Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Notations From the Grid (Mid-Week Edition): On Our World

This year has been a data whirlwind. With 2020 already halfway over, we wanted to take a look back at some of the most popular USAFacts content from this year. From COVID-19 to the environment, it's just a sampling of what's available at
COVID-19 Map
It's no surprise that the most popular feature on this year is the coronavirus map. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and average Americans alike use this map to understand the spread of COVID-19 throughout the nation. The map has just been updated with the ability to dive deeper into state cases and engage with the data on a county level. If you haven't checked it out yet, now is the perfect time.

State of the Earth
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this April, USAFacts analyzed metrics from government agencies responsible for measuring the nation’s air, land usage, and energy production. This data portrait touches on environmental numbers from 2019 back to 1895. See the data on National Parks, climate, and air quality and make your judgments. 

Causes of Death in the US
Released in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, this report analyzed the top causes of death for Americans in an array of demographic groups. Trace deaths from heart disease and cancer—two of the biggest causes of death in the US—over time. Metrics on flu, pneumonia, liver disease, and drug deaths are also available, including the locations in the US where they're most pervasive.  

Small Business Loans
Readers were also interested in which businesses received government assistance during the pandemic. We have the data on the states that received the majority of the loans from the Paycheck Protection Program put in place by the CARES Act. The original $350 billion allotted for the program went quickly; according to the Small Business Administration, the agency processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days.

State of the Union
Ahead of the president’s State of the Union, USAFacts released the State of the Union in Numbers, a data-driven, nonpartisan snapshot of the nation. This feature includes topics typically covered in State of the Union addresses, including compelling facts on the economy, education, infrastructure, and the American standard of living. How many people are coming to the US, and who are they?​ How well is the government educating the population?​ Are Americans getting healthier? Interact with the data to get the answers to questions like these and many more.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): On this Independence Day 2020 here in the United States

As we went to press on this Independence Day here in the United States, we wanted to present the following which will hereby be a regular weekly feature here in our Education Platform: 

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Logo
National Cyber Awareness System:

07/01/2020 10:45 AM EDT

Original release date: July 1, 2020
Microsoft has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in Windows 10 and Windows Server. These vulnerabilities could allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to review the Microsoft security advisories for CVE-2020-1425 and CVE-2020-1457 and apply the necessary updates.
This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.

In Celebration of Independence Day, we hereby present the following courtesy Jonathan Lockwood Huie as we implore all to #WearAMask & #SaveAlife

Happy Independence Day to all in the United States:

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph
is for enough good men to do nothing.
- Edmund Burke
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,
among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
- Thomas Jefferson (third President of the United States)
[Declaration of Independence, and inscribed in the Jefferson Memorial]

We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
- Edward R. Murrow

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
- Emma Lazarus - written on the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor

Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.
- Robert Green Ingersoll

The best way to enhance freedom in other lands
is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation.
- Jimmy Carter

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): As a New Quarter is Before Us.....

We are beginning a new quarter of service.  We wanted to begin by sharing a snapshot recently sent forth by the team at the Visual Capitalist we count as a partner for our on-going research & analysis work.   We also note a snapshot of leadership that is critical for us as we all agitate for a Post-COVID & A Post-Racial World.

We look forward to the continued privilege to serve. 

Almost 200 Years of U.S. Stock Performance
From 1825-2019, equities have had positive annual performance over 70% of the time. This chart shows historical U.S. stock market returns.
Charting the $1.7B Transfer of Military Equipment to Police 
This visualization tracks the last decade of the 1033 Program, which provides free military equipment to police departments around the U.S.
The COVID-19 Impact on Advertising Spend
Global advertising spending is estimated to see $50 billion decline across various mediums and industries as a result of COVID-19.
Vegetarianism: Tapping Into the Meatless Revolution
This graphic unearths the origins of the meatless revolution, while exploring how the $1.8 trillion meat market is responding to the threat of disruption.
Unlocking Earth's Treasures with Mineral Exploration
There are untold treasures in the Earth's surface waiting for discovery. Skeena Resources is opening the vault in the Golden Triangle at Eskay Creek.
The 44 Closest Stars and How They Compare to our Sun
This graphic visualizes the 44 closest stars, revealing key facts such as distance from Earth, brightness, and whether potential planets are in orbit.
This Week's Flashback Favorites:

The Safest Source of Energy Will Surprise You
The empirical data on which energy source has led to the fewest human deaths may not be the one you expect.

