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Saturday, October 25

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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.

Galaxy's Best Dad

Fans of Jeffrey Brown's books about Darth Vader as a dad to Luke and Leia might be interested in the statuette versions.

GB Gift Guide: Terrariums

Ravenswood shop Alapash Home & Terrariums crafts vibrant little homes for air plants and cacti within small and large glass structures, making for gorgeous and low-maintenance gifts.

Bring Cal's Home

If you miss Cal's, the liquor store/bar/music venue that closed last year, you can buy the sign at Architectural Artifacts for just $7500.

cal's liquors sign
Photo by Ron Slattery

& Hold

Chicago designer Tony Ruth, aka Lunchbreath, has taken his "clampersand" cartoon and turned it into a real, cast-metal thing.

Shredding the Cheese Heads

If you watched the Bears win over the Packers in Green Bay last night, you might have spotted some Bears fans wearing GraterHead hats in the stands.

Kickstart it All

Just added a few new campaigns to GB's curated Kickstarter page, including a bolt-shaped shot glass, a wireless flash for your iPhone and a new fashion line by Maria Pinto. And if that's not enough, the Second City Network has another Kickstarter for you.

Horns on Sale

Still not cheap, but Specimen has some of its smaller "hornlet" and "hornling" speakers on sale, for those who want to listen to Andrew Bird's music in its natural environment.

Miss Illinois Represent

Tinley Park native and current River North resident Stacie Juris was the second runner-up at Miss USA last night. The crown went to Erin Brady of Connecticut. Juris is currently studying fashion business at Columbia College Chicago.

Havin' Imaginary Fun on Navy Pier

WBEZ assembled a group of hilarious details from the Navy Pier redevelopment renderings.

Nilak, Kimalu, Aniuk or Anana

The Shedd Aquarium has narrowed names down to four for its latest baby beluga whale. Vote on your favorite via WGN and you could win $1,000.

Leaping Barrels in the 'Hood

Robert Bacon is at it again -- this time he's made a Donkey Kong-style map of Chicago's neighborhoods.

donkey kong map of chicago

Find Things to Kick

Campaigns for a bike GPS tracker, a new lightweight 4"x5" camera, a landing spot for the tamalespaceship and more can be found on GB's Kickstarter page. And World Business Chicago is helping community projects launch on Kickstarter with its own curated page, so expect even more soon.

Help Bike Spike Get Moving

Startup Three Man Rocket hopes to raise enough through their Kickstarter campaign to fund a gadget called Bike Spike that would allow bike owners to not only track their bike if it's stolen, but also alert loved ones if they have an accident. (It's on our curated Kickstarter page.)

Ira on Your Sofa

"This American Life" fans might be interested in picking up an Ira Glass pillow. (Or maybe you'd rather have Abe Lincoln or Ernest Hemingway.)

Kickstarting in the Snow

An iPhone mount, improvements to the Comfort Station, and posters of Great Lake states are just a couple of the current campaigns on the GB Kickstarter page.

Caution: Scientists At Work

A local documentary film house, 137 Films, followed some FermiLab scientists around for a day in a new doc called Science at Work. (No need to head to the box office, either, as you can watch the film on You Tube.)

Better than Driftwood

Below the Boat makes amazing wooden bathymetric maps of bodies of water, including Lake Michigan.

Brick to the Future

Did you see the new LEGO Back to the Future set? It was introduced by Chicagoan Tim Courtney, who helps oversee LEGO's CUUSOO builder community.

GB Gift Guide: LEGO Bath Time

Berwyn Betty's Bath & Body Shop sells LEGO-inspired bath bombs and soaps.

GB Gift Guide: Classic Neighborhood Posters

Artist John Garrison has created a line of art deco-inspired neighborhood posters.

Kickstarting this Town

A brewpub, a suction-powered tablet stand, a reclaimed wood product line and a poster of ACME products are just a couple of projects currently funding on the GB curated Kickstarter page.

Don't Worry, it's Scentless

This Malört bottle candle certainly makes a statement.

Beautiful Phone Protection

Chicago-based iPhone case maker Uncommon has teamed up with You Are Beautiful for a special line of cases.

"It's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks."

If you're into slot cars and The Blues Brothers, you might be interested in this 1974 Dodge Monaco kit.

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.

Crowdfunding-a-Go-Go

A documentary about a neighborhood hero, a no-spill cup designed by a teenager, and an amazing-looking video game are just some of the projects on the Gapers Block Kickstarter page right now. And over on Indiegogo, you might be interested in this comic book about bands or this touchscreen watch with a nonprofit mission.

Boo-tiful Buttons

Busy Beaver's fourth annual Scary Boo-ton Contest is on now; submit your design by Oct. 26 for a chance to win, or just peruse the entries.

That Toddlin' Town

A great new poster by Starshaped Press.

Wooden Moderne

Design studio Uusi has created some beautiful wooden forest and farm animal sculptures, available individually or in sets.

Model Car of the Future

Among the items in Wright's upcoming Important Design auction is a gorgeous model of the the 1961 Ford Gyron concept car.

Ford Gyron from Wright on Vimeo.

Mixing Up the Flag

Circa Ceramics has an awesome mixing bowl set with a Chicago flag motif.

The City Sleeps

Haptic Lab has a line of city quilts that outline the streets of cities in stitches. Chicago's quilt runs from 26th Street up to Lawrence, and west to about Cicero.

chicago_city_quilt.jpg

Kitty Attacks Sears Tower!

The Sky Scratcher is a cardboard cat-scratching tower modeled off the Sears Tower (add your own antennae).

Ready with Your Insults

Slightly Insulting Chicago Posters (previously) now has an Etsy store where fresh silkscreen posters are for sale.

AL All-Stars to #TakeJake

Sox pitcher Jake Peavy was added to the American League All-Star Game roster after Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson was put on the DL with a blister.

Here's Your Line

The Chicago train line poster from Lineposters is on sale at Fab.com today. You can get other colors on Etsy. [via]

Visit Chicago, On Sale

Fab.com has a deal on faux-vintage travel posters from Anderson Design Group. There are several for Chicago, including this one of the Michigan Avenue bridge.

Saving the Memo

Field Notes has a new "national crop edition" out, and simultaneously launched an archive of the memo books from which they took their inspiration.

Rahmfather Mystery Solved

The mastermind behind the portrait of the Rahmfather delivered to Tribune columnist John Kass has revealed himself — via a note in the mouth of a stuffed fish, no less.

Hungry Chicago Stalkers

Apparently, actor Josh Hutcherson, who will play "Peeta" in the upcoming Hunger Games movie, has two stalkers from the Chicago area. His Christmas dinner with his family in Kentucky was more interesting this year than he anticipated.

Pin the Award to their Chest

Busy Beaver wants your votes in the first annual Golden Button Awards! Vote now through Feb. 24 for the People's Choice winner; the Poetry Foundation and Coudal Partners already won special citations.

Fat Tony Doesn't Feel so Great

Artist Ron English reimagines Tony the Tiger, the Kellogg's mascot created by Leo Burnett, as an obese over-indulger in his own sugary cereal. The vinyl figure is available at Rotofugi.

