Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Miracle of Baby Amilla

Scroll down for updated information
Need proof of miracles? Baby Amilla Taylor is going home. Born four months ago, her birth weight was just under 10 ounces (less than 284 grams). Her mom was one day less than 22 weeks pregnant when Amilla was born; she went into premature labor while visiting friends in a nearby city. Needless to say, the happy Mom and Dad are delighted, as is the entire medical team at at Baptist Children's Hospital in Miami, Florida.

Baby Amillia is the youngest premature baby to ever survive. You can see pictures of her little feet, less than half the size of your little finger, and lying next to a pen, almost as long as she was, by clicking here.

"I put my faith in God," said Amillia's father, Eddie Taylor. "I didn't worry a lot. I just made sure to get here to be at her side."

The University of Iowa has a registry with information about very tiny babies who have survived. Although some weighed less than Baby Amillia, she remains the youngest at birth. We are delighted that two tiny babies whose lives were saved were cared for at Chicago's Loyola hospital. If you would like to see the registry, just click here.

UPDATE: Amillia was scheduled to go home Tuesday, but doctors kept her an extra day as a precaution. At 5:42 pm, today, Wednesday, February 21, 2007, Baptist Children's Hospital, in Miami, Florida announced that Baby Amilla has left the building (with her parents, of course) !Amillia was scheduled to go home Tuesday, but doctors kept her an extra day as a precaution. To read the hospital press release click here. You can read the hopital's official Baby Amillia Taylor fact sheet by clicking here. The executive summary is one word: "thriving."
FIRST BIRTHDAY UPDATE (OCTOBER 24, 2007): Click here to go to Amilla's first birthday update.

With Appologies to General Washington, his Birthday Has Been Moved

Click here for information on Baby Amilla Taylor

Apologies to George Washington. Unfortunately the link commemorating his birthday appears below, dated Febrary 20, 2007, following the post about for baby Amillia Tayor simply because of reader demand. Here's the story.

When the news about Amillia Taylor first broke, the news sources carried the Miracle Baby's name as "Amilla." Turns out, her real name is "Amillia." The major news providers made corrections, but readers googling "Amilla Taylor," won't find much due to the correction.

Because I wrote the original blog post quite early after the story broke, using "Amilla" instead of "Amillia," Google has sent Googler's looking for "Amilla Taylor" to Wilmette for the story. Of course, few people have the patience to scroll down looking for information, so I decided to leave Amillia's post, which has been substantially updated, at the top of the blog.

George Washington has now had 275 birthday celebrations, Amillia only one. We hope you will understand.

Celebrating George Washington's Birthday

Today is February 22, the birthday of George Washington, America's first President, American's greatest President, and an all round hero.

The Life of George Washington, published in 1807, was written by David Ramsay, a member of the Continental Congress. It's fairly short, and available for free, online by clicking here. In honor of America's greatest President, why not read a chapter of two?

Too much reading you say? Well why not take a virtual tour of George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, by clicking here.
(Thanks to reader CB, who provided the link.) If you click here you will be able to see a number of short video clips about Washington from the History Channel.

Of course, I am a great fan of Washington's Rules of Civility, and politicians would be well reminded of numbers 19 and 20.

Have a Happy Washington's Birthday. If you like it, I hope you will be enjoying America's traditional Washington's Birthday treat: a slice of cherry pie.

Monday, February 19, 2007

One Laptop per Child: Trial Batch Shipping This Month

I have been following the "One Laptop per Child" $100 Laptop story for quite some time, but have never found any information that I didn't think you could easily find elsewhere. The project has received a fair amount of attention in the mainstream media, and I suppose you have heard about it, along with the pros and cons.

Today I found a blog post from the perspective of a tech person in a country which will be ordering those laptops, and i its excellent. I am recommending KO's post which you can read by clicking here. In the post, KO answers the most common criticisms of the project, which gave me a new perspective on the whole matter.

On observation from the article:

"[W]hile the govt. can afford to spend a billion dollars on laptops, it is completely beyond it’s reach to fix the educational system. Enable the children to learn on their own - it might just work. At the worst it’ll be money down the drain, and if you pore over the news, so called poor countries like Pakistan and Nigeria have tons of money to throw around."

When all the news seems bad, hopeful posts like this remind us that people (including children) are smart, resourceful, and solution oriented when allowed to solve their own problems.

