General Interest

‘Into the Canyon’ actor, director stage a dystopian world

By: Mary Hall and Paige Tortorelli
Medill Reports

It’s a show as riveting as it is uncomfortable. “In the Canyon” creates a dystopian world where past abortions are criminalized, while simultaneously challenging the audience on their views on other controversial issues.

The play, extended through Dec. 1 at the Jackalope Theatre, 5917 N. Broadway Ave., follows the story of Hope, one woman who fights reor control of her life under increasingly oppressive circumstances.

The show presents a series of vignettes, beginning in the early 2000s, on the day Hope has had an abortion. As each scene unfolds, the world Hope lives in becomes increasingly oppressive, hateful and authoritarian. She arrested and imprisoned for her past abortion. While the show uses abortions as a catalyst, it  touches on LBGTQ rights, power, child abuse and religion.

“We need to be openly talking about these things,” said Liz Sharpe, who plays Hope.

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Spraying herbicides to control invasive plants has little impact on rodents

By Stephanie Fox
Medill Reports

This article first appeared in Empower magazine online.

Photos and videos in slideshow: (Stephanie Fox unless noted)

Under the overcast sky, wrapped in clothes not nearly warm enough for the misting, cold weather, graduate biology student Nick Steijn and his group of volunteers spent the bitter Friday morning trudging through the Illinois Nachusa Grasslands’ tall grass and prickly shrubs to gather data for his thesis. The data involve small, captured rodents.

After analyzing the rodents collected over the course of his two years in graduate school at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Steijn, 25, concludes that the specialized herbicides don’t harm the rodents but adds that more research needs to be done.

He hypothesized that using herbicides, or a combination of chemicals sprayed to destroy unwanted vegetation, at Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove, Illinois, could impact small rodent populations. Instead, his research revealed evidence that herbicide use has little-to-no effect on small rodents such as mice and voles in Illinois grasslands.
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UIC women’s volleyball players talk about winning rituals

By Kristen Keller
Medill Reports

Many sports teams and players pride themselves on their pregame superstitions and rituals.  Whether it’s doing a dance or packing together before a game, every team has their “thing.”

Players often feel that if the don’t do their “thing” before competing in a match, they could jinx the game. For that reason, they have their superstitions.

Watch the UIC women’s volleyball team before a game. Did their tradition before each match help them get to the Horizon League Conference’s women’s volleyball tournament this weekend?

Before the broadcaster announces the lineup, the Flames huddle in the corner of the gym, chanting “UIC, UIC” multiple times before the starters run to the end line to shake the opposing team’s hands.

The players have their own way of preparing. Some listen to the same song on repeat while others eat the same meal before each match.

Regardless of the person, the starters of the UIC women’s volleyball team each have unique superstitions that they follow before competing in a game.

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Hot coffee delivers more antioxidant benefits than cold brew, research finds

by Colleen Zewe
Medill Reports

As the weather gets colder, caffeine-lovers often switch from cold brew to hot coffee. This switch packs more benefits than just warming you up. New research shows that hot coffee contains more antioxidants than cold.

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Author Linda Kay Klein’s new book challenges ‘purity movement’

By AnnMarie Hilton
Medill Reports

Linda Kay Klein, author of the new book “Pure” challenges the  shame-laced purity movement found among many Evangelicals. She spoke from personal experience at an author conversation last week at Women and Children First book store.

“We learned together that there are two types of girls: those who are pure and those who are impure,” Klein read aloud from her book. “Those who are marriage material and those who are lucky if any good Christian man ever loved them.” Continue reading

Department of Health and Human Services revs up physical activity guidelines for Americans

By Colleen Zewe
Medill Reports

Get your toddlers moving with active play. That’s the key change of new physical activity guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

HHS released the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting in Chicago on Monday.

The recommendations include significant changes for children, and updates on the benefits of physical activity for adults and risks of sedentary behavior. This is the first update HHS has made to the guidelines since 2008. Continue reading

Indiana, Michigan Win Big Ten Tournament Final Berths

By Nicholas Hennion
Medill Reports

The Indiana Hoosiers and Michigan Wolverines will battle for Sunday’s Big Ten Tournament title after dispatching Maryland and Wisconsin, respectively, in the semifinals on Friday.

Indiana, the number one seed, tied Friday’s early game 1-1 in regular time, advancing 4-3 on penalty kicks. In the other semifinal, an early penalty kick for Michigan proved to be the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory.

The Hoosiers and Wolverines last played on October 7, with Indiana winning a crucial road game 1-0 on a Rece Buckmaster goal.

But Friday, it was Buckmaster’s defensive counterpart, senior Andrew Gutman, who stole the show. Gutman scored Indiana’s lone goal of the day after an incredible individual display of skill gave the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead. Gutman dribbled through almost eight defenders on his way to his 10th goal of the season.

After the game, Gutman said that irrespective of the opponent Sunday, Indiana needed to focus on one team – itself.

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Northwestern University students take a leap into civic engagement

By Xiaoyi Liu
Medill Reports

“I already voted, can I take a sticker?”

“Take a doughnut, take a sticker. That’s really fine, go ahead.”

It was Election Day and these were the cheerful conversations at the Northwestern University’s student center. Students visited the table set up by the university’s Center for Civic Engagement and collected  “I Voted” stickers, laptop stickers, doughnuts and other souvenirs.

Sitting at the table was Hailey Cox, a Northwestern junior studying Human Development and Psychological Services.

“I’ve definitely been a part of that engagement aspect, like just convincing people to go vote, showing people how easy it is to vote, answer any questions people have about voting,” Cox said.

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How to beat the winter blues

By Lauren Robinson
Medill Reports

Vanessa Ford is a psychotherapist based in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. She treats clients with anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction and other mental health issues.

Early Sunday, Chicagoans will set their clocks back. They’ll bid farewell to that last sliver of daylight at the tail end of the 5 o’clock hour. Temperatures will drop, and winter will hit, bringing cold, dark and overcast days.

Short, sunless days can prove debilitating for millions of Americans, especially women and young adults. As seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) sets in, those afflicted may encounter symptoms such as energy loss, weight gain or social withdrawal. Fortunately, people who are prone to seasonal depression can take steps now to improve their wellbeing in the depths of winter, says Ford, a licensed clinical social worker since 2000 who has owned her own psychotherapy practice since 2007.

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Affordable housing tensions boil over in Logan Square

By Alexis Shanes
Medill Reports

Ashley Galvan Ramos brought the most impassioned voice to a march by Logan Square residents against housing inequity, the latest in a string of riffs between activists and the city as rents skyrocket in their gentrifying neighborhood.

Galvan Ramos, the 20-year-old youth representative for the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, said she and her family found themselves displaced early this year after their landlord sold their apartment building without warning.
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