Thursday, October 30, 2014

Protect Your Family from Deadly Carbon Monoxide This Winter

"CPSC has joined with the National Fire Protection Association this year to warn consumers and firefighters about CO, which kills more than 400 people every year, according to the CDC. CO is called the invisible killer because you cannot see or smell it.
Here is what you can do to prevent CO from hurting your family:
  • Before using your chimney or turning on the furnace, get chimneys and fuel-burning appliances checked by a professional who services those items to make sure they are working correctly and vented to the outside properly.
  • Get a CO alarm. Better yet, install one on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas.
  • If you already have CO alarms, make sure they are working properly. Have you changed the batteries this year? If not, replace the batteries.
  • Replace CO alarms every 5 years or as recommended by the manufacturer. Newer CO alarms have end of life indicators that beep when the alarm is at the end of its working life and needs to be replaced.
  • Never use a portable generator inside your house, garage, basement, crawlspace, shed or in a semi-enclosed space, such as a porch close to the house. Generators should be at least 20 feet away from the house when in use..."
  • Carbon monoxide & Winter

Dynamics of Economic Well-Being:Poverty 2009-2012

"The Census Bureau reports poverty data from several major household surveys and programs. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) is the source of official national poverty estimates. The American Community Survey (ACS) provides single and multi-year estimates for smaller areas. The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) provides longitudinal estimates. The Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program provides model-based poverty estimates for counties and school districts.."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fisheries of the United States: 2013

Find the latest data on the fish population and industry in the United States

The DIY Halloween

"Before you carve out the scariest jack-o’-lantern in the neighborhood, read CPSC’s tips to prevent nicks and cuts this Halloween. During October and November 2013, more than half of the estimated 4,400 Halloween-related injuries involved pumpkin carving.
  • Kid helpers can grab a spoon and scoop out the inside, or use a marker to trace the template, but leave the carving to the adults.
  • When the masterpiece is carved, consider inserting a battery-operated light rather than an open-flame candle..."
  • Halloween

Mapping U.S. Agriculture

"Agricultural data are valuable for analysis, and thanks to the Census of Agriculture and other surveys, NASS has plenty of data available. As a cartographer, however, I obviously prefer to present the data in map form. A map gives anyone a chance to visualize data for multiple geographic areas as a cohesive image, providing a graphic overview of the agricultural phenomena. It also allows map readers to visually compare regions, and discern patterns and relationships in the data across regions, topics, and time.
When it came to the ag census, for each of the past eight editions, NASS produced an atlas of thematic (statistical) maps illustrating various aspects of U.S. agriculture. While great for their time, with the evolution of digital technology, these paper maps are no longer sufficient on their own. The component missing from them is the data behind the maps, so what better way to depict and also convey a myriad of county-level statistics than through a web map application?
To address this issue, we decided to add a new web tool – Ag Census Web Maps application – which features numerous 2012 Census of Agriculture Atlas maps and also provides access to the data associated with the maps, along with an API for developers. This web map application enables users to interact with the maps – navigate to an area of interest, print a map or save an image of the area, select a county to view and extract its data, and download a spreadsheet containing all of the data for the maps..."
Agriculture mapping

Working the Night Shift – Bats Play an Important Role in Pollinating Crops

"Most people associate pollination with bees and birds but often forget the work of their furry colleagues: bats. Bats take the night shift, playing a major role in pollinating crops and spreading seeds.
One important bat is the Mexican long-nose bat, which dwells in large colonies. Their range includes the southern parts of Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona.
Throughout time, plants and mammals have shared a dependency on one another that is mutually beneficial. So naturally, these bats feed on flowers, including those of valuable commercial crops, like figs, dates, mangoes and peaches, which have flowers that only open at night.
These mammal pollinators are finicky eaters with a specific palate. Dining on plant pollen and drinking sweet nectar is a delicacy at its batty-best. They tend to enjoy a flower that’s mild in scent and not bright in color. Simply speaking, white or pale crop flowers attract the night pollinators to feed on them..."

