Your World


Sweeping Up the Broken Glass
A 1980s criminological theory has been implemented in many cities throughout the U.S. as a way to deter crime and revitalize their neighborhoods

Enter New York City’s Bryant Park: littered with trash and debris, trees and plants went unmaintained and drug dealers completed transactions around every corner. By the 1970s, this 17,000-square-foot park was a symbol of the city’s decline. It wasn’t until Dan Biederman, one of the country’s leading urban parks and streetscape planners, came to the rescue with his company; Biederman Redevelopment Ventures Corporation (BRV).

Feeling Lucky?
Google is redefining sustainability one click at a time.

A chance meeting in 1995 gave birth to a legend. Stanford University student Sergey Brin was assigned to show around a prospective student, Larry Page. From there: history. Just Google it. The pioneers went on to complete a research project that would become the world’s premier Internet search engine…

Sex trafficking and prostitution not so different
Many prostitutes endure abuse, threats and torture

Sex work isn’t a black and white issue when it comes to personal consent. In fact, research conducted in 2010 by the Anaheim Police Department in Orange County, Calif. found most prostitutes were sex trafficked, even if they entered prostitution voluntarily…

Illegal Marijuana Growers Poison Pacific Fishers
Rodenticides used by illegal marijuana growers on public and Native-American lands affect vitality of California wildlife, often resulting in death.

Along the forest floor runs a thick tube of black piping, weaving its way through the trees and bushes and rocks to a small stream. The stream carries gallons and gallons of water back through the woods to a mini-farm of sorts. There may be a small greenhouse, perhaps a truck and a giant propane tank. Surrounding the clearing are hundreds of pellets of rat poison and empty bottles of rodenticides…

The Tale of Two Cities
Milwaukee, once a safe haven on the Underground Railroad is now the most segregated city in the country.

Maria Ryan-Young expected the cold. She expected the cheese. And, she expected the “Midwest Nice.” But, when she moved to Milwaukee from New Zealand, she never expected she’d be living in the most segregated city in America. “It’s been interesting as an outsider looking in and seeing the segregation,” Ryan-Young said. “Physically there is a very strong dividing line between the racial groups in the city. There are very defined ‘areas’ of the city. You literally cross the street and it goes from being completely white to completely black.”

Pumped Up Kicks
Violence over Air Jordans continues nearly three decades after their introduction.

A basketball rolls across the scene, kicked up by a pair of red and black sneakers — the original Air Jordans — into the hands of the icon himself. The sound of an airplane turbine begins to climb, preparing for takeoff alongside the legendary Jordan’s spread-eagle ascent.

A Killer High
Heroin is sweeping the suburbs of Minneapolis and Chicago, redefining “junkie” and taking lives along the way.

Falling in love. That’s how Louie Miceli described the first time he used heroin. He was bright, athletic and good-looking — even a bit of a ladies’ man. He drank on the weekends and smoked marijuana in high school, but his mother, Felicia Miceli, wasn’t worried: Teenagers experiment; she didn’t expect it to develop into a dangerous habit…

Girl on Fire
New Ms. Marvel adds a splash of diversity to the Marvel universe.

Hunched over a counter staring at a full warming case of juicy BLT sandwiches, a girl takes a whiff of the freshly cooked bacon she cannot touch. The seemingly average teenager isn’t so ordinary, though. She’s a superhero — she just doesn’t know it yet.

The Revolving Door of Authority
Cycle of volunteers in nonprofit programs detrimental to children

Kunal Kochar is one of the lucky ones. He knows that.

As a sophomore in high school he heard a 40-minute lecture from investment banker Frank Oelerich at a “Youth About Business” camp. It was that speech that helped Kochar decide on his future — the Naperville, Ill., native would become an investment banker. Kochar learned so much from Oelerich that he stayed in contact with him after the camp had ended…

The Lifelong Aftermath of Juvenile Mistakes
Digital public records are muddling the sure promise of a clean slate –– even after sealing.

Dontavius Sharkey has started speaking up about his future. He’s incarcerated at Eldora State Training School for Boys on charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless use of a firearm. In October 2012, 15-year-old Sharkey accidentally shot his longtime friend Corey Hamilton in the side of the head; Corey didn’t make it…

Juvenile Justice’s Limbo
What happens when no laws allow for a constitutional first-degree murder sentence?

Before re-entering the Mitchellville Prison, where she had spent more than half her life, there was a brief moment in which Yvette Louisell thought she might be free…

High and Dry
In northern California, wildlife and marijuana growers battle for water.

Scott Bauer trekked through the California hills, following a winding path of dirt. Only a few years ago, it flowed with rushing water, rippling with salmon and trout. But the fish are mostly gone now, only a few remain in small pools left behind by the dried-up stream. “The Coho [salmon] that were still alive in those pools, they were so skinny,” said Bauer, a salmon researcher for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. When the river ran dry, the fish were trapped with no food and no exit strategy. Many starved…

A Woman’s Place in the Church
For Mary Kay Kusner, priesthood wasn’t an option — until she had an out-of-body experience.

Full Circle is a small Catholic church in Coralville, just outside Iowa City. It only has a few rows of chairs; about 20 people fill them. Everyone knows each other. They greet one another with warmth then settle in their seats, which is when Mary Kay Kusner walks to the front of the room. She’s in her white robe. She stands at the altar, stretches out her arms, then calls the Mass to order…

Unprotected Sacred Sites
The government makes the ultimate decision about what is sacred while American Indian beliefs fall to the wayside.

