Posts made in May 2019

20% of guests go into debt to attend a wedding

May 21, 2019

It’s hard to say anything except “I will” when a friend or family member invites you to his or her “I dos.” But it often can be an inconvenient and costly obligation. In fact, according to American Express, the average wedding guest spends $592 per wedding, according to a recent report by Real Simple.

Considering the necessary wardrobe trappings, the travel, the accommodations, and the (often, multiple) gifts, attending nuptials—either as a member of the wedding party or a guest— can be expensive. And however much you want to say that money is no object when you are celebrating the happiness of people you love—you may (justifiably) worry that a one-day event isn’t worth going into debt.

And that happens more frequently than you would imagine. Indeed, a recent survey by Credit Karma of 1,039 Americans ages 18 and up found that about one in five Americans (20%) has gone into debt to attend someone else’s wedding —and 21% have gone into debt to fund their own marriage ceremony.

Millennials (born between the early 1980s and  2000) are the most prone to rack up debt as wedding guests—with 35% of millennial respondents having gone into debt to attend a bachelor or bachelorette party and 30% having gone into debt to attend a wedding.

By contrast, Gen Z (post-Millennials) spends the most on the ceremony—with 38% of respondents having gone into debt to finance their nuptials, Credit Karma says.

Why all the wedding-related debt? It could have to do with the social pressures and expectations set around weddings, the researchers found. Respondents cited feeling the need to impress friends and family (32%) as one reason they overspent on their own weddings, while others (20%) said they went into debt to make their wedding look good for social media.

Specifically, just how much debt are they racking up? Perhaps unsurprisingly, wedding-related debt is especially high for the couple throwing the wedding. A quarter of respondents (25%) who went into debt to pay for their wedding did so to the tune of $10,000 or more.

As for the attendees, more than a third of wedding guests and more than a third of bachelor/bachelorette party celebrants reported racking up more than $500 in charges.

How can both the guests and the bridal couple avoid going overboard? According to Credit Karma, the main reason people were able to avoid going into debt to attend a wedding was because the wedding was local (55%), meaning there would be fewer costs around things like hotels and plane tickets.

Other budget-friendly decisions: Choose wedding gifts you can actually afford (try splitting bigger-ticket items with other guests, if the couple’s registry allows), rent or rewear an outfit, stay at a friend’s home instead of at an hotel, and suggest budget-friendly bachelor/ette activities for the group.

Research contact: @creditkarma

170 footwear firms, including Nike and Adidas, sign letter imploring Trump to half tariffs

May 21, 2019

More than 170 footwear manufacturers, distributors, and retailers—including Nike, Under Armour, AdidasFoot LockerUgg and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse—signed and delivered a letter to the White House on May 20, asking President Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to raise tariffs on footwear imported from China, CNBC reported.

The request comes after the White House last week released a new list of about $300 billion in Chinese goods that could get hit with 25% tariffs, if Trump decides to move forward. The list includes footwear, CNBC said— everything from sneakers to sandals, golf shoes, rain boots and ski shoes.

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, a trade organization for the industry, has estimated the tariffs could cost shoe shoppers more than $7 billion each year.

“There should be no misunderstanding that U.S. consumers pay for tariffs on products that are imported,” the letter said. “As an industry that faces a $3 billion duty bill every year, we can assure you that any increase in the cost of importing shoes has a direct impact on the American footwear consumer. It is an unavoidable fact that as prices go up at the border due to transportation costs, labor rate increases, or additional duties, the consumer pays more for the product.”

Indeed, if the tariffs are enforced, the price of a pair of shoes could hurtle $15 to $20 higher. The shoe companies estimate that a popular type of canvas “skate” sneaker, currently retailing at $49.99, with a 25% tariff, could increase to $65.57. The price of a typical hunting boot would increase from $190 to $248.56. And a popular performance running shoe could jump from $150 to $206.25, FDRA said.

