Saturday, April 16, 2011

News: 50 Years Ago, Nat. Park Week & FREE Days, Next Friday is Earth Day, AARP Ins., FDA. Shopping.

Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space on April 12, 1961

"April 12 was already a huge day in space history twenty years before the launch of the first shuttle mission. On that day in 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (left, on the way to the launch pad) became the first human in space, making a 108-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft. Newspapers like The Huntsville Times (right) trumpeted Gagarin's accomplishment."

a screenshot from First Orbit, a new film that seeks to replicate the experience of Yuri Gagarin's famous first flight in space by combining archival audio with new footage from space.
First Orbit
"A screenshot from First Orbit, a new film that seeks to replicate the experience of Yuri Gagarin's famous first flight in space by combining archival audio with new footage from space."
 Monument Rocks Natural Area
Monument Rocks Natural Area.

Celebrate National Park Week .  Free Days April 16 to 24, 2011
National Park Week is April 16 to 24, 2011. The theme this year is "Healthy Parks, Healthy People." As part of the celebration, entrance fees to all national parks during the week. Numerous other ceremonies, tours, and special events are planned at various park locations.
Park Day Stones River National Battlefield, Tennessee
April 16
Parks and volunteers nationwide are dedicating this day to preserving America's Civil War sites. Join employees and volunteers of Stones River National Battlefield and the Civil War Preservation Trust as we remove exotic plants, trash, and modern fencing from the area south of the Pioneer Brigade earthworks. This project will open the viewshed from these field fortifications that Union soldiers built during the Battle of Stones River. For more information, contact Park Ranger Jim Lewis at 615-893-9501.
NatureFest 2011! Congaree National Park, South Carolina
April 16
Join us for our annual celebration of National Park Week, National Junior Ranger Day, and Earth Day with a variety of guided walks, junior ranger programs and canoe tours! All events are free of charge and a detailed schedule of events will be posted soon. For more information call 803-776-4396.
Scranton Limited short train excursions
Steamtown National Historic Site, Pennsylvania
Starting April 17
These short train excursions will begin on Sunday, April 17 to help kick-off National Park Week 2011. These tours are offered on a first-come basis; except for tour and school groups, reservations are not available. For more information, call 570-340-5204.
John Muir's birthday  Muir Woods National Monument, California
April 21
Celebrate John Muir's birthday with a quiet walk through what he called "the best tree-lover's monument in all the forests of the world." Phone the Muir Woods Hotline at 415-388-2595 for program information.
Explore, Learn, Protect Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
April 23
Have you ever put your hand into a bear's footprint? Have you ever been so close to an owl that you could look it in the eye? Have you ever talked to a wildland firefighter? Here's your chance! Shenandoah National Park has special activities planned for National Junior Ranger Day. For park information call 540-999-3500

Event Calendar
Find an Event for National Park Week:
Another site about the Science of the National Parks:  Park Science

5 Ways to Get Kids to Go Green on Earth Day

Apr. 13 2011 - By ELLEN SABIN
Next Friday, April 22nd, will be the 41st Earth Day celebrated in the U.S. While the world focuses on how to improve our relationship with the environment today, we of course have to concentrate on teaching our children how to be eco-conscious—after all, they will be the ones leading the charge in another four decades.

More at:

"Next Friday, April 22 is Earth Day. Use the occasion to make good on a personal goal to conserve natural resources. You'll be doing your wallet a favor, too – with a little investment at the start, going green can also help you save some green. Here are a few ideas.
• Look for appliances with the Energy Star label. Backed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, this label indicates a model that meets minimum federal energy efficiency standards. The power you save will translate to dollar savings on your monthly energy bills, too.

• With fuel prices soaring, now is a great time to cut down costs at the pump by using public transportation whenever possible, getting a tune-up to keep your car in top condition, or even replacing your gas-guzzler with a more fuel-efficient car.

Change your light bulbs. Replacing an incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb saves about $30 over the bulb's lifetime. Besides using about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, CFLs also last about 10 times longer."

