Category: Current Event

Can we please agree to stop sexualizing kids?

Since season two of Stranger Things was released on Netflix, a problem has arose; people have started to sexualize the young actors who play the main roles on the show.

Now, I’m in no way saying that we, as a society, have never struggled with this problem. It’s always been a problem and will likely continue to be a problem in future years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speak out about this frankly disgusting problem at the moment.

Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, and Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike, have probably been the two on the Netflix show to change the most, physically at least. Both have grown in the past year since the first season was released and many people have taken a notice to that.

Brown, 13 years old, was included as a reason to ‘why TV is sexier than ever’ on W Magazine, as well as being included in multiple lists of “Hottest Actresses.” People are outraged, as they should be! One twitter user wrote, “Poner a Millie Bobby Brown en una lista de las mujeres más sexys es legitimar la pederastia. ES UNA NIÑA. NO ES SEXY. TIENE 13 AÑOS. BASTA.” Which translates to ‘Putting Millie Bobby Brown on a list of the sexiest women is legitimizing pedophilia. SHE’S A GIRL. IT IS NOT SEXY. SHE IS 13. ENOUGH.’  Another twitter user thinks of it in a different way and writes in a series of tweets, “1. My son is exactly two weeks older than Millie Bobby Brown. The thought of any creepy adults sexualizing him the way they apparently do to 2. her, and Finn Wolfhard, and the other Stranger Things kids is frankly quite horrifying. These kids are 13 and 14 years old, ffs. 3. They may be actors, but they are still KIDS. Let them be kids, goddamit. It is not at all appropriate to count down the time until a 4. child actor turns 18 and can be “officially” perved on. Stop it. Ok, parent rant over.” And that’s not even all of it, she is constantly being sexualized in other places and ways as well, but to talk about them all would be to write a short novel.

Brown’s costar, Wolfhard, is also a victim of sexualization from the older population. Ali Michael, a 27 year old model, took to her Instagram story to post a picture of the 14 year old actor, captioning it, “Not to be weird but hit me up in 4 years @finnwolfhardofficial” Though we do not know if she took it off before it automatically deleted, we do know people saw this and were irate. She did eventually apologize, making claims that it was a joke, though that does not excuse or justify her actions.Image result for ali michael finn wolfhardImage result for ali michael finn wolfhard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wolfhard briefly touched on this encounter in an interview with TMZ, saying that he thought her actions were gross, but then ultimately trailing off saying he guessed it was fine. Wolfhard has been receiving comments like this for some time, mostly from people 20 years of age or older. One user took to twitter to write, “pedophilia is old men who are attracted to children but it’s also the 20+ year old women sexualising Finn Wolfhard on their snapchat stories” They truly did hit on the fact that yes, it is pedophilia. Nonetheless, older people, no matter their gender, making sexual advances towards children is creepy and pedophilia in one sense or another.

Some people have even felt a need to point out that though they are celebrities and world-wide known actors, they are still children!

I would like to again point out that this has always been a problem and will continue to be one for quite some time. This does not just happen to child actors, it happens to most people and it is gross and does need to be stopped. I am writing about these two specifically because they have such a large following, which means in the end more people are seeing that problems like these occur much more often than they should. In the end, this problem will not begin to get better until we truly acknowledge who it hurts and how it hurts them, as well as getting media coverage like everyone is doing at this moment in time. To try and help this ongoing problem, you can also write articles, make videos, speeches, go to social media, and many more things. Even the smallest of actions bring awareness to at least one new person. The only way you can make it worse is by contributing to these kind of actions, or seeing them and still staying silent. If you have a voice, you must use it any way you can to help bring this problem to an end.

What happened when I got trigger point injections for my migraines

Since I was little I had what felt like a million and three different health problems. I suffer from migraines, and have for quite some time. I have gone through multiple different medications trying to find something to help. They all have different side effects, going from dry eyes, increased weight, or depression. But they have all been pills.

In early October, I went to my neurologist and we discussed something new; trigger point injections. It would be nine injections total and they would have lidocaine and prednisone in them. The injections weren’t for my headaches specifically, but they would help the tightness in my neck and shoulders, which in turn should help my headaches and migraines.

Disclaimer: I am not claiming to be professionally informed on anything I talk about in this article. If you want better information on Trigger Point Injections(TPI) then click here. if you want more information on Lidocaine then click here, and finally, if you want more information on Prednisone then click here. Also, feel free to do any separate research on your own!

Risks: Note: these might not be all the risks, or these may not apply to you. These are simply the risks I was informed about before receiving the TPI. There were obviously gonna be little side effects as there would be to anything. Minor pain, tightness in muscles, etc. There were only a few that I feel I should note at this time. I was told that some people feel like they’re paralyzed afterwards, not immediately, but eventually. Like they couldn’t move their neck or shoulders. Some other things were fatigue, soreness where the injections were, slight headaches, things like that. The only main risk I think is really important is that fact that if your doctor puts the needle too far in your shoulders/neck, they could accidentally poke through to your lungs. The risk of this is very slight, but it is still a possibility. I was told if at anytime I felt like it was hard to breath, I should tell them right away and they would send me to a different part of the hospital to get a chest x-ray. Obviously, that didn’t happen and I was fine, and from what I’ve heard, it’s only happened a handful of times.

The process: I’m gonna be honest, I used to be a wimp when it came to needles. Over the years I got over my fear and now I just feel a slight discomfort towards them. Getting my blood drawn would be a three or four on a scale of 1-10, one being the least and ten the worst pain. Shots would be a five, maybe a six, but these injections to me were honestly a one or two maybe.

