Family Dinner Topics: So You’re Spending Time with Family

Family Dinner Topics: So You’re Spending Time with Family

Family is tricky. It’s complicated to describe any family interaction. The thing about this group of people is you can’t choose them, yet you spend most of your life with them. You love them, and then love to hate them too. However, as you grow older you begin to notice more things about your family.

You may notice that you have different likes, opinions, and attitudes from other members in your family. Your parents might have completely different political views. You may have learned over time to avoid all political topics at family dinners. Even if you don’t see eye to eye about politics, you still care about these people and want to be able to have a civil dinner conversation.

Your siblings and you may not agree on each other’s lifestyles. You may like to call it a night early, and wake up in the morning to go running. Whereas your sibling may like to meet total strangers and stay out till 3 a.m. You might have several kids, and your sibling may absolutely hate kids for some unknown reason. Whatever your differences may be, they’re still your first friend from childhood.

Sure, there are hot topics that you will definitely want to avoid while sitting around the table. Staying clear of certain conversations during family dinners will help you have a smooth night. The following topics are best to be avoided:

• Abortion
• The Presidency
• The Death Penalty
• Gun Laws
• Immigration

While some families can handle the topics above, a large majority cannot. Large gatherings with family can become vicious if the conversation turns to one of these. It’s important to realize that, if for some reason, your family starts conversing over one of these topics words might get heated. Try not to take anything they say to heart, when discussing these topics. Hot topics got their name for a reason. People generally have strong opinions about them.

Topics that are reliable, and good to have over family dinners are easier to come across than you think. Being able to have deep conversations with you family is vital to your social wellness. Family conversations are great in helping you form opinions and gain information. Here are some safe topics to discuss with your family:

• Genealogy
• Cultural Beliefs/Traditions
• Jokes
• Family Trips
• Proudest Moments
• Bullying

Family dinners are fun, but can be stressful as well when the conversation turns from something positive, to something negative. Even though we try to avoid saying things that might hurt someone else’s feelings, sometimes it just happens. The good thing is that if you mess up with family conversations, you don’t have to worry. Your family will forgive you in time.

Privacy Line, Where is it? There’s Something Precious that You’re Giving Up

Privacy Line, Where is it? There’s Something Precious that You’re Giving Up

When you’re younger, you have zero privacy. Your parents bathed you and you more than likely ran around naked in front of family a few times. When you hit puberty, your teenage-self tried closing doors to gain a little bit more seclusion. However, your parents never let you close the door the whole way, or always interrupted at the inopportune times.

When you’re in high school, you had very limited privacy. Between P.E. class and sports practice, you become used to undressing in front of strangers. Then somewhere along the way social media evolved and you grew accustomed to sharing every aspect of your life with your online friends.

Privacy is something we all seem to crave, yet give up every single day. It seems like we are always compromising our security. Social media doesn’t help with controlling our privacy either.

Even with ability to change privacy settings on your social media accounts, you still feel exposed. It’s a weird thing, feeling the need to share your whole life on social media. If you begin dating someone it’s not “official” until you post it on social media. The responsibility we feel to post about the exciting things in life on social media limits our privacy. Most of the time, we do not even realize we’re giving up our privacy.

Every time you go on vacation, or make a big investment, you post about. You’re presenting yourself in a way that you think will best represent yourself. The time you spend posting and perfecting your image on social media, can take away from your true self.

Ever noticed when you run into old friends and they already know all about your current life? Have you ever talked about an old high school friend with your current friend and judged all of their life choices you’ve seen them make through their social media? Everyone talks about everyone, and you open yourself up to that kind of scrutiny when you post on social media.

Even through you’re not young anymore, and you don’t have worry about your parents intruding on you, you still have to control yourself when it comes to your privacy. Being aware of what you’re putting out into the Internet world will help you control the amount of privacy you have in your life. Draw the line for your privacy and limit what you share.

