Archive for the ‘Global Citizen’ Category

Stop the Madness

Posted: November 9, 2013 by Nerdy Woman in Global Citizen
Tags: , , , , , ,

What Mass Killers Want — And How to Stop Them

A lengthy but compelling article makes the case for minimizing the attention given to massacres as a way to reduce the frequency of these events.

Personally, I doubt the news media will pay attention and restrain from sensationalizing such horrific crimes.


WordPress offers a daily writing prompt and today, the prompt “Connect the Dots” invited me to find an uninteresting news article and tell how it relates to my life. Ouch.

I could spend the entire day reading articles. I’ve never found one that is totally uninteresting. Maybe that’s because I love information. I’m the ultimate collector of information. Today, I took an 8th grade quiz from 1912 on the Christian Science Monitor website and I now know the geographic location of Montenegro, who discovered the Mississippi River, and confirmed that I know the purpose of the liver and kidneys in the human body.

I also learned that at least one group thinks that bullying can be stopped by teaching empathy, not respect (oookay), that I really do want an Xbox One and huge TV, and the NOAA is quashing rumors of a huge island of tsunami debris floating off the West Coast of the continental United States (whew! I was worried about that).

Somehow, the obituary section of the Daily Independent in Ashland, Kentucky made it to the Bing news feed. While this may not seem relevant to me, it does remind me that I need to call my mom, connect with a relative who has a lot of genealogy information, and live well while I can.

The Daily Post:

How to Lock Down Facebook Privacy Now That Old Posts Are Searchable

As of yesterday, Facebook Graph Search has officially opened its big, omniscient arms to every last …

This article provides the quick-and-dirty information you need to limit access to your facebook history. It doesn’t take long to read and it doesn’t take long to do. And parents, DO THIS ON YOUR KID’S FACEBOOK ACCOUNT, TOO. It could be important to their future…

Hurricanes. Wild fires. Earthquakes. Floods. An exploding gas pipeline in the neighborhood. For years, emergency preparedness has been advocated and advised by emergency responders, government agencies, and insurance companies. So are you ready? I’m not.

Excuses for not being prepared for an emergency:

  • The supply list seems so long and funds seem so short. Why spend money on something you don’t intend to use?
  • Where to store it all. As someone who moved from 1400 sq ft to 900 sq ft, this issue is very real.
  • Isn’t that what the Red Cross is for?
  • Lifestyle. Why should a single apartment dweller be worried about such a thing? Why not just get in your car and leave the stricken area?


While this seems like a strange topic for a personal blog, it has long been on my mind. And since September is National Preparedness Month, I just had to jump in to the fray.

As someone who has prepared emergency response plans for businesses, I have often thought that employers should get involved in helping workers prepare for emergencies. Why? Because when it comes to a business resuming operations after a disaster, their most valuable asset is their employees. Moreover, they can buy supplies in bulk and reduce the cost to each household.

Solution to acquiring the items on the supply list:

Break the big list down into smaller shopping lists. Get storage containers first, then stow items in them as they are purchased (Big Lots has big, clear plastic containers for about $9 each). Make a 12-week plan. Why 12 weeks? Because 3 months is a good length of time. Most of us break our income into monthly periods, so it’s easier to budget these purchases this way. Take 6 months if you absolutely need to do so, but 6 months makes it a long-term project, more likely to be abandoned before completion.

Depending on where you live, some of the things you need may be big-ticket items. Safe rooms in tornado alley, impact-resistant roofing in areas assaulted by hail and wind, and so on. Those may, in fact, require some longer-term projects and planning. But check with your insurer and your accountant. You may be eligible for tax and premium credits/discounts or even grants for purchasing these important building improvements.

Where to store it all:

Despite my own lack of space, I know I can find room in a closet or in the single-car garage for two or three large plastic containers. So can you. It’s important. Make room.

What the Red Cross can and cannot do:

The Red Cross does an excellent job of responding to disasters. They offer food and temporary shelter when possible. But don’t expect them to be knocking on your door within two hours after the earthquake or the river overflows its banks. In fact, the Red Cross says that it may be two to three days before assistance is near enough to help you. You need to be prepared to be self-sustaining in the interim.

Driving away from a disaster may not be possible:

Having survived many earthquakes in California (Sylmar, 1971; Whittier Narrows, 1986; Northridge, 1994 – my favorite – I had surgery scheduled that morning), I can tell you that gas stations may be shut down, ATMs may not be operating (do you keep emergency cash on hand?), or roads may be impassable. Your car may be in 4 feet of water, crushed under a garage roof, or sitting on top of a roof across town. If you live in an area where evacuation in advance is possible and probable, this may not be as much of an issue. But keep in mind that the worst non-subduction zone earthquakes in U.S. history occurred in New Madrid, Missouri (1811-1812).

