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Saturday, November 1

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The October Surprise, with Fries

Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner made a Chicagoland-sized faux pas when he ordered a hot dog with ketchup yesterday at a suburban Portillo's. Twitter exploded; Rauner's Press Secretary insists that the dog was for her...but how can we really know?

Travel Blacklist

Fodor's shares some things visitors should not to do in Chicago, including flying into O'Hare and visiting the Willis Tower Skydeck.

Where's that Satire Label?

The latest fake news junking up your Facebook feed is one claiming a man died in a Waukegan haunted house and wasn't found for nearly two weeks.

Streaming Skyscrapers

The Discovery Channel launched a live camera feed from up high on the Wyndham Grand downtown ahead of Nik Wallenda's walk across the skyline.

Straight Up & Down

Chicago's streets rarely deviate from the grid, a color-coded visualization by Data Pointed shows.

Ebert's Edits

Roger Ebert was apparently active on Wikipedia from 2004 to 2009. The Atlantic reports that an Australian artist has compiled the late critic's edits into a single 45-page book as an art project.

Don't Believe the Internet

You can tell your alarmed aunt on Facebook that no, there haven't been any deaths in Chicago from ebola, despite what some sketchy satirical website says. (Thanks, Dee!)

Why Sometimes Pure Statistics are Worthless

Because basing outcomes solely on stats results in 60602 and 60603 -- two Loop zip codes with fewer than 2,000 residents between them -- showing up as two of Movoto's "best zip codes in America" to live in. But hey, "As a final perk, no families here reported that they were below the poverty line, so this is a less stressful kind of place to call home."

Help Mucca Pazza Go-Go

Fans of this epic punk/spectacle marching band have just 16 hours left to support Mucca Pazza's latest album release on Indie Go-Go. Get yourself some music, a hoodie, a fanny pack, or your own set of sheet music to play along with the band at home.

Mourning Sirens

Makeitfor.us wants to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire by sounding the city's warning sirens at 9pm tonight; turn your speakers into a siren by visiting their website.

Gliding Through Downtown

A sweeping, ultra high definition video of downtown by The Outbound Life looks like the epic conclusion to a documentary about the city.

Follow That Smell

Want to always make sure you're up- (or down-) wind from the just-baked-chocolate smell from the Blommer Chocolate Factory downtown? This tumblr can help you out with tips based on daily wind and weather forecasts.

Local Vocabulary

@ChicagoWords tweets out a daily word, phrase or person that every Chicagoan should know.

Uptalk vs. Da Superfans

Gawker is ranking America's Ugliest Accent, and Chicago's is up against the LA valley girls. This is probably one of those times when it's best not to vote for Chicago.

Kickstarting a Generation

A seatless folding bike, a memoir by a former skinhead, a documentary about transgender Christians and the next season of "Steve Gadlin's Star Makers" are among the projects currently funding on GB's curated Kickstarter page.

What You Didn't See

Underviewed, FoGB Felix Jung's latest project, directs your attention to videos with very few views on YouTube, probably partly because their creators never changed the default filenames.

Leviathan of the Lake

Going to go out on a limb and say, no, there's no hippo in the Chicago River.

Judge for yourself:

Evanston's the Place to Be

24/7WallSt made a list of "America's 50 Best Cities to Live" (sic) and put Evanston at #5.

WWW Ewwww

With all this rain and flooding, you can check if raw sewage is, in fact, currently being spilled into the Chicago River with just a click. Check istheresewageinthechicagoriver.com for all the icky, clickable reality, based on data from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

You Killed the Bricks

A Swedish LEGO enthusiast built a recreation of the Ferris Bueller's Day Off scene in which Cameron sends his dad's Ferrari through the window.

There was also another Ferris Bueller scene and one from The Blues Brothers in the annual competition.

How the Nuggets are Made

The McDonald's corporate social media team got schooled after telling @HowThingsWork not to "spread bad information" -- by sharing an animated gif from the company's own video.

Cover My House in What!?

The new esurance billboard at Washington and Canal offers an, uh, interesting suggestion.

esurance dick


UPDATE: Looks like it's already been fixed.

Watch it Right Meow

PAWS has a live kitten cam showing the latest additions up for adoption; shelters typically receive an influx of young cats and dogs during warm summer months.

Even a Brutal Dictator Gets a Bad Dorm

A Loyola student expresses his frustrations over a housing lottery number in a creative (yet overblown) way.

Looking for a Halloween Costume with Impeccable Provenance?

The Lyric Opera is hosting a sale of more than 3,000 of its costumes next week.

Terrorist Threat or Idle One?

An alleged ISIS operative tweeted a message appearing to threaten Washington DC and Chicago, including photos of the White House and 307 N. Michigan Ave., aka the Old Republic Building.

Stream Dreams

"TV everywhere" service NimbleTV is coming to Chicago, and Chicago-based "Pandora for news" Rivet Radio recently raised $1.7 million from investors including the Associated Press.

Canada Treats a Murray Right

No, not Anne Murray. Our boy Bill has been awarded Sept. 5th as his own official day up north.

Virtiginous Viral Video

If you have a fear of heights or suffer from vertigo, you might not want to watch this video of ironworkers preparing to remove a portion of the John Hancock Tower's west antenna. [via]

Oddball Potato Chips Have Local Cred

The bizarre new flavors of Lays Potato Chips have a local connection; the artwork on the "Cappuccino" flavor depicts a latte from Wicker Park's Wormhole. From what I've read, the packaging is better than the product inside.

Data Dump

Jamie Kalven of the Invisible Institute released several documents related to police misconduct. And in unrelated news, Dan X. O'Neil and Scott Robbin are parsing the data from the FCC public comments regarding Net Neutrality.

Positive Prankster

Unlike most YouTube pranksters, Blake Grigsby goes for feel-good smiles instead of cheap laughs.

Windy City Smackdown

Chicago delivers a knockout blow to New York in a Yahoo Travel post that pits the rival travel destinations against one another.

Cats of the Internet

Once again, the Internet's favorite cats are in town. Lil Bub is at the Metro tonight (with Jesus Lizard's David Yow), and Grumpy Cat is at the Old Orchard Barnes & Noble Friday.

The Quick Way Down

Actuary and parkour enthusiast Ethan Swanson filmed himself jumping off a Lincoln Park rooftop, onto another roof and then to a spiral staircase.

Here's Swanson's audition tape for "American Ninja Warrior," on which he competed in 2013.

So Many Openings

Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo has plans to open next fall on the Mag Mile in the space formerly occupied by Filene's Basement; NYC-based Shake Shack, which will open this fall in the Gold Coast, will be adding a second location next year by Millennium Park.

George Lucas Announces Architects For Lakefront Museum

George Lucas selected two world-renowned architects, Chicago's Jeanne Gang and China's Ma Yansong, to design the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on Northerly Island.

Follow at a Safe Distance

Kevin Selagea was cycling through Skokie when a driver began tailgating him. Fortunately, it wasn't for long -- a police officer pulled the tailgater over and ticketed him. [via]

Road Love

A video of Chicago comedian Blake Grigsby yelling compliments at strangers while driving through the city has over 500,000 views on YouTube.

Big Jerk

A cyclist who was told by a drunken guy outside of Wicker Park's Big Star that "the world would be a better place without her" (among other very unprintable things) because she asked him to not loiter in the bike lane posted her tale to Craigslist.

Brotherly Love & Rivalry

Chicago-based writer Eric Spitznagel's brother is filthy rich and Eric is not. What brought them closer together was a $50 Timex watch.

Graduate & Move Here

Evidently Chicago is the fifth most attractive city to move to for "young grads," according to a LinkedIn survey.

Oh Deer

A woman got quite the shock this weekend while driving on I-90 near Barrington; a deer fell from an overpass and went through her windshield. No one was injured.

Assault in Logan Square

Reddit user "dobbi" posted that she was attacked while walking on Lyndale around 9:15am this morning. Description and a lengthy discussion follows at the Reddit post.

United States of X: Language Edition

No surprise that Spanish is the most common language spoken in the US after English. But what's the further down on the list? In Illinois, Polish is third. Slate's Ben Blatt also looked at what the most common Native American, Scandinavian, Indo-Aryan and African languages are spoken across the country. UPDATE: AAPI Voices' Karthick Ramakrishnan points out flaws with some of Blatt's maps, and provides updates.

Counting Down to the End of the Bun

Hotdogs.com is, amazingly, a countdown clock for the closure of Hot Doug's.

How Many Chicagos in New York?

Three, according to this map of "New York expressed in units of Chicagos." [via]

chicagos_in_nyc.jpg

We're the Funniest

The Humor Research Lab at University of Colorado Boulder has determined Chicago is the funniest city in America.

Enjoy an Old School Mass

If going to church is not on this weekend's to-do list, you should at least view this narrated footage of a traditional Catholic Latin Mass filmed on Easter Sunday 1941 at the amazing Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica on the city's West Side.

Cat Videos for Good

Cats from local no kill shelters are the stars of CATastrophes, a web series that uses the Internet's love of whiskered videos to promote pet adoption.

You Win or You Chi

TimeOut takes a stab at matching Chicago neighborhoods to the kingdoms and castles of Game of Thrones.

But a Listicle Ain't One

Thrillist's Chicago editor Sean Cooly put together a list of the city's 99 problems.

United States of X: Corny Edition

Popcorn represents Illinois on Hargreaves & Levin's map of the US in corn. [via]

Drilling Down

On the heels of yesterday's shooting at the suburban home of the manager of rapper Chief Keef, Gawker takes a look at drill music and its effect on the city's music, politics and culture.

Over 30 Hurt in Blue Line Derailment at ORD

A train car entering the Blue Line O'Hare station at a speed observed to be faster than normal derailed and hit a platform at about 3am this morning, causing the car to rest on the stairs that lead into the airport. Over 30 were sent to nearby hospitals; six of them have fair-to-serious injuries. CTA is running bus shuttles between O'Hare and the Rosemont stop to accommodate passengers.

1 Tournament We Don't Want to Win

Speaking of brackets, Deadspin put Chicagoans -- that's right, all of us -- on its bitchiest, most defensive fans in America bracket, up against Crossfit Enthusiasts.

The Internet Interviews

Interviewly takes Reddit AMAs and turns them into more traditionally formatted interviews. Chicagoans getting the treatment so far include John Cusack, Bill Murray, Audrey Niffenegger, Gary Sinise and of course, President Barack Obama.

Dogs Missing in Burglary Found

The two French bulldogs that were missing after a home burglary in Avondale yesterday were found in Humboldt Park and reunited with their owners earlier this evening.

Follow These Folks

Thrillist posted a list of 50 Chicago Twitter Feeds that Matter -- but the list is pretty light on ladies. Scott Smith (a member of Thrillist's list) provides this corrective.

President of Sick Burns

Barack Obama traded barbs with Zach Galifianakis on his Between Two Ferns web series to promote signing up for health insurance.

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama from President Barack Obama

Daylight Zulu Time

Don't forget to set your clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time this weekend. And did you know that the military has its own time zone system? Chicago is on Sierra Time.

False History

A photo shared by CNN of Chicago's "early days along Lake Street," which made the rounds here and on social media, was actually a still from the '30's film "In Old Chicago."

Eff this Weather

Annie of the Offbeat Drummer has a better winter hat than you, but maybe you could find someone to make it for you for next year.

itistoofuckingcold.jpg

A Win is a Win

Voters chose Chicago as the best city in the U.S. through a March Madness-style tournament bracket posted by the Atlantic. Sure it's unscientific, arbitrary linkbait, but after this winter we'll take the win.

Bid on a Bit of Dominick's

If you're nostalgic for the departed grocery chain -- or if you're opening a store of your own -- you could bid on items from the Edgewater location, from ice scoops to a Frialator to a whole coffee shop.

Chicago vs. New York Infographic

An infographic compares the nation's two most fast-paced and busy cities, Chicago and New York, on a variety of aspects of city culture, from sports to airports to tourists, and of course, the ever-lasting pizza rivalry.

House of Cards: Chicago

A remix of the "House of Cards" intro credits using time-lapse footage of Chicago at night (lifted without credit from Eric Hines and Max Wilson) hints at what a local version of the show would look like, although its two-party politics probably wouldn't be so compelling here. [via]

Joe Walsh Calls LGBT "Constitutional Terrorists"

Chicago radio host and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh called the LGBT community "a group of constitutional terrorists" on Twitter Tuesday, in reference to the Arizona bill allowing businesses to deny services to LGBT customers. Walsh's tweets continued, as he said he felt forced to respect other people's constitutional liberties but others don't respect his.

Go Fund Stuff

A storytelling podcast, La Boheme in a bar, a webcomic in print and more are on Gapers Block's curated Kickstarter page.

Be My #ChicagoValentine

Like a shot of Malort dipped in chocolate, Chicagoans on Twitter are finding local ways to express their affection using the hashtag #ChicagoValentines.

Candy Radio Hearts

The Google Doodle today is a special Valentine's Day mini-episode from "This American Life." The show also has a Valentine sampler of favorite love-themed pieces.

Government Mandated Love

"Enroll by February 14th for coverage, because on the 15th, it's too late." Valentines.gov. [via]

Chicago eBooks

Can a Twitter bot capture Chicago's essence? @whatschicago echoes tweets that mention "Chicago is," and Robinson Meyer reflects on what the results say about the city in the Atlantic.

Mr. Incredible, Defender of Chicago

Was The Incredibles set in Chicago? Eowyn Smith, the creator of this map of Disney & Pixar implied locales, thinks so. [via]

disney-pixar-map.jpg

Down the Tube

Chief Keef isn't the only Chicagoan arrested because of a YouTube video. From rants to violence, the CPD comes knocking when people post their crimes online.

The Next Super Bowl is Galactic

And it'll feature the Monsters of the Midway: the Hoth Wampas.

Don't Mind the Gap

Here's a beautiful short video based on "This American Life's" Ira Glass' advice to beginners in a creative field.

The X of Y

I think of Williamsburg as the Wicker Park of New York, since the former got hot years after the latter already was, but Gawker reversed it -- and called Pilsen Chicago's Bushwick (aka the next up-and-coming hipster hood).

Don't Feed the Digital Beast

While students directed a torrent of offensive tweets towards U of I Chancellor Phyllis Wise after the school didn't cancel classes Monday, RedEye social media lady Jessica Galliart writes the incident doesn't deserve any attention.

I'll Come Home to Illinois on the Day After Tomorrow

Chicagoland has several entries in the Tom Waits Map, a thorough mapping of every place mentioned in the singer's many songs.

Vortex 2, CPS 0

Chicago Public Schools has already cancelled classes tomorrow in anticipation of the next round of bone-chilling cold.

Get Away from ORD

Forbes has a layover guide for O'Hare that conveniently breaks down according to length of pit stop.

Smells Like the Outer Drive

Bath & Body Works thinks a Lake Shore Drive scented candle should smell like "fresh water, shoreline woods and a hint of mint." In other words, they have never been on Lake Shore Drive. (Thanks, Rachelle!)

A Shuffle for this Generation

The "Super Bowl Shuffle" has been remade by a motley crew of comedians (among them Chicagoan Kyle Kinane) and other entertaining folk in the name of charity.

Asking Them Anything

Last week Ald. Scott Waguespack did an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit. He didn't get quite the attention that another Chicagoan got: Bill Murray.

Give the Gift of Gravel

Speaking of potholes, The Pothole Store is your one-stop shop for Chicago pothole-related gifts and keepsakes. [via]

Sworn Dental Testimony

Comedian Emily Winter's parents wee both lawyers. When she lost a tooth in 1989 and couldn't find it, they wrote up a legal affidavit for the Tooth Fairy explaining its disappearance so she could still receive compensation. [via]

Cubs Unveil Mascot, Internet Flips Out

The Cubs unveiled their new mascot, Clark the Cub today, and the Internet went nuts. Among the people chiming in was Deadspin editor and Chicagoan Tim Marchman, who calls Clark "a nightmarish, perverted furry."

I Thought I Had Faith in My Web-Savviness, Until I Took This 1 Simple Test

Headlines Against Humanity pits two preposterous headlines against each other -- can you guess which is real? It's surprisingly hard. [via]

Live Like it's 1975

The dates of 1975 and 2014 line up, so local cartoonist Mark Anderson scanned in his mint condition Mighty Marvel Calendar for 1975 for you to use as a monthly desktop. [via]

The Lindsey Buckingham Fountain

Want to screw with visitors? Time Out has some lies about Chicago you can tell them.

A Last Laugh at Dominick's Turns Sour

Steve Yamamoto showed up for his last shift at a Glen Ellyn Dominick's yesterday, only to be told that he had been suspended over a brilliantly sarcastic YouTube video he produced commemorating the closing of the supermarket chain.

Help the Hopeless

This holiday season, take care of the hipsters. (Thanks, Paul!)

Dealing with Trolls

Emily Graslie, the Field Museum's "chief curiosity correspondent," recently took on workplace sexism and Internet trolls in a video that went viral. Chicago magazine's Whet Moser delved deeper into the topic with Graslie and others.

You Talk Funny

Do you talk like a Chicagoan? The NYTimes is running a version of the Harvard Dialectical Survey that shows you which parts of the country your personal dialect is most similar to. Keep your eye out for a question that helped name this very site.

Make That Giant Snowwoman

The entry to the Snowman Bouncer at Navy Pier's Winter Wonderfest is decidedly vaginal, notes Jezebel.

Discounts Whistling Through the Air

Not content with delivery drones, Groupon is going with catapults.

Four-Star Facts

Out of the Loop delivers a random assortment of "simple facts about the greatest city on Earth."

A British Kells

As part of R. Kelly's appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last night, British actor Benedict Cumberbatch recited lyrics to his song "Genius."

Catty Map of the City

Urbane released a map of Chicago that only covers the city from Foster to about 21st, and west to around Central Park, and fills it in with place descriptions that range from witty to condescending to somewhat clueless. But hey, what do you expect from a bunch of San Franciscans?

Jake and Elwood LEGO

Bricktease recreated the shopping mall chase from The Blues Brothers in LEGO. [via]

Here's how it was made:

Ladies in the TARDIS

A certain segment of the TV-watching world is in a tizzy over the 50th anniversary of "Doctor Who." At C2E2 earlier this year, local cosplayer Nina "MangoSirene" and friends put together a photoshoot of genderbent Doctors, and it's pretty awesome.

Mint Pitfall Harry in Original Package

Dan Polydoris made custom action figures for classic Activision videogames as a present for himself on his birthday. [via]

Kickstart My Heart

A nightlight clock, an anthology of plays about bullying and a collaborative microbrewery are among the current projects on
GB's curated Kickstarter page.

Self-Congragulatory Awards

Time Out Chicago has announced the winners in its first annual Best Awards, as selected by the readers and staff.

Where No Divvy Has Gone Before

At the end of August, one very unfortunate Divvy bike rider found herself in about the wrongest place possible: the left lane on northbound Lake Shore Drive during the afternoon rush. [via]

The Bears FC

What if the Bears played that other game called football? A new logo project imagines what their insignia would look like. (I think we fared better than Green Bay.)

"If you saw it in a movie you wouldn't believe it... and it'd be a pretty bad movie, too."

ESPN's "30 for 30" looks back on one of the craziest games ever played: the Space Jam game of 1995, which included two of Chicago's biggest stars in basketball, Michael Jordan and Bill Murray. [via]

Locally Known

After Buzzfeed listed the "celebrities" of New York, Time Out Chicago decided to make its own list of local celebrities. Chaz Walters, Ronnie Woo Woo and the Landan twins are ready for their close-ups.

"Guess who's back in town..."

Speaking of Poltergeist III, there's an entire fanpage devoted to the 1988 film, in which angry spirits follow Carol Anne to the Hancock Tower.

Upward to God

The Christian Science Society of Dixon in western Illinois is getting a lot of attention this week after the Internet noticed the shape of its new church on Google Maps.

Gathering Light Center for Spiritual Seeking- penis church

The church is showing it has a sense of humor in light of the attention: its Facebook profile cover photo now features a "giant fig leaf" over the Google Maps image.

gathering light - figleaf

Appetite for Profit

Locally led #Foodiechats has figured out a way to make money off its weekly Twitter chats.

A Jailbird Deferred

Jesse Jackson, Jr. showed up yesterday to a North Carolina federal prison to begin his 30-month sentence a few days earlier than his scheduled surrender date (this Friday) and was turned away. Update: he is in custody as of this morning. Persistence pays off!

Haunting Protips

Leah Pickett breaks down Halloween happenings in the area, including haunted houses, costume balls, and spooky drive-in movies.

Start an Argument on Facebook

Thought Catalog's "35 Important Things Only Chicagoans Will Understand" should give you plenty of fuel.

Sometimes You Kick

A documentary about Dr. Quentin Young, a lecture series about craft, a "wall-less" community center in Bronzeville and a line of liquor-infused spice mixes are among the campaigns on GB's curated Kickstarter page.

Drones in the City

Ben Raatz has a personal drone that he's been testing out around town, getting a top view of Buckingham Fountain and the South Loop.

Income Gap, Giffed

Nickolay Lamm mapped income onto real estate in Manhattan to show the inequality between neighborhoods. He's since done similar maps for Chicago and other cities.

Chicago income gap

You Only Lincoln Once

A mini Abe Lincoln lives it up across the state in a new ad by Enjoy Illinois, journeying from down in Springfield to up on the skydeck of the Willis Tower.

Real Talk at the Rink

The Hoffman Estates Park District knows how to keep the crowd at their youth hockey league games in check. [via]

Dancing Out the Door

Chicago native Marina Shifrin spent the last two years working in the CGI coal mines at Taiwan's Next Media Animation in relative anonymity. That is, until her dance-interpreted resignation video this weekend went viral. [via]

UPDATE: New Media Animation created a response video.

Hard to Heat Up

The lead designer of the classic arcade game NBA Jam admitted it was rigged to make the Chicago Bulls play worse whenever they went up against the Detroit Pistons. [via]

"This is what moves things forward."

When it was revealed that the @horse_ebooks Twitter account was a hoax performance art, Dan Sinker of @MayorEmanuel fame took it pretty hard. Luckily, someone has created @sinker_ebooks.

History Right in Front of You

From the Couch Monument in Lincoln Park to a bust of Lincoln in Englewood, Peter Bella tells the story behind some interesting Chicago sights hiding in plain sight.

And Boom Goes the Dynamite

The CGI-fueled destruction of the city for the latest Transformers movie caused some real damage as Michael Bay and company blew up part of the Santa Fe Grain Elevators on the South Side.

I Charleston Chicago

First, Al Capone danced the Charleston on top of a flagpole, and now a group of local dancers lindy hop their way through the city in a new video.

Swing on By

Conan O'Brien revealed that Miley Cyrus' strange video for her song Wrecking Ball stole the concept from an ad for a Chicago-area appliance store. [via]

Watch It Grow

Cube Cities shows Chicago's history in less than two minutes with an animated timeline of the city's growth from 1862 until today. [via]

Dickwolves are Not OK

After yet another controversy-spoiled Penny Arcade Expo, Cards Against Humanity cofounder Max Temkin explains what he and the company are going to do to combat discrimination and harassment at PAX in the future.

Fake Coupon, Real Sandwich

A Subway restaurant actually honored the fake (and obviously controversial) "Subtember 11th" coupons featured in a recent Onion article. Even adding to the twisted irony is that the pre-tax total of the purchase was $9.11.

Chicago Joe & Company

Two kittens survived a five-day journey from Chicago to Edmonton, Canada as stow aways on a train.

Discount Daaa-ble Check

The Bears Superfans are back in a new commercial with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

You and the Who's Who

Crain's Clout Calculator measures the degrees of separation between you and industry leaders in Chicago.

"The RULES are to be quiet in the car!"

A man claiming to be a member of the Board of Trade recently got into a fight with another passenger in a Metra quiet car after talking on his phone. Not sure how being a trader qualifies someone to "cut you in half."

NSFW audio, so put your headphones on.

Nice Book, Stranger

The Transit Readings tumblr recommends books based on what people are spotted reading on the CTA.

A Second City Short

Improv Legends takes a look back at the first days of the Second City. [via]

The Grumpiest Pledge Drive

Grumpy Cat will help fundraise for a new cat adoption center for the Tree House Humane Society in an upcoming video.

A Murder Confession Goes Viral?

A secret from today's edition of PostSecret alludes to a buried body at Wooded Island in Jackson Park.

A Personal Take on Chicago's Violence

South Side residents share how shootings affect their lives and what it's like to live under the constant threat of violence in a new video by local Jon Lowenstein.

"Instead gram do you have one?"

Not sure this fledgling record label is going to make it, but this CraigsList ad is pretty great. (Thanks, Anne!)

Buttons & Civil Rights

On this historic day, local button makers Busy Beaver Buttons blogged about some historic buttons relating to the civil rights movement.

Not a Safe Passage Then, Either

This pic of kids walking to a first day of school (near Schiller and Clark) in 1962 doesn't seem to be much of an upgrade from what kids going to school today could experience.

Schwim Schwam Shwhat?

A weird window display leads Michael Gebert to discover a sketch comedy online show by one of the discoverers of Vivian Maier.

Laugh at this List

I get the feeling Chicago coming in at number two on Movoto's list of the funniest cities in America is some sort of joke on the Second City. The list makes no effort to justify how Atlanta is number one.

School District Administration Drama is Everywhere

The superintendent of the Evanston-Skokie School District announced his resignation last week to pursue "consulting opportunities."

When Comedy isn't Funny

Chicago native and comic Cameron Esposito wrote a thoughtful op-ed piece for Advocate about being heckled onstage by her opening act.

Will the Real Bridgeport Please Stand Up?

There's a battle for the hearts and minds of Bridgeport going on -- on Facebook. After one too many racially and politically charged arguments on the Bridgeport Chicago IL group, two neighborhood residents created The REAL Bridgeport and Bridgeport Neighborhood groups as hate-free zones; at least one group formed in response has already been closed.

"I guess it's pretty serious."

What if Ferris Bueller wasn't bluffing about being sick? What if he was dead?

End of Life, Online

NPR host Scott Simon has been tweeting about his mother's last days from a hospital here in Chicago. Patricia Lyons Simon Newman Gilband passed away last night.

Catch the ISS

Wonder if the giant magnet that just arrived at Fermilab is part of the plan in today's xkcd cartoon.

xkcd: Snare

Divvy Beats Parking Meters

WTTW shared a photo of a Divvy truck that had knocked down a parking meter. They want you to caption it.

"Two words: Free. Booze."

A Wheaton couple's wedding invitation went viral this week thanks to its hilarious RSVP options.

Divvy-ided Market

Do you like the idea of renting a bike on occasion, but dislike the idea of being relegated to where Divvy has stations? Then you may be interested in SpinLister where you can rent bikes owned by locals for a day (or more). And these aren't your average heavy, beat-up, partially rusted bikes for rent. Oh, no, there are some pettable bikes here. For example, this bike may be what you need if you have a dog (the moustache and dog are not included in rental.)

Mary Ann Ahern Gets Some Backup

...in the form of a very cute child. [via]

A Sketched Love Story

I've seen some really beautifully designed engagement announcements, but this one is pretty great. Great design and story by Matthew Bush, Josh Compton and Gabe Cooper. Congrats!

Got Deep Pockets?

Three beautiful light fixtures from the Uptown Theatre are for sale on eBay right now.

Wrestling with Andy's Comedy Album

Drag City recently released Andy and his Grandmother, the first-ever Andy Kaufman comedy album. Grantland explains how this came to be.

"What we saw was... something else."

The Lucky Horseshoe and Man's Country are among the spots highlighted on One Star Yelp Reviews of Strip Clubs. [via]

Chad Camoflage

This Craigslist ad for a fixed-gear bike is aimed squarely at Lincoln Park bros hoping to blend in over in Wicker Park... though really, is there a difference these days? [via]

When Hollywood & Broadway are Calling You

Steve Gadlin of Blewt! and I Want to Draw a Cat for You fame has a new project: Steve Gadlin's Star Makers, showcasing some of the area's greatest talents.

American Dream Less Dreamy

A new study by economists at Wheaton College and Northwestern found that since the 1970s, Americans have not been as upwardly mobile as the British have been.

Here's an earlier article by the study's authors, covering similar ground.

Grandfathers Matter(ed): Occupational Mobility Across Three Generations in the U.S. and Britain, 1850-1910 by Gapers Block

Hipster Heat Map

Yelp has a few heat maps of words that pop up in user reviews, such as bacon, tourist and hipster.

Rappin' with Style

Complex Magazine highlights the resurgence of Chicago's hip-hop scene by featuring the city's most stylish rappers [right now]. While the list includes artists such as Chief Keef, Joey Purp, Mikkey Halsted and more, it won't be hard to guess who came in at number one.


Stanley Cup Discount

If you've got any Blackhawks gear, wear it to the Museum of Science & Industry this weekend and get buy one, get one free admission.

Aerial Orienteering

Someone in Pilsen painted helpful directions on his roof for lost pilots. [via]


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King, Kanye, & Cole

Comedian and writer Deon Cole, along with Iliza Shlesinger and Michael Yo, recently participated on "Larry King Now's" pop culture panel to discuss current hot topics including emergency contraception, Japanese eyeball licking, and of course, new parents, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Although reports have confirmed "Baby Kimye's" actual name, Cole reveals his choice for the name of America's most famous infant.

Past GB interviews with Cole:
• 2010: One Sketch at a Time
• 2013: "Deon Cole's Black Box": Chicago Native Takes on Pop Culture In His New TBS Series

Android vs. iPhone: a City Divided

Chicago has a history of segregation -- and it apparently extends to smartphone types too, to a certain degree. MapBox teamed up with Gnip and map designer Eric Fischer (previously: 1, 2) to map 3 billion tweets by phone brand and other variables. Start in the Loop and zoom out.

chicago map - iphone and android use

It's also worth checking out the maps of locals and tourists and languages used. [via]

Shh, it's Chicago

Schadenfreude has a new show: "Shh-Cago," a guide to the city's lesser known gems.

A Blackhawks Symphony

Still wired after that OT win the Blackhawks offered last night? Soothe yourself with a rendition of "Chelsea Dagger" played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (Nice shirt, Muti!)

"Anti-Time Lapse"

FoGB Coudal Partners just released a new "Night Sky" edition of their Field Notes notebooks, and recorded 6 hours and 21 minutes of night sky in rural Nevada. Just set this for full screen, sit back and watch the stars go by in real time.

Kanye's Face Returns

New father Kanye West will be projecting new images on the sides of buildings all over the city tonight, among them Uptown's Bridgeview Bank, and both the Field and DuSable Museums.

Temperature is Relative

Sure, it's been a cool summer. But that's nothing compared with 21,000 years ago.

A Groupon in Memorium

Groupon has launched a "deal" of a donation to fund the construction of more bike lanes in honor of deceased employee Bobby Cann, the cyclist killed last week on Clybourn.

Putting that Knife & Fork to Good Use

Enjoy this photograph of Patrick Stewart enjoying some Chicago-style pizza.

On Kindness

Zen Pencils tells a touching story with words from Roger Ebert. [via]

America's Finest News Source to Cease?

A writer on the Daily Kos decided to emulate The Onion by announcing its demise after the 2014 presidential election. That's one way to get a job.

Google Kiss Cam

Making out in front of Paulina Meat Market is a private thing -- unless the Google Streetview car is nearby (see #29).

Cutting Off Circulation

A group of Logan Square residents are suing the Tribune for continuing frequent deliveries of its coupons and advertisements (aka those piles of soggy, dirty newsprint wrapped in pink bags that accumulate on your doorstep/yard) despite repeated, bureaucracy-laden requests to stop.

Chief Keef Arrested

The South Side-based rapper was arrested in Georgia this morning for disorderly conduct.

The Curl from Above

Thanks to Google Earth Historical Imagery, I was able to make this gif of North Avenue Beach over the decades.

north_avenue_beach_curl.gif

New York Neighborhoods in Chicago

As part of a larger collaborative piece titled "New York Elsewhere" for The Morning News, Tyler Coates projects New York neighborhood counterparts in Chicago. Southport Corridor as Park Slope is amusingly on point, though some Chicagoans would take issue with the idea that Logan Square isn't fully gentrified.

An Ode to a Rose

Recently, via a little ditty on ESPN, Chicago native and comedic actor Craig Robinson, whose movie Peeples opened last weekend, expressed his heartfelt sentiments about the [someday] return of Derrick Rose back to the Bulls' lineup.

What are You Watching Online?

This week, YouTube launched its Trends Map, which breaks down viewing patterns by metropolitan area, age and gender. At time of writing, "This is Water," the new video of David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College, is number one in Chicago.

10 Years of Body Massage & Pork Chop Sandwiches

In 2003, Chicago filmmaker Eric Fensler (who now lives in Portland, OR) created "GI Joe PSAs," a series of weird remixes of the odd PSAs tacked onto some episodes of "GI Joe" cartoons, which wet viral before anyone had ever heard of social media. The Verge examines their legacy.

The Influence of Ikram Goldman

"'I'm not going to lie,' says Jenna Lyons, the president and creative director of J. Crew, who is an admirer of Goldman. She scares me a little bit.'" "She" is Ikram Goldman, Chicago boutique owner, "fashion ambassador", and the subject of a profile in the New York Times magazine.

A Matter of Degrees

WGN Meteorologist Tom Skilling may be lovable, but he is frequently wrong about the weather. HowWrongIsSkilling.com tracks just how off the mark he is. (Of course, this is not a new complaint, and even the National Weather Service is right only about two-thirds of the time.)

How wrong is Skilling?

Save the Puppies

Shelter puppies often suffer from more health issues than other dogs. The Lucida Puppy Fund aims to help defray the costs of keeping them healthy.

L'Amour Sur La Soixante-Six

As nice as CTA bus shelters may be, only clueless lovers would think making out while waiting for a westbound 66 was anything like Paris.

Living in History

Several shuttered city firehouses are for sale, along with some other interesting places.

As Seen on TV

Advertising creative director Jonathan Finerty was bored with his old portfolio site so he created All-In-One Adman, and the testimonials started rolling in.

Next Stop: California

Chicago becomes sort of the central node in XKCD's map of all the "subways" of North America.

Subways of North America ; xkcd

Sleep on the Street

One of the odder places you can stay in the city via AirBnB: a birght green VW camper van parked on the street in Lincoln Park. Just $75 a night! [via]

Charting the City

Some of these you've probably seen, others will be new. A collection of Chicago maps on A Continuous Lean. [via]

It's Terkel, not Turkel

The Willis Sears Tower (ahem) makes a common mistake on the spelling of Studs Terkel's name. (I admit, I've made the same error more than once.)

Sorry Mario, the Princess is on Another Train

Robert Bacon created a Super Mario Bros. 3 version of the CTA 'L'system map.

Dog Not Included

But that doesn't stop Fido from photobombing his owner's Craigslist posting for renting his Lakeview apartment.

Boot Up the City

Things you can buy: the Chicago skyline made out of RAM.

Jonylah Forever

Lupe Fiasco penned and posted a new song imagining what could have been the life of murdered infant Jonylah Watkins.

Google Time Machine

A Redditor spotted an interesting anomaly on Google Maps: take a step forward from this spot and watch one of the last Cabrini Green towers disappear.

cabrini_1.jpg

cabrini_2.jpg

Curiosity Delay

Coudal linked today to the American regional dialect survey that included the question that helped us come up with the name Gapers Block 10 years ago: "What do you call a traffic jam caused by drivers slowing down to look at an accident or other diversion on the side of the road?"

It Makes You a Better Dancer, Too

A UIC researcher found that being moderately intoxicated helps one's ability to identify minor differences in pictures faster than sober people.

Telephone in Every Room

Blogger James Lileks collects all sorts of things, and his set of motel postcards includes some great ones from Chicago's past. [via]

Harlem Shake Your Screen

This here meme is taking over everything...including this website.

Trapped in the Subplot

R. Kelly released "Trapped in the Closet: the Confessionals, Part 1" today, which focuses on the stories of specific characters of the endless, often pointless soap opera. Wake me up when it's over.

Where Satire and Real Life Collide

The Ononeon curates actual news headlines that might make you think you're reading another site that curates fake headlines.

As the World Turns

Social history photographer Camilo José Vergara is developing a personal website to share more of his repeat photography work. Included are four Chicago sites: 4434 W. Madison, 4337 W. Madison, 1117 N. Cleveland and 5134 W. Madison. Each series starts in the 1980s and continues to present day.

Bad (and Dumb) as He Wants to Be

Former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman is visiting North Korea as part of a "basketball diplomacy" trip; he hopes to meet the country's ruler Kim Jong Un, who reportedly was a huge fan of Rodman's old teammate Michael Jordan.

Go Back in Time for Art

The Art Institute launched a new online exhibition of its staging of the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art, a.k.a. The Armory Show. The site includes everything from interactive gallery images to the programs.

Chicago: Still Miserable

Forbes ranks Chicago as the fourth most miserable city in the US, apparently based primarily on our real estate woes. Detroit, Flint and Rockford top the list.

Publicizing a Baptism

Among the strangest tweets in the last few days is certainly the announcement that rooftop minister Corey Brooks is going to baptize Chief Keef when he's released from prison.

Your City, Judged

This Judgmental Map of Chicago covers plenty of neighborhood stereotypes, and just as stereotypically leaves out the South Side. (Thanks, Marc!)

Valentine, You're Out of this World

Chicago-based cartoonist Mark Anderson loves to build LEGO spaceships -- and his latest is piloted by Capt. Val N. Tine. [via]

lego-valentine-spaceship-1.png

"Yes, I know where you're going to stay."

Expat Ed Hirsch has some sage, profane advice for friends visiting Chicago like a Chicagoan. [via]

South Deering, Archer Heights, West Town...

How quickly can you place Chicago neighborhoods on a map? Click That 'Hood tests your strength.

Cleaning Up the Advertorial

After recent scandals over poorly labeled sponsored articles, Time Out's Frank Sennett has proposed guidelines for online sponsored content.

Knowledge of '80s Hair Metal a Must

The Admiral strip club is looking for a DJ. "No rap or hip hop allowed."

Oppa Chicago Style

Amtrak put together a "Gangnam Style" video touring through Chicago. Better late to the meme than never. [via]

An Onstage Fiasco

Chicago's own Lupe Fiasco was escorted off the stage at a private pre-Inauguration concert last night after veering into a seemingly unplanned 30 minute solo of repeating the same (NSFW) lyric from his song "Words I Never Said" that criticizes President Obama's role in the conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

This is not the first time Fiasco has been critical of Obama.

Bat-Not-So-Mobile

Want to buy a full-size, wooden replica of the Batmobile? It's in North Riverside, and has "air cannon Nerf dart capability."

Mapping Chicago into the United States

The GIS Lounge's review of 2012's best maps includes some interesting views of Chicago in national context, but also points to Slate's review of the Essential Geography of the United State of America highlights Chicago as a fine example of cartographic representation (half way down).

Using a Dash Could Get Me Killed

Violence has taken a literary turn.

Kells for the Kids

R. Kelly wrote a song for the students of Sandy Hook Elementary.

Proceeds from iTunes sales will be donated to the victims' families.

Couldn't Find the Keys to the Kingdom, eh?

A priest in Springfield has been placed on leave following a November incident in which he called 911 to demand help with getting out of a pair of handcuffs he was "playing" with.

Scrap the City

In its look back on 2012, The Onion reports on the die-hard Cubs fans who protested outside Wrigley Field, advocating that the rest of Chicago be torn down and rebuilt.

Shovelers- ASSEMBLE!

As Thundersnow threatens our noble city, Chicagoans can pledge to keep their sidewalks clear and find those in need of a shoveling savior on the Adopt a Sidewalk website.

Cleaning out the Closet

Derek Brooks spent the last 15 months living in Chicago while working on the Obama campaign. When he got back home to Iowa, he cleaned out his closet and tried on 255 t-shirts.

Wage Disparities: I'm Not Loving It

Bloomberg profiles Tyree Johnson, a Chicago man who has worked at McDonald's for 20 years and still makes the $8.25 hourly minimum wage. In contrast, McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner made $8.75 million last year.

It Belongs in a Museum! U of C Receives Mystery Indiana Jones Package

Addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr., a package delivered to the University of Chicago contained a dusty, detailed replica of the journal from Raiders of the Lost Arc- and no one knows where it came from.

New York in Chicago

Brooklyn-born, Chicago-based DJ Joseph Vourteque tries to explain which parts of the city match up with New York's boroughs. Apparently there's nothing like the South Side.

Pictures Tell the Story

Symbolia, a new iPad magazine of comics journalism, launched today. You can snag a free preview PDF before subscribing.

Capital of the Midwest Alliance

If the United States dissolved and every state went to war with the rest, which would win? Illinois does well for awhile, with Chicago its capital, in one thorough answer. [via]

Nothing But Luvvie

When you've got a name like Luvvie, you just have to see the world as a place full of love. And for Chicagoan, activist, writer, Red Pump Project creator and humorist Luvvie Ajayi, her world is most recently full of love from Women's Media Center where she received their Social Media Award. Hopefully for Luvvie, the love doesn't stop.

Best Neighbor Ever

The infamous empty lot next to the Obama's Kenwood home is on the real estate market for $900k.

Obama's First Cat-binet Member

Steve Gadlin of I Want To Draw A Cat For You" fame has created a petition to be the White House's official cat portraiture artist. Naturally, I support this.

Instant Internet Fame

Table XI introduces you to their senior designer, Daniel Strabley, who happens to be the guy behind InstantCosby -- and reveals his coworker Jon Fernandez's creation, InstantArnold.

When Hip-Hop and Gang Violence Collide

Chicago's high level of gang violence is nothing new, but its increasingly popular "trap" rap scene, featuring juvenile rappers that rhyme about guns, "bitches" and drugs, is adding more fuel to the already out of control fire. Many wonder who is responsible for the epidemic, the misguided teens or their parents? Chicago blogger Alexander Fruchter explores this troubling trend in an editorial for Ruby Hornet.

The View from the Other Side of the Bench

Cook County judge Cynthia Brim appeared in court this morning regarding her arrest in March after assaulting a deputy. Brim handily won retention to the bench in yesterday's polls.

Democracy, With a Side of Pancakes

A Philly-based photographer takes a look at polling places in Chicago.

Debbie Carlos: One of Etsy's Coolest Artists

Complex magazine named local photographer Debbie Carlos one of the 25 Coolest Artists on Etsy. They say she has "some of the most stunning photography" on the popular arts and crafts website.

Made Just for You

CustomMade.com is a marketplace for furniture, art and other custom-made and commissioned work. Plenty of the posted projects were either made or reside here.

Is Your House Haunted?

Nestio's Don't Haunt Me, Bro will tell you. (Hull House is on their list of favorite haunted homes in America.)

No, I Said, What Kind of Bird Are You?

Kanye Wes.

Fullerton of Shitterton

Fun with a label maker. [via]

Ira Glass the Sex Magician

"This American Life's" Ira Glass explains how to make a balloon animal -- and how to get a guy to wear a condom "without being a total buzzkill," among other sex-related questions -- for Rookie.

Balloon Animals: A Video Tutorial by Ira Glass from Rookie on Vimeo.

The Longest Story Ever Told

Behold, Chapter 23 of Trapped in the Closet.

Willis Goes Down

A commercial for the latest edition of SimCity features an example of the Sears Tower being struck by meteors. [via]

Chicago: In Space!

"In" space, "from" space, whatever. NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day from yesterday is a satellite snapshot with Chicago in the center.

Kicking it New School

A season of storytelling and potlucks, nice wooden toys and an international sculpture show are among the projects currently featured on Gapers Block's curated Kickstarter page.

The Windyass City

Randall, of honey badger fame, turns his eyes toward Chicago. [via]

Kickstarting Right Now

A movie about Mormons, an archive of improvised music and small-batch giardiniera are among the projects on Gapers Block's curated Kickstarter page right now. Give a hand.

