“If you believe you have a good idea, try it out on friends,” advises Paul Hawken in Success (October 1988). “If they say you have a wonderful idea, you may be in trouble: An idea everyone recognizes as great has probably arrived on the scene too late. But if your friends look confused and shrug their shoulders, you may be onto something. If they snicker and guffaw, things are looking up. At least your idea is new.”

The City Colleges of Chicago have all the right titles in their course catalogs, Patrick Keleher of Chicago United tells Chicago Enterprise’s Patrick Barry (September 1988)–“but when you look at the syllabus and the work plans, you see it is a pretend college with a bunch of pretend professors.” Of 33,000 credit students last year, only 2,100 received degrees. New chancellor Nelvia Brady and chairman Reynaldo Glover aim to change all that, but they’ll have their work cut out in a system in which an astounding 98.9 percent of the faculty have tenure.

Why did you swallow it in the first place? From a Chicago Heart Association release: “How often have you picked up a restaurant menu only to find fried, fatty, high-calorie food? You throw up your fork in despair saying, ‘I’ll eat well tomorrow.'”

“In a lifetime of living in Chicago I have come across only one journalist on the CTA,” writes William Leahy in Leahy’s Comer (September 1988). But “some years ago an enterprising journalist asked CTA executives if they took the trains and buses themselves. . . . One answered huffily that he couldn’t take the CTA; he needed to get around town quickly. Another said he needed quiet and privacy while working. Another said that he relished the safety of his company car. . . . Michael Cardilli said that if our parents could get along without air conditioning on the buses, so can we. Who has ever heard of Cardilli being on a bus? The only CTA personality I have ever seen riding the system is John Hoellen.”

To encourage careers in vertical flight–reports the National Scholarship Research Service–the International Women Helicopter Pilots/Whirly Girls Scholarships grant $4,000 to women fliers who prefer helicopters.

It’s a disaster, say the organizers of the first International Disaster Congress & Exposition (set for November 9-11 at McCormick Place), that not enough corporations spend enough to be ready for a disaster. Of the Fortune 500, 29 percent have no active plan to deal with computer failure; 43 percent budget less than $50,000 a year for crisis management; and 86 percent have no active plan for human calamity (like an epidemic). The keynote speaker for the first IDC&E? Redundantly enough, it’s Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb and persistent pronuclear activist.

Mothers who work outside the home spend about the same total amount of time with their 7-to-11-year-old children as do stay-at-home mothers, according to a survey of 120 children conducted by C. Jan Carpenter, a developmental psychologist at the University of Illinois. “Watching television and eating sit-down meals were by far the most frequent activities for all mothers with their elementary-age children,” according to a U. of I. summary of her report. “However, moms who worked outside the home spent considerably more time with their children watching television. Full-time mothers spent significantly more time with their children in such leisure activities as bike-riding, outings and Scout meetings.” Carpenter concludes that mothers working outside the home “are not negatively affecting their children”–but is TV really as good as outings, bike riding, and Scouting?

“The isolation of the McCormick complex is not one of its admirable qualities,” writes Cynthia Davidson-Powers in Inland Architect (September/October 1988). “Presumably a conventioneer who arrives by taxi from the airport, stays in the McCormick Hotel, and attends expositions in the McCormick complex would experience a Chicago that none of us who walk through the Loop could imagine.” You are now entering . . . the McCormick Zone.

“The U.S. is losing its status as a leader in health care,” Denise Williams, president of Roseland Community Hospital, tells On the Move (June 1988). “Do you know our standing with infant mortality? We are behind many other developing countries. . . . Our death rates from cancer and heart disease are high compared to other developing countries.” Seeking a metaphor for disaster, she adds, “We don’t want our health system to go the way of our educational system before we realize a crisis is at hand.”

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