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Science and Technology Library Newsletter: July 18, 2001 Edition.
Newsletter Archive > 2001 July 18 Issue

Sci-Tech Library Newsletter

7/18/01


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  1. PUBSCIENCE TO BE DISCONTINUED?: A House report recommends dismantling this resource.
  2. SCIENCE FOR SOCIETY: A major new effort ...
  3. MEDICAL JOURNALS AND THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: Help promised for less developed countries.
  4. NEW DATBASES: A new education database for abstracts in process, also a new water database.
  5. NEW E-BOOKS AND REPORTS
  6. INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET: Fish versus Farms, Learning with Museums, EarthTrends, The Degree of Confluence Project; Biological Sciences: In Their Own Words..., 123Genomics, Bumble Bees; Computer and Information Science: RoboCup 2001; Engineering: Engineer Girl!, American Solar Challenge, Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation, Geosciences: Wind Chill Factor, Hurricane! 2001, Utah Geology, Volcano Live; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Working Chemists with Disabilities, International Dark-Sky Association, Archimedes Palimpsest, Time Travel, Quia Mathematics, 21st Century, Simple, Common, and Interesting Molecules, Molecular Universe; Polar Programs: Polar Bears Alive, Glacier Image Database, The Cryosat Mission, Antarctic Connection; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: African Writing Systems, “Income and Racial Disparities in the Undercount in the 2000 Presidential Election”, Indigenous Australia [RealPlayer], Quipus, Written in Stone - Inscriptions from the National Museum of Saudi Arabia … and more … plus news items from Edupage
  7. INTER ALIA: An animated history of books, the Physics Quotation Page, museum of hoaxes . . .

  1. PUBSCIENCE TO BE DISCONTINUED?

    House Report
    ftp://ftp.loc.gov/pub/thomas/cp107/hr112.txt

    Article from the Chronicle of Higher Education
    http://www.chronicle.com/free/2001/07/2001070202t.htm

    Article from Nature
    http://www.nature.com/nature/debates/e-access/Articles/butler.html

    PubScience Database
    http://pubsci.osti.gov/

    PubScience is the database created by the U.S. Dept. of Energy to complement PubMed. As you know, PubMed, although primarily covering the medical literature, also indexes the the journal literature of the entire life sciences. PubScience seeks to do the same for the physical sciences, covering over 1000 peer-reviewed journal titles. Both services are provided on the Internet free.

    The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill, accompanied by a report, which suggests that the Energy Dept. dismantle this service. Concern is expressed that it competes unfairly with commercial services.

  2. SCIENCE FOR SOCIETY

    Science for Society: Cutting-Edge Basic Research in the Service of Public Objectives
    http://www.cspo.org/products/reports/scienceforsociety.pdf

    Twenty Year Vision Statement
    http://www.cspo.org/whoweare/twentyyear.html

    A major new effort is underway at CSPO to increase the benefits to society of publicly-funded scientific research. The project is entitled Basic Research in the Service of Public Objectives. Formerly known as the Jeffersonian Science Project, the project has been relocated from Harvard University to CSPO, where it will be co-directed by Harvard Prof. Lewis Branscomb and CSPO director Daniel Sarewitz. CSPO also will host the project's website, scienceforsociety.org, which is currently under development.

    Project organizers held a conference in November 2000, with participation from many of the nation's leaders in science, technology, and government. A report on the conference was published in May. Entitled “Science for Society: Cutting-Edge Basic Research in the Service of Public Objectives,” the report sets out a blueprint for “an intellectually bold and socially beneficial science policy.”

    ***The Report can be accessed directly as a .pdf at http://www.cspo.org/products/reports/scienceforsociety.pdf

    ***To request a hardcopy of the report contact us at cspo@cspo.org.

    Also...CSPO's Twenty-Year Vision Statement is now available online. CSPO has produced a 20-year vision statement mapping the development of the organization and its mission to enhance science policy to foster research that addresses society's most critical needs and enable the benefits of scientific discoveries to be distributed more equitably throughout society. The document also provides detail on the organization's current projects, publications, long-term goals, and CSPO staff and affiliated faculty.

