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At the in-laws', thank you very much. From the Field Museum's advance calendar (Spring 1991), promoting its "family overnights": "When was the last time you and your family stayed as the overnight guests of pre-historic dinosaurs and ancient mummies?"

"For as long as most Chicagoans can remember, the central library has been a slow-motion train wreck," writes Ed Zotti in Chicago Enterprise (January 1991). Later this year, with the dedication of the Harold Washington Library Center, "after years of having its books crammed into a succession of warehouses, Chicago, in former Mayor Eugene Sawyer's words, will have a library that looks like a library. Now the trick is to get it to act like one." Zotti tried looking for 60 books on geometry listed in the computer catalog; after an hour and a half he located six, and four of them were in the reference section and couldn't be checked out. Some of the rest were in branches; some may have been stolen. "Library officials believe the theft rate is down but, since no inventory has been done in many years, it's impossible to know for sure, or for that matter to say exactly how many books the library actually has."

Dept. of superfluous advice, from a paper-plate manufacturer's Super Bowl party tips: "Keep food solid and simple--Super Bowl spectators do not eat quiche."

Just in case you were expecting merit selection. If Indiana can't swing the third Chicago-area airport for Gary, it will vote for Chicago's Lake Calumet airport site, said Indiana state transportation commissioner Christine W. Letts in an Associated Press story January 6: "Indiana and Chicago can outvote Illinois [on the decision-making committee], and that is important. The decision essentially will be a political one."

"You're right, but if you said that on this campus, your name would be absolute mud." That's what a Howard University professor told economist Thomas Sowell when Sowell said, "There isn't a speck of evidence that role models, in the sense of the popular usage, make the slightest difference. When the Irish Catholics came to New York City, they were taught by Protestants. When the Jews came they were taught by the Irish Catholics. And when blacks of my era came here we were taught by Jews. Almost never do you find groups being taught by their own people, certainly not at the beginning" (Issues & Views, Summer 1990).

A great city deserves a better newspaper. Investing for a Better World has named the Tribune Company as one of the five worst companies of 1990 for its repeated union busting, first at the Chicago Tribune (1985 and after) and now at the New York Daily News.

Test your Vegetarian Correctness (VC) with these guidelines for food brought to Chicago Vegetarian Society potluck dinners (Chicago Vegetarian, November/December 1990): "Dishes should contain no meat or fish, or any meat by-products: these include gelatin, meat broth, fish flakes, etc. Try to avoid refined (white) flours, rice, or other processed grains, as well as sugar, excessive salt, oily foods, chemicals and processed ingredients. Since everyone has his or her own restrictions, we ask that all dishes be labeled with either a list of ingredients or the recipe used, and that your name be attached."

What we learned during the 1980s. It turns out that ionizing radiation is three to four times as hazardous as was officially believed in 1980. The Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety's Nuclear Safety Update (Fall 1990) reports that in 1980 scientists believed that a dose of ten rems would cause 230 extra fatal cancers per 100,000 people. Now the figure is 800. Comments one IDNS staff Pollyanna, "The hazard really hasn't changed, just our understanding of the hazard."

Billions for war, peanuts for war prevention. That's the administration's energy budget, as seen by the Safe Energy Communication Council. For instance, Bush requested that Congress slash state and local energy-conservation funds from $218 million to $30 million. Congress instead raised funding to $268 million. Yet in 1980 the figure was $435 million.

How about some jail time while we're at it? Latest complaint from the Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University in Saint Louis (in "The New Wave of Business Regulation" by Murray Weidenbaum): "Buried in the recently approved budget deficit reduction package is a sharp seven-fold hike in maximum penalties for civil violations of Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations. This means that the top civil penalty for a single repeated or willful violation of OSHA will rise to $70,000; the compulsory minimum penalty for a willful violation is now $5,000" (emphases added).

For use in ancient-history class? A suburban school district advertised recently in the Illinois Association of School Boards' News Bulletin (December 17) for 40 to 50 copies of a 1981 science textbook.

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

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