“Texting can be deadly” video makes an impact

Driving is part of social responsibility.

With about 62 million registered vehicles in the U.S. (according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Statistical Records Office), there are a lot of people sitting behind the wheel of 2-ton (or heavier) hunk of metal moving at high speeds. Human error while driving can lead to disaster.

So it’s up to each and every one of us to pay attention, drive safely and assertively, and obey the laws of the road. Texting while driving, particularly because it is one of the most common and most avoidable causes of accidents, is one of the big hot button driving topics today.

And to add more attention the issue, police officers in England teamed up with Brynmawr filmmaker Peter Watkins- Hughes to make a video that would raise awareness. “A gruesome video on the Web, called ‘Texting Can Be Deadly,’ is getting lots of hits and creating some controversy” wrote Tony Bizjak. The reactions to this “public service announcement , sponsored by police in Gwent, England” brought the issue of texting while driving to the forefront of the international agenda.

The Heddlu Gwent Police hope “the film will become part of the core schools programme across Wales and ultimately the UK.” In the U.S., this video helped the transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, decide to organize a Distracted Driving Summit today and tomorrow, and the main question of the summit will have to involve a ban of texting while driving.

I’ll be honest, this video is not embedded in this post yet because I really want to warn that it is graphic. On first attempt, I had to stop watching because I found it so disturbing. I have been in a really bad car crash and so the footage may be much more upsetting to me than to others. That being said, it is graphic, serious and effective. Please watch it for yourself:

This video is graphic. You have been warned.

What do you think about the intentions behind this video? Do you think this video is helpful or harmful? Do you think that it should be shown in schools? And what about the subject of texting while driving or a ban on it?

5 people to follow on Twitter if you need tips on life

While there are few people specifically tweeting about social responsibility or any variation of the sort, there are several twitterers out there that give good advice for all of the aspects of your life. In no particular order:

@dougpmd Obviously, the health of the world’s newest generation starts in the womb and with responsible, knowledgable mothers. OB/GYN Physician with information and resources on health issues confronting women today.

@vinniethevespa This man comments on various things that pertain to “good” living. One of my favorite tweets: Kids always the same… but lack of school discipline, media over-exposure, bad parenting and dropping social standards, have failed them.

@Cooking_Light This group offers good information for healthy eating and therefore healthy living (and therefore good living). They always offer good recipes, advice, etc.

@MrPigglesworth Part of being responsible is giving back to our Earth. One way to do so involves planting and helping to get more vegetation planted. This user offers lots of gardening/yard/planting tips and shortcuts for the average person.

@goodhealth Not only does Health magazine publish a great magazine guide to healthy and good living, they tweet all sorts of tips in between issues. Tweets include general health tips and trivia throughout the day and a near-daily posting of links to really interesting and important health current events out there.

This is the first part in a two-part series. 5 more people to follow on Twitter will be coming soon.

“If you don’t sit down RIGHT NOW you’re not getting dessert!”

This is another meaningless threat that parents make toward their children in a half-hearted attempt at parenting. Parents have a great deal of responsibility! Do we need more unruly babies that grow up to drive drunk, start fights, torture kittens, assault strangers on college campuses, treat people poorly and become burdens to our culture and planet? No.

You’ve seen bad parenting in public: that child being dragged away from the snack isle after throwing a public tantrum about Scooby Doo gummy snacks, those frightened looking children with a backpack-like leash on at the zoo. Bad parents are oblivious to the fact that their child negatively effects EVERYONE within the vicinity of their precious little monster. And that’s what I’d like to talk about– oblivious non-parenting.

If only the parents were lending a helping hand 16 years ago...

If only the parents were lending a helping hand 16 years ago...

My recent experience as a server: It’s dinner rush on Friday and I’m waiting on a table of Mom, Dad and three urchins. We, as servers, are moving fast and I come around the corner out of the kitchen with a HUUUUGE tray piled with dishes on my shoulder, supported by both hands and my visibility is limited. I’m barreling down the aisle managing this heavy tray and out pops urchin #3 from my table into my path in the middle of the aisle. I barely dodge him to avoid pummeling him and luckily another server helped to recover my tray full of food before it tipped, crashed, and shattered. Every employee in the restaurant stopped and noticed. A minimum of twelve guests stopped to stare open-mouthed in amazement. The Mom and Dad? They glanced up from their Blackberries for a second, looked bored and continued with their mobile business without a comment.

Over the past two generations, parents have dropped the ball! And knowing right and wrong parenting shouldn’t be difficult. We all HAD parents. And they had parents. Somewhere in there is a good example. Or maybe you could ask a friend. And if that doesn’t work, you can google the words “responsible parenting.” Check out the responsible parenting initiative!

If the main biological point of having children is to leave a legacy or to further your gene pool, what’s the point of having monsters that grow up to be a detriment to society?! Have parents become too lazy? Do they have too much on their plate? Has contraception failed us? Do parents care about the quality of their offspring? The real problem now is getting bad parents to REALIZE that they’re bad parents. They’re oblivious!

It is hard for me not to constantly think about the dumbing down of the gene pool that is featured in the 2006 movie Idiocracy. While it is a humorous film, the concept scares the hell out of me! I come from a family where throwing a temper tantrum was just not an option. I didn’t know what the consequence would be, but I knew that I DID NOT WANT TO FIND OUT. But this newer generation acts completely impervious to laws, rules and consequences. Where have all the parents gone?!

Parents: You are wholly responsible for the behavior of your children! If you don’t become a responsible parent, I WILL turn this car around and Santa is not bringing you anything but coal for Christmas (or maybe Parenting for Dummies)!

Hello world!

Dear World,

It was such a pleasure to hang out with you this March in Nevada. I hope we can do it again someday. I do, however, have to apologize. And you’ll have to excuse my friends of the human race, too. You’ve given me everything I could have dreamed of for 22 years and I’m starting to realize that this is a very take-take relationship. While you’ve been so patient with me, I’d like to tell you that I’m through with this. Meaning that from now on I’m going to try to make it a give-and-take relationship.

I could never provide for you everything you’ve give to me: fresh water, sunshine, food, habitat, energy, wood, paper, electricity, brilliant beaches, awe-inspiring mountains, a fascinating array of species… I could go on. But I could certainly start by conserving and appreciating the things that you’ve given me and I can promise to try to improve the habits of my fellow humans. We can plant trees and conserve your valuable and unsustainable resources, be more civil to one another and avoid destructive wars, raise a generation that can treat you better than we did, use products that do less damage to your beautiful surfaces, and slow the spread of dangerous disease across the world.

While we could never repay you for, uh, life as we know it, we can try to slow our selfish damage to you so that hopefully many more generations of humans can live on to help, too. With that, I hope that you can accept my long-overdue apology. And I’ll work on upholding my end of the deal.

I hope to see you again very soon.

With love,


A snapshot of Rainbow Ridge in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

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