Thursday, March 30, 2006And I thought "Indigo Line" was a sure fire winner. Yes, I'm afraid it's true:
The result proved once again that there's always something so funny in the world that you couldn't have written it if you tried: The newest CTA branch of the L will officially be called the Pink Line.How much would you like to bet "S/he rides the 'Pink Line'" becomes the new "plays for the Pink Team"?
Unofficially, it will be called crude names ... and oh-so-much more. [ChicagoIST]
According to the Sun Times, the CTA has "not yet decided what shade of pink." My vote? Vienna Beef™ Pink. It doesn't get much more Chicago than that.
Where else have we seen all that pink before? Oh, yes. Here. Just don't tell Owens Corning.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
- WorldMapper® offers a collection of global maps, with sizes of nations and continents altered in proportion to their worldwide prominence in various aspects - for example, the map below shows how countries compare as international tourist destinations. Especially interesting are the population projections through the year 2300 AD.
- Just imagine the possibilities: Samsung corporation has developed a functional Smell-O-Phone that releases "smell tones" to signal incoming calls. I can just picture the chaos that ensues if these phones go off en masse on buses and trains, in crowded theaters, etc. *sniff sniff* "Is that you, or me?" Will people download gag "smell-tones" that offer a different aroma for each incoming caller?
- While I haven't yet tried this open-source option, Rockbox purports to be a new customizable, lightweight firmware jukebox app for your .mp3 player that supports a wide range of file types. I hope it's soon available for the Creative Zen NX - It's a good player, but only plays .mp3's and .wma's. I'd love .ogg, .aac amd .mp4 capability. Warning: installing Rockbox may invalidate your player's warranty, so it's definitely "user beware."
- New Scientist reports that researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed new "green" explosives that can blow things up without harming the environment.
- The Toast of the Town: Slate on the best and worst of (now 100 years old!) toast technology
- Dr. Toast's Amazing World of Toast
- Strange medical news: Pakistani doctors surgically removed two fetuses from the body of a 2-month old baby girl, in what is described as a rare case of "fetus in fetu." [via Slate]
- Yongfook.com's Japanese Snack Food Reviews [NSFW]
- Gizmodo has the
scoopflush on the new Peter Potty™ Training Urinal
Friday, March 24, 2006I know, this advance screenshot from the movie is a tad unfortunate (suggested caption: "yes, I am happy to see you, but not that happy!"), but, hey - I just had to jump on the "Snakes on a Plane" bandwagon, after seeing no less than a dozen mentions of this upcoming Samuel L. Jackson in-flight thriller in my morning newreader inbox.
Rumor has it Samuel L. insisted on retaining the script's working title, rather than the nondescript "Flight 121," which is probably a good thing. Hollywood pundits often say that if you can't sum up a movie's plot in one simple sentence, audiences won't get it. If that's true, "Snakes on a Plane" should be a silver-screen (and silver-disc) doozy. The plot? A crate full of venomous snakes is released on an airliner in a bid to kill a passenger on board, and Samuel L. Jackson's job is to eliminate said snakes. Sounds like a perfect setup for a future videogame release. Initially planned as a "PG" release, several new "R"-rated scenes have been shot and added at buzz-fans' behest, including the much-quoted "I want these m-----f-----g snakes off the m-----f-----g plane!" It could become the "Go ahead...make my day..." of 2006.
I propose expanding "Snakes" even further. Make it a "buddy" film, and shoot additional scenes - with Jodie Foster, of course - and change the title to "Snake Plan." Or perhaps, "The Silence of the Snakes."
- Split Enz - "Hard Act To Follow"
- Nazareth - "Hair of the Dog"
- Kate Bush - "How To Be Invisible"
- Les Baxter - "Batumba"
- Thievery Corporation - "Air Batucada"
- The Egg - "Funky Dube"
- Esquivel - "Mucha Muchacha"
- Beck - "Where It's At"
- Hooverphonic - "Wake Up"
- Black Box Recorder - "Lord Lucan Is Missing"
Wednesday, March 22, 2006My good friend Ryan "Sly" Smith, of the long-running NY Capital Region radio program Homo Radio, now has a blog!
