Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Look Inside Food Deserts

"If you struggle with finding affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and other healthy foods, the important thing to remember is that you can still take steps to improve your diet.

Food Deserts Explained

Food deserts are areas that lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and other foods that make up the full range of a healthy diet.

Are There Food Deserts in the United States?

According to a report by the US Department of Agriculture, a small percentage of American consumers are limited in their ability to access affordable, nutritious foods because they live far from a supermarket or large grocery store and do not have easy access to transportation.

How Does Food Access Affect Your Health?

Limited access to affordable, healthier foods is one factor that may make it harder for some Americans to eat a healthy diet and could negatively affect their health..."
Food deserts

5 Things You Should Know About Epilepsy

"How much do you know about epilepsy? Get the facts!
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes repeated seizures. There are many different types of epilepsy and many different kinds of seizures. Epilepsy can get in the way of life, mostly when seizures keep happening.   To control their seizures, people with epilepsy may take medicine, have surgery, or follow a special diet. Here’s what you need to know:
#1   Epilepsy is common.
In fact, you probably know a few people with epilepsy. A new CDC studyhas found that the number of people with active epilepsy (which means the person with epilepsy is under treatment or has had recent seizures) has increased compared to findings from 2007 and 2010.  In 2015, about 3 million adults (age 18 and older) and 470,000 children (age 17 years or younger) had active epilepsy in the United States—that’s 3.4 million people.1 Think of a football stadium that seats 80,000 – that means about 900 people could have epilepsy...."


Healthy Contact Lens Wear

"You only have one pair of eyes, so take care of them! Taking proper care of your contact lenses can help you see better and keep your eyes healthy.
When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a safe and effective way to correct vision. More than 45 million Americans wear contact lenses. However, contact lenses can increase your chance of getting an eye infection—especially if you do not care for them the right way.

Healthy Habits = Healthy Eyes

You can enjoy the comfort and benefits of contact lenses while lowering your chance of an eye infection. Follow your eye doctor’s instructions for how to wear, clean, and store your lenses to lower the chance of getting germs in your eyes that could cause infections. Contact lens-related eye infections can lead to long-lasting damage to your eyesight. Even minor infections can be painful and disrupt day-to-day life. Your contact lens wear and care habits, supplies, and eye doctor are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy..."
Contact lens

School Starts Soon—Is Your Child Fully Vaccinated?

"School-age children – from preschoolers to college students – need vaccines. Getting your child all their vaccinations on time is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to ensure your children’s long-term health—as well as the health of friends, classmates, and others in your community.
CDC has online resources and tools to help you make sure your kids are up to date on recommended vaccines and protected from serious diseases. Use the childhood vaccine quiz to see what vaccines your child needs, at any age. If you find out your child needs any vaccines to protect them against any of the 16 serious diseases, schedule a visit with your doctor to get caught up..."

School vaccines

Global Trends in Terrorism: 1970-2016 (Working draft)

"Terrorism has become one of the dominating national security threats of the 21st century. It is also one of the most complex — mixing the actions of states, extremists, and other non-state actors in a wide range of threats and types of conflicts. Terrorists range from individuals carrying out scattered terrorist acts, to international terrorist networks of non-state actors, to state terrorism including the use of conventional forces and poison gas to terrorize portions of a civil population. Terrorism has also become a key aspect of civil war, insurgency/counterinsurgency, and asymmetric warfare, as well as ideological, ethnic, and religious warfare.

There is no easy way to categorize the resulting patterns of violence, to measure their rise, or to set national security priorities. For more than a decade, the U.S. has focused on the threat of terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it has dealt increasingly with the expansion of the threat into North Africa, other parts of the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world. Key warfighting threats like the Islamic State and its affiliates, and the Taliban and Haqqani Network, are only a comparatively small part of the rising threat in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia..."
Global Terrorism

Friday, August 18, 2017

19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women's Right to Vote

"Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920...."
19th Constitutional amendment

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Adults With Chronic Conditions: Get Vaccinated.

"Vaccines are an important step in protecting adults against serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. Even if you were vaccinated at a younger age, the protection from some vaccines can wear off with time, or the viruses or bacteria that the vaccines protect against change so your resistance is not as strong. As you get older, you may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases due to your age, job, hobbies, travel, or health conditions.
CDC recommends that all adults get the following vaccines:

Chronic conditions and vaccinations

Valley Fever Awareness

"Valley fever is a fungal lung infection that can be devastating. Learning about Valley fever can help you and your doctor recognize the symptoms early.
Valley fever is an infection caused by a fungus that lives in the soil. About 10,000 U.S. cases are reported each year, mostly from Arizona and California. Valley fever can be misdiagnosed because its symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses. Here are some important things to know about Valley fever, also called coccidioidomycosis.

From soil to lungs

The fungus that causes Valley fever, Coccidioides, is found in the southwestern United States, parts of Mexico and Central America, and parts of South America. The fungus has also been found in south-central Washington State. People can get Valley fever by breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air in these areas. Valley fever does not spread from person to person..."
Valley fever

National Diabetes Statistic Report, 2017

"Diabetes cases are beginning to level off, but the number is still enormous: more than 100 million people in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes. Much work still needs to be done.
In July, CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) released the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. The report presents the “state of the disease” in our nation, providing the most recent scientific data on:
  • Diabetes incidence (new cases)
  • Diabetes prevalence (existing cases)
  • Short- and long-term complications
  • Risk factors for complications
  • Prediabetes
  • Mortality (death rate)
  • Costs..."

