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Study Finds Plenty of Low-performing Schools Throughout the Suburbs

Thu, 2014-06-05 16:40


There's an education problem in Illinois, and this one has nothing to do with students. It's the education of parents.

Middle-class parents need to be better educated on the state of the public schools in their district. Low-performing public schools aren't solely located in the inner city, whether it's Chicago, Rockford or Aurora. Towns such as Roselle, Tinley Park and Yorkville are home to struggling schools as well.

That's according to a study of Illinois public schools from the Pacific Research Institute titled "Not as good as you think: Why middle class parents in Illinois should be concerned about their local public schools."

The Pacific Research Institute started with a study of public schools in California and are moving on to other states in the nation. Illinois was the second state they looked at. We've got a copy of the study for you to look at, plus a link to the database where you can search for the schools in your district yourself.

Regardless if your school is underperforming or not, most of the public schools in Illinois are out for the summer, and it's time for you to take advantage of the nice weather and the time off for the kids. Try one of these 25 trips to take in Illinois this summer.

Where I'm From Is Not Actually Where I'm From

Thu, 2014-06-05 16:36
"Where are you from?" It seems like a pretty basic question, right? Not exactly for a 20-something city transplant.

Recently, I spent a weekend out of town, and when a local asked me that particular question, I froze. I felt as if I was in a job interview and wasn't quite prepared for what was asked of me. I thought, this really can't be that tough. I grew up in only one town all of my childhood. I've only moved a couple of times since. Still, the question really made me think. Then, my friend blurted out, "Illinois!"

Illinois? Really? I almost felt that we had just lied to this stranger but, in fact, my friend was right. I moved to Chicago from southeastern Michigan nearly four years ago and, when I'm traveling, I typically do tell people I'm in from Chicago. Chicago -- not Illinois. It's not that I don't want to associate with Illinois, but I don't identify myself as being from the state. Rather, I identify simply with the city of Chicago -- a place I connect with through its lifestyle, energy and people.

I realize that comment may sound quite confusing, but as I dug deeper into the question of where I'm from, the answer had less to do with the physical location and more to do with the mental state of mind. Originally from a small town in Michigan that serves as a bedroom community to Toledo, Ohio, it's always been a task trying to explain where I'm really from. Do I say Toledo? Michigan? Detroit (where I was born)?

For starters, in my childhood town, you were either from Michigan or Ohio. Depending on how far you were from "home," you'd tell people "Toledo" or "Detroit" to make things easier. Therefore, now that I'm living in Chicago, I tell people I'm from Detroit when asked by a person in Chicago.

For that, I've been called out many times as being a "poser." (Yes, I for one will pose as being from Detroit -- not something most people these days would be proud to broadcast.) I've heard: "You're not really from Detroit but just a really small town near Toledo!" (After they see a map, of course.) I tell them that I identify with Detroit. I grew up on Lions football (regrettably) and Coney dogs. It most defines me when someone asks where I'm from because of my family's values and my allegiance to Detroit sports.

But, for the transient millennial, here's where there's confusion. I identify my adolescence years with Detroit and my adult years with Chicago. So, will my response change based on where I'm asked the question? Right now, it certainly does. When I'm in Chicago, I say "Detroit." When I'm out of town, I say "Chicago." It's a simple question, but for a generation of 20-somethings constantly trying to find themselves and where they belong, it's so much more than that.

Saying where you're from immediately generates some sort of reaction from the individual who asked the question. Each city or area has its own stereotypes -- good or bad. When you tell someone where you're from, a certain number of those stereotypes can be imposed on you, shaping your identity in the eyes of the interested party.

When I tell people I'm from Detroit, it's typically greeted by some comment regarding the city's recent economic decline. On the contrary, when I'm on vacation and tell people I'm in from Chicago, I'm greeted with an entirely different response. People typically react by saying how much they love the city or by reminiscing about a fond memory of visiting. While these two answers elicit different perceptions of me, I'm proud to show my ties to each the same.

With the frequency that people move from place to place these days, it's important to understand your roots and what parts of them you identify with. Whether "where I'm from" is my hometown, where I was born or where I start my own family, the answer to that not-so-simple question is likely one that provokes a feeling of connectedness.

Where I'm from can be many different places.

18 Photos To Remind You That Growing Old Is Inevitable, But Growing Up Is Optional

Thu, 2014-06-05 15:42
One minute you're catching fireflies in a jar on summer vacation, and the next you're actually pausing to watch CSPAN as you flip through the channels. There's no denying it: Adulthood's a drag.

You've got bills. You've got to get the tires rotated. You've got to think long and hard about whether you're turning into your mother. Every day you're thinking, "When did I get so old?"

Relax! Being an adult doesn't mean you have to lose your childlike sense of wonder. In the words of one wise Imgur user, "We're adults, and we get to decide what that means." Interpretations may vary. Here are some of them.


Remember all that stuff you wanted to do as a kid but no one would let you?





Now is the time.





You had some really good ideas.


Uh, why didn't we think of this?



Savor them.


Yep, that's mac and cheese atop a slice of pizza. 10/10 would shamelessly eat.



Because no one is supervising you.





You ARE the supervision.


Where do we send our application to be Dave Grohl's best friend?



Er, most of the time.


Womp womp.



Really though, failing to seize the opportunity to have wacky waving plastic tube arms would be simply irresponsible.


Also irresponsible: not having battles with said waving plastic tube arms.



And someone's got to test the tensile strength of that plastic wrap.


For science. And Spider Man.



Other times, it's just fun to revisit some childhood classics.


Guess what? Amazon will sell you supplies for an at-home ball pit.



It's not like you've outgrown them.


D*ck in a box, amirite? Just kidding, he's probably a nice guy.