If you're in the Albany area, be sure to listen to Homo Radio on WRPI 91.5FM Sundays noon to 2:00pm for LGBT news and information on upcoming events, like CDGLCC Movie Night's FREE presentation of "Rent" this Friday March 24th, and Women's History Month performances by Ember Swift and Imani Henry at University at Albany's Page Hall on Thursday, March 23rd. Admission is free, as well.
Don't live in Capital-land? Worry not...WRPI and Homo Radio stream live on the Web at www.wrpi.org.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Northern Cities Shift is the linguistic name for the English dialect spoken around the Great Lakes, from Chicago to Rochester, NY. This is why native Chicawgoans and Raachesterites often sound a little, well, different. I think of it as a "Reverse Boston" accent. What's extremely interesting is that a map of American dialects looks a lot like a weather map: maybe the answer really is blowing in the wind.
- Ultravox - "The Man Who Dies Every Day"
- Bruce Springsteen - "Downbound Train"
- The New Pornographers - "The Mary Martin Song"
- Air - "Mike Mills"
- Electrolux - "Energiesparlampen"
- Edward Bear - "You, Me, And Mexico"
- The Primitives - "Crash"
- Sarah McLachlan - "Answer"
- Interpol - "NYC"
- Split Enz - "Hard Act to Follow"
Thursday, March 16, 2006The Pit Bulls of Decency Strike Again.
(CBS) The government proposed a record fine of $3.6 million against dozens of CBS stations and affiliates Wednesday in a crackdown on what regulators called indecent television programming.You know, there's a strange little button that sometimes appears on the front of television receivers, or even somewhere amongst the dozens of little buttons usually found on their remote controls. Few people know its real name, but when pressed, it's unusually effective at reducing or even eliminating objectionable programming. It's called the CHANNEL button, and when engaged, within a fraction of a second the viewer can expect a different program to appear on the screen.
The Federal Communications Commission said a network program, "Without a Trace," that aired in December 2004 was indecent. It cited the graphic depiction of "teenage boys and girls participating in a sexual orgy." The proposed fine was among decisions from the agency stemming from more than 300,000 complaints it received concerning nearly 50 TV shows broadcast between 2002 and 2005.
In addition to upholding its earlier decision to fine CBS $550,000 for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2004 Super Bowl, the FCC said in a statement released Wednesday on its Web site: "The Commission also finds episodes of "Without a Trace" and "The Surreal Life 2," which contained numerous graphic, sexual images, to be impermissible under the Commission’s indecency standard."
CBS had appealed the FCC's fine against 20 of its stations for Jackson's brief breast exposure during the Super Bowl halftime show two years ago. But the agency affirmed the decision.
Should the CHANNEL button not remove objectionable content to the viewer's satisfaction, Plan 'B' can be deployed by pressing the POWER button, which also sometimes is found on televisions and remotes. Should Plan 'B' fail, there's always Plan 'C': Pull The Damn Plug Out Of The Socket.
Like Plan 'A' or Plan 'B', you can do this yourself without any special tools - or the Government's help.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006I learned the names of several new metric prefixes today, a fact that gives me a pleasantly tickly feeling in my brain (either that's the sounds of neurons firing, or a few synapses frying - probably the latter). Until today, I foolishly believed atto- (10-18) and exa- (1018) defined the limits of scientific measurement. How wrong I was. There are numbers out there that would give Carl Sagan the vapors, bless his departed soul - and I'm not talking about that vaporware cop-out of a number, ∞, either.
If you're looking to describe an afwul lot of anything, you can opt for zetta- (Z), or 1021 - or yotta- (Y), 1024: the Earth's ocean, collectively measured, would yield about 1 zettaliter (ZL) of water, and the volume of the Earth is a staggering 1 yottaliter (YL).
On the other hand, there are teensy-weensy quantities that we can quantify as well: zepto- (10-21) and yocto- (10-24) prefixes are miniscule enough to approximate the mass of roughly 600 molecules of water and the weight of a proton or neutron, respectively. That's very handy, but I can't help but wonder about the origin of these prefixes - are they Greek?* Seriously, yocto?
