Thursday, October 30, 2014

Protect Your Family from Deadly Carbon Monoxide This Winter

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

Dynamics of Economic Well-Being:Poverty 2009-2012

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fisheries of the United States: 2013

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

The DIY Halloween

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

Mapping U.S. Agriculture

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

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

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

Bats and pollination

Made in Rural America

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

"The White Angel Bread Line"

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

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

Prepare for Winter with Energy Department Resources

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

Experts identify easy way to improve smartphone security

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

World Stroke Day, Oct. 29th

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


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

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

Census Bureau Releases Industry Series Report on Accommodation

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fragile X Syndrome

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

National Spina Bifida Patient Registry

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

National Lead Poisoning Week

"Young children often place their toys, fingers, and other objects in their mouth as part of their normal development. This hand-to-mouth activity may put them in contact with lead paint or dust.

The most common sources of lead exposure for children are chips and particles of old lead paint.."
Lead poison

Is it Strep Throat?

"Many things can cause that unpleasant, scratchy, and sometimes painful condition known as a sore throat. Viruses, bacteria, allergens, environmental irritants (such as cigarette smoke), chronic postnasal drip and fungi can all cause a sore throat. While many sore throats will get better without treatment, some throat infections—including strep throat—may need antibiotic treatment..."
Strep Throat

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Coresident Grandparents and Their Grandchildren: 2012

"American households include a variety of living arrangements. Recent trends in increased life expectancy, single parent families, and female employment, increase the potential for grandparents to play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. Increases in grandparents
living with grandchildren are one way that the grandparent role has changed.

This report explores the complexity of households in which grandparents and grandchildren live together. It uses data from the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). It
capitalizes on the strengths of each of these data sources to provide a more complete picture of households containing grandparents and grandchildren.."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Executive Order --Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions

"Given that identity crimes, including credit, debit, and other payment card fraud, continue to be a risk to U.S. economic activity, and given the economic consequences of data breaches, the United States must take further action to enhance the security of data in the financial marketplace. While the U.S. Government's credit, debit, and other payment card programs already include protections against fraud, the Government must further strengthen the security of consumer data and encourage the adoption of enhanced safeguards nationwide in a manner that protects privacy and confidentiality while maintaining an efficient and innovative financial system..."
Consumer financial transactions

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended) has numerous provisions affecting private health insurance and public health coverage programs. Many of these provisions take effect in 2014. This report provides resources to help congressional staff respond to constituents’ frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the law. The report lists selected
resources regarding consumers, employers, and other stakeholders, with a focus on federal sources. It also lists CRS reports that summarize ACA’s provisions..."

Affordable Care Act

Female self-employment in the United States: 2012

"After seeing considerable increases in the 1970s and the 1980s, the share of women in self-employment and the female self-employment rate leveled off in the 1990s and remained relatively unchanged through 2012. While this recent 20-year trend may not be remarkable, the characteristics of female business owners have changed considerably over time.."

Women employment

Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws

"The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It is a cyber security law. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills cracks and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of CFAA and some of its federal statutory companions, including the amendments found in the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act, P.L. 110-326, 122 Stat. 3560 (2008)..."


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Women are the Past, Present and Future of American Agriculture

"From historic homesteaders to contemporary cattle ranchers, women have been the cornerstone of America’s agriculture heritage. We’ve produced food to feed our families, feed our neighbors and to feed the world.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture notes that nearly one million women are working America’s lands. That’s nearly a third of our nation’s farmers.  These women are generating $12.9 billion in annual agricultural sales.
Farm work isn’t the only way women are contributing to agriculture.  We are scientists, economists, foresters, veterinarians and conservationists. We are in the boardrooms and the corner offices of international enterprises, and are the owners and operators of small businesses. We are property owners and managers. We are policy makers and standard bearers.  Women are increasingly involved in every aspect of agriculture..."

From historic homesteaders to contemporary cattle ranchers, women have been the cornerstone of America’s agriculture heritage. We’ve produced food to feed our families, feed our neighbors and to feed the world.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture notes that nearly one million women are working America’s lands. That’s nearly a third of our nation’s farmers.  These women are generating $12.9 billion in annual agricultural sales.
Farm work isn’t the only way women are contributing to agriculture.  We are scientists, economists, foresters, veterinarians and conservationists. We are in the boardrooms and the corner offices of international enterprises, and are the owners and operators of small businesses. We are property owners and managers. We are policy makers and standard bearers.  Women are increasingly involved in every aspect of agriculture.
- See more at:
Women and agriculture

Sending Care Packages to Our Troops Overseas

"Send a care package to a loved one in the military using the United States Postal Service (USPS)
  1. Check out the guidelines for international shipping and make sure the items you’re sending are permitted in the destination country.
  2. Follow the instructions to send packages to military and diplomatic personnel. Include the recipient’s full name, unit number and military mail address with the Army or Air Force Post Office (APO), Fleet for Navy and Marines Post Office (FPO), or Diplomatic Post Office (DPO).
  3. Use the internet to fill out a Customs Form to attach to the package.
    Overseas care packages

EPA Releases Guidance to Improve Schools’ Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency

"Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new guidance to help school districts protect indoor air quality while increasing energy efficiency during school renovations.

“This guidance provides common-sense solutions for improving energy efficiency and indoor air quality in schools across the country,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “By using these guidelines, school districts can cut their energy bills and help ensure that students have a healthy and safe learning environment.”

Both energy management and protection of indoor air quality (IAQ) are important considerations for school facility management during energy upgrades and retrofits, and schools can protect occupant health by addressing both goals holistically. These renovation and construction activities can create dust, introduce new contaminants and contaminant pathways, create or aggravate moisture problems, and result in inadequate ventilation in occupied spaces. EPA’s Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades offers opportunities to prevent and control potentially harmful conditions during school renovations..."
Schools’ Indoor Air Quality

Healthy Contact Lens Wear and Care

"When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a comfortable and convenient way to work, play, and live for the more than 30 million people in the U.S. who wear them. While contact lenses are usually a safe and effective form of vision correction, they are not entirely risk-free—especially if they are not cared for properly. To reap the benefits of wearing contact lenses, it is essential to practice healthy habits..."
Contact lens

Safeguarding the Personal Information of All People...

"The United States is committed to protecting the personal information of all people around the world, regardless of their nationality. Indeed, it is our longstanding practice to conduct signal intelligence(SIGINT) activities only for authorized foreign intelligence and counterintelligence  purposes, and to safeguard information obtained through such means from unauthorized acess or disclosure. On January 17,  2014, the President issued Presidential Policy Directive (PPD), 28, Signals Intelligence Activities, which "articulates principles to guide why, whether, when, and how the United States conducts SIGINT activities for authorized foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.""
personal information security

Energy for growing and harvesting crops is a large component of farm operating costs

"The U.S. agriculture industry used nearly 800 trillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy in 2012, or about as much primary energy as the entire state of Utah. Agricultural energy consumption includes energy needed to grow and harvest crops and energy needed to grow livestock. Crop operations consume much more energy than livestock operations, and energy expenditures for crops account for a higher percentage of farm operating costs..."
Energy for crop production

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Federal Reserve Beige Book, October 2014

"Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts generally described
modest to moderate economic growth at a pace similar to that noted in the previous Beige Book. Moderate growth was reported by the Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts, while modest growth was reported by the New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta, and Kansas City Districts. In the Boston District, reports from business contacts painted a mixed picture of economic conditions. In addition, several Districts noted that contacts were generally optimistic about future activity.."

Federal Reserve

Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa

"After more than a decade of combating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the United States
now faces an increasingly diverse threat from Al Qaeda affiliates in the Middle East and Africa and from emerging groups that have adopted aspects of Al Qaeda’s ideology but operate relatively or completely autonomously from the group’s senior leadership..."

Al Qaeda

Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority

"In the wake of increasing fears about the spread of highly contagious diseases, federal, state, and
local governments have become increasingly aware of the need for a comprehensive public health response to such events. An effective response could include the quarantine of persons exposed to infectious biological agents that are naturally occurring or released during a terrorist attack, the isolation of infected persons, and the quarantine of certain cities or neighborhoods.
The public health authority of the states derives from the police powers granted by their constitutions and reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The authority of the federal government to prescribe quarantine and other health measures is based on the Commerce Clause, which gives Congress exclusive authority to regulate interstate and foreign commerce..."

Quarantine law

Yearbook on Immigration Statistics: 2013

"The Yearbook of Immigration Statistics is a compendium of tables that provides data on foreign nationals who, during a fiscal year, were granted lawful permanent residence (i.e., admitted as immigrants or became legal permanent residents), were admitted into the United States on a temporary basis (e.g., tourists, students, or workers), applied for asylum or refugee status, or were naturalized. The Yearbook also presents data on immigration enforcement actions, including alien apprehensions, removals, and returns. The Yearbook tables are released as they become available.."
Immigration statistics

Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado.

"October 15, 1945 marked the closing date of the Granada Project, the first of the War Relocation Authority centers to be closed. Under the authority of Executive Order 9066, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, approximately 110,000 Japanese-Americans were interned in 10 relocation centers for the duration of World War II..."
Granada relocation center

How Do You Clean Up an Ebola Patient’s Home?

"Four days after Thomas E. Duncan was admitted to the hospital as the first person in America to be diagnosed with Ebola, his Dallas home still sat exactly as he’d left it. “The apartment where he was staying with four other people had not been sanitized and the sheets and dirty towels he used while sick remained in the home,” the New York Times reported. Cleaning contractors, it turned out, were too scared to do the job.
Since then, biohazard cleaners have decontaminated Duncan’s apartment, and they have been quicker to respond to the subsequent two cases of Ebola that are currently confirmed in Dallas, both hospital workers who attended to Duncan. The Washington Post reports that the latest patient reported a fever on October 14, and responders in hazmat suits were at her apartment before dawn the next day to begin cleanup..."

Ebola clean up

American Housing Survey, 2013

Find the latest statistics on housing including data on single-family homes, apartments, manufactured housing, vacant units, family composition, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, HVAC equipment, appliances, fuel type, remodeling and repair, and recent moves.."
Housing survey

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bottled Drinking Water Laboratory Analysis Fiscal Year 2013

"Wisconsin State Statute, s. 97.34(2)(e), requires the Department of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection to compile and publish an annual bottled drinking water report. It is a
compilation of the laboratory results for bottled drinking water sampled in the State of
Wisconsin in Fiscal Year 2013.. The samples were collected from bottled water processors and retail distribution sites in this state. The collection and analysis is a coordinated effort by the Bureau of Food Safety and Inspection, the Bureau of Laboratory Services Groundwater
Unit and the Wisconsin Laboratory of Hygiene..".

Bottled water

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Housing: Before, During, And After The Great Recession

"As the 2000s unfolded, economic growth and public policies designed to increase homeownership led to a housing boom. By 2006, the “housing bubble” began to burst. In late 2007, the economy fell into recession. The housing market continued to soften, people began to lose their jobs, and the banking industry was in crisis.
This Spotlight on Statistics looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction and housing-related industries, prices for household items and commodities, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.."

Housing statistics

US Forest Service Keeping Score on Climate Change

The U.S. Forest Service has a new tool, Climate Change Performance Scoreboard, to measure if how well it is responding to climate change.
Day after day we’re seeing more impacts from climate change, and many concerned folks want to know what exactly their government is doing about it. In other words, who’s keeping score on what we’re doing as our climate warms?
With this in mind, the U.S. Forest Service has developed something it calls the Climate Change Performance Scorecard. The scorecard was created as a way for the Forest Service to measure how well it was responding to climate change and to keep track of experiences and best practices so others could learn from them.
- See more at:
Day after day we’re seeing more impacts from climate change, and many concerned folks want to know what exactly their government is doing about it. In other words, who’s keeping score on what we’re doing as our climate warms?
With this in mind, the U.S. Forest Service has developed something it calls the Climate Change Performance Scorecard. The scorecard was created as a way for the Forest Service to measure how well it was responding to climate change and to keep track of experiences and best practices so others could learn from them.
- See more at:
Day after day we’re seeing more impacts from climate change, and many concerned folks want to know what exactly their government is doing about it. In other words, who’s keeping score on what we’re doing as our climate warms?
With this in mind, the U.S. Forest Service has developed something it calls the Climate Change Performance Scorecard. The scorecard was created as a way for the Forest Service to measure how well it was responding to climate change and to keep track of experiences and best practices so others could learn from them.
- See more at:

Forest service climate change scorecard

International Food Security: A Look at the Next Decade

"Across the globe, how are low- and middle-income countries faring in the ability to feed their populations? The International Food Security Assessment, released annually by the Economic Research Service (ERS), is the only report to provide a 10-year projection of food security in these countries. Since the 1980s, ERS has been conducting research and reporting on food security in countries most likely to face food security challenges.
To assess countries’ food security, ERS uses two key determinants: domestic food production and import capacity. In countries where domestic food production accounts for a large share of consumption (many in Sub Saharan Africa and Asia), increasing output of staple crops is crucial to improving food security. By comparison, in countries that rely on imports for a large share of their food supplies (many in North Africa and Latin America), the capacity to pay for imports is more important..."Food security

What is the Supplemental Poverty Measure and How Does it Differ from the Official Measure?

"In September, the U.S. Census Bureau released official poverty statistics for the United States for the 2013 calendar year. The current official poverty measure was developed in the early 1960s, and only a few minor changes have been implemented since that time...
In 2010, an interagency technical working group asked the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop a new measure that would improve our understanding of the economic well-being of American families and enhance our ability to measure the effect of federal policies on those living in poverty..
This week, the Census Bureau will release the fourth report on the supplemental poverty measure, containing estimates for the 2013 calendar year. The report presents estimates for and discusses differences between the official and the supplemental poverty measures. The major differences are listed in the box below and in this chart: .."
Supplemental poverty measure

Monday, October 13, 2014

Medicare Open Enrollment, Oct. 15 - Dec. 7, 2014

"October 15 to December 7 is when ALL people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2014. Information on 2014 plans will be available beginning in October. People with Medicare can call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit for plan information. If a person is satisfied that their current plan will meet their needs for next year, they don’t need to do anything..."
Medicare Enrollment

Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2014

"This report is the authoritative reference for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, fuel economy, and powertrain technology trends for new personal vehicles in the United States. The detailed data supporting this report were obtained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), directly from automobile manufacturers, to support implementation of EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) programs. These data have been collected and maintained by EPA since 1975, and comprise the most comprehensive database of its kind. This report (the “Trends” report) has been published annually since 1975 and covers all passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, minivans, and all but the largest pickup trucks and vans.."

Fuel economy

New Research Aims to Help Investigators Solve Serial Murder Cases

"A new study for the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime focuses on a key aspect of serial murder cases: how and where the victims’ bodies are discovered and what that says about the killers.
The study, Serial Murder: Pathways for Investigations, is an analysis of details from hundreds of serial murder cases to help investigators better understand these terrible crimes—and be better equipped to solve them..."

Serial murder cases

National ALS Registry

"While the Ice Bucket Challenge has brought a tremendous amount of general awareness, , we still know little about the disease, including its cause(s), why ALS strikes some people and not others, and how to stop it. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is working to learn more about the disease through its National ALS Registry. The goals of the Registry are to better describe the incidence and prevalence of ALS in the U.S., learn more about the possible environmental and occupational exposures that may increase someone’s risk of having the disease, and characterize the demographics—age, sex, race, and ethnicity—of people living with the disease..."
 ALS registry

Global Handwashing Day

"Global Handwashing Day is a way to support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap, shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in each country, and raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap.1 Since 2008, Global Handwashing Day has been celebrated annually on October 15 worldwide. The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap founded Global Handwashing Day and encourages school children, teachers, and families to get involved..."
Global Handwashing

What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68

"Infections with enteroviruses are usually common in the United States during summer and fall. This year, beginning in mid-August, states started seeing more children in hospitals with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Since then, CDC and states have been doing more testing, and have found that EV-D68 is making people sick in almost all states. Most of the cases have been among children. EV-D68 is not new, but it hasn't been as common in the past. While this has been a big year for EV-D68 infections, CDC expects the number of cases to taper off by late fall..."

U.S. Seafood facts

"Today, 91 percent of seafood consumed in the United States is imported, and about half of this is wild-caught. Because of our interests both as a seafood-consuming nation and a fishing nation, it is critical that NOAA take an active role in shaping the conservation and management of international fisheries. For U.S. consumers of imported seafood, our goal is to make sure that seafood is safe, and that it comes from legal and sustainable fisheries..."
Seafood facts

Common Core State Standards: Frequently Asked Questions

"Over the last two decades, there has been interest in developing federal policies that focus on student outcomes in elementary and secondary education. Perhaps most prominently, the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB; P.L. 107-110), which amended and reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), marked a dramatic expansion of the federal government’s role in supporting standards-based instruction and test-based accountability, thereby increasing the federal government’s involvement in decisions that directly affect teaching and learning..."

Common Core Standards

Short ‐ Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook October 2014

"EIA  projects average U.S. household expenditures for natural gas, heating oil, electricity, and propane will decrease this winter heating season (October 1 through March 31) compared with last winter, which was 11% colder than the previous 10‐year average nationally. Projected average household expenditures for propane and heating oil are 27% and 15% lower, respectively, because of lower heating demand and prices. Lower heating demand and higher prices contribute to natural gas and electricity expenditures that are 5% and 2% lower than last winter.."
 Winter fuel outlook

U.S. State Department Iraq-Syria Conflict Without Borders Map

Find a map of the humanitarian crisis on the Iraq Syrian border.
Iraq - Syria conflict maps

Fighting Ebola and Infectious Diseases with Information

"Reminder: On Tuesday, October 14, 2014, library leaders from the U.S. National Library of Medicine will host the free webinar “Fighting Ebola and Infectious Diseases with Information: Resources and Search Skills can Arm Librarians.” The webinar will teach participants how to find and share reliable health information..."
Ebola webinar

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ebola: Basics About the Disease

"In March 2014, global health officials recognized an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Guinea, West Africa. In retrospect, officials determined that the outbreak began in December 2013, and spread to the adjacent countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. In September 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first EVD case diagnosed in the United States, heightening concerns among some who fear the disease could
spread in American communities. This report discusses EVD in general, including symptoms, modes of  transmission, incubation period, and treatments; presents projections of the future course of the outbreak; and lists additional CRS products, including products focused on the situation in West Africa. Unless otherwise cited, information in this report is drawn from Ebola information pages of CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).." 


The Ebola Outbreak: Select Legal Issues

"On August 8th , the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern . The recent arrival in the United States of several health care workers who contracted the disease, combined with the first diagnosis of a case in the U.S. at a hospital in Dallas, has sparked discussion about the appropriate government response. Aside from the various policy considerations at issue, the outbreak has generated several legal questions about the federal government’s authority to restrict specific passengers’ travel and/or contain the outbreak of an infectious disease. These questions include, inter alia, whether the federal government may: (1) restrict which countries U.S. nationals may travel to in the event of a public health crisis; (2) bar the entry into the United States of people who may have been infected by a disease; and (3) impose isolation or quarantine measures in order to control infectious diseases.."

Ebola and law

13th Report on Carcinogens (RoC)

"The Report on Carcinogens (RoC) is a congressionally mandated, science-based, public health document that the NTP prepared for the HHS Secretary.
The report identifies agents, substances, mixtures, and exposure circumstances that are known or reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans.
Read Questions and Answers About the 13th RoC and a Fact Sheet on the 13th RoC (301 KB) for more information on carcinogens and their impact on your health..."


Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries

"More than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department (ED)—and nearly 200,000 were then hospitalized—for crash injuries in 2012. On average, each crash-related ED visit costs about $3,300 and each hospitalization costs about $57,000 over a person's lifetime. The best way to keep people safe and reduce medical costs is to prevent crashes from happening in the first place. But if a crash does occur, many injuries can still be avoided through the use of proven interventions. More can be done at every level to prevent crashes and reduce injuries, but state-level changes are especially effective..."
Motor vehicle crashes

Characteristics of the Long-Term Unemployed in March 2007 and March 2014

"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has asked the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for
information about the characteristics of people who have been unemployed for a long time. Specifically, she asked the agency to describe any changes in those characteristics that occurred between March 2007 and March 2014. In answering that question, this document supplements and updates information provided in CBO’s Understanding and Responding to Persistently High Unemployment (February 2012),
The recent recession and slow recovery led to a high rate of long-term unemployment, which is defined as being out of work for more than 26 consecutive weeks. That rate peaked at 4.3 percent in the second quarter of calendar year 2010 and has fallen considerably since then (see Figure 1). It was 2.4 percent in March 2014 and has since fallen further to 1.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014, still about a percentage point above its average from 2001 to 2007..."

