How Much Do We Know About Coffee?

Coffee; Some people hate it whereas others cannot bear to live without it. Starbucks has made about $16 billion this past year and it has America’s addiction to coffee to thank. However, how much do we really know about coffee? We know that it gives us a boost of energy in the morning with all of that caffeine stored but apart from that, does it truly help us or is it actually harming our bodies?

As you probably expected by my previous sentence, coffee does not only provide benefits. Instant coffee and coffee passed through a paper filter have no bad effect on us but let’s face it, most of us love the sugary flavors added to our favorite drink. It is the added ingredients that are high in cafestol, which in turn raises cholesterol levels.

For pregnant women, coffee cannot be their best friend. This drink can cause miscarriages and low birth weight. Fetuses cannot metabolize caffeine in their stage of development, so it is encouraged for women to limit their caffeine intake while pregnant.

Thankfully, we can easily say that coffee provides us with some health benefits that most people would have never thought of. For older adults, coffee can help keep off Alzheimer’s disease for a longer period of time. It prolongs the cognitive impairment that leads to Alzheimer’s, therefore beneficial to the body.

Another disease, Parkinson’s disease, can be of lower risk to those who drink coffee. Men who drink coffee have a lower risk since the caffeinated drink prevents the nerve cells that produce dopamine from dying, which is the cause of Parkinson’s. Among women, it is slightly more complicated. Women that do not take any additional hormones are also of lower risk to Parkinson’s disease, but the women that take hormones do not receive the same benefit.

It also may lower the risk of most non-melanoma skin cancers, especially the most serious type, malignant melanoma. That is definitely something to celebrate about. There were studies that proved that coffee drinkers who had about four cups of coffee a day had a twenty percent lower risk of getting skin cancer than those who did not drink coffee whatsoever. However, there was another study that proved that decaffeinated coffee did not provide the same protection to people compared to caffeinated coffee.

Coffee can lower the risk of people getting one of the top ten health diseases: Type 2 Diabetes. Here is the surprise: it has nothing to do with the caffeine. Both decaf and caffeinated coffee help lower the risk, which means that there is something else that helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Scientists predict that the helping agent is chlorogenic acid, which is an antioxidant.  

For those who have low blood pressure, coffee can help. It increases blood pressure, but fortunately it has no link to hypertension. However, it is still advised that those with high blood pressure switch to decaf to be sure.

Mentally, coffee benefits us tremendously. Apart from giving us a boost of energy, studies show that, among women, regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk for depression.

So obviously, we can say that the benefits of coffee outweigh the harmful effects. Starbucks may resume their daily sales of the addictive drink with its various complicated names.

Bibliography:

“Health Perks of Coffee.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.

“10 Most Common Health Diseases.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 26 June 2010. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.

ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.

On the Way to Equal Pay

Anyone who has even remotely been following the upcoming presidential election knows that Hillary Clinton is a major advocate of women’s rights. She believes, as do I, that women’s rights and basic human rights should not be discussed as separate topics, but rather as one. With each passing year, the fight for gender equality becomes a more passionate one.

Women have been making less than men for equal jobs for far too long now. In order to rectify the situation, Clinton has decided to raise the minimum wage. Raising the pay for the lowest paying jobs will help to close the wage gap. How? The lowest paid jobs are disproportionately held by women. If all of them start to earn more money, then there won’t be as great a difference between a man’s salary and a woman’s salary. This will be the first step of many on the road to equality of the sexes.

The Paycheck Fairness Act “is designed to help those who believe they are victims of gender-based wage discrimination by making wages more transparent, by requiring that employers prove that wage discrepancies are tied to legitimate business qualifications and not gender, and by prohibiting companies from taking retaliatory action against employees who raise concerns about gender-based wage discrimination” (US News). In other words, if this bill is passed, women will be able to fight discrimination at work. Taking this a step further would mean advocating pay transparency across the economy so females have the needed information to negotiate their wages fairly.

If women start to earn more money, they will be able to take care of their families, and perhaps more specifically, their children. However, with the number of responsibilities that a woman assumes, she needs the time to manage them efficiently – which she cannot do if she’s not getting paid for that time she takes off. Work policies need to be put into place which allow paid leave and flexible scheduling. This will allow women to fulfill their obligations at home without sacrificing pay.

A crucial step towards gender equality and stronger families is establishing equal pay for men and women. A major part of Hillary Clinton’s political platform is establishing an empowered female presence in the United States. Her policies seem to be very effective and may just contribute to the turning point in the fight for women’s rights.

Elon Musk: A New Supervillain?

On Wednesday, Elon Musk appeared on “The Late Show” to talk about Tesla, Space X, and other innovative ideas that he’s had over the years. But on the show, he brought up a new idea about humans being able to inhabit Mars. Musk supports the idea of traveling to Mars and has his own ideas about how the planet can be made habitable for humans.

