Dire News

Education

Jonas’ Brother

by on Feb.20, 2014, under Culture, Education, Family, Kids, Nature, Parenting

When we posted Two of a Kind two years ago, we wrote about Jonas and Wyatt Maines, identical twins with a big difference. maines3 Wyatt had a much more refined sense of style. And he knew he wanted to be a girl from the age of two. By fifth grade, her name was legally changed to Nicole. Her family, especially her identical twin brother, were very supportive of the changes. Recently the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the highest court in the state, ruled in favor of the family, which accused the Orono school district of discrimination by prohibiting Nicole from using the student bathrooms. We're happy to see that the courts supported her rights to be treated according to her gender, though disappointed that it took four years. maines10 The heartwarming photos of the family show how adversity cements relationships. maines12 We hope Jonas continues his strong support for his identical twin sister. maines11
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Meet the Millers – A Cultural Exchange

by on Feb.09, 2014, under Culture, Education, Family, Health

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It’s A Boy’s Life In The BSA

by on Oct.05, 2013, under Culture, Education, Family, History, Kids, Parenting, Recreation

The Boy Scouts of America has agreed for the first time to allow openly gay boys as members, a decision we see as long overdue. bs-rally In a statement released by the Boy Scouts of America after the historic vote, they said: "For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, with a focus on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training." bshbf65 They always been an inclusive organization, as their statement continues, welcoming white Christian boys of all kinds. But they're ready to open up to an even wider group. bs-deutcsh "Based on growing input from within the Scouting family, the BSA leadership chose to conduct an additional review of the organization's long-standing membership policy and its impact on Scouting's mission. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change. ..." ScoutHandbookCovers It's never been about homosexuality at all. "The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place." scountmaster_interest At least when it comes to kids. But no adults. Gay adults are creepy. The scoutmaster isn't at all creepy: He's just interested in boys. Gay kids have actually been welcome for decades, as you can see from the cover of the 1960 Boy Scout Handbook. But gay scouts have been around well before these cheery lads appeared in the Boy's Life centerfold. bshbfc3227 In 1923 the Boy Scouts adopted the "left hand clasp" as the official Boy Scout secret handshake. bs-lefthand   It's actually the same handshake members of the gay community use to identify each other without being obvious. scout-hs The scoutmasters teach the same skills to every boy, regardless of his orientation. These are things that he thinks may come in handy while you're isolated while camping. For example, you may be in a situation where you have to take your clothes off fast. Your scoutmaster can teach you how to disrobe in 20 seconds and he will probably encourage you to practice as much as possible.

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Today's scouts are conscientious about the environment. They know how to clean up their camp site, set up a campfire safely, and  to leave nature undisturbed. There are even environmental awareness patches and awards.

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Conservation is an especially important topic for scouts, who are at an age when conservation is crucial to the survival of their generation.

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There's a whole section on it in the Boy Scout Handbook, with a lot of detail about leaving things untouched.

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Today's scouts enjoy activities to encourage trust.

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Fellowship

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And bonding experiences they'll never forget.

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Greater inclusion means that more boys can benefit from scouting and what it teaches, helping to turn today's children into adults well-prepared for their future.

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Crash Test Dummy

by on Sep.29, 2013, under Consumer, Culture, Education, Health

Safety wasn't a major consideration for vehicle manufacturers until 1966, when the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards was passed into law. There really was no way to tell how safe a vehicle was... until the situation occurred.

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Survivability wasn't a consideration. You just had to look out. truck-demolishes-a-car-in-waltham Recently, two horrendous-looking crashes involving Lamborghini automobiles have been in the news. Witnesses described the cars in both cases as having "split in half" on impact. la8 It looks like a severe crash like that could be fatal. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou get more than style when you spend $ 400,000 on a vehicle. la4 While it might look bad for the car, the passenger is protected by the Lamborghini Aventador's monocoque, a carbon fiber cage surrounding the interior. lambocageIt's a high-tech mobile safety cocoon for the rich. Most of drive more ordinary vehicles, which, while safer than ever, still require some common sense. sc1 At the very least, you need to use your seatbelt. sc2 When the car, driving in Guanxi province in China, hit the back of a truck, the passenger, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was propelled through the windshield. sc3 She watched as rescue crews first remove the unconscious driver from the car. sc4 Then they enlarged the hole and extracted her from the windshield. If you really value your safety on the road, then you should be driving the Lamborghini Aventador.
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What Boys Like

by on Sep.28, 2013, under Animals, Culture, Education, Family, Food, Health, Kids, Nature, Parenting, Recreation

