Sci-Tech Library Newsletter
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- NEW INTERNET TOOLS: A flock of new tools to search for obscure stuff on the Internet!
- NEW E-JOURNALS: Financial Times, lots of new life sciences journals, also geochemistry, math, animal behavior, broadcast enginering, and more …
- INTERESTING WEBSITES, ETC.: Science odyssey, Everyday science; Biological Sciences: Evolution, evidence, ESkeletons, birdcam, bodies, plant trivia, fish faq, T Rex; Geosciences: black smokers, Lake Temescamingue, clouds, space exploration, solar light show; Engineering: ancient inventions, transportation, engineering education, innovation, lights; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: anthropology, excavations, the Marshall Plan, forecasting, music and science, Silicon Valley cultures; Education: ERIC digests, education statistics, History of the Ideas of a University … and more …
- INTER ALIA: News in Latin …
NEW INTERNET TOOLS
There are several new and interesting Internet search tools released recently!
LookSmart — Science Multimedia
This new subcategory of the LookSmart directory links users to a large collection of multimedia resources for teaching and learning about science. The sites are organized by discipline into twelve headings, including Astronomy, Chemistry, Earth and Environment, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics, among others. Each link includes a brief description which notes the plug-ins required to use the site. From the Science Multimedia page, users can also access the other categories in LookSmart’s science directory. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Search PDF on the WWW
“Now there’s a way to search through more than a million summaries of Adobe® Portable Document Format (PDF) files on the Web. Your search results will allow you to see the summaries before deciding to view the original Adobe PDF.” There is no discussion of where the summaries originate, and it would appear this engine searches only a small proportion of the millions of PDF documents that are on the web, but I did a search on “climate change” as a test and I was impressed with the nice, clean results I retrieved. Worth a look!
Another search engine!! Another search engine? Yes, yet another Web search engine has come online, but this one isn’t just business as usual. For one thing, there are no graphics, no banner ads, and no fancy portal features, so Raging Search loads very quickly. Another thing that makes it stand out is the ability to customize various parameters like the number of results displayed per page or the amount of detail returned for each result, and have those preferences “stick,“ so users need not reset them every time they enter the site. Also through this customization interface, users can select the languages of resources they want to search for (including support for various non-English character sets) and opt to include a “translated version” link along with each search result. And last, but certainly not least, all of the above runs atop an AltaVista search engine, consistently rated one of the best search tools on the Web, enhanced with Google-style link analysis technology to help identify the most useful sites. Overall, if you’re serious about tracking something down on the Web, then Raging Search is definitely worth a look. [EA] (From the Scout Report)
Launched last week, this reference search engine meta-searches and cross-references sixteen texts from Bloomsbury, Macmillan, Oxford UP, and Penguin. These include encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, books of quotations, and a number of subject-specific titles. After a simple keyword search, initial returns consist of a brief description and the source. Full returns can vary significantly in length, some quite brief, with a useful collection of cross-references and adjacent entries displayed on the right-hand side of the browser window. With its clean interface and quick operation, xrefer deserves a prominent place in any user’s bookmarks. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
The design is very clean — a search box in the middle of the home page. This engine works like most engines, but there is one syntax you should know about; if you’re not sure how to spell something, but a tilde in front of it. ~chapplin found Charlie Chaplin, but also Chaliapin Fyodor. You can search for a number of things, including people, places, or even quote keywords. I noticed that people’s names seemed to work best. Richard Feynman, for example, got over 200 results, with encyclopedia entries on the top.
Clicking on a search result will take you to the reference entry (very brief, occasionally) with cross references on the direct right and adjacent entries on the lower right. The cross references are most useful to researchers, with the adjacent entries being of more use to a browser. There’s a LOT to browse here.
There are lots of resources on the Web that search a variety of reference — Information Please jumps immediately to mind. But the clean layout and crossreferencing of xrefer.com make this one a winner. Worth a look. (From Research Buzz)
More than a dozen Web searching databases are searched by this meta search engine, including: AltaVista, Fast Search, Excite, HotBot, Infoseek, MSN, and Yahoo. Translates your search into each search engine’s syntax. Can perform natural language or complex Boolean searches. Supports phrases, wildcards, parentheses, pluses (+), minuses (-),capitalization, fields, and other modifiers such as NEAR, because Ixquick knows which search engines can cope with which type of search. Brings “top 10” from each search engine, and prioritizes results. Eliminates duplicates. Check it out as an alternative to Google for most searches. Also does news, MP3, and pictures searches. — cl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
FedBuzz Offers Daily Buzz on the Gov’t
This two-week-old site offers a daily news and data site on the activities of the United States federal government.
