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January 31, 2007

Supporting Minnesota's Military Families

The recent announcement by President Bush to increase U.S. military presence in Iraq will add an additional four months to the time many Minnesota soldiers are away from home. What does this mean for their families and the community? Rose Allen, a U of M Extension Service educator in family relations, says the Extension Service has launched a new Web site with resources that explain the process of deployment and becoming a "sudden military" family.

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Posted by jfalk at 3:40 PM

January 30, 2007

American Idol Mania

Reality TV's marquee show, “American Idol,� began its sixth season this month. Laurie Ouellette, a U of M communication studies professor, says the show speaks to a number of cultural issues.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:23 PM

January 29, 2007

Smoking in the Workplace

Minnesota this year will consider legislation that would ban smoking in the workplace. Why should the public care? We asked Harry Lando, a cancer epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:55 AM

January 26, 2007

A Service-Based Economy and Global Warming

The shift toward a service-based economy won't automatically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the air, a U of M researcher found. Sangwon Suh, an assistant professor in the bioproducts and biosystems engineering department, says his research contradicts assumptions about global warming often expressed by some economists and national policy experts.

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Posted by jfalk at 6:01 PM

January 25, 2007

Across Africa

Africa's charismatic creatures get star billing in “Across Africa,� the U of M Bell Museum’s winter travelogue series. This Sunday, Tony Gamble, a former professional photographer and a graduate student in the U’s department of fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology, will share his photos of African reptiles and amphibians from a 2005 expedition to Botswana and Namibia.

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Posted by jfalk at 6:09 PM

January 24, 2007

The Earned Income Tax Credit

When filing your taxes this year, keep in mind that you might be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC in short. Rosemary Heins, a U of M Extension Service family resource management educator, says more than 267,000 Minnesota families and individuals claimed the federal EITC last year.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:34 PM

January 23, 2007

Winter Heating Safety Tips

Furnaces and other heating equipment are the number one cause of home fires in the U.S. That makes safety the top priority when heating your home or cabin. Richard Stone, an educator in housing technology with the U of M Extension Service, says all Minnesota homeowners are strongly urged to have annual inspections of all combustion appliances.

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Posted by jfalk at 11:37 AM

January 22, 2007

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women, and it causes an estimated 233,000 deaths each year. Dr. Levi Downs, a gynecologic oncologist and researcher with the U of M Medical School and Cancer Center, says virtually all cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is spread through sexual contact.

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Posted by jfalk at 4:42 PM

January 19, 2007

Preparing Teenage Drivers for Winter Conditions

If your teenager received a driver's license in the past nine months, chances are he or she is inexperienced at driving on winter roads. Patrick Jirik, a U of M Extension Service educator in 4-H youth development, tells us how parents can prepare their teens for winter driving.

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Posted by jfalk at 2:45 PM

January 16, 2007

Check Your Home for Radon

It's now more important than ever to test your home for radon, a radioactive soil gas, and winter is the best time. Bill Angell, a professor and housing specialist with the U of M Extension Service, says recent studies show the danger of lung cancer from high radon levels in homes is higher than previously thought.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:28 AM

January 15, 2007

Music for Martin

This coming Sunday, the U's Office for Equity and Diversity and the School of Music will present “Music for Martin,� the 26th annual concert celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis. Grammy Award-winning group Sounds of Blackness headlines the concert with local a cappella group 4given as the opening act. Sue Hancock with the Office of Equity and Diversity says the concert is about more than the music.

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Posted by jfalk at 1:37 PM

January 12, 2007

How Dinosaurs Went Extinct

The dinosaurs, along with the majority of all other animal species on Earth, went extinct approximately 65 million years ago. Some scientists believe that the impact of one large meteorite in the Yucatan Peninsula, in what is today Mexico, caused the mass extinction, while others argue that there must have been many meteorite impacts or other stresses around the same time. Donna Whitney, a U of M geology professor, took part in a new study that provides compelling evidence that “one and only one impact� caused the mass extinction.

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Posted by jfalk at 4:32 PM

January 11, 2007

An Artistic Portrayal of Homelessness in Minnesota

Minnesota activists and artists will join together at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis this Sunday afternoon to put on a multimedia event to educate Minnesotans about homelessness. Andrew Turpening, who helped coordinate the event together with the U’s Human Rights Center, says the event will include music, performance, visual art, short videos and photography.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:05 PM

January 10, 2007

CERTs Conference

The second annual Clean Energy Resource Teams conference will take place Wednesday, Jan. 17 at the St. Cloud Civic Center. The theme of this year's conference is "Local Energy/Local Opportunities." Joel Haskard with the U's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships says the project is an opportunity for Minnesotans to play a role in shaping energy conservation and renewable energy in their region.

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Posted by jfalk at 1:30 PM

January 9, 2007

Wash Your Hands!

Winter is the time of year when public health officials promote handwashing awareness. Why is handwashing so important? Will Hueston, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, has the answers.

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Posted by jfalk at 12:33 PM

January 8, 2007

Soybean Production Conferences

The University of Minnesota Extension Service and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council are sponsoring Soybean Production Conferences at four locations around the state this January. Seth Naeve, an Extension agronomist, says the conferences, to be held in Morton, Owatonna, Princeton and Fergus Falls, offer a unique opportunity for producers and agricultural professionals to interact with U of M research and Extension faculty.

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Posted by jfalk at 11:57 AM

January 5, 2007

Healthful Meeting Foods

How many meetings are you a part of every week - either as a participant or a planner? Think of the food that is usually served. Is it healthful? Jill May, a health and nutrition educator with the U of M Extension Service, says many meeting food and beverages can leave us tired and full instead of energized.

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Posted by jfalk at 11:25 AM

January 4, 2007

Educating Learners in Mid-Life and Beyond

The demand for educational opportunities for older adult learners - both the current generation of older adults and the next generation of Baby Boomers - is growing. In response to this increased interest in older adult learning and the recognition that older adults have different learning needs, the U of M’s College of Continuing Education is offering the course “Educating Learners in Mid-Life and Beyond� during the spring semester of 2007. Jan Hively, one of the course’s coordinators, says what older adults want to learn and how they prefer to learn may differ from their earlier learning experiences and interests.

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Posted by jfalk at 9:52 AM

January 3, 2007

E20 Driveability Study

The U of M is in the early stages of a 14-month-long study of E20, an experimental biofuel that contains 20 percent ethanol. Bill Roberts, the U’s associate director of Parking and Transportation Services, says the state of Minnesota has contracted with the university to conduct a driveability evaluation as the state aims to increase the use of alternative fuels.

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Posted by jfalk at 2:46 PM

January 2, 2007

Critter-Proof Trees and Plants

Damage done by rabbits, mice, voles and deer to trees and plants during winter months can be devastating. The animals’ gnawing can stunt growth severely or even kill the plant. Gary Wyatt, a natural resource management educator with the U of M Extension Service, says now is a good time to implement proactive and preventive measures to minimize and control animal damage.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:04 AM