Research News

There's a Snake Under My Pillow - and other Peace Corps stories

Peace Corps logo

Back in the early 1990s, just after finishing college, I was shipped off to the Central African Republic (CAR) with the Peace Corps as a math teacher. The first few weeks of training were spent in a village in Cameroon called Batié. I remember landing at the Douala International Airport on a balmy June evening hoping to see elephants and giraffes roaming around in the distance. Ah, the naïveté.

Living Large in a Tiny House

Although some trace the beginning of the Small House Movement back to Susan Susanka's 1997 book The Not So Big House, visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian houses could be considered the original inspiration. Designed for the middle class of the 20's and 30's, these one-story homes, with their open floor plans, connection with the outdoors, and simple materials also influenced the design of the ranch houses of the 50's.

End of Open Enrollment

Courtesy of DailyDot.com

"In the past, people buying coverage directly from an insurer could generally sign up any time of the year as long as they got through the medical underwriting process that insurers used to evaluate applicants. Not anymore." (see this Denver Post article for more)

1)  As the end of March draws near, Connect For Health Colorado (CFHC) wants everyone to know that open enrollment is ending for health insurance throughout the state.

Hooray for Hollywood

Hollywood postcard

The 86th Academy Awards will be broadcast this Sunday but the Oscars weren't the first awards given out in Hollywood. In 1920 nine years before the first Academy Awards the movie magazine Photoplay created what is considered the first significant movie award - the Photoplay Magazine Medal of Honor. The award was chosen by the readers of the magazine and awarded to the producer of the film.

Orchids: Wild, Weird & Wonderful

When the winter doldrums set in and I find myself longing for something alive and beautiful to brighten my home, an orchid is my first choice. Fortunately these once exotic and expensive plants are often priced less than a bouquet of fresh flowers. This coupled with the fact that they require little care, can bloom for up to four months, and can, with a little luck, bloom more than once make them a winner in my book.

 

With over 30,000 species and 100,000 hybrids, it's no wonder some of nature's strangest plant specimens are orchids. Although thought of as a tropical plant, they grow on every continent, in every climate, from the Arctic Circle to the Macquarie Islands near Antarctica. The smallest orchid is the size of a dime, while the largest weigh several hundred pounds. The vanilla orchid (and its vanilla bean) is the only commercially grown orchid crop. Some orchid flowers bloom for a few hours and others last up to half a year.

Money Saving Maneuvers 2014 - Using Your Library Card Instead of Your Credit Card

400,000 people can't be wrong. If they are, then I don't want to be right, since that's about the number of people who own Denver Public Library cards.

In Money Saving Manuevers Parts I and II, we discovered some innovative ways to keep your money in your pocket. Next, we'll see how your humble library card can help you save big bucks where kids are concerned, since, according to a recent USDA report, it now costs nearly $250,000 to raise one. And that's not including college.

Money Saving Maneuvers 2014 - Part 2

In Part I, we looked at some simple ways to save money around the house, such as drinking tap water instead of pricey bottled brands and tackling DIY projects. But there are plenty of other areas where you can easily economize, like clothing, technology and travel.

Are you as tired of paying $650.00 for your Gucci jeans as I am? Designer jeans (along with movie popcorn, hotel minibars, and college textbooks) all have giant markups.

20,679 Physicians Say....

Luckies cigarette ad

Fifty years ago this month the first Surgeon General's report linking smoking to cancer and cardiovascular disease was published. The report, Smoking and Health, was released on a Saturday to minimize the effects on financial markets. The report completely changed the way Americans viewed cigarette smoking and tobacco use. In 1964 40% of adults in the U.S. smoked, today its 18%.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has devoted their January 8, 2014 issue to the fifty years of tobacco control in the U.S. There is an interactive timeline of tobacco related events from 1900-1914 in this issue.

Money Saving Maneuvers in 2014: Part I

"I've got all the money I'll ever need, if I die by four o'clock."
--Henny Youngman

The start of a new year is the perfect time to start saving money, whether it's for a household emergency, your kid's college tuition, a new car, or simply to protect yourself from our murky and unpredictable economy.

At War with Winter

Effects of Cold on Morale: Cold produces lethargy. apathy, and slow and clumsy reactions which are accentuated by bulky clothing.  Depression and discouragement, and a firm conviction that they are doing more than their share of the necessarily heavy work, are present in the minds of many individuals. Operations in Snow and Extreme Cold (FM 70-15, 1944)

I have to admit, this strikes a chord with me! As we face the highs and lows of winter in Colorado, a set of War Department documents from DPL's government documents collection shows an earlier generation coping when the work was heavier and clothes bulkier.

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