Are scientists just making those up? Eventually, we must have to starting making stuff up, because the Greeks couldn't think of everything back in the day.
I mean, with such precision of language available, referring to "not a single iota" of something now seems so, well, nebulous. And thanks to the Internet, we all know where 10100 will lead you.
*UPDATE: According to Wikipedia, "yocto" comes from the Greek "οκτὡ, meaning eight, because it is equal to 1/10008." "Zepto," on the other hand, is derived from the French sept, or seven. Using that convention, would the next prefix for 1027 be something along the lines of "xenno-," from the Greek ennia or "nine" - or if we go the French route, "xneufo-"?
Oops. Think I fried another synapse. [Also see: Alan Wood's Unicode page for Greek Extended characters]
- Provocative biological research appears to suggest that all currently living human beings share the same recent ancestry; Rohde, Olson and Chang (Nature, 2004) detail their mathematical model, and coauthor Steve Olson explains some of the real-world implications in Slate's "Why We're All Jesus' Children: Go back a few millenniums, and we've all got the same ancestors":
...[i]t gets even stranger. Say you go back 120 generations, to about the year 1000 B.C. According to the results presented in our Nature paper, your ancestors then included everyone in the world who has descendants living today. And if you compared a list of your ancestors with a list of anyone else's ancestors, the names on the two lists would be identical.On a related note, check out "Commemorate Caesar: Take a Deep Breath!" on NPR.org (about the famous Nocera calculation). The implications boggle the mind. If we share everybody's ancestry, and every breath wwe take does contain at least one molecule of Caesar's dying breath, the next story will likely give you a queasy feeling even if you don't live in Chicago.
This...very bizarre result...means that you and I are descended from all of the Africans, Australians, Native Americans, and Europeans who were alive three millenniums ago and still have descendants living today. ...
Keep these observations in mind the next time you read about people being linked to famous ancestors. Newsweek recently gushed that "one in five males in northwest Ireland may be a descendant of a legendary fifth-century warlord." In fact, virtually everyone with any European ancestry is descended from that man. One-fifth of Irish males may be descended from him in a direct male line...[i]n addition to Jesus and the warlord, we're also all descended from Julius Caesar, from Nefertiti, from Confucius, from the Seven Daughters of Eve, and from any other historical figure who left behind lines of descendants and lived earlier than a few thousand years ago. [read full article]
- Chicago's latest crises: Cook County Board President John Stroger suffers a stroke, placing his political future in question, and the city aknowledges its serious goose poop problem. Urbs in horto, indeed:
"...maybe we should do what the Wheaton Park District has done to eliminate the only thing that really bothers people about geese. Their staff now regularly operate a $20,000 riding goose poop vacuum." [Chicago Wilderness Mag.com]
- As I have mentioned before in these pages, I, like many Americans, suffer from cacography. Not in the sense or being a poor speller, but despite years of elementary-school penmanship drills (which earned me several "gold stars" from Miss Grabania, Miss Propert, and Miss Stone, I might add) unless I devote a considerable - and I mean considerable - effort to writing clearly, these days my cursive is caca; slightly above the legibility of a psychotic macacque's. Fortunately, a new solution may be on the horizon: "italic handwriting". [via Rebecca's Pocket]
- Cartoon Fracas Episode IV: A New Dope [ChicagoIST]
- Robotic carp in the ponds of Hiroshima [BoingBoing]
- Cool: MIT Media Labs's I/O Brush allows users to "sample" images of everyday objects and use them as virtual "brushes" on a computer screen.
- Nature - and bureaucrats - abhor a vacuum: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (???) says non, non to the as-yet-unregulated "sous vide" cooking technique [New York Times, via Overlawyered]
Tuesday, March 14, 2006Yes, that kind of π. If you must ask, "why pi?" just look at today's date.
