Lois Capps Announces $50,000 to the San Luis Fire Department

Lois Capps may have been in favor in the media lately, but today she turned a new leaf. Capps announced  the San Luis Fire Department  would receive $50,000 to buy new equipment such as thermal cameras, and other safety equipment.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted the money to the department, which was in high demand with the limited budget the fire department faces.

Capps stated that in a fire, every second is cruical. These new cameras will help the department more quickly find fire victims and pull them out safely

Photo By Talk Radio News Service

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With a Class Coming To an End, How Have I Done?

I am sad to say I am coming to the end of Journalism 285, the class that I maintain my blog for. When I first started this quarter, I was overwhelmed by the professionalism of the blogs that previous students had made. I am proud to say that when I know look at my site, it looks like the site of a professional blogger.

The biggest positive feedback I have received was about my layout and my color scheme. I feel like that is the initial thing to draw in a reader, and that is what will make them read my blog over another. Many people told me they enjoyed the layout, the color scheme and my header. They said immediately they gave me credibility, even before they had reviewed my material.

I am also very proud of myself for finding a different professional in the field of my article to give me advice to tell my readers every week. A big part of a blog is giving out professional and credible advice. I would hope to think I gave my readers tips that are useful and truthful. In every post I tried to give the reader something they could take from my blog and use in their everyday life.

I think if I were to continue my own blog, however, I would add more graphics and less text. The kind of blogs that people would want to read and the blogs that I read are all media based. Usually there are a few paragraphs of explanation, but the creative photo shots or video segments are what makes the blog exciting and unique. The ability to work well with video editing and photography makes a good blog. I would move more in that direction.

To keep my blog financially independent is difficult. It is hard to put advertisement on my blog because I want to keep trust with my readers and not make my site feel spam-like. I may start asking local businesses in my town if they wanted to advertise. These businesses would be ones that have to do with natural fitness, health and beauty. If this was not enough, I could try and expand knowledge of my blog through Facebook, Twitter, and following and commenting on other blogs in hopes that those bloggers would turn around and look at my blog. Once I got my number of views to increase, I could use this to pull in advertisements. Google ads is also an option if I felt unsatisfied with the advertisement offers of companies in my town.

One thing I would do beyond this quarter is make the site a little more creative and less professional. I would post recipes I made, natural outfits or make up I put together, stores I encountered and so on. Creativity and uniqueness is something I see in many professional bloggers that are popular. They are not simply relaying good information, they are creating good information; information that cannot be found anywhere else because it is their own information. That is what I would do to make my site more professional.

Barefoot Running; Feel the Earth.

They are called the forefoot strikers. They feel the earth with their heels and breath the air in with their toes. Barefoot runners’ have taken off as the leaders in natural fitness by touching nature at every step.

Kinesiology professor and lecturer on barefoot running Robert Clark and Brian Polidorim, an avid runner who has run a half marathon (City to Sea) and a Half Ironman (Wildflower) in barefoot shoes, gave some insight to this freeing phenomenon.

Health and Speed Benefits.

1. It helps strengthen muscles in our foot.

“Ironically really good running shoes can lead to chronic injury,” Clark says.

A running shoe is, “analogous to wearing an ankle brace or having a cast. It immobilizes joints and muscles loose ability to control motion.”

Polidori also has a personal testimony of this.

“Over time, I’ve found that I my ankles are stronger, and I never really twist my ankle running trails because there is no platform, therefore creating less torque on your ankle when you do step on something funny.”

2. Gives the runner a faster stride.

When converting to barefoot running, the motion changes from a heel strike, which means when running the heel

Being a forefoot striker, your ball of your hits the ground first. Photo is edited. Photo by Mia Mendola

hits the ground first, to a forefoot striker.

After your forefoot hits, your heel goes down, but barley hits the ground, then pops back up. Photo is illustrated. Photo by Mia Mendola

“If you are a forefoot striker, you land on the front of your foot and then the heel comes down, but does not hit the ground, and it immediately goes back up again,” Clark says

Why is this more beneficial?

