We are waking up to a new year, and a new era of opportunity for each of us. Last year is behind us with both its triumphs and failures. Though there might be regrets of certain decisions made and of paths followed, the past is behind us and cannot be changed or rearranged.
Before us is a new year, and a dawning of a new day in our lives. The future holds waters yet unchartered, valleys to be experienced, and mountains to be climbed.
Let us seriously contemplate where our steps will take us, our actions bring us, and our hopes direct us. Embrace the future with optimism and determine by our every decision that is made one by one, where this new year will lead us.
Look before leaping, think before acting, and enjoy what tomorrow holds for us.
I pray that this new year for all of us will be the best year we have ever had.Best regards,
Each month, we will feature some helpful tips on how to use your JAWS screen readerCommands for Reading the Screen
INSERT+1. This is a toggle key. The first time you press it, it turns on keyboard help. Press it a second time to turn off keyboard help. When keyboard help is turned on, you can press any key to hear what it will do without actually doing anything. It is great for typing practice. Also, if you press a JAWS command key such as Insert+Up Arrow to read the current line, it tells you what the keystroke will do without actually doing it.Say Window Title:
Some of us Southerners are pretty skeptical of horoscopes and the people who read them. If we are to ever fully understand all the star signs and the people They represent, we need symbols that all true Southerners understand.OKRA (December 22 to January 20) <
You are tough on the outside but tender on the inside. Okras have tremendous influence. An older Okra can look back over his life and see the seeds of his influence everywhere. You can do something good each day if you try. You go well with most anyone.CHITLIN (January 21 to February 19)
Chitlins come from humble backgrounds. A Chitlin, however, will make something of himself if he is motivated and has lots of seasoning. In dealing with Chitlins, be careful they may surprise you. They can erupt like Vesuvius. Chitlins are best with a Moon Pie but Catfish or Okra are okay too.BOLL WEEVIL (February 20 to March 20)
You have an overwhelming curiosity. You are unsatisfied with the surface of things, and you feel the need to bore deep into the interior of everything. Needless to say, you are very intense and driven as if you had some inner hunger. You love to stay busy and tend to work too much. Nobody in their right mind is going to marry you, so do not worry about it.MOON PIE (March 21 to April 20)
You are the type that spends a lot of time on the front porch. A cinch to recognize the physical appearance of Moon Pies. Big and round are the key words here. You should marry anybody who you can get remotely interested in the idea. A Chitlin would be a good mate but it is not going to be easy. You always have a big smile and are happy. This might be the year to think about aerobics. Or,Maybe not.POSSUM (April 21 to May 21)
When confronted with lifes difficulties, possums have a marked tendency to withdraw and develop a do not-bother-me-about-it attitude. Sometimes you become so withdrawn, people actually think you are dead. This strategy is probably not psychologically healthy, but seems to work for you. You are a rare breed. Most folks love to watch you work and play. You are a night person and mind your own business. You should definitely marry an Armadillo.CRAWFISH (May 22 to June 21)
Crawfish is a water sign. If you work in an office, you are hanging around the water cooler. Crawfish prefer the beach to the mountains, the pool to the golf course, and the bathtub to the living room. You tend not to be particularly attractive physically but have a good heart.COLLARDS (June 22 to July 23)
Collards have a genius for communication. They love to get in the melting pot of life and share their essence with the essence of those around them. Collards make good social workers, psychologists, and baseball managers. As far as your personal life goes, if you are Collards, stay away from Crawfish. It just won't work. Save yourself a lot of heartache.CATFISH (July 24 to August 23)
Catfish are traditionalists in matters of the heart, although ones whiskers may cause problems for loved ones. You Catfish are never easy people to understand. You run fast. You work and play hard. Even though you prefer the muddy bottoms to the clear surface of life, you are liked by most. Above all else, Catfish should stay away from Moon Pies.GRITS (August 24 to September 23)
Your highest aim is to be with others like yourself. You like to huddle together with a big crowd of other Grits. You love to travel though, so maybe you should think about joining a club. Where do you like to go?
Anywhere they have cheese, gravy, bacon, butter, or eggs and a good time. If you can go somewhere where they have all these things, that serves you well. You are pure in heart.
You have a passionate desire to help your fellow man. Unfortunately, those who know you best, your friends and loved ones, may find that your personality is much too salty, and their Criticism will affect you deeply because you are really much softer than you appear. You should go right ahead and marry anybody you want to because in a certain way, yours is a charmed life. On the road of life, you can be sure that people will always pull over and stop for you.BUTTER BEAN (October 24 to November 22)
Always invite a Butter Bean to a party because Butter Beans get along well with everybody. You, as a Butter Bean, should be proud. You have grown on the vine of life, and you feel at home no matter what the setting. You can sit next to anybody. However, you, too, should not have anything to do with Moon Pies.ARMADILLO (November 23 to December 21)
You have a tendency to develop a tough exterior, but you are actually quite gentle and kind inside. A good evening for you? Old friends, a fire, some roots, fruit, worms, and insects. You are a throwback. You are not concerned with todays fashions and trends. You are not concerned with anything about today. You are almost prehistoric in your interests and behavior patterns. You probably want to marry another Armadillo, but a Possum is another somewhat kinky mating possibility.
