Monthly Archives: May 2014

Wrigley Centennial Trivia Showdown

May 23, 2014
By
Wrigley Centennial Trivia Showdown

Who is Burt Hooton? Your guess is as good as mine, or more likely, it’s better than mine. My answer is he’s no Mickey Lolich, but that’s because I grew up in Detroit—though, as Susan Sontag would say, Under the Sign of Jack Morris. But back to your guess—if you’re schooled in Cubs lore, come to the Wrigley Centennial Trivia Showdown on Wednesday, May 28th, at the Harold Washington Library,  in celebration of the year that brought you the births of Sun Ra, Julio Cortázar, and a certain stadium. Your hosts are Stuart Shea, doyen of Cubs history, and the Chicago Tribune’s Rick Kogan, and you can win t-shirts, plates, commemorative posters, and gift certificates to Birrieria Zaragoza, Clark Street Sports, Girl and the Goat, The People’s Garment Company, & Tales, Taverns, and Towns. From the Chicago Reader:  Stuart Shea, author of Wrigley Field: The Long Life and Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines, and the Tribune‘s Rick Kogan host the Wrigley Centennial Trivia Showdown. Test your knowledge of the legendary ballpark alongside other Cubs enthusiasts and maybe win a Wrigley Field prize pack, or bragging rights that might earn you a free drink or two around Clark and Addison. From the press release: . . .

Read more »

Videoblog: Sun Ra at 100

May 22, 2014
By

May 22, 2014, is Sun Ra’s centennial—the day the otherworldly interstellar traveler, cosmic philosopher, and avant-jazz musician would have turned 100, if he hadn’t been returned to an “Angel Race” (“I am not of this Earth.”) from the planet Saturn when he died in 1993. Sun Ra, along with his Arkestra, was a pioneering voice of afrofuturism, a fan of the improvised manifesto in music and verse, and a prolific (and versatile—his compositions mastered, then undermined, then regenerated almost every form of that very American medium: jazz) artist and performer. We are *lucky* enough to publish (or distribute) four books that touch on his contributions to twentieth-century culture, including three edited by Sun Ra curator-archivists John Corbett, Anthony Elms, and Terri Kapsalis—The Wisdom of Sun Ra: Sun Ra’s Polemical Broadsheets and Streetcorner Leaflets; Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro Black, and Other Solar Myths; and Pathways to Unknown Worlds: Sun Ra, El Saturn, and Chicago’s Afro-Futurist Underground, 1954–1968. In addition, fellow sonic experimenter George Lewis’s award-winning A Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music captures much of the legacy Ra’s Chicago years passed along to the AACM, channeling a key period (1945 to 1961) in Ra’s evolution, when his sound changed from standard big-band . . .

Read more »

On Animals, Part III: A Conversation with Barbara J. King and Jessica Pierce

May 16, 2014
By
On Animals, Part III: A Conversation with Barbara J. King and Jessica Pierce

Today, we’re pleased to run the final installment of a conversation between Barbara J. King and Jessica Pierce, two of our most established experts on animal-human behavior. You can read Part I and Part II of their dialogue, on questions about animal confinement, evolution, and appropriate companionship, here and here. Below, they take on a particularly ethical dilemma: in light of evolution and morality, what should we and our animal companions eat for dinner? PIERCE: Now, two questions for you: 1. Should we also “honor the evolutionary path” of humans, when it comes to food? And what exactly would this mean? Perhaps I am hypocritical: I honor the “natural” diet of my cat, but I don’t buy into arguments that there is some “natural” way of eating for humankind (and I am particularly skeptical of arguments that meat-eating is “natural” and therefore justified). 2. Which animals can we eat without too heavy a moral cost? Are there some? KING: My cats are relieved that their species now joins dogs on the conditionally acceptable list! Seriously though, thanks for a good back-and-forth on that issue. As to your evolutionary question, I think there’s a distinction—a difference that makes a difference, if you will—between cats’ and humans’ . . .

Read more »

On Animals, Part II: A Conversation with Barbara J. King and Jessica Pierce

May 15, 2014
By
On Animals, Part II: A Conversation with Barbara J. King and Jessica Pierce

We’re back with Part II of a conversation between anthropologist Barbara J. King and bioethicist Jessica Pierce on the lives of animals—and how our relationships with them correspond with certain philosophical and ethical ideals. King’s current project extends a nuanced look at the ethical questions raised by eating (or not eating) animals; its working title is Animals We Eat. Pierce, too, has a book in the works: Run, Spot, Run, a scientifically and philosophically grounded exploration of the ethics of pet ownership that seriously questions whether we are good for our pets. Here, their dialogue draws on the confines of animal ownership—and the implications of our own food ethics on the choices we make for our pets. You can read yesterday’s post here; be sure to join us tomorrow for the conversation’s final installment. *** PIERCE: So let me ask you about cats, since it sounds like you share your life with several feline companions. I think cats pose an interesting and challenging case. Although I have cats in the “maybe” category, I don’t feel confident that this is the right place for them. It’s possible that they belong on the “yes” list. One of the big issues, for me, is the inside-outside dilemma. I have . . .

Read more »

On Animals, Part I: A Conversation with Barbara J. King and Jessica Pierce

May 14, 2014
By
On Animals, Part I: A Conversation with Barbara J. King and Jessica Pierce

To those interested in the ethical and philosophical issues surrounding our attachment to—and fascination with—our companion species, Barbara J. King and Jessica Pierce need no introduction. From her initial anthropological observations of wild monkeys in Kenya and the plight of captive apes to her pathbreaking work on animal emotion and cognition, King has become one of our most trusted commentators on the lives of animals (Just this week, the research that informed her most recent book How Animals Grieve was cited by television’s Cesar Millan, better known as “the Dog Whisperer.”). Pierce, author of The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the End of Their Lives and coauthor (with Marc Bekoff) of Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals, has spent the past two decades writing at the intersection of bioethics and human-animal interaction, defining the field of environmental bioethics along the way. Both writers are at work on new books (more on that tomorrow), so naturally, we thought to put them in conversation about the issues and personal stakes surrounding the work they do—the resulting dialogue is both touching and elucidating, and we’ll be running it on the blog for the rest of this week: stay tuned. *** UCP: Barbara, while your next book . . .

Read more »

Gary S. Becker (1930–2014)

May 6, 2014
By
Gary S. Becker (1930–2014)

Gary S. Becker (1930–2014), a Nobel Prize–winning economist and longtime professor at the University of Chicago, who in later years became a noted columnist and blogger, died this past Saturday, May 3, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, following a long illness. Born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Becker earned in MA (1953) and PhD (1955) from the University of Chicago, where he studied with the economist Milton Friedman, and began teaching as an assistant professor in 1954, leaving Chicago in 1957 for Columbia University, where he conducted research at the National Bureau for Economic Research, and returning to Chicago in 1970, where he would spend the rest of his career. Becker, who held a joint appointment as University Professor in the the Departments of Economics and Sociology, remained active well into his eighties, where his acute stance on the role of human capital in labor economics, free-market orientation, and commentator on the economic dimensions of social phenomena helped earn his reputation as “an original, prolific, and sometimes provocative” scholar. As a columnist for Business Week from 1985 to 2004, Becker “was forced to learn how to write about economic and social issues without using technical jargon, and in about 800 words . . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors