IllinoisTimes - Blogs http://illinoistimes.com/blog Mon, 26 Jan 15 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 "Whiplash" Follows the Beat of its Own Drum http://illinoistimes.com/blog-15021-whiplash-follows-the-beat-of-its-own-drum.html "Whiplash" Follows the Beat of its Own Drum
“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘Good job.’ ” So says Terence Fletcher, instructor at the Shaeffer Conservatory of Music, a master manipulator whose sole...]]>
Despite Aniston's Fine Work, "Cake" Half-Baked http://illinoistimes.com/blog-15020-despite-anistons-fine-work-cake-half-baked.html Despite Aniston's Fine Work, "Cake" Half-Baked
The role of Claire Bennett in Daniel Barnz’s “Cake” is one performers love to see come their way.  The character is sympathetic, is required to deliver biting crowd-pleasing bits of dial...]]>
Listen to the President -- he's your leader http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14991-listen-to-the-president-hes-your-leader.html Listen to the President -- he's your leader
Reporter Claire Cain Miller recalled Pres. Obama’s wish, expressed during the State of the Union Address, that Internet service that is fast enough to be useful and affordable enough to be used be extended to every American city. Right now, lack of competition among the big providers means that most Americans have both slower and more expensive Internet service than people in many other countrie...]]>
On the roads again? http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14987-on-the-roads-again.html On the roads again?
 In “Topping off the tank” in 2012, I noted about the federal gas tax that it had not been adjusted for inflation since 1993, Merely raising the federal gas tax enough to restor...]]>
2015 Oscar Nominations: Snubs and Surprises Aplenty http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14985-2015-oscar-nominations-snubs-and-surprises-aplenty.html 2015 Oscar Nominations: Snubs and Surprises Aplenty
 It’s an annual rite in Hollywood. If you’re part of the film industry, you wait by the phone in the wee morning hours on the second Thursday in January as Oscar nominations are announced at...]]>
New Beijings http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14961-new-beijings.html New Beijings
 In my 2012 column “New Beijings,” I speculated more than half seriously on a possible cure for the depopulation of the Illinois countryside. I proposed to add a few New Beijings to our Ne...]]>
Other views of Lee Sandlin http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14984-other-views-of-lee-sandlin.html Other views of Lee Sandlin
 On January 9. Bob Goldsborough of the Chcago Tribune published a fine obituary of Lee Sandlin, the man I described in "A poet of Fact" as "arguably . . . Illinois’ best writer." In on...]]>
“Taken 3” and Neeson Running on Empty http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14960-%25E2%2580%259Ctaken-3%25E2%2580%259D-and-neeson-running-on-empty.html “Taken 3” and Neeson Running on Empty
It’s hardly surprising that an air of weariness hangs over Taken as the third entry in any most any franchise starts to look ragged around the edges.  However, what’s most surprising is jus...]]>
A town by any other name . . . http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14957-a-town-by-any-other-name-.html A town by any other name . . .
 You might recall that in a February 2014 column I argued with myself about whether “Springfieldian” or “Springfielder” is the more appropriate term for residents of the state capital.&...]]>
Waiting for wisdom http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14954-waiting-for-wisdom.html Waiting for wisdom
 Faithful readers of this paper will recall that Jackson Street between 2nd  and 8th streets has been talked about in recent months as a pedestrianized link between the statehouse complex...]]>
Patience Required to Appreciate Anderson’s “Vice” http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14936-patience-required-to-appreciate-anderson%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%259Cvice%25E2%2580%259D.html Patience Required to Appreciate Anderson’s “Vice”
 “There’s this guy…” It’s been my experience that any time someone uses that phrase, trouble is in the offing.  That’s certainly the case i...]]>
Torch Tuesday is on fire in the new year http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14929-torch-tuesday-is-on-fire-in-the-new-year.html Torch Tuesday is on fire in the new year
The Springfield hip-hop scene closed out 2014 with a smattering og well-attended events including a recent Peoria vs. Springfiled rap battle, last week's New Year's Eve show and an industry showcase...]]>
Naming right http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14926-naming-right.html Naming right
Further thoughts on the naming, renaming and misnaming of public buildings that I addressed in "Official graffiti": The original wing of what is now regrettably known to most Illinoisans as the Mi...]]>
Learning to share http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14927-learning-to-share.html Learning to share
 In “Why did the pedestrian not cross the road?” I noted that downtown promoters and merchants have become concerned about the risks to workers, shoppers and tourists downtown posed by car...]]>
Franco Shines in Lackluster "Interview" http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14925-franco-shines-in-lackluster-interview.html Franco Shines in Lackluster "Interview"