Between 1999 and 2008, the United States Mint produced a series of commemorative quarters, with a new state-specific design released approximately every ten weeks. The quarters were released in the same order that the states ratified the Constitution or were admitted into the Union, and that year is marked under each state's name. Here's how each state decided what to put on its quarter.1. Alabama
The design of this coin which, in 2003, was the 22nd to be released, shows Alabama native Helen Keller reading a braille book. The design was one of many submitted by Alabama schoolchildren as part of a statewide competition with the theme "Education: Link to the Past, Gateway to the Future." The initial favorite depicted a historical timeline of the state, but it was deemed too intricate to fit on the face of a quarter.
The image of Keller was chosen by her living relatives and she is identified on the coin both in English and in braille. She is flanked on either side by southern longleaf pine branches (Alabama's official state tree) and camellias (Alabama's official state flower) while a banner below reads: Spirit of Courage.2. Alaska
Released in 2008, Alaska's quarter was the second-to-last to debut. The image is of a grizzly bear with a salmon in its mouth, a fitting symbol considering that over 98% of the grizzly population in the country lives in Alaska. The inscription reads "The Great Land," which beat out other possibilities like "The Last Frontier," "North to the Future," and "Land of the Midnight Sun" (taken together, these sound like the titles of a dystopian young adult trilogy).
The Alaska Commemorative Coin Commission invited citizens to submit ideas for the quarter and received over 850 suggestions. A final four were forwarded to the US Mint for consideration, and those designs included a polar bear, a dog musher, and a gold panner.3. Arizona
As the last state in the contiguous U.S. to be added to the Union, Arizona was number 48 in coin release order. After soliciting suggestions from citizens, 4,200 ideas were whittled down to five narratives that were sent to the Mint for approval and artistic rendering. The five final images were then subjected to a statewide online poll. The final selection features a (relatively) sprawling view of the Grand Canyon with a saguaro cactus in the foreground. The banner declares it the "Grand Canyon State." Three of the four other finalists also featured the natural wonder.4. Arkansas
The 25th quarter design to be released celebrates Arkansas as the "Natural State." A total of 9,320 designs were submitted for consideration and the field was cut to three—all of which chose to focus on the abundant natural resources in the state. After the final three designs were modified by the US Mint, Governor Mike Huckabee chose a winner. A giant diamond floats above a serene lake and is flanked by rice stalks and a mallard duck. The diamond represents Arkansas' popular Crater of Diamonds State Park, home to the only diamond mine open to the public. The rice represents (what else) the prolific rice production in the state, while the mallard attracts hunters from across the nation.5. California
The 31st quarter in the series commemorates California conservationist John Muir's work with Yosemite Park and the Sierra Club, of which he was the first president. The Scottish-born Muir is shown gazing at the granite "Half Dome," which is one of the most recognizable features of Yosemite Valley. Both Muir and the Valley are named on the face of the coin.
The submissions from a statewide contest for the quarter design were narrowed to a field of 20 by a specially appointed California State Quarter Commission. From there, then-Governor Gray Davis chose five to send to the Mint: the winning selection as well as ones based around the themes "Waves and Sun," "Gold Miner," Golden Gate Bridge," and "Giant Sequoia.6. Colorado
Colorado was the 38th state to join the Union and thus the 38th quarter in the series. The commemorative design shows a sweeping view of the Rocky Mountains with a swatch of evergreen trees in the foreground and a banner proclaiming the state "Colorful Colorado." The four other designs that were sent the US Mint for consideration included depictions of Mesa Verde National Park, the 10th Mountain Division, a prospector's pick and shovel with the Colorado Gold Rush slogan "Pikes Peak or Bust," and a decorative 'C' in honor of Colorado's nickname, the Centennial State, which it earned for gaining statehood less than one month after the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.7. Connecticut
Connecticut's quarter, the fifth in the series, honors an early act of American patriotism and bravery with a depiction of the Charter Oak. The story goes that on the night of October 13, 1687, a representative of King James II came to Connecticut to demand the surrender of the Connecticut Charter. To thwart this effort, Captain Joseph Wadsworth squirreled the document away and hid it in the unusually large white oak, which quickly became famous for its role in American independence.
The famous tree, which fell during a storm in 1856, is such an enduring source of pride for Nutmeggers that out of the 112 submissions from citizens, 19 included some rendition of the Charter Oak.8. Delaware
As the first state to ratify the Constitution, Delaware's depiction of Caesar Rodney was the inaugural release in the state quarter project and bears the designation "The First State." The commemorative design harkens back to Delaware's role in America's independence. On July 1, 1776, Delaware native and Congressional delegate Rodney rode the 80-mile journey to Philadelphia to cast the deciding vote in favor of independence through thunderstorms and a heat wave despite suffering from cancer and asthma.
After the submissions for a design had been narrowed down to a final three, Rodney received 948 of the 1,519 total votes in a telephone and email poll, beating out a quill pen and parchment design and one depicting an allegorical Lady Liberty.9. Florida
The 27th quarter design features a "Gateway To Discovery" motto and ship iconography. The tall ship is a 16th century Spanish galleon, like the ones on which Ponce de Leon and Hernando de Soto sailed before arriving in Florida. Above it, the space shuttle represents Florida's Kennedy Center. Along with the two bookends of exploratory spirit is a depiction of the state's idyllic coastline.
