Chicago is about much more than Polish sausages, sports and Oprah. It’s also about science. To that end, science practitioners and educators picked Chicago’s top 10 discoveries and advances in science as part of a two-week "Science in the City" celebration; it’s meant to get local students excited about the topic. The results, from 10 to 1:
 
– How the body makes insulin.
 
– Determining the age of objects through carbon dating.
 
– Chromosome abnormalities in cancer.
 
– Discovery of the Top Quark.
 
– The skyscraper.
 
– Malaria treatment.
 
– Magnetic recording.
 
– Hormone treatment of prostate and breast cancer.
 
– First portable cell phone (1973).
 
– First controlled nuclear reaction.
 
For explanations of each breakthrough, go to www.chicagoscienceinthecity.org.
 
 
 
POL TOUTS ANTI-WAR STANCE. It was five years ago that a then-obscure state legislator gave a speech at an anti-war rally in Chicago to denounce the expected U.S. invasion of Iraq. That former lawmaker is now running for president, and last week he emphasized his ground-floor opposition to the war in Iraq. Perhaps you’ve heard of this guy: U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, a Chicago Democrat.
 
 
 
DALEY AFFIRMATION. You have to understand White Sox fans. They are a rabid lot and most of them have nothing but contempt for the North Side rivals, the Chicago Cubs. That’s why some South Siders probably felt betrayed last week when Mayor Richard Daley – a Bridgeport native and Sox fan – donned a blue hat in honor of the Cubs during a Loop rally for the National Leaguers. He’ll probably squeak by in the next election, though.
 
 
 
OLYMPIC BROWBEATING. Peter Ueberroth, head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, offered a withering assessment of Chicago’s efforts to land the 2016 Summer Games. He said the Windy City is eating the dust of Rio de Janeiro and other foreign contenders and needs to do a better job schmoozing the International Olympic Committee, which will make the final decision in 2009.
 
 
 
WHAT’S NEW. Authentic artifacts from the “Star Wars” films are showcased in a temporary exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,” which delves into some of the technological concepts in the series, runs through Jan. 6. Go to www.msichicago.org   for details.
 
 
 
Mike Ramsey is Chicago reporter for GateHouse News Service. He can be reached at (312) 857-2323 or ghns-ramsey@sbcglobal.net .