istara recently published her first novel, Forbidden Lessons. Yay!
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Fasting. It just makes it an absolute breeze. You don't even have to go zero calories, you can do two non-contiguous days of 500 a week (you may need to add an extra day if the weight's "stubborn") and you should see a difference.
It's also sustainable because you get so many days of normal eating as well.
See here: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-19112549
The other thing I've tried, which combined with intermittent fasting absolutely melts it off, is Whole30, which is basically meat, fish, veg, fruit, nuts, seed, olive and coconut oil. The thing with Whole30 is to understand its ethos: understand that it's a month of hell (even though I usually eat a lot of wholefoods - but no dairy is very painful), don't try to find cunning ways to get around it.
Essentially it's a "reset". It makes you realise that if you can't go 30 days with no chocolate and cheese, then maybe you had more of a food addiction problem than you realise.
All I can think reading this is "god I'm glad I'm old".
That said I don't think this child is representative of most teens, and I also think her parents should be limiting her use. She sounds addicted. I find myself wondering what she's NOT doing due to all her timing using this app.
I'm atheist, I love traditional Christmas carols and some hymns.
I also love the soundtrack to Saved! (and the film itself) though I probably wouldn't want to listen to it separately from the film.
A good tune is a good tune.
Ironically, we never sang one of my favourite hymns at school - I vow to thee my country - because it was considered putting patriotism above god.
Then you're a racist artist, and so be it. It's not illegal to be racist or hold racist views: just look at all those abhorrent white supremacy groups.
It's not like someone is actively harmed because you only paint pictures of black people. Maybe you only like painting with dark pigment. Maybe you feel it's a specific skill you have and your work painting East Asian or Caucasian people would be poor and harm your artistic brand. Or maybe you actively dislike white people. Who's to know?
(For what it's worth, I used to do amateur portraits and vastly preferred sketching old men. The crags, the wrinkles, etc. I found them much easier and more interesting to do. Had I decided to charge, I almost certainly would have refused requests from younger people, as I wouldn't feel they would be happy with the result. Is that discrimination, given it's based on age?)
Either way: people need to consider if harm is really being done to the person discriminated against. Does it "harm" you if a particular artist won't make you the product you want? No. Are you harmed by a particular business not making you a cake? No. And if they had to turn your business away because they were too busy, you wouldn't have a case.
In future, bigoted businesses will simply lie and say they have no capacity to fulfil your order.
The worst kind of discrimination is being refused a job because of your [group]. It's being harassed or bullied. It's being killed.
It's not not-having-someone-paint-your-portrait (or not-bake you a cake).
It's not "looking down their noses", it's appreciating a cultural difference.
Of course your own history of migration, legacy of slavery, geographic diversity and higher extant religiosity are going to mean you need different laws.
It's not about better/worse, it's about practicality and what fits the current state of society. The US needs stronger enforcements of anti-discrimation because there is still more cultural discrimination. You had enforced segregation within living memory, we did not.
I'm not sure why you're trying to paint me as "high and mighty". I fully admit that your country lags Europe in some regards (I can't imagine an openly atheist president would yet be electable, for example). In some other regards, the US exceeds Europe (secularity in public schools for starters). Plus there is also a lot of diversity within Europe. Ireland and a couple of countries massively lag the rest of the developed world in terms of reproductive rights. Here in Australia, we lag horribly when it comes to gay marriage rights.
I think this reflects a kind of cultural mindset gulf between the US and perhaps European countries. To me it's absurd that someone would "need" a cake to the point that they feel they have a "right" to it. It's absurd to me - and rude - that I would impose my beliefs on someone else such that they were forced to modify their services and their own beliefs - for a non-essential product or service.
I guess the split here is that you talk from a position about rights. It's all about "your rights" - the customer's absolute right to always be right and always be served.
And your laws reflect that.
Whereas for me - as someone from a nation for whom queuing politely and apologising when someone else bumps into you is a national pastime - it's about consideration. I don't need or want laws that legally protect a hate cake. I'm quite happy to have such speech restricted. If I have to express my own freedom of speech through other channels, that's fine. I'll do so. I'll find another cake vendor, or make my own, or perhaps put the message on a table decoration.
I don't think we are going to reconcile this, because I'm not arguing from a legal point of view (and I'm outside the US anyway, so your laws don't really affect me) but I what I personally believe should be the situation.
Our difference of opinion on this is a cultural one, it's a difference of attitude.
I'm not suggesting they refuse service, I'm suggesting they should be able to refuse to customise their service in a specific way.
I'm an atheist. I wouldn't dream of going into a bakery run by Muslims and asking them to make me a cake with "there is no God!" piped on it.
If the law requires them to do that, then the law is wrong.
On the other hand, when it comes to essential service, I would have no hesitation entering a pharmacy staffed by a devout Catholic and asking for the morning after pill. And if they refused, I would sue the shit out of them.
This isn't about service. It's about being forced to modify your service, and offer a product that you don't normally sell.
I do see what you mean. You might argue that you only make that bra in an adult size.
Likewise you might argue that you only make wedding cakes with flowers/non human figures. And if you did so, fair enough that you wouldn't want to put two brides on. There are some religions that prohibit the use of human images anyway (strict islam being one).
Also to throw into the mix: you're a wedding caterer, you're Jewish, you don't make or serve food with pork. Someone asks for sandwiches with ham instead of salmon. Are you required to make those?
If the wedding cake guy said: "I can't make you a cake saying "Ben and Steve's Big Gay Wedding", but I can make you cake with flowers, or one with a generic "Happy Wedding"" - would that be okay?
Then back to the first example, you could offer to make the dodgy-looking dude a bra, but only in an adult size or above.
Then you have the dilemma that his wife is a midget/little person...