mexico's Chivas at Soldier Field. It's sold out, and so is a Journey concert at Northerly Island, so if you can avoid that area of town, you probably should -- traffic's going to be a nightmare.

Woo Lost and Woo Found

To follow up on Tuesday's post, Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers is alive and well and, in fact, apparently doesn't even have a wife to report he's missing. The reports of his disappearance were discussed on WLS-AM Tuesday afternoon, and according to the Trib: "Within seconds, Wickers was on the air proclaiming, in his inimitable fashion, 'I'm alive, woo, I'm alive, woo.'"

Where's Woo Woo?

Wrigleyville staple Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers was reported missing by his wife today. Mrs. Wickers says she hasn't seen the Woo since June 29. NBC5 says that several viewers have already emailed to report Woo Woo sightings in the intervening time, and we're pretty sure we've spotted him too.

Underpass Mary, meet Streetlight Jesus

If you missed seeing the streetlight in East Chicago that casts a shadow that looks like Jesus, then you're out of luck; the mayor has ordered the lamp turned off, in order to disperse crowds that gathered near the lamp at night, blocking the street and congregating until 5 in the morning.

VinceWatch 2005

It seems that nearly everyone in Chicago is spotting Lake Forest-raised Vince Vaughn around town while he's filming The Break Up with that girl from Friends, and now I can add my name to that number. I was just a few feet away from the scruffy movie star at the Willie Nelson/Bob Dylan show out at Alexian Field in Schaumburg on Sunday. I was lucky enough to even snap a photo. Maybe he'll try to catch some more Willie today at noon.

Cult of Abby Ryan

Every so often -- more than you'd expect -- someone emails GB asking if we know how to get information about Abby Ryan, the traffic reporter for WBEZ and five other area radio stations. All those people are about to get lucky: reader Ed just discovered that she has a website, complete with pictures (more here) for those who want to put a face to the voice.

Mural Man

I've seen this mural at the corner of Damen and Lake several times and loved it. The expression on the man's face and the detail I found fascinating. The artist is Jeff Zimmerman, whose mural work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art. And if that isn't enough reason to make y'all look, Craig Berman saw him on the Damen bus.

The Muffin Lady, now with t-shirts

Many of you will no doubt have seen or heard of The Muffin Lady (Glorious Noise entry). Some of you may have even bought muffins from her. The folks over at 1974 Incorporated (they're also the folks who made our t-shirts) have a "Save the Muffin Lady" t-shirt with all proceeds going to Shirley (The Muffin Lady's real name).

Me: Tarzan; You: Jen

So there's a movie filming in town right now. You've probably heard. The Break Up will star Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. And, since each of the leads is a hottie in his or her own way, it only makes sense that we'll be seeing more Missed Connections like this one over the next few weeks. Good luck to ya, Runner with black shirt!

Burnin' up for your love

The inevitable Missed Connections from the Dominick's fire are already appearing on Craigslist. "Extra-alarm" blazes: so hot right now!

Meet the Pritzkers

Ever wondered about the Pritzker family? They own all those hotels and other property, they've got that big charity and the architecture prize -- and they've got lawsuits against each other to get their fair share of the millions. The Trib ran a long profile of the family in yesterday's paper that's worth the time if you're interested in our hometown Ewings.

From Welfare to Work on the Inside

The NY Times series on class in America concluded with an outstanding article about a Chicagoan. First profiled in 1993 in the Times, this article talks about the struggles her family has been through as they have moved from the projects to the middle class. I can't remember the last time I got goose-bumps from a human-interest story - this one is truly fantastic.

The Ass That Goes Pow

Congratulations to Michelle "Toots" L'Amour of the Lavendar Cabaret won the 2005 Miss Exotic World competition at the Exotic World Burlesque Museum in Helendale, CA. (Thanks, Brenda.)

Another obit: Oscar Brown Jr.

Following his recent hospitalization, the AP reports that singer/songwriter Oscar Brown Jr. has died. The native Chicagoan began recording professionally at 15, eventually worked and played with jazz and blues legends like Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane, and had lately been touted and covered by huge fan Kelly Hogan at the Hideout. The two appeared together on Chicago Public Radio's Hello Beautiful! last November; listen in Real Audio here.
Update: The New York Times has now published a lengthy tribute, as have the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Tribune and the Sun-Times.


Say you're at a bar, and some total freak decides you are their next date. You try everything to shake'em off, but they don't take the hint. They ask for your number, so you tell them it's 773/509-5027. They call, and get a message from, informing them that you've blown them off and saving you from an ugly scene.

Oh! The Brilliance

Creative Behavior has an interview with 19-year-old Chuck Anderson, whose amazing design- and artwork has graced the ad campaigns of Absolut and Audi, among others. He lives in the southern suburb of Frankfort, creating beautiful imagery and playing around with The Brilliance.

