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Survey Shows Teens Hide True Internet Usage From Parents

This from a REUTERS news story posted on AOL News / Huffpost

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare.

By Gianna Palmer

NEW YORK (Reuters) – More and more teenagers are hiding their online activity from their parents, according to a U.S. survey of teen internet behavior released on Monday.

The survey, sponsored by the online security company McAfee, found that 70 percent of teens had hidden their online behavior from their parents in 2012, up from 45 percent of teens in 2010, when McAfee conducted the same survey.

“There’s a lot more to do on the Internet today, which ultimately means there’s a lot more to hide,” said McAfee spokesman Robert Siciliano.

Siciliano cited the explosion of social media and the wider availability of ad-supported pornography as two factors that have led teens to hide their online habits. The increased popularity of phones with Internet capabilities also means that teens have more opportunities to hide their online habits, he said.

“They have full Internet access wherever they are at this point,” Siciliano said.

The survey found that 43 percent of teens have accessed simulated violence online, 36 percent have read about sex online, and 32 percent went online to see nude photos or pornography.

The survey reported that teens use a variety of tactics to avoid being monitored by their parents. Over half of teens surveyed said that they had cleared their browser history, while 46 percent had closed or minimized browser windows when a parent walked into the room. Other strategies for keeping online habits from parents included hiding or deleting instant messages or videos and using a computer they knew their parents wouldn’t check.

Meanwhile, the survey found that 73.5 percent of parents trust their teens not to access age-inappropriate content online. Nearly one quarter of the surveyed parents (23 percent) reported that they are not monitoring their children’s online behaviors because they are overwhelmed by technology.

Siciliano said that is no excuse.

“Parents can put their foot down and they can get educated,” he said.

“They can learn about the technology at hand. They can learn about their children’s lives,” Siciliano said.

Many of the parents surveyed were already doing just that, with 49 percent of parents using parental controls and 44 percent obtaining their children’s email and social network passwords. Additionally, three in four parents said they’ve had a conversation about online safety with their kids.

The results were drawn from a nationwide online survey completed by 1,004 teens aged 13-17 and 1,013 parents, conducted May 4-29 by TRU of Chicago, a youth research company. Its margin of error was plus or minus 3 percent.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Eric Walsh)

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Family Issues, Lies, Living Conditions, Parenting, Relationships, Values | Leave a comment

Wooo HOOO, Saudi Arabia Allowing Female Olympic Athletes

It hasn’t been so long in our own country since Title IX made it possible for more and more women to participate in athletic events, making funding possible, giving women in the United States an opportunity to participate in healthy athletic activities.

RIYADH, June 25 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia will allow its women athletes to compete in the Olympic Games for the first time ever in London this summer, the Islamic kingdom’s London embassy said on its website.

Human rights groups had called on the International Olympic Committee to bar Saudi Arabia from competing in London, citing its failure ever to send a woman athlete to the Olympics and its ban on sports in girls’ state schools.

Powerful Muslim clerics in the ultra-conservative state have repeatedly spoken out against the participation of girls and women in sports.

“I think this is a victory for Saudi sportswomen and hopefully it will promote sports and women’s health awareness for the Saudi society,” said Lina al-Maeena, co-founder of Jeddah United Sports Company, a rare women’s exercise club that runs a female basketball team.

In Saudi Arabia women have a lower legal status than men, are banned from driving and need a male guardian’s permission to work, travel or open a bank account.

Under King Abdullah, however, the government has pushed for them to have better education and work opportunities and will allow them to vote in future municipal elections, the only public polls held in the kingdom.

Saudi women will be able to compete in the London Olympics only if they reach the qualifying standard for their event, and the Games opens in just over one month, on July 27.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is looking forward to its complete participation in the London 2012 Olympic Games through the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, which will oversee the participation of women athletes who can qualify for the Games,” said a statement published on the embassy website.

The woman most likely to compete under the Saudi flag in London, show jumper Dalma Malhas, was ruled out on Monday when the World Equestrian Federation (FEI) said the 20-year-old’s mare Caramell KS had been sidelined by injury for a month during the qualifying period and had missed a June 17 deadline.

“Regretfully the Saudi Arabian rider Dalma Rushdi Malhas has not attained the minimum eligibility standards and … will not be competing” at the London Olympics, FEI secretary general Ingmar De Vos told the FEI website (

Malhas won individual bronze at the junior Olympics in Singapore in 2010, but without official support or recognition.

In April the head of the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, which regulates sport in Saudi Arabia, said it would not prevent women from competing but they would not have official government endorsement.

The government’s role would be limited to ensuring that Saudi women’s participation “is in the proper framework and in conformity with sharia”, he said.

