November 2012 Archives

LGBT Issues in Music

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This is a really great song that's pretty popular right now by Mackelmore called "Same Love". I chose this for an artistic post because I like that these issues are finally becoming mainstream, especially in music, in a positive way.

Focus on the Family - Against Same-Sex Adoption

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This was a very explicit article speaking against same-sex couples being able to adopt, and stating that their desire to do so was simply out of a yearning to advance "the homosexual agenda". I felt it was important to read through this website so strongly against my topic, in order to better understand, and inquire before I advocate. I would like to do a one-to-one with someone sharing these beliefs, and specifically ask them why they feel it is better for a child to have fewer chances of being adopted, or be adopted by less loving and caring parents, rather than their being adopted by a same-sex couple.

depression and suicide

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solving the depression stigma isn't only about allowing people to be able to get help for their depression it is about preventing them from taking a horrible urn and committing suicide. Depression is the leading cause of suicide and by changing the attitude towards depression you could be saving countless lives. A startling statistic in my article was that for every suicide death and estimates 8-25 people attempt suicide. This is so frightening because if all those people succeeded the world would be a far worse place.
This article really made me think about what could be done to change the stigma. The whole semester I've talked about the stigma and how horrible it is but now that I am starting to think about what could be done to change it it's a far more complex issue than I thought. I look forward to finding out more about changing the depression stigma.

This article actually made me pretty emotional while reading it. It pained me to realize just how much stereotyping goes beyond the racial slurs and sexual identities. Our generation even stereotypes those with disabilities, which when you think about it, truly does happen all of the time. But why? Can't we just accept people who may be a little different than us?

This piece in particular caught my attention because it focuses on such an intimate part of our lives: dating and sex. All human beings should experience this, we're all capable of experiencing this. But many view those with a disability as an exception to this.

"Youth with a disability can find the idea of dating and sex especially overwhelming, given that they may have a poor body image along with performance anxiety related to their physical restrictions," says Dr. Miriam Kaufman, head of adolescent medicine at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

"You might very well feel unattractive and you might have gotten a strong message from even your parents that no able-bodied person is going to be interested in you and that really your only chance is to find somebody else with a disability who might possibly be interested in you," Kaufman says.

That makes me upset. Everyone should experience the emotions of attraction, love and intimacy. It's a part of our humanity, and it's how we connect with one another.

The article goes on to spotlight a few stories from youth suffering from the challenges of dating and sex, even socializing in general.

"I just want to have a relationship with somebody who likes me for me, regardless of how I look and what I have to go through, and be supportive," says Sasha (not her real name), 20 years old. "Isn't that what everybody wants?"

Not gonna lie but this last part of the news piece really made me emotional. Of course this is what everyone wants! I know I can personally identify with this. Although I don't consider my birth defect a disability in my life, I can relate to the self-consciousness it may create with intimacy...

Like for instance, would a man be okay with me even touching him? My fingers aren't normal, would he feel uncomfortable if I put my hands on him? That's a sad thought that should never cross my mind, but it's the reality of our society.

I thankfully no longer think this way, no man deserves me if they can't accept me. Like I've said before, my birth defect is like a blessing, it allows me to appreciate the little things in life. You know when couples hold hands walking down the street? It's such a simple gesture, but it's one of my favorite parts of a relationship. For me, it's like my partner accepts and understands my difference, and isn't afraid to publicly show the world.

Little things like that mean a lot to me, and I'm sure the same goes for someone else with a disability.

Care to read the rest of the article? Click here >>>> "Dating, sex can be daunting for youths with disabilities," Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press

—— Mandi Beergoon

Bullied to death

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Teitel, E. (2012). Bullied to death. Maclean's, 125(42), 68-70.

So here it is. The final weekly blog post for this research topic. I thought about focusing on this weekly blog post with an example of the utmost horrifying example of internet hating and bullying that happened within this past month I could find in my research.

Amanda Todd, a 15 year old teenager from Port Coquitlam committed suicide after internet haters dared her to take her own life. They rejoiced after hearing about her death. One month before her death, she posted a heartbreaking eight-minute YouTube video about the events that led her to serious depression. There is a public consensus about Amanda Todd that she should not have exposed her breasts online which led to grouping of her internet haters.
What was surprising is that this editorial talk about a study done in Plymouth University which found out that 80% of respondents used web and smart phone for sexual purposes, with teenagers from 13~15 more likely than older teenagers to take their tops of on webcam.
The finding of this study I read about surprised me. Perhaps there is more reason to point fingers at people who do hate-inducing behaviors online. But let's consider rape in relation to this issue. it is stated that if the woman or man is intoxicated then, he or she is legally incapable to give a consent to sex. Perhaps this person made a wrong decision to be drunk knowing that such behavior can lead to unwanted sex. However, no matter what, it is always the perpetrator's CHOICE whether to rape or not.
That said, would not the same be for Internet hating? Perhaps the temptation is great to hate knowing that there will not be consequences do to anonymity. However, in all my research I have done this semester, hating is a choice. Posting hateful comment is a choice. When you type something and press "enter," you already made the choice to hate.

This editorial also talked about a study done that found out that 7.5 million children with Facebook accounts are younger than 13. How do parents expect to protect these children from Internet haters when they are so susceptible to influence?

Digging deeper and deeper into the topic, I learned that hatred can be done easily because it happens in the virtual realm with haters who is misguided to think cyberworld is separate from the real world. Haters tend to be teenagers. But all in all, what was unifying about every resource I researched is that hating results pain.

Little guys, Big impact on homeless shelters

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I liked this article firstly because it was put out around Thanksgiving when we all need a little reminder to be thankful for what we have and to share that joy with others. The second thing that really stood out to me in this article was the quote "it doesn't matter how old you are to have a big idea." Today we spend so much time thinking that it takes people in charge to make a change, but this article is proof that even young children can make a large difference. It started with just a few boy scouts in the Minneapolis area making sandwiches for 150 homeless people in shelters, and over the years and the dedication of the scouts they are now Feeding 4,500 homeless people in the area each week! That's an amazing number when we think about how young these kids are and how limited their resources are. While we might look at this and say, oh that is just a quick fix to a deeply rooted issue, it is still important to see that the impact of every person is felt no matter what the age or capabilities. While making sandwhiches for homeless shelters may not end all homelessness, it sure is getting people headed in the right direction and from a young age which is important all on its own.

Spreading the disease

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I read an article about politics in Indiana. In Indiana they are trying to pass a very similar ban that they tried in Minnesota. Lawmakers have to sign off twice in order for it to go to the voters. The president of equality Rick Sutton said that banning same-sex marriage would break six hundred fourteen other laws that are already enforced that range from taxes to ethics. I think that this is a very interesting way to look at it, and how it is breaking so many other laws that the state already has. I think it is ridiculous that every state is trying to ban same-sex marriage but I do think that every state should get on the track of same-sex marriage so we can all move on and so everyone can eventually get married.


How social networking technology works in university

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Unbelievable this is my last blog for this class. after finding and analyzing these research, I learned a lot and developed myself internally. I saw my growth through my switch on topic chosen for each week blog. used to focusing on "why" journals, but now I kind of change my mind. Instead of seeking the reasons, it is more important to have a realistic action plan if I want to change the community situation. For my last week blog, I find an interesting point of view of "how" social networking technology affect on high educated people. according to this analysis, schools are embracing by social media using. and all percentage of using is growing. in addition, there is a trend to use quick and short technology. Facebook is still the most popular site and Twitter's development is impressive. on the other hand, bloggers are keeping on the same level. Students are prefer to use quick reflected media such as Twitter sentences posted than blog which needs more time to manage. Linkin is gaining more users recently too. Linkin is a professional social networking media. it represents the pros of social medias. Schools and professors act important in social media usage. So I believe that to change the community using habits of social medias is not impossible. I could start from education.

The holidays and Health

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So, in the spirit of thanksgiving and now the Christmas season, I decided to talk a little bit about holidays for those who are either trying to be healthy, adapt to a healthier life style, and those who suffer from some form of eating disorder. Holidays are notoriously difficult times for individuals who are preoccupied with their bodies or trying to adapt to a healthier lifestyle simply because it is a time centered around things in excess. Although this article I found specifically talks about those with eating disorders, I also think that it relates to a lot of different people who aren't about delving into that third helping of pie. With the stress of family gatherings, eating disorders can often take a turn for the worse. Here is the link:

This article focuses more on binge eating disorders and relates the stress and comparison to past years as being a drive to increase the behaviors. A really cool point the article talks about is deciding what is the kindest thing you can do for yourself when you are in those low points during the holidays. Not meaning eat that pie it will make you happy, but what can you do that is kind to yourself. That could mean eating a good meal, or talking with a friend, or writing in a journal. I really took a lot from the statement that these holidays are just once a year. Relapsing or having an instance that you fell back into a bad habit does not mean that you have undone all the work prior...its just a "case specific instance" that will move on. I am left wondering what other techniques can be used to relieve the stress of the holidays..and it is family that causes these high anxiety provoking times or is it the food, the memories of good years past?

