At the Ref Desk (4/25/17): Someone calls but when I pick up the phone all I get is background noise -- people talking, etc. Did he or she just sit on their smartphone and dial out accidentally? Interesting jumping off point for a work of fiction... [more...]
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Best Most Outrageous Bank Fee Ev-a

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 11/7/09 (8:52am)
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Just noticed that the scoundrels at Chase are now charging me on an account that I don't use much a $6 monthly "Inactivity Fee". (Larger image.)

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What I Learned Today: Women & Booze in China

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 10/1/09 (7:38pm)

From the Berkshire Encyclopedia of China:

"Traditionally, women did not drink alcohol. Today most women in China still shun liquor and choose non-alcoholic beverages. However, because business deals in China are closed more often at dinner tables than in meeting rooms, a growing number of enterprises and government agencies require that their public relations officers, mostly young women, develop a great capacity for drinking, much to the chagrin of the public." [Jiu Wenhua, "Wine Culture", Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, v.5, p. 2448]

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German Day in Chicago

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 9/14/09 (9:59am)
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Over the weekend, we went to German Day in Lincoln Square in Chicago. I've been going to this thing since I was old enough to slip into a pair of lederhosen (obligatory photo of Leo as a toddler with the first Mayor Daley).

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'Cash for Clunkers' - Everyone's Doing It

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/8/09 (9:46am)
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You know, as someone living in the city who doesn't drive a car, I've been feeling kind of left out lately with all this talk about 'Cash for Clunkers'. Who should run to the rescue but local furniture retailer Walter E. Smithe?

In a pretty funny commercial I just heard on WBBM radio, they announced they were offering cash discounts of several hundred dollars on new purchases if you bring in your old couch or armoire.

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DePaul Makes It into Andrew Sullivan's 'Daily Dish' -- in Reverse

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 8/3/09 (5:54pm)
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Here's something interesting. Andrew Sullivan, on his blog, The Daily Dish, has been featuring a series of user-submitted photos called, 'The View From Your Window'. And wouldn't you know, Saturday, he ran a picture from DePaul!

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Annual Independence Day Cook Out

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 7/3/09 (8:56pm)
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We had our annual Independence Day Cook Out in Lincoln Park near Addison. The weather was perfect and we didn't leave till 7pm -- to see the fireworks downtown.

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RIP - Koko Taylor

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 6/3/09 (4:55pm)
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Chicago Blues great Koko Taylor has passed away.

That's really sad. I remember seeing her at a club (probably on Lincoln Ave.) back in the day. I told her I was moving to Paris the next week. She hugged me and told me to take care of myself.

It was the best send-off a guy from Chicago, new to foreign countries, could have gotten.

RIP.

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End of the World: Kiddieland to Close

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 5/21/09 (3:47pm)

kiddyland_logo.jpgIs nothing sacred? Kiddieland, the amusement park for Chicago's toddlers, is set to close after this season. It's the end of the world.

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Big Line at Al's Beef

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 5/20/09 (2:16pm)
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Al's Beef had a "Customer Appreciation Day" today. Its signature Italian Beef costs just a buck. Needless the say, the line was going out the door and down the length of the place's parking lot. About 3/4 quarters of an hour wait, I'd say.

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Sneezing in the Time of Cholera

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 4/28/09 (4:59pm)

So of course at the moment I've come down with a cold. I'm sneezing and sniffling through much of the day. Needless to say, it's not exactly the best time to come down with such conditions.

Thank goodness, there's a nifty little guide "Is it a Cold or the Flu?" (pdf) put out by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) available on this page...

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