Plant Power

How to increase oxygen in your own home despite depletion of rain forests


Pollution produces multitudes of health risks like developing asthma in children. This is not helped by the fact that much of the pollution is bolstered by the reduction of rain forests annually. Research indicates that pollution can be over 27 times more elevated inside one’s own house than it is outside.

This causes great concern since a majority of US citizens and others living in developed countries spend most of their time in doors.  Poisonous vapors being released into the air can come from furnishings, apparel, colorants, construction frame work used to build homes and even cleaning products. All of these fumes combine to form a smoldering mixture of chemicals that can wear on the human respiratory system and that of pets too.

Solutions?  Grow or get more plants indoors. Keeping house plants can reduce these damaging effects as they can pull unwanted additives from the air. The act of plants combatting lethal additives in air is called phytoremediation. Phytoremediation allows plants to sweep up household toxins. Stanley J. Kays of Georgia University led a trial among 28 popular house plants and discovered a select few of them diminished aerial pollutants in the house.

Among the most prominent air purifying plants were the purple waffle plant, the asparagus fern, the wax plant and the English ivy as reported by analysis printed by HortScience, an online journal that publishes horticultural articles. Plants provide a more natural way to breathe easier and eliminate toxins that could otherwise make a person ill in their homes. They have been proven to not only serve as wonderful lively décor but are providers of the oxygen and fresh air no human could live without.

This photo is from Photopin.

photo credit: <a href=”″>After the Rain</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;



Public Vs. Christian Schools


My travels between public and private schools have taught me there is often no difference between the two.


Going to public school in the inner city was quite stressful. There were enormous class sizes and very little one on one time with the teacher. This wasn’t the greatest issue however, it was the students. There were often quarrels between students and teachers mostly from the students irate about being reprimanded for talking in class.

I observed children who didn’t fit in social circles being met with a barrage of insults from others. This can cause anxiety, lowered self-esteem and a phobia of going to school for fear of being teased. Class sizes being what they are in many public schools, this demeaning behavior often goes unnoticed.

What I noticed upon my stay at Philadelphia Mennonite High School, a Christian private school located in Girard was that it was the same if not worse than the public school dilemmas. Not all but many of the students and even staff carried an air of arrogance. The vice principal could be seen sneering at students, looking them up and down in disapproval.

While there were prayer and Bible classes, many things weren’t right – contradictory even. I recall certain students claiming to be Christians but openly gossiping about students well within ear shot of their target. This was not only rude, but vicious.

I recall working in my earth science group when out of nowhere two girls began talking to me about their times in the bedroom with their boyfriends in vivid detail. I couldn’t help but shy away from the conversation. I came there to learn and gain a faith-based education, but so many students’ minds just weren’t there. This occurred quite often. On one occasion the teacher had to intervene and remind them that lewd speech was not the object of the class.

Aside from this, bullying was alive and well in this school. I witnessed a girl in my grade being picked on by two other students—a big burly teen aged boy and a thin girl every day. They would call her names like “freak” and “jacka**” for no reason. In spite of this she became the president of the 10th grade and held regular meetings with the class to discuss fund raisers, but this didn’t stop them. While she addressed the class, these same students would yell “impeach!” and “how about some impeach pie or cobbler?” The teacher immediately sent the disruptive student to the office.

The girl worked hard and was commonly on the honor roll but suffered from the gossip of some of her peers and the verbal and occasional physical abuse of the two bullies who would not leave her alone. Sometimes she was caught crying in the hallway and there was the rare incident when another student stepped in to help her.

Her mother was almost constantly at the school to comfort her daughter and even went as far as to be late for work to make sure her daughter was OK. This was how bad the situation of bullying was for her. I was glad to know that the girl had such strong support from home and that she was not completely alone, but her mother couldn’t be there with her everyday.

Another issue was teacher quality. One Sociology teacher in particular had a very nasty attitude towards students and knew this much about herself because she remarked that, “At first when you meet me you think I’m mean, but I’m not that bad.” The following months put meaning behind those words. She carried an air of bitterness with her and would often snap at students for no reason. It was contradictory to have such a person working in a so-called “Christian” school. It’s is important to maintain a professional attitude characteristic of the environment you are in. Furthermore, all students are not alike and treating them with meanness may harm or even turn them away from the very faith a school seeks to promote. You never know what anyone or student is going through and treating them that way may compound their issues. Some think this type of treatment prepares students for the “real world,” but why take the nastiest of behaviors to imitate? Wouldn’t it fair better to build students up through scripture in a supposedly Christian school? Living the life of a follower of God carries its own trials without adding these types of matters to it.

I learned much from this school as my objective was education, but from what I witnessed, it is a testament that whether or not a school has a shining crest on it doesn’t indicate that it is a safe or conducive environment to thrive in, it may not even be free of verbal abuse from certain teachers.

I went to this “Christian” school to escape stuff like this, not have it magnified. This article is not attempting to degrade any school either public or private, but to bring to light the fact that ill-meaning teachers, low quality curriculum and bullying can occur anywhere, at any schools no matter what the religion, race or creed.

The photo is from Photopin.

Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is a sweet ingredient that often spices up our cookies, but it may also save from millions from cancer. Ginger is not only great tasting, but a power house when it comes to killing cancer cells. Its effectiveness is even being likened to chemotherapy, but much less toxic.


