"The Baker and the Judge" is a story that has been told many times,
perhaps most notably by the great French writer Francois Rabelais
in his epic masterpiece of satire "Gargantua and Pantagruel". But
it may have originated in Israel, and in one version of the tale,
the judge in question is the legendary King Solomon, who also is
reported to have offered an unusual solution to the problem of two
mothers quarreling over the same child.
We bring it to you from Chicago, where we've been holed up for the
entire month of April--well, except for Kimberly, who's spent the
past week visiting her parents and grandmother in Nevada. This is
the first podcast that Dennis and Zephyr have done on their
Why did we choose this particular story? Well, if we must have a
reason, let's say we did it because Rabelais gave us the word
"gargantuan", and that describes the Sears Tower in Chicago, which
we visited this past week. It's the tallest building in North
America, and for 25 years it was the tallest in the entire world.
The 110-story titan stands 1450 feet tall, with the antennae on top
adding another 275 feet for a total of 1725. The structure is
actually a cluster of nine towers of various heights, with only two
going the distance (The base is laid out like a tic-tac-toe board!)
One of the designers allegedly illustrated the concept to a
colleague by pulling cigarettes out of a pack at different lengths.
And you thought those things were utterly worthless!
We also saw another famous tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Well,
not exactly. We saw its twin, the Leaning Tower of Niles. Well,
okay, so it's only a half-size twin. It still is a close enough
copy to save us airfare to Italy. Standing 94 feet tall with a tilt
of 7 feet off center (as opposed to the original's 177-ft. height
and 15 and a half ft. tilt), the Leaning Tower of Niles was
completed in 1934, only 700 years after its famous lookalike.
And we visited another building in Chicago, the Old Post Office.
Normally, there's not much interesting about it, but this week it
was the location for the shooting of a scene from the new Batman
movie. We didn't arrive in time to to see any filming, but we were
able to get a glimpse of the set, which represented Gotham National
Dennis (Narrator and Sniffer), Zephyr (Baker and Judge) and