Friday, December 30, 2011

INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS OF HOURLY COMPENSATION COSTS IN MANUFACTURING, 2010

"Manufacturing hourly compensation costs in the United States in 2010 were lower than in several northern and western European countries, Australia, and Canada, but higher than in the United Kingdom and 19 countries in southern and eastern Europe, Asia, and South America, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today (see chart 1). U.S. hourly compensation costs rose about 2 percent from the previous year to $34.74 (see table 2)..."

Women in the Labor Force: A Databook (2011 Edition)

"This report presents historical and current labor force and earnings data for women and men from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a national monthly survey of approximately 60,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unless otherwise noted, data are annual averages from the CPS. For a detailed description of the source of the data and an explanation of concepts and definitions used, see the technical note at the end of this report..."

Your Federal Income Tax Guide for Individuals, 2011

Latest issue of the annual IRS's Your Federal Income Tax Guide for Individuals, 2011 (pdf)(publication 17)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Census Bureau Home Page New Features

"In an effort to improve navigation, improve ease of use and make statistics more discoverable, the U.S. Census Bureau today launched new features on the census.gov home page. Users will now see an economic dashboard with key indicators generated by the Census Bureau prominently located on the upper right. Visitors will also find a new interactive map that shows in-depth business and demographic information for the nation, states and counties. There will also be a “Stat of the Day” highlighting Census Bureau statistics. Navigation has also been improved by grouping links into themes. Those familiar with the features and links such as QuickFacts and the 2010 Population Finder will still find them on the new home page along with a feedback button to provide comments on their overall experience with the new design."

Texas Gains the Most in Population Since the Census

"Texas gained more people than any other state between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011 (529,000), followed by California (438,000), Florida (256,000), Georgia (128,000) and North Carolina (121,000), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates for states and Puerto Rico. Combined, these five states accounted for slightly more than half the nation's total population growth.

"These are the first set of Census Bureau population estimates to be published since the official 2010 Census state population counts were released a year ago,” said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. “Our nation is constantly changing and these estimates provide us with our first measure of how much each state has grown or declined in total population since Census Day 2010.”

The United States as a whole saw its population increase by 2.8 million over the 15-month period, to 311.6 million. Its growth of 0.92 percent between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011, was the lowest since the mid-1940s..."
see state population totals as of July 1, 1011.

Keeping America Informed: the U.S. Government Printing Office

2011 Annual report of the U.S. Government Printing Office.

SuperTracker

"Just in time to help Americans keep their New Year's resolutions by making healthy food and physical activity choices, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released USDA's new nutrition SuperTracker. The SuperTracker is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art resource available at ChooseMyPlate.gov designed to assist individuals as they make changes in their life to reduce their risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight. Release of this new web tool comes as USDA highlights the second in a series of themed consumer messages supporting the MyPlate icon – Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less – that USDA is promoting the next three months in conjunction with more than 5,000 organizations participating in the MyPlate Nutrition Communicators Network..."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Federal Food Safety Working Group Progress Report

"...The federal government has taken important steps to protect an increasingly complex food supply . In March 2009, President Obama created the Food Safety Working Group (FSWG), a central coordinating mechanism for the federal government’s food safety activities that is led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U .S . Department of Agriculture (USDA) . The FSWG’s core mission is to strengthen federal efforts and develop short-term and long-term strategies to improve food safety . Partner agencies include HHS’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Homeland Security, Department
of Commerce, Department of State, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative . The White House Domestic Policy Council convenes the FSWG..."Federal Food Safety Working Group Progress Report

Leading Health Indicators

"Healthy People 2020 provides a comprehensive set of 10-year, national goals and objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 contains 42 topic areas with nearly 600 objectives (with others still evolving), which encompass 1,200 measures. A smaller set of Healthy People 2020 objectives, called Leading Health Indicators, has been selected to communicate high-priority health issues and actions that can be taken to address them..."

U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India:Issues with Congress

"India, which has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and does not have International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all of its nuclear material, exploded a “peaceful” nuclear device in 1974, convincing the world of the need for greater restrictions on nuclear trade. The
United States created the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as a direct response to India’s test, halted nuclear exports to India a few years later, and worked to convince other states to do the same. India tested nuclear weapons again in 1998. However, President Bush announced July 18,
2005, he would “work to achieve full civil nuclear energy cooperation with India” and would “also seek agreement from Congress to adjust U.S. laws and policies,” in the context of a broader partnership with India..."

No Leisure-time Physical Activity in Adults with Arthritis

"The prevalence of no leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is much higher among adults with arthritis than those without arthritis, and exceeds ≥30% in 23 states. Efforts to increase physical activity levels in the general population must address the large number of adults with arthritis to be successful..."

Women's Health 2011: A Year in Review

Review of the Centers for Disease Controal and Prevention's contribution to women's health in 2011.

Report on the Troubled Asset Relief Program— December 201

"In October 2008, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Division A of
Public Law 110-343) established the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to enable
the Department of the Treasury to promote stability in financial markets through the
purchase and guarantee of “troubled assets.” Section 202 of that legislation requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to submit semiannual reports on the costs of the Treasury’s purchases and guarantees of troubled assets. The law also requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to prepare an assessment of each OMB report within 45 days of its issuance. That assessment must discuss three elements:
The costs of purchases and guarantees of troubled assets,
The information and valuation methods used to calculate those costs, and
The impact on the federal budget deficit and deb.."

WHAT DRIVES CRUDE OIL PRICES?

"As part of its Energy and Financial Markets Initiative, EIA is assessing the various factors that may influence oil prices — physical market factors as well as those related to trading and financial markets. This website describes 7 key factors that could influence oil markets. The analysis explores possible linkages between each factor and oil prices, and includes regularly-updated graphs that depict aspects of those relationships.

EIA's traditional coverage of physical fundamentals such as energy consumption, production, inventories, spare production capacity, and geopolitical risks continues to be essential. EIA is also assessing other influences, such as futures market trading activity, commodity investment, exchange rates, and equity markets, as it seeks to fully assess energy price movements..."

County Compensation by Industry, 201

"Compensation increased in 2,480 counties and declined in 633 counties in the U.S. in 2010, as the average annual compensation per job increased 2.7 percent to $58,451, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).¹ Total compensation of U.S. workers increased 2.2 percent in 2010, as net job losses partially offset compensation growth.Inflation grew 1.8 percent, as measured by the national price index for personal consumption expenditures..."

United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security

"The goal of this National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security is as simple as it is profound: to empower half the world’s population as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence, and insecurity. Achieving this goal is critical to our national and global security.

Deadly conflicts can be more effectively avoided, and peace can be best forged and sustained, when women become equal partners in all aspects of peace-building and conflict prevention, when their lives are protected, their experiences considered, and their voices heard.

As directed by the Executive Order signed by President Obama entitled Instituting a National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, this Plan describes the course the United States Government will take to accelerate, institutionalize, and better coordinate our efforts to advance women’s inclusion in peace negotiations, peacebuilding activities, and conflict prevention; to protect women from sexual and
gender-based violence; and to ensure equal access to relief and recovery assistance, in areas of conflict and insecurity...

Cookies: Leaving a Trail on the Web

"Have you ever wondered why some online ads you see are targeted to your tastes and interests, or how websites remember your preferences from visit to visit? The answer may be in the “cookies.”

A cookie is information saved by your web browser, the software program you use to visit the web. Cookies can be used by companies that collect, store and share bits of information about your online activities to track your behavior across sites. Cookies also can be used to customize your browsing experience, or to deliver ads targeted to you.

OnGuardOnline.gov wants you to know how cookies are used and how you can control information about your browsing activities. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about cookies – what they are, what they do, and how you can control them..."

EPA FACT SHEET: Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

"On December 16, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the first national Clean Air Act standards to reduce mercury and other toxic air pollution from coal and oil‐fired power plants. The science shows that mercury and toxic air pollution is a threat to public health and has real impacts on people’s lives. This fact sheet provides an overview of the benefits and highlights key impacts..."  

U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 2003-2010

"This report provides background data on U.S. arms sales agreements with and deliveries to its major purchasers during calendar years 2003-2010, made through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. In a series of data tables, it lists the total dollar values of U.S. governmentto-government arms sales agreements with its top five purchasers, and the total dollar values of U.S. arms deliveries to those purchasers, in five specific regions of the world for three specific periods: 2003-2006, 2007-2010, and 2010 alone. In addition, the report provides data tables
listing the total dollar values of U.S. government-to-government arms agreements with and deliveries to its top 10 purchasers worldwide for the periods 2003-2006, 2007-2010, and for 2010 alone..."

Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles: The Confluence of Privacy, Technology, and Law

"This report will briefly survey Fourth Amendment law as it pertains to the government’s tracking programs. It will then summarize federal electronic surveillance statutes and the case law surrounding cell phone location tracking. Next, the report will describe the GPS-vehicle tracking cases and review the pending Supreme Court GPS tracking case, United States v. Jones. Finally, the report will summarize the geolocation and electronic surveillance legislation introduced in the
112th Congress..."

