Friday, November 26, 2010

In California, Carports That Can Generate Electricity

New York Times

SAN JOSE, Calif. — And California begat cars, and the cars begat asphalt parking lots. And the lots spawned electricity, transforming the hills and the deserts.

Black Friday 2010

Black Friday 2010
By: Ginger | November 26, 2010 | Category: Mone
GovGab: Your U. S. Government Blog

I actually have some Facebookfriends who have posted that they are finished with Christmas shopping already! Are they kidding? If I posted that sort of thing, my sisters would definitely be duct taping me to a chair, asking “What have you done with our sister?” and checking to see if there is an empty, already-hatched, alien pod in my back yard. My sisters consider my whole approach to the Christmas shopping process to be something akin to a “chicken with its head cut off.” I tend to put off Christmas shopping because I don’t enjoy it. I end up in a mad scramble (get it chicken… egg… scramble? OK, bad pun!) at the last minute, making purchases willy-nilly. If I would pay attention to the sales and do a little planning, I would pay a lot less for those last-minute purchases.

The Pacifier Gets an Upgrade: Apps and Gadgets to Soothe the Baby

New York Times

I ACQUIRED my first piece of baby-related technology two months ago, just a few hours after the birth of my son. My wife, baby and I were all still in the hospital, and the baby — who looked a bit less confused than my wife and I about this new state of affairs — seemed to need help getting to sleep. After a bit of trial and error, I found that he appeared to be comforted by a gentle, continuous shushing sound near his ear. But how long could I keep shushing? Wasn’t there some easier way?

Squinkies Maker Savors Demand for Holiday’s Hot Toy

New York Times

Midway through last year, as analysts tried to predict where the economy was going, the toy maker Bill Nichols decided he had the answer. He bet that the economy would still be so shaky this holiday season that a bargain-priced plastic toy would take off.

The Incredible Flying Nonagenarian

New York Times

On the third floor of the Montreal Chest Institute, at McGill University, Olga Kotelko stood before a treadmill in the center of a stuffy room that was filling up with people who had come just for her. They were there to run physical tests, or to extract blood from her earlobe, or just to observe and take notes. Kotelko removed her glasses. She wore white New Balance sneakers and black running tights, and over her silver hair, a plastic crown that held in place a breathing tube.

Description Is Prescription

New York Times

One hundred years ago, Leo Tolstoy lay dying at a train station in southern Russia. Journalists, acolytes and newsreel photographers gathered for the passing of the great prophet. Between 3:30 and 5:30 on that freezing November morning, Tolstoy’s wife stood on the porch outside his death chamber because his acolytes would not let her in. At one point she begged them to at least admit her into an anteroom so that the photographers would get the impression she was being allowed to see her husband on his final day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The National Archives Celebrates Thanksgiving

National Archives

Washington, DC…On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789, as an official holiday of "sincere and humble thanks." The nation then celebrated its first Thanksgiving under its new Constitution. On October 3, 1863, President Lincoln made the traditional Thanksgiving celebration a nationwide holiday to be commemorated each year on the fourth Thursday of November. In the midst of a bloody Civil War, President Lincoln issued a Presidential Proclamation in which he enumerated the blessings of the American people and called upon his countrymen to "set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise."

Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 25, 2010

U. S. Census Bureau

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation's first Thanksgiving. Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Virginia in 1619. The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 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.

Helpful Holiday Hints for Holiday Travelers

Transportation Security Administration

Every holiday travel season, TSA prepares its workforce of 50,000 Transportation Security Officers to ensure we provide a smooth holiday travel experience for travelers.Since this is during the busiest travel time of the year, TSA wants to remind passengers of the security procedures in place and help travelers be prepared for security, before they leave home. [Access link above for video]

10 Riskiest Places to Give Your Social Security Number

Here's how to lower the chances of your number falling into the wrong hands -- and what to do if it does.
By Cameron Huddleston

McAfee, the antivirus software company, recently released a list of the most dangerous places to give your Social Security number. Many of the places on the list might surprise you:

Enjoy all the trimmings without carving your Thanksgiving budget

By Consumer Reports

Assuming you’re not from a family of competitive eaters, this year’s Thanksgiving meal will cost you $43.47 to prepare, a 56-cent increase over the 2009 total. That’s according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) annual price survey of a classic Thanksgiving dinner-for-10, which includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, peas, cranberries, rolls with butter, relish, pumpkin pie and drinks.

Finding a Trustworthy Kennel to Board Your Pets

Better Business Bureau

As much as pet owners may want to take their furry or feathered friends with them where ever they go, sometimes you can’t take them with you and finding a kennel or pet care service you can trust is paramount. That’s why the Better Business Bureau has created a checklist to help pet owners choose a safe and reliable home-away-from-home for their pets.

20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web

By Google

TSA-blocking briefs keep your privates private

by Matt Hickey

I just had a harrowing incident on a flight from New Orleans to Seattle. Due to a small electrical fire, my plane had to be diverted to Memphis; it then took another day and a half to get home.

Cyber Monday: Beware the malware

by Elinor Mills

It's the Monday after Thanksgiving and you're sitting at your work computer suffering from food coma. Too bloated to get any real work done, you decide to do something that doesn't occupy too much of the brain--online Christmas shopping.