Monday, September 28, 2015

NAL Digital Collections

If you have any interest in the history of American agriculture, you'll no doubt be fascinated by the digital collections from the National Agricultural Library:

Publications available include, among others, the Historical Dietary Guidance Digital Collection, the Organic Roots Collection, and the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection, which presents paintings, drawings, and models of plant specimens created between 1886 and 1942.  All collections can be searched simultaneously or browsed individually.  So, if you're a hayseed from way back, now you can easily find historical publications about actual hayseeds from way back.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Real ID Act

You may have seen a news article recently that said, starting next year, residents of some states (including Louisiana) may no longer be able to use their drivers' licenses to board airplanes.  The Real ID Act was passed in 2005, but restrictions on IDs that are acceptable for boarding federally-regulated commercial aircraft won't be implemented until 2016 "at the earliest."  No specific implementation date has been announced yet, and it will be when the time comes, but if you'd like to read more, see this page from the Department of Homeland Security:

And, if your state doesn't offer an "enhanced driver's license" and you'd like to go ahead and apply for a passport as your second form of ID, here's a link to information about that:  Happy traveling!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Shared Heritage Travel Itineraries

More than 90,000 locations around the country have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.  To help the public explore these significant sites, the National Park Service, in partnership with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and various state and local organizations, has created several "travel itineraries."  Each itinerary highlights different geographic regions or important themes in American history.  This page allows you to browse the itineraries by state:

Whether you visit these locations in person or online, it's bound to be educational and may even be fun.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Suicide Prevention

Did you know that twice as many people die by suicide each year than by homicide?  Were you aware that suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 15-34?  This page from the National Institute of Mental Health provides basic information about how to recognize and help someone who might be in crisis:

It also provides phone numbers to call if you yourself are in crisis.  September 7-13 is National Suicide Prevention Week, so if you or someone you know needs help, there's no better time to ask.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

Just as nutrition labels have attempted to make it easier to know which foods are healthier than others, a federal project called the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet is supposed to make it easier to know which colleges or universities will be more affordable than others.  The Sheet is a standard form that presents information about the costs of attending a particular institution and the options for paying those costs.  This page from the U.S. Department of Education provides some background on the Sheet and a list of the institutions that have adopted it:

A college education may be the most expensive thing you'll ever purchase, so educating yourself about the debt you'll be taking on might be a wise place to start.