Your NPR news source

Chicago has a 'Project Batman' and it's hiring

Also: Gun records’ secret,NPR challenge, ‘Star Trek’ revival and unrelated developments.

SHARE Chicago has a 'Project Batman' and it's hiring

YEAH, CHICAGO HAS A ‘PROJECT BATMAN.’Chicago’s analytics director, Tom Schenk Jr. — who kinda looks like Bruce Wayne, doesn’t he? — tells a gathering of journalists, programmers and government leaders the city’s working with the University of Illinois at Chicago to visualize crime data in a 3-D virtual reality “cave.”
* P.S. They’re hiring. (The “Project Manager - DoIT” job.)

‘THE NRA WANTS TO KEEP GUN RECORDS SECRET FROM EVERYONE EXCEPT THE NRA.’ You know those public gun ownership records that have brought shame and death threats to journalists who’ve dared even just to express interest in them? The records the National Rifle Association contends shouldn’t be public because they put gun owners “at risk to criminals who may target their home to steal firearms”? Funny thing: Gun-rights groups, including the NRA, have for years been diving into those records for fundraising and recruiting efforts, according to Gawker.
* For NYC’s Bloomberg, election that nominated Robin Kelly for Congress was mainly about testing political strategy to defang the NRA.
* ... And for Republicans in that race? Guy who did almost 20 years for burglaries, armed robberies and aggravated battery.
* Chicago Magazine‘s Carol Felsenthal: “Bloomberg could be a key funder of a Rahm run for the presidency.”
* “Gun rights” Democrats may pay a price for coziness with NRA.
* Downstate Republican Illinois representative compares gun control to emasculation: “You folks in Chicago want me to get castrated because your families are having too many kids.”

Friday: The next WBEZ Meyerson News Quiz. Take last week’s now.

SHOULD NPR SWEAR OFF GOVERNMENT CASH? National Public Radio’s former CEO says walking away from federal cash would lay to rest questions about the organization’s credibility. He says public radio “would do better” without public financing.
* Countdown to sequestration just latest of many.

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. What some fans consider the best two “Star Trek” episodes ever -- “The Best of Both Worlds” (a.ka. Capt. Picard goes Borg) -- will be shown, newly remastered for Blu-ray, as a single movie on the big screen, one night only, April 25.
* 22 Illinois theaters on list of those screening the episodes.

* The departing Pope Benedict’s future living arrangements are raising eyebrows around the world.
* Nonprofit foundation seeking couple for 501-day roundtrip mission to Mars.

* Suggestions for this blog? Email anytime.
* Get this blog by email, free. Sign up here.

* Follow us on Twitter: @WBEZ and @Meyerson.

The Latest
This weekend, comedians descend on Chicago for the revival of one of the world’s largest improv festivals. No topic is too hot to handle.
The up-and-coming Chicago artist has landed a major commission on the West Side, one of six projects tied to the city’s moment in the national political spotlight.
De La Soul brought their signature energy, Chicago’s Kara Jackson brought the prose and more reviews from Union Park.
The 20th anniversary show comes as the rapper-actor is eyeing an EGOT and releasing an album featuring a duet with girlfriend Jennifer Hudson.
Experiencing a new augmented reality art installation in the park requires a mobile phone — and extra patience.