A home designed by John S. Van Bergen sits in a parking lot while awaiting relocation. Early in his career, Van Bergen worked for Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright's influence is obvious in this example of his work.
The Knights of Malta is a lay Catholic religious order recognized by some nations as kind of, sort of, a sovereign state. Some nations appoint ambassadors to the order and the order appoints its diplomats. It has no real territory, but it has observer status at the UN, issues license plates, stamps, and mints coins and issues international passports. Three passports, to be exact.
The order provides services similar to the work of the Red Cross.
As for the role of the patron, Wikipedia explains that "the patron, who is always a cardinal, has the task of promoting the spiritual interests of the Order and its members, and its relations with the Holy See."
In January 1943 the maternity ward of Ottawa Civic Hospital in which Princess Margriet of the Netherlands was born was temporarily declared to be extraterritorial by the Canadian government. Making the maternity ward outside of the Canadian domain caused it to be unaffiliated with any jurisdiction and technically international territory. This was done to ensure that the newborn Princess would derive her citizenship from her mother only, thus making her solely Dutch.
Similarly in 1945, the birth of Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia happened in Suite 212 of Claridge's Hotel in London, England, United Kingdom, which was temporarily ceded as Yugoslavian territory.
The Catholic Church synod is a soap opera, according to John Allen
Some of the drama: A cardinal (Reinhard Marx) finds the view that doctrine can never change "restrictive," while all-but-ousted Vatican official, Cardinal Burke, is obviously teed off about the synod report, losing his job and Cardinal Marx.
President Obama revealed on Friday that his credit card was declined at a restaurant in New York City while he was in town for the U.N. General Assembly. "It turned out I guess I don't use it enough, so they thought there was some fraud going on," he said with a grin to a roomful of reporters, who roared with laughter. "Fortunately Michelle had hers."
The reason for declining the card makes the story seem plausible, but it's possible that he was joking.
This morning, I arrived at the State and Grand underground station to find several blocks around Illinois and Clark St in Chicago closed because of a suspicious package. Earlier today, a building at O'Hare was evacuated because of a suspicious package.
At first I thought it was a TV or movie shoot, but I asked a reporter who told me what was going on. I took a few photos at a distance, but didn't have the right lens and, anyway, I can't upload photos right now. Maybe I'll post something later.
Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist cultural critic, has for months received death and rape threats from opponents of her recent work challenging the stereotypes of women in video games. Bomb threats for her public talks are now routine. One detractor created a game in which players can click their mouse to punch an image of her face.
Not until Tuesday, though, did Ms. Sarkeesian feel compelled to cancel a speech, planned at Utah State University. The day before, members of the university administration received an email warning that a shooting massacre would be carried out at the event. And under Utah law, she was told, the campus police could not prevent people with weapons from entering her talk.
A Chicago man whose high-speed crash killed a passenger over the weekend was convicted of another death while driving drunk on the South Side two decades ago, Cook County prosecutors alleged Tuesday.
Dwayne Montgomery, 37, who has a history of DUI convictions, had a blood alcohol content nearly four times the legal limit after the Saturday afternoon crash, prosecutors said. He has never been issued a driver's license, according to the Illinois secretary of state's office.
Montgomery crashed into a light pole about 1 p.m. while driving his girlfriend's Dodge Intrepid at high speed in the 8100 block of South Chicago Avenue, shearing off the passenger side of the car and severing his passenger's right arm, Assistant State's Attorney Alex Molesky said. The car then went airborne and struck a parked Honda Pilot, she said.
Just speculating, but Montgomery might have a drinking problem.
A home with prime views of the third and fourth holes at Whitmoor Country Club has been vacant for two years because of a creepy crawly problem. The home was infested with between 4,500 and 6,000 brown recluse spiders, according to one estimate. The previous homeowners abandoned the 2,400-square-foot atrium ranch after years of pesticide treatments didn't curb the invasion. The home went into foreclosure and hasn't sold, apparently because no one wanted to live with its history.
Blue-and-orange striped tarps covered the house this week as an exterminator blasted the spiders and eggs with 200 pounds of sulfuryl flouride gas, pumped in at 67 degrees below zero.
I just read Rot Riot and Rebellion, about the founding and first decades of the University of Virginia. Those early UVA students make today's college students look like models of responsibility and decorum. They were so bad they made Thomas Jefferson cry.
Yesterday, I received a recorded phone message from a credit card company after a suspicious transaction was flagged. Turned out to be nothing, but the message amused me.
The message pronounced my first name with an American accent and my last name with an Italian or Spanish accent, similar to the way NPR people conspicuously pronounce Spanish names with a Spanish accent. I listened to the message several times and the pronunciation sounded more Italian than Spanish to me, but it could have been a machine attempt at Spanish.