Long term unemployed

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Robert E. Lee’s Amnesty Oath, 10/02/1865

"After Confederal General Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops in April 1865, he promoted reconciliation. This statement reaffirmed his loyalty to the U.S. Constitution..."
Robert E. Lee

Sargeant Alvin C. York

"From the photo caption: "Sergeant Alvin C. York, 328th Infantry, who with aid of 17 men, captured 132 German prisoners; shows hill on which raid took place [October 8, 1918]. Argonne Forest, near Cornay, France., 02/07/1919 ".."
Sargeant Alvin C. York

Descendants of a Real Aunt Jemima Are Suing the Brand Bearing Her Name

"In 1889, two entrepreneurs created a ready-made pancake mix and named it after a popular character from contemporary minstrel shows—Aunt Jemima. Their company was struggling, though, and they sold it off, complete with Aunt Jemima pancake mix, to another milling company owner, named R.T. Davis. It was Davis who had the idea of hiring a real person as a spokeswoman for the new brand. 
Nancy Green was born a slave in Kentucky in 1834, and after Davis picked her to personify Aunt Jemina in 1890, her face became famous. Her image was so popular, according to the Aunt Jemima website, that the company was renamed in 1914..."
Aunt jJemima

Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

"The Department of Labor's annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor focuses on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries and territories to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement mechanisms, policies and social programs..."
Child labor

Screening of Travelers at Airports

"This fact sheet helps explain the measures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, and their partners are taking at airports both in the United States and in affected countries in West Africa to prevent the spread of Ebola.
Exit screening in countries with Ebola outbreaks
Since the beginning of August, CDC has been working with airlines, airports, ministries of health, and other partners to provide technical assistance to countries with Ebola outbreaks. CDC has helped affected countries screen departing travelers from these countries (exit screening). Exit screenings are conducted at airports in these outbreak-affected countries to look for sick travelers or travelers exposed to Ebola and to delay them from boarding an airplane until it is safe for them to travel..."

Airport screening, Ebola

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

"October is SIDS Awareness Month. Learn more about the problem and the risk factors and take action to reduce the risk. Start by always placing babies on their backs to sleep.

Understanding the Problem 

About 4,000 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States. These deaths are called sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID). Often an autopsy alone cannot explain these deaths without investigating the scene and reviewing the infant's medical history..."
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Heroin overdose deaths increased in many states through 2012

"Heroin deaths increased sharply in many states, according to a report of death certificate data from 28 states published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Despite these findings, still more than twice as many people died from prescription opioid overdoses as died from heroin in these states in 2012..."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Arthritis: Take Action

"In the U.S., 53 million adults live with arthritis and almost half of adults 65 years of age or older have the condition. Arthritis can make it difficult for people to do everyday activities and participate in their communities, but there are effective strategies to manage these limitations. People with arthritis can use these successful strategies to improve quality of life, reduce symptoms, and reduce disability..."

Protect your hearing

"Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common work-related illness in the United States. Each year, an estimated 22 million U.S. workers encounter noise exposures loud enough to be potentially hazardous. In addition to damaging workers' quality of life, occupational hearing loss can carry a high economic price to society..."
Hearing safety

Tuberculosis in the United States: 2013

Find the latest statistics on the of tuberculosis cases reported in the United States.

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses(2014)

"A priority of U.S. policy has been to reduce the perceived threat posed by Iran to a broad range of U.S. interests. During the 1980s and 1990s, U.S. officials identified Iran’s support for militant Middle East groups as a significant threat to U.S. interests and allies. The issue of Iran’s nuclear program came to the fore in 2002, and, to counter that enhanced potential threat, the United States has sought to orchestrate broad international economic pressure on Iran to try to compel it to verifiably demonstrate to the international community that its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes. The pressure harmed Iran’s economy and might have contributed to the June 2013 election of the relatively moderate Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran, who campaigned as an advocate of ending Iran’s international isolation..."

Iran - U.S. concerns

Temporary Professional, Managerial, and Skilled Foreign Workers: Legislation in the 113 th Congress

"The admission of professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers raises a complex set of policy issues as the United States competes internationally for the most talented workers in the world, without adversely effecting U.S. workers and U.S. students entering the labor market. Legislative proposals that Congress has considered include streamlining procedures that govern the admission of professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers; increasing the number of temporary professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers admitted each year; requiring employers of professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers to make efforts to recruit U.S. workers and offer wages and benefits that are comparable to similarly employed U.S. workers;..."

Foreign skilled workers

Poverty in the Untied States: 2013

"In 2013, 45.3 million people were counted as poor in the United States under the official poverty
measure—a number statistically unchanged from the 46.5 million people estimated as poor in 2012. The poverty rate , or percent of the population considered poor under the official definition, was reported at 14.5% in 2013, a statistically significant drop from the estimated 15.0% in 2012. Poverty in the United States increased markedly over the 2007-2010 period, in tandem with the economic recession (officially marked as running from December 2007 to June 2009), and remained unchanged at a post-recession high for three years (15.1% in 2010, and 15.0% in both 2011 and 2012). The 2013 poverty rate of 14.5% remains above a 2006 pre-recession low of 12.3%, and well above an historic low rate of 11.3% attained in 2000 (a rate statistically tied with a previous low of 11.1% in 1973).."


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wisconsin Lives Up to its Dairyland Name

Find the latest Census of Agriculture(2012) statistics for the Badger state.The Census of Agriculture is the most complete account of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Every Thursday USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will highlight new Census data and the power of the information to shape the future of American agriculture.
Welcome to America’s Dairyland! It is simply impossible to talk about Wisconsin agriculture without immediately bringing up our dairy sector. After all, as the 2012 Census of Agriculture results showed, 16.5 percent of all farms in our state have milk cows. 
Wisconsin - Census of Agriculture

Where to find lateest recalls

"Recalls are not uncommon. They can occur in everything from food and toys to automobiles. Some recalls are easy to find out about — they’re huge stories broadcast on national news outlets. Others don’t garner much media attention, but they’re still important to be aware of. Make it a habit to check the following places for recall notices, and be sure the products you’re buying and food you’re eating is safe. lists government-initiated recalls from federal agencies. publishes safety information on vehicles and equipment such as children’s car seats. lists recalls that involve meat, poultry, or processed egg products. lists recalls that involve food, medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, biologics, radiation emitting products, veterinary drugs and pet food..."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Canada: Country Analysis Brief: 2014

"Canada is a net exporter of most energy commodities and is an especially significant producer of conventional and unconventional oil, natural gas, and hydroelectricity. It stands out as the largest foreign supplier of energy to the United States, its southern neighbor and one of the world's largest consumers of
energy. Just as the United States depends on Canada for much of its
energy needs, so is Canada profoundly dependent on the United States as
an export market. How ever, economic and political considerations are
leading Canada to consider ways to diversify its trading partners,
especially by expanding ties with emerging markets in Asia.."
Canada energy resources

Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources

"This report is one of a series of reports on legislative process and research; it is intended to serve as a finding aid to sources of information, such as documents, news articles, analysis, contacts and services, used in legislative research. It does not define or describe the purpose of various government documents; that information can be found in companion CRS Report R41865, Legislative History Research: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff , and CRS Report
RL33895, Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff..."
 Legislative Research

Here's What Raising the Wage Means to You

"In this year's State of the Union, President Obama announced that he would be issuing an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their workers a minimum wage of $10.10. Today, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez announced a final rule that implements the Executive Order -- and the rule will benefit almost 200,000 American workers.

"By raising the minimum wage for workers on federal contracts, we're rewarding a hard day's work with fair pay," Secretary Perez said.

But there's more we can do. Raising the minimum wage nationwide will increase earnings for millions of workers and boost the bottom lines of businesses across the country. This is personal for millions of Americans, whether they earn the current minimum wage or no.."
Federal minimum wage

Co-op Month Celebrates Member-Owned Business Model

"October is Cooperative Month, and this year's theme is "the Co-op Connection," an apt reference  to the virtually unlimited number of ways in which co-ops connect their members to marketplaces and services they might otherwise be unable to access.
America is home to more than 30,000 cooperatives, including farmer, rural tuility, credit/financial services, food stores, housing and many other types of cooperatives. To get an idea of just how flexible the co-op business model is in meeting virtually any need, see the Co-op Month special section of the Sept.-Oct. issue of USDA's "Rural Cooperative" magazine at: the "spotlight" section on the home page)..."