Flat-Packed Birds

Unison has your twee little desktop accessory needs covered. (Unison has an online warehouse sale this weekend, Feb. 10-12, FYI.)

Salivate the Date

If you haven't gotten a calendar yet, Windy City Pinup has a couple options for you: Babes & Bombshells and Chicago Outfit derby girls.

Mark Where You've Been

Jamie Dihiansan designed Airstates to go on the side of an Airstream trailer, but it could just as easily go in your kitchen or office.

To Your Door Service

A Willowbrook man called 911 and said that he "wanted to see an officer because he wanted to fight with them." The police obliged.

City for Sale

The city of Chicago made $3.6 million in online auctions of surplus and unneeded goods in 2011, and plans to make even more this year. If you're on the prowl for a Crown Vic, dump trailer or a whole bunch of old toner, you can scope out current offerings yourself.

The City in Fabric

Spoonflower.com is a place where designers can create their own design and have it printed onto their choice of fabric. They're currently running a contest to have folks vote for their favorite city insIpired designs. Lots of Paris and Amsterdam, but there are a few Chicago-inspired designs, and even one of Berwyn.

All Right, Just One

You didn't know until this moment that you needed a Space Jam cookie jar featuring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. It's available at Jazze Junque.

Michael Jordan Space Jam cookie jar

You might consider sending to MJ as a wedding gift. If $197 is too much for you, there's another half off due to some chips. [via]

Fitting Twist for Team's Logo

The street-wear shop, Leaders, carries crewneck sweaters featuring the city's favorite bull masked for either the blistering cold or an old-fashioned mugging. Its title suggests the latter.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 29

Johnny Sampson makes all sorts of interesting stuff, including rubber dog poop, sexy Skeletor prints and Svengoolie t-shirts.

Santas On Two Wheels

When Santa's not in a sleigh, he's totally a bike winter fan. Don your fuzziest of red hats or your elfiest of shoes and head out to the Santa Rampage bike ride on 12/17 starting at the Twisted Spoke downtown. Only fully-dressed Santas, elves, or dreidels are allowed (homemade costumes are completely fine). Details in Slowdown.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 7

Hello Chicago, a pocket guide to some of the city's delights, written by a Brit.

Pinning Up the Scene

If the TyK cycling pinup calendar is too controversial for you, maybe the Garter Girls Chicago calendar is more your taste. Featuring women "making it happen in vintage culture," proceeds go to Girls Rock! Chicago and the Nick Curran Cancer Benefit.

Time for Fun, Inc.

OK, last vintage toy post for awhile: H. Fishlove & Co., the company behind fake vomit -- which was created at Marvin Glass' studio (previously) -- and chattering teeth (previously) lives on as Fun, Incorporated, which also has a bunch of other wacky items and magic tricks to sell you.

Yakity-Yak & Yack

As you know, fake vomit was invented in Chicago. So were chattering teeth.

Comb Your Hair the Chicago Way

Two Chicago friends recently launched Chicago Comb Co., which makes some fine looking combs out of single blocks of stainless steel.

Now You Can Curse All You Want in Park Ridge

... but be careful about your gender "inappropriate" clothing.

We're Getting a New Moon Rock

The moon rock embedded in the Tribune Tower has been removed so that NASA can replace it with a new one sometime soon.

Roy Leonard Selling Memorabilia

Roy Leonard, a WGN broadcasting icon, will be selling hundreds of books, CDs and memorabilia from his estate Saturday in Kenilworth.

Not Your Mother's Cross Stitch

Or maybe it is. Either way, this one is a bit more sophisticated than the usual sampler.

Some Celebrity Validation for a Rainy Morning

Apparently, Miley Cyrus loves Chicago, so she totally wants to hang out.

Strange Finds

An employee at "a junk shop in a far North Side neighborhood" chronicles some of the more unusual objects that have passed through. Example: a VHS tape labeled simply, "Secrets." Oh yeah.

Crumpled Maps

These Crumpled City maps are pretty cool, especially the Chicago one. [via]

Handle Your Music

Artist Floyd A. Davis III repurposes vintage suitcases into the Gentleman's Boombox.

Own a Piece of Capone

One of his revolvers goes up for auction this week in London. [via]

To Chicago or Fargo?

Chicago makes a humorous appearance as a foil in a syndicated columnist's somewhat confusing article about where area youth should move.

Quite the Pile of Bricks

Lightning struck in Rogers Park this morning and took out some poor defenseless chimney bricks near Pratt and Greenview at the Lake Shore School. Luckily, no one appears to have been injured. Transmission contributor Dan Snedigar took some pictures of the debris.

Someone's Determined to have the Finest Wig

"Veteran detectives admit that tracking down hair is a first for them when it comes to stolen property."

Someday Our Spring Will Come

It's looking like a still-cool, faintly overcast weekend. Utilize the power of literature and positive thinking with The Poetry Foundation's selection of spring poems.

1-800-CHICAGO

It's not what you think.

Uncommon Design

If you thought the TikTok and LunaTik were cool, you might also be into Uncommon's iPhone cases. Both originated from the design studio MINIMAL.

Paper Airplanes

The 2-D kind, but nonetheless wonderful and detailed: a series of airplane prints put out by The Post Family's Rod Hunting.

The Other Sweet Smell of Success

Not content to smell like money? How about bacon.

Carry the Skyline with You

Make the glowing apple (or Dell logo or whatever) on your laptop is the moon over the Chicago skyline. [via]

Clever Apes Wants to Crush Our Souls

Many of your favorite facts about dinosaurs are totally wrong.

Shopping with the NBA

What people won't buy from Scottie Pippens' former home.

An Evil "MacGyver" is on the Prowl

Well, maybe it's more like mischievous kids are making a scene in an Uptown alley.

What Kind of Sandwich was It?

Other than a crack cocaine sandwich, that is.

Home Improvement Tip #4,678

Do not try to remove the squirrels in your apartment with a smoke bomb.

Beware of the Lyric Opera Patrons?

One Lyric patron was allegedly so upset that he was unable to enter "Carmen" while it was underway that he shoved a female usher twice, among other unpleasantries.

An Old-Fashioned Shave

EthicallyEngineered offers a shaving kit in a box made out of wood reclaimed from old tenement houses. [via]

Inflate a Business

Tony "Lunchbreath" Ruth and Mike Serafin have created Blimpus, an inflatable custom toy. And they're launching it with a Kickstarter.

Movies Are Love

See one for free (before February 28) at the Brew & View by filling out this survey.

Button Up for Blizzards

Busy Beaver has a button for you, Snowmageddon survivors.

Put it on the Credenza

Were money no object, I'd be tossing my mail onto one of these sleek credenzas by local designers LAPEL.

Already Thrown Away Once

The Thrashcan is a collapsible trash can made of reclaimed tire rubber, designed by Chicago-based Normal Studios.

