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“Lawyers Spar Over Voter ID Law In Court”

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This July 31, 2013 article on the UMBC website talks about the ongoing trial over Voter ID in Pennsylvania


“Food Stamp Cuts Set To Kick In, Congress Not Paying Attention “

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This July 29, 2013 article found on the Huff Post: Politics website talks about the impending cut that will affect every person who receives food stamps (SNAP benefits) in the United States this November unless Congress pays attention to this issue.


“Local Motorcyclists, Firefighters Set to Honor Boy Who Saved Racquet Club Residents”

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This July 28, 2013 article found on the Levittown Now website talks about a boy who saw a need and stepped up to help.  I doubt the boy or his friends thought a lot about any reward they might get, as they knocked on doors to alert residence of the danger they were in, so I feel that this article is a great example of how helping because it’s the right thing to do can have some neat surprises as a result of the effort made.  I doubt this boy and his friends knew every person who they alerted to the fire, I also doubt that they had much on their mind other than trying to make sure people were safe.  I also doubt that the boy and his friends viewed themselves as heroes when they took the action they took.  They saw a need and stepped in and did what they could to help.

I tip my hat to this boy and his friends and hope that others can look at this and realize that helping others is the right thing to do, and that doing it because it feels good should be enough of a reward.  Helping because it puts a spotlight on you and lets you say “hey look at me I did this” or helping for the purpose of getting a tax break and not because you actually care isn’t as impressive to others as when someone helps because it’s the right thing to do without regard for what they will get for their efforts.  The kids in this article could have easily stood around and watched the flames grow, or continued on their way to wherever they were heading, but they realized people were in danger and by simply knocking on doors and alerting people, I’m willing to bet they may have saved at least a few lives that night.

It is my hope that others will look at this and realize that they too can make a difference in someone else’s life, and while it may not be as monumental as alerting people to a fire in their building, it could still make a huge difference in someone’s life.   I don’t have a lot in the way of resources, but for me, I find it to be fun to see what kinds of creative ways I can quietly help others.  I generally help  others when I can, because so many people over the years have helped me at various times in my life and asked for nothing in return, and when I find a way to do something for someone else, I feel like in some sense it is giving me a chance to honor those who helped me by paying it forward.


“Warring statisticians in voter ID trial”

Article Link

This July 25, 2013 article on the witf website talks about the questioning of statisticians by lawyers from both sides  of the Pennsylvania voter ID trial.


“Hating On Fat People Just Makes Them Fatter”

Logo used during 1970s

Logo used during 1970s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article Link

This July 26, 2013 article on the NPR Shots: Health news website, talks about the negative effect of discrimination based on a person’s weight.  Research has started to discover that judging people because of their weight doesn’t encourage them to lose weight, if anything it tends to cause those being judged to gain weight.

I know from personal experience that losing weight is a difficult task, but gaining it is super easy.  I have had to re-learn how to do all kinds of things starting with what I write on my shopping list, and including learning better ways to prepare food so it is healthier.  Cooking and organizing aren’t things that come naturally to me, so not only am I learning to make healthier choices, but I’m also learning new skills so I can benefit from those choices. for exercise, I started by walking to the store near my home 3 times per week, and over time worked to increase the distance and frequency of my walking.  Once I reached a point to where I could easily walk most places downtown, I got a bike, which is where I’m at now, and just like walking, I’ve had to start with short rides, but am pushing myself to increase my speed and distance when I ride.  I occasionally am able to borrow a vehicle from someone, or get a ride from them, and when I do use a car for transportation, I will purposely park further from the entrance than most people would typically choose to, because for me this extra distance I need to walk to get into the store gives me an opportunity to get a little extra walking and burn a few more calories.  I eat food prepared at home probably 99% of the time, but when I do opt to eat out some place I do the best I can to make the healthiest choice I can and since I enjoy salads, I will often get a chef salad or some other type of salad with lots of veggies in it and for a beverage, I love Mountain dew, but in all honesty I’m finding that having a glass of water with my meal not only gives me something to sip on while I’m waiting for my meal, but it also costs less, so I’m able to save a little cash by drinking water.

