Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Reason To Go Vegetarian

Why should you go vegetarian?

There are many reasons why people all over the world become vegetarian. Whether it’s for health, environmental, religious or ethical reasons, people of all ages, races, religions and social statuses find a preference in the compassionate lifestyle. And being a vegetarian isn’t just for the hippies anymore, as it is becoming more popular with the main stream.

Watch the “Forks Over Knives” trailer that will be in theaters next week:

Friday, April 22, 2011

It’s Getting Heated

Perhaps one of the most talked about subjects, especially around “Earth Day,” is the environment and the problems that face it. The discussion is generally divided into two major sections, the people who believe that we should actively do something in order to take care of our planet and the people who say it’s better to just leave well enough alone.

The question I have is how did these two groups come to be? Obviously, no one wishes to end the earth and eradicate all living things as quickly as possible. Being able to live is something that everyone generally agrees upon. So why has the environment become a worldwide issue?

Let’s take a look at the debate from the standpoint of the founder and creator of Earth Day, John McConnell. McConnell has demonstrated a major passion for peace, religion, and science throughout his life and has made efforts to relieve human suffering and promote the common good.

It was John McConnell's concern for the environment in the late 1960s and early 1970s that led to his push to create a holiday to celebrate the Earth's life and beauty. McConnell intended Earth Day to alert earthlings about the need for preserving and renewing the threatened ecological balances upon which all life on Earth depends. The Earth Day Proclamation stated how humanity living on Earth is all responsible for caring and keeping the Earth clean.

"Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will provide a sustainable future, eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progress in the human adventure." -John McConnell

McConnell had witnessed firsthand the man-made problems that contributed to things like hunger, poverty and global warming. A heaping handful of individuals agree with McConnell believing that humans had a major impact on the things that surrounded us. To the founder of Earth Day and to countless others, only we humans had the responsibility to protect the earth because we humans were the ones that made our earth to be this way today. But what about the people who do not agree that it are solely our responsibility to take care of the earth?

"The authors identify and describe the following global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate: (1) solar radiation ..., (2) out-gassing as a major supplier of gases to the World Ocean and the atmosphere, and, possibly, (3) microbial activities ... . The writers provide quantitative estimates of the scope and extent of their corresponding effects on the Earth’s climate [and] show that the human-induced climatic changes are negligible." -George V. Chilingar, Professor of Civil and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California

George V. Chilingarian is a Professor of Civil and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California. Chilingarian is one of the best-known petroleum geologists in the world and the founder of several prominent journals in the oil and gas industry. With 61 books and hundreds of articles on geology, petroleum engineering and environmental engineering published under his belt, the fact that he serves as president of the U.S. branch of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, 17 of his books have been translated into Russian and on top of all that, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences has honored him as a Knight of Arts and Sciences, it’s hard to say that he doesn’t know anything about the world we live in today.

The thing is Chilingarian is on the opposite spectrum of the global warming debate and the views of John McConnell and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Chilingarian believes that the earth behaves the way it does regardless of the human activity that is acted upon it. Chilingarian, people unaware of global warming in developing nations, people unsure of the findings in already developed and those companies and people associated with making a profit off of the human activity that is believed to be the cause for global warming all disagree that global warming is actually occurring.

What made this a world issue wasn’t really a debate. According to the discussions that are going on today most scientists accept that humans are contributing to observed climate change. National science academies have called on world leaders for policies to cut global emissions. However, some scientists and non-scientists still question aspects of climate-change science.

The way I see it this “questioning” is either a lack of understanding about the situation and people in the pursuit of wealth and their own personal gains. I just worry that if we as a species continue to only focus on the here and now and not on the entirety of our survival and don’t do something about our global situation soon that it will be too late. The planet earth is the only habitable planet that we can reside on at the moment, and if this weren’t the case in the future and we had a “backup planet” to fall on, we would eventually need to figure out a way to stop the damaging effects that we have on our environment before we messed that planet up too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How To Save A Life

“Don't take your organs to heaven with you.  Heaven knows we need them here.”  Author unknown, attributed to both Dan and Barbara Hladio and Thomas Boyadjis, Sr.

One of the most beneficial and selfless things a person can do is help save a life, and since not everyone is able to become a medical doctor working in a hospital setting, donating blood, tissue and organs can easily help.

The entire month of April is recognized as “National Donate Life Month.”  It was first instituted in 2003 by Donate Life America, in the hopes of raising awareness concerning organ donation and encouraging Americans to become donors.

Donate Life America is a not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States dedicated to increasing organ, tissue and eye donation.  The organization administers and sponsors the national brand for donation, “Donate Life,” and lends a hand to Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registries and motivating the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors.

Donate Life America explains the need for continued education, because although “Transplantation is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine… the need for organs and tissue is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.” The United Network of Organ Sharing clarifies that donations may be limited due to myths about the process.

