The worst thing about being a parent is not that now you’re responsible for a little human who one day will expect you to pay $50,000 a year so they can beer-bong Milwaukee’s Best and major in Medieval Studies at one of the “Little Ivies”; no, the worst thing is that suddenly you are filled with irrational fears about the well-being of your sprogling, usually involving things that you really don’t need to worry about. For example, one of my major fears concerning my daughter is that she will be caught in a riptide and dragged out to sea. Seriously, it keeps me up nights. The fact that I live in Ohio and that the Atlantic Ocean would have to find a way to sneak 600 miles inland without anyone noticing to sweep my precious lumpkin out into the murky depths matters not in the least. Hey, don’t look at me like that. I told you it was irrational.
Irrational as it is for me, it’s not entirely irrational to fear riptides if you are actually in an ocean; they kill 100 people a year right here in the US, and half of lifeguard rescues are because of them. This is why when I found this article, detailing the science of rip currents and how to keep them from killing the heck out of you, my first inclination was to rush over here and write something about it, all the better to save the rest of you from a briny fate. Not that if you’re reading this, you’ll be in the ocean at the time (and if you are, dude. Geekery stops at the shoreline). Just consider it useful advice for later.
As for me, I’ll be printing it out a couple hundred times and wallpapering the walls of my daughter’s room with it. That Atlantic Ocean, she is sneaky. We must remain vigilant.
(image above from here, offered under GNU free documentation license)