The Return of Underpass Mary

Two car wash employees cleaned off the brown paint and shoe polish off the salt stain that sorta looks like the Virgin Mary. So if you missed out on seeing Mary, now's your chance.

Sic Transit Maria Salata

Underpass Mary is no more. A passerby defaced the salt stain on Thursday night by writing the words "Big Lie" in shoe polish on the stain, and this morning IDOT workers painted over the graffiti and the stain. Oh well, at least we have our memories. And some Flickr photos. (Thanx to Amy C. for the tip.)

Not to be confused with Resurrection Mary

Seen the image of the Virgin Mary on the Kennedy Expressway underpass wall? Rob Ray of Metroblogging Chicago is not amused, refers to her as "Underpass Mary," and crushes her head. Crush, crush!

A Different Shade of Orange

Keep your eye out for the president of Ukraine while you're out and about today: Victor Yushchenko and his Chicago-born wife Katereyna ("Kathy" to her old classmates at U of C) are in town as part of a US tour. Although they had a big reception at the Palmer House last night, their itenerary doesn't seem to take them to the neighborhood named for their country.

Battle Armour

Marine Captain Vernice Armour is an amazing individual. She's been an amateur bodybuilder, a pro football player and has served two tours of duty in Iraq as the first black female combat pilot. Now she's being inducted into the Museum of African-American History.

Your daily Jessica Simpson update

Jessica Simpson was in town for an Oprah taping, when she felt sick (or "dehydrated," as the report says). She was taken to the hospital, treated and released. And... well, that's about it. Except to say: JESSICA + NICK 4 EVA!!! W000000!!!!!!!!!11

Bachelors @ Cans

Looking for some cheap pseudo-celebrity action this evening? Head over to Cans, 1640 N. Damen, and watch "The Bachelorette" with three of the former bachelors: Wendell, Ryan and one of the final two (either Jerry or Jean Paul). They'll be there between 7pm and 10pm for photo opps and the broadcast of the "Men Tell All" episode airing tonight. Yeah.

Maya Keyes, out in the open

Local blogs were abuzz last fall with the rumors that erstwhile Senate candidate Alan Keyes' daughter, Maya, was gay, based on a Xanga blog that seemed to belong to her. Coming after Daddy had called Vice President Cheney's daughter Mary a "selfish hedonist" for being gay, this was an interesting development. Today Maya makes her first public appearance as a gay activist at a rally for Equality Maryland; she told the Washington Post that her parents threw her out and cut her off last month.

...But Were Afraid to Ask

Wild and Unwise is a surprisingly complete biography of Liz Phair, cobbled together from published interviews and other sources, all the way up to the making of her most recent, eponymous album. (It being a Geocities site, the pages may disappear briefly. Have patience and reload.) [via]

Chicago's media elite, named

Crain's has a five part piece about Chicago's media elite, profiling the people who are "best at what they do." The list is heavy on editors and reporters, with a few philanthropists and local business owners thrown in.

Patrick Fitzgerald, Badass Prosecutor

The Washington Post yesterday ran a profile of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, whose solid work in Chicago have earned him a national reputation. "I thought, 'He is the original Untouchable,' " Peter Fitzgerald says. "You could just see it in his eyes that he was a straight shooter." (Thanks, Matt.)

He is watching you

CNN has a profile of Ron Huberman, the executive director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications. The office monitors the security cameras throughout the city that a lot of people feel are more of a threat to personal privacy than terrorists.

Gaper's Snark: Scene Magazine

Since beloved Chicago favorite is still under construction, one has to actually delve into the real thing. For your true trixie needs, Scene Magazine delivers. This month's print copy has tips for botox/dental work/breast augmentation before your wedding in addition to the usual pictures and ads in Scene. And for your true Trixie chronicles, make up your own captions to the pictures on their photo page. Like who knew that you could get a bikini to match that Coors Light can?

Durbin Likes a Little Sugar

"When I walk into a building with a bakery and a brothel inside, I'm certain to walk out with a little sugar on my lips." Reader "spotmeter2000" points us to a great anecdote on Craig's List about an embarrassing moment at the opening gala for Kendall College's new culinary school involving Senator Dick Durbin and school president Howard Tullman.

A Walk for Juvenile Diabetes

A recent article tells the story of an Elgin native, previously working as a teacher on a Native American reservation in Arizona. Bill Holden decided, after watching "This Old Cub" a number of times, that he would walk from Arizona to Chicago in a personal journey to raise awareness for juvenile diabetes; his decision was based on the film which documents Ron Santo's struggle with the disease. Holden sees the horrors of this disease up close on the reservation, and he believes he can do something about it. With a year off from work, his journey begins today, and contributions are accepted at JDRF, Illinois Chapter, 500 N. Dearborn, Suite 305, Chicago, 60610; or online at

Chicago to Ukraine

There's another local connection to Ukraine besides the neighborhood named after it: Turns out the country's future first lady, Kateryna Chumachenko Yushchenko, grew up in the suburbs. [via 601am]

Orbach, RIP

Jerry Orbach, star of stage and screen -- most recently on "Law & Order" and "L&O Criminal Intent" -- died yesterday from prostate cancer. Orbach grew up in Chicago and attended U of I and Northwestern before heading to New York to act. (Thanks, Bryan)

Celebs Hit the Town

Reader TJT writes in to report seeing SPAMalot star Christopher Sieber shopping at Field's on State recently, and just today Kevin Spacey was eating lunch alone at Albert's Cafe & Patisserie on Elm, reading The Last Good Time. Take that, Michael Sneed!