The site is divided up into categories on the left side of the page, with a search box on the right. The middle is taken up with headlines, government news, and other editorial. If you’re just browsing the categories, you’ll have no worries; the category pages have decent listings and summaries of different Web site contents. The search engine, though, left me with the bad case of the buh- duhs. … Good stuff here, good intentions, clear explanations, but they need a better search engine. (From Research Buzz)
News by E-Mail — Financial Times
Ft.com’s new free email news service delivers selected stories to subscribers each weekday. After free registration, subscribers can select the topics that interest them, from industry-specific news (autos, chemicals, transport, etc.) to various summaries (US news, world news and comment, etc.). Available in HTML or text form, the email news stories are linked to research, online discussions, and other resources. Users can add or drop topics at any time, making News by E-Mail a very useful morning briefing from one of the foremost sources of business news. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Molecular Biology and Evolution
The Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution is pleased to announce that the full text of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution is now available online.
Molecular Biology and Evolution (MBE), the official journal of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, is a monthly publication of research at the interface between molecular and evolutionary biology. This includes: investigations of molecular evolutionary patterns and processes; tests of evolutionary hypotheses that use molecular data; and studies that use molecular evolutionary information to address issues in fields such as anthropology, biochemistry, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, genomics, and molecular medicine.
The site is free and available to all on the Internet until June 1, 2000. Thereafter, access to full text will be by institutional site license, which comes with all institutional subscriptions, or by personal subscription. All other access (e.g., to A bstracts, Instructions to Authors, eTOC delivery) will remain freely available.
The journal is concerned with fundamental studies on structure, function, dynamics and classification of plant-dominated aquatic ecosystems. It is also intended as an outlet for papers dealing with applied research on aquatic plants, including reports on the consequences of disturbance of aquatic ecosystems (e.g. transplantations, influence of herbicides and other chemicals, thermal pollution, biological control, grazing and disease), the use of aquatic plants, conservation of resources and all aspects of plant production and decomposition.
Access to the full text of this journal is temporarily free. In the course of the next few months, access will be limited to users that are affiliated to a library that subscribes to the print edition of the journal.
Applied Soil Ecology
Applied Soil Ecology addresses the role of soil organisms and their interactions in relation to: agricultural productivity, nutrient cycling and other soil processes, the maintenance of soil structure and fertility, the impact of human activities and xenobiotics on soil ecosystems and bio(techno)logical control of soil-inhabiting pests, diseases and weeds. Such issues are the basis of sustainable agricultural and forestry systems and the long-term conservation of soils in both the temperate and tropical regions.
Access to the full text of this journal is temporarily free. In the course of the next few months, access will be limited to users that are affiliated to a library that subscribes to the print edition of the journal.
Applied Geochemistry is an international journal devoted to publication of original research papers, rapid research communications and selected review papers in geochemistry and cosmochemistry which have some practical application to an aspect of human endeavour, such as the preservation of the environment, environmental monitoring, agriculture, health, waste disposal and the search for resources. Papers on applications of inorganic, organic and isotope geochemistry are therefore welcome provided they meet the main criterion.
Access to the full text of this journal is temporarily free. In the course of the next few months, access will be limited to users that are affiliated to a library that subscribes to the print edition of the journal.
Aquatic Toxicology publishes original scientific papers dealing with the mechanisms of toxicity in aquatic environments and the understanding of responses to toxic agents at community, species, tissue, cellular and subcellular level, including aspects of uptake, metabolism and excretion of toxicants; understanding effects of toxic substances on aquatic ecosystems; toxicant-induced alterations in organisms as evinced, for example, through biochemical and physiological reactions, including adaptive responses; the development of procedures and techniques that significantly advance the understanding of processes and events that produce toxic effects; in-depth studies of human health aspects of aquatic toxicology. Chemical and other identification of toxicants will be considered when related to the understanding of perturbations in life processes. Reports of laboratory and field investigations may be accepted; however, the findings should contribute to the understanding of processes and mechanisms. Access to the full text of this journal is temporarily free. In the course of the next few months, access will be limited to users that are affiliated to a library that subscribes to the print edition of the journal.
Aquacultural Engineering is concerned with the design and development of effective aquacultural systems for marine and freshwater facilities. The journal aims to apply the knowledge gained from basic research which potentially can be translated into commercial operations.
Problems of scale-up and application of research data involve many parameters, both physical and biological, making it difficult to anticipate the interaction between the unit processes and the cultured animals.
Journal of Inequalities in Pure and Applied Mathematics
JIPAM is a peer-reviewed international journal in the theory of mathematical inequalities and their applications, published by Victoria University of Technology, Australia. The editorial board is comprised of 49 internationally recognized researchers — many of which are world leaders in their field.
