Posts filed under:Featured

Bullying does increase risk of adolescent suicide

I recently read a paper published February 2011 in the Psychiatric Times re bullying and its effects on adolescent suicides (written by By Anat Brunstein Klomek, PhD, Andre Sourander, MD and Madelyn S. Gould, PhD, MPH – bio’s provided below).  The […]

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Misogyny – No place for such in 2012

mi·sog·y·ny – noun \mə-ˈsä-jə-nē\

Definition of MISOGYNY : a hatred of women (including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women)

The year is 2012 and we find ourselves collectively scratching our heads as evidence of misogyny continues to percolate up to the surface in all facets of our life. We find our state’s lawmakers crafting legislature which penalizes women on their personal choices. We have the media seizing on how one body type is better or more desirable than another body type

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Tiffani Maxwell – Bullycide Victim – Age 16 – January 2011

In mid January 2011, Tiffani Maxwell of Portersville, PA took her own life, she shot herself. According to her parents she was the target of bullying and falsehoods – the methodology included both cyber-bulling and face-to-face by her classmates.

Her mother, Sandy reported that Tiffani was falsely accused of using drugs at school and was expelled. Following the expulsion she received text messages saying ‘Tiffani you’re in rehab.’ ‘You’re on drugs.’

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Sex Trafficking & Exploitation – 2012 – Village Voice

Today I opened up the NY Times web page to see Nicholas D. Kristoff’s piece “Where Pimps Peddle Their Goods” which speaks to how Village Voice Media accepts advertising on their websites which offers lightly veiled solicitations for the services of “escorts” and the like, both male and female. The reality is that this is unvarnished advertising by pimps who have exerted control over individuals whom they force to prostitute themselves.

In reading Kristoff’s piece, I was particularly taken back by this portion, “Liz McDougall, general counsel of Village Voice Media, told me that it is “shortsighted, ill-informed and counterproductive”

  • Kiefer Allan
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International Women’s Day 2012 – A son’s perspective

Today, March 8, 2012 is International Women’s Day and is the 55th that I’ve been around to observe, though I may not have understood the first 12 or 13 occurrences. The history of the day can be found in the 19th century suffrage movements. And here we are in 2012 and in the United States we continue to have political debate on the rights of women; we have talk show hosts who take scholarly debate and debase the intellect of the individual, by attacking the personal character vice the merits of the discussion. This whole scenario caused me to reflect on my own mother.
My mother was as good as any individual, regardless of gender.

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Movie Review – The First Grader

I had the pleasure of watching the film The First Graderwhich details the efforts of Kimani NgaNga Maruge to take advantage of the “Free Education for All” which was availed throughout Kenya in 2003.

Little did the authorities know that Maruge, at age 84, wished to take advantage of this opportunity and showed up to enter first grade at Kapkenduiywo Primary School in Langas, Eldoret, 300km west of the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

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Safer Internet Day 2012

Safer Internet Day 2012 (SID2012) serves as great opportunity to remind ourselves of the need to exercise a bit of caution as we traverse the wired side of life. What impresses me the most is the multi-lingual, multi-topic approach taken to spread the message of how to stay safe online.

Unintended Consequences – Time for a paradigm shift

On 2 November, I gave a talk, “Unintended Consequences” at Gnomedex. I spoke to the need to recognize that “always-on” isn’t necessarily always good. I went on to describe the train-wrecks which occur when technology which is created for good, is used in a manner, unintended. I then shared the stories of 36 young people who we lost in 2010 due to being overwhelmed, both online and off.

A discussion surrounding bullying

I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Pirillo pre-Gnomedex about a variety of subjects, some light, some humorous and one very serious – the topic of bullying and the attendant suicides. During this discussion, I also shared my thoughts on how we as a collective society need to step up and accomplish in the immediate future. I do hope you will come and listen to my talk on the Gnomedex stage at Seattle Interactive conference on 2 November 2011 at 1400 hours (2:00pm).

The presentation is titled: “Unintended Consequences”

Medical Device Security – Are your devices secure?

Many medical devices have telemetry requirements, which require patient data to be both present within the device’s resident memory and to be transmitted from the device to a monitoring or record-preservation device (hard drive or tape). During transmission, are the content or command/control sequences protected? Do they need to be? Unfortunately, yes. The data must be protected not only from a PHI-data disclosure perspective, but also from data corruption perspective.

