Where is a good place to hear jazz music in Chicago?

I agree, Andys and the Jazz Showcase before midnight and the GreenMill after midnight, especially on Saturdays. Before midnight swings too and the Mill features Django style French Jazz on Wednesday which is awesome and a Big Band on Thursdays. Andys is more casual and is more of a good time saloon and will always deliver great musicians. Best Thin crust Pizza in town. The other places on some nights will expect you to be quiet and will have no problem shushing you…and I hate being shushed especially if Im not talking! I wouldn't let that stop you from going!
Dont forget Katrinas on Irving Park and Sullivan's on Hubbard features some very nice trios! Chicago is a remarkable music town. Get out and enjoy!

Is there an imprinting period for musical tastes, and if so, when is it?

This is true.

Neurobiologist extraordinaire and McArthur Genius and Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky answered this question in an article in the New Yorker, dated March 30 1998, titled "Open Season."

Professor Sapolsky opined rather convincingly that our musical tastes are etched most deeply during our college years and the imprinting process begins to wane afterwards.

Robert Sapolsky's class, "Human Behavioral Biology," was lecture-for-lecture, word-for-word, syllable-for-syllable, and so forth, the most worthwhile academic experience I had in college.

If you would like to hear Professor Sapolsky speak on the topic, he conversed with NPR's Michele Norris in August 2006 in an interview linked at the following address: http://www.npr.org/templates/sto…

If I like OK Go's "Here It Goes Again," will I like their other music?

If you liked Here It Goes Again, then you'll probably like most of the work on their first two albums.  They have a fairly consistent indie-power-pop sort of sound, very catchy, very hooky.  Their newest one, however, was produced by the guy who produces the Flaming Lips, and it shows; it's a much more psychedelic and slightly more self-indulgent album.  It's not quite as accessible, though I like it just as much or more, myself.  I'd give it a try, but get their older stuff first.

Is Grooveshark's business legal? Can people share their music online?

According to the most recent legislation, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, all web streaming services are required to take down licensed content only if the owner of the copyright demands the service to do so. Grooveshark is compliant with artists requests to take down content, but since it is user uploaded content, the offensive material is usually added quickly. It is a sort of legal grey zone, but Grooveshark is most definitely not illegal according to any legislation that I know of (I would appreciate if anybody fact checks this). If they were illegal they would have been a much better target than Megaupload for a hostile take down by the FBI.

What are the best musical venues in San Francisco?

I like segmenting things into categories, so here we go – don't mean to already repeat everything that has already been listed, but I think it's nice to distinguish venues somehow.

Capacity of < 400:
Bottom of the Hill: good acts, nice outdoor area, can get up close and personal with indie bands that are on the rise.
Cafe du Nord: cozy and intimate. For the most part, smaller bands you have kind of but barely heard of.

Capacity of > 400 and < 1000:
The Independent: makes the list mostly because of the solid acts that flow through it (it's an Another Planet venue).
Bimbo's: sporadic but solid bookings.

Capacity of > 1000:
The Fillmore: the history, red apples, free posters. Good sound, great vantage points from numerous angles. My favorite.

Capacity source: http://blog.ipickmynose.com/2007…

What is the ideal music to listen to while merging code conflicts?

For most quick merges, I don't have time to listen to anything.

For those painful merges from hell where you have two codebases that have diverged vastly after a long period of developing a big feature in a different branch, I've always felt that "The Roof is on Fire" is particularly appropriate.

The roof the roof the roof is on fire
The roof the roof the roof is on fire
The roof the roof the roof is on fire
We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn
Burn motherfucker burn

The parts that go "The roof is on fire repeatedly" keep the merge pressure up, and help nudge you through the tedium.

The part that goes "Burn motherfucker burn" comes to life whenever you think of the committers who checked in code that conflicts with yours ( because clearly your code is more important than their code ).