Nuclear Energy Is The Safest Form Of Electricity Generation

NY Governor Proclaims Composting Week
Governor Cuomo recently proclaimed May 6 to 12 as Composting Week. According to the proclamation, increasing composting will reduce landfill material, reduce methane emissions and improve soil conditions. These are all notable outcomes. To read the proclamation, visit https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/Compost_Awareness_Week_2018.pdf. Of course, most of what comes out of Albany qualifies as compostable materials. Just saying.

ProPublica Posts New Game To Explain Immigration Issues
The news website www.propublica.org recently posted a computer news game that allows players to explore the problems immigrants face when trying to become legal residents of the U.S. The game focuses on asylum seekers. The game begins by choosing one of five asylum-seekers such as the mother who is escaping domestic violence in El Salvador. Another choice is a man who married outside of his religion from Bangladesh and faces death at home. Or a student protestor from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The game continues as players try to overcome immigration obstacles in the U.S. Players try to see how far they can go before giving up. To play the game, click on https://projects.propublica.org/asylum/#more. Try The Waiting Game to experience the frustrations faced by very deserving individuals who want to make a new life for themselves in our country.

Census Bureau Provides Practical Lessons For Students In All Disciplines
The Department of Census compiles much more data every day than appears in the every 10- year-census program. Teachers in grades K-12 may access grade-appropriate lessons that explore issues in any of the 50 states. Downloads come in two versions: a teacher version that also provides sample answers, and a student version 5 pages long that explore various topics. For example, a sixth grade lesson titled “Numbers Tell the Story,” begins with a question about how the Census Bureau collects various data. The exercise directs students to answer the questions with complete sentences. Other exercises use statistical analysis appropriate for high school. To access this material, surf over to https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/sis/activities/english/me-2_student.pdf. This is an example of the federal government providing free lessons that support measurable learning outcomes required by scope and sequence curricula. Materials come in English and Spanish.

New Research Argues That Typists Should Place 2 Spaces After Periods
According to a story in the Washington Post, modern writers should put 2 spaces after periods to improve reader understanding. In the old days, typing teachers enforced the 2 space rule religiously. When keyboarding replaced typing class, conventional belief held that computer typefaces were more accurate than typewriter type, and the one-space after periods in keyboarding became the rule. Now, however, new research finds that readers comprehend text more readily if 2 spaces fall after end punctuation. The following link indicates that no such agreement exists between users. Some believe that proportional spacing does away with the two-space rule since computers use proportional fonts. To really muddy the waters, take a look at computer generated text that is both left and right justified. The spacing between words and letters becomes very difficult to read and understand. In any case, the jury is out on spacing after end punctuation. To find out more about this, click on, https://www.quora.com/Have-you-changed-your-mind-about-there-being-two-spaces-after-a-period. I used this link since the Washington Post wanted me to pay to view the piece, and I declined.

Post Office Will No Longer Come To The Doors Of New Construction
In an effort to reduce costs, the U.S. Postal Service is ready to implement new rules regarding mail delivery to new addresses. This new rule forces new addresses, think new housing developments, to cluster mail boxes in a central location. This rule will allow letter carriers to increase efficiency and finish routes more quickly. As of 2013, approximately 1/3rd of addresses received door-to-door delivery. In addition, postal customers who receive curbside mail delivery will now have to cluster two or more mailboxes on a common property line. To learn more about the new postal rules, click on https://www.govexec.com/management/2018/05/new-addresses-usps-will-no-longer-deliver-mail-your-door/147985/. The Post Office says that most new addresses will comply with the new rules. But exceptions may be made on a case-by-case exception. In other words, if you’re rich it’s door to door delivery as usual.

Two Websites Argue That Nuclear Energy Is The Safest
Two websites using the same data source argue that nuclear energy is much safer than any other method of electricity generation. According to generation data, coal, oil and natural gas produce the greatest number of deaths across the world. Other sources cause one tenth the deaths or less of the top three methods. According to the reports, even the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents make nuclear electrical generation the safest form of energy production in terms of deaths per thousand per TWH generated. To read the reports, click on http://metals.visualcapitalist.com/safest-source-energy/. Additional explanations may be found at https://ourworldindata.org/what-is-the-safest-form-of-energy. And so it goes.

