WBEZ | temperatures http://www.wbez.org/tags/temperatures Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Is there a time and a place for fur? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-01/there-time-and-place-fur-105119 <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/3701084_ac0f914a76.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Flickr/Ti.mo" /><span id="internal-source-marker_0.04910148268735515">A few weeks ago my colleague </span><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/hot-style-cold-city-104770">Leah Pickett</a> wrote a blog post about how to stay warm yet remain fashionable when the temperatures dip, suggesting, to my chagrin, that black puffer coats are démodé (I got one for Christmas and I LOVE it. You will literally have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.)</div><p>I think there are small ways one can try to perk up a winter wardrobe (I choose to express myself with a pair of outlandish teal leather gloves) but at a certain temperature (26 degrees Fahrenheit), it all goes out the window. Earlier this week I walked the dog while wearing polka dot pajama pants over wicking running pants for an extra layer of warmth. Hat head is a small price to pay for an insulated noggin. &nbsp;The company <a href="http://www.sorel.com/Women/women,default,sc.html">Sorel</a> has launched a successful campaign convincing women that bulky, furry snowboots are a fashion statement (successful in that yours truly owns a pair of Helen of Tundra boots a few years ago and will wear them over said pajama pants.)<br /><br />In this vein, I have a theory that in Chicago, anyway, at a certain temperature, animal fur is considered slightly more tolerable.<br /><br />If you pressed me, I couldn&rsquo;t argue why humans should wear fur, just the same way I know deep in my soul that humans probably don&rsquo;t need to eat meat. We do it because it&rsquo;s enjoyable and feels nice and it&rsquo;s one of those ethical issues that, for some, is easy to not worry about. When some of us see a delicious buffalo wing, we don&rsquo;t envision a miserable, trapped chicken and when I wear my very warm fur scarf, it doesn&rsquo;t resemble a terrified, doomed fox (or raccoon? Or coyote? I have no idea.) It&rsquo;s a moral elision, where it&rsquo;s easy not to think too hard about it for those who don&rsquo;t want to.<br /><br />But a lady (or gent! Because I&rsquo;ve seen these guys) wearing a full-length fur coat on the bus in single-degree Chicago temperatures, stirs up far fewer objections, at least in my mind, than observing a fashionable young woman trotting around in a fur vest on Oak Street on a fall day*. The ends maybe do not justify the means but one fur coat looks like survival whereas the other simply is a sign of ostentatiousness. When the temperatures dip, wear what you want: pajamas, fur, a heating blanket plugged into a portable generator, whatever. Then again, perhaps it&rsquo;s not a measure of whether some fur is justified and some is not: perhaps when it&rsquo;s just that cold, one is too busy staying warm to have much of an opinion on what others are wearing.<br /><br />There are plenty of you out there for whom fur is never acceptable in any situation. But are there others out there who let their ethical (or fashionable) guard down the same time the mercury slides down?</p><p>*For some reason, fur looks much less strange on older people than it does on the young.</p></p> Thu, 24 Jan 2013 09:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-01/there-time-and-place-fur-105119 Heat wave leads ComEd to suspend electricity shutoffs http://www.wbez.org/story/heat-wave-leads-comed-suspend-electricity-shutoffs-89494 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-21/ComEd.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Northern Illinois residents behind on their electricity bills don’t have to worry about Commonwealth Edison disconnecting them. They don’t, that is, until the heat wave lets up.</p><p>If a day’s National Weather Service forecast predicts temperatures of at least 95 degrees, Illinois prohibits a big power company from disconnecting homes that depend on the juice to keep cool.</p><p>ComEd spokeswoman Arlana Johnson late Thursday said her company, given the heat, had not cut off any of its residential customers since last week. “We have been evaluating that on a daily basis,” she added.</p><p>The company’s restraint won praise from Elce Redmond, an organizer of the South Austin Coalition, a neighborhood group on Chicago’s West Side that is pushing for an overhaul of utility shutoff policies. “That’s a good first step,” Redmond said. “But, once the weather breaks, are they going to start massive disconnections?”</p><p>At a press conference Thursday afternoon, the coalition demanded a three-month moratorium on shutoffs and, then, more affordable reconnection and repayment terms.</p><p>ComEd responded that it cut off power only as a last resort. “No business can continue to operate if customers don’t pay for the service,” Johnson said.</p><p>During the year’s first six months, ComEd disconnected 46,493 customers for nonpayment and reconnected 28,252, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission. Those figures were up 4.1&nbsp;percent and 28.5&nbsp;percent, respectively, from the same months of 2010.</p></p> Fri, 22 Jul 2011 10:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/heat-wave-leads-comed-suspend-electricity-shutoffs-89494