Life is too short to be boring. But it almost became even shorter for the free-spirited Connecticut couple that let their five-year-old daughter swim with sharks recently.
Not only did parents David and Elana Barnes let their daughter Anaia share shallow waters with reef, lemon and nurse sharks while on vacation in the Bahamas, they proudly posted a YouTube video to commemorate the adventurous moment.
Facing public ire, David Barnes defended his family's decision on Good Morning America. “I’m more concerned that they don’t put seatbelts in school buses,” he said while wife Elana never at any point considered the activity "dangerous."
Even though the aforementioned sharks are considered "very low on the aggression index," they are sharks, not dolphins. (We're talking Jaws, people, not Free Willy.)
Assistant curator at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, John Lenzycki admitted that lemon and reef sharks do "exhibit higher predatory behaviour" than nurse sharks.
Of the 75 recorded shark attacks last year, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, only 16 were fatalities.
Needless to say, footage of the little Barnes girl frolicking in the water with sharks provoked a frenzy of response, and divided commenters.
While some accused the parents of common sense fail by endangering their daughter, others were decidedly more relaxed about the swim. “It’s not like the kid was covered in chum and tossed into the water alone,” said one reader.
Mom Elana compared the shark swim to other thrill-seeking activities. “Like going on a rollercoaster, you’re probably not going to fall off, but it’s still scary.” Then again, there are age/height restrictions on roller coasters for a reason.
Swimming with sharks may be the stuff of many a bucket list, but shouldn't it be the stuff of adult bucket lists? A decision that grown-ups make for themselves, when they are well versed in the risks.
Exhilarating or exceptionally misguided?
Health Canada has recalled the GlowMate Jr. Playlight by MOBI with the following codes:
The portable night light's battery door can detach, releasing the AAA batteries and posing a potential choking hazard for children.
Health Canada received one report in which the child opened the battery door and attempted to ingest one of the batteries.
Customers are advised to immediately stop using the GlowMate Jr. Play light and return it to the place of purchase for store credit or a refund.
For further information, customers can contact Zoom Distribution Corp. toll-free at 1-888-966-6911 (extension 705), between 10 AM and 4 PM EST Monday through Friday, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the company's website.
From November 2010 to June 2012, approximately 658 lights were sold in Canada.
According to Emily Walker, the city may be all jaw-droppingly gorgeous vistas, but it is also full of body discriminating citizens—what she refers to as an "institutional dislike of ... plus-sized, or more plainly, young fat women." And it doesn't stop there...
The grad student describes in a poignant piece in The Observer how she basically fell out of love for the West Coast city after moving there from Portland, Oregon, to study at UBC in 2004.
From struggling to find clothes to fit her 18-size frame (she had borrow a friend's brother's swim trunks), to becoming "celibate as Mother Teresa," Walker laments the plummet in her self-esteem which she attributes to her denigrating locale.
An experience, she claims, is not matched in other cities, including those "brimming with beautiful blondes." Only Vancouver deems it appropriate to openly (and covertly) berate Walker about her weight.
From the man in the bar who told her she wasn't "as feminine as other girls because [of her size]" to the slurs on the street, snickers in bars, and snide looks from the stroller fit moms in Kits.
Having found that her large friends living elsewhere don't face this kind of perpetual body discrimination and have "great dating lives," Walker is, well, ready to walk in order to receive the respect she deserves and is convinced she would receive elsewhere. Can you really blame her?
"I’m tired of feeling like a second-class citizen in a city I’ve grown to love in spite of everything. You promise me that things will be different and then just when I think you might have really changed, you kick me in the teeth again."
Does a city have a civic duty to encourage weight loss in its citizens, or is discrimination, discrimination?