Everyone's talking about how it sucks that the Illinois legislature has not passed funding for Chicago's transit system. 39 bus routes cut, fares increased, 600 employees laid off. The Illlinois House will be getting together again on Friday, November 2, 2007 to vote on bill SB572, which gives funding to the CTA, Metra and Pace.
But what can we do? Email your Representative. All the Reps in Chicago voted in favor of bill SB572, so what good does it do to email your rep who is already gonna vote to pass the funding? The key is the Reps in suburban Chicago who did not vote for the bill the last time it came around in September.
In fact many Metra riders are shocked that their Rep didn't vote for the bill. We need those people to email their Reps and convince them to pass the funding. I looked up all 238 Metra stations and mapped out which district they are in and cross-referenced that against who represents that district and if he/she supported or opposed SB572 in the initial vote. The Elgin/Big Timber line was the most troublesome with seven Reps who opposed the bill.
I made a flyer that specifically targets that line. Feel free to download, email, print, distribute this flyer anyway you please. We need to get the word out, and have people in these districts email their Rep before the vote on Friday, November 2, 2007.
Northeast Illinois is in desperate need of additional funding. On September 4, 2007 the Illinois House of Representatives voted on bill SB572, which would have raised $400 million for operating costs for the CTA, Metra, and Pace. But the bill was not passed.
Here's a map illustrating who voted for or against the bill. There are 119 districts in the Illinois House. Roughly 64 are in Northeast Illlinois. 63 are the rest of Illinois. Sounds like the bill should pass, right? Well. You got the stupid "collar counties" of Illinois who think they don't want to be part of the sales tax increase in the area, cuz they don't use public transit.
Listen up collar idiots reps, of the $400 million to be raised by this bill, Metra gets the most out of every ride:
New Operating Money Per Trip
How did I get those numbers? (actually, I got them first from sicktransitchicago, but I double checked them against the 2006 stats. I think he's pulling his numbers from the 2007 projected).
The 2006 Annual Ridership is:
CTA: 497 million
Metra: 82.3 million
PACE: 38.9 million
Distribution of New Operating Money:
CTA - 60% ($240 million)
Metra - 30% ($120 million)
Pace - 10% ($40 million)
Divide that new money by the number of rides per year, and you see how much money each division gets per year. Metra. You got a lot more operating money on your hands. Collar county Representatives, your peeps use Metra! It's time to support it.
So anyways, here's the maps showing who voted for what in the initial vote:
Notice that even the Democrats down south didn't vote for this bill. Uf.
And for kicks, let's overlay the Metra map on top of this. It's very rough, but you get the idea.
It's also worth noting that anything off this map was pretty much a vote for No. Crazy.
Tommorrow, I give an actual idea for how people can help out.
Chicago's 47th ward Alderman Gene Schulter sent me an email about how the Berlin Wall is going to be installed at the Brown Line Western Avenue stop.
Last year, through my work with the German Consul General and local German cultural groups, the German Government provided the city with a section of the Berlin Wall to be permanently displayed in the 47th Ward. Over the past two weeks, the Chicago Transit Authority has been hard at work creating a permanent display in the Western Brown Line Station in the heart of Lincoln Square. This will be the only display of its kind in the Midwest and I am very excited about this opportunity host it in our community.
The display will be located adjacent to the Western Avenue side of the station and will showcase the two sides of the wall. The exhibit will also feature historical information surrounding the erection of the Wall during the Cold War and the symbolic reconnection of Germany in the late eighties.
I would like to thank the CTA for their enthusiasm and assistance in creating a space for this permanent exhibit. I would also like to thank Matt Lodge of Lashett's German Inn, Mark Matuschka of Continental Contractors, and Joe Bradtke of Bradtke Antique Movers for their invaluable assistance in transporting the piece of the Wall to the Western Station.
