Losing Weight on the Cheap

sparschwein

Do you want to know how to lose weight on the cheap? This is what worked for me; maybe it will help you drop those stubborn pounds that refuse to go away. I’m a former football player, and after I stopped playing I put on a few extra unwanted pounds.

I tried expensive diets and workouts plans, but nothing seemed to work and the only weight I was losing was coming out of my wallet.
I used to think in able to have a ripped beach body it was going to take a massive amount of time, money, and discipline, I was wrong.

In fact, after I made a few minor lifestyle changes the weight fall off a lot easier than I ever thought it would. The first thing I had to realize about losing weight is getting fit is not about looking good it is about being healthy; looking good thankfully is a by-product of being healthy and getting healthy doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.

For those who prefer going to the gym or working out with a trainer there are plenty of gyms that are offering discounts due to the bad economy, so finding an affordable gym shouldn’t be that hard. If you do choose to join a gym and you need a trainer, bring in your own if possible.

I am not saying this because of the qualifications of the trainers at the gym; not at all most professional trainers are surely qualified it’s just that if they work for the gym they will probably cost more because they have to pay a portion of their earnings to the gym.

If you decide to bring in your own trainer from outside the gym, that is a cost that will not be passed on to you. If you are like me and you do not have the time to hit the gym four days a week, or if you simply cannot afford it here is a cheap workout you can do in the comfort of your own home with minimum equipment.

The Equipment:

1) Three workout bands: yellow, blue, and black.
You can find them at any retail store for less than twenty dollars for the set. The great thing about exercise bands other than the fact that they are very cheap as you can do a whole workout with them.

2) Two thirty five pound dumbbells, another easy to find the item
If you want to try to save a few bucks you can get them used at Play it Again Sports, or you can find them at retail stores such as Meijer, Wal-mart, and even Target.

3) And as for my cardio, I have a treadmill, but if you do not have a treadmill, a regular brisk walk will do and the good thing about a walk is it is free. Getting fit does not have to cost a bundle of money and it does not have to take more than 30 or 40 minutes a day.

Try to exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes and the pounds will begin to fall off. Small daily lifestyle changes are all it takes, instead of chips try fruit, instead of juice try water small changes like that make a huge difference.

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Through the Eye’s of African American Writers

writers-on-the-roof-joyce-owens

The contribution of African Americans to this country has been enormous and rather it be writers like Olaudah Equiano who wrote of the struggles of slaves and fought to change it after becoming free or Ralph Ellison who centuries later wrote of the linger effects of slavery and the ongoing struggle of the descendants of those slaves for social, political, and economic equality.

The real power of the many prominent African American writers, poets, screenwriters, and novelist is their ability to provide insight into the world of black people and show it to people who may not be aware of issues facing the African American community. This gain knowledge is very often the catalyst that can and often brings about change. The first published work by an African American author came in the 18th century.

A narrative of the conditions of slavery is believed to be the first published author of African descent. Olaudah Equiano wrote of his experience as a kidnapped child sold into slavery. He provides the reader with a first-hand perspective of what it was like to be snatched from freedom and thrown into bondage. He writes of the culture shock, the horrors, and the experience of being treated as a thing and not a person.

He gives us a glimpse of the horrors he experienced, “When I looked round the ship too and saw a large furnace or copper boiling, and a multitude of black people of every description chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow, I no longer doubted of my fate; and, quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted” (Equiano).

This narrative and the many slave narratives that came after it was instrumental in giving a face to the victims of the horrible institution of slavery. Fredrick Douglas’s an autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), immediately sold thousands of copies. In the period immediately before the Civil War, historians estimate that the book may have sold about 30,000 copies.

Another important author who wrote of her experience as a slave and the violence she endured was Harriet Jacobs. These narratives help large portions of society who may not have thought much about slavery one way or the other see the cruelty of the system.

These authors and many like them were the pioneers of many of the social conscious African Americans who came after them rather it be authors like Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois who wrote about issues pertaining to African American access to education and equal rights. Washington’s “Up From Slavery” (1901) appeared in close proximity to DuBois’s “Souls of Black Folk” (1903), both of which have become canonical in tracing the literary and political histories of African American thinkers.

In addition to being socially conscious, the early part of the 20th century also saw the dawning of prominent black poets and fiction writers who used their voice in a more artistic way to speak of the social conditions of blacks during their time. Modern poet Claude McKay notable poem “If We Must Die,” spoke the system racial discrimination and Jim Crow laws.

