| Oct 18, 2013
| 12:30 PM
Whether you call them "specialty films" or "adult dramas" or "alternatives to blockbusters," it's clear that 2013 is an exceptionally exciting year for films that quicken the pulses of movie fans and ratchet up the stakes for the annual awards season...
| Sep 27, 2013
| 12:30 PM
Heard about the 55-year-old trying out for the Dallas Cowboys' cheerleading squad?
Sharon Simmons, a Carollton, Texas, grandmother of two, sashayed over to Dallas last week, along with hundreds of other (younger) hopefuls, because she figured a dream...
| Sep 20, 2013
| 4:32 PM
This week marked the 50th anniversary remembrance of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. — a notorious, racially motivated crime that killed four little girls and helped gain support for the passage of the Civil...
| Sep 8, 2013
| 6:17 PM
Brian Dolinar's new book, "The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers," was released this summer, and if the title sounds dated it's because the book began its long road to publication in the late 1930s but was sidelined by two formidable obstacles —...
| Aug 29, 2013
| 9:06 AM
The idiosyncratic, Pulitzer Prize-nominated Miami poet Howard Camner is also a humorist and something of a performance artist. Here he is in a best-of look at the tweets at @hcamner. He has made 20 in four years.
July 17, 2009: “Turbulence at 67...
| Aug 24, 2013
| 7:30 AM
In 1928, William Nickerson Jr., along with Norman Houston and George Beavers, founded the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Los Angeles to provide insurance to black people unable to purchase policies from white-owned institutions. The company...
| Aug 23, 2013
| 12:29 PM
There are many fine books that concern the joys of walking around the city, and I would enthusiastically recommend "Walking Chicago: 31 Tours of the Windy City's Classic Bars, Scandalous Sites, Historic Architecture, Dynamic Neighborhoods, and Famous...
| Jul 25, 2013
| 7:12 AM
Rap Genius is a deceptively simple idea started by three friends from Yale: a website where users could make their own pop-up annotations to the lyrics of their favorite rap songs, with the most popular crowd-sourced explanations rising to the top. For...
| Jul 15, 2013
| 6:30 AM
SongFest is the remarkable summer vocal training program, begun in 1996, formerly at Pepperdine University and currently housed at the Colburn School. "Songfest" is Leonard Bernstein's dozen songs for six singers and orchestra, written as a contribution...
| Jul 10, 2013
| 12:30 PM
A lot of folks are preparing movies to be launched in the next six months, convinced that their films have strong Oscar potential. In many cases, these dreams are sweet delusions. So the word "reality" doesn't usually enter the kudos conversation.
| Jun 13, 2013
| 4:48 AM
My day began with a jovial spin with Tony Stewart around Daytona International Speedway.
It ended mourning the death of NASCAR driver Jason Leffler.
Leffler, 37, did not survive injuries he suffered from accident while competing in a heat race in...
| Jun 4, 2013
| 7:59 AM
He is the poet laureate of Chicago jazz and blues, a man who conveys in words as much melody and rhythm as the musicians he immortalizes in print.
For more than four decades, Sterling Plumpp has transformed the sounds of Chicago jazz giants – such...