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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (
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The [Thursday] Papers

"As younger military veterans stream back into Illinois from Iraq and Afghanistan, the state faces a challenge as it tries to make them more of a priority in a time of desperately tight budgets," AP reports.

"The state has been increasing the amount it spends on veterans services in recent years. But the bulk of that money is spent on older veterans while many younger soldiers and National Guard troops are returning to a difficult economy looking for help with jobs and training.

[ . . . ]

"The vast majority of the money Illinois spends on its veterans - $82.86 million, or 85 percent - goes into the state's four veterans' homes, which serve between 900 and 1,000 former military personnel.

"'I think it's where it ought to be,' Erica Borggren, director of the Department of Veterans Affairs, said about the financial emphasis on older veterans. 'Those veterans served in World War II or Korea. That's been a core, defining mission for our agency for a long time now.'"

Worst Non-Child Abusing Cardinal Ever
"Setting off a new round in his dispute with gay right activists, Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has issued a statement defending his recent comparison of the gay rights movement to the Ku Klux Klan," the Tribune reports.

Because, you know, they both have parade routes that go in front of churches.


George then compared Macy's to the Third Reich.

Global Economy
"Wheat, set for the biggest annual drop since 2008, fell in Chicago on speculation Algeria again shunned U.S. supplies in favor of alternative sources," BusinessWeek reports.

No word on how one of our favorite beers might be affected.

Energy Plan
"A Chicago-based company that can turn old tires and other garbage into electricity could set up plants in the West Tennessee towns of Bolivar and Middleton," the Memphis Business Journal reports.

Can we give them Sears instead?

Taste Haste
Tweet from the Tribune's Luke Seeman:

City expands Taste of Sanity festival to 360 days.


Taste of Park Ridge will also provide less firepower this year.


Alternate: On the other hand, Taste of Park Ridge will be offering less bang for the buck this year.

Rude Food
"A vending operation here has agreed to stop producing and distributing its sandwiches and produce after Food and Drug Administration investigators said they repeatedly found unsanitary conditions and bacterial contamination in the facility," Vending Times reports.

"Triple A Services, a full-line vending and mobile catering company, entered the agreement under a consent decree filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois."

From Triple A's website:

"Continually on the leading edge in snack and culinary excellence, Triple A Services strides forward as a family-owned and family-managed enterprise which delivers great-tasting quality food and impeccable service to businesses, industrial sites, universities, recreational centers, and corporate cafeterias throughout Illinois."


"The Sandwich Vending Machines from Triple A Services Inc. offer an array of superbly prepared breakfast, lunch, and snack foods. All are made and packaged fresh each day in our government approved kitchen and bakery. From ham and cheese sandwiches to chicken fajita salads to blueberry muffins to Mexican pastries, the homemade fare from our Chicago commissary is delicious beyond expectation."

Carson Pirie Rice
"There's a social component to a lot of food art, whether Jennifer Rubell's room-sized cell padded with 1,800 cones of pink cotton candy or Marina Abramovic's recent 'The Survival MoCA Dinner,' which included nudes lying beneath skeletons as food was served by pallbearers," reports. "But German artist Wolfgang Laib is aiming for something quieter and more introspective with his show Unlimited Ocean, at the Art Institute of Chicago's Sullivan Galleries in the iconic Carson, Pirie, Scott Building.

"During his ten-day residence, Laib created one of his largest works using more than 2,500 pounds of food with the help of 13 assistants who arranged more than 30,000 tiny piles of rice and pollen lined in rows across the room."

Click through to see the photos.

Pong Wrong
Apparently the world's top-ranked beer pong player is from Mount Prospect. Duly noted.

But that's really no way to treat beer.

Scarface and The Tao of Jerry Angelo
In this week's Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Sigma Tao.


Posted on December 29, 2011

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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