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Life
 

9 Great Days, 9 Great Ways to Celebrate National Park Week

From April 19 – 27, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation will host National Park Week, featuring special events in parks nationwide. This year's theme, "National Park Week: Go Wild!" invites visitors to celebrate all that America's 401 national parks have to offer. With free admission to all parks on April 19 and 20, and exciting activities and programs scheduled throughout the week, National Park Week is the perfect time to discover the diverse wildlife, iconic landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history found in America's national parks.

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Why Every Teacher Should Require Students to Memorize the Opening Lines of the 14th Amendment (Interview)

Linda Kerber has served as president of both the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. At the 2014 annual meeting of the OAH she spoke with HNN about the importance of the 14th amendment. She wants every history teacher in America to make their students memorize the opening lines of the amendment.

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The Power of Poop (and other ways to save the world!) VIDEO

The Power of Poop (and other ways to save the world!) is a half-hour cartoon musical with the big ambition of caring for the planet while having fun too.

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Online food reviews reveal inner self, Stanford researcher finds

Word choice in online restaurant reviews reveals much about people's inner worlds, according to Stanford research.

The study, appearing in the April 7 issue of the journal First Monday, uses software to investigate almost 900,000 reviews of 6,548 restaurants – from fast food to luxury restaurants – on Yelp.com.

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Personalized Tax Receipt Shows Exactly How the Federal Government Spent Taxpayer Dollars

Millions of Americans will file their federal income tax returns on April 15 with no idea what the government actually does with all that money.

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USPS issues new Forever Stamp series: Songbirds

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates ten melodic voices with the Songbirds stamps: the western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), the mountain bluebird (Sialia currucoides), the western tanager (Piranga ludoviciana), the painted bunting (Passerina ciris), the Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula), the evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus), the scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea), the rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus), the American goldfinch (Spinus tristis), and the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).

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Brady Center Launches PSA Campaign to Encourage Kids to Speak Up & Save Lives

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence launched today a powerful, new public awareness campaign in concert with National Youth Violence Prevention Week, April 7-11. The campaign, called SPEAK UP, educates students about the important roles they can play in preventing violence, and includes public service announcements, posters and poster contests, interactive BuzzFeed-style quizzes, pledge drive and resource/activity kits.

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Children see domestic violence that often goes unreported, research finds

A nationwide study of children who have witnessed domestic violence found that parents or caregivers were physically injured in more than a third of the cases, yet only a small fraction of offenders went to jail and just one in four incidents resulted in police reports, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

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Best use of hatemail ever: Honey Maid: Love (Video)

We made a commercial about what makes families, family. And we received a lot of comments. See what we did with them.

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Survey: One third of American parents mistakenly link vaccines to autism

According to a survey released today by the National Consumers League (NCL), the nation's pioneering consumer organization, adult Americans lack sufficient information about the safety of vaccines and the risks of failing to vaccinate for highly contagious diseases. Despite scientific studies clarifying that vaccines are not linked to autism in children, 33 percent of parents of children under the age of 18 and 29 percent of all adults continue to believe "vaccinations can cause autism." According to public health experts, the failure to vaccinate children has recently led to outbreaks of highly contagious, preventable, and sometimes deadly diseases, like whooping cough.

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America's New Drug Policy Landscape

As the debate over drug policy reaches the national level, 67% of Americans say that the government should focus more on providing treatment for those who use illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine, than on prosecuting drug users. Support for a treatment-based approach spans nearly all demographic groups, according to a national survey from the Pew Research Center.

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Books: In Search of the American Dream

The American Dream – the idea that hope and the promise of a good life is attainable through hard work and perseverance – is an ideal as familiar to American culture as motherhood, apple pie and rugged individualism.

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Batter Up! Student Math Wizards Aim for the Fences with Baseball Scheduling System

If slamming a 90-mph fastball into the centerfield stands sounds tough, try scheduling a minor league baseball season.

Here are some of the challenges: Did each team get the correct mix of home and away games? Are enough dates reserved for division rivals? Did each team get a fair share of lucrative weekend dates? Do required rest days follow rigorous road trips? And where is the work-around for that Sunday afternoon when a dog show is booked for the ballpark?

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Urban gardeners may be unaware of how best to manage contaminants in soil

Consuming foods grown in urban gardens may offer a variety of health benefits, but a lack of knowledge about the soil used for planting could pose a health threat for both consumers and gardeners. In a new study from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), researchers identified a range of factors and challenges related to the perceived risk of soil contamination among urban community gardeners and found a need for clear and concise information on how best to prevent and manage soil contamination. The results are featured online in PLOS ONE.