    ***The document can be accessed two ways:
    html- http://www.cspo.org/whoweare/twentyyear.html
    pdf- http://www.cspo.org/whoweare/twentyyearvision.pdf

    ***To request a hardcopy of the Twenty Year Vision statement contact us at cspo@cspo.org.

    (Thanks to Anne Smith)

  3. MEDICAL JOURNALS AND THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

    The World Health Organization (WHO) and a team of six publishers are planning to publish 1000 medical and scientific publications online and offer them at no cost or low cost to research and medical institutions in the developing world. The publishers include Reed Elsevier, Springer Verlag, John Wiley & Sons, and Blackwell Sciences Ltd. The effort is part of the United Nations initiative lessen the health bridge between the poorer nations and the ones where annual subscriptions can range as high as over $1,000.00. Get the whole story at CNET: http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-6524195.html (From Research Buzz) or from the Washington Post at: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33714-2001Jul8.html

  4. NEW DATBASES

    ERIC/AE Abstracts in Progress Database
    http://ericae.net/sinprog.htm

    “The ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation (ERIC/AE) now offers an experimental database of abstracts of the most recent articles and papers on assessment, evaluation, research methods, and learning theory. The database is updated weekly and enables you to search for recent materials not yet posted to the ERIC database.” (Thanks to Gary Price).

    IES Water Database (Middle East Water Database Project)
    http://water1.geol.upenn.edu/index.html

    In September 2000, the Institute for Environmental Studies of the University of Pennsylvania assimilated MEWIN, together with its Middle East Water Database Project. IES has transformed the database into a web-accessible bibliography open to all users anywhere in the world without charge. The current range of sources in the database encompassing such topics as hydrology, geography, science and technology, economics, population, politics, law, management, and strategic affairs will be retained. The database already contains items that go beyond the Middle East and new bibliographical entries pertaining to other regions will continue to be added to broaden the scope of the database.

  5. NEW E-BOOKS AND REPORTS

    United Nations.
    Human development report 2001: making new technologies work for human development.
    http://www.undp.org/hdr2001/complete.pdf

    Philip S. Antón, Richard Silberglitt, and James Schneider
    The Global Technology Revolution: Bio/Nano/Materials Trends and Their Synergies with Information Technology by 2015. Rand, 2001.
    http://www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR1307/

    John C. Baker, Kevin M. O'Connell, and Ray A. Williamson, eds.
    Commercial Observation Satellites: At the Leading Edge of Global Transparency. Rand, 2001.
    http://www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR1229/

  6. INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET

    The Degree of Confluence Project
    http://www.confluence.org/index.php

    “The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures, along with a narrative describing the adventures it took to get there are then posted on this web site. This creates an organized sampling of the world. . . . I (Alex Jarrett) started the project in February 1996 because I liked the idea of visiting a location represented by a round number such as 43°00'00"N 72°00'00"W. What would be there? Would other people have recognized this as a unique spot? Another reason was that my friend managed to convince me to buy a GPS and I had to come up with something to do with it. I also hoped to encourage people to get outside, tromp around in places they normally would never go, and take pictures of it.” [Thanks to The Finger Searcher Science Seeker]

    EarthTrends
    http://earthtrends.wri.org/searchable_db/index.cfm

    This website is brought to you by a variety of organizations, including the World Resources Inst, the World Bank, UNEP, UNDP, the Packard Foundation, the Rasmussen Foundation, and the Ford Motor Company. With that impressive line-up you are inclined to expect a lot. At this time, some of the features are a bit sparse, and the navigation a little clumsy, but there is great promise. You can browse by environmental topic or by resource format. Formats include databases, maps, country profiles, data tables, and feature articles. Every aspect of the environment is covered, from economics to marine ecosystems.