Another approach to healthy eating

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I've been delving into different ways to make kids healthier for a while and came across something new. Similar to Jamie Oliver there is a chef from Australia, Stephanie Alexander, who has also taken on the task of making a healthier world. She has been traveling around but her approach is different in that she wants students to not only eat healthy but grow and cook their own food. She found that they are more likely to eat it when that approach is taken. I thin this could be a really good idea because it is a hands-on approach and I believe that is how children will learn best. Although, one similarity is that once again it will become part of the curriculum in school. I'm still not sure if that would take away from other school activities but if it can work then I'm all for it.

Hmong New Year - Ricki Vang

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Although this isn't an actual article but I thought it would be great to end this whole project of blogging with what went on this past weekend.

Those who don't know but this past weekend was the Hmong New Year at River Center in St.Paul. This event takes place every year after thanksgiving. It's a huge three day event that bring together people from all over from California to France. During this three day event it's a place and time for those who want to dress in their tribal clothing to showcase which clan each person belonged too.

A few years ago my whole take with the Hmong New Year was a time to just meet with old friends, create new ones, and honestly a time for fun and parties but now as I continue to grow into an adult my whole view of the event changed. Now I see it more as a place and time for me to be fully Hmong, not Hmong American. With age I have only learned how to appreciated my culture and especially parents for their unconditional love and support. I personally believe that many young Hmong students go trough the same struggles that I went through of not appreciating and acknowledging who they are but as they grow into young adults they began to realize and learn how to cherish their roots. This I believe plays a big role in shaping success of students. The saying of in order for you to know where you are going, you have to know where you came from.

Overruling DOMA

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Courts are ruling against DOMA (defense of Marriage Act) and ruling that same-sex partners be recognized for insurance. This is a big deal as it is now being an issue brought to the supreme court. The supreme court hasn't agreed to hear the DOMA cases yet but it could be huge.

I was super happy to hear this after I had previously done an article on the health gap between straight and LGBTQ citizens. It had mentioned that a lot of LGBTQ persons didn't have health insurance because companies wouldn't recognize their partnership so the spouses would often be forced to provide their own health insurance.

Dawn of a New Day for Marriage Equality

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I had forgot to do my post from last week.. busy week before break! My apologies.

Anyway, I recently saw this video by the the Human Rights Campaign. It features the voice of Morgan Freeman. He talks about gay rights and allowing everyone to be allowed to be married. "Now, across our country, we're standing together for the right of gay and lesbian Americans to marry the person they love,". Hearing Morgan Freeman's voice narrating this is simply amazing.

This video relates to me because of all the campaigning I did for the Vote No in Minnesota. Morgan Freeman has a huge following, and people love him. People tend to follow in the footsteps of who they like and who their idols are. This is a positive ad and it is just what we need to move forward. When will this be airing on TV? Will it make a difference to those who might be undecided on how they feel?

Petition Demanding Gay Marriage

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I read an article in the On Top Magazine about a petition in Minnesota is going around demanding that Minnesota legalizes gay marriage. Although the petition has over 4,000 signatures, Government Officials are not making any moves or considering the petition. They have other things they need to worry about first, according to Senator Tom Bakk. We are trying to follow in the footsteps of Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Colorado.

This relates to my topic because Minnesota had voted against the Marriage Amendement between one man and one woman. I have been learning about same sex marriage and gay rights throughout the semester, and learning that there is such a huge support behind legalizing same sex marriage makes me extremely proud. I have never really heard much about petitions, what exactly does a petition do? Can a petition change the law? How many signatures does a petition need before it is looked at seriously?

A World Politics Review article posted Monday talks about the potential peace talks process that may happen in Afghanistan. I thought this was a perfect way to end the blog project, because it really looks to the end of the war, and a potential solution.

During a 3-day visit to the Afghan High Peace Council, Pakistan released several high ranking Taliban officials, signaling they are hoping to engage the Taliban in peace talks. Efforts so far have been fairly futile, because the Taliban refuses to deal with Hamid Karzai, who they think is just a puppet. The hope is that the release of these prisoners will bring senior Taliban leaders to the table to negotiate some sort of peace before the 2014 withdraw.

This is huge. As it stands right now, the most likely scenario once the US pulls out, is an all-out blood bath over who controls Kabul. Pakistan would be in big trouble if this were to happen, so its good to see that they are interested in the future of that country. The truth of the matter is, if we can't engage the Taliban in peace talks, what we've done there over the past decade will be all for not. Sure, we'll have built them some schools and roads, but if the Taliban takes over, they'll make sure that the country is plunged back into the era it was experiencing before we entered, meaning they'll have no technology, and women will be treated like second class citizens. We have worked so far over the past 10 years to not only bring democracy to that country, but to also educate them, build them better infrastructure, and bring them more effective medical care. If they can engage the Taliban in meaningful peace talks, it would mean everything we've done over the past decade would not be in vain. Hopefully, there can be peace in the Middle East.

New Diet for Kids- Jolene

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A new form of calorie restricting dieting is being looked into as a way to help overweight children. Often times calorie counting diets do not work because the minute the person stops restricting their calorie intake, the weight often comes back. This new diet not only works with calorie restricting, but the brain as well. This type of diet is still being looked into so the effectiveness of it is still unknown.

Vitamin D Provides Lower Risk of MS

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A recent study has shown that women who have a higher level of vitamin D in the first trimester of their pregnancy lead to a lower risk of Multiple Sclerosis in their children. Although this is just one factor that can lead to MS it may still be a step into further understanding the causes of the disease. The study found that people with sufficient level of MS had a 67% lower risk of developing MS.

AboutFace PTSD

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Somehow in my blogs I forgot to do one of the artistic blogs so I am posting one today.
AboutFace is trying to change the lives of Veterans who suffer from PTSD. They do so by showing firsthand accounts of Vets who are/have suffered from PTSD, short little clips to see the faces of people who suffer and they tell their story.

I have watched several of these clips and I have really appreciated seeing them all. The questions I am left with is to ask these people what treatments they went through. There are tons of treatment options, and I am wondering what worked for each person. I also would like to know how they are currently doing and how often they experience symptoms of PTSD.

Muscular Body Image Lures Boys into the Gym

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Chelsea Banken

The article I found that pertains to my topic on body image discusses how boys are affected. This article caught my attention because most of the other articles I have found have dealt mainly with women/girls and body image issues. The article provides information about how some boys are willing to pay any price to achieve an ideal muscular body. This entails many hours at the gym, pricey protein supplements and even steroids. One doctor states that this generation is different than the last because there is an increasing focus on boys obtaining lean, muscular bodies in our society. What is alarming is that middle school boys are even turning to an obsession with having lots of muscle. They want to increase muscle mass but could actually be stunting their growth by taking steroids and supplements.

I found that this article is very relatable to my project because it allows me to see how body image is affecting not just the female population. One question that came to mind after reading this article is "how will younger boys in elementary schools be affected eventually by wanting to achieve muscular bodies?" Also I want to further research how steroids and protein supplements are actually stunting growth in boys rather than promoting it. I agree that acquiring ideal body images is currently affecting our society. I hope, however, that in the future healthy lifestyle will just be a more natural thing among our society. I feel that we need to define what the true healthy body images are for both males and females. Also, we need to stop relying on others to tell us if we have the "right" look or not because looking externally for satisfaction will get us nowhere.

Mishka Shubaly- The Long Run (AMBER)

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This entry really connects with me personally because I can relate to the physical activity part of running (I ran cross country for 6 years) and definitely feel like I understand the disease, alcoholism, much more after this semester. The article is written about a man who wrote a book about battling alcoholism and then overcoming it through exercise. He had no idea that his book, The Long Run, would climb up Amazon's list and it hit No. 1, bumping Stephen King out of the top spot. Mishka Shubaly is pretty inspiring from using a new habit to kill an old one.
From the article--- "Habits play an important role in our health," the institute's director, Dr. Nora Volkow, said in a National Institute of Health newsletter. "Understanding the biology of how we develop routines that may be harmful to us, and how to break those routines and embrace new ones, could help us change our lifestyles and adopt healthier behaviors."

