Author Margaret Ross

Keeping Your New Years Resolutions: How To

About New Year and Resolutions

With the ushering in of a New Year, many of us decide there are a few things this year we want to do different from last.  But it seems that more people break their New Year’s resolutions than keep them. 

What makes the difference for those who keep them than those who break their resolutions? Click the below link to get some quick advice on how to keep your resolutions this year so you can stick to your diet, decrease your debt or stop smoking!

More about secrets of keeping New Years and Resolutions throughout the year. 


Boomers Big In Online Banking

canada banking Canada has over 61 percent of its citizens using some form of online banking. According to a recent comScore survey, out of 37 global markets Canada had the highest adoption rate of online banking than any other market including the United Kingdom, United States and Australia.  More Canadians are banking online and they are doing it more frequently than the other contenders for the online banking crown.

The internet has changed the way everyone does business, especially the banking industry.  With the introduction of online banking, many consumers are managing their accounts barefoot and in bed instead of messing with their brick and mortar counterparts. 

HOW OFTEN: Canada also reigned supreme in online banking frequency.  On average, they spent 46 minutes over 10.5 online banking visits per visitor in April. That averages over a week in usage days.

WHAT BANKS ARE CASHING IN: Of the almost 24 million Canadian internet users, 15.5 million visited a banking site.  The Bank of Montreal site saw the greatest gain in visits last year with a growth of 22 percent. Other big winners were the RBC Financial Group and TD Bank Financial Group.

WHO: It’s a split in demographics.  More 20-something to 40-somethings do online banking but boomers bank online most often.  Those who are embracing online banking the most are those between the ages of 25 and 44 where 74 percent of them use online banking. Although the use of online banking is typically higher among the younger age groups, the older age groups win on the frequency of usage.

Brent Bernie, president of comScore Media Metrix Canada, explains this phenomenon by stating, “Canadians are typically very savvy Internet users, a fact that is underscored by their heavy usage of online banking. But because the Canadian online banking sector is so developed and competition already so fierce, banks need to closely examine how they are meeting the needs of their consumers online.”

With in increase in usage and services available, it seems that an increase in online banking is becoming an integral part the public’s banking activities. It appears online banking is here to stay.

Columbine – A Father's Perspective on School Violence

The Columbine High School massacre occurred on Tuesday, April 20, 1999 at Columbine High school in Littleton, Colorado. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebod, the two shooters killed 12 students, 1 teacher and wounded 23 before turning their guns on themselves. It is the deadliest high school shooting in United States history.


On Thursday, May 8, 2008, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton , Colorado , was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful!


The following is an excerpt of the transcript:
“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other el even children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers!
'The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA , the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.
'In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.
I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy, it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.
Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question 'Why?'
You regulate restrictive law s,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!
'Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And, when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs, politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lie s within our own hearts.
'As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School , prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA, I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!
My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!'
– Darrell Scott, father of Rachel Scott
You can view the whole speech at:

Young & violent: 10 signs of troubled teenagers

Margaret Ross, Kamaron Institute founder, was recently featured in Associated Press news story about teen violence.


One young man had a history of depression and drug abuse. Another was said to closely follow the Columbine case and reject help from counselors. And a fight at school appears to have provoked a third.

Three shooting rampages in a one-week span have refocused attention on troubled youth: a 19-year-old man opened fire at a Nebraska mall, killing eight people and himself; a 24-year-old man killed four people at a megachurch and a missionary training school in Colorado and then killed himself; and two gunmen who wounded six students at a school bus stop in Nevada, following a fight about a girl….

Margaret Ross – Teens Have Poor coping skills

A troubled child may be unable to cope with frustration, disappointment or stress, manifesting into anger or severe depression, says Margaret Ross, President and Founder of the Kamaron Institute.

“The reaction is larger than the situation and it’s regularly larger than the situation,” she says. “There are no small deals. There’s only big deals.”


If your child is isolating himself, puts himself down and talks about feeling hopeless, like the world is out to get him, these are all signs he is depressed. Males are more likely to act out their depression in a violent way than females, Margaret Ross says….


Back To School Buying; Kids Key In Shopping Decisions



With summer coming to a close, students will begin arriving at schools across the country in just a few short weeks.  This brings new hopes to the hurting retail industry who is hoping strong back-to-school numbers could bring Christmas a little early this year and with one-fifth of parents holding a portion of their stimulus checks for back-to-school packages, they could be right. This could be a huge jump for many retail establishments who have seen a decline in sales as gas prices continue to rise. 

