New government maps extend hazard zones in eastern, central, and western U.S. The map were drawn from new seismic data collected over the past several years as well as improved computational modeling done at the University of California, Berkeley and elsewhere. The maps also draw from GPS data of movement along fault lines, the first time such data has been used by the USGS in this way, says Petersen. GPS data has allowed scientists to monitor much wider areas than was previously possible with limited laser studies. In a report accompanying the maps, the USGS points out that while all U.S. states have some potential for earthquakes, 42 of the 50 states "have a reasonable chance of experiencing damaging ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years," which is generally considered the typical lifetime of a building. Sixteen of those states have a "relatively high likelihood" of damaging shaking.
Based on historic trends, the regions most at risk remain the West Coast, the Intermountain West, and several known active regions in the central and eastern U.S., including near New Madrid, Missouri, and Charleston, South Carolina. The 16 states at highest risk of quakes are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Petersen says several areas have a higher potential for bigger earthquakes than previously thought. Among them is much of the eastern U.S. Scientists historically hadn't had a lot of earthquake data from the eastern part of the country, but the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck Virginia in 2011 was felt by tens of millions of people and was recorded by numerous data centers. The quake caused structural damage, including to historic monuments in Washington, D.C., and taught scientists a lot about the regional geology by "enhancing our data set immensely," says Petersen.
The new maps also reflect expanded earthquake risk around the New Madrid Seismic Zone in southwestern Missouri; the zone stretches into Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. A series of earthquakes up to magnitude 8.1 devastated that area in 1811 and 1812. Higher risk is also seen across much of the West Coast, thanks to new data from California and the Northwest's Cascadia Subduction Zone. In a statement, Jim Harris, a member and former chair of the Provisions Update Committee of the Building Seismic Safety Council, said the building industry is reviewing the new maps with an eye toward updating codes. "The committees preparing those standards welcome this updated USGS information as a basis for making decisions and continuing to ensure the most stable and secure construction," he said. [Source: National Geographic | Brian Clark Howard | July 18, 2014 ++]
Secrets of the Secret Service► About Our Presidents.
Snippets from Ronald Kessler's ‘In the President's Secret Service’ Book:
JOHN & JACQUELINE KENNEDY - A philanderer of the highest order. * She ordered the kitchen help to save all the left-over wine from State dinners, mixed it with fresh wine and served again during the next White House occasion.
LYNDON & LADYBIRD JOHNSON - Another philanderer of the highest order. In addition, LBJ was as crude as the day is long. Both JFK and LBJ kept a lot of women in the White House for extramarital affairs and both had set up early warning systems to alert them if/when their wives were nearby. Both were promiscuous and oversexed men. * She was either naive or just pretended to not know about her husband's many liaisons.
RICHARD & PAT NIXON - A "moral" man but very odd, weird, paranoid. He had a horrible relationship with his family and was almost a recluse. * She was quiet most of the time.
SPIRO AGNEW - Nice, decent man. Everyone in the Secret Service was surprised by his downfall.
GERALD & BETTY FORD - A true gentlemen who treated the Secret Service with respect and dignity. He had a great sense of humor. * She drank a lot!
JIMMY & ROSALYN CARTER - A complete phony who would portray one picture of himself to public and very different in private e.g. would be shown carrying his own luggage but the suitcases were always empty. He kept empty ones just for photo ops. He wanted people to see him as pious and a non-drinker but he and his family drank alcohol a lot! He had disdain for the Secret Service and was very irresponsible with the "football" with nuclear codes. He didn't think it was a big deal and would keep military aides at a great distance. Often did not acknowledge the presence of Secret Service personnel assigned to serve him. * She mostly did her own thing.
