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Laser Pointers: Should They Be A Banned Item?


BaldEd
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:o I recently uplifted a laser pointer from a cache and had a little play with it. From reading all the information on the box it came in I think these things are more dangerous than multitools and pocket knives in the hands of children, and as such should be a banned cache item. Kids just won't be able to stop themselves from pointing them at others and there is apparently a very definite serious eye danger. What do you think? My local $2 shop has these things for sale so I guess they are very common everywhere. :(
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:o Are you serious?  All that boilerplate legal garbage is just that.

 

Don't point them in someone's eye.  If common sense prevented us from leaving the simplest of items in caches, everything would be a virtual.

 

But then we'd be too afraid to hunt them because we might fall or get sued or something.

I agree with New England n00b. It comes down to common sense and parental responsibility. Parents are responsible for knowing what there kids take from a cache and for knowing if it is a trade item that the kid is mature enough to have. I'm not an expert but I do some occasional work with lasers so I will throw the following info into the discussion -

 

Laser pointers are normally based on continuous wave (cw) HeNe lasers not exceeding 1 mW radiant power and are generally classified as Class 2 lasers. Class 2 lasers are low power lasers or laser systems in the visible range (400 - 700 nm wavelength) that may be viewed directly under carefully controlled exposure conditions. Because of the normal human aversion responses (blink reflex), these lasers do not normally present a hazard, but may present some potential for hazard if viewed directly for long periods of time. While it is unlikely that momentary exposure to laser pointers will cause permanent retinal damage, extended exposure to these devices can cause other visual impairment. Flashblindness, afterimage, and glare can occur as a result of extended exposure to laser pointers and may result in visual dysfunction that can affect visual-critical activity such as driving or flying.

 

So basically if somebody points a laser pointer at you, your natural response will be to blink and look away. To do eye damage you would have to stare at the beam.

 

Is your kid mature enough to understand "Don't stare at the laser & don't dare your stupid friends to stare at the laser"? If they are then trade for the laser, if not then leave it in the cache for me :(

Edited by clan_Barron
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Yeah yeah yeah ... and let's sue McDonald's for making kids fat and the gun manufacturer's for people shooting people.

 

And this too ...

"WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Krispy Kreme has offered to reward students with a doughnut for every A on their report card - up to six per grading period - sparking concern among school officials trying to fight childhood obesity."

 

OMG! kids eating sweets!

 

Take responsibility for yourself and your children's actions and everything will be alright.

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Laser pointers don't hurt people, people hurt people.

 

Now go cache and stop with the banning this and that...the only thing that should not be in a cache is something that is illegal to possess (or buy) by a person of any age...no guns, no porn, no cigs, no booze, etc…Exception, no food or other smelly stuff because the bears will ruin the cache.

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I wouldn't get too excited, either.

On the other hand, the eye danger is very real, and children NEED to be monitored. It is just NOT YOUR responsibility. However, if you want to help, then don't leave any. It was quite a few years ago that the Air Force had evidence that another power(s) was experimenting with lasering the eyes of pilots - successfully.

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Kids just won't be able to stop themselves from pointing them at others and there is apparently a very definite serious eye danger. What do you think?

I think that's what parents are for.

 

illegal to possess (or buy) by a person of any age...no guns, no porn, no cigs, no booze, etc…

I took a trip to the states recenly (Maine etc) I had to be 16 to buy a knife but I had to be 18 to buy superglue :(

 

Thorin

Edited by thorin
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I like the paper cut posting - ya ban log books

 

BUT WAIT!

 

Pens!

 

Pens are extreemly dangerious items - you can stab yourself or others. We MUST ban pens

 

BUT WAIT !!

 

An ammo box with a handle? My gawd folksies - if you pick that metal can up you can drop in on your foot - or worse your kid can drop in on your foot.

 

And the handle makes it a wonderful weapon to swing at someone. We gotta ban ammo boxes - in fact we gotta ban all ammo boxes.

