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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

-Donate Blood and Encourage Others to Give this January

-State Tax Center Helps Hoosiers During Tax Time

-Help Raise Awareness of Thyroid Conditions this Month

-Online Map Portal Offers Unique Learning Opportunities

Super Bowl XXVI: Know Before You Go

Will you be attending events for Super Bowl XLVI in downtown Indianapolis?

Information on the Park & Ride service and Frequently Asked Questions about transportation to and around downtown for the week ahead are available here.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth Hedges
Federal Documents Librarian

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Donate Blood & Encourage Others to Give this January

National Blood Donor MonthAccording to the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks), approximately 17 million units of whole blood and red blood cells were donated in 2008. However, this is often not enough – that’s why January is National Blood Donor Month. Most healthy adults over the age of 16 are eligible to give blood, yet it is estimated that less than 10% do so annually. Donated blood is used by cancer patients, people undergoing surgery, and trauma patients. Many patients exercise the option to donate blood for themselves if they are scheduled for surgery, but others rely on the donations of strangers. Medline Plus has some great resources about giving blood – you can read about both the processes of donation and receiving blood. You may also want to check out this list of FAQs from the AABB. This provides information about blood donation, and also about blood itself. For example, did you know that 39% of Americans have O RH-positive blood, while only 3% are AB Rh-positive? Finally, be sure to look at these resources from They will help you locate blood drives and blood donation facilities in your area.

State Tax Center Helps Hoosiers During Tax Time

INtax: Indiana Tax CenterLove it or hate it, it’s time to start thinking about preparing taxes. The Indiana Department of Revenue has INtax, the Indiana Tax Center, to help business taxpayers file and pay their taxes. This system can help Hoosiers take control of their tax accounts, file and pay taxes online, register for EFT, and use other resources to help make tax time a little easier. Signing up for INtax is easy and free for Hoosier taxpayers. Those who are filing individual tax returns will want to take advantage of INfreefile. This new system replaces the old I-File and allows qualified taxpayers to use tax software vendors like H&R Block and Turbotax for free. If you need more tips, resources or have questions about taxes and finance, check out the Tax Talk Blog. A little organization and preparation, combined with these free resources, means that you no longer have to hate tax time.   

Help Raise Awareness of Thyroid Conditions this Month

Thyroid Awareness MonthThe thyroid: a butterfly-shaped gland that sets your metabolism, located just above the collarbone. Many of us go through the day without even thinking about it, but experts estimate that around 30 million Americans are affected by thyroid conditions. While there are many variations of thyroid disorders, there are two primary types: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The former slows down your metabolism and may cause weight gain and fatigue. The latter speeds up your metabolism and can cause weight loss, muscle weakness, and a host of other side effects. Most people with thyroid disorders suffer from hypothyroidism, which  tends to be easier to manage. Thyroid conditions also tend to affect women more than men. In order to bring more attention to these conditions, January has been declared National Thyroid Month. The month is almost over, but this is a good opportunity to make sure that your thyroid is in good working order! You can find more detailed information about thyroid conditions on Medline Plus. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists also has a really good website on thyroids and thyroid disorders. Be sure to check this site out for information about your thyroid, thyroid disorders, and even thyroid problems that pets might have.

Online Map Portal Offers Unique Learning Opportunities

NationalAtlas.govWhat is a map? A map is a representation of a real geographic area in smaller symbolic form. Maps help us visualize and conceptualize areas that are larger than the eye can see.

Here are printable map resources for students who are learning state capitals and for those who need quick access to U.S. geography. These are from the, a service of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The printable map collection includes: Congressional Districts for the 112th Congress, organized by state; Presidential Elections 1789 to 2008; Climate Maps; and more. also provides a mapmaker website where students can zoom in to their favorite area of the U.S. and create their own maps. Add layers such as Significant United States Earthquakes 1568 – 2009, crime statistics for 1994 through 2007, naturally occurring arsenic in ground water resources, among many others.

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