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Monthly Reminder



VOL. 9, ISSUE 7   •   DECEMBER, 2017
The holidays are here, with their lights and presents and getting together with friends. But don't let disaster wreck your season.

Practice fire safety. If you use candles for decoration, don't leave them unattended or put them close to anything flammable. Unplug outdoor lights when you are not home, and don't leave your tree lit unless you are nearby.

Be careful about drinking and driving. The combination of winter weather, busy roads and lots of people celebrating can be lethal. Don't drink and drive, and don't drive when you are tired or distracted.

Don't make your house an invitation to intruders. Burglars know that lots of people are away during the holidays. If you are gone, leave lights on, have your paper and mail taken in, and ask a neighbor or friend to check in on your house periodically. You also might want to let the local police know you will be away.

Finally, let your insurance agent know if you have something very valuable under the tree. That diamond necklace, for example, should be covered from the time you leave the shop; don't wait until Christmas morning.
READ MORE...


VOL. 9, ISSUE 6   •   NOVEMBER, 2017
Happiest U.S. Cities
National Geographic has released a list of the happiest U.S. cities, based on a variety of factors, including physical, social and financial well-being. The top 10 are:

1. Boulder, Colo.
2. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.
3. Charlottesville, Va.
4. Fort Collins, Colo.
5. San Luis Obispo, Calif.
6. San Jose, Calif.
7. Provo, Utah
8. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
9. Barnstable Town, Mass.
10. Anchorage, Alaska.
READ MORE...


VOL. 9, ISSUE 5   •   OCTOBER, 2017
Where the Jobs Are
The job market has been recovering for several years since the Great Recession, but it is recovering more quickly in some places than in others. These are the 10 U.S. cities that have had the fastest job growth over the last five years, according to the web site 24/Wall Street:

1. St. George, Utah
2. Bend-Redmond, Ore.
3. Provo-Orem, Utah
4. Lake Charles, La.
5. Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.
6. Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Ark.-Mo.
7. Greeley, Colo.
8. Fort Collins, Colo.
9. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
10. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
READ MORE...


VOL. 9, ISSUE 4   •   SEPTEMBER, 2017
America's Happiest Jobs
Many -- but not all -- of America's happiest jobs are in tech, according to a survey by the jobsite CareerBliss. The top 10 are:

1. Recruiter
2. Full stack developer
3. Research assistant
4. Senior java developer
5. Android developer
6. Chief technology officer
7. Engineer
8. Software programming lead developer
9. Software quality assurance engineer
10. Chief operating officer.
READ MORE...


VOL. 9, ISSUE 3   •   AUGUST, 2017
World's Best Universities for Employment
Want to get a job after college graduation? According to a report by U.K.-based Times Higher Education, these universities give graduates the best chance of finding a job:

1. California Institute of Technology, United States
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
3. Harvard University, United States
4. Cambridge University, United Kingdom
5. Stanford University, United States
6. Yale University, United States
7. Oxford University, United Kingdom
8. Technical University of Munich, Germany
9. Princeton University, United States
10. The University of Tokyo, Japan.
READ MORE...


VOL. 9, ISSUE 2   •   JULY, 2017
Most Educated States
Massachusetts is the most educated state in America, according to a study on Forbes.com that based its results on degrees attained and the quality of the education. Rounding out the top 10 are:

2. Maryland
3. Colorado
4. Connecticut
5. Vermont
6. New Hampshire
7. Virginia
8. Minnesota
9. Washington
10. New Jersey.
READ MORE...


VOL. 9, ISSUE 1   •   JUNE, 2017
Best States Ranking
U.S. News and World Report ranks the livability of states based on a variety of factors including health care, education, economy, crime, infrastructure, opportunity and government. For 2017, the top 10 states are:

1. Massachusetts
2. New Hampshire
3. Minnesota
4. North Dakota
5. Washington
6. Iowa
7. Utah
8. Maryland
9. Colorado
10. Vermont.
READ MORE...


VOL. 8, ISSUE 12   •   MAY, 2017
Most Popular Dogs
For the 26th year in a row, the Labrador retriever is the most popular dog breed in America, according to the American Kennel Club. Rounding out the top 10 are:

2. German shepherd
3. Golden retriever
4. English bulldog
5. Beagle
6. French bulldog
7. Poodle
8. Rottweiler
9. Yorkshire terrier
10. Boxer.
READ MORE...


VOL. 8, ISSUE 11   •   APRIL, 2017
Best U.S. Towns for Outdoor Fun
Do you love spending time outdoors? Then consider a visit to one of these places, named by Trip Advisor as the best outdoor towns in America:
  • Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Bellingham, Wash.
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Asheville, N.C.
  • Bend, Ore.
  • Jackson, Wyo.
  • Moab, Utah
  • Boulder, Colo.
  • Waitsfield, Vt.
  • San Luis Obispo, Calif. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 8, ISSUE 10   •   MARCH, 2017
    Safest Countries to Visit
    If you want to travel, but you worry about safety, try these countries -- recently named by Conde Nast Traveler as the safest in the world:

    1. Iceland
    2. Denmark
    3. Austria
    4. New Zealand
    5. Portugal
    6. Czech Republic
    7. Switzerland
    8. Canada
    9. Japan
    10. Slovenia.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 8, ISSUE 9   •   FEBRUARY, 2017
    Best Cities For Singles
    If you are still looking for your Valentine, perhaps you should consider a change of address. WalletHub recently listed the best cities for singles, based on things like dating economics, dating opportunities, romance and fun. The top 10 are:

    1. San Francisco
    2. Orlando, Fla.
    3. Seattle
    4. San Diego
    5. Boston
    6. Austin, Texas
    7. Las Vegas
    8. Phoenix
    9. Miami
    10. Los Angeles.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 8, ISSUE 8   •   JANUARY, 2017
    Happiest Cities to Work In
    Want to be happy at work? According to Forbes, these are the top 10 happiest American cities to work in, based on factors like employee contentment, work-life balance, compensation and opportunities for advancement:

    1. Miami
    2. Jersey City, N.J.
    3. Mountain View, Calif.
    4. Brooklyn, N.Y.
    5. San Jose, Calif.
    6. Redmond, Wash.
    7. Los Angeles
    8. Arlington, Va.
    9. San Francisco
    10. Buffalo, N.Y.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 8, ISSUE 7   •   DECEMBER, 2016
    Best -- and Worst --Cities for Pets
    If you are a pet owner, you should know that some cities are better than others for your pet. Based on criteria such as cost and availability of vet care, number of dog parks, pet-friendly rentals and more, WalletHub says these are the five most pet-friendly American cities:

    1. Orlando, Fla.
    2. Birmingham, Ala.
    3. Tampa, Fla.
    4. Lexington-Fayette, Ky.
    5, Scottsdale, Ariz.

    And the least pet-friendly:

    1. New York
    2. Santa Ana, Calif.
    3. Boston
    4. Detroit
    5. Philadelphia.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 8, ISSUE 6   •   NOVEMBER, 2016
    Top Party Schools
    Three of the top 10 party schools in the nation are in the Big Ten, according the Princeton Review's 2017 college rankings. The top 10 colleges are:

    1. University of Wisconsin-Madison
    2. West Virginia University
    3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    4. Lehigh University
    5. Bucknell University
    6. University of Iowa
    7. University of Mississippi
    8, Syracuse University
    9. Tulane University
    10. Colgate University.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 8, ISSUE 5   •   OCTOBER, 2016
    America's Worst Drivers
    If you want to avoid an accident, steer clear of Massachusetts. According to crash data from insurer Allstate, three of the top 10 cities with the worst drivers are in the Bay State. The top 10 are:

