Sci-Tech Library Newsletter


Newsletter archive > 2003 November 26 Issue

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  1. ONE STOP SHOPPING FOR FEDERAL GRANTS: is now in business.
  2. PLOS BIOLOGY IS HERE!: A landmark first issue.
  3. NEUROBIOLOGY OF LIPIDS: New open access, peer reviewed e-journal.
  7. INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET: Game, Optics for Teens, Slate Citation Machine; Biological Sciences: Chemical Ecology of Insects, Nature: Great White Bear, Explore Cornell: Beetle Science, Plant Pathology Photos, Census of Marine Life; Computer and Information Science: The Digital Michelangelo Project; Education and Human Resources: Science & Math Teacher Development, NSTA Career Center; Engineering: Engineering on the Airwaves: Breathable Fog, Bioengineered Flowers … and more, Design Museum, 3D Body Scanner, New, free, OneStep Industry News and OneStep Jobs News services from EEVL, Bernard M. Gordon Prize, Two on the Wright Brothers; General: Top U.S. Companies on R&D Spending; Geosciences: Volcano Above the Clouds, USGS Animations, NOVA: Magnetic Storm, Ice Ages; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Space Environment Center, The Elegant Universe, Two on the Sun, Who Hired Physics Bachelors?, Geoffrey Marcy Interview, Voyager Spacecraft Moves Towards Edge of Solar System; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: The Lockup Society, NOVA: Lost Roman Treasure, SocioSite … and more … plus news items from Edupage
    Those seeking federal grants are now able to browse for funding from 26 agencies at a new one-stop Internet shop. The goal of the federal program, dubbed the “ initiative,” is to provide one place where customers can find and apply for more than 600 grants. The web portal is the single point of entry for groups seeking grants and will offer general information and secure processing of transactions or applications. Users will also be able to sign up for e-mail alerts that will notify them when grant competitions have opened.


    PLoS Biology
    The first issue of the first journal brought to you by the Public Library of Science is now available! PLoS Biology is published monthly and “everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere -- to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use -- subject only to the condition that the original authorship is properly attributed.” You can subscribe to the print version for $160, or access it freely online.

    The current issue has a range of interesting articles covering neuoscience networks through Borneo elephant genetics.

    This is an exciting step from the Public Library of Science! (The following news item is from Edupage).

    Publishers of a new online scientific journal report their Web site has been overwhelmed with traffic since its launch Sunday night. The journal, the Public Library of Science Biology, represents a new model for academic publishing. Rather than charging hefty subscription fees, the Public Library of Science (PLoS), which publishes the journal, charges authors $1,500 per article. The fee is used for peer-review, editing, and production, and all content on the journal’s site is available for free. Representatives of PLoS said traffic jumped to more than 500,000 hits within a few hours of the site’s launch. PLoS is initially publishing biomedical material and may later expand into other areas. CNET, 14 October 2003 via Edupage)


    Neurobiology of Lipids (ISSN 1683-5506) represents expert peer-review journal published by the editorial group.

    The journal aims to take a prominent position as the journal of choice for the publication of original peer-reviewed science covering all areas of the journal scope.

    Editorial group mission:

    • To provide worldwide leadership in advancing the knowledge of the neurobiology of lipids and its application to health care.
    • To advance basic, clinical and laboratory science and technology in the field of the neurobiology of lipids by publishing peer-reviewed articles.
    • To advance basic, clinical and laboratory science and technology in the field of the neurobiology of lipids by communicating information about the field development, by outlining novel strategies, and by helping interested members of the scientific community to acquire the necessary skills.
    • To advance the professional development and education of the journal readers and to help them adapt to the changing priorities of the developing field through editorials and expert reviews.
    • To advance the professional development of the junior members of the editorial board.
    • To facilitate the growth of the public awareness of the subject of the neurobiology of lipids.

    Journal scope: “Neurobiology of Lipids” provides online-only peer-reviewed publication of the results and conclusions of original research in neuroscience of lipids with a particular emphasis on novel findings in biochemistry, biophysics and physiology of cholesterol, other lipids and lipoproteins and their role in neural and synaptic development, regeneration, plasticity, circuitry, signaling, behavior, aging, degeneration, clinical neurology and transplantation.


