Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great Seal of the United States

Have you ever looked carefully at the back of a $1 bill and wondered what that pyramid and eye on the left side mean?  Perhaps the words above the pyramid, "Annuit Coeptis" seem mysterious as well?  Maybe you've even wondered what that eagle on the right side is clutching in its claws?  Those two pictures represent the back and front sides of the Great Seal of the United States. This page from the Department of State includes a link to a 16-page PDF booklet that explains both the development of the Great Seal and the meaning of all the designs and words used in it:


It also explains the ways in which the Great Seal is still used today to physically seal printed documents and correspondence.  (And, even though a new die must be cast periodically for the Great Seal, it's still much more reliable than the Great Pumpkin.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Find Doctors, Hospitals, and so on...

Need to find a good hospital?  Looking for a nursing home for a loved one?  Searching for a new doctor?  The Medicare web site will help you do all of those things, and more.  Not only can you compare doctors and health facilities in your area, you can also compare home health services, dialysis facilities, health and drug plans, and find medical supplies.  Look for the links on the left side of the Medicare home page:


Information may not cure what ails you, but it may help you find the people and services that will.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tax Reform

Have you ever wanted to give Congress a piece of your mind?  Well, here's your chance.  The Chairs of the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means would like to hear your thoughts on tax reform and they've created a website to facilitate the process: 


So, whether you favor a flat tax, a property tax, a sales tax, an income tax, a luxury tax, a thumb tax, or no tax at all, let your voice be heard.  Your idea may be the one that simplifies and improves the system for everyone.

Monday, May 6, 2013


May 6-10, 2013 is Teacher Appreciation Week.  While teachers may still enjoy the gift of an apple, what they'd really like these days is some respect.  The U.S. Department of Education is trying to give them some with its Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching (RESPECT) project.  They involved teachers in a national conversation about transforming the teaching profession to meet the needs of the future.  The results of that dialogue are discussed in more detail on the Department of Education blog.  Take a look.  I think you'll find it very...educational.