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July - December 2014


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Suggested Citation: Jung, B.C. (2014 - 2017). Betty C. Jung's 2014 Public Health Blog (July - December).
Web document: http://www.bettycjung.net/Blog2014.htm

January - June July - December

  • December 31, 2014 - Google - Year in Search 2014

  • December 30, 2014 - If Twitter and Instagram had been invented in the '80s...

  • December 29, 2014 - 2011 - Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve in Sarajevo

  • December 28, 2014 - Jingle Bells Techno - Synchronized Christmas Light Show to Music

  • December 26, 2014 - Train - Shake up Christmas

    The Best Holiday Videos Ever! Yahoo.com

  • December 25, 2014 - Merry Christmas!!!

  • December 24, 2014 - The Digital Story of the Nativity


    Band Aid 30


    Band Aid 1984

  • December 23, 2014 - Holdman Christmas Lights 2010 - Complete Show

  • December 22, 2014 - Best of Star Wars Music Christmas Lights Show 2014 - Featured on Great Christmas Light Fight!

  • December 21, 2014 - 6 BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAYS EVER!!!

  • December 20, 2014 - Coldplay - Christmas Lights

  • December 19, 2014 - Job Hunting Tips

    Jobhunting Tips
    Graphic source: http://www.slideshare.net/markrotoole/congratulations-graduate-eleven-reasons-why-i-will-never-hire-you?ref=http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/graduates-lose-out-jobs/

  • December 18, 2014 - Congratulations Graduate! Eleven Reasons Why I Will Never Hire You.

  • December 17, 2015 - Don't wait till you graduate to get a job, get one while you are in college!


    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    Finally, this, perhaps, is the most helpful pointer to come out from this report - do an internship while you are in college; or any kind of work experience you can put on your resume. It is a jungle out there, and to the victor belong the spoils. When you apply for a job requiring a college degree, what else can you bring to the table??

    So ends my coverage of this most important report. You can read the entire report by clicking on the link below. As for my advice? Look at what I highlighted in red. Best wishes on a productive career that you can be happy with!

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • December 16, 2014 - The Piano Guys - Angels We Have Heard on HIgh

  • December 15, 2014 - Only 10 Days till Christmas!

    Carlton dance
    Graphic source: Starbucks Web site
  • December 13, 2014 - Happy 12-13-14!

    121314 day
    Graphic source: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/weird-science/12-13-14-last-chance-calendar-coincidence-until-2103-n267281
  • December 12, 2014 - AIDS.gov: U.S. Gay/Bisexual Men are the most severely affected by HIV

    US AIDS stats - gay/bisexual men
    Graphic source: http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/global-statistics/"

    For more information see: US AIDS Statistics

  • December 11, 2014 - AIDS.gov: U.S. New Infections for the Most Affected Populations

    US AIDS stats - most affected
    Map source: http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/global-statistics/"

    For more information see: US AIDS Statistics

  • December 10, 2014 - WHO: Global AIDS Summary

    WHO global AIDS Summary
    Graphic source: http://www.who.int/hiv/data/epi_core_dec2014.png?ua=1

    For more information, see WHO AIDS data

  • December 9, 2014 - AIDS.gov: Global AIDS Statistics

    Global AIDS stats
    Map source: http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/global-statistics/"

    For more information see: Global AIDS Statistics

  • December 8, 2014 - The History of HIV and Current Epidemic

  • December 5, 2014 - AIDS.gov - Treatment Cascade

  • December 4, 2014 - "Patient Zero" Randy Shilts Interview, 1987 - HIV AIDS

  • December 3, 2014 - 1982 - 1992 News Clips On HIV/AIDS (The First Ten Years)

  • December 2, 2014 - A Short History of HIV AIDS

  • December 1, 2014 - December 1st is World AIDS Day 2014

  • November 30, 2014 - CDC's Diabetes Snapshot

    worldwide diabetes
    Graphic Source: CDC E-mail

    For more information, see Diabetes Resources on the Internet

  • November 28, 2014 - CDC's Diabetes Snapshot

    CDC Diabetes Snapshot
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/media/images/dpk/2014/dpk-diabetes-report/01-infographic1.jpg

    For more information, see Diabetes Resources on the Internet

  • November 27, 2014 - Happy Thanksgiving

    Gozzi Turkeys 2012
    Photo: BCJung, Gozzi Farm Turkeys, CT (11/16/12)
    Gratitude
    Graphic source: http://comments.funmunch.com/gratitude-quotes-1.html
    Gratitude
    Graphic source: http://inspirationboost.com/category/all-quotes/attitude-quotes/page/2
  • November 26, 2014 - Global Diabetes Statistics

    Global Diabetes Statistics
    Graphic source: http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2013-11-14-peopleinworldwd.png
  • November 25, 2014 - November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

    November is Diabetes Awareness Month
    Graphic source: http://flanagansmiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/diabetes_awareness_month_ribbon_i2_5_button-d145189312929790933aei_500.jpg

  • November 24, 2015 - Public Health Thank You Day

    2014 Public Health Thank You Day
    Graphic source:http://www.researchamerica.org/uploads/PHTDbannerblue.jpg

    Gratitude is always a good thing because it helps us to keep Life in perspective. We take so many things for granted that we don't appreciate what we have until we don't have it anymore.

    I like Research!America's annual "Public Health Thank You Day" because it puts what is my greatest love, Public Health, on the forefront, even if it's just for one day a year.

    Here's a great video that shows the scope of Public Health.

    A re-posting of my 2009 blog entry: Here are some of things we can be thankful for, with many thanks to all the Public Health Professionals, at all levels of practice, who have dedicated their careers to protecting the Public's Health in a variety of ways...

    • Waking up this morning from clean bedding that is not contaminated by pathogens;
    • Using a bathroom so human waste is disposed of properly;
    • Being able to drink water from the faucet without getting some disease;
    • Being able to eat breakfast without getting some disease;
    • Dropping off your kids in schools knowing they won't get sick because everyone got their immunizations;
    • Driving to work and not being exposed to harmful emissions from motor vehicles;
    • Going to work and spending the day in an environment that won't make you sick;
    • Going to lunch and eating in a restaurant that's been inspected;
    • Going for a walk and not being exposed to second-hand smoke or rotting garbage;
    • Getting a haircut and knowing those cutting your hair have been licensed;
    • Going to see health care professionals and knowing they are competent because they are licensed to practice;
    • Going to any health care facility and knowing they are licensed;
    • Going to bed and feeling safe because disaster preparedness exists at every level of government.
  • November 21, 2014 - The Best Educational Videos about the Health Effects of Ebola

  • November 20, 2014 - November 20, 2014 Great American Smokeout
    2014 Great American Smokeout
    Graphic source: http://www.southernct.edu/tobaccofree/
  • November 20, 2014 - The Best Ebola Outbreak Maps - World Health Organization

    WHO 10/20/14 Ebola Outbreak Map
    http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/photos/geographic-map-29-oct-2014.png?ua=1
    Here the most recent map published by the World Health Organization showing the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa.

    WHO has an extensive collection of maps at Ebola outbreak response: maps

  • November 19, 2014 - The Best Ebola Risk Map - World Health Organization

    Ebola Risk Map
    Map source & Enlarged Map WHO Ebola Risk Map
    Since we now know that fruit bats are the reservoirs for the ebola virus, and that bats are a source of bushmeat, we can see the extent to which the presence of these bats has on the spread of EVD. Scary, but a very important visualization of what the international community has to do to prevent the spread of EVD.
  • November 18, 2014 - Best international news coverage of Ebola (EVD) Issues - BBC.com

    BBC
    Graphic source: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/73685000/jpg/_73685621_73685620.jpg
    I think the BBC.com is the best source for covering international news in an easily assessible format. Check out BBC News Africa to see how you can get the news for Africa all on one page, and how you can navigate and find news on any place on Earth!

    While BBC.com was not the first to assert that bats were the source of the Ebola virus, it did provide a comprehensive report of why and how fruit bats were reservoirs of the virus, and as bushmeat were probably the cause for the spread of EVD among human populations. See Ebola: Is bushmeat behind the outbreak? 10/18/2014.

  • November 17, 2014 - Best display of Ebola (EVD) information - Vox.com's "21 maps and charts that explain Ebola" Part II

    Ebola Tweets, Time
    Map source: http://www.vox.com/2014/10/21/7020519/Ebola-facts-maps-charts-graphics
    Here is another graphic from this collection that I found to be quite interesting.

    "The world has woken up to Ebola. This map of tweets mentioning "Ebola" shows that, while the virus has been ravaging West African countries for months, global attention, particularly in the US, only dramatically picked up once the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the US on September 30." (Source: http://www.vox.com/2014/10/21/7020519/Ebola-facts-maps-charts-graphics)

  • November 14, 2014 - Best display of Ebola (EVD) information - Vox.com's "21 maps and charts that explain Ebola"

    Microbe Scope
    Graphic source: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/the-microbescope/
    "21 maps and charts that explain Ebola" provides the best collection of visuals that gives you an overview of why Ebola has been such a hot issue all month. Imagine each map or chart being equivalent to 1000 words, and how much less reading you have to do to get "the big picture."

    This is one of my favorites from this collection. This "Microbe-scope" graphic puts Ebola into the context of various other pathogens in relation to deadliness and contagiousness. While Ebola is deadlier than many diseases, it is not as deadly as untreated HIV.

  • November 13, 2014 - Best visual summary of Ebola (EVD) information - Goinvo.com's "Understanding Ebola: A Visual Guide"

    Ebola
    Graphic source: http://www.goinvo.com/features/ebola/
    Goinvo.com's "Understanding Ebola: A Visual Guide" provides the best overview of the Ebola epidemic as it is happening in graphical displays that are visually pleasing and informative at the same time. Its navigational bar lists the following areas:
    • 1. Intro to Ebola
    • 2. Cases by Year
    • 3. Transmission
    • 4. Symptoms
    • 5. Diagnosis and Treatment
    • 6. Prevention and Control
    • 7. Potential Spread
    • 8. References

    Here is a graphic from its "Symptoms of Infection" section.

