Tag Archives: technology

Yes, GMO’s are Safe

27 Feb

My son, Nicholas, decided to write an essay about GMO’s for his Language Arts class. I encouraged him to use researched based information or information based on scientific experiments. This is what we found:

dna• Genetic Modified Organisms are plants and animals with changes in their DNA. These changes are made to improve their performance and availability. These genetic changes have been occurring for ten thousand years when farming began.

• Today, nearly all foods have been genetically modified. However, there are only 9 commercially approved GM crops available in the U.S.: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, papaya and potatoes. Soon GM apples will be coming to local markets. The nutrition and composition of these crops are the same as non-GMO’s foods. Also, our bodies digest them the same way as non-GM crops.

• These GMO’s do not present any new health risks—they do not cause new allergies, cancer, infertility, ADHD or any other diseases or conditions. Scientific authorities around the world such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have examined hundreds of scientific studies. In conclusion, they found that GMO food crops do not pose more risks to people, animals or the environment.

• Before they reach the market, crops from GM seeds are studied extensively to make sure they are safe for people, animals and the environment. Today’s GM products are the most researched and tested agricultural products in history. Global regulatory agencies in seventy countries have reviewed the safety information and found no risks. apples

• In  the United States, GM crops are reviewed by at least 2, and sometimes 3, federal regulatory agencies: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While Facebook and other social media sites do an excellent job of spreading information, we have to remember that sometimes the information isn’t completely accurate. As with anything, the Extension office recommends using reputable sites and resources when doing research. The Extension office is glad to assist with researched based information for any questions or concerns you may have.

 

Pokémon Go! Safely

14 Aug

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During the past several weeks, a new technology craze has invaded our towns and cities. People are wandering around aimlessly looking at their phones, it’s Pokémon Go. One of our avid collaborators, Ms. Keishon Thomas, the Macon-Bibb County Extension agent has come to our rescue to help us understand this new trend, and at the same time alert our readers about the importance of getting involve with the game, but in a safe way. Let’s review what Thomas says and get active!

The game’s developers, Niantic Laboratories, stated the intent was “to get players out and explore the world around them, explore their neighborhoods in a different way and get exercise”.  In this case, your phone shows the animated Pokémon and other characters in real time in your real environment.

The object of the game is to catch “Pokémons”, small animated characters that come in a variety of shapes and colors.  Players ‘hunt’ Pokémon by walking in their real environment armed with “Pokéballs”. Players are directed to landmarks called “Pokéstops”, where they re-up on Pokéballs and other tools to catch Pokémon characters. The Pokéstops are everywhere; parks, churches, government buildings and even at your neighbor’s yard. Because catching those little characters is distracting, players sometime put themselves into dangerous situations as a result of being unaware of their surroundings.

Be alert at all times. There have been reports of people walking into trees, traffic and even falling while playing.pokemon

Never go illegal to capture Pokémon. No trespassing or jaywalking. “Pokemons” can appear anywhere. Be safe and use common sense.

The animated characters appear on your phone in a real environment, they can appear in your car and they move to avoid capture. Driving requires your full attention and hunting Pokémon while driving is a no-no.   Arrive alive!!!

Download the right app from a trusted source such as the Apple Store or Google Play. There have been reports of apps that have malware that could harm your device.

Children should never play alone. They get distracted easily.  It’s rewarding to play along with your child and capture characters while exercising.

Monitor your data usage. The game utilizes GPS and therefore eats data for lunch and dinner.  It won’t be so fun when you receive your phone bill.

Players should also be mindful of in-app purchases. While the game app is free, there are in-app purchases within the game and they have a cost.  My children have been told not to purchase anything online unless they have permission for the purchase. The same goes for the Pokémon Go game.

Monitor the weather and stay hydrated. It’s hot outside and pop-up storms can hamper hunting.  Avoid complications from heat; carry water with you, take breaks in shaded areas, and wear sunscreen.

Lastly, Pokémon Go is a great way to connect generations, get active and have fun while doing so.     Good luck and catch‘em all!!!

Technology and relationships

5 Jun

A few months ago while waiting in a doctor’s office I was talking with people around me. We talked about the weather, the last vacations, restaurants we eat at, the news on the TV, and about many other things. Nobody was on the phone, or using computers. It was about having a good conversation without getting distracted by technology.imagesCAQKCRWC

Some people may lose connections with people around them. They can be wrapped up in the technology talking on their mobile phones, checking email, or watching TV. It is even more sad when parents are consumed in technology and not connecting with their children.

The ramifications of this distancing are profound. Families aren’t able to build relationships as strong as they could be nor are they able to maintain them as well. As a result, children will feel less familiarity, comfort, trust, security, and, love from their parents.

Parents influence their children’s exposure to technology. Parents determine the technology to which children are exposed and the frequency of its use. Parents buy it for them, give them permission to use it, and provide them with the time and space for its use.

Parents also model the presence and use of technology in their own life. In doing so, parents are constantly sending children messages about the role that it should play in their lives. Think about how often you watch television, play video games, surf the Internet, or check your email. You will probably see the kind of relationship that your children have or will develop with technology.

Let us continue to nurture emerging technology to further leverage all that it has to offer. At the same time, the journey of progress should be guided by us, not lead by the technology itself.