Tag Archives: Blog Post 1 – Intelligent Filter – Annotated Link

Teaching & Learning

To write successfully, one needs to know who their target is: that is, their desired or expected readership. Students are more motivated and engaged when their coursework has a purpose. The first step in every writing endeavor is to identify one’s audience. A blog allows you to change and adapt to various readers as your site matures, which is a good thing. Because the journey is the reward, educational blogs have a distinct edge over other forms of content.

When I have public for my blog articles, my students and professors may contribute more information, comments, and suggestions. This may spark learning and growth. Teachers were formerly the audience, but that is no longer the case. The instructor may now assist their pupils in discovering their audiences. This is not a harrowing experience. One may start small and grow up to a worldwide audience that can give a variety of viewpoints over time.

An audience with a genuine connection is a strong tool. Knowing that someone other than the instructor will view their effort might inspire kids to work harder. Students are more motivated and engaged when their coursework has a purpose. It is also possible for readers to give more information and resources, seek answers to inquiries, etc. This may spark learning and growth.

Blogging is a great way to assist your children in learning the digital skills they will need in the future since the conventional classroom is rapidly changing throughout the country. Blogging may be used to bridge the gap between reading and the rest of the curriculum and cover other learning requirements.Https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning?intc=main-topnav. Ed Week Ryan Lanier is a great blog resource for educators and students who want to stay up-to-date on current events in the classroom. By browsing this blog, I may easily obtain professional development packages, e-books, and connections to other educational blogs (Teaching & Learning, 2020).

References

Teaching & Learning. (2020, November 24). Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning?intc=main-topnav

It’s Time to Stop Plastic Waste.

The pollution of plastics is a growing concern.

Laura Parker states the following facts in this article “The world’s plastic pollution crisis explained” published in National Geographic:

The manufacturing of half of all the world’s plastics has occurred within the last 15 years. From the years 1950 to 2015, the production of plastics has increased by 445 million tons. This production is expected to DOUBLE in amount by 2050. Parker claims, “That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.” Additives added to make the plastics product more flexible and durable also extend the life of the products, taking at least 400 years to break down.

Parker states that 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the ocean each year.

Plastic pollution is harmful and deadly to marine life.

Due to plastic pollution, millions of animals are killed every year. The animals effected are: seabirds, fish, marine turtles, large cetaceans, seals, whales, and even zooplankton.

Ingestion of plastics, entanglement, and strangulation by plastics are common ways marine animals suffer and/or die from the pollution.

“Marine Debris on Kure Atoll” by USFWS Pacific is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Solution

Scientists and conservationists state the solution of plastic pollution is to PREVENT plastic waste from entering rivers and seas in the first place. Laura Parker continues in the National Geographic article that prevention “could be accomplished with improved waste management systems and recycling, better product design that takes into account the short life of disposable packaging, and reduction in the manufacturing of unnecessary single-use plastics”. In Britannica, Charles Moore offers another preventative solution in the article “Plastic Pollution” which involves prohibitive measures such as fines for littering and bans on single-use plastics. Moore advocates for the increase of biodegradable plastics and the embracing of a “zero waste” philosophy.

It’s Time to Demand the End of Plastic Pollution

The environmental organization of Green Peace is declaring that major corporations must take responsibility for the solution. Major corporations must not exceed its current plastic waste production, set reduction target dates, and invest in reusable systems.

Green Peace is a leader in the Reuse Revolution, and it is time for us to join them.

Image from breakfreefromplastic.org

Add your name to the “Break Free From Plastic” campaign to help stop plastic pollution.

Sign the petition now.

https://www.britannica.com/science/plastic-pollution

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/plastic-pollution

Having a More Plant Base Diet is Good for your planet

Those of you that know me will probably look at the title of my blog “role your eyes” and think I am a hypocrite. The reason why you would do that is because you probably saw me eating a burger the other day which 99% percent of the time is plant based but I do admit I have a turkey burger here and there and chicken more then I probably should.

Now you are probably asking yourself why would I create this blog then? Well, my answer to that question is I have a goal of eventually going completely vegetarian within the next year. Also, during my research on plant-based diets I’ve discovered a lot of things about meat consumption that I didn’t know, and think should be shared with everyone like me that is wanting to change.

The Answer is Yes!

If you are on the fence about if you should stop or slow your meat consumption, I say no time is sooner than the present. As a matter of fact, after thinking about this deeper I myself (as I am writing this) am thinking of accelerating my goal to do it sooner than the original plan.

Why is eating meat bad for the planet?

Did you know that for us to be able to eat meat our precious land is used to raise animals instead of natural stuff like vegetables, wheat, and even clean water? To keep animals fed and groomed for our consumption animal farmers have to cut down healthy trees, and vegetation that provide the oxygen that we breath and rids the air from the carbon dioxide that we breath out.  As a matter of fact, Cows must consume 16 pounds of vegetation in order to convert them into 1 pound of flesh. Raising animals for food consumes more than half of all water used in the U.S. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of meat but only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat. I addition to that, for every time a tree is cut down for the production of meats cardon dioxide is released it to the air accelerating climate change and jeopardizing our atmosphere as we know it.  

So how can I eat more vegetables and help save the planet?

Well, lucky for us meat eaters that are on the fence with our diets wanting to make a change there are now plenty of non-meat options out there to help us transition. If you haven’t had a “Beyond Meat burger”, I suggest you check it out! Most grocery stores now sell packages of plant-based meat that you can use for grilling, baking, or even frying that tastes exactly if not better than beef or chicken. These meat substitutes are packed with the proteins that beef gives you and fiber and vitamins of vegetables it is truly the best of both worlds!

Also, if you are on a budget like me, I shop at Aldi for my raw fruits and veggies their prices are amazing (about 1/3 the prices of Cub or Walmart) and the product is great! This change in your diet will not only help us cut down on “Carbon emissions,” protect our ozone layer, and slow the acceleration of climate change on of our planet, it will help you become a healthier better you!

So, when it comes down to it we need to help save our planet so Click here to get started!

Insulin Prices Continue to Climb, Leaving Diabetics in the Dust

Since the scientific breakthrough of insulin discovery in 1921, people diagnosed with diabetes have been able to lead happy, healthy lives. Diabetes is a disease that effects the pancreas, where it’s either producing little to no insulin (Type 1) or not enough insulin to keep up with the body’s carbohydrate intake (Type 2). Thankfully, those who discovered insulin refused to profit off of their groundbreaking discovery and sold their patent for only $1. Unfortunately, large medical corporations have taken control of the insulin distribution industry, and have monetized the drug to a degree that leaves some diabetics unable to afford the drugs they need to survive.

According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO), the staggering truth is that 1 in 2 people in the world who depend on insulin do not receive it due to the staggering prices that the drug has reached. Many diabetics have reported skipping or rationing out their insulin doses just to ensure they have enough until they have sufficient funds for their next prescription. The insulin price hikes are even more devastating in low and middle-income countries. Three out of four people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes live outside of the United States or Europe, yet only make up 40% of total insulin sales.

Hope is not fully lost, however. WHO has a plan to lower these prices and ensure that diabetics do not have to choose between money or their health. WHO suggests a boost in human insulin production as well as biosimilars, which are cheaper and easier to produce than the synthetic insulin that is more costly and is currently dominating the market. They also suggest diversifying manufacturing to raise the competition within the industry and begin to deflate the prices. WHO also recommends regulations on price mark-ups, as well as promotion of insulin production in the lower income countries.

WHO has entered talks with those within the industry on their strategy, and things are beginning to look up. Policies have been drawn up that would improve the access to insulin biosimilars, as well as access to other diabetic management supplies such as glucose meters, test strips, and diagnostic tools. If efforts continue to move in the right direction, insulin affordability can become an issue of the past for millions of people around the world, such as myself, fighting this disease.

#StopPolyMet – What you need to know.

PolyMet Mining is actively pursuing a mining project in northern Minnesota.

This is a mining company that is proposing a copper-sulfide mine that could destroy precious ecosystems and forests, and pollute land and water. This proposal includes 6700-acres of Superior National Forest land exchanged with US Forest Service. In this exchange of land, we can expect to see protections removed from the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Because of its toxic runoff waste, copper-sulfide mining has never occurred without polluting ground and land water.

What are the nearby water masses this project poses a danger to? The proposed site for this mine is only 12 miles from Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area. It will be built near the water of the St Louis River, which feeds into Lake Superior. It will pollute the surrounding marsh and wetlands, including the wild rice fields located downstream from the project.

This Polymet Mining project is dangerous.

PolyMet is also proposing a dam to hold reactive mine waste, and according to Friends of the Boundary Water Wilderness, they are using same design by the Brazilian engineer whose project in Brazil had failed and collapsed killing 200 people.

What can we do to protect Minnesota’s valuable land and water environments? The Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness could use your support in pushing a “Prove It First” bill through the Minnesota legislature. In order for this PolyMet Mining copper-sulfide mine to be approved for construction in Minnesota, this bill requires proof that a similar mine has operated for at least ten ye  ars and has been closed for at least ten years without causing pollution.

Support the “Prove It First” bill now.

Are you concerned about this project being built in Minnesota and the harm it could cause our natural environment? How can you support Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness in this cause? Sign the petition now for the “Prove It First” bill!

https://www.friends-bwca.org/get-involved/take-legislative-action/sign-the-petition/

Breast Cancer Awareness

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. Though October is awareness month we ought to focus on awareness every month. So what is cancer? Cancer is a broad term for a class of diseases characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade healthy cells in the body. Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.

What Is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. It is estimated that in 2021, approximately 30% of all new women cancer diagnoses will be breast cancer. There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. This year, an estimated 43,600 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S. Although rare, men get breast cancer too (less than 1%).

 

Detection & Diagnosis:

In women breast cancer can be detected by various symptoms, such as, breast cyst, breast pain, unexplained shrinkage of the breast and a lump.

Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola. Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer.

Breast cancer can be diagnosed through multiple tests; mammogram, ultrasound, MRI and biopsy.

Stages of Cancer

There are four stages of cancer. The higher the number, the more severity. The stages are as follows:

  • Stage 0 & 1
  • Stage 2 (II) and Stage 2A (IIA)
  • Stage 3(III) A,B, and C
  • Stage 4 (IV)

Once an individual has hit Stage 4, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Stage 4 of breast cancer is not curable, but treatable.

Treatment

Breast cancer has five treatment options. These treatments may have to be combined. The most common is chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy uses a combination of drugs to destroy cancer cells or slow down the growth of cells. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrinks tumors. However, the combination of all therapy including surgery, hormone therapy, and targeted therapies. The deciding factor would depend on the stage in which the cancer is progressing.

Self-Exams/Screening

It is important that women and men preform self-exams on themselves. The self-exams are done the same in both women and men. Press firmly against the breast in small clockwise circles. Feeling for lumps or bumps in your breast. It is said that, “The best time to perform a male breast self-exam is during or right after a warm shower or bath as warm, soapy water relaxes and smoothed the skin, making the exam easier to perform.” Women should do self-exams as early as the age of 21 and frequently around age of 40. Men between the ages of 60-70.

If you detect a lump or bump in your breast contact your local clinic or physician. If you don’t have one there are several organizations you can reach out to by calling 311. Get checked!

http://www.idph.state.il.us/menshealth/selfscreening.htm

https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/what-is-cancer/

Credit Score

Your credit score can impact your ability to get a place to live, car, or money in the form of a loan or credit card. A credit score is a number that potential lenders use to determine a consumers creditworthiness or how likely a borrower is to pay a lender back. This is a number before 300-850 and based on a number of factors such as total amount of debt, repayment history, open accounts, and other factors. People with credit scores below 629 are considered to have a poor credit, and typically experience higher interest rates on loans. 

Millennials (1997-1982) had an average credit score in 2019 of 668, and 679 in 2020. However, many have credit scores lower than that, and many have felt those scores have held them back from reaching financial goals. These goals may be buying a car, getting a loan/credit card, securing housing such as buying a home/renting an apartment. 

Here are a few ways to increase your credit score:

  • Always make your payments on time
  • Do not use more than 30% of your total credit
  • Check your credit reports regularly

Collegiate Recovery Program Open House Event at Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University’s Collegiate Recovery Program will be hosting an open house on Wednesday November 17th 2021 from 4pm-6pm at Midway, Room F.

Come in person and check out the CRP office, grab some GREAT food, and then join us in person or virtually for our OPEN HOUSE!

For more information to attend the event in person or on Zoom:

collegiate.recovery@metrostate.edu

https://www.facebook.com/metrostateuniversityCRP/

https://engage.metrostate.edu/organization/collegiate-recovery-program

Collegiate Recovery Program at Metropolitan State University

A collegiate recovery program (CRP) is a College or University-provided, supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces the decision to engage in a lifestyle of recovery from substance use. It is designed to provide an educational opportunity alongside recovery support to ensure that students do not have to sacrifice one for the other.

Dr. Bruce Donovan was a professor at brown university.  After he got sober in 1972, he started helping undergraduate students find 12-step meetings. In 1977, Brown created a new position for himself: “the Dean of chemical dependency”.  For the next 26 years, Dr. Donovan helped students find off-campus counseling & off-campus meetings.

The birth of the CRP movement began at Brown College in 1977 & Rutgers University in 1983. It evolved into more fully developed recovery communities at Texas Tech University in 1986 & Augsburg College, which they call the StepUP Program, in 1997.