    Best of all, you can download a PDF of the 8 pages at Understanding Ebola

  • November 12, 2014 - Best source of technical Ebola (EVD) information - USAMRID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook

    USAMRID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook
    Graphic source:http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41zB856fRSL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
    The USAMRID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook, 2011 is the best online source for providing you with an easy-to-understand technical overview of EVD as a biological agent capable of causing casualties. Because of its high fatality rate, which varies from one geographical location to another, overall, over half who get infected die. See pages 108 - 113.
  • November 11, 2014 - Best American Source for Ebola (EVD) Information - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov)


    Graphic source: CDC.gov (Click on graphic to get to the CDC Ebola Site)
    The month of October has seen how a public health issue spiraled out of control on an international scale. What started as a disease outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in neighboring West African countries began to spread beyond their borders affecting much greater numbers than seen in previous EVD outbreaks. Lack of basic sanitation, missing public health infra-structures, inadequate health care systems, miscommunication, local cultural practices and low literacy of the populations affected all played critical roles in its initial spread.

    What governments outside of the African continent did not foresee was the potential for EVD to spread into their borders. So, lack of appropriate preparation of health care systems to treat those affected became evident as hardly used prevention guidelines and protocols never tested proved to be inadequate to address the seriousness of EVD. Systems breakdown occur when people follow the letter of the law without necessarily understanding the spirit of the law. In this case, everyone can be doing the "right thing," and still things go wrong.

    As the outbreak turned into an "epidemic" that became a "crisis" and close to a "public panic," I have tried my best to get the most credible news about EVD online via Twitter. Twitter is the best way to get the word out as quickly as possible. And, people are looking for Ebola information! On October 15, 2014 @bettycjung received 4,645 impressions (or, hits), which is simply amazing!

    So, I did my best during October to get the best information out there so we can all act accordingly to protect others and ourselves. In the process I did a lot of online research and learned a lot! So, for the next few days I am going to share what I found to be my favorite sources for EVD information.

    First, the best source for Ebola information in the U.S. is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Ebola (EVD) Webpages. Despite some media missteps, the CDC has done a good job of getting out information as quickly as possible in language that is understandable by everyone. It updated old protocols and came out with new ones in record time, thus, providing the most factual science-based information and guidance available in a timely manner.

    An example of this is the recent release of its Facts about Bushmeat and Ebola issued on October 7th. I have never heard of bushmeat until this month, as I am sure most Americans have not. Read this fact sheet and learn something new.

  • November 10, 2014 - @bettycjung's Top 10 Tweets, as of November 9, 2014

    Tweet text Date Impressions
    NASA: 1969 1st Moon Landing Unseen Footage http://t.co/g83oA33luu http://t.co/9DDA3fcqEt via @bettycjung 7/20/14 887
    25 Hidden Messages In Famous Logos: http://t.co/0jLKNNO7Sn via @YouTube http://t.co/UKwyJy3sXI (Very cool!) 7/22/14 823
    Greetings from Seattle's Science Center's SPY: The Secret World Of Espionage: http://t.co/FfyCqRP5aq via @YouTube 7/25/14 819
    Top 10 keyboard shortcuts you didn't know about: http://t.co/IPVA3KyHEX via @YouTube http://t.co/TYTUJsc9ud 7/18/14 817
    Volkswagen - Eyes on the road: http://t.co/AOIT0iitw7 via @YouTube http://t.co/lHjOn95pva http://t.co/TYTUJsc9ud 8/11/14 688
    "A Brief Look at Texting and the Internet in Film" on Vimeo http://t.co/iOG8m7Ut5B #Vimeo #filmanalysis #filmmaking http://t.co/HJ8AIx8cVB 8/17/14 650
    CDC: Detailed Hospital Checklist for Ebola Preparedness http://t.co/B5OgI6mXF9 http://t.co/SELT0nNGZz via @bettycjung 10/13/14 612
    Leading Millennials: How to Motivate and Engage the Future Workforce: http://t.co/GnxzcZqp2Y via @YouTube http://t.co/l8KZxEWGwb 8/29/14 578
    Rewind the Future: http://t.co/bDFZHynjjj via @YouTube http://t.co/zsD3BLXgld 9/2/14 548
    Depression, bipolar, schizophrenia: do you know the sxs? http://t.co/1p4hDKqXrC http://t.co/SNskr1itYS 10/4/14 531
  • November 7, 2014 - Tweeting Ebola Updates and Information

    @bettycjung October Tweets Thanks to Twitter's Analytics I am now able to track how many immpressions my tweets are getting. Impressions are like hits to a webpage. Here is a graphic from the past 28 days.

    As you can see I had a big day on October 15th. My tweets got 4,645 impressions on that day alone. That was the day when the Ebola issue received national attention because one of the nurses taking care of the index case, Duncan, boarded a commercial plane with a low-grade temperature. Nevertheless, it was an elevated temperature but not high enough for the CDC to say don't fly. See CNN 10/16/2014 report, "Ebola patient flew on commercial jet; why didn't anyone stop her?"

    My most interesting experience from this was how people are using Twitter to stay informed of what was going on. It was just astounding how many people were reading my tweets as I was monitoring the Internet about these developing events. I decided to use Twitter to get the word out ASAP, and it's almost instanteous how fast tweets are posted!

  • November 6, 2014 - The Disease Course of Ebola

  • November 5, 2014 - Ebola is a Zoonotic Disease

  • November 4, 2014 - Zoonotic Diseases 101

  • November 3, 2014 - Zoonoses as the cause of infectious diseases

    Infectious Diseases since 1980
    This is a global map plots cumulative outbreaks of human infectious disease since 1980. Darker shaded nations had more outbreaks. Credit: Brown University
    Map source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141028214049.htm
    Well, I have been micro-blogging via Tweeter @bettycjung keeping up with the growing interest in the Ebola epidemic. There is just way too much information out there that it can be confusing to the average Net user. While I was micro-blogging, I was building up my Web site's infectious disease page with all this Ebola information in an organized manner. So, if you are looking for Ebola information, then see Ebola Information

    So, between school (I have great engaged students this semester), getting mid-term grades out and the micro-blogging, AND volunteering at the Marine Corps Marathon in DC on 10/24, AND attending a medical conference in Philly 10/31 - 11/1, I fell a little bit behind with this blog. So, the posts I have been working on have been delayed till this week. Oh well, Life happens.

    According to Sciencedaily.com's "Global infection outbreaks, unique diseases rising since 1980"

    • "Enterovirus. Tuberculosis. Cholera. Measles. Various strains of the flu and hepatitis. The number of infectious disease outbreaks and the number of unique illnesses causing them appear to be increasing around the globe, according to a new Brown University analysis of more than 12,000 outbreaks affecting 44 million people worldwide over the last 33 years."
    • On a per capita basis, the impact of the outbreaks is declining. In other words, even though the globe faces more outbreaks from more pathogens, they tend to affect a shrinking proportion of the world population.
    • "We live in a world where human populations are increasingly interconnected with one another and with animals -- both wildlife and livestock -- that host novel pathogens,"...."These connections create opportunities for pathogens to switch hosts, cross borders, and evolve new strains that are stronger than what we have seen in the past."
    • Sure enough, animals are the major source of what ails us. The analysis revealed that 65 percent of diseases in the dataset were "zoonoses," meaning they come from animals. Ebola, for instance, may have come from bats. In all, such diseases caused 56 percent of outbreaks since 1980.
    • (Data from Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Online Network (GIDEON)- Ramachandran's server) The raw numbers revealed a steep rise in the number of outbreaks globally.
    • "GIDEON defines an outbreak as an increase in the number of cases of disease beyond what would normally be expected in a defined community, geographical area, or season," Ramachandran said.
    • Between 1980 and 1985 there were well under 1,000 such instances, but for 2005-10, the number surged to nearly 3,000....Even after controlling for those factors, the numbers of outbreaks and unique causes rose significantly over 33 years. They also included latitude because previous studies had shown there are more infectious diseases in lower latitudes.
    • The infection 'Top 10'
    • For zoonoses in 2000-10, salmonella topped the list followed by e. coli, influenza A, hepatitis A, anthrax, dengue fever, shigellosis, tuberculosis, chikingunya, and trichinosis. Notably, chikingunya, a painful mosquito-borne virus that has afflicted much of the Caribbean and Central America, was a newcomer in the decade. So was influenza A. Meanwhile, diseases that were top 10 scourges of earlier decades dropped off the list: campylobacterosis, cryptosporidiosis, and hepatitis E.
    • Among human-specific infections, gastroenteritis led the 2000s list, trailed by cholera, measles, enterovirus, bacterial meningitis, legionellosis, typhoid and enteric fever, rotavirus, mumps, and pertussis (whooping cough). Notable "newcomers" were mumps and pertussis, but adenoviruses and rubella had fallen out of their former prominence.
    • "Our data suggest that, despite an increase in overall outbreaks, global improvements in prevention, early detection, control, and treatment are becoming more effective at reducing the number of people infected," the authors wrote."
    • Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141028214049.htm, based on K. F. Smith, M. Goldberg, S. Rosenthal, L. Carlson, J. Chen, C. Chen, S. Ramachandran. Global rise in human infectious disease outbreaks. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 2014; 11 (101): 20140950 DOI: 10.1098/%u200Brsif.2014.0950

    See Infectious Disease Information

  • October 24, 2014 - PHENOM
    Public Health Expertise Network of Mentors (PHENOM)

    For "National Health Education Week, which ends today, October 24th is set aside for "Mentoring the next generation of health educators." I invite you to learn more about the Public Health profession by talking to those who are already working in the field.

    The Public Health Expert Network of Mentors (PHENOM) has been around since 1993. There are 65 public health professionals who have volunteered to be listed in this year's 2014-2015 PHENOM Directory and are available to ask any questions you may have about working in the field of Public Health.

    There is also a Webpage of 3 listings in which you can find a mentor by job title, geographic location, or work setting. Feel free to contact any of them by E-mail to set up a mutually convenient time to talk about what they do in the field. Many of them are certified as either a Certified Health Education Specialist, or a Master Certified Health Education Specialist.

    If you want to ask a question about public health careers, or the field of Public Health, you can sent your question at: Phenom User Request. I will send your question out to the mentors and post any responses they send back on the PHENOM Blog.