Department of Energy Releases its 2011 Critical Materials Strategy

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released the 2011 Critical Materials Strategy. The report examines the role that rare earth metals and other key materials play in clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar cells and energy-efficient lighting. The report found that several clean energy technologies use materials at risk of supply disruptions in the short term, with risks generally decreasing in the medium and long terms. Supply challenges for five rare earth metals (dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium and yttrium) may affect clean energy technology deployment in the years ahead..."

Budgetary Effects of the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011, as Posted on the Website of the House Committee on Rules on December 22, 201

data from the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008 Annual Rates for 2009 and 201

"Data in this report are from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR), unless otherwise noted. The SHR Program of the FBI collects yearly supplementary homicide data regarding homicides committed in the United States. Statistics in this report detail homicide trends by age, sex, and race, including homicides of children under age 5 and of persons age 65 or older. It examines the relationship between the victim and the off ender, particularly in cases of intimate and family homicide.."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Prisoners in 2010

"The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported today that the number of offenders under adult correctional supervision in the U.S. declined 1.3 percent in 2010, the second consecutive year of decline since BJS began reporting on this population in 1980. At yearend 2010, about 7.1 million people, or 1 in 33 adults, were under the supervision of adult correctional authorities in the U.S.

In addition, the total U.S. prison population fell to 1.6 million at yearend 2010, a decline of 0.6 percent during the year, the first decline in the total prison population in nearly four decades. This decline was due to a decrease of 10,881 in the number of state prisoners, which fell to just under 1.4 million persons and was the largest yearly decrease since 1977. The federal prison population grew by 0.8 percent (1,653 prisoners) to reach 209,771, the smallest percentage increase since 1980..."

Holiday Tip of the Day: Keep Food Safe

"A popular way to celebrate holidays or any party occasion is to invite friends and family to a buffet. However, this type of food service where foods are left out for long periods leave the door open for uninvited guests — bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Festive times for giving and sharing should not include sharing foodborne illness. Here are some tips from the USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline to help you have a SAFE holiday party.

Safe Food Handling
Cook Thoroughly
Use Shallow Containers
The Two-Hour Rule
Keep Hot Foods HOT And Cold Foods COLD
Foodborne Bacteria..."

Spotlight on Statistics: Automobiles

"The U.S. automobile industry can be viewed as both a barometer and beneficiary of American growth and economic achievement. Supporting that view is the fact that the automobile industry affects industries that manufacture steel, glass, plastics, and rubber, as well as those that refine and sell gasoline, build roads, and maintain, repair, and sell motor vehicles.

Motor vehicles also affect our daily lives. In 2010, on an average day, 67.6 percent of the civilian noninstitutional population aged 15 and over drove; those who drove spent on average 1 hour and 18 minutes driving.."

CBP’s[Customs and Border Patrol] 2011 Fiscal Year in Review

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today released year-end data on fiscal year (FY) 2011 border enforcement and management efforts, highlighting trends that reflect the Administration’s ongoing commitment to securing the border and facilitating legitimate trade and travel through targeted operations, enhanced partnerships and unprecedented deployment of personnel, technology and infrastructure along the border...

U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions—a key indicator of illegal immigration—decreased to 340,252 in FY 2011, down 53 percent since FY 2008 and one fifth of what they were at their peak in FY 2000. Of these apprehensions, 87,334 people had a record in the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, a law enforcement database of individuals with criminal charges and convictions..."

2010 Report on Ethanol Market Concentration

Federal Trade Commission's 2010 report on the ethanol production industry.

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey:2010 Summary Report

"This report presents information related to several types of violence that have not previously been measured in a national populationbased survey, including types of sexual violence other than
rape; expressive psychological aggression and coercive control, and control of reproductive or
sexual health. This report also provides the first ever simultaneous national and state-level prevalence estimates of violence for all state..."

2010 Census of Population and Housing -Summary File 2

"The Census Bureau is releasing Summary File 2 data on a state-by-state flow basis from December 2011 through April 2012. States that have been released are: NV and NM. SF 2 provides detailed data on age, sex, households, families, the group quarters population, and occupied housing units for up to 331 race, Hispanic or Latino origin, and tribal population groups. Presentation of SF 2 tables for a population group is subject to a threshold of 100 or more people of a particular group in a particular geographic area..."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Report of Investigation: Fatal Underground Mine Explosion April 5, 2010

Final report and related materials of the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration on the Massey Upper Big Branch Mine explosion of April 5, 2010.

Areas with Concentrated Poverty: 2006-2010

"People living in poverty tend to be clustered in certain neighborhoods rather than being evenly distributed across geographic areas. Measuring this concentration of poverty is important because researchers have found that living in areas with many other poor people places burdens on low-income families beyond what the families’ own individual circumstances would dictate. Many argue that this concentration of
poverty results in higher crime rates, underperforming public schools, poor
housing and health conditions, as well as limited access to private services and
job opportunities. In recognition of these burdens, some government programs
target resources to communities with concentrated poverty. Many of these programs use the Census Bureau’s definition of “poverty areas” (census tracts with
poverty rates of 20 percent or more)..."

2010 Motor Vehicle Crashes

"In 2010, 32,885 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States—the lowest number of fatalities since 1949 (30,246 fatalities in 1949) (see Figure 1). This was a 2.9-percent decline in the number of people killed, from 33,883 in 2009, according to NHTSA’s 2010 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). In 2010, an estimated 2.24 million people were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes, compared to 2.22 million in 2009 according to NHTSA’s National
Automotive Sampling System (NASS) General Estimates System (GES). This slight increase (1.2%
increase) in the estimated number of people injured is not statistically significant from the number of people injured in crashes in 2009.."

Protecting America's Gulf Coast: The Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy

"The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force today released its final strategy (PDF) (128 pp., 3.2 MB, About PDF) for long term ecosystem restoration for the Gulf Coast, following extensive feedback from citizens throughout the region. EPA Administrator and Task Force Chair Lisa P. Jackson, joined by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, and USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Harris Sherman, made the announcement today during keynote remarks at the 2011 State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit in Houston..."

The Changing Organization of U.S. Farming

"Innovations in farm organization, business arrangements, and production practices have allowed farmers to produce more with less. Fewer labor hours and less land are used today than 30 years ago, and practices such as the use of genetically engineered seeds and no-till have dampened increases in machinery, fuel, and pesticide use. Likely aided by the increased use of risk management tools such as contracts and crop insurance, U.S. agricultural productivity has increased by nearly 50 percent since 1982. Future innovations will be necessary to maintain, or boost, current productivity gains in order to meet the growing global demands that will be placed upon U.S. agriculture..."

Visa Waiver Program: Additional Actions Needed to Address Risks and Strengthen Overstay Enforcement

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) manages the Visa Waiver Program, which allows nationals from 36 member countries to apply for admission to the United States as temporary visitors for business or pleasure without a visa. From fiscal year 2005 through fiscal year 2010, over 98 million visitors were admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. During that time period, the Department of State issued more than 36 million nonimmigrant visas to other foreign nationals for temporary travel to the United States. DHS is also responsible for investigating overstays--unauthorized immigrants who entered the country legally (with or without visas) on a temporary basis but then overstayed their authorized periods of admission. The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act) required DHS, in consultation with the Department of State, to take steps to enhance the security of the program. This testimony is based on GAO reports issued in September 2008, April 2011, and May 2011. As requested, it addresses the following issues: (1) challenges in the Visa Waiver Program, and (2) overstay enforcement efforts..."

Congressional Lawmaking: A Perspective On Secrecy and Transparenc

"Openness is fundamental to representative government. The basic premise of transparency is that it increases the opportunity for responsive, responsible, and attributable decision making. Yet the congressional process is replete with activities and actions that are private and not observable by the public. As a Senator observed, "A lot goes on unseen on how we operate in this chamber." How to distinguish what might be viewed as reasonable legislative secrecy from impractical transparency is a topic that arouses disagreement on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Why? Because lawmaking is critical to the governance of the nation. To produce an act of Congress involves Members and many other relevant actors who come together—meeting and talking publicly and privately—to craft policies that they believe promote and serve the national interest..."

Native North American Languages Spoken at Home in the United States and Puerto Rico: 2006–201

"This report presents data on the frequency and percentage of the U.S. population aged 5 and over who spoke a Native North American language at home. The data are based on 5-year estimates from the 2006–2010 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2006–2010 Puerto Rico Community Survey. For the first time ever, this aggregation of ACS data over a 5-year period allows us to study small segments of the population, such as speakers of Native North American languages.."

Monday, December 12, 2011

2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

"The U.S. Census Bureau today released findings from the American Community Survey — the most relied-on source for detailed, up-to-date socio-economic statistics covering every community in the nation every year — for the combined years from 2006 to 2010.

Consisting of about 11 billion individual estimates and covering more than 670,000 distinct geographies, the five-year estimates give even the smallest communities timely information on more than 40 topics, such as educational attainment, income, occupation, commuting to work, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs.

