July 07, 2007
'If You Liked School, You'll Love Work' — best book title of the year
£6.99 at Amazon UK.
Couple his book title with the best definition of work I've ever come across, to wit: "Work is what you're doing when you'd rather be doing something else" — formulated by Ian Stevenson — and you're all set to face the great world.
5-LED Cap Light
LED Wars are on.
Speaking of which, if they keep adding lights they're gonna have to start stacking them if they don't want to also illuminate the perimeter.
From the website:
- Cap Light
Cap Light with 5 super-bright LED bulbs focuses light and frees your hands so you can work on crafts, do detail work or read.
Slips securely onto the bill of any cap and comes with either white, green or red bulbs so it’s great for outdoor activities such as hunting, tracking and camping.
3-1/4" light uses two button cell batteries (included).
Has On/Off button.
White, Green or Red bulbs.
The Red version might be very useful for photographers who develop their own work and others whose adaptation to darkness needs to be as rapid as possible.
'In a flash: The day my toddler slipped under water' — by Janis Jaquith
Who hasn't had a heart-stopping moment like the one she describes?
So much depends on chance and fate.
- In a flash: The day my toddler slipped under water
Her hair, that's what I noticed first: the long golden mane floating above her head like seaweed.
In one of those enduring nanoseconds — a mental snapshot that lasts a lifetime — I discovered my toddler entirely under water in the deep end of the baby pool. She was upright, as still as a stone, not a sign of panic or struggle — or life.
She was two years old that summer. We had arrived at the neighborhood pool just moments before. It was hot; the place was crowded. As always, we headed for the baby pool. I set down my bag and turned away from the water long enough to spread a towel over the lounge chair.
How long was I turned away? That's the question I kept asking myself afterward. How long could it have been? Ten seconds? Twenty?
Long enough, apparently, for a two-year-old to step off the side of the pool and sink into three feet of water without so much as a splash or a gasp or being observed by any of the dozens of parents clustered around the pool.
Why didn't she struggle? If I fell into the water and couldn't swim, you can bet I'd be thrashing around like crazy, calling for help.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, "Children under the age of five years do not struggle in the water. They can drown without making a sound." So, our experience was not unusual: This is what a drowning toddler looks like.
And nationally, nine out of ten children who drown are "under supervision."
But then, "supervision" is a slippery term. Is it "supervision" if mom or dad or the sitter is reading or chatting on a cell phone? Or if you turn your back long enough to spread out a towel? Technically, yes. Unfortunately, it may not be enough to prevent tragedy.
I dropped to my knees, reached down into the water to grasp a tiny arm, and hauled her up into the air. Jill opened her eyes and took a breath, sputtered and coughed for a few seconds. I pulled her close and wrapped my arms around her.
My heart still hammering, I looked up at all the grownups surrounding the pool: people engaged in conversations, or reading, or watching their own children. If anyone observed our brief drama, there was no indication.
Jill immediately began to struggle and freed herself from my arms. She wanted to know: Where was her ball? Where was her bucket? Not a word about sinking below the water, unable to breathe.
What happened down there? That's what I want to know. It's as though some mysterious force overtook my daughter the moment deep water swallowed her.
At a mere two years of age, was it some kind of reflex that made her think she was afloat in the safety of the womb again?
If she had fallen on the cement and skinned her knee, there would have been tears and residual sadness — a story to tell Daddy later in the day.
But nearly drowning appeared to fall below her level of awareness; there was no need for consolation.
I wonder still, 22 years later, what it was like for her. Did she slip into another dimension, a Twilight Zone for toddlers?
The National "Safe Kids" Campaign (usa.safekids.org) recommends a designated "water watcher" — an adult who maintains unbroken vigilance whenever children are in or near the water. Amen.
I discovered that day that you can't rely on other adults who happen to be at the pool to keep an eye on your child.
A bystander who is not your designated "water watcher" is not likely to be engaged and vigilant, and your child can slip out of your arms — and out of this life — in utter silence and without a hint of struggle.
Ms. Jaquith's website, www.radioessays.com, features many of her essays in text form as well as listenable audio versions.
Her first book, a collection of essays entitled "Birdseed Cookies: A Fractured Memoir," was published in 2000.
Helpful Hints from joeeze: Book of the year
Annie Groer featured it in the June 21, 2007 Washington Post Home section, as follows.
- Time-Honored Tips, Wrapped in Nostalgia
The best thing about "Classic Household Hints" by Susan Waggoner (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $17.95) is its many useful tips, some decades old. They include: Refrigerate plastic wrap to keep it from sticking to itself when unrolled, and use an eraser to remove rubber shoe marks from the floor. Vintage magazine ads and illustrations — Wagner's Komb-Kleaned Sweeper "Takes the 'Weep' Out of Sweeping" — don't just celebrate domestic verities but remind us how far we've come.
