Not Completely Relevant But: How Many Australian Politicians Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

Hi Readers! The answer is, apparently: None! It is too dangerous! At least, that’s what the Department of Health and Safety says, according to this article.

The issue surfaced during a Senate estimates hearing when Liberal Eric Abetz told upper house colleagues he was prevented recently from changing a light bulb in his electorate office.

He was told that the rules meant an electrician had to be called.

“It is just impractical, it’s stupid,” Senator Abetz told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

“Most Australians would say if a person is not capable of changing a light globe, chances are they are not capable of running an electorate office.”

Senator Abetz said he had been told changing a bulb could require climbing a ladder which was a safety risk.

The (tangential) Free-Range issue here is this: Why are we increasingly subject to rules and regs that have nothing to do with REAL safety and everything to do with litigation, worst-case-scenario-fantasizing and good ol’ CYA? It’s a time, money and morale-waster, with the added benefit of turning competent people into incompetent cowards. Just like so many rules and regs are implementing with kids: No, children, you CANNOT ride your bikes to school. No, children, you CANNOT do your own chemistry experiments. No, children, you CANNOT babysit/whittle/get a paper route/smile at a stranger. It is all TOO DANGEROUS.

And someday we will wonder why no one in the world (except, perhaps, electricians) can do anything.

 

Ok, maybe THIS one would be a little hard to change.

 

Outrage of the Morn’: High School Students Not Allowed to Light Bunsen Burners?

Hi Readers ! This just in. Read it and…give your kids some matches! (Yes, yes, properly supervised, of course.) — L.

Dear Free-Range Kids: I am a high school science teacher, parent, and grandparent and a former cubmaster, and I couldn’t agree with you more!  This summer I taught a workshop on building model rockets for 12 to 14 year-olds. None of the 17 kids in the workshop had ever sprayed spray paint, most had never used a utility knife, and two did not know how to tie a knot.

Many of my high school students light their first match in my class when lighting a Bunsen burner ( a task many teachers will no longer allow students to perform). If we deny kids the ability to use tools, we make them crippled.  If we deny kids any risk, they will make their own through risky behavior. — CDB

My question: How did they make it to middle school without ever tying a KNOT? — L.

P.S. This post goes really well with this cartoon!