In a three-week public vote, Floridians chose this design over four other finalists: The Everglades, Fishing Capital of the World, St. Augustine, and America's Spaceport.10. Georgia
The fourth-released quarter showcases a peach inside an outline of Georgia. The image is flanked by sprigs of Live Oak, which is the state tree, and you can read the state motto, "Wisdom, Justice, Moderation," on the surrounding banner. The shape of the state's outline has come under some criticism for apparently excluding one of Georgia's counties.
Dade County is located in that most northwestern corner of the state, where it looks like a chip has fallen off in the quarter design. Some people go so far as to say that the absence is an intentional exclusion as a form of delayed revenge for Dade's attempt to secede from the state prior to the Civil War.11. Hawaii
The final coin in the commemorative series is the only one to feature royalty. Along with the eight major islands and the state's motto—written in Hawaiian, meaning "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness"—is King Kamehameha I, who is renowned for unifying the many islands in the early 1800s.
In an online poll that garnered over 26,000 votes, this design beat out four other finalists: an alternate depiction of King Kamehameha, a female hula dancer, the Diamond Head mountain landmark, and a surfing-centric design.12. Idaho
The face of the commemorative Idaho quarter, the 43rd in the series, is dominated by the profile of a peregrine falcon, which was once on the endangered species list but has been brought back to thrive throughout Idaho by conservation efforts. The design also features a silhouette of the state and the motto, "May it be forever," written in Latin.
The falcon beat out other options, such as Farmland Tapestry, which celebrated the state's agriculture, and State Song, which included the lyrics And here we have Idaho, Winning her way to fame.13. Illinois
There are 21 stars around the border of the Illinois coin to commemorate its status as the 21st state to join the Union. Inside an outline of the state is a young Illinois resident, Abraham Lincoln, who strides confidently towards his future as the 16th president. To the left is a silhouette of a farmstead and to the right is the Chicago skyline.
The initial contest for ideas was open to schoolchildren in the state and received over 6,000 submissions. From there, the pool was narrowed down to three main concepts: Illinois history, agriculture and industry, and state symbols.14. Indiana
Indiana's quarter also sports stars to show its place in the evolution of the country—19 for the 19th state. The rest of the coin pays homage to the Indianapolis 500 with a race car superimposed on the shape of the state itself. The theme and official motto of the state, "Crossroads of America," is emblazoned across the middle. This beat out other finalists that included more sporting images, state iconography and Chief Little Turtle, generally considered the last chief of the Miami Indians.
As with the Georgia quarter, some say the Indiana outline is missing the most northwestern county—Lake County, in this case.15. Iowa
The design of the Iowa quarter, the 29th in the series, comes directly from a painting by Grant Wood, he of "American Gothic" fame. The Iowa native became famous for his small-town scenes and the one chosen for this quarter has a specific focus on education. Along with Wood's name, the inscription reads "Foundations in Education," and shows a one-room schoolhouse with a teacher and her students planting a tree.
The quaint design was not without controversy, however. During the selection process, there was a push for one of the other finalists, which featured the Sullivan siblings. The five brothers from Waterloo all enlisted in the army following America's entry into World War II and were all killed aboard the U.S.S. Juneau during the Battle of Guadalcanal.16. Kansas
The Kansas quarter, number 34, is one of the most straightforward: an image of a buffalo and a sunflower, the state's official animal and flower, respectively.17. Kentucky
Kentucky was the first state on the western frontier to join the Union, and the 15th overall. An inscription reads "My Old Kentucky Home," which is the nickname for the pictured Federal Hill mansion, an old plantation house that supposedly was the inspiration for the song written by Stephen Foster.
In the foreground, a stately thoroughbred stands at the fence of a pasture, representing the tradition of raising racehorses in the state as well as the famous Kentucky Derby.
The design combines the elements of two other finalists: one dedicated to "My Old Kentucky Home" and one more overtly referencing the history of horse racing. Other options included an homage to Daniel Boone and a depiction of the state's legacy as Abraham Lincoln's birthplace.18. Louisiana
The 18th quarter in the series includes not just an outline of the state itself but the entire Louisiana Purchase. In addition to the geographical representation, the design sports the state bird, the pelican, and a trumpet releasing musical notes as an homage to the jazz music of New Orleans.19. Maine
Many of the finalists for the Maine quarter, the 23rd in the series, honor its coastal status and maritime activity. The winning design features Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, which was first commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1827. In the water around the lighthouse is a three-masted schooner which is intended to resemble Victory Chimes, the last surviving Chesapeake Ram schooner.20. Maryland
The centerpiece of the Maryland quarter, the seventh in the series, is the distinctive dome of the Maryland State House, the largest wooden dome built without nails in the country. It served as the nation's first peacetime capitol from 1783 to1784 after the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War was signed there.
Other finalists honored the Star Spangled Banner, which was sewn by Mary Pickersgill while living in Baltimore, and the Ark and Dove, two ships that comprised the first expedition to Maryland from England.21. Massachusetts
The sixth quarter in the series honors the minutemen who made America's independence possible. The image is of the the Concord Minute Man of 1775 statue by Daniel Chester French, the man who also designed the Lincoln Memorial. The designs for the quarter were solicited through a statewide contest among elementary schoolchildren.22. Michigan
All the finalists for the design of Michigan's quarter included the Great Lakes that define the state's history and identity. The final result kept it simple, featuring an outline of the state that highlights the lakes.23. Minnesota
Minnesota is famous as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, which is featured on its quarter, but that's a low-ball boast as it actually features 11,852 bodies of water. The design also shows a loon—Minnesota's state bird—and a boat full of happy recreational fishers.24. Mississippi
All three finalists for Mississippi's quarter, the 20th in the series, bore the inscription, "The Magnolia State." The image that was ultimately selected features a closeup of two of the state flowers. Critics of the coin have said that, while nice in theory, this design ends up looking like an amorphous blob when produced quarter-sized.25. Missouri
The 24th quarter to be released came with a lot more controversy than any of those preceding it. The final design depicts the historic return of Lewis and Clark's expedition down the Missouri River with the Gateway Arch rising behind them (symbolically, since construction on the Arch didn't begin until more than a century after Lewis and Clark's exploration).
It's a nice image, but the man who designed it despises it. Missouri artist Paul Jackson was named the winner of the statewide contest after his submission was chosen. But when he saw the Mint's finished design, he didn't recognize it as his own. The engravers at the Mint, it seems, are not looking for an exact image, but rather an idea. What they produced doesn't look like Jackson's original design, so he took his protest all the way to Washington D.C., where he rolled a four-foot quarter down the street demanding justice. He argued that the engravers were looking to have their names and initials immortalized along with the finished product, not those of the citizens whose submissions were selected.
The Mint claimed the conditions of such design contests never promised faithfulness to the winning submissions, but following "Quartergate," the term "design contest" was dropped from solicitations for ideas for later state quarters.26. Montana
Montana's quarter features a mountain range flattening into a vast plain across the diameter of the coin as reference to the varied and valuable topography of the state. The caption reads "Big Sky Country," the state's oft-cited, unofficial nickname. The most prominent feature, however, is a bison skull, an iconic, albeit nonspecific symbol of Western, cowboy-like pursuits such as cattle ranches and fur trapping.27. Nebraska
The caption on the Nebraska state quarter, which was the 37th in the series, reads "Chimney Rock," and it includes an image of the striking geological structure rising out of the Nebraska plains in the background. The towering rock formation, which has been named a National Historic Site, served as an important landmark for many westward voyages in America's early days. An ox-drawn covered wagon carrying pioneers dominates the foreground of the design and commemorates Nebraska as home to portions of the Oregon and Mormon trails. Other finalists from the statewide solicitation included two images of the Nebraska state capitol in Lincoln—one of the building itself and another featuring The Sower statue that sits atop it— as well as a depiction of Chief Standing Bear from the Ponca Native American tribe.28. Nevada
More than 50% of the country's wild horse population lives in Nevada, and they make for a fitting design for the state's quarter. Behind the trio of mustangs is a mountain range, and the scene is flanked by sprigs of sagebrush, the official flower of the state. "The Silver State" refers to the nickname that commemorates the Comstock Lode of silver ore that was the first of its kind discovered in the U.S. Several of the other finalists played up this claim to fame with images of miners and swinging picks while others focused on the Nevada wilderness.29. New Hampshire
The nine stars on the New Hampshire quarter commemorate its status as the ninth state. The design features two phrases: the state motto, "Live Free or Die," and "Old Man of the Mountain," a caption for the craggy rock formation pictured. The unique shape of the 1,200 foot mountainside was formed by a series of five granite cliff ledges that distinctly resembled a facial profile. The quarter is already a relic, as the formation collapsed in 2003.30. New Jersey
As just the third state to join the Union, and thus the third coin in the series, New Jersey's quarter features an iconic image of Revolutionary history. The design is based on Emanuel Leutze's famous "Washington Crossing the Delaware" painting, which depicts the 1776 Christmas night crossing by General George Washington and his troops to ambush the enemy in Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey.31. New Mexico
All four of the finalists for the 47th quarter featured an outline of New Mexico and the Zia sun symbol. The Zia people revered the sun and made frequent use of the symbol that incorporated both the circular sun and the number four which was thought to be reflected in everything from the seasons of the year to the sacred obligations of life. In its statehood, New Mexico co-opted the symbol, which can be seen not just on the quarter but also on the state flag and even in the shape of the State Capitol.32. New York
The 12th quarter in the series features an engraved rendition of John T. Daniel's iconic photograph of the Wright Brothers' successful first flight in Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903.34. North Dakota
The North Dakota quarter, the 39th in the series, depicts two American bison grazing on the state's Badlands. The once nearly extinct species has enjoyed a minor resurgence in areas like Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The other two finalists also highlighted the natural charm of the state, with one following an agricultural theme and the other depicting its sweeping landscape.35. Ohio
North Carolina gets some commemorative competition from Ohio when it comes to aerial origins. While the former is the site of the "First Flight," the 17th state boasts itself as the "Birthplace of Aviation Pioneers." Not only was one half of the famous Wright brothers duo born there—hence the early flying machine— but so were astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, who are represented by an anonymous space suit on the coin. Despite this somewhat tenuous connection to aviation, it was a popular theme amongst the design finalists.36. Oklahoma
The simple image of the state bird, the Scissortailed Flycatcher, and the state flower, the Indian Blanket (or gaillardia), beat out four other finalists which all featured scenes from pioneer life for the design of Oklahoma's quarter.37. Oregon
The 33rd quarter in the series features a scene from Crater Lake, which was formed thousands of years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. The lake is notable for having no rivers running into it as well as for holding the distinction as the deepest lake in America. Also visible in the quarter design is Wizard Island, the larger of two land masses contained in the lake, which is itself a volcanic cinder cone. The Crater Lake design beat out three other finalists: a jumping salmon, the Oregon Trail, and Mount Hood.38. Pennsylvania
The primary focus of Pennsylvania's quarter is an image of the Commonwealth statue that has stood atop the capitol building in Harrisburg since 1905, the 14' 6" bronze-gilded female figure crafted by Roland Hinton Perry. She is framed by the outline of the state and to her left is Pennsylvania's motto: "Virtue, Liberty, Independence." On her right is a pared-down depiction of a keystone, a nod to the state's nickname, which celebrates Pennsylvania's integral place in the country's early history.39. Rhode Island
What Rhode Island lacks in landmass it makes up for in beaches. The 13th state has over 400 miles of coastline, which is honored in its quarter with the caption "The Ocean State." It also features a sailboat sitting in Narragansett Bay, the largest estuary in New England and a defining factor in Rhode Island's geography. After the initial pool of submissions had been narrowed to a field of three finalists, a statewide poll awarded the sailboat design 57% of the vote.40. South Carolina
South Carolina, quarter number eight, went the hodgepodge-of-symbols route. Along with the state outline comes all the official flora and fauna: bird (Carolina wren), flower (yellow jasmine), and tree (palmetto).41. South Dakota
Quarter number 40 features South Dakota's most recognizable landmark: Mount Rushmore. In addition to the four-headed rock portrait, the coin design includes wheat stalks and a Chinese ring-necked pheasant.Although these are all fitting symbols, critics have pointed out that, in a state that boasts a high population of Native Americans, the commemorative quarter features icons that are all, in some way, invasive. Mount Rushmore has attracted controversy for serving as a visual reminder of how the mountains and the surrounding lands were violently seized from the Lakota tribe, who have historically protested the sculpture. And both pheasants and wheat are exotic in South Dakota where they have pushed out native species.42. Tennessee
The three stars on Tennessee's quarter refer not to its numerical place in the nation's formation—which is 16th—but rather the three regions of the state that have each made a unique contribution to the country's musical heritage. Along with an open book of sheet music, there is a fiddle representing the Appalachian music of east Tennessee, a trumpet for the Blues of Memphis and west Tennessee and a guitar to symbolize central Tennessee's country music, based in Nashville.
Eagle-eyed critics have pointed out that, for a state that takes such pride in these instruments, Tennessee failed to accurately render all of them—the quarter's acoustic guitar has just five strings.43. Texas
The 28th quarter in the series depicts a visualization of Texas' nickname: The Lone Star State. Along with an outline of the state there is, well, a lone star. The image is bordered by a lariat, the rope used to form lassos of the sort Texan cowboys might use.44. Utah
The back of Utah's quarter shows an artistic rendering of an actual event. On May 10, 1869, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads were joined to form the first transcontinental railroad. The ceremony for the so-called "wedding of the rails" took place in Promontory, Utah where, just as is shown in the quarter, trains from each railroad came face-to-face for the nailing of the final golden spike (not drawn to scale). The depiction of this event, which earned Utah the designation as "Crossroads of the West," beat out other finalists featuring a beehive, part of the state seal, and a winter sports design to celebrate Utah's role as host of the 2002 Winter Olympics.45. Vermont
The first state admitted after the original 13 colonies, Vermont's quarter features an idyllic winter scene. As Camel's Hump mountain looms in the background, an appropriately bundled Vermonter taps leafless maple trees for sap. The state motto, "Freedom and Unity," is also inscribed on the coin.46. Virginia
Quarter number ten celebrates Virginia's distinction as home to the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. The three ships shown in the design, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery, were all part of the Virginia Company, chartered by King James I of England. On May 12, 1607, they landed on a small island along the James River and founded Jamestown, which celebrated its quadricentennial in 2007.47. Washington
The "Evergreen State," quarter number 42 features a design heavy on the Pacific Northwest's natural beauty. A king salmon is shown leaping from the waters in the foreground while Mount Rainier, an active volcano encased in more than 35 square miles of snow and ice, rises out of a lush forest in the background.48. West Virginia
West Virginia's quarter features New River Gorge, with the river below and the bridge above. When it was completed in 1977, the bridge held the distinction of being the world's longest steel single-span arch bridge as well as the highest vehicular bridge in the world (it is now the fourth longest and 15th highest). Although it didn't make to the final round, among 1,800 design concepts submitted, perhaps the most notable was a depiction of Mothman, the shadowy, 7-foot tall anthropomorphic winged figure who was reportedly spotted throughout the state in 1966 and '67.49. Wisconsin
Of course quarter number 30 features a wheel of cheese. With 17,000 dairy farms, Wisconsin produces 350 varieties of cheese—more than any other state. But there's more to Wisconsin than just cheese, so an ear of corn is also present in the design to represent the rich agricultural production of the state.50. Wyoming
Three of the five final designs for Wyoming featured an image of a bucking horse with a rodeo-style rider, so it's no surprise the pair is featured on the quarter. The cowboy represents the 44th state's Wild West heritage. The coin also includes Wyoming's motto: "The Equality State," which is a reference to its progressiveness on the issue of women's suffrage. In 1869, Wyoming became the first state to grant women the right to vote.
Though people found it very difficult to restrict their email usage, Kushlev told CBS News, it was worth the effort. "If you resist you might reap some benefit." That benefit, Kushlev posits, comes from cutting down on multitasking.
Multitasking has been shown in numerous studies to impair working memory and overtax your brain. It is even been linked to increased anxiety and depression. Every time you switch from the project you are working on to your inbox and back, it requires attention and brainpower. The distraction is detrimental to learning and performance and, by taking time away from the original task at hand, it makes you feel more rushed -- and more stressed out. "When you check email in the middle of doing another task, you are increasing stress, because you are imposing a high cognitive load," said Art Markman, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Texas in Austin and author of "Smart Change: Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others." "You are trying to keep track of what you were doing before while also dealing with the new task. When you finish with the email, you now need to return to the old task and determine what you were doing when you broke off to check email. Indeed, other data suggests that when you get distracted from a task, one of the first things you forget is your place in the task sequence. So, you create a higher-level of stress all along the line." Both Markman and Kushlev recommend checking and responding to emails in dedicated chunks a couple times a day, rather than constantly refreshing your inbox and hitting reply right away. An extreme version of this was popularized by Tim Ferriss, author of "The Four-Hour Work Week," who has preached using auto-responders to whittle email sessions to twice a day, or even once a week. "I think the main message of this research is people should try to avoid checking their email more than is actually necessary," Kushlev said. Redefining "necessary" is a crucial step toward cutting back.
"The key thing to remember is that most (and probably all) of the emails that you answer in that moment could easily have been answered later. That means you did not really need to interrupt the task you were doing just to check email. It would have waited for you," Markman told CBS News.
Other tips: Do not check your email immediately after starting up your computer if it is going to keep you from getting started on the days more important work, and try to save your peak performance hours for more mentally challenging tasks.
"People who work best first thing in the morning often check email as soon as they arrive at work. They spend 30 minutes to an hour of their best work time on email. It is better to do a quick triage of email in the morning and then focus on the tasks that require your best efforts," according to Markman. Ferriss and others offer similar advice.
Markman said that in order to reduce the temptation of checking email, you need to engage in a real process of behavior change. That means closing your email when it is not email time and only opening it at designated intervals. It also means turning off alerts so you are not tempted to click over. If you want to check email less often, he said, you have to protect yourself from yourself.
Kushlev said that, in truth, many of his participants in his did not actually adhere to the three-times-a-day rule, and actually checked their email about five times a day, on average. But that is ok. They tried but they did not quite make it, he admitted. There is nothing magical about checking three times, but limiting your email checking to what is actually necessary might have beneficial effects on stress.
For his part, Kuslev does look at his email more than three times a day, but he only replies in batches. I tend to bunch my email checking. I will check it in the morning and then throughout the day I will keep an eye on it but I will not engage with it unless something quick, he said. Then in the evening I do a full-on email session that deals with everything in a more detailed way.
Having reached top 10 in Education in 86 countries, Voice Dream Reader is the worlds most accessible reading tool. With advanced text-to-speech and a highly configurable screen layout, it can be tailored to suit every reading style from completely auditory to completely visual, plus synchronized combination of both.
Voice Dream Reader supports reading PDF and Word documents, DRM-free EPUB and DAISY eBooks, Web pages and more. It is directly integrated with Bookshare, Dropbox, G-Drive, Evernote, Pocket, Instapaper, and Gutenberg.Dice World! 6 Free Dice Games! (Free)
Dice World! Bringing the world together with dice games! Not just one dice game, but Six different games! Farkle, Yatzy, Threes, 1-4-24, Balut.. and PIG! Challenge your friends or random opponents to any or all games!KNFBReader (Paid)
The highly anticipated KNFB Reader converts printed text into high quality speech to provide accurate, fast, and efficient access to both single and multiple page documents with the tap of a button on the iPhone. Picture accuracy is facilitated by a Field of View Report, Automatic Page Detection, and Tilt Control. Our app allows users to capture pictures of virtually any type of printed text, including mail, receipts, class handouts, memos and many other documents that you may encounter. Proprietary document analysis technology determines the words and reads them aloud to the user with high quality text-to-speech and Braille access. Individuals with print disabilities will benefit from the synchronized speech and text highlighting capabilities. KNFB Reader will revolutionize access to print materials for the mobile professional and busy student by providing advanced state of the art mobile reading technology in a single hand-held device.VMware Fusion (Paid)
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac applications without rebooting. Whether you would like to run Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on a Mac, the VMware Fusion easy install feature will get you up and running in no time. With the ability to run Windows-only applications like Microsoft Project, Access and Internet Explorer, VMware Fusion turns your Mac into the ultimate computer for compatibility.MIPsoft and BlindSquare
MIPsoft is the creator of BlindSquare, a wildly popular Foursquare-based GPS app for blind users.
