Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Personally, I'm in favor of many of these components. Thoughts?
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Four years ago, the Urban Prep Academy began as an all black boys school in the neighborhood of Englewood here in Chicago. For those of us who know Chicago, we know this is a relatively tough area. As the first class graduates from the charter school, though, I think we can safely call the experiment a success.
Urban Prep, a charter school that enrolls using a lottery in one of the city's more troubled neighborhoods, faced difficult odds. Only 4 percent of this year's senior class read at grade level as freshmen.
Now, however, a much different picture of this school's students can be painted.
The entire senior class at Chicago's only public all-male, all-African-American high school has been accepted to four-year colleges. At last count, the 107 seniors had earned spots at 72 schools across the nation.
This in a city where overall the high school graduation rate alone amongst black males is only 38%. It is an inspiring example of the difference that can be made via an educational investment.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Baby #2 arrived in our home on Groundhog Day. We welcome Annikah Kate, weighing in at 9 pounds, 13 ounces, with a length of 22 inches. She and mom are doing great, and I have to say, it's been a fun ride.
Stay tuned at WCW's for all the updates...
Monday, January 04, 2010
Friday, January 01, 2010
It was a big decade for me. I moved from basically being right out of high school to becoming an 'adult' with a family. There's been a lot of change, many adventures, and lots of fun, but throughout I've enjoyed what life has brought me. And that I will count as a blessing. Through the years, many of the items on these lists have proven to be companions to our life, and thus being reminded of them reminds me of what life has been.
Therefore, I would be remiss if I didn't point you others who may similarly enjoy these to The Noughtie List. Compiled at kottke.org, this list is basically a list of all the "best ofs" from the 2000s. There you go then, no more sappiness, enjoy this list of lists.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Chicago, IL *
St. Paul, MN
Elbow Lake, MN
Battle Lake, MN
New York City, NY (Manhattan and Brooklyn)
How about you, where were you?
Criteria = One or more nights spent in each place. Those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
As Nate Silver observes (yes, of PECOTA and 538 fame),
Bill Belichick is not dumb, provided that his goal is to help the New England Patriots win football games. Instead, much of the NFL's conventional wisdom on when to go for it on fourth down is horribly, horribly wrong -- teams are way too conservative and punt way too often. This is the one case where 9-year olds playing Madden -- it's no fun to punt in a video game -- quite literally make better decisions than most NFL head coaches. With that said, since the same flawed conventional wisdom can govern hiring and firing decisions, there may be a price to be paid for unconventional (if statistically correct) playcalling; see also Marty Mornhinweg.
If you follow that first link, it affirms--the Pats had a 79% chance of winning doing what they did, versus 70% by punting. So why is there outrage?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
But I do think this article was interesting and probably true. As he notes,
Understanding this may help us prevent future violence in our communities.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Is it this simple?
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wait, what? People don't want the vaccine? They fear it's part of a global government scheme to practice population control? That pharmaceutical companies are inserting additives to ensure people get sick again, thereby ensuring their future revenue? The Chicago Tribune ran an article detailing two mothers' choices in vaccinating or not, treating both as viable options. Conspiracy theories abound.
All the reliable research I have seen indicates vaccines, including this one, are safe. Thus, it has been surprising to me that such an uproar is being made in our country. I wonder if medicine has become too effective and our lives too comfortable if we take for granted the saving power medicine has in our lives. We live at the point in recorded human history at which life expectancy is the longest. And yet people question the very medical advances that have made this possible? It doesn't make sense to me. I wonder how many mothers will be glad they didn't get the vaccine when their child gets sick?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
1. New York
8. Istanbul (not Constantinople)
It's a fascinating list, and their reasoning seems good to me. I don't have many qualms with their rankings. The other fun thing on the site is that you can score the cities yourself. So for those of you who have travelled a lot, contribute away.
Monday, October 12, 2009
It's subtitled Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, and I think that's an apt description. Tim Keller uses the parable of the Prodigal Sons to drive home the true message of the Gospel. If you're looking for a great synopsis of what the Christian message is all about, I highly recommend this book.
And if you think it's possibly mis-titled, you definitely need to read it.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The day after the incident, however, it didn't draw much attention. While mentioned on the news, it wasn't really 'news'. Unfortunately, the death of a young black man in a city doesn't bring the same attention most other murders do.
By the weekend, though, that began to change. But not for good reasons. On Saturday, Fox Chicago obtained a cell phone video showing the incident. Immediately, other news organizations picked up the story and showed stills from the video. All of a sudden, the police began to feel great pressure to act as the outcry cause by the brutality so apparent on the video was loud.
By Monday, the story had gone national. Links to it were found on the homepages of CNN, MSNBC, and a link to the video was the headline on Drudge. You see, this week Chicago is also finding out its Olympic fate. The combination of the ramifications of such a public brutal murder on the Olympic bid and the presence of the video itself meant the story was definitely now 'news'.
In a city where the murder of young black men is all too frequent, and usually overlooked, it is no longer the case. For now at least...
Think back to your own knowledge of this story. When did you find out about it? Was it just recently? Think about the implications media coverage has on what we deem important.
You see, this incident was not the only occurrence of innocent death at the end of last week. You may also have heard about this one, but more likely not. On Friday, two teens were gunned down in North Lawndale (one block from where several of my Little Leaguers have lived) on their front porch. There have been no arrests in this incident. And much less public outcry. Sadly, these college kids were not safe even at home and it doesn't seem to be that big a deal. There certainly isn't the national microscope on this incident. And I can't help but wonder, is that because there wasn't a dramatic violent video for these murders?
