RSSCategory: Education

The humble yet effective seat belt

February 4, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

From Public Citizen:

Seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury, according to NHTSA. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent. Seat belts saved more than 75,000 lives from 2004 to 2008. Forty-two percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2007 were unbelted. A 2009 NHTSA study estimates that more than 1,600 lives could be saved and 22,000 injuries prevented if seat belt use was 90 percent in every state.

It amazes me that there have been a few people I ridden with who don’t use a seat belt. I tell them I won’t move my car until they put on their belt, and they always have, sometimes unhappy about it. I should just tell those people that it is an anti-terrorist device that will save 1,600 lives every year from Middle Eastern terrorists. Then they’d have federal checkpoints to make sure everyone is belted in.


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What to say to anti-vaccination advocates

January 29, 2014 | By | Reply More

Penn and Teller offer a response that takes less than 2 minutes. Not that any of this makes it any easier to see your baby subjected to multiple jabs of concoctions created by Big Pharma. That said, the statistics beg for us to make sure we vaccinate our children. And see here.


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7 parenting behaviors that stunt children’s growth

January 21, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

This is a worthy seven-point article from Forbes. The topic is 7 parenting behaviors that stunt their children’s growth. Here are the titles to the sections:

1. We don’t let our children experience risk

2. We rescue too quickly

3. We rave too easily

4. We let guilt get in the way of leading well

5. We don’t share our past mistakes

6. We mistake intelligence, giftedness and influence for maturity

7. We don’t practice what we preach.

Immediately after reading this Forbes article, I stumbled upon this parenting article from The Atlantic: “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy.” Lots of common ground between the two articles.

[U]nderlying all this parental angst is the hopeful belief that if we just make the right choices, that if we just do things a certain way, our kids will turn out to be not just happy adults, but adults that make us happy. This is a misguided notion, because while nurture certainly matters, it doesn’t completely trump nature, and different kinds of nurture work for different kinds of kids (which explains why siblings can have very different experiences of their childhoods under the same roof). We can expose our kids to art, but we can’t teach them creativity. We can try to protect them from nasty classmates and bad grades and all kinds of rejection and their own limitations, but eventually they will bump up against these things anyway. In fact, by trying so hard to provide the perfectly happy childhood, we’re just making it harder for our kids to actually grow up. Maybe we parents are the ones who have some growing up to do—and some letting go.


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How to eat a lightbulb

January 18, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

You can really eat a light bulb. I saw this done at a fair a few years ago. Fascinating. The instructor says, “Don’t try this at home.”


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Stated more simply . . . College dissertations in a sentence

January 2, 2014 | By | Reply More

This is an article that explores the simple meaning of complex-seeming college dissertations. Quite enjoyable.

Here’s LOL My Thesis, where you can read the dissertation summaries.


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Koch money buys the right to screen new faculty at public university

December 29, 2013 | By | Reply More

Nothing new here, in a way. Big money getting its way.

On the other hand, it is outrageous that anyone should be able to invade a public university’s hiring process, yes, even in return for donations. This is shameful. Rachel Maddow reports.

Apparently unsatisfied with simply buying politicians, the Koch Brothers have turned their attention and pocketbooks to purchasing economics professors of supposedly “public” universities and funding economic studies which support their extreme right-wing economic theories.


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Catching brown recluse spiders without chemical pesticides

December 21, 2013 | By | 3 Replies More

We had been finding lots of spiders in our old brick house, and didn’t think much of it. We stepped on some and captured others and took them outside. That was before 13 year old daughter Charlotte pointed out that these spiders appeared to be brown recluse spiders. We took macro photos of them and looked at them closely and, indeed, they mostly seemed to be brown recluse spiders. Our neighbor Joe is a pest control guy who talked about chemical pesticides, which we’ve never used because we don’t want our children exposed to these. Therefore, Joe recommended sticky pads. You can buy a box of 50 for $20. Spiders walk on the pads and get stuck. We put 20 pads in various parts of the house and we were shocked at how many spiders we caught. Check out the photo above, a typical pad, which caught 10 big and small spiders in 3 days. We don’t see any spiders any more other than those caught on the pads. Some of our pads have caught 25 spiders. I’m writing this in case anyone else is having problems with any kind of spider and wants to avoid chemical pesticides.brown recluse


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The damage done by helicopter parenting

November 29, 2013 | By | Reply More

As one who is finding helicopter parents increasingly annoying, I appreciated the many good points made by this article by Tim Elmore.

Here is his take home:

Bottom line? Your child does not have to love you every minute. He’ll get over the disappointment of failure but he won’t get over the effects of being spoiled. So let them fail, let them fall, and let them fight for what they really value. If we treat our kids as fragile, they will surely grow up to be fragile adults. We must prepare them for the world that awaits them. Our world needs resilient adults not fragile ones.


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How a high ranking Mormon lost his faith

July 29, 2013 | By | 4 Replies More

How did this high ranking Mormon lose his faith? It wasn’t the result of someone getting in his face and telling him he was an idiot. The NYT tells the story:

When fellow believers in Sweden first began coming to him with information from the Internet that contradicted the church’s history and teachings, he dismissed it as “anti-Mormon propaganda,” the whisperings of Lucifer. He asked his superiors for help in responding to the members’ doubts, and when they seemed to only sidestep the questions, Mr. Mattsson began his own investigation.

But when he discovered credible evidence that the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, was a polygamist and that the Book of Mormon and other scriptures were rife with historical anomalies, Mr. Mattsson said he felt that the foundation on which he had built his life began to crumble.


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