Playing Catch Up And Some Links On Internet Safety And Ethics

There had too many things to blog about this weekend so I’m just going to try to combine it all into one mish-mash of what’s been going on in my little corner of planet earth.
First – we have a date for my husband’s kidney transplant. November the 27th if he and his sister are both free of infections, colds and flu we should be doing the big swap. It will be our Thanksgiving this year – ironic isn’t it? Dale has already made jokes about being the turkey that will be carved and yes he has a sick sense of humor. It’s probably the thing that has kept our marriage going strong all these years – we are both a little twisted.

I worked the tab room at my son’s school’s debate meet. It was kind of sad to realize that this is the last year I will have him in debate. I am in my usual Scarlett O’Hara mode where all that is concerned – I’ll think about that tomorrow.

My daughter wants to go to Texas A&M Commerce next Saturday for a College Open House thing. She is now thinking about going into education. Her dream is to be a photographer and I am encouraging her to do that but I’m also happy that she is looking at something that will let her make a living while she is building on the photography.

There was so much to read and blog about this weekend and I will try to share the best of it here. Because there is so much I won’t get in depth or I would have to leave a lot out.

Although Blog Action Day is over this article Plastic Ocean just made me crazy so I had to post the link and tell a little about it!

A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing obesity, infertility…and worse.


This picture of a sea turtle with a plastic band around it’s shell almost made me cry. I’m not an animal nut but I believe in being a good steward of the planet including pets and this is just sickening. The article is five pages long and the news is not good. The ocean is full of tiny plastic particles that are entering the food chain and will eventually find their way into us.

Moore says. “You could take your serum to a lab now, and they’d find at least 100 industrial chemicals that weren’t around in 1950.” The fact that these toxins don’t cause violent and immediate reactions does not mean they’re benign: Scientists are just beginning to research the long-term ways in which the chemicals used to make plastic interact with our own biochemistry.

What this means to our kids and their kids genetically is unknown but it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out the news probably isn’t good. I just hope that scientists will start focusing on ways to improve the situation.

One thing I took away from the article that I did not know is that cans that contain foods have a plastic layer on the inside or that there are really only two types that are actually recycled – soda bottles and milk jugs and there is no way to make them into the same items without causing more problems so they generally end up recycled into things that go nowhere near your mouth. Glass, paper, and metal are much better bets for recycling without adding to the pollution.

There is a large number of resource links for cyberethics at the Virginia Center for Technical Education. There are links to websites on plagiarism, internet safety, copyright and more. One site lists the ten rules of “netiquette” of which my personal favorite was “adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life” Here! here!

TotallyWired is a great source of information on online safety. One recent article explained how gangs are using social networking sites like MySpace. Another on Cyberbullying gives a balanced view of some of the problems with these sites – online harrassment can often be blocked – it’s in offline reality where the conversations spill over into the real world that often have real consequences.

once you make something digital it’s very hard to prevent it from being copied, forwarded or misused in some way if someone has it out for you, and that most teens are still shocked that certain photos or communications that were meant to be private turn up in incidents of harassment or bullying. According to the report, “one in 6 teens (15%) told us someone had forwarded or posted communication they assumed was private.”

Bullying has been around since big cavemen picked on little cavemen. People don’t change – the tools do.