Archive for May, 2014

happy mayday

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I used to think, this internet I roamed, was oh so safe, of any hatred at all! But one day, I looked at my wall, and what I had seen, had changed me for all, I was made a fool, a creep, a dweeb. They thought it was cool to make fun of me. How could they be so cruel? Thoughts blazed through my head, as they laughed, and teased, and I cried in my bed. I told my mom, who told my dad, nothing at all is what they did. So, it continued, meaner each time. These lies they were spreading, they must be a crime!! I thought to myself, no one cares. My health went through the floor, my depression through the roof. Everyday at school, everyday on the computer, was like walking on rusty nails, I stood, crying, like I had been pounded with hail. “Something must happen.” I thought to myself. No superman had came to my rescue, no Prince Charming to save me from my death scoop. I sit, and cried, no reason for life. I looked around, and grabbed a knife. I wrote my mom a letter saying why I took my own precious life. I was close to death, I stared it in the eyes, she looked at me, mom, in compromise, “NO!” she screamed, she ran for the knife, I was so frightened, I fought my mom, she got it away, and the cops were called. I was taken to a mental hospital. I was treated so odd. Nice, indeed, no bullies around me. Bullying changed me, once, and for all, I knew I was strong, could face any fall. I never took any bullying from anyone anymore. Never be afraid to seek help, sooner you do, the more they will give, all we want is for you to be happy, and for you to live.

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Guidance for parents and young people on cyberbullying, including advice for ending (or preventing) the cycle of aggression. For a more comprehensive look, see A Parents’ Guide to Cyberbullying

For kids and teens

Know that it’s not your fault. What people call “bullying” is sometimes an argument between two people. But if someone is repeatedly cruel to you, that’s bullying and you mustn’t blame yourself. No one deserves to be treated cruelly.

Don’t respond or retaliate. Sometimes a reaction is exactly what aggressors are looking for because they think it gives them power over you, and you don’t want to empower a bully. As for retaliating, getting back at a bully turns you into one – and can turn one mean act into a chain reaction. If you can, remove yourself from the situation. If you can’t, sometimes humor disarms or distracts a person from bullying.

Save the evidence. The only good news about bullying online or on phones is that it can usually be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. You can save that evidence in case things escalate. [Visit ConnectSafely.org/cyberbullying for instructions on how to capture screens on phones and computers.]

Tell the person to stop. This is completely up to you – don’t do it if you don’t feel totally comfortable doing it, because you need to make your position completely clear that you will not stand for this treatment any more. You may need to practice beforehand with someone you trust, like a parent or good friend.

Reach out for help – especially if the behavior’s really getting to you. You deserve backup. See if there’s someone who can listen, help you process what’s going on and work through it – a friend, relative or maybe an adult you trust.

Use available tech tools. Most social media apps and services allow you to block the person. Whether the harassment’s in an app, texting, comments or tagged photos, do yourself a favor and block the person. You can also report the problem to the service. That probably won’t end it, but you don’t need the harassment in your face, and you’ll be less tempted to respond. If you’re getting threats of physical harm, you should call your local police (with a parent or guardian’s help) and consider reporting it to school authorities.

Protect your accounts. Don’t share your passwords with anyone – even your closest friends, who may not be close forever – and password-protect your phone so no one can use it to impersonate you. You’ll find advice at passwords.connectsafely.org.

If someone you know is being bullied, take action. Just standing by can empower an aggressor and does nothing to help. The best thing you can do is try to stop the bullying by taking a stand against it. If you can’t stop it, support the person being bullied. If the person’s a friend, you can listen and see how to help. Consider together whether you should report the bullying. If you’re not already friends, even a kind word can help reduce the pain. At the very least, help by not passing along a mean message and not giving positive attention to the person doing the bullying.

Additional advice for parents

Know that you’re lucky if your child asks for help. Most young people don’t tell their parents about bullying online or offline. So if your child’s losing sleep or doesn’t want to go to school or seems agitated when on his or her computer or phone, ask why as calmly and open-heartedly as possible. Feel free to ask if it has anything to do with mean behavior or social issues. But even if it does, don’t assume it’s bullying. You won’t know until you get the full story, starting with your child’s perspective.

Work with your child. There are two reasons why you’ll want to keep your child involved. Bullying and cyberbullying usually involve a loss of dignity or control over a social situation, and involving your child in finding solutions helps him or her regain that. The second reason is about context. Because the bullying is almost always related to school life and our kids understand the situation and context better than parents ever can, their perspective is key to getting to the bottom of the situation and working out a solution. You may need to have private conversations with others, but let your child know if you do, and report back. This is about your child’s life, so your child needs to be part of the solution.

