Monday, September 29, 2014


Many would argue that every day is National Coffee Day, but today actually is.  As we celebrate the beverage that keeps us alert throughout the most mundane of tasks, you may start to wonder how things are going in the coffee industry as a whole.  Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service keeps track of that for us:

Its semi-annual report on "Coffee: World Markets and Trade" gives us an overview and analysis of international coffee production and consumption.  As you'll see in the June 2014 report, "The United States imports the second-largest amount of coffee beans and is forecast to increase slightly to a record 25.0 million bags as consumption continues to rise."  So, grab a cup and enjoy.  Cheers!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumnal Equinox

Happy autumnal equinox! If you've never been able to keep your equinoxes and solstices straight, this page from may be able to help:

At the very least it might distract you from thinking about the fact that the beginning of autumn means, as they would say on The Game of Thrones, "winter is coming."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Domestic Violence

As you may have heard in the news, the NFL has been grappling with how to discipline players who are accused or convicted of being involved in incidents of domestic violence.  This controversy has sparked a lot of conversation about what actually constitutes domestic violence.  The Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women has some information about it on their site:

It may help to prepare you for your next conversation about the topic, and the hotline numbers may be helpful if you find yourself either the victim or the perpetrator of abuse.  Perhaps we can all learn to keep the violence on the football field where it belongs. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Heroin is apparently experiencing a slight increase in popularity thanks to its similarity to frequently abused prescription medications such as Oxycontin and Vicodin.  It's estimated that about 23% of people who use heroin will become dependent upon it.  To read about the many reasons to avoid using it (such as constipation, collapsed veins, and spontaneous abortion), as well as about treatment options, see this page from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

As with most drugs that people choose to abuse, heroin will certainly abuse you in return.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Phone Scams

Do you have a telephone?  Most people do, and even if it's just an old-fashioned land line, there are scammers trying to use your phone to get their hands on your money.  Read about some of the most popular scams on this page from (which is maintained by the General Services Administration):

If you haven't done it recently, you might also want to register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry -

When you're watching for scams and your caller ID tells you you're calling yourself, you'll know not to answer.