The IOC said on Monday that talks with the Saudis were “ongoing” and that “we are working to ensure the participation of Saudi women at the Games in London”.

The head of the kingdom’s Olympic mission, Khalid al-Dakheel, told Reuters on Sunday that he was unaware of any developments allowing women to participate.

Top Saudi clerics, who hold government positions and have always constituted an important support base for the ruling al-Saud royal family, have spoken against female participation in sports.

In 2009 a senior cleric said girls risked losing their virginity by tearing their hymen if they took part in energetic sport.

Physical education is banned in girls’ state schools in the kingdom, but Saudi Arabia’s only female deputy minister, Noura al-Fayez, has written to Human Rights Watch saying there is a plan to introduce it. (Reporting by Angus McDowall and Asma Alsharif; editing by Tim Pearce)

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Character, Community, Cultural, Education, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Leadership, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Saudi Arabia, Social Issues, Values, Women's Issues | , , , | 1 Comment

Leaving Nsefu for Chongwe; The Most Exciting Moment of our Trip

Early, early the next morning we heard a crashing and crunching – sounds we can easily identify as elephant. At first we continue sleeping, our only morning for sleeping in, but I can’t resist, I have to get up, and lo! The elephant is between our cabin and the next, obliviously chomping and breaking and tearing the tree for an early breakfast. 

I decide to get up and get dressed so I can get the iPad charged before the generator goes off at 10, but I can’t go out until the elephant has departed, and she heads in the direction of the lodge, which is where I need to be. Deb Tuttle, the walking guide, walks with me once we see the elephant walk a little further down the valley, I’m able to get the iPad charging and grab a cup of coffee so to be able to say farewell to some of the guests whom we will not see again. 

Sunrise over Nsefu:

Travel agents heading out on a Robin Pope Walking Safari:

Making Toast is the favorite job in the winter, close to the hot coals:

It is so nice to be able to pack in daylight! My iPad is at 100%; I have finished The Paris Wife and am starting Wolf Hall, which also holds my attention. While carrying books is bulky, this constant underlying awareness of needing to recharge camera batteries and iPad is also a deterrence. I find I am less desperate about the camera batteries, I always carry at least one back-up so I always have a charged spare, but when the iPad goes, it has to be recharged before we can use it again.

A couple of the travel agents who didn’t know each other had to bunk together in Nsefu. I don’t feel sorry for them; they get to come free. It seems to me, though, is hard to come on these trips as a single person and not feel the odd one out when the game drives go out. They say it is no problem, but I’ve been the odd one on trips to Kawazaa, etc., when AdventureMan wanted to do some activity and I wanted to do something else. It is possible, anything is possible, but sometimes it is just a little awkward. Sometimes people are nice; sometimes they are not so happy to have someone else with them. We are finding that the best of all worlds is to come with your own little traveling group. 

The first time we came as a small group was with our son and his wife. We were able to do game drives with people who share our preferences, have people to talk to at dinner if everyone else has their group, etc. We like meeting up with other people, and at the same time, it gives you more confidence to have a group with you, if the other people are all absorbed in one another, or not great company.

The most difficult people are those who don’t understand that this is not a predictable experience – that’s why it is an adventure. There is no guarantee that the lion will crawl over the lip of the riverbank just in front of your car. There is no guarantee you will find the same great, shaggy maned lion at the salt pans that the other guests found the day before. There are NO guarantees, and so you have to treasure all the moments, great and small, and if you are blessed with an extraordinary experience, you celebrate, but honestly, just being here is cause for celebration. Those whose noses get out of joint because you might have seen something they haven’t aren’t a lot of fun to be around. We had one experience when a group that had been friendly to us got all sour and disgruntled because we had seen the lions at the salt pan and they had not. Hey! The lion don’t always show up! The leopard are elusive. This experience is one that totally has to be lived in the moment.

You have to love the smell of the campfire in the morning, and be willing to sacrifice your one morning of sleeping in to spot the elephant chomping outside your bathroom wall. You have to love the little elephant shrew as much as the elephant. There are some drives that are just quiet. It’s like you can’t expect Christmas every day, and if it were Christmas every day, it wouldn’t be special any more.

Just before Holly arrives to open up the Bend Over Store (LOL, it’s a trunk full of goodies) we are blessed with one last elephant crossing! Two days earlier, the elephant were crossing back and forth like a street in New York, then yesterday – not an elephant! It was so unearthly quiet! Today, groups are massing once again, and crossing. We love watching the baby elephants as they learn how it is done.

Drinking; getting ready to cross:

Mom, wait!

On the way to Mfuwe airport, we see Eland – we’ve been looking and looking for these large elk-like ungulates, they are shy and elusive, but Jonah spots them off in the distance, a parting gift from Nsefu.

