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Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice: A millennial black's perspective Nov. 29, 2016

Author: Akeem Spencer

Let's get some things about myself openly expressed, so I can affiliate my bipartisanship about this highly stigmatized topic: <br> <br> 1. I am an African-American of Jamaican descent, a natural-born citizen of America and the first-generation American. 2. I was raised in single-parent household in NY. ---------- <br> This post reflects MY own experiences as an only-child raised within the confines of single-parenthood and how pro-life vs pro-choice can sometimes see a mutual consensus on risks and gains on the procedure of abortions. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services', the CDC reports [pregnancy rates][1] from 1900 to 2009 down 53% and 18-19 year-olds pregnant down 37%. African-American pregnancies from ages baseline 15 to 40 and up result in approximately 36% induced abortion, compared to 12% for non-hispanic whites and 17% for hispanics. <br> <br> Prenatal abortions have dropped at a historical rate for women of all colors and identities, but African-American abortions are at a higher percentage compared to other races due primarily to a wide variety of factors. I'm a big proponent on fact-checking before publishing and through one of the top google searches on the query statement: "what percentage of black Americans decide yes for abortions", the first link that cropped to the top of the search engine was an archived article from the magazine newsletter "The Atlantic", with the main title called [abortions-racial-gap][2]. Scanning through the article I found some interesting findings throughout the article published in 2014. According to Christine Dehlendorf, a professor of family and community medicine at the University of California (still practicing), she links a correlation of the highest casualties of abortions due to structural societal determinants such as income, racism, opportunities, and historical contexts; all being correlated or independent variables "with" very little data to prove a degree of statistical significance or relevancy between each factor. <br> <br> I got the authorization and ability to read and filter through Christine Dehlendorf's 2013 article titled, "Disparities in Abortion Rates: A public Health Approach". Through the research, in 2011 it was determined the abortion rate in 2011 was higher than in most developed countries. Now through Guttmacher Institute, women of low economic status between 2000 to 2008 have represented 42.4% of abortions in 2008 and the [abortions][3] have increased by 17.5% between 2000 and 2008. On the upside like described in the beginning, the percentage of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion decreased; and the rate of unintended pregnancies ending in birth increased, reaching 27 per 1000 women.While abstinence is shown on a positive slope, sexual initiation for black adolescences are the youngest out of the racial groups. And though condoms are recommended and used by black teens the most, the contraceptive is less effective vs alternative methods for childbirth prevention. And to make matters worth, the procedure for abortions are in the domain of $543-$1562 depending on gestation period. <br> <br> One underlying factor is attributed to income and how affluent the patient is. A guttmacher report credits intrauterine devices (IUDs) as the primary reason for a drop in pregnancy and [abortion rates][4]. However, many pro-life advocates would argue abstinence and state-restrictions as the reasons toward a decline in abortions nationwide. <br> <br> One factor that points towards abortions being prominent is due to wealth-disparity, but to understand costs, It would be efficient to analyze the cost of manufacturing and producing IUDs and the cost for the production of birth control pills. The average cost of a 'paragard' IUD unit would cost between $600.00-$900.00. But according to PPHP (planned parenthood partnership)'s website, the IUD uses a copper filament and has a life cycle of 10-12 years. More information to come later.... [1]: http://198.246.102.49/nchs/data/databriefs/db136.pdf [2]: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/abortions-racial-gap/380251/ [3]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21606746 [4]: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/abortions-racial-gap/380251/

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Authentication...how safe are you? Nov. 20, 2016

