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January 2004 Archives

January 1, 2004

Blog entries by Carrie Golus, AB’91, AM’93

Hyde Park snark
Q&A with David Hoyt, AB'91
May 8, 2009

"But rather than a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down, Hoyt prefers oil of vitriol. He has a particular genius for writing offensive, occasionally obscene headlines and photo captions, and his analysis is bitingly funny—as long he’s writing about somebody else."

UChi Bizarre-ketplace: April 2009
Apr. 24, 2009

"I’m not a stalker, OK? Well, I try not to be. But the Internet makes it so easy. It started out innocently enough. While browsing UChi Marketplace, I found myself wondering, what’s a baby mini lop?"

UChi Bizarre-ketplace: March 2009
Mar. 27, 2009

"Trying to get pregnant? Speak to Me in Foucault! Robert Pape's *Bombing to Win*" Most of the listings on UChi Marketplace —the University’s version of Craigslist—are fairly banal: books for sale, rooms to rent, the kind of thing that would have appeared on fliers in an earlier era. But like everything on the Internet, the easier it is to post, the easier it is to be weird.

A presidential drugstore
Feb. 16, 2009

“What is up with the Obama Walgreens?” a North Side friend wanted to know. I had never really thought about it. It’s my local Walgreens, on the corner of 55th Street and Lake Park, and I’m in there at least twice a week. But its transformation into Barack Obama Headquarters—and it says so on the LED sign out front—was so gradual, I was like the frog that had been dropped into a pot of cold water and then boiled alive without realizing the water was getting warmer.

Blog entries by Shira Tevah, '09

Service desk
September 3, 2008

"Sarah Grusin, ’10, regularly answers the phone this way during her summer Project HEALTH shift, Fridays 12:30-4:30 p.m. Her usual desk partner isn’t here this week, so she’s grateful for any visitors."

Fifteen minutes of wisdom
August 27, 2008

"The Templeton Foundation and the U of C's Arete Initiative have collaborated to create the Defining Wisdom Project, which gathered 40 young anthropologists, economists, geneticists, philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists in an August 22 symposium, where they competed for grants."

Ivory tower's weather station
August 22, 2008

"The Ryerson Astronomical Society is one of the oldest student groups at the University, with records dating to the 1950s and a telescope in use since the '30s."

"Jump up" on the Midway
August 18, 2008

"Heavy beats competed on the front lawns of the Law School and the SSA Saturday as several deejays played calypso, soca, reggae, punta, zouk, and "jump up," a drum and bass subgenre intended to encourage crowds to dance."

As the earthworm turns
August 15, 2008

“'Technically only half of the worms are mine,' Alexander Muir, '09, said. The rest belong to a former roommate, gone for the summer. Muir was speaking figuratively: the hermaphroditic worms reproduce like crazy and the current residents of the 2-by-1—foot plastic box will not be those that Muir’s friend reclaims in September."

Hotel uproar
August 8, 2008

“'This is everything I was afraid it would be,' an elderly man lamented as he looked around Bret Harte Elementary's auditorium, packed with more than 100 people. The windows were open but did little to alleviate the tension in the sweltering room."

Still life with dinosaurs
August 1, 2008

"A small boy with bowl-cut black hair and a blue shirt dotted with airplanes drew on the white tablecloth, using his clay's mud tracks for ink instead of making the demonstrated pot. He was among the 30 or 40 children, aged 2 through 10, whose parents or caretakers had brought them to the Smart Museum for Wednesday's final installment of the Art Afternoon series, a free summer arts-and-crafts program."

Three professors, three views
July 7, 2008

"Ate too much over the long weekend? For some food for thought, check out these professors' opinions."

Blog entries by Elizabeth Station

Looking for Hyde Park in London
May 21, 2009

"Chicago Booth’s London-based MBA program draws about 90 students annually, two-thirds of whom receive some funding from their employers. For one week each month, about three-quarters fly in for classes, some from as far away as South Africa and the United Arab Emirates."