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Fun Facts ForCoffee Lovers

English Teachers Key To Essential Skills
Charles M. Russo, a faculty member at American Military University, recently published an article which appeared on the website of www.InhomelandSecurity.com. In the article Russo argues that successful intelligence analysts must possess excellent critical thinking and excellent writing, skills in order to be successful. “Analysts must be critical thinkers to synthesize disparate information garnered from many sources. Good analysts then need to disseminate this information using writing skills that rely on clear, concise prose. English teachers have known this for decades. But in the age of STEM, such skills are overlooked or taken for granted. To read more about this necessary job skill, visit https://inhomelandsecurity.com/writing-thinking-intelligence-analysts/. Math and science are necessary but are impossible to learn unless students read and write effectively.

Travelers Face Another Theat
A post on the Gizmodo website describes a new threat for travelers, a new device that unlocks hotel digital room locks. The design flaw in electronic room keys produced by Vingcard, makes hotel room locks easily opened in more than 40,000 buildings located in 166 countries. According to the website, hackers are able to produce master room keys that open every lock in a building quickly and easily. All that’s needed is a sample room key, even one that’s expired. To find out more about this risk, click on https://gizmodo.com/hackers-designed-a-new-way-to-secretly-unlock-millions-1825524839. Just so you know.

April 25th Named World Malaria Day
The National Institute of Health recently released a statement supporting efforts to eliminate the disease throughout the world. Over the past decade, many successes have occurred in this multi-national effort. In 2016, forty-four countries reported fewer than 10,000 cases during the year. In 2010, only thirty-seven countries reported this reduced number. Since travel to malarial areas has become more popular with the traveling public, such inroads in fighting the disease are welcomed. To learn more about this international effort, surf over to https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/nih-statement-world-malaria-day-april-25-2018. Another example of your federal tax dollars at work. Will the efforts survive a Trump budget?

Retailers Close Stores As A Result Of Internet Competition
Fast food chain, Subway, recently announced it will close approximately 500 stores in the U.S. as a result of declining sales. Since 2017 many other retailers such as Toys R Us, Radio Shack and Payless Shoe Source have filed for bankruptcy. Many other retail chains are now downsizing operations to maintain profitability. For those buyers who must see and touch merchandise before buying, this “retail apocalypse” presents a real challenge. To find out more about reduced buying opportunities, click on https://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/04/26/retailers-closing-the-most-stores/. This listing features 21 major retailers including Macy’s and Sears. Quick! Visit a mall near you before the stores close.

Fun Facts For Coffee Lovers
Travel business, Lonely Planet, recently published a book aimed at serious coffee drinkers. This compendium focuses on coffee drinking around the world. As many people know, coffee developed first in Ethiopia and spread around the globe. Each country in which coffee is cultivated produces a singular product similar to but not the same as coffee grown elsewhere. The website post begins with coffee trivia from Turkey, shifts to coffee drinking practices in Japan before talking about Ethiopian coffee. Several other countries round out the book. To learn more about coffee and to order the book online, click on https://www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-tips-and-articles/bean-there-done-that-a-global-tour-of-coffee-enclaves/. The book may be ordered from https://shop.lonelyplanet.com/products/global-coffee-tour-1. Happy reading and sipping.

Archeology And Micro-Breweries Produce Ancient Beer
Beer has been around for millennia. A beer renaissance is now in full swing with the explosion of micro-breweries. Today, modern brewmasters partner with universities to resurrect ancient recipes in a continued experiment with ingredients used throughout history. For example, The University of Pennsylvania and Dogfish Head Brewery has resulted in “Midas Touch” beer based on sediments found in vessels unearthed in the tomb of King Midas located in Central Turkey. To learn more about the most popular drink in the world, visit https://www.zmescience.com/science/archaeology/recreated-ancient-beer-83422/. And so it goes.

