Hacker Profiles

Hacker and Cyber Criminal Profiles
Hackers and cyber terrorists at best pose an inconvenience and at worst present a very dangerous threat. How do hacktivists, pranksters, tinkerers and sharpshooters differ? The definitions of these terms are found on the Government Computer News website. GCN.com. The site reported that open-source developer , Eric Raymond, has taken a stab at categorizing hackers by their most essential and universally shared traits. For example, Raymond argues that sharpshooters are individuals who exhibit obsession with details. Pranksters gravitate to information security and test engineering. All told, eight types of hackers have been profiled. To read the short excerpt, click on https://gcn.com/articles/2017/04/10/hacker-archetypes.aspx. And don’t forget state sponsored hackers and cyber terrorists. The full blog post may be accessed at http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7478. This is a fascinating examination of computer hacker profiling.

Measles Disease Is Still A Threat In The US
Even though Measles has been eliminated in the US since 2000, every year new Measles cases pop up all over the country. The disease enters the country with infected travelers from Europe and Africa, either nationals from countries carrying the disease or by returning US travelers. whose vaccinations against the disease have lapsed. Since the disease has disappeared in the US, Americans don’t think to make sure that Measles vaccinations are in place. To read more about how to keep from becoming a modern day Typhoid Mary, click on https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165583.html. More medical travel information may be obtained at https://medlineplus.gov/alphanews_t.html#travelershealth.

Scott Pruitt Take Note: Satellites Have Tracked Antarctic Ice Loss For Decades
According to the European Space Agency, five different satellites have tracked ice loss in the Antarctic over the last 24 years. For example, the agency found that from 1992 to 2016 glacier movement has increased speed to 20 to 30 cm a day, or an overall speed increase of 13%. This movement is tied to the warmer temperatures of the water off the coast of Antarctica. This is just another example of global warming that EPA head, Scott Pruitt refuses to accept. To learn more about this topic, click on http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Satellites_track_Antarctic_ice_loss_over_decades.

May Clean Hands Campaign Provides Teaching Materials For Physicians and Patients
May 5th was World Hand Hygiene Day. The CDC offers posters and other materials for medical personnel as well as for the general public to heighten awareness for the need for clean hands to prevent disease spread. Materials may be accessed on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. The Center for Disease Control provides timely information on numerous topics. To access the information on clean hands, surf over to https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/campaign/index.html. Spend at least 20 seconds washing and rubbing hands to get rid of germs.

Fourth Quarter 2016 Job Growth Noted By BLS
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently noted that job gains exceeded job losses in the fourth quarter of 2016 by 688,000. Job gains exceeded job losses in 9 of 13 major industries. Professional and business services and education and health services led the list of gains. An interactive graphic indicates the number of jobs gained/lost for each industry. To learn more about employment data, click on https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/gross-job-gains-exceed-gross-job-losses-by-688000-in-third-quarter-of-2016.htm. In spite of the election campaign charges that Obama caused job loss, the opposite appears to be the case. And so it goes.

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New York Times Summer Reading Contest

What the NRA Doesn’t Want You To Know
According the website MedlinePlus, 16 children are hospitalized every day from gun injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics research revealed that children face a public health menace with unintentional gun injuries and more children are injured in gun assaults. Researchers said that the data indicated that kids under 15 who suffered gun injuries were accidental victims. Kids 15 to 19 suffered gun injuries due to physical assaults. 57 percent of injuries to kids were unintentional. Almost 90 percent of victims were male. Half of the victims lived in dangerous neighborhoods. To read more about this issue, click on https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165226.html. Could more stringent gun laws reduce these injuries? Not according to the NRA.

New York Times Summer Reading Contest for Kids
Beginning June 16th The Times will ask kids “what interested you most this week and why?”
Every Tuesday beginning July 4th the Times will publish the winners’ names from the previous week and feature what the winners wrote. Contest rules and registration materials will be found on line at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/27/learning/the-eighth-annual-new-york-times-summer-reading-contest.html?_r=0. The article provides a link to a downloadable PDF that provides all the details. The Times limits the contest to teenagers from 13 to 19. So, sorry genus 6th graders, you’re too young. The contest does not award money prizes, but winners get published in the paper.