Author: Akeem Spencer

This week has been a roller coaster in terms of website security, failsafe proofing, and making sure my content isn't distributed in the wrong hands. In today's generation, we're starting to truly envision what I like to call "maverickism". The tech industry is beginning to realize that content should be shared, yes, but at what cost? Young entrepreneurs are rising and seeing a cost increase in efficient productive IoT in their own companies. Stores are beginning to cut back on their square lot space for smaller store fronts and are relying on internal transaction and analytics for revenue. However data breaches are still a common issue and if public information is exposed, it is quite likely blackmailing and fraud will occur subsequently as well. The latest attacks in worldwide CDN sites like GitHub, Reddit, and Sony were brute-force DDOS attacks where a traceback from the attack is hard to pinpoint. <br> <br> Brute force attacks occur with a continuous trial and error of using authentication credentials until a valid login and password combination is correct. But it isn't reflected on everyday devices such as laptops, desktops, or even mobile devices. This happens to occur on small-to-mid size semi-industrial applications like drones, headphones, home-automation security, and the underlying fastest growing IoT device......vehicles. <br> <br> I understand how important and sacred our personal information is, but for small-businesses and Americans, your information is still at the disposal of many cyber threats due to the fact that millions of computers have wi-fi and high LTE satellite connection. At least get to know your computer software, the personnel and staff you're giving admin rights to, and the OS platform you're doing most of your work on. I find it beneficial to give some tips on safety being a tech geek myself. Take a moment to inform yourself on how to become more data sensitive with your technology before it gets into the wrong hands (or the wrong servers!). ## **1. SSL everything! ** You're about to purchase a new car, that new Hyundai Elantra and you've done the cost calculations. It has great mileage, low maintenance fees, powertrain warranty and yeah you get the gist. It also has voice navigation, push-to-start key electric ignition and a touch-panel dashboard interface. Yeah that's really cool, but is it safe? And when I safe, I'm not talking about safe from carjackers or from collisions, but safe from cyber-threats. Is the software configured in the car SSL and ssh-proof? What are the chances of "hacking" or "hijacking" the motherboard cpu within the car? These aren't stupid questions, you're asking your phone-provider these questions when you'r looking to purchase a new phone, so why aren't you asking your car dealer the same questions? As cars become more innovative with technology, you're also growing your content within your cloud or database. All of that information is going to a customized server somewhere. It makes sense to make sure the integrity of the manufacturer is scaling the product with close-to-seal-proof internet access and public/private keys are stored within the environment of non-sentient machines. Make sure the devices you have ownership on have a PROVEN track-record on low data breaches and overall cyber safety. <br> <br> SSL stands for *Secured Socket Layers*, the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral according to [googles top-link][1]. As you begin to start your own content or have more integral components across different architectures, your beginning to spread yourself thin and exposed. Make sure your web browser has an SSL link and certification. I know I'm not practicing what I'm preaching, but I'm beginning to take nothing for granted and seal everything and close off all sites trying to gain access. Malware and viruses were and are still prominent in software, but your personal and business material should be safely secured due to an increasing presence of malacious and devious outsiders. According to Tim-Lee Bernes (the godfather of WWW), networks are available in 40% of the world population, and the number is increasing drastically by 2% each year. With all the data threats existing and counting, be sure to take security measures seriously by safeguarding your personal and corporate data which leads me to my next point. ## ** 2. Treat algorithms like a box of chocolates ** Nothing is 100% prone to data penetration, nothing. When I say you have to treat algorithms like a box of chocolates, you truly have to treat them as such. Algorithms like boxes of chocolate, are unique in taste, but are gone after awhile. Your login authentication hashing encryption, whether it be bcrypt, devise, or your trusted SHA encryption, begins to have flaws after a large community sources these types of encryption dependencies. If I'm scaring you then good, you need to have a jolt of awareness with the amount of data breaches going on. Iteration solvers are becoming faster and taking less In-Memory processing computation. Combined with higher presence of IoT physical applications, a novice hacker can move on to each CPU and perform solver hashing iterations. Be sure to look at how exactly login authentication works. <br> <br> For me, I come from a Ruby on Rails platform utilizing an MVC framework, but it's crucial to try and search for algorithms that are correct for your design constraints. Take for instance, this very website