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Category: Articles Written for Kids

Online Safety While Playing Pokémon GO?

Even just a few months ago, who would have guessed we would be talking about online safety related to outdoor activity? Well, as new technologies and trends continue to emerge we should know by now not to rule anything out.

Pokémon GO is all the rage and it’s brought kids, teens and adult game lovers outside to play, and exercise, all because of a simple and fun app on their smart phones. This is a good thing.

At the very least those playing the game are putting in a lot of extra steps walking while breathing in fresh air. Others are running as their virtual reality leads them into the great outdoors.

Now, here’s where the discussion of safety comes in. There have been reports of minor injuries due to users not paying attention to their surroundings while playing the game. It can be as simple spraining an ankle while loosing your footing off a curb, or falling and landing on your elbow.

There is a verified news story about two young men who fell off a small cliff and had to be rescued. To be clear, they climbed a fence to access an area not open to the public which led them into harms way.

Now, I will say it again! The fact that people are venturing outside and getting some exercise is a very good thing. Sitting on your couch and doing nothing over a lifetime will quite frankly – shorten your life.

Bumps and scrapes are a normal part of a healthy active lifestyle. But I would also say that when caution and care is put into the equation, there are fewer broken bones.

We’ve mentioned walking and running, and we can take that to the next level for hikers, but what about biking? Yes, it’s something I saw last week in my own neighborhood.

A young boy was playing Pokémon GO while riding his bike. Parents are diligent in telling their teens not to text and drive, now you’ll also need to warn them about the dangers of riding their bike one handed while searching for Pokémon on their phone with the other.

… and yes, NO driving while playing Pokémon GO either.

Reviews of the game include comments that it’s very easy to get lost in the game to the point where kids, teens and adults alike, pay less and less attention to the ‘real’ world around them.

The moral of the story? Get outdoors, YES! Have fun, YES!

Anything that encourages any member of society to ‘get active’ is indeed a positive thing, much like Wii Fit a few years ago. But when you go outside, don’t leave common sense at the door.

Even just a few months ago, who would have guessed we would be talking about online safety related to outdoor activity? Well, as new technologies and trends continue to emerge we should know by now not to rule anything out.

Pokémon GO is all the rage and it’s brought kids, teens and adult game lovers outside to play, and exercise, all because of a simple and fun app on their smart phones. This is a good thing.

At the very least those playing the game are putting in a lot of extra steps walking while breathing in fresh air. Others are running as their virtual reality leads them into the great outdoors.

Now, here’s where the discussion of safety comes in. There have been reports of minor injuries due to users not paying attention to their surroundings while playing the game. It can be as simple spraining an ankle while loosing your footing off a curb, or falling and landing on your elbow.

There is a verified news story about two young men who fell off a small cliff and had to be rescued. To be clear, they climbed a fence to access an area not open to the public which led them into harms way.

Now, I will say it again! The fact that people are venturing outside and getting some exercise is a very good thing. Sitting on your couch and doing nothing over a lifetime will quite frankly – shorten your life.

Bumps and scrapes are a normal part of a healthy active lifestyle. But I would also say that when caution and care is put into the equation, there are fewer broken bones.

We’ve mentioned walking and running, and we can take that to the next level for hikers, but what about biking? Yes, it’s something I saw last week in my own neighborhood.

A young boy was playing Pokémon GO while riding his bike. Parents are diligent in telling their teens not to text and drive, now you’ll also need to warn them about the dangers of riding their bike one handed while searching for Pokémon on their phone with the other.

… and yes, NO driving while playing Pokémon GO either.

Reviews of the game include comments that it’s very easy to get lost in the game to the point where kids, teens and adults alike, pay less and less attention to the ‘real’ world around them.

The moral of the story? Get outdoors, YES! Have fun, YES!

Anything that encourages any member of society to ‘get active’ is indeed a positive thing, much like Wii Fit a few years ago. But when you go outside, don’t leave common sense at the door.

The History of Google Doodle

The history of Google Doodle

In this article we will explore how Google Doodle got started, what it has evolved into and how students aged K – 12 can ‘Google 4 Doodle’. The Google Doodle is a creative altering of the Google logo to celebrate holidays, special events and achievements by people – past and present. It is featured on their main search page during these special days.

Since the Google logo is made up of the spelling of their name “Google”, the artistic rendition incorporates the letters of their company name.

To effectively explore the beginnings of Google Doodle, it is helpful for us to take quick look back at the very beginning of Google itself.

Back in the 1990’s when the internet was first evolving, there were only a few search engines. Google was not even one of them until 1998.

The home pages of most search engines did not look as simple as Google did when it launched, which is surprising very much how it looks today. Back in those early year, search engines also provided a lot of other resource links and information on their websites.

When Google Search was born, they simply featured their logo above the search bar along with a couple of resource links.

The rest of their website was all white space and as noted earlier, it continues to be like that today. So with the focus always being on the Google name contained within their logo, redesigning the logo to commemorate days was easily noticed by users.

The very first Google Doodle was featured back in Google’s infancy as a company in the late 90’s. Over the years, it was used for more and more events including great achievements by people in history.

