Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Bold new journalism

Sun-Times, 7/17/08

I really hope that the front cover of today’s Sun-Times is an example of their new style. Maybe they can just farm their covers out to Worth1000 or Something Awful. (If nothing else, I’m looking forward to Daley as Barney Fife tomorrow.)

(thanks, Erica)



It’s hard to walk a block in this city without seeing one of SOLVE’s eponymous stickers. And that’s not all SOLVE did — there are other stickers, paste-ups, boards, prints tucked into newspaper boxes. I never met the man, but I’m a fan of his work.

I only learned SOLVE’s real name this weekend, in the most horrible possible way. Brendan Scanlon was murdered Friday night in Logan Square. Chicago is poorer for this loss.

A suspect has been charged with the murder.

  • Gapers Block article on Chicago street art from last May, including SOLVE
  • SOLVE’s Flickr stream
  • Chicago Tribune on the murder
  • Memorial at Grand and Milwaukee
  • Chicago Street Art Flickr group discussion
  • (Links via Gapers Block, Upset Magazine, Chicagoist. Photo by josephp )

    City Council Votes on Event Promoters Ordinance Tomorrow!

    The Event Promoters ordinance will go before the city council at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, May 14th. I received an e-mail about a campaign to flood city hall with opponents of this ordinance. The campaign is being organized through The Point, and the goal is for 100 people to commit to attending the council meeting tomorrow. Save Chicago Culture will present a petition opposing the ordinance at the meeting.

    Because the proposal was fast-tracked through committee, the Chicago arts community has had very little time to respond. I, for one, will be attending the council meeting tomorrow. If you care about preserving Chicago’s theatre, music and comedy I expect to see you there too. If you can’t make it, please e-mail your alderman today and express your opinion.

    Otherwise, I suppose you could just pay a hundred bucks a pop and go see Wicked again.

    The Event Promoters’ Ordinance

    Well, this is appalling.

    This Wednesday the city council votes on the so-called “Event Promoters’ ordinance.” If this thing passes it could mean that any artist wishing to produce or promote his own work would have to pay up to $2,000 for a license. He or she would have to be over the age of 21, must get fingerprinted, submit to a background check, and inform the police seven days in advance of an event. This ordinance is aimed directly at small venues and new artists who have yet to develop an audience. Larger spaces that seat over 500 — in other words, places that can actually afford the license — are exempt.

    The weblog Save Chicago Culture is collecting signatures in opposition to the ordinance. On their site you can find a .pdf of the complete text of the ordinance, as well as links to the city council site, and your local alderman. The Sun-Times’ Jim DeRogatis has an in-depth analysis on his blog.

    The problem is, blogs are the only place this thing has gotten any attention. So, if you don’t want to lose the Double Door, Schuba’s, Martyrs’, the Vic, the Riv or the Metro, get a message to your alderman at once.

    The Davis/Sherman Thing Gets Uglier

    This story will not die.

    At the beginning of the whole Monique Davis/Rob Sherman debacle, I checked out Mr. Sherman’s website and decided it kinda made him look like a of a douche. I liked what he had to say, but not always the way he said it. His douchebaggery was reinforced with this genius quote:

    Now that Negroes like Representative Monique Davis have political power, it seems that they have no problem at all with discrimination, just as long as it isn’t them who are being discriminated against.

    What the hell?!?

    I pulled the quote from Friendly Atheist, as Mr. Sherman at least had the good sense to eventually take the quote down. For a more thorough recap of all the ridiculousness you might want to check them out.

    The whole thing just sucks. Rep. Davis’ comments last week were ignorant. Mr. Sherman’s response was downright stupid. Nobody wins.

