Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Lesson in Accountability

A few days ago, I learned a lesson in accountability. My eight-year-old son had to use my computer to look for pictures of invertebrates on Google and Wikipedia It was for a science notebook that he's working on for school.

My browser has an auto fill-in feature, which means that if he typed in something that was close to something I had already typed it, it would try to complete it for him. That means he pretty much has access to everything that I have ever looked up.

I look up a lot of stuff on Google and Wikipedia. Some of it is because of my job. Some of it is related to research that I'm doing for other projects I'm working on. And some of it is just because I'm naturally curious. I never look at anything on the Internet that I wouldn't want my son to know about.

But it was a reminder to me that he's getting to the age where he's going to want to use the Internet to answer questions that he might not want to find out anywhere else. It was a nice reminder to me that he's watching everything I do, which is a heavy burden for me to bear.

Speaking of stuff that you find on the Internet... Did you know that Samuel Seymour was the last person alive to actually be present when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated? He was five years old and was in Ford's Theatre attending "Our American Cousin" when he heard the shot and saw all the commotion. He appeared on the TV game show "I've Got A Secret" in 1956, just a couple of months before his death at age 96. (His secret, of course, was that he had witnessed Lincoln's assassination.)

The things you learn on the Internet...

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