Sci-Tech Library Newsletter
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- ETDE ENERGY DATABASE: A bibliographic database covering all aspects of energy.
- NEW VIDEOS
- FREE E-JOURNALS — MEDICINE: A links site for this genre.
- NEW E-BOOKS AND REPORTS
- INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET: Official Website of the Sixth Conference of the Parties, Science & Technology Policy Research (UK), Digital Dividend; Biological Sciences: WebPath: The Internet Pathology Laboratory, Stem Cell Research (Documents in the News 2001), Becoming Human, Megatransect: an ecologist hikes across Africa, The Sound of Dinosaurs; Computer and Information Science: Women in Tech; Education and Human Resources: International Comparisons of Education, CAoS Club; Engineering: Cameras: the Technology of Photographic Imaging, The Design Process Guide and Resource Kit, Fracture Mechanics Tutorial, Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, Geosciences: Earth From Above, Mt. Etna in the News, USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, Grand Canyon Explorer, What’s it like where you live?; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Physics Success Stories, The Apothecary’s Drawer, MITACS — Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems, Two from Hubble [QuickTime, .mpeg], Sports Data Page; Polar Programs: The Southern Ocean — Antarctic Seas and Wildlife; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: History and Politics Out Loud, Secrets of the Dead II, Edward S. Curtis’s North American Indian, Nonverbal Behavior/Nonverbal Communication Links, Journey through Tikal, Navajo Code Talkers in WW II, Kumeyaay Nation, Traditional Chinese Culture in Taiwan … and more … plus news items from Edupage
- INTER ALIA: Rare books, science and others …
- CORRECTION Oops … have I been hoaxed?
ETDE ENERGY DATABASE
Energy Technology Data Exchange Energy Database
ETDEWEB includes information on the environmental impact of energy production and use, including climate change; energy R&D; energy policy; nuclear, coal, hydrocarbon and renewable energy technologies and much, much more. Updated twice monthly, the database contains bibliographic references to and abstracts of journal articles, reports, conference papers, books, and other miscellaneous document types. Explore the growing collection (early 1995 forward) of over 847,700 bibliographic records with more than 4.2 million downloadable full text pages now available at your fingertips.
[The following information is primarily for U.S. Residents of other countries must contact their own country’s ETDE representative agency.]
OSTI is the U.S. participating agency in the ETDE agreement. The U.S. URL to use for free access to the most recent part of the database (entries from 1995 to current) is http://www.etde.org/etdeweb/. Since the database is created through the cooperation of all the member countries (contributing database entries as well as money), it is only freely accessible to people in those member countries, so you must register to use the database. At the moment, only individual accounts are authorized but IP access for organizations is under current discussion. To register, once you get to the ETDEWEB site, choose registration, and then your country. There is a link to the registration form from there. Once you fill it out, it is reviewed and approved at OSTI. You receive an email once you are approved.
At this point in time, access to the full energy database (including pre 1995) is only available through commercial systems, Dialog and STN.
For further information (for U.S. residents) contact:
LEMELSON CENTER VIDEOS
Lemelson Center Multimedia
Some great educational videos are published by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation of the Smithsonian. These videos include:
- Everyone is an inventor. 1997.
- Mind’s eye, mind’s invention. 1998.
- Sound! Light! Edison!: celebrating 150 years of invention. 1997.
- She’s got it!: women inventors and their inspirations. 2000.
- Lewis Latimer: rennaissance man (1848–1928). 1999.
- Microrobots and the phantom: an innovative lives special with James McLurkin and Thomas Massie. 1996.
- The Electric guitar: its makers & its players. 1997.
They are available free to requesting institutions. Visit the Lemelson Center website for details — and to visit a cool website.
FREE E-JOURNALS — MEDICINE
Free Medical Journals
This site maintains a list of medical journals that are free, free after a certain time limit, and those which have a “free trial” offer. On the right side of the front page, you can get a list of recently- added publications as well as publications that are no longer free.
Publications can be browsed by specialty, alphabetically, or by language. There are no descriptions (if you’re at all medically-oriented, I doubt they’re necessary; American Association of Neurological Surgeons Bulletin speaks for itself) and clicking on a link transfers you to the journal in question.
