WHAT’S THIS BLOG ABOUT?

That’s a reasonable question.  Actually, I’ll be using this space often–every day except Sunday–for two purposes:

1) I hope to provide thoughts, quotes, ideas, and observations about the world around us, calling attention to little and big injustices and what we can do about them or highlighting something I found inspirational, funny, or curious.  Some of my posts will be very serious, some will be a sideways glance at something that grabbed my interest.  Some will be on topics that you have suggested (keep those suggestions coming!).  Maybe a random thought will glide through the space between my ears and I’ll pass that on here.

2) Occasionally I’ll tell you when and where I’ll be giving a talk or book-signing, or I’ll pass on comments people have made to me about their experiences with putting ideas from  my books into practice.

Two features will be recurring every week One is Thoughtful Thursday, when I’ll pass on a quote I found particularly thought-provoking.  Sometimes I’ll add  a very sort comment; other times I’ll let the quote speak for itself. It will often be accompanied by an illustrative picture or graphic.  The other is a weekly (on Saturdays) Earth-Friendly Tip, presenting a simple yet effective step we can take to help protect the Earth and all life on it, including humans. Each suggestion will be a small action for an individual or family to take, and many will also save you money.

I hope to establish some dialog with you via my Blog.  Maybe you disagree with one of my blog posts or with something you read on the “Critical Reviews” or “Readers’ Comments” page.  Or your group tried my Study Guide for Small Things Count! and you want to tell me how it went.  Let me know.  Or tell me about something funny, disastrous, inspiring, or frustrating that happened when you tried one of my suggestions.  Make a “small things” suggestion of your own.  Or simply start a discussion on something you would like to talk about.  Whatever the topic, let’s meet on the Blog page and talk.

Child Predator Grooming

Because we never know for sure who’s a sexual predator, it’s important that we know the signs of when one is “grooming” a child. Parents, grandparents, guardians, teachers, parishioners, neighbors–any of us adults who have children we care for and want to look out for…we all need to know the signs so we can keep our children safe.

Here’s a list of the basic steps a predator takes in the grooming process.  For an explanation of each, read the single-page fact sheet Behaviors of Sexual Predators: Grooming.

  • Targeting the victim.
  • Gaining the child’s trust.
  • Filling a need.
  • Isolating the child.
  • Sexualizing the interaction.
  • Maintaining control.

Six steps. That’s all it takes to ensnare a child.

One step–our intervention–is all it takes to save a child.

What the Heck Does “Speak Truth to Power” Mean?

It’s a phrase that has recently become popular, although it is, by no means, new.  It goes back to 1955, when the Quakers used it to urge our country to stand up to all forms of totalitarianism, especially fascism. (It was the title of one of their pamphlets.)

Today, it refers to holding a deep belief in what you say about injustice and using all nonviolent means to have people hear you.  It’s standing up and speaking up, often (but not always) to government.  “Speak truth to power” takes the courage of your convictions.

Too often the phrase is used to justify saying something to Authority that people in authority don’t want to hear.

But, for many, it’s intention is the same today as it was in the 1950s: to change our old thinking about violence and injustice; to reject both; and to embrace peace and justice.  I like that idea very much.

Save on Car and Plane Trips

Unneeded items in your suitcase add extra weight which affects your car’s gas mileage (and your plane-ticket price).  There’s an iPhone/iPad app that facilitates smart packing for your family’s long or short trip.  See  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/packing-pro/id312266675?mt=8.  It will help you save money and help the Earth at the same time.

[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000 or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]

Did You Review that Review?

I’m sensitive about this because I come by all my reviews honestly, and a recent report by Chris Chmura of NBC Bay Area News Responds reminded me of how much this bugs me: the multitude of fake online reviews.

He pointed out that, according  to Yelp, one quarter of their reviews are either biased or fake. That Facebook keeps trying–and failing–to solve the problem.  And that Google is tight-lipped (but seemingly unsuccessful) about their attempts at curbing these bogus reviews.  Yet, most of us continue to check to see what others have to say about a company we’re considering hiring.

Ah, the companies.  Seems like the reviews aren’t just from individuals with a grudge or promoting their relative’s business.  Businesses hire people to do reviews for a specific company or even for a bunch of companies in the same line of work, in order to enhance that industry’s image (and revenue).