Sweatin' Through the Holidays

As a bonus to a story about "holiday chic," the Tribune has posted a gallery of holiday sweaters. I won't make any judgements -- some people really love Christmas -- but you might want to rethink your wardrobe if "it looks like one big sweater with two holes for the heads."

Cat Skilling

We had a vet appointment this morning, and who should walk in while we waited but Tom Skilling and his cats, Hercules and Vorticity. He's taking them along up to his vacation home in Alaska and needed to get certifications of health before they could travel. (Incidentally, did you know Tom is the highest paid weatherman in the country?)

Spamalot Around Town

As the Christmas-week premiere of Monty Python's Spamalot approaches, we're starting to get sightings of the show's stars. GB staff members have spotted Hank Azaria and David Hyde Pierce at Monday's showtune night at Sidetrack, and Tim Curry at the Art Institute. Now who's seen Mike Nichols?

"To the Guy Running Against Obama"

Was Alan Keyes eating alone at Star of Siam on the eve of the election? This Craig's List post seems to say so. (Via new-to-Chicago 601am.)

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]

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.

The Cult of Kinsella

I'll pose this to you: What is the fascination with Tim Kinsella (lookee! A homepage!) ? For those not in the know, Tim (and his brother Mike) could be considered Chicago indie music royalty, having played in (and continue to play in) Cap N' Jazz, Joan of Arc, American Football, Owen, Owls, Friend/Enemy, Make Believe and countless other side projects that have turned them into their own game of Six Degrees of Kinsella. Other people write about the Kinsellas and their proliferation. You may have seen him around Chicago, the last time I saw Tim was at Arturo's Tacos at two in the morning. Spot a Kinsella today!

Aaron Hawkins Remembered

Further coverage of Aaron Hawkins' death:
- Red Herring obituary
- AllAboutGeorge remembers his friend, starting here
- A powerful reflection from Sour Bob
Pay your respects in the comments here on Uppity-Negro.

Aaron Hawkins, RIP

We just received word that Aaron Hawkins, author of the Uppity Negro weblog, has passed away. No funeral plans have been announced yet; if you are interested in more information, please email UPDATE: Here's more info, on Trance Jen's site.

Kiser, RIP

Following up on our mention of a Red Line death last month, it turns out the victim was Kiser, a well-known graffiti artist. The Tribune has a profile of him today, and the CTA Tattler's post on the incident garnered some passionate rememberances in the comments. There's also at least one tribute image out there.

Zulkey by the Pound

Claire Zulkey interviews friend of GB Wendy McClure in today's "A Li'l Under 20 Questions." Topics range from celebrity children's books to knitting with Hitachi Magic Wands to Wendy's upcoming book. Quite a wild ride.

Annie meets Edwards, Obama

Miss Annie T, friend of GB, met with John Edwards and Barack "The Man" Obama recently. She wrote about it and posted photos. On a side note, Manny's Deli, which I'm sure makes all kinds of decent food, does not make a veggie burger — see Annie's photo of aforementioned "burger" in aforementioned post. Did we write aforementioned twice? Yes we did.

The Old Navy Preaching Guy

In the rankings of Chicago's popular eccentrics, this guy holds a spot surpassed only by The Walking Dude and a few others. You've all seen him on his pulpit -- the southeast corner of where State meets Washington, outside Old Navy -- preaching to passersby through his portable speaker system on the word of God. In today's Trib, as part of their excellent, week-long feature on The Loop, they've got an interesting profile of Preaching Guy, though you can call him Samuel Chambers.

Terkel watch

Studs Terkel is recuperating in an unnamed hospital after "a little spill," according to his son Dan. He is expected to be released by Saturday. Get well, Studs!

Ditka's Everywhere

While the Republicans mull asking Mike Ditka to run for senate against Barack Obama, Da Coach is also launching a clothing line. The Mike Ditka Hall of Fame Collection will make its debut in early August at Chicago Men's Wear Collective at the Merchandise Mart.

Frankie and Johnny and Austin

Spotted last night: actor Austin Pendleton at Sidetrack. The Steppenwolf ensemble member is directing their highly anticipated mainstage—oops, sorry, "Downstairs"—production of "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" with Laurie Metcalf, opening this Friday.