If you want to be kept alerted to new free medical journals online, this site offers an alert service that requests your name, company, address, and e-mail address (it requires only your name, city, and e-mail) and gives you seven languages to choose from. (From Research Buzz) [Note: Some basic life sciences journals are included.]
NEW E-BOOKS AND REPORTS
- e-Government: benchmarking electronic service delivery. UK Office of the e-Envoy, 2001.
- The Condition of Education 2001. U.S. Dept. of Education, NCES, 2001.
- Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 7, 2000. Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, 2001.
- America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2001
- Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2001. OECD, 2001.
- Paleomagnetism: Magnetic Domains to Geologic Terranes full text of the second edition of this title, published online in 1998 in Adobe Acrobat format, from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona.
INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET
Science & Technology Policy Research (UK)
“SPRU’s mission is to deepen understanding of the place of science, technology and innovation in the global economy for the benefit of government, business and society. SPRU is one of the world leaders in policy research on science, technology and innovation (STI) and its wider economic, social and environmental implications. Our objectives are:
- to advance understanding of the relationship between STI developments and society through pioneering multidisciplinary research
- to generate new empirical data, methods, concepts and theories which explain the role of STI in the economies of the world
- to deliver postgraduate training which provides the analytical and practical skills needed to understand and respond to the STI challenges of the future
- to advise those concerned with the development and implementation of science and technology policy and those seeking to manage science and technology in society
- to work with firms, policy-makers and civil society to develop the tools and techniques needed to manage STI for purposes of competitiveness, sustainable development and social well-being”
This site is offered by the World Resources Institute to “encourage the development of creative business approaches, public-private partnerships, and other sustainable ways to bridge the digital divide and create lasting economic, social and environmental benefits.” There is not much on the site at this point, but it bears watching for future developments.
Official Website of the Sixth Conference of the Parties
The Sixth session, Part two of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (COP 6.2) ended Friday in Bonn. Thirty-seven of the fifty-five countries needed to make the Kyoto Protocol binding have ratified the agreement. At COP 6, a number of decisions were made that “set out the rulebook by which governments will cooperate on making the Kyoto Protocol’s institutions and procedures a reality and increase the flow of financial and technological support to developing countries.” These decisions will need to be officially ratified at COP 7. The US may not be participating in the Protocol (see the April 11, 2001 _Scout Report for Science & Engineering_), but readers can keep track of the latest developments here, including video archives of the convention, press releases, the text of the Protocol, a list of signatories, and much more. [TK](From the Scout Report)
“A self-described broadband documentary experience, Becoming Human deserves every possible accolade and certainly does credit to The Institute for Human Origins, which produces the site. The documentary itself — narrated by Donald Johansen, the discoverer of the famed Lucy — is a series of beautifully designed and presented images (both still and moving) and soundtracks that comprehensively cover the fossil evidence, anatomical and physical changes, and cultural developments that characterize the 3-million-year story of human evolution. Perhaps the most appealing aspect is that this effort is so obviously designed as a purely web-based presentation, as compared to sites based on TV documentaries or textbooks.” [From Netsurfer.]
The Sound of Dinosaurs
“Bones are all well and good when it comes to figuring out body size and structure and even what dinosaurs ate. Most animals, however, growl, cry and sing with vocal cords and other soft tissues that just do not survive the ages like bones do when fossilized. About five years ago Japanese voice print expert Matsumi Suzuki took a … refined approach: He gauged the size of dinosaurs’ vocal tissues from the dimensions of their skulls. He then compared these with those of living animals like cats and dogs and estimated the kind of sound waves the ancient beasts would have uttered.” A really fun site!