you're viewing. I used Django and flask for WSGI connections, and you don't have to sign in or login to view my page. But if I wanted to add that extra parameter where people sign in (a dwindling concept in some areas) I can. You don't have to reinvent the wheels so to speak when creating user authentication. Django is powered by Python, and python has some unique hashing algorithms. I like python for the simplicity of OOC inheritance, but it can also do good for security purposes as well. Django follows the MVC framework but's its switched to MTV, "Model-Template-Views", and its consortium of using binary dependencies are similar to Ruby on Rails, Node, or whatever backend framework you use. You could go and use the same middleware security for your network that django supplies, but it safe to devise (not the dependency, but an actual independent construction of your own password) a function that keeps password encrypted. Python has something that's called a `decorator`, that wraps and modifies the usage of a function you have implemented. What's nice about this syntactic feature is the expressive power of it. For instance, I can delegate a markdown for my headers using this script: def tags(*listargs): def tags_decorator(func): def func_wrapper(name): empty_tag = "<%s>" empty_close_tag = "</%s>" extended_close = "" for tag in listargs: extended_close += empty_tag %(tag) extended_close += " " + func(name) tag_list = list(tupargs) tag_list.reverse() for tag in tag_list: extended_close += empty_close_tag %(tag) return extended_close return func_wrapper return tags_decorator @tags("body", "div", "header", "div", "h1", "span", "strong", "em") def header(name): """returns a header wrapped in HTML tags""" return "%s is a one percenter, contact him at such and such" %(name) print header.__name__ print header.__doc__ print header.__module__ print header("Akeem") Now the last few lines written towards the end would print the name, documentation, and module all concealed by the functionwrapper and takes precedence over all the attributes defined for the function I initially called for. The name would be listed as `func_wrapper` and the documentation would be overwritten to `None` with a module location of `__main__`. But functionwrappers are used within the django framework, in particular for views that shouldn't be shared via cross-browser by anyone. We can also create a custom password encryption for our login. Here is sample model file that would take security to an extra measure. from Crypto import Random from Crypto.Cipher import AES from binascii import hexlify, unhexlify import hashlib from sys import stdout as puts #stdout rather than print class AESCipher: def __init__(self, key): self.key = key def encrypt_password(self, key): def func_wrapper(func): iv = Random.new().read(AES.block_size) cipher = AES.new(key, AES.MODE_CFB, iv) password_encrypted = hexlify(iv + cipher.encrypt(func)) return password_encrypted return func_wrapper def decrypt_password(self, key): def func_wrapper(func): decrypted = unhexlify(password_encrypted) cipher = AES.new(key, AES.MODE_CFB, decrypted[:AES.block_size]) return cipher.decrypt(decrypted)[AES.block_size:] return func_wrapper The following is just a module WITH dependencies I downloaded including Naked, Crypto, and pyyaml. Now take your data sensitive information, let's say your User model, you can import your encryption tool directly into the model stored within the database from aesmodule import * #everything from our custom AESModule class User(models.Model): user = models.CharField(max_length=120) """ all your db table columns stored here INCLUDING THE PASSWORD ENCRYPTION & DECRYPTION PARAMS""" keygen = AESCipher(hashlib.sha256("userpassword")) #now the password can be encrypted without disclosing the current file location or #the module location adding a layer of invisiblity @AESCipher.encrypt_password(self.keygen.key) def passwordencryption(password=self.password_encrypted): return self.password @AESCipher.decrypt_password(self.keygen.key): def passworddecryption(self.keygen.key): return self.passwordencrypted Now with the wrappers currently storing the data pertinent to your customers, you have safe reliable password encrypted without having to save the password within your database and call the function to save it to a variable within the columns of your choice (Let you decide how to save the variables). <br> These methods/techniques are one of the many ways to keep your data sensitive and stay away from hackers trying to persist there way in from webserver standpoint. ## **3. Remind Yourself...** Remind yourself to always read on current trends on how to keep yourself from becoming a risk. There's [Hacker News][2], [Security Week][3], and Oauth periodicals found online to stay current and in the trend of green management I know sooner or later I have to convert my own website into a valid HTTPS domain, but at least I "woke" up to potential attackers. In order for a business to grow, ethics and sound guidance will win over customers who trust you to make sound decisions with monetary investments within your company for the sake of a peace of comfort. > * A special thanks to Stephen Carmen, Arun Mavumakal, and everyone else who continues to push me in the right direction. * > * Special shoutout to Lipton Thompson* [1]: http://info.ssl.com/article.aspx?id=10241 [2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/ [3]: http://www.securityweek.com/virus-threats

