The return of The Tiny Aviary, and Diana Sudyka’s moving remembrance of her dog. I’ve liked Sudyka’s work ever since I saw her illustration of dark-eyed juncos, of which I have fond memories from my childhood. She’s half of a Chicago-illustration-power-couple: her husband is Jay Ryan, perhaps the city’s most well-known gig-poster artist.

Here’s Sudyka discussing her work:

"A Convict’s Odyssey," by Steve Bogira:

The court reporter typed up the transcript, Clements signed it, and he was charged with the quadruple murder. Those 17 minutes have been the focus of his life ever since.

After you finish it, follow it up with Angela Caputo’s Chicago Reporter piece about the prosecution of 15- to 17-year-olds as adults, a detailed look at the possible ramifications of HB2067.

Bill Buckner will fill in for Bob Brenly in the WGN booth… during an interleague game between the Red Sox and Cubs. My ideal: Buckner brings on Steve Bartman and commences a moment of national healing. We can do this, America. (h/t @ElectraQ101)

MLB’s poorly located, strangely under-advertised, and reasonably priced Baseball’s Best archive, a repository of classic games in TV and radio format. I listened to the ill fated Game 6 that’s dogged Buckner all these years, one day at work when I had a ton of mindless work to do, and was surprised at how tense and worked up I got. One of the earliest recordings is of Game 2 of the 1938 World Series between the Yankees and Cubs, featuring a young Joe DiMaggio.

Working Bikes Co-op.

Emily Lambert Forbes The FuturesI’m reading The Futures, Emily Lambert’s entertaining history of Chicago’s commodities exchanges, and while I know a bit about their early history from William Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis, I hadn’t really thought of the city as existing as an economic powerhouse because our weather is so bad:

The city was built roughly halfway between the North Pole and the Equator. Warm fronts from the south clashed with cold fronts from the north. As the seasons changed, temperatures swung from bitter cold winters to hot, humid summers. That’s part of the funny story of this business, and one reason why it developed in Chicago instead of, say, Florida.

To make a long story short, the commodities harvested throughout the Midwest couldn’t make it to market during the winters, and prices would spike; when the commodities flooded the market after the thaw, the market would collapse. Futures trading was a necessity here in a way it wasn’t in much of America. "Farmers, traders liked to say later with theatrical flourish," Lambert writes, "would dump their corn in the river." Something to think about while you’re waiting for spring to actually begin.


Photograph: Fred Teifeld