Letters we’re glad we didn’t send: “I am faxing a release which flushes out this story idea…”

Please pass another jelly doughnut–I used up all my good judgment at the office. U. of I. sociologists William Cockerham and Guenther Lueschen report in the current Social Science and Medicine that men with jobs involving high incomes, independent judgment, or both do not seem to adopt healthy life-styles any more often than those with lower incomes and less responsibility.

Life is different at the top. In Inland Architect (September/October 1989), Robert Bruegmann describes McDonald’s exquisitely landscaped new 80-acre headquarters in Oak Brook: “Before any construction started, in fact before any plans were drawn, McDonald’s hired a forester, Chuck Stewart of Urban Forest Management, to inventory the parcel’s 1,500 trees, many of them majestic oaks. The buildings were placed to minimize impact on the site, and much of the parking was located under the headquarters structure. During construction an extraordinary effort was made to save every possible tree. Each workman who would be on the site was required to watch a video about the importance of saving trees.”

Everything you need to know about Lloyd Bentsen, from Harper’s “Index” (October 1989): “Number of the 3 clubs from which Lloyd Bentsen resigned during the 1988 campaign that he has since rejoined: 3.”

“The only reason Chicago is still a viable economic entity,” according to Chicago airport consultant Suhail al Chalabi, “is transportation. That’s the only reason people will come here. Chicago doesn’t have nice weather. It doesn’t have the topography. But it’s had the river and the trains and the highways. And now it has the airports” (Chicago Enterprise, October 1989).

Illinois: a glowing tribute. According to a report by the Critical Mass Energy Project, Illinois produces more radioactive waste of all types than any other state: 2.27 billion curies worth to date.

The penalty of knowing too much. Preliminary results from Northwestern University researcher Dr. Jennifer Knopf: “So far at least, it seems that those with PhDs have the lowest sexual satisfaction, while MBAs score the highest in sexual satisfaction.”

Do they need the business that bad? According to Saint Francis Hospital of Evanston–which went smoke free on October 1–“only 16 percent of the nation’s hospitals severely restrict smoking.”

“With nuclear bombs, the best we can hope for is no return on our investment,” says architect Jack Hartray of the Michigan Avenue firm Nagle Hartray & Associates, Ltd., explaining the CTA poster campaign being mounted by the local chapter of Architects/ Planners/Designers for Social Responsibility. The posters contain pithy messages such as “With the money the government spends on nuclear arms in two weeks, Chicago could maintain its parks for 20 years.” They also include, in very small print, a hot-line number (663-1776) for the latest info on military madness.

“Between 1981 and 1988, blacks and Hispanics had the highest annual rates of AIDS per 100,000 population,” according to the Chicago Reporter (September 1989). “The rates were: blacks, 34.9; Hispanics, 28.9; whites, 9.6; Asians and Pacific Islanders, 5.4; and American Indians and Alaskan Natives, 2.2.”

What country did you say you were from? According to the state Department of Rehabilitation Services, under a new Illinois law “High school students will receive foreign language credit for learning American Sign Language.”

Why don’t kids know geography anymore? Maybe because something called “global education” is all the rage among professional educationists like Marilyn Turkovich, recently quoted in a Moraine Valley Community College news release: “We need to help our students become conscious of global education,” she told a conference of south-suburban community-college faculty last month. “Global education is concerned with teaching students to understand systems which unite them to others in the world….We should develop a broader base of access and evaluate our curriculum.”

Who’s the boss? A.R. Gini, Loyola associate professor of philosophy and coauthor of a new book on work, tells Loyola World (September 28) that most Americans “agree to accept boring, meaningless work in return for a paycheck big enough to buy goods and activities that will compensate them during their leisure hours…When most Americans go to work, they strike a bargain with the devil.”

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