home * about me * resume
Derivative Works from Daniel X. O'Neil

« April 2005 | Main | June 2005 »

Merv Griffin and Eva Gabor Appearing Prominently Heterosexual at the Opening of the Reagan Library, by Robert Christy. Artist

When I read this entry at Gawker about Nancy Reagan and Merv Griffin stepping out to see Spamalot, I was reminded of this classic piece of art by my friend the artist Robert Christy.

Bob is currently travelling in the West to do more painting, but you can usually catch him selling amazingly detailed and intense paintings on Ebay.

Donald H. Ryan, 80, Entrepreneur in Repair, Is Dead - New York Times

Wolfgang saxon is one of the best at writing obits for unsung leaders. Donald H. Ryan made his money by doing the little things in a place where people stopped doing them.

Donald H. Ryan, 80, Entrepreneur in Repair, Is Dead

Published: May 30, 2005

Donald Hillsdon Ryan, an American entrepreneur with a Harvard M.B.A. degree who built an overseas network of quick-fix repair franchises in busy cities, died on May 9 at his home in London. He was 80 and also had a residence in the Bahamas.

The death was announced by his family.

More Wide Right Turn

  Plain Yellow Mudflap 
  Originally uploaded by juggernautco.

I've been updating my Wide Right Turn initiative on Flickr. I now have 32 completely different examples of Wide Right Turn signs on the backs of trucks.

This, in addition to 45 images over here. 77 and counting.

Again, Wide Right Turn is all about the role of variation in capitalist society and the creativity that people express when they seek to express the came exact concept across time and space.

God bless us all.

Decaying on Laurels

The NYT always has an array of archival obituaries available on its website, and it is always insightful to read them. Here's the one for J. Edgar Hoover. It shows that he started his 1/2 century tenure with startling innovation and pretty much coasted from there.

Mr. Hoover's power was a compound of performance and politics, publicity and personality. At the base of it all, however, was an extraordinary record of innovation and modernization in law enforcement--most of it in the first decade or so of his tenure.

The centralized fingerprint file (the print total passed the 200-million mark this year) at the Identification Division (1925) and the crime laboratory (1932) are landmarks in the gradual application of science to police work. The National Police Academy (1935) has trained the leadership elite of local forces throughout the country. Mr. Hoover's recruitment of lawyers and accountants, although they now make up only 32 percent of the special agent corps, set a world standard of professionalism.

Husband Without the Hassle

  Husband Without the Hassle 
  Originally uploaded by juggernautco.

I always like seeing goofball names for businesses. They always seem vestigal to me, harking back to a less cynical, pre-ironic economic time period. Here's a handyman/ maintenance business in the western suburbs of Chicago called "Husband Without the Hassle"

The Difference Makers

One of the fundamental things I'm interested in with my /obits/ obsessions is what type of contributions to the world are worthy of publishing the day after you die? One type is the improvement. It's one thing to be Charles Richter and come up with the Richter Scale.

It's another to improve such things incrementally, less eponymously.

Keiiti Aki, 75, Is Dead; Developed a Way to Measure the Strength of an Earthquake - New York Times.

He was widely known for his concept of the "seismic moment," which he developed in the 1960's as a means of measuring the magnitude of earthquakes.

While studying a huge earthquake that struck Niigata, Japan, in 1964, Dr. Aki devised a calculation that considers the area affected by an earthquake, the rigidity of the underlying rock and the distance the rocks slip.

The result - the seismic moment - is a measure of the energy released by an earthquake, and is used in addition to the moment magnitude scale, now the standard measurement announced to the public after disasters like the earthquake-generated tsunamis in December.

New Website: housingfroth.com

GreenspanYesterday I launched a new website, www.housingfroth.com. I bought it based on  recent comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan about "froth" in the housing market.

I like the poetic cadence of "housing froth" and I'm thinking this is as good a topic as any to track the effect of weblog posts on search engine rankings for obscure but potentially popular terms.

Here's some text from the NYT story on his comments:

Mr. Greenspan has tried to avoid second-guessing the markets. In 1996, he suggested that the stock prices had been pumped up by "irrational exuberance."

But after a brief spasm of anxiety, investors drove prices higher for three more years. Mr. Greenspan has been criticized by some for failing to pre-emptively puncture the stock market bubble, which burst in March 2000, and some analysts criticize the Federal Reserve now for creating a housing bubble.

Raleigh, North Carolina: Architecture of Fayetteville Street

  Raleigh, NC Architecture 4 
  Originally uploaded by juggernautco.

I traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina quite a bit for business last year. Here's an annotated look at some of the downtown architecture in Raleigh.

Here's a pretty detailed take on the area in question.

And here's a crazy-detailed architectural survey of Raleigh from 1992.

North Park Nature Center Chicago

One of my favorite places in Chicago is The North Park Nature Center. It is a huge expanse of land in the middle of the city with all sorts of hills, prairies, and ponds.

There is one spot there I like the most-- on a bridge over a wetlands area with a bank of trees on a slight incline. In the fall of 2003 I went there 4 times in a month to take the exact same pictures in the exact same position so I could see the changes in the on that panorama. With the glories of Flickr egging me on, I finally got around to publishing these photos from September 10, October 2, October 6, and October 11, 2003 as well as February 25 and March 30, 2004.

Here's a comparative look at all panoramas.

Here's the description of the Nature Center from the City of Chicago:

North Park Village Nature Center is located on the northwest side of Chicago and includes a forty-six acre nature preserve and also an educational facility. The Nature Center and preserve are situated within the North Park Village complex, a cluster of buildings located on approximately 155 acres of land.

The nature preserve features trails that wind through woodlands, wetlands, praire and savannas. A discovery room, a hands-on table of natural objects and interactive displays are highlights of the Nature Center. Programs offered include public programs for pre-schoolers, school age children, families and adults; an eco-explorers summer camp and outreach programs.

Lockport, IL, September 2003-- Canal Building

Lockport, IL is a cool little town founded in 1830. It is one of those key cogs in the rise of commerce that is easy to forget.

I spent a couple hours in Lockport in September 2003 before an appointment. Here are some pics.

Here's some text from their city website:

Lockport's rich canal heritage of the 1800's can be re-discovered with a stroll amidst the native stone warehouses along the canal, in the first lock built on this important waterway (left), and in shadows cast by a setting sun on Lockport's unique architecture.

If you seek the allure and the peace and quiet of earlier times, you are invited to discover Lockport's history--and the canal that made possible the growth of Chicago.  Settlers, and trade to the Midwest, came by way of the Erie Canal, Great Lakes, and the       I&M Canal--the first navigable link to the Mississippi River.  The City of Lockport is one of the best preserved canal sites in existence today.


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.


    follow me on Twitter





    • 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.