Top 10 Science Stories of 2014

These stories were selected by Science and range from the Black Death to “vampire” squirrels. Compare this with the listing from Scientific American.

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New Jersey Has Among the Least Generous Pension Benefits


According to this recently released report from the New Jersey Policy Perspective entitled New Jersey Has Modest Public Pension Benefits, this state “In addition to being some of the least generous pensions in the country, New Jersey’s pensions are modest in dollar amounts, even though the Garden State remains one of the highest-cost states in which to live.”(2)  The report continues stating how the average pension benefits for New Jersey workers average $26,000 and how out of the largest 100 pension plans examined, New Jersey’s is almost last in terms of pension generosity – 95.


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2013/14 Vandalism, Violence, and Bullying Statistics for New Jersey School Districts

The full report is here; previous reports dating to 1999/00 are here. School district figures from 2010/11 are broken down by separate categories, including HIB (harassment, intimidation, and bullying); in addition, data is arranged by county and by charter school. A review of the data is found in the always-reliable NJ Spotlight.

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Today in New Jersey History – December 18

On this date in 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the Constitution. Those tumultuous times are recorded in Minutes of the Convention of the state of New Jersey, holden at Trenton the 11th day of December 1787 (1788; repr. 1888). A more comprehensive look at the entire process of drawing up the Constitution can be found at Primary Documents in American History: United States Constitution as presented by the Library of Congress. Here you will also find mention of the New Jersey Plan as proposed by William Patterson[sic]. Variant versions of this compromise offer are available online.

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Online City Encyclopedias: Dubuque

Based on the 1991 printed edition called Dubuque: The Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia Dubuque contains thousands of updated articles and illustrations highlighting the growth and development of this city. Many articles are hyperlinked and accompanied by original sources and select bibliographies. This work has benefited from a collaboration with the Center for Dubuque History of Loras College.

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U.S. to Re-Establish Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

Within the past hour, President Obama has announced that the United States will start lifting decades-old sanctions against Cuba with the ultimate goal of restoring full diplomatic relations. Read the White House Fact Sheet: Charting a new course on Cuba as well as this informative New York Times article and this Times Topics section on Cuba. In addition, relevant documents concerning our turbulent relations with this island nation are available online. This Department of State page on Cuba provides additional links and more worthwhile information is found in this CRS report Cuba: Policies and Issues for the 113th Congress.

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Senate Report on CIA and Torture

This official site includes the foreword, findings, conclusions, and executive summary (the whole 6700 page collection is still under wraps). N.B., a combination of the large size of the file and public interest has resulted in a very slow download.

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