New Miss Illinois hauntingly familiar

Michelle LaGroue of Naperville has been crowned Miss Illinois -- for the second time. Miss LaGroue was first runner-up in 2002, but the winner that year, Erika Harold, won the Miss America pageant, allowing Miss LaGroue to serve out the remainder of the term as Miss Illinois. So this is actually the first time that she won the pageant. But don't worry, all you former Miss Illinois'ers out there; you can enter again if you've won, but you have to sit out at least one year before competing again.

Daley heads north

The Tribune reports that Mayor Daley and his wife will be moving into a condo overlooking Millennium Park, meaning that Da Mare will, for the first time in his life, be living on the North Side. Not to worry, though, South Siders; Daley still pledges his loyalty to the White Sox.

Kup the Anachronism

Irv Kupcinet, along with Mike Royko, was the model of what a Chicago columnist was for many decades. By the time he died, though, his assistant wrote the copy and he was "a slightly embarrassing anachronism" from another time and place. Chicago Magazine has an interesting assessment of Kup's legacy.

Hot New Hollywood Trend: Teen Art

You can be successful artist, with the right patronage. Just ask Anna Pamasa. The Lane Tech senior sold a painting to Brad Pitt (yes, that Brad Pitt), who saw it in a exhibit of local student work at the MCA. She'll be putting the $800 toward tuition at Columbia College next year.

Ex-Chicagoans, Unite!

We know a lot of our readers aren't actually in the city -- we get visitors from as far away as New Zealand and Singapore. It turns out there's a Meetup group just for you. The ex-Chicagoans Meetup happened last night around the world (well, the country anyway); the next one is June 24. Why not get connected and share a pop with an ex-pat soon?

Help Solve a Murder Mystery

A year ago yesterday, aspiring actor Barry Cunnane was shot dead by a stranger while walking home in Ravenswood. The murderer was never caught. Now the Friends of Barry Cunnane are offering a $15,000 reward for any information leading to a conviction. Check the site for more details.

Trading Spaces

Look out for the crew from Trading Spaces this week in Evanston, IL as they make over two Northwestern University sororities. Carpenter Ty Pennington was even on hand for the seventh-inning stretch at Friday's Cubs game.

Chicago directors in NJ

The New York Times profiles Chicagoans Gary Griffin and Thomas Murray, as they remount their version of "My Fair Lady" in Princeton, New Jersey. Their production first played the Court Theatre in 2002; Chicago actress Kate Fry is reprising her role as Eliza Doolittle. Griffin is expected to stage another musical at Chicago Shakespeare at the end of the year.

No, Don't Sugarcoat It

Esquire Magazine debuts Brutally Honest Personals, where there's no need to interpret what's BS and what's not. There're a few Chicagoans on the list: Adena, Beth, Leah and Philip are waiting for your email.

Johnny Payphone, bikes and...Ghana?

You may have read a story a few weeks ago in the Reader about Johnny Payphone, a bike advocate and Rat Bike rider. He's currently in Ghana helping the local government get their people mobile by making cargo loading bikes as part of the wonderful outfit that is Working Bikes, a local organization and excellent source for used bikes here in Chicago. You can follow his exploits via his weblog or you can help the cause at Working Bikes. As for more Ghana, you can read about a firsthand experience right here (parts 1, 2, 3 and 4) courtesy of our very own Jes Davis.

Northwestern doctor training for space

Northwestern orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Satcher gets to go into space because NASA wants to research the effects of space on bone loss. Hey, NASA! Maybe you want to study the effects of space on Website design?

Hassled by the Man in Wisconsin

Sun-Times columnist Mary Laney was pulled over by Wisconsin police on Saturday for speeding, and was subsequently told her license was suspended in Wisconsin. After writing about it Monday, a sheriff from Racine County tried to reassure Illinois motorists that Wisconsin troopers weren't out to get them, and a columnist for Wisconsin's Journal Times sorted out the whole mess: Mary Laney's license was in fact suspended in Wisconsin due to two other speeding tickets, but the suspension should have been cleared from her record by now. Not surprisingly, the error was corrected after Laney's column was printed.

Name-Brand Chicago Stories

Victory Gardens Theater has turned three prominent Chicagoans into amateur playwrights for its annual Chicago Stories benefit this Friday. Queer Eye's Ted Allen, Illinois Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, and philanthropist Susan Pritzker have each written one-act plays to be performed at the gala at the Four Seasons. Past celebrity playwrights for the annual event include Roger Ebert, Carol Moseley Braun, Jesse Jackson, and Stedman Graham. With tickets starting at $250, most of us will just have to imagine the scenes being set.

The Walking Dude

Many of you may know The Walking Dude. I actually call him "70's Italian Loverman". Someone has made a really well-done and humorous short clip of The Walking Dude, A Dudementary. Does anyone personally know The Walking Dude?