Respond thoughtfully, not fast. What parents don’t always know is that they can make things worse for their kids if they act rashly. A lot of cyberbullying involves somebody getting marginalized (put down and excluded), which the bully thinks increases his or her power or status. If you respond publicly or if your child’s peers find out about even a discreet meeting with school authorities, the marginalization can get worse, which is why any response needs to be well thought out.

More than one perspective needed. Your child’s account of what happened is likely completely sincere, but remember that one person’s truth isn’t necessarily everybody’s. You’ll need to get other perspectives and be open-minded about what they are. Sometimes kids let themselves get pulled into chain reactions, and often what we see online is only one side of or part of the story.

What victims say helps most is to be heard – really listened to – either by a friend or
an adult who cares. That’s why, if your kids come to you for help, it’s so important to respond thoughtfully and involve them. Just by being heard respectfully, a child is often well on the way to healing.

The ultimate goal is restored self-respect and greater resilience in your child. This, not getting someone punished, is the best focus for resolving the problem and helping your child heal. What your child needs most is to regain a sense of dignity. Sometimes that means standing up to the bully, sometimes not. Together, you and your child can figure out how to get there.

One positive outcome we don’t often think about (or hear in the news) is resilience. We know the human race will never completely eradicate meanness or cruelty, and we also know that bullying is not, as heard in past generations, “normal” or a rite of passage. We need to keep working to eradicate it. But when it does happen and we overcome it – our resilience grows. It’s not something that can be “downloaded” or taught. We grow it through exposure to challenges and figuring out how to deal with them. So sometimes it’s important to give them space to do that and let them know we have their back.

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Gemellology is the term for the scientific study of twins (“Facts & Stats”). These multiples possess a very special and unique bond. Most twins hold more than simply good friendship, rather, they begin to bond as life-long companions beginning before they are even introduced to the world. In most cases, identical twins share a stronger bond than that of fraternal twins, primarily due to the fact that they share the same genes (“Facts & Stats”). Obviously, twins are very similar simply by sight, but it is unimaginable the extent to which twins are identical in their thought patterns, pathological, psychological, and physical aspects.

Many identical twins experience the same thought patterns because of their shared genes (“Facts & Stats”). Ron and Roger Scarbrough scored so similarly on a test that their teacher failed them, convinced they were cheating (Jackson 26). Given another chance, they again made the same errors. When joining the air force, they had to take a test, and mysteriously answered the same questions wrong. When retested, they again made the same one error (Jackson 26).

Janie and Linda N. are identical twin sisters (Bowles-Reyer). Their thought patterns were proven to be very similar when they both sent their parents the same exact present thousands of miles apart from each other (Bowles-Reyer). Twins reared apart at birth and later brought back together reveal further proof of the similar thought patterns of identical twins. As this being the basis of Dr. Thomas J. Bouchard’s studies at the University of Minnesota, he has met twins who both store rubber bands on their wrists, sneeze in public for attention, and pairs who walk into the ocean backward (Jackson 35).

Identical twin brothers, Jim Lewis and Jim Springer, were reared apart when they were just weeks old (Wright 43). Both men thought their brother had died at birth, but thirty-nine years later, they were reunited (Jackson 35). Dr. Bouchard studied them and was shocked to find many more similarities in their thought patterns than expected (Bowles-Reyer). It was discovered that both brothers married twice: first to a woman named Linda and the second time to a woman named Betty, named their sons James Alan and James Allen, had a dog named Toy as a child, took family vacations to the same location without ever meeting, and both worked part-time as a sheriff’s deputy in Ohio (Segal 118). The “Jim twins” were just one of the many interesting sets of twins studied by Dr. Bouchard (Mystery of Twins).

Sharon Poset and Debbie Mehlman, identical twins reared apart as infants, were reunited at age forty-five (Jackson 36). Dr. Bouchard discovered that they both had one child, yellow colonial-style houses, had a husband born in December, set their watches five minutes ahead to avoid being late, wore sunglasses in the shade, and shared strong religious beliefs (Jackson 34).

The mysterious similarities in the thought patterns of identical twins are truly mind-boggling, especially the similarities of twins reared apart at birth, considering they have never lived together. Besides similar thoughts, many twins experience a unique pathological bond.