For me what they did was nine injections. Three on each shoulder, I believe a little above where my should blade starts, directly in my muscles. Then they did three on the back of my neck, about where my back and neck meet. The needle barely went in over an inch, if even that. I’d say the ones that hurt the most were the ones on the edge of each of my shoulder, they just had a sharper pain in my opinion. The TPI itself only took about five minutes. My neurologist then put heating packs where the needles went in, keeping them there by hooking them under my bra straps. She told me this was to help spread out the steroids(the Prednisone) so they wouldn’t stay in the single part of my muscles. She also informed me that if I wanted to keep heating the TPI area, I should only do it once every two or three hours for twenty minutes at a time.

Later that day: Right afterwards I didn’t feel much pain really. I kept the heating pads on my back for about 20 minutes to half an hour. I went to school and the only real problem I had at first was it hurt in my shoulders to carry my backpack on them, so I just held it like one would a baby, or also by the straps in my hands. It was all good until a little over two hours since the I got the TPI, I began to feel a numbness spread through my shoulders(because of the Lidocaine) and then I got really cold. I don’t know if the cold had anything to do with the TPI or if it just got very cold in the school. Within about an hour the numbness went away and I felt fine, before I became extremely hyper. I normally have a tendency to tap my foot to help me concentrate, but during my last class I was tapping both feet while bouncing my legs while also tapping each finger against my desk. One classmate told me that me moving so much made her anxious! Even now, later this night, I still feel very hyper. Like I need to move, but I also am so exhausted. I also have a constant pain in my shoulders and neck and have taken a lot of medicine to help it, so it’s now a dull pain. At this time, it’s the end of the night and that’s where I stand currently.

The next day: When I woke up I felt a tightness in my shoulders and neck. When I brought my backpack downstairs i couldn’t carry it on my shoulders at all, and had to just hold it. Little things like raising my hand or reaching for a pencil hurt really badly. Throughout the day the pain seemed to get worse. On top of that, I also was exhausted, though that could’ve been from all the medicine I was taking. This day wasn’t much different from the day before, besides a more persistent pain. I constantly groaned in pain at the littlest things. Though, today I wasn’t extremely antsy like I had been the day before, like I thought I would be. When I got a hug from a family member, I literally cried out in pain when they touched my shoulder. I’m not that sensitive to pain, but I just could not handle it that day. Overall, I think the second day was much worse on a pain level, but my figeting had gone down, and being tired was better than being antsy in my opinion.

The third day: Once I woke up I barely felt any pain. I was still pretty tight where my neck and shoulders connect, but it wasn’t even very noticeable. I only really felt the pain when I poked at my neck, or when I put my backpack right where the injections had been. I was feeling back to normal on an energy/mental level and was pretty good overall. In general everything was pretty standard. Any of the immediate side effects that I had anticipated were gone by now, and I was feeling pretty good.

Overall: Since I got the TPI I’ve noticed some frontal headaches which were never a problem before, and my mother also experienced them when she first got TPI. I am still a little sore, but I’ve also already seemed to noticed that though I am still getting headaches and migraines, they aren’t quite as intense as they had been before. I don’t think it is working all that well, but it has scarcely been a fortnight. My doctor told me a lot of people don’t notice much improvement until the second set of injections, which I will be getting in about two months. I can’t quite say if it was worth it to me yet, but I do think anything is worth a shot if you are comfortable with any possible side effects that could come with any given procedure. If you think you might be interested in getting trigger point injections(not just for migraines)then talk to your doctor/specialist about them as soon as possible, because it could help you with something you are dealing with!

Mass Shooting in Las Vegas Music Festival

On the 32 floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, at 10:08 P.M. on Sunday, October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire to the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day music festival, across the street, killing at least 59 and injuring 527 people.

He was said to have had multiple illegal weapons with him, and shot through the window, completely destroying it in the process. When police broke down the door he then shot one guard, who is still alive, and fatally shot himself. They were then able to identify him as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. Police are still searching for evidence but here is what we know about the shooter/shooting as of now:

  • The Islamic State has claimed him as one of their soldiers, but there has been no other evidence to confirm that statement
  • He cannot be confirmed a terrorist until the motive is revealed. A terrorist must include these three things:
  1. Commit unlawful violence or threats
  2. Mainly against civilians
  3. It must be in a political pursuit
  • Since we cannot at this time check the last box, he cannot be named a terrorist
  • Because of his suicide, he can only remain a suspect forever as he cannot go to trial
  • In addition to that, the only time it would change is if new evidence pointed to someone else as the shooter
  • He used multiple different rifles during the shooting
  • He was said to have at least 17 different guns with him, some including scopes
  • After searching his house they found more guns, thousands of rounds of ammo, and explosives
  • At this time we cannot be fully sure if he had a mental illness, was intoxicated, or whatever else caused this

 

Here is what we know about the aftermath:

  • President Trump has since tweeted about the shooting and said, “My warmest condolences to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God Bless You!”
  • Many people who were originally injured have died the following day and are continuing to be in a critical condition
  • Ambulances ran short so people who were uninjured put the injured in their cars and drove to the hospital themselves
  • They had to turn down people in line to donate blood due to so many people being there and donating
  • Police/authorities are continuing to search for motive and more evidence, and will likely continue to do so within the next week
  • This shooting is now the largest mass shooting in the United States history, outweighing the Pulse Nightclub Shooting by ten victims

 

A list of the victims names:

Sonny Melton-29 years old. Jumped in front of bullet to save wife. He was a registered nurse at Henry County Medical Center, and his wife is an orthopedic surgeon there.

Rachel Parker-33 years old. She was a technician for the Manhattan Beach, California police department. She was there with three other employees, one of whom was shot, but is expected to recover.