Census Bureau Completes Release of All 364 Manufacturing Reports from Economic Census Industry Series

"In recognition of Manufacturing Day on October 3, the Census Bureau presents descriptions of its wide array of data products on the manufacturing sector of the economy. Additionally, statistics on all 364 industries in the manufacturing sector are now available from the 2012 Economic Census.

2012 Economic Census Industry Series: A complete series of national-level data files on specific manufacturing industries, including, for instance, the number of establishments, payroll, number of employees, value of product shipments and services provided by businesses. News releases are available highlighting breweriesautomobile manufacturing, household appliance manufacturing andsemiconductor manufacturing..."
Economic Census Manufacturing reports

Nearly 6,000 Migrants Have Died Along the Mexico-U.S. Border Since 2000

"In the past 14 years, more than 6,000 people have died trying to migrate through the U.S.'s southern border, a new report by the International Organisation for Migration says. Just in the past year, as many as 445 people died trying to pass into the U.S., reports the Toronto Star; that number comes from the U.S. Border Control and may be a low estimate.

The death rate for would-be U.S. migrants was down slightly last year compared to 2012, the Star reports. At the same time, though, over the past year more than 47,000 unaccompanied children were picked up trying to get into the U.S., a dramatic rise over previous rates. This past summer, the surge in migrant children traveling to the U.S. from Central and South America overwhelmed border facilities..."

Mexican migrants

Enough Ice Has Melted in Antarctica to Alter the Earth’s Gravity

"The Earth’s gravity field is not uniform. Instead, it mounds in some spots due to the density of rock or ice below, the flow of groundwater or ocean currents and other factors. To measure those variations, the European Space Agency launched the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) in 2009. 

During its four-year run, GOCE was able to make a number of observations that showed gravity changes over time — including the gravity scar left by the 2011 Japanese earthquake. And, with the help of an older satellite called GRACE, GOCE's observations showed that melting glaciers in West Antarctica have lost so much mass that there's been a dip in gravity over the region. (GOCE provided detail about individual glacial systems.)..."
Antarctica melted ice

America's Best Fall Color Driv

"Crisp air, panoramic views, brilliantly colored ash and poplar trees: The exhilarating route to North Carolina's Mount Mitchell State Park—the highest peak in the Eastern United States—is a destination in itself. The scenic 78-year-old Blue Ridge Parkway is just one of the country’s great autumn drives.

The fall foliage season, when the changing palette of deciduous trees is in blazing bloom, is now starting. And the way to maximize your intake of color is to map out a driving route. In September, October, and—in some spots—even November, color seekers can visit 31 states and drive more than 3,000 miles of national scenic byways, plus thousands of other scenic roads..."

Fall Colors

New York City Subway

" Monday, October 27th. One of the great engineering achievements of New York City began operation on this date 110 years ago. The city's famous subway system was inaugurated amid speeches, bands, a ribbon cutting, and throngs of riders. The original line was just over nine miles long and connected City Hall to West 145th Street. Today, the system has 230 miles of routes. Each weekday, nearly 5.5 million people ride the subway. Among large cities of the world, the New York system is the only one to run 24 hours a day all year long. Across the U.S., 5 percent of workers use public transportation -- including subways -- to get to their jobs. More than three-quarters of us drive to work alone. About 10 percent ride in car pools.."
N.Y. City Subway

Statement by Secretary Johnson About the U.S. Secret Service

"Today Julia Pierson, the Director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it. I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation.

As an interim Acting Director of the Secret Service, I am appointing Joseph Clancy, formerly Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division of the Secret Service. Mr. Clancy retired from the Secret Service in 2011. I appreciate his willingness to leave his position in the private sector on very short notice and return to public service for a period.

Today, I have also asked the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, aided by this Department’s General Counsel, to assume control and direction of the ongoing inquiry by the Secret Service of the fence jumping incident at the White House on September 19.  Deputy Secretary Mayorkas should complete that review and submit findings to me by November 1, 2014..."
U.S. Secret Service

The Foreign Born Population from Africa: 2008-2012

"According to the 2008–2012 American Community Survey (ACS), 39.8 million foreign-born people resided in the United States, including 1.6 million from Africa, or about 4 percent of the total foreign-born population. In 1970, there were about 80,000 African foreign born, representing less than 1 percent of the total foreign-born population (Figure 1). During the following four decades, the number of foreign born from Africa grew rapidly, roughly doubling each decade.."
Foreign born - Africa