WBEZ | Chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Here's why they call this the corpse flower http://www.wbez.org/science-friday/2015-08-27/heres-why-they-call-corpse-flower-112750 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/corpseflower.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>A rotten stench has been wafting through a greenhouse at the Denver Botanic Gardens &mdash; and visitors are all too eager to breathe it in. Who knows if they&rsquo;ll ever get a second chance?&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="This corpse flower in Denver has now died, but another in Chicago is about to bloom. " src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/13465-v1-480x.JPG?itok=m5MCplbT" style="text-align: center; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;" title="This corpse flower in Denver has now died, but another in Chicago is about to bloom. (Scott Dressel-Martin)" /></div><div>The odiferous offender is a plant native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra and known commonly as the &quot;corpse flower&quot; &mdash; for reasons that are pungently apparent when it starts blooming. At that point, it becomes a botanical stink bomb, emitting a noisome odor evolved to attract certain beetles and flies, which unwittingly spread the plant&rsquo;s pollen. All told, the blooming process can take about 36 hours and won&#39;t happen again for years &mdash; if ever.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s something that is potentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see,&rdquo; says Nick Snakenberg, curator of tropical plants at the Denver Botanic Gardens. &ldquo;We made the mistake of saying it might bloom on [August] 16th, and we had people lined up at the gate.&rdquo; The garden has several corpse flowers, but this is this particular flower&#39;s debut bloom. The process started on Tuesday evening and finished on Thursday. This week, a corpse flower is expected to bloom in Chicago.</div><div>The corpse flower belongs to the same family as common houseplants such as philodendrons and peace lilies. But unlike its more domestic cousins, the place you&rsquo;ll most likely find this tropical species &mdash; which can reach 15 to 20 feet in its vegetative state, according to Snakenberg &mdash; is in university and botanical garden collections. In the floral stage, the plant is shorter.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It takes a lot of energy, and a long time, to build up a bloom. When a corpse flower finally starts the process &mdash; the Denver specimen is an estimated 12 or 13 years old &mdash; a leaf-like sheath called a spathe unfurls, revealing a ruffly, burgundy interior that starkly contrasts with the plant&rsquo;s green exterior. In its fanciful shape and two-toned hues, the structure is reminiscent of a weird hat you might see in a Tim Burton film.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But the plant&rsquo;s true centerpiece is a fleshy, protruding structure called the spadix, which inspired its scientific name, Amorphophallus titanum. Translation? &ldquo;The giant misshapen phallus,&rdquo; says Snakenberg. The spadix also heats up, probably as a way to better waft the stench to would-be pollinators.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Out of sight at the base of the spadix hides the actual flower &mdash; or flowers, to be more precise. In fact, the corpse flower is the largest unbranched inflorescence, or collection of individual flowers, on earth. The female flowers mature first, followed by the male ones, which produce the pollen that the insects collect.</div><p><img alt="The corpse flower draws crowds eager to smell it's awful odor" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/13466-v1-250x.JPG?itok=OyLOUZew" style="float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="The corpse flower draws crowds eager to smell it's awful odor. (Scott Dressel-Martin)" /></p><div>The odor that emanates from the flowers is a putrid potpourri of chemicals, explains Todd Brethauer, a science education volunteer at the United States Botanic Garden, in a video produced by the American Chemical Society. Characteristic molecules include dimethyl trisulfide, &ldquo;which you can sort of describe as the smell of rotting onions or rotting cabbage,&rdquo; says Brethauer, as well as trimethylamine, &ldquo;which is the essence of rotting fish,&rdquo; and isovaleric acid &mdash; &ldquo;essentially the smell of old sweat socks.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Given the plant&rsquo;s fetid scent, why do visitors come in droves to sniff and see? &ldquo;I think people have a similar reaction to this as they would to, say, a roller coaster ride or a haunted house or something like that,&rdquo; says Snakenberg. &ldquo;I think it&#39;s just wanting this sensory overload in a safe environment. A shock to the system.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But maybe those visceral thrills will translate into something with staying power &mdash; at least, that&rsquo;s what Snakenberg hopes, anyway.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In the way that big cats and bears excite zoo goers about the animal kingdom, &ldquo;I think having plants like the Amorphophallus titanum species in our collection is a real strong tool to excite people about plants,&rdquo; he says, &ldquo;and when we get excited about plants and about animals, we get excited about conserving them in the wild and protecting their environments. And when we protect the megaflora and the megafauna, just by default, we&rsquo;re protecting everything else that lives in those environments&rdquo; &mdash; the stinky, the sweet and all that&#39;s in between.