Mimi Smartypants in Newcity

This week's Newcity cover features a big ol' picture of Mimi Smartypants! The accompanying article discusses her book deal, mentions Gapers Block, and even has some quotes from another Chicago blogger with a book deal, Wendy McClure. Check it out, won't you?

Star Search

The warm weather had a lot of people out boy- and girl-watching this weekend. But there was also a lot of star-watching going on -- with three big-budget movies being filmed in town right now, there are plenty of opportunities to catch Clooney, Damon, Zeta-Jones and Roberts on the set and in the restaurants. Keep your eyes peeled.

Chicago marathon runner honored

You may remember Rachel Townsend, the teacher from Ohio who died of a heart arrhythmia after finishing last fall's Chicago Marathon. When she crossed the finish line, Rachel had qualified for the Boston Marathon, and would have run in it today, if she had survived. The Tribune reports that many runners will be wearing caps that say "Running For Rachel," and one runner will be wearing Townsend's number, so that she will end up with an official time in the race. In addition to these tributes, scholarships and memorial races have been set up in Ann Arbor, MI, where Townsend taught for seven years.

Chicago man (among others) hired

As everybody knows by now, Kwame was fired and Bill was hired. Orland Park native Bill Rancic won the final round last night on NBC's "The Apprentice," and is going to manage the construction of a Chicago hotel and residential tower. But lest you think that Bill's going to be in charge, Trump reminded him who's REALLY in charge: "You're going to have plenty of supervision of that building, I don't care if you're president or not... I'll be the one supervising." (In a strange case of synchronicity, the Illinois Department of Employment Security released a report yesterday that says the state's unemployment dropped to 6 percent in March, its lowest rate in 28 months.)

Chicago's most powerful women

The Sun-Times has started a series this week profiling Chicago's 100 most powerful women. The areas already covered: the arts, business and politics. The profiles will be posted daily through April 21.

You've got stalkers!

Robert Wessel, trying to fight the building of a parking garage in suburban LaGrange with the Website, has found himself the target of an obstinate stalker who has sent him over 100 emails, sent repairmen out to his place, and in general made a big nuisance of him- or herself. Wessel sued AOL to try and determine who was behind the emails, but didn't get anywhere with that tactic. LaGrange police have apparently conducted their own investigation, determined who the culprit is, and have determined that the sender no longer poses a threat. Which may be the only consolation that Wessel gets, because he has not been told yet who the stalker is.

Mrs. Wrigley-Field?

How much do you love the Cubs? Ever think about changing your name to show your love? Well, one student at NYU doesn't have that problem. Her legal name is Elizabeth Wrigley-Field. Oddly enough, it isn't an homage to a favorite sports team! Here's where her name comes from: Her mother's last name is Wrigley and her father's is Field. A few years ago, she had the name legally changed to Wrigley-Field. She has never even been inside Wrigley Field, though she stood in front of it once when she was 7 and went to Chicago with her family. Read her story here.

My Asian Friends

Are you Asian? Do you want more friends? Well then, the Asian Social Network is for you! Actually, it's more of an event calendar for the city's Asian community, listing anything from a " Pink Slip Wagering with The Donald" party to a talk on "Filipinos in the Diaspora."

Gray into Black

Actor/monologuist Spalding Gray is dead. His body was found in New York's East River. He was most well-known for monologues like Swimming to Cambodia and Gray's Anatomy, and had performed in Chicago frequently.

Speaking of Billy Corgan, you might want to take a look at his new site. He's maintaining a sort of weblog/journal (though it's in Flash) and writing about his new kittens and seeing Urge Overkill. Oh it's definitely a blog then.

The return of Carol Marin

You might remember, way back in 1997, that WMAQ news anchor Carol Marin left her job after the station hired Jerry Springer to do commentaries on the news program. Well, Carol Marin returns to WMAQ tonight, as a "special assignment reporter." Tune in to the 10:00 newscast to see her return.

The SNL machine's gears turn...

...and once again, another Second City performer is plucked from a promising career on stage to move to New York and work on "Saturday Night Live" as a writer and, eventually, performer. This time, it's 26-year-old Liz Cackowski, who debuted on the Second City mainstage only last December. Thursday night is Liz's last appearance on the stage, in Second City's revue "Doors Open on the Right;" stop by and wish her well.

Oprah Turns 50

Yesterday was Oprah Winfrey's 50th birthday. The Chicago Sun-Times has the full wrap-up of the star-studded celebration for this "Garrett-popcorn-eating, lakefront-jogging, North Michigan-Avenue-shopping" Chicagoan.

Our Own Bridget Jones?

The adventures of Mimi Smartypants have caught yet another eye. The Sun Times asks is Mimi the new "everywoman"? Whatever that means...we just love to read her musings.

