Monday, November 30, 2015

Travel Alerts and Warnings - What's the Difference?

The U.S. State Department is issuing travel warnings and travel alerts as concerns about U.S. citizens traveling abroad has increased. Review the guidance on what is a warning versus an alert as you make plans for traveling outside of the United States.

Learn about the benefits of enrolling in the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP), including helping loved ones get in contact with you in the case of an emergency.

For more on international travel issues, visit

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Economic Imperative of Bilingual Education (1965)

In a break with tradition, more schools are adopting language-immersion programs, in which English and another language are integrated into the curriculum and instruction. The Center for Applied Linguistics, a D.C.-based nonprofit, found an exponential growth in foreign-language immersion in a comprehensive survey of public schools and some private schools. Over a 40-year span language-immersion schools grew steadily, with the largest increase in the decade that started in 2001. Spanish remains the most popular for immersion programs at 45 percent, followed by French (22 percent) and Mandarin (13 percent), with a wide array of languages rounding out the list of 22 selections—from Hawaiian and Cantonese to Japanese and Arabic.

As two-way immersion grows, the variety of language options now available marks a turning point in the evolution of bilingual education. Once the mainstay of immigrant children, bilingual instruction has a new band of converts: English-speaking parents, lawmakers, and advocacy groups. Research shows that students gain cognitive and academic benefits from bilingualism. Yet an overarching reason for the heightened interest is giving U.S. students a jump on the competition in a global workforce. And some activists find even with this flurry of attention, equal access to dual-immersion remains a thorny issue and persistent challenge.

More from The Atlantic.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 26, 2015

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims — early settlers of Plymouth Colony — held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. This event is regarded by many as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. The Wampanoag Indians in attendance played a key role. Historians have recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America. These include the British colonists in Virginia as early as 1619.
The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday 152 years ago (Oct. 3, 1863) when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.
Where to Feast
117 million
Number of occupied housing units across the nation in the second quarter of 2015 — all potential stops for Thanksgiving dinner. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership, Table 8 <>

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Guthrie, Robbins ordered to remove all the garbage (1965)

Alice's Restaurant - Arlo Guthrie

Is Your Passport Full? Request Extra Pages Now

The U.S. State Department is Eliminating Page Inserts

If you like to travel and you're running out of passport pages for visas, the time to request extra pages is now. Starting January 1st, 2016, the U.S. State Department will no longer add additional pages to U.S. passports. You will need to renew your passport altogether after this date if you need more space.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Completion of 2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

The 2012 Economic Census concludes the Geographic Area Series for the professional, scientific and technical services sector. This series includes statistics for legal services, accounting and tax preparation, computer systems design, and advertising and public relations services. 

The files provide statistics on the number of establishments, receipts/revenue, payroll, number of employees and other data items by industry. Geographic Area Series data is the only series that provides this data at a U.S. summary level as well as an economic place level; other geographies included are statescombined statistical areas, metropolitan statistical areas and counties.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wives’ Earnings Make Gains Relative to Husbands’

Families and Living Arrangements
New Statistics Reveal a Variety of Characteristics About U.S. Families
Between 2000 and 2015, the share of married couples where the wife earned at least $30,000 more than the husband increased from 6 to 9 percent, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Married couples where the husband earned at least $30,000 more than the wife decreased from 38 to 35 percent. Conversely, husbands and wives whose earnings were within $4,999 of each other grew slightly from 24 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2015.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The US used to accept a lot of refugees

The United States has pledged to take 10,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016 — five times the number the country has resettled since 2011, when the Syrian civil war began.

So needless to say, there are questions of whether the US will actually be able to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year.

But to get a sense of how many refugees this actually is, it's helpful to look at how many refugees the US admitted in the past. And when you do that, you start to see that in historical context, 10,000 Syrian refugees isn't a very big influx at all.

The Refugee Processing Center at the State Department publishes information on how many refugees have arrived in the US.

More from Vox.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Global Support for Principle of Free Expression, but Opposition to Some Forms of Speech

Although many observers have documented a global decline in democratic rights in recent years, people around the world nonetheless embrace fundamental democratic values, including free expression. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that majorities in nearly all 38 nations polled say it is at least somewhat important to live in a country with free speech, a free press and freedom on the internet. And across the 38 countries, global medians of 50% or more consider these freedoms very important.

Still, ideas about free expression vary widely across regions and nations. The United States stands out for its especially strong opposition to government censorship, as do countries in Latin America and Europe – particularly Argentina, Germany, Spain and Chile. Majorities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East also tend to oppose censorship, albeit with much less intensity. Indonesians, Palestinians, Burkinabe and Vietnamese are among the least likely to say free expression is very important.

More from Pew Research Center.

Monday, November 16, 2015

25 of America's worst charities

In 2014, Americans donated an estimated $350 billion to charities. A generous country we are, but how much of those funds actually went to the advertised causes? You might not want to know. There are good charities. There are bad charities. And there are the worst charities.

America’s Worst Charities gain their titles by how much they raise in donations and how little of that money goes to the actual causes they advertise. As these deceptive organizations ask you for your financial support, they lie about to where or whom that is alloted, sometimes paying themselves “multiple salaries” and “consulting fees.” One “cancer charity” paid the company president's son nearly $18 million over eight years, to solicit donations. The Tampa Bay Times reports:

Some nonprofits are little more than fronts for fundraising companies, which bankroll their startup costs, lock them into exclusive contracts at exorbitant rates and even drive the charities into debt.

