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Extended NFPA Hazard Diamond

With most labs, the hushed horror stories are about something like dimethylmercury or prions, but occasionally you'll get a weird lab where it's about the soda machine or the drop ceiling.
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34 years ago today, 15 year-old me was at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena to see The Concert For The Masses.

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34 years ago today, 15 year-old me was at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena to see The Concert For The Masses.

This concert was headlined by Depeche Mode, ending their Music for the Masses tour. They were my favorite band in the world at the time, so I was always going to go. But it wasn’t just DM. It was also Wire, OMD, and Thomas Dolby! I loved them all, and I couldn’t believe I got to see them all on the same stage, in person.

I could have bought really good tickets in the front section, if I’d thought about it. But 15 year-old me just wanted to be there, so I got tickets from the guy who drove the KROQ promotion van. I think we called him Doc on the Roc? Or Dan in the Van? Something like that. Anyway, I didn’t even have my tickets when I got there. I just got lucky and saw Dan or Doc or whoever he was, and he gave me a paper ticket.

Just think about that. You’re 15, alone, surrounded by thousands of people, and you just happen to be at that one entrance at the exact time the guy who you’re counting on to get you into the venue is there. And this is before cell phones or even pagers were widely available. I marvel at how lucky I got then, not knowing how lucky I was going to get later in the evening.

It was early in the afternoon when I went into the venue. The tickets I had were as far away from the stage as you could get while still being inside the Rose Bowl, near the top of the stadium. Hold your hand out as far as you can, and look at your thumb. GEE YOU’RE DUMB (sorry. couldn’t resist).

The band members on the stage were smaller than my thumb, and they sounded like they were in another county. So I looked around at all the empty seats and just started walking toward the stage. I figured I’d go as far as I could, until someone stopped me.

I got all the way down to like the second section, when I began to feel like I was flying too close to the sun. I tucked myself between a couple of seats, and watched Wire DESTROY that place. Their single at the time was Kidney Bingos. Kidney Dingos? Dingos. Dingoes. Point is, it was a different style than the Wire I knew from Pink Flag, but they still rocked so hard. And in the afternoon, too.

Next up was Thomas Dolby. I loved him because he was a nerd just like me. And Golden Age of Wireless had been on heavy rotation in my Walkman for years. His album at the time was Aliens Ate My Buick, which I loved for all the nerdy weird reasons so many of us still hold dear.

When he finished, it was starting to turn to dusk. The seats started filling up. The Rose Bowl started to feel like a stadium. While I waited for OMD, I stupidly made eye contact with one of the security dudes, who immediately made me as a kid who did not have a ticket for the seat he was in. He started toward me, so I got up and walked … I guess “away from that dude” was my direction. After a minute had passed and I hadn’t been yanked out of the frame by the back of my shirt, I glanced back and saw that he’d returned to his … post? What do you call it when you’re a security dude at a concert? I’m going to call it his post, and won’t bring it up again.

I made my way off the field, up some stairs, and found another empty seat a few rows up, where I watched OMD’s set. They were everything I hoped they would be. I hadn’t owned any of their albums to that point, but I knew all of their songs because of Kara (she’s also how I knew Wire). I remember it getting dark while they played, and by the time they finished their set, there were easily over 50,000 people in the venue, with more pouring in every minute.

It felt like a long time before Depeche came on, much longer than it was between sets for the openers. I’m just now remembering that I didn’t eat or drink anything because I didn’t want to lose this great not-my-seat I’d managed to occupy, probably about 100 feet from the stage, which is REAL close in a stadium. So I just stayed there and waited. Again, this is before cell phones so I didn’t have Instagram to scroll through or any of the things we take for granted today. I just sat there for what felt like an hour, looking around and waiting.

The way I remember it, there wasn’t a sense in the air that the band was about to take the stage. Just, one second everyone was talking and stuff, and then BAM all at once the lights shut off with what felt like a crash. Before we knew what was happening, PIMPF began to play in the darkness. People held up lighters, and the music got louder and louder and louder until it was almost unbearable, this intense piano phrase, ominously repeating until it felt like the walls were going to come down on top of us. It ended as suddenly as it began, the last note ringing out as the crowd roared.

We filled that darkness with our voices and our primal energy, pushing the walls back up, defying them to contain us. The lights on the stage exploded into life, and there they were, my favorite band in the world. It turned out that this crowd could roar even louder, then.

In my memory, they played Behind the Wheel first. I don’t know if that’s correct, but in honor of 15 year-old me, I’m not going to check. What I do remember is not very long into the set, a fucking storm showed up out of nowhere, filled the sky with lightning and rain for a couple songs, and then blew out just as fast.

I can’t recall what the song was. Some fans are adamant that it was “Sacred”, while Richard Blade says it was “Blasphemous Rumors”. Either way, the religious overtones of both songs were enhanced substantially by the freak cloudburst. It was just one of those random coincidences that made an already amazing thing that much more special.

