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Derivative Works de Daniel X. O'Neil


July 13, 2011

This Page Has Moved. [ TypePad --> WordPress ]

So I ported this site, with more 1,200 posts over 8 years, over to Wordpress. The URL is the same (http://www.derivativeworks.com/), but the RSS feed has changed (http://www.derivativeworks.com/feed).

I'll leave the lament for later (I was and sort of always will be a TypePad fanboy), but for now I'll just say that the design flexibility and built-in features of the 30 or so WordPress sites I've built finally just caught up with my own personal home.

Please update and let me know if you do— it's always nice to hear from old friends after you've moved!

June 23, 2011

The Sadness of Deferred Maintenance at the State of Illinois Building

I have always loved goofball architecture. I can't pass a Brutalist structure without stopping to marvel at it.

And there was nothing goofier than the State of Illinois Building (160 North LaSalle St.) when it opened in 1985. I went by there the other day and was bummed to see how muffed up the place was. Here's a complete set of pics, and here's some examples:

Paint scraped off glass panels:

The Cost of Deferred Maintenance at the State of Illinois Building

Evidence of at least one vehicle impact:

The Cost of Deferred Maintenance at the State of Illinois Building

Some serious lime issues:

The Cost of Deferred Maintenance at the State of Illinois Building

Phantom cutouts:

The Cost of Deferred Maintenance at the State of Illinois Building

The Dubuffet isn't doing all that well either:

The Cost of Deferred Maintenance at the State of Illinois Building

I know there are some issues with budget here in our state, and we have many human needs, but we can do better than this, no?

June 22, 2011

The News The Day Before: Anwar Sadat's Assassination

I love the New York Times archive.

Since I get the paper delivered to my doorstep every morning, I get access to every word they've published since 1851. If I were a smarter person (or at least an actual coder), I would use their API tools to do all sorts of things, including the automation of my NYT Anonymity Project.

But earier this week it was the elevation of Ayman al-Zawahri to be the new leader of Al Qaeda that made me think of another thing I like to do: look up what happened the day before.

Zawahri had a major role in the assasination of Anwar Sadat. The news coverage surrounding that event always struck me, because it was so brazen and surprising— he was killed monitoring a military parade in hos own country.

So I wondered what the NYT had to say about the killing of Sadat and— maybe more enlightening— what the had to say the day before. Here are the stories they filed in the days before Sadat was killed:

President Anwar el-Sadat tonight strongly urged the United States...his National Democratic Party, Mr. Sadat criticized opposition to the Awacs sale...Arabia, one of its friends?'' Mr. Sadat asked. The Saudis, Mr. Sadat said...

October 1, 1981 - By WILLIAM E. FARRELL, Special to the New York Times - World - 403 words

President Anwar el-Sadat today sent his Vice President on a hurried...tomorrow, officials here said. Mr. Sadat told reporters that Mr. Mubarak was...to the security of the region, Mr. Sadat replied, ''No comment.'' Egyptian...

October 2, 1981 - By WILLIAM E. FARRELL, Special to the New York Times - World - 559 words

...American officials in Khartoum. Sadat Supports the Sudan Officials in Washington said that President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypthad frequently taken it...its neighbor to the south. Mr. Sadat sent Mr. Mubarak to Washington to...

October 3, 1981 - By BERNARD GWERTZMAN, Special to the New York Times - World - 571 words

And here's the story on the day Sadat was assasinated:

By WILLIAM E. FARRELL, Special to the New York Times
Published: October 6, 1981

CAIRO, Oct. 5— President Gaafar al-Nimeiry of the Sudan dissolved his country's two parliaments today in a move that Sudanese officials described as a further step in Mr. Nimeiry's plan to decentralize power in the vast and troubled nation.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Nimeiry's step was related to the crisis between the Sudan and Libya. For several weeks now, there have been skirmishes on the Sudan's western border with Chad, where Libyan troops have been stationed since December and have aided one side in the Chadian civil war. There have also been charges from Sudanese officials that Libyan planes have been raiding Sudanese border towns.

On Thursday, President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt, which has a mutual defense pact with the Sudan, sent Vice President Hosni Mubarak on a hurried missi on to Washington to press the Reagan Administration for a quick infus ion of American arms to the Sudan. The Egyptians assert that the Sovi et Union backs aggression by the Libyan Government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi against the Nimeiry regime. U.S. Aid Not Yet Approved

The Reagan Administration, which has pledged to help any country threatened by Libya, requested $100 million for the Sudan earlier this year, but the money has not yet been authorized. The previous United States military loan was $30 million.

Today Mr. Sadat affirmed his intention to intervene if the Sudan is attacked by ''the maniac Qaddafi,'' and repeated his contention that Mr. Qaddafi was acting with the sanction of the Soviet Union. Mr. Sadat's remarks were made in Mayo, the news magazine of the ruling National Democratic Party.