What’s worse, the shoe companies said, “High footwear tariff rates fall disproportionately on working class individuals and families. While U.S. tariffs on all consumer goods average just 1.9 %, they average 11.3% for footwear; and reach rates as high as 67.5%. Adding a 25% tax increase on top of these tariffs would mean some working American families could pay a nearly 100% duty on their shoes. This is unfathomable

The U.S. imported $11.4 billion worth of footwear from China last year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, making it an industry that is strongly reliant on that country for its cheaper yet skilled labor.

The companies implored the president, “On behalf of our hundreds of millions of footwear consumers and hundreds of thousands of employees, we ask that you immediately stop this action to increase their tax burden. Your proposal to add tariffs on all imports from China is asking the American consumer to foot the bill. It is time to bring this trade war to an end.”

Research contact: @FDRA

GOP lawmaker: Trump’s conduct meets ‘threshold for impeachment’

May 21, 2019

Representative Justin Amash (R-Michigan)–a detractor of the president who has weighed a run against him in 2020—has become the first GOP congressman to say that Trump “engaged in impeachable conduct,” based on the findings detailed in the Mueller report, The Washington Post reported on May 18.

The Michigan lawmaker shared his conclusions in a lengthy Twitter thread on Saturday after reviewing the full report on Russian interference into the 2016 election and obstruction of justice by POTUS.

“Here are my principal conclusions,” he said:

  1. Attorney General [Bill] Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
  2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
  3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
  4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

Amash, who has served in Congress since 2011, said that the AG’s deceit in his four-page summary and press conference amounted to smoke and mirrors—noting: “Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.

However, he said, “Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Amash wrote.

In fact, Amash said, “Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.”

Impeachment, he noted, “which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.”

Late Saturday, the Post reported, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel released a statement rejecting Amash’s comments: “It’s sad to see Congressman Amash parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia. The only people still fixated on the Russia collusion hoax are political foes of President Trump hoping to defeat him in 2020 by any desperate means possible.”

As for the president, himself, on May 19, he posted the following comment to Twitter: Never a fan of @justinamash, a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy. If he actually read the biased Mueller Report, ‘composed’ by 18 Angry Dems who hated Trump… he would see that it was nevertheless strong on NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION … Anyway, how do you Obstruct when there is no crime and, in fact, the crimes were committed by the other side? Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!”

According to the Post, “Amash’s full-throated condemnation of Barr, Trump and his colleagues could give Democrats more ammunition to continue pursuing their [own] investigations.”

Research contact: @washingtonpost

First, do no harm: Overweight children often are derided by their doctors

May 20, 2019

Obese children have been hindered by a number of negative stereotypes—among them, that they are lazy, undisciplined, and don’t care about their own well-being. And the sad truth is that the first people to voice these assumptions may be the same doctors, nurses, and health care professionals who treat them as patients, U.S. News reports.

Stigma and bias against overweight children, and often their parents, is “very pervasive” in the healthcare industry, Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told a gathering of medical specialists on obesity on May 16.

She said those attitudes—expressed through a doctor’s careless remark, insensitive question, or negative assumption about a patient’s family—can have a physical as well as psychological impact: Studies show that bias against obese young people can trigger release of stress hormones, further impeding weight loss.

That stress can have a long-term, negative effect. Patients tend to take that discomfort into adulthood, says Stanford, and the mindset can determine “whether they’re going to avoid care, whether they’re going to be reluctant to take advice.”

Stanford made her remarks during a panel, “What Frontline Providers Treating Children Need to Know,” part of the U.S. News Combating Childhood Obesity Summit at Texas Children’s Hospital.

The event convened top medical experts, hospital executives, pediatricians, community health leaders, and advocates to exchange ideas and share practices that are helping to fight the nationwide obesity epidemic.

Stanford and her co-panelist, Dr. Ihuoma Eneli, director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, agreed that obesity is usually seen as a moral failing. Too often, Eneli says, physicians don’t understand that patients who are obese have a disease that needs medical intervention, and scolding patients exacerbates the problem.

