“The Troubadour CEO:  An ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ tale from PineRock’s Ed Romanoff”Upstart Business Journal

“Successful CEO-turned-singer/songwriter Ed Romanoff never would have done a lot of things if he knew how hard they’d be. Contrary to the accepted wisdom of much business advice, Romanoff’s life is living proof that sometimes a little naivety and a lot of intuition can get you as far, or farther, than the most extensive business plan.”


“Text Messages”University of Chicago Magazine

“Demotic—a late stage dialect of the ancient Egyptian language—was once used for everything from tax bills and marriage contracts to religious and magical texts. But today, most texts written in Demotic remain unstudied, even after they’re discovered.”


Photo Essay:  “After Prison, Education Helps Men at Halfway House” WBEZ Chicago Public Media

“The reading and writing thing is just as vital as being able to breathe, because if you can’t breathe it’s over with.  Brain ain’t gonna get no oxygen.  Brain gonna die.  Eventually your heart gonna stop.  And you gonna stop.”


“Shrinking Prison Budgets Eliminate Educational Opportunities”WBEZ Chicago Public Media

“When people get back out here into this society they coming out with a chip on their shoulder.  They’re coming back out the same way that they went in.”


“Shelf Life:  As the Seminary Co-op Moves From its Underground Origins Into the Light of Day, the Bookstore’s Denizens Bid the Beloved Space Farewell” University of Chicago Magazine

And yet, in moments of getting lost around the next turn, of finding yet more stairs or an old mechanical bellows, it feels as though the books were always there and the store grew up around them—walls, shelves, pipes, and all.


“Should the Devout be Excluded from Politics?” Sightings

Now we get to the heart of the matter, the old “public v. private” chestnut. Barash’s case seems fundamentally based on the premise that the public sphere of politics is the realm of rational discourse, and religion, being a private matter of individual conscience, is not open to rational debate or argument.

“The Death of the Bookstore as Destination?”Gapers Block

Barbara’s Bookstore, a long-standing institution in the Chicago literary landscape, recently shut down another store.  All this seems to have led Chicago writer Robert Duffer to reluctantly note that “it seems like the bookstore as a destination in Chicago is becoming an endangered species.”

Really? Curious what those on the front lines of the Chicago bookstore business thought, I made a few inquiries.


“It’s All About the Story:  Mike Houlihan”DIY Film Magazine

“I’ll be 63 years old next week, I want to put all my concentration and effort into making art,” he said.  “The politics of regular business isn’t my thing.  I don’t want to dance to another fiddler.”


“Geoffrey Canada Cautions Against Neglecting Young Americans” University of Chicago News

“This is an American crisis,” Canada said. “We have allowed our kids to become vessels for commerce . . . and no one’s doing anything about it.”


“Hot Yoga for Cold Days” Mindful Metropolis

Winter is officially here, so in the midst of all this cold, how can you heat things up?


“10 Wines to Bring to Thanksgiving Dinner”Complex

Thanksgiving. You’ve got roast turkey, tart cranberries, savory stuffing and sweet potatoes; probably a green bean casserole, biscuits, carrots coated in dill and butter, and enough gravy to douse it all. Oh, and don’t forget the pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and those sweet potatoes-baked-with-marshmallows thing (what is that called, anyway?).

Now for the test: you’re asked to bring a bottle of wine to dinner. No instructions given. Older folks—your girl’s parents, maybe—will be judging you. What do you choose?

“A Historian’s First Draft” University of Chicago Magazine

While on assignment in Libya this past April, reporter Clare Gillis, AB’98, heard that Gadhafi soldiers were closing in at 300 meters. Had she and her fellow journalists moved in another direction, even just 100 meters, they would have been fine.


“Privatizing Traffic Law Enforcement” Gapers Block

The city of Chicago is the single largest contract-holder in the country with Redflex Traffic Systems, one of the two largest operators of automated traffic monitoring — rare is the Chicagoan who hasn’t seen one of the 380 red-light cameras in the city.


“Interview:  Jeffrey Eugenides”Gapers Block

Jeffrey Eugenides would like to make one thing clear: his new novel, The Marriage Plot, is not itself an attempt at a marriage plot.


“5 Things Every Dude Should Know About Pairing Wine With Food”Complex

Many in the business are now saying there’s really only one rule: Drink What You Like.  This is a seismic change from the Good Old Days, when ordering a pinot grigio with your steak might have gotten you booted from the restaurant.