Sandra Casey-34 years old. Special education teacher for nearly ten years before she was killed, she leaves behind her fiance, friends, and other loved ones

Jennifer Parks-35 years old. Kindergarten teacher, said to be the most loving person you would ever meet. She was there with her husband, who, though was injured, will survive. She was proud to do what she did and will be missed dearly.

Neysa Tonks-43 years old. Mother of three, worked at Technologent. One of her sons said, “She lived e=life like it was hr last each day, and she didn’t care what anybody thinks.”

Susan Smith-53 years old. Office manager for Vista Elementary School, in the district for 16 years. Mother of two. She was known for her kindness, and people were dropping flowers outside of he school as a memorial.

Bailey Schwietzer-20 years old. Helped run her family bakery, Bakersfield Speedway. She will be dearly missed by those who knew her.

Jennifer T. Irvine-42 years old. She practiced criminal and family law, she was a black belt in taekwondo, and was apart of many other physical activities. “She was an adventurous person, a very social, loving, caring, inclusive person,”

Lisa Romero-Muniz-48 years old. Secretary in New Mexico. She was known to be there for the students and they could depend on her. The concert tickets were an anniversary present from her husband, as he forgot their anniversary last year

Rhonda LeRocque-42 years old. A large believer in faith and a person who made others happy. She was in California with her family, they had planned to go to Disneyland after the concert. She was a very big giver.

Carrie Barnette-34 yeas old. Worked for Disney food service, a very kind and happy soul

Chrisiana Duarte-22 years old. A beautiful singer and a giver. “Incredibly driven, passionate about everyone and everything.”

Victor Link-52 years old. He had adopted son and lived with his fiancée, Lynne Gonzales. He was said to carry with him a deep passion for life.

Dana Gardner-52 years old. She worked as a document clerk for 26 years, and had one daughter

Stacee Etcheber-50 years old. She had two children with her husband, Vincent Etcheber, and worked as a hairdresser. She was shot and killed when her husband left her to help the police.

Angela Gomez-20 years old. She was a nursing student and was said to be one of the most genuine and loyal person you would ever meet.

Cameron Robinson-28 years old. He created an app for smartphones that would ease navigation for those attending the city governments annual conferences. He died in his boyfriend’s arms

Jack Beaton-54 years old. He was known to be a helpful person, and died as he used himself as a shield to cover his wife’s body from the gun shots. He is survived by his wife and son

Melissa Ramirez-26 years old. She was a daughter of two hard-working immigrants who are now United States Citizens. She majored in business and was apart of a loving family. She was hardworking, and will be missed.

Heather Alvardo-35 years old. She was a mother and friend who was always the first person who would offer help.

Hannah Ahlers-34 years old. Mother of three children, and had a loving husband, Brian Ahlers. In a statement, Mr. Ahlers had said, “She wasn’t too good for anybody. Beautiful, inside and out.”

Kurt Von Tillow-55 years old. He was a loving husband and father. His daughter and wife escaped the shooting unharmed, though his sister in the thigh, and his niece in the ankle. They are expected to recover. He will be survived by them and many more

Thomas Day Jr.-54 years old. Worker as a contractor and was a loving father and friend. He was shot in the head, and his father has not yet seen his body. He was said to often go to concerts with his children

Adrian Murfitt-35 years old. He could fix almost anything, he loved his dog, and his friends. He died in his friends arms, Brian MacKinnon. He has a big laugh and even bigger soul.

Jordan McIldoon-23 years old. A mechanic who was on vacation in Las Vegas with his girlfriend. He was supposed to return home on Monday Evening. His parents, distraught, mentioned he was their only son

Jessica Klymychuk-28 years old. She was a school librarian, and mother of four. She was visiting Las Vegas with her boyfriend. She was said to be the person who did a little bit of everything.

Quinton Robbins-20 years old. Everyone who met him smiled, claimed his aunt, Kilee Wells. She also asked for prayers and privacy for his family as of now

Dorene Anderson-49 years old. A loving mother and wife, she will be survived by her children, husband, and other loved ones.

Steve Berger-44 years old. He was at the concert celebrating his birthday with friends. Shortly after being shot in the torso, he passed away. He was known as loving, and a hardworking man.

Candice Bowers-40 years old. No additional information could be found.

Denise Burditus-50 years old. She was there with her high school love, Tony Burditus. Together they had multiple children and grandchildren. In a statement, Mr. Burditus said to CNN, “Denise always had a smile on her face. Denise never met a stranger.”

Andrea Lee Anna Castilla-28 years old. No other information could be found.

Denise Cohen-58 years old. She was known for her laugh, according to her child, Jeff Rees. Her, and her boyfriend she was with, Derrick Taylor, both died in the shooting.

Austin Davis-29 years old. Davis was supposed to be home, but made a last-minute choice to stay in Las Vegas longer. His supposed girlfriend, Aubree Hennigan, wrote to Davis saying, “I will love you until my dying day baby”

Brian Fraser-39 years old. No other information could be found.

Keri Galvan-31 years old. Mother of three and loving husband. Her husband tried to save her, but sadly it was too late.

Rocio Guillen-40 years old. She was with her fiance and was a mother of four. Her cousin stated, “She was a supermom, always working hard and juggling everything to be the best mom to her 4 children.”

Charleston Hartfield-34 years old. He was honored by President Trump along with all other military veterans who were victims of the shooting. Trump said, “Officer Hartfield was a proud veteran, a devoted husband and a loving father, his death is a tragic loss for this police force, for this city and for our great nation.” He was also a member of the Las Vegas Police Department. A colleague said “People would say he was the funniest guy,”

Chris Hazencomb-44 years old. His mother sadly was the one to have to tell the hospital to disconnect the ventilator that was keeping Hazencomb alive. He shielded his best friend’s wife, and was said to have done the same for anyone else.