Yes, I know its President's Day. Since Wilmette celebrates Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays, we will leave you to enjoy your holiday if you are lucky enough to have the day off.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

In Memoriam: Chief Illiniwek, Frank Fool's Crow, and Black Elk

It's cold and snowy in Wilmette, a wonderful weekend to stay inside and read. In honor of Chief Illiniwek, (you can read yesterday's post here) Wilmette is recommending a wonderful book that you will love. The book is Black Elk Speaks, the biography narrated by the uncle of Frank Fool's Crow, the Lakota Sioux who sold Chief Illiniwek's regalia to the University of Illinois in 1982. While you can probably pick up the book in any local book store, you can also access the entire book in pdf format, free of charge, by clicking here. (UPDATE: Apparently this free book was removed from Internet sites in late in 2007 as it was still under copyright. As a replacement, I found this free excerpt (and another one) from the book, as well as Cliff Notes.)

The Lakota Sioux are not Illinois Indians, and their ways are far different from the ways of the Woodland Indians who lived in Illinois. Nevertheless, the book paints a picture of the end of a way of life that is passing away as quickly as the memory of the natives who once called Illinois home.

With anti-fur activists demonstrating last night at the Lyric Opera, I suppose I will have to give up on my thought of what to rename the Fighting Illini if that term ends up being retired, too. For a while I was thinking that in honor of the old French traders who roamed our state in its early days, that the University of Illinois athletes might adopt the name "Fighting Fur Trappers." but I guess that would never do.

Note: Chief Illiniwek lives on at Youtube. Just click here.
To see a genuine Native American example of " fancy dancing" click here.

UPDATE: We've saved the last dance for you! Click here for the official professional video featuring Chief Illiniwek's last dance at the University of Illinois basketball game at the Assembly Hall on February 21, 2007. We will leave the last word on Chief Illiniwek to Charles Kupcella, President of the University of North Dakota who wrote an open letter to the NCAA regarding their attack on the "Fighting Sioux," which you can read by clicking here.

FURTHER UPDATE: It's March, 2009 and not only has Kupcella's letter disappeared, searches reveal that any copies of it (but not references to it) have been very systematically scrubbed from the web.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Chief Illiniwek: Hail (and) Farewell

scroll down for link to video of the Chief's last dance
There is real grief today in the heartland. The University of Illinois, and its alumni love Chief Illiniwek, their symbol for nearly a century. As of next week, Chief Illiniwek will be deader than a doornail, officially extinct, gone every bit as missing as the Native American Illini Confederacy, once the lords of the Mississippi valley.

Chief Illiniwek made his first appearance on Oct. 30, 1926, during halftime of the Illinois-Pennsylvania football game and has been revered ever since. His final appearance will be Wednesday at the Assembly Hall, during halftime of the varsity men's basketball game against Michigan, the final home game this season for the Illini.

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has a perfect track record--right up there with China and other repressive regimes--in denying freedom of speech and freedom of expression to its college members. In the guise of political correctness, the NCAA has worked tirelessly to extirpate all evidence that the USA was once an Indian (or Native American, if you wish) nation, and is currently finishing its assault against the "Fighting Sioux" of North Dakota among others.

The NCAA is a voluntary organization. Theoretically voluntary, that is. Unfortunately, without membership, no college can have a sports program of any stature whatsoever. Any college administrator will tell you that nothing drives alumni contributions for academic programs like winning sports teams, so without NCAA membership the future of an entire educational institution could be in doubt.

With advocates around the world bringing increased attention to the issue of free speech and freedom of expression, it is sad that here in the United States we sit by so idly as "private associations" impose bans as thorough as those in countries with repressive regimes.

RIP, Chief Illiniwek, the Indian Removal is nearly complete. Your loyal fans mourn.

Click here for comprehensive information from the Chief Illiwek Educational Foundation.

Note: With the retirement of Chief Illiniwek, interest in the native tribes of Illinois (after which the State is named) is sure to wane. For further information about the Illini from the Illinois State Museum, just click here. Additional scholarly information about the Native American tribes of Illinois can be found by clicking here.

UPDATE: We've saved the last dance for you! Click here for the official professional video featuring Chief Illiniwek's last dance at the University of Illinois basketball game at the Assembly Hall on February 21, 2007. We will leave the last word on Chief Illiniwek to Charles Kupicella, President of the University of North Dakota who wrote an open letter to the NCAA regarding their attack on the "Fighting Sioux," which you can read by clicking here, although writer CB tips us that this letter is even better.