    State Rep. Apologizes for Anti-Atheist Rant

    After a week’s worth of some of the worst press ever, including being named Worst Person in the World by Keith Olbermann, State Representative Monique Davis has apologized to atheist activist Rob Sherman for her attack on him on the floor of the General Assembly last week. According to the article, Rep. Davis blamed her outburst on having just learned of another student death at Chicago Public Schools. Such news is indeed upsetting; the number of Chicago students killed in gang violence this year is reaching a level difficult to believe. I suspect, however, that she revealed her true feelings about atheism in her tirade.

    While it was right for you to apologize, Rep. Davis, don’t try to cover it with a lame excuse. You went off because for some reason you feel threatened by atheists. It is the typical response of the ignorant person: Attack that which you do not understand.

    How sad for you. And how sad for Illinois.

    Ellen is coming to Chicago!!!

    Holy crap! Ellen is coming to Chicago in like, three weeks!!! I love Ellen! She’s on my “people I want to meet” list! I’ve made three attempts to go to l.a. to see Ellen, but plans always fell through. And now……SHE’S COMING TO CHICAGO!!!!

    Wild Cougars Might Roam Chicago, and Trib Commenters Explode in Pointless Rage

    Lions and tigers (but probably not bears)!

    According to the Chicago Tribune, a “very big cat” is on the loose in North Chicago. If it is, as has been speculated, a wild cougar, then keep an eye on your kids and pets. Cougars are thought to need the meat equivalent of one deer every day. One deer or seven or eight pugs, if you will.

    On a side note, 78 people, so far, have decided to take time from their busy days to comment on the situation on the Trib’s website, kicking things off with random short jokes and obligatory John Cougar Mellencamp references. Impressively, it only took 22 posts for someone to explode in pointless, misdirected, anonymous anger. “You sir, are a **** You know absolutely nothinmg (sic) about cats and have the audacity to post here.”

    Indeed! The audacity to post a comment on the internet armed with less than all the facts! In a less-than-academic manner! This is the internet, and we are all noble and enlightened communicators, expressing ideas with only the most philanthropic of motivations!

    The insulted poster, his hackles then also raised, responded with a lengthy cut-and-pasted quote from an Illinois Department of Natural Resources document, once again restoring justice and balance in the blogiverse.

    So, yeah, watch out for wild predators — in Northern Chicago parks and forests, as well as on the wild and wooly internets.

    We’re all shiny and new

    The Chicago Metblog, and indeed the whole Metroblogging Network, got a big facelift over the weekend. Actually, “facelift” is only the half of it, since there have been major changes to the underlying platform. The great news is that means all sorts of nifty bells and whistles are coming soon. The not-so-great news is that some things are broken — please bear with us as we nail down every little problem.

    Math and Politics

    As someone who teaches math, I’m always on the lookout for math related news items. As a teacher, I am always on the look out for political news (since my job is tied to political decisions). Two weeks ago this interesting article popped up on Newsweek about the math of voting. Turns out, as mathematician Donald Saari says, “Election outcomes can more accurately reflect the choice of an election rule than the voters’ wishes.” This is most clearly reflected in the presidential outcomes in 2000.

    The article directs readers to a website that gives the online community three methods of voting: 1) selecting your top candidate 2) selecting all candidates you think are acceptable for president and 3) ranking the candidates. As of right now, the top vote getter for all three methods is local boy done good Barack Obama.

    However, with the complexity and oddness of the leviathan we call the primaries, the nominations are still up in the air. For the democrats, it looks like it might come down to the super mysterious super delegates. They are getting lots of chocolate and flowers this week from the Obama and Clinton camps.

    I have to be honest. I understand the flawed BCS system for choosing a college football champion better then I understand the American primary system. However, I understand it enough to find primary outcomes decided by a cabal of political insiders a bit unfair.

    And that’s not just me saying that it would be unfair; that is math saying it would be unfair. Of course, math has been saying that No Child Left Behind is unfair, but, politically, few have listened to that noise.

    Everyone, please listen to math (5000 years of history can’t be wrong). Also, go celebrate Pi Day on March 14.

    Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.