An Encore for the Bar Mitzvah Kid

Shaun Sperling, whose video of lip-syncing and dancing to Madonna's hit "Vogue" at his 1992 suburban Bar Mitzvah party made himself a You Tube sensation, got another boost: at one of her shows at United Center last week, Madge herself singled out Sperling in the crowd for a brief sing-a-long during "Like a Prayer." Madonna's publicist claims the singer randomly selected Sperling and had no knowledge of the video. You can see Sperling himself in concert this Saturday at Mary's Attic.

Face to Facebook

Social media meets real world interaction on Monday, when Social Media Week begins. There's still plenty of room in most of the events; see the schedule here.

The Skyline & the Bean

What images come up for "Chicago" when people in different countries search Google Images? ImageAtlas.org shows you.

Vote for #1

Cintas is once again running its America's Best Restroom contest, and the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel is the local nominee.

We're Number 227!

The Chronicle of Philanthropy's recent report, How America Gives, breaks down charitable giving by state, metropolitan area and by zip code. Illinois ranks 29, and the Chicago metropolitan area comes in at 227 out 366 areas. Local donors give 4.2% of income, a median amount of $2,296. If you want to know how your ZIP code fares, take a look.

When the GOP Came to the Windy City

The Chicago Film Archives put together a collection of newsreel footage from the 1960 Republican National Convention, which was held in Chicago. There's no sound for most of it, but that's kind of a nice change compared to today's "wall-to-wall" coverage.

Chicago's "Murder Craze"

The Onion makes light of the city's high murder rate by reporting it as a fad.

Introducing Cone Sleeping

Funny filmmaker Steve Delahoyde says, "I made it eight full days before using my infant son as a prop in a stupid short film."

Miles Davis in an O'Hare Parking Garage

There's a certain door in a certain O'Hare parking garage that does a mean impression of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. [via]

"Color" Him Frustrated

Special, updated versions of FOX's popular '90s sketch comedy series "In Living Color," scheduled to air this year, have been shelved -- at least for now. In a radio interview, Chicago comedian Lil Rel, an ensemble cast member of the rebooted series, shares his thoughts on why the laughs may have been put on hold.

Where the F*ck Should I Go Eat?

Hell if I know, but this site will give you some f*ckin' suggestions. (Or maybe you just need a drink.)

Bid on 8x10s on 8/10

Starting today, local music education nonprofit Rock for Kids is launching an eBay auction of autographed 8x10 photos from 150 bands, including The Temptations, Pat Benatar, The Village People, Nickel Creek, Naughty By Nature, Ben Folds and more. Bid early and often to win your favorites. Bidding starts at $8.10 and proceeds benefit the charity that brings music education to at-risk youth in Chicago.

Historic Map Fun

Here's an overlay of an 1857 map over a current one of the city. [via]

5th Happiest in Hyde Park

The University of Chicago is the 5th happiest college in the country, according to a recent survey from Newsweek and The Daily Beast. If the U of C is no longer "where fun comes to die", consider this t-shirt (long a staple of the typical UChicago wardrobe) a collector's item.

Non-Stick Weirdo

Rock Island police arrested a naked man covered in cooking spray on Monday.

The Onion Aims at the Willis Tower

The Onion ran a video featuring a blurb about "Sears extremists" flying a plane into the Willis Tower in retaliation for changing the building's name. People on Facebook are very upset.

Your Morning Moment of Zen

Another work day has started. Look at these Chicagoland puppies.

Bird vs. Bird

A United flight from Dallas to Denver had a run-in with a bird while in the air yesterday. The flight wasn't affected, but the plane is a bit sore.

Ask Steve James Anything

The Interrupters and Hoop Dreams director Steve James and author Raj Patel are currently answering questions on Reddit.

Is Your T-Shirt Moving?

T-shirt designer Nathan Pyle is running an animated gif contest on Threadless. The submissions are pretty fantastic.

"No Soup For You," Chicago

According to Eater, a "No Soup For You" Food Truck will be in Chicago on Friday, July 27. No word yet on planned stops or a route for the truck, which will feature "free iconic Seinfeld" treats and The Soup Nazi himself, Larry Thomas, so check this Facebook page for updates (and be careful when asking for bread).

Fun with the DotBot

The Art Institute's DotBot uses your computer's webcam to make Roy Lichtenstein-esque comic portraits.

Point at the Loop

A client of nail artist Astrowifey got her nails done up with a map of the CTA. Chip a nail, lose a transfer. [via]

That's a Hot Bet

Sometimes the best show at Wrigley is in the stands.

Phil wins a bet from regis wakefield on Vimeo.

Touring the US by Whiteboard

Designer and past GB contributor Craighton Berman draws the country in a new music video for Marbles the Brain Store's new CD, Brain Beats.

"Even the Rats Wear Skinny Jeans"

Slightly Insulting Chicago Posters does basically what it says in the name. It's The Chicago Neighborhoods but mean.

Where's Your Sign?

Get inspired by the Kickstarter campaign for Chicago long-time sign painter Ches Perry. He's painted signs by hand since the mid '60s, and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, he wants to fund an instructional DVD to pass on his knowledge to a new generation. This, and other worthy local Kickstarter projects, can be found in our Gapers Block curated page of campaigns.

I Got My Dog

Want to make sure everyone knows you got a real "Chicago dog" in Chicago? This tee on Fab.com proudly states the fact for all to see.

Remembering Dad

Father's Day means different things to different people.

Chicago Kickstarter Roundup

Evil fortune cookies, an effort to save the Patio Theater (previously), Showgirls, the Musical, an oral history of Chicago hip hop, and a tool to keep your bike wheel straight while you lock up are among the currently funding projects on Gapers Block's Kickstarter page. There're many more here.

These Boots Were Made For Driving

Clear your schedules Friday, when the Bootmobile rolls into Chicago.

A Wall in Mourning

The Lake Shore Drive viaduct at Grand Avenue, which has been home to Shepherd Fairey's "Obey" mural for the past year, was painted over this morning.

Ill-advised Body Art

Maybe getting a full back tattoo of Michael Jordan with a gimpy leg and a Dennis Rodman growing out of his armpit wasn't such a good idea.

michaeljordan_dennisrodman_tattoo.jpg

Explore Old Maps

Old Maps Online shows you where various historical maps from several collections land on a Google map. Here's Chicagoland.

Game 3 Alternative

If things are going sour at the half, consider turning off the television and looping this video of high school Derrick Rose dancing instead. [via]

Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now

For no apparent reason, the Chicago-set '80s sitcom "Perfect Strangers" has been turned into a a very weird online videogame.

perfectstrangersgame.jpg

Manhattan in Chicago

An oldie but a goodie: back in 2006, Jason Kottke imagines what Manhattan would look like off the coast of Chicago and other cities, inspired by the classic Radical Cartography experiment.

"Let's go hit on some models."

NY Mag spends an evening with NU's finest rapper (and celebrity kid) Chet Haze.

No Metal Baby on the Way

That "You got me pregnant at the Megadeth/Motörhead show" Craigslist ad from last week turns out to be fake, as you may have suspected. [via]

Chicago Teachers Ask Illinois for Support

CPS teachers are seeking state support to increase The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF), which is currently underfunded by millions of dollars. Senate Bill 3628 would allow $270 million to flow into the CTPF but, after that, state contributions would fall to ten percent of what it provides to the Teachers Retirement Fund, which is for teachers outside of Chicago. If the bill were to pass the senate it would still need to find support in the Illinois House. Controversial spending by the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) of Illinois adds an element of question to the debate.

Justice in Montrose Dog Beach Attack

Remember the search for the owner of a pit bull who fatally attacked a toy breed mix dog at Montrose Dog Beach in late March? The owner who slipped away, refusing to give his name or take responsibility as onlookers followed, snapping a picture of him and his dog and posting it online for helping the dead dog's family get some justice? The pit's owner has now been identified as an off-duty policeman, of all things. He was ticketed for failing to report the incident, and has been relieved of his police powers while an investigation is conducted.

Buzz About Helicopters

Blackhawk and Little Bird helicopters engaged in a military training exercise downtown darted through the streets with no lights on, stirring up a flurry of tweets and videos from confused Loop workers and residents.

Later in the evening, two MH-6 Little Birds flew along the Chicago River corridor as well. (Thanks John for the chopper ID!)

Coming Soon: The Vintage Garage

As AON moves out of the Uptown neighborhood this summer, the neighborhood is gaining another type of commerce. The company's staff parking structure on Broadway (near Argyle) will be utilized as a part-time vintage market from June-October, with vendors selling straight from their methods of transportation on the third Sunday of each month.

"Contact me if you want to be part of your child's life."

If you got busy in an Aragon bathroom during the Megadeth/Motörhead show in February, you've got a kid on the way. [via]

Local Webbies

Local art and design blog Colossal, The Chicago Portfolio School, Pitchfork and The Onion (whose web team is local) are nominated in this year's Webby Awards.

"Chicago is a Real City; Manhattan is like Epcot Center"

Tina Fey is a big fan of Chicago, but warns that "a dude might bite your nose off."

Don't Leave That New iPad at Home

If you're itching to stylishly transport that new iPad or maybe an iPhone or MacBook Air or Pro, check out the lovely "Biblio" handmade covers offered via Kickstarter by FoGB George Aye (he's shot some inspired photos at Pitchfork over the years for Transmission) and David Hull. The sweetness is in the video on the campaign page (also after the jump). See other GB-curated Kickstarter campaigns.

A Poem for You

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is A Poem From Us, yet another awesome project from former GB staffer Felix Jung.

Chicago's Grid in Watercolor

The map of Chicago looks even better in watercolor.

You might also dig this map.

8-Bit Chicago

One of Google's April Fool's pranks this year was to release an 8-bit "Quest" version of Google Maps, which supposedly runs on the Nintendo Entertainment System. But while it may be a prank, it results in some pretty amazing low-res views of Chicago.

Chicago, Legend of Zelda style:
google maps 8bit Chicago

A view of the buildings across from Google's Chicago offices:
google maps 8bit streetview Chicago

Marina Towers:
google maps 8bit streetview: Marina Towers

The Hancock:
google maps 8bit streetview: the Hankcock

The Bean and skyline:
google maps 8bit streetview: The Bean

Buckingham Fountain:
google maps 8bit streetview: Buckingham Fountain

Wrigley Field:
google maps 8bit streetview: Wrigley Field

The Field Museum:
google maps 8bit streetview: Field Museum

A surprisingly colorful Sears Tower:
google maps 8bit streetview: Sears Tower

The Water Tower:
google maps 8bit streetview: The Water Tower

Happy 126th, Mies van der Rohe

Google's doodle today is a depiction of IIT's Crown Hall, in honor of architect Mies van der Rohe's 126th birthday. The Mies van der Rohe Society is throwing a party tonight, with a focus on the architect's influence over hair stylist Vidal Sassoon.

meisvanderrohe_googledoodle.jpg

Chicago's Top 10 Lesbians

Fantastic Chicago-based Lesbian website The L Stop, (aka "the one stop for everything lesbian in Chicago") just published their list of the 10 Chicago Lesbians to Look Out For.

Naughty Celebrities Need Magazines, Too

Goodie Mags is a service that sends magazines to your loved ones in the hospital, nursing homes, even jails and prisons. You can also send magazines to your favorite incarcerated celebrities! The first celebrity recipient? According to Goodie Mags founder and CEO Miriam Bhimani, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Helping Writers Write About Chicago

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Community Media Workshop launched ChicagoStories.org today as a resource for journalists coming to the city to cover the NATO summit.

A Match Made on Treadmills

OK Go's latest adventure is OK Gopid, an online dating site that matches your profile with one carefully selected by one of the band's wacky contraptions.

Bookmark for Future Time-wasting

Open Culture collects interesting audio and video from 290 cultural icons, including Saul Bellow, Bill Murray, Shel Silverstein and Frank Lloyd Wright. [via]

Help Out a Furry Ninja

A ChipIn account is accepting donations for Remmy the dog, whose owners are Shawn Smith (the genius behind Shawnimals) and his wife Jen. Remmy was attacked by two dogs in her Logan Square neighborhood this past week, and while she's recovering, it's to the tune of about $9k in veterinary bills.

Quidditch in the Windy City?

While Chicago's bid for the Olympics may have failed, a local group is launching a campaign to bring the 2013 Quidditch World Cup to Chicago. To see Quidditch in action, check out the highlights from last year's championship.

Fund Some Fun Stuff

A game made out of reclaimed barn wood, a children's book about Chicago history and student compilation CD from Intonation Music Workshop are among the recent additions to the Gapers Block Kickstarter page.

Graphing Graffiti

Gothamist founder Jake Dobkin created GrafRank, a ranking of "important graffiti artists around the world using data drawn from the internet." Chicago is, of course, well represented.

Change Champ on Campus

Congratulations to the U of C's Ted Gonder, whose Moneythink organization is one of five winners in the White House's Champions of Change Challenge. [via]

Beware Exploding Toilets

Students at the University of Chicago use social media to raise awareness about certain unsanitary living conditions — including exploding toilets — in one of the oldest dorms on campus.

All's Not Well on the Blogosphere Front

The Reader reports some drama in the realms of the hip-hop web culture involving Fake Shore Drive and a keyboard crusader tweeting and blogging under the name Real Shore Drive.

Bulls to Win Title, Wink Wink

President Obama backed the Bulls once more in an interview with ESPN last night. During the podcast, he alluded to his possible re-election and included that sometime during his presidency, "it will happen." Considering the possibility that he's not re-elected, this could be the year. Right?

#SayYesKatie

Len Kendall proposed to his girlfriend, Katie Holland, via Buzzfeed, and the social mediasphere went wild. Thankfully, she said yes.

There are not enough Tom Skilling animated gifs in your life.

Andrew Rosinski has fixed that.

Your Own Uggie

Little Lady, a Jack Russell terrier available for adoption in the area, looks a great deal like Uggie, the canine star of The Artist (which won Best Picture at last night's Oscars) who was also a shelter dog.

New Law to Expose Dangerous Taxi Drivers

A new city ordinance promises to hold cab companies liable for repeat-offender drivers. The law will go into effect in the summer and is expected to make current laws surrounding cab drivers, which are typically circumvented, easier to enforce.

Equal Opportunity Offenders

Comedy troupe Hot Snow knows that rich bigotry knows know race, creed or sexual preference.

Crazy Love

Mitch O'Connell has an astounding collection of weird Valentine's Day cards.

Adopt-a-sidewalk - Shovel Not Included

Chicago residents can now volunteer to shovel a snow-covered sidewalk by claiming a section of the city on their smart phone through a new web app, Adopt-a-sidewalk. The app also connects volunteers with seniors and people with disabilities who might need help with snow removal.

3K NATO/G8 Police Face Shields

Chicago is spending about $193,000 for police face shields — Money well spent?

New Tumblr in Town

If you love old photos of Chicago as much as we do, new blog Chicago Past looks extremely promising.

Transcript of Tribune Interview with Rahm Emanuel

Check out the full transcript of Tribune reporter David Kidwell's Feb. 8 interview with Emanuel — an interview described as "sometimes contentious, sometimes humorous."

175 Reasons Chicagoans Love Chicago

Here's a brief video asking 35 locals why they love Chicago — and which is part of the "175 Ways to Love Chicago" project.

Watch an L Car Leave the Tracks

The Chicago History Museum's YouTube channel has some pretty great short videos, including this recent post showing the installation of their L car.

Insane Cook County

In light of the city sticker controversy, designer Aaron Kraus looked for evidence of gang signs in other civic symbols. Cook County might have a problem. (Then again, there's also the flag.)

Objects of Devotion

Smashing Pumpkins, Fall Out Boy and the University of Chicago all earned homemade shrines from Rookie mag readers.

This Is What Good Comedy Looks Like

Local comic Ever Mainard had a set this past Tuesday at Chicago Underground Comedy that people are still talking about. Not just comics; people who have never done a stand-up set in their life are talking about it. Luckily, it was caught on video so that those of you who weren't there can witness the moment that people will talk about for years to come. Right now, though, I'm going to stop talking about it, and let you see for yourself.

Brokelandia?! Where's Chicagolandia?

Check out this video posted by Brokelyn, a spoof of Portlandia's "Did You Read It?" sketch. Keep an eye out for a Chicago version and send it my way immediately.

Shit Journalists Say, Featuring Richard Roeper

The "shit ___ say" meme is thoroughly played out, but this one is notable for its inclusion of Richard Roeper performing Bill O'Reilly's famous "Inside Edition" temper tantrum in its entirety.

How to Say Ye

You've been pronouncing "Kanye West" all wrong. [via]

View Printers Row Online

Interested in the Tribune's new weekly book supplement, Printers Row? You can check out a free digital sneak peek here.

The Rahmfather

A mysterious portrait of Mayor Rahm Emanuel created as a movie poster of the Godfather appeared in the office of Tribune columnist John Kass. And he'd like to know who sent it to him. He even checked it for bugs, just in case.

Teeny Tiny Obamas

If your indoor plants are seeming a bit lonely, why not get them a set of wee Obamas to keep them company.

In All the Wrong Places

Looking for Glove is a new site by FoGB Dubi Kaufmann attempting to help lost gloves and mittens find their mates.

Bueller? Bueller? Back for the Super Bowl?

Bears aren't in it, which mutes much of my interest in the game, but the commercials still got a shot at tuning me in. I caught wind of this 10-second teaser, featuring the hometown '80s icon and all time favorite bad influence Ferris Bueller, who looks ready for some mid-life madness.

It Was Inevitable: Sh*t Chicagoans Say

The "Sh*t People Say" meme is spreading through the Internet faster than a cat with its tail on fire, and YouTuber LyonEsEnTodo brings it home with "Sh*t Chicagoans Say." What DO you say, Chicago? Tweet it to us @gapersblock.

Hanging on the Train

Chicago "L" Hangman is pretty much what it sounds like. [via]

Shit Lana Del Rey Says

Local comedy duo and NEDTalks creators Seth and Kellen skewer two memes at once in a self-described "desperate attempt to go viral."

What You Say

The "Shit ___ Say" video meme train is finally pulling into Chicago. Add your suggestions for the video over on Reddit.

He's Not Cameron Frye's Dad

...but you can be driven around Chicago in a Ferrari by this guy for $300/hour.

Flashback Footage from The Blizzard of 1979

WGN-TV footage from the city's fourth worst blizzard in history, that brought down nearly 19 inches of snow from Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 1979.

Still Backing the Bid on Google

Chicago's failed Olympic bid still haunts the Internet on Google street view.

Don't Hug it Out, Yelp it Out

Two separate controversies are battling it out in the Yelp-a-verse: a sommelier so angry at a negative review of his wine-tasting courses that he created a fake blog for the rater that documented a (fabricated) criminal history and substance abuse problems (she's suing him); and a dog obedience trainer who reportedly choked and kicked a dog in his care in front of a number of local animal rescue groups at an adoption event this past weekend.

MJ's Terrible Game

Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City was a Super NES videogame released by EA in 1994, to very poor reviews. If you have a couple hours to kill, you can watch a guy play the whole thing on YouTube in, appropriately enough, 23 parts. Or download the ROM and play it yourself.

Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City

Enough to Make Your Head Spin

Just happened upon some footage that features some of the best bboys, or breakdancers, in the city, battling it out at the Alternatives Youth Center back in November.

Get Yer Dibs In

If you see folks taking dibs on parking spots after it snows, or even if you have proof of pre-dibs, share it with Chicago Dibs.

Sim Chicago

As Redditor DrapedInVelvet said, "And I thought I had too much free time."

Click to see the full version:
sim_chicago_detail.jpg

Five to Midnight

The time on the symbolic Doomsday Clock, which tracks how close the world is to global disaster, has been adjusted. The time was moved from six minutes to five due to "ongoing threats from nuclear proliferation, climate change and the need to find sustainable and safe sources of energy." The Clock is maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago.

Hey Girl, You Might Not Want to Google His Name

Aaron Kraus has created a Tumblr (NSFW) with an intersection of the phrase "Hey Girl" from Ryan Gosling memes, Rick Santorum's positions women's rights and pictures of Rick Santorum. Submissions to the blog are being accepted (Still NSFW).

tumblr_lxcg9iH20i1r9emtk.jpeg

Skaydi, Freya or... Trixie?

The Lincoln Park Zoo has a new owl (it's a snowy owl; what's with those this year?) and have left its name up to a Facebook poll. A.V. Club Chicago wasn't inspired by the choices, so it took to Twitter to elicit some more.

Famous Chairs

A deep dish pizza makes an appearance in an unlikely place.

What's Your New Year's Resolution?

The Resolution Generator knows.

A Year of Traffic Tweets

WBEZ has a downloadable list of Chicago traffic maven Sarah Jindra's favorite tweets from the past year. Ah, the memories.

Dis Kid

A Super-Fan in the making? (Thanks, Fruzsina!)

Teh Largest Citi in Illenois

Chicago's entry in Wikipeetia, the misspelled encyclopedia.

And Thus a Thousand Sploshing Fetishes Were Born

Stop by the Chicago History Museum's lobby to see Pie Face, one of several games developed in our fair city (along with Mouse Trap, Operation, and Lite-Brite) by Marvin Glass & Associates.

Santa's Plan B

Christmas toy delivery has been outsourced to FedEx, so Kris Claus has been looking for a job. Plan B hired him.

Mix Up Your Holiday Gathering

Office party or living room bash — you still need some good tunes. Refinery 29 blogs that DJ Matt Roan has your Christmas hip shakers all in one mix you can stream or download.

Is Number 23 Available for Recon Work?

Kim Jong-un, the son of recently departed North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, was obsessed with Michael Jordan during his teen years: the future dictator loved to wear Air Jordans and spent hours "doing meticulous pencil drawings" of the legendary athlete while attending a Swiss boarding school. Jong-un reportedly also had pictures of himself with former Bulls player Toni Kukoc (and Kobe Bryant) hanging in his dorm room.

R. Kelly is on a Boat

The New King of R n' B wants to take you to his floating "Hotel" and sail the Bahamas with you.

Seafarers can join The Pied Piper of R n' B in a stepping class to learn "The Love Signals," experience cuisine prepared under the watchful eye of Mr. "Sex in the Kitchen," and compete the "12 Play" basketball tournament. This will be R. Kelly's first concert cruise so all bets are off. Judging by Aziz Ansari's response of a past Kells performance all shipmates will have a "Wonderful" time. More info is on the Love Letter Cruise website.

Save on Bills by Watching the Bills

Bear with me -- Energy Impact Illinois has put together a web series following Big Bill and Little Bill (both played by Second City actors) who share a variety of tips and tricks to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient for the upcoming winter.

Dunderstruck

If you're a fan of "The Office" (or just love paper), the Dunder Mifflin Paper Truck will be in town next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Follow the truck on Twitter at @DMPaperTruck for exact times and locations.

Simon's Suffers Register Theft

Longtime Andersonville tavern, Simon's, had a theft from its basement over the weekend of an antique cash register that's as old as the bar itself (nearly 77 years). If you have any leads, they'd be very interested to recover it. [Update: Simon's has additional information describing the register, should you see it at your local pawn shop or flea market.]

Santa Snark

Did you know there's no such thing as Santa Claus? WGN's Robin Robertson broke it down for her colleagues earlier this week on-air earlier this week; after some viewers called in complaints, she then apologized.

Record City

A bit of tinkering with the Guinness Book of World Records search engine will let you see all records currently held by Chicago and its residents.

Make Way for Millennials

Time Out Chicago discovers that while things might not be so hot, members of the Millennial generation have got what it takes to prevail.

That's a lot of Tucci

Congratulations to Northwestern student Lawrence Dai, whose mission to watch Julie & Julia everyday for a year (and blog about it at The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project), ended last night with a viewing party in Denver attended by his fan club and Amy Adams's mom.

A Sunday Afternoon with Some Pepper Spray

Even Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" is getting in on the action following the UC Davis pepper spray debacle.

pepperspraseurat.jpg

Could Oprah Be Your New Landlady?

Sure, if you can afford to pay $15,000 in rent. Oprah's renting out her Streeterville condo.

Watching the Skies

If you search for "planes overhead" in (Champaign-based) Wolfram Alpha, it'll give you a list of planes flying over your location, along with a sky map. [via]

Here's one from last night:

wolframalpha-planesoverhead.jpg

Yo Dawg, I Heard You Like Exhibits

Someone snuck a photo of Xzibit into an exhibit in the Oriental Institute Museum.* As they say, the intertubes are leaking.

xzibitexhibit.jpg

*OK, really they just photoshopped it in there, but where's the fun in that?

New York Takes Over

The corner of State and Madison becomes 4437th Street and 4363 Avenue on ExtendNY, which applies New York's grid worldwide. [via]

Ain't too Scared of 'dem Ghosts

The Ghostbusters have a Chicago Division, in case you need some ghosts busted over by dere. [via]

A Few Sparkles on the Globe

See if you can spot Chicago at the beginning of this stunning time-lapse video of Earth at night, short from the International Space Station. [via]

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.

Turtles Still having Problems

Big Dog Eat Child is back with a couple more Twenty-Something Ninja Turtles

Honey on the Train

Winnie the Pooh rides the CTA.

A Lake Above the Lake

In case you missed it on Twitter this morning, for a little while there was a Lake Michigan-shaped storm covering the entirety of Lake Michigan.

lakemichigan-shaped_storm.png

A Shot At Winning

A Lincoln Square local scours the internet daily to find the best sweepstakes out there to give everyone a chance to win. One Sweeps offers a sweepstake a day where you can decide if you'd like to enter.

I Sense a Weird Al Cover in the Works

One of the best TribLocal headlines I've read, "It's hard out there for a mime," is actually about a teen mistaken for one when what he intended was to dress up as a dancer from America’s Best Dance Crew. "...not used to seeing street performers in a residential neighborhood, some neighbors were confused and called police."

Up in the Air

Ever wonder what it's like to be inside one of the planes in the Chicago Air & Water Show? [via]

Good Time Charlenes

Valentino Vamp posted a picture of two young women who dressed up for a night on the town on May 25, 1944.

Gay Pizza Order

Now on Feast of Fun: After coming out to his parents, a gay soldier decides to come out to his pizza delivery guy.

Ditch the Candy, and Make Some Money

A Lincoln Park dentist office is offering kids money for their Halloween candy this year.

Bizarre Homage

Foo-gos.com recreates sports and other logos with food; here's the Blackhawks logo made out of hotdogs, pickles, mushrooms, sauerkraut and ketchup. [via]

foogoshawks.jpg

Web Workers' Uniform

Web folk, you have less than 24 hours to buy the United Pixel Workers Illinois Local 21 t-shirt.

Haze Goes 'Hollywood'

The official video for rapper/Northwestern student/son o' Hanks Chet Haze's "Hollywood" is out. You're welcome.

The Fake Criswell Predicts!

The Fake Criswell, the amazing Twitter predictor of science, now has a website.

Google's Map Needs Updating

Google's map of Chicago seems to be a little inconsistent: in some versions, Madison Street is missing west of the river, and Randolph Street is listed as "planned."

This House is F'ing Golden

The Blagojevich's Ravenswood Manor home is for sale; just $1,070,000 for a piece of Illinois history. WBEZ's Justin Kaufmann makes some suggestions on how to jazz up the listing.

2934 W. Sunnyside Avenue
Photo by Eric Allix Rogers.

It's the '90s!

Everything is Terrible strikes again.

IT'S THE 90S! from Everything Is Terrible! on Vimeo.

AT-AT in the Loop

Seems like it arrived a little early; it won't be Hoth-like weather for three or four more months. [via]

The Greatest Halloween Costume Ever Sold

Inspired by Morgan Spurlock's recent film, one Chicagoan is looking for 34 sponsors for his Halloween costume.

How to Drive in Chicago

Not all of this advice is strictly good.

50 People, One Question

Galvea Kelly of Irish marketing agency NUA asked 50 people in Chicago what their favorite memory is.

Alley Pooper, Beware

A dude who decided to relieve himself in an Uptown alley on Saturday didn't realize that a security camera was watching his every move(ment). (Maybe kinda NSFW)

Where the Bunnies Are

We've linked to it before, but with all the Playboy Club hub-bub, it seems like a good time to point out the Ex Playboy Bunnies Website, an online community for Bunnies new and old.

White Men Floating Along Wacker Drive

GB flickr pool contributor MewDeep uploaded a somewhat creepy 1965 Life magazine photograph of balloon men over the Chicago River.

Brick By Transparent Brick

Trump International Hotel and Tower got the Lego treatment curtsey of Sean Kenney and about 65,000 Lego pieces. Since the tower itself is a glass and steel structure, the "reflected" skyline was built on the inside of the 10-foot sculpture to better simulate the glassiness. On display at the Chicago Lego store. Sean's Tribune Tower is awesome too.

Groupon Exec Andrew Mason May Have Stumbled Into SEC PR Rules Quagmire, IPO Delay Possible

New trouble for hometown giant Groupon, this time self-inflicted. According to a report in The New York Times, Groupon chief executive Andrew Mason may have broken SEC rules preventing a company from attempting to "condition the market by hyping its stock" by issuing an internal memo recently. In it, he defends against media reports about the company's numbers, a balance sheet that will no doubt be adversely affected if Groupon's IPO is put on hold.

Lando the Big Shoulders

You truly belong here with us among the clouds...

"Live Like Rahm"

A resident of the Green Street Lofts, where our mayor and his family lived until they were able to move back into their Ravenswood home, found an interesting angle for selling his condo.

Another Rigorous Slideshow by the Trib

The Trib's slideshows aren't always top-notch quality, but none match this hilarious phone-it-in gallery of photographs of things that have the same names as recent hurricanes.

Comedy is Not Pretty (or Legal)

From the audience of the recent Del Close Marathon in NYC, a Las Vegas-based improviser named Eric D. Angell casually told a story of having sex with an "old, drunk girl" in a hotel room in Chicago several years ago that sounds a great deal like rape. See for yourself; it was all captured on video.

This Is Grand

Check out the minimalist, typographical transit maps of TRNSPRTNATION.

Not so Windy in Comparison

Chicago is included on Bård Edlund's pretty but confusing Weather Wheel -- but unfortunately so is the popular misconception about why we're called the Windy City. [via]

Bringing Toto Home

We've seen some heartbreaking instances of missing dogs around the city lately. If you're a pet owner, microchipping can help locate your lost pet. There's also a few sites that can help advertise your search.

Mapping Personal Landmarks

Kate O'Leary lovingly maps some of her personal Lincoln Square landmarks on They Draw & Travel.

Hell: Simply Heavenly

Hell's travel and tourism site recently got a spectacular redesign at the hands of local designer Chris Herron. [via]

Man vs. Mansueto

University of Chicago fourth year Mitchell Kohles challenged the automated storage and retrieval system at the U of C's newest library, the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, to a race. How did Mitchell do? Let's go to the tape, err, YouTube video.

Chicaleidoscope

Rorschmap turns googlemaps into kaleidoscopes. Here's Chicago. [via]

rorschmap_chicago.jpg

Casting Illinois in Iron

On Re-Nest, they have a swell Etsy find: specialty cast-iron pans in the shape of Illinois. You can even load up on pans in the shape of other Midwestern states if you so desire.

A Style-ish Guide

From Studio Sweet Studio comes The City Scout, a stylish set recommendations of places to check out in Chicago (and soon Brooklyn) from local creative types.

The Windy Beehive

The late Amy Winehouse loved her Ronnie Spector-esqe beehive, a hair design that was created in Chicago a whopping 50 years ago.

Fly Our Friendly Uniforms

Remember Chicago Express Airlines? Me neither. Its flight attendant uniform and others from American, Midway and United are among more than a thousand in this massive collection. [via]

A Tome For Tavi?

Tavi Gevinson, the teen fashion blogger behind Thestylerookie.com, is shopping a book. The proposal for "Diary" suggests "the book will be one part make-your-own scrapbook, one part feminist manifesto for girls and one part celebrity memento collage."

The Definition of Nerddom

Gangsta rap about Python, straight outta the suburbs. (NSFW)

Documenting Our Lives

Eric Fischer's "See Something or Say Something" project maps geotagged tweets and Flickr photos and shows where they overlap. Chicago lights up nicely.

See something or say something: Chicago

Chicago's Earliest Riser

Craig Shimala's latest work is a time-lapse video showing every sunrise over downtown Chicago for the month of June. [via]

But Does the Carpet Match Them?

Local jewelery designer Ashley Scott's new line, "Drapes," is currently featured on fashion blog, Refiney 29.

Storm Portal

Doesn't The Bean look like a vaguely ominous gateway to a parallel dimension? [via]

Rahm's Doppelganger

What's a San Antonio reporter to do when strangers continually mistake him for our mayor? Write an article of course. [via]

Wright Lines

Check out this awesome personal stationery from architect Frank Lloyd Wright circa 1946.

"Another Chance" for Chet?

The video we've all been waiting for has finally dropped. [via]

Save Foodmiles at the Taste

If you need a compelling reason to go to the Taste (and really, who doesn't), Grub Street has a nifty map showing where vendors are coming from, all over the city. You'd save gas money just by going to Grant Park -- especially if you're into dessert.

Chet Haze Goes Live

Northwestern's finest rapper/rising sophomore Chet Haze dazzled the clubgoers at Enclave Friday night--and his famous mom and dad were there, too!

An Arbitrary Event

June 25 was Reddit Arbitrary Day. Chicago's redditor meetup was also a concert; here's a photo and audio essay by occasional GB contributor Fruzsina Eordogh.

Simulating the Brown Line

A MetaFilter thread about the venerable Chicago-L.org led me to Railfan, a 2006 PS3 game simulating the Brown Line. You can find it used on Amazon and elsewhere, but it's not cheap.

Assumptions Make Asses Out of You and Me

Especially when you're the only Cubs fans on the train to Wrigley.

Chicago is a Country

Apparently you can pack the entire population of Oman into the city limits.

Chicago from the Beeb's Perspective

Another summer, another travel guide from the BBC.

"It's that day again."

"That day when it's everyone's birthday but yours."

He Was Merely Administering Health

Stewart Gibbs, a health care administrator living in River West, was arrested late Sunday night after police discovered him in his apartment; Gibbs was drunk, naked, and covered in his dog's blood after trying to remove a cyst from the animal's ear with a butcher knife. The animal will recover. Gibbs was charged with felony animal cruelty.

Oh Dear

I Am Not Greg follows a hoofed critter who seems to have lost his way in East Lake View.

Many Fripperies

A Redditor's coworker found an old quiz in her desk drawer titled "So You Think You Know Chicago"; how many can you guess? (The answers.)

The Whorls of the City

Designer Gerard Huerta created a number of iconic band logos, but his rendition of Nick Fasciano's Chicago logo in a fingerprint is pretty inspired.

GB Curates Kickstarter

We at Gapers Block are big fans of Kickstarter, as you may have noticed. So much so that we've set up a curated page filled with local projects we think sound cool. Threadless, Pitchfork and a bunch of other non-local organizations have pages, too.

Chicago to Philosophy in 13 Steps

According to the webcomic xkcd, "if you take any article, click on the first link in the article text not in parentheses or italics, and then repeat, you will eventually end up at "Philosophy." Chicago is only 13 steps away. (We're 14.)

Finally, an Informative Back Tattoo

U of C-trained doctor Amy Lehman, who founded a floating medical clinic in Africa's Lake Tanganyika, showed off her large tattoo of the lake's geography for the Daily Beast.

Dear Opera...

The developers behind the Opera web browser are going to miss Oprah -- because of the great misdirected emails they get. (Don't worry, guys, she's just moving to cable.) [via]

The Font Everyone Loves to Hate

Completely missed this this winter: "Why You Hate Comic Sans," a presentation by David Kadavy given at Ignite Chicago. [via]

CTAttoo

Beyond lending street cred, this tattoo helps its owner with pesky questions from tourists. (At least it's easier to reference than the last one we linked to.)

Not United

United Airlines got into some public relations hot water earlier this week when code numbers of flights that were part of the 9/11 tragedy were accidentally reinstated in their operating system.

Today's Moment of Dawwww...

The baby white-cheeked gibbon at Lincoln Park Zoo took his first steps to a poppy synthesizer soundtrack.

Who Will Take Care of Fluffy?

When the Rapture comes on May 21 (or anytime in the next 10 years), Eternal Earthbound Pets will take care of your left-behind pets for a simple, one-time fee of $135.

Mamas, Don't Feed Your Babies Soda

For the record, this vintage ad from the "Soda Pop Board of America," based here in Chicago, is completely fake.

sodapopboardad.jpg
As handily annotated above, the ad features obviously satirical copy ("fitting in" is a purported health claim), a Coca-Cola bottle with a backwards logo, and a fake address (there's a Hart Street, but it runs north-south, for just a block). And then there's the name -- Soda Pop Board? While very wholesome, almost nobody calls sweetened carbonated beverages "soda pop," least of all the industry itself. It was created as a spoof for the sadly defunct The City Desk which published nothing but fictional news. But hey, don't tell that to this guy.

Muzik In Yr Computerz

Lunchtime just got a lot more rocking since White Mystery is going to play live at the Threadless HQ today. Lucky for you, you can catch the whole thing from your cube on Ustream starting at noon.

Celebrity Pup

Remember the two dogs who were rescued after falling through an iced-over Lake Michigan back in February after their owner abandoned them? One of the doggy duo, a 2-year-old pit bull terrier mix named Honey, is now available for adoption.

Mysterious Ways

There's a whole lot to read on Jesus-Is-Savior.com, whose author grew up in Chicago and writes about the city frequently. (Sensitive readers be warned.)

Illinois Got Beef

The Illinois entry in the 50 and 50 Project may call to mind a certain local hot dog purveyor.

The Rainbow Connection

Google Maps captured a lovely and mindblowing photo of a plane flying over Hyde park. (via)

Perusing the Ads

Moat lets you browse through all of a company's online ads. Such as Groupon, McDonald's, United and the Tribune.

Chicago, Asked

And speaking of Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" forum, here are all the Chicago-related threads.

Back to the Grid

The Chicago Grid has returned as a quarterly publication after a few month hiatus.

Fighting the Battle of the Bag

A scientist at Argonne National Laboratory has studied ways to turn plastic grocery bags into materials that can produce printer ink and batteries.

Help a Bunny Out this Weekend

Red Door Shelter's Spring to Life Raffle ends tomorrow at 4pm. Tickets are $1 each, and prizes include $1,000 in cold hard cash, a Kindle, a case of wine, a weekend getaway on the North Shore, and Vosges chocolate bars. Proceeds benefit care of the Shelter's animals (while you're at it, look at these awesome fluffly bunnies, this doggy, and this kitteh--they're all available for adoption, along with many others!).

#uchicaption

Write your own.

All Falls Down

The Kanye West Foundation, which was created to decrease school dropout rates through creative programming, has folded after four years of operating. The charity's grantmaking dropped dramatically after the 2007 death of West's mother Donda, who was the Foundation's founder.

First Rule

I'm not entirely sure what "Guys Book Club" is about, but it sure ain't books.

A Week of Hands on Stanzas

All week, Chicago Publishes will feature poems from The Poetry Center's Hands on Stanzas program. Check back daily for a new poem and a Q&A with the poet.

Large-Scale Recycling

According to this report by WBEZ -- old municipal buildings never die, they just turn into theaters. Next in line? Griffin Theatre Company -- they just bought an abandoned police station near Foster and Damen for one dollar. When your neighborhood police station gets replaced by a theater, well, I think that's a good sign.

Horrifying Map, Anyone?

Gizmodo shows what areas of Chicago would have been affected had the tsunami/earthquake/Fukushima power plant tragedy struck here instead of Japan. I'm going to go hide under my bedsheets now.

New and Improved

The Poetry Foundation has redesigned their website to be "richer, faster" and more user-friendly.

The Caption's The Thing

After years of trying, Roger Ebert is a finalist in The New Yorker's caption contest for this drawing. Voting closes at 11:59pm on April 17. [via]

Perfection in Paper Perforation

You have to love letterhead that shows exactly what a company does. Vintage letterhead from The B. F. Cummins Company, 1914.

Least Lonely Ladies

Illinois's 2nd congressional district has the least lonely ladies in the land. Check out R. Luke DuBois's maps, which he created after analyzing the profiles of 19 million singles from 21 dating sites, to learn more.

Suggestive Stockings

Chicago's Bear Brand Hosiery Co. (whose Gary factory was finally torn down in 2009) once sold socks that grew with, um, you.

Strrrrrretch!

Pothole Fever

According to the Sun-Times, the Loop, Rogers Park and Chatham have the most potholes in the city. [via]

High Rise Stories Acclaimed

Highrise/Out My Window, a web documentary about high-rise apartment buildings in 13 cities -- including Cabrini Green, shot by our own David Schalliol -- won an International Digital Emmy.

One Night Will Remind You?

A cryptic -- and possibly encrypted -- tweet appeared on the @MayorEmanuel account briefly last night before being deleted. The Puzzler caught it, and is looking for help figuring out what it means.

Another Banksy?

A reader submitted a photo on Windy Citizen and wonders if Banksy (or a local street art fan) created this topical image of Moammar Gadhafi in Chicago.

Why Would You Click That?

"@avoision: Split my toenail pretty bad last night. Seeing doc on Monday, but slightly worried. Does this look infected? http://bit.ly/h3VI3R"

Whoopie Cushions & Disappearing Ink

Wondering what to do for April Fool's Day tomorrow? Alicia from Uncle Fun visited the "Guy Bauer Half Hour" to share some tips.

Animal Twitter Kingdom

A cobra at the Bronx Zoo took to Twitter after escaping from its cage this week. The animals of Brookfield Zoo, Twitter veterans themselves, dropped it a note. "Hey @BronxZoosCobra; we animals have been tweeting for a few months now, where've u been? Let's tweet up-just hop on a plane."

Dear Chicago, Please...

Surprisingly few Chicago-related submissions to Dear Blank, Please Blank, but the ones there are pretty great.

Furniture Porn

West Loop-based green furniture company Strand Design recently launched an online store. Now you can buy new furniture while you sit on your old furniture. In your underwear.

Chicago at Night

I'd love to see Google Maps add a night-time version of the satellite map overlay. In the meantime, there's Night Earth.

For $5

...People in Chicago will do a surprising number of things. [via]

The Sounds of Chicago with Static

Website youarelistening.to offers mashups of police radio chatter and ambient music from five North American cities, including Chicago.

theWit-O-Vision

theWit Chicago needs a correspondent for the second season of their "Witisodes" web series. The correspondent, in exchange for covering going-on around the city, will be compensated with a food and drink stipend, some free stays at the hotel, and $150 (per episode?). Interested applicants need only make a 60- to 90-second video to apply. Deadline is March 24. Click here for more details.

60614: Life by the Tracks

A few years ago National Geographic dispatched some photographers to 60614 to produce this vignette of life along the L.

Got a Dispute? Let the Interwebs Decide

Chicago-based entrepreneurs Kevin Wielgus and Angelo Rago have launched JabberJury.com, a free online forum for settling all manner of debates. [via]

Quaxelrod Mounted on the Wall

Saved for posterity by Josh Larios, @MayorEmanuel's tweets, along with contextual replies.

Mirrored Marketing

There's a new high-tech frontier for advertising at O'Hare: animated video ads on the bathroom mirrors. [via]

Our 41° 51' 0" N Sister Cities

Ever wonder what European cities are even with Chicago latitudinally? Wonder no more.

Bright Spot in a Bad Ad

Local lip sync legend Keenan Cahill starts off a new Smartwater commercial starring Jennifer Aniston that The Daily What calls one of the worst ever.

Honey Badger Don't Care

The internets are leaking: Jay Ryan made a slikscreen print of a recent viral video. (Thanks, Su!)

Sheen's a Cubs Fan?

In the midst of all the weirdness, it appears Charlie Sheen owns vintage Wrigley Field seats and likes Chicago-style hot dogs. (You may also want to read this.) UPDATE: Actually, Sheen just ate at a place called The Infield (Thanks, Brismi!).