    Breaking News: Amazon Debuts New Search Tool, Access the Full-Text from 120,000 Book Titles.
    “The new service (online today) is called ‘Search Inside the Book’ and allows you to search the full-text, over 33 million pages from over 120,000 titles. CBS Marketwatch reports that over 190 publishers are participating including Wiley; Time Warner Book Group; Simon & Schuster, Inc.; Random House, Inc.; Publishers Group West, Incorporated; McGraw-Hill Professional; Holtzbrinck Publishers; and HarperCollins Publishers. Of course the full-text from 120,000 titles can have enormous research and reference value. However, Amazon’s primary motivation for offering this service is to sell books. netLibrary is an example of a service geared toward the researcher. The company is calling this new service ‘a significant extension’ to the ‘Look Inside the Book’ service which has been online since October, 2001. How Does ‘Search Inside the Book’ Work?

    • Access via any Amazon search box.
    • Enter your search terms. Phrase searching with quotation marks.
    • No advanced search capabilities or search limits are available.
    • A list of all titles is returned. However, some titles contain extra information and links. They appear directly below the pricing information and begin with the word ‘Excerpt.’ Click here and you’ll see a scanned image of the page with your search term(s) highlighted. You can then browse (forward or backwards one page at a time) using links above the page image. You can also move forward by simply clicking on the page image.
    • You’ll need to be registered with Amazon.Com to access the full-text.
    • Amazon is using optical character recognition technology to find words embedded in the scanned images.
    • Searching for phrases can be imprecise. I ran a search for ‘sports broadcaster’ and received many false drops.
    • Implied ‘AND’ between terms.
    • It’s also possible to find a title and then search within it. For example, note the ‘search inside this book’ label above the cover image.
    • Table of Contents and Index pages do not contain hyperlinks.”

    (From Gary Price at ResourceShelf)


    Insights into the Future from MIT World
    Two MIT World lectures include insights into the future, one from the CEO of Boeing and one from the front lines of research at EECS.

    The Cambridge-MIT Institute presents The CMI Distinguished Lecture Series Philip Condit, Chairman and CEO, The Boeing Company - “Navigating the Future”. Condit divides the gross national product into two types of activities, transformational and transactional. Hear his insights into the future of transactions, as technology enables a more efficient transactional economy.

    The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science presents EECS Centennial Celebration “Transforming the Next Century”. Moderator, Rafael Reif, Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Associate Head Electrical Science & Engineering. Panelists: Tomas Lozano-Perez, TIBCO Founders Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Jeffrey H. Shapiro, Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics.

    The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Centennial Celebration was held in May 2003. This is the fourth and final presentation on MIT World from this event.

    Secondary Mathematics Curriculum
    Video presentations from the workshop, “Talking It Through: Cross-National Conversation About Secondary Mathematics Curriculum,” are now available online. The two-day event, held earlier this year, was sponsored by the National Academies’ Mathematical Sciences Education Board and Board on International Comparative Studies in Education (requires free RealPlayer).

    The Changing Brain - Mark Bear
    How do our right and left eyes take in two separate streams of visual information and end up with a single view of the world? This question has come under intense scrutiny from neuroscientists for decades, and Mark Bear brings us up to date in his lecture. Single neurons in the visual cortex respond to particular stimuli (such as direction or color) and then the brain does some fancy filtering to process only the stimuli that match up in both eyes. Bear describes breakthrough experiments where researchers closed the eye of a kitten for just a day or so, and found that it was effectively “blind” after it opened. Correlating visual information to produce binocular images depends on neural connections that are forged during a “critical period” of visual cortex development. Bear’s work with visual system neurotransmitters has turned up intriguing connections to conditions like Fragile X syndrome. This form of mental retardation may result from a similar loss of neural connections during a parallel critical period after birth.

    NIST-Sponsored Forum Focuses on Electronic Voting
    The National Institute of Standards and Technology is hosting a symposium on building trust and confidence in voting systems on Dec. 10-11 at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland The symposium will include panel sessions on specification, testability and qualification, security, usability and accessibility, and next step issues. Herb Deutsch, chair of IEEE’s Voting Equipment Standards (P1583) will present on IEEE’s related standards effort. NIST is also inviting groups, organizations and individuals to submit position statements as information resources for symposium participants.

    29th Annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy
    April 22-23, 2004 * Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill * Washingon, DC The AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy, held in Washington each spring, provides a forum for discussion and debate about budget and other policy issues facing the S&T community. Since its beginning in 1976 it has grown into an annual institution that draws nearly 500 of the nation’s top science and technology experts. The Forum has established itself as the major public meeting in the U.S. on science and technology policy issues. The 29th Annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy will be held April 22-23, 2004, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Registration and program information will be available in December.