    1. Boston
    2. Worcester, Mass.
    3. Baltimore
    4. Washington, D.C.
    5. Springfield, Mass.
    6. Glendale, Calif.
    7. Providence, R.I.
    8. Los Angeles
    9. Philadelphia
    10. San Francisco.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 8, ISSUE 4   •   SEPTEMBER, 2016
    Highest-Paid Celebrities
    Taylor Swift topped the Forbes 2016 list of highest-paid celebrities worldwide, raking in $170 million over the last 12 months. Rounding out the Top 10 are:

    2. Musical group One Direction, $110 million
    3. Author James Patterson, $95 million
    4. TV personality Dr. Phil McGraw, $88 million
    5. Athlete Cristiano Ronaldo, $88 million
    6. Comedian Kevin Hart, $87.5 million
    7. Radio personality Howard Stern, $55 million
    8. Athlete Lionel Messi, $81.5 million
    9. Singer Adele, $80.5 million
    10. Radio personality Rush Limbaugh, $79 million.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 8, ISSUE 3   •   AUGUST, 2016
    Where Americans Are Moving
    In general, Americans have been moving to urban areas for some time, but the specific urban areas have changed. Using data from Realtor.com and the Census Bureau, Forbes has compiled a list of the 10 top cities to which Americans are moving:

    1. Tampa, Fla.
    2. Jacksonville, Fla.
    3. Charlotte, N.C.
    4.San Antonio, Texas
    5. Austin, Texas
    6. Las Vegas, Nev.
    7. Orlando, Fla.
    8. Nashville, Tenn.
    9. Raleigh, N.C.
    10. Portland, Ore.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 8, ISSUE 2   •   JULY, 2016
    Cars that Get Most and Least Tickets
    Some cars seem to be ticket magnets, while others are unlikely to be ticketed. According to insurance.com, the most-often ticketed models are:

    1. Lexus ES300
    2. Nissan 350Z
    3. Dodge Charger SE/SXT
    4. Volkswagen Jetta GL
    5. Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS/LT

    On the other hand, the cars least likely to be ticketed are:
    1. Buick Encore
    2. Lexus IS350
    3. Acura ILX
    4. Cadillac ATS
    5. Chevrolet Express.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 8, ISSUE 1   •   JUNE, 2016
    Most Livable Downtowns
    The downtown area can be the heart of a city. The website Livability.com lists the 10 best U.S. downtowns, based on access to culture and nightlife, low housing vacancy, walkability, affordability and an overall sense of bustling life. The top 10 are:
  • 1. Alexandria, Va.
  • 2. Santa Monica, Calif.
  • 3. Greenville, S.C.
  • 4. Bellvue, Wash.
  • 5. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • 6. Boise, Idaho.
  • 7. Tempe, Ariz.
  • 8. Plano,Texas
  • 9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • 10. Evanston, Ill. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 7, ISSUE 12   •   MAY, 2016
    Favorite Children's Books
    When adults reflect on the favorite books of their childhood, Dr. Seuss heads the list. According to a Harris poll, these are the top 10 favorite childhood books of American adults:

    1. "The Cat in the Hat," Dr. Seuss
    2. "Green Eggs and Ham," Dr. Seuss
    3. "Where the Wild Things Are," Maurice Sendak
    4. Nancy Drew Mysteries, created by Edward Stratemeyer
    5. The Bible/Bible stories
    6. "Charlotte's Web," E.B. White
    7. Tie: "Good Night Moon," Margaret Wise Brown, and Curious George, Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey
    9. Tie: "Little Women," Louisa May Alcott, and "The Giving Tree," Shel Silverstein.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 11   •   APRIL, 2016
    Greatest Athletes
    Who is the greatest sports star of all time? According to a recent Harris poll of U.S. adults, the honor goes to longtime Chicago Bull Michael Jordan. Rounding out the top 10 are:

    2. Babe Ruth
    3. Muhammad Ali
    4. Serena Williams
    5. Peyton Manning
    6. Joe Montana
    7. LeBron James
    8. Tiger Woods
    9. Tom Brady
    10. Wayne Gretzky
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 10   •   MARCH, 2016
    Stephen King is America's Favorite Author
    When it comes to authors, Americans have a King: Horror writer Stephen King topped a Harris poll of American adults asked to name their favorite author. Rounding out the Top 10:

    2. James Patterson
    3. J.K. Rowling
    4. John Grisham and Dean Koontz (tie)
    6. Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb
    7. J.R.R. Tolkien and Mark Twain (tie)
    9. Nicholas Sparks
    10. Danielle Steele.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 9   •   FEBRUARY, 2016
    Most In-Demand Jobs for 2016
    If you are looking for a job in 2016, consider health care or technology. According to Career Builder, these are the hottest fields for college-educated job seekers this year. The top 10, with their median hourly earnings, are:

    1. Registered nurses, $32.04
    2. Software developers, applications, $45.92
    3. Marketing managers, $61.12
    4. Sales managers, $53.20
    5. Medical and health services managers, $44.62
    6. Network and computer systems administrators, $36.44
    7. Industrial engineers, $39.18
    8. Computer systems analysts, $39.76
    9. Web developers, $30.52
    10. Financial managers, $55.44.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 8   •   JANUARY, 2016
    Florida Top State Where Americans Want to Live
    According to recent Harris poll, Americans like beaches: Florida, California and Hawaii are the top three states other than their own where Americans would most like to live. However, not everyone agrees: California is also the #1 state where Americans say they would not like to live.

    The top 5 states where Americans would like to live are:
    1. Florida
    2. California
    3. Hawaii
    4. Colorado
    5. New York.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 7   •   DECEMBER, 2015
    Worst Rush Hour Traffic
    No one likes sitting in traffic, but in some cities, you will sit much longer than in others. Here are the 10 U.S. cities with the worst rush hour traffic, according to USA Today:
    1. Los Angeles
    2. San Francisco
    3. Honolulu
    4. New York
    5. Seattle
    6. San Jose
    7. Miami
    8. Chicago
    9. Washington
    10. Portland.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 6   •   NOVEMBER, 2015
    U.S. Cities with the Best Climate
    Want to avoid freezing winters and blazing summers? According to the website aroundme.com, these are the 10 U.S. cities with the best year-round climate:
    1. Los Angeles
    2. Honolulu
    3. Kill Devil Hills, N.C.
    4. Asheville, N.C.
    5. Prescott, Ariz.
    6. Key West, Fla.
    7. Austin, Texas
    8. Athens, Ga.
    9. Wilmington, Del.
    10. Denver. READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 5   •   OCTOBER, 2015
    Most Popular National Parks
    Almost 70 million people visited at least one U.S. National Park in 2014. The most popular draws were:
    1. Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee, with more than 10 million visitors.
    2. Grand Canyon in Arizona, 4.8 million visitors.
    3. Yosemite in California, almost 4 million.
    4. Yellowstone in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, more than 3.5 million.
    5. Rocky Mountain in Colorado, 3.4 million.
    6. Olympic in Washington State, more than 3 million.
    7. Zion in Utah, more than 3 million.
    8. Grand Teton in Wyoming, almost 3 million.
    9. Acadia in Maine, 2.6 million.
    10. Glacier in Montana, 2.3 million. READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 4   •   SEPTEMBER, 2015
    Beloit College Mindset 2015
    Since 1998, Beloit College in Wisconsin has released a list of cultural touchstones for incoming freshmen. The idea was to make it easier for professors to understand and relate to their students. Among this year's revelations of The Beloit College Mindset List for incoming freshman:
  • The following people have not been alive in their lifetimes: Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, Notorious B.I.G. and Jacques Cousteau.
  • Hybrid cars have always been mass-produced.
  • Google has always been around.
  • "South Park" has always been on TV.
  • Paul McCartney and Elton John have always been Sir Paul and Sir Elton.
  • "The Lion King" has always been on Broadway. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 7, ISSUE 3   •   AUGUST, 2015
    Where the Readers Are
    Seattle residents apparently spend a lot of time with their noses in books. The Emerald City is the best-read city in America, according to an Amazon ranking based on sales of books, magazines and newspapers in print and Kindle formats. Rounding out the top 10 are:

