WBEZ | News http://www.wbez.org/news Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Lawsuit challenges transgender locker room access at Planet Fitness http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-challenges-transgender-locker-room-access-planet-fitness-113231 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/15844192161_a7fe99139b_k.jpg" style="height: 407px; width: 610px;" title="A sign over a Planet Fitness workout space touts &quot;no critics&quot;. The gym chain is at the center of a string of debates around policies to guard transgender people against discrimination. (flickr/ Peter Hale)" /></div><p>The gym chain Planet Fitness has found&nbsp;itself in the middle of a national debate over how to accommodate transgender people in single-sex spaces like bathrooms and locker rooms.</p><p>Earlier this year, Yvette Cormier complained to her gym in Midland, Michigan, after seeing a transgender woman in the women&rsquo;s locker room. Cormier took it upon herself to &ldquo;warn&rdquo; other customers of the transgender-friendly policy. The gym canceled her membership, and now she&rsquo;s suing.</p><p>On Monday,&nbsp;<a href="https://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/05/gym-locker-rooms-transgender" target="_blank">we heard from two professors</a>&nbsp;who framed the issue&nbsp;as a new frontier for civil rights. But others say it&rsquo;s an entirely different issue and that transgender-friendly locker room policies are risky and misguided.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&#39;s</em> Jeremy Hobson speaks with&nbsp;David Kallman, an attorney whose firm is representing Cormier in her lawsuit against Planet Fitness.</p><hr /><h3><strong>Interview Highlights: David Kallman</strong></h3><p><strong>On Yvette Cormier&rsquo;s case against Planet Fitness</strong></p><p>&ldquo;The case is simply about the expectation of privacy that all people have in bathrooms, in locker rooms, and men&rsquo;s rooms and women&rsquo;s rooms. And essentially this case involves Planet Fitness, which has an unwritten policy that we believe creates a hostile sexual environment for women and children and it&rsquo;s essentially putting political correctness above common sense and common decency, so that&rsquo;s what the case is about. The lawsuit itself involves, like you say, invasion of privacy counts, breach of contract because there was no notification prior to our client signing up that this was their policy, and various violations under our state&rsquo;s civil rights law.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Does a person have a right to define whether they are a man or woman and then use the locker room that corresponds with this?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s a great question because I think that&rsquo;s a misconception about what this lawsuit&rsquo;s about. We&rsquo;re not attacking transgender people. We&rsquo;re not saying they don&rsquo;t have the right to self-identify however they want. I mean, I may disagree with it or whatever, but that&rsquo;s not the issue. The issue here is where now it&rsquo;s bleeding over into other areas of privacy and other rights that other folks have and the expectation that that has to be accepted in all circumstances. And I think, again, that there are lines that society can draw, and there&rsquo;s lines of common sense and common decency that, for example, biological men should not be allowed to undress and shower with women and 13-year-old girls &ndash; which would be the Planet Fitness situation &ndash; and impose their self-identification on other people. They&rsquo;re the ones doing the imposing here. So this is not an attack on that person, you know, that they don&rsquo;t have the right to make that choice for themselves. They can obviously choose to live their life how they see best, you know, what&rsquo;s best for them.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>On the comparison of&nbsp;transgender rights to those of people who are disabled or people of color</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Well, I don&rsquo;t think the comparison is valid at all. A disabled person is disabled, they&rsquo;re not transitioning to anything. An African-American is African-American, they&rsquo;re not transitioning to anything. And so what we have here is a situation where it&rsquo;s a biological man, OK, who&rsquo;s saying &lsquo;I have the right to impose myself on you in a women&rsquo;s locker room.&rsquo; That is not the same. You&rsquo;re not comparing apples to apples&hellip; They may see themselves as a woman, but other people don&rsquo;t at that point. And again, you know, you&rsquo;re asking individuals &ndash; this type of argument is so ripe for abuse. How are you going to determine if somebody is sincere in what they&rsquo;re doing at this point, or that they&rsquo;re actually on this journey or road to transition? How do you do that? I mean, this is so ripe for abuse, for somebody to just come in and say &lsquo;Oh, I&rsquo;m transitioning. I feel like I&rsquo;m a transgender person. I&rsquo;m gonna go in, use the women&rsquo;s locker room.&rsquo; And then bad things happen. This is possible under these kinds of policies, in fact, I&rsquo;m sure will happen. And I&rsquo;m not saying that about the person who&rsquo;s transgender, who&rsquo;s legitimately on that road, OK? I&rsquo;m talking about these policies are ripe for abuse by other people with more nefarious intentions.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_833910851408.jpg" style="height: 357px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="This Tuesday Aug. 25, 2015 photo shows Gavin Grimm standing on his front porch during an interview at his home in Gloucester, Va. Grimm is a transgender student whose demand to use the boys' restrooms has divided the community and prompted a lawsuit. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)" /></p><p><strong>What if a person transitioning from male to female doesn&rsquo;t feel comfortable in the men&rsquo;s locker room?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Well, and lots of other people don&rsquo;t feel comfortable the other way. So we&rsquo;re talking about here &ndash; we&rsquo;re trying to accommodate these differences here, OK, and do it in a way that it&rsquo;s not subjecting other people to unwanted situations that they don&rsquo;t want to be in these locker rooms and showers. But back to your question, you know, is there some way to maybe have, you know, for lack of a better term, separate but equal. I mean I think that&rsquo;s always been shot down, and if you&rsquo;re talking in civil rights issues. But to have a locker room where maybe there&rsquo;s individual stalls or lockers with a shower or something that does not subject other people from either side to anyone being offended by them being present or that sort of thing. I mean, there may be some ways to do that. But the bottom line here is, I don&rsquo;t think the vast majority of people in America believe that it&rsquo;s appropriate for a women&rsquo;s locker room for a man, who is a man biologically, to simply be able to say &lsquo;I&rsquo;m transitioning and I get to come into this locker room and you have to put up with it.