“Let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”—President Obama, December 5, 2013 (via The State Department)
Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability. Four million Americans are living with the effects of stroke.
If you think you or someone near you is having a stroke, call 911 immediately. Getting to a hospital within 60 minutes makes a huge difference in whether or not a stroke victim lives or dies, or the quality of their life afterwards if they do live.
Stroke symptoms are sudden, but sometimes the victim cannot perceive the problem because strokes injure the brain. Symptoms are -
Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you see someone experience facial paralysis on one side or lose the ability to speak or move an arm or leg on one side, call 911.
What to Know Before Shopping Online This Holiday Season
The internet makes holiday shopping so easy—no fighting for parking spaces at jam-packed malls, no waiting in endless lines to get to the register.
But even if you consider yourself a pro, shopping online isn’t without risks. These tips can help you protect yourself and your finances as you hunt for that perfect gift:
1. Use a credit card rather than a debit card. Credit card payments can be withheld if there’s a dispute with a store, and if the card is stolen, you won’t have to pay more than $50 of fraudulent charges. But with a debit card, you can’t withhold payments—the store is paid directly from your bank account. And if your card is stolen, you could be liable for up to $500, depending on when you report it.
2. Find out if the public WiFi hotspot you’re using at a coffee shop or bookstore is secure. If it’s not, your payment information could be compromised over the network.
3. It’s risky not to read the terms of service agreement before you buy online. You could inadvertently sign up for subscriptions or get hit with additional fees or restrictions. Terms of service are often in small print or presented right when you are anxious to purchase.
4. Be careful if you’re buying event tickets online as gifts. Some venues may practice restricted ticketing, requiring the same credit card used in the online purchase to be shown to get into the event.
5. Use caution buying digital assets like books and music—they can’t be given away as gifts if they’ve been downloaded to your account. You should either purchase a gift card for the book or music site, or check with the company. Some services have ways to “gift an item” but it varies depending on the provider.
For more advice on safe online shopping and being a savvy consumer this holiday season and all year long, check out the Consumer Action Handbook–the free government guide to protecting your money.
If you have already signed up for the “Do Not Call” Registry and would now like to have your name and phone number removed from the list, you can call 1-888-382-1222 from the telephone number you want deleted. They will remove your number from the Registry within 24 hours.
Registered and Still Getting Calls Telemarketers should stop calling you after your phone number has been on the “Do Not Call” Registry for 31 days. If you receive a telemarketing call after 31 days, file a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
You may also file a complaint if you receive a call that used a recorded message instead of a live person, even if your phone number is not on the Registry.
The holiday season is here, and many people will be buying toys for children. It’s a nice idea to get children something they like, but it’s more important to buy gifts that are safe, and age-appropriate.
Before you go shopping, check a list of recalled toys. These are toys that don’t meet the safety standards published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Check this online list of recalled toys (see the section marked “toys”) or you can call 1-800- 638- 2772 to get the list.
Consider the child’s age
When buying toys for children, remember to consider their age and abilities.
Make sure to buy a toy that’s age appropriate. Generally, the recommended age range is printed on the package or in the instruction manual like this: 5-6 years or +5 years.
If the child you’re shopping for is under 8 years old, avoid buying toys with sharp points or toys that shoot. These types of toys can cause serious injuries.
Separate toys that belong to older children and store them where small children can’t reach them.
Take additional safety measures
Read product labels to make sure toys or items around the house do not contain lead. This harmful substance can affect a child’s health, even if only a small amount is inhaled or swallowed.
Don’t buy toys with parts that can be removed, like a doll’s eyes, buttons, coins, etc. A child can choke if they swallow these small toy parts.
When buying a battery-operated toy, make sure the battery compartment can’t be opened by a child. Avoid toys that have to be plugged in or that use electrical wires.
When a child opens a toy, immediately throw away packaging, including plastic wrappers, boxes, string or other packaging. Children can accidentally choke or harm themselves if they play with them.
Today, President Obama exercises the most robust of presidential powers and officially pardons two lucky turkeys. These gobblers spend the remainder of their days at Morven Park farm in Virginia, rather than as the star of the Obama family’s Thanksgiving feast.
Presidents used to receive turkeys from various groups all across the country, but today, the pardoned turkeys are presented by the National Turkey Federation (NTF).
Two turkeys are chosen and sent to Washington—while only one appears at the ceremony, both receive the pardon. This year’s birds have been chosen from a flock of 80 on a farm in Badger, Minnesota. NTF Chairman, John Burkel selects the turkeys based on their ability to handle all the cameras and excitement of the ceremony.
Texting while driving is extremely hazardous because it involves visual, manual, and cognitive attention, but any activity that distracts a driver can lead to a serious accident.
Other common distractions include eating, grooming, reading directions, and adjusting the radio.These activities may seem harmless, but the fact is that hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are killed or injured every year as a result of distracted driving.
More than 8 percent of Americans have diabetes and about 35 percent of American adults have prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Without healthy lifestyle changes, those with prediabetes may develop diabetes.
To protect your health, get information about:
Risk Factors - Family history, blood pressure, and other factors can affect your chances of developing diabetes. Take a quick test to learn your level of risk.
Prevention - The onset of Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be prevented or delayed through moderate weight loss, good nutrition and exercise.
How to Manage Diabetes - If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, learn how to stay healthy and keep the disease under control.
Statistics - Get some basic facts, including the prevalence of Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes.
Diet Supplement Recalled After Being Linked to Liver Failure and Death
OxyElite Pro, a diet supplement marketed for weight loss and muscle growth, was recalled after being linked to acute liver failure and cases of hepatitis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that the supplement caused one death and several patients required liver transplants.
The FDA is advising people to immediately stop using OxyElite Pro and another supplement, VERSA-1, which are both manufactured by the same company. VERSA-1 has also been linked to health problems.
If you experience problems after taking OxyElite Pro or VERSA-1, report them online or call 1-800-332-1088 and request a complaint form.
The company that makes OxyElite Pro will destroy the remaining supply of supplements under supervision from the FDA.
U.S. coins list the amount on the reverse side of the coin. For example, a penny says “one cent” on the back and a nickel says “five cents.” But why does the dime says “one dime” instead of “ten cents”?
According to the U.S. Mint, the inscription “one dime” first appeared on the coin in 1837. The word dime is based on the Latin word “decimus,” meaning “one tenth.” The French used the word “disme” (pronounced the same as it is today) when they came up with the idea of money divided into ten parts in the 1500s.
Before the introduction of the nickel (5-cent coin), the U.S. actually had a half dime coin, with the words “half dime” inscribed on it. We checked with the U.S. Mint and they think that the use of “one dime” could have simply been a common inscription between the two coins.
In the winter, when many people turn on their heaters and put up holiday lights, gas and electric bills can be much higher than usual.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), a family spends more than $1,900 a year on electricity bills and other utilities. A big part of those costs come from wasted energy during those cold months.
However, you can save on winter energy costs if you make some changes in certain areas of your home.
Improve the lighting in your home and save energy.
Replace traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which last between six and 12 times longer. Remember to turn off any lights that aren’t in use.
Consider using LED lights for Christmas decorations. These use 90 percent less energy than the standard Christmas lights.
Thermostats and heating
Keep your home warm and comfortable.
Install a programmable thermostat for your home’s heating system.
Keep the doors and windows closed while the heat is on.
Frequently change the filters in your furnace.
Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be energy efficient throughout your home.
Only use the exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathrooms when necessary.
Repair any water leaks in the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, etc.
Use power strips to plug in portable heaters, television and cell phone chargers. That way, you can turn off the power switch when the devices are not in use.
If you’re thinking of replacing your appliances, make sure they have an Energy Star logo. Energy Star products are more energy efficient.
Programs for low-income families
During the winter, the government helps low-income families with their energy bills.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, helps families pay some of their heating costs. To see if you qualify for these benefits, contact your local LIHEAP office for more information.