When heel striking it is, “creating a breaking motion that slows you down. I can honestly say that I am a much stronger runner because I stopped using trainers (running shoes),” says Polidori.

3. The feeling is freeing.

It will make anyone giddy.

Barefoot Shoes or Just Barefoot?

A barefoot shoe is not needed to run barefoot. But there are specific barefoot running shoes that can help or hurt.

  • Polidori uses the Vibram KSO’s, aka the 5-finger shoe. This protects the feet from the ground, but does not have a heel like normal running shoes.
  • Avoid the “barefoot running” running shoe. “Some of the shoes, transitional barefoot shoes, could be worse than regular running shoes, because have a heel lift. Anytime you have that, you are more likely to land on your heel,” Clark says.

How To Start?

No person can go directly to barefoot running. Tips for starting are:

  • Give a few months to transition. 8 months is an average time it could take for the foot and ankle muscles to adjust.
  • Start somewhere soft, such as grass or the beach.
  • Start off walking.

Barefoot running is hitting everyone. “After hearing one of Professor Clark’s lectures, I was immediately interested in barefoot running,” says Cal Poly Triathlon Team member Nick Shields.

*Even though this commercial shows these barefoot Nike shoes, they are just the kind of transitional shoes that could be worse for you than normal running shoes. The purpose of the video is to show the freeing feeling of running barefoot.*

Journalists Searching for Clicks, Not Creative Content. An Assignment for Journalism 285

 

All over the country, bloggers and online journalists are searching for one thing, clicks and views. It seems that the media determines credibility and quality of a blog on quantitative data recently, completely forgetting the qualitative data that it needs to be paired with. Just because a blogger has 1,000 clicks an hour doesn’t mean that they are the best blogger in the country. Here is why:

  • It is manipulative. You could have a video on your website that causes the reader to click twice, once to play and once to stop. This automatically gives you two clicks above the blogger who has no video online, but may have a great story.
  • What if the bandwidth is bad? The reader is probably constantly clicking on the page, trying to make it load, but that doesn’t mean that they are clicking to read your content.

According to Price Waterhouse Cooper, “From January through July overall online ad revenues declined 5.3% to $10.9 billion down from $11.5 billion in the same period of 2008.” How could this be?

 

My best guess is that the number of clicks is going down because the interest and quality of stories is going down, in result, the amount of ad dollars is directly affected. As aggregating increases and blogs become repetitive, the actual content that comes in a blog is decreasing. Also, when a writer is focused on just finding clicks and not what he is actually writing, the reader that is looking for a take home message, a real story, is disappointed. There are only so many blog posts that can be about Kim Kardashian’s divorce and American Idol results. There needs to be something else. Real content. That will lead to real clicks.

Horseback Riding: A Natural Fitness That Is More Than Just Sitting In the Saddle

Natural Fitness is all about getting out of the gym, off of the machines, and dropping the weights to head outside to something more natural and satisfying.

Horseback riding can do just that. With strength and muscle building focused on the core, back, legs and arms, you get a strengthening workout paired with a companionship of a gentle and loving animal.

I talked to Lindsey Minor, a professional horse trainer, and her two students Brianna Haeckl and Shannon Rohring to learn how different exercises  in horseback riding promote different muscle strengths.

Here is the general gist,

To get a horse to go forward, or to turn, it is a combination of different levels of leg pressure and different twists

In this picture, Lindsey Minor is tightening her core to keep her back and core straight, and tightening her leg muscles to keep them straight on the horses side and even with her shoulder. Photo is illustrated. Photo by Mia Mendola

with your torso. To get a horse to stay at a consistent pace, the core, meaning back and stomach, have to be clenched and tight, and the leg muscles clenched to stay still. This tells the horse to keep going at its pace, because any slight movement of the body can tell it to either slow down or speed up.

And to keep your body still while it is being thrust forward from a horses’s movement is well, challenging.

Find out how they do it!

