Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
- Congress should pass the E-Government reauthorization act, which would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to create best practices to encourage searchability of federal Web sites.
- OMB should officially recognize the importance of commercial search engines to Internet users and work with the CIO Council to adopt policies to help users find information.
- Agencies should adopt an information policy that makes public accessibility of online content and resources a priority.
- Agencies should create Sitemaps of content on their sites, with special attention given to materials stored in databases and accessible only through drop-down menus. For example, many agencies have FAQ databases that are not accessible to search crawlers but contain very succinct and useful answers to common questions.
- Agencies should review their use of robots.txt files in order to ensure they are used in the least restrictive way possible. Every effort should be made to include, rather than exclude, materials from the website, whether materials were excluded purposefully or accidentally in the past.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Don't let the Attwater's prairie chicken go the way of the dodo; adopt a prairie chicken through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The $25 donation goes to programs raising the chickens. Donors receive an informational packet about the threats facing the prairie chicken.
To see Attwater's prairie chickens, visit the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, 10, 528 acres dedicated to increasing their population. The refuge is approximately an hour drive from Houston.
For more information about Attwater's prairie chicken, check out these links:
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Besides admiring the lights, visitors may explore the history of East Texas. Numerous historical homes, such as the Starr Family Mansion, decorate for Christmas and offer tours throughout December.
For information about other holiday activities in Marshall, see the Marshall Chamber of Commerce website.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Still, many do not consider the Texas Thanksgiving the first Thanksgiving. Check out the Library of Congress website for more information on the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
On Wednesday, November 14, the Center for the Study of Foreign Languages (CSL) at Rice University is hosting an International Education and Language Fair. From 4:00-5:00 pm on the first floor of Razor Hall, the CSL will have informational booths, songs, food and other visual arts. From 5:00-6:00 pm the center will offer Language and Culture Test Drives, mini courses in 12 languages to give participants a few new words and some fun facts.
In addition to the CSL fair, the Office of International Students & Scholars Web site has a complete listing of International Education Week events on the Rice University campus including a picture contest, a soccer tournament, and a tasting of international sweet treats.
Friday, November 09, 2007
- Terrorism by Event 1980-2005
- Terrorist Incidents in the United States 1980-2005
- Terrorist Activity by Region 1980-2005
- Casualties of Terrorism 1980-2005
Previous reports are also available:
Thursday, November 08, 2007
ABC 13, KHOU 11 (CBS), and Click2Houston.com (NBC) (under local headlines on the politics page) and the Houston Chronicle (politics page) have also compiled results in a user-friendly format. However, election results from these news organizations appear on their November 8, 2007 pages and may require searching archives to access the same information at a later date.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
In Houston a special Veteran's Day Parade will take place Sunday, November 11, 2007 from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm with a gathering at Hermann Square (900 Smith Street) and a parade on Smith Street from Texas to Lamar. See the flier for a list of activities and entertainment.
Rice University will honor its veterans with an outdoor ceremony around the Rice Memorial Center flagpole (Ray Courtyard) on Friday, November 9 at 11:00 am. A reception will follow the 20-minute ceremony. Veterans are welcome to wear their uniforms.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
The Texas Clipper will join the Liberty Ships, WWII merchant marine ships sunk along the Gulf Coast, as part of the Ships-to-Reefs division of the Texas Artificial Reef Project. The sunken ships serve as historical sites, ocean habitats, and scuba diving and fishing areas.
Two other divisions of the Texas Artificial Reef Project, the Rigs-to-Reefs and Near Shore/Shallow Reefs, provide additional ocean habitats.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Congresspedia (from the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Media and Democracy) now provides you a forum. Nicknamed the “citizen's encyclopedia on Congress that you can edit, ” the wiki includes the following sections:
- Wiki the Vote which focuses on U.S. Congressional elections with information about candidates, election coverage, and listings of local U.S. Congressional-related blogs by state.