Is your scale telling you bad things two weeks after the Super Bowl? A blogger friend, very concerned after reading my post on Super Bowl food, has sent a link to an article on nutrition. You can enlighten yourself and read the entire article by clicking here.

Also, the BBC has been running a nutrition series which has been all the rage worldwide. Unfortunately it is only available to residents in Great Britain--that is, unless you use a technical workaround suggested by Amit Agarwal. To use the workaround and see the series, just click here.

The long article on nutrition boils down to this

1. Eat Food - Old fashioned food, food that could have come out of your grandmother's kitchen and not a cardboard box.

2. Forget food that has health claims. Remember that the American Heart Association makes money from endorsing food.

3. Don't eat food that has ingredients that you can't pronounce. Don't eat high fructose corn syrup. Don't eat food that has more than five ingredients on the label. All signs of over-processing.

4, Get out of the Supermarket and over to the Farmer's Market (yes--only 4 months for that!)

5. Eat better quality food and less of it. All tomatoes are not created equal. Especially eat less.

6. Eat more plants, eat leaves especially.

7. Eat ethnic--including eating less, and not eating alone.

8. Cook at home, maybe from your own garden.

9. Eat all sorts of foods; don't limit your diet to a few chosen foods.

Of course, the writer from this essay is from California, with year round Farmer's Markets. But seriously, after it warms up, we all need to move on from meat and cheese and potatoes.

Here at Wilmette we have a few rules that we try stick to when remember:
1. Eat cheap. While this contradicts the above, remember that what's on sale is most abundant and at its peak quality.

2. Eat close to the ground. Don't torture your food when you prepare it. Just cook it. You shouldn't need a written guide to figure out what you are eating.

3. Whole grain is good; fruit and vegetables are best. Too much meat or cheese is bad (when it's not the Super Bowl.)

4. Follow this rule: 1/3 of the plate protein, 1/3 starch; 1/2 vegetable.

4. Eat at home. Eat food you have prepared from the raw ingredients. There is no excuse for not cooking other than sheer laziness.

Note: other than the cheese and 2 piece of carrot there is probably nothing here that your grandmother would recognize.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My First Valentine--and its from a Train!


The other day I received my first Valentine, and it was from a train. That's right, a train.

Here's the story. When I was at the Christmas Markets last December we decided to take a daytrip from Cologne to Brussels. It was quite an eventful day, and taking the Thalys, a fancy high speed train, was a highlight. Sometime after I returned home, I signed up for emails at the Thalys website, and the valentine was their first message to me. If you go to the website by clicking here you can see a cute little animation of a love story featuring the red Thalys and send a valentine card to a friend with a customized background. I of course chose Cologne Cathedral, pictured above.
I wish I had known about the website before I left on vacation. From what I saw on the website. I could have saved some serious cash as well as a great deal of time standing in line to buy the ticket.
If you are looking to send a very special valentine for a certain someone, you might want to check out this site, which is an aninote by the very creative Robert "Gunny" Blake who brought us the hugely popular youaremighty.com.

The Original Man from Springfield: Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it."
-- April 6, 1859 - Letter to Henry Pierce

Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday, a fact not lost on Barack Obama when he chose to announce his campaign from Springfield on Saturday. This is a state holiday in a state where every vehicle license plate reads "Land of Lincoln," and features Lincoln's portrait as well. It is only recently that President's Day has overcome the importance of two holidays in Illinois: the birthday of Lincoln and the birthday of Washington. In earlier years, around Lincoln's birthday, Illinois newspapers featured enough articles on Lincoln around his birthday to give residents of Illinois a strong education on Honest Abe, and it was a popular time of year to read a book on Lincoln.

In honor of Abraham Lincoln's 198th birthday, we are recommending the Journals of the Abraham Lincoln Association. As is Wilmette's way, we only recommend reading that is free, and that is especially fitting today, the birthday of a President who loved reading so much that in his poor childhood would walk miles to borrow a book. All 27 journals are available to you, online, by clicking here. We are particularly recommending that reading to those who are seduced by the idea that Barack Obama is the "new Lincoln, " an idea that we consider downright audacious on Obama's part, not to mention the fact that Abe Lincoln was a Republican, the party of George Bush and not Barack Obama.