 

and what about those dangerous hiking sticks?

 

Now that we got that far I guess since there was a really long thread on caching accidents - INJURIES! evun! - are we gunna ban caching now?

 

geeezzzz come on! next you'll want to ban gps's because they led you into the PO. Get a life!

 

Have you read the warnings on your toaster lately? You going to ban toasters because they have warnings?

Edited by CompuCash
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RyanCTek took me to a cache they had found (now archived) that you had to find a leser pointer at the first location and place it on this pvc pipe stand. There were 3 sets of notches and you had to go check each place the pointer pointed for the cache. It was really cool but would you take it away (if it wasn't archived, because some stupid kid points it in someones eye? I have gotten it in the eye and it doesn't cause eye damage. I agree, only long term exposure can cause eye damage.

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I had an interesting experience with a laser pointer once.

 

A friend of mine and I were stopped in traffic in the center of Concord, NH. My friend pointed a laser pointer he was playing with it at the back of a person riding past on a bicycle. It was cop. Who had another bicycle cop riding behind him. Now, my friend didn't know it was a cop at the time, he was just fooling around, pointing it at the bicylists.

 

Well, the second cop swung around real quick and approached the vehicle on his bike. He gave us "the treatment" and sent us on our way, after threatening to arrest us for disorderly conduct, and saying we were lucky we didn't get shot.

 

With that said, I wish my friend hadn't been old enought to buy the laser pointer that day. But, on the other hand, they sure are fun, and they sure can create some excitment.

 

Ban them? I don't think so.

 

Pan

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:o I recently uplifted a laser pointer from a cache and had a little play with it. From reading all the information on the box it came in I think these things are more dangerous than multitools and pocket knives in the hands of children, and as such should be a banned cache item. Kids just won't be able to stop themselves from pointing them at others and there is apparently a very definite serious eye danger. What do you think? My local $2 shop has these things for sale so I guess they are very common everywhere. :(

I hope the pencil you signed the logbook with wasn't sharp enough to gouge out your eyes :(

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That does it. I'm not letting my kids out of the house during daytime any more. I just found out that if they stare directly at the SUN, that they will damage their eyes.

 

Edit: by the way, i wish that i could find one for $2. Those things are pretty neat and one of the best ways to torture your cat. they'll chase that beam around for hours.

Edited by Delta-S
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:o I recently uplifted a laser pointer from a cache and had a  little play with it.  From reading all the information on the box it came in I think these things are more dangerous than multitools and pocket knives in the hands of children, and as such should be a banned cache item. Kids just won't be able to stop themselves from pointing them at others and there is apparently a very definite serious eye danger. What do you think? My local $2 shop has these things for sale so I guess they are very common everywhere.  :(

I hope the pencil you signed the logbook with wasn't sharp enough to gouge out your eyes :(

Sax - yer too mean -

 

did you see my post <grin!>

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That does it. I'm not letting my kids out of the house during daytime any more. I just found out that if they stare directly at the SUN, that they will damage their eyes.

 

Edit: by the way, i wish that i could find one for $2. Those things are pretty neat and one of the best ways to torture your cat. they'll chase that beam around for hours.

Cat's love those things.

 

http://www.thinkgeek.com/brain/whereisit.cgi?t=laser+pointer

 

Thorin

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Those $2 versions aren't likely to put anyone's eye out - unless you poke them with it. I did have fun with a laser pointer once. A "consultant" was giving one of those mandatory seminars we're all "cordially invited" too.

 

He was trying to use a laser pointer but it wasn't working. I couldn't pass up the opportunity and got mine out of my pocket. Every time he would try to point to something, I would discreetly point to somewhere else on the screen. He thought it was his going crazy. He never did catch on.

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As some of the first responses explained better than the most recent half-dozen of sarcastic responses, the info on eye dangers are real, but only by prolonged exposure. The company is covering its liabilities by warning you of that rather than let you figure it out on your own and then blindly file a lawsuit against them.