The first Google Doodles were simple additions to their logo letters, then became more creative in their design.

More recently, the Google Doodle as incorporated animation, videos and even fun games related to the special day Google is celebrating. As well, today’s Google Doodles offer a link to reveal search results related to the day being recognized.

We think the most fun Google Doodles are the ones created by artists. The video at the bottom of this article shows how it’s done.

Doodle 4 Google

Google 4 Doodle is contest for students run by Google in the United States and other select countries. When Google decides to run the contest they pick a theme and ask entrants to create their Google Doodles around this theme.

Artistic creations by kids and teens are judged according to artistic merit and creativity, which includes how well the doodle fits the assigned theme and incorporates the Google logo. The winner of the Google 4 Doodle contest will get their drawing featured on Google’s home page.

To learn more, search “Doogle 4 Goodle” in the search bar at the top of this website.

In this article we will explore how Google Doodle got started, what it has evolved into and how students aged K – 12 can ‘Google 4 Doodle’. The Google Doodle is a creative altering of the Google logo to celebrate holidays, special events and achievements by people – past and present. It is featured on their main search page during these special days.

Since the Google logo is made up of the spelling of their name “Google”, the artistic rendition incorporates the letters of their company name.

To effectively explore the beginnings of Google Doodle, it is helpful for us to take quick look back at the very beginning of Google itself.

Back in the 1990’s when the internet was first evolving, there were only a few search engines. Google was not even one of them until 1998.

The home pages of most search engines did not look as simple as Google did when it launched, which is surprising very much how it looks today. Back in those early year, search engines also provided a lot of other resource links and information on their websites.

When Google Search was born, they simply featured their logo above the search bar along with a couple of resource links.

The rest of their website was all white space and as noted earlier, it continues to be like that today. So with the focus always being on the Google name contained within their logo, redesigning the logo to commemorate days was easily noticed by users.

The very first Google Doodle was featured back in Google’s infancy as a company in the late 90’s. Over the years, it was used for more and more events including great achievements by people in history.

The first Google Doodles were simple additions to their logo letters, then became more creative in their design.

More recently, the Google Doodle as incorporated animation, videos and even fun games related to the special day Google is celebrating. As well, today’s Google Doodles offer a link to reveal search results related to the day being recognized.

We think the most fun Google Doodles are the ones created by artists. The video at the bottom of this article shows how it’s done.

Doodle 4 Google

Google 4 Doodle is contest for students run by Google in the United States and other select countries. When Google decides to run the contest they pick a theme and ask entrants to create their Google Doodles around this theme.

Artistic creations by kids and teens are judged according to artistic merit and creativity, which includes how well the doodle fits the assigned theme and incorporates the Google logo. The winner of the Google 4 Doodle contest will get their drawing featured on Google’s home page.

To learn more, search “Doogle 4 Goodle” in the search bar at the top of this website.

What Do Cats and Flies Have In Common?

Cute Cats and Kittens

Cats and Flies. An odd pairing indeed. What do they have in common? The answer to this question is simple: useful hair. Your own hair can be useful. It can keep you warm, protect you from sunburn and, yes, show the world your style. But the hair on cats and flies can save their lives.

Have you ever watched a cat stalking something in grass? You strain to see what they’re after, but you can’t. The cat might not be able to see it either. What tells a cat that something is skittering around in the grass is its hair. Cat hair is extremely sensitive. When a mouse of beetle moves through the grass, it disturbs air. Cat’s hair is able to detect that movement.

Even tiny changes in air pressure can be felt by cat hair, pointing the animal toward a potential snack. The hair also alerts them to predators sneaking up behind them, helping keep the kitty alive.

That same special hair ability tells flies when someone is trying to swat them. When you swing a swatter towards a fly, the swatter compresses the air between it and the insect. The fly’s hairs can feel the air pressure changes overhead and has time to take off before the swatter comes down.

Cats and flies have something else in common: useful foot pads.

The pads on the bottom of a cat’s paws are very sensitive, able to detect temperature, pressure and even vibrations, giving the feline yet another tool for staying alive.

Fly foot pads perform valuable work, too, but again, the main reason is hair. Flies have hair on their legs.

They also have hair on their foot pads that produce a form of glue made of sugar and oil. This glue helps them land and walk on walls and ceilings. It also means that flies leave tiny, sticky little footprints on anything those foot pads touch, like counters and people.

This glue can hold diseases that stay behind after the fly has swooped away, which is why flies are known as health hazards.

Cats can carry disease on their pads, too, but at least they don’t make glue.

Cats and flies are incredibly different, belong to different animal categories. Still, they share the biological advantage of having useful hair. That hair, with its sensitivity to air pressure, means that when your kitten is trying to catch a fly, the fight will be even.

Cats and Flies. An odd pairing indeed. What do they have in common? The answer to this question is simple: useful hair. Your own hair can be useful. It can keep you warm, protect you from sunburn and, yes, show the world your style. But the hair on cats and flies can save their lives.

