One of my absolute favorite pass-times, especially as the weather starts to become dreary, is sitting down to watch documentaries. As boring as that may sound to some of my more active readers, I find that documentaries are an entertaining way to accumulate a vast understanding of the world around us.
My favorite kinds of documentaries are ones regarding controversial topics many journalists do not report on for fear of losing their careers. These controversial documentaries give insight into our society that is too often driven by the thirst for monetary gain and hyper-consumerism with blatant disregard for the ethical treatment of people, animals, and the planet. After watching these five documentaries I listed below, I found a wildfire of passion within that drove me to speak out on issues I never even knew existed. I hope they have the same effect on those of you who make the choice to educate yourselves and watch.
5. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014): Of all the health-related documentaries, this one is the best to start with in my opinion. It comes at the idea of a plant based diet from a purely logical and humble perspective. Using an environmental framework, it discusses some of the malevolent side-effects of the meat and dairy industries.
4. Pump (2014): It is no secret the U.S. is addicted to gasoline, but there are some secrets as to how we became reliant upon it and other, cleaner alternatives.
3. Secrets in Plain Sight (2010): Sacred geometry, ancient history, iconic art and monuments, religion, philosophy, and architecture...how do all of these subjects intertwine giving us knowledge of the universe? This comprehensive documentary highlights many intriguing "coincidences" found in the world around us that are not seen by the untrained eye.
2. Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007): This documentary deconstructs commonly believed myths in our culture. Keep an open mind when you view this one as it may invoke cognitive dissonance and be the catalyst in causing you to question your beliefs.
1. Ethos (2011): This documentary is my all-time favorite; it does a wonderful job of synthesizing loads of information into a meta-analysis of current issues plaguing our society. With interviews from some of my favorite activists and educators such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Bernie Sanders, it stresses the importance of making educated, conscious choices and the power we have as consumers to influence the future of the world.
Between working three jobs and taking 4 college classes, I have some tips and tricks to stay organized and make the most out of the 168 hour week!
This was perhaps, my most favorite hike this Summer! Hiking to the top was an arduous task indeed, but the views were nothing short of spectacular; I cannot describe the intense, magical beauty of the vast mountain ranges, nor the insurmountable euphoria of looking over the top of the tallest waterfall in North America.
Distance: 7.2mi round-trip
Difficulty level: strenuous (only avid hikers advised)
Approximate time: 6-8 hours depending upon your skill-level
Pet Friendly: no
Crowd levels: high, especially in the Summer
Best season to go: Spring or beginning of Summer
Cost: $30- to enter Yosemite National Park
What to bring in your pack:
1. Lot's of water: the elevation gain is very taxing and you will need to hydrate yourself along the way.
2. Hiking snacks: power bars, trail mix, dried fruit, and a sandwich are perfect for this long, all-day hike.
3. Camera or Phone: The views are beyond beautiful and you will want to capture every moment along the way!
4. Sunscreen and a hat: long segments of the trail offer no relief from the beating sun. Especially in the Summer you will need sunscreen, a hat, or both.
5. Good hiking shoes: this is not a hike to wear your Birkenstocks on.. upon reaching the summit, you will have the chance to look down over the top of the waterfall and will need good shoes to ensure your footing is secure on the mountain-side.
6. Your motivation: getting to the top is a very difficult feat, but I promise you will be so proud of your accomplishment once you get to the top and that makes the view that much better!
What you will see:
The majority of the hike you will get the pleasure of seeing beautiful mountain ranges, a glorious view of Half Dome, and a birds eye view of Yosemite Valley.
Once you reach the summit, you can look down over the top of the waterfall!
How to get there:
Follow the roads on the map given to you upon entering until you arrive in Yosemite Valley; park near the Yosemite Falls trail-head in the daily parking just ahead of "Camp 4" or across the street in the overflow parking area. Finding a parking spot can be difficult, so be sure to get there early.