Diabetes statistics

Protect Your Eyes During a Solar Eclipse

"The Sun in Your Eyes
Looking directly at the sun without the correct eye protection, even for a short time, can cause permanent damage to your retinas, a light-sensitive part of the eye that transmits what you see to your brain. Damage can occur without pain, and it can take a few hours or even a few days after viewing the eclipse to have symptoms of damage, which include not being able to see colors as well and loss of central vision, with only side vision remaining. If you notice any symptoms after viewing the solar eclipse, seek immediate help from your eye care professional.

Safe Watching

The only way to look directly at the sun when it’s not eclipsed or is only partly eclipsed is with a special solar filter, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer. Goggles, homemade filters, or sunglasses, even very dark ones, will not protect your eyes. Also, always avoid looking at the sun through an unfiltered camera, smartphone, telescope, or any other optical device. You’ll need to add a certified solar filter to these devices to safely look at the sun.
Eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers are inexpensive and can be purchased from many retailers. However, not all meet the required ISO 12312-2 international safety standards; make sure yours do. Even if your eclipse glasses meet the safety standards, don’t use them if:
  • The lenses are scratched.
  • The lenses are wrinkled.
  • They are older than 3 years...."
    Solar Eclipse

Ozone treaty taking a bite out of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions

"The Montreal Protocol, the international treaty adopted to restore Earth’s protective ozone layer, has significantly reduced emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals from the United States. A new study by NOAA and CIRESoffsite linkscientists shows the 30-year old treaty has also significantly reduced climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S.
That’s because the ozone-depleting substances controlled by the treaty are also potent greenhouse gases, with heat-trapping abilities up to 10,000 times greater than carbon dioxide over 100 years.
The new research, the first to quantify the impact of the Montreal Protocoloffsite link on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions with atmospheric observations, shows that reducing the use of ozone-depleting substances from 2008 to 2014 eliminated the equivalent of 170 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year..."
Ozone treaty and greenhouse emissions

Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report

"Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2017 Annual Report focuses on U.S. exports and imports of professional services, particularly accounting and auditing, architecture and engineering, legal, and management consulting services. In 2015, the United States exported $139.7 billion in professional services and imported $91.0 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $48.7 billion for this segment of the services sector. By comparison, the total U.S. services trade surplus was $263.4 billion. U.S. professional services contributed $2.6 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, or 19 percent of total U.S. private sector GDP. Professional services employed over 29 million full-time equivalent employees in 2015, representing 25.8 percent of U.S. total private sector employment. The healthcare sector supplied about half of professional services' contribution to employment and GDP. Wages for professional services workers have grown slightly more slowly than those in many other services industries. These workers earned an average wage of $65,861 in 2015, exceeding the private sector average, but trailing wages in electronic services, financial services, and goods manufacturing..."
U.S. Services Trade

The Effects of Terminating Payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions

"The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers to offer plans with reduced deductibles, copayments, and other means of cost sharing to some of the people who purchase plans through the marketplaces established by that legislation. The size of those reductions depends on those people’s income. In turn, insurers receive federal payments arranged by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to cover the costs they incur because of that requirement.

At the request of the House Democratic Leader and the House Democratic Whip, the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have estimated the effects of terminating those payments for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). In particular, the agencies analyzed what would happen under this policy: By the end of this month, it is known that CSR payments will continue through December 2017 but not thereafter..."
Health Care Cost Sharing Reductions

Negotiating Civil Resistance

"This report reveals how negotiation and civil resistance are deeply entwined and offers insights into how negotiation is more than an appendage of a civil resistance campaign, but instead a critical element of strategy. Drawing on the extensive literature on negotiation and civil resistance, the report grew out of the panel “From Civil Resistance to Peaceful Resolution,” held at the United States Institute of Peace in March 2016 and organized by Maria Stephan.,,"
Civil resistance

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Nuclear Blast

"A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave, and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles around. A nuclear device can range from a weapon carried by an intercontinental missile, to a small portable nuclear device transported by an individual. All nuclear devices cause deadly effects when exploded.
Hazards of Nuclear Devices:
The danger of a massive strategic nuclear attack on the United States is predicted by experts to be less likely today. However, terrorism, by nature, is unpredictable.

In general , potential targets incluse: 
  • Strategic missile sites and military bases.
  • Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals.
  • Important transportation and communication centers.
  • Manufacturing, industrial, technology, and financial centers.
  • Petroleum refineries, electrical power plants, and chemical plants
  • Major ports and airfields.

The three factors for protecting oneself from radisontion and fallout are distance, shielding and time. 
  •  Distance - the more distance between you and the fallout particles, the better. An underground area such as a home or office building basement offers more protection than the first floor of a building. Shielding - the heavier and denser the materials - thick walls, concrete, bricks, books and earth - between you and the fallout particles, the better.
  • Time - fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time, you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level..."
    Nuclear blast