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Toxic President Produces Rise In Hate Crimes

Federal Government Wants 5-Years Of Social Media History For Visa Applicants
The US State Department wants to add 5 years of social media data to all visa applications. The applicants will have to provide social media handles used for the past five years in order to receive immigrant or non immigrant visas. Applicants will also need to provide all Internet email addresses as well as telephone numbers used during the previous five years. To learn more, visit http://www.nextgov.com/analytics-data/2018/03/visa-applications-may-require-five-years-social-media-information/147103/. Additional information may be obtained at https://www.engadget.com/2018/03/29/us-visa-applications-require-social-media-info/. No wonder foreign visitor tourism trips are down.

Has The Roman Church Begun To Change?
Joan Rosenhauer became the first woman to be named executive director of the Jesuit Refugee Service USA on March 27th. In a church beset by unrest from women unhappy with marginalized roles in church activities, the appointment of Rosenhauer appears to be earthshaking. This appointment comes at a time as the church attempts to cope with 65 million refugees worldwide. The Jesuit agency came into being in 1980 when the church ministered to Vietnamese refugees. The new appointment makes Rosenhauer one of nine agency area directors throughout the world. Prior to her appointment, Rosenhauer worked for more than three decades in the U.S. church’s social development and advocacy programs. To learn more about this event, click on https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2018/04/02/first-woman-to-head-jesuit-agency-takes-on-refugee-crisis/.

Russians and Chinese Are Not The Only Hackers To Worry About
According to the website https://inhomelandsecurity.com/iranian-hackers-american-universities/, Iranian hackers targeted 144 American universities and stole 31.5 terabytes of valuable data including academic and intellectual property. In all, Iranian hackers attacked 320 universities around the world as well as several U.S. government agencies including the Department of Labor and the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency. Further information concerning the hacks may be obtained by surfing over to http://www.zdnet.com/article/doj-indicts-iranian-hackers-for-stealing-data-from-144-us-universities/. The US government linked the hackers to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian government itself. Do the Navy SEALs have a cyber security team to combat these attacks? If so, maybe the US military should respond with cyber attacks against the Russians, Chinese and Iranians. A tit for tat ‘my bot against your bot’ as it were. James Bond would smile at that.

Toxic President Produces Rise In Hate Crimes
FBI statistics first printed in the Washington Post reveal that hate crimes increased from 10 to 27 the day after the 2016 election. According to the FBI, there were more racial and ethnic crimes committed the day after the election than on any other day in 2016. This increase matched a similar increase in hate crimes the day after President Obama’s election in 2008. Authorities have not identified a cause for these increases, but speculation on the cause roils Washington. To learn more about hate crimes, visit https://inhomelandsecurity.com/hate-crimes-rose-the-day-after-trump-was-elected-fbi-data-show/.

Oldest Footprints Found Where Native Americans Said They Would Be
Members of the Heiltsuk Tribe in British Columbia have long spoken about the history of their people in Canada. A recent discovery on an island off the coast of British Columbia reveals human footprints made 9 thousand to 13 thousand years ago, before the melting of the Canadian icecaps. The footprints represent 3 people, two adults and a child. These footprints support the hypothesis that people migrated from Asia/Siberia by boat rather than by walking along the edge of the ice fields as previously suggested. Calvert Island, site of the footprints, is part of the Heiltsuk tribal lands. This find provides the first concrete evidence of human habitation in Canada. To learn more about this topic, visit https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/The-oldest-footprints-in-North-America-are-right-12793404.php. Additional information may be found in the scientific journal Plos One and may be accessed at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0193522.early footprints in canada. And so it goes.