Understanding Communication: A Basic Skill that Everyone Needs to Know About

Understanding Communication: A Basic Skill that Everyone Needs to Know About

Communication is essential to survival in the world. It’s a process that is ever changing, just like the world around us. Communication goes further than words. It is symbolic. Our earliest ancestors had to learn how to communicate with each other in order to pass on vital information. If they weren’t able to communicate, how would we know not to eat the poisonous berries, or how to start fires?

Understanding communication is important for all human beings. The ability to communicate effectively can help improve all relationships, including those within a family. Communication is a basic skill that everyone needs to be constantly practicing. There are three basic parts of communication:

Interpersonal communication is the exchanging of information between two people. This is the most basic form of communication. Within this form the two participants exchange information on what they think, feel, need, want, or believe. Interpersonal communication can be broken up into two categories: direct and mediated. The direct form is face-to-face and can consist of non-verbal and/or verbal communication. Within direct interpersonal communication this is where people form their first impressions, and ideas about the other person. Mediated interpersonal communication is considered conversing through a filter. The filter could be any form of technology that allows you to alter the message of what you are saying.
Intrapersonal communication, also referred to as imagined interactions, plays a big role in many people’s lives. Intrapersonal is internal within one’s mine. This is the “I feel” type of communication. Intrapersonal communication means communicating with oneself. This is the voice you hear inside your head, your conscience. So much of intrapersonal communication relies on what one perceives and is where our perceptions of the world are formed. Mental imagery plays a big role, especially in imagined interactions.
Symbolism in communication is what makes us question things. We question things because there can be many meanings for one single image. For example the yellow light shown at a stoplight. Some may see yellow and think to speed up, while others see it as a cautionary warning to slow down. Symbolism can be abstract. Even the most basic questions can be broken down with double meanings. It’s important to remember that, meanings are in people, not words. In today’s world, words have become arbitrary as much as art can be at times. This new nature of words, art, and meanings, makes it all the more fascinating to try to understand the symbolic nature.

Understanding how to communicate is an important skill. Everyone knows how to communicate, but do they know how to do it well? This is something that everyone needs to know how to use in life. Take a look at talk-show hosts and what makes them so special? The way they communicate, and make people feel. Don’t let this skill go untapped. Explore your communicative skills.

Harmful Sun Rays

Harmful Sun Rays

Warmer days are in the forecast and spring weather is here in California. It is time to get ready for the sunshine. Most Californians love the sunshine, and after all, sunshine is guaranteed to the masses by state law. For Californians, sunlight means beach days, hiking, pools, suntan lines, and fun times. Fun in sun is a highlight to the Californian lifestyle. However, we like it to be perfect, not too much, or not too little.

The sun is a friend to most of us. We need it in our lives or else we’d be stuck in a dark, frozen tundra. According to, a website geared towards informing the public about skin cancer, there are two types of rays that we need to worry about, UVA and UVB.

UVA rays are most common to us. UVA rays are less intense than UVB rays, which is good because UVA rays make up 95% of the UV rays we soak up. We’re exposed to UVA rays through sunlight, which makes our exposure to UVA ray more common. UVA rays can cause skin damage like wrinkles, sunspots, and other noticeable marks to the outermost layer of skin. According to, recent studies have found that UVA rays are thought to develop skin cancers.

UVB rays are our biggest problem. These rays cause us to burn, and our skin to redden. The problem with UVB rays have more penetrating power, which is how they damage more layers of skin than UVA rays. UVB are also directly related to the development of skin cancer. UVB ray get us when we least think about it. For example in higher altitudes or in snow landscapes the UVB rays will be intensified but we might not be aware of it. UVB rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so plan your days accordingly.

&38826; Even through you may be think you can’t escape UVA and UVB rays, don’t give up hope. There are several recommended protective measures you can take. These are a few things that you should be aware of when dealing with UV rays:
&38826; Protect yourself from UV radiation, both indoors and out.
&38826; Always seek the shade outdoors, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
&38826; Since UVA penetrates glass, consider adding flat, tinted UV-protective film to your car’s side and rear windows as well as to house and business windows. This film blocks up to 99.9 percent of UV radiation and lets in up to 80 percent of visible light.
&38826; Do not burn.
&38826; Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
&38826; Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
&38826; Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
&38826; Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours, or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
&38826; Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
&38826; Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
&38826; See your physician every year for a professional skin exam

Even through the weather is practically perfect in California, we still need to aware of the amount of UV exposure. Tanning on the beach, or in a tanning bed, may seem peaceful and ideal, but you’ll be subjecting yourself to a lot of UV rays. As Californians, we live for the sunshine, however we also need to live skin cancer free. Taking the time out of your day to apply a daily sunscreen can allow you to live that Californian carefree lifestyle without the fear of getting skin cancer.

When Have Things Gone Too Far? When Dead Bodies End Up on the News

When Have Things Gone Too Far? When Dead Bodies End Up on the News

We all like a little bit of blood and guts in our films. Maybe even a little bit of gore, only if it’s done tastefully. Heroic actions in cinemas need to be contrasted with the ugly, right? What if it wasn’t a featured film with fake blood? What if instead of sitting in a movie theater you’re sitting at home with your family and you’re not watching a movie, but the news instead? You’d probably want to hide your child’s eyes because that is too graphic for them to see without Ironman swooping in to save the day.

How much does the public deserve to see/know when it comes to seeing dead bodies in a public setting? At least with films there are ratings and warnings before the film begins. With advances in social media technology it seems like there are more issues developing with people showing and seeing too much. In recent months we’ve seen and heard of social media outlets allowing users to share graphic video content. By allowing graphic real life content to be shared on social media sites, we are crossing over into an ethical gray area.

Graphic videos of beheadings, suicides, and other horrible content do more harm than good. Vice, a blog website, released an article titled “How Does it Feel to Find a Dead Body”. The article contained three accounts from people who have seen a dead body. Each story ended with the witness feeling haunted. Seeing a corpse can trigger other health issues as well.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, severe life traumas such as seeing a dead body, witnessing death, or having a near-death experience can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). People who experience PTSD report feeling haunted by their traumas. It’s reported that 8 out of 100 people will experience PTSD, but those figures aren’t completely accurate. Most PTSD cases go unreported or those who suffer from PTSD don’t come forward. Videos of beheadings can trigger past PTSD episodes or even cause new episodes. It’s natural to be curious about things in life and even in death. However, graphic content from real life situations like this can be more harmful than good.

Just because we can see it, film it, or show it, doesn’t mean we should. It’s an ethical line that you cross when posting graphic content to social media. YouTuber, Logan Paul recently crossed this line. Paul, in 2018 released a video showing the body of a suicide victim. YouTube allowed this video to remain posted for several hours. The video has since then been deleted by Paul, not YouTube. The Verge, a blog website, released an article titled “Not Just Logan Paul and YouTube – The Moral Compass of Social Media is Broken.” Within the article they point out several important things to consider when dealing with social media. The Verge questions the policies social media sites have, and why it is acceptable to allow graphic videos like this allowed. The article goes on to claim that the reason why Paul’s actions are acceptable is because of the culture, and environment we have created online. That is entirely opinion, and up to the readers/viewers to decide. There have been several incidents like Paul’s that have happened in recent months.

Snapchat footage of the Parkland 2018 shooting has surfaced. A quick Google search will provide anybody with the footage of bodies and gunshot noises in the background. The Las Vegas mass shooting also has candid footage of bodies and gunshot noises. People have a right to freedom of speech, which includes their freedom to share that footage. However what is the cost of that? What if scenarios of kids, veterans, or the mentally ill come to mind.

This topic in general is still fairly new due to the endless capabilities of the internet. In conclusion dead bodies shouldn’t be shown in the news or social media unless provided with ample warnings and are not obtainable to younger audiences. It’s too easy for kids to search up horrific real life crimes. There needs to be parental guides, and if not that, there needs to be some form of censorship of graphic content of beheadings, dead bodies, and shootings. Seeing these things in an action movie with your family is different from seeing it in a real life context.