You're just more sensible and mature...


HAHAHAHA.



With a superior taste in humor.


Guys! Guys. Look, it says "penis."



But that doesn't mean you're not just as good -- nay, better -- at doing stuff you loved as a kid.


We can only aspire to be as totally consumed by joy as this guy. One day.



You've just got to harness your creativity.


You're looking at our plan for Halloween 2014.



And maybe try some new things...


Father of the Year? Father of the Year.



Especially when your day-to-day gets boring.





Above all, remember that the world is still chock-full of wonders you've yet to explore.



Silicon Valley To Congress: Pass Real NSA Reform Now

Thu, 2014-06-05 12:16
Nothing unites foes like a common enemy, and the tech world has found theirs.

One year after Edward Snowden's leak of National Security Agency documents, tech titans Tim Cook, Marissa Mayer, Larry Page and Mark Zucherburg, among others, sent the Senate a co-authored letter requesting a tougher version of the bill that would reform the NSA.

The USA Freedom Act, which was proposed as a way to limit some of the government's broad data-collection programs, has already passed in the House of Representatives, minus critical provisions from initial proposals. The nine tech company bosses who authored the June 5 letter asked that the Senate reject this watered-down version of the bill in favor of one that upholds its original intentions for reform.

The bill's current version, according to these tech companies, "could permit bulk collection of Internet 'metadata' (e.g. who you email and who emails you), something that the Administration and Congress said they intended to end." The letter also asked the Senate to pass a version of the bill which will allow tech companies to better inform customers about what kinds of consumer data the government is requesting.

The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Thursday afternoon. According to CNET's congressional sources, "the Senate will try to restore some of the stronger provisions that were removed as a result of lobbying by the Obama administration."

You can read the letter in its entirety, below:



Dear Members of the Senate:
It’s been a year since the first headlines alleging the extent of government surveillance on the Internet.

We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But the balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish, and it must change.

Over the last year many of our companies have taken important steps, including further strengthening the security of our services and taking action to increase transparency. But the government needs to do more.

In the next few weeks, the Senate has the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and pass a version of the USA Freedom Act that would help restore the confidence of Internet users here and around the world, while keeping citizens safe.

Unfortunately, the version that just passed the House of Representatives could permit bulk collection of Internet "metadata" (e.g. who you email and who emails you), something that the Administration and Congress said they intended to end. Moreover, while the House bill permits some transparency, it is critical to our customers that the bill allow companies to provide even greater detail about the number and type of government requests they receive for customer information.

It is in the best interest of the United States to resolve these issues. Confidence in the Internet, both in the U.S. and internationally, has been badly damaged over the last year. It is time for action. As the Senate takes up this important decision, we urge you to ensure that U.S. surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent, and subject to independent oversight.

Signed,

Tim Armstrong, AOL
Drew Houston, Dropbox
Larry Page, Google
Tim Cook, Apple
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!
Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn
Dick Costolo, Twitter
Satya Nadella, Microsoft
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

The nine tech companies that published the letter -- Apple, Google, Yahoo, Dropbox, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Aol (parent company of The Huffington Post) -- are part of a coalition known as Reform Government Surveillance. Their letter was sent on the same day as the Reset the Net protest, a day of action supported by companies hoping to highlight the issue of online privacy in the wake of the Snowden leaks.

[Hat tip, TechCrunch]

Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn Placed on Notice by American Mustache Institute

Thu, 2014-06-05 11:50
As reported by the HallOfVeryGood, Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was recently forced to shave his beard by the team's manager Robin Ventura. Seeing this as a stark violation of Mr. Sale's civil liberties, the American Mustache Institute has reported on its blog that the nonprofit think tank has filed legal papers against the team and sent the following correspondence to White Sox general manager Rick Hahn.

Mr. Hahn,

It has recently come to the attention of the American Mustache Institute that the field manager for the Chicago White Sox, Mr. Robin Ventura, is forcibly intimidating pitcher Chris Sale, among other players with decorated histories of striking out, to remove his preferred style facial hair.

As Mr. Sale recently conveyed to the Chicago Sun-Times, "I got a call from the front office saying my beard was too scruffy and it had to go." You then, in turn, confirmed to the Times that, "the 'clean it up' order came" from manager Mr. Ventura, a clean-shaven mortal.

On one hand, we were bemused to learn there is a male character outside of the Batman series named "Robin." Secondarily, Mr. Sale has now embraced a Mustached American lifestyle in light of your beard-genocidal team policies - which improves his good looks by an estimated 38 percent according to AMI research and has been proven to enhance athletic performance by an estimated 63.7 percent.

However, Mr. Ventura's edict violates Mr. Sale's fundamental workplace rights and has contributed to a hostile work environment therein. The White Sox are not, of course, alone in this endeavor. A 2010 poll conducted for Bellingham, Washington-based Workplace Bullying Institute said that 37 percent of U.S. workers - some 54 million people - believe they have been subjected to a workplace "hostility."  

But in your case, these discriminatory policies demanded by the apparently iron-fisted Mr. Ventura, previously best-known for attacking and then being physically embarrassed by 98-year-old Hall-of-Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, are inexplicably extreme.

In our eyes, they amount to what the Mustached American community believes to be a violation of your employees' ordained civil liberties. Indeed, they are without question unacceptable to not only Beardist Americans, but people of Mustached American heritage, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his 14 illegitimate children, as well as civil libertarians like Joseph Déjacque, Murray Rothbard, Pamela Anderson and others.

As a leading academic institution of freedom, handsomeness and laser cocksmanshipTM that is committed to protecting the rights of the sexually dynamic Mustached American community, it would be highly irresponsible to not express and judiciously press forward with our deep concerns for protecting of the fundamental rights guaranteed to individuals by law and social culture.

