No. 215 December 2000
SOFT DRINK "POURING RIGHTS" That is the new marketing approach of soft drink companies such as Pepsi Cola or Coca-Cola, is to enter into a sales contract with a high school, university, or similar institution to install beverage dispensing machines on the premises. For the first time, the students at those institutions have immediate access to all the soft drinks they can afford to buy. These institutions which enter into contracts with the soft drink companies allow the companies the "right" to provide their products on campus. To provide the "empty calories" of soft drinks to the children (k-12) whose diets are already "higher in fats and empty calories". The companies' sales techniques and legislative lobbying in Washington hinder Congresss effort to keep the soft drinks out of the schools. Marion Nestles "Soft Drink Pouring Rights: Marketing Empty Calories to Children" Public Health Reports, v. 115, no. 4, July/August 2000 pages, 308-319 is quite informative and provides further reading on the Pouring Rights issue. Americas Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences, a USDA Information Bulletin 750 issued in May 1999 can be ordered in paper or downloaded as a PDF file at http://www.ers.usda.gov/epubs/pdf/aib750/ . This USDA Information Bulletin is 484 pages of facts and information about what and why we are eating/not eating, under eating, over eating, and what is going to happen in terms of health and monetary costs. There is a 32-page subject index that complements the very current topics, problems, and issues cited in the table of contents of this informative volume.
NEEDLESTICK HAZARDS LAW The new Health Care Worker Needlestick Prevention Act (PL 106-430) of November 6, 2000, which would require the use of needles with safety features, won't eliminate the problem of Needlestick. A Needlestick is a percutaneous injury (i.e. puncturing of the skin) by a hollow needle or similar sharp objects. Percutaneous injuries are an occupational concern for about 10 million health care workers in hospital and non-hospital settings. There are about 384,000 percutaneous injuries annually in hospitals and 236,000 of these occur from hollow-bore needles. Some needlesticks are more avoidable than others. There are new safer needle and other sharp devices for the obtaining and handling of human body fluids, which carry bloodborne pathogens. This law requires employers to keep an information log for all needlestick occurrences and also consider the implementing of safer medical devices. The "Section 2. Findings of " (of this law) is a list of the reasons/needs for this law which includes background information about the current needlestick problem and what should be done. "Section 3. Bloodborne Pathogens Standards" sets the requirements of the law until superseded by the new OSHA Regulations to appear in the Federal Register within 6 months. The GAO Occupational Safety: Selected Cost and Benefit Implications of Needlestick Prevention Devices for Hospitals Report GAO-01-60R is 18 pages of economic information of interest to every hospital administrator. A footnote on the front page of this GAO Report states that NIOSH has begun a study to determine the incidence of nonhospital percutaneous injuries. This contents of the Needlestick law at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:H.R.5178.ENR: , the GAO report (a pdf file at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0160r.pdf ), and the new NIOSH Regulations are worth a follow-up.
FLOOD INSURANCE INFORMATION: WHERE TO FIND (SOME OF) IT Just like a flood, the amount of (flood) insurance information is overwhelming. Many cities and towns include a body of water, such as a river, canal, ocean, stream, creek, bay, lake, etc. which can flood and cause property damage. These communities have flood insurance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP program includes setting insurance rates and the issuance of flood plain maps for the areas where floods can occur. These maps show the geography of the city/town/county, the bodies of water that is the source of flooding, and the exact (street/geographic) location where flood elevation measurements are taken. "The base flood elevations [for each community] are the basis for the floodplain management measures that the community is required either to adopt or already make use of in its flood prevention programs in order to qualify for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA also uses these proposed elevations measurements as part of the calculation of the appropriate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings, and their content, built after these elevations are made final. When a community's Flood elevations are reviewed, FEMA proposes changes of the base flood elevations (of a city, county, town, or area) as "Proposed Rules" in the Federal Register and in the community newspapers. To quote the Federal Register, "The proposed base flood elevations for each community are available for inspection at the Office of the Chief Executive Officer of each community. " The FEMA Flood Maps showing the locations of these elevations are also available at these Offices list in the table in "Proposed Flood Determinations, Proposed Rule" Federal Register, v. 65, no. 120, June 21, 2000, pages 38478-38490. The Federal Register v. 65, no. 112, June 9, 2000 pages 36634-36637 has a FEMA Interim Rule which announces proposed elevation changes, the dates and names of the cities/counties newspapers where the changes were published, and the name of the Chief Executive Officer of each community. The Interim Rule allows public comments and input about proposed FEMA changes in flood elevations figures. After the comment period, FEMA finalizes any base and modified base flood elevations which have been under review and issues a "Final Flood Elevations, Final Rule" (Federal Register, v. 65, no. 120 June 21, 2000 pages 38429-38431) which is used in updating its rates and administration of its Flood Insurance Program. These Federal Register citations are samples of how the basic flood elevation determinations are changed and how to find a specific community's flood elevation information as found in issues of the Federal Register and in the Office of the Community's Chief Executive Officer.
