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Archive for the ‘Chicago Tribune’ tag

Chicago Tribune: Impact Statements Accidents Will Happen, Again And Again, For Those Who Re-create Them In Insurance Cases

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There is nothing sudden or violent about Dwayne “Red” Owen. A large man with a ready smile under a thin white beard, Owen suggests Santa Claus puttering around the house a few days after Christmas. As many of his clients will tell you, it takes a man like Owen–gentle and patient–to sort through the snarl of burned and crushed cars, mangled trucks and broken bodies that are often the only evidence that remains after a traffic accident.

Owen is an accident reconstructionist, based in Champaign. He finds out what went wrong and who is at fault when motor vehicles smash into each other.

“You go to a scene, it’s total chaos and you’re the person who organizes it and straightens things out,” Owen explained with pride.

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Written by Adam Davidson

August 9th, 1998 at 1:28 am

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Chicago Tribune: Locust-pocus Nino Ramirez Followed His Heart To Study The Brain, And He’s Learning Amazing Things From Insects And Mice

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Jan-Marino (Nino) Ramirez was never supposed to be a scientist. His father said he was destined to become a pianist or a painter. The father, Antonio Maro, is a celebrated Peruvian-born European painter, famous for wild abstract work with a barely hidden sexuality. Maro taught his three sons to place the creation of beauty above all other things, and Nino’s brothers did just that: Alexander-Sergei is a popular classical guitarist and Rafael still lives with their father, painting by his side every day.

Nino became a scientist who studies how the brains of mice control their breathing.

Nino’s father said this work was boring. He said Nino had none of the passion and imagination of his brothers and his father. He said he was ashamed of his son.

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Written by Adam Davidson

May 3rd, 1998 at 1:32 am

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Chicago Tribune: Bound For Glory? The Venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica Struggles To Survive In An Electronic Age

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Paul Hoffman is the publisher of Chicago-based Encyclopaedia Britannica and his office looks like it should. It’s in the stately Britannica Centre on Michigan Avenue. The large room is all lacquered wood and brown leather. There is a long bookshelf that holds the famous 32-volume Britannica. But there sits Hoffman, 41, wearing a Curious George T-shirt and blue jeans on a Thursday afternoon.

“Typical office wear,” he laughed. “I wear blue jeans and listen to Nirvana.” When he talks, he leans over his desk, smiles wildly, and stares at you with wide-open eyes. He was hired a little more than six months ago to transform this 230-year-old company from a slow and stodgy print publishing house into a hi-tech content provider for the information superhighway.

“We are in the digital age,” Hoffman stated, confidently. But competition in the digital age is brutal. Hoffman and Britannica are up against the big boys, like Microsoft and IBM. Britannica has the daunting task of trying to accomplish something no one has been able to do: make money selling information over the Internet.

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Written by Adam Davidson

March 1st, 1998 at 1:23 am

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