Hey, you wanna be sick or you wanna new car? The 1992 cost of an average Chicago hospital stay, according to the Illinois Health Care Cost Containment Council: $11,601, up 9.8 percent over 1991.

“Those who believe that man is literally made in the image of God must be a bit unsettled at the accumulating scientific evidence suggesting that gayness is not a lifestyle choice but the expression of a predilection that is genetic in origin,” writes James Krohe Jr. in Illinois Times (June 3-9). “That God programmed into himself the potential for homosexuality is not the only instance I can think of that he was broader-minded than most of his followers, but it is perhaps the most satisfyingly ironic.”

The subsidized suburbs, Chapter LXVIII. Percentage of northeastern Illinois transit riders in the suburbs: 15. Percentage of public operating assistance given to suburban transit providers: 43. (From a presentation given by Robert Cervero at a UIC transportation-research conference on June 11.)

Gee, nationalism works just as well here as it does in Bosnia. Alton Miller in Illinois Politics (May): “One leading black activist, in an open letter, recently served notice to progressive white and Latino politicians that in 1995 blacks will be united behind a black candidate, period, undercutting efforts to develop a coalition based on policy not race. If he speaks for a consensus, and if the past holds any lessons at all, he guarantees that Daley and his strategists will stay in their jobs for the foreseeable future–so long as they can keep at least a slim margin of support from minorities tacked onto the white bloc they’re assured of, mumbling and grumbling all the way to the polls.”

World’s most vicious lake, according to John R. Reed in Singing Sands Almanac (Summer): Lake Michigan, with more than 3,000 known shipwrecks, “one shipwreck for every seven square miles of water surface.”

Things we’d rather not think about in just that way, if you don’t mind. The Illinois Natural History Survey Reports (May/June) on radar tracking of a large Canada goose migration from Horicon, Wisconsin, to eastern Illinois December 28, 1988: “Anywhere along a line through such a migration, about 100 tons of geese per mile pass by during the 11-hour period.”

Damned with attempted praise. U.S. Senator Paul Simon, in a column written after Clinton’s haircut and before his Guinier betrayal: “Obviously, President Clinton should try to avoid these small but symbolic mistakes. But history will judge him for his doggedness in pursuing the causes that can change our future for the better.”

Percentage of suburbanites and out-of-staters in last year’s Friends of the Parks Insomnia Cycle, a 25-mile midnight-to-dawn ride from Buckingham Fountain to Pulaski and Foster and back: 49. (This year the ride is on July 11.)

We’re from the government, and we’re here to help you. Joel Alfassa in StreetWise (June): “I keep a room on the near west side near Morgan & Madison. There happens to be a [state Department of Public Aid] Project Chance office 3 blocks away. When I went over there…I was informed that this near West side office was for people who lived South of 79th Street. So, if you live South, your ‘Chance’ office is on the West side. If you live West, your ‘Chance’ office is on the South side at 5300 S. Western. That’s about 53 blocks worth of my time as well as transportation costs, to get jerked around each month.”

Is AIDS a punishment from God? Father James Bresnahan of Northwestern University Medical School: “It would be better to say that God has given us AIDS to bring us all to our senses–that death is not optional, that none of us is going to get out of this alive, and that we should respond compassionately to people who are suffering” (PAACNotes, April).

“Our intention is to make Chicago one city. It is now two cities…. Schools are so overcrowded, so devoid of quality, so segregated that the best within them academically never reaches its full maturity….Jobs are costlier and harder to create than voting rolls. The eradication of slums is far more complex than integrating buses.” Martin Luther King Jr. in a 1966 speech to the Chicago Headline Club unearthed by Stephen Rynkiewicz at the Museum of Broadcast Communications (Chicago Journalist, June).

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