No. 175 August 1997
WHAT ARE YOU WORTH? This was a topic which was explored in December 1996 http://www.nku.edu/~yannarella/news9612.html where we learned that the value of the person is not significant enough to keep the Administrative Conference of the United States from being abolished. The value of the person was placed at "millions of dollars" because that was the costs that various agencies, such as OSHA and the EPA, paid to have regulations created which would save a laborer's life or protect a community from a hazardous situation. With the main "human value" literature having come to life in 1988, almost ten years ago, the issue of "your worth" has become the center of attention again. Well, sort of. The Federal Register V. 62, No. 140 pages 39352-39383 dated July 22 1997 contains the text of "Draft Report to Congress on the Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulations, Notice and request for comments". After a quick scan of this report, it would seem that this report will tell the congress how it can estimate the costs of creating regulations and estimates the benefits to society. It could be that the authors of Public Law 104-208 that mandates this report thinks the people protected by these costly regulations are worth the cost.
SAFE VEHICLES: A WEIGHTY PROBLEM what is a safe vehicle in terms of weight? Is a traffic accident "accidental"? A GEO tracker is a very sporty but light car which would not be withstand the impact of a loaded cement-mixer truck or a steel-laden semi-trailer truck. Yet, when two vehicles unexpected and unavoidably meet on a highway in a "traffic crash," and one is significantly heavier than the other, what are the person's chances of survival? Which would you be driving? The lighter car/truck? The heavier car/truck? You should read: "Highway Safety: Have Automobile Weight Reductions Increased Highway Fatalities?" (October, 1991, GA 1.13:PEMD-92-1). You should also read: "Vehicle Size and Safety; Relationship of Vehicle Weight to Fatality and Injury Risk in Model Year 1985-93 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks; Summary Report and Six Technical Reports, Request for comments on summary report and Six Technical Reports, Notices" Federal Register V. 62, No. 123 July 26, 1997 pages 34491-34492. (AE 2.106:62/123) To get these free reports send a self-addressed mailing label to Publications Ordering and Distribution Services (NAD-51), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20590. Previously I used the "traffic crash" and not "traffic accident" because on August 4 or 5, I heard a radio news item that the federal agency that compiles highway vehicle fatality and injury statistical information says that "traffic accidents" are not really accidents. There are reasons why automobile/vehicle crashes occur and henceforth, will use the term "traffic crashes" and not "traffic accidents".
CELLULAR PHONES PROHIBITED Cellular phones seem to be everywhere and people pull one out of their pocket more often then they pull out their wallet. But cellular phones can be dangerous when too close to electric wheelchairs, pacemakers, and other sensitive electronic life-support technology in hospital and other health care settings. What are the circumstances required that a person's pacemaker be affected by the electrical impulses from a cellular phone that is too close? "Keeping Medical Devises Safe From Electromagnetic Interference" by Rebecca D. Williams in FDA Consumer V. 29, No. 4 May 1995 pages 13-16 (HE 20.4010:29/4) is a little scary. Next time you have to go to the hospital, it might be good to see what the hospital's policy is (if it has one) about the use of cellular phones. Under the appropriate circumstances, someone else's cellular phone call could be hazardous to your health.
PLAGUED BY THE PLAGUE The 14th century scenario of the bubonic plague with diseased rats, fleas, dead and dying people, and rhymes such as "ring-around-the-rosie a pocket full of posie" is not completely behind us. It is not over, and a recurrence may be closer than you may think (if you have thought about it at all). There are still parts of the world where people have died of the bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis). In: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Prevention of Plague: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices" MMWR: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Reports and Recommendations, V. 45, No. RR-14, (HE 20.7009:45/RR-14) you will find current information about the bubonic plague which includes the number of cases and deaths for foreign countries (1980-1994) and for the United States (1970-1995). You will learn about the vaccine and its history, and how the disease can be prevented. You may learn a lot.
