Friday, December 27, 2013

Charitable Giving: Cleft Palate Repair

As you consider where to make last minute end-of-year charitable donations, consider donating to a charity that focuses on cleft palate reconstruction surgury. There are many amazing causes to direct funds to, but year after year we contribute to cleft palate repair work because the completely life altering bang-for-the-buck is just incredible. There's no "research" being done that has questionable results (if any). There's no massive amount of money per-procedure that has to be raised. There is a simple, inexpensive, life altering procedure that many many many doctors around the world can perform.

The procedure's impact utterly changes a human's life... forever... for the better. Some of the surguries literally save a life (the child is able to finally eat), while some of them provide a path to a completely new life that allows the person to integrate into society and more effectively contribute to the world as someone "normal" who "fits in." Just imagine going through life knowing how a simple procedure could mean the difference between you getting a job, vs. not. A simple procedure could affect whether or not you could be in a romantic relationship. A simple procedure could allow you to have more friends. A simple procedure can change everything.

Perhaps oddly, we don't have any direct personal experience with cleft palates. We resolved to donate to the cause because the bang-for-the-buck just seemed incredibly high when weighing options for impacting humanity in some small way.

We've always exclusively given to Smile Train, but are considering Operation Smile as well this year.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Day In Pictures; A Tuesday

Started my day with Cliff Shaw (CEO of Mocavo) to talk about money, servers, indexes, and parallel processing.
Talked Partnerships with Gnip's Jack Harvey. I love it when we overlap in Boulder (he lives out East). 
Lunch with the super smart Dave Jilk who's in some weird retired/not-retired state. Lots of backpacking and fishing for this guy. 
A grounding session with body worker Kendra Current
Adam's probably been in all of my "day-in-pictures" days and I think he's weary of it. Can you tell?

Steve simply doesn't like having his picture taken (but he likes to take them). Good conversation around the service level we provide our customers.

Eric Ryan keeping it real.

Passwords And Your Kids

I just read a post that a friend sent me about parents and social app/sexting awareness. It's a pretty good post. I don't agree with all the parenting/oversight approaches she's taking, but it's a good overview (if somewhat outdated) of some of the apps and how, as a parent, you might want to approach things in general.

She hit on something important: passwords. She suggests you, as the parent, know all of your kids' passwords, and that you should troll through everything on a regular basis. Hogwash!

First of all, no parent actually has time to troll through all of their kids' online engagements. You'd need the monitoring capability of the NSA at your disposal to even dent the volume of texts/emails/shares/whatever that your kids actually send on a daily basis.

Secondly, I teach my children to never share their passwords with _anyone_... _ever_; that includes me. Passwords are the modern day journal key. They are private, and being loose with them (with _anyone_) can lead to online identity disaster. So... don't ever share them. Teach your kids good password hygiene early so they can carry the lesson forward into an increasingly password crucial world.

Now, I'll admit, as long as they're "kids" I do hold the ultimate nuclear option if they get into trouble online and I need to kill or access their account(s). I have the credentials for the email accounts they respectively use that _all_ social services require for account validation and password resets. Our kids don't even know those exist (yet. and when they do I'll need to adjust my headspace and write an updated blog post). We, the parents, are the holders of the email accounts. With this option at our disposal, we can manage accounts if we are compelled to, but at the same time, we can treat passwords like the holy grail they are, and teach (without exceptions for mom and dad) our kids the same.