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Archive for the category “Education”

Happy Birthday Bobby Seale

Hello!

Today is Bobby Seale’s 73rd birthday. Bobby Seale is one of the co-founders of the Black Panthers Party, (originally the Black Panther for Self Defense). Since the 1960’s Bobby Seale has shown commitment in serving the people of this planet. This is why I wanted to honor his birthday.

The video below features Mr. Seale talking about how he helped establish the Black Panther Party. The interview/speech was facilitated by Professor Harris via three focus topics. But you will notice that the event evolved to be spontaneous, free flowing and fun. Mr. Seale spent about an hour telling us about his early childhood, how he and Huey P. Newton started the Black Panther Party of Self Defense, and why today’s youth should get involved in social issues. The event was filmed at the University of San Francisco (I was there!) on February 24, 2011. You can read more about Bobby Seale here and more about the Black Panther Party here. You can also join the campaign against the Koch Brothers here.

You will notice towards the end of the event, Mr. Seale points out the Koch Brothers. And this was before (late 2011-early 2012) people in this country knew who the Koch Brothers were and how much influence they have in America. I was impressed how current and informed he was.

It is good to be back!

Peace

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Jumping over the Bandwagon

I have noticed that fellow bloggers have been writing about Immigration in America . This should not be a surprise because the topic of immigration (mostly focused on Latino Immigrants) has been the cause for many debates for a long time now, even before the recent election. But the dialogue, I believe is always the same for example, there is always a debate over how much money has been spent of border security. But the problem is no real solid solutions are being brought up in the mainstream media. This is because the root causes of immigration are not being debated and discussed.

I want to present some (not a lot) information that looks at the history behind Latino Immigrants and America. Juan Gonzalez, co-host on Democracy Now, wrote a very good book called, “Harvest of Empire,” it really dissects the history of Latino Immigrants and their relationship to America. His book was originally published in 1999, it has since then been revised and most recently a documentary was made based on it.

Below I provide videos on this matter.

Footage from the Documentary.

The video below sort of forecasts (this is from April 11, 2013) what is happening now.

Last but not least is headline news from Democracy Now; it was released today (July 25, 2013).

Senate Backs Amendment to Increase Border Enforcement in Immigration Bill

Senate lawmakers have backed an amendment to the immigration reform bill that would dramatically increase enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border. The proposal by Republican senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven would nearly double the number of border agents, expand the use of drones and construct hundreds of miles of border fencing. In total, the plan would cost roughly $40 billion over the next decade. The proposal reportedly spurred roughly a dozen Republicans to throw support behind a reform bill that would extend an eventual path to citizenship to millions of undocumented people.

Peace!

Reference:

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/25/headlines#6257

More than One Million Protesters Shake up Brazil

So, I do not know if you have heard but about 1.2 million people all over Brazil took to the streets. In protest of a number of things but we can just simply say economic inequality. I have been meaning to write something regarding the economic inequality in Brazil and its relationship to the World Cup but I couldn’t. This is because, ‘I have not been able to find this documentary,’ that I watched a couple of years ago; I have been looking for it for at least one month and fifteen days (I feel that it is really important). I know, I have said those words several times before, I wish I had anticipated that I was going to start this blog because I would have kept a record of information on how to find it. I am going to explain it a little bit of it, just in case someone reading this would know what documentary I am talking about; please share if you do.

So the documentary was about the what the government is doing to the poor people living in the flavelas. Which is locking up young black Brazilian males from the flavelas. One of the  worst parts of the situation was the prison conditions; they were unbelievable. The documentary stated that the young men and boys were being stuffed in these cells; it was at least 16 people in one small cell. The governments argument was that the boys and men were involved in violence, crime, drugs, etc. But really, the real reason is because they are poor. I am going to write another post when I have a little more time to think about this; for now this works.

With that said, I had hoped that the people in Brazil would take to the streets, anytime before the World Cup would have worked for me. I did not expect some action this early. The timing is perfect because the World Cup will help the story reach more people. This is a fight for all of humanity not just Brazilians. This is all I will say for now, below is a video and an article from Al Jazeera on the matter.

Notice the medical student, I personally am proud of the youth all over the world for rising up. If you look at all the uprisings that we have watched take place in the twenty first century, the youth have really been an important factor, even in Europe, just look at Greece. This is also a good time to point out how important education is because the youth are students. We also cannot forget the youth of the sixties for their courage as well because they are in the streets today; I have protested with them.

Article below!

Clashes with police mark biggest day of demonstrations as President Rousseff calls for emergency meeting amid pressure.

Last Modified: 21 Jun 2013 16:54
Hundreds of thousands of people have rallied across Brazil as part of a protest movement over the quality of public services and the high cost of staging the World Cup.President Dilma Rousseff called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday amid mounting pressure on her government in the face of the biggest street protests the South American country has seen in 20 yearsThe demonstrations have also prompted her to cancel a trip to Japan planned for next week.Local media reported that 1.2 million people took part in rallies across the country of 194 million people – an intensification of the movement which started two weeks ago to protest at bus fare increases.Police fired tear gas in Rio de Janeiro, scene of the biggest protest where 300,000 people demonstrated near City Hall, to disperse stone-throwing protesters. At least one person was injured in the clashes. Demonstrators also set ablaze a vehicle owned by the SBT television station.On Friday, CBN radio and the website of the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, both respected, mainstream media carried reports speculating on the suspension of the Confederations Cup, an eight-nation football tournament considered a dry run for next year’s World Cup.

Violence in Brasilia

In the capital Brasilia, security forces including military police blocked protesters trying to break into the foreign ministry building and throwing burning objects.

In Sao Paulo, an estimated 110,000 people flooded the main avenida Paulista to celebrate the fare rollback and keep the pressure on Rousseff’s leftist government to increase social spending.

Al Jazeera’s Mariana Sanchez reports on the people behind the Brazil protests.

But clashes erupted between a group of ultra-leftists marching behind their red banners and a majority of demonstrators who objected to the presence of political parties.

One of the leftists was hit in the head by a projectile and blamed a member of the ruling Workers Party. Police were forced to intervene to put an end to the clashes.

The protests have escalated into a wider call for an end to government corruption in the world’s seventh largest economy, a call prompted by resentment over the $15bn cost of hosting the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

Those opposing the hosting of the World Cup are planning a march to Rio’s Maracana stadium on June 30, the day of the Confederations Cup final.

Protesters say they want higher funding for education and health and a cut in salaries of public officials. They are also protesting against what they viewed as rampant corruption within the political class.

About 15,000 people, most of them in their 20s, gathered just before dusk on Thursday the Alfonso Pena thoroughfare in Belo Horizonte, but a prompt police response of rubber bullets sent them scuttling for cover.

“Brazil, country of corruption,” “We want a serious economic policy,” “Enough, it’s time to speak” and “Brazil is waking up,” were just some of the slogans marchers held aloft as they wound their way through the city centre.

Recife and Salvador rallies

Thousands more marched in Salvador, the capital of Bahia state, and Recife.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Sao Paulo, said police in Recife said marches there attracted more than 100,000 people, while a small protest in the northeastern city of Salvador resulted in clashes between police and protesters.

Many marching against corruption and the cost of the 2014 World Cup are also angry at the media, including the influential Globo network, accused of belittling their movement.

In Sao Paulo, Globo TV crews have been jeered while covering protest rallies and on Tuesday demonstrators set the satellite van of another station ablaze.

Social media networks have been key to the organisation of the mass protests, with demonstrators using the slogan “It’s more than just 20 cents” – a reference to the bus fare rises – to rally people to their cause. The movement has no political hue and no clear leadership.

 

Peace!

Reference:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/06/201362022328194879.html

The Art of Refrigeration

I previously provided information about why it was important to eat your vegetables and fruits. So now we are going to look at how to keep vegetables and fruits in the refrigerator, based on my experience. How often do you throw away decaying produce from the refrigerator? I can happily say that I rarely do and I believe it is because I am vigilant in how I keep my produce. I will share with you some of my techniques. But first I want to share with you one of my previous experiences.

Not too long ago when I was at Safeway the cashier noticed that I was purchasing three avocados and it sparked a conversation:

Cashier:  “Every time I buy avocados they just go bad! So I do not buy them anymore.”

Me: Well, do you keep them in the refrigerator?

Cashier: Yes!

Me: At what stage do you buy them? Do you buy them when they are ripe?

Cashier: Yes, I do.

Me: I think that is your problem, I buy one that is really hard, not so hard and one that is ripe.

Cashier: Oh, okay, I see.

Me. You have to make sure to remember to eat them as well. I believe that is a problem, people forget to eat them.

Cashier: Okay I will try that.

I have not seen her since our conversation, I do not shop at Safeway that often. But if I do, I will ask her if she took up purchasing avocados again and if anything has changed?

So back to the refrigeration of produce. I would have to say that there are three key things to think about when you are considering the refrigeration of produce: aeration, temperature and if the produce is alive.

We will tackle aeration first. I am assuming that inside a refrigerator, air is constantly moving; this is a good thing as well as bad thing. Some vegetables and fruits need to be sort of shielded from this moving air because that constant moving air dries them out (again my assumption). It is sort of similar to blow drying your hair only using the cold air option on the blow-dryer, even thought the air is cold, if you wait long enough your hair will dry.

So depending on the structure of the produce, you will have to keep specific produce in a paper bag. On that note, I cannot think of a specific type of produce that I would recommend to keep in a plastic bag. The reason for this is because the plastic bag drastically minimizes air flow which means that moisture given off by produce gets trapped in the bag. Compared to keeping produce in a paper bag which allows air flow but on a minimal level. The trapping of moisture is bad because mold which is similar to almost everything else on this planet needs water to survive. Keeping produce in a plastic bag will provide mold with adequate food as well as water. In this situation, this is good for them and bad for us.

The outer layer of your produce will give you a hint, on how to keep it. There are a handful of types of vegetables and fruits that you need to keep in their own paper bag. This includes berries (blackberries, strawberries, boysenberries, raspberries, etc) and mushrooms (shiitake, portobello, white button, maitake, brown button, oyster, etc). According to WiseGeek, putting a damp paper towel with the produce mentioned above will help last even longer. I personally do not put a paper towel but you are more than welcome to.

You will also find produce that you have to keep in a paper bag but you do not have to keep them separate. What I do for this category is that I put a shopping bag (paper) from Safeway, Costco, Raleys, etc, in the bottom pull out drawer of my refrigerator and then I put the produce in the bag. I believe that this is a good method, because it helps the produce from drying out and it is a easy clean up, just take out the bag when appropriate. Produce in this section include: broccoli, carrots, celery, romaine lettuce, radicchio, red leaf, green leaf, endive, iceberg lettuce, butter lettuce, eggplant, and cauliflower.

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Paper bag of carrots and broccoli

On the other end of the aeration spectrum is produce that do not have to be kept in a paper bag at all. We can make an educated guess and say that the reason why you do not have to do anything special to produce in this category is because they have a tough outer layer. The vegetables and fruits included in this section  are: oranges, bananas, plantains, lemons, squash, pineapple, cucumber (watch these closely), melons, and beets. There are other vegetables that are sort of vigor, if I can use that word, for example, cabbage, beets, ginger, tomatoes, artichoke, turnips, radishes, apples, bell peppers, grapes, corn, radishes, garlic and onions. I personally have a decent size plastic tupperware that I keep in my refrigerator for holding most of the produce in this section.

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Tupperware full of Produce

Just a quick note, above I had mentioned tomatoes, but it is important to point out that if you do utilize the ‘tupperware method,’ do not let the tomatoes sit under other produce. Because if they are at the bottom, the weight of the other vegetables and fruits will cause bruising which speeds up the decaying process.

Next we are going to look at temperature, which is sort easy; if you are someone who has a refrigerator. This is obvious because you would just set the dial on your refrigerator at an ideal temperature and let it do its thing. But some vegetables and fruits do not need to be refrigerated, these are mostly roots and some other types of produce: potatoes, onions*, garlic*, ginger*, lemons*, grapes*, apples* and avocados*.

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My potato box

Last and but not least we have the, ‘living produce.’ Believe it or not some of the produce that you buy is still alive. The different types of produce that I am talking about here are lettuces, produce in the Apiaceae family, and herbs. The produce in this category can be put in the refrigerator while sitting in a jar/cup of water. The plants will naturally begin to take in the water, which will allow them to last 100 times longer (exaggeration).  But really you will be surprised of the difference. I personally put, spinach, kale, arugula, Swiss chard, parsley, cilantro, basil, mint, sage, thyme, etc.   This is such a cool method because  all you have to do is grab your jar (I recycle old jam jars, peanut butter jars, sauce jars, mason jars, etc) of produce pick how much of the plant you want and put it back. With this method you should pick off leaves at the bottom  of the plant as best as possible. So that they do not sit in the water (will increase rate of decay) and you should change the water maybe once a week.

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Spinach in a jar

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Jar of cilantro

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The water should be clean and kept as low as possible.

* Even though it is not necessary to refrigerate; I do. The potato only after it is cut.

Peace!

Reference:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/lettuce-varieties_n_1626023.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/464325-what-are-the-benefits-of-parsley-cilantro/ refrigeration

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-best-way-to-store-produce.htm

Economic Inequality in America: The Mentally Ill are Easily Looked Over

The discussion of homelessness cannot take place without the inclusion of the topic of the mentally ill. I am sure that at some point in your life you have casually passed by a homeless person who was definitely talking to themselves or acting in a way that you might find obnoxious. During these times, I bet that you probably concluded on two reasons for why that person is talking to themselves: either the person is on drugs or the person is mentally ill. I believe too often the first option is chosen because the average individual does not know the trials and tribulations that affect the mentally ill. Very few know how much mentally ill people suffer and how much this society directly and indirectly neglects them.

In America the streets are covered with the mentally ill. Some studies show that 50% (it could be as high as 80%) of all homeless people are mentally ill.

Below is a video that looks at the lives of some mentally ill people in America. It is a very good video to introduce this topic. I like the positive aspect of the video that shows people who understand mentally illness and are using their knowledge and solidarity to help the homeless.

The video is found on Al Jazeera, it is called,”Lost and Found,” and it was posted on November 21, 2010.

Below is text from the Al Jazeera website:

Filmmaker: Peggy Holter

According to the US’ substance abuse and mental health services sdministration “as many as 700,000 Americans are homeless on any given night. An estimated 20 to 25 per cent of these people have a serious mental illness”.

The number of people who are homeless in the US has always been a stunning statistic that seems to run counter to the promise of the American Dream. In the past two years, compounded by the deep recession, it is a statistic that has only gotten substantially worse.

There has long been a public policy debate about whether it is homelessness that leads many of those who are mentally ill to wind up on the street or if because they are already an at-risk population and their mental illness grows more severe by the difficult reality of living on the street with no support, no family care and few viable solutions.

A large and growing homeless population is evident in every major city in the US. In Washington, DC it is seen as especially remarkable because so much of it is visible from the halls of power where government entities are meant to find solutions to these issues. Instead the nation’s capital has one of the largest homeless populations – about 40,000 people.

Among that number there is a seemingly equally intractable issue, the mentally ill homeless. For the past 30 years this number has grown substantially as the support services provided to them have been eroded. It is now believed that the percentage of those among the homeless who are mentally ill is close to 40 per cent across the country.

During the 1980s, the indigent mentally ill would be institutionalised by court order until they were successfully treated or other resources could be found to support them. When that policy ended it led to a surge in the number of mentally ill homeless and that has continued to grow in the following decades.

Vagrancy charges were frequently used to get many of the homeless, including the mentally ill, off the streets. But this led only to short-term housing solutions with no connection to long-term mental health care. Further, it led to petty crime cases clogging court dockets.

Some alternative health care solutions are available, including short-term stints under a doctor’s care and prescriptions for medication to treat many of the disorders that are most common among this population, such as schizophrenia. But being homeless and without any long-term financial support often means that regular access to prescriptions and maintaining a schedule with a therapist is almost impossible.Over the years countless efforts have been made to address this issue at governmental and charity levels. But there is a conflict between those who believe that providing housing should be a primary concern because mental illness exists regardless of whether or not somebody has a home and those who believe that only when the reasons behind homelessness – be it mental illness, substance abuse or economic need – are resolved, can stable housing be provided by the government.

It is in this swirl of debate that we found David and Nellie – each with their own troubled journey and issues. Their cases are different, as are the solutions outlined in this film.

There are a number of initiatives that are being pursued in Washington. One is a court-based programme that is devoted strictly to providing a non-incarceration route for the mentally ill who have been arrested for petty crimes.

Another solution that is outlined in this film is part of a non-profit organisation called Pathways to Housing. It was founded in the early 1990s by Sam Tsemberis and now operates in a number of cities across the US. Its goal is to provide stable and ultimately affordable housing to those in greatest need among the homeless, whether they are mentally ill, recovering from substance abuse or simply navigating the difficult transition back from economic ruin.

Peace!

Reference:

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/witness/2010/11/201011166511982384.html

Economic Inequality in America: The Obsolete Yet Thriving School System

In the last post I wrote about economic inequality in America. The video in the post showed how much money, which equals power,’ some people have. Well these people with this power understand how important education is for a child. When I say understand, I do not mean, in the sense that in general most people agree (in Western society) that all children should go to school. The wealthy understand it to the extent that they know that children learn better in the morning, or after physical activity, or they know it is good to use new vocabulary around children, etc. So wealthy parents try to provide the best learning environment for their children while leaving the rest of our children to fend for themselves. If that is not enough, there are other indirect factors that prevent low-income parents from providing the best learning environment, for example, a low-income parent might need to hire a tutor for their child but cannot afford it; so the child struggles. Not all wealthy people are bad people but there are certain powerful people who want nothing but to take and ruin the lives of others.

Every major decision, from the monthly 12 participant town hall meeting to the decisions made in the situation room. The result will have a direct and or indirect affect on the future generations to come. Some decisions prove to have a greater affect than others. Now, when we talk about the decisions regarding education, the impact is enormous.

When the African slaves were brought to America, as you know, one of the things that the slaves were prevented from doing was, learning how to read. The ability to read is a powerful skill because  ultimately opens the door to learning almost anything you focus your mind on. The slave owners knew that keeping the slaves retarded was crucial for them if the wanted to maintain power. This is what is still going on today. The minority, the poor and the women of this world are being prevented from learning.

As children the world is an interesting and exciting place that is filled with amazing things that we want to learn about. But there are too many things in the world for any one child to successfully attain, assess and indefinitely retain all information out there. For example, let us say that a young adult (17 years old) wants to work at the cashiers counter at the local grocery store. Well that means that the young adult needs to understand what a decimal point is, her or she needs to know how to add and subtract, etc; in order to make sales. But there is something else that is more important than the math, something that is important throughout ones entire life. That is the ability to appropriately meet, interact and bond with other people on this planet. This ability and confidence is greatly impacted by the idea of schools. The school campus provides a child  a preview, if you will, on how to the world interacts with them and and how they should treat the other people in the world. Now, depending how inviting, supportive, innovative and challenging the school campus is will affect how the child develops. I believe that we can all agree that wealthy children attend “better”, schools than less fortunate students and that is why you will see less fortunate children getting in-trouble with the law.  Wealthy children rarely have to worry about not eating anything for breakfast before school, or trying to study in the only room in the home that is filled with everyone in the family.

So, we can conclude the schools are really important for society to function and develop, if needed. Then why are they not talked about more? Why is it for the last 50+ years education has been put in the back burner? Because the wealthy elites suppress the general population by utilizing all the tools available to them; the power to influence our education being one of them.

“You know there like, really smart, talented….They do not want the angry black man……but I am angry!”

Haha, funny but so true.

“Millions of our children that  we are going to needlessly loose…..right now we could save them all.”

“….those schools are still lousy today! 56 years….it is still the same approach…things have changed, yet not in education! Why?”

“Every 10 years they reproduce the same study.”

..some folks do the right thing.”

There are people who fight for the right thing everyday.

“We did not know how critical the first 3 years were…wealthy people know, educated people know, and their kids have an advantage.”

“What are you doing this year? the same thing. I am going to make a prediction.”

Educational Cliff.”

Peace!

“Only my body is here because I am thinking about what is happening around the world.”-Mumia

Economic Inequality in America: The 1% of America has 40% of the Wealth

Over the past week, the topic of inequality has been floating around me. I have been thinking about inequality and its direct impact to the well being of, what I would argue the majority of the people on this planet. I started this thinking marathon last weekend when I was at a barbeque and I heard one of the other guests shout something similar to this, “I know, they just raise the prices and kick everyone out!”  I looked towards the source of this statement and we made eye contact, the source proceeded with a drawn-out head shake. That is all I heard him say and that was enough for me to know what he was talking about; gentrification. All over America cities are going through gentrification: getting rid of the old and bringing in new money.

Hearing a conversation regarding the topic of gentrification at a friendly barbeque was both a bad thing as well as a good thing. The bad thing is that gentrification exists at all and we have to deal with it, on the other hand it is a good thing because I see it as a sign that it might be becoming more of a concern to the common individual.

My first encounter with gentrification took place at least four years ago when I was at a local tea shop studying for an exam. During my stay there I met a man(I do not remember his name now) who made it clear to me that he was homeless. We talked for most of the day,we talked about life and the adventures that come with it. But one of the things that he said is that he noticed that a lot of people are leaving San Francisco, California. When I heard this I was shocked, “really,” I thought, because as far as I know everyone wants to live in San Francisco. But now I think about it he was probably referring to people who were more like him, people who did not have enough money to afford to live in San Francisco. Since that day I had kept my mind open to learning more about gentrification.

Fast forward one year and I am enrolled  in a class that provides me with the opportunity to learn more about gentrification. I had a final paper assignment and the topic that I chose to write on was “the history and impact of murals in San Francisco.” My professor really wanted me to focus on the, “weirdness and or the peculiar messages in the murals,” to this day I do not know what he was saying. But I knew what I wanted to learn about, I surrounded myself with everything regarding gentrification and absorbed as much as I could.

Now back to my marathon of thoughts regarding economic inequality. a couple of days ago I came across pictures(below) of  extravagant hotels/resorts in Dubai. I know that Dubai is one of the wealthiest cities but after seeing these pictures I think, “really,” people still have money.

I mean, because I recently started taking business courses, so it is all new to me. But I do  know that big corporation(s)/companies do their research before they open a business in a certain area. They find out how much they are going to make, how many people come each year, when they need to advertise, who are their main clients, etc; they find out everything before the invest their money. So basically it surprised me that this resort is doing so well(in this day and age), while others are suffering. One of main problems I find with the state of the world is that things do not have to be the way that they are. It is not necessary to produce or consume nice things in the expense of others; which is exactly the way the world functions today.

Palm-Islands-Dubai-Giant-Palm-Tree-in-The-Middle-of-Sea-1

Sky View

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People’s homes

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The smaller of the two palm trees

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atlantis-the-palm

There aquariums inside the buildings. It can be at least 90 degrees outside.

To sum it all up, I found a video that really puts the economic inequality in America and ultimately the world into perspective. This video is pretty impressive. This video is found on upworthy.com and it is called,”9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact,” posted by Adam Mordecai.

Most Americans want a more ideal and equal distribution of wealth.

The actual distribution is ridiculous

1% of America has 40% of the wealth.

Peace!

“Only my body is here because I am thinking about what is happening around the world.”-Mumia

References:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gentrification

http://www.upworthy.com/9-out-of-10-americans-are-completely-wrong-about-this-mind-blowing-fact-2?c=ufb1

In Honor of All Mothers

Below is a video from Ted.com, it is called “Mother and Daughter Hero Doctors: Hawa Abdi and Deqo Mohamed.” It was filmed on December 2010 and posted on February 2011.

“…women and children are the ones affected most by civil war.”

This is an important statement because it is very true. Women and children have always suffered in times of conflict and ultimately since the existence of human beings. But times have been changing as you can see here is one example.

“No man can beat his wife.”

This is still a global problem.

“We will call the eldest people…if the defy this case..we never release him”

This is an old tradition that is rarely practiced in Western society. Older people have the potential to have so much wisdom and a sense of the way the world works or should work. So, it is ingenious to harness that wisdom.

“Women are most strong, person, all over the world.”

True that.

The people of the community came up with the two rules; democracy?

“I saw how my mother was helping and how she really need the help and how is the care is essential to healthcare…”

I believe that sometimes parents forget that they are the first and in many cases the only example for their children. I mean that children learn how to treat others, how to take care of themselves, how to work hard, how to be a good person, etc; from their parent(s)/guardian(s).

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Below is a video from Al Jazeera, it is called, “Shabeena’s Quest.” I believe it was posted on November 2012.  Shabeena is a principal at a school in Pakistan. Under the governing of the Taliban, Shabeena, shuns old-age traditions that prevent girls and women to go to school. Shabeena shows courage and dedication to do what I believe, is right. The video also follows two girls who attend the school: Afshan and Zarina.

Afshan comes from a family with six daughters and they All go to school. On a family salary* that would make your head spin. Truly, for anyone who knows what it is like to live poor in a third world country,  you know how amazing that is. Especially in a Taliban dominated environment; imagine.

Zarina, comes from a family that is comparable to Afshan’s but the difference is that her family wants to marry her off at the age of 14. Zarina of course wants to stay in school; she has to fight to learn.

Throughout the video you will really see the hearts and minds of the future generation. I hope at least one the children there rises up to really bring change some where in the world; you cannot deny even at their young age they know what needs changing.

I wanted to say that this post features women who are doing things that many would consider courageous and dangerous. But all women are important in order for this planet to function peacefully. And every mother is important to someone in the world. Bless All mothers.

*Average annual salary in Pakistan $4,650.00 this is based on the 2012/2013 survey.

Peace!

“Only my body is here because I am thinking about what is happening around the world.”-Mumia

References:

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/witness/2012/11/2012112612156945376.html

http://www.averagesalarysurvey.com/article/average-salary-in-pakistan/30182840.aspx

Why…Plate…..Rainbow! Part 2: The Practical Version ;)

The Colors of Vegetables and Fruits

  1. Green Produce.
      1. Green leafy vegetables, kiwi, honeydew melon,  avocado, broccoli, artichoke, zucchini, lettuce, celery, asparagus, edamame, okra, and peas.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Lutein, zeaxanthin, indoles, omega-3’s and omega-6’s
  2. White and Tan Produce.
      1. Turnips, bananas, garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, radishes, potatoes(white flesh),  jicama, and ginger.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Allicin and anthoxanthins.
  3. Yellow and Orange Produce.
      1. Sweet potatoes, peaches, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, mangos, pumpkin, corn, pineapple, carrots, butternut squash, apricots, tangerines and yellow peppers.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Carotenoids( beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthi) and bioflavonoids.
  4. Red Produce.
      1. Red grapes, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, pink or red grapefruit, tomatoes, beets, radishes, red peppers, rhubarb, cherries, cranberries, red cabbage, guava and red apples.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Carotenoids(Lycopen, anthocyanin), and resveratol.
  5. Blue and Purple Produce.
      1. Purple cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, black grapes, raisins, eggplant, plums, prunes and figs.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Anthocyanins, phenolics, and resveratol.

Below is a chart taken from Ms. Zimmerman’s website found here.

Phytochemical Families

Family What They Do Where They’re Found
Terpenes
Carotenes, limonoids, saponins Activate body’s protective enzymes, protect eyes, act as antioxidants, modify hormones, help block cholesterol absorption, protect cellular differentiation Green, red and yellow vegetables and fruits; grains; legumes; nuts; seeds; herbs such as ginseng, chamomile, gotu kola
Organosulfur Compounds
Indol-3-carbinol, thiosulfonates, isothiocyanates Boost cancer-fighting enzymes, block multagenesis, inhibit cholesterol synthesis, may lower blood pressure Cruciferous vegetables; mustard family; onion & garlic family
Phenols
Polyphenols, anthocyanidins, caechins, isoflavones, tannins Protect heart and vascular system, protect against colon cancer, modify hormone response, prevent dental caries Berries, grapes, red wine, green leafy vegetables, soy foods, green tea, herbs
Organic acids, Polysaccharides
Lactones, celluloses, arabinogalactans, pectins, fructans, glucans Block nitrosamine effects, promote growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria, modulate immune system, may help prevent colon cancer Fruit, mushrooms, yeast, herbs, spices
Lipids
Isoprenoids, oils, fatty acids, physterols Reduct platelet aggregation, blood clotting, inflammation, nervous system disorders; balance hormones; modify autoimmune conditions Dark-green leafy vegetables, nuts, soy oil, wheat germ, herbs, animal foods

Peace!

References:
Coila, Bridget. (2010, Oct 7). List of Phytochemical Foods. Livestrong.com. http://www.livestrong.com/article/273326-list-of-phytochemical-foods/

Collins, Claudia. (2010, Sep 28). Nutrition: Fruit and Vegetable Colors. Livestrong.com. http://www.livestrong.com/article/262977-nutrition-fruit-and-vegetable-colors/

Zimmerman, Marcia. (2012, January). Color your Diet: Stave off Aging. Taste for life, 32-33.

Zimmerman, Marcia. (2001). Phytochemicals-Nutrients Whose Time Has Come. Marciazimmerman.com. http://marciazimmerman.com/phytochemicals-nutrients-whose-time-has-come/

http://marciazimmerman.com/education/

http://berryhealth.fst.oregonstate.edu/health_healing/fact_sheets/

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/metabolic+acidosis

http://www.cookingwithcolor.com/white_foods/

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4168

http://www.vitamins-supplements.org/phytochemicals/

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=25930

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terpene

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxyl_group

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenols

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_acids

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organosulfur_compounds

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polysaccharide

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limonoids

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carotenoids

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponin

The information here is not intended to replace standard(allopathic) medicine, which has its benefit in the medical environment in diagnosing and treating diseases. Any persistent, severe, and or unusual symptoms should be evaluated by a registered physician. The natural remedies/habits suggested here, although safer than pharmaceutical drugs, can cause unexpected results, in different people. If a condition fails to respond to the remedies/habits presented here, you should consult a physician. The author of this information, disclaims responsibility for any adverse reactions resulting directly or indirectly from the information given here.

Why Your Plate Should look Like the Rainbow! Part 2

rainbow-vegetables-and-fruit

2013-05-09 13.49.00

I froze half, these are the frozen ones.

I am hoping that since the last post you had the opportunity to get your hands on some berries. If not maybe you have the intention to. I personally purchased two baskets of strawberries and two baskets of blackberries from the farmers market. I usually wait until the end of the strawberry season(late August-September) because the price goes down as the season goes on. But at this time the price was affordable, so that is really good for my body because I am currently providing it with an adequate supply anthocyacins(reason why blackberries are black and strawberries are red).

To review, phytochemicals are the healthy chemical compounds that give vegetables and fruits their color. In plants these phytochemicals protect plants from the various stresses that come up in their lives. When we eat vegetables and fruits our body utilizes the same phytochemicals that are found in plants. So that our bodies can fight the similar stresses that our own bodies experience; in some cases the stresses are exactly the same. We also need phytochemicals for our bodies to function efficiently. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, research has shown that consuming these phytochemicals may help strengthen  your immune system as well as decrease you risk of certain cancers, high blood pressure, stoke, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. It would benefit you if you could take up the habit of consuming vegetables and fruits that represent all the colors of the  rainbow.

I did want to add, that your body constantly works on maintaining your bodies pH at around 7.4. Different foods that we eat effect the pH of our bodies differently, for example, animal products, legumes, and grains make our bodies more acidic. Vegetables and fruits may also make our bodies acidic but they also contain alkalizing minerals, which buffer the acidic effects of animal products, legumes, and grains. So people who eat primarily animal products, foods high in sugar, salt, fat and highly processed foods are actually suffering from metabolic acidosis.

Phytochemicals can be categorized in several ways. But I really like how Marcia Zimmerman, CN, categorized phytochemicals based on their chemical structure. The different families are: terpenes, organosulfur compounds, phenols, lipids, Organic acids and polysaccharides(note: Organic acids and Polysaccharides are in the same family). Feel free to click on the different links below to gain access to more information as well as what the structures look like.

Terpenes are essentially single to multiple chains hydrocarbons, a lot of them are isoprene derevatives(isoprene by itself helps trees alleviate aboitic stress and temperature stress).

Organosulfur compounds are organic compounds that contain sulfur as part of their structure.