&rsquo; You know, call me old fashioned, you can say whatever. I don&rsquo;t think America as a whole is anywhere near that, and I don&rsquo;t think that imposing their moral viewpoint on the rest of us is appropriate either. So I&rsquo;m open to discussions of having some way to accommodate. I think that&rsquo;s a legitimate rational discussion, but that&rsquo;s where we&rsquo;re at.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>On Yvette Cormier returning to the gym three days in a row to warn about a &ldquo;man&rdquo; in the locker room</strong></p><p>&ldquo;She wasn&rsquo;t running around yelling, screaming, harassing people, that sort of thing. She was simply &ndash; in the conversations that people have at gyms and talking with people that they know there &ndash; was letting other women know, who had no idea that this was Plant Fitness&rsquo;s policy, letting them know that they were allowing biological men into the women&rsquo;s locker room and that they should be aware of that. That&rsquo;s all she was doing was letting people know that. And if this is a policy that Planet Fitness is so proud of and that they feel is appropriate, why would they be concerned that she&rsquo;s letting the patrons of Planet Fitness know about the policy? I mean, why does that bother them? I would think they would welcome that.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/07/transgender-locker-room-lawsuit" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 16:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-challenges-transgender-locker-room-access-planet-fitness-113231 Medicare scammers taking advantage of low-income beneficiaries http://www.wbez.org/news/medicare-scammers-taking-advantage-low-income-beneficiaries-113229 <p><p>Cases of Medicare fraud are on the rise, nationally. <a href="http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/administrator-chicago-area-home-visiting-physician-practice-sentenced-more-seven-years-prison" target="_blank">Chicago&rsquo;s following the trend</a> -- it&rsquo;s actually a fraud hotspot. As of last month, 24 medical fraud indictments have been filed in federal court in Chicago this year, nearly doubling the total for 2014. Typically, a Medicare beneficiary is the target -- and scammers tend to take advantage of vulnerabilities of lower income people.</p><p>That&rsquo;s what happened to Arlene Gregory. She&rsquo;s in her 70s and doctor&rsquo;s visits are a part of her weekly schedule. She&rsquo;s had bladder cancer twice. She walks slowly, and sometimes with a limp because of a Baker&rsquo;s cyst behind her knee.</p><p>She thinks her condition made her an easy target -- and that&rsquo;s it&rsquo;s probably why a scammer approached her last summer at a food pantry.</p><p>The woman introduced herself as &ldquo;Kim&rdquo; and told Gregory she qualified to receive free services like house cleaning.</p><p>&ldquo;I fell hook, line and sinker. I was so happy that I could get all these benefits, somebody come in and do my floors,&rdquo; she recalled.</p><p>But soon after the welcome housework help, Gregory started getting unsolicited visits from nurses and a doctor.</p><p>&ldquo;I kept telling them, I don&rsquo;t want a nurse coming out once a week. That&rsquo;s not necessary. I have my regular home physician. &lsquo;Oh, well you got to have the nurse to be eligible for the other benefits,&rsquo;&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Gregory showed the pages and pages of Medicare statements she received, billing thousands of dollars for those unnecessary visits.</p><p>A doctor&rsquo;s involvement in a scheme like that is key, because a physician has to sign off on treatments.</p><p>In Gregory&rsquo;s case, she was also given medical equipment, like a cheap back brace that didn&rsquo;t fit. Then, there were the bills for services she never got, like physical therapy and psychiatric treatment. But someone was paid by Medicare for all of these unnecessary treatments.</p><p>Kim even told Gregory that if she stuck with her long enough, Kim could get her a chairlift, like she did for another client.</p><p>Finally after several weeks, Gregory mentioned all the extra attention she&rsquo;d been getting to her regular doctor, during a routine check-up.</p><p>&ldquo;She like hit the fan. She was very upset. She says, &lsquo;Arlene, these benefits are for people who are homebound,&rsquo;&rdquo; Gregory recalled.</p><p>Stories like Gregory&rsquo;s are pretty common. Jeff Jamrosz, a supervisory special agent for the FBI in Chicago, said fraudsters are looking for doubly-vulnerable patients.</p><p>&ldquo;In the low-income area, if you have a high concentration of Medicare beneficiaries with low income, maybe that cash kickback is enough to get it,&rdquo; Jamrosz said.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_744802214036.jpg" style="height: 260px; width: 350px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="In this June 18, 2015, photo, Shantanu Agrawal, deputy administrator for program integrity and director of the center for program integrity at the Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services, speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. Attorney General Loretta Lynch listens at left. Medicare says its computerized fraud prevention system identified $454 million in problematic payments and generated a financial return for the taxpayer of $10 for every dollar spent last year. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)" /></div><p>The FBI calls these scammers &ldquo;marketers.&rdquo; Jamrosz said the marketers will cold call beneficiaries -- or show up at soup kitchens and food pantries -- to recruit potential patients.</p><p>&ldquo;&lsquo;Hey, who has a red, white and blue card?&rsquo; Referring to their Medicare card. &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll give you $50 if you come with me to the doctor.&rsquo; And that&rsquo;s the way in which these patients are found,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>The FBI reports that general medical fraud is quite high, despite strong efforts to stem it -- like a moratorium on new home health care businesses and stricter sentences for scammers.</p><p>But Jamrosz said people are still cashing in: Over a 60-day billing cycle, a home health care fraudster can collect $2500 off a single patient.</p><p>&ldquo;Let&rsquo;s say you do that with a 100 patients. Then the numbers get significantly larger, faster,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Jamrosz said home health care billing for Medicare in Illinois amounts to about $1 billion a year.</p><p>Last year, the federal government recovered more than $3 billion from Medicare fraud schemes -- <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/chicago/press-releases/2015/twelve-charged-in-chicago-as-part-of-largest-national-medicare-fraud-takedown-in-history" target="_blank">2014 was a record high for fraud prosecutions, nationally.