    Listen to presentations from the Oct. 14-15 NAE workshop, Emerging Technologies and Ethical Issues.
    Sustainability, nanotechnology, neurotechnology, and energy are among the topics examined. Other presentations describe approaching ethics by using engineering case studies, academic perspectives on ethics, and professional codes of ethics. Speakers also describe ways to raise awareness of ethics among student and practicing engineers.

    Transportation Research Board’s 83rd annual meeting.
    Register now for the Transportation Research Board’s 83rd annual meeting. The five-day event, which begins on Jan. 11, 2004 in Washington, D.C., is expected to attract nearly 9,000 transportation professionals from around the world. Attendees will have the opportunity to share knowledge and perspectives with colleagues and to learn about the latest developments in transportation research, policy and practice.


    The Science and Engineering Workforce--Realizing America’s Potential. NSB, 2003.

    Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth. NAP, 2003.

    H-1B Foreign Workers: Better Tracking Needed to Help Determine H-1B Program’s Effects on U.S. Workforce. GAO, 2003.

    Exploration of the Seas: Voyage into the Unknown. NAP, 2003.

    Innovations in Software Engineering for Defense Systems. NAP, 2003.

    Teaching Science in the Two-Year College. NSTA, 2003.

    The Anthrax Letters: A Medical Detective Story. NAP, 2003.

    Understanding Climate Change Feedbacks. NAP, 2003.

    To Promote Innovation: The Proper Balance of Competition and Patent Law and Policy. FTC, 2003.

    Energy and Transportation: Challenges for the Chemical Sciences in the 21st Century. NAP, 2003.

    Facilities for the Future of Science: A Twenty-Year Outlook. U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2003.

    Who Goes There?: Authentication Through the Lens of Privacy. NAP, 2003.

    A Century of Innovation: Twenty Engineering Achievements that Transformed Our Lives. NAP, 2003.

    Survey on the Use of Biotechnology in U.S. Industry. U.S. Department of Commerce, Technology Administration, 2003.

    Enhancing the Vitality of the National Institutes of Health: Organizational Change to Meet New Challenges. NAP, 2003.

    Dietary Reference Intakes: Applications in Dietary Planning. NAP, 2003.

    A Review of the EPA Water Security Research and Technical Support Action Plan: Parts I and II (prepublication). NAP, 2003.

    Critical Issues in Weather Modification Research. NAP, 2003.

    Buckling Up: Technologies to Increase Seat Belt Use -- Special Report 278. NAP, 2003.

    Assessment of Processing Gelled GB M55 Rockets at Anniston. NAP, 2003.

    Improving the Regulation and Management of Low-Activity Radioactive Wastes: Interim Report on Current Regulations, Inventories, and Practices. NAP, 2003.

    Cities Transformed: Demographic Change and Its Implications in the Developing World. NAP, 2003.

    The Last Sorcerers: The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table. NAP, 2003.

    Building an Electronic Records Archive: Letter Report. NAP, 2003.

    Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River Basin: Causes of Decline and Strategies for Recovery. NAP, 2003.

    The Impact of Academic Research on Industrial Performance. NAP, 2003.

    Owner-Authorized Handguns: A Workshop Summary. NAP, 2003.

    Measuring Personal Travel and Goods Movement: A Review of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Surveys -- Special Report 277. NAP, 2003.

    Twenty-Fourth Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics. NAP, 2003.

    Future Challenges for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Mineral Resources Program. NAP, 2003.

    We’re Friends, Right?: Inside Kids’ Culture. NAP, 2003.


    Game provides resource material to educators and students of game theory and its applications to economics, business, political science, computer science, and other disciplines. The site is directed at less rigorous presentations of the material, concentrating more on making the lessons of game theory relevant to the student. A list of textbooks, readers, and lecture notes used by other educators is provided. Java applets and online games demonstrate these concepts in a fun, interactive way. Links to game-theoretic themes in movies, books, and the popular press serve to reinforce concepts, offer an entertaining diversion in class, and make the material more approachable. Assessment materials are provided both to aid educators in preparing classes and to offer students additional study materials. Take some time to explore the site and you will find value here. (From Blue Web’n)