To American Indians, all that is natural is sacred — including the land. While many religious denominations build churches or temples, American Indians simply worship what is. Unlike those buildings, the lands Native peoples find most sacred often go unprotected…

Woodchuck does more than chuck wood
From our friends at Mpls. St. Paul Magazine

Ben VandenWymelenberg wanted to bring nature to technology. The 24-year-old put that mission to use when he founded Woodchuck, a company specializing in wood products: headphones, laptop covers and phone cases to name a few. He did it all while still an undergrad at the University of Minnesota…

Upcoming Trouble for Airlines Could Change How You Fly
An upcoming pilot shortage in the U.S. is being exacerbated by a new flight-training law,and it could mean the end of regional airlines, changing forever how Americans fly.

Zac Lewis never pictured himself in food service. He never dreamt of the day he’d bring four plates of burgers to an average Midwestern family as a living. He never even envisioned life on the ground. He dreamt of a career in the clouds — literally…

Do It For The Trees
Earth Day’s Midwestern roots

The Midwest isn’t just fields. There are some trees, too. And it’s a day like today that we can celebrate the sprawling forests we’ve grown to love. It also helps that Earth Day has its roots in the Midwest…

Feces: It’s What’s for Dinner
A new probiotic sausage gets its health benefits from an unlikely source.

People will try anything these days to improve their health. Weeklong juice cleanses, acupuncture or meditation sessions — apparently even a dinner made from used diapers. Yes, you read that right: The latest experimental “health” food is made from baby poop…

Out of the Closet, Out on the Field
Athletes that happen to be gay.

Gay athlete.
Now I have your attention. It’s a combination of words that can be sensational.

What someone does in the bedroom does not affect what he does on the field (or the locker room, for that matter). Yet that hasn’t slowed the spur of headlines about male athletes coming out in recent months. Due to the hyper-masculinization of sports, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…

Sold Short: Stop Selling Your Talent For Less Than it’s Worth
Unpaid internships are becoming a thing of the past as college graduates look for employment.

Never in a million years did I think I’d be digging through a bag of trash in 100-degree heat looking for the missing dentures of a highly distraught woman. While completing this less-than-glamorous task, I started asking myself some existential life questions…

Life on the Move
Nomads break from mainstream society to discover alternatives to the American Dream.

Amber Chapman didn’t have a plan.

“I just booked that one-way ticket and then I didn’t know what the f—k I was gonna do, but I really wanted to challenge myself and do things differently.”

Is It the Thought That Counts?
Well-intentioned aid is having adverse impact in communities around the world

At one point or another, almost everyone has given a Facebook friend a virtual pat on the back for his or her selfless volunteer trip to Central America. Maybe you’ve known the satisfaction of leaving last season’s Forever 21 haul in a green donation bin at the grocery store parking lot, or walked a little lighter in those trendy buy-one-give-one shoes…

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: Translating the Graphic Novel to Film
The classic comic series has the potential to be a major flop or cinematic success; hopefully it’s the latter.

Dreams are inherently personal, yet the act of dreaming is a shared experience — images and ideas involuntarily enter the unconscious mind and, ideally, result in the guise of a storyline. Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel series The Sandman echoes that effect with changing artistic styles, featuring more than 10 illustrators. The plot is fluid, but the characters are depicted as if the reader is traveling through one person’s imagination to the next…

The Bare Naked Truth
Take a look at the laws and restrictions regarding nudity in the U.S.

It’s been said that there are several benefits to being naked: healthy skin, increased relaxation, stronger immune system, higher self-esteem, etc. But there’s one major drawback to living life in the nude – you could be arrested…

Medical Marijuana Saves the Lives of Children
Kids with severe epilepsy are seeing dramatic results from a strain of marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web.”

It was bedtime for Zaki. His mother, Heather Jackson, went through the routine of pulling together a makeshift bed next to her own and tucking her 10-year-old son into the blankets. He couldn’t sleep in his parents’ bed tonight — Dad had to work in the morning…

Minneapolis-St. Paul Toy Store Creates Toys for Kids with Autism
From Msp. St. Paul Magazine

There is no cure for autism, but early treatment can improve a child’s quality of life. A Minneapolis-St. Paul toy store has launched a line of autism-specific toys for kids to do what they do best — play…

How Green is Your Tablet?
Replacing books with tablets, e-readers won’t solve environmental issues.

Imagine a pile of rusted metal, cracked screens and wasted resources piled 30,000 feet high — roughly 20 Willis Towers. That’s approximately the amount of electronic waste the United States produces in a year…

Going Green After Death
Environmentally friendly alternatives to the traditional burial.

You’re an environmentalist. You make your own homemade cleaners and wash your hair with coconut oil. When you go to the farmers market, you opt for organic kale and zucchini over the cinnamon buns. You only drink fair-trade coffee. When you forget one of your four reusable mugs at home, you slip the paper sleeve off your Starbucks cup, knowing the latter is covered in wax and can’t be recycled…

Olympics in the US — Beneficial Exposure or Unwanted Debt?
The U.S. could soon be making the choice between the pros and cons that come with hosting the Olympics

The American flag was hanging off the front porch. The neighborhood streets were quiet and still. There was an electricity and tension in the air contrasting the eerily empty streets, stores and restaurants. Julie Bowen and her two young daughters left their house on the warm July afternoon and walked three blocks to a street they’d driven down countless times. Millions of people were gathered, simply waiting. Suddenly, a rush of cyclists came whizzing by. A sea of colored uniforms and various nationalities blurred together as the bikes passed…

The Glorification of Busy
Is “busy” synonymous with “successful”?

No Millennial ever schedules a day “off.” Evenings are filled planning benefit concerts and community meetings. Athletic and networking events take up what used to be known as “weekends.” Emails rerouted to phones demand attention day and night, dread mounting as unread messages reach double digits. It can be all a little overwhelming…

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