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16 Must Read Science Websites

US Has Many Of World’s Billionaires
The upper two percent of our wealthy ruling class would have us believe that the US is too poor to afford medical care for all. Not only that, the wealthy believe poverty is the inevitable result of people’s laziness and poor decision making rather than a result of systemic causes. Thus, for the rich, poor people do not deserve help. The website, visualcapitalist. com, proves otherwise. According to the website, there are 36 million millionaires worldwide, and 2,000 billionaires as well. Of that total number of billionaires, 565 or one quarter of the total, reside in the US. China sports the second largest number of billionaires with 319. To find out which countries complete the list of top 25 billionaires, visit http://www.visualcapitalist.com/25-countries-billionaires/. With that much money in the US, why can’t the country afford healthcare for all?

Science Talent Search Winners
The Regeneron Science Talent Search recently listed this year’s 40 national winners in its iconic high school science contest. Regeneron is the third iteration of the original Westinghouse Talent Search which began in 1942. After 57 consecutive years of sponsorship, Westinghouse turned over the contest to Intel Corp. Regeneron replaced Intel several years ago as the contest sponsor.
The grand prize winner of a $250,000 prize is Benjamin Firester whose research may save farmers millions of dollars by combating a fungal potato blight. Benjamin developed a computer model which predicts the spread of fungus spores that attack potatoes and tomatoes. This fungus caused the Irish Potato Famine in the 19th Century. The computer program relies on realtime weather data to determine the course of fungal spread.
Natalia Orlovsky, 18, received the second place award with a study of the effects of vaping on lung cells. Natalia found that tobacco companies target teens for vaping products. She found that while vaping causes less lung damage than smoking, vaping is not safe. Natalia won $175,000 for her research. To find out more about the contest winners, click on https://www.zmescience.com/science/news-science/potto-math-student-432432/. The work of these teens makes me proud to be an American.

New App Allows Car Owners To See If 3000 Mile Oil Changes Are Necessary
A new app developed by the state of California allows car owners to find out if their cars must have an oil change after 3,000 miles of driving. Historically, car owners have been told that an oil change every 3,000 miles is necessary to protect the engine from wear. To find out whether the car(s) you drive require this action, surf over to www.calrecycle.ca.gov/usedoil/oilchange/findinterval/. To use the app, type in the year of manufacture, manufacturer and model of your car [ ie. 2006, Honda, Pilot]. In contrast to the earlier dictum, many modern cars only require an oil change after 7,500 miles of driving under ideal conditions. This app may say you money on unnecessary oil changes.

New Demographics Face The US
According to the Census Bureau, in 2035 older people will outnumber children. Individuals 65 and over are projected to total 78.0 million people. Children under 18 will total 76.4 million according to the projection. This trend is new for the US, but not in other countries. Japan, for instance, features the world’s oldest population as one in four Japanese citizens are 65 or older. This situation will affect how the US copes with an aging population. To learn more about this topic, click on https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/03/graying-america.html.

16 Must Read Science Websites
The website www.livescience.com recently listed 16 must follow science websites. Websites such as BBC Science, Ars Technica, Gizmodo and National Geographic provide accurate, current science articles. For those who love science, surf over to the list and bookmark the page: https://www.livescience.com/61995-best-science-websites.htm.. And so it goes.

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Processor Wars Continue

Holocaust Not The First German Genocide
The African website, Quartz, posted a report on the recent apology made by the German government to the government of Namibia for the systematic destruction of the Herero tribe more than one hundred years ago, 1904 to 1907. According to the report, the parallels between the Holocaust and this genocide are strikingly clear. One hundred plus years ago in the Southwest African country, the German Army commanded by General Lothar von Trotha, brutally killed, starved and imprisoned Herero tribe members in an effort to end local resistance to German expansion in the area. The general ordered his troops to shoot to kill men, women and children if the tribe did not move from tribal lands. The conflict pitted guns and artillery against spears and bows. German troops killed 85% of tribe members. In addition to killing most of the Herero, the German troops forced survivors to unbury their dead and skin and boil the heads of their ancestors. This, so that German scientists could attempt to prove scientifically the genetic superiority of German peoples. To read more about this horrific episode in human history, visit https://qz.com/733463/germany-finally-apologizes-for-its-other-genocide-more-than-a-century-later/. ,Frightening foreshadowing of what was to come later.

New Technology Makes Wood Stronger Than Steel
Two University of Maryland researchers have discovered a process that makes wood products stronger and lighter than steel. Researchers report that the new wood product is 12 times stronger than steel and six times lighter. This new material offers potential improvements in building construction as well as cheaper, lighter airplanes and stronger vehicle armor. Two websites provide more information about this new wood process. To learn more, surf over to https://techxplore.com/news/2018-02-wood-strong-titanium-alloys-lighter.html. Additional information may be accessed at https://boingboing.net/2018/02/12/wood-thats-stronger-than-ste.html. Does this mean a mach five wood fighter jet? Maybe.

Processor Wars Continue With AMD Now Leading Intel
During the last 4 decades, the processor war between AMD and Intel have seesawed back and forth. Now the edge seems to favor AMD. Gizmodo reports that the newest AMD chips have onboard graphics capabilities that eliminate the need for additional graphics cards. Two new AMD processors rival Intel processors, have a much lower price and eliminate the need for a graphics card except for extreme game players and graphic designers. To find out more about this new AMD chip advance, visit https://gizmodo.com/amds-newest-processors-are-so-good-you-can-skip-the-gra-1822920100. In my view, AMD processors have always provided more bang for the buck than Intel chips. It’s too bad that AMD has most frequently been relegated to base model computers not the high end ones. Maybe this will now change.

DEC Announces Summer Internships Available
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation recently posted information about summer internships and 10 month school- year internships. Prospective applicants must be 18 years old or older. Be a citizen or foreign national eligible to work in the US; be currently attending a New York State college, university or graduate program; or be a New York State resident attending a college, university or graduate program outside New York. Summer internships do not require New York residency. Additional requirements may be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/34336.html. In addition to the DEC, New York State provides a host of other internship opportunities. To find out more about New York internships, use your search engine to find other New York State agency internship opportunities.

Civilian Afghan War Casualties Dominate UN Report
In the 17 years since the war in Afghanistan began, Americans have understandably focused on American military losses. As the war continues, however, civilians increasingly bear the brunt of the fighting. In 2017 according to the UN, nearly 3,500 Afghanis were killed with more than 7,000 more wounded. Suicide bombers and IEDs constitute the majority of the deaths and wounds. It is another illustration of the price innocents pay for ideological wars. To learn more about the conflict, click on https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/02/1002791. And so it goes.

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Clarit;y Please

Clarity Please
The website www.dailykos.com recently published a sample of President Trump’s convoluted thinking. The website says that the aforementioned quote represents a real Donald Trump sentence. The example is too long to quote, but you can access it at https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/8/9/1558359/-This-is-an-actual-Trump-sentence?detail=emailclassic. For truth’s sake, one must note that the Daily Kos is a very liberal website. Nonetheless, the Trump sentence is truly bizarre.

February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
A Health Services Research Information Central website posted a link that offers teens help in combating date violence. The site logo says “Healthy Relationships Are Violence Free.” What follows is a listing of helpful advice for teens to identify whether or not a relationship could turn into a violent one. To learn more about this, visit https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/67358-help-stop-teen-dating-violence. Ironically, Valentines Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same date in 2018. This note has nothing to do with date violence. But I couldn’t resist noting the connection that is referenced in the link.

Another One Bites The Dust
It seems that our president is not the only one experiencing woman troubles. White House staff secretary, Rob Porter, recently announced he would resign his post after his two ex-wives told a TV news show that Porter had subjected them to physical and emotional abuse during their marriages. Porter worked for General John Kelly and directed the paper flow to the president’s desk. The allegations came to light after news reports that Porter and fellow White House staffer Hope Hicks were dating. To read more about the White House circus, visit http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/372758-white-house-staff-secretary-resigns-amid-abuse-allegations. No wonder the Republicans can’t seem to get anything done.

75th Anniversary Of Guadalcanal Fight
As a kid in the 1950′s I remember reading Guadalcanal Diary by war correspondent Jim Tregaskis. The book detailed the fight for the island waged by US Army soldiers and Marines. The battle was bloody and was the first encounter with Japanese forces after Pearl Harbor. The Library of Congress has two links that discuss just what our soldiers experienced during the six months the fighting raged. To read about the price many paid for our Pacific War victory, visit the following two sites: https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2018/02/guadalcanal-six-months-on-the-island/; and https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-18-007/. The second website comes from a new LOC site ‘picture of the war at VHP WEB experiencing war, 75 years later.’ The links feature many first hand accounts of the fighting.

LIDAR Science Reveals Number Of New Maya Structures
Lidar is a radar-like machine, short for light-detection and ranging, which relies on 3-dimensional lazer images bounced back from Earth to a receiver in Earth orbit or in an airplane. Lidar maps topography with such precision that features such as roads, buildings and plazas just “pop out.” The new sites in Guatemala were discovered in 2009, but archeologists had to verify the actual sites on the ground which took time. One major finding is that the Maya civilization was much larger and more widespread than previously believed. To find out more about Pre-Columbian history, click on http://www.archeolog-home.com/pages/content/guatemala-thousands-of-mysterious-maya-structures-discovered.html.

Redneck Fix Pics
Here are some funny pictures of ingenious fixes for life’s problems. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/118993615130401487/. Enjoy. And so it goes.,

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A Case Of Man Biting Dog?

Android Users Face New Worm Attack
Zdnet recently reported that a new malware crypto-miner called ABD Miner attacks android devices and is spreading rapidly. The malware uses the ABD debug interface on port 5555 to spread. The bug is a strain of cryptocurrency mining software. To learn more about this new threat and how to fight it, click on http://www.zdnet.com/article/adb-miner-worm-is-rapidly-spreading-across-android-devices/. Thankfully, Apple users are not affected by this threat.

A Case Of Man Biting Dog?
The Washington Post recently reported that a hunter in Maryland was hospitalized as a result of an injury he sustained when a goose fell from the sky and hit him on the head. It seems that Robert Meilhammer of Crapo, Md was hunting for waterfowl with three companions when a hunting-party-member shot dead a goose which fell on Robert’s head knocking him out and causing head and facial injuries. First responders airlifted Meilhammer to a shock trauma unit. To learn more about this incident, surf over to https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2018/02/02/dead-goose-falling-from-sky-knocks-out-hunter-on-marylands-eastern-shore/?utm_term=.0949f4298246. Is there any sympathy for the goose? Maybe the headline should have read “Crapo Resident Is Crapped On.”

In The Age Of Healthcare Cutbacks, A Ray Of Hope
UK paper, The Guardian, recently printed a story about a poor country that recently began providing eye care to all citizens. Rwanda found that 34% of its population could benefit from some degree of eye care. The effort makes Rwanda the first poor country in the world to provide this health service to its citizens. Such treatment provides many benefits to poor coffee bean sorters, an industry very large in the country. To read more about this new initiative, click on https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/31/rwanda-becomes-first-poor-country-to-provide-eye-care-for-all. The US does not provide universal eye care to all of its citizens. How ironic that a poor African country is now doing what our Federal Government says is too expensive.

New State Ranking Of Best/Worst Diets
These rankings come from www.24/7wallst.com. Even though mach attention is now given to the importance of diet, residents of many states do not regularly follow nutrition guidelines. In the best to worst listing, New Hampshire comes in at number 1 on the healthy eating list. According to a survey 82.7% of New Hampshire residents include vegetables in at least one of the daily meals. As no surprise, the state has the 13th lowest obesity rate in the country. Since wealthier individuals tend to eat well, New Hampshire’s lowest state poverty rate helps in this ranking. As one might expect the five worst states in terms of diet all fall in the South. Arkansas, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana place ast the bottom respectively. To find out where New York lands, click on http://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/01/31/states-with-the-best-and-worst-diets-2/11/.