- U.S. Presidential Election, 2008 which discusses announced and rumored presidential candidates and provides some information about primaries, debates, Congressional endorsements, and political ads.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
- Texas Legislature Online (TLO) provides several RSS feeds including Texas congressional calendars, fiscal notes, and bill text.
- Texas Secretary of State RSS feed features press releases.
- Texas Comptroller News contains tax information updates. activities information, including hunting and special park events
- Texas Parks & Wildlife News activities information, including hunting and special park events.
Monday, October 22, 2007
- Threat Awareness,
- Prevention and Protection,
- Surveillance and Detection, and
- Response and Recovery.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
- Create a Culture of Collaboration
- Accelerate Information Sharing
- Foster Collection and Analytic Transformation
- Build Acquisition Excellence and Technology Leadership
- Modernize Business Practices
- Clarify and Align DNI's Authorities
Friday, October 12, 2007
The Commission identifies eight principles to guide "the development and delivery of future benefits for veterans and their families." The principles recognize the sacrifices veterans have made and emphasize rehabilitation and reintegration into civilian life as quickly and completely as possible. They include offering a "full range of health care" at no cost to service-disable veterans and call for a consistent, fair, equitable, and timely delivery of services. The report reveals that the "VA Rating Schedule has not been adequately revised since 1945" and suggests that it be updated frequently. The Commission makes 113 recommendations and includes a priority list for immediate consideration.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
If the State Fair is not in your travel plans, though, the Texas Agriculture Department has made available online abundant harvest information. If you would like to find where to buy pecans, tree-ripened apples, or 1015 onions grown in Texas, access the Go Texan Produce Directory. If flowers are more to your liking, visit the Go Texan Horticulture Directory to view gorgeous flower pictures and learn about what type of plants, soils, and aquatics are suitable for Texas.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
In Texas Governor Perry has ordered all U.S. and Texas flags at buildings under the control of the state to be flown at half staff, and encourages others to do the same. Last year, on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Perry helped dedicate a monument in Corpus Christi to Coastal Bend men and women who have served in the Global War on Terror.
In Houston Mayor Bill and Andrea White will serve as honorary chairs for the Second Annual Firefighters Gala at the Wortham Theater hosted by the Fire Fighters Foundation of Houston, established last year to commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9-11. The foundation provides non-governmental funding to help provide Houston's fire fighters with equipment, technology, and tools.
At Rice University the Rice Chorale, directed by Thomas Jaber, will commemorate 9/11 with a performance of Mozart's Requiem at 12 noon at the Shepherd School of Music.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Ambassador Crocker's statement
Friday, September 07, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The Army is taking steps not only to reduce suicides, but also to increase awareness about mental health issues and decrease the stigma associated with seeking mental health care. One resource readily available to military personnel, their families, and the general public is the Army's Suicide Prevention Web site.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
August 6 and 9 mark the sixty-second anniversary of the atomic bomb detonations over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan respectively. To read about the American occupation of these two cities right after the bombing and the corresponding radiation risks to American troops, access "Hiroshima and Nagasaki Occupation Forces" hosted by the U.S. Department of Defense's Threat Reduction Agency (DRTA). (The link takes you to the DRTA fact sheet page. Enter "Hiroshima" in the search box at the top and press go. Choose the "News Media Resources: DRTA Fact Sheets - Hiroshima and Nagasaki Occupation Forces). The fact sheet, intended to be an information source for U.S. soldiers possibly affected by radiation, includes information about repatriating American prisoners of war (POWs) from those two areas. The chart pictured here and a similar chart for Nagasaki helps soldiers and POWs assess their risks.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
Starting July 24, 2007 the minimum wage will increase from $5.15/hr. to $5.85/hr. except in American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands which have their own transition schedules. First appearing as The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, the act was signed into law on May 25, 2007 as part of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007.
The act raises wages in three increments:
- to $5.85/hr. on July 24, 2007
- to $6.55/hr. on July 24, 2008
- to $7.25/hr. on July 24, 2009.
