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How to Get Easter Egg Dye off Your Hands

Easter Eggs
(Image is in the Public Domain)

Why are there so many top ranked answers for how to get the dye out of your or your kids' hands that just don't help? Dishsoap? Baking soda or toothpaste plus lots of scrubbing? Feh. Well, consider that baking soda does provide great cleaning power and abasion, but vinegar is what they use to disolve the dye packs in the first place. I figured, why not use both?

I put a small pile of baking soda into my daughter's hand then sprayed some vinegar on it (I had some in a spray bottle, but you can just pour it). It started bubbling as they do when combined and I helped her rub it semi-vigerously over her hand for a few seconds. A good rinse and pop; there you go!

Left hand clean, right hand still green.
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Man Hunts and Beats Teen for Mocking Him Online

Stalking
(Image is in the Public Domain)

For anyone who's participated in forums, online games, or any other system where you can communicate with random strangers, you've probably encountered people who make you angry. Some are just people who you don't get along with legitimately, and some are "trolls"; people who toy with others for their amusement.

What makes people trolls is generally the anonymous nature of the Internet. Sadly, this is often a perceived anonymity only. Just yesterday, I found a post I didn't agree with and wanted to comment on it. Since the author had locked comments, I did a little web research and found her real name, school, e-mail address, and other sites she posted to. I was only looking for some means to contact her, but the information was fully filled out on these sites with no protection at all.

Imagine her shock to find out how easily she was found (and to be honest she called me quite a few names at first though we did have a good conversation after that).

Sadly, most people don't realize how difficult it is to be truly anonymous. The only things keeping you safe in many cases is that you've never given anyone enough reason to look you up. And now we get to the real story.

Online games can be tense and frustrating. For example, the first time I played an online competitive game, I was completely crushed in seconds and insulted repeatedly for my efforts. I chose to stick with offline gaming but others weather the storm and build their skills to the point they can keep up and even be good enough to win.

However, there are just going to be times that someone is better than you. That's frustrating enough, but when they're rude and insulting, it can be maddening. And for context, understand that the people who are the rudest are often younger males who believe they don't have to "pull any punches" since they don't have to face the consequences of their actions (an idea that was excellently portrayed in Disney's Pinocchio).

My point is, this kid was being an ass with abandon. What was his opponent going to do? Hunt him down and hurt him? Turns out the answer was yes.

And believe it or not, there's a lot of support for the attacker online. The sad fact is that there are still consequences for what we do, even if we're online. Similar to the adive every parent must give to their children of how posts last forever, we must also teach our kids not to draw undue agression. After all, how do you know whether the person you're "Teabagging" has the ability and desire to come after you in person?

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Laundry Hacks

You wouldn't use one this large, but this is the idea

Here's a bunch of neat tricks I found today how to hack your laundry:

  • Use a small ball of tin foil instead of dryer sheets to eliminate static
  • Toss a ball or yarn or a tennis ball into the dryer for baster drying times
  • Avoid dryer sheets entirely because they leave a film on your lint catcher that can blow out your dryer.

Be sure to read the comments and check out some of the links there to see other related tips and tricks. Tags: , , , , ,

Friending Your Kids on Facebook

I just read an article online about how almost half of parents have “friended” their kids on Facebook.

many parents see the value in trying to "friend" their kids on social networks, even though it might be a bit awkward at times. According to Retrevo, most parents who are Facebook friends with their kids have teenagers—only 8 percent of parents said kids under 12 should have Facebook accounts in the first place—and they say that they learn a lot about their teens this way.

Original article here:

I agree that monitoring your child’s use of the Internet is very important and friending your kids is one way to do it. But like I just showed you, your kids can separate friends by group (real friends, school friends, my mom and dad) and then customize what your friends see by the group they’re in.

Everyone can see this, except Mom and Dad!

That means that your kids can post whatever they want and exclude you from it, just by adding you to a special group ("Outcasts", "Enemies", etc). For kids that are no longer living at home or have earned your trust when it comes to protecting themselves online, just friending them might be enough. Let them try to use the privacy controls to keep you out of things they don’t want you to share with you and then call them on mistakes. They’ll learn very quickly how to be careful about what they post and who can see it (a very valuable privacy skill).