JIPAM will be unique amongst the mathematics electronic publications in that each article will be presented in two forms one suitable for printing, the other designed to be viewed on a computer monitor (complete with colour, hyperlinks, web forms etc.).
JIPAM is hosted by the RGMIA (Research group in Mathematical Inequalities and Applications) at http://rgmia.vu.edu.au/.
Chemical Journal on Internet
Chemical Journal on Internet (CJI) is an academic web journal in the field of chemical science co-sponsored by the Department of Chemical Science of National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (NSFC) and Department of Chemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences. CJI is published by Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI). Its online edition is published monthly. The access to the online edition is free. A CD-ROM will be issued each year.
Bulletin des Sciences Mathématiques
Founded in 1870, by Gaston Darboux, the Bulletin publishes original articles covering all branches of pure mathematics. Audience: Researchers in Pure Mathematics.
Table of contents, abstracts and full-text articles (in PDF format) are available.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
An international scientific journal reporting on the application of ethology to animals used by man.
This journal publishes relevant information on the behaviour of domesticated and utilized animals. Focusing on farm animals and companion animals, the journal publishes original papers and reviews on a wide range of topics.
Don’t forget that you can access the full-text of Tetrahedron Letters via the Organic.Chemistry Forum FREE of charge until June 30th 2000! Also FREE in the Forum is TetFast which contains pre-publication versions of manuscripts accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of Tetrahedron Letters. Free registration to Chemweb required.
Broadcast Engineering is a technical journal directed toward the technical information needs and interests of field engineers and technical and corporate management at radio, television and related facilities. We seek to provide editorial material that meets the on-the-job requirements of these groups.
Full-text articles are available in HTML format.
INTERESTING WEBSITES AND OTHER NEWS FROM THE INTERNET
A Science Odyssey
A companion to the PBS series, contains:
Then + Now
A brief overview of this Web site that compares what we knew in 1900 to what we know today
- That’s My Theory — Meet some of the scientists who made twentieth century history on this made-for-the-Web game show
- On the Edge — These comic-book style stories take you back through time and present scientists soon after they made their discoveries
- You Try It — Cool activities, including Atom Builder, Probe the Brain, and Technology at Home (requires Shockwave plug-in)
- People and Discoveries — A databank of biographies of scientists and descriptions of key events and discoveries
- About the Television Series — Program descriptions, TV broadcast schedule, excerpts from the companion book
- Resources for Educators — Educator’s guide, and information about a science camp-in, a science demonstration, how to order a poster, and more
- What’s Happening in Your Area — Find out what Science Odyssey activities and events are happening near you
The National Academies 1999 Report to Congress
Recently published by the National Academies, this annual report to Congress highlights some of the most important discoveries and policy issues discussed in the over 450 reports produced by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council in 1999. These are offered in three sections: Health and the Environment, Social Issues and Education, and Engineering and Technology, each of which contains links to the full-text of cited studies and publications. Other portions of the report include lists of Studies and Projects Completed in 1999 and Current Congressionally Authorized Activities, and Revenue Applied to 1999. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
You may have heard these two-minute science clips on your local radio station. Now you can read the text or hear the shows on this Internet site. It also has a search engine to help you find the show or the subject you want.
BBC Evolution Website
A companion to the PBS television series, this site has “4,000 million years crammed into one website”. Included are:
- The Origin Online Read the full text of Charles Darwin’s Origin Of Species, or browse through the illustrated guide adapted from the BBC TV programme.
- The Man and his Legacy — Essays on Darwin and Darwinism for beginners to experts.
- Alife — Play with Biotopia, our online artificial life environment, browse through the reports for the (now wound-down) multi-user version, or explore our collection of links to the best artificial life-related sites on the web.
- Natural Selections — An astronaut, a knight, a swimmer and others discuss the animal that has most profoundly inspired them. In Real Video.
- Fossil Roadshow — The Fossil Roadshow comes to you live from the Natural History Museum in London, hosted by Michaela Strachan and Peter Snow. This event encourages amateur palaeontologists from around the country to bring their ‘finds’ in to be examined by world class experts.
- Extinction Files — Why do species die out? theories, answers, chat and explanations.
- Life On Earth — The classic Natural History series. Full transcripts tracing evolution from chemical soup to sea squirts to humans.
Evidence — The True Witness
“It’s the evidence left behind that is the true witness to … crime. Forensic scientists convert these clues, using the latest technology into evidence admissible in a court of law. Today, forensic science is used in everything from roadside blood-alcohol testing to determining whether a country is developing a secret nuclear weapons program.” This interesting Thinkquest site covers the wide field of forensic science, including interviews, a glossary, a “You be the detective” game, links, news, and more.