Hunger is just plain ugly

This week I viewed a video (see below) surrounding the famine in eastern Africa and the millions of souls who are literally starving before the worlds eyes, a midst the lawlessness of Somalia and environs. The world’s response as been tepid at best, and in my opinion disgraceful. Aid and sufficient military presence to protect those bringing the aid and those receiving the aid should be pouring into the environs, but instead we see donated supplies backing up at ports and depots and not moving to the areas of need. So what happens? Those who need the aid start migrating toward where they believe food and water are present. They journey for days and weeks often times leaving family members dead on the road toward relief. This needs to change.

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Patient Data: The Crown Jewels (Mayo Blog)

I have always been an advocate of protecting one’s personal information and privacy and was personally pleased when the HIPAA standards came into being, as this raised the tide for all medical care providers to a common level of information protection. Indeed doctors, dentists, insurers, health organizations, hospitals and clinics all moved to have their data handling and storage reviewed and certified as being HIPAA compliant.

Sadly, being compliant is not synonymous with being secure. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse there have been more than 87 separate data breaches made public from January 1 – June 10, 2011, which in aggregate affected more than 5,000,000 individuals’ records. Let’s look at the variety of ways patient data were compromised and how every one of these losses was avoidable.

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National Hunger Awareness Day

National Hunger Awareness Day came and went on 7 June 2011. Reflect back, did you do anything different that day? Many didn’t, some did. Let me highlight the efforts of some who came to may attention:

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Hunger – Their bowls are still empty

You can sit and watch the tragedy of hunger in the United States continue, or you can do something. I thank you for your action, your community thanks you for your action and those who will have a meal in their bowl and on their table due to your action thank you.

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Hunger – Kind Acts

So often when we speak of hunger in the world, and specifically in the United States it occurs from a distance and in an impersonal manner, until it gets personal. Getting personal can occur when someone you know or someone you love finds themselves debating whether food is something which should be purchased today. Think about that for a minute. If you’ve never had such a thought, where will the food come for my or my family’s next meal, count yourself amongst the fortunate, but more than 50 million in the United States have such thoughts daily; more than 900,000,000 persons in this world we share have those thoughts daily. Please ask yourself, is it possible that the United States (the land of plenty) can have 1/20th of the world’s hungry within it’s population? Then, please ask yourself, what can I do.

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Sex Trafficking in the United States – 2 New Voices (“Real Men Don’t Buy Girls”)

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher launch their foundation to address sex trafficking of children in the United States. The skeptic says, “This can not be.” The hopeful says, “There aren’t many.” And the activist says, “Where are they and how can I make a difference.” I want to spark the activist in all of us, educate the skeptic in each of us and engage with you the shared hope that if we each take one demonstrable action we can take one of these individuals who are exploiting our youth off the street and make a difference to many children – today and tomorrow. — Read more…

Embark: USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) March 2011

This past week I was fortunate enough to have been invited to embark on the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) at sea as part of the Navy’s “Distinguished Visitor” program (30-31 March 2011.) The visit was exhilarating and filled my heart with pride to have had the opportunity to meet the crew of this aircraft carrier. Exhilarating? Absolutely, to see the young men and women of the United States (average age on the Stennis is less than 25) bring the Stennis to life is to understand the power of “We” over “Me.”

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Online Safety: Cyberbullying those who are different – Trust the Movie

In David Schwimmer’s TRUST, the teenage character Annie finds herself the subject of great deal of unwanted and undeserved attention by her high school classmates in a manner in which constituted to all would be unacceptable and falls within the realm of cyberbullying (as the bullying occurred using online media). We all have encountered instances where those who did not conform or who had experienced something not of the ordinary come under undo scrutiny and are isolated for the experience by their peers. The scrutiny often times manifests itself into ridicule, sarcasm or insults as those who are observing from afar attempt to differentiate and exclude themselves from the experience.

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Trust: Bad things can happen to good children (online safety)

In David Schwimmer’s TRUST, bad things happen to Annie, a good child. She is by all appearances a typical teenager – totally wired, online and available, 24/7/365. In the physical world, parents see with whom their child interacts. As the parents witness this interaction they are able to help guide and influence their child’s choices. The number one rule for every family: “The child must not engage in any personal meetings with an individual whom they have only met online without explicit parental permission.”

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