    Learning with Museums
    http://daryl.chin.gc.ca/GateVmc/BrowseForm.cgi?la=e&db=1&search_i=SCIENCES_E&level=3

    The Virtual Museum of Canada's 'Learning with Museums' provides links to online science exhibits in English and French. “Here you will find lesson plans, virtual exhibitions, pre and post visit resources, event information and hands-on educational activities for everyone. More than just a Web site, Learning With Museums offers a sophisticated search engine that seeks out the latest educational materials found on the Web sites of Canadian museums and other heritage organizations.” [Thanks to The Finger Searcher Science Seeker]

    Fish versus Farms

    “Fish vs. farmers presents test case for Bush” -- Christian Science Monitor
    http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/2001/07/11/p2s1.htm

    “Both Sides Harden in Oregon Water Dispute” -- Seattle Times
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134315869_klamath09m.html

    “Officials Loath to Act as Farmers Divert Water Meant for Endangered”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/09/national/09KLAM.html?searchpv=day03

    Klamath Basin Crisis
    http://www.fwaa.org/Klamath.html

    Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations
    http://www.pond.net/~pcffa/

    US Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region
    http://www.mp.usbr.gov/kbao/

    Water Conservation Policy
    http://www.ci.klamath-falls.or.us/PressReleases/waterconservation2001.htm

    Species Profile: Lost River Sucker
    http://ecos.fws.gov/species_profile/species_profile.html?spcode=E052

    Species Profile: Shortnose Sucker
    http://ecos.fws.gov/species_profile/species_profile.html?spcode=E055

    Southwest Oregon's Klamath River Basin was the site of the nation's first waterfowl refuge, declared by President Roosevelt in 1908. Now, a move to protect aquatic life in the Klamath region is the cause of heated dispute among locals and has led the City of Klamath Falls to sue the US federal government for withholding irrigation water. Earlier this year, US Fish and Wildlife ruled that this summer's diversion of water from the Klamath River would threaten the continued existence of the endangered suckerfish and threatened coho salmon. This ruling, upheld by a federal judge, led the Bureau of Reclamation to withhold irrigation water from more than 1,400 farms. On July 4, a large group protesting this move cut open an irrigation headgate on the Klamath River. Also in the fray are people reliant on the fish -- the Klamath Tribes of Oregon and commercial fishers. The following Websites can help readers examine this multi-faceted debate over water rights and wildlife protection.

    To catch up on the details of the crisis, check out the first three news sites. For Klamath water project data, history, and updated news items, go to the Klamath Basin Crisis Website, sponsored by the Far West Agribusiness Association. The Pacific Coast Fisheries Association also features the Klamath Basin water crisis on its Website, where you will find information about threatened salmon of the Klamath River and submitted columns and postings of regulations dealing with fisheries legislation. Other informative sites include that of the Mid-Pacific Region Bureau of Reclamation (which ordered the dam closing), the 2001 Water Conservation Policy posted by the City of Klamath Falls, and pages on the controversial suckers, with illustrations and distribution maps, from the US Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species site. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

    Biological Sciences

    In Their Own Words . . .
    http://aidshistory.nih.gov/

    Subtitled NIH Researchers Recall the Early Years of Aids, this site begins with the First Encounters and continues through to the Search for Treatments. Additionally, there are audio files and Transcripts of National Institute of Health (NIH) researchers' early recollections. The Timeline begins in 1981 and continues through 1988. There are also document and image archives and related Links. - dl (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)

    Bumble Bees
    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/entomology/bombus/index.html

    “Fits this most interesting group of insects into the world in terms of geography and taxons as wall as giving some history of the various names. And it is not to be faulted for lack of credits and footnotes.” [From The Finger Searcher Science Seeker]

    123Genomics
    http://123genomics.com/

    The providers of this searchable metasite have, over the years, accumulated hundreds of genomics-related bookmarks which they now share freely. The eighteen major categories at 123 genomics each contain dozens of links to bioinformatics- and genomics-related science news, research labs, databases, scientific societies, protocol guides, etc. Examples of the category headings include Microarrays, Molecular Pathways, Sequence Databases, Journals and Publications, and Diseases and Disorders. This simply designed site provides enough good resources to keep most graduate students and researchers of bioinformatics happy and well informed. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

    Computer and Information Science

    RoboCup 2001
    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/%7Erobocup2001/

    “RoboCup 2001, A Major International Event Featuring Autonomous Soccer-Playing and Rescue Robots, Makes U.S. Debut in Seattle, Aug. 2-10. RoboCup-2001 will feature teams of robots ranging in size from some so small they'll compete on a ping-pong table-sized field to others the size of adult humans. They've been developed by some of the brightest minds at academic institutions around the world doing research in multi-agent and multi-robot systems.