Visitors to the Census Bureau website can find their community's estimates in the American FactFinder database..."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2009

"This report focuses on the child support income that custodial parents reported
receiving from noncustodial parents living elsewhere, and other types of support,
such as health insurance and noncash assistance. The most recent data in this report are from the Child Support Supplement to the April 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS). It provides demographic information about custodial parents as of 2010, as well as child support and other income or program data for the 2009 calendar year.."

The Older Population: 2010 ( 2010 Census Brief)

"The older population is an important and growing segment of the United States population. In fact, more people were 65 years and over in 2010 than in any previous census. Between 2000 and 2010, the population 65 years and over increased at a
faster rate (15.1 percent) than the total U.S population (9.7 percent)..."

Model-based Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) for School Districts, Counties, and States

"The U.S. Census Bureau, with support from other Federal agencies, created the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program to provide more current estimates of selected income and poverty statistics than those from the most recent decennial census.

Estimates are created for school districts, counties, and states. The main objective of this program is to provide updated estimates of income and poverty statistics for the administration of federal programs and the allocation of federal funds to local jurisdictions. Estimates for 2010 were released in November 2011. These estimates combine data from administrative records, intercensal population estimates, and the decennial census with direct estimates from the American Community Survey to provide consistent and reliable single-year estimates..."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Who's Minding the Kids:Child Care Arrangements, Spring 2010

"Among fathers with a wife in the workforce, 32 percent were a regular source of care for their children under age 15, up from 26 percent in 2002, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. Among these fathers with preschool-age children, one in five fathers was the primary caregiver, meaning their child spent more time in their care than any other type of arrangement.

The series of tables titled Who's Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2010 showed that in a typical week, 12.2 million (61 percent) of the 20 million children under age 5 were in some type of regular child care arrangement.

As married women have increasingly moved into the labor force, fathers have become more available for child care while their wives are working..."

Carbon Storage and Greenhouse Gas in Great Plains

"The Department of the Interior will hold a press conference on Monday, December 5, at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in California to unveil the first regional study in a national assessment of how much carbon may be stored in U.S. ecosystems. Published by Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the study examines the distribution of carbon storage in the Great Plains region.

Reporters not able to attend in person can join the press conference via conference call. Please note that the previously-scheduled webcast is canceled.

The USGS report is online at..

Nautilus Recalls Schwinn Elliptical Exercise Equipment

"The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Elliptical Exercise Trainer

Units: About 10,000 units

Distributor: Nautilus Inc. of Vancouver, Wash.

Hazard: The foot plates can detach from the machine during use, posing a fall hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Nautilus has received nine reports of foot plates detaching or breaking during use. One incident resulted in a consumer striking his knee.

Description: Elliptical exercise trainer equipment sold under the model name Schwinn 460. The machine is 73 inches tall and 54 inches long. It is made of gray anodized aluminum with two moving and two fixed handlebars all with black rubberized padding. The fixed handlebars have heart rate sensors on both sides. The machine has a touch-screen console, an adjustable fan and an orange-colored, oversized water bottle holder. A medallion with the Schwinn logo is on the bottom right side of the base of the machine.

Sold at: Nautilus.com, Amazon.com, Dick's Sporting Goods, AAFES, specialty fitness retailers and specialty sporting goods stores nationwide between July 2008 and May 2011 for about $1,000.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled models immediately and contact Nautilus for a free repair kit that includes an extended warranty..."

Lead Hazards in Some Holiday Toys

"The holiday season is here, and that means many children will be given toys as gifts. While new toys are a holiday tradition, parents should be aware of potential lead hazards associated with toys, including toy jewelry. Review these important facts to keep your children safe this holiday season.

Lead is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell. Children may be exposed to it from consumer products through normal handling of the product. They often place toys and other objects, as well as their fingers that have touched these objects, in their mouth, which exposes them to lead paint or dust.

Lead in Toys

Toys that have been made in other countries and then imported into the United States, or antique toys or collectibles passed down through generations; often contain lead that puts children at risk for such exposure. To reduce these risks, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues recalls of toys that could potentially expose children to lead. Learn more at..."

Secondhand Smoke and Children

"These brochures will educate those who care for children (birth to 11 years of age) on the health dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS). The goal is to deliver culturally relevant information to various populations that will motivate them to reduce SHS exposure to children by making their homes and cars smoke-free."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Role of Hydroelectric Power in the United States

"Conventional hydroelectric generators of varying capacity operated in 48 states in 2010. Operating expenses for hydroelectric generators are lower than for most other forms of electricity generation but facilities are limited by geography and operations are subject to seasonal constraints. There is a large concentration of capacity in the Pacific Northwest, contributing to low wholesale and retail electricity prices in that region, especially in the spring runoff season..."

LED Holiday Lighting

"As we make preparations for cold-weather energy savings in our homes, many Americans are also preparing for the winter holidays putting up strings of holiday lights (also referred to as Christmas lights or decorative light strings). Light-emitting diode—or "LED"—holiday lights offer a quality alternative to incandescent lamps, enabling families to save energy and money this holiday season.

Advantages of LED Holiday Lights

LED holiday lights have many advantages over ordinary incandescent lights:

Running LED holiday lights on one 6-foot tree for 12 hours per day for 40 days can save 90% or more energy when compared to traditional incandescent holiday lights:

Type of Light | Electricity Cost
Standard C-7(125 bulbs,
4 watts each) $25.13
Mini incandescent lights
(300 bulbs, 0.4 watts each)
$6.03
LED holiday lights
(280 bulbs, 0.04 watts each)
$0.56"

Peer-to-Peer:Violence and Bullying:Examining the Federal Reponse

"Based on the evidence gathered by the Commission, we conclude that despite the harm that
peer-to-peer bullying and harassment due to a student‘s membership in certain classes, such
as race, religion, or sexual orientation, current federal laws (and the laws of many states) do
not fully protect all students from peer-to-peer bullying and harassment resulting from
animus toward their group status.

Specifically, the Commission‘s findings, by majority vote, are:

1. Bullying and harassment, including bullying and harassment based on sex, race, national
origin, disability, sexual orientation, or religion, are harmful to American youth.

2. Current federal civil rights laws do not provide the U.S. Department of Education with
jurisdiction to protect students from peer-to-peer harassment that is solely on the basis of
religion.

3. The current federal civil rights laws do not protect students from peer-to-peer
harassment that is solely on the basis of sexual orientation..."

HealthCare.gov Insurance Finder Gets Better for Consumers

"On Monday, November 15, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services updated the HealthCare.gov Insurance Finder with more information on private insurance plans.

Created under the Affordable Care Act, www.HealthCare.gov was launched July 1, 2010, and is the first website of its kind to bring information about private and public health coverage options into one place to make it easy for consumers to learn about and compare their insurance choices.

HealthCare.gov and its Insurance Finder are critical new tools for consumers, making the health insurance market more transparent than it has ever been.

On October 1, the Insurance Finder added price estimates for private insurance policies for individuals and families, allowing consumers to easily compare health insurance plans – putting consumers, not their insurance companies, in charge and taking much of the guesswork and confusion out of buying insurance..."

Vital Signs: HIV Prevention Through Care and Treatment — United States

"Background: An estimated 1.2 million persons in the United States were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in 2008. Improving survival of persons with HIV and reducing transmission involve a continuum of services that includes diagnosis (HIV testing), linkage to and retention in HIV medical care, and ongoing HIV prevention interventions, including appropriately timed antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Methods: CDC used three surveillance datasets to estimate recent HIV testing and HIV prevalence among U.S. adults by state, and the percentages of HIV-infected adults receiving HIV care for whom ART was prescribed, who achieved viral suppression, and who received prevention counseling from health-care providers. Published data were used to estimate the numbers of persons in the United States living with and diagnosed with HIV and, based on viral load and CD4 laboratory reports, linked to and retained in HIV care.

Results: In 2010, 9.6% of adults had been tested for HIV during the preceding 12 months (range by state: 4.9%–29.8%). Of the estimated 942,000 persons with HIV who were aware of their infection, approximately 77% were linked to care, and 51% remained in care. Among HIV-infected adults in care, 45% received prevention counseling, and 89% were prescribed ART, of whom 77% had viral suppression. Thus, an estimated 28% of all HIV-infected persons in the United States have a suppressed viral load..."

S. 1867 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

"S. 1867 would authorize appropriations totaling $662 billion for fiscal year 2012 for the
military functions of the Department of Defense (DoD), for certain activities of the
Department of Energy (DOE), and for other purposes (see Table 1). That total includes
$117 billion for the cost of overseas contingency operations, primarily in Afghanistan
and Iraq. The bill also would authorize a new foreign assistance program that CBO
estimates would increase costs to the Department of State by about $100 million annually
from 2012 to 2014. In addition, S. 1867 would prescribe personnel strengths for each
active-duty and selected-reserve component of the U.S. armed forces. CBO estimates that
appropriation of the authorized amounts would result in outlays of $652 billion over the
2012-2016 period..."

