It’s Tool Time

assorted hand tools

It seems like there is never enough time to get around to all the things that need fixing around the house or the small projects that you want to do to improve the house. Never enough time to take care of the lawn; fix the doorbell, the leaky faucet or the broken garage door; mount […]

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Sir Alec Guinness

Sir Alec Guinness

April 2, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of  Sir Alec Guinness (1914-2000). In his career of more than 50 years, this British actor appeared in a wide range of roles in plays, films and TV shows, including star turns in drama, comedy, spy stories and more. We have many of Guinness’ movies […]

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Perfect Your Pix: Digital Photography Books

Frustrated with the flat light and inaccurate color from the automatic setting on your digital camera? Want to learn how to use some of the manual features and get creative control of the images you create? Or maybe (like me a few years ago) you've reluctantly switched from an analog to a digital camera. Here are some books that can help […]

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Like any lifelong Chicago resident and child of the ’80s, I will watch any John Hughes film they show on cable, no matter how many times I've seen it before. But Planes, Trains and Automobiles holds a special place in my heart. Every Thanksgiving my family sits down to watch it after we've stuffed ourselves with traditional […]

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Poke the Bear. The Bear Will Eat You.

It's getting colder out, and I'm sure you can already feel the onset of cabin fever. You're not looking forward to staying inside. You want to get out, to get anywhere, to the mountains, to the wilderness, anywhere but your warm, safe home. You want to get in touch with nature, learn the ways of the […]

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Spooky Girl

Jenny Rowan is a bit of an odd duck, but considering what she's been through, she's surprisingly normal. Abducted at eight and with very few memories of her life before that, she was a man's sex toy until she escaped to live in a mall. After a while, she was picked up by protective services, which […]

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Technology that Changed Chicago: Working Horses, continued

Horse-drawn steam engine

Previous: Working horses, part 1 As previously mentioned, the relationship between horses and humans is complex. People like horses. Pigs—not so much.  People ride horses for pleasure and bet on horse races. Cow races—not really. Horse racing and pleasure riding have always been enjoyed by Chicagoans, but horses have mostly been used in harness to […]

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Technology that Changed Chicago: Working Horses

Health Inspector taking milk sample, 1921. Source: Chicago Dept. of Health Annual Report.

Horses were the animal most closely integrated with urban America during the nineteenth century.  Many twenty-first century Chicagoans picture horses as something people rode around on until automobiles became available. This is not true. Horses drew wagons which served as trucks, taxis, buses, etc. City folk walked or took street cars (often pulled by horses), […]

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