The City File | City File | Chicago Reader

The City File 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Leeches are back, according to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where they are used to help wounds drain. Says the center, "The leeches are economical (about $6 apiece) and easy to apply (they feed for 20 to 40 minutes then drop off)." Best of all, "They leave a bite mark that looks like the Mercedes Benz logo."

And we won't stop until every illiterate high school graduate has a bellboy job at a tourist hotel. Signs of the times: Illinois comptroller Roland Burris reports that Illinois spends more money promoting tourism than any other state--$15.5 million (6.6 percent of all state travel budgets added together). And Voices (Winter 1988), the newsletter of Voices for Illinois Children, adds that Illinois now ranks 41st among the states in per capita aid to education.

"South Shore Bank doesn't look out of the ordinary," writes Mark Satin in the New Options newsletter (March 28). "But it's the 'Development Deposits' that separate South Shore from all other banks [and] support South Shore's innovative urban lending program--which has directed over $85 million in credit to neighborhood residents to rehabilitate run-down housing, pay college tuition and finance small businesses and non-profit organizations." While many local banks take neighborhood deposits and lend them elsewhere, explains senior vice president Joan Shapiro, South Shore says to investors, "If you put your money in our neighborhood, we will apply those resources to redevelop our disinvested community."

Is this why George Bush can't remember trading arms for hostages? According to the Student Lawyer (April 1988), the New Physician, the magazine of the American Medical Student Association, recently reported on an experiment that showed two-thirds of businessmen and lawyers surveyed wore ties so tight that they "seem to cause slower responses to visual stimuli, which do not speed up immediately on loosening."

"Since Adam and Eve complained about Cain and Abel," writes Andrew Greeley in the Chicago-based Critic (Spring 1988), "each generation has thought that the one following it is different, inexplicable, and a sign of the deterioration of the human species." Cain--the great example of boys will be boys.

I fight poverty--I work. But it's not enough. According to Hungerline Reports (February/March 1988), "The fastest growing segment of the poor are working poor. Prime working age people (aged 22 to 64) who work but are still poor rose by 50 percent between 1978 and 1986. . . . More than six million people live in poor households where someone works full-time, year-round."

Scenes we'd rather not see. "Here's Chicago!", the multimedia tourist show at the Water Tower, says it's offering a new "three dimensional dramatization of the famous St. Valentine's Day Massacre, which signified the triumph of law and order over gangster forces." I guess it did, if your idea of law and order is Al Capone's gang executing seven unarmed members of rival bootlegger Bugs Moran's gang.

But what if it can't? South suburban Matteson, which is divided by Interstate 57, has received $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts in order to study "how design can integrate a freeway location into the surrounding community."

Why nobody is talking about privatizing the CTA. CTA executive director Robert E. Paaswell: "When CTA took over the ailing surface and rapid transit lines in 1947, buses, trains and streetcars were traveling only about 4,700 miles between accidents, for an accident rate of 20.9 per 100,000 miles. The average distance traveled between accidents is now up to 22,700 miles, with the frequency rate down to 4.4."

How about those scavengers raiding the city-provided blue recycling crates in the Beverly neighborhood, recycling the old newspapers, cans, and bottles therein for their own profit? According to Nate Lee in New City (March 24), they aren't a problem but "a solution in disguise. The scavengers in Beverly are an indication that there is not enough garbage to go around. . . . All we need to do is invest in a lot more blue crates, sure bait to all those who want to get into the act. The city would pretend that it is going to pick up the recyclable garbage just to encourage the scavengers to work fast to beat 'government'. . . . Then we can call the scavengers businessmen."

"First-year IMSA students found themselves learning to go-go dance part of their chemistry class," reports Nova (March 1988), the newsletter of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora. "In Molecule A-Go-Go, students learned dance-like movements to simulate the motions of some common gas molecules. 'In particular, the stretching mode is significant,' says [instructor Chris] Kawa, 'since it is used as the basis for identification of molecules by spectroscopy.' Students performed in the academic pit to music popularized by the go-go dance craze of the 60's."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Harold Henderson

  • The Recyclable House

    The Recyclable House

    If Ken Ortiz has his way, no one in Chicago will ever simply "demolish" a building again.
    • Jul 24, 2008
  • Sympathy for the Devil?

    Sympathy for the Devil?

    Progressive scribe Rick Perlstein made his reputation finding the good in conservatives. Then they really started screwing up the country.
    • Jan 24, 2008
  • Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Wanna raise funds to run for office? Nag Schwarzenegger about health care? Or just make fun of Bush? Call Articulated Man.
    • Jan 10, 2008
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
Impure Thoughts Center on Halsted
November 15
Performing Arts
Mosquitoes Steep Theatre
September 28

Popular Stories