    2. Portland, Ore.
    3. Las Vegas, Nev.
    4. Tucson, Ariz.
    5. Washington, D.C.
    6. Austin, Texas
    7. San Francisco
    8. Albuquerque, N.M.
    9. Denver
    10. Louisville, Ky.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 2   •   JULY, 2015
    Top Places for First Dates
    Starbucks is the most popular place to go on a first date, according to the mobile dating app Clover. Rounding out the top 5 are:

    2. Chipotle Mexican Grill
    3. Panera Bread
    4. The Cheesecake Factory
    5. Texas Roadhouse.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 7, ISSUE 1   •   JUNE, 2015
    Most Romantic U.S. Cities
    Amazon has made a list of the most romantic cities in the country, using a variety of data including sales of romance novels, relationship books, romantic comedy movies, and CDs by Barry White and Luther Vandross. So where does the love light shine more brightly? The five most romantic U.S. cities are:
    1. Knoxville, Tenn.
    2. Miami
    3. Orlando, Fla.
    4. Alexandria, Va.
    5. Vancouver, Wash. READ MORE...


    VOL. 6, ISSUE 12   •   MAY, 2015
    Quirkiest Cities in America
    Looking for someplace a little out of the ordinary? Then head for one of these cities, chosen by the readers of Travel + Leisure as the Top 10 quirkiest American cities:
    1. New Orleans, La.
    2. Austin, Texas
    3. Portland, Ore.
    4. Providence, R.I.
    5. Albuquerque, N.M.
    6. San Francisco
    7. Baltimore
    8. Kansas City, Mo.
    9. Seattle
    10. New York. READ MORE...


    VOL. 6, ISSUE 11   •   APRIL, 2015
    Money is Main Cause of Stress
    More Americans feel stressed out over money than for any other reason, according to a recent Harris Poll done for the American Psychological Association. Almost three-fourths of Amercans say they worry about money at least some times. And 64 percent identified financial worries as a somewhat or very significant cause of stress.

    The other top stressors cited as somewhat or very significant are:
  • Work, 60 percent
  • Family responsibilities 47 percent
  • Health concerns, 46 percent. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 6, ISSUE 10   •   MARCH, 2015
    Top 10 Books of All Time
    According to a Harris poll, most people say their favorite book is a treasured classic. The top 10 favorite books of all time are:
    1. The Bible
    2. Gone with the Wind
    3. The Harry Potter series
    4. The Lord of the Rings series
    5. To Kill a Mockingbird
    6. Moby Dick
    7. Catcher in the Rye
    8. Little Women
    9. The Grapes of Wrath
    10. The Great Gatsby
      READ MORE...


    VOL. 6, ISSUE 9   •   FEBRUARY, 2015
    Passwords to Avoid
    Your best protection against computer hackers is a strong password. Every year, SplashData lists the most common computer passwords. Change your password immediately if it is one of these top 10:

    1. 123456
    2. password
    3. 12345
    4. 12345678
    5. qwerty
    6. 1234567890
    7. 1234
    8. baseball
    9. dragon
    10. football.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 6, ISSUE 8   •   JANUARY, 2015
    Most Selective U.S. Colleges
    Truly selective colleges and universities often admit fewer than 10 percent of applicants. According to U.S. News and World Report, the most selective U.S. colleges, based on their 2013 admissions data, are:
    1. Stanford University, 5.7 percent admitted.
    2. Harvard University, 5.8 percent.
    3. Columbia University, 6.9 percent
    4. Yale University, 6.9 percent
    5. Princeton University, 7.4 percent
    6. U.S. Naval Academy, 7.4 percent
    7. Cooper Union, 7.7 percent
    8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 8.2 percent
    9. The University of Chicago, 8.8 percent
    10. U.S. Military Academy, 9 percent. READ MORE...


    VOL. 6, ISSUE 7   •   DECEMBER, 2014
    Top 10 Movies of All Time
    When it comes to movies, it appears that the oldies are the goodies. The movie review site Rotten Tomatoes listed the 100 movies that got the highest viewer reviews, and eight of the top 10 came out in 1950 or before. The top 10 are:
    1. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)
    2. "Citizen Kane" 1941
    3. "The Godfather" (1972)
    4. "The Third Man" (1949)
    5. "A Hard Day's Night" (1964)
    6. "Modern Times" (1936)
    7. "All About Eve" (1950)
    8. "Metropolis" (1927)
    9. "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920)
    10. "Laura" (1944). READ MORE...


    VOL. 6, ISSUE 5   •   OCTOBER, 2014
    What College Freshmen Know
    Since 1998, Beloit College in Wisconsin has released a list of cultural touchstones for incoming freshmen. The idea was to make it easier for professors to understand and relate to their students. Among this year's revelations of The Beloit College Mindset List for incoming freshman:

  • They were in their first week of kindergarten on 9/11.
  • When they see a # sign, they think "hashtag" instead of "pound."
  • A dozen different actors have played Nelson Mandela in movies during their lives.
  • Hong Kong has always been part of China.
  • There has always been a WNBA. and there have always been women referees in the NBA.
  • Bill Gates has always been the richest American.
  • The Unabomber has always been imprisoned. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 6, ISSUE 4   •   SEPTEMBER, 2014
    South Tops List of Friendliest Cities
    There must be something to the idea of Southern hospitality, because Southern cities dominated the Conde Nast Traveler 2014 list of the friendliest U.S. cities. The top 10 are:

    1. Charleston, S.C.
    2. Savannah, Ga.
    3. San Antonio, Texas
    4. Telluride, Colo.
    5. New Orleans, La.
    6. Fort Worth, Texas.
    7. Jackson, Wyo.
    8 (Tie) Nashville, Tenn., and Key West, Fla.
    10. Asheville, N.C.

    And the unfriendliest city? Newark, N.J.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 6, ISSUE 3   •   AUGUST, 2014
    Where Grads are Going
    Recent grads -- defined as those up to three years past graduation -- are moving to places all over the world. According to LinkedIn, the 10 most popular destination for new graduates are:

  • Paris
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Minneapolis
  • Madrid
  • New York
  • Chicago
  • London
  • San Francisco
  • Bangalore, India
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 6, ISSUE 2   •   JULY, 2014
    Americas's Funniest Cities
    The funniest city in America is Chicago, home to the famous Second City comedy venue. This is the conclusion of researchers at the University of Colorado who based their evaluations on several factors ranging from number of comedy clubs per capita to whether residents believe that humor is valued at their workplace.

