America’s Obesity Report Card: BIG FAT F

Last week the Trust for America’s Health released their annual “fat” report for 2011 — F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011 [PDF].

To better visualize the F that America receives year after year, below is the infamous fat map from the past 3 years. It just keeps getting REDDER.

This is an excerpt from TAH:

“Today, the state with the lowest obesity rate would have had the highest rate in 1995,” said Jeff Levi, Ph.D., executive director of TFAH. “There was a clear tipping point in our national weight gain over the last twenty years, and we can’t afford to ignore the impact obesity has on our health and corresponding health care spending.”

Read the press release here for a synopsis of the full report (which is 124 pages long).

Obesity is related to several health issues including Diabetes, Hypertension, sleep apnea… the list goes on (the risk of getting breast cancer even rises significantly).  The fatter we get, the sicker we are, and the poorer this nation will be. It is not surprising that the poorer an individual is, the more likely he or she will be obese and continue to create a culture of bad lifestyle habits for their family members. Affordable food is fast food and/or processed (Is that even food?! It’s more like S@#$!). If a person lives at or below the Federal Poverty Level, they are more likely to consume this type of food on a regular basis. This is an issue everyone living in this country should be concerned about. After all, taxpayers do pay for Medicaid.

It’s such a devastating trend and horrible culture of disease that we live in.

What can we do? Start with yourself! Live and lead a healthy and active life.


NPR: Summer Sounds Series

I love NPR’s current series on the sounds of summer; it reminds us all to appreciate the little things in life that make us happy. Below are a few of my favorites (click on the links to listen to the NPR story — each is between 1-3minutes long):

What sounds do you hear when you think of summer?
  • water splashing
  • waves crashing
  • ice cubes
  • bike wheels spinning
Who knew summer could be so fun to listen to! I can’t help but think of the Beach Boys when writing this. I did just see a Beach Boys cover band live…

Blog x 2

Two updates:

1. Thanks to PV, I have fully taken over  This means that it will no longer redirect you to when entering in as the URL. So if you just refresh your cookies, you will receive the correct RSS feed. I’ll continue to upload the same posts onto both Pear Gallery and WordPress for the next month or so for easy transition! RSS feed:

2. My non-running readers will no longer have to read my running posts in Pear Gallery because I will be sending all those to ANOTHER blog solely dedicated to running and fitness –> 32RUN. I’m still working on building it up, so please bear with me in the interim. Gracias! RSS feed:

Thanks for reading!

Awareness: Don’t eat that popcorn!

As you already know, I’m obsessed with infographics and their beautiful ways of sharing data –> DATA VISUALIZATION. Rather than telling someone, “hey, don’t eat that popcorn!” I can just show them this and they can SEE why. I love it. It’s all about increasing awareness and finding the most effective way to do it.

Bottled Water Infographic

About a year ago, I posted this video on the bottled water industry. Although it was effective in its own right in getting the message across, I’ve now found another way information and data can be shared effectively on the internet: infographics. Below is an excellent example of an infographic.

Morning Becomes Eclectic | KCRW

Back in 2004, one of my all-time favorite artists, Rachael Yamagata, recorded a few songs on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. I loved KCRW because of it.

But hello, it’s been 7 years! I had completely forgotten about the show until now. Although I have since then graduated high school and college, entered the working world, and gone on with my life, this show has changed very little. It is still showcasing some of the best artists out there and they are usually not very well known – which is particularly what makes it so good! They even had Rachael return for a second recording when she released her second LP in 2008. Below are some of my favorite recordings:

The Naked and Famous: Young Blood

Lykke Li: I Follow Rivers

Local Natives: Wide Eyes

The XX: Crystallized

Angus and Julia Stone: Big Jet Plane

Long live the love of all things indie.


For May 17th, 2011, National Geographic’s Photo of the Day was of camel thorn trees in Namibia by Frans Lanting. [Official caption: Tinted orange by the morning sun, a soaring dune is the backdrop for the hulks of camel thorn trees in Namib-Naukluft Park.]

I’ve become drawn to this photo, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot get my mind to wrap around it. At first glance, it looks like a simple, yet gorgeous painting. If you view it moving slowly from the bottom going up, the ground and the bottoms of the trees look real. As the trees start to curve in seemingly unnatural directions and the orange hue of the sun sets in, this is when my brain begins to misinterpret what my eyes are showing me. I JUST DON’T GET IT and yet, I think I am in love with it. Perhaps this is the beauty and essence of art. Simultaneously captivating and provoking. This is photography and nature at it’s absolute best.

I visited Frans Lanting’s website and found a plethora of his other work. I’ve selected a few to show here. If I’m ever in Santa Barbara, I will make it a point to visit his gallery.