Smart kids
May 13, 2009

"Seated cross-legged on the floor, the kids defined and discussed—in that halting, quiet, third-grade way—the difference between representational and nonrepresentational art. They had questions of their own: Who made this art? When did they make it? How do we know? (Answer: read the label.)"

Let the games begin
Q&A with Material Exchange's John Preus, MFA’05
Apr. 21, 2009

"Some of our projects are commissions/residencies; some, like this one, are funded through admission fees; some are not funded, and we eat lentils."

Accidental gringo
Highlights from Chesa Boudin's lunchtime talk and book signing
Apr. 21, 2009

"Many of the stories I ended up writing about were accidental. I don’t generally plan details, beyond visas, in advance. There’s a real advantage to not planning your trips carefully."

Let's play two... or 300
Q&A with Chicago baseball coach Brian Baldea
Mar. 30, 2009

"The priority is the development of these young men and what they get out of their experience from four years of baseball combined with the most outstanding undergraduate education they can get. It’s all about how the experience they have with me and with baseball here contributes to them being better men and better people."

January 12, 2004

A Chicagoan in Paris

Magazine intern Phoebe Maltz, ‘05, shares some moments from studying abroad.

I just returned from the College’s Autumn Paris Civilization Program. My classes—European history with an emphasis on France, supplemented by a French grammar and writing class—at the University’s Paris Center, opened September 2003, were taught in French by Chicago professors.

My dorm room at the Fondation des Etats-Unis came complete with a sink, a broken chair, and stern warnings that using a hairdryer would blow a fuse. The dorm is part of an international student community, the Cité Universitaire, located at the city's southern tip, two Metro rides away from the Paris Center. More than 20 Chicago students from two different study-abroad programs lived there this fall.

Parisian markets sell delicacies from shiny vegetables and delicious but stinky Camembert to dead rabbits, still furry, hanging upside down by their feet. Chicago students, accustomed to such fine dining establishments as Pierce, Hutch, and Medici, frequented the markets, such as this one on the boulevard Raspail. Early on I broke my general rule of not eating unwashed fruit, polishing off a huge quantity of strawberries too tasty to save for home.

I’d park myself in Paris cafés, often elegant and rarely cheap, to stay caffeinated while grappling with my more difficult civilization assignments or on days when reading in French seemed especially daunting. Au Vieux Colombier, right outside the St. Sulpice Metro stop, had industrial-strength espresso, chic patrons, and a prime location in one of many designer shoe districts. When espresso lost its kick, I turned to pastries, eventually setting a three-per-day limit, at least one of which always included a flan—custard in a pastry shell.

Phoebe Maltz

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January 14, 2004

Ramming Harold


When Chris Love, the Alumni Association’s executive director, tells Chicago alumni where the new Alumni House is located, she often explains that it’s the old McCormick Theological Seminary building at 56th and Woodlawn—the one that used to have Harold the ram out front. “Oh, where is Harold?” they ask. Apparently many alumni remember John Kearney’s ram sculpture made from chrome car bumpers.

Harold has moved to University Ave. just north of 55th St, perched atop the steps to the seminary’s own new home. Though his venue has changed, his appeal to pranksters has not. “I don’t know if they’re trying to steal him, to dress him, to tip him like a cow, or what,” says Natasha Gaines, administrative assistant to McCormick’s vice president of finance and operations. “But people seem to play pranks on him about every two weeks”—currently one of his horns is missing, and the McCormick work crew, Gaines notes, “just bolted him down yesterday once again.”

Even Harold’s arrival in Hyde Park was a prank. As the story goes, when McCormick moved from Lincoln Park to the South Side in 1975, many outdoor sculptures adorning the seminary’s original block-long quarters were left behind. Some students, missing Harold (nicknamed after the seminary’s student newsletter, the Herald, and so spelled by some admirers), liberated him late at night, hoisting him into a rented U-Haul and planting him at the 5555 S. Woodlawn address. Administrators demanded that the guilty parties step forward, but no one ever did.