    Feel free to contact me at any time about PHENOM: phenomws@yahoo.com

  • October 23, 2014 - The Ebola Virus - the nature of the beast

    WHO CDC Ebola spread
    Graphicsource: http://ebolaviruspictures.blogspot.com/2014/09/how-is-ebola-virus-spread.html
    > I have been doing a lot of research about Ebola because I really want to understand what we are up against. A basic understanding about how viruses work is really helpful. According to CBCNews (Canada's national public radio) "FAQ: How viruses mutate" :
    • "This ability to mutate from one host to the next, or one species to the next, is one of the traits that has given the influenza virus a long life and made it both nearly impossible to eradicate and potentially dangerous to animals and humans alike.
    • Why do viruses mutate? To survive: unlike plants, animals and other organisms, the only way a virus can reproduce is through a host cell, which it does by attaching its surface proteins to the cell's membrane and injecting its genetic material into the cell. This genetic material, either DNA or RNA.
    • But host organisms are not passive observers to this process, and over time a human's or pig's immune system can learn from these encounters and develop strategies to prevent reinfection. The next time the same virus comes to a host cell, it may find that it is no longer able to attach to the cell's surface membrane. So to survive, viruses must adapt or evolve, changing its surface proteins enough to trick the host cell into allowing it to attach
    • Viruses that replicate through DNA use the same mechanisms the host cell uses to create its own DNA, a process that includes a kind of "proof-reading" of the genetic material being copied. This means mutations occur more slowly.
    • RNA viruses, on the other hand, replicate without a similar proofreading activity, and as a result, errors in the genetic coding occur. Its these errors that allow RNA viruses, such as influenza and HIV, to mutate rapidly from host cell to host cell, and make it difficult for vaccines and natural immunities to keep up and prepare for new strains of the virus."
    • Source:http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/faq-how-viruses-mutate-1.780051 How Ebola Spreads

    Ebola is an RNA virus

    For more information, see Ebola

  • October 22, 2014 - The Ebola Virus and Bushmeat Connection

    Bushmeat preferences
    Chart source: http://conservationmagazine.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/bushmeat_chart.gif
    Perhaps, one of the more surprising things I have learned while I was researching the Ebola epidemic was the whole issue of bushmeat. According to the BBC, "Bushmeat or wild animal meat covers any animal that is killed for consumption, principally chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats and monkeys. It can even include porcupines, rats and snakes." (Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29604204)

    I have never heard of bushmeat until I came across BBC's story,"Ebola: Is bushmeat behind the outbreak?" (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29604204). BBC notes that the spread of the Ebola infection, during this current epidemic, can be traced to a village where a child died from an Ebola infection supposedly from eating batmeat. References in the article show that bats, especially fruit bats, have been long known to be a reservoir for the Ebola virus to as far back as 2005!(http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7068/full/438575a.html)

    Efforts to ban bushmeat have been stymied, as it provides up to 80% of protein and fat needed in rural diets. If current hunting levels continue, many species will be extinct in less than 50 years. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7617103.stm). Not to mention the real issue of infecting humans with the Ebola virus from eating animals that harbor the virus.

    So, the issue of eradicating the Ebola virus is no easy matter when it may require many Africans to change what they hunt and eat, when it is their preferred food choice. (http://conservationmagazine.org/2008/07/tastes-like-chicken/)

    .

  • October 21, 2014 - USAMRID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook

    USAMRID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook
    Graphic source:http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41zB856fRSL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
    Since October 5th, I have been keeping myself very busy trying to keep on top of the Ebola epidemic. And, my tweets on the subject have received thousands of impressions (or, hits). One resource I can across is the USAMRID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook

    For those who want to understand what it takes to deal with the Ebola epidemic, this book is for you! This is a good example of what a handbook is supposed to do for you, and that is to provide you with all the information you need. You should be able to understand how the US Army deals with health situations of any kind. Ebola is one type of virus that causes hemorrhagic fevers. An infected person will basically bleed to death as the bodily organs shut down. Awful, awful.

  • October 20, 2014 - October 20 - 24 is National Health Education Week

    National Health Education Week
    Graphic source: SOPHE E-mail
    The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) has released an excellent resource, National Health Education Toolkit that provides a wealth of information of what Health Education is about, from professionals who work as health educators, the certification that can obtain to acknowledge their expertise and to methods use to provide public health education. Make sure you download the document as a useful reference.

    For additional information, see SOPHE's National Health Education Week

  • October 17, 2014 - October is Health Literacy Month

    Health Literacy Month
    Graphic source: http://www.healthliteracymonth.org/
    Be a Health Literacy Hero! I am! For Health Literacy Month, the Healthliteracymonth.org is accepting stories from any person who or organization that addresses health literacy in their work. There is a listing of those who have submitted their stories.

    Read my story of how I am teaching my students to be saavy about the health information that is found outline!

    If you are interested, check out my

    Handbook

    Health Literacy umbrella
    Graphic source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Hq59B0h9xMw/UHSApEKUMeI/AAAAAAAAL8U/7aMe2etDm1I/s1600/healthliteracyumbrellasmaller1.jpg
  • October 16, 2014 - October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)

    National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
    Graphic source: http://www.jbsa.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/ photos/2012/10/121011-F-JB669-001.jpg

    For more information, see Domestic Violence Resources

  • October 15, 2014 - October 15th is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

    National Latino AIDS Awareness Day Badge From the 10/9/14 CDC's NCHHSTP Newsroom: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new analysis showing that fewer than half of Latinos diagnosed with HIV are receiving the treatment and care they need. HIV treatment is critically important because it helps people live longer, healthier lives and can prevent transmission of the virus to partners.
    Key Findings:
    In 2010, among Latinos who had been diagnosed with HIV:
    • Just over half (54 percent) were retained in care
    • Fewer than half (44 percent) were prescribed antiretroviral therapy Just 37 percent achieved viral suppression – meaning the virus is under control at a level that helps keep people healthy and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others
    • HIV remains a major public health concern in Latino communities. Latinos bear a disproportionate burden of HIV in the United States, representing 17 percent of the population but 21 percent of new HIV infections.
    • CDC is committed to a high-impact prevention approach to ensure resources are directed to activities that will have the greatest impact on reducing HIV among hard-hit populations, including Latinos.

    For more information, see National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, Latino Commission on AIDS and Minority Health - Hispanic Americans

  • October 14, 2014 - October 11 - The International Day of the Girl Child

    For more information, see Unicef's International Day of the Girl Child and Day of the Girl: Improving Girls' Health and Safety

  • October 11, 2014 - October 5 - 11 was Mental Health Awareness Week

    Mental Health Awareness Week
    Graphic source: http://mrmilitantnegro.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bzqbwuecuaa7aoo.jpg?w=468&h=265

    For more information, see Mental Health Resource

  • October 10, 2014 - October 10 is World Mental Health Day

    World Mental Health Day 2014
    Graphic source: http://projects.nhsonline.org/images/email-campaigns/world-mental-health4FB.jpg
    World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

    The theme for 2014 is “Living with schizophrenia”. The focus of the World Health Organization will be living a healthy life with schizophrenia.

    For more information, see WHO's World Mental Health Day

  • October 9, 2014 - What Employers Are Looking for in College Graduates

    Employer Expectations
    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    So, I am now coming to a close on this mini-series of analyzing the findings of Chronicle.com's "The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions" (December 2012). During the past two weeks I have highlighted those slides I thought were of the utmost importance to college students today, and for those who actually pay for the tuition, whether it is the students themselves, or the parents who work endlessly to pay the bills.

    Today's slide is one of the summary slides that highlights the real message from the report, and that is, what are the employers looking for in a college graduate? Basically, see the section highlighted in yellow. It's actually a simple message, and that is, hone those writing and oral communication skills, learn to effectively multi-task, be adaptable and learn to make decisions and problem-solve.

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • October 8, 2014 - Regardless of what industry you would like to work in, they will check for your online presence!


    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    This particular slide shows that regardless of which industry you decide to look for a job in, hiring personnel will check out your online presence. So, be careful about what you post online.

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • October 7, 2014 - Employers in 6 states cannot ask for your social media password!


    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    If you look for a job in California, Illinois, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey, you are in luck! Potential employers cannot ask for your Facebook or Twitter passwords. (http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/can-a-prospective-employer-ask-for-your-facebook-password/9366)

    Of course, that leaves the 44 states in which there are no laws that say potential employers can't do this. So, if you are going to put anything online, just take it for granted that it's an open book. And, if you don't feel like having an open book online, for everyone to see, then don't put that stuff online!

    Here you see that if potential employers are going to search for you, they are going to check LinkedIn, Facebook, other social media and do some googling to see what kind of surprises they can come up with. Don't let them find surprises, especially surprises that even surprise you! I have heard enough horror stories of people who "want my life back" because their online reputation have been electronically damaged.

    Even though you cannot be anonymous online if you want to find a decent job these days, there are, unfortunately, cretins that hide out on the fringes of the Internet wreaking havoc that range from cyber-bullying to identity theft. So, it never hurts to be a little wary of how you get around online and what you do while you are there.

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • October 6, 2014 - October 6 is Child Health Day

    Child Health Day
    Graphic source:http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/childhealthday/

    For more information, see HRSA Maternal and Child Health Page

  • October 3, 2014 - October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

    Cyber Security Awareness Month
    Graphic source: http://www.identogo.com/portals/1/Cyber%20Security%20Awareness%20Month.png

    For more information, see Internet Information

  • October 2, 2014 - October is Bully Prevention Month

    For more information, see Stopbullying.gov and Kids Health

  • October 1, 2014 - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
    Graphic source: http://3sqwx948hrd81g4i2f3jiqzdn8z.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/comicsgopinkheader.jpg

    For more information, see CDC's September is National Cholesterol Education Month and Breast Cancer Information

  • September 30, 2014 - September is National Cholesterol Education Month

    September is Cholesterol Education Month
    Map source: http://up4health.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/fs_cholesterol.jpg

    For more information, see CDC's September is National Cholesterol Education Month and Cardiovascular Disease Information

  • September 29, 2014 - World Heart Day — September 29, 2014

    For more information, see Cardiovascular Disease

  • September 26, 2014 - If you look for a job, potential employers will most likely look for you online!


    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    Let's face it, the Internet is no place to keep a secret. Once any information about you is out there, it's out there, for better or worse. So, it's important to think before you post, as well as be aware of what is out there about you.

    This slide shows that 42 to 64% of hiring managers do their intel online. Google has just made it so simple to search anyone, so why not? Companies save so much money on background checks when they can easily do it from the comfort of their desktop.

    The flip side of this is, they better be able to find "something" about you online, and just hope that it's nothing but good things. Basically, this means you have to diligently maintain a positive presence online that even your grandmother would be proud of. Also, you are not being vain when you google yourself, you are just being proactive. Better you find the shameful and embarrassing things "someone" posted about you and clean it up than being confronted by the "What was this about?" question. Online reputation has become a big cottage industry, and you could just save yourself a lot grief by being a bit more discriminating about what you post. What happens "wherever" should stay "wherever," not online.

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • September 25, 2014 - How different industries value work experience


    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    Work experience is always important. The longer you are away from your college education, the more work experience counts toward career development. While it is understandable why graduate and certificate program enrollment is highly valued for the Education industry, it is very interesting that volunteer work in a community organization or nonprofit would count so highly as well.

    Educational institutions are into being part of the communities they are geographically located in because they want to foster good will while recruiting for students to attend their institutions. Those who know how to cultivate community relationships can cement the ties universities would like to have with potential sponsors and donors as well.

    Colleges and universities like to see themselves as the cultural center for the community, offering programs and events that draw attention to the good works they do to enhance the community they are part of. Most schools aggressively recruit for the best athletes to play on their school teams, generating positive press that works towards recruiting good students who want to be part of such illustrious institutions of learning. They also offer academic expertise through the faculty that teach there, some who may be leaders in their field of study, bringing in research monies and professional acclaim, thus, elevating their prestige.

    Thus, those with community-based work experience know all about fundraising, coalition building, generating good will and cultivating donors that will bring in funding so the good work can continue.

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • September 24, 2014 - Study hard, but get some job experience while attending college


    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    What does this slide show? The importance of staying "productively" busy while attending college. While paid internships are nice, such opportunities are few and far between. Regardless of whether you are paid or not, getting work experience is key to making a good impression on those looking to hire you.

    Internships in a related field means "work experience" in the field you want to eventually get a full time job in. And, because "someone" gave you a chance (even if it's unpaid), hiring managers would be more willing to give you a chance, too, that is, provided you did a good job with your internship and was smart enough to cultivate a good relationship with whoever was supervising you. If you impressed your internship supervisor enough to vouch for you, so much the better.

    Good references give you leverage, but it's another positive impact factor in the big equation about whether or not you are worth it for them to hire you. But, please remember that references are "earned advantages" , as I call them. Don't ever put down a person's name as a reference without first asking for the privilege to do so. Remember, no one is ever obligated to give you a good reference. You have to earn that through diligent work.

    Note the emphasis on this slide is about impact. While working in a job unrelated to your career path has only a slight positive impact, it basically has no impact, which is fine, because that's better than a negative impact, provided there are no other factors to consider.

    Continuing your education has a positive impact because it shows that you are good at academic work and that you are ambitious in learning more content and skills that would benefit a potential employer. The fact that you have been accepted to a graduate program implies you did well enough in your undergraduate studies to get into a graduate program. Being enrolled in a certification program shows you are serious about your career aspirations. Also, keep in mind that employers won't have to spend the money to provide additional training if you are coming on board with all those advanced skills and knowledge!

    Perhaps, the most important point from this slide is not working has a negative impact, unless of course you have a GPA of 4.0, which would indicate your total commitment to excelling academically. If you have less than stellar grades while not working, be prepared to justify your grades to a potential employer who only has your academic transcript to go by. How would you answer the question about all those Cs and Ds when you are asked, "Did you work hard for these grades?"

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • September 23, 2014 - Best College Majors, by Industry


    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    Here is some useful information about choosing a college major. Your major may be a prime consideration for those industries you may want to work for in the future. While it seems that a "business" or "information technology" major can put you in the running for many industries (everyone has to run a business and everyone uses computers), they won't beat out those with a desirable major for a particular industry, thus giving these people a competitive edge.

    For example, if you are thinking of working in the health care industry, majoring in nursing is smart because it is such a desirable area of expertise in the eyes of those who hire in this area. Most companies involved with providing health care need nurses to provide the daily care their customers (patients) need. It's a simple as that. So, you should explore what you really enjoy doing and find a major that is compatible with what you won't ever get tired of doing, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, etc.

    So, this is the way you should view this slide when planning your college studies. And, it is always important to keep in mind that the occupational outlook can change rather rapidly. For example, in the field of technology, who would have ever thought that a degree in information systems would be considered as one with the worst employment outlook in 2013? But, it was voted #1 (http://education.yahoo.net/articles/worst_majors_for_employment.htm) with an unemployment rate of 14.7%!

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • September 22, 2014 - College reputation counts


    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    Perhaps the best news from this particular slide is going to a public college will not compromise your chances of getting the job you want. Public colleges have their advantages, one of which because they are usually large institutions they can provide diversity at many levels, from student population to course offerings. You get a chance to interact with more people, exposing you to many diverse views and perspectives, all good for helping you to develop tolerance of differences and learning to value the positives in those differences.

    Some may find such an environment intimidating and may choose smaller institutions in which they can get more personal attention, which may be harder at massively large colleges. Nevertheless, you should be able to get a good education at any institution that is appropriately accredited. You can check to see if the colleges you are considering is listed in: The U.S. Department of Education's Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. For certain professions, it is essential that you graduate from an accredited program or you may not be able to sit for certifying and/or licensing exams, which are essential for you to practice in that area.

    What is not reflected in this slide is the finding that going to an institution that is widely known is better than going to one that no one has ever heard of. Given how mobile we are these days, most public colleges are known outside of their states and regional areas, and that can be a major plus. There is a higher likelihood that you may run into a fellow alum from a larger college than you would if you attended smaller institutions. It's like being a New Yorker. No matter where you go around the world, you will most likely run into someone who either has lived and/or worked there. Instant camaraderie!

    In any institution of higher learning students should take advantage of their time there to connect with as many people as they can. This can happen while attending classes to working on school, extracurricular and volunteer activities. Good relationships during college can pay off in the long run. This study found that those in position to hire will consider employee referrals. This means that someone you know well, that you have taken the time to get to know, may some day provide you with an opportunity to get hired.

    For example, if you have worked on class projects with others, you really do get to know what they are like. I can tell you that in such situations no one likes slackers. And, that is truer in the work environment. You have to carry your own weight and be willing to help others when the need arises. If you are not into team work and collaboration you may have a hard time finding a good fit with many work environments existing today.

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • September 19, 2014 - Does size matter?


    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    When it comes to seeking employment, size does matter, that is, company size. What kind of work environment makes you feel most comfortable in? Where do you fit in? Employers are interested in finding people who can fit in to what is already there. After all, everyone who is already working there has been handpicked to work there. Employers have a certain workforce sense that works best for them. So, you can understand why they want to keep things as they are, on a smooth and even keel. They don't want to play referee among feuding workers because, after all, they have a company to run, and manager don't exactly enjoy being playground monitors.

    Especially in this era of teamwork and collaboration, being flexible and adaptable are skills worth learning and practicing. Such skills are highly prized in smaller companies that value the "family-oriented" (or, mom and pop enterprises) atmosphere. If you have siblings you are already way ahead of the game, especially, if you all survived to adulthood without severe emotional injuries. Remember, all companies started out small.

    Researchers actually looked at what companies are looking for, by company size. Naturally, larger companies may be able to pay you more, but then they expect a lot more from you, thus, internships and working while in college count highly with them. This is not to say that small companies are not as picky as larger companies.

    But, small companies can offer a bit more freedom about job responsibilities that larger companies cannot. This is why they would value volunteer experience and extracurricular activities more than larger companies. Those who volunteer and participate in extracurricular activities are a bit more idealistic and social than those who don't participate.

    These are people who get involved, even though they are not paid, in activities and causes they believe in, in which they feel that their input and energy can make a difference in a cause, in the lives of others, or move something forward for the greater good. These are wonderful attributes to have that smaller companies want, and desperately need. They want creative people with fire in their bellies, willing to put in the time and energy to grow and move their company forward, doing whatever needs to be done! Good work ethic does not always come with a paycheck, but being productive has its own rewards.

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • September 18, 2014 - Essential skills: Time and stress management

    Work experience, no matter what your college major is
    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    An analysis was performed looking at the various industries one could work in. Regardless of what industry you would like to work in, doing an internship relevant to where you eventually want to work is vital. Especially for those interested in media/communication, it is absolutely essential. But, then again, internships are at the top of every industry studied, followed by work during college.

    Why are they looking for graduates who did an internship and/or worked while in college? What they are looking for are qualities that make for good workers, people who can manage their time and their stress.

    What employers are interested in is how well you can handle multiple tasks. Only those with good time management can handle multiple tasks and do them well. This means knowing how to prioritize your time. It means being able to distinguish what is a want and what is a need. Good time management means First, do what needs to be done, and then doing what you want to do - if there is enough time. Ask anyone who is good at procrasinating. They know exactly what they need to do, but they don't want to!

    So, if you are stressing out about how you can possibly do everything you "have to" do, it may be more of knowing what's a need and what's a want, rather than getting frazzled over trying to make a decision to do it all. Yes, stress management is a definite skill you need to learn while in college, if you haven't done so already. Of course, if you manage your time well (prioritizing what absolutely needs to be done first, etc.), your stress will most likely decrease as well.

    For more info, see Stress Management

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • September 17, 2014 - The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions

    Working while attending college
    Graphic & Citation source: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf
    In December 2012, Chronicle.com released the report,"The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions." Unfortunately, this report did not get the press I thought it should have gotten. I thought it was a well-done report that raised critical issues about what a college education should achieve.

    Economic factors play a critical role as to whether or not a person receives a college education. As an educator, I contend that if you can do the work required to earn a college degree you should go for it. This is simply because I believe in the value of getting as good an education you are capable of.

    A college education is expensive, so it really becomes a matter of whether or not it is worth the expense and time you would invest in this 4-year (or more) activity. From a practical standpoint, you are hoping that it is an investment that's going to pay off in the long run. In my recent postings, August 3-13, I have presented statistics indicating that earning a bachelor's degree does pay off, over the course of a lifetime. But, given the bad economy, you are probably wondering, does it really, really pay off?

