Archive for April, 2018

What Percentage of the American Workforce Possesses a Nondegree Certificate?

The latest figures from 2016 are outlined in this data point – Degree and nondegree credentials held by labor force participants (issued March 2018). Fully 31% of the labor force has a nondegree certificate.

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However you phrase it, I find these to be a necessity. I cringe when people fold down the page where they have left off reading; that is just pure evil. I have a modest collection of these, ranging from a tattered Strand book store paper marker to one crafted out of metal. Here is a lovely collection of said items; they are even housed in museums such as the Smithsonian. And please don’t ignore the featured selection at the International Friends of Bookmarks. This short piece from 1907 – The History and Development of the Bookmarker – is quite informative.


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What Skillsets Will Future Workers Need?

There are more than a few, according to this piece. But the most important is, as this report states: “Preparing for the future merely requires a commitment to learning [emphasis mine]– one of the most empowering activities a person can engage in. And, with all this change comes great opportunity. So, if you commit to learning and stay ahead of your industry, you’ll put yourself in position to reach your goals – regardless of where you stand now.” Those jobs that are predicted to grow the most will require education and re-training.

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Rare Earth Elements – Recent Developments

In a discovery that might alter the world’s economic infrastructure, a small island off Japan has been found to contains hundreds of years’ worth of rare earth elements used in everything from cellphones to computers to batteries. Read the original paper here.

China has long held the spot as the top producer of these metals, but this find will weaken its stranglehold on the marketplace. China’s Rare-Earth Industry (US Geological Survey Open File Report, 2011) presents a lucid explanation of China’s situation. This 2017 USGS Professional Paper – Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply – reinforces the national security implications for this country not having adequate supplies of these metals.

These CRS reports provide additional information:  China’s Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States (2012); Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress (2013); Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain (2013); and China’s Mineral Industry and U.S. Access to Strategic and Critical Minerals: Issues for Congress (2015).

This 2015 RAND dissertation – Critical Rare Earths, National Security, and U.S.-China Interactions – has proven useful as well as this 2013 report Critical Materials Present Danger to U.S. Manufacturing.

And don’t forget Mission 2016: The Future of Strategic Natural Resources from MIT.


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Organization of American Historians on C-SPAN

Listen to/view the numerous panels hosted by the OAH over the years; they cover a wide range of topics.

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2018 Pulitzer Prizes

The various categories are presented along with the winners and runners-up. For the shorter forms of writing (as well as photography and cartooning), links to the full works are given.

Here is the heartfelt speech from Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey for their work on unmasking Harvey Weinstein.

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Do You Know What FANG means?

Every once in a while, someone mentions FANG stocks or companies. FANG is an acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, and it is meant to represent the tech sector. More info can be found here.

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United States Foreign Policy – Some Sites

“U.S. willingness to lead in the creation and sustainment of the open international order derived from a belief among U.S. policymakers that it reflected U.S. values and served U.S. security, political, and economic interests.”

U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues For Congress (CRS, 2019):6

Below are selected links that will lead you to a plethora of governmental and non-governmental information that will inform your discussion of this country’s relationship with the world:

American Presidency Project contains the Public Papers of the Presidents.

BBC Country Profiles (Snapshots of every country; provides links to media).

Brookings (Best of the best US think tank)

Central Intelligence Agency. FOIA Electronic Reading Room (Thousands of declassified documents. Peruse “Historical Collections”)

Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook (Great source for country-specific information.)

Chatham House (Royal institute of International Affairs)

Congressional Research Service is essentially the think tank for Congress. Thousands of reports are generated each year on diverse topics, many pertaining to foreign policy.

Council on Foreign Relations (Top US think tank)

Country Commercial Guides (Provides US businesses with an inside look into market conditions and events that might impact them)

Country Indictors for Foreign Policy. (Provides risk assessment through the lenses of external and internal stakeholders.)

Country Studies provides monographic treatments on the history and culture of various nations.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Vault (declassified documents through FOIA)

Foreign Relations of the United States.(THE definitive record of US diplomatic relations edited for public consumption. More recent volumes are here.)

GovInfo. Foreign Relations. (Provides access to thousands of government reports, hearings, etc)

National Security Archive Briefing Books. (Hundreds of topical reports each with primary source material)

Think Tanks by Region and Topic of Research

US Department of State. Bilateral Fact Sheets. (Brief overview of US interactions with other countries)

United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs. Find current hearings here.

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Find current hearings here.

Wilson Center Digital Collections (Document-laden source material)

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2018 Best Places To Live

US News & World Report has compiled the 125 best cities in which to live. While our neighbors in New York and Pennsylvania made the list, unhappily New Jersey is not represented. Well what does US News & World Report know anyway.

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American Libraries in 2018

The American Library Association has just released its 2018 State of America’s Libraries that reinforces the crucial role libraries play in the development of their respective communities be that academic, public, special, or school. Of particular interest is the summation of academic library activities on page 8.

Libraries act as both institutional repositories of knowledge and as centers of engagement through diverse offerings such as the provision of ESL classes to the creation of makerspaces to library instruction classes in colleges (in this latter category, 6.2 million students were reached). A brief but data-laden report highlighting libraries’ contributions to the populace they serve.

“Knowledge is power.” Francis Bacon, Meditations, 1597.

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Facebook on Capitol Hill

Today starts a two-day cycle of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimonies (here is his published written testimony) to various Congressional committees; the first hearing begins at 2:15 this afternoon, and the subsequent hearing for April 11 starts at 10am. An informative review of this massive data breach is here.

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What Does the Future Hold for Jersey City’s Real Estate Market?

Read this report 2018 Emerging Trends in Real Estate from PWC and the Urban Institute to find out. To keep abreast of Jersey City real estate developments, please come here.

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Looks Like Eating Pasta Is Healthy For You

Worried about weight gain while indulging in one of your favorite foods? You may not have to fret about that at all if you go along with the conclusions contained in this article – Effect of pasta in the context of low-glycaemic index dietary patterns on body weight and markers of adiposity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials in adults.  Finisci di mangiare!

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Today in History: The Assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of this charismatic leader. Please come here to view our previous entries on him; these posts include primary sources along with his papers.

The Civil Rights Museum hosted MLK 50: Where Do We Go From Here? on April 2 & 3, 2018, while C-SPAN contains six programs featuring Dr King, including an episode of “Meet the Press” that aired on March 28, 1965. Newspaper front pages reporting on his death can be perused online as well; The Atlantic has a special issue on Dr King.

You can also peruse the multi-volume Investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. [microform]: hearings before the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives and Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations, U.S. House of Representatives….findings and recommendations.

And do not ignore this April 3, 2018 video interview – Taylor Branch on the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (Taylor Branch won the Pulitzer Prize for one volume in his trilogy on Dr King.)

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Food and Housing Insecurity Among College Students

This just-released report – Still Hungry and Homeless – presents a sobering picture of contemporary college life. According to this report:

“We find:
• 36% of university students were food insecure in the 30 days preceding the survey. This year’s estimate for community college students is 42%, but our larger study last year found 56%.2
• 36% of university students were housing insecure in the last year. Housing insecurity affected 51% of community college students in last year’s study, and 46% in this year’s study.
• 9% of university students were homeless in the last year. In comparison, 12% of community college students were homeless in this year’s survey, and 14% in last year’s survey.”

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National Security Reports – March 2018 Update

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