Recent Studies Show EPA Air Rules Do Not Threaten Electric Reliabilit

"In November 2011, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and M.J. Bradley and
Associates each released updated studies evaluating the effects of existing and upcoming EPA
regulations to control pollution from power plants. These assessments are still based in large part on proposed, rather than final rules. Nevertheless, they provide substantial assurance that the nation can achieve significant air quality improvements from cleaning up old polluting power plants without threatening the reliability of electricity supplies.."

FTC Issues The FY 2011 National Do Not Call Registry Data Book

"The Federal Trade Commission today issued the National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2011. The FTC's National Do Not Call Registry provides consumers with an easy way to stop unwanted telemarketing calls. In its third year of publication, the Data Book contains a wealth of information about the Registry for FY 2011, including:

The number of active registrations and consumer complaint figures since the Registry began in 2003;
FY 2011 complaint figures by month and complaint type;
FY 2011 registration and complaint figures for all 50 states and the District of Columbia by population;
The number of entities accessing the Registry by fiscal year; and
An appendix on registration and complaint data by consumer state and area code..."

Identity Theft Reported by Households, 2005-2010

"In 2010, 7.0% of households in the United States, or about 8.6 million households, had at least
one member age 12 or older who experienced one or more types of identity theft victimization (fi gure 1). This percentage was similar to the 7.3% of households that experienced identity theft in 2009. However, it represented an increase from the 5.5% of households, or 6.4 million households, that were victims of one or more types of identity theft in 2005..."

Report of the Secretary of the Senate, April 1, 2011- September 30, 2011

"The Legislative Branch Appropriations Act 2010 (P.L. No. 111-68) amended 2 U.S.C. 104(a), to require the posting of the semiannual report of the Secretary of the Senate on the Senate Web site. Since 1823, the Secretary of the Senate has published the semiannual statements covering the periods from October 1st to March 31st and April 1st to September 30th of each year..."

Food Recovery Challenge

"How much of your food and money are you literally throwing away? The Food Recovery Challenge, a Sustainable Materials Management Initiative, challenges participants to reduce as much of their food waste as possible — saving money, helping communities, and protecting the environment..."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving

An overview of 5 the year effort to eliminate drunk driving spearheaded by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

ESTIMATED IMPACT OF THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT ON EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC OUTPUT FROM JULY 2011 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2011

"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) contains provisions that are intended to boost economic activity and employment in the United States. Section 1512(e) of the law requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to comment on reports filed by recipients of ARRA funding that detail the number of jobs funded through their activities. This CBO report fulfills that requirement. It also provides CBO’s estimates of ARRA’s overall impact on employment and economic output in the third quarter of calendar year 2011, as well as over the entire period since February 2009. Those estimates—which CBO considers more comprehensive than the recipients’ reports—are based on evidence from similar policies enacted in the past and on the results of various economic models."

Alzheimer's Awareness

General information on Alzheimer from the National Institute on Aging.

Estimates of the Legal Permanent Resident Population in 2010

"This report presents estimates of the legal permanent resident (LPR) population living in the United States on January 1, 2010. The LPR population includes persons granted lawful permanent residence, for example, “green card” recipients, but not those who had become U.S. citizens. The estimates are shown for the total LPR population and the LPR population eligible to apply to naturalize by country of birth, state of residence, and the year LPR status was obtained. Data for the estimates were obtained primarily from administrative records of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The methodology used for the 2010 estimates is similar to that used in previous DHS estimates (see Rytina, 2010).

In summary, an estimated 12.6 million LPRs lived in the United States on January 1, 2010. 8.1 million of those LPRs were eligible to naturalize..."

Small Business Cyber Planner

"The FCC is launching the Small Biz Cyber Planner, an online resource to help small businesses create customized cybersecurity plans. This is the result of an unprecedented public-private partnership between government experts and private IT and security companies, including DHS, NCSA, NIST, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Chertoff Group, Symantec, Sophos, Visa, Microsoft, HP, McAfee, The Identity Theft Council, ADP and others. The online tool is available at cyberplanner..."

Probation and Parole in the United States: 2010

"During 2010, the number of adults under community supervision declined by 1.3% from 4,954,600 at the beginning of the year to 4,887,900 at yearend (figure 1). The community supervision
population includes adults on probation and adults on parole or any other post-prison supervision. (See text box on page 2.) This represented the second consecutive decline in the number of adults under community supervision..."

Caregiving for Adults

"In the 2009 Caregiving in the U.S. report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, it was estimated that approximately 48.9 million men and women in the United States provided unpaid care to someone older than age 18. These caregivers represented an estimated 28 million households (24% of all U.S. households). The one-year economic value of this unpaid labor force was recently estimated to be $450 billion (Feinburg, et. al, 2011).

If current trends continue, by 2030 the number of Americans aged 65 years and older is estimated to be 71.5 million— more than double what it is now. Offering policies that provide legal protections as well as programs that support caregivers' needs is necessary now and in the future..."

Layaways and Fees

"As Black Friday draws near, thoughts turn to holiday shopping, and how to get the items you want for a price you can afford. If you choose to buy using layaway, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, has a few holiday tips for you:

First, get all the details about the retailer’s layaway plan in writing before you shop. Look for the terms of the plan — including the time you have to pay for your items, the store’s refund policy for layaway items, minimum payments, and layaway charges or other fees.

Second, it’s useful to compare the costs of using layaway versus using credit. Add up the total amount in fees you will pay at a specific store before you get your item(s) out of layaway. Then, if you have a credit card, determine how much money in interest you would pay if you charged the same item(s).

Third, be sure to check out the store, including online retailers, before you shop there at all. Your state Attorney General’s Office (www.naag.org), local consumer protection agency (www.consumeraction.gov), and your local Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) can tell you if consumers have filed complaints against the retailer or online service..."

Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

"The most important step in managing diabetes during holiday travel and festivities is preparing. Know what you'll be eating, how to enjoy a few traditional favorites while sticking with a healthy meal plan, and how to pack necessary supplies for a trip, and you're all set to celebrate!

Feasts and Parties
Before you go, take these steps to make sure you stick to your healthy meal plan.

Eat a healthy snack to avoid overeating at the party.
Ask what food will be served, so you can see how it fits into your meal plan.
Bring a nutritious snack or dish for yourself and others.

You don't have to give up all of your holiday favorites if you make healthy choices and limit portion sizes. At a party or holiday gathering, follow these tips to avoid overeating and to choose healthy foods..."

White House Internshio Program

"The White House Internship Program provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office and prepare them for future public service opportunities..."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey FUNdamentals: Leftovers

"“Would you like a doggy bag to take home?” asks the waiter. “That would be great” says the diner. Nearly half of her dinner remains on the plate and will make a quick second meal for another day.

But wait. Here’s the same diner calling the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline the following day. “I put a restaurant doggy bag in the back seat of my car last night, and when I came out to drive to work, there it sat. Is it safe if I heat it up again?”

Sadly, no. The food safety expert at USDA explains that bacteria in food left out for more than two hours double in number every 20 minutes, and some bacteria make a poison or toxin that can make you ill, hence the term “food poisoning.”

Even if you were able to heat the food and destroy the thousands of bacteria present in the backseat doggy bag, the toxin can make you ill. It’s a lose-lose proposition. Toss that “puppy” out!.."

FTC Adds New Protections for Consumers Seeking to Work from Home

"The Federal Trade Commission has approved changes to its Business Opportunity Rule that will ensure that consumers have the information they need when considering buying a work-at-home program or any other business opportunity. The changes simplify the disclosures that business opportunity sellers must provide to prospective buyers. The simplified disclosures will help prospective purchasers assess the risks of buying a business opportunity, while minimizing compliance burdens on businesses.

In addition, the Final Rule, which will be effective on March 1, 2012, applies to business opportunities previously covered under the Rule, as well as work-at-home offers such as envelope stuffing and craft assembly opportunities. The final Rule requires business opportunity sellers to give consumers specific information to help them evaluate a business opportunity..."

Presidential Policy Directive 8 and the National Preparedness System: Background and Issues for Congress

"Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness (PPD-8) was signed and released by
President Barack Obama on March 30, 2011. PPD-8 and its component policies intend to guide
how the nation, from the federal level to private citizens, can “prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from those threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation.” These threats include terrorist acts, natural disasters, and other man-made incidents. PPD-8 evolves from, and supersedes, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8, which was released under President George W. Bush. PPD-8 is intended to meet many
requirements of Subtitle C of the Post-Katrina Emergency Reform Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-295,
6 U.S.C. §741- 764)..."

Document Your Family's Health History

"Family health history can help your child's doctor make a diagnosis if your child shows signs of a disorder. It can reveal whether your child has an increased risk for a disease; if so, the doctor might suggest screening tests. Many genetic disorders first become obvious in childhood, and knowing about a family health history of a genetic condition can help find and treat the condition early..."

Helping Your Child Manage Diabetes at School

"You may already have bought the basic school supplies for sending your child back to school. But if your child has diabetes, you need to make additional preparations.

