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Like most modern kids, our children get some screen time each day to watch YouTube videos or play Minecraft or Zelda.

And like most modern parents, Kate and I want to make sure our kids don’t come across anything they shouldn’t — like porn — while they’re on their screens. There are some gnarly things on the net that you really don’t want your eight-year-old to see.

While we’ve laid down some ground rules for screen time that allow us to check in on what our kids are consuming — e.g., you can only watch screens in communal places in the home — it’s impossible to keep an eye on them all the time.

So I’ve tried various internet filters to fill that gap. And by trying various internet filters, I mean I’ve tried pretty much every iteration on the market in order to find the best one.

What I found in all my testing is that the cost of most internet filters is about the same. Look to spend $10-$20 a month for filtering multiple devices.

The most significant difference between filters is in their ease of use. Some of them are just a massive pain in the butt to install and manage, and even when you get them installed, they don’t work correctly.

For example, I gave NetNanny a try, but man, it took me the better part of a day to install the software on my kids’ iPads. And then, after I got it installed, my kids couldn’t connect to the internet because the VPN service NetNanny uses for the filtering was wonky. So I uninstalled it.

I then tried out a service called MobiCip. I had high hopes for it. The price is one of the cheapest on the internet filtering market — $5 a month for 10 devices — and installation was much easier than with NetNanny. It was only after installation that the problems started popping up. Web browsing slowed to a crawl thanks to my kids’ internet browsing going through a VPN. Filtering was a tad too aggressive as well. A few times a week, my son would come to me with his iPad, complaining he couldn’t check ESPN for football scores because MobiCip blocked ESPN for whatever reason that day. And sometimes, browsing on any page wouldn’t work at all.

So I removed MobiCip from our kids’ devices, which, to add insult to injury, was a massive pain in the butt to do.

I tried several more services until I finally stumbled upon two that 1) filter the internet, so my kids don’t see inappropriate stuff, and 2) are super easy to use and don’t disrupt their internet browsing.

The Two Internet Filters That Have Worked for Our Family

RouterLimitsRouterLimits was a game-changer for internet filtering; it’s super easy to set up and doesn’t disrupt browsing. Unlike most internet filtering software that requires you to install it on each device you want protection on, RouterLimits runs on your internet router, allowing you to manage and filter all of the devices connected to your home’s internet.

Installation and set-up took less than 10 minutes; far superior to the hours-long ordeals involved with other filtering software. It’s $10 a month.

Once you’ve got RouterLimits installed on your router, you can use the service’s dashboard to set up how you want to filter each device connected to your network. You can filter by categories like porn, gambling, and drugs. And/or you can exclude specific web pages.

Another nice feature of RouterLimits is that you can set times that your kids can access the internet via their devices, so it allows you to easily manage their screen time.

The one big downside with RouterLimits is that it only works if your kids’ devices are connected to the internet via your home network. If they’re on a smartphone with cellular service, they could bypass RouterLimits filtering by surfing the internet via wireless.

To solve that issue, you could use the service offered by the parent company of RouterLimits — Bark. It’s a filtering service that you install on your child’s device and it monitors and filters even if your child is connected via cell service.

Bark is a really robust filtering service. It has a lot of options to allow you to monitor your child’s communication on their device so that you can get alerted if he or she is talking about being depressed or is being bullied. They’ll even monitor messages in social media apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp.

But Bark is a pain in the butt to install and set up. It took me an hour

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Sunday Firesides. Sometimes the Critic Counts

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“It is not the critic who counts.”

If this line from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” speech is taken to mean that the individual who takes action has far greater worth than he who merely casts stones from the sidelines, then it can be adopted as an unassailable truth.

If, however, it’s taken to mean you should never listen to your critics, then it’s a mantra that cannot be universally applied.

T.R., after all, was a critic himself, and when he called individuals “fragrant man swine,” “little emasculated masses of inanity,” and “beings who belong to the cult of non-virility” — you can bet he wanted to be listened to (and probably should have been).

While adopting a blanket “f**k the haters” mindset may anesthetize the pain of receiving negative feedback, it comes at the cost of two key things:

First, you surrender a potentially helpful perspective.

We’d all do well to heed our inner voice and scorecard over that of the crowd. But we can lose track of that voice or allow ego to convince us we’re doing a better job than we are, and it can take an external observer to point that out.

Second, you forfeit — at least if you apply the “never listen to critics” standard with integrity/consistency — the right to be heard yourself.

Because if people shouldn’t listen to anyone else’s opinions, they shouldn’t listen to yours, either.

Little credit belongs to the masses of heckling, grandstand-riding spectators, who nine times out of ten, have nothing valuable to say. But to avoid developing what Teddy called “a mind that functions at six guinea-pig power,” it’s wise to recognize that sometimes the critic can count: when he’s someone you respect; when he’s someone who also has skin in the game; when he’s someone who’s got, well, a point.

The post Sunday Firesides: Sometimes, the Critic Counts appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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How to Diagnose and Treat Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion

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It’s been freaking hot around the world this summer. Here in Oklahoma we’ve had more than a dozen days in July alone with temperatures over 100 degrees. 

The chances of suffering a heat-related illness like heat exhaustion and heat stroke go up during extreme heat. According to the CDC, between 2004 and 2018, an average of 702 people died annually from heat-related causes, and thousands more ended up in the hospital. Small children and adults over 65 are most susceptible to heat-related illness. However, it can hit anyone who works or exercises vigorously in the heat. In fact, heat stroke is one of the three most common killers of soldiers and athletes in training. 

Below we share how to recognize heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do to treat both conditions. 