We still like our last year's post on Lincoln, Of interest there is a comment with a link to a web page that contains Lincoln information from the traditional (and very negative) Southern point of view. The Civil War, waged primarily in the Southern United States while Lincoln was President, left the region so devastated that (with the exception of oil-rich Texas) only in the past few years has any real economic recovery taken place.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Big Government Best in Eyes of Lincoln, Obama

Watch: Obama speaks clearly on the Presidency

Barack Obama's spin doctors want us to see him as the new Lincoln. Is he? Almost a year ago, economist Walter E. Williams of George Mason University, wrote the introduction to the book The Real Lincoln, written by Thomas J. DiLorenzo. If you are curious about the parallels between Lincoln and Illinois Senator Barack Obama, you might enjoy reading that introduction. Notable is this quote:

"The true costs of the War between the States were not the 620,000 battlefield-related deaths, out of a national population of 30 million (were we to control for population growth, that would be equivalent to roughly 5 million battlefield deaths today). The true costs were a change in the character of our government into one feared by the likes of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, and Calhoun – one where states lost most of their sovereignty to the central government."

Lincoln was a big government man, and if you have read or heard Barack Obama's speech when he announced for President, you will see that Obama has a vision of a huge Federal government, a government with its finger in every piece of your life.

Perhaps Andy McKenna, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, put it best. "It takes humility to be an effective leader," said McKenna. "None of us have read in history that President Lincoln compared himself to President Washington or President Jefferson-- he was too humble for that."

Walt Williams has an excellent little feature on his website termed Economics for the Citizen - A Ten Part Series on Basic Economics Concepts which you can read by clicking here.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

While Both Spent Time in Springfield, Obama is No Lincoln

Watch: Barack Obama speak clearly about the Presidency

Barack Obama, Illinois' sentator-in-absentia, busy bootstrapping his two year Senate career to a nod for the Whitehouse, would like you to believe that he's another Abraham Lincoln. That's what his spin people want, and why that's why he's making his announcement for the Presidential run from Springfield, Illinois. Does Obama's self-comparison to Lincoln hit you as arrogant? It sticks in my craw, and I am not even a particular Lincoln fan. (On the other hand, in Illinois--which proudly proclaims itself as "Land of Lincoln"--anything short of real fanaticim for Lincoln might be considered downright hostile . . .)

But seriously, let's take a minute to reflect on Abraham Lincoln. On his religion, perhaps. What if I were to tell you that Abraham Lincoln belonged to a church that proudly published a philosophy that it was commited to the White Community, the White family, and the White work ethic, a church which, as a condition of membership, required you to pledge allegiance to White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System, a chuch which openly, nearly a century after the American Revolution, had a commitment to England and the historical education of English people here in America. Would you be offended? Need I ask?

I am sure you know that Old "Honest Abe" Lincoln never belonged to a church His religious philosophy was “When I do good, I feel good, and when I do bad, I feel bad, and that’s my religion.”

Barack Obama, however, does belong to a Church, the Trinity UCC in Chicago, which is probably a fine church. However, as a condition of membership, they require a commitment to what they call a "Black Value System" which you can read by clicking here. I don't think any churches that are mostly white could adopt a "White Value System" and stay in business or not be drummed out of their denomination. In fact, subsitute the word white for black and Trinity UCC's view sounds a lot like the verbiage of the KKK, termed by the Anti Defamation League as "America's first terrorist group", and whose political party believes that all Americans must live under "White Christian rules of conduct."

Obama, who has lived a priviledged life, in stark contrast to the hardship endured by Lincoln in his youth on the frontier, apparently became enamored with the idea of becoming President in his youth. I am suprised, amazed, that he would become affiliated with a Congregation with a viewpoint that, if the shoe was on the other foot, would be widely regarded as racist.

You want a guy like Obama for President? Trust his judgment? Barack Obama is no Abraham Lincoln, even if they are both tall and started their political careers here in Illinois.

Barack, give us a break!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Update on Wilmette Affordable Housing

Quick, go read the Backyard Conservative's great post on Wilmette and "affordable housing," an Illinois real estate developer's relief act (and "thank you" by legislators for their hefty campaign contributions) wrapped in a pneumbra of good works and the always popular Marxist ideal of income and wealth redistribution. Of course, the Marxists never seem to volunteer much of their own income and wealth, preferring to redistribute your income and wealth, instead.

