Holy b-roll (fake) Batman!!!! Unmasking Chicago's fake superhero

July 21, 2011

A colleague sent this picture to me today. It's the same snapshot of the NBC news featuring broll of an ambulance. But in the left hand corner, there is a fake Batman. Now that I received two snapshots, I believe it is my destiny to be the reporter that unmasks Fake Batman. So help me out. I want to know: Is this is a hipster prank? Have you ever been saved by Fake Batman? Have you ever been robbed by Fake Batman? Help me out, I need to crowdsource this puppy. Any info on Fake Batman to help me in my search?

and from earlier:

First Fake Batman sighting

B story: As the heat wave continues, we are getting more and more reflections and revisits of the big 1995 heat wave that killed over 700 people. There is also mention of the 1999 heat wave, which gave ComEd a black eye due to several power outages. Do you want to know what I remember?

In 1995, I lived above a sausage market in Lincoln Square. We just moved into the three bedroom (cost = $600 a month) and my roommates and I were excited about the summer possibilities. I got a job handing out Certs at Taste of Chicago. So luckily, I was able to amass a major quantiy of mints for when we invited new friends and acquaintances over for the Taste after-party. About a week later, all hell broke loose in our apartment. We had no air conditioning and our box fans were old and rickety. When the heat hit, it must have done some unthinkable things to the sausage stored below because the smell starting rising through our pipes. That smell, mixed with the smell of Raid is the official smell of the 1995 heat wave. My roommate and I both fell ill with heat stroke, and our German neighbor was so hot that he just didn't wear pants. No underwear, either. Just naked from the waste down, chilling on the shared back porch.

In 1999, I lived in Ravenswood and Schadenfreude (my sketch comedy group) was performing live shows at the Heartland Studio Theater in Rogers Park. We convinced Michael James to let us buy an A/C unit for the theater. So we shelled out $400 for a trip to Home Depot. But it was so hot that the A/C unit wouldn't cool anything down. In a small theater (max 50 seats), the cool air was being sucked up by the hot stage lights. So we had to have all of our pre-show either, a) in the back alley, or, b) in pitch dark. And by the time the show hit the halfway mark, the audience was gushing sweat. It was a funny, gross show. I remember living in Ravenswood during the power outages and meeting Schadenfreude on the corner of Winnemac or Winona (can't remember now) and setting out a bunch of candles. We just had an impromptu nighttime vigil for electricity. Best part? The candle wax accidentally dripped onto the sidewalk. And for the next decade, the blotched concrete on the sidewalk reminded us of that summer.

Here are some of the questions I have from the 2011 heat wave. If you are a young, aspiring investigative reporter, feel free to follow up on these:

  • As John Schmidt calls out today, the 1934 heat wave was less problematic because safety concerns weren't as widespread. In other words,  you could sleep at the beach and keep your windows open. You couldn't do that in 1995. Or now. I understand the window part (although criminals suck if they rob during a heat wave) but what about sleeping on the beach? When did that practice get outlawed?
  • Air conditioning seems to be the key to a heat wave (duh). But I wonder with the glut of housing and the renovations of the last 20 years on existing housing if we are seeing a more A/C saturated Chicago. I wonder what the percentages are to A/C Chicago to non-A/C Chicago. Especially compared to 1995. Also, this has to include buses. Boy, they all have working A/C now, right?
  • And finally, if you are a connected aspiring investigative reporter, you should get access to a newsroom editorial meeting today. Why? Because they are stretching on this heat business. Features have dried up. There have no fatalities (thankfully) and the power grid is still operational. It's a disastrous situation for a media editor! What will they do now? Last night's reports were pretty bogus, all about how Chicagoans love to go to water parks when it is hot. And they're going back today! I wonder if the beach will be crowded?

Okay, onto other news. Rapid fire style:

C story: Did you see that we were named the most honest city in America? By Honest Tea company? They put out some tea in Grant Park (where all Chicagoans hang out) and a cash box next to the tea. There was a hidden camera that caught people either taking bottles for free (which I would have done) or leaving a buck (which writer Meg Power would have done). I guess we had a 99% pay rate, higher than any other city. But a Dallas magazine writer made a formula that included the temperature from the Freakonomics guys. They said that Chicago was 85 degrees (weird fog day) and that made our score lower because other cities were hotter. What they didn't take into account was the fact that the lakefront was much cooler because of that weird end of days fog we had and that it did still feel like 120 degrees. Which is surprising to me that the writers of Freakonomics wouldn't include the humidity, since I think one of them lives here. Anyway, buy tea (I guess).

D story: Alison Cuddy is very private, according to a feature in TimeOut Chicago this week! Our fearless Eight Forty-Eight host let Jake Malooley follow her around and ask personal questions, which Cuddy didn't answer. What do you want to know, Jake? Here's what I can add to your story:

Alison is Canadian. Alison once met a couple of the Blackhawks on Michigan Avenue. Alison has been at a couple parties that I also attended...um...yeah...um...what else...

You know what, Jake? You are right, I don't know anything about her personal life, either. But she's a great co-worker and host. I'll make it my second job to extract one bit of personal information weekly. I'm on it!

E story: Mark Bazer's fake review of Google+ is going viral. But the funny part is that most people are just mad at him for being so...fake. They are mad that he didn't do a real review and chose to do satire instead. God love the Internet!!!!!

Weather: Monday is the day we go back to normal temps. Mid-80s.

Sports: I missed this earlier in the week, but Deadpsin put out their list of the top 100 worst baseball players of all time. #9? Ozzie Guillen. Awesome. Can someone please ask him about this at the next presser? His answer would be priceless.

Did the Sox just lose 2 out of 3 to the Royals? C'mon. And Coach of the Year honors should go to: Mike Quade. He called out (publicly) his best players for underperforming. Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney. Paging Alfonso, Carlos, Carlos, Carlos, Geo, Kosuke and Sean Marshall?

Kicker: Tonight, WBEZ plays the Chicago Reader in a 16-inch softball game. We've played each other for years and this is the first time we've really been organized. Usually, it's a game that features weird non-contact injuries, terrible execution and several smoke breaks. Make no mistake, this rivalry is the alt/niche media version of Bears/Packers. And the Reader sports yellow sleaves sleeves. So yeah, they are the losers (who won the Super Bowl).