GM Recall Hearings

The General Motors Recall hearings were held earlier this week. The archived webcasts along with supporting documents are available on the committee websites:

Recall information, including affected vehicles, from GM.

2015 Budget of the United States Government

The 2015 Budget of the United States Government is now available. We thought we’d share this blog post from WatchBlog (GAO) since it has some tips on understanding the whys and hows of the budget: Navigating the Complexities of the Federal Budget.

You might notice that the link on includes 1996 to current budgets. Use FRASER (Federal Reserve) to browse or compare budgets beginning in 1923 to current.

Each agency, department, or bureau should have a notice explaining their part of the 2015 budget.

Healthy & Hunger-Free Kids

We’re hearing a lot of people talking about school lunches. Some of the discussions center on the new Let’s Move & nutrition facts label initiatives, but others are focusing on how many children are hungry each day. Here’s your chance to read and comment on the expansion of the proposed rule Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. You have until 04/28/14 to comment.


Be Prepared: What to Keep at Work for an Emergency

Our experiences with the light dusting (ice & snow) from last week has made us realize that we need an emergency kit for work. A few of us spent 2 nights in the library which made us think about the items we regularly keep here and what we need to add for the next time. We thought we’d share our list:

  • Food – keep shelf stable food (snacks, meals, & drinks/water) in your office. What you keep will depend upon your access to a microwave or whatever is available. Consider tea bags, instant coffee, or even hot chocolate. Popcorn is great because someone you’re stranded with might have an online subscription to Netflix.
  • Phone/Tablet/Laptop chargers
  • Medicines – daily meds & pain reliever
  • Clothing – our campus bookstore opened just for folks to purchase toiletries, food items, & sweats/t-shirts. Think about keeping a extra clothing, socks, & shoes at work.
  • Detergent – if you don’t have extra clothing then you will at least be able to wash your undergarments in the sink.
  • Toiletries – think gym bag items. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, a comb or brush. Add lotion, hair product, maybe a small hairdryer. Don’t forget toothpaste & a toothbrush along with dental floss. And moisturizer, makeup, & whatever else you might need for your face.
  • Some random things are chocolate, a can of soup, a headband, lint roller, nail clippers & file, stain wipes, lip balm, nail polish remover, contact lens supplies, sewing kit, fleece blanket or sleeping bag, & a small pillow.

Remember, these are items to keep at work. Find lists of items to keep in your vehicle & at home at

We’d like to thank Emily Allee for sharing her list.

Chemical Leaks, Fires, & Explosions

Have you ever wondered what the protocol is for investigating chemical leaks (Elk River in Charleston, WV), fires, & explosions (West, TX)? The event is investigated by the Chemical Safety Board. Once the investigation is complete, the board passes their recommendation on to the appropriate regulatory agency such as the EPA or OSHA. The board’s open & closed investigations with recommendations are available for public viewing on their website. We’re pretty sure all chemistry lab teachers know about the board, but just in case, please view & bookmark the After the Rainbow video safety message.



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