Writing Samples


Heaping plates of chopped barbecue, oversized buttery biscuits, and tea as sweet as your first kiss, Southern food is known for its soul and comfort. No calorie counting or heart-healthy diets here.

Well, that was the old South. The new South keeps the traditions and trims (some of) the fat.

The Triangle’s best and most talented restaurateurs have helped the area embrace a whole new culinary culture, and it’s not going unnoticed. Named one of the “Hottest Food Cities in 2016” by Zagat, and with two of the best 100 restaurants in the country according to OpenTable reviews, Raleigh is enjoying a culinary renaissance.

For more than 5,000 years, yoga has provided a way to exercise the body, focus the mind, and achieve balance between the physical and the mental. Practically anyone can experience its benefits: women, men, children, adults, seniors, and even people with mobility problems or limiting conditions like joint pain.

Yoga can help you improve muscle tone and core strength, increase flexibility, boost respiration, maintain a balanced metabolism and protect yourself from injury. In addition to the physical benefits, a regular yoga regimen can also increase body awareness, mental clarity, calmness, focus, and concentration.

Joint deterioration due to normal wear and tear (osteoarthritis) is the most recognizable type of arthritis. However, there are many different disorders that also fall in the arthritis category. You may be familiar with some of the following: bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, gout, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, Lyme disease, and tendinitis. Arthritic disorders can be grouped by type. In addition to osteoarthritis, symptoms can be caused by abnormal autoimmune reactions (inflammatory arthritis); bacterial, viral or fungal infections (infectious arthritis); and high levels of uric acid (metabolic arthritis).

Common heart problems like atherosclerosis, heart failure, and arrhythmias affect men and women more or less equally. But some heart conditions occur more frequently in women. Women are more likely to experience two specific types of angina (chest pain): stable angina, which occurs during physical activity or times of stress, and variant (Prinzmetal’s) angina, which is caused by spasms in the coronary muscles. Cardiac syndrome X and stress-induced cardiomyopathy (or broken heart syndrome) are also diagnosed more often in women. Symptoms of heart attack can be different as well. Women may have more subtle symptoms like shortness of breath, lower chest pain, dizziness, and fatigue that many people don’t immediately associate with a heart attack.

Many people know what it’s like to live with eczema, or dermatitis. More than 30 million Americans—that’s one out of every 10 of us—experience discomfort from itchy, irritated skin. Eczema is a blanket term for a number of medical disorders that affect the skin. Eczema outbreaks can cause a number of uncomfortable or embarrassing symptoms. When they happen, you want to be prepared. Here’s all you need to know to help you better manage your eczema.

Healthcare System Website:

The gallbladder is a small organ that helps in the food digestion process by storing and releasing bile and other digestive fluids made by the liver. Gallstones develop when these fluids solidify and harden. A gallstone can become lodged in the bile duct — the tube through which bile is released — and block the flow of digestive fluids into the small intestine.

Some gallstones are harmless and do not cause pain or any other symptoms. Others can cause the gallbladder to become irritated, inflamed, or infected, and lead to a medical emergency if the infected gallbladder bursts.

When you arrive at the ER, a triage nurse will assess the severity of your condition. You will need to provide some personal information and answer questions about your symptoms. Be as specific as possible.

It is important to remember that the sickest and the most-severely injured people receive care first. As such, you may be asked to wait if your condition is not urgent. Let the nurse know right away if your symptoms become worse as you wait.

Politics & Media:

  • CNN failed to note Dole “Godless” ad’s voiceover controversy

    A November 3 CNN Newsroom report on Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s (R-NC) “Godless” ad, in which Dole accused Democratic opponent Kay Hagan of taking money from “a leader of the Godless America PAC” at “a secret fundraiser,” failed to present the part of the ad that included a woman’s voice saying, “There is no God” while a picture of Hagan appeared onscreen. A Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer fact check stated that the ad may lead viewers to believe “that the unidentified female voice at the end of the ad is Hagan’s.”

  • Liddy, Pruden repeat debunked claim that Obama’s birth certificate is fake

    Citing a July 20 Israel Insider article which claimed that Sen. Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a “crudely forged fake,” G. Gordon Liddy falsely asserted on the August 26 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show: “[W]e still don’t have a birth certificate for Obama. There are claims that he was actually born in Kenya.” Liddy also claimed, “If it’s so important an issue that the campaign, if they had a real birth certificate from Hawaii, the campaign would put it out, not rely on a phony thing Photoshopped by Daily Kos,” and stated, “And as Wes Pruden, in today’s edition of The Washington Times, he’s the editor emeritus, puts it, you know, this is a story that could have long legs.”

  • WSJ cites Field Poll survey, ignores leading question on offshore drilling

    In a July 17 article (subscription required) citing a newly released Field Poll survey, The Wall Street Journalreported that “43% of Californians support the idea of drilling for oil or natural gas along the state’s coast, compared with 51% who oppose it.” But the Journal did not point out that the poll question included the false suggestion that “drill[ing] more oil and gas wells in state tidelands” would in fact “deal with the rising cost of energy” in the near future.

  • AP continues pattern of ignoring McCain’s immigration reversal

    Since July 13, the Associated Press has produced four separate articles that have described Sen. John McCain’s position on immigration reform without mentioning that McCain’s current position that the borders must be secured “first” represents a reversal from his previous position that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective. Nor did any of the articles mention that McCain said in January that he “would not” vote for the immigration reform bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) if it came to a vote on the Senate floor.

  • Sun-Sentinel uncritically reported Florida GOP official’s comment that “I wish Obama would not pretend to care about the Jewish community”

    In a May 17 articleSouth Florida Sun-Sentinel Washington bureau chief William E. Gibson reported that Republicans “are preparing to attack [Sen. Barack] Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal who poses a threat to Israel’s security.” He also wrote: “Republicans hope to win the state by reducing the Democratic advantage in South Florida, particularly among Jewish voters. They point to Obama’s willingness to meet with leaders of Iran and other nations hostile to Israel.” But after laying out the Republicans’ purported strategy against Obama in Florida, rather than providing a response from the Obama campaign or a Democratic Party representative to the reported attacks, Gibson quoted Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, saying, “This is a terrible thing,” and adding, “I wish Obama would not pretend to care about the Jewish community.”