Archive for April 29, 2021

What We Change

I don’t know who said this (it was sent to me), but today’s Thursday Thought makes a whole lot of sense.

De-Stress Your Monday (and Tues. and Wed….)

Feeling depressed and stressed-out?  The cure, according to BBC Earth and UC Berkeley research, is watching nature documentaries. They call it “The Real Happiness Project.”  You can read the report at  But the upshot is that such documentaries really brighten women’s outlooks, and young people (16-24)   greatly reduce their stress, fatigue, and nervousness by watching nature clips. In general, most people turned away from negative emotions (sadness, fear, stress) and toward positive ones (joy, happiness, contentment).

Researchers say it points up the interconnection of humans to the Earth.

Okay, it’s Monday, the saddest day of the week.  So, brighten up with this clip:

Ducks & Bread

Kids and adults both like to toss out bread to the ducks and watch them scramble toward you to gobble up the goodies. Be sure you understand what you’re doing, though. This Sensible Saturday blog explains it from a duck’s point of view:

Warning About Mental Health Apps

This is important information from Consumer Reports for anyone who has ever used or may use a mental health app. Please read it and consider joining their workshop on April 27 at 4:00 Pacific Time (1:00 Eastern).

The privacy policies used by mental health apps don’t always make it clear to users what kind of data could be shared, or how it could be used. In fact, our own testers found that many of these apps are sharing your unique smartphone ID with several companies, including Facebook.

During the webinar we will be introducing people to how apps share data with a slew of other companies, and why those practices can give rise to privacy concerns. If you’ve ever wondered how apps use your personal information, and what you should be considering when you are thinking about using a mental health app, this workshop is for you!

If you want to know more, please RSVP now for our virtual workshop. If you can’t make it, RSVP anyway and we’ll send you a recording of the workshop afterward for you to watch when you have the time.

Also, if you can, please spread the word about this workshop to your friends and family — particularly if you know someone who is using, or considering using, a mental health app.

I hope to see you on April 27th at 1pm ET/ 10am PT.

Alan Smith
Consumer Reports

A Timely Thursday Thought

Today’s Thursday Thought quote is particularly apt for this day:

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew. – Marshall McLuhan

Happy Earth Day!

It Feels So Good

It feels so good to see the justice system work. The verdict is a benefit to the system, to anyone potentially harmed by the system, to the good police officers (they’re the majority) blamed for the actions of the few bad actors in their ranks, and to our country as a whole.

Proper Identification of the Location

We’re constantly hearing about the number of vaccinations “into people’s arms.” I can’t help wondering–if reporting the location is so important, and if the shots had to be administered into our gluteus maximus, would we hear either “into people’s butts” or “into people’s asses”?

Some Monday Humor

I just felt like starting the week on an un-serious note. Covid’s keeping us away from each other physically has brought us closer to our phones if we want to hear a human voice. Anyway, this cartoon tickled my Ma-Bell bone.

Buying a Pet

A darling puppy presses its damp nose against the store window.  One of the popular breeds.  You promised the kids a pet…Stop!  Although the salesman says they don’t get their animals from puppy/kitten mills, most pet stores do.  This pup’s mom probably spends her life in an area that’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter, in a small cage, never allowed to run and play.  She keeps on birthing pups as fast as the owners can breed her.  When she’s too sick or old to produce, she’s destroyed.  So, adopt an animal from the Humane Society, friend, or breed-specific rescue-group—then have it spayed or neutered.  By adopting and spaying/neutering a dog or cat, you deprive unscrupulous breeders of the reason to stay in business, don’t add to the population of unwanted animals, and save the life of one of the 2.7 million healthy dogs and cats euthanized each year simply because of overpopulation.  Ask yourself: Were these lovable companions created only to have us abuse and kill them?  I doubt it.

Warning: Keep Those Copies!

Just fill out that form and turn it in, right? Wrong. Make a copy for your records–ALWAYS. You can toss it when you’re sure you’ll never need it, or stick it with your tax records for that year. Let me tell you a horror story, lived by someone close to me, whom I’ll refer to as “Sam.”

About three years ago Sam sold a vehicle through Craigslist. He took down the man’s name, address, and licence number, and they signed the transfer document for the DMV and an informal bill of sale.  He collected his cash. A few days later Sam went to the DMV and turned in his transfer of ownership He would learn later that, because the DMV could find no record of the man, the transfer stayed in limbo.

Jump forward a few years. Sam is the sudden recipient of nasty calls from a collection agency.  Seems the buyer never registered the vehicle but drove it and chalked up a bunch of tickets, leading the vehicle to be towed, stored, and liened.  The company sent notices to Sam–at an address he hadn’t lived at in years–then, getting the certified notices returned, which legally counts as their having been delivered, the company auctioned off the vehicle, leaving a sizable balance owed. Sam’s not responsible because he no longer owned the vehicle when the tickets were issued, right? Wrong again. The vehicle was never taken out of Sam’s name until the company sold it at auction, leaving him holding the bag.

Sam had not kept copies of the paperwork he turned in to DMV. If he had, he might have pointed out that (maybe) the DMV person inputting the data was misreading it, or he’d have a clue of the buyer’s name and address and could have tried to find him, or….  Instead, he paid a whole bunch of money for someone else’s misdeeds.

Moral: Keep a copy of every potentially important scrap of paper you turn over to a person or agency.