- The Joy of Pi
- Ask Dr. Math About Pi
- A History of Pi
- π, The Movie
- The Ridiculously Enhanced Pi Page
- Geek.com: Have Some Chaos Pi
- Something that has nothing to do with π: a taxonomy of emotion words
Monday, March 13, 2006
- Hate mornings? You can now wake up to cool blue electroluminescent bedding and the automated smell of frying bacon instead of harsh lamps and alarm clocks. The blue bedsheets look especially nice - like a cross between a "CSI" crime scene splattered with biological fluids, and a basement psilocybe grow tray. Also see: Matty Sallin's "Water Sparks" interactive dinoflagellate exhibit.
- A 2002 The Stranger article by Dan Savage on "The Chicago El: It's big, it's loud, it's dirty, and it's dark - so how come everyone in Chicago loves it?"
- Searchscapes is an experiment in three-dimensional mapping, using the Z-axis to display websearch results for geographic locations in Manhattan; it's a somewhat odd cousin to the concepts used in GIS.
- Bad news for beef lovers, good news for people that love country music song titles: Alabama Cow Has Mad Cow Disease, The Government Says
- A recent study has found that using human growth hormone to boost the adult height of short-but-otherwise-healthy kids (as opposed to children with endocrine problems) results in total average height gains around two inches, but at a price of over $50,000 per inch. Earlier studies have posited that taller folks (especially taller men) earn more than their shorter peers, but economically speaking, is a $100k-plus investment in growth-enhancing medication to grow two inches taller "worth it" in the long run? [JAMA Pediatric Archives via Slate] What I haven't heard much mention of is the role of psychology and self-esteem in the earnings equation - do taller people earn more because employers wish to pay more solely on the basis of workers' height (unlikely), or have many taller people learned to be more self-confident, leading to more opportunities for advancement?
- Archetypal rocker (and current BBC-2 radio show host) Suzi Quatro has a
boldkick-ass new album, "Back to the Drive," [import-only in the U.S. at this time] that both revisits her crunchy rock 'n' roll roots and incorporates a diverse palette of newer songs (it's co-produced by Sweet guitarist Andy Scott). There's also a nice interview with her over at BBC-4 Woman's Hour [streaming RealAudio, with podcast available]
- Color blind individuals now have a new tool to help them navigate the world of color-intensive computer displays: EyePilot, a software-based solution developed by Boston-based Tenebraex, allows users to navigate their screens with customized labeling and alerts for troublesome hues. [WIRED]
Friday, March 10, 2006
- Mongo Santamaria - "Ricky Tick"
- Christie - "Yellow River"
- Walter Wanderley - "Proton, Neutron, Electron"
- The Clash - "Stay Free"
- Ladytron - "Sugar"
- Yaz - "Only You"
- The Psychedelic Furs - "The Ghost In You"
- Devo - "Gates of Steel"
- Blood, Sweat and Tears - "Lucretia MacEvil"
- Enoch Light - "Song of India"
Thursday, March 09, 2006
- The Dragon laughs at the Eagle, or perhaps the other way 'round? on YouTube: Ha Ha Ha America, a short film by John Daniel Ligon featured at the Sundance 2006, is a provocative, patriot-baiting, Engrish-subtitled, no-so-good-natured ribbing of America's self-image in the New Global Economy.
"...What?/No believe?/Here fact/China population/1.5 billion/Maybe/Or 1.2 billion/Maybe/Either result mean/America just rounding error/compare to China..."[Also see: ShanghaiIST on Ha Ha Ha America]
- Give me Wi-Fi, or Give Me Death? Guillermo Farinas, a 41-year old Cuban psychologist, is in his 36th day of a hunger strike to protest his nation's censorship of Internet access [MSN News]
- Euthanasia is a collection of photographs documenting industrial decay and infrastructure breakdown in the former Soviet Union [via MeFi]
- CNet News reports on a new prison program that trains inmates on the latest digital imaging and printing techniques, so they can find jobs and "stay out of trouble" after they're released. Hmm...unless they decide to start new careers in forgery and counterfeiting.
- "Could glowing, Wi-Fi wine glasses let people in long-distance relationships feel more in touch with their other half? Don't scoff: researchers in Boston at MIT's Media Lab - that citadel of outside-the-box thinking - believe so. [New Scientist]"
- The Bad News: I "accidentally" formatted the hard drive on my old Gateway laptop, and I don't have the original OEM setup discs. The Good News: I've finally got my chance to experiment with a homebrew Linux installation. Being the frugal DIY soul I often am, I'll go for a free Debian/GNU Linux distro. Any tips from fellow geeks out there?
- "The Crappiest Invention of All Time: Why The Auto-Flush Toilet Must Die," by Nick Schultz [Slate]
Wednesday, March 08, 2006Startling Taylor Ham® news from the comments:
There is now a store in Chicago that seels "Taylor Hams" (1 lb. size only).Go get 'em, tigers - ask for 'em by name, and fry 'em up good. Anyway, 6 bucks is cheaper than a trip to Trenton. Thanks, Anonymous.
Anonymous | 03.06.06 - 1:24 am |
Anonymous: no offense, but as they say - that's "oh so helpful." What store? Where in Chicago?
Lenka | Homepage | 03.06.06 - 2:20 pm |
The Treasure Island in the 3400 block of Broadway. It is 1 lb. rolls and a little expensive ($ 6.00) but if enough people start buying it I'm sure that the price will go down.
It is located in the open refridgerated section opposite the deli section. Most of the deli employees have no idea what you are talking about when you ask for it so be prepared to go on a hunt...
P.S. You owe me one for this one. Apparently it is the only store in Chicago that sells it!
Anonymous | 03.07.06 - 10:28 pm |
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
- Author Margaret Atwood invents the "LongPen," a device for signing books (and other objects) by remote control over computer networks:
Tired of grueling book tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books for fans from thousands of miles away.
Some fear Atwood's LongPen could end the personal contact between writers and readers. Atwood says it will enhance the relationship. "I think of this as a democratizing device," said Atwood, whose appearances draw hundreds of fans willing to stand in long lines for a word and an autograph. "You cannot be in five countries at the same time. But you can be in five countries at the same time with the LongPen." [read full article in WIRED News]
- Pantyhose tea, the Hong Kong Treat! [CNN, via Rebecca's Pocket]
- Dignified news coverage at its best: "Fall Out Boy band member vomits in salon" [NBC5 Chicago]
- India's "red rain" could prove that life on Earth has alien origins [The Guardian/Observer UK]
- File under "just awful": a California teen's twice-stolen prosthetic legs have been returned [CNN]:
The first theft happened November 1, when someone cut a hole in a window screen in [16-year old Melissa] Huff's home and stole a $12,000 cosmetic leg. Her doctor and two companies donated money for a new, $16,000 sports leg, which she uses to play softball on the Arcadia High team. The stolen leg was tossed into the family's back yard in January.
But on Valentine's Day, somebody stole both legs after prying open a screen window. She had been unable to wear either prosthetic at the time because of a surgery. The legs were returned Wednesday, but had graffiti on them. She was scheduled Friday to pick up another new leg, which the community rallied to buy for her.
- So glad to know the Internet Archive Wayback Machine stored copies of my "blog" back when it was just a bunch of pages called UnzenKoans...summer of 2002 or so?
Monday, March 06, 2006
- In search of the urban coyote. Once relegated to the prairie, coyotes are increasingly venturing into cities like Chicago [Smithsonian, via BoingBoing]. Personally, I've seen opossums, skunks, and even deer in Chicago, so coyotes don't strike me as unlikely - but I had no idea that they lived downtown. In packs. From the Smithsonian, "City Slinkers":
Coyotes can live alone, as mated pairs, or in large packs like wolves; hunt at night or during the day; occupy a small territory or lay claim to 40 square miles; and subsist on all sorts of food living or dead, from lizards and shoes, to crickets and cantaloupes. Although their native diet consists of small rodents, Gese has seen a pack take down a sick elk in Yellowstone National Park. "Coyotes are without a doubt the most versatile carnivores in America, maybe even worldwide," says Marc Bekoff, an animal behaviorist who has studied them for 30 years.
