Author Archive

A world free of nuclear weapons

eJournal: A world free of nuclear weapons

Since the first atomic bombs exploded in 1945, some have tried to rid the world of nuclear weapons. President Obama has embraced this goal with new vigor. A World Free of Nuclear Weapons, the latest issue of eJournal USA, examines the challenges to achieving nuclear disarmament as well as conveys the hopes of some thinkers and explains the doubts of others.

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100 years of American eating

The Food Availability Data System, created by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), has just been updated.  For many of the several hundred food commodities covered, this new release marks 100 years of data – from 1909 to 2008.

“Food availability” is essentially the per capita amount of food in the U.S. food marketing system available for consumption. ERS economists include production and imports of the various foods, and exclude exports as well as farm and industrial uses, to arrive at an approximation of what Americans consume on average. Food availability includes all food-from grocery stores, restaurants, school cafeterias, and other eating places.

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Digital nation — broadband use in the USA

Broadband internet access in U.S. homes continues to grow: 64 percent of households have broadband access compared to 51 percent in October 2007, according to the report Digital Nation: 21st century America’s progress towards universal broadband internet access.

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released this report taking a first look at data collected through the Internet Usage Survey of more than 50,000 households, commissioned by NTIA and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in October 2009.

Since 2007, the data show that while virtually all demographic groups have experienced rising broadband Internet access adoption at home, historic disparities among particular demographic groups overall continue to persist.

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What everyone should know about energy

Cap and trade illustration

What is a cap-and-trade program and how does it work? This question and many more are answered by Energy in Briefs provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Important energy topics are presented in plain language with recommended resources for further reading.

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Team USA competes in Vancouver winter Olympics

Vancouver 2010

Follow the American team on the U.S. Olympic Committe’s official website. According to NBC statistics, Team USA has the third highest tally of winter Olympic medals, after Norway (number one) and the former Soviet Union (number two).

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Quadrennial Defense Review guides DOD’s future

Quadrennial Defense Review Report

The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is a legislatively-mandated review of the Department of Defense strategy and priorities. Just released this month, the February 2010 QDR assesses the threats and challenges that the United States faces and re-balances DoD’s strategies, capabilities, and forces to address today’s conflicts and tomorrow’s threats.

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February is African American history month

Free at Last

President Obama has proclaimed February as National African American History Month.

“As we mark National African American History Month, we should take note of this special moment in our Nation’s history and the actors who worked so diligently to deliver us to this place,” the President remarked. “One such organization is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People — the NAACP — which this year will witness 100 years of service to the Nation on February 12. Because of their work, including the contributions of those luminaries on the front lines and great advocates behind the scenes, we as a Nation were able to take the dramatic steps we have in recent history.”

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Australian author Alice Pung featured in webchat Saturday

Alice Pung

A recent participant in the International Writing Program fall residency at the University of Iowa, Australian author Alice Pung will participate in an on-line chat about her life, her work, and her experience at the IWP residency beginning on Saturday, 6 February,  at 7AM Canberra time (Australia Eastern Daylight Saving Time).

Born in Melbourne to Cambodian parents, Alice Pung writes fiction, non-fiction and plays.

Readers are welcome to submit questions to Ms. Pung before or during the discussion.

Update: The full transcript of Ms. Pung’s responses is now available on the Virtual Writing University website.

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2010 Statistical Abstract of the U.S. released

The Statistical Abstract, also known as “Uncle Sam’s Almanac,” has been published since 1878 — before automobiles, airplanes and motion pictures had even been invented. Contained in the 129th edition are more than 1,400 tables of social, political and economic facts which collectively describe the state of our nation and the world.

Did you know that in 2007, the nation’s 16,604 libraries collectively had an average of 12.5 public-use computers connected to the Internet per library?

Every edition of the Statistical Abstract, dating from 1878, is available in PDF or zip files on the Census Bureau’s Web site.

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President considers the State of the Union

“I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I could do it alone,” President Obama said today in his first State of the Union speech to the U.S. Congress. “Democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That’s just how it is.

“We have finished a difficult year.  We have come through a difficult decade.  But a new year has come.  A new decade stretches before us.  We don’t quit.  I don’t quit.  Let’s seize this moment — to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more.”

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