Until these tragedies are felt with the same emotion every time they occur as the beating death has wrought this week, we will have a problem. There is a scourge of violence amongst certain communities in our country, and work needs to be accelerated to end it. The equitable education of all our youngsters is a right we have not done enough to achieve. If anything good can come of these incidents, my prayer is that it results in fewer of them down the road.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
The Atlantic prefaces it this way:
After the needless death of his father, the author, a business executive, began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system, he argues, that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. Here’s a radical solution to an agonizing problem.With no further ado, an article some have called a must-read, How American Health Care Killed My Father.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Let's be honest, the Wolves aren't making the playoffs next year, and probably not the year after that either. So what is it setting them back? If they find out what they have in Flynn, they're that much further along. Many, such as The Sports Guy have been pretty down on Kahn. Simmons recently posted on Twitter, "Hey Kahn defenders: You think a team that's BLEEDING MONEY wanted to bottom out again, take on bad salaries & wait 2 yrs for Rubio? Really?" This was the latest in several posts directed at Kahn's maneuvering. I disagree, and so here's what I wrote The Sports Guy:
We need you to write a little further on this Timberwolves situation. As a fan (yes, I know that makes me biased) I think you're being a little harsh in regard to their draft results.
I'm with you in thinking Kahn deserved to be questioned based on his lack of experience. But now that we have him, let's see what happens.
You've said yourself (in the New Yorker): "Just play your best five or six guys and figure the rest out later. In the old days, nobody gave a crap about positions." You've also said that teams in the draft should take the best available player and not draft for need. So why so down on the Wolves for taking the two players they thought were the best left on the draft board? You've said yourself that you like both Rubio and Flynn. And based on the LV league, I think I'd still rather have Flynn than Curry. Are both players PG? Yes. But how disastrous would it be to play two great PGs together? Would a team be terrible if they played Chris Paul and Deron Williams together with a great wing, a great inside scorer, and a great rebounder?
What if Rubio and Flynn are nearly as good as the aforementioned? With a good shooter on the wing (Ellington) and the scorer and rebounder extraordinaire inside (Jefferson and Love), how far away are you from being a legit presence in the league?
I can think of much worse combinations. And further, if Rubio or Flynn do not pan out, you are still not in bad shape. I think the Wolves thought, and I think correctly so, we're not good enough to draft for need, let's take the best players available, and in a couple years, figure out which parts to keep in order to turn this thing into a championship.
I'd further note that I have to agree with what what Ken Berger of CBSSports observes in regard to the situation:
So Rubio will mature and get better -- albeit against sub-NBA competition -- and Kahn's team will begin the rebuilding process with a very capable point guard in Flinn. Can the two play together in the same backcourt in 2011-12? Time will tell. But in the meantime, Kahn moves forward with a formidable asset in Rubio. Even if he never plays a single game in Minnesota.
Kahn is quickly becoming the most mysterious executive in the NBA, tearing a page straight from the book written by his mentor, Donnie Walsh. He is humorless and needs to brush up on his people skills -- despite the fact that he's a former member of the media. (Maybe this explains why he is a former member.) But I'll give him credit for this much: It took a certain amount of gumption to welcome a controversy like this with the very first and most important decision of his regime. Whether it ultimately works out or not is very much an unknown. Say Kahn is in over his head if you want; you might ultimately be correct. But I have no problem giving Kahn credit for being unafraid of Fegan and all the contractual entanglements that came with Rubio. Enjoy Barcelona, Ricky. See you in 2011.
What are your thoughts?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Now, though, I've gotten exposure on one of the top blogs in existence.
Yep, Westy is quoted on the Freakonomics blog. Enjoy reading the extremely deep question I asked... Hey, at least I inspired the title.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
You can glean these and many other fascinating tidbits from this captivating chart from the NYT.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
So, of course, I'm curious; what are your favorite movies of the decade? For those curious, here is a list of the Oscar winning films from these years:
2009 Slumdog Millionaire
2008 No Country for Old Men
2007 The Departed
2005 Million Dollar Baby
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2002 A Beautiful Mind
Others to consider?
the Bourne Trilogy
The Dark Knight
Bowling for Columbine
Born Into Brothels
Little Miss Sunshine
What is your best-loved? I will post my own favorites to the comments in the next couple days.
Monday, July 13, 2009
The area now including Millennium and Grant Parks actually didn't really exist prior to the Chicago Fire of 1871. As a result of that catastrophe, landfill and trash were dumped at what was then the lakefront creating more shore, and creating a landfill area that would become these parks. By 1890, here's what the area looked like.
By the mid-20th century, though, the area had been overrun by railroads, parking lots, and poor planning. Come the mid-1980s, things were looking a little better, but what's today Millennium Park was still pretty much just a railroad yard.
Monday, July 06, 2009
It actually reminded me of another photo essay of lost grandeur I also recently viewed documenting Detroit's fall.
Together these groups of photos serve as a healthy reminder that our lives here are pretty temporal.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I'll leave the interpretations to you.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
There is a 1 in 1.5 million chance that your kid would be abducted and killed by a stranger. It is hard to wrap your mind around those numbers, and everybody always assumes: What if it's my 1 in 1.5 million?
If you don't want to have your child in any kind of danger, you really can't do anything. You certainly couldn't drive them in a car, because that's the No. 1 way kids die, as passengers in car accidents.
Certainly, let's consider the benefits allowing our children some independence will bring.