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Thursday, August 13 2015 we are nearing the end of our summer with step-up. During the summer i learned about the concept of BALL. My photoshop skills have massively improved. one good memory i will have about this program is going to be the people. They were all so welcoming and it was good to know I’ve made new friends. In the future i want the concept of BALL (Bicultural active living lifestyle) to expand even further!

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If you look at the data the general philosophy in the United States seems to be “bigger is better.”  And over the past several decades, Americans have supersized our sodas, our refrigerators, our big-box retailers and ourselves — even our feet have gotten larger.

Here’s a look at a few of the most startling things that have grown in size in the U.S. over the past few decades:

1. Our portion sizes


You probably know that portions in the U.S. have been getting bigger — but do you know by how much?

When McDonalds first partnered with Coca-Cola in 1955, the only size of a beverage available was 7 ounces. By 1999, McDonald’s had introduced a drink that was literally six times as large as that — the 42 ounce Super-Size. Today, the largest size that McDonald’s serves in the U.S. is 30 ounces, though many people still get refills.

A similar trend has been at work with our french fries, hamburgers and restaurant meals in general. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the average restaurant meal today is four times larger than it was in the 1950s. As the graphic below from the CDC shows, the size of the average soda, hamburger and french fries portion has grown substantially since the 1950s.

2. Our chickens


To meet our insatiable demand for white meat, America has begun super-sizing its chickens. As my colleague Roberto Ferdman writes, Americans now eat 80 pounds of chicken per person per year, and we’ve begun breeding bigger and breastier chickens as a result.

According to a study published last fall, the most commonly raised type of chicken in 1957 weighed only about two pounds when it was 56 days old. Today, the most commonly bred type of chicken weighs nine pounds at the same age.

3. Ourselves

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With the size of our food getting so much bigger, it follows pretty naturally that Americans themselves are getting larger.

As my colleague Chris Ingraham has noted, the average American woman today weighs 166.2 pounds, which is almost exactly as much as the average American man weighed about 50 years ago. The average weight of an American woman rose 18.5 percent in that period, from 140 pounds in 1960.

Men aren’t doing much better. Their average weight has risen 17.6 percent in the same time period to 195.5 pounds today. To make the same comparison, an American man today weighs almost as much as 1.5 American women from the 1960s.

4. Our cars

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Compared with the gas guzzlers of 1950s, many cars have actually shrunk as time has gone on. Since the energy crisis of the 1970s, however, cheaper fuel prices and expanding waistlines have both encouraged cars and SUVs to once again get bigger.

5. Our houses

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New homes in the U.S. today are about 1,000 square feet larger than they were in 1973, and the living space available per person has doubled over the last 40 years, Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute writes, citing data released by the Census Bureau last year.

The average house size in America fell slightly during the Great Recession, but it has once again strongly trended upward in recent years.

Credits to original author link.

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Today we did a postcard and a fact sheet on tobacco. It was very interesting to know 480,000 people die per day due to tobacco. Its Also extremely sad to hear that addiction to tobacco is a major problem not only nation wide but worldwide. As a youth i am striving to change the future of tobacco and its harmful ways. Asian media access is a great way to reach that dream because they are promoting healthy living and it inspires me more day to day making these postcards and factsheets.

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It was a great today. I had fun learning about film making and photoshopping.  Today I learned a lot more about photoshop. The project today was pretty fun too. Also, something I found fun/interesting about today was that i got some really good ideas on my postcard. By getting to choose my own healthy living topic, I got some really good information about being healthy and living healthy. It also help me improve on with my postcards or flyers. I really enjoy learning more about film making and making my own film/movie. I hope we could talk more about film making.

