Sci-Tech Library Newsletter


Newsletter archive > 2004 June 9 Issue

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  4. INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET: The Search Engine Wars, Screenwriting in Science, The Internet Collegiate Reference Collection, Science of Hockey, Bio-DiTRL; Biological Sciences: The Science of Love, Two on Animal Encounters, Ants of Borneo: A Virtual Museum of Natural History; Education and Human Resources: Three Evolution Reports from National Academy of Sciences, Engineering Survey, New Reports on the State of Science Education in the US; Engineering: Project Ornithopter, American Experience: Golden Gate Bridge; Geosciences: Global Change Research — A Focus on Mountain Ecosystems, 2004 Tropical Storm Forecast, Dartmouth Flood Observatory, Atmospheric Optics; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: “Death Star” on NOVA, Kids, Student Observation Network: Tracking a Solar Storm, Asteroid Threat, Delights of Chemistry, Nick’s Mathematical Puzzles; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy, Technical Reports and Working Papers in Economics & Business … and more … plus news items from Edupage
  5. INTER ALIA: Moscow to Vancouver on elbow grease … and eavesdropping on Cicadas …

    U.K. Academics and Librarians Disagree Over Open Access Publishing
    The Inevitable and the Optimal
    “On April 21, the U.K. Parliament’s Science and Technology Select Committee held the third evidence session in its enquiry into the pricing and availability of scientific publications. Having heard testimony from publishers, British politicians now wanted to hear the views of librarians and academics. As it turned out, the librarians and academics disagreed with one another.” From Info Today.

    Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding
    The OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy met at Ministerial level on 29 30 January 2004. The meeting was preceded by a High-level Forum on “Key Challenges for Science and Innovation Policy”, in which prominent representatives of research institutions and business participated. This statement is the result of that meeting.

    Federal FY05 R&D Funding Progress
    “The FY 2005 appropriations process has begun. The House Appropriations Committee began work on the Defense, Interior, and Homeland Security bills this week. AAAS R&D Funding Updates on R&D in DOD, DHS, and Interior in House appropriations will be available after the committee files these bills (next week). Beginning today, the AAAS R&D web site features a continually updated page on the Status of FY 2005 Appropriations. The page tracks the progress of R&D in the FY 2005 appropriations process, and offers highlights of recent federal budget news and links to the latest AAAS R&D Funding Updates on the progress of the FY 2005 budget. See the ‘What’s New’ or ‘FY 2005 R&D’ pages on the AAAS R&D web site.” (From AAAS.)


    Are We as Crazy as Mad Cows?
    Susan Lindquist
    Director, Whitehead Institute
    MIT Professor of Biology presents
    “Are We as Crazy as Mad Cows?”

    Lindquist explains the process of protein folding, and the terrible outcomes when the folding goes wrong. In this presentation filled with vivid and memorable slides, she explains and demystifies Mad Cow Disease, and how and why it takes a long time to do the damage that it does.

    The Future of the Triple Helix
    AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies Symposium — The Future of the Triple Helix: Finding the Balance among Government, Industry, and Academic Research Relationships.
    Thursday, June 10, 2004, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Falk Auditorium
    Brookings Institution
    1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20036

    Both Congress and the National Institutes of Health have been actively engaged in reviewing conflict of interest policies for government researchers. This AEI-Brookings Joint Center symposium will focus on the implications for university-industry relations and feature a new working paper on those relationships by three of the leading experts in the field — Professors David Blumenthal, Eric Campbell, and Greg Koski of Harvard University. The paper pays special attention to this issue in the context of emerging drug discovery and development practices in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

    Qs and AAAs About Global Climate Change
    June 15, 2004
    8:30 am – 4:00 pm
    AAAS Auditorium, 2nd Floor
    1200 New York Ave., NW
    Washington, DC 20005


    AAAS is pleased to invite you to an important conference on the science of climate change: “Qs And AAAs About Global Climate Change.” The meeting, co-sponsored by the Conference Board, will feature 11 of the nation’s leading climate scientists discussing what is known and what is not known about global climate change in a series of objective, nonpartisan presentations. The event will be held on Tuesday, June 15, 2004, in the AAAS Auditorium located at 1200 New York Avenue, NW, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

    The conference, planned and presented by the journal Science and the AAAS Directorate for Science and Policy Programs, responds to the Washington policy community’s need for unbiased, clear-eyed analysis by scientific experts of what is known, what is likely but unproven, and what is a plausible but untested prospect. The introductory presentation by Professor Sherwood Rowland of the University of California, Irvine, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, will be followed by panels of specialists covering a wide range of climate change topics: history, role of greenhouse gases, models and their limitations, the fates of glaciers, and more. The agenda and the full meeting announcement are available on the AAAS web site.

    There is no charge for this conference, but pre-registration is essential because seating is limited — first come, first served. RSVP by e-mail to Please include your name, title, and organizational affiliation. We look forward to seeing you at this landmark event.

    The Coming Generational Storm
    Laurence J. Kotlikoff,
    Professor of Economics,
    Boston University:
    “The Coming Generational Storm
    What You Need to Know about America’s Economic Future”

    Kotlikoff discusses his new book (co-authored with Scott Burns) that provides a bleak outlook for the Social Security system. Hear it first hand from Kotlikoff and see why he has earned the title of “Mr. Generational Accounting”.

    Fostering the Independent Research of Early-Career Scientists
    The National Academies’ Board on Life Sciences holds a daylong workshop on ways to foster the independent research of early-career scientists in order to enhance the vitality of the biomedical research enterprise. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday, June 16 in Room 100 of the National Academies’ Keck Center, 500 Fifth St. N.W., Washington, D.C. Admission is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Participate by listening to a live audio webcast (requires free RealPlayer) and submitting questions using an e-mail form, both accessible on the home page during the event. Please go to the Bridges to Independence website for additional information.


    NEW E-JOURNAL — Living Reviews in Solar Physics

    “This is an electronic journal based on the editorial concept of publishing ‘living’ reviews. The journal will primarily cover solar and heliospheric physics, and also explore some topics from solar-stellar and solar-terrestrial research.

    The founding editorial board meeting was held on 14 March 2003. About 50 articles are in preparation; editors are currently in negotiation with prospective authors. We expect first articles to be published in the first half of 2004.” From the Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie. Free access


    State indicators of science and mathematics education, 2003. Council of Chief State School Officers, 2004.

    Vital Assets: Federal Investment in Research and Development at the Nation’s Universities and Colleges. RAND, 2004.

    Will the Scientific & Technical Workforce Meet the Requirements of the Federal Government? RAND, 2004.

    What it Takes: Pre-K–12 Design Principles to Broaden Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. BEST, 2004.

    Exploring Information Superiority: A Methodology for Measuring the Quality of Information and Its Impact on Shared Awareness. RAND, 2004.

    2001 Graduate Student Report [Physics and Astronomy]. AIP, 2004.

    Summary of a Forum on Spectrum Management Policy Reform. NAP, 2004.

    Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. NAP, 2004.

    The Office of Science and Technology Policy Blue Ribbon Panel on the Threat of Biological Terrorism Directed Against Livestock. RAND, 2004.

    Patient Safety: Achieving a New Standard for Care. NAP, 2004.

    Monitoring International Labor Standards: Techniques and Sources of Information. NAP, 2004.

    Water and Sustainable Development: Opportunities for the Chemical Sciences — A Workshop Report to the Chemical Sciences Roundtable. NAP, 2004.

    Existing and Potential Standoff Explosives Detection Techniques. NAP, 2004.

    The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century. NAP, 2004.

    Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism. NAP, 2004.

    Maintaining High Scientific Quality at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. NAP, 2004.

    On Evaluating Curricular Effectiveness: Judging the Quality of K-12 Mathematics Evaluations. NAP, 2004.

    The Markey Scholars Conference: Proceedings. NAP, 2004.

    Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens. NAP, 2004.

    A Vision for the International Polar Year 2007-2008. NAP, 2004.

    Kim Cragin, Sara Daly. The Dynamic Terrorist Threat: An Assessment of Group Motivations and Capabilities in a Changing World. RAND, 2004.

    Peter Chalk, William Rosenau. Confronting “the Enemy Within”: Security Intelligence, the Police, and Counterterrorism in Four Democracies. RAND, 2004.

    Human Resources in Science and Technology in India and the International Mobiligy of Highly Skilled Indians. OECD, 2004.

    Governance of Public Research: Toward Better Practices. OCED, 2003.

    Small-scale Terrorist Attacks Using Chemical and Biological Agents: An Assessment Framework and Preliminary Comparisons. CRS, 2004.

    Damp Indoor Spaces and Health. NAP, 2004.


