Tag Archives: blog 2

Women’s Safety When Exercising Outdoors

Getting exercise is crucial for anyone who wants to stay healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. Many people enjoy running. Not everyone has access to or the want to run on a treadmill indoors, so many take to outdoor running/jogging for their exercise. The downside to this is that it isn’t always safe for people, especially women, to go out alone for a run, especially at night. Women are more likely than men to be harassed, stalked, or even sexually assaulted or murdered on any given night they go for a run. This is why many are discouraged from doing so. Many will only go if they have someone with them and/or are taking a very public route during broad daylight.

Women’s Running has an article with many statistics regarding women’s safety while running: https://www.womensrunning.com/health/statistics-runner-safety-stay-safer/

Some alarming statistics from the article include

  • 34% of women feel afraid exercising outdoors alone
  • 37% feel threatened sometimes.
  • 60% curtail outdoor activity or limit to only daytime
  • 50% feel more anxious when hearing about violent crime in the area
  • Over 90% feel at least a little bit safer when outdoors with other people

Women should always be prepared for the worst if they choose to exercise outdoors by themselves, especially if at night. This article provides insight into how they can take steps to be safer when doing so: https://www.verywellfit.com/tips-for-running-alone-2911825

The article states that women should

  • Trust their instincts
  • Inform others of their route and expected time being gone
  • Vary familiar routes
  • Carry ID and phone
  • Be visible and loud
  • Listen to surroundings
  • Run with their pet if they have one
  • Learn self-defense

While it isn’t fair that women should have to worry so much about being in danger while exercising alone outdoors, they need to know how to be as safe as possible and protect themselves. Knowing the basics of how to stay safe outdoors can help reduce any preexisting fears and make running alone more enjoyable.

You Cannot Go Where You Cannot Imagine Going

By Leslie MacKenzie

In 2019, a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 76% of respondents would describe climate change as a crisis or a major problem. Despite that large number, 62% said tackling climate change would require little or no sacrifice on their part.

More than half of respondents said they wouldn’t pay anything out of their pocket to fix the problem. Fewer than half of respondents were willing to pay $2/month as a tax on their electric bill; about 25% said they would pay $10 a month.

Someone else should pay … companies that burn fossil fuels and the wealthy. Those with the least incentive and the most to lose should take the lead, Americans have decided.

Not surprisingly, that hasn’t happened.

Continue reading You Cannot Go Where You Cannot Imagine Going

When Everything Changes…

One day you are excited and everything is perfect all is right in the world. Then, that 10 minute procedure turns into 1 hour and you get escorted into a different room. You know something is wrong but no one tells you what’s going on, all you see is the box of tissues next to you.

Finally, the provider comes in to inform you that your child’s heart didn’t develop properly. Your whole world stops, fear consumes you, all logic is gone, and the grieving starts. It’s not that you lost your baby but you have lost a healthy baby the one thing all expecting parents say “as long as they are healthy that’s all we can ask for” now that’s gone. Your child’s heart is not what it’s suppose to be and not only that the doctors cannot tell you the extent to which is going to effect your child. All they can say is we are sorry and the baby will need surgery at some point before they are one year’s old.

They show you what a normal heart is suppose to look like and what your child’s will look like.

This is a complete shock to system but it is just the beginning because now you are a parent. If you were like me you’re a first time parent as well, in complete terror of what’s ahead. Will you get to take your baby home? How long will in be in the hospital? How can you keep working? We all think of these questions.

We were able to bring home our daughter after 4 days in the NICU. At 5 weeks old she would need to go to the hospital for some advanced imaging of her heart to she when she would need surgery. We went to this appointment everything went fine and she was brought to the recovery room. She did well for awhile so they were going to send her home. During time the time they were preparing to send her home she stopped breathing. We called for help and the nurses called a code blue on her. There were so many people that came into the room. They also had to have her imaging looked at right away.

We were to told that our little girl would need surgery right away.

And so it hit me the reality or being a heart parent. It was just the beginning.

My daughter 5 weeks old after having a BT shunt placed.

This is when everything changes.


Do you ever have moments where you sit and think… you could’ve and should’ve graduated already, have married someone by now, bought a home and started a family? That was me.

I remember days where I’d be scrolling through my Facebook or Instagram feed, and I’d feel this pang of envy (aka FOMO) every time I saw a friend or family member’s big announcement. I’d always think to myself, “I should’ve been engaged by now too, right?” or “shouldn’t I have already moved out two years ago?” Of course these aren’t exactly positive thoughts but as a 20-something year old, they came and went rather frequently (especially at family gatherings or events).

