Fortunately for us, we live in a part of New York City that was not severely affected by Super Storm Sandy.  Although we were forced to stay indoors for days, we did not suffer through flooding, power outages, and fires.  We consider ourselves incredibly lucky.  The biggest inconvenience that we encountered was the severe throttling of mass transportation due to flooded subways, lack of electricity, and a shortage of gasoline.  Again, we are counting our blessings.  The whole experience mad both Vanessa and myself seriously consider disaster preparedness in New York City.  As a former dweller of more rural environs, I found the experience to be more nostalgic than annoying; more of a challenge than a personal catastrophe; more of a chance to catch up on television and rest than to stress about things I could not control.  For Vanessa and myself, this meant diving into the AMC television series Breaking Bad.

For those who are not familiar with Breaking Bad, the series follows the lives of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with lung cancer; and of Jesse Pinkman, a twenty or thirty something stoner who makes ends meet by cooking crystal methamphetamine.  The story progresses as Walter or Walt or Mr. White, as Jesse refers to him, takes up cooking meth to pay for his cancer treatment.  It is a gripping storyline that is funny, dark, and not overly Hollywood.  Needless to say, Vanessa and I are hooked.  We successfully watched the first four seasons and have just started the fifth and supposedly final season.

Throughout the show, we have been hyper critical of the car seat installation of Walter White’s daughter when she is in a vehicle.  Most times she is placed on a side seat in the rear, which is less preferred to the center rear seat.  (I think our attending a car seat conference in Atlantic City, NJ days before we started watching prompted our nerdiness) As geeky as we were about the seats, we were able to let it go.  The show is simply THAT GOOD.

As we reached season five we watched an episode entitled “Madrigal”. In this episode, a high ranking corporate executive commits suicide by using an AED.  For those who are not familiar with these, an AED is a device designed to shock a person’s heart who is in Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  The way an AED works is that it will not allow for a shock that is not in Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  Hence, the writer’s used their creative license to contrive a method of suicide that is not possible.  It probably would be more realistic to show the gentleman bludgeoning himself to death with the hard, weighted plastic case of the AED.

When I introduce the AED in classes or workshops, I always stress first and foremost that using this device is nearly full proof.  They are designed so that people no matter age nor intelligence will have a problem using them correctly.  There is simply no way that an electric shock from an AED is going to make a situation worse than it already might be.  It is our goal to educate and promote the use of AED’s in hopes of improving the survival rate of victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  Please do not let the writer’s of Breaking Bad deter you from using or having an AED in your home, work, or place of recreation.  They are safe and effective. Conversely, don’t let this oversight of details deter you from Breaking Bad.  Although the series is not necessarily safe, it is an effective means of entertaining one’s self through a super storm.