Stem Cell Research (Documents in the News 2001)
NIH Stem Cell Information
- News, reports, and testimony on stem cell research
- Draft NIH guidelines for stem cell research
Politics, Science, Morality of Stem Cell Issue (All Politics)
- A CNN FAQ issued on July 18, 2001
- Brief information on the issues and opinions of different interest groups
- Good links to further resources
Stem Cells: A Primer
- Definitions of terms including pluripotent cells
- Good and understandable descriptions of how stem cells work and their benefit for
- American Medical Association — Letters to Congress supporting embryonic stem cell research
- Culture of Life Foundation — Christian organization promoting adult and umbilical cord stem cell research, Use search engine for articles
- Gallup Poll — Results of a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll taken July 10–11, 2001, showing that Americans not following the stem cell debate but want cures for diseases
- Pope John Paul — Text of statement in meeting with President George W. Bush on
July 23, 2001
and more …
From the Library at the University of Michigan. (Some links available at UofM only)
WebPath: The Internet Pathology Laboratory
An impressively rich pathology site with over 1900 images in addition to text, tutorials, laboratory exercises, and examination items for self-assessment that demonstrate gross and microscopic pathologic findings associated with human disease conditions. Considering the site has been developed by one individual at a university pathology department there is more than plenty to keep keen pathology and anatomy students busy. There is even a chance to win a prize in the ‘case of the week’ in which the user has to make a diagnosis from an interesting image. Bear in mind that you need a web browser that can support the display of 20–250k .gif or .jpg files is required to view the images. (27 June 2001) RM (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Megatransect: an ecologist hikes across Africa
“For 15 months Wildlife Conservation Society biologist J. Michael Fay hiked across central Africa (map) — 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) through dense forests and remote villages — to Africa’s Atlantic coast. Along the way Fay and his team surveyed the land and wildlife of the Congo River Basin, recording animals and plants that may well become threatened as humans press into the wilds.” This site from National Geographic is a bit confusing to navigate, but well worth the trouble. There are photos, videos, diary excerpts and more from this remarkable journey.
Computer and Information Science
Women in Tech
“Women keep breaking through the silicon ceiling, but haven’t shattered it yet. Wired News looks at the people leading the way.” A collection of stories from Wired news featuring women active in the computer industry.
Education and Human Resources
International Comparisons of Education
“As part of its Congressional mandate, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) supports international comparisons in education to collect and report reliable and timely data on a variety of subjects. Through student assessments, surveys of adults in the workforce, and the development of international indicators on education systems around the world, NCES examines education in the United States and other nations.” This site from the U.S. Dept. of Education has studies in math & science, reading, civic education, adult literacy, and more.
This is an online science resource for those teaching students at the older primary level (K8). The site was created by the Chicago Academy of Sciences and provides the usual kinds of lesson plans in botany, chemistry, geology, the human body, mechanics, and meteorology. So we have the likes of air pressure experiments with balloons and jam jars, what to expect when mixing vinegar and sodium bicarbonate, and why you should do it outside, and a lung capacity test. All common or garden resources but nicely laid out and bolstered with some interesting spins on news about the likes of Pioneer 10, summer weather and some extremes in science. (13 July 2001) DB (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Cameras: the Technology of Photographic Imaging
Take a peek into picture-taking’s storied beginnings. This exhibit, presented by the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, celebrates the evolution of modern photography and its ingenious pioneers. Early Photographic Images details the first trials and errors of color and monochrome picture-taking in the 19th century. The Camera Catalogue boasts a fascinating collection of rudimentary shotmaking, bulky field and “pocket” cameras, and fancy doo-dads that were standard fare for early photogs. One of the most famed English photographers, T.E. Lawrence, a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia, is remembered along with his trusty hardware. (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)
Fracture Mechanics Tutorial
“This tutorial has been developed by Professor M Neil James, Department of Mechanical & Marine Engineering, University of Plymouth, and is based on a number of years experience with the problems that arise in teaching applied fracture mechanics to engineering undergraduates.” (Thanks to EEVL)
The Design Process Guide and Resource Kit
“This [student?] project consists of three parts: the design process, a tutorial, and resources. The first part provides a step-by-step introduction to the design process, with each step briefly described. The tutorial represents a guide/hint to the way a portfolio should be laid out and what should be included. Again, each section is briefly described and illustrated. The resource kit contains links to search engines, technological and product design sites, companies, folio and other resources, ergonomics and online journals.” (From the EEVL)
Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles
“The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) is an historic public/private partnership between the U.S. federal government (led by the Technology Administration at the Department of Commerce, and including 7 agencies and 19 federal laboratories) and DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors that aims to strengthen America’s competitiveness by developing technologies for a new generation of vehicles. Started in late 1993 September 29, 1993, this national government/industry research program also included research support for over 350 automotive suppliers, universities, and small businesses.
PNGV’s long term goal, dubbed the “Supercar” goal, is to develop an environmentally friendly car with up to triple the fuel efficiency of today’s midsize cars — without sacrificing affordability, performance, or safety. The other two PNGV goals are:
- To significantly improve national competitiveness in automotive manufacturing
- To apply commercially viable innovation to conventional vehicles.”
Now in the final stage of this project, I would like to see more information on the website, but the information that is here is of considerable interest.
What’s it like where you live?
Biomes, including taiga, tundra, desert, freshwater and marine ecosystems are discussed in depth here. The site is colorful and crisply designed, and the type is large enough to read, except occasionally in the navigation panel when there is not enough contrast between colors. A large amount of information is very accessible to the elementary student and teacher alike. The ‘Interesting Plants’ section of the Rainforest Biome features the giant bamboo, famed for its ability, discovered during WWII, to camouflage jeeps practically overnight. [From the New Scientist Site of the Day]
Grand Canyon Explorer
“Easily navigable and packed with all the information (and scenic views) of the Grand Canyon you could want, this site shows just how good a website set up by an enthusiast can be. Start exploring from the ten main sections on the home page, each of which leads to a further range of topics — for example, the ‘Learn More’ section branches into Geology, Human History, Weather, Maps, Other Attractions in the Four Corners area, Photos, and a Master Image Index. There’s a timeline with hotlinks to places, events and people in the Canyon’s history, and a useful alphabetical glossary of all items on the site. You’ll also find guided tours — with detailed info on itineraries, museums, landmarks, trails, accommodation, maps, advice for backpackers — and, in the ‘Armchair Travelers’ section, an opportunity to ‘test drive’ a virtual visit of the Grand Canyon, take a white-water trip down the Colorado River, and read trip reports by hikers and backpackers. A great first-stop site, with plenty of links for exploring further.” [From New Scientist’s Site of the Day]
Earth From Above
“From deserts to polar lands, coastal regions to cosmopolitan cities, the Earth From Above project has been capturing our home in all its natural and man-made glory. And all on Fuji film.
Helmed by acclaimed aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, this project was launched in 1996, and has been under the patronage of UNESCO ever since. While Yann’s works will be exhibited at major cities all over the world in the year 2000 to commemorate the end of the millennium, we hope to expose his work to as many more people as possible for a long time to come through this web site.
Fujifilm, along with UNESCO, Corbis, and Air France, takes great pride and joy in continuing to support this project. After all, it’s all part of our ongoing commitment to Mother Earth.”
These photographs are indescribably beautiful. Some are in animated shows. You can download screensavers as well. Each photograph comes with detailed information about the subject. This is a site you simply must visit!
Mt. Etna in the News
Mt. Etna Picture Gallery
ERS Monitors Mr. Etna
Volcano World Images of Etna
Etna the Eternal
Smithsonian Etna Activity Reports
All Things Considered Interview with Franco Barberi (near bottom of page)
The first website is an excellent webpage with information and links to everything you ever wanted to know about Etna. The second and third have current satellite pictures of the recent eruption. Volcano World offers gorgeous standard pictures of the mountain. You may have trouble connecting with the Volcano webcam, it is overloaded with viewers these days. Etna the Eternal is a site on About.com with an introductory article and an excellent assortment of links. The Smithsonian offers a detailed history of Etna activity inthe recent past. All Things Considered interviews Franco Barberi, former head of the Instituto Nationale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia and currently director of the agency for civilian protection in the Italian Department of the Interior about the recent activity of Mt. Etna. (The link is near the bottom of the page). For current news stories from a variety of sources, run a search on Search Turtle News Search Engine.
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
A totally seismic site packed with earthquake facts, FAQs and features, but a serious mission in mind. From the Earthquake Hazard Program of the US Geological Survey, this site shows real-time seismogram read-outs from recent US earthquake zones, reveals the top spots for future quake activity and explains what to do if you find yourself at the epicentre. It aims to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of earthquakes but also showcases the latest research into earthquake prediction and control. Those who’ve been through the real thing are invited to contribute to USGS data by filling out the “Did you feel it?” questionnaire. For the masses that don’t live above an active fault zone, virtual field trips to the San Andreas have to suffice. There’s plenty of fun too, with activities, games, puzzles and trivia. Did you know that there are over 500,000 earthquakes per year, or that they happen on the moon? The site is large, but easy to navigate, and tucked in there you can find info on quakes all over the world, past and present. The earth moved for me, at any rate. JS (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Physics Success Stories
The American Institute of Physics encourages physicists to become engaged in the political process. The following exhibits have been created by the AIP Public Information Division as information tools for scientists visiting and writing Members of Congress and other decision makers. Physics Success Stories highlight the important links between federal funding for basic and applied research and development and their economic benefits to society.
The Apothecary’s Drawer
Links to many interesting websites put together by British freelance math and science writer Ray Girvan. The sites that he includes are both informative and entertaining. Topics range from the physics of the Levitron top to “Bizarre Stuff You Can Make in Your Kitchen”.
Sports Data Page
Looking for a way to enliven statistics classes? This page provides links to various sources of sports statistics, sure to be popular statistics fodder for many students.
MITACS — Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems
“The Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS) provides mathematical models, software tools, and highly-qualified personnel to assist Canadian firms in key sectors of the Canadian economy. MITACS is a federally funded Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) in the mathematical sciences. It was launched in October 1998 as a joint initiative of Canada’s three mathematical institutes: the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM), The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences (Fields) and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS).” The site has overviews of current projects in layman’s language, lists of participants (with contact information), news, and more.
Two from Hubble [QuickTime, .mpeg]
Star Clusters Born in the Wreckage of Cosmic Collisions
Hubble’s Panoramic Portrait of a Vast Star-Forming Region
These latest findings from Hubble will appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in astronomy. The first focuses on collisions between galaxies within Stephan’s Quintet that have given rise to star clusters and dwarf galaxies. The second gives us a glimpse into the 30 Doradus Nebula where stars are born. Both releases include an introduction, background information, stunning photos, animations, videos, related links, and more. [TK] (From the Scout Report)
The Southern Ocean — Antarctic Seas and Wildlife
Marine Biologist Dave Reay has put together a quite remarkable collection of photographs and information on the Southern Ocean here. He captures the beauty and isolation of the antarctic in words as well as pictures to the point where one could almost smell the elephant seals. There are separate sections for the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and also areas dedicated to seals and penguins. The pictures are updated frequently so it’s well worth regular visits. (14 May 2001) BA (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
Traditional Chinese Culture in Taiwan
“Information on medicine, food, folk arts, painting, calligraphy, study, architecture, furniture, chop engraving, tea, Chinese opera, jade, written language, music, festivals, pottery and porcelain, dance, kung fu, philosophy, macrame, cloisonne, lacquer, embroidery, folk prints, paper cutting, books, wine, and puppetry. From the Republic of China, Government Information Office, Taiwan Website.” [From Librarians’ Index to the Internet]
Secrets of the Dead II
This companion site to the PBS series has background, clues, links, and other information on the Salem witch trials, Stonehenge, Jamestown, the Zulu wars, the tomb of Christ, and the origin of Syphilis. The site is very attractive and interesting as well as easy to navigate. A free screensaver is also offered.
History and Politics Out Loud
This collection of “politically significant” audio recordings features such all-star orators as Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr., and William Jefferson Clinton. Here’s the cool part — a rolling transcript pops up as the recording plays, so you can catch any garbled material. JFK on the sticky situation in Cuba: “which leaves me only one alternative which is to fire nuclear weapons — which is a hell of an alternative — to begin a nuclear exchange.” Nixon offers friendly advice on how to handle questions about the Watergate break-in: “don’t, don’t lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it.” (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week) Audio requires Real Player [free version available for download]. Current offerings start in the 1930’s, but additional files are planned.
Edward S. Curtis’s North American Indian
“One of the most significant & controversial representations of American Indian culture ever produced. Issued in a limited edition from 1907–1930, the publication continues to influence the image of Indians in popular culture. In over 2000 photos & narrative, Curtis portrayed the traditional customs & lifeways of 80 Indian tribes.” [From Net-Happenings.]
Nonverbal Behavior/Nonverbal Communication Links
Available in both English and Spanish, this website is a well-organized portal to information on the WWW in this subject area.
Journey through Tikal
Explore the ruins of Tikal and learn about the remarkable Mayan civilisation that flourished some 2000 years ago in Central America. Using a map of the city to navigate the site the user can read about and view photographs of the awesome temple structures that were built during the period when Mayan civilisation was at its flourishing peak between AD300–900. Each point of interest is made accessible through carefully shot photographic sequences that allow the user to build up a comprehensive picture of the ancient city as it now stands. Art, mostly in the form of painting and carving, thrived in Mayan civilisation, and a limited number of artifacts, such as a noble’s burial mask and stelae carvings, are presented alongside enlightening explanations. Much of the site is dedicated to the culture of the Maya people and the sophistication of this highly evolved society that excelled in art and astronomy and was advanced enough to possess a concept of the earth year as well as its own accurate calendar. Perhaps most significant was the Mayan preoccupation with death, the afterlife and sacrifice. These preoccupations deeply influenced their lives. They were, after all, known to have played a game, similar to soccer, but where the losers would often be sacrificed! The Journey Through Tikal is a journey worth making for the experience of an extinct civilisation that is as compelling as it is mysterious and undiscovered. TA (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Navajo Code Talkers in WW II
This site is a very brief fact sheet with links to a code-talkers dictionary and a bibliography. I found the dictionary to be a particularly interesting linguistic tidbit.
The plight of an ethnic group ravaged by the vagaries of shifting geopolitical borders — sound familiar? The turbulent history of the Kumeyaay Nation, which straddles the U.S./Mexico border in Southern California, is sadly familiar. The culture was almost wiped out by the Spanish incursions of the late 18th century, the Mexican-American border wars of the 19th century, and American frontier expansion in general. Today the 12 tribes have taken advantage of new gaming licenses to “shape policy, better home and health services, and provide for themselves and their community.” (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)
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E-BOOKS IN LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
For the first time, the U.S. Copyright Office has received copyright-registration submissions for full-length books in digital format. McGraw-Hill has submitted two books to the Copyright Office over the Internet. The Office verified the submissions through digital signatures. Not only is the Copyright Office the public record of copyright registrations, but it also furnishes the Library of Congress with copies of works. Noting the foresight that the Copyright Office and the Library of Congress have shown in building a digital collection, a spokesperson for McGraw-Hill said, “Readers and publishers should be applauding.”
(New York Times, 18 July 2001 via Edupage)
HARVARD AND THREE PUBLISHERS DEVELOP EXPERIMENTAL ONLINE ARCHIVE
The Harvard University Library and scholarly journal publishers John Wiley, Blackwell Publishing, and the University of Chicago Press have embarked on a project to build a digital archive for electronic journals. The project seeks to improve on current digital archiving efforts, which are hampered by the fact that the digital technology used to archive material today may become obsolete within a very short period of time. Also, the project will seek methods to archive non-text materials digitally, including video and sound files, computer data sets, and computer simulations. Officials say the project will also work on determining rules for accessing digital archives.
(Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 20 July 2001 via Edupage)
MIT INITIATIVE RAISES ISSUE OF IP RIGHTS IN ACADEMIA
MIT earlier this year announced that it would make all of its course material available online at no cost. Although this will open a vast store of information to individuals worldwide, legal scholars note that it also poses a challenge to traditional notions of intellectual property in academia. Already, there is an understanding, often explicit, between universities and professors that the university has a stake in innovations developed on university time, at university facilities, and using university funding. The American Association of University Professors suggests that a notion of “joint works” presents the best avenue for universities seeking to claim a share of intellectual property rights when faculty members’ work is being transferred to the Internet. This notion holds that if faculty members are placing work on university Web sites, by university mandate, and using university tools to do so, then the university should be able to make a claim for co-ownership of that intellectual property.
(National Law Journal, 23 July 2001 via Edupage)
SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT FUND ONLINE CONTENT?
Former PBS President Lawrence K. Grossman and former FCC Chief Newton N. Minow argue that the federal government should become more involved in bridging the digital divide by providing online public space to supplement their efforts to Web-enable schools and communities. With this end in mind, Grossman and Minow have formed the Digital Promise Project, an organization dedicated to the provision of educational and civic-centered Web content through initiatives such as the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust. The project would support the implementation of online libraries and museum collections, as well as programs to help teachers learn how to take full advantage of technology in their classrooms. The Digital Promise group suggests that funding could be acquired from electromagnetic spectrum auctions, but they would not be the only agency vying for such revenues. The promise of public sites uncluttered by marketing is a worthy goal, said Grossman. “You could have a virtual solar system, a 3D model of a human body, or a recreation of Mark Twain’s America.”