City of Big Bones

What's worse, Chicago? Being called "big-boned", or being the cattle to mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's herding dog? The New York Times sounds like the best frenemy we ever had.

Verily, He Tweets

"'Twas born to the House of Lorraine in 1478 in the town of Bar-le-Duc of northern France. Mine occupation is court royal to Louis XII, a fine king indeed." And now Robert the Courtier tweets about the Art Institute's new exhibition of art in Renaissance France.

Facebook is For Winners

Two contests on Facebook offer to give some lucky Chicagoans some valuable and memorable prizes: you could win free rent for a year from apartment-hunting site domu, or luck out with a ride on the Mercy Home float in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

More or Fewer Neighbors?

The Tribune Apps team created a Google map overlay showing the percentage rise or drop in population for Chicago and the region. They launched another one tracking mayoral votes by precinct today.

Getting Dirty

Dirty Six-Thirty, a web series set in Chicago.

Sit Back, Relax, Pretend You're In Oak Park

Actor and comedian Thomas Lennon ("Reno 911!," "The State") has a handmade tribute to Oak Park's Lake Theatre in his living room.

@MayorEmanuel by the Numbers

Chicagoist breaks it down, curse by curse. Download the whole tweet archive in PDF form for posterity.

Healthier than Our Own

Apparently, Sweden's Statoil gas stations now offer a "Chicago menu" of a (non-Chicago style) hot dog, a Coke and ...baby carrots? [via]

Drink Early and Often

With a new Mayor-elect in the wings, one ponders if the city can be unified by a crowdsourced alcoholic beverage. Chicagoans, the choice is yours. (h/t Joe)

Empires Could Have It Covered

Local band Empires are competing in a contest to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Help them out by voting for them here. [via]

Know, or Else!

Chicago comedy troupe Funemployed has created a special PSA video for all those who don't know who (Grammy award winning band) Arcade Fire is. (h/t Sandor)

Good Deal All Around

Virgin America showed off its marketing savvy buy partnering with Groupon for today's launch of service between O'Hare and LA or San Fran. The deal sold out in less than an hour.

What Time it Is

Always correct. [via]

Sights & Sounds of Urban Nature

Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee pairs photos and music to create the webzine Urban Nature. Plug in your headphones and enjoy.

Proudbarrassed

Speaking of nickd, his Shitty Portmanteaux is as awesome as jeggings.

Your Morning Diversion

Public Collectors.

Don't Like Kids?

Big Dog Eat Child has a your anthem.

Bad Weather Breeds Bad Dog Owners

A good Samaritan found two dogs at Howard Street Beach yesterday that had fallen through the ice. The dogs' owner, after being tracked down, admitted that he had dumped them near the (freezing) lake because he didn't want them anymore. Do you? Contact the Bark Bark Club for details on how to adopt.

Uh, Who's Living in the White Sections?

Here's a Department of Development and Planning map showing how neatly Chicago stored its ethnics in 1950. Note how the Swedes are encircling the Irish in the lower-right quadrant. Was it something we said?

Book Club Blogroll

The Book Club's compiled a list of notable, local literary blogs -- go check it out, and say something if you feel they've left someone out.

Revenge Served Cold

You think stealing someone's dibs spot is risky? Try stealing their shovel.


Blackhawks Fans Brave Blizzards?

Another time-lapse video of the blizzard, this time from the Blackhawks. Worth watching for the mystery of why there were plows clearing the parking lots next to the United Center pretty much non-stop. (Thanks, Dominick!)

Thundersnow and Lightning!

You heard it, but in case you didn't see it, now you can. UPDATE: Turns out that photo's been on the web for at least two years. Sorry to share a fake; thanks to Marc for the heads up.

At the End of the Storm is a Golden Sky

Not that this will help you today, but Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow this morning, which predcits an early spring.

Batten Down the Hatches, Frozen Novelties Ahead

A new take on the upcoming snowstorm. (Thanks, AnswerDave!)

The F*cking Mayoral Election on Twitter

@MayorEmanuel isn't alone on Twitter, you know. @MayorMiguel, @MayorCarol and @MayorChico are ready for your attention.

Calling All Men...

Sadly, it is no longer possible to order strip tease necktie that glows in the dark; the office at 215 N. Michigan Ave. no longer exists. [via]

I'm A Tumblr, You're A Tumblr

You can keep up with Crain's Chicago Business and Hyde Park's 57th Street Books on their brand new Tumblr blogs.

Shame and Awesomeness

Illinois is best at robbery according to one map, but it's also most average, according to another one.

Return To Guyville

BlackBook spent a few hours with Liz Phair in her old stomping grounds of Wicker Park and Lincoln Park. [via]

Creating Space

Chicago's Digital Kitchen created some very impressive columns for the latest Las Vegas casino, The Cosmopolitan. [via]

The Humor is in the Details

You really just have to watch the video and read the story about a guy who tried to rob a Subway and then stole a cab in Des Plaines before crashing on Clark Street in Rogers Park just blocks from a police station. "You see so many things on Clark Street," said a witness. (h/t Damon) Update: WGN's SkyCam9 got some extra footage of the "chase".

Fun with Wikipedia

I'm not endorsing this in any way, but this edit to the Chicago entry is at least mildly funny on a day like today.

Doodles For Your Beer

DIY lifestyle mag ReadyMade recently gave props to (already beautiful) Pilsen bar Simone's for their accidental artistic venture: blank beer coasters. Patrons are enjoying the chance to draw their own designs and decorate it with a glass of their favorite bevvy.

To The Blogger Go Few Spoils

Crain's Chicago Business talks to some Chicago-area bloggers about why they've quit.

Building Blocks

The Sears Tower in Minecraft. [via]

Illinois is a Deep Dish

Another map boiling the US down to a single trait (previously), only this time by foods.

The King Speech

Judith Jamison will be delivering the keynote address at the U of C's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration this afternoon at 3:30pm. You can watch the webcast live here. [via]

"I just don't like Slater."

A patron at Mullets Sports Bar & Restaurant in Homer Glen got into some trouble after he broke a framed picture of A. C. Slater. A. C. Slater was the mullet-wearing wrestler on the television series "Saved By The Bell."

Sleight of Hand

Since we've posted about both "best things" and cards today, how about the Chicago Opener, the "world's best card trick?"

PR Wizardry

Local PR guy Mitch Delaplane believes he's drafted "The Most Amazing Press Release Ever Written."

More Than An MC

Los Angeles native and Northwestern student Chet Haze is a rapper who also happens to be the son of actor Tom Hanks. [via]

Mark Your Calendars

Or rather, don't. 37signals is encouraging you to make Jan. 19 Boycott a Meeting Day.

Ebert Steps in the N-Word

Roger Ebert got quite a bit of heat for a controversial tweet about the removal of a certain word from Huck Finn. He later apologized.

Resolutionaries Take Note

While you're working hard at not being a dick on the bus, also don't be a gym jerk! Tips courtesy of WCIU and Cheetah Gym.

Carol Calls It In

When Chicago mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun was unable to attend an LGBT event in person, she did what anybody in her position would do: she called the event organizer, who held his phone up to a microphone so the attendees could (sorta) hear her speak to the gathering. [via]

Bad Economy = Busy Library

Art Daily reports that last year, the Chicago Public Library circulated 8.8 million items and provided 2.8 million free computer sessions. A less cheery statistic: librarians reported that 60 percent of their time with patrons involved helping them look for jobs on library computers.

Obesity is Coming for Us

If you watch the animated map on this page, you can see the wave of obesity rising and making its way toward Illinois.

Multi-Colored Maroon

While we're on the subject of stylish students, the U of C has its own in Rafael Menis, the "Tie-Dye Guy."

Scalia on Pizza

Justice Antonin Scalia doesn't think Chicago-style deep dish pizza is really pizza, and said as much in an interview with California Lawyer magazine: "It's very good, but ... call it tomato pie or something. ... I'm a traditionalist, what can I tell you?" [via]

Um, Gang Members Carpool?

Somehow, being number one in the country in gang membership is a positive energy policy for Illinois. [via]

North Inland Midland

That's what Chicago's dialect is, I think, according to this dazzlingly complicated map.

Resolution.exe

If you haven't figured out a New Year's resolution yet, the Chicago Portfolio School's Resolution Generator may be able to help.

Well Aren't We Chivalrous?

Third most chivalrous city in the country, according to Dockers.

The Internet is Leaking

I can has cheezburger (Doritos), animated.

Much Ado About Not Much

Although most of us probably couldn't care less, art gossip junkies out there will be tickled pink by ArtSlant's saucy new list of Chicago's 2010 art controversies.

Architects Say the Darndest Things

In Chicago Magazine's "40 Reasons to Love Chicago," reason 35 highlights some epic architectural rivalries. Stanley Tigerman's "shove it" to the UIC architecture department takes the cake.

The Grinchiest

A man was recorded stealing UPS packages off of a porch in Andersonville over the weekend. Police are still looking for him, or waiting for his heart to grow three sizes. [via]

City Submerged

Craig Shimala turns Chicago into a water wonderland with a digital camera strapped to his windshield (and a nice ambient soundtrack).

Reading at Intermediate Level

Time Out Chicago's Frank Sennett took a look at Chicago media websites' reading levels according to Google. I'm not sure I agree with his all his results. Here's how GB's sections break down.

Little Girl in Alley Rescued By Ballerinas

The Loneliest Monk released their debut music video this week. The cello and drumset dreamscape was shot by Chicago film collectives Rubbish and HYSTK. The HD version of The Ghost & the Silhouette is up on YouTube.

Da Mare Bear

Mayor Daley's looking rather bear-like in this portrait, part of the Chicago Urban Art Society's The Daley Show. [via]

100% True Rahm Facts

In the latest Chicagoist podcast, Karl Klockars talks with the creators of Rahmfacts.

What Do You Appreciate?

Design firm Faust will be out front of NBC Tower on Friday, Dec. 17 from 7 to 10am to promote Appreciate-It, a site they hope will collect a million appreciative sentiments, which they'll submit to Guinness as the world's longest holiday card.

Rahm the Resident

Vanity Fair shares their ten favorite questions from Rahm Emanuel's Chicago residency hearing.

Love, Kells

Singer R. Kelly reached out to fans last night by posting a photo of a hand-typed letter to his TwitPic stream. Added bonus: his signature is accompanied by a sketch of a teddy bear head.

A Christmas Mystery

Local writer Tim Steil received a strange, mangled letter in the mail recently, forwarded from the fictional Romanian MidAtlantic Postage Recovery at 82.5 S. Cicero.

A Very CMoS Christmas

This miniature Chicago Manual of Style is probably the only style guide you can use to decorate your Christmas tree. [via]

One Way to Trim a Tree

With ballcaps, Bulls at the top. [via]

Jackson the Mushroom Man

Herbert Fickenworth, 12 years old, Chicago, writes: "I am picking and selling mushrooms every day."

Onscreen Battle

Threadless designer Mig Reyes made it to the second round of Layer Tennis playoffs, and is playing today against Atlantan Mark Weaver. You can watch him work live during the match.

Flying Brains & Lava Pits

The iO-based improv group Warm Milk have created a videogame called Improv Heroes, with characters based on local improv greats.

Lawrence and Julie and Julia

Northwestern University student Lawrence Dai is watching Julie & Julia every day for an entire year. Naturally, he is blogging about it. [via]

Wanna Come With?

Turns out "come with" isn't just a Chicago (and Midwest) thing, it's grammatically correct. Read the study here.

Strange Carfellows

Buick wants you to "re:discover" Chicago, and turned to Busy Beaver's Christen Carter, Groupon's Andrew Mason, DJ Kate Simko and others for insider looks at the city. Carter and Mason also did a driving tour video together. [via]

"Illinois State Lottery"

That's what popped up for us on the United States of Autocomplete.

Movie Houses Remembered

A gallery captures the grandeur and elegance of the Granada, Uptown, Adelphi, and other Chicago area "lost palaces" -- movie theaters that recall a bygone age. [via]

This Should Confirm Your Suspicions

Apparently Oprah is evil after all...

Oprahs-Bees.gif

Michael Bay, Lingerie Models, Chicago, Milwaukee

The minty and ballyhooed, Michael Bay-directed Victoria's Secret commercial has hit the Internets and lo, Chicago and our friendly neighbor to the north, Milwaukee are both featured prominently. Well, their cityscapes at least. Yep, that's Marina City you see behind some beauty's behind. And, that's right, there's the Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Art Museum. Not really a surprise that Chicago and Milwaukee were used as sets for the shoot. Bay's been in town since this summer for the next Transformers sequel and well, supermodels just hang out here all the time. Right?

I Went to the 1893 World's Fair...

...and All I Got Was Brutally Murdered: what the title of Devil in the White City should have been, according to Better Book Titles, where you can "cut through all the cryptic crap" of titles local and otherwise.

Mega-City of the Future

In 2050, Chicago will be the major megalopolis holding together the Great Lakes Mega-Region, according to the Regional Plan Association.

Howard Brown Needs You to Like Them Today

The Howard Brown Health Center, which recently has been plagued by financial problems, has gotten a spot of good luck: an anonymous donor has agreed to donate $25 to them for every new Facebook friend added to the Center's profile today, in honor of World AIDS Day.

Same-Sex Civil Unions Approved in IL House

Eat your heart out, DOMA! The law needs to pass in the Illinois Senate, which it is expected to do; when approved, the law will be effective next July.

A Groupon for Groupon!

That's a really great deal! [via]

Intel Inside

Made in Chicago.

Hot Doug's For Life

The Trib's Kevin Pang just tweeted that anybody with a Hot Doug's tattoo eats at Hot Doug's for free for life. UPDATE: ChicagoNow first reported this back in 2009, so think of Kevin's tweet as a friendly (and delicious) reminder. FURTHER UPDATE: Confirmed by Hot Doug himself.

No Idle Hands

According to research done at universities here and in China, people don't mind busywork if there's a good excuse.

"Are you kidding me?!"

When the WGN Morning News crew misses the collapse of a bridge they'd been waiting to broadcast, they take it in stride.

The Most Beautiful Toast You've Ever Listened To

OK Go, a band that used to call Chicago home, released the video for "Last Leaf" last week. It's animated entirely with pieces of toast.

King of the Castle

Dale Bernis of Oak Forest will be inducted into the White Castle Hall of Fame after writing an essay about how White Castle has affected his life. [via]

Too Hard to Keep

Jason Lazarus, a photographer and instructor at the Art Institute, wants the personal photographs people can no longer bear to look at for his "Too Hard to Keep" archive. Details on how to submit photographs to Jason are posted on his blog for the project.

DIY Horizon

Add our city's skyline to your holiday cards, or whatever would benefit from Chicago's silhouette, with Merriment Design's free templates. All she asks is that you e-mail or comment when you do.

Kanye Airlines

Our own Mr. West entertained folks on a Delta flight last Friday over the loudspeaker. Was his own plane in the shop? UPDATE: Here's a longer recording from another passenger on the flight.

Well, Your Pizza's Good But Your Weather Sucks

Travel + Leisure just posted the results of the 2010 'America's Favorite Cities' poll. We've got good pizza and a great skyline, but no one wants to visit us at Christmas.

Woodstock Remixed

Bill Murray's Groundhog Day is the palette for an incredible videomix by HomeStarRunnerTron. [via]

A Dorky Travel Guide

EWeek's Geek's Guide to Chicago is pretty basic, but it hits mostly right notes.

The Power of Christ Rehabs You

Not sure where it's located, but here's a nifty 19th Century Chicago Lutheran church re-purposed as a artist's loft. Unfortunately, sometimes God's old college buddies show up in the middle of the night, looking for a place to crash.

Paper from the Past

NoBodoni's Spurius Press has an impressive collection of Chicago Ephemera. (Some nice fonts, too.)

Helmut?

The folks at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum want you to name their box turtle. The winner will have his or her picture taken with said turtle, and receive a one-year membership and turtle gift basket--most likely not including a turtle.

Timing is Everything

A building at Columbia College was shut down today after an administrator received a threatening message that was left over the weekend on a voice mail system.

They Already Made the Obvious Joke

So, I'll follow up with: Despite all their rage they are still just primates in a cage. [via]

Family Advertising Values

Carl, Amy, Layne and Kaitlyn are the Billboard Family, and you can hire them to wear your company shirt "all day long." They're from St. Louis, but according to their site they sometimes visit Chicago, Seattle, Walt Disney World, and the Southern Illinois University area. Let us pray this doesn't escalate into tattoos.

Far as the Eye Can See

Speaking of the Sears Tower, This awesome map (best viewed large) of what you can see from the top is apparently hiding somewhere in the Ball State University GIS Research and Map Collection over in Muncie. [via]

Don't You (Forget About Me, I'm on Grandma's Wall)

The Breakfast Club gets immortalized in needlepoint.

Wrong Batman

The only problem with the Adam West for Mayor campaign is he protects a rather different Gotham. Well that and he's already mayor of Quahog. [via]

Stick to Your Day Job

Ira Glass sings Elliott Smith.

A Ripple Through the Chicago Sandwich Community

My (and everyone else's) secret television girlfriend Tina Fey presents her thoughts on Chicago's best restaurants, sandwiches, and why we're superior to New York.

Colossal, Stupendous Squid

Cartoonist Lucy Knisley has a better Halloween costume than you. [via]

Women Screaming to Meet You? Or AT You?

Major Carpet Burn dug up a bunch of monster movie mag layouts and crazy old ads, including one from the Help Company Club at 4554 Broadway. Remember, fellas: "No man is any good without a woman."

Willow the One-Eyed Wonder Dog

The almost comically bedraggled Willow, up for adoption at Chicago Canine Rescue, has inspired an outpouring of sympathy (and adoption subsidies) on Reddit.

Sometimes Divisions Are Okay, Vince

In the wake of Universal Pictures pulling the controversial promo for his upcoming movie The Dilemma, Vince Vaughn made a statement over the kerfuffle: "Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us."

LYT: Tee for Type

Watch Threadless designer Mig Reyes take on Jessica Hische in today's Layer Tennis match at 1pm.

Wildcats = Wild Party, Wild Asshattery

An off-campus party full of drunken Northwestern students earns a letter of complaint by an Evanston resident, who said that a group of students frightened her young daughter with their "hollering about [oral sex]."

"When God decided where the beautiful men were going to live...he did not choose Chicago."

Letters of Note finds an A League of their Own-era Madonna complaining to photographer Steven Meisel about Geena Davis, playing baseball all day, and the pain of being in our "yuk"-ky city.

The MySpacification of Facebook

I'm sure the new Palace nightclub, opening Nov. 4 inside the Alhambra Palace on Randolph will be awesome, but its Facebook page makes me wonder what's happening to the social network's simple, uncluttered design.

New to Work

"Funemployed" takes a comical look at the state of work -- or lack thereof.

The Old Phone Book's Here!

These were once the kind of spontaneous publicity -- your name in print -- that made people.

Snake on a Bus

The CTA Tattler posted a picture of a woman wearing a snake on the North Avenue bus.

First Person Gift-Giver

Oprah pops up in the strangest places. [via]

"I hope it is a hacker reading this."

Cover letters apparently can get you a job. [via]

Home Sweet

I'm going by anecdotal evidence, but it seems like a lot of people move around September -- warm their house with these suggestions from local gift shops, compiled by Time Out Chicago.

Storefront Studio

Apartment Therapy profiles Chicagoan and production artist James Wurm's industrial and practical, yet attractive and welcoming kitchen-studio-living space, created in a Pilsen storefront. It's worth checking out for the chandelier alone.

I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation Turned into Wee Little Puppet-Men

Local cartoonist/musician Archer Prewitt designed the cutest little Allen Ginsberg doll you ever did see. [via]

Even Worse: "Donkey Punch"

The Glam Beast thinks that whoever's behind the Des Plaines I ♥ DP campaign should have considered a better abbreviation (easily offended folks might not want to click that link). But there's a silver lining: they're completely sold out.

Belmont Is For Lovers

Based on a scale called the Train Romance Index Score Total (how Kinseyian), the CTA Belmont stop (Red, Brown and Purple lines) is the most romantic place on the El.

A Lady Made That

A women's studies professor uses hip hop to drop some knowledge about feminism in "Feminist Rapper," by improv actor Jenny Hagel. [via]

Bacon Blog

And other food, too: the 2nd place winners for Judges' Choice in the Chicago Bacon Takedown have a blog, The Green Chalkboard, where they explore porky and non-porky (or even meaty) delights.

Mayor Rahm's Already on Twitter

@MayorEmanuel is as NSFW as you'd expect it to be. (Meanwhile, @MayorRahm is conspicuously silent -- and @RahmForMayor is self-censoring [thanks @sterno!].)

Cheers to These Guys

Chicago-based glassware company By the Glass has been getting some attention lately for their tasteful lines of drinking glasses inspired by several cities around the world. Maybe I'm biased, but I like the Chicago line.

Maroon Monster of the Midway

The University of Chicago mascot has been reborn. While it may be "bigger, meaner, and much more maroon," does it actually look like a phoenix or just a beefed up war chicken? [via]

How Much Are They Worth?

MarketWhiz.Biz tests your knowledge of the market valuations of various companies in relation to Facebook's supposed $33 billion.

The Inconsiderate People of Public Transit

Chicagoan Jennifer Fastwolf wasn't thrilled to find herself on People of Public Transit, a blog poking fun at people on trains and buses. Rather than take the photo down and/or apologize, the site's owners changed every photo on the site to hers for the weekend (screenshot).

Another Idiot Named Todd

U of C law professor Todd Henderson has quit blogging for Truth on the Market now that his recent controversial post has been lampooned by everyone, including the WSJ.

Simplifying the Actor's Life

Created by a member of local theatre troupe Abraham Werewolf, the new site Simple Auditions aims to connect actors with auditions in the Chicago area. If you're interested in casting some talent, they're offering free listings until October 15th.

Introducing E-Z-Fynd

"Never Not Find What You're Looking For Again!"

Aimee Mann Likes Us

"What a truly great city Chicago is. It's like NYC without the baked urine smell or masturbating-guy-on-the-subway episodes. Three cheers!" (Thanks, George!)

The Year of Living Volcanically

Former Chicago Journal editor Brett McNeil is spending a year teaching in Indonesia. Follow his adventures and observations here.

Highly Paid Skillset

"Tell Me If My Breath Smells for $600 Per Hour."

Random Dick

Try the Dick Tracy Continuity Randomizer, a tool from the Comics Curmudgeon that demonstrates how random the strip often was. [via]

Highest Income Category but Not Rich?

NPR started a conversation about what it takes to be rich by referring to a now-deleted blog post by U of C law professor Todd Henderson in which he said his family was "just getting by despite seeming to be rich."

Color Divide

Check out this map, whose hues spell out the geography of Chicago's racial and ethnic makeup. Based on the Radical Cartography map we linked to back in August. [via]

Not That You Inhale

But if you did, you're probably spending about $60 an eighth.

Mr. Chicago is a Super Nerd

Meet Mr. Chicago and other adorably anthropomorphized typefaces at Supersmelle's tumblr.

Eirsser, Book, Crayola Boxs

This is "a good start" down the rabbit hole that is the Found Magazine "Find of the Day" archives.

Mayor, Schmayor: Remember the Asian Carp?

Even with all the hoopla over the impending mayoral elections, Asian carp are still looming large in our dietary and cinematic imaginations. And now, they're taking this thing national: the United States just got itself a carp czar.

Faster Than the Speed of Image Capturing!

GB flickr group contributor J.Knecht found a plane with some interesting image capturing artifacts in Jackson Park on google maps.

This Post is Not About Mayor Daley

There are two results on flickr for the query "Chicago Catzilla."

YouTube's Latest Star

Teen lip-syncer Keenan Cahill is apparently the new hotness in YouTube memes. Even Katy Perry's a fan.

Monsters and the Lake

Speaking of, FoGB Phineas Jones points out that Dinosaur Comics references the S.S. Eastland disaster in today's comic. Learn more about it from the Eastland Disaster Historical Society.

Dunder Was Probably Already Taken

Screaming across the night sky like a ball of hellfire cast by an angry deity, the people of earth cowered and dubbed this avatar of cosmic glory... Mifflin? Really? Anyway, the Field Museum recently acquired four chunks of (sigh) Mifflin, and science geeks can drool over its stats here.

Behind the Threads

The Threadless design team takes to, of all places, Facebook to give fans a peek into their process. [via]

Scratch That

Investigation of a rumored "dry run" of a terrorist plot via a flight that originated at O'Hare was canceled; the two men who were detained yesterday will not be charged.

Evil Russian Spies Steal Groupon

The skyrocketing success of Chicago-based Groupon has spawned many copycat deal sites--but none as blatant or bizarro as Big Lion. The only thing more phony than a Russian rip-off would be a Chinese cheater! What the Faker?!

Eating Crazy Borscht with Muddy Waters

Cartoonist Dan Meth is on his way to Chicago, and here's what he plans to do.

The Sounds Your City Makes

Local music label, Contraphonic, has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their nationwide aural mapping project as a part of their already successful Sound Series. Chip in a few clams and help to preserve the best sounds of Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and other locales.

Braidwood Meltdown Scenario

This BBC map of the fallout if Chernobyl had happened in Chicago is rather timely in light of the Braidwood nuclear power plant shutdown earlier this week. [via]

For Those About to Rock, Free mp3s

Epitonic, one of the first streaming mp3 sites, is planning a comeback, with local musician Justin Sinkovich back at the helm. The relaunch is being funded through Kickstarter.

Blago Guilty

...of not maintaining his storage locker. The Arlington Heights-based company who Blagojevich owes $3,000 to is planning to auction the contents this morning, with the proceeds going to Children's Memorial Hospital. The ex-governor claims to be too broke to pay the back rent.

Art in Motion

Fear no ART Chicago just released their newest webisode: an interview with 3 Blondes & a Bald Guy, winners of the 2010 Art on Track A.W.A.R.D.

Common Sense... This Is How It Doesn't Work

The A.V. Club has a first-person account of what what happened at the Gathering of the Juggalos this weekend when "entertainer" Tila Tequila was attacked by festival attendees.

Chicago Hipsters Are Cute

At least when they're compared with Brooklyn hipsters.

"Turn me on with your electric eel"

How do you even begin to examine and biopsy a suspicious growth on a four foot long electric eel? Put on some non-conductive gloves as a start, and get some help from the folks at the Shedd Aquarium.

Boulevard of Unbroken Dreams

The Public Servant Blog nominated Chicago's boulevard system as number four on its list of the top 20 urban planning successes of all time.

Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan began tonight, which means Muslims must fast from sunup to sundown and abstain from anything impure for the next month. This includes anger. Which is why Olivia Kompier, homeschooling parent of three, created ScreamFreeMuslims.com, a website to help Muslims cope with the crabbiness that comes easily while fasting.

Lollapa-lovely

These slideshows from Time Out Chicago and Style.com focused on the style found at Lollapalooza 2010.

I Am Woman, Hear My Buttons Roar

The Chicago Women's Liberation Union herstory project site is interesting in and of itself, but this article about feminist buttons is fascinating.

What Does it Mean?

Double rainbow all the way across the site!

Gaming the Day Away

Immersive Games knows how to kill your productivity.

R. Kelly Believes... In Charts

Check out this useful chart which breaks down exactly what R. Kelly believes in. No word yet if a similar chart for "You Remind Me Of Something" is available.

I Don't Have a Drinking Problem, 'cept When I Can't Get a Drink.

Anne wants to know why we're all alcoholics. Thin-skinned Chicagoans provide her with the answers! This is why the Internet exists!

What Did You See on August Third?

Did you see a crab claw smoking a cigarette on a stop sign?

Party Poopers

To celebrate President Obama's 49th birthday (which he will be celebrating in Hyde Park tonight), the GOP has released a set of political attacks disguised as e-cards that you can send to him.

Palatial Prison in the Rolling Hills of Chicago

A viral email has been circulating filled with outrage over the new "Cook County Correction Center" "built by Obama" in Chicago pictured as a beautifully designed glass and steel building on rolling hills dense with trees. Obviously not Chicago, so where is it? Snopes has the answer. (Thanks, Don!)

Kanye West: Rapper, Producer, New Yorker Caption Writer

Combining Kanye's tweets with New Yorker cartoons has turned into a meme.

Chicago is a Cool City

Not that we needed Forbes' validation, of course.

Hogwarts is in the 'Burbs

Professor Snape lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, according to his business card. [via]

Banking on Tina

When she was not folding towels at the Evanston YMCA or performing at Second City and IO Chicago in the mid-nineties, Tina Fey was talking about interest rates.

The Poetics of Normative Value

The U of C's Writing Program loves dissecting sentences from academic articles, and lets you write your own jargony academic sentence.

A Fair Film

Coudal has created another charming film, this time featuring the sights and sounds of the Monona County Fair in Iowa where the team was peddling their new Field Notes County Fair edition.

Ohio to Minnesota, Via Chicago

Chicago makes a cameo in this time-lapse video of a road trip from Ohio to Minnesota.

Airline Neglects Child for Eight Hours

United Airlines gets poor marks in childcare at O'Hare, but is the real story here that 9-year-olds are cool enough to be self-proclaimed vegetarians?

Depressing the Price of Animal Pictures

First, there was I Want to Draw a Cat for You, drawing cats for just $10. Now there's May I Please Draw an Owl for You? undercutting by $2, provided you don't mind an owl instead of a cat. Meanwhile, I'll Draw Any Animal You Want (with a notable exception) does it three-for-$5. [via]

IRL LOL

One more example of the web bleeding into real life: webcomic Pictures for Sad Children spotted on a wall on Halsted.

You Wouldn't Like Us When We're Angry

Respected research and abs development journal Men's Health has decided that we're the 11th most angry city in America. They can go f*ck themselves.

Flow with CRO

Chicago's best-known political street artist Ray Noland (a.k.a. CRO) was interviewed by Art Slant Chicago's Abraham Ritchie while he passed out Blagojevich-themed cupcakes outside the courthouse during his trial.

Read It For The Articles

The Smoking Jacket, Playboy's safe-for-work site, is now live.

Pin Down These Old Photos

HistoryPin is a photomapping site that puts photos on a map and links them to their era.

The First Rule of Ferris Club is...

Don't talk abo- Wait, did you just say Ferris Club?

The Old Spice Cup

The Blackhawks got a special video response from the Old Spice guy regarding what he'd do with the Stanley Cup.

One Feed, Many Coupons

Can't keep up with all those daily coupon emails? Try following Deal Radar to see all the offers at once. (Thanks, Rachelle and Anna!)

Still Going

With its 40th issue, local webmag KeepGoing.org turns 10. The regular contributors took a moment to reflect.

A Bad Day at the Park

Today isn't a good day for visitors to Garfield Park ... or for the fish who live(d) there.

Unreleased Kanye?

Oh and he was also in a group called the Go Getters before "College Drop Out," check it out.

Art Talk

The summer interns at the Art Institute have started a twitter account where they post funny things they overhear patrons say in the museum. The results are hilarious and sometimes adorable. Oh, and they have a blog now, too.

Gentlemen Icing Gentlemen

The true origins of Bros Icing Bros have been discovered in the archives of British Cinema Institute. [via]

Fake Tans, Real Lawsuit

Carrie Malec of Chicago is suing Snooki and JWOWW of MTV's "Jersey Shore" for assaulting her at a Miami bar in May after Malec danced with other castmembers.

A Loaf for All Seasons

Leah A. Zeldes of Dining Chicago argues that meatloaf really is a summer food, and passes off a simple, delicious-sounding recipe from Chef Alfredo Anaya does at Dine in the West Loop. [via]

Chicago: Sin in the Second QWERTY

Zoomar reprints an old ad touting a, presumably, naughty book about a pretty girl in Chicago. I'd touch-type that, bro.

Lincoln Square Swagger

"Walking down Lincoln, trying to stay alive."

That Darn Clause

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office is looking into the "radius clauses" imposed by Lollapalooza upon its performers. These clauses prohibit bands from playing in Chicago for months before and after the musical festival takes place in August 2010.

City of Big Shoulders

According to a study by the makers of Combos Snacks, Chicago is the seventh manliest city in America. The ranking process involved "using manly criteria like the number of home improvement stores, steak houses, pickup trucks and motorcycles per capita."

KRACKA-BOOOOOOOOOOM!

Always awesome: From last night's storm, a triple lighting strike on the Hancock, Trump, and former Sears Tower.

Kickstart a Few Projects

Checking in at Kickstarter, there are some local projects looking for funding. Films Southern Comfort and Marathon, an animation project for the Blue Line tunnel, a website collecting stories of Chicago chefs' favorite farmers and more await your support.

I Ganked This Link Off Twitter

Speaking of cool things in the new Chicago magazine, they have a list of 40 words that Chicago and Chicagoans have contributed to the English language. So want people to know you're a true Chicagoan? Call them an asswipe or an egghead.

Trump It Up

The spire atop the Trump Tower will be turned on for the first time tonight around 8:29 pm.

Buy a Puppet, Help a Puppet Bike

Chicago's beloved mobile street entertainment known to one and all as Puppet Bike will offer up a little piece of itself on eBay starting next week. Owner/Creator Jason Trusty is "retiring" several older puppets and you can take them home, if you're the highest bidder.

The Beauty of Strange Closets

Chicago blog Strange Closets takes a close look at the charming and beautiful all around us. Similar to Apartment Therapy, but 100% local, the blog features shopping, interior design, and architecture you'll love looking at.

Hidden Treasures

Venture to the West Side much? Maybe you should.

"You get a star! You get a star! Everybody gets a star!"

Oprah Winfrey will be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.

Twenties on the Half Shell

Big Dog Eat Child knows that even mutant ninja turtles don't stay teenagers forever.

Fries With That

Don Thompson, COO of Oak Brook-based McDonald's, talks to the Trib about his tenure at the company, and why a French McDonald's commercial featuring a gay teenage boy and his father won't be airing in the US any time soon.

Oprah Aspirations?

You're in luck: The media titan is looking for a budding talk show host for her new cable network, OWN.

Women Wanna Race

Local biker, blogger, and super-cool chick Julie thinks USA Cycling should enforce standards that make it possible for women to have access and ability to race like their male counterparts. Hopefully the local associations get a lot of requests and start requiring parity.

Twitter: The Criterion Collection

Local Twitter folks Mike Minnick and Dave Gorum help answer the question, "What if Twitter came to life -- again?" (Here's the first one.)

It's a Boy (Zebra)!

There's a new Grévy's zebra colt at the Lincoln Park Zoo, the first born since 2001. More really cute pictures and videos here.

Obamalullabye

Coffee wasn't being served at the President's commencement address at a Michigan high school last night.

You Care, Right?

Chicago Cares is still looking for volunteers for this Saturday's annual Serve-a-Thon.

The Urinator Terminator

Moshe Tamssot is sick of folks from the nearby United Center and bars using his alley as a urinal. So he decided to get even.

A Brand New Plate

Designers take a crack at re-imagining some ho-hum license plates, including that of Illinois. (via)

Elmhurst Being Naughty?

Either Elmhurst is some sort of internet search hub or its residents are extremely bored and horny.

Miscellaneous Museums of Chicago, Part One

Did you know that there's a Bronzeville Children's Museum, and that it's in ... Calumet Heights?

That's the Size of Northern Illinois

The BP oil plume if it were in Chicago.

Gronk!

The Field Museum comes in at number seven on the America's Best and Top Ten site's list of the Best Dinosaur Museums in the USA. I suspect Sue will demand a recount.

A StreetView to a Kill?

Did Google StreetView cameras capture the shooting of a child on the South Side? Hard to tell from the image whether it's a real gun or a toy, but the buzz around it has caused Google to remove the image. UPDATE: It's been brought to our attention that the image surfaced a year ago. On the Internet, everything old is new again!

My Hat is Off to You, Sir

That's, um, a very specific site you have there.

Chicagohenge! Where the Demons Dwell!/Where the Banshees Live and They Do Live Well!

Maybe not, but Bonnie McGrath wants to know what the hey those two big stones are doing in Grant Park. Any ideas? Later: Updated link!

Do Your Research

Last Saturday, NBC's Ann Curry delivered the commencement address at Wheaton College's graduation in Norton, Massachusetts; however, when citing famous graduates of the school, she erroneously cited alums of the other Wheaton College -- the one in the Chicago suburbs.

The Dark Menace of Photography

Speaking of interesting maps of the city, Chicagoist points to one by photographer Eric Fischer that uses geotagging info from Flickr to map photographers' travels through the city.

The Warm Glow of Tourism

Here we are on the "World Touristiness Map." [via]

Fake Bags, Real Suit

Leather goods brand Coach is suing the City of Chicago over the sale of counterfeit Coach merchandise at the New Maxwell Street Market.

You Shall Not Pass!

Marc Fischer takes photos of anti-car barriers, unlovely and utilitarian devices intended to protect garages and buildings from, well, cars.

AHHHHHH! GETITOFFGETITOFFGETITOFF!!!

An Amityville Horror-like gathering of bees amassed under a wicker table in Oak Park today in an obvious attempt to induce the heebie jeebies. [via]

New Approaches to News

Mashable takes a look at five web sites that "are introducing new approaches to the consumption of information that few have tried or thought of before." Two of these sites are ChicagoNow and EveryBlock.

Perdus et Trouvés

The MacBook Pro that film critic Roger Ebert uses to speak is missing. It was last seen in the back of a taxi in Cannes, France, where Ebert is attending the Cannes Film Festival. There is a reward for its safe return.

ChiPubLib, Posterized

The Chicago Public Library's poster contest entries are now open for voting. Vote through flickr by Sunday, May 23.

Who Collects the Collectors

The Museum of Online Museums has been collecting odd obsessions for many years. Now it invites you to meet some of the collectors.

Spirit of 1877

If you missed the re-enactment of The Battle of the Halsted Viaduct presented by Paul Durica's Pocket Guide to Hell, read Vice magazine's recap of the event.

Bye Bye Betty

Former Cicero town president Betty Loren-Maltese has left her job as a hostess at Salerno's in Oak Park. Maybe she's looking to get in on the food truck trend?

Not Exactly SCTV

Second City has a YouTube channel.

A Rosemont Horizon By Any Other Name...

...Would just be corporately sponsored and smell just as sweet. The Onion's AV Club reviews the naming history of several big marquees in the Chicago area. Of particular note: The Chicago Marathon for three years was sponsored by G. Heileman Brewing Company and was known as the Old Style Chicago Marathon.

Ferris Bueller Takes to the Web

Ferris Bueller's Day Off played out live on Twitter and Foursquare today. All the major characters are there. [via]

Blago Runs Far

He really is everywhere: nearly a year after the stencil spawned a group art show, Ray Noland's jogging Blago has been spotted down in the Tar Heel state.

Scav Hunt!

The University of Chicago 2010 Scavenger Hunt is on. A PDF of the list is here.

I Like Ike

Guess who's got his own Facebook page? That's right, Ike — the Eisenhower Expressway Dog.

Hot Neighborhood, Hot Neighbors

So this exists: Miss Wicker Park.

Hello Hotdish

What some would call a quintessentially Midwest food is now available through Le Cordon Bleu graduate "Johnny Casserole"'s delivery service.

Games in Your Inbox

Ravenchase's P.O.E. -- Puzzles Over Email -- sends you a monthly riddle to solve; figure it out and you might win a prize.

Passport from Chicago

Here's how to leave no doubt as to where you're from: cover your passport with the Chicago flag.

Kids Just Love Plastic Snakes!

The Program in Linguistics of the Department of English at George Mason University has a entertaining collection of recordings of people speaking the same peculiar phrase. The classic Chicago accent is well-represented by subject: english82, female.

Merger Ball

Now that United and Continental airlines are looking to make their union official, WBEZ thinks that United should keep the merger ball rolling by merging with something else. Anything else, it would seem, as shown in this poll.

Raccoon Doom?

Raccoons the size of orangutans and German shepherds! Bending steel bars! Fashioning crude stone weapons and mastering fire! Wait, scratch that last one. But the rising number of foreclosed homes in the city give raccoons places to grow bigger, stronger, and feistier. Side note: After reading Ms. Ward's account, can I be forgiven for thinking of a certain story by Poe?

Fun (and Not-so-Fun) Facts

If you enjoy statistics and data, this site is for you.

The Dudes' Abodes

Apartment Therapy is looking for some guys who have a room in need of a do-over. Lucky for you, Chicago is one of their five selected metro areas (but sorry, ladies, this project is for boys only). Apply by May 24.

It's a Bee-yooo-tiful Day for a Wedding

Ever dreamed of getting married in Wrigley Field? Just enter the Home Run Inn, Lou Malnati's and Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.'s "Through Thick & Thin Photo Essay Contest" and start planning that red brick and ivy fairy tale.

Is It Me You're Looking For?

No, Lionel Richie, someone's just looking for a terracotta bust of you like the one from your "Hello" video. (It gets weirder.)

Beats & Buildings

Vocalo's Lee Bey sees some of Chicago architecture's best views in hip-hop videos.

Take Me Out to the Blogosphere

Wrigleyville tends to draw a vast blogger presence. But hey, what's one more URL to bookmark among die hard fans? Cubs Fan Report launched today as a collaborative of them all, as well as major news Cubs coverage.

Bring Me a Martini, Will Ya Sweetheart?

Check out this United Air Lines ad from the good old male chauvinist pig days. Trapped on a plane with a bunch of drunks, all smoking cigars and pipes and stuffing themselves with steaks? Uh, I'll take the train.

Jelly-inea

Want the taste of Alinea at a fraction of the cost? Reproduce the menu with jelly beans. [via]

Vegetarians Can Double Down

Don't eat meat, but still want in on the latest fast food abomination? A local young lady and her boyfriend help you out with their meatless version of the KFC sandwich.

Sitting On Your Ash

Reporting in from Milan, Craighton Berman brings us The Eyjafjallajokull Chair.

Street Sweeper: Also Makes a Great Gift

Scare the neighbors into moving their cars. Make an imposing lawn sculpture. Create a giant float and protest the street sweeping schedule. If you buy your own, the possibilities are endless.

Pro-Tip: Dogs Don't Like to be Scanned

Craig Clark is scanning his life, including his dog. [via]

Gator Party

Last year, the Woodlawn Wonder tweeted about spring heralding the return of gators to city sidewalks. This year, she's got pictures.

Love Blooms at Lincoln Hall

Last night, Scott popped a very big question at the Cloud Cult show.

Happy Global Social Media Holiday

It's Foursquare Day -- connect with your fellow Mayors and badge-unlockers, and enjoy special deals at participating businesses when you check in.

Global Layers

Starting at 2pm today, Coudal's Layer Tennis will be played around the world in 10 layers -- and the second will be by Chicago's Mig Reyes.

Wedding Dresses You Can Wipe With

Getting married soon? If you make your dress out of toilet paper you might win $1,000 to buy one that's made out of real fabric. Need inspiration? Check out this article featuring 2005's Chicago-based TP wedding dress contest winner.

Celebrity Fan Dumb-off

Roger Ebert's Twitter followers are less stupid than Oprah's.

10 Things Rex Huppke Learned at the Chicago Tweet-Up

"2) Telling Internet people that you work for a newspaper feels a bit like telling them you're a Civil War reenactor." The rest of Rex's list is here. [via]

Michelle Obama's Facelift

Not only does the First Lady have some new neighbors, but she also seems to have an entirely new upper body.

Bring Me the Head of Jimmy Corrigan

Chris Ware's smartest kid on earth will provide you with hours of plush and depressing fun. Place him on your couch or bed and taunt his decapitated helplessness. Whee!

Does Sex Sell Conservative Ideals?

A Chicago GOP website currently features a photo of a topless woman, illustrating a post about Democratic "job creation" through women getting memoirs based on their affairs. (NSFW, obviously.) More details on WindyCitizen.

Behind Enemy Lines

This license plate has probably started many a fight in Wisconsin.

Stick Around. Say Hello.

The Hello Project invites you to say "Hello" to the world on a 3x3 Post-It note and join the mosaic. It's the brain spawn of area creatives Joseph Delhommer and Kristen Caston.

