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"Marriage can be understood as a kind of insurance policy that promotes economic and physical well-being," writes William Harms in the University of Chicago Chronicle (September 28), summarizing findings of U. of C. sociologist Linda Waite. Among them: marriage prolongs life, especially for men. "Married men live, on average, 10 years longer than nonmarried men, and married women live about four years longer than nonmarried women. Married men live longer because they adopt less risky, more healthy lifestyles as a result of the commitment brought on by marriage, and married women live longer due to improved financial well-being as a result of marriage." Also, "Married people have sex more often and enjoy it more."

Things Republicans don't want anybody to know. "The so-called conservatives in this Congress claim to favor public policies based on 'good science,' yet they are hacking away the infrastructure of laboratories and institutes that, for decades, has done the nation's scientific work," reports Rachel's Environment & Health Weekly (October 5). Current and prospective victims include the Office of Technology Assessment, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the National Bureau of Standards), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Hazardous Materials, chaired by Rep. Michael Oxley of Ohio's 4th District, is refusing to reauthorize the [NIEH's Superfund Basic Research Program] entirely, thus killing it dead. Mr. Oxley's position is that Superfund money should only be used for cleanup, not for any 'extraneous' uses like determining how clean our cleanups need to be, and why. Like other so-called 'conservatives' who claim they want policies based on 'good science,' Mr. Oxley reveals his true intentions as he prevents any 'good science' from being funded and carried out."

Problem: Chicago Board of Education researchers find bad news in the results of school readiness tests given every year to preschoolers. According to Lorraine Forte in Catalyst (October), "In 1988, 24 percent of state prekindergarten children could not pay attention long enough to complete a vision screening, and 20 percent could not complete a hearing test. By 1994, the percentages had risen to 41 percent and 33 percent, respectively."...Solution, from Catalyst's account of this summer's school-finance "miracle": "The board took a $3 million increase in money the state appropriated for prekindergarten programs for 'at-risk' youngsters and used it to help balance the school system's general operating budget."

"The new Beaujolais wines, considered to be very good, will hit the stores in mid-November, and are susceptible to a boycott because they are meant to be consumed right away," reports Illinois Peace Action in a recent news release. The organization is continuing to encourage boycotts of French products, hoping to stop nuclear testing in the South Pacific.

What a talent! From a recent Chicago Public Library press release announcing its Italian film series: "After Casablanca, Ingrid Bergman spent some time as a great Italian actress."

Our benevolent parent, the state. "An 'Americanization through homemaking' course for Mexican-American girls [some 75 years ago], for example, placed special emphasis on food, substituting 'flour, butter and sugar-based...sauces for tomato-based Mexican sauces of chiles, cheeses and nuts,'" write Felicia Kornbluh and Anore Horton in In These Times (October 2), reviewing Gwendolyn Mink's The Wages of Motherhood. "For salads, the course recommended 'boiled spinach served with mayonnaise...mixed fruits and mayonnaise, a cherry-topped banana with mayonnaise, and...pineapple and avocado salad with mayonnaise to carry out a green and yellow color scheme.'"

Why leave the School of the Art Institute for the Hyde Park Art Center? HPAC's new executive director Marie Shurkus, quoted in a recent press release, says, "People forget how important grassroots arts organizations are. Before the Center mounted the first Hairy Who exhibitions and literally put the Chicago art scene on the map, there was little in the way of commercial representation or even exhibition opportunities for Chicago artists. Essentially, if you wanted to make it as an artist, you simply had to leave Chicago. The Art Center changed all that. Hard times have returned to the Chicago art scene. More and more galleries are closing and exhibition opportunities are drying up again. It's time for the Hyde Park Art Center to step forward again."

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

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