An important figure during the Harlem Renaissance which gave brought us prominent black voices like Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and May Miller the most widely published female playwright of the Harlem Renaissance.

African American’s have contributed to this country rather it is by the sweat of their brow or the swap of the pen, their contributions have been many and are undeniable.

The Rise of The Self-Publisher

Self%2Bpublish%2Bjpg

Last night I went on Amazon searching for new authors to read and what I found was a little disheartening. After about thirty minutes of wading, through samples of stories that might have been better served being rewritten or edited, I gave up. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this experience. Please don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of very good writers coming out, and for the most part, my experiences have been good, I just think that there should be some sort of quality filter that one must go through to post to some of these self-publishing sites.

The urge to publish and read can sometimes hurt the quality of the product that is flooding the market. Trust me, I’m not throwing stones at anyone I’m sure I’m guilty of this as well. I understand the unstoppable urge to put something before it is ready. I think it taints the industry and makes it harder for those who are serious about writing to be taken seriously.

I believe self-publishing one’s own work is a good thing; it allows some very talented writers to be read that might not have had the opportunity otherwise. Self-publishing gives the writer more control and is virtually free to do which are good things. The flip side of that is a lack of quality control, which means almost anyone with a computer can write and publish their own work, rather it is good or bad and this, of course, floods the market making it harder to find talented writers to read.

Yesterday, as I searched I read a lot of samples that looked like first drafts. I honestly think that there should be a threshold that needs to be met. I’m talking about a review board not there to reject works but to enhance and offer support. Most of the samples weren’t bad they just seemed rushed. Let me reiterate, I think self-publishing is a fantastic opportunity for writers, but I do think that there should be a minimum threshold that should be met before anything goes to the market.

Is Artificial Intelligence Really a Threat?

AI

Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) really a threat? Possibly, but not likely. So why is this a debut that seems to be growing in intensity? One reason is the mystery that surrounds (AI) development coupled with prominent voices like Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk has warned humanity of the threat posed by artificial intelligence. Then, there is the explosion of (AI) themed television shows and movies. HBO’s “Westworld” and “Ex Machina” are just the most recent carnations of super intelligence, humanoid machines secretly plotting against their creators, us. Who can forget the calm, soothing, yet deadly voice of HAL 9000 of 2001: A Space Odyssey or the rampaging T-800 Model 101 Terminator played by Arnold Schwarzenegger walking through walls to kill Sarah Conner. The bottom line is there are no murderous cyborgs powered by super (AI) intent on our extinction. There is no credible proof that artificial intelligence (AI) now or in the future poses a threat to humankind.

YouGov took a survey for the British Science Association and found that 36% of people truly believe that artificial intelligence (AI) poses an existential threat to human survival. (Shead) The reason in large part is the fear of the unknown, the need for a bogey man/woman. The fact of the matter is the term “artificial intelligence” itself is a misnomer. (AI) is neither artificial nor all that intelligent. (Miller) Dr. Akli Adjaoute, founder and CEO of Brighterion, a San Francisco-based provider of (AI)and machine-learning software for healthcare and identity fraud, believes that “Computers, unlike people, have no imagination.” (Bertolucci) Computers are unable to think for themselves. They lack cognitive capabilities. Even powerful (AI) systems such as IBM’s Jeopardy! -winning Watson, don’t mimic the human brain. Computers need to be programmed, they need to be given the task to accomplish, they need human guidance. They do not have the ability to become self-aware.

The second reason is (AI) could never become a real threat to humanity is human beings. Human intervention would prevent this from ever happening. If we are smart enough to create something with super (AI) I’m sure we would be smart enough not to give it the power to destroy us. Further more, why would they want to destroy or control us? This fear of being dominated and the need to dominate is a very human characteristic. Humans have always had a penchant for pushing boundaries to the outer limits. Human beings are explorers by nature seeking the unknown. Rather, it by sailing beyond the flat horizon, or reaching skyward toward the outer limits of space, and now Artificial Intelligence. A being with (AI) would have no such desire.

Allen Institute CEO Oren Etzioni recently told CNBC, AI’s critics may be blurring the distinction between machines capable of performing instructions very efficiently, and truly autonomous systems that think and act independently. (Bertolucci) in summary, we do not have the capability to build an (AI) something that can freely think on its own mimicking the human brain.

