I Give You Back: Native American Heritage Month

Laguna Pueblo pottery

I jumped at the chance to write a post for Native American Heritage Month because I honestly didn't know that many Native American authors. Sherman Alexie, of course, is the first one that comes to mind, and I was happy to read one of his other books. While the books I recommend here are vastly different, they […]

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History of Polish Americans in Chicago

Street view of Polish Chicago, 1981

Most Chicagoans have heard the trope that Chicago has the largest concentration of Polish people outside of Warsaw. (Although here's an article from WBEZ that states this might not be true any more.) But how did Chicago's Polonia come to be? This Polish American Heritage Month, learn the history of how Polish people came to […]

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#TBT: Miles Davis: 90th Birth Anniversary of the Cool

Miles Davis

Even if you don't think you like jazz, I bet you've heard of Miles Davis. As one of the most important musicians of all time, jazz or otherwise, his music and influence can be seen everywhere. For example, Davis' Kind of Blue can be heard in movies like Pleasantville and television shows like The Wire. […]

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An Honest Tale Speeds Best: Skakespeare’s Influence in Recent Media

An actor playing Richard III

Shakespeare’s timeless stories are a frequent inspiration, even centuries after they were first written. (or borrowed or adapted, depending on who you ask!) For example, the slogan for Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming”, is similar to the first line in Richard III, “Now is the winter of our discontent”. As we prepare for our discussion and […]

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The Pleasure of My Company: Zora Neale Hurston at 125

Black and white photo of Zora Neale Hurston

How much do you know about Zora Neale Hurston? It seems like most people read Their Eyes Were Watching God in high school English class or saw Their Eyes Were Watching God with Halle Berry. But there's more to this fabulous writer than one novel. To celebrate the 125th anniversary of her birth on January 7, […]

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Get Ready for The Force Awakens!

Several small robots from Star Wars

It's almost here! After all the hype, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will arrive in theaters December 18! If you're anything like me, you've seen the classic movies so many times you could quote them. But did you know that there are a lot of books and comics and video games that carry on the […]

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Be Heard: 5 Articles About Social Media

cupcakes with various social media company logos

November 16-20 is Social Media Week in Chicago, when the Twitterati gather to learn about using social media to inspire action, perform search engine optimization (SEO) and try to predict the future of digital data. The theme this year, "Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of the Connected Class," focuses on what we can all achieve in a […]

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Polish American Ingenuity and Invention

Kevlar Kayaks in several colors

The theme of Polish American Heritage Month is Enterprise, and what better way to celebrate than with a look at some Polish inventors? For example, did you know that Barbie was invented by a Polish-American inventor? Although Barbie has gone through many changes, she is still a fixture in toy stores and homes around the world. […]

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Lunchbox Inspirations for the New School Year

A healthy lunch in a bento box

When I was in high school, I remember pining for the hamburgers and french fries in our cafeteria. My parents instead packed me lunches, which was seriously uncool. Now that I have to pack my own lunches, I have a new appreciation for their dedication to health and frugality. Here are some cookbooks I have personally […]

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We Sing the Body Electric: Ray Bradbury’s Birth Anniversary

Stack of Ray Bradbury's books

This year marks the 95th anniversary of Ray Bradbury's birth. While Bradbury grew up in Waukegan, his stories and novels took us far beyond his normal, Midwestern upbringing. As Ray Bradbury's biographer, Sam Weller was able to learn much about the author's life, as well as the inspiration for his books. This unprecedented access to Bradbury's life makes […]

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