Wednesday, January 28, 2015

One in Five Children Receive Food Stamps

Graphic 1
The number of children receiving food stamps remains higher than it was before the start of the Great Recession in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual Families and Living Arrangements table package released today.
 The rate of children living with married parents who receive food stamps has doubled since 2007. In 2014, an estimated 16 million children, or about one in five, received food stamp assistance compared with the roughly 9 million children, or one in eight, that received this form of assistance prior to the recession.
      These statistics come from the 2014 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which has collected statistics on families and living arrangements for more than 60 years.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Black (African-American) History Month: February 2015

To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents proclaim February as National African-American History Month.
45.0 million
The number of blacks, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, on July 1, 2013,up 1.0 percent from July 1, 2012. Source: Population Estimates <>

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ranking America

Mark Rice, who teaches American studies at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., said students often arrived at his classes steeped in the notion that the United States excelled at everything. He started a blog, Ranking America, to challenge their assumptions with a wild assortment of country comparisons, some sober (the United States is No. 1 in small arms ownership) and others less so (the United States is tied for 24th with Nigeria in frequency of sex).

(Excerpt from the New York Times)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pew Explains Why the Conservatives Live in Their Own “Reality”

The Pew Research group has a great reputation for non-partisan and accurate public polling and political analysis. In fact, it was tied as the most accurate polling organization in the 2012 elections. Given their history of success, it is reasonable to have confidence in the results of their polling, particularly in issues where partisanship is an issue.

[In November], Pew released an exceptional report, detailing the news media habits of Americans based upon their partisan affiliation. Pew polled a large number of Americans to determine their political leanings and news consumption habits. The results of this study were, while not surprising, extremely revealing and informative.

The Pew study concluded that conservatives differ dramatically from liberals and moderates in their news media consumption habits. Moderates and liberals trust a much wider range of sources than conservatives. Similarly, from among the news sources that they trust, conservatives watch/listen to fewer sources while moderates and liberals access a much wider range.

More from the Progressive Cynic.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The devastating impact of vaccine deniers, in one measles chart

There were 644 new measles cases in 27 states last year, according to the CDC. That's the biggest annual number we've seen in nearly a quarter-century. The vast majority of people who contracted the disease were unvaccinated, including the dozens of cases related to an outbreak at Disneyland in Orange County, California, which is basically Ground Zero in our current epidemic of anti-vaccine hysteria.

A 2014 AP-GfK survey found that only 51 percent of Americans were confident that vaccines are safe and effective, which is similar to the proportion who believe that houses can be haunted by ghosts.

But the latest CDC data illustrate the troubling resurgence of a disease that, as of 2000, had been declared eliminated.

See the chart from the Washington Post HERE.

Guerrilla Public Service: An Unsanctioned Highway 5 Sign

From Now I Know:

In the early 1950s, the predecessor to the California Department of Transportation (colloquially "Caltrans") opened an innovative solution to Los Angeles' traffic problems at the junction of U.S. Route 101 and California Highway 110...

It looks like a mess but apparently, it's an improvement over what was there before. Nevertheless, there is always room for further improvement. For example, in 2000 and into 2001, the section of California Highway 110 leading into the Interchange had a problem -- inadequate signage, at least if you were hoping to get to Interstate 5 North...

It's hard to read, but the sign says that if you want Interstate 5 North, you want to be in the left three lanes on a five-lane highway. It's easy to miss, and if you do, you're probably going to be in the wrong lane until it's too late.

That was the experience of a man named Richard Ankrom, at least. In 2000 or 2001, he missed his exit and, frustrated, decided to do something about it. But unlike most people, who would complain (probably fruitlessly) to Caltrans or a government official, Ankrom took matters into his own hands. Ankrom is an artist -- and in this case, his masterpiece was a new sign...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Release of 2014 U.S. and State Population Estimates

July 1, 2014 population estimates are now available for the nationstates and Puerto Rico on American FactFinder. The annual estimates include components of change (births, deaths and net migration) in the previous year and since the April 1, 2010 Census. The estimates were originally released on Dec. 23, 2014, on the Population and Housing Unit Estimates website (

In addition, new monthly estimates are now available for the nation for April 1, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2015. These monthly estimates are for the resident population, resident population plus armed forces overseas, civilian population, civilian noninstitutionalized population and household population.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

60 Years of Urban Change

From the Institute for Quality Communities - click this LINK:

60 years has made a big difference in the urban form of American cities. The most rapid change occurred during the mid-century urban renewal period that cleared large tracts of urban land for new highways, parking, and public facilities or housing projects. Fine-grained networks of streets and buildings on small lots were replaced with superblocks and megastructures. While the period did make way for impressive new projects in many cities, many of the scars are still unhealed.
We put together these sliders to show how cities have changed over half a century.

In this post, we look at the historic cities of the Northeast.

See also links to more then-and-now sliders: Oklahoma and Texas | Midwest | Southeast

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Technology's Impact on Workers

The internet and cell phones have infiltrated every cranny of American workplaces, and digital technology has transformed vast numbers of American jobs. Work done in the most sophisticated scientific enterprises, entirely new technology businesses, the extensive array of knowledge and media endeavors, the places where crops are grown, the factory floor, and even mom-and-pop stores has been reshaped by new pathways to information and new avenues of selling goods and services. For most office workers now, life on the job means life online.

Pew Research surveyed online a representative sample of adult internet users and asked those who have jobs a series of questions about the role of digital technology in their work lives. This is not a sample representative of all workers. It covers online adults who also have full- or part-time jobs in any capacity....

Email and the internet are deemed the most important communications and information tools among online workers.

The high value of email comes despite the challenges of the past generation, including threats like spam and phishing and competitors like social media and texting. Surprisingly, landline phones outrank cell phones for these internet-using workers. Social media is very low in importance....

While commentators worry that digital tools can be a distraction in the workplace, many online workers say that is not the case when it comes to their productivity.