'IT IS A CITY OF CRIME, SEGREGATION AND FLOURISH, A CITY OF CONSTANT DESPAIR AND REBIRTH.' That's from the introduction to a new "budget guide" review of Chicago by the Gadling travel blog.
* Public school student who performed last week at the Obama inauguration among latest dead in Chicago shootings.
* The Onion: "Chicago's Annual Homicide Drive Off To Most Promising Start In Decades."
* And what about the bedbugs?
'HE’S GOT A SET OF BALLS, AND HE SAYS WHAT HE BELIEVES.' That's New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, describing Vice President Joe Biden in an interview with Politico.
* Bloomberg's super PAC airs ad condemning possible Jesse Jackson Jr. replacement Debbie Halvorson: "When it comes to preventing gun violence, she gets an F."
'THEY PROBABLY READ EVERY FIFTH WORD, YOU KNOW, SO JUST MAKE IT THOSE FIVE WORDS.' The TV series "Portlandia" takes a painful look at the state of journalism.
* Traditional beat reporting's time may be past.
* Washington Post debuts realtime fact-checking program.
DOES FACEBOOK OWE YOU $10? If one of your photos was used in its "sponsored story" ads, you may be in for a (tiny) windfall.
* Despite complaints, Facebook allows page called "I hate it when I wake up and Sarah Palin is still alive."
* 8 reasons to deactivate your Facebook account.
'A JUGGERNAUT THAT SEEMS TO HAVE PERMISSION FROM ITS SHAREHOLDERS TO NOT TURN ANY PROFITS IS REALLY FRIGHTENING.' Amazon's take is down 45 percent year-over-year, but Matthew Yglesias writes in Slate that the company is nevertheless awesome -- even for people who never buy from Amazon.
* "Welcome to the End of Barnes & Noble as You Knew It" (The Atlantic).
EVERYBODY DUCK. In a little more than two weeks, Earth will be buzzed by an asteroid about 50 meters wide -- in a record-setting near-earth flyby -- closer than many satellites (Universe Today).
* Tools used to prepare this post include the Zite smartphone app, which helps monitor an otherwise almost incomprehensibly vast Twitter feed that probably includes your tweets -- if you're following @Meyerson. What are you waiting for?
* Next WBEZ Meyerson blog news quiz: Friday morning. Be here. You may not get another chance.
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