Works cited

Bertolucci, Jeff. “No, AI Won’t Kill Us All.” informationweek.com. http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/big-data-analytics/no-ai-wont-kill-us-all/d/d-id/1319202

Milleri, Sean. “The Fascinating Truth About Why Artificial Intelligence Won’t Take Over the World.” alternet.org.
http://www.alternet.org/culture/fascinating-truth-about-why-artificial-intelligence-wont-take-over-

Shead, Sam. “Over a third of people think AI poses a threat to humanity.” businessinsider.com.
http://www.businessinsider.com/over-a-third-of-people-think-ai-poses-a-threat-to-humanity-2016-3

The Concept of Race

race

Does race have any scientific validity, or is it a social construct without any biological meaning? Many mainstream scientists believe the latter. All modern humans originated in Africa and have only small variations in their genes. The race is understood to be a useful tool to elucidate human genetic diversity but is also understood to be a poorly defined marker of that diversity and an imprecise proxy for the relationship between ancestry and genetics (Gannon). Researchers of genomes from various parts of the world have found that there is no quantifiable genetic difference between people of African descent and those of European descent.

Even though there is no scientific proof to back up their theory many geneticists and social scientists still believe that human beings are genetically distinct and hold a special place in nature. There is no scientific validity when it comes to race and science. There is no biological gene that identifies a person by race. In the 19th and early 20th century, scientists believed “a race was the equivalent of a subspecies, so that it had meaningful biological utility (Ghose).

Race is a social constructed designed to place people into social boxes where they can be held down social and economically with privilege going to one group above others an example of this was Louis Agassiz and Samuel Morton’s book “Types of Mankind” (Understanding Race), Edward Long’s “History of Jamaica” where he viewed somewhere between whites and orangutans. In the 1820’s and 30’s, a Philadelphia physician named Samuel G. Morton collected and measured hundreds of human skulls to confirm that there were differences among the races. Morton was a proponent of polygenism, which theorized that the different races were different species, with separate origins. Morton assigned the highest brain capacity to Europeans—with the English highest of all. Although Morton was a scientist, he used his influence to make the case for black inferiority (Understanding Race).

Although there is clearly no scientific evidence or proof to support their claims that different races representing different species, proponents of the polygenist theory claimed to have believed that people of European decent represented those who were at the top of the hierarchy latter and those of African descent represented those at the bottom. Even Thomas Jefferson, founding father, and slave owner believed the misconception that blacks were a separate inferior species, “I advance it therefore as a suspicion only that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind” (Understanding race).

Frederick Douglass challenged the leading theorists of the American School of Anthropology, work by early “race scientists” who tried to prove that blacks were not the same species as whites, and their attempt to rob people of color of their history by claiming that the rulers of ancient Egypt were not Africans. The ramification and intentional damage of this pseudoscience can still be felt throughout minority communities, in particularly African American communities to this day hundreds of years later African Americans are still struggling to break the chains of social bondage placed upon them so many years ago, by a system that was designed to minimize and dehumanize them and other minorities. The culture and true history of African Americans are often stolen or altered to fit a more mainstream white American palate. The reality is biologically we all are almost identical, but socially and culturally we are viewed differently, and often treated as such.

References

Gannon, M. (2016, February 5). Race Is a Social Construct, Scientists Argue. Retrieved from

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/race-is-a-social-construct-scientists-argue/

Ghose, T. (2015, June 17). The science of Race. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/51245-what-is-ethnicity-racial-identity.html

The Paradox of Freedom and Slavery. Retrieved from http://www.understandingrace.org/history/gov/paradox.html

One Race or Several Species. Retrieved from http://www.understandingrace.org/history/science/one_race.html

 

 

 

The Matrix of Domination

The Matrix of Domination1

The definition of the matrix of domination as it is explained by Patricia Hill Collins is the interlocking system of oppression based on race, class, and sexuality. The Matrix of Domination was developed as a concept to represent the fact that to truly understand oppression we must understand its counter position of privilege (Women and Gender Studies). I will explore how identity politics (Civil rights, Feminism, and the LGBT movement) and the oppressive system that makes it more difficult for minorities to gain and maintain equal footing. I begin with African American civil rights and the oppressive system of slavery and the lingering effects which can still be felt to this day. We all know who held the privilege and benefited from slavery, the white antebellum societies of the south.

