WBEZ | March Madness http://www.wbez.org/tags/march-madness Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Can embracing March Madness make your office more productive? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-embracing-march-madness-make-your-office-more-productive-111742 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/bball cropped.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>The snow is melting. The potholes crackling. The sun shining. And yes, it&#39;s <a href="https://youtu.be/8q6X-N4sJ1o">March Madness</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>It&rsquo;s thrilling, it&rsquo;s exciting, it&rsquo;s quintessentially American. Some 77 million people across the country are expected to come down with some form of March Madness this year. Pete Kadens is one of those people.</p><p>&ldquo;For a couple years out of college, I worked for a big company out of New York. I hated every minute of it, frankly&mdash;but there were two days I hated more than any other,&rdquo; Kadens said.</p><p>Those two days were the Thursday and the Friday of March Madness.</p><p>&ldquo;I saw that actually no one was working. There weren&rsquo;t smart phones but people brought in mini televisions, had them under their desks,&rdquo; Kadens explained.</p><p>Firms like Challenger, Gray &amp; Christmas <a href="http://www.challengergray.com/press/press-releases/its-march-madness-years-madness-could-cost-19b" target="_blank">calculate</a> the cost of such antics. They estimate a $1.9 billion loss in productivity---when workers like Kadens spend time researching picks, filling out brackets and watching games on their computer...they&rsquo;re not working.</p><p>But Kadens made a commitment to his post-college, cubicle-confined self: If he ever started his own company, he was going to be different.</p><p>&ldquo;My company would have vacation days. And together, instead of working, we would celebrate and watch March Madness,&rdquo; Kadens said.</p><p>And that&rsquo;s exactly what he did. Every year, his company, SoCore Energy, cancels work on the first Friday of the tournament. He invites employees, clients and vendors to come meet at a bar to enjoy some drinks, some games and some outside-of-the-office time with coworkers.</p><p>The rationale, Kadens said, is much bigger than his love of college basketball.</p><p>&ldquo;The NCAA Tournament is all about David vs. Goliath. And everyone, I don&rsquo;t care who you root for, everyone wants to see the underdog win,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Kadens said seeing employees with their family and friends helps him understand the biases they bring to the table.</p><p>&ldquo;This event gives us a forum to meet those people and understand someone&rsquo;s underlying bias--why John acts this way--that gives you more context...there&rsquo;s a rationale to it, it&rsquo;s not just, let&rsquo;s go have fun,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>But, as it turns out, there may be some merit to the party plan. NYU Professor <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/leeigel/2015/03/17/stop-the-insanity-about-ncaa-march-madness-ruining-workplace-productivity/" target="_blank">Lee Igel</a> seems to think so&mdash;he&rsquo;s an expert in decision making and behaviors at work in the sports business.</p><p>&ldquo;We would&#39;ve thought it completely insane to let people take the time, away from their work on company dime, to go off and do something like watch basketball games or fill out brackets,&rdquo; Igel said.</p><p>But he says that type of thinking is outdated.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>According to Igel, the nature of &ldquo;work&rdquo; in America has changed. 100 years ago, most people worked with their hands. In the 21st Century, we&rsquo;re working with our minds. It&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s called &ldquo;knowledge work.&rdquo;</p><p>He added there&rsquo;s no need for fake spreadsheets or secret live streams--it will ultimately hurt companies in the long run. And further, Igel argues, today&rsquo;s workforce needs these periodic distractions.</p><p>&ldquo;We need people to actually get away from the same thing, over and over and over again,&rdquo; Igel said. &ldquo;This idea of indulging in March Madness with cloak and dagger, we don&rsquo;t need that anymore, we don&rsquo;t live in that world, we don&rsquo;t work in that world...stop the insanity over March Madness.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-embracing-march-madness-make-your-office-more-productive-111742 Morning Shift: Where comedy meets radio http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-03-20/morning-shift-where-comedy-meets-radio-111738 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/France1978.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Flickr/France1978" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833505&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Springfield Week in Review</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">There&rsquo;s one week left before Illinois lawmakers take their two week spring break and there&rsquo;s still work to be done. In the meantime, governor Bruce Rauner is having a hard time convincing democrats to pass his budget proposals. And, it looks like gun rights advocates are renewing their call for expanded conceal carry. Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky joins us with a look back at the week in Springfield and what we can expect next week.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/AmandaVinicky">Amanda Vinicky</a> is an Illinois Public Radio reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833498&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Cook County Forest Preserves unveil master plan for restoration</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">We&rsquo;ve all seen him. That jogger wearing nothing but running shorts as soon as it gets above 36 degrees. The rest of us might wait a bit longer to strip down, but we&rsquo;re still dying to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. One of the favorite places folks in the Chicago area make that happen is the Cook County Forest Preserves. Last week, the Forest Preserves and the Prairie Research Institute unveiled&nbsp;<a href="http://fpdcc.com/preserves-and-trails/plans-and-projects/natural-and-cultural-resources-master-plan/">a plan</a> to restore and expand tens of thousands of acres of green space. Arnold Randall, the General Superintendent of the Cook County Forest Preserves joins us to talk about the plan.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;Arnold Randall is the General Superintendent of the <a href="https://twitter.com/FPDCC">Cook County Forest Preserves</a>.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833493&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">March Madness arrives</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">It&rsquo;s the first official day of spring. It&#39;s also the first full weekend of the NCAA men&rsquo;s basketball tournament. Brackets will be busted and hearts will be broken. And WBEZ&rsquo;s Katie O&rsquo;Brien says it&rsquo;s time to unravel claims that March Madness is a drain on workplace productivity.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/katieobez">Katie O&#39;Brien</a> is a WBEZ reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833484&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Where comedy meets radio</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">When comedian and radio host Tom Scharpling and Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster teamed up to create a radio show, it wasn&rsquo;t an immediate success - despite being called &ldquo;The Best Show on WFMU.&rdquo; But the cult show found a long life and the duo&rsquo;s comedic stylings continued to gain fervent fans. The duo has been on the road and came through Chicago on Thursday. They share the secret to their success together on the Morning Shift.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/scharpling">Tom Scharpling</a> is a comedian/writer/director and former host of the Best Show on <a href="https://twitter.com/WFMU">WFMU</a>.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="https://twitter.com/jonwurster">Jon Wurster</a> is the drummer of the band Superchunk and former host of the Best Show on <a href="https://twitter.com/WFMU">WFMU</a>.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833479&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Cristina Pato brings bagpipes into an orchestral setting</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The bagpipes aren&rsquo;t only for men in kilts. And they&rsquo;re not just from the British Isles. Cristina Pato has been wowing the world for years with her gaita-a small version of the bagpipes from the region of northwest Spain called Galicia. Pato is in town to play with the Chicago Sinfonietta, including a U.S. premier of a jazz and tango-inspired work she commissioned for gaita, piano, and orchestra. She joins the Morning Shift to blow the bagpipe and break musical barriers.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/CristinaPato">Cristina Pato</a> is New York based musician.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 07:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-03-20/morning-shift-where-comedy-meets-radio-111738 Pasta Madness Final Four http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-final-four-106313 <p><p>Let&#39;s be real: Pasta Madness has been a lot more exciting and fun than actual March Madness. No matter who you are, your bracket has been completely busted to hell by now and your favorite team has probably already long been eliminated. But pasta will always be there for you. Even when your team loses you still win, because, pasta.</p><p>Let&#39;s look at the latest games:</p><p><strong>Linguine vs. Gemelli. </strong>Linguine&#39;s got a lot going for it and really nothing is <em>wrong </em>with it, per se, but Gemelli just has <em>more</em>. Gemelli is, by definition, twin pastas, and two of something great is always going to have an edge over just one. It&#39;s like, would you rather have one beautiful wife or two? Plus, as a short pasta, Gemelli is a more female-friendly pasta because you can just fork it up, as opposed to worrying about splattering one of your top three most embarrassing places on your body, like you would with linguine. I know I&#39;m sort of like the Ken &quot;Hawk&quot; Harrelson when it comes to Gemelli: I&#39;ve been a fan since day one and am not ashamed of it. Well, deal with it. I&#39;m here to cheer for Gemelli until they fire me. Winner: Gemelli.