"A Party Game for Horrible People"

Cards Against Humanity is a question game similar to Apples to Apples designed by Max Tempkin. It's free to download, but if you fund its Kickstarter, you get a deluxe edition. UPDATE: Max writes to note that six other people were involved in the game's design.

Born to Eat Brains

Mitch O'Connell designed some new zombie themed temporary tattoos.

It's Really Time to Say Goodbye to that Dell

So you got some new gadgets for the holidays and the ones you bought two years ago are, like, totally obsolete--a common 21st century problem. Don't trash them, though--Chicago Surplus Computer is offering computer recycling on January 8 at 3140 North Central. Computer disposal is free, and the easing of your green conscience doesn't cost a thing, either.

We Three Kings of Chicago Sports Are

The Fineprint lionizes Toews, Noah and Hester. [via]

Cultural Curiosities on the Cheap

Merry Christmas from Chicago Detours and Groupon: tomorrow, their indoor walking tour of the city is just $9 (normally $20). Watch for it!

City Submerged

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

Have You Misplaced a Snowball?

Perhaps today's Rearview image will provide a much needed clue.

A Crafter's Call to Action

The Needle Shop is collecting handmade, kid-sized blankets for Project Night Night, a charity that distributes childhood essentials -- like books, stuffed animals and blankets -- to homeless children. You can drop off crib-sized (or smaller) blankets at The Needle Shop, 2054 W. Charleston, through December 30.

NewCity's Number Ones

Cultural weekly NewCity gives us their 2010 top picks in vintage TV shows filmed in Chicago, food trucks, indoor make-out spots, and many more.

Bodies of Water

This map of Chicago neighborhoods is pretty cool, but something about the lake bothers me...

Chemical Plush

If the Star Wars photo wasn't nerdy enough for you, how about amigurumi molecules? Such as caffeine, or Christmas methane.

Remember it Now

FoGB Coudal Partners' Field Notes stir up nostalgia for analog note-taking, Reuters reports.

Slow and Steady

Need some help taking it easy today? Check out this footage of turtle racing at likable Ravenswood dive Big Joe's.

Ed Hardy Makes Chicago Shoes

I'm not sure what makes these sneakers "Chicago" -- the Asian carp, I guess?

Plush Bum

Fluffy Friends are some of the cutest plush dolls with teeth ever. Here's a sneak peek at the latest, from behind.

Reflection, A Little Personal Growth and Regret

George W. Bush and Kanye West may have a reconciliation in their future.

Hair o' the Dog

Local illustrator Mitch O'Connell designed this awesome tiki mug for the day after.

What Makes You Want to Buy Pistachios?

Perhaps you can add Blago to the list.

Steer the Segway Away from the Water

In other words, don't drive it into Lake Michigan.

A Little Cart of Home in Vegas

Of course Vegas proudly promotes "Chicago Style Polish" dogs.

World's Tallest Bookmark

Well, it used to be, anyway.

Be Careful at Weddings

This is particularly important if you're throwing the groom into the air.

Hate-Tee

Chicago hates you.

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.

Wallet Where You're Going

Which CTA stop are you going to? Just check your wallet.

A Memory from the Mustache Era

The Sun-Times must be hurting for photo illustrations, given their decision to use this 1982 photograph of one of Mayor Daley's pals for a story about water billing problems.

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]

Who Will Live at the Museum of Science and Industry?

You decide.

How Many Times Have You Been Arrested?

Darryl Marlow has now been arrested 253 times, many of which seem to be for "aggressive panhandling."

Kicking a Pinch

FoGB Craighton Berman has launched pre-sale of his awesome Pinch salt and pepper set on Kickstarter.

Look, Ma! Clean Hands!

Chicago leads the nation (well, four studied cities) in hand washing in public restrooms, but don't celebrate too quickly: 23 percent of men still don't wash their hands after visiting the toilet.

The Perils of Geocaching, Part 3,052

A suburban Menards was evacuated on Saturday when an employee saw a man placing a box in a parking lot light post. Apparently the item had been cached there since January.

Original Chicago Style

University of Chicago press is giving away a free ebook of The Chicago Manual of Style, first edition.

Peter Sagal and I Battle Dagger-Wielding, Bike Crash-Chasing, Pain-Inducing, Invisible Dwarves

There is an invisible dagger-wielding dwarf running rampant on Chicagoland streets who seems to be waiting in the bushes for cyclists to crash. One got me two weeks ago when I broke my arm after falling off my bike on the way home from work. I didn't get a good look at him, as he was invisible, but based on Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me host Peter Sagal's description of him, I'm betting we got jabbed by the same bastard.

Red, Brown, Purple, Blue

Chicago L Shirts have a thing for the CTA along a certain street.

Hecho en Chicago y Más

Show some love for your parents, grandparents or ancestors and your hometown with Formula Werks' "Made In" shirts, giving you five ways (English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, and Ukrainian) to say you're "Made in Chicago."

Got Wood?

All bad jokes aside, there's a big pile of wood for the taking in the alley south of Erie Street between Elizabeth and Ada, courtesy of this summer's bout of thunderstorms.

For Science!

Towers Productions is developing a series with weird science suppliers American Science and Surplus, and they're looking for customers who buy stuff at the stores to build interesting doohickeys, gadgets, and gizmos. Interested parties can contact Becky  

Some People Just Don't Like Mascots

Street poet/Muppet, Kermit once remarked "it ain't easy being green," but apparently it's even harder being a mascot. Days after a woman dressed in a Porky Pig costume at Six Flags Great America was assaulted, the Chicago Bulls mascot Benny was shoved and knocked down by an unidentified male in Tinley Park on Wednesday evening. At least he wasn't wearing a LeBron costume in Cleveland...

Everyone Can Game

If you liked Justin Russo's gaming posters but didn't get a chance to buy one, you might be interested in the limited edition poster he designed for AbleGamers. It's printed locally by Delicious Design League

Mas, Por Favor

No Mas prints awesome t-shirts for sports fans with a sense of history; White Sox fans are well represented. (OK, Cubs too.)

This T-Shirt is Bleepin' Golden

Design house Thirst has created a couple new t-shirts in honor of our on-trial former governor.

The Latest in Mold-A-Rama News

Rotofugi and Squibbles INK have been been hard at work on Roto-A-Matic, a Mold-A-Rama machine that's being refurbished to create custom artist molds. Meanwhile, the Mold-A-Rama in Lincoln Park Zoo changed from a yellow lion to a green gorilla this year.

"Crate & Barrel candles recalled for fire hazard"

I'd imagine so...

ViewMastering Chicago

The Wurlington Brothers Press, makers of those cool Chicago landmark paper models, also has a set of ViewMaster reels showing iconic sights of Chicago -- motels of Lincoln Avenue, hot dog stands and the remnants of Route 66 in the city.

Lost and Found

If you've misplaced your kinkajou, one was just found down in Pilsen.

A Brand New Plate

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

Trapped on the Market

R. Kelly's former home pops up for sale again next week for $3.89 million. If all you've ever wanted is Kelly's Looney Tunes bar, good news: it's available a la carte on Craigslist.