Let's say you want your new phone number to spell something specific. For instance, I want mine to be 778-3278 which spells SPUDART. Now I would need an area code where that phone number is available through a cellular provider. There should be some online application where one can type in a phone number and see what area codes are available for 778-3278 and which providers have that phone number available.
That would simply RAWWWWWWK.
For starters, one can do this semi-manually. Here's how. Within 778-3278, the first three digits (778) are called the prefix. Sometimes the prefix for an area code is given to a cell phone company. Sometimes it's given to a local telephone service. For instance the area code 847 says that the 778 prefix is assigned to a cell phone company. While the 219 area code has 778 assigned only to people who live in Rolling Prairie.
You can go to: www.thedirectory.org/pref and search through all three hundred twenty-eight area codes and see which area codes have the your desired prefix assigned to a cell phone company. Armed with that information, I guess you can call the top five cell phone companies and see if they have your number available. Sounds like a lot of work? Yeah, no crap. That's why this application idea would RAWWWWWWWWK.
Put my computer devices on power strips that I only turn on when they are in use.
Use my 3.3 watt 2-inch screen tv, instead of the 180 watt tv.
Recycle glass, plastic, metal, paper at home and work.
Using the laundry dryer less (I max out the laundry lines in the basement of my apartment building. And I even installed a second line, only to have it taken down. But then I put the second line back up again. Take THAT, you laundry line no-users!).
No car (this is easy, as I don’t own one, but I’m adding a line under the next list).
Using compact fluorescent lights (and secretly got my parents hooked on fluorescent!).
Using reusable grocery bags.
Using all recyclable batteries.
Things I could still do:
Take stairs (even though I work on floor 14, but hey! It’ll be good exercise).
Take shorter showers (ok, I should put “take less frequent showers, but sounds gross, but there are three days a week where I’ll take a shower in the morning, and then one after a workout. That morning shower is not always necessary).
Convince my parents they don’t have to drive me home every time (instead I can take the train).
Buy fewer packaged food products, which also means….
Buy from local farmer markets more often.
Use earth-friendly cleaning products.
Use recycled garbage bags and toilet paper.
Use only cold water for washing laundry.
Eat less meat during lunch. I’m basically vegetarian when I’m at home. I should try this more at work too.
This octopus scarf is just so funky cool. I think I can pull it off... or can I? Honestly now, would this scarf be too girly? I think it's got so much funk oozing out of it, that it overcomes any sense of girliness. What do you think? Should I buy this or not?
It seems like everyone in the past week has made an inspiring post about free-form-let-it-bust-out-a-groove dance (thanks wembley, sparx, and mary! yooz all are the best!) Here's my contribution to the area of let-it-loose-and-have-fun dance!
The rhythm i feel is the the rhythm that matters when i dance. You can hear the music. The music is external, but how you internalize it and feel the rhythm, and then it comes back out externalized and just pump it out in dance form. Here’s some quotes that better capture what I’m trying to say.
“Dancers aren’t made of their technique, but their passion.”
~ author unknown
“When in doubt…...dance!”
~ author unknown
“Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another.”
Ballet is not technique but a way of expression that comes more closely to the inner language of man than any other.”
It’s what I always wanted to do, to show the laughter, the fun the joy of dance.”
Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
Dancing is like dreaming with your feet!
“We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.”
~ author unknown
There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.
Dancing is the poetry of the foot.
Shake it ‘til the moon becomes the sun.
~Vada Nobles, Carl Sturken, Evan Rogers, and Alisha Brooks, “Pon de Replay,” performed by Rihanna
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your computer chair
~ Matt Maldre adaption of Kurt Vonnegut
If you can talk, you can sing.
If you can walk, you can dance.
~ African Proverb
Everything in the universe has rhythm.
~ Maya Angelou
I praise the dance, for it frees people
from the heaviness of matter and binds the isolated to community.
I praise the dance, which demands everything:
health and a clear spirit and a buoyant soul.
Dance is a transformation of space, of time, of people,
who are in constant danger of becoming all brain, will, or feeling.
