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Childhood Obesity

One of the fastest growing epidemics in America is childhood obesity. Even though childhood obesity has been addressed by several extremely influential people, we’ve got a long way to go before this problem is under control.

The image above shows a young, overweight child sitting in the midst of several appetizing treats. He is a young boy, seven or eight years old, who seems to be in the middle of meditating. The food floating around him is personified with inviting smiles. There are large whiffs of tempting fragrance encompassing the boy during his meditation. Near every food item, bright star-like sparkles accompany the aroma, making for a near irresistible feast.

Everywhere we turn in the United States, there is an advertisement for food waiting to be seen. The food being displayed, though appealing, usually comes with negative side effects due to the fact that it’s not always the healthiest choice. Living in America, one becomes accustomed to being impatient. With popular establishments such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s, food can be easily mass-produced for a low price. When these businesses are equipped with kid-friendly commercials and merchandise, children are extremely easy targets. The youth of today are used to going through the drive-thru of their choice and super-sizing for just one dollar more. Even if children were to want a healthy alternative, unhealthy options are thrust in their path, causing them to settle and develop habits that are harmful to their wellbeing. Also, children today are getting less exercise than the generations prior to them because they are distracted with social media and electronic game consoles that allow them to sit indoors and stare at a screen. A poor diet paired with lack of exercise is nothing short of a recipe for disaster.

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L.A lifestyle


Many people who travel west to Los Angeles, in hopes of fulfilling the American Dream of riches and success, get swept up in the extravagant lifestyle that is available to anyone who can afford it.  Sadly, many find themselves unable to keep up with the demands of these luxurious complexes.

The photograph shows an outdoor view of an apartment complex. There is a pool that has been illuminated from underwater. Lounge chairs surround the entire pool but they are all empty. There are palm trees and other tropical plants lining the edge of the complex. All of the outdoor lights are on in the center building. It is unclear whether the lighting choices in the image are to enhance the aesthetic of the apartments or if it is simply an automated switch once it is evening. The sky is dark, but cloudless and serene, adding to the idealistic image the picture is trying to convey. The building is four stories tall and remains unlit on the right and left sides. In the center of the image, part of the building becomes cylindrical and it is painted a different color. At the top of this complex is a lighted ring, whose purpose is unclear.

Apartment complexes, such as this one, try and persuade people into paying outrageous rent fees by justifying it with the environment in which you would be living. Some design their apartments to function and appear like resorts, for anyone who has saved enough money to enjoy an endless vacation from the comfort of their own home. Even the cheapest and smallest apartments cost well over $1,000 a month. For that price many only get a single bedroom and living room. Location is also key in determining the price of an apartment. Apartments that are closer to landmark locations, such as Hollywood, are often much more expensive. Information and tourist traps such as this are used as justification for the prices. Potential buyers often get fiercely competitive when trying to score the next cheapest apartment that becomes available. The hunt for the right apartment is arguably equally as competitive and difficult to find as the occupations people moved out west to pursue. It can be daunting to move to such a fast paced and economically demanding part of the country but the allure of being able to one day live in the wealthiest neighborhood could possibly be the incentive needed to make a dream career a reality.

You Reap What You Sow

The gang members in Los Angeles County have been shaped by the environment in which they live, where they are brutalized by police, and oppressed by social limitations. The gang movement in Los Angeles is a direct product of the government’s oppression of the African American population.

The African American population was cut off from all almost all opportunities to participate in any positive organizations like the boy scouts.  The government also eliminated nearly all role models for black youth to emulate and follow, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Huey Newton.  The United States of America is a democracy, but the handling of the African American people in Los Angeles shares some characteristics with Arendt such as cutting off a faction of people and isolate them, which is similar to the strict housing zones that were established.  One other characteristic these two concepts have in common is that one the faction is isolated they are treated like they never existed, which is a large contributing factor in the grand total of around fifteen thousand gang related deaths in Los Angeles.

Bloods and Crips: Made in American is a film that tells the complete history of the conflict between the Crips and the Bloods.  The film also gives the audience an incite into how these two groups were formed and where the hostile attitude originated and for what reason.  There are also interviews with current and former gang members telling their individual stories and views on the conflict and how it has affected their lives.


