“Even as they are becoming more effective, black talk [radio] stations are disappearing,” reports Salim Muwakkil in In These Times (March 7). “From 1995 to 1998, 9 black-owned AM stations folded.”

The census, in one sentence, from Pierre deVise: “The 1990 Census cost more ($25 per household), employed more workers (708,000), sent questionnaires to more wrong addresses (13.4 million), got a lower mail response rate (63%), had more return errors (14.1 million), missed more blacks (1,836,000), had a higher black/white undercount differential ([the rate of blacks missed was] 6.3 times higher), and was the target of more litigation (nine years) than any other United States Census this century” (from a paper presented at the University of Illinois at Chicago in January, “Chicago’s Uncounted People: Can the 2000 Census Do Any Better”).

Let’s you guys fight. An estimated $1.7 million in gambling-industry money was contributed to state politicians during the 1997-’98 election cycle, but it wasn’t all aimed in the same direction. According to a recent press release from the University of Illinois at Springfield’s Sunshine Project, “There is not one common gambling interest. Those interested in horse racing want less competition from riverboat casinos or an expansion of their activities into casino gambling. Those with riverboat casinos do not want competition from more riverboats or more competition from horse racing. According to [Professor Kent] Redfield’s data, gambling contributions in 1997-98 were split 47%-41%-11% between horse racing interests, current riverboat interests and non-horse racing interests seeking riverboat expansion.”

“The feminist leadership’s decision to declare Clinton’s actions apolitical . . . has damaged the movement in just the way feminist theory predicted it would,” writes Peter Beinart in the New Republic (February 15). “The old feminist nightmare–yuppie women selling out their sisters trapped in the home so they could keep government power–has come to pass.”

Go west, young couples. Far western DeKalb County had the lowest housing prices in the metropolitan area last year, according to “Who’s Buying Homes in the Chicago Metropolitan Area 1998,” a recent report published by the Chicago Title Insurance Company. Average prices of homes purchased in metro-area counties: DeKalb, $126,200; Will, $151,800; Cook, $158,400; Kane, $168,400; McHenry, $169,900; Du Page, $189,600; and Lake, $198,600.

“A total crapshoot”–that’s how Roberta Feldman, an architecture professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, describes the current vogue for replacing public housing with so-called mixed-income communities. “We don’t know even whether the projects we are putting millions of dollars into…are going to work” (UIC News, January 13, reprinted from the South Bend Tribune).

Try using an opera singer. Rush-Presbyterian-Saint Luke’s researchers are testing a device that senses stress in your spine as you lift, translating that stress into an audible tone–the more stress, the higher the pitch of the tone. According to a January hospital press release, the idea is to use this instant feedback to train people to lift objects properly.

“The sanctification of museums seems almost exactly contemporary with the secularizing of churches,” writes architecture professor Joseph Rykwert in the Times Literary Supplement, quoted in Martin Marty’s “Context” (February 15), “so that the crowds of worshippers who have abandoned the churches now flock to museums….The art clerisy has enormous social as well as financial prestige.”

No civil action. “Among hundreds of exhaustive, published investigations of residential [cancer] clusters in the United States, not one has convincingly identified an underlying environmental cause,” writes Atul Gawande in the New Yorker (February 8), citing California’s chief environmental health investigator, Raymond Richard Neutra. This failure takes on greater significance when we realize that “successful hot-pursuit investigations of [the causes of] disease clusters take place almost every day.”