After all, as the esteemed Larry Martz wrote, "Civil libertarians tend to assume such tests must be an illegal invasion of privacy." And in many ways, he is correct.

In looking more broadly as the White Sox's misguided attempt to harness your employees God-given rights, perhaps the greatest shame - even more so than the fact you play in U.S. Cellular Field itself - is that during a season where Mr. Ventura has your organization actually flirting with a winning record and the White Sox are boasting one of the best young talents in baseball, your manager is preoccupied with restricting the growth, masculinity, devout handsomeness, earning potential, and the civil liberties of your employees.  These discriminatory policies are clearly aimed at disallowing your players to experience their ordained heritage as sexually dynamic people of facial hair to the degree they wish.

And our community disapproves greatly.

Pending final direction from legal counsel via the esteemed white-shoe firm of Ebony, Piscapo, Ivory & Murphy, we plan to file a request for a temporary or permanent injunction which we anticipate will ultimately lead to the estoppal or cessation of said beardist-genocidal activities in the court of Judge McKay Chauvin, Louisville Circuit Court, Division 8. We are requesting a bench trial and have already filed a motion for summary judgment.

Additionally, we have entered into deep discussions with Mr. Sale's representation along with the Major League Baseball Players Association towards filing a civil suit seeking damages ranging between $14.97 (U.S. dollars) and $20.2 million dollars pending our analysis of the damages to Mr. Sale's rugged good looks.

We look forward to your response and cessation of these unsanctioned activities.

You're welcome,

Dr. Robert A. Booey, Esq. IV
Chief Legal Affairs Analyst
The American Mustache Institute 

'Tone-Deaf' Sexist Ad Is Biting Tech Conference In The Butt

Thu, 2014-06-05 09:49
If tech industry sexism were a development bug, it would have been fixed long ago. Instead, embarrassing and tone-deaf ideas like the sexist party invitation currently costing Techweek Chicago both sponsors and support still pervade industry thinking.

Techweek Chicago felt the full force of Twitter shame on Wednesday when members of the tech community blasted the Midwestern conference for using photos of women striking flirty poses to promote Techweek's "Black Tie Rave" charity event.



Several people listed as "Tech 100" honorees -- including major players like Google engineering manager Brian Fitzpatrick and former Obama for America CTO Harper Reed -- went so far as to request that Techweek Chicago scratch their names from the list.

"How amazingly tone-deaf it is, considering how much discussion there's been, especially in the last six months, around diversity in the tech scene, around misogyny in the tech scene," Dan Sinker, director of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Project, said to The Huffington Post.

Sinker, who was among the first to call out Techweek for the image, added, "This is not a new discussion." He noted that the conference caught flak last year for a closing event that featured a fashion show full of scantily clad women.

After the firestorm of Twitter criticism, Techweek Chicago issued "A Note To Our Community" Wednesday afternoon that said in part:

"The last thing we want to do is alienate anyone in the community and we sincerely apologize if this event or imagery is offensive to you."

The apology was deemed insufficient by many, including Crain's Chicago Business. That publication yanked its sponsorship of Techweek after the note was posted.

“Techweek's response to their highly offensive promotion for their Black Tie Rave was not sufficient so we have decided to reconsider our involvement in this year's event,” Crain's publisher David Snyder said in a statement.

"An invite featuring women as party girls in suggestive poses is the kind of microaggression that tries to define the space women are allowed to operate in within tech," Scott Smith, vice president of content marketing at advertising agency Cramer-Krasselt, wrote in a Crain's op-ed Wednesday.

Max Temkin, co-creator of the best-selling game Cards Against Humanity, told HuffPost that it was "toxic and depressing" for Techweek to promote an event in a way that "shows people that they're not welcome and not allowed to participate on equal terms."

Temkin was also among those who didn't buy Techweek's mea culpa. "In the South, they call it a 'big city apology,'" he said. "'Sorry if you were offended' puts the onus of the apology on the people who were hurt by it."

He said his company won't be offering support in the way of ads or sponsorships to Techweek. Temkin added, "Now I think anyone who goes to Techweek should be embarrassed to be there."

Mana Ionescu, president of the social media and digital marketing firm Lightspan Digital, called the Black Tie Rave invitation "stupid, pointless and offensive" and told HuffPost it's why her company is not recruiting at Techweek.

The bulk of the public backlash has come from men in the industry. In part, that's likely due to tech's skewed gender ratio, but it's also a reflection of some women's reluctance to speak out and make themselves a target.

"What woman who works in technology would want to put her neck on the line about this?" Temkin said. "[Techweek's move] is such a hostile, awful way to treat people who are part of this community."

Sinker agreed, saying, "If you're a woman and you speak up for something like this, you're setting yourself up for a great amount of hostility to come down your Twitter@ replies."

Ionescu said she had asked herself what kind of blowback she might experience if she spoke up. "What circles are going to treat me differently?" she said. "I don't want to be excluded."

While she said that she and her female tech colleagues discussed pulling themselves from Techweek's "Tech 100" list, there "weren't many of us [women] there to begin with."

'We don't have the same leverage," Ionescu said.

The tech communities on the East and West coasts have more of a reputation for sexism than Chicago, and Ionescu said she believes Techweek's photo fail is not representative of the better parts of Chicago's community.

As Sinker stated, "At least a certain subset of the tech community [in Chicago] is actively working to get away from [sexism] and have events that are far more welcoming to not just white dudes."

Ionescu voiced support for the city's tech scene.

"Chicago has a lot to be proud of -- we don't need to try that hard. We need to be true and genuine and highlight the tech innovators in that space," she said. "We're a little too desperate to be recognized as a tech leader, and when you're desperate, you make mistakes."

