The nutball solution to child safety? Buy them body armor!

“Duck and cover!” Republicans really miss the Cold War

Sales of bulletproof backpacks for schoolchildren are through the roof days after a masked gunman’s rampage left 20 kids dead at a Connecticut elementary school.

Parents began snapping up the high-tech bookbags Friday, the same day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Elmar Uy of the Massachusetts-based armor company BulletBlocker told the Daily News.

Who buys this crap? The same panic-stricken dweebs who buy more AR15s to protect themselves from the army of people who look different – preparing to invade their subdivision.

They also sell shields that start at $175 — bulletproof inserts that can slide into backpacks, laptop bags or purses. They add about 20 ounces — it’s just like tossing a bottle of water in your bag, Uy said.

The company has seen a 300% to 400% increase in sales since the tragedy…

Online, reaction to the kiddie armor reflected sadness.

They are now selling bulletproof backpacks for children. What is this world coming to?” wrote Twitter user Courtney C. Jenkins, a pastor in Ohio.

Many called the backpacks a “sad sign of the times.”

What’s the demographic? It ain’t all political. There will be liberal wimps as well as gun-toting teabaggers caving in to fear and immobility.

The best of Americans, Left or Right, will get off their dusty butts and join the fightback against flunkies of the gun industry like the NRA, gun nuts who substitute firearms for sex as part of their failed transition from puberty to adulthood.

Pick your favorite activist organization. Every one with conscience will be supporting measures against assault weapons, combat magazines, dozens of appropriate measures to turn the tide of American culture from self-destruction to modern, thoughtful, self-assured sanity.

Kids in UK growing weaker as computers replace outdoor activity

Kids video games

Children are becoming weaker, less muscular and unable to do physical tasks that previous generations found simple, research has revealed. As a generation dedicated to online pursuits grows up, 10-year-olds can do fewer sit-ups and are less able to hang from wall bars in a gym. Arm strength has declined in that age group, as has their ability to grip an object firmly.

The findings, published in the child health journal Acta Paediatrica, have led to fresh concern about the impact on children’s health caused by the shift away from outdoor activities.

Academics led by Dr Gavin Sandercock, a children’s fitness expert at Essex University, studied how strong a group of 315 Essex 10-year-olds in 2008 were compared with 309 children the same age in 1998. They found that:

■ The number of sit-ups 10-year-olds can do declined by 27.1% between 1998 and 2008

■ Arm strength fell by 26% and grip strength by 7%

■ While one in 20 children in 1998 could not hold their own weight when hanging from wall bars, one in 10 could not do so in 2008…

Previous research has already shown that children are becoming more unfit, less active and more sedentary and, in many cases, heavier than before.

But the new study also found that children in 2008 had the same body mass index (BMI) as those a decade earlier. Lead author Daniel Cohen, of London Metropolitan University, said this meant that, given their declining strength, the bodies of the recent test group are likely to contain more fat and less muscle then their predecessors. “That’s really worrying from a health point of view. It’s good news that their BMI hasn’t risen, but worrying that pound for pound they’re weaker and probably carrying more fat,” said Sandercock…

“Climbing trees and ropes used to be standard practice for children, but school authorities and ‘health and safety’ have contrived to knock the sap out of our children,” said Tam Fry of the Child Growth Foundation.

Falling off a branch used to be a good lesson in picking yourself up and learning to climb better. Now fear of litigation stops the child climbing in the first place.”

I doubt if the situation among some working class kids in the US is much different. I do feel that folks a bit further up the income scale – and/or those with the perception and education associated with that lifestyle – are less likely to be failing this way. And that understanding often is acquired outside the education factories grounded in the fear of litigation that Tam Fry notes.

Active lifestyles have sufficient advocates over recent decades to have motivated plenty of American families to bring their children into active exercising patterns. Running, hiking, cycling, skating, soccer, lifetime sports have become a movement that touches many families in the United States – even if it isn’t considered acceptable by either end of our economic extremes, e.g., layabout trust funders or redneck fans of watching almost any sport rather than participating in one.

When did Brits become weather wimps?

Click on the image for a version NSFW

Fresh snowfall is forecast to hit parts of Britain today, with up to 5cm predicted in northern Scotland and in northern and western Wales, bringing warnings of icy roads.

5cm of snow. That’s about 2 fracking inches! That qualifies as snow flurries.

Lighter snow showers are expected in Merseyside, Shropshire and Derbyshire.

Temperatures dropped well below freezing overnight with a low of -7C recorded in Benson, Oxfordshire…

There were five separate crashes on Bonemill Lane in Sunderland yesterday morning and police were forced to close the road for an hour and a half. And an icy road surface led to a three-vehicle collision at a roundabout near Crowther Road in the city. Nobody was injured in any of the incidents, police said.

Is this the weather forecast from the UK – or Mexico?

“Temperatures will return towards the seasonal average of 4C to 6C, but it will remain quite chilly in Scotland with the potential for snow over the hills.”

It’s always chilly in Scotland except when it’s fracking freezing. But, my kin in the Outer Isles don’t panic over a snowstorm unless it produces serious accumulation.

My relatives up on PEI still tell of the winter a bear fell into the tunnel they would dig every winter between the house and barn – to get out to milk the cows. And my dad didn’t take me out to teach me how to drive in the snow until we had a “decent” 6-inch snowfall in Connecticut.

C’mon, folks. Whatever happened to those brave barechested bruisers I see on the telly cheering on Newcastle? Did the whole nation get relegated?

Does life give you a queasy stomach? You might be a Conservative!

Are you someone who squirms when confronted with slime, shudders at stickiness or gets grossed out by gore? Do crawly insects make you cringe or dead bodies make you blanch?

If so, chances are you’re more conservative — politically, and especially in your attitudes toward gays and lesbians — than your less-squeamish counterparts, according to two Cornell University studies.

The results, said study leader David Pizarro, Cornell assistant professor of psychology, raise questions about the role of disgust — an emotion that likely evolved in humans to keep them safe from potentially hazardous or disease-carrying environments — in contemporary judgments of morality and purity.

In the first study…[the authors] surveyed 181 U.S. adults from politically mixed “swing states.” They subjected these adults to two indexes: the Disgust Sensitivity Scale (DSS), which offers various scenarios to assess disgust sensitivity, and a political ideology scale. From this they found a correlation between being more easily disgusted and political conservatism…

And in a separate study…colleagues found a link between higher disgust sensitivity and disapproval of gays and lesbians. For this study, the researchers used implicit measures (measures that have been shown to assess attitudes people may be unwilling to report explicitly; or that they may not even know they possess).

Liberals and conservatives disagree about whether disgust has a valid place in making moral judgments, Pizarro noted. Conservatives have argued that there is inherent wisdom in repugnance; that feeling disgusted about something — gay sex between consenting adults, for example — is cause enough to judge it wrong or immoral, even lacking a concrete reason. Liberals tend to disagree, and are more likely to base judgments on whether an action or a thing causes actual harm…

Proving once again that nutballs avoid reason at all costs when making social and political decisions.