    Slate Citation Machine
    This tool generates bibliographic citations in MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) format from information entered in a form. The site includes templates for single- and multiple-author books, encyclopedia articles, broadcast programming, interviews, Web sites, personal e-mail messages, online forum postings, and articles from magazines, newspapers, print journals, and online publications. From the Landmarks for Schools educational Web site. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Optics for Teens
    This site provides an introduction to the field of optics and its applications in science, engineering, and medicine. Illustrated articles cover concepts such as electromagnetic radiation, lenses and mirrors, reflection and refraction, and the human eye. Includes career information, “online laboratories,” a section on optical illusions, lesson plans, and related links. From the Optical Society of America, a professional membership organization. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Biological Sciences

    Explore Cornell: Beetle Science
    They’ve been known to tick people off, but don’t dismiss beetles as mere pests. In fact, this bug site may very well turn your entire world on its ear. Contrary to our self-centered view of our place on the planet, insects, specifically beetles, are the dominant life form on Earth. One out of five insects is a species of beetle, and beetles thrive in every habitat except for the ocean. They’re older than Methuselah and the dinosaurs. Sometimes they’re pretty scary looking, other times they’re just pretty. They can lay a mean egg and even ward off smaller insects with a stare from their beady eyes. But they do inspire amazing art and look lovely framed. Let’s face it -- beetles are mysterious, creepy, and fascinating all at once. So poke around and get to know our strange bedfellows just a little better. (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)

    Census of Marine Life
    This is “a growing global network of researchers in more than 45 nations engaged in a ten-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life in the oceans -- past, present, and future.” The site presents descriptions of and links to the network’s projects, such as “Natural Geography in Shore Areas” and the “History of Marine Animal Populations.” Available in several languages, including German, Japanese, and Spanish. Searchable. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Plant Pathology Photos
    This site “offers images captured by a succession of four Cornell University science photographers over the past 100 years. The small galleries . . . span a period of great advances in plant pathology -- the study of plant diseases -- and in the photographic methods which are so central to the discipline.” Includes brief biographies of the photographers. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Chemical Ecology of Insects
    This website presents resources on the chemical ecology of insects. Concentration is on bark beetles. The site includes:

    • Research on insects (papers and other research)
    • Databases and bibliographies
    • free software (scientific and general)
    • interactive learning resources (games, simulations, quizzes, general science calculators)

    (From Infomine) NOTE: These games and quizzes are at a high level of expertise.

    Nature: Great White Bear
    This site is a companion to a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Nature program about the habits of polar bears, their secrets for survival in the Arctic, and “the challenges of studying polar bears in their freezing habitat.” Also includes a list of online and print resources. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Computer and Information Science

    The Digital Michelangelo Project
    “Since 1992 [Stanford University] Professor Marc Levoy and his students have been investigating methods for digitizing the shape of three-dimensional objects using laser scanners.” This site presents the efforts of “a team of 30 faculty, staff, and students” to scan and produce 3-D computer models of “the sculptures and architecture of Michelangelo.” Includes an overview and timeline of the project, photographic essays, video clips, and related links. In English and Italian. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Education and Human Resources

    NSTA Career Center
    NSTA now provides a new resource for science educators and instituions. This unique service provides a timely link between science education professionals seeking new positions and educational institutions with vacancies. The clients are teachers, students, administrators, and public or private schools in grades pre- K through 12 and postsecondary. Job postings are $130/month, resume postings and job searches are free of charge.

    Science & Math Teacher Development

    NSF Awards First Year of Robert Noyce Scholarships
    New Research Grants Focus on Teachers and Science/Math Education
    The National Science Foundation (NSF) last week awarded $6.9 million to 15 universities and colleges in the first round of the Robert Noyce Scholarship program, a new NSF program that will provide scholarships, stipends, and programs for science, math, engineering, and technology undergraduates who want to become teachers and who agree to teach in a high-need school district. According to NSF, this year’s program will fund scholarships, stipends, and programs for more than 650 potential K-12 undergrads who want to transition to teaching. In addition, the program provides mentoring and other support to these new teachers in their early years of teaching. The program is named after Dr. Robert Noyce, co-founder of Intel Corp and the scientist awarded the 1961 patent for the integrated semiconductor.

    Four new research grant competitions are available from the U. S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Science; two grants focus on math and science education and teacher quality. The Teacher Quality Research Grants competition has four goals (a) to support the development of new professional development programs; (b) to establish the efficacy of existing professional development programs for teachers; (c) to provide evidence of the effectiveness of teacher preparation or professional development programs for teachers; and (d) to validate new or existing assessments of teacher quality for teachers against measures of student achievement. The Mathematics and Science Education Research Grants will fulfill three goals: (a) to support the development of new interventions and approaches to mathematics and science education that will eventually result in improving math and science achievement; (b) to establish the efficacy of existing interventions and approaches to math and science education with small efficacy or replication trials; and (c) to provide evidence on the effectiveness of math and science interventions taken to scale. A letter of intent for each grant is due November 20, 2003, and the application is due January 8, 2004. Other grants also announced by the IES include Cognition and Student Learning Research Grants and Reading Comprehension and Reading Scale-up Research Grants. (From NSTA)


    Design Museum
    This London museum focuses on industrial design, architecture, design movements, and design-related technologies of the 20th and 21st centuries. The site features browsable information about significant designers, from Alvar Aalto through Michael Young. The “Digital Design Museum” provides a description of “what web designers choose as the most inspiring developments of design on the web.” (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    3D Body Scanner
    This site features information about applications of body scanner technology to apparel production. It includes scan visualizations (“3D models you can zoom, pan, and rotate”), a history of custom and mass production of clothing, virtual try-on information, a glossary, and links to related sites. Part of the Explore Cornell multimedia magazine. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    New, free, OneStep Industry News and OneStep Jobs News services from EEVL
    OneStep Industry News
    OneStep Jobs
    EEVL: the Internet guide to engineering, mathematics and computing, is delighted to announce the launch of two new, free services which will make it much easier to scan the latest industry news and jobs announcements from top sources in engineering, mathematics and computing. The new services are so easy to use that they have been named OneStep Industry News, and OneStep Jobs News. Using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) technology, the OneStep services aggregate the very latest headlines and announcements from top sources and present them in an easily accessible format. Only the very latest industry and news headlines are included in the OneStep services, and by following direct links, the complete full text is available from participating publishers’ own websites, in ‘one step’.

    “The two new OneStep services fill several important gaps in information availability.” Michael Breaks, the Heriot Watt University Librarian, and EEVL Director, stated. “Many people know and use general news sources such as CNN, BBC News, and so on, but there is a distinct lack of awareness of sector-specific news services. Not only that, but the various excellent sources of industry news which do exist are spread out on the Internet at various locations. OneStep Industry News is an aggregator, or intermediation service, which gathers together in one place news items from a number of top sources, and makes them immediately available. OneStep Jobs provides a similar function for the latest job announcements. Instead of having to visit numerous recruitment sites at different locations, OneStep Jobs allows those looking for jobs in engineering, mathematics and computing to browse the latest vacancies from several top sources. If a job vacancy looks to be of interest, full details are only one click away at the source site.” Included in OneStep Industry News are headlines from:, Buildingtalk, Manufacturingtalk, Electronicstalk, Nature - Materials Update, Moreover, LTSN Engineering, LTSN Materials, the Institute of Physics ( News, News, News, News), scenta, LTSN Maths, The Register, Slashdot, Nanodot, and general technology newsfeeds such as BBC Tech News and CNN Technology. More sources will be added in the future.

    Included in OneStep Jobs News are announcements from Jobsite,,, Institute of Physics ( Jobs), and Perl Jobs. More sources will be added in the future.

    Engineering on the Airwaves: Breathable Fog, Bioengineered Flowers . . . and more
    The National Academy of Engineering has just launched a project with the Washington, D.C. region’s only all-news radio station — WTOP Radio — to provide features highlighting engineering innovations and stories that add technical context to issues in the news. Listen to these weekly news items at the NAE website. Please contact Randy Atkins at with your comments and ideas.

    Bernard M. Gordon Prize
    To encourage innovation in engineering education, the National Academy of Engineering will award its Bernard M. Gordon Prize every year, instead of every other year, starting in 2005. Established in 2001, the $500,000 prize honors engineering educators whose programs strengthen the engineering workforce by cultivating student leadership and communication skills, creativity and ability to work in a team.

