Top 10 Taco Joints in Chicago

Chicago is home to some of the best Mexican restaurants in the country. Customers could be looking for the best tacos in Chicago, a hot tamale or some tasty carnitas, these Mexican restaurants will not disappoint.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional taco to satisfy your cravings or you want to try something unique like a Korean fusion taco, Chicago’s the place to find it. I created an interactive map highlighting all of the best spots to hit when looking for some amazing tacos.

The Rise and Fall of Vaping

By Katie Carpenter

Within the past few years the traditional way of smoking has been left in the past and a new electronic way has emerged. Vaping, as most people call it, is an electronic cigarette or e-cigarette, battery operated vaporizer that mimics smoking and delivers users several of the behavioral features of smoking, like the hand-to-mouth action of smoking, but without burning and inhaling tobacco. For years many people though that vaping was the healthier and cleaner option to kick cigarette addictions once and for all. Unfortunately, in recent times, vaping has been linked to a significant case of lung illnesses developing in users of all demographics. 530 vaping related illnesseshave been documented across the country.

With health officials warning the general public of this possible epidemic there has been a spike in the searching trends of vaping and vaping related illnesses in the U.S. This issue is concerning the American public so much so that the trump administration has relayed plans to instill a ban on the sale and production of flavored electronic cigarettes.  

Thanks to the new information given to the public, trends on google for searches of vaping and vaping ban surged in early September 2019. Going off of the trends pictured above it is very clear that the public is worried about this on going issue.

How a Young Girl Sparked an International Discussion on Climate Change

Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish activist, confronted UN officials during a climate change session.The young activist took aim at officials for not doing their part in slowing down the ticking time bomb that is global warming. Climate Change is an issue we often here about but has lost credibility in our most recent political climate. 

In her raw speech Thunberg does not hold back when it comes to being honest with the much older government officials that sit in front of her. She claims, “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back at school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.” Greta spoke words that many grown adults would fear to say to people in power and her honesty touched the ears of millions of people.

Through analyzing google trends it’s obvious that Greta’s speech to the U.N. captured the attention of many as there was a spike in searches related to her and climate change around the time that she decided to take a stance. 

Push for Defunding Planned Parenthood Threatens Patients

By Teodora Marinescu and Katie Carpenter

With the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict funding, Planned Parenthood has found itself again at the center of the heated, ongoing pro-life versus pro-choice debate.

While  Illinois is considered to be a safe-haven for reproductive rights, conservative politicians have recently pushed for the defunding of this organization, which could affect the access to reproductive health care of over 50,000 patients.

Moreover, according to the Chicago Tribune, individuals from other states  turn to Illinois for better access to reproductive health services so they would also be affected. In 2017, around 5,500 patients traveled to Illinois for access to abortions.

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The Top 10 Best Beaches in the U.S.

Wish you could lay out on a beach under some clear blue skies, soaking up that sunshine with crashing waves setting the tone of your day? It’s time to stop daydreaming and finally plan that beach getaway for you and your family. The United States is one of the top ten countries in the world when it comes to total coastline area, and the country’s beaches are spread out over four coasts: the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes.

From the Florida coast to the beautiful Island of Hawaii, America has some of the most underrated vacation spots and beaches. Every beach listed has their unqiue vibe that draws crowds for a variety of reasons each and every new season. To evaluate each beach, it took both quality and quantity into consideration when it came to the beach reviews. Everyone loves a great beach day, so here are the top 10 best beaches in the United States, according to TravelChannel on

Google Time Lapse of New York City from 1984 to 2016

In 1997, New York City expanded their territory by obtaining the four Burroughs surrounding the island of Manhattan. The growth of New York, did not cease at the expansion of the city’s border- the whole population has grown exponentially. New York City has grown by over 1 million people since 1990. With a July 2015 population of 8,550,405, New York is the most populous city in the United States, more than twice the size of the second largest city, Los Angeles. With such a high amount of people living in one city it only makes sense that New York real estate continues to expand with sky scrapers. Below, the time lapse video portrays just how the concrete jungle has grown with their populations growth.

ILLINOIS CRAFT BEER SALES STATISTICS, 2017

In the graphic below you will find an information regarding Illinois craft beer sales for the year 2017.

Source: Brewers Association

Above is an infographic, identifying statistical findings on craft beer sales throughout the state of Illinois in the year 2017. The state of Illinois is ranked 12th in the country when it comes to the amount of craft breweries located in the state. While there is 385,874 barrels of craft beer is produced in the state and is ranked 16th in the nation. That can be broken down to about 1.3 gallons of craft beer per adult, who is of the legal drinking age. The craft brewery market has a 2,602 million impact on Illinois’s economy, averaging about 283.7 per capita.


Google Trends: Taylor Swift’s instagram post causes a spike in voter registrations

Taylor Swift vs. Voter Registration

In an Instagram post on October 7th 2018, the music mega pop star posted of her endorsement for Tennessee congressional race and how important it is for people to go out and vote. Taylor has 114 million followers and for most of Taylor’s career she has remained silent on her political beliefs.

The mid- October posting had Swift promising to vote for two Democratic candidates: former governor Phil Bredesen for the Senate and Rep. Jim Cooper for reelection in Tennessee. She also addressed her past silence in regards to politics.

The post stated, “I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” she wrote. “I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”

As the days went by and her post was seen by her millions of followers, there is clear correlation in the google trends chart above that with Taylor’s posting of about voting caused a spike in people searching voter registration.

Bredesen Vs. Blackburn

By having Taylor Swift publicly shed light on the Tennessee candidates for the congressional seat, we can see from the chart, there is a clear spike in the searches for the candidate’s, Phil Bredesen and Marsha Blackburn, around the week of October 7th continuing throughout the week until October 13th.

Taylor’s instagram post stated she was in support of Democratic nominee Phil Bredesen, claiming that although in the past she may have wanted a woman (Blackburn) in the congressional seat, she said she does not support her beliefs on social issues. The republican nominee, Marsha Blackburn is a big critic of equal rights for the LGBTQ community, which is a deal breaker for many. Despite Taylor’s viral instagram post, Marsha Blackburn did end up winning the congressional seat in Tennessee. That is not to say that Taylor did not cause an interest for young people, at the very least, to research voting registration.

When Blackburn did win the congressional seat she made a statement by to the public by giving Taylor a playful jab using lyrics to one of her most popular songs. As Marsha rang in the win she gave Swift some advice, “shake it off”.