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Massive Google Docs Phishing Attack!

I got a strange email this morning from someone that I knew, asking me to open a Google Doc that they had shared with me.  People send me a lot of Google Docs, so I didn't read it super carefully, and even my IT guy thought it looked ok.  Only upon closer inspection did we realize that this was a phishing scam!

This email had a normal "Open in Google Docs" button, but rather than most phishing scams, this one pretended to be Google Docs, and it asked for permissions just like Google Docs might need.  Everything looked legitimate, but unfortunately, Google Docs does NEED permission from you to access your contacts, because they already have it.  This was a third party that was harvesting email addresses.  What it did next was to send the SAME email that I received to everyone in MY contacts list, from ME.  Yikes!

I immediately sent out an email to everyone who received the phishing email from me asking them to NOT click the link, and with instructions on how to remove the permissions and on how to change their Google password if they DID click.  The response I got from people was great; people respond well to someone being proactive.  Google has apparently fixed the problem and deleted all of the emails from their servers so it cannot happen again, but just in case, here's what you do when something like this happens:

First, change your password.  It's pretty much impossible for someone to get a password out of Google's systems, even with permissions, but it's a good idea, just to be on the safe side.  To change your Google Password, click here: https://goo.gl/nbHsAL  (Log in if needed)

Next, remove permissions from any application that looks suspicious.  You can do this by clicking here: https://goo.gl/PBSk2z

This link will take you to the "Connected Apps & Sites" page, and you can see all of the third party apps that you have given permission to, along with the day and time the permission was given.  If you think you've been the victim of an attack like this, check the date.  It's a good idea to clean this section out from time to time anyway!

Finally, I think it's good karma to pass on removal instructions, so I asked the recipients of my apology email to copy and paste the instructions and send them on to their contacts if they clicked the link like I did.

Be careful out there!

It's Almost Summer - Time To Explore!

With 3 months off from the rigor of school, extracurricular activities, and that dreaded homework, plan time for your kids to discover new interests. 

Just because your kids prefer computer games, that doesn’t mean that you need to stuff them into computer camps all summer.  Try giving them new experiences to possibly tap a hidden passion

Merit Academy builds summer programs around each child to encourage this type of exploration.  Think: robotics, aquaponics, arduino, stained glass, environmental science, and more! We also have unique academic programs that focus on writing essays, reading comprehension, and math foundation building. 

Our one-on-one classes are scheduled around your other summer plans and vacations.  It’s time to find that niche class to spark your child’s interest in something new!

Learn more about specific classes and the many ways we can make your child's summer the turning point in their academic careers!

[Check out the brochure here!]

Stealthing IS Sexual Assault - Call Them Out!

STEALTHING is sexual assault, and it is unconscionable! What kind of perverted and selfish person would remove a condom during sex without consent (or awareness) from the woman?  Reporters and legislators are discussing how to prove that removing or purposefully tearing a condom was done and whether or not the act is illegal because it occurs during consensual sex.  I believe the best way to stop stealthing now is to shame the man.

Yup!  Remember what happens every time a prostitution ring is busted and the madame or pimp threatens to make public their “blacklist” of prominent men who frequented their prostitutes?  That fear of public shame is a more powerful deterrent than criminal prosecution

Men who stealth would have a short list of dates if everyone knew about their unethical practices. So why make women wait until the government spends months, or years, trying to label the act, define it, and then decide whether or not it is actually illegal?  Women could put an end to it immediately by simply posting who “stealthed” on social media and telling everyone they know.  Right? 

After all, the sex was consensual so the man and woman knew each other.  They probably hang out with the same friends and acquaintances; their sexual activity was probably not secret.  So when women don’t come forward, they are actually condoning stealthing AND they are putting other women at risk. This infuriates me.

Removing a condom puts the woman at risk of unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and emotional distress.  It’s a violation of the woman’s body and it’s a betrayal of trust and respect.  This has to stop now and women need to come forward to call out stealthers.  When women expose men for stealthing, we need to embrace them because they are the real victims here

75% of Kids Who Die From The Flu Weren't Vaccinated

Still pondering the vaxing vs not vaxing question?  Here’s a new study that just came out 2 weeks ago. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found that at least 75% of the children who DIED from having the flu between 2010 and 2014 had NOT been vaccinated with a flu shot.  Hmm. That means that 3 out of 4 children died because their parents didn’t protect them. 

Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist with CDC’s influenza division, said “This is more evidence for the flu vaccine providing protection against disease and the severe complications that lead to (flu-related) deaths.”

It’s time to get our kids vaccinated!

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10 Books to Help Preschoolers Learn to Love Themselves

Seems like we’re all on edge because we really don’t have control of our future due to the lunatic in the Oval Office. As I flip channels, the news centers around uncovering lies and announcing really scary scenarios about him on the brink of starting a nuclear war, building oil pipelines, and restarting the coal industry.

Our tension fills the air and unfortunately our children often feel our stress. When parents have such uncertainty, it leads to self doubt in our children. 

Here’s a list of 10 books (compiled by Melissa Taylor) for preschoolers to help them get to know and love themselves – despite the world around them.

