Fittest loser

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  • Shalyn Walker and Christina Gonzales, both of Aurora, talk over drinks at Black Door Pub in Aurora.

    Aurora pub caters to sports fans, beer loversApr 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    Black Door Pub took over McCue’s former location in Aurora in June, offering locals a new place to watch sports and fights while enjoying some craft beers. With regular specials and DJs spinning all weekend long, the spot brings in regulars even when there’s nothing exciting on TV.

  • Inspector’s repeat customer requires second look at same houseApr 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. One of the homes I inspected three years ago is now being resold, and the buyers want me to do the inspection. The seller, therefore, was the buyer who hired me three years ago. So I’m wondering if taking this job would be a conflict of interest, especially if there are differences in the findings of the two reports. What do you think about this?

  • Homemade drain cleaners may do the trickApr 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    Commercial drain cleaners usually are safe to use on your home’s pipes, but a simple homemade concoction can work just as well — saving you money and the environment at the same time.

  • Easy plan for a catch basin to collect rainApr 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    Want free water for your garden? Make your own rain barrel, and harvest water for your garden. It’s easier than you might think.

  • If you’ want to buy, it maybe time to get off the sidelinesApr 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    Are you on the home buying sidelines this spring because you think you won’t be able to qualify for a mortgage? Do you know what sort of FICO credit scores are being accepted by lenders at the moment — they’re lower than they were a year ago — and whether yours could now be good enough?

  • This home on South Mallard Drive is typical of those found in Palatine’s Hunting Ridge neighborhood.

    Palatine’s Hunting Ridge in neighborhood profileApr 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    When Tracy and John Bongiorno looked at a home backing to the Fremd High School football field, they loved the lively, festive atmosphere of the band practicing outside. The couple said Palatine schools played a role in their decision to purchase a home in the Hunting Ridge subdivision.

  • Lydia Loveless has turned heads with her brash and smart brand of country rock.

    Music notes: American English celebrates the Fab 4Apr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    American English brings its renowned re-creation of the Beatles and their music to Durty Nellie's this weekend, and rising country-rock star Lydia Loveless makes a raucous stop in the city.

  • Amber (Kate Upton, left), Carly (Cameron Diaz) and Kate (Leslie Mann) join forces in “The Other Woman.”

    ‘Other Woman’ serves up generic comic revenge taleApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    “The Other Woman,” a misbegotten pseudo-feminist revenge comedy, bears traces of a lineage that includes such now-near-classics as “9 to 5” and “The First Wives Club.” The premise — a group of wronged women confecting revenge on a caddish man — hews faithfully to Hollywood’s most cherished cake-and-eat-it proposition, wherein a film can make its female characters as shrewish, ditsy and desperate as it wants without fear of recrimination because, no matter how bad the gals look, the guys look worse.

  • Jonas Armstrong, left, and Mark Wells star in the fact-based World War II drama “Walking With the Enemy.”

    ‘Walking’ a true story from WWII BudapestApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Some true stories are so dramatic, it doesn’t take much to transform them into movies. That’s the case with the exploits of Pinchas Tibor Rosenbaum. A Jewish man living in Budapest during World War II, he dressed as an officer of the Arrow Cross — the country’s fascist pro-Nazi group — to get information and save thousands of lives. And yet Mark Schmidt’s directorial debut, “Walking With the Enemy,” applies a heavy dose of melodrama to this retelling of Rosenbaum’s story, piling on the schmaltz and taking unnecessary liberties with the facts.

  • This bronze statue of Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert will be unveiled Thursday outside the Virginia Theatre in Champaign where Ebert held his annual film festival. Ebert died in April 2013.

    Bronze statue of Roger Ebert unveiled at EbertfestApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Roger Ebert’s final blog posting last April ended with his hopeful sign-off: “I’ll see you at the movies.” The award-winning film critic died two days later. Visitors to the central Illinois theater that hosts the annual “Ebertfest” film festival he started now may feel like they saw him at the movies. A life-sized bronze statue of the longtime Chicago Sun-Times critic was unveiled Thursday outside the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, which is next to Urbana where Ebert grew up.

  • It’s a boy for Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis. A spokeswoman for the “Tron: Legacy” actress said the couple welcomed son Otis Alexander on Sunday.

    Olivia Wilde, Jason Sudeikis welcome baby boyApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    It’s a boy for Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis. A spokeswoman for the “Tron: Legacy” actress confirms the couple welcomed son Otis Alexander on Sunday.

  • An undercover cop (Paul Walker) goes on a mission to save 2018 Detroit in “Brick Mansions.”

    Paul Walker’s last completed movie racked and packed with action Apr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Fans of the late Paul Walker will probably be pleased with the action and stunts in “Brick Mansions.” Its nonstop chases and insane gunfire exchanges don’t allow for a millisecond of boredom. Nonetheless, first-time director Camille Delemarre’s thriller is a pallid and disappointing Hollywoodized copy of Pierre Morel’s kick-butt French thriller “District B13” with athletic David Belle.

  • Psychology professor Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris) turns to unorthodox methods to treat unstable Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke) in “The Quiet Ones.”

    ‘Quiet Ones’ relies on style over storyApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Paying homage in style and theme to the vintage horror movies of the 1970s, “The Quiet Ones” is the latest stylish shocker from Hammer, the recently reactivated classic U.K. studio imprint. Mixing creaky haunted-house and exorcism tropes with a nod to the contemporary found-footage subgenre, the film relies on high production values and sense-battering shock tactics to make up for wooden performances and an illogical, silly script.

  • In Calin Peter Netzer's “Child's Pose,” Luminita Gheorghiu stars as a steely, politically connected architect determined to help her adult deadbeat son beat a homicide rap from a deadly car crash.

    Tivoli hosts special screening of 'Tim's Vermeer'Apr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    The After Hours Film Society presents Penn & Teller's documentary “Tim's Vermeer” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove. Dann & Raymond's Movie Club usually convenes on the first Thursday of the month (that would be May 1) at the Schaumburg Township District Library in Schaumburg. But a schedule change has bumped us to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 15. We decided to present 14 motion pictures we both really like, but have never presented so far in our seven-year partnership. Raymond tilted more toward the classics in his choices; I went more for movies I know may be flawed, but I love them nonetheless.

  • In Calin Peter Netzer’s “Child’s Pose,” Luminita Gheorghiu stars as a steely, politically connected architect determined to help her adult deadbeat son beat a homicide rap from a deadly car crash.

    ‘Child’s Pose’ a brave work of remarkable realismApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    In a typical Hollywood movie, Luminita Gheorghiu’s manipulative mother would be the story’s villain, the antagonist to a heroic reporter investigating how a powerful and politically connected woman pulls strings to help her adult son avoid the legal consequences of killing a boy in a car collision. Here, in Calin Peter Netzer’s gritty drama “Child’s Pose,” Gheorghiu’s character, Cornelia, becomes the central figure as a member of Romania’s entitled class elite, for whom ordinary laws and morals don’t particularly apply. Especially when they involve a mother’s overprotective instincts for her son.

  • A squirrel attempts to eat bird seed on an Eliminator, a squirrel-proof bird feeder. It protects your bird seed from persistent squirrels by technology registering sensitivity set by the owner, that closes the seed ports based on weight of the intruder standing on the perch ring.

    Tips, serious and not, for keeping squirrels awayApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    They’re vermin to some. Cunning adversaries to others. Squirrels have long been a source of fascination and frustration for gardeners and bird enthusiasts engaged in a near-constant battle to keep them away from the nuts and seeds put out for birds. Greased poles. Loud music. Motion-activated sprinklers. Bill Adler Jr. has heard all the strategies. And tried many of them.

  • Dining events: Niche updates farm-to-table menu, decorApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    After closing briefly to update decor and leadership, Niche welcomes chef Chris Ayukawa as executive chef. Ayukawa has been hard at work creating a seasonal farm-to-table menu that will play nicely with the restaurant’s modern farmhouse vibe.

  • Server Kathy Nguyen delivers a traditional Japanese meal to a customer at Domo in Denver.

    Go for the food: Feed your soul at Denver's DomoApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Domo in Denver isn't just a Japanese restaurant. It's a place where you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture — by visiting a museum that evokes a northern Japanese farmhouse, strolling in a garden studded with Buddha statues, or even taking a martial arts class in the lovingly converted former warehouse where the restaurant compound is located. But for all the activity options, Domo's ambience — like the food — is uncluttered and serene.

  • Olivia Easley holds daughter Veronica weeks after her birth in 2009. The baby died unexpectedly from a heart defect a few months later.

    Fast, cheap test can help save lives of many babiesApr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    If children with critical congenital heart disease do not receive treatment within the first weeks or months of life, the risks of harm or even death can be very high. This is why 35 states, including Illinois, now require a simple test to help detect heart defects.

  • Instead of doing crunches to strengthen your core, try exercises such as side planks to help build the lateral muscles of the trunk.

    How to strengthen your coreApr 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    Core, core, core. Yes, we hear it ad nauseam: “You need to strengthen the core” or the other favorite, “It's all about the core.” But what does it really mean?

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