</a> Health and Human Services officials predict this could be another banner year. &nbsp;</p><p>Jamrosz isn&rsquo;t sure why fraud cases are up -- but said it could be better data collection. He said investigators can spot irregularities before wrongdoing is reported, but it&rsquo;s still difficult to stop.</p><p>&ldquo;The minute we turn off one faucet, they&rsquo;re going to open up another one, or they&rsquo;re going to go somewhere else. It&rsquo;s a very delicate balance because we want people to have care when they need care,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Someday Gregory might actually need home health care, which is why it&rsquo;s good she worked with her doctor and a seniors organization to resolve the fraudulent billing. If she hadn&rsquo;t, she might have trouble getting care in the future.</p><p>For now, Gregory still goes to the same food pantry where she met Kim -- but she&rsquo;s cautious about who she talks to and what information she shares.</p><p><em>Susie An is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="http://ttps://twitter.com/soosieon" target="_blank">@soosieon</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/medicare-scammers-taking-advantage-low-income-beneficiaries-113229 Subsistence farmers across Africa could face severe drought http://www.wbez.org/news/subsistence-farmers-across-africa-could-face-severe-drought-113227 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Workers%20excavate%20earth%20at%20a%20residential%20area%20in%20southern%20Nairobi.jpg" style="height: 350px; width: 600px;" title="Workers excavate earth at a residential area in southern Nairobi on October 6, 2015, to create larger drainage channels. Heavy floods and drought expected around East Africa, sparked by the El Nino weather phenomenon in coming weeks, could put thousands of lives at risk, the United Nations warned. (Tony Karumba/AFP/GETTY IMAGES" /></div><p><a href="http://www.oxfamamerica.org/press/super-el-ni%C3%B1o-and-climate-change-putting-millions-at-risk-of-hunger/" target="_blank">Oxfam</a>&nbsp;is warning that this year&#39;s strong El Nino could bring drought to parts of Africa that are already struggling with food shortages. The international humanitarian group says some 10 million people worldwide could face food shortages if El Nino brings fierce rains to some areas and drought to others.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_926907778814.jpg" style="height: 223px; width: 500px;" title="These false-color images provided by NASA satellites compare warm Pacific Ocean water temperatures from the strong El Nino that brought North America large amounts of rainfall in 1997, left, and the current El Nino as of Aug. 5, 2015, right. Warmer ocean water that normally stays in the western Pacific, shown as lighter orange, red and white areas, moves east along the equator toward the Americas. Forecasters say this El Nino is already the second strongest on record for this time of year and could be one of the most potent weather changers in 65 years. (NASA via AP)" /></div><p>This could cause problems for subsistence farmers in Africa.</p><p>&quot;They essentially rely on steady rainfall and predictable rainfall patterns to determine when they plant their crops&nbsp;when they harvest,&quot; said Heather Coleman, the climate change manager for Oxfam America.</p><p>And those food margins are very slim. Small farmers in Africa and elsewhere are dependent on regular precipitation patterns, and they frequently eat only what they grow.</p><p>&quot;If they don&#39;t grow enough to feed their families, then they plunge into this hunger season which is this profound period of deprivation,&quot; said Roger Thurow, a senior fellow on Global Agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. &quot;Their number of meals shrink from three a day to two to one to none on some days.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/world/africa-could-face-severe-drought-due-el-nino" target="_blank"><em>via Marketplace</em></a></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/subsistence-farmers-across-africa-could-face-severe-drought-113227 Swipe right for ... your next job? http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-07/swipe-right-your-next-job-113225 <p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">The search for jobs &ndash; and for qualified applicants to fill those jobs &ndash; moved online years ago.</span></p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Now, job hunters and employers have discovered the power of the smartphone swipe. In much the same way as people use Tinder, the swipe is being put to good use in the context of the job market.</p><p><img alt="" id="1" src="http://www.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/styles/primary-image-766x447/public/levine.JPG?itok=e1S2oZbe" style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; text-align: center; height: 175px; width: 300px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="27-year-old Arielle Levine of Santa Monica currently has a job in digital marketing, but she is looking for her next job on an app called Jobr. (Marketplace/Brian Watt)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">27-year-old Arielle Levine has a job but is looking for another one in the field of digital marketing. She&rsquo;s a devotee of an app called Jobr, which she downloaded a few weeks ago. Levine says she might spend an hour in a Santa Monica coffee shop sifting through job openings on her smartphone.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&ldquo;If I&rsquo;m on for an hour, I might swipe 15 rights and 5 lefts,&rdquo; she said. Swiping left means she&rsquo;s taking a pass. Swiping right means she&rsquo;s applying for the job, and it&rsquo;s quickly communicated to the hiring manager who posted the job listing.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&ldquo;I think the swipe is such an awesome feature. It&rsquo;s fun. It&rsquo;s creative. And It really lets me have the power,&rdquo; said Levine, a communications major from the University of Arizona.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">That power is not something she&rsquo;s accustomed to feeling as a job hunter. When she was looking for a job a year ago, she filled out plenty of long and tedious applications online and never heard back from the employers. Levine says she felt like just another resume in a cyber-stack and wondered if a human ever even saw her submission.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&ldquo;Then I got this app. It&rsquo;s been two weeks, I&rsquo;ve already had two interviews lined up,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m just really exposed to jobs that would have never come my way if I&rsquo;d just tried looking on other job recruiting sites.&rdquo;</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Jobr launched in May of last year and its creators say it recently passed 50 million job views. Like Jobr, Switch also offers a quick and easy process to create a profile using a resume or a LinkedIn account. Then there&rsquo;s also Anthology, which used to be called &lsquo;Poachable&rsquo;.