    The rest of the top 5 are:
    2. Boston
    3. Atlanta
    4. Washington, D.C.
    5. Portland, Ore.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 6, ISSUE 1   •   JUNE, 2014
    Most-Challenged Books
    The American Library Association keeps track of what books generate the most controversy and the most attempts to get them banned from public schools and libraries. The top 10 most-challenged books in 2013 were:
    1. The Captain Underpants series, by Dav Pilkey
    2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl" by Tanya Lee Stone
    7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    10. The Bone series, by Jeff Smith. READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 12   •   MAY, 2014
    Most and Least Healthy U.S. Cities
    Gallup-Healthways surveyed the health of American cities, based on the physical and emotional health of residents, as well as job satisfaction and access to basic needs. The results?

    The healthiest metropolitan area in the United States is Holland/Grand Haven, Mich., followed by San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, Calif.; Charlottesville, W. Va.; Naples/Marco Island, Fla.; and Madison, Wis.

    The least healthy, in order, are Huntington/Ashland, W. Va.-Ky.-Ohio; Charleston, W.Va.; Kingsport/Bristol, Tenn.-Va.; Columbus, Ga.-Ala.; and Redding, Calif.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 11   •   APRIL, 2014
    Top Driving Songs
    Singing along with the radio is one of the great joys of driving. Insurance.com recently asked drivers about their favorite songs when they hit the open road, and here are the results:
    1. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey
    2. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
    3. "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC
    4. "Any Way You Want It" by Journey
    5. "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochran
    6. "Dancing Queen" by ABBA
    7. "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    8. "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson
    9. "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen
    10. "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 10   •   MARCH, 2014
    Watch Out for IRS Email Scams
    With tax season in full swing, the IRS again warns consumers about the possibility of email scams in which you get an email that looks like it comes from the IRS and that asks you for personal and/or financial information, supposedly so that they can process your return, send your refund, etc. But those are scams; the IRS never asks for personal or financial information via email.

    If you receive such an email, do not open any links, do not download any attachments, and do not respond. You also can report the fraudulent email to the IRS. Without opening any links or attachments, forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete the email from your mailbox.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 9   •   FEBRUARY, 2014
    America's Favorite Movie Stars
    Tom Hanks is back on top as America's favorite movie star, according to a survey of U.S. adults. Hanks, who held the title in 2002, 2003 and 2004, pushed 2013 winner Denzel Washington down to second place. Filling out the top 10 are:

    3. Jennifer Lawrence
    4. Julia Roberts
    5. Sandra Bullock
    6. Johnny Depp
    7. John Wayne
    8. Clint Eastwood
    9. Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep (tie).
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 8   •   JANUARY, 2014
    Smartest Dog Breeds
    When it comes to brains, not all dogs are created equal. Although helping any dog achieve its potential requires a commitment of time and effort on the part of the owner, some dogs have more raw material to work with. According to the website vetstreet.com, the five most intelligent dog breeds are:

    1. Border collie
    2. German shepherd dog
    3. Poodle
    4. Australian shepherd
    5. Golden retriever.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 7   •   DECEMBER, 2013
    Favorite NFL Teams
    The Dallas Cowboys really are America's Team; in a Harris survey, fans chose the Cowboys as their favorite NFL team. Rounding out the top 10 are:
    2. Green Bay Packers
    3. Denver Broncos
    4. New York Giants
    5. New England Patriots
    6. Chicago Bears
    7. Pittsburgh Steelers
    8. San Francisco 49ers
    9. Philadelphia Eagles
    10. Miami Dolphins

    America's least favorite team? The Jacksonville Jaguars.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 6   •   NOVEMBER, 2013
    Best -- and Worst -- Drivers
    The best drivers in the United States are in Fort Collins, Colo., according to a recent Allstate study of metropolitan areas. Fort Collins drivers go an average of 13.9 years between accidents. Right behind Fort Collins are drivers in Boise, Idaho, and Sioux Falls, S.D.

    On the other hand, the worst drivers are in the nation's capital, where drivers only average 4.8 years between accidents. Following Washington, D.C., are drivers in Baltimore and Providence, R.I.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 5   •   OCTOBER, 2013
    Beloit College Mindset
    Every year since 1998, Beloit College in Wisconsin has released a list to help its professors understand the cultural context of their incoming students. According to The Beloit College Mindset List, for kids entering college in 2013:
    • GM means genetically modified food.
    • A tablet is no longer something you take for a headache.
    • Spray paint has never been sold legally in Chicago.
    • They have always been able to use USB ports.
    • Tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House. READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 4   •   SEPTEMBER, 2013
    Thieves Target Pickups, SUVs
    Car thieves apparently are not worried about gas mileage -- pickups and SUVs are the vehicles most likely to be stolen, according to data for 2010-12 from the Highway Loss Data Institute.

    The top targets of thieves are:
    1. Ford F-250 pickup
    2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab
    3. Chevrolet Avalanche 1500
    4. GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab
    5. Ford F-350 pickup.

    Rounding out the top 10 are the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban 1500, GMC Sierra 1500 extended cab, GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 3   •   AUGUST, 2013
    Where Disaster Stikes
    Of the almost 2,000 natural disasters declarations issued since 1953, one-third have been in only 10 states. Most have been weather-related disasters, although New York also had disaster declarations in the wake of terrorist bombings at the World Trade Center. Here are the top 10 states for natural disasters:

    10. Missouri
    9. Arkansas
    8. Kentucky
    7. Alabama
    6. Louisiana
    5. Florida
    4. New York
    3. Oklahoma
    2. California
    1. Texas.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 2   •   JULY, 2013
    Cheapest -- and Most Expensive -- Car Repair Costs
    If you have a choice, hope your car breaks down in Vermont instead of in New Jersey. The Garden State has the highest average cost for car repairs related to the "Service Engine Soon" light coming on, according to Car MD.

    The top five most-expensive places to get your car fixed are:
    1. New Jersey
    2. The District of Columbia
    3. California
    4. North Carolina
    5. Maryland.

    On the other hand, the five cheapest are:
    1. Vermont
    2. West Virginia
    3. South Dakota
    4. Delaware
    5. Iowa.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 5, ISSUE 1   •   JUNE, 2013
    Best-Read U.S. Cities
    Alexandria, Va., is the best-read city in America, according to a survey by Amazon based on per-capita sales of books, magazines and newspapers in both paper and e-reader versions. The rest of the top 10 are:
    2. Knoxville, Tenn.
    3. Miami
    4. Cambridge, Mass.
    5. Orlando, Fla.
    6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
    7. Berkeley, Calif.
    8. Cincinnati
    9. Columbia, S.C.
    10. Pittsburgh.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 12   •   MAY, 2013
    Best College Towns in America
    The American Institute of Economic Research evaluates college towns across the country in terms of the size and makeup of the student population, but also in terms of the cost of living, the unemployment rate, entrepreneurial and cultural activity, and more. Based on this research, here are the top 10 college towns in America:

    1. Ithaca, N.Y. (Cornell University and Ithaca College)
    2. Ames, Iowa (Iowa State University)
    3. State College, Pa. (Penn State)
    4. Iowa City, Iowa (University of Iowa)
    5. Corvallis, Ore. (Oregon State University)
    6. Champaign-Urbana, Ill. (University of Illinois)
    7. Lafayette, Ind. (Purdue University, Harrison College)
    8. Lawrence, Kan. (University of Kansas)
    9. Morgantown, W.Va. (University of West Virginia)
    10. Columbia, Mo. (University of Missouri).
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 11   •   APRIL, 2013
    Lab Is Still Top Dog
    The lab remains the most popular dog breed in the United States, capturing the top spot for the 22nd year in a row. The ranking, by the American Kennel Club, is based on registrations from among 175 breeds recognized by the AKC.