The southern states and in particular white men who were willing to divide into two warring factions to preserve their position of power and privilege over those of African descent. One of the ways they did this was by using fear and intimidation and murder. Another way was by not allowing them knowledge. Knowledge is power so slaves were not allowed to learn to read. Malnutrition was another way of maintaining control. By all accounts, slaves were fed just enough to be strong enough to work and were constantly hunger. What is true is that the African American has still yet to recover fully from the system of slavery and many of the tactics that were used back then have been modified and still used today. Since the end of slavery African American’s have still been systematically discriminated against rather it is the system of Jim Crow, housing discrimination, job discrimination, lack of educational opportunities, or a justice system slanted against them. This country has made some progress, but we still have a long way to go.

I move now to feminism in a system that still to this day refuses to pay women doing the same jobs as their male counter parts equally. In a system designed to preserve white male dominates women of every ethnic group and cultural background had struggled to find their way in the workplace. Certainly, there have been times when women dominated the work market during times when the country was at war and there was a lack of man power to do the available jobs. Those jobs were filled by women, but when the wars ended and the men returned home women were often fired or given menial positions for less pay. Although things have improved, but not nearly enough. There are still too many instances where women have been passed over or viewed as not smart or strong enough to do higher paying jobs. We have made up some distance regarding women and pay equality with President Obama signing as his first piece of legislation as president “Fair Pay Restoration Act” inspired by Lily Ledbetter.

I move now to the LGBT movement. Many have equated the LGBT movement with that of the civil rights movement. I agree that both African Americans and people in the LGBT community have faced many of the same discrimination in a system designed to minimize their power rather it be housing discrimination, equal civil rights and questions of gender identity. Unlike African Americans who can marry whom ever they choose and are able to leave benefits behind for their spouses, this is a battle many people in the gay community are still waging. The matrix of domination as responsive to human agency. Such thought views the world as a dynamic place where the goal is not merely to survive or to fit in or to cope; rather, it becomes a place where we feel ownership and accountability (Collins).

 

 

 

Refences

Collins, P. H. (1990). Black Feminist Thought in the Matrix of Domination. Retrieved from http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/252.html

WOMEN AND GENDER STUDIES. Retrieved 2017, from http://wmst.gmu.edu/center/publications

Health Disparities Driven by Socioeconomic

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Socioeconomic status (SES) is often measured as a combination of education, income, and occupation. It is commonly conceptualized as the social standing or class of an individual or group (APA). Depending on where you come down on the economic latter will often determine the quality and quantity of healthcare you are able to receive which in turn can have a lasting effect on your overall health. The disparity in good health, and the availability of affordable health care can be traced back to years of discriminatory laws designed to marginalize minorities and other non-white cultures.

Racial residential segregation is a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health. The physical separation of the races by enforced residence in certain areas is an institutional mechanism of racism that was designed to protect whites from social interaction with blacks. Despite the absence of supportive legal statutes, the degree of residential segregation remains extremely high for most African Americans in the United States (Williams). Discrimination and marginalization are sometimes barriers for ethnic and racial minorities seeking to escape poverty Minorities are more likely to receive high-cost mortgages: African Americans (53%) and Latinos (43%), in comparison to Caucasians (18%) (APA).

Studies show that one of the major contributors to racial disparity in the health and the quality of healthcare is the segregation of the ethnic groups with one group, generally white people having access to better schools and more opportunities to better higher paying jobs. In contrast, to non-whites who commonly live in low-income communities with poor schools and a limited number opportunities to find or qualify for good well-paying jobs. Economic status is a good barometer to gauge health and access to good healthcare. Individuals who earn more money often have better diets, they eat quality foods that are generally healthier, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean healthy meat and fish, a quality diet, a healthy diet. Individuals who make less money must shop in the way that maximizes the strength of their dollars. They shop for what they can afford diets that include foods with high fat, high salt, and high sugar, fatty meats and little to no fruits and vegetables. A diet that is conducive to poor health.

How do we close the disparity gap between those that have access to quality health and healthcare and those who do not? We first must address the social, economic, and environmental forces that create health and social inequities in a community. Policies that aren’t helping fix the problems need to be reexamined or done away with completely. The need for more opportunities to good schools and higher education so that individuals can have an opportunity for better employment. Reducing SES disparities in health will require policy initiatives addressing the components of socioeconomic status (income, education, and occupation) as well as the pathways by which these affect health (Adler).