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">And coming very soon to the app store: JobSnap, which specifically targets Generation Z (22 years and younger). The app by-passes the resume &ndash; since most people in this age group don&rsquo;t have a lot to put on one &ndash; and instead allows each young job-seeker to create and upload a 30-second video for potential employers.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Boodie.jpg" style="height: 250px; width: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="30-year-old Jeff Boodie has created JobSnap for Gen Z job seekers and the industries looking for young workers fast. (Brian Watt)" />JobSnap creator Jeff Boodie is building on his experience in recruiting for companies like Dreamworks Animation and a start-up known as Intern Sushi. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re basically creating a platform for the next generation of first-time job-seekers who love technology and have stories to tell,&rdquo; Boodie said.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">But he&rsquo;s also focused on businesses like restaurants, hotels and retailers which need to quickly find young employees with people skills. &ldquo;In 30 seconds, you&rsquo;re able to quickly decide if this is somebody you want because you&rsquo;ve already seen them and then you can quickly take the next step.&rdquo;</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Todd Raphael, editor-in-chief at ERE Media, a recruiting information firm, says companies that pay to list jobs on most job-searching apps are mainly in industries where the competition for talent is fierce, like the tech sector.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&ldquo;Companies want to convey to job seekers just through the job application process that &#39;yeah, we&rsquo;re hip we&rsquo;re cool, we&rsquo;re with it,&rsquo;&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;that this application process is somewhat emblematic of what it&rsquo;s like to work there,&rdquo; Raphael said.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">But he says there&rsquo;s a risk to companies paying too much to list job openings that will only be seen and clicked on via smartphone. &ldquo;People are less likely to finish their job applications when they start them on a smartphone versus when they start them on a laptop or desktop with keys like we used to use in the old days,&rdquo; he said.</p><p style="margin: 1.42857em 0px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, 'DejaVu Serif', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/swipe-right-your-next-job" target="_blank">via Marketplace</a></em></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-07/swipe-right-your-next-job-113225 Meet Mozzified, a site for Ramadan recipes, Sharia memes and nosy-auntie jokes http://www.wbez.org/news/meet-mozzified-site-ramadan-recipes-sharia-memes-and-nosy-auntie-jokes-113223 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Zainab Khan.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res446254259"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Zainab Khan, founder of Mozzified.com" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zainab-sweater-14a436f4f9de96a56d09df6909ee3e116fd48f4a-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 456px; width: 610px;" title="Zainab Khan, founder of Mozzified.com (Courtesy of Zainab Khan)" /></div><div><div><p>A Muslim pop culture website: The idea seemed so obvious, Zainab Khan waited years for someone else to make one. A place for jokes about nosy aunties, sharing hijab hacks and Ramadan recipes, and advice on navigating Minder (yup, there&#39;s a Muslim Tinder).</p></div></div></div><p>But existing sites for young Muslims tended to focus on international news and politics.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/10/07/445261490/mozzified.com">Mozzified</a>, which Khan launched in January while attending journalism school at the University of California, Berkeley, is geared toward what Khan and her friends call &quot;Mozzies,&quot; young, socially aware Muslims who might, say, &quot;binge-watch&nbsp;Friends&nbsp;on Netflix, play basketball after Friday prayers and buy eco-friendly products.&quot;</p><p>Khan and a team of four classmates have put out dozens&nbsp;of articles on everything from Muslim street artists to the whereabouts of a post-One Direction Zayn Malik. The site thrives on inside jokes, like the&nbsp;<a href="http://mozzified.com/2015/02/26/thoughts-every-muslim-has-while-making-wudu-in-a-public-restroom/">12 thoughts every Muslim has while prayer cleansing in a public restroom</a>.</p><p>What you won&#39;t find? Apologies. Khan looks for content that she thinks will appeal to other young Muslims, and says she refuses to pander to fear-mongers or Islamophobes.</p><p>Khan expected the site to be popular with people like her &mdash; high school and college students who grew up with Muslim and American identities. She says she&#39;s been surprised at how many young Muslims from Australia, the U.K., Pakistan and India have been checking the site out, too.</p><p>Given that her target audience is one of the world&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/">fastest-growing&nbsp;</a>demographic groups &mdash; Pew estimates there will be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/future-of-the-global-muslim-population-main-factors/#age">540 million Muslim youth worldwide</a>&nbsp;by 2030 &mdash; Khan says Mozzified is just getting started. I had a few questions for her:</p><div><hr /></div><p><strong>So, what does </strong><strong>Mozzified</strong><strong> mean?</strong></p><p>Mozzify is a made-up word. At Wesleyan, we had a small but active Muslim Students Association, this really cool community of international students and people from across the country who all had shared experiences, and we started calling each other &quot;Mozzies.&quot; The idea was this intersectional identity of being everything else&nbsp;and being Muslim.</p><div id="res446105150"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="&quot;Food&quot; on Mozzified.com" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/05/mozzified-website-751d6905118ded8701230137d6b31a3c07dc06d6-s600-c85.png" style="height: 458px; width: 610px;" title="&quot;Food&quot; on Mozzified.com (Mozzified.com)" /></div><div><div><p>To &quot;mozzify&quot; is to take something from any culture and reinterpret it through a Muslim lens. So, for example, when I walk into a Nordstrom and I see a rack of scarves, I&#39;m like, &quot;Oh, that&#39;s the hijab section.&quot; Being a Mozzie, I&#39;m filtering the information that I&#39;m seeing. I think a lot of people do this, and it&#39;s really, really powerful for us to be able to give voice to that community.</p></div></div></div><blockquote><p><em>To &#39;</em><em>mozzify</em><em>&#39; is to take something from any culture and reinterpret it through a Muslim lens. So, for example, when I walk into a Nordstrom and I see a rack of scarves, I&#39;m like &#39;Oh, that&#39;s the hijab section.