Monday, August 24, 2015

U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

China is experiencing an economic crisis that has affected financial markets worldwide.  Who, in the U.S. government, is keeping track of what's happening in China and its impact on us?  One group doing this is the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission:

It was created by Congress in 2000 and its purpose is to monitor and report on issues in these areas:  "...proliferation practices, economic transfers, energy, U.S. capital markets, regional economic and security impacts, U.S.-China bilateral programs, WTO compliance, and the implications of restrictions on speech and access to information in the People’s Republic of China."  To paraphrase an old saying, "Keep your friends close, but your creditors closer."

Monday, August 17, 2015

Warren G. Harding

The presidential term of Warren G. Harding was rocked by the Teapot Dome scandal, but that was hardly the only scandal associated with the 29th President.  The Library of Congress last year released a collection of love letters written by Harding to his married "paramour," Carrie Fulton Phillips:

Just last week, DNA tests confirmed that Harding had an illegitimate daughter with his later mistress, Nan Britton.  If reality TV had existed in the 1920s, there might well have been a show called "Harding's Boo Boos," or possibly "Hanging out with the Hardings."

Monday, August 10, 2015

Legionnaires' Disease

If you're of a certain age, the recent outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in New York may have you struggling to remember when the disease first made news and why it became known as "Legionnaires' disease."  This page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives a brief history of the disease, and provides links to additional information about symptoms, treatment, and so on:

Between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires' every year, so "legions" of people do get it, but that isn't how it got its distinctive name.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Looking for a quick way to find some basic information about the quality of the air and water in your area?  Maybe you're interested in toxic pollution of the land instead?  Whatever the case may be, the MyEnvironment page from the Environmental Protection Agency may lead you to the information you need:

In fact, it might provide a lead that will lead you to information about lead (or other heavy metals).