No Pressure, Knox College

Galesburg, Ill.'s Knox College is known for snagging pretty impressive Commencement speakers, such as Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Madeleine Albright, Stephen Colbert, and last year, Patrick J. Fitgerald. So, this June's graduation should be interesting.

Bakery Hop

Forget bar and pub: Chicago Bites' cupcake crawl is where it's at. [via]

Peeps and Eggs with Faces

Happy Easter.

In Search of the Phantom Kangaroo

In 1974, a kangaroo haunted the streets of Chicago, then the Midwest. What could be lurking today?

The Ferris Faux Ferrari

Cameron's dad's Ferrari 250GT California used in Ferris Bueller's Day Off is up for auction in London, and his house is still up for sale in Highland Park. All you need is a vintage Fiero and a water tower and that shot for shot remake is done.

Bean Counter

If you find yourself overqualified for your current job, you just might be working for the U.S. Census.

Spring of Biblical Proportions

Keep Going's spring issue is up, and among other things features a private plague and a story mentioning many things that someday soon won't exist.

Not Open During Funerals

Ünnecessary Ümlaut has a review and photos of what is likely the creepiest miniature golf course in the country: Palatine's Ahlgrim Family Funeral Services ... and basement golf course.

We Must Modernize Our Illegal Activities Right Now

City Of Chicago To Modernize Outdated Graft Programs. (Yes, it's The Onion.)

What Whirlwinds We Have Wrought...

MSI's new Science Storms exhibit sports the nation's largest indoor tornado at 40 feet. So who's got us beat for world honors? The Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, which whirls up a cyclone of over 100 feet.

Hugh Hefner's School Daze

As a teen in Chicago, Hugh Hefner corresponded with friend Jane Sellers through letters and cartoons. Feeling that he was "destined to do amazing things," Sellers kept everything Hef sent. A selection of the comic strips was recently posted on Book Patrol.

Cutting Room Floor

This week's Layer Tennis match pits local video post-production artist Josh Bodnar against Austin's Jason Uson. The weapon of choice: archival video clips.

Don't Text So Close To Me

Staff at Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 are not permitted to email students from personal email accounts. A new policy that went into effect this week also prohibits online gaming with students as well as communicating with them via text message. [via]

Health Care and Hoth

A recent visit to an Iowa City bookstore shows the President's kind of nerdy. [via]

Pass the Salt

Dannielle Owens-Reid has a lot of salt and pepper shakers. Seven hundred sets, in fact. Some could be yours if you pledge through Kickstarter.

Get Your Building STACKD

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) gives a nod to new global resource STACKD which lets people connect via their workplace. It's a great opportunity to "Act Local" and connect with others outside of that excruciatingly silent morning elevator ride.

Castle in the Burbs

Ander Monson recounts a recent (OK, 2009) visit to Schaumburg's Medieval Times. [via]

Caryatids and Cottages

Broaden your architectural acumen at Blueprint Chicago, a blog about buildings both famous and forgotten. Its author, a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation, also offers a "Word of the Week" to build your building vocabulary.

So, Who is Attacking Our Cabbies?

The Tribune looks into the rough, dangerous and some 80-hour workweeks leaving cab drivers frequented (more than 58 percent) by occupational violence. The Reader's Whet Moser weighs in with their account last year on "bad neighborhoods" vs. "white-collar types partying in trendy areas" and why race plays a major role.

Groupon Paying it Forward

Start up tech companies may have a helping hand from a local success story. Lightbank, a new investment fund, was recently set up by Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, the brains behind "collective buying" deal-of-the-day site Groupon, to funnel as much as $10 million annually into early-stage tech entrepreneurial ventures.

The Mayor on Twitter

Mayor Daley now has a Twitter account. How long till he adds Foursquare and becomes "mayor" of City Hall?

What's Hizzoner's Line?

Here's an interesting clip of the original Mayor Daley on What's My Line from August 5, 1956. Watch till the end when host John Daly offers a hilarious/discomforting comment about one of our fair city's talents.

Fitting In

The 2010 Census will start filling our mailboxes soon, but will your identity be truly counted? The Tribune looks into how mixed races might be erroneously counted with local Chicagoans.

Intense, Powerful: Corey Haim

Today's passing of 80s teen icon Corey Haim is certainly a sad subject, but Schadenfreude takes us back to a happier, more hair-bleached time in the actor's life.

Boys Don't Make Passes

...and it's their loss. A quick lineup of cute, bespectacled Chicagoans.

Full Acre Crisis Garden

Media Matters notes Survival Seed Bank of Thomson IL, one of the advertisers filling the gaps on Glenn Beck's show where major advertisers have left. Whether you think a "crisis garden" will be necessary or not, it's an entertaining read.

The Powerful Anti-Hatpin Lobby

Today, Whitney Gifford runs an article about the public nuisance of hatpins, 100 years ago today. "One man told me he was almost decapitated in the City Hall elevator by the sweep of a hatpin like a scimitar worn by one of the City Hall belles."

Photo Ping-pong?

No, Layer Tennis, which tomorrow will feature GB co-founder Naz Hamid vs. Sam Javanrouh in a volley of photos -- with on-the-spot musical accompaniment by Coctails member Mark Greenberg (who we profiled years ago.)

Roger Ebert -- NERD!

Continuing the lovefest, writer/editor Scott Edelman reran a fun interview he did with Mr. Ebert for Sci-Fi Entertainment about, yes, science-fiction. Fun fact: Ebert started the science fiction club at his high school.

Thrifty Tips

Two New Yorkers visited Andersonville and shared ideas for shopping for cool thrift store finds, antiques, and DIY make-overs that won't break the bank. (via)

March Means More Music

Rock for Kids sure it when March rolls around — it's Music in Our Schools Month and they're working hard to spread the love of music to underserved kids around Chicago.

In Case of Emergency . . .

. . .remain on the train or exit as instructed.

Live in Chicago? There's an App for That

Explore Chicago has just launched an online gallery of free and cheap Chicago-oriented smartphone apps (mostly geared to you iPhone users, though some work on Blackberry and the like). You can keep track of shows at Broadway in Chicago, menus on GrubHub, get the latest Bears rumors, or locate nearby LGBT businesses through the Gay Cities Guide.

Batman Returns to Chicago?

Film fan site Batman on Film says a source spotted producers scouting sites for the franchise's third installment around Chicago's Financial District. Meanwhile, filming blogs are cautiously generating a buzz.

Is Logan Square Chicago's Artiest Neighborhood?

35th Ward Alderman Rey Colon would like to think so. Check out his entry about his commitment to art on Studio Chicago's blog.

To Boldly Go... to Chicago

Set phasers to stun! Rich of broadbarn.com provides 8mm footage of a Star Trek convention/original series cast reunion that took place at the Hilton, August 22-24, 1975.

Oh No She Didn't

Following Kevin Smith's Southwest Airlines incident, Vanity Fair can't wait for Smith to duke it out with Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington who wrote that Smith is in denial about being "fat and in trouble."

Thinking About Pink

Kate Harding uses the CTA Pink Line to discuss the power and politics of the color pink.

Designers, Have Some Time on Your Hands?

If so, Advocates for Urban Agriculture Chicago launched a design competition for a new logo.

Hanging in There

Despite being hit hard by the economic slump, the Art Institute is hanging on-- they're even able to offer free admission during February, as always. How? Hipsters, among other things.

Going to the Auto Show?

Look out for worldcarshows.com's top five cars at the Chicago Auto Show.

Guv Duds

Hit the right consignment shop, and you too could get your hands on some fancy threads that once belonged to former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Rumble for a Tumblr?

Pitchfork has gotten into the micro-blogging game at http://pitchfork.tumblr.com. This comes as a surprise to Tumblr user Tumbledore, who says the subdomain was stolen from him.

Online Community Before the Web

The first online bulletin board launched 32 years ago today. Its programmer-inventors founded it during the Chicago blizzard of 1978, paving the way for the snowed-in Twitter hordes of today.

Feel Free to Disagree...

Chicago music critic and "Sound Opinions" host Jim DeRogatis explains his picks for the worst rock movies. I stand by Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

From Haiti to Chicago, and Back Again

The New York Times describes the struggle of Kenwood resident Jean-Paul Coffy as he cares for his parents in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. Coffy's Chicago friends are maintaining a blog following his travels.

Earthquake Snark

If you're feeling sassy today, why not join the "I survived the Chicago Quake of 2010" Facebook group? Please spare us the wall posts about how we should get relief money, though. That's a bit much, don't you think?

Introducing the iBap

OhNo!Doom has the jeans to go with your new iPad.

The Falling Apart of Fall Out Boy

Unless this is some word-of-mouth, Tweet-of-type publicity stunt, local Wilmette band Fall Out Boy is contemplating a permanent hiatus, as evident in bassist Pete Wentz's blog. While their fans share inspiring stories, pop blogs are skeptical.

CTA Map Tattoo on a Foot

I'm trying to envision the look on the face of a lost tourist as the owner of this tattoo of the CTA train map gives him directions by taking off her shoe. (Thanks, James!)

Can't Copyright What's Free

The CPD is now sending out safety alerts, CAPS meeting info and other announcements by text and email using Nixle.com. But what's Nixle doing claiming copyright over public information?

Beallhaus

Early 20th Century graphic designer Lester Beall--educated and employed in Chicago for many years--was a trailblazer who created an immediately recognizable look for his work that incorporated modernist notions imported from the Bauhaus and other art movements. Here's a site devoted to the man and his ideas.

Less Notes / Thread Field

Threadless and Coudal Partners have joined forces (like Voltron) to create a special set of Field Notes. You can win a set of your own this weekend in their lil contest.

Furnishing Chicago Streets

If you've got a great new design on your mind for some temporary outdoor furniture, the Chicago chapter of Architecture for Humanity wants to hear from you. They're sponsoring a street furniture competition, with entries due by February 26th. Check out this PDF for further guidelines. (Via the Reader blog.)

Bloggie Time

Chicago blogs I Hate My Developer and Young Chicagonista have been nominated for Weblog Awards, or "Bloggies." I Hate My Developer is in the "Best Kept Secret Weblog" category while Young Chicagonista is competing for "Best Teen Weblog." Voting is open until January 31, 2010 at http://2010.bloggies.com.

Logan Square Lookout

Yesterday Apartment Therapy's House Tours section featured FofGB George and Sara Aye's beautiful Logan Square home. You might remember George shot amazing photos from Pitchfork in Transmission in years past, and the couple run the company Hubwear, among other projects.

Oh Really, O'Reilly?

Not that anybody should be surprised by anything he says, but Bill O'Reilly's latest head-scratching proclamation (via Huffington Post) may have South Siders a little miffed.

No Kicking Penguins

It's a meme -- and an edict -- that's traveling the globe, thanks to a Chicago blogger who scanned his autistic nephew's hand-drawn sign.

How About Calling It "0111 1011"?

There's a debate raging on the campus of the University of Chicago. No, not "evolution vs. creation" or anything like that. It's what to call their new cafe/mini-mart. (BTW, the suggestion above is binary for "7-11", but that might be legally stepping on toes.)

Crafty Cards FTW

For those creatively inclined Valentine's Day lovers, Andersonville and Lakeview card and frame shops Foursided and Twosided want to see your best handmade Valentine's cards. Winner gets $50 gift certificate. Deadline 2/7. Details and rules.

Are We Really That (Bleeping) Angry, Idol?

Looks like Chicago had a low showing of talent on yesterday's "American Idol" auditions -- only 13 made the cut. While showcasing our wild and foul-mouthed side, "Idol" has Chicago Breaking News wondering how some Windy City contestants were filmed in front of palm trees and the Amway Center in Orlando.

If You See Someone Shoot Something, Say Something

New CTA safety postings are urging riders to report "excessive photography/ filming," equating it to "unattended packages" or "noxious smells or smoke." This, understandably disturbs photographer and activist blogger Carlos Miller, and here's why.

Here It's Called a SAHsage Tree

The African Sausage Tree (Kigelia africana) at the Lincoln Park Conservatory is bearing 20-pound fruits. Fun fact: the fresh "sausage" is poisonous, causes mouth blisters, and acts as a laxative. No sampling.

808s and Hot Chicken

Thanks to Malik Yusef, a South Side Harold's Chicken Shack location now contains an official platinum record.

Linking Tattoos, Intimate Piercings and Deviant Behavior

Apparently, "The more body art you have, the more likely you are to be involved in deviance." At least, that's what a recent study briefly profiled by the Tribune's Steve Johnson says.

History's Gland Panic

The Reader's Cliff Doerksen has tracked down a handful of newspaper clippings regarding a very peculiar crime wave in 1920s Chicago.

G is for Golden

Tim Steil's Chicago A to Z.

CTA, Past and Future

If you're still in search of a 2010 calendar for your wall, the CTA has a free one for download. It's chock-full of pictures from throughout the CTA's history, plus lots of glorious Helvetica.

Where is the New Ford Focus?

Why, on a floating platform in an elongated Chicago, of course.

The Twitter Zeitgeist

What Chicago is tweeting about.

They Say No News Is Good News

For those seeking to turn a blind eye to doom and gloom stories, the Tribune brings readers the Happy News page, modestly covering the found-dreams-and-little-miracles beat. For a trip back to reality, click here.

Send Our Hood Internet Home!

According to their latest Twitter posts, The Hood Internet (or possibly just DJ STV SLV) are caught up in a security lockdown at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Update: They're out!

A Job that Counts

If you're interested in temporary work, the 2010 US Census is looking for applicants to be census takers starting this spring. An informational session and qualifying exam will be held tonight and tomorrow at 7pm at the Wicker Park Fieldhouse, 1425 North Damen.

Postcards, Photos, and Ephemera from the Edge

John Rininger was a local artist who passed away a few years ago at the age of 45. Wicker Park/Quimby's old-timers might remember him for his stamp art in particular. Marc Fischer paid a visit to John back in 2001 when Rininger was disposing of many of his possessions. He's since posted the story, and a selection of scans of the odd, disturbing, and thought-provoking materials he recovered, on his Flickr page. UPDATE: More here; thanks Salem.

Like A Raisin in the Sun

What was Chicago like in the mid-century for the city's African American community? Unknown Chicago takes a look at the fast-growing and segregated "Black Belt," and the harsh housing conditions.

Big Knight

Patrick Rea of Tinley Park was just recently elected the grand master of the International Knights Templar. Until he resumes his post officially next November, he'll be happy to tell you where the Holy Grail is. [via]

Deck The Hall With...Um, What?

Tiny Miller Park Zoo in downstate Bloomington is selling a unique holiday accoutrement: ornaments made of reindeer dung. Don't laugh; they've made $20,000 off of them.

The Art Institute by Way of Wonkavision

Yes, you can even eat the lions at the Art Institute's Gingerseum.

Sing it Again: Baby Beluga

A Beluga whale has been born at the Shedd for the second time in a week. This time the calf is 5 feet 6 inches long and weighs 152 pounds. UPDATE: Unfortunately, the calf did not survive past its first day.

W e l c o m e t o C h i c a g o

Flickr user lauren*o pointed us to a sign printed by ExploreChicago.org. Not only does the Arabic version of the word "welcome" appear incorrectly (it should look like this), but the Polish and Korean words for welcome appear twice. [Thanks Lauren!]

The Incomparable Filmo

A century ago, Bell & Howell's (click the Company History tab!) HQ and factory was located on Larchmont Avenue, where they made Filmo movie cameras. Tough, dependable, and, in some cases, quite lovely, Filmo cameras were the preferred brand among filmmakers in the early days of motion pictures.

When the Lights Go Down in the City

Chicagoans appear to be imbued with holiday spirit and decorating like mad fools. Local retailers report that decorative lights have been flying off the shelves this season.

Baby Beluga

Congratulations to Puiji, a Beluga whale at the Shedd Aquarium, who gave birth yesterday morning at 6:36am. The calf is 5 feet 4 inches long and weighs 162 pounds. No word yet on a name. [via]

Go West, Young Man (And Dog)

It's not exactly B.J. and the Bear, but a former Chicago and his animal friend are on a journey west for fortune and charity.

Chicago vs. New York, Part Eleventy

Chicago magazine's Jeff Ruby hates New York in song.

A Year To Forget

True/Slant columnist James Finn Garner tells us why we should hurry up and put Chicago 2009 in our rearview mirror.

Martha Speaks

U of C philosophy professor Martha Nussbaum talked to The New York Times Magazine about ideas, faith, and leather.

A Cool Deal

Some of you have probably given Jamba Juice a lot of your money over the years. Now the company will give something back to Chicago: free skating at Millennium Park this Saturday (for the first 200 people).

Huffington Post's Take on Chicago Twitter Lists

The Huffington Post's been busy networking major American cities' Twitter presence, with Chicago growing pretty fast in Local News, Sports and People list categories. See if your favorite Twitterers made the cut, if not suggest them.

I Remember Comma

Writer, director, actor and DePaul alum John Cabrera shares a memory from his illustrious temping career in Chicago.

This AmeriLEGO Life

Speaking of Ira Glass, here he is in LEGO form. (A couple more Chicago/Illinois faces in the CubeDudes flickr pool, too.)

Shepherd Your Experiences

Funsherpa promises to help you find fun experiences that make good gifts for you or someone else.

It's Nothing Like the "Super Bowl Shuffle"

But it's easily as funny and/or offensive.

Groovy

The first Left 4 Dead videogame featured a bit of graffiti stating: "NO ZOMBIE IS SAFE FROM CHICAGO TED" (allegedly based on similar, nastier graffiti found in an Indianian men's room). Thank God for the Internet. Despite not appearing in the actual game (or its sequel), Ted has developed a mysterious and vicious zombie-killing legend nonetheless. Who is Chicago Ted? We may never know. But we can imagine.

DIY Lightning?

A bizarre hobby has locals playing with lightning, or rather, Tesla coils straight out of Dr. Frankenstein's lab. The Tribune looks into these Masters of Lightning and this shocking sect of pop culture.

I Believe I Can Whip It?

Unfortunately they're sold out, but what's the story with these Hot Chip t-shirts featuring R.Kelly in a DEVO hat? [via]

Doc Rock

John Paro is a med student at the University of Chicago. He also has a web site, MedSchoolRock, that "is dedicated to bringing entertaining and informative songs/videos about medical education." [via]

Medill's Inside Scoop

Insider Chicago is a new publication by Medill School of Journalism students, aiming to be your guide to Chicagoland.

Thanksgiving Dinner Postponed by Suffragettes

Gwen Sharp of Sociological Images came across a piece on the Los Angeles Times Daily Mirror site showing drawings and names of Chicago women who postponed their traditional Thanksgiving dinner on November 25, 1909 so they could meet British Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst at the train station and escort her to the Congress Hotel. What a radical idea, to postpone a holiday meal by five hours so you could meet a politically active woman. (Thanks, Sue Strauss!)

Mmmmm, Sink Soup

Per CBS, Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for Chicago plumbers. Sinks and garbage disposals are crammed with the distasteful likes of turkey skin, bones, ham grease, vegetable chunks, and more. The likeliest sink-jamming culprits? Out-of-town guests.

Threadknits for Fame and Glory

Yarn-lovers, start your needles. The folks who brought you the fabulous Threadcakes competition are now sponsoring a Threadless-tee inspired knitting/crocheting contest called Threadknits. Now through January 16th. Details and rules online.

A Challenging Catch

Dave Lamoureux spends most of the year as a futures and options trader in Chicago, but he sets world records catching bluefin tuna from a kayak on the Atlantic, unassisted.

Ever Wonder Why Cab Drivers Hate Credit Cards?

Jessica Reaves of the Chicago News Cooperative explains.

'Tis the Season... For Tax Prep

If you're a whiz with your W2s, the Center for Economic Progress has volunteer opportunities to help low-income families prepare their taxes. Last year, their volunteers did over 33,000 returns and brought back $52 million in refunds for families across Illinois.

What's Orange and White and Unsettling All Over?

Local band The Lust Killers have an interesting gimmick to promote their Chicago shows.

Step It Up With Steph

Local fitness guru Stephanie Mansour of Step It Up with Steph thinks you can get in exercise anytime, anyplace. Like when you're waiting for the no. 22 Clark street bus.

Hipster Slang -- from the Fifties

Careful of that Chicago lightning, longhairs, or you could end up in a Chicago overcoat.

Studs Under Surveillance?

Newly disclosed documents reveal that the FBI tracked Studs Terkel as a suspected communist for much of his life. His complete file is available in this (rather large) PDF.

What He's Learned

Esquire magazine talked to Rolling Meadows' Bryan Anderson, an Iraq War veteran, for their Veterans' Day "What I've Learned" column.

Teenage Foodclub

Twenty-five students from a middle school in Gresham were arrested for reckless conduct last week after starting a food fight.

An Odyssey in Business

If you've enjoyed the Audissey podcast tour of Chicago or recommended it to a tourist in your life, check out their entry in the Forbes Boost Your Business contest.

Searching For C.T.

Local musician and co-editor of THE2NDHAND C.T. Ballentine left his McKinley Park apartment on Friday afternoon and has not been heard from since. If you're able to help locate him, his friends have set up a Facebook group for the search. UPDATE: Looks like C.T. has been found.

Old School Tree

For the first time in decades the Christmas tree in Daley plaza will be a single spruce. This year's was found in the wilds of Palos Heights.

Hungry?

Check out this website devoted to pictures of Chicago-style food. It won't help your situation, but it sure is beautiful.

Cameras That Help Drivers

Don't believe the traffic reporters or myriad online maps? Well then see for yourself. TrafficLand has expanded to Chicago.

Obama, Your Weather Man

Wondering what Chicago's President™ would be wearing to match this week's weather? Obama-Weather.com has your answer.

Your Friendly Neighborhood SpiderDan Skyscraperman

About 28 years ago a fellow by the name of Dan Goodwin scaled both the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower and a few other famous skyscrapers. Now he's back with a book. Look out! There goes the Spider Dan!

Monster Skin

Sarah Perez's Longo Monster costume came in third for "Scariest Costume" at the 13th Annual North Halsted Halloween Parade this weekend. She tells Boing Boing about how her creation came about.

Better Rewards, Better Kids?

Playboy makes a cameo appearance in what I think is a spec work ad for FAO Schwarz. [via]

Sagal's Halloween Spirit

Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me host Peter Sagal is sure to spook the neighbors (or give them a good laugh) with his "traditional" Halloween display.

A Hotel Gone to the Dogs

Dillon is a four year old English bulldog. He is also Director of Pet Relations at the Hotel Burnham.

"We Don't Die, We Just Get High"

We Are Supervision blog shows a series of old '70s and '80s Chicago gang calling cards. Crudely drawn, sometimes offensive, and frequently opaque, they're also quite compelling.

Ig Nobel Laureates

Belated congratulations to Chicagoans Elena Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan, winners of the 2009 Ig Nobel Prize in Public Health. The team designed "a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander." Click here to see a complete list of 2009 winners (as well as an awesome picture of Nobel laureates including Paul Krugman wearing the bra-mask). [via]

Flu.gov

Get some information on H1N1 and seasonal flu resources at this growing flu.gov site. The Illinois page also has links to state resources.

Liar's Club is Spoooky

Last night's "Ghost Lab" on the Discovery Channel featured the (alcoholic?) ghosts of Liar's Club.

The Green Slime Are Here!

Grubstreet Chicago is (justifiably) wondering what the hell is going on in this advertisement for the Dana Hotel's Aja restaurant. Fans of sci-fi/horror B-movies know all too well what's coming next. Let's rock, before we blast that thing out of the sky!

Nice, Um, CGI...

The Sears Tower is the centerpiece of this magnificent commercial rendering. Enjoy. (P.S. Call it what you will, but I'm sticking with "Sears Tower" for now.)

A Sweet Tale of Revenge

A betrayed lover turns the tables in the latest edition of Keep Going.

Hey DJ

It's official: playing ringtones in public doesn't infringe copyright. Looks like it might be time for Chicago's DJs to learn how to beatmatch that noise.

Rules of the Restaurant

Please watch "Mike G's Rules for Better Dining", a video from Michael Gebert of Sky Full of Bacon inspired by Michael Pollan's dietary rules recently featured in the New York Times.

Turning A New (Digital) Leaf

The A.V. Club Chicago just went through a redesign, and thinks there are a few other Chicago sites that could use a freshening up.

The Man of a Thousand...er, Bras?

Meet The Bra Man. He collects bras. No, really, bras. He has more than a thousand of them. Yeah, we know. But it's for a good cause, so...yeah.

Girls on Bikes

A couple of bike-loving gals filmed this video on stopping and starting a bicycle. Includes outtakes.

Paint Chips are a Girl's Best Friend

Chicago resident Nite Kongtahworn created a mosaic of Marilyn Monroe with paint chips in his Lakeview condo. He was inspired by this Apartment Therapy post on pixelated painting.

Somehow This Seems Entirely Plausible

Here's a 1987 Chicago Tribune spot featuring the great Mike Royko at the Billy Goat Tavern. The sound seems a touch off at the beginning--Royko sounds a little like Barry White.

I Elucidate, Therefore I Am

Listen to Elucidations, a podcast started by two graduate students in philosophy at the U of C. They talk to professors about their work, "covering a range of topics from the theoretical to the practical, including perception, moral motivation, and sexual orientation."

Things You Never Knew Existed

The Chicago Public Library Book Cart Drill Team.

Games On

Whether you're for Rio, Madrid, Tokyo, or Chicago, your Olympic fervor (and addiction to Twitter) could win you a trip to one of the finalist cities from travel social media app Where I've Been. Check Facebook for more details.

Look Forward In Anger

Add another voice to the ones supporting the 2016 Olympics for Chicago, only this one might be a little sarcastic. (Note: The support comes from a "columnist" for the infamous Weekly World News so take it with a big fat grain of salt.)

The Most Hated Post Office?

On Yelp, reviews of the Broadway and Lawrence branch of the USPS are, uh, mixed: "Just writing about this place forces me to relive all my nightmarish experiences there. I need to drink some herbal tea just to calm down." And: "I wonder what they do with all my mail they don't deliver? Do they just throw it out?" There's much, much more.

37 Signals and Far More Complaints

Meet the thorn in Twitter's side.

Free Chocolate!

Like candy and NASCAR? Satisfy both cravings when racer Kyle Bush hands out free Mars chocolate bars next Thursday at Pioneer Plaza. Why the free candy? Well, apparently Chicago was voted the city most in need of "sweet relief". Whatever, just hand over the Snickers.

Bueller?

No, Instant Bueller. (Reminds me of something.)

MacArthur Fellows Announced

The MacArthur Foundation announced its 2009 Fellows, who will receive a no-strings-attached $500k check just for being...a genius. No Chicagoans in the bunch, but John Rogers, a UIUC physics professor, made the list for his contributions to flexible electronics devices.

Rio has a Nice Ring to It

Speaking of the Olympics, here's another site for the anti- crowd: Chicagoans for Rio. [via]

Stay Alert Next Tuesday

Will Chicago be the victim of a nuclear terrorist attack on Sept. 22? At least one person thinks so.

You Get a Meal! And You Get a Meal!

The Oprah effect may go beyond books, products, musicians. The next episode on the continuing saga of "It's Oprah's world and we just live in it": Local restaurants and certain chefs are seeing an Oprah bump, according to 312 Dining Diva.

Namaste, DuPage River

Baffling. Two marble statues of the Hindu gods Shiva and Parvati turned up in the DuPage River. Local Hindu temples report that their statues are all accounted for.

Mapping Mentors

Harnessing the freaky cool power of Google Maps, the Tutor/Mentor Connection shows Chicagoans where to find tutor and mentor programs. But it also goes way further, showing maps of poorly performing schools, crime in the news, and even support groups like churches and universities, all to pinpoint areas in which organizations should create and nurture tutor and mentor programs.

The Siren Call of Cheap(er) Food

Restaurant.com is offering super-reduced prices for their gift certificates, for use at hundreds of Chicago-area restaurants. The fine print is here.

Beyond The 140 Character Limit

Columbia College's Conversations in the Arts packs quite a wallop in its fifth year with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone (speaking Oct. 6), Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington and director Mira Nair scheduled to address media trends at the free series. RSVP info in Slowdown.

We're Doomed

What (Lake Michigan, apparently) sharks dream about. (Warning: One naughty word.)

A Likely Story -- And Probably True

Guinness and the Mayor's Office of Special Events ruled the Grant Park showing of the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup broke the record for most people wearing Groucho glasses (4,436 frames) at one time on July 21.

Calling Florence Nightingale

A result of the economy, a lack of nursing graduates, and a possible wave of nurses retiring from the field, more of these health care professionals are needed, and Chicago is no exception.

All Together Now

Coudal points us to a fantastic Budweiser commercial shot on the El (mostly the Brown Line), for the Irish beer drinking market if the URL attached to it is any indication. UPDATE: The Sun-Times gets the backstory on the ad.

At Least They're Employed

Time Out takes a look at the secret life of the Chicagoan bomb squad technician, pot dealer, fantasy specialist, sensual masseuse, well, you get the idea.

Forget About the Land Shark... Look Out for These Dolphins

Step carefully when visiting the dolphin show at Brookfield Zoo. A woman filed a lawsuit against the Brookfield Zoo regarding a spill she took leaving the dolphin show. Her complaint is that the dolphins have been "willfully and recklessly" trained to make the steps slippery. (Via Chicago Now)

The Newest Apple Product?

I learned something new about the Illinois State Bar Association when I was asked to be a reference for a hopeful future lawyer. I needed to go to the website for the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar in order to do that. What's the website, you ask? ibaby.org. That's right: iBaby. Apparently, it stands for "Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar ... and You," but I can't say I was overwhelmed with confidence by their domain name choice.

The Fascinating Ricky Jay

A captivating anecdote in the bar of the Chicago Ritz-Carlton leads off this 1993 profile of the magician turned actor Ricky Jay, dug up in the New Yorker archives by Kottke.org.

Bring an Urban Farmer to Chicago

Novella Carpenter found a vacant lot in her Oakland, Calif. neighborhood and started planting. Her memoir about this DIY urban farm was just profiled in Flavorpill. And according to her blog, she'd love to take her knowledge on the road in October and teach workshops about urban farming all over the country (including Chicago). So pony up your couch or some cash and help bring her here.

Ice Cream Man's Chimes No Longer Reel or Rock

The New York Times Dining section reports on last year's banning of ice cream trucks from the 18th Ward and modern parents annoyed with ice-cream-demanding toddlers and chain-smoking, shirtless, and burping ice cream vendors.

Treat Tweeting

For foodies and boozers around Chicago, Wait Watcher tweets wait times at key restaurants and bars. Developed by the Onion's AV Chicago section, local restaurant-goers can text or call in wait times to help their fellow diners.

"Eagle Attacks Dog In Chicago."

Yep, that's all Life Magazine has to say about this odd series of photographs from 1962. Nonetheless, that's one angry bird.

Chicago at Night & a Few Other Things

A handy checklist of things you should do in the city. [via]

Best Dancer Ever

WGN-TV Feature Reporter Marcus Leshock caught this guy getting really into a DJ set at Lollapalooza last weekend. (Thanks, Brett!)

Grrr. Arrgh.

Sue, the Field Museum's T-Rex, is on Twitter, tweeting about meat-eating, being an apex predator, and her repulsively tiny forearms (which, apparently, text just fine). She also plans to be at the Air and Water Show. (Via.)

Uptown Street Fight Caught on Video

Uptown Update has some amazing video of a street brawl that broke out around 9pm Wednesday night. (via)

Northside Attacks Spawn Facebook Group

The Trib's John Kass points to a Facebook group "Lakeview 911" that was created this month to gather "concerned citizens" who want to connect about the recent muggings in the neighborhood. Remember EveryBlock is also a great local resource on crime stats relative to your street, no matter where you live in the city.

Some Fine T-shirts

The Fineprint has some neat t-shirts for showing Chicago pride. Case in point: this shirt featuring a takeoff of Harold's Chicken Shack's famous "dude chasing after a chicken with a meat cleaver" logo. [via]

Doors Open on the Right... At... Dammit! It's a Painting!

Cool! Here are "10 Awesome Images That Are Actually Paintings," including a nifty image of the Damen El station. And here's an even closer look.

Obey The Dominotrix

North Shore blogger Poppy Buxom bought every issue of Domino magazine after the title folded earlier this year. Maybe if she'd done it earlier Domino might still be in business? Anyway, she's reading every issue - from Spring/Summer 2005 to March 2009 - and blogging about it over at The Dominotrix.

I Left My ♥ in Chicago

These Chicago-centric designs by Vic Sanchez are pretty sweet. [via]

Pining for the Fireside Bowl

Hey, Chicago music/bowling fans! Just a few hours left to order a special shirt titled "Bring Back the Fireside" at RIPT Apparel. [via]

Rock Out

Windy City Rock points us to a nifty deal at Reverbnation.com where 1,000 songs are now available for free download, including tunes from several Chicago bands.

Designing Scarface

"I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand." —Al Capone

Glad His Schedule Was Open

Minutes before he was arrested last December, Rod Blagojevich was bumped from appearing on the Today Show in a one-on-one interview with Matt Lauer because far more important news had to be announced...Jay Leno's new television show (which premieres September 14, Rod!).

Glasses Half Full

A Chicago man is accused of stealing more than $45,000 worth of eyeglasses from suburban Milwaukee stores. Why, and again, why? The complaint quotes the accused as saying he "really likes to be around glasses."

One Gutsy Applicant

Leah took her job search to the streets.

A Cold Day Month in Hell Chicago

July was the coldest it's been in Chicago in 65 years, with an average temp of 68.9°. If you use (or rather didn't use) the AC, look for savings on your electric bills. [via]

68% Chance of Weather

How accurate is your favorite online weather service?

From the Department of Important Issues

Michelle Obama's fashion confidant Ikram Goldman was interviewed to get a handle on which designers Mrs. O. will be wearing in the future. Alexander McQueen, your moment's coming.

The View From North & Clark

Local podcast North & Clark holds a microphone to Chicagoans who don't often make the media spotlight: grown-up graffiti kids, riot-surviving activists, anthropologists digging into the free-for-all emerald trade, and more. Produced by Casey Brazeal.

Pow! Crash! Google!

Google has new comics themes for iGoogle, including work by former and current Chicago cartoonists Dan Clowes, Jessica Abel, and Jeffrey Brown

Looking for Cute Chicago Boys

If you're a Cute Chicago Boy, watch out! You might just end up on the interweb.

CTA Debate #5,971

While CTA President Richard Rodriquez canceled the weird company car benefit for CTA employees this week, he insists on keeping a car for himself and driving to work everyday. Local blogs are debating the intelligence of the move, with CTA Tattler defending Rodriquez's family time and Chicago Carless ripping him a new one.

"It was about trust."

The New York Times Magazine profile of Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett is up: "The executive didn't know that the 'feel' ran deeper than policy -- that it was about trust: if Valerie Jarrett told Barack Obama that something was the right thing to do, he would very likely do it."

Veni, Vidi, Vichyssoise

VF Daily's Society & Style blog asked some of the country's top chefs to take on the recipes of the late, great Julia Child. Chicago's own Graham Elliot Bowles presents a terrine based on Child's vichyssoise.

Chicago's Retail Gets Another Vote of Confidence

First the NYT gave struggling clothing store Jake the business, now the Wall Street Journal is lamenting the days when Evanston wasn't full of chain stores and had some personality (but gives a nice report about the state of retail in Andersonville).

Print Out and Win!

Just in time for the Pitchfork Music Festival, it's the latest edition of Hipster Bingo!

Basketball-headed Zombies

No idea this existed: Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City, a 1994 game for the Super Nintendo. [via]

The Chicago Way, Far Away?

As if the city didn't have enough problems with gangs and violence, now we're being accused of outsourcing our gang activity to Iowa.

Rock Over London, Tower Over Chicago

Via Christopher J. in the Fuel thread, behold Wesley Willis Tower. Awesome.

Money's Best Places

This year's CNN Money's Best Places to Live rankings are out, and Illinois small towns only garnered 3 of the top 100 spots. Batavia, Buffalo Grove, and downstate Glen Carbon made the list, but none broke the top 50.

A Twitter Soap Opera

As if your life wasn't enough of a soap opera, you can now follow a real one on Twitter: "Chicago to Coronado" chronicles the love triangle between a former Chicago ad agency CEO and two Navy SEALs on Coronado Island, California.

What Makes Your Place Great?

There's just a few short weeks left for you to nominate your favorite places in Chicago for MPC's Placemaking contest. We wrote about this great project when it started, but now's your chance to share your favorites.

The Final Layer

This year's Layer Tennis season comes to a close today at 2pm with a championship match between designers Shaun Inman and Gregory Hubacek. (Neither is from Chicago, but that's OK -- the stadium is.)

"You make him wanna..."

The A.V. Club was kind enough to make an inventory of all the things R. Kelly wants, as detailed in his new mix-tape, The Demo Tape. It's hard to pick a favorite because they're all kind of awesome.

Permanent Hoot

Poet Todd Heldt has one of the more interesting Chicago-related tattoos I've seen. [via]

Big Lizard in My Backyard

Uh, I don't want to panic anyone or anything, but... um... there's a big old monitor lizard running around Libertyville right now. No, really. Well, we can't say the Dead Milkmen didn't warn us.

An Afternoon Diversion

Stuck at the office? Play a little Bike Salute Memory, based on Dubi Kaufmann's Bike Salute site.

Official ACME Supersonic Rocket-Powered Coyote Article

Bureau of Self-Promotion: I wrote an article about coyotes in Chicago and an undeveloped parcel of land at 16th and Clark a few have chosen to make their home. Part two next week.

33 and a Third Bad

Our own Jim Allenspach created a series of fake covers for the popular 33 1/3 book series, exploring some of the worst possible album/author combinations. His set hass started making the rounds on blogs and spawned at least one imitator -- and now has inspired the publisher to run a contest for humorous covers.

Today in Ew

Seen the new Burger King ad that manages to evoke a certain sexual act? The 312 Dining Diva points us to the newest offender in desperate advertising.

On the Verge

The Hyde Park Urbanist takes a look at the verge - "that strip between the sidewalk and the street" - on a stretch of East 57th Street.

Rest Online

These clever pillows from CraftSquatch (local artist/ crafter Justin Thomas) won't make all your online dreams come true, but they will give you something to rest your social-media weary head upon when your interwebs are down.

Native Designs

A member of the Navajo Nation is becoming a unique presence as a designer in the fashion world, with a showing of her work in the Chicago area.

Visualizing Illinoise

Graphic designer Jax de Leon created a graphic representation of Come on, Feel the Illinoise! by Sufjan Stevens as her final student project. Some really cool stuff in there. [via]

We Built This City

Love Chicago so much you want to put it in your pocket and take it home? Now you can. [via] (Previously.)

Hot or Not for the Twittering Masses

Locally produced Hot Tweeters should eat up some of your time on a rainy afternoon.

The House That Urkel Built

Was "Family Matters" your favorite sit-com located in Chicago? Then you may be interested in this video made during a visit to the Winslow house. [via]

Medill Goes Old School

Northwestern's journalism school wants students to not clog inboxes when talking about Twitter, so they've provided a 1970s-esqe way of facilitating discussion.

RIPT Apparel

Launched today, RIPT Apparel is a Chicago-based t-shirt retailer selling one-of-a-kind shirts designed by a community of artists. The beauty is that a single design is sold over a 24-hour period only; it is then retired, replaced and the cycle repeats.

Scotty Got No Office Job

Scotty Got An Office Job, the video blog started by local actor/musician/tech guy Scotty Iseri, takes a surprising turn as Scotty's boss finds the videos online.

West, Dressed

So now that you're using Kanye Vision to dress up your web browser, you're probably ready to dress like the man himself. Kanye shares 10 fashion picks with Style.com. [via]

Four Alarm!

While I occasionally stumble upon a fire in progress, I never thought about how there might be a company dedicated to collecting photos and video from Chicagoland fires -- and then setting them to music.

Donuts. Free. Tomorrow.

Friday is National Donut Day. This is important because it means a free Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donut for all. It IS the best day of your life.

Take A Neighborhood Vacation

Explore Chicago's new game Chicago Neighborhood Express allows you to wander through different neighborhoods on-line.

1990 Oprah Cake

Once seen, it cannot be unseen.

I'll Have What She's Having

If you thought air guitar was titillating, you're gonna get schooled. The World Air Sex Championships are going on tour, and coming to Chicago June 14 at Logan Square Auditorium. Yes, that means contestants get up on stage and do it (fully clothed) with the air. Want to show how you can rock the air's world? Contact chris@airsexworldchampionships.com.

Far Freaking Out, Man

Want to give your place that perfect 60s or 70s countercultural ambience? Lead Pipe Posters has original prints (some with Chicago themes) of the black light, hippie-dippie, up-against-the-wall-pig, muggle-huffing ilk quite possibly still hanging up in your trippy uncle's basement. Guess there's nothing left to be said but...

The US by Comparison

Chicago artist Kathryn Rodrigues offers an A-to-Z size comparison of the United States to (almost) every other country over on Radical Cartography.

Trip The Bride Fantastic

Dancing with Brides is like "Dancing With The Stars" only for regular folks who aren't quite so addicted to spray tanning and glitter. Sorta. Brides Magazine's instructional dance workshop for couples comes to The Drake Hotel on Sunday, May 31. Not only can prospective brides and grooms learn some smooth first dance moves, they may also get a chance to win $10,000. Check Slowdown for details.

Children Still Don't Want a Charlie-In-The-Box

What happens when a toy escapes the Island of Misfit Toys and can't make a go of it? They end up down and out in the City of Sad Toys, of course. The Windy City is creepily represented by a bevy of naked Barbies hanging by their hair.

Who Wants to Buy a House? Anyone? Anyone?

If you're in the market, the infamous Highland Park home featured in Ferris Bueller's Day Off is available at the bargain price of $2.3 million. [via]

The Foul-Mouthed Bandit?

The Chicago feds have rigged up a Web site alerting citizens about bank robbery suspects. The nicknames alone are worth a look.

Fashion Campus Police

Was this U of C student's column about the springtime sartorial choices of his fellow Maroons sexist and misogynistic? That may depend on which version you've read.

Drawing the News

Even if you're not that interested in the topic, these "sketchnotes" by Mike Rohde at the Society of News Designers meeting this weekend are pretty darn cool.

Putting a Ring On It

Chicagoan and former "Bachelorette" Jen Schefft got married Friday night. Zzzzzz.

Why is Chicago so Corrupt?

Cecil Adams considers this question for The Straight Dope Chicago. Meanwhile, R. Kelly's defense team is joining Team Blago.

Ironically Yours

Is Chicago the most ironic city ever? Steve Rhodes of The Beachwood Reporter shares his thoughts on the matter.

For That 'Just Indicted' Look...

Your job may not be &*@#!*&# golden, but your hair can be. It's "Blago" shampoo and conditioner. Only your hairdresser and bagman will know for sure.

They Should Make a T-Shirt!

Besides providing crazy-cool t-shirts, Chicago's Threadless evidently also provides a killer place to work. TravelChannel.com named Threadless an "extreme workplace," citing their 25,000-square-foot warehouse and production space where employees play Wii, bring it in intense ping-pong championships, and even rock out on an indoor skate ramp. Chicago photo blogger Joe M500 is interviewed about his recent photographic journey of the warehouse (and confirms its coolness) here.

Kanye Vision

Want to see the web through Kanye's signature sunglasses?

Are You Chicago's Worst Driver?

Well, are you?

It Came from the Library!

From the deepest depths of the University of Chicago Library's digital stacks came... The Biology of B-Movie Monsters! [via]

Chicago Now, Soon

The Tribune Company is launching a new blog community site later this summer called ChicagoNow.com. No publicly accessible pages yet, but here's a glimpse via a marketing video dug up by a WindyCitizen user.

From the Trib to "off the grid"

Former Chicago Tribune reporter Emily Achenbaum discusses the decision she and her husband-to-be made "to pursue a pared-down life."

