Do you want to pull out all the stops for Mother’s Day this year? Whether your mom lives nearby or far away, here are a few ways to celebrate the occasion.
Host an event your mom will never forget by choosing a theme. You could make the celebration a beach party, a Victorian ball, a Mexican fiesta, a casino night soirée, or a Great Gatsby-style bash. Consider your mom’s tastes and get creative. Think about the decorations, costumes, music, and other details so everyone can truly immerse themselves in the chosen universe.
Celebrate your mom by doing something together that you know she enjoys. It could be a walk in the forest, a visit to a museum, a day at the spa, a hot air balloon ride, or a wine tasting at a local vineyard. If Mom preferred to stay home, consider playing board games or having a movie marathon with all of her favorite snacks. Give her a unique experience, and she’s sure to be pleased by your thoughtfulness.
If you can’t get together with your mom in person, organize a video call that shows her how much you care. You could read her a letter or poem you wrote for the occasion, share a festive meal together despite the distance or play an assortment of games to brighten up her day.
So, what kind of celebration will you put together for Mother’s Day?
National Safe Boating Week: Engine cut-off switches now required
A new law aims at preventing severe injuries and death from runaway vessels on recreational waterways.
Every year, the Coat Guard responds to cases where boat operators are thrown from boats, but the engines keep running. Operators and passengers end up in the water while the boat continues its course, or starts to move in a circle. In the water, people can be mowed down by the boat or suffer serious propeller injuries. Runaway boats pose a serious danger to other boaters and first responders.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced in March that all recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length will be required to use an engine cut-off switch.
An engine cut-off switch is a device that cuts the engine if the operator moves from the helm or the outboard — typically a lanyard clipped around the operator connects to the switch, which turns the engine off when tension is put on the lanyard.
Some wireless devices are also now available.
Not all small boating activities will be required to have the switches. Low-speed activities, such as fishing or docking, don’t require the use of a cut-off switch. But every boat under 26 feet long with an engine of three horsepower or more should have a cut-off switch. The switch doesn’t have to be used when fishing, docking or trailering.
Coast Guard rules apply only to federally navigable waterways. However, seven states have their own cut-off switch laws. The states are Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas. According to Boat US, most states will adjust their regulations to match federal law in coming years.
The consequence for violating this law is a $100 civil penalty for the first offense.
How to talk to your kids about the police
The purpose of National Police Week, which takes place from May 9 to 15, is to commemorate the service of police officers, especially those who died in the line of duty. Given the media coverage around police brutality, however, you might be wondering how to talk to your children about law enforcement. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Start with self-reflection
The way you approach a conversation about policing with your kids will depend on your own feelings and experiences. Take time to assess where you’re coming from before you sit down with your children.
2. Find out what they already know
Ask your children what the word “police” means to them and what they think a police officer’s job is. Their answers can help guide your discussion, as they’ll let you know what ideas or misunderstandings your kids have about law enforcement.
3. Acknowledge their feelings
Remember that simply listening to your children is an important part of any conversation with them. If your kids express feelings of anger, fear, or confusion when talking about the police, be sure to validate their emotions before trying to ease their concerns.
4. Be honest and offer reassurance
While you shouldn’t avoid acknowledging that some police officers behave badly, let your children know that most work hard to do the right thing and that lots of people are pushing for change to make sure the police treat everyone fairly.
In honor of National Police Week, take the time as a family to thank the police officers in your community for their continued service. This will give your children an opportunity to get to know some men and women behind the uniform.
Pregnancy and maternity quiz: test your knowledge
This Mother’s Day, test your knowledge about pregnancy and motherhood with this quick and easy quiz.
True or false
1. A baby’s sex is determined as soon the egg is fertilized.
2. Smoking increases the risk of having a miscarriage.
3. The chance of having identical twins is greater if there are already twins in the family.
4. The fetus’s heartbeats at the same rate as the mother’s.
5. Breastfeeding helps prevent breast cancer.
6. Which of these sports should be avoided during pregnancy?
a) Horseback riding and scuba diving
b) Judo and mountaineering
c) Tennis and hot yoga
d) All the above
7. What hormone causes the uterus to contract during childbirth?
d) Chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
8. At how many weeks is a baby considered full term?
Fill in the blank
9. It’s recommended that pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive take __________ as a supplement to prevent deformities such as spina bifida.