    The robots will meet on the convention floor in four different competitions, including the Simulation League, Small-size Robot League, Middle-size Robot League and the Sony Legged Robot League. There will also be demonstrations of humanoid robots and a competition using robots to simulate a rescue mission in a real disaster scenario, like an earthquake or mudslide.” It's fun just reading about this event! There is plenty of information at this site, although navigation isn't straightforward.

    Engineering

    Engineer Girl!
    http://www.engineergirl.org/nae/cwe/egmain.nsf/

    This searchable Web site provides biographical sketches, project highlights, and links for visitors interested in space, medicine, the environment, or communications engineering. One feature offers engineers' e-mail answers to user questions. A section titled Why Be an Engineer enthusiastically answers the question by providing career possibilities, educational preparation, and salary information. Other sections are Fun Facts, Great Achievements, Cool Links, Gallery of Women Engineers, Cool Readings, Class Projects, Mentoring, and Homework Help. The best way to get around the site is through the Site Map. - rv (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)

    American Solar Challenge
    http://www.formulasun.org/asc/

    “From July15 to 25th, 2001, 2300 miles of solar raycing will challenge teams from around the world. High tech and high efficiency solar cars will cross the Great Plains, climb the Rocky Mountains, and dash over the Great American Desert to the finish line in Southern California.” This event is sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Energy. This site provides a “Tour of a Solar Car”, route maps, rules of the contest, team profiles, and more.

    Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
    http://www.si.edu/lemelson/

    The Lemelson Center is a place to explore the exciting world of invention. Whether you're a student, teacher, inventor, or history buff, you'll find things you can use here. See what's just been added to the website at “What's New.” Check out upcoming programs at “Events.” Click on “CenterPieces” for virtual exhibits and in-depth explorations of invention topics. Start “Digging Deeper” to access resources on the history of invention. Find out more about the Center's founder, Jerome Lemelson, and the work we do in “About the Center.” What a fun website!

    Geosciences

    Volcano Live
    http://www.volcanolive.com/

    Volcanologist John Seach's site features several jaw-dropping photographs of your host casually ogling massive plumes of spouting lava. It's also bursting with constantly updated information on all things volcanic. Check out live volcano cams, breaking volcano eruption news, the latest satellite images of active volcanoes, and suggested travel spots for die-hard volcano fans. And don't miss the photographs of huge, perfectly formed smoke rings puffed out by Mount Etna. (From Yahoo's Picks of the Week)

    Wind Chill Factor
    http://observe.ivv.nasa.gov/nasa/earth/wind_chill/chill_home.html

    All about sensible or equivalent temperature and how the wind affects how cold you feel. This site from the NASA Observatorium explains hypothermia, has a wind chill chart, temperature conversion calculator, information on cold weather dangers and how to dress to protect from them, as well as links to other sites about wind chill. - cl (From Librarain's Index to the Internet)

    Utah Geology
    http://www.ugs.state.ut.us/geoinfo.htm

    Created by the Utah Geological Survey, this website provides links to many different geological topics including, Earthquakes & Hazards, Dinosaurs & Fossils and the Great Salt Lake. Extensive links and maps make this site worth “digging” into. [Thanks to InfoMine]

    Hurricane! 2001
    http://hurricane.accuweather.com/adchurr/index.asp

    This site provides a wealth of information on past and present hurricanes and tropical storms in six geographical regions. Weather forecasts and updates, satellite photos, hurricane “fact files,” storm preparation tips, and a list of “retired” storm names are all included. - bpr (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)

    Mathematical and Physical Sciences

    Simple, Common, and Interesting Molecules
    http://www.recipnet.indiana.edu/common/common.html