Sin in the Second City and Elsewhere

Gathering stats on STDs, murders, and similar data, KSU geographers performed a study titled "The Spatial Distribution of the Seven Deadly Sins within Nevada," then created maps showing "hotspots" of Wrath, Lust, etc. across the nation. Sounds like a bunch of hooey, but it looks cool. Chicago's way up on greed but surprisingly not prone to envy.

Where The Past Is Present

Alex Kotlowitz explains why Chicago is Fast Company's U.S. City of the Year: "The real Chicago isn't so easy to keep up with. It's constantly reinventing itself. Jumpy. Agitated. Impatient. It's as if the place is trembling. Move aside. Don't linger. And if you're going to dawdle, get out of the way. But what any Chicagoan will also tell you is that the past is very much present. It doesn't go away. It shouldn't. In fact, that's Chicago's lure and its beauty: its ability to take what was and figure out what could be."

CTA #1

An ode to our transit system's more memorable characters.

From the Governor's Mansion to the Cathouse

Nevada's own Moonlite Bunny Ranch has offered an apprenticeship to former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. According to a press release from ranch owner Dennis Hof, "Rod's willpower would be challenged daily by the ladies as they bribe him to acquire finer rooms or better working hours and days off. In lieu of Rod's work throughout the apprenticeship Dennis Hof will pay him a handsome amount of money." [via]

Meet Chicago Larry

The self-proclaimed "greatest celebrity photographer in the world" and new YouTube star?

O, I Am Slain!

Today's fake Internet holiday is Talk Like Shakespeare Day, in honor of the Bard's birth 445 years ago. If that isn't enough encouragement to drop a few "thees" and "thous," the mayor has issued yon proclamation, ye blackguards. Here are a few quotes to get you started.

Centerfold Research

While researching a post about Playboy's possible de-listing from the NYSE, the Reader's Whet Moser unearthed a database of Playboy centerfolds (NSFW, obviously) maintained by a University of Chicago library employee.

Make Every Website Bacolicio.us

Bacon maniacs rejoice! Here's a handy app that gives any website bacony delicious. In the address bar of your web browser, type in http://bacolicio.us/ and then your website (including the "http://") and enjoy. Here's what happens to Gapers Block.

Queen of All Social Media

Oprah Winfrey is now on Twitter. She shall tweet for the first time live on her show tomorrow. What about Oprah's BFF Gayle King? Already on it.

Wrigley-Field

The Wisconsin State Journal would like to introduce you to UW-Madison student (and presumed Cubs fan) Elizabeth Wrigley-Field.

Bo Knows Books

The University of Chicago Press has put together a "Bo-dacious" reading list for the First Puppy.

It's Parkour Kids!

It seems not everyone is impressed with the Chicago parkour scene. [Thanks, Dubi!]

University of Chick-ago

The University of Chicago alumni magazine is running its own Peeps diorama contest. Vote here for the Peeple's Choice recipient. All winners will be announced Tuesday, April 14.

The Fools in Tribune Tower

This is what passes as an April Fool's joke at the Tribune Company. Rendering the Internet obsolete, indeed. [via]

Bizarre Bazaar

Strange things are afoot on uchi.marketplace, the U of C's version of Craigslist.

You Wanna Bet?

Chicago mag's Jeff Ruby takes his chances for a whole week of gambling, betting on everything under -- and including -- the sun.

Mario Visits Chicago

A classic videogame character explores our city. [via]

What Willis Is Talking About

Willis Group CEO Jim Plameri takes to the web to talk about the renaming of the Sears Tower. [via]

Do Not Pass Go

Have you spied any more Monopoly-themed graffiti around Chicago? [via]

From CHAOS to paper cranes

If you have always wanted to learn how to turn squares of pretty paper into cranes, cars, shoes or laptops, the Chicago Area Origami Society (fantastic acronym!) can direct your creases in a more organized fashion than their name suggests. Whether you've never folded, or can fold with your eyes closed, their next meeting is this Saturday. And since the expected high temp is 49° F, a visit to the desert or rainforest rooms would be soothing. [via]

Tweet That

Chicago comes in third (behind London and Los Angeles) when it comes to the number of people who use Twitter. [via]

The Mystery of Honest Abe's Watch

As a boy, Waukegan resident Douglas Stiles was told a story that his great-great grandfather, Jonathan Dillon, repaired the watch of Abraham Lincoln in 1861. The story also went that during that repair, Dillon scrawled something on the watch's inside. Was the story true? Take a look for yourself.

Could The Fridge Fit in the Lincoln Bedroom?

Obama's love of Chicago sports reared its head again recently, as The Daily Show's John Stewart pointed out on last night's show (it comes at about the 2:00 mark). Let's just say the Bulls get a little spanking from Stewart and even the '85 Bears come under scrutiny.

Homeless But Not Hopeless

A homeless poet finds salvation in his words. Hear some of his work over at Medill Reports.

Lost Connections

My family lineage is a bit murky and hard to trace, so I'm always flummoxed when people ask me where my ancestral heritage came from. Even so, I'm enthralled by the stories of Chicagoans who can visit the homes their ancestors lived in -- but this post by John Tolva is one of the best I've read.

Lights, Camera, Chicago

According to MovieMaker, Chicago is the best city for independent moviemakers, offering "the best all-around chance of finding success with their art during these tough economic times." [via]

Where Did I Toss Out that Placenta of Unknown Origin?

Ah! In Central Illinois.

The Chicago Manual Of Cute

No less than Cute Overload calls out the blog of the U of C Press for omitting the rules of cuteness when talking about "the science of cute."

Republishing Without Attribution

NBCChicago.com wrote a nice piece pointing to Chicago Public Radio's great "Hard Working" series about jobs and joblessness. Then, MSNBC republished NBCChicago's story -- but stripped out all links to the original series, effectively killing any utility the article had. CPR is crying foul.

Indexing Chicago

Harper's Index factoids referencing Chicago, Illinois.

Not Quite a Sister City

In Isreal's Negev Desert is the Tze'elim Military Base, and on that military base is the city of Chicago, "so named because its bullet-ridden fake walls apparently recall the punctured real walls of Al Capone's Chicago."

Locks of Money

When the economy's down, be assured that someone always wants to buy your hair.

Raising the Net

Today's Layer Tennis match doesn't start till 2pm, but the first-ever qualifying match got underway at noon, and it's between two locals: Fuzzy Gerdes and Mig Reyes.

OMG Obama Sushi

I'm speechless (mainly because I can't read Japanese). [via]

The Roof! The Roof! The Roof is Irrigated!

Just because you lack land in Chicago, doesn't mean you can't have a garden. Green Roof Growers have some great information on helping you get started.

The Curious Case of Abraham Lincoln

Well, not the late president himself, but his bust which sits at 69th and Walcott on the South Side and has undergone some interesting changes. Update: Here are two other shots of Abe.

The Economy (St)inks

As the economy continues to take a nosedive, even tattoo parlors are beginning to fill the pinch.

"The case against Chicago"

Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic considers the case some of his readers try to bring against Chicago (one word: winter) but seems to come out for it. Or for the South Side, anyway: "I'm kinda in love with the South Side. It's like Harlem's smarter, but less jiggy, little sister. Fine as all hell. You just gotta see past those glasses. And them damn overalls."

Cub World Cam

This will probably be more interesting in a few months, but hey, I like seeing what's going on outside Wrigley anyway. [Thanks, Gabe!]

Part of a Healthy Breakfast

Or maybe not, in the case of this gargantuan Frosted Mini-Wheats cluster found in a Chicagoan's cereal box.

Uptown Throwdown

Uptown Update, the highly popular blog that has become a thorn in the side of Ald. Helen Shiller, particularly over the fate of the Wilson Yard Project, has been brought into that case by the attorney for the yard's developer, Peter Holsten. The attorney is subpoening records from Google about the ownership of that blog and another (apparently defunct blog) called "What The Helen".

Ketchup To Reality

Most Insignificant News Item of the Day: After more than 100 years, the H.J. Heinz Company is removing the pickle from the logo on its ketchup bottle and replacing it with the more appropriate tomato. The Chicago connection? The pickle logo idea was hatched during the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

Fasten Your Headphones

Sound Transit is a website that lets you plan an audio trip around the world. The clip collection includes hundreds of interesting sounds including a couple from nearby Berwyn (search: Illinois). Here's hoping folks keep adding to the collection.

Watch for Falling Ice

It's definitely a concern right now, as I watch a huge icicle grow outside my window. Ask.MetaFilter asks where is best to walk to avoid injury from falling ice.

Kindness of Strangers

Be careful if a stranger asks you to help him move his television at 6:30 in the morning.

Another Mobile CTA Bus Tracker, Though Prettier

Michael Simmons releases his iPhone-ified CTA Bus Tracker. If you're looking for a more native looking app, this is it. Just point your iPhone here.

If You Build It...

As new condo buildings continue to rise in the South Loop, "the neighborhood now accounts for more than half the unsold units expected to hit the downtown market" in 2009. Whether these buildings will sit mostly empty in hopes of future growth spurred by a successful Olympics bid or drop dramatically in price remains to be seen.

Best Blog in Chicago?

The Tribune's looking for the best blog in Chicago. If you know of "established bloggers who post great content often and are known in their community" (ahem) fill out their online form.

Seats for Sale

Leather Creations scores on sarcasm with this ad mocking the Blagojevich scandal.

The Great Bar Migration

The semi-trailer long bar from the Black Orchid Club has gone south to take up residence in a new Phoenix, Arizona bar that is due to open toward the end of 2009. At least it will be warmer where it is headed.

Thumbs Up for Acrostics

One of Ebert's fans created a sextuple acrostic in the critic's honor.

The Dopplr Effect

Dopplr is a sort of social network about travel. They just launched pages for each city people go to -- here's Chicago's.

Campus Guardians

No matter how cold the weather, the University of Chicago gargoyles remain ever vigilant.

One Way to Make a Buck These Days

The domain name www.impeachpresidenthussein.com is apparently for sale on Craigslist. But hurry: The (bargain!) $50,000 price tag doubles on Inauguration Day.

Blast From The Past

The "unique" local political scene gets yet another national dissection. This time, it's The Atlantic. And this time it's from October, 1930. The more things change...

The Zartini Party

Just because your boss canceled the office holiday party doesn't mean you can't attend one virtually, choose-your-own-adventure style.

Reason No. 1: Because NYC Must Be Having Some Chicago Jealousy Issues

The "Reasons to Love New York 2008" issue of New York magazine is on-line. Their no. 1 reason to love the Big Apple? "Because Obama Is One of Us, Despite All That Business About Chicago." Dang, New York, step off already.

'Goth' Without The Eyeliner

The blog Public Art In Chicago gives a peek at the latest addition to the city's outdoor art lineup. We think it'll look familiar to you, although not quite like this.

Lincoln Square Liquor Shoppers:

Apparently your cell phones are not only vexing, but also extremely insolent.

The Ugly Truth

A while back we asked if Chicago had the ugliest house in America. Well, the verdict is in and the answer is ... yup, sure do.

Safe2Pee

If you find yourself wanting to mark "other" under the Gender category on forms, then you'll find Safe2Pee.org a welcome addition to your bookmarks. There are supposedly only 19 gender-neutral bathrooms in Chicago (which I know is very low) but thankfully anyone can add in another entry. Making the world a GenderQueer friendly place, one bathroom at a time.

Germ Of An Idea

Stumped on what to get that hypochondriac on your Christmas list? How about a giant, plush microbe, created by University of Chicago law school grad Drew Oliver. Choose from The Common Cold, E. coli or Black Death. Hours of fun...

Buy Your Soul Back

Reason To Give has the perfect solution for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list. The Chicago nonprofit's new webstore offers an innovative alternative to traditional holiday gift exchange and a sweet chance to help out the Humboldt Park community. It's like Extreme Makeover Home Edition meets Amazon.com!

Another Chicagoan Nabs an Election Win

A couple of months ago, we wrote that Kimberly Walz, chief of staff to Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley, was looking for votes in the Benefit makeup Posie Gal contest. The results are in, and Walz came away with the victory.

Your Free Will Power

NARAL has launched a website featuring local spoken word talent promoting reproductive rights. It was produced by See3 Communications, a local web/video firm working with non-profits.

City of Big Truffles

You probably aren't familiar with the saga of the Giant Italian Truffle, which has failed to find a home here in the States... until it reached Chicago, that is.

Jones Big Ass Truck Rental & Storage

He'll store anything you want for $10.99 a month.

Top Cupcake

File under "Nom Nom Nom": Top Chef cupcakes are back at the Bleeding Heart Bakery.

...And Cingo Was His Name-o.."

Know a University of Chicago student or alumnus? Know two or more? Print out these U of C-centric Bingo cards for them to enjoy during the holidays. Then stand back and watch the geek-tacular fun ensue.

Embracing 'Paseo Boricua'

HispanicBusiness.com take a look at the Puerto Rican community in Chicago and its staunch supporters who once again try to stave off gentrification.

Bouncing Baby Bronx

Congratulations to Wilmette native and new father Pete Wentz -- wife Ashlee Simpson-Wentz gave birth to their son, Bronx Mowgli Wentz, last night. Celebrate by checking out the Simpson-Wentz Baby Name Generator.

Potbelly Gets Crafty

Who knew that employees at Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Works were so into DIY and being green?

ChicagoTube

The official Chicago Office of Tourism's youtube channel has a decent collection of Chicago videos in its favorite section. I'm watching "The Foods of Chicago" right now.

Start with a Grand

Take that $1000 and invest it one stock. Each day, make one trade. Twitter the results. (A little more background.)

So Many Event Sites, So Little Time

When* are we Going to see an end to sites letting us know about Upcoming events? I'm just about Eventful. (*When.com is the latest, a rebranding of AOL's Zvents. Whoopee.)

Chicago Hospitality

Or, as Timothy O' Sullivan might have put it to Abner Mikva (were O' Sullivan a hotel concierge and, well, alive), "We don't help nobody that nobody sent."

Solving Temper Tantrums and Attachment Issues, Chicago-Style

Chicago child therapist Mike Ruggles will be starring in "Super-Manny," a spinoff of the ABC show "SuperNanny," debuting Friday night.

Making Progress In Hyde Park

The blog Hyde Park Progress explores the transportation options available to the area from a U of C (ex)undergrad perspective.

Code Name: Awesome

For the presidential trivia buffs, the Secret Service names for President-elect Obama and the next First Family are: Renegade (Barack), Renaissance (Michelle), Radiance (Malia), and Rosebud (Sasha - aw). Want your own? Get it here.

Fools Rush In

A mass dog marriage was held in Oak Park this weekend with the hopes of setting a world record.

A Heartbreaking Tale of Staggering Legislation

I firmly believe that personal stories are the best way to express how legislation affects people. And why it needs to change.

Obama Rally Missed Connections

Looking for love in a sea of hope. [via]

Peruvian Shamans for Obama

Ok, I was wrong. There's nothing else going on in the world but Obamania, and we have Peruvian Shamans to thank for it. [Thanks, Kara!]

Nanobama

OK, I know we're going a little overboard with the Obama linkage, but this is just too cool not to post.

Tower of Babble

Hey, is anyone else tired of This. F*cking. Election?

In Case You're Sick of Politics

...here are some pictures of cute, fluffy kittens. And some more (thanks, yellowcardigan)!

Daley KOs Bloomberg

According to a New York Post columnist, when it comes to power-wielding big city mayors, Mayor Daley tops NYC's Bloomberg hands down. Just check out the tale of the tape.

Love in the Time of Zombies

"Zombie World," in the Fall issue of Keep Going. (No, it's not a late Halloween story.)

Twitter H8ter Twitter

For every trend, there's an anti-trend. Twitter has blown up ...and spawned h8ter, created by local webfolk. Sign up for a h8ter account and h8te on all sorts of stuff. Not only that, but your h8tes will be tweeted (anonymously) on Twitter.

Roger Explains It All

In the wake of "Minutegate," Roger Ebert has decided to write his own "little rule book" regarding ethics for his fellow film critics. The picture of Ebert and Jason Patric assisting a rather festive looking Peter O'Toole is worth clicking through.

Joy for Joyland

Joyland is a new site dedicated to the collection of short -- sometimes really short -- fiction. The site is organized by city, featuring stories by authors who live or have lived there. They've just opened up a Chicago branch, edited by local blogger Levi Stahl. The first piece is Insult, by Chicago writer, artist and musician Joseph Clayton Mills.

Get Back in Shape

Chicago-based Holos Fitness figures it's easier to stick to a workout plan if you've got company, so it aims to serve as a social network centered around fitness.

A Small Amount of Revenge

Somebody bugging the $#!& out of you? The Spite Site has what you need.

Does Chicago have the Nation's Ugliest House?

You be the judge.

Colorful Music

Flash artist and past GB staffer Felix Jung has created Colourful Echo, which creates a color-paletted visualizer for songs you upload. Here's an example.

High-Tech Maxims

Who says scientists don't have a sense of humor? Here's a list of security maxims from Argonne National Laboratory. [via]

Face/Off

In time for the last debate tonight, as previously noted, you can download, print, and don the mask of your favorite political candidate.

Glasgow Learns 'The Chicago Way'

Two Chicago gang experts are bringing their knowledge on stopping the violence to a conference in Glasgow, Scotland, where the gang murder rate has grown to five times that of England.

14,000 Halloween Costumes for a Cause

Online shop CostumeStudio will donate 100% of proceeds from costume sales to Invisible Children, an aid organization focused on helping children in war-torn Uganda. Brought to you by the socially-conscious fashion folks at GoodSociety.

Trick or Treat? You betcha!

The Trib's helping you out with some easy Halloween costumes this year. Download a printable Sarah Palin mask here, and keep an eye out for their Obama, Biden and McCain versions as well.

Desktop Tour

Care to take a Googletour of Chicago and the suburbs?

Etch-a-Cub

An Etch-a-Sketch paean to the 2008 Cubs.

Full-bodied Bunny

Behold... the Playboy Wine Collection. The collectible bottles, each paired with a vintage magazine cover, are sold individually or as part of a subscription. [via]

Random Bests

Examiner.com pulls together a collection of "Chicago's best" lists. At least one contributor called it for the cliché that it is. (Seriously, Craigslist is the city's best marketing site!?)

A Restaurant with Wireless (not that kind)

A Chinese restaurant in Urbana, IL (if you know which one, let me know) has started using a wireless remote to let customers summon their waiter for food, water, the check, or just regular old attention. Makes me want to roadtrip for some ma po tofu.

Political Papercraft

Want to get crafty during the debate tonight? You can play some Palin Bingo, try your hand at a Build-O-Bama, or any of these Obama-themed craft projects. [via]

They Call Him "The Cleaner"

Mr. Clean actor House Peters died recently at the age of 92. In case you didn't know, Mr. Clean was created here in Chicago by Harry Barnhart and Ernie Allen at the Tatham-Laird & Kudner ad agency. The hairless, obsessive compulsive, controversial, and sexually ambiguous corporate mascot's first name is Veritably, by the way, and he's known as Mr. Proper in England and Don Limpio in Spain. There you go: more than you ever wanted to know about Mr. Clean.

Your Home (Far, Far) Away from Home

Chicagoan Joanne Smith just won a Saginaw, MI, house on eBay for $1.75. The only drawbacks: she needs to pay $850 in back taxes and for trash and weed clean-up. Also, it's in Saginaw, for Pete's sake. She expressed concerns that it might be haunted too. Hopefully, she's joking about that last part.

(No) Soup For You? It Depends.

Groupon, a Chicago startup, will offer daily coupons for local events, services, hotels, eateries and more. The twist? You only get the deal if enough people sign up for it. If not - well, you know.

Of Popsicles and Babesicles

Life's drama recorded on a bus shelter wall. [via]

The Bean from Above

Google has updated its satellite map of the city, and now shows a completed Millennium Park and a view of the top of Cloud Gate. [via]

Ebert Throws Down

Roger Ebert really did not like Senator John McCain's behavior at Friday night's presidential debate: "Before the debate, pundits were wondering if you might explode in a display of your famous temper. I think we saw that happen, all right, but it was an implosion. I have instructed my wife to exclude you from any future dinner parties."

The Daily Achatz

Eater Chicago may not be bowing until next month, but the love for "Chicago's darling" Grant Achatz has been simmering for a while. Get a taste of "The Daily Achatz".

Rock the Makeup Vote

Benefit Cosmetics and Sephora are holding a contest to find a Posie Gal to promote their Posie Tint product. One of the three national finalists is Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley's Chief of Staff Kimberly Walz (Gal #1). Put the Chicago Machine to work and vote for her video to win.

And Possibly Trapped Sea Birds?

Has Roger Ebert's site been hacked or is he really trumpeting Creationism? I'm going with hacked. Yep.

Right On 'Cue

Chicago native Scott Johnson barbecues for a cause: to fight cancer. He donates his winnings in national competitions to a cancer research foundation. That's nice, but his reasons for getting into barbecuing might tick a few people off: he points to "the lack of quality barbecue cuisine in his native Chicago." Ahem...

September 11th Cake at Swedish Bakery

The title says it all.

Chicago's Female Founding 'Fathers'

It wasn't just the Marshall Fields and the Potter Palmers who rebuilt Chicago after the Great Fire. WBEZ-FM reports on the women who helped raise the city from the ashes.

You had me at 'Safety Tube'

In honor of National Preparedness Month, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago is awarding Safety Tubes to the two commenters who can best explain when a safety tube (which contains water, light source, dust mask, and whistle) could have come in handy in a previous emergency, or when they might need one. Deadline for comments is 5pm Friday.

Score One for the Home Team

Sports blog East Coast Bias took a trip to Wrigley Field this past weekend and (surprise!) they kinda liked it.

Stitch-a-President

Whether you're a fan of Obama, McCain, or a Hillary booster, you can embroider your vote with free redwork patterns from Black Threads, a blog about African American quilting. [via]

Ask Amy? He Did, and She Said 'I Do'

Amy Dickinson, who writes the Ask Amy advice column for the Chicago Tribune, wed childhood pal Bruno Schickel in upstate New York on August 16.

Just call me 'Pfleger Pfleg'

236.com's quiz finally solves the age-old question: "Which inflammatory pastor are you?"

Redetermining What You Go To

The Reader has completely redone its online event listings. Looks a whole lot better, although I'm not sure how they arrive at the order in which stuff gets listed.

Chicago: A Labor of Love

For the third year in a row, Hotwire.com declares Chicago the top destination for the Labor Day weekend. And if you do choose Chicago as your vacation destination, a New Zealand travel site tells you the best way to spend 48 hours here.

My Name is Robyn, and I'm Living Oprah

Although the woman behind the LivingOprah blog was anonymous in a Chicago Reader profile last month, the New York Times outed her. UPDATE: Actually, She outed herself last month after taping an NPR interview. (Thanks, Erin!)

Another UFO Sighted at O'Hare

Does the little smudge in the sky in this photo look like a UFO to you? Read a report by the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena on the infamous 2006 sighting here [PDF].

Anakin Goes to College

Remember little Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars Episode I: The Clone Wars? Well, rumor has it, that he is a film and video major at Columbia College. Or maybe its just his clone.

Advice for Our Times

Now that the banks have collapsed, here are some tips for surviving the New Depression.

Bernie Mac Dead

Comedian and actor Bernie Mac, 50, died this morning at Northwestern Memorial Hospital due to complications from pneumonia.

Doing the Deciding

Decider.com is a new city entertainment guide produced by the Chicago office of The Onion and A.V. Club.

LaSalle's New Pal

Tne New York Times shows LaSalle Street and its classic architecture some love, citing renovation as one of the boulevard's assets.

Smile! You're on Google Camera

The Chicago Examiner (by way of New York-based Gawker.com) says that the Big Brother-ish Google Maps Street View might have caught an image of a kid with a gun and a drug deal going down here in Chicago.

Chicago 2016 on Facebook

Your choice: pro or con.

Guesstimating It

My Guesstimate is a site for simple straw polls. Seems to be mainly the founder querying into the ether so far; give him a little company.

Is It Friday Yet?

Senior citizens playing Wii Sports at the Skokie Public Library.

Crime in Chicago, Then As Now

While Chicago suffers through a devastating crime wave, the Smithsonian takes a look at a murder that rocked the city and the nation...84 years ago. If the case sounds familiar it might be because you ran across it here first.

Chicago: It's No Cowpie

In an op-ed piece in the Terre Haute TribStar, Chicago gets a thumbs-down from one woman who states a preference for corn fields and cowpies. Maybe she hasn't gone to the Farm In The Zoo.

Indie Serial for Your Coffee Break

The Adventures of Miss Girl.

Hanging with Your Internet Friends

Two ways to meet your invisible friends next week: the Digg Meetup on the 23rd and Yelp Around the World party on the 24th. If you're a member of either (or both), don't forget to RSVP.

Living Her Best Life

You may love her, or love to hate her, but no one can deny the power of Oprah's suggestion. Do the haters have reason, or should everyone join the Oprarmy? The Reader chronicles one local woman's attempt to find out.

In Illinois, We're Sittin' Pretty

You can relax now: The list of "America's Best Public Restrooms" is out and, yes, Illinois has two of the top 10 spots, including one in Chicago. You can vote for the No. 1 place for No. 1 (or 2) here.

Explosive!

Ten people Twitter'd Navy Pier's annual July 3rd fireworks display.

Taste(less) of Chicago

Professional curmudgeon and columnist Thomas Roeser absolutely trashes the Taste of Chicago experience as "a sad trampling of civility" and says that it reduces the dining experience to "ashes and banal barbarism." But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Dance Dance Travelution

Matt traveled the globe, making videos of himself dancing badly. Eventually, folks started to join in. It's pretty moving, actually. Chicago and the Bean put in an appearance at the 2:26 mark.

How Big is the Forbidden City?

About the same size as the Loop.

"Weirdest Thing I've Ever Seen in Chicago."

What in the world is it?

How to Recycle Anything

Moving/cleaning/mending your pack-ratty ways? The Chicago Recycling Coalition maintains a handy-dandy list of how to recycle pretty much anything in Chicagoland.

Driven To Respond

The subject of a Sun-Times article in today's paper, who complained about the hardships of not having a car, gets a bit of a dressing down by (naturally) the author of the blog Chicago Carless.

An Eventful Debut

The Chicago version of the activity-planning website Eventful.com kicked off today, which lets users search, set alerts for and buy tickets to thousands of local events, from concerts to street fairs to discussion groups. You can even add your own events to the listings.

The Bucket Brigade

An entertaining slice of urban life or a pain in the...eardrums? Either way, the "bucket boys" are a familiar sight in Chicago and North by Northwestern has an article/video on the ubiquitous street performers.

Another Media Source

The Examiner recently launched a Chicago edition, featuring blogs from Adam Fendelman, Al Yellon and other local writers.

New Chicago Reader Website: Drinks

The Reader will be launching a new nightlife site this week: drinks.chicagoreader.com. The site isn't live yet, but it's mentioned in the official flickr group.

Latest Belushi Gets Serious

Another Belushi, Jim's son Rob, joins the line of entertainers from that famous Chicago family. But this one is going for the dramatic roles, currently rehearsing for The Lion In Winter in Glencoe's Writer's Theater.

Thoughts Bubbling Up

Introducing FlickrTwitterThinker, the latest project by digital tinkerer (and ex-GB staffer) Felix Jung.

Hybrid Owners Still Being Charged

Unlike other cities, Chicago is showing no special preferences to owners of hybrid cars by giving them a break on feeding the meter and providing them with free parking spaces to encourage their use. Should we really be surprised?

Please Do

The latest issue of local literary mag Please Don't is up, casting its gaze on TV and music, and featuring new short fiction by Susannah Felts.

Barack Obama, From A to Z

With Barack Obama's (presumptive) Democratic primary win all sewn up, The London Times gives the A-Z of his remarkable life. Guess what the "C" stands for? There's also an AP bio on Obama with photos from throughout his life.

"Operation Crooked Code," By Location

Embedded in the text of the indictments handed down by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office May 22 charging bribes and corruption in our city’s building and zoning departments, are Chicago addresses, locations where these crimes are alleged to have taken place. EveryBlock does a deep-dive into these addresses, highlighting choice greased-palm spots such as the Starbucks at Clark and Washington.

New Local Social Network

It's called Soceeo (pronounced like "socio-economic"), and it went live today.

House Hunting on the Cheap

So, you don't think you can afford a home in the city? Sure you can. Take a look at the cheapest real estate in Chicago.

Yet More Missed Connections

Do we really need all these missed connections? Isn't Craig's List enough?

Whose Lifebook Is It?

There's an "exclusive new lounge" in the city -- but you're only invited if you take a $4,000 personal development class called Lifebook.

1:32 Scale Vroom Vroom

It seems that basement slot-car racing has quite a following in Chicago and elsewhere, according to this recent Wall Street Journal article.

Nike Nation

A diverse clientele gets their kicks not on Route 66 but at an upscale athletic shoe store across from the Sheridan Red Line el stop.

Flickring Tourism

In addition to our flickr group, you may want to check out the Chicago Office of Tourism's new group, which gives you a shot of being featured on their Chicago's Great Urban Adventures site.

Down the 'Yogawhole' - Almost

PaperGirl (aka Mary Fons) documents her encounter with a suspect yoga instructor. Let's just say a calming environment is not the first impression.

Is Your Seatbelt Sexy Enough to Wear?

Veronica saw a few PSAs for Illinois' Click It or Ticket program and thought they were commercials for an adult chat line. According to the state's new campaign, men will only wear their seatbelt if there is a sexy woman talking them into it. And of course Latinas can only seduce men into "being safe" if they're talking in Spanish. Ay yi yi!

A Different Kind of Kids Show

The Center on Halsted will host a screening for "Dottie's Magic Pockets," billed as the first children's program for kids in gay and lesbian families. The show features puppets as well as real-life families. Bert and Ernie approve.

Fighting Sexual Harrassment on the CTA

Members of the Rogers Park Young Women's Action Team have gotten tired of getting groped, propositioned, and followed while riding the CTA. And they're sure they're not alone. So instead of feeling shamed and staying quiet they've decided to fight back. If you need a safe place to share your story, see the calendar for an all ages event. But if you want to just share your story fill out their survey. Maybe someone at the CTA will read this and come up with a plan to make public transit safer.

Commercial Wedding Reality TV Voting Fun Zone

A Chicago couple is competing in the Today show's Race to the Altar contest. Check out their website and decide if you want to vote for them.

The News from Here – and There

What's going on on your street? (Why yes, it's yet another googlemap.)

Hyde Park Goes Wild

As if wild parakeets weren't enough, Hyde Park now is home to a band of feral cats who have set up shop in an alley near East 62nd Street. No reports of cougars in the HP, though... yet.

Jump Back...

Only two days remain in the Dance Movie Blogathon! Learn yourself all about David Bowie's footwork in Labyrinth, Kevin Bacon's prototypical Angry Young Dancer ("I'm so angry I'm dancing up against backlit silo walls") -- and so very much more. [via]

Masturbation Haiku Contest

Got hair on your palms?
Did your mom say you'd go blind?
Early to Bed says, "Nope."
(Think you can make a better haiku about masturbation? Then lube up your wordsmith skills and toss your favorites over to the wonderful folks at Early to Bed.)

The Hot Air Over Gas Prices

He usually writes about the local architecture, but "urbanist" Lee Bay turns his attention to the gas crisis and even gives the presidential candidates a free speech sure to garner them votes.

Outsourcing Gangbangers?

An anonymous email circulating in a Florida community contends that Tyson Foods is bringing in "vanloads" of gang members from Chicago to work in their plant there, some of whom are apparently fired and "roaming the streets like wild dogs." The local sheriff's office acknowledges the email, but says the information is not true.

Video Answers

AnswersTV is a video resource center filled with advice on everything from food to health to pets and, uh, magic.

Next Up, Hungry Hungry Hippos

One of the more bizzare pieces of cyberfluff floating around the Internet these days is Chicago's Kanye West challenging several friends in games of Connect Four, of which Kanye claims to be a master. Toronto's Now free weekly paper highlights his duel with actor Jonah Hill, star of Superbad and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

How Google Works

Ever wonder how Google finds what you're looking for? The Chicago office demonstrates.

Heineken? F*ck That Sh*t!

Bill Bramanti of South Chicago Heights loves Pabst Blue Ribbon beer so much, he wants to be buried in it. No, really.

My Pen! My Pen!

Did you miss the Chicago Pen Show? Were you even aware that there was a Chicago Pen Show? Apparently, some folks take pens quite seriously.

Help Our Furry Friends in the South

Our neighbors to the south, in Marion, Indiana need some help. The Marion-Grant County Humane Shelter is closing down at the end of May or early June and all animals need to go to a loving home. Unfortunately, any animals still at the shelter at its time of closing will be euthanized. There are some dogs whose status is urgent and photos and more details on those dogs can be found here. If you're looking to adopt and dog or cat and can find your way down to Marion, Indiana, please consider this an option.

The Streets of Chicagoland (and Beyond)

Ben Fry is an expert on data visualization. He recently created a map of all the roads in the United States; this closeup of the Midwest shows just how dense the pavement is around Chicagoland.

Alright, Stick 'Em Up(town)

Uptown Update has the lowdown on some of John Dillinger's hangouts in Uptown, including his last stop: the neighborhood funeral home.

Barrel of Awesomeness

Kids write stories. The Barrel of Monkeys theater group performs these stories for audiences of kids and grown-ups. The group just launched a web site with a searchable story archive... which means you can read stuff like what I'm reading: a poem that begins, "If you ever run into a piece of barbecued chicken, run away as fast as you can to China."

Cleaning Up In More Ways Than One

Chicago is on track to become the first city to have a street sweeper-mounted camera system. As the sweeper moves down the street it will take a take a photo of any illegally-parked vehicle and a second image of the license plate, relaying both automatically to the Department of Revenue. Strictly for traffic flow purposes, you understand.

Button Up

Carfree Chicago has launched a new line of L Stop buttons for fashionistas who are interested in displaying neighborhood pride, support for public transit, or both. The buttons' bright, bold colors are perfect for springtime.

Rating the City's Website

Ragan Communications gives it a B-. I'm surprised it rates even that high. (Thanks, Terri!)

"Worn in but Incredibly Hip"

Threadless' is on this list of 10 annoyingly brilliant office interiors. [via]

Stop Looking Like a Loser Tramp

Craigslist tells us that TLC's What Not to Wear, the TV show that gives shame-based makeovers, is accepting nominees from Chicago. The post says, "Do you have a friend/ family member/ sister/ co-worker that is in desperate need of a fashion overhaul?!" No word on whether successful applications must adopt the same frantic tone.

This American Cat and Girl

Cat and Girl dissects This American Life, and finds out something that says absolutely nothing about us and the way we live.

What's Your Wicker Park Look Like?

Volunteers with the WPB's Community Open Houses asked the people of Wicker Park/Bucktown what they wanted to see in their neighborhood. Their responses were collected in a series of photographs on Flickr: here, here and here. A quick survey indicates a big push for a more bike-friendly area. Oh, and a toy store. Don't feel left out of the process, though, you can submit your thoughts too. [Via]

Obama/Pettigrew 2008

The Catholic University of America claims that the first fictional representation of a black person receiving a major party nomination for president was in a 1964 issue of their comic book, Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact.

Dead Trees

Every so often, new phone books arrive, yet this guy noticed that not everyone seems to want them. (Thanks, Jimmy!)

Coach Sicko

Ugh. A basketball coach at Walter Payton Prep School has been arrested for sexually assaulting two female students. It is alleged that George Turner, a married father of two children, used a vibrator on one student while in a parked car; he attempted to molest a second student in late February. The two students notified authorities together.

City of Big Talkers

Overheard in Chicago = eavsedropping made easy.

TV-less

Threadless launched Threadless TV, a new weekly video show.

New Moms, No Homes

So many people complain about the existence of teen mothers, but New Moms has been doing something about it. Until this last week, they've been housing about 20 new mothers and their young children, but a fire destroyed their facility and now those moms are in temporary housing. They're always looking for donations, but now would be a great time to help with a donation of $25, or more. (Hat tip to Veronica.)

Big Brother Google is Watching

I wonder what's going on here at 3912 S. Vincennes Ave.? UPDATE: Google has taken the scene down; Gawker has the screenshots.

This Ball Is a Seed Bomb

Despite the recent snizzle storms, spring is here, and it's time to plant stuff. Even if you lack a lawn, you can still get into the gardening spirit by "seed bombing" your nearest vacant lot. This video, shot in Pilsen by locals Fresh Cut Media, provides a concise how-to and tips on the latest trend in guerrilla gardening. Seed bombs away ...

Save Polaroid!

Last month the Polaroid Corporation announced that it would stop making instant film at the end of 2008. In response to the news, the Save Polaroid campaign was launched to help find a manufacturer willing to produce the film. There's also a Flickr group, not to mention our very own Polariod shots. Power to the people!

Who is the Colonel?

Is the Trib really behind ColonelTribune?

Loving Chicago

Hey, Love, Chicago is back, now as an online-only zine about the city's music, food and indie culture.

...And Everywhere

HereThere, a new webzine for "creative professionals," has launched.

Save Your Pennies, Save Chicago

Chicago cheapskates rejoice: SaveChicago.org gives its members access to a database of discounts at local retailers, then kicks a portion of the proceeds from membership fees back to area nonprofit organizations. Plus they're offering a $15 Visa gift card for new members.

Student Inventors

BoingBoing TV visits U of I's student inventors during Engineers Week. That cassette tape wallet is pretty sweet.

It's 3am...

Who do you want answering the phone?

Frankly Famous

TECH Cocktail co-organizer and Somewhat Frank scribe Frank Gruber recently made this seemingly authoritative list of "140 Faces of Well-Known Bloggers." Gruber's name appears alongside those of bloggebrities Markos "Daily Kos" Moulitsas, Perez Hilton and Arianna Huffington, among others.

Who Wants to Be a Doc Star?

Fans of scantily clad Internet star Tila Tequila are invited to a casting call being held on Saturday, March 1 from 4-8 p.m. at a Loop location TBA. E Oh Productions is conducting the talent search on behalf of a documentary project about the Tequila phenomenon; contact them here.

Hot Dog Musical

Found on Songza: The Theme from Hot Doug's by bee.

(Railroad) Bridges Over Troubled Waters

Takotron takes a look at the Railroad Bridges of Chicago, some of which even have their own myspace pages.

What is Boredom?

In 1990, a Cook County Hospital physician mused on the topic in the British Medical Journal, finding a connection to... castration?

White People Love Wrigley Field

It's true because I found it on the Internet?

Can Obama Just Do It?

Yes he can.

That Fine Line Between Romance and Masochism

Crazy Blind Date, a blind-dating website with helpful reminders like "your blind date is a real person," is now available to Chicagoans.

Knitting CSA

Not only does Vera Videnovich sell tomatoes, herbs, asparagus, etc. that she grows on her Michigan farm during the summer and fall at the Logan Square Farmers Market, but she's now started to sell 1-pound lots of yarn, hand-spun and hand-dyed (using flowers she grows on her farm), from wool she shears off her sheep. This woman reminds me of all the small farmers I knew growing up. And she only has a few shares left for her April yarn sale, so get'em quick!

Become a Loser

Are you and a friend or loved one in need of some self-reduction? Wanna do it on a major network TV reality show? Then show up at Chicago Home Fitness at 1555 N. Halsted tomorrow, Feb. 16 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and try out for NBC's The Biggest Loser. Come early: This ad from casting call hosts BL4 Productions Inc. promises that the first 500 people in line will be seen, but latecomers might have to settle for listening to their iPods on the nearest treadmill.

Buy Some Merch, "Stir the Soul"

If you would like to wear your support for Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid on your sleeve (or head), a new online store offers hats, shirts and jackets emblazoned with the six-pointed star logo and catchy "Stir the Soul" slogan. This could be just the thing for those of you who need a last-minute Valentine's Day gift for your sweetie.

Chicago Crushed Tomatoes (28 oz.)

In a Web populated with user-generated-this and user-generated-that, everyone's a critic. Here's an odd little essay about Safeway Crushed Tomatoes purchased at the Dominick's at 3145 S. Ashland.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Merchandise Mart and Tokyo's Imperial Hotel

What do they have in common? Lincoln Logs! Check out bullet #3 in this Mental Floss article to find out the connections.

Chicago - Elkhart Photography

A video of a Chicago woman taking some friendly 4am pictures at a police station in Elkhart, IN has caused some consternation.

Yet Another Event Guide

City event-planning guides seem to be multiplying the way googlemap mashups once did. The latest is PlanJam.

Sam Zell Tells it Straight--Real Straight

I suppose when you're the head of a media empire, you can get away with making blue comments to your employees about why it's okay to advertise for strip bars in your publications.

Get Your Photo Taken

"Faces," a new, black-and-white portrait project by local photog Jason Richardson, uses light, angle and composition to reveal people's faces as they really are (i.e., wrinkles, dots and all). Richardson needs models, so check out his flickr page and drop him a line to participate.

Obama the Vampire Slayer?

Barackula, The Musical!

The Monsters Are on Maple Street

Have an boozehound neighbor with a yappy dog, wild children, and a rusty car up on blocks in the driveway? Is he prone to late-night drum rehearsals or screamfests with his spouse? Too terrified to confront him directly? Impotently and anonymously vent your spleen at rottenneighbor.com. Here's the Chicago edition.

Call 911 More Often

The Sun Times reports that two 911 dispatchers made over $110,000 last year (twice their salaries) in overtime last year. These two employees are not the only highly-paid staffers; twenty of their colleagues accrued up to $80,000 in overtime pay as well.

Chicago Crimeless

Adrian Holovaty is closing down ChicagoCrime.org, his excellent and influential googlemapped crime report site. Now that the data is available on EveryBlock, it's redundant.

Local Sites in the News

Chicago Magazine's February issue features "171 Best Chicago Websites," a nice round-up for your reading pleasure. It's still not wasn't online, though, so Time Out took the initiative and created a linklist for you. Then Chicago Metroblogging created an OPML file of the list -- along with all the ones mentioned in Time Out's recent blog feature package -- that you can dump into your favorite feed reader. UPDATE: The Chicago Mag feature went online late today.

Yes, Gapers Block is mentioned in both the Chicago Mag and Time Out features. And, as Tankboy noted, we do get along with the folks at Chicagoist.

Some Things Should Stay Lost

A series of great commercials for Dirty Found, created by Young & Rubicam Chicago and director Aaron Stoller. (NSFW)

Competing for Monopoly

Rich Uncle Pennybags is going to include city names in a new Monopoly edition. Apparently he's ok with competition in this case, so vote for Chicago's inclusion today, and if you're really dedicated, every day until Leap Day.

Marihuana: Weed with Roots in Chicago

SidewaysPony and the Inter-State Narcotic Association want you to beware of friendly strangers who might slip "dope" into your oolong. Also, CTA "Doomsday" takes on a whole new meaning.

Hole is in Your Extended Network

The Montrose Ave. sinkhole now has its own MySpace page, where it promotes its own beauty and compares itself to the Grand Canyon. If you're looking for a way to throw some love its way, you're invited to join the rally outside the Montrose L station on Tuesday afternoon, to protest the city's ruthless plan to fill it it back up.

Clear Your Afternoon

The current season of Layer Tennis finishes up this afternoon, and it's going out with a bang: not one but two matches, running simultaneously. Kiss your productivity goodbye at 2pm. (I'll be needing a drink after this one.)

Don't Deep Throat Me, Bro

Californian James Srodon has filed a $50,000 lawsuit against the Blue Man Group after attending an October 2006 show at the Briar Street Theater. The "esophagus cam," a video camera reportedly covered in food, dirt and the trademark blue paint was forcibly shoved down Srodon's throat during the performance, damaging dental work and giving him nightmares.

It's Hard to Be a Baby in Chicago

FitPregnancy magazine rated Chicago #28 out of 50 major U.S. cities in its "Best Cities in America to Have a Baby" survey. The city received praise for its progressive fertility resources but got a grade of F in categories such as affordability and something known as "stroller friendliness."