More from Daily Kos

A list, plus other resources from the Tampa Bay Times.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Veterans statistics

The Census Bureau has released a series of graphics showing maps and statistics about veterans living in the 50 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

This information is available HERE. The New York State graphic is HERE.

Please enjoy these statistics and pass them along to your networks and partners.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Distracted Driving Information & Guidance

Here is a resource which you may find useful -  From the source:

We believe that the best way to encourage responsible driving is through education which is why we are working with other organisations and bodies just like yours to ensure that this information reaches as many people as possible.

When asked, 94 percent of Americans said that distracted driving is a major threat to safety for everyone on the road. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 10 percent of drivers are talking on a cellphone during any given daylight moment.

According to numerous studies, distracted driving is at least as bad as, or worse than, driving while drunk. This means that, at any given moment, there are 974,000 drivers on the road who are perfectly sober but more impaired than a drunk driver.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015: Nov. 11

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
19.3 million
The number of military veterans in the United States in 2014.
Source: 2014 American Community Survey
1.6 million
The number of female veterans in the United States in 2014.
Source: 2014 American Community Survey

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veterans’ Stories: Share, Record, Listen and Learn

Every war veteran has a story. From the elderly World War II vet to those back from Iraq and Afghanistan, capturing these accounts for future generations is the mission of the Veterans History Project. And now you can contribute to this important part of our history's keepsake.

This Veterans Day, whether you’re ready to share your war experience or to interview a veteran who is on, you’ll find what you need in these participants’ guidelines. You can search for vets’ stories by last name, war, the branch of service, or ethnicity.

Looking for more information for veterans on housing, health, jobs and more? Visit us at

Completion of 2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series: Finance and Insurance

The 2012 Economic Census concludes the Geographic Area Series for the finance and insurance sector. This series includes statistics for monetary authorities; credit intermediation and related activities; securities, commodity contracts and other financial investments; and insurance carriers. The files provide statistics on the number of establishments, revenue, payroll, number of employees and other data items by industry. 

The Geographic Area Series provides data at a U.S. summary level as well as an economic place level; other geographies included are statescombined statistical areas, metropolitan statistical areas and counties.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Middle-Aged White Americans Are Dying of Despair

Since 1998, people all over the world have been living healthier and living longer. But middle-aged, white non-Hispanics in the United States have been getting sicker and dying in greater numbers. The trend is being driven primarily by people with a high-school degree or less.

That's the sobering takeaway from a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published this week.

The reasons for the increased death rate are not the usual things that kill Americans, like diabetes and heart disease. Rather, it’s suicide, alcohol and drug poisonings, and alcohol-related liver disease.

The least-educated are worst off.

More from The Atlantic.

What we're seeing here, I believe, is the end result of privileged distress. It's still not objectively harder to be white in American than non-white, but the traditional privileges of whiteness have shrunk, particularly for the working class, while visions of how life is supposed to be (for white people) are pegged to the achievements of our parents. Consequently, it gets harder and harder for working-class whites to live up to the expectations they were raised to have. By middle age many feel like failures, and live with a corresponding lack of self-regard.

Is it any wonder they look for scapegoats?

More from the Weekly Sift.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Visualization: Measuring Race and Ethnicity Across the Decades: 1790-2010

This interactive visualization allows users to understand how race and ethnicity categories have changed over time since the 1790 Census. Internet address: <>. For more information, see Random Samplings  Blog post.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Copyright Infringement © - infographic

Check out this infographic on copyright infringement of images. Photos and illustrations created by other people often go without citations, or are attributed improperly. Learn how to properly give credit in a blog post.

Completion of 2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series: Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

The 2012 Economic Census concludes the Geographic Area Series for the real estate and rental and leasing sector. This series includes statistics for real estate, rental and leasing services and lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets (except copyrighted works). The files provide statistics on the number of establishments, revenue, payroll, number of employees and other data items by industry. The Geographic Area Series is the only series that provides this data at a U.S. summary level as well as an economic place level; other geographies included are statescombined statistical areas, metropolitan statistical areas and counties.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

At Least 350 Languages Spoken in U.S. Homes

Language Other Than English Spoken at Home
Most Comprehensive Language Data Ever Released from the Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau released a set of new tables today detailing hundreds of languages that U.S. residents speak at home. American Community Survey data on languages spoken at home were previously available for only 39 languages. These tables, based on American Community Survey data collected from 2009 to 2013, expand the languages and language groups tabulated to 350.
These tables are among the most comprehensive data ever released from the Census Bureau on languages spoken less widely in the United States, such as Pennsylvania Dutch, Ukrainian, Turkish, Romanian, Amharic and many others. Also included are 150 different Native North American languages, collectively spoken by more than 350,000 people, including Yupik, Dakota, Apache, Keres and Cherokee.

Monday, November 2, 2015

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2015

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, getting endorsements from 24 state governments, to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994. This Facts for Features presents statistics for American Indians and Alaska Natives, as this is one of the six major race categories classified by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
5.4 million
The nation’s population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race. They made up about 2 percent of the total population in 2014. Of this total, about 48 percent were American Indian and Alaska Native only, and about 52 percent were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races. Source: 2014 American Community Survey <>