NPR reported this morning on a rally in West Virginia funded by Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy, and organized by the American Petroleum Institute. Money quote from Blankenship, speaking to the coal miners attending the rally:
In Washington they sometimes say those of us in Appalachia need help because we're not very smart. But we're smart enough to know that only God can change the earth's temperature, not Al Gore!
You know, it's really hard to argue with logic like that.
Oprah Winfrey has gotten the city to close 400 m of Michigan Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Chicago:
The street will be closed to vehicular traffic from Wacker Drive to Ohio Street until 5 a.m. Wednesday. The sidewalks will be open for pedestrians, and there will be access to all buildings in that stretch of Michigan Avenue. The city says that it may close the Michigan Avenue bridge to pedestrian traffic during the taping of the show.
A stage will be constructed on Michigan Avenue just north of the Michigan Avenue Bridge for the show, which will tape for two hours beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday and will be broadcast on Sept. 10. Musical artists The Black Eyed Peas, illusionist Criss Angel and Oscar winner and singer Jennifer Hudson will be guests on the show.
Here's a map of the area.
The local NPR affilliate, WBEZ-FM, ran a bit this morning in which the reporter interviewed a woman dressed as a crawfish and a man covered in silver paint, standing on a box. Who says NPR is high-brow?
Via reader MS, the instant rimshot.
From the Economist:
The Economist's new audio guide, which you can hear on our website, takes travellers through the pitfalls of London life by explaining the right etiquette both for meetings and for pubs, and showing how to earn the approval of British counterparts. Hold off on the wine at lunch, shop for souvenirs at Fortnum & Mason, and if you do have to use Heathrow airport, consider taking the Underground. If you're delayed, you'll be able to curse the transport like any good Londoner.
Of course, I would like to have seen this before returning from London...
Via the Chicago Tribune, Budweiser has an ad running in Ireland shot in Chicago. It's kind of fun:
I got so caught up in Parker Day yesterday I forgot to mention this bit of history:
[A] century ago Tuesday, on Sept. 1, 1909, State and Madison Streets became the base line of a new citywide grid system that changed virtually all addresses and also formed the basis for the street systems of many suburbs.
[Before then, t]he winding, bending Chicago River was the original start of the grid, but that meant addresses weren't consistent because they weren't based on a straight line, said Tim Samuelson, the city's cultural historian. When buildings were added, the city sometimes gave them numbers out of order. Street names were duplicated throughout the city, such as Lincoln Avenue and Lincoln Place.
The grid system means getting lost in Chicago takes a great deal of effort.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago has more:
The renumbering of Chicago's streets in 1909 and 1911 obviously required a great deal of preparation. Residents needing to notify correspondents of a new house number could find a variety of preprinted postcards in styles ranging from humorous to decorative to matter-of-fact. The August 21, 1909, Record-Herald headlined an article, "Postcard makers Reap Harvest on Change in City's House System."
Besides postcard makers, mapmakers also saw a dramatic rise in business as a result of the new system. This 1910 Rand McNally map shows that every eight blocks on the grid (starting from State Street and moving west) marks a major thoroughfare.
Getting someone's address in Chicago, therefore, becomes just a question of cross-streets. "I'm at 1060 W. Addison," someone says, and all you need to know to get there is, "What hundred north?" (3600, for those unfamiliar with the location.)
In fairness to cities where, for example, West Fourth and West Tenth intersect, Chicago got to start its street system from scratch—twice. Still, it does make living here seem that much more rational.
I adopted the fuzzy dude three years ago today. And you can see why: