Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Reasons Cathedral Hill is the Best Neighborhood in the Twin Cities

I have lived in Cathedral Hill in St Paul for over two years and it is by far my favorite place to call home. Cathedral Hill is one of the oldest areas in the Twin Cities and the St Paul Cathedral is its majestic anchor. I am lucky enough to have a view of the spire of the cathedral out my window.

sunrise

There are many reasons I love this neighborhood, but here are my top 5:

1. It’s walk friendly

I would have no need for a car if I did not have to commute outside of the city for work. I have everything I need within walking distance. A grocery store, bakery, flower shop, clothing stores, good places to eat and amazing patios to while away a summer afternoon. From Cathedral Hill, I can easily walk to Grand Avenue or 7th Street where I can find shopping, breweries, more restaurants and plenty of things to do. I can also stroll to the Capitol or walk to the History Center if I want to get some culture. There is also plenty of green space and Summit Avenue is an ideal place to go for a run.

2. Great restaurants

One of the reasons I decided to move to Cathedral Hill was because I wanted to be near Moscow on the Hill. The food is wonderful, ambience is inviting and the patio is a great place to spend time with friends while having a martini. Moscow isn’t the only good restaurant in the area. Within a few blocks, you can choose between WA Frost, Red Cow, Fabulous Ferns and La Grolla – just to name a few. The swanky and historical Commodore is also in the neighborhood, and dining there is like a step back to the time when gangsters ruled the city.

3. Historic homes

Along Summit Avenue you can find the James J Hill house and the row house where F. Scott Fitzgerald lived. Although Fitzgerald was reportedly not a fan of the architectural make up of Summit Avenue, calling it “a mausoleum of American architectural monstrosities”, I admire the grandness and diverse styles that can be found up and down the avenue. To me it is like architectural eye candy. The beautiful homes are not limited to those on Summit. The neighborhood is full of ornate Victorians and cute carriage houses.

4. Friendly neighbors

Living here is like living in a small town inside of a big city. People are out walking their dogs or jogging at all hours of the day. When you pass people on the street they greet you with a smile or yell hello from their yards. I’ve met neighbors while attending neighborhood parking meetings, at Germanic-American Institute events and volunteering at the Ramsey Hill House Tour. There is even a Summit-University neighborhood online group where you can post questions, concerns or if you have something for sale. All of these things make Cathedral Hill feel like a cohesive neighborhood.

5. Events and entertainment

crashed ice

It’s fun to live in an area that plays host to so many events. During the holidays, James J Hill house and the Cathedral host free concerts. Crashed Ice transforms the Cathedral in February. Spring and summer bring marathons and bike rides into the area. The Germanic-American Institute has events like Deutsche Tage with food, beer and live music. You can attend a yoga class in Overlook Park or Kentucky Derby Days at the University Club.

I feel lucky to live in such a vibrant and fun neighborhood and I plan on enjoying it until I need the memory care facility right down the block.

 

Science Doesn’t Care What Your Opinion Is

sky-earth-galaxy-universeGreat Title

Okay, I cannot take credit for this title, and I can’t really give you source either because I saw it on a T-shirt.  I thought it was really clever and it really captures my blogging opinion of the day.  We recently had Earth Day and the March for Science while we were all discussing Communication Theory in class on Saturday.  I am not sure I would have marched in the march anyway because basically that means I have to drive through traffic and fight with crowds.  Going to the dentist sounds like more fun to me than doing that.  So, instead like many other lazy Americans, I donated online to some earthly cause and planted a tree with my kid.  Seemed like the right thing to do.

Back to the title though, most of you in class know how I feel about science.  It’s factual and I feel like others don’t give it enough credit.  How can people not believe in global warming, and when the hell did science get so politicized.  Well, I did a bit of research and it turns out science has always been political but it hasn’t always been so partisan.  The thing is, it doesn’t really matter if you are “weighing in” with your opinion or not.  Turns out the science will just keep happening because it’s not looking for approval.

When we will we get it?

Turns out that answer may be different for many.  My father has gotten it since I was a kid.  He is Native American and also has a BS in Biology so we learned early about respecting the earth and thanking her each and every day for what she gives us.  We in turn spread tobacco and give thanks.  Yes I referred to the earth as a her.  It is alive with everything we need to survive.  Turns out we don’t need plastic….who knew!

Others though are going to have to feel uncomfortable to understand what we are doing to the earth is bad, and by that I mean global warming.  Although we can change course we cannot do so without some drastic measures on our part and not everyone is willing to do that.  I am not pointing fingers here, merely expressing a truth.  Heck, I drive a old Chevy Tahoe that gets 19 miles to the gallon.  I know that I have to feel some discomfort before I am willing to not drive to work every morning.  But it’s not out of the realm of possibility to change either

Hope for the future

I do believe our children will get it before we do though.  So maybe there is an inkling of hope, and we can still change course without being one of the only species to cause it’s own demise.   Kids are smart, there is already stuff we have come up with and I am really excited about the future on renewable energy.  Thanks kids for bailing us out….AGAIN!

Don’t Worry, Enjoy The Process.

Is there a correct time to say move over world? I’m coming to own my spot , I’ve put in long hours with school and countless hours of studying for this very moment in which i am ready to put all of my knowledge from classes to use in the my chosen career field. The wait has to be over , I have fixed my resume, and made a linkedIn profile all for the opportunity to interview for my first real job. To many this is the step that they have been waiting for throughout all those countless hours in the library studying.

This is the idea of a worried college student trying to make it on their own. So what are most recent graduates missing that could possible help better get recruited for that job ? lets not put of these tasks on hold because of your anxiety has built up to an all-time high.employability anxiety is the word that sums up what students are feeling during this process of finishing school and trying to find a career. During this time stress is running high and emotions are even higher, students are feeling the pressure of having to grow up and become and working adult.

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What steps are you taking as a student

The thing about marketing yourself to the right employer, you have to know what skills you will need to become that lucky candidate to get an interview. Having that strong social media presence is must in this market. Touching back on LinkedIn , having a strong profile that defines your skills and having people endorse you can get notice from potential employers. Did i mention that it’s never too soon to start creating the page that could set up your future.After building up your profile, LinkedIn have other tools such as job openings and internships for various careers.

For an college student, finding an internship is another key step to build up your resume, as your adding this experience so that employers could view to show interest.you can also use your career service center for guidance as well,  as they are there to help guide the young would to future success.

Lastly find mentor someone that have experience in your prefer field, someone that could help point you to the right organizations that better fit you. Gaining key advice is always helpful as well, they have experience and knowledge about your desired field and you could use it in your future career.Reading helpful articles such as steps for success can further point you towards the right direction of a path to become a successful young adult.

 

 

 

 

The Elsa Experience

 

The Start Of Disney’s Changes

Having a young daughter, I have seen my share of animated movies.  Spending those precious Saturday nights with my daughter don’t intel watching a comedy movie or an action pack film , but an disney movie of her choice before bed. During this viewing she decided to watch frozen for the 100,000 time, so it was nap time for me as usually . Well this time that was not happening because she wanted to sing along with dance , so of course i was woken through all the noise and the tv being on 40 volume.

As I began to view frozen, I found it rather interesting that Huffington Posts told about Disney’s Elsa’s big changes. (Note: Huffington Post says all their information came from Entertainment Weekly – their article reports the same ideas listed on Huffington’s article). I always wondered why Elsa was a fan favorite from the movie, because her actions were not that of a traditional hero, she was indeed sort of villain-like.

frozen

 

What Went Wrong

Her sister, Anna, seems to be the hero, but didn’t gain the fame and popularity. These articles raise some interesting ideas about different reasons why Elsa’s heart turned to ice. I wish they would have further explained more of the impacts that would have had on the movie and on the young (and ’old’) fans of the movie. It is interesting to think about what if Elsa was a traditional Disney villain. The authors’ writing style seems to indicate that they approve of the direction of the film. But I wonder if she was a typical villain would Anna, the true hero, have had more popularity and serve as a better role model.   

 

My point of view 

In my opinion the movie was great and the characters in it also served their purpose. If i was the director i would have changed the roles of villains and made Elsa more of a hero and the fact that her shooting ice is a good thing for the movie. I think spinning the twist of movies can be beneficial for every one involved for more an happy exciting finish. The boost of Anna popularity would have been a priority as well due to the fact she was as important to the movie as Elsa, so adding a special power as well that could be remember by viewers.

