All posts by jiayou

Analyzing the data: Chicago mayoral runoff by the numbers

By Jia You

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel settles in for his second term, Medill Reports takes a closer look at voting patterns in the 50 wards during the city’s first-ever mayoral runoff , and answers some of your burning questions about the election.

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From granite to glacier: Rebuilding Antarctica’s Ice Age past

By Jia You

Palisades, New York — They rest side by side on a dark bench table, two coarse linen bags labeled with big, round numbers and letters. Mike Kaplan carefully unties the bag labeled “JRI-14-33” and reaches inside.

“That’s a really nice granite,” the 46-year-old geologist exclaims as soon as he sees the light gray rock, large as his palm and twice as thick. He takes off his glasses to examine it up close. Outside, cherry trees are blossoming under a clear April sky at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the Palisades. But inside the dim underground lab, Kaplan is absorbed with the granite and the clues it holds to climate change.

Yes, it’s the same rock used for flooring tiles and posh kitchen countertops. Except it took Kaplan a month of hiking through Antarctica to find this piece of granite — a time capsule from the ancient past, when our planet emerged from the last Ice Age and the massive ice sheets covering much of North America and Eurasia thawed.  Human hunters and gatherers soon started growing their own food. Just like how people bury metal boxes of photos, newsreels and other artifacts for future generations to discover, a melting glacier deposited rock on an island off Antarctica’s northeastern tip some 8,000 years ago — a rock that contained secret messages depicting how the climate changed at the time. Kaplan discovered those messages.

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Report ranks Chicago the nation’s 6th ‘sneeziest and wheeziest’ city

By Jia You

As Chicagoans brace themselves for another peak asthma and allergy season, a national report ranks the Windy City among America’s top 10 “sneeziest and wheeziest” cities. And the report, released Wednesday, blames climate change for making things worse.

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Trash mountain highlights recycling and waste for NU’s Earth Day festivities

By Jia You

A gray and chilly April morning didn’t deter Lizzy Conger from waving and shouting “Recycle!” to the passers-by,  costumed in her suit made of hundreds of plastic bags. She revved up the recycling mantra for Earth Day at Northwestern University’s Evanston campus on Wednesday. Behind Conger loomed a pyramid of white plastic bags filled with used cardboards, half-eaten pizza and all the junk a campus collects every day.
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