Be Who You Are!
by Todd Parr

The Things I Love About Me
by Trace Moroney

I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem
by Jamie Lee Curtis

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
By Patty Lovell

Elmer
By David McKee

Giraffes Can’t Dance
By Giles Andreae

The Sneetches and Other Stories
By Dr. Seuss

You’re Here for a Reason
By Nancy Tillman

Red: A Crayon’s Story
By Michael Hall

Stephanie’s Ponytail
By Robert Munsch

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Worried About Retirement Benefits?

Did you know that you can check your social security benefits online?  It’s easy to do.

I never understood social security benefits because I always thought that is was something that “old people” without retirement plans relied on.  Now with the new administration seriously tampering with taxes and benefits, I checked into it. 

You can see what your social security benefit will be (after retirement) right now!  You can see what benefits you will receive based on retiring at ages 62, 66, and 70.   You can even see disability benefits and what your children can expect to receive.

You can also update your information on this site.  Good news: it’s free to use. 

Check it out!

Three's a Crowd!

After announcing her plan to address overpopulation on KSCO radio a few weeks ago, Pascal joined the Merit Academy environmental science projects booth at Earth Day Santa Cruz to do her first event. 

With her new message: THREE’S A CROWD!, Pascal is encouraging couples to have no more than 2 children.

The Climate marchers, UCSC students, and local Santa Cruz residents were 100% supportive. They signed her pledge list and promised to tell their families and friends to do the same.  Besides, who can afford to raise 3 children and take care of their parents, too?

With over SEVEN BILLION people on this planet, she plans to make sure we don’t hit TEN BILLION!

Kids4Hydrogen Offers Solution to 1 Billion Cars Spewing CO2 Into the Atmosphere

Sometimes the most obvious solutions are best discovered by our kids.  At Earth Day Santa Cruz, Hannah Faris debuted her plan to reduce CO2.  With ONE BILLION internal combustion engine (ICE) cars on the road worldwide, Hannah is proposing that we all convert our ICE cars so they can use either Metrol (liquid hydrogen and nitrogen) or gasoline (until there are Metrol pumps at every fueling station). 

Makes sense!  The earth is warming up and we’re fast approaching 2 degrees, and soon after 3 degrees – when life as we know it won’t exist anymore.  And as much as electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell cars are wonderful solutions, realistically it’ll be 100 years before they replace every ICE car on the planet. 

So what do we do with the ONE BILLION ICE CARS that are spewing CO2 every day?  We convert them!  By replacing spark plugs with Smart Plugs and adding a few minor devices to your existing engine, your cars will be able to use either Metrol or gasoline – with a flip of a switch!  At the cost of just a few thousand dollars that could be financed so nobody would have to dip into their savings, this conversion could take place in just a few hours.

So what is Metrol?  It’s a fuel that has net-negative emissions – which means that it actually cleans the air as you drive!  The really amazing part is that it is made from anything that rots or burns. They take the methane and pull out the carbon to make hydrogen.  This is where Metrol is different from biofuels.  By adding nitrogen (and other proprietary ingredients) to hydrogen, it creates a liquid hydrogen that can be stored at room temperature.  This is revolutionary.

Hannah is opening Kids 4 Hydrogen chapters across the US to share this amazing solution to our energy needs. She is just finishing a whiteboard video that will answers questions as she works with the developers to – well, save civilization.  Join the movement: www.Kids4Hydrogen.org and sign the waitlist for conversions.  It’s free and there’s no obligation.

We can’t rely on our government (don’t get me started!), corporate America, and even our own EPA.  So, join Hannah and the youth as they stand up to the oligarchy that runs our nation and create an infrastructure that will reduce CO2!

Earth Day Santa Cruz - Come Out To See Us!

If ever we needed the community – and country – to gather to find environmental solutions, it’s now.  Kids 4 Hydrogen will be there to debut Metrol and Smart Plugs.  Come learn about this fuel that cleans the air as you drive!  It’s made from anything that rots but it’s not a bio fuel because we remove the carbon – cool, right? No CO2! And, until the rest of the country (world) catches on, it’s also a flex fuel, which means that you can use gasoline with a flip of a switch!

The best part is that you don’t have to buy a new car.  You can convert your internal combustion engine (ICE) car by replacing your spark plugs with SMART PLUGS.  Yup! The conversion takes about the same time it takes to tune up your car.  Amazing. Come learn more about Metrol and Smart Plugs at our booth at Earth Day Santa Cruz.  We’ll be at San Lorenzo Park from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.


This Is Scary News: Record-Breaking Climate Change!

Here’s another “GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND” moment. Just because we had lots of rain this winter doesn’t mean that our drought is over and everything is back to normal.

2016 was the HOTTEST YEAR EVER RECORDED according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). 

Global warming is a direct result of human activity and we have and will continue to see climate-related disasters. 

 

Remember in 2016:

  • Vanishing artic and polar sea ice
  • Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Flash floods in the United Kingdom
  • Droughts in India, Southern and Eastern Africa, and Central America
  • Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti
  • Heavy rains and floods affected Eastern and Southern Asia

This year and every year will bring on more severe weather because our oceans are heating up which causes the ice caps to melt.  Atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to rise because we keep spewing CO2 from our cars and factories.

Sign petitions, call your representatives, donate funds, march with the masses.  It’s time to unite to save our civilization. We’re facing unprecedented climate-related catastrophes.

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