Good News For California

Can Speaking At A Government Meeting Get You Arrested?
The Atlantic recently published an article that indicates that speaking in public to a government body may get you arrested if politicians don’t like what you say. Recently, a Kaplan, Louisiana teacher asked school board members why the superintendent just received a five digit salary increase when teachers had not had a raise in 5 years. The teacher asked the question during a public comment period during the meeting. The school board president asked a police officer to remove the teacher and she was thrown to the floor, handcuffed and taken to jail. Isn’t this a right protected under Amendment 1 of the Constitution? To learn more about the power of government to stifle dissent, click on https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/can-government-officials-have-you-arrested-for-speaking-to-them/550517/. And also read how the Lozman case presently before the Supreme Court may impact this.

Good News For California
The website, ZME Science, recently posted a report that earthquakes are not caused by moon phases, the time of year or other non scientific gibberish. For eons, people have superstitiously attributed earthquakes to moon influence or time of year. In fact, earthquakes occur when underground rock suddenly shifts along tectonic plate fault lines. For those planning a trip to California and who are worried about mud slides, fires, drought and traffic, this is a bit of good news. Scientists note, however, that California is due for a huge earthquake sometime soon. To read more about earthquakes, surf over to https://www.zmescience.com/science/geology/earthquakes-moon-17012017/. You never know how much the earth will move or when it will happen.

Website Tracks How Lack Of Healthcare Affects Disease Treatment
Www.healthsystemtracker.org recently posted research that indicates individuals lacking healthcare coverage frequently delay or go without necessary treatment. A recent survey conducted by the site shows that nearly 10 percent of survey participants delayed or ignored treatment when not covered by health insurance. More participants reported that their current health was worse without insurance. Ninety percent of insured patients reported they were in good health. To learn more about the health toll uninsured people face visit, https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/cost-affect-access-care/#item-adults-better-health-health-insurance_2016. The site presents data in easy to interpret graphics. This is a very necessary report in light of the fact that Congress has not yet passed a new appropriation for CHIPS, a child health insurance program. Shame on Congress.

Tax Time Hints From The IRS
The IRS recently posted hints for consumers on how to choose a tax preparer. Some of the advice seems obvious such as “never sign a blank return.” To learn what to look for in finding a qualified tax preparer, click on https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/ten-tips-for-choosing-a-tax-preparer. Another government service paid for by your tax dollars. Note: employers are required by law to send out tax documents by the end of January. If you have not received your employer tax forms by the end of January, contact the IRS.

Poorest Counties Listed By State
The data maven www.24/7wallst.com recently reported on the poorest county in each of the 50 states. The site lists states alphabetically and includes the annual income of the poorest county compared to the average income in each state as well as comparing both averages to the national average income. Generally, the poorest county in each state has about one half the income average listed for the state as a whole. Some counties fall way below their state averages. For instance, the Sumpter County Alabama income of $20,428 is only about 44 percent of the state average of $44,758. To learn which of the 62 New York counties is the poorest, click on http://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/01/16/the-poorest-county-in-every-state-2/2/.

Not All Microbes Are Dangerous
National Institute of Health, researchers recently posted results of a study that found microbes on the skin of mice promote healing and provide immunity to infection. These beneficial bacteria work with mouse immune systems to defend against disease and accelerate wound healing. Researchers originally published the study in the journal Cell. To read an understandable summary of the research, visit https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-scientists-find-microbes-skin-mice-promote-tissue-healing-immunity. Will this program survive the Republican budget cuts? Contact your representatives to find out. And so it goes.

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Adding Insult To Injury

Many Websites Now Urge Consumers To Avoid Romaine Lettuce Purchases
The Centers for Disease Control is investigating 17 cases of E.coli outbreaks in 13 states. Canada’s public health agency is also investigating a lettuce caused outbreak. At least 12 websites urge consumers avoid buying Romaine lettuce until health investigations have been completed. To read a concise report, visit https://www.tmj4.com/news/health/consumer-reports-dont-eat-any-romaine-lettuce-after-e-coli-outbreak. Remember, you are responsible for your own well being.

