Category Archives: Life

Can You Be Fired for Bad-Mouthing Your Boss on Facebook?


Office

Dawnmarie Souza’s comments on her Facebook page didn’t win her any points with the boss, but the rest of us owe her a debt of gratitude. In a rare test of old law on a new medium, she helped us understand just how little the online world differs from the land of bricks and mortar.

Souza’s career as a paramedic at American Medical Response of Connecticut Inc. may not have been too bright even before she called her boss various genital parts in a November 2009 Facebook posting. She had been hauled on the carpet for several incidents of allegedly rude behavior and had further rankled the emergency-response company by asking to have a union representative present when she was to be questioned about one particular customer’s complaint that she had been rude, according to a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) investigation of the case. The company denied the request, and that, in turn, set off her colorful Facebook flurry. American Medical fired her 23 days later. Continue reading Can You Be Fired for Bad-Mouthing Your Boss on Facebook?

Former Child Sex Slave Tells Her Story


Look Beneath The Surface

CINCINNATI — Nearly 3,000 Ohio children are at risk for sex trafficking, and more than 1,000 children in the state are trafficked into the sex trade every year, according to the attorney general’s 2010 year-end report on human trafficking.

One victim of sex trafficking, “Sarah,” as she asked to be identified, sat down with News 5’s Stephanie Stone to tell her story. Sarah admits her story is unbelievable and disturbing. She agreed to go on camera hoping to save just one more person from the horrors of human trafficking.

“People have to know that this stuff does go on. Horrible, horrible, horrible things happen to children,” she said. Continue reading Former Child Sex Slave Tells Her Story

How One Nuclear Skirmish Could Wreck the Planet


ABOMB

WASHINGTON — Even a small nuclear exchange could ignite mega-firestorms and wreck the planet’s atmosphere.

New climatological simulations show 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs — relatively small warheads, compared to the arsenals military superpowers stow today — detonated by neighboring countries would destroy more than a quarter of the Earth’s ozone layer in about two years.

Regions closer to the poles would see even more precipitous drops in the protective gas, which absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. New York and Sydney, for example, would see declines rivaling the perpetual hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica. And it may take more than six years for the ozone layer to reach half of its former levels.

Researchers described the results during a panel Feb. 18 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, calling it “a real bummer” that such a localized nuclear war could bring the modern world to its knees.

“This is tremendously dangerous,” said environmental scientist Alan Robock of Rutgers University, one of the climate scientists presenting at the meeting. “The climate change would be unprecedented in human history, and you can imagine the world … would just shut down.”

To defuse the complexity involved in a nuclear climate catastrophe, Wired.com sat down with Michael Mills, an atmospheric chemist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who led some of the latest simulation efforts. Continue reading How One Nuclear Skirmish Could Wreck the Planet

UNHCR fears for the safety of refugees caught in Libya’s violence


Riots

GENEVA, February 22 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency said in Geneva on Tuesday it has become “increasingly concerned” about the dangers for civilians inadvertently caught up in the mounting violence in Libya, especially asylum-seekers and refugees.

“We have no access at this time to the refugee community. Over the past months we have been trying to regularize our presence in Libya, and this has constrained our work,” Melissa Fleming, UNHCR’s chief spokesperson, told journalists in Geneva. Continue reading UNHCR fears for the safety of refugees caught in Libya’s violence

Leprosy, Plague and Other Visitors to New York


NYC

When New York City’s health department revealed last weekend that three people had contracted cholera, it was a reminder that the city is not just a world capital of arts, business and the like — but also of exotic diseases.

If a disease has cropped up in the world, there is a good chance it will eventually find its way to New York City through the diverse travelers who cross the city’s borders.

For instance, several people every year are found to have a biblical disease, leprosy, though health officials say no one has to fear catching it in the subway. In 2002, bubonic plague, more commonly associated with the 14th century, found its way to New York City through two travelers who came from a ranch in New Mexico, where the disease is endemic in flea-bitten wild animals like prairie dogs. Continue reading Leprosy, Plague and Other Visitors to New York

20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life


ZEN

I’ve just stumbled over this accidently, while I was searching for something else, and I think it’s pretty awesome!

“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

I’m nearly 35 years old, and I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life. I’m not a big believer in regrets … and I have learned tremendously from every single mistake … and my life is pretty great.

However, there are a few things I wish I had known when I was graduating from high school and starting out as an adult in life.

Would I change things? I’m not so sure. I might never have gotten into a mountain of debt, but then I wouldn’t have learned the amazing satisfaction of getting out of it. I might have made better career choices, but then I wouldn’t have all the work experience that makes me the blogger and writer that I am today.

I might not have gotten married that first time, so that I would never have gotten divorced … but then I wouldn’t have my first two beautiful wonderful incredible children from that first marriage.

I don’t think I would change any of that. However, looking back, there are some lessons I’ve learned that I would probably tell my 18-year-old self. Do I share them now to share my regrets? No, I share them in hopes that younger men and women, just starting out in life, can benefit from my mistakes and my lessons.

What follows isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s one that I hope proves useful to at least a few people. Continue reading 20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life