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In this week's issue of the Friday Facts:

  1. Blog Helps Teens Understand Dangers of Drug Use

  2. INShape Indiana Offers Advice to Keep New Year's Resolutions

  3. IDEM Encourages Hoosiers to Recycle Holiday Waste

  4. Online Resources Keeps Hoosiers Up to Date on General Assembly

Blog Helps Teens Understand Dangers of Drug Use

NIDA for TeensMany agencies throughout the federal government host their own blogs, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is no exception. They’ve got a blog called the Sara Bellum Blog to help teens prevent and combat drug abuse. The Sara Bellum Blog is written by scientists at NIDA and uses science to help teens understand the dangers of drug use. Teen Brain, a Work in Progress, was a post back in September about the physiological effects that drugs have on young brains. Other posts include personal stories from recovered drug addicts and their families, and tips on avoiding drug abuse and the situations that may exacerbate it. The latest post focuses on stress relief for the holidays. The blog encourages teens who may be feeling down this time of year to use exercise and other activities to keep their spirits up, rather than drugs. This blog does a great job of getting the anti-drug message out without being sanctimonious.

INShape Indiana Offers Advice to Keep New Year's Resolutions

INShape IndianaAs we approach the New Year, many of us take the opportunity to make changes and resolutions that will help us live happier, more productive lives. Of a list of New Year’s resolutions, losing weight, exercising more, eating better, and quitting smoking are at the top. If any of those are your resolutions for 2012, INShape Indiana has got you covered!

To help you begin your healthy journey, you can read individual success stories that will hopefully inspire and motivate you. INShape Indiana has many tools and resources to help you achieve your goals.  For example, the page on exercise has guidelines, calorie burn rates, and tips on how to force yourself off the couch. Good luck and have a happy, prosperous New Year!

IDEM Encourages Hoosiers to Recycle Holiday Waste

IDEM: Recycle IndianaThe holiday season is winding down and that means that there are a lot of materials that are getting thrown out. Why throw something away when you can recycle it? According to an announcement from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), wrapping paper, electronics, and even Christmas trees can all be recycled. Many communities have curbside pick-up for recyclables – IDEM encourages citizens to take advantage of that service and be sure to toss used bottles and wrapping paper in the recycle bin rather than the trash can. Citizens who don’t have curbside pick-up, or who are looking to recycle electronics or hazardous materials, will want to find other means. Recycle Indiana has a page dedicated to local Solid Waste Management Districts (SWMD’s). You can go there to find out the recycling situation in your community.

Online Resources Keep Constituents Up to Date on General Assembly

Indiana General AssemblyThe new year is sure to be an exciting time for Indiana, politically speaking. The Legislative Session for the Indiana General Assembly will begin on January 4, 2012. Indiana citizens can track bills and resolutions, various standing committees, and other information to keep fully informed of the political process in Indiana. If you need to know your district or find out information about your legislator, click here. By entering your address, you can find out who your representatives are on both the state and national levels. Each legislator profile also includes contact information. People who want to get involved in the political process can also use the General Assembly website to contact their legislator with questions or concerns about current legislation.  

Old-Timey Films on
the 1940 Census

In 1940, the Census Bureau produced two short films trumpeting the general census that year and the first-ever census of housing. In the film on the general census, “Know Your U.S.A.“ (3 min.), the narrator exhorts citizens to cooperate with the census: “You cannot know your country unless your country knows you.” The film tells us that there were 130 million free people and 7 million farms in 1940. (Now there are 312 million people and 2.1 million farms.) The narrator practically gushes over the “mechanical marvels of accuracy” tabulating the received data.

The second film, “The 1940 Census of Housing” (11 min.), begins with the reasoning behind the census and provides background information about what constitutes a dwelling. It includes this funny yet sad list: “In addition, places not intended for habitation but in which people are living must be enumerated and this includes such usual places as stables, fruit sheds, box cars, houses that are falling down, temporary shacks, boats, trucks and any other such place actually being used as a dwelling.”

It then continues with dramatizations of a census taker asking various homeowners questions meant to draw attention to fine distinctions between categories. There are repeated shots of a pen filling out a census form. The acting is charmingly stiff and self-conscious.

A transcript of one interview with a homeowner reveals that even back then, mortgagors might be confused about who held their mortgage (a problem, of course, during the recent financial crisis):

Census Taker (CT): Who holds the first mortgage on your house?

Homeowner (H): The Institution Mortgage Company.

CT: Does the Institution Mortgage Company actually hold the mortgage, or do you simply make payments there?

H: I’m not sure about that. I believe somebody else actually holds the mortgage and the Institution Mortgage Company merely makes the collections. Yes I remember now. I received a notice from the mortgage company that they had sold the mortgage to somebody else.

CT: Do you remember to whom they sold the mortgage?

H: I am not sure which one, but I know it was a life insurance company.

For more facts from the housing census:

This article is brought to you by the Liberty Street Economics blog of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author.


ISL: Federal Depository Library

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth Hedges
Documents Librarian

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator


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