How to Aggregate

Hello My Naturally Beautiful Readers!

As an assignment for my journalism class, I have to re-write an article I found on the internet and then, of course, attribute to that source. I am trying to show all of you how easy it is to copy information off of the internet. There are thousands of people everyday who steal articles from the internet, and use that articles ideas and content as their own. This is simply not right. Eventually, we will become a society of aggregators with no one to actually produce content.

Here is my try at aggregating:

The thousands of beauty, fitness and health articles that hit the blogosphere everyday make it easy to have big plans. Seeing homemade hair care recipes, mineral makeup that is sheer and natural, or a recipe for chickpea brownies, it is easy to get overwhelmed with plans to try all of these things.

But who has time to do every little tip and trick read online?

Having a few Natural Beauty resolutions is a great way to make sure you get on track to becoming a natural beauty, instead of just reading about one.

“Taking care of your body and soul is a worthwhile ambition, and a commitment that can positively affect your life on a daily basis,” says The Natural Beauty Workshop.

Remember, our resolutions should have tactics, that is, ways you can take action. They should also be broad so you do not accumulate thousands of overwhelming ideas.

  • Self Improvement- While it may just be looking in the mirror and thinking saying you look beautiful, taking time to pick out an outfit that is unique to you, or letting yourself take that 15 minute power nap, make yourself feel satisfied with the way you are livin . Doing this will really bring up your self esteem, evoking true natural beauty.
  • Balance Your Diet: Eating a wholesome diet that includes all your food groups in proper proportions, and drinking plenty of water is a great key to natural beauty. It keeps your weight at a natural level, increases smoothness and cleanliness of skin, and gives you natural energy to do whatever you need to during the day!
  • Say Bye Bye to Cheap Makeup- These makeup brands are fairly cheap because they use human made chemicals that can ultimately hurt your skin, and look unnatural.
  • Treat Yourself- a facial, spending extra time to do an oil treatment on your hair, or getting yourself a little massage can do wonders for our body. And if you are feeling good, you are automatically looking good!

Sources: The Natural Beauty Workshop, http://www.naturalbeautyworkshop.com/my_weblog/2012/01/natural-beauty-resolutions.html

The Vow and Natural Beauty

Hello Everyone

There has been so much hype about the movie The Vow that just came out in theaters, so I decided to live tweet from the movie. Rachel McAdams in all her rolls, as well as in her day to day life, seems to carry herself with respect, a genuine personality, and little makeup. I see her as a woman who is glowing with natural beauty!

Check out my Twitter page @CPNaturalBeauty to see my live tweets from the theater.

And I promise, no spoiler alerts.

Meet Me Halfway

Hello Readers 🙂

I am now half way done with winter quarter at Cal Poly, meaning I am half way done writing this beautiful blog! It blows my mind to think just a month ago I didn’t even know what WordPress was, and now I am utilizing it to share natural tips and tricks with you!

One of my biggest successes with this blog, I feel, was really narrowing my topic. In the beginning, I just wanted to write about beauty and fashion, considering those are the blogs that I believe are the most fascinating and visually appealing ( see links to some of these blogs further down). I think that I have successfully made each post about natural ways to keep up your health and beauty, adding a special ingredient to separate my blog from all the other beauty/health blogs on the b-roll.

The number of views The Natural Beauty recieves, however, is somewhat of a concern. I know there are others in my class that have thousands of views. I have 200. I am trying to engage you, the reader, the best I can with polls, videos, and interesting graphics. The thing I do need to work on is marketing my blog. I need to follow more people on Twitter and activley post on the Twitter page. I also need to post my blog on my Facebook page. That automatically connects me to 1000 people who could potentially ready my blog.

I try to make my writing conversational by giving tips and tutorials, engaging the readers by saying either do this, eat this or make that. I believe that writing as if you are talking to your friends instead of a formal approach is really what captures the audience.

