Monday, April 27, 2015

USDA Continues to Expand Local and Regional Market Data

"Are you in the market for data covering locally and regionally produced agricultural products?  You are not alone.  Consumer demand for local and regional food products continues to soar, with retail sales at an estimated $6.1 billion in 2012.  Thanks to support from the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA Market News created a series of market reports on locally or regionally produced agricultural products. 
USDA Market News – administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – provides unbiased, reliable data that serves as the information lifeline for America’s agricultural economy.  The reports for local and regional food outlets – available on the Local & Regional Food Marketing Information webpage – provide farmers, agricultural businesses, and consumers with a one-stop-shop for market and pricing information..."
Local and regional food data

The DIGEST Of Equal Employment Opportunity Law

Find the latest quarterly issue of the Digest of Equal Employment Opportunity Law, April 2015.

One-Stop Shop for Stats on Specific Industries: Now with Even More Information

"If you are a business owner, entrepreneur or business development specialist looking for key information about an industry in your local area, you are in luck.
The Census Bureau today launched an expanded version of its Industry Snapshots. These Snapshots permit you to select one of more than 1,000 detailed industries and pull up national and state-level data tables and county-level thematic maps for that industry..."
Industry Statistics

Saturday, April 25, 2015

America’s Youngest Outcasts:a Report Card on Child Homelessness

"America’s Youngest Outcasts reports on child homelessness in the United States based on the most recent federal data that comprehensively counts homeless children, using more than 30 variables from over a dozen established data sets.

A staggering 2.5 million children are now homeless each year in America. This historic high represents one in every 30 children in the United States. Child homelessness increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia from 2012 to 2013. Children are homeless in every city, county, and state—every part of our country.

Based on a calculation using the most recent U.S. Department of Education’s count of homeless children in U.S. public schools and on 2013 U.S. Census data:
 • 2,483,539 children experienced homelessness in the U.S. in 2013.
 • This represents one in every 30 children in the U.S.

From 2012 to 2013, the number of children experiencing homelessness annually in the U.S.:
 • Increased by 8% nationally.
 • Increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia.
 • Increased by 10% or more in 13 states and the District of Columbia..."
Homeless and children

Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies

"Mountaintop removal mining involves removing the top of a mountain in order to recover the coal seams contained there. This practice occurs in six Appalachian states (Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Ohio). It creates an immense quantity of excess spoil (dirt and rock that previously composed the mountaintop), which is typically placed in valley fills on the sides of the former mountains, burying streams that flow through the valleys. Mountaintop mining is regulated under several laws, including the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA)..."

Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress

"Cuba remains a one-party communist state with a poor record on human rights. The country’s political succession in 2006 from the long-ruling Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl was characterized by a remarkable degree of stability. In 2013, Raúl began his second and final fiveyear term, which is scheduled to end in February 2018, when he would be 86 years old. Castro has implemented a number of market-oriented economic policy changes over the past several years. A 2011 party congress laid out numerous economic goals that, if implemented, could significantly alter Cuba’s state-dominated economic model. Few observers, however, expect the government to ease its tight control over the political system. While the government has released most long-term political prisoners, short-term detentions and harassment have increased significantly over the past several years, reflecting a change of tactics in repressing dissent..."

EIA report highlights top 100 U.S. oil and natural gas fields

"The top 100 oil fields in the United States accounted for 20.6 billion barrels of crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves, or 56% of the U.S. total in 2013. The top 100 natural gas fields accounted for 239.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas proved reserves, 68% of the U.S. total. Proved reserves are defined as estimated quantities of oil and natural gas that analysis of geologic and engineering data demonstrates with reasonable certainty are recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions..."
Oil & gas fields

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Your money, your goals

Your Money, Your Goals is a toolkit to help front line staff and volunteers as they work with consumers to…
  • Make spending decisions that can help them reach their goals
  • Order and fix credit reports
  • Avoid tricks and traps as they choose financial products
  • Make decisions about repaying debts and taking on new debt
  • Keep track of their income and bills
  • Decide if they need a checking account and understand what they need to open one..."
    Your money, your goals

Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis Linked to Blue Bell Creameries Products

"Read the Advice to Consumers, Institutions, and Retailers>>
  • Read the Information for Health Professionals>>
  • On April 20, 2015, Blue Bell Creameries voluntarily recalled all of its products currently on the market made at all of its facilities, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and frozen snacks, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Blue Bell announced this recall after sampling conducted by the company revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17, 2015 and March 27, 2015 contained the bacteria.
  • CDC recommends that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell brand products, and that institutions and retailers do not serve or sell them.
  • Listeriosis is a life-threatening infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium (germ) Listeria monocytogenes. People at high risk for listeriosis include pregnant women and their newborns, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.
  • This is a complex and ongoing multistate outbreak investigation of listeriosis illnesses occurring over several years. Several strains of Listeria monocytogenes are involved in this outbreak. Information indicates that various Blue Bell brand products are the source of this outbreak.
  • As of April 21, 2015, a total of ten people with listeriosis related to this outbreak have been confirmed from 4 states: Arizona (1), Kansas (5), Oklahoma (1), and Texas (3). Three deaths were reported from Kansas..."
    Listeria outbreaks

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


"On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the administration to conduct a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). As described in the President’s Climate Action Plan, this first-ever review focuses on energy infrastructure and identifies the threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security, enabling the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of integrated actions..."  
Quadrennial energy review

Applying for VA Claims Just Got Easier

"Filing for veterans’ benefits, and appealing decisions on claims, can be time-consuming and confusing. But with the recent roll-out of new, streamlined claims processes, applying for veterans benefits now promises to be faster, easier and more accurate.
The changes involve:
  • new requirements to use standardized forms for filing for benefits
  • a new form for appealing decisions
  • a new “intent to file” a claim process for those who need more time to gather information while preserving an effective date for benefits..."
    VA claims

2015 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

"Every year at this time, the U.S. observes National Crime Victims’ Rights week—promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. Millions of Americans each year are victimized by crime—acts of terrorism, violent crime, human trafficking, hate crimes, financial fraud, child abuse, cyber crime, kidnapping, bank robbery...the list goes on. And the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance (OVA) is responsible for ensuring that victims of crimes investigated by the Bureau are afforded the opportunity to receive the services and notifications they are entitled to and the assistance they need to cope..."
National crime victims

Five minutes to health

"In Five Minutes or Less, You Can:
  1. Wash hands
    Handwashing is one of the best things we can do to keep from getting sick and avoid spreading germs to others. Learn when and how to wash your hands the recommended way.
  2. Buckle up
    Seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. Seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. Get the facts about seat belts.
  3. Protect your skin
    Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. To protect your skin use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, seek shade, cover up and avoid indoor tanning.
  4. Read food labels
    Look at nutrition labels to know what you're eating. See how much fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugars, and other ingredients are in your food.
  5. Find a site near you
    Find STD testing near you to know your status.
  6. Test your smoke alarm
    Test your smoke alarm once a month to make sure it works properly. Replace the batteries if needed during the time change each spring and fall.
  7. Listen to a health podcast
    CDC offers many podcasts on a variety of topics. Listen to them for health and safety information.
  8. Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and strokeEvery year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Learn the symptoms of a heart attack and stroke..."
    Five minutes and health

Living with Diabetes: Keep Your Feet Health

"If you have diabetes, take care of your feet and the rest of your body.
People with diabetes can develop serious problems with their feet that can affect how easily they can walk, and even can lead to amputation.
Many of these serious problems can be prevented by taking good care of your feet and your health. Manage your diabetes, including keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar (glucose) and cholesterol at levels your health care provider recommends..."
Diabetes and foot health

Monday, April 20, 2015

Status of Stocks 2014(fisheries)

"Overfishing and Overfished Numbers Hit All-Time Lows
As a result of the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils, and all our partners, the number of stocks listed as subject to overfishing or overfished continues to decline and is at an all-time low.
Check out the infographic below highlighting the progress we've made rebuilding stocks and ending overfishing. This progress demonstrates that our science-based approach to determining stock status and managing for sustainability is working..."

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Annual Energy Outlook: 2015

"Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) focus on the factors expected to shape U.S. energy markets through 2040. The projections provide a basis for examination and discussion of energy market trends and serve as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in U.S. energy policies, rules, and regulations, as well as the potential role of advanced technologies.."
Annual Energy Outlook

Friday, April 17, 2015

Federal Reserve Beige Book, April 15, 2015

"Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicate that the economy continued to expand across most regions from mid-February through the end of March. Activity in the Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts grew at a moderate pace, while New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis cited modest growth. Boston reported that business activity continues to expand, while Cleveland cited a slight pace of growth. Atlanta and Kansas City described economic conditions as steady..."
Federal Reserve Beige Book

E-cigarette use triples among middle and high school students in just one year

"Current e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Findings from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey show that current e-cigarette use (use on at least 1 day in the past 30 days) among high school students increased from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014, rising from approximately 660,000 to 2 million students. Among middle school students, current e-cigarette use more than tripled from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014—an increase from approximately 120,000 to 450,000 students.

This is the first time since the survey started collecting data on e-cigarettes in 2011 that current e-cigarette use has surpassed current use of every other tobacco product overall, including conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes were the most used tobacco product for non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic other race while cigars were the most commonly used product among non-Hispanic blacks..."

Learn About Genetically Modified Foods

"Genetically modified,” and “genetically engineered.” These are the terms often heard when referring to certain foods. What do they mean for you as a consumer?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), foods that have been genetically modified, like fruits, vegetables, oils, cereals, etc., were introduced to the market in the 1990s. Since then, they’ve been sold in stores and supermarkets.
Here you will find information to help you learn about the processes behind genetic engineering and the safety of genetically modified foods.
What is generic engineering?
It’s a scientific method in which the DNA genes of one organism are transferred to another organism. In the case of crops, this method helps foods by:
  • Improving their growth and nutritional profile.
  • Enhancing their flavor and shelf life.
  • Allowing them to survive during droughts and extreme weather.
  • Making foods more resistant to insects, thereby reducing the need for pesticides..."
    Genetically modified foods

Check the Background of Your Financial Advisor

"If you currently use a financial advisor or you’re thinking of transitioning to a new one, you might have a number of questions about your financial decisions; but did you begin by asking yourself how you could do a background check on your financial advisor?
Perhaps you are approached by an “investment professional” or financial advisor during a social event, or a friend of a friend refers someone to you. No matter the circumstances or situation, learn how to protect yourself, and the money you plan to invest. You can start today by checking out these videosand testing your knowledge on identifying potential scams.
Don’t miss our Google Hangout on 4/23 at 12:30 PM ET to find out how to do a background check on your financial advisor. Join Marietta Jelks, the Editor in Chief of the Consumer Action Handbook, and a special guest from the CFTC SmartCheck℠ campaign on April 23rd at 12:30 PM ET..."
Financial advisors

The Oklahoma City Bombing: 20 Years Later

Side View of Murrah Building After Bombing
As Oklahoma City and the country prepare to mark the 20th anniversary of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing on April 19, 1995, looks back at the deadliest act of homegrown terrorism in the nation’s history through the eyes of special agents who were there and a survivor who continues to honor the victims by sharing her remarkable story.Oklahoma city bombing

Race and National Origin Discrimination Persist 50 Years after EEOC’s Founding

"Despite significant progress in the 50 years since the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) first opened its doors in 1965, the problems of discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities remain a reality in 21st century America, a panel of experts told the Commissioners of the EEOC at a meeting held at Miami Dade College today
This is the first public Commission meeting held outside of Washington, D.C. in more than a decade. The Commission took the step of meeting in Miami due, in part, to the multicultural and ethnically diverse population in south Florida, and the wide range of employers in the state, from agriculture, to tourism, to multinational corporations.
"Over the past 50 years, the Commission has made great strides in promoting equal employment opportunity for America's workers," said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. "Never before in our nation's history has the American workplace been more diverse and inclusive than it is today. Yet, across the country, we continue to see persistent barriers to opportunity based on race, color and national origin. At the EEOC, we are working every day to remove these barriers to achieve broad and sustained compliance with our anti-discrimination laws."..."Race and national origin discrimination

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

USDA Announces Record Number of Organic Producers in U.S.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the organic industry continues to show remarkable growth domestically and globally, with 19,474 certified organic operations in the United States and a total of 27,814 certified organic operations around the world.
According to data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), the number of domestic certified organic operations increased by more than 5 percent over the last year. Since the count began in 2002, the number of domestic organic operations has increased by over 250 percent. The certified operations list is available at"
Organic farmers

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

In the West, Preparing for Uncertain Water Supply

"“Well, this shouldn’t take long,” Dr. David Garen said as I sat down to interview him about April snowpack conditions. “March was warm and dry. Spring came early and the snowpack is already melting across most of the West. The End.”
Garen is a hydrologist with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Among other duties, he creates forecast maps and helps write the West-wide forecast summary for the Snow Survey Program.
“This year we had record low snowpack up and down the West Coast,” said Garen. “But even in the areas that had normal snowpack, it’s melting earlier than usual.” Historically, April 1st is when the snowpack peaks. This year has been different.
California, Oregon and Washington continue to have record low snowpack. The oldest snow courses in the country, established more than 100 years ago by snow survey and water supply forecasting pioneer Dr. James E. Church, are at record lows. During March, the warm temperatures spread across the West. Instead of an extra month of snow accumulation, snowmelt is well underway..."
Water supply in the west

Car Shopping: Do Your Homework to Get a Good Deal

Cars are one of the most expensive and important things we buy. They’re also one of the most difficult. Getting a good price on a car typically requires negotiating, a skill not called for in our everyday purchases. And returns are rarely accepted on new or used cars.
Additionally, car ads may be misleading, the dealer’s sales tactics can be high-pressure, and the financing options are subject to fine print. For all these reasons, it’s important to educate yourself before you head out to an auto dealership.
Read these articles on buying and owning a car to get started:

Do You Have Hemophilia and an Inhibitor?

"People with hemophilia lack a protein (a clotting factor) necessary for blood to clot normally. This can lead to spontaneous bleeding as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery. The best way to treat hemophilia is to replace the missing blood clotting factor so that the blood can clot properly. This is done by infusing (giving through a needle into a vein) commercially prepared factor. However, up to 1 in 5 people with hemophilia develop an antibody (inhibitor) to the infused factor used to treat bleeding episodes. The inhibitor prevents the factor from working to stop bleeding. An inhibitor makes treatment for bleeding episodes much more difficult and expensive. Treatment costs associated with inhibitors are on average 3 – 4 times higher and can cost a patient over $1 million in a single year. In addition, people with inhibitors are at increased risk for joint disease and other complications from bleeding that lead to a reduced quality of life..."
Hemophilia and inhibitors

Social Media in the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions

"Recently, the number of Member offices adopting social media as an official communications tool has increased. With the increased use of social media accounts for official representational duties, the House has adopted policies and regulations regarding the creation, content, and use of third-party social media services. This report answers several questions about the regulation of social media accounts in the House of Representatives
• How does the House define social media?
• How are social media accounts regulated in the House?
• What makes a social media account an official resource?
• Can Members use official funds for social media?
• Is some content prohibited on official social media accounts?
• Do the mass communications regulations apply to social media?..."
Social Media and House of Representatives

Net Neutrality: Selected Legal Issues Raised by the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order

"In February 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an order that will impose rules governing the management of Internet traffic as it passes over broadband Internet access services (BIAS), whether those services are fixed or wireless. The rules are commonly known as “net neutrality” rules. The order was released in March 2015. According to the order, the rules ban the blocking of legal content, forbid paid prioritization of affiliated or proprietary content, and prohibit the throttling of legal content by broadband Internet access service providers (BIAS providers). The rules are subject to reasonable network management, as that term is defined by the FCC..."
Net Neutrality

Transportation Statistics Annual Report

"The Transportation Statistics Annual Report describes the Nation’s transportation system, the system’s performance, its contributions to the economy, and its effects on people and the environment. This 18th edition of the report is based on information collected or compiled by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a Federal statistical agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

Over 4 million miles of roads, more than 19,000 public and private use airports, about 140,000 miles of freight and passenger railroads, 25,000 miles of navigable waterways, and 2 million miles of pipelines connect the Nation’s people and businesses across the continent and with the rest of the world.."
Transportation statistics

Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile

"This report presents a profile of the membership of the 114th Congress (2015-2016). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.

As of March 31, 2015, in the House of Representatives, there are 245 Republicans (including one Delegate), 193 Democrats (including four Delegates and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico), and three vacancies. The Senate has 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and two Independents, who both caucus with the Democrats.

The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 114th Congress was 57.0 years; of Senators, 61.0 years. The overwhelming majority of Members of Congress have a college education. The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business, and law. Most Members identify as Christians, and Protestants collectively constitute the majority religious affiliation. Roman Catholics account for the largest single religious denomination, and numerous other affiliations are represented.."
114th Congress membership

Reflecting a racial shift, 78 counties turned majority-minority since 2000

"In the United States as a whole, the white share of the population is declining as Hispanic, Asian and black populations grow. But the shift to a more diverse nation is happening more quickly in some places than in others.
From 2000 to 2013, 78 counties in 19 states, from California to Kansas to North Carolina, flipped from majority white to counties where no single racial or ethnic group is a majority, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. (Our analysis includes only counties with a minimum population of 10,000 in 2013.)
Overall, 266 of these 2,440 counties are less than half white. However, many are in urban areas that together account for about one-third (31%) of the nation’s population, despite making up just 11% of U.S. counties with a minimum population of 10,000. These counties are concentrated in California, the South and the East Coast, bypassing much of the country’s middle section..."[Pew Research Center]
Racial population shift

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Five Years Later

"This is the first in a series of stories over the coming weeks looking at various topics related to the response, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment science, restoration efforts, and the future of the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil spills raise all sorts of scientific questions, and NOAA’s job is to help answer them.
We have a saying that each oil spill is unique, but there is one question we get after almost every spill: Where will the oil go? One of our primary scientific products during a spill is a trajectory forecast, which often takes the form of a map showing where the oil is likely to travel and which shorelines and other environmentally or culturally sensitive areas might be at risk.
Oil spill responders need to know this information to know which shorelines to protect with containment boom, or where to stage cleanup equipment, or which areas should be closed to fishing or boating during a spill..." 
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Night Lincoln was Shot

Explore several articles from the Smithsonian Institution's coverage of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
President Lincoln's assassination

A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America

"All parents hope their child will start school ready for success. Unfortunately, not every parent can find the high-quality early learning opportunity that sets their child up for success.
Earlier today the U.S. Department of Education released a new report outlining the unmet need for high-quality early learning programs in America. Roughly 6 in 10 four-year-olds are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs, and even fewer are enrolled in the highest quality programs..."

Six million graduates employed in science and engineering in 2013

"The number of college graduates in the United States nearly doubled between 1993 and 2013, according to a new report from the National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

The report details that the number of graduates with degrees in science and engineering (S&E) fields grew faster than the number of those with other types of degrees. In 2013, 27 percent of graduates held degrees in S&E fields. Roughly 1 in 10 graduates were employed in S&E occupations, a proportion that has remained largely unchanged since 1993..."

Science and Engineering employment

Articles of Agreement Relating to the Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia

"On April 9, 1865, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met in the parlor of a house in Appomattox Court House, VA, to discuss this surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, which would end the Civil War. According to the terms, the men of Lee's army could return home in safety if they pledged to end the fighting and deliver their arms to the Union Army..."
Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia

Initial Human Trafficking, Cargo Theft Data Released Through UCR

"Today, the FBI released its first-ever public compilations of human trafficking data and cargo theft data collected through its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Both reports contain 2013 data.
As with any new UCR collection effort, the data in both the human trafficking and cargo theft reports is limited for a variety of reasons—the time and resources it takes for agencies to implement technical changes within their own systems, the need to align state and local policies with federal requirements, and the education and training of participants..."
Human trafficking

Ebola: Getting to Zero

"Progress has been made in the year since CDC first responded to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but these efforts must continue until there are zero new cases.
In March 2014, CDC first learned of an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. CDC immediately sent a team to the field, initiating what would become the largest international outbreak response in the agency's 70-year history.
Over the past year, there have been 1,910 CDC deployments to West Africa, and nearly 3,000 CDC employees have battled Ebola from the agency's Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta. These "Disease Detectives" support the response in many different capacities. Read moreabout their personal experiences..."

International Thalassemia Awareness

"Did you know that beta thalassemia major, the most severe form of thalassemia, affects about 1,000 people in the United States? By staying committed to long-term treatment, people with thalassemia can enjoy a full life.
Thalassemia is a group of blood disorders passed from parents to children through genes (inherited). A person who has thalassemia makes fewer healthy red blood cells. Their red blood cells do not produce enough hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. People with severe thalassemia can have various medical complications and they might require lifelong blood transfusions for treatment..."

Living with Autism

"Learn more about the role of siblings through this family’s story.
Alexis Wineman is the first woman with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to participate in the Miss America competition. Alexis was in middle school when officially diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified), but felt "different" from an early age. As she got older, she struggled with some of the challenges that come with having ASD, such as a speech impediment, communication difficulties, and being sensitive to loud sounds, and other sensory-related issues. Alexis also had to deal with bullying that occurred because of her differences. Fortunately, her family has always been a source of strength and inspiration for her. We interviewed Alexis, her mother Kimberley, her older brother Nicholas, and her older sister Danielle, and her twin Amanda to hear more about the unique role that siblings play in families living with ASD..."

Fertility of Womenin the United States: 2014

Find the latest data of fertility as released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Library of Congress:Strong Leadership Needed to Address Serious Information Technology Management Weaknesses

" The Library of Congress has established policies and procedures for managing its information technology (IT) resources, but significant weaknesses across several areas have hindered their effectiveness: Strategic planning: The Library does not have an IT strategic plan that is aligned with the overall agency strategic plan and establishes goals, measures, and strategies. This leaves the Library without a clear direction for its use of IT..."
Library of Congress

Privacy Impact Assessment for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection

"The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is conducting the 1:1 Facial Recognition Air Entry Pilot to allow Customs and Border Protection Officers stationed at air ports of entry to use facial recognition technology as a tool to assist them in determining whether an individual presenting themselves with a valid U.S. electronic passport is the same individual photographed in that passport. The operational goals of this pilot are to determine the viability of facial recognition as a technology to assist Customs Border Patrol Officers in identifying possible imposters using U.S. e-passports to enter the United States and determine if facial recognition technology can be incorporated into current CBP entry processing with acceptable impacts to processing time and the traveling public while effectively providing CBPOs with a tool to counter imposters using valid U.S. travel documents. CBP is publishing this Privacy Impact Assessment to evaluate the privacy risks of using facial recognition software at an air port of entry..."
facial recognition at airports

Top 100 U.S. Oil and Gas Fields

"The top 100 oil fields as of December 31, 2013, accounted for 20.6 billion barrels of crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves, which was 56% of the U.S. total (36.5 billion barrels) in 2013.
The top 100 gas fields as of December 31, 2013, accounted for 239.7 trillion cubic feet of total natural gas proved reserves, about 68% of the U.S. total natural gas proved reserves in 2013.."
Top100 oil and gas fields

Cultural and Situational Understanding(U.S. Army)

"ATP 3-24.3, Cultural and Situational Understanding, establishes the techniques and procedures used by individuals, teams, and units of the United States Army at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war. This ATP is applicable to all members of the Army profession and security assistance contractors. The techniques and procedures prescribed in this publication are used when engaging other government agencies, indigenous populations and institutions, intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and other military and nonmilitary entities to support conventional and special operations missions. This publication elaborates on doctrine contained in FM 3-24, Insurgency and Countering Insurgencies..."
U.S. Army(culture)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Homeland Security Appropriations: FY2015 Action in the 114th Congress

"This report provides a brief outline of the FY2015 annual appropriations measure for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its enactment by the 114th Congress. It serves as a complement to CRS Report R43796, Department of Homeland Security: FY2015 Appropriations.

The Administration requested $38.3 billion in adjusted net discretionary budget authority for DHS for FY2015. In the 113th Congress, the House Appropriations Committee reported an annual appropriations measure (H.R. 4903) that would have provided $39.2 billion in adjusted net discretionary budget authority, and the Senate Appropriations Committee reported a measure (S. 2534) that would have provided $39.0 billion. Neither bill received floor consideration in the 113th Congress. As no DHS annual appropriation had been enacted by the end of FY2014, the department operated under a continuing resolution for the first several months of FY2015..."
Homeland security

LeRoy Nieman Pulled Together a Dream Band for His Epic Portrait of Jazz Greats

"The iconic artist's large-scale painting of this century's music greats debuts at the American History Museum, kicking off Jazz Appreciation Month.."

Depicted in Big Band are: Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Jerry Mulligan, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Lester Young, Glen Miller, Charles Mingus, JJ Johnson, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Gene Krupa.
                    (Big Band by LeRoy Neiman, courtesy of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation)
Leroy Nieman's Jazz Greats