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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

Locking Up Juvenile Offenders Doesn't Work, Pew Study Suggests

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 5:20 PM

Reduced sentences and community-based treatments are more effective for most juvenile offenders than locking them in correctional facilities, according to new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The report, released last month, says research shows that lengthy stays for juvenile offenders in out-of-home settings, like a correctional center...

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Wind Power Could Be Coming To All 50 States, Report Says

(133) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 5:45 PM

The United States might just be on the verge of a wind power revolution.

Or, at least, the newest generation of wind turbines, featuring taller towers and longer blades, have the potential to push the country in that direction. Because of their design, these turbines can generate more power --...

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Free, Low-Cost Cooking Classes Aim To Help Underserved Communities Eat Better

(25) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 6:03 PM

CHICAGO -- A weekly after-school cooking and nutrition class is having a big impact on the lives of families in some of the city's underserved communities.

The Chicago Park District's "Fun With Food" program is using the city's former field houses, website CivilEats reports, as venues to teach...

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One Midwestern City Is Fixing Its Public Transit Without Hiking Fares

(32) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 6:14 PM

With more and more U.S. states facing public transit funding cuts despite record-breaking commuter demand, many transit systems are being forced to consider service cuts or fare hikes, both of which disproportionally impact low-income riders and neighborhoods.

But one mid-sized Midwestern city...

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New Entrepreneurship Initiative Aims To Address The Black Male Jobless Rate

(227) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 6:09 PM

Black men in the U.S. have been described as being stuck in a "permanent recession,” with unemployment rates consistently higher than those of other demographic groups. But an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., is working to tackle the problem head-on.

Earlier this year, the U.S....

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Muslim Women's Hip-Hop Collective Confronts Stereotypes And Breaks Up The Boys' Club

(15) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 6:19 PM

A new collective of hip-hop and spoken word artists are taking on stereotypes one rhyme at a time in the Bay Area.

Earlier this month, The Hijabi Chronicles, a collective of female artists of the Muslim faith, launched via their first event at La Peña Cultural Center in...

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6 Things Billy Corgan Doesn't Like

(9) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 1:05 PM

In a small "secret room" on the 25th floor of the Virgin Hotel in Chicago, rock icons Marilyn Manson and Billy Corgan sat before an audience of a few dozen fans and journalists on Monday for a press conference "town hall-style chat," moderated by The AV Club's Sean O'Neal, ahead...

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College Campuses Are More Trans-Inclusive Than Ever, But Still Have A Long Way To Go

(152) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 5:25 PM

A unique, very small group of students who shared a particular struggle in their path to a diploma was among the millions of the nation’s college graduates who tossed their caps into the air this past weekend.

That group is those students who identify as transgender, or gender non-conforming, gender-fluid...

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How One Grocery Chain Succeeds In Low-Income, Underserved Communities

(54) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 4:12 PM

Successfully operating a for-profit grocery store in a “food desert” -- that is, a low-income rural or urban area with few or no options in the way of fresh, healthy and affordable food -- can prove challenging. Yet one regional chain of stores in the Philadelphia area appears to be...

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Science Confirms Your Company Should Pay You To Stop Smoking

(371) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 6:40 PM

Is money even more enticing to smokers than cigarettes?

This was the question at the heart of a new study from the University of Pennsylvania, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. In an effort to evaluate financial-incentive smoking-cessation programs, researchers looked at four...

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스웨덴의 한 단체가 러시아에 보내는 메시지 '여기 넘어오면 게이'

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 5:59 PM

최근 러시아는 스웨덴의 해역을 잠수함으로 침범한 혐의를 받고 있다. 그런데 그런 러시아에 스웨덴의 한 평화 단체가 '특별한' 환영의 메시지를 보냈다.

모자와 팬티만 입고 있는 세일러가 춤을 추는 네온사인 장식의 이 메시지 박스는 지난달 말 스톡홀름의 항구 근처에 바다에 설치됐다.

이 캠페인을 주최한 비정부기구 'Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society'(이하 SPAS)는 이 메시지 보드를 "Singing Sailor Underwater Defense System"(노래하는 선원 수중 방어 시스템)이라 이름 붙였다.

singing sailor sea

'노래하는 선원 수중 방어 시스템'은 스톡홀름 앞에 있는 다도해에 설치되어 있다. 러시아 잠수함이 지난 10월 침범했다고 보도된 지역 근처다.

상자에는 러시아어로 "스웨덴에 오신 것을 환영합니다"라고 쓰여 있고 아래엔 영어로 "1944년부터 게이. 스웨덴에 오신 걸 환영합니다"라고 쓰여있다. 아직도 법적으로 동성애를 금지하는 러시아와는 달리 스웨덴은 1944년에 동성애가 합법화됐다.

