Skip to main content

Idaho Works to Free Up Independent Kids and Their Parents

 This morning, while practicing my fronted adverbials, I came across this from Idaho

Which—as often as the kids here are out and about—sounds great to me. But, having read the bill’s text, I’m both excited, and concerned. 

First, the details. The bill was proposed by Rep. Ron Nate. It is H0003, and it’s full text can be found on the Idaho Legislature web site at

The purpose of the bill is to redefine the definition of negligence so that it does not include activities that kids typically perform independently of parents, (or at least activities that kids typically can perform independently of parents. I think that’s good. The list is fairly inclusive with a few definition issues:

It’s the definition issues that concern me. For example, public transit isn’t included in the modes of travel for kids. I am ignorant of what’s available in Idaho, but this would be an oversight in our home town of San Francisco where public transit abounds. A more concerning vaguery is ‘to and from nearby commercial or recreational facilities’. How far is nearby? I would think it depends on who you ask, and therein lies the biggest issue I see. Who do you ask?

While the Post Register

indicated the author of the bill was trying to leave things vague in hopes the interpretations would be favorable,

Nate said he wanted to use phrases such as “conscious disregard” that can be left “up to interpretation.” He also decided not to put age or time limits on independent childhood activities.

“Once you start putting those numbers in there, you’re saying, ‘All right, beyond this number you’re a bad parent,’” Nate stated.

Vague definitions can serve different purposes in the hands of different people. This brings to mind the arrest of Debra Harrell

Another vague portion of the bill has to do with the definitions of ‘level of maturity’, ‘mental abilities’, and ‘substantial risk’. 

At various times, the kids here have been lured off of slides that other adults considered too high, (substantial risk),

been accosted by adults who considered them too young to be away from their parents, (level of maturity),

and barred from classes because 'what if other parents of kids that age wanted to bring their kids', (mental abilities and level of maturity).

Still, all in all this seems like a great step that is at the very least intentioned to allow kids to be out and about. If nothing else if this bill helps kids get out of their locked-down houses and frees up parents to safely run errands during the pandemic, that'd be a great start.


Popular posts from this blog

Cool Math Tricks: Deriving the Divergence, (Del or Nabla) into New (Cylindrical) Coordinate Systems

Now available as a Kindle ebook for 99 cents ! Get a spiffy ebook, and fund more physics The following is a pretty lengthy procedure, but converting the divergence, (nabla, del) operator between coordinate systems comes up pretty often. While there are tables for converting between common coordinate systems , there seem to be fewer explanations of the procedure for deriving the conversion, so here goes! What do we actually want? To convert the Cartesian nabla to the nabla for another coordinate system, say… cylindrical coordinates. What we’ll need: 1. The Cartesian Nabla: 2. A set of equations relating the Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates: 3. A set of equations relating the Cartesian basis vectors to the basis vectors of the new coordinate system: How to do it: Use the chain rule for differentiation to convert the derivatives with respect to the Cartesian variables to derivatives with respect to the cylindrical variables. The chain

More Cowbell! Record Production using Google Forms and Charts

First, the what : This article shows how to embed a new Google Form into any web page. To demonstrate ths, a chart and form that allow blog readers to control the recording levels of each instrument in Blue Oyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" is used. HTML code from the Google version of the form included on this page is shown and the parts that need to be modified are highlighted. Next, the why : Google recently released an e-mail form feature that allows users of Google Documents to create an e-mail a form that automatically places each user's input into an associated spreadsheet. As it turns out, with a little bit of work, the forms that are created by Google Docs can be embedded into any web page. Now, The Goods: Click on the instrument you want turned up, click the submit button and then refresh the page. Through the magic of Google Forms as soon as you click on submit and refresh this web page, the data chart will update immediately. Turn up the:

Law of Cosines and the Legendre Polynomials

This is so cool!!! A few days ago I extolled the virtues of the law of cosines, taught in high schools the world over, and claimed that it turned up in all kinds of problems that you run into later in physics.  I gave one example of an electrostatics problem I was working on, but I had a nagging feeling in the back of my head that there were even cooler examples I'd forgotten about.  It turns out that there is a way cooler example of the importance of the law of cosines!  The law of cosines can be used to calculate the Legendre polynomials!!! OK, so what are the Legendre polynomials?  They turn up repeatedly in graduate physics classes.  First of all, they're used to solve electrostatics problems [4].  The most noticeable place I saw them was in quantum mechanics, where they were derived as a special case of spherical harmonics.  Spherical harmonics are used to describe the wavefunction of an electron in a hydrogen atom, and ultimately to come up with graphs of the wave fun