</p><p><strong>Pappardelle vs. Farfalle. </strong>This game is a little bit like what happens when the snobby rich kids (pappardelle) play the down-and-out scrappy kids from the other side of the tracks. Only in this case, the rich kids win because they&#39;re better in every way. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157">Last week</a>, I fingered farfalle as being guilty of frequently dwelling in second-and-third-tier pasta salads. Pappardelle, on the other hand, is usually a fancy, oft-handmade pasta that rests in beautiful wide ribbons and boasts something rich and earthy like rare mushrooms or unicorn meat. Farfalle, I&#39;m sorry to say but you just couldn&#39;t beat those rich kids this time. Winner: Pappardelle</p><p>Next week is serious. I may actually have to eat some Gemelli <em>and </em>some Pappardelle to see who wins. This is the type of dedication I show towards this project. You are welcome.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FinalFour_0.jpg" title="" /></div></div><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></p></p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 08:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-final-four-106313 Pasta Madness: The Elite Eight http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4705713626_78ef3a71c1.jpg" title="Black Truffle Mac 'n Cheese. Flickr/LA &amp; OC Foodventures" /></div><p>Round One is where the chips start to fall but Round Two is where hearts start to break. Everyone is already a winner and so it&#39;s heartbreaking to see starches that have made it this far stricken. But somebody has to lose.</p><p>For this round I found myself doing Google image searches on the pastas in question to see which would most likely be eaten, and in mass quantities, by me. Some of them were easy (Fusilli making it this far was a bit of a fluke) but others weren&#39;t quite as clear. Linguine seems like a slam dunk...or is it? Read on to see who won this week.</p><p><strong>Ditalini vs. Linguine:</strong> At first this seemed easy, if unfair, sort of like Duke playing some school you&#39;ve never heard of but you&#39;re rooting for because they&#39;re playing Duke. Linguine is a standard. Who ever heard of ditalini anyway? But I <em>love </em>an underdog, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness. Maybe a big bowl of ditalini would be fantastic. Could you use ditalini, perhaps, in lieu of macaroni and make ditalini and cheese? Unfortunately, <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=ditalini&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=HY1IUYiEAqiY2wW0moCQAg&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=H41IUaueEOXX2QWJvoGQDw">when I ran a Google image search on ditalini</a>, it confirmed my suspicion that ditalini is really a second-tier pasta, often good <em>in </em>things but never standing alone. Sorry ditalini, I love you but you&#39;re no match for linguine. With that said, however, I would like to try <a href="http://www.staceysnacksonline.com/2011/08/ditalini-lentil-salad-w-mint-parsley.html">this Ditalini &amp; Lentil pasta salad</a> I found whilst Googling. <strong>Winner:</strong> Linguine.</p><p><strong>Gemelli vs. Ziti: </strong>This wasn&#39;t terribly hard because in many ways, gemelli is just <a href="http://www.barilla.com/content/product/gemelli">double ziti</a>, so who would win in a game, one Michael Jordan vs. two Michael Jordans? Plus, gemelli is my preferred pasta when making <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/diary_archive_041102.html">this recipe</a> (one of the most popular and simple things I ever cook), so it was a blowout. I&#39;m placing odds on gemelli to win the whole tournament but as you know it ain&#39;t over til the fat, carbohydrate-laden lady sings. <strong>Winner: </strong>Gemelli.</p><p><strong>Orecchiette vs. Pappardelle:</strong> This was the most difficult call this week. Orecchiette are just beautiful little darling angels that you can stuff a lot of in your mouth and are typically seen in tandem with butter or cream or peas. They&#39;re little ears, like the ears of little babies you just want to eat. If orecchiette were a basketball team it would be one of those teams that&#39;s all young underdogs who never thought they&#39;d make it this far and they cry at the end of the game when they lose and you would too and the whole stadium, including the opposing team, would be cheering more for them and how far they&#39;ve gotten than for the other team&#39;s victory. I tried thinking about what&#39;s not so great about pappardelle, which is namely that it always seems expensive and comes in portions that don&#39;t seem to be as large enough as you&#39;d like. But when I Googled <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=Orecchiette&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=0I9IUbfoC-ei2wWN4oGADQ&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=049IUdmXEaXk2wXCj4HwBQ">orecchiette</a> and then <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=pappardelle&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=549IUYeyEaTz2QWXw4HQAg&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=6o9IUe-YO6Pq2gXe3IDgDA">pappardelle</a>, there was no contest. A bowlful of pappardelle still looks more likely like it&#39;d make it into my mouth than the orecchiette. Sorry kids. Maybe next year. <strong>Winner: </strong>Pappardelle</p><p><strong>Fusilli vs. Farfalle:</strong> The battle of the pasta salad pastas. I sort of consider fusilli to be like that one <em>American Idol </em>contestant who isn&#39;t that good, who nobody really likes but makes it far due to ironic voting. Although, to be honest, the worst fusilli is still miles better than even just an okay <em>American Idol</em> contestant. The truth is that I just can&#39;t separate fusilli from its most base form, which is to say, the over-vinegared, over-oiled, too-salty, too-oniony pasta salad that you usually get for free at some picnic you don&#39;t want to be at. But don&#39;t be too smug, farfalle: it seems like you appear in your fair share of tacky salads and bland chicken-breast-laden (Oh! How I loathe the plain white chicken breast, which devalues a good pasta more times than it adds to it) dishes as well. Fusilli lost this game just as much as you won it. You better practice really hard before next week&#39;s tournament. <strong>Winner: </strong>Farfalle</p><p>This is really exciting, people. Looks like this is coming down to a tight race between short pastas and longs. Who will take the crown?</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Elite8.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><br /><em>My stomach is growling. Follow me <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></div></p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 08:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157 Pasta Madness: Round one http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-round-one-106051 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1007418451_28f117d91b.jpg" title="Flickr/photobunny" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">On Sunday night my husband and I went out for Italian food. He ordered what he always does: rigatoni with meat sauce. Since I was having the kind of weekend where I didn&#39;t care about my physical health, I got linguine carbonara.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;Why do you always order rigatoni?&quot; I asked Steve, and he gave me a very well-thought-out answer about rigatoni&#39;s ideal size, squishiness and the way the sauce gets inside the little tubes.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;What&#39;s your favorite pasta?&quot; he asked me, and I realized I couldn&#39;t come up with an answer quickly. I love so many different kinds of pastas and I love pasta so much I could eat it directly from the boiling water with no sauce added. How to choose? Since it&#39;s March, I decided the best way to determine the most superior pasta was through a tournament bracket.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">I chose a variety of pasta shapes and sizes but due to the limits of bracketing, I couldn&#39;t incorporate everything (I regret that I could not include spaetzle, for instance, but I am at the whim of NNA (National Noodle Association) regulations. Let&#39;s get right to round one:<br />&nbsp;</div></div><p><strong>Ditalini vs. Ravioli.</strong> Ditalini is a bit of a pasta Cinderella story. Rarely do you think of it as something you&#39;d want to order, but typically, it&#39;s the best part of whatever you&#39;re eating (pasta e fagiole, minestrone, etc.) The little tiny tubes are fun to eat. Ravioli, on the other hand, is almost always a disappointment. For every one time you get some good ravioli in good sauce you get four flat disappointing bland pillows in plain tomato sauce. <strong>Winner: </strong>Ditalini.</p><p><strong>Macaroni vs. Linguine.</strong> Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite foods in entire world, but macaroni would be nothing without cheese, which is its greatest limitation. I like linguine because it&#39;s like a better spaghetti. Its flatness gives it friction and better bite than those slippery round noodles. <strong>Winner</strong>: Linguine.</p><p><strong>Rigatoni vs. Gemelli. </strong>Have you had gemelli before? It&#39;s like the best of all worlds (in that a single piece of pasta is actually two pieces of pasta twirled together.) It&#39;s got good bite, its ridges are excellent for sauce-application and it feels a little exotic. Rigatoni, on the other hand, is typically overcooked and does become a squishy, floppy mess. Sorry Steve. <strong>Winner:</strong> Gemelli.</p><p><strong>Ziti vs. Capellini. </strong>Angel hair pasta will make a jerk out of you. It&#39;s messy to eat and not nearly as fulfilling as a fettucine or linguine. Ziti, on the other hand (or penne, that&#39;s fine too) is great either in a regular sauce or, even better, baked, with crispy brown edges. Get out of here, capellini. <strong>Winner:</strong> Ziti.