Give me your tired, your nauseous, your claustrophobic yearning to breathe free

July 5th, 2009 No comments
(AP Photos/David Goldman)

(AP Photos/David Goldman)

So they’ve started letting people go up in the crown of the Statue of Liberty and somebody proposed blah blah blah. But here’s the really important information from Suzanne Ma’s AP article:

The National Park Service says the crown remained closed because the narrow, double-helix staircases could not be safely evacuated in an emergency and didn’t comply with fire and building codes. Tourists often suffered heat exhaustion, shortness of breath, panic attacks, claustrophobia and fear of heights, spokesman Darren Boch said.

New handrails have since been installed to help with the climb, and only 30 people per hour are allowed up the dark, narrow staircase. They are guided by park rangers along the way.

The first 30 huffed and sweated as they made their way, twisting and using the handrails to pull themselves up stairs sometimes too small to fit an entire foot.

Maybe they should build a four-foot glass “Liberty Ledge” around the crown. Visitors could look straight down 260 feet to the line of ant-sized tourists on Liberty Island. Or install the “Emma Lazarus Zipline,” a cable thrillride from the Torch, around the Tablet, and into New York Harbor!

Here’s the full AP story.

Errata and Clarifications Dept.

July 2nd, 2009 1 comment


The caption for today’s photo was not correct, due to a printing error. It should have read:


We regret the error.

Seniors Using New Technology!

June 28th, 2009 No comments


No word on whether Mr. Knackstedt is a relative of Alec Baldwin.

Categories: Celebrities!, News Briefs Tags:

Bringing smiles one Porta-Potty at a time

June 28th, 2009 No comments


Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

The Power of the Press

June 28th, 2009 No comments

From a Chicago Tribune editorial, “The ShamWow ‘shhh'” on Sunday, June 28:

“We can agree, though, on one thing: THAT OXICLEAN GUY SHOULD PUT A SOCK IN IT.” [caps THEIRS]

Billy Mays was found unresponsive by his wife Sunday morning. A fire rescue crew pronounced him dead at 7:45 a.m.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Sunday Supplement Sellebrity for 5/24/09

June 7th, 2009 No comments

Here are some more questions that “readers” sent in to the “Personality Parade®” section of Parade for 5/24/09:

Angelina Jolie is set to star in a movie based on one of Patricia Cornwell’s best-selling mysteries. Will there be a franchise?
 –J.A., Roeland Park, Kan. 

Why don’t we see more of Aidan Quinn?
–Aubrey Jinks, Bullard, Tex.

Will America’s position in the world be affected by the enthusiastic reception the Obamas received throughout Europe?
–Dean Quinlan, Kittery, Maine

Did Jennifer Aniston have any warning that things weren’t working out with John Mayer?
–Shirley Chamberlain, Vero Beach, Fla.

What’s the greatest rock ‘n’ roll song of all time?
–Pat Darbro, Bozeman, Mont. 

Categories: Celebrities! Tags:

Sunday Supplement Sellebrity for 5/10/09

May 17th, 2009 No comments

All three of the Sunday newspaper supplement magazines I receive–American Profile, USA Weekend, and Parade–feature a celebrity gossip column on their first page. These columns are structured as answers to questions that have been sent in by readers.

I have my doubts.

Here are the questions that “readers” sent in for 5/10/09:

What can you tell me about the 1970s singer Lobo? Was he as unlucky in love as many of his songs seem to portray?
–Bruce Aman, Menominee, Mich.

I think that the actress who plays cashier Flo on the Progressive Auto Insurance commercials is dynamite. Will we see more of her in the future?
–Maureen Gallaher, Oneonta, N.Y.

What can you tell us about Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, the handsome leading men on the CW’s Supernatural?
–L.K. Richards, Seattle, Wash.

I got hooked on Lost when I bought the first season on DVD. The only thing I don’t like about the show is how many great characters–and actors–have disappeared. 
–Esther Myers, Embarrass, Minn.

 Will actors Sam Elliot, Tom Selleck or Bruce Boxleitner, who have played memorable cowboys, star in a new TV western? No one makes them anymore.
–Roy McCallen, Aurora, Colo.

Is the actress who plays Lt. Maria LaGuerta on Showtime’s Dexter the same one who was Tootie in The Facts of Life?
–Nancy Nutile, Perkinsville, Vt.

When House, the character, plays the piano on the Fox medical drama of the same name, it looks as if actor Hugh Laurie is actually playing. Is he a real pianist?
–Dolores Ruhlin, Flagler Beach, Fla.

 I miss the Lindsay Lohan of Freaky Friday and Mean Girls. How can she regain Hollywood’s trust?
–S. Park, Los Angeles, Calif.

What is the tattoo that Bachelor reject turned Dancing With the Stars darling Melissa Rycroft has on her lower back?
–T. Diaz, Miami, Fla.

I read that Jeff Bridges will play the guitar in his new film, Crazy Heart. Can he really play?
–Bill Jackson, Fort Worth, Tex.

Does Adam Richman, who gorges himself as host of the Travel Channel’s  Man v. Food, ever check his cholesterol?
–S. Paul, Hoffman Estates, Ill. 

I heard Mel Gibson was going to star as an ATF agent in Under and Alone. What’s the movie’s status?
–Merwin Sands, Waldorf, Md.

How is Robin Williams recovering from his recent open-heart surgery?
–Dwayne Wilder, Denison, Tex.

I haven’t heard about Debbie Reynolds recently. Has she finally gone into retirement?
–Gail Lebowitz, Atlanta, Ga.

I hear there’s a new Mike Tyson documentary. Why should we care about a prizefighter who threw it all away? 
–Joe Smith, Queens, N.Y. 