Data From BLS For Writers of All Ages
For everyone who wants to write, technology today provides many avenues for paid work. The salary information featured here, though, indicates that the average writer makes slightly more than the US average salary all wage earners. While there are exceptions to the rule, writing jobs may be less desirable than other professions as college grads weigh the salary outlook against college loan debt. To find out more, surf over to https://beta.bls.gov/labs/blogs/2017/05/10/put-your-writing-skills-to-work/.

Government Purges Global Warming From EPA Web Pages
In an example of climate denying, the Trump administration removed all climate information from the agency’s website. Scott Pruitt, agency head, said that the change will give voice to the new direction adopted by the administration. To read more about this head-in-the-sand approach to policy making, visit https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/epa-purges-climate-change-information-as-part-of-website-updates/.

Scientists Collect Human-like DNA in Cave Dust
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology located in Leipzig, Germany say that very little human bone material is needed to find DNA in the dust found in empty caves. Finding the DNA is one thing, analyzing the DNA to understand what it means is another. Work continues on understanding the data. For more information, click on http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/04/507543208/dust-to-dust-scientists-find-dna-of-human-ancestors-in-cave-floor-dirt. An interesting first step.

James Fenimore Cooper’s Daughter Is First American Female Nature Writer
Susan Fenimore Cooper became the first American Woman to publish Nature Writing. So says the Library of Congress, Susan Fenimore Cooper published Rural Hours By A Lady based on Journals written in 1848 and 1849 that focused on weather, fauna and flora in and around Cooperstown, New York. Susan lived most of her life in Cooperstown, although she did live in New York City and in France. Another work, Journal of a Naturalist in the United States, was published in London in 1855. The article posts several links to online sources where readers may access and read the books on line. To find out more about the relatively unknown Susan Cooper, visit http://blogs.loc.gov/inside_adams/2017/04/susan-fenimore-cooper-the-first-american-woman-to-publish-nature-writing/. This is yet another example of useful government programs.

Space Junk Surrounds Earth and Should Be Cleaned Up
Earthlings have been shooting objects into space since 1957. Today more than 7,000 satellites spin around us making it increasingly difficult to find space for new satellites. Now the European Space Agency is speaking up about this threat. In fact, according to Holgar Krag, head of the ESA Space Debris Office, there are more than 20,000 pieces of junk more than 10cm in size and 750.000 bits larger than 1cm. Particles of this size are capable of damaging space crafts. To learn more about this problem, click on https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/248159-esa-says-time-come-get-serious-removing-space-junk. And so it goes.

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Coffee Lovers Relax

Sexism Rampant In Science, Too
The University of California, Davis recently published research that scientific research results have been polluted by the lack of recognition that male and female members of a species may be genetically/physically different. According to the researchers, this fundamental assumption of genetic equality between the sexes has ignored many differences between male and female members of a particular species. In the past, researchers recognized differences in sex organs between males and females. But, the current study found that when researchers primarily used males for analysis, the researchers missed the many physical differences between the sexes. To access the study results of Rock Pigeons study at UC Davis, visit https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/pigeon-study-takes-sexism-science/. On a more personal note, medical research on human heart attacks has focused primarily on male subjects. Thus female heart attack victims face a more difficult disease treatment due to a basic lack on medical knowledge.

California Beachfront Property May Not Be a Good Investment
The Huffpost recently posted a story about climate change that has California beachfront property owners concerned. A California government council recently advised that due to global warming, sea levels may rise as much as 10 feet by the end of the century. A worst case scenario projects that airports in San Francisco and Oakland as well as 42,000 homes will be completely submerged. The agency, California Ocean Protection Council’s advisory team, accepted these higher sea level estimates as the team warned that roads, railroad tracks, bridges, farm land and cities faced serious risks from rising water levels. In addition, Louisiana stands to lose 2,250 miles of shoreline due to rising sea levels. To learn more about this threat, click on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-sea-level-rise_us_59027f0fe4b0bb2d086c5f31. As you drive around with your fossil fuel polluting car, consider the effect of rising sea levels on Long Island, The New Jersey shore and Miami, Florida. Oops! Where did Long Beach Island Go?

New York City Cops Aren’t The Only Law Enforcement People In Trouble
The New York Times recently reported that New York City Corrections Commissioner, Joseph Ponte, was reprimanded for the misuse of city- owned vehicles. It seems that the commissioner who was brought in to correct abuses in city jails, used city vehicles on many trips to Maine on his vacations. In addition to the unauthorized vehicle use, the commissioner also managed to take 90 vacation days so far during his two plus years in New York City. How many vacation days do you get in a year? To read more about this, surf over to https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/nyregion/new-york-correction-commissioner-joseph-ponte-reprimand.html. When it comes to New York City law enforcement personnel, it appears difficult to tell the good guys from the criminals.