RONALD & NANCY REAGAN - The real deal, moral, honest, respectful and dignified. They treated Secret Service and everyone else with respect and honor, thanked everyone all the time. He took the time to know everyone on a personal level. One favorite story was early in his Presidency when he came out of his room with a pistol tucked on his hip. The agent in charge asked: "Why the pistol, Mr. President?" He replied, "In case you boys can't get the job done, I can help." It was common for him to carry a pistol. When he met with Gorbachev, he had a pistol in his briefcase. * She was very nice but very protective of the President and the Secret Service was often caught in the middle. She tried hard to control what he ate. He would say to the agent, "Come on, you gotta help me out." The Reagan's drank wine during State dinners and special occasions only otherwise they shunned alcohol. The Secret Service could count on one hand the times they were served wine during family dinner. For all the fake bluster of the Carters, the Reagan's were the ones who lived life as genuinely moral people.
GEORGE H. & BARBARA BUSH - Extremely kind and considerate, always respectful. Took great care in making sure the agents' comforts were taken care of. They even brought them meals. One time she brought warm clothes to agents standing outside at Kennebunkport. One was given a warm hat and, when he tried to say "no thanks" even though he was obviously freezing, the President said "Son, don't argue with the First Lady. Put the hat on." He was the most prompt of the Presidents. He ran the White House like a well-oiled machine. * She ruled the house and spoke her mind.
BILL & HILLARY CLINTON - Presidency was one giant party. Not trustworthy. He was nice mainly because he wanted everyone to like him but to him life is just one big game and party. Everyone knows about his sexuality. * She is another phony. Her personality would change the instant cameras were near. She hated, with open disdain the military and Secret Service. She was another who felt people were there to serve her. She was always trying to keep tabs on Bill Clinton.
ALBERT GORE - An egotistical ass who was once overheard by his Secret Service detail lecturing his son that he needed to do better in school or he would end up like these guys, pointing to the agents.
GEORGE W. & LAURA BUSH - The Secret Service loved him and Laura Bush. He was also the most physically in shape who had a very strict workout regimen. The Bushes made sure their entire administrative and household staff understood that they were to respect and be considerate of the Secret Service. * She was one of the nicest First Ladies, if not the nicest. She never had any harsh word to say about anyone.
BARACK & MICHELLE OBAMA - Clinton all over again - hates the military and looks down on the Secret Service. He is egotistical and cunning. He looks you in the eye and appears to agree with you but turns around and does the opposite. He has temper tantrums. * She is a complete b***h who basically hates anybody who is not black, hates the military and looks at the Secret Service as servants. ---- A ‘TRUE STORY ABOUT’ General McChrystal's resignation in Obama's office from General McChrystal's book! NEVER STAND IN LINE AGAIN: Some men carry and handle their diplomacy better than others. When former U.S. Military commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal, was called into the Oval Office by Barack Obama, he knew things weren't going to go well when the President accused him of not supporting him in his political role as President. "It's not my job to support you as a politician, Mr. President, it's my job to support you as Commander-in-Chief," McChrystal replied, and he handed Obama his resignation. Not satisfied with accepting McChrystal's resignation, the President made a cheap parting shot. "I bet when I die you'll be happy to piss on my grave." The General saluted and said, "Mr. President, I always told myself that after leaving the Army I'd never stand in line again."
[Source: In the President's Secret Service | Ronald Kessler | August 4, 2009 ++]
Food Date Labeling Update 01►What you Need to Know Thirty-one percent of the food produced each year in the United States goes uneaten, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That translates to $161.6 billion per year, or about $522 per person, per year. You can reduce what you throw away and remain safe in what you eat by knowing a few facts about food product dating. For instance, "Sell by Feb 14" is a type of information you might find on a meat or poultry product. Does it mean the product will be unsafe to use after that date? Here is some background information which answers these and other questions about product dating.
What is dating? "Open Dating" (use of a calendar date as opposed to a code) on a food product is a date stamped on a product's package to help the store determine how long to display the product for sale. It can also help the purchaser to know the time limit to purchase or use the product at its best quality. It is not a safety date. After the date passes, while it may not be of best quality, refrigerated products should still be safe if handled properly and kept at 40 °F (4.4 ºC) or below for the recommended storage times listed on the chart (see below). If product has a "use-by" date, follow that date. If product has a "sell-by" date or no date, cook or freeze the product by the times on the chart below.