In Khartoum, a statement from the official Sudanese press agency, Suna, said that the nation's two parliaments were being dissolved. One of them is in the north and the other is in the south, which has been autonomous since 1972.

The statement said that new elections for a smaller National People's Assembly in the north would take place in 60 days. The other parliament, called the Southern Region People's Assembly, would have six months to call new elections, according to Suna. Decentralization at Issue

As part of Mr. Nimeiry's decentralization plan, the new National Assembly, which now has 366 members, would have a total of 155 members and would delegate responsibilities to the provinces in matters such as health, education and welfare.

Mr. Nimeiry, who has survived about half a dozen coup attempts in a dozen years in office, has used decentralization in an effort to end civil strife.

The Sudan is Africa's largest and probably most culturally disparate nation, with 18 million people scattered over nearly a million square miles. It has more than 1,000 languages and tribal dialects.

In today's move, Mr. Nimeiry said that the elections in the south, which is Christian and animist, would determine if the residents there wanted to follow the decentralization example of the Moslem north.

An unanswered question here tonight was whether Mr. Nimeiry's dissolution of the legislative bodies was related to his troubles with Mr. Qaddafi, which have been accentuated since the Sudan resumed relations with Egypt a few months ago after a break because of Mr. Sadat's signing of the peace treaty with Israel. '76 Libyan Plot Failed

In 1976, a Libyan-backed army of mercenaries attempted to oust Mr. Nimeiry but failed. Another sign that Mr. Nimeiry may be girding for a confrontation with Libya was the appointment two days ago of the chief of the Sudan state security organization, Gen. Omar Mohammad Tayeb, as the nation's third vice president.

In recent days there have been reports out of the Sudan of arms smuggling into the nation and of attempts by Libya to once again recruit an army of disaffected Sudanese to try to topple Mr. Nimeiry. There were reports out of Khartoum today th at Sudanese workers in Libya were being pressured into joining a gro up called the Salvation Army to strike at Mr. Nimeiry. The Sudanese p ress agency said that hundreds of Sudanese workers were leaving Lib ya and quoted some of them as saying that the Libyans threatened to torture them unless they joined.

This was the news the day before.

June 18, 2011

Lincoln Marsh in Early Summer

There is a wonderful lushness to this marsh right now. The rain you served us well.

Lincoln Marsh, June 16, 2011: Heightened Wonder Vista

The reeds are thin and green, but with one ripe orange one here:

Lincoln Marsh, June 16, 2011: Rare Ripe Reed

And here's what I'm pretty sure is a Black-headed Grosbeak:

Lincoln Marsh, June 16, 2011: Black-headed Grosbeak?

Here's the complete set. Marshes and prairies are our oceans here in Illinois. Breathe them in.

June 16, 2011

Prentice Hospital is Worth Saving

NorthwesternUniversityFormerPrenticeWomensHospital-00904-002a There's a lot going on around Prentice Women's Hospital (250 East Superior Street) right now. It was made in 1974, but I think it deserves protection as a historic place. I love the sublime honeycomb structure-- it makes me remember that it's possible to build something fresh. That not everything has to fit the box. Also: both of my tiny little babies were born there.

Here's a copy/ paste from an email from Landmarks Illinois:

Old Prentice Hospital
The effort to save this modernist gem (1974) by architect Bertrand Goldberg now has the attention of the nation.

On June 16th, "old" Prentice Hospital was named one of the "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The announcement was made by Vince Michael (above), a member of Landmarks Illinois Board of Directors and a Trustee of the National Trust. Other speakers included LI's President Jim Peters, Preservation Chicago's Jonathan Fine, and AIA-Chicago's Zurich Esposito.

The four groups, along with docomomo-Midwest, are members of the Save Prentice Coalition, which was organized to help preserve this hospital building at 333 E. Superior St., Chicago. The building's owner, Northwestern University, has said it plans to demolish the building after it is vacated later this year.  

Below are a few photos from the "Save Prentice" rally, which was held in conjunction with the "11 Most" announcement.


What You Can Do 

 Thanks for your support.

Save Prentice Rally
Prentice Rally
Rally participants included people born at the hospital.
Click Here to Donate
God bless Prentice Women's Hospital.



Wrapping Up the AldermanicWebsites Project


Notes from the Champions of Change — Open Innovators Event at the White House


So Apparently I Am A White House Champion of Change for Open Innovation

06/ 9/11

North Avenue Beach in Calm

06/ 7/11

Deep Dive: City of Chicago Payments Data


In Praise of Gil Scott-Heron


Bill Cunnigham is an Amazing Artist and Bill Cunnigham New York is a Great Film


Amazing Mural at the Zingo Express/ BP Amoco in Knox, Indiana


Architecture of Wabash, Indiana


In Praise of Invasives


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Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


EveryBlock: A news feed for your block.
CTA Tweet: Unofficial Twitter tracker for the Chicago Transit Authority.
CityPayments: Database of all vendors, contracts, and payments that have been posted by the municipal government of the City of Chicago
Wesley Willis Art: Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.


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