Wages Stagnated 2016 To 2017

February is Black History Month: Profiles of Two Young NIOSH Researchers
The CDS recently posted a report concerning two NIOSH researchers NIOSH stands for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. The report spotlights the efforts of two naval public health officers who are improving the health of all Americans. Read about the efforts of Lieutenant Commander Deborah V.L. Hirst, Ph.D, PE who works as a civil and environmental health engineer at the Division of Applied Research and Technology (DART). Then learn about the activities of Lieutenant Melissa Seaton, MS who works in the Education and Information Division. To find out more about these two women, click on https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2017/02/22/black-history-month-2017/. This story indicates the success of minority women in STEM fields.

According to BLS, U.S. Wages Stagnated from January 2016 to 2017.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data that highlight wage stagnation for U.S. workers from January 2016 to January 2017. According to the BLS, wages for all employees remained flat but included a 0.6 percent drop in workweek reduction which led to a 0.6 percent wage reduction for the report period. Wages for production and non-supervisory employees fell 0.1 percent which when added to the 0.3 decrease in the workweek led to nearly a one-half percent decrease in wages for the period. To access the report to view the corroborating charts, visit https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/realer.pdf. You may have to go to the site and find report USDL -17-0217. This may prove troublesome, but the data are well worth the effort.

Federal Regulation Cuts Hurt Benefits As Well As Reducing Costs
During the first round of Executive Orders that mandate government agencies reduce regulations, President Trump undid 30 years of bipartisan regulatory policy. By requiring agencies to scrap two current policies for each new policy put in place as a way of combating regulatory costs, Trump fails to see that some regulations provide benefits to the public such as clean air and clean water. To learn more about this issue, click on http://www.govexec.com/management/2017/02/what-trump-misses-about-regulations-they-produce-benefits-well-costs/135568/. Does this mean that Flint, Michigan residents will now have to drink polluted water again? According to Trump’s philosophy, large social benefits derived from regulations are irrelevant. Only costs to business count.

Website Wallethub Ranks Worst State Capitals To Live In
The website www.routefifty.com provided a link to www.wallethub.com which ranked state capitals for Livability. Quality of life, Quality of Education and Health and Affordability. These are some of the criteria used to rank state capitals. As expected, Jackson, Mississippi ranks last. Hartford, Connecticut and Trenton, New Jersey make up the bottom three. Albany, New York ranked 30th. To read the entire list, surf over to https://wallethub.com/edu/best-state-capitals/19030/. I’ll bet you can’t name the top three.

Report Argues That Parent Drug Use By Kids Cause Many ODs. A report that appears on the Medline Plus website says that kids who overdose on opiods , do so more than twice as often when medicine cabinet drugs are left in the open at home. Fatal overdoses occur at a more than double rate when parents bring home painkilling drugs such as morphine, oxycodone or codeine. To find out more about how you can prevent kids from overdosing, click on https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_163673.html. The report focused on kids aged 10 and under since teenagers might have deliberately used a parent’s prescription drug to get high.

Astronomers Find 7 Exo Planets Orbiting Near Star
NASA just released a report that indicates astronomers have found 7 exo planets orbiting a planet 40 light years away from Earth. Scientists believe that 3 of the new planets contain conditions that could support life. To learn more, click on http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/22/world/new-exoplanets-discovery-nasa/. And so it goes.

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Do Performance Ratings Make People Greedy?

Hope For Lonely Conservatives
Www.cnet.com recently reported on a real Internet dating site for conservatives wishing to meet like- minded singles to mingle. The site is called ‘TrumpSingles.com’ with a tag line reading ‘Making Dating Great Again.’ Since Trump’s election win, the site has been doing land office business. Traffic on the site doubled from 9,000 yearning people on election night to 26,000 yearners on Inauguration Day. According to Cnet, the Trump site came online just after the Republican Party nominated him as candidate for the presidency. To read more about lonely Republican singles wanting to mingle, click on https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/theres-a-dating-site-called-trumpsingles-its-not-fake-trump-berniesingles/. Good luck to all.

Concussion Injuries Have Far Reaching Effects
The National Library of Medicine recently posted a story concerning long lasting effects of concussion injuries. It seems that research has found that even after all concussion symptoms have stopped, patients may still experience difficulty with driving vehicles. The small study focused on college-age participants. The symptoms experienced were similar to driving while drinking. To learn more about this topic, surf over to https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_163539.html. An additional site that discusses recovery from sports injuries may be accessed at https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/predicting-recovery-time-sports-concussions.