    Well, what I like about this particular report is that it is based on a survey of those who do the hiring - managers, human resources personnel, executives. These are basically the people who can really tell you what the value of a college education is in the job market. Their feedback is vital because they are the ones who are investing their company's money in you when they hire you. So, do they think a college education is important? What are they looking for in those they hire? You will find out, and you will know exactly what you need to do!

    So, I am going to highlight 12 of 85 slides from this report that deserve your attention, whether you are a student, teacher/professor, or parent. Frankly, anyone who is interested in Higher Education should probably read the report that is available online (see citation source below for the link). I will give you an overview of what I think are the poignant points from this report.

    If you have earned your college degree and you go looking for work, what do you think employers look for? Internships and employment while in college. Word to the wise? If you are in school now, make sure you get some work experience into the mix. It would be nice to get paid for what you do, but don't let unpaid opportunities deter you. Volunteer experience and extracurricular activities count, too! Work experience counts a lot when you are looking for job. As it is true for ANY job seeker, employers want to hire someone who already has a job. (Only the Employed Need to Apply: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203872404574257983795638374.html")

    Citation source: Chronicle.com's The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions, December 2012

  • September 16, 2014 - U.S. Census - Educational Attainment Search

    U.S. Census Educational Attainment
    Graphic source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/acs/infographics/
    The U.S. Census provides a search page in which you see how much you can earn according to your college major. Just click on the graphic to access this page, and then choose your major.
  • September 15, 2014 - U.S. Census - Life Earnings by Field of Bachelor's Degree and Occupation Group

    U.S. Census - BS earnings
    Graphic source: http://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/056/
    According to the U.S. Census "Synthetic Work-Life Earnings by Field of Bachelor's Degree and Occupation Group for Full-Time, Year-Round Workers Whose Highest Attainment is a Bachelor's Degree":

    "A bachelor's degree holder can expect to earn about $2.4 million over his or her work life. However, not everyone with the same college major and level of education earns the same amount. Engineering majors make the most of any college major, at $3.5 million, but this varies widely between engineering majors who work in service occupations ($1.4 million) and those who work in management occupations ($4.1 million). Education majors make the least, at $1.8 million, and no occupation for education majors provides higher earnings than the average for bachelor's degree holders. For more information: The classification of fields of degree and occupations"

    SOURCE: Julian, Tiffany, "Work-Life Earnings by Field of Degree and Occupation for People With a Bachelor's Degree: 2011," American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, October 2012, available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/acsbr11-04.pdf

  • September 12, 2014 - Illiteracy and the Ebola Epidemic

    Adult Illiteracy and Ebola
    Graphic source: http://www.vox.com/2014/9/4/6103039/Seven-reasons-why-this-ebola-virus-outbreak-epidemic-out-of-control

    "Health campaigning and raising health literacy is not easy in places where people can't read. As you can see in the map below, the countries that are now most affected by Ebola — Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, circled in green — are also the ones with the lowest literacy rates in the world."

    Citation source: http://www.vox.com/2014/9/4/6103039/Seven-reasons-why-this-ebola-virus-outbreak-epidemic-out-of-control

  • September 11, 2014 - Thirteenth Anniversary of 9/11/2001

    9/11 remembered - http://www.elbeco.com/September_11.aspx
    9/11 we will never forget

    Let us never forget all the innocent lives that were lost on that fateful day, and once again thank all the brave civil servants who died in the line duty. Many thanks to Suzanvitti.org for these wonderful graphics.

  • September 10, 2014 - World Suicide Prevention Day

    World Suicide Prevention Guide
    Graphic source: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/WHO-report.html
    Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, the World Health Organization is issuing its first global report on suicide, Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative. According to WHO:
    • "More than 800 000 people die by suicide every year – around one person every 40 seconds, according to WHO's first global report on suicide prevention, published today. Some 75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
    • Pesticide poisoning, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally. Evidence from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and a number of European countries reveals that limiting access to these means can help prevent people dying by suicide. Another key to reducing deaths by suicide is a commitment by national governments to the establishment and implementation of a coordinated plan of action. Currently, only 28 countries are known to have national suicide prevention strategies.">
    • Suicides are preventable
    • Reducing access to means of suicide is one way to reduce deaths. Other effective measures include responsible reporting of suicide in the media, such as avoiding language that sensationalizes suicide and avoiding explicit description of methods used, and early identification and management of mental and substance use disorders in communities and by health workers in particular.
    • Follow-up care by health workers through regular contact, including by phone or home visits, for people who have attempted suicide, together with provision of community support, are essential, because people who have already attempted suicide are at the greatest risk of trying again."
    • Citation sources: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/suicide-prevention-report/en/

    For more information, see Suicide Prevention , where you can find a link to various Suicide Prevention resources, including the U.S. Surgeon General's 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action.

  • September 9, 2014 - CDC Ebola Statistics

    CDC Ebola Stats
    Graphic source: http://www.vox.com/2014/9/4/6103039/Seven-reasons-why-this-ebola-virus-outbreak-epidemic-out-of-control
    Vox's "Seven reasons why this Ebola epidemic spun out of control" notes:
    • 1) Public-health campaigns started too late and didn't reach enough people
    • 2) The countries affected by Ebola have some of the world's lowest literacy rates
    • 3) There's a strong Ebola rumor mill
    • 4) Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea are some of the poorest countries in Africa with fragile health systems
    • 5) These countries have spotty disease surveillance networks
    • 6) The international community responded painfully slowly
    • 7) The countries most affected — and our world — is increasingly interconnected."
    • Citation source: http://www.vox.com/2014/9/4/6103039/Seven-reasons-why-this-ebola-virus-outbreak-epidemic-out-of-control
  • September 8, 2014 - Latest Ebola Statistics

    Ebola
    Graphic source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ebola-chart-terrifying-195400062.html
    Given modern-day advances I was hoping that the Ebola epidemic would blow over, but apparently not.

    In Yahoo! Finance's 9/5/14's "This Ebola Chart Is Terrifying" features this Reuters graphic, and reports:

    • On August 29, the World Health Organization reported that more than "40% of the total number of cases have occurred within the past 21 days." In Liberia, where — according to the WHO — "the capacity to cope with the increasing caseload remains dramatically low," an even higher proportion of total cases (63%) have emerged in recent weeks, suggesting that the death toll there will continue to rise sharply.
    • Last week, the WHO warned that Ebola, which is spread via the bodily fluids of a sickened person, could ultimately infect 20,000 people before it is brought under control. The virus, Frieden said, "is moving faster than anyone anticipated."
    • Citation source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ebola-chart-terrifying-195400062.html

    For more information, see Ebola

  • September 5, 2014 - Education and Wages

    Education and Wages
    Graphic source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/college-premium-better-pay-better-prospects/
    According to NYT's 2/19/13's "College Premium: Better Pay, Better Prospects," C. Rampell reports, "...people with college diplomas are much more likely to get jobs, period, than people without the credential. Part of college graduates' income premium, then, comes from the fact that they are just more likely to be employed in a typical week. They are probably more likely to work the number of desired hours they wish to work, too, according to Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    You can see this in the unemployment numbers: The jobless rate for people with a bachelor's degree was 3.7 percent in January, versus 8.1 percent for those with no more than a high school diploma.

    Census estimates of median annual earnings help capture the college income premium. In 2011, the median male college graduate earned 1.95 times as much as the median male whose highest educational attainment was a high school diploma. In 1991, that ratio was 1.76. For women, the ratio is up, but not by as much: It was 2.03 in 2011 versus 1.99 in 1991, and it dipped in the intervening years.

    "... earnings ratios over the last two decades: College can bring a lot of debt, yes. But these figures serve as a reminder that college also brings huge returns relative to how you might otherwise invest your tuition money."
    Citation Source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/college-premium-better-pay-better-prospects/

  • September 4, 2014 - Education and Employment Trends

    Education and Employment Trends
    Graphic source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/life-is-o-k-if-you-went-to-college/
    According to C. Rampell's "Life Is O.K., if You Went to College"
    • "Despite all the questions about whether college is worth it or not, college graduates have gotten through the recession and lackluster recovery with remarkable resilience.
    • The unemployment rate for college graduates in April was a mere 3.9 percent, compared to 7.5 percent for everyone else. And among all segments of workers sorted by educational attainment, college graduates are the only group that has more people employed today than when the recession started."
    • >Citation source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/life-is-o-k-if-you-went-to-college/
  • September 3, 2014 - Education and Employment Share

    Education and Employment Share
    Graphic source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/life-is-o-k-if-you-went-to-college/
    According to C. Rampell's "Life Is O.K., if You Went to College"
    • "The number of college-educated workers with jobs has risen by 9.1 percent since the beginning of the recession. Those with a high school diploma and no further education are the near mirror image, with employment down 9 percent on net. Workers without even a high school diploma have seen their employment levels fall 14.1 percent.
    • Finally, for those with some college but no bachelor's degree, employment fell during the recession and is now back to exactly where it began: There were 34,992,000 workers with some college employed in December 2007, and there are 34,992,000 in the same boat today.
    • In other words, college-educated workers have gobbled up all of the net job gains. In fact there are now more employed college graduates than there are employed high school graduates and high school dropouts put together.
    • It's worth noting, too, that even young college graduates are finding jobs, if you look at the most recent cut of data on this subgroup (which is from 2011)."
    • Citation source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/life-is-o-k-if-you-went-to-college/
  • September 2, 2014 - Unemployment, by Educational Attainment

    Education and Unemployment
    Graphic source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/life-is-o-k-if-you-went-to-college/
    According to C. Rampell's "Life Is O.K., if You Went to College"
    • "...in 2011, the unemployment rate for people in their 20s with college degrees or more education was 5.7 percent (for those whose highest credential was no more than a bachelor's, the number was 5.8 percent). For those with only a high school diploma or G.E.D., it was more than twice as high, at 16.2 percent.
    • There is ample evidence that employers are hiring college-educated workers to perform jobs that don't actually require college-level skills, positions like receptionists, file clerks, waitresses and car rental agents. This form of underemployment might be one reason why we see so much growth in employment among college graduates despite the fact that the bulk of the jobs created in the last few years have been low-wage and low-skilled.
    • Clearly positions in retail and food services are not the best use of the hard-earned (and expensive!) skills of college-educated workers. But at least those graduates are finding work and income of some kind, unlike their less-educated peers. And as the economy improves, college graduates will be better situated to find promotions to jobs that do use their more advanced skills and that pay better wages.
    • Citation source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/life-is-o-k-if-you-went-to-college/
  • August 29, 2014 - The Value of Education