For the rest of my blog, I want to make a promise that I will try my best to engage my readers, poll them, report through social media when I have new posts, and try to find more exciting topics. I think the key to any blog is to post ideas that are original and get their minds in the state of supernatural.

Blogs that I think Work:

  • Cupcakes and Cashmere: This is my go-to blog and it is one of the blogs that actually made me interested in becoming a journalist. The large graphics that are focused on the subject of the picture really capture the eye right away. The color scheme and header are interesting, and have that vintage feel to it, so it pops but is not overwhelming. There is also a great mix of content. The posts usually switch from tutorial, to review, to video. The writer of the blog, Emily, is now so established that major make-up companies, fashion designers and celebrities frequent her blog and choose her to be part of their media campaigns. This makes her extremely credible and dependable.
  • Sea of Shoes: This blog is mainly a photo blog, which I think makes it the most appealing! Large images focused on the subject, with interesting fades and backgrounds, really makes a blog. The photos are inspirational and can probably tell the story better than words. The layout is very simple, just pictures, text and an original header. I think an original header is essential to any blog. It separates you from the hundreds of other users using your same theme. The writer, Jane, also does a mix of different content from opinion, to tutorials and accounts of daily happenings, her blog does more than give information, it tells a story.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Food for thought

This video is of Emily, the writer of Cupcakes and Cashmere, showing one of her contracts with Juicy Couture. Cant get more credible in the fashion world than that!

As Natural As Haircare Can Be

The chemicals in hair dye, the extreme heat of the hairdryer, and hair frozen in place from hairspray is anything but natural. Yet, hair care is so appealing to women all across the country, so to make your hair look as natural as possible is a must!

Amanda Duckett from Renaissance Salon came to talk to a group of girls about some of her favorite hair products, styles and ideas to keep hair care as natural as can be.

Healthy Hair:

Yes, there is no way to style your hair or use products for it to still be deemed “natural.” But there are ways around it.

Do:

  • Avoid using products with harsh alcohols that fry your hair. Amanda’s secret: Use MoroccanOil Products (find out more about these products further down!)
  • Don’t over wash your hair! This can dry out your hair and prevent it from excreting its natural oils. Amanda’s secret: Use baby powder to dry up greasy hair. You can have clean looking hair without washing everyday!
  • Cheap hair curlers and straighters don’t get hot enough to curl your hair properly. Using a curling iron or straighter that goes to a higher heat will get the job done faster, creating less damage. Amanda’s secret: Use Hot Tools products.

Gels, Sprays and Treatments, Which To Choose?

A girl’s craze with finding a multitude of different hair products to solve every hair emergency is almost as obsessive as Labrador chasing a tennis ball. Duckett says you don’t have to fall into the trap of spending money on tons of different products.

“I am not a heavy product user. When it comes it products, you can use too much. I always think if there is one thing you can do good for your hair it is to use just one good product, MorrocanOil is that product.”

“It makes your hair shiny, moisturizes it and doesn’t weigh it down because there is no silicone in it,” says Duckett. “It can also be used by any hair type.”

Want the more natural option to moisturize your hair?

  1. Rinse your hair with warm water.
  2. Put a tablespoon of olive oil and 1 drop of lavender essential oil on your head. Massage through scalp down to tips
  3. Wrap hair up into a shower cap, let sit for 3o minutes, and then rinse

Hair Care Around San Luis Obispo

Natural Curls

Duckett showed me how to curl your hair, but make it look natural and wavy!

Tools: 1.5 inch curling iron, hair brush

A Hot Tools Curling Iron, 1.5 Inch Barrel. Photo is Illustrated. Photo by Mia Mendola

Her best tip about curling? Dont start at the bottom of your hair.

“Amanda showed me that my ends dry out super easily because I have been curling my hair starting at the bottom,” says Megan Korp, a student who participated in Duckett’s talk.

Remember, if you have thicker hair, take smaller chunks. ” Having thick hair, I can get waves even by doing smaller pieces, because my hair is so thick,” says Jenna Davis, a frequent hair curler.

Want more practice?

Check out this video!