Get Moving During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
As the weather gets nicer in May, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors to celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Spend some time this month enjoying the warmer weather while sneaking in extra physical activity.
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. You can play games with your family like wiffle ball, tag and capture the flag. Go to a local park or use your backyard to run around with your kids. Before you know it, you’ll have met the daily guidelines of 60 minutes of movement for kids and 30 minutes for adults.
No one wants to get hurt and have to spend time on the sidelines. But if you do end up with an injury, learn the best at-home treatments and when you should call in the professionals. You’ll also find tips on how to prevent more injuries in the future.
You can find more ideas to get you and your family moving at LetsMove.gov.
Improve Your Community and Make a Difference by Volunteering
You can give back to your community in a variety of ways – each one making a bigger difference than you could ever imagine. But sometimes finding the right service opportunities can be the biggest challenge in getting started. These resources can help you find projects in your area:
Created by a partnership of government agencies to help America’s natural and cultural resources, Volunteer.gov makes it easy for you to find volunteer opportunities across the country. Search by date or by state to find an array of volunteer activities, from serving in a wildlife refuge to helping clean up a national park.
Join forces with one of the largest federal government volunteer organizations, the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service. You can find ways to donate time, goods or money for those who have fought for our country. Find local events and programs that help those who need it most.
Students are a rare group who usually have both the time and energy to help those around them. And many high schools and colleges have volunteering requirements. Use Catch the Spirit, a guide to helping students get involved in their communities for ideas on getting started. Volunteering is a great learning experience and also helps build your resume.
If you enjoy working outside and want to help protect the land and animals around you, Take Pride in America offers perfect volunteer opportunities for you. The Department of the Interior promotes Take Pride in America to help all public lands across the country, both state and federally owned.
Social media is a part of daily life, but what happens to the online content that you created once you die?
If you have social media profiles set up online, you should create a statement of how you would like your online identity to be handled. Just like a traditional will helps your survivors handle your physical belongings, a social media will spells out how you want your online identity to be handled.
Like with a traditional will, you’ll need to appoint someone you trust as an online executor. This person will be responsible for closing your email addresses, social media profiles, and blogs after you are deceased. Take these steps to help you write a social media will:
Review the privacy policies and the terms and conditions of each website where you have a presence.
State how you would like your profiles to be handled. You may want to completely cancel your profile or keep it up for friends and family to visit. Some sites allow users to create a memorial profile where other users can still see your profile but can’t post anything new.
Give the social media executor a document that lists all the websites where you have a profile, along with your usernames and passwords.
Stipulate in your will that the online executor should have a copy of your death certificate. The online executor may need this as proof in order for websites to take any actions on your behalf.
Check to see if the social media platforms have account management features to let you proactively manage what happens to your accounts after you die. For example, Google’s Inactive Account Manager allows you to manage how you want your online content to be saved or deleted. This feature also lets you give permission for your family or close friends to access the content you saved on Google websites after you die.
Many people think that having an environmentally friendly house means spending thousands of dollars on solar panels or planting a garden on the roof to keep the house cool during the summer time.
That’s not really the case. There are many things you can do to help the environment without having to transform your home, or even spend too much money. In fact, you might end up saving hundreds of dollars per year in the process.
The following tips will help you get started.
Use ENERGY STAR Appliances
Refrigerators. Microwaves. Air conditioners. Heaters. Dishwashers. These are the appliances that eat up more than half of the $2,200 an average family spends in energy costs per year. However, you can do your part to help the planet and also save up to 30 percent of the electricity bill by using energy efficient products that have the ENERGY STAR symbol.
To enjoy some of the benefits of appliances with the ENERGY STAR symbol,
Replace the five most used light bulbs in the home with energy-efficient bulbs. This could save you $65 per year in electricity bills.
Replace, whenever you can, old and energy inefficient appliances such as air conditioning units and heating equipment. These devices alone typically consume more than half of the energy in a house.
An easy way to reduce damage to the environment is to use cleaning products that are biodegradable and have low toxicity levels. These products could also make your home safer, as the lower toxicity might reduce the chance of accidental poisonings.
