Thursday, February 25, 2010

You Are The Main Factor That Influence's Your Child's Pursuit Of A Tech Career!

Encourage your girl geek
Interesting study results out of Michigan State earlier this week about factors that lead children to pursue science or technology careers.

Key findings from this study, which followed 6000 students from middle school to college, include:
  1. The main contributor to a child's decision to pursue science/tech is parental influence.
  2. Success in math classes turns out to be more significant a factor than success in science classes.
  3. Sons are encouraged to pursue math classes more than daughters, which reinforces my previous call for all dad's to encourage their .
Parents Still Major Influence on Child’s Decision to Pursue Science Careers

Monday, February 22, 2010

DIY Teddy Bear and Deranged Kitty Birthday Cakes

DIY teddy bear birthday cake
sillyDaddy loves to build interesting cakes. I don't so much like the baking of them but I surely do like the building of them.

eM and I teamed up to make teddy bear cakes for a combined bday party for J and D.  She did the baking and I did the building.

This one was, well, a piece of cake compared to the I wrote about earlier and a cool dragon cake I made but haven't posted yet.

One major lesson learned from those past experiences is that applying icing to a cut cake is really tough. This time around I picked up a mini cupcake pan and small round cake pans at the local craft store to avoid icing over cut cake as much as possible.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Harden Your Passwords

Today's post is all about passwords and it's my fourth in a series of four about DIY identity protection.
make your passwords stronger to prevent internet crime
In the first post of the series, , research revealed that most peoples' passwords were extremely easy to hack.

Well, last December, 32 million passwords belonging to a company called Rockyou were breached by a benevolent hacker who turned the passwords over for study.

A firm named Imperva  on the stolen passwords and found, "Nearly 50% of users used names, slang words, dictionary words or trivial passwords (consecutive digits, adjacent keyboard keys, and so on). The most common password among account owners is '123456'."

According to that same study, a hacker with a decent DSL connection and a list of the top 5000 passwords (the top 20 of which are pictured below) could "gain access to one new account every second" and take "less than 17 minutes to compromise 1000 accounts."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Carvings

Vitamin D production extremely important to your child's health
Before we lose all of this glorious snow, be sure to carve a few runs for the kids!

And while you're designing your fortress, keep vitamin D production in mind.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An Approach To Managing Behavior

This piece from the sillyDaddy archive was written by a pediatrician and published in the opinion pages of the NY Times last year.Children, and those who interact with them, suffer if they're not taught social skills

The author describes the approach as respectful of a child's "intellectual and emotional privacy" and writes,  "I’m not telling you to like your teacher; I’m telling you to treat her with courtesy. I’m not telling you that you can’t hate Tommy; I’m telling you that you can’t hit Tommy. Your feelings are your own private business; your behavior is public."

Making Room for Miss Manners Is a Parenting Basic

Published: January 12, 2009
NY Times

For years, I took care of a very rude child. When he was 3, I called him rambunctious — and I talked to his mother about “setting limits.” At 4, I called him “demanding.” At 5, he was still screaming at his mother if she didn’t do what he wanted, he still swatted me whenever I tried to examine him, and his mother asked me worriedly if I thought he was ready for kindergarten.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Prep for Round Two With Mother Nature

As of this writing, they're calling for another 10 to 20 inches of snow for the Washington DC metro area.

Here are a few quick tips for round two:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Freeze Your Credit So Bad People Can't Get It (rhymes)!

Freeze your credit to prevent identity theft
Did you know that, as of January 2008, if you're a Maryland resident, you can freeze your credit report with each agency for 5 bucks a pop and as of January 2010 you can do this on-line?

Freezing your credit report means that no one can open up a new line of credit in your name.  So even if someone were to steal your identity they wouldn’t be able to use the information to get lots of shiny new credit cards.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

DIY Pine Cone Bird Feeders!

DIY Pine cone bird feeders
Ahhhh the classic pine cone bird feeder.

Four simple ingredients, pine cones, peanut butter, bird seed and twine.

This one's messy so have the paper towels ready.

First, tie the twine good and tight around the pine cone.

Next, slather peanut butter all over.

Finally, hand off the buttered pine cones to your helpers so they can roll them in birdseed.

DIY Pine cone bird feedersDIY Pine cone bird feeders

Interestingly, our smaller birds didn't seem to know what to do with these but our neighborhood woodpeckers showed up right away (click on either image to see a female downy woodpecker)

And as expected, the squirrels took several of them right away -



Monday, February 1, 2010

Stop Credit Solicitations From Coming In The Mail Where The Bad People Can Steal Them!

Stop credit solicitations from coming in the mail to prevent identity theft
Do you think that tearing up your credit card solicitations is overkill?

Don’t think a person could really get a credit card in your name if they dug through your mail or trash, pulled out a direct mail credit solicitation, added a different address and sent it in?

Well you’d be wrong.  That’s exactly what can happen .