</p><p><strong>Orecchiette vs. Lasagne. </strong>Come on, how did lasagne even make it into this tournament? The noodles are nothing on their own. Have you ever encountered lasagne noodles outside of lasagna? Also, I tried making lasagna once and the noodles all got stuck together and I got really mad. Orecchiette are adorable little ear-shaped pasta that are great at collecting sauce and peas. Winner: Orecchiette.</p><p><strong>Papardelle vs. Conchigle (shells</strong>). Papardelle is one of those pastas that doesn&#39;t seem to exist outside of restaurants that make their own pasta and serve it with something like boar ragout. It&#39;s delicious. Shells, on the other hand, always sound great and then you wonder how a piece of pasta filled with cheese and meat and sauce could end up so bland and disappointing. <strong>Winner:</strong> Papardelle.</p><p><strong>Farfalle vs. Gnocchi. </strong>Gnocchi is like fish tacos. When you have it done right, it&#39;s the best thing ever and when it&#39;s not done well, which is typical, it&#39;s just a gluey (or fishy) mess. Farfalle are fun little bowties that work great hot or cold and it&#39;s fun to bite them in the middle. <strong>Winner:</strong> Farfalle.</p><p><strong>Fusilli vs. Tortellini. </strong>This was a really tight call and I had to ask the refs (IE my colleague Daniel who was sitting next to me during the time of writing) for a final decision. Daniel is going with fusilli due to its versatility whereas, according to him, tortellini has much narrower applications and has to be purchased fresh. Plus: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5ncsjMVzcc">Fusilli Jerry</a>. Sorry tortellini. Yours was a Cinderella story but: <strong>Winner:</strong> Fusilli.</p><p>What are your thoughts on the results of this round? Did anyone get robbed? Any underdogs you&#39;re rooting for? Stay tuned for our second round next week!</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PastaMadness1.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Let&#39;s ca-noodle <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></div></p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 08:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-round-one-106051 March Madness wraps up and the Bulls lead the pack in the Eastern Conference http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-04/march-madness-wraps-and-bulls-lead-pack-eastern-conference-84688 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-04/Derrick Rose2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Monday, college basketball will crown its champions—putting an end to all the madness. The Butler Bulldogs will take on the University of Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA Final. They’re not the only ones clearing space for potential new trophies. The Bulls are number one in the East. And speaking of number one, point guard Derrick Rose remains the top dog in the race for MVP. <em>Eight Forty-Eight's</em> Cheryl Raye-Stout has the latest from the sports world.</p><p><em>Music Button: Dirty Vegas, "Changes", from the CD Sounds of Om 2011, (Om Records)</em></p></p> Mon, 04 Apr 2011 13:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-04/march-madness-wraps-and-bulls-lead-pack-eastern-conference-84688 Cheryl Raye-Stout talks latest action from March Madness http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-21/cheryl-raye-stout-talks-latest-action-march-madness-84012 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-21/Illini Getty Ronald Martinez.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This year&rsquo;s NCAA tournament included a stop at the United Center. The Bulls hit the road while college basketball&rsquo;s top teams vied for a place in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ncaa.com/finalfour">Final Four</a> &ndash; or at least the Sweet Sixteen.<br /><br />Meanwhile out in the desert, the boys of summer are battling for their spot on the roster. To find out more<span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to Cheryl Raye-Stout.</p><p><em>Music Button: Nick Faber, &quot;Hot Knife Blues&quot;, from the CD Dope On Plastic Vol. 8, (React Music)</em></p></p> Mon, 21 Mar 2011 12:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-21/cheryl-raye-stout-talks-latest-action-march-madness-84012 Eamonn Brennan of ESPN gives his breakdown on March Madness http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-14/eamonn-brennan-espn-gives-his-breakdown-march-madness-83665 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-14/marchmadness_getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>College basketball may not be everyone&rsquo;s cup of tea, but apparently up to 1 in 5 office workers will participate in some kind of March Madness pool. Chicago participants won&rsquo;t have many local options. Only Illinois made it to the dance, but if they look regionally there&rsquo;s plenty of powerhouse teams to chose from. <br /><br />So before you start filling out your own bracket, <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>asked Eamonn Brennan of ESPN&rsquo;s <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation" target="_blank">College Nation Sports blog</a> to give his breakdown.