“How Medieval Studies Led Journalist to Libya”
University of Chicago News

Libya, which “occupies a completely imaginary space in the minds of non-Libyans, because nobody goes there,” proved to be a no-man’s land.



“Windy City Confidential:  50 Unusual Chicago Destinations”Complex

But where do you get at the real city, the neglected places, the spots left uncovered by popular culture?


“Three Treasures of the Self:  Interview with a Kundalini Yogi” Mindful Metropolis

“[After my first class with Kundalini master, Yogi Bhajan,] he said, ‘One more thing:  if you don’t see me again until you die, this class was enough.  Do you remember it?’  I said, I do.  He said, ‘Teach it, starting tomorrow.’  So I started teaching the next day.”

“Interview:  Jacquelyn Mitchard”Gapers Block

“Are you gonna show up? Or are you not gonna show up? This is really the essential choice that we make every day.”

“Part One:  Landmark Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 50 Years Young” Gapers Block

This October, the Seminary Co-op will celebrate its 50th birthday, and within a year it will say goodbye to its cherished home in the basement of the Chicago Theology Seminary – a winding, and seemingly endless, labyrinth of books.

No coffee, no knick-knacks, just books.

“Part Two:  Landmark Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 50 Years Young”
Gapers Block

“How do you choose what will be interesting to you [with the internet]?” asks Cella. The short answer is, it’s damn near impossible. Over 50 years, the Co-op has seen the pendulum swing: “From information being a very valuable, big commodity, to being of no value at all.”


“Part Three:  Landmark Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 50 Years Young”Gapers Block

“I think a bookstore can be an education. What I often say to prospective employees that are being interviewed [is this]: No matter how much you think you know, all you have to do is look at the shelf in any good bookstore and you realize how little you’ve read. The more you read, the more you realize what you don’t know. That’s the interesting thing about it.”

And that’s the Co-op.

“Symposium to Celebrate Reflections of Forgotten Philosopher”University of Chicago News

Some figures in the history of philosophy and sociology are household names: Heidegger, Durkheim, Weber. What organizers of an upcoming symposium want to stress is the importance of a once central – and later marginal and plagiarized – figure.


“Hyatt Workers on Strike” Gapers Block

Although Hyatt spokesman Farley Kern claimed that “Unite Here regularly engages in extreme rhetoric and gamesmanship during contract negotiations. This dishonest attempt to misrepresent the work environment in our properties is well over the line,” the action of whoever turned on the heat lamps — and of those who chose to leave them on only until they realized the media was picking up on it — speaks to the contrary.

“Teachers Union vs. Board of Education”Gapers Block

If you have someone on the LSC who is “simply going to do whatever the principal says,” then it undermines why Chicago has LSCs to begin with.

“Elizabeth Berg:  An All-Too-Brief Interview” Gapers Block

My interview with Elizabeth Berg was simply not meant to be.

“Elizabeth Berg and Jacquelyn Mitchard:  Truth and ‘Chick Lit'”
Gapers Block

On Thursday evening, bibliophiles had an opportunity to attend an informal meet & greet with two authors, both with Chicago roots: Elizabeth Berg (Once Upon a Time, There Was You), now an Oak Park denizen, and Jacquelyn Mitchard (Second Nature, a Love Story), a Chicago-to-Wisconsin transplant, dished with Tribune literary editor Elizabeth Taylor to a room full of women (and perhaps two men, give or take).

“The Birth of a Documentary:  Dinesh Sabu Tells His Story”
DIY Film Magazine

Local filmmaker Dinesh Sabu has honesty going for him – and that honesty is crucial for his project to work.  Unbroken Glass, a cinema vérité documentary exploring “the experience of loving and being loved by a parent with mental illness,” will be his first feature-length film.

“Ifbyphone Moves Downtown”
TINC Magazine

Irv Shapiro was frustrated.  If innovation springs most naturally from the personal experience of, “Hey, I can improve this,” then Shapiro has it down.

“Shadow Puppetry Like You’ve Never Seen It” Chicago Art Magazine

Not bad for paper, acetate, and old-school overheads.

“It’s a Wonderful Bank”Mindful Metropolis

If you’ve ever watched It’s a Wonderful Life and wished you could bank at George Bailey’s Building & Loan, this could be the next best thing.

“Igda and Chicago Game Development”
TINC Magazine

As it turns out, this “neighborhood” feel to Chicago’s game development community may actually be contributing to its denizens’ ingenuity.

“The Business of Higher Education”Gapers Block

Beyond what it means for Chicago, the merit pay proposal reflects the disturbing trend of the corporatization of higher education.

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