Don Zimmer Dead At 83, Announces Tampa Bay Rays

Wed, 2014-06-04 20:28
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Don Zimmer, a popular fixture in professional baseball for 66 years as a manager, player, coach and executive, has died. He was 83.

Zimmer was still working for the Tampa Bay Rays as a senior adviser. The team confirmed Wednesday night that he had died. Zimmer had been in a rehabilitation center in Florida since having heart surgery in mid-April.

After starting as a minor league infielder in 1949, Zimmer went on to have one of the longest-lasting careers in baseball history.

Zimmer played for the only Brooklyn Dodgers team to win the World Series and the original New York Mets, nearly managed the Boston Red Sox to a championship in the 1970s and was Joe Torre's right-hand man with the New York Yankees' most recent dynasty.

3 Things You Should Remember (But Probably Won't) If You Get Too High On Marijuana Edibles

Wed, 2014-06-04 17:55
In case you haven't heard, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd ate a marijuana candy bar in a Denver hotel room and had an intensely uncomfortable experience that left her feeling confused and, at times, frightened.

Using marijuana edibles to get high doesn't typically produce such an extreme departure from reality -- but it can. While pot-infused foods have been around for decades, as Colorado continues to adapt to its new marijuana laws, these products have emerged as a popular and potent way to get stoned. And as with any substance, there's a potential for misuse.

The best way to avoid a bad trip like Dowd's would be to make sure you're informed about proper dosages and to always approach marijuana, and especially edibles, with caution. But due to a lack of proper education, reckless behavior, or perhaps purely by accident, this is sometimes harder than it sounds. So there you are, high as balls and 1,000 percent positive your life is about to end. We're here to help you get through this potentially agonizing experience.

Above all, just remember...

1. You're not actually dying. Just try to breathe normally.

THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, can't kill you, even if you've ingested so much that you're convinced it might. According to studies, you'd need to ingest thousands of times the amount of THC in a single joint to be at risk of death. To put that in perspective, just 10 times the recommended serving of alcohol can be fatal.

So no, there's not nearly enough THC in your bloodstream for it to actually kill you. But there may enough to create a traumatic experience. Edibles come in all forms -- from cookies to candy bars to drinks -- and each one has a different THC concentration and recommended dosage. Entire weed-infused candy bars or brownies are often made with tens of times the amount of THC you'd find in an average joint. Of course, these are supposed to split up into multiple doses -- in Dowd's case, there were 16 pieces, each constituting a serving, though it's unclear exactly how many she ate.

Maybe you pulled a Dowd and didn't take a dose that was right for you. Now you're way higher than you've ever been. THC can cause increases in heart rate, heavy breathing, dry mouth, red eyes, slower reaction times and, in cases of excessive use, severe paranoia and anxiety. If that's what you're feeling, there's no cause for concern. And while marijuana is championed by its supporters for a variety of therapeutic and recreational effects, the relaxation stereotypical laughing fits and may be overshadowed by fear if you're too high. In the most extreme cases, THC has triggered episodes of erratic behavior, dissociation, depersonalization and even psychosis.

If you're unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation, just remember...

2. This might last a while, but you will make it through.

This may be a tough pill to swallow, especially if you've only recently realized just how high you are.

While the effects of smoking marijuana can usually be felt immediately and tempered accordingly, eating cannabis-infused food can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to kick in, depending on the dose and the person. And it’s this delay -- people taking too high of an initial dose, or taking more in a short period because it's "not working" -- that can often turn what could have been a fun, long and perhaps manageably strange trip into a wide-awake nightmare that can produce panic, anxiety and perhaps worse.

Apologies if it's too late for any of this information to help your high self, but if you failed to ease your way into your experience, the uncomfortable sensation could last between six and 10 hours, depending on how much THC you've ingested. Nothing has the power to make you not-high, and don't even try mixing marijuana with alcohol or prescription drugs, as that's generally considered a bad idea. You'll just have to ride this one out. And you will!

We understand that this is easier said than done, especially if there's a paranoid internal monologue making this a particularly traumatizing affair. Being alone with your hyper-paranoid thoughts is never fun, so don't do it alone -- call up a buddy and see if they can hang out with you and help keep you grounded.

If you think you need help from a medical professional, don't feel that you can't seek it. Unfortunately, though, there's not a lot they can do to offer immediate help.

“[We] can’t end the high and in many cases they’re unhappy because it’s not the high, they’re feeling something different,” said Dr. Chris Colwell, director of emergency medicine at Denver Health Medical Center, to Denver’s CBS affiliate about patients he sees that have come to the Emergency Room after eating marijuana-infused foods. "And we just wait until the effects wear off.”

Just don't forget to remind yourself...

3. You will return to normal.

This is the most important thing to keep in mind during this ordeal. While this trip might get a little bit more intense before it gets better, it will indeed get better. Once the high wears off, you may feel some residual effects -- what some describe as a “marijuana hangover.” These include general fatigue, slugglishness, lasting anxiety and in some cases, a feeling that you are still high. These sensations can last several hours after the most intense part of the high has worn off, but some people continue to feel the effects days later. It's certainly not comfortable, but think of it this way: You just experienced the worst possible effects of marijuana use on your mind -- and you survived!

For some people, a terrible high on edibles will understandably put them off these products forever. Knowing your own limits is the best way to ensure a positive and fun experience, not a stressful one like Dowd's. Although Colorado limits an edible marijuana serving to 10 mg of THC, that could be too much for you if you're an inexperienced user. Don’t be afraid to break a single serving in half and start there. Wait an hour or longer and see how you feel. If you're not where you want to be, eat the other half and see how that works.