Coffee Lovers Relax: It’s OK To Drink More Than 4 Cups of Coffee a Day
The International Life Science Institute reviewed 740 studies on the effect of coffee drinking on people. Thankfully, the review indicates that the amount of coffee people drink has little or no adverse affects. Even pregnant women may consume 300mg of caffeine daily safely. The study concluded that children may consume 2.5mg of caffeine daily as well. To learn more about coffee drinking, surf over to http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/drinking-4-coffee-cups-four-no-health-risks-caffeine-safe-life-sciences-institute-ilsi-a7700921.html. Good news.

35 New York Schools Save On Technology Expenses
T/H/E/ Journal recently reported that 35 school districts in the lower Hudson Valley will roll out managed IT services provided by the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center of the Southern Westchester BOCES. The school districts are located in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties served by the Southern Westchester BOCES. This state-aided service lowers local costs and provides needed curriculum support for districts as well as hardware support. Since districts eliminate the necessity of hiring I T curriculum specialists, the programs get more bang for their technology bucks because BOCES personnel services generate extra state aid the following year. To learn more about this program, visit https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/04/24/35-ny-school-districts-adopt-managed-it-services.aspx. Other BOCES regional computer centers should be able to provide similar services for component districts as well. And so it goes.

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NSA Data Leaks

Stronger Muscles May Improve Kids’ Memory Skills
According to www.lHealthDay.com, new research suggests that kids with stronger muscles may have improved memory skills. Researchers examined 70 children aged 9 to 11 years and found that muscle fitness was directly related to more accurate memories. The problem is, only 1 in 3 US children are physically active every day. Physical inactivity produces weak muscle mass. The type of physical activity did not include such strength skills as weight lifting. To read more about this research, click on https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_164718.html. If you have trouble accessing this post, surf over to HealthDay at https://consumer.healthday.com/fitness-information-14/misc-health-news-265/stronger-muscles-may-pump-up-kids-memory-skills-721586.html. Best of luck getting your kids to exercise.

Strategies To Combat Fake News
How can Internet users, newspaper readers and TV news viewers avoid fake news? It seems that even reputable news organizations occasionally fall for a fake news item. Well, help is on the way. A website, www.thenewsliteracyproject.org, provides instruction for students, teachers and news media personnel techniques essential to avoid fake news. If interested, sign up for free newsletters focused on students, teachers and reporters. The cure to fake news is not a magic bullet. Rather, the solution requires some training which does require work. Nevertheless, to avoid being taken in by fake facts such as 3 million voters committed voter fraud, give this site a look

Burning Down The Barn After The Horses Have Escaped
The US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, indicated that the Justice Department will close a federal agency formed four years ago to instill more scientific rigor in the forensic sciences. This national commission has worked on establishing best practices for crime lab personnel. The FBI as well as prosecutors all over the country rely on DNA results as well as other forensic tests to determine the guilt or innocense of those accused of crimes. But the truth is, crime lab data may be flawed or inaccurate. In Massachusetts, nearly 22,000 drug convictions may be overturned because a crime lab worker made up test results. And in another test of hair sampling, 26 of 28 examiners gave flawed testimony in more than 200 trial cases. Oops. To read more about CSI screw-ups, visit https://www.propublica.org/article/another-startling-verdict-for-forensic-science. Note: Propublica just shared a Pulitzer Prize with the New York Daily News for a series on widespread abuse of eviction laws by New York City police officers. This abuse caused hundreds of innocent people to lose their apartments. The police used a law designed to fight porn and prostitution in Times Square to unjustly push people out of their homes. New York City cops can’t seem to catch a break in the press these days.

Some Federal Protection For Internet Users
There have been a plethora of news stories about the decision of the FCC to allow internet providers to sell customer data to third parties without the approval of individual customers. That issue is still cooking at the FCC, but Internet users can rely on the Federal Trade Commission to provide some Internet protection for users. The FTC is described as the top cop on the privacy beat. The agency provides consumer protection for health, credit and financial data. To learn more about how the Federal Trade Commission provides protection for you, click on https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2017/04/your-cop-privacy-beat. Of course, President Trump and his minions now scrutinize all agencies to reduce the size and effectiveness of agency services.

