Defending Detainees at Guantanamo

Candace Gorman is a civil rights lawyer with an office in Greektown. Who sat down with me to talk about her pro bono work with two of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Picture 8

Photo Credit: Tico

Oktoberfest in Milwaukee

Fred Brewer talks about Oktoberfest and his quest to bring it to Milwaukee.



Photo credit: Nate Falendysz and Augustus F. Sherman

Drinking Larry's Beer (Mini-Podcast)

This is a selection from my interview with Larry Coble, house brewer for the Brew and Grow store. We share a beer, critique it and get the recipe.

If you want to here the rest of Larry's interview or read more about homebrewing check out this and this

You Are Jazz to Me

Friend of the site Ian Randall reads a love poem about "the only truly American art form."

If you like this please you can check out Ian's interview and another poem here.

Beer Man, House Brewer, and Homebrewer: Larry Coble

Long time house brewer for Brew and Grow, Larry Coble talks homebrew, history and hops from a seat next to four five-gallon carboys of brewing beer.

What To Do When You Can’t Control Your Circumstances

By Josh Hanagarne,

Long story short, I am dealing with a horrible case of Tourette’s Syndrome that has resurfaced with a bang after years of being more dormant.

It causes me to injure myself in a lot of different ways, none of them on purpose. But so what? Hopelessness and misery are beneath me, and they are beneath you as well.

Things that used to put me on my back and cripple me are now just making me irritated and productive. Mainly because I have learned to love a good fight.

We all have situations that feel intolerable. Pains that we would rather not bear and can’t figure out. The good news is, anyone can learn to deal with situations and circumstances that they can’t control. You can do it too.

Introduce something that you can control

For me this has meant lifting weights, exercising with kettlebells, learning the guitar, and pushing myself in extreme ways. Anything for a victory. Anything that improves me.

I have no control over the chemicals in my brain. I have no control over my genetics. Those are fights I can’t win unless I choose the battlefield.

When you cannot control a situation, you must introduce elements that you can control. If you build up enough small victories, they’ll trump whatever big setbacks you have.

Things are never so bad that they can’t improve.

Do whatever it takes, but do something. If you are sad, scared, bored, unhealthy, or angry, take steps and do something.

Refuse to be miserable.

Refuse to give in.

Grind your teeth and smile.

Put your head down and do something.

I’ll be doing the same and we’ll eventually be better for it.

About the Author: Josh Hanagarne writes World’s Strongest Librarian, a blog with advice about coping with Tourette’s Syndrome, book recommendations, buying pants when you’re 6’8”, old-time strongman training, and so much more. Please subscribe to Josh’s RSS Update and Stronger, Smarter, Better Newsletter to stay in touch.

From the Editor
I am a huge fan of Josh's and I feel lucky to be able to include such an honest and moving post from him. I hope you all get a chance to enjoy his work again.

Labor Day Play List, Put Your Work In

In honor of Labor Day weekend I am giving you eight songs about working. This list could easily have been a hundred songs long so please add your own in the comments.

Tennesse Ernie Ford - 16 Tons

The list starts with 16 Tons. Of all the many kinds of dangerous, unrewarding and onerous types of manual labor few are more infamous than working in a coal mine, and there is not a better or more known coal mining song than 16 Tons

Desmond Dekker and The Haitians - The Isrealites

Labor as Desmond Dekker thinks of it is not for money, luxury or comfort. "Get up in the morning slaving for bread sir." This song also marks what will be a theme in this list of labor and the plight of the laborer leading to crime.

Masta Ace - On Da Grind

"Is anybody out there on the grind like me?" Its funny how work can make you feel like a mindless cog in a larger machine and at the same time isolated from that machine. But more than a protest against work this song is a cadence for Masta Ace to work to. it's not just about being on the grind its that I'm still on the grind.

Cake - Opera Singer

Ok, an opera singer is a ways from a coal miner, but this song is ultimately about work and how a person profession can define her, or in this case him. "I am an opera singer."

Animals - House of the Rising Sun

While the language in this song is moody and suggestive and this version is sung by a man this song is ultimately about prostitution. The House is a bawdy house. The work is the worlds oldest profession.

Ella Fitzgerald - Love for Sale

Men are not the only ones who labor, and all those who work (male, female or otherwise) have at some point felt as though they were selling themselves. It's that feeling of giving too much of what we to the boss, business or consumer that makes this kind of work a metaphor for all kinds of work.

Sam Cooke - Chain Gang

Sam Cooke took his inspiration for a labor song from prison laborers.

Long John

But, with all respect to Sam Cooke, this is the sound of the men working on the chain gang.

What did I miss? Please, add your suggestions in the comments below.

Tweets and T-Shirts

Noel Burkman and his partners started the website Coin That Phrase in July. Since then his products have been nominated for a Chicago Innovation Award, put in the Emmy Gift Bag, and stood at the center of a growing online community. But, what those products are, is hard to explain. I'll let Noel do it.

Full disclosure: I was offered a free T-shirt for doing this interview, but I probably would have done the interview anyway. Photo Credit:

Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself

This post will cover murderous crack addicts, benign Bouncers, and the ego of a graffiti writer, if you want to skip to the crack heads just play the audio.

Good Morning this is Casey Brazeal for North and Clark. An interview blog that "holds a microphone to Chicagoans who don't often make the media spotlight" (Gapers Block). I am writing this page because I have been getting a lot of new visitors lately and also been seeing some traffic from Site Sketch 101, where I recently wrote an article. If you've never been here before enjoy, if you have think of this like a clip show or Christmas special.

Full Interview

This comes from anthropologist, emerald enthusiast, and my brother Professor Brian Brazeal. The experiences and world Brian talks about in our interview is so distant from anything I have heard about from anyone else -- I had to feature some of his audio here.

Full Interview

Peter Chavez got a scholarship to college through Graffiti, that's not a misprint. He's a graphic designer now. Peter and I sat down at the Borders on Michigan Avenue and talked about his life for an hour, I could have easily stayed for three.

Full Interview

Finally this is a re-edited version of one of my first interviews with my favorite bouncer Dan Jerez. He's a big man with a gentle touch, and the dude-bros of Wrigleyville are lucky to have him. Even if he is dragging them out into the street.

There are new interviews up on the site every week and posts when the mood strikes. The podcast is on itunes, @northandclark is on twitter, and I'm in Chicago. We'll be in touch.

India Pale, Belgian and Scotch Ale Right Here in Lincoln Park

Today, as promised, the recipes for the three beers that I am making or drinking right now.

First, a brief disclaimer: I didn't come up with any of these recipes on my own everything I brewed was either suggested to me or at least tweeked by the good people at Brew and Grow (Lincoln Park's friendly neighborhood brew place).

The beers are Walter's Pale Ale (after the dog), Avers Avenue (after the street), and Toad Spit Stout (after what the guy who wrote that recipe named it). As I described yesterday beer has five primary ingrediants: water, malt, grain, yeast and hops. To give you a sense of some of the different ingredients we used here is a chart.

These three beers represent a diversity of taste, body and style. So far, each of these beers has been delicious. I am not going to walk you through the steps of brewing because we got into that yesterday, but I will leave you with this picture of our first brew's namesake.

Photo Credits:Marie Pavlich and Steve Graue

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