Monday, April 28, 2014

Hiring a Contractor

Whether your house has recent tornado damage and needs repairs, or you're just planning to add on a new rumpus room, hiring the right person to do the work (or to help you do the work) is vital.  The Federal Trade Commission has some important advice to help you hire wisely:

If you take the proper precautions, improving your home sweet home need not be a sour experience.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wheel Well Passengers

If you've watched the news recently you may have heard about the 15 year-old boy who stowed away in the wheel well of an airplane that flew from California to Hawaii.  He endured extreme cold and a lack of oxygen, but he survived.  I thought surely the Federal Aviation Administration would have statistics on this sort of incident, but all I found was a report from 1996 that summarizes incidents from 1947-1993.  See report #96/25, "Survival at High Altitudes: Wheel Well Passengers:"

And for those of you who might be thinking about stowing away, please reconsider.  Even though airplane seats are nearly as uncomfortable as the wheel well, you do at least get heat and oxygen on most flights.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Happy National Library Week!  Whether you're a librarian or not, you may find something to interest you on the Libraries page maintained by the Archives Library Information Center (ALIC) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  It features NARA library resources, searchable catalogs, selected academic and public library web sites, resources and discussion groups for librarians, and much, much more:

But, before you go explore the page, please join me in the librarian's traditional celebratory battle cry:  Shhhhhhhhh...

Monday, April 7, 2014

U.S. Secret Service

According to its not-so-secret web site, the United States Secret Service "was established in 1865, solely to suppress the counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Today, the agency is mandated by Congress to carry out dual missions: protection of national and visiting foreign leaders, and criminal investigations."  Apparently, in our current era of rampant self-promotion, even a secret agency can't help posting some selfies.  So, please enjoy one of the most oxymoronic of all federal web sites, the United States Secret Service Photo Gallery:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Autism Awareness

Do you know someone who has an autism spectrum disorder?  Chances are getting better that you do.  As you'll see in this blog posting from the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, the most recent statistics "reported a prevalence of autism of 1 in 68 children in 2010 (based on children born in 2002), up from 1 in 88 in 2008 (based on children born in 2000):"

Whether the increase is due to better diagnosis or an actual increase in persons with the disorder, it's clear that additional funding will be needed for research and treatment.  (And I'm not fooling.)