NSA Data Leaks
Two websites have recently published stories about the Shadow Brokers’ data drop on NSA hacking software. On one hand, the government tasks the NSA to protect the country from attack by hostile forces on many fronts. On the other hand, whistleblowers have leaked information that the NSA has overstepped its authority by hacking into financial sites that put all financial transactions on government view regardless of whether or not criminal activity or national security is involved. To learn more about this complicated issue, visit these two sites:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/malware-made-by-the-nsa-released-by-shadow-brokers-group/article/490006. A second site with additional information may be accessed at https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/04/purported-shadow-brokers-0days-were-in-fact-killed-by-mysterious-patch/. And so it goes.

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Political Humor

April is Poetry Month
The National Council of Teachers of English recently posted a lesson plan on poetry activities. This activity allows students to play with words and letters in an imaginative way. Ogden Nash once wrote, “ Cows are of the bovine ilk. One end moo the other milk.” A great introduction to poetry for kids, Ogden Nash can win over any poetry hater. The site presents alphabet poem examples. To learn more about the universality of poetry appreciation, surf over to http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson988/modelalphabetpoems.pdf. For more generalized poetry info click on http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/abcs-poetry-988.html. Now you, too, can help kids learn to appreciate poetry. N.B. Poetry serves as the basis of ‘Rap’ music as well. Enjoy. ReadWriteThink is a service provided to English teachers to improve teaching practice.

Another Education Topic: Can You Write Cursive And Other Questions?
An article in Education Week Teaching Now reports that a second grade Facebook request asking for comments on a number of questions such as can you write cursive went viral. Within 2 days, the question garnered more than 300 thousand responses. The teacher’s ultimate goal was to provide data for her students to study graphing. To learn more about the questions and the responses, click on http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2017/03/can_you_write_in_cursive_2nd_graders_survey_goes_viral.html. Keyboarding is quick and everyone learns it in schools, but cursive writing broadens options when computers are not handy.

Some Utah Courts Seemingly Hold Rapists in High Regard
According to The Daily Kos, Utah District Court Judge Thomas Low spoke in glowing terms about the prisoner he was about to sentence to prison for sexual abuse and rape. Judge Low said moments before sentencing Keith Vallejo to prison that, “The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinarily good man.” The judge made the comment while one of the two victims sat in court watching the proceedings. To read the complete post, click on http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/04/14/1653236/-During-sentencing-judge-said-he-had-no-doubt-the-convicted-molester-is-extraordinarily-good? So much for judicial impartiality and integrity.

NYC Cops Exhibit Thuggery, Again
Last month several NYPD cops threatened to use Tasers against a group of black youth standing on a public sidewalk near Brooklyn’s Midwood High School. The officers began pushing and shoving and threatening the youths without explaining why the group should disperse. This is the most recent example of police behavior that the New York Civil Liberties Union cited as, “That confirms the all-too-frequent-complaints of NYPD officers abusing their authority to intimidate young people of color.” To read the complete post, visit http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/40171-nypd-officers-threaten-high-school-students-with-taser. It’s hard to sympathize with cops for the real threats they face when they behave in this manner.

Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitism?
This is the question that Rebecca Vilkomerson, director of the Jewish Voice for Peace, answers in her book On Antisemetism. The book compares the clear antisemitism of the Alt-Right with supporters of Israeli behavior in the West Bank who claim that criticism of Israel’s behavior amounts to antisemitism. Since the Trump election, Alt-Right supporters of white nationalism have committed acts of vandalism on the Temples and cemeteries of American Jews. According to Vilkomerson, a distinction must be made between criticism of Israeli actions at home and antisemitism in the U.S. To read more about this thought-provoking piece, visit http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/40207-antisemitism-and-support-for-israel-are-not-incompatible-we-must-confront-both. An expanded analysis of this work appears at http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/40224-israeli-government-is-petrified-of-boycott-divestment-and-sanctions-bds-movement. In the second link, the Israeli opposition to the BDS, Boycott, Divest, Sanctions, uses the charge of antisemitism to prevent and forestall any criticism of Israeli treatment of Palestinians in Israeli controlled territory. Given the apparent blank check President Trump has given the Israeli authorities on this issue, the topic seems very relevant.

Political Humor
The Daily Kos posted a hilarious piece listing 12 reasons why cats aren’t Republicans. Dems and Progressives will love this. Conservatives and Republicans not so much. To read visit http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/27/1339526/-Why-cats-aren-t-Republican. And so it goes.