Categories: Celebrities! Tags:

I knocked you up, made you a national joke, then dumped you when once you had the kid, making you a national joke again — AND YOU’RE PISSED AT ME?!

April 5th, 2009 No comments

From the AP article, “Bristol Palin’s ex-fiancé cites tension with her”:

In an interview to air Monday with talk show host Tyra Banks, [Levi] Johnston, 19, said he and 18-year-old Bristol don’t always get along.

“Some days we can have regular conversations without fighting,” Johnston said. “Most of the times, I don’t know what’s wrong with her. She’s in a pretty bad mood, she’s short, she doesn’t want me around, I don’t think.”


Don’t worry about it, Levi. I’m sure it has nothing to do with you. It’s probably just that time of the month, amIright? (high five) Hey, did you get any from Tyra while you were there? DAMN, she’s hot!

Categories: My Body Politic, Photos Tags:

How to Win Friends and Influence People

March 14th, 2009 1 comment


It’s true. The best way to get the citizens of Illinois to feel calmer about the prospect of the people around them carrying concealed guns is:

to gather a mob…
holding bright yellow and black signs…
with a giant picture of a pointed handgun…
and capitalized text telling them to accept it NOW!


(And who wrote that caption? “…that would let them people concealed weapons”?)

Categories: My Body Politic, News Briefs, Photos Tags:

Embarrassment for Richies

March 13th, 2009 No comments

Jesus H! Tickets are $75 apiece!


Categories: Arts Tags:

An Embarrassment of Riches

March 13th, 2009 No comments

So much to choose from, but guess which line made me gasp and dive for the phone.


Categories: Arts Tags:

All politics is local. All politicians are stupid.

March 12th, 2009 No comments

Some snippets from the article by Kimberly Pohl and Joseph Ryan:

Gary Skoien

Gary Skoien


Palatine Township Republican Committeeman Gary Skoien denies he was with two prostitutes when police say his wife attacked him early Sunday morning.

Skoien, the former Cook County GOP chairman, said he was visiting with two female friends at his Inverness home on the 500 block of Fairway Lane when, according to police accounts, his wife, Eni, became enraged and hit him.

“No money was exchanged. Nobody was naked,” Skoien, 55, said.

According to police accounts, Eni Skoien, a homemaker, discovered her husband and the two women when she came home around 1:15 a.m. Sunday. She told police she became enraged and hit her husband with a closed fist and several times with a toy guitar.

Skoien also said he and his wife have been estranged and living in separate parts of their large home.

[Barrington-Inverness Deputy Police Chief Jerry] Libit said Gary Skoien doesn’t face charges relating to solicitation because of a lack of evidence. The women had left the house by the time police responded. Skoien declined to identify the women.

Categories: My Body Politic Tags:

Errata and Clarifications Dept.

March 11th, 2009 No comments


The caption for today’s photo was incomplete, due to a printing error. It should have read:

Dennis Blair (left), national intelligence director, joins Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, the Defense Intelligence Agency chief, for a Senate hearing Tuesday on the efficacy of the Electric Slide versus the Hokey Pokey.

We regret the error.

Categories: Photos Tags:

Chicago Tribune, 3/1/09

March 10th, 2009 No comments


Lou Piniella and Ozzie Guillen share a laugh before Saturday's exhibition, in which the Cubs pounded the Sox 13-0/

Lou Piniella and Ozzie Guillen share a laugh before Saturday's exhibition, in which the Cubs pounded the Sox 13-0. (Phil Velasquez / Tribune Photo)

Noogies, no doubt, followed.

Beetle Redux

March 8th, 2009 1 comment

Comics Page Audience Survey:

Although none may be good, do you prefer A?


Or C?

Categories: Comics Page Tags:

Official(ly) Stressed Out… TO THE MAX!

March 8th, 2009 No comments

Perkins added that there was a bright side to the situation. “Now, I have some time to devote to my true calling—babysitting.”

Categories: News Briefs Tags:

Who says St. Patrick’s Day is for amateurs?

March 8th, 2009 No comments

Party City - The Discount Party Super Store

Categories: Advertising Tags:

Cathy’s New Direction(s)

March 8th, 2009 No comments



"Cathy" by Cathy Guisewite - 3/8/09

I found today’s “Cathy” interesting for the three new directions that Guisewite is exploring.

1) Irving is as obsessive as Cathy herself.
Irving’s interest in Cathy has always been a mystery to me. It’s clearer now, though, that he sees himself in her. There are still important differences between the two, of course. Irving has a nose.

2) Irving owns a hackintosh.
Although all the programs Irving mentions are from Apple, his laptop does not have the Apple logo on its lid. This may mean that Irving is much more computer-savvy, and much more devious, than we have previously been led to believe.

3) Cathy has taken a job as an escort.
And Irving doesn’t seem to care/notice. Ack, indeed.

Categories: Comics Page Tags:

The Ice Queens are back!

March 7th, 2009 No comments

This episode took about eight months to make. Why? Because I had to build all the hardware by hand, using only the finest artisanal chipsets. Damn my perfectionism!

Categories: Plugs Tags:

The Madigan Drag

March 2nd, 2009 No comments

Our new governor is too busy drafting the first realistic budget Illinois has had in at least a decade, so he does not have any time to spend right now addressing the state’s much-needed ethics and campaign finance reforms. Our state legislature does not have such an excuse, however. Their non-action seems all too familiar. Michael Madigan may not have liked Rod Blagojevich, but it was his lack of constituting, legislating, or enacting any meaningful changes that enabled the former governor’s abuses. So far, I’ve heard a bit of “the time is now” and “we must seize this opportunity” talk, but I have seen very little action. We should not let the Madigan Drag keep us mired in the mud.

Any suggestions?