The sculpture quickly became steeped in shenanigans, decorated or stolen by U of C fraternity members during pledge week and ornamented by McCormick students on festive occasions. Today Harold is McCormick’s official logo, embroidered on hats and shirts. And he’s still greeting Hyde Parkers, one horn short of a set.


January 16, 2004

Artistic Advocacy

The art contrasts with its austere surroundings. Two gray dolphins arc toward a yellow star. A green cactus stands beneath a Magritte-esque sky. A retro convertible floats across a turquoise background.

Six panels from the global AIDS Memorial Quilt will hang in Rockefeller Chapel until March 15, each scene commemorating a person who died from the disease. Chicago is one of several stops for the traveling memorial, which continues to grow and educate visitors about AIDS, which has killed an estimated 22 million in the past 23 years. In October the quilt boasted 45,000 3x6-foot panels—some 51 miles of fabric, enough to blanket 47 football fields. Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, it’s the world’s largest community-art project.

The patchwork has raised more than $3,250,000 for direct services for AIDS patients since its 1987 founding in San Francisco. Contributors have used materials such as condoms, photographs, and wedding rings to represent friends and relatives. The Rockefeller staff knew three of the people honored in the displayed panels. For more information, including instructions on adding to the quilt, see


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January 19, 2004

A lesson in carrying on

Although scheduled keynote speaker Michael Eric Dyson, the Avalon professor in the humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, canceled his address after catching the flu, the University’s noontime Martin Luther King Jr. Day tribute continued today at a crowded Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

Bao Phi, a free-form Vietnamese poet raised in South Minneapolis, said King, who had opposed the Vietnam War, had greatly influenced him, a war refugee from a military family. He performed For Us, his poem highlighting the paradoxes of the Asian American experience. “This is for you, Asian America, only loved when you can be used, only told you are beautiful after they’ve beaten out your beauty with their ugliness.”

The Safer Foundation choir, made up of formerly incarcerated young men, sang “A Sinner’s Prayer”—recovering nicely after the background-music CD skipped—and “No Weapon”—with lyrics “No weapons formed against man shall prosper; it won’t work.”

Kids from the Little Village Dance Company and the University of Hip Hop wowed the crowd with break-dance moves on the Napolean gray marble Rockefeller floor.

The University’s undergraduate Soul Umoja choir, who performed a solemn rendition of “Go Down, Moses” during the opening processional, sang “What if God Is Unhappy with Our Praise” during the ceremony.

Political-science professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell, scheduled to introduce Dyson, gave an address in his stead. Click to enlargeWith upcoming Valentine’s Day in mind, she spoke on the theme of love, noting that King’s love was not sentimental or weak but universal and strong. “A true patriot,” she said, King “loved his country enough to be unsatisfied with it”—protesting war and injustice. If King were alive today, she predicted, he “would have spoken out against the war in Iraq.”


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January 21, 2004

Unbobbled mind packs ’em in


Monday afternoon throngs of science enthusiasts and U of C celebrity-seekers packed two BSLC lecture halls, spilling into the aisles and lobby. They were there to see James Watson, PhB’46, SB’47, famous for his 1953 discovery, with Francis Crick, of DNA’s double-helix structure. Only half of the audience actually did see him; the rest watched a live video projection from the next room. Watson’s leisurely lecture touched on his Chicago education and his general life experience, rather than his Nobel-winning discovery. In fact, he quipped, the original paper on which The Double Helix was based was very short, and “the reason it was short was that there wasn’t very much to say.”

During his lecture Watson projected photographs and early writings featured in Crerar Library’s exhibition “Honest Jim: James D. Watson, the Writer,” which runs through May 28. He recalled his childhood in Hyde Park, his early interest in ornithology, and his introduction to scientific skepticism in Erwin Schrodinger’s What Is Life? No one at the University, he joked, believed he would ever make anything of himself, whereas at graduate school at Indiana University everyone thought he was smart. Chicago, Watson said, “has made a pretty serious person out of me.”