Pathologically, twins share a bond unlike any other. Many twins experience ESP and the ability to share one another’s consciousness (Bowles-Reyer). This is known as the nonlocal or universal mind. A physicist named J.S. Bell developed Bell’s Theorem, a hypothesis explaining nonlocal mind. It said that when two subatomic particles come into contact with each other and are then separated, a change in one particle could cause a similar change in the other, instantly and to the same degree. In the 1960’s, to test this hypothesis, researchers pointed a light at one twin’s eye and found that the other twin’s brain-wave pattern changed in response. Besides tests, many people’s personal experiences have helped to prove Bell’s Theorem.

A woman named Linda N. gave birth to two babies in her life (Bowles-Reyer). The first time, she was two thousand miles apart from her identical twin sister, Janie, and the second time, Linda was in Naples, Italy while Janie was in Oregon. Both times, Janie went into labor pains with her sister. Similarly, when Linda was in the navy, she had to have multiple surgeries that Janie had to be medicated for. Linda stated, “If I notify her in advance she can control or manage the pain”(Bowles-Reyer).

In Yosemite, Maureen C. came close to drowning, and soon after, received a letter from her identical twin sister in Japan asking her if something had happened to her (Bowles-Reyer ). Besides this incident, in 1978, Maureen’s sister was killed in a car accident, and from one-and-a-half hours away, Maureen reported feeling dizzy at the same time her sister had had the accident and had to lay on the floor to keep herself from falling. Maureen was no doubt feeling everything her sister was feeling. Just as Maureen C. was submitted to experiencing her own sister’s death, Raymond Brandt also had to undergo this pain (Mystery of Twins).

Raymond Brandt was working on top of a pole with conductors that were not energized, but he suddenly felt a jolt of electricity run through his body (Mystery of Twins). This occurred at the same time that his identical twin brother, Robert, was electrocuted just five miles away (Mystery of Twins).

There is a chilling truth behind the nonlocal mind that raises many eyebrows and generates numerous questions, but it is truly fascinating if looked at from the perspective of J.S. Bell and his theorem. While the nonlocal mind is an amazing bond between identical twins, for people like Raymond Brandt and Maureen C., it becomes an entrapment in their own nightmares, both having had to experience the loss of their own twin and best friend.

The psychological bond of twins can be recognized in the way twins grieve for their lost co-twin. Dr. Nancy Segal, the director of the Twins studies Center has been studying twinless twins for more than fifteen years (Jackson 37). She has learned from other’s personal accounts how heartbreaking and dramatically life-changing it is when one twin dies, leaving the other behind (Segal 176). She noted that twins grieve more for the loss of their co-twin than for a parent, sibling, relative, or even their own child, because they were not only best friends who bonded from the day of conception, who only understood each other, but are also left with constant reminders, such as birthdays. “The lonesome crowd can be especially lonely because most twins have never felt alone. Perhaps it is this unique feature of twinship that distinguishes its loss so dramatically from other losses”(Segal 186). Raymond Brandt still continues to cope with his brother’s death that occured over fifty years ago (Jackson 37). He stated, “When Robert died so abruptly, I had to make my first decision on my own. I couldn’t share my deepest fears about going on without him”(Jackson 38). “Twins are always thinking ‘we’ rather than ‘me'”(Jackson 38). There is so much truth in this statement by Robert Brandt. Most twins grow up together sharing their deepest secrets, confident their trust will not be failed, so when a twin is left to live alone, it is as if they are all alone in the world with no one to turn to. It is a traumatic and devastating change that leaves them having to learn how to survive all over again.

Crystal Shaw lost her twin sister, Lynsey, in a car accident at age eleven and continues to suffer painful anguish and sorrow over her loss (Jackson 37). At first, Crystal found it difficult to sleep at night because she had slept in the same room as Lynsey her whole life. Starting high school alone was especially hard, coming home sick the first three days (Jackson 38). Although Crystal will cope with Lynsey’s death for rest of her life, she is learning to adjust to her “new” life by talking to others who are also experiencing the same pain (Jackson 38).

To live as a twinless twin is a very difficult adjustment to cope with, and just as Raymond Brandt put it, “Such emotional connection, especially between identical twins makes it difficult for single-birth persons to identify with their loss”(Mystery of Twins). Support groups can help ease the pain, but the pain is always there, along with the endless memories and reminders.