Technology Run Amok or Corporate Greed?
The Federal trade commission recently posted a report that TV manufacturer, Vizio, recently settled a dispute with the FTC and the State of New Jersey for illegally collecting viewing data from smart TVs without first obtaining permission from TV set owners. Apparently, smart TVs are able to log second-by-second video capture of data from cable, broadband, set-top box, DVDs, over-the-air broadcasts and streaming devices. Vizio then marketed this data to advertisers who then focused directly to the 11 million owners of Vizio smart TVs. This illegal invasion of privacy cost the company $2.2 million in fines to the FTC and the State of New Jersey. To read more about this, visit https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2017/02/vizio-pay-22-million-ftc-state-new-jersey-settle-charges-it. This is another example of your federal tax dollars at work protecting you from greedy corporations.

Library of Congress Announces Summer Teacher Institutes
Every year, the Library of Congress provides week long summer institutes in Washington, D.C. for teacher professional development. Institute topics range from World War l and various STEM programs that participants can relay to classroom instruction. Applications may be obtained by visiting http://www.loc.gov/teachers/professionaldevelopment/teacherinstitute/apply/n_register_p1.php. Teachers of all subject areas and grade levels may apply. Application deadline is March 17, 2017. To learn more about the teacher institutes, visit http://www.loc.gov/teachers/professionaldevelopment/teacherinstitute/. Participation group size is limited, so apply early. Good Luck.

Star Trek Technology Being Tested Now
Viewers of Star Trek: The Next Generation will remember the blind character Georgi LaForge who operated as a sighted person by wearing goggles that allowed him to see. According to www.cnet.com, a real individual with limited sight, Yvonne Felix, is testing a device that allows her to see. The goggles contain a camera that works with hi-resolution displays in the wearable headset. To read more about this advance, click on https://www.cnet.com/news/esight-video-glasses-restores-sight-legally-blind-star-trek-visor-headset/. For someone who remembers fondly listening to network radio, I am astounded.

Do Performance Ratings Make People Greedy?
According to the Government Exec website, the answer is yes. Loran Nordgren, an associate professor at the Kellogg School of Business, employees working at commission jobs express more desire for money than salaried employees with similar incomes. In fact, the research indicates that these differences affect financial decision-making. To learn more, click onhttp://www.govexec.com/excellence/management-matters/2017/02/do-performance-incentives-make-people-greedy/135453/. And so it goes. -30-

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College Tuition Increased 63% Since 2006

Career Promotion Tips For Women
The website, www.purewow.com recently posted advice for women looking for career promotions. The article, “Six Secrets of Women Who Always Get Promoted,” listed six activities that aid women in getting positive attention from their bosses. Ideas such as keeping a log of achievements helps when discussions arise about promotion opportunities. Networking in the company and out also helps. To read the full post visit http://www.purewow.com/money/Secrets-of-women-who-get-promoted. Good Luck.

1 In 4 Men Have Genital HPV Infections Linked to Cancers
According to the website www.arstechnica.com, nearly half of all men have some type of human papillomavirus infection. Infection rates indicate that one in four men have a type of HPV virus linked to cancer. In the US, HPV constitutes the most sexually transmitted infections with 79 million estimated cases. The cancers may include vaginal, penile, anal, throat and mouth cancers. Health professionals recommend HPV vaccinations for all males ages 9 to 26. To learn more about HPV in men, click on https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/1-in-4-men-have-genital-hpv-infections-that-cause-or-are-linked-to-cancer/.

Trump Support By Evangelical Christians Explained
Paul Prather reports on research that validates an earlier study of what motivates religious people to support candidates like Donald Trump. According to this post, a Ph.D candidate at Umas, Amherst, sampled 1800 registered voters across the political spectrum to understand Trump’s popularity. Mathew MacWilliams found that instead of the usual criteria such as education, gender, income, age, ideology or religiosity, the only common connections included: authoritarianism and fear of terrorism with authoritarianism the dominant characteristic. This research validates an earlier study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt and Georgia State Universities, previously reported here, that came to the same conclusion.

According to MacWilliams, authoritarians obey. They follow strong leaders. They respond aggressively to outsiders. And statistically, 49 percent of Republican voters ranked high on the authoritarian scale. In religious terms, Trump supporters follow “the law of the Bible.” These supporters operate from fear: fear of God’s wrath. In short, they behave like church cops. Trump critics tend to be individuals of “grace, “ who tend to exhibit hope and feelings of empathy and joy. To read more about this study, visit http://www.kentucky.com/living/religion/paul-prather/article57553638.html.

College Tuition Increased 63 Percent Since January 2006
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.BLS.gov, recently reported that college tuition costs rose 63 percent over the decade 2006 to 2016. The cost of textbooks rose 82 percent during the same period. College housing rose by 49.8 percent. No wonder students graduate with loan debt averaging over $30,000. To see this data, surf over to https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/college-tuition-and-fees-increase-63-percent-since-january-2006.htm.

Teacher Absence Rate Affects Student Performance
Education Week recently reported that nationally, 27% of teachers K- 12 had absence rates of 10 or more days a year. Since school districts report a servere shortage of certified substitutes, teacher absences adversely affect student learning. Schools with high percentages of poor students experienced much higher teacher absence rates. Prior research reveals that students whose teachers miss more than 10 days a year have lower math achievement. State teacher absence rates vary dramatically, from a 16 percent absence rate in Utah to a 75 percent rate in Hawaii and a 49 percent rate in Nevada. To learn how New York ranks, visit http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/06/27/1-in-4-teachers-miss-10-or.html. Paying substitute teachers a professional wage might help recruitment. The average teacher salary in the US is more than $49,000. When the yearly salary is divided by 200 days of annual work , a per diem rate of $250 results. A per diem rate of $250 might improve recruitment and retention of subs. I don’t know of any district that pays close to that. And so it goes. -30-

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Air Polution Linked to Dementia

Do You Know the Correct Phrase?
Some people use common phrases incorrectly. If you say “By in large,” the phrase is inaccurate. The correct version is “by and large.” To see if you are misusing common phrases, click on http://www.purewow.com/entertainment/Common-phrases-you-might-be-saying-wrong. This happens to all of us. I once used the word “irregardless” in a college paper. The professor corrected me by saying this incorrect usage constituted an “ unforgivable barbarism.” God Bless You, Morgan Jones. I have never misused this word since. Which is correct: “spitting image” or “spit and image?” Go to the web page and find out.

Summer Internships Available for Occupational Health Students
The Center for Disease Control recently advertized for students interested in occupational safety and health internships. Training will take place this summer for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in public health and safety programs. To learn more about internship opportunities, click on https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2017/01/30/ohip. For an application, click on http://aoec.org/ohip/., Application deadline is Friday, February 17, 2017. Good luck to applicants.

New Research Confirms National Writing Project Helps Students, Teachers
Research published by SRI confirms what language arts teachers intuitively know; National Writing Project’s College-Ready Writing Program had a positive significant statistical effect on four attributes of student argument writing: content, structure, stance and writing conventions. The program focuses on students in grades 7 through 10 by introducing teachers to new instructional practices. The study focused on 12 writing sites in 10 states comprising 22 schools districts. Site affiliates provided professional development for teachers that increased students’ knowledge of and practice in argumentative writing. Large measurable differences between experimental groups and control groups occurred. For example, experimental groups connected evidence to support a claim 99% of the time while control groups connected evidence to support a claim 82% of the time. Of course, one should note that college ready writing only occurs in college classrooms, not in real life. To learn more about this study, visit https://www.sri.com/sites/default/files/publications/sri-crwp-research-brief_nov-2015-final.pdf. Note: SUNY New Paltz provides professional development in writing instruction for teachers K-12 who work in the Hudson Valley.

Air Pollution Linked to Dementia
A recent study of older women living in air- polluted Southern California indicates that in addition to lung disease caused by tobacco, exposure to vehicle polluted air also causes dementia. USC researchers found that older women breathing in pollution particles at rates higher than federal safety standards, face an 81% higher risk for cognitive decline. In addition these women face a 92 percent greater likelihood of developing dementia. To learn more about this study, click on http://www.miamiherald.com/living/health-fitness/article130285394.html. Now that the Trump administration plans to work on reducing air pollution regulations, will all of us suffer from this new threat?

Citizen Science Explorers to Focus on Satellite Images To Identify New Archeology Sites
According to Internet site www.engadget.com, new software developed by GlobalXplorer lets Internet users identify archeology sites by scanning global satellite images. Dr. Sarah Parcak conceived this software which won a TED $1.000.000 prize last year. Her idea is simple, instead of wasting time on Twitter, people can sign up to view satellite photos to identify new archeology sites by finding evidence of looting by finding pits which indicate early human sites. Parcak’s idea extends the idea embodied in the MH370 campaign to enlist average citizens in the search for the missing aircraft in 2014. In this case, “citizen scientists” provide the mass to analyze global results too large for professional archeologists to deal with. To see more about this program, surf over to https://www.engadget.com/2017/02/02/archaeologists-want-you-to-spot-ancient-sites-from-your-pc/. According to GlobalXplorer, more than 14.000 citizen scientists have signed up during the first week of site operation. To download software materials, click on https://www.globalxplorer.org/. And so it goes. -30-

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Breast Cancer Victims and ‘Chemo Brains’

Humans Arrived In North America Much Earlier Than Previously Believed
Scientists from Montreal University and Oxford University recently published research about a reexamination of animal bones found in Blue Fish Cave in the Yukon Province in Canada near the present boarder with Alaska. Thirty years ago, archeologist Jacques Cinq-Mars, published research that claimed humans had settled the Western Hemisphere 30,000 years ago or more. His radiocarbon dating of animal bones from that period found in the cave which exhibited long diagonal marks that indicated human interaction with the animals had occurred at least 10,000 earlier than earlier believed. Cinq-Mars’ research was roundly ignored at the time since no other sites contained evidence of that age. Recently, however, Lauriane Bourgeon, a Ph.D student working with her professor, Ariane Burke and Oxford University’s Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit researcher, Thomas Hingham, reexamined 30,000 bones from the Blue Fish Cave. The reexamination proved Cinq-Mars’ assertion correct. To read more about this discovery, click on https://www.yahoo.com/news/human-arrival-north-america-set-092427976.html. Let’s hope that Cinq-Mars receives the credit for this discovery.

Eight Billionaires Richer Than the World’s Poorest Half
The BBC recently reported that 8 billionaires, six of whom are American, amassed more wealth than more than half of the world’s poor. The data collected by Oxfam, coincides with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. People such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Carlos Slim highlight the huge gap between the haves and have nots. To read more about this, surf over to http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38613488. At least for the Americans, this is not inherited money. The billionaires all made it by themselves. And as you might expect, most of the money came from technology industries.

An Ancient Three-Fingered Hand Found in Peruvian Cave
A recent post on Ancient-Origins.Net featured pictures of a mummified three-fingered hand and a tiny infant-sized, mummified scull. Neither artifact appears to be human in origin. If this find proves not to be a hoax, then many questions concerning the artifacts’ origin arise. The hand features six bones in each finger compared to three finger bones in human hands. The remains are now being carbon tested to find out how old they are. To learn more, surf over to http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-mysterious-phenomena/bizarre-3-fingered-mummified-hand-found-tunnel-peruvian-desert-007340. Maybe the Earth was visited by aliens.

11 Features For Whatsapp You May Not Know About
Whatsapp is a multi-platform messaging service for mobile phone users that allows users to connect with other whatsapp users through the internet. New whatsapp users may be unaware of some of the following useful features. These features include: formatting text on demand, starring a message and muting a conversation to name just three. To find out more about the power of whatsapp, click on https://www.cnet.com/how-to/hidden-whatsapp-features/.

Northeast Warming Faster Than the Rest of the World
The New York Post recently ran a story about global warming that first appeared in the journal Plos One which published research conducted by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The study indicates that the northeastern United States will see temperatures rise faster than temperature rises found in the rest of the planet. “I tell my students that they’re going to be able to tell their children, ‘I remember when it used to snow in Boston,” said Raymond Bradley, a co-author of the study. The study indicates that the Northeast will reach the Paris Agreement’s global warming threshold 20 years earlier than anywhere else in the world. To read more about this study, click on http://nypost.com/2017/01/13/northeast-is-warming-faster-than-the-rest-of-the-world/. You may access the study at www.plosone.org. The Post article is easier to understand.

Breast Cancer Victims Know All About ‘Chemo Brain’
According to the website https://medlineplus.gov, the condition known as ‘chemo brain’, a condition of mental fog commonly associated with breast cancer treatment, may last as long as six month. The condition causes memory lapses, attention issues and difficulty processing information. The finding came from a large study of thinking problems suffered by women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Dr. Patricia Ganz indicated that this is a real problem for patients that the medical community must address. The study found that more than one third of chemo patients suffered a decline in thinking compared to fifteen percent of healthy women who suffered the same problems. To learn more about this, click on https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162990.html. And so it goes. -30-

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German Greens Support Sex Help For Seriously Ill and Disabled

Zillow Says Paint Color Affects House Prices
According to real estate website, Zillow, kitchen paint color may reduce selling price by as much as $1,400. According to Zillow Digs, houses featuring white kitchens sell for $1.400 less than houses featuring yellow kitchens. The website also offers a downloadable app that allows homeowners to experiment with new colors on their smartphones when beginning the pre-sale spruce-up. This new tool plays on iPhones and iPads. To read more about this trend in home selling, click on http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2016-06-23-Homes-with-White-Kitchens-Sell-for-1-400-Less-than-Homes-with-Yellow-Kitchens. Just another thing to consider when selling a home.

For Those Who Care, The iPhone Just Celebrated a Birthday
On January 9th, the Apple iPhone celebrated its 10th birthday. Ten years ago, Apple introduced a cell phone that included a touchscreen. This technological gimmick launched a new approach to business computing by allowing cell phone users to easily access the Internet for business activities. To learn more about how this Apple device changed our culture forever, visit http://www.wired.co.uk/article/apple-iphone-10-year-anniversary. Even ten years after the first iPhone launch, industry flacks compare all new cell phone releases from every company to the current Apple iPhone. Steve Jobs not only hit the iPhone out of the park, he hit the phone out of our universe.

From iPhones to Tech Turkeys
Www.zdnet.com recently compiled a list of the 10 biggest tech turkeys for 2016. The list starts with the Apple dongle. Apple tells customers that the dongle eliminates cables so that an infinite number of devices may connect to each other. Another tech turkey is the Blackberry cell phone that stopped production do to a gigantic lack of public interest in the devices. To read more about products ahead of or behind the times, surf over to  Other tech turkeys making the list include: the 500 million Yahoo hack, Verizon’s 6 second video sharing app and Tay, Microsoft’s racist chatbot.

German Greens Support Sex Help For Seriously Ill and Disabled
The BBC recently published a report on a German initiative that urges the German government to pay for sex treatments provided by prostitutes to the very ill and/or disabled. Apparently, increasing numbers of sex workers provide services to individuals unable to access sex by themselves. An employee at a nursing home says that such services are a “blessing” for some patients. To learn more about possible government supported sex therapy, click on http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38549030. Note: you may have to copy the URL directly into Google since your browser may be unable to access this story directly.

Native American Activists Disrupt a Texas Pipeline Under Construction
For those who think that Dakota native American groups got what they wanted and went home in December when the infamous Dakota Access pipeline across four states stopped construction, such is not the case. An activist website posted a story about a confrontation in West Texas between a pipeline construction company and an Indigenous water protector and an Alpine, Texas resident opposing the construction of a pipeline from Texas to Mexico designed to carry fracked natural gas. The same company that wants to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline project sponsors the Texas project. The 143 mile long Texas Trans-Pecos pipeline will export natural gas to Mexico. This pipeline cuts through the environmentally sensitive Chihuahuan desert. This desert area comprises the only part of Texas that to date has not experienced oil and gas exploration. To read more about this topic, visit http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39031-lockdown-at-trans-pecos-pipeline-site-in-west-texas-consecrates-new-indigenous-led-resistance-camp. Native American citizens have become protectors of our environment whether corporations like it or not. And so it goes. -30-

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NIH Presents New Peanut Allergy Guidelines

NIH Presents New Peanut Allergy Guidelines
The National Institute of Health recently published new guidelines for introducing infants to peanut-containing foods. Peanut allergy is a growing health problem for which there is no non-emergency treatment or cure. Some individuals develop allergic reactions so severe that unless given emergency treatment, the result may be fatal. New studies indicate that introducing infants to peanut products can prevent the development of peanut allergy. To read more about this subject, click on https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-sponsored-expert-panel-issues-clinical-guidelines-prevent-peanut-allergy. The newest study indicates that introducing peanuts to infants and continuing the procedure through five years of age reduces peanut allergic reactions by 81%. Just so you know.

Volunteers With No Medical Training Assist in Tropical Disease Prevention
A recent Huffington Post article highlights the efforts of non-medical volunteers to help combat tropical diseases ignored by doctors in poor areas of Africa. Diseases such as schistosomiasis and elephantiasis affect poor, rural communities containing people with little or no education. Volunteers in Mozambique, for example, have been trained to counsel villagers in poor, rural areas about disease symptoms and availability for treatment in urban centers. In the case of Mozambique, the non-profit Malaria Consortium spearheads this effort. To learn more about tropical disease control efforts, surf over to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/malaria-consortium-volunteers-village-health-teams-mozambique-neglected-tropical-diseases_us_583dafaae4b06539a78a76a3?section=us_science.

New Study Shows Increased Flood Risk in Northern U.S. and Decreased Flood Risk in the South

A new study by University of Iowa engineers recently published indicates that regional flooding patterns in the U.S. is changing. According to the engineers who relied on U.S. Geological Survey water-height data from 1985 to 2015 found that northern sections of the U.S. suffer from increased stored ground water which produces minor to moderate flooding. Drought conditions in the South and West decrease the chances of flooding since the ground absorbs more water. To learn more about this topic, visit https://now.uiowa.edu/2016/12/flood-threats-changing-across-us. Even though our president-elect denies climate change, science indicates otherwise.

New Dead Sea Scrolls Found in Cave of the Skulls
Archeologists working in the Judean Desert recently found additional scrolls nearly two thousand years old. Experts have yet to translate the scrolls since the ink letters are too faint to read without using modern technology. Experts hope that once the scrolls have been deciphered, new incites will shed light on Jesus’ life and teachings. To learn more about this find, click on http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/new-dead-sea-scrolls-discovered-archaeologists-excited-unearth-two-new-021147.

Technology Answer to Facial Recognition Software.
A British website recently posted a report of a technology to defeat facial recognition techniques and restore privacy to internet users. The FBI controls a facial recognition database which holds more than 425 million individual faces. Amazon recently began using facial recognition technology in its physical stores. The new technology consists of a random pattern in fabric used to confuse facial recognition software. The new tech relies on a fabric called Hyperface that produces thousands of little faces to confuse computers. To learn more, click on http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/anti-surveillance-clothing-facial-recognition-technology-hyperface-adam-harvey-berlin-facebook-apple-a7511631.html. The article make clear that the wearer must dress in this fabric to confuse the computer software.

Education Week Rates Nation’s Schools and Gives Them a ‘C’.
A new “Quality Counts” report issued by Education Week rates education efforts in all 50 states. State grades range from B to D. Nine states garnered a grade of B. Eight states received a grade of D. To find out how New York State fared, click on http://www.edweek.org/ew/qc/2017/2017-state-education-grades-map.html. And so it goes. -30-

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Hate Language Use Down in Schools

Small Business Agency Offers Help Writing Business Plans
The Small Business Administration recently posted a tutorial on business plan writing. This free online course is aimed at assisting small business owners with securing financing as they start or expand their businesses. The tutorial only takes 30minutes and may be accessed at https://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/how-write-business-plan?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery. To take the tutorial, all you need is Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash Player, both available for free as a download. Another example of the Federal Government helping small business. Could this be a Trump, smaller government casuality?

Swiss Researcher Finds New Use For Old Drug
Bioengineer Els Torreele recently found a new use for an old drug, fexinidazole, that drug company scientists had given up on. Torreele found that this forgotten drug appears to combat the lethal illness, African trypanosomiasis also known as sleeping sickness. This disease is endemic to 36 African countries which puts 13 million people at risk. Current treatment relies on an arsenic based drug that kills 1 in 20 patients shortly after doctors inject patients with the drug. To read more about this medical breakthrough, click on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/els-torreele-sleeping-sickness_us_5833698ce4b099512f845007?section=us_impact. To contribute to this research, click on https://www.crowdrise.com/projectzero/.

Education Statistics Reveal Hate Language Use Down in Schools
Data from the School Crime Supplement prove that hate speech heard by students K – 12 fell during the period 2001 to 2013. The percentage of k- 12 students viewing hate graffiti at school fell from 36% in 2001 to 25% in 2013. In addition, only 7 percent of students reported being called a hate-related word in 2013. This percentage was the lowest during the study period. To read more about this issue, surf over to http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2016/2016166.pdf. Some good news to end the year.

Research Reveals That More Money Does Improve Education
Research conducted by Northwestern University and the University of California at Berkeley examined student scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP, in 26 states that increased education funding in poor districts since 1990. The researchers compared student scores in these states with student scores in 23 states that did not increase funding to poorer school districts. The research comparison revealed a consistent pattern : states that increased funding to the lowest performing districts had significantly higher student performance than states that did not increase funding to poor performing districts. To read more about this research, click on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-singer/in-education-money-matter_b_13787022.html. In spite of conservative naysayers, money does buy better education. Now you know. Additional data may be accessed at two additional sites http://educationnext.org/boosting-education-attainment-adult-earnings-school-spending and https://rossieronline.usc.edu/u-s-education-versus-the-world-infographic/. This last URL offers a world-view of education spending.

Public Speaking Apps
Most people dread speaking in public. In fact, people would rather do anything than speak in public. So, if you have to deliver a presentation, there are 5 apps that will help you get through the task more easily. The following smartphone apps will make you a public speaking winner. For iPhone users the following will help you calm down and pace your presentation: Azumio monitors your heart rate so you can employ breathing exercises to reduce tension. To time your speech, use Metronome for iPhone and Android to slow down your presentation. Promster for iPhone and Android helps you write your speech and then serves as a teleprompter at various speeds to pace the presentation. To learn more about these useful smartphone apps, click on https://www.ethos3.com/2014/10/5-apps-that-can-make-you-a-better-presenter/. And so it goes. Happy New Year! -30-

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High Performance Batteries From Junk

Healthcare Jobs You May Get Without a Four Year Degree
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, recently posted a report on the number of healthcare jobs available to non four-year-college graduates. For individuals focused on careers in the helping fields such as medicine, many job titles come without degree requirements. The Bureau projects a 6.5 percent increase in healthcare jobs generally from 2014 to 220214. Some job titles require specialized training, but no degree. Careers as Radiologic Techs, MRI Techs and LPNs. To find out more about careers in the medical industry, visit https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/healthcare-jobs-you-can-get-no-bachelors-degree.htm. The Bureau of Labor Statistics newly updated Occupational Outlook Handbook contains more than 300.000 separate job titles and includes work descriptions, educational requirement and employment possibilities. Just so you know.

Why Older Individuals Continue to Work Past Age 55
The BLS posted a report that answers the question posed above: why people continue to work past age 55. One reason is that people are living longer with better overall health. Duh. Another reason is that employer retirement plans have been redefined with less generous benefits. An additional reason is that people stay in the workforce to earn higher Social Security Benefits. To learn more about this topic, surf over to https://blog.dol.gov/2016/11/18/why-more-people-ages-55-are-working/. All this information comes from your federal government taxes at work.

Students Need Help Detecting Fake News
Mainstream media is awash with stories about fake news sites that may or may not have adversely affected the presidential election. And nowhere do these outlets hold the news reader or listener responsible to discerning fact from fiction. This is unfortunate because, ultimately, adults must be responsible for holding their own opinions. Such is not the case with students who can be instructed in the skills necessary to question what they read and hear. A recent education post from www.middleweb.com, reports that schools now address the fake news problem by showing students how to protect against fake reports. In 1948, The Chicago Daily Tribune the day after the election, famously carried the headline Dewey Defeats Truman. And the wire services carried a laughing President Truman holding the offending headline. To read more about this effort, click on https://www.middleweb.com/33386/students-need-our-help-detecting-fake-news/.

Vanderbilt University Creates High Performance Batteries From Junk
Have you ever been in a situation where just as you need your cell phone, you find it has a dead battery? If so, help may be on the way. Vanderbilt University recently released a research report that showed scientists constructing a high-performance battery from junkyard trash and common kitchen chemicals. University mechanical engineering professors recently constructed a steel and brass battery that can store energy at levels comparable to lead-acid batteries. In addition to reducing landfill volume, this breakthrough may lead to batteries holding longer, larger charges that happen at present. To learn more about this project, move over to https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2016/11/02/making-high-performance-batteries-from-junkyard-scraps/.