Phenols are compounds with a benzene ring and a hydroxyl group(OH-) attached to it.

Lipids are compounds that do not dissolve in water, such as fats, sterols, waxes and fat-soluble vitamins.

Organic acids and Polysaccharides: organic acids are organic compounds that have acidic properties, which is to dissociate in a solution, releasing its hydrogen ions(H+).  As a result the PH of the solution is lowered. Polysaccharides are long sugar compounds.

The Break Down of Phytochemicals

Within the terpene family we want to focus on carotenoids, liminoids, anthocyanins and saponins.

Carotenoids are really what make certain vegetables and fruits orange(color), such as carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes. cantaloupe, peaches, pumpkin, apricots, and mangoes. There are at least 600 different types of carotenoids(did I not warn you that there is a lot of information surrounding nutrition and diet?) and within that there are different derivatives such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, delta and gamma-carotene; this is based on how oxidation effects them. Vegetables and fruits high in carotene provide vitamin A, they protect DNA from damage, and they protect the body from certain cancers: lung, colorectal, breast, uterine, and prostate cancer.

Liminoids are a certain type of monoterpene that are found in the peels of citrus fruits. According to Ms. Zimmerman, one study showed that taking standardized extracts of d-limonene, pinene and eucalyptol could be effective in the clearing of congestive mucus from the lungs of patients with effective pulmonary disease.

Anthocyanins are what make vegetables and fruits appear blue, red or purple. For example, blackberries, cherries, red cabbage, eggplant, black rice,  etc. Anthocyanins are beneficial for bacterial infections, inflammation and certain cancers.

Saponins are believed to be very beneficial for the skin. Because of their capability of holding water on the skin as well as being antimicrobial(our skin is covered with bacteria).

Organosulfur Compounds are found in cruciferous foods, onions, garlic, and produce in the mustard family.  There are many classes of sulfides, for this we are going focus on glucosinolates and allylic sulfides.

Glucosinolates are really good at activating the detoxification abilities of the liver, specifically the enzymes in the liver. There is also the speculation that glucosinolates can prevent tumor growth, particularly breast, liver, colon, lung, stomach and the esophagus.

Allylic sulfides, garlic and onions being the most sought after, also include leeks, chives and shallots. Allylic sulfides are activated via oxidation, this is why in a previous post I recommended that you let smashed/chopped garlic sit for at least 15 minutes before consuming. Allylic sulfides are antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, have detoxification properties, and they seem to block the activity of toxins produced by bacteria and viruses.

 According to Ms. Zimmerman, indols are considered to be one of the most effective dietary agents against colon cancer. They are also effective against hormone related cancers.

Phenols are beneficial in protecting the heart and vascular system, preventing dental problems and certain cancers. They can be found in grapes, grape juice, strawberries, raspberries, red wine green and black tea. Polyphenols are multi-phenolic complexes, because of the potential for different derivatives, the result is a wide range of biological potential.

Polyphenols, also known as flavan-3-ols, include catechins, which are very important because catechins are found in green tea; we really like green tea. Another important polyphenol is resveratrol, which is found in red grapes and wine. Resveratrol is suspected of preventing tumor growth and it is considered as anti-inflammatory.

Organic acids, Polysaccharides, Esters,  and Lactones are considered antioxidants, antibacterial, ant-inflammatory and they have cancer preventative properties. You can find these in herbs, grains, spices, and a few vegetables and fruits.  Below is a quote taken from Ms. Zimmerman’s website(2001), it goes further into the phytonutrients in this family:

They include the acids; oxalic (spinach, rhubarb, tea, coffee), tartaric (apricots, apples), cinnamic (aloe, Kava), caffeic (burdock, hawthorn), ferulic (oats, rice), gallic (tea),  ellagic (guava), chlorogenic (echinacea), salicylic (peppermint) and tannic (nettles, tea, berries). Some are familiar because they are named for species from which they were first identified (ie, vanillic in vanilla bean).  Others such as gallic team up with phenols – in this case catechins – found in green tea, berries and grapes. Catechin-gallate complexes (esters) are “super-charged” antioxidants with enhanced anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects.( 68) The Kava lactones methysticin, dihydrokawain and kawain also belong to this family. Kava lactones account for the anti-anxiety, relaxant, anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic effects of Kava Kava. (69)”

Last but not least we will cover lipids. Which are beneficial in preventing disorders derived from hormonal problems and they are also considered anti-inflammatory.  We will touch on isoprenoids, tocotrienols, ubiquinone, lipoic acid, omega-3’s and omega-6’s.

Isoprenoids are considered antioxidants but where they stand out is there unique property of anchoring themselves in membranes. Vitamin E is in the isoprenoid family, which is no coincidence because vitamin E is very good for the skin. Vitamin E can disable free-radicals when it interacts with co-enzyme, vitamin C, gluthathione, and alpha lipoic acid.

Tocotorienols can be found in grains, palm oil and rice. tocotriels appear to have tumor inhibiting properties, as well as cholesterol lowering properties.

Ubiquinone(coenzyme Q) is crucial in the cellular antioxidant enzyme system. Co Q is recognized as a scavenger for hydroxyl radicals, peroxyl, ascorbyl, and chromanoxyl radicals.