Lights, Action, Design

Lightology, the locally based largest contemporary lighting showroom in North America, is having a design contest. The concept must feature at least one foot of Lightology's LED Soft Strip, and prizes include a $2,000 Lightology gift card and a feature in i4 design magazine. More details here.

"Meet me at the Crotch"

"Use this shirt as a map." [via]

A Hyphenated Chicagoan

If you're German, Irish, Italian or Polish and a Chicagoan, here are the t-shirts for you.

Professor, What's Another Name for Pirate Treasure?

And have you been looking for it?

Why are Animals Converging on Chicagoland?

First there was the cat from New Mexico, then the dog on the Eisenhower, now it's the dog from Michigan. Something's afoot.

What Would Skilling Do?

Tom Skilling is off galavanting around the Great Plains in search of tornados, allowing us rare glimpses into his psyche. For example, he uses forks as pointers instead of high tech tools when he's not delivering his broadcast, and he leans out of moving SUVs to take iPhone pictures of severe weather.

SUElebration Time

The Field Museum's chatty T-Rex named Sue is turning 10 years old (well, give or take 60 million) and the museum's having a party and a fancy online auction.

I Like Ike

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

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.

Kawaii Chicago Dog

Shawnimals' latest creation will have your mouth watering -- and since it's plush, it'll soak that slobber right up. (Ew.)

You Say "Tomato," I Say "Dynamite"

In the strangest "he said, she said" argument heard in a while, a couple is arguing over whether the homemade explosives traded for methamphetamine were dynamite or fireworks.

Beings Made Entirely of Water

If the recent meteor and Space Shuttle sightings have you dreaming about outer space, perhaps it's time to revisit The UFO guy.

No Sign of Pods or Triffids... Yet

The Field Museum now owns a piece of the Midwest Meteor and are gleefully testing the relatively uncontaminated specimen.

Go Cat Go

Eight months after he went missing in Albuquerque, tenacious tabby Charles turned up last week in Chicago.

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.

Support Boys & Girls

This Saturday, come to the Little Village Boys & Girls Club's Sidewalk Sale -- your purchases help fund the oldest stand-alone Boys & Girls Club in the city. 2801 S. Ridgeway, 10am-2-pm. They are also accepting donations: call (773) 277-1800 for more info.

Fireball Run

A meteor blazed through the sky last night, sighted throughout much of the Midwest. Here's video of it soaring overhead in Iowa (arrives at about 0:27).

Chicago Hates You

Fake Shore Drive's new limited edition t-shirts have a bad attitude.

More Tax Help

Center for Economic Progress provides free personalized tax services for individuals making less than $25,000 and families with income less than $50,000. Their centers are staffed with IRS-certified volunteers and are ready for the final sprint to the deadline.

Tax Tacos

Whether you're celebrating or trying to forget, make tacos a part of your April 15th. Taco Del Mar (3955 N. Broadway) is giving one away: head to the website to print out your coupon.

Birthday Brow Wax

Men born in April to the end of the year, you're in luck: Halo [for Men] offers select free spa extras on your birthday (such as as shampoo or brow wax) with the purchase of another salon or spa service.

Health Care and Hoth

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

Threadless Loves Buttons

Our friends at Threadless and Busy Beaver have teamed up to make buttons of some top t-shirt designs, and they'd like some feedback from you.

Threadless Gets Pounded

Ever wonder what a Threadless t-shirt sale looks like at the server level?

See Serigaphed Chicago

Check out this attractive Chicago travel poster put out by design and illustration studio The Heads of State.

Boys Don't Make Passes

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

Flip Madness!

Are you the master of flip cup? Form a team of four (or sign up solo and meet new friends) for Flip Madness — a flip cup tournament on 3/27 at Mad River benefiting Rock for Kids. Beer, food, entertainment provided. Details in Slowdown.

Donate That Dress

Got an old prom or formal dress just collecting dust in your closet? Help make an Chicagoland girl have a happy prom night by donating your dress to the Glass Slipper Project. Dress donations are being accepted now in many locations around the city and suburbs.

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.

Enrollment Open at Hot Dog University

"Hot Dog University taught me all the hot dog basics."

Shagadelic

Hey, do you like colorful, cartoonishly illustrated visions of consumerism, with a heavy dash of 1960's and a hearty sprinkling of monsters? You do? Have you checked out Shag's new exhibit at Rotofugi?

A Minor Oversight

Don't forget that you leave footprints in the snow when you flee the house you were just burglarizing.

Never Going to Live this Down...

A Rockford police car and the handcuffed man who was driving it were reunited with the Rockford Police Department after the car was stopped at a Chicago intersection.

Comics and Local Politics

Not that you need another reason to vote in Chicago's elections Tuesday, but Challengers Comics offers a 15% Civic Duty Discount to to anyone who can present a voter receipt.

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.

Remembering the Montrose Sinkhole

Two years ago today, the portion of of Montrose Avenue adjacent to the Brown Line station caved in after a massive water main break. Commemorate the event, if you wish, with a newly minted t-shirt.

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.

Helping Haiti Here

Crain's Chicago Business lists 10 local ways you can aid the relief effort for Haiti. [via]

Middle Ages in East Irving

WindyCitizen blogger FruzsE points out some medieval graffiti.

Chengdu to Chicago, Fashionably

Windy City Times talks to Chicago resident and Project Runway contestant Ping Wu about knitting, Tim Gunn, and designing for frigid climes.

Need a New Chair?

How about William Wrigley III's? After all, it's on Craigslist.

Warblings and CHIRPs

Want to beta test the new station coming from the Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP)?

He Appears to be a Jewelry Thief

But will you marry him?

Own the Skyline

A good present for Chicago expatriates: a silhouette of the skyline they can put on their wall.

Restate Your Civic Pride

Starshaped Press' poster, "Chicago is still my kind of town."

More than Meets the Eye

Have a friend who's a Cubs fan and a Transformers geek? Here's that person's perfect gift.

Electric Fingertips

Tired of freezing your hand off in order to use your touchscreen device in the cold weather? Here's a clever Instructable for making a conductive glove finger. [via]

For the Naughty Ones on Your List

CoalGram.com ships a stocking's worth of anthracite coal anywhere in the country for $10 flat -- and gives 15 percent to the charity of your choice.

An Ominous Street Sign

Beware what haunts Printer's Row.

Tiger's Local Electrolyte Source

Gatorade may be commonly associated with Florida; it is, after all, named for the state's university mascot. The company that manufactures it however, good ole Quaker Oats, is based right here in Chicago and just so you know, we're standing by our number one pitch man, Tiger Woods.

Dressed Like a Scared Panda

Scared Panda is a new t-shirt company putting a twist on the standard Threadless model: submit a design and if it's picked you get $100 and a shirt -- and the charity of your choice gets 10 percent of the profits. Their first design is an homage to the Tamale Guy, which benefits Esperanza Community Services.

Flagged for Cleanliness

Wish the stars were better aligned, but this Chicago flag soap is still pretty awesome.