More Research Into Human Migrations
Experts generally believe that human ancestors evolved in Africa, and from there, moved all over the woxczxcrld over the past 1000000 years or so. But migrations did not end a million years ago. Large migrations have occurred in the 20th Century as well: Jews to Palestine, African Americans after WW ll, Romani people since 1400. For students studying world history, reading about these recent migrations will heighten awareness of current issues. To learn more about migrations, click on http://nationalgeographic.org/activity/exploring-modern-human-migrations/.

HPV Vaccine More Effective Than Previously Thought
Public health officials report that the vaccine to prevent Human Papillomavirus that causes most cases of cervical cancer. The vaccine reduces cervical neoplasia, an abnormal growth of cells, by 50 percent. This reduction occurs when patients receive only one or two doses instead of the recommended three doses. Currently both boys and girls are treated before their 13th birthday. To learn more about this progress, click on https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161227.html.
And so it goes. -30-


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Christmas Scammers May Ruin Your Holiday

Life Returned To Earth Right After The Asteroid Eliminated The Dinosaurs
The Washington Post recently published a finding of the American Geophysical Union that confirms that life returned to the earth very quickly after the asteroid disaster 66 million years ago. Scientists drilled into the crater created by the asteroid and from the drilling determined that life returned almost immediately to the impact area. To learn more about this story, click on https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/12/13/right-after-an-asteroid-killed-the-dinosaurs-life-returned-to-the-scene-of-the-crime/?utm_term=.8aef6fb83061&wpisrc=nl_science&wpmm=1. Additional information on the excavation in the western Gulf of Mexico near the Yucatan Peninsula may be had at http://www.ecord.org/expedition364/. To understand the importance of the Chicxulub – K-Pg Impact Crater, click on the media release of 11 October 2016 for details.

New Names for Additions To The Periodic Table
A post earlier this year indicated that scientists added 4 new elements to the Periodic Table. The new elements include: Nihonium, Moscovium, Tennessine and Oganesson.. The new elements have the following symbols: Nh for element 113; Me for element 115; Ts for element 117; and Og for element 118. To find out more about the new elements, surf over to http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/01/science/periodic-table-new-elements.html. As a student whose most noteworthy Chemistry exploit involved accidentally starting a lab fire, the new additions just bring to mind an unhappy school experience.

New Site URLs to Identify Fake News Sites
One way to find out if a news story is really fake news is to click on www.snopes.com. This site debunks and/or fact checks internet stories on a daily basis. Other sites to check include The Washington Post and the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times. All three newspapers scrutinize internet news stories for accuracy.
Some sites to avoid for fake news include: www.nationalreport.com; www.worldnewsdailyreport.com; www.huzlers.com; and www.empirenews.com. Any news item featured on these sites should be considered suspect or completely fake. Read at your own risk.

Satellites Confirm the Sinking of San Francisco’s Millennium Tower
The European Space Agency, ESA, recently released pictures taken by the Sentinel-1 satellite indicate that the building completed in 2009 is sinking a few centimeters a year. The sinking causes the building to tilt as well. This satellite helps municipalities measure soil subsidence and plan for remedial action. To read more about this satellite service, click on http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-1/Satellites_confirm_sinking_of_San_Francisco_tower. Ain’t science wonderful?

Learn About the First Amendment
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education established a library website that educates the public about the first amendment and its importance in the United States Constitution. This library is the only one in existence devoted to a single amendment in our constitution. The founding purpose of the museum is to provide lawyers, professors and lawmakers and others with core information about the amendment and its 5 freedoms: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. To find out about the freedoms this amendment protects and specific instances where the courts have ruled, visit https://www.thefire.org/about-us/about-the-first-amendment-library/. Many individuals do not understand how these protections operate as hate speech and repressive ideas exist unchallenged by authorities.

Christmas Scammers May Ruin Your Holiday
The Federal Trade Commission, FTC, recently posted a reminder that illegal scammers do not take holiday vacations. To protect your Christmas pocketbook, follow the following tips: be careful about how you pay for your Internet ordered items; make sure your holiday gifts go to real charities. To get more information and the comments of scam victims, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/dont-let-scammers-take-away-your-holiday-cheer.
And so it goes. -30-

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    The idea for this blog arose from fourteen years of writing columns on the same idea that I produce monthly for my computer club newsletter. Over the years I found a number of the Internet URLs featured in a particular column became dated because I ... Read Full
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