Is dating required by federal law?Except for infant formula product dating is not generally required by Federal regulations. However, if a calendar date is used, it must express both the month and day of the month (and the year, in the case of shelf-stable and frozen products). If a calendar date is shown, immediately adjacent to the date must be a phrase explaining the meaning of that date such as "sell-by" or "use before." There is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States. Although dating of some foods is required by more than 20 states, there are areas of the country where much of the food supply has some type of open date and other areas where almost no food is dated.
What types of food are dated?Open dating is found primarily on perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products. "Closed" or "coded" dating might appear on shelf-stable products such as cans and boxes of food.
Types of Dates:
A "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
A "Best if Used By (or Before)" date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
A "Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
"Closed or coded dates" are packing numbers for use by the manufacturer.
Safety After Date Expires. Except for "use-by" dates, product dates don't always pertain to home storage and use after purchase. "Use-by" dates usually refer to best quality and are not safety dates. Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly. See the accompanying refrigerator charts for storage times of dated products. If product has a "use-by" date, follow that date. If product has a "sell-by" date or no date, cook or freeze the product according to the times on the chart below. Foods can develop an off odor, flavor or appearance due to spoilage bacteria. If a food has developed such characteristics, you should not use it for quality reasons.
If foods are mishandled, however, foodborne bacteria can grow and, if pathogens are present, cause foodborne illness — before or after the date on the package. For example, if hot dogs are taken to a picnic and left out several hours, they will not be safe if used thereafter, even if the date hasn't expired. Other examples of potential mishandling are products that have been: defrosted at room temperature more than two hours; cross contaminated; or handled by people who don't practice good sanitation. Make sure to follow the handling and preparation instructions on the label to ensure top quality and safety.
Dating Infant Formula. Federal regulations require a "use-by" date on the product label of infant formula under FDA inspection. If consumed by that date, the formula or food must contain not less than the quantity of each nutrient as described on the label. Formula must maintain an acceptable quality to pass through an ordinary bottle nipple. If stored too long, formula can separate and clog the nipple. The "use-by" date is selected by the manufacturer, packer or distributor of the product on the basis of product analysis throughout its shelf life, tests, or other information. It is also based on the conditions of handling, storage, preparation, and use printed on the label. Do not buy or use baby formula after its "use-by" date.
What do can codes mean?Cans must exhibit a packing code to enable tracking of the product in interstate commerce. This enables manufacturers to rotate their stock as well as to locate their products in the event of a recall. These codes, which appear as a series of letters and/or numbers, might refer to the date or time of manufacture. They aren't meant for the consumer to interpret as "use-by" dates. There is no book or Web site that tells how to translate the codes into dates. Cans may also display "open" or calendar dates. Usually these are "best if used by" dates for peak quality. Canned foods are safe indefinitely as long as they are not exposed to freezing temperatures, or temperatures above 90 °F (32.2° C). If the cans look ok, they are safe to use. Discard cans that are dented, rusted, or swollen. High-acid canned foods (tomatoes, fruits) will keep their best quality for 12 to 18 months; low-acid canned foods (meats, vegetables) for 2 to 5 years.
Dates on Egg Cartons. Use of either a "Sell-By" or "Expiration" (EXP) date is not federally required, but may be State required, as defined by the egg laws in the State where the eggs are marketed. Some State egg laws do not allow the use of a "sell-by" date. Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield on them must display the "pack date" (the day that the eggs were washed, graded, and placed in the carton). The number is a three-digit code that represents the consecutive day of the year starting with January 1 as 001 and ending with December 31 as 365. When a "sell-by" date appears on a carton bearing the USDA grade shield, the code date may not exceed 45 days from the date of pack.