(Wall Street Journal, 23 July 2001 via Edupage)
G8 SETS PLAN TO BRIDGE DIGITAL DIVIDE
The Group of Eight’s Digital Opportunity Task Force has produced a report on tackling the global digital divide that calls for the use of computers and technology as a way to fight poverty. Vernon Ellis, international chairman of Accenture and a member of the task force, said that technology can be used to improve health and education and foster the growth of enterprise in poor countries. Group of Eight members are urging the private sector to help implement the nine strategies outlined in the report, which include lowering the cost of Internet access and improving connectivity, helping countries develop their own Internet plans, and supporting entrepreneurs in these countries. The U.S. government says it will allocate $100 million in funding to bring the report’s agenda to fruition, according to the Markle Foundation.
(Reuters, 21 July 2001 via Edupage)
WEB USE NOT ALWAYS A DOWNER
The Internet does not worsen depression and loneliness, according to a new study spearheaded by Carnegie Mellon University’s Robert Kraut. The study’s findings conflict with an earlier Kraut report, which concluded that more online time meant greater depression. “Either the Internet has changed, or people have learned to use it more constructively, or both,” said the psychologist. Kraut believes that the Internet is a more social place than when his study began in 1995. For example, e-mail, instant messaging, and support groups are on the rise. Another ongoing study by Kraut has found that the Internet boosts mental health for extroverts, but reduces it for introverts.
(USA Today, 23 July 2001) via Edupage
IN YOUR FUTURE: COMPUTING POWER ON DEMAND
Grid technology is being pioneered by such computing leaders as NASA, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the San Diego Supercomputing Center. Among corporations, IBM is working in the Netherlands to connect five universities with a computing grid system. The company uses grid computing to link its research centers. IBM’s development is being done through the open-source model, which scientists hope will ensure seamless interoperability. In the future, especially with widespread implementation of Internet2 technology, computer users will be able to order computing power from the grid. The combination of the super-high-bandwidth Internet2 and readily available supercomputing power promises to deliver applications like streamed high-definition video, which could be used in telemedicine, research collaboration, and distance learning.
(E-Commerce Times, 2 August 2001 via Edupage)
THE COMPUTER GENDER GAP
The fact that only 15 percent to 20 percent of computer science majors are female is a source of worry and embarrassment for many leading colleges. Carnegie Mellon University’s associate dean for undergraduate education Peter Lee warns that this gender gap can have a detrimental effect on computing as well as women. Studies by researcher Faye Miller and Carnegie Mellon professors Allan Fisher and Jane Margolis found that women are far less obsessive over computers than men and are unwilling to sacrifice relationships and quality time in the name of computer science. Furthermore, there are greater numbers of boys entering college who have experience with computers and electronics than girls, according to John Guttag of MIT.
(Boston Globe, 31 July 2001 via Edupage)
Accent on Images: The Language of Illustrated Books
“This exhibition was curated by Judy Harvey Sahak, Assistant Director of Libraries and Librarian, Denison Library. The Website visual design was created by James Otto, Digital Projects Specialist. This exhibition showcases illustrated books in modern foreign languages from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries selected from the rich and varied special collections of the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges. Languages spoken and read from Scandinavia to Cape Horn and across the globe from the Iberian Peninsula to the Sea of Japan word these volumes. Subjects range from volcanic eruptions, visions of hell, and vanquishing heroes to hot air balloons, folly gardens, and costumed drama.” This is truly a lush site, containing images from a number of rare science texts as well as others.
“I just wanted to let you know that the Mandelbrot Monk page that was featured in your newsletter turns out to be a hoax. I was fascinated by the story and mentioned it to some mathemetician friends of mine who were rather curious how a 11th century monk was able to perform calculations involving imaginary numbers. Not having any idea myself, I went to look for the original article upon which the web page was based (since the website rather helpfully includes citations) and discovered that it appeared in the Harvard Journal of Historical Mathematics. Unfortunately, there is no such journal, and it turns out that the piece is dated April 1, 1999. Netsurfer’s Digest issued a notice about it being a hoax as well (see http://www.netsurf.com/nsd/nsd.07.08.html#CR1).” Well, mathematics was always my weakest subject … Thanks very much to Michael Shochet for setting me straight!