PLASTIC CREDIT: A HISTORY ALetters of credit, which date back hundreds of years, were the early forms of credit. The first credit cards in the United States were made of celluloid and were issued by companies trying to attract customers. Between 1910 and 1915 was the beginning of the Atrue credit card when Western Union and some other companies tried to enlarge their customer base. The 1920's and 1930's cards saw the wider use of credit that was to be paid monthly. The 1950's were the beginning of the plastic era. It was 1966 when Bank of America (VISA) began the modern era of nationwide bankbased credit which we know and use today. You should read: "Credit Cards" (the entire issue of) FDIC Consumer News, Winter 1996/97 (Y3.F31/8:24/1996/97/WINTER) to get all the details. Shop: The Card You Pick can save you Money is a booklet published semiannually by the Federal Reserve Board. This booklet lists all the credit companies with detailed information about the interest rates and other terms of each of the existing credit companies in the United States. You can get on the mailing list by requesting this title from: Publication Services, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C. 20551 or try the FEDs Internet site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/shop/
REVERSE GENEAOLOGY: NAMES LIST Up to now all genealogists have looked to the traditional (ships passengers) lists of immigrants names to find and identify their ancestors. We now have a new name list, a list of the people who have chosen to lose their citizenship within the meaning of Section 6039F of the Internal Revenue Code. Published quarterly as an official Federal Register Notice,"Internal Revenue Service, Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen to Expatriate, as Required by Section 6039F, Notice" appears in the Federal Register V. 62, No. 140, July 22 1997 pages 39305-39311 (AE 2.106:62/140). This new list is published because of Public Law 104-191, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Title V, Subtitle B--Treatment of Individuals who lose United States Citizenship, Sections 511 through 513. This is a law that requires a list of the people who are both losing their citizenship (in the IRS definition) and encountering the IRS income, estate, and gift tax law. This new list of names is something to note for future genealogical use.
PET THERAPY Who greets us at the door when we get home after a hard day at the office, in class, or after whatever we escape from after a long day? My dog greets me. If you have a dog, she/he is there to greet you. You cat will also greet you too, but with a reserved feline enthusiasms. Your pet can be the best listener for your long story of your hard day's toils. Dogs and cats are also good companions for the elderly and the infirmed. Guide dogs lead the blind, and some service dogs pull wheelchairs for the handicapped. Fish have their therapeutic value, as does horsebackriding. Monkeys can be very good companions and if trained can be very helpful to the disabled. There are such animals because there are 12 organizations that specialize in training animals for use by people with disabilities. You will find 8 pages of interesting information and the names and addresses of these 12 organizations in "Pet Therapy" (also titled: The Therapeutic Value of Animals) by Kim Kavanagh. This June 1994 ERIC publication (ED 373 462) can be found under ED 1.310/2:ED373462
HAIR LOSS/REPLACEMENT IN MEN/WOMEN Did you know that men and women do not lose hair in the same way? Both men and women, have in many instances have resorted to the use of wigs and hairpieces to fill-in what nature has not. In some cases both men and women make use of medical applications and hair transplants to replace the hair they lost or never had. The use of hair transplants and hair growth remedies has some value, but the perspective user should have an awareness of their value. "Hair Replacement, What Works, What Doesn't" by Larry Hanover found in the FDA Consumer, V. 31, No.3, April 1997 pages 7-11(HE 20.4010:31/3) will be a good place for one to start.
CLONING: MULTIPLES OF YOU/ME How would the world react to multiples of you or me? If I read the text correctly, cloning has to start with the somatic cell before birth. So, I assume, the cloning process takes place prior to one's birth and the cloning process will not apply to you or to me. You can learn about this most interesting topic in: Cloning Human Beings, Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. This 110 page report issued in June 1997 includes a bibliography and information about the proposed legislation which will attempt to set the Federal policy which reflects the opinions and recommendations of the Bioethics Advisory Committee. Chapter topics include the scientific, legal, ethical, and religious issues and perspectives of cloning. There is also a bibliography of reference sources at the end of each chapter. The Commission at 6100 Executive Boulevard, Suite 3C01, Rockville, MD 20892-7508 sent me a copy and you will find this in some documents collections under PREX 1.19:B52/C62. Fun reading from me's to you's.
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August 26, 1997