unPHILtered – Phil Ponce's Blog

What the Heck is “Net Neutrality” and Why Should You Care?

If you are reading this, then you use the Internet.  If you use the Internet, then you should know something about so-called “net neutrality.”

We had an excellent segment last night explaining what it is and debating whether net neutrality is a good thing.

Should it continue to be a public highway where everyone is entitled to the same access and speed of delivery?  Or should the Internet’s 18-wheelers, the highway hogs who use the lion’s share of bandwidth, be charged more to get their content to consumers?

The ramifications one way or the other could have a profound impact not just on how fast you can download some content, but whether some content will even be available.

Check out the segment and give it some thought!

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What’s Your Favorite Nickname for the Lucas Museum?


Since the initial design for the proposed Lucas Museum was made public, wags have come up with a number of nicknames to describe it:  Jabba the Museum, Space Mountain, the Blob, the Melted Spire, the Mucus Museum, the Pile of Salt, the Big Bird Dropping and others too humorous to mention.  What do you think of the proposed design?  Thumbs up or thumbs down?

And if you had to pick a nickname for it, what would it be?

To be part of the dialogue about this important stretch of lakefront, go here and make your voice heard.

And if your entry wins, you will be dropped into Jabba’s Pit live on WTTW!  (Take that, Nik Wallenda.)

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A Viewer Keeps Me Humble

On a recent morning, I was strolling back to my car after walking one of my granddaughters to day care.

A guy in a rusty beater pulled up next to me and rolled down the window.  I could hear the car radio playing and there was also someone in the passenger seat.

“Do you know what time it is?” he shouted in a vintage Chicago accent.

I glanced at my watch and yelled, “It’s 8:03.”

“What?” he yelled back.

“8:03!” I repeated.

“8:00???” he yelled back.

“Yeah!” yells me.

Then he looked at me and said, “Hey, are you that guy on Channel 11?”

I answered, “Yeah, that’s me.”

“The one who makes those stupid paper things?” he asked and then let out a roaring laugh and gunned the car down the street.

I couldn’t help it.  I started laughing, too.  Made my day.  At least he watches sometimes.

Anyway, for those of you who missed it a few years ago, here’s the story about my stupid paper things.

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What Police Supt. Garry McCarthy Made Me Do

Last Wednesday an intense pain in my right shoulder woke me up very early in the morning.  When I finally got up, the pain was also in my abdomen and upper right chest; it was constant and I had shortness of breath–it was tough to take a deep breath.  I kept thinking it would get better.  It didn’t.

That evening I moderated a candidate forum between U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and his challenger, Jim Oberweis.  About 15 minutes before the forum I gave my colleague, Eddie Arruza, a copy of my questions and told him to be on standby in case I took a turn for the worse during the show.

I made it through the forum but called my doctor immediately afterwards.  He told me to go the ER right away.  I did.  Long story short: a very large benign liver cyst was the culprit.  Once the cyst was drained, I immediately felt better and now I am completely fine.

The big fear, of course, was that it was a heart attack.  And throughout the day I kept thinking of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy who had suffered a heart attack earlier this year and what he said afterwards:  not to delay seeing a doctor if you were feeling discomfort in your chest.

I know that’s advice we’ve heard before, but for some reason McCarthy’s experience kept coming back to me during the day and helped prompt my phone call to the doctor and the quick trip to the ER; gratefully, the problem turned out be far less serious than McCarthy’s.

One piece of advice I grew up with was to always do what a cop tells you; that advice still holds.


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