Obit: Ray Rayner

The Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago television personality Ray Rayner has died at the age of 84. Rayner is best known for his role as Oliver O. Oliver, the character he played on WGN's famous "Bozo's Circus" show, as well as his 1971-1981 show "Ray Rayner and His Friends," which delighted kids with such characters as Chelveston the Duck and Cuddley Duddley. Rayner left Chicago in 1981 to become a weatherman in Albuquerque. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Chicago Charlie

The Salt Lake Tribune tells the colorful story of Chicago Charlie, a Greek immigrant known for tall tales, eccentric stunts and prolific correspondence with soldiers during World War II. Hundreds of his letters were recently found in a buried time capsule in Copperton, Utah.

Family Fun!

America's Most Fun Family (according to the makers of the boardgame Cranium) is the Wagners of Elgin. What makes them so fun? They throw pies in each other's faces on birthdays and celebrate holidays with color-themed meals. Fun!

Oh, Mr. Black, tsk tsk.

As mentioned earlier, more on the developments with ol' Conrad. Salon has a little story about his removal and lawsuit concerning his making off with oh around $200 million. Oh Conrad, the kettle sure is black.

Chicagoans you love to hate

Newcity's cover story: 10 Chicagoans we love to hate. Some great choices on their list: Ditka ("stands as the epitome of everything we fight against"), Ira Glass ("starting to sound like nails on a chalkboard"), Richard Roeper ("bland, bland, bland"), and Joan Cusack ("we stopped connecting with Cusack when she zeta-jonesed on us, and by that we mean started pimping for a cell-phone provider").

City to Help Fannie May Workers

As reported Monday, the Fannie May plant will be closing in the coming months. WBBM reports the city will assist those workers when the plant shuts down. "Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says the city is prepared to offer the affected workers the assistance needed to get back into the work force quickly. The assistance to be offered include career counseling, job search assistance and direct job placement opportunities at locations around the city."

Tech-Enabled Libraries

The Chicago Sun-Times profiles Jenny Levine, Internet development specialist for the Suburban Library System in Illinois, and talks about the work she does to bring area libraries into the digital age. Although the article strangely does not mention her site by name, webloggers know Jenny Levine as The Shifted Librarian.

Yojimbo's - a legend

Yojimbo's Garage, a legend within Chicago's bicycling community is facing some trouble. Competition is tough for Marcus Moore, owner, mechanic, ex-messenger with a Buddha-like exterior and calm man of the two wheel technique. His super dense shop located at 1310 N. Clybourn close to Cabrini Green is facing possible closure if sales aren't up. He's been the perfect example of how an independent venture should operate, but that may not be for long. This BikeForums thread posts all the details. A photo of Yojimbo's can be seen here (he has no site).

Yojimbo's details: 1310 N. Clybourn (& Division almost)
ph: 312 587 0878
fx: 312 587 0177
mon-fri: 8-6
sat-sun: 12-4
& by appointment

Knock when you get there, the door is locked otherwise, partly because of the high end stuff, partly because of the slightly sketchy surroundings. It also feels all cloak and dagger and once inside, you'll understand why.

2003 Hall of 15-minute famers

The Sun-Times has an article listing 2003's people with their 15-minutes of fame this year. The usual suspects are on board.

Ted Allen interview

eGullet has a two-part interview with Ted Allen, the food and wine expert from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Allen is from Chicago, used to be a restaurant critic for Chicago magazine, and talks a lot about splitting his time between Chi-town and NYC.

Kup care.

Irv Kupcinet, long-time columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, is in intensive care after being admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with breathing problems. Kup has been with the Sun-Times since it began in 1948, and "Kup's Column" celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. Update: Irv Kupcinet has died of pneumonia at the age of 91.

When I hit the road, I've got no plan.

The punky QB known as McMahon was charged with drunk driving Sunday morning in Florida. Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon failed a field sobriety test and had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit. No word yet as to whether or not police caught him doing the Superbowl Shuffle at the time.

Mama Smartypants

My all-time favorite Chicago Blogger Mimi Smartypants has been silent lately since she's flown off to China to meet her new adopted daughter. But now Chicagoans everywhere can rejoice - Mimi is back and has adorable adorable pictures of her newest bundle of joy. Congratulations Mimi!

Alex Ross: Superparty

Noted and famous comic book artist Alex Ross (from here no less) had without a doubt the coolest Halloween party this year. (Well, maybe not, but certainly if you love comics). Now who knows where he lives?

Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks was one of the best comedians of his generation, with innate talent and a searing wit. He died in 1994 at age 32, but his influence can still be seen in comedy clubs everywhere. has several of his gigs available in streaming video, including one from Chicago's now-defunct Funny Firm in 1989. The Bootleg Archive has several more shows available for download as mp3s.

Cabbies: not all bad

Despite my annoyance with most cab drivers in this city, there are a few "gems" -- the Tribune has a nice little human interest story today [login:gapers/gapers].

