Uh, well–maybe you’ll go blind. Dr. Walter Barr of Loyola University Medical Center: “If you compare X-rays of patients who are habitual knuckle crackers to those who have never developed the habit, you will not find any…evidence of disease or joint abnormalities. The idea that knuckle cracking causes arthritis or big knuckles could be termed an old wives’ tale.”

Why buy a book on computer disk? According to Letter Ex (June), Dan Agin of the north-side Spectrum Press “charges four to six dollars for a Spectrum Press book, one-fifth the price of a typical clothbound book.”

Metaphor ready for retirement, from a press release promoting North Pier Chicago and the Bicycle Museum of America: “During the 1890s Chicago was the hub of the bicycle industry.”

Still doing good and doing well after all these years. Two-thirds of Shorebank’s $40 million in new development loans and investments last year financed rehabilitation or home ownership Of 1,679 housing units, according to its 1992 annual report. Risky business for the socially concerned? No: “Average five-year Bank net loan losses are 0.35%, lower than our FDIC national peer group.”

“The lawyer was very argumentative in a vicious, mean and unreasonable way,” writes a Skokie court watcher (Citizens Look at Their Courts 1992). “He objected to everything with a snarl. Many objections were groundless and probably made to break the train of thought of the prosecuting attorney. In his closing argument, he told the jury that he apologized for being mean and sarcastic, but ‘I’m not being paid to be your friend. It’s my job to be a son of a bitch and since I am one I’m very well suited to my job.'”

Either the cars are getting better or we’re getting poorer. Percentage of 1966 cars still on the road 12 years later, according to National Automobile Dealers Association economist Tom Webb, quoted by Anglo American Auto Auctions: 30. Percentage of 1979 cars still on the road 12 years later: 60.

Another year and a half of dirt-cheap office space? Thomas F. Doolittle, formerly of LaSalle Partners and now with LRS Associates on North LaSalle: “I believe as large firms continue to consolidate or relocate their operations to the suburbs, in the short term the Chicago Loop office market will worsen and the over twenty million square feet of vacant office space in the Chicago Loop may climb to as high as twenty-two million square feet by the end of 1994.”

Sure is good to know that he’s really, truly changed. President Nixon’s ex-hatchet man Chuck Colson, who spent much of 1972 trying to subvert that year’s presidential election and who’s now a major figure in evangelical Christian circles, interviewed in Ministries Today (March/April): “I think the most important thing we could root out of the church is the notion of democracy. It is an authoritarian structure with Christ at the head.”

Mothers and holders of doctorates may have other ideas. Runner and author Hal Higdon, quoted by the Chicago Area Runners Association: “For many runners, completing one marathon changes their lives forever. It’s like tacking a PhD at the end of your name, getting married, or having a baby. You’re special whether anyone else knows it or not.”

Lest we forget. CTA director of market analysis and research Sarah LaBelle offers this statistical perspective on Chicago-area transit. Busiest CTA train line (O’Hare-Congress-Douglas): 145,500 average boardings per weekday. Busiest Metra line (Burlington Northern): 45,300. (CTA’s endangered Lake Street el: 37,200.) Busiest CTA bus line (number 9 Ashland): 35,560. Busiest Pace bus line (number 352 Halsted): 5,890.

Lesbian and gay alumni of west suburban Wheaton College are networking “to help heal some of the hurt many of them feel they incurred as closeted homosexuals at Wheaton,” according to Record (Winter 1993), newsletter of Evangelicals Concerned. One writes, “When I did come out to some Wheaton friends and faculty with whom I thought I had a significant friendship, I was totally shut out of their lives–I’m talking 20-plus years of relationships down the tubes.”

Sports whose participants are more than 80 percent male, according to the Mount Prospect-based National Sporting Goods Association: hunting, football, baseball, and ice hockey. Sports whose participants are more than 80 percent female: aerobic exercising.

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