He closed with advice to students: “In your 20s you should be totally devoted to yourself and no one else. Don’t worry about the poor, don’t worry about the environment, don’t worry who the president is.” A swelled head, he suggested, might not be such a bad thing for young people. “If a young person isn’t arrogant, something’s wrong.” In the lobby after his lecture, alongside his newest book, DNA: The Secret of Life (Knopf, 2003, $39.95), patrons could buy bobble-head James Watson dolls with large, smiling heads ($20.95).

Joseph Liss, ’04

Photo: Photo by Elliott Brennan (top).

January 23, 2004

Let them drink Cakebread

“Full bodied and luscious in the mouth,” the 2000 Chardonnay Reserve was favored for its “creaminess” and “toasty vanilla” scent. While the crowd agreed that the white wine was as rich as Cakebread Cellars’s lavish catalog description, the tasters greeted each of the five wines offered at Tuesday’s GSB Wine Club meeting with thoughtful murmurs and appreciatively pursed lips.

The Wine Club, which meets about five times a quarter and boasts 350 members (more than any other GSB student group), gathered at the tony Gleacher Center to hear Jack Cakebread, of Napa Valley’s Cakebread Cellars, discuss his experiences in the business and, of course, his wine (most of which retails for $35 and up). Though he encouraged the future MBAs to explore winemaking as a career option, Cakebread reminded oenophiles perhaps too eager to invest that “the best way to make a small fortune in the wine business is to start with a large one.”


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January 26, 2004

No cold feet

Marking the last day of Kuviasungnerk, the University’s winter festival, about 100 students in various states of undress braved Friday afternoon’s 23-degree temperatures and falling snow to participate in the annual polar-bear run from Harper Library to Hull Gate. Longtime spectators noted that this year’s runners seemed extra daring, exposing more skin to Chicago’s frigid air than in sprints past.


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Photography by Dan Dry.

January 28, 2004

Bear in mind the benefits


In the Law School’s packed lecture-room II Tuesday evening, Law Professor Douglas Lichtman pondered drug patents, Dunkin Donuts, a Gone with the Wind parody, and pet bears. He was presenting the 18th annual Coase Lecture, a public series established in honor of Nobel Prize winner and Clifton R. Musser professor emeritus of economics Ronald Coase, using such examples to illustrate that courts, when dictating litigants’ behavior before or during trial, should consider not only potential unjust and irreparable costs but also possible undeserved, irrevocable benefits. In the case of the bear, for example, Lichtman argued that if a court examined nonmonetary harms, such as a neighbor forced to live in fear of mauling, it should also take into account goods, such as the owner’s quality time with his or her ursine companion. As far as Lichtman is concerned, however, “the bear goes.”


Photo: Douglas Lichtman gives the Law School’s annual Coase Lecture (top). Afterward Lichtman chats with Ronald Coase, the lecture series’ namesake (bottom).

January 30, 2004

Baby, it's cold outside

For many Chicago folk winter means discovering how to get from Cobb Hall to Social Sciences without ever going outdoors—a complicated route that requires passing through five or so buildings. Some, however, choose to embrace the cold. Wednesday evening a few hardy skaters braved 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures (windchill –5) to glide around the Midway Plaisance ice rink. Located between Harper Memorial Library and the Laird Bell Law Quadrangle, the rink is open weekends and Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

Just to the north, nestled between Woodlawn and Ellis Avenues, the new Winter Garden, a Midway Master Plan project, shows off Chicago’s latest snowfall, inviting hustling pedestrians to take a more circuitous route through the chill.

Also taking advantage of the perpetually freezing weather—highs in the teens and 20s are predicted through next week—Chicago-area ice carvers created sculptures for the University’s annual Kuviasungnerk winter festival. The artworks ring Hutch fountain, bundled in jaunty red scarves.

Phoebe Maltz, ‘05

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Photos (from left to right): Photo by Phoebe Maltz, ‘04. Photo by Amber Mason, AB’03. Photo by Amber Mason, AB’03. Photo by Amber Mason, AB’03.

About January 2004

This page contains all entries posted to UChiBLOGo in January 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2004 is the next archive.

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