General Interest

Northwestern women’s basketball fights off Purdue to lock in 14th season win 

By Jake Meister
Medill Reports

Northwestern University women’s basketball hosted Purdue Sunday evening, emerging victorious after nearly squandering an 18-point lead.

The Wildcats grabbed their first win against the Boilermakers since 2016, squeaking out in a 61-56 nail biter. It marked the second straight game where NU head coach Joe McKeown’s team won by five points or less.

“In the locker room, we were disappointed,” said senior Abbie Wolf. “It really should’ve been a 15-20 point game at the end. We let them back into it.”

Senior forward Abbie Wolf goes through pregame warmups prior to winning the game against Purdue Sunday night. The powerhouse player scored double-digit points. (Jake Meister/Medill Reports)

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Chicago demonstrators call for no war with Iran

By Yun Hao
Medill Reports

“Having a dual citizenship – it’s like my parents are getting divorced,” said Negin Goodrich, an Iranian American who came to the anti-war demonstration with a sign featuring  a photo of herself and her 75-year-old  mother living in Iran.

The peaceful demonstration to denounce any move toward war with Iran took place Thursday afternoon on the Lincoln Park Pedestrian Bridge overlooking Lake Shore Drive.

“I love America as much as I love Iran and I don’t want to see both of those countries in war,” Goodrich said, adding that she was very worried about her friends and family back in Iran. Her family is too anxious to sleep at night due to the threat of war.

“This is a symbolic picture. It shows that we Iranians are like my mother. They’re not terrorists. They’re not very dangerous. They’re just regular people – very peaceful, very kind and they don’t deserve to be treated like that.” Continue reading

Mapping the way to 5 of Chicago’s spiciest restaurants

By Harrison Liao
Medill Reports

In a way, the term “spicy food” is a misnomer. Adding heat to a dish is a global game changer for the palate but  can be achieved with myriad techniques and ingredients – from herbs to pastes and sauces to fresh chili peppers and peppercorns. Spice, in this sense, can taste and mean something different for almost everyone.

Here in Chicago, that diversity finds zesty representation in the city’s culinary subculture of spicy food. There is no committee of judges or unified industry association to deliberates on whether to serve something hot – and when it’s hot enough. But many Chicago restaurants feature spiciness somewhere on the menu, all for different reasons.

Every spicy dish, it turns out, has a back story. Here are a few of them you can encounter as you trek to restaurants across the city.

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Drinking problems rampage among college students causing severe health risks

By Xinyi Zhang
Medill Reports

College students often assume that they can escape most of the negative physical and mental effects of consuming alcohol because they are young and healthy and some don’t drink all that frequently. But even minimal consumption of alcoholic beverages can still have significant negative impacts on health regardless of age. That’s according to Dr. Mashkoor A. Choudhry, a Loyola University professor of surgery, microbiology, and immunology.

Alcohol has a major impact on physical health, personal safety, and is linked to mood, and eating disorders, he says.

“Regular alcohol consumption affects multiple organs including the brain and greatly influences a person’s cognitive abilities. Alcohol has an immediate effect on the brain, making it difficult for a person to inhibit impulses and concentrate,” Choudhry says. This increases the likelihood of making poor decisions and may encourage irresponsible sexual behavior and drunk driving, the cause of many accidents. Frequent alcohol consumption puts college students at risk and may result in physical harm, injury or even death. Continue reading

Chicago area recycling industry struggles after China bans waste imports

By Lucia Whalen
Medill Reports

Before China halted the importation of plastic and other recycling waste from around the globe, the majority of Americans were living in a fool’s paradise. For most people, recycling ended at dumping paper, plastic and glass in a large bin – blue in Chicago. From there, most people paid little attention where the stuff landed.

That all changed in 2018, when China implemented its “National Sword Policy,” implementing strict restrictions on waste and metal imports coming in from other countries. China’s plastic imports are now down by 99%, with paper imports down by a third. Suddenly recycling is front and center in the news, and the public is more aware of the fact that their recycling was, in fact, being exported to another country, and that suddenly the world was facing a crisis in waste.

