IllinoisTimes - Blogs Sat, 18 Apr 15 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Grammar nerdery Grammar nerdery
The three or four readers who in 2014 shared my exasperation with the universal use of “for” (see All for one – and ‘for’ for all) might find amusing this mock web quiz at Clickhole inten...]]>
A tree grows in Grandma A tree grows in Grandma
 Goodness me, has it really been five and a half years? In November, 2009, I devoted a column to new ways of dealing with the fact that when our loved ones go away forever, they leave one last...]]>
Lying and its Ramifications the Focus of "True Story" Lying and its Ramifications the Focus of "True Story"
In December 2001, Christian Longo murdered his wife and three children.  The two oldest, four year-old Zachary and three year-old Sadie, were thrown into the freezing waters of Lint Slough in ...]]>
Taxing thoughts Taxing thoughts
Tomorrow is tax deadline day, which is why the most recent edition of Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States makes such depressing reading.  The left-of-cent...]]>
Department of Injustice Department of Injustice
 In a piece in the April 7 Wall Street Journal, Peter Berkowitz, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, drew attention to revelations in a new book that ought to interes...]]>
Depends on the circumstances Depends on the circumstances
 Edmund Burke might forgive me for adapting the following passage from his “Reflections on the Revolution in France” (1790) to make it more plainly relevant to the revolution that is, halti...]]>
Seeing glass paperweights clearly Seeing glass paperweights clearly
 Readers interested in learning more about the Morton D. Barker paperweight collection I wrote about this week can do so at the Illinois State Museum's web exhibit at]]>
The intelligent lawmaker's guide to economics The intelligent lawmaker's guide to economics
The other day I wrote about Rockford state senator Dave Syverson’s proposal to ensure that Illinois lawmakers  know more about the economic effects of their decisions by requiring newly...]]>
"Follows" Fails to Follow Through "Follows" Fails to Follow Through
A great deal of buzz has sprung up around David Robert Mitchell’s independent horror film It Follows and it’s easy to see why.  The director successfully creates an atmosphere of dread that...]]>
Making better ducks Making better ducks
 People love to feed the ducks, as happens every day where the Jacksonville Branch of Spring Creek enters Washington Park. People don’t love ducks, however, judgig by what they feed these ani...]]>
A little knowledge . . . . Part 6 in a series A little knowledge . . . . Part 6 in a series
Over at Vox, Sarah Kiff reminds us that the Affordable Care Act is now five years old. Better known as Obamacare, the legislation has accomplished more and cost less than even it supporters expected...]]>
Opportunity squandered Opportunity squandered
Reading about the reactions from around Illinois to the cuts in state programs proposed by Gov. Scrooge, I was reminded of this passage from Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography. Those who govern, ...]]>
Everything old is new again, Part 1 Everything old is new again, Part 1
Alert readers of the news will have noted the kerfuffle about the salaries being paid by Illinois' new governor to his  senior staff, in particular the 100 Gs being paid to equip Mrs. R with a c...]]>
Seeing Grandma in a new setting Seeing Grandma in a new setting
In “Underground movements” (Nov. 12, 2009) I took a nearly serious look at the problem of what to do with human remains on a planet becoming short of both space and resources.   Dona...]]>
Our memory as a people Our memory as a people
 Yes, I do go on a bit about the library of Illinois history whose future is at stake in the wrangling over who runs the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. I believ...]]>
And the winner is . . . And the winner is . . .
 Wise heads at the statehouse have been scratched as observers try to make sense of the antagonistic stances taken by Illinois' new governor. One explanation is that he is uninterested in actu...]]>
Rereading the past Rereading the past
 In my recent column titled “An overdue policy on the library,” I quoted from a very interesting article about the history of Illinois’ history library, Roger D. Bridges’ “The Origins...]]>
Higher mission Higher mission
While researching my recent column on the State of Illinois’ historical library (see “An overdue policy on the library”) I made (or rather renewed) my acquaintance with John Francis Snyder. As...]]>
Photo Gallery: The Pharmacy Highbrow/Lowbrow reception tonight and tomorrow Photo Gallery: The Pharmacy Highbrow/Lowbrow reception tonight and tomorrow
 Tonight and tomorrow The Pharmacy will be presenting its latest show of new work by member artists. Photographer Pat Yeagle got some shots of the exhibit while it was still being constructed. Wa...]]>
No Resurrecting “Lazarus Effect” No Resurrecting “Lazarus Effect”
I suppose it’s a prerequisite that characters in horror films have never seen any horror films themselves.  If they did, then they would know better than to go into the dark house, venture into the creepy woods at night or pick up the hitchhiker at the side of the road.]]>
Smith Slick, Robbie Bright in “Focus” Smith Slick, Robbie Bright in “Focus”
Midway through his new feature Focus.  Will Smith’s given the self-reflective line of dialogue, “I still got it.” That his character, con man extraordinaire Nicky Spurgeon, is face down d...]]>
Different roads Different roads
I mentioned in my recent remembrance of John Garvey that I had known him for nearly 50 years. I met him when I was 18 years old. The folly of Vietnam had become alarmingly plain, I was facing the d...]]>
Moore’s Honesty Sustains “Alice” Moore’s Honesty Sustains “Alice”
 Alice Howland knows that she’s living on borrowed time.  She’s well aware of what fate awaits her having been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and seeing those whose m...]]>
Oscar-Nominated Shorts an Eclectic Mix of International Visions Oscar-Nominated Shorts an Eclectic Mix of International Visions
 Animated Shorts - The five nominated films to be shown vary in quality but are overall a solid bunch.  Canada’s charming Me and My Moulton concerns three dissatisfied sisters who...]]>
Lincoln's low tricks Lincoln's low tricks
 In “Insult with wit,” my paean to the lost art of invective, I noted that while the mature Lincoln did not stoop to invective. This was partly fastidiousness, partly because (as Joseph Med...]]>
Dollar a year, my foot Dollar a year, my foot
 In response to no public demand whatsoever, I took up as my column topic this week (“Masters of the new machine,” out February 5) our new governor’s interesting remarks on public sector...]]>
More on Lee Sandlin More on Lee Sandlin
 I have more to say about the late Lee Sandlin, whose work I extolled in “A poet of fact.” For decades Lee seemed doomed to be another of those writers who is famous for not being known...]]>
"Whiplash" Follows the Beat of its Own Drum "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 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 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...]]>