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Hot cars kill; technology exists to prevent this



hyundai rear occupant alert

This year, 29 children have died of heatstroke after being left in a hot car.

Five of those children have died in August alone.

Statistics show that 56% of the time, a caregiver unknowingly left that child in the vehicle.

A lot of parents think this could never happen to them, but, citing research from neuroscientist David Diamond, says this is the most dangerous mistake a parent or caregiver can make.

Specifically, “habit memories” can kick in when there is fatigue or a change in routine, and rather than accounting for a specific day, the brain subconsciously repeats what it does every other day.
Diamond, who has done extensive research on why parents leave children in hot cars, writes:

“In all of the cases I’ve studied, the parent begins the drive with the plan to bring the child to a destination, but at some point during the drive the parent reports having lost awareness of the child in the car. In these cases, the parent travels directly to the final destination (typically home or work), and in the process, exits the car without awareness that the child is still in the car.”

While automakers like General Motors and Nissan have employed rear-seat reminders that put messages on behind-the-wheel gauges, these messages can be tuned out.

A simple beep or in-car text message may not be enough to save a life. And this won’t protect a child who might climb into a car without your knowledge.

Thus, Hyundai has upped the ante, and with the introduction of the all-new 2019 Santa Fe, the automaker also introduced the Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert (ROA).
This system adds motion sensors to the interior of the vehicle, and if it detects movement in the back seat, the horn will start honking. If this is ignored, the vehicle will proceed to send a text message and email to the owner.

While this feature isn’t standard on the Santa Fe, it’s included on the SEL Plus trim ($29,800). And when Hyundai rolled out its family-oriented three-row Palisade ($31,550) this year, the Ultrasonic ROA is available on every trim with it being standard on the top-tier Limited model ($44,700).

Kia, Hyundai’s sister company, also offers the Ultrasonic ROA system on its new Telluride.

What’s more, Hyundai has pledged to make this motion-sensing technology more widely available on its vehicles, with the basic rear-seat reminder standard on all models by 2022 model year.

Thankfully, this likely means other automakers will be forced to follow suit.
But how can you ensure your child stays safely out of hot cars without this technology? offers the following tips:

Make it a habit of opening the back door every time you park the car – even when you aren’t transporting children.
To enforce this habit, place an item you can’t start your day without in the back seat – like you’re employee badge or briefcase.

Ask your child care provider to call you immediately if your child doesn’t arrive on time.
Keep vehicles in garages and driveways locked at all times – and ask neighbors and visitors to do the same.

Teach children to honk the horn if they become stuck inside a car.
Be especially careful during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays – this is when many tragedies occur.

The Bottom Line:

No one is perfect, and even the most loving parent could wind up on autopilot and forget a child in the back seat.

Last year there were 53 child deaths – and 62 pet deaths – in hot cars. We’d like to see those numbers be zero. Technology, along with the habit-forming tips offered by can make that happen.


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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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