Thursday, May 29, 2014

Learning From Those Who Annoy You

Lord knows, other people can be difficult to deal with at times.  Our attitude in return doesn't make the situation any more manageable.  So here's a useful trick for dealing with others that can change your frame of mine: Try to approach every person you meet as if they have something to teach you.  Imagine that they and they alone possess enlightenment in some particular area, and that this knowledge could benefit your life.

Not only will this give us more tolerance and compassion for those around us, but it helps us stay humble.  Approaching the world as if we are the only enlightened one and everyone we meet is a moron probably is not accurate, and it certainly isn't helpful.  Especially when someone disagrees or views things differently from you, it helps to remember this rule.  Approach the situation as if you're a student and they are one of life's many teachers, and you'll find that compassion towards others flows more easily, making it much harder to upset yourself.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mountain Bikers Beware: Spike Strips Ahead

As if mountain biking weren't hard enough as it is, it just got a little bit harder.  Police in Colorado are looking for the person who thought it would be a good idea to place spike strips at various points on a mountain bike trail running through a public park.

At least one biker was injured from the home-make spike strips, which were created from barbed wire, wood and nails, and then intentionally concealed along the bike path so that they would not be seen until it was too late.

For the sake of those who are actually keeping in shape and getting out for some exorcise in the fresh mountain air, lets hope this practice does not catch on.

For child safety while enjoying the outdoors, or while camping, visit our website.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cat Saves Boy From Dog

On May 13th, 4-year-old Jeremy was riding his bike on the driveway in front of his own home when the neighbor's dog attacked him, biting him in the leg and dragging him down the drive.  Tara, the families cat, runs in and attacks the dog, causing the dog to release the boy. Jeremy needed a few stitches, but is otherwise fine, and very grateful to his family pet.

In watching this video, it should serve as a wake-up call to parents about the danger of dog attacks, and I was stuck most by the fact that this was a relatively small dog, yet you can see the power he has and the damage that occurs in just a few seconds.  Imagine how much more damage an 80 or 90 pound Rottweiler could do.

Jeremy's father posted the surveillance video on YouTube, and it went viral.  Camera's are everywhere today, and this time we got an unusual glimpse of a hero cat. If you haven't yet seen the video, you can view it on YouTube at

Visit our site and learn about dog safety for kids.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Criminalizing Kindergartners In The Name Of Bullying Prevention

Here is one more example in the long and frustrating history of bad ways to deal with bullying:

A town in southern California is trying to pass a new ordinance that would slap children as young as five with criminal penalties for bullying.  Parents would also be held partially responsible, and the punishment would escalate with each repeated offense.

There are many problems with such a law, one being that it defines bullying in terms of the feelings of the other person, thus criminalizing someone not for their own actions, but for the feelings of someone else.  Another problem is that true bullying is often difficult to define, with many players in overlapping roles that are often difficult to untangle.  But more importantly, such laws create collateral damage that harms children without doing anything to address the root of the problem.

It's ironic that in their attempt to stop children from using a power advantage to intimidate or control another person (bullying), their solution is to pass a law giving officials more power to use as a means of intimidation to control the behavior of children. (State sponsored bullying.)

Twenty percent of kids are regular bullies, and many kids play the part of both bully and victim.  Furthermore, nearly every child will engage in the behavior at some time.  That's a lot of kids we'll be damaging if we aim to "help" the problem through seek and destroy missions that rely on punishment rather than compassion.

Bullying has many causes that run deep in the psychology of our culture.  (See our information on causes of bullying)  Passing new laws is a feel good way of sweeping the problem under the rug and ignoring the true issues. (See bullying laws and legislation)  One thing is for certain: bullying will never be solved by relying on the same power-over mentality that creates it in the first place.

Read bullying information and resources, an online educational book for parents and teachers.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Drones & The Threat They Pose To Commercial Aircraft

The close call that took place in March between a drone and a commercial passenger jet has airlines advocating for tighter controls on consumer drones, sighting the threat the unmanned craft pose to commercial airlines.

Although drones aren't supposed to be flown anywhere near airports, there is nothing to physically enforce such a rule.  In fact, if someone really wanted to bring down a plane, a cheap way to do so would be to simply fly a small drone into each of it's engines.  As drones proliferate, it will be interesting to see how this issue plays out.

Visit our site to learn about child safety.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Earthquakes in Oklahoma

In a rare announcement for the Midwest, the US Geological Service recently issued a warning to residents in Oklahoma saying that a damaging earthquake on the scale of 5.0 or higher could be imminent.  Earthquakes in the area have jumped about 50% since October.  In fact, this year Oklahoma has seen almost as many earthquakes as California has, with tremors of a comparable intensity.

The backdrop to the story is fracking.  Though the oil and gas industry is loath to admit it, it’s well know that fracking – which involves pumping water and chemicals at high pressures deep underground in order to break apart rock deep under the earth – can create earthquakes.  These earthquakes are usually small; typically no more than a 3 or 4 on the Richter scale.  The problem is, nobody knows what effect this might have on larger fault lines, including normally inactive ones in the Midwest.

Alarmed by what they are seeing and frustrated with the industry’s callousness to these concerns, the USGS is breaking it’s silence.  We’ll just have to wait and see if these fears come to fruition.

Learn more about child safety.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A New Safety Hazard : Pot Candy

In  an earlier post we talked about the man who shot his wife to death after hallucinating after using marijuana candy. As the number of commercial food products containing marijuana explodes (everything from brownies, cookies, to individually wrapped candies) we are also facing the ever-increasing threat of accidental ingestion by children.

I can already hear somebody saying, "but I don't use marijuana, so this does not impact my kids."  It most certainly does.  Many parents don't own gun, yet every year their children are killed by them while playing at a friends house.  This is the same situation.  If the parents of any of your child's playmates use these products, they can easily wind up being brought to school, shared with friends, etc. Some of the more notorious cases involving pot poisoning of children have occurred during parties or when a group of friends sneak an after school snack.

Nor is this solely restricted to Colorado and Washington.  These products will inevitably make their way across state borders, affecting everyone.

Safety advocates are working on regulation to try and regulate the marijuana food and candy industry in order to reduce these accidental injections, which might helps some.  (It doesn't do anything for homemade items.)  In the meantime, it is something parents should keep a watchful eye for.

For more information on child poisoning visit our website.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Wake Up Baby!

Here's a creepy story if you haven’t heard it yet; a family in Cincinnati, Ohio was started from their sleep one night to the sound of a stranger screaming in a sinister voice "Wake up baby, wake up!"  The voice was coming from their 10 month old infant daughter's room.  Heather and Adam Shreck rushed to the nursery, only to find the room completely empty, other than their baby.

It turns out that a hacker was able to infiltrate the family’s internet connected baby monitor.  In fact, the parents were started to see the camera for the system follow them around the room and move erratically.  Yikes!

Read more about family internet safety.