“China, the biggest buyer of scrap material from the U.S., stopped buying and the tariffs came in.  You have the biggest buyer of scrap material saying, ‘We’re done. We don’t have enough mills to process the materials we have now,'” said Joshua Connell, a managing partner at Lakeshore Recycling Systems. “China was the biggest buyer of our plastic commodities and now they’re not buying from us anymore. We have too much supply and not enough demand in North America for that supply,” Continue reading

Predicting climate change depends on supercomputers and Germany has Europe’s only supercomputer dedicated to climate

By Lucia Whalen
Medill Reports

Hamburg is home to one of the fastest-thinking supercomputers in the world at the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ). The supercomputer whizzes through global tsunamis of climate data to develop climate models used in landmark blueprints for the future, including the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The German Climate Computing Center is the only high-performance computing center dedicated to climate research in Europe.

Supercomputers are responsible for some of the pioneering breakthroughs in modern science. From biology and space physics to projecting the effects of global climate change, supercomputers are necessary for quantifying the gargantuan mathematical projections and scientific problems assembled by scientists to create models and analyze data. Supercomputers have become an essential tool for climate forecasting because the large quantity of data required to create climate simulations would take years to calculate on a normal computer.

The Misra supercomputer system at the German Climate Computing Center was ranked 80th on the TOP500 list of supercomputers in the world. (DKRZ)

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How Chinatown’s public library is adapting to its senior population, along with others around the country

By Michael Lee
Medill Reports

On the second floor of the Chicago Public Library Chinatown branch, a group of older men huddled around tables in a study room playing Chinese chess, a strategy board game often played in China.

Wearing beanies, ball caps and winter coats, they slid the circular, wooden pieces around the board consisting of two rectangular four-by-eight grids. When the game ended, they swiftly realigned the pieces and started again.

Every afternoon for four hours, older, Chinese men gather at the library to play and watch others play Chinese chess — focused but chatting.

Since opening in 2015, Chinatown’s library has become a hub for seniors in the community during the day to socialize, play board games and participate in other activities. Like other public libraries nationwide, it is adapting to the changing needs of their residents in addition to its traditional role as a resource for books, periodicals and DVDs.

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Becoming ‘social equity’ is nearly a must for opening an adult-use cannabis dispensary in Illinois

By Yun Hao
Medill Reports

With “the status of social equity applicant” worth one-fifth of the entire 250 points of the state’s evaluation, many applicants seeking an adult-use cannabis license in Illinois are now trying to affiliate with individuals or groups that can qualify them as social equity applicants.

A social equity applicant, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, either has at least 51% ownership and control by one or more individuals from disproportionately impacted areas, or has more than 10 full-time employees, more than half of which are from disproportionately impacted areas.

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How Cesar Izquierdo started a premiere Chicago Peruvian restaurant

By Harrison Liao
Medill Reports

It’s no “fu fu restaurant.” That’s the first thing Cesar Izquierdo tells you about his restaurant, Taste of Peru in Rogers Park.

Irene Ulbrich, owner of Caleo Cafe in Angola, Indiana, and a Peruvian native that frequents Cesar’s restaurant when she visits Chicago, says it’s what makes Taste of Peru so special.

“Other Peruvian restaurants serve these really pretty, very yummy dishes, but the Peruvian food I grew up with is like what Taste of Peru serves,” she says. “A plate full of food and flavor. Lots of food.”

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Pop-up shop in Pilsen supports women with cancer

By Esther Bower
Medill Reports

ELLAS pop-up shop in Pilsen provides apparel for the community at discounted prices, with all funds supporting women with breast cancer.

The thrift shop is located inside The Resurrection Project and is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9-5 p.m. ELLAS hopes to extend business hours soon, according to Juanita Arroyo, a shop worker. The shop started on the sidewalk but moved to its current storefront location after strong community support.

All profits at ELLAS go to provide resources, including items  women with cancer need during and after treatment.

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