Monday, August 26, 2013

Okeanos Explorer

There's a ship.  It's mission is to explore, to seek out new life, and to boldly go where no remotely operated vehicle has gone before.  It's the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Okeanos Explorer:

It's "the only federally funded U.S. ship assigned to systematically explore our largely unknown ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge."  It just finished a mission to explore the Northeast U.S. Canyons.  You can see photos and data from that and other recent expeditions on the Okeanos Explorer site.  Bring your shark repellant and dive right in!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Flood Zone Maps

Do you know what zone you're in?  No, I don't mean the Twilight Zone, I mean your flood zone.  If you purchase flood insurance your zone determines how much you'll pay for it.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, allows you to search for and view online your local flood zone maps from their Map Service Center:

Once you locate the map for your address you also have the option to buy print copies.  Elsewhere on the site there's a link to "Definitions of FEMA Flood Zone Designations."  With the map and the definitions, and an umbrella and some rubber boots, you should be prepared to purchase your flood insurance.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Many provisions of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) will take effect in January 2014, so now is the time to start preparing.  The site maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services explains the basic tenets of the law and who will now be required to purchase health insurance.

The site's Health Insurance Marketplace won't be available until October 1, but starting your research now will give you extra time to shop and compare plans later on.  If you have questions, there's a link to chat live with an expert who can help you.  There is, of course, a remote chance that Congress will eventually be successful in its attempts to repeal some or all of the Affordable Care Act, and if that happens, this site will surely tell you about that too.

Monday, August 5, 2013

U.S. Army Bands

The U.S. Army rocks!  Literally.  The Army supports several different musical groups within its ranks.  Why?  "Army Bands provide music throughout the spectrum of military operations to instill in our soldiers the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote our national interests at home and abroad."  To find out more about these bands and see if one is performing near you, see the site below:

Other branches of the military support their own bands as well.  Who would have thought that saxophones were such an important weapon in our military arsenal?