If the most likely event is one that will require evacuation, begin disaster season in your region with a bag packed for each person in the household. You need to be able to fly out the door. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to have a clean change of clothes or two?

So let’s get started. Get your home ready. Get your business ready. Talk to your employer about getting the entire staff prepared, especially if your company is one that people will need after the disaster. Break the tasks into manageable pieces, but keep moving forward.

Here are some resources to help us get started:

A good list of tax credits, insurance discounts, grant programs available for specific states:

This is a one-stop site for households and businesses. Hosted by FEMA, you’ll find a lot of good information here, including the supply kit shopping list and ways to prepare children and people with special needs for emergencies.

If you’d rather buy than build your disaster survival kit:

Of course, the American Red Cross provides information about disaster preparedness. And after you think you’re ready, you can sign up for a first-aid class or to volunteer to help others:

ADD this site to your phone’s browser favorites. You’ll get information after a disaster, including their twitter feed and phone numbers you’ll need if you require disaster assistance. They also have your kit shopping list so you have no excuse for not having it with you.

Now make a commitment to yourself. Buy stuff you hope you’ll never need, but need to have anyway. Let’s get this done!

“He tried to hit me with a forklift!” (for today’s Daily Post)

Submitted to Daily Post:



thumbnailCAWQCO3OThe internet is rife with social media websites and those that categorize themselves as such. Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Those are the most common. Then there’s Tumblr, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Path.

What’s wrong with every one of these? You have to bring your own friends, allow the site to cull information from your address book, or search for people you know. When you have something to say, only your friends or followers will see what you post. With Twitter, you can include an @someone to make your post visible to someone who isn’t following you, but only the recipient sees your post, not their followers. You can use hashtags to have your comments included in a trending topic, but again, the audience is limited to those who search on the hashtag.

What if you want to meet new people? What if you want to shout out to the world?

The geeks at Microsoft Fuse Labs have been building a social media website called (pronounced social). On socl, you can follow and be followed, but from the moment you click post on your first message to the world, other soclizers can see it, comment on it, like it, and riff on it.

Riffs are a cool little tool that allow you to comment on another post with a post of your own, linking back to the original to show the relationship between the two. is a very graphic website, with built-in tools that make it easy to post pictures, collages, blinks (animated GIFs), memes, and videos. You don’t have to have pictures or search and download then upload. There are built-in search tools in the post creator tools.

I’ve been using since July and have met many people from all around the world. The things I say and share are acknowledged, commented on, riffed on. If you want to meet new people, I encourage you to join the conversation at


Josh is the nephew of a friend of mine. Yesterday was Josh’s 30th birthday, almost 10 yrs since his disappearance. His family has not forgotten him and not a day goes by that he is not mentioned and we share a somber moment. Someone has information, has answers. Several classmates were never questioned. Their lives haven’t been interrupted but I hope they remember. I pray they’ll finally believe it’s time to come forward with anything they know about Josh’s disappearance, Josh’s life interrupted.

AMW | Missing Persons | Joshua Guimond | Case.

I’ve often wondered how much large companies budget for customer satisfaction handlers. You know, the people who respond when customers complain. Of course, those same people would also respond if you were to send a compliment to the company, but I doubt the company spends any time training them how to do that. Oh, but wouldn’t such a thing make their day?

We’re quick to complain when someone does something wrong, something that displeases us, something that does not meet our expectations. And maybe that last is the crux of it. We expect products to be as advertised. We expect people we work with to look professional and do their jobs. So why don’t we acknowledge companies and people who exceed our expectations rather than only speaking up when they fall short?

Exhale. Look around. Find something that pleases or amuses you. It could be the receptionist who looks professional instead of punk today. Or the Hugh Laurie music playing while you wait in line at Starbucks. Anything. And the day is already a little bit better.

Now, take 5 seconds to tell the receptionist she looks nice. It is NOT harassment to compliment her. She probably agonized for 2 hours getting ready for work, hoping her new appearance would be noticed. And when she smiles, you’ll feel better.

If you’re the boss, acknowledge extra effort from everyone. Let them know they’re appreciated. It’s worth more than a raise in pay.

Dash off an e-mail to a company whose product exceeds your expectations. It won’t take but a minute. It will feel awkward, maybe even goofy, but somewhere out there, your message will be read and a stranger will smile. I’ll bet you’ll be smiling, too.