The gap in the disparity in health and the access to quality healthcare can only be eradicated by serious policies that deal with the three major contributors to health and health care disparity. The first is dealing with policies that discriminate against minorities. The second is the ability to afford and have access to a quality education, and the third is having the opportunity to apply and get a good high paying job. Addressing these problems would alleviate most of the major problems that are associated with causes for poor health and access to quality healthcare.

References

Adler, N. E., & Newman, K. Socioeconomic Disparities In Health: Pathways And Policies. Retrieved from http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/21/2/60.short

Racial Residential Segregation: A Fundamental Cause of Racial Disparities in Health

David R. Williams, PhD, MPH, Chiquita Collins, PhD

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1093/phr/116.5.404?journalCode=phrg

American Psychological Association: Ethnic and Racial Minorities & Socioeconomic Status

http://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/minorities.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Overcoming Writer’s Block

How-to-Overcome-Writer's-Block

Having trouble writing is nothing new. I would venture to say that every writer at some point in his/her careers has had to overcome writer’s block.

Here are three sure-fire tips that will get you writing in no time. These tips for overcoming writer’s block will help get you back to writing easily and quickly.

Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block
I know there are many theories when it comes to this topic. Some do not even believe that there is such a thing while others believe the only way to beat it is to grind your way through it.

First off, let me say that in my opinion, I believe that it is quite real, at least it was to me when I was going through it. As for the grind your way through its method, I do not believe it works. If the creative juices are not flowing, then they do not flow I do not see how forcing one’s self to stare at a blank screen is helping the process, but that’s just me.

I am more of a coax the process along kind of person. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to walk away, take a break from the project for a day or two if you can. I believe you try the simplest methods first and then you work from there.

There isn’t anything simpler then closing the laptop and taking a well-deserved break. Give your brain a rest and focus on other things for a day or two, then come back fresh and renewed. It is simple but effective.

End writer’s block Tip
Free writing if you are experiencing writer’s block you may think not being able to write is the problem, so how I am I going to write? Free writing is less about writing than it is about getting your creative juices flowing.

Throughout the years what I have learned is that usually writing is not the problem. The problem most likely is getting started. One way around the getting started problem is to free write. This is how it works; get a piece of paper and without filtering your thoughts write down the first words that come to mind.

Make a list of 10 or 20 words and before you know, it the juices will be flowing again and you will be writing. I know it sounds simple, but it works.

Guide for Overcoming Writer’s Block Tip
Take some time off and get some fresh air. Writing is a very solitary process and most writers spend a lot of time alone and in their own head. This can stifle the creative process.

Go outside, go visit with friends and family; forget about what you are working on for a little while. You will be amazed at the difference taking a little time off can make. These are just a few of the tips that worked for me hopefully they work for you.

SELF-PUBLISHING

BlogSelf%2Bpublish%2Bjpg

 

Last night I went on Amazon searching for new authors to read and what I found was a little disheartening. After about thirty minutes of wading, through samples of stories that might have been better served being rewritten or edited, I gave up. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this experience. Please don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of very good writers coming out, and for the most part my experiences have been good, I just think that there should be some sort of quality filter that one must go through to post to some of these self-publishing sites. The urge to publish and read can sometimes hurt the quality of the product that is flooding the market. Trust me, I’m not throwing stones at anyone I’m sure I’m guilty of this as well. I understand the unstoppable urge to put something before it is ready. I think it taints the industry and makes it harder for those who are serious about writing to be taken seriously.

I believe self-publishing one’s own work is a good thing; it allows some very talented writers to be read that might not have had the opportunity otherwise. Self-publishing gives the writer more control and is virtually free to do which are good things. The flip side of that is a lack of quality control, which means almost anyone with a computer can write and publish their own work, rather it be good or bad and this of course floods the market making it harder to find talented writers to read. Yesterday, as I searched I read a lot of samples that looked like first drafts. I honestly think that there should be a threshold that needs to be met. I’m talking about a review board not there to reject works, but to enhance and offer support. Most of the samples weren’t bad they just seemed rushed. Let me reiterate, I think self-publishing is a fantastic opportunity for writers, but I do think that there should be a minimum threshold that should be met before anything goes to the market.