A New Yorker who has co-written several books about cocktails, Waggoner offers a six-decade "cavalcade of progress" that cites such breakthroughs as patented wire hangers (1903), the Kelvinator refrigerator (1914), the gas stove (1929), Windex (1933), Tupperware (1946) and push-button garage door openers (1951). The last entry is GE's self-cleaning oven (1963).
For the 21st century, she urges dusting computer screens with non-static dryer sheets. And when ironing a dress — a must-have this season — do the bodice first and skirt last.
Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry: 'Site Lists Vicious Virginia Dogs — All 9 of Them'
It went live last Sunday, July 1.
Curious about whether that barking dog next to the house you just closed on is on it?
Better late than never, I suppose.
The registry website's here.
The headline of a July 4 Roanoke Times article by Joe Kendall appears up top.
Here's the story.
- Site Lists Vicious Virginia Dogs — All 9 of Them
The Dangerous Dog Registry debuted this week, but some kinks need to be ironed out
Postal workers take note: The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has launched a Web site aimed at making it easier to avoid the perils of problem pooches.
The Dangerous Dog Registry, an Internet database much like the state sex offender registry, made its debut this week after more than a year of development, VDACS spokeswoman Marion Horsley said.
The registry provides a list of dogs classified as dangerous by local courts or officials. The database can be searched by locality or ZIP code, but there's one problem: The list is incomplete.
Horsley said only nine dogs have been entered into the registry so far.
Only one dog shows up when users search Roanoke County, but Roanoke County Police Department Sgt. Tim Wyatt said he has submitted information for at least four county dogs deemed dangerous since the legislature mandated the registry in 2006.
"I don't know if it's something where it has just come online and they're still entering data or what," Wyatt said.
State veterinarian Richard Wilkes said that VDACS had received incomplete forms from several localities but was working to obtain the necessary information. Wilkes also indicated that a statewide standardization of definitions and procedures for a declaring a dog dangerous had limited the initial size of the list.
As to the number of dogs that should be registered, Wilkes said, "We don't really have a valid guess." He said about 100 dogs had been registered in various jurisdictions before the statewide registry was created.
Furthermore, Wilkes said some localities have not yet submitted the appropriate information to VDACS. One such locality is Surry County, where federal investigators recently searched for evidence of alleged dog fighting at a home formerly owned by ex-Virginia Tech football star Michael Vick.
Although almost all of the nearly 100 jurisdictions that can be searched return no results, there are four dangerous dogs listed in Roanoke alone.
Roanoke resident Juan Garcia said only truly dangerous dogs should be on the list. Garcia said that two years ago his golden retriever Fototo accidentally scratched a girl while playing. Though it was the only time the dog had harmed anyone, it landed Fototo in court and on the list of dangerous dogs.
Like Garcia, Wyatt said the list was a good idea but expressed concern that some of the dogs don't deserve to be on the registry. Most Roanoke County dogs that ended up being classified as dangerous by the court were first-time offenders that had acted abnormally in unfamiliar circumstances, Wyatt said.
The registry was part of a legislative response after a string of dog attacks killed four people in 2005.
In addition to the registry, several new requirements were adopted when the General Assembly mandated the list last year. Owners of dogs deemed dangerous must keep them on a leash or a muzzle in public, post warning signs, obtain $100,000 liability insurance or surety bond, and fit their dogs with a special tag and a microchip or tattoo.
I can't speak for you but me, I find it passing bizarre that owners of dangerous dogs are not only expected to submit their information to the state, but in addition pay $100 to do so.
I don't think it's likely that's gonna happen very often: I just had a look at Richmond's list here and guess what: according to the registry there are no dangerous dogs in Richmond (top).
Tell you what: when I drive to the hospital where I work in that city there are some awfully feisty ones yapping and growling along the way.
What is it?
Check back here this time tomorrow.
Storynory.com — 'Free audio stories for kids'
- For Bedtime Stories, Just Press 'Play'
For families on long car trips, there's a new boredom killer: free podcasts of children's stories.
The tales come from London-based Storynory, which offers them on its Web site and on iTunes. Read by a drama-school graduate and aspiring actress named Natasha Gostwick, the 82 stories available range from classics like "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Alice in Wonderland" to new stories written by the Web site's founders, who are writers. Through the podcast, they hope to generate a fan base for their unpublished tales like "Bertie the Frog" and "Jack and the Pirate School." The stories are aimed at children up to age 11.
Nikki Markle, a Montana mother of two, says she enjoys listening to the fairy tales together with her kids — with her eyes shut. "I still read bedtime stories to my kids, but [the podcasts] are a nice bonus to have, especially when we travel," Mrs. Markle says.
With 140,000 downloads last month, co-founder Hugh Fraser, a former radio journalist with the BBC World Service, says he is thinking about adding advertisements to the podcasts, as long at they are not "loud and obtrusive." For now, the podcasts are ad-free.
From the website:
- Flexible Brush
Imagine an easy way to clean wine decanters, bottles, and other hard-to-reach places.
Simply turn the handle clockwise to go from firm to flexible brush.
Soft bristles won't scratch glass.
11"L x 2-1/4" Diam.