City of Cards

The Chicago Postcard Museum takes a look at the Museum of Science and Industry this month.

In the General's North Chamber, the Future is Revealed...and it's Boring

If you've seen that odd, Blair Witch Project-ish TV commercial for SeeItNext.com that is running on the local television stations, you may have visited the website and found a lone prompt to leave your email address for a February 4th reveal of the mystery behind the commercial. What's really going on here? The most popular theory suggests that the commercial is a viral advertisement for General Motors' presentation at the upcoming February 7-18 Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place. And If the future is a GM car, I'm sure it won't be a much-needed reprise of the EV1.

Celebrating Women

Chevrolet invites Chicagoans to nominate inspiring and heroic women to be named the Chicago Woman of the Year 2008. The winning woman receives a $5,000 shopping spree at Macy's and a big self-esteem boost. The nomination process lasts until March 10.

J.D. for Sale

DePaul College of Law grad David Wold is selling his diploma on eBay for $100,000. "This degree has been a great invitation to work at least 60 hours a week at a place where I don't want to be for people that I don't care about," he explains. As an added bonus, Wold will include his law school books, enabling the winning bidder to learn about the Carbolic Smoke Ball and other 1L in-jokes without having to attend any classes.

Citizen Powered

Are you looking for a new Chicago-centric online community? CitizenPowered.org, an outgrowth of the Community Building Initiative between the City of Chicago & the Green Street Project, is now available in beta. Enjoy.

Putting the Eco in Auto

Chicago designer Scott Sullivan recently made the Wall Street Journal for his affordable and eco-friendly lamps and coasters, which he makes from discarded clutches, shift gears, and other car parts. Sullivan runs his own Etsy shop where you can purchase his wares.

Blue Island Isn't Really Blue

An ode to suburbia, by Chicago mag's Jeff Ruby.

Mapping the Familiar

Ryan Maconochie is a Chicago-based designer who loves maps. The ones he's designed for Chicago are great, especially his "Small Snack" map of Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village/East Village.

Heavy Metal Resistance Parking Lot

You've got to hand it to a 73-year-old woman in Springfield who consistently refuses to sell her home to nearby Memorial Medical Center. As a result, her home is nestled in the cozy, welcoming hospital parking lot.

Proposed Phone Tax

The Cook County Board of Commissioners is proposing a $4/month, $48/year tax on all phones — land, cell, cable and otherwise. The tax would also increase with inflation — at five years, your total amount paid would be over $250 a phone. Read more at NoPhoneTax.org. Update: Outside the Loop Radio will discuss the likelihood of the tax's success along with other taxes proposed at the end of 2007 on Friday's show. Look for Episode 68 on the main page around noon or listen to WLUW at 6pm.

To Service and Protect

Freakonomics guru and U of C prof Steven Levitt and collaborator Sudhir Venkatesh have determined that 3 percent of all "transactions" performed by prostitutes in Chicago are free samples granted the boys in blue to avoid arrest.

We Want Geeks

Organizers of Chicago's Tech Cocktail are starting the "Bring CES to Chicago" movement, after learning that the consumer electronics trade show -- the largest in the U.S., and underway as we type -- might be leaving its usual spot, Las Vegas. The Cocktail guys discuss their campaign for the masses as any savvy technogeek would: via BlogTV. To join in on the fun, you can email the T-Cocktail guys here.

City Employee Arrested for Stealing Food

Tracy Buckley, a supervising investigator for the city Office of the Inspector General, was charged with stealing food from a Northwest side Whole Foods this past Saturday. Buckley has worked for the city office for almost 14 years.

Studying Chicago's Prostitutes

At the American Economic Association's annual meeting, held over the weekend in New Orleans, University of Chicago economist Steve Levitt and sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh of Columbia University presented their preliminary work on a study focused on data collected from more than 100 Chicago prostitutes. Some of the scholars' findings: that prostitutes work 11 to 12 hours a week and make between $25- to $35-an-hour; and that condoms were used in only five percent of 2,000 transactions. According to portfolio.com, Levitt and Venkatesh's full results will be featured in the upcoming sequel to Freakonomics.

For Want of a Muse

It's easy to fall into a slump this time of year -- which is all the more reason to check out the newly launched Library of Inspiration.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Two cleaning women were trapped in a stuck elevator in a Niles office building for two days, surviving on two cough drops and six aspirin before an employee discovered them on Christmas Eve.

O'Hare is the Number Two

O'Hare is still the second-busiest airport in the nation, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Atlanta's Hartsfeld-Jackson airport has been the busiest for the last three years due to increased travel needs in the area and advertising efforts by Atlanta-hubbed airlines Delta and Air Tran (which used to be the deadly ValuJet Airlines, FYI).

Watching the Intersection

Chromium, a nightclub near the intersection of Halsted and Lake, had a problem with fights and drunk driving. A neighbor took to videotaping the activity outside the club, and caught a shooting on tape. The videos on YouTube garnered national publicity, and Chromium was closed on Dec. 3.

Takin' It to the Streets

It's not every day that a minivan crashes into the ABC 7 studios in the middle of a live broadcast.

Make Every Song a Holiday Song

Don't think your Shellac album will go over well with the in-laws this Christmas as you play it during after-dinner talk? Never fear, The Jingler is here to add a festive bell track to all your music. The results? Hilarious.

Monitor Your Carbon Output

The Delta Institute, a non-profit organization, has launched a Website where you can measure your annual greenhouse gas emissions, learn how to reduce your impact, and offset your carbon footprint through the purchase of carbon credits certified by the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).

Not Quite as Charming as Ivy

Scaryideas.com tackles Wrigley Field...with Tide.

...And There's Always the Heart O'Chicago

The Times of London offers an inquisitive reader a few tips on the best Chicago hotels. Did you know the Hotel Burnham has a "swish" ground floor cafe?

Your Local YouTube

ChicagoLive.com is a new video site by the Tribune, hoping to jump on the bandwagon of user generated content. Enter their holiday contest and your video could appear on CLTV! (That's all they could spring for?)

Home is Where the SubZero Fridge Heart Is

A sigh of relief for those irritating people concerned that too much of Chicago real estate consists of demolishing old buildings in order to replace them with state-of-the-art monstrosities: according to a New York Times article, New York is now the "Teardown Capital" of the US, bumping Chicago to the #2 spot. Huzzah!

Keep Watching the Skies... from Inside

The good people of Lisle believe they came under an airplane lavatory attack during Monday's sleet storm. The FAA isn't so sure, suggesting it was the work of a flock of birds. "It is mysterious. It is very mysterious," says one resident.

Defend the Indefensible Drew Peterson

Lawyers for Drew Peterson have set up a web site where you can donate money to defray his legal costs. Although the site is currently down, the following message posted at DefendDrew.com really tugged at my heart strings: "For the cost of a few cups of your morning coffee, you can help to ensure that Drew can afford to support his ongoing legal defense, find his missing wife and divert any remaining funds into a trust for his children." Yeah, good luck, buddy.

Have You Seen These Teeth?

Mug shots give way to molar shots. The Chicago Homicide Unit asked the ADA to help identify the teeth of a woman who was found dead in a North Side alleyway last January. The cops "would like to speak to dentists who have any knowledge about a patient who obtained braces and never returned for follow-up care."

Devin Devotees Unite!

Stopping just short of calling opposing coaches chickens, a new website pretty much DEMANDS that teams be forced to kick to the Bears' freakishly-amazing return man Devin Hester.

Neglected Beauty

Rearview contributor and excellent photographer Carey Primeau launches a new photography site and portfolio. While I've seen my fair share of deserted and abandoned photography sites, Primeau really does elevate these photos to stunning. One of the more stellar sets has to be his Uptown Theater set, a building that has intrigued me for years. So good.

Public Domain Images of Chicago

Happened to stumble upon these while looking for something else: images of Chicago in the public domain on Flickr. While there is the usual Sears Tower/Millenium Park/El photos, there are quite a few historical ones as well. I find this one of the stockyards fascinating, as well as this locomotive shop picture.

Journey to the Black Hole

Our friends at Coudal Partners spent some time at the Black Hole, a Los Alamos surplus store, and are showing their film in five parts this week. The full DVD is also available.

Fossett Dead...on Paper

The wife of billionaire adventurer Steve Fossett has asked the Cook County court to declare Fossett dead after his disappearance following a September 3 flight in Nevada.

You Try to Deliver All That Stuff On Time

Data released by the US Postal Service shows that Chicago has the worst mail delivery service in the country, with only 94% of letters reaching their destination within one day (an improvement from last year's delivery rate).

"Everyone Gets a __________!"

It comes around every year, and even though it might annoy you, you know you're going to watch it: the "Favorite Things" episode of Oprah airs tomorrow, and this year's recipient of the coveted gifts is a group of people from Macon, Georgia, as that city reportedly has the nation's highest percentage of viewers tuned in to her show.

Conversing and Conserving

The Nature Conservancy in Illinois is starting a new kind of environmental awareness campaign to get Illinois talking about eco-destruction. Dubbed Start One Conversation, the campaign centers on a Website that gives folks enough background info about issues such climate change and habitat preservation to talk about them without sounding all "you know ... global warming, like, sucks."

Like to Get to Know You

Although it's reportedly unlikely, Delta Airlines is thinking about buying United in an effort to deal with rising jet fuel costs.

Edging into the City

The GLBT media scene just got a little more crowded with the arrival today of EDGEChicago.com.

Vanity is Expensive in Illinois

According to a recent AP story, Illinois ranks third in the purchase of vanity license plates; Virginia is first, as the cost of their plates is a measly 10 dollars. Before you run off to the DMV to see if "Jordan 23" is still available, the joke is on us: Illinois also charges the most of any state for vanity ($94) and personalized ($47) plates.

Kanye West's Mother Dies

Donda West, mother of musician Kanye West and former chair of the Chicago State University English Department, died Saturday night in Los Angeles at the age of 58. The cause of death is unknown at this time, and her death was apparently sudden.

Teen Sex in the WSJ

The Midwest Teen Sex Show, a sex-ed video podcast, got some attention from the Wall Street Journal today. The show is regularly in the top-10 in iTunes' Health section.

Behind the Design: The Chicago Spire

Not quite the expose on Santiago Calatrava (also known for his work on the Milwaukee Art Museum), but Creative Review, a design magazine based in the UK, showcases the design work of Third Eye Design who did the collateral for The Chicago Spire. Even if you don't like the Spire itself, the accompanying literature praises our fair city.

Harrison Ford Would Never Pull this Crap

Actor Shia LaBoeuf was arrested at the Walgreens store located at Chicago and Michigan Avenues Sunday morning for (drunkenly) refusing to leave. The actor, who will appear in the next Indiana Jones movie, will be back in town for his court date on November 28.

Boggling Joggler Blogging

Local, self-described "joggler" Perry Romanowski just set a new world record for running a 50-mile ultra-marathon while juggling three bean bags. Romanowski did it in an amazing 8 hours, 23 minutes, and 52 seconds with no more than four drops--a half hour less than the old record. Hold on there... there was an old record to beat?

The New Jargon

Jargon Magazine relaunched today with a new design and new sections.

Looking for Ghosts

Chicago is a city full of ghosts, and Irving Renquist is out to find them. There's only one problem: he's never seen one before. That's the basic set-up for Irving Renquist, Ghost Hunter, a new web-based mini-series. Check out the first episode here.

The News Grid

A new news aggregator called Newser debuted today, with a full-time Chicago-based editorial staff and freelancers summarizing as many as 60 stories a day. (Thanks, Phil!)

Yet Another Googlemap, News Edition

It's been awhile since we had a YAGm, but here's YourStreet, a new mash-up that puts news on the map. Not sure it's any better or more useful than Outside.In, but now you have a choice. (Wonder what EveryBlock thinks of it.) (Thanks, Sarah!)

Obama in NYC: the Lost Years?

An article in the New York Times investigates Barack Obama's short but significant time spent in New York in the 1980s as a Columbia University student and a brief post-graduate stint in international finance. Obama says his time in the Big Apple was "pivotal to his life"; however, he declined the Times' "repeated requests to talk about his New York years, release his Columbia transcript or identify even a single fellow student, co-worker, roommate or friend from those years."

Trivializing Chicagoland

Chicago Metropolis 2020 and Jellyvision teamed up to create Metro Joe, a game that tests your knowledge of both the city and the suburbs.

Rossville's Got 99 Problems, But a Witch Shouldn't Be One

When Witch School International set up shop in Rossville, a struggling southern Illinois town, not everyone was excited about the economic jolt.

Sliwinski Found Guilty in Musician Deaths

Jeannette Sliwinski, the former model who killed local musicians Michael Dahlquist, Douglas Meis and John Glick in July 2005 while trying to commit suicide, was found guilty of reckless homicide today. Sliwinski was also deemed mentally ill, which lessened the initial charge of three counts of first-degree murder. She will be sentenced November 26.

Root for the Home Team

Our very own Naz Hamid is playing Layer Tennis today; go root for him in the forums!

Getting Out the Vote

The Apartments.com Possession Obsession contest is in its final week, and ex-GB staffer Brenda is still in the lead; give her a hand to make sure she stays out front by voting today! And speaking of contests, you can also vote Cubs or Sox in People magazine's Sexiest Fan Alive contest.

Mapping Chicago History

ChicagoAncestors.org uses data from local churches, yearbook collections, neighborhood histories from the Newberry Library and information from the Chicago Historical Homicide Project to map Chicago's past. Registered users can add tags, comments, photos, stories and "Chicago Places" to maps on the site.

Chicago... NOW IN 3-D

And with a techno soundtrack no less.

Cold Case Cracked, Cop Talk Used

It's easy to be enamored with the charms of Second City Cop. But today let's give some blue love to Checkboard Chat, the official Chicago Police blog. Today they give us some quality cop talk in describing how they cracked a cold case murder. Example: "The victim was then physically beaten by his associates." Bonus: "You can find anything on Craigs List"

YouTube Zen

A time lapse video of the day of the Chicago Marathon.

More Google Views

Hypertext has collected some more interesting captures from Google Street View.

Google Stalker

Who are the people in your Google Street View neighborhood?

We're So Street

Google Maps Street View comes to Chicago. The Tribune waxes about the privacy issues that come with it.

Glass Cracks Down on Creative Writing at the Times

Someone needs a Journalism Ethics class! Deborah Solomon, a New York Times Magazine reporter responsible for the mildly revealing "Q & A" section at the end of each issue, was recently taken to task by past interview subjects, among them This American Life creator Ira Glass, for fabricating pointed questions to fit dialogue spoken during her interviews.

Are You a Geek?

Then you might be interested in the Chicago Geek Guide. Your one-stop shop for all things geek.

Click on Green

Chicago graphic designer Leah Dickey of Pixelgate Media beat out 435 other entries to win a worldwide design contest held by Yahoo to create a "green" designs for a taskbar icon. As part of her prize, Leah got to select which environmental-related nonprofit receives $20,000 from Yahoo; she chose the Green Street Project, an organization that is collaborating with civic leaders, government and media to get people engaged in making Chicago a leading environmentally sustainable city.

Another Chapter of the Cheetah Gym Drama

While we've all had our fill of the brief but entertaining Cheetah Gym Closing Scandal of last month, a recent check of a website forum that was created by a former member intending to coordinate a class action lawsuit for recovering gym fees revealed that although Cheetah has fully reopened, the site still exists, and the former owner of the gym (or someone pretending to be him) has surfaced in the bulletin boards. The resulting conversation between him and the other folks on the board is quite interesting. And completely bonkers.

He Produces, Directs, Acts, Raps...

While the season opener of Saturday Night Live this past weekend delivered another funny digital short, the finest sketch of the night was about local export (and SNL musical guest) Kanye West's visit to BET's 106 and Park to discuss his award show tantrums of late. To watch Kanye's music performances, click here and here.

Boogity boogity boogity!

Excessively trusting thrillseekers may be interested in attending the First Annual Ghost Conference, held October 26-28 at the Congress Plaza Hotel... which is, of course, billed as being "haunted."

First Serve

Good way to spend your Friday afternoon: Layer Tennis is live.

Humor Can Sometimes Be Cruel

Congratulations to Feast of Fools, which won Best GLBT Podcast in the People's Choice Podcast Awards.

Death on Batman Movie Set

A special effects technician died on the British set of The Dark Knight Returns, the upcoming Batman film scheduled for release next summer. Parts of the movie were filmed in Chicago this past summer. The technician was in a vehicle carrying camera equipment that crashed into a tree during a test of a stunt likely involving the Batmobile.

The Third Time Had Better Be a Charm

After stints as the head of both the Chicago and Philadelphia Public School Systems, Paul Vallas is now the head of the New Orleans Recovery School District. A nice profile in today's New York Times details his hopes for the district's future.

Make No Little Plans

Wurlington Brothers Press has published a series of postcards that allow you to make your own miniature paper Windy City! Teeny-tiny Mayor Daley not included. (We discovered it years ago, but BoingBoing just found it.)

Bucktown B&B?

While searching for a bike rental in Amsterdam, I happened upon a very cool looking B&B in Bucktown. So if you have guests for more than a few days who might appreciate a sauna, kitchen, and a break from the same-old same-old downtown, Ray's Bucktown B&B might be just the thing. (Bonus: they have a retro hair-dryer. Take that, Palmer House!)

Metro-Remix

Metromix launched a full redesign today, and divorced itself URL-wise from the Tribune. It sure looks slick, but does it work any better?

Robopot

The Westin Chicago River North hotel wants to attract guests not just with continental breakfasts or chocolates on the pillows, but rather a super-toilet, the Brondell Swash 800. Equipped with such indulgences as a heated seat, bidet, warm air dryer (!), and water pressure controls (!!!), one wonders how this will impact local escort services.

Lost Dog

Do you know where Reba is? (Thanks, Ellen!)

Bored? WikiProject Chicago!

"WikiProject Chicago was started on July 5, 2005 to coordinate work on articles related to the article Chicago in the English Wikipedia". Pick up some open tasks, browse good articles, and edit newly-created articles like Poles in Chicago. Bonus: hi-res pic of the skyline from the lakefront.

Teen Sex

Not what you're thinking: The Midwest Teen Sex Show is a great video podcast put together, apparently, by some very funny folks in northwest suburban Woodstock. [via]

"Licking Chicks"

I have a feeling Jonathan Fin and Casey Black are going to regret making this video.

Relive Meigs

The latest edition of GoogleEarth includes a flight simulator (controls here). GB reader Dubi Kaufmann noticed that "One of the 27 airports available in the flight simulator is Meigs Field - FOUR YEARS after it was closed."

Staffer Alumni on Apartment Therapy

Craig Berman, writer emeritus for Gapers Block, maker of the honorably mentioned Pinch salt cellar and pepper shaker, and his wife Emily Berman, a vendor in this year's DIY Trunk Show, had their home profiled by Apartment Therapy. Their style? "Shabby chic meets modern sleek meets budget conscious new homeowner meets avid crafter meets product designer."

On the Fly

If you've ever been down Ravenswood near Wilson, you might have seen the rather large stickered and logoed truck with bright red, yellow and black graphics that say, "On the Fly." The Chicago Traveler has the scoop: On the Fly is a mobile bike mechanic shop. Joe Ebervein and Rich Kwaitkowski will go where you are to get you on the road again.

Mash That Map Up

Who doesn't love a mash-up? Ongopongo is a site that aggregates user's Google My Maps mash-ups. Check out Chicago Ongopongo maps, including vegan restaurants, 4 am bars and even area pinball machines.

Super Happy Fun Slide

A couple in Lombard left their teenage son at home alone for a week earlier this summer. He and his friends took the opportunity to build a 60-foot waterslide in the backyard. Potential for serious injury aside, that's pretty frickin' cool.

This American Wiener's Circle

An interesting look behind the scenes at The Wiener's Circle, courtesy of This American Life. Audio is most definitely NSFW, so throw on those headphones!

It's a Fave

Fave is a new "Chicago neighborhood browser." Unlike most search tools, this one is a downloadable browser that supposedly doesn't transmit your search to the Internet, which leads me to believe it has an internal directory -- so it's more like an electronic yellow pages, I guess? If you're curious, they've got a storefront at Clark and Fullerton where you can try it out and ask more questions.

New BP Ad Buy

Apparently seriously concerned about its public image, BP has taken to purchasing (regionally specific?) advertisements via google to tout its pledge to not increase discharge limits. This advertisement was embedded in a NYTimes.com article about the Maison de Verre.

Nerd Love

Nerds at Heart wants to help you find love! This crew throws singles events catering to a range of niche markets. Upcoming Nerds at Heart events will match regular ol' nerds, playful nerds, queer nerds and green nerds at locales around town. Check out their site to register in advance.

Kracccckaabooooom!

I suppose lightning striking the Sears Tower is a fairly common occurrence, but that doesn't make it any less cool to witness. Oh sh*t!

Dark Knight x Brachs Candy Implosion!

The Dark Knight which has been filming in Chicago on and off for the past few months is doing something big. The Brachs Candy factory will be imploded on August the 29th August the 30th between 10:30am and noon. The implosion will be later added digitally into the film for a building explosion. Details here. Update: Note the date and time change. New details here.

Max! Meow? Woof?

Following the news that "Max" is the number one name for cats and dogs for the fifth year in a row, a weird pet name free for all has broken out at the Trib.

Beautiful Mutilation

Chicago native Brian Dettmer uses a knife to alter pre-existing media - most notably, books. I've been staring at these photos for the past ten minutes now, and they're absolutely taking my breath away. He and artist Jen Stark do things to paper I never even knew were possible. [via]
//Edit: Some of Dettmer's work is currently at the Hyde Park Art Center. Thanks, Jessi!

I do!

In what might be the most elaborately, delightful case of deception I've ever seen, George Aye asks Sara Cantor to marry him. Congratulations and kudos!

Calling All Beyonce Ticketholders

If you're going to see Beyonce tonight at the United Center, don't forget the canned carrots! The Greater Chicago Food Depository is holding a pre-show food drive at the United Center, and the first 1,000 fans who drop off a minimum of three nonperishable food items before the 7:30 p.m. show will receive an autographed photo of Beyonce and a raffle ticket for a chance to win a seat upgrade.

A More Swedish Batavia

Batavia's doing well in IKEA's Small Businesses, Big Dreams contest, in which cities compete for having up to ten small businesses remodeled by the company. Check out their entry, vote for them and help them do even better.

Gumtree in Chicago

Gumtree.com, England's answer to Craigslist, is launching in Chicago, NYC, and Boston today. Currently, it's an empty palette over at chicago.gumtree.com, so if you're sick of the white noise on Craigslist, this might be the chance to stand out.

Hundreds of Channels and Nothing On

A moment of web zen: "TV DX Photos by Channel seen from Macomb, IL Since 1983" -- in other words screenshots from stations seen with a long-distance TV antenna. [via]

Oh, Sh*t! Trapped in the Closet 13!

Set in Chicago, R. Kelly's over-the-top cult hit Trapped in the Closet needs to be seen to be believed. To date, there have been 12 chapters created; today marks the first of ten more (that's right, more) chapters with the release of Chapter 13. A video recap is available, along with a helpful character map. I'm still unsure whether he's a comic genius, or utterly insane. Audio is NSFW.

Music Is The New Cotton

The T-shirts of Lollapalooza.

Friday Fun: Astronaut

Our very own Felix has created a fun little time-killer: the Astronaut syncs random flickr photos to appear with key words from a song by Dan Frick.

Old Signs of Modern Times

Using old signs and discarded metal as his materials, David Buckingham creates pieces that are heavily influenced by both history and pop culture. What's particularly amazing is that all the colors in his works are from the original objects, as he uses no paint whatsoever. His work is currently at the Aron Packer Gallery until August 18th.

Parody Songs & Sculpture

Via the Beachwood Reporter, the somewhat bizarre year-end gifts of Sam Zell. (It's copyright Saltator Sepulcri, which translates roughly to "dancer [of/on] graves," so I'm gonna guess they're social satire, not real gifts.) UPDATE: They're real!

GB reader Paula writes, "I wish they were social satire, but they are real and he does give them out as gifts every year. A friend of mine works at a financial company in Chicago that works with Zell and every year they get a bizarre moving sculpture piece that has a button to activate the movement and the voice of Sam Zell pontificating about something important to him. In her front office they have them lined up on shelves and they drive her nuts because guests love to push the buttons, but there’s no off switch so once you start the monologue you’re stuck until it ends. Bizarre."

Do You See What I Don't See?

Cayetano Ferrer, who did a fascinating set of transparent Chicago street signs, recently applied a similar approach to a group of 30-foot trees in Daejeon, Korea. [via and previously]

I Need to Borrow $99,000

80's mechanical icon Johnny Five is apparently being sold on ebay, and bidding starts at a cool $100,000. A special exo-skeleton, which controls all of the mechanical features, is also included. For an extra dose of nostalgia, check out the previously mentioned, newly available 1988 Siskel and Ebert review.

Break Out That Pic-a-nic Basket

Picnicmob is looking for someone... just like you! Participants are asked a set of questions, then given a spot in a public park where they'll be near others who share their interests. When enough folks particiapte (the site is shooting for 1,000 per city), a map is generated and an email sent announcing the day of the picnic (always at noon on a Sunday). An interesting concept, and if nothing else - a good excuse for a picnic.

Secret Tribune Book Blog

Coming soon? Thanks, Roni.

Ask(About Chicago)MetaFilter

There was a flurry of Chicago-related questions on Ask.MetaFilter the last couple days:
Does the mafia still exist in Chicago?
"For a novice, what is a good bike route from Chicago's North Side to the loop?"
Temping in Chicago?

Moon Globe!

Broadview, IL-based Replogle has been making globes in the Chicago area since 1931. Naturally, the earth globes are works of art, but, so what? Freaking moon globe, man!

Ask a Music Scene Micro Celebrity

It's getting a little crazy, but Chicago music legend Steve Albini is answering a wide variety of questions in the Two Plus Two forums.

First, Do No Harm

Expanding her focus on the plight of the chronically ill in today's healthcare system, past GB contributor Kimberly Soenen and friends have launched Project Sin Alma.

Condiment-nation

Neo-Futurist playwright Sean Benjamin recently received 21 packets of taco sauce for two tacos from the Taco Bell drive-thru. Then he wrote a play about it. Now he wants your help collecting one million condiment packets for his Condimentometer project. Because why the hell not? You have more condiment packets than you could ever possibly use, right? Bring (or mail) your packets to the Neo-Futurarium at 5153 N. Ashland, 60640, and be a part of something big and meaningless.

Knit One, Purl Two

The Micro-Fiber Militia: a group of Chicago crochet graffiti artists, keeping the streets patterned and cozy.

I Saw You ...

Man, you indie-rock kids were really on the make at this weekend's Pitchfork Festival. Check out all of these sweaty, lyrical Missed Connections from the List du Craig.

No, You Can't Have Ketchup on That

Following Michael Chertoff's boogity-boogity meeting with the Tribune's editorial board, Wired Blog writer Ryan Singel raised the Homeland Security Gut Threat Level system warning to the Chicago hot dog with everything level. May God protect us from the Tijuana Danger Dog.

Opera Time-Lapse

Speaking of timewasters, the Chicago Opera Theater recently posted a time-lapse video of three set changes: from "Beatrice and Benedict" to "Duke Bluebeard's Castle" to "Erwartung" to "Beatrice and Benedict" again. Seven minutes of stagehand fun!

Online Documentary Films

Meet folkstreams.net, a project to preserve documentaries about American roots cultures. There is, of course, a Midwestern section, and at least two Chicago-related films "The Popovich Brothers of South Chicago" and "Grace Earl."

"I Was Watching You ... "

If you went to the Police concert, there's a pretty good chance someone posted a Missed Connection about you. Check out the veritable blizzard of Craig's List posts from the '80s band's two-nighter at Wrigley.

Weapon Town

Monitoring local weapon news so you don't have to: the Chicago Police is getting ready to adopt a new weapons order that includes "striker-fired pistols manufactured by Smith and Wesson, Springfield Armory, and Glock"; Wired says that Taser International is about to roll out its new, wireless weapon here on Monday; and police higher-up Deputy Supt. John Risley's suspicions were right when he saw an 18-year old fidgeting with his shirt at the Taste of Chicago. The kid had a gun.

This Entry Is Not Kosher

Soooooooeeeeeeee! In quite possibly one of the most disgusting truck spills in recent memory, the northbound Edens was shut down for seven hours after a truck tipped over, spilling out pig ears, pig feet, and grease across the highway. Ironically, the spill happened near the Skokie exit.

Up, Up, and Away

"Dean" and his female associate engaged in some hotel bed jumping at the Chicago Hyatt, as have many other people at hotels worldwide.

H4x0r5 in T|-|3 N3VV5

Chicago magazine profiles Jeremy Hammond, the hacktivist founder of Hackthissite.org. Lots of links for further exploration in his Wikipedia entry.

Everyone Collects Something

And Kevin Corr, formerly a clerk in the Cook County State's Attorney's office, collects Chicago Police patches, medals, and insignia. There are several historical tidbits (There were 41 districts before Superintendent O.W. Wilson reorganized the department after he took the helm in 1960.) interspersed with collector-specific information about patches and what they mean. And like any good collector, Kevin has a Flickr site.

Going Out Tonight

Going.com lands somewhere between Upcoming and Yelp -- a social network for actual socializing. They're throwing a launch party for their Chicago channel tonight at Debonair Social Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee, starting at 7pm. RSVP and more info here.

Julie Thoma Wright, 1958-2007

Julie Thoma Wright, a noted designer, passed away earlier this week after a battle with colon cancer. Thoma Wright, along with her husband Richard Wright, was known for being the force behind Wright, a Chicago auction house specializing in modern furniture and art. The Wrights were profiled last year in an article in The New York Times.

Illinois GDP Like Mexico

This map renames US States with the country whose GDP is most similar. Illinois has a GDP like Mexico. As the author points out in the notes it's somewhat misleading as there's no sense of (population) scale, but it's fantastic nevertheless.

South Side Gang Maps

The District 299 Blog asks some good questions about "where exactly are the gang lines?" and follows them up with an even better link... to Southside Gang Maps. So now you know.

Typeface vs. Font

Word from Kartemquin Films regarding their in progress film: "Kartemquin is currently working on Typeface, a documentary about cultural preservation, rural renewal and graphic design history in the Midwest.To support these efforts, we're holding a benefit on June 15th at the Center for Book and Paper Arts here in Chicago. Toad Hollow Vineyards is providing the bubbly, MJ Catering is bringing the sweets and a number of local artists (including Jay Ryan and Dennis Ichiyama) are donating original works for the silent auction." While the much lauded Helvetica opens the same night at the Siskel, it is a weeklong engagement. So, why not support the locals? Looks good to me.

Probably Shouldn't Have Said That

Crain's reports that a Chicago-based attorney got a little fresh with a Miami judge earlier this month. "'I suggest with respect, Your Honor, that you’re a few french fries short of a Happy Meal in terms of what’s likely to take place,' William Smith, a partner with Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery LLP, said during a hearing".

Four Star Pie Chart

Chicago.Metroblogging's Fuzzy Gerdes has created our local entry into the very cool flags of the world as pie charts

"Harold's 6 Piece"

A musical tribute to Harold's Chicken Shack. [via]

Chicago on Google Patents, Catalogs, and Academic Papers

Plumbing the more obscure depths of The Google: Chicago patents, including "method for making stucco gypsum blocks and the like", Chicago catalogs, including Cubs Monopoly in Betty's Attic, and Chicago academic papers, including "Correlation between human sperm swelling in hypoosmotic medium (hypoosmotic swelling test) and in vitro fertilization." (NSFW)

Everyday is Like Sunday

If you're interested in every last detail of Tuesday's Morrissey concert, check out the Morrissey Solo message board. Documented are the set list, crowd reactions, number of times people rushed the stage, merchandise quality, and, well, every last detail.

Web Ascent Events from 606tech.com

Chicago-based writer Kristen Nicole of 606tech.com and Mashable announces Web Ascent Events, set for next month. Web Ascent is "a way to recognize the sprouting technology communities in places that aren't the Valley". If you are interested in presenting, sponsoring, or attending, her contact info is here.

14,100 Gallons of Water Per Minute

Now that the Buckingham Fountain is going full blast, maybe you'd like to astound your friends with some related trivia. For example, it opened on May 26, 1927, and its computer's name is the "Honeywell Excel-Plus."

A Fresh Palette at "The City List"

The City List is a new city-focused, Digg-like community site that allows users to vote on the best food, nightlife, etc. in each city. The site just launched and currently only has content for Washington D.C., which leaves the Chicago portion completely open to manipulation– I mean contributions from PR people– I mean users.

Classic Chicago on YouTube

Here's a few classic Chicago TV clips from everyone's favorite illegal video site: Malcolm X being rudely grilled on a Chicago talk show in the sixties, Siskel and Ebert review Blue Velvet, and a couple minutes from the famous Dec 31, 1988 "Fog Bowl" between the Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears.

How to Open Someone's Wallet

How to Open Things is a new site that allows you to set up contests for ways to open ...well, whatever you want. The creator was recently interviewed on WindyBits.

The Incredible Moving L Station House

Check out this mini-photo essay documenting the Belmont L station house move [window resizes].

Third Grade Architectural Modeling

Elementary students at the Lab School have been building their favorite pieces of the Chicago skyline in Joyce Carrasco's class for more than a decade. Check out examples from the class of 2004-2005. Dibs on the Morton Salt building! [via]

Hillside Landfill, Source of Odor, Is Closing

If you've ever driven the Eisenhower expressway, and found yourself saying, "what's that smell?" right between CarMax on the south and a Holiday Inn on the north, you've sniffed methane gas from the Hilliside Landfill. The Attorney General forced its closing back in January. A new owner is now getting it done. Check their progress on landfillclosing.com.

Best Olympics T-Shirt Yet

Whet Moser shares a 2016 t-shirt design I think in some circles would sell at least as well as the official one.

ChronicBabe 2.0

ChronicBabe, the locally-produced website for women with chronic health conditions, just launched a redesign. New features include a chronic conditions resource center and an online store. Additionally, if you sign up for Goodie Bags, the site's electronic newsletter, you get a free ebook copy of How to Be a ChronicBabe: A Beginner's Toolkit.

Around the World in Chicago

If you've traveled around the world "crossing every meridian of longitude in the same direction" and are interested in meeting others like you, you're in luck. Chicago has its own chapter of the Circumnavigators Club. Oh, and your travel doesn't have to be in the same trip.

Safety Alert: Decoy Mannequins Rigged to Explode

Youths up to no good in Streamwood, as alerted via the Chicago Police Department Weblog.

1 Down, 59 to Go

Intelligentsia's Black Cat espresso is number five on Esquire's list of "60 Things Worth Shortening Your Life For." We also have a place to try number 35, "duck fat potatoes." [via]

West Suburban Blue Blood Accents?

In a classic "why the suburbs are better than the city" story from the Wheaton News Leader, all the old faves are resurrected: parking, taxes, stargazing. Cool. Then they go after the accent. "The Chicago accent itself is cringe-worthy. Out here, the speech is a little less blue collar, a little more blue blood."

Library of Congress Covers Chicago

Spend some time poring over Chicago archives over at The Library of Congress website. Includes an 1897 film called "Cattle driven to slaughter" by Thomas A. Edison, 55,000 images from the Chicago Daily News from 1902 - 1933, and an archive called, "Chicago Anarchists on Trial: Evidence from the Haymarket Affair, 1886-1887."

Chicago in Videogames

Over on Ask.MetaFilter, there's a thread compiling videogames that are set, in whole or in part, in Chicago. The list includes "Duelin' Firemen," in which a jet and the Space Shuttle crash into the Sears Tower. (Fortunately, it was never released.)

A Very Small Museum

Michael Horvich is more than a supernumerary, he's the curator of Michael's Museum. Unfortunately, the physical museum is currently not open to the public, presumably due to high demand because of a recent Tribune article. For now, enjoy the photographs and lists.

You've Got Reusable Bags

Chicago-based eco-friendly ecommerce company Reusable Bags is featured on AOL today.

Wow.

Were you stuck at your mom's house picking Easter grass out of your chocolate bunnies? Scraping charoset from grandma's china? Sounds like you could have used some Craig's List Casual Encounters. Check out these definitely NSFW Easter- and Passover-themed ads?

Beyond the Concert Hall

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is taking great strides to expand its audience and influence, notably including a retooled nationally syndicated radio program and a performance and educational video series.

Story Time

Keep an eye on Same Title Different Story, a new podcast which gives several different Chicago artists a title, and asks them to create their own version of the "story" it belongs too.

Tourists That Rock

Rochester, NY radio talk show host and writer Bob Lonsberry found himself with some unexpected time in Chicago due to an airline screw-up. His blog features a glowing, joyful account of a nice afternoon spent in our city's embrace.

Hey, Smartypants

If you want to be a Mensa member or just hang out with them, Chicago Area Mensa is where it's at. Learn about the official Mensa test, get recipes (yeah, recipes for food), and find brainteasers.

Your Name in Lights

Good fun for a Friday: the Chicago Theater marquee generator. UPDATE: Dubi Kaufmann, the site's owner, has been asked by the theater's owner to take down the image.

Oh, Yeah, That's the One

It's always a pleasure to see a news organization pick just the right stock image for a Downers Grove mob hit story.

How to Get from Chicago to London

As explained by Google Maps. Step 20 is a doozy.

Neko in Town

They might be a distant second, but if you didn't manage to get tickets to see Chicago's adopted daughter Neko Case this week, photos and videos of the shows are popping up on the web.

We're #3 for #1

Chalk up another strong showing for Chicago -- this time in the category of Icky and/or Clever Names for Local Makers of Portable Toilets. According to a list compiled by New York Magazine, of the top twenty names in the industry, nationwide, Chicago is home to three: LepreCAN (#12), Oui Oui Enterprises (#5) and UrinBiz.com (#3). New Orleans claims the top spot with... Doodie Calls.

Chikka Boom Is My Favorite

A meandering video exposé on Chicago boat names. Oddly therapeutic.

Jackass of the Week

College newspapers may not be known as paragons of journalism, but some local schools have some trailblazing pieces online, such as Columbia Chronicle's Jackass of the Week column. Other recent college paper wackiness comes from an article about Microsoft vernacular, an apology from a paper that got it all wrong and a pseudo op-ed arguing for a "Star Trek Defense" system against illegal aliens.

Building a Piano (Wing)

The Art Institute recently installed a construction camera so we can put a face in our dreams of more modern and contemporary art. The camera produces a new image every 15 minutes.

Chicago 101

Gridskipper got it right when they called it "the Beginner's Guide to Chicago;" not many surprises on this list (though the shout-out to UIC's bowling alley is refreshing.) And hey, we're "twice as smart and half as nice as the folks in St. Louis and Minneapolis" here in the "capital of the Midwest." Great.

Thoughtcrimes and Misdemeanors

It's been on YouTube for two weeks, but the video mashup of Hillary's "conversations" with the famous Ridley Scott "1984" Mac commercial, purportedly made by an anonymous Obama supporter, has made worldwide news since it was picked up by the Drudge Report this weekend. Obama's camp is disavowing any involvement, but I imagine internally they think it's pretty awesome.

That Doesn't Belong in a Milkshake!

Oak Brook's very own McDonald's seems to be having some trouble on one of its British websites. (Unfortunately, the item on the original website is in Flash, so we can't link to it.)

Accessible Chicago

Accessible Chicago is a site that "takes the guesswork out of traveling in Chicago with a wheelchair." Their five-star ratings and reviews give their take on degree of accessibility.

Do Not Feed Gum to Your Dog

Don't be distracted by Wrigley's announcement that it will launch a sensory "invigorating" gum called "5" this summer. Their Product FAQ offers so much more, including an important dog related item.

Cicada Love

"It started out as a harmless fling. He was a male cicada in love, she was a female cicada with needs." Could this possibly be from a real newspaper? Find out now.

Missed Connections Report

Okay, not sure what was in the air at last week's Scissor Sisters concert, but there's a bunch of Missed Connections related to it on Craig's List. Let's hope this weekend's drunken St. Patrick's Day festivities are equally productive.

The South Side Chicago Board of Tourism

Convert your currency to South Side dollars while enjoying an unusual White Sox website.

Help Solve a Cold Case

The Chicago Police has a new section on their website for cold case investigations. Includes images, death stats, and chilling summaries of the victim's fates. You can submit any info you have anonymously or call (312)746-9690.

That's My $9.2 Million Home on N. Astor

If you're looking for the toniest neighborhood for your next real estate purchase, maybe you should check the Chicago Business High End Homes section. The feature includes maps, photos and sale prices for the most expensive homes in the region in 2006.

Parenting 2.0

Chicago Parent magazine has redesigned its website, which now includes a whole bunch of blogs covering a variety of aspects of parenting, from feminist childrearing to being a working mom to just being a dad.

Everything But The Burden?

It should have come as no surprise that the slings and arrows would be in action before Barack Obama even announced a possible Presidential bid, and the past month has borne that out. Perhaps the strangest and most muddled discussion has been the one about whether the Junior Senator is "black enough" for some folks. Sure, "identity politics" were bound to be an issue at some point. It's interesting to note, however, that some of the most thoughtful and level-headed punditry on the whole subject of Obama's cultural steet cred has come from music journalists. It seems that Touré anticipated the issue back in 2004 when he published his reflections on Obama and Colin Powell in the essay "Ships Passing In The Night." Some of the points Touré made were echoed last month by hip-hop critic Oliver Wang in his think piece over at the website Poplicks.

"Sure Is Nasty Out..."

If you're going to talk weather, at least know some trivia. Now you know, for instance, that on this day, exactly 53 years ago, Chicago witnessed the seventh greatest calendar day snowfall total in its recorded history (!). Check out March 4, 1961 while you're there. Crazy.

Uh, No, He's in Cambodia

Prospect Heights-based Alibi Network will construct elaborate lies on their clients' behalf. Given the copious amounts of stock photography and late 1990s web design, I thought this company was a hoax until I found their massive media archive.

That's A Lotta Gas

Monitoring the PR Newswire so you don't have to: Dateline, Houston. Marion Banowski of Chicago won $10,000 in free Shell gasoline at the Auto Show. "Each finalist drew a Shell gas card and then inserted it into the credit card reader of the display gas pump in hopes it would activate the pump. Banowski was the eleventh finalist to insert his card into the reader so the excitement in the air was palpable."

City Life in the Ozarks

Here's a story about gangs in Springfield, MO that references an influx of GDs from Chicago. Apparently the principles of supply & demand work in the Ozarks as well: "Police say dealers can also sell drugs and charge more than they can in major cities like Kansas City, St. Louis and even Chicago."

Granddad the Wii Master

Welcome to a world wherein grandparents in Lake County teach their grandchildren how to play video games.

This Godless Communism

It's 1961 and the communists have overthrown the government of the United States of America. Prepare yourself for the U.S.S.A.! What is the communists' first step? Move the government to Merchandise Mart! As J. Edgar Hoover says, read this comic now in order to "help us recognize and detect communists as they attempt to infiltrate the various segments of our society."

Young Nun!

Julie Vieira is a Chicago-based nun in the order of Sisters of the Immaculate Heart. She works at Loyola Press and chronicles her life as a modern, 35-year-old nun at her blog, A Nun's Life. Julie was also a guest of PRI's "Fair Game." Listen to the MP3 here.

Peoples Energy Sure Is Keeping U Warm

As the temperature keeps falling and the winds keep howling, nothing keeps u warmer than a gauzy, customer-friendly website from a gigantic utility company.

Keep Watching the Skies

Most Chicagoans may not be aware that J. Allen Hynek was a UFOlogist whose Center for UFO Studies remains active in Chicago. Those who find Mr. Hynek's ideas a little out there are advised not to stop by the web site of alleged contactee Billy Meier.