In January of 2012 when I decided I had enough of being overweight, I weighed about 256 pounds which put me deep into the class of obese, but by making small changes and learning new skills I have managed to get my weight down to 225 as of a couple of days ago.  I’m a former smoker, and to be honest, for me it was tough to quit smoking, but it’s been even more difficult to stay on track with losing weight.  Not only is food everywhere, but it is a necessity to survival, the problem I have is I enjoy food too much and many of my hobbies have been things like video games and blogging.  The first 6 months were brutal trying to convince myself to go for a walk as many days as I possibly could.  So I literally had to re-train myself in how I looked at getting up and moving around.  I discovered that cleaning can count towards my daily doctor recommended hour of exercise each day, so since I struggled with keeping up with housework also, I developed a cleaning schedule and purposely worked out the schedule so that at least half to 3/4 or the housework I did each day included actively moving around. I did this on top of my walks to the store.  Then I got a Nintendo Wii game system and started playing a game called “Walk it out” that combines a simple game with walking to the beat of music.  The pace might be slower or faster from song to song, so for me it keeps me from getting bored while I walk.  I got an iPod also that has helped when I’m walking outside listening to the music helps me work on keeping a faster pace, much like playing “Walk it out”, I try to walk to the beat of the music on my iPod.

So, why am I sharing all this with my readers?

Well, it’s to show that seeing someone who is obese and judging them based on what you see may not be fair to them.  I can’t look at someone else and know whether they are working on making healthier choices  in what they eat any more than someone can look at me and decide if I ate salad or a big mac for lunch.  I’ve heard people make comments about things I’ve purchased when I’ve shopped, and while they may be right that some things I have purchased aren’t all that healthy, but how does the person making that judgement know if the item is for me or someone else?  or if the item is a special treat or not?  often times when I’ve heard a lot of judgmental comments as I’m going through the store, I will begin to struggle with the idea of ‘fine, they are accusing me of eating unhealthy I may as well live up to their expectation’  and will end up grabbing a bag of chips I didn’t plan on buying, but now feel compelled to because someone made a judgmental comment.  So as I read the article about the research done in Florida on the subject, I didn’t have to think too hard to know that there was truth to what they discovered, because I had experienced it personally.

My bottom line for all this is that people need to actually get to know someone before they make assumptions about them based solely on appearances, it isn’t fair to the person being judged or to the person being judgemental, because the judgmental statements can mean that an opportunity to meet an awesome person will be forever gone all because of a snap judgement.

“Food Stamp Cuts Might Not Happen In House “

Food Stamps

Food Stamps (Photo credit: NCReedplayer)


Article Link


This July 25, 2013 article found on the Huff Post: Political website talks about the ongoing dispute over food stamps in Congress




“Mental health program recognized”

Article Link

This July 25, 2013 article on the Lancaster Online website talks about a Pennsylvania mental health organization that has recently been recognized on the national registry of evidence based practices listing for its work in helping people with mental illnesses.  The organization is Compeer Lancaster.

The registry can be found at … http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/

“Nature Activities Improve Veterans’ Mental Health By Recreating Positive Aspects of Military Service”

Article Link

This July 26, 2013 article found on the Medical Daily website talks about programs offered by the Sierra Club to help Veterans with PTSD.  The programs include group activities such as camping, kayaking, hiking, and fishing, and the idea of the programs is to help Veterans reconnect with the good things that nature has to offer to enable them to in a sense swap negative outdoor memories for positive ones.  The focus is on the activity not the problems.

(Side note … I clicked post before adding keywords and other similar items so the update was simply to add them … one of the hazards

Joseph LeConte (1823-1901), American geologist...

Joseph LeConte (1823-1901), American geologist and co-founder of the Sierra Club. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

of not being fully awake and trying to blog)

“Erie Runner Going the Distance for NAMI”

Article/Video Link

This July 25, 2013 article on the WICU – WSEE Channel 12 news website out of Erie, PA, talks about Tom Jennings fundraising efforts combining his passion for running with his wish to help those with mental illnesses and their families. There is a link at the end of the article where people who would like to give to this cause can do so.

“Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic at TEDxKids@Ambleside”

TEDxKids@Ambleside - Photo by Josh Hemond - Ke...

TEDxKids@Ambleside – Photo by Josh Hemond – Kevin Breel (3) (Photo credit: JoshRHemond)

Video Link

This video was published on Jun 17, 2013  by TEDx Youth.  The video is of Kevin Breel is a 19-year-old writer, comedian, and mental health activist, who is discussing his struggle with depression and the effect that the stigma surrounding depression has on not only him but many other folks with similar struggles.

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