Archive for September, 2018

Walk, Don’t Run, Just Walk

Walking can be done anywhere, requires no expensive gear, can be done by yourself or with others, and you don’t have to pay membership fees. It is the best method for keeping yourself healthy. If you don’t believe that, peruse this special issue of the prestigious British Medical Journal. Although most of the contents are behind paywalls, the two original studies (here and here) are freely available. The conclusion of the first article says it all: “Walking is known to benefit health. Assuming causal relationships, these analyses suggest that increasing walking pace could be linked with lower risk for all-cause and CVD [cardio-vascular disease] mortality.”

A quick review of “walking” and “heath benefits” in PubMed Central garners over 8,000 full text articles, an indication of the validity of walking as a healthy activity. Strap on your sneakers and get moving!

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Puerto Rico One Year Later

This special report from The New York Times, makes for sobering reading. On-the-ground reporting in addition to data analysis present a picture that is at odds with what the administration has been saying for some time. Features from NPR and CNN validate the paper’s findings.

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Updated Profile of Congress (September 12, 2018)

This statistical report highlights some of the main characteristics of Congress as a whole; it is updated as necessary throughout a Congressional term.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: “Jersey City News”

There is an immediacy to newspapers, a “lived” feeling not present in dusty tomes or learned articles. It is a more personal odyssey, articles sometimes written under deadlines or emotional distress.

If you think current politics in Jersey City are a sign of the times, please think again. The pages of the Jersey City News are replete with shenanigans dating back to the late 19th century. This almost complete run, from 1889-1906, provides a unique view of newsworthy events through Jersey eyes. The Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Irish question,  the assassination of President McKinley, politics involving freeholders, the complaints about the sewer systems, all these topics and more are covered in these pages. Another local primary source well worth perusing.

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Oxford’s Annual J R R Tolkien Lecture

In honor of Tolkien, who was a professor at Pembroke College, Oxford, Pembroke has established an annual lecture series to explore fantasy literature. So far a half a dozen luminaries from this field have spoken at this meeting. To watch the videos of these lectures, please come here.

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Astounding Stories

Astounding Stories (its title varies) was first published in 1930; what is located here are full text issues from the beginning until early in 1933. Featuring lurid covers (many of reproduced in this selection), this monthly brought Ray Cummings and Murray Leinster to the public’s eye. Over the years, Astounding published some of the best science fiction under the tutelage of legendary editor John W Campbell, an author in his own right.; its successor today is Analog. For additional information on magazines of this kind (called “pulps”), this is a most informative site.

A book has just been published devoted to this magazine; you can read parts of it online.

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National Defense University Press

The NDU Press publishes on a wide variety of military and security-related topics. Running the gamut from papers to monographs, the Press publishes both practitioner-based and scholarly works. Some recent examples include: Don’t Shoot the Messenger: Demosthenes, Churchill, and the Consensus Delusion and The Armed Forces Officer (a classic, required read). From biological warfare to military history to space operations, the Press is sure to have something of interest to those who visit its site. And all the titles are available for free downloads!

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FEMA and Puerto Rico

Contrary to President Trump’s assertions, the effort to rebuild Puerto Rico was/is hampered by incompetence on many levels but the deficiencies of the FEMA response have been recently highlighted. Even FEMA admits its own problems in its after-action report. This viewpoint is buttressed by a recent GAO report – 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires: Initial Observations on the Federal Response and Key Recovery Challenges. FEMA’s experience in Puerto Rico has informed its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.

Of course, it must be remembered that FEMA is not a first-responder but is actually a coordinator or facilitator of responses to natural or manmade disasters. However, this in no way mitigates the under-performance of this vital agency in Puerto Rico. It can draw on many governmental offices and experts to help plan recoveries. FEMA “… coordinates programs to improve the effectiveness of emergency response providers at all levels of the government, initiates proactive mitigation activities….” (US Government Manual)

For those interested, here is the impartial George Washington University report that indicates that the mortality figure for Puerto Rico stands at nearly 3,000, not the dozens touted by the current administration.

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Socio-demographic Profile of the Hispanic Population of the United States

Based on the 2017 American Community Survey estimates, 18% of the United States’ population claim Hispanic heritage. This site offers 308 separate tables across 50 nationalities, a veritable goldmine of information; based on the 2016 ACS, here is New Jersey’s Hispanic profile Please read this informative article from the Pew Research Center – How the U.S. Hispanic population is changing.

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Pending NJ Legislation Mandating Colleges List All Their Fees

Sticker shock just does not relate to tuition; fees can comprise a substantial part of college expenses. (Consult 10 Surprising College Fees You May Have To Pay) The problem is fees are not always made public until one registers. To help combat this practice and provide greater transparency, A3625 would require colleges to develop written policies concerning all fees: “For each mandatory student fee the documentation shall include, at a minimum, the purpose of the student fee, the criteria used to determine its rate, the projected mandatory fee revenue, and the appropriate use of the revenue;…”(2) NJ Spotlight, as always, provides an informative review of this situation.


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Tour of the Renovated Main Branch of the Jersey City Public Library

Come here for pictures of this restored municipal treasure.

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Median Household Income Up, Poverty Rate Falls, and Health Insurance Coverage Rates Basically Unchanged

This information comes courtesy of the following reports: Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017 (income increased 1.8% over 2016 – this is the third year in a row of increases; poverty rates fell .4% – this is also the third consecutive year that this rate has fallen); and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2017.

More statistical breakdowns are available in each report.

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How Much Do New Jersey Teachers Earn?

This interactive feature allows you to view MEDIAN figures arranged by county or by district, as well as supplying salaries from 2016/17 for comparative purposes. Charter schools are also included. Please note that several districts/schools are not included in this list: East Newark Borough and Guttenberg Town in Hudson County, Palisades Park in Bergen County, Freedom Prep Charter School in Camden County and Ocean Academy Charter School in Ocean County.

For national AVERAGE salaries, please look at this chart that tracks salaries over the decades through 2016/17.

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The United States’ Role in Stabilizing Fragile States

As the United States slowly withdraws from world affairs, a power vacuum is created, and in many instances is being filled by either China or Russia. In certain parts of the world, these two powers are now the dominant players. The largest foreign presence in Africa is now China (see China in Africa from CFR) while Russia expands its influence in the Middle East and the Arctic, among other areas (see Containing Russia: How to Respond to Moscow’s Intervention in U.S. Democracy and Growing Geopolitical Challenge, especially pp. 15-17)

In these fractious regions, many nations are “fragile states“, states teetering on the brink of failure, chaos, and dissolution. Can the United States still play a role in these tumultuous times? Can this country still be a factor even as the current administration practices disengagement from world affairs/responsibilities? Can the United States mitigate the desperate circumstances in countries where infrastructure no longer exists and presents a breeding ground for terrorism? Can United States “soft power” offset the economic and geopolitical inroads developed by China and Russia? These considerations are examined in the just-released report – Beyond the Homeland: Protecting American from Extremism in Fragile States. This is an interim report; the full report will be released next year. But this slim volume does present scenarios and how the United States can counter or engage them.

An interview with the authors of this report, the same men who chaired the 9/11 Commission should be perused.



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9/11 Ceremonies in Hudson County

This listing provides you will locations for the various ceremonies scattered throughout the county; NJCU has its own remembrance. For those of you who do not remember, NJCU lost some of its own that day: Kevin W Donnelly and Thomas A Gardner from the Fire Science Department; and Kalyan Sarkar from the School of Business.

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Dozens of New Jersey Schools Closing Early Due to Excessive Heat – Thursday, September 6, 2018

Schools in New Jersey just don’t close for snow, you know. These districts, including Jersey City, are having early dismissals because of the excessive heat today.

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National Security Reports – August 2018 Update

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Welcome to the 2018/19 Academic Year!

We at the Library extend best wishes and felicitations to both new and returning students. Please remember that we are here to help you, no matter what your information needs. The regular hours for the Library look like this: Monday-Thursday 7:30am – 10pm; Friday 7:30am – 5pm; Saturday 9am – 5pm; Sunday 10am – 4pm . Changes to the schedule are here.

Here are some handy NJCU sites for you. When you need to contact a department or faculty member, use the university’s online campus directories.

To purchase textbooks for your courses and to see if there are used cheaper copies or a rental option, access the bookstore.

If you need to consult master course lists or catalogs, you may come to the Library or peruse the latest versions here.

And let us not forget the Office of Campus Life.

For those taking mass transportation, check this NJ Transit site.

Cafeteria hours, menus, specials, etc are available at this Gourment Dining site.

All students should read and be familiar with NJCU’s student policies. 

Also, please peruse the award-winning Gothic Magazine, read The Gothic Times (your student newspaper) and keep up with the Gothic Knights sports teams at this official and informative site. Learn about NJCU through this informative historical timeline and visit the accolade-laden Jersey City Past and Present. Make the most of your time here.

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