In the past, I’ve been critical of violent, ageist, and sexist Super Bowl ads, for example, Betty White being slammed to the ground in a Snickers ad several years ago.
This year, the ads about companies and their products were less violent. However, there were so many ads for violent movies and TV programs, the 50th Super Bowl, along with the brutality of the game, had an overpoweringly violent tone.
The ads seemed less sexist and ageist, a good thing. However, I didn’t like the Audi ad in which a depressed old man, apparently a former astronaut, gets to drive a new car and has flashbacks of going into space. I think older adults need to be portrayed in a more positive way.
More than 157 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year.
The average person celebrating will spend $74.34, compared with $77.52 last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey. Total spending on Halloween is expected to reach $6.9 billion.
Consumers celebrating Halloween plan to spend an average of $27.33 on costumes for the whole family, and a total of $2.5 billion on store-bought, homemade, large, and small costumes.
Baer introduces Sally Wessely, new member of our group, who writes a blog called Retired English Teacher. Wessely, in her first offering, reports on her thoughts on blogging in retirement.
Other boomer bloggers write about how people continue to dress for the rest of their lives like they did in their thirties, the difficulties packing a suitcase for a trip, a writing get together with other bloggers, a new cat in a home that has a dog, and cancer rate increases in children who live in homes that use insecticides.
Check out our bloggers, leave a comment, have a great week, and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. It won’t last long – Vermont experienced its first snowfall this weekend.
Copyright 2015, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist
PetSmart Inc. is recalling about 112,200 Top Fin plastic aquarium heaters in the United States and about 4,800 in Canada.
About 33,000 heaters were previously recalled in August 2014.
An electrical problem with the aquarium heaters poses a risk of fire or electrical shock to the consumer, the company and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
The firm has received 13 reports of incidents, including four reports of minor shock, seven reports of the water tanks overheating, and one report of property damage from an electrical shortage resulting in fire.
This recall involves all 50-, 100-, 150-, 200-, and 250-watt Top Fin brand plastic aquarium heaters sold between August 2014 and April 2015 with model numbers: HT50, HT100, HT150, HT200, or HT250.
Thanksgiving can be stressful for humans, but sometimes people don’t realize it can be challenging also for their pets.
The Seattle Animal Shelter offers holiday tips to help you make Thanksgiving a safe one for the pets in your family.
“Holidays are stressful enough,” said Mary Ellen Zoulas, D.V.M., medical director of the Spay and Neuter Clinic at the shelter. “The last thing you want to deal with after a long day of cooking, entertaining, and cleaning is a cat or dog that is sick from stress or overeating.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued three final guidances and one draft guidance Tuesday that the agency said would provide greater regulatory clarity for industry on the use of nanotechnology in FDA-regulated products.
One final guidance addresses the agency’s overall approach for all products that it regulates, while two additional final guidances cover foods and cosmetics. One new draft guidance addresses food for animals.
But two of the consumer groups that sued the FDA in 2012 over its lack of regulation of nanomaterials said that the new FDA guidances won’t protect consumers. The lawsuit asked that: (1) nanomaterials be tested for safety before they’re used in food and cosmetics, (2) products containing nanomaterials be labeled, and (3) products containing nanomaterial be recalled until the new technology is proven to be safe.
"These are mere guidances from FDA and do not offer the substantial regulation we are seeking to ensure nanomaterials are managed safely and transparently,” Kate Colwell, spokeswoman for Friends of the Earth, said.
Kids and Cars.org says an average of 38 children die in hot
cars each year after being trapped inside.
What sometimes happens is that an adult who isn’t the one
who usually takes the child to day care gets the assignment, then forgets the
child is in the back seat of the car.
Here are tips from Kids and Cars to avoid a hot day tragedy
in your family:
Put something you’ll need such as your cell phone, handbag,
employee identification, or brief case on the floor in the back seat.
Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your
vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child has been
Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat when it’s
not occupied. When the child is placed in the seat, put the stuffed animal in
the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that anytime the stuffed
animal is up front you know the child is in the back seat in the child safety
Make arrangements with your child’s day care center or
babysitter that you’ll always call if your child won’t be there on a day as
If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. If they’re
hot or seem sick, get them out as quickly as possible. Call 911 immediately.
The child reported on in Friday’s article was an 8-month-old
boy, who was apparently left in his mother’s car while she was at work in
Copyright 2013, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist
This spring, as people prepare to celebrate Easter or go on spring vacation, The Humane Society of the United States offers tips to keep pets safe and happy
Baby chicks and rabbits aren’t Easter gifts
Bringing a new pet into your home is a serious commitment that should only be made if your family is prepared to provide lifelong care for the animal. Some local and state laws regulate the ownership of animals such as chickens and ducks, and those animals aren’t always appropriate pets.
If you are sure about making this Easter the time to get a new family pet, consider adopting from your local animal shelter. Animal shelters are full of pets looking for homes, including rabbits and other animals.
Another consideration would be giving children a plush toy or a dark chocolate rabbit.
“Unless your entire family is committed to a pet who will need proper socialization, care, and companionship for many years, think twice before adding a baby animal to your Easter celebrations,” said KC Theisen, the society’s director of pet care issues.
After cats and dogs, rabbits are the animals most frequently surrendered to animal shelters, often because people acquire them as youngsters but aren’t prepared for the long-term commitment involved. Others are released into backyards by people who mistakenly believe they’ll be able to fend for themselves.
Unlike wild rabbits, domestic pet rabbits can’t survive on their own outdoors. Chickens also need dedicated, consistent care and far too many of them end up in shelters, rescues and sanctuaries.
Air travel with your pets for your spring vacation should be avoided
The society encourages everyone to consider his or her pets’ travel needs carefully before departure day arrives. If at all possible, drive with your pets on your spring adventures or leave them at home with a trusted caretaker, as air travel can be dangerous for pets. Cargo space in an airplane isn’t designed to meet the needs of a dog, and many pets are lost or injured annually during air travel.
If you must take your pet with you in the air, consult the Department of Transportation’s "2015 Airline Consumer Complaints Up From Previous Year" for detailed information. Pets traveling in the airplane cabin must be screened through TSA outside of their carrier, so cats and dogs should wear a metal-free harness and leash during the security process. Passengers can also request secondary screening in a room with a door to reduce the risk of accidental escape.
Make travel easier by practicing with your pet’s accessories before you leave. Whether driving or flying, introduce the leash, carrier, and other new items well in advance, using lots of praise and treats. Practice putting the harness and leash on at home and walk around. This can reduce anxiety and make travel day much less stressful for both pets and their people.
Copyright 2013, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist