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Hey wow, look at the colors! Just in case you were wondering about the Seventh Annual Telluride Mushroom Conference, to be held in Colorado at the end of August, the keynote address will be "Spore Trek: Mushroom Fellow Travelers in Inner and Outer Space."

You may be brilliant, but your drink is the wrong color. "I have a friend who is capable, enormously energetic, and knowledgeable," writes management consultant James Baehler in Success! (May 1987), "but at business luncheons he frequently orders chocolate milk. This and other peculiarities endear him to some of the people with whom he does business and who have gotten to know him. To others he is sending a message that says, 'I am different and your opinion of me doesn't matter to me. I may be brilliant but I may also be erratic or undependable.' . . . It may be too late for him to become a vice president."

The Park District's battle of the fences around outdoor swimming pools is most intense at Dvorak Pool on the west side, where break-ins necessitated 81 separate fence repairs during the summer of 1986, at a cost of $4,444. Says a Park District memorandum, "If the outdoor swimming program last summer was ten weeks long, then Dvorak Pool had iron workers out on the average more than once a day, with Humboldt not far behind."

"The president is not our "commander in chief' (unless we are all in the military forces)," writes Northwestern's Garry Wills in the Washington Post Magazine (June 28, 1987). "The president's authority to make decisions in the dark, to conduct a continual half-war on the verge of nuclear war or to let his subordinates do so is profoundly at odds with a Constitution based on constant scrutiny by, and accountability to, the citizens. The Constitution is being hollowed out by the very means we have adopted to protect 'the free world.' When the executive branch of the United States imitates the enemies of freedom by mining the harbors of nations with which we are not at war, then lies about that to Congress, then holds itself immune from popular judgment, the opposition to despotism has taken on the forms of despotism."

Chicago is growing again, proclaims NIPC 1986 , the annual report of the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission. "In the 1970's Chicago lost an average of 38,000 people each year. Conservative estimates of change since 1980, prepared by the Chicago Department of Planning, suggest an average annual gain of 500 people!"

What ever became of the insurance crisis? According to Illinois Action (Spring 1987), a publication of the Illinois Public Action Council, it became a profit bonanza for the insurance industry. "Insurance spokesmen throughout last year claimed that the industry lost $5 billion in 1985. . . . But the Insurance Services Organization, the insurance company trade group, now admits the industry earned at least $2 billion while General Accounting Office of Congress puts the figure at $9.2 billion. In 1986, that profit more than doubled. . . . [reaching] close to $19 billion--paid for by all those school districts, municipalities, day care centers and small businessmen who had to cut back on programs and limit services last year."

Blacks understand whites better than whites understand blacks, if you go by the numbers derived from a telephone survey of 701 city residents conducted last year by the University of Chicago's Center for Urban Research and Policy Studies (The Quality of Life in Chicago Neighborhoods). On a scale from 0 (least friendly) to 10 (most friendly), blacks rate whites 8.362--whereas whites believe blacks rate them much lower, at 4.780. On the other hand, whites rate blacks at 6.642--and blacks come much closer to this when they believe whites rate them at 5.596.

A fair day's work for a cheap day's pay. From Harper's "Index" (July 1987): "Percentage increase, since 1978, in the number of full-time workers who are paid minimum wage: 60."

If you haven't smashed your hand in softball yet, you're probably OK for the rest of this summer, suggests Michael Reese hand surgeon Dr. Michael Jablon. "Most injuries occur in June," he says, "because in the early season players are out of shape."

"It is a lot easier [for a homeless person] to blend in with a bunch of scruffy-looking graduate students than with businessmen and secretaries," according to a study at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus, which says that homeless people find college campuses relatively hospitable for panhandling and sleeping.

And then they snaked out the drains. A recent City Hall press advisory announced "A Community Workshop and Slide Film Presentation entitled 'A Journey From the Past to the Future Through the Chicago Sewer System,' as part of an ongoing preventive maintenance program at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church . . . "

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

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