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Joseph Erbentraut
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Joseph Erbentraut has been writing ever since he had access to his mother's typewriter while growing up in rural Wisconsin. Enamored with the keys' clickity-click sound and the simple beauty of black, perfect words against a purely white background. The medium later became a computer and the young writer's life of reporting launched with the "publication" of the Sixth Grade Times, which offered in-depth coverage of school-wide assemblies, birthday parties and breaking playground gossip. Overseeing a staff of five with an angsty teenage fist, he sold issues for a dime apiece and caused quite a stir with one particular series of bag-lunch exposes.

A decade later, Erbentraut earned a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and moved shortly thereafter to Chicago, a city he has grown to adore.

Entries by Joseph Erbentraut

미디어가 보여주지 않는 아프리카의 진짜 모습(사진)

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 10:51 PM

아프리카가 뉴스에 등장할 때, 모든 것은 지나치게 부정적이다. 굶주리는 아이들, 인도적인 재앙들, 가난과 질병....

고정된 아프리카의 이미지를 바꾸기 위한 트위터 운동이 진행 중이다. 음식, 패션, 건축, 풍경에 이르기까지, 많은 트위터 이용자들이 해시태그 #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou를 달고 진짜 아프리카의 모습들을 공유하고 있다.

이 해시태그 운동에 이르게 참여한 다이아나 살라(@lunarnomad)는...

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Africa Twitter Campaign Shatters Stereotypes, Lets People Tell Their Own Stories

(16) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 5:53 PM

When Africa is featured in the news, the coverage all too often consists of solely negative images. Content focused on starving children, humanitarian crises, poverty and illness leaves little room for a broader picture of the continent's more than 50 different countries.

In an effort to change that, Africa's diverse...

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Syrian Conflict Causing Child Labor Crisis. Here's What's Being Done

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 5:00 PM

The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria has taken a toll on the lives of children who have remained there, as well as the estimated 2 million refugee children in surrounding countries.

According to a new report released Thursday by UNICEF and Save the Children, the widespread...

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Rooftop Farm Aims To Help Revitalize Downtown St. Louis And Bridge Community Divides

(5) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 4:53 PM

Who says a small farm can’t have a big impact?

A new, 10,000-square-foot rooftop farm unveiled last month in St. Louis is not only growing a lot of fresh, healthy food to help nourish nearby communities, but is also hoping to help bring those communities together.

The farm, called a...

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'Pee Buddy' Helps Women Who Lack Access To Clean Toilets Relieve Themselves Standing Up

(30) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 1:55 PM

When it comes to urination, especially when bathroom conditions are less than ideal, it’s hard to deny that men simply have it easier. But a Delhi startup is aiming to level the playing field by giving Indian women a new option for relieving themselves.

That option is the...

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This $50 Alarm Could Give Millions Of People More Warning Ahead Of Earthquakes

(6) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 3:57 PM

When an earthquake strikes, survival is often a question of a matter of seconds, and yet in-home earthquake alarms are prohibitively expensive. Currently, Japan is the country that has the most comprehensive nationwide system that warns its citizens when a tremor is heading their way.

But a Mexico City-based startup...

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Here's Why Hackers Are Uniquely Equipped To Save The World

(2) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 9:15 AM

Former Facebook President and Napster cofounder Sean Parker is making a convincing case for why “hackers” like him just might hold the key to addressing some of the world’s biggest problems.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Saturday, Parker argued that he and fellow members of the...

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Entrepreneurship Helps Delay Child Marriage In India, Empower Young Women

(15) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 8:57 AM

Impoverished girls in India who are at high risk of child marriage are gaining independence and generating income with the help of a Seattle-based nonprofit.

Landesa Rural Development Institute teaches girls in West Bengal about their land rights through the Security for Girls Through Land Project. The initiative,...

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Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Bill Could Cut Crime, Reduce Recidivism And Save Money

(18) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 1:44 PM

A new bill proposing to reduce the United States’ prison population while also cutting crime and saving money was introduced Thursday in the House by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.).