Real Estate Resources

Blockshopper is a relatively new site that calls itself a "real estate news service for ... the residents themselves." However, in practice, it's more for the residents neighbors, not so much for the subject of the site's news briefs, which are written apparently without actually contacting the people involved. Speaking of checking on the neighbors, ever wonder how your rent compares to the rest of neighborhood? Check it on the Rentometer.

Winter Fun on Craig's List

Stuck inside? Left work early? Well, if you're feeling a little bored, the horndogs hanging out at Craig's List can provide company. Check out this search query for all kinds of XXX snow-related fun. Totally hilarious -- and NSFW.

Chicago Adolescence

This month's Chicago Magazine contains a funny little feature providing high school portraits of area notables like Dave Eggers, Liz Phair, Harold Ramis and Donald Rumsfeld.

The Happy Homemaker

Matthew McClintock welcomes you to his Oak Park home, which he has kindly photographed and uploaded to the Web--from the contents of his refrigerator to his underwear drawer.

Chicago's Architectural Prestige

The AIA recently surveyed 1,800 Americans about their favorite architecture and released the top 150 as a web feature. Chicago did well in the polls, with the third largest collection of "favorite" buildings in the country, behind New York and D.C. Some obvious Chicago favorites like Wrigley Field, the Tribune Tower and the Sears Tower are listed, but other buildings such as the United Airlines Terminal and the Harold Washington Library also made the cut.

Durbin's $750/mo Bachelor Pad (With Three Roomies)

How's this for an unusual look into the lives of our senior senator and his three high-powered roommates! Juicy tidbits include Durbin killing mice with his bare hands and his insistence on having a big screen television.

Aqua Teen Hunger (Terrorist) Force

The Aqua Teen Hunger Force advertisements that caused serious problems in Boston have been in Chicago for weeks. After all of the hubbub in Boston, most of ours were collected last night. [If you happened to snap a photo of the Chicago Ignignokts/Errs, please post it to our flickr pool for all to enjoy.]

IIT's TechNews Back Online

Fortunately, the irony that the Illinois Institute of Technology's student newspaper hadn't been updated since January 31, 2006 wasn't lost on its editors. Oh, irony, thou must find elsewhere to roost.

"Free Portraits Inside"

Check out this recent write-up of Thomas Marlow's Chicago Street Studio Project in the Australian media.

Questions for Seth Godin and Mark Hurst

Chicago software stalwarts 37signals are conducting another one of their Fireside Chats-- roundtable discussions using their Campfire chat software. This time it's marketing wonder man Seth Godin and online customer experience guru Mark Hurst. Your questions are welcome.

Shopping, Now With More Green

The Green Exchange, Logan Square's proposed "green merchandise mart" has launched its website. Dedicated towards green living, the site offers building plans, an FAQ and a forum to discuss the building and issues surrounding its development. [Hat tip: Craig]

Tense Forms Winter Showcase

Tense Forms, the collaborative multi-disciplinary, project-based workgroup, is holding their 2nd annual Winter Showcase at Subterranean on February the 2nd at 8pm onwards. The showcase features an insane amount of buttons (1000+), a wall of televisions screening all kinds of visual art as well as live music.

Something Fresh, Something New

Increasingly needed in this day and age, A Fresh Squeeze is a site dedicated to green living in Chicago. Primarily a bi-weekly email, the site also offers articles in their archives for a taste of things past.

All About the Allstate Ad

If you haven't yet seen the Leo Burnett-created Allstate ad with the car that plunges into the Chicago River from the Marina City parking deck, the companies have posted both the 30-second and 60-second versions and a behind-the-scenes video at YouTube. YouTube blocked at work? The videos and a "how'd they do that?" FAQ get their own mini-site at Allstate.com, too.

Double Trouble at O'Hare

The next time you're flying out of O'Hare, check the sky for UFOs, then check under your seat for scorpions.

Mapping the City, Wiki-Style

Wow, since we last checked in, the WikiMapia of Chicago has really filled out. You should add to it yourself, before everything's tagged. (Sad to see the Wicker Park entry remains a battleground.)

You Just Keep Me Hanging Armstrong

Of all the things that could have popped into my head this morning, why "Liz Armstrong?" Search me, but it appears that the infamous Chicago Reader columnist has found gainful employment in Las Vegas, doing pretty much the same thing that she did here. (PS: Someone needs to update the Wikipedia entry.) (Edit: someone did.)

Chicago of the Future

The History Channel recently asked designers to submit concepts of their cities 100 years in the future. Teams from Chicago, New York and Los Angeles are now facing off for the grand prize. Check out and possibly vote for Chicago's entry from UrbanLab today.

Create Your Own Planets

If today's Rearview photo (courtesy of the ever excellent Archie Florcruz) bewilders you or makes you want to do the same thing, take a look at his entry explaining his photo and then head over to the Create Your Own Planets Flickr pool for info on how to do this.

Watch Out Below!

Well, really, there's no reason to worry about the car dangling off of Marina City. [UPDATE: Visit Rearview for a photo.]

Pink Loves Brown

At last year's recent DIY Trunk Show, I made my usual rounds looking at who was doing what. The quality keeps getting better and better every year, a testament to those who organize the Trunk Show. However, one vendor caught my eye — Pink Loves Brown. The goods were smart, well-designed, retro-modern and quality. Nicole Balch puts out some really nice stuff — her apartment is quite inspiring, an extension of her work and aesthetic.

"Weather Phenomenon" or Something Else?

Some United employees saw a UFO at O'Hare on November 7th, but the FAA's having none of it.

Chicago's Video Game Influence

Online gaming magazine Gamasutra just released the final installment of its five-part series on Chicago game studios. The final stop is Midway.

Squatting on Hester

Devin Hester is a top contender for Rookie of the Year, but the contest to squat on his name on the web has already been won, apparently by these guys. At least second place, DevinHester.net, was nabbed by someone local.

Scared of Santa Again

If you're looking for a holiday laugh, check out the Tribune's reader-submitted "Scared of Santa" photo gallery. (Link pops due to window resizing.)

Holiday Choose Your Own Adventure

A seasonal diversion from Schadenfreude & AlphaZeta.

"Good King Lovie Smith"

Some revised Christmas Carols for you, mostly Chicago-related, courtesy of the Beachwood Reporter.

No, We Don't Take Myrrh (or Discover)

Good to know that even Jesus has trouble shopping for some of his relatives this time of year. Check him out as he hits the Mag Mile. [via and by]

Experience Quimby's from Your Computer

I don't know how many times I've been to the Quimby's site, but I'd never noticed the "live at quimby's" section until this morning. It has audio recordings from almost two-dozen events, although the one I really wanted to hear (Al Burian) is broken.

Night Life in Chicago

...circa 1959. [via]

The Life of a City Squirrel

UIC biologist Joel Brown wants to know how squirrels survive the dangers of city life in Chicago.

Like MovieFone, But Faster

Jellyvision has launched the "Daily Dis or Dat," a quick flash trivia game based on their popular "You Don't Know Jack" series. Press buttons and win (virtual) cash!

YoChicago's Pilsen Week

YoChicago is dedicating much of this week's coverage to Pilsen, with reviews, real estate coverage, and much more. Their YouTube Pilsen playlist is especially worth checking out.

Trim the Tree, Southpaw-Style

(Or Rachel Ray-style, or Stacy Keach-style.) You've only got six days remaining to bid on anything that strikes your fancy in the Tribune's celebrity ornament auction.

Tracking the Tracked

From the team behind the political aggregator Real Clear Politics comes BuzzTracker -- as if you needed another way to keep up on celebrities. (To be fair, you can track lots of other stuff, too.)

Attendance is Optional

Optional Events is a colorfully presented event calendar, with more of an activist bent to the listings.

Unspin Your City

Amazon just unveiled Unspun, a new ranking site where users rank such things as the best small live music venues in Chicago, best websites about the city, best coffee houses... lots here, and lots to do to clean up duplicates and typos. (It runs on Ruby on Rails, but this isn't the rumored Amazon-37signals collaboration.)

Johnny Five, Alive!

A number of robots will soon see action in Chicago. Oh, and one of them is named "Frank."

The Virtual Quad

Since college kids don't have enough online personae to manage, what with MySpace pages, Facebook profiles and Xanga blogs, UIC is exploring the possibility of a school-wide implementation of LiveJournal. The goal? Building community via an informal mode of student, faculty and staff interaction.

Mascara Runs on Grand Scale

Downtown ad agency Leo Burnett is behind a weather-sensitive billboard for cosmetics that's got the internet going nuts.

"I work in a eats house"

Found in a 1913 book: sketches by an unknown Chicagoan who apparently worked as a waiter. In the comments of this blog post, some speculate it's the work of Chicago cartoonist and animator Andy Hettinger.

Yes, Our Cabbies are That Good

One might think that 5,700 complaints against Chicago cab drivers would be a record high, but it's a 17% drop.

That's a Lot of Campers

Recent Detour subjects 37signals hit a big milestone today: a million users of its Basecamp software.

Base Camp Best Buy

Console Camp, a new, Chicago-based game console blog, carries news and will provide details about the best camping spots for the Wii and the PS3. And in the spirit of democratic media, you can even post to it via email!

Google-meisters

For its Chicago Fame 150, Newcity determined celebrity the 21st century way: it compiled a list of Google hits. Winning by a landslide, Oprah. No surprise there. The methodology does lead to some odd results: surely more people know who Hugh Hefner (19) is than Rod Blagojevich (17)? Still, there are amusing comparisons to be made. Jim DeRogatis (93) handily beats out Greg Kot (136), while Crede (77) slides in one spot above Iguchi (78).

Independent News In Training

A group of graduate students at the Medill School of Journalism recently founded The Methods Reporter to share their unpublished work. The stories have a broad range, and they have particularly interesting coverage of community-based arts.

The Sausage Vat Murderer vs. H. H. Holmes

How much do you know about bizarre Chicagoland murders? Take this short quiz and find out!

Where was August in November?

I read recently that, in the future, search engines will be able to reveal people's whereabouts at a given time, simply by the electronic footprints they've left. For now, though, that information is mostly captured voluntarily, making it largely the provenance of blogs. So it is that, if ever asked where screenwriter John August was when he started a play in late 2006, you can boldly answer "Chicago" -- qualified, as he notes for posterity, "technically, Evanston." [via]

Going Negative 101

Regardless of who wins, tomorrow will bring some sense of relief when we finally see an end to the televised blitzkrieg of political attack ads. A couple of years ago, political science professor John G. Geer published a book in which he argued that such negative ads were actually good for the democratic process. Fair enough, as one of Geer's colleagues has recently demonstrated, provided you don't mind wearing the target.

Project Gridiron

Our friends at Coudal have been awfully busy shipping Sixteen Straight tees. It's only natural folks would want to show them off.

Yellow Fade Special

If, after reading this week's Detour, you're curious about the 37signals mantra, you can now get Getting Real for free.

Beat-Bike v.1

Chicagoan Michael Una built this neat combination of bicycle and drum machine for Chicago Artists' Month (that's October to the uninitiated). "Beat-Bike v.1 rewards exercise and coordination with funky outer-space disco beats," says Una. Who are we to argue?

In the Market for a Rollercoaster?

If so, head out to East Dundee for the Santa's Village auction. Don't forget to check out the full catalog [PDF] and supplementary photos so you'll be fully prepared to bid.

Optimized Around Happiness

You know you've made it in the world of software when Apple does a promo video about how much you love your Mac and OS X. But that's business as usual for 37signals lately, I guess. Read up on the Chicago-based web dev. firm in next week's Detour.

Bears, Oil and the Mob

If I had the inside line on a conspiracy involving former Chicago Bears great Ed O'Bradovich, fraud, oil and the mob, I don't know if YouTube is the place I'd turn. But that seems to be the only place Joe Weinbender is telling his story.

What Becomes of the Settling-Minded?

A follow-up on Mr. Undateable: Brian Wolf of "Settle For" fame has had some luck. While they've not yet reached the boyfriend / girlfriend stage, he tells NPR that he's currently seeing someone special. Hope springs eternal.

"For the Not-So-Safe Driver"

Looks like the Chicago Bike Federation has a new website for their Drive With Care campaign. At first, I thought it was real, but then I knew that any memorial like "The Brittany" had to be too good to be true. Well done, chaps.

Share Your Secret -- Temporarily

Call 773/394-2017 and confess your secret. It will then be exposed -- but only for a day -- at One Day Secret.

Open Letter to Criminals: Stay Away from MySpace

Another from our neck of the woods.

Jean Le has a posse

Have you been down by Wicker Park and seen an Asian guy dressed in loincloth and knee socks, rocking out on his headphones? You haven't? Well, you'd better check out his Flickr fan group then, hadn't you?

Navy Pier (dot com) for Sale

How long do you think it'll take the City to notice they forgot to renew navypier.com? [Update: They renewed it. Screenshot here for posterity.]

Podcast addicts, rejoice!

insideChicago can provide you with another fix. It currently produces two programs: STOP! Police, a weekly news of the weird podcast, and insideChicago, an offbeat arts and entertainment video podcast that is published twice a week.

What's the worst building in your neighborhood?

Following the Tribune's list of ugly Loop buildings, the Chicago Journal is asking for nominations for the worst buildings in your neighborhood. There's only one nomination so far, so let the archislaying begin.

Stripping for the Lord

Via Coudal, the website of a woman whose autobiography's title only tells part of the story: Kellie Everts: I Strip for God. Not safe for work, obviously, and I only post it here because of a lengthy book exerpt of her experiences at the Chicago Playboy Club in 1978.

Worst Music Video Ever?

While Chicago has put out some good videos in recent years (see: OK Go), this video from Jan Terri from 1993 is the exact opposite. I'm not really sure what to think: that it's actually from 1993 but looks like it's from the 80's or how cheesy Chicago looks. However, I have that chorus stuck in my head! [via Jennifer]

Undateable Chicagoan Profiled

Unable to make a love connection via existing dating websites, plucky Brian Wolf has taken matters into his own hands with settleforbrian.com and scored the cover of today's Red Eye in the process.

Murderers in Your Extended Network

Killers have moved into MySpace. The social networking juggernaut removed a profile for Laurie Dann, who shot six kids in a Winnetka school in 1988, over the weekend. Profiles of serial killers John Wayne Gacey, Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer are still up, for now.

suntimes.com Redesigned

The Sun-Times launched a redesigned website Monday night; it looks swell, but they also changed the way their URLs are built, so any links to articles that worked yesterday are now completely useless. [Matt adds: I'm not sure how swell it looks, but it's not just the links that are obsolete -- the old RSS feeds are, as well, so you'll apparently need to resubscribe. Beyond that, here's the site tooting its own horn.] (Thanks, Mike.)

Pilsen in Pictures

Ranging from parades to street art to "Gringos out of Pilsen" agitprop and spanning several years, Flickr user Pedro Juan's photoset takes the pulse of a neighborhood.

Asshand and Other Stories

Learn the legend of Asshand, read a recounting of a visit to Lebanon, and other stories in the latest issue of Keep Going.

How and Where to Eat Bo Nuong

If you've ever wondered about the proper way to eat foods like thali, bo nuong and injera, a Tribune video story has you covered. Watch the video and then check out the restaurants they recommend.

One Smitten Briton

My goodness, it's not every day that one reads a Missed Connection that invokes "the beauty of the plains of Kenya at sunset, the peaceful radiance of Annecy surrounded by snow capped Alps and the glorious treasures of Florence" and then proceeds to say they're nothing compared to That Girl on the Pink Line, is it?

Chicago Movie Magic

We all know that the Art Institute was a location for Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but did you know that Gerri's Palm Tavern was a location for The Sixth Sense? MovieMappr knows, and it will show you where Gerri's was.

Walking in Chicago

With all of this walking around Chicago, why not take an idiosyncratic video stroll through the city?

George Ryan Joins the Nigerians

You've got to hand it to Nigerian scammers: they're on top of current affairs. The May Report published an email scam using the George Ryan corruption case as its set-up. [via]

TECH Cocktail, the Sequel

TECH Cocktail, a social occasion for the Chicago tech scene, has announced its next event: pencil it in for October 12 at The Gramercy. RSVP here.

6 Degrees of Bob Dylan

How well do you know your Dylan trivia? Well enough to connect, say, Sid Vicious to Robert Zimmerman in six steps or less? Find out with Coudal Partners' latest diversion and you could win some cool stuff.

'Fork it over

Idolator, the music industry blog portion of Gawker Media's online empire, introduces a new Friday feature today: Pick of the 'Fork, a challenge for readers to try and identify the tortuously worded sentence that was not used in a Pitchfork review. (Previous stellar example of Pitchfork-mocking: David Cross' essay on fake CDs for real Pitchfork reviews.)

So I Guess Indy Cars aren't Street Legal

Does anyone know why there was an Indy racecar pulled over on Damen the other night?

Watch that Scene

An oldie, but a goodie that I don't see that we've ever mentioned on GB: Steve Delahoyde's "238 Miles" or "I Drove for Five Hours, from Chicago to Iowa City, and Listened to ABBA's 'Dancing Queen' the Entire Way."

The Best of What You're Not Clicking

Congrats to Chicago blogs (and FoGB) Bookslut and Coudal Partners who were chosen by PCmagazine as part of their list of the Top 99 Websites You Don't Know About. Of course, we know, and we love.

Chicago: Present at the Creation

NPR's Present at the Creation provides unique insight to some Chicago-related icons. Our fair city pops up in some obvious place like Animal House, A Raisin in the Sun , and Nighthawks, but it's also there for Cracker Jacks!

Chicago's living history

Flickr geotaggers and those viewing one recent post may have noticed that Chicago's historic neighborhoods like Little Hell and Shantytown are alive on the Internet. Other interesting locations include the Berkeley Cottages and Packingtown.

Tag, You're It

As Flickr and Upcoming announce new features today, geotagging looks like it's about to blow up. As of this posting, there were 150 photos displayed on a broadly defined Chicago map; expect that number to be significantly higher in a day or two, especially as previously tagged photos are imported. (And, for kicks, I tried the Upcoming event-tagging, using Lollapalooza as a test case. Sure enough, it worked! So neato.)

Learn Japanese

Kanjii alive is "a searchable, web-based tool to help beginning and intermediate level Japanese language learners read and write kanji." It is a free program that was developed by folks at the University of Chicago, and it is definitely worth checking out, even if you have no specific interest in learning the language. QuickTime 6.0 or higher is required to use Kanjii alive.

A Newer, Larger Punk Planet

Taking another step away from scissors, glue, and late night photocopying sessions, our city's very own Punk Planet has redesigned and expanded its website. Of particular note is the addition of user blogs.

Psychedelia Never Died...

...it just got reinvigorated in the hands of the Delicious Design League.

What HappensThere Shows Up Here

For those who've never heard of Craigslist, there's always the old-school option: flyering Wicker Park cars looking for a girl you once met -- well, okay, kinda met -- in Las Vegas.

Expertocity

You've been writing that article about wine and trust and deception for a few weeks now, but it's missing that certain something. Could it be a quote from a local expert?

Chicago: Green Fashion Capital of the U.S.?

The city's recent appointment of Melissa Turner as Chicago's fashion czarina brought a challenge from treehugger: become the green fashion capital of the U.S. Designers, will you embrace the challenge?

Talk About Real Estate

YoChicago launched a massive forums section yesterday, covering every nook and cranny of the city and many suburbs. Get in on the ground floor.

The Terra Museum (Virtually) Lives!

Those of us who miss the Terra Museum (formerly at 666 N Michigan, now the home of the temporary Motorola store) can now visit our favorite paintings online. The site also includes information about where the collection can be seen in person--part of it is still in Chicago, at the Art Institute.

500 Corpses

An Exquisite Corpse, the locally based collaborative art project site created by friend of GB Phineas X. Jones (and run on a CMS by GB MVP Jim Allenspach), posted the 500th corpse since its relaunch today. (It's technically the 627th corpse if you count from the beginning of the site, but why do that?)

The Journey is the Destination

If you're yearning for some travel (video), check out YouTube user Srovetz's atmospheric videos documenting his train and car travel throughout the country. There are too many Chicago related videos to post here, but some train segments include Kansas City to Chicago, Chicago to New Orleans, and Chicago to New York.

Craigslist of One's Own

Some time in the very recent past -- quite possibly today -- Craigslist split its local listings into five regional categories: City of Chicago, North Chicagoland, West Chicagoland, South Chicagoland, and, reaching a bit further, Northwest Indiana. Which means, of course, you'll never have to read about a Missed Connection in Palatine or rental ad for an apartment in Northbrook again.

Your Moment of Mapping Zen

"Community areas in Chicago, isolated from context."

Techies Meet Here

Looking for a technology group to meet with? Let Tech Social be your guide.

More Midwestern Pride

Meet another website devoted to the wonders of the Midwest: Midwestern Goodness. While they have content from around the region, they recently filmed a short video tour in Chicago. More Chicago content is in the works.

R.A.M.B.L.E.

Friend of GB, scooterist, designer and vegan guide making extraordinaire, PJ Chmiel hits the open road on his scooter on a tour he calls the 2006 R.A.M.B.L.E. Ambitious in scope, it should be quite a ride. Follow along when he kicks off tomorrow.

A Different Kind of Heat

Zillow offers an interesting graphic representation of cost per square foot for Chicagoland real estate: a "heat map."

Today's Forecast: a Seiche

Sunday's Coastal Flood Statement predicts a seiche caused by severe thunderstorms. While not uncommon, they have caused considerable damage in Chicago. In 1954, an eight to ten foot reflective wave caused by a seiche drowned eight people (page 24) and swept dozens into the lake (page 67). But don't worry: today's seiche should be less than a foot tall.

Threadless Ink

When you really love that Threadless tshirt design so much, that you never want to take it off...get it tattooed.

Another Collection That Could Only Exist Online

FoGB Coudal Partners' Museum of Online Museums was featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" yesterday.

Chicago Stolen Bike Registry

Via the RedEye, a link to the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry: register or look up bikes reported as stolen in the city. It's a great idea, and serves a real need; however, it's not automated, and site creator Howard Kaplan has to manually send out e-mails to listserv subscribers. If you've got some web skills, why not lend a hand?

CTA Fries Electonics

At least, potentially. CTA Tattler has updated their entry about the hidden electrical outlet on el cars to reflect that you run the risk of killing your appliance via a devastating power surge, as the outlet gets its power from the third rail.

Thinking Allowed in Chicago

In 2002, BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed visited Chicago to do a five-part series about the city in the spirit of early Chicago School sociologists. With interviews from prominent Chicago academics, musicians, and public thinkers, the programs are surprisingly fresh four years later.

Songs: Illinois

songs:illinois is an excellent little mp3 blog run by Craig Bonell in Oak Park. There's definitely a folk/ acoustic/ singer-songwriter focus but what excites me personally is that I've only heard of maybe one artist on the homepage. A nice deviation from Pitchfork and the like, dig in and discover some new tunes.

My Favorite Webcomic

Multiplex, by former GB film critic Gordon McAlpin, turns one year old today with its 75th strip, "Pirates of Pirates of the Caribbean."

Share a Beer

Introducing Coastr, "a social guide to beer," produced by local design team Luckymonk.

Priceline Hotels on Google Maps

Oh boy, there's nothing I like more than Chicago-centric Google Maps hacks. Check out this mashup with the BetterBidding Priceline/Hotwire hotel forums: click on a location to access information about any given hotel, including relevant user reviews and recent winning bids.

This One's for the Ladies

Gay guys don't have too much trouble finding themselves in the local queer media. But gay gals? Forget it. That's the way the founders of CHILL Magazine feel, at least, and they're doing their part to change things, offering Chicago-area lesbians an online publication "free of L Word references and [with] no naked men photos in sight."

Behind the Buildings: David Woodhouse

David Woodhouse Architects has a spiffy new site detailing many of the architectural projects that have come out of the studio. Based in Chicago, they're the creatives behind quite a few of the Chicago Institutions you enjoy today. Take a look at the site, meander the buildings and find out the inspiration behind each.

No more misses, connect

You may read our Public Notice column about Craigslist's Missed Connections. If you're absolutely addicted to them, you might be interested in delving deeper behind the scenes. GB staffer Jason Maslanka created a website with audio and video (including an interview with Craigslist founder Craig Newmark) called Connect to try to figure it all out.

Big Wheels (Little and Small) In Beverly

July is going to see lots of great bike activity in Beverly. First, there will be big-wheel race for kids of 100 yards, adorably titled the "Longwood 100". Then the pros take over and race in the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, where the average speed is 32 mph. Yowsers! This happens on Friday July 7th; on Sunday the 9th you can sign-up for a fun ride around the neighborhood, the Tour De Beverly where you can see the historic features of the neighborhood on two wheels. (Sorry, no big wheels on that one.)

Cafeteria Ps & Qs

In small ways, Mazzone's, local purveyors of Italian ice, do their part to make the world a better place. To wit: spotted somewhere in New Jersey, the company's admonition to "Always Be Nice To Your School Lunch Lady."

Wikiguide To Chicago, The World

The latest Google Maps mashup, Wikimapia, needs your help: the current oh-so-clever entry for Wicker Park is: "A favorite Chicago-area hangout for Hipsters and males that wear way too much make-up. Recomend (sic) avoiding at all costs." Cute. (Learn more about wikis here.)

Hubwear: ORD > ?

Friend of GB, George Aye has just unleashed his latest idea which I find frickin' cool. It's called Hubwear. Hubwear are t-shirts with airport codes printed on them: the front is first part of the trip while the back is your return leg of the journey.

New And Notable Chicagobloggers

A few new cool entries on Chicagobloggers.com: Mom-O-Matic, a great site about being a mom and still having a sense of adventure and humor; Porcini Chronicles, a woman in Milan by way of Berwyn who posts delightful Italian recipes and pictures of her adventures; and SariSariShots, a photoblog/documentary about the Chicago Filipino experience that's as beautiful as it is fascinating to take a peek into a slice of a different world from your own.

Face of Death

Legendary bank robber John Dillinger: Public Enemy Number One, patron of the Biograph Theater in Lincoln Park, and now, in death, must-have mantelpiece tchotchke.

Online Public Records 2.0

In an interview with the Online Journalism Review, programmer-journalist Adrian Holovaty mentions that he's "been collecting various public-record data in Chicago in preparation for the launch of [his] 'sequel' to chicagocrime.org." Sounds interesting, eh? Watch this space for more as we learn it.

Honey, United Switched the Kid

Friday at O'Hare, United neglected to wake up an unaccompanied minor who was napping while he waited for his connection to South Bend; his seat was taken by a 10-year-old bound for Taiwan.

Manhattan 60600

What if Manhattan was an island off the coast of Chicago?

Super Up-To-Date Weather

If you want up-to-date weather, and I mean, updated instantly, check out the nifty weather station installed in Uptown at Pete's Weather. Handy if you're about to hit the bike trail and the delightful Flash display is quite fascinating. If you want other local weather, the Wunderground's personal weather stations map for Chicago is useful too.

Chicago Venue Search Engine

A handy link passed on to me: the City's Convention Bureau has a search engine for special events. Looking for an outdoor party for 200? A meeting with cigar smoking for 20? It has answers.

A Missed Connection of GB's Own

Are you a "very tall gent" who attempted to strike up a conversation with a gal at the GB Anniversary Party Friday night with the classic pick-up line "How are you this evening?," only to be rebuffed by mumble? If so, she's looking for you.

SAMPLE

Ever wondered about the chronology of license plate designs has been in Illinois? Me neither, but here's the place to look.

Put That Digicam to Use

Don't know if you noticed this or not, but a couple of days ago, Flickr went gamma. Awesome! Now's the perfect time for you to check out the slew of new features and of course, join up one of their Chicago groups (especially this great one called Gapers Block. We gotta feed Rearview somehow, right?).

Look Three Ways Before Crossing

An IIT student created a small site examining one of the anomalies in Chicago's grid system: the six-way intersection.

Maxwell Street, 70s Style

An interesting photo history of Maxwell St. Market, 1975 - 1984. Contrast that with the city's official info about the market.

Your Brain Will Thank You

Our fabulous staff Librarian has mentioned the Encyclopedia of Chicago before, but I do believe it's time you visit it again. Check out some of the special features. Stump your coworkers with your newfound Chicago trivia knowledge!

Bring Back The Draught This Weekend

Thanks to an alert reader, we've learned that previously mentioned Bring Back the Draught is having a pub crawl this weekend in Roscoe Village. $20 gets you a T-shirt and surely a needed lunch; extra proceeds are donated to local not-for-profits.

Slimeball's Jacket on EBay

Hey, are you a jerk? Did you lose your sportcoat after groping a woman at a bar recently? If you want it back, it's up on eBay. Go bid on it. (Thanks, Benjy!)

"I Don't Need to Leave Chicago"

Crain's on Chicago's "new face of technology": 37signals, FeedBurner and TicketsNow.

Thanks for the Cash!

You thought your absurd and/or nightmarish MySpace stories were only good for amusing your friends; this Craigslist post suggests otherwise.

Loop de Looper

Looper is a "quasi-daily architectural photoblog generally focused in and around the Loop;" if only we could all proselytize so well about our urban environment. Read and be inspired.

"Chicago" is Good

Wikipedia's Chicago entry has been voted "good article collaboration of the week." This means the entry is "among the best...of Wikipedia articles, but...flaws [are] holding [it] back." To help eliminate the flaws, join the conversation. (Thanks, Sandy!)

Not A Gas

The Citizens' Utility Board has issued a press release instructing Chicagoans to beware of door-to-door representatives of U.S. Energy Savings Corp, who are using pushy, deceptive tactics to get people to switch gas providers. There's an account here. [via Consumerist]

Choose Your Own Missed Connection

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the (Craigslist) Forum."

State Master

Enjoy some Friday fun with statistics! State Master is a free site that collects current statistical data about all 50 states and allows visitors to compare and view data on just about every topic imaginable. Find out how Illinois stacks up against the rest of the country. Hey, we're third in the total number of homicides, and Illinois comes in ninth for the highest unemployment rate. And, did you know 65 percent of the population of Illinois lives in the Chicagoland area? Plus, you can get your statistics fix anytime with RSS and Atom feeds on the site.

Tracking Crimes by the Tracks

You might already check out the award-winning site ChicagoCrime.org to see what's gone down in your neighborhood, but don't forget to check your commute. The CTA Tattler has a story of a knock 'em, sock 'em fight on a Blue Line train this week, and also points out the ChicagoCrime.org options of checking crimes on platforms, buses, garages, and trains.

For The Commuter With Style

Dear Dude on The Blue Line with the Pink iPod Wallet, Take your powder pink iPod protection devotion to the next level. Thomas Pink's latest collection at Marshall Field's includes this practical gem: "The Commuter Tie". Pink's tie (available in Thomas' signature pink, as well as red and navy blue) has a pocket on the backside for your MP3 player and a loop to tame headphone wires. Pink's collection also includes "The Commuter Shirt." Yours, Gapers Block Style Team

Trade Ya For It

Swap Simple is a Chicago-based site where people can trade used books, CDs, DVDs and videogames with other members, paying only postage and a $2 fee per item ordered — which is reduced to free if you list enough of your own stuff for trade. (Thanks, Lakshmi)

Allstate's Paying For Parking

Early notice: Allstate's going to do a large media campaign in the Loop on Monday. And they'll pay for (metered) parking, as well as adding a bunch of car-themed art downtown. (Will it be as cool as the car spike? Probably not.) Happy Birthday, Allstate.

Now Showing

Former GB film critic Gordon McAlpin has turned his love of the movies into a great webcomic, Multiplex.

This Will Clear The Roadways

Have you ever thought that a perfect counter to the over-size sport utility vehicles would be a sport utility motorcycle? One that fits you and your friends, as well as your trusty machine gun or mortar to hold off enemy fire (wmv)? Even better: mount the machine gun on the sidecar (wmv). Oh yes, I'm not making this up, and it's all brought to you from Ural Motorcycles, available (sans gun) at Ural Chicago.

Want to donate that computer?

While I was looking for a place to donate a slew of computers I used in a high school classroom, I came across Chicago-based Computers For Schools. They offer refurbished computers to schools, non-profits, and churches at 1/3 the retail cost. Their dropoff location is 3350 N. Kedzie. They even recycle cell phones, too!

"Smack dab between Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular"

Before baseball fever fully embraces- slash-chokes the region, lend an ear to this well-made case for basketball as the lifeblood of the American city, Chicago included (McSweeney's via FreeDarko).

Can't Stop That Feeling!

What's better than an REO Speedwagon concert? A free REO Speedwagon concert. Can't remember their hits? Check out these great MIDI versions. (Thanks, Stacey.)

Two More For the PMF

Spoon and the Silver Jews have been added to the lineup at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival, which surprises exactly no one. In other Pitchfork news, they're looking for a local music reporter, and has anyone else noticed that the top Google hit for "Pitchfork Music Festival" is the rival Intonation Music Festival?

Swiffer-ly Winner?

A Chicago feminist, mother, wife, and UIC employee is one of the finalists in the Swiffer Amazing Women of the Year contest. Veronica is the 7th from the top and she needs your vote. With her help maybe Chicago will get voted "Cleanest City to Live In."

Red Rover?

A reader sent in a link to a craigslist post about a big fight last night in Wicker Park: anyone else see this? Email us at inbox@gapersblock.com with details.

Northwestern Crew Team Has No Boats

The Northwestern Crew Team was on its way to compete in South Carolina when the trailer flipped and destroyed their fleet. You can read the story and flow them a few dollars to replace their beloved boats.

City of Awesome Skylines

Luigi Di Serio's web site lists the Top 15 Skylines in the world. Not shockingly, Chicago clocks in at number two on the list just behind Hong Kong. Anyone who remembers their first drive down Lakeshore Drive at dusk can surely attest to our ranking here.

New And Notable Chicagobloggers

New And Notable on Chicagobloggers.com: Euchre Universe, a blog about playing cards that features an obsession with a rubber chicken; Shrinktalk, a site that encourages readers to share their experiences with psychiatrists.

Disco Ghost (Sad)

This is totally awesome--some most excellent paintings by local blogger joedevivre.

Keep Going to Nigeria

The latest issue of Keep Going is up, and there's a useful how-to on getting a postcard from Nigeria. Better than an email from Nigeria, I suppose.

Threadless's 10 buckeroos sale

T-shirt mavens Threadless have their pretty-often $10 sale going on now. Act fast!

CTA on 7" Tape

Any fans of the band Chicago that could help a fella out? (yes, we are Chicago heavy on GB this week). This gentleman found some old reel-to-reel tapes of the band, back when they were called CTA, from a show at Wine and Roses, circa 1968. Could they be thee Chicago? Maybe you hardcore Chicago fans know.

Chicago by Southwest

Friends of GB Jim Coudal and Jason Fried opened SXSW Interactive yesterday -- hear their remarks. Also, our own Andrew Huff is also there; naturally, he's reporting back.

More Ways to Occupy Your Free Time

If Slowdown just isn't enough for you, Matt Maldre has created Chicago Bean, a site which has nothing to do with the sculpture in Millennium Park. Instead, it's a calendar of eclectic events around town, such as today's lunchtime lecture on "recycling bikes for social change." Or, for those planning ahead, the WWE Bacon, Bagels & Biceps Brunch.

On The Block

Thought you'd heard the last of the Berghoff? Not quite. Hungry Magazine has a rather thoughtful requiem for the physical space, accompanied by a slideshow of photos from the memorabilia auction.

State Street, Streamed

Block 37 webcam -- you know it's live, as it's currently under a blanket of snow. [via]

Bad Hair Days

People watching in Rosemont should be extra interesting this weekend. The Chicago Midwest Beauty Show is happening at the convention center this weekend. Brian's tip for best bad hair spotting: go to the RAM in Rosemont. (Sadly, the nail competition entries aren't online.) UPDATE: The Fangoria Convention is happening this weekend in Rosemont too. This just keeps getting better.

A List Styled after Yahoo, circa 1995

Today's Tribune compiles a list of the "50 Best Web Sites"; Trib internet blogger Steve Johnson has put it online. I doubt more than, say, five of these will be new to our readers (sample inclusions: Defamer, Metacritic, The Onion), but your grandparents may find it a good place to get started on "that internet thing." That said, the paper is taking reader suggestions, so if you've got a favorite, plug it.

Temps Abstracted

This sure is pretty: a visualization of monthly average highest and lowest temperatures recorded for Chicago from 1975 through 2004.

Yet Another Google Map, Apocalypse Edition

Ever wonder what a high-yield atomic bomb would do to the city? You can find out with this handy mapper from Eric Meyer; Chicago is in the drop-down menu. (Thanks, Dan!)

"Inside Black America" podcasts

The Chicago Defender has several podcasts available for download including a speech by Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. calling black Chicagoans to "raise their 'low expectations' and demand that they receive economic and political parity from their elected officials."

More Fun with GoogleMaps

Chicagoist took a tip from its parent and tracked down the "Google Center" of the city — the point you see if you type "Chicago IL" into GoogleMaps and zoom all the way in. Some other city centers after the jump.


• geographic center of the Loop: the Chase Tower
• "Number One City Datum Mark," the point from which the heights of all city buildings are measured: Northern Trust headquarters, 50 S. LaSalle
• And the "zero point," the center of the city's grid, is at State & Madison, of course.

Craig's List Speaks

Reader Carrie points us to the official response from craigslist, from CEO Jim Buckmaster, to the Fair Housing Act lawsuit filed by the CLCCRUL we told you about here and here. Related: Chicagoist's interview with Michael Pensack, the executive director of the Illinois Tenants Union.

This Orchid Life

Ira Glass may not understand why Chicagoans are upset about This American Life leaving for New York, but maybe that's because he doesn't realize just how rabid his fanbase is. I mean, stud orchids have been named after him.

Rod And Hair

I am absolutely obsessed with Rod's hair. It's always perfect and rivals Donald Trump's hair for yucks. So imagine how surprised I was when I found he sometimes dyes it. And that our governor is pals with Spongebob, too.

Local Patents

Here's something I had no idea existed: Crain's compiles a list of patents awarded to local businesses and independent inventors. If that tickles your fancy, you'd probably also like Patently-O, a patent law blog.

Vid-Podcast? Pod-Vlog?

The hype about podcasts seems to be waning, but that doesn't mean there's no innovation going on. ChiHookah.com offers not only a podcast about Chicago food, beer and music (and, um, hookahs), but also video of said podcasts.

Tales Of Suburban Silliness!

After five years of looking for something romantic to do on Valentines Day, I thought this would be fun and different, Dockery said. Her reaction: "You're kidding, right?" Why the negativity? Yes, he took her to White Castle. Even worse: IT WAS PACKED. (Thanks, Stacey!)

Vroom

For the Sunday drivers stuck at their desks: comprehensive Chicago Auto Show coverage from hometown boys Autoblog.com. (Check out the podcast and desktop wallpaper gallery.)

New And Notable Chicago Blogs

A few new additions to Chicagobloggers worth examining: Cella Bellum, the humorous rantings of a law student; I Want To Be Donna Reed, offers the other side of attorney-ness, as a lawyer who stayed home to be with her child; and EmptyFree.com, a blog devoted to mp3s. I was just listening to song that combined Ukrainian accordians with hip-hop. A few more ways to while away time while it snows....

Visit the Show from Your Desk

Chicago Auto Show Webcams (to be online after 3pm).

Still More Beer

Still more beer: it seems that someone has self-published a history of Chicagoland brewing. A few samples are available online (of the text, not the beer).

Yet Another Google Map, Six Pack Edition

Jumping into the city's already crowded booze map field is beer.chicago.com.

Hanker for a hunka cheese

Looking for yet another source of great Chicago food writing? Check out Hungry, an online magazine that also features podcasts with top Chi-town chefs. The most recent issue features an interview with Hot Doug's Doug Sohn, plus product reviews and more.

New And Notable Blogs

A few new notable blogs that are worth a glance: chicagopunjabi, the account of a newly arrived man from India(?) writing about coming to Chicago. "And you know, I started to get the feeling that Morgan Freeman wanted these Penguins to die." Feeling Kinda Blog Today has a great sense of humor worth reading, too. And something from a Portugese student in Chicago.

Grey Lady Memoirs

What if the New York Times chronicled your childhood? In the "My Life in the Times" series over at The Morning News, John Warner is imagining just that.

Advertise And Promote Your Site

Two points for creativity: want to drive traffic to your blog? Advertise in the paper, like this woman did in yesterday's Sun-Times. But another technique is to utilize the new PING feature on Chicagobloggers, either to get more traffic on your site or to see what other Chicagoans are saying. Details on how to participate are here.

Craigslist 101

A Craigslist post that Shylo could surely support: How Not to Write a Missed Connection (otherwise known as "Get an anonymous livejournal, you jerk").

Target's a target

Target have taken advertising to the next level. This blog suggests that they've started using their roofs as a huge satellite view version of their billboard (as seen in this Google Map). Kottke suggests that this particular store however could be for the benefit for passengers landing at nearby O'Hare (as seen in this Google Map).

MLK Day on Craig

Oh, my God. We know that many of you are off work today in honor of civil rights great Martin Luther King. If you're bored, why not see what other Chicagoans are up to today? Check out this compilation of ridiculously unsafe-for-work Craig's List posts about MLK Day fun.

Ivan Brunetti in felt

The Fantagraphics blog links to photos of a cool-looking hand-made plush head of Chicago cartoonist Ivan Brunetti, made by the girlfriend of Chicago cartoonist Onsmith Jeremi. Can the Ivan Brunetti action figure be far behind?

Xtreme Website Makeover Part II

The saga continues. Reader and member of Canasta (who have a fantastic website by the way), Elizabeth writes in informing us that there are two Chicago based websites that qualified for the 10 voting spots eligible for a website makeover. One spot has been given to her site: "I don't know whether to be ashamed or elated." The other spot goes to the Chicago Lawyers Association (who might really need it). Vote away!

Pixel Power

As the Million Dollar Homepage sells off its last 1,000 pixels, other people are getting into the act. Chicago-based FundMyLifestyle.com claims to be aiming for a "really nice car," while ChicagoMillionPixels is going for the local angle.

ChiTownCitizenJournalism

The Chicago Daily News name controversy has apparently ended. Introducing ChiTownDailyNews.org. Ignore the masthead, and read the Editor & Publisher interview with site founder Geoff Dougherty. (Want to get involved? Start with the photo call.)

Work, schmerk! It's time for videos!

Work pretty slow this week? Take some of that downtime to watch some videos! You know what videos are, right? Those things that MTV used to play? Anyway, European music blog DoCopenhagen has compiled their top fifty music videos of 2005, with interesting clips from Xiu Xiu, M83, Animal Collective and The Decemberists making the cut. A note of caution: The Aphex Twin vid gave me a serious case of the heebie-jeebies. You've been warned.

"You can't un-taste these things."

Intrigued by the Jones Holiday Sodas? Well, before you run out and buy a pack of them, perhaps you should take a look at this taste test, done by a local blogger and his girlfriend at Thanksgiving.

Xtreme Website Makeover

Indeed it is true. Intechnic, a local internet solutions company, is offering a $10,000 website makeover for the worst business website out there. You can submit your website with a short story explaining why you think you'd need a website makeover. Heh.

Midway's History

With Midway in the news so much lately, this great site has a lot of information about the history of Midway. If that isn't enough, you can of course buy the book too.

And Then There's Bea

I'll admit that Bea Arthur has not been on my cultural radar since around 1979, so I was a little surprised to find out that Ms. Arthur is a strong advocate of women's rights and animal rights. Why do I know this? Because Chicago area web designer Kevin Buckstiegel told me. He designed and maintains a web site dedicated to the former Golden Girl. Check out Bea In The Limelight.

The "OMG WTF?" Shuffle

Oh lordy, lord. Mike Ditka in some 1980s video doing some rap and dancing with freshly scrubbed denizens of the leg warmer set. I apologize in advance [via MetaFilter].

Chicago In Song

Have you ever wondered how many songs mention Chicago by name? Well wonder no more my friends. These folks on LiveJournal have you covered where My Kind of Town, Chicago is concerned.

