Colgate University Libraries
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Consumer Information Bureau (FCC)
Consumer info from the Public Service Division of the Federal Communications Commission, like telephone bill charges explained!
A portal to U.S. government benefits information
Federal Consumer Information Center
Contains the full text of hundreds of the best federal consumer publications available, including the Consumer Action Handbook. View online or order print copies.
Federal Trade Commission
Information on how to protect consumers and small business owners against fraud and scams.
More than 40 federal agencies provide info on this site, ranging from health to product safety.
Recall information from 6 federal agencies: Dept. of Agriculture, Coast Guard, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Food & Drug Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
National Highway Safety Transportation Administration
Links to recalls and crash tests, including tests conducted by NHSTA, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, National Organization for Automotive Safety and Victims' Aid (Japan), NRMA Crash Testing (Australia), and Euro NCAP (FIA Crash Testing).
Contains crash test info for older cars, and has a feature that allows you to compare two cars results at the same time
Fuel Economy Site
Maintained by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, this site features the annual Fuel Economy Guide, a search engine that allows you to find and compare the mpg and CO2 emissions, and more.
National Highway Safety Administration State Legislative Fact Sheets
States are responsible for most traffic safety laws. State Legislative Fact Sheets provide key facts, reasons for passing specific types of legislation, resulting benefits, supporting organizations, sources of information and other facts to assist states that are trying to upgrade or pass new traffic safety legislation.
State Traffic Laws
Charitable Institutions (New York State)
Site is maintained by the Attorney General of New York State, the report "Where the Money Goes" provides financial information about registered charitable organizations that solicit in NY State. "Where the Money Goes" includes an explanation of which charities are exempt from registering in NY State. Contains links to similar web sites.
Site maintained by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving alliance. The Alliance reports on nationally soliciting charitable organizations that are the subject of donor inquiries. These reports include an evaluation of the subject charity in relation to the voluntary BBB charity standards.
Do a quick search to see if the organization is a registered charity. More in-depth information requires an account.
Health (see also Research by Subject, Medicine & Health)
National Health Information Center website full of health information and interactive tools.
Professional Misconduct and Physician Discipline (N.Y. State)
Materials Safety Data Sheet
Maintained by the Cornell University, this site contains a large collection of Material Safety Data Sheets for laboratory chemicals. Check in here for information about the properties, safety information, and potential hazards of chemical substances.
Right to Know Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets
Offered by the State of New Jersey, the Right to Know Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets Website is an outstanding source for in-depth information on over 2,000 hazardous substances. Continually updated, each fact sheet (.pdf file) is listed by common name. Users can learn how to identify harmful chemicals from Acenaphthene to Zirconium, determine exposure, assess health hazards, and acquire emergency information
Gateway to federal food safety information, from "how tos" to recalls.
USDA Food & Nutrition website
From nutrient in common foods to dietary planning to nutrition research.
We've all gotten them - email messages warning us of HIV infected hypodermic needles hidden in the handles of gas pumps, that Bill Gates is promising $1,000 to everyone who forwards a certain e-mail message to others, or even that glass is super-cooled liquid that flows. Call them what you will: hoaxes, urban legends, or just plain wrong; you can check the veracity of many of these urban egends before you pass them on to friends and coworkers.
Peter van der Linden and Terry Chan (on alt.folklore.urban) say that an urban legend:
- appears mysteriously and spreads spontaneously in varying forms
- contains elements of humor or horror (the horror often "punishes" someone who flouts society's conventions)
- makes good storytelling
- does NOT have to be false, although most are
ULs often have a basis in fact, but it's their life after-the-fact (particularly in reference to the second and third points) that gives them particular interest."
- it's too horrible or too good to be true
- you're asked to forward the message to as many people as possible
- the message was forwarded to many people before it reached
- you virus scams may use technical sounding language
Here are some websites that you may find useful for checking the "veracity" of email legends and other hoaxes before passing them on.
Can individually search 5 hoax-busting sites (including many listed below) or use their list of hoax related sites to connect to your favorite.
Urban Legends Reference Pages
Maintained by the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society.
Rob Rosenberger's Computer Virus Myths
Good place to start when you receive a message about computer viruses.
Tracks email and other electronic hoaxes
Symantec's AntiVirus Research Center
Commercial antivirus site
Law (see Subject Research Guide - Law)
ABA Public Resources Portal
Offers "access to resources designed with consumers in mind." The site is divided into eight sections: Family, Home, Job, Finances, Buying and Selling, Criminal Justice, and Finding a Lawyer. Each section contains links to resources provided by ABA, handbooks, glossaries, documents, and so forth.
Provides a single point of access to information about Federal recreational activities and reservations (make 'em online!).
National Parks Service
Plan your next trip to one of our national treasures
Student Aid on the Web
Designed to help students tap into the vast amount of government information, from selection and paying for college to studying to finding summer internships and volunteer opportunities.
U.S. Dept. of Education
Student aid information, including finding loans and grants, repaying loans, and loan forgiveness
National Do Not Call Registry (Federal Trade Commission)
Register to block telemarketers, file complaints, and read documents created during the rule-making process.
New York State Do Not Call Website
Register to block telemarketers, read the laws and regulations, and file complaints
U.S. Office of Personnel Management veteran's employment website.