29 March 2009

earthquakes in The Netherlands?

I was asked whether we experience earthquakes in The Netherlands.

The answer is: YES.

But we're not in a ring of fire or an area where the bottom is moving because of the shift of continents.
Our earthquakes are relatively small.

In the south of our country, Limburg, coals where mined for generations.
Once in a while part of an old coalmine collapses and it causes some shaking.
There are some breaks in the earthcrust which cause some movement too.

I've witnessed the worst with a magnitude of 5,8.
It was during a night that the earth moved.
It was like a huge truck was driving into our back yard.

Then everything started shaking and my meds fell from the shelves.

First I woke up my husband and he told I was nuts.

Then I switched on the radio.
The studio is situated far more north, and the quake even reached them.
They called: "What's that? What's that?"
Then my husband finally believed me.

In the north of the country quakes are induced because gas is taken out of the ground.
The quakes are minor too.


21 March 2009

ShopWiki, not only for your best buys, but also to silence the guys

My autistic boy is all over the place, because his MP3 gave up.

Sometimes I get stressed because of his persistent requests for new items, but this time I told him I would look for one online. I have no plans at all to go shopping this afternoon.

The kids here wonder why mom is able to "organize" things in no time, especially when it comes to products they use and we have to pay for.

While they are visiting online stores they find with the usual search engines, I just visit my own secret place, and come up with the best prizes and the most advanced items.

Unlike other mothers they know, I suddenly speak their iPod language, so I've already used USB connection, Gig, and I even know that the red iPod shuffle contributes to helping AID's victims in Africa.

I'll share my secret with you as long as you don't tell the kids.
I use ShopWiki.com.

It's as easy to use as Google and at least as fast and certainly more targetted to what is needed when one searches for a special product.

Just enter the name of the product, click, and you'll get a list of information, which includes:

  • photos for fast browsing,
  • name and short description
  • 5 stars rating system (with reviews one click away)
  • best prize
  • number of stores
  • and a pop-up with the list of stores and prizes, clickable, so you'll land on the right store in internet.

To get additional informations you can find at the right side a list of Wiki Buying Guides.
The one I used today was highly informative about the iPod and all related products including the MyVu Media Viewer, which might be something to keep my son busy for a longer time.

I love ShopWiki, because I feel like I'm taken serious as a customer.
Over an over I'm guided to the best buy and I'm even warned when I'm prepared to make big mistakes, something I don't often experience in normal shops.
Take for instance the compatibility between iPods and speakers.
Not all iPod speakers dock at the same speakers. ShopWiki made me aware of this and guided me to the right choice.

At the bottom of the products you can find "related searches".
I was ready with my choice, but clicked some of the links to know more about what young people talk about.
Which came in handy.

I was in the garden, talking with one of my other sons about the iPod when the neigbour asked how he could use his iPod in the car. While my son took a breath to answer, I already said: "Just use iTrip".
The silence that followed was a consequence of their amazement.

They both looked at me and I smiled back.
"Use ShopWiki guys", I said and went inside.

To write this post for you.


11 March 2009

Call for help

No need to say more.
Just watch the video and do what needs to be done.


01 March 2009

Informing schools about autism

I've been asked how I have dealt with informing schools about the autism of my son.

Well, at basic school it was clear something was the matter with him.

The teachers followed their intuition and were able to deal with him, but the new principal had serious problems with him,, because he wanted all children to look him into the eyes and he had the habit to put his hands on the children's shoulders to emphasize what he was saying.

I told the teachers when I requested a diagnostic procedure at a cetre with exprience in autism, and told the teachers that maybe it would be better the principal was informed by the teachers about the influence of his actions on the wellbeing and behaviour of my son.

So they called a meeting, but he was not willing to listen at all.

My next step was making an appointment with him and informing him about the diagnosis.
With it I had a leaflet with information about autism and about how people best react to children with autism.

He didn't know I'd made that leaflet myself.

At that time there was almost no written information available.

The guy didn't care much about the info, until a fill-in teacher was confronted with a situation she could handle, because she had worked at a facility with some autistic children.
He was walking towards my son, when she took a step faster and arrived earlier at the scene.

She handled the situation in a perfect way, so the principal was very amazed.

He never acknowledged his own problems with my son, but when he was able to back out of a situation he would.

The next school told me they were informed, but it turned out they were able to make a mess of the whole schoolexperience of my son, because one man ruined everything that was gained by teachers and caretakers.

He considered to own the truth and told everyone autism is the result of a bad upbringing.

Where the teachers were eager to get more information, he declined everything.

Well, in the end my son dropped out of school.



Main image by Comteche.




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