BraillePen 12 provides an awesome, easy, efficient and affordable way to operate your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. The BraillePens are little Bluetooth Braille keyboards. The BraillePen 12 also has a 12 cell Braille display and a joystick. You can use Braille commands or the joystick to move forward or backward between icons, set rotor settings, open icons, press the Home key, etc.
The Braille keyboard is used to write text messages, emails, web addresses, notes... whatever you need to write. Your Braille writing is accurately translated to print as you go.
Because these connect to your iPhone, iPod, or iPad via Bluetooth, there are no wires. You can have your iDevice in your pocket and run it from the BraillePen in your hands. Although the iDevices are accessible with a system of hand gestures, this can be a cumbersome and time consuming way to use them. The BraillePen works with VoiceOver to make both navigation and writing clean, clear, and efficient.
BraillePens will stay compatible with the latest technology. The BraillePen 12 runs with today's Apple iPad, iPod and the iPhone iOS 4 and later. The BraillePen Slim runs with iOS 4.3 and higher. No more worries about your spendy Braille access device lagging behind. Down the road if Apple has added so many cool features to the iPad, iPod, or iPhone that you have just got to have a new one... go right ahead! Bring that fancy new gizmo home and rest assured that it will run beautifully with your BraillePen too.
BraillePens also work with MAC computer systems running VoiceOver, and Windows computers running System Access, Supernova, and Dolphin Pen, and also mobile phones running Talks or MobileSpeak.
The BraillePens are small and lightweight. The BraillePen Slim is 5.8 x 3 x .9 inches and weighs 6.35 oz. The BraillePen 12 is 5.8 x 3.9 x .85 inches and weighs 9.2 oz.Prices:
To some extent if it is going to break, it is going to break, it is going to break because it is old and ailing or mother nature is going to come along and cause mischief, said Stephen Flynn, Director for Resilience Studies at Northeastern University. "When we put it back together we should make it smarter and better, we should not just put Humpty Dumpty back together again.A number of different approaches and innovative technologies are being developed to try to meet that challenge and deliver power for the next generation.
A cogen plant is an integral part of a microgrid. And a microgrid is a system of connected buildings that get their power from a central power station, said Bradley. Bradley oversaw the plant design. Construction started in 2008 and was completed in 2010. The project had a hefty price tag of $125 million to build. But it saves NYU up to $5 million a year in utility costs.
At the core of the plant are two gas turbines fueled by natural gas. They produce electricity, and unlike most power plants, the exhaust does not go to waste. What we do is we capture that exhaust energy in a waist-deep boiler and we produce steam. And then we do work with that steam. In our case we make high temperature hot water for heating and we make chilled water for cooling, said Bradley.
The university plant is approaching 80 percent efficiency, compared to a normal plant which is 50 percent efficient. Because it is close to the buildings it serves, less power is lost when electricity is transmitted through power lines, and the shorter lines are easier to maintain. Bradley says it integrates perfectly with another innovative idea in grid technology - the smart grid. End users, especially large end users like New York University, can help manage the grid and improve reliability, he said. So in peak times of the summer we are asked to lower our demand. It is called demand response. And by doing that the grid operator avoids blackouts or brownouts in the city.
A lot of the focus on improving the power grid has been on trying to create a "smart grid," which basically means making it more efficient, responsive and reliable through modern technology. One company on the leading edge is Smarter Grid Solutions. Their software tracks the grid in real-time, communicating what is happening when it is actually happening. What we do is provide a solution to utilities that are looking for new ways to connect more distributed energy resources to the grid, said the company co-founder and chief technology officer Bob Currie.
The software is used by power and utility companies to increase their existing grid capacity by connecting more renewable energy and working with the growing demand for electricity. Instead of building new infrastructure, this new technology allows the power and utility companies to make the existing grid more efficient. If parts of the grid that are reaching the limit of what the system can handle, the software can prevent an overload from occurring by coordinating with different devices, like power generators, to help with the capacity issue.
We receive lots of data from the utility systems so when they show us what is happening in the different parts of the grid where power is flowing, our software then analysis that identifies where there are problems, and then it connects those problems to the things it can control. And it automatically controls them to remove the problems, said Currie. The company first project was in 2009 on the Orkney Islands in Scotland. The Orkney project saved 23,000 tons of CO2 in one year working with wind farms.
Environmental and energy experts say this type of technology makes the grid more productive and allows for more renewables to be used to their full advantage. Real-time tracking and real-time data is essential to making it possible for us to cut the waste out of the system and understand how we can make maximum use of clean technologies like solar wind and geothermal, said Andrew Darrell, New York regional director and chief of strategy for Environmental Defense Funds U.S. Climate and Energy Program.
Smart grid software has also been implemented in big cities like London. Smarter Grid Solutions is currently doing a nine-month study in New York researching how to make the city grid more efficient and reliable. It is like we are managing the traffic on the roads, almost, Currie explained. If you set the traffic lights up to operate to a schedule and you just forget about them, then you are missing an opportunity to coordinate those traffic lights based on the actual traffic on the road. So by monitoring and making decisions in a real-time and an ongoing basis, we can adapt to whatever is happening and fit more through the system.