Despite continuing efforts with trying to educate the public, misconceptions and inaccuracies about donation persist.

“Some people think that if I have a pink dot on my driver’s license that they won’t think that will work as hard on me, and that’s not true,” said Donate Life California spokesperson, Elena de la Cruz.

These common myths hurt the people on the waiting list for organs, eyes and tissue. The trends according to United Network for Organ Sharing show that there are simply just not enough people willing to donate and save other people.

“California has the longest waiting list in the nation,” said de la Cruz. “We have about 20,000 people on the list out of the around 110,000 in the nation.”

Volunteering is also another way people can pitch in and do their part. If you’re interested in volunteering year round, you can contact Erika Ospina Awad, who coordinates the Ambassadors of Donate Life California program, at

Donate Life America asks for everyone to either register online or in person at the DMV to avoid the statistic of an average of 18 people dying each day from the lack of available organs for transplant. 90 percent of Americans say they support donation, but only 30 percent know the essential steps to take to be a donor.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Five Foods For Splendor

Forget the makeup and hit the grocery store because some of the best beauty tools are edible.
There is a variety of foods out there that can have an effect on your appearance. Just try boosting your good looks by adding more of these items to your cart.

Dark chocolate
Notice that I said “dark” chocolate and not a half pound bag of milk chocolate M&M’s. Chocolate by itself isn’t bad for you. It’s the tons of sugar and extra additives that do you in.
Chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids which are potent antioxidants that can help protect your skin from sun damage and amp up blood flow to your tissues keeping skin nourished and glowing.
Look for chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao (it has more antioxidants), and instead of a giant candy bar buy individually wrapped nuggets and stick to one or two (about one ounce) a day.

Popeye was up to something when he practically fist pounded those leafy greens, but the benefits go far beyond bulging biceps.

Spinach is nearly calorie free and is loaded with vital nutrients and antioxidants that help fight inflammation and free-radical damage—precursors to fine lines and wrinkles. One cup of raw spinach has just seven calories and 55 percent of your RDA of vitamin A (700 IU).
He green stuff is also loaded with a kind of antioxidant called lutein, which helps eyes stay healthy and bright. Most important, spinach is an all-star source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), which helps speed up skin cell turnover and keeps skin supple.

It’s rich in calcium and eating one cup of plain low-fat yogurt strengthens nails and teeth.
Eight ounces of yogurt is packed with two grams of zinc (25 percent of the RDA), which helps calm skin inflammation, treat rosacea, and prompt regeneration of cells.

Want to know about another super food that helps skin? Experience the magical properties of soy.
Research shows that the isolavones in soy foods, such as tofu, soy milk, and edamame, can ease inflammation and stave off collagen breakdown, leaving skin with a more even tone and fewer wrinkles.

Just add soy milk to your morning cup of coffee and toss half a cup of boiled edamame into a salad or pasta dish.

Green tea
Green tea is a wonderful thing. Just warm up to this soothing brew’s antioxidants, called catechins, which can help prevent certain skin cancers and stave off sunburns.
Drink two cups a day or try sprinkling green matcha powder (available at health-food stores) into a yogurt parfait or homemade smoothie if you’re not a tea drinker
It’s just all the more reason to eat and drink a little healthier.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why Every School Should Think About Early College

It’s pretty much common knowledge that higher education can get expensive, and with recent budget cuts, tuition is skyrocketing even higher, but the public schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma seem have part of that solution.

The “Early College” program is a partnership of Tulsa Public Schools and Tulsa Community College. Hey cater to individuals like 15-year-old Sandra Escalante who has a dream to go off to college in the future.

“I was going to go to Booker T. Washington but I got a call one week before school started. What drew me in is well; I want to be a lawyer. That we could leave here with two years’ of college credits would get me that much closer,” said Escalante, a high school freshman to Tulsa World News.

The Early College program hopes to bring the opportunity for students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree cutting out two years of tuition and focusing on the upper division courses after graduation.

A postsecondary education is pretty much essential for financial and personal freedom in today’s economy. A four-year college graduate earns two-thirds more than a high school graduate does, and an Associate’s degree translates into earnings significantly higher than those earned by an individual with a high school diploma alone.

For every 100 low-income students who start high school, only 65 will get a high school diploma and only 45 will enroll in college. Only 11 will complete a postsecondary degree according to a National Educational Longitudinal Study.

Such data calls for essential interventions to increase the number of low-income young people obtaining postsecondary credentials. A change in education policies and practices are needed to ensure that more young people earn the postsecondary credentials that are crucial to their individual economic security as well.

Why not guarantee a necessary education for the future of America, cut costs and save time for growth and progress in our society and ensure these students viability of our nation’s economy?