Linoleic, an omega-6 fatty acid and alpha linolenic, an omega-3 fatty acid can be found in seeds, legumes, dark leafy greens, grains, nuts and legumes. The two mentioned above are precursors to two fatty acid phytochemical groups: Gamma linolenic acid, GLA(n-6) and eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA(n-6), which are crucial moderators of prostaglandin pathways. The are beneficial to you because of their anti-inflammatory, they moderate cell membrane dynamics and moderate immune response. Docosahexaenoic acid, DHA(n-3) is crucial the health of the  brain. Studies show that it is effective in alleviating disorders like depression, schizophrenia, and attention deficits. EPA and DHA are found in fish while GLA, is found in seed oils (primrose, black currant and borage).

The Colors of Vegetables and Fruits

  1. Green Produce.
      1. Green leafy vegetables, kiwi, honeydew melon,  avocado, broccoli, artichoke, zucchini, lettuce, celery, asparagus, edamame, okra, and peas.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Lutein, zeaxanthin, indoles, omega-3’s and omega-6’s
  2. White and Tan Produce.
      1. Turnips, bananas, garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, radishes, potatoes(white flesh),  jicama, and ginger.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Allicin and anthoxanthins.
  3. Yellow and Orange Produce.
      1. Sweet potatoes, peaches, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, mangos, pumpkin, corn, pineapple, carrots, butternut squash, apricots, tangerines and yellow peppers.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Carotenoids( beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthi) and bioflavonoids.
  4. Red Produce.
      1. Red grapes, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, pink or red grapefruit, tomatoes, beets, radishes, red peppers, rhubarb, cherries, cranberries, red cabbage, guava and red apples.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Carotenoids(Lycopen, anthocyanin), and resveratol.
  5. Blue and Purple Produce.
      1. Purple cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, black grapes, raisins, eggplant, plums, prunes and figs.
    1. Phytochemicals.
      1. Anthocyanins, phenolics, and resveratol.

I wanted to apologize for some information that I posted on the last post. In the last post I grouped purple and red produce together. This was based on Ms. Zimmerman’s article called, “Color Your Diet: Stave off aging (2012).” I was hesitant in doing what I thought was correct but since I am not an expert on this topic I decided to go with what she had stated. I now would like to take that back and group blue and purple produce together, leaving red produce in it’s own group. It is also important to note that in general all the fruits and vegetables have a lot of the similar phytochemicals. What differentiates the color groups(produce) is the type of phytochemical that dominates in that group(produce) resulting in a different color. I have provided a picture that I took of the article just for your convenience; the pictures are at the bottom of the post.

For people who are auditory learners I have provided a video below featuring Ms. Zimmerman.

Below is a chart taken from Ms. Zimmerman’s website found here.

Phytochemical Families

Family What They Do Where They’re Found
Terpenes
Carotenes, limonoids, saponins Activate body’s protective enzymes, protect eyes, act as antioxidants, modify hormones, help block cholesterol absorption, protect cellular differentiation Green, red and yellow vegetables and fruits; grains; legumes; nuts; seeds; herbs such as ginseng, chamomile, gotu kola
Organosulfur Compounds
Indol-3-carbinol, thiosulfonates, isothiocyanates Boost cancer-fighting enzymes, block multagenesis, inhibit cholesterol synthesis, may lower blood pressure Cruciferous vegetables; mustard family; onion & garlic family
Phenols
Polyphenols, anthocyanidins, caechins, isoflavones, tannins Protect heart and vascular system, protect against colon cancer, modify hormone response, prevent dental caries Berries, grapes, red wine, green leafy vegetables, soy foods, green tea, herbs
Organic acids, Polysacchaarides
Lactones, celluloses, arabinogalactans, pectins, fructans, glucans Block nitrosamine effects, promote growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria, modulate immune system, may help prevent colon cancer Fruit, mushrooms, yeast, herbs, spices
Lipids
Isoprenoids, oils, fatty acids, physterols Reduct platelet aggregation, blood clotting, inflammation, nervous system disorders; balance hormones; modify autoimmune conditions Dark-green leafy vegetables, nuts, soy oil, wheat germ, herbs, animal foods

Pictures from Ms. Zimmerman’s article.

2013-05-10 04.21.222013-05-10 04.22.14

Peace!

References:

Coila, Bridget. (2010, Oct 7). List of Phytochemical Foods. Livestrong.com. http://www.livestrong.com/article/273326-list-of-phytochemical-foods/

Collins, Claudia. (2010, Sep 28). Nutrition: Fruit and Vegetable Colors. Livestrong.com. http://www.livestrong.com/article/262977-nutrition-fruit-and-vegetable-colors/

Zimmerman, Marcia. (2012, January).  Color your Diet: Stave off Aging. Taste for life, 32-33.

Zimmerman, Marcia. (2001). Phytochemicals-Nutrients Whose Time Has Come. Marciazimmerman.com. http://marciazimmerman.com/phytochemicals-nutrients-whose-time-has-come/

http://marciazimmerman.com/education/

http://berryhealth.fst.oregonstate.edu/health_healing/fact_sheets/

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/metabolic+acidosis

http://www.cookingwithcolor.com/white_foods/

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4168

http://www.vitamins-supplements.org/phytochemicals/

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=25930

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terpene

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxyl_group

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenols

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_acids

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organosulfur_compounds

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polysaccharide

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limonoids

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carotenoids

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponin

The information here is not intended to replace standard(allopathic) medicine, which has its benefit in the medical environment in diagnosing and treating diseases. Any persistent, severe, and or unusual symptoms should be evaluated by a registered physician. The natural remedies/habits suggested here, although safer than pharmaceutical drugs, can cause unexpected results, in different people. If a condition fails to respond to the remedies/habits presented here, you should consult a physician. The author of this information, disclaims responsibility for any adverse reactions resulting directly or indirectly from the information given here.

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