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Next week we'll do one million. Lorraine V. Forte in Catalyst (May): "Second-grade teacher Barbara Bibbs [of Medgar Evers School, 9811 S. Lowe] introduced her students to the concept of 1,000 by dumping 1,000 popsicle sticks on the floor. The youngsters then picked up the sticks and bundled them into groups of 10. Next they bundled the groups of 10 into groups of 100. Finally, 10 students were chosen to stand up and hold the bundles of 100 sticks in front of the class. 'It took a long time, but it was really something that sank in with them, more than if I just said to them or wrote down that a 1,000 is 10 groups of 100,' said Bibbs."

Why Sam Skinner should come home and get a real job. From the Amicus Journal (Spring): "Ten years ago, the [U.S.] Department of Transportation spent twice as much on highways as it did on mass transit. Today, that ratio stands at five to one; under the [proposed] administration bill, it would drop to ten to one."

Revenge. "All across the Great Lakes, commuters shivering through January's arctic winds... pass giant billboards of glorious Sun Belt beaches and sunsets...So, how about some big billboards alongside southern California's freeways, showing people luxuriating in our vast, fresh sweetwater seas? Better yet, maybe some television commercials aimed at [California] homeowners facing bans on lawn sprinkling: don't worry about finding enough water to fill the pool, come to the Great Lakes and go swimming every day from June to September!" (From the Great Lakes Reporter, March/April.)

Um, is that what economists call a "barrier to entry"? Jan Dee of Jan Dee Jewelry, quoted in Cross Currents Artbeats(May/June/July) on going into business for yourself: "Think success...pamper your customers...offer service, service, service. You may, from time to time, have to offer your first-born."

Sorry, bub, we're pulling you over for a random testosterone check. Epilife (Spring) reports on a New England Journal of Medicine study of four years of traffic accidents (5,665 of them) in and around Marshfield, Wisconsin. The study suggests that "1,586 accidents would have been avoided if men had the same risk as women."

"There are arguments to be made for and against density [in the Loop]," writes Ed Zotti in Chicago Enterprise (May 1991), "but scarcely anyone has heard them. One doesn't talk about such things in Chicago. The real-estate lawyers glare at you and that's the end of it."

Dept. of Political Incorrectitude. "There's no question that the names of rape victims--any victims--should be kept out of the news until or unless they indicate a willingness to 'go public,'" WNUA FM news director Charles Meyerson tells Chicago Journalist (May). "But bearing in mind the fundamental American principle of innocent until proven guilty, I think suspects deserve the same right to privacy."

Bashing the Big Three. "Delta's average fare was 10.2% above the industry norm, American's 8.7% and United's 5.3%," according to a biased source, number-nine carrier America West, which fears that mere price competition will not humble the giants. "The Chicago O'Hare-Cincinnati market with 17 daily nonstops operated by United, Delta and American is one of several markets in which the 'Big Three' compete head-to-head from their hubs. Fares in this market, however, are twice as high as the industry average fare." On the other hand, "in Chicago markets where American and United do not compete with Midway, their fares are almost 20% higher than in markets where Midway is a competitor..."

Let's see--chocolate, pizza, ice cream, and Barq's Root Beer. This from the National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics on West Jackson: "More than 75 percent of men today are concerned about how diet affects their health....Yet only 23 percent of those surveyed could name the major food groups."

Don't close the books on the Gulf War until 2117. From Harper's "Index" (May): "Number of Americans who received veterans' benefits last year for a relative's service in the Civil War: 51."

Encounter on the fifth floor. In Mary O'Connell's School Reform Chicago Style, west-sider James Deanes recalls Mayor Harold Washington's November 1987 talk with him about chairing the Parent/Community Council: "'I know what you can do in a meeting with the brothers,' Deanes quotes Washington as saying, 'but can you work with the North Side? Can you go out across the city and find out what the people are saying--not just black folks, and not just parents, but people who pay taxes and don't have children in the schools? Can you stick it out to the end?' Deanes recalls: 'He looked at me in that way he had, even when he was laughing, that piercing look that said, you cannot be weak, I need you to drive this process. Under that stare, I could do anything.'"

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

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