Now every classroom can have their own skeleton. View the bones of the human anatomy from different angles. Compare those bones with the bones of a chimpanzee or a baboon. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this resource allows students to access clear, detailed images that they can observe, describe, and compare. Note: for best results viewing this site, you will need to increase the operating memory of your browser. (From Blue Web’n)
“Peregrine falcons Mariah and Cabot-Sirocco have settled into the nest box to raise their third family atop the Kodak Tower. To watch the peregrine parents tend their clutch, visit the Birdcam and witness firsthand the life cycle of the falcon.
Also watch for ongoing features that tell the story of Peregrines in the City. Learn about the natural and urban habitats of peregrine falcons, their rebound from threatened extinction, their role in human myth and history, the Cabot-Sirocco and Mariah family tree — and more!”
This bird cam gives you four different views of the nestbox from which to choose! It also includes minimal screens (with truly tiny font!) on habitat and life cycle and plans additional screens on myth and history, and migration and flight.
Exploratorium: Revealing Bodies [RealPlayer]
This almost-completed Website from the Exploratorium Museum (see the February 21, 1997 _Scout Report_) examines the ways in which new imaging technologies have changed our perceptions of the human body. The site features live webcasts that explore “body imaging technologies, both modern and ancient;” an in-depth examination of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology, which discusses not only its technology but offers a five-minute clip of an in-progress conceptual movie that investigates the emotional experience of an MRI procedure; an online exhibition of art and artifacts revealing the application of various technologies to the human body; and “behind-the-scenes” video clips of the various exhibitions being put together (this portion is still under construction). The site is made possible by grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the California Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. [DC] (From the Scout Report)
Plant Trivia Timeline
“The Timeline gives world history from the viewpoint of a botanist. It is the story of plant discovery and use, and addresses the roles of plants in human civilization.” This site presents a very detailed and interesting look at history.
The Julius Axelrod Papers — NLM [.pdf, QuickTime, RealPlayer]
The National Library of Medicine has just added the Julius Axelrod papers to its Profiles in Science Collection. The fourth scientist to become part of the collection, Axelrod shared the Nobel Prize in 1970 for his research on neurotransmitters. His work was foundational in the later development of antidepressants, and Axelrod coined the term “reuptake” to explain how antidepressants work on the brain. Profiles in Science features an exhibit which gives an overview of the periods of Axelrod’s work and offers .pdf documents and photographs grouped by era. The documents are also accessible via alphabetical or chronological listings grouped by document type (articles, clippings, laboratory notes, etc.), or through a search interface that lets users search either the documents themselves or the data about the documents. [TK] (From the Scout Report)
Fish FAQ (NEFSC)
This site provides fascinating facts and answers to questions about fish, shellfish, other creatures living in the sea, and the marine environment. The broad range of topics in the Fish FAQ, compiled from inquiries submitted to the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, covers how fish breathe, eat, and swim (Can they swim backwards?); fishing; endangered species; and much more. There are also links to Oceanography and other FAQ’s (from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and Ocean Planet“ Marine Life Facts and ”Ocean Planet Oceanographic Facts (both from the Smithsonian Institution). — es (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
Sue at the Field Museum
Sue, “the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex” skeleton ever found, is now on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. This site tells Sue’s history up to her unveiling at the museum on May 17, 2000. There are many photos of the museum workers uncrating and assembling the bones; a “Facts, Theory, and Speculation” section covering what we do know about Sue; A FAQ about Sue, the T. rex, and other dinosaurs; and a kids page. A site for kids and adults alike, for anyone interested in the work of paleontology or who just likes dinosaurs! — ht (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
“This site chronicles the adventures of the Museum’s scientists, engineers, and educators as they collected a black smoker sulfide chimney from the ocean floor. This expedition was extremely complex because these massive black smoker sulfide chimneys were under more than a mile of water, weighed many tons, and spewed incredibly hot (400° Celsius / 750° Fahrenheit) mineral-laden water.” Features of the site include games, a glossary, life forms, underwater tools, talk to the scientists, teacher resources, and more.
Lake Temescamingue Fossil Centre (Quebec, Canada)
“This is one of my favorite single-subject on-line museum websites! It’s hard to write content to populate several pages of a website when your subject is as geographically limited as a single point on the map. Fortunately, this important Ordovician-age type locality has an interesting story to tell, and the webmaster has managed to present that story using a lot of thoughtfully written text content that is supported by a very user-friendly navigation scheme and esthetically pleasing page graphics.” (From Websurfer’s Biweekly Earth Science Review)
Der Karlsruher Wolkenatlas
Cloud pictures. Gorgeous cloud pictures. Every type of cloud. Lots of them. The website is in German, but that doesn’t present a problem. It is set up clearly and cleanly.