 

Physician Assisted Euthanasia

Image result for physician assisted euthanasia

On June 17, 2016 Canada passed into law the controversial Bill C-14 which makes it legal to provide medically assisted euthanasia. Since then, over 1,300 people in Canada have died with physician assistance.  A recent news article chronicled one man’s touching story of his decision to go through the assisted death process.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/medically-assisted-dying-canadians-rob-rollins-1.4056700

As humans we have a natural desire to survive, but what happens to that desire if we are suffering or in pain with little hope of recovery?

Euthanasia allows for people to make end of life choices with their dignity intact. According to a report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, loss of dignity is one of the biggest concerns among terminal patients, along with loss of independence and the inability to participate in activities that make life enjoyable

There is a fear that some seeking medically assisted death may see themselves as a financial or emotional burden and may seek euthanasia out of concern for others – or that family members themselves may push a terminally ill relative into assisted death as a way to contain costs. Abuse like this could be prevented by mandating that people fill out a healthcare directive and by implementing regulations that prevent abuse.

Health resources are being used on people who cannot be cured, and would prefer not to continue living. Allowing such people to die with medically assisted euthanasia would not only allow for them to have control over their destiny, but it would also free resources.

Currently, medically assisted death is legal in five states in the U.S. – California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. You have to be a resident of the state and meet certain qualifications.

There is a bill that was introduced in Minnesota this year that would allow people to end their own lives if they have a documented terminal illness, have less than six months to live, still have full decision making capacity and are able to self-administer the drugs. It would require approval of two physicians, and the request for the drug would have to be in writing.

Medically assisted euthanasia should be accessible to anyone who makes it clear that they want to escape the pain and suffering due to a terminal illness. Individual rights in deciding when life should end as a consequence, should be honored.

Beauty Products Should Require FDA Approval in USA

toxic

Did you know that USA does not undergo any Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval on cosmetic product? This means anything that is out on the market can be toxic. Unfortunately, they are for the most part. The reason I know this is because I have looked through the ingredients list on all the products I used to use and they all contained five or more harmful ingredients.

I have been interested and fully invested in my skin care ever since my adult acne breakout session back in 2015. I have tried many products out in the market from drug store to high end and nothing has really worked for me. If anything, it has worsened my skin condition. I was ready to accept my fate of living with a scarred and acne face for the rest of my life, until a friend sent me a link on Tracy Raftl’s blog about Avoid These Ingredients in Your Makeup If You Want Clear Skin . I decided to give it a try just because I had nothing to lose. What took my by surprised was the amount of knowledge I learned just from reading Raftl’s blog. I mean, who wants to put silicone on their face? Silicone is actually found in many products as they give people the appearance of silkiness and smoothness, but what people don’t know is that this stuff is used to seal windows. Eek!

Raftl wants people to know that these ingredients are harmful to your skin and the best thing to do is to be educated about it. I’m just surprised FDA does not do anything about this. This means anyone can make a random product to put out in the market and people will buy it. This also means I can mix rubbing alcohol with dollar store glitter and call it an eye shadow. Do we really want this?

I think there should be a 30 day cleanse challenge where people only use nontoxic products to see how different their skin reacts. Maybe this can be a start to raise awareness for FDA to start regulating products being produce in the states. I am loving my skin right now and I want people to feel the same way I do!

The Complexities of the Death Penalty

Do you agree or disagree in the death penalty? What are your reasons for this? The Death Penalty is a polarizing issue- similar to abortion, gay marriage, and other hot button issues. Most individuals feel fairly strongly about this issue and it is fairly divisive among party lines. Growing up in a conservative area, many of my family members and peers supported the death penalty and identified as Republican. When I moved to the cities, many of my new liberal friends violently opposed the death penalty .