We think the Sex and Affection comic does a good job explaining milestones of child development, and it would be a great opportunity for a bonding experience with your kids when you read it to them at bedtime. But we thought we could give you the same information without the explicit drawings and uncomfortable language. blc01 As boys grow, they show interest in the things close to them. From toddler to teen, a boy is all about his cock. blc02 As they grow up there might be some friendly "competition". D2D_Day1_Dairy Or just plain showing off. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA With some it's a passion. blc05 For others it's a fashion statement. County Fairs The pride is always evident. blc07 Then there's an intermediate stage where the boys learn new tricks. choke They grow older and broaden their horizons. They usually take on an entirely new interest. bc01 It becomes the focus of their attention. bc02 Most of the time. blc08 And that's okay too. Be proud of who you are. blc09 Most of the time. blc10
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Point and Shoot

by on Jun.02, 2013, under Animals, Consumer, Education, Environment, History, Media, Nature, Technology

If you live in the U.S. and wondered who made the first movie camera, you were probably told that it was Thomas Edison. Edison-cine It's typical of the U.S., as it used to be in Western Europe, to ignore scientific and technological discoveries until we reveal them for ourselves. Not to belittle his accomplishments, but much of Edison's success was in making practical the inventions of others, and his business acumen. kinetoscope-1 Edison took the Zoopraxiscope invented by English photographer Eadweard Muybridge and turned it into the first true motion picture peepshow.

Old Fashioned Peep Show

In 1882, a few years before Edison created the modern pornographic movie industry, French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey wanted to capture the motion of birds and small animals to study their movement, a discipline known as chronophotography.

Etienne Jules Marey Seated In Laboratory

He invented the Fusil Photographique, or "photographic rifle", which allowed Marey to track his subjects while shooting his images, effectively developing the technique of "panning" the camera.

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The magazine holds a light sensitive gelatin emulsion plate that's big enough for 25 frames. The exposure is through one of the 12 shutters in front of the plate and the camera could take 12 exposures a second.

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Focusing was accomplished by changing the length of the barrel.

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It predates the reflex camera. It's a point-and-shoot.

marey3The ultimate result is a collection of images that are viewed in rapid sequence.

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We suggest a few basic rules:

  • Know when it's loaded.
  • Don't put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to shoot.
  • Don't have a finger in front of the barrel.

 
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Pit Crew

by on May.01, 2013, under Animals, Education, Health, Media, Nature

From Marlin Perkins on Wild Kingdom to The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, nature programs have been a staple of television for decades. The danger was never more apparent than when Steve Irwin was viciously penetrated by a Manta Ray. manta-ray One of the inheritors of the wild kingdom is Bear Gryllis of Man vs. Wild. Eating insects and drinking urine made him an unlikely international star rather than a circus geek. Petes-Silly-Sideshow After all of his time in the wild, he knows the dangers. But behind the camera, he's backed up by a production crew. One of the producers is Steve Rankin, and he was on location for a recording of a new series Naked and Afraid. rankin4 As he was climbing over a fallen tree, a Fer de Lance, adeadly poisonous Pit Viper, bit his foot through his boot. fer-de-lance It took two hours to get him to a hospital. He needed an extensive skin graft to repair the damage. The tissue came from his thigh. rankin1 First they had to remove the necrotic flesh and expose the remaining good tissue. rankin2 Then they stapled the remains closed in preparation for the skin graft. rankin3 Rankin is recovering, but so far there is no report on the condition of his foot. We expect he'll heal eventually, taking it one step at a time.
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Foul Ball

by on Apr.17, 2013, under Education, Family, Games, Health, Kids, Recreation

As the generations before, kids are inventing their own traditions to replace those of their forbearers. The wedgie of the past has been replaced by a new sport, "ball tapping", which has a similar focus. Here's a more comprehensive story on the problem from wthr.com. ruptest1 The wedgie rarely did crippling damage to anything but the waistband of the victim's underwear. But a ruptured testicle is no joke. When rugby player Paul Wood, who plays for the Warrington Wolves, took a knee to the groin early in the second half of the rugby league Grand Final as he was tackled by Kallum Watkins of the Leeds Rhinos. The force of the blow ruptured his right testicle, but the Warrington prop continued to play on for more than 20 minutes, the Daily Mail reported. "I've been hit a few times in the groin area and normally you can run it off," the married father of two told the newspaper on Monday, "but this just got worse. The physios kept asking me if I wanted to go off but I said, 'No I'm fine, I'll get through it.' I came off after 25 minutes and that's when it started getting really bad. It swelled up to the size of a tennis ball."

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Ball-tapping is one of the ten common causes of childhood trauma due to violence. And we know that the propensity for violence begins early. So we were happy to see that some kids are considering their actions.

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Nine year old Zac, from Adelaide, Australia, was so remorseful after applying the Squirrel Grip to his little brother's knackers that he wrote this.

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"To the best brother ever,

I'm very sorry that I pinched you in the nuts. I'm so sad that I feel the pain. I know that this note won't completley make it up for you so heres $1.00 all for you! I know it doesn't make the pain go away, and I can't put a band-aid on it! You woldent be able to pee! I hope you're better in the morning buddey!

Love from Zac."

Us too, buddey. We hope you heal fast.

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