According to the Department of Labor (DOL), if federal and state minimum wage rates conflict, the higher standard applies. Consult DOL's Minimum Wage Laws in the States - April 30, 2007 to view state rates. For posters and further information, access DOL's minimum wage page.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The second collection, the CAESAR-POLO-ESAU papers, focuses on Soviet (CAESAR) and Chinese (POLO) leadership hierarchies, and Sino-Soviet relations (ESAU) from 1953 to 1973.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
- Critical Information Sharing Faces Substantial Obstacles
- Accurate and Complete Information on Individuals Prohibited from Possessing Firearms is Essential to Keep Guns Out of the Wrong Hands
- Improved Awareness and Communication are Key to Prevention
- It is Critical to Get People with Mental Illness Services They Need
- Where We Know What to Do, We Have to be Better at Doing It
See our prior post on this topic.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
A beautiful new publication was recently released on GPO Access. Senate Document 109–19 — A Botanic Garden for the Nation, The United States Botanic Garden is available as a pdf file or for purchase from GPO (Government Printing Office).
A virtual tour of the Garden and more information about the gardens and conservatory are available on the United States Botanic Garden website.
- United Kingdom
- United States
- also represented is the European Commission
See news coverage of the Summit at:
New York Times
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
For scientific and technical information from the Department of Defense, search DTIC's Scientific and Technical Information Network. The multisearch feature lets you search across an array of government databases.
Friday, May 25, 2007
The main mission of the Government Printing Office is to make information from all three branches of the federal government available to the public. A major part of this mission involves the Federal Depository Library Program which sends government information to more than 1250 libraries including Rice University's Fondren Library.
Monday, May 21, 2007
In April EAC Commission Gracia Hillman addressed criticism of the study mainly concerning the handling of research data developed by consultants. Commission Hillman's recommendations were that the:
- EAC request its Inspector General to investigate the issues of this matter and report its findings as quickly as possible.
- EAC release the consultants' report.
- EAC establish additional processes that will allow the public even greater opportunity to follow and understand the developments of our research and study projects.
Monday, May 14, 2007
For those who want to avoid future stamp price increases, the United States Postal Service has introduced "Forever Stamps" available from the The Postal Store. Also available from The Postal Store is a link to a pdf containing the new domestic and international rate charts.
Friday, May 11, 2007
The City of Houston is also conducting an election to fill the at-large city council seat left vacant by Shelley Sekula-Gibbs. The League of Women Voters of the Houston Area has posted the candidates' answers to questions about their backgrounds, city spending, a comprehensive plan for the City of Houston, and environmental pollution.
In addition to local issues, an important constitutional amendment (Proposition 1) is on the ballot. The amendment provides for seniors and disabled homeowners to be included in the property tax reduction granted last year to all other homeowners. A discussion of the pros and cons about this amendment is available from the Texas Legislative Council, the League of Women Voters, and the Houston Chronicle.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
- 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. April 30 - May 4
7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. May 5
1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. May 6
7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. May 7-8
For a map of polling locations, access the Election 2007 icon on the Harris Votes elections page.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Ask the White House for April 25, 2007
President and Mrs. Bush Discuss Malaria Awareness Day
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Similarly, the Rice University Student Association is addressing global warming by sponsoring a Carbon Neutral Day on April 20th, 2007. The association will buy "carbon credits" to pay for clean energy and energy efficient projects that equal the amount of emissions attributed to Rice's energy consumption for a single day. The association hopes to collect enough money to buy 55 tons of carbon credits at $10/ton ($550). Those wishing to donate can send checks by April 5 made out to Rice University (with the memo line indicating carbon credits) to:
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
up to 1 ounce - 41 cents
up to 2 ounces - 58 cents
up to 3 ounces - 75 cents
up to 3.5 ounces - 92 cents
Letters that weigh over 3.5 ounces now fall under flats.
(One way to avoid future increases is to purchase the "forever stamp" which may be used for the prevailing rate at the time of mailing even though it was purchased initially for a lower rate.)
