Extinction of the Golden Arches


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The obesity stats in America have been well documented for quite some time and still are startling each time I look at them. How is it possible that 15% of our country’s children are considered obese? Many different issues attribute to this fact, but one of America’s biggest crutches shines the brightest: the fast food industry. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to get ride of these evil empires and significantly increase the health of our youth and population as a whole? The McDonald’s and Burger King’s of America sit all along the freeways waiting for travelers to come clog their arteries with cheap poorly made burgers and fries. The statistics out there about these fast food joints show that they are nothing but an impediment on society.

One measly meal at a local fast food restaurant can average out to 37% of a person’s daily calories and 42.6% of the carbohydrates. For a family that stops by their once during the day, this could be corrected by two other healthy meals, but as we all know, that is not usually the case. With some customers coming numerous times a day due to the low prices and great taste, their health diminishes severely as the days go on. As seen in this clip from the critically acclaimed film, “Super Size Me,” the man running the documentary had his health deteriorate significantly after his solely McDonald’s based diet. Quite honestly, I feel shares borderline comparisons with tobacco and alcohol in respect to how they harm the human body.

Obviously since these are large corporations with armies of lawyers that defend each and everyone of their moves, getting rid of this industry is very likely. However, it is interesting to think how the country would fair with the disappearance of the fast food. How drastically would obesity fall and the average life span go up? I realize that the economy would feel the negative effects of their extinction and the government would never back such an event due to this and the many lobbyists that pollute our capitol for the benefit of the industry, but it would be interesting to see if the American people as a whole had a better quality of life without the temptation of their shoddy food products.

A World With No Traffic: An Oxymoron No More?


Daunting....isn't it.

Daunting….isn’t it.

What is the one thing that every human in the world hates: TRAFFIC!.

Ok, so I didn’t think of some life altering idea that will revolutionize the very world as we know it, but rather identified traffic as something I pretty much am sure every human on earth hates. Also upon reading the prompt, the fact that Seth Godin’s ideas on Traffic was a link at the bottom seemed eerily serendipitous. But, again, I have never come across a traveler who smiles appreciatively upon gazing at the line of what appears to be 968 cars stacked bumper to bumper like an evil, bloodsucking serpent. Sorry…I got carried away.

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No More Parking Meters!


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This is one of my biggest pet peeves. The fact that in 2013 we still have parking meters that use coins is completely ridiculous. For some reason this has always bothered me. Maybe its because I rarely have coins on me, so I end up searching for coins for 5 minutes in my car like an idiot. I just feel that by now someone has to have come up with a better solution. Here in Lewisburg, it actually is not too bad. For one, the meters accept all types of coins except pennies, and secondly they meters are pretty cheap. I think a quarter gives you 45 minutes. Around where I’m from it’s completely different. The meters only accept quarters and a quarter only gives you 15 minutes. If I’m going to be out for an hour and a half, I have to put six quarters in the meter. How often do you ever have six quarters on you? Me, I never do.  This topic for the blog kind of came up in my head after parking downtown today and seeing all the meters covered for the holidays and how nice of a feeling that was.

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Bring Back the Failure


Somewhere over the last two or three decades, our society has fallen into a state of political correctness where children are taught that everybody wins.  Youth sports give out participation trophies and children are always told they are winners by parents, teachers, and public officials.  This creates a generation of entitlement, as many people believe that they “deserve” to get good grades, have a great job, earn a high salary, or ultimately be successful in life without putting in the work necessary to achieve that goal.  Yes, some people may have to work harder than others to achieve a certain goal, but everyone is capable of doing so.

Many areas of youth sports are guilty of political correctness in the use of participation trophies.  By giving everyone an award, winning is devalued and children are not taught how to handle failure.  There is then no incentive to work hard to get that trophy and it sets many young kids up for disappointment when they get older, as mediocre efforts are no longer rewarded.  Children who have been praised their whole life are likely to shy away from a difficulty for fear of failure.  They may take the easy way out, try to cheat, or do the minimum to get by, yet they would still expect to go to a great college or get an offer from a high-paying job.  Failure makes people stronger and makes it that much sweeter when people are awarded based on their merits.