We have an all-too-brief mad dash through Tribal Textiles, where we ‘invest’ in tablewares, cushion covers and deco for children’s rooms. AdventureMan befriends one of the Tribal Textile cats while I am busy shopping. I have cleared out my backpack so I would have space to put my purchases. 🙂

We have a full flight from Mfuwe to Lusaka, and not a lot of time to spare before our next flight.  Smooth flight to Lusaka, just minutes to pick up luggage and transfer to next ProFlight flight, this one is not even on the departure board, only eight passengers, our party of four and a German family from Bavaria. At the very last minute another man comes running, running to catch the plane, we are all busy chatting, it is already a family. They are en route to Chiawa.

It’s a short flight, but here comes the most exciting moment in our day. The pilot is looking at a cheat sheet and the suddenly the plane is saying loudly “Pull Up! Pull Up!Terrain! Terrain!”

The pilots are looking confused and annoyed, one still looking at the instruction sheet, a mountain is rising in front of us, the plane is banking and the loud voice keeps saying “Pull up! Pull up! Terrain!”

I thought I had a movie of all this. I remember making a movie, thinking that if these are my last moments, I will record what happened and try to store the iPad in a place where it might be safely found. Of course, as it turns out, we landed safely and . . . somehow, I don’t have the movie. I must have shut it off too quickly and it didn’t save; I was in a hurry – just in case those were my last moments. I have to admit I am disappointed not to have it to share with you.

Waiting at the airstrip is Victor, our guide, and we rode with him and Chris, who turns out to be one of the owners of Chongwe, to the Chongwe River Camp.

(This is a waterbuck we passed on our way into camp, and again on our way out of camp the next morning; so so sad, part of the circle of life and death, but as we departed Chongwe, his bloated body was in the same field; they suspect he was bitten by a snake and died.)

Arrival is lovely, we are greeted at a tall stand, so we are not climbing in and out of the Land Cruiser, we walk right out onto this stand and down the steps. Flossie greets us and then they tell us that we have been upgraded and put in the family suite.

The Family Suite . . . As soon as we see it, we remember. We had totally forgotten . . . we loved our cabins at Chongwe, we were delighted with all the amenities, and we also remember our first boat trip riding by a place that looked like a fantasy from 1001 Nights, a tented living room and dining room, with carpets and nice furniture and linen tablecloths and gleaming candles – it was so lovely. We remember, it was the family suites.  And now, the family suite was ours!

We were a little dazed by our good fortune, we couldn’t believe this lovely place was ours. Our butler, Steve, offered us drinks, Flossie, the camp hostess showed us to our bedroom/bathroom/dressing areas and explained how everything worked, where the electrical outlets and switches were, how the double shower works, where the bath oils were for the claw-footed bathtub, gave us the white cotton pique robes and the fluffy thick Turkish Towels.

This is our sleeping area:

This is our dressing area:

This is the view from our tent toward where the Chongwe River meets the Zambezi River:

This is our bathroom, with a two-person shower and claw-foot tub 🙂

And this is the desk area, also where we can charge our batteries and electronics:

This is our dining room:

The Family Room:

This is the view out over our swimming pool to the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers, and the hippo pods:

There are woven mats and kelim carpets, and we feel at home, if home can be a huge octagonal tent with an indoor / outdoor feel.  Victor comes back, pulling up in a boat next to our swimming pool,to take us for a sundowners up the Chongwe and then back down into the Zambezi.

And Victor has fishing equipment with him for the fishing enthusiast in our party. He is able to cast to his heart’s content with a rod and reel trying to hook a Tiger Fish (catch and release) but no luck.

We see lots of animals coming down to drink at dusk, just across the Chongwe:

Our first Chongwe sunset:

Dusk settles on the Zambezi:

After sundowners, we head back and go to our luxurious tents to clean up, then reassemble around the fire to have a glass of wine before dinner.

The ultimate luxury is privacy. We have met such lovely people in the camps, and still, I am who I am, it is hard for me to exert myself to be charming every night at the end of a long day. I do fine at breakfast around a campfire. I manage at lunch, although after an early start and a long game drive, I am usually eager for a quick snooze. But by night, at the end of the game drive, all I want is comfort food, quick, like tomato soup and a cheese sandwich, not so much chit chat and good night, see you all in the morning when I am more chipper.

I recognize there are people who do well later in the day. I recognize that there is this thing called civilized behavior. I do have manners, I know what is important, and  . . . yet . . . late in the day, I have the nature of a curmudgeon. I need some quiet. AdventureMan and our friends are out having a great conversation in our living room area, I can hear them, I delight that they are having such a great conversation, and I really, really need to be in here, writing up my notes. By the grace of God, they understand me and have compassion on me. I am able to join them a little later, and we have a lovely laughter-filled dinner in our private dining room and then off to bed – we have a full day tomorrow in Chongwe!

