“The Easter Bunny, like all Chicagoans, has a favorite hotel,” according to a recent release, “and it’s the Four Seasons in 900 North Michigan.” Let’s hope they give him a big enough litter box.
We Love Documentation. During “Eco-Dive ’91”–sponsored by the Shedd Aquarium and Aquasphere Sunday, April 14, in the Monroe Street harbor–volunteer divers “will remove trash items such as styrofoam food containers, bottles, cans, lumber and tires from the bottom of the lake. . . . All of the materials retrieved from the lake will be recorded on data cards to be processed by the Center for Marine Conservation in Washington, D.C.”
If you can’t do it right, do it over. “Public school reform, if successful, will only begin to show significant results in eight to ten years and we cannot wait that long,” says the recent report Chicago Challenge: Workforce Development. “While Chicago invests an estimated $260 million in adult workforce development programs, these efforts are fragmented among so many different public and private agencies and educational institutions as to frustrate . . . any significant improvement.” The report estimates that 650,000 English-speaking Chicagoans can’t read, write, or compute at a sixth-grade level, and that another 375,000 nonnative English speakers can’t read or write English at that level.
“My addiction to profanity, like most disorders, has its roots in my childhood,” writes John Callaway in Eleven (March 1991). “I am an Adult Child of Parents Who Cussed (ACOPWC). “These loving, otherwise highly intelligent parents of mine were hard-drinking, hard-cussing newspaper people. Growing up in my home was like being raised in a newspaper city room . . .”
And now, high-tech superstition. In the Chicago-based Conscious Choice (Spring 1991), Ross Thompson reviews the new computer program Synchronicity, said to be “the only mathematically exact simulation of the original method for consulting the Book of Changes [I Ching] system”: “When you launch Synchronicity on your Macintosh or DOS-based computer you are presented with the serene vista of a gently gurgling brook which trickles down the screen in a soothing fashion, helped along by the random ribiting of Pacific tree frogs. When you press the enter/return key a gong sounds (and appears) which welcomes you to the session. You type in a question in response to the prompt . . . and the ‘keyboard ritual’ is explained. . . . A gong sounds with each key press and as the last gong sounds, the spinning words that formed your question fly off the edges of the screen and voila, there is your reading on the screen, frogs ribiting, stream gurgling. . . . I share [author] Paul O’Brien’s vision of powerful business executives consulting ancient Chinese wisdom on a regular basis for advice on those tough business decisions. Perhaps we will see fewer hostile takeovers and shady backroom deals as Synchronicity gains a foothold in the tricky field of commercial software.”
Did you lock your car? Typical age for arrested car thieves: 17 to 19. Proportion of Illinois car thefts for which arrests are made: less than 1 in 7. Most commonly stolen vehicle: Chrysler Conquest (Compiler, Winter 1991).
We don’t want nobody anybody sent. From the city’s recent announcement of police-officer examinations: “All reference to political sponsorship or recommendation must be omitted from any and all application materials submitted for City employment.”
Dept. of mathematical impossibilities, from Food Fitness & Nutrition Notes (Winter 1991), published by Hershey Foods: “In the past two decades, the incidence of childhood obesity–defined as children who have more body fat than 85 percent of their age-related peers–has increased tremendously.” Unfortunately for the thinness mafia, no matter how skinny everybody gets, there will always be 15 percent of any given population with more body fat than the other 85 percent.
2 BR Bungalow, close to el, ext. lrg. compst. hp. . . . The Chicago Board of Realtors now recommends that home owners build their own compost heaps to recycle yard wastes into fertilizer.
Please pass the fish sticks. Dan Grippo in the Chicago-based U.S. Catholic (March 1991): “Perhaps one of the reasons Judaism has survived thousands of years of persecution and living outside of their homeland is that so much of Jewish culture and identity is passed on in the home. Modern-day Catholicism in the United States, by contrast, seems to be turning into a temple religion; it’s removed from home and daily life and becoming a one-hour-a-week (if that) kind of thing. It’s going to take more than that to compete with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for our children’s imaginations. . . . I can think of no better place to start than with meatless Fridays.”
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.