Teresa Nicol Kimura-38 years old. She was known for her laugh, and big heart, she was also known by her middle name, Nicol. A friend wrote “She made you jealous of how much she loved life,”

Carly Kreibaum-33 years old. The welcome sign for her small town in Iowa read a message for her after the new of her passing came, “RIP Carly” She will be survived by her two children and husband.

Kelsey Meadows-28 years old. She was a substitute teacher for the highschool she graduated from. She was a “gifted teacher who demonstrated a skill and passion for her chosen profession.

Calla-Marie Medig-28 years old. She earned a promotion the day before left to go to Las Vegas. She was respected, loved, and happy. She was known for her love for country music.

Patricia Mestas-67 yeas old. She was the oldest person to die at the shooting. Her cousin had an interview with USA TODAY and said “If there weren’t people, if there wasn’t music, if there wasn’t laughter, she would find it.”

Austin Meyer-24 years old. He was passionate, loving, smart and more. A family member stated that he wish to open an auto repair shop one day, as well as getting married and having a family.

Carrie Parsons-31 years old. She as recently engaged and worked at the staffing firm Ajilon since 2014.

Lisa Patterson-46 years old. She was a strong believer in God and was apart of the Catholic church. She had a husband and one child, her friends and family say they cannot believe she is gone.

John Phippen-56 years old. He died while shielding a strange. He was there with his son, who was struck in the arm. His son is an emergency medical technician, and tried to help him, but was sadly not able to save him. He died in his son’s arms.

Jordyn Rivera-21 years old. She was known for her kindness, and people are mourning her greatly. She was in her fourth year of college, and will be survived by her friends and family.

Tara Roe-34 years old. She was a mother of two and a loving wife. She was originally listed as missing but was later confirmed dead. She had a kind soul and a friendly face.

Chris Roybal-28 years old. He was a navy veteran, and served from 2007-2012. He was moving to Colorado with his wife for a new job, before being fatally shot.

Brett Schwanbeck-61 years old. He was retired with three children and five grandchildren. His financee was there, bt was not hit. He did not die until Tuesday, at Sunrise Medical Center.

Laura Shipp-50 years old. She is survived by her son, who is currently serving in a unit based in Las Vegas.

Erick Silva-21 years old. He was a security guard at the festival, right in front of the stage. He went to help people over the barrier so they could escape, when he was shot.

Brennan Stewart-30 years old. He covered his girlfriend during the shooting to save her. He was remembered as fun, loving, and selfless.

Derrick Taylor-56 years old. He was with his girlfriend, who also died. He was a veteran, and a lieutenant, he was supposed to return to work that Tuesday. He had two grown sons.

Michelle Vo-32 years old. She was strong and independent. She lived a successful life and took advantage of the opportunities she was given. Her parents were Vietnamese immigrants. She was happy and strong, and that’s how she will be remembered.

Bill Wolfe-42 years old. He was originally reported missing before being confirmed dead. His relatives flew to Las Vegas to find him, before finding out the worst on Tuesday night. He was a Little League coach, and will be remembered by all those who were able to know him.

May the victims rest in peace, and may their loved ones be able to grieve peacefully and respectfully.

People are still in the hospital and others are still searching for loved ones. Below there will be a list of numbers to call for help finding relatives, or helping victims.

If you are looking for information about missing loved ones in the Las Vegas area, call 1-800-536-9488

If you want to volunteer in the Las Vegas area to help victims or offer transportation then check this Facebook page

At the moment, no blood is needed right now

You can look up different charities to help victims and their families on GoFundMe

If you know of any other ways to help victims, talk to politicians about gun control, or anything else that can help those who have been affected, or a way to prevent this from happening again, contact us or leave links in the comment section.

Seven Things to Know About Being a Freshmen

This Tuesday I started my first year at high school. Though it’s only been mere days, I’ve already figured out a lot. Here are seven things you should know when you come into high school for the first time.

7. Yes, everyone really does hate freshmen. As sad as it is to admit, it’s true: The upperclassmen really do resent us. Trying to find your way around the halls, all you hear is older students muttering about how “annoying these little twerps are” or “god, they just get worse every year don’t they?” Sadly, they is nothing we can do about this, just stay out of their way and they’ll likely stay out of yours.

8. Surprisingly, middle school actually is worse! I don’t know about everybody, but almost all the people I’ve talked to, younger and older, all say the same thing; Middle school really exaggerates everything. Since I got to the middle school in fifth grade, they always said the same thing over and over again “They aren’t gonna be this easy on you in high school!” Which is such a lie, by the way. The teachers are more chill and the grading system is already much better here, as far as I can tell. This is a good thing, don’t wait for it to get worse, embrace it while it lasts.

6. You will more likely than not get lost. And that’s okay! Normal, even! You are in a new school you haven’t been in before and probably have at least five different classrooms per day you have to be in. With 3-5 minute passing periods, that doesn’t leave much time to learn your way around the new location. If you can, try getting to school early or staying late and going to each of your classrooms and memorizing which halls to take. And if you can’t do that, remember…

5. Teachers and upperclassmen are not to be feared! Yes, some of them can be intimidating or rude in one way or another, but a good amount of them aren’t that way! Remember, they were in your place once and they probably remember how scary it can be. If your school doesn’t have a buddy system in which an upperclassmen is assigned to a group of freshmen, then take matters into your own hands and find the right person, you’ll be set for the whole year.