    Rounding out the top 5 are:

    2. German shepherd
    3.Golden retriever
    4. Beagle
    5. Bulldog.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 10   •   MARCH, 2013
    Most Popular TV Stars
    Ellen DeGeneres, star of her own daytime talk show, has danced her way into the hearts of American television viewers. She is the most popular TV star in the country, according to a poll by Netscape. Rounding out the top five are:

    2. Mark Harmon
    3. Jon Stewart
    4. Jay Leno
    5. Jim Parsons.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 9   •   FEBRUARY, 2013
    Snowiest U.S. Cities
    Sometimes, as winter drags on, it helps to put things in perspective. As you head out to shovel the sidewalk, consider the six snowiest U.S. cities, according to weather.com:
    • Boonville, N.Y., with an average yearly snowfall of 193.7 inches.
    • Lead, S.D., 201.4 inches.
    • Truckee, Calif., 202.6 inches.
    • Hancock, Mich., 211.7 inches.
    • Crested Butte, Colo., 215.8 inches.
    • Valdez, Alaska, 326.3 inches.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 8   •   JANUARY, 2013
    Top Five Driving Peeves
    The top pet peeve of drivers is other drivers texting while driving, according to a survey by Consumer Reports' National Research Center. Survey respondents rated this 8.9 on a scale in which 10 was "most annoying." Rounding out the top 5 were:

    2. Able-bodied drivers using handicapped parking spaces.
    3. Tailgaters.
    4. Drivers who cut you off.
    5. Speeding and swerving in and out of traffic.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 7   •   DECEMBER, 2012
    New Words for 2012
    The Merriam-Webster dictionary has added some new words for 2012. Each year, the dictionary includes words that its editors feel are in the language to stay.

    Some are scientific, such as copernicium, which recently was added to the Periodic Table. Some are new meanings for old words, such as earworm, which is a song you can't get out of your head; underwater, meaning you owe more on your house than it's worth; toxic, as in assets; and gassed, meaning out of energy.

    And some are new words that have become part of the vernacular. This year's entries include man cave, brain cramp, bucket list, tipping point, gastropub and e-reader.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 6   •   NOVEMBER, 2012
    Most Romantic Cities
    If you are looking for romance, head to Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville came in first in an Amazon.com ranking of the country's most romantic cities, based on criteria such as sales of romance novels, relationship books and Barry White albums. Rounding out the Top 10 are:

    2. Alexandria, Va.
    3. Springfield, Mo.
    4. Orlando, Fla.
    5. Cincinnati
    6. Vancouver, Wash.
    7. Miami
    8. Murfreesboro, Tenn.
    9. Dayton, Ohio
    10. Columbia, S.C.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 5   •   OCTOBER, 2012
    America's Best Football Towns
    Fall is in the air, and that means football. The website away.com recently listed the five best football towns in America. These are towns where football rules on autumn weekends:

    1. Green Bay, Wisc., home of the NFL Packers.
    2. Oxford, Miss., home of the University of Mississippi, or "Ole Miss."
    3. Ann Arbor, Mich., where the University of Michigan plays in the 110,000-seat "Big House."
    4. Austin, Texas, where the University of Texas Longhorns play.
    5. South Bend, Ind., where the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish take the field.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 4   •   SEPTEMBER, 2012
    The Class of 2016
    Want to feel old? Check out the Beloit College Mindset List, compiled every fall by the Wisconsin college to give professors an idea of what incoming freshmen have experienced in their lifetimes. For this year's freshmen:
    • The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has always been restored.
    • Cal Ripken Jr., not Lou Gehrig, has always held baseball's record for consecutive games played.
    • People have always rolled their luggage rather than carrying it.
    • Arianna Huffington has always been a liberal.
    • The Secretary of State has usually been a woman.
    • Stephen Breyer has always been on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • There have always been blue M&Ms.
    For the complete list, go to http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2016/.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 3   •   AUGUST, 2012
    Most Hackable Passwords
    Choosing your password and changing it regularly are the most important things you can do to safeguard your online identity. Yet many people don't take this important step.

    An Internet security expert recently identified the most hackable passwords. If you have chosen one of these, change it right now:
    1. Password
    2. 123456
    3. 12345678
    4. 1234
    5. qwerty.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 2   •   JULY, 2012
    Most Optimistic Cities
    More than three-fourths of the people in Orem and Provo, Utah, think that their city is getting better as a place to live, according to a Gallup survey. And almost as many of the folks living in Lafayette, La., feel the same way about their hometown.

    The cities rounding out the Top 10 are:
    3. Raleigh/Cary, N.C.
    4. Huntsville, Ala.
    5. Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, S.C.
    6. Lubbopck, Texas
    7. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
    8. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash.
    9. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.
    10. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 4, ISSUE 1   •   JUNE, 2012
    The Cost of Ballpark Brew
    If you want a beer while watching the Red Sox at Fenway Park, you might need to hit the ATM. Fenway has the highest beer price in Major League Baseball: $7.25 for a 12-ounce cup, or 60 cents an ounce. Other places where beer prices are high? Busch Stadium, where Cardinals fans pay 56 cents an ounce, and the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays, where a brew is 51 cents an ounce.

    On the other hand, Diamondbacks fans at Chase Field pay only $4 for a 14-ounce cup, or 29 cents an ounce. The price is 32 cents an ounce at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, and 34 cents an ounce at Coors Field in Denver, according to the website SaveonBrew.com.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. , ISSUE   •   MAY, 2012
    Top U.S. Stores
    According to Consumer Reports, U.S. shoppers rate Costco as the top shopping experience based on a combination of price, location and products. Rounding out the top 10 stores are:

    2. Kohl's
    3. J.C. Penney
    4. Target
    5. Macy's
    6. Meijer
    7. Sears
    8. Sam's Club
    9. Kmart
    10. Walmart.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 11   •   APRIL, 2012
    Area Code Scams
    The Federal Communications Commission is warning about a phone scam that works like this: You get a voicemail message on your home or cell phone that asks you to call for information you might want, such as to find out about a prize you have won or about a relative who is sick or in trouble. The phone number looks like a U.S. number, so you call back.

    However, the number you call is actually international -- usually in Canada or the Caribbean -- and you end up paying high international rates; you could also end up paying for pay-per-call services. Some common area codes involved in these scams are 649, 809, 284, 876, but the FCC urges you not to place calls to any area code you don't recognize; you can check the area code online if you are unsure.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 10   •   MARCH, 2012
    Authors List Top 10 Books
    J. Peder Zane, editor of Norton's Remarkable Reads, asked 125 famous writers to list their favorite books. Based on their responses, the Top 10 Books of all time are:
    1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
    2. Madame Bovary," by Gustave Flaubert
    3. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
    4. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
    5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    6. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
    7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    8. In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust
    9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov
    10. Middlemarch, by George Eliot. READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 9   •   FEBRUARY, 2012
    Top Words of 2011
    Every year, dictionary giant Merriam Webster releases a list of the top words for that year based on online searches, especially words that they might not have expected to show up in those searches. The top words often give insight into the way people were thinking in a given year. In 2011, the top five words were:
    1. Pragmatic
    2. Ambivalence
    3. Insidious
    4. Didactic
    5. Austerity.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 8   •   JANUARY, 2012
    World's Top Tourist Sites
    According to Travel and Leisure, the United States dominated the tourist trade in 2010. The top 10 tourist attractions in the world were:
    1. Times Square, New York, visited by 39 million tourists a year.
    2. Central Park, New York, 38 million visitors.
    3. Union Station, Washington, D.C, 37 million.
    4. The Las Vegas Strip, 29.5 million.
    5. Niagara Falls, New York and Ontario, Canada, 22.5 million.
    6. Grand Central Terminal, New York, 21.6 million.
    7. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, 18 million.
    8. Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Fla., 17 million.
    9. Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif., 16 million.
    10. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, 15 million.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 7   •   DECEMBER, 2011
    We All Scream for Ice Cream
    The most popular ice cream flavor in America is chocolate, according to a recent Harris Poll. Twenty-eight percent of respondents named chocolate, which edged out vanilla.