Will President Trump Jump On This?
In the Is This Research Really Necessary? category, Newsweek recently published a story about a study that linked physical attractiveness to political party choice. According to the new research, conservative Republicans are more physically attractive than more liberal Democrats. The study appeared last December in Politics and Life Sciences. According to co-author Carl Palmer, an assistant professor at Illinois State University, “…two individuals similar in most respects, such as having similar education and annual income, but different in their physical appearances, the more attractive person is more likely to lean conservative than the less attractive individual.” Certainly our president will agree with this, I’m sure. To learn more about the whys of political affiliation, visit http://www.newsweek.com/attractive-people-vote-democrat-republican-easier-lives-study-794966.

Fun Pictures Of People Just Before Disaster Strikes.
A website recently posted a number of photos featuring people at the point of disaster. For example, a deer hunter unaware he is being eyed by a mountain lion. To find more unusual pictures, surf over to http://livestly.com/close-call-unbelievable-photos/12/. And so it goes.

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New Writing Contest For All Ages

There Is Some Justice
The Boston Herald recently posted an article about NECC, New England Compounding Center, supervisory pharmacist Glenn Chin. A federal court judge sentenced Chin to eight years in prison for his part in the meningitis outbreak in 2012. This outbreak killed 80 people and sickened 800 due to contamination in the clean room where steroid drugs were produced. A contrite Chin told the court, ” This is something that should never have happened, and I am sorry that you and your families had to go through this.” Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 35 years. Chin’s attorney asked for just over three years. To read more about the worst public health crisis in recent years, click on http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2018/02/ex_necc_head_pharmacist_gets_eight_years_in_jail_for_role_in_fatal.

That’s Not Your Neighbor Calling
The Federal Trade Commission recently posted a report which cautions consumers to be careful about spoofing telephone calls. Scammers frequently spoof telephone numbers to confuse people into thinking that a neighbor is calling. Should this occur, hangup as soon as your realize the call is not genuine. You can also register your cell phone with the Do Not Call Registry to avoid unwanted calls. To learn more about telephone protection actions, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/01/thats-not-your-neighbor-calling. Will Republicans cut funding to this agency in the next federal budget? Contact your representative and ask.

A New Writing Contest For All Ages
The New York DEC recently posted the rules for a writing contest open to everyone. The Department is looking for stories about hunting, trapping and fishing that feature introducing new people to the sports. The categories include Youth Hunters [grades 6 through 8]; Senior Youth Hunters [grades 9 through 12]; and Adult Hunters/Trappers [ages 18 and older]. The contest deadline is March 15, 2018. To find out more about the rules and submission requirements, click on www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/112450.html,. Good luck to all who enter. DEC is offering cash prizes as well as publishing the winning stories.

Google Advice Helps Prevent Airlines From Screwing You
A recent Gizmodo post informs readers about two new services available in Google’s flight booking program. As travelers search for tickets from Delta, American and United Airlines the app indicates which services travelers miss when booking the cheapest seats. For example, if a basic economy seat is booked, the passenger may have to pay $60 per checked bag. Cheap seats may not be as attractive once extra fees add on. To find out more, surf over to

https://gizmodo.com/google-flights-now-tells-you-how-airlines-are-screwing-1822585345.

FDA Offers Advice To Latinas About Preventing Birth Defects
For many decades, commercial bakers have added folic acid to breads of all kinds. This additive helps prevent birth defects in children. For families whose culture features masa instead of cereal grains, the FDA now recommends that folic acid be added to corn masa flour to reduce the number of Latino babies born with neural tube defects (NTDs). Foods such as tortillas, tacos, and tamales will benefit from folic acid added to corn flour. To learn more about this nutritional advice, visit https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm504412.htm. Another government service provided by your tax dollars.