McKaylas Letter

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Molly Hollway

The Artistic Representation I chose for this blog is one that is very close to my heart. It is a letter, poem, or writing, whichever you would like to call it, about myself. (I wasn't able to post it because this blog won't allow me to add pictures). When I was going through cancer treatment I met one of my best friends I will ever have. Her name is McKayla and she is now an angel. We fought for our lives together for almost a year, and unfortunately McKayla did not survive. When she was going through treatment she entered a writing contest and wrote a story about me. Her story won first place and gained attention much further then thought. She wrote about everything that I was going through and how strong I was. She wrote about how I was a pillar of courage because of what I was going through and I still managed to carry a smile on my face and brighten the days of others. This story shows the strength of someone fighting for their life, and their ability to still live to the fullest even through sickness. I am blessed to have this story written about me.

Every time I read this story tears come to my eyes. I read it whenever I need a boost or I am feeling down. It reminds me of the strength in which I posses and never lets me forget it. I am so blessed to have this experience to look back on and gain from. The strength, courage, compassion, and happiness I walk with everyday comes from this illness. McKayla is also someone I think about everyday. She is my lucky charm and reminder of everything we have been through. I am honored to have such an amazing person write such an amazing story about myself. I know she is with me everyday. Two of my favorite quotes from her story are "Molly was given a grim prognosis, but Molly like me, we're fighters and she is still ahead of what all doctors said could be done". "She is an inspiration to me because we are beating this together and she is there for me and I am here for Molly". I will never forget these two verses and how important they are to me. This story lets me live life to the fullest and appreciate everything I have gone through.

Driving while intexticated

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There is a new term called driving while intexticated. In an AAA phone survey there were four main concerns about driving: texting and cell phone use, impaired driving, driving while drowsy, and aggressive driving. This article also talked about another study AAA did where teenagers were to drive a course bound by construction cones. They hit an average of five times as many cones when asked to text a certain sentence while driving, The teens challenged the AAA staff members to do the course as well and they did not do any better. The author said there is no difference between handheld and hands free devices because a person is still cognitively distracted.

I like the article because it backs up what I have been finding and I like reading about all the study courses that different companies use to show that texting while driving is dangerous. It makes me think though, even if every state had an all out ban of cell phone use while driving, I do not think people are going to stop using their phone. Personally I talk on my phone often when I am driving, but I know how to focus as well and if I need to concentrate I will get off the phone.

Barbie in Real life?

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The photo I chose is more of a satirical representation of societies obsession with perfection. Its a life size representation of what a Barbie doll would look like if she were a real person. I know that in the media there has been a lot of buzz about how a doll beloved by so many can give little girls a false sense of what is beautiful. Growing up, I personally never connected consciously that barbies body type was what was considered beautiful, however, maybe subconsciously i did? I am questioning whether or not the doll does so much damage or is it really harmless. This sort of speaks to the idea that advertisements, toys, and many other things in a child's life can affect body perception. With such a large media presence putting these ideals into little girls heads, how can we give realistic and healthy body ideals for our youth?

The Serenity Prayer Tony Turnquist

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The serenity prayer is a prayer that is said often during AA meetings or other AA functions to start off and close the event. It is very important and fitting to what the person affected by the disease must do: Let go. Typically, only the first paragraph is spoken in prayer.

Economics and Suicide

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During the research that I did for my Annotated Bibliography I came across information that linked drastic economic changes to depression, and by extension suicide rates. I decided to do some more fact finding on this particular bit of information, which led me to this article:

In this article published by the New York Times, the researchers found that the suicide rates from 2008 to 2012 have been increasing at a rate of .51 deaths per 100,000 people, with is a 430% increase from the years of 1999-2007. The researchers claimed that they were not surprised due to the fact that studies in Greece and Italy returned similar findings.

Additionally, the study found that for every 1% increase in unemployment, there is a 1% increase in suicide rate also rises to 1%.

Maybe my choosing this article this week speaks to how hard the end-of-semester panic is hitting me right now (as might the fact that I'm doing this blog post 8 days in advance at 6 AM). Regardless, this study is one that has me begging for more research to be done on the topic. The results of the study indicate that a mother's stress during her daughter's infancy will lead to that daughter having high stress levels when she reaches her teen years. This is exciting because knowing the possible causes of mental health disorders can help doctors, mental health professionals, and policymakers to minimize those risks so that the disorders affect a smaller number of people. I'm somewhat hesitant to buy the conclusions that these researchers drew only because this is the first time someone has studied anxiety disorders from this angle, but I'm excited to see if other research in the future confirms their findings. I also worry about how these findings would affect the world of social work. When is a stressed mother normal or unharmful to a baby or child, and when is it such a risk to a child's well-being that an intervention is necessary?

Poem about Diabetes

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No more sweets for me
today, I must abstain; not to overindulge.
Tomorrow I can have some more
If I have one I'm still ok,
If I choose two I should be all right
If I take three I better be careful
I don't want to over due it
I don't like Halloween, too much candy for me
I want, but can't have dessert, and birthday cake
I don't want to complain, but some days it just doesn't seem fair
But in the end I'll be happier,
at least that's what you keep telling me.

--Nicholas Zahara-Such

This poem made me think a lot about how I was when I first was diagnosed as a child. Kids aren't educated on what is going wrong in their bodies and are left to adults and doctors telling them that things will be better off if you do/don't do this. This poem just makes me want to have more education for children to learn about what is going on in their bodies and for adults so that they can educate their kids about what is going on. The only question I am left after reading this poem is how many others have felt the same/have gone though similar stages where knowledge is just not present.

Suicide Prevention:

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This picture/poem is a representation of the struggle to be accepted, a struggle that many feel when ideating about suicide. It was both chilling and powerful to me, so I wanted to share it with all of you. The words are a bit hard to read, so I recited them below.

"You never saw what was inside of me. I fell before your eyes but you never noticed my unfinished shadow dissolve into a thousand empty brushstrokes.I laid by your feet and let the cold pressure lift from my heart leaving you with only a broken sigh that darkened the air like painted dust. Heavy eyes faded in time to see you run. Now I'm gone. Don't ever turn around, you might just see the best in me."

Moving Forward: the future of homelessness

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WELL! I was going to post some personal pictures and a video, but the picture on this website will have to do. After spending weeks doing this research I have found what most people already know, housing is a a big issue especially right here is Minneapolis. However, I have also found that in order to get people on board and working to end homelessness, we all have to work together and build up sustaining programs and efforts to get people on their feet again. I work with Habitat for Humanity, which is the picture I posted above, and have fallen in love with the program even more after doing all this research. I noticed that the way to get people off the streets and in a home is not by giving them cash or a free bed to stay on, there is no incentive that way for people. Habitat for Humanity is a unique program, much like the Higher Grounds facility built in Minneapolis this year, in that it is not a "free" program. People awarded Habitat homes still have to pay for their homes, they are just reduced price due to the donated materials and all the volunteers that work with Habitat. Also, new homeowners must put in 500 hours of sweat equity with Habitat and attend weekly classes on how to take care of your home and how to manage your finances, etc. Not only is this program sustainable and proven to work, but it encourages people to work with the surrounding community to get where they want to be. The homes aren't mansions, but they are "affordable, decent housing" which are easy to take good care of for the course of a lifetime. There are a lot of issues inter-linked with homelessness, so by building these sustainable programs we could potentially reduce other issues such as alcoholism, drug use, and graduation rates.

Hmoob Yuavtsum Hlub Hmoob

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In Spring 2011 this song out and was a big hit within the Hmong community. In total there was about five different artist within the Hmong community who came together to produce this song. The reason why I selected this song was because it talks about in order for our community to move on forward, we have to support each other, love one another, and respect those who maybe different from us. This thole message works for my topic because again stated in my other blogs, many students lack achievement due to lack of support, love, and understanding from parents due to cultural differences. Without support from your love ones and especially your family members, the chances of you succeeding is slim. This struck an interest to me because all of these different artist was able to come together and give a powerful message to the community.

War in Afghanistan word art - Brad

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I found this piece interesting, because it describes many of the things the war in Afghanistan is, but it also uses some words that aren't usually associated with the war. Obviously, words like War, Afghanistan, Casualties and Weapons are bigger, and are more central to the themes of war, and this war specifically. However, take a minute to look at the smaller words. There you'll see words like overwhelmed, Ramadan, occupation and resolution. These to me highlight a different side of the war: the side the most people will never see or hear about. And the beautiful thing is, there are so many different meanings to these words. Overwhelmed could mean the way the Taliban has been overwhelmed by our allied forces. Or, it could mean the ridiculous amount of stress that the deployed soldier takes on. Ramadan is a holiday that I would venture to guess most people outside the Arab world know about. However, it's HUGE in their world, and plays a big part in the day to day operations during that holiday. Occupation is also an interesting one, because now we start to look at different perspectives. To some Afghans, we are absolutely occupying their country. To others, we are liberating them. And I'd say most Americans certainly don't think we are occupying their country. Finally, I mentioned resolution. This is perhaps the trickiest of all, because, what is resolution in this case? Is it drawing down our forces and handing the country over to the Afghans? Is it complete and total annihilation of the Taliban and al 'Queda? There are probably hundreds of opinions out there about what that means, but the fact still remains that this thing needs to end somehow, in someway.

After multiple states legalized the regulation of marijuana, even though it was limited in the ways you can obtain it, the author states that there is a reason marijuana should be legalized:it is more of a safe substance than alcohol. "A 2009 study estimated that health-related costs per user are eight times higher for drinkers of alcoholic beverages--and more than 40 times higher for tobacco smokers--than they are for those who consume cannabis." This is very alarming to today's society, because there is a certain stigma which curtails pot is more unhealthy and therefore dangerous when compared to alcohol.

I believe this to be true and completely agree with the author. Personally, I believe our society needs to wake up and look at how much alcohol and its large amounts of consumption is corrupting both ourselves and society. This leads me to think of a couple of questions, however.

1. If marijuana is steadily becoming legalized, will alcohol sales decrease?
2. Should there be more regulation in obtaining alcohol other than showing an ID to prove you are over 21 since alcohol is more unhealthy and leads to more health-related causes?
3. Does public education need to change and get rid of the stigma that marijuana is far more of a dangerous substance than alcohol?

social media

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Fake friends are like shadows. always near you at the brightest moments but nowhere to be seen at your darkest hour.

I was impressed by this sentence. It is simple to understand but meanwhile could be used into lots of part of our life. first of all, this is talking about sometimes women caught their best girlfriends cheating with their spouse. they describe those besties as shadow. How innovation and appropriate of this description. It reminds me a movie I watched before, the couple was so happy they love each other but the more they show their happiness to her best friend, it caused her jealous and her friend begun to feel that she could be part of the happiness also. Good relationship is like the sunshine, it is warm and shinning. Happiness feeling attract human beings want to get closer. but as it said, there is shadow behind brightness. when bad things happen, the darkest hour is coming and covering all sweet memories, it block people's awareness immediately for a while. those fake friend will hide in the darkness.

it also makes think about how people define fake friends. How many true friends we have on Facebook ? besides socialization, what other benefits we could earn from social media sites? I have a thought that facebook is my fake friend, I love it during I was surrounded by brightness and happiness, but I would avoid using it for self protection while darkness coming around. Social media website offers a lot benefits but it has shadow too. I feel this friend is more complected than a real man. when I realize the person is not good and honest to me, it is not that hard to cut down the relationship. but to deal with social medias, cut down all connections would not be a good option. I am seeking a balance between the brightness and darkness sides of it.


Birth Defects: Pfeiffer

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I recommend that you watch the video before you keep reading...

I personally found this video really inspiring. Pfeiffer, three-and-a-half at the time, is such a sweetheart and is so innocent. He has zero shame in his deformity and I love that. When I was younger I was super self-conscious about mine, so I love seeing something like this showing that it's okay to be different.

Now that I'm older, I've learned to accept my deformity and take it for what it is. If I don't accept how I am how could I expect others to? I'm also progressively becoming more like Pfeiffer and his family, very open to the situation and even more so open to questions that anyone may have.

I also enjoyed reading the comments following the video. There were so many people grateful to see someone with a birth defect just like them. Kind of to make them feel like they "belong" in a world where they find themselves to be the only one who is "different."

That's how I felt for a very long time.

And that is why I've always been incredibly involved in activities outside of school, to get that sense that I belonged to something greater when I was alone.

That later transformed into me challenging myself to overcome my own birth defects and my own negative mentality.

And that then too transitioned into just pure passion for what I do now. Enjoying life and every part of it, especially the people.

I've learned to live my life as someone who I will always be proud of. Someone my parents will be proud of. Someone my husband and children will be proud of.

To live life in the moment, and to never look back with regrets.

All because of my minor birth defect, I've learned so much about myself and life and people, that I just want to inspire others like Pfeiffer and his family did for me.

—— Mandi Beergoon

A Loss, but by No Means a Failure

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The California proposition on food labeling was denied by voters last Tuesday. This does prove that the Big corporations tactics to spend nearly 45 million in opposition was completely effective. No new labeling requirements. If only it were over.

This article takes a main focus to point out that yes, the proposition failed, but it also created a national awareness to the GMO in food issue. This will undoubtedly cause change to the future, just as Michael Pollen's "Omnivore's Dilemma" changed the way we thought of food. It will be extremely interesting to see if this sparks change amoungst consumers, and whether or not the government will step in in terms of regulation and testing.

Hiding Depression

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This week for my representation i wanted to show how you could hide depression. this picture is during a time when i was feeling really depressed but was able to mask it. i think it is important for people to realize how easy it is to hide depression . when i am feeling depressed i can pull away from my friends but i am also good at faking being okay with my friends. i think this is related to the stigma that is associated with being depressed. after looking back though my pictures i was really surprised how okay i looked during the times when i was feeling really depressed. i am interested to see what else i can find about the times i was depressed and how many other people feel like they need to hide their depression.

Madonna says "Vote No"

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While Madonna was in the cities Saturday, November 3rd, she encouraged the fans to vote no on the marriage amendment. While it is not surprising that Madonna is for gay marriage, but I do think it was very thoughtful for her to take time out of her concert to make a statement about the amendment. And thank goodness it was not passed!




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I saw this picture in a brochure at the clinic when i went to get my flu shot. Although i was not able to upload it here i found a link that has that picture on Google images. The picture is of three women who have some encouraging writing on their pregnant bellies. The writings say that there will be no children born with HIV by 2015. This relates to my topic because my topic mostly emphasizes on the importance of awareness and reduction of the spread HIV AIDS. This picture caught my attention because it screamed for a change of direction toward the positive side for this issue, it also shows that there are many successful efforts being pursued to declare such a change so soon.

Kids can't do it alone

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I definitely want to further explore not only my culture but also the importance of starting healthy eating from the beginning. I've seen how schools want to change things and at first I was skeptical but now I'm learning that by doing things like that we are helping more than hurting. Obviously children need to be taught how to eat healthy for a healthy future and the commercial I found on Youtube shows exactly that. There is a group of kids who are trying to make a healthy meal but do not know how. Naturally, they make a mess in the kitchen, and this shows that they need our help. If everyone can come together to start making a healthier world by simply helping our children be smarter with food then we can definitely create change!

Making the Right Choices? Jolene

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The image above really stood out to me because it shows when it comes to food, kids aren't always making the right choices. In the photo the boy has a perfectly good home cooked meal on his plate, and yet he is thinking of pop, chips, and other unhealthy food. However, we can't fault kids for thinking this way; all they see on TV are ads for tasty treats that are meant to please your taste buds, not keep you healthy.
Perhaps there should be more advertisements that talk about how good a meal made at home could be. I remember a few years ago my mom made the family pledge that we would eat together as a family every night for dinner after seeing an ad for it on TV. I think something like that could work as long as eating healthy is included in the pledge.

Adoption Network Facebook Page

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I found some interesting information on this Facebook page. It's a great example of the benefits of utilizing social media outlets to spread awareness. The page has links to the website and even a free "adoption kit" for interested families to be, or people facing unplanned pregnancy and are looking for help with the adoption process. The page features different family's stories and ways to connect.

Zach Wahls speaks about family

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I have decided to write my blog this week about Zach Wahls's speech in Iowa to pass gay marriage. I mentioned this video a little bit during my connection time in class, and for those who have not seen it, I suggest you watch it :) Zach is a student in Iowa who has lived there his whole life and he has two mom's. During one of my one-to-ones, I had someone tell me that he doesn't believe gay marriage should pass because he does not believe they are a family and can properly raise children. I listened to his side, but I did not agree with him. This video is living proof that gays can raise children, just like anyone else. I couldn't be happier that the Marriage Amendment didn't pass, but there is still work to do so that people of the LGBTQ community can marry the ones the LOVE! This video makes me think, what are the next steps to fully grant LGBTQ community legal rights?

Thanks to all those who VOTED NO. We're moving forward :)

Editing Pictures

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Chelsea Banken

For my artistic blog post this week, I found this image of how a model looks before and after editing is performed. Editing and photo-shopping pictures, in my opinion, are major factors correlating with feelings of negative body image. The photos we see in the media are not reality. Side rolls, body creases, loose skin and natural flaws are non-existent although we all have these in some way or another. Perfect body images appear in different ads and these pictures make viewers believe that perfection is attainable. This picture I found struck me as interesting because even I am guilty of editing my own pictures before putting them up on Facebook and Instagram. I want to start posting natural photos to help make a difference and show that flaws are beautiful and we need to accept how we really look. We cannot rely on technology to improve our own self images. Beauty is more than just skin deep; it is what is on the inside of each and every one of us that truly matters.

Child cancer drug 'postcode lottery' revealed

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The article I read was a VERY recent article actually posted today! It is about a new treatment for children with the childhood cancer Neuroblastoma. This treatment is called Antibody treatment, and it raises the chances of survival for neuroblastoma 20%. What this article talked about is how NHS is refusing to pay for this treatment for some children who live abroad. The article followed a little boy named Aarin who lived in London. He was denied the pay for this treatment, so his family took out mortgages from their home and almost sold it, a lot of people are actually going broke trying to pay for this treatment because it actually is life saving. Aarin has had cancer his whole life, all he knows is doctors, nurses, and hospitals. He has no friends and doesn't know what it is like to be a normal kid. The good news is that this treatment actually worked for Aarin. It shrunk his tumor enough to be removed and is now in remission. He is on his way to a healthier life thanks to this new antibody treatment. This article also talks about the frustration of NHS now paying for this treatment for all children. Not everyone can afford it so kids are dying just because they can't receive proper treatment, this is just not fair. They are trying to come up with new ways in funding and create a world where this is always payed for.

This article was very interesting to me because I know many children who have had this antibody treatment, and it has almost always worked. I am also a survivor of Neuroblastoma but at the time I was treated there was no such think as antibody treatment. Luckily, I lived without this treatment. It is sad for me to see that children are actually dying because they are being denied of this treatment they cannot afford. If there is treatment around to save a child's life how could you not give it to them? THIS is the reason I work so hard to raise money for childhood cancer. Every child had the right to survive, and I will not stop raising money until this happens. It is awesome that they have come up with a treatment that can actually stop this monstrous disease, but now the main focus is being able to give it to all children. Children are our future and I believe they deserve the most attention and should never be denied of life saving endeavors.

Molly Hollway

This Thing

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"This Thing

By Mel Penman

I've got this thing but it ain't got me
I'm living with this reality
To know my limits, not overdo it
To have my way, and work right through it

This thing is with me every day
But it won't get to me, no way!
I'll fight it to the very end
My constant, but unwelcome friend

This thing will try to get me down
And push me down into the ground
But I am strong, I won't deny
This thing won't stop me, though it may try

I'll live my life as I have planned
Me and this thing, hand in hand
It may take me a little longer
But hey, it's making me feel stronger

This thing won't stop me getting where
I want to be, I will get there
To where I really want to be
And show the world, this thing and me"

I found this poem to be incredibly relatable and inspiring. In the beginning it talks about overdoing it, which is a phrase I have heard many times from my father, and it surprised me how one small, most likely meaningless phrase to most people, could have such an impact on me. The first half of the poem made think about what my father is going through and how he deals with everything daily, but the second half inspired me because it really showed the resilience people have who are dealing with chronic diseases. I have an immense amount of admiration for people who deal with them, and this poem really captured their strength for me.

quotes against haters

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These two pictures (quotes) are just some sayings against haters or saying that just put humors in what haters do. The one which yoda says, "rollin they see me, hatin they be," is the one I find funny. But it actually makes me wonder about something, 'Would there be difference between hating on real people compared to fictional characters?' So far in my research, it made me think that haters will hate on anything, including babies. However, would they hate on fictional characters? If they do, what would it say further about haters? I think it would ridicule their turpitude because really, what good can happen from hating on fictional characters? Where would that path really get you? I think having such hatred thoughts against fictional characters will be literally a waste of time.

The second quote says, "unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you." I think this is quite true. I believe we do not see the world exactly the way it is but as how we are. We do not have a 20-20 vision of how the world is, but we only see it through the more or less biases lenses we have. This quote makes me think further on what it can do to haters if people use famous or wise quotes about introspection against haters. Could it be that the whole reason why haters exist is because people do not self-reflect their own shadows? Of their flaws? Could it be that the whole time haters are hating, they are actually trying to run away from their own shadows, demons, and skeletons? Could it be that they are hating because they are being chased by the dissatisfactions they have with their own lives? Could it be that their biggest fear is 'hating-on-themselves?" So they are merely channeling self-hatred away by hating on others?

The face of PTSD

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For this artistic blog post I am posting a picture of my dad. I couldn't figure out how to post it to the blog, so I put a link to my mom's Facebook page where she has a picture of him in uniform last year, holding a picture of himself in Vietnam, where he fought many years ago.
This is important for me to show you guys what PTSD looks like. It isn't a disease like chicken pox, where you can look at someone and know that they have it, PTSD is a mental disorder that can hurt anyone. My dad has been struggling with this disorder for over 30 years, because for most people it is not cureable, it is something you live with each and every day.

Man in the Glass poem- Amber

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Inspired by Tony and my visit to an Alcoholic's Anonymous meeting last week, I decided to use the poem "Man in the Glass" because it is relevant to many of the stories I heard last week. Going to the meeting was a great way to gain a whole different perspective from people who had just been admitted to the detox facility we were at. The people here were just coming off of two week binges or even had been in treatment multiple times before. It was a great (as great as an experience at AA in detox can be) experience and this poem reflects a lot of what they were saying.

The Man In The Glass
Peter "Dale" Winbrow Sr
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in you life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you're a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

He's the fellow to please-never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.


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This is a link to the "Minnesota Voted No! Thank you!" picture on the Minnesota United for All Families FB page. I personally would like to thank everyone who voted no this election. It means a lot to me and those of the LGBTQ community. Thank you for being patient with the campaign as it ramped up in the last couple days before the election and thank you for your support. Whether you voted because you are a part of the LGBTQ community, are an ally, or simply because you considered it a separation of church and state issue or marriage was none of the governments business. All of these were reasons people told me they were voting no. Whatever your reason was, thank you. You affected many people as the picture represents with the background being made up of tons of pictures of families. All affected in one way or another by the amendment that was proposed. I witnessed first hand at the voter viewing party at the St. Paul Riverside center hundreds of people jumping and dancing for joy, kissing and hugging, cheering and even crying tears of joy when we found out that the amendment had been rejected. It was a roller-coaster of emotions watching the numbers get so close and separate again only to get super close again. But when the news was released that we had done it and over 50% of Minnesotan voters had chosen to come alongside us and keep this hurtful amendment from passing... well it was incredible. I was so happy to find out the amendment would not be passed. Thank you.


Johnny Cash "Hurt"

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Johnny Cash was affected with Diabetes and eventually died due to complications from the disease (respiratory failure). His song "Hurt" is about his pain with diabetes and the rest of his life.

This song impacts me on several levels because he directly sings about the things that I have gone through, thought of, and know others have dealt with because of diabetes. It's just different to hear them from a well known man through song.

Listening to this song, the reality of the disease sinks in deeper and again, because of the singer the reality that the disease affects everyone sets in as well.

LGBT Rights and Adoption

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I found this short article to be interesting, as it gives insight into gay rights and adoption in other parts of the world, aside from just the United States. I am eager to continue researching and find out exactly what the situation is here in the US, though.

This article gives a little insight into the current political situations with LGBT rights.

"First Time You Cut Yourself" Demi Lovato Interview-Anna

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This video is an excerpt from Demi Lovato's TV special called "Stay Strong," in which she speaks about her struggles with mental and physical health in order to educate the public about the issues that she faced and give hope to people struggling with similar disorders. Demi has bipolar disorder and also struggled with anorexia, bulimia, and self harm.
This struck me as interesting because I love Demi Lovato (sorry I'm not sorry) and because I also struggled with self-harm and and eating disorder in high school. Lots of the documentary is about how Demi had nowhere to turn, which is exactly how I felt when I was younger. To me, this is a huge part of the mental health issue: that those experiencing symptoms of mental health disorders (mental illnesses), while those on the outside do not know how to help those who are clearly unwell. Looking back at pictures of myself, it should have been clear to everyone who saw me that I was very sick, especially considering that I was a little overweight in middle school and nearly skeletal when I was 14 and 15. I can only remember one person saying something to me, and when I told her that I was fine, she backed off. It's not that I blame anyone for not helping me, but if it was easier for young people to recognize signs of mental illness in themselves and others and if there was less stigma around those experiencing mental illness, people wouldn't have to suffer for as long as most do before hitting rock bottom or sometimes dying.
(That was a long ramble but I'm not going to delete it in case I want to read it later for some reason, sorry if it seems like a soap box)
What I learned from this artistic expression is that speaking about this issue makes a difference to those suffering, and that a lack of coping mechanisms can lead to severe symptoms of many kinds of mental illnesses in kids, adolescents, and adults.

And she inspires me-Selena

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I really wish I knew how to actually put pictures in to the blog but since I do not these are two images that inspired me to do this project. The first is a picture of my Auntie and the second is the tattoo I have on me for her. I wanted to get pictures of her accident (which would have been her truck) but my mom does not have those pictures anymore, and it is probably is a good thing because it is sad to think about. Distracted driving is real and she is an example of that. She also did not have her seat belt on and to this day, I wear my seat belt every day, it does not matter the length of time I am in the car. I also make my passengers wear their seat belts as well. She is my motivation for pursuing college and she is my motivation to do better for my family. Looking these pictures as well as other pictures of my Auntie help me learn that life is precious and can be short depending on what we choose to do. So I plan to live my life to the fullest and accomplish what I set my mind to do.

Love you Auntie

Official U of M new release on homeless study

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After finding an MPR article last week about a new homeless study done in Minneapolis over the past several years, I thought it was an interesting contrast to read an official news release on the study from the University of Minnesota. This article was much more helpful when giving statistics and an overall sense of why this study is so important. Ann Masten, a professor at the U and a co-author of the study said "We are not going to be able to tackle the issues of the achievement gap without addressing the issue of mobility in our student populations," said Masten. "This is not a small problem when you have such significant percentages of children who are homeless or highly mobile." The study surveyed over 25,000 children grades 3-8 from 2005-2011 and of the children surveyed, 14 percent were found to be homeless or highly mobile. This was a shocking percent when I read it in this context. The children are so young, and this is still such a small population of the entire Minneapolis/St. Paul school population. It is scary to think of how many youth are actually homeless in the Twin Cities area. I think this study does a great job of linking the achievement gap with homelessness and acknowledges that there is a serious issue when it comes to students succeeding. It will be interesting to see how the schools in Minneapolis perceive this study and if it will change things in the classroom!

How to talk to children about cancer

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The article I read talked about the importance of talking to your child about cancer. They talked about good ways and techniques to use when discussing this issue with them. They made a list of nine items and elaborated on them. These included, including them on the discussion, finding a good time and place, being age appropriate, dispel myths, use "real" words, don't avoid talking about fears, provide safe a save environment, and include siblings. In summary what all of these tips explained is the importance of how you talk to your child. Including them makes them feel important, and when they are teenagers they should feel they have a say in their treatment. Also, make them feel safe for asking questions and using real words helps them truly understand what is going on. It is important for kids to know what they are going through and also for their siblings. It is essential to have every family member on the same page, to connect and get through the hard times a family and so everyone feels important. Children need to know what they are going through no matter what, and letting them know that they will MOST likely survive is the key, because cancer rates are increasing.

I found this article interesting and important because I know many children currently going through cancer, even one of my closets friends. I wasn't aware of good techniques on how to talk to those going through cancer. It is sometimes hard for me to connect with my friends going through cancer because I don't want to say the wrong thing, but they truly are comfortable with it. This article is also interesting to me because I was too young to talk to about my cancer while I was going through it, my parents had to talk to me later. This article made me realize that my parents really did handle this the right way. I don't actually remember any conversation where my parents had to explain what happened as if I didn't even know I had cancer. I grew up knowing everything, as well as all my siblings and friends. This made me never self conscious about my scars, disabilities, or what I had gone through, this made me proud. My parents brought me up with my illness as a blessing and as a strength. I was strong enough to survive!!! I also appreciate life so much more then I ever would have. Learning how to talk to children seems to big a really big deal in the world of cancer. It can make or break their self esteem as well as fear. Talking to them openly and honestly seems to be the best solution.

Molly Hollway

Moderate Alcohol Consumption

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This article explains the harmful risk that are associated with moderate alcohol consumption. This is completely relevant to my topic of alcoholism because at one point an alcoholic was a moderate drinker. Not only does moderate drinking lead to the potential to abuse alcohol but who knew it could lead to increasing your risk factors when it comes to cancers?! It's a scary thought and one that shouldn't be taken lightly.

"According to medical studies, risk factors of alcohol consumption may include:

Cancer: Alcohol is a human carcinogen. Consuming just one drink per day can increase an individual's risk for breast cancer by 4%.[2] Additional studies demonstrate links to colon, liver, esophagus, throat and mouth cancer with ongoing alcohol consumption.

Liver Disease: The most common cause of liver disease is alcohol abuse. Cirrhosis is among the 15 leading causes of death in the U.S.[3] Some mild damage can occur even after a single binge drinking episode.[4]

Cardiovascular Diseases: Moderate alcohol intake can be associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation in individuals with cardiovascular disease or diabetes.[5]
Pancreatitis: Heavy alcohol abuse leads to chronic pancreatitis and occurs mostly in men between 30-40.[6]

Lung Disease: Alcohol abuse can increase acute respiratory distress syndrome by three to four fold often leading to death.[7]Chronic alcohol abuse can cause severe reductions in white blood cells, which increases the risk for community-acquired pneumonia.

National Adoption Day on Nov 17th

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National Adoption Day is going to legalize children and their so called "forever families." It was started to raise awareness about the rising amount of foster kids, where courthouses open on a Saturday to finalize adoptions to complete new families. This article is about the changing laws in different states, specifically Texas- to start making certain regulations less time costly. Many organizations have regulations and rules that will rule out even the most eligible families, shrinking the pool of eligible adoptive parents while the number of children in need of a family rises. This year, National adoption day means simpler guidelines for adoption services in Texas.

Awareness Being Spread Through Children

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This article from CNN, focuses on children's gained awareness for food and what they are eating. It seems that Jamie Oliver's hope for a healthier America has spread in some way across this country. With more and more children getting allergies for food and the high obesity rates in children especially, parents are making their children more and more aware of what they are eating. It is becoming harder in this country to find those children from the Jamie Oliver episode that did not know what a potato looked like. The article mentions how when children are offered foods, they often ask if their is wheat or nuts in it. Also the article mentions how there is an increase in marketing awareness, as children are wondering why their favorite cartoon characters are always on the boxes of the bad foods. With people's lifestyles(what they eat and how active they are) increasingly effecting their predisposition for cancer and other illnesses such as diabetes, it is a good sign that children are becoming aware now. increased education can only lead to the increased welfare of the community. The other ended her article with the quote below by J.F.K which addresses the California proposition for food labeling. It makes you think about what is in the market for us today.

"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."-J.F.K

social media

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this article discussed about what people perform facebook. according to scientist research, one person could only closely communicate with around ten people even thought they could have more than 500 Facebook friends on their list. and I found another chart about online friendship really makes feel something. Friends who are barely keeping in touch with are the majority of most people's friend list on facebook and people are more likely to click on these people's page more then their closed friends. the second biggest group of friends on facebook is called one relationship. People would like to visit their page and make comments on new post but never get feedback. for closed friends, they always takes the smallest parts of the whole friend list. it is obviously that everyone had be asked about name several your best friends, the amount of truly friend barely over 5 or 6 people. and people are barely communicate with closed friends on facebook. they communicate more via email text or direct phone call. so it sounds like facebook is useless to enhance real friendship to me. however it is also the attractive point of facebook, the chatting atmosphere online is more relax and free. sometimes I have to commit that it is easier to open up to barely close friends. there are more concerns with closed friend when people trying to share something embarrassing. it causes pressure because people will worry about the lost or damage to their friendship. talking to stranger is much more easier, it is just about the communication only. you like it so stay with the person when you sick of talking to this person, it is easy to unfriend and there will be none consequences about it. these convenience offers of facebook friends are the points I am worrying about. when people get used to the easy way communication, I am afraid they will bring this kind of treatment outside of internet. and it will hurt human being's feelings, one likes to be treated disrespectful. I dont think it is appropriated to walk in and walk away as casual as we did online.


Hopkins District - Ricki Vang

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This week's article I found something local about how Hopkins a school district surrounding the twin cities is creating programs to help Hmong students succeed and develop students who will be college ready. Some things that they hope in changing in order to create and make this happen is by hosting events for parents to come and understand the process, steps, and importance of their involvement in their kids life in order for their child to gain a better shot in college. Although this is fairly a new program that Hopkins is trying to do to help Hmong students and other underrepresented students but so far, it's been a great start.

I believe this is a great way to really help bring more Hmong students to higher education because many stats and facts that has been proven that due to the support of parents and their knowledge of higher education, the more likely their kids will go into higher education. After reading the article some questions I do have is, does Hopkins have any facts and figures to showcase the progression of these new programs? Also something interesting to learn is with multiple different student group does one model of the program fits all?


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This article focuses on something very important that is closely related to what my issue is. The article talks about the importance of getting tested early and frequently. Many people have associated the disease with death and do not think that they can do much about it if they have it hence the ignorance of not getting tested. The article talks about the expansion of testing centers from clinics to schools to grocery stores and to other public places where they have a good chance of encouraging people by educating them too. Getting tested early and frequently reduces the severity of the disease as the victim can start eating healthy taking medication and exercising healthy habits. Many new cases are being discovered through this new method of reaching out to people who either had no confidence to go to the clinic or just never thought to get checked.Although there are many people getting tested and saved early, many of the victims are neglecting to take their medication. The questions that come to mind is how can we ensure that these victims take medication as they are supposed to? what better way can we educate people about hiv aids? what age group should we target the most? what are better ways to target each age group?

Same-sex Marriage and Business

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In this article I learned that a lot of business' are voting no, or at least oppose the amendment. Not just because they think it is wrong for two people in love not be able to express it by marriage, but because it makes good business. A lot of business' that are Minnesota based are supporting same-sex marriage because they do not want to make an unfriendly/unwelcoming environment. Plus study shows that 30% of their best workers identify as being gay or lesbian. I think this article makes total sense. Within the article they talk about if Minnesota bans gay marriage it is basically like waving a sign saying if your gay you are not welcome here. Not only does that make Minnesota nice into Minnesota mean, but it will also ban new talent from coming to Minnesota. Not saying that straight people are not talented, but it would make gay or lesbian talent not feel welcome in Minnesota. I am very pleased with this, considering that I am a business and marketing education major, because it makes me feel that I am welcome by my fellow business men.

internet hater attacks on organ transplant patient

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Is there any end to internet hating? This article is about a patient who was born with a congenital heart defect and left wheelchair bound, had a heart and lung transplant 5 years ago.

But a female cyber bully attacked him with comments saying that he did not deserve the transplant for being overweight. The message said, 'You are overweight and a disgrace to your donor. You do not deserve a transplant.'

How about that? Did this internet troll know that this patient needed to take daily medications (steroids) after the transplant as necessity which caused him to gain weight?

What I found good to learn about from reading this article is people that supports the person being hated... the people/fans that defend the victim from internet trolls/ and cyber bullies. I think such support will lend quite useful to defend and regenerate lost/hurt self-esteem for the victims.

I don't even feel like saying anymore how ridiculous internet haters are and just what type of people with what topic they pick to hate on... More and more, I feel they are cowards that if they were to meet the victims in real life, they will not have the guts to say the same comments. I feel they hide behind hidden "cyber-identity" which they think separates them from their true identity. But their cyber-personality is indeed an extension of their own personality. And more and more I find out, all the justifications and reasoning behind these haters' viewpoints is just based on misunderstandings/and incomplete information. I feel they have a need to distract themselves from their own problems and by blaming and hating on other people's problems, they feel the void of what is missing in their lives can be filled.

Somehow I feel the solution to this whole internet trolling is so simple, but I feel somehow it is not going to be easy to absolve it because I feel there is something about this culture that concides with internet hating.... I am not sure what this is or how to articulate it, but I feel there is such an essence and hopefully I can discover what it is...

Marriage Amendment MN

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This article that is in the Pioneer Press, informs readers about the marriage amendment. The marriage amendment has had a lot of misinformed facts, and people do not know what is real and what is not. This is a must read before our election day, TOMORROW. The more informed the voter is on the marriage amendment the better off our state is. This article asks common questions that the public has but cannot find the truth in the answers.
I really enjoyed this article because getting the information out before election day is key. We've (MN/Student United) have tried so hard to get the word out on what the marriage amendment is, but there still are people who do not know. It is very informative, and discusses other states stance on gay marriage. A few questions I have after reading the article is why does it not discuss that leaving the ballot blank, still means yes? That would be helpful for readers to know. If the amendment does not pass, how will we continue to fight for gay rights?

Remember to go out and VOTE! :)

New Awareness Programs on the rise

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My article today focuses on a new awareness program that was created by Colleen Daly. Here is the article

The article talks about this new awareness program for students at the University of North Carolina created by this women in order to train individuals, and bring tools and guides for better recognition and awareness of disordered eating in students on campus. It is her hope that more students will act as a support system for the growing number of students with eating disorders. This support is considered vital. of the program, and the women running the show, this was said: Her initiative, Embody Carolina (the name of the awareness program), aims to support all Carolina community members in feeling beautiful about themselves and others."

After reading this, i thought it was a really cool idea and I hope that this sort of thing could be started on my campus. Perhaps I could be the women to come back and make that kind of change. regardless, It is interesting. I wonder,however, if this will really do much to change things? Awareness is a good thing, I agree, however I think it will need to be a program that grows with time in order to make a huge impact on the lives of the students at UNC. I am really just curious to see how this project grows and changes.

South Dakota Obesity Rates On The Rise

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Today I had my one to one with Aaron and we spoke about me potentially narrowing my topic down. One thing I really am passionate about is starting the teaching of a healthy lifestyle as soon as possible. Last week, my post included a school implementing a program to really work on their students and their health and fitness. At first I thought it was a bit extreme but as I continued my research I'm noticing a trend. In this week's post my article is about another school and their rising obesity rate. Due to this problem, they too will start a program to try to bring the percentage down. I can see why they want to do this and it seems a little less extreme than the other. They definitely talk about the importance of taking charge in the home because honestly I feel as though that is where most of the lifestyle learning takes place. But, also I can see how if we do start to create more programs and push in the schools for healthy living that too will translate into the home life. It's definitely a "something's gotta give" situation and the schools are just the ones taking charge on it. I think if we all started doing things like this we could make a difference.

A settlement has finally been reached on a lawsuit against medicare that will help thousands of people dealing with chronic diseases and disabilities, such as MS, continue to get treatment and medication. Medicare officials have agreed to review their manual that stated people could not get more treatment if it was not proving to make their condition better, but in disabilities like MS where patients really do not get better but need the treatment to maintain, patients did not show improvement and were being denied treatment and medication. With this settlement, patients with chronic diseases and disabilities with now continue to get the care they need.

Suicide Prevention in Jails and Prisions

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With all of the talk in our class about mental health in the Military, I wanted to look for other groups that may have similar high mental health risks and subsequently, suicide rates. What I found was that the suicide rates in jails and prisions are also unusually high. In the research that followed that discovery, I came across this article describing an effort in Memphis, TN.

The Memphis Juvenile Jail has been working hard to to keep its detainees safe. They have not had a suicide related death in over 35 years, and continue to maintain vigilance when it comes to mental health. This is a good example of preventive methods sustained over a long period of time having a strong positive impact on the community.

Visit the link at:

Obesity Causing Joint Pain- Jolene

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I found this article to be interesting because it shows that obesity in kids is causing even more issues that few people are aware of. Obesity in kids is now being linked to joint pain in the lower body as well as poor mental health. These type of issues can make it even more difficult for kids to do what needs to be done in order to lower their weight. Joint pain and mental health may make them feel that they should just stay the way they are.

Birth Defects: "peoples self esteem had gone."

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"In third year when we all hit about 15, none of the girls... I'd say there was a maximum of three or four in the class that were actually happy to go swimming. Because nobody was comfortable with wearing those swimming suits in front of other people in the class. Everybody's perception of themselves had changed, and peoples self esteem had gone," said Kaila Dunne, a counsel-woman of Ireland.

This week I decided to explore the "world is bigger than you" concept that we further explored in class last week. Our visual web that connected all of our issues was really inspiring to me, so I decided to something similar for my blog post. In class, I remember connecting my topic of birth defects to Chelsea's topic of body image. So this week I wanted to research how body image and birth defects connected in the media, and found a ridiculous amount of articles about self-conscious teens and young adults.