    After these two perennial favorites, the rest of the top 10 were:

    3. Cookie dough/cookies and cream
    4. Butter pecan and Swiss almond (tie)
    6. Mint chocolate chip
    7. Strawberry
    8. Rocky road
    9. Coffee
    10. Peanut butter.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 6   •   NOVEMBER, 2011
    The Really High Cost of College
    The national average tuition and fees at a private four-year college was $27,293 in 2010, according to the College Board. This is significantly more than the average of $7,605 for public four-year colleges and $2,713 for public two-year colleges. But it is a lot less than the cost of attending one of the most-expensive U.S. colleges. According to Forbes, the costliest colleges in 2010-2011 are:
  • Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, N.Y.; tuition $45,212; total cost of attendance $58,334
  • University of Chicago; tuition $42,041; total cost $57,590
  • The New School, New York; tuition $37,610; total cost $57,199
  • Washington University, St. Louis; tuition $41,992; total cost $56,930
  • Columbia University, New York; tuition $45,290; total cost $56,681. READ MORE...


  • VOL. 3, ISSUE 5   •   OCTOBER, 2011
    Topping the 'Do Not Play' Charts
    Most couples put together a play list for their wedding reception--songs they want the band or the DJ to be sure to play. However, they also often put together a "Do Not Play" list. The top five songs on that list?
    1. "Chicken Dance" by Sorta Crackers Band
    2. "Macarena" by Los Del Rio
    3. "Y.M.C.A." by the Village People
    4. "Cha Cha Slide" by DJ Casper
    5. "Electric Slide" by Grandmaster Slice
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 4   •   SEPTEMBER, 2011
    Mindset for the Class of 2015
    For students entering college in the fall of 2011, Amazon has always been an online retailer in addition to a river. The Beloit College Mindset, which the Wisconsin college releases each fall so that its teachers can understand their students, says that for members of the class of 2015:
    • Ferris Bueller could be their father.
    • Baseball has always had at least three divisions and a wild card playoff team.
    • Frank Zappa, Arthur Ashe, River Phoenix and Andre the Giant have always been dead.
    • There have always been women on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • Whitney Houston has always been singing, "I Will Always Love You."
    • Catholic churches have always had altar girls.
    • Russia has never had an official Communist Party. READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 3   •   AUGUST, 2011
    Top Restaurant Cuisines
    You can get just about any kind of cuisine just about anywhere, but when it comes to dining out, Americans tend to stick with the familiar. According to a Harris poll, the top restaurant choices are:
    1. American (28 percent)
    2. Italian (22 percent)
    3. Mexican (17 percent)
    4. Chinese (16 percent)
    5. Japanese (7 percent)
    6. Indian (2 percent)
    7. French (1 percent)
    8. Middle Eastern (1 percent).
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 2   •   JULY, 2011
    Top Names for CEOs
    If your name is Peter, you have a lot in common with some business bigwigs. According to the business networking site LinkdIn, Peter is the most common name for male CEOs, both in the United States and around the world. Deborah tops the list for women

    The top five names for male CEOs are:
    1. Peter
    2. Bob
    3. Jack
    4. Bruce
    5. Fred.

    The most common names for female CEOs are:
    1. Deborah
    2. Sally
    3. Debra
    4. Cynthia
    5. Carolyn.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 3, ISSUE 1   •   JUNE, 2011
    Top Family Cars of 2011
    The editors of Kelley Blue Book have identified the 10 vehicles that offer families the best combination of room, safety, economy of operation, sticker price, resale value and kid-friendliness. Based on these criteria, the top 10 are:
    • Chevy Suburban
    • Honda Odyssey
    • Chevy Traverse
    • Ford Flex
    • Subaru Outback
    • Chevy Equinox
    • Honda Accord Crosstour
    • Ford Taurus
    • Ford Fusion Hybrid
    • Hyundai Elantra Touring. READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 12   •   MAY, 2011
    Worst Cities for Spring Allergies
    If you suffer from spring allergies, you know the itchy eyes, the sneezing and wheezing. But some cities are worse than others. Based on pollen scores, the number of allergy medications per patient and the number of allergy specialists per patient, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has identified the five worst cities in America if you have spring allergies:
    1. Knoxville, Tenn.
    2. Louisville, Ky.
    3. Charlotte, N.C.
    4. Jackson, Miss.
    5. Chattanooga, Tenn.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 11   •   APRIL, 2011
    Beware the IRS Email Scam
    It's that time of year again -- time for a fake email from the IRS. The email might say that you can get your refund immediately if you provide your bank information, or it might ask for some additional financial information for completing your return. Whatever the request, though, it is a fake.

    The IRS very rarely sends emails, and it never asks for information via email or telephone. If the IRS wants information from you, you will get a letter.

    In general, you should be very cautious about providing personal or financial information in response to email requests. Scammers can make an email look very official. Always double-check with your bank or other institution. It's better to be safe than sorry.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 10   •   MARCH, 2011
    Spring Cleaning for Your Paperwork
    It is spring cleaning time, time to scrub up and open the house to get rid of winter's gloom. While you are cleaning, don't forget to give your personal papers a going-over, too. Your first step, if you have not already done so, is to gather all your personal papers together in a safe place, like a filing cabinet or storage boxes in a closet. You probably should use a safe or safe-deposit box to store some things, like your will, the deed to your house, the title to your car, citizenship or naturalization papers, etc. But keep copies of these documents at home with other personal papers, such as canceled checks and bank statements, copies of your tax returns, insurance coverage information, receipts and warranty information on major purchases, etc.

    Put this paperwork in clearly marked file folders or binders. Then go through these files at least once a year. Update them with new information where applicable, and remove and shred outdated information. Finally, make sure you tell a trusted friend or family member where to find these papers, in case something happens to you. READ MORE...



    VOL. 2, ISSUE 9   •   FEBRUARY, 2011
    The World's Happiest Countries
    Apparently, it's good to be in Scandinavia. Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden all make the top 10 in a recent Forbes list of the world's happiest countries. The list is based on the Prosperity Index of the Legatum Institute in London; the index ranks 110 countries according to multiple factors, including GDP, employment rate, health care and how satisfied its residents are with their lives. The top 10 countries are:
    1. Norway
    2. Denmark
    3. Finland
    4. Australia
    5. New Zealand
    6. Sweden
    7. Canada
    8. Switzerland
    9. The Netherlands
    10. The United States.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 8   •   JANUARY, 2011
    Best Airlines
    Jet Blue Airways is the best economy airline, while Continental leads the way in the premium seating area, according to the 2010 Zagat survey of airline passengers. The survey also named Southwest Airlines as the best value.

    Following JetBlue in the economy airline category were Southwest, Continental, AirTran Airways and Delta Airlines.

    After Continental, the airlines receiving top marks for premium service were American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines and AirTran.

    Travelers also ranked Portland International as the nation's best airport. The worst: New York's LaGuardia, which has held down the bottom spot since 2007.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 9, ISSUE 7   •   DECEMBER, 2017
    The holidays are here, with their lights and presents and getting together with friends. But don't let disaster wreck your season.