In recent weeks, Colorado passed stricter guidelines for recreational use of marijuana edibles for safety reasons, and the state is even considering new educational labeling to help. They'd include these suggested serving sizes: New consumers, 1-5 mg; Occasional consumers, 5-10 mg; Frequent consumers, 10-15 mg.

Using marijuana is like any other substance -- if you're interested in it, you have to do some self-discovery to find your own tolerance levels. You wouldn't expect a first-time alcohol drinker to start out with a double shot of Everclear.

But just like we all know someone who could drink that and be fine, there are also those who have a glass of wine and then need a nap. Marijuana use is similar in that regard: You need to find the proper amount for you alone. Experimentation -- but cautious experimentation -- is the only way to find that out.

If You're a Homeowner in Illinois, You Need to See This Chart

Wed, 2014-06-04 17:52


When looking to move and buy a home somewhere, the famous saying is "location, location, location." Yes, location is important. It influences how much your house may cost and how much you will be paying for property taxes.

The Tax Policy Center has data on the average home value and the average property taxes paid in all 102 Illinois counties. We've got it in chart form along with the property tax rate as a percentage of the home value.

If you have ever wondered what other Illinois counties pay in property taxes, this list is for you. Each county is different and it helps to know before you go buy a house what the average home value and property tax rate is in each county.

While property taxes will vary from county to county, because Illinois has a flat income tax rate, the income tax will stay the same no matter where you live in the state. But at what rate will it stay the same. Will it be rolled back to 3.75 percent or made permanent at 5 percent? Now is your chance to have your voice be heard on the issue. Sound off and let our state lawmakers know what you think about the future of the income tax in Illinois.

Michael Jordan Could Only Shrug Because Sometimes The Greats Just Can't Explain Greatness

Wed, 2014-06-04 16:00
Sometimes not even the greats can understand greatness. Sometimes even the greatest can only smile and shrug.

After sinking his sixth three-point shot during the first half of Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan did just that. The Chicago Bulls' superstar, who won his first NBA championship just a year earlier, punctuated a performance for the ages against the Portland Trail Blazers with an unforgettable reaction. Twenty-two years later, the sharpshooting and the shrug are indelibly etched into NBA lore.



Jordan poured in a record-setting 35 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 39 as the Bulls overwhelmed the Blazers 122-89 in the opener on June 3, 1992.

"The first one felt so good, I had to take more," Jordan told NBA.com years later. "I couldn't miss. The threes were like free throws; they just kept dropping. I didn't know what was happening. I was in a zone. What can I say? I don't know how to explain it. You know it's got to end, it has to, but when? It's like it doesn't matter what they do."

Jordan would go on to be named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NBA Finals after the Bulls edged the Blazers 4-2 for their second straight title.

For more on Jordan's iconic 'Shrug Game,' check out the video below:

Chicago Threw An Epic Dance Party In Tribute To Frankie Knuckles

Wed, 2014-06-04 15:37
Though two months have passed since the death of house music legend Frankie Knuckles, his spirit felt very much alive Tuesday as a crowd of thousands assembled to pay tribute to the influential DJ and producer in Chicago, the city where his career took wing.

The city hosted a Knuckles tribute show at the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park. DJs spun music while the masses of "house heads" danced to the rhythm in celebration of Knuckles' life for a three-hour-long dance party. The mood at what ChicagoNow blogger Sabrina Nixon dubbed "Black Woodstock" was joyous. Many of the dance moves were incomparably epic:






The massive crowd assembled at Chicago's Millennium Park on Tuesday.

As the event wound down, the large crowd shouted in unison, "We love you, Frankie!"



As Chicagoist's Chuck Sudo writes, the tribute marked a brief moment of genuine unity and peace for a diverse group of Chicago residents:

Everyone got along… Which served as further proof that House music -- this uniquely Chicago music style -- represents the best this city has to offer both its residents [and] the world. At its core, this universal language is blind to race, religion, politics, gender, orientation or other belief system or bias. It unifies when all else divides. It is The Melting Pot personified. What an evening.

Knuckles was 59 at the time of his death. A Grammy Award winner, he was saluted by President Obama as a "trailblazer [whose] legacy lives on in the city of Chicago and on dance floors across the globe."

#AllMenCan Shows What Male Feminists Look Like

Wed, 2014-06-04 14:04
All men can support women and fight to end inequality, and a new hashtag is an inspiring look at the guys out there doing so.

Driven by the response to the #YesAllWomen hashtag, PolicyMic editor Elizabeth Plank asked men to share their thoughts about what it means to be a man and a feminist using the hashtag #AllMenCan.

#AllMenCan be masculine without misogyny, chivalrous without demeaning, and feminists without fear. Equality benefits us all.

— Benjamin Curtis (@Clearcoat_Ben) May 29, 2014


#AllMenCan believe in equality for every single person and #AllMenCan treat everyone equally with respect http://t.co/EiR3zcBuf1

— David Aponte (@chic0junit) May 29, 2014


#AllMenCan understand that a dress is not a yes. Women don't owe you anything.

— leadthem (@jimmyrustlah) June 3, 2014


Because it's about time men stopped thinking they rule the world and everyone in it #YesAllWomen #AllMenCan

— Muthu (@MuthuAchary) June 3, 2014


While much has been made of Men's Rights Activists given the potentially misogynistic motivations for the Isla Vista killing spree, the PolicyMic images, along with those submitted by other Twitter users, show what "real" men's activists look like.

Check out some of the images below, and follow the hashtag on Twitter or Tumblr.







Superintendent McCarthy 'All Bark and No Bite'

Wed, 2014-06-04 13:52

Chicago Police Superintendent McCarthy has failed to deliver in the category of reducing homicides in Chicago. McCarthy arrived in Chicago in mid-2011 to take over as Superintendent after Supt. Jody Weiss resigned.



According to the Chicago Tribune Red Eye Homicide Watch, an excess of 450 homicides occurred in Chicago during 2010 before the arrival of Supt. McCarthy. In 2011, there were over 450 homicides again in Chicago. When Supt. McCarthy took over as Superintendent in mid 2011 the homicide number was close in comparison to 2010. However, in 2012 homicides increased from more than 455 in 2011 to over 500 under McCarthy's watch. Supt. McCarthy touted a major reduction in homicides when homicides were reduced from over 500 homicides in 2012 to 440 in 2013 but in reality there were twelve less homicides compared to 2011 and seventeen less homicides compared to 2010 before Supt. McCarthy took over in Chicago. This is very important because nobody wants to talk about the real numbers and every year some officials present the numbers to make themselves look good in the press. Let's look at the homicide numbers in 2014 from January 1, 2014-June 1, 2014 and Chicago has already experienced 149 homicides compared to 148 homicides for the same period in 2013. No change at all and Chicago is on pace to repeat the same homicide numbers from 2013.



One may think that the majority of strategies that Supt. McCarthy is implementing in Chicago are not working at all. Chicago has changed in many ways when it comes down to gangs and the motives behind the violence. For example, the gangs in Chicago have no real structure and there are so many different motives behind the violence. The David Kennedy Approach which Supt. McCarthy has embraced from the East Coast dictates that you hold the entire gang accountable for the actions of a few individuals. How can you hold the entire gang accountable when there is no structure and none of the gang members really no when the other gang members are planning to commit a murder? If there was some structure in the gangs then one could understand the process of group accountability. Most of the young men on the streets are marginal members of a gang and only a small percentage of the gang members actually commit most of the murders. Additionally, the majority of marginal gang members are afraid of the killers themselves. That's why it's easier to get away with murder more so than selling drugs. People are afraid to come forward and share information regarding homicides.



After all of the good speeches and mass arrest in Chicago the homicide numbers are still the same. It's time for a different approach in Chicago and you would think that a seasoned police official would look at the numbers and make the necessary adjustments. That's the definition of "All Bark and No Bite."

Does Diversity Matter Outside of TV Ads for Bruce Rauner?

Wed, 2014-06-04 13:46

I've been watching, with great interest, Bruce Rauner's TV ads -- view here and here -- and it certainly creates the impression that he places a high value on diversity. Several African-Americans, Latinos and women appear in the ads.



Especially given Rev. Jesse Jackson's push for diversity in corporate America, this piqued my interest because Rauner comes from the financial industry, which isn't known as a haven for diversity -- on either Wall Street or LaSalle Street. (Remember his fellow alumnus from Bain Capital Mitt Romney's comments about, "Binders full of women?")



So I reviewed GTCR's website, the private equity firm founded by Rauner in 1980, and from which he retired in 2012.



By my count, of the 51 people on the GTCR staff website, I found:



0 African Americans

1 Latino (a)

3 Asians

6 Women



So, Bruce Rauner could not attract and retain a single African-American to his firm, only one Latino and just six women?

Bros Invent Beer Bong That Takes Things Up A Notch (VIDEO)

Wed, 2014-06-04 13:15
Sometimes, the biggest problem you have is finding someone to hold your beer bong.

Well, fear no more! A group of inventors looking out for the "bros" just created the ultimate beer bong holder -- aptly named the "Bro Bong."

The contraption allows for three (of age) friends to down a beer bong simultaneously with the help of any simple doorway. Matt Opalski, the inventor, said he graduated from college two years ago with "a degree in engineering and a master's in beer bonging." Opalski got the idea from a dusty Iron gym he found lying around.

Using a Kickstarter campaign, Opalski and his companions are are trying to change the way you and your friends drink forever.

To check out exactly how this LED-infused beer bong holder works, check out the video above.

Eliseo Medina Is No Champion of Immigration Reform -- But He Could Be

Wed, 2014-06-04 12:45
As we approach June, millions of children from around the country are taking out their scissors, glue-sticks, and color paper ready to make crafty creations for Father's Day. Not all will be joyful, however, as some will be without their father, many of whom have been deported or in immigration detention.

Instead of protecting the families that live under the fear of deportation, last week high officials at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sought to protect the Obama administration by urging a delay in the Department of Homeland Security's review to reform deportation policies. Behind the influential union, Eliseo Medina, former executive vice president of SEIU, played a key role in the decision.

It was not long ago that I, with immense respect, watched Mr. Eliseo, the energetic labor activist, who had fought along Cesar Chavez, fight for families like mine.  

When discussing immigration issues, Mr. Medina use to speak with passion that family unity was paramount. I believed in him then. But most recently his words have lost credibility.

A victory for our community must be defined beyond excuses and political talking points. "They're looking at the President to order administrative action, which we support by the way, but not to replace immigration reform. It would not be as expansive as immigration reform would be," said Mr. Medina.  

I no longer hear the same fighting spirit from Mr. Medina.

Mr. Medina and others have failed to take into account that Latinos are disproportionally suffering under our current system of record deportations. For many of us who have the administrative relief of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the difference in our lives is night and day, allowing us to take a full role in society. 

For the parents and workers who are still living in fear of being deported, temporary relief can make all the difference in the world. Just ask Ardani Rosales, who has only seen his children from behind the gates of a detention center. 

Where is the Eliseo that challenged the status quo by holding pray-ins at Chicago supermarkets over the conditions for laborers who picked grapes, or the leader who urged the AFL-CIO, despite their (unsubstantiated) concern that immigrants take workers' jobs, to adopt the position of legal status for undocumented immigrants as a tenet of its platform? We need that Eliseo Medina. 