I propose that we reinstate the merit-based society that was seen in previous generations and help children learn at an early age that they will not be given things in life and that every accomplishment must require a certain amount of work.  If we transition away from a society of entitlement, we will restore the American Dream mentality among U.S. citizens.  The change mainly will come from society as a whole, as parents, teachers and public officials must make conscious efforts to let the children fail.

SWEAT!


Forget the untied shoe laces, only wearing one backpack strap, your wheely bookbag and hall monitors from elementary school. Those old school favorites are in the past and should stay there (definitely the wheely book bag, that thing was weird) but it is about time we brought back a staple from our elementary school days, gym class! Working out everyday is a vital ingredient to a healthy lifestyle and should be apart of every person’s daily routine. Just 30 mins of exercise a day can make a huge impact on an individual’s life. Let’s take a look at the benefits you probably didn’t realize you receive from working out daily…. Continue reading

I Hate School!


If one were to listen in on a typical conversation between high school or college students there is a very good chance that the topic of disliking school or the work involved with going school will be mentioned. I am not writing this blog to argue that school is a bad idea, quite the opposite in fact. I think that today’s system for evaluating students through grades is extremely flawed. The point of going to school is about learning, not obtaining grades. Often students simply do the bare minimum to get by so that they can post the GPA that they “need” to get into college or get the job they want. This can lead to students cramming to finish projects/papers/study at the last minute. And when students cram they often to not actually learn the information. The competition for grades can also lead to cheating. Grades also are a distinct way or measuring people and there are people in the world who do not think and work the same as the majority. Therefore, these students whose minds do not work the same way are heavily penalized by the grades, affecting the entirety of their lives.

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What are we feeding our kids?


ljnewlfnwsfAs childhood obesity becomes a bigger problem in the United States, there is the question of what we are feeding children in schools. In order to prevent bad habits and teach a healthy lifestyle, I believe schools should offer healthier food in their cafeterias. When I was growing up, elementary through high school, I noticed that school lunches are quite unhealthy. A lot of the time, they offer foods such as pizza and fries, instead of foods that have nutritional value. I would like to see more vegetables and fruits and less fatty/sugary foods. I think that if kids learn to eat healthier when they are young, they will most likely keep the same good habits as they get older which will decrease the risk of the many diseases associated with obesity.

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Organic Food: Good for You, Good for Nature, Good for Business?


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The US government should create a new law that requires all food to be produced organically. Food integrity is lacking in the US and we often have no idea what we are consuming. The majority of the food we consume has artificial ingredients and or traces of pesticides. Although science and technology have greatly increased the efficiency and pace of food production, the industrialized, mass production of food has caused the integrity of the food industry to suffer. It will most likely take years for this law to come into full effect but it would be worth the wait. The organic food movement has taken off in the past several decades but its growth could be greatly enhanced with more support from business, government and society. Organic food sales doubled globally from 2002-2008 and future growth estimates range from 10-15% annually. Continue reading

Join the Movement and Stand Up


Bully

The day we were given this assignment, I was met with an all too familiar Buzzfeed about the consequences of cyberbullying, the title being “That Dead Girl”.  Unfortunately, this article is not the first in which a young child has committed suicide due to cyberbullying and/or bullying in general.  The a quick Google search on bullying, I was met with the following statistics: Continue reading

Fixing our Loan Problem


According to American Student Assistance, nearly 20 million Americans attend college annually and 60% of them borrow in order to cover costs. Though the level of need varies greatly, estimates indicate that there is somewhere between $902 billion and $1 trillion in total outstanding student loan debt in the United States today. Such statistics, as well as the many others out there, point to a very troubling and precarious situation for our nation. And what’s more, the figures continue to worsen each year with one of the most troubling statistics being that the number of college drop-outs is on the rise. In fact, nearly 30 percent of college students who took out loans dropped out of school, up from fewer than a quarter of students a decade ago (Source: Education Sector). Continue reading