Ginger has dual ways of killing cancer, one of which is apoptosis. Apoptosis is a property of ginger that causes the cancer cells to self-destruct, or die naturally while leaving normal cells unharmed. Another way ginger disposes of cancer cells is through autogaphy, or fooling the cancer into devouring its own cells.

Ginger is elemental in advancing against cancer because chemotherapy only kills cancer in one way which leaves room for the cancer to adapt. Ginger has two known ways of killing the harmful cells whereas Chemotherapy could allow the cancer to become immune. A study announced ginger as being able to not only kill cancer, but hinder its progression in the body making it more harmless.

Those looking to acquire these life-saving benefits from ginger need only incorporate it into their diet. Eating products with ginger root in them can prevent cancer and help destroy it where it is present. Ginger can be eaten in a variety of ways: through supplements, ginger candy, drinking it as a tea, cooked in a meal, eating it raw etc.

General benefits of ginger include the reduction of queasiness. It has been noted to ease stomach discomfort and prevent vomiting which can lessen dependence on drugs after surgeries for a more natural approach.

The overall effectiveness of ginger is astounding, but should not be implemented until having spoken with a health specialist first for a specific ailment.

The photo is from Photopin.

Living near La Salle

La Salle, a well-known Catholic University may be known for its educational opportunities but some residents know it by something e14435073373_f4a5084e6alse: The racism that permeates their neighborhoods.









This article surveys my general experiences living near La Salle University and what my mother and me have witnessed during our stay.
My mother and me found ourselves living a few blocks short of La Salle University and along our four year stay we’ve encountered many hardships. Our neighbors were reluctant to speak when we would greet them and we were frequently insulted whenever we stepped out the front door. To make matters worse, some residents kept bringing their dogs to leave droppings in our yard despite us putting up signs asking them to stop.

This caused grave concern because it exacerbated my mother’s fragile health. She was educator who was injured in a classroom.

Getting things repaired in our neighborhood has been a hassle as my mother and me did not have phone service because of how shoddy the wiring in the telephone poles were. Each house received a telephone cable through a mess of wires that ran along the ground in the alleyway. We called the phone company, but their only response was that Verizon Fios had been overdue for that neighborhood for years. My mother and me had to contact an investigator by the name of Harry Hairston from NBC News to get resolution. The problem was fixed after a few days when we reported it.

Aside from the unsavory attitudes of most neighbors, crime was an apparent issue as well. Our entire household was awakened at 4 a.m. in the morning when we heard footsteps on the roof. We had to call the police who deemed it to be an attempted break in. They also had to document a crowd disbursement as many residents filed out of their homes in anger as to why the police were there.

This revealed a deeper issue: the neighbor relations in connection to the off-campus La Salle students. Tales of racism ran amuck as denizens described drunken white La Salle students getting intoxicated and walking on rooftops. So that’s what that was…

One disheartening account came from an 85 year old black man I spoke to personally. He said the college students would urinate on his lawn regardless of him telling them to stop and when the police arrived the students would say, ‘We’re white and we don’t have to do what they say because they’re ni****.’ The cops, who are suspected of sending white officers to sympathize with the college students, would only tell the students to quiet down and not arrest them for continued harassment. This is nothing new for the 85 year old as he has lived in the La Salle area since the 60s.

Waiting for the bus was like crossing from one world into another as residents are seemingly under inspection and watched under a leery eye from guards as though they’ll commit a crime at any moment. Local residents may find themselves in this predicament as they pass from their homes into the La Salle vicinity. This does not just apply to waiting for buses, but grocery shopping as well.

The area surrounding La Salle is predominantly black which begs the question, “Why can’t there be peace between the two parties?” I learned that not only have the blacks been at odds with each other including me and my mom who are new residents, they struggle with the racism La Salle students have brought to their door. This is a fault on both sides and proves that whether or not you live near a prestigious Catholic school, it does not guarantee that its inhabitants will act with respect and decency and the surrounding occupants either.
Even in 2016, race issues have not abated and tension runs rampant between blacks and whites across this country. As human beings, not only do we mistreat each other but we tend to leave a legacy of hate for our children to inherit. As the saying goes, this is like handing them an antiquated check that cannot be cashed – it’s a useless offering that no intelligent individual should indulge in. If only the masses would agree to work together real change could be afforded and unjust laws even if unspoken would be overturned and society could progress.

A greater force is at work here and this includes the mindset. American society is steeped in the ideology that lighter skin is better, persecuting others is acceptable and that allowing any attempts to move America forward to become stagnant and ineffective is OK (i.e. waiting for people to die to figure out driving drunk is unsafe).

Many will hate this, but the farther America pulls away from God, the deeper in treachery it will sink. Until the US understands that it needs to strengthen its faith in holy higher power and treat its own citizens with equality, it will stay in a morally unjust position.

Without Jesus, no success my mother and me have would have been possible. My mother has her evangelism certificate and we both know the value of praying. God is the only reason I have obtained my Bachelor’s degree and am able to acknowledge Him. He is important in all of our lives.

End note: The photo above is only a similar interpretation of La Salle University and not an exact photo or representation of the La Salle building. The photo is from Photopin.