    Value of Education
    Graphic source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/the-premium-from-a-college-degree/
    According to New York Times 6/7/13's "The Premium From a College Degree":
    • "...the economy feels very different depending on your level of educational attainment. For workers over the age of 25 who have a bachelor's degree, the unemployment rate is 3.8 percent. For workers without a high school diploma, it is 11.1 percent.
    • Still, in recent years, the burden of student-loan debt has raised questions about whether college is really worth it, particularly if a given person goes to college, takes on significant amounts of debt, but does not get diploma. New research from the Hamilton Project, a research group based at the Brookings Institution, says that on average, the answer is still yes.
    • Degree-holders earn more than 80 percent more than their peers with just a high school diploma, up from about 40 percent more as of the late 1970s.
    • But millions of students attend college without graduating, and the workplace does not reward them nearly as richly. Their unemployment rate is 6.5 percent. And while they tend to earn more than workers with just a high school diploma, they make less than workers with a full degree.
    • Collectively,... over the last three decades, the value of college has increased substantially, with all of the gains going to those who actually complete the four-year degree.
    • Students who go to but do not graduate from college still earn about $100,000 more over the course of their lifetimes than their high school-educated peers, the authors calculate.
    • The rate of return on that investment in school, exceeds the historical return on practically any conventional investment, including stocks, bonds, and real estate,...
    • Granted, that student is still much, much better off with a college degree. Over a lifetime of work, on average, a college graduate would earn over $500,000 more than a worker with just a high school diploma."
    • Citation source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/the-premium-from-a-college-degree/
  • August 28, 2014 - What is a college education worth?

    During hard economic times like we have been experiencing since 2008, parents, who usually foot the bill for their children's higher education, wonder if it's really worth the 100K they will be paying for college tuition costs PER child.

    For those who are paying their own way, these "part-time students" find there just isn't enough hours in a day to do what they have to do, between working to pay for tuition costs, paying the tuition, and doing the work for their college courses. If they resort to borrowing money, it usually means they will be starting life, post-graduation, in debt.

    For the coming weeks I will be looking at the value of a college education. What do statistics have to say about getting a college education? Is it really worth it, and if so, in what ways? And, once I have completed this exploration, I will get back to public health issues, continuing where I left off before May & June's focus on critical women's health issues.

  • August 27, 2014 - Greetings from Mallorca, Spain!

    Pacific Science Center
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Mallorca is pronounced as "My yor kuh." It is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, and is the largest island of Spain's Balearic Islands archipelago. Due to time constraints, we only had a chance to visit its capital of Palma.

    We took a tour of its massive Cathedral that I am standing in front of. It was gorgeous. We had an interesting tour guide who told us about how many european cathedrals used to burn down on a regular basis because of the common use of candles to light the interior. And, the reason why candles were used so much was because glass and stained glass were so expensive to use! Who knew? She also encouraged everyone to spend, spend, spend because "Spain was in crisis."

    I also should mentioned that Palma is probably the most walker-friendly city I have visited to date. All the streets are tiled and easy on the feet! I can see why this island is such a favorite of many travelers!

    Well, this ends my travelogue of all the places we visited this summer. Next up, are some entries about value of education and career tips, and then I will be returning to my in-depth look at tobacco.

  • August 26, 2014 - Greetings from the La Rhambla, Barcelona, Spain!

    La Rhambla, Barcelona
    Photo credit: Lee Jung

    Our stop at Barcelona was highlighted by a stroll down La Rhambla. It is basically an outdoor mall that is heavily used by locals and tourists from around the world. Even on a Sunday afternoon, it was way too crowded to not worry about pickpockets. Nevertheless, it was a walk not to be missed!

    La Rhambla stretches for .75 miles from the Plaça de Catalunya, with its massive fountain, just across from Barcelona's Hard Rock Cafe, to the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. The tour guide said to just follow the direction Columbus is pointing to get back to the cruise ship. And sure enough, it was the best direction ever!

    Here is how the Columbus Monument looks like. I had to include a picture because it was simply gorgeous, at 197 feet high!

    I should mention that while Christopher Columbus was Italian, he is most beloved by the Spaniards, and it was Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand V of Spain, after all, who sponsored Columbus to sail to the new world.

    Columbus Monument, Barcelona
    Graphic source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Monument,_Barcelona
  • August 25, 2014 - www.bettycjung.net is now 15 Years Old!

    15 years and counting, thanks for visiting over the years!

    Happy 15th birthday!, Source: https://familysearch.org/blog/en/files/2014/05/Happy-Birthday-shutterstock-imageID179556365.jpg
    It is hard to believe that it has been 15 years since I published the first webpages that turned into this Web site. Many thanks to the thousands of visitors who contributed millions of hits during the past 15 years, and for all the nice comments along the way. I will continue to strive to make this Web site a worthwhile place to spend your time and find credible public health and health information. Thank you so much!

  • August 22, 2014 - Greetings from Rome's Colosseum, Italy!

    Roman Colosseum
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Here is a fine example of the gorgeous architecture inside the Colosseum. Being that it was summer, we were blessed with additional sunlight which allowed us to enjoy the inside of the Colosseum.

    After dropping quite a few Euros, we were allowed to view the interior of the Colosseum. Aside from the seating areas, the rest of the levels below looked like catacombs, areas which housed the gladiators and animals that were released for everyone's entertainment. Hard to believe, but they were able to stage mock sea battles as well.

    Colosseum
    Graphic source: http://historylink101.com/2/rome-pic/rf-rome-colosseum-large-floor.jpg

    For more information, see Colosseum

  • August 21, 2014 - Greetings from the Rome's Colosseum, Italy


    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Yes, this is one of the biggest attraction in Rome, the Colosseum! We were fortunate for the nice day. Here you can see just how magnificent the Colosseum is, as it is the iconic symbol of Imperial Rome.

    The Colosseum (Coliseum) is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre that is located near the center of Rome. The concrete and stone structure is considered the largest amphitheater in the world, one of the finest example of Roman architecture and engineering. While we were there they were working on the fascade.

  • August 20, 2014 - Greetings from Rome, Italy!

    Betty at Rome Italy
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    We were only in Rome for one day before we left on the cruise. We were able to catch a free shuttle from the airport hotel to the historic area of Rome, which is in southeast Rome. This means we did not see the Vatican, which was like in the northwest section of Rome. However, we did make the most of our brief visit. We did get a taste of Roman pizza, but it didn't taste that different from what you can get in New York. Really.

    One thing, for sure, Rome was not built in a day, so don't expect to see it in one day. If you want to do it right you will probably need at least a couple of months! Here I am posing with Julius Caesar. Yes, that unfortunate Roman emperor who was immortalized by a Shakespearean tragedy but was intensely disliked by his own countrymen. So, on the ides of March (3/15/44), he was stabbed 23 times, to death, on the Senate floor. I suppose he is somewhat forgiven if they erected this statue in his honor.

    I have to say that Rome's drivers are by the worst ever. You cross the street at your own risk. Cars and scooters will stop within inches of your body, and when you pass them, they will whiz by close enough for them to hear your prayers for deliverance. Whatever you do, do not back up. A walking tour of Rome is out of the question. Really.

  • August 19, 2014 - Greetings from Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii, Italy!

    Leaning Tower of Pisa
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Mount Vesuvius is still there, but when it erupted in 79 AD, it destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum and several other cities in the process. I learned that Pompeii was much closer to the coast than where it is located today. After it erupted, the landed just shifted. Talk about tectonic plates!

    Decade Volcanos
    Map source: http://loki.stockton.edu/~hozikm/geol/Courses/The%20Earth/Content%20Web%20Pages/Alber/map_decade_volcanoes.gif

    Mount Vesuvius is one of 17 Decade Volcanoes around the world, which were identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decade_Volcano). If it ever erupted again, it would be just as devastating as it was in 79 AD.

  • August 18, 2014 - Greetings from Pompeii, Italy!

    Pisa, Italy
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Well, the news is, they never rebuilt Pompeii. As it still lies in ruins, it is a major tourist attraction luring thousands to walk among the ruins on any given day. In fact, it has been a tourist destination for over 250 years! I was constantly lost among other tourist groups. I only knew this because the sticker I was wearing never matched the stickers of the groups I found myself in.

    The landscape is absolutely fascinating that will make your mind wander, wondering what it looked like before the volcano erupted. You can still see some of the paintings that were painted on the walls, but only saw one human casualty.

    If you want to see how Pompeii probably looked like, check out the 2014 movie, Pompeii, which I re-watched after I returned from visiting the city. The director did a fine job of recreating the city, from the way the streets were to how they furnished their homes, and the way the people dressed at the time.

  • August 15, 2014 - Greetings from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy!

    Leaning Tower of Pisa
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Here is probably the most well-known structure in the world - the Leaning Tower of Pisa! And, yes, it does lean, but eventually everything starts to look like it is leaning, depending on where you are standing.

    The place is completely overrun by tourists from around the world. And, at any given moment there will be at least 5 people having their pictures taken with the typical pose of trying to hold up the lean tower!

  • August 14, 2014 - Greetings from Pisa, Italy!

    Pisa, Italy
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Pisa was one of the first stops on our European cruise, on the way to Florence. We didn't have too much time to spend here, only to take photos. Fortunately when we were there the weather still wasn't too hot yet. Europeans tend to dress quite modestly, thus, the long pants, and if you want to enter churches, you will not be allowed if you are in shorts or showing bare shoulders! You knew who the Americans were, they were all in shorts!
  • August 13, 2014 - Greetings from Galleria Umberto I, Naples, Italy!

    Naples Galleria Umberto I
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Here is a fine example of the gorgeous architecture in Italy. In this case, it was an enclosed shopping mall called Galleria Umberto I. It is located across the street from the San Carlo opera house, which was beautiful as well.