Propublica Tracks Frequency Of Medicare Visits By Speciality
Federal governmental physician reimbursements are based on a 1-5 scale with one being the lowest amount and five the highest amount. In addition to tracking the type of billing physicians submit, the study also indicates how much each state paid for medicare claims. The national amount comes in at $93.2 billion and states are ranked by amounts spent. For example, in 2016 California spent $9.55 billion while Wyoming only spent $119 million. So, if you want to see how much Medicare costs and the typical bill submitted by speciality practitioners, surf over to https://projects.propublica.org/treatment/. This is very interesting reading. You may also track the billing practices of your doctor by scrolling down the page.

Some Good Environmental News
Newsweek recently reported that the Ozone hole over the Antarctic is getting smaller. Scientists believe that the 20% reduction comes from the fact that countries banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons. Chlorine levels have lowered by 0.8 % each year from 2005 to 2016. Ozone protects the Earth from UV rays from our sun. Scientists had previously warned that depleted Ozone would cause an increase in cancers and increases in other harmful effects. To learn more about this good news, click on http://www.newsweek.com/nasa-hole-earths-ozone-layer-finally-closing-humans-did-something-771922. See, not everything related to the environment is bad news.

So, You Want To Donate Your Collection To A Library Or Museum
The Library of Congress recently posted an article aimed at individuals who have collections they may wish to donate to an institution. Your collection of bottle caps may just be a valuable addition to a museum or library archive. But before you make a donation offer, consider the following: is this a good collection for the archives; what is the expected cost to the institution for maintaining the collection; under what terms are you willing to donate? To learn more about collection donations, visit https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2018/01/so-you-want-to-donate-your-documentary-collection-to-an-archives/.

Adding Insult To Injury
The New York Times reported that Puerto Ricans trying to rebuild from Hurricane Maria now face the threat of bank foreclosures on their property. About one third of the island’s homeowners are now behind on their mortgage payments to banks and Wall Street firms that bought up distressed mortgages. Porto Rico’s foreclosure and delinquency rate is now 35 percent. This rate more than doubles the 14.4 % national rate of foreclosure during the housing implosion of 2010. To find out more about Porto Rican distress, surf over to https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/business/puerto-rico-housing-foreclosures.html.

Update On Internet Ageism
Several weeks ago this column reported on age discrimination in hiring committed by Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and other websites. Now ProPublica reports that AARP and a number of Senators are calling on Facebook and others to end discrimination by preventing targeted ads from ignoring older workers. The AARP and Congress are reacting to a Propublica/ New York Times story on Internet discrimination that appeared on December 20, 2017. To learn more about this reaction, visit http://www.propublica.org/aarp-and-key-senators-urge-companies-to-end-bias-in -recruiting-on-facebook/ The Internet is a powerful tool when used wisely and legally. And so it goes.

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Unusual Ancestries Listed By State

Brookings’ Study Reveals Access To Health Care Reduces Crime
The Brookings Institution recently released a study that argues access to healthcare lowers crime rates. The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC The institution regularly conducts studies that may offer new insights and solutions to current problems faced by government. Data from this study show that three out of five state prisoners and sentenced jail inmates suffer from substance abuse problems. In addition, one half of federal and state prisoners and two thirds of jail inmates find themselves in serious psychological distress or have a history of mental illness. Prisoners cost state and federal agencies more than $50,000 per year each to house. Medical treatment is much cheaper. To find out more about sick prisoners and how governments treat them, visit https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2018/01/03/new-evidence-that-access-to-health-care-reduces-crime/. To all stern justice adherents, ignoring this problem is a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Dictionary Definition Writer Presents 8 Words Writers Should Use More Frequently
Writer Kory Stamper whose day job focuses on writing word definitions for dictionaries says that a number of old fashioned words and phrases still produce a zing in modern texts. For example, when did you last read or hear anyone say, “Don’t get yourself in a swivet?” This word encapsulates the emotions of students facing an important exam. Tizzy and frenzy are synonyms we more commonly use today. But swivet adds an unusual zip to a modern sentence. To learn more about this and seven other useful words, surf over to http://www.signature-reads.com/2017/03/delightful-definitions-8-words-and-phrases-we-should-use-again/. Readers wishing to find out more about Kory Stamper should visit Kory’s blog at https://korystamper.wordpress.com/. Enjoy and learn.

Doxing: An Increasing Cyber Threat To Contend With
For the Internet unlearned, Doxing consists of researching and posting private identifying information online to threaten, harass or embarrass someone. Most recently, a California doxer called 911 and told local police someone in Kansas had a gun and was holding relatives hostage. California police contacted Kansas officers who accidentally shot to death an innocent man. This act will undoubtedly generate a legal swivet about who the offenders are: the police in Kansas or the California doxer. To learn more about doxing and how to prevent it, click on https://incyberdefense.com/susan-hoffman/doxing-increasing-cyber-threat/. While the specific incident arose from a 911 call to California police, the same type of actions occur on the Internet such as posting “revenge porn.” Sometimes, doxing is useful as some individuals identified rioters in Charlottesville, VA from Internet postings of the violence. So, some good, some bad.

Unusual Ancestries Listed By State
Did you know… that the most unusual individual ancestry in New York state is someone who hails from St. Vincent and Grenadine Islands? True. New York residents with this background comprise 0.06% of state and 0.01% of US residents. And 69.94% of all these folks live in New York. The website 24/7 Wall St recently posted a listing of the most unusual country ancestries in each state. To find out which state has the most Congolese residents, visit http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/12/20/most-unusual-ancestry-by-state/. Fascinating.

What Did 19th Century Tradespeople Look Like?
History buffs will enjoy this post by the Library of Congress. The post provides portraits of 19th Century tradespeople . The list of early photos starts with a portrait of three firemen. Pictures of coopers, shoemakers, watchmakers and taxidermists show the tools of their trades. To step back to the 19th Century, visit https://blogs.loc.gov/teachers/2017/12/profiling-portraits-occupational-portraits-of-the-19th-century/. Enjoy. And so it goes.

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List of 20 Companies With Highest Profits Per Employee

Good News For 2017
The New York Post reported that the crime rate in New York City is the lowest it has been since the 1950s. Crimes in the seven major categories fell by 2.8 percent. To find out the specific statistics by category, visit https://nypost.com/2017/03/01/nycs-low-crime-rate-just-got-even-lower/. So, those of you who postponed a trip to The City because of crime fears should now plan to see the Big Apple in safety. Enjoy.

New Data Show How Americans Spent Money In 2017
The website 24/7 Wall St recently reported a list of categories on which Americans spent money in 2017. The list begins with the lowest category, bicycles and accessories at $53.28 billion and ends with the highest, number 50, occupied housing payments at $19.39 trillion. Prescription drugs rank at 45 on the list with $3.74 trillion. To read the entire list, visit http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/12/22/what-americans-spent-in-2017/.

Feds Report That High Drug Costs Prevent Some Cancer Patients’ Treatment Options
The NIH recently reported that high out-of-pocket expenses prevent some cancer patients from life-saving or life-prolonging cancer treatments. Today’s cancer drugs are so expensive that even with drug prescription insurance, many patients cannot afford treatment. Although some drug companies have programs to help low income patients, individuals who cannot meet the low income cutoff, find themselves priced out of treatment. In some cases, co-payments for specific drugs may be as high as $2,000 per treatment, well beyond the ability of most patients to pay. To learn more about this, click on https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_170586.html. Some browsers have difficulty finding some of the medlineplus articles. But keep looking and you will find the information.

List of 20 Companies With Highest Profits Per Employee
The website www.visualcapitalist.com recently reported on the 20 largest international corporations with the highest profits per employee. It comes as no surprise tech companies fall on this list. In fact, Facebook reports a total of $599,307 profit per employee. Qualcomm and Alphabet, Google parent company, posted profits per employee as $170,000. In fact, twelve of the top twenty companies are headquartered in the U.S. These are the companies that will benefit most from the new Republican tax cuts. To read more, surf over to http://www.visualcapitalist.com/20-companies-profit-per-employee/. The rich seem to only get richer. Note: Fannie May, a Fed mortgage agency, posts an astounding $1,759.000 profit per employee. Holy Moly! To see the ranked list, scroll down from the graphic at the top of the web page. How much profit is too much?

Wounded Veterans Not A New Problem
The Library of Congress recently posted an article about injured World War 1 vets. During the Great War, 200,000 soldiers returned home with physical and mental injuries. One vet wrote, “[A] man could not go through that conflict and come back and take his place as a normal human being.” Two modern organizations, The American Legion and The Disabled American Veterans formed as a result of WW 1 to help disabled veterans . To learn more about the problems faced by returning World War 1 vets, visit https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2017/12/world-war-i-injured-veterans-and-the-disability-rights-movement/. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Corporations Use Internet To Discriminate Against Older Workers
Companies such as Verizon, Amazon, Goldman Sachs and Target use Internet recruitment ads to find younger workers while experienced older workers are left out in the cold. The study jointly undertaken by ProPublica and the New York Times indicates that some Facebook ads targeted the 25 year-old to 36 year-old demographic. This of course violates the 1967 federal law against age discrimination. Facebook even defended the practice saying “that [age targeted ads] is an accepted industry practice.” But of course, the Department of Justice will never hold these corporations accountable for discrimination violations. It’s good business to discriminate. To learn more about this, click on https://www.propublica.org/article/facebook-ads-age-discrimination-targeting. So, use the Internet to find jobs only if you are under 40. And so it goes. Happy New Year!