    Screenwriting in Science
    The American Film Institute is now accepting applications from scientists and engineers to participate in a two-day workshop on screenwriting for movies and television. “Catalyst Workshop: Communicating Science and Engineering” will be held July 17–18 at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Applications are due by Wednesday, June 9.

    The Internet Collegiate Reference Collection
    This is the kind of site librarians love! Billed as “The Best Free Reference Materials on the World Wide Web”, this site gives you links to free reference sources in any subject classification. You can browse by Library of Congress classification, you can search by subject terms. Do not search by the end information you want, but rather by the type of reference tool you want. For instance, if what you want is a definition of “archeobacteria”, search by “biology” and “dictionary”. A variety of brief descriptions of biology dictionary websites will be presented to you. The links are vetted before inclusion, are checked frequently, and are aimed for undergraduate-level. (Thanks to Roddy MacLeod.)

    “Bio-DiTRL operates as an online database with digital media that can be used to assist in teaching biology. In it you will find images, animations, video clips and text excerpts that may be downloaded for use by subscribers. Anyone may search or browse by following the appropriate links. Contributions of suitable teaching resources are most welcome.” Although right now the archive is heavy on Animalia and light on the other taxa, it is a very well put-together resource, easy to navigate, thoughtfully organized. Keep your eye on this one.

    The Search Engine Wars
    “Companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are battling to be the main gateway to the Internet. These companies have gained unprecedented influence over what people see and learn, and have created an industry with brave new rules for business. In a five-part series, NPR’s Rick Karr takes a look at the business of search engines.”

    Science of Hockey
    The Stanley Cup is over for this year, but you can still learn about the science of Hockey. This site takes you inside the game: you’ll hear from NHL players and coaches from the San Jose Sharks, as well as leading physicists and chemists. Learn what makes the difference between “fast ice” and “slow ice”, what high tech materials are used in the game, how a puck can be slapped over 100 mph, and more.

    Biological Sciences

    BBC Hot Topics: Intelligence
    From IQ tests to the language of the brain. What is intelligence and can we measure it? What gender is your brain? Watch a video of learning before birth, visualize the brain at work, explore the multiple facets of human intelligence at this BBC website.

    Ants of Borneo: A Virtual Museum of Natural History
    “This website is dedicated to the ants of Poring, Kinabalu National Park, Sabah, Malaysia, a tropical rainforest with the world’s highest ant diversity: 642 species of ants from 82 genera and 8 subfamilies of the Formicidae have been found there. In our virtual museum of natural history you find pictures of Aenictinae, Cerapachyine, Dorylinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae, and Pseudomyrmicinae.” By Martin Pfeiffer, University of Ulm (From Academic Info)

    Two on Animal Encounters

    Fruit Fly Fight Club
    The Kravitz Lab Movie Page
    “Conflict and violence, regrettably, seem to be a commonplace element of the human condition, with certain epochs bearing witness to more of these two phenomena and, some bearing witness to a relatively absence of these behaviors. In an attempt to explain the biological factors behind such behaviors, Professor Edward Kravitz and his colleagues at Harvard University have created this witness which features fruit flies in intense combat in order to study these types of behaviors. On the first site, visitors can watch fruit flies in combat, listen to Professor Kravitz talk about the impetus and reasoning behind such experiments, and learn more about these extremely compelling studies. The second site leads to another set of dramatic short films that document lobster fights and lobster ‘martial arts.’ Of course, information on the various fights are ‘scored’ is also provided, along with video clips demonstrating the different phases of each encounter. [KMG]” (From the Scout Report)

    The Science of Love
    What chemicals captivate us, or affect us when we are captivated? What physical characteristics work on our psyches to influence us in choosing a partner? How do we flirt? Visit this interesting BBC website to learn the science behind love.

    Education and Human Resources

    New Reports on the State of Science Education in the US

    State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education 2003
    CCSSO Releases Science and Math Education Indicators.
    More students nationwide are taking higher-level science courses, but the number of certified high school science teachers is down, says a new report from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education 2003, CCSSO’s biennial report for its members, policymakers, and other educators interested in the state of K–12 science and math education, tracks state data on student achievement in math and science, trends in math and science course enrollments, and teacher qualifications and compares the 2002 data to earlier studies.