게다가 이 수중 방어시스템은 모르스부호로 "만약 당신이 게이라면 이쪽으로 오세요."라는 내용을 송신한다. 당연한 얘기지만 그 근처를 지나는 잠수함이라면 다 들을 수 있는 크기로 말이다.

SPAS의 회장인 안나 에크(Anna EK)는 허핑턴포스트와의 인터뷰에서 이 캠페인이 비록 유머러스한 분위기를 자아내고 있긴 하지만 사실 그 진의는 꽤 심각하다고 말했다. 그들의 목적은 러시아 정부가 성 소수자들에게 취하고 있는 끔찍한 태도에 경고를 보내기 위함이다.

"이 캠페인을 통해 논의가 원점으로 되돌아가야 한다고 생각합니다. 군을 재정비한다고 해서(편집자 주: 스웨덴에는 러시아의 침범에 군을 재정비해야 한다는 목소리가 일고 있다) 평화가 유지되지는 않아요. 인류는 무력으로 평화를 유지하려는 노력을 수없이 해왔지만, 전쟁과 갈등이 사라지지 않는다는 걸 잘 알고 있지 않나요?" 에크의 말이다.

"누군가는 이런 캠페인이 바보 같다고 말할지도 모르지만 이건 전쟁이 아닌 사랑을 만들자는 의미에요. 간단한 메시지입니다."


*본 기사는 허핑턴포스트 US의 'Swedes Are Trolling Russia With A Pro-Gay 'Singing Sailor'를 번역 편집한 것입니다.

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Swedes Are Trolling Russia With A Pro-Gay 'Singing Sailor'

(15) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 10:24 AM

A Swedish peace organization is extending an unusually welcoming message to Russia considering allegations that the country's submarines violated Sweden's borders in recent months.

That message comes via a neon sign featuring the outline of a fit dancing sailor, wearing only a hat and briefs, installed late last...

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How These 4 Major Companies Are Tackling The Autism Unemployment Rate

(18) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 9:42 AM

For adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, employment prospects are often disappointingly few and far between.

According to a 2013 report published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the underemployment starts early. Just over 50 percent of young adults with ASD worked for...

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Eating Bugs Has Never Been More Popular, But Will It Ever Go Mainstream?

(14) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 10:21 AM

A future in which cricket chips could be found on the shelves of an American grocery store next to their potato- and corn-based peers might not be that far off -- or at least that’s the hope of a number of start-ups selling food products that incorporate edible insects as...

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'Factory Of The Future' Opens On Chicago's South Side

(22) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 7:58 PM

This week Chicago's historic Pullman district saw its first new factory open in more than 30 years.

But the 150,000-square-foot plant, where San Francisco-based Method Products will manufacture all of its popular nontoxic cleaning products, looks nothing like the steel mill that previously sat in the heart of the neighborhood....

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Teens With Autism Stretch, Grow And Laugh In Improv Classes At Second City

(6) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 4:39 PM

Some of America's funniest people have honed their craft at The Second City in Chicago. But it's not just professionals who can bloom with a little improv comedy.

For the past two years, the iconic Chicago-based comedy theater/school has offered an improv comedy program aimed at teens with...

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School Gardens Can Help Kids Learn Better And Eat Healthier. So Why Aren't They Everywhere?

(32) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 7:33 AM

The case for garden-based learning in schools seems simple, even obvious, at first: What harm could there be in encouraging young children to connect with nature and learn more about the ecology around them, including where the food they eat comes from?

But given the ever-growing demands on teachers’ time...

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What Björk's MoMA Retrospective Should Have Learned From 'David Bowie Is'

(3) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 11:24 AM

By now the topic has practically been beaten to death: Björk's mid-career retrospective, which debuted last month at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was a disappointment to many, many critics. It's been called "ill-conceived," a "disaster," "weak" and many other negative words all coalescing in

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These Apps Are Helping People Document Police Abuse

(37) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 3:20 PM

It's hard to imagine a more clear example of the power of recording on-duty police officers than the video that led to the arrest and charging of North Charleston, South Carolina, police Officer Michael Slager on Tuesday.

Were it not for the footage shot by witness Feidin Santana,...

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What The U.S. Can Learn From Prison Reform Efforts Throughout The World

(18) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 10:41 AM

It should come as no surprise that with the worst incarceration rate in the world, the United States has a massive problem on its hands.

With roughly 716 of every 100,000 U.S. residents behind bars, the U.S. locks up nearly one-quarter of the entire world’s prison...

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