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Coloring—and Driving—Within the Lines

Some of the stuff we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

Tickle Kids Pink

Families and teachers are encouraged to ask managers of kid-friendly restaurants to save their discarded crayons during August, which is National Crayon Collection Month.

More than 150 million restaurant crayons end up in landfills each year, enough to span the contiguous United States three times if placed end to end.

Resource-strapped schools can use those crayons in classrooms.

 

Try to remember to pack your backpack the night before so that isn’t one of the things you have to worry about as you rush to get ready in the morning.

New Africa | Shutterstock.com

Back to School

KidsHealth offers these tips for a fantastic school year:

Get enough sleep.
Eat a healthy breakfast.
Try your best.
Use good work habits, like writing down your assignments and turning in your homework on time.
Take your time with schoolwork.
If you don’t understand something, ask the teacher.
Keep a sense of humor.

 

Comparing the safest and shortest routes between five metropolitan areas— Austin, Bryan-College Station, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Waco—including more than 29,000 road segments, Texas A&M researchers found that taking a route with an 8% reduction in travel time could increase the risk of being in a crash by 23%.

One photo | Dreamstime.com

Shortcut Shortfalls

The shortest way might not always be the best way.

So say Texas A&M University researchers who studied online navigation tools using Texas destinations. Mapping apps can help you drive the shortest and quickest routes, but research shows they might bypass some safety considerations.

Shortcuts over local roads can come with a higher risk of crashes because of poor design, drainage problems, inadequate lighting and a higher risk of collisions with wildlife.

 

A Shade Warm

Welcome to August, when the hottest temperature ever recorded in Texas first occurred—120 degrees in Seymour on August 12, 1936. It was matched in Monahans on June 28, 1994.

 

Keep Your Cool

Summer’s hot days are wearing on many of us and keeping air conditioners humming. Before you set the AC even cooler, your electric cooperative reminds you to use fans—but only while you’re in the room—to help you stay cool and save on energy costs.

 

Worth Repeating

“Thankfully, perseverance is a great substitute for talent.”
Steve Martin

 

A New Way of Shopping

After years of working as a traveling salesman in rural communities, Aaron Montgomery Ward launched the first mail-order retail company, distributing a catalog to consumers 150 years ago this month.

Ward’s intention was to offer merchandise not readily available in rural America and eliminate the middleman, thus keeping prices low. He shipped goods by train.

The first catalog, mailed in August 1872, was a single-sheet price list of more than 160 products. The catalog grew to nearly 1,000 pages by 1897 and was sent to 3 million customers by 1904.

 

Celestial Feats

The Houston Comets won the inaugural WNBA championship 25 years ago, defeating the New York Liberty on August 30, 1997. The women’s team was virtually unstoppable, winning the league’s first four titles.