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How do you keep deer from eating rare plants? Gary Horn, a volunteer steward at Salt Creek Prairie in western Cook County and an employee of Brookfield Zoo, tried scattering human hair around the plants, then lion hair, and finally succeeded with his "ultimate weapon," reports Natural Area Notes (February 1988)--leopard droppings. "According to Gary, leopard dung has a smell beyond imagining. He reports that his rare plants flowered and set seed with little disturbance from hungry deer."

Cheer up! It's just another job. The Southern Coalition Report on Jails & Prison (Fall/Winter 1987) reprints a preliminary draft of the plans for a new capital punishment facility in Tennessee, which is to include "the death chamber, equipment room, equipment testing area, executioner's lounge, and storage space. . . . the design should make every attempt to utilize light colors and de-emphasize oppressive and foreboding materials and textures." Executioners lounge?

"Chicago's leading tourist attraction," according to its president and director, Dr. James S. Kahn, is the Museum of Science and Industry, which broke its all-time attendance record last year, when 4,383,474 people visited it.

But what would Ed Meese think? "Handling huge gobs of clay with a Bacchic exuberance, [Kansas City ceramist Ken] Ferguson shapes over-sized vessels with an intimacy close to eroticism," we read in a press release from Esther Saks Gallery, where Ferguson's work is displayed through March 12. "The artist's imposition on the fleshlike malleability of the clay is an urgent presence. Thick ridges on the walls of the pots evoke a sense of body folds. Pinched and undulating rims . . ." Well, you get the idea.

"Your environment can't drop 500 points," advises the Vassa View, so spend--on a Vassa Group redesign of your home, of course. "I don't know how many people 'held off' on the design work they really wanted in their homes or offices because their money was 'working' for them in the stock market . . . but it's more than a few. What I do know is that those families and business people who didn't wait, who understood the 24-hour-a-day pleasure, the seven-day-a-week pride and the 12-months-a-year of efficiency and comfort that the proper furnishings and design can provide, well, those individuals have and will continue to benefit from something the market can't take away."

"Percentage of the top sixty Republican presidential campaign aides who are black or Hispanic," according to Harper's "Index" (March 1988): "0. Percentage who are white males: 87."

While you're thanking Dan Rostenkowski for this year's 1040 form, don't forget the shot in the back he gave Chicago more recently by making it almost impossible to buy out a private utility using tax-exempt bonds. As Scott Ridley (coauthor of Power Struggle) points out in a Safe Energy Communication Council editorial, "Rostenkowski's provision not only cripples the ability of Chicago and other communities . . . to negotiate with their utilities, but also weakens the hand of more than 700 cities and towns across the country that have franchises expiring in the next few years. It . . . leaves them captives of the private power companies."

"I came to law school with a fully developed identity as a gay man," one University of Michigan student tells Lynn Miller of Student Lawyer (February 1988), "but all of a sudden I had to be closeted. . . . There are ninety students in a class. You go to classes together, you sit next to the same people all day, you eat dinner together, you live with them. You have to coexist and you don't want to bring trouble on yourself. . . . There are times in class when I want to bring up gay-related issues, but I can't raise my hand, because I know everyone in the class will immediately wheel around in their chairs to see who said that."

Sawyer and Evans have the same record on the 32 City Council roll-call votes between April 15 and September 30, 1987, according to UIC political scientist Dick Simpson's new system for tallying council votes. Both would-be mayoral candidates voted with Mayor Washington all 32 times.

"Casimir Pulaski is not someone we need a holiday from school and work for," writes Michael H. Brownstein in a letter to Substance (February 1988). "I will assign a report on Pulaski to my sixth grade class like I do for every holiday . . . [But] he is not a George Washington, Abe Lincoln, or a Martin Luther King. Yes, he fought in a war to free our country. Yes, he knew George Washington. So did Benjamin Franklin. Should we have a day for Benjamin Franklin? Of course not. . . . I don't know about my fellow public school teachers, but it sure is hard for me to keep a straight face when I explain [this holiday] to my classroom."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

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