Monday, October 28, 2013

Holiday Mail for Heroes

With the holiday season approaching people are once again thinking about sending holiday cards, and for many this includes sending greetings to our soldiers.  In years past you could send cards to a random soldier by mailing them to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  Since Walter Reed merged with the National Naval Medical Center in 2011, that program has been taken over and run by the Red Cross.  The FAQ page below gives the address to which cards should be mailed:

This page from the Red Cross provides more details: 

In recognition of Halloween, why not stop by the Red Cross and donate a pint of blood while you're out shopping for your cards.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Marine Mammal Commission

The Marine Mammal Commission is not, as the name might cause you to imagine, a group of seals, whales, and dolphins sitting around a conference table discussing how to improve life in the ocean.  It's actually "an independent agency of the U.S. Government, provide independent oversight of the marine mammal conservation policies and programs being carried out by federal regulatory agencies." One of the many useful things on the Commission's website is information about the different species that fall within their purview:

So, you can check on the status of the Steller Sea Lion or the Beluga Whale without ever getting your feet wet.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

U.S. Debt Limit

Why is everyone so worried about the possibility of the U.S. government exceeding its debt limit on Oct. 17?  What is the debt limit anyway?  Why Oct. 17?  Answers to those questions and more can be found on the U.S. Treasury's Debt Limit page:

The Oct. 17 deadline is explained in Treasury Secretary Lew's Oct. 10 testimony before the Senate Finance Committee.  Various documents on the site provide grim predictions about what would happen if the debt ceiling isn't raised.  Here's hoping we never have to find out if those predictions are accurate.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Breast Cancer in Males

Not every man has "man boobs," but every man does have breasts and may develop breast cancer.  To find out which men are at greatest risk and to read about treatment and survival rates, see this page from the National Cancer Institute.  (Like many other federal websites, this one isn't being updated during the government shutdown, but since much of the ongoing research is also on hold, it's unlikely there have been any big breakthroughs since it was last updated.)

So guys, if you feel lumps or see other changes in your breasts, put on your nicest "Bro" or "Manzier" and make an appointment to see your doctor.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

U.S. Government Shutdown

When the U.S. government shuts down, it doesn't really shut down entirely.  Various vital services will continue to operate.  Agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration and the Coast Guard continue to ensure our safety.  The mail will still be delivered and food will still be inspected.  However, many very important services will cease temporarily and federal facilities, such as the National Zoo, will be closed.  For more details about which federal government functions will continue and which won't, see this page from the site maintained by the General Services Administration:

Many government websites may also be unavailable during this time, but fortunately, does not seem to be one of them.