&#39; - Zainab Khan, founder of&nbsp;</em><em>Mozzified</em></p></blockquote><p><strong>Why did you start this website?</strong></p><p>I wanted to do something for people like me, in college or in high school, who are maybe the only Muslim students in their entire school, or just one of a few. They have these experiences that are very similar, but they don&#39;t know that there are massive groups of people throughout the world who are experiencing the same thing.</p><p>I grew up in a traditional Pakistani Muslim household, but being at Wesleyan University was the first time that I saw people perform both their American and Muslim identities comfortably. That was something that was really foreign to me, because growing up in my household, to be Muslim meant to be Pakistani, but here I was, a kid who was raised in the suburbs of Chicago. I didn&#39;t feel very culturally Pakistani. But at Wesleyan, I noticed this unique culture of Muslims owning all of our identities.</p><p>I had a Muslim chaplain who was Egyptian and American Muslim, and the first time I saw her, she was wearing a Gap hoodie, a long denim skirt and a hijab. I thought that kind of epitomized this Muslim American identity, and that was really cool. As a kid, I was agnostic in high school, I wasn&#39;t practicing, and then I get to one of the most liberal colleges in this country and I saw that it was possible to perform all of my identities and to do it well.</p><p>How does your site address Muslim identity differently from spaces that already exist on the Web?</p><p>There&#39;s two ways to form an identity. One is by deciding who you are not, and in my opinion that&#39;s a very dangerous way to form an identity, because you&#39;re building yourself based on reactions rather than affirmations. So I wanted to create something that was based on an &quot;I am&quot; sort of identity formation.</p><p>But there&#39;s a vast breadth of knowledge on Islam and Muslims on the Web already, and I don&#39;t feel the need to re-explain. Instead, I get to have my contributors and myself and this large, large, large group of people share their stories as they want to, and as they see them. I think post 9/11, a lot of Muslims and a lot of Muslim organizations have gotten into this trap of being apologetic, and always responding. It&#39;s much more powerful to tell your own story on your own terms. I think it&#39;s really healthy for us as Muslims, as communities, to start understanding ourselves from inside out rather than outside in.</p><p><strong>What&#39;s next for </strong><strong>Mozzified</strong><strong>?</strong></p><p>There&#39;s a whole bunch coming. We&#39;re going to do a &quot;dirty laundry&quot; column, a platform to talk about the issues that we as a community want to ignore. The idea is that I want Mozzified to be an inclusive space for all kinds of Muslims. I don&#39;t really turn anyone away.</p><div id="res446351016"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Mozzified is a website about Muslim pop culture." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/mozz-final-picture-bottom-ef22142cea0c46e089d778655f1788e5ab9f95c6-s600-c85.png" style="height: 456px; width: 610px;" title="Mozzified is a website about Muslim pop culture. (Mozzified.com)" /></div><div><div><p>One of my really good friends wants to write a piece called &quot;The F-word.&quot; And it&#39;s not the F-word that you would imagine; it&#39;s &quot;feminism.&quot; Why does that cause such a reaction in the community? Really exploring things that need to be aired out, airing out our dirty laundry. That&#39;s something I&#39;m really excited about.</p></div></div></div><p>Articles you&#39;ve written in the past that have gotten large reactions, both positive and negative: What were some of those reactions, and how have those experiences affected the way you pick what goes on Mozzified?</p><p>I&#39;m so happy the community called me out for this: I wrote a piece for the&nbsp;<em>Islamic Monthly</em>&nbsp;called &quot;<a href="http://theislamicmonthly.com/deconstructing-the-hijabi-bride-even-islam-in-america-is-hegemonic/">Deconstructing the Hijabi Bride</a>.&quot; When I talked about American Islam, I didn&#39;t even know that I was doing it, but I was promoting second-generation, educated Arabs and Pakistanis and South Asians as the communities that represent American Islam. People were really quick to call out the fact that I had completely disregarded black American Muslims, African-American Muslims and West African Muslims. I&#39;m thinking about model minorities, and within the American Muslim communities, who interacts with whom, whose narratives we are trying to erase, whose narratives we are not giving prominence. I think putting that piece out there was great in making me more self-aware.</p><p>I&#39;ve written pieces that end up on all these sub-Reddits where people just hate me, they hate my face, hate everything that I have to say. At first it&#39;s alarming, but I learned fairly quickly what it takes to do this kind of stuff. It&#39;s prepared me for the Internet and reactions in general.</p><p>My first major decision with Mozzified was that I don&#39;t want our posts to be reactionary. That&#39;s my philosophy when it comes to building an American Muslim voice, or a Muslim voice, or identity formation, whatever it may be. I wanted to do things on our own terms. Obviously, there&#39;s gonna be some news that really calls for our reaction, but for the most part, I still have the philosophy of, just put it out there and see what happens. I don&#39;t think it&#39;s smart to hold back.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/10/07/445261490/meet-mozzified-a-site-for-ramadan-recipes-sharia-memes-and-nosy-auntie-jokes"><em>via NPR&#39;s Code Switch</em></a></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/meet-mozzified-site-ramadan-recipes-sharia-memes-and-nosy-auntie-jokes-113223 New dietary guidelines will not include sustainability goal http://www.wbez.org/news/new-dietary-guidelines-will-not-include-sustainability-goal-113222 <p><p>When it comes to eating well, should we consider both the health of our bodies&nbsp;and&nbsp;of the planet?</p><p>Earlier this year, as we<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/02/26/389276051/will-the-dietary-guidelines-consider-the-planet-the-fight-is-on">&nbsp;reported</a>, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concluded that a diet rich in plant-based foods promotes good health &mdash; and is also more&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/12/15/370427441/congress-to-nutritionists-dont-talk-about-the-environment">environmentally sustainable</a>. And, for the first time, the panel recommended that food system sustainability be incorporated into the federal government&#39;s dietary advice.</p><p>But, it turns out, the idea of marrying sustainability guidance with nutrition advice proved to be very controversial.</p><p>And now, President Obama&#39;s two cabinet secretaries who will oversee the writing of the guidelines say they will not include the goal of sustainability.