Surveys show that two out of three health care providers “have very low expectations of their patients in managing their weight. That in itself is a bias,” Eneli said. “We think it’s all about will power. We think it’s about self-control” while ignoring underlying issues like genetics, socioeconomic status and family dynamics.

Some patients “say the reason we’re struggling with weight is that we’re big-boned. The first thing [caregivers should] say is, ‘I agree with you,'” Eneli says. “You must affirm and you must hear. The key is to be humble enough to be able to listen to find that area of affirmation” that puts the patient at ease.

Stanford put a finer point on it, recalling a friend who remembered that— decades earlier, when they were both children—Stanford once told her she was fat.

“She was telling me that story for the first time,” Stanford says. As doctors, she says, “What we’re saying to kids — the language that we’re using with them [can] really set them up for failure.”

There are solutions, she adds: Massachusetts recently passed a law requiring physicians to ask about a patient’s food insecurity, a way to determine whether to direct him or her to agencies that can help. But Eneli says “you don’t have to wait for a law” to ask.

The bottom line is childhood obesity “is indeed a disease,” Eneli says, and the medical community should treat it as such. “There is (usually) something underlying it.” 

Research contact: @usnews

Skintimate opens pop-up professional leg shave bar in New York City

May 20, 2019

Women spend 72 days shaving their legs over the course of a lifetime—or approximately 1,728 hours, according to findings of a survey conducted by British beauty brand Escentual. What’s more, shaving ranked as women’s most hated beauty ritual, with 35% of respondents saying that they loathed shaving their legs more than any other self-care ritual (for example, doing their hair, or tweezing their brows).

Now, help is on the way. On May 17, the Edgewell brand, Skintimate, opened a pop-up professional leg shave bar in New York City that already is just about fully booked for its three-day event (going through Sunday, May 19).

At The Shave Bar by Skintimate, “consumers are invited to receive complimentary leg shaves by expert estheticians in a colorful, spa-meets-bar environment that is inspired by the brand’s signature shave gels and first collection of disposable razors,” the company says.

The bar is offering a customizable menu of exotic shave gels, scented razor handles— including an unscented razor for sensitive skin– bespoke cocktail pairings, and retro-tropical beats. Drinks and music are being curated by New York City-based  mixologist, Pamela Wiznitzer and DJ Brittany Sky.

Shave Bar treatments include:

  • The Reset: Pair the Skintimate Vanilla Sugar Razor with Skin Therapy Moisturizing Shave Gel to feel relaxed, refreshed, and re-energized for what’s next. Cocktail Pairing: Peachy Kween–Vanilla infused vodka, squeeze of lemon and scoop of peach sorbet.
  • The Escape: The Skintimate Coconut Delight Razor and Shave Gel leaves you oh-so hydrated and ready to sip into vacation mode. Cocktail PairingSmooth Sailing – White rum, coconut water, hint of kiwi and a twist of lime.
  • The Pregame: Fruity and flirty, the Skintimate Sensitive Razor and Strawberry Tangerine Shave Gel sets the mood for date nights, late nights, and everything in between. Cocktail PairingBerry Foam Party – Hibiscus infused tequila and lime juice topped with tangerine foam.

“The Shave Bar by Skintimate is largely inspired by our consumer,” says Jennifer Rogers Sheppeard, Skintimate brand manager at Edgewell Personal Care. “She’s an experience-seeker who makes every moment fun. Shaving is not a mundane chore for her; it’s part of the getting-ready process that we see her embracing with friends and sharing on social media. ”

The Shave Bar by Skintimate is located at 107 Grand Street in New York. People in the metro area are encouraged to walk in and enjoy the scene.

Research contact: @Skintimate

Warren: Congress must enact federal laws protecting abortion rights

May 20, 2019

Responding to a flurry of state-level anti-abortion laws, 2020 presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) said on March 17 that Congress must pass federal laws to protect access to birth control and reproductive care, The Huffington Post reported. .

She posted on Medium, outlining the type of federal actions needed, should challenges from jurisdictions with anti-abortion laws lead the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that ensures a woman’s right to an abortion.

“Court challenges will continue. And the next President can begin to undo some of the damage by appointing neutral and fair judges who actually respect the law and cases like Roe instead of right-wing ideologues bent on rolling back constitutional rights,” Warren wrote. “But separate from these judicial fights, Congress has a role to play as well.”

The senator said Congress must create federal, statutory rights that parallel Roe v. Wade’s constitutional rights, according to the Huffington Post. These rights would include barring states from interfering in a provider’s ability to offer medical care or blocking patients’ access to such care, including abortions. This would invalidate state laws like those in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio.

Warren also proposed that Congress enact laws to preempt states’ efforts to limit the chipping away of  reproductive healthcare in ways that don’t necessarily violate Roe v. Wade. Such efforts include restrictions on medication abortion; and geographical and procedural requirements that make it nearly impossible for a woman to get an abortion.

Congress also must repeal the Hyde Amendment,  a 40-year-old policy that blocks abortion coverage for women under federally funded health care programs like Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, and the Indian Health Service, according to Warren. She added that conversations about reproductive health access and coverage should include immigrant women.

To ensure equal access to reproductive health care, Warren wrote, Congress must terminate President Donald Trump’s gag rule on abortion clinics and support Title X funding for family planning. She added that lawmakers must also prevent violence at clinics and discrimination based on women’s choices about their own bodies—adding that Congress must “ensure access to contraception, STI prevention and care, comprehensive sex education, care for pregnant moms, safe home and work environments, adequate wages, and so much more.

“This is a dark moment. People are scared and angry. And they are right to be,” Warren wrote. “But this isn’t a moment to back down ― it’s time to fight back.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

UW team devises first smartphone app that can ‘hear’ ear infections in children

May 17, 2019

Ear infections send more children to the pediatrician than any other ailment, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Even the youngest child may pull or tug at his or her ear when pressure and pain start to build up inside. This condition, usually caused by a bacterial infection, occurs when fluid gets trapped in the middle ear behind the eardrum. The same type of problem also is common in another condition called otitis media with effusion—where the infection is gone, but the fluid has not drained.

Any kind of fluid buildup in the ears can hurt and make it hard for children to hear, which is especially detrimental when they are learning to talk.

But now, researchers at the University of Washington have created a new smartphone app that can detect fluid behind the eardrum, when used along with three easily available aids: a piece of paper and the smartphone’s microphone and speaker.

The smartphone makes a series of soft audible chirps into the ear through a small paper funnel and—depending on the way the chirps rebound to the phone—the app determines the likelihood of fluid present with a probability of detection of 85% (similar to the results achieved with more sophisticated processes used currently, including acoustics and puffs of air).

When there is no fluid behind the eardrum, the eardrum vibrates and sends a variety of sound waves back. These sound waves mildly interfere with the original chirp, creating a broad, shallow dip in the overall signal. But when the eardrum has fluid behind it, it doesn’t vibrate as well and reflects the original sound waves back. They interfere more strongly with the original chirp and create a narrow, deep dip in the signal.

 “Designing an accurate screening tool on something as ubiquitous as a smartphone can be game-changing for parents as well as healthcare providers in resource-limited regions,” said co-author Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor in the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “A key advantage of our technology is that it does not require any additional hardware other than a piece of paper and a software app running on the smartphone.”

A quick screening at home could help parents decide whether or not they need to take their child to the doctor.

“It’s like tapping a wine glass,” said co-first author Justin Chan, a doctoral student at the Allen School. “Depending on how much liquid is in [the ear], you get different sounds. Using machine learning on these sounds, we can detect the presence of liquid.”

To train an algorithm that detects changes in the signal and classifies ears as having fluid or not, the team tested 53 children between the ages of 18 months and 17 years at Seattle Children’s Hospital. About half of the children were scheduled to undergo surgery for ear tube placement, a common surgery for patients with chronic or recurrent incidents of ear fluid. The other half were scheduled to undergo a different surgery unrelated to their ears, such as a tonsillectomy.