    Bayer Facts of Science Education X
    Science Still a “Second Tier” Subject, Say College Deans and New Elementary Teachers Polled by Bayer Corp.
    Science is still considered less important than reading, writing, and math in many elementary classrooms — and in many teacher preparation programs — says a new poll of 1,250 elementary educators and education deans commissioned by the Bayer Corporation as part of its ten-year science literacy outreach program, Making Science Make Sense. (From NSTA Express)

    Three Evolution Reports from National Academy of Sciences
    The National Academy of Sciences and the National Academies Press are disseminating to science teachers free CD-ROMS and PDF files of three reports on evolution. Just visit National Academies Press: Evolution in Hawaii and complete a questionnaire, and you will receive a free PDF file or CD-ROM of Evolution in Hawaii: A Supplement to Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (2004); Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998); and Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, 2nd ed. (1999).

    Once you complete the questionnaire, you can choose to download a PDF of all three publications immediately or to request that a CD-ROM be sent to you (no shipping and handling fees will be charged). The questionnaire will help the National Academies Press and the National Academies’ Center for Education learn more about teachers’ needs and product preferences. A limited number of free copies are available, so act fast. (From NSTA Express)

    Engineering Survey
    What do you think about engineering as an academic discipline — and as a profession? NSTA and the American Society for Engineering Education want to know! Please take about 10 minutes to complete the survey and thanks in advance for your support.


    American Experience: Golden Gate Bridge
    American Experience: Golden Gate Bridge
    For those of us who've never built so much as a dog house, just the thought of constructing a bridge can induce migraines. Ah, but don’t break out the Advil quite yet. This site from American Experience offers a soothing look back at the construction and early history of the world’s most famous (and most photographed) suspension bridge, the beautiful Golden Gate. As you’ll discover, for Joseph Strauss, building the Golden Gate was nearly as difficult as convincing local politicians to approve its construction. In the end, it took four years and countless workers to complete, but anyone who’s been to the “seventh wonder of the modern world” knows the headaches were well worth it. (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)

    Project Ornithopter
    “This site provides information about the ornithopter, an ‘aircraft that derives all of its thrust and nearly all of its lift from flapping wings.’ Includes sections on the history and mechanics of machines that try to copy the flight of birds, a list of publications (including some online documents), photographs, videos, a flight simulator, and related links. Also available in Italian. From the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies.” (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)


    Global Change Research — A Focus on Mountain Ecosystems
    These webpages do not have a slick presentation, but they do have some very interesting images, animations and discussion of the recession of glaciers through time in Glacier National Park.

    2004 Tropical Storm Forecast
    This website provides updated forecasts on expected hurricane activity, and presents an interactive map of the US which gives specific information for any targeted area.

    Dartmouth Flood Observatory
    “The Dartmouth Flood Observatory produced this website as ‘a research tool for detection, mapping, measurement, and analysis of extreme flood events world-wide using satellite remote sensing.’ Users can learn about the Observatory’s use of microwave and optical satellite imaging to determine flooding and extreme low flow conditions for various places throughout the world. Students and researchers can discover how the observatory monitors wetland hydrology for various places. Researchers can find archives of large flooding events from 1985 to the present. The web site features a variety of maps and satellite images of floods. [RME]” (From the Scout Report)

    Atmospheric Optics
    “Les Cowley, a physicist and expert in atmospheric optics, developed this website to share his knowledge about the visual spectacles produced by light connecting with water drops, dust, and ice crystals. Students can discover how and where the amazing displays are formed. The site is divided into five main categories: Rays and Shadows, Water Droplets, Rainbows, Ice Halos, and High Atmosphere. Within each topic, users can find an abundance of information and amazing images of the particular spectacle. By downloading the HaloSim3 Software in the Ice Halo link, users can view simulations of common and rare halos. Visitors will learn a lot about the atmosphere through this remarkable website. [RME]” (From the Scout Report)

    Mathematical and Physical Sciences

    Asteroid Threat
    Increasing numbers of near-Earth asteroids are being discovered. There are growing calls for an international “Spaceguard” programme to determine whether a “near-Earth object” might hit us soon. But what are the chances of an asteroid hitting Earth? This BBC website has general information about asteroids, an FAQ, video clips, an “Asteroid Attack” game, and more.

    ACS Science for Kids
    The American Chemical Society brings you this new website chock full of interesting facts and activities, including the adventures of Meg A. Mole, future chemist.

    “Death Star” on NOVA
    “In 1967, a United States satellite network intended to monitor Soviet compliance with the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty detected unusual signals coming from outer space. Defying astronomers’ expectations, these turned out to be unimaginably violent bursts of gamma-ray radiation located at the far edges of the known universe. The titanic explosions are so far back in time that they conceal clues to the birth of the very first stars and black holes, back when the cosmos had barely begun. ‘Death Star’ is an intimate detective story of the quest by leading astronomers to solve the riddle of the gamma-ray bursts — the most energetic events ever detected and brighter than a billion billion suns.”

