questions for the hive mind

To my Chicago readers: Is it the L, the ‘L,’ or the “L”?

Yesterday I got back the copyedited manuscript for Lovecraft Country. Most of the corrections are straightforward, but one of my copyeditor’s notes has raised the question of how to properly refer to Chicago’s elevated transit system.

I know that Chicagoans traditionally call it the L, not the El, but what I’m having a harder time deciding is whether “L” needs to have quotation marks around it, and if so, whether they should be double- or single-quotes. My instinct is to omit the quotes, as I think L tracks looks cleaner than ‘L’ tracks or “L” tracks, but then again, as a native New Yorker, my instinct would be to call it the El. A survey of the CTA website, the Encyclopedia of Chicago, and various other sources suggests that L-with-quotes is more common but not universal, while the choice between single- and double-quotes is largely a matter of personal preference.

Any fans from Chicago want to weigh in, or better yet, point me to a definitive monograph on the subject? Note that the novel is set in the mid-1950s, if that matters.

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Wireless keyboard suggestions?

For when I’m on the road during book tour, I’m looking to get a keyboard that I can use to type longer email messages and blog posts on my iPad2. The obvious choice would be Apple’s own Wireless Keyboard, but I thought I’d throw it open to the hive-mind. Does anyone have any other suggestions for keyboards worth considering? (I already have an iPad cover that I really like, and the covers with built-in keyboards I’ve looked at haven’t impressed me much, but it might be nice to have a keyboard with a stand the iPad can sit in while I’m typing.)

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A question for the mad scientists out there

I just ran across this story about the world’s first transgenic dog, a beagle puppy with sea anemone DNA that causes it to fluoresce red under ultraviolet light. If memory serves, this same trick was done previously with rabbits (although I think the bunnies glowed green rather than red).

What I haven’t heard of yet is somebody creating a mammal that can glow without the UV light. Does anyone know if that would be technically possible, and if so, how much more difficult it would be?

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