How to Recognize & Treat Heat Exhaustion 

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body can no longer cool itself down through sweating due to a loss of water and electrolytes. Heat exhaustion needs to be treated as soon as you recognize it in yourself or others. Left untreated, it can develop into its more severe sibling: heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: 

Heavy sweatingCold, pale, and clammy skinFast, weak pulseNausea or vomitingMuscle crampsTiredness or weaknessDizzinessHeadacheBrief fainting (passing out)

How to Treat Heat Exhaustion

The goal of treating heat exhaustion is to cool the sufferer down and restore their fluids.

Move to a cool room. If you don’t have access to an air-conditioned room, at least move to a shady spot.Take a cold shower or bath. If that’s not possible, drape (do not tightly wrap — this will trap heat) cool, wet towels/cloths on the body. Turn a fan on these towels if you can. Remove extra clothing.Sip cool fluids, like water and Gatorade.

If heat exhaustion symptoms continue for an hour despite your treatment, seek professional medical assistance.

How to Recognize & Treat Heat Exhaustion 

Heat Stroke Symptoms

Heat stroke is the most serious of heat-related illnesses. With heat stroke, the body has lost its ability to cool itself down, resulting in a dangerously high internal body temperature (above 104 degrees Fahrenheit). High internal body temperature is potentially life-threatening as it can cause seizures, organ failure, and rhabdomyolysis. Even if you recover from heat stroke, you can still suffer long-term damage to your heart, brain (creating cognitive deficiencies), kidneys (requiring lifelong dialysis or a transplant), and liver (also requiring a transplant). Heat stroke victims often die months after they’ve “recovered.”

To guide me on the intricacies of identifying and treating heat stroke, I talked to Dr. Sean Langan, a research assistant at the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut. The Korey Stringer Institute specializes in research in preventing heat stroke deaths among athletes. 

Heat stroke symptoms include: 

Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction:ConfusionAggression/agitation (Dr. Langan says you frequently see heat stroke victims bite and punch people)DizzinessFaintingSeizuresVery high body temperature (104 degrees F or higher)Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating). Sean notes that you rarely see dry skin in people with exertional heat stroke (caused by exercising or working in the heat). Those exerting themselves in the heat may still be sweaty, and you’ll need to be on the lookout for other symptoms, particularly CNS dysfunction.Throbbing headacheNausea/vomitingRapid breathingRapid pulse

According to Dr. Langan, the critical heat stroke symptom to be on the lookout for is CNS dysfunction:

You can have really fit people who have an internal body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit at the end of a marathon who are fine. Their body is adapted to having that high of an internal temp so they don’t have any CNS dysfunction and they cool down quickly after they finish their race. 

You can also have someone who has an internal body temperature of 103, but they’re experiencing CNS dysfunction. This person has heat stroke and needs to be treated. 

If you see someone who’s been in the heat who’s showing signs of CNS dysfunction, your best bet is to start treating that person for heat stroke. To confirm, take their temperature with a rectal thermometer (it will give you the most accurate reading)

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Podcast #678 Physical Benchmarks Every man should meet at every age

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As men, we all want to be physically capable. We want to be able to save our own life in two ways: in the more metaphorical sense of wanting to preserve it in healthy, fit form for as long as possible, and in the more literal sense of being able to make it through an emergency unscathed. How do you know if you do possess that kind of lifesaving physical capability?

It’s time to do more than wonder, and really check in with yourself. My guest today has some helpful benchmarks that guys from age 8 to 80 can use to see if they’ve got an operative level of strength, mobility, and conditioning. His name is Dan John, and he’s a strength coach and the author of numerous books and articles on health and fitness. Dan walks us through the fitness standards the average male should be able to meet from childhood to old age, beginning with the assessments he gives to those who are 55 years old and older, which includes carrying their body weight, a long jump, and something called “the toilet test.” We then reach back to childhood, and Dan discusses the physical skills kids should become adept in, which were inspired by a turn-of-the-20th-century physical culturist who thought every individual ought to be able to save his own life, and which can be broken down into the categories of pursuit, escape, and attack. We end our conversation with the physical standards those in the 18-55 range should be able to meet, including how much a man should be able to bench press, squat, and deadlift, and the walking test that’s an excellent assessment of your cardiovascular conditioning.

My first and second interview with Dan“10 Things Every Lifter Should Be Able to Do”AoM Article: Don’t Just Lift Heavy, Carry HeavyAoM Article: Take the Simple Test That Can Predict Your MortalityAoM Article: The 10 Physical Skills Every Man Should MasterAoM Podcast #663: How to Achieve Physical AutonomyAoM Article: The History of Physical FitnessAoM Article: Every Man Should Be Able to Save His Own LifeAoM Article: 12 Balance Exercises You Can Do on a 2×4Shaker PlateAoM Podcast #508: Break Out of Your Cage and Stop Being a Human Zoo Animal

Connect With Dan John

DanJohnUniversity.com Dan on IGDan’s website

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Brett McKay: Brett McKay here, and welcome to another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast. As men, we all want to be physically capable. We wanna be able to save our life in two ways. First in the more metaphorical sense of wanting to preserve it in a healthy fit form for as long as possible. And second, in the more literal sense of being able to make it through an emergency unscathed. How do you know if you possess that kind of life-saving physical capability?

Well, it’s time to do more than wonder and really check in with yourself, and my guest today has some helpful benchmarks that guys from ages eight to 80 can use to see if they’ve got an operative level of strength, mobility, and conditioning. His name is Dan John. He’s a strength coach and the author of numerous books and articles on health and fitness.

Today on the show, Dan walks us through the fitness standards the average male should be able to meet

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