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Decision-Making For Small Business Owners Expanding Nov. 14, 2016

Author: Akeem Spencer

# **Tools to Become More Competitive For Small Business Owners** <br> <br> The boom of the technology market will always follow a linear trail, or at least that's what we thought. From 2011 forward, firmware and software architecture is becoming more-and-more diverse with products being able to capture the true demand of the market, which is slightly easier for the entrepreneur/owner. However, a true project manager /project engineer requires tools that are efficient, reliable, and inexhaustible, which would allow his/her flexiblility in tasks dedicated to himself and his staff. We're following tech industries that are still within their infancy stages delivering seamless products advertised for customers, clients, and partners. <br> <br> Companies like Shell, LVMH, and other market giants are now dashing away the old methodology of customer satisfaction and retention rates by utilizing higher data-management and data-mining utilization (thanks to open-source, crowd-contributing software building). A standard online/local-network often utilizes OLTP and OLAP. OLTP and OLAP stands for "Online-Transactional Processing" and "Online Analytical Processing". Together, these principles can form to merge into HTAP (Hybrid Transactional/Analytical Processing). HTAP builds upon the foundation of technology processing data through atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability. We've been following a trend with memory management and server infrastructure due to the fact that semiconductors are scaling at the Moore's Law rate. Today, we see a decrease in price for memory storage and we see a need for instant in-memory transactional processing. I remember in 2005 I purchased a 10-count bulk of 50KB floppy disks for $15.00, all shiny and color-coated to remember differentiate which is which. Today you can purchase a 32GB micro SD card for $8.99 (and have it delivered to you in 2 days so you don't have to drive to Staples to wait online, but that's another story). <br> <br> HTAP is not a brand-new patented idea, this technology has been in circulation and production for HR payroll and personell staffing from companies like ADP since the 1960s. We cannot however compare 1960s technology to today's technology, and data infrastructure is making alot of noise for businesses eager to engage in predective modeling. Database companies like SAP Hana, MemSQL, NoSQL, and MongoDB are transitioning towards exactly how do we keep up with our constraints, demands, and objectivity? ERP system software, often cradled in gigantic warehouse servers, are traditionally kept close to a company's headquarter location. Tech companies today refer to them as "bar-metal" drivers which are complentary for companies seeking to makimize processor performance and per RAM disk consumption. Pintrest, Twitter, and Facebook are currently looking to design and stash their servers in New Jersey. The only sparring similarity a small-business owner and a 10,000-plus workforce has is the ability to capture the capabilities to budget and set forecasting results through virtual servers. Thus we seek powerful model solvers that can make deterministic values that will sway decision-makers to make small-risk decisions to engage and retain the customers needs. ## 1. A closer look at model-solving and interdependent, complex analytics underneath the hood A classical problem of inventory-capacity-vendor relationships are paramount every-time someone clicks online, browsing for holiday shopping. It becomes "clockwork" for a enterprise to decide exactly what the customers would like. You have to develop a consistent "model" of how the simulation would occur based on where the company ranks. <br> #### ***Scenario*** <br> Meet Marcus, a 24-year old business owner and current franchise manager, who has aspirations to one day own 20 franchise stores. Now let's say Marcus recently opened up his own franchise LIDS store in Piscataway, NJ. He currently has only three warehouse locations in the east-coast, operative and owned by Marcus himself, where most of his hats are stored. He also has a copy of a transactional history account of all the frequent customers who periodically purchase their hats on Friday towards the end of the fiscal quarter Now here's the supposition, he has a certain capacity for three of his warehouses for the end of each quarter. His demand for the Friday shoppers at the end of each fiscal period is presented to him through his transaction account report summary, generated to him by his ERP system. He also has to have a certain inventory amount within each of his warehouses or else he'll have to pay extra fees associated within the storage. The objectivity like millions of companies before Marcus, and millions of companies after Marcus, is the decision to minimize cost variables without jepordizing the customer demand. Also, there's a cost associated with shipping a hat from a warehouse to the vendor (valid for most store fronts today). The table below shows the numbers in-depth: ![table of data][1] <br> <br> There's also the capacity of the warehouse and the