4. You should not be worried to ask for help. Seriously. I cannot stress this enough. Trust me, I know how scary it is to ask teachers or other people for help(with schoolwork or other things), but it will only get worse if you let it be. Then, as you let it go on longer and longer, it gets worse and worse and you’ll wish you had talked to someone sooner and your teacher will wish the same thing. If the idea of going to someone for help is too scary for you, ask a friend to go along with you! Do it during work time of your class so you aren’t alone if you can’t ask anyone to come with you. Trust me, you’ll be glad you didn’t put off asking for help.

3. You will make mistakes. And there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s it. It’s a cliche, and it sucks, but it’s life. You are bound to make mistakes time and time again, and I know I sound like a teacher, but they know what they’re talking about. The sooner you accept that mistakes will be made(and that’s a good thing!) the easier it will be for you to grow as a student and a person.

2. While it’s nice to befriend juniors and/or seniors, do not pursue a relationship. Though some people view it as “scandalous” or “hot” it isn’t. There is nothing good about someone who is about to become an adult, dating someone who is just barely a teen. When you look to upperclassmen for guidance, friendships can occur, and that’s great! Wonderful even, because you are stepping out of your comfort zone and making new friends. But once a friendship turns into a relationship with that type of age gap, it likely equals trouble. Not only are they almost an adult, but you aren’t just in different places physically, but also mentally. It isn’t healthy and it won’t end well. Save yourself the mental health, and just stick to dating around your grade and maybe a year younger or older

1. Don’t underestimate yourself. It is hard to change what you’ve known for the past four years. Going to a new building, and sometimes a new city or just territory in general, is scary as hell to say the least. New people, teachers, hallways, and classrooms is a hard thing to do. And you’ve also been constantly told that high school is gonna be hard. And yeah, it is. But there are ways to help you out. Take notes, make up missing assignments, ask your teachers when you get lost during a lesson, just make sure you have what you need to succeed. You’re the only person who knows what you need and how you handle different situations, so you do what you need to do to succeed in school and life.

Small Disclaimer: These things do not always go with everyone’s freshmen experience, it’s different for everybody. This is just what I’ve noticed as a freshmen, and what other people I’ve talked to have found to be true as well.

I Started Taking Yoga Every Day. How Did It Help Me?

featured image via : Popust Plus 

I Started Taking Yoga Every Day. How Did It Help Me?

For those of you familiar with Yoga, you may know there are many different types of Yoga you can take.  For those of you not familiar with these types of yoga, they include  but are  not limited to: Hatha ( a basic slower-moving yoga class), Vinyasa ( a dynamic practice linking breath and movement together ),  Bikram ( a heated yoga in which you typically practice the 26-pose Bikram sequence, definitely a more vigorous practice ), and Hot Yoga * my personal favorite* ( obviously a heated yoga practice which is similar to Bikram yet not restricted to the 26 Bikram sequence).

These practices are some of the most common or popularly practiced types of Yoga.  There are many more including, Kundalini, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga etc.  This being said they all focus on different aspects of finding peace and focusing on your breath and bettering of your body.

After researching, and learning the many positive effects yoga can have on your body, and mental health I decided it was time I finally take action, and take my first yoga class.  Luckily, I am a flexible person, with 9 years of background it martial arts training I definitely have become extremely flexible which came to my advantage in my opinion.

Here is how my first three days went.

 

Day 1 :

The first thing I noticed when I walked into that heated room with my mother was the complete silence in the room.  It was intimidating I won’t lie, individuals of all ages stretching, in child’s pose, handstands. The only things going through my mind were, I hope they don’t expect me to be able to do that.  and If it stays this hot the whole time I think I might pass out.  

After 10 minutes of stretching, the class had started and I was excited.  I was attending a hot yoga ” Flow ” class with an AMAZING instructor.  She started us off with a little meditation, then had us go through many poses including: ” Downward Facing Dog” or Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit, Chair Pose or Utkatasana, Child’s Pose or Balasana, and Crescent Moon Pose or Ashta Chandrasana to name a few.

We ended our night with some more meditation and spent around 5 minutes completely stretching or meditation on our own.  Whichever we felt we needed most.

If I was to summarize my first real yoga class, I’d say it was the best idea I’ve had to take it.  I found myself completely in the moment, at peace, and just relaxed altogether.  As hesitant as I was I am so glad that I took this class.

 

Day 2:

I went to sleep after my yoga class last night, and I felt so at peace.  I woke up feeling great and well rested, and I was looking forward to taking my second class tonight!  I think it’s appropriate I mention, my mom is a yoga fanatic.  She attends yoga class regularly and now I finally understood first hand how beneficial and calming yoga really was.  She always tells me I’m missing out, and it’s super fun and let me tell you she was 100% correct.  I can not explain how much the first class of yoga benefited me.

I took a different class today, Warrior Sculpt in a heated room again with another AMAZING instructor.  Let me be honest with you. This class kicked my butt.  Yoga itself is not a walk in the park, try doing it with weights in 100+ degree weather.  It’s like a soothing yet painful slow death.  All jokes aside, this class was definitely not easy at all but I loved it.  With different workouts and poses to work different parts of your  body, I walked out of that class sweaty, sore, but super happy.  Definitely a class I will return to.

The only thing going through my mind when I went to sleep that night was : I feel great now, I hope I can still walk tomorrow. Might I say, I am attending a 5:00 AM Yoga class tomorrow for my mom’s birthday. Wish us luck.

 

Day 3

It is currently 4:30 AM and I am half asleep filling up both my mom’s and my water bottle.  We are going to heated ” Flow ” yoga at 5:00 AM, and I am super excited and super sore!  Might I add, none of my hoping worked and I am so sore that I can’t even sit down but I don’t mind!

We arrived at the gym, and I was surprised to see class was full with over 25 people!  I never thought anyone would wake up that early on their weekend to attend a yoga class, until I attended my first class.

We started off our class with some meditation, and light music and to my surprise I had accidentally walked into a Flow core session yoga.  5 AM core workout. Not my best idea.  After my mom and I pushed through our core workout, we got into a more mellow/ cool down part of class in which we stretched, and practiced basic yoga poses.

I was extremely happy with this class.  Regardless of the fact I had no clue I was about to get a core workout at 5 AM, this class honestly was a great way to start my day.  I walked out of it refreshed, and ready to take on whatever the day had in store for me.  My mom and I had so much fun taking that class together, and I look forward to continuing yoga with her.

 

Final Thoughts

I am so so happy with my decision to attend yoga classes every day.  This week, I noticed so many different positive changes in my lifestyle and mood.  I felt completely relaxed and at peace with myself and my surroundings.  The many different classes that I took really worked my body, but in such a great way.  No matter how sore I felt, I found myself waking up eager to attend class, and eager to take on the day.

Despite being hesitant to try yoga, and be surrounded by experienced yogi’s after my first class I really understood what everyone meant when they told me yoga is solely for myself.  I did not have to compete with anyone, or try any of the things anyone around me was doing.  I did everything I wanted, and everything I wanted to do.  Just like starting any sport, it takes time to grow and advance.

In this one week, I noticed my levels of anxiety significantly decreasing.  I learned to focus on my breathing and to live in the moment rather than stressing about what is to come.  Aside from this I also noticed I began to become less and less stressed about the little things that always seem to get me tense and stressed out.  Taking 1-2 hours of yoga a day significantly improved my days and feelings this week.

In conclusion, I can honestly  say I will continue to take 1-2 yoga classes every day with my mom, and strongly advise you guys to take yoga at least once or twice a week.  The effects it has on you overall are so rewarding, and you will be so content with the results.

Until next time,

Namaste.

The Diversity of Privilege

This week my family and I traveled down south from Wisconsin to Louisiana, specifically New Orleans. We originally had difficulty figuring out where exactly we could go considering we are a mixed family. My sister, who is white, suggested we go to Alabama. My father and I, both people of color, became anxious at the thought of traveling  down there. My mother, who is also white, put out the idea of Virginia, which I immediately shot down. What with all the rallies and white supremacists around? We found it hard to set our hearts on a place that was safe, and that everyone in our family wanted to go to. Eventually someone threw out the idea of New Orleans which we all decided was a great idea, safe for everyone, and had activities and attractions we all wanted to witness, and experience.

While in New Orleans I noticed many things that were different compared to our small town in Wisconsin. Besides the obvious things including: different weather, accents and drawls, and how hectic the city was, I found that I almost felt safer, a sense of more normalcy.

In my small hometown it was very stereotypical–lots of people knew each other, people who lived there now had grown up there when they were children, very religious, and also very white–Down here in Louisiana it was so diverse! White people, Black people, Hispanic people, Asian people, and everything in between.

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Walking down in the French Quarters going from shop to shop I heard at least five languages, I saw people singing to one another and same-sex couples comfortable enough to hold hands and kiss in public, something I rarely saw back home. Everything there was just so diverse, from the culture to the people. Architecture, food, people, and places, everything was different.

You know how in some towns they have city flags on their lampposts, or state flags on them? Well, in New Orleans, they have gay pride flags on their lampposts. Talk about taking steps forward!

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But, these differences weren’t all good. In some parts of the city it’s the nicest thing you’ll ever see. Beautiful houses bigger than some churches I’ve seen. Rich neighborhoods filled with mansions that had gates and intercoms, and then one street down, the next block over, was filled with houses that had trash in their lawns and boards on their walls so that there wasn’t a hole from the outside to their living room.

 

 

So few of them had window air conditioners, and in this heat it seemed vital to a Northerner like me, but when they did they had cage type things over them so they wouldn’t get stolen. People stood out on their porches with as little clothes on as possible to escape the heat, because at least there was wind outside to combat against the blinding sun and horrible humidity. Another thing that struck me was the amount of homeless people. People who had signs begging for food, people who had dogs with them or who were overheating because of the sun. There were moments in which we passed people that were either asleep or had fainted, or fallen over sick. I could never quite tell which it was.

One thing that was impossible to go unnoticed, yet easy to be put aside for many, was the fact that the rich neighborhoods by the French Quarters and the above ground cemetery where people toured, it was near all white people. And the poor neighborhoods with small, tore apart houses, was all black folk or people of color in general. I’m not gonna lie, there was an occasional black person or family in the rich parts, or maybe one or two white people in the more poor, broken down neighborhoods, but it was still mostly black and white.

This struck me hard because when I really sit down and think about it, even if I do have disadvantages because of my skin or my health or past, I have an amazing life. I have a good education, my family is mid middle class, and we are a family. We have a roof above our heads and food on our plates. We don’t have to put a locked cage around our window air conditioners to make sure it doesn’t get stolen. We don’t have to lock our door at night in case someone tries to break it, even if we do lock it anyways. Though I do endure disadvantages, I have so much privilege that I rarely acknowledge. I have a tenancy to tell people, “Everyone has at least a smidgen of privilege, so accept yours and use it to the best of your abilities.” And after being reintroduced to these types of places and how hard it is for some people, I think I need to take a step back and listen to my own advice.

One day we took a wrong turn and ended up in a poor neighborhood. It was filled with people sitting outside of their houses, the places they slept in wrecked as though it hadn’t been lived in for years and years. When we were in this neighborhood my mom had told my dad, who was driving, “Hurry and get us out of here, this place is scary.” To which I replied, “No, not scary. Just sad.”