10. __________ is the medical term for a woman in labor.
11. The __________ allows air and food to be exchanged between the mother and fetus.
12. The __________ connects the mother to the child during pregnancy.
How did you do?
3. False (this is only true for fraternal twins)
4. False (it beats about twice as fast)
9. Folic acid
12. Umbilical cord
Need inspires solutions: The invention and re-invention of the odometer
Whether plotting a road trip or training for a triathlon, we need our odometers. But did you ever wonder how they were invented?
The odometer was actually invented and reinvented a number of times. From ancient Greeks to a Mormon pioneer, our mileage-tracking device has received quite a bit of attention.
The National Parks Service credits a Roman architect and engineer named Vitruvius with the first design. Vitruvius built a contraption that looked a bit like a wheelbarrow, which automatically dropped a pebble into a container at each revolution of the wheel, measuring the distance traveled.
Two other iterations showed up in the coming centuries, plus a third designed for ships. Then Benjamin Franklin created a version in 1775 to track his mileage as postmaster between Philadelphia and Boston. It is unclear whether Franklin then asked for mileage reimbursement.
William Clayton is credited with creating a detailed guide for Mormon travelers crossing the plains from Winter Quarters, Neb. to Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to noting camping locations, terrain, and the availability of water, grass, and timber, Clayton recorded the mileage thanks to the “roadometer” he invented.
In a prime example of need inspiring invention, Clayton created the device in 1847 after realizing early on that he needed a more accurate way to measure the distance. He measured the left rear wheel of one of the wagons to determine its circumference and calculate how many rotations equaled a mile.
Clayton then tied a marker on the spoke and walked beside it, counting the rotations —what must have been a painstaking process, as he notched 4,070 rotations for 11 and quarter miles plus 20 revolutions the first day.
The first roadometer could count to 100 and be quickly replaced by another that could count to 1,000, making the job much more efficient.
How to support nurses on the front line of the pandemic
May is Nurses Month, an annual event that sets out to honor the contributions of America’s nurses. These essential workers are invaluable members of their communities, offering help to patients and their families, and playing a key role in delivering healthcare services. That’s why this year’s theme is Nurses Make a Difference.
In light of the pandemic, supporting nurses is more important than ever. Over the last year, these workers have risked their own safety to help those who need care. Here are some ways you can offer your encouragement.
1. Give them a shoutout
Publicly give your thanks to nurses on social media using the hashtag #Support-HealthcareHeroes. Recognition can go a long way in making the nurses you know feel valued.
2. Offer them a meal
Order takeout for the nurses you know, and see if you can have it delivered to the hospital or clinic where they work.
3. Help with childcare
If you know a nurse who has children, consider offering to lend a hand while they’re at work or when they need a break.
4. Drop off groceries
It can be hard for nurses to find time to pick up the essentials. Reach out to a nurse you know, and see if you can help by bringing them the supplies they need.
5. Make a donation
There are numerous campaigns dedicated to raising funds for nurses. Consider making a donation to the American Nurses Foundation, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses or a local nursing school.
Nurses working on the front line of the pandemic deserve to be reminded that they’re valued. This year for Nurses Month, consider reaching out and showing your appreciation.
What to consider when buying a new bike
Do you want to buy a new bike? It can be hard to find the right one when there are so many models to choose from. Here are a few criteria to keep in mind when making your decision.
You should use a road bike for getting around town but a mountain bike for riding on unpaved trails. That’s why it’s important to consider how you intend to use your bike before selecting one.
Think about how long, how often, and what type of terrain you want to ride on. You should also consider if you plan on taking your children with you or if you need the bike to fit on the bus or subway. Once you answer all of these questions, you’ll be able to find a bike that meets your needs.
When seated on a bike, you should be able to comfortably reach the handlebars and almost fully extend your legs while pedaling. Standing over it, make sure there’s at least an inch of clearance between the frame’s top tube and your leg inseam.
Note that bike models designed for women usually provide better comfort for female riders. In any case, you should have your bike adjusted by a professional to make sure it’s as comfortable as possible.
Your budget will largely determine the quality of your frame. In general, more expensive bikes use lighter, more durable materials and have better adjustment options. To get the best value for your money, do your research and compare prices.
Keep in mind that the staff at your local bike shop can help you find the perfect bike for your needs, as well as a helmet, bike lock, and lights.