Oxford English Dictionary Adds New Words
The definitive English dictionary, the OED, recently added new words to the 10 volume compendium. Words such as “ransomeware” and “hangry” recently joined the rest of the 700,000 words in the dictionary. Another recent addition was “mansplaining” as well as TTC [trying to conceive] and CIO [cry it out]. Other slang words didn’t make the list. “Poop” words such as “poonami’ and “apoocalypse”failed to create interest. To learn more about these new English additions, visit https://www.zmescience.com/other/offbeat-other/hangry-mansplaining-lactivism-dictionary-30012018/. And so it goes.

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Sierra Club Unearths Toxic Waste Scandal

Is The Red Cross Guilty Of Enabling A Sexual Predator?
A recent news report indicated that a senior Red Cross official, Gerald Anderson, was forced to resign because of allegations of sexual misconduct brought by a subordinate. After termination, the Red Cross provided Anderson with “very positive references,” including one from a very senior official. Even though Anderson’s departure had been forced for sexually harassing a subordinate, the Red Cross did not tell Save The Children about the reason for his leaving. To learn more about how the white, male establishment protects its own, visit https://www.propublica.org/article/the-red-cross-sexual-harassment-executive.

Benefits For Senior Citizens
Senior citizens face many challenges from money issues to health issues to worries about dementia. But seniors can take advantage of their age and score significant discounts when buying items and services. For example, seniors can get a 15% senior citizen discount from Banana Republic simply by asking. Walgreens has a “Seniors Day” once a month where 20% discounts accrue to Rewards card members. Some grocery chains also give seniors a discount. Publix offers shopping discounts once a week for seniors 55+. To access the entire list of bargains for seniors, click on https://improvebudget.com/15-discounts-seniors-get-know/. AARP also provides members with many discount programs as well.

Pedestrian Deaths Down
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a drop in pedestrian deaths in 2017. This constitutes a 32% drop over the previous year and continues a four-year-long reduction in pedestrian deaths. In 2017, 214 people, 101 of them pedestrian, died in traffic related crashes. The mayor attributes the reduction in deaths to the successful implementation of Vision Zero. Last year’s total pedestrian death count is the lowest since 1910 when recordkeeping began. To learn more about this largely unreported news, click on http://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/016-18/vision-zero-mayor-de-blasio-pedestrian-fatalities-dropped-32-last-year-making-2017#/0. This may be a politically motivated news release, but the news is good nonetheless.

Federal Agencies Address Opioid Epidemic
The current drug crisis affects all neighborhoods: large and small, urban and rural, rich and poor. Many organizations have offered help to end the crisis. The Federal Trade Commission recently offered a website that provides links to services individuals may access that address the opiate problem. The site provides a link to a national help line. In addition, the site suggests people take great care with dietary supplements which may exacerbate the drug problem or become addictive substances in their own right. To learn more about help available, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0223-getting-right-help-opioid-dependence-or-withdrawal. Let’s hope that Republicans support this effort as they reduce the role of government.

Vikings Contributed Many Words To English Language
Norsemen or Vikings visited England and Ireland beginning in the 7th Century. Some visitations consisted of marauding raiders while in parts of England and Ireland, Vikings came to stay. The Vikings established the Irish City of Dublin, and parts of England were known as the Danelaw. In addition to words, Old Norse also contributed grammar and syntax to Old English. Words such as blunder, glitter, cake and mug are all derived from Old Norse. For a list of 139 Norse words now in English, surf over to https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/139-norse-words.

Sierra Club Unearths Toxic Waste Scandal
Republicans think that private sector businessmen are the saviors of the country: that unrestricted business brings uncounted prosperity to the country. But the Sierra Club recently published a story about greedy business operators and crooked politicians which produced a toxic waste dump in the City of Birmingham, Alabama. Federal investigators recently charged Drummond Coal Company executives and a crooked politician in a scheme that dumped toxic waste in what later became residential areas. The company wished to avoid disposal costs and costs of environmental mitigation. To find out more about this illegal scheme that put the citizens of Birmingham at risk, click on https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/alabama-cleanup-unearths-toxins-and-scandal. And so it goes.

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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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    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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