Threadless on Your iPhone

Threadless and Griffin have teamed up to put the former's t-shirt designs onto the latter's iPhone 3G/S covers. The first two designs went on sale today -- and we've got one of each to give away! Details after the jump...

All you have to to enter is send an email to contests@gapersblock.com with "Threadless" as the subject line and your name and mailing address in the body. We'll choose two winner as random at midnight tonight. Good luck!
UPDATE: Congrats to Nina and Kevin!

Chicago Cheer

The holidays are coming, and what better way to show your spirit for the season and the city with these charming Chicago Flag Snowflake cards from local paper good entrepreneurs 16 Sparrows.

Green and Gone

This Saturday (10am-noon), gather up your unwanted paper debris and head down to the parking lot in front of Jewel, Kmart, and Staples near Ashland and Division: WPB is teaming up with Secure EcoShred to tear up your printed materials for free. 3 box/bag limit, $5 box/bag after that.

Snuggling Up with Skilling

Are you a fan of WGN's top meteorologist? Maybe you'd be interested in a custom "Snuggle Up with Skilling" Snuggie.

Beware of Falling Ice

It will smash into your house, and you will be confused.

My Kind of Greeting Card, Chicago Is

A. Favorite immortalizes Sinatra's favorite skyline on a greeting card.

Not Just Ghost Stories?

It's near Halloween and odd things are happening at the Lake County Corner's office.

Taking a Joke Literally ... in Court

In Will County, you can get out of community service for $50 worth of jerk chicken.

Auctioning a Part of Elvis

If you'd rather rock'n'roll than swing, why not wear a clump of Elvis's hair while you're at it?

Wait Wait ... Don't Steal That Bike!

Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!'s Peter Sagal is among the most recent victims of bike theft in Chicago.

Cutest Day in Church?

Yesterday was animal blessing day at Grace Episcopal Church.

Fine Prints from The Fineprint

The Fineprint makes some pretty sweet Chicago-themed t-shirts and other gear. I'm particularly fond of this one.

Well, Does It?

Flier found on the Irving Park Avenue overpass. Well, at least it's an interesting change from the usual "Real Estate Investor Seeks Apprentice" signs. Note: Personally, I wouldn't bother calling.

Enjoy Your Ham Radio Operator License Plate

If you've ever noticed an Illinois license plate but couldn't figure out what kind of strange plate it was, this visual guide to Illinois license plates (pdf) should give you a hand.

Happy 09/09/09!

In honor of this calendrical curiosity, Threadless has made all its shirts $9 for the day. Enjoy!

Bwowwwww! Bwowwwwwwwww!

The Chicago Tribune, that great purveyor of folk wisdom, shows you how to build an electric guitar just like Jack White (in a dandy little hat) does in It Might Get Loud. Properly, you'll be building an electric diddley bow, which is much more fun to say. (via)

Trending Items

Chicago-based I Am The Trend aims to be your guide to indie clothing, music and art.

Hecho en Chicago

No Manches is a t-shirt company specializing in designs with cultural relevance to Latin Americans -- but I think just about Chicagoan can get behind this shirt.

Hot Dog Ballin'

Sweet Chicago-themed custom Lebron James Nikes by Jeffrey Zimmerman. [via]

Just Another Day on the Job

Ever wonder what it's like to work in one of Google's Chicago offices? Turns out, it's just as colorful and quirky as you might imagine.

Drinkable Art

When you put 19,000 bottles of Gatorade next to each other on a basketball court, they look just like Michael Jordon.

Behold the Power of Deodorant

Whether you're just freshening up after a morning at the gym or defending your taxi against assailants, deodorant has you covered.

Headline Ambiguity

Crain's recent headline, "Midway sale to Warner Bros. approved by court," made me a little worried about the state of the airline industry ... until I clicked on the link.

Spreading Flu with Candy

Every year, the National Confectioners Association's All Candy Expo taunts Chicagoans with its wares, but this year, it has an interesting addendum, a prominently located swine flu notice [pdf].

It's Bleep'n Golden!

Have you been seeking additional information about Blago Shampoo? This CNN report has all you need.

Only a Matter of Time

Twitter Tees by Threadless.

Chicago's Top Twitterer?

Despite claims to the contrary, the Trib asserts the top Twitterer in Chicago is MisterNoodle.

Wrap the Cord

GB past contributor Craig Berman's fantastic Coil lamp is now available for purchase.

Modern Ride

Have a few thousand dollars lying around and a secret desire to travel in curvy aluminum style? You're in luck -- check out this Vintage Airstream Trailer offered by Johanna in Logan Square.

Our Teams

Bulls&
Bears&
Hawks&
Cubs. Or Sox.

See Green This Month

Lakeview's Eye Spy Optical is offering a couple of environmentally friendly ways to save money this month. Bring in your old prescription specs, which will be donated to New Eyes for the Needy, and get $25 off a new pair. Or if you take the Brown Line to the newly reopened Paulina stop or ride your bike to their store, they'll give you 10% off a new pair of prescription glasses.

Housewares Illustrated

Couldn't make it to the International Housewares Show last month? No worries, Craig Berman and Tobias Lunchbreath have drawn you some pictures.

That's So Emo

Chicago: Fall Out Boy wants to make over your men.

Feel Like a Brisk Run?

Thanks to one camera-toting runner, you can enjoy a taste of today's slushy Shamrock Shuffle from the comfort of your warm, dry home. [via]

Is it Time to Clean Your Kitchen?

Or, perhaps, is it time to attend the 50th annual Drosophila Research Conference?

Scratching Out a Living

Looking for a way to get noticed among the thousands of applicants at a job fair? Well, you can always don a chicken suit like this guy.

Not Spreading Cheer

Most anyone would be upset if Santa was so drunk he fell on them.

Obama Commemorative Plates

You can show just how much you love our home-town president with some temporary Obama license plates (they're only valid for two months) from, of all places, the Illinois Library Association.

"I Like All Chicago Comics"

The Comedy and Everything Else crew gives props to our local comedy scene in their latest episode, as Chicago-born funny men Jimmy Pardo and Jimmy Dore reminisce about their early days of doing stand-up around the city.

SoKo No More

Many have been affected by the economy, and independent boutique Soko Fashion is no exception. Stop by for 40% off their entire inventory until the store's closing at the end of the month.

Fun with "Best of" Lists

Examiner.com has some fun at the expense of HGTV and "Best of" lists with the network's proclamation of the Gold Coast as Chicago's dreamiest neighborhood.

Ever Wanted to See Obama with a Plunger?

If so, here you go.

Winter Horrorland

Hey good morning Chicagoans! Did you know that for today, the outside is poison!? TGIF, am I right!?

Dibs!

With all the snow we've gotten over the past week, people are once again getting creative with their parking spot placeholders.

"Disneyland"

What word do you use to describe Chicago winters? Odette Yustman says "It was literally like Disneyland for me."

Another Criminal No-No

When preparing for your next bank robbery, you may want to use a blank sheet of paper for your note to the teller. You wouldn't want to use your pay stub or something...

Shopping for a House?

