Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Adults With Chronic Conditions: Get Vaccinated.

"Vaccines are an important step in protecting adults against serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. Even if you were vaccinated at a younger age, the protection from some vaccines can wear off with time, or the viruses or bacteria that the vaccines protect against change so your resistance is not as strong. As you get older, you may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases due to your age, job, hobbies, travel, or health conditions.
CDC recommends that all adults get the following vaccines:

Chronic conditions and vaccinations

Valley Fever Awareness

"Valley fever is a fungal lung infection that can be devastating. Learning about Valley fever can help you and your doctor recognize the symptoms early.
Valley fever is an infection caused by a fungus that lives in the soil. About 10,000 U.S. cases are reported each year, mostly from Arizona and California. Valley fever can be misdiagnosed because its symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses. Here are some important things to know about Valley fever, also called coccidioidomycosis.

From soil to lungs

The fungus that causes Valley fever, Coccidioides, is found in the southwestern United States, parts of Mexico and Central America, and parts of South America. The fungus has also been found in south-central Washington State. People can get Valley fever by breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air in these areas. Valley fever does not spread from person to person..."
Valley fever

National Diabetes Statistic Report, 2017

"Diabetes cases are beginning to level off, but the number is still enormous: more than 100 million people in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes. Much work still needs to be done.
In July, CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) released the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. The report presents the “state of the disease” in our nation, providing the most recent scientific data on:
  • Diabetes incidence (new cases)
  • Diabetes prevalence (existing cases)
  • Short- and long-term complications
  • Risk factors for complications
  • Prediabetes
  • Mortality (death rate)
  • Costs..."

Diabetes statistics

Protect Your Eyes During a Solar Eclipse

"The Sun in Your Eyes
Looking directly at the sun without the correct eye protection, even for a short time, can cause permanent damage to your retinas, a light-sensitive part of the eye that transmits what you see to your brain. Damage can occur without pain, and it can take a few hours or even a few days after viewing the eclipse to have symptoms of damage, which include not being able to see colors as well and loss of central vision, with only side vision remaining. If you notice any symptoms after viewing the solar eclipse, seek immediate help from your eye care professional.

Safe Watching

The only way to look directly at the sun when it’s not eclipsed or is only partly eclipsed is with a special solar filter, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer. Goggles, homemade filters, or sunglasses, even very dark ones, will not protect your eyes. Also, always avoid looking at the sun through an unfiltered camera, smartphone, telescope, or any other optical device. You’ll need to add a certified solar filter to these devices to safely look at the sun.
Eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers are inexpensive and can be purchased from many retailers. However, not all meet the required ISO 12312-2 international safety standards; make sure yours do. Even if your eclipse glasses meet the safety standards, don’t use them if:
  • The lenses are scratched.
  • The lenses are wrinkled.
  • They are older than 3 years...."
    Solar Eclipse

Ozone treaty taking a bite out of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions

"The Montreal Protocol, the international treaty adopted to restore Earth’s protective ozone layer, has significantly reduced emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals from the United States. A new study by NOAA and CIRESoffsite linkscientists shows the 30-year old treaty has also significantly reduced climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S.
That’s because the ozone-depleting substances controlled by the treaty are also potent greenhouse gases, with heat-trapping abilities up to 10,000 times greater than carbon dioxide over 100 years.
The new research, the first to quantify the impact of the Montreal Protocoloffsite link on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions with atmospheric observations, shows that reducing the use of ozone-depleting substances from 2008 to 2014 eliminated the equivalent of 170 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year..."
Ozone treaty and greenhouse emissions

Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report

"Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report focuses on U.S. exports and imports of professional services, particularly accounting and auditing, architecture and engineering, legal, and management consulting services. In 2015, the United States exported $139.7 billion in professional services and imported $91.0 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $48.7 billion for this segment of the services sector. By comparison, the total U.S. services trade surplus was $263.4 billion. U.S. professional services contributed $2.6 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, or 19 percent of total U.S. private sector GDP. Professional services employed over 29 million full-time equivalent employees in 2015, representing 25.8 percent of U.S. total private sector employment. The healthcare sector supplied about half of professional services' contribution to employment and GDP. Wages for professional services workers have grown slightly more slowly than those in many other services industries. These workers earned an average wage of $65,861 in 2015, exceeding the private sector average, but trailing wages in electronic services, financial services, and goods manufacturing..."
U.S. Services Trade

The Effects of Terminating Payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions

"The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers to offer plans with reduced deductibles, copayments, and other means of cost sharing to some of the people who purchase plans through the marketplaces established by that legislation. The size of those reductions depends on those people’s income. In turn, insurers receive federal payments arranged by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to cover the costs they incur because of that requirement.