    Practice fire safety. If you use candles for decoration, don't leave them unattended or put them close to anything flammable. Unplug outdoor lights when you are not home, and don't leave your tree lit unless you are nearby.

    Be careful about drinking and driving. The combination of winter weather, busy roads and lots of people celebrating can be lethal. Don't drink and drive, and don't drive when you are tired or distracted.

    Don't make your house an invitation to intruders. Burglars know that lots of people are away during the holidays. If you are gone, leave lights on, have your paper and mail taken in, and ask a neighbor or friend to check in on your house periodically. You also might want to let the local police know you will be away.

    Finally, let your insurance agent know if you have something very valuable under the tree. That diamond necklace, for example, should be covered from the time you leave the shop; don't wait until Christmas morning.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 6   •   NOVEMBER, 2010
    Count Your Financial Blessings
    While you are counting your blessings this Thanksgiving, take a moment to think about your financial blessings as well.

    Sometimes we focus so much on what we want that we forget what we have. In this season of gratitude, spend a few moments taking inventory of your financial situation. Consider ways in which you can improve that situation. Do you want to look for a better-paying job? Can you find ways to save more of the money you make? Should you consider a different investment approach to improve your returns?

    But while you think about these things, don't lose sight of all that you have. At this start of the holiday season, remember that many of us have a lot for which to be thankful.

    READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 5   •   OCTOBER, 2010
    The Class of 2014
    Every year since 1998, Beloit College in Wisconsin has released a list of "cultural touchstones" for incoming college freshmen. The list was designed as a way to keep professors from making references that were meaningless to their students. Since then, it also has served to make everyone else feel a little older. According to the 2014 list for this year's freshman class, during their lifetimes:
    • Most of them never learned to write in cursive.
    • John McEnroe has never played competitive tennis.
    • Soon-Yi Previn and Woody Allen have always been a couple.
    • Bud Selig has always been baseball commissioner.
    • The United States has always traded with Vietnam.
    • There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 4   •   SEPTEMBER, 2010
    Egg Safety
    The recent recall of eggs contaminated with salmonella has sent shivers through kitchens everywhere, and reopened the question of when eggs are safe to eat. Raw eggs should never be considered safe, and even pasteurized egg products should not be eaten raw. In general, experts agree, you should follow some basic safety procedures when they are cooking with eggs:
    • Wash your hands after you handle eggs, and wash down your counter and any utensils you used.
    • When you are using eggs in baked foods such as casseroles, make sure the internal temperature of the food is at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Egg dishes such as a quiche should be cooked or reheated to at least 165 degrees.
    • Cook fried or poached eggs until the yolks are hard. Runny yolks are not safe to eat.
    • Raw eggs can keep in the refrigerator for about a month. After that, throw them out. READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 3   •   AUGUST, 2010
    Best Places to Live
    Money magazine has named a suburb of Minneapolis the best small city in America. Eden Prairie, Minn., topped the list of cities with a population between 50,000 and 300,00 To choose the top cities, Money looked at a number of factors, including housing costs, employment opportunities, crime, leisure activities, health care and diversity. In addition to Eden Prairie, rounding out the top 10 on the Money list are:
    • Columbia and Ellicott City, Md.
    • Newton, Mass.
    • Bellevue, Wash.
    • McKinney, Texas
    • Fort Collins, Colo.
    • Overland Park, Kan.
    • Fishers, Ind.
    • Ames, Iowa
    • Rogers, Ark.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 2   •   JULY, 2010
    Trivia for the World Cup
    Maybe you are a longtime fan of soccer or are newly captivated by the World Cup competition being played in South Africa. Either way, here are some interesting facts about the sport, which is the most popular in the world: * Outside the United States, soccer is known as football. It is only called soccer here to avoid confusion with the sport played on Sunday afternoons by huge men in helmets and pads.

    * There have been 19 World Cups, and six were won by the team from the host nation. Talk about home field advantage.

    * In July 1950 in a stadium in Rio de Janeiro, almost 200,000 people watched Brazil play.

    * Soccer originated in England, and the first soccer team was the Sheffield FC, formed in 1857.

    * Pele, the Brazilian believed by many to be the best soccer player ever, is also the only player to win the World Cup three times--in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 1   •   JUNE, 2010
    Where the Money Is
    It should not be a surprise, but if you want to make the big bucks, be a doctor. Unless you're a woman. And stay away from the restaurant industry unless you want to starve.

    Forbes recently released the best- and worst-paying jobs in America, based on the May 2009 salary survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top five jobs are: surgeon, with an average annual pay of $219,770; anesthesiologist, $211,750; oral and maxillofacial surgeon, $210,710; orthodontist, $206,190; and obstetrician/gynecologist, $204,470. At the other end of the spectrum are: food preparation and serving worker, $18,120; fast food cook, $18,230; dishwasher, $18,330; shampooer, $18.890; and dining room and cafeteria attendant and bartender, $18,900.

    The situation is somewhat different for women, who make an average of 80 percent of what men make. The top-paying job for a woman is chief executive officer, with an annual salary of $81,000, followed by pharmacist, $76,500; lawyer, $75,500; computer information systems manager, $73,500; and computer software engineer, $68,000.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 12   •   MAY, 2010
    Wild Things
    During the spring or summer months, you may find a baby bird, bunny, opossum, deer or some other animal alone in your yard. What should you do? According to The Humane Society of the United States, do not be too quick to do anything. Many parents leave their babies alone, sometimes for long periods.

    For example, mothers sometimes visit baby deer or rabbits only a few times a day, so they do not draw predators to their young. Unless there is evidence that a predator has disturbed the area, you can probably watch and wait for the mom to come back. On the other hand, young raccoons are rarely left alone, so if you see a baby raccoon and do not observe a parent for a while, it is probably orphaned.

    You can return uninjured baby birds to the nest; the parents will not reject them because of human touch. If the nest is destroyed or you cannot reach it, you can hang a woven basket, like you might get at a craft shop, near where the nest was, according to the Humane Society.

    If the animal is injured or if you have watched for a while and you believe the baby is an orphan, call your local humane society, animal control office or wildlife rehabilitator for help.

    READ MORE...


    VOL. 2, ISSUE 10   •   MARCH, 2011
    Spring Cleaning for Your Paperwork
    It is spring cleaning time, time to scrub up and open the house to get rid of winter's gloom. While you are cleaning, don't forget to give your personal papers a going-over, too. Your first step, if you have not already done so, is to gather all your personal papers together in a safe place, like a filing cabinet or storage boxes in a closet. You probably should use a safe or safe-deposit box to store some things, like your will, the deed to your house, the title to your car, citizenship or naturalization papers, etc. But keep copies of these documents at home with other personal papers, such as canceled checks and bank statements, copies of your tax returns, insurance coverage information, receipts and warranty information on major purchases, etc.

    Put this paperwork in clearly marked file folders or binders. Then go through these files at least once a year. Update them with new information where applicable, and remove and shred outdated information. Finally, make sure you tell a trusted friend or family member where to find these papers, in case something happens to you. READ MORE...



    VOL. 1, ISSUE 10   •   MARCH, 2010
    Last-Minute Tax Tips
    T.S. Eliot declared that April is the cruelest month, and everyone filing an income tax return would probably agree. But there are still a few things you can do to ease the pain.

    You have until April 15 to make a contribution to some tax-deferred savings vehicles, such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a Simplified Employer Plan (SEP). The amount that you can contribute depends on several factors, including your age and income level.

    If you just can't quite get it together to file on time, you can file for a four-month extension and put the whole thing off until Aug. 15. However, you still have to pay your total tax liability by April 15.

    If you are outside the country on April 15, you may be eligible for an automatic two-month filing extension. And if you are serving in the military in a combat zone, you may get an even longer extension. For more information, visit the IRS Web site.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 9   •   FEBRUARY, 2010
    Get Ready to File
    T-Day or D-Day -- however you refer to April 15 -- is around the corner. It's time to file your federal income tax return.

    First, decide which form you need to use: 1040EZ, 1040A or 1040. EZ (Get it?) is simplest, 1040 the most complex. Basically, the more complicated your tax life, the more complicated the form you need to use. You usually can pick up these forms at your local post office or library. You also can download them from the IRS Web site or call 1-800-TAXFORM.

    Then gather the appropriate paperwork in the four main categories: Income verification (forms W-2, 1099, 2439), expenses to be deducted (receipts, sales slips, invoices), home (closing statements) and investments (statements from mutual funds, brokerages). If you are troubled by insomnia or just need more info, go to www.irs.gov.

    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1 , ISSUE 8   •   JANUARY, 2010
    The Cost of Kids
    If you are a parent, this is not going to be news to you, but kids are expensive. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture takes a look at the high cost of parenting.

    Even low-income families, making less than $45,800 a year, can expect to spend about $148,320 to raise a child to age 17. Middle income families, making between $45,800 and $77,100, will spend an average of $204,060.

    And families with an annual income higher than $77,100 will shell out an average of $298,680 by the time Junior is 17. Which, of course, does not include the cost of sending him to college.

    (The Agriculture Department figures are for married-couple families, and are based on current costs, assuming no inflation.)
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 7   •   DECEMBER, 2009
    The holidays are here, with their lights and presents and getting together with friends. But don't let disaster wreck your season.

    Practice fire safety. If you use candles for decoration, don't leave them unattended or put them close to anything flammable. Unplug outdoor lights when you are not home, and don't leave your tree lit unless you are nearby.

    Be careful about drinking and driving. The combination of winter weather, busy roads and lots of people celebrating can be lethal. Don't drink and drive, and don't drive when you are tired or distracted.

    Don't make your house an invitation to intruders. Burglars know that lots of people are away during the holidays. If you are gone, leave lights on, have your paper and mail taken in, and ask a neighbor or friend to check in on your house periodically. You also might want to let the local police know you will be away.

    Finally, let your insurance agent know if you have something very valuable under the tree. That diamond necklace, for example, should be covered from the time you leave the shop; don't wait until Christmas morning.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 6   •   NOVEMBER, 2009
    Beware of IRS Phishing Scam
    If you get an email that says it is from the IRS, you can be certain of one thing: It is not. According to the IRS, it does not initiate contact through email, and it does not ask for personal or financial information through email.

    However, there are people who go "phishing" for such information by pretending to be the IRS. They send an email that instructs the reader to go to an IRS site or open an attachment. The email might say, for example, that the reader is due a refund or could be audited unless he or she provides the requested information.

    If you receive such an email, the IRS says, don't open it; that could infect your computer. Instead, forward the email to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. Then delete the message.

    If you fear that you already have provided information to a phony site, visit the Identity Theft page at www.irs.gov.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 5   •   OCTOBER, 2009
    Changing Your Computer Password
    It seems that you need a computer password every time you turn around, for your bank ATM, for your credit cards, for your online shopping. And to make matters even worse, computer security experts say you should change your password every three to six months. So what should you use as a password?

    For starters, security experts say, don't use something obvious, like your name, your address, your Social Security number, your children's names, etc. You don't want your password to be easily guessed by people who know you. (And don't use those types of words but spell them backwards -- that is too obvious.)

    In fact, the experts say, it's best if you don't use a word that appears in the dictionary at all, at least with the traditional spelling. Use a combination of at least six to eight letters and numbers, and use both uppercase and lowercase letters. You may substitute a number for a letter -- the numeral 1 for the letter I, for example.

    Of course, the best password in the world is no good if you forget it. You can start with something easy to remember, like a saying or the title of a book. Then make some of the letters into numbers and mix in some upper-case and lower-case letters.

    You can also buy software that helps you manage your passwords, if you fear your memory may not be up to the task.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 4   •   SEPTEMBER, 2009
    Catalog Your House
    Hurricane Katrina and other disasters are grim reminders that it is possible to lose everything in an instant. What if that happened to you? What if your home were destroyed in a fire, flood or other disaster?

    Of course, your first concern would be to make sure that you and your loved ones were safe. But when you began to think about the possessions you lost, and about filing an insurance claim, how would you even begin?

    The best approach is to begin a long time before disaster strikes. You probably have insurance riders that specifically mention your most valuable items, such as jewelry, silver, artwork or antiques. But what about the rest of your possessions?

    Make a list of what you have, going room by room, and be as specific as possible. You also can videotape each room of your house, creating a visual record that also can help to spur your memory. Then store your list and your videotape in a secure location outside your house; your safe-deposit box would be an excellent choice.

    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 3   •   AUGUST, 2009
    Back to School
    Kids all around the country are going back to school, and maybe you should think about joining them. Taking a class or earning an additional degree can expand your mind, and it might even expand your job possibilities.

    Education can translate into additional salary: A bachelor's degree is worth about $1 million more, on average, than a high school diploma over the course of a working life, and advanced degrees add even more, according to the federal government. Would adding to your education help you add to your bottom line? See if your employer offers full or partial tuition reimbursement for job-related classes.

    You also can go back to school just for fun, or to learn more about something that has always interested you. Many places offer classes in a wide variety of subjects. Colleges and junior colleges are obvious options of course, as are museums, zoos and other educational institutions. If you are interested in arts and crafts, see what classes are offered by local stores or studios. Park districts also often provide classes in arts and crafts, as well as exercise. Just get started!

    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 2   •   JULY, 2009
    Guidelines for Exercise
    The Department of Health and Human Services says that most adults should get at least 2 and one-half hours of exercise a week to help them get or stay healthy and live longer.

    You don't have to go to the gym, though. You can get your exercise by brisk walking, biking or doing yardwork or housework. If you are more fit, you can get by with only 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running, swimming or biking at a fast pace. At least twice a week, you should do muscle-building exercise such as pushups, weightlifting or carrying heavy things. Older adults should follow these guidelines as closely as they can.

    Children and teenagers need at least an hour a day of brisk exercise, such as running, riding bikes or skateboarding, according to the government. Three times a week they should build muscle through exercises like sit-ups and strengthen bones by doing things like jumping rope.

    Finally, these are the bare minimums for recommended exercise. The more you do, HHS say, the better you will feel.
    READ MORE...


    VOL. 1, ISSUE 1   •   JUNE, 2009
    The Class of 2013
    Each year Beloit College publishes its Mindset List, which gives insight into the cultural forces that have shaped young people entering college in that year. Most members of the class of 2013 were born in 1991.
    • Martha Graham, Pan American Airways, Michael Landon, Dr. Seuss and Freddie Mercury have always been dead, and Dan Rostenkowski, Jack Kevorkian and Mike Tyson have always been felons.
    • They have not used a card catalog to find a book in the library, and they always have been able to read books on an electronic screen.
    • They always have had chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, Berry Berry Kix and blue Jell-O.
    • There has never been a KGB.
    • The Atlanta Braves have always been managed by Bobby Cox, and Phil Jackson has been winning basketball championships.
    • "Womyn" and "waitperson" have always been in the dictionary.
    READ MORE...