demand of the warehouse we have to consider for Marcus's decision on how much volume he should store his hats: ![threshold for sets][2] <br> <br> Let's assume the cost for holding inventory at the end of each quarter is equivalent to $20 dollars. Now with all of the information collected, we know we want to minimize our objective, without violated any of our constraints. This is where model solvers come into the picture. The current script shown underneath displays a model that presents his "known data" using a demo script file below: ![lingo_parameter_setup][3] <br> <br> This file is manual, but with a little experience in SQL and turning XML, JSON, or other unstructured data files into an SQL legible format, lingo can operate and crunch the data within a second. The script shown above can be ran autonomously and also can give users a perspective on how to perform analytical analysis on other problems a regular business owner may face, like worker scheduling, machinery blending problems, or capital expenditure FPV calculations. When we calculate the file with our built-in solver on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) shown above, a report file is manifested, providing an optimal solution of $4365.00 marcus would have to spend to prioritize his inventory and volume numbers: ![SOLVE][4] Now we have several variables we'd have to take into consideration because this situation is highly unlikely and would be considered a stretch due to the fact their would be plenty more variations of the products Marcus was selling. <br> <br> The warehouse volume for each vendor is reached, but it tells us we don't need to have volume storage for sixteen of the 24 warehouse ports. Also bear in mind the demand for each quarter is contrived rather than dynamic from year-to-year (software forecasting would be utilized for this situation). So this problem reflects a multiperiod-multivariate linear decision problem. Now there are plenty of other modeling solvers that can help handle bulk feasibility and sensitivity analysis, but the "cream of the crop" so to speak, involves state-of-the-art system macros like BARON, CPLEX, GUROBI, and XPRESS. These tools however are expensive and are normally given to production teams with high customer demand and population size. ## ***2. The Connection Between Client & Owner*** <br> <br> With the model generated above, there's soon going to be an ability to perform sequence data and have a multiple threaded options for delivering results, but how close to immediate can answers appear? For one, I'm a web developer and I currently see the trends that make SSL-Layer connections close to persisted at all times. The number one issue for data connectivity is bi-socket directional information upload and downloads. HTTP-Headers often times need to be validated in order for a secure connections to occur, but the information the user requested often times falls into a "signal-noise" problems or latency delay. This is where the key concept of "asynchronous" data pushing and pulling keeps the connection fresh without memory-buildups. Powerful Back-End development servers like Node.JS and symphony have the engine to keep up with a high demand for comapnies like BUNGIE and SONY (gaming servers). <br> A "low -pollent" database, AKA a rigid database with minimal scaling and next-to-nil memory leakage are the next steps. If production manufactures want a higher scale of deliverence, then spark and kafka are solutions where everyone can meet their objectives with little no chance of extended their promise dates and achieving "near-perfect" customer satisfaction which is the name of the game. With the concept of machine-learning closing in on the way we perform problem solving, it still highly ideal to have STEM background entrepreneurs who have a work-affinity for Math helping them create relatively low-stake decisions. I myself am currently looking towards the future, we should have the ability for business franchises, LLCs, and firms be able to compete in capital market. Your ability to utilize these tools should be accessible to everyone now that technology is shaping the way we communicate to our family, our loved ones, and our close aquiatences. My next blog post will discuss the importance of open-source and how involvement with source code could still create a level playing field. In the coming weeks, I'll also campaign for fundraising towards a commercial software license for some of these big-variate MIP, NLP, IP, and other mathemtaical programming problems to help the working class around me. It may be lingo or gams itself, but I'm unsure which direction I'd like to take, hopefully in the coming weeks, the linux OS based package wil become more economically advantages to my pockets and to be able to lease to some of my other coworkers. Thank you for reading my post! Akeem Spencer [1]: /static/table1_11_14_2016.JPG [2]: /static/table2_11_14_2016.JPG [3]: /static/model_picture.JPG [4]: /static/lingo_solution_file.JPG <br> <br> <br> *A special thanks goes to my professor Dr. Andreas Thorsen, for giving some information and tips on these machine-technologies and Conor Doherty, Gary Orenstein, and Kevin White for providing white papers on this new frontier*