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Watch Your Words, Passwords

Holidays Pose Hazards To Pet Health
Medline Plus recently posted tips to keep dogs and cats healthy during the holiday season. Most Vets caution pet owners to keep human treats such as chocolate away from pets. Cat owners need to make sure that cats stay away from poinsettias. The plants will kill them. For other very easy suggestions on how to keep pets safe during the holidays, visit https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_170504.html.

American Presidents Ranked Worst To Best
The Trump presidency has barely completed its first year and the presidential rankings have just been published. According to CBS News, Abraham Lincoln holds first place in the pantheon of presidents, followed by George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower in that order. To find out where Donald Trump falls, click on https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/presidents-ranked-from-worst-to-best-presidential-historians-survey-2017/40/. Hint: George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton find themselves in the middle of the pack.

Oxford English Dictionary Chooses Word Of The Year
In the English Language world, the Oxford English Dictionary, OED, operates as the final arbiter in word correctness. In choosing the 2017 word of the year, the OED, has language scholars scratching their heads. Even OED spokes people admit that the word, “youthquake,” presents a puzzle. Many don’t even agree on the meaning of the word. To learn more about this topic, surf over to https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oxford-dictionaries-word-of-the-year-confusion_us_5a33b6ede4b0ff955ad1f45a. Good luck with this one.

After 50 Years Of Service, Last 747 Will End Passenger Flights
Delta Airlines scheduled the last flight of the regal plane which took off from Seoul, Korea and landed at Detroit, MI on Tuesday, December 19th. Declining airline orders for the plane sealed its fate since airlines now prefer smaller, two engine planes that conserve fuel. Freight airlines will continue flying the plane for the immediate future. To shed a tear for the passing of a transportation icon, click on https://www.voyagereport.com/news/final-u-s-commercial-boeing-747-flight-lands-tuesday/
The plane will go on a farewell tour to four Delta hubs before finally landing in Everett, Washington and retirement.

International Tea Day, Anyone?
According to a number of sites, December 15th is celebrated as International Tea Day in tea producing countries such as Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India. To learn more about this day, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Tea_Day. Next up is international coffee day or maybe tequila day. Or…

New Literacy: Digital
The Southern Poverty Law Center produces many materials that aid educators’ efforts to teach tolerance. The organization recently produced materials that help students identify responsible sources for research by evaluating the source for accuracy and bias. In addition, the site provides teachers with safe arenas for students to communicate with others online. To learn more about these efforts, visit https://www.tolerance.org/frameworks/digital-literacy.

Watch Your Words, Passwords
Passwords are a necessary evil in the Internet world. But some people don’t take information protection seriously and use very simple-to-hack passwords that put all their data at risk. Gizmodo recently published the 25 worst passwords people use to protect files. Some popular but ineffective passwords include: “whatever.” “iloveyou,” ‘trustno1.” and the old standby “123456.” To read more about the importance of good passwords, visit https://gizmodo.com/the-25-most-popular-passwords-of-2017-you-sweet-misgu-1821425092?. And so it goes. Merry Christmas.

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Tom Lehrer Needs To Write An Update

Ancients Invented Fridges Earlier Than Thought
If you think that your Fridge is a 20th Century invention, the website Ancient Origins recently published a piece that says that ancient desert dwellers in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East invented ice houses and refrigerators at least 2,400 years ago. The ingenious design used mud bricks and multi-levels to keep ice frozen and vegetables and meats cold to prevent quick spoilage. And, this inexpensive technology is still in use today in areas without electricity. To read more about this topic, click on http://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-ancient-technology/ancient-advanced-technology-2400-year-old-yakhchals-kept-ice-desert-021700. Another example that proves early civilizations were not as backward as we perceived them to be.