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I was quite surprised when I found an article on conservative-leaning media outlet, Fox News, opposing the death penalty.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/04/21/why-capital-punishment-kills-best-parts-us-all.html

The article entitled “Why capital punishment kills the best parts of us all,” written by Dr. Keith Ablow, discusses the moral implications for opposing the death penalty. Traditionally, the main reasons for opposing  the death penalty are concerns innocent people are killed, a disproportionate number of people of non-whites are killed, and a disproportionate number of poor people are killed. However, Dr. Keith Ablow cites the main reason for opposing the death penalty is religious. “Is my opposition to capital punishment because of the fact that even a person who has committed almost unthinkable acts still might find God and prove that good can overcome evil?  I do believe that redemption is possible, no matter how heinous a person’s past. ” Essentially, Dr. Ablow proposes that enforcing the death penalty is negating the power of God to rehabilitate individuals.

This article puzzles me for a variety of reasons. I’m not quite sure I agree with his beliefs that every person is capable of rehabilitation. Some mental health issues are incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to cure. Personality disorders are often viewed as untreatable in the mental health community and there are limited evidence based practices available to treat even some of the symptoms. In regards to horrific criminals- individuals that have killed and raped dozens of people, it is difficult to imagine these individuals could be rehabilitated. Furthermore, by allowing this individual to live, doesn’t it impose or presume that his/her life is more valuable than the dozens he has taken away? I am not a religious person, but it is hard for me to believe that God would approve of these serial criminals and their actions. I personally believe that the death penalty should be used sparingly and only in extremely limited situations and circumstances.

The other point I found concerning regarding this article was not only his opinion on the death penalty but his rationalization for his viewpoint. The way he discussed the injustices of the death penalty to people of varying races and socioeconomic backgrounds as a secondary, not a chief reason for opposing the death penalty was appalling to me. The author of this article seems to disregard the logical reasons for opposing the death penalty in favor of more moral/religious reasons.

 

I stand behind my belief that the death penalty is the just action in certain circumstances to protect the majority and empower victims of heinous crimes. The separation of church and state is necessary for a diverse county such as ours, and I would urge others that the implications of this article are dangerous. If we allow our own perception of “God” to dictate our beliefs on the death penalty, it leads to a rabbit hole of conundrums- including who’s personal definition of God do we honor in these cases.

Leaving Out Small Details

Summary

A video was uploaded on Facebook from a seated American Airlines (AA) passenger of a male flight attendant violently confiscating a stroller from a sobbing mother as she holds her child. The situation quickly escalated when a male passenger confronted the flight attendant, and both got into a heated argument before the pilot breaks up the fight.

In the News

I was very upset after watching the video, but as always, I know there’s more to the story than what people only want others to know. I went on Google and read article on Fox News, and I now have a reason to be a devil’s advocate. The article only talked about the passenger’s violent encounter with the flight attendant and the argument that broke out, but what they left out was everything that lead up to that point. Anyone who reads the article would blame AA only. Has anyone thought about why this passenger has a stroller with her in the first place? Were the AA attendants not doing their job by informing passengers about their policy at the counter or gate? Was the passenger thinking she could get away with bringing a stroller inside a plane? Or, did the communication get lost? I really don’t know. What I do know that the AA stroller policy is out there so someone clearly wasn’t paying attention, whether it’s the attendants, passenger, or both. I just wished this was stated in the article.

AA Policy

If we assumed the communication just got lost, it could be enough to make this flight attendant mad because no one is following policy.

My Thoughts

I honestly think stuff like this occurs all the time, and this video just happened to be uploaded weeks after the huge United Airlines incident which caused viewers to pay extra attention to the anything that is flight related. Stuff like this could have been easily avoided if everyone did what they were supposed to. Most of all, I wished journalists could pay attention to small details because it can change how people think because it would have changed the image and reputation of AA.

Non-voter Misrepresentation

Emma-goldman

According to the Guardian, 45% of people did not vote in the 2017 Election. I think social media helped polarize the issues for the mainstream media big time this year, making people feel they had to choose a side more than ever to fit in with political ideologies that have nothing to do with the world’s real problems. Nonvoters are frustrated with the two-party system. They look at things with a cautious form of logic and do not buy into conformist views that the—propaganda—mainstream media force feeds to the masses.

Many non-voters like myself want tangible change. I want to hear how we are going to end war, disarm nukes, create peace treaties, decrease the prison population, and stop poverty to name a few, but those humanitarian goals often fall short. Instead of growing out of the past we are perpetuating the worst parts of this nation’s history into our present—the here and now—creating an endless cycle that won’t stop until we face the past, taking accountability for all the things that need fixing.