    “Molecules are the smallest collection of atoms of a compound which retains the properties of that material.” This site explores the structures of a variety of common molecules. They are divided into various categories including Minerals; Elements; Vitamins; Medicines, Drugs and Stimulants; Environmental; Plants and Stuff; Amino Acids; Poisons; and more. Each molecule includes a brief description and a model. From the Molecular Structure Center at the University of Indiana. - dl (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)

    Molecular Universe
    http://www.molecularuniverse.com/

    “This fantastic resource for college-level students of chemistry provides abundant images and explanatory text on molecules and molecular systems. The site's main provider is Richard Catlow, Director of the Davy Faraday Research Laboratory at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Molecular Universe presents a collection of lessons, arranged into categories such as Building in Three Dimensions, Boundaries and Barriers, and The Molecules of Life. The sleek color illustrations demonstrate everything from diamond structure to a DNA molecule. Highlights of the site include a detailed look at protein folding, how molecules taste, and molecules and computers. Both students and professors should journey to the Molecular Universe.” [From the Scout Report]

    Working Chemists with Disabilities
    http://membership.acs.org/C/CWD/workchem/start.htm

    Brought to you by the American Chemical Society, this website has biographies and photos of chemists with disabilities working at academic institutions, government, and private industry.

    21st Century
    http://www.21stcentury.co.uk/

    Find out where we're at. The site offers a wide selection of scientific concepts concerning the formation of the universe and includes summaries of Newtonian mechanics, quantum theory, The Big Bang, black holes, relativity, singularities and other related material. Potted summaries of nanotechnology, natural selection, SETI and much more are all here, attractively illustrated, and make for a nice site to potter around for a little less than a century but for a few moments more than the average. There's a nice basic 'definition' of consciousness and where our understanding and philosophy have led us. But, consciousness, like many other phenomena are like jazz, as Louis Armstrong said: 'Man, if you gotta ask what it is, you're never gonna know.' DB (From New Scientist Planet Science)

    Quia Mathematics
    http://www.quia.com/dir/math/

    Don't be deceived by the somewhat bland appearance of this site; while it may lack flashy bells and whistles, it makes up the difference with content. At first glance, the site appears to be a compilation of math activities in the form of simple games, such as matching squares. A student can get quite a bit of practice with multiplication, simple alebra equations, counting change and such. But there is another activity in which games can be created, in thirteen different modes. Registration is required, but it's free, and, if you so choose, you can put your game up for reviews and ratings. AD (From New Scientist Planet Science)

    Time Travel
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/time/

    If you have ever struggled to get to grips with relativity, time travel and all those flashlights on speeding trains, then this site might help you get a new frame of reference, or rather, let you see why there is no absolute frame of reference and that everything is relative. A Q&A section leads you through a hypothetical version of Einstein's thought experiments to get you to that point in the shortest spacetime possible. Talking of getting from A to B, the site carries an interesting interview with Carl Sagan, which you can read, or better still, listen to in Real Audio, to hear has sadly missed tones. A neat and concise glossary will provide you with the defining points with which to dazzle your dinner party guests. DB (From New Scientist Planet Science)

    International Dark-Sky Association
    http://www.darksky.org/ida/index.html

    “IDA's goals are to be effective in stopping the adverse environmental impact on dark skies by building awareness of the problem of light pollution and of the solutions, and to educate everyone about the value and effectiveness of quality nighttime lighting.” This site provides detailed information and news stories as well as a newsletter and related links.

    Archimedes Palimpsest
    http://www.thewalters.org/archimedes/frame.html

    “The Archimedes Palimpsest now in the care of the Walters Art Gallery is a manuscript . . . a rather small and unprepossessing manuscript. It has been damaged by mold, fire, and abuse.

    Christie's Images, Ltd., 1998

    It is nonetheless priceless, because it contains a compendium of mathematical treatises by Archimedes of Syracuse. Most importantly, it includes the only copy of the treatise Method of Mechanical Theorems, in which Archimedes explained how he drew upon mechanical means to elucidate his mathematical theorems.” A lovely site, with the history of the book and an Archimedes timeline.

