Alex Kogan

I'm a Chicago-based writer and organizer seeking to give others a voice, build relationships, and make a difference.

Findings: Lead Poisoned Chicago's Drinking Water

Did you know the City of Chicago is being sued for knowingly contaminating the drinking water with lead? We’ve seen the horrifying images of poisonous brown water in Flint, MI, but lead isn’t usually so visible. Many municipalities around the country have elevated levels of lead, which causes serious damage to the brain, nervous system, and more. Through a combination of lead-based plumbing, botched construction work, and deceptive testing practices, Chicago is alleged to have let that toxin into your water. Whatever the verdict, your choice is clear: protect your health and your family with a drinking water system from Angel Water.

Sanctions: A Curse or a Blessing?

This Thursday, February 12th, representatives from all 28 EU member states will meet in Brussels to deliberate renewal of sanctions launched in response to Russian involvement in Ukraine. Regardless of the EU decision, one thing is clear: the strategy of economic sanctions has failed, as it historically always has. It’s a tactic which harms the citizens of the targeted nation, but fails to pressure the leadership. And as one can see in Russia, sanctions often even reinforce the targeted leaders by feeding them a scapegoat for their problems.

Buyer Personas vs. Target Audiences—What’s the Difference?

Do you know the difference between target audiences and buyer personas? If you aren’t a marketing expert, you may not be familiar with these terms and what exactly they mean. However, both are crucial tools to deploy in planning your business’s marketing strategy. Target audiences and buyer personas are tools used in market segmentation. First, a target audience brings together common demographic traits like age, gender, income level, and geographic location, to offer a broad summary of the people you’re marketing to. Buyer personas then offer detailed snapshots of distinct types of individuals you encounter, providing deep analysis of their behavior so you can better isolate and target your best customers.

5 Web Development Guidelines for SEO-Friendly Websites

In the digital age, your website is like your storefront. You want people to stop in, and you want to keep them interested so they convert into customers. So, how do you attract customers to your site? How do you build a website that represents you well and helps grow your business? With SEO-friendly web development, that’s how. Here’s an introduction to SEO-friendly web development and five basic guidelines to help you get started.

All They Are Saying, Is Give Bees a Chance

On Saturday, activists in cities from Dallas to Melbourne, Australia, “swarmed the globe” in an international rally to save the world’s bees. In an action timed to coincide with National Honey Bee Day in the United States, Bee Against Monsanto—a Tampa-based collective that campaigns to protect honey bees and other pollinators—called on organizers worldwide to hold “Swarm the Globe” rallies. Their goal: to raise awareness of the dangers of neonicotinoids, a family of insecticides that kill bees.

How Can Procedural Language Help Parents Raise an Independent Child?

If you have dependent children then you almost certainly know how hard it can be to get them to do anything. Getting ready for bed, getting ready for school, getting ready for anything—it’s usually a disorganized mess. Sometimes they need close supervision and help every step of the way. Other times, they actively resist your direction. How can you be better at raising an independent child? Critical thinking skills and good habits are effective at making children more capable and less dependent. One major key lies in how you talk them through these tasks: the difference between activity language and procedural language.

UIC: Undocumented and Unafraid

“My name is Sharanitha and I am undocumented, unafraid, unapologetic, and I too am UIC.” Applause erupted for Sharanitha in the quad at the University of Illinois, Chicago, during a “Coming Out of the Shadows” rally, where she and other undocumented students addressed the crowd. The event served as a stage for UIC students to publicly share their immigration statuses with the wider university community and to call for an end to deportations.

How Does Aquarium Maintenance Eliminate Nuisance Algae Problems?

We all want our aquariums to look beautiful. It’s every aquarist’s goal to have a vibrant, colorful, lively aquarium to look at and excite the senses. However, if algae growth gets out of control, your aquarium could be left looking slimy, murky, and disgusting. Quick fixes like siphoning won’t help, either—to truly rid your aquarium of nuisance algae problems, you have to apply aquarium maintenance habits that resolve the underlying issues. Whether you’re dealing with filamentous “matted algae,” planktonic “pea soup algae,” or branched algae like Chara, excess algae growth is a recurring problem and you need a long-term plan to fight it. Here are the three main tactics you should use to eliminate persistent issues with any of these types of algae: reducing excess light, eliminating excess nutrients, and introducing competition.

Remington’s R51 Handguns Are Back—Are They Worth It?

Everyone likes a good underdog story, and that’s why we’re excited about the prospect of a company trying out something new, facing setbacks, but dealing with them and coming back strong. And that’s exactly the story with the newest of Remington’s subcompact handguns, the second-generation Remington R51. The Remington R51 faced many issues in its first release, with defects forcing Remington to recall the much-anticipated gun. But the company’s engineers went back to the drawing board, fixed the issues while also improving other features, and have rereleased it in its new and improved form.