Tom Lehrer Needs to Write An Update
Six decades ago, MIT professor Tom Lehrer wrote a comedy song titled “The Periodic Table.” People marveled that the periodic table had been set to music. In the intervening years, however, science moved on and many new elements have been discovered. Chemistry students now must master an enlarged Periodic Table than the one I had to deal with. To find out what the newest element is and its name, surf over to http://www.newsweek.com/physics-breakthrough-new-form-matter-excitonium-finally-proved-exist-after-50-743329. To view a 1967 concert of Lehrer singing the Periodic Table song, click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcS3NOQnsQM. Enjoy.

NASA Named The Best Federal Agency To Work For
According to the non-profit Partnership for Public Service, a recent survey named NASA as one of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government. This is the sixth year in a row that NASA placed number one on the list. The authors teamed with Deloite to produce the findings. To learn more about the quality of work life in federal service, visit http://www.govexec.com/management/2017/12/nasa-ranked-best-place-work-government-six-years-running/144317/. Good luck to job seekers. N.B. The Secret Service came in last in the rankings. The Secret Service might be suffering from the loss of prostitute services when the President travels abroad. Or, the Secret Service may be suffering from a disease called ‘unauthorized- White- House- visitors- who- jump- the- fence- and- get- inside.’ Either case has caused great embarrassment for agency personnel.

New York State DEC Summer Job Applications
Individuals wishing to obtain a summer lifeguard job in state parks, should prepare now for next summer. Lifeguard positions pay $13.27 per hour. The season begins the last part of May and runs through Labor Day. The minimum age for a lifeguard is 16. A swim test is required. To find out more about this job, click on http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/726.html/ Good luck to all job seekers.

Meals For The Well Healed
The website 24/7 Wall Street recently posted a list of the 25 most expensive steakhouses in the U.S. The Gordon Ramsey steakhouse in Las Vegas holds down the bottom of the list. Diners lusting for a 32 ounce porterhouse must fork over $115. The most expensive appetizer, a Hudson Valley foie gras, costs $26. And these costs do not include drinks, dessert, tax and tip for each diner in the party. Holy Guacamole! To see the other 24 restaurants on this dubious list, visit http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/11/09/americas-most-expensive-steakhouses/2/.

Another Scam To Avoid
The Federal Trade Commission recently posted advice to consumers in regard to scams involving the U.S. Marshal Service. A new scam involves people receiving telephone calls from U.S. Marshals telling them that missing jury duty is a crime. The scammers say that to avoid arrest, people should send money in the form of prepaid debit cards, Itunes or gift cards to pay the fine. THE MARSHAL SERVICE WILL NEVER TELEPHONE YOU! To learn more about this scam, click on https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/12/us-marshals-wont-call-you-about-jury-duty. And so it goes.

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Mistakes Will Happen

Propublica Says There Are Bombs In Our Backyards
Investigative journalism site www.Propublica.org/ recently posted a piece that says that nationwide, the military has high risk sites that hold bombs or toxic waste. New York alone has 32 high risk and medium risk sites. California holds the most medium and high risk bomb sites at 131. In addition, the piece names military bases that have high and medium risk sites. The United States Military Academy at West Point has 14 such sites, for example. To access the interactive map and to determine the time line for site remediation, visit https://projects.propublica.org/bombs/. Another ProPublica site provides tips journalists can use to cover the story in their areas. To learn more about this aspect, visit https://www.propublica.org/article/reporting-recipe-bombs-in-your-backyard?. Happy sleuthing. The sites shown on the interactive map are color-coded to indicate High risk down to Response completed sites.

Answers To Give After You Have Lost Your Chance To Deliver A Zinger
When I am in social situations and can’t think of a snappy comeback until hours later at home, I fantasize about the snarky retorts I might have used. This website, has many famous responses that more quick-witted individuals have used. For example, Oscar Wilde once remarked, “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they leave.” Another example comes from Dorothy Parker, “That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can’t say NO in any of them” To chuckle over many more examples, surf over to https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/classic-insults. Enjoy.

Mistakes Will Happen
The Huffington Post recently reported that supporters of President Donald Trump mistook actor Levar Burton for sports father Levar Ball. For 23 years, Levar Burton taught the joys of reading to kids on the PBS series “Reading Rainbow.” Mr. Ball is the father of UCLA basketball player Lonzo Ball who was arrested in China for shoplifting. President Trump interceded on his behalf and engineered his release only to opine later that he (Trump) should have left the kid in jail. The father responded by criticizing the president. To enjoy this rather minor kerfluffle, visit https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/levar-burton-lavar-ball-not-same_us_5a14b2f3e4b025f8e9325669.