The legislation, titled the Safe, Accountable, Fair, Effective (SAFE) Justice Act, is the outcome of the congressmen's...

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Here's A Way To Feel Less Guilty About Your 'Orange Is The New Black' Binge

(43) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 9:03 AM

The third season of "Orange Is The New Black" came out this month, and many of us have already made our way through the 13 new episodes (not to mention fallen in love with Ruby Rose).

But over the course of the show's three seasons, the Netflix series...

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Sean Parker Just Gave $600 Million To Help Solve The World's Biggest Problems

(224) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 5:20 PM

While it’s not unusual for tech billionaires to commit to philanthropic efforts these days, it would be tricky to find an analog for the approach being taken by former Facebook President Sean Parker with his newly announced foundation.

That’s because Parker is aiming to bring a...

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Couples Are Getting Paid To Have Sex To Try And Curb Spread Of HIV

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 4:47 PM

We're inching closer to getting a condom that's actually enjoyable to wear.

The Guardian reported earlier this month on some of the lucky couples that are being paid by research-and-design teams to take new condom prototypes out for a test drive.

"It slips in and out," one tester...

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Kids With Incarcerated Parents Find Support, Encouragement With This Brooklyn Program

(2) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 5:05 PM

The United States' incarcerated population -- the largest in the world -- is at the heart of several national debates: People argue about the economic burden it places on the federal budget, how inmates are treated and the long-term effects of the prison system. But hardly...

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Food Bank Uses Big Data To Identify Areas In Need Of Services

(1) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 9:29 AM

A food pantry in the nation’s capital is taking a fresh approach to efficiently identifying and feeding the hungry -- with surprising results.

As the Washington Post reported last week, the Capital Area Food Bank in Lorton, Virginia, is using maps drawn from a variety of data sets...

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San Francisco Is Using Sex To Sell Water Conservation

(37) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 1:42 PM

It’s been said that sex sells when it comes to everything from cars to clothes, but can it actually change consumer behavior when it comes to something as, well, unsexy as water conservation?

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission seems to think so. The commission announced...

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#GiveThem20 Veterans Awareness Campaign Could Be This Summer's Ice Bucket Challenge

(2) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 11:48 AM

Remember almost a year ago when practically every celebrity and well-meaning aunt under the sun was dumping ice-cold water on their heads? With the #IceBucketChallenge a soon-to-be-distant memory, a new “challenge” is starting to make the rounds on social media.

The #GiveThem20 challenge is a new...

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After Her Mega-Cabbage Fed 275 People In Need, Teen Helped Launch 80 Gardens To Feed Hungry

(13) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 6:25 PM

For 16-year-old Katie Stagliano, it started simply enough. When she was in third grade, she planted a cabbage seedling she was given as part of a school gardening project in her backyard and watered it every day, watching it grow until, finally, it had ballooned to a massive...

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Giant Floating Solar Power Stations Are Japan's Newest Power Source

(77) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 6:24 PM

After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan got serious about investing in renewable energy, becoming one of the world leaders in solar power. But the nation faced a problem in its solar efforts: a lack of suitable land.

In a promising solution, the country is now...

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Argentina May Address Street Harassment Of Women With Fines For Catcallers

(233) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 5:02 PM

A viral video from a Buenos Aires woman who had had enough with constant street harassment could be responsible for a serious crackdown on catcalls in South America’s second-largest country.

Earlier this year, Aixa Rizzo uploaded a video to YouTube that described her experiences with what Argentinians refer...

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Muslim Girls Design Their Own Culturally Appropriate Basketball Uniforms

(223) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 7:29 AM

The Cedar Riverside girls’ community basketball team in Minneapolis had a big problem.

Being of the Muslim faith, the middle-school students dress in hijabs, which tend to get in the way of the action on the basketball court. Though the girls could go without headscarves during twice-weekly girls-only sessions at...

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