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U.S. Drought Portal

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

November 28, 2007 – Vol. XI, No. 31

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

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In This Issue:

Item One: U.S. Drought Portal
Item Two: 5 Tips for Cheap Holiday Trips
Item Three: Nutrition Tip – Restaurant “Value”
Item Four: Word of the Week
Item Five: Safest Cities
Do you know…

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1. U.S. Drought Portal
 

The U.S. Drought Portal was officially launched on November 1, 2007. It was created to provide comprehensive information on emerging and ongoing droughts, and to enhance the nation’s drought preparedness.

http://www.drought.gov/portal/server.pt

 
2. 5 Tips for Cheap Holiday Trips
 

1. Plan Ahead
NOW is the time to buy – don’t wait until that crazy booking frenzy gets worse because prices increase as fast as the seats fill up. Sign up for weekly or daily fare alerts, and Kayak will send an email as soon as the price meets or beats your desired fare.

2. Know When to Go
It pays to know what others are paying. After doing a flight search, check the airfare history for a desired route by clicking on Chart View on the flight results page. Kayak’s Best Fare Trend Graph charts pricing for city/date pairs found by Kayak.com users over the past 90 days.

3. Be Flexible
Flexible travel dates can result in major savings – as much as $100 per ticket — for travelers willing to fly on non-peak days like Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

4. Watch the Clock
The key to getting the lowest fare is to fly when others are not. Seems obvious, right? The "dead times" will vary by route, but early morning and late night just might offer some better prices.

5. Location, Location, Location
Many low cost carriers fly into alternative airports (like Burbank or Long Beach instead of LAX) and what they save in airport fees they pass onto the consumer.

 
3. Nutrition Tip – Restaurant “Value”
 

Big restaurant portions typically shatter any healthy limit for fat and calories at a single sitting. Don’t feel you’re wasting your money if you can’t eat it all — eat half, wrap up the rest, take it home, and make it a second meal later. If there’s a lot left over, ask your server to put the food into two take-home containers and make more than one extra meal out of it. Or, if you know your eyes are bigger than your stomach, ask to have half your portion wrapped up to take home before it ever reaches the table, so you won’t even be tempted to eat it all in the restaurant.

 
4. Word of the Week
 

williwaw • \WILL-ih-waw\ • noun

1 a : a sudden violent gust of cold land air common along mountainous coasts of high latitudes;
b : a sudden violent wind;

2 : a violent commotion

Example Sentence:
The sailors had all heard stories of ships capsized by the williwaws that plagued the strait.

Did you know?
In 1900, Captain Joshua Slocum described williwaws as "compressed gales of wind . . . that Boreas handed down over the hills in chunks." To unsuspecting sailors or pilots, such winds might seem to come out of nowhere — just like word "williwaw" did some 150 years ago. All anyone knows about the origin of the word is that it was first used by writers in the mid-1800s to name fierce winds in the Strait of Magellan at the southern tip of South America. The writers were British, and indications are that they may have learned the word from British sailors and seal hunters. Where they got the word, we cannot say.

 
5. Safest Cities
 

A list of the most and least dangerous cities with at least 75,000 residents, as measured by the study City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America, published by Washington-based CQ Press. The authors analyzed FBI crime statistics released Sept. 24. The danger score uses zero as the national average. Cities are ranked, followed by their scores.

SAFEST 25

1. Mission Viejo, Calif.: -82.1

2. Clarkstown, N.Y.: -81.0

3. Brick Township, N.J.: -78.7

4. Amherst, N.Y.: -75.4

5. Sugar Land: -75.4

6. Colonie, N.Y.: -74.6:

7. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: -73.8

8. Newton, Mass.: -73.5

9. Toms River Township, N.J.: -72.7

10. Lake Forest, Calif.: -71.7

11. Irvine, Calif.: -71.1

12. Orem, Utah: -70.6

13. Round Rock: -69.4

14. Cary, N.C.: -68.6

15. Greece, N.Y.: -68.5

16. Chino Hills, Calif.: -63.2

17. Coral Springs, Fla.: -62.0

18. Troy, Mich.: -61.8

19. Farmington Hills, Mich.: -61.7

20. Centennial, Colo.: -61.3

21. Glendale, Calif.: -59.2

22. Broken Arrow, Okla.: -58.8

23. Parma, Ohio: -58.8

24. Sterling Heights, Mich.: -58.5

25. Simi Valley, Calif.: -58.5

 
6. Do You Know…
 
On this day:

  • First Serving Female British MP Elected (1919)
    Nancy Witcher Astor, or Viscountess Astor, was the second woman elected to the British Parliament’s House of Commons and the first to actually serve. She was a Conservative member who concentrated on women’s issues, temperance, and child welfare. Astor attracted a great deal of attention, much of it for her caustic and witty comments, and was reelected many times, serving until 1945.
 
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Loren
NelsonEcom
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