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2001: A Space Travesty

The year 2001 is almost at an end, and, let’s face it, it’s just not as good as the movie. Instead of ushering in a new era of intergalactic exploration, that bone tossed into the air by our alpha-monkey ancestor millions of years ago seems to have clattered to earth as little more than a […]

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Lesser-Known Forms of Anthrax

Spontaneous Anthrax Symptoms: Shortness of breath, palpitating heart, fleeting but discerible thrill Method of Transmission: Mysterious neighbors, wacky cousins Likelihood of Contraction: Low for employed adults, high for teenagers Probability of Recovery: High Inspiration Anthrax Symptoms: Increased brain activity, feeling of superiority, sleeplessness Method of Transmission: Bad novels, new love affairs, poignant encounters on public […]

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War Cards

To help children understand the post-September 11 world, Topps released a series of “Enduring Freedom” cards depicting Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and other “civilian and military leaders entrusted to guide us through this fight.” Not surprisingly, there were no lefties in the set. Imagine a baseball-card series that included Curt Schilling but not Randy Johnson! […]

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2001: Lost & Found

Lost: Thousands of books from Sulzer Library; Found: One Book, One Chicago II Lost: $123 million from the city budget; Found: Tax cuts and other incentives for Boeing Lost: Bozo the Clown; Found: Vallas the Candidate Lost: Illusions of invincibility; Found: Other forms of anthrax Lost: Dick Cheney; Found: Dick Cheney Lost: Kyoto accord on […]

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Year in Review

CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY From the desk of the commissioner Just want to keep you up to date on the progress of “One Book, One Chicago.” As you know, this year’s efforts were a huge success and laid a solid foundation for “Phase 2” of our program. Now that we know how much publicity this type […]

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Year in Review

Oprah Winfrey Harpo Studios 1058 W. Washington Blvd. Chicago, IL 60607 November 2, 2001 Dear Oprah, You have formally rescinded your invitation to Jonathan Franzen–author of the Oprah’s Book Club selection The Corrections–to appear on your TV show after he disparaged some of your past literary selections as “schmaltzy” and “one-dimensional.” Mr. Franzen, presumably under […]