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Healthy relationships consist of trust, honesty, respect, equality, and compromise.1 Unfortunately, teen dating violence—the type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are, or who were once in, an intimate relationship—is a serious problem in the United States. A national survey found that ten percent of teens, female and male, had been the victims of physical dating violence within the past year2 and approximately 29 percent of adolescents reported being verbally or psychologically abused within the previous year.3

Teen dating violence can be any one, or a combination, of the following:

  • Physical. This includes pinching, hitting, shoving, or kicking.
  • Emotional. This involves threatening a partner or harming his or her sense of self-worth. Examples include name calling, controlling/jealous behaviors, consistent monitoring, shaming, bullying (online, texting, and in person), intentionally embarrassing him/her, keeping him/her away from friends and family.
  • Sexual. This is defined as forcing a partner to engage in a sex act when he or she does not or cannot consent.

It can negatively influence the development of healthy sexuality, intimacy, and identity as youth grow into adulthood4 and can increase the risk of physical injury, poor academic performance, binge drinking, suicide attempts, unhealthy sexual behaviors, substance abuse, negative body image and self-esteem, and violence in future relationships.5

Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships. It is important to create spaces, such as school communities, where the behavioral norms are not tolerant of abuse in dating relationships. The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011
2 CDC, 2010
3 Halpern, Oslak, Young, Waller, Markin, & Kupper, 2001
4 Foshee & Reyes, 2009
5 CDC, 2012

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According to, “the definition of a proverb is a short saying that is widely used to express an obvious truth”.

So why exactly are proverbs important to know? Well, they influence the way people interact with one another and the way we could perceive different situations. Often, they teach us important values in terms of respect, acceptance, love, responsibility, and more. Proverbs can teach us different aspects of many cultures and give us insights how people used to thought in the past. So here is a collection of proverbs from all kinds of cultures!

1. Korea : “A picture of a rice cake.”

In the Korean culture, rice cakes are loved by many people. If there’s only a picture of rice cakes, they can’t literally eat it. So the meaning behind this proverb is that you shouldn’t develop a desire that you cannot have.

2. China: “Do not do to others what you don’t want done to yourself.”

In Chinese cultures, there is an important emphasize of being a good nature person. That means that you wouldn’t want to do anything that would disrespect, harm, or possibly affect someone in a negative way because you wouldn’t want them to happen to you too. So treat people like how you want to be treated.

3. Vietnamese: “Ghosts have no pity on the sickly. Robbers have no pity for the poor.”

Life is about experiencing ups and down. It won’t be a smooth sail and expect to have good and bad situations because you can’t predict the uncertainly of what life may offer  you.

4. Thai: “As diligent as an ant.”

Thai people can see how little ants are and recognize that they work very hard. That is why even if it is hard work, be determined to carry out your responsibility.

5. Japan: “If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.”

You can’ expect life to give you everything. Sometimes, it is up to you to take the initial step. So if you don’t risk trying, you will not get what you want.

6. Filipino: “A monkey dressed up is still a monkey.”

You can change your outer appearances and what you wear, but you are still who you are. It takes more than that to change yourself.

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Ever thought about going green? If every person can do something for the Earth, we would greatly reduce our impact on the environment. It’s important to be aware of our human footprints because we can’t use too much of the limited natural resources. Over-production, harmful chemicals, un-recyclable products, and trashes has damaged our Earth and will continue to harm our environment. It has dramatically affected animals and plants in terms of their homes and their own species. Therefore, it is better and wise for people to try to save the Earth by using sustainable and recyclable resources.