Bats and pollination

Made in Rural America

"As part of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) commitment to strengthening rural economies, Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new state-by-state "Made in Rural America" report illustrating the impact of USDA investments in rural communities. Each state factsheet highlights specific USDA investments in rural businesses, manufacturing, energy, water and other infrastructure development. They also outline how USDA is helping rural communities attract businesses and families by investing in housing and broadband..."
Rural agriculture

"The White Angel Bread Line"

"Following a period of rampant speculation on Wall Street, the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929, a major precipating event of the Great Depression — a decade-long economic catastrophe. By 1933 industrial production had fallen to one-third its pre-Depression levels, thousands of banks were closed, and almost 13 million Americans were jobless.

This photo of a Depression-era bread line was taken by Dorothea Lange at the White Angel Jungle, a soup kitchen for San Francisco�s jobless..."
White Angel Bread

Prepare for Winter with Energy Department Resources

"Winter is coming! As temperatures drop and trees change color -- and people around the country prepare their homes for the cold weather ahead -- the Department of Energy has got you covered with tips for saving energy and keeping cozy all winter long.
  • Did you know space heating is the largest energy expense in the average U.S. home? Our Home Heating Infographic has lots of great information about how to save money while still keeping your home warm -- such as installing a programmable thermostat, which can help save an estimated 10 percent per year. And our Tips for Cozying up to Winter Weather (Part 1 and Part 2) give even more great advice for preparing. For example, did you know that cleaning out your gutters can lead to energy savings?.."
    Winter energy resources

Experts identify easy way to improve smartphone security

"Smartphones and tablets used by today's consumers include many kinds of sensitive information," says Ninghui Li, a professor of Computer Science at Purdue University in Indiana.
The apps downloaded to them can potentially track a user's locations, monitor his or her phone calls and even monitor the messages a user sends and receives--including authentication messages used by online banking and other sites, he says, explaining why unsecured digital data are such a big issue.
Li, along with Robert Proctor and Luo Si, also professors at Purdue, lead a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project "User-Centric Risk Communication and Control on Mobile Devices," that investigates computer security. The work pays special attention to user control of security features in mobile systems..."
Smartphone security

World Stroke Day, Oct. 29th

"October 29 is World Stroke Day.  Increase your awareness of the signs and symptoms of a stroke.  You could save a life, including your own!
Stroke is the second-leading cause of death for people aged 60 years or older worldwide.1 Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death and is a leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States.2 Women have a higher lifetime risk for stroke than men because they live longer, on average. Women also are more likely to die from a stroke..."


The Appointment Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations

"In recent decades, the process fro appointing judges to the U.S.Circuit courts of  appeals and the
U.S. district courts has been of continuing Senate interest. The responsibility for making these appointments is shared by the President and the Senate. Pursuant to the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, the President nominates persons to fill federal judgeships, with the appointment of each nominee also requiring Senate confirmation. Although not mentioned in the Constitution, an important role is also played midway in the appointment process by the Senate
Judiciary Committee..."
Circuit and District courts

Census Bureau Releases Industry Series Report on Accommodation

"The U.S. Census Bureau today released additional national-level data from the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series reports for the accommodation and food services sector of the economy. This release includes new statistics on the nation’s 63,896 accommodation businesses (NAICS 721), which reported sales of $195.4 billion and employed nearly 2.0 million people in 2012..."
2012 Census of  Economics - Accommodations

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fragile X Syndrome

"Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers, in collaboration with the agency's partners, are building a foundation of public health data for fragile X syndrome. FXS is the most common known cause of intellectual disability that can be inherited. Individuals with full mutation FXS may have a range of complex health challenges from anxiety, sensory integration issues, mood disorders, and autism, to ear infections, sleep disturbance, seizures, and gastrointestinal problems..."

National Spina Bifida Patient Registry

"October is National Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Each year about 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida in the United States. With our partners, the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts research that enables every person living with spina bifida to reach their full potential. For the first time, CDC reports findings from the National Spina Bifida Patient Registry..."
Spina bifida