Among the children getting their ear tubes placed, surgery revealed that 24 ears had fluid behind the eardrum, while 24 ears did not. For children scheduled for other surgeries, two ears had bulging eardrums characteristic of an ear infection, while the other 48 ears were fine. The algorithm correctly identified the likelihood of fluid 85% of the time, which is comparable to current methods that specialized doctors use to diagnose fluid in the middle ear.

Then the team tested the algorithm on 15 ears belonging to younger children between 9 and 18 months of age. It correctly classified all five ears that were positive for fluid—as well as nine out of the ten ears, or 90%, that did not have fluid.

“Even though our algorithm was trained on older kids, it still works well for this age group,” said co-author Dr. Randall Bly, an assistant professor of otolaryngology at the UW School of Medicine who practices at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “This is critical because this group has a high incidence of ear infections.”

Because the researchers want parents to be able to use this technology at home, the team trained parents how to use the system on their own children. Parents and doctors folded paper funnels, tested 25 ears and compared the results. Both parents and doctors successfully detected the six fluid-filled ears. Parents and doctors also agreed on 18 out of the 19 ears with no fluid. In addition, the sound wave curves generated by both parent and doctor tests looked similar.

Rajalakshmi Nandakumar, a doctoral student in the Allen School, is also a co-author on this paper. This research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Seattle Children’s Sie-Hatsukami Research Endowment.

The team published its results on May 15 in the journal, Science Translational Medicine.

Research contact: earhealth@uw.edu.

Amazon posts a $7,250 ‘tiny-home kit’ that can be assembled in just eight hours

May 17, 2019

Talk about downsizing! Today, tiny homes—small structures between 180 square feet and 500 square feet in size—have become a housing solution for people who cannot (or don’t want to) pay high rents or mortgage costs, would prefer not to spend their time cleaning large interiors, or would like to take their dwellings with them to their travel destinations. But they also are increasingly in demand by wealthy buyers who want to customize their properties with a yoga studio, a pool house, or a home office, according to a report by Business Insider

And that’s the industry niche being occupied by Allwood, a family company based in  Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The company is marketing a variety of tiny house kits—from 73 square feet to 227 square feet, and in a price range from about $3,000 to $10,000.

They are sold as DIY kits that can be assembled in your backyard (or even on a rooftop). In fact, the site says, the Allwood Claudia—“a high-quality cottage-style wood cabin kit made of solid Nordic spruce”with windows on three walls and 209 square feet of inside floor space—takes just about eight hours to two adults to assemble. Do-it-yourself step-by-step instructions come with the kit. Only minimal tools are needed.

Capitalizing on the trend, Amazon is even selling a $7,250 kit for a tiny studio from the company called the Allwood Solvalla that has a total of 172 square feet of floor space (86 square  of it, covered) and that sells for $7,250 with free shipping. “Ideal home office or guest house,” the description says—but no working bathroom or kitchen is included. Allwood makes other models that include these amenities.

While tiny homes are often mobile, Allwood’s studio is meant to stay firmly rooted outdoors. It can also be taken apart and reassembled in new locations.

What’s more, Business Insider points out, “Those who want to transform it into a fully functioning home or guest house will need to install their own electricity and air conditioning, which could increase the cost by thousands of dollars. Buyers will also need to purchase shingles and a foundation, which cost an extra $320, according to the company.”

After launching the model in 2018, Allwood said its goal was to sell 250 kits by the end of the year. Thus far, the studio has only two customer reviews on Amazon — one praising the price point and another considering it a rip-off.

It all depends on your perspective. If you have the money, it could even be a children’s playhouse.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Barr tries to provoke Pelosi: ‘Did you bring your handcuffs?’

May 17, 2019

On two occasions within the past month, the U.S. attorney general has, literally, been a scofflaw.