Originally from May 2018

CEO Daily

Running a car company isn’t easy, even in the best of times. And Mary Barra’s reign as General Motors’ CEO has been anything but the best of times. She became the first female CEO of an automobile company in 2014, taking the job amidst a massive controversy over faulty ignition switches. In her first year, she had to issue 84 recall notices and testify before the U.S. Senate. Last year, she was faced with the worst auto workers strike in a half century. And then came COVID-19, followed by the upheaval over the George Floyd killing. Oh yes, and then there are the repeated Twitter attacks from the President of the United States.

Throughout it all, Barra has remained unflappable, eschewing the industry’s traditional defensiveness, and always asking: “What can we learn from this?” That’s why Fortune’s Ellen McGirt and I were happy to welcome her as a guest on this week’s edition of our podcast, Leadership Next. She represents a new style of leading.

Ellen started by asking Barra about her strong public statement over the George Floyd killing, in which she said she was “impatient” and “disgusted”–words that emanated from the heart, not the marketing department. “I personally felt very sad,” Barra told us. “I am an action-oriented person. I’m an engineer. And I asked, ‘Why is this happening over and over?’” She felt a need for action. “I knew we can do more, and we needed to do more, with a sense of urgency.”

In response, Barra has not only created an “inclusion advisory board” to guide GM’s actions, but also signed up for the Business Roundtable’s Special Committee for Racial Equality and Justice. Barra was one of the CEOs who pushed the Business Roundtable last year to adopt a new statement of corporate purpose, focusing on multiple stakeholders and not just shareholders. “The statement was catching up with reality,” she says.

Incidentally, Barra believes the COVID-19 lockdown has strengthened the case for electric vehicles. People are skeptical of mass transit and want their own cars. And improvements in the environment over recent months have reinforced the need for those vehicles to be clean. ”We believe in an all-electric future,” she said, and have “accelerated our work from an EV perspective.”

More news below.

Alan Murray

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2Issue 64
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


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This maxim of Coach Wooden's describes the relentless approach he challenged himself with every day: constant self improvement.
As coach often stated: Never be satisfied. Work constantly to improve. Perfection is a goal that can never be reached, but it must be the objective. The uphill climb is slow but the downhill road is fast.
Coach believed that valid self-analysis is crucial for improvement. In order to improve a little each day we must constantly be learning, and to do that we must: be observing constantly and stay open minded.
A key component of Coach Wooden's constant self-improvement program was how he worked with his assistant coaches. He encouraged them to challenge his ideas, thus creating the valid self-analysis he knew was critical to self improvement.
In his book A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring with Don Yeager, Coach describes how Abraham Lincoln inspired his approach:
An incredible example of Lincoln’s wisdom can be seen in the people with whom he chose to surround himself. I pride myself on having read just about every major book ever published about Abraham Lincoln, but the one that has affected me the most in recent years is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s exceptional text, Team of Rivals. In this book, Goodwin examines in profound depth a well-documented but not widely discussed political decision: When Lincoln was elected to the presidency, he appointed a number of former political opponents to serve as his advisers and to fill various posts.
By selecting men whom he knew disagreed with him or differed from his own platform, he assured himself he would be confronted with legitimate challenges to his ideas, rather than finding himself in a pool of yes-men.
Based on Lincoln’s example, I encouraged my assistant coaches to speak up with ideas that might differ from or even completely contradict my own. Those disagreements never got heated, but sometimes they were very intense. Just as I imagine Lincoln would have been, I was pleased when those challenges arose because it meant that my fellow coaches were as passionate about our team as I was. Nothing ruins a team more quickly than apathy.
In Coach Wooden’s book, Wooden on Leadership with Steve Jamison, Hall of Fame Coach and former Coach Wooden assistant Denny Crum describes working with Coach:
Coach Wooden never thought he knew everything. In spite of the fact that he’d been winning championships every year—four or five of them when I got there as an assistant coach—he wanted to keep learning and improving as a coach and leader.
When I came up with an idea, he would never tell me, “Well, this is the way we’ve always done it and we’re winning championships. So, no, I’m not changing.” He was open to change. His approach was to listen; if he thought it made sense, try it. If it works, great. If not, move on. He was always searching for ways to improve.
As Coach liked to say A leader destined for success asks, "What can we do to improve?" A leader destined for failure says, "That's the way it's always been done."
Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom

Watch Video
Application ExerciseCOACH'S


You are the one who has to decide
Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside.

You are the one who makes up your mind
Whether you’ll lead or linger behind.
Whether you’ll try for the goal that's afar
Or be contented to stay where you are.
Take it or leave it, here's something to do,
Just think it over, it's all up to you!
What do you wish? To be known as a shirk,
Known as a good person who is willing to work,
Scorned for a loafer or praised by your chief
Rich or poor or beggar or thief?
Eager or earnest or dull through the day,
Honest or crooked? It's you who must say!
Whether you'll shirk it or give it your best.
Author unknown

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


As we went to press, we have seen a continue spike in COVID-19 Cases.    A sampling of the reporting as noted by the Washington Examiner is noted below:

The number of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations has increased in Texas and several states in the South and West, leading governors to eye more aggressive responses.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that increased rates in hospitalizations and record daily highs of new coronavirus cases show that “COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled.”

In light of this,  we have decided to ask all to Wear a Mask, Practice Social Distancing as we hereby concluded this PSA with this appeal from all our living Governors of California as we say let's Defeat COVID 19 Together:

Friday, June 19, 2020

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On #JuneteenthDay & #FathersDay2020

On this JuneteenthDay,  we hereby present a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation & thoughts on this day from the Grid:



It is also the eve of Fathers' Day Week-End here in the United States--Happy Fathers' Day to all the Fathers among us as we look forward to "seeing" all in our Communities Next week.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): A Window Into History Courtesy