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Salary Data for the Nosey

Satire Requires Knowledge To Appreciate
Johnathon Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels in the early 18th Century. Today the four novels are read as elementary school level fiction. When originally written, the novels featured excoriating political attacks aimed at adults. Most contemporary readers do not know or appreciate the criticism. Similarly, The Onion publishes contemporary satire that only the knowledgeable really appreciate. For example, in a recent post The Onion reported that computer accessory manufacturer Logitech released a new keyboard with raised letter keys so that fitness-minded computer users can get a cardio-workout as they type. A second story says that Jared Kushner just added ‘Solve the Middle East Crisis’ to his to- do-list. This report says that Kushner will devote an hour or two to solve the Arab-Israeli issues as he attacks the to-do-list in his Daytimer day-planner. This site is a national treasure which must appeal to all who love Mad Magazine. But, you have to be in-the-know to see the humor and the criticism. To visit, click on http://www.theonion.com/article/jared-kushner-quietly-transfers-solve-middle-east–55639. Enjoy. To really appreciate the satire genre, find a copy of Swift’s ‘Modest Proposal’ which English professors say is one of the best examples of sustained irony in the English language, shocking though it is.

Salary Data for the Nosey
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released salary data for the construction and extraction industries. According to the Bureau, average wages in these industries fall just below the average wages for all workers: $48,900 for construction and extraction workers and $49, 630 for all occupations. To find out the average wages for carpenters, electricians and hazardous materials removal workers, surf over to https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/annual-mean-wage-of-construction-and-extraction-occupations-was-48900-in-2016.htm. These salaries are accurate as of May 2016. Now you know.

World War l Trivia On the 100th Anniversary of Our Entry In The War
The war effort produced many technical advances that are still in use today. For example, the invention of a cotton substitute for bandages called cellucotton proved effective in treating wounds previously treated by the use of cotton bandages. The highly absorbent material found a new use for women after the war when Kimberly Clark invented sanitary napkins under the Kotex brand. We also have modern equivalents of airplanes, submarines and trench coats: all used in World War l. To learn more click on http://science.dodlive.mil/2017/04/06/world-war-i-innovations-still-used-today. The post also features vintage photos that are interesting as well.

CDC Reports Zika Virus Effects on Pregnant Women
Much has been learned over the last year about the Zika Virus and its effects on people. At first, doctors believed that only pregnant women faced risks. Today, doctors know that birth defects are only some of the problems produced by the virus suffered by members of both sexes. To learn more about the Zika Virus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/zika-babies/index.html. Be careful where you travel. Zika patients live in 40 states. Additional Zika information may be accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/zika/hc-providers/index.html.

Newspaper Job Losses
As a high school student in the late 1950s, I considered a career in print journalism. Even then, 60+ years ago, pundits proclaimed the immenent demise of newspapers do to the increasing reliance on radio/TV newscasts by newspaper readers . Today, however, the chicken-little ‘the sky is falling’ pronouncements are taken seriously. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the situation today is different than the situation was seven decades ago. Newspapers, now, have lost nearly half of their employees in the period 2001 to 2016. Other media employment remains stagnant with the exception of internet publishing which has more than doubled employment numbers during the last ten years.
As one might expect, salaries in print journalism have suffered as well. Average salaries for internet publishing and web portals comes in at $197,549. Television broadcasting salaries come in second at $90.583. In contrast, newspaper salaries average $48,403. Even radio broadcasting salaries now average $56,382 or next to last. Sadly for journalism, my choice of an education career proved prescient. To find out more about this issue, click on https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/newspaper-publishers-lose-over-half-their-employment-from-january-2001-to-september-2016.htm. And so it goes.

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Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For
Those of you who would give anything to feel safe should read the following link about police actions focused on minority individuals in American cities. During the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the guiding philosophy preached that prejudice faced by some meant the future risk of prejudice against all. In this link, learn about police militarization that brutally places minority citizens’ rights in jeopardy. To read about this police injustice, click on http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40059-with-nighttime-raids-police-wage-war-on-black-and-brown-families-in-new-york. Maybe the visions of dystopian writers Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, nee Erik Blair are now our unperceived reality.

