| Sep 4, 2011
On America's mental calendar, Labor Day marks summer's end with a reminder to close up beach cottages and get the kids to school. But the circumstances of its birth were bloodier. Legislation declaring the first Monday in September a national holiday...
| Apr 16, 2012
| 4:33 PM
After two years, the federal program providing billions of dollars to help states and districts close or remake some of their worst-performing schools remains an ambitious work in progress, with roughly 1,200 turnaround efforts under way but still no...
| Jan 29, 2012
Every winter, widespread chemical dumping leaves Chicago streets covered in sodium chloride. Here are 10 facts you don't have to take with a grain of salt:
1. Salt has seasoned English in many ways. Because Romans put salt or brine on their vegetables,...
| Nov 8, 2011
| 3:00 AM
Once again, temporarily at least, scandal has mesmerized American politics. This time the target is Herman Cain, the up-from-nowhere restaurant executive who is battling back against the latest sexual harassment or misconduct allegations that have...
| Mar 8, 2013
| 11:10 AM
In her long and famously prolific career as a novelist, Joyce Carol Oates has worked in many different modes, from the social realism of her National Book Award-winning "them" (1969) and the neo-Gothic storytelling of "Bellefleur" (1980) to the...
| May 27, 2012
We're at a loss to explain two things: Why JPMorgan Chase took a $2 billion bath on risky trades, and how the Chicago Cubs can maintain such futility, holding the worst record in the National League. It appears to be high season for lowliness, with both...
| Mar 28, 2013
| 1:16 PM
Mutter Museum may leave you shocked and horrified or amazed and fascinated. Either way, its collections of bones, bodies, body parts, plus tumors and other terrors, are unforgettable.
The nation's finest and oldest medical museum — celebrating...
| Oct 8, 2012
Art hardly ever comes up as a campaign issue in presidential elections.
But once voters decide, the artistic tastes of the first family become well known from the pieces they choose to adorn the White House.
Barack Obama has long taken pride in his...
| Oct 29, 2012
| 2:15 PM
| Nov 5, 2012
| 8:23 AM
Choose whether each song is on (A) Barack Obama’s campaign Spotify playist, (B) Mitt Romney’s campaign Spotify playlist or (C) Neither.
1. “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow,” The Soggy Bottom Boys
2. “I Won’t Back Down,&...
| Jan 11, 2013
| 10:55 AM
President Obama will be formally sworn in for his second term in office Jan. 21.
He is the 43rd man to take the oath of office. Yes, Obama is the 44th president, but Grover Cleveland gets counted twice because his terms were not consecutive.