Always purchase eggs before the "Sell-By" or "EXP" date on the carton. After the eggs reach home, refrigerate the eggs in their original carton and place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the door. For best quality, use eggs within 3 to 5 weeks of the date you purchase them. The "sell-by" date will usually expire during that length of time, but the eggs are perfectly safe to use.
UPC or Bar Codes. Universal Product Codes appear on packages as black lines of varying widths above a series of numbers. They are not required by regulation but manufacturers print them on most product labels because scanners at supermarkets can "read" them quickly to record the price at checkout. Bar codes are used by stores and manufacturers for inventory purposes and marketing information. When read by a computer, they can reveal such specific information as the manufacturer's name, product name, size of product and price. The numbers are not used to identify recalled products.
Storage Times. Since product dates aren't a guide for safe use of a product, how long can the consumer store the food and still use it at top quality? Follow these tips:
Purchase the product before the date expires.
If perishable, take the food home immediately after purchase and refrigerate it promptly. Freeze it if you can't use it within times recommended on chart.
Once a perishable product is frozen, it doesn't matter if the date expires because foods kept frozen continuously are safe indefinitely.
Follow handling recommendations on product.
Consult the following storage chart.
Refrigerator Home Storage (at 40 °F [4.4 ºC] or below) of Fresh or Uncooked Products
If product has a "use-by" date, follow that date.
If product has a "sell-by" date or no date, cook or freeze the product by the times on the following chart.
Product | Storage Times After Purchase
- Poultry 1 or 2 days
- Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb 3 to 5 days
- Ground Meat and Ground Poultry 1 or 2 days
- Fresh Variety Meats (Liver, Tongue, Brain, Kidneys, Heart, Chitterlings) 1 or 2 days
- Corned Beef, uncooked, in pouch with pickling juices 5 to 7 days | 3 to 4 days
- Vacuum-packed Dinners, Commercial Brand with USDA seal 2 weeks | 3 to 4 days
- Bacon | 2 weeks | 7 days
- Hot dogs | 2 weeks | 1 week
- Luncheon meat | 2 weeks | 3 to 5 days
- Ham, fully cooked | 7 days /slices, 3 days | whole, 7 days
- Ham, canned, labeled "keep refrigerated" | 9 months | 3 to 4 days
- Ham, canned, shelf stable | 2 years/pantry | 3 to 5 days
- Canned Meat and Poultry, shelf stable | 2 to 5 years/pantry | 3 to 4 days
[Source: USDA | August 2015 ++]
Cellphone Disposal ► Reasons Not to Trash an Old Phone In our culture of constant upgrades, it's easy to accumulate a small pile of electronics. In fact, Swedish tech firm Ericsson recently estimated that U.S. households on average own 5.2 Internet-connected devices. But what happens when you're ready to move on from your device? The next big thing comes out, and you don't know what to do with your old, small device. When you upgrade, it's tempting to just trash your old cellphone, but that's not the best option. Here are some reasons why tossing your old phone is a bad idea -- and some advice on what you can do instead.
Toxins- In 2014, the world generated 41.8 million metric tons of wasted electronic equipment, according to a recent report from the United Nations University. That equipment includes devices such as computers, calculators, phones and appliances. Of that, only 6.5 million metric tons were recycled. When these electronics are simply thrown away, or not disposed of properly, they can release toxins into the environment. A 2012 study by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Ecology Center found all 36 cellphone models it tested contained some toxins. "These chemicals, which are linked to birth defects, impaired learning and other serious health problems, have been found in soils at levels 10 to 100 times higher than background levels at e-waste recycling sites in China," Ecology Center Research Director Jeff Gearhart said at the time of the study's release. Recycling your old phone is not difficult. The Environmental Protection Agency's "Electronics Donation and Recycling" page http://www2.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling can show you where to take or mail your old devices. Many retailers, such as Best Buy, Office Depot and Staples, also have tech recycling available. Most cellphone carriers will recycle your old devices, too.