    Two on the Wright Brothers

    NOVA: The Wright Brothers’ Flying Machine
    Celebrating 100 Years of Flight
    “December 17, 2003, marks the centennial of the world’s first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. To celebrate this milestone, NOVA presents the definitive documentary on the invention of the airplane. While many shows have retold the Wright brothers’ personal story, no program has properly explored the astonishing inventiveness that they applied to the problem of powered flight. NOVA reveals the popular image of the Wrights as amateur bicycle mechanics who tinkered their way into the sky to be a myth. The program features exhilarating footage of flights by exclusively commissioned replicas that use the same original materials and the only existing Wright engine for the frail craft that first propelled humans toward the clouds. Watch as the triumph of powered flight comes alive once more.” This companion website to the NOVA program features interviews, an interactive game allowing you to pilot the aircraft to learn about steering, and more … December 17, 2003 marks the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ historic achievement, and to commemorate the event the American Society of Mechanical Engineers has developed this site. Several notable stories of flight are documented, including the Enola Gay, the Concorde, and the Boeing 767-80, which was “the prototype for most jet transports.” Teacher resources and news articles related to the centennial of flight are available. An archive of paper airplane models is also included to give children and adults something to do in their spare time. [CL] (From the Scout Report)


    Top U.S. Companies on R&D Spending (PDF)
    “With a company’s future at stake, it’s no wonder that investors, corporate managers, and other decision-makers keep close tabs on the R&D spending of companies they’re involved with and of their competitors. R&D watchers need look no further than the IEEE Spectrum list of the Top 100 R&D Spenders in 2002 to gauge the possible trajectory of future technological innovation for these companies.” (From IEEE Spectrum.)


    NOVA: Magnetic Storm
    Something potentially earth shattering is brewing deep within the planet’s molten core. As much as we hate to admit it, some acts of nature are firmly beyond our control. Case in point is the possible magnetic storm headed our way. PBS offers this timely look at our mysterious magnetic field and how this necessary component to life on Earth could reverse, or even disappear and wreak untold havoc. Our dynamic magnetic field allows many things to happen; auroras to glow, birds to migrate, compasses to work, ATMs and checkout scanners to function, just to name a few. In our geologic history, the magnetic field has harmlessly reversed directions many times. However, scientists have found evidence of dramatic weakening, signaling a potential end to the magnetosphere. If that happens, our sole protection against lethal cosmic rays and solar winds would be gone. Our fragile ecosystem would flounder, and humanity would literally be left high and dry. Doomsday nonsense or the beginning of the end? Only nature knows the real answer. (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)

    Volcano Above the Clouds
    In 1980 Mount St. Helens in Washington State suffered a catastrophic landslide that released seething volcanic gases and rock fragments in a cataclysm that destroyed hundreds of square miles of forest. Could Africa’s fabled Mount Kilimanjaro be heading for the same fate? In this program, NOVA accompanies an expedition up Kilimanjaro to learn what the future holds for the world’s tallest volcano. An added mystery is why Kilimanjaro’s distinctive summit glaciers are shrinking. Expected to disappear totally by 2015, the vanishing ice has been cited as an icon of global warming. But could there be another explanation?

    This companion site to the PBS show includes a virtual tour of Kilimanjaro as well as features on the highest peak on each continent, mountain weather, and more . . .

    USGS Animations

    Plate Tectonics Animations
    Geology Potpourri : Animations
    Geology of Hydrocarbons : Animations
    The first site has animations, originally produced for the U.S. Geological Survey video “Secrets in Stone”, which show tectonic plate motions from 600 million years ago to today.

    The second site has, as it says, a potpourri of animations, originally produced for various USGS videos, which show:

    • geology of the United States
    • United States nighttime lights
    • greenhouse effect
    • greenhouse effect and atmospheric methane
    • comets, formation of planet
    • ship collecting seismic reflection information from sea floor

    The third site has animations showing the geology of hydrocarbons, focusing on geology of the United States. (From Infomine)

    Ice Ages
    This exhibit answers basic questions about the Ice Ages, which are “intervals of time when large areas of the surface of the globe are covered with ice sheets (large continental glaciers).” Includes a video clip depicting the retreat of glaciers in North America. From the Illinois State Museum. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Mathematical and Physical Sciences

    Geoffrey Marcy Interview
    Hear astrophysicist Geoffrey Marcy on the National Academy of Sciences’ “InterViews” Web site, which contains first-person accounts of the lives and work of NAS members. In hour-long interviews (audio files require free RealPlayer), distinguished scientists talk about their research, why they became scientists and other aspects of their careers. A new feature is the InterViews Gallery, which presents interviews by major field of study.

    Who Hired Physics Bachelors?
    From AIP, a state by state listing of many of the companies and organizations that hired new physics bachelors from the classes of 1999, 2000 and 2001.