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  • Bring your own recyclable/fabric bags to shop for groceries. It will help reduce plastic waste in the environment and you can use it over and over again. If it’s too much, there is the alternative to use the store provided paper bags.
  • Recycle what you can! Don’t forget about recycling common things such as papers, cans, cardboards, electronics, etc.
  • Purchase organic food when possible and support your local grocery stores/farmers. Not everyone can afford organic food since it is pricier in the U.S. But when possible, it is best to support those who have or produce chemical/hormone free products. It will be beneficial to your body as there is no/less toxins/chemicals/hormones that could affect your health.
  • Carpool with people or ride public transportation. It will help reduce the amount of carbon monoxide a.k.a the gas automobiles produce when burning gas, to transfer into the atmosphere. We can all decrease the rate of global warming by sharing vehicles.
  • Grow your own produces! If you have a green thumb or want to help the environment, it is always possible to have your own little garden. Seeds are widely available in great prices and it doesn’t take much time or space to plant them. You don’t have to be an expert at gardening, but just have the time and patience.
  • Compost your food waste. It would bring great fertile soil to your garden and you would not have to worry about wasting food. It’s not necessary, but will help decrease food waste in the environment.
  • Do chores the old fashion way! Sweep the floor with a broom, air dry your clothes if possible, and wash your dishes instead of using a dishwasher, etc. It is more time consuming and takes more energy, but it’ll be worth it.
  • Use energy saving objects in your daily life. It’s great to have or buy products that has energy saving features such as compact fluorescent bulb, energy efficient appliances, extra insulation, insulating blinds, solar panels, storm doors and windows, and water saving fixtures.
  • Reduce your water consumption. It’s great that we are provided with clean waters to use and drink. But it does come with a price because clean water doesn’t come for free. About 70% of Earth is covered in water and approximately 97% of it is salt water. We can’t drink salt water so it’s wise for us to conserve our fresh water as much as possible and not put harmful pollution in them.
  • Make things from scratch! You can always make things from scratch if you really don’t want any harmful things in your food/clothes/things. It can be quite hard to find the resources, but a fun project to try out. And it doesn’t have to be anything amazingly hard to do/make.
  • Have you thought about your own human footprint? Here is a website that lets you take a quiz to determine how many Earths necessary to support everyone if they followed your steps:

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The simple things in life are what everyone should take some time to appreciate and be thankful. You may no realize that these things is right in front of your eyes. Here are some things that make our lives a little brighter everyday:

1. Water

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Water is a limited resource. But since the U.S. have easy access to it and everyone has running water at their comfort, it can be over looked. Water is a resource that is increasingly being depleted by all living things. So water should be treated with conservation in mind.

2. Air


Precisely, oxygen is what our body really needs, but we can only breathe it mixed with other gas. Our body is not adapted to breathe in thin air or pure oxygen. Without air, we would not be able to survive on this earth. Therefore, our air should not be polluted since it will affect ourselves and other beings as well.

3. Life


It’s not easy to live in a world where it’s competition between all living things. Although sometimes people may think their life is insignificant, they should realize that no living organism is easily brought into the world. We all have to struggle to live.

4. Family


Family is something that we should all be grateful and thankful for. Without your family, you would not be able to make it this far. Every family have their rough times and arguments, but it doesn’t mean they stop caring about you. Although every family may have their differences, remember that it’s those people who will always support you.

5. Friends and Pets/Companions


Who ever is your companion whether it’s another human or not, they are the things that make your life a bit happier. You can laugh, cry, play, and make great memories with them.

6. Knowledge/Education


Knowledge is something people take for granted. Humans would not be where they are now if they did not learn to educate and keep knowledge that would eventually be passed down to another generation. People just assume that we have all this education to begin with, but that’s not true. It took years and years for scholars, scientist, teachers, and more, etc., dedicated to learning which has brought human civilization to it’s stage today.

7. Food and Produces


We live in a world, meaning the U.S., where food and produces are processed through being able to grow faster, being able to produce a massive amount, and being able to profit from it. Therefore, our food market have a lot of products which produces and animals are abused to feed us. It’s a huge issue that the food industry just ignores. Since organic and traditional farming is too slow and too expensive, the market’s standard for food has dramatically dropped for decades.

8. Music


Think about how much great sounds we would miss out on if we didn’t have music. Such things that would makes us excited to hear in movies, games, and songs would be quite lifeless.

9. Mother Nature/Outdoors


Sometimes we are stuck indoors to the point it stresses us out and we forget that there is a world out there outside of our comfortable home. Enjoy the outdoors while you can. Nothing beats a beautiful change of scenery.

10. Being able to forgive and forget


The best way to find peace is being able to forgive and forget. In that way, you’ll be holding less grudges and feel lighter. We should not focus on the bad things in life and be upset about it. There are better things to do then fuss over little issues.