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Scientists pinpoint why we miss subtle visual changes, and why it keeps us sane

Ever notice how Harry Potter's T-shirt abruptly changes from a crewneck to a henley shirt in "The Order of the Phoenix," or how in "Pretty Woman," Julia Roberts' croissant inexplicably morphs into a pancake? Don't worry if you missed those continuity bloopers. Vision scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered an upside to the brain mechanism that can blind us to subtle changes in movies and in the real world.

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Hearing loss affects old people's personality

As people approach old age, they generally become less outgoing. New research from the University of Gothenburg shows that this change in personality is amplified among people with impaired hearing. The findings emphasise the importance of acknowledging and treating hearing loss in the elderly population.

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Fraud alert: New malware scams threatening to make 'April fools' out of victims

Anti-fraud advocates at the National Consumers League are warning consumers this month about a scam being tracked by the Federal Trade Commission, the FBI, and other federal agencies: Cryptolocker malware. Crooks are targeting consumers and businesses with sophisticated technology that, spread through email and difficult-to-detect downloads, encrypts the contents of a hard drive, making it impossible to use one's files. According to the FTC, after the malware is installed by an unsuspecting computer user, the Cryptolocker crooks send a ransom note demanding hundreds of dollars in payment via Bitcoin or another anonymous payment method before they will unlock the files. Once a consumer pays the ransom, there's no guarantee that the fraudster will not simply ask for more money.

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An answer to the perennial question: Is it safe to pee in the pool?

Sanitary-minded pool-goers who preach "no peeing in the pool," despite ordinary and Olympic swimmers admitting to the practice, now have scientific evidence to back up their concern. Researchers are reporting that when mixed, urine and chlorine can form substances that can cause potential health problems. Their study appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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Beer marinade could reduce levels of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats

The smells of summer — the sweet fragrance of newly opened flowers, the scent of freshly cut grass and the aroma of meats cooking on the backyard grill — will soon be upon us. Now, researchers are reporting that the very same beer that many people enjoy at backyard barbeques could, when used as a marinade, help reduce the formation of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats. The study appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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Top Ten Ways to Help Spring's Migrating Birds

Despite persistent late-occurring snowstorms, average temperatures are starting to climb, soon to be followed by the most deadly period of the year for birds: springtime. Although spring means new life and hope to many people, billions of birds face the tribulations of a perilous migration followed shortly by breeding and the production of scores of newborn birds that will spend several highly vulnerable weeks as they grow and fledge.

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All You Need is Love? Communication Insights from Pop Music’s Number-One Hits

Researchers from North Carolina State University have analyzed 50 years' worth of hit songs to identify key themes that marketing professionals can use to craft advertisements that will resonate with audiences.

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Guinness beer drops sponsorship of New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade over anti-LGBT policy

GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today responded to Guinness' announcement that the company will drop its sponsorship of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade due to the parade's discriminatory rule that prohibits LGBT families and organizations from participating.

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EPA Asks Americans to Join the Race to Stop Water Leaks

Easy-to-fix household leaks account for more than one trillion gallons of water wasted each year across the United States, equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes. In the race against water waste, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is urging people to fix household water leaks during the sixth annual Fix a Leak Week, March 17 through 23, 2014.

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Spanking babies is surprisingly common in U.S.

The same hands that parents use to lovingly feed, clothe and bathe their babies are also commonly used to spank their bundles of joy.

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Buddhist economics: oxymoron or idea whose time has come?

UC Berkeley economist Clair Brown acknowledges that "Buddhist economics" may seem like an oxymoron.

Nevertheless, she's teaching a sophomore seminar on the topic this semester — the campus's second such offering over the past year.

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National Poison Prevention Week: A Time to Act

It is National Poison Prevention Week (March 16-22, 2014), and the public is urged to use this time to check their homes for hidden poison dangers and to take important steps to eliminate hazards. Last year, more than three million calls were placed to poison centers nationwide due to poison-related exposure.

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Books: Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster

Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster is a definitive, scientific retelling of what happened at Fukushima—and an urgent reminder that U.S. nuclear power isn't as safe as it could and should be.

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Record 10.7 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2013

In 2013 Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation, which is the highest annual public transit ridership number in 57 years, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This was the eighth year in a row that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation systems nationwide. While vehicle miles traveled on roads (VMT) went up 0.3 percent, public transportation use in 2013 increased by 1.1 percent.

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Mercury: Groups Sue FDA for Seafood Health Information

Today, consumer protection and environmental advocates filed a lawsuit in federal district court against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for failing to respond to a July 2011 petition in which the groups asked the FDA to give consumers clear, accurate and accessible information about toxic mercury in the seafood they eat.

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National Parks draw 273.6 million visitors in 2013

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today released the 2013 visitation figures for America's national parks. More than 273.6 million total visits were recorded during the year at the 401 parks, historic sites and recreation areas that make up the National Park System.

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