Archive for January, 2007

This is not a bomb

Adult Swim Moonite

Adult Swim, the late night, mature portion of the Cartoon Network, started a “guerilla” marketing campaign for the show, and upcoming movie, Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Two weeks ago they installed 400 2′ tall LED Mooninites (two characters from the show) in outdoor locations in 10 cities. There are several in Chicago — the above picture was taken tonight at the Lawrence Red Line Stop and there are also ones at Belmont & Broadway and around Halsted & Webster.

In Boston today, someone freaked out about the devices, some of which were located on bridges, and called them into the police as a bomb threat. The city responded by closing down several major roads and subway lines.

The Boston Metblog is all over the coverage in Boston, of course.

And the Adult Swim message boards are, to say the least, rather active right now.

There’s a lot of “they should have known this could panic people in our post 9/11 blah-de-blah” being thrown around, but people in 9 other cities saw these things for two to three weeks and shrugged their shoulders (or pulled them down and took them home) and got on with their lives. Freaking the fuck out over anything you don’t immediately recognize is exactly what the terrorists want.

The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and not a particularly common one at that. [Bruce Schneier]

Classy McClasstown

Sure, football is all rough and tumble, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be classy as well. Like the above video of the Lyric Opera‘s Bryan Griffin (looking rather bear-like himself for his role as Ivan in Die Fledermaus) singing Bear Down, Chicago Bears.

Or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performing the same song (from 1986).

Or, say, a banjo player or some chicken puppets singing (or, rather, strumming and squawking, respectively) the Bears fight song.

(Thanks, Jason and Troy)

“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.”*

We all know Chicago is well known for its historic architecture and design, one is always walking around and discovering some cool building or sculpture by a famous design-master of yesteryear, such as Daniel Burnham, Mies van der Rohe, or Louis H. Sullivan, to name just a few. But while the classic is appreciated, there are plenty of new voices in design coming out of Chicago as well. The Young Chicago exhibition at the Art Institute, celebrating Chicago’s “historical lineage of design”, as well as the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Architecture, “looks at the community’s diverse body of contemporary designers–who are not yet represented in the collection–to showcase the city’s ever-growing talents in architecture, industrial design, graphic design, and fashion.” The show runs through April 29, 2007.

*-G.K. Chesterton

Go Bares!

On my commute to work this morning, scrawled on the back of a truck in the road grime and dirt were the words:

“Go Bears! Souper Bowl Champs 2007”

I have to agree, though. When it’s this cold out, I love a good Souper Bowl.

Five Travel Ideas

Looks like it’s a pretty good month over at Chicago Magazine. Of course we already knew about five Chicago bloggers that are making and reporting the news. Now they take a look at five different families and offer five cold-weather trips to make the winter bearable.

While the article takes a look at possible trips for these families, I think any of these places could work well for the single folks out there too. Beware that there will be plenty of kids at the indoor water parks. Been on any good local trips lately?

Awesome Time at The Post Office

Just went to the post office on California and it was all smiles. No line to wait in, which is unusual, and so I sent out a package and some letters and things and then bought some stamps. The woman showed me all kinds of stamps to choose from and most were lame until she pulled out the Super Heroes stamps. Awesome. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the works. Maybe the coolest stamps ever. I had already made my decision when she said “I think we have some Ronald Reagan stamps in here somewhere” and I laughed and said “no thanks.” “Don’t go there,” she said and we laughed again, and then I said “There aren’t any George Bush stamps, are there?” And she rolled her eyes and we laughed and laughed some more. Then for good measure we laughed again. Good times at the post office.

Snow on Ice on Lake

Snow on Ice on Lake

Paul Krassner on Chicago 10

chicago10.jpgBoingBoing has the complete text of an article by Paul Krassner, which was excerpted in the LA Times, about the new documentary Chicago 10, about the 1968 Democratic Convention riots. The film mixes archival footage with animated re-enactments, four of which Krassner wrote:

2. “Got Permit?”: We meet with Chicago deputy mayor David Stahl, attempting to get a permit for the revolution…oops, I mean permits to sleep in the park, set up a sound system and march to the convention center. Excerpt: “STAHL: C’mon, tell me, what do you guys REALLY plan to do in Chicago? PAUL: Did you ever see that movie, Wild in the Streets? [A thought balloon shows the image of a group of teenagers dumping LSD into the water supply.] STAHL: Wild in the Streets? We’ve seen Battle of Algiers. [A thought balloon shows the image of a guerrilla woman, fully covered except for her eyes, planting a bomb in a cafe.]” What would occur in Chicago that summer, then, is a clash between our mythology and their mythology.

Chicago 10 on IMDB
Chicago 10 on Rotten Tomatoes

Let’s go you Hawks, move up

I attended my first live hockey game of the season yesteday (so sad that it took until January for me to make it out to one): The Blackhawks versus the Calgary Flames. Amid some personal disappointment (Jerome Iginla wasn’t playing for the Flames, and neither was Darren McCarty), the game itself was a good time. We arrived in time for the warm-up, were able to, er, borrow some better seating than we paid for, and the Hawks beat the Flames in overtime, which always makes for a bit of excitement. Better still, they had a montage of Blackhawks past and present up on the screens before the game, to the tune of the cheeseball classic Here Come The Hawks (if you really want to hear the lo-fi kitsch of this song, you can download it from the Blackhawks website). I know some folks on here like to hate on the Blackhawks (I’m no fan of Bill Wirtz, either, that’s for sure), but the game was a good time, and there are worse things to do on a January Sunday afternoon.

But hey, if you’d rather not spend your money at the United Center, you can always check out some underwater hockey.

Impress These Apes

Ape Scores

Blewt Productions has something of a surprise hit on their hands with their Monday night comedy talent game show, Impress These Apes.

The show has a delightfully overblown framing device: far in the future, the presciently-named Professor Scoresboard captures the last three apes alive and vastly increases their intelligence. They rebel against him and use his technology to create a time machine that allows them to journey back to 2007, where 8 contestants must amuse the apes, or they’ll destroy the world with their Earthquake Machine.

The eight contestants, who were selected from open auditions, are given a new challenge each week: the first week was to compose and perform a song introducing themselves, week two was to perform three minutes of standup comedy, and week three saw the contestants dancing to randomly assigned pieces of music. The challenge for this Monday’s show is to present magic acts. At the end of the eight week run, the points leader will receive $250.

After some good press in the Reader and Time Out, the show has sold out for the last two weeks. But good news if you can’t make it to the show (and another possible reason for its popularity), is that every performance of every contestant, including their auditions, is posted on YouTube early Tuesday morning. (You can click the numbers underneath the contestants on the Impress These Apes site, or check out Blewt’s YouTube “channel”.)

Impress These Apes
The Playground Theater, 3209 N Halsted
Mondays through Feb 26, 8 pm

Disclosureburg: My wife is a contestant in the show.

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