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&mdash;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-08-26/when-corpse-flowers-bloom-people-flock" target="_blank"><em>Science Friday</em></a></div></p> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/science-friday/2015-08-27/heres-why-they-call-corpse-flower-112750 Chicago Police wraps up listening tour http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-21/chicago-police-wraps-listening-tour-112438 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/listening tour APFile.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last night was the final stop for Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy&rsquo;s listening tour. This one took place on the city&rsquo;s south side: Temple of Glory Church on 95th Street in the Roseland neighborhood. Most of these dozen or so meetings have taken place in churches and, like every other meeting, this one was invite only. WBEZ&rsquo;s Patrick Smith was at last night&rsquo;s event. He joins us with a recap of the listening tour and an update on what happens next. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-21/chicago-police-wraps-listening-tour-112438 How Chicago can strengthen Chinese business ties http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-20/how-chicago-can-strengthen-chinese-business-ties-112425 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/shanghai Wilson Hui.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215538320&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><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Since taking office, Mayor Emanuel has made a big push to lure Chinese companies and investors to Chicago &mdash; and to ramp up business ties between our city and cities like Beijing and Shanghai.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">In fact, just this weekend, the delegation that Chicago sent on a trade mission to China for the second time on the mayor&rsquo;s watch has returned home. Here to talk about what Chicago needs to do to cater to Chinese businesses and to talk about the city&rsquo;s efforts when it comes to China is Tracy Xu, president of the Chicago-based China Executive Club. China Executive Club is a non-profit group that serves the needs of Chinese companies doing business in Chicago and the Midwest.</span></p></p> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 11:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-20/how-chicago-can-strengthen-chinese-business-ties-112425 Eastland disaster, 100 years later http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-20/eastland-disaster-100-years-later-112424 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Eastland vxla.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215536968&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><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">It was going to be a fun filled day off in Michigan City, Indiana for thousands of workers of the former Western Electric Hawthorne Works Plant in Cicero. An annual summer employee picnic had been gaining in popularity since 1900 and in 1915 the number of people who wanted to attend swelled to 7,000, so more ships were needed to ferry passengers to the site. One of the steamers was the SS Eastland, also known as the Speed Queen of the Great Lakes. More than 2,500 passengers boarded her in the early morning of July 24...but tragically the ship never made it to its destination. In fact...it barely left the harbor before capsizing. More than 800 people died. We remember the disaster with Russell Lewis, Executive Vice President and chief historian of The Chicago History Museum.</span></p></p> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-20/eastland-disaster-100-years-later-112424 Cook County Board approves sales tax hike http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-16/cook-county-board-approves-sales-tax-hike-112404 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/sales tax Perspecsys Photos.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215012189&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><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">The Cook County Board has approved a 1 percentage point sales tax hike in order to keep up with pension payments. Some are calling it the &quot;Toni tax&quot; after board president Toni Preckwinkle. Many businesses and civic leaders across the northwest suburbs in areas close to Lake, Kane, McHenry and DuPage counties are against the increase. They&#39;re concerned that shoppers will simply head over the county line to save money. Elk Grove Village did an analysis that showed it would lose a massive chunk of change if the sales tax increased. We speak with Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson.&nbsp;</span></p></p> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-16/cook-county-board-approves-sales-tax-hike-112404 20th anniversary of the Chicago heat wave http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-14/20th-anniversary-chicago-heat-wave-112377 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/heat k.draper.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214692521&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><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">We bring you the story of what was happening on the ground as the number of heat wave victims escalated. We talk to Cory Franklin, who was the director of medical intensive care at Cook County Hospital, and Roy Dames, who was executive officers of the medical examiner&rsquo;s office. They discuss the difficulty in getting city officials to understand the severity of the crisis, and that deaths were reaching unprecedented levels.