Made in America: Crips and Bloods, Directed by Stacy Peralta, Written by Stacy Peralta and Sam George, Edited by T.J. Mahar, Released 2008

Poverty Rates on the Rise

Nicklesberg/Getty Images, R. (2012, September 23). Go figure – Bloomberg blames city’s poor for

getting poorer while Hizzonor gets richer Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/


Retrieved from New York Daily News website: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/


Poverty rates have skyrocketed across America, especially in New York City, and a recovery plan is not yet apparent.

This picture shows a man digging into a trashcan. He has bags that are presumably his settled around him. We do not see his face, just his hand reaching far down into the trash can, possibly in search of something. He is on the street that at this time is not too busy, but we do see people walking around him going about their business. There is what looks to be the entrance to a subway station across the street behind him. He looks thin and his hands seem dry and brittle. His hunched over posture makes him look tired, and run down.

If we dissect this picture, many would come to the conclusion that this is a poor, possibly homeless man looking for nourishment or a way to make some extra money. We can see the clear contrast between the man in the foreground reaching into the garbage, and the other faceless people walking down the street. They don’t stop at the sight of the trashcan and have the same thought process as he does, for if they did, they might be waiting behind them for their turn. The idea of digging around in a public trashcan would disgust most; but the people in the street don’t even seem to be phased, suggesting it’s a normality, and a common sight to be seen.

This picture was taken in New York City, where the percentage of people living in poverty has risen to 21%. That is the highest its been in a decade. This picture, although only one person out of many, shows us what it is, or could be like for that 21%. New York City is not an easy place to make it, and now has one of the highest poverty rates in America. Many are like the man shown here, everyday digging through garbage bags to find anything from food, to recyclables. They will use whatever they can get to make something for themselves, or to ensure survival. This rise in poverty has much to do with the recession that began in 2008. Although the government has tried, they have not been able to salvage the old economic culture. It is clear that, instead of trying to put back the pieces, we must create a new economic climate. At this time the richer are getting richer and the poorer are getting poorer, there needs to be that middle ground again; which requires job creation. The recent census showed that more than 1.7 million new Yorkers live below the poverty line. While big businesses have had success, it isn’t doing anything for the creation of living-wage jobs. The city is experiencing more and more people fighting to feed themselves and their families. This picture, and the idea of digging in a garbage can as a way of survival, should send a message to the policy makers; there needs to be change.

ostrich hat

ostrich hat

The Ostrich Pillow revolutionizes the idea of sleep anywhere with a snug warm and quiet environment in which to sleep.

A man rests peacefully sitting relaxed with his legs crossed in an airport. Next to him sits his luggage, and the background is out of focus but shows one or two travelers going about their business. On his head sits an odd pillow shaped object that makes him look slightly like a grey headed martian with no eyes. There appear to be large ears on the side of the pillow hat and a small opening for the mouth and nose so the person wearing it can still breathe. But, because he seems to be sleeping, and the object seems to be one of comfort, they are probably not ears. Sleeping usually takes peace and quiet to achieve and the advantage of a pillow like this would be blocking out the sound of distractions. He seems to be sitting alone in an airport, where they always tell you not to leave unattended baggage. This might not be the best place to sleep alone but on the actual airplane this pillow hat could prove to be much more useful than those cheap inflatable neck pillows.

This picture looks to be a promotion for a revolutionary, but somewhat odd looking new product. The best light in which i might present this pillow hat is a conversation starter, but unfortunately due to the nature of the sleep aid, conversation is clearly trumped by comfort. It could be your best friend on long train or plane rides, or it could simply be a ridiculous hat. By the facial expression the man at the center of the picture seems to be sleeping, but because of the ridiculous hat you can only see his mouth and nose. His ears seem to be comfortably quieted from any distraction and the openings of the hat that seem to resemble ears are most likely to put your hands into so you can sleep on top of your hands while commuting. The bright side to having your ears covered in addition to the obvious blindfold is that you don’t have to listen to other travelers discussing your ridiculous hat. But if you did hear what they were saying they would only be jealous remarks in the face of their discomfort because they cannot see your face.

Traveling is an interesting game, you see many people briefly that you will never see again, and some people have different approaches to this interaction. Some choose to simply shut out the world with earbuds, blindfolds, sleep or any manner of distractions. Some choose to observe at a distance with things like sunglasses and peripherals. The Ostrich pillow is definitely the first option but it does it with the combination and comfort of shutting out the world and giving the wearer its own comfy micro environment within which to sleep.

Ostrich Pillow offers a micro environment in which to take a warm and comfortable power nap at ease
anywhere. Likecool.com. Glam, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. .