    Student Observation Network: Tracking a Solar Storm
    “At this NASA website, students and educators can find numerous materials on the changes in the activity of the sun. The site is divided into four topics: sunspotters, radio waves, magnetosphere, and auroral friends. Within each of these components, users can find fun and educational activities as well as information and data from observatories and satellites. For instance, in the Sunspotters link, students can learn how to make their own sunspot viewer and pinhole camera. The Sun-Earth Viewer offers live images of the sun, interviews of scientists, and astounding Macromedia Flash Player illustrations and visualizations. Users can learn how to submit their own data to the website. Educators will find a teacher’s edition with helpful hints and suggestions. [RME]” (From the Scout Report)

    Delights of Chemistry
    “Developed by the University of Leeds, the Delights of Chemistry promotes the art of chemistry demonstrations. Users can find illustrations and explanations of forty chemistry experiments. Many animations of demonstrations including the magnesium lamp, thermite reaction, and the volcano reaction are available. The website is full of pictures of chemistry equipment and scientists at work. Through this site, students and educators are able to explore fun chemistry experiments without having to worry about the many hazards associated with working with chemicals. [RME]” (From the Scout Report)

    Nick’s Mathematical Puzzles
    “We’ve still never met Nick in person, but we surely do admire his web site. Pages and pages of puzzles just waiting to be tackled by enterprising mathematical minds! Come wrap your mind around the interestingly vexing situation of unobtuse triangles, the differentiation conundrum, or the case of the absent-minded professor’s disappearing matches.” (From ENC’s Digital Dozen)

    Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

    Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy
    The purpose of this site, which is a companion to a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series, “is to promote better understanding of globalization, world trade and economic development, including the forces, values, events, and ideas that have shaped the present global economic system.” The site features the complete six-hour television program, a timeline from 1911 through 2003, dozens of country reports, material about key individuals, a glossary, links, and more. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Technical Reports and Working Papers in Economics & Business
    “Source: Business Reference Service, The Library of Congress New Compilation, Technical Reports and Working Papers in Business and Economics From the site, ‘To increase awareness of and access to valuable grey literature in business and economics, the Library of Congress provides online access both through its catalog and through these web pages to a growing number of working papers and technical reports in the social sciences placed online by institutions responsible for creating the reports.’ Many thanks to J.B. for the info.” (From the Resource Shelf)


    The following items are from Edupage. To subscribe to Edupage: send mail to: with the message: subscribe edupage Anonymous (if your name is Anonymous; otherwise, substitute your own name). To unsubscribe send a message to: with the message: unsubscribe edupage. (If you have subscription problems, send mail to:

    A federal panel has written a report that calls on the Defense Department as well as other areas of government to institute strong measures to protect civil liberties in the context of data mining. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appointed the panel, called the Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee, in early 2003 in response to criticisms of the Pentagon’s data-mining program, the Terrorism Information Awareness program. The panel’s report, which is expected to be released in about two weeks, says that although the goals of data-mining programs are worthwhile, the government must take steps to ensure that they do not infringe on individuals’ privacy. The panel also called on Congress, the president, and the courts to be involved in efforts to safeguard personal privacy, as federal agencies sift through databases with personally identifiable information, trying to combat terrorism. Newton N. Minow, head of the panel and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, noted that the panel’s recommendations would add a new burden of responsibility to the government but said that the changes would enhance personal privacy and ultimately national security. One panel member, William T. Coleman Jr. filed a dissent, stating that the panel’s proposals far exceed what is required by the Constitution, federal laws, or former court decisions.
    New York Times, 17 May 2004 (registration req’d) via Edupage.

    A report from the General Accounting Office (GAO) indicates that a broad range of federal agencies are involved in data-mining programs, designed primarily to improve the performance or services of that agency. Programs that use data mining to fight terrorism accounted for the smallest number of the 199 programs identified by the GAO at 52 different federal agencies. Of the nearly 200 programs listed, 122 use personally identifiable information, according to the GAO. Fifty-four of the programs use data supplied by private companies, including credit card companies, and in 77 of the programs, federal agencies share information with one another. The Defense Department sponsors the largest number of data-mining programs. Coinciding with the GAO’s report, the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Heritage Foundation released their recommendations for how data-mining programs can be used effectively without sacrificing the privacy of individuals. The groups’ report urges the federal government to “anonymize” data to remove personally identifiable information; to build secure systems that prevent unauthorized access to information; and to include tools that record instances of unauthorized access or misuse of information.
    Wired News, 27 May 2004 via Edupage.

