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Tiger moms, megastorms, computer worms -- oh, my!

January 24, 2011 |  1:16 pm

I was stuck in traffic this morning, taking my son to school, when I paused to let a car turn left in front of me onto a side street. Honk!

The middle-aged man behind me took umbrage at my courtesy, nailing his horn. When I motioned to him that I was merely letting a car make a turn, I got the inevitable, universal hand sign of disrespect.

Which made me think of Ferris Bueller, and of three great articles in The Times over the weekend.

Amy Chua First, columnist Chris Erskine, in just two sentences, got to the heart of the matter of parenting and the self-proclaimed Tiger Mother, writing:  "To my mind, childhood shouldn’t be career training. It should be childhood."

So simple. So profound.




Megastorm Second, Sunday's California section carried a story on the potential for a megastorm to wreak havoc in on our state. Apparently, scientists see the potential every 100 to 200 years for a massive storm that would dump so much rain in such a short period of time on the state that, well, as the guy said in "Ghostbusters," it would be bad.

Seriously?  In addition to my parenting skills, and earthquakes, and smog, and drought, and unemployment, and a state awash in red ink, and political gridlock, now I have to worry about a flood of biblical proportions?


Stuxnext Which brings me to the third article. The Times' editorial board weighed in Sunday with a chilling tale of the Stuxnet worm -- computer malware that reportedly has severely damaged Iran's nuclear weapons program. That, as the editorial points out, is the good news. The bad news? If someone can do that to the Iranians, what could someone do to us?

So now I have to worry about my parenting skills, a megastorm, all the other stuff (see list above) and a computer virus turning my world upside down.

And that brings me back to Ferris Bueller, and my horn-honking friend.

Ferris said:  "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Yes, it does. Our kids grow up fast. Our world is rapidly changing. We face old threats, and new ones.

And here's my two cents:  "Letting someone go in front of you does not mean that you are falling behind."

-- Paul Whitefield

Photo (top): Amy Chua, the "tiger mom." Credit: Larry D. Moore

Photo (center): Mudslides wreck cars in La Cañada Flintridge in February. A hypothetical megastorm could drop as much as 10 feet of rain in California. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Photo (bottom): Iranian technicians work at the nuclear power plant outside the Iranian southern city of Bushehr. Credit: Ebrahim Norouzi / Associated Press


The Stuxnet worm: The tip of the cyber-war iceberg?

The flood this time?


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