- Fido, the Robot Luggage [Gizmodo]
- The New York Times on Wi-Fi "piggybacking," [reg req.]:
[M]akers of wireless routers say [piggybacking] is increasingly an issue for people who live in densely populated areas like New York City or Chicago, or for anyone clustered in apartment buildings in which Wi-Fi radio waves, with an average range of about 200 feet, can easily bleed through walls, floors and ceilings.Theoretically speaking, my apartment has anywhere from four to fifteen access point signals, depending on the time of day and how close one is to the front windows...theoretically speaking, mind you. ;)
...many users do not bother to secure their networks with passwords or encryption programs....[and, m]any home network owners admit that they are oblivious to piggybackers. Some, like Marla Edwards, who think they have locked intruders out of their networks, learn otherwise. Ms. Edwards, a junior at Baruch College in New York, said her husband recently discovered that their home network was not secure after a visiting friend with a laptop easily hopped on. "There's no gauge, no measuring device that says 48 people are using your access," Ms. Edwards said. [read full article; via Gapers Block]
- The "Attack of the Fake Starbucks" in Asia [via ShanghaiIST]
- A comprehensive list of superheroes' religious affiliations [via Begging to Differ]
- The House of Representatives votes to make it illegal for women to sell their donated eggs; however, there is no corresponding restriction for men who wish to sell their sperm. From AZStarnet.com:
Rep. Bob Stump, R-Peoria, said [the] measures are necessary to protect the health of women. But several female legislators reacted angrily, saying this is really a question of whether lawmakers are going to treat men and women the same. "I don't understand why a man could go out and sell part of his reproductive body ... that a man can go and make money, but I as a woman cannot do it," complained Rep. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, about the measure criminalizing the sale of human eggs.So, it's not really about women's health, or the babies...it's about the clones...and the stem cells.
Stump said the disparate treatment is justified. And, he said, it has "nothing to do with gender politics." He said there is a medical risk from the procedure of donating eggs, from both the hormones injected into women to produce multiple mature eggs and the harvesting procedure. ... Stump conceded that the medical risk remains the same whether the eggs are donated or sold. And nothing in his legislation makes donation illegal. But Stump said there is one difference. Human eggs can be used not only for in vitro fertilization to help a childless couple conceive — like sperm — but also can be used "for the express purpose of destroying cloned human embryos" for medical research. [via feministe]
Friday, March 03, 2006
- "Ground-based astronomy could be impossible in 40 years because of pollution from aircraft exhaust trails and climate change," says University of Cambridge's Gerry Gilmore [BBC]
- On the trail of the quintessential Alaskan drink, the Duck Fart
- "Don't Trust Anyone Under 25"? A recent Emory University study claims to have found some surprising differences between the Millennials (those born after 1982) and the earlier Generation X, of which yours truly is a member:
[Researchers Andrea Herschatter and Molly Epstein] surveyed more than 800 students at Emory University and four other institutions, about half of whom are Millennials, and half GenXers. Among the most striking findings of her survey:What do you think of the study? Interesting article, but for what it's worth, it was sponsored by the Coca-Cola company - and it doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to deduce that findings suggesting Millennials are conformists who enjoy being told what to do, think, and drink would be music to Big [Brother] Coke's ears.
- Nearly 70% of Millennials agreed with the statement that "Authority figures should set and enforce rules" – compared to around 40% of GenXers.
- 60% of Millennials agreed with the statement, "I trust authority figures to act in my best interest." Only 40% of GenXers agreed.
- Nearly 60% of Millennials said they "felt comfortable asking for special treatment," while only 40% of GenXers felt that way.
...Most of all, Millennials seem to want people who will go on telling them what to do and when, as their parents and teachers have told them up until now. "What we have here is a desire for leadership. Millennial employees want leadership," says Epstein. "They are very comfortable in an established, articulated hierarchy where they know exactly what the rules are, as well as the steps required for success."
Boomers and GenXers are likely to find working with Millennials positive, at least on balance, Hershatter predicts. However, she says, there are likely to be some tensions. "I think that GenXers will be pleasantly surprised at their positive attitude, high work ethic, and respect - and perpetually frustrated by their lack of initiative, their fear of ambiguity, and their need for constant reinforcement," Hershatter says.