Some twins also share a rare physical bond. There have been incidences in which identical twins have gotten hurt just hours or days apart, or have died on the same day (Scheinfeld 228). Megan and Caitlin Coleman broke the same bone in their arms less than a week apart from each other (Mercer). More amazingly, two twin sisters died at a mental hospital just moments apart from each other while in separate rooms (Scheinfeld 228). Eng and Chang Bunker, the original “Siamese” twins, connected only by a thick band of flesh at the base of their chest, died a mere three hours apart (Mystery of Twins). There has even been one case in which both twins of a pair took their lives at about the same time (Scheinfeld 230)!

The physical bond of twins is inconceivable. No one will ever be sure whether these particular cases were due to the mysterious bond of twins or if they were simply coincidences.

Twin is an ancient German word meaning “two-together” (Facts & Stats), which not only defines twin in the literal sense, but more importantly, captures the true essence of being a twin. It signifies “two-together” living as life-long companions sharing secrets and laughing about things only they can understand. Twins share a profound bond, mysterious and intriguing to others, but which is a way of life for twins, themselves. This bond is so strong that no outside influence can break it (Bowles-Reyer). Even for those twins who have lost their co-twin, this bond cannot be destroyed, because it does not physically exist on the outside, rather it exists only in one’s heart. In the words of Raymond Brandt, “Once born a twin, always a twin”(Jackson 38).

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there’ll be two

two moons will manifest,
medallions in a purple sky,
so while one illuminates

a country lane, the other
guides a stray fisherman
back to familiar shores.

there’ll be two willows,
laughing in the breeze,
so while one protects

delicate baby finches,
the limbs of the other 
become climbing ropes.

two flowers will rise,
burgeoning with colour,
so while one is plucked

to offer some comfort,
the other willingly
surrenders to bees.

there’ll be two rivers,
forging their own paths,
so while one might slow

down to broaden and 
explore, the other gives 
way to vital rapids.

(This year we became the godparents of the little delights above – Roman and Simon – and this is dedicated to them).

© Copyright, 2008. Seamus Kearney. “There’ll be two – a poem for identical twins”. This may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, but only when Seamus Kearney is identified as the author. 

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My son’s a cheeky monkey
And my daughter, she’ll tell you, 
That monkeys come in pairs, you see, 
So lucky me’s got two! 

My daughter can be sweet, sometimes, 
And occasionally my son, 
And so my daughter’s right, you see, 
For luck gave two, not one! 

Charles Wiles

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I remember years ago,
you were so little then.
I can’t help but wish,
that you were small again.
I’ve cried when you’ve faced heartaches,
and saw, that as you grew,
nothing broke your Spirit,
instead it strengthened you.
I’m filled with mixed emotions,
as I hold back all the tears
and, with much pride remember,
back so many years.
When I first held you in my arms,
if only I’d have known,
the years would feel like moments,
after you had grown.
You aren’t a child,
though in my eyes,
I guess you’ll always be,
that baby boy who changed my life,
and means the world to me.

© Cynthia A. Sieving

In the words of the poet “the years would feel like moments after you had grown.”
The poem portrays the bittersweet experience of watching ones children grow.


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Kids Smoking Cigarettes

Every day, hundreds of kids smoke a cigarette for the first time. A third of those kids will become regular daily smokers. When it comes to adults who smoke, 68 percent began smoking regularly at 18 or even younger. A lot of adolescents develop an addiction to nicotine and find it very hard to quit their smoking habits.

What are the Signs that a Child is Smoking?

There are a few different ways to be able to tell if your child is smoking. If your child uses an extreme amount of perfume or cologne, he or she is attempting to cover up a scent that could be smoke. If your child is constantly chewing gum or breath mints, they could be trying to mask the scent of smoke on their breath. Sometimes if they haven’t attempted to hide the smell of cigarette smoke, you can smell it on them when you lean in to give them a hug or a kiss on the cheek. If your child is moody, it can mean a nicotine addiction is beginning to set in.

What can You do with a Child who Smokes?

If you find out that your child is smoking, the first thing to remember is to react calmly. A lot of kids smoke for different reasons including peer pressure or even depression. Remove the cigarettes from the child’s possession. Discuss with your child why he or she began smoking. Kids respond a lot better to a discussion than to a lecture. Set up rules about smoking and discuss what will happen if you find them smoking again. Find out how they got the cigarettes in the house and whether or not they have someone supplying them with the cigarettes.


Many governments have restrictions on smoking tobacco in public places because of the dangers of secondhand smoke. As of right now, Bhutan is the only country in the world to ban harvesting, cultivating, or selling tobacco products. Many more countries hope to have cigarette bans in the coming years.

What are the Effects of Kids Smoking Cigarettes?