This idea of what success is and isn’t is and was no stranger to me. I am the oldest daughter, the oldest grandchild, the “second” mom to everyone younger than me – so it wasn’t hard to comprehend what others wanted for me. Of course, their intentions were good – “I just want the best for you.” “I want you to be successful, that’s all.” And I get that. But, no one should feel like they are bound to someone else’s definition of success.

Forbes published an article in 2016, titled “My Biggest Regret in Life: Going to College.” It highlighted the author’s POV on why you just might regret continuing higher-ed. Many, in fact, do believe that, “College isn’t a shortcut to success. In fact, it may be a roadblock to your success.” And respectively, I understand that too. Everyone’s experiences are different. Someone could’ve had a crappy experience during their first semester while another believes that it’s just a waste of time. In the last few years, the perception behind not going to college is changing – and many are searching for creative ways to obtain real-world experiences without having to spend huge weeps of money for a piece of paper or to “read a book.”

In contrast, Abound: Finish College, a college guidance system for degree-seeking adults, wrote a blog post breaking down the advantages of earning your degree: 1) a changing job market 2) an ill-prepared labor force 3) the impact of a college degree for your family, friends, children and community.

In fact, experts expect that by the year 2020, two out of every three jobs will require a bachelor’s degree.

These are all valid reasons and perspectives – but again, it’s what works for other people. It’s how others define success but it’s not how you define it. So hopefully during this pandemic, you’re able to slow down and truly think about how others have influenced or pressured you into thinking the way they do, how your experiences contribute to who you are today, and what true success looks like [for you] in the next 3-5 years. Maybe even 10 years.



2: The effects El Nino has on coral bleaching

Coral reefs are dying. In the last four decades the amount of bleaching rose from 8% in the 1980s to 31% in 2016.

El Nino

Since 1980, 58% of bleaching were recorded during strong periods of El Nino.  It was noted that in February of 2019, El Nino is officially back. El Nino is a natural phenomenon that typically peaks between October and March and happens every two to seven years. They have the ability to cause rising sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. As the climate warms (from El Nino), so does the risk of coral bleaching. There’s evidence that proves El Ninos are becoming more frequent and more intense. This is already the sixth El Nino we’ve had in the 21st century.


Even though coral reefs only cover 0.1% of the ocean floor, they support roughly 25% of the biodiversity of fish. However, coral reefs are very vulnerable to climate change. High sea temperatures is the biggest cause so far. Bleaching happens when stressed corals remove the tiny living algae in their tissues called zooxanthellae which leaves behind a white skeleton. That algae is important though—it’s how corals eat and without it they starve. It is possible for corals to recover from bleaching, but persistent bleaching can ultimately kill the entire reef.

Bleaching events have become such a modern phenomenon that it’s being reported that such events are happening every six or so years, which if you’re wondering, is not enough time for corals to recover.

The most recent bleaching event was from 2015 to 2016 and was the worst on record affecting 75% of the reefs that were examined during a study. Research suggests that Australia and the Middle East have seen the biggest increase in coral bleaching, but the reason for this still isn’t clear.



Even trying to limit temperatures to stay below 1.5C would be essential to give coral reefs a fighting chance. On the contrary, an increase of 2C would be disastrous for the world’s coral. The biggest consequence of El Nino is the effect it has on global temperatures. Most notably carbon dioxide which accelerates global warming.

Final Thoughts

If events like El Nino existed less and the effects weren’t so disastrous, coral reefs would have no issue thriving. Rising sea temperatures and the increase in carbon dioxide is killing coral reefs. These events happen so often they can’t regenerate in time.

It’s 2019: Does the US Finally understand the Power of K-Pop?

It was a casual Sunday morning in my small Minneapolis apartment, and I was desperately looking for something to watch. I opened my Youtube to watch literally anything interesting, and settled on the skits from SNL the night before. Little did I know I was in for a pleasant surprise, because the night before the K-Pop juggernauts BTS took to the stage as the musical act.

I will be the first to admit that I knew what K-Pop was and who BTS was, but was never remotely interested in finding out what they were about. I can admit now that it was just a personal bias because I knew a lot of BTS fanatics in real life, and I didn’t want to feed into the hype, but their two perfect SNL performances had me eating my words. I felt like I was let in on the world’s biggest secret. After watching both performances more times than I’d like to admit, I said aloud, “Ah, I get it now.”

The performance that had my jaw on the floor

I know I’m not the only person who felt standoffish toward K-Pop, and a lot of it just has to do with living in a western state of mind. I remember reading an article called “Can We Stop Pretending K-Pop is Popular?” completely disregarding K-Pop as an international phenomenon, pointing out how quickly the charts drop for these artists. Written in June of 2018, this article already sounds bitter and outdated.