Some Advice For Students Deciding On A College Major
The New York Times recently published a story on career earnings for twelve college major career areas. According to the article, students who choose careers based starting salaries may be making a mistake. When evaluating lifetime earnings, students need to really do their homework. According to the Times, in a lifetime career, an English major in the highest quartile will earn more money than a chemical engineer whose earnings fall just over the median for chemical engineers. The English major in the highest quartile is estimated to earn between $4 and $5 million working over a lifetime. A chemical engineer falling just over the median salary for the field is estimated to earn over his/her lifetime $4 million. So, some careers pay off in the short run while others pay off over the long haul. To find out more, click on www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/education/edlife/choosing-a-college-major/

How To Avoid An Unexpected Hospital Bill
An investigative reporting site recently posted a story about people who experienced unexpected high medical costs. According to the report, a doctor offered to add an ear piercing for a young girl’s ear as part of a scheduled surgical procedure. The hospital then charged the parents a whopping $1.877 for the ear-piercing procedure. Ouch! There are steps that patients can take to avoid such unexpected surprises. For example, make sure the proposed test or treatment is necessary. Ask the cost of the test or the treatment before having it done. To learn more about how to protect yourself from unexpected medical bills, log on to https://www.propublica.org/article/seven-ways-patients-can-protect-themselves-from-outrageous-medical-bills?utm/.

‘Tis The Season, The Shopping Season
The Internet has become the preferred way to shop, and Black Friday sales figures indicate that more shopping occurred online than in brick and mortar stores. The following website will provide you with sale products, deals, coupons and more to make your holiday shopping as easy as possible. To find this treasure, click on https://www.tomsguide.com/us/pictures-story/910-best-shopping-apps.html. And so it goes.

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Many Mass Murders Are Also Domestic Abusers

Many Mass Murderers Are Also Domestic Abusers
According to a recent post, of the 156 mass shootings from 2009 to 2016 more than half the killers also had a history of domestic violence. Many men who commit domestic violence become known to police agencies. But all too often, these men find ways to avoid jail time. And the National Rifle Association argues that no firearms restrictions should be placed on known domestic abusers because of Second Amendment rights that assure that everyone should be able to own firearms regardless of the risks involved. To read more about this issue, visit https://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2017/11/to-stop-mass-murder-stop-domestic-violence/.
Additional information on the links between mass murderers and domestic abusers may be accessed at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mass-shooters-domestic-violence_us_5a0376e7e4b0937b510f5fdd.

Time To Register Kids For DEC Summer Camps
It’s not even Thanksgiving and the ground remains snowless, but the season to register kids for NYS DEC summer camps is upon us. At DEC camps, campers explore diverse habitats, learn basic ecological concepts and practice outdoor skills. All DEC camps offer sportsmen education classes including hunting and archery. Check for availability at the four DEC summer camps for prospective 2018 campers. The camp schedules will be posted in the coming weeks. To find out more about DEC camps for 14 to 17 year-olds as well as camps for younger children click on http://www.dec.ny.gov/26.html. Another example of your state taxes at work.

24/7 Wall Street Lists Most Dangerous States To Live In
In the U.S. violent crime is classified as aggravated assault, robbery, rape and homicide. Crime statistics say that nationally, there were 397 violent crimes per one hundred thousand people in 2016. The National crime rate increased from 385 crimes per one hundred thousand people in 2015. But this crime rate shows a major decrease from the crime rates nationally which totaled 758 crimes per one hundred thousand people during 1984 to 1991. This is good news unless you’re a crime victim. The website listed current crime rates for all 50 states for last year. For the timid, move to Maine; it has the lowest crime rate. For braver individuals, Alaska comes in at number one with the most crime per one hundred thousand people. To see where New York places, surf over to http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/11/03/most-dangerous-states-in-america/.

