Modern Automotive Safety

Though style and beauty have declined from the early days of the automobile, at least safety has increased dramatically.

Since the 1950s, we’ve seen incredible advances in automotive safety, such as anti-lock brakes, air-bags, crumple zones, shoulder belts, collapsible steering columns, and a trove of other items that have saved countless lives over the years. The modern auto is an amazing amalgamation of technology and intelligent, thoughtful design.

One item that would seem counter intuitive is the idea that a light, modern automobile would be able to withstand the impact of a 1950s era land yacht. You would think that a solid old clunker would plow right through a new compact car as if it were constructed of cardboard.


This video shows exactly how the modern safety improvements would have spared the life of the compact car driver and the opposite lack of devices and design would lead to the death of the old car driver. It’s surprising how one sided the results are in this Consumer Reports crash test.

Buckle up folks!

How to Read Subscription Based News Websites for Free

You've reached your limit

If you’ve ever seen a version of the warning above, there are two simple solutions to fixing it.

  1. Pay for the subscription
  2. Get a free add-on for your browser and never pay again.

Unless you REALLY like that website that tries to pass itself off as a newspaper, you’re probably more interested in option #2.

Here’s how they block you.

Websites use cookies to track you when you visit their website. In this case, they use these to keep count of the number of times that you’ve visited, and once you’ve hit the magic number, you are then presented with a warning that you can no longer read their crap for free for the remainder of the month.

Here’s how you fix it.

There are add-ons available for the major browsers that will allow you to erase these cookies for the site with a simple click, thus resetting the counter to 0.

In Firefox, select Tools->Add Ons from the menu. Then search for “remove cookies”. Select one of the choices and click on install. I prefer the “Remove Cookies for Site”, by Dwipal, for the ease of operation, and that it has no button on the toolbar.

In Chrome, go to and search for “remove cookies. The extension that I prefer here is “Remove Cookie!”.

Be sure that the extension removes cookies when used, and not simply disables them for the site. Most sites will detect that you are blocking the use of cookies and will not allow you access to it.

Once you are presented with the warning, just click on the button on the toolbar, refresh the page, and voila, you’re all set to keep reading. If you’re using the Firefox extension that I listed, right click anywhere on the page and select “Remove cookies for site”.


Red Shirts vs White Shirts

After spending lots of time watching girls basketball over the last few years, I’ve seen the negative effects of red shirting kids when it comes to athletics.

Red shirt: To delay your child’s entrance in to school to give them an advantage over their younger peers.

This is an increasingly common practice that is seen to a much greater extent in the more affluent communities, as they have the economic means to absorb another year of child care. In other communities where the population is generally of lower income, there are very few with the means to redshirt their children, and most put them in school at the earliest opportunity so as to not have to cover the ever increasing costs of daycare.

This creates another great divide between the haves and the have-nots, but in this particular situation, we are only discussing how it affects sports.

On the playing field, court, or whatever venue children meet on, the children from the affluent communities are generally much larger and more skilled in the sport, and frequently the size difference of the children alone gives them a ridiculous advantage. From personal experience, I have seen the laughable height advantage in basketball, with blowouts that make you simply want to scold the parents for participating in such a sham. I have seen kids whom I know are in the top height percentile for their ages, being towered over by opposing players who are “in the same grade.”

As a parent watching from the stands, it simply makes you want to boo as the kids run up the score and celebrate their wins over the little kids from the poorer towns. But that would be poor sportsmanship, and there’s no need to lower oneself to the level of the redshirting parents.

Those parents who hold their kids back to give them an unfair advantage certainly must internalize their shame and feelings of guilt for unleashing their older, more mature and advanced children on others, but it certainly isn’t visible to anyone who has ever attended one of these events. To the contrary, they loudly celebrate the results of that advantage in the sporting arena with total disconnection and poor sportsmanship.

Sports for kids should be grouped by age and not by grade, as the current method has proven to be a disaster for communities that are at such a disadvantage. As if they don’t have enough of an advantage with their vastly better schools and endlessly better economic opportunities that come from a privileged life, now they have to extend it to the playing field. Poorer kids have fewer chances to achieve success in any form, but sports can provide them with one of the few times with which they can truly lift their self-esteem, but it seems even that isn’t allowed by the gluttonous, self-serving, redshirting parents from next door.