    Polar Programs

    Antarctic Connection
    http://www.antarcticconnection.com/

    Specializes in “all things antarctic.” Offers photo galleries, headlines, weather and history sections. Numerous links and a innumerable penguin products.

    Polar Bears Alive
    http://www.polarbearsalive.org/index.html

    “Polar Bears Alive is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the worldwide conservation of the polar bear.” Lots of basic information on Polar Bears, a great photo gallery to jazz up your desktop, along with arctic news and maps.

    Glacier Image Database
    http://tvl1.geo.uc.edu/ice/Image/imageref.html

    A collection of photographs illustrating glaciation and its effects upon the earth's surface. The images are organized by topics such as erosion, the ice margin, and glacial lakes, each of which is further divided into images showing a glacier's process, the deposits created, and the landforms left behind. From the University of Cincinnati's Geology Department. - dfs (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)

    The Cryosat Mission
    http://www.estec.esa.nl/explorer/cryosat/

    “CryoSat is the first satellite to be realized in the framework of the Earth Explorer Opportunity Missions of ESA's Living Planet Programme. The mission concept has been selected in 1999 with an anticipated launch in 2003. It is a radar altimetry mission dedicated to observations of the polar regions. The goal is to study possible climate variability and trends by determine variations in thickness of the Earth's continental ice sheets and marine sea ice cover.”

    Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

    Written in Stone - Inscriptions from the National Museum of Saudi Arabia
    http://www.mnh.si.edu/epigraphy/

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is rich in ancient inscriptions. They form a priceless resource for the study of the region's cultural and linguistic heritage. Throughout the country, inscriptions were etched, engraved, pecked, or even sometimes carved in bas-relief on stones or on the rock-faces of cliffs and hills.

    “Income and Racial Disparities in the Undercount in the 2000 Presidential Election”
    http://www.house.gov/reform/min/pdf/electionsnationalstudy.pdf

    Press Release
    This week, the House Committee on Government Reform released the first national study correlating income, race, and vote-counting in the last presidential election. While the report is short, the findings are significant. Examining 40 districts in 20 states, the committee found that voters in high-minority, low-income districts were, on average, three times more likely to have their votes discarded than voters in high-income, low-minority districts. Improved voting technology reduced uncounted votes in high-minority, low-income districts by as much as 85%. [TK] (From the Scout Report)

    Indigenous Australia [RealPlayer]
    http://www.dreamtime.net.au/

    The Indigenous Australia Website, presented in affiliation with the Australian Museum and the Australia's Cultural Network, combines two Websites -- Dreaming Online and Stories of the Dreaming (see the July 16, 1999 _Scout Report_) -- into one comprehensive resource. An engaging introduction to the 60,000-year-old cultural heritage of Australia's Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, the site is divided into four main sections: Background Info, Stories of the Dreaming, For Kids, and For Teachers. The Background section provides users with a nice overview, accompanied by images, of art and dress, spiritual and family life, the relationship of indigenous peoples to the land, and their interactions with British colonists, as well as a fairly detailed timeline. Stories of the Dreaming offers short movies of people reciting the tales from their ancestors about the land, sea, and animals. These were filmed in the rugged backdrop of Australia and are available as low or high quality videos (RealPlayer) or as audio or text only. The Teachers and Kids pages supply additional resources including links, a glossary, a FAQ, and advice on teaching lessons in indigenous studies. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

    Quipus
    http://www.math.leidenuniv.nl/~lipi/quipu/quipu.html

    Developed by the Incas, the quipu, or knot record, was a reliable way to keep track of things if you did not have a written language. This site from Leiden University gives a brief introduction to the quipu and its history, and also instructions on making a quipu of your own. (Thanks to Netsurfer Science).

    African Writing Systems
    http://www.library.cornell.edu/africana/Writing_Systems/Amharic.html

    This site from Cornell University is a very, very brief introduction to a variety of writing systems developed by various African cultures. Samples of the scripts are displayed. (Thanks to Netsurfer Science.)