Former students of a provincially run school for the blind, deaf-blind and visually impaired are hoping to find justice for alleged abuse and mistreatment that occurred in the past.,p>I, along with other students, received abuse from the members of the school, namely the supervisory staff, teachers, guidance counsellors and other staff members who were responsible for our well-being, alleged Bob Seed, 68, a former student of Brantford’s W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind formerly known as the Ontario School for the Blind on the steps of Old City Hall Thursday.
Seed, who is visually impaired and now a radio station manager from Thunder Bay, is the lead plaintiff on a $200-million certified class-action lawsuit that has been launched. Anyone who attended or lived at the school from January 1951 until present day and who were alive as of Feb. 22, 2009 could qualify as a class member. He described one particular year between 1962 to 1963 as a year from hell.
Seed alleges he was assaulted by a Grade 8 teacher for not knowing the answer to a math question. I reported the incident to the superintendent at the time and he did absolutely nothing, Seed alleged. “Had this happened in today’s society, the teacher would most likely be fired right on the spot.” He never confided in his parents because he was afraid they wouldn’t believe him, he added.
This was the same situation with other students: They were frightened, they were petrified, they didnt want to come forward and tell their stories for fear of being abused at a later date, Seed said. James Sayce, who works for Koskie Minsky LLP law firm representing the plaintiffs, estimated the suit could include 1,000 or more people. The lawsuit alleges caregivers were unqualified, resulting in an abusive and intimidating environment.
In a statement of defence filed in 2012, the province of Ontario denied allegations that staff at the school treated students with contempt, prejudice, indifference and abuse. In fact, the teachers and counsellors who work and have worked at the school have been well-trained and been caring about the students, the statement read.
Each month, we will feature a question that will make you wonder what you would do if you are in a specific setting or situation. The question is just for fun to see what your opinions are in these given situations. Have fun!Question:
The pineapple is a member of the bromeliad family. It is extremely rare that bromeliads produce edible fruit. The pineapple is the only available edible bromeliad today.
It is a multiple fruit. One pineapple is actually made up of dozens of individual floweret's that grow together to form the entire fruit. Each scale on a pineapple is evidence of a separate flower.
Pineapples stop ripening the minute they are picked. No special way of storing them will help ripen them further. Colour is relatively unimportant in determining ripeness. Choose your pineapple by smell. If it smells fresh, tropical and sweet, it will be a good fruit. The more scales on the pineapple, the sweeter and juicier the taste.
After you cut off the top of a pineapple, you can plant it. It should grow much like a sweet potato will.This delicious fruit is not only sweet and tropical; it also offers many benefits to our health.
Pineapple is a remarkable fruit. We find it enjoyable because of its lush, sweet and exotic flavor, but it may also be one of the most healthful foods available today.
If we take a more detailed look at it, we will find that pineapple is valuable for easing indigestion, arthritis or sinusitis. The juice has an anthelmintic effect; it helps get rid of intestinal worms.Let's look at how pineapple affects other conditions.
Pineapple is high in manganese, a mineral that is critical to development of strong bones and connective tissue. A cup of fresh pineapple will give you nearly 75% of the recommended daily amount. It is particularly helpful to older adults, whose bones tend to become brittle with age.
Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, is the key to pineapple's value. Proteolytic means "breaks down protein", which is why pineapple is known to be a digestive aid. It helps the body digest proteins more efficiently. Bromelain is also considered an effective anti-inflammatory. Regular ingestion of at least one half cup of fresh pineapple daily is purported to relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis. It also produces mild pain relief.
In Germany, bromelain is approved as a post-injury medication because it is thought to reduce inflammation and swelling. Orange juice is a popular liquid for those suffering from a cold because it is high in Vitamin C. Fresh pineapple is not only high in this vitamin, but because of the Bromelain, it has the ability to reduce mucous in the throat. If you have a cold with a productive cough, add pineapple to your diet. It is commonly used in Europe as a post-operative measure to cut mucous after certain sinus and throat operations.
Those individuals who eat fresh pineapple daily report fewer sinus problems related to allergies. In and of itself, pineapple has a very low risk for allergies. Pineapple is also known to discourage blood clot development. This makes it a valuable dietary addition for frequent fliers and others who may be at risk for blood clots. An old folk remedy for morning sickness is fresh pineapple juice. It really works!
Fresh juice and some nuts first thing in the morning often make a difference. It's also good for a healthier mouth. The fresh juice discourages plaque growth.
Thank you to everyone who submitted answers to Decembers brainteasers. Many of you were very close, but close only counts in horseshoes!
Congratulations to Victor Chan, Ted Galanos, Brenda Green, Linda Knights, Lawrence MacLellan, Charles Rivard, and Carla Thompson for ansering both brainteasers absolutely right!
A job well done to Lenka for answering one brain teaser correctly.In case you missed them, here are the December brain teasers and their answers:
Now, here are the super duper brain teasers for January. Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Hmmm?
Please submit the answers to these brain teasers to:
We will let you know if you are correct, and if so, we will publish your name in the February newsletter. Have fun trying to solve these puzzles!