WHERE ARE THE CAMELS? HAVE YOU SEEN ONE? It seems that in 1856 and 1857, Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War sent Army Major Henry C. Wayne and Naval Lieutenant D. D. Porter on two different expeditions to the Middle East to obtain camels to be used as Military pack animals by the U.S. Army. Wilbur Jones (Arming the Eagle, A History of U.S. Weapons Acquisitions Since 1775, D 1.2:H62/13 page 61) says there were a total of 75 camels (and dromedaries) brought into Texas; but, neither Jones nor the Report of the Secretary of War Department issued in 1857 (as Senate Executive Document No. 62, 34th Congress, 3rd Session, U.S. Congressional Serial Set No. 881), tell what happened to all these camels. The War Department's 1857 Report , titled: Reports upon the Purchase, Importation, and the Use of Camels and Dromedaries to be Employed for Military Purposes, 1855-'56-'57 consists of detailed letters sent by Wayne and Porter to Jefferson Davis. Part I - Papers relating to the First Expedition for Camels and Dromedaries, Part II - Papers Relating to the Second Expedition for Camels and Dromedaries (pages 188-200) relates how these animals were acquired and survived the voyage to Texas. Part III - The Zembourekes, or the Dromedary Field Artillery of the Persian Army (pages 201-240) discusses how the camel fits into a battlefield operation, and the actual bit of warfare which was occurring in during that time. This Report is found in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set No. 881. This was a "short-lived experiment with camels" which is part of our military history from 1815-1861, have you seen any camels lately?
HOT SOUTHERN NIGHTS MOVE NORTH The Hollywood tradition has the plantation owner relaxing during the hot summer night on the veranda sipping a mint julep. Sweltering humid Florida nights were the setting for the 1981movie, Body Heat. The southern "hot summer nights" have migrated north since there are about 30 cities for which there will be an increase in episodes of dangerous extreme heat. In June, 2000, the U.S. Global Change Research Information Office released the Draft Report of the U.S. National Assessment Synthesis Team, Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change ( http://www.nacc.usgcrp.gov/ ) which tells why the nights will get hotter everywhere. Chapter 15 - Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for Human Health in the United States tells us, with narrative and statistical information, how and why "a hotter climate" affects our health. The Physicians for Social Responsibility Heat Sheet page "Heat Waves and Hot Nights, A Study of 50 Years of Heat Data Shows Increase in Episodes of Dangerous Extreme Heat" is an introductory web page. Through this page (of about 20 links), you will find "Heat Waves and Hot Nights" the main heat stress report website http://www.ozone.org/heatstress/report.html . This site has links to a National and (10) Regional editions, and a city version for each of the (30) "Top Ranking Heat Wave Cities". Each report includes narrative information and 1948-1999 charts for Heat Stress Days, Heat Waves, and Heat Stress Nights. What is the refreshment of the urban dweller who relaxes on their New York City apartment roof on hot summer nights?
THE AMERICAN DIET: 2000 VS. COLONIAL ERA In the above article SOFT DRINK POURING RIGHTS, there is a 484 page 1999 USDA Information Bulletin which presents a very recent and authoritative picture of the eating habits of the American people. It is very enlightening to compare Americas 20th century diet with that of the diet of the Americas Colonists. The American Colonists were living with the hardships of the times. The English Colonists, who just got off the Mayflower and similar ships, lived on the food they brought. The American wilderness and the Indians supplied some foods. They didnt have much choice about what they ate. Their diet was quite limited. Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, Pt. 2, page 1175, Bicentennial Edition 1975 (C 3.134/2:H62/789-970/PT. 2) contains (the statistical table) "Series Z 195-212. Basic Weekly Diets in Britain and America: 1622 to1790". This table documents the limited diet of soldiers, sailors, children, immigrants, and the slaves in nineteen different examples, showing the specific foods, quantities, and total calories per day of each group of people.
HIGHS SCHOOL FOOD PROGRAMS What do you remember about your high school's food program? Did you carry your lunch? Did you buy your lunch? "Once upon a time" a school lunch (at a school participating in the Federal School Lunch Program) cost 25 cents per day. Were there choices? or was there only one item on each days menu? Were there several items on the menu from which you chose? Were there candy or soft drink machines in the school? The school I attended had a "candy/junk food store" across the street which many students patronized daily, after finishing lunch. I am not sure when or where candy and soft drink vending machines first appeared in the schools, but they are in many schools today. The Healthy Foods for Healthy Americans Act of 1994 mandated a study of the use of private food establishments and caterers by schools participating in the National School Lunch Program for school means. The 1994-95-school year General Accounting Office study published in August 1996 (School Lunch Program, Role and Impacts of Private Food Service Companies. Report GAO/RCED-96-217, at http://www.gao.gov/archive/1996/rc96217.pdf determined that 13 percent of the schools served brand name fast foods. There were snack foods and drinks vending machines in 20 percent of the schools. This 62-page report is a good background for why there is a "SOFT DRINK POURING RIGHTS" problem in K-12 educational institutions. Also, there is 2000 food program information found in Foods Sold in Competition with USDA School Meal Programs: A Report to Congress http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/CompetitiveFoods/report_congress.htm which is found on the School Lunch Program website.
UNRULY PASSENGERS Dont interfere with the flight attendants, that is being unruly. According to a November 25, 2000 New York Times (page C2) article "Swissair to Allow Restraint of Unruly passengers, unruly passengers can be tied to their seat. As of September 20, 2000 "Dallas-Fort Worth Airport has on Record 46 Incidents of Unruly Passengers" (The Dallas Morning News, September 20, 2000) and that statistic is only the tip of the (statistical) iceberg. There are 1995 -2000 statistics found at http://www.faa.gov/apa/stats/unruly.htm in addition to detailed FAA Regulations (citations) defining and outlining the various ways a person can be defined as unruly. Per an April 16, 2000 law, an unruly passenger, reported by an airplane crewmember, can be fined up to $25,000 per violation and one incident can incur many violations. The FAA web page will provide quarterly updates about unruly passenger statistics and any changes in the FAA Regulations violated by the unruly passenger.
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February 14, 2001