Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A new blog, some new fun!

No, not me. I've stumbled across Dumb Little Man - Tips for Life and am enjoying it. The post that got me today was How to Spot Myths or Old Wives Tales from a Distance. If you are like me, and since your reading this you probably are, you get your share of questions and forwards from folks that you know is complete trash, and yet, people forward to you as refined internet gold.

Normally I'll push back gently and teach folks how to use Snopes (and kudos to those of you reading who now use it as a litmus test before forwarding!). Normally though, it takes years to drive a good Snopes spike through the myth vampire. It hadn't occurred to me that people may be being misled because of a lack of information on how to spot these scams. With that in mind, a few snippets of wisdom from Dumb Little Men!
3. Is the source reliable? Who is telling you this information? Are they likely to know the truth about the subject? More importantly, if they are just passing on information, is their source reliable. A classic old wives tale will start with the phrase, "They say that...”. This is an attempt to sound authoritative without the onerous task of actually being authoritative.

When someone tells you "They say that 60% of businesses fail in their first year and 95% of online businesses don't make it past 6 months" your alarm bells should start to ring. Who are They? Why don't they have a name? Can I contact them or refer to their research to see if their claim is correct?

4. Does it match with reality?
Sometimes there are opportunities for us to test Old Wives Tales in the real world. This happens when we can compare the claim with what we observe for ourselves.
"If you let a baby cry itself to sleep, it will develop separation anxiety"
Look at a few cases of children that have been allowed to cry themselves to sleep and see how they have developed. If you see examples that have grown up into well adjusted children, then you know the Old Wives Tale isn't as water tight as it sounds. A dozen cases cannot conclusively prove an old wives tale correct, but just one or two might disprove it.
Check out the article for all 10....

Monday, November 05, 2007

2007 Child's Play is up!

The 2007 Child's play charity drive is on. Go make your donation! ;)

Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child's Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over two million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children's hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With over 45 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child's Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, so please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference!

Friday, November 02, 2007

There's a blanket in the freezer....

If you ever wonder how your kids are going to turn out, I can clue you in; They will be as weird as you, their parents, are.

Last night we were putting the kids to bed and having a bit of the "I forgot my...". Normally the rule is, if you don't remember it, you can forget about it - this was an exception night, so I went off to find my son's blanket. The one he has had since he was too young to know he had it.

I couldn't find it. Thus, I used the innate magical abilities that are granted to Fathers everywhere and cast my spell of searching; "Wifey? Have you seen Kyle's blanket?"

"Yes. It's in the freezer."

Come again? "Uh. Ok." I may not understand why, but I know a "I'm sure I know" tone when I hear it. In the freezer, above the frozen veggies and below the frozen meats, was one semi-frozen blanket.

"I put it in there once over the summer and he loved it," she explained. Anyone tell him it's November and not August?

I brought it back to my son who quickly turned it into a pillow/wrap.

"Dude, that's cold." I said with all the wisdom of my position as Father.

"I like it that way!" He said, and rolled into it a few more times for good measure.

Odd, but how often is that likely to happen? Being weird myself, I went into the freezer this morning for some ice and there his blanket was cooling for tonight.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

An interesting view of the web....

This one is too big to post. I do like how the "Eye of Google" (Sauron) sits between OpenSource and Microsoft.... Requires some decent geek knowledge to decode. Check it out.