Personal Information. You want to avoid tossing out your phone with your data, photos and correspondence still stored in it. All of your personal information should be erased. Back up everything first, then delete all data, passwords, photos and Bluetooth connections. Sign out of every service and app, then head to your phone's settings and complete a factory reset. A factory reset is meant to clear everything from your phone, but it doesn't always work as it should. Researchers from Purdue University's Cyber Forensics Lab found that, even with a factory reset, your information can still be accessed on some phones. In addition to the factory reset, the CTIA, a wireless industry trade group, recommends you take a few extra security measures. First, if you have access to it, make sure to remove your phone's SIM card. Chances are, you have personal information stored on this card, and your phone's factory reset only affects the phone, not your SIM. The group also recommends using a data eraser app to make sure everything gets deleted. The CTIA has a list of approved apps.
Sale Value. There's no shortage of companies that make it easy to sell your phone. Online marketplace Glyde, for example, will list and sell your phone for you. Give Glyde a general description of the phone model and condition, and the company will try to find you a buyer. If someone purchases your phone, Glyde will ship you a packing box. Of course, this convenience comes at a cost. Glyde takes 15 percent of the sale price, and you'll pay $1 to $6 for the shipping kit. Gazelle is another popular online seller. This firm will buy your phone directly. Once you accept the quoted price, just ship the item to Gazelle and the company will send you an Amazon gift card, PayPal payment or check. For a more lucrative option, you could try selling your phone on eBay, Amazon or Craigslist. They require a bit more effort on your end, but you can set your own price.
Trade-in Value. Another option is to trade in your old phone for store credit. Many retailers that offer recycling also offer trade-ins. Best Buy has a popular trade-in program. The retailer will appraise your old cellphone in the store and give you a gift card, depending on the value. If Best Buy finds the phone isn't worth anything, it will recycle it for you instead. You can also get an online estimate of Best Buy's trade-in value.
Amazon offers a similar program, as do many cellphone carriers.
Verizon's recycling program offers you a gift card or account credit for your old phone. It's worth checking with your carrier to see what options are available.
Features. Instead of getting rid of your old smartphone, consider repurposing it. There are plenty of creative options available. For example, Jason Bauman, a former sales representative for Verizon, suggests using your phone as a media device. "Modern smartphones have sizable internal storage, particularly when you remove the photos and videos after backing them up," he says. "Instead of juggling your library on your new phone, keep a copy of it on your old device." You could turn it into a dedicated music player for your car, which is especially useful if your car stereo has Bluetooth capabilities. A free app for Android and iOS devices called Presence lets you turn your phone into a home-monitoring system. Download it on your old device, and then simply pair that device with your new one. This way, you can use your old phone like a security camera, accessing it while you're away. It's a great way to check in on pets when you're not home.
Someone Else Can Use It. There are many agencies and organizations that will gladly put your phone to good use. Consider donating it to a worthy cause. Verizon's HopeLine program, for example, refurbishes and sells reusable phones and donates the proceeds to domestic violence organizations. Some phones -- set up for free call and texting services -- get distributed to those same organizations, which hand them out to domestic violence survivors. Cell Phones for Soldiers sends your old phone to active-duty military members and veterans. You can either ship the phone (or phones) to the group directly, or you can search for a drop-off location near you. Most organizations will do a factory reset on your phone for you. But, again, it's still important to take extra precaution and delete all of your phone's data and information
Backup Device. If your old phone isn't worth much, consider using it as a secondary device. Most old smartphones can still dial 911, even if you're no longer paying for service. You could keep it on hand as an emergency phone. Keep it turned off in your car's glove compartment or emergency kit. Or, you might use it when you travel. There are apps that let you make free phone calls and send free texts over Wi-Fi. If you don't feel like carrying your new, expensive phone, you might use your old one as a backup. If the phone is unlocked, you can buy a prepaid SIM card in another country and use your old phone as an "abroad" device
[Source: Bankrate.com | Kristin Wong | June 2015 ++]