National Park Service Offers Kids the Opportunity to Study Paleontology To celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding, the National Park Service offers kids registered in the Junior Ranger program the chance to study paleontology. This program teaches kids about methods and tools paleontologists use to study Earth's history, plants, animals and previous episodes of [...]

National Park Service Offers Kids the Opportunity to Study Paleontology
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding, the National Park Service offers kids registered in the Junior Ranger program the chance to study paleontology. This program teaches kids about methods and tools paleontologists use to study Earth's history, plants, animals and previous episodes of climate change. To learn more about this program, click on  https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/junior-paleontologist.htm. This site allows visitors to download a free Junior Paleontologist Activity Booklet. The booklet comes in two PDF versions: a lower resolution version at 14 MB and a higher resolution version at 36 MB. The park service will also send your kid a Junior Ranger Badge if qualifying activities were completed at a national park site. More information is available at  http://www.nps.gov/kids/jrRangers.cfm.

 
Postman's Park in London, England hosts a small memorial to ordinary people who helped others at the cost of their own lives. The park honors 54 individuals whose 'heroic self-sacrifice' saved others in distress. The memorial was the brainchild of English sculptor George Frederick Watts who first proposed the memorial in 1887, the year Queen Victoria celebrated her Jubilee. The memorial came in to being in 1900 with the erection of a simple building that does not detract from the stories of the honored individuals. To read more about this unique memorial, surf over to  http://www.upworthy.com/this-obscure-london-memorial-is-filled-with-heart-wrenching-tales-of-everyday-heroism. The individuals so honored ranged in age from 8-years-old to 61-years-old. Enjoy.

New Study Finds Gun Owners Possess Guns Out of Fear of Others
Harvard University and Northeastern University partnered in a major survey of the reasons for gun ownership. This study, the first in more than two decades, found that protection from people led the list of reasons gun owners gave for owning weapons. 63% of gun owners cited protection as the ownership reason while 40% cited hunting as the reason for gun ownership. Gun collecting, other gun sports and protection from animals were cited as other reasons for people owning guns. To learn more about the psychology of gun ownership, click on  https://www.thetrace.org/2016/09/harvard-gun-ownership-study-self-defense/. And now you know.

Your Rental Car May Put Personal Information in Jeopardy
According to a post from the Federal Trade Commission, consumers who rent cars with all the bells and whistles may risk the loss of personal information on their cell phone. According to agency attorney Lisa Weintraub Schifferie, rental cars may retain your information if you use the vehicle infotainment system. If you connect a mobile device, the car may keep your mobile phone number, call and message logs, contacts and text messages. Yikes. To learn more about this possible threat, visit  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/what-your-phone-telling-your-rental-car. Be careful folks, it's a jungle out there.

New York State Attorney General Stops Companies From Tracking Kids Online
NYS Attorney General Eric Schneidernam recently settled with major companies sponsoring child-centered websites from using tracking software to track kids online. Viacom, Mattel and Jumpstart agreed to pay penalties of $835,000 for violating a 1998 federal law that prohibits tracking of online activities of kids under age 13. Among other protections, The Children's Privacy Act prohibits collecting personal information of underage users. Kid popular sites covered under the agreement include Nick Jr, and Nickolodeon, Barbie, Hot Wheels and American Girl. To learn more about this illegal corporate behavior, visit  https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/09/14/companies-settle-with-new-york-to-stop-tracking-children-online.aspx.

Smithsonian Offers Virtual Interactive Tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Smithsonian Institution recently opened its newest museum, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Congress authorized the construction of the museum 100 years ago, but neglected to authorize the money to build it for more than 90 years.   Now open, the museum presents a view of 400 years of black life in America. In many ways, the view presents a horrifying picture of slavery, mistreatment and intimidation. The museum also presents some of its 35,000 items that illustrate positive views of black members of our society such as Mohammed Ali's boxing gloves. To take the virtual tour and to make plans to visit the new museum, click on  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/national-museum-african-american-history-and-culture-interactive-museum-tour/?no-ist. And so it goes.