The first college program at Brown offered confidential services to faculty and students but was not a fully developed recovery community. As recovery high schools and collegiate recovery programs have evolved, they have focused more specifically on forming communities for recovering students. Unlike the high schools, college programs are not school-wide, and their structures can vary widely depending upon the institution on which the program is located, the program umbrella under which the recovery community operates, the private or public funding of the school, and the size of the college or university. For this reason, most college programs are vastly different from each other. Some offer housing services, while others do not. Some offer specialized coursework, while others focus exclusively on therapeutic and general academic support.

At the college level, an early evaluation of the collegiate recovery community at Texas Tech University found that its recovering students had a grade point average of 3.37 compared to an average of 2.68 for all undergraduates at the University, while maintaining a relapse rate of below five percent.

Spending time in situations where alcohol and other drugs are being used—unfortunately, an all-too-common scenario on America’s college campuses—and continuing to interact with friends who drink and use drugs are two reliable predictors of relapse, especially in early recovery. Having a strong support network of pro-recovery peers can serve as a critical counterweight to sustain recovery.            

At many colleges, students in recovery are referred to off-campus resources. However, these external services, on their own, might not be adequate to support recovery because they are not tailored to address the unique set of stressors that college students face. Expanding recovery support services in academic settings was named as a priority by the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of National Drug Control Policy and also recognized in the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health.

People in recovery from addiction face many challenges as they re-construct their lives and create a life-long recovery focus. This is not always supported by society and is even less supported in the realm of higher education. There is so much focus on maintaining and mitigating the damages of the college experience, which leaves little focus on creating a place within higher education for this marginalized population. While other groups of classically marginalized populations have begun to find a foothold and support within the university settings (for example: LGBTQ, gender equality & ethnic identities), those in recovery have largely been left out in the cold due to the fact that their needs run counter to the dominant narrative of the college world. Enter the Collegiate Recovery Program movement.

The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) is the only association exclusively representing collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) and collegiate recovery communities (CRCs), the faculty and staff who support them, and the students who represent them. ARHE provides the education, resources, and community connection needed to help change the trajectory of recovering student’s lives. The ARHE includes a network of professionals, administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents and policy makers.

The Collegiate Recovery Program at Metropolitan State University is a new initiative that started this fall semester. Its mission is to provide support and resources for students who have challenges with substance use or behavioral addictions. It also supports students in recovery to increase overall well-being and meet educational, professional and personal goals. You can become a member by filling out a form provided on the Metropolitan State University Collegiate Recovery Program information page.

https://www.metrostate.edu/students/support/collegiate-recovery-program

Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

521 years ago the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean in search of a faster route for trade. He landed on a “New World” and took it as his own. Columbus never set foot in what we know now as The United States of America, however, we still “celebrate” a day for him. 

How Did This Start?

In the late 1800s, there were a lot of anti-Italian sentiments going around in the United States. Immigrants were being targeted, lynched, and assaulted. The first official Columbus day was in 1892, commemorated by President Benjamin Harrison. Harrison made a link between the legacy of Columbus to the patriotism Americans have. Celebrating the life of an Italian paved way for Italian Americans to be accepted in the country. In 1934 Columbus Day became a federal holiday and is what we know of today.

What’s Changing?

In recent decades, people have decided to look back on the legacy of Christopher Columbus. Looking at the horror he caused on the people he “discovered”. His history is brutal and is not something that Americans wish to celebrate. Starting in the 60s, many Native American communities were coming together to draw attention to Colombus’ atrocities. In the 90s, coming up on the 100th anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre, Native American publisher Tim Giago urged South Dakota’s governor to change Columbus Day to Native American Day. The governor agreed and the holiday has been replaced in South Dakota. Today, 11 states mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a paid state holiday, including Minnesota.

What Do We Do?

Looking back at our history isn’t always enjoyable. There were murders, robberies, assaults, and other awful acts that our ancestors committed on innocent people. It is very hard to look back on these times and not wish that we could erase it, but we cannot. We cannot change history, but we can move forward and do better. Columbus Day was started to celebrate Italian Americans by honoring an Italian “hero”. It is wrong to honor Columbus when he committed horrific acts against innocent people and never stepped foot in the United States. However, we can still honor Italian Americans, they should be. We also need to honor the native communities that were here before all of us. Honor, celebrate them, and understand their history. History is about learning, not erasing. We need to learn about our countries history and honor those that were here before us.

For more information on Indigenous Peoples’ Day – https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/national-museum-american-indian/2020/10/12/indigenous-peoples-day-updated2020/