Tornado, Hurricane, Thunderstorm Movies
“This Database Only contains the source or Website address where the movies are located. Just like Midi Files and other common downloads, movies online are increasingly becoming a sore spot for linking due to bandwidth issues. But all is not lost, the text address gives you an idea where you can find the movie, so it won’t be hard to find once you visit the source. Enjoy!”
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Three Sites on Astronomy / Space Exploration
Cycle 1 Chandra Science Images
Peering into the Heart of the Crab Nebula [QuickTime, .tiff]
Popular Science 5 Year Guide to Space Exploration
These three sites, from NASA’s premier telescopes and Popular Science magazine, should offer plenty to users with even a passing interest in astronomy and space exploration. The first site features a collection of amazing images from the Chandra orbiting X-ray observatory that were recently unveiled at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Highlights include a crossbow-shaped shock wave of warped gas, a jet that emanates from the center of the galaxy and extends across 360 thousand light years toward a brilliant hot spot, and a hot bubble of matter surrounding a dying star. The images are offered as thumbnails which link to a larger image with a description. “Handouts,” images with descriptions that can be printed on a single page, are also available. The second site features some recently released images of the Crab Nebula from the Hubble Space Telescope which reveal the structure of the Nebula’s center with unprecedented detail. The images are offered in several sizes and formats, along with a QuickTime movie and the official press release. The final site is a guide to the more than 100 NASA missions planned for the next five years. The missions are grouped by year, with links to detailed information such as launch date, estimated cost, objectives, mission details, images (where available), and the homepage for the official site. Other sections include a tech focus, an interactive timeline of spacecraft propulsion, and a crossword puzzle. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Image Gallery
On May 22, NASA announced the “single largest one-time release of images for any planet in the history of solar system exploration,” adding over 20,000 images to its Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Image Gallery. This huge collection is offered in three galleries, one for each of the cameras used: narrow angle, wide angle, and global images. Many of the images are of such high resolution that objects on the surface the size of a school bus can be seen. This remarkable archive covers one Mars year (687 Earth days) beginning in September 1997 and extending through August 1999. Background information and instructions on using the gallery are also provided. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Solar Light Show
“Solar Storm Warning” — NASA
Strong Geomagnetic Storm in Progress — NOAA
First Major Solar Storm of the Century — NOAA Space Weather
The Solar Forecast
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)
Sunspots and the Solar Cycle
Over the last few days, the Earth has been buffeted by a geomagnetic storm caused by a major solar flare. In addition to disruptions in radio, telecommunications, and electric service, the flare may also produce a dramatic light show as it peaks tonight. Weather permitting, the aurora borealis, or northern lights, may be visible as far south as Washington, D.C. The best viewing time will be local midnight. The sun is currently at the peak of its eleven-year solar cycle, spawning flares and “coronal mass ejections” (CME), violent outbursts of gas from the sun’s corona that can carry up to 10 billion tons of electrified gas traveling at speeds as high as 2000 km/s. Geomagnetic storms result when solar winds compress the magnetosphere, sometimes interfering with electric power transmission and satellites, but also creating beautiful aurorae, as many stargazers hope will occur tonight.
NASA’s solar storm warning is a good place to learn more about the storm and solar flares, with numerous illustrations, animations, and related links. Reports from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) main and Space Weather sites briefly discuss the storm and how best to view the aurorae, and offer a number of related links. Space.com has posted the full text of the latest Solar Forecast from NOAA along with a gallery of images and some related resources. A Host of additional images and other resources can be found at the NASA/ESA SOHO site. More background information is provided by NASA Science News Sunspots and the Solar Cycle site. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Not a site for astronomical total beginners, although you can still enjoy taking a look at images of any part of the sky at wavelengths from radio to gamma-ray with the SkyView Virtual Observatory. There are various interfaces which assume a certain degree of knowledge: non-astronomer, basic, advanced, Java and X-Windows which allow you greater control and more detailed information retrieval. Even the Basic looks like it would be quite a handful for the layperson but worth looking into if you want a vision of Eta Carinae and its ilk! (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Museum of Ancient Inventions
A trepanation kit from 2000 BCE, a battery from 250 BCE, and tumbler lock from 1000 BCE, a thunder making machine from 100 AD, a trebuchet from the 15th century, and many more. This site from Smith College has photographs and a description of each item.