 

As for children's access to the pointers, that is a parental responsibility and is little worse than handing them a high-pressure water gun (same eye warnings on the side of that too).

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Those $2 versions aren't likely to put anyone's eye out - unless you poke them with it. I did have fun with a laser pointer once. A "consultant" was giving one of those mandatory seminars we're all "cordially invited" too.

 

He was trying to use a laser pointer but it wasn't working. I couldn't pass up the opportunity and got mine out of my pocket. Every time he would try to point to something, I would discreetly point to somewhere else on the screen. He thought it was his going crazy. He never did catch on.

I'm going to have to remember that one :(:o:(;)

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As some of the first responses explained better than the most recent half-dozen of sarcastic responses, the info on eye dangers are real, but only by prolonged exposure. The company is covering its liabilities by warning you of that rather than let you figure it out on your own and then blindly file a lawsuit against them.

 

As for children's access to the pointers, that is a parental responsibility and is little worse than handing them a high-pressure water gun (same eye warnings on the side of that too).

Wow, looks like someone has some parental supervision themselves.

 

Well, at least it came from someone who has never posted anything sarcastic ... or off topic...

 

Oh, wait, scratch that. :o

 

:(:(;)

 

Pan

 

P.S. ju66l3r... have you experienced a bad moment with a laser pointer? You seem to take this topic awful seriously...

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I recently uplifted a laser pointer from a cache and had a little play with it. From reading all the information on the box it came in I think these things are more dangerous than multitools and pocket knives in the hands of children, and as such should be a banned cache item. Kids just won't be able to stop themselves from pointing them at others and there is apparently a very definite serious eye danger. What do you think?

:( NO :o

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No, but someone with 45 posts comes with what they believe to be a serious topic and hasn't come back to the thread yet and responded in some outlandish way doesn't really deserve the drubbing they'll come to find when they get back currently. I was just looking at it from the relatively new person's point of view. This is not their only opinion and their other better ones may be lost when they never come back to the forums again, because 'whenever they speak up, they get beat down'...even if it was only this once, etc.

 

It wasn't the topic, Pan, that I was taking seriously.

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:( I recently uplifted a laser pointer from a cache and had a little play with it. From reading all the information on the box it came in I think these things are more dangerous than multitools and pocket knives in the hands of children, and as such should be a banned cache item. Kids just won't be able to stop themselves from pointing them at others and there is apparently a very definite serious eye danger. What do you think? My local $2 shop has these things for sale so I guess they are very common everywhere. :o

Honestly, if these bother you, leave your GPS in the next cache you come to and quit the sport. Then invest in ten tons of bubble wrap and wrap everything you own - including your house, your car, your pets, your family, etc... And pray that a satelite isn't going to fall from the sky onto your house.

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I found a Nerf ball in a cache once. Heaven forbid if a child ever got hold of one, took a bite out of it and cholked to death. I can't imagine what the person was thinking when he put that in a cache.

I've seen that happening....it wasn't a kid, though, more like a middle-aged man wearing a baseball cap... and the Nerf ball he was choking on had tentacles of some kind... It was a hideous scene! :o:(

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I'm a n00b on the forums here so you can smack me down if'n ya want.

 

*smiles*

 

I have to say the following points:

 

To the Replies

I came into this thread and was amazed at the number of sarcastic and mean remarks to this persons concern over laser pointers. I am sure they have returned to read their replies and doubt they'll return again. Real shame. Hopefully they'll continue to cache cuz that's still fun regardless of what people say in a forum, be it good or bad *looks up from flame resistant shield*

 

To the Original Poster

You can't ban every little thing just because there is a warning on it or someone might get hurt from it. When caching with my kids, it is my responsibility to not let them have anything that could hurt them or others - or something they just are not mature enough to have. If I ran across a cache with a laser pointer in it, I know my kids would NOT get it.

 

Prime example - at The Bait Shop cache in Illinois, it was full of fishing equipment, including some hooks. Well - hooks are definitely not child friendly. Hooks were definitetly not taken out of the cache. I convinced the kiddos to drop in a fishy bookmark and take nothing. Making sure they are taking safe items is MY responsibility as the parent.

 

You can't go around banning everything due to warnings of you would be sitting pretty much in an unfurnished house. I have seen a lot of comedians and some of their best bits are on product warnings. Like, on a curling iron it says "Do not use while sleeping" (comedian's crack was on 'night styling'). Another was to not use your hair dryer in the shower (defeats the purpose!). Another was printed on the bottom on one of those microwave dinners - like, do not turn over container, contents may be hot and burn you. (note: again... printed on the BOTTOM of the box).

 

I would say if the laser pointer was not for you or your kids - just don't take it. If you want it and don't think your kids should play with it - just don't let them play with it.

 

Just.... my opinion.

 

Carbon

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A couple of words of caution. What is 'legal' in some areas is illegal in others. For example in many states, you can but Pepper Spray off the counter in the grocery store, but in Massachusetts you actually face a mandatory year in prison for possession of it without a license. And the License you need is a "Firearms Identification Card' even though no gun is involved at all as the legislature in that state saw to it to list defensive sprays in the definition of “ammunition”.

 

Also, things like pocket knives which my dad has carried in his pocket since he was in 6th grade would now likely get a kid suspended in many areas. However, there are still some rural schools that kids routinely bring their gun in the morning because they go hunting after school.

 

It's too bad that people have decided to focus on objects and not behavior as the threats to society. It's also sad that the 'solution' always seems to be some words written on paper.

 

Like criminals and other irresponsible people are going to bother to stop and read a law, rule, or regulation and change their attitude based on that. Isn't a Criminal by definition someone who doesn't follow the rules?

 

That said, I feel that a cache should represent the people most likely to visit it. I would expect to see toys and other kid friendly items in the local park. I would be annoyed to find a few Happy Meal items in a difficult back woods cache that requires significant effort to find. If the owner of that Cache were to stock it with commemorative folding knives that would appeal to the person who is most likely to find it, then I see no problem.

 

The last thing we need is a phonebook size list of rules trying to predict every little possible issue and concern. First, it won't work. Just like Speed Limits and Gun laws have no effect on those that could care less. Secondly, it just adds too much 'process' to something that is supposed to be 'FUN'. What fun is it when you go to every cache only to find the same 'rules' approved' collection of universally non-offensive and completely non-representative junk that every other cache has?

 

Lets take some responsibility and cache with both a purpose and with the likely finder in mind. And for parents, take an interest in what your children are doing. Remember that the word 'NO' usually translates to "Go do it when I'm not looking".

 

Does this mean we allow anything and everyone has to live with it? Of course not. Jeremy and other web sites have the ability to post caches they 'want' to post. If a report comes back that Cache 'A' has a collection of illegal fireworks in it, then the host might choose to remove that cache from their listings. A finder may also want to inform local authorities do deal with a legal matter. For the rest of us, good sense, an understanding of the type of finder we expect, and creative thinking should yield some interesting and fun locations to go visit. I have never been the one to support rules for all because of the idiocy of one.

 

The choice is ours. Conform to some grey Orwellian sense of ideal that makes no one cache any different than another but for the numbers on our machine, or support the creative spirit with the understanding that a few people will push the line too far on occasion. And more important, stress the fact that as with any 'sport' there are risks and hazards.

 

Think about it. Just because there is a standing rule that "No weapons" will be in a cache, does that suddenly rule out every possible chance that there isn't something harmful in a cache? That is pretty naive thinking. You might as well expect that nobody would EVER run a stop sign or a red light.

 

I guess my point is this... The location of a cache might dictate a ‘proper’ type of content. However, just because a cache is in a certain place, NEVER assume that it is harmless for all that might find it. Keeping that in mind eliminates most of the need for 'rules' and ultimately makes everyone safer as there is no false sense of security.