</p><p>&quot;We will remain within the scope of our mandate ... which is to provide nutritional and dietary information,&quot; write U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sylvia Burwell, secretary of Health and Human Services, in a&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/10/06/2015-dietary-guidelines-giving-you-the-tools-you-need-to-make-healthy-choices/">joint statement</a>.</p><p>The two secretaries went on to say that &quot;we do not believe that the 2015 DGA (Dietary Guidelines for Americans) are the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability.&quot;</p><p>The statement came just one day in advance of a much-anticipated congressional hearing. Secretaries Vilsack and Burwell are scheduled to <a href="http://www.c-span.org/video/?328598-1/secretaries-tom-vilsack-sylvia-burwell-testimony-nutritional-guidelines#" target="_blank">testify before the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday morning</a> on the topic of the dietary guidelines.</p><p>Advocates have been pushing for inclusion of sustainability goals. The consulting group<a href="http://www.foodminds.com/">&nbsp;Food Minds</a>&nbsp;analyzed 26,643 written, public comments submitted to the federal government on the topic of the dietary guidelines. They found that write-in campaigns by the advocacy groups Friends of the Earth, Food Democracy Now and My Plate, My Planet were the top three sources of comments.</p><p>Last week, in an editorial&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/09/30/science.aab2031.abstract">published</a>&nbsp;in&nbsp;Science&nbsp;magazine,&nbsp;<a href="http://gwtoday.gwu.edu/kathleen-merrigan-serve-executive-director-sustainability-institute">Kathleen Merrigan</a>&nbsp;of George Washington University and a group of co-authors wrote that adopting a reference to sustainability in the dietary guidelines would &quot;sanction and elevate the discussion of sustainable diets.&quot;</p><p>Merrigan argues that &quot;by acknowledging benefits of sustainability, the government would open itself up to greater demand for sustainability investments and would signal to consumers that such foods are preferred.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/newdiet.jpg" style="height: 359px; width: 540px;" title="The debate about sustainable diets has focused on meat production, which requires lots of land and water to grow grain to feed livestock. It also contributes to methane emissions. But the cabinet secretaries with final authority say the 2015 dietary guidelines won't include sustainability goals. (David McNew/Getty Images)" /></p><p>The debate about sustainable diets has focused on meat production. As we&#39;ve&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/06/27/155527365/visualizing-a-nation-of-meat-eaters">reported</a>, meat production uses lots of land and water to grow grain to feed livestock. It also contributes to methane emissions.</p><p>&quot;There are a lot of complex issues around livestock production that suggest &mdash;quite strongly &mdash; that we need to reduce meat consumption for sustainability reasons,&quot;Merrigan told us.</p><p>And other foods also have an environmental footprint that we should not ignore. Take, for instance, almonds.</p><p>&quot;It takes up to 2.8 liters of water to produce a single &#39;heart-healthy&#39; almond,&quot; Merrigan and company write in the editorial.</p><p>&quot;With 80 percent of the world&#39;s almonds growing in drought-stricken California, should consumers be advised to limit almond consumption and consider alternatives that consume fewer resources?&quot; Merrigan and her co-authors ask.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_101497980202.jpg" style="height: 389px; width: 540px;" title="In this Tuesday, July 21, 2015 photo, decaying almonds hang from a dead tree in an almond orchard, in Newman, Calif., abandoned by a landowner who couldn't get enough water for irrigation. Due to California's epic drought, Central Valley farmers who depend on water pumped from the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta to irrigate their crops, have seen their water allocations reduced or eliminated altogether. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)" /></div><p>The meat industry has opposed the idea of including sustainability in the dietary guidelines. &quot;In our view, this is clearly out of scope,&quot;&nbsp;<a href="https://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/d/sp/i/237/pid/237">Janet Riley</a>&nbsp;of the North American Meat Institute told us.</p><p>She says experts need a more complete understanding of how food production impacts the environment.</p><p>&quot;If you compare 10 pounds of apples and 10 pounds of meat, the meat surely has the larger carbon footprint, but it also delivers more nutrition, it nourishes more people longer&quot; in terms of calories and protein, says Riley.</p><p>She says, going forward, if sustainability is going to be included in the dietary guidelines, there needs to be more data and more experts at the table.</p><p>In a statement, the meat institute&#39;s president and CEO,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/d/sp/i/237/pid/237">Barry Carpenter,</a>&nbsp;praised the secretaries&#39; decision. He called sustainability &quot;an important food issue,&quot; but one &quot;outside of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee&#39;s scope and expertise.&quot;</p><p>The dietary guidelines are updated every five years, so it&#39;s possible that this debate will continue.</p><p>&quot;The compelling science around the need to adjust dietary patterns to ensure long-term food security cannot be ignored,&quot; Merrigan told me after the secretaries issued their statement. &quot;If not [in] the 2015 DGA [Dietary Guidelines for Americans], then maybe the 2020 DGAs.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/06/446369955/new-dietary-guidelines-will-not-include-sustainability-goal?ft=nprml&amp;f=446369955" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/new-dietary-guidelines-will-not-include-sustainability-goal-113222 Three scientists win Nobel Prize in Chemistry for DNA repair research http://www.wbez.org/news/three-scientists-win-nobel-prize-chemistry-dna-repair-research-113220 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" dna="" fredrik="" mechanistic="" of="" sandberg="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ap_432991312020_wide-513b2ba1aefcc2e5012f546668c642275e3c0b8e-s600-c85.jpg" studies="" style="height: 337px; width: 600px;" title="Professor Sara Snogerup Linse (left) explains the work that won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, won by Sweden's Tomas Lindahl, American Paul Modrich and U.S.-Turkish scientist Aziz Sancar on Wednesday. The three worked on " /></div><div><p><strong>Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET</strong></p><p>Their work details how cells repair damaged DNA and preserve genes. And now three scientists &mdash; Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar &mdash; have won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Their work promises years of better treatment and better drugs.