</p></p> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 13:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-14/eamonn-brennan-espn-gives-his-breakdown-march-madness-83665 Wait, when did Olympic hockey go all NHL? http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2010/02/wait-when-did-olympic-hockey-go-all-nhl/15677 <p><strong>Top story:</strong> I'm guessing Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook aren't coming back to the Blackhawks. I think they are going to spend the rest of their lives in a Canada jail for <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/sports/olympics/2062055,us-canada-olympic-hockey-022110.stng" target="_blank">losing last night</a> (insert funny quip about Canadian jail here).‚  My favorite was watching the post-game show on MSNBC. They went to a reporter outside the arena to find out how Canadians were taking the loss and a bunch of drunk hockey fans were having the time of their young, Canadian lives just screwin' with said reporter. And on a related note, I saw the documentary NBC did on the 1980 USA team. It was so much cooler that they weren't NHL stars when they won. When did that change?‚  I don't know my winter sports, sorry.‚  But I am diggin' the Olympics,‚  just don't show me ice dancing anymore. I can't take it. <strong>B story:</strong> In a surprise move, a judge has <a href="http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/02/hearing-in-nu-journalism-students-case-moved-to-monday.html">moved up the hearing</a> for the NU students who are being accused of bribing witnesses and coming up with false evidence to get a better grade. It will be interesting to see what happens today. The original date was supposed to be March 10. <strong>C story:</strong> Jewel-Osco is <a href="http://www.chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2010/02/jewel-osco-to-lay-off-110-store-directors.html" target="_blank">laying off 110 store managers</a>. That's a bummer. I hope the grocery stores don't go the way of the CTA and start automating all of their in-store pagings. One of my favorite moments of the Chicago grocery store experience is when a manager gets on the loudspeaker to call 'Mike from grocery" about a spill in aisle 14. And it's obvious this isn't the first page, judging by the tone. If that goes automated like the CTA trains and buses? I'll start doing Peapod.<!--break--> <strong>D story</strong>: <a href="http://skyfullofbacon.com/blog/?p=366" target="_blank">Illegal cheese</a>, anyone? David Hammond is going to be on <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/worldview">Worldview</a> today talking about it. <strong>Weather: </strong>Was it awful today? I hate taking the CTA Red Line on snowy days. How about the expressways? And please, don't get me started on the South Shore. But on a serious note, the Trib is reporting that a <a href="http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/02/accident-closes-southbound-lanes-of-lake-shore.html" target="_blank">police officer died</a> after crashing into a tree this morning off of Lake Shore Drive. Think about that when you are cursing the commute. <strong>Sports: </strong>This is about the time I start getting interested in <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/" target="_blank">college basketball</a>. Right? Now you are starting to see who the players are gonna be come March Madness. Kansas and Kentucky look to be the favorites. Big Ten's Purdue and Ohio State (and Mich. St) are pretty good and the Illini are better than expected with an outside shot at the Big Ten crown, although those hopes are fading. All local eyes are on Northwestern, which has a bubble record. They are becoming a story because we found out this year that the Wildcats are the only BCS team in history to NEVER make the tournament. Wow. That's a sucky basketball program. They may have a shot to break it this year, but they made a huge blunder by getting beat (AT HOME) by Big Ten cellar-dwellers Penn St. and they couldn't pull off the upset against Wisconsin.‚  So they practically have to win out and make a splash in the Big Ten Tournament. <strong>Kicker:</strong> Dog show alert! Dog show alert! The dogs are coming to McCormick place for the <a href="http://www.ikcdogshow.com/" target="_blank">International Kennel Club Dog Show 2010</a>.‚  It takes place this weekend. You want hilarity? Watch Triumph at Westminster. Classic Conan. But I realize that I should give dogs some ink since some might think we are pro-cat by our header picture. Not true. Don't listen to the conservative blogs. We are impartial. If you have a WBEZ logo and a dog, take the picture and <a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/chicagopublicradio/" target="_blank">send it to us</a> and we'll feature it. Heck, it works for WCIU.</p> Mon, 22 Feb 2010 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2010/02/wait-when-did-olympic-hockey-go-all-nhl/15677