&nbsp;</span></p></p> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 11:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-14/20th-anniversary-chicago-heat-wave-112377 FBI watches as ISIS recruits in Chicagoland http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-13/fbi-watches-isis-recruits-chicagoland-112368 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214562183&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-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit;">FBI watches as ISIS recruits in Chicagoland</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);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">The Islamic State has been recruiting young Muslims around the country, including the Chicago area where arrests have garnered national and even international attention. Chicago Reader&rsquo;s Mick Dumke reports on the tactics law enforcement has used to snare suspects...who in some instances could have developmental deficiencies and mental health issues. Dumke details the cases where these tactics are at play.</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);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit;"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/mickeyd1971">Mick Dumke</a> is a reporter with the</em> Chicago Reader.</span></span></p></p> Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-13/fbi-watches-isis-recruits-chicagoland-112368 Bad Jews play explores faith and family http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-07/bad-jews-play-explores-faith-and-family-112332 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Centre-East-Interior-2009_low-res.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213654507&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><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">Bad Jews play explores faith and family</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Bad Jews tells the story of Daphna Feygenbaum, a 20-something &ldquo;real Jew&rdquo; with an Israeli boyfriend. When Daphna&rsquo;s cousin Liam brings home his shiksa girlfriend Melody and declares ownership of their grandfather&rsquo;s Chai necklace, a vicious brawl over family, faith and legacy ensues. Playwright Joshua Harmon joins Morning Shift to talk about the themes behind his play. We also hear from director Jeremy Wechsler and actress Laura Lapidus who takes on the role of Daphna.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>Guests:</strong> <em>Playwright&nbsp;</em></span><em><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Joshua Harmon, director&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Jeremy Wechsler, and lead actress Laura Lapidus</span></em></p></p> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 10:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-07/bad-jews-play-explores-faith-and-family-112332 Futures guru reflects on the end of open outcry trading in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/futures-guru-reflects-end-open-outcry-trading-chicago-112321 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/mercweb_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213498822&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_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">Futures guru reflects on the end of open outcry trading in Chicago</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Monday July 6th is the last day of action for many of the trading pits at the Chicago Board of Trade. The S&amp;P futures and options pits will remain open, but the rest of the pits at the nation&rsquo;s oldest futures exchange are going dark as more trading moves online. Electronic trading has its benefits, but it will never match the sheer frenzy of a hundred traders in color-coordinated jackets flashing their hand signals and yelling to get a leg up on a competitor. Morning Shift talks with Leo Melamed, chairman emeritus of CME Group, formerly known as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange about his history with the pits.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="http://www.leomelamed.com/">Leo Melamed</a> is chairman emeritus of CME Group.&nbsp;</em></span></p></p> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 10:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/futures-guru-reflects-end-open-outcry-trading-chicago-112321 An anthropological look at Chicago's trading pits http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/anthropological-look-chicagos-trading-pits-112322 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/mercweb_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213497925&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><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">An anthropological look at Chicago&#39;s trading pits</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Monday July 6th is the last day of open outcry trading in many of the trading pits at the Chicago Board of Trade. In this interview with NYU cultural anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom, we take an anthropological look at the pits and ask the question: Why did Chicago come to define futures trading? Zaloom is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/caitlinzaloom">Caitlin Zaloom</a>, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University and author of </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Out-Pits-Traders-Technology-Chicago/dp/0226978141">Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London</a><em>.&nbsp;</em></span></p></p> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 10:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/anthropological-look-chicagos-trading-pits-112322