First off, Mars needs to be warmed up to the right conditions. Well, Elon Musk’s solution is to drop thermonuclear weapons. Colbert decided that based on Musk’s thinking he has to be called a “supervillain” and rightfully so.

Musk added that there were probably several ways to warm up Mars but the quickest way would probably be to drop a bomb. Other scientists who have studied Mars agree that it can be modified to make it closer to conditions on Earth but it would take time and a lot of effort to overcome the numerous obstacles. Furthermore, scientists are skeptical as to whether Musk’s new idea sets the right example. Planet and space exploration should be done in a way that keeps everything under ideal conditions and doesn’t disturb the balance of nature.

Other slower options of warming Mars seem to be amounting to extreme costs over time, which would have to be implemented. Elon Musk wants to help out and give new ideas and this last one is definitely interesting. However, being able to bomb Mars into a proper condition for humans seems out of reach at the moment.

Jock vs. Nerd

For the answer to the eternal question “Is it better to be a ‘jock’ or a ‘nerd’?”, consider the following:

When Michael Jordan played basketball he made over $300,000 a game. That equals $10,000 a minute, at an average of 30 minutes per game. With $40 million in endorsements, he made $178,100 a day, working or not. If he sleeps 7 hours a night, he makes $52,000 every night while visions of sugarplums dance in his head.

If he goes to see a movie, it’ll cost him $7.00, but he’ll make $18,550 while he’s there.

If he decides to have a 5-minute egg, he’ll make $618 while boiling it. He’ll make $3,710 while watching each episode of Friends. If he wanted to save up for a new Acura NSX ($90,000) it would take him a whole 12 hours.

If someone were to hand him his salary and endorsement money, they would have to do it at the rate of $2.00 every second.

He probably pays around $200 for a nice round of golf, but will make $33,390 while playing that round. Assuming he puts the federal maximum of 15% of his income into a tax-deferred account (401k), he will hit the federal cap of $9,500 at 8:30 am on January 1st of each year.

If you were given a penny for every 10 dollars he made, you’d be living comfortably at $65,000 a year.

He’ll make about $19.60 while watching the 100-meter dash in the Olympics.

He’ll make about $15,600 during the Boston Marathon.

While the common person is spending about $20 for a meal in his trendy Chicago restaurant, he’ll pull in about $5,600.

In his last year, he made more than twice as much as all U.S. past presidents did for all of their terms combined.

However, if Jordan saves 100% of his income for the next 250 years, he’ll still have less money than Bill Gates has today.

Game over.

Nerd wins.

The Butterfly Effect

When gazing upon the title we seem to jump to the conclusion that what I am writing about is a complex scientific theory that you probably will never come across. In fact it is the exact opposite, it is a simple metaphor used in everyday life. This prevalent term essentially means a small change in one state of a determined system that can result in larger differences in a later state, or in other words an obvious challenge to what is predicted. Now think about a place where you face challenges almost everyday that confront your predictions? Well considering the time and place today we see that it is 1 day until the start of school. Yes, school. There are some beliefs, attitudes,and realizations that can be altered to welcome the challenges that have been countering your predictions for the past years. The widely used poem ” Dream Big” ends off by saying  “The start of something new brings the hope of something great.” This exultant quote goes hand in hand with how to immerse yourself with the aforementioned ideals.

A belief that must be grounded within yourself to start of the year right, is really the belief in yourself, this way your life can be a whole lot broader. You must acknowledge and internalize the fact that everything around you was produced by people that are no smarter than you. Most importantly you should assimilate this belief in everyday life , so that you as a person can change it , can influence it ,can envision something greater. As Steve Jobs boldly said “You need to shake off this erroneous notion that life is just there, and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it. Change it, improve it. Make your mark upon it. And once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” In order to do so you have to look for the best in others, and also give the best you have by believing that you can.

An attitude that you can change is your perspective towards possessions or awards. For so many it is always about the prize that gives them satisfaction rather than the journey to achieve it. For so many it is the prize that gives purpose, not the renewed sense of purpose when learning. This normal attitude of desiring possessions can be refined to suit your reasoning behind it. For example, rather than being satisfied with the metallic award in your hand there can be a greater pleasure. The experience that lead to that achievement is the reason behind the award. The reason behind the experience however is truly greater; it is the joy in challenge, improvement upon each and every practice, and the satisfaction of learning. The ultimate truth is that your achievements are beautiful when knowing why you are doing so.

Lastly, the realization of your own meaning of success. You must realize that you have to forge your own path in the beginning.So really the only way u know how to do something new at the beginning is your own way.This means at the start you are going to be oblivious to your limitations , this may be seen as confidence among others. However, try not to be successful because of others, you must own your own meaning of success not have it determined by others.

If you learn to believe in yourself, change your desires for the purpose behind them , and realize that you’re the proud owner of the meaning behind your success, these small changes in your everyday life will result in greater differences. So  I encourage you to go make your future happen, because “the start of something new will bring the hope of something great.”