Ice Crystals

Soap bubbles blown in freezing temperatures turn into stunning ice crystals.

Hope Thurston Carter captured the images after blowing
bubbles on several freezing days in Michigan. Temperatures between -9 and -12C are ideal for creating the ice bubbles.

In the midst of one of the most severe winters in modern American history, the 52-year-old, of Martin, Michigan, got the idea after seeing similar pictures on the Internet.
'I was instantly curious and ran out and bought some
bubble solution so I could try this myself,' she told HotSpot Media.

'I found out very quickly that blowing bubbles in the
winter and trying to photograph them is not as simple and easy as it looks!’ Still weather with temperatures between -9 and -12 degrees Celsius is ideal for creating the ice bubbles. On such a day, Hope ventures into her back garden with a bottle of bubble mixture, blows a flurry and, when one lands intact, runs to her camera to photograph it as crystals spread.


Homicide Rates Compared

Homicide Rate (per 100,000), 1950–2013

Homicide Rate (per 100,000), 1950–2013

The following table shows the homicide rate in the United States by year, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports.
Source: Crime in the United States, FBI, Uniform Crime Reports.



My Social Media

Poll By My Congressman

The Congressman for our District email us with questions. We answer and see the instant results.

Excellent way for him to stay in touch with his constituents and to engage them and ask them for their opinion. Good social marketing and an interesting way to stay in touch.

This is not a scientific poll of course.  Our District is older with many retirees.  Congressman Buchanan is a Republican. Interesting to see the support for legalizing marijuana. 


Deep Tunnel

Tunnel and Reservoir Plan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (abbreviated TARP and more commonly known as the Deep Tunnel Project or the Chicago Deep Tunnel) is a large civil engineering project that aims to reduce flooding in the metropolitan Chicago area, and to reduce the harmful effects of flushing raw sewage into Lake Michigan by diverting storm water and sewage into temporary holding reservoirs. The megaproject is one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in terms of scope, cost and timeframe. Commissioned in the mid-1970s, the project is managed by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Completion of the system is not anticipated until 2029,but substantial portions of the system have already opened and are currently operational. Across 30 years of construction, over $3 billion has been spent on the project.

Thornton Quarry

Thornton Quarry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Overhead view of the quarry
The first settlers came to Thornton, Illinois, in 1834. Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard received 160 acres of land from Shabonna, his Indian wife. In 1836 Hubbard opened the first quarry on Kinzie Street. The site was abandoned because the stone was too deep and of poor quality. Fred Gardner opened a quarry in 1846, and Stephen Crary opened one in 1850. In the early 1900s, Brownell Improvement Company purchased the entire area. Colonel Hodgkins bought the property in 1920. The quarry north of Ridge Road was opened in 1924, and a tunnel connecting the north and south quarries was developed in 1926. Colonel Hodgkins died in 1929, and Brownell repurchased the quarry in 1933. Then in 1938, Material Service Corporation purchased the property and has owned it ever since. Thornton Quarryis one of the largest aggregate quarries in the world, located in Thornton, Illinois just south ofChicago. The quarry is 1.5 miles (2.5 km) long, 0.5 miles (1 km) wide, and 450 feet (137.16 m) deep at its deepest point. Gallagher Asphalt Corporation has been operating on the grounds of the quarry since 1928. A dryland dike carries Interstate 80/Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway over the quarry.
Thornton Quarry with Interstate 80/Interstate 294/Tri-State Tollway above.
As part of the Chicago Deep Tunnel project, both Thornton Quarry and McCook Quarry will serve as reservoirs to reduce the backflow of stormwater and sewage from Chicago area rivers into Lake Michigan.[1] Thornton Transitional Reservoir contributes a 3.1-billion-US-gallon (12,000,000 m3) capacity to the system, and is expected to contribute 7.9 billion US gallons (30,000,000 m3) when the system is completed in 2014.
It is estimated that the reservoir will help protect 500,000 people who live in the surrounding 14 suburbs it serves, and will save the city around $40 million worth of damages each year.[2]


Bus Rapid Transit Versus Cars in Chicago

CTA rendering of Ashland BRT.
Interesting discussion between two of my favorite bloggers about Bus Rapid Transit versus cars in the city of Chicago.