    Edupage

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

    SCIENTISTS RAISE FIBER-OPTIC LIMITS
    Fiber-optic lines can handle up to 100 terabits of data per second, enough to transmit 2 billion phone calls or 20 billion one-page e-mails, reported scientists at Lucent Technologies' Bell Laboratories. That speed is far faster than the current rate of fiber optic transmission and 10 times faster than the top speed previously achieved in laboratory experiments. Previous attempts to identify the maximum speed possible on fiber-optic systems have been stymied by the number of variables in the technology, which depends on the behavior of light and the physical properties of glass. However, the Bell Laboratories scientists built a model of a fiber-optic system by using quantum physics and information theory. The scientists say their conclusions prove that fiber optics will be more than able to handle high-bandwidth technologies. “The fact that you know networks can be scaled in this way means optical fiber is a good way to grow your system,” said physicist Partha Mitra, who led the Bell Laboratories research team. (InformationWeek.com, 28 June 2001 via Edupage)

    SNEAKERNET, ETHERNET, FLUORONET?
    Steven Leeb, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, has developed a way to transmit analog and digital data through fluorescent lights. Each fluorescent light fixture has magnetic ballasts to create the electrical pulses that trigger the lights. In a normal fluorescent light, the pulses occur at regular intervals; in lights that use Leeb's technology, the pulses occur in intervals that transmit such data as text, graphics, or audio. PCs or handheld devices equipped with special optical transceivers receive and then display this data. Leeb envisions the technology initially being used to send data such as simple directions to users, especially those with disabilities, in public places. (InformationWeek.com, 2 July 2001 via Edupage)

    A NEED TO KNOW
    The Library of Congress is launching a system to link reference libraries across geographical areas in order to let the libraries refer questions outside their purview to libraries that specialize in those areas. Although still under development, the reference system -- known as the Collaborative Digital Reference Service (CDRS) -- is already being used in some libraries. CDRS creator Diane Kresh, director for public service collections at the Library of Congress, said the system was hatched to allow reference librarians to remain relevant in an age when the Internet provides instant access to a smorgasbord of information. Although Web reference sites and search engines use keyword recognition to pull up Web site reference points, CDRS can, for example, send baseball-focused questions to librarians at baseball-focused libraries or military questions to military librarians. CDRS asks libraries to complete a Web-based profile before joining the system. So far, 100 institutions have joined, including libraries in America, Canada, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. (Federal Computer Week Online, 2 July 2001 via Edupage)

    PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST IN MOBILE TECH
    Researchers at Stanford University are developing what they call Mobile People Architecture (MPA), a technology to ensure that human beings are not lost among the many devices now at their disposal. “The main goal of the [MPA] is to put the person, rather than the devices that the person uses, at the endpoints of a communications session,” the researchers said. Stanford assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering Mary Baker is working on a “personal-level router.” The device would allow individuals to assign themselves a communications handle common to multiple devices -- e-mail, cell phone, wired phone -- and would route incoming communications to whichever device was nearest the individual. The MPA also includes privacy measures, including filters and giving emergency messages priority over spam messages. Researchers said the MPA is compatible across all types of networks and, rather than requiring users to employ a smart card or some other kind of access device, can be incorporated in an existing network with only 200 lines or less of Java code. (M-CommerceTimes, 9 July 2001 via Edupage).

  7. INTER ALIA

    An Animated History of Books
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/bookcase/historyofbooks/

    A fun, quick tour through the history of books from cave paintings to the future. Brought to you by the BBC.

    Physics Quotation Page
    http://www.escape.ca/~dcc/phys/quotes.html

    This page is still in development and testing. You can't search for a particular quotation, but you can be peppered with interesting quotations by various physicists -- and many of them are delightful. For instance, “Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.” -- Werner von Braun. A fun site to visit!

    Museum of Hoaxes
    http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/

    This interesting website has the scoop on some of the famous hoaxes in history. You can browse by date or by subject category, included several of the sciences. The site also includes a gullibility test, the origin of the word hoax, the top ten April Fool's hoaxes of all time, and hoax websites. Enjoy!


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