How about Al Capone's?

Unsleepy, Undead to Unite?

Ever stretching the boundaries of the English language, the AP introduces the term "unsleepy."

Less Swearing More Washing

I have a feeling this particular inspector got an earful. The Wiener Circle is having some minor health inspection issues. (Share your thoughts in Drive-Thru.)

61 Unlucky Winners, 169 Upset Runners Up

The Cook County Sheriff's latest sting to arrest those with outstanding warrants involved a "sweepstakes" called Shoptastic Solutions. When people attempted to collect their prizes, they were arrested.

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...

A First Kiss ... on the Wedding Day

Following a vow not to date for seven years, two abstinence educators kissed each other for the first time the other day ... when they got married.

Urlacher's Dirty Diapers

Brian Urlacher's son's mother says the football star paints his son's toenails blue and dresses him in pink diapers. Apparently, she sees this as cause for keeping the boy away from his father.

Faux Tannenbaum, Faux Tannenbaum...

Yes, it really is that time of year again. If you're decorating for the season, you might consider one of these Christmas tree alternatives, or maybe a live potted tree. (Jewish college students might also want to try designing a green menorah.)

...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.

The Haunted House Battleground

"It's like a war out there between the customers and our monsters."

You've Got Mustard On Your Shirt

...and bright green relish, chopped onions, tomato wedges, a dill pickle spear, sport peppers and some celery salt. [via]

Chicago, Bang Bang!

"Welcome to Chicago," a new t-shirt from Milwaukee's Little Friends of Printmaking.

Kids, Get Your Threads On

Threadless, a store/website of user-designed tees, will be opening a kids outlet in Wicker Park this fall.

Hey, Nice Map

"Thanks, it's a Panamap of Chicago."

Midwest, Represent!

Throw your m-dubs in the air ...on your t-shirt.

Animal Trainer Vying for Mr. Nonchalant

May I introduce you to Larry Dean, who was mauled by a tiger. His reaction? It's "really not a big deal."

Best What Job in Elgin?

A car wash in Elgin seems to have gotten itself into trouble over a racy promise on its sign.

Timbuk2less

If you're a fan of Threadless, you'll probably be pretty into these limited edition bags from Timbuk2, too.

Flying Smurfs, Pizza, Mustache

The Flugtag organizers have posted sketches of this year's flying hopefuls. If you want to know more about the last event, they've got history there too.

The Sun Will Come Out ... "Tommorow"

It's no CHI-TONW, but Jade Dragon's done it again, this time misspelling "tomorrow" on a customer. The tattoo artist insists the word was misspelled by the client. A trial will sort it all out.

"Weirdest Thing I've Ever Seen in Chicago."

What in the world is it?

Israeli Internal Affairs Committee Head Sets Record Straight

In case there's any confusion: "In the past, we in Israel asked if this was Chicago. Today, they're asking in Chicago if this is Israel."

The Best Tooth Care a Pimp Ever Had

A Chicago dentist got busted for being the primary money launderer in a multi-city prostitution ring. Of course, he also did dental work for the prostitutes and pimps.

"Tourist Enjoys Chicago Visit"

At first I thought it was an Onion article, but, readers, pat yourselves on the back. You made someone's visit so enjoyable they wrote the Trib to tell you.

It Works the Other Way, Too

Local poster site Posterbored launched its new line of t-shirts today. Poor Chromeo.

$600,000. Garbage. Boat. With. Arms.

That's right, the Scavenger 2000 has arrived.

Remember the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

No matter how funny it may be to officially add "IN THE NAAAAME OF LOVE" and "AND SMELL THE ROSES" to stop signs, you can't.

This Mother’s Day, Make Mom Proud …

And, more importantly, show up your siblings, by eschewing the half-wilted, unsustainably harvested bunch of red carnations you always get her, in favor of a beautiful card showcasing Chicago’s community gardens. Your $25 donation to NeighborSpace, a nonprofit urban land trust that protects many of Chicago’s urban oases, gets Mom the card and an invitation to a fall tour of city gardens. Slackers, take note: card orders must be received by Tuesday, May 6, at 10 a.m.

You Can Buy Prada Heels for $250...

only this time, they're Oprah's.

Internet Via Text Message

If you're out on the town and don't have a web-enabled phone, you can still access the Internet via a service that doesn't require calling that friend who's always online. ChaCha is a new human search service you can text with any question. So if you're wondering when the Chicago Diner closes or curious about the middle name of your alderman, they'll text the answer back to you. Also, if you don't already know, you can text GOOGL (46645) for business addresses and phone numbers.

"We're so 1337 that other companies wish they were us."

The Trib earned a national shout-out for its April Fool's Day prank.

The Trials and Tribulations of a TV Host

Padma Lakshmi, host of everyone's favorite reality television chef competition, apparently has a dangerous job. Also, "out of principle," she won't say "pack your knives and go" to people on the street. So, um, don't ask her to say that when you see her walking around town.

Illinois-Shaped Corn Flake Sells on E-Bay

... for $1350!

Who is the Colonel?

Is the Trib really behind ColonelTribune?

Upwards and Onwards!

In what is clearly the most important sporting contest of the year, Chicagoan Jesse Lucas Berg won Seattle's Big Climb.

S2U3Re4 and Be2Ga4Ra3

What makes the Chicago River green for St. Patrick's Day? No, it's not ground-up leprechauns. It's a vegetable-based dye. In the early days though it was a substance called Fluorescein.

Bathroom Fixtures for Your Neighborhood

Well, at least if you live in Logan Square or Wicker Park.

An Open Letter to the Chicago Tribune

Thank you for considering my impressionable mind when editing your fine paper, but you've gone too far. My first glimpse of over-editing was when you changed Shia LaBeouf's "asshole" to the goofy "nincompoop." I was then a little offended when you switched (what I assume was) Buddy Guy's "nowhere" with "[any]where." And then you edited Sarah Silverman's "f*cking" to "doing the deed with." As with my asterisk, if you must edit, could you please stick with the intended meaning?

Sit, Uno, Sit. Good Dog.

Uno, the first beagle to win the Westminster dog show, was honored by the Lt. Gov. in Chicago yesterday. That's right, yesterday was "Uno the Beagle Day."

More Email!

Who else has been getting a ton of Facebook updates about Thrillist coming to Chicago? Apparently, Gawker Media is introducing its own dose of Daily Candy soon, but you can sign up now if your sweet tooth can stand it.

Happy Leap Year!

An extra Friday is always cause for celebration, especially when it helps keep our calendar in alignment with the earth's revolution around the sun. The last time we had a February with five Fridays was 1980; check out Wikipedia for more fun leap year facts.

Hot Dog Musical

Found on Songza: The Theme from Hot Doug's by bee.

Fighting Smoking One Room at a Time

Swissôtel Chicago is now paying $10 to staffers who catch guests smoking in their rooms. Guilty guests get charged $250 to defray the cost of deodorizing the room.

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.

Democracy at its Finest

Will the natural clown or the anti-discrimination activist take the title of Most Beautiful Cat in Chicago? You decide!