A Snapshot into History we present for our weekly edition of "Notations from the Grid": 
Bit of a sad story today. Poignant though, and bittersweet. Also, quite old — and yet I hope, relevant.
It starts in August 1881, when a woman named Julia Sand wrote a letter to U.S. Vice President Chester A. Arthur.
This was during a very macabre time: the two-month death watch between the July day when President James Garfield was struck by an assassin’s bullet, and the September day when he died.
The nation’s eyes were on Arthur as VP, and almost nobody was happy about it. He’d been a blatant, political machine compromise candidate. The highest office he’d previously held was Collector of New York, which was a 100 percent pure patronage job.
The national mood was basically: Really? This guy is about to become president of the United States?
Enter Sand... She was 31, eccentric, fairly wealthy, unmarried, and often sickly, confined to her home, with no connection at all to Arthur—except that they were both Americans and New Yorkers.
Remember, women couldn’t even vote back then. Yet, she took it upon herself to become Arthur’s muse and his conscience. Sand wrote 23 letters to Arthur that we know of, spanning most of his presidency—pushing him, cajoling him, urging him to be a better man—even awkwardly flirting with him.
The first letter starts out like this. It’s written in a 19th century style, but I think the tone is pretty clear:
The hours of Garfield's life are numbered – before this meets your eye, you may be President. The people are bowed in grief; but—do you realize it?—not so much because he is dying, as because you are his successor.
Disappoint our fears. Force the nation to have faith in you. Show from the first that you have none but the purest of aims.
A hundred years hence, school boys will recite your name in the list of presidents & tell of your administration.
And what shall posterity say? It is for you to choose…
Garfield died, Arthur was sworn in. Sand kept it up.
Lots of cranks write to the White House. But, Sand pushed Arthur on all kinds of issues: civil service reform, a law that banned immigration from China (she opposed it; he signed a compromise version and she scolded him for it), and the makeup of his cabinet.
We also know two other facts.
  • First, President Arthur was lonely. He was 51 and a widower. He had two children who lived to adulthood, but his wife, Ellen, had died only 18 months before Sand’s first letter. Reports say he carried a lot of guilt, especially because he’d been away in Albany on political business when Ellen died.
  • Second, Sand comes across as very lonely, too. While she pushed Arthur toward reform on any number of issues, she also pushed him to do something else: Come and see her. Nobody had called on her personally in five years, she wrote. She wanted the president of the United States to break that string.
Honestly, I felt like a voyeur reading these letters (they’re archived at the Library of Congress). Sand writes entertainingly, but she takes FOREVER to get to the point, and ultimately tells him: Look, come see me in New York sometime in the late morning, when everyone else will be gone.
Arthur was the type to play with fire, apparently, because he took her up on it.
Yes. The sitting president of the United States showed up completely unannounced at Sand’s house, 46 East 74th Street in New York, on August 20, 1882, one year almost to the date of her first letter.
The visit is half the reason we know any of this. But, it was a total disaster. I don’t know how else to put this, but Sand kind of freaked out.
It seems she was nonplussed by the fact that Arthur came by in the evening, when her whole family was there. Her brother and sisters dominated the conversation. At one point, she hid behind a curtain.
Who knows if there could have been something between them otherwise, but I wound up feeling bad for them at this point in the story. It was like a date that seemed so promising but fell flat all around.
“My brother said I was like the man in ‘Arabian Nights,’ who got the Big Genie out of the vase, and then was so frightened he wanted to put it back again,” she wrote to Arthur the next day. She asked him to meet again—but, they never did.
If it weren’t for the fact that Arthur ordered all his papers burned, but saved Sand’s letters, we might wonder if it meant anything to him all.
Both Arthur and Sand both went on to lead tragic, forgotten lives. Let’s be honest, if I’d asked you an hour ago, “Who was Chester Arthur?” would you have even pegged him as a U.S. president?
Arthur, heartsick and unwell, barely bothered to campaign in 1884 and died two years later. Sand was committed to a mental institution in 1886 —and died there 47 years later, unnoticed, in 1933. (I’m not sure she was confined the whole 47 years; she may have been in and out.)
The whole thing is so sad, except for one point: Looking through Sand’s letters and Arthur’s otherwise unexplained positions, some historians think she made a difference.
She was reform-minded and good government-heavy. Arthur, by nature, was not. These historians say her chatty letters pushed him to act differently than he might have otherwise.
“We’ll never know for sure, but there’s good reason to believe that this anonymous young woman helped to change the course of the presidency,” Scott S. Greenberger, author of The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur, told the New York Times in 2018.
I said before that I hope this story is relevant today. I don’t have any reason to think that President Trump has a similar relationship with anyone, or that Joe Biden would if he wins in November.
But I do think there’s something to be said for people in power hearing directly from the ordinary people whose lives they affect — whether they’re citizens, soldiers, employees, or something else.
In Arthur and Sand’s cases, I just wish they’d had happier endings.

Personal story… when else would I tell this? I was in the first grade, I think, when I wrote a letter to President Jimmy Carter asking him not to adopt the metric system in the United States. I had only just learned to measure in feet and inches.
Unlike Arthur, Carter did not show up at my house. But, I did get a White House card in the mail, which I brought to school for show-and-tell.
Also, please note: my letter worked! We did not adopt the metric system!

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