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Poem: Heron

Heron By Patrick T. Reardon . Great blue heron, white in high green, folds on self, forward falls toward water, clear space, wingspan wind-catch, rise in flight. . I am semi-trailer truck in someone else’s tender canoe — steep banks through suburbs, six crows from one bank to the other frenzy a hawk, mud…

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Book review: “Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization” by Paul Kriwaczek

There is much that is surprising and interesting and fascinating in Paul Kriwaczek’s 2010 book Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization.  And much in Kriwaczek’s storytelling that is infuriating. It is astonishing that the civilization that rose up in Mesopotamia in about 3000 BC lasted through various permutations until 539 BC existed for roughly…

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Book review: “Painting by Numbers: Data-Driven Histories of Nineteenth-Century Art” by Diana Seave Greenwald

At the Chicago Tribune where I worked for 32 years, the story of Bill Recktenwald and the parking meters was legendary — and instructive. From 1984 to early 1987, Chicago suffered a huge loss in parking meter revenue — 42 percent — and city officials couldn’t explain it.  Complaints about broken meters had nearly doubled…

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