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Derivative Works from Daniel X. O'Neil

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Online Picnics

I got a letter from the Cook County Forest Preserve District today. Seems that they are finally allowing for online permit applications, beginning January 3, 2005 at 6 AM. Last year I got a permit for the O'Neil Family Reunion and I had to go all the way to River Forest, get in line in the basement, and negotiate for a spot I had never seen before. Very analog. Things change.

Jerry Orbach

Lower right picture/ headline with full obit iin section one. Jerry Orbach was the real deal.

Continue reading "Jerry Orbach" »

An Appreciation of Susan Sontag

I just read the most amazing appreciation of Susan Sontag from William Drentel:

For more than twenty-five years I was her son's close friend, her occasional companion for dinner or a movie, and a fellow reader and book collector. I was never among her closest of friends.

But I was her graphic designer.

Read this.


Marlene Schams was born in an elevator in a hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "That's why she had her ups and downs all these years," quipped her father, Donald Schams. Ms. Schams, 45, a single mother and longtime Rogers Park resident who fought hard to give her son better opportunities, died Thursday, Dec. 23, at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago after suffering perforated bowel syndrome and difficulty breathing.

For several years, she worked as a cashier and clerk at a T.J. Maxx store. Later, she worked as a clerk and office administrator at a dialysis clinic and more recently worked at Evanston Hospital, where she answered phones and scheduled appointments. An avid reader who loved mystery novels, she strove to get better jobs and better apartments. Through all the changes, one constant was her love and support for her son, Jeffrey, 14, whose father died when he was a toddler. "Jeffrey was her life," her father said. Ms. Schams attended all of her son's Little League games, sitting on the sidelines screaming encouragement.

"She was a fighter; she was incredibly tough and determined, and she didn't have a lot of breaks in life," said Jonathan Eig, a Chicago-based reporter for The Wall Street Journal, an adult mentor who had helped her son the last six years. Ms. Schams also is survived by a brother, Mark Gary Schams, a stepbrother, Larry McCann, and two stepsisters, Loretta Rupp and Lyda McCann. A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Jewish Waldheim Cemetery at 16th Street and South Harlem Avenue, Forest Park.

John F. Burns

Burns_siteJohn F. Burns is the best writer in American newspapers. That's why I maintain an archive-- currently containing 93 of his most recent articles, going back pretty comprehensively to the beginning of the Iraq war-- over here at http://johnfburns.blogspot.com/. Couple of points I want to make:

  • The New York Times is my favorite publication, the only thing I read every day. It is my literature. They are my heroes. I approach this archive with respect, not disdain
  • I am a practitioner of a form of art-- research art. In the same vein as what my friend Shane Swank is up to in his Stolen Pixels series
  • The act of archiving-- seeing the item, bedding down a spot for it, copying/ pasting the item into the archive-- is my art. Out of all the items from all the newspapers in all the world, I choose these to save & group together
  • What I am making can be considered a "derivative work" of copyrighted material owned by the New York Times Company. I have not sought or obtained permission from them to create such work. I believe that there should be a change in copyright that allows this work without permission. See more here at Derivative Works Manifesto

If John F. Burns asked me to remove this archive from the internet, I would do so. Otherwise, let's get started on making the law match the methods of artists.

Good Will Toward My President

BushI did not vote for him. I do not like him. I cried when he won.

I wish him a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, because we all depend on him for a significant portion of exactly that, our new year.

God help us all.

Hugh McIntyre Was A Librarian

In my effort to publish more posts to this site, and to move past the cleverism of my early link-laden style, I am going to start simply placing links to (and archival copies of the text of) the obituaries of notable people. The obituaries that I have learned much from. The obituaries of people who I believe should be heard from, if even in death.

Hugh McIntyre was a maker of noise music, an influencer of great artists, and a public librarian. A common man who lived a remarkable life.

Continue reading "Hugh McIntyre Was A Librarian" »

Business Trip Night Landing in Cloudy Winter Weather

From the plane I get a low,
brief peek of suburban light formations. I confess
I like rough landings, bursting from tight thick clouds fast,
rocking and barreling toward the runway.

I know I'm alive, over a wet, moving city.

12/10/2004 Fri

Abu L Ghraib

  Abu L Ghraib 
  Originally uploaded by juggernautco.

Does anyone else get an odd, uncomfortable frisson of recognition when you see this new promotional photo from Showtime's "The L Word"?

Does it remind you of this at all?

John Culligan Dies at 88; Led Transformation of American Home

AdvilChange is hard. John Culligan saw a company that made poisons and food as well as drugs, and he said, "hey, how about if we make drugs only?" Nice job, John.


John W. Culligan, who rose from the mailroom to serve as the chief executive of the American Home Products Corporation, maker of familiar medications like Advil, Anacin and Preparation H, died on Dec. 11 at his home in Franklin Lakes, N.J. He was 88.

The cause was pulmonary fibrosis, said a daughter, Nancy C. Jennings.

Mr. Culligan helped American Home begin its transformation from a holding company of unrelated consumer products, like Chef Boyardee and Black Flag ant killer, to primarily a drug maker. The company is now known as Wyeth.

During his tenure as chairman and chief executive, from 1981 to 1986, American Home Products acquired Ives Laboratories and Sherwood Medical and began divesting itself of product lines that were unrelated to medicine.

Previously the company's president for eight years, Mr. Culligan oversaw Advil's conversion in 1984 from a prescription drug to the first over-the-counter ibuprofen medication in the United States.

John William Culligan was born in Newark on Nov. 22, 1916, and joined the mailroom of American Home Products in 1937.

After serving with the United States Army during World War II, he returned to American Home Products and remained there until his retirement in 1986. During the 1960's, he was president and chief operating officer of Whitehall Laboratories, a pharmaceutical division.

Mr. Culligan is survived by three daughters, Nancy C. Jennings, of Fort Washington, Pa., Mary Carol Cannon, of Manhattan, and Elizabeth R. Culligan, of Spring Lake, N.J.; two sons, John J., of Franklin Lakes, N.J., and Neil W., of Newtown, Conn.; and 13 grandchildren. His wife, Rita M. Culligan, died in 1993, and a daughter, Sheila Culligan Kearns, died in 1988.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


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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    • Wesley Willis Art
      Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
    • CTA Alerts
      Wireless notifications about service on the Chicago Transit Authority.
    • Wide Right Turn

      An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.
    • Derivative Works Art Manifesto
      Humans own their experience of copyrighted content.
    • Y!Q Link Generator
      Simple form for creating Y!Q links to add relevance, annotate text, and provide more sophisticated layers of meaning to web content.