ETA: And, the ordinance passes Wednesday, during the last City Council meeting of the Daley years. Maybe this is his legacy after all.
The long-awaited, much-debated shared kitchens ordinance has been approved by the city's licensing committee. Among other things, the ordinance creates a new category of business license for users of shared kitchens, and cuts the fee for that license by half, to $330 for a two-year license. A temporary, 90-day license is also being created that'll cost short-term users of shared kitchens $75 a pop, so someone seeking to, say, can and sell farm-fresh tomatoes can get in on the action of August without having to come up with a lot of scratch.
A new DVD box set from Shout! Factory exhaustively chronicles the small-screen career of pioneering video comedian Ernie Kovacs; it's the subject of this week's long review. Andrea Gronvall recommends Incendies, a Canadian drama about two grown siblings who uncover their mother's dark past in the war-torn Middle East, and Ben Sachs recommends Stake Land, a class-conscious horror movie about two people trying to survive in a postapocalyptic rust belt plagued by vampires.
Mike Sula travels downstate to the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, where the U.S. Forest Service is recruiting volunteers to help weed out the invasive weed garlic mustard, which threatens indigenous plants like toothwort, spring beauty, and trillium. It’s pernicious—but edible, with a mild garlic flavor that can be put to use in salads, pesto, or even a cocktail, as Sable head bartender Mike Ryan finds in our new drinks feature Cocktail Challenge. You’ll find more recipes for garlic mustard from forager, chef, and caterer Iliana Regan on our relaunched blog, the Bleader.
In Key Ingredient, Mexique chef-owner Carlos Gaytan takes dried shrimp and makes “coffee and doughnuts,” i.e., shrimp consomme and shrimp beignets with Parmesan and white truffle oil, served with saffron foam and tuile “spoons.” Next up is Doug Sohn of Hot Doug’s, working with chicken feet. “They’re really good,” says Gaytan.
Learning to appreciate the Bee Gees can be tough. There's a lot of shiny, falsetto-disco baggage attached to the name, but pressing forward (and blocking out your memories of The Barry Gibb Talk Show) is completely worth it—pre-Saturday Night Fever the Bee Gees were a pretty much flawless psych-tinged pop group who wrote a ridiculous number of bafflingly good songs. Is there another song as beautiful and perfect as "To Love Somebody"? My extensive research indicates that no, there is not.
Cucumber Castle is an excellent place to start digging into the Bee Gees' good stuff. And if upon listening to the album you find yourself in need of more circa-1970 Gibbs, but maybe in video form and lighter on the gorgeous melodies—but with considerably more terrible acting—you might want to check out the made-for-TV film of the same name. Starring Vincent Price for some reason, Cucumber Castle is a prime example of the not-making-a-damn-lick-of-sense school of filmmaking that blossomed in hippie-era Britain. The fabulous sci-fi blog io9, which posted a ten-minute excerpt of the film today, describes it thusly:
Price plays the evil vampire Count Voxville, and Barry and Maurice Gibb play two princes of a kingdom that's been divided in half so they can each rule a kingdom for themselves. As seen in the above clip, Vincent schemes to get Barry and Maurice to kill each other in a spurious duel so he can inherit the chamberpot for himself. And that's more thought than the people making this atrocity put into it, honestly.
I somehow managed to make it through the entire ten minutes, and I have literally almost no idea what was happening. All I'm sure of is that Vincent Price should have rocked the muttonchop look a lot more, and that I never want to see the Gibbses "act" ever again. The clip's after the jump.
Former ballet dancer Rahm Emanuel cuts a rug at the Cara Program.
The Big Breeze stretched his missing streak to 13 games last weekend, fanning in all three losses to the Tigers, but he snapped the streak on Monday night in a rare White Sox victory, 2-0 over the Yankees. The Sox have won every game this season in which Adam Dunn has played and not struck out. Both of them. Dunn is now working on a fresh three-game missing streak.
Dunn’s quest to break the club’s season strikeout record (175) seemed in jeopardy when he missed a half dozen games this month because of an appendectomy. But he’s making up for lost time by fanning at an elevated clip—once every 2.4 official at bats, compared with his career rate of once every 3 ABs.
Back in the old days three years ago, we would have fretted and fussed over the cause of the Big Breeze’s increased whiffing—but thanks to computer analysis, we needn’t wonder. On Wednesday, ESPN’s Stats & Info blog posted the answer to “Why Dunn’s done little damage thus far.” The blog, which uses “a blend of traditional statistics and the advanced metrics we call ‘Next Level,’" has determined that Dunn is striking out more because he’s been missing the ball more. “Dunn’s miss percentage on pitches in the strike zone from left-handed pitching is way up,” Stats & Info points out. As is his miss percentage against right-handers. And his miss percentage against fastballs. So there you have it from Next Level metrics: all Dunn has to do is reduce his miss percentage, and he’ll be in business.
Bookkeeping errors and mismanagement of the city’s tree-planting program have cost taxpayers about $500,000, according to the city’s inspector general. The city spent more than $8 million to plant 14,675 trees between 2008 and 2010; that comes to $569 per tree. (Tribune)
That glowing orb in the sky? It’s the sun, and it has returned, pushing temperatures into the 70s tomorrow. (Tribune)