    A new report from Forrester Research forecasts that a total of 830,000 jobs will have been moved from the United States overseas by 2005. The new estimate compares with about 600,000 projected by Forrester in November 2002. Despite the increase, however, Forrester said the overall outlook for offshoring is not substantially different from the earlier report’s forecast. The company had previously predicted a total of 3.3 million jobs sent overseas by 2015; it now puts that number at 3.4 million. Forrester analyst John McCarthy said that after the 2002 report, many companies began looking into offshoring and that providers of such services have expanded their offerings.
    Wall Street Journal, 17 May 2004 (sub. req’d) via Edupage.

    Developers of the National LambdaRail, a fiber-optic network being built by a group of research universities, this week announced the addition of six new members. With the additions, the network will cover most of the United States. The National LambdaRail network — which has comparable speed to that of Abilene, the network operated by Internet2 — will transmit data at four separate optical wavelengths, giving it four times the capacity of Abilene. Abilene is currently the nation’s fastest network. National LambdaRail will reportedly expand its capacity to as much as 40 separate wavelengths, and groups of users may one day be able to lease individual wavelengths on the network. Thomas W. West, president and chief executive of National LambdaRail, said the organization is selecting new members based on location in order to create full coverage for the country. The new members are the Louisiana Board of Regents, the Oklahoma State Board of Regents, the Texas Lonestar Education and Research Network, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Cornell University, and the University of New Mexico. Institutions must pay $5 million over five years to join National LambdaRail.
    Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 June 2004 via Edupage

    Japanese researchers are working on a successor to HDTV that they say is intended to be so clear as to rival actually being in the place on TV. So-called Ultra High Definition Video (UHDV) is expected to have a resolution of 7,680 by 4,320 pixels, for a total of 32 million pixels. This compares to just 2 million pixels for HDTV. UHDV uses the same 16:9 ratio that HDTV uses, but it expands the field of view from HDTV’s 30 degrees to 100 degrees, the point at which, according to one researcher, the “immersive sensation” reaches its peak. UHDV also increases the channels for sound to more than 20. Developers of UHDV said the technology has potential uses far beyond simple entertainment, including art, medicine, and education. Limitations of the technology include the ability of projection tools to create sufficient light contrast, and UHDV uses an enormous amount of storage space and network bandwidth.
    New York Times, 3 June 2004 (registration req’d) via Edupage

    Academic publisher Reed Elsevier has announced it will begin allowing a version of open access publishing. Acknowledging ongoing demand from academics for a less restrictive model for publishing scholarly work, Reed Elsevier will allow authors whose work has been accepted for publication to post articles on their own Web sites or those of their institutions. As standard practices for academic publishing have been challenged by new media and means of distribution, Reed Elsevier has come under increasing pressure to adapt its practices and move away from the traditional subscription model, as a number of other academic publishers have done. Still, the company’s announcement did not convince some critics. Deborah Cockerill of competitor BioMed Central said Reed Elsevier’s approach to open access publishing is based on controlling access and retains so many restrictions as to pose no real threat to the subscription model. On the other hand, Stevan Harnad, professor at the University of Southampton and a strong supporter of open access, commended Reed Elsevier for its change, saying that “the full benefits of open access require not one bit more [from Reed Elsevier].”
    The Guardian, 3 June 2004 via Edupage


    Vancouver to Moscow
    “ ‘No sails, no engines — just raw human energy.’ That’s the mantra of these daring travelers, one Russian and a pair of Canadians, who have set their sights on a nine-month, man-powered odyssey to raise the profile of zero-emissions transportation. Come June, with only their bike pedals, skis, and rowboat oars to assist them, they will cross two continents and the treacherous Bering Strait, all the while chronicling their adventures and cultural encounters with photo galleries and a weblog. As Colin, Tim, and Olya see the journey, it’s a fun and healthy way to demonstrate how everyday people can combat climate change. Their challenge to us is simple: If they can propel themselves across 11,000-plus miles on elbow grease alone, will you propel yourself to work or school?” (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)

    Eavesdropping on Cicadas
    What do cicadas actually talk about when the emerge after 17 years?