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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. Offers Halloween Safety Tips

  2. America Falls Back to Standard Time November 6th

  3. USDA Asks What Your MyPlate Looks Like

  4. CDC, Medline Provide Child Development Information

November 15th is
Indiana GIS DAY!

Tuesday, November 15th is the Indiana GIS Day and conference for all levels of GIS users. Geographic Information Systems provide us a way of viewing and changing layers of geographic information. For the agenda and a brochure, see the Indiana Office of Technology’s  Geographic Information Office website. For more information about the conference, you can contact Jim Sparks ( or Amanda O'Daniel (

Basic information about GIS is available at the USGS Geographic Information Systems website.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Network is on Facebook Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips from USA.govJust because Halloween celebrates all things scary doesn’t mean you want any safety scares of your own this year. Use these tips from to make sure you and your family have a fun and safe holiday.

  • Pick visible costumes. When you’re costume shopping, encourage your kids to pick brightly colored costumes. That way it will be easier for cars to see them on dark roads. If they insist on wearing dark colors, stick some reflective tape on the costumes to help them be more noticeable. You can also put reflective tape on their candy bags and give your children flashlights to carry.

  • Use face paint instead of a mask with your children’s costumes. Face paint may work better than a mask when it comes to visibility. If you decide to paint designs on your kids’ faces, follow the directions on the face paint packaging closely. You may want to test the face paint a few days before Halloween to make sure it doesn’t irritate your children’s skin. And make sure to avoid their eyes when you apply it.

  • Don’t snack while trick-or-treatingWait until you get home so that you have a chance to inspect your children’s candy. To prevent snacking, give your kids a small meal before they head out. When they get home, toss out any candy with opened or damaged wrappers and homemade treats, unless you know the giver personally.

  • Consider using a glow stick or battery-powered lights instead of candles in luminaries or in jack-o-lanterns, especially around little kids who could get burned or drapery that could catch fire. Make sure your kids’ Halloween costumes are flame resistant in case a cape or other part of the costume comes near an open flame.

You can find more tips for having a safe and fun Halloween on’s Halloween page.

America Falls Back to Standard Time November 6th

1st & Green: Environmental ChallengeAmerica Falls Back to Standard TimeDon’t forget – in one week it will be time to “fall back” into Standard Time. As mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Daylight Saving Time (DST) currently starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. The idea of Daylight Saving Time has been floating around since Benjamin Franklin first proposed it in his essay An Economical Project. However, it wasn’t until 1918 that the United States officially adopted it as a policy. Due to its lack of popularity, it was discontinued in 1919. During World War II, more states started using it again, and it wasn’t until 1966 that the Uniform Time Act was passed, which mandated that DST start and stop on specific dates. States were (and are) still able to opt out of DST, but it had to begin and end on the same day everywhere. The basic principle is to transfer an hour of early morning daylight – theoretically when fewer people are up – to the evening, so more people can enjoy it. The reasons for its early unpopularity are pretty obvious – at the time, we were still a largely agrarian society. Most people were already awake to enjoy the daylight and few stores were open later anyway. Regardless, whether you want your light in the morning or at night, DST will come to an end at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 6. Don’t forget to set your clock!

USDA Asks What Your MyPlate Looks Like

ChooseMyPlate.govIt’s time for another video challenge! This time it’s all about healthy eating habits. The USDA wants to know how you add fruits and vegetables to your daily diet without breaking the bank. Do you garden? Buy in bulk with friends and split it amongst yourselves? Order extra veggies on the side at a restaurant? Put your ideas in a video and send it in! The MyPlate Fruits & Veggies Video Contest has three categories: Tips for kids, Tips when eating at home, and Tips when eating away from home. The contest goes until the 15th of November, with winners announced on December 14. Those who don’t want to make a video can still participate – public voting also lasts until November 15, so be sure to check out the Video Gallery to see what has been submitted. As an extra incentive, there’s a cash prize: first place winners in each category will receive $1500, second place winners $1000, and “Popular Choice” $500. For details, see the Official Rules here

CDC, Medline Provide Child Development Information

MedlinePlus: Child DevelopmentPatrons who are parents can sometimes use a boost in the form of information. There are many government information resources available to bolster parents’ knowledge about child development. At the federal level, try the CDC and MedlinePlus. The Centers for Disease Control Facts About Child Development website provides videos, positive parenting tips, and information about health monitoring and screening recommended for healthy children. The Medline Plus webpage on Child Development is a lengthy directory to resources for children from three years old to 11 years old. The Indiana Department of Education features an Information for Parents website which includes helpful education standards, news, and Professor Garfield, a fun, interactive, animated educational tool from Ball State University to help students with reading.


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