Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won their respective Illinois primary elections yesterday. And in other news:
- Turns out, a strong social safety net leads to lower mortality, and because poor, mostly-white areas in the U.S. voted theirs down to minuscule levels, poor, white people are not doing well.
- When you vote against your own party in a hot battle with the opposition governor, and the governor wins that battle, that's a career-limiting move. Illinois representative Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) got spanked hard for doing that last night. Good.
- A guy got charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly jamming cell phones on the CTA Red Line.
- President Obama nominated an old white guy to the Supreme Court this morning, flummoxing Senate Republicans who want to stonewall the process.
- For no reason anyone can determine, the city seems to be waging a war against valet parking companies. Businesses are annoyed.
- The Daily WTF thought President Obama sounded like an idiot boss on the subject of cell-phone encryption. Even John Oliver thought so.
- London is using pigeons with tiny backpacks to measure air pollution. No, really.
- Marco Rubio's friends say he's a lazy, devious little twerp—on the record. He's also dropped out of the 2016 race, and will probably be out of politics for a couple elections.
- Donald Trump's butler probably thought he was helping his boss by giving an interview to the Times, but...well...
- The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is this weekend. Here's what to see.
Time to write some documentation. Whee.
I drove to a vendor site today because Google Maps told me it would take 18 minutes. (It took 21.) Then I drove around in expanding circles for almost 45 minutes trying to find a parking space, which I finally did almost a kilometer away.
I really hate finding out after the fact that the slower form of transportation would have been faster.
First, 7am Friday:
Yeah, thanks guy. Wet nose in the ear before my alarm clock goes off.
And 7pm Saturday, at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, just before we sang "Elijah:"
One of my apartments is vacant, and can be yours for some time. Here's the Craigslist post (which will be a dead link in a week or so):
Sweet full 1BR, 625 sq.ft., jacuzzi tub, open kitchen, parquet floors, closet system. 16th floor of 21-story mid-century high rise, doorman, storage, exercise room, 24-hour laundry. Just steps to lake, Belmont Harbor, bike path; three blocks from St. Joseph hospital. Available now. $1500
The view (all photos from last Tuesday, March 8th):
The living room (and a piece of the view):
Oh, you crazy kids. This is a short list of what happened Saturday afternoon and evening in the area around Wrigley Field:
1:26PM — Dust off the ambulance. We have a female unconscious outside of Sluggers World Class Sports Bar, 3540 N Clark.
2:16PM — Callers at Addison and Halsted report seeing a man with a gun in his pocket. He is the first of many persons who will be described as wearing green clothing.
11:26PM — Recommendation: Don’t drink on the public way. Especially in front of the police station. Citation issued. 850 W Addison.
1:50AM — Hey! Remember that car that the police were impounding at Addison and Sheffield? Yeah, well, two women got into it and drove away. They've been caught and arrested at Belmont and Sheffield.
For all that, this year arrests and ambulance calls were way down from years past. Come on, Millennials, you're slacking.
I really, really like the Original Pronunciation movement started by David and Ben Crystal. Through analysis and performance, they're trying to understand Shakespeare's plays as audiences 400 years ago would have understood them.
The Crystals are back in the news with the upcoming publication of the Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation this June. The Atlantic has the story:
It’s a book, a guide to Shakespeare’s first folio, that Crystal has been working on for 12 years (on and off, because, as he notes, “it’s deadly boring” to put a dictionary together). That work involved, essentially, linguistic sleuthing: Crystal started by looking at the words that might have originally rhymed, based on rhyme schemes and the words’ current pronunciations, and then cross-referenced them against other appearances of those same words in Shakespeare’s corpus.
The resulting dictionary is meant, he explains, as a resource for anyone who wants to understand Shakespeare’s plays and poems not as amber-frozen relics of literary history, but as works that have evolved along with English itself. “I’m not suggesting for a moment that Original Pronunciation replaces other approaches to Shakespeare,” Crystal says. “It simply is an extra tool in the kit that you use when you’re putting on a play.”
And OP doesn’t simply add dimensions to Shakespeare’s work (or, for that matter, to Marlowe’s, and Jonson’s, and Webster’s). It can also help modern audiences simply to parse the plays, to tease out basic meanings that have been eroded in time. In Henry IV Part I, for example, Falstaff tells Hal, “Give you a reason on compulsion? If reasons were as plentiful as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion.” The line would seem, Crystal points out, to make very little sense—unless you understand that “reason” was pronounced, in Shakespeare’s English, as “raisin,” and that “raisin” was a synonym for “blackberry.”
I have, of course, pre-ordered the book.
Here are the Crystals giving a demonstration:
I'm leaving Harold Washington in a few minutes, now that I've caught up on some reading:
- Clancy Martin attempted to explain the martyr-like appeal of Ted Cruz.
- Deeply Trivial, who writes survey questions as part of her job, explained why she doesn't take surveys.
- Via Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, the University of Arizona outlined some new data linking sunspots, shipwrecks, tree trunks, and hurricanes.
- Suzy Khimm described the return of the pillory—via Internet, of course—as a tactic of some public prosecutors, most notably in the 2013 "Flush the Johns" operation in Nassau County, New York.
- Cranky Flier got interested in a robot that cleans airplanes. It's pretty cool.
- NPR media critic Adam Frank said I should watch SyFy's new series, "The Expanse."
- Engineer John Hayes wondered if we'll ever see a space elevator of the sort depicted in Neal Stephenson's Seveneves or Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars.
- Spanish writer Cristina Pop thought living in London was the worst three years of her life. (It sounds like her experiences don't exactly line up with mine, starting with her not speaking a word of English when she got there.)
I also watched a time-lapse video of the Chicago River turning green last year. If you want to see this odd Chicago tradition, go downtown tomorrow at 9.
I have a couple hours to kill in the Loop after having lunch with a friend. I don't really want caffeine or alcohol right now, which rules out the two classes of places to where I would most likely go. Then I remembered: there's a great big library here.
And yep, it looks like a library on the inside: shelves full of books, people reading, literary quotes on the walls, free WiFi. OK, that last bit isn't something I remember from the 1980s, but everything else is. They even have a shelf full of phone books.
OK, I've been here before, but still, I'm laughing at myself for not considering hanging out here before.
In between four rehearsals and two performances this week (Monday through Sunday), I'm taking tonight off. So while I have a minute or two between helping new developers understand some old code, I'm jotting down this list of things that looked particularly appealing when they came up on RSS feeds:
OK, the new devs are testing something...and more on that later.
The Chicago Transit Authority has concluded a deal worth up to $1.4 bn for 850 new rail cars:
The CTA’s board Wednesday approved the largest single purchase of rapid transit cars in Chicago history, giving the contract to a Chinese rail manufacturer that has promised to build a final assembly plant on the city’s Far South Side.
CTA officials said riders will see several major improvements when the prototype 7000-series cars arrive in late 2019. There will be full-width on-board LED screens capable of giving both of automated time and stop information, and real-time transit information in the event of delays or reroutes.
When the 7000-series cars are delivered in 2024, CTA will have the newest fleet of rapid transit cars in the nation, according to Bonds. He said the average age of a CTA ‘L’ car will be 13 years. By comparison, Boston has an average fleet age of 27 years, Washington, D.C. averages 25 years, New York averages 22 years and San Francisco averages 18 years.
The first prototypes should roll onto CTA tracks in October 2019.