Two weekends ago I took a test to upgrade my ametuer radio license. After a 35 question multiple choice test, I passed. I now hold a general class license which means I can transmit on certain radio frequencies.
This is half way to finishing one of my goals for the summer. Next month I will take a longer test to expand my license to the highest level for this type of radio license.
Before I could send transmissions into the radio airwaves, I had to pass a license test. I had to prove I knew how radios worked, what the rules for radio use were, and what the accepted operating procedures were. I bring this up because I have a problem; people mass forward emails to me that sometimes have incorrect, bad, or even deadly advice. I wrote about a supposed health email a while ago. It would be nice if people demonstrated a level of competence and intelligence before sending emails to dozens of people.
The latest email I got was from my uncle. It was about the triangle of life. The main idea is when earthquakes happen roofs collapse and crush people. To avoid being crushed by falling roofs, people should immediately seek shelter next to a tall and sturdy object when an earthquake starts. This way, the big object will prevent the roof from completely falling to the floor and a triangle of life will be created where a person is safe.
There is one major problem with this; it was based on studies done in other countries where building codes and materials differ from what is used in the United States. While the triangle of life might be useful in some situations in developing countries, it is not applicable and definitely does not supersede drop, cover, and hold in places like California. The American Red Cross response to the triangle of life has some good comments and interesting facts.
I also got an email about cough CPR. The short version is coughing when you have a heart attack is similar to doing CPR on yourself. The real version is medical experts say don't try it.
I would say more about these emails of misinformation, but I do not want to deprive you of the practice of checking the facts online. Researching these claims is not only informative, but also fun. The conspiracy angle the triangle of life guy has would be amusing if lives were not at stake. Great claims require great proof, or at least a few minutes perusing Google search results.
If you ever receive an email that gives incorrect life-saving advice, you should immediately email the sender with correct information. If you ever send an email that you later discover had some misinformation in it, it is your responsibility to email everyone again and correct the earlier mistakes.
If a car will not start
One other thing came up a couple of weeks ago. It is what to do if you cannot start a parked car. Sometimes, it is possible to put the key in the ignition and turn it a little but not far enough to start the car. Sometimes this occurs because the steering wheel was turned to one side and then the car was turned off. The pressure of the turned steering wheel does not allow the ignition to turn to start the car.
If this happens to you, all you have to do is turn and hold the wheel to the other side while you start the ignition. The torque you exert on the steering wheel is enough to allow the key to make its full turn.