Wilmette has done a bad job in taking a "wait and see" attitude on affordable housing. There are some real legal questions to be answered about the act, but all I suppose fools rush in where angels dare to tread. I wasn't terribly suprised to read in Thursday’s Wilmette Life that the Wilmette Trustees had hired a consultant to offer advice about affordable housing. The consultant, by the name of Roberta Nechin, was quoted as follows:

"You want the sales clerk, divorced, with one kid, who wants to stay in the community, in the school district," Nechin said [last] Friday.

You see the problem? The consultant knows nothing about Wilmette at all! In Wilmette, women don’t work as sales clerks anymore. That was the “little job” done by a previous generation, who liked to work nearby for a few hours a week and obtain a store discount in a time where discount stores just didn't exist. It also predated today's profile of a typical Wilmette woman, who is most likely to have a profession or advanced knowledge of business, even if she spends a great deal of time raising her kids. While I am all for divorced women staying in the community, let’s get realistic. You can’t afford day care on a typical sales clerk’s job, much less housing.

Why are our Trustees paying this person? Wilmette is loaded with talent, all sorts of it. It’s likely someone with excellent credentials, who actually knows the community and would be willing to volunteer their time to look at affordable housing would come up with a far better result. The amount spent by Trustees on outside "experts," when we have no shortage of local-know how, likely free for the asking, is just an attempt to "pass the buck" and refuse to take responsibity for our community's future.

It's Official: Internet Preferred Over Gardening by Senior Citizens

The Telegraph of England reports that Senior Citizens are embracing the Internet in increasing numbers, spending an average of six hours per week online, and overtaking gardening in hobby popularity. The USA was tops in Internet usage by seniors with nine hours per weekend, followed by Canada and Australia with seven hours. Spanish and Italian pensioners were the least internet savvy, with an average of just two hours a week. You can read the entire story by clicking here.
Photo Credit: The graphic above is from the Lourdes, France website, which shows how they use the Internet to gather prayers of the faithful and place them in the grotto at Lourdes. (Click on the picture for a larger view.) Charming, n'est-ce pas?

Karen Spillers: Great Choice for Wilmette Trustee

Good news! Karen Spillers has declared for Wilmette Village Trustee. Wilmette didn't endorse her candidacy last time around--at that time I had never met Karen, and unfortunately her literature didn't give me reason enough to vote for her.

Since the last election--which she lost by just a handful of votes--I have gotten acquainted with Karen. She is energetic, enthusiastic, and results oriented. Karen Spillers would make make an excellent trustee.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wilmette 2007 Village Board Trustee Race Promises to be Interesting

Five candidates have filed for three trustee seats on the Wilmette Village Board before Monday's deadline. Incumbents Mari Terman and Joanne Aggens are taking another run, and new candidates Karen Spillers, Mike Basil and Gale Teschendorf have also filed. The election isn't until April.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bears Still on my Mind

Football is over and I am still suffering a little bit after Sunday's Super Bowl. The Chicago Bears cleaned out their lockers today, and left for wherever they spend the off season. With bears still on my mind, I was happy to find this video of the baby pandas in China. That cheered me up some. Then I went searching for a video of the municipal pet brown bears in Berne, Switzerland. I was happy to find this cute video which featured one bear lazily catching marshmallows, one of their favorite past times. That cheered me up, too.

Since I am so much better after my flu vacation, I am sure that soon life will be good again.

Monday, February 05, 2007

In Mourning for the Bears

At -9F it's cold here. (That's minus 22C in the rest of the world)

We lost the Super Bowl in Miami, but at least its sunny in Chicago. With wind chill factors creating conditions equal to about -22F, a victory celebration could have been downright dangerous. It's warmer in Indianapolis, so its probably all for the best. The Bears gave us an exciting first quarter, which will remain with us for a long, long time. Everyone is sad today, but it was a great season. Plenty of coverage and photos at the Sun-Times.

From the Mayor's office:

"At the team's request, City Hall has cancelled its post-Super Bowl celebration.

"The team wanted to thank all of the fans for their tremendous support throughout the season. They look forward to celebrating with the fans when the [world] championship returns to Chicago," Cindy Gatziolis, a spokesperson for the city's Department of Special Events, said this morning. "

City Hall was planning a ticker-tape parade and rally Tuesday at Daley Center Plaza.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Chicago: All Dressed Up and SuperBowl Ready - Go Bears!

The Lions at the Art Institute are Super Bowl Ready!

The Picasso Statue in Daley Plaza is Super Bowl Ready!

The Archer is Super Bowl Ready!

The Chicago Skyline is Super Bowl Ready!

The 1985 Bears Super Bowl Shuffle can be found here and here.

If you're not in Chicago, there is comprehensive Bears SuperBowl coverage on the websites of local TV Stations, CBS-2; NBC - 5; ABC- 7; WGN - 9; and Fox - 32. (the coverage varies from fair to great - I'd suggest Channel 2 only if you are looking for team statistics) You could also look at the local papers, the Chicago Sun-Times or the Chicago Tribune.

Superbowl Food: If you're not from Chicago, you might not know how we eat for the Super Bowl, but here it's all abouts meat and cheese and beer. Maybe a shot of whiskey with the beer. Or several shots. Did I say lots of beer? Any kind is good. NO cocktails please, that's cheating. No drinks with umbrellas, or fruit hanging off a toothpick. Maybe a martini is okay. Coke and Orange and Grape Soda for the kids and teetotalers, not Pepsi, not fizzy water. And meat, lots of ground meat--the city of Big Shoulders still remembers its Stockyards past: polish sausage, hot dogs, gyros, hamburgers, thick or thin crust pizza with sausage or pepperoni, cold cuts featuring ground meat such as salami or bologna or summer sausage, and of course Italian Beef Sandwiches. Turkey Breast is bad. Chicken is okay so long as its fried. Most healthy food won't pass muster. Serve any kind of cheese, preferably in a pizza, or just cut up. Did we mention fried Mozarella cheese? If you insist on a Chicago style vegetarian spread, its carrots and celery and green peppers and little tomatoes and any other vegetables you can cup up, served with lots of dip made of sour cream or cream cheese (and yes, you can put meat and/or cheese in the dip, and yes, Kraft Velveeta counts as cheese). Bean dip is okay if you have health problems or for religious reasons. If you cut up the vegetables for dip make sure you have chips, too, any kind is good, but maybe not Pita Chips, they are too low fat. If you need low fat eat a carrot. Of couse, some Chicagoans won't make it to work on Monday. This kind of eating and drinking occasionally takes its toll.

Video of Mayor Daley's Super Bowl bet against the Mayor of Indianapolis. There is a lot of food featured.

Links: Official Super Bowl Website
Official Chicago Bears Website

Previous Super Bowl Posts:
The Brookfield Zoo Bears are Super Bowl Ready
Bear Down Bears

Photo Credits:
Art Institute Lion, Picasso, and Archer - JLurie who posts his photos on Flickr.
Chicago Skyline - vxla who posts his photos on Flickr.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy Groundhog Day!

I am pretty sure that the groundhog will see his shadow today, forecasting 6 more weeks of winter. It's been cold here for about two weeks now, and it doesn't look like it will be warming up too soon. At 10:30 am Chicago's local groundhog, Stormy will be coaxed from hiding with some carrot cake to make the end of winter prediction. Stormy is probably the only rodent in history to have orthodonture--you can read about his braces here.

With Chicago's Bears playing in the Super Bowl, Sunday, Groundhog Day will probably receive less attention than usual. Generally speaking, there's not much else to talk about or do in early February. This is a special year, and all of the Chicago area is focused on the big game. Of course, a lot of Chicagoans have gone to Miami where the Super Bowl will be played, for a little respite from the cold and snow at home.

Update: No word yet from Brookfied Zoo, but Woodstock Willie saw no shadow, heralding the end of winter.

Update: Though Brookfield Zoo said Stormy the Groundhog would do this year's prediction, it was Cloudy who made the call. Prediction: despite single digit temperatures, it will be an early spring.

Update: Via email, we have an update from Smith Lake Jake who also predicts an early Spring.

Update: I am a little skeptical about those groundhogs; it's 6 degrees Farenheit in Wilmette!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bear Down! Chicago's Brookfield Zoo Bears are Superbowl Ready!

Even the Bears at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo are Superbowl ready! The bears' keepers made a Pinata, filled it with bear goodies, and the result was some very fun photos and some fun video. You should go see the videos, available at the Brookfield Zoo website; just click here.

For a spirited rendition of "Bear Down Chicago Bears" by the CSO, just click here.

Other Super Bowl posts: Chicago is Super Bowl Ready and Bear Down Chicago Bears