Almost every other news piece was about a young girl or a population of teens or a celebrity who had some issue concerning body image and self-perception. In the article I read for this week, it hurt me to learn that, "22 percent of the boys and only 8 percent of the girls were very satisfied with their looks," according to a survey study held in Ireland. The remainder of the article discussed how these self images are hindering health and ability to socialize.

This got me thinking multiple things. First off, why is our generation so hung up on the way we look anyways? Is it influence of media, friends... what is it? And more importantly, why aren't we changing this? We should teach teens and young adults to appreciate what they were given, and that we should accept each other for who we are underneath.

It makes me think of how Molly suggested that I should look into becoming some sort of role model for those who have to live with a birth defect every day like I do. I could really show people how to value so much more in life, that being different is a gift and makes us all unique. If we were all the same or "perfect" that would be pretty f***ing boring... just saying.

Sometimes though I feel like there are so many little things "normal people" take for granted. Like, what if they were in my shoes, how would they perceives their own body image and self-worth then?

I personally see my birth defect as a blessing in disguise. Because who knows, what if I was born with a perfect set of fingers and toes? Would I be caught up in things like "oh em gee I need to get a pedicure" or "oh em gee totally have to buy these gloves they're sooo cute." (Not to sound like a superficial valley girl or anything...). But these are the things that, for a lack of a better term, can't enjoy. I don't get pedicures because it's not worth spending the money to clean up and polish the toenails that I don't even have. I don't ever wear gloves because they don't fit my fingers and then just look ridiculous. But it's these things that can be bought that some people can't live without. Is this only in our Westernized society or what?

Overall, even though I knew this was a prominent issue, I never connected it to the way I perceive myself. Yeah sometimes I think "dang, I have a food baby, gotta loosen the belt." But it's never far enough make me think I'm "fat" or "unattractive" or something. And I never have let my birth defects defeat my self-image. I know that I look just fine, this is normal for me. It's just the obvious reactions from other people that would get to me, especially in my past.

What do you think about society's view on self-image and the "strive for perfection?" What about for those who are "not perfect?"

——Mandi Beergoon

Want to read this article? Click here >> "Irish Teenagers Suffering from Body Image Issues"

Relations with Afghanistan have been eroding for years, and now the story of a drunken killing rampage committed by a U.S. soldier is contributing to that. In an article on, I read about a soldier who is accused of killing 16 Afghans, and wounding 6 more. The prosecution alleges he got drunk and left his post, then traveled to 2 different villages, where he went on his drunken rampage. The prosecution looks to prove premeditation, and if convicted, he could face the death penalty.

This story is current in the fact that he is appearing in court right now, but is somewhat outdated when you consider the fact that the killings happened in March. This is still a big deal, though, because this was the largest civilian slaughter since the Vietnam War, and has made relations with Afghanistan even worse. More than once I've blogged about Afghan soldiers or policemen turning their guns on their American counterparts and killing or wounding a lot of them. I feel like I may have been painting a picture that only the Afghans are the ones causing problems there, but this article clearly showcases the fact that it is not. What really stuck out to me was that this happened to this man on his 4th deployment in less than 10 years. We are asking so much of our troops, and it seems like in this case, he couldn't handle it.

With the election coming up tomorrow, this becomes an even bigger issues. Will Obama get reelected and stay the course with his withdrawl proposal, thus limiting the burden on U.S. troops? Or if Romney gets elected, will that change? He hasn't really made clear his intent with that war or comitting to other wars during the course of this election, so it clearly plays a big role the future of the war in Afghanistan.

What's on Minnesota's Mind this Election?

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This article simply shows that if you look at twitter analysts reports, apparently the topic that most fires up Minnesotans following Obama on Twitter is LGBTQ rights. It gets the most energy and response from MN citizens.

I'm not surprised at all. I can see how every LGBTQ person or ally is gonna be fired up about this topic right now with the Marriage amendment threatening to forever take away the possibility of marriage for LGBTQ people. When your rights are being denied or taken away you are most likely to be exercising that freedom of speech we love to use so much. And too, those who have relatives who are affected by it might also be passionate about it. So no wonder Obama's supporters are fired up about this topic in Minnesota.



Cognitive Distraction-Selena

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This article was an article and video explaining the three types of distracted driving. There is visual (the driver takes their eyes off the road), manual (the driver takes hand/s off the wheel), and cognitive (the mind is not fully engaged in driving). Visual and manual are easy to tell because you know what you are doing, but cognitive is hard to tell because it is all in the mind and it can happen for long periods of time. In the video the senior director of transportation initiatives at the national safety council explained how a person can run a red light and not even know because their mind was off somewhere else.

I personally really liked this article because honestly, I find myself mentally distracted a lot, but I do pay attention to the road as well, so I guess I am not fully unaware of what is going on. I think this plays a big role in the other means of distracted driving as well, because if you are not mentally there and you are manually distracted, it could possibly have a negative impact. It is already unsafe to take your eyes off the road and take your hands off the wheel, but if you think about it, cognitive distraction can be just as scary. The only questions I have for something like this is how can it be tested? What ways can this be made into statistics to have numbers?

New book, Flashing Back, shows how to heal from PTSD

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This article focuses on a new book by Alan Thomas called Flashing Back. Thomas was the sole survivor of a 13 person squad of Marines and their medic, and he has suffered from severe PTSD as well as survivor's guilt. Thomas explains in his book that there is a way to heal from this disorder, and there is hope out there as he has been struggling with the disorder for 40 years.
When I read this article I was really excited, because I want to purchase his book for my dad. My dad has been suffering for over 30 years and with time his disorder has gotten worse, and I can't watch him suffer. I want to give him this book, respectfully, and hopefully he will get something out of it and he will start the healing process.
After reading this article I want to know how does one heal from PTSD? I believe that it will be a long process, but is the process worth it?

Death rates for diabetics is decreasing

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This article was summarizing a study that showed an overall decrease in mortality rates for people with diabetes. It also stated that the diagnosis of diabetes needs to be more exacted and increased in order for more people to be safe.

This made me think of what can be done in order to diagnose and save the lives of children who don't make it into the "lives saved" statistic. For myself, handling diabetes is a complicated task but it has never had me sent into any sort of critical condition. So as far as my own knowledge is concerned, I'm wondering what causes so many people to die from the disease that I have lived with for so long.

Parents and Prevention-Negative Body Image

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Chelsea Banken

This week I wanted to research parents influencing childhood body perception. I believe that nurture plays a large role in the development of healthy or unhealthy body image. In our society, as Peter Block speaks of in his book on community, we love leaders and role models such as parents that are currently interested in instructing the youth rather than understanding that they have a voice and are the future. If parents are instilling unhealthy habits in their children, a never ending cycle of negative body image will be present.

In the article I found, parents are urged to model positive self body image. If parents are continuously criticizing their own bodies, this will most likely influence a child's development of weight perception and body image. A factor that can prevent weight obsession in children deals with honoring a child's good behaviors and actions and who they are on the inside rather than how they look on the outside. I also agree that if parents emphasize health and fitness rather than thinness with little girls, positive body perceptions will result. Another major action parents are encouraged to take is eating healthy rather than fad dieting. Eating healthy should be a continuous lifestyle choice and not just used as a short term goal to lose weight fast. Encouraging healthy eating in children is extremely important and I also understand this can be frustrating as well. Many children are picky eaters, so I also believe that eating in moderation and using correct portion sizes is ideal. Treats are definitely necessary in childhood development because I believe we all need to enjoy life and what it has to offer. Yummy food is fun and satisfying! But we need to also understand that eating healthy is satisfying as well with the benefits it brings. Finally, the article discusses parents educating their children on the media and its portrayal with perfect body image. Parents can teach their children to understand that not everyone looks the exact same and that we should love our bodies and selves for who we truly are.

This article really touches me because it personally affects my childhood development. I have always been petite and my younger sister, on the other hand, went through puberty fast and is about my size currently even though she is six years younger than me. During puberty, she developed curves and a little tummy and my parents would tease her and call it Cailey Jr. Although there was no intention for harm and emotional pain, I could see my sister was affected by this teasing. I believe teasing should never occur with physical appearance because in our society, what we look like is a major factor of self esteem. This is just the norm and what we are used to. Fortunately, Cailey is doing great today and does not have any problems with weight obsession. Negative body image, however, could have been instilled and that is something I hope to prevent from happening in her life.
This article and my personal background with parents influencing body perception has led me to question how much teasing plays a role in negative body image. I hope to research this question further and gain a better perspective on bullying and weight.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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