 

That said, I think that guidelines are a great idea, and people should be aware of the ramifications of their actions regarding the stocking of a cache.

 

Frankly, I'd like a nice bone to chew on, but hey we all have our preferences.

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As some of the first responses explained better than the most recent half-dozen of sarcastic responses, the info on eye dangers are real, but only by prolonged exposure. The company is covering its liabilities by warning you of that rather than let you figure it out on your own and then blindly file a lawsuit against them.

 

As for children's access to the pointers, that is a parental responsibility and is little worse than handing them a high-pressure water gun (same eye warnings on the side of that too).

What is the world coming to when I whole heartedly agree with an entire ju66l3r

post ! :( The "blindly filing a lawsuit" comment made me laugh out loud. Thanks ju66l3r.

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I'm a n00b on the forums here so you can smack me down if'n ya want.

 

*smiles*

 

I have to say the following points:

 

To the Replies

I came into this thread and was amazed at the number of sarcastic and mean remarks to this persons concern over laser pointers. I am sure they have returned to read their replies and doubt they'll return again. Real shame. Hopefully they'll continue to cache cuz that's still fun regardless of what people say in a forum, be it good or bad *looks up from flame resistant shield*

You'll soon learn that when someone posts something in the forum that's ... well... a bit extreme, like this one was... Our response is sarcasm. It's just how we are. You, too, will become one with the sarcasm if you stay on the forums long enough.

 

 

If you want a serious response to the original poster's question, it comes down to this... A warning on a package is just that - a warning. Because people (especially Americans) are stupid enough to do things that will harm them. Case In Point - a Swedish company that makes chainsaws had to add in a warning for the US market telling people not to stop the chainsaw blade with their hands. You know that warning wouldn't have been put there if someone hadn't tried that once or twice.

We need to limit what we put in caches only in the respect that nothing that would cause immediate serious danger should be allowed... Ie, knives, drugs, other weapons ... completely against the rules for good reason... Other things that are questionable but not immediately dangerous fall into the category of policing ourselves. Parents, watch your children if they take out a laser pointer, tell them not to point it in people's eyes. Etc...

If the question is kids finding this, I once again point out the following from another cacher - When this person goes with his/her kids, they open the cache container FIRST and make sure nothing that will cause immediate danger is in there before they let their kids rummage through and trade stuff.. - This way, you'll know if your kid is about to come across something that's not a good choice for them to take, or goes against your beliefs, or whatever else.

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:( I recently uplifted a laser pointer from a cache and had a  little play with it.  From reading all the information on the box it came in I think these things are more dangerous than multitools and pocket knives in the hands of children, and as such should be a banned cache item. Kids just won't be able to stop themselves from pointing them at others and there is apparently a very definite serious eye danger. What do you think? My local $2 shop has these things for sale so I guess they are very common everywhere.  :(

Dang, Ed you must live in a high rent district. We only have Dollar Shops around here. ;) But seriously-if you haven't already gotten the drift from the previous 40 replies to your post-you are responsible for your kids, not the geocaching community. Those lasers are pretty harmless, but don't tell my cats.

 

Also can you really worry about every warning on consumer packaging? The last two hide-a-key rock I purchased said-for outdoor use only! Well that just sucks. I was gonna hide the extra key to my house in the aquarium with the poisonous lionfish. No burgler would think to look in there. That way it will always be available when I get locked out... of...the...house......hmmmm :o

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If you want a serious response to the original poster's question, it comes down to this... A warning on a package is just that - a warning. Because people (especially Americans) are stupid enough to do things that will harm them. Case In Point - a Swedish company that makes chainsaws had to add in a warning for the US market telling people not to stop the chainsaw blade with their hands. You know that warning wouldn't have been put there if someone hadn't tried that once or twice.
And without a doubt in those one or two incidents they tried to sue the Sweedish company because they didn't have to IQ to realize the chain on the chainsaw was sharp and in motion. Reading the darwin awards it becomes painfully obvious that this kind of stupidity isn't limited to the US. It's just that in the US if the companies don't add these ridiculous warnings someone will definately go ahead and sue them (with good reason or not).