No one disputes that a legislative solution is preferable to something temporary. However, when a legislative solution is pursued at any cost while being blind to the crisis of family separation caused from deportations, it is clear politics is driving the strategy.

Thousands of Dreamers no longer fear they'll be thrown into detention for years if they get pulled over for a minor traffic ticket -- doesn't the rest of our community deserve that as well without having to suffer tens of thousands of additional deportations waiting for their advocates to get onboard?

Undocumented immigrants, youth and parents alike, have chained themselves to stop buses on their way to deporting parents, and others have infiltrated detention facilities to expose the abusive conditions there. Just as Mr. Medina's voice matters, so does ours. 

Passing legislation is important. Keeping families together, however, is priority number one. Though Mr. Medina has said he was retiring to "focus [his] full energy on passing commonsense immigration reform," the direction that he and SEIU have taken recently indicates a serious flaw in his strategy that many individuals and organizations fall into: trading rhetoric for access.

While doing Fast 4 Families, Mr. Medina was able to meet with Obama, and SEIU was brought closer to the Administration: in Washington, access to power is everything for organizers, and organizations will often bend over backwards, even changing their rhetoric and going against their own community, to keep this access. This alliance will result giving political cover for about 97,000 deportations, while Congress continues its years-long streak of failing to address our broken immigration system.  What for? To blame Republicans? The country needs no additional reminder Republicans are killing immigration reform (and they will be held accountable at the polls). 

We can still support the President without adopting their talking points.

How does Mr. Medina and others expect to pass broad, comprehensive legislation when Steve "Cantaloupe Calves" King (R-IA) has been better able to pass anti-immigrant amendments through the House than Speaker Boehner, and the Majority Leader Eric Cantor is still sending out inflammatory anti-immigration mailers bragging about blocking "amnesty" for "illegal aliens"; the House has no viable immigration bill to even debate, and the Senate's has already been outright rejected by the House.

This is a new era of advocacy because we are no longer the DREAMers, the "cute" and fresh face youth, that were shoved before the cameras to make a case (and yes, I'm admitting I am not that 20 year old young buck anymore). We are now the doers, the shakers. Despite our disposition to confront authority and allies, however, we still hold unqualified respect for work that Mr. Medina and others have done. Fracture in any movement is natural, division is not, and this is what covering those in power causes.   

Jorge Ramos recently said "Journalists in the U.S. are very cozy with power, very close to those in power.  I think as journalists we have to keep our distance from power." "We are not asking the tough questions," he added later. While referring to journalists, the same principles hold true for advocates, including Mr. Medina. We must keep our distance to those in power because it is only then can we keep our perspective and priorities in check. 

Victory should not be access, nor recognition. Victory should be immediately keeping our families safe and together. We know Mr. Medina and others share this sentiment. Most importantly, it is a victory we can all own. Mr. Medina has an opportunity to truly become a champion of immigration reform if he and others join their community to call for immediate deportation relief that will keep millions of families together, perhaps in time for Fathers' Day.

Oh, Great: Google Glass To Help People Aim Guns Around Corners

Wed, 2014-06-04 12:26
Google Glass can send an email on the fly or take a hands-free photo. But did you know it could also help you shoot a target without even having to look?

Tracking Point, an applied technology firm focusing on precision guided firearms, on Wednesday released a prototype video (above) ShotView, a Google Glass app that, when paired with the right weapon, allows shooters to aim around corners. The app is currently in its testing phase.

This is not a curved bullet scenario: The weapon's scope is equipped with a camera, which streams video via WiFi to a connected device. The ShotView system already works with smartphones and tablets (and regular consumers can download that version of the app), but the Google Glass app makes it a hands-free experience. A rep for Tracking Point told The Huffington Post that there are no plans to make the hands-free app available to consumers.



ShotView lets shooters take cover around corners, behind walls or from any other position that could provide cover while still getting the perfect shot.



Tracking Point isn't the only military-style app being developed for Google Glass. Researchers at an Ohio Air Force base are working on a project called Batman, which tests potential uses for Glass, including communications between ground teams and overhead aircraft, both in military situations and for first-responder pararescue teams. Even the New York City Police Department has been testing Glass to see if it could be useful for surveillance and patrol purposes.

Google Glass may not be the smartphone of the future that Google hopes it will be, but that clearly won't stop it from serving other purposes.

This post has been update with a statement from Tracking Point.

8 Things Bill Murray Can Teach You About Living An Amazing Life

Wed, 2014-06-04 12:02
Bill Murray occupies a rare echelon of famous living personalities that are so great, it's easy to forget there's an actual human behind the character we think we know. There is, however, and Murray, both in his professional and personal life, has become a contemporary prophet for a forever young America.

The latest sign? Murray recently crashed a bachelor party and offered some wisdom to the drunk partiers, an exchange caught on tape that promptly went viral. We can only imagine how many young lovers will take his words to heart. For those who missed the sermon:

"If you have someone that you think is the one... don't just sort of think in your ordinary mind and think, OK let's make a date, let's plan this and make a party, we'll get married. Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you come back to JFK, when you land in JFK, and you're still in love with that person, get married at the airport."

Sure, Murray's authority in the area of love may be a little suspect given allegations of adultery and neglect, among others, that came up in his latest divorce in 2008. But we're willing to bet there are a vast number of people who would take their dates to the edge of the cosmos if Murray suggested it. This is a man whose words are truly heard and to whom attention must -- or at the very least, will -- be paid.

Whether you're already a believer or yet to be converted, here are some lessons you can learn from the prophet Bill Murray.