A person with diabetes must manage this chronic illness all the time, including during the school day. Staff such as nurses, teachers and coaches can work with you and your child on managing diabetes. This assistance may include helping your child take medications, check blood sugar levels, choose healthy foods in the cafeteria, and be physically active..."

Thanksgiving Cooking Tips

"The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can answer your food safety questions. Call the Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1.888.MPHotline (1.888.674.6854) or e-mail mphotline.fsis@usda.gov. The Hotline is open on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Eastern Time, but closed on other federal holidays.

The FSIS also provides fact sheets on:

Food Safety
Poultry Preparation
Seasonal Food Safety
If you are planning to fry your Thanksgiving Day turkey, please keep in mind that turkey fryers can be extremely dangerous if not used properly. According to the Underwriters Laboratories' (UL) safety experts, an increasing number of fires related to turkey fryers have occurred. As a result, the UL decided not to certify any turkey fryers..."

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among High School Students — United States, 2010

"A diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a decreased risk for many chronic diseases and some cancers (1), and can aid in weight management (2). Current daily fruit and vegetable recommendations for adolescents who participate in <30 minutes of physical activity daily are 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables for females and 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables for males (1) (1 cup is approximately equal to one medium apple, eight strawberries, 12 baby carrots, or one large tomato).* However, recently published data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003--2004 revealed that consumption was considerably below these levels (3). To assess fruit and vegetable consumption among high school students, CDC analyzed data from the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS). This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, in 2010, the median number of times per day that high school students consumed fruits and vegetables was 1.2 for both. For vegetables, the median number of times per day was lower for non-Hispanic black students (1.0) and Hispanic students (1.1) than non-Hispanic white students (1.4). Overall, 28.5% of high school students consumed fruit <1 time daily, and 33.2% of high school students consumed vegetables <1 time daily..."

Over the River and Through the Woods

Tips on checking for scams when visiting aged relatives this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Attorney General’s Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence

"This Task Force is part of the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative, a project that addresses the epidemic levels of exposure to violence faced by our nation’s children. Based on the testimony at four public hearings, on comprehensive research, and on extensive input from experts, advocates, and impacted families and communities nationwide, the Defending Childhood Task Force will issue a final report to the Attorney General presenting its findings and comprehensive policy recommendations in the fall of 2012. The report will serve as a blueprint for preventing children’s exposure to violence and for reducing the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence across the United States..."

How Much Time Do Americans Spend on Food?

"This report uses data from the 2006-08 ERS Eating & Health Module of the American Time Use Survey to present an overview of Americans’ eating and other food-related time use patterns, including grocery shopping and meal preparation, and teenage time use patterns in relation to school meals. On an average day, Americans age 15 and older spent 67 minutes eating and drinking as a “primary” or main activity, and 23.5 minutes eating and 63 minutes drinking beverages (except plain water) while doing something such as watching television, driving, or working. Eleven percent of the population spent at least 4.5 hours on an average day engaged in eating and drinking activities.."

National Traffic and Road Closure Information

Find traffic, road conditons, weather for the 50 states in the union.

John F, Kennedy Assassination (November 22, 1963)

Historical resources from the Library of Congress on President John F. Kennedy's assassination

Lock it Up: Medicine Safety in Your Home

"Every year thousands of children are hospitalized—and some die—after taking medicine not meant for them. Teens share stolen prescription drugs at "pharm parties" and toddlers are tempted by colorful pills that look like candy. In this Consumer Update video, FDA pharmacist Connie Jung explains how you can prevent harm by locking your medicine up..."

Treasury to End Over-the-Counter Sales of Paper U.S. Savings Bonds

"The Bureau of the Public Debt announced today that as of January 1, 2012, paper savings bonds will no longer be sold at financial institutions. This action, which supports the U.S. Department of the Treasury's goal to increase the number of electronic transactions with citizens and businesses, will save American taxpayers approximately $70 million over the first five years.

But savings bonds, introduced in 1935, are not going away. Electronic savings bonds in Series EE and I will remain available through purchase in TreasuryDirect®, a secure, web-based system operated by Public Debt – where investors have been purchasing savings bonds, available 24/7, since 2002..."
More about Treasury bonds

The White Population:2010

"This report provides a portrait of the White population in the United States and discusses its distribution at the national level and at lower levels of geography.1 It is part of a series that analyzes population and housing data collected from the 2010 Census..."

The Black Population: 2010

"This report provides a portrait of the Black population in the United States and discusses its distribution at the national level and at lower levels of geography.1, 2 It is part of a series that analyzes population and housing data collected from the 2010 Census..."

Early Breast Cancer Detection Saves Lives

"MammaCare, a revolutionary tool that has set standards for teaching women and clinicians how to perform clinical breast exams, is training professionals around the country to detect lumps earlier and save lives.

Widely-publicized statistics inform women about the importance of early detection of cancer. The Center for Disease Control reports that second only to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American females.

The National Science Foundation funded an extensive series of tests designed to enhance the MammaCare technology and to advance the detection process for more effective and through training. MammaCare merges the results of these tests into tactually accurate breast models embedded with small, detectable, simulated lesions or lumps..."

New Home Movies Resurrect Endangered American Indian Language

"University of Minnesota Duluth education professor Mary Hermes says saving an endangered language goes beyond just enriching the people who speak it.

"I think people have got to get beyond thinking it's just for the Ojibwe people, that we want to save their Ojibwe language. There's 10,000 years of human evolution and knowledge in that language," she says.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Hermes is combining the skills of native speakers with video technology to help others, young and old, learn the language in the most natural way. She's doing it by videotaping short movies of everyday situations, from going to a rummage sale to planting a garden to helping out a sick relative..."

New Projection Shows Global Food Demand Doubling by 2050

"Global food demand could double by 2050, according to a new projection reported this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The analysis also shows that the world faces major environmental challenges unless agricultural practices change.

Scientists David Tilman and Jason Hill of the University of Minnesota (UMN) and colleagues found that producing the amount of food needed could significantly increase levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the environment, and may cause the extinction of numerous species..."

The World Factbook Is Changing

"With unrest sweeping the Middle East and economic problems in Europe, The World Factbook is trying to help readers identify the factors that may underlie these social, political, and economic changes. Accordingly, the Factbook is adding new categories of societal data, which—along with other demographic and economic entries—offer additional insight into a country’s economic strength, internal stability, and impact on the environment. After a comprehensive search for datasets that are current and regularly updated, nine new fields have been added, with the World Health Organization and the World Bank providing most of the information..."

Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2010, and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Staff, 2010–11

"This First Look presents findings from the Human Resources (HR) Component of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) winter 2010-11 data collection. The HR component consists of the following three sections: Employees by Assigned Position (EAP) and Fall Staff for fall 2010 and Salaries for academic year 2010-11. Only the EAP and Salaries sections of the HR component were required for the winter 2010-11 collection; the Fall Staff section was optional. The HR data were collected through the IPEDS web-based data collection system..."

MY TSA

My TSA, mobile apps for travel planning from the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration.

Bumbo Baby Seats Injuries

"...Infants placed in Bumbo seats can escape from the seat by arching their backs, leaning forward or sideways or rocking. Infants age 3 to 10 months old have suffered serious head injuries—such as a skull fracture or concussion—from falling from a Bumbo baby seat when this happens.

CPSC and Bumbo International are aware of at least 45 incidents in which infants fell out of Bumbo seat while it was being used on an elevated surface. These incidents happened after an October 2007 voluntary recall of the product to add a warning on the front of the seat against use on elevated surfaces... "

Reported Tuberculosis in the United States: 2010

"In 2010, the reported number of TB cases decreased slightly from the previous year. In 2010, there were 11,182 reported TB cases (3.6 cases per 100,000 persons) compared to 11,537 reported TB cases from 2009. TB case totals are now at the lowest number recorded since national reporting began in 1953. Yet, even though reported TB cases reached all-time lows in the United States, there are still disproportionately higher rates of TB among racial/ethnic minorities, especially U.S.-born blacks. TB rates are higher for some racial and ethnic groups, probably because a greater proportion of people in these groups have other risk factors for TB..."

Country of Origin Labeling

"Country of Origin Labeling is a labeling law that requires retailers, such as full-line grocery stores, supermarkets, and club warehouse stores, notify their customers with information regarding the source of certain foods. Food products, (covered commodities) contained in the law include muscle cut and ground meats: beef, veal, pork, lamb, goat, and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts; and ginseng. Regulations for fish and shellfish covered commodities (7 CFR Part 60) became effective in 2005. The final rule for all covered commodities (7 CFR Part 60 and Part 65) went into effect on March 16, 2009. AMS is responsible for administration and enforcement of COOL."

Executive Order 13382: New Sanctions on Iran

"Today, the United States is taking a series of actions to confront the threat posed by Iran and significantly increase pressure on Iran to comply with the full range of its international obligations and to address the international community’s longstanding concerns regarding its nuclear program. These steps include: expanding sanctions to target the supply of goods, services, technology, or support (above certain monetary thresholds) to Iran for the development of its petroleum resources and maintenance or expansion of its petrochemical industry; designating eleven individuals and entities under Executive Order 13382 for their role in Iran’s WMD program; and identifying the Islamic Republic of Iran as a jurisdiction of “primary money laundering concern” under section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act..."