Smoking cigarettes can have effects on both adults as well as kids. People who smoke are more susceptible to infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. Smokers have an increased risk of developing heart disease, many different types of cancer, and stroke. Smoking can cause problems with fertility in both males and females. Teens who smoke are more susceptible to problems with their skin and bad breath. Smoking can also hinder athletic performance.

What are Some Ways to Keep a Kid Smoke Free?

One of the biggest ways to keep a child smoke free is to teach them when they’re young about the dangers of smoking. Children are curious and are eager to please. Peer pressure and bullying can lead a child to begin smoking as early as middle school. Set an example for your child. If a kid’s parent smokes, then the child won’t see anything wrong with smoking. Teach your child about the importance of turning down cigarettes and other things that can harm them, even if it’s hard.

What are Other Dangers of Smoking?

One of the biggest dangers of smoking can be secondhand smoke. Sometimes an adult can smoke for a long period of time and never have a problem, but the second-hand smoke can give their child or spouse lung cancer. Secondhand smoke can give a young child asthma and can cause problems with a pregnancy. Smoking isn’t just dangerous to your own body, it’s dangerous to those around you. Teach your child to remember the dangerous effects smoking can have on the people that they love.

Kids who smoke cigarettes aren’t bad kids. They’re more likely to just be caught up in what’s perceived as cool or hot. If you have a child who smokes, sit them down and just talk with them. Smoking is a dangerous habit and can lead to fatal diseases. Set ground rules and don’t let them push the envelope. They will thank you for it later in their lives.

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It was love at first huff
It grew addictive with each puff
Constricted blood cells lose patience
Charcoal lined cavities bathe in frustration
Tears fill up the visceral space
COPD is a ratchet grace
Nasal cannula follows daily
Emphysema destroys homes
Two too ten liters guard your grill
While paying for an expensive thrill
Leave those cigarettes alone
Young and old the grave is home
Should you continue to smoke daily
Each disease you can bank
The oxygen that you breathe
May soon come from a tank
Haisi Robinson

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Shoes are one of the key necessities of all human beings just like clothing. Well, we cannot imagine to go out of our homes bare footed, as it will affect our respect in the society. Being the key necessity and one of the most demanding items, shoes are available in various types, designs and colors. Shoe manufacturers take much care of this thing that they should prepare the shoe design by keeping the gender as well as age of wearer in their mind. Moreover, the purpose of wearing shoes also matter very much. For example, the requirements for sports shoe are much different than ordinary shoe. Similarly, fashion shoes are also different in terms of colors and style than common wearing shoes. Many people buy their shoes with their deep interest and spend much time in selection of design and color of shoes. If you also love with your shoes and want to say something good about your shoes, here are some funny poems about shoes.



1. I’d wear my new shoes.

All shiny and red;

And sparkly too;

With thin straps of blue.

I looked on my dresser.

I looked on my chair.

I looked in the closet.

The shoes were not there.

Peered under the bed;

And around the floor;

Yet, I could not see

My new shoes anymore…


2. Flip flops/high tops

roller wheels/high heels

relaxing slippers/swimming flippers

comfy flats/even shoes for dogs and cats.

At the store

theres tons of shoes

it makes it hard

for me to choose

On the floor

are shoes in bins

and upon the shelves

are moccasins.


3. New shoes, new shoes,

Red and pink and blue shoes.

Tell me, what would you choose,

If they’d let us buy?

Buckle shoes, bow shoes,

Pretty pointy-toe shoes,

Strappy, cappy low shoes;

Let’s have some to try.


4. 39 shoes….39 shoes

What does that tell you?

What’s a gal to do

When she’s only got 39 shoes?

Wouldn’t you know it

It’s the very pair

I wanted to wear.


5. Red shoes out of step in a busy street

Flowers in a field of continental quilt

Soon people stop to look or stare

After all, fashion is a serious affair

Two colors or more will make a flag

But only Red can stand out in a crowd

Without the media luna or a white star

These shoes are claiming freedom out loud.







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I bought a brand new pair of shoes.
You simply have to see.
They’re purple, pink, and pretty.
They’re as lovely as can be.

They’re topped with silver sparkles,
so they shimmer in the sun.
They’re awesome when I’m walking
and they’re stunning when I run.

The laces look like rainbows
and the backs have flashing lights.
The sides are lined with lightning bolts.
They’re such amazing sights.

But now my friends avoid me
when they see me on the street.
Indeed, my shoes are pretty
but they smell like stinky feet.

–Kenn Nesbitt


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