From Loren Nelson, NelsonEcom
Internet Solutions | Visual Design
Web Sites, Podcasts, Multimedia, & Usability Engineering

December 6, 2007 – Vol. XI, No. 32


NetBits is the weekly newsletter keeping your informed of various chatter and other tidbits of potential relevance.


In This Issue:

Item One: National Unleaded Average
Item Two: Immigrants in the United States, 2007
Item Three: Fitness Tip – Protect from Aging Stiffness
Item Four: Word of the Week
Item Five: Regular or Vertical search
Do you know…

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1. National Unleaded Average

AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report is updated each day and is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available. Everyday up to 85,000 self-serve stations are surveyed.

2. Immigrants in the United States, 2007

Data was collected by the Census Bureau in March 2007.

  • The nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) reached a record of 37.9 million in 2007.
  • Immigrants account for one in eight U.S. residents, the highest level in 80 years. In 1970 it was one in 21; in 1980 it was one in 16; and in 1990 it was one in 13.
  • Overall, nearly one in three immigrants is an illegal alien. Half of Mexican and Central American immigrants and one-third of South American immigrants are illegal.
  • Since 2000, 10.3 million immigrants have arrived — the highest seven-year period of immigration in U.S. history. More than half of post-2000 arrivals (5.6 million) are estimated to be illegal aliens.
  • The largest increases in immigrants were in California, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Arizona, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
  • Of adult immigrants, 31 percent have not completed high school, compared to 8 percent of natives. Since 2000, immigration increased the number of workers without a high school diploma by 14 percent, and all other workers by 3 percent.
  • The share of immigrants and natives who are college graduates is about the same. Immigrants were once much more likely than natives to be college graduates.
  • The proportion of immigrant-headed households using at least one major welfare program is 33 percent, compared to 19 percent for native households.
  • The poverty rate for immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) is 17 percent, nearly 50 percent higher than the rate for natives and their children.
  • 34 percent of immigrants lack health insurance, compared to 13 percent of natives. Immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for 71 percent of the increase in the uninsured since 1989.
  • Immigrants make significant progress over time. But even those who have been here for 20 years are more likely to be in poverty, lack insurance, or use welfare than are natives.
  • The primary reason for the high rates of immigrant poverty, lack of health insurance, and welfare use is their low education levels, not their legal status or an unwillingness to work.
  • Of immigrant households, 82 percent have at least one worker compared to 73 percent of native households.
  • There is a worker present in 78 percent of immigrant households using at least one welfare program.
  • Immigration accounts for virtually all of the national increase in public school enrollment over the last two decades. In 2007, there were 10.8 million school-age children from immigrant families in the United States.
  • Immigrants and natives have similar rates of entrepreneurship — 13 percent of natives and 11 percent of immigrants are self-employed.
  • Recent immigration has had no significant impact on the nation’s age structure. Without the 10.3 million post-2000 immigrants, the average age in America would be virtually unchanged at 36.5 years.
3. Fitness Tip – Protect from Aging Stiffness

Stretching becomes increasingly important with age. Strength and flexibility routines, such as yoga and tai chi, can counteract stiffness, improve balance and reduce your risk of falling by 50 percent. Try to stretch for ten minutes every day! It feels good, too! Here are two simple lower-back stretches you can do right from your chair:

* A: Corkscrew. Put your right hand on top of your left shoulder. Then pull your right elbow to the left, while turning your head, shoulders and torso in the same direction. Switch hands and repeat in the opposite direction.
* B. Arch. Place both hands on your lower back, inhale deeply, lean back slightly and arch your back.

4. Word of the Week

Locofoco • \loh-kuh-FOH-koh\ • noun

1 : a member of a radical group of New York Democrats organized in 1835 in opposition to the regular party organization

*2 : a member of the Democratic party of the United States

Example Sentence:
"It might be said that Roosevelt was the greatest locofoco since Andrew Jackson." (Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins)

Did you know?
"Locofoco" burned brightest in 19th-cenutry America, where it designated a new type of self-igniting match or cigar capable of being lit by friction on a hard surface. The word is believed to combine the adjective "locomotive" (which was commonly taken to mean "self-propelled," though "loco" actually means "place," not "self," in Latin) and the Italian word for "fire," "fuoco." The political meaning of "Locofoco" is a story in itself. In 1835, a group of radical Democrats brought locofoco matches to one of their meetings after hearing that their adversaries were plotting to disrupt the meeting by putting out the gas lights. The room did indeed go black but was soon relit, thus earning the group its name.

5. Regular or Vertical search

Regular search — when you go to Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask or any general-purpose search engine — is a "horizontal" search in that you are searching across a wide spectrum of material. Information from sports sites, news sites, medical sites, shopping sites — the entire horizontal spectrum of topics is represented.

With vertical search, you slice down vertically through one topic area. You search only against the news sites or against the medical information, for example. This type of focus can make for more relevant results.

Need help on fixing windows in your house? Search on that horizontally, and information about the Windows operating system might dominate the listings, simply because there’s so much about Windows out there. Try using a vertical search engine that only has home improvement information, and information about repairing the type of windows you look out of should become much more visible and relevant.

6. Do You Know…
On this day:

  • 13th Amendment to US Constitution is Ratified (1865)
    The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution completed the process of abolishing slavery, which had begun with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. By December 6, 1865, 27 of the 36 existing states had ratified the 13th Amendment, starting with the state of Illinois. It was not until 1995, however, that the last of the 36, Mississippi, ratified it.
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