AARP rakes in cash from seniors’ insurance

"Seniors may think they save money when they buy AARP insurance, but if they take the trouble to compare competing products, they may be paying twice as much.
AARP brought in nearly half a billion dollars in 2007 from fees insurers pay for AARP endorsement. It also gained about $40 million from holding the clients’ premiums for a month and investing them.
The revenue helps pay down the $200 million bond debt that funded the organization’s brass and marble headquarters in Washington, D.C.—which is closed to visitors, purportedly so staff can work.
Royalties and fees now constitute about 43% of AARP’s revenue, up from 11% in 1999.

According to a 2007 Harris poll, AARP ranks third behind Consumer Reports and the American Red Cross as a trusted large advocacy group influencing U.S. politics. AARP is considered the most powerful interest group in the United States.
“They don’t even have to give any campaign contributions,” observes James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington. “AARP’s enormous clout comes from the threat that they could defeat people in Congress who don’t do what they want.”

AARP lobbied against Bush’s proposed overhaul of Social Security, and for the Medicare prescription drug benefit. When Part D passed, AARP was able to expand its contract with UnitedHealth Group, which underwrites its Medicare supplemental insurance plan.

“I was kind of shocked,” said one member, who found out he was paying $1,079 more for his AARP auto insurance than he would have paid for a Mutual of Omaha policy. “They’re making money on the backs of old people”."

On a similar note, I got a quote from Good Sam for insurance on my motor home. I couldn't believe it, they wanted twice as much as what I pay State Farm for the same coverage.

FDA Intends to Remove Unapproved Prescription Drugs From Market
"FDA announced that the agency intends to remove certain unapproved prescription medicines intended to relieve cough, cold, and allergy symptoms from the U.S. market.

These products have not been evaluated by FDA to assure that they are safe, effective, and of good quality. These products may therefore pose unnecessary risk to consumers, especially when there are other products available for treatment of cough, cold, and allergy symptoms, including FDA-approved prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs that follow appropriate FDA standards.

FDA officials say they have numerous concerns about these products: some may have potentially risky combinations of ingredients, while others — marketed as “timed-release” — may release active ingredients too slowly, too quickly, or inconsistently. FDA has also received reports that some of the products have names that look or sound similar to other products — a problem that could contribute to medication errors. (contains most FDA-approved drug products)
If a product is not included here, the search results will say “Your search term did not return any results.”

The Orange Book List of Approved Drug Products
If a product is not FDA approved, the search results will say, "No matching records found."

The National Drug Code (NDC) Directory of prescription drugs and insulin products
Search results include a column marked "Appl No." FDA-approved products will have an associated NDA (new drug application) or ANDA (abbreviated new drug application) number in this column.

If you are taking one of the unapproved prescription medications that are affected by this FDA action, discuss alternatives with your health care provider. To dispose of your unused, unapproved prescription cold, cough, or allergy products, please see the following link:"

Also interesting: 


One of the larger kittens just doesn't want to eat out of a bowl.  She wants her bottle!  Then I found out that some kittens don't get a well developed esophagus right away, (that is how I understood it), and they can't eat, just suckle. A mama cat will nurse them until her brood is about 8 weeks old, not like a mama dog who usually weans them at 6 weeks.  
So I fixed little Pebbles a bottle, while her siblings, including the puny one, ate out of a bowl.  I thought that she was trying to be a 'spoiled bratkin', but maybe she isn't.   Here is Pebbles back on 29 March. 

Ray won't be here for the next two days, so this was a good time to go into the next town and do the grocery shopping that didn't get done last Wednesday.

Jay went with me as he had to pick up some milk, and some screws.  We quickly rushed through 5 thrift shops, but all he bought was 2 pillow shams, and I bought a little divided leather pouch for my tool belt.  I have been putting my camera in with my little flashlight and it messed up the screen.  I was mortified when I saw that blob and line when I was trying to take a picture, but it doesn't come out on the photos. So now they will be separated.

The weather is gorgeous, no AC needed, and it's great to have the windows open today.


Dizzy-Dick said...

I bet we have crossed pathes in thrift shops or Wal-Mart. Was there yesterday, too.

pidge said...

Never have belonged to AARP. I have read too many horror stories about their practices, so, want no part of them. Thanks for all the info. I am with Dizzy on the thrift stores. Surprised I haven't run into you guys somewhere in a thrift shop.... :)