In any event, I have rented some educational videos from the Library recently. A Good set of videos is a three part series on the 10 Days that Unexpectedly changed America, by the History Channel. They include the Massacre at Mystic, Shay's Rebellion, McKinley's Assassination and Elvis Presley's debut on National TV.
I think that the series was very well done. My only criticism is that they looked at the events through a somewhat politically correct lens or in a way that denigrated the people at the time for not thinking like 21st century Americans. For example, I thought they were a little too sympathetic to McKinley's assassin. To parents of kids in West Rogers Park or Skokie, who want their kids to learn more about American History, these videos are really good. I would suggest this to teachers and other educational personnel at Arie Crown, Ida Crown, Hannah Sacks and the Skokie Yeshiva High School as well.
I assume (rightly or wrongly) that learning about other cultures in the more �modern� neighborhoods is not an issue. That's why the comments are directed at Rogers Park/Skokie people, but for those living in places like Highland Park and Buffalo Grove, feel free to check these videos out as well.
Visit www.chicagopubliclibrary.org or http://www.historychannel.com/ for more details.
For Chicago sports fans, I suggest, The Best Chicago Sports Arguments, by John Mullin, sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune who covers the Bears beat. It is informative and somewhat controversial. He lists Chet Walker as one of the best forwards in Bulls history over Scottie Pippen. He thinks that Hack Wilson of the 1930 Cubs is the best right-handed hitter in the History of Chicago Baseball. You wouldn't get this opinion from someone who's between 22-38 years old who grew up with Sammy Sosa and Frank Thomas.
Onto Hockey: I haven't said much since the series started. Anaheim won the first two games in the Honda Center and Ottawa won last night at Scotiabank Place to make it a 2-1 series. Tomorrow night is game 4 in Ottawa and Game 5 is Wednesday in California. While I expect Anaheim to win the series, Ottawa will keep it closer because of their top line of Heatly, Spezza and Alfredsson (aka Alfie). Anaheim has better goaltending and they're at home. However, like last year, neither team is a dominant team like those of the 1980's or even the Red Wings of 1997-1998.
Speaking of Detroit, great job last night in game six against the Cavaliers. What a performance by Daniel Gibson with all of those three pointers leading Cleveland to its first NBA Finals trip. Of course, Lebron had a game for the ages on Thursday at the Palace. Besides Jordan's 63 against Boston and Baylor's 61 in the 60's that was one of the best playoff games of all time.
Cleveland is probably one of the least talented teams to make the finals in the last 25 years or so. The 1981 Rockets were Moses Malone and maybe Calvin Murphy and that was it. Good for the city of Cleveland, who has suffered some heart-breaking playoff losses. For some reason, they don't get as much attention for their playoff failures as Boston did or the New York Rangers did.