By Puja Bhattacharjee
Aikido is a non-violent and non-aggressive Japanese martial art form developed by Morehei Ueshiba in the early twentieth century.
It is a comprehensive system of throwing, joint-locking, striking and pinning techniques, complemented with training in traditional Japanese weapons such as the sword, staff and knife. At places like the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago, Aikido is taught as a way to resolve conflict in a non-lethal, yet effective manner.
Photo at top: Instructor Tatsuo Toyoda (L) works with a student at the Japanese Culture Center in Lakeview. (Puja Bhattacharjee/MEDILL)
By Puja Bhattacharjee
A unique store in the Northwest Side of Chicago is helping kids bond with science. American Science and Surplus has been in business for 80 years. It stores every scientific item one can think of. It is popular with parents of school going children who often come looking for items needed in school science projects.
By Puja Bhattacharjee
The winter and rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the hundreds who attended the 87th Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail show. The show hosted at McCormick Place from January 11-15, featured over 600 boats, a dozen RVs and over 200 boating and sailing seminars.
Yingxu Jane Hao
The Rev. Bruce Ray never planned to become a pastor.
Son of a Kentucky pastor in a small town in northwestern Illinois, Ray longed to become a writer. So he went to the University of Iowa to study English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in social work. Though his life took a transformative turn from his plan, his passion in both served him well in his ministry at the Kimball Avenue Church in Logan Square.
On one Sunday, Ray preached a sermon about Pontius Pilate’s interrogation of Jesus to a small but attentive congregation. Ray, in a dark blue white-spotted sweater, speaks in a deep and vibrant voice full of emotion. His brown eyes peek down at the Mac screen on the podium occasionally, sometimes shining with a seriousness, sometimes with joy. His hand, holding a leg of his classes, waves to bring home his message from time to time.
By Neil Murthy
Meet Whitney—a 42-year-old wife and a mother living on the North Shore. Her favorite pastimes include performing in musical theater, actively participating in her child’s PTA, volunteering with various local charity organizations and mentoring her 7-year-old daughter’s busy round of school, homework and sports.
She is also on a decades-long quest to lose weight.
Most of us assume that a saline IV drip for dehydration or a nitroglycerin injection for heart attack symptoms would be available at any hospital any time in the U.S. Yet both are on a growing list of drug shortages.
Currently, the FDA’s Drug Shortage Program (DSP) lists 60 drugs, mostly generic injectables, that are in short supply. The DSP list is not comprehensive, relying on information provided voluntarily by manufacturers and distributors. The University of Utah Drug Information Service, which also tracks shortages, puts the number of drugs impacted at 156.
Most of the drugs on these lists would sound foreign to anyone outside of medical school, but a few like the saline drip should be familiar to even those with a basic understanding of high school chemistry or medical care. Sodium chloride (salt water), dextrose (sugar), electrolyte fluids, vitamin E, morphine, and lidocaine all appear on both lists, sometimes multiple times for different solution concentrations. How is it possible that hospitals in one of the richest nations in the world could be experiencing shortages of salt solution, sugar solution, electrolytes, vitamin E and basic painkillers?
“In a market economy we are not supposed to have shortages,” said Phillip Zweig, executive director for Physicians Against Drug Shortages, a small, nonprofit advocacy group. “The shortages that have now been running for over seven years are not only unprecedented in healthcare, but in post-U.S. World War II economic history. Shortages simply do not occur like this in a market economy without resulting from natural disasters, external political shocks, or trade embargos.”
By Lucia Maffei
“You know, first prize is $10,000. It could be the first share of your college tuition.”
The 10-something girl with a cat ear headband sits at a computer desk at DePaul University’s downtown campus. Two friends of hers work side by side.
It’s Saturday morning and every Saturday, Nancy and her friends Isa and Marissa attend the Girls Who Code club with 14 other young girls and six volunteer instructors and mentors. They log into the computers by using a special account created by the university and they start coding with Scratch, a free programming language designed especially for ages 8 to 16.
During the weekly meetings, they created an app that connects people who need clean water with people who can provide it. By the end of the month, the fully-functional app – now available on Google Play – will enter in a global competition called Technovation Challenge, giving Nancy, Isa and Marissa the chance to win the $10,000 prize.
By Harry Huggins
Nicholas Saldana met Sarah Levine-Miles on the “L.” He might not have met her at all if it wasn’t so cold that morning last year. And without the chance meeting, Saldana might still be homeless.
Saldana survived the cold by sleeping on the CTA Blue Line, riding it all the way from Forest Park to O’Hare and trying to catch as much rest as he could before a conductor or station agent kicked him off.
Saldana had rotting teeth when he met Levine-Miles at the O’Hare station, but outreach workers avoid jumping right into difficult topics like healthcare. First, they talked about music. Building rapport is always the first step.
By Shanshan Wang
Idalia Cervantes still recalls vividly when she accompanied her mother to the doctor as her interpreter at age seven. Not yet knowing the word “cough,” she faked several coughs to help describe the symptom.
“I was learning English myself and I only knew a few words,” Cervantes said. Even though she was born in America, she spoke only Spanish at home and began to learn English in school. Yet, by the time she was four years old, she started to translate for her Spanish-speaking parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in the 1990s. “I was just doing the best I could,” she said.