Dancing demands a whole person,
one who is firmly anchored in the center of his life,
who is not obsessed by lust for people and things
and the demon of isolation in his own ego.
Dancing demands a freed person,
one who vibrates with the equipoise of all his powers.
I praise the dance.
O man, learn to dance,
or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you.
~ Saint Augustine
(what? saint augustine?! isn’t that crazy!)
While I dance, I cannot judge,
I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life.
I can only be joyful and whole.
That is why I dance.
~ Hans Bos
And oh, don't forget the Daft Punk dancing girl on YouTube:
Complete inspiration! Everytime I watch that video it makes me get up and dance (literally!) and just bust out the groove. It’s fun to dance along with her. weeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Someone out there, please make a plush stuffed Sears Tower, complete with arms and legs. And the eyes would be lights up in the top of the Tower. Oh man. That would rool so hard core. Would it really a tall order to create a crafty plush as such?
How can one keep track of all these places? There should be a website where you can list ALL the specific places you want to visit. So if you are ever visiting Peoria, you’ll know that they have the Hubcap House, Wheels of Time Museum, and Giant Solar System Model. The site that comes the closest to doing this is RoadsideAmerica.com, here is their Illinois Map. But you can’t add locations to this site. It would be great to have the platform open to anyone to add locations and lists.
43places.com allows uers to add destinations and places, but they limit you to 43 places on your list. Here’s my list. It’s a great community site, but that 43 limit. Aargh!
Eventually I’d love this to be an open standard system where any travel site will have a standard button for each destination. You can click that button, and it will automatically add that destination to your list of places you want to visit. I have a feeling something like this should be achievable with Google Maps.
Lists like the ones mentioned above would be integrated into the site. So if you are at a particular location, you can see if it appears in any list. e.g. If you are at Chicago’s Gold Coast Dogs, you can see that the Chicago Sun-Times listed as the Best Hot Dog and hamburger in Chicago.
Kleenex makes two types of tissue box designs:
1) The predominant designs found on tissue boxes are of the feminine aesthetic. Flowery, flowy pieces of CRAP. Narrrr! I am man! I want manly tissue box covers.
2) The other type: sports designs. Bears tissue box covers. Uf. That's nice and all, but c'mon. So cliche.
Etsy.com to the rescue! or not. Etsy currently offers three ok designs:
The skull box. By far the most masculine. But skulls? c'mon. LAME!
The spongebob tissue box. It's not manly, but Spongebob just rules.
And the cow tissue box. This one is utterly... well, just ok.
Anyone have any suggestions for what would make a super cool tissue box that one can easily make? I'd like one made out of steel and rusty wire. But I don't have those materials just lying around. Maybe shutterstock.com will have some interesting patterns I can just print and put onto a cardboard box.
How similiar is your taste in movies with your friends? This super cool new quiz asks you rate a bunch of movies, then it compares your Movie Compatibility with your friends. To take this quiz, sign up for facebook and then add the flixster movie application.
Here's my results so far:
72: Fredrick Royster
71: Erik Maldre
71: Tom Kim
70: Kelly Hafermann
66: Mary Etta Eastin
67: Frédéric Jouhet
63: John Fisher
61: Amy Payne
60: Leslie Connelly
59: Michael Quinlan
55: Gary Scacco
53: Justin Ahrens
53: Doug Pruim
51: Branden M
51: Delexia Powell
50: John Lee
I'd like to see a breakdown of where the average Chicagoan's taxes go, in federal, state, city, county, etc.
What got me thinking about this is an article by the Chicago Artists' Coalition where they said,
"The budget approved by the legislature on August 10, 2007 would have increased the Illinois Arts Council's budget by $3.6 million from last year's budget level and brought us very close to our goal: a budget of $24 million for the Illinois Arts Council, or $2 per person, per year in Illinois."
Any help from anyone to resources that show us exactly where all our taxes go?