Basic Research That Proves The Obvious
Researchers at UCLA recently published the results of a study of air pollution at bus stops. The study concluded that to improve the air for bus riders, bus stops should be moved away from intersections to the middle of blocks. Studies have proved that many bus riders wait 15 to 25 minutes for buses. Busy intersections produce large amounts of toxic gas from vehicle traffic. So, to improve air quality for waiting passengers, moving away from vehicle pollutants at intersections will improve the air quality of wait times. Duh! To learn move about the study that proves the obvious, click on http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/relocating-bus-stops-would-cut-riders-pollution-exposure-ucla-study-finds

Good News Department
German doctors recently saved the life of a little boy suffering from a rare skin disease. The doctors’ recently released news that the boy’s life was saved by the use of artificial skin grown using genetically modified stem cells. At first, doctors tried traditional treatment using natural skin transplants but the procedure failed. The disease called epidermolysis bullosa (EB) had destroyed about 60 percent of the boy’s skin. The child has now fully recovered. To learn more about this experimental treatment, click on https://www.livescience.com/60897-boy-gets-new-skin-gene-therapy.html.

More Good News
According to MedlinePlus.com sex rarely leads to heart attack deaths. Only 34 out of more than 4,500 cardiac arrests were caused by sexual activity in the Portland, OR area. The study tracked such data from 2002 to 2015. That number translates to a 0.7 percent occurrence, of sex-related cardiac arrest events. researchers noted. This finding came from a larger study of heart risk factors for more than one million people living in the greater Portland area over the last 16 years. To learn more about the findings, visit https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_169658.html. And so it goes.

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Not All Viking Warriors Were Men

American Corporations Paying Employees The Least
The website 24/7 Wall Street recently published a list of American corporations that pay employees the lowest wages. As you may expect, retail stores and fast food businesses lead the list. Companies such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Starbucks and Walmart are prominent members of this group. Hotel Chains such as the Marriott also find themselves on this list. To find out the other corporations that profit on the backs of employees, surf over to http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/10/27/companies-paying-americans-the-least-6/5/.

Classic Books 8 to 12-Year-Olds Still Read
A list provided by the website ReadBrightly.com focuses on classic tales that today’s kids say are still worth reading. Today’s kids say books such as The Swiss Family Robinson. Treasure Island and The Wizard of Oz are still interesting and worth reading. This website also provides lists of books by categories that parents can use to help kids develop a love of reading. To find out more about kid-friendly reading books, surf over to http://www.readbrightly.com/classics-8-to-12-year-olds-say-are-worth-reading-today/.

Feds Prosecute Small Town Cop For Hate Speech
Federal authorities recently arrested and charged a small- town police chief with federal civil rights violations for hate speech and racist orders given to subordinate officers. The retired police chief of the Bordentown Township police department faced arraignment in federal court the week of October 23rd. According to federal authorities, Frank Nocera, 60 years-old, expressed the desire to murder all African Americans because “…(they) had no value, ,…and were just like ISIS.” The indictment also charges that Nocera ordered police officers assigned to protect high school basketball games to bring along police dogs to intimidate black spectators. To read more about institutional racism, click on https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/frank-nucera-bordentown-hate-crime_us_59f9e457e4b00c6145e32c0b. One hopes that Nocera will quickly get his day in court.

Not All Viking Warriors Were Men
According to The New York Post, the recently reexamined remains of a major Viking warrior, have turned out to be the bones of a woman. The Viking-era grave, found in the late 1800s by archeologist Hjalmar Stolpe, had been thought to be that of an important male warrior. In addition to the bones, the grave contained an ax, spear, armor-piercing arrows, a battle knife, shields and the remains of two horses. A recent reexamination of the skeleton revealed the presence of fine cheekbones and feminine hip bones. A subsequent DNA analysis confirmed that the skeleton was female. To learn more about Viking Warrior Women, visit http://nypost.com/2017/09/08/viking-skeletons-dna-test-proves-historians-wrong/. Additional information about the mid-10th Century grave may be found at https://phys.org/news/2017-09-genetic-proof-women-viking-warriors.html.

HIV/AIDS Remains A Problem For “Discordant Couples”
The National Institute of Health recently posted information aimed to protect HIV-discordant couples from disease transmittal. Discordant couples are couples where one member is HIV positive and the other member is HIV negative. The graphic teaches such couples how to avoid transmitting the disease to the uninfected partner. To learn more about this health issue, click on https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/understanding-hiv-aids/infographics/5/hiv-discordant-couples. Readers may print a color copy of this chart for easy reference. I wonder whether or not the 2018 Trump budget contains funds tor this program. If only Republicans cared for people as much as they care for tax cuts.

