Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I heard aphids are born pregnant. Is this true? If so, how does it work? –Lilian Wentworth, Silver Spring, Maryland You think your life is miserable, cucumber, just be glad you’re not an aphid. Not only are they born pregnant, they’re pregnant without benefit of sex. Not that sex with an aphid sounds like much […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Caution: may be armed with needle and thread. Robert Busse of River Forest, one of six craftspeople demonstrating their arts in the State of Illinois Center on December 8, makes tatted snowflake ornaments and bills himself as the “Mad Tatter.” “Terminating the franchise doesn’t mean putting Edison out of business in Chicago,” write Scott Bernstein […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Edgewater Beach Characters

To the editors: Re: “Edgewater Beach Memories” [November 10] True, “Eloise” didn’t live in the Edgewater Beach Hotel, but “Patrick Dennis” did, before his father died and left him in the custody of Auntie Mame of Beekman Place (New York, not Chicago). Nina Gaspich N. Ashland PS: I wish you would have included more photos, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Alaska Update

To the editors: I enjoyed reading Harold Henderson’s article last week on our local environmentalist volunteers [“Swamp Squad,” November 3]. It reminded me of my own experiences earlier this year, getting to know the Alaskan volunteers who were trying to do whatever they could to remedy the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The motive seems to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Peter Serkin

Peter Serkin, the son of legendary pianist Rudolf Serkin, has always been, perhaps inevitably, a musical rebel. The younger Serkin also took up the piano, but carved out an unusual career for himself based as much on performing jazz and contemporary music as traditional classical repertoire. In the early 70s, as founder of the new-music […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Shooting Studs

To the editors: Don Graham’s No Name on the Bullet: A Biography of Audie Murphy, excellently reviewed by Mike McGrath in the October 20 Reader, certainly seems like a fascinating study in the evolving mores of post-World War II America. However, I feel it necessary to point out a glaring mistake in Graham’s choice of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Earlier this football season, I survived something of a crisis. For about the 25th time in my life–but for the first time in several years–I decided I just didn’t enjoy the sport. I spent the first three weeks of the season in Europe, which effectively removed me from the season-long, spread-based office football pool, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Advertising Costs

To the editors: In the upside-down world of mainstream journalism, “public relations” is Newspeak (meaning, thought- and attitude-control) for propaganda. The purpose of “public relations” is to control the range of what the public can think and feel about something in which powerful interests–generally having an institutional basis in their ownership of the private economy, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Critics recently urged the Defense Department to cancel a $2 million contract with Louisiana State University that involves shooting hundreds of cats in the head. The government wants to learn how to return brain-injured soldiers to active duty; so far tests have revealed only that shooting into the brain causes cats to stop […]

Posted inFilm

Baby Knows Best

LOOK WHO’S TALKING * (Has redeeming facet) Directed and written by Amy Heckerling With Kirstie Alley, John Travolta, George Segal, Olympia Dukakis, Abe Vigoda, and the voice of Bruce Willis. The biggest surprise in the film industry this season has been the box office performance of what is generally known as “the talking-baby movie.” Last […]