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Today is worth $86,400 Nov. 3, 2016

Author: Akeem Spencer

# ** Never Think A Day Can Accomplish Nothing ** ---------- As I was working on a group project yesterday, I was creating a conversion formula that could check if a certain page was past four days in EPOCH measurements. When browsing google for reassurance, I typed 'how many seconds is a day worth'. The answer is 86,000 seconds, but stumbled across a video that first in the engine search and I figured it would be nice to share to everyone: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LUFrQHz04T8" frameborder=0 allowfullscreen></iframe> <br> <span style="font-size: 10px;">Credits and License Goes To Owner Under Creative Commons Act</span> <br> I'll never forget as I sat down with a friend after he broke up with his girlfriend, what he would never take for granted now at the age of 25. He told me that he's not mad at the fact he bought his girlfriend items that he can't get a full reimbursement on, but he said he's quite angry at the time he's spent with her. <br> I know it's never the money that hurts you during a bad breakup, but it's the time that gives us a bad memories, angst, and regrets. We are young and ambitious adults in our mid-twenties constantly chasing a means to and end. And while we have a chance to share the common ideas and interests, we'd want to see these connections we've spent TIME on. The key word is plausibility. We want to see a probable outcome arise from the mutual connection we've made with our spouse or girlfriend. When that relationship has outgrown both parties involved, we become mute and bitter at the situation, all this time wasted for nothing. <br> <br> From the video above, it does tell you what we must live for, not ourselves, not our parents, not even who we are. Expression with what we do is all for seeing cultivate into something more proficient, this ideal we call lessons. <br> ## **1. Today is worth $86,400 ** Listen, we all have an agenda, don't let anyone fool you about being something being ridiculous, or "you're dreams are too extravagant". However you must treat today like an investment. Prioritize your hours and see exactly what you're spending habits, your time management, and see what your return of assets and equity are. Write down a structured package that indicates when you'd "break-even" with the output for the day. I'd even go a step further than the advice given in this video and treat the principal investment from the moment you open your eyes as your "P" value. Your P value, aka your initial investment, is going to depreciate as time goes on, but your daily goals should consist of tasks that are worth an insurmountable figure that helps you break-even, and even sustain a profit-margin at the end of the day. Treat these days like as if they're balance sheets, you're in control of your bank account today, why not realize what you're spending habits are too in terms of socializing and who you're meeting up with? ## ** 2. Apprenticeship . Journeyman . Master ** I may have been a different man going into my freshman year of college if I had read a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's published book Outliers. I'm going to re-read it when I have a break. The number from this book I'm extremely passionate about it the 10,000 hours rule. There's this supposed belief of Bill Gates becoming a rarity super efficient master of telnet systems and building components of the computer by spending countless amounts of hours at the University of Michigan's laboratory. Or the case of the beatles, playing circuit tours to the point of having a unique rhythm of playing in unison together due to the long hour playing in pubs in England. If we take that value of 10,000 hours, we can see it's about 36,000,000 seconds. I'm not saying that this should be applied to your lifestyle at a scientific rate, but let's look at the hours we can divy up to reach that 10,000 hour level. We are stretching ourselves thin during the week for 40-50 hours. If we sustain a consistency with our working habits, we can reach this milestone in 250 weeks right? It's equivalent to 5 years. Five years is symmetric to earning a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. We don't have to be doctorates to truly acquire a deep mastery, but I level of rationality that will give us a resolute trajectory point. ## **3. CREATIVE MINDS = BREADWINNERS BUT OBSERVERS ARE POIGNANT ** I had a long conversation with a high-school friend of mine today, but I had to postpone publishing this blog post due to the words we exchanged. We had a small debate about whether or not 10,000 hour threshold, bullshit, or holds something meaningful. In hindsight, I may be biased due to the fact that Malcolm, my friend, and I share a same bloodline of being West-Indian Jamaicans. My good friend asked "What is truly being an outlier in America?", he asked me. And all I can think of is the fact we are first-generation Americans from West-Indian parents. The fact that we don't have any criminal records and we are both further pursing and education is an outlier in itself. But the tipping point for every first-generational american takes time to find, especially when it's rather difficult find assimilation. My bud is creative genius, loves old fashioned sculpturing from anything he can get his hands on, but a creative mind is expanded primarily on "doing without any boundaries". Yes time is crucial, but placing those hours onto a concept is were you truly have time passing by.

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Complete Self-Control Oct. 27, 2016