At the request of the House Democratic Leader and the House Democratic Whip, the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have estimated the effects of terminating those payments for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). In particular, the agencies analyzed what would happen under this policy: By the end of this month, it is known that CSR payments will continue through December 2017 but not thereafter..."
Health Care Cost Sharing Reductions

Negotiating Civil Resistance

"This report reveals how negotiation and civil resistance are deeply entwined and offers insights into how negotiation is more than an appendage of a civil resistance campaign, but instead a critical element of strategy. Drawing on the extensive literature on negotiation and civil resistance, the report grew out of the panel “From Civil Resistance to Peaceful Resolution,” held at the United States Institute of Peace in March 2016 and organized by Maria Stephan.,,"
Civil resistance

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Nuclear Blast

"A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave, and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles around. A nuclear device can range from a weapon carried by an intercontinental missile, to a small portable nuclear device transported by an individual. All nuclear devices cause deadly effects when exploded.
Hazards of Nuclear Devices:
The danger of a massive strategic nuclear attack on the United States is predicted by experts to be less likely today. However, terrorism, by nature, is unpredictable.

In general , potential targets incluse: 
  • Strategic missile sites and military bases.
  • Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals.
  • Important transportation and communication centers.
  • Manufacturing, industrial, technology, and financial centers.
  • Petroleum refineries, electrical power plants, and chemical plants
  • Major ports and airfields.

The three factors for protecting oneself from radisontion and fallout are distance, shielding and time. 
  •  Distance - the more distance between you and the fallout particles, the better. An underground area such as a home or office building basement offers more protection than the first floor of a building. Shielding - the heavier and denser the materials - thick walls, concrete, bricks, books and earth - between you and the fallout particles, the better.
  • Time - fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time, you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level..."
    Nuclear blast

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Protected Area Database

"The Protected Areas Database of the United States is the official inventory of protected open space in United  States. With over 3 billions acreas in thousands of holdings, the spatial data in the PAD-US includes  publiclands, overlappings management designations, and Marine Protected Areas held in trust by national, state, and some local governments, and some nonprofit conservation organizations..." 
Protected land areas

National Climate Repott, June 2017

"The July average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 75.7°F, 2.1°F above the 20th century average and was the 10th warmest July in 123 years of record-keeping. Much-above-average temperatures were observed across the West and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. The year-to-date (January–July) average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 54.5°F, 3.2°F above average and second warmest on record. This was slightly warmer than the same period in 2006 and 1.2°F cooler than the record set in 2012.

The July precipitation total was 2.74 inches, 0.04 inch below the 20th century average and was near the middle value of the 123-year period of record. Above-average precipitation in the Southwest, Midwest and Northeast offset below-average precipitation in the Northwest and Northern Plains. The year-to-date precipitation total was 20.68 inches, 2.59 inches above average. This was the seventh wettest year-to-date on record and wettest since 1998..."
National Climate Report

Coastal Change Analysis Program Regional Land Cover and Change

"Nationally standardized, raster-based inventories of land cover for the coastal areas of the U.S. Data are derived, through the Coastal Change Analysis Program, from the analysis of multiple dates of remotely sensed imagery. Two file types are available: individual dates that supply a wall-to-wall map, and change files that compare one date to another.

The use of standardized data and procedures assures consistency through time and across geographies. C-CAP data forms the coastal expression of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) and the A-16 land cover theme of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The data are updated every 5 years..."

Coastal areas and change

Restitution for Wartime Internment

"Approved August 10, 1988, H.R. 442, or "An Act to implement recommendations of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians" awarded restitution payments of $20,000 to Japanese-American survivors of World War II civilian internment camps..."
President Reagan’s Remarks on Signing H.R. 442...
Restitution for WW11 Japanese intirnment

Monday, August 7, 2017

U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions

Use this resouces to find a location for United States embassies, consulates, and foreign missions.
U.S. Embassies and consulates

U.S. State Department Alerts and Warnings

View the latest travel alerts and warnings from the U.S. Department of State.
Travel warnings