    The Elegant Universe
    This site is a companion to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) NOVA program about string theory (the idea “that the fundamental ingredients of nature are inconceivably tiny strings of energy, whose different modes of vibration underlie everything that happens in the universe”) as explained by author-physicist Brian Greene. Includes interviews and articles, information about the film’s special effects, interactive features on multidimensional math and supersymmetry, a teacher’s guide, and related resources. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Two on the Sun

    Solar Flare Theory
    Solar Physics
    The first site features general information about solar flares, soft and hard x-ray (high energy x-ray) images, a glossary, a FAQ, and links to related information. Also provides information about the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) project, including images of a paper model of the spacecraft. From the Laboratory for Astronomy and Solar Physics at NASA Goddard’s Space Science Center.

    The second site is also from NASA. “The Solar Physics Group at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center was formed in the early 1970’s in conjunction with the Apollo Skylab Mission. These pages contain an overview of solar physics itself along with highlights of our own work.” The site features images and information about the sun including general facts, the structure and features of the sun, and the sun in action (sunspot cycles, solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and surface waves). (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Space Environment Center
    This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) site, “the official source of space weather alerts, warnings, and forecasts,” provides current information on geomagnetic storms, solar winds, solar flares, and aurora activity. The education page features a glossary of solar-terrestrial terms, a primer on space weather (in English and Spanish), short essays on related topics, and classroom materials. Information is also grouped by users: navigation, radio operators, utilities, satellite operators, and news media. Searchable. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Voyager Spacecraft Moves Towards Edge of Solar System

    Voyager 1 Craft Nears Edge of Solar System
    NASA: Voyager Approaching Solar System’s Final Frontier
    NASA: Voyager: Celebrating 25 Years of Discovery
    Voyager Fact Sheets [pdf]
    USGS Astrogeology: Voyager Mission
    Voyager Golden Record
    Traveling at 334 million miles per year, the Voyager 1 Spacecraft continues to return vast amounts of important astronomical data to researchers back on Earth, and has done so since its initial launch on September 5, 1977. Most recently, Voyager 1 has been in the news because it is rapidly approaching the boundary of the solar system, and will shortly reach interstellar space. Using measurements of the solar wind sent back from the craft, scientists at the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University suggest that Voyager 1 has in fact already passed the terminal shock boundary that demarcates the transition from the solar system to interstellar space. Another piece of research conducted by a team of scholars at the University of Maryland suggest that Voyager 1 is nearing the termination shock boundary, but has yet to hit it. It is now estimated that Voyager 1 will reach the star next door to our own in about 40,000 years, though the spacecraft is thought to only have enough power to continue transmitting data until the year 2020. [KMG] The first link will take visitors to a November 6, 2003 article in the Washington Post about the recent realization that the Voyager 1 will soon reach the end of the solar system. The second link leads to a joint press release released November 5, 2003 from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland about the progress of the spacecraft. The third link leads to a rather comprehensive and intriguing website designed by NASA to provide the web-browsing public with material about the spacecraft. The site includes details about the technical specifications of the Voyager and a number of amazing images taken during its 26-year journey. The fourth link leads to an 8-page fact sheet provided by NASA that offers a nice overview of the spacecraft’s mission and its observations of the other planets in the solar system, including Jupiter and Uranus. The fifth link will take visitors to the USGS Astrogeology homepage of the Voyager, which again provides yet another perspective on the important work of this spacecraft. The last link lets visitors learn about the Golden Record that is onboard the Voyager 1. Designed to convey a bit of information about the planet Earth to any other sentient life forms that the Voyager may encounter, the Record contains greetings from various political figures, such as Kurt Waldheim (the former secretary of the United Nations) and different samples of nature sounds and pieces of music. [KMG] (From the Scout Report)

    Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

    The Lockup Society
    “As the new millennium began, the number of Americans behind bars passed two million — five times the inmate population in 1972. In these reports, American Radio explores some of the causes and ramifications of this unprecedented experiment in mass incarceration.” Features reports on “life after prison,” the corrections industry, and prisoners with mental illnesses. Includes program transcripts and audio clips, statistics, slide shows, and related resources. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    With the broad range of research interests covered within the field of sociology around the world, it is a formidable task to attempt to offer a clearinghouse of information about the various aspects of this area of scholarship. This site puts forth an admirable effort in this arena, and is maintained by Albert Benschop, a professor of sociology at the University of Amsterdam. The site is divided into 18 subject areas, including those devoted to courses, journals, data archives, research centers, associations, newsletters, publishers, and subject areas. The Sociologists section is quite helpful for those looking to peruse valuable online materials related to important persons who have worked in sociology (and other related disciplines), such as Claude Levi-Strauss, Robert Merton, Erving Goffman, and dozens of others. Almost every section is arranged geographically, facilitating searches for journals found in almost any part of the world, or for sociology departments on different continents. Finally, those who would like to contribute helpful links or materials to the project may also sign up to join up as a correspondent or editor. [KMG] (From the Scout Report)