Have you ever watched a cat stalking something in grass? You strain to see what they’re after, but you can’t. The cat might not be able to see it either. What tells a cat that something is skittering around in the grass is its hair. Cat hair is extremely sensitive. When a mouse of beetle moves through the grass, it disturbs air. Cat’s hair is able to detect that movement.

Even tiny changes in air pressure can be felt by cat hair, pointing the animal toward a potential snack. The hair also alerts them to predators sneaking up behind them, helping keep the kitty alive.

That same special hair ability tells flies when someone is trying to swat them. When you swing a swatter towards a fly, the swatter compresses the air between it and the insect. The fly’s hairs can feel the air pressure changes overhead and has time to take off before the swatter comes down.

Cats and flies have something else in common: useful foot pads.

The pads on the bottom of a cat’s paws are very sensitive, able to detect temperature, pressure and even vibrations, giving the feline yet another tool for staying alive.

Fly foot pads perform valuable work, too, but again, the main reason is hair. Flies have hair on their legs.

They also have hair on their foot pads that produce a form of glue made of sugar and oil. This glue helps them land and walk on walls and ceilings. It also means that flies leave tiny, sticky little footprints on anything those foot pads touch, like counters and people.

This glue can hold diseases that stay behind after the fly has swooped away, which is why flies are known as health hazards.

Cats can carry disease on their pads, too, but at least they don’t make glue.

Cats and flies are incredibly different, belong to different animal categories. Still, they share the biological advantage of having useful hair. That hair, with its sensitivity to air pressure, means that when your kitten is trying to catch a fly, the fight will be even.

Pictures Almost Never Lie

Pictures say a thousand words, or so the saying goes. And pictures never lie. News stories on television and the Internet are not complete without an image and personal profiles seem empty without a selfie. People trust a picture. But should they?

You can get a better understanding of how editors and website managers pick images by performing a simple experiment.

Take out your phone and turn on the camera. Set it to record a selfie video. Then take a moment, prepare, suck in a breath and record yourself singing the national anthem.

Put your heart into it. Sing with strength and feeling. Then save the video and take a bow.

Now sit down. Pick an emotion: anger, love, envy, shock, happiness, sadness. With the emotion you decided on in mind, watch the video. When you see an image of yourself that matches the emotion you picked, pause the video.

If you were making a post on your social media page about your emotion, you could use that picture to show how you felt. But you know that the picture is simply one note sung from the national anthem.

Again, thinking about your social media page, go through the video, imagining which screen capture you would use as a profile picture. Some images show you with your eyes half-closed. Some show you with your mouth open like a fish.

If you were being mean to yourself, you would post the ones that make you look like you just woke up.

That happens every day in editorial offices. Public figures like your favorite singers, movie stars and government officials are always being photographed or caught on video.

If an editor wants to show that singer, star or official looking funny or heroic or attractive or strange, all he or she has to do—is pick the right picture.

Like you singing the national anthem, every person in the public eye can be seen with eyes half-closed or looking angry or strange.

Some editors use photo shopping software to make people appear the way the editors want them to look.

Editors of fashion and celebrity magazines are notorious for changing faces, slimming down figures or smoothing rough spots on the celebrities they like.

There are many famous people you probably wouldn’t know if you met them on the street because all of the pictures you’ve seen of them have been changed.

Pictures never lie? Maybe the photographs don’t lie, but sometimes the people who pick the photos do.

Read about online safety tips when Posting Pictures on Social Media.

Pictures say a thousand words, or so the saying goes. And pictures never lie. News stories on television and the Internet are not complete without an image and personal profiles seem empty without a selfie. People trust a picture. But should they?

You can get a better understanding of how editors and website managers pick images by performing a simple experiment.

Take out your phone and turn on the camera. Set it to record a selfie video. Then take a moment, prepare, suck in a breath and record yourself singing the national anthem.

Put your heart into it. Sing with strength and feeling. Then save the video and take a bow.

Now sit down. Pick an emotion: anger, love, envy, shock, happiness, sadness. With the emotion you decided on in mind, watch the video. When you see an image of yourself that matches the emotion you picked, pause the video.

If you were making a post on your social media page about your emotion, you could use that picture to show how you felt. But you know that the picture is simply one note sung from the national anthem.

Again, thinking about your social media page, go through the video, imagining which screen capture you would use as a profile picture. Some images show you with your eyes half-closed. Some show you with your mouth open like a fish.

If you were being mean to yourself, you would post the ones that make you look like you just woke up.

That happens every day in editorial offices. Public figures like your favorite singers, movie stars and government officials are always being photographed or caught on video.

If an editor wants to show that singer, star or official looking funny or heroic or attractive or strange, all he or she has to do—is pick the right picture.

Like you singing the national anthem, every person in the public eye can be seen with eyes half-closed or looking angry or strange.

Some editors use photo shopping software to make people appear the way the editors want them to look.

Editors of fashion and celebrity magazines are notorious for changing faces, slimming down figures or smoothing rough spots on the celebrities they like.

There are many famous people you probably wouldn’t know if you met them on the street because all of the pictures you’ve seen of them have been changed.

Pictures never lie? Maybe the photographs don’t lie, but sometimes the people who pick the photos do.

Read about online safety tips when Posting Pictures on Social Media.