| Aug 13, 2013
| 2:07 PM
Randell Makinson, a forceful advocate for preservation of the rambling Greene & Greene bungalows that came to be seen as graceful emblems of early 20th century California, has died. He was 81.
His death at his Pasadena home on Tuesday was caused by...
| Sep 22, 2013
"The Wig in the Window" by Kristen Kittscher
"Wig in the Window" (sic) by Kristen Kittscher is a suspenseful mystery about two sixth-grade girls who like to spy on people. One of the girls has a teacher named Dr. Agford who they believe is posing as...
| Feb 11, 2014
Black History Month reminds me of a really great golden oldies station, always blaring the same handful of terrific tunes. Every February, it plays Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman soul — with a chorus or two of the George...
| Apr 10, 2011
The Last Greatest Magician in the World
Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards
Tarcher/Penguin: 377 pp., $26.95
It takes some courage to write the biography of a man the reading public has mostly forgotten....
| May 13, 2011
| 12:24 PM
When the lights were switched on at the Chicago World's Fair on May 27, 1933, the city was celebrating "A Century of Progress." By the time the last visitor left the park two years later, 48 million people had marveled at the displays, including General...
| Feb 2, 2012
| 7:41 AM
The Ripley's Believe It or Not museum on International Drive will take part in a global observance of World Sword Swallowers Day on Feb. 25.
Dan Meyer and Will Rotten will perform a free sword-swallowing show at Orlando's Odditorium. Their show will...
| Jul 8, 2012
| 2:42 PM
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — To the uninitiated, driving along 11th Street through the downtown of this northern Indiana community can be an unnerving experience.
While most motorists are accustomed to sharing the road with bicycles, few have ever had the...
| Feb 26, 2013
| 11:17 AM
Pabst Blue Ribbon is most associated with its birthplace in Milwaukee, but it’s the city of Chicago where the beer made its name—literally.
Not to be confused with the television channel that airs "Sesame Street," PBR was originally known as...
| May 16, 2009
It slices! It dices! It pierces and pokes! It pulls stubborn flesh from bone with the flick of a wrist!
And if that doesn't get your prisoner talking, perhaps the ornate chair with its spiked seat, back and arm rests will do the trick.
| Aug 23, 2009
The Real Wizard of Oz
The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum
Gotham Books: 416 pp., $28
In contrast to the rambling text that follows, the title of this biography couldn't be more cogent. L. Frank Baum, inventor of the magical Land of...
| Feb 25, 2011
Shaped like a string of boxcars that tumbled off the CSX rail line, Chicago Ridge is a working-class southwestern suburb known for the regional mall that attracts shoppers like a magnet.
Thanks to its abundance of modest multifamily housing, Chicago...