This Glow-in-the-Dark Spray Could Make Cycling at Night Way Safer

I think I need this!!

TIME

Car giant Volvo is turning in a slightly different direction for its next project: cycling safety.

Last week, the automaker and its partners unveiled a reflective spray called LifePaint, which cyclists can spray on their clothes and bicycles to boost safety at night. The spray, which is reflective for up to 10 days, is invisible in daylight but becomes bright white at night when a car shines its lights on a treated surface.

LifePaint, created in partnership with design firm Grey London and Swedish startup Albedo100, is in trials at six cycle shops in London and Kent. If it proves popular with cyclists, Grey London said in a statement, the project will expand domestically and beyond the U.K.

View original post

FORGIVENESS: What does it mean?

Forgiveness.  This is a hard thing.

I’ve been pretty good at it, most of the time.  I tend to be a pretty forgiving person, especially if someone says they are sorry and it comes across as genuine.  Not I’m sorry you feel that way, I’m sorry I got caught, I’m sorry just to get you off my back or because there is an audience and you have to get yourself off some hook.  This is not a place where you can afford to fake it. most are perceptive to perceive the disingenuous.

But, most of the time if someone does not realize what they said or did, I usually ignore it.  Some are just unknowingly offensive, not on purpose.  Sometimes they are sneaky about it, little jabs here and there.  Sometimes, If I think they are receptive I might say, you know that could come across badly in some circles…otherwise I leave them to their own peril.  It’s not worth wasting my time for people who can’t be kind.

In the case of a former abusive spouse, I forgive him, but we are divorced.  We are divorced because I tired of the abuse, had never experienced it before and he wasn’t changing in spite of any type of intervention.  I chose to forgive because we have two children together and for their benefit.  This does not mean he is involved at all, he isn’t. This is an example of true forgiveness.  Some might say I should have stayed married at all costs.  I disagree.  Just because you have the capacity to forgive does not mean you need to allow the behavior to continue to victimize you.  Forgive, but don’t forget.  It is pure stupidity to throw yourself under the bus, when you should be on the sidewalk.  The baggage I left with is tough too.  I vowed never to allow someone to lay a finger on me without coming away with some sort of regret.  I am no weakling, at least physically.  But it hurts my heart.  I live with this baggage daily.

Back to my struggles with it.  There are those who keep going out of their way to hurt others.  Some are friends some are extended family that you have no choice but to interact with in your life.  What do you do?

I struggle with forgiving people who continue to do the same things over and over.  At some point when I am just being taken advantage of or a relationship is one-sided or a severe stress on my life, I have to forgive (and this is hard) and distance myself from them until such time as they change (not holding my breath).

This is only part of the verse, you should read it in context but basically Jesus responded to Peter in this way…Matthew 18:21-22:  21Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.…

Forgive, but that does not mean you will or can forget, nor should you necessarily.  You should never throw yourself under the bus when you know the driver is trying to run you over.  Take note, consider the source, and move on.  Time and distance can be your safety and sanity.

On Ferguson: The System Isn’t Broken, It Was Built This Way

So many systems in The U.S. are built upon privilege.

The Belle Jar

I have an uncle who was a cop.

His kids, my cousins, were around my age and when we visited our family in Québec every summer I practically lived at their house. As soon as we got to my grandmother’s house, all rumpled and grumpy from our eight hour drive, I would start dialling my cousins’ number on her beige rotary phone. I spent the whole damn school year waiting for summer, and my time with my cousins, to come; we wrote each other letters all through the dreary winter, hatching plans for new summer exploits. Life with my cousins – swimming in their pool, family barbecues, playing hide-and-seek in my grandmother’s mammoth hedge at twilight – was lightyears better than my boring life in Ontario.

Pretty much every summer my uncle would, at some point, take us to visit the police station. He would pretend that we were criminals and…

View original post 1,109 more words

Wrongful Conviction: It Could Happen to YOU!

There is an organization called the Innocence Project.  Take a look at their site and statistics, you might find some of it enlightening.

The Innocence Project exists because so many innocent people have been found guilty of crimes they did not commit.  Most of us never think about this.  Some just don’t realize this happens (the reason for my post is to educate) and many believe that if a person was arrested that they must be guilty. Others feel powerless to do anything about it.  How do you change a broken system?  Others just do not care as long as it doesn’t affect them, they don’t have to think about it.

According to Acker and Redlich (2011, p.13),

  • “Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing.”
  • “[U]nvalidated or improper forensic science…is the second-greatest contributor to wrongful convictions.  In more than 50% of DNA exonerations, unvalidated or improper forensic science contributed to the wrongful conviction.”
  • “False confessions:  “In about 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or pled guilty.””
  • “In more than 15% of cases of wrongful conviction overturned by DNA testing, an informant or jailhouse snitch testified against the defendant.”
  • “Government misconduct: “The cases of wrongful convictions uncovered by DNA testing are replete with evidence of fraud or misconduct by prosecutors or police departments…””
  • “Bad Lawyering: One of the contributing factors to wrongful convictions exposed through DNA analysis is representation “by ineffective, incompetent or over-burdened defense lawyer.  The failure of overworked lawyers to investigate, call witnesses or prepare for trial has led to the conviction of innocent people….”

We will come back to why I am blogging about this, but for now, more about me.

When I went into Law Enforcement I was naive.  I thought that Police Agencies did their best (some candidates are great deceivers) to hire smart, educated, ethical individuals.  I was so wrong about this.  Some agencies do a good job, but others are only as good as their human resource department, IF they have one.

Mark Baker (1985), Author of COPS made an observation that I have found to be very accurate in my own experience.  Baker observed that, “In any department, anywhere, you can take 5 percent of the cops and they will be honest under any circumstances and they’ll never do anything wrong. They are the priests of the department. 5 percent on the other end of the spectrum would have been criminals had they not become policemen. They are in fact, criminals who happen to be cops. The remaining 90 percent will go whichever way the peer pressure goes.”

IN ANY ORGANIZATION THIS CAN OCCUR.  Organizational culture is a difficult thing.  Most times, the head of the organization sets the tone and example for everyone else.

Not only do Police procedures and actions contribute to wrongful convictions, but so do Prosecutors.  Most of the time their conviction rate (higher is better) is what gets them re-elected.  It’s all about the politics.  They do not prosecute the cases they think they might lose.  When they have convicted someone, and new evidence is discovered, ego can get in the way of justice.

Then there are the Judges.  Once a conviction has occurred they are not necessarily interested in wasting their time granting Due Process that could help a prisoner prove his actual innocence.  Judges also do not like to step on other judges’ toes (by criticizing or overturning their rulings), especially if they work together.  There is also ego here.  Who can tell a Judge he’s wrong?  If they do not use their role properly as impartial triers of fact, it is unlikely that Due Process (a Civil Right) or justice will occur.  Many are not impartial.  This can result in wrongly incarcerated persons NEVER receiving justice.  They lose their freedom, reputation, their livelihood, and many times their family.  Life in prison is very dangerous.  If you doubt me, check out this blog, written by the sister of an innocent man chronicling his experiences. Freedom for 50.  This is only one of many.

Stanley Denhof is a victim of S.A.I.D Syndrome click on the link to read more about it.  I have also read all the reports and case information including the “forensics”.  I have attended court hearings, and read all the court filings.  As a former police officer/detective and somewhat intelligent…I have been utterly appalled at how obvious his innocence is, the extreme efforts people go to for revenge.  Equally disgusting is how some lawyers take clients money and don’t do the job, and how Prosecutors and Judges can live with themselves and continue to block minimal Due Process (a civil right) owed to every human being.  If this can happen to a man who finally divorced his wife (who vowed to ruin his life) over her numerous affairs, it could happen to you.

Just a caveat…I am not anti-police.  I am not anti-court system.  I am not anti-government.

I am anti-corruption, anti-falsehood, anti-injustice, and anti-criminality within the justice system.

I am in favor of changing laws that give these Public Officials immunity when it is later found that they knew or should have known that the conviction was politically motivated.  There should not be immunity when a witness is discovered to be lying (but the judge did not do anything about it), or when ANY official commits Brady Violations (withholding evidence that could prove that the defendant is innocent).

Something else to think about.  In a sexual assault case…where there is a wrongful conviction…if there is no DNA there is likely no exoneration either and a possibility that a sexual assault never occurred, especially in a S.A.I.D. case.

Public Officials involved in the Court system need to remember.  If you convict the wrong person, the real perpetrator is still out there.  There is NO justice in this.

Remember a wrongful conviction could happen to you, all it takes is to piss off the wrong person or one of the 5% (the criminal element that can hide in plain site in any organization).

I’ll leave you with this Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

References

  • Acker, J. R., & Redlich, A. D. (2011). Wrongful conviction: Law, science, and policy. Durham, N.C: Carolina Academic Press.
  • Anonymous. (1985). Baker, mark, author. COPS: Lives in their own words. Wilmette: Hendon Publishing Company

“There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

I love this quote! I have seen so much injustice, mostly related to wrongful convictions. many stand due to prosecutorial misconduct, or ego, or lying,or Brady Violations. This should not happen. The law should change and those who have immunity and do wrong should be held responsible.

On this side of the grave

Mahatma Gandhi, the world renowned freedom fighter who lead India to independence through the philosophy of his non-violent ‘satyagraha’ (‘devotion to truth’) was quoted saying that the ‘court of conscience..supersedes all other courts’ particularly the ‘courts of justice’. Depending on how one defines the term ‘court of conscience’ this saying can be analysed in different ways to open and uncover various forms of interpretations across a broad spectrum.

View original post 972 more words

FRIDGE MAGNETS: NOT JUST COOL DECORATION

Refrigerator magnets come in all shapes and sizes and for all purposes.  Most are for decoration or advertising.

I have used these business card magnets for years, but for a slightly different purpose.  I have a Functional Needs  child (aka Developmentally Disabled, Special Needs, Handicapped (terms keep changing to stress a more positive and empowering connotation).  My daughter has had medical emergencies during times I was home and when I was not.  Everyone knows that Mom is the go to for information on her family.  Moms usually have all the contact info for each family member and is knowledgeable of each family member’s medications, medical conditions, allergies, daily schedule, location, and physician information.  What if Mom is not home?  What if you have called and her phone is dead or off because she is in a meeting.  Then what do you do?

You can buy these at most office supply stores

You can buy these at most office supply stores

Put the information that might be needed in an emergency in an easily accessible place.  The Fridge.

This helps reduce calls to mom from family members (from the kids who want a pizza!) for mundane things as well as for Emergencies when mom can’t be reached right away.

We include whatever is a frequent informational need (such as pizza, takeout etc), as well as emergency repair people (plumber, A/C, utilities, tow services, frequently visited businesses and more).

Frequently Used Services (gotta have pizza!)

Frequently Used Services
(gotta have pizza!)

WE ALSO HAVE IMPORTANT MEDICAL EMERGENCY CONTACT CARDS (Dr’.s Business cards).  These include my daughter’s Pediatrician, Neurologist, Dentist and any other important information.  As a mom, I am the most frequent user of these items and it saves time digging for a number from a phone book, Google (yes, its faster than Google if you are in fridge vicinity, sorry Google), or something stored in a phone (under Dr. Who? What?).

It has also been helpful to a caregiver (babysitter, family, friend) who maybe had to look at MY BUSINESS CARD to get my work phone number in an emergency.

You may not want to cover your fridge in such things if you are a purist, or dislike clutter, but It has been helpful to us for many reasons. You can organize the magnets on one hidden side, or give a panel or section to each family member.  Kids love to have their own areas to hang artwork too.

Business or Emergency Information (Physician information can be helpful to other family members or even a babysitter in an emergency when Dad or Mom are not available)

Business or Emergency Information
(Physician information can be helpful to other family members or even a babysitter in an emergency when Dad or Mom are not available)

You can use the same concept in your office if you have file cabinets, note boards etc.  However, I must warn you not to place magnets on computer cabinets, near your devices, cell phones, or in your purse next to your credit cards.  Doing so could have detrimental results!!

Most computer nerds know this.  Yes, my husband calls me a nerd because of the extensive amounts of useless knowledge that stores itself in my melon, but I posit that it comes in handy sometimes!

Here’s more info on why you should not put magnets on your devices: http://www.apexmagnets.com/news-how-tos/magnet-safety-technology-that-you-should-never-put-near-high-powered-magnets/

Hopefully this tip can streamline your in home emergency and frequently used phone numbers or contacts.  If nothing else it will reduce the number of phone calls from your teenagers asking you for phone numbers for the Pizza Place.