Republican Rollbacks Threaten Privacy
The recent decision of the Republican Congress to rollback Internet users privacy rights initiated by the Obama administration presents a real threat. This threat allows ISPs such as Comcast and Spectrum to collect user data and sell that data to third parties without the permission of the users. The action provides corporations with the tools to further monetize Internet use by individuals. Such uncontrolled merchandising by ISPs presents a grave threat to individual privacy. To read more about this Republican assault on individual constitutionally protected privacy, visit http://www.pcmag.com/article/352757/privacy-101-why-you-need-a-vpn. A virtual private network or VPN, allows individuals to surf the Internet anonymously. The link to PC Magazine argues that all Internet users can easily put together a VPN that provides undetected Internet use without the threat of ISP merchandising such use. Good luck to all who feel threatened.

March Was Women’s Forgotten History Month
The Library of Congress recently blogged about an online resource that casts light on the activities of African-American women who fought for civil rights during the 19th century. The online blog presents rare photographs of black female activists collected by Howard University professor Henry Richards. Richards taught at the Howard University law school from 1890 to his retirement in 1928. To learn more about female black activists, click on https://blogs.loc.gov/picturethis/2017/03/portraits-of-nineteenth-century-african-american-women-activists-newly-available-online/. Modern students may think that Martin Luther King and his contemporaries were nearly the first American civil rights activists. And while some may know about the career of W.E.B. Dubois, this information provides a much needed effort to improve history knowledge in this regard. The online blog provided by the Library of Congress now documents the actions of many others who pushed for civil rights from the 1850s on.

CDC Provides Public Health Data for 500 Cities in 50 States
In this study, the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation analyze data by census-tract area to estimate the occurrence of 27 chronic disease measures. The study presents data by state and by the largest cities in each state. This epidemiological data allows public health professionals to target prevention actions as well as track health risk behaviors for effective interventions. To learn more about this effort, surf over to https://www.cdc.gov/500cities/. Viewers may access data by disease category such as health outcomes , preventions or unhealthy behaviors. To target specific cities, click on the desired city in each state shown alphabetically by state and city for individuals aged 18 to 54. Several small states such as Wyoming and Vermont include cities that do not reach the population cutoff, but are included to present data from all 50 states for a total of 500 cities. Your tax dollars fund vital research such as this. Let’s hope that the Republican leaders in Washington, adequately fund this agency rather than increasing funding for an already bloated military.

Suicide Presents Problems for Family Survivors
The website https://consumer.healthday.com/ posted on March 22nd, the results of Danish researchers that posit that the suicide of a spouse may cause mental and physical problems for survivors. According to the research, surviving partners are more likely to develop PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. In addition, surviving spouses find themselves at greater risk of suicide. To learn more about the effects of suicide on surviving family members, click on https://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/suicide-health-news-646/suicide-often-leaves-mental-physical-woes-in-surviving-spouse-720886.html. Not only is suicide a selfish act on the part of the individual, such actions pose great health threats for surviving family members. And so it goes.

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Employee Burnout a Huge Problem

Employee Burnout Becoming a Huge Problem
While corporations book record profits and unemployment continues to decline, employers face a tangible problem: employee burnout. According to a recent study, employees find themselves working more hours and receiving fewer pay increases. These conditions lead to burnout which then leads to new job searches. To learn more about this problem, click on http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2017/03/employee-burnout-becoming-huge-problem-american-workforce/136314/.
A related study completed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that in 2016 substantially more individuals quit their jobs as opposed to employees who were fired or laid off . A generally robust economy now allows employees to find other work instead of unhappily staying put. To read about this research, surf over to https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/quits-rise-while-layoffs-and-discharges-fall-in-2016.htm
This data indicate that under the Obama administration, economic indices improved greatly so President Trump did not inherit “a mess” when he took office.
A second related document from the BLS indicates that salaries year over year, 2016 to 2017, actually declined by more than one percent. To access this information, visit https://stats.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/real-earnings-unchanged-over-the-year-ending-february-2017.htm. No wonder employees burnout: work more, earn less. As Bill Bendix observed in the 1940s sitcom ‘The Life of Riley’, “What a revoltin’ development this is.”

DIY Projects For All
Even if you are not handy, some DIY projects are so easy that anyone can complete them. And I don’t mean putting Christmas toys together late at night on Christmas Eve. For even the modestly adventurous, www.hometalk.com provides a plethora of projects to choose from. At my visit, I found pillows with tassels, driftwood art, and a number of DIY dining room projects from which to choose. Even if doing- it- yourself does not appeal to you, looking at these projects may give you decorating ideas you can pursue at your leisure. To learn more, click on http://www.hometalk.com/search/posts?filter=diy%20ideas. Good luck to all.

