‘Noble’ Christmas Tree Illumines Capitol Hill

With a brief countdown and the flick of a switch, the towering U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, on the West Lawn of Capitol Hill, lit up the dark. Visitors from all across America, who stood in near freezing temperatures beneath the majestic pine, cheered as the tree’s thousands of lights glistened the ornaments made especially for it. [Read More …] Plant […]

Your Holiday How-To: Keeping Hot Foods HOT and Cold Foods COLD!

The holidays are here, which means plenty of gatherings with family, friends and food! These get-togethers are usually fun-filled with catching up, laughter and occasional dancing, so don’t let foodborne illness crash your party. One of the best ways to keep foodborne illness off the guest list is to keep your food items at the proper temperatures while you enjoy […]

Stand Up Your Holiday Feast with a Tasty Rib Roast

December is filled with holiday observances and family gatherings, many highlighted by a seasonal feast. While the centerpiece for these feasts is as diverse as our nation, beef is a popular choice, particularly the standing rib roast, a traditional favorite. Last holiday season, the standing rib roast accounted for one fourth of all beef roasts marketed in retail outlets. [Read […]

The Name, the Pin, and the Bee

She leans over her dead subject and deftly pushes a pin through its body, securing it to the foam below. To be clear, this is not about a morgue or a serial killer. This is about taxonomy, or the science of identifying, classifying, and naming organisms. The woman in question is a scientist, and her pinned subject is a bee. […]

A New Year with New Data

This time of year, I can’t help but think about cycles – everything coming full circle – from agriculture (planting through harvest) to the holiday season marking the end of one year and the start of the next. Here at USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), we are at an exciting time in the five-year cycle of the Census of […]

Planet Earth Water – Distillation

Distillation is water that has been turned into a vapor so that its impurities are left behind. Then, by condensing, it is turned back to pure water. In, nature, the sun evaporates water into the air, where it rises and is captured by clouds. With the colder temperatures of the clouds, the evaporated water (steam) is condensed back into water […]