To use eco-friendly cleaning products:
Avoid those products that are highly flammable and are labeled as dangerous or poisonous.
Buy solvent free or bio-based products such as those made with citrus or pine.
Buy products that are certified by third parties such as Green Seal or Scientific Certification Systems.
You can also clean your house by using simple, non-toxic household substances such as white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and borax. However, be careful because these substances don’t work well on all surfaces.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
The Environmental Protection Agency says that recycling is one of the best ways to help the environment. But beyond recycling, it’s important to properly dispose household items like cleaning products, oils, batteries, pesticides and other products containing hazardous components that can harm both humans and the environment.
Your local government recycling program can give you more information on which products can be recycled and how to dispose of dangerous household items.
Look Up Soldiers and Explore Civil War History on New Website
The American Civil War is one of the defining moments in United States’ history. In commemoration of the lives lost and the battles fought, the National Park Service (NPS) created a new website highlight various aspects of the war. You can now find a detailed timeline of events from 1861-1865.
As brothers fought brothers in this deadly war, many lives were lost and families divided. You can search a soldier and sailor database of over 6 million records to find information on your ancestors or famous soldiers on either side of the battle. The NPS also highlights many key issues and events that lead to the start of the war. You can also find, view and plan visits to Civil War battlefields across the United States.
For a more modern twist on the Civil War, follow the Civil War Reporter for interesting Civil War facts and information on Twitter at @CivilWarReportr.
GovLoans.gov has information about government loans available to individuals. You can look for loans by topic, compare them, or take a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility for each program.
Is it a violation of the FCC rules for the TV Media to knowingly falsify a news report. And if so what rule is that? Thank you
The Communications Act of 1934 created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and provided the basis for how it works. It is a violation of the Act for broadcast media to knowingly falsify a news report. The FCC may penalize broadcasters for doing so.
However, another important goal of the Act was to protect free speech. So, the FCC must have real proof that the broadcaster lied on purpose before it can take action. An example of this kind of evidence might be sworn testimony from “insiders” with direct personal knowledge of an intentional falsification of the news. That’s a high bar, but Congress’s intention was to make it very hard for the government to intimidate or control broadcasters.
Find Local Personal Finance Events for Money Smart Week
During Money Smart Week (April 21-28), free classes and activities are available in more than 30 states to help consumers manage their personal finances. You might learn how to apply for a mortgage, prepare for retirement, or teach a young person how to save.
Free Financial Resources To Help Manage Your Money
Previously known as Financial Literacy Month, April is now National Financial Capability Month. The month lets you know about the resources and tools available to help you make sound financial decisions year round.
There are numerous free financial resources available to help you better manage and understand your money.
MyMoney.gov is dedicated to teaching basic financial education through resources and tools from across the federal government. You can use the helpful budgeting calculators to help plan for big life events like buying a house or having a child.
You can also visit ConsumerFinance.gov whose mission is to make consumer financial products and services work for all Americans. You can use the Ask CFPB tool to decode confusing financial jargon and learn about your financial rights.
how can i get help with a credit card ripping me off
We know that it can be tough to navigate the complex terms of your credit card agreement, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is here to help. The CFPB is a government agency dedicated to shedding light on the financial landscape, and we hope you’ll take advantage of the resources we provide.
For example, we recently launched Ask CFPB, a search tool that can help you get plain-language answers to your financial questions and even features a whole section on credit cards. You can rate the questions on Ask CFPB and even suggest your own if you don’t find what you’re looking for.
Sometimes information isn’t enough. That’s why we continue to take your complaints. You can submit a complaint about your credit card company on our website or by calling (855) 411-2372. When you submit your complaint, you will be given a password and a tracking number to follow its progress. We’ll work to get a response from your card issuer.
Or, if you don’t want to submit a formal complaint, you can tell us your story. Share your experiences with personal financial products and services – good or bad – and help inform our ability to protect others.
Answer provided by Maggie Anderson, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of Consumer Engagement.