    NOVA: Lost Roman Treasure
    “At the height of the Roman Empire an opulent city stood at the eastern frontier on the most important crossing of the Euphrates River. Called Zeugma (‘Junction’) after the bridge that linked its opposite banks, the city disappeared into history after the empire fell. Buried by centuries of silt and dirt, the city was long neglected by archeologists, until the rising edifice of a nearby hydroelectric dam forced them to act quickly before the site was flooded. What they found were treasures beyond their wildest dreams.” This website companion to the NOVA program contains a slide show and interviews and introduces you to the use of high tech tools such as ground penetrating radar.


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    On Sept. 23, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced the appointment of Dr. George H. Atkinson as the State Department’s Science and Technology Advisor, replacing Dr. Norman Neureiter who had recently completed a three year assignment. Atkinson, a professor of chemistry and optical sciences at the University of Arizona and founder of the Innovative Lasers Corporation, has worked with Dr. Neureiter at the State Department since being selected by the American Institute of Physics for a State Department Fellowship in August 2001. Both Neureiter and Atkinson were instrumental in supporting the creation of IEEE-USA’s Engineering and Diplomacy Fellowship program, which is currently recruiting applicants for 2005 Fellowships.
    From What’s New @ IEEE-USA Eye on Washington

    A study by Catalyst, a nonprofit group dedicated to advancing women in business, finds that women in the technology industry face the traditional glass ceiling despite the general perception that the high-tech field is a meritocracy. Almost a third of the study’s participants agreed that women have a difficult time getting ahead in the industry, a belief supported by the fact that women make up 11.1 percent of corporate officers among Fortune 500 high-tech companies, compared to 15.7 percent in Fortune 500 firms overall. The study suggests that offering career development, creating mentoring and networking opportunities with other successful women, and fostering greater flexibility will help level the playing field. Efforts at Silicon Valley companies to retain, develop, and advance women are also highlighted.
    San Jose Mercury News, 12 November 2003 via Edupage.

    A group of technology companies is proposing a language for standardizing utility computing. Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and software company Opsware are working with companies including Computer Associates and BEA Systems on the new standard, called Data Center Markup Language (DCML). DCML will be available early next year and is designed to allow reliable interaction among data centers using differing hardware and software. IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems are developing separate, proprietary technologies to improve performance of data centers. Marc Andreessen of Opsware, however, believes that an open standard is a better approach, comparing DCML to HTML, which offers a consistent way to make content available on Web pages from various companies.
    USA Today, 14 October 2003 via Edupage

    A study by the University of California at Berkeley shows that during 2002, 5 billion gigabytes of data was generated around the world. That amount, which is the equivalent of about 800 megabytes per person, is enough to fill 500,000 U.S. Libraries of Congress. The university conducted a similar study in 1999, and the new results indicate a 30 percent rise since the first study in the amount of stored information. The amount of data stored on hard disk drives was up 114 percent from the earlier study. According to Peter Lyman, a professor at UC Berkeley, those involved in the 1999 study expected that use of film and paper would drop as users moved those media into electronic formats. Although film-based photographs have dropped 9 percent since 1999, paper documents, including books, journals, and others, have grown by as much as 43 percent. Lyman said that much of the content is accessed on computers, but users print it out.
    Reuters, 29 October 2003 via Edupage.

    Congress is considering legislation to expand programs that increase access for students with disabilities to include distance education. An existing grant program is designed to support various programs that allow students with learning or physical disabilities to participate in higher education, and the new legislation explicitly adds distance-education programs to that program. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), author of the legislation, said, “The flexibility and access facilitated through distance education and electronic delivery methods also holds tremendous promise for eliminating barriers … for students with disabilities.” The National Technical Institute for the Deaf, established in 1965 by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), uses technology tools to improve access for students with disabilities, and, according to Joeann Humbert, director of online learning at RIT, such tools sometimes benefit all students. The university developed a tool to search captions of video clips, according to Humbert, and the tool has become a favorite of all students.
    Chronicle of Higher Education, 28 November 2003 (sub. req’d) via Edupage