TRB — PATH Database
This database of bibliographic information on research and applications in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) indexes materials dating as far back as the 1940s. Abstracts and full bibliographic information are included for almost 20,000 records, as well as URLs for full text online sources. The scope of materials encompasses “monographs, journal articles, conference papers, technical reports, theses, web sites, and selected media coverage.” The database is accessible on the Internet through a partnership established between the California PATH (Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways) Program and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). — ml (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
NEEDS — The National Engineering Education Delivery System
“NEEDS — The National Engineering Education Delivery System is a digital library of learning resources for engineering education. NEEDS provides web-based access to a database of learning resources where the user (whether they be learners or instructors) can search for, locate, download, and comment on resources to aid their learning or teaching process.” The website has a nice, clean interface with a search engine attached. Each resource has a place for user reviews and comments (although no one had yet made comments available on the resources I checked).
The Tech Museum of Innovation
A hands-on technology museum in San Jose, California. Their searchable site has guides to exhibits and a “hands-online” interactive museum. You’ll also find teaching resources, video interviews, and details about technology classes, lectures, summer camps, and programs. — wh (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
Lighting the Way
“Here is your chance to help the Smithsonian make history!
On this website, we hope to use the Internet to gather — as well as present — history. With your help, we want to explore changes in the science and technology of electric lighting over the past 30 years, especially the effects of energy issues on lighting. Although the subject might seem a bit technical, anyone who has worked in an office, driven a car at night, or even changed a light bulb can help us shed a little light on this corner of history. We are seeking information from as broad a range of people as possible — inventors, researchers, manufacturers, electricians, architects, city planners, lighting designers, retailers, consumers, and many others.
Three brief, illustrated essays give an outline of changes in residential, commercial, and industrial lighting over the last few decades, and help show what we are after. Please read any or all of these three illuminating histories, and then, most importantly, answer the questions on one (or more) of the three Collecting History pages.”
Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
Anthro.net is a search engine that “queries a database of over 40,000 reviewed web sites with anthropological content built by the interests of its users.” It operates by collecting search terms submitted by its users and using “proprietary software to hunt down internet based journal articles, well developed topical sites and bibliographic references for anthropology, archaeology and the other social sciences.” In addition, the site features a 53-item table of contents to selected topics that offer “recommended readings” and listings of annotated Websites. The search engine gives results in order of relevance to the original search term and provides a description comprised of the first 100 characters or so on each Website returned. A search for “feminism,” for instance, generated nineteen quality sites on various aspects of feminism in relation to the disciplines mentioned above. A what’s new section also provides a listing of recent additions to the database. [DC] (From the Scout Report)
Great Excavations [Java]
This UK companion site to the Channel 4 documentary series Great Excavations follows author and professional archaeologist David Romer on a tour through the origins, history, and current state of archaeology, especially as it applies to the examination of ancient civilizations. Six separate sections, matching six programs, explore in text and photographs the roots of archaeology in colonial plunder, the development of archaeological reasoning and systems of classification, the transformation of archaeology into a reputable science, the development of the art of excavation, the connection between archaeologists and the state, and the future of archaeology as a discipline. The program six material is not yet online but will appear sometime before the broadcast of this segment. The site also features a healthy annotated bibliography of Websites and books for each episode. We had some difficulties in using the site outside of the Channel 4 frame, but users whose browsers handle Java well may not have this difficulty. [DC] (From the Scout Report)
For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was a proposal offered after by then U.S. Secretary of State George Catlett Marshall (1880-1959) to encourage European recovery after World War II. This history includes a timeline as well as photos, political cartoons, maps, scanned images from several books, and other documents. There is also information on reactions to the Plan, the countries that benefited, and the way the Plan was executed. This online exhibit is from the collection of the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Averell Harriman Papers. — dl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
Forecasting Principles [.pdf, Excel, MS Word]
J. Scott Armstrong, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania created Forecasting Principles for educators, practitioners, and researchers of forecasting. The resources found on this site “provide a comprehensive and structured review of the state of knowledge about forecasting methods.” Three main sections offer papers, surveys, overviews, and resources to educators, practitioners, and researchers separately. However, the site contains basic information germane for all of these purposes as well. The site also lists upcoming conferences as well as a small library of annotated links. [EM] (From the Scout Report)
Compiled by a graduate student in anthropology at Indiana University, Angela Bratton, this Website offers an overview of the history and theory of feminist anthropology and includes a substantial bibliography of relevant sources. The Website also summarizes the current state of feminist anthropology at a professional level in a section on organizations and resources. In addition, a diagram offers a historical sense of the development of the “three waves” of feminist anthropology and their affiliations with larger theoretical movements in anthropology and social theory. [DC] (From the Scout Report)