Help us capture the moment of Earth Day 2012. As part of our ongoing photo project, State of the Environment, we’re launching Environment in a Day to collect photos around the world, taken within the twenty four hour period of Earth Day. To participate, take a photograph where you are on April 22nd, upload it to Flickr, and share it with our State of the Environment group. One photo from each state and U.S. territory will be featured on an interactive map of the moment.
Like to explore? Then Greenquest is for you! Test your knowledge about the environment, solve a puzzle, learn about things you can do, list your name on the wall, and enter the prize drawing to be a guest blogger on EPA’s It’s Our Environment blog.
Look beneath the surface and join the conversation! We’ve created a place for you to talk about environmental issues and share environmental tips you use every day. Watch the video, then start a discussion or join an existing one.
The Anniversary of the 'Shot Heard Around the World'
This illustration from the Library of Congress shows the battle of Concord, where the British Army was met by more than 400 minutemen.
On the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous ride through Massachusetts, hanging two lanterns in the Old North Church, warning his fellow colonists that the British were coming from across the harbor. The British Redcoats marched onto Lexington, Massachusetts where they were greeted by 77 American colonial “minutemen” around dawn on April 19, 1775.
A first shot was fired - still debated among historians which side fired first - but soon eight colonists lay dead in Lexington. The British moved on to Concord, where they were met by 400 more colonists. The first shot in Lexington became known as “the shot heard around the world” marking the start of the American Revolutionary War.
Where To Get Help If You've Been Sexually Assaulted
Sexual violence is a serious public health problem in the United States where 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men report that they have been raped or experienced an attempted rape. These figures don’t reflect victims of other types of sexual violence, or the many victims who are afraid to report such crimes.
In 2011, an average of 1,626,833 families per month received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, commonly called welfare.
The TANF program assists families with children whose parents or responsible caregiver cannot provide for the family’s basic needs. TANF is administered by state, territorial, or tribal governments, not the federal government.
By Chris Kuhn, manager of programs at The Century Council
April is Alcohol Awareness Month – the perfect time for you to open a dialogue with your children about underage drinking. The Century Council’s Ask Listen Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program provides youth ages 9-14 and their parents with information about the dangers of underage drinking.
Tweens know what’s going on, and they’re more than just a little curious about it. So before they’re presented with the opportunity, it’s critical to give them the information they need to make the right decision. Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix provides you with information and practical tips on how to talk to adolescents about alcohol.
Help support them by teaching them how to say “Yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “No” to underage drinking. It is important to have these conversations early and often, not just “one big conversation”. Make sure that either as a parent, teacher, or caregiver, you get involved!
Having a good credit score can make your life easier. You could qualify for loans with better interest rates, rent a house or apartment, and get service from telephone and utility companies. On the other hand, having a bad credit score can make getting all of this much harder.
So what should you do if you want to improve or maintain a good credit score? The following tips might help.
1) Request a free credit report
You can request a free copy of your report every 12 months from each of the three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The official website to get your free credit report is www.annualcreditreport.com.
2) Understand Your Credit Report
Understanding your credit report will help you make better decisions when it comes to your finances, because your credit score is based on your credit report. It includes personal information about you such as:
Your payment history.
How many loans you have and how much you owe.
If you have ever filed for bankruptcy.
3) Check Your Credit Report
Sometimes information on your credit report might be incorrect or incomplete. That’s why you should check it periodically.
If you do find a mistake, these agencies must:
Investigate the discrepancy usually within 30 days and correct it if necessary.
Notify the company that provided the incorrect information.
Provide you with a free copy of your credit report if changes are made.
Paying your bills on time is an important factor in determining your credit score and showing your creditors that you are a responsible consumer. But there are other factors that might impact your credit score:
Be selective when you apply for credit as too many applications may negatively affect your score.
Don’t go over your credit limits. In fact, it is better to stay well below them.
Pay down your debt with regular payments.
5) Get Professional Help
A budget might help you pay your bills on time. If you owe too much or are unable to pay your bills, you might want to consider a credit counseling agency. They can help you to manage your finances or figure out a plan to pay off your debt.
Be careful when seeking out these services, they might charge excessive fees and that can put you deeper in debt. The Federal Trade Commission has more information about credit counseling agencies and how they can help you improve your credit score.