Thursday, February 19, 2009

Scary Stuff

Like Facebook? Apparently, this site, once beloved by teenagers, has become popular with a wider audience. (Take that either way.) However, people who use the site are giving their pictures, emails, comments, and other content to fellow users and to the owners of the site. Even if a user deletes content, it is still archived. Think about your online content. I’ve often warned my students that anything online is as private as a movie poster on display. Anyone who ever wants to get or keep a job should consider what might happen if such content makes it to an employer.

Remember the “lead in toys from China” scare last year? So does our federal government. While growing up in rural Georgia, I had a minibike, my sister had a go-cart, and I rode numerous motorcycles over the years, everything from a Honda 65 to my dad’s Suzuki 1000 four cylinder. Kids are going to be giving up their rides, however. The illustrious “nanny-state” congress passed a law to regulate lead content in toys for children under twelve. This means that any item for youngsters, including mini bikes, motorcycles, and go-carts, would have to be tested and proven lead free. It is tough to make a battery without it, so manufacturers and dealers who sell these products just withdrew them from sale. Some parents are now filled with relief to know that the United States government doing their all to keep elementary and middle school age kids from chewing on their motorbikes.

Recently, my sister and I were seated together at a babyshower. The hostess stated that we’d be playing a game, and sister rolled her eyes and said, “Oh, no. The last one I went to had the 'poopy diaper' game, and we were to identify the contents of the soiled diaper.”

“Say what?” I responded. Sister went on to explain the game in more detail. Okay, it has been a while since I had a baby, but I was appalled by this apparently popular baby shower time waster, wherein the hostess melts various chocolate candies into disposable diapers, and participants are to figure out which diaper has the Reeses and which one has the Andes mints via appearance and smell. Yuck! Voltaire once said, “Common sense is not so common.” Thankfully, my young cousins, who were hostessing, chose more conventional games, such as matching children with their celebrity parents. Alas, I was horrible at the game, because I did not know most of those “famous” people. I did enjoy visiting with aunts and cousins. My second cousin, who was being “showered,” got enough stuff to handle a litter, so it was no doubt good for our ailing economy.

Here is a brief update to this post. A young woman across the pond lost her job when she said that it was "boring" on Facebook.

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