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Really. According to a recent press release, the Chicago Skyloop film--an eight-minute aerial tour of the Loop and lakefront now being shown at Navy Pier--"is shown in two 15-seat theater capsule flight simulators that give the illusion of virtual reality."

Everybody does it, then they grow up. "The best research evidence available suggests several broad 'truths' about the universality of youthful delinquent behavior," write David Reed and Doug Thomson in One City (Fall), a publication of the Chicago Council on Urban Affairs. "Virtually all youths in the USA commit delinquent acts. Most do so in rather large numbers. Most of the delinquencies concern minor transgressions, but violent acts occur with considerable frequency. Most acts of violent delinquency involve less serious forms of violence, e.g., simple assault rather than aggravated assault. Most kids age-out of their offending behavior. All of the above have been true for decades."

Regionalism at work. The Sierra Club's Brett Hulsey, speaking against "sprawl development" in Valparaiso, Indiana (Michigan City News-Dispatch, December 11): "Why should senior citizens pay to build new schools for people moving here from Chicago?"

Our kindly parent, the state. "Authorities had an early tangible warning that fallout from nuclear tests would travel far from the site of a detonation and that care would be needed to contain it," write Pat Ortmeyer and Arjun Makhijani in the Hyde-Park-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (November/ December). "The entire photographic film industry was warned about fallout. Throughout the atmospheric testing program, AEC [Atomic Energy Commission] officials gave the photographic industry maps and forecasts of potential contamination, as well as expected fallout distributions, which enabled them to purchase uncontaminated materials and take other protective measures....But the AEC did not see fit to provide milk producers or consumers with similar information." As a result, many thousands of Americans were exposed to 15 to 70 times more radiation in the form of iodine 131 than previously known. Iodine 131 concentrates in the thyroid and can cause cancer there. The National Cancer Institute has neither released its full report nor instituted any kind of screening or notification.

Are the kids all right? The Chicago Manufacturing Center quotes a 1996 Grant Thornton study in its newsletter "Fulcrum" (Fall): "80 percent of all family-owned businesses don't survive to the third generation."

But the papers make such good cushioning when you sleep on a park bench. "In an efficient market all publicly available information is quickly incorporated into prices," University of Chicago professor Merton Miller reminds us in the University of Chicago Record (November 20). "Information is a valuable commodity after all, and like any other valuable commodity, society won't waste it. So an investor...whose investment ideas come only from the daily press or from listening to Wall Street Week can't beat the market that way. They're always going to be too late."

We're number eight! We're number eight! P.O.V. magazine (December/ January) claims that Chicago is the eighth-best American city in which to start a business, right after Austin (Texas), Orlando (Florida), Salt Lake City, Charleston (South Carolina), Las Vegas, Seattle, and Charlottesville (Virginia).

Oh, so that's what's been going on in Russia. From a recent promotional mailing: "The heralded 'death' and 'failure' and 'crisis' of Marxism are the way its detractors have always perceived its continuing transformation and growth."

"Ideas that are actually wrong and harmful...are taught to teachers in education schools," contends cultural-literacy guru E.D. Hirsch in School Reform News (December), a publication of the suburban-based Heartland Institute. For instance, "the idea that each child is individual and has to be treated differently, so that each child goes at his or her own pace. That's a very misleading idea. If a child isn't making the grade, you don't relax and say, 'Well, that's his or her pace.' You say 'The child needs to make the grade,' and we need to define what the grade is and see that that happens. That's what the best systems do....We need every child meeting a certain defined standard instead of these vague things about how different all the kids are."

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