Tuesday, May 31, 2016

History of "Taps"

Those of you who attended Memorial Day ceremonies yesterday may have heard the bugle call "Taps," which is played for military funerals. This PDF from the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a bit of the song's colorful history:


If you'd like to hear a recording of "Taps," or other bugle calls, see this site from the Army: 


Monday, May 23, 2016

Moving Safely

It's summertime and many people are packing up and getting ready to move. If you'll be moving too, this site from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides some excellent advice to help you avoid scams and move safely:


On the other hand, if you've already moved and things didn't go well, the site also tells you how to file a complaint. 

One tip you should keep in mind either way--always lift with your legs.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Civil Air Patrol

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is an auxiliary organization of the U.S. Air Force and it's celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. It was founded in 1941 just six days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. "Over 18 months, CAP anti-submarine coastal patrols flew more than 24 million miles, spotting 173 U-boats and attacking 57. They also escorted more than 5,600 convoys and reported 17 floating mines, 36 bodies, 91 ships in distress and 363 survivors in the water:"


Today there's a "Wing" of this organization in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico continuing to help by searching for disaster survivors, reporting forest fires, and many other activities. So, keep watching the skies. There are good folks up there watching out for you.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens has recently experienced a series of small earthquakes that have some people speculating it may erupt again soon. It's been almost exactly 36 years since it last erupted on May 18, 1980. If you'd like to keep an eye on the volcano to make sure you don't miss anything exciting, the U.S. Forest Service provides this handy "VolcanoCam" which allows you to see "near real-time" images:


If it does erupt, please keep in mind that you'll likely need to seek permission from the Forest Service in order to use the volcano for sacrificing virgins or disposing of evil jewelry.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Amusement Rides Injuries

Amusement rides most often live up to their name, but some people do get hurt or even killed while attempting to have fun. This page from the Consumer Product Safety Commission provides statistics on those types of incidents.


It also links to a Directory of Amusement Ride Safety Officials that has an entry for each state. If ride inspectors, ride operators, and the riders themselves all stay aware of safety, the worst possible impact of an amusement ride should be that you'd lose your lunch rather than your life.