- Nearly 70% of Millennials agreed with the statement that "Authority figures should set and enforce rules" – compared to around 40% of GenXers.
- "Good morning! Welcome to Raghav FM Mansoorpur 1! Now listen to your favourite songs..." I enjoyed this story about Raghav Mahato, the ingenious young "pirate" radio operator in northern India's Bihar state that built a homemade transmitter for 50 rupees (about US $ 1.00). The station broadcasts public service announcements and local news, and takes music requests by courier and village pay-phone since few residents have telephone service: it's all the rage in Vaishali district. [BBC News, via Rebecca's Pocket]
- ChicagoIST weighs in on the Pepper and Egg Debate (not to be confused with the Latke-Hamantash Debate): Who makes the best version of this popular Sicilian sandwich in Chicago? Several sources, including Ann Gunkel's Miscellanea, say it's Oggi Cafe:
"The Pepper & Egg is one of the ways that the presence of God is intimated amidst the dreariness of Lenten austerity. On any Friday in Chicago or the East Coast Cities with an Italian presence, one finds the beautiful sandwich known as the pepper & egg. The concept is remarkably simple: fresh eggs, scrambled on the short order grill with roasted (green) peppers, tossed hot on a waiting crusty bun of high quality, coal-burning-oven- fresh Italian bread. These humble ingredients when fresh and done right (no soft stuff in a plastic bag allowed to bear the name "bread"), remind us all that great food is very simple. A toss of salt and pepper elevates the creation to the heights of lunchtime eating. The subtle mix of the olive oil and eggy residue on the fresh flesh of the crusty loaf truly satisfies."
- Johnny Jackson, the former Jackson 5 drummer (no relation to the Jackson brothers) was found stabbed to death yesterday at a friends' home in Gary, Indiana [CBS 2 Chicago]
- Can't Touch This: [MC] Hammer's got a blog. [via MeFi]
Thursday, March 02, 2006Via the Countess, I just learned that Darren McGavin passed away February 26th at the age of 83. McGavin had a prolific acting career (including The Man With the Golden Arm, A Christmas Story, etc.), but is probably best known for his role rumple-suited Chicago reporter Carl Kolchak in the Night Stalker television series (1974-75).
The show's groundbreaking newsman-meets-the-supernatural shtick garnered it many cult fans over the years, including Chris Carter, who cited The Night Stalker as one of his major inspirations for The X-Files. In the late 1990's, Carter cast McGavin in a minor recurring role on the show as "Arthur Dales," a former FBI agent retreated into obscurity after investigating a series of cases involving aliens and a U.S. government conspiracy during the chilliest years of the Cold War [5X15 'Travelers,' 6X14 'Agua Mala' and 6X20 'The Unnatural'] - the "original" X-Files. He also had a cameo role as profiler Frank Black's (Lance Henriksen) father in Carter's culty Millennium series.
The original Night Stalker series (which ran for only one season) was finally released as a DVD box set last October. The show took a few episodes to level out, but by early 1975, Kolchak found himself on the trail of bloodthirsty Hindu demons hungry for elderly Chicago flesh, poltergeists cracking the foundations of a new hospital built on sacred Native American ground, and headless motorcyclists hellbent on revenge (in "Chopper," co-written by a young Robert Zemeckis). The X-Files parallels are definitely there, down to Mulder's lonesome oboe leitmotif.
PopMatters has an informative [sh]obit. Farewell, Darren McGavin: you barely had time to enjoy the royalties on the Stalker box set.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006The Chicago Transit Authority is holding a contest where students can name the new CTA train line that bypasses the 54/Cermak Blue Line west of the city. Granted, they mean students ... as in kids ... but I thought my entry was kinda cool, anyway.
Indigo is the color corresponding to the highest vibration on the visible color spectrum; it is also associated with the 7th Chakra in Kundalini philosophy, the "crown of consciousness." It's the Color of Soul, and in my opinion, the "L" is the Soul of Chicago.Chant for my entry, won't you?