MuSICA (Music & Science Information Computer Archive)
Hosted by the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine, MuSICA maintains a weekly updated database of references and abstracts of scientific research on music as related to behavior, the brain, and allied fields. Keyword searchable with advanced queries supported (Excite for Web servers), the database returned numerous entries for each of our sample searches. Full returns include title, author, publication and date, document type, language, and an abstract. In addition, the site also offers the full text of recent and back issues of _MuSICA Research Notes_, a newsletter published three times a year that includes reports and analysis “of research on music and behavior, including education, child development, psychology, cognitive sciences, neuroscience, clinical medicine, music therapy and allied fields.” Visitors can browse by issue or by article and subject indexes. Finally, scholars in the field will find a section that offers frequently updated news and notices of professional interest. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
The Silicon Valley Cultures Project Website
The Silicon Valley Cultures Project, from the anthropology department at San Jose State University, “is a ten year ethnographic study of the cultures living and working in the hi-tech communities of Silicon Valley.” Professors Charles Darrah and J. A. English-Lueck began the project in 1991, and this Website presents the preliminary findings of the study. The site contains an overview and background information on the project, as well as short project papers, student papers, and information on future studies associated with the project. The Silicon Valley Cultures Project is a truly interesting look at the world of hi-tech culture. [EM] (From the Scout Report)
Education and Human Resources
New Additions to ERIC Digests Database
ERIC Digests Index Page
The latest updates to the ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) Digest database (last described in the September 17, 1999 Scout Report) feature 35 and 49 full-text short reports, respectively, aimed at education professionals and the broader education community. Each report provides an overview of an education topic of current interest and offers references for further information. Sample titles include “Easing the Teasing: How Parents Can Help Their Children,” “The Mathematics and Reading Connection,” “A Science Fair Companion,” “The Art and Science of Classroom Assessment: The Missing Part of Pedagogy,” and “Guidelines for College Science Teaching Assistants.” Users can search the entire ERIC Digests database from the index page. ERIC, part of the National Library of Education (NLE), is a nationwide education information system sponsored by the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Digest of Education Statistics, 1999
Last week, the National Center for Education Statistics posted on the Web its annual digest. “The Digest provides statistical information covering the field of education from prekindergarten through graduate school with over 450 tables and figures. Topics include: schools and colleges; teachers; enrollments; graduates; educational attainment; finances; federal funds for education; employment and income of graduates; libraries; technology; and international comparisons.” [DC] (From the Scout Report)
The History of the Ideas of a University
This site, developed by faculty members at the University of Northern British Columbia, explores the evolution of the university idea. The Website’s hypertext history, supplemented by 24 illustrations, reviews the ideas and contents of higher education from Ancient Greece through Medieval times to the development of the modern idea of the university in the nineteenth century. A section considering the future of the university is also included. The site is part of a larger Website designed to introduce prospective students to the various departments at the University of Northern British Columbia and their approaches to their disciplines. Sections of this larger site may be accessed from the index link at the above URL. [DC] (From the Scout Report)
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NSF AWARDS NETWORK GRANTS TO 10 UNIVERSITIES
The National Science Foundation this week gave 10 universities high-performance computing grants worth about $350,000 each. The two-year grants will allow the schools to connect to a grid of research networks including the Internet2 consortium’s Abilene, MCI WorldCom’s vBNS, and several high-speed government networks. Jackson State University in Mississippi, one of the grant recipients, will use the award to buy a high-speed router and link to Abilene. The high-speed network will help Jackson State’s professors and students use scientific visualization and other high-performance applications. Using its Abilene connection, Jackson will participate in a distance-learning project with Syracuse University. Another recipient, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, will use its grant to gain access to real-time telescope data. Since 1995, the National Science Foundation has awarded high-performance computing grants to a total of 177 institutions.
(Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 25 May 2000 via Edupage).
RURAL SCHOOL IS NOW WIRED TO THE WORLD
The Internet is helping rural schools overcome isolation in Wyoming, a state so sparsely populated that 19 of its 234 elementary schools have fewer than 10 students this year. This school year Wyoming became the first state to provide Internet access in all of its public schools. One beneficiary of the technology is nine-year-old Diamond Forbes, the only student in a one-room elementary school in Kaycee, Wyo., who uses an iMac to surf the Web to keep up with third graders in larger schools. Wyoming, where job growth is slow and many college graduates leave the state, has not yet capitalized on the tech-driven economy. Recognizing the need to provide children with job skills, Gov. Jim Geringer five years ago spearheaded the effort to bring Internet access to all Wyoming schools, which has cost $25 million so far. By next month, Wyoming plans to have all of its high schools connected to a two-way interactive video system that will allow students to participate remotely in classes their schools do not offer.