The butler, Steve, does wonderful napkins:

We did nothing to deserve this beautiful upgrade. We loved the spacious tents we had the last time we were in Chongwe River Camp, but this . . . this is a totally unexpected, undeserved blessing, it just fell in our laps, and we are so appreciative. We feel so cherished, so blessed, so beautifully taken care of. We go to sleep with the sound of hippos . . . . .ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . . . .

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Books, Circle of Life and Death, Civility, Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Relationships, Shopping, sunrise series, Sunsets, Travel, Zambia | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Maria’s Mermaid

We like Maria’s; we like the variety of seafoods they carry, and we like that the fish is fresh. We often see the fishermen parked with their boats next to Maria’s, hauling out this morning’s catch.

AdventureMan runs into Maria for tonight’s dinner and I notice their mermaid. I think the artist must have had a lot of fun painting this Mermaid, who is not your Starbucks Mermaid:

And doesn’t strike you as sad that this perky little mermaid would be offering up her half-brothers and half-sisters for eating?

Maria’s Fresh Seafood Market
621 East Cervantes Street Pensacola, FL 32501
(850) 432-4999

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cooking, Humor, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Public Art, Shopping | | Leave a comment

Nsefu, Day Two, Salt Pans and A Pink Hippo Sunset

We are up only half an hour earlier, but it feels lime the middle of the night. We dress quickly, although it seems a little warmer this morning, and head directly for the game tracker, where we meet up with Jonah, our guide. Jonah was up early yesterday, taking our friends to Kawazaa, got back in time for tea, and then took us out for an evening drive. When does he sleep?

This morning, our goal is to head out to the salt pans before it gets too hot, and thank goodness there are nice thick blankets, because once we get going, it feels a lot colder, and we are all bundled up.

We are on the road before sunrise!

On the way into the huge, flat plain, Johah stops to pick up some leadwood to use for a fire. As we near the hot spring, we spot a jackal! He is cold, and shy, and the light is dim, so no jackal photos, not this time . . .

We arrive at the hot springs just as the sun is coming up, we all help unload and set up the chairs, and our two German lion-hunters from the last time we were there drive up and we exchange greetings and information. The hot springs area has its own unique kind of beauty, and we are all busy taking photographs while Jonah  builds a fire.

The cooks have pre-cooked the bacon and sausages, which is a good thing when for a hearty, delicious, totally non-healthy breakfast out on the salt pan where there may be hungry lion hanging about. 🙂

On the way back, we stop now and then for some heartstoppingly beautiful photos – pukus and zebra against a lush green grassy background, eagles and fabulous birds, and it is one of those wonderful mornings altogether, nothing spectacular, but a series of lovely moments. No lions. Not every day can have a lion. But every day has its wonderful moments, and this morning, we had several. 🙂

Men from the village ride by, but there are no lions, no elephants, and nothing we have seen to warn them about:

I couldn’t help it, I love the way these two zebra seem to join at the hip:

The camp is full when we arrive back, three tour agents here to learn about the Robin Pope culture, take a drive, take a guided hike – and it is a warm afternoon. We have lunch, and we all head to our cabins; no elephants crossing today, maybe it’s a Saturday thing. I wash my hair; I need to do it in the afternoon because there are no hair dryers, and I have a lot of hair. It dries in the warm afternoon breezes, and is fully dry by tea, before we leave on our afternoon game drive. 

This is a Wydah and its tail gives it a loopy up-and-down kind of rhythm:

We stop for sun-downers by the river, our last sundown on the Luangwa, and what a gloriously pink sunrise it is. The hippos are getting ready to leave the river to forage for supper, and are busy yawning in the pink twilight, but every time I look away to answer a question, one chooses to yawn and I miss it. It happened so often, with such regularity that I figured I simply wasn’t meant to get that hippo-yawning-in-the-pink-sunset photo, at least not here, but it’s been a great lovely sunset, a magnificent sunset, and a lovely way to say farewelll to the Luangwa.

Of all our trips to the Robin Pope Camps in the South Luangwa Valley, this has been one of the very best.

I’m tired when we get back, it’s been such a lovely day. I beg off going to dinner; I need some quiet time. The cook sends me a poached egg on toast, just what I need. Every meal has been so good, so filling, but occasionally, like a tired child, I need quiet, and a simple meal. I plan my packing for the next day in serene peace.

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Beauty, ExPat Life, Hotels, Photos, sunrise series, Sunsets, Weather, Zambia | 2 Comments