What can we do?  Chris Chmura suggests looking at a reviewer’s profile.  Don’t trust them if all their reviews are 5-star positive or very vague.  Watch for brand-new reviewers, too, who are suddenly online posting a good  number of reviews (maybe they’ve just been hired to do this?).   Or people who seem to review only companies in a particular industry but in different cities and states (also hired?).

The government is suing these fakers when they can find them, but there are so many that it’s an uphill battle.

One more thing: you can file a complaint, find out about the latest fraud, and–only if you want to–sign up for fraud alerts at www.fraud.org.

 

Thoughts from a Purple Flower

Today’s Thursday Thought quote is a cost-free idea that is priceless.

“When you see something beautiful in a person, tell them.  It may take seconds to say but for them, it could last a lifetime.” — The Purple Flower

Silly? I Think Not!

My brain is tired of trying to solve big political, geo-political, environmental, and social problems.  So, today I invite you to join me in contemplating questions that some might think trivial–yea, even silly.  But don’t all questions deserve at least attempted answers?

[Thanks to Linda Younts for these.]

Do twins ever realize that one of them is unplanned?

What if my dog only brings back my ball because he thinks I like throwing it?

If poison expires, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?

Which letter is silent in the word “Scent,” the S or the C?

Why is the letter W, in English, called double U? Shouldn’t it be called double V?

If 2/2/22 falls on a Tuesday, can we just call it “2’s Day”?

Airbnb Wakes Up

Airbnb FINALLY realized that people with disabilities like to travel, too! And that we aren’t all the same–many of us need more than what they currently provide as “wheelchair accessible.”

They’ve just acquired a company specializing in accommodations for disabled travelers and will be including that company’s listings in their own, including indicating whether there are such barriers as steps or insufficiently wide doorways.  Plus, they’re giving hosts a checklist of “accessibility needs” and making their service easier to use for the visually impaired.

Good move,  Airbnb–for your bottom line and for millions of travelers with disabilities.

In Defense of Sexual Predators

I hate to say it, but these guys being accused of sexual assault and misconduct MAY have a defense strategy, saying it was acceptable behavior “back then.”  I’m talking about accusations of events happening decades ago, not ones in the relatively recent past (but someone would have to define that).  It definitely isn’t right or moral, but that could very well be set aside.

It happened to me—the butt pats, uncomfortable arm around me, “accidental” breast-brushing, off-color comments about my appearance.  But who could I complain to? Our male boss or his male boss? The men who observed and laughed about it? It wasn’t illegal, so the police would tell me it was just boys being boys, that they were showing their affection for and acceptance of me as a colleague, and I should be a good sport.  Problem is, the attitude I attribute to the police was, in general, society’s attitude at that time.

I’m not trivializing what any woman has gone through.  As I said, I’ve been there and know how it feels and the awkward, even professionally precarious position it puts a woman in.  But I foresee lawyers arguing their clients’ cases, with the spin they’ll likely put on it.  And the greater the number of older men who are accused, the easier the spin.

Let this be a warning to all “good old boys,” which, thankfully, are no longer the majority of men: times have changed, so be a good sport about it and change your ways.

 

The Only Moon that’s Cold but Super

Well, the only Super Moon for 2017. Don’t miss it tomorrow night, Dec. 3 (best time is just after sunset). It will be much more spectacular than a normal moon– 16% brighter and 7% larger.  It will be one of Nature’s finest displays.

What IS a Super Moon? What is a Cold Moon?  Why is this a Full Cold Moon? What is the best way for me to view it?  How can I record it?

For the answers to these question, plus a short video explaining a  Super Moon, go to Newsweek’s article at http://www.newsweek.com/supermoon-2017-full-cold-moon-728118.

Tomorrow night…ENJOY!

Some Facts About 36.7 Million People

Not long ago, it was a death sentence.  It’s feared and misunderstood by many people. Even if it isn’t in the news as much as it once was, it’s still a huge health problem.

HIV/AIDS.

The situation is improving–mainly because of prevention and the fact that there is life-saving medical help. But people are no longer paying much attention to it or to those afflicted with it.

On this World AIDS Day, it’s a good time to catch up on the facts surrounding this disease that currently affects the lives of about 36.7 million people–plus their families and friends.  It’s time to fully buy into this year’s World Health Organization’s theme “Right to Health” and their slogan “Everybody Counts.”

Go to http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/ to read WHO’s fact sheet on HIV/AIDS.  Knowledge leads to understanding leads to compassion leads to a cure.