Monday, June 23, 2014

Drowning Statistics

Every summer weekend seems to bring stories of accidental drownings.  How common is drowning?  From 1999 through 2010, a total of 46,419 deaths from unintentional drowning (including boating) occurred in the United States, an average of 3,868 deaths per year.  The average number of deaths per day was higher on weekends, and men were more likely than women to drown in a natural water source such as a lake or river.  To read more fascinating facts about drowning, see this page from the Centers for Disease Control:

It might convince you to vacation in the desert this year.  (But even the desert has bath tubs.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reverse Mortgages

Henry Winkler is just the most recent celebrity spokesperson to pitch reverse mortgages on TV.  What exactly is reverse mortgage anyway?  Is it really a good idea, or more of a scam?  This page from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides a breakdown of the basics:

See the "General HECM Frequently Asked Questions" for a clear explanation about how a reverse mortgage differs from a traditional home equity loan.  And yes, for some people they can be a very good idea.  (Aaaaay, Fonzie wouldn't lie, right?  Exactamundo.)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Federal Theatre Project

Most people know that the National Endowment for the Arts currently provides grants for theatrical productions, but did you know that the federal government once took a much more active role in funding and producing live theater?  One of the Depression-era projects of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was the Federal Theatre Project:

All told, the Project "employed more than 12,000 people within 150 regional administrative units that produced more than 2,700 stage productions."  Read all about it on this page from the Library of Congress (but don't read it on your mobile device while you're walking, or you might break a leg).

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Young Workers

Whether they're high school students flipping burgers for the summer, or recent college graduates starting their first real jobs, many young people are unaware of the dangers they may face in the workplace.  They may also be unaware of their rights and the responsibilities of their employers.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a page designed specifically to educate young workers:

It's a jungle out there, so make sure the young folks in your life go out armed with the machete and pith helmet of good information.