John Smith, I Presume?

If your name is John Smith, This American Life would like you to email them at johnsmith@thislife.org with a few words about yourself. They may include you in an upcoming show about people with your name.

Chicago's Global Industrial Influence

First time GB flickr group contributor oceandesetoiles spotted a Chicago Pneumatic somethingoranother in Paharganj, New Delhi.

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.

Snow Removal

I wonder if my landlord reads Gaper's Block. If so, he should be reminded that Section 10-8-180 of Chicago city code requires every person "having charge of any building or lot of ground in the city abutting upon any public way or public place shall remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of such building or lot of ground."

Bread, Cookies and Cakes are Served Soggy

Aramark and the Kane County Sheriff are being sued by three inmates for $2,000,000 in damages due to food being "insufficient" on a variety of measures, including nutrition, sanitation and sogginess.

Someone Isn't Paying Attention at Work

I've been fighting making this post, but I must acquiesce. It seems the gold rally and the Chicago Board of Trade's rising wheat, corn and other commodity prices have something do to with a man's mugshot.

Time Bandit vs. Miss Piggy

Have you ever wanted to know how bank robbers get named? In Chicago, look to the FBI's Ross Rice.

The Weather Outside is Frightful...

but Apartment Therapy has a few suggestions to keep the temperature in your apartment so delightful. (Sorry. I couldn't help myself.)

Name that Park

Speaking of city facility names, the Chicago Park District has some curiously named parks. Among them: Indian Road, Golden Gate, Valley Forge and, of course, the colorfully named No. 484.

More Fuel for Conspiracy

Chicago takes the stage in the latest twist in the JFK assassination.

Cool Map

I know what I want for Christmas. (Thanks, Jim!)

People Not to Rob

A 17-year-old followed the wrong person home yesterday in a robbery attempt: an armed, uniformed cop.

What constitutes "Chicagoland?"

The Census Bureau now defines Chicagoland to include Jasper and Newton Counties, both in Indiana. Kankakee County, in Illinois, is out. A Depaul sociologist explains the implications.

Public Relations Gold

Remember the plane that lost luggage in air? Following reports that among the lost luggage was an American Girl doll whose owner was "sad and sleepless ... since the doll was sucked out of the cargo hold," American Girl stepped up and sent her a new doll.

That Door's Secure ... Right?

It seems a Delta flight lost some bags after taking off from Midway. So if you haven't already taken the bags from heaven to the local thrift store, they'd like them back.

CTA Cares, Eight Hours Later

A weird, unnecessary email appeared in my inbox at 12:29 a.m. Friday morning from the CTA warning me of Thursday's late-afternoon storms, advising me to "allow for extra travel time on CTA service this evening." Thanks for the timely warning, folks.

Seen a Gnome Lately?

Specifically, this gnome? It seems to have disappeared on Northwestern's campus.

Missing Something?

Two human feet were found in a south suburban intersection. Ew.

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Don't forget today is Talk Like a Pirate Day, ya scurvy cur! You may want to get in the mood by viewing pirates from previous years, and while you're looking, note that flickr has gotten into the spirit.

Sssssssssssssss

Stu Iselin was surprised to find a python on his coffee table yesterday morning.

The Interactive Music and Coffee Experience

Apple's new iPod releases include an interesting partnership with Starbucks that will hit Chicago in March 2008. When you walk into a megalocoffee shop, you'll be able to see information about each song that's playing in the store as it plays and, of course, buy it and other iTunes songs. If you're interested in more information about the program, most pages on Apple's site currently list the wrong URL, so go here instead.

Underneath Our Feet

The Sun Times posted a feature about the variety of restaurants, clubs and other points of interest underneath our fair city. You may also want to check out Alice Maggio's two-part feature on the Pedway.

"Lock Up All Liberals at Gitmo"

Meet Richard Tisch, conservative jeweler with a sign.

Have an "Unusual" Collection?

If so, make a short video about your collection and submit it to apartments.com for a chance to win $20,000. At the time of writing, no one's submitted anything, so your odds are good at being an early front runner.

Our Lost Stuff on eBay

It looks like the state has the eBay bug and is going to sell unclaimed items on eBay. So if you still can't find that coin you lost, you may want to check out Cash Dash or their auction photos.

Keep on Sheetrockin' in the Free World

Calling all drywallers: are you sick and tired of not getting the spotlight for your craft? Here's your chance for glory and a $5,000 prize through the "The Best of the Best Drywaller" competition, sponsored by USG, the folks who make Sheetrock. Qualifying bouts are currently being held at hardware stores all over the city, with the selection of the top drywaller taking place from 1pm to 5pm on August 19 at Harrison Park, 1824 South Wood.

Welcome to Oceanville, Illinois

Chicago the Lion invites you to visit the Muppet Wiki page for Illinois. That's right: the Muppet Wiki.

We Didn't Make the Cut

What do Vegas, Bangkok, Mumbai and Krakow have in common? Well according to the Global Language Monitor they are all more important to fashion than Chicago. Nuts.

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.

Oh, Those Canadians!

The Globe and Mail reports on what is surely the most important aspect of the Conrad Black trial.

Clop, Clop, Clop, Plop.

If you've ever wondered why you've never seen a white Chicago Police Department horse or at least what being a mounted policeperson is like, this article's for you.

Tasting It All

Speaking of consuming huge amounts of food, the Trib's Monica Eng sampled 253 dishes at the Taste. The experiment cost the paper a grand total of $1,022. I'm sure it was a lot of really healthy food.

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.

Three Pigs and the North Shore

A circuit court judge has upheld the right of a former member of the Walgreens family to keep her three pigs on her Lake Forest property until at least 2011. Her next-door neighbors and 300 other locals aren't pleased. The decision will be appealed.

The End is Nigh

The Tribune provides sign 15,347 that cicada fever is most certainly cresting.

A Zombie Invasion?

The Cook County morgue has a big problem: it's missing a body. Be alert.

Chicago, Coyotepolis

Our friendly neighborhood Quizno's coyote, Adrian, isn't alone as an urban explorer. Chicago coyote visits have increased from "perhaps a dozen" in the 1980s to 312 in the last three years.

The Mystery of the Anti-Weatherman

The National Weather Service has enlisted the help of the FBI to track down a person who is submitting bogus weather reports in Illinois and Wisconsin. The reports have caused the service to issue erroneous storm warnings. If you can't trust weather reports, what can you trust?

Oops, Dad's Out of the Frame

Calling all family albums! The Tribune is seeking your bad vacation photos.

Mapping the Invasion

While not everyone is seeing cicadas, some Chicagoans are, and at least some observers are adding their input to this handy Cicada Emergence Map.

Official Oprah Winfrey Week

"We can maybe take that week and show her how much we really love her." We can definitely take that week, apparently.

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."

Scourge of the Suburbs

A revolt is underway in the suburbs. The target: new sidwalks. After all, with sidewalks, "who knows what you'd be encouraging to come through?" The Trib's online readers are having none of it, with approximately 90% saying sidewalks in neighborhoods are "a positive addition."