 

Thorin

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:(

You'll soon learn that when someone posts something in the forum that's ... well... a bit extreme, like this one was... Our response is sarcasm. It's just how we are. You, too, will become one with the sarcasm if you stay on the forums long enough.

:( Oh sure, it's all fun and games, till someone looses an eye. ;)

 

EDIT: Hey! I think I'm getting the hang of it. :o

Edited by butche
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If you were to go back to the top of the thread and substitute "knife" for "laser pointer" would you get the same responses? But knives are banned because they are 'dangerous', irregardless of the damage that can be done by other items in a cache (I have more scars from pencils than from knives - both palms, both arms, one leg). If someone raises a big enough 'stink' they can probably get anything banned.

 

I ran across a interesting fact a few years ago: The US has about 5 percent of the world's population, but 50 percent of the lawyers.

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I know my sister (30) has some permanent eye damage from some stupid kid that bought a laser pointer at our state fair.

 

Wyatt W.

Now, my intent is not to doubt you, but you understand I have no way of knowing, factually or medically whether what you say is true.

 

BUT, assuming its true, that is one great post in response to some of the ones above.

 

Pan

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Laser pointers are not toys, despite the fact that they are mostly marketed to children.

 

There is no real inherent danger in them, but children can be very annoying with them. i.e. pointing at people repeatedly (in the eyes or not), continuing to point at someone who has politely requested that the pointer stop

 

I have taken them away from my children for that reason. If a child can play with one responsibly (not annoying anyone) there is no problem. (good luck)

 

Some high-tech guns use a laser sight for aiming. People (such as cops) who are aware of this, can easily assume that someone might be pointing a gun at them when they see the dot. It is irrelevant how rational this assumption might be, it is not worth risking a child's life on somone else's "rationality".

 

By the time you see the dot, if it WAS someone pointing a gun at you, it would be too late to react, but that does not cancel out peoples' instincts.

 

There have been many reports of cops reacting to laser dots in a defensive manner (as duly noted by a previous poster).

 

Is it worth the risk for YOUR child to have a toy that could be MISTAKEN for a deadly weapon? (same goes for realistic looking toy guns)

 

OTOH caches are not JUST for kids and an adult might want to trade for it.

 

A cheap knife would be a good trade. :unsure:

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for the overall feeling in this thread. Pointed at no one in particular.

 

Respect: Respect the guidelines for forum usage, and site usage. Respect Groundspeak, its employees, volunteers, yourself, fellow community members, and guests on these boards. Whether a community member has one post or 5,000 posts, they deserve the same respect.

 

Personal Attacks and Flames will not be tolerated. If you want to praise or criticize, give examples as to why it is good or bad, general attacks on a person or idea will not be tolerated.

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That does it.  I'm not letting my kids out of the house during daytime any more.  I just found out that if they stare directly at the SUN, that they will damage their eyes.

 

Edit:  by the way, i wish that i could find one for $2.  Those things are pretty neat and one of the best ways to torture your cat.  they'll chase that beam around for hours.

If you happen to cache in the NY/Rochester/Webster area, I leave them all over the place. I'll also be leaving some in Missouri in the next couple of weeks. :unsure:

 

I got a big box of them from Ebay :lol:

Edited by Quintheeskimo66
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I get very upset in finding a cache full of oxygenated hydrogen. That stuff kills THOUSANDS of people every year and it is annoying as all get out to find it in a cache.

 

WHAT IRRESPONSIBLE CACHE OWNERS! :unsure:

Yeah - ban the oxygenated hydrogen! Not just from caches - it's dangerous almost everywhere it's found!

 

Join the OH MY! Group:

 

Oxygenated Hydrogen - Mischief (for) Young!

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