Things you can do to help folks in your hometown who need it are simple for most. You can volunteer at soup kitchens or donate food. If you have leftovers you can give them to homeless people outside who need it. Many people don’t give money to homeless folks because of many reasons, so give them food, water, or clothes. Help them get into a homeless shelter or get a job if they don’t have one. If someone who is homeless approaches or passes you, don’t be fearful, be inspired to help. You can easily find numbers for homeless shelters by doing a little bit of research.

Remember, a little can go a long way.

Clout Club Global: The Next Generation of Street wear

 

 

Recently millennials have experimented bringing forth new and old styles to be worn as a form of expression. Expression and individuality is what sets this generation so far apart, prompting those both awe-less, and bold, to leave their mark and set the newest trends. For the next generation, fashion has become a reputable language, that is spoken by many but only executed by few. A bar set by celebrities, and designers of the most noted collections, has been reset by a young entrepreneur that goes by the name “SauceBoy Cam” with his solo brand Clout Club Global.

 

Designer and Self inspired creator Cameron Garnigan has introduced CLOUT to the world of street wear. Only 18, He is single-handedly responsible for an interesting brand that has surpassed the quo of t-shirts. Not so new to the city of Cartersville, Cameron began his creations Fall of 2015, quickly becoming popular and publicly promoted by his friends and family.  (instagram.com/sauceboycam)

 

 

His brand includes a variety of T-shirts, and a growing list of other products such as Windbreakers and fanny packs. Garnigan calls experimenting with new products “refreshing”. He reveals that in the future for Clout Club Global, he will have a fall collection with “…hoodies, crewnecks and a few new pieces coming.”

 

“My favorite would have to be the fanny pack. It was a different experience, it wasn’t like making the t-shirts, which is my specialty.” (instagram.com/cloutclubglobal)

 

 

In an exclusive interview Cameron opens up about his process, experiences, pros, and cons.

“Honestly the process is very strange. I have flash drives full of designs and there are times, though, that I make a design and use it right away. I’ve done that twice but no one has seen the NEW Clout Club designs.” “I release them out-of-order just based off what mood I’m in.” (Garnigan) Using Adobe Illustrator, Cameron hand crafts his designs and if you pay close enough attention, he tests them online and on social media to get feedback, but often the finished product is unexpected, original and one of a kind.

In entrepreneurship there are lots of pros and cons, unseen to consumers of what the brand has to offer. “Your business is a reflection of you”, Garnigan enjoys the free schedule of his own business. “You get to choose when you want to work and no one can tell you what to do.” (Garnigan) And with ups, there are definitely downs such as marketing aspects, costs, and promotions. It isn’t all easy to get people to buy something that you create. Like owning a lemonade stand, some people just aren’t thirsty or they left their coin purse back at home. “Since this is a solo business of mine, everything comes out-of-pocket and the promo and marketing is the main factor of any business. Basically the main struggle is getting people to shop with you.” (Garnigan) “I’ve been dropping all my old work to get everyone on board.”

You wouldn’t believe the struggle of getting people to shop, from the amount of social media posts and reviews on his most popular product, The Clout Club Rose Tees.

Instagram.com/cloutclubglobal
Instagram.com/cloutclubglobal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Owning this original Tee from Sauce has become a social norm in the city of Cartersville. Everywhere you turn you see an array of colors and designs, but no matter what color you just can’t miss a Rose logo or the famous brand name printed on the front.

CLOUT CLUB ORIGINALS

(instagram.com/cloutclubglobal)
(instagram.com/cloutclubglobal)

Garnigan describes working with Clout Club as a learning experience, “I feel as if I am learning as the days go by.” As seen by the released products above, one can tell just how limitless the creativity can be. “There is no one way to do something, and that is where I am; learning and studying endless possibilities.” (Garnigan)

The interview wrapped with Cameron’s final thoughts, advice, and next steps.

“Next I personally plan on dropping all my best work, I also plan on doing more sewing projects too, and getting into denim (pants, jackets, and even alterations).” (Garnigan) These next steps definitely sound like success.

Advice from the man behind Clout Club Global is to “Be strong hearted. The whole game isn’t for the weak. Really chase your dreams, no exceptions, do not skip steps and to trust the process.” (Garnigan) With these steps for reaching your goals, and the drive, artistic advantage, and heart of a next generation youth, achieving anything is a piece of cake. Clout Club is more than just shirts, windbreakers, and fanny packs. It’s a brand, a brand that I am proud to see grow, and that I have even bought into a few times. I am very impressed by Cameron and I have been so glad to see CCG grow into something big. I am more than excited for the future.

 

 

Al Gore’s New Film Brings “Truth to Power”

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

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Al Gore at Sundance Film Festival. (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

A decade after Al Gore’s empowering and eye-opening film and book, An Inconvenient Truth, Former Vice President Gore has brought a new inspiring movie that reminds us of our responsibility to the climate movement. The sequel reviews the changes in both policy and climate, that have shaped the world.

The film exposes the rapid changes that are occurring in the Arctic with a spotlight on the glacial melt in Greenland. Footage shows Gore exploring the quickly melting glacial ice and the colossal chunks of glacier crashing into the ocean. He suggests that due to unusually high temperatures in Greenland, the glaciers are responding. Following the drastic chain of effects that follow sea level rise, the film focuses on flooding events that have ruined cities. After giving the viewer a background on the effects of climate change, Gore calls for the response that is essential to stopping this crisis.

Highlighting Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training, the film calls for more activism and involvement to drive the climate movement. In the Leadership Corps program, Al Gore personally trains the potential leaders to encourage change in local community and  to bring the “Truth to Power”. With the program, people can apply to become apart of the Leadership Corps and commit to overcoming the climate crisis.