Who Needs an Excuse to Go to the Beach? The Benefits of Going to the Seashore

Who Needs an Excuse to Go to the Beach? The Benefits of Going to the Seashore

Summer is just around the corner, or that’s what we tell ourselves. We’re itching to soak up the sun and maybe catch a few waves. We’re Californians, relaxing on the beach is in our blood. We live off of vitamin D and the sounds of crashing waves. True beach bums go year round to relax on the beach, however most of just wait for the perfect summer day.

The beach is super relaxing for most people. That is one of the many reasons why we love the ocean so much. On top of just being relaxing, the beach is also very mysterious to us. The ocean can remind us that 70% of the Earth is covered in water. Not only is the Earth mostly aquatic, but there is so much that we don’t know about the ocean. The mysteries of the ocean continuously amaze us.

The ocean, and beaches aren’t just pretty; they actually help improve our wellness. Being close to a beach might be more beneficial then you originally thought. It might be worth paying the extra bucks for beachfront property. According to Superhero You, a website focused on improving quality of life, the beach benefits our lives in multiple ways like:

&38826; It’s better to walk on the sand – Walking on sand can help with your posture and foot muscle health.
&38826; Healthier skin – The salt water helps cleanse cuts, or scrapes. This process of natural purification is beneficial for your skin. The sand and salt water also act as a natural exfoliator.
&38826; Ocean sounds can soothe you – Ever fall asleep to sounds of the waves? The rhythmic nature of the ocean can help you fall into a trance.
&38826; Boost your immune system – The salty air and water can help clean out your systems.
&38826; Better air quality – The air comes in with the waves. Since the ocean is so vast, and there are no cities in the ocean polluting it with smog, it is typically cleaner which is better for you.
&38826; More active – Being at the beach almost requires you to be more active by walking through the sand, or swimming out into the ocean.
&38826; Perspective – Seeing how vast the ocean is and realizing how tiny you are can help put things into perspective for you.

The beach can do wonders for our wellness and health. It’s more than just a relaxing stroll on the beach. According to NBC walking along the beach can also boost your mood. Visiting the ocean can help release chemicals and hormones to your brain, thereby increasing your happiness. Who wouldn’t want to feel happier?

Even though summer is still months away, it is still the perfect time to go to the beach. Even in the winter months you can still benefit from a beach day. Sure the winter months may require you to wear a sweatshirt at the beach, but you still can feel the sand between your toes. All these benefits also give you a good excuse to ditch your responsibilities and smell some salty air.

Did You Know You Can’t Trust Everything You See Online?

Did You Know You Can’t Trust Everything You See Online?

A part of growing up is learning that you cannot trust everything you hear and see. Just because a person said something, does not mean it is true. This can be a hard lesson to learn, especially since many people want to be able to believe everything they are told. Unfortunately, doing that is not possible.

This lesson becomes even more important when looking at things online. Many people like to think that everything they read online is true, but that is completely false. Anyone can say whatever they like on the internet, which means people can lie online. This is important for a person to know, and in today’s modern world, it is especially important for children to know as well.

As your children begin to grow up and use the internet more, be sure to teach them how to distinguish between trustworthy and untrustworthy sources. Knowing how to do this will help you and your child find information that you can rely on. This can be useful for a number of reasons including:

• Writing reports for school.
• Looking for info relating to work.
• Deciding who to vote for in an election.
• Keep up-to-date with news from around the world.

When looking for sources online, try to determine who the author of the article is, and where they got their information from. Do the writer have experience in this field, or did they get their research from their own reputable source. If the site’s URL ends in .edu, .gov, or .org then it has a better chance of being credible than the average website. However, for sites ending in .edu and .org you will need to be wary of political biases.

By teaching yourself and your children how to find credible sources online, you make yourselves less likely to be fed false information. Having this skill will also help prevent you from falling victim to any scams that people may be trying to pull online. Having this skill will keep you save and well informed online.

Do You Hate DUI Checkpoints? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

Do You Hate DUI Checkpoints? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

Whenever a holiday that involves a lot of drinking rolls around, you can bet that there will be an increase in DUI checkpoints. With Saint Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you will definitely be seeing more of these checkpoints.