11. Our Five Senses


It is amazing how our bodies can touch, hear, see, taste, and smell. Without these qualities we would not be able to do much and miss out on life. Technically, we would not be able to do much without them.

12. Electricity


Thanks to all the people who worked hard towards making electricity available to people. People take it for granted and we should appreciate how much effort it took just to turn on the TV or to start the car. Electricity is not something easily obtain and thanks to many people, we do not have to live in a world where we could only rely on fire as a source of light.

13. Medicine and Health


If you get sick, you can just go get medicine over the counter at a store. Now that is rather quick, easy, and cheap compared to bringing a doctor to your home and having them diagnose you. Also, thanks to our advanced health knowledge and system, people are able to live up to 80+ years! It is really quite the accomplishment for human health and convenient for us.

14. Time


We think we have so much time in the world. Yes, we do have a lot of time. But time is precious only when people are losing it. Therefore, time should be appreciated and do things that will worth spending time on. Because once times is loss, it is something that cannot be returned.

15. Freedom


People have many freedoms in the U.S. We are able to choose our own religion, speak out, organized our on groups, able to believe in what we want, etc. Our freedom is limited in other ways, but for the majority we basically could do or go anywhere we can.  Freedom is one of those little things that allow us to enjoy other wonderful experiences.

16. Communication


Communication is one of those things that humans learn to do from birth. It’s not always something that is considered making our daily lives better. It is quite amazing how we can communicate not only through language, but through the Internet, music, letters, cellphones, radio, etc.

17. Every Single Day


We should enjoy every single day we have. Why? Every day is a new start and there are many things you can do just for a day! So it’s best to enjoy it.

18. Memories of our own


We have the ability to remember specific things and then it becomes part of your memory. It is something we can all enjoy (or not) depending on what kind of memory it is. Regardless, we should enjoy remembering old memories and making new ones.

19. Sun


Sunlight can be dangerous sometimes, but when it’s just the perfect amount it feels great to bathe in it. The sun and its light is what gives us the light we need for our day. Also, it does warm our bodies, our earth, and give life to other organism.

20. Toilet and toilet paper


We have a place to deposit our waste and thankfully, we have toilet paper to wipe it too. Without both, well life wouldn’t be clean.

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Every culture has superstitions in beliefs of evil, good, spirits, etc. In the Hmong culture where it is closely related to the spirit world, superstitions are built off the reason to warn people of danger. Here are some superstitions that the Hmong culture have:

  • Never whistle at night or sing kwv txhiaj (traditional Hmong singing) in unknown areas because it might attract ghosts/spirits answering to your voice or cause them to follow you home. Or/and don’t exchange kwv txhiaj with someone you can’t see for it might be a ghost replying back to you.
  • Don’t play hide and seek (especially at night or in the woods) outside where it will attract another player from the spirit world.
  • Lovers should not drink each other’s blood because when one of them pass away first, he/she will come back to take their life. It’s called ‘blood promise’.
  • Do not point to the moon at night or else the moon will cut your earlobes. (Usually towards children).
  • If someone suicide, they’ll be unable to reincarnate unless a sacrifice is made to take their place. So their soul would be stuck and may haunt in that place if nothing comes replace it.
  • Pregnant women must not go near large bodies of water for water spirits/dragons will take away the unborn child.
  • Children with baby teeth are believed to be able to see spirits.
  • Don’t say tiger bite (tsov tom) when you’re in the forest, or a tiger will bite you.
  • When a ancestor who already passed away visits you in your dreams, it means they need something like money, clothes, or help, etc, or wants to inform you about something. You have to call a shaman for help on what you can do.
  • If you are of another religion besides Shaman, you should not live in their house (unless you’re married into them, then your automatically Shaman) or the spirit of the house will be unhappy.
  • Do not pick up random stuff outside because it may be a ghost’s trap.
  • If you say bad things to your parents, it will bring karma later into your life.

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