Stories by Nick Blumberg

Inside the Mind, and Notebooks, of Leonardo da Vinci

Author Walter Isaacson talks about his comprehensive new biography “Leonardo da Vinci,” which delves into the staggeringly inquisitive and creative giant of the Renaissance.

CPS Inspector General on Resignation of CPS CEO Forrest Claypool

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool steps down after the district’s watchdog accuses him of a full-blown cover-up. We speak with CPS Inspector General Nicholas Schuler.

The Week in Review: CPS Watchdog Recommends Firing Schools CEO

The Chicago Public Schools watchdog recommends firing CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. Gov. Bruce Rauner says he’s not the one “in charge” of Illinois. And losing streaks persist for the Bulls and Hawks.

Outcry Over FCC Plan to End Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules

Will new FCC rules mean an end to the open internet? A look at the net neutrality debate.

BGA: Illinois Nuclear Plants Leak, Spill Radioactive Water

Byron Generating Station just south of Byron, Illinois. (Ben Jacobson / Wikimedia Commons)

Radioactive water leaking from Illinois nuclear power plants, despite promised safeguards—an investigative reporter on what’s been done.

Ilyasah Shabazz on the Legacy of Her Father, Malcolm X

To many, the legacy of activist Malcolm X is that of a fiery counterpart to the pacifist Martin Luther King, Jr. But to one of his daughters, that analysis overlooks his complexities and contributions to the fight for human rights.

Exploring the Mysteries of Anesthesia in ‘Counting Backwards’

A new book from a Northwestern medical school professor delves into the history of the common—yet still mysterious—world of anesthesia.

Former Alderman Bob Fioretti Challenging Toni Preckwinkle

In the wake of the much-maligned sweetened beverage tax, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s re-election no longer appears certain. Why Bob Fioretti believes Cook County needs new leadership.

The Week in Review: Lawmakers Get Serious About Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment takes the focus in Springfield and City Council. Aldermen approve a new police training center on the West Side. Sears plans to shutter more stores. And the Bears take on the weakened Packers. 

Retired Astronaut Scott Kelly on the Power of ‘Endurance’

Quiet time in the cupola (NASA / Scott Kelly)

He holds the American record for most consecutive days in space. Retired astronaut Scott Kelly discusses the incredible mission described in his new book, “Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery.”

Tax Overhaul, New Fed Policy Could Chart New Course for U.S. Economy

(Bjoertvedt / Wikimedia Commons)

Tempers flare in Congress as House Republicans move quickly to overhaul the nation’s tax system. A look at the economic politics and policies at play.

Author: Trump’s Election Won’t Stop ‘End of White Christian America’

Robert P. Jones on why the election of President Donald Trump was the “death rattle” of white Christian America.

New Book ‘Cuz’ Traces a Troubled Life, Cut Short by Prison

Michael Allen (Courtesy of Laura Slatkin)

How a decade in prison derailed the life of a 15-year-old, and how a devoted cousin struggled to help him re-enter society. Author Danielle Allen discusses her new book.

The Science Behind Fall Colors, Football and More

Autumn is not just pumpkin spice lattes and apple picking. Learn about the science behind the season with physicist Dr. Olivia Castellini.

House Republicans Delay Tax Overhaul Reveal

GOP lawmakers delay releasing their tax overhaul. Can legislators agree on cuts that meet the president’s demands?

Amazon Said to Eye Prescriptions as CVS Reportedly Bids on Aetna

Walgreens and CVS try to fend off competition from Amazon. Reporter Bruce Japsen joins us for a look at possible shifts in the pharmacy business.

Caitlin Doughty Wants You to Have a ‘Good Death’

Caitlin Doughty

Mortician, author and death acceptance activist Caitlin Doughty thinks American attitudes toward death are, by and large, “toxic.” 

Author John Feinstein on Golf’s ‘First Major’

The inside story of American golf greats looking for vindication in one of the game’s top tournaments.

Chicago Winter Could Be Mild, Wet … or Neither

Weather forecasts say Chicago might see a third straight mild winter. Will that prediction pan out?

Chicago Aldermen Discuss City Budget, Fiscal Priorities

City budget hearings are underway. A panel of aldermen joins us with their take on the city budget and Chicago’s long-term fiscal health.

The Week in Review: Sources Say Amazon Bid Features Big-Money Incentives

Mayor’s city budget is rife with new taxes and fees. New details on Chicago’s Amazon bid. Bulls player suspended after punching teammate. And the Cubs season comes to a close. 

Possible Senate Deal Emerges on Obamacare Subsidies

A two-year, stopgap measure still needs congressional approval, but it was the latest twist in the health care saga that has millions of Americans uncertain about the future of their insurance coverage.

How Ameya Pawar Plans to Stay Involved in State Politics

Chicago’s 47th Ward alderman has ended his bid for Illinois governor after failing to raise enough money. “I’m a regular person,” he said. “If people like me get essentially priced out of the Democratic process, I believe we’re headed to a really scary place.”

‘Word Warrior’ Traces Uncommon Life of Chicago Writer Richard Durham

Richard Durham working on series “Destination Freedom,” 1949. (Courtesy Clarice Durham)

Meet author Sonja Williams, who tells the story of a pioneering Chicago writer—and the lives he chronicled—in the book “Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom.”

Why Sexual Harassment and Assault Happen, And How to Stop Them

As accusations mount against Hollywood film executive Harvey Weinstein, a look at sexual harassment and assault.