BTS was the first K-Pop artist to be featured as a musical guest, debuting their new song “Boy With Luv” which features Halsey, an up and coming heavy hitter in the music industry. This goes along with their music video debut, which broke Youtube records by receiving the most views on a video in 24 hours, and also the fastest video to get 100 million views.

The Boys of BTS are not the only K-Pop stars breaking into the United States. The previous record for most Youtube views in 24 hours was held by BLACKPINK, an all girl K-Pop group that was recently featured in the 2019 Coachella line-up.

BLACKPINK performing Coachella

With all the attention on K-Pop groups, and an overall acceptance of the K-Pop genre into the US mainstream, the end is not in sight. BTS won two Billboard Awards, one for “Top Duo/Group” (a first for the group), and another for “Top Social Artist” for the 3rd year in a row. They shared the Social Artist category alongside two more well known K-Pop band nominees, EXO and GOT7.


As someone who just entered the K-Pop atmosphere, I feel like I have been let out of a small box, and I can now finally breathe. I’m excited to give these young talented artists a chance, simply because Pop music doesn’t always fit into a certain mold, and I hope others realize this.

The other day my boyfriend texted me to say he heard “Boy With Luv” by BTS on the radio, and I couldn’t help but smile.

What to watch…


Rotten Tomatoes & IMDb are resources for movie and show ratings as well as filming details (actors, directors etc.). Both have web sites, mobile apps, twitter, and Facebook feeds. Both rate movies and shows from TV, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. So which site is the best? Which app should you download?

How often do they update?

Rotten Tomatoes:

  • website: multiple times per day
  • Twitter: often multiple times per hour
  • Facebook: about hourly
  • YouTube: a few times per week


  • website: multiple times per day
  • Twitter: nearly hourly
  • Facebook: every few hours
  • Instagram: daily

Where does their information come from?

Rotten Tomatoes collect movie and show facts such as actors, directors… The details they post come from top 100 daily/weekly US newspapers, top 100 magazine, top 10 entertainment-based publications, national TV & radio networks, as well as “reliable” online publications. They welcome edit requests if site visitors notice a discrepancy or missing information (this is a link to an electronic Fandango customer service form).  Rotten Tomatoes became apart of Fandango in 2016.

For their critic based ratings, Rotten Tomatoes uses their own creation for ratings called the Tomatometer. The Urban Dictionary considers the Tomatometer a reliable, unbiased rating system. Their audience rating is the percentage of all Flixster.com and RottenTomatoes.com users who have rated the movie or TV Show positively.

IMDb, Internet Movie Database, relies on various sources for information; studios and filmmakers, the bulk of is submitted by people in the industry, members, and site visitors. They use member input for a number of popularity lists. IMDb is an Amazon.com Company. There is a derivative site called IMDbPro which claims to be “The leading information resource for the entertainment industry” and requires a subscription at a cost of $19.99 per month.

IMDb shows Metacritic ratings. Metacritic calculates its’ scores based on a minimum of 4 critics’ reviews. The Urban Dictionary definition of Metacritic is less than favorable.

My Opinion

My father-in-law and I had a lengthy discussion about how use the two sites. We seem to have the same method:

  • RottenTomatoes
    • what in theaters is worth watching
    • knowing which movies are coming soon to DVD
  • IMDb
    • historical movie details
    • actor & director filmography

Well I am not sure if Urban Dictionary the voice of reason or if I like the idea of either site being controlled by a major company but… The IMDb site was less user friendly and I preferred my searches on RottenTomatoes.

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What to watch…

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Being Multilingual

In Public School Reviews article: Benefits of Foreign Language Education and Huffington Posts article: 6 Multilingual benefits that you only get if you speak another language, it shows that learning more than one language has more advantages than disadvantages.

For me growing up in a multilingual household, it wasn’t as difficult as people may think it is. Of course, cultures were different when I was at home versus in school but it was easy to tell what language I needed to use or not and to react a certain way or not. According to these articles and because of being multilingual, I was able to benefit cognitively by easily learning new things and understanding different reasons and beliefs to things. Whether it was English class, history class, or science, I had the ability to not just learn but to also think deeper in detail on how things could come to be.

Another topic that these two articles talk about that benefits a person who is multilingual is that it provides people with intellectual abilities and social awareness to interact with different people of different cultures. Because I lived in a different environment at home versus my school and personal life, I feel that because of that, I am very socially aware and acceptable of how different people are. I come to love different cultures and the way people view or do things and I appreciate the diversity in this world.

In many schools these days, they teach different languages and I believe it is important to provide that to students because I believe that learning a new language helps with better communication among different cultures and societies. I believe that it is very important to connect with one another to be open to each other to live as peaceful as possible and to respect one another.

Thank you,
Sophia Vu