Ya gotta have art. From a recent press release from the School of the Art Institute: “In his sculptural installation, Stephen Schofield transforms cloth membranes into crystallized mattresses by soaking them in boiling syrup and inflating them using vacuum cleaners whose air flow has been reversed.”

Women not welcome here. Sandra Namath tells Jane Easter Bahls about her labor-law class at the University of New Mexico School of Law (Student Lawyer, September): “The professor would ask a question. I’d raise my hand and say ‘x.’ He’d move around the room to Jack, who would say basically ‘x,’ and the professor would say, ‘Great, Jack!'” Namath had twelve years’ experience as a labor professional, and her male classmates often approached her with questions after class. But in class? Forget it. “There was a game with my male classmates. They’d repeat whatever I said and get praised for it. We’d laugh, but you could cry.” According to 1992 and 1996 studies, this problem is not limited to backwater schools. Says University of Chicago law professor Mary Becker, “The response of law schools with problems in this area is putting their heads in the sand. Nobody at my law school has said one thing to me.”

Let’s move to the suburbs where bad things don’t happen. According to a survey of 437 sixth-graders in two Philadelphia-area middle schools, published in the Elk Grove Village-based Pediatrics (September), 96 percent of the urban students said they knew someone who had been robbed, beaten, stabbed, shot, or murdered; percentage of the suburban students who said they did too: 89.

“In 1987, the Committee to End the Marion Prison Lockdown (CEML)projected that the US might have 1,000,000 people in prison by the year 2000,” says the Peace Release, a handbill of the Peace Museum. “At that time, only 561,000 were held in prisons. Many considered CEML to be extremist and scaremongering. Shockingly, in the fall of 1994, the US announced that it sent its millionth human being to prison.”

I’m not fat, because I was even fatter before. Stephen Rynkiewicz on Trib publisher Jack Fuller’s book News Values: “One of Fuller’s more intriguing arguments is that corporate ownership is no worse than the old-style press baronies. He claims Col. Robert McCormick took profit margins as high as 30 percent in the Roaring ’20s and never less than 10 percent during the Depression, compared with the 1980s high-water mark of 25 percent for the Tribune Co” (Chicago Journalist, July/August).

Cut? No. Inadequate? Probably. From Eye on LSSI, a publication of the Des Plaines-based Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (Summer): “In the area of public funding from state and federal governments, overall spending on human services has remained flat for the past 18 years, when adjusted for inflation.”

Things Com Ed doesn’t want you to know, from the Evanston-based Nuclear Energy Information Service’s newsletter (May/June). October 1995: An unmarked blue-gray van from Milwaukee’s Channel Four drives past an unattended guardhouse at Com Ed’s Zion nuclear power plant and parks outside the security building. Its occupants get out and proceed through metal detectors (which fail to detect nails in their pockets) carrying black bags with wires and batteries partially visible. They aren’t challenged until they’re one door away from the plant’s “secure area.” Investigative reporter Duane Pohlman films the whole thing. February 1996: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) gives Zion a security rating of “good/adequate.” March 1996: Senator Carol Moseley-Braun strenuously resists a request for congressional hearings on the NRC, “believing that it would turn into a political witch-hunt during an election year.”

Hey, the Republicans are the party of inclusion now. I’m sure they’ll get right on this. “Preliminary conclusions from a 1987 national study found an approximate HIV seroprevalence rate of 0.5 percent in seasonal and migrant farmworkers,” reports the Chicago-based Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (August). “In a similar study conducted in 1992, the number of farmworkers testing positive for HIV was 5 percent, ten times greater than the study conducted just five years previously.”