Aaron Renn of the Urbanophile urbanophile.com

John Greenfield of Streets Blog Chicago chi.streetsblog.org

"A more serious problem with Renn’s piece is his assertion that the Ashland BRT project would be a case of transit advocates intentionally “degrading the urban environment” for drivers, which would make Chicago a less livable city. The plan calls for converting two of the four travel lanes on Ashland Avenue to dedicated, center-running bus lanes, which would require the elimination of most left turns off of the street."

Click to read the full discussion:


McCormick Place Destroyed by Fire 1967

The scope of the disaster was hard to fathom. Tribune reporters and photographers who raced to the scene that bitterly cold January night in 1967 sent word that McCormick Place was ablaze, engulfed in flames, raging — destroyed. Back at Tribune Tower, the night editor said, "It can't be."

But it was. The gleaming white convention center, which had opened in November 1960 and was the centerpiece of the city's dominant trade show business, was gone.

The building that was supposed to be fireproof and "outlast Rome's glories" was consumed frighteningly fast. Smoke was reported by janitors at 2:05 a.m. on Jan. 16. By 2:30 a.m., when Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn arrived, he upgraded it to a five-alarm fire. Eighteen minutes later, he ordered the first special alarm.

One person died in the fire, a 31-year-old security guard named Kenneth Goodman, whose burned body was found in the rubble.
Some bad decisions, clearly. 

Dialogue below  from Facebook Page Growing up in Chicago


Tim DiMasi Sr. I was working there the night of the fire. There was a security guard who was touted as a hero for leading several of us to safety. In reality he lead us to a bank of doors that were chained/locked. Fortunately we we able to break down the doors. I vividly recall seeing the flames crawling up the wall in the NW corner of the 42 level. No more that 45 minutes later it was apparent the building was gone. Housewares Show was going to open the next day. The 20 and 7 levels were looted
LikeReply16January 15 
LikeReply1January 15
Katherine Morrison Wow! What a story.
James Green Tim DiMasi, wouldn't that be a violation of fire safety code? Why did they have exit doors chained and kocked? It doesn't make sense.
Route Sixtysixer It is against municipal fire code to bar the doors. But as to the reason, as stated, levels were looted.
Tim DiMasi Sr. Ya know, until just now that never crossed my mind. As you entered McCormick Place (42 level) out front near the bus turnaround you could enter the exhibit floor to the left (north) or right (south) through "crash" doors. We were lead to the latter. It were those that were chained. Fortunately there were enough of us to push through.
Tim DiMasi Sr. W/regard to the looting it was primarily from the 20 and 7 levels. Everything on the main (42 level) was destroyed. Damage on the lower levels was mostly from water and smoke.
LikeReply1January 16 
Evelyn Hampton A friend was a security guard at McCormick Place for the Auto Show and had a picture taken while guarding James Bond's 007 Aston Martin car. This was before the fire. He had the day off and was not at work when the place burned down. I understand the only fire fatality was a security guard.
LikeReply19 hrsEdited
Craig Harlan Hullinger
Write a reply...
Zenobia L Silas-Carson I will try to make this short because I am a long winded Chicago girl in Minnesota where no one cares about my Chicago stories. My mother went back to college when I was a teen and got her Associate of Arts degree in the Arie Crown theater at McCormick Place...the original one. I forgot all about this fire until just now. Made me recall how proud I was of my mother on the night as she crossed the stage.
Mary Rickard Luque I remember this so well! My Dad took me down to the McCormick Place --seemed like the day after the fire-- and I vividly remember standing with him, just outside a door, looking inside at the destroyed building.
George Pasztelan I remember they didn't install fire protection.their reasoning was that the building was fire proof,unfortunately the things that they put inside,were not.
Mary Patricia Mahieu Moebius remember going to HS first period...teacher a current events buff...everybody talking like crazy about the fire...only the teacher didn't know what had happened...so everybody got an A that class because we knew our current event and she didn't...only ...See More
Rob Rife Just another story in a long history of Democrat corruption that started in the Daley era- fire inspectors paid off disaster occurs