The new way things work by David Macaulay, with Neil Ardle

New Title in the Library: The new way things work / David Macaulay, with Neil Ardle, “The information age is upon us, baffling us with thousands of complicated state-of-the-art technologies. To help make sense of the computer age, David Macaulay brings us The New Way Things Work. This completely updated and expanded edition describes twelve new machines and includes more than seventy new pages detailing the latest innovations. With an entirely new section that guides us through the complicated world of digital machinery, where masses of electronic information can be squeezed onto a single tiny microchip, this revised edition embraces all of the newest developments, from cars to watches. Each scientific principle is brilliantly explained–with the help of a charming, if rather slow-witted, woolly mammoth” (from publisher’s description).

State Health Facts Online

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s State Health Facts Online “contains the latest state-level data on demographics, health, and health policy, including health coverage, access, financing, and state legislation.” The site covers a range of health topics, including HIV/AIDS, Managed Care and Health Insurance, Minority Health and Women’s Health. “The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the nation. ” [Quotes from the Foundation’s web site]

“Search Engine Wars” series on NPR

National Public Radio’s Morning Edition today began a weeklong series of features on search engines. Today’s story reviews the history of search engines. Later this week, we’ll learn about the industry, how search engines make money, what to expect in the future, etc. You can listen at http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2004/apr/google/. The page also has a collection of search engine-related links.

World Newspapers

The Australian-based Online World Newspaper Index offers links to a large number of, well, world newspapers published in a number of languages (including English). Tucows’ NewsDirectory limits itself to English language world newspapers, magazines and othe media outlets. Quoting the site: “This free directory of newspapers, magazines, television stations, colleges, visitor bureaus, governmental agencies and more can help you get to where you want to go, or find sites you didn’t know about.”

Researcher: access to Google by itself not enough for efficient Internet research

Dr Eszter Hargittai, a researcher at Northwestern University, says that her research indicates that access to Google is not enough for efficient, thorough Internet searching. Internet users need to know how to use search strategies effectively. “User studies suggest that the particular strategies people employ to look for content is a more important predictor of their ability to find material than what specific search engine they use.” BBC News (4/6/04) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3601371.stm

New way to organize science?

“Scientists need new ways to monitor the progress of science in the digital age, according to reports in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” Science is a very interconnected human activity, but data and knowledge has left the traditional print resources and has many dimensions. Scientists from Indiana University and elsewhere are recommending a new non-linear map be developed to reflect the current scientific landscape. Whitehouse, Scientists seek ‘map of science’, BBC News, 4/7/04 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3608385.stm)

Do scientists cheat?

Do scientists cheat?: This 1988 video is still a recommended source from the library’s collection about scientific ethics. Here is a summary of this source: “Explores fraudulent practices in scientific research. Looks at fraud both from the ethical aspects and the practical results. Uses actual proven cases to address the issues.”

9-11 Commission

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission), an independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002, is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.

Illinois Poet Laureate’s Website

Kevin Stein, Illinois’ new poet laureate, announced this week that the ILINOIS POET LAUREATE’S WEBSITE is now up and running at www.poetlaureate.il.us. The site will highlight one Illinois poet for a period of several months. Currently featured is Pulitzer Prize winner Lisel Mueller. Seven of Mueller’s poems are at the site in both text and audio, with Mueller reading her poems. The site also features prose in which Lisel describes coming to America to flee Nazi Germany, and her beginnings as a poet. Visitors to the site will also find:
–Video clips of three Illinois poets (Allison Joseph, Dave Etter, Laurence Lieberman) reading their work (with accompanying text)
— Video of Kevin Stein reading one of his poems, Stein’s commentary on the poem, and text of the poem
–Youth poetry selections
–Advice to young poets
–An explanation of the origin of the term “poet laureate” and a discussion of the laureate’s duties
–Links to other state and national poetry websites