Misunderstood by the Mainstream Media
The New York Times article, What Separates Voters and Non-voters claim the lack of education is one of the biggest reasons why people don’t vote. I feel that if you have educated yourself without political bias and peer pressure and chose not to vote for two elitist candidates in a system that doesn’t seem to work for anyone other than the ones at the top you are doing the smart thing. The facts about non-voters always seem very skewed by the mainstream media. Most of the reasons they come up with are negative and based more on assumptions and manipulated data than much of anything else I can see. I do agree with the article when they say college students are likely to vote more. That is because college campuses seem to push a very progressive agenda, and much of the young college voters seem a bit indoctrinated into that ideological school of thought often carrying it with them the rest of their lives.

Speaking Out is Better Than Doing Nothing
I think that the non-voters in this age of mass communication have more of a chance than ever to speak out against their misrepresentation by the mainstream media. If non-voters do not tell the world why they didn’t vote, the mainstream media will continue to paint an inaccurate picture of their reasoning. I believe many non-voters would vote if they thought it made a difference. If the 45% of people that didn’t vote want change they must organize with online and offline groups.

For that, to work, they must put their voices out through blogs and social media. I believe that the non-voter movement could lead to peace and negotiations for a more beneficial political system for all. With all the advances in Science and Technology every year you would think we would have advanced in politics by ending poverty, war, and tyranny of all kinds, but we are still crawling out of the dark ages in that respect.

The importance of making a difference lies on the shoulders of the nonconformists and innovative thinkers to see through transparency and advocate a new system of governance. Once non-voters start a friendly debate, I am sure are better join in, and that is when revolution turns to evolution

 

Equal Pay

Equal-Pay-Day (1)

Equal Pay Day was Tuesday April 4th this year. This date is significant because it reflects how far into the next year women need to work in order for their earnings to be equivalent to what men earned the previous year.  The National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) created Equal Pay Day to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.

However, not everyone believes there is an actual gender pay gap. Two “scholars” from the American Enterprise institute – one who is also a professor of economics at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus – have coauthored an article claiming that the “so-called” gender pay gap is a myth.

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2017/04/04/equal_pay_day_commemorates_a_mythical_gender_pay_gap_102615.html

They claim that “men and women make very different career and work choices, and frequently play very different family roles, especially for families with children. Those choices reasonably account for most of gender differences in earnings and don’t point toward widespread gender pay discrimination in the workplace.”

They refer to studies that suggest that the main factors affecting salary are the skills and productivity which an employee brings to a job. If this is the case, why do male registered nurses make over $5,000 more per year than female registered nurses? According to a study led by University of California the earnings of male nurses far outpace those of female nurses. An article in Physicians Weekly also backs up the fact that despite being a minority in the nursing profession, men out earn women with an average of $60,700, compared to $51,100.

When men start to enter a field dominated by women, their wages increase. For instance, computer programming, was at one time dominated by females and considered menial work. When men began to enter and eventually dominate the field, the career gained prestige and an elevated pay grade. Just the opposite is true when women enter a male dominated field. When more women start to enter a field dominated by men, those positions start paying less as is the case with pharmacists and biologists.

One of the most laughable assertions in the article is that the “undesirable aspects of certain jobs” are what keep women from entering into more lucrative fields. One example of an undesirable aspect given states that “men have longer average commute times to their jobs than women”.  And the authors ask, “How much extra pay would you demand to spend the equivalent of nine additional eight-hour days sitting in traffic or on a bus riding to work?”  Really? First of all I could not find a comparable basis for the statement that men have a longer commute time than women. Additionally, it seems ridiculous to reason that commute time is an acceptable justification for a gender pay gap.

The fact is that wages are not set randomly – there are societal forces that influence how work is valued.

As a society, it is unfortunate that there needs to be an Equal Pay Day to call attention to this problem. Someday, hopefully, we can change our social stereotypes and challenge the way we determine the value of work. Jobs having the same value to employers should be paid the same whether performed by women or men.

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2015/03/124266/male-registered-nurses-make-thousands-more-salary-female-counterparts

http://www.physiciansweekly.com/male-nurse-salary/

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/upshot/as-women-take-over-a-male-dominated-field-the-pay-drops.html