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The [Tuesday] Papers

Well, it's been a glitchy few days here in The Papers division of The Beachwood Reporter, culminating with this column going blank this morning, but we think we've got everything fixed. The rumor that we were testing out a Beachwood Select model requiring payment for access to the daily column is not true, though it does give us an excuse to once again ask for a donation through our Beachwood Membership program. Perhaps we can dedicate some funds to our Technical Glitch account.

Also, I'll be appearing on a panel on Thursday about "Emerging Online News Outlets" as part of the Community Media Workshop's annual Making Media Connections conference. I will be joined by Naz Hamid of Gapers Block and Brian Sobolak of Chicago Bloggers. Kristina Findlay of Kathy Schaeffer and Associates will moderate. The panel is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. at Columbia College, 1104 South Wabash Avenue.

And now, let's get caught up.

1. If you don't get just a little verklempt reading Mary Mitchell' s column about the friendship between her African-American father and the Jewish son of the man he worked for, then you've got a hole in your soul.

2. Moonlight Greenberg.

3. What did the mayor know, and when did he know it? I'm not referring to the ongoing City Hall corruption trial in federal court laying bare the political machinery that has perverted your local government in the Daley years, but the hopefully-soon-to-be-released Burge report.

4. Would the death of 17-year-old Nicole Alaniz be less tragic if she wasn't an honor student and therefore not, by some people's definition, "promising"? The Tribune thinks so.

5. So it turns out that George W. Bush isn't even a very good guy to have a beer with. In fact, he's a prick. Why did it take so long for Elisabeth Bumiller at The New York Times (or anyone else) to tell us that? Perhaps Bumiller was frightened.

6. From Popular Science (via CNN): "Mysterious Red Cells Might Be Aliens."

KEY EXCERPT: "[Godfrey] Louis's theory holds special appeal for [Chandra] Wickramasinghe. A quarter of a century ago, he co-authored the modern theory of panspermia, which posits that bacteria-riddled space rocks seeded life on Earth.

"If it's true that life was introduced by comets four billion years ago," the astronomer says, "one would expect that microorganisms are still injected into our environment from time to time. This could be one of those events."

Does that explain Taylor Hicks?

Popular Science also explores whether wearing tinfoil hats can actually prevent the government from reading your thoughts, and whether it's possible to blow up Mars.

7. Best use of the Beachwood Tip Line yet:

"Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by ( on Monday, June 05, 2006 at 16:57:16

"Name: methorcrack

"Message: The Sun Times TV review of the season finale of The Sopranos has Chris smoking crack with his new squeeze. Meanwhile, the Tribune has them smoking meth. To be sure, I wasn't sure what they were up to either (leaning toward crack), but someone needs to find out what's what here."


8. As with their Washington Mutual pimping, it's almost worse if the Sun-Times legitimately thinks this is actually a worthy story rather than it being an attempt to suck up to Quizno's and its ad budget.

9. The Sun-Times once again decided the best use of its precious space was to publish a press release from an elected officeholder - in the midst of a campaign - who might not otherwise be heard, because he's only the governor. Maybe have your reporters request in interview instead?

10. Give the paper credit, though. The next day the paper published a rebuttal from the Judy Baar Topinka campaign . . . by former Gov. Jim Edgar. Like Edgar, Topinka is apparently still deciding whether she wants to be in this race.

11. Edgar: "I sometimes worry that this administration's quest to sell off state assets will lead to selling the Governor's Mansion or turning it into a bed and breakfast."

Didn't Jim Thompson already do that?

12. "1 in 5 at Cornell, Princeton Practices Cutting." I didn't know there were that many emo fans in the Ivy Leagues.

13. "My wife will tell you that by nature I'm not somebody who gets real worked up about things. When I see Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity baying across the television screen, I find it hard to take them seriously; I assume that they must be saying what they do primarily to make money, although I do wonder who would spend their precious evenings with such sourpusses."

- Barack Obama, in an excerpt from his upcoming book, The Audacity of Hope

14. Is it possible to overdose on caffeine?

"It would take more than 10 grams of caffeine, or roughly 100 cups of coffee in a row, to kill you."

- Men's Journal, July

15. Tribune deputy managing editor/features Jim Warren describing his paper recently in the Washington Monthly:

"It needs more juice in its financial and on certain feature pages. A homogeneity in section design can leave some snoozy, though there's been a sharp improvement on Sunday. Its beat structure, like that at many papers, needs significant rethinking, and important areas of life, such as religion and education, are largely covered only when there's conflict to detail."

Oh, wait. He's describing The New York Times. My mistake.

16. So Madonna is really just a Boy Toy after all.

17. "'The idea is that you come to these parties - they put women in a subservient role, to say the least - dressed as some fantasy, right?' says [Duke University women's center director Donna] Lisker, who points out that this is not just a phenomenon at Duke but a fairly common experience at campuses across the country. 'I want to say to them, "Why are you going?"' The problem is, women don't always recognize it as demeaning or subservient. Anna, for example, sees it as powerful. 'It's kind of like domination through sex,' she says.

"But Lisker maintains it's exactly the opposite. 'They've gotten this message from the media and other places that part of being a modern woman is sort of playing with your sexuality. But you get in this situation where they think at this party that they're exercising control. They think that they're showing these boys how it's done by pouring grain alcohol down their throats, by dressing in a sexy way. What they don't necessarily get,' she adds, 'is that you put on that Playboy-bunny outfit and you're stepping into a history of objectification.'"

- Sex & Scandal at Duke, Rolling Stone

18. "Chicago is home to the Network Access Point (NAP) - the world's largest Internet exchange point by volume - [which] is located in the central business district . . . Indeed, more data moves through Chicago's internet infrastructure than anywhere else on Earth: 10 terabytes per day.

"The city is also home to the Science, Technology, and Research Transit Access Point (STAR TAP). This is the only facility in the world that allows for a cooperative interconnection point among numerous international advanced networks."

- From the city's request for Wi-Fi proposals

19. "Because the aldermen did anything the mayor said . . . Now when we think for ourselves you castigate us!"

- Ald. Bernie Stone on Chicago Tonight explaining why he and his colleagues deserve a pay raise in a performance that showed why they don't.

20. The city is putting body bags (Disposable Disaster Pouches) out to bid. For those interested, scroll down to "Spec #44492."

The Beachwood Tip Line: A little verklempt.


Posted on June 6, 2006

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - NHL: CTE Not Our Fault.

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.

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