India: Country Analysis Brief

"In 2009, India was the fourth largest energy consumer in the world, after the United States, China, and Russia. Despite a slowing global economy, India’s energy demand continues to rise. As vehicle ownership expands, petroleum demand in the transport sector is expected to grow in the coming years. While India’s domestic energy resource base is substantial, the country relies on imports for a considerable amount of its energy use..."

Ponzimonium: How Scam Artists Are Ripping Off America

"Ponzimonium looks to the CFTC’s own recent public case files stemming from fraud investigations that began with the recent economic downturn- talk about hitting people when they’re down! Because of the this, the book is generating a lot of positive buzz in The New York Times, TheStreet, and other media outlets..."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Get Smart About Antibiotics



Video giving tips on safe and effective use of antibiotics

Smucker’s® Natural Peanut Butter Chunky Recalled

"November 16, 2011 - The J.M. Smucker Company today announced a limited voluntary recall on two specific Best-If-Used-By dates of 16 oz. Smucker’s® Natural Peanut Butter Chunky because it may be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov1.

This product was distributed in: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

The affected product, which is packaged in 16 oz. jars, is as follows:

o UPC: 5150001701 (located on the side of the jar's label below the bar code)
o Production Codes: 1307004 and 1308004
o Best-If-Used-By dates: August 3, 2012 and August 4, 2012
o Chunky product only (not creamy)
o Impacted product would have been purchased between November 8 - 17, 2011.."

Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns of First-Time Mothers: 1961-2008

"Fifty-one percent of working women who had their first birth between 2006 and 2008 received paid leave (i.e. maternity leave, sick leave, vacation) compared with 42 percent between 1996 and 2000, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

This finding comes from Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns of First-Time Mothers: 1961-2008 [PDF], a report that analyzes trends in women's work experience before their first child, identifies their maternity leave arrangements before and after the birth and examines how rapidly they returned to work..."

National Archives to Release 1940 Census Free Online on April 2, 2012

"The National Archives today announced its selection of Inflection, parent company to family history web site Archives.com, to design and host a free web site for the April 2, 2012, at 9 AM (EST) launch of the 1940 U.S. Census. This is the first time that the National Archives has released a U.S. Census online.

On April 2, 2012, users will be able to search, browse, and download the 1940 Census schedules from their own computers or from the public computers at National Archives locations nationwide through the new 1940 Census web site, free of charge..."

Small businesses have new tools in choosing health insurance

"We’ve added a new service to further help small businesses find the right health care coverage for their employees.

In addition to featuring information about new benefits in the law, HealthCare.gov also has a health insurance finder tool, which displays information about insurance plans with estimated base rates, doctor choices, number of applications that were denied, and other details that allow consumers to compare options. And as of today, this insurance tool includes private coverage options for small businesses: http://finder.healthcare.gov/..."

The Veteran Labor Force in the Recovery

"Veterans are an honored part of the United States labor market. In this report, veterans are defined as men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and were civilians at the time of their participation in the Current Population Survey (CPS).1 In 2010, there were 11.8 million veterans working or looking for work, accounting for 7.7 percent of the U.S. labor force. Veterans are a broad population spanning from those who served in World War II (WWII) to recent veterans who were on active duty during the post-9/11 period known as Gulf War-era II.2 Although most veterans are men, women are a growing part of the veteran population, accounting for 8.1 percent of all veterans in 2010..."

Hate Crime Statistics: 2010

"Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released Hate Crime Statistics, 2010 based on information submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. These data indicate that 6,628 criminal incidents involving 7,699 offenses were reported in 2010 as a result of bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability..."
view full report

Electric Power Annual: 2010

"Presents 12 years (1999-2010) of National-level data on electricity generating capacity, electricity generation and useful thermal output, fuel receipts, consumption, and emissions..."

Thanksgiving Day, 2011

Key facts about Thanksgiving Day celebration

Fuel Economy Guide 2012

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) produce the Fuel Economy Guide to help car buyers choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets their
needs. The Guide is published in print and on the Web at www.fueleconomy.gov..."

90+ in the United States: 2006–2008American

"This report presents an overview of the population aged 90 and over in the United States and a comparative analysis of selected characteristics between the 90-and-older and other older age groups. Data for this report primarily come from the 2006–2008 and 2008 American Community Surveys (ACS)..."

The Newly Arrived Foreign- Born Population of the United States: 2010

"Forty million foreign-born people lived in the United States in 2010, according to the American Community Survey (ACS).1 The majority (83 percent) of the foreign born reported entering the United States prior to 2005. Using 2010 ACS data on the period of entry of the foreign-born population, this report focuses on the “newly arrived” foreign born, defined here as those who came to live in the United States in 2005 or later..."

Child Poverty in the United States 2009 and 2010: Selected Race Groups and Hispanic Origi

"Poverty is a critical indicator of the wellbeing of our nation’s children. Changes in child poverty rates over time can provide an evaluation of a particular antipoverty initiative and help to identify people and groups whose most basic economic needs remain unmet. Children who live in poverty, especially young children, are more likely than their peers to have cognitive and behavioral difficulties, to complete fewer years of education, and, as they grow up, to experience more years of unemployment..."

Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Receipt in the Past 12 Months for Households by State: 2009 and 201

"As households continue to face uncertain economic times, food stamp/SNAP participation continues to increase in the United States. This report presents data on food stamp/SNAP receipt for the past 12 months at the national and state levels based on the 2009 and 2010 American Community Surveys (ACS). The data in this report are for households, not individuals. If any person living at the sample address at the time of the interview received food stamps/SNAP, the household is included in the count. Respondents were asked to report any spells of food stamp/SNAP receipt for the past 12 month..."

School-Aged Children With Disabilities in U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas: 201

"Of the 53.9 million school-aged children (aged 5 to 17) in the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population, about 2.8 million (5.2 percent) were reported to have a disability in 2010. For many of these children, the kinds of disabilities they experience may require special approaches to providing education or other accommodations..."

Education and Synthetic Work-Life Earnings Estimates

"The relationship between education and earnings is a long-analyzed topic of study. Generally, there is a strong belief that achievement of higher levels of education is a well established path to better jobs and better earnings.1 This report provides one view of the eco-nomic value of educational attainment by producing an estimate of the amount of money a person might earn over the course of their working life, given their level of education..."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Travel Tips

Tips from the TSA(Transportation Security Administration) to improve your holiday travel experience.

2010 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

"According to information released today by the FBI, 56 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty last year; 72 officers died in accidents while performing their duties; and 53,469 officers were assaulted in the line of duty. The 2010 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted released today provides comprehensive tabular data about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks..."
view complete report

2011 National Gang Threat Assessment

"According to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment released by the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC), approximately 1.4 million gang members belonging to more than 33,000 gangs were criminally active in the U.S. as of April, 2011. The assessment was developed through analysis of available federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and corrections agency information; 2010 NDIC National Drug Threat Survey (NDTS) data; and verified open source information..."
view complete report

Geographic Mobility: 2011

"The percentage of people who changed residences between 2010 and 2011 ─ 11.6 percent ─ was the lowest recorded rate since the Current Population Survey began collecting statistics on the movement of people in the United States in 1948, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. The rate, which was 20.2 percent in 1985, declined to a then-record low of 11.9 percent in 2008 before rising to 12.5 percent in 2009. The 2010 rate was not statistically different than the 2009 rate.

This information comes from Geographical Mobility: 2011, a collection of national- and regional-level tables from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement. The tables shed light on movement of people within the United States from one location to another during the year prior to the survey.."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Economic Growth and the Unemployment Rate

"A persistently high unemployment rate is of concern to Congress for a variety of reasons,
including its negative consequences for the economic well-being of individuals and its impact on
the federal budget (i.e., deficit growth due to lower revenue and higher expenditures). The
unemployment rate was 9.5% when the economy emerged from the 11th postwar recession in June
2009, and it climbed further to a peak of 10.1% in October 2009. The unemployment rate very
slowly declined in 2010. It settled at about 9.0% during the first three quarters of 2011..."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

President Richard Nixon's Grand Jury Testimony, June 1975

"WASHINGTON—For the first time, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is providing public access to the transcripts of President Richard Nixon’s Watergate grand jury testimony. NARA and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) have a long-standing collaborative relationship in publishing the Federal Register and in keeping with this relationship, will be supporting NARA in providing electronic access to the transcripts of the Nixon grand jury testimony on GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys). GPO will be one of the sites that host the transcripts.