Author: Akeem Spencer

# Self-Awareness For The Fall Season ---------- ** *I've realized you're never alone...* ** Behavioral change takes more than just a flimsy week or even a month. Contradictory to belief of the notion of "just" 21 days to unconsciously form a behavioral pattern can be slightly fictitious. According to the European journal of Social Psychology, it take 66 days to reach a true habitual habit to conform to, with a margin of error 2 days. I've done it all. Exercised the right amount per week with exactly 40 minutes on either an elliptical machine or run on a treadmill for 30 minutes with my heart rate exceeding 165 bpm with a pre and post warm up. However, self-doubt and inner-angst would rise within my inner consciousness. <br> <br> I know how it feels to be restless for 6 days with no sleep. If you're reading this, then you know how important it is to defeat what's holding you back. I've been diagnosed with depression for approximately 4 years and I've seen it destroy and destabilize my professional life, my social connections, and even my family relationships. I want to tell you ** you don't have to suffer ** . With the launch of this blog and a career switch in my young adult life (I know shameless plug), here are some tips and techniques I know works, and is currently working for me: ### ** 1. Exercise at morning, not at night ** I was a habitual night owl when it came to exercising at night. At 7PM I would be at the 24 hour fitness club, 10-15 minutes I would be flipping through social media and youtube for music clips (no disrespect intended if you're reading this on social site right now). I had to cut back on the cell phone usage at the gym and remain relatively focused on the exercises at the gym. For me, it's easier and more important if I exercise at the beginning of the day. I have more energy and remain less groggy as the day advances. I've also trimmed the total workout to no more than fifty minutes. I'll spend thirty minutes performing calisthenics and another twenty minutes doing two high rep low weight resistance isolated muscle focus. Throughout the week, it is helpful to document specifically which exercises are accomplished throughout the week. Me personally, I cannot go a day without running, whether it be out on the street or on the equipment treadmills. The bottom-line is keeping an exercise routine that is helpful, you just have to find out what regimen works for you. Starting out for a few minutes daily is a start. ## ** 2. Balanced Diet ** Right now, I'm applying the Gladwell Outliers theory on food, I'd like to push beyond 21 days and take this vegan challenge head-on. It would be difficult considering all the avenues for failure surrounding me because of my craving for a beef party or throwing my hands up and getting some Wendy's chicken sandwiches (# Number 6 please). On my twenty-fifth birthday, I removed beef from my diet and now at the age of 27, I feel more compelled to remove chicken and fish from my diet as well. I'm not pushing anyone towards what kind of dietary lifestyle one should uphold to, but I do believe everyone has a living to do during the day. You're going to get hungry and tired around 3-4. Separate power lunches from morning time and try to have a consistent 5 meals a day instead of the usual breakfast-lunch-and-dinner combination. For me, it's easier to have oatmeal during the morning, packing in 300-400 calories with NO MILK SWEETENERS added to the oatmeal. The power lunch is consistent of meals containing tuna, mackerel, or canned salmon, with bean sprouts. In combination with the lunch meal, I take two pills of the GNC Mega Men Energy & Metabolism multivitamins. and 1 pill of the minus-10 cellular rejuvenation. ![Minus-10 Cellular Rejuvenation][2] [2]: https://s7.vitaminshoppe.com/is/image/VitaminShoppe/1791615_set?$PDPSKU$ These tablets help give an increased sharpness and attentiveness to progress throughout the day, keeping my energy high and my hunger craving down when 3:30 pm hits. And towards the end of the day, I'd munch on almonds or cashew nuts to preserve that fullness within. Make sure to add H20-water to keep the kidneys flushed. ## ** 3. Meetups & Networking Towards Your Passion ** I'm convinced in 2016 the people you'd like to mentor or be influenced by can be touched and within easy access to communicate and share ideas with the technology we have today. For the past year, I've constantly driven 30 thirty miles into the city or take 25 bucks for two days to travel downtown to meet with people who use the same products as me and foster the same mindset as myself. Right now, I'm working on a campaign with four other people on a twitter app that reports the amount of purchases people have made on guns without a background check. Meeting with the right crowd outside of your work life should be an activity that still stimulates, but keeps you humbled without fear of rejection. Especially during this time of the year, when daylight saving time hits and darkness is throughout the skylines for an extended period of time. Meet with the right people who share the same passion and are committed to the communities around them. And also take time to share your work with people who are outside of what you do. I attend 2-3 meetups frequently, one for django projects I work on (like this site), and the active gun awareness with the people I met three months ago. Take the active amount of time to be surrounded by people who share the same work-ethic as you and also don't be afraid to seek counseling and reach therapy sessions which are becoming more and more destigmatized. ## ** 4. Shut Off The Internet ** I know, being slightly hypocritical right? Take the time at night to restrain yourself from checking your cell phone internet, social media content, and even the television. According to statistica, millennials spend approximately 7-8 hours using and streaming internet usage. Way too high, try not to over use the internet services and keep the screen time clipped 2 hours before sleep. If anyone you know is suffering from PSTD, depression, or anxiety, it doesn't hurt to talk to a professional who will definitely guide you in the right direction Thanks For Reading My First Post! Akeem

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