NBC News reports that, after refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee several weeks ago and ignoring a subpoena, AG William Barr ribbed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) on May 15 about an impending vote to find him in contempt of Congress.

Barr approached Pelosi at a National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day event outside the Capitol, shook her hand and said loudly, “Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?” a bystander told NBC News.

Pelosi—whose role it is to schedule the contempt vote against Barr before the full House—remained unperturbed.

She smiled in reply and indicated that the House sergeant-at-arms was present at the ceremony, should an arrest be necessary, the bystander said. Barr chuckled and walked away.

But this is not the first time he has sneered at the situation. Barr also joked about the contempt resolution at a farewell ceremony for former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last week.

“This must be a record, of an attorney general being proposed for contempt within 100 days of taking office,” Barr said with a smile.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Free as a bird: Escaped pet parrots are thriving in the wild across 43 states

May 16, 2019

No matter how gilded the cage, sometimes a parrot—or a parakeet—just wants to spread its wings and fly. And although owners may worry when a bird goes out the window, it turns out that not only are parrots that have “liberated” themselves surviving alfresco; they’re thriving.

A new study conducted at the University of Chicago has found that 56 species of parrot— none of which is native to the United States—have been spotted in the wild in 43 states. And incredibly, of those species, nearly half have reportedly been breeding—in 23 states.

Indeed, when Stephen Pruett-Jones, PhD, an ecologist at the University of Chicago, first came to the Windy City in 1988, he stumbled on a unique piece of the city’s history—the monk parakeets of Hyde Park.

The squat, bright-green birds aren’t native to Illinois, or to the United States, at all. America. originally had two native parrot species: the Carolina parakeet and the thick-billed parrot. The Carolina parakeet is now extinct; the thick-billed parrot, a Mexican species that ranged into the southwestern states,is no longer seen north of the border.

Monk parakeets have been known to live and breed in a colony in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood since the 1960s, after a pet bird craze led to the import of thousands from South America. Many escaped their homes or were released by their owners into the concrete jungle, eventually breeding in at least 10 states by 1968.

Pruett-Jones decided to organize a lab project to count them and other parrot species nationwide. He teamed up with Jennifer Uehling, a former UChicago undergraduate student now working on a Ph,D, at Cornell University; and Jason Tallant of the University of Michigan to research data on bird sightings from 2002 to 2016..

“Many of them were escaped pets, or their owners released them because they couldn’t train them or they made too much noise — all the reasons people let pets go,” explains Pruett-Jones. “But many of these species are perfectly happy living here and they’ve established populations. Wild parrots are here to stay.”

Pruett-Jones and his team used two databases of bird sightings to track naturalized parrot species from 2002 through 2016. First, they turned to the Christmas Bird Count, an annual survey by the National Audubon Society that captures a snapshot of birds nationwide. during a two-week time period between December 14 and January 15. The second database, called eBird, is a spot where bird  watchers can log online all the bird sightings they come across.

The researchers found that the most common U.S. parrot species were the monk parakeets, the Red-crowned Amazon, and the Nanday Parakeet. Most of the birds are concentrated in the warmer climates of Florida, Texas, and California. There are significant populations also in and around large cities like New York and Chicago. The researchers estimate that there are more Red-crowned Amazons living in California now than in their original habitats in Mexico.

But there is some disturbing news: Although at one time there were about 400 monk parakeets living in the U.S., the number is believed to only be around 30 today, with the largest colony found under the Skyway bridge connecting Illinois to Indiana. Researchers say there appears to be a decline in the overall bird population in the United States., giving bird fanatics and animal advocates even more reason to protect these “escapees” from harm.

“Because of human activity transporting these birds for our own pleasure, we have inadvertently created populations elsewhere,” says Pruett-Jones. “Now for some of these parrots, they may become critical to the survival of the species.”

The study is published in the April edition of Journal of Ornithology.

Research contact: pruett-jones@uchicago.edu