Most people do not like DUI checkpoints, and for obvious reasons. Checkpoints like these slow the flow of traffic and can cause gridlock. When a person has somewhere they want to be, getting stuck at a checkpoint can be understandably frustrating. However, while DUI checkpoints can be annoying, the police officers create them for a reason.

Roughly 800 people are injured by drunk driving accidents every single day, and that is without the excuse of a holiday to start drinking. In an effort to reduce the amount of accidents that could occur around a holiday, local police setup DUI checkpoints to catch people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Going through a checkpoint may be slow going, but it is incredibly easy if you have not been drinking. When you arrive at a checkpoint, an officer will wave you forward. The officer will then ask a few questions such as:

• Where are you going?
• Where are you coming from?
• Have you been drinking?

After all of the questions have been answered, if everything checks out, the officer will send you on your way. However, if the officer suspects that you have been drinking, they will ask you to pull over to the side where another officer will perform a more thorough investigation. If it is determined that you have been drinking, then you will be arrested for DUI.

Driving while under the influence of any substance is never a good idea. Substances like alcohol affect a person’s abilities to make good decisions and their control over their motor skills. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk endangers the driver’s life, as well as the lives of every person that they pass on the road. DUI checkpoints help catch drunk drivers before they have a chance to hurt anyone, thereby making the roads safer for everyone around any day where people will be consuming more alcohol than usual.

Gambling at Home in California: Is It Legal?

Gambling at Home in California: Is It Legal?

For many people, there home is their safe haven and sanctuary. They use it as a place to escape from the world and relax with trusted friends and family members. People like to relax in all sorts of ways. Some people prefer a nice massage, while other prefer playing a game with friends.

Most games are harmless, while there are others that could potentially get its participants into trouble. Games where gambling is involved do run the risk of getting their players into trouble since gambling is illegal in the state of California. Luckily, for most people, playing poker amongst family members and friends is legal. It is when a poker game is run for profit by the host, then it becomes illegal.

Another issue that people may run into, is owning slot machines. Some people enjoy going to casinos and playing with the various slot machines. Some people decide to cut out the middle man and buy a slot machine of their own to enjoy while at home. Unfortunately, unless the machine is an antique that is older than 25 years, this is illegal in the state of California. Slot machines are outlawed in the state unless they are on tribal grounds, being transported through the state, or are antiques not being operated for gambling purposes.

Sadly, this means that anyone looking to have a bit of fun with family and friends playing these sorts of games need to be careful. They do not want to do something that is illegal. Getting caught for something like that would definitely ruin the relaxation the person was trying to achieve. For the sake of yourself, and your family do not play any forms of illegal gambling within your home.

Filing Your Taxes May Be Boring, but It Does Come with Perks

Filing Your Taxes May Be Boring, but It Does Come with Perks

That time of the year has rolled around once again and if you haven’t already, you should consider filing your tax returns. While you may have until April 17th to file your taxes, do not wait until the last moment. That April deadline will sneak up on you, and all the while you will be carrying around the extra weight of knowing you need to file your taxes.

Filing your taxes may not be the most fun thing in the world, but getting them done with is a great feeling. On top of that, knowing that you have a sizable tax return check headed your way is also a plus. Getting an extra bit of cash is always appreciated.

Once you have received your check, you get to decide what to do with it. Do you want to splurge and treat yourself, or do you want to buy something that your house is in desperate need of? Both of these options would be nice, but there is still another option. You can stash the money away and save it for a rainy day or emergency.

Saving it for later would likely be the most responsible course of action. This way, if any unexpected expense comes up, such as the arrest of a loved one, you will be financially prepared. You will be able to rest easy knowing that whatever comes your way, you will be able to handle it.

No matter what you do with your check, the money will be a nice addition to your bank account. Sure, filing your tax returns takes some work, but that little bit of hard work that you will have to put in will be worth it. You will get a sizeable check from the government and you will also get the peace of mind knowing that your taxes were taken care of well before the final deadline.