6.02214199 10^(23)

Happy Avogadro's Day! Amedeo Avogadro theorized that equal volumes of all gases at the same temperature and pressure contain the same number of molecules. His law enabled the calculation of the number of molecules in a cubic centimeter of gas: 6.02214199 1023, which is known as Avogadro's Number; it also led to the definition of the commonly used mole unit. So why is today Avogadro's Day? It's 10-23. Go kiss a physicist.

The thing with feathers

Studs Terkel has a new volume of oral history, "Hope Dies Last." Here's a fantastic Onion interview: "Hope is very personal. What's the alternative to hope? Despair. Well, if you despair, then put your head in the oven. What's the point? Am I sanguine about the future? Hell, no, I'm worried stiff. But I think the American people basically are decent. This I know."

Ryan Loses Nobel Prize

Despite taking a strong stance against the death penalty, and even being nominated for the nobel prize, George Ryan did not win the Nobel Peace Prize. Instead they gave it to Shiran Ebadi for reconciling Muslim theology with a liberal theory of human rights, particularly for women. Hmm... what sorts of geopolitical events would get the Nobel committee thinking about the world-historical importance of reformed Islam, I wonder...?

Genius in Chicago

While some of us are out atoning those wacky folks at the Macarthur Foundation are handing out genius grants. This year one goes to Northwestern prof Amy Rosenzweig for her contributions to biochemistry. Go Amy!

George Ryan, Nobel Laureate?

Rumor has it our former governor could be off to Oslo for clearing Illinois' Death Row. (Trib login: gapers/gapers)

Star Gazing

Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, and Jake Gyllenhaal are in town for the filming of Proof, an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by the same name. According to this press release, you can catch them in Hyde Park on the University of Chicago campus next week.

Corgan Follows Jewel's Lead

I know, you're still upset that Zwan broke up. Well, you can ask Billy Corgan, "Dude, WTF?" tonight at the Art Institute's Rubloff Auditorium, where he'll be reading his original poetry and playing a little music for the Poetry Center of Chicago. There are still a few tickets available at the door (which opens at 6pm) if you've got the $35 to spend.

Jenny On The Block

Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere are filming their, uh, film, Shall We Dance? downtown today - right around rush hour this evening. If you're around the 333 Wacker Drive building, tell J.Lo that I ain't impressed with the rocks that she got.

Sorry, Virginia

(A local guy named) Santa Claus is dead.

Thom Yorke likes the cheese

Craig of Fueled By Coffee stopped by the Mars Cheese Castle recently and guess what he found? Thom Yorke (of Radiohead, come on now!) likes the cheese (scroll down a little to read and view the photo). Ah, Mars Cheese Castle will now be full of emotional hipsters fawining over the penmanship of their über-idol.

Chauncey in Supreme Court

It's common to hear Academics - and particularly theory heads - dismissed as living in an ivory tower pursuing obscure pursuits unrelated to 'the real world'. Turns out that that sometimes the ivory tower can pack a punch. Turns out UofC prof George Chauncey's historical brief was more or less decisive in deciding Lawrence vs. Texas.

Ring Found

A Hoffman Estates High School grad lost his ring in a forest preserve back in '78. In 2000, a retired couple found it with the help of a metal detector. The Daily Herald took a picture and told the story recently, a friend noticed and the guy got his ring back, 25 years later.

Ben Hecht

All but forgotten by most Chicagoans, journalist and Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht told stories of the "lay life," everyday people and events in the 1920s and '30s. Read a sampling of his book 1001 Afternoons in Chicago.

Them's Fightin' Words!

Ted Nugent on all us Illinoisans: "They are spineless, apathetic, embarrassing wimps."

Happy Birthday Carlos Cortez

Wood s lot reminds us today is the birthday of long-time Chicago activist/poet Carlos Cortez. You can find his reflections on UIC's takeover of Halsted on-line, curation of his work, an interview, and of course, pictures and poetry.

Objects Appear Smaller in Person

While minding my own business, nose in my book, waiting to pay at the State Street Border's book store, who is patiently waiting in front of me? None other than ABC 7's own Linda Yu. And might I say, she is quite a petite woman. Just lovely.

Ebert Undergoes Cancer Treatment

Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert will undergo treatment for a malignant tumor in his salivary gland. This is his third bout with cancer, having survived previous tumors in his thyroid and salivary gland. He says he'll continue to watch and review movies while undergoing treatment.

Studs Turkel

Studs Turkel has spent decades exploring the city and documenting the lives of its residents. You can explore his life and listen to some of the many interviews he's conducted over the years at

Sorry, Ice Cube

So the other night I was watching Channel 2's 10pm news, and there's a report on a sexual assault in Wicker Park. Police apparently described the attacker as looking like Ice Cube -- and film clips of Cube flashed across the screen. Today the CPD and WBBM-TV apologized to the actor-rapper, who is in town filming Barbershop 2, for connecting him with the attacks.

Ms. Musings

Did you know that Christine Cupaiuolo , the writer behind Ms. Musings (the Ms. Magazine blog) and the editor for, lives in Chicago?

