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Propulsion systems NASA should take a look at. From the Chicago Children's Museum events calendar for July and August: "Journey to Mars via interpretive dance."

Keep cool. Kate Walz, an attorney with First Defense Legal Aid, writes in the June-July issue of "Neighborhoods" that she generally recommends that people detained by the police "provide no information to officers other than your name, address, phone number, and date of birth (if a minor)." But beyond that, clam up. "A person detained by the police is often, rightfully, frustrated and upset by their situation and will begin asking questions that can easily be turned back on them. For example, detainees generally will ask, 'Why are you arresting me?' Police will generally turn this question back onto the detainee with a statement, like 'Why do you think you are being arrested?' People then begin providing information to the police that could be later used against them. The only additional questions the detained person can ask the officers, politely and in a calm tone, is 'Am I under arrest?' If the officers say that you are not under arrest, then ask, again calmly and politely (no matter what is being said back to you), 'Am I free to leave?' If the officer tells you that you can leave, you should promptly, but without running, exit the scene."

Good news, bad news. According to county clerk David Orr's recently released "Post Election Report" on the consolidated April 3 local election, "Turnout in suburbs with a contested mayoral or presidential race averaged 36 percent, compared to a turnout of 20 percent in municipalities where the first race was uncontested." Voter turnout ranged from a low of 9 percent in Streamwood to a high of 77 percent in South Chicago Heights.

News flash. The American Association of University Professors reports in a fact sheet ( that, on average, women professors earn 91 percent of what their male counterparts earn. Of the ten highest-paying public institutions, only one reports paying higher average salaries to female full professors--the College of William and Mary. Of the ten highest-paying private institutions, including the University of Chicago, only one pays higher average salaries to female full professors (Rockefeller University).

Metropolitan spread. According to a new Brookings Institution report, "Job Sprawl: Employment Location in U.S. Metropolitan Areas" (May), there are 2.8 million jobs within 30 miles of Chicago's center--and just 525,000 of them are within three miles of the Loop.

News you won't hear from liberal antismokers or conservative culture warriors. Sociologist Mike Males, writing in an article published on AlterNet (May 22): "In 1988, R.J. Reynolds introduced its Joe Camel cartoon icon designed to market Camel cigarettes. Everyone from Ralph Nader and anti-tobacco groups to the Centers for Disease Control to conservative tobacco-state lawmakers insisted cigarette ads, especially Joe Camel, lure teens to smoke. Yet, none mentioned the startling fact that in the four years after Joe's advent, every survey showed teenage smoking declined--down 19 percent among high schoolers from 1988 to 1992, twice as fast as the drop among adults....It wasn't until 1993, when cigarette ad spending fell and market analysts agreed Joe Camel was old hat, that teenage smoking went up."

See this penny? It's my stock adviser. According to an August 1 press release from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, finance professors Louis K.C. Chan and Josef Lakonishok have analyzed the performance of a cross section of U.S. companies between 1951 and 1998, and found that "the odds of anyone successfully uncovering the next high-flier growth stock are about the same as correctly calling coin tosses."

Downstate = gene central. Between 1987 and January 2001 Illinois had 2,832 sites where the environmental impact of certain gene combinations in crops were supposed to be tested, according to USDA figures cited in the U.S. Public Interest Research Group report "Raising Risk: Field Testing of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S." (June). That's about 10 percent of the nationwide total--and more than any other state except Hawaii.

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