Cities In Motion

Here's a delightful urban photoblog named Road To Nowhere. So many beautiful pictures from cities around the world.

Video Killed the Workday Star

Chicago music scene mainstay Thrill Jockey Records recently updated their website, and have added a "Vault" section which houses every video made by the likes of Tortoise, Mouse on Mars, Giant Sand, and the rest of the Thrill Jockey family. It's the most visually and aurally rewarding work day time-killer out there right now, guaranteed.

Red-Line Portraits Of People

The Beautiful People Take The Red Line. Interesting B&W portraits of red line riders from 97-98. Be patient with the navigation.

DIY Sweater Design

I'm somewhat impervious to cold, but I have to believe someone with better knitting skills than me has designed a sweater with built-in scarf and mittens. Any knitters out there know of an existing pattern for this? (Alternatively, you could enter the contest to make it. There's a PRIZE you know.)

It's 1987 All Over Again

Despite not releasing any new material since 1991, the band Chicago will be releasing a new album. The yet untitled work was produced by Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus. Their current touring season has them in Texas with Earth Wind and Fire and there's talk of yet another tour with Huey Lewis. Future headline: Ghost of Johnny Cash Summons REO Speedwagon To Studio For Possible Recording.

Meet Ray St. Ray, The Singing Cab Driver

I'm not big on cabs. If I were, I'd want Ray St. Ray. I'd be treated to his one-man show; an ongoing performance piece called The Singing Cab Driver Show. As Ray himself would say, "it's part vaudeville, part inspirational seminar and "More than a ride...It's a trip!" Check out the videos.

Olive and Mason: Bookmark It

If you thought blogs were just for people with cats, kids or catastrophes, then think again. Because Olive and Mason (two co-workers, who are secretly dating) are here, detailing their lives of working, betting and eating lunch. Required reading.

Who's Your Fave Derby Dame?

Are you a fan of the super-hot roller derby dolls in the Windy City Rollers? Yeah? Then vote for your favorite girl today. The voting ends November 9, so click now.

"Let's Learn to Read!"

Copy Goes Here: Coudal Partners, the folks who help to bring you Transmission, have made a funny little movie.

SWM for SWF on CTA

Ride the CTA all by your lonesome no more: "The Front 'L' Car is for Singles Only!"

Songs of the Sox

The Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros were asked to submit their favorite songs for Apple iTunes [link will only work with iTunes installed]. The choices are mostly predictable (some Pearl Jam mixed in with Nu-Metal and a smattering of rap/hip-hop) with one exception. Damaso Marte's choice was Britney Spears's "Oops!... I Did It Again." Say it ain't so, Damaso!

An Orange Sticker is Hard to Find...

But, it would seem, worth it. We mentioned the UpYourBudget Treasure Hunt earlier in the week, and it turns out the White Sox weren't the only winners last night. Congratulations, Willie Stevens, you're ten thousand dollars richer.

Looking for Loot down in the Loop

Sifting through the website for the UpYourBudget Treasure Hunt is a bit of a task, but, as far as I can make out, there are $10,000 prizes to be won in various cities each week over the next month. Tell you one thing: I'll be doggoned if the "North" video clue doesn't look awfully familiar. May the best gaper win.

Jenga Blocks are Falling Down

Remember the Jenga Sears Tower? The Sun-Times interviews its builder today, who reveals he's ready to knock it down and start on his next project, London's Big Ben. To that end, Bryant Varney is looking for suggestions on how best to send the Tower toppling; send yours to bvarney[at]nmu.edu.

Locating People In Groups With Frapper

Continuing the onslaught of "Cool Things You Can Do With GoogleMaps" is this new tool I discovered this morning, Frapper. You can map locations of where people in a particular group live. Some Chicago-based groups have already gotten into the act such as mommy-forum Chicagomothers.com and the Chicago Cycling Club.

Dating Services Illegal In Chicago

According to this post on craigslist, dating services are illegal. We've all heard of stupid laws before, but I hadn't actually seen the legal code cited. And what if you're gay? (via westnorth)

Nobel Alternative

With so many Nobel Laureates down in Hyde Park, we may be forgiven for thinking of science as a serious-minded and lofty enterprise; however, the folks at the Annals of Improbable Research are happy to nudge our thinking in another direction. 2005s IgNobel Prize winners have been announced. And while none of this years winners are from Chicago, we can be proud that 2004s winner for Public Healththe youngest IgNobel winner evergraduated from the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences. (Jillian Clarke was honored for her paper: If You Drop It: Should You Eat It? Weigh-in on the 5-Second Rule.)

Recent Media Redesigns

Do you do a little doubletake when a website you visit regularly suddenly looks different? That's what I did when I visited Crain's ChicagoBusiness.com this morning, and a week or two ago at Chicagomag.com. And a bit before that at CBS2Chicago.com. CSS-y goodness!

Urban Planning Is Fun Again!

The planners at Chicago Metropolis 2020 present "Metro Joe", a flash-based game for 8th graders to learn about Chicagoland planning issues. The game challenges your knowledge of regional issues such as low density sprawl; the spatial mismatch between jobs; and affordable housing and transportation, and is even kinda fun to play whether you're a pre-teen in Elgin or a cubicle-jockey in the Loop.

Jenga Sears Tower!

Holy crap! Some guy at Northern Michigan University built a 30-foot-tall replica of the Sears Tower out of Jenga blocks!

Another Day, Yet Another Googlemap

This one maps the city's bike routes.

An "Awesomedose"

Although LPTrixie.com is temporarily off the air, if you've ever been curious about the finer points of being a Lincoln Park Chad, well, look no further...

Yahoo-ification

Upcoming.org has been purchased by Yahoo. Hopefully this will raise this cool service's profile and encourage a bit more use here in Chicago.

Read Write Web

37signals has launched Writeboard, a collaborative text editing program. Read, write, share and edit at will, while all previous versions are backed up and retrievable. I know I'll be using it.

Get Tasty

SkinnyCorp is at it again. But they've moved from your t-shirt drawer to your wetbar with ExtraTasty!, launching soon. Go sign up.

What would I do without blogs?

Seriously. I've begun to turn to blogs to get more and more information that I know I'm not going to find in traditional media. For example, the Chicago Foundation for Women had a Symposium yesterday titled "Speaking So They Can Hear Us," which was all about getting feminist voices in the media. Right up my alley, right? Unfortunately the day job got in the way of me going. So today I go to Google News and find nothing. So I turn to my bookmarks, and find Roni's notes. With lots of pertinent links. Thanks, Roni!

Street Art, Chicago-Style.

In a city that's completely banned spray paint, Chicago street-artists have had to take creative and untraditional routes to get their work on the streets. Chicago Street Art, the latest group pool on Flickr, is starting to document all of the hand drawn-stickers, stencils, plywood cutouts, scrawlings, paste-ups, and installations that bring color to the all-too-often drab urban landscape.

Good food, served fast, money goes to a$$holes

And I don't mean the server. Being a server is a thankless, crappy, dirty job which very rarely gets you paid time off, health insurance, or many other benefits that most corporate drones can take for granted. And while servers run into other servers when they're having a beer and unwinding, it's hard to network so you can get the good jobs, for good owners. In comes Shameless Restaraunts.com and creates a safe environment so bartenders and food service workers can find out the dirt before they drop off a resume. And since I'm lucky enough to be a corporate drone now, I'll be checking through the list to make sure my usual haunts aren't run by "dillweeds", "jagoffs", or the like. Thanks, Paul.

Love Chicago

A neat little zine deserving of your time: Love Chicago. We do, you should too.

Smoke 'Em if You've Got 'Em

Recently, a friend left town to spend a year studying abroad, and I'm keeping up with his travels via Flickr. The other day, a somewhat inscrutable picture appeared in his photostream. It looked like a packet of candy cigarettes emblazoned with our skyline, but why? Curious to know more, I asked what it all meant. His reply: "In Germany everyone thinks that Chicagoans are so rich that they smoke chocolate!"

A Flood that Hits Home

From an unlikely source, CondoBuzz.com has created a series of overlay maps that show the New Orleans flood area as it would affect other U.S. cities, including Chicago. If we had been flooded, the water would have reached from Logan Square to 67th Street, and as far west as Forest Park. Just imagine your home, still standing under water after two weeks. Please keep giving. [via Zorn and Austin Mayor]

Crime Sometimes Pays

Many congratulations to Adrian Holovaty for winning the grand prize at the Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism -- grand prize being, in fact, a cool ten grand. Holovaty's site, chicagocrime.org, has been impressing users in Chicago and beyond since it launched back in May. Well done; we'll be looking forward to the promised sequel.

The Top Five Clicks (Allegedly)

File under: "If you say so..." About.com has posted a list of Chicago's five most popular sites as determined by daily visitors. While I can buy Craigslist, I'm a bit skeptical that the local UVa alumni club pulls more traffic than, say, the Tribune's site, which isn't even listed. Speaking of it, though, Daywatch writer Charlie Meyerson is hosting one of chicagotribune.com's first online chats today at noon; get interactive here.

Knit 1, Learn 2

Whether you're a beginning knitter, or a long-time crocheter, there's a new spot in town where you can learn some new tricks. The store Knit 1 just launched its website, but it's already getting into high gear with its vast selection of class offerings. There's a special class where moms can bring their kids along, others where the youngsters get to knit alongside their parents, and a number of general and project-oriented classes for all levels. Prices are reasonable, and they do offer a discount on materials. You can check out Knit 1 in person at 3823 N. Lincoln Ave. in the North Center neighborhood.

Haiku Generator

Push the button now
And computer creates a
Terrible haiku

Philly Swoons For Chicago's Corruption

In today's online edition, Philly.com columnist Mark Alan Hughes writes, "If Chicago is corrupt, at least it's corruption that delivers." He uses The Bean as an apt metaphor [registration at philly.com required gb@gapersblock.com/gapers1].

Open Letter to a Craigslist Ranter

Dear anon-86861632, It's been over a month since you posted your first five "Chicago-Centric Ways I'd Like to Kill Myself." By now, I'm sure we've all read and forwarded them on to our friends and neighbors -- heck, you made the Best Of Craigslist, didn't you? I know, of course, that suicide is no laughing matter, but, after vainly spending time on the lookout, I can't help wondering, "Where's Part II?"

Hancock = Gateway To Hell?

I ran into this interesting little tidbit of info on about.com: "Anton LaVey, in his popular work, The Devil's Notebook, credited some of Chicago's paranormal openness to its architecture, namely, the trapezoidal John Hancock building, the shape of which has been traditionally known as a gateway for arcane forces." This according to the book Creepy Chicago; A Ghosthunter's Tales of the City's Scariest Sites by Ursula Bielski. In my best Johnny Carson voice, I can honestly say "I did not know that."

Friday Banjo Spotlight

Did you wake up this morning and say "I feel like a little suburban banjo music?" I did, and friend, I have quite the site for you. Listen to live versions of "Oh Susanna" and "Boil That Cabbage Down" from suburban twangers "Loose Change and Friends".

Name a Bowling Alley, Win...Bowling.

The Lucky Strike on Lincoln is changing its name, and the deadline for submitting name ideas is tomorrow. Anyone who e-mails their idea(s) gets an hour of free bowling. However, if your idea is selected for the name change, you win a lifetime of free bowling at any of the 3 (formerly) Lucky Strike locations. Dude, good luck.

What's It Worth?

Wondering what that thing your great aunt Martha left you is worth? Chicago Antiques Guide is here to help. In addition to listing upcoming events and listings of local antique shops and auction houses, owners Ron (author of our Old Style column) and Brian will estimate the value of your antiques if you send them a photo.

Mapping the Nookie

Here's a whole different kind of map: The Museum of Sex in New York has launched an interactive exhibit, Mapping Sex in America. Using good ole GoogleMaps technology, the exhibit allows visitors to virtually thumbtack their own stories to a map of the country. Chicago is already one of the most annotated cities, but there's plenty of room for more. Add your own sexcapades to the map.

Budget Living

Tired of mindlessly supplementing your vintage bric-a-brac from The Brown Elephant with items you covet at CB2 from arrival to clearance price? Want to remain the homemaker your friends refer to as frugal, stylish and creative? Enter Budget Living Magazine. The current issue features tips for scoring a hot fall handbag, as well as sassy chandeliers on the cheap side. And, pssst, complimentary one-year subscriptions are available. Take your sweetie out on a budget date and tell her.

There's a Club for Everything

No, seriously, there is a club for everything. The Chicago Public Library has a comprehensive list of Chicago-area clubs for those interested in everything from soap box derby to Magic the Gathering to Esperanto. Check it out.

Chronically Cool

If you wake up everyday wondering if it's going to be a pain-filled day or if you'll be able to forget about your chronic illness and have fun, then Chronic Babe is for you. Local writer Jenni Prokopy (aka Mrs. Steve at the Movies) has been living with fibromyalgia for a few years. Instead of sitting on her sofa whining about it, she strapped on some comfy shoes and created this kick-a$$ website which lets you go from "Waanh" to "Rowr-sexy!" in just a few posts. Yep, she's not here to tell you how to get healed, just how to enjoy life while you're living with what ails you. And if you want to support this hot chronic babe, you can buy the Chronic Babe Bag.

You've got ads

Let's say you're a fan of Shylo's Public Notice column (and, really, how could you not be?). But maybe, every now and again, you get a hankering for some mid-week Missed Connections. Whizalert is here to help. The free service searches Craigslist and sends you email alerts based on your customized settings. Never miss a w4w in Lincoln Square again! (Also works for apartment listings and more practical interests, but that's hardly as fun, is it?) [via, and, as the comments note, you can do similar things with RSS feeds]

iButton-up

Hot on the heels of the iPod flea, Chicago-based industrial designer (and sometime Gapers contributor) Craig Berman has an idea I can actually imagine gaining traction: the iButton. Sized no larger than a 1" band badge, Berman imagines the micro iPod playing singles while adorning the blazer/hoodie combos of the hipster masses. Calling Steve Jobs...

Trib Calling

You know those "What's in it for you?" ads the Tribune has been running? Apparently the song they use, "Anthem" by local commercial scoring co. Scandal Music, has been so popular that they're offering it as a free mp3 and cellphone ringtone.

Today's Front Pages

Today's Front Pages is a very neat website that allows you to scroll over maps of the continents and browse the current front pages of the world's newspapers. Comparing which stories make the front pages in various parts of the country--or the world--is fascinating. Roll your cursor over the Chicago area to compare headlines from the Sun-Times, Tribune, Red Eye, Red Streak, Daily Herald, Northwest Herald and even the Rockford Register Star. Cool.

Christmas in July - MamaMeow.com

If you're searching for a truly unique gift, I don't think you can go wrong with the Mama Meow catalogue. Based here in Chicago, it is over 30 pages of cat crap like you've never seen before. The killer pages are the T-Shirts. Don't you know a friend who wants to celebrate our freedom with a Proud American Cats T-shirt or Ladies Of The Night. Captivating and bizarre.

Where do you want to go today?

An interesting statistic: Chicago, "the city that works," boasts the second highest number of goal-setters on 43 Things. Life can't be all work and no play, though, so those folks -- and possibly you -- will want to contribute their $.02 on why our city is so great at the just-launched 43 Places. (And, no, neither of these sites have the slightest bit to do with 43 Folders, though that site might give you tips on making the work and travel plans actually happen.)

Map mania -- way cool!

If you're a map geek, the new Google Earth software will blow your mind. Google Maps was cool, but it's nothing like seeing downtown in 3D and having the CTA, Starbucks, and highway maps laid overtop as you turn the city to a 45 degree angle. (Sadly, the Bean isn't in 3D.) Look for the 3D layers in the bottom corner for a truly rad view of downtown. (Windows only, sorry.)

Keeping Going

Local web quarterly Keep Going has released its summer edition, and it looks great. Features include musings on basketball from Word Jazz's Ken Nordine, a fascinating article on the Hindenburg explosion, and a detailed history of one of my first daily online reads, Suck.

Man in the Mural

Yesterday I pointed out a few photos of a mural at Damen and Lake. Reader Daniel X. O'Neil sent some more info. The man's name is Oba Maja (I think I'm qualified to say that is an awesome name) and he's a poet who sells his poetry at the Damen/North/Milwaukee intersection. And if you're interested, apparently you can commission him to write a poem for you. Thanks, Dan.

We're Gonna Do A Montage

Here's a neat way to search for images of Chicago: enter a keyword on Montager, and have it build a montage of images for you. Not surprising to see that searching for Cubs has lots of people, while Chicago has lots of objects. And Gapersblock has few pictures of traffic, but lots of Cinnamon. (wink wink)

I went on a scenic boat tour of Chicago and all I got was...

Burlesque Design make some very very nice posters and artwork. They also have a killer store with some of the best intricate silkscreened posters I've seen. But, the best item might just be a t-shirt they have (sadly now sold out) about a certain incident in Chicago involving the Dave Matthews Band — scroll down all the way to the bottom on the right. Here's a detail shot.

Wiki wiki guide book

Meredith Farkas, a local librarian, has developed an unofficial wiki to help out her fellow members of the American Library Association as they hit town later this month for their 2005 Conference. In true wiki fashion, if you've got something to share about the city, all you have to do is click the "edit" link.

A DIY Fairy Tale

Emilie Autumn was recently featured on HGTV's Crafters Coast to Coast where she made a pair of Faerie Wings. Some girls wanted to be a princess, but I wanted to be a fairy because I wanted to be able to fly and be mischevious. Seeing these makes me want to play pretend all over again. Thanks Roni.

Cruising the Stain

It was bound to happen, but I didn't expect it to be so skeezy: some guy used Salt Stain Mary (and a lie about a brother who died in Iraq) to hook up with a beautiful Polish immigrant. Then he posted the story on Craig's List. Ick.

Visual Chicago History

This is pretty neat - WTTW has put their video archives of Chicago history online and they are searchable. I don't know eactly what I'm looking at, but it looks neat.

All Smiles

A couple 606 alums have created a new website, Smile Smile Smile, in which a question is asked and lots of random photos flash on the screen. Simple, somewhat Fluxist, definitely worth playing with.

There's a new knitter in town

Or several actually. Eight Chicago-area knitters have teamed up to create The Daily Knitter. And it's pretty good and certainly worth adding to your list of knitting blogs to visit. Just because it's warming up outside doesn't mean knitting season is over. Quite the contrary, it's a good excuse for sucking up air conditioning in coffee shops.

Sam's Wine & Spirits: Web Updates

GB reported on the various violations and allegations against Sam's Wine & Spirits over the last few months. After a visit to the website to check on scotch prices, it is apparent many changes were made. First off, the Rosen family addresses the charges in an open letter to all customers. Next up, online shopping is expanded and customer accounts allow for easier searching and shopping. Lastly, the wine blog has moved locations, which means our old link is no longer active.

Left behind

The Morning News handed out its 2005 Editors' Awards for Online Excellence today, and there's one category that especially deserves your attention: Favorite Online Newspaper Redesign. Why? Because it points out that, while the other major newspapers in the country have revamped their sites, the Tribune's remains stuck in 2001. The only change they seem to have implemented lately is splitting stories into multiple pages, and who likes that? Plus, they don't offer RSS feeds. Come on, Trib! Chicago deserves better! That said, on a happier note, Basecamp, a venture by local web outfit 37signals, gets props as Favorite Tool for Handling Projects. If you're not familiar with their products -- Backpack, say -- there's no time like the present.

How To Find Cheap Gas

Gary must be good for something besides cheap gas, right? Well if you're just interested in the cheap gas, check out this neat Google app that searches for cheap gas prices around a region. If you're in Chicago, think Lombard, and ignore Lake County.

Tactille

Now you know that crafting is H-O-T-T-T, right? Well, Josi Hannon Madera of Weird Mirror wants to prove how S-E-X-X-Y crafting is, too. She's creating an adult DIY magazine, called Tactille which will blend the sexy best of handmade, independent designers: "from the semi-nude to the simply silly". The first issue isn't available until November, but to get folks interested, she's challenging you to create an Ass Hat and send it in. The winner of the contest gets a prize, but I think the readers will be the real winners.

Stitch and Bitch Threatened with Lawsuit

Unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard of Stitch 'n' Bitch, a common name for a knitting group that's been actively engaging stitchers in Chicago for at least the past four years and many other parts of the country as well. Debbie Stoller, editor of Bust magazine, has written two books with that title. Brenda Janish, ex-GB staffer and creator of the Chicago group, has been sent a cease and desist letter from a company called Sew Fast, Sew Easy in New York City saying that her use of the Stitch and Bitch name in her Cafe Press shop is an infringement on their trademark. Think this is bogus? I sure did. So I told them what I thought.

Geotagged: 41.876, -87.633

Yesterday, the FlickrBlog mentioned a new web app that pinpoints properly tagged photos on Google Maps. A few Chicagoans have quickly gotten in on the act, as Downtown is already very well represented. You simply click on one of the markers, the map recenters, and you see a linked description and thumbnail. The GMaps features we know and love function as usual, so you can also zoom in or switch views. The satellite images provide an interesting contrast to the photos, especially in the cases of Millennium Park and other spots that have since been developed. To join the fun, geocoder.us provides a handy way to find coordinates for your pictures. And, if you're looking for another way to put Google Maps to use, check out this mash-up with Yahoo!'s traffic reports.

Where the Buffalo Roam?

Not sure what to make of this: the Bisonarium project wants to turn Northerly Island, former home of Meigs Field, into a preserve on which bison would graze. UPDATE: Reader Jeb points us to a similar proposal for the site of the World Trade Center made in 2003.

CutieCooties

Chicago has a healthy toy scene, with shops like Rotofugi supporting plushie creators like FizzieFuzzie, Spasmodica and Shawnimals. You can add CutieCooties to that list. The sister duo make all kinds of crafty goodness (methinks Chicago is a hotpot for crafty folks) but I'm most taken with the Plush Toys.

Asianmack, now powered by Jeepney

Your favorite local-based music filter/reviewer and mine, AsianMack has returned with a fresh, fun and new design. I'm overly fond of bright, eye-catching designs that make me feel all warm inside and this new design makes the good content stand out even more. Nice job Jamie & co. They've also started making free legal mixes available for download -- a great idea. You can start with their latest.

Sleeping at O'Hare

At The Budget Traveller's Guide to Sleeping in Airports, visitors can share their stories about trying to catch some shut-eye while waiting to catch a flight. Airports are also ranked by the relative quality of sleeping experience. Coming in at number 10 on the "most popular airport to sleep in" list is O'Hare International. It is great fun to read everyone's travel horror stories, which include brillant lines like, "6 days later MY BACK STILL HURTS!!!" Awesome.

Upcoming Chicago

Upcoming.org has a bunch of new features to help coordinate with friends. You can now search venues, events and people, send email invites to friends and grab RSS feeds for venues and tags. Pretty cool stuff.

Heritage On Your Back

Want to wear your city's colors on your back? Check out this 'Chicago-style' messenger bag. (via Chicago Cycling Club mailing list, who also have neat Chicago swag.)

"I've Had a Good 20 Years"

Friend of GB Luke happened to take a couple photos of poet/fugitive murderer JJ Jameson/Norman Porter at last year's Bughouse Square Debates.

More Things to Read

The latest issue of Revol is out, and we've come across a couple other webzines you might be interested in: Keep Going is a quarterly produced by some folks on the West Side, and while Negative Waves has a coupla West Coasters on staff, it's mainly based here. Check'em out.

Sunrise, Sunset, Sun-Times

We linked to this awhile ago, but Coudal points us back to Jack Blanchard's "Sun-Times Sunset," a Quicktime time-lapse video of the destruction of the Sun-Times Building. It's now the complete demolition, and it's set to some really nice music by Frou Frou. You might want to follow the link to Fight For the User while you're there.

Nazi Landlord?

One of the contributors at Nacho.org needed to track down a phone number for an ex-landlord. She did a little googling, and discovered the landlord's name on a timeline of Holocaust denial (1990 entry) -- the woman is a Holocaust revisionist who removed her daughter from a high school history class in which the Holocaust was discussed. Read the rest of the story here.

A Chicago Comic in Paris

Recently Arte TV, a French television channel, ran a series of specials on comic book artists, including one on Chris Ware. Traveling all the way from France to get the story on one of our own? Well, that's kind of cool. You can view the video here. (Thanks, Eric.)

Cherry Blossoms Weep

Apartment hunting is a universal experience. So universal that some wise soul has written a haiku cycle about it.

Otium Launches

The University of Chicago's new online prose magazine, Otium has just launched. Otium features fiction, plays, an interview, and art. I didn't realize prose included photography, but it's good so I'll let it slide. If your New Years resolution was to get something published this year, note that they're also accepting submissions for future issues. Go get 'em.

Tense Forms of the Ephemeral

Tenseforms, an art and music collective, has started a new project called "the snow filled our tracks as quick as we made them." As Josh describes it, "Each day presents a new bit of ephemera -- a poem, a joke, a recipe, a painting, a song, or whatever else we dig up. The next day it's hidden away, covered (not publicly archived), replaced with something new. Folks can bookmark the site and visit daily, but the best way to experience it is via RSS feed. Subscribe to the site and there'll be a little art gift in your news reader each weekday."

Behold! the living Corpse

Former GB staffer Phineas X. Jones has announced the return of AnExquisiteCorpse.net, an online adaptation of the classic Surrealist word game Exquisite Corpse. Come peruse the existing Corpses (which feature work by more than a few GB staffers and friends), and if you feel worthy enough, sign up to help assemble a Corpse.

eBay fun

A little late for local needs, but maybe our readers out East will be interested in purchasing an "Official Chicago Winter Parking Space Placeholder" on eBay. "Endorsed by the Honorable Mayor Daley!!" (Thanks, Nik.)

A9 Is Watching You

A9, Amazon's search engine, has added a photo element to its yellow pages search function. Now you can see what a place looks like before you go and even check out what's nearby by scrolling up and down the block in many cases. Unfortunately, the method employed -- van-mounted cameras trolling up and down streets -- often captures vehicles and people, most of whom have no idea they're being photographed. Sepoy, local author of ChapatiMystery.com, found this the hard way when he searched for a local pizzeria and discovered his entire family up the block.

CTA Geek Out

Tony Coppoletta's online collection of CTA Stuff will bring warmth to the heart of any transit nerd. He has photos from station tours, a huge set of WAV recordings of the CTA Voice from the el and buses, and a collection of scans of farecard designs from tokens to the ChicagoCard.

Ta-da List

Everyone makes lists. Some people love making lists. All the High Fidelity followers believe in Lists. So, what do you do if you're a web design firm? You make a FREE site where you can host your very own lists. Ta-da!

The Odds Are Good, But...

...the goods? They are odd. So we say about the bizarre 70 percent marriage rate of University of Chicago couples. Contrary to my opinion, U of C Maroon writer Phoebe Maltz commends the U of C for being a "post-feminist utopia," by which she means that it is a place where girls are lucky enough to have guys within close proximity who care as much, or as little, about their appearances as they do. But have you been to the U of C? I'm not so sure this is a good thing.

Rendered Chicago

Blogger John Tolva has a little geek fun with the architecture of the movie I, Robot, which was set in a Chicago of the future. In this flickr photo set, he examines the changes in city geography that occur by 2035.

Tagging Chicago

Community blogs will always have their place, as hand-selected content remains preferable to lists of automatically generated links. But, 'tagging' — the process of adding keywords to posts — is allowing for the quick distillation of information, grouping thoughts together around shared subject matter. You've no doubt seen the Del.icio.us Chicago tag, and the Flickr Chicago tag, both great Windy City-related resources.

But now, the folks at Technorati have added a tag system to their site, alllowing for the instant search of a particular theme on member blogs. Check out their Chicago page, and you'll notice that it not only aggregates posts with the city as their subject, but conveniently consolidates each of the above services onto one single page. Brilliant.

You've got maille

Do you have lotsa patience? Does the idea of linking little rings together to create jewelry or even chain maille make you giddy? Then you'll want to take a gander at Blue Buddha Boutique. Rebeca Mojica has lots of classes set up around the city, or she can give you, and a few friends, a personal lesson for a very reasonable fee. Before you go thinking that chain maille is clunky and ugly, take a look at her gallery and you'll change your mind. If you're more likely to just buy pre-made jewelry, check out Rapt in Maille by Melissa Banks. Thanks, Fil!

Stay inside all the time

Ben Johnson offers timely tips for surviving Chicago winter, such as "Allow yourself the simple pleasure of getting shitfaced alone in your apartment. Bars are expensive and its cold outside." This and many other insights can be found in The Greenroom, the "improvisationally-slanted digital literary magazine" at ChicagoImprov.org.

OMG Clothing: SkinnyCorp do it again

Not content to sit on their massive pile of t-shirts, SkinnyCorp are once again at it with another t-shirt site, this time you don't have to be a designer — just a witty slogan will do. OMG Clothing works like Threadless in that you submit, it gets scored and it gets printed. However, this time, you're just submitting slogans. Pretty 'effin cool we say.

Wigle.net

Speaking of wi-fi, here's a detailed list of wi-fi spots around the world. I found out which houses on my block have access.

Gang signs

Chicagoans are proud of the influence our city has on the country. We brag about our comedians, our actors, our authors, and our politicians. But the Florida Department of Corrections, breaks down how Chicago gangs have influenced gang culture nationwide. There are also several sketches and photos of graffiti, in case you want to find out who rules your hood.

New Threadless, new contest

The good folks over at Threadless, who have been clothing those of discerning tastes, have an all new site and a brand new contest — $2005 cash prize for 2005.

43 Things

The Robot Co-op and 37 Signals have launched 43 Things — a site where you can track things you want to do, or rather, goals. The site itself is similar to Flickr and Friendster (and even integrates with Flickr and other popular weblog systems) — you can see who else is trying to achieve your goal, what they do, etc. More social software, more community building.

Scared of Santa

Kids + Santa = Fun! Or not. SouthFlorida.com offers a gallery of kids frightened by Santa, and the first 25 photos are from the Tribune's 2003 "Scared of Santa" photo contest. (Thanks, Heather!)

It's Friday, what can I say?

Are you a true Chicagoan? I am.

Why did the chicken cross the city?

Not too far from where I live is a place where I can pick out a live chicken and have it butchered and dressed while I wait. I've wondered how many people have found a chicken building a nest in their flower garden, 'cause I'm sure at least a few of them have to be smart enough to get away. I'm pretty sure the ones Kristin found weren't all that smart, but it makes for a good story.

SHHH!

Tired of overhearing other people's cellphone conversations? Don't want to know what the doctor said? You may be interested in joining a new organization, the Society for HandHeld Hushing, just launched by Coudal Partners and Draplindustries. Just download this handy PDF and get to work on a quieter tomorrow!

ISO Craig's List Success Story

CBS Sunday Morning is looking for folks who've had success on craigslist. They seem to be primarily interested in getting a wide range of folks who have had interesting experiences with Missed Connections. You can write them a brief account of your craigslist experiences, along with your name and telephone number at CBS_Sunday_Morning[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Skim the Fat

If you're looking for a constantly updated and comprehensive list of skateboarding videos, you need not look further than Skim the Fat. Pete and Jerry and The Army have reviewed (at this count) 542 skate videos. That's a lot. Some nice features include a tracklist of the soundtrack featured in a video, which as many skaters know is great because some videos don't list those and when you're trying to find out what song that was during that one skater, it's bloody nice to have that. Also send a buck in to the HQ (local, of course) and get some hilarious stickers.

Center For UFO Studies

Chicago is home to CUFOS, or the Center for UFO Studies. They have a library where they study the reports of UFO sightings and abductions on Peterson Ave. The site has some neat information if you're into UFO; they also offer advice on what to do if you have been abducted by aliens. Try to remain calm...

Chicago Fact Book

Need to grab some quick statistics about the city? Or perhaps you've always wondered exactly how many people do live here? Or how many people live in your neighborhood? The Chicago Fact Book, put together by the city, has all sorts of trivia about our city. (Oh, and as of the last census, 2.89 million people live in Chicago.)

Cataloging Sears

Sears Roebuck and Co. has launched the Sears Archives, an online archive of more than 100 years of photos, product info and historical documents from the company, from its first stores here in Chicago to today.

29 Days Till... Novel!

In just one month, you could write a novel. At least, that's what the folks at National Novel Writing Month say. NaNoWriMo is a motivational contest, of sorts, where willing writers begin their novels only at the stroke of midnight on November 1, and stop at midnight November 30, hopefully with 50,000 words to show for it. Last year, there were 25,500 participants and about 3,500 of them made it to the goal. It's free, and once you register, you'll be put in touch with other NaNoWriMo's in your area, for information on meet-ups and other activities. So get going, you're late already!

Saturnine Detractor: The Election Issue

A new issue of the Saturnine Detractor is up. They're calling it "The Election Issue," but don't let that scare you away; Ben Adams' feature on No Child Left Behind and his experience working as a middle school tutor in Chicago is definitely worth checking out. Actually, all the articles are good this round. Get over there.

Stasisfield

Rearview contributor (today's in fact) Alessandra Gillen belongs to a collective of sorts, called Statisfield. The site deals with experimental audio and visual art (with a strong focus on the audio) and is nicely designed. There's a lot of interesting stuff going on there so whatcha waiting for?

The Other Yellow Pages

Sometimes it's difficult to open the Yellow pages and figure out which plumber, electrician, or pizzeria is going to be any good. The Chicago Alternative Yellow Pages doesn't promise better results, but they do guarantee a smaller list to choose from.

Find Your Geek Match

Are you a geek? Do you have trouble meeting other geeks with which to share your life experiences? Perhaps it's time to check out Geek2Geek dating service. Its retro-styled site is filled to the brim with swinging, uh, geeks waiting to meet you. And it's based right here in Chicago!

Bye, Bye 411

How many times have you been out and said "What the heck is that phone number?" or "What was her exact address again?" If you have a cell phone and know how to send text messages, you can now get the address from Google by text message. Send a text message (also called SMS) to GOOGL saying "Schuba's Chicago, IL" and the address will pop back. Or, building on the fuel question about pizza from this week, say "pizza 60625" and see what they recommend. Now if they only had movie times....

Look at your Luckyface

Luckyface, another (but good!) online creative endeavor, has some standout features. Of particular note, the photo essay about the Burgoo Festival in Utica, IL is like getting small glimpses of lives you don't know and Left of the Middle is an excellent photo travelogue from Chicago to the wild west.

Where to Meet

Want to meet new people? You could come to our GB Get-Together tonight, but in a more long-term sense, you could check out MEETinChicago, a free service to "provide a relaxed, 'non-pickup-scene' social environment for people to enjoy." It's free, and there's a ton of things to do listed, from camping trips to movie outings to just drinks. Pretty cool!

Sex toy reviewer needed

If you're looking for some freelance writing work, and are comfortable writing about sex (and porn, and toys...), check out today's listings in the Writing jobs section of Craigslist. Adult film reviewer, Sextoy reviewer, Sexual health writer, and more jobs have been posted. Too bad there's no ad for a sex columnist.

New Revol

Ah, another issue of stellar art/design magazine Revol is now online for your viewing pleasure. They've also got some new pins in their store, My favourites would be by killer illustrators KozyNDan and those hot world-peace-goodwill styled ones by Reach. Good stuff coming out of Chicago these days, good stuff.

Boston Eyes Chicago Exhibit

The Boston Globe reports on a current exhibit at the Chicago Botanic Garden, titled "Plants in Print: The Age of Botanical Discovery." The reason for the mention all the way in Boston? It turns out the Massachusetts Horticultural Society used to own some of the items in this exhibit. But, facing a looming financial crisis in November 2002, the center sold more than 2,000 rare books and thousands more journals worth $3 million to Chicago (2nd item). The result of this sale is currently on display up in Glencoe through November 7th.

Got An Old Cell Phone?

I was shopping around for a new wireless plan today and realized that if I do switch, I'll probably get yet another new phone. Since I don't want to let my old one go to waste, I looked into what can be done with it. Turns out there are places across Illinois where you can donate your old cell phone. The phones are used to benefit victims of domestic violence -- a worthwhile cause indeed.

Luminosity

Lumino Magazine is an "entertainment centered" web publication for young adults, based in the Chicago suburbs. They have stories of national interest, like the current interviews with the cast of Revenge of the Nerds, as well as a Midwest focus, with features and concert calendars for Chicago, Milwaukee and Des Moines (Indianapolis will be added next month). Check out the recent story on Mark Prior.

An Urban Adventure

Coudal points us to Urban Adventure, a site dedicated to exploration of places people don't normally get to visit. There are a couple Chicagoland features: a semi-abandoned mental hospital in downstate Manteno and Dixie Square Mall, the one the Blues Brothers drove through in the movie. (More about Dixie Square here at DeadMalls.com.)

Stand up and Revol now!

A new-ish online magazine (in that oh so trendy pseudo magazine rendered in Flash style), Revol looks to be a keeper. Co-produced by a sister in Chicago and a brother in LA, they've got three issues up for your enjoyment and the newest one — a mixture of found objects, collages, stellar photography and miscellany — is perfect to wake you up a little bit this morning. It even features one of our faves, Brian Ulrich who's popping up all over the place (hint: he's got a feature in the new issue of Subsystence) As they say on their site, "Keeping up the fight."

Subsystence, Vol 3. out now!

Our friends at Subsystence have launched a new volume of their excellent web presence. Their events section (on the home page) is well worth checking out for quality stuff you may not have heard of around the city, and who doesn't like free downloads? I may be biased but the two photo exhibits, Copia and China in Polaroid kick a$$.

If you want to see your mate nipply nipple, just turn it hight and watch them blow away

Perusing the Craigslist For Sale ads, I came across this site by a fellow in Deerfield who's auctioning off his stuff; he's moving to Japan. The descriptions! I bust a gut.

Choose Your Own Thursday Night

Sixosix Magazine takes us back to childhood with a Choose Your Own Adventure tale of a Thursday night on the town. Plus, things you should do, but don't.

That Ian, Suspended

This would have gone in the old Cool as F@#k category we used to have. A quick disclaimer: the following linked URLs lead to mature content and is not for the weak of heart. That said, it's pretty damn impressive. Some of you may know him as "That Ian" around here. Ian's posted a well-done and remarkable video of himself getting suspended. By the knees. With hooks. Like a gapers block, we want to look away but just can't. Fascinating. Oh, and Ian is quite OK; he wrote back to me, "I'm bulletproof." But he also says "...this should never be attempted."

I did it, guilty as charged.

McSweeney's delivers with "Dave Matthews Band Lyrics That Take On New Meaning in Light of the Recent Brouhaha surrounding One of the Band's Bus Drivers, Who Allegedly Dumped the Contents of the Excrement Tank Off of a Chicago River Bridge and Onto the Deck of a Tour Boat."

The Making of a Home

First there was The Making of a Restaurant. Then for a while, Sandy joined us here at the Block. But now, he's back on his own, or rather with his partners-in-crime (a girl, two cats), tackling a new project, The Making of a Home. Incidentally, the site's design is refreshing and stellar. And of course, the content is good, you know, aside from that cat entry. We kid.

Another Blacklist

Swell online magazine Blacklist is back with their second issue. Lots of great stuff to look at and read, featuring an interview with one of my faves, Cody Hudson of Struggle, Inc. and another interview with our favorite designer toy store, Rotofugi. Head on over!

Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields

For your web surfing pleasure, Paul Freeman has collected information and photographs concerning Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields across the U.S. The airfields are arranged by state, and the page for Illinois includes facts about the former Glenview Naval Air Station, the Sky Harbor Airport in Northbrook, and more. Although not comprehensive, this is a fun site to browse.

Speaking of EBay...

Peoria, our downstate neighbor, is the brunt of many many jokes. Want to make a difference and improve commerce in Illinois? Buy FantasyLand, a strip club in Peoria and make that first step towards turning Peoria into a destination once again.

"Also, I'm Pretty Famous!"

You really need to bid on this drawing by Derek Erdman of James Hetfield thinking about Cliff Burton and a jetski. No really, you do.

606 Refreshed

In case you hadn't noticed, 606 Magazine launched their latest issue this week. Of note: commentary on the FCC's cleaning up of the airwaves, a point-coutnerpoint on psychics, and a profile of the author of Baghdad Burning, a female Iraqi blogger, and the city in which she lives. Get your kicks.

Abby Ryan Explained

I have often wondered: who is that Abby Ryan I hear so often on the radio? Many of you know her from WBEZ, but she does other stations as well. What are Abby's dreams? Her wishes? And an important question: Does she clip coupons? An interview at The Fish's site gives us a peak at Chicago's #1 traffic personality.

GB Friend Gets Big Apple Shout-Out

Hey, hey, hey! This weekend, NYC must-read Gawker directed readers to check out Chicago DJ extraordinaire Atomly! You might have caught him at a Gapers Block party or elsewhere around town. He'll be at Chicago's Cafe Lura on Aug. 18.

Third Ring

The Saturnine Detractor debuts its third issue today, featuring coverage of Civil War reenactments, pulp fiction reviews and Robert Downey, Jr.'s theory of a tripartite god. It's enough to keep you up nights.

The Collective Unconsciousness Project

Speaking of sending your dreams out there, frequent visitor and once-and-future resident of Chicago, Simon King produced TCUP: The Collective Unconsciousness Project a while ago. It's got a click interface and is wonderful to explore. It's pretty simple: "1) Create a Dreamer account. 2) Log a dream. 3) Explore the collective." It's nifty to see how your dream relates to the dreams of others and who else shares similar dream thematics.

Smells like an art project

Found this one on CL this morning: the Dream Machine. Call 773.486.9035 and leave a recording of a dream you had last night; if you leave a phone number, they'll call you back with someone else's dream.

Sock Monkey, That Funky Monkey!

Those wonderfully, freaky creations made from red-toed socks can be found anywhere, but did you know they originated in Rockford, Illinois? Probably not, which is why Joan Sage wants to get some publicity for the second largest city in Illinois. She's taking her seven-foot-tall sock monkey to New York to try and get on the David Letterman show (who she's been hounding for months), Good Morning America, the Today show, and Central Park. To cinch her chances of getting on Letterman, she'll be visiting Rupert at Hello Deli to give him a sock monkey as well. The odd thing is that she's using her own money to get to New York for four days. If you have a sock monkey story you want to share with Rockford's museum you can email it to Sage.

Help the Coudal

Our friends at Coudal need a little help: "We need a bit o help at the CP/Jewelboxing World Headquarters in Chicago for the balance of the summer and into the fall. Call it a paid internship. We need a smart, talented, motivated person to help us with administration and distribution for Jewelboxing and to do occasional work on other Coudal Partners stuff too. Youll have to do a bit of lifting and packing, etc. for Jewelboxing. It would be a nice part-time gig (3 days a week or so) for someone in school, and it may or may not lead to other things. Writing skills would be a plus, so show them off by emailing Michele Seiler (go to the site for e-mail address) if youre interested."

Naked Pranksters Take On Mac and Cheese

A great story about a very naked and (we assume anyway) raw protest against GMO food on the lakefront. Would you too rather run naked than eat biotech? If so, you should go to the Masks and Thongs party tonight to benefit T.H.O.N.G. Chicago. No, not Trixies Hunt Out New Guys. Topless Humans Organized for Natural Genetics. (Ps to the One True Trixie: come back! We miss you! )

Chicagoans go to Lebowskifest

The 3rd annual tribute to the Coen Brothers, Lebowskifest went down a little while ago in Louisville, KY. Chicago was representing with our own Brian Sobolak who took photos and Halo+Horns was there, too, also with photos. Can we get enough of The Dude? Apparently not.

Artmuck

The folks at Artmuck.com are funny. Like in this article, "Patriot Missle". If you really need some encouragement to go read that, it's worth seeing the photo of a girl with a firecracker in her ahem, behind. However, if you're more into less juvenile endeavours, you might really like this interview with Davy Rothbart of Found Magazine.

12 Dumbest Comic Overs

Your Humorous Moment of the Day: The 12 Dumbest Covers of American Comics brought to you by "Chicago's Finest Comic Shop", Atlas.