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Vive la difference, if any. "In reviewing the entries, the jury could find no overt female characteristic in the work" submitted for Inland Architect's special issue on architecture by women (January/February 1991), writes Cynthia Chapin Davidson. "One could argue that the number of residential projects here sustains the claim that women primarily do residential architecture. . . . More telling, perhaps, was the lack of high-rise buildings among the entries. Are women less interested in the high rise (with its obvious male symbolism) or are they shut out of most opportunities to design such a building? Would a high rise designed by a woman take a different form than that by a man?"

Oh, darling, a vulture! Just what I wanted! The Chicago Zoological Society suggests that "if you're not sure candy and flowers will win over your love, let Brookfield Zoo's Venus the Vulture 'cut to the heart of the matter.' Adopt Venus for your sweetheart for $15 and the object of your affections will receive a gift card, an adoption certificate, a photo of Venus, a vulture fact sheet . . ."

"The depopulation of the CHA's high-rise projects continues inexorably," writes Ed Marciniak in Loyola Magazine (Winter 1991). "The official count of CHA residents in all family public housing dropped from 137,000 in 1970 to 95,000 in 1984, a 31 percent decrease. In Cabrini-Green alone, the resident population declined from 17,535 in 1970 to 8,684 in 1984, a 50 percent drop. . . . In 1984, according to the CHA, the 168 elevator buildings contained 19,700 family apartments; of these, 17,000 were occupied. Five years later, the number of occupied apartments was under 14,000."

Take your time. Executive Edge (January 1991) reports that the last interviewee gets the job nearly 56 percent of the time, the first interviewee only 17 percent of the time. "Other bad times for job interviews include Mondays or just before quitting time."

The proposed state Family and Medical Leave Act should easily pass the General Assembly this year, reports the Illinois Women's Agenda in its Notes (January 1991). "The problem will be in convincing Governor Edgar not to veto it. We are looking for anyone who has contacts with Edgar or his staff as we would like to arrange a meeting with him. If you know of anyone who might have an 'in' with Edgar--or if you just know a Republican, call . . . "

And that was before January 16. In Building Economic Alternatives (Winter 1990), the Rocky Mountain Institute calculates that a barrel of Persian Gulf oil that sells for $36 on the market actually costs $106.50, because the annual cost of military readiness, per barrel, is $62.70, and the cost of Operation Desert Shield, per barrel, was $7.80.

Misinformation please. From the publicity for the 1991 Information Please Almanac: "Since 1980, San Francisco has won the Super Bowl four times, defeating Cincinnati twice--once in 1982, the second time in 1989. The team also beat Miami in 1985, Super Bowl 15, and Chicago in Super Bowl 24 in 1990." No wonder football pros get paid so much--they had to play ten Super Bowls in six years. (And as all Chicagoans of course know, the Bears had been in hibernation for several weeks before the 1990 Super Bowl was played.)

Protest the yuppie way. The Chicago-based group Peaceniks is encouraging what it calls an "international fax-in," sending antiwar faxes to Bush, Baker, Congress, and "everyone you know in the United States and around the world."

Now that would be a shock. Grace Kaminkowitz in Today's Chicago Woman (January 1991): "Having women elected officials is no guarantee that women's issues will be addressed. Eleven years of Margaret Thatcher proved that some of our worst enemies wear skirts. Somehow it hurts all the more when women fail to support bills of importance to their sisters. It's kind of like finding Benedict Arnold in the women's restroom."

Who goes, who stays. Transportation Facts (December 1990) reports that Chicago Area Transportation Study researchers have compared those in the ten-county metropolitan area who took trips to destinations more than 150 miles from downtown Chicago with those who didn't. The travelers tend to be richer (43 percent of them earn more than $60,000 a year; only 17 percent of the nontravelers make that much) and older (their median age is 39; nontravelers' 34) and have larger families (2.72 people per household; nontravelers 2.41).

"Government is a wall of glue, a place where you send your application and then it just sticks there," says U. of C. public-policy graduate student Lowell Rice, quoted in the preliminary report of the Illinois Commission on the Future of Public Service (January 1991). "Nothing happens. You never get a letter that says, 'Thanks for applying, but there are no openings.' You just never hear anything."

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

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