The coined term “Truth to Power” is now a forceful push in action that stands for change and revolution. Gore proves that through defiance, persistence and charged persuasion, the goals needed to make a difference are achievable. Though faced by many challenges, the climate movement has fought against every opposition and stood strong after every downfall. He brings hope and is determined that we can continue to lead our efforts into the future; despite Trump’s radical agenda. Gore connects the Climate Movement to the many influential movements that have shaped our world such as the Civil Rights Movement, Gay Rights Movement, Women’s Suffrage Movement, and Anti-Apartheid Movement. Each of these oppressed movements were confronted by many threats but continued to develop and achieve ambitious progress.

After a long and burdensome road to ratifying the Paris Agreement, President Trump announced on June 1, 2017 that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. A huge setback to the goals ratified, the withdrawal would ruin the dynamic formed in the agreement and would override the changes endured in other countries. While addressing this announcement, Gore remains hopeful that the strength of the movement is more powerful than the actions of the President.

Closing with the motivating message, “Fight like your world depends on it”, the film leaves viewers with an intense desire to make the changes laid out in the film. Overall the sequel was a perfect combination of recalling the growth of our past while reminding viewers of the obstacles that still lay ahead. The film should be used as proof of the glorious outcomes of unity, determination, and grit.

To join the Climate Reality Project proceed to the project website to bring “Truth to Power”.

Watch the trailer to this inspiring sequel here.

 

The Hate U Give Book Review

FEATURED IMAGE COURTESY OF AMAZON.COM 

 

Damn. My first thought as I delved into the book I got whilst shopping with friends.

The Hate U Give

T     H      U  G     Thug.

This book, written by Angie Thomas, was the best book I’ve read-maybe in my entire life. Besides the fact that this book was incredibly written, has great wording and descriptions, plus makes real connections with the emotions that the main character feels, this book will make you feel things, I can promise you that. This book should make you want to get up and scream for justice!

THUG follows 16-year-old Starr Carter as she struggles to keep her two lives separate. Her life in Garden Heights, her ‘black’ neighbourhood, and her life at Williamson, the, mainly white, private school she goes to. She finds herself at a party with her friend, who she hasn’t spoken to in months, Khalil Harris. When cops try to break up the party, Khalil says he’ll drive her out of there, and they never quite make it home.

Khalil gets fatally shot by a white police officer while he was unarmed and simply cooperating, and Starr’s two worlds collide forever. People at Williamson constantly talk about him, unaware of the companionship he and Starr had in her early childhood. The people of the neighbourhood wouldn’t even talk to Starr about him, yet riots would break out on the streets. A movement.

The Hate U Give is a phenomenal punch to the gut of those who fight against Black Lives Matter. It really exemplifies what it’s like to be one of the only people of colour in a primarily white school with such raw emotion and in depth detail. “I’m cool by default because I’m one of the only black kids here.” or another great quote which I personally relate to on a whole new level, “Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.” 

This book screams for social justice and equality for all, with an echo of the pride Starr has at the end of the book for her race. This book is all about teaching people that everyone deserves to live, that there is another side of the story that the media won’t tell, that no matter what there will always be that one person to drag you down but it doesn’t matter because you will have at least one more person to bring you all the way up to the clouds to get you away from the one person who’ll drag you down. It talks about how you will always be seen as a certain thing, like Star was seen as ‘the witness’ ‘the black kid’ ‘Big Mav’s daughter’ and many other things, until at the end she sees herself as a powerful young woman, with a hopeful future in activism, she is seen as Starr.

This novel is a must read for any teenager, young adult, adult, elder, absolutely anyone, no matter your race, sexuality, gender, or age, get your hands on this book as soon as you can!

Khalil, while talking about what Tupac has said and his current relevance, said, “Listen! The Hate U-the letter U-Give Little Infants F**ks Everybody, T-H-U-G  L-I-F-E. Meaning what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out.” And if what we give kids in their youth affects how they act when they’re older and how they impact the world, then we should give them this book as soon as we can, or at least teach them even a sliver of what this book can teach others.

I’ve always said that us minorities can scream until our throats are bleeding and we can’t scream anymore, but those with the privilege can whisper and be heard better than us, and this book proves that in an insanely amazing way. This book will truly inspire you to take action, and you’ll be forever glad that you read it.

 

Trumps New Military Ban

featured image courtesy of Elite Daily 

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On July 26, 2017, President Donald Trump sent out a series of three messages on the social media platform Twitter. The three messages included new information about a certain group of people from the LGBTQ Community. They said, in order, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……” “….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..” “….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”

In writing these messages Trump stated that transgender individuals are burdens, which created an uprising on every social media platform. Hashtags were created and reused from old, forgotten about protests. Celebrities took to Instagram and Twitter to reblog pictures and captions that littered every corner of the internet. Celebrities/Politicians spoke their mind over Twitter.

Tom Perez tweeted “To the members of the transgender community: You are not a “burden.” Do not let this president shake you. We support you, we stand with you.” The tweet was liked more than 70,000 times and retweeted more than 35,000 times.

An old tweet from Ivanka Trump said, “I am proud to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans who have made immense contributions to our society and economy.” That tweet was quoted by another twitter user James Cordon who, on July 26, said, “Hey Ivanka, James here. Hope all is good, quick question, can you… Erm… Call your dad and have a talk. X” That was in response to what her father had tweeted just earlier that day.

Former Vice President, Joe Biden, tweeted “Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop.”

Since Trump’s tweets people have stopped to wonder, ‘Is this constitutional?’ ‘what about those who are already in the military? will he really take 15,000 individuals out of the army?’ ‘isn’t he basically un-arming our military?’

However, none of these things can shake our community. Why? Because President Trump’s many actions carried out during his term have shown us, multiple times over, that when you silence and discriminate against one community, all others stand up to shout louder and stronger for those who can’t.