    The glass-and-iron covered gallery was built in the late 19th century, and it still standing. Unfortunately, you will find graffiti at the entranceways. Unfortunately, graffiti was everywhere, on the bases of many statutes. A shame really.

    For more information, see Galleria Umberto I

  • August 12, 2014 - Greetings from Angevin Fortress (Castel Sant'Elmo), Naples, Italy!


    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    This is what greeted us at the Port of Naples. A simply gorgeous well-preserved fortress that was built in 1275, is now a civic museum. Everything pertaining to Naples is called Neopolitan. Not too far from the port, just be aware that will have to literally climb over vendors inhabiting the bridge and wall by groups of older women that are mostly gypsies, so hang on to your possessions!

    How the whole fortress looks like

    Angevin Fortress, Naples
    Graphic source: http://www.aptours.it/uploads/slideshow/05-naples.jpg

    For more information, see Agnevin Fortess

  • August 11, 2014 - Greetings from Naples Italy!

    Neopolitan Pizza
    Photo credit: Betty C. Jung
    Naples claims to be the birthplace of pizza because it was the first place to add tomatoes to its flatbread. So, we had to give it a try and had this at a pizzeria. We found that there is a table charge for the pleasure of sitting down to eat, and they only sell bottled water at premium prices. Nevertheless, a photo is the best way to make this last!
  • August 8, 2014 - Greetings from a Piazza in Florence, Italy!

    A Florence Piazza
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    The streets may be narrow, but they all lead to a large open space, called a piazza. The ones we walked across are like this one, although a couple were smaller. Nevertheless, these open spaces made it easy for people to meet and converse.
  • August 7, 2014 - Greetings from the Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy!

    Pizza in Florence
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    If you go to Florence, you must visit the Duomo (Florence Cathedral). You will be constantly reminded while you walk through this gigantic church, "Shh! Silencio!!!" (probably a recording). It has a ceiling worth looking up that will cause you to reflect on its beauty and feel inspired. It is simply gorgeous!

    And, we just couldn't leave Florence without savoring the local pizza. And, it was the best! The pizzeria is located at the Piazza del Duomo, Firenze, Italy. They sell pizza by weight!
    Pizzeria del Duomo
    Via Piazza di SAN Giovanni,
    21/R 50100 Florence Italy
    Phone number +39 05 5210719

    For more information, see Florence Cathedral

  • August 6, 2014 - Greetings from Florence, Italy!

    Betty at Florence, Italy
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    The locals call Florence Firenze! I loved this city. I would return to this city in a heartbeat. Here I am enjoying the beautiful streets of Florence. If you take the time to enjoy the ambience, you will feel like you were back in the Middle Ages.

    Florence was considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages." The city is simply gorgeous and the architecture is beyond belief. Instead of modernizing, Florence has pretty much maintained its cultural identity.

  • August 5, 2014 - Greetings from Cannes, France!

    Cannes France
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Here I am, during an impromptu moment, walking down one of the "Rue" of Cannes. On our walking tour, we were on Rue Meynardier and Rue d'Antibes, which were basically tourist traps. We tried a croissant from one of the local bakeries, and it was delicious, of course, probably because it tasted like butter (not good for the heart, though).

    If you like perfume, then France is the place for you. There were numerous perfumeries, with numerous scents waffling all over the place, which can get overwhelming. Since smoking was allowed everywhere, there were smokers everywhere. Unfortunately, I saw many young French women smoking at all the outdoor cafes. Too bad. I hate to see the rate of lung cancer among French women!

  • August 4, 2014 - Greetings from Cannes, France!

    2014 Cannes Film Festival
    Photo credit: Betty C. Jung
    During our European cruise, we made a stop at Cannes, France while the Cannes Film Festival was taking place! We had a chance to view the red carpet, along with international media coverage. There were some celebrities that came down the carpet but I didn't know any of them.

    Being such a film buff I had a chance to take in the ambience, and it was nice to see so many people coming out to check out the new films featured during the festival. Sometimes the only chance you get to see a film is during these festivals. Thanks to the Internet it is now possible to view films that did not make it to the theatre.

    For more information, see Festival De Cannes

  • August 1, 2014 - The World Outside My Window - Time Lapse of Earth

  • July 30, 2014 - Going to Europe Anytime Soon? Unpleasant Surprises

  • July 29, 2014 - Going to Europe Anytime Soon? Safety Tips

    • Safety should be a priority if you are traveling to countries in which you cannot speak the language. If you are in trouble, how will you get help?
    • Bring a list of common phrases in the language of the country you are visiting. It never hurts to show you are culturally sensitive and not expect everyone to speak English. I have found those who are most involved with tourists can speak English when I speak my version of their language to them. Hmm...
    • Key words you should know how to say: please, thank you, excuse me, toilet (I used this a lot!), help! See Linguanaut
    • If you didn't grow up in a big city you may think the world is like your neighborhood - leaving your cars and houses unlocked is okay to do. Not a good idea overseas. I have heard of people losing all their luggage they have left in a rental car in Europe.
    • When traveling overseas, bring as little as possible, but bring all your medication, plus additional meds for an extra couple of days in case the airlines are not on time (more often than not). The majority of my plane rides were late.

    • If you have ever been pickpocketed you will never get over the feeling of being violated in a most personal way. Someone invaded your personal space and took something of yours, without your knowledge or awareness. Do not make this experience part of your travel memories!
    • Read How to Prevent Being Pickpocketed
    • Check out these 2 videos, both under 3 minutes. That is how long it takes for a pickpocket to steal your stuff!
    • Bring a throwaway wallet that you can stuff with throwaway cards and a few euros, in case you get mugged. I must admit this seem extreme, but you will thank me for it. I used to know a night nurse who carried $20 for the muggers.
    • If you do get mugged, throw the throwaway wallet as far away as you can (behind you or to the side) for the mugger to retrieve, giving you time to run.
    • Don't walk through crowds of people, especially kids, as they are great pickpockets. Avoid groups of old ladies and women who look like they are carrying infants, or anyone carrying newspapers or cardboards that they can use to obscure your view so they can pick your pockets.
    • I know these pointers may seem extreme, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Bon Voyage!
  • July 28, 2014 - Going to Europe Anytime Soon? Electronic Tips

    Foreign electrical plugs
    Graphic source: http://wanderingtrader.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Outlet-plug-in-Uruguay.png
    • How about leaving your electronics home? Especially if you can't bear to lose them from theft.
    • But, if you simply can't live without them (there is a lot of evidence most people are hooked into their devices for dear life), then at least don't flaunt them. I saw so many people with their faces buried in their phones. Why bother going to Europe if you are going to spend all your time on your device?
    • Be aware that accessing electricity is not the same and vary by geography.
    • If you must take a laptop with you, then read Your Laptop and International Travel
    • Digital cameras are a thief magnet because they are easy to lift and sell. If you are by yourself, be aware of your surroundings. Keep your back against a wall so no one can sneak behind you.
    • If you are with someone else, or others, take turns taking pictures while others are on the lookout.
    • Make sure you have enough batteries on hand. If you plan to charge your batteries, then make sure you have the proper converters. Read Electric Europe: Adapters and Converters
    • Don't carry name brand camera bags or walk around with belly bags.
    • Using WiFi on cruise ships is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Are you willing to spend 40 cents a minute????
    • Good news - if you can get to a McDonalds, they have free WiFi! Be wary of public networks, though and don't access any site requiring a password.
    • Don't forget to enjoy the scenery while you are there.
  • July 25, 2014 - Going to Europe Anytime Soon? Security Tips

    2014 Map of Europe
    Map graphic source: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/europelargesm.jpg
    After our May one-week European cruise, these are the lessons I have learned that I want to pass on to you:
    • Make sure you NEVER lose your passport. If you must carry it on your person, then go for neck and/or waist wallets that you can feel against your body. Washable material is best since you will most likely sweat. I have seen leather neck wallets. Why??
    • If you can lock your passport in a safe in a hotel or on a ship, do so. That means you should make at least two copies of your passport, one to carry around when you are out and about, and one to keep with your luggage, separate from your passport.
    • While you are making copies of your passport, you should make copies of the credit cards you plan to use. Bring no more than two. Most places will take MasterCard or Visa, and fewer will take American Express. Call the credit card companies before you leave to let them know you will be in Europe so they won't block your charges for being out of the ordinary and suspicious. Be aware that when you come back there will be transaction charges.
    • I have heard the suggestion of using debit cards. This is not a good idea because if they get stolen, your money will be gone.
    • It's better to convert dollars into euros at a U.S. bank, while you are still stateside, that will do so for a fee that will most likely be cheaper than doing this at the airport, or at a foreign bank. Right now, Euros are worth more, but who knows how long that will last?
    • Don't keep all your money and cards in one place.
    • Keep a list of all the American consulates of the countries you will be visiting in case you have to go there to get a replacement passport. It's a good idea to bring along a passport-size picture of yourself for a replacement passport.
    • I know this sounds way too cautious, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
  • July 24, 2014 - Greetings from Seattle Great Wheel, Seattle, Washington!

    Seattle Great Wheel
    Citation source: http://www.rl5photography.com/img/s1/v46/p1121164526-2.jpg
    The Seattle Great Wheel is a giant Ferris wheel at Pier 57 on Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington. It stands at 175 feet (53.3 m) and it is considered the tallest Ferris wheel on the U.S. West Coast when it opened on June 29, 2012. This latest tourist attraction is considered "iconic." I wouldn't go that far when it has to compete with the Seattle Space Needle, which went up in 1962. Now THAT structure is iconic!

    Obviously, I did not take this picture because it is postcard-perfect. But, I wanted you to see it as they want you to see it. It's beautiful when it's all lit up, with the Seattle backdrop, and a full moon to extenuate the structure.

    So, we went for a ride. Here I am sitting motionless in one of its gondolas (which can swing). You go around like 3 times and you get to see great views of the Public Market, Mt. Rainier (it was a clear day), and the Seattle Waterfront.

    Great Ferris Wheel
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
  • July 23, 2014 - Greetings from Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Washington!

    Pacific Science Center
    Photo credit: Betty C. Jung
    I never take selfies but I thought this would be an interesting picture. There was a station in the SPY: The Secret World of Espionage Exhibit that provided you with the opportunity to digitally change your appearance so you can go undercover.