Skilling, with Puppet

Your fun fact of the day: TV weather geek Tom Skilling once worked with a puppet, in Milwaukee no less.

UIC Prof on Gamers

UIC Prof Steve Jones has been Slashdott'd, Boingboing'd, CNN'd, and Blogdex'd after doing research that shows gamers aren't just lonely geeks. With the gaming industry grossing more than the film industry these days, you'd think this wouldn't be such big news, but now Steve's got the hard data for the nay-sayers who still think Half Life is a measure of radioactive decay and Vice City a hardware store. But don't take my word for it, his report is freely available on line for all to read.

Pointless celebrity gossip

Allow me to bring the level of discourse down a few notches—it's a holiday week, why not? I hear that Renee Zellweger was in attendance at last night's White Stripes show at the Aragon. Zellweger is rumored to be dating Jack White, who played a bit of "Mister Cellophane" from Renee's movie Chicago.

David Schwimmer Vs. Ross

Northwestern U. weighs in on David Schwimmer and so does Studs Terkel in this excellent article [Trib login: gapers/gapers] about the actor and director most commonly referred to as "Ross". Shamefully but gratefully via TMN.

Clinton calls Sosa

A Chicago Sun-Times article states that former President Bill Clinton has called Sammy Sosa and offered him the advice to just hang in there and "...stay strong and don't give up." Um...insert whatever comment you'd like to add to this >> here <<.

"Starting Over" Off to Bad Start

The new reality TV show "Starting Over," from the producers of The Real World, will follow six down-on-their-luck women try to straighten out their lives. However, the producers may have to start over themselves: some of the neighbors of the Gold Coast greystone the show will be filmed in have filed suit, claiming violations of zoning laws and renovation beyond what has been licensed. (In related news, Palatine native Mallory Snyder is one of the inmates cast members of Real World Paris, which debuted this week on MTV.)

Real Life Angel

In 1987, Oral Lee Brown promised to send a group of 1st graders from poverty-stricken East Oakland to college. Now 16 years later, this story comes close to home. Jeffery Toney will graduate on June 1st from Columbia College; read his story here, and listen to his song titled, "Real Life Angel".

Denny Hastert, Historian

Illinois' favorite Speaker of the House, Denny Hastert holding forth on the importance of the restoration of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington: "The values and principles that Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln worked so hard for in the 1880's are the same values and principles that we are fighting for as a Republican Party today."

The quote is corrected on his official news item, but if you listened to his remarks on NPR today, you too know that Lincoln lingered on at least sixteen years after his dramatic night at Ford's Theatre.

Hermann Zapf at UIC

Attention font geeks: famed typographic designer Hermann Zapf (as much as typographic designers can be famed, anyway) will be speaking at UIC on Tuesday, May 20. More information at Print up something in Palatino and maybe he'll autograph it for you.

Gawker stalks Chicago

Hmmm, Gawker stalker is now stalking Chicago? "I saw Josh Hamilton at the 10:00 Saturday night performance of Wigfield (starring Strangers With Candy's Amy Sedaris, Steven Colbert and Paul Dinello) in Chicago. He was very cute, despite having two very dark front teeth." Hamilton, of course, is starring in Richard Greenberg's play The Violet Hour at Steppenwolf.

12-Year-Old Begins U. of C. Med

Call him Doogie Howser's little brother. After turning heads as a nine-year-old freshman undergrad at Loyola University Chicago three years ago, 12-year-old Sho Yano has been awarded a full scholarship to attend University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine this fall. Kind of makes me wonder what I could have accomplished if I hadn't spent so much darn time playing as a kid. Read more and more about it.

Irvine Welsh Sighting

Irvine Welsh shops at the Jewel on Milwaukee, Paulina, and Ashland. A coworker passed him entering the store, leading one to wonder, "Does he prefer Boca or Morningstar?" I bet he loves Krispy Kreme.

Irvine Welsh @ Columbia

Speaking of Columbia, but Bloody 'ell! Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting, The Acid House, Filth and Porno, is now teaching at Columbia. Apparently two courses this semester and word on the street is that he is living in Lincoln eyes are peeled.

Harold Washington

Harold Washington was sworn in as Chicago's first black mayor 20 years ago today.

The New York Times mentioned

The New York Times mentioned in passing on Friday that Gary Griffin is attached to direct a musical adaptation of The Color Purple for a planned 2005 Broadway opening. Griffin is associate artistic director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (not artistic director, as the Times reports). The show's book will be written by playwright Regina Taylor, artistic associate at the Goodman. This will be Griffin's first Broadway show, though not his New York debut; his Famous Door production of Beautiful Thing transferred off-Broadway in 1999, and last month he staged The New Moon for the City Center Encores! series. His production of Sondheim's Pacific Overtures, which first played at Chicago Shakes in 2001, will open at London's Donmar Warehouse in June.



GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15