NARA is opening 26 files from its Records of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force collection including transcripts of President Nixon’s grand jury testimony of June 23-24, 1975. This is as a result of the July 29, 2011 order by Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Royce C. Lamberth
that the transcript of Nixon’s testimony and the “Associated Materials” to that testimony be released to the public following the review of these documents for any information that must be redacted as required by law. This is the first time the public will have access to this historic collection..."
direct link to GPO site
direct link to NARA site

CADCA, National Guard and CNCS Announce Unique New Program to Help Returning Vets Access Key Services

"After more than a decade of ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, many returning veterans and their families have difficulty readjusting to community life, with many experiencing a tough time finding jobs or adequate housing, or suffering from mental, physical and substance use disorders. Today, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the National Guard Bureau and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced a unique new program called VetCorps to help returning veterans and their families access the critical services and support they need – ranging from social, mental and physical health services to housing and employment assistance..."

Teen to Teen:Magnet Talk

"High-powered magnets are a deadly safety risk to children age toddler through teen. Swallowing incidents are on the rise and can result in surgery."

Smokers underutilize proven treatment and services for quitting

"Most American adults who smoke wish they could quit, and more than half have tried within the past year, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report says 68.8 percent of current American adult smokers say they want to quit and 52.4 percent of adult smokers tried to quit within the past year. The report says 48.3 percent of smokers who saw a health professional in the past year recalled getting advice to quit and 31.7 percent used counseling and/or medications in the past year. The use of these effective treatments can almost double to triple rates of successfully quitting..."

National Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Registry

"...The goal of the National ALS Registry is to collect information to help scientists learn more about ALS. To get the best information, it is important to get as many PALS as possible to take part. Although you will not directly benefit from taking part in the National ALS Registry, your information could help PALS in the future. We hope that after you learn more about the National ALS Registry you will decide to join..."

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)

"Intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual violence (SV), and stalking are important public health problems with serious consequences and costs to individuals, families, communities and society. Growth in research has occurred during the past twenty years with respect to these forms of violence. Still, there is a lack of reliable information on the amount and frequency of IPV, SV, and stalking victimization at the national and state levels.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), in collaboration with the National Institutes of Justice (NIJ), and the Department of Defense (DoD), has developed the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS...

CDC anticipates releasing the first national report of NISVS data in November 2011..."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Needles and Other Sharps (Safe Disposal Outside of Health Care Settings)

Safely dispose of needles and other sharp object beyond the health care environment.

Nicotine Dependence and Its Risk Factors Among Users of Veterans Health Services, 2008-2009

"Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and is disproportionately higher among veterans than nonveterans. We examined the prevalence of nicotine dependence and its associated risk factors among veterans who used health services in the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system..."

Exploring the Digital Nation - Computers and Internet Use at Home

"This report updates and expands last year’s report, Exploring the Digital Nation: Home Broadband Internet Adoption in the United States, based on data from the Census Bureau’s most recent Current Population Survey (CPS) School Enrollment and Internet Use Supplement. The report also provides additional information augmenting the February 2011 research preview, Digital Nation: Expanding Internet Usage, and includes new findings on computer and Internet use in the United States. For example, we use regression analysis to help explain some of the disparities in broadband Internet adoption that exist between demographic and geographic groups. The analysis reveals that, by holding constant certain factors such as household income, education, or age, the adoption disparities may decrease significantly..."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Travelers' Health

Pick a country and find out information on how to stay healthy while in that country --vaccinations, diseases, clinics, specific groups and settings, etc.

Safe and Healthy Winter

"Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous, but if you plan ahead, you can stay safe and healthy. Prepare your home and cars. Keep emergency kits stocked. Be ready for power outages. Wear appropriate clothing. Check on children, the elderly and pets..."

World Pneumonia Day is November 12

"What Is Pneumonia?

Chest x-ray of patient with pneumonia.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages. Signs of pneumonia can include coughing, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing or shortness of breath, chills, or chest pain. Certain people are more likely to become ill with pneumonia. This includes adults 65 years of age or older and children younger than 5 years of age. People up through 64 years of age who have underlying medical conditions (like diabetes or HIV/AIDS) and people 19 through 64 who smoke cigarettes or have asthma are also at increased risk for getting pneumonia..."

Diabetes & Pregnancy

"...How can diabetes affect my health?
Controlling blood sugar is hard, especially during pregnancy, but it is important work at it. When blood sugar is high most of the time in a woman with diabetes, she might have certain health problems.

A woman with gestational diabetes whose blood sugar stays high has an increased chance of:

Preeclampsia (high blood pressure, protein in urine, increased swelling)
Preterm birth (baby born before 37 weeks)
C-section.."

Wisconsin Blue Book, 2011-2012

Digitized versions of the Wisconsin Blue Book going back to 1995-1996 are now available. Earlier versions of the Wisconsin Blue Book going back to 1853 are available at the Wisconsin Digital Collection.

Polling Places - Wisconsin

In addition to providing polling places for Wisconsin citizens, the Wisconsin Government Accountably Board includes information on campaign finance, election results, new voter ID law, recall campaigns, voter registration, etc.

Alzheimer's Resource Lists

"Families face a variety of challenges when a family member develops Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia. Coping with a new diagnosis and caring for the person can be overwhelming. People can prepare for these challenges in part by educating themselves. These lists contain books, booklets, fact sheets, DVDs, and other resources that can help..."

Monday, November 7, 2011

More Young Adults are Living in Their Parents' Home, Census Bureau Reports

"Between 2005 and 2011, the proportion of young adults living in their parents' home increased, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of men age 25 to 34 living in the home of their parents rose from 14 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2011 and from 8 percent to 10 percent over the period for women.
(See Figure 1.)

These statistics come from America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2011, a series of tables from the 2011 Current Population Survey providing a look at the socioeconomic characteristics of families and households at the national level..."

Amerian Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2011

"As of the 2010 Census, the nation’s population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race. They made up 1.7 percent of the total population. Of this total, 2.9 million were American Indian and Alaska Native only, and 2.3 million were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races..."

ANCESTRY.COM AND UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM RELEASE FIRST SEARCHABLE ONLINE RECORDS COLLECTIONS FROM WORLD MEMORY PROJECT

"The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Ancestry.com announced that material from four Museum collections containing information on more than 30,000 victims of Nazi persecution is now available online at Ancestry.com and can be searched at no cost. The collections contain information on thousands of individuals including displaced Jewish orphans; Czech Jews deported to the Terezin concentration camp and camps in occupied Poland; and French victims of Nazi persecution..."

Veterans Day 2011: Nov. 11

V"Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia..."

Status Report: Afghanistan and Pakistan Civilian Engagement

"...This report provides a thorough review of our civilian efforts, identifies significant challenges and areas of progress, and outlines the way forward. It places the work of our diplomats, development experts, and other civilian specialists within the framework of our “fight, talk, build” strategy. We will continue the fight, as coalition and Afghan forces increase the pressure on the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and other insurgents. We will continue supporting an Afghan-led peace process that meets our red-lines. This won’t be easy, but reconciliation is still possible and is the best hope for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. And we will continue to build capacity and opportunity in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and across the region, because lasting stability and security go hand in hand with greater economic opportunity..."

Police Corruption What Past Scandals Teach about Current Challenges

"Police corruption is an international problem. Historically, police misconduct has been a factor in the development of police institutions worldwide, but it is a particular problem in counterinsurgency and peacekeeping operations, such as the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization police training program in Afghanistan. There, police abuse and corruption appear endemic and have caused some Afghans to seek the assistance of the Taliban against their own government..."

Congressional - Executive Commission on China, Annual Report 2011

"This is the Commission’s 10th Annual Report on China’s human rights and rule of law developments. As in the past, the Commission has assessed the Chinese government’s record on the basis of
China’s own Constitution and laws and international human rights standards, relying on research based in large part on reports and articles published in China. As Commission research has shown
this past year, Chinese officials continue to deny Chinese citizens their rights in order to preserve the Communist Party’s notion of political stability and harmony. China’s stability is in the United States’ best interest, but the Commission believes that stability will not result from repressing rights for perceived short-term gain, but only by ensuring and protecting the rights of all Chinese citizens..."

Report to Congress: Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the Federal Criminal Justice System

"This report assesses the impact of mandatory minimum penalties on federal sentencing, particularly in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Booker v. United States, which rendered the federal sentencing guidelines advisory. The United States Sentencing Commission prepared this report pursuant to a congressional directive contained in section 4713 of the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, Pub L. No. 111–84, and the Commission's general authority under 28 U.S.C. §§ 994–995, as well as its specific authority under 28 U.S.C. § 995(a)(20) to "make recommendations to Congress concerning modification or enactment of statutes relating to sentencing, penal, and correctional matters that the Commission finds to be necessary and advisable to carry out an effective, humane, and rational sentencing policy."..."

2011 Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual

"Authority
The United States Sentencing Commission ("Commission") is an independent agency
in the judicial branch composed of seven voting and two non-voting, ex officio members. Its
principal purpose is to establish sentencing policies and practices for the federal criminal
justice system that will assure the ends of justice by promulgating detailed guidelines
prescribing the appropriate sentences for offenders convicted of federal crimes.."

The Subprime Crisis: Is Government Housing Policy to Blame

"A growing literature suggests that housing policy, embodied by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the affordable housing goals of the government sponsored enterprises, may have caused the subprime crisis. The conclusions drawn in this literature, for the most part, have been based on associations between aggregated national trends. In this paper we examine more directly whether these programs were associated with worse outcomes in the mortgage market, including delinquency rates and measures of loan quality..."