But for younger kids or ones who just don’t “get it”, there’s a better way. Make use of these sites conditional based on you having their password to the account. Rather than being their friend, you can log in as them and see and control everything. In this scenario, you have the opportunity to discuss with them the things they say, do, and see in the system without them being able to restrict your visibility.

While they are quite sure to resent your presence, if you pick your battles and only get involved when you really need to (sexting, cyber bullying, weighing in on their “friends” selection, and helping them learn what information is too sensitive to post), you will likely be able to accomplish your goal of parenting without generating too much resentment.

A word of caution; this balance is very important! If you smother them too much, they’ll likely create a second account that you don’t know about and use it instead. Of course, finding out if your kids are posting online in places you don't know is a separate conversation entirely.
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Myths About Internet Sexual Predators

The truth about Internet creeps and how to defend your family against them
(Image is in the Public Domain)

Some very interesting facts from the Crimes Against Children Research Center:

In the vast majority of Internet sex crimes against young people, offenders did not actually deceive youth about the fact that they were adults who had sexual intentions. Acknowledging that they were older, the offenders seduced youth by being understanding, sympathetic, flattering, and by appealing to young people’s interest in romance, sex and adventure.

Although cases of abduction, forcible rape and murder have occurred, they are very rare. According to research looking at crimes ending in arrest, violence occurred in only 5% of cases. In most encounters, victims meet offenders voluntarily and expect sexual activity, because they feel love or affection for the person they have been corresponding with. Typically they have sex with the adult on multiple occasions. Most of these crimes are statutory rather than forcible rapes.

Virtually all cases of Internet sex crimes involve youth 12 and up. Most victims are ages 13 – 15. Younger children have much less interest than teens in interacting with and going to meet unknown persons they have encountered online. Avoid implying that the typical youngster vulnerable to online offenders is a young child.

Research has shown that simply posting or sending some personal information online does not put youth at risk. The reason is that most young people (like most adults) do give out personal information. It is hard to be online without doing so. A warning ("Never give out personal information online") that is so broad and runs counter to such common practices is not likely to make young people trust the source of such advice.

And a set of consolidated advice:

  1. Be smart about what you post on the Web and what you say to others. The Web is a lot more public and permanent than it seems.
  2. Provocative and sexy names and pictures can draw attention from people you don't want in your life.
  3. Sexy pictures can get you into trouble with the law. If you are underage, they may be considered child pornography, a serious crime.
  4. Be careful what you download or look at, even for a laugh. Some of the images on the Internet are extreme, and you can’t “unsee ? something.
  5. Going to sex chat rooms and other sex sites may connect you with people who can harass you in ways you don't anticipate.
  6. Free downloads and file-sharing can put pornography on your computer that you may not want and can be hard to get rid of . Any pornography that shows children or teens under 18 is illegal child pornography and can get you in big trouble.
  7. Adults who talk to you about sex online are committing a crime. So are adults who meet underage teens for sex. Some teens think it might be fun, harmless or romantic, but it means serious trouble for everyone. It’s best to report it.
  8. Don't play along with people on the Web who are acting badly, taking risks and being weird. Even if you think it's harmless and feel like you can handle it, it only encourages them and may endanger other young people.
  9. Report it when other people are acting weird and inappropriately or harassing you or others. It's less trouble just to log off, but these people may be dangerous. Save the communication. Contact the site management, your service provider, the CyberTipline or even the police.
  10. Don't let friends influence your better judgment. If you are surfing with other kids, don't let them pressure you to do things you ordinarily wouldn't.
  11. Be careful if you ever go to meet someone you have gotten to know through the Internet. You may think you know them well, but they may fool you. Go with a friend. Tell your parents. Meet in a public place. Make sure your have your cell phone and an exit plan.
  12. Don’t harass others. People may retaliate in ways you don’t expect.
  13. You can overestimate your ability to handle things. It may feel like you are careful, savvy, aware of dangers, and able to manage the risks you take, but there are always unknowns. Don’t risk disasters.

The above is documented in this PDF.

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