This file ain’t big enough for the both of us, I reckon. “The idea of a vast, open territory has led some to compare cyberspace with the American frontier of a hundred years ago,” write Richard Klau and Erik Heels in the Chicago-based Student Lawyer (October). “On the one hand, there is no law–as of yet–in cyberspace. Rules, to the extent that there are any, are established by the same people who might just as easily break them. On the other hand, cyberspace, with a few notable exceptions, is an equal-opportunity arena.”

Where is Jane now when we need her? Garry Wills in the New York Review of Books (June 9): “If Addams keeps popping up in this review, it is because she kept doing that in all aspects of Chicago life. She is the greatest single figure in the city’s history–not only the city’s conscience, but its needed support in crisis after crisis. Whenever there was union trouble, racial strife, wrongs done to immigrants, people turned for guidance to her. Burnham consulted her when drawing up his plan–she especially urged him to keep the lakefront free from wealthy mansions, so the poor would have access to it. She was aided by a very gifted set of helpers and friends, men and (especially) women with their own talents and strong temperaments–which makes all the more astounding their recognition of her leadership. Partly this came from her ability to learn from those who supported her, her undogmatic approach to problems, her willingness to change–which made her more radical as time went on, less fixed in earlier solutions she might have clung to with proprietary fondness.”

Must be a lawyer thing. According to Southern Illinois University marketing professor John P. Fraedrich, quoted in a recent press release, “If a company gets caught doing dirt and can show that its employees have had ethics training, it will pay less in fines.”

How much gas and pollution are bike trails saving? According to a survey conducted in June and reported in the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation’s News (September/October), 18 percent of 478 bicyclists polled on the Illinois Prairie Path, the Green Bay Trail (in Winnetka), and the Fox River Trail (Geneva) said they would have driven a car if the trail hadn’t been there.

“Like Job covered with boils, the [new Catholic] catechism is a sincere statement of faith painfully clad,” because it was translated into non-inclusive English (“man” and “mankind” instead of “we,” “people,” or “humanity”), writes Linda Piwowarski in U.S. Catholic (October). “It is a hurtful and disfiguring message that is unlikely to be healed soon….I am grateful to those bishops and priests who admit this language hurts and who argue for a pastoral sensitivity to those they shepherd. I hope that Catholic journalists and editors will choose, too, to paraphrase rather than directly quote from the catechism whenever it is possible.”

Valuable antique. The Chicago Board of Education’s teacher evaluation form “is obsolete,” Schurz High School principal Sharon Rae Bender tells Lorraine Forte of Catalyst (October). “It hasn’t been updated since State Street was a prairie.”

“Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease,” the state Department of Public Health reminds us in Healthbeat (October). “While it is true that the risk is greater if a woman’s mother, grandmother or sister has had breast cancer, it is also true that 80 percent of the women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease.”

How to succeed in politics by really trying, according to Rich Miller in Illinois Politics (September): North suburban state senator Grace Mary Stern “has made a career out of voting like a flaming liberal in Springfield, but receives lots and lots of Republican votes come election time.” She unseated Republican Roger Keats in 1992, 52 to 48 percent. “I have heard countless stories of ultra-conservatives who vote for Mrs. Stern because of the efficient and courteous way they were treated when they called with a question or problem.”

Dept. of multiculturalism. The two members of the Illinois congressional delegation with the best environmental voting records in 1993, according to the League of Conservation Voters scorecard: Luis Gutierrez (95 percent) and Mel Reynolds (90 percent).

“The human enterprise seems to be far too big for this little planet,” biologist Anne Ehrlich told the Chicago Conference on Human Health and the Environment last month. But when asked what credible estimates there are of earth’s “carrying capacity” for human beings, she acknowledged, “There are lots of estimates but only guesswork at this point. So many things go into it. No scientific study has been made.”

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.