Flats: start at 80 cents and increase at 17 cents with each ounce. Example:
up to one ounce - 80 cents
up to two ounces - 97 cents
up to three ounces $1.14
flats weighing 13 ounces and above fall into Priority Mail category
Parcels: start at $1.13 and increase 17 cents with each ounce. Example:
up to one ounce - $1.13
up to two ounces $1.30
up to thee ounces $1.47
up to four ounces $1.64
A complete listing of the new rates and fees is available as a pdf or an html file.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
- Official Congressional information from Thomas, made available by GovTrack.us: bills, votes, committee reports, and more.
- News articles about bills and Members of Congress from Google News.
- Blog posts about bills and Members of Congress from Google Blog Search and Technorati.
- Campaign contribution information for every Member of Congress from the website of the non-profit, non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, OpenSecrets.org.
- Congress Gossip Blog: a blog written by the site editors of OpenCongress that highlights useful news and blog reporting from around the web. The blog also solicits tips, either anonymous or attributed, from political insiders, citizen journalists, and the public in order to build public knowledge about Congress.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Texas Open Government Information
- Texas Open Meetings Act (Govt. Code Chapter 551)
- Public Information Act (Govt. Code Chapter 552
- Texas State Attorney General's Website on Open Government - includes links to laws, regulations, decisions, rulings and frequently asked questions about open government in Texas
- Laws on open government often fall short
- Curley discusses open government efforts
- Texas officials keeping records secret, audit shows
More information about open access to government information
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Washington Post about the out-patient medical treatment of veterans with physical or psychological injuries. Representative McCarthy of New York proposed that implementing health information technology would prevent medical records from being lost and make transitioning from the hospital to out-patient care easier especially for brain-injured patients. Senator Dorgan expressed concern about the lack of resources for the Veterans Administration (VA) to which many patients are transitioned. He described the suicide of a veteran home from Iraq who had not been able to get immediate attention despite showing up at a VA hospital and admitting he was suicidal. To address these concerns, Senator Akaka recommended a $2.9 billion increase over figures submitted by the administration for the fiscal year 2008 Department of Veterans Affairs' budget. The increase includes an additional $300 million for the treatment of brain injury and and an additional $693 million for VA mental health programs.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
The National Museum of the American Indian always has online exhibitions very much worth visiting. In addition, the Smithsonian Institution has a wonderful site, American Indian History and Culture, which documents Native American collections in the Institution's collections.
In terms of current policy, the EPA maintains the American Indian Environmental Office, which handles environmental issues on Indian lands. The U.S. Census Bureau has a webpage devoted to statistical information on American Indian and Alaska Native Populations. Other links of interest include the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, The Department of Justice's Office of Tribal Justice, and HUD's Office of Native American Programs (ONAP). For the time being, the website of the Bureau of Indian Affairs is offline.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
To learn more about President Kennedy's legacy, access the
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum site. The museum links historical documents that reveal the policies, life, and times of our thirty-fifth president. Access the multimedia White House Diary (under Historical Resources) to experience the day-to-day routine and momentous events of his presidency.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
- Spring Break - International Travel Safety Information for Students
- Spring Break in Mexico
- New Requirements for Travelers
- Register Your Trip
- Travel Tips for Students
- Tips for Women Traveling Alone
- Travel Warning on Drugs Abroad
- Emergencies and Crises
- Consular Information Sheets
- Help for American Victims of Crime Overseas
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Monday, February 05, 2007
For information about the budget process see:
Budget of the United States: About
Searching guide from GPO Access
Wikipedia article on the United States budget process
A Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process from the GAO (500 pages!)
The Budget Process from the House Committee on Rules
Friday, February 02, 2007
"Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values determined from ice cores spanning many thousands of years. The global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land-use change, while those of methane and nitrous oxide are primarily due to agriculture."
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
- The U.S. Fact Sheet on assistance for Afghanistan outlining President Bush's plan to ask Congress for and additional $2 billion for reconstruction and an addition $8.6 billion for security
- NATO topic page on Afghanistan with links to news articles and general information
- U.S. Department of State information page on Afghanistan