Last week’s Variations on a Theme was Tattoo Week, which featured an introduction by Tony Adler explaining his fascination with tattoos, Julia Thiel on gay tattoos, Miles Raymer defending bad tattoos, Sam Worley on semicolon tattoos, and Luca Cimarusti’s profile of Josh Howard, the former’s choice for the best tattoo artist in Chicago.

It was also the end of the CTU strike, but Michael Miner was still able to break down school reform by the numbers. Elsewhere, Miner wrote about his love of sportswriter John R. Tunis’s children’s books, mug shots appearing in newspapers without context, and the real Romney. Speaking of Romney, Worley inquired about the identity of Romney backer Marc Leder and whether the candidate’s claims about muffin tops are accurate. In other political writing, Steve Bogira pointed out that poverty is still rising in Chicago.