Teacher-in-Residence Positions Available for Geography and History Teachers.
The Library of Congress recently advertized for applications from world history and world geography teachers for a residency at the Library of Congress for the 2017-2018 school year in Washington, D.C. By clicking on the link, readers will find a description of the position and by clicking on a page link, bring up an online application. The application deadline is April 17, 2017. If interested, click on http://blogs.loc.gov/teachers/2017/03/call-for-applications-world-history-or-world-geography-teacher-in-residence-position-at-the-library-of-congress/.

Staying Safe Using Plastic Money
“Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you.” For those of you who use plastic frequently, the new credit cards with embeded security chips don’t seem to lower credit card fraud. It seems that most merchants have not invested in new credit card readers. Customers must swipe their cards the old way and leave themselves vulnerable to identity theft. To learn more about this issue, surf over to http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2017/problems-with-the-new-chip-cards.htm You don’t have to be 55 to get help from the AARP. For those readers 55 and over who qualify for membership, AARP offers a monthly money newsletter that carries news items of financial interest. And when you visit the site, AARP will show you where you can receive tax help for free in your area. A big bonus.

Trump Budget Cuts Hurt NOAA Earth Monitoring Satellite Program
President Trump’s proposed budget cuts 22 percent from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration budget for the next fiscal year. At risk is a new satellite, JPSS-1 satellite, designed to complete 14 polar orbits daily. The satellite will provide NOAA scientists with an unprecedented amount of infrared and atmospheric data that will improve weather forecasting and agricultural outlooks. This technology does not come cheap: $800 million for this year alone as well as a nine-digit price tag through the mid 2020s. NOAA administrators indicate that such a cut will imperil the agency’s ability to protect Americans from weather emergencies. To learn more, click onhttp://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2017/0304/Budget-cuts-at-NOAA-threaten-climate-monitoring-satellite-program. And so it goes.

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Election Bombast Wrong

New York Times Offers Contest For Student Editorials
The New York Times’ Fourth Annual Student Editorial Writing Contest is open now. The closing submission date is April 4th. Not only does the contest encourage students to write about a subject close to their hearts, but also the contest provides instruction on how to write an effective editorial. The link below provides writing instruction as well as the submission format. The Times encourages students to write collaboratively as part of the submission since editorials frequently are written by more than one writer. At least one New York Times news story must be referenced in editorial contest submission. Total length for the editorial is 450 words. The link provides video editorial instruction given by Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal. This contest provides a real world audience for student writing. The link also provides teachers with two sample lesson plans. To learn more, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/learning/our-fourth-annual-student-editorial-contest-write-about-an-issue-that-matters-to-you.html? Good luck to all who enter.

Election Bombast Wrong
During last fall’s election campaign, Donald Trump promised to make America great again. But the employment numbers Trump cited were wrong. According to data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the year January 2016 to January 2017 employment rose significantly in 28 states. Employment increases ranged from 3.4% in Florida to 2.2% in Michigan to 1.8% in Massachusetts. During the same period employment increased in New York by 1.5%. In 22 other states, employment stayed the same or decreased. In Wyoming employment decreased by 3.2% as did employment in North Dakota by 0.7%. To learn more about this Republican election obfuscation, click on https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/twenty-eight-states-had-significant-employment-increases-for-year-ending-january-2017.htm. These data counter Trump’s argument that he inherited a mess. I wonder if Trump will cut the funds for the Bureau of Labor Statistics since the Bureau numbers don’t agree with his arguments.

According To The Experts, Some Starch Is Good
A new report found on www.healthline.com says that resistant starch found in such foods as potatoes and bananas helps suppress appetites and by doing so assists weight reducing diets. The experts say that resistant starches are not digested in the small intestines. Instead these starches are digested in the large intestine and produce short fatty acid chains that become a source of fiber. To learn more about healthy diet foods, surf over to http://www.healthline.com/health-news/some-starch-provides-health-benefits#2.