(New York Times, 4 May 2000 via Edupage)
DIGITIZED TALKING HEADS LEND VOICES TO THE WEB
Voice technology is improving and making its way onto the Internet in the form of voice-controlled Web browsers and talking avatars. The British Press Association has created a digital newscaster named Ananova that reads news in a human-sounding voice. Ananova runs on Lernout & Hauspie’s RealSpeak, and though her voice quality leaves something to be desired, handlers are working to improve the voice-synthesis program. In the future, Ananova will be able to listen to users, responding to individual questions about the news. Already, many companies offer technology that allows users to surf the Web using a telephone. About 45 million wireless phone users in North America will browse the Internet by voice in the next five years, according to The Kelsey Group. Experts say voice browsing is set to explode since telephones are so easily accessible, especially to mobile users, visually impaired users, and those without PCs.
(Investor’s Business Daily, 5 May 2000 via Edupage)
SURVEY: KIDS FUEL INTERNET EXPLOSION
Children between the ages of 2 to 17 are going online in unprecedented numbers, providing a boost to Internet usage rates, according to a new report from Grunwald Associates. The number of U.S. children surfing the Internet has increased from 8 million in 1997 to 25 million this year and will likely rise 70 percent by 2005. The survey also finds that the number of mothers using the Internet reached 16.4 million last year, up from 4.5 million in 1997 — numbers that could help explain the corresponding boom in kids’ Internet usage. In addition, the survey finds that roughly two of every three family households own a computer, 46 percent of which are equipped with Internet access.
(Associated Press, 7 June 2000 via Edupage)
AS GADGETS SHRINK, THEY MAY WIND UP IN SURPRISING PLACES
Embedded devices, which are continuously shrinking in size and can communicate wirelessly, are the wave of the future. Embedded devices already pervade the everyday environment. “Ninety-eight percent of all processors we have on the planet are not in desktop systems. They are, in fact, in cars on factory floors, in homes,” says Dr. Gaetano Borriello of the University of Washington. One use of embedded devices will be in the field of medicine. Embedded devices, including microscopic sensors, microscopic processors and microscopic radio transceivers, could be placed in medicine that would be swallowed by the patient. These devices could then keep an eye on medical conditions and treat the conditions with drugs while sending data to a portable server in the home. The data could then be sent to the doctor over the Web. Until the systems gain the ability to allow users to decide who gets to see the data, privacy will be an issue. Eventually there will be a wireless network that will provide network and Internet access for controls, processors and sensors embedded in equipment. The continuing decline in wireless communications prices would help expedite the process.
(New York Times, 4 May 2000 via Edupage)
VIRTUAL UNIVERSITIES PLEDGE TO IMPROVE COURSE TRANSFERS
A group of 28 online universities at a meeting arranged by the Kentucky Commonwealth Virtual University signed an accord to promote cooperation and transfer of credits among the institutions. By signing the agreement, the schools expect to eventually enable online students to easily transfer credits from one institution to another, making it easier to earn a degree online. However, some of the officials who signed the accord are not authorized to form transfer policies, making the gesture primarily symbolic. Still, the willingness to work together is surprising since the schools are rivals. The meeting emphasized the advantages of collaboration among online universities, addressing possibilities such as banding together to buy equipment and software in bulk. The virtual universities that signed the accord represent various countries, and include E-University of Great Britain, Georgia G.L.O.B.E., Jones International University, Western Governors University, and many others.
(Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 May 2000 via Edupage)
BROADCAST TV NEWS LOSING VIEWERS TO INTERNET, STUDY SAYS
The growth of news sites on the Internet is steadily eating away at the audience of traditional broadcast TV news shows, according to a survey of more than 3,000 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Pew Research Center Director Andrew Kohut touts the survey as the first of its kind to thoroughly examine the Internet’s impact on broadcast TV news. The survey finds that 32 percent of college graduates younger than 50 visit news sites on the Internet every day, compared with only 20 percent who watch the evening broadcast TV news every day. The number of households with computers has nearly doubled to 59 percent since 1994, according to Pew. The survey also finds that 33 percent of people access the Internet at least once a week for news, and 15 percent access the news online every day. Twice as many investors prefer to get stock information on the Internet rather than from television. “Technology is rendering obsolete the predominance of the network newscast,” says television historian Alex McNeil.
(Boston Globe, 12 June 2000 via Edupage)
Nuntii Latini (News in Latin)
The language of science is not dead! This site gives brief, current news reports in text and audio (requires RealAudio) in the Latin language. You can listen and read along. The origin is a Finnish radio program. Trust the Finns to do something this unique! (Thanks to Librarian’s Index to the Internet)