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According to the recent NRF Back to School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, families with school aged children are expected to increase to $595. That is up over 5 percent to $625 or the equivalent of a cool new book bag.


The main reason for this jump is credited to household electronic spending like computers and cell phones.  Otherwise, the majority of categories such as clothing, shoes, and school supplies will see only small to moderate changes in spending habits.


The retail industry hoping that students wanting the advertised “must-have items

will continue to influence their parent’s purchasing decisions. Over half of parents admit that children influence at least 50 percent of back-to-school purchases.  National Retail Federation president says, “Strong promotions and must-have brands will help retailers stand out in the crowd as shoppers look for the best bang for their buck on back to school purchases this year.”



Don’t be deceived by the fact consumers plan on spending more money this year over last year.  With the gas prices pinching everyone’s pocket, parents are looking for deals and searching longer for good bargains.  “This year’s back-to-school shopper is a bargain hunter at the core. Though parents want to make sure kids are fully prepared for school, they will be comparing prices online and in stores before making any big purchases.”


Online shopping will be one way to avoid extra gas costs. A quarter of those shopping for back-to-school spending almost $4 billion online.


Parents are relying on discount stores for the majority of their purchases this year (73.0%).  Other big winners include department stores (56.6%), clothing stores (47.8%), electronic stores (21.4%) and office supply stores (41.8%).


Back-to-School spending continues to be one of retailer’s busiest times of the year.  In order to see strong results, retailers are going to have to start early with their deals to attract bargain hunting parents ready to spend their big bucks.

How To Have Sun Safe Kids


As a kid, most of your summer is spent at the pool or outside.  The extra hours of sun mean extra hours of play time after dinner and you are sure to use every bit of it. It is part of being a kid.

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Dr. Vernon Sondak says that on average about three fourths of our total exposure to sun occurs by the age of 18 with the most of it being a long weekend here and a couple of days there.  But it is important that even during those hours of intermittent sun exposure you make sure your kids are being protected from the ultraviolet rays of the sun because this burning sun exposure correlates with early and dangerous melanomas.


 It has been proven that the prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) in childhood is one of the most common causes of melanoma later in life.  Experts such as Dr. Mary Lein say that even one or two heavy sunburns can increase the risk of developing melanoma. “That’s why it is so important to emphasize prevention early in life.”


Teaching your children early about sun-safe techniques are key in reducing multiple blistering sunburns and decreasing their chances of developing skin cancer.  Dr. Lien recommends going indoors between the hours of 10am and 2pm when the suns rays are the worst. Also, you should regularly apply sunscreen, wear protective clothing, hats and not using tan beds.


Not all sunscreens though are created equal.  According to consumer report, while all sunscreens came within 10 percent of meeting their SPF (Sunburn Protection Factor), several products scored fair to poor on their UVA tests even if they passed the SPF claim test.


Things to remember when choosing sunscreen are choose a sunscreen with maximum protections against both UVA (Ultra-Voliet light, type A) and UVB (Ultra-Voliet light, type B) rays. Also pick one with the label that says very water resistant or waterproof and has an SPF of at least 30.  Sunscreens that tested the best are Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 45 and No-Ad Sunblock Lotion Maximum SPF 45.


Remember this summer while at the ballpark or at the beach, apply your sunblock to yourself and your kids every two hours or after swimming. Starting early in teaching your children about taking care when in the sun will create good habits for a long, happy future.


5 Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer:


The key to safety is common sense.


  1. Protect your skin and your children’s skin all year long by wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher everyday. Use a waterproof sunscreen.
  2. Teach your children sun-protection habits at a young age.
  3. Avoid using sunscreens on infants younger than 6 months and keep infants out of the sun.
  4. Wear a wide brim hat that protects the face, nose, ears and back to neck. (Baseball cap is better than nothing but it doesn’t do the job.)
  5. Avoid the use of tanning salons.


Want to learn more about how to protect yourself from the sun? Check out these websites for more information.

  1. American Association of Dermatologist’s information on skin cancer and screenings:
  2. American Cancer Society:

Pods Suck Your Power?