That Was Fast

Remember the divorce billboard from yesterday? It was removed for permit violations before the end of the day.

Bug Paper

Maybe we're going a little overboard with all this Cicada Mania, but if you absolutely can't wait till the end of the month for the emergence of Brood XIII, the Trib has the answer; cicadas in origami (PDF file).

Honest Abe's Illinois Shenanigans

While Calgon may not take you away, Abraham Lincoln has you covered.

Attack of the Smileys

Several cars in Printers Row received smiley face makeovers last night. The Trib astutely predicts "if the taggers are caught, there will be no smiles."

"Put Traction Issue Up to Straphangers"

The Tribune has an interesting list of Chicago transit facts (with an inexplicably capitalized headline).

Circus Circus

Local circus freak Ken Harck just made another acquisition. This time it's a rare Ringling Bros. poster.

Corn Oil vs. Eggs

The year's first volley of the epic human vs. seagull battle has been launched.

Giant Pizza Bridge

The AP's reporting that the Skyway was in danger of "turning into a gigantic, Windy City-style, deep-dish pizza" yesterday. You may want to watch out for other structure-to-food transformations throughout the day.

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.

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.

Chicago History Roundup

From the establishment of the Hull House Theater to the World's Columbian Exposition, the Sun Times lists their take on "The 50 Greatest Chicago Moments."

Hook Up Some Answers to Lonely Questions

Here's a list of unanswered Chicago-oriented questions from Yahoo! Answers. If the question was asked more than 5 hours ago and still doesn't have an answer, it'll be dere.

Click!

Photobooth-o-philes, get excited! You'll soon be able to take a zany picture of yourself and your close friends at Quimby's.

Dance Floor Disaster

Lacey Hindman knows another way work parties can turn into excruciating pain.

Use the Force (to Pick a Stamp Design)

R2D2 is roaming the city, and it wants you to visit the "Jedi Shipping and Mailing Master" to vote for your favorite Star Wars stamps.

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.

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.

We've Got It Under Control ... Like Iraq

Congressperson Tim Walberg (R-MI), recently noted most of Iraq is "reasonably under control." Well, you know, "at least as well as Detroit or Chicago ... or Harvey, Illinois."

SSSSSttttteeeeelllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaa!

There was a Stella Yelling Contest, and Phil Wackerfuss won it.

So Green Architecture isn't a Passing Fad

Someone smart at the Tribune asked its arts and architecture critics what prompted them to reevaluate artists in their disciplines. Some second looks include the Trap Door Theatre, William McDonough and Walker Evans.

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.)

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.

Attack of the Red Eyed Monsters

If you're planning on attending concerts at the Ravinia Festival this summer, you may want to check the schedule [pdf] extra early this year. Why, you ask? Cicadas.

How Much for a Really Nice Week?

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange will be adding weekly weather futures in April. I'll take 15 degrees above average in Chicago for next week, please!

The South Side Chicago Board of Tourism

Convert your currency to South Side dollars while enjoying an unusual White Sox website.

Spam Poetry Slam

Northwestern graduate student Kristin Thomas' spam poetry is getting attention. "Flesh Hungry Dogs, Jackhammer, Circuit and Chocolate," indeed!

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.

124 to 123

No one is declaring victory yet, but North Chicago Alderman Shaunese Teamer may have lost the primary to her challenger, Bobby Allen, by one vote.

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.

Iconic?

Hoffman Estates-based EA Chicago is coming out with a new video game called Def Jam: Icon. In it you can pick your favorite real life rapper and stomp the crap out of your least favorite real life rapper. Fun. As far as I can tell, it seems sort of like Hood 2 Hood and Don Diva combined in video game form. An additional venue in which, to paraphrase Chuck D from a recent documentary, Black death is being pimped by corporations.

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."

Close Encounters of the Third Coast

Even if you've never pointed a bent coat hanger at Stonehenge, you have to admit strange things were afoot at O'Hare last November. So in case you were curious, Chicago Mag has compiled a few of the more compelling UFO reports.

Best Headline of the Year

It's only February, but the Daily Southtown has already given cause for celebration (or is that panic?): "Snowmageddon has arrived!" Bonus points awarded for their photo of kids ramping their sled off of a folding table.

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.

Not Cheese at All

As Altria (formerly Philip Morris) prepares to spin-off suburban food giant Kraft, Crain's Chicago Business asks "What is 'Real Kraft Cheese'?" There's a hint in our title.

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.

Heavier Wallets

The U.S. Mint announced that the new $1 Washington coin will be released in Chicago and Houston on February 15.

Monkey Money Madness

Those wacky Sun-Times staffers are at it again with this year's monkey stock market picks. As you'd expect, "Mr. Adam Monk," the primate in question, has beaten the major indices for the last four years. After you take in the monkey madness, pull a stock out of a hat and enter their contest for most appreciating stock.

Maybe You Shouldn't Have Another

Following up on a recent government report [pdf] ranking Chicago as the top binge drinking city in the U.S., the Sun-Times dropped by the Chicago Social Drinking Project lab.

Oh, Chicago Airports, Why Do You Hate Us?

For all the trouble at O'Hare, it looks like Midway isn't safe either.

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.

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.

Even Green Sidewalks

Solar powered bus stops and recycled tire sidewalks are being tested by the Chicago Department of Transportation. Will they make the cut?

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.

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.)

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.

The Life of a City Squirrel

UIC biologist Joel Brown wants to know how squirrels survive the dangers of city life in Chicago.

They Beat Us To It

Some of you may know that Naz and I are the guys behind El Boton (limited edition pins make a great gift, by the way). We're a bit jealous, therefore, that Coudal Partners beat us to this great idea.

"How cool would it be to have Quidditch at Soldier Field?"

Plans are underway for a Harry Potter conference in Chicago in August 2008. It looks like it will be organized by these people.

Not a City of Chicago Headline

Apparently, it's news when there's graffiti in Blue Island.

Johnny Five, Alive!

A number of robots will soon see action in Chicago. Oh, and one of them is named "Frank."

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.

Do I Say "Buy 'em" or "Sold"?

As the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange prepare to merge, trading floor culture may become an issue.

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!

The Sausage Vat Murderer vs. H. H. Holmes

How much do you know about bizarre Chicagoland murders? Take this short quiz and find out!

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.

Get Your Spook On

This Halloween season has plenty to offer the ghoul lurking inside of you. Unusual offerings include KFAR's Spookagogue Synagogue, the Apollo Theater's Haunting History, the Six Corners Monster Film Festival, and Ursula Bielski's Creepy Chicago Hauntings. Check slowdown for additional options.

Open Letter to Criminals: Stay Away from MySpace

Another from our neck of the woods.

Five Down, 11 to Go

The Bears are looking damn good this year. Think they can go all the way? Then this new shirt, created by Coudal Partners, is the one for you.

Another Reason to Look Up

Early Friday morning, two people BASE jumped from a downtown crane. This is the second noted jump in as many weeks.

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?

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?

 

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