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Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

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  • Jenny Kendler puts ethics, empathy in art

    Jenny Kendler puts ethics, empathy in art
    "Human exceptionalism has got to go," artist Jenny Kendler tells me. "Yes, we have great skills, but so does every other species on the planet." Witness the mantis shrimp, one of the artist's current favorite animals, with claws that can shatter aquarium glass and boil water. Sixteen color cones per eye allow it to perceive polarized light and multispectral images, far more than we humans, with a paltry three, can even fathom.As for Kendler, her particular skills include the ability to channel a profound empathy for animals and a learned grasp of ecological science through strange, delicate artworks that wouldn't look out of place in a 17th-century cabinet of curiosities. Picture an aquamarine bust crying rivers of turquoise hair, a crumbling book sprouting lichen in place of words, a rainbow honeycomb preserved under a bell jar.
  • 'Billions' brings pigeons' extinction tale to screen

     'Billions' brings pigeons' extinction tale to screen
    The star of a new, compelling and cautionary documentary titled "From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction" (10 p.m. Thursday on WTTW-Ch 11) is a dead pigeon named Martha. She died on September 1, 1914, in a zoo in Cincinnati,...

    James Alter, Chicago businessman and civic leader, 1922-2014

     James Alter, Chicago businessman and civic leader, 1922-2014
    In war, as a combat aviator during World War II, and in peace, as a businessman, civic leader and powerful player in local politics, James Alter was always fighting the good fight. Mr. Alter, 92, died of congestive heart failure Thursday, Aug. 14, in...

    Four hours in ... Lincoln Park

    Four hours in ... Lincoln Park
    There’s a reason Lincoln Park is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Chicago — and the unique shops, gorgeous parks and seemingly infinite outdoor activities are just the beginning. Here’s a list of the best ways to spend an...

    George Lucas eyes Chicago for art, 'Star Wars' museum

    George Lucas eyes Chicago for art, 'Star Wars' museum
    Billionaire "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, who wants to establish a major museum to house his significant art and movie memorabilia collection, is considering Chicago as the location after plans for his $300 million Lucas Cultural Arts Museum stalled...