1. Be an individual who also takes care of others.



While appearing on CNBC's "Squawk Box", Murray shared this views on the importance of individualism and how to survive in America:

"I think we ought to be personally responsible...I think if you can take care of yourself, and then maybe try to take care of someone else, that's sort of how you're supposed to live," he said. "We forget the kind of discipline [early Americans] had to have... They came in wagons and the wheels broke... There was no option but to do it yourself, to have your own responsibility. There is no turning back. There is no turning back."



2. Be open to all possibilities.



In an interview with Murray earlier this year, Charlie Rose worried that the actor's life hadn't been "carefully thought out" or "planned." But Murray explained why he thought this was a good thing:

"I live a little bit on the seat of my pants, I try to be alert and available," he said. "I try to be available for life to happen to me. We're in this life, and if you're not available, the sort of ordinary time goes past and you didn’t live it. But if you're available, life gets huge. You're really living it."



3. Try not to focus on the bad -- stay optimistic.



Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times asked the actor about the serendipity in his life, wondering how he seems to keep stumbling from wonderful moment to wonderful moment. Murray chalked it up to hope:

"You have to hope that [good things] happen to you... That's the only thing we really, surely have, is hope. You hope that you can be alive, that things will happen to you that you’ll actually witness, that you’ll participate in," he said. "Rather than life just rolling over you, and you wake up and it's Thursday, and what happened to Monday? Whatever the best part of my life has been, has been as a result of that remembering."



4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.



As part of promoting "Lost In Translation," Murray was asked by an interviewer on About.com about romance. While Murray has faced allegations of a troubling romantic past, his views here are undeniably sweet:

"I think romance basically starts with respect. And new romance always starts with respect," he said. "Like the song 'Love the One You’re With'; there is something to that. It's not just make love to whomever you're with, it’s just love whomever you're with. And love can be seeing that here we are and there's this world here."



5. Don't just coast through life.



"You seem to have it pretty figured out, Max. What's the secret?" Tom Huddleston of Time Out Magazine put this question to Murray, cribbing a quote from the actor's character in "Rushmore." Murray's real-life answer? Living in the present:

"As I once said to one of my brothers, 'This is your life, not a rehearsal,'" he said. "Somewhere there’s a score being kept, so you have an obligation to live life as well as you can, be as engaged as you can..."



6. Be someone at all times.



Murray also noted to Time Out that living an active, engaged, present life means knowing who you are as a person, and living that out each day:

"The human condition means that we can zone out and forget what the hell we're doing," he said. "So the secret is to have a sense of yourself, your real self, your unique self. And not just once in a while, or once a day, but all through the day, the week and life. You know what they say: 'Ain't no try, ain't nothing to it but to do it.'"



7. Accept the past, then move on.



Reflecting on his early days as an actor to Garth Pearce of the Guardian, Murray said he felt as if he "did not start learning" until his "Saturday Night Live" days. But that didn't lead him to regret the years or experiences that came before:

"I made a lot of mistakes and realized I had to let them go," he said. "Don't think about your errors or failures, otherwise you'll never do a thing."



8. Just relax!



This line, from an interview in the New York Times, seems like the perfect mantra to sum up the legend. This, as far as we can tell, is Bill Murray in a nutshell:

"The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself," he said.

All images Getty.

McDonald's CEO: 'We Will Support' A Minimum Wage Hike

Wed, 2014-06-04 11:59
McDonald's might finally have figured out that paying its low-wage workers more would actually be a good thing for McDonald's.

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson recently suggested his company would support a bill, proposed by President Barack Obama, raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from $7.25. Such a wage hike likely wouldn't satisfy his workers, some of whom recently stormed the company's Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters demanding $15 an hour. But it would be a noticeable shift in attitude for the world's biggest restaurant chain, which has so far been neutral as the debate about higher wages has roiled around it.

"You know, our franchisees look at me when I say this and they start to worry: 'Don, don't you say it. Don't you say we support $10.10,'" Thompson said during a little-noticed talk at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management last month, according to a Chicago Tribune report. "I will tell you we will support legislation that moves forward."

Thompson, who made $9.5 million last year, has been on the defensive about worker pay since at least last July, when the news media discovered McDonald's had a financial-advice website for its employees (no longer available) recommending they get second jobs and not turn on their heat.



Hundreds of fast-food workers and activists protesting at McDonald's Oak Brook, Illinois, corporate campus last month.

Thompson has insisted that his company pays more than minimum wage. And various estimates put the median McDonald's worker's wage at between $8 and $9 an hour.

But even at $9 an hour, which amounts to about $19,000 per year, the typical McDonald's worker would have to work two months just to make what Thompson makes in one hour (about $3,200, assuming he works 60 hours per week and 50 weeks per year).

This is Ground Zero of the income inequality debate. Soaring CEO pay plus stagnant wages -- the federal minimum wage should really be $22 an hour, adjusting for productivity gains and inflation -- in an economy creating mainly low-paying jobs, equals rising inequality.

Those on the conservative side of the debate complain that raising the minimum wage will cause companies to lay off workers and/or jack up prices, hurting the economy. Thompson shot holes in that argument, at least as it concerns a raise to $10.10 an hour.

"McDonald's will be fine," he reportedly told Northwestern. "We'll manage through whatever the additional cost implications are."

In fact, McDonald's might do better than just "manage" under a higher minimum wage. As Joe Cahill of Crain's Chicago Business recently pointed out, Thompson has bemoaned the effects of poorer customers not having enough money to buy stuff. A national minimum-wage hike could put more money in the pockets of low-wage workers across the country, meaning more money for people to spend at McDonald's.

McDonald's did not immediately return a request for comment.

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