General Interest

Palette & Chisel serves art community for 120 years

by Jingnan Huo

Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts was started in 1895 by a group of Art Institute night students who needed a place to paint during the day. Each Sunday, the students would hire a model they could draw or paint in natural daylight.

In 1921, the artists bought a run-down Italian mansion on Chicago’s Gold Coast and named it their home. The Academy remains in the mansion, thanks to the non-profit property tax exemption granted by Cook County.
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Swedish Bakery closes after 88 years

By Stephanie Rothman

It’s a bittersweet day in Andersonville. A longtime staple in the community, the Swedish Bakery, is closing its doors after 88 years in business. It is believed to be the last Swedish Bakery in Chicago.

Photo at top: A Swedish Bakery employee slices and prepares cake to be sold on the last day of business. (Stephanie Rothman/ MEDILL)

Will Japan’s ‘Womenomics’ work?

By Shen Lu and Rachel Newman

Tokyo — It’s not news that women across the world feel a lack of equality, but in Japan, the problem is particularly pressing.

Nearly 70 percent of Japanese women feel gender inequality — compared with the world average of 40 percent — three decades after the country enacted an equal employment law, according to a study published last week by Ipsos MORI, a British research firm.

Three in four women around the world believe there are unequal rights in their country, according to a newly published study. (Shen Lu/MEDILL)
Three in four women around the world believe there are unequal rights in their country, according to a newly published study. (Shen Lu/MEDILL)

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Fukushima: Six Years Later Is It Safe to Go Back?

By Urvashi Verma

Nearly six years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, environmental activists are raising alarms that radiation levels are still dangerously high, despite the Abe government’s reassurances that thousands of residents can return home.

Last week the Japanese government lifted the evacuation orders in the Fukushima prefecture citing radiation measurement levels under 100 mSv per year and pronouncing that safe for residents to return. mSv means 1 one-thousandth of a sievert, which is a measure of the health effect of low levels of ionizing radiation on the human body, according to a Wikipedia entry. But activists say 100 mSv is far from a safe level.

The primary contention of environmentalists regards the acceptable level of radiation for resettlement. “The notion that doses below 100 mSv are safe is not supported by science and contradicts internationally accepted standards,” said Kendra Ulrich, senior global energy campaigner at Greenpeace in Tokyo.

Radiation levels of 530 sieverts per hour, considered by some as alarmingly high, were measured in Fukushima’s Daiichi reactor number two in a test conducted by Tokyo Power and Electric Co., known as TEPC0, just last month.
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Diving into Chicago’s scuba scene

By Jane Bodmer

You don’t have to travel to the Caribbean to find shipwrecks: Lake Michigan is full of them. In fact, one Evanston diver has made a career of teaching diving and exploring shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.

Myron Siciak, 59, is the owner of Elmer’s Watersports, an Evanston-based scuba shop. He teaches scuba classes and, in the summer, leads weekly dive trips in Lake Michigan.

“There isn’t a whole lot else in Lake Michigan,” Siciak said. “To look at it, [it] is kind of flat, a boring bottom with rocks and zebra mussels and an occasional trout or salmon. The shipwrecks are really the draw.”

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Swiping into new trends in millennial dating

By Haley Velasco

Following a heated election cycle and the end of the holiday season, millennial daters are looking for love. According to data from an online dating app and professional matchmakers, there are trends that have been shifting in millennial dating, especially in terms of dating parameters and methods of finding relationships. There were 75.4 million millennials, ages 18-34 years old, in 2015, according to Pew Research Center.

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Body Policing: Journalist faces trans issues at TSA checkpoints

By Hailey Melville

This story was previously published in USA Today and Out Digital.

At the security entrance to the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, I was handed a customer satisfaction card. It was small and green, just big enough for the airport logo, phone number and my comments about the service I received.

I felt sick. “In 20 minutes, they probably won’t be happy they gave this to me,” I said, struggling to seem tough.

My two friends, fellow graduate students from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, were moving quickly through the empty velvet-roped lines and it wasn’t clear they had heard me. I was muffled. At my senior prom, I told my date I loved her but my voice was lost in cafeteria-monitor-level Rascal Flatts. I wouldn’t find out for two weeks that she heard what I said. It was like that.

I had been lucky leaving Chicago. Instead of being told to remove my shoes, place my laptop in a bin, remove my jacket and step into one of those sci-fi full-body scanners, I was hurriedly shuffled through a metal detector. Out of my control but a pleasant surprise.

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Is UConn good for women’s college basketball?

By Allie Burger

The history of the DePaul’s women’s basketball program can be summed up in a walk down a wide hallway on the second floor of McGrath-Phillips Arena. The corridor, linking the offices of longtime coach Doug Bruno to his assistants, is a testament to the success of one of America’s premiere college programs.

No inch of the wall is spared with photos of every team in the program’s history covering the space and evoking memories of where they have been–21 NCAA tournaments since 1982, including the last 14 years consecutively.

But DePaul is also part of a club among the NCAA women’s basketball elite, a group of winning programs that duel in the shadows of the giant that is Connecticut. How much does it take away from the rest of the pack? Bruno thinks it does not, but what of women’s basketball as a marketable product?

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Binge drinking rises, with heavy toll in Illinois

By Rachel Newman

University of Illinois alum Erin McPartlin, 26, wasn’t surprised when she learned that a student had died during the university’s annual “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day.”

Held on the first Friday of March, the holiday revolves around day-long binge drinking, and many students don’t know their limits, McPartlin said.

“Freshman year and on, when I was in school, I always heard stories about people dying,” said McPartlin, who graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. “I think that it’s just out of control. These things aren’t really freak accidents. You know something bad’s going to happen.”

The March 3 event ended in tragedy when Jonathan Gonzalez, a 23-year-old communications major from Franklin Park, Ill., died after falling off a fourth-floor apartment balcony. Gonzalez’s passing is the third Unofficial-related death since the event’s founding in 1995, University spokeswoman Robin Kaler told The Daily Illini.

Unofficial has led to 178 hospitalizations since 2009, including 20 this year, according to The News-Gazette.

These unfortunate events highlight the potential consequences of binge drinking–consequences that aren’t just limited to Big 10 students.

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Chicago protesters urge Disney CEO to resign from Trump’s business council

By Angel Idowu

Nearly 100 anti-Trump protesters gathered on February 27 around the Federal Plaza decorated in shades of bright yellows, purples, and greens as they screamed in unison against corporate America for their sixth #ResistTrumpTuesdays.

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