Archive for Topic Areas

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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Supporting each other in a fragile world

Devastation in Chile following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in February.
From Ambassador Bleich:

We were reminded again this morning of how fragile and interdependent we all are in this world. A shift in the earth’s plates deep in the Pacific Ocean has devastated portions of Chile and sent waves of high water from Alaska to Hawaii to American Samoa to the shores of Australia.

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Getting my hands dirty

Ambassador Bleich with the prize-winning merino sheep.

From Ambassador Bleich:

Today I added another unusual chapter to the strange, and strangely interesting, experience of being an ambassador. Not only did we have a good family day, but I will never look at my suits the same way again.

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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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Deep space tracking

Ambassador Bleich delivers the diplomatic note that continues the partnership between the United States and Australia for space exploration.

From Ambassador Bleich:

When President John F. Kennedy hosted a group of 49 Nobel laureates at the White House in 1962, he remarked to them, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Since Thomas Jefferson never dined at the ambassador’s residence, I can say without likely contradiction that today we had the most extraordinary collection of human knowledge ever gathered here for breakfast. I began the day by hosting the leading scientists of NASA, CSIRO, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of space cooperation between the United States and Australia and we formally extended that agreement into the future.

» Continue reading “Deep space tracking”

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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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Sharing a ‘Stars & Stripes’ moment

Ambassador Bleich conducts the Canberra Symphony Orchestra for 'Stars and Stripes'

From Ambassador Bleich:

When I was growing up, there was a program on TV called Quantum Leap. In each episode, the hapless hero unexpectedly appeared in another person’s body with no idea what was going on and had to react accordingly. That is sort of how I felt tonight, when I suddenly found myself standing before an audience of thousands of concert-goers at the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s 60th Anniversary Concert with a conductor’s baton in my hand. Like the guy in Quantum Leap, all I could do was say “Oh boy” and start conducting.

» Continue reading “Sharing a ‘Stars & Stripes’ moment”

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The bombing of Darwin

Ceremony at the ANZAC Memorial in Darwin

From Ambassador Bleich:

Today is the 68th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin. I attended several moving ceremonies in Darwin this morning to honor the fallen soldiers and sailors of that attack.

» Continue reading “The bombing of Darwin”

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Our first visit to the Top End

Ambassador Bleich meets the Lord Mayor of Darwin

From Ambassador Bleich:

The first clue that February in Darwin is a little different were the warnings I received to bring extra shirts: “You’ll sweat through them the moment you leave the plane.” One politician pulled me aside to whisper, “Whatever you do, avoid blue shirts . . . perspiration stains.”

» Continue reading “Our first visit to the Top End”

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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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