How can this be? The Chicago Public Library classifies my borrower status as "good." I've had so many late books and lost books, that I am a large benefactor to keeping the library's budget balanced.
What sort of levels of borrower status do they have? Is it just "good" and "delinquent"? Here's the structure I suggest they have: 1) Perfect: Oh yeah, you know there's gotta be people out there with a perfect borrowing record. And you can only get this if you have taken out over 50 books. Oh wait. Let's break that up into: Perfect Newbie (for those who have taken out just a couple books) and Perfect Veteran. 2) Great
6) Delinquent Master
Oh you know the Chicago Public Library has GOTTA have a "Banned" status.
If you could see any sports event from the past, which one would you want to see?
I'd have to go with a World Series from the deadball era of baseball (pre 1918). Since we are in that time era, might as well go with the 1908 World Series and see the last time the Cubs won it. Plus, the Cubs were facing the Detroit Tigers with Ty Cobb. He went 7-for-19 .368 batting average (the best for the Tigers in that series. Frank Chance out did him going 8-for-19 (.421).
Cubs playoff tickets. A great thing to have. Game four. Certainly there would be a game four, right? Not with these Chicago Cubs. They got swept by the Arizona Snakes in three games. Ouch.
It’s certainly disappointing to see the Cubs lose in the playoffs.
It’s more disappointing to see them get swept in the playoffs.
It’s even more disappointing to see them get swept by the stupid Snakes.
And then it’s MOST disappointing when their loss prevents me from going to see them play the next day.
Now I’m trying to figure out what’s more disappointing.
A) The cubs being five outs from going to the World Series, and then some fluke incident with Steve Bartman.
B) The Cubs being swept by the snakes the day before I was supposed to see the Cubs play.
I’d have to go with situation A being more disappointing. But man, situation B certainly sucked. Oh well, I should at least be thankful that I had the opportunity to even possess tickets in the first place. I got the tickets through work—I work for Tribune. Although this is their last year owning the Cubs, so this was my sort of last time to enjoy getting Tribune tickets.
Hey, at least the Cubbies didn’t finish in last place. Now let’s hope Bud Selig’s buddy doesn’t end up owning the Cubs. That just sends me the heepy jeebies thinking about it.
Oak Lawn, Illinois installed funny signs beneath their existing stop signs. These signs say things like:
• right there pilgrim
• and smell the roses
• or we'll hunt you down
• means that you aren't moving
• billion dollar fine
• in the naaaame of love
There's over a dozen variations on these 50 signs installed at trouble spots throughout Oak Lawn where vehicles tend to not stop. This was the brainchild of Oak Lawn's mayor, Dave Heilmann to get people to pay attention to the signs.
I love the creativity behind these signs. But since they are so goofy about a law that is meant to be strict, people are going to take these stop signs even less seriously. Stopping at a stop sign is done out of respect for the law, and for the concern of the safety of others. By poking fun at the stop signs, the respect is diminished.
Certainly people will pay more attention to the sign, but will they actually stop at it now? That's the main purpose of installing these signs.
If the purpose is to make people smile and take life less seriously, then yes, this is successful.
October 1, 2007 would be day number 732,951 starting from the beginning of AD in January 1, 0001.
It's been 1,055,449,440 minutes. That's just a tad over 1 billion minutes. (One billion minutes happened on Monday, April 28, 1902)
Day #750,000 will occur on Friday, June 5, 2054. (btw, Google Calendar only lets you add events up to the year 2050)
Week #105,000 starts on Friday, May 10, 2013.
You can subscribe to the calendar here:
I was also thinking today could be 2007.274 (for the 274th day of 2007), but since 2007.274 is an actual decimal number, it assumes that there would be 1,000 days in the year. (here's a cool perpetual calendar that shows you the day number of the year)
Spudart.org has lots of fun stuff by Matt Maldre, a 35-year-old Chicago Christian, artist, designer, illustrator, photographer, webmaster, entrepreneur, curator, goofball, and croquet player. Read more about Matt on the about page.