New Ransomware Threat
Earlier this year the Internet world faced threats from both the Wanna Cry and the Petya ransomware viruses. Organizations in Russia and the Ukraine as well as a small number of organizations in Germany and Turkey fell victim to these virus threats. Now, a new threat has emerged. Bad Rabbit. This new virus began infecting computer networks on October 24th. To find out whether or not your computer is at risk, visit http://www.zdnet.com/article/bad-rabbit-ten-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-latest-ransomware-outbreak/. If you have not subscribed to zdnet.com yet, you need to do so. And so it goes.

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Drug OD’s Higher in Rural Areas Than In Cities

Drug OD’s Higher In Rural Areas Than In Cities
The Center for Disease Control recently released a report that indicates rural areas face higher drug overdose deaths than cities face. The center says that rural areas need more attention from federal agencies to fight this serious drug epidemic. Although the actual number of drug deaths is lower in rural areas than in cities, rural areas exhibit higher percentages of drug deaths per capita than cities do. To read more about this study, click on https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_169213.html.

Find Out Which Colleges Experienced Increases In Student Interest
As high school seniors complete college applications, some colleges and universities prove easier to attend than others. For example, the University of Maine accepts 90% of applicants. The University of California, Davis accepts a paltry 42% in comparison. To make the college application process easier for seniors, the website 24/7 Wall St lists 100 colleges that have seen application increases over the last 10 years. To access the list of popular colleges, surf over to http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/10/19/colleges-where-applications-are-on-the-rise/2/. The list also provides the percentage of successful applications to each institution. The application process is just as stressful today as it was in my day, although the number of applicants proved smaller back then. Then, only about 15 percent of high school graduates applied to colleges. Fewer applications meant less competition for the even smaller number of college seats available. Good luck to this year’s applicants.

London Rated World’s Safest City For Women
The Thompson Reuters Foundation recently released a report that indicates London ranks as the safest city for women to walk around. The study rated 19 megacities with populations of at least 10 million people. Tokyo ranked second and Paris came in third. The study evaluated how well cities protected women from sexual violence and harmful cultural practices. In addition, the ratings looked at healthcare, finance and education as indicators of safe living elements for women. To view this story, visit http://www.africanews.com/2017/10/16/poll-rates-cairo-most-dangerous-london-safest-for-women/.

More London News
A decade or more ago, Eddy Grant recorded the Reggae song ‘Electric Avenue’ which protested living conditions faced by the poor. Today, however, instead of picturing poverty issues, the city of London is showing off a real electric avenue. The city is showcasing a short street paved with tiles that produce electric energy as people walk on them. Bird Street now generates enough power to produce bird sounds during the day and nighttime light displays along the pedestrian walkway. In addition to providing nature sounds, the street also includes an air-purifying bench that converts urban- polluted- air into clean air for people who occupy the bench. To learn more about this, click on https://www.livescience.com/59819-interactive-smart-street-london.html. And, if you can’t remember the song lyrics to Electric Avenue, surf over to http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107858519973/. Then you really can ’rock down to electric avenue/ And then …take it higher.’ Enjoy

Even Legal Immigrants Denied Entry Into U.S. Army
The plight of DACA people has been well documented. But in a new prejudicial twist, the U.S. Army now refuses to accept some legal permanent residents who wish to enlist. In addition, the Army now subjects other legal residents to tougher background checks that may take up to a year to complete. The military implemented this new policy in early October. This new policy adversely affects immigrants who saw an expedited road to citizenship by completing U.S. military service. Critics have called this new policy unconstitutional. To learn more about this issue, visit http://inmilitary.com/it-looks-like-were-afraid-of-foreigners-army-turns-away-some-green-card-holders/. “What a revoltin’ development this is.” A frequent quote by Bill Bendix who starred in the TV show “The Life of Riley.”

TED Talks Prove Enlightening
A website that features popular TED talks added an 11 minute talk by Shingeru Ban. Ban talks about his use of ecologically sound building materials such as cardboard tubes to provide temporary structures in disaster-struck areas such as Haiti, Rwanda and Japan. The architect won the prestigious Pritzker Award for 2014. Some of Ban’s building projects have achieved permanency. To learn more about paper buildings and other topics, click on https://www.ted.com/talks/shigeru_ban_emergency_shelters_made_from_paper. Other interesting websites may be accessed at https://www.randomusefulwebsites.com/index.php. And so it goes.

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    hunterj

    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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