    You start by taking a picture of yourself with its camera and then you choose various types of wigs, facial hair, etc. to digitally change the way you look. I just took a picture of myself and I thought that was scary enough.

  • July 22, 2014 - Greetings from SPY: The Secret World of Espionage Exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Washington!

    Last month while we were in Seattle, Washington, we decided to visit the Seattle's Pacific Center for its current special exhibit, SPY: The Secret World of Espionage.

    Here is a promotional YouTube video of this exhibit. It was quite interesting. Because I read EVERYTHING, it took 3 1/2 hours to get through the entire exhibit. We were able to visit the entire Pacific Science Center as well, which is like a natural science museum for kids, with hands on things to do. Nice day field trip for the kids.

  • July 21, 2014 - Greetings from Gastown, Vancouver, Canada!

    Gastown, Vancouver, Canada
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Vancouver Gastown Steam Clock
    Graphic source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_clock

    Gastown is actually the oldest district of Vancouver. The streets are mostly made of cobblestone. To get there, try to avoid W. Hastings Street, which borders one side of Gastown and reminds me a lot of New York City's Bowery. Not exactly where you want to go.

    This is how they portray themselves:
    "The Original Vancouver
    Gastown is the historic and cultural heart of Vancouver and is the city’s oldest neighbourhood establishing itself in 1867. Designated a National Historic Site in 2009, you can find block upon block of grand Victorian buildings hold memories of Gastown's reign as Canada's third-largest city and one of the most cosmopolitan. Today, these historic aesthetics prove a glorious backdrop for today's urban lifestyle."
    (http://www.gastown.org/neighbourhood)

    Here I am standing next to its most famous landmark, the 1977 Gastown Steam Clock, which actually runs on steam that bellows from the top. It whistles four times an hour. Very cute.

  • July 20, 2014 - 45th Anniversary of the US Moon Landing

    Moon Landing
    Graphic source: http://centennial.journalism.columbia.edu/1969-the-moon-landing/
    45th Anniversary of Moon Landing
    Graphic source: http://static.parade.condenast.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/moon-landing-ftr.jpg
  • July 18, 2014 - Greetings from Totem Park, Vancouver, Canada!

    Totem Park, Vancouver, Canada
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    We visited Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada last month, on our trip to Seattle, WA. As part of the Pacific Northwest, you get to see the influences of the Pacific Northwest Indians who still live there to this day. Many of the souvenirs are reminders of the beautiful craftsmen who still make their living selling their jewelry and other hand-made products.

    Here is a photo of Totem Park, which is located inside Vancouver's public park, Stanley Park. The park is a favorite destination because it was designed for locals so they can enjoy the great outdoors. The trails along the seawall provide runners, walkers, and bikers alike the chance to enjoy the fantastic ocean view. However, the police are out in full force and are pretty strict about the parking rules.

    Vancouver is a gorgeous city with very distinct neighborhoods bordering one another. We tried to visit as many as we could for the 2 days we were there. Oh, by the way, leaving the U.S. was a cinch, coming back took a little bit longer. The nice thing was our cellular phone provider sent a text while we were waiting to cross over to Canada to warn us that there was a charge for roaming. Guess what we did with our phone.

  • July 17, 2014 - Greetings from Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda!

    Horseshoe Bay
    Photo Credit: Lee Jung
    We visited their most well-known Horseshoe Beach, which is scenic beyond belief. The beach was pristine, and Bermuda's beaches are noted for their pink sand. Although I can't say that the sand was really pink, I would have to say that it has a hint of pink to it. Nevertheless, it was beautiful!.

    Unfortunately, while their beaches are beautiful they are not easy to get to via public transportation. However, I had a chance to catch a glimpse of many of the beaches on our bus trips. It would have been nice to see them up close, which would have required many hikes down winding roads, and then back up to the bus stops. Meanwhile, locals taking the buses hardly pay attention to the great ocean and beach scenery along the bus routes. That's the advantage of keeping a tourist frame of mind wherever you go - the wonders never cease!

  • July 16, 2014 - Greetings from Bermuda!

    Horseshoe Bay
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    We visited Bermuda during Thanksgiving 2013. We thought four days was enough to see the British island. It is also known as the Somers Isles, and it is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean, located off the east coast of the United States.

    Their Bermudan dollar is equivalent to the U.S. dollar. I wonder who benefits from THAT currency exchange! There are ports of call for cruise ships on Bermuda (one in Hamilton, the other at the Naval Yard), so the island is reliant on tourists for its economy. Vestiges of British colonization can be found all around in historic buildings and architecture. Bermuda's capital, Hamilton is about as close to a city as you'll see, while the historic district of St. George is pretty sleepy. Locals take pride in their British roots and school kids to official-looking men enjoy wearing their Bermuda shorts with knee-length socks, jacket and ties as formal wear. My kind of country.

    Amazingly, you can get by with a fleece jacket in November, which is downright balmy for that time of the year. Since it's a very popular getaway for many (well-heeled) east coast Americans during the summer, the cost would have been prohibitive for us during those months. But, to sight see, Thanksgiving was a great time of the year as it was not crowded at all.

    Since you drive on the left side of the road, it is not a good idea to drive on the island. Besides, scooter riders are notorious for taking sharp turns that it's not very safe to walk along the side of roads. You can get around quite easily on their public bus transportation.

  • July 15, 2014 - Greetings from Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii!

    Waimea Canyon
    Photo Credit: Stephanie Jung
    During our Hawaiian trip last June-July, we had a chance to visit Waimea Canyon State Park on the island of Kauai (koo va ee; and Hawaii is pronounced as Ha va ee). Though they equate this to the Grand Canyon, they are not interchangeable. You really need to visit both!!!

    Waimea Canyon was beautiful for being so expansive, and a wonder of Nature. The car trip did take awhile to climb up the mountain, but it was worth the trip! Don't forget to check out the red dirt along the side of the road. The red dirt has spawned its own cottage industry of red dirt dyed tee-shirts, among other things.

  • July 14, 2014 - Greetings from Hawaii!

    Hawaii
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Okay, this was from last summer. This is how long it takes for me to get to the photos taken last year. But since I'm doing this year's trips, I decided to pull a couple to share. This was taken at Honolulu Airport.

    Hawaii is a great destination. You will be intoxicated by the Polynesian culture all around you, that you may think you are in another country. Nope, you are in the U.S! You should include this state on your bucket list, and at least think of spending a couple of weeks there since the plane ride, even from the west coast is pretty long. There is no excuse not to go. You can go anytime of the year as the temperature varies only about 5 degrees all year round. Of course, air travel may not be the easiest for everyone during the winter months, but, Hawaii is still worth the trip. I've been there 3 times!

  • July 11, 2014 - Atlantic City, New Jersey Today

    Monopoly Board
    Graphic source: http://listdose.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/monopoly-board.jpg
    Perhaps, one of the more interesting things I learned during our trip to Atlantic City, when I went to its museum, was that the favorite board game, Monopoly was based on the Atlantic City Boardwalk!! After the game became extremely popular it boosted the economy of Atlantic City for decades. It's the site for Miss America for many years, as it was in 2013 and will be in 2014.

    Today, Atlantic City is still a worthwhile place to visit, although it is somewhat a shadow of its former glory. As part of the Jersey shore, it is probably the most well known. We visited Ocean City as well, which is 10 miles south, and that one is a family resort beach, without the international draw of casinos.

    Trump has 3 casinos there, so I doubt he will let Atlantic City deteriorate much more. Just recently, a 3rd casino has closed up this year. And, while I was impressed with the Revel's facade and its very youthful customers (many attending the Tiesto concert on July 4th), this casino has filed for bankruptcy this year (http://articles.philly.com/2014-07-01/news/50949297_1_revel-casinos-atlantic-city-alliance)

    The northern part of the boardwalk was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and has not been fixed, but the rest of the boardwalk has been kept up. I walked the entire distance, both ways, which is about 3 1/2 miles long one way. Tons of bicyclists dominate the boardwalk in the morning, competing with the rolling chairs and many runners and walkers. Tanger Outlet stores are just a block over from the boardwalk and they are enormous stores for many well-known brands. But, then again, there are a couple of blocks on Pacific Avenue with adult book stores not too far from 3 very impressive churches. And, there's always the Sand Sculpting competition! I wish Atlantic City well.

  • July 10, 2014 - Greetings from DO AC SAND SCULPTING WORLD CUP, Atlantic City, New Jersey!

    DO AC SAND SCULPTING WORLD CUP - My favorite
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    Here was one of my favorites!
  • July 9, 2014 - Greetings from DO AC SAND SCULPTING WORLD CUP, Atlantic City, New Jersey!

    DO AC SAND SCULPTING WORLD CUP - First prize
    Photo credit: Betty C. Jung
    This is the first time I have had a chance to see these sand sculptures/ And, what's so interesting is you have to view them as three-dimensional works of art. Here is the "other side" of the first prize!
  • July 8, 2014 - Greetings from DO AC SAND SCULPTING WORLD CUP, Atlantic City, New Jersey!

    DO AC SAND SCULPTING WORLD CUP - First prize
    Photo credit: Lee Jung
    While we were hoping for fireworks on July 4th, the weather unfortunately didn't cooperate. It poured all morning on the 4th, but fortunately, the skies lightened up and it was nice from about 2 PM on. While we didn't know this, we were fortunate enough to catch the final weekend of the annual sand sculpting competition at Atlantic City.

    This was the first prize, and deservingly so. But, most of the other entries were gorgeous as well. I am standing behind it just so you have an idea of its scale.

    For more info, see DO AC SAND SCULPTING WORLD CUP

  • July 7, 2014 - Greetings from Atlantic City, New Jersey!

    DO AC SAND SCULPTING WORLD CUP
    Photo credit: Betty C. Jung

  • July 4, 2014 - Happy Birthday, America!

    Happy 4th of July
    Graphic source: http://finkorswim.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/statue.jpg

  • July 3, 2014 - Mont-Blanc Speed Flying

  • July 1, 2014 - Timelapse: Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta


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    Published on the Web: April 15, 2013
    Updated: 11/27/2016 R10,084
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