</p><p>The three researchers carried out their work separately, unearthing different mechanisms cells use to fix problems in a range of cells.</p><p>Lindahl, born in 1938, is a Swedish citizen. Modrich, born in 1946, is a U.S. citizen &mdash; as is Sancar, who is also a citizen of Turkey. Like Modrich, Sancar was born in 1946.</p><p>In the 1970s, Lindahl showed that contrary to previous beliefs, DNA decays &quot;at a rate that ought to have made the development of life on Earth impossible,&quot; as the Nobel Prize committee puts it. He then showed how cells constantly use base excision repair to repair this decay and prevent the collapse of our genetic information.</p><p>Working on how cells recover from damage sustained from sunlight or carcinogenic substances, Sancar mapped out how cells use nucleotide excision repair to correct defects.</p><p>Modrich solved the puzzle of how cells correct errors that arise when cells are replicated, finding that they use mismatch repair to sharply reduce the frequency of errors.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/mismatch-dna-c2143d6d75a8b698eca803e07335af7d2f555c46.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 451px; width: 600px;" title="When faced with errors in genetic information brought on by cell replication, Paul Modrich showed that the cells use a process called mismatch repair to reduce problems. (Courtesy of the Nobel Prize Committee)" /></p><p>In making these discoveries, the researchers also laid the groundwork for understanding how flaws in these cellular repair systems cause hereditary diseases &mdash; and how they affect the way people&#39;s cells react to changes brought on by cancer and aging.</p><p>Lindahl has said that cancer is widely thought to be a disease of genome instability and DNA damage. &quot;The more we know about how DNA is damaged and how it&#39;s repaired the more effective we can be in devising methods to eradicate cancer cells specifically without harming normal cells,&quot; he said at a March conference at the National University of Ireland in Galway.</p><p>Modrich earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University and now works at Duke University&#39;s School of Medicine; Sancar earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas and currently teaches in the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.</p><p>Lindahl earned his Ph.D. from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and is now an emeritus leader at the Francis Crick Institute and Clare Hall Laboratory in Britain.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/07/446532519/dna-repair-research-nets-chemistry-nobel-for-3-scientists?ft=nprml&amp;f=446532519" target="_blank">via NPR</a></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/three-scientists-win-nobel-prize-chemistry-dna-repair-research-113220 Fire strikes 92-year-old church on Chicago's South Side http://www.wbez.org/news/fire-strikes-92-year-old-church-chicagos-south-side-113218 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/yolandaperdomo_ShrineofChristKingChurch.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>About 150 firefighters responded when flames engulfed a 92-year-old church on&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;South Side.</p><p>The Shrine of Christ the King Church is just south of the University of&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;in the Woodlawn neighborhood. The extra-alarm fire started about 6 a.m. Wednesday, sending flames through the roof. It was extinguished by about 9 a.m.</p><p>Chicago&nbsp;Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says there are no reports of injuries but a shelter next door for women and children has been evacuated. Langford says part of the roof collapsed but firefighters tried to save the steeple.</p><p>Langford says the fire appears accidental. He says officials were trying to determine if it was related to work being done in the church.</p><p>The church was built in 1923. In 2004, a fundraising driver was launched for renovations.</p><p>&mdash; <em>The Associated Press</em></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 10:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/fire-strikes-92-year-old-church-chicagos-south-side-113218 When social media fuels gang violence http://www.wbez.org/news/when-social-media-fuels-gang-violence-113212 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/7910370882_39d180fb66_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have become an everyday part of life for many young people &mdash; and increasingly, the way some, including rival gang members, threaten each other.</p><p>The practice is called &quot;cyber banging,&quot; and it&#39;s often led to fights and even death.</p><p>Jaime, 17, has been in a gang for two years and is trying to leave. NPR agreed to use only his first name for his safety. Logging onto a computer at the YMCA of Metro Chicago, he clicks on a video in his Facebook feed. It shows a group of young men mugging for the camera, flashing gang signs and guns. Jaime says it&#39;s one of many so-called gang pages online.</p><p>&quot;Social media is just endorsement, that&#39;s all,&quot; he says. &quot;To endorse where you come from, what gang you are in.&quot;</p><p>He points to one of the men who pushed his way to the front of the video for a just a moment. &quot;He got killed a week after [by] the rival gang. It was crazy, and now people actually make pictures making fun of him,&quot; Jaime says.</p><p>He says there will be retaliation over that disrespect. Using social media to gang bang reaches across all platforms. There is still rancor in some Chicago neighborhoods over a long-running feud on Twitter between Chicago rappers Chief Keef and Lil JoJo, both associated with rival gangs. Three years ago, shortly after Lil JoJo issued a taunt along with his location, he was killed.</p><p>This year, police say cyber banging fueled the death of another Chicago rapper.</p><p>Shaquon Thomas was called Young Pappy. On YouTube, there have been nearly 2 million views of his song &quot;Killa,&quot; which glorifies gang life and violence. He was gunned down in May.</p><p>Eddie Bocanegra, a co-director of Metro Chicago YMCA&#39;s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention program, says gang banging on social media for some is a way to get street credibility. Others that post gang raps think it&#39;s a way to make it big in the music industry, where dark and violent lyrics &mdash; so-called &quot;drill music&quot; &mdash; sells. But Bocanegra says the potential for violence spurred by social media extends even to those not in gangs.</p><p>&quot;This kid could simply say, &#39;Hey, I was in class today, and the girl next to me was really cute. Her name is so and so. I thought she was fine,&#39; &quot; he says. &quot;Well, this girl has a brother who is in the street who really already has a reputation of being violent or has a boyfriend, and he sees that post. Now it&#39;s like, &#39;Hey, why you making comments about my girl?