Wisconsin Digital Archives - Historical Documents

Views significant historical publications in the Wisconsin Digital Archives database

Fall Colors, 2011

A listing of fall colors sites by states.

EyeNote

"EyeNote is a mobile device application to denominate Federal Reserve Notes (U.S. paper currency) as an aid for the blind or visually impaired to increase accessibility.

Using EyeNote, a user can have the denomination of a note scanned and communicated back to the user. EyeNote works on the iPhone 3G and 3Gs, the iPhone 4, the 4th Generation iPod touch, and the iPad 2..."

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weather in 2011 (Photos)

As part of the U.S. EPA's State of the Environment Photo Project, here are photos depicting the weather in 2011.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

State Transportation Statistics 2010

"Friday, October 21, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), today released State Transportation Statistics 2010 (STS) – a web-only reference guide to transportation data by state. The eighth annual STS consists of 112 tables of state data on infrastructure, safety, freight transportation, passenger travel, registered vehicles and vehicle-miles traveled, economy and finance, and energy and environment, plus a U.S. Fast Facts page. STS 2010 can be viewed on the BTS website..."

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the US

"Deaths from prescription painkillers* have reached epidemic levels in the past decade. The number of overdose deaths is now greater than those of deaths from heroin and cocaine combined. A big part of the problem is nonmedical use of prescription painkillers—using drugs without a prescription, or using drugs just for the "high" they cause. In 2010, about 12 million Americans (age 12 or older) reported nonmedical use of prescription painkillers in the past year..."

Report to Congress on U.S.-India Security Cooperation

"The relationship between the United States and India – what President Obama has called one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century – is a priority for the U.S. Government and for the U.S. Department of Defense. The United States and India are natural partners, destined to be closer because of shared interests and values and our mutual desire for a stable and secure world. A strong bilateral partnership is in U.S. interests and benefits both countries. We expect India’s importance to U.S. interests to grow in the long-run as India, a major regional and emerging
global power, increasingly assumes roles commensurate with its position as a stakeholder and a leader in the international system..."

About Quality E-learning

"Information on quality e-learning is presented to help new or experienced instructional designers create compelling, accessible, and effective e-learning. A background in education, adult learning practice or instructional design is recommended for those who intend to use this content..."

Principles of Prevention (POP)

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created POP for everyone interested in learning about violence prevention, the burden violence places on our society, and effective prevention efforts.

CDC encourages partners and grantees to experience this interactive training.

The course is free.

And, you can earn CDC approved continuing education credits, if you like.

You will need 75-90 minutes to complete the full course. POP features videos, animation, and interactive exercises developed to create a meaningful educational experience."

Under Armour Recalls Chin Straps for Football Helmets Due to Laceration Hazard

"The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the retailer named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled product immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: UA Defender Chin Straps

Units: About 541,000

Retailer: Under Armour, Inc., of Baltimore, Md.

Importer: JR286, Inc., of Redondo Beach, Calif.

Hazard: The metal snap that connects the chin strap to the helmet has sharp edges, posing a laceration hazard when the user’s metal snap comes into contact with another player.

Incidents/Injuries: Under Armour has received six reports of injuries that required stitches.

Description: This recall involves all UA Defender Chin Straps. They were sold in the following colors: white and black, red, midnight, navy and royal and have a hard nylon shell, a padded chin area and a plastic strap with “Under Armour” printed on it. The chin straps have metal clasps that tighten the straps and attach them to the helmet.

Sold at: Sporting goods stores and Under Armour outlet stores nationwide and at www.underarmour.com from January 2008 through September 2011 for about $20.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled chin straps and contact Under Armour for a free replacement chin strap."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2010 Surgeon General's Report—How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease

"In 1964, the first Surgeon General’s report on the effects of smoking on health was released. In the nearly 50 years since, extensive data from thousands of studies have consistently substantiated the devastating effects of smoking on the lives of millions of Americans. Yet today in the United States, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease for both men and women. Now, this 2010 report of the Surgeon General explains beyond a shadow of a doubt how tobacco smoke causes disease, validates earlier findings, and expands and strengthens the science base. Armed with this irrefutable data, the time has come to mount a full-scale assault on the tobacco epidemic..."

Faces of Distracted Driving

U.S. Department of Transportation's campaign against distracted driving.

Diabetes (November is National Diabetes Month)

"Know Your Family Health History

Family health history is an important risk factor for developing a number of serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes. In fact, most people with type 2 diabetes have a family member – such as a mother, father, brother, or sister – with the disease.

The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) encourages all families to take advantage of family gatherings to share information about their health history – especially when it comes to diabetes.

Knowing your family health history is important because it gives you and your health care team information about your risk for type 2 diabetes and other health problems."

Introduction to Adoption (November is National Adoption Month)

"Adoption is the social, emotional, and legal process in which children who will not be raised by their birth parents become full and permanent legal members of another family while maintaining genetic and psychological connections to their birth family. Adoption has many facets and touches people in different ways—depending on their role and perspective. In this section, find information on the history of adoption in the United States, definitions and the use of language in adoption, and core issues in adoption, as well as links to related resources and information..."

Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil

"Why Do You Need to Be Concerned About Lead?

Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in paint and other products found in and around our homes. Lead also can be emitted into the air from industrial sources and leaded aviation gasoline, and lead can enter drinking water from plumbing materials. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children six years old and under are most at risk

U.S. Natural Gas Imports & Exports: 2010

"Net imports of natural gas into the United States fell 3 percent to 2.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) during 2010. Continued growth in natural gas exports from the United States and falling imports of natural gas to the United States during 2010 accounted for the decline in net imports, which fell despite a 6-percent growth in domestic natural gas consumption during the year..."

Recent Development Efforts for Military Airships

"During the past decade’s operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military has come to rely heavily on the continuous or nearly continuous presence overhead of both manned and unmanned aircraft to support ground troops. Unmanned aircraft that
remain aloft in particular locations (or “orbits”) have been primarily used to provide timely information about activities on the ground and to attack ground targets on short notice. Most prominent among these aircraft are the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) fleets of unmanned Predators, Reapers, and Global Hawks; however, satellites and manned conventional aircraft, including fighters and long-range bombers, have also contributed..."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Holiday Shopping Tips

"Whether your gift list is ready or you're wondering how long you can wait to start your holiday shopping, the Federal Trade Commission has online tips to help you get the best deals. The bottom line: Some extra research can really pay off:

Set a Budget. Create a gift list and check it twice to help you stay on track and not overspend.

Decide What Matters. Especially if you're buying gadgets, know what your "must-have" features are vs. those that are just nice to have.

Use Search Engines. Type a company or product name into your search engine with terms like "review," "complaint" or "scam" to find out more about it.

Read Reviews Online. Reviews from other people, experts, and columnists can give you an idea of how a product performs. But don't put all of your trust in one review.

Consider Reputation. A brand's reputation for quality and good customer service can really pay off.

Check Comparison Shopping Sites. They connect to many retailers selling the same product, sometimes at significantly different prices. Keep shipping costs in mind.

Consider Coupons. Some companies offer discounts via e-mail, and some websites collect and list codes for free shipping and other discounts. Search for the store with terms like "discount," "coupon" or "free shipping."

Read Return Policies. Not all stores have the same rules. Some charge fees for return shipping or restocking things like electronics.

Decide How to Pay. When you shop online, credit cards can offer extra protections.

Look for a Secure Checkout. Does the website start with https (the "s" stands for secure) when you're checking out?..."

Science of Fall Colors

"...Daylength (or more correctly, the length of nights) is the real cause of trees’ transition to autumn colors. (Read more here about how longer nights translate into the vibrant color of autumn.)

So what role does frost play in the changing color of autumn leaves? Frost actually ruins vivid fall colors by causing cells in the leaf to rupture and die.

The appearance of fall colors shift each year due to weather. Heavy cloud cover limits ultraviolet light, so the chlorophyll lasts longer, and leaves stay green longer. High night temperatures cause cells to burn accumulated sugars, so less red and purple pigments are formed and yellow and orange are the predominant colors. Drought stress or a windy interlude cause leaves to drop prematurely..."

State and Local Government Revenue: 2009

"In 2009, state and local governments brought in nearly $2.1 trillion, a 22.1 percent ($587.5 billion) decrease from 2008, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Most tax revenue categories saw declines except property tax, which saw a 3.7 percent increase to $424.0 billion.

These findings come from the 2009 Annual Surveys of State and Local Government Finances, which include statistics on revenues (including taxes), expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) for state and local governments.

Revenue from the federal government increased 12.3 percent from $478.0 billion to $536.8 billion between 2008 and 2009..."

Monday, October 31, 2011

How Can I Help End Domestic Violence?

"Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, coworkers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children who grow up witnessing domestic violence are among those seriously affected by this crime. You can help break this cycle of violence by raising awareness of the effect domestic violence has on every community, every work place, and every school..."