After the rain (what’s up, Dokken fans? I see you. Nice fringe jacket.) I got busted. Whoever had paid for the seat I was in showed up to claim it, and while I was doing my best to find a new place to sit, a security dude nailed me.

But check this out. He looked at me and said, “are you Wesley on Star Trek?” and I was like, “Uh, yeah?” And he said, “Where’s your seat?”

I didn’t even try to pretend. I showed him my ticket.

“Okay, come with me,” he said, and walked me up the steps toward the concourse. I could hear the concert happening without me, and I was pretty sure I was getting kicked out of the Rose Bowl.

But he ended up taking me to the press box. He told me that these were great seats, nobody was using them, and I could sit anywhere. “You’re a really good actor,” he said, before he left.

Everything Went Better Than Expected dot JPEG.

I watched the rest of the concert from the front row of the press box. It wasn’t as cool as being 100 feet from the band, but the view was pretty great, and I had permission to be there.

I think they finished with Master and Servant. It was that or … Never Let Me Down Again? I can’t remember for sure. Again, 34 years ago and looking it up is cheating.

So we all knew the encore was coming, but this really weird night was about to get even more weird. I was looking out at 60,000 people holding lighters up, chanting, screaming, cheering, building the energy we would release when the band came back onstage … when the brightest, harshest, florescent lights in the universe came on in the press box. The couple dozen people in it all turned as one to yell at whoever turned them on to turn them back off … and it was my history teacher from 9th grade.

I didn’t know then that we paid teachers such appalling wages it wasn’t uncommon for them to work multiple jobs, so it was as shocking as the brightness of the light to see her in a Staff Pro jacket. I remember she looked confused, I heard someone say the encore hadn’t happened, I watched her shrug, and the lights turned back off. I didn’t see her again, which, based on how awkward I feel remembering it now, is probably for the best.

The band came back and played a couple of songs, finishing as they always did with Everything Counts.

Math says it’s unlikely any of you reading this were also at this show. But if you were, you know what an experience it was to sing along with 60,000 people, filling up the entire Rose Bowl and beyond with our voices. It felt magical. I can feel the vibration in my bones, 34 years later.

After the show, that area where I’d miraculously run into Dan the Van (I really hope that’s correct because what a great name) was a boiling mass of sweaty, post-concert humanity. I got overwhelmed and lost in it real quick, and I couldn’t find the car that was supposed to take me home. As I began to panic, I saw a familiar face: Richard Blade, who most of you know from Sirius XM, was my friend. He was the afternoon DJ on KROQ. An absolute legend in Los Angeles. A guy who knew EVERYONE you cared about in music. And what a kind human! Richard patiently let me sit in the studio all the time, because he knew I wanted to be a DJ, It was so massively inappropriate that I went there, almost every day after school at Paramount, but I didn’t know any better and nobody ever told me I couldn’t, so.

I saw Richard, and I guess he saw how panicked I was because he walked over to me immediately. He asked if I was okay, and I told him I couldn’t find my car to get home.

So Richard Blade offered to give me a ride. I think he was with his wife? I can’t remember exactly who it was, but they took me home like that had been the plan all along.

And all of that happened 34 years ago, today. Wild.

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107 days ago
OMG, to have lived in SoCal back in the day.
Toledo OH
106 days ago
Cool story, you get the sweet perks when you're on Star Trek. :)

Chorded Keyboard

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And even though it all went wrong / I'll stand before the lord of song / with nothing on my tongue but 'I don't understand, I swear I backed up my keyboard config before messing with it'
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227 days ago
Ok, how many people tried this?
224 days ago
I know enough about messing with keyboard configurations not to try

Rover Replies

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I'm so glad NASA let you take your phone to Mars!
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381 days ago
I'm so glad NASA let you take your phone to Mars!

How "Resets & "Clean Ups" help kids with ADHD think about others in their family, make amends and develop better emotional regulation - ADHD Dude - Ryan Wexelblatt

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In 𝗦𝗰𝗮𝗳𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗕𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗕𝗲𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗿 & 𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗳-𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗜 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝘂𝘀𝗲 "𝙍𝙚𝙨𝙚𝙩𝙨 & 𝘾𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙣 𝙐𝙥𝙨".
Kids with ADHD often feel ashamed when they have a "blow up" or speak to family members in a hurtful way. While they may be remorseful for their behavior, 𝘪𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦𝘴 𝘶𝘯𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘸𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘳. This is the purpose of a "Reset". Granted, this does not work every time, and that's O.K. What matters is that you're providing an opportunity to do so, and using the language to help facilitate getting to a better state of emotional control.
"Clean ups" are opportunities for kids to take accountability for their behaviors in a way that is not punitive or shaming. Clean ups are very versatile. As an example, if your son lies about something and you know he's lying, you can ask him to "clean it up" when he's ready. 𝘊𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘯 𝘶𝘱𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘬𝘪𝘥𝘴 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥/𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘧𝘶𝘭. 𝘊𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘯 𝘜𝘱𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.
𝗔𝗗𝗛𝗗 𝗗𝘂𝗱𝗲 𝗠𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗲𝘀:
-Access to Executive Function Crash Course for Parents series & Scaffolding Better Behavior & Self-Confidence series.
-Twice monthly "Office Hours" where you ask questions and have them answered live.
-Access to upcoming ADHD Dude webinars
-Watch anytime, at your convenience, as much as you want.
-$20 per month (or $210 per year if paid annually), cancel anytime.
-No "academic speak", or "fluffy stuff", just actionable strategies you can start using immediately.
𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗠𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗦𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗙𝗔𝗤:

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450 days ago
I like this concept of allowing "resets" or do-overs, instead of punishing for a reaction in the moment.
Toledo OH

It’s Not Bribery. It’s Brain Chemistry.

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My youngest daughter has been struggling in her quest to lose a few pounds, so her older sister suggested an unusual method — something she’d seen on Comedy Central. Essentially, you set a desired target for yourself, and if you don’t meet it within the agreed-upon time, a third party will send a pre-arranged, extremely embarrassing photo of you to someone important — say, your boss. How ingenious, I thought, because it plays on the fear center of the brain, wired for our very survival.

There’s just one problem: No matter how dire the consequences, threats, and punishments — like blasting out your most embarrassing photo — this strategy just doesn’t work effectively on a child with ADHD. No matter how many times you try.

It’s hard for most adults to understand this because consequences, threats, and punishments do work on us. We show up to work on time because we don’t want to get fired. We take out the trash because we don’t want overflowing garbage. We go to bed instead of watching one more “Naked and Afraid” episode because we don’t want to be grumpy-tired the next day. We fill up the gas tank so we don’t wind up stranded on our long journey.

Why does this work for us, but not for our kids with ADHD?

Risk vs. Reward in a Preoperational Brain

When an adult considers consequences, they engage a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. It is responsible for critical thinking, for weighing information from other parts of the brain, such as the fear center — the amygdala — and for deciphering the abstract grays of a situation and not just the tangible, immediate black-and-white. In other words, the prefrontal cortex will stop an adult from late-night chocolate cake grazing, acknowledging the future threat of the embarrassing photo hitting the boss.

But the prefrontal cortex doesn’t reach its full operational capacity until adulthood. So, information from the amygdala may not get properly deciphered, causing irrational responses, like big tantrums. Until the teen years, childhood thinking ranges from sensorimotor to pre-operational to concrete operational – fancy words coined by developmental psychologist Jean Piaget to mean that the young brain is mostly pre-logic and egocentric, capable of just a black-and-white, tangible immediacy. In other words — Yum, chocolate cake, right now! (What embarrassing photo? No idea what you mean, don’t care.)

[Read this Next: ADHD Minds Are Trapped in Now (& Other Time Management Truths)]

Then, fold in a sprinkle of ADHD. What we know of the ADHD brain using PET scans and magnetic resonance imaging is that the prefrontal cortex is even less developed — by up to three years — and, also less stimulated than it’s neurotypical cousin due to a lack of certain neurotransmitters. In other words, formal operational thinking is even further delayed.

How Rewards Kick Start the ADHD Brain

What this really means is that the ADHD brain is not unwilling, but rather absolutely unable, to conceptualize the abstract threat of losing that cherished privilege — that video game or that favorite toy.

Which is why therapist after therapist encourages the use of rewards. My clients sometimes fight this — I fought this myself — because it feels like we’re bribing our children to behave. Why should we pay them when they don’t hit their brother? That’s bananas!

Despite how it feels, here’s why it works:

The anticipation of a reward creates dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters not playing nice in our kids’ brains. By coaxing the creation of dopamine, we’re helping to gas up the prefrontal cortex so that it can go the distance we’re asking it to go — to sit still, pay attention, keep hands to self. But the anticipation of a negative outcome creates no dopamine. No dopamine, no gas, no working brain.

[Read this Next: ADHD Minds Are Trapped in Now (& Other Time Management Truths)

The ultimate delivery of the reward they earned creates dopamine as well, further aiding the brain in the operational thinking required to remember that there is an enjoyable consequence to good behavior.

Rewards don’t have to be expensive, tangible items to be effective. They can be your encouraging words, time spent with a loved one, a ticket worth ten minutes of screen time. They simply need to be meaningful to your child.

If it still feels like bribery, consider this: while the threat of getting fired might keep you on-time at work, your prefrontal cortex still has the concrete expectation that you will be paid for doing your job. Accessing operational thinking in an under-functioning prefrontal cortex is hard work for our children. By rewarding them, we are teaching our kids that hard work pays off. Now, go reward your terrific parenting with some well-earned chocolate cake. Never mind about that silly photo!

Rewards and ADHD: Next Steps

Thank you for reading ADDitude. To support our mission of providing ADHD education and support, please consider subscribing. Your readership and support help make our content and outreach possible. Thank you.

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