&#39; &#39;Why you making comments about my sister?&#39; And it just escalates.&quot;</p><p>Chicago police do monitor social media sites, and they&#39;ve been able to work with school social workers to prevent some violence from occurring. Desmond Patton, a professor of social work at Columbia University, says he and fellow researchers want to take those efforts a step further.</p><p>&quot;One idea is that if we can decode the language, then perhaps we can send triggers to social workers, violence workers who are embedded in these neighborhoods already, so that they can utilize the strategies they already have to reach out to youth before the post becomes an injury or homicide,&quot; Patton says.</p><p>Patton conducted what he calls an &quot;Internet banging study.&quot; He interviewed current or former gang members between the ages of 14 and 24 in some of Chicago&#39;s toughest neighborhoods. He asked them what they see on social media, how they use it, how they believe it connects to violence in the neighborhood, and, he says, &quot;under what conditions are they responding to situations and posts online that they believe to be threatening.&quot;</p><p>One of the scientists working with Patton to create a cyber banging gauge is Henry Lieberman, a visiting professor at MIT&#39;s Media Lab. He plans to devise an algorithm to understand content on social media and how words turn to violence.</p><p>&quot;You want to be able to recognize patterns like that and then you can suggest to people to try to do things that de-escalate the situation,&quot; Lieberman says.</p><p>Meantime, Patton says there is much more to come, including more interviews and scientific testing, in the quest to use social media that&#39;s so essential to young people to curb gang violence.</p><p><em>&mdash; via <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/10/07/446300514/when-social-media-fuels-gang-violence">NPR&#39;s All Tech Considered</a></em></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 09:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/when-social-media-fuels-gang-violence-113212 Sandra Cisneros crosses borders and boundaries in 'A House of My Own' http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-06/sandra-cisneros-crosses-borders-and-boundaries-house-my <p><p>For many students, Sandra Cisneros is required reading. She tells stories of working-class Latino life in America, particularly Chicago, where she grew up, and where she set her well-known book,&nbsp;<em>The House on Mango Street.</em></p><p>The meaning of home has been a central theme in Cisneros&#39; life and work. And in her new memoir,<em>&nbsp;A House of My Own</em>, she writes about leaving home, her parents&#39; house &mdash; without getting married, which was a shock to her father.</p><p>&quot;Unless you&#39;re exiled from your father&#39;s house for some transgression, you really are expected to live there,&quot; she tells NPR&#39;s Ari Shapiro. &quot;And if you don&#39;t marry, you&#39;re expected to stay there and take care of your parents. I&#39;m an only daughter in the middle of six brothers. And I think I did things that were rather shocking if I had been a man.&quot;</p><hr /><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Interview Highlights</strong></span></p><p><strong>On her father, an upholsterer</strong></p><p>My father was a craftsman, and I&#39;m a craftsperson, too. And I have the same standards of making things, putting them together and ripping the seams apart if they don&#39;t match. I think my father, as a&nbsp;tapiceros,&nbsp;an upholsterer, taught me a lot about mastering craft and taking the time to make something well if your name was going to be put on it. And, you know, I always admired that my father had this little business card that said &quot;Cisneros Upholstery: Custom Quality Furniture.&quot; And my dream was to have a card that said: &quot;Sandra Cisneros, Writer. Custom Quality Work.&quot; And I finally did it ... I showed it to my dad. And he was so &mdash; he looked like he was going to cry when he saw it.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cisneroscover.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 414px; width: 280px;" title="Cover of 'A House of My Own.The much-loved author of The House on Mango Street presents a collection of true stories and nonfiction pieces, spanning nearly three decades, that, read together, paint an intimate portrait of a literary legend's life and career." /></p><p><strong>On her mother, whom she describes as a &quot;prisoner-of-war mother&quot;</strong></p><div id="con446352246" previewtitle="Related NPR Stories"><div id="res446352245">&nbsp;</div></div><p>She was an unhappy camper. My mom really wanted my life and didn&#39;t realize that she was opening the path for me to follow my dream. And then at the end of her life, I think she felt so unhappy that she had wasted her life, that she hadn&#39;t achieved what she had aspired to as a young person. And that dissatisfaction and that person that used to exist before she became a mother &mdash; you know, I understood her better at the end of her life. I could understand who she wanted to be and how we came into the picture and kind of thwarted her plans. She didn&#39;t realize what she&#39;d done. She could only see what she had not done.</p><p><strong>On writing about women&#39;s lives and stories</strong></p><p>You know, when I was a child, I always felt that I wanted to rescue my mom from the slights of her mother-in-law. She had a lot of pain that she opened up to me about as a little girl. And I always wanted to come to her rescue and, as I became a writer, to tell her story. But I felt always that my mother knew so little about her own mother and her own grandmother, and all of the women in the family just got erased, that I wanted to honor them as much as I could. Write about them, think about them, even though I didn&#39;t know their names, to somehow imagine their lives.</p><p><strong>On crossing borders and boundaries</strong></p><p>I guess I didn&#39;t realize I was gonna be crossing borders my whole life. Even in Chicago when I grew up &mdash; because I lived in the border zone between black and white communities. Usually in Chicago, it&#39;s so segregated, you have a brown corridor, to create a wall. And I didn&#39;t realize that growing up in Chicago, even then, I was living on the borderlands.</p><p>Maybe my job is to be an amphibian so that the water people and land people can understand each other. And I think, especially in this time, climate of fear, who better to travel between these two worlds than those of us who are mixed race, or&nbsp;<em>mestizos</em>.&nbsp;We&#39;re the diplomats, the ambassadors, so to speak, during the age of <em>susto&nbsp;</em>[fear].</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/06/446301433/sandra-cisneros-crosses-borders-and-boundaries-in-a-house-of-my-own" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-06/sandra-cisneros-crosses-borders-and-boundaries-house-my