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Come here often? I SAID, COME HERE OFTEN? "In other experiments, anurans (frogs and toads) living near highway noise could not determine the direction of sound sources as well as those living in quieter places," reports Ronald Larkin in Illinois Natural History Survey Reports (January/February). "The males near highways altered their calling and spaced themselves differently when attempting to attract females. We obtained similar results by playing recorded highway noise from loudspeakers," thus verifying "that it was the noise generated by the highway traffic and not other kinds of pollution or indirect causes that affected the anurans."

Most in need of getting a life. Why do workers spend work time playing games on the office computer? "We have deadlines for most things in the business world," writes Alfred Tantillo of Elmhurst in Chicago Computer Currents (January), "and, it seems, the deadlines have no real value for, once attained, the work sits idly while someone else reviews it, decides upon it, and passes it on for further approval. The speed of the info-link is steadily increasing and yet the length of the decision-chain continues to grow....In that aspect, a diversion such as DOOM II provides what is sorely missing in business life: An Answer NOW! You're either successful or you're not. You're either alive or you're dying or dead."

"Chicago blacks now earn half, on the average, of what whites earn, compared to two-thirds 30 years ago," reports Roosevelt University's Pierre deVise in a recent issue of Urban Geography. "Chicago's wealthiest neighborhood now enjoys 50 times the average income earned by persons in Chicago's poorest neighborhood. That disparity was only 17-to-1 in 1979."

"When I went to graduate school after teaching high school for a few years, I began to keep quiet about my teaching," says Olivia Gude in the New Art Examiner (January). "I received a number of negative comments that associated teaching with having one's mind and aesthetic sensibilities numbed, while equating things like cab-driving for a living with a kind of radical authenticity."

Well, yes. Announced topic of a discussion to be led by Rabbi Daniel Leifer at Evanston's Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation on February 24: "Feminist God Language: So, You Like God Better Now?"

"Majority black and Latino schools have brought more computers into the classroom than majority white schools [in Chicago]," reports Mary Abowd in the Chicago Reporter (December). "The white schools surveyed by the Reporter had 15.6 students for every computer, compared with a ratio of 10.1 in Latino schools and 9.2 in black schools....The student-computer ratio is lowest--9.4--in the 92 city schools surveyed that are 100 percent low income." It's a result of school reform, allowing local schools to spend discretionary funds, including state Chapter 1 funds (targeted to low-income children), as they see fit.

The power of words. President Clinton's proposal for AFTA--a free-trade zone that would extend from Alaska to Argentina--"went over well with almost everyone" at the Summit of the Americas in December, reports Jim McNeill in In These Times (January 23), "except for the Brazilian delegation, which disconsolately noted that 'afta' is the Portuguese word for an open sore in the mouth."

Chicago houses are cheaper than the area average, and appreciate faster, according to Northbrook-based Fran Spitz Coulter's review of 17 regional multiple listing areas. Chicago average selling price in 1994: $142,096 (region-wide average, $164,716). Chicago average appreciation: 5.7 percent (region-wide average, 3.0 percent).

"After being sold out for [Jesse] Jackson's personal ambitions three times now, it's time for progressives to face facts," writes Northwestern's Adolph Reed Jr. in the Progressive (February). "Jackson has no interest in building a movement. His personality-centered politics is the exact opposite of a movement; he wants to be a Great Man, the Maximal Leader who brokers the putative interests of a constituency that has no capacity for action apart from him. Nor is he really capable of mobilizing black Americans simply by his presence, as he and his publicists claim; he has traded on the white paternalism and gullibility that presume that black people all think with one mind and need to have someone who sort of looks like them tell them what to do.... Black Americans respond to direct appeals to their concrete interests, just like everyone else."

"Can a viable, vibrant work of audio art be made by actively subverting ideas like wholeness, continuity, and unity? Let's find out," says a brochure from the Experimental Sound Studio on North Paulina, describing a spring class, "Interruption as Artistic Practice," to be taught by associate director Lou Mallozzi. "Related topics like interference, the value of mistakes, and invasion will also be attended to....Limited to eight interrupters."

"The party affiliation that dare not speak its name came out screaming November 8," writes Mark Miller in Out (March). "In the 1994 election 32 percent of self-identified gay men and lesbians voted Republican--one-and-a-half times the percentage who voted Republican in 1990 and 1992."

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

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