All that trouble for this… I’m sure I’m not the only one who was hoping that Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan’s The Interview would be, if not a groundbreaki...]]>
Listening about torture http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14863-listening-about-torture.html Listening about torture
Tom Sullivan at Hullabaloo fetched a bit of tape from the memory hole. Holding copies of FBI emails about torture that the ACLU obtained through FOIA requests last fall, Sen. Dick Durbin said, ...]]>
A little knowledge . . . No. 5 in a series http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14864-a-little-knowledge-no-5-in-a-series.html A little knowledge . . . No. 5 in a series
The invaluable Diane Coyle at The Enlightened Economist recently brought to our attention The Diminishing Returns of the Information Age by Mark Roeder, an essay gathered in a collection about&...]]>
Losing our mind http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14835-losing-our-mind.html Losing our mind
Janet Daley is the venerable commentator and critic for Britain's The Telegraph. Recently she took up the larger issues raised by the recent report of this country's secret post-9/11 torture program...]]>
Shocking truths http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14806-shocking-truths.html Shocking truths
 Governor-elect Bruce Rauner was in Springfield on Dec, 2, where he told the press that the State of Illinois budget deficit "is far worse than has been discussed." No, it's not. It's exactly...]]>
Fun with maps http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14804-fun-with-maps.html Fun with maps
 In my September column, “Where’s Illinois?,” I hazarded the guess that the mental maps that Americans make of the places they know resemble the actual map as much as the State of Illinoi...]]>
Thanks, Bruce http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14774-thanks-bruce.html Thanks, Bruce
 The Executive Mansion is falling apart -- the mechanical systems need to be replaced, the roof leaks and the flooring is even less well-supported than recent State of Illinois budgets. Not ...]]>
Thanks -- I guess http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14775-thanks-i-guess.html Thanks -- I guess
The Executive Mansion is falling apart -- the mechanical systems need to be replaced, the roof leaks and the flooring is even less well-supported than recent State of Illinois budgets. Govenor-el...]]>
Redmayne and Jones Bring Heart and Soul to “Everything” http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14773-redmayne-and-jones-bring-heart-and-soul-to-%25E2%2580%259Ceverything%25E2%2580%259D.html Redmayne and Jones Bring Heart and Soul to “Everything”
James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything is a noble endeavor, an effort to portray theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s refusal to be completely silenced by the debilitating neuromuscular disea...]]>
Smart machines, dumb people http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14746-smart-machines-dumb-people.html Smart machines, dumb people
 In my upcoming column on state driver licensing requirements, I note that because driverless cars will demand even less of our brains and our bodies than manual driving does, we are likely to pr...]]>
Place-dropping http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14747-place-dropping.html Place-dropping
I only recently noticed that a reader had chided me in the comments for listing all the places I'd lived in my piece about food scrap recycling. (Waste not. Why not?)I wasn't t place-dropping, I swe...]]>
Lawrence’s Conviction Saves Overlong “Mockingjay” http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14743-lawrence%25E2%2580%2599s-conviction-saves-overlong-%25E2%2580%259Cmockingjay%25E2%2580%259D.html Lawrence’s Conviction Saves Overlong “Mockingjay”
So here we have it, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -Part 1, the final chapter in the saga of Katniss Everdeen, Suzanne Collin’s dynamic archer-turned-rebel who’s become a symbol of power for ‘twe...]]>
“Dumb 2” a Surprisingly Dull Affair http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14744-%25E2%2580%259Cdumb-2%25E2%2580%259D-a-surprisingly-dull-affair.html “Dumb 2” a Surprisingly Dull Affair
It comes as no surprise that Dumb and Dumber To was the number one movie at the box office during its opening weekend.  Fans have been clamoring to see more of Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne�...]]>
Dancing hippos http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14716-dancing-hippos.html Dancing hippos
 Each year about this time, when the first snow threatens, local police urge caution upon drivers who apparently have forgotten everything they ever learned about how to drive on snow-slicked p...]]>
A little knowledge . . . No. 4 in a series http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14715-a-little-knowledge-no-4-in-a-series.html A little knowledge . . . No. 4 in a series
Danielle Kurtzleben at Vox alerted me to this: Pollsters for Ipsos-MORI recently asked 1,001 Americans, "Out of every 100 people of working age, how many do you think are unemployed and looking ...]]>
Leading lambs to slaughter http://illinoistimes.com/blog-14714-leading-lambs-to-slaughter.html Leading lambs to slaughter
 Bruce Rauner not only must learn how to be a governor – every new governor does – but how to be a politician. He made a good start in the campaign. He promised things he cannot deliver and...]]>