UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Capital | Washington, DC
Population | 307,212,123 (July 2010 est.)
Area | 9,629,091 SQ KM
Official Language | English
Holidays | Independence Day, 4 July (1776 – from England)
Currency | US Dollars (USD)
Time Zone | UTC -5
Best Time to Visit | March to July
Connecting with the Culture | California beaches at sunset. Camping the Great American West. Pounding the pavement in the always-bustling New York City. Touring mysterious Anasazi Indian ruins in Southwestern deserts. Crunching New England leaves in autumn. Cruising the neon madness of the Las Vegas strip. Enjoying the music festivals in Austin, Memphis, New Orleans, or Seattle.
Read | Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, the classic Beat Generation paean to restless roadtripping.
Listen | to Johnny Cash’s American Recordings, fusing blues, rock country and punk; James Brown’s Greatest Hits.
Watch | Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather trilogy, a saga of family, immigration, capitalism, and violence; or San Mendes’ American Beauty, which captures the zeitgeist of 21st-centruy angst.
Eat | steak and potatoes – T-bones or rib eye, vegetarian burritos, pizza
Drink | Craft microbrews (pale ales, porters, pilsners and stouts)
In a Word | Thank you, come again
Characteristics | Burgers, fries and Budweiser, red white and blue T-shirts, sneakers and jeans; yuppies in SUV’s, cowboys in pickups; loud people; gun lovers; dangerous cities
Surprises | New Yorkers love to help strangers; half of the citizens don’t vote; in American football you’re supposed to use your hands.
NEWS ABOUT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
'Eyeless Shrimp', 2 Years After BP's Deepwater Oil Explosion
(Video: Al Jazeera)
(HN, 4/20/12) - It's almost 2 years since BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, scientists say they have found deformities in seafood & a great decline in marine life. "In my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 & 30,000 fish, I've never seen anything like this," said Dr. Jim Cowan of Louisiana State University's Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences who says he started hearing about fish with sores & lesions from fishermen in November 2010 & his findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP's oil & dispersants. Reports also include finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab & fish, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, & eyeless crabs & shrimp. (Read more at Al Jazeera)