We Need to Rethink Messages from the Media


alg_homework_shirt2At age 7, equal numbers of men and women want to be president of the United States when they grow up (about 30% of the kids). Ask the same question when they are 15, and the proportion of women who want to be president drops off dramatically. This trend goes beyond politics; we live in a cultural system where people are socialized by gender to believe certain industries and positions are for men or women (as well as other types of minority statuses).

In 2009, American advertisers spent $235.6 billion on advertising. Not only does the media pervade every aspect of our culture, it only offers limited number of portrayals of girls and women. Women are told to measure their worth through their bodies’ adherence to an impossible cultural standard perpetuated by the media.  In today’s age of technology, that physical standard is easily manipulated and exaggerated through the use of photo-shopped enhancements. The results of this pressure on women alter every aspect of life: from career ambitions to emotional state. Continue reading

Return of The Nap!


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As a young child, we were often forced to take naps whether it was at school, or at home. We resented the attempts to take us away from our favorite cartoons or play time. Fast forward a decade and some and as a college student we relish the chance to take a nap in between out hectic schedules. Being a sleep deprived student myself, I decided my policy would be for mandatory nap time for college students. Continue reading

18 vs. 21


The drinking culture today attracts a lot of attention. Since 1984 the drinking age in the United States has been twenty-one. This law has been considered a “bad social policy and a terrible law.” There is a lot of discussion why a soldier can fight and die for the country and not enjoy a beer. I believe this poses a very interesting paradox. Furthermore I believe the drinking age at 21 has caused a culture with more binge drinking and reckless alcohol consumption.
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If the drinking age is lowered, I suppose the college drinking atmosphere would be different since it would be less of a deal to drink heavily. I believe the drinking culture today is a result of deprivation. Continue reading

Work Should Pay


Minimum wage today if indexed to 1938 $0.25: $3.60

If indexed to inflation since 1948: $7.25

If it were HALF of the average of all production & non-supervisory workers (80% of workforce) it would be: $9.54

If it were HALF of the gains in productivity in the economy since 1948: $14.73

If it were indexed to the same proportional increase in productivity: more than $20

Which is fair?

Demonstrators rally for better wages outside a McDonald's in Chicago.

Demonstrators rally for better wages outside a McDonald’s in Chicago this week. Courtesy USA Today.

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Home Grown, On Your Own


I believe that with hunger affecting such a significant portion of the global population, individual gardens and agriculture on a personal scale can help relieve food supply problems around the world.  On any scale, reducing the consumption of mass produced food products will allow for resources to be more freely available to those in need, however I feel that even as a country, a national effort in the United States could provide global impact.

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60 Second Ideas (blog 13)


Here is the scenario,

 You have sixty seconds to pitch your best idea, invention, policy, etc….just one of your best thoughts.  Try to think outside the block and be creative, for example if you think that a law where everyone has to say hi when they walk by each other would improve the world, then go for it. Describe how Business, Government, and Society would have to adjust and cooperate to accomplish your idea.  

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Just a cool picture of an idea- of capturing lightning in a bottle.

Please read your post and time it to sixty seconds!  These should be short, powerful, and convincing.  60 seconds is about two paragraphs or 500 words.  The writing should be clear, compelling, and concrete.

You can go big (whole world) or small (fix one corner of the world).  The main idea is that it is an idea that we can envision.

Contest!

There will be a small prize for the winning idea as determined by the post’s rating (on the star ratings) with my opinion being the final tie-breaker.

Encourage others to see your idea!  Facebook!  Twitter!  Whatever it takes!

Some ideas on traffic from marketing author Seth Godin.