Nursing Home Costs Vary Greatly By State
According to Genworth, the cost of medical services as surveyed in 2016 varies greatly between states. For example, median monthly costs nationwide for a home health aide totals $3,861 while nursing home care for patients in a semi-private room total $6,844. By state the cost difference is dramatic. In Mississippi, the monthly cost of a home health aide is $3,241. In Iowa, the same aide costs $4,385. A Mississippi semi-private nursing home room per month costs $6,357 while in Iowa the same room costs $5,536. But these numbers hardly compare to nursing home semi-private monthly room rates of $24,333 in Alaska. To find the New York averages, click on https://www.genworth.com/dam/Americas/US/PDFs/Consumer/corporate/cost-of-care/179702_CofC_Monthly_060916.pdf. To find yearly costs, check the site or multiply these rates by 12 to find the annual totals. Yikes! It certainly doesn’t pay to get old.

AARP Provides A Glossary of Internet Scam Terms
Do you know the difference between Internet Phishing and Smishing? Or the difference between Ransomware and Cramming? These terms constitute a world of hurt for the Internet unwary. The AARP posted the definitions to these terms as well as many more egregious internet acts to alert senior citizens to various dangers to be faced on the Internet. To read more about these threats, readers of any age should click on http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-01-2013/glossary-of-scam-terminology.html, You can never be too safe on the Internet. And so it goes.

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One In Four Adults Suffers From Arthritis

Women’s Wages Now 82% of Men’s Wages
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data that indicate women now earn 82% of the wages earned by men. In some occupations, women out earn men. For jobs such as sewing machine operators, women earn more, 111%, compared to men. Female teacher assistants and counselors also earn more than male counterparts. But, in fields such as medicine, women earn only 63% of the salaries earned by men. And in the category of ‘Other teachers and instructors, women earn just 69% of the wages earned by men. Read college and university faculty. To find out more about pay comparisons, click on https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/womens-median-earnings-82-percent-of-mens-in-2016.htm. So, in low wage jobs, women sometimes earn more than men working in the same position. In high wage positions, women earn much less than men. The fight for parity continues.

Did You Know… Daylight Saving Time Started During WW l?
First implemented during World War l in 1918 as a fuel saving measure, daylight saving time was quickly repealed in 1919 at the war’s end. During World War ll, Congress again implemented Daylight Saving Time as a wartime measure to save energy and make better use of daylight. To learn when our current law came into being, surf over to https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2014/03/spring-forward-fall-back-its-daylight-saving-time/. And now you know. Additional information on daylight saving may be obtained at http://www.snopes.com/science/daylight.asp. Here you can find out about Benjamin Franklin’s satirical article on daylight saving time written in 1784. Enjoy.

Bicycling the Next Eco-Tourism Activity in New York?
The Glens Falls Post Star recently opined in an editorial that New York municipalities should take advantage of current rail trails and canal trails to start another revenue stream: bicycle tourism. The newspaper focuses on ways Warren County can cash in on bike touring, but municipalities in other parts of the state should consider similar initiatives. To find out more about this interesting proposal, visit http://poststar.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-bicycle-tourism-should-be-promoted/article_ba430732-b5c9-5946-9b15-8ae19db46353.html, In this era of state and federal aid cutbacks, every source of income to supplement local tax dollars should be studied.

How to Stop Smart TVs From Spying On You
In the aftermath of the current Wikileaks file dump, how do people stop their smartphones and smart TVs from capturing data and sending the data to unknown receivers? Well, www.zdnet.com has an answer, at least for TVs. To stop TV data collection, press the menu button on the remote; then select settings; highlight Smart interactivity; press the right arrow to change the setting to off. To read the complete report, click on http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-keep-your-smart-tv-from-spying-on-you/.

One in Four Adults Suffer From Arthritis
According to the Center for Disease Control, one in four adults suffers from arthritis. Over 54 million adults report receiving an arthritis diagnosis. 24 million adults limit their activities because of the disease. Arthritis medical costs total at least $81 billion per year the agency reported. Even though physical activity such as walking, biking and swimming reduce arthritis symptoms, 1/3 of adults report engaging in little if any physical activity. To learn more about how to cope with arthritis, surf over to https://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/arthritis-management-news-40/1-in-4-u-s-adults-disabled-by-arthritis-cdc-720448.html.

NASA Releases Software For Free Public Use
NASA recently posted its 2017-2018 software catalogue for public access that anyone may use free of charge. According to the agency, these codes have the potential to generate tangible benefits that create American jobs, earn revenue and save lives. To learn more about this federal government largesse, click on http://www.cbronline.com/news/enterprise-it/software/nasa-releases-key-software-for-free-public-access/. And so it goes. -30-

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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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