Cruising Through Safe Waters
For many young families, September means back to school. For folks who don't worry about homework or lunch programs, the fall brings relaxed travel. Aboard a cruise ship, perhaps.
Idyllic scenery, exotic ports of call, round-the-clock pampering... But what about pirates? Or the Norwalk virus? Remember The Titanic!
OK, so you're not scared of ice bergs. And millions of passengers sail without incident each year. But here are some safety and security tips worth remembering.
1. Attend the safety drill - and pay attention. Aboard the Concordia, which sank off the coast of Italy earlier this year, 700 of the 3200 passengers had not attended the safety briefing yet. Learn the route to your muster station and know where your life jacket is.
2. Be savvy. It's easy to let your guard down. A cruise ship is still a public place, full of strangers.
- Lock up your wallet, passport and other valuables in your cabin's safe.
- Don't invite strangers into your cabin.
- Avoid quiet, dimly lit areas.
- Drink in moderation.
3. Follow fire safety rules. Throwing a cigarette butt over the railing or lighting candles in your room can start a fire. And that's a bigger hazard for ships than ice bergs or rocks.
4. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer, as directed throughout the ship. You're living in an enclosed area, sharing dining and entertainment with thousands of other people. Proper hygiene goes a long way toward protecting you against viruses.
Sources include: How to Stay Safe on a Cruise Ship, AARP
Blogging for Newbies
All you need are
You'll find plenty of advice in cyberspace about blogging. Some places to start:
Then there are issues of privacy and security. But that's another blog.
- Inspiration. What are you passionate about?
- Content. What can you write about Every. Single. Week. For years?
- Tools. AKA blogging software, such as WordPress or Blogger.
Grandma, a speed demon? Well, a scooter is hardly a Ferrari, but 15 km/h is pretty dangerous on a sidewalk. Increasingly, police forces are receiving complaints about speeding scooters and coroners are warning about low-visibility scooters contributing to accidents with motor vehicles.
Currently, motorized wheelchairs* are not regulated. No licenses are required; speed limits don't apply. When driving one, you are considered a pedestrian.
However, riders would be wise to learn how to manoeuvre a scooter safely. Speeding, tipping and ignoring traffic rules have led to fatal injuries, prompting police forces and other concerned citizens to organize scooter safety roadeos in Vancouver, Parksville and other B.C. communities.
The City of Richmond offers excellent road safety tips for scooters, including:
* Other low-powered vehicles such as Segways and mopeds are regulated. See ICBC for more details
Before you even consider fighting a small fire:
- Stay on the sidewalk. You are not a motor vehicle or a bicycle.
- Be courteous. Slow down around pedestrians and pull over to chat. Avoid honking.
- Take curb cuts and driveways "head on." Driving sideways could cause tipping.
- Increase your visibility. Use reflective strips and lights. Wear bright, reflective clothing.
What's On In
Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
Renfrew Community Centre
Halloween Ghost Train
October 5 to 31
Vancouver Celebrates Diwali
See web site for venues
November 3 to 10
Circle Craft Christmas Market
Vancouver Convention Centre West
November 7 to 11
Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver
Santa Claus Parade
Festival of Lights
VanDusen Botanical Garden
December 7 to January 1, 2012
What's in a (Pass)word?
SOME BASIC RULES
- Mix random upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
- Use more than six characters without any adjacent keys or consecutive digits
- Use a unique password for each login
- Choose easy-to-remember passwords
You may want to consider using a
Password Management Tool
Quick Safety Tip
Prevent trips and falls: Keep stairs and walkways clear and well lit.
Prevent fires: Keep candles away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains. Place Jack-o-Lanterns on sturdy tables, away from small children and pets.