This summer travelers will be hitting the road with some of the top new gadgets available for cars making that drive to your favorite vacation spot more enjoyable and efficient. Human navigators sharing the front seat with giant paper maps, short tempers and reams of mapquest directions are being supplemented with gadgets. Car bingo and the license plate spotting game are being replaced with a plastic container filled with DVD movies. Thanks to new technology like navigation systems and DVD players, you can keep the kids entertained while an animated computer voice gives you step by step hassle free directions. “Bing! Take exit 223C in 1.4 miles,” says the GPS voice.

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But could these new conveniences be costing you more than you realize?  Does it seem like your car battery is dying sooner than it used to? You’re probably right!


According to AAA, the sale of replacement batteries has grown 100 times, up from 4,000 a year to a soaring 400,000 in 2007. Most of this is credited for an increase in the amount of power required by the average “modern” car and driver.


Since the 1960’s the world has relied on the 12-volt battery in their cars and sadly not much has been updated or changed since.  The car battery that used to last three to five years now has a life span of barely two years and much of that is due to the new gadgets you just can’t live without.


It’s not just what you have on in the car while you’re in it.  Items such as security systems and engine management tools draw from your car battery even while it’s parked in your driveway.


When choosing a new car battery, Consumer Reports has several recommendations. First, “fresh is best.” Make sure you that you choose the battery with the shortest shelf life. Next, know your battery size, batteries come in all kinds of sizes so make sure that the ones your looking at best fits your car. Remember to consider your climate and driving, warmer climates tend to be very tough on batteries. Lastly, dispose of your old battery safely.


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  1. Wear protective gloves and glasses. Your battery contains sulfuric acid. Wash your hands with soap and warm water, even if you wore gloves to handle your battery.
  2. Do not smoke near a battery or expose it to an open flame.
  3. If you are transporting your old battery, place it in a plastic container or a sturdy box. Your local auto supply or building supply store is likely to stock the plastic box.


Consumer Reports Battery


According to Consumer Reports, the top three choices for the group 65 batteries are NAPA Performance Select 8465, AutoCraf Titanium 65-2 and the Duralast 65-DL. For group 34/78 and 78 the winners are DieHard SUV, Turck and Van 39990 (South), NAPA Select 8434/78, AutoCraft Titanium 34/78-4.


Before heading out to the beach or to see relatives, check that the tires have enough air and your battery has enough power to get you there and back. Drive safely.


Youth Using Libraries The Most



In the past decade, there has been a sharp increase in the number of youth using the internet as a mean of educational research. But does this mean death for brick and mortar libraries? Not at all!

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In a recent joint study with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Pew Internet and American Life Project, they found that surprisingly the youngest adults are the heaviest library users with twenty one percent of Americans 18-30 turning to public libraries as source of information.  The study also found that library usage drops gradually as people age with only 12 percent of the general adult population relying on public libraries.


Lee Rainie, Pew’s director said, “the notion has taken hold in our culture that these wired-up, heavily gadgeted young folks are swimming in a sea of information and don’t need to go to places where information is” but that “the age of books isn’t yet over.”


While the most youth are relying on libraries as a source for making decisions about schooling, paying for it and getting job training, many are also using libraries to solve problems.


Many libraries have created large spaces for more computers and have also started using places previously used as stack areas or warehouse areas and replacing them with group study areas so patrons can begin to interact. Loriene Roy, President of the American Library Association says, “Libraries are creating social spaces.”


“We know everyone has problems and needs for information, and libraries still need to reach out to make sure people know” about the resources available to them <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Roy says.

Internet Reshaping the Classroom



The internet has become a vital educational resource for <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />America’s youth.  A Pew Internet and American Life Project Study reports that 94 percent of online youth say they use the internet for school research, 71 percent of online teenagers cited the internet as the source they relied on the most in completing projects and 78 percent claim the internet helps them with school work.

Stuck on a homework assignment?  Now students are using the internet to get in touch with teachers and other students after school hours in order to get help on school assignments. Thirty-four percent of online youth report downloading an online study aids such as Cliffnotes or Sparknotes.

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Parents see the internet as a good educational resource for students with 87 percent of parents saying that the internet is helpful with schoolwork. Fifty-five percent of parents believe the internet has been a good thing for their children and 55 percent of parents go as far as saying how to use the internet is essential for children to learn in order to be successful.


With this easy access to information comes at the price of easy access to materials that help students cheat on assignments as well.  Eighteen percent of online teenagers report they have known someone who has used the internet to cheat on a test or a paper.


So what does this mean?  The internet is becoming a huge part of learning environments both inside and outside of the classroom.