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LII New This Week
New This Week for May 1, 2008
This Week
Some of this week's topics: gas prices, bazaars, women paying alimony, military exoskeletons, the National Prayer Breakfast of an invisible Family, and chaos theory and butterflies. Happy Muguet Day from librarians Wendy, Charlotte, Jennifer, and Maria.

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Business

Bazaar India: Markets, Society, and the Colonial State in Gangetic Bihar
Full text of a scholarly study that explores "colonial history through the venue of the bazaar [in the Gangetic Bihar area of India]." Topics include circuits of exchange and modes of transportation (often along the Ganges), rural places of exchange during the age of Gandhi, and merchants and markets from 1765-1947. Book published by University of California Press.
URL: http://www.escholarship.org/editions/view?docId=ft4779n9tq&brand=escho...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25934

CNN/Money Special Report: Gas Crunch
Collection of recent news stories about increasing oil and gas prices in the U.S. Topics include crude oil prices, potentially faulty gas pumping mechanisms, 2008 Congressional investigation of oil company profits, and related matters. Also includes information about fuel-efficient and alternative-energy vehicles.
URL: http://money.cnn.com/news/specials/gasprices/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/1556

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI): Rice Crisis Solutions
This website concerns "the reasons behind the rapid increase in rice prices [in 2008] and what must be done to achieve reliable, plentiful supplies of affordable rice." Features a background paper, details about goals of a plan to maintain fair rice prices for farmers and consumers, facts and figures, photos, video of a press conference, and related material. From the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), an international agricultural research institute based in the Philippines.
URL: http://solutions.irri.org//index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25992

Marriage & Divorce: Supporting the Ex-Husband
This article talks about the occurrence of women paying alimony, noting that "[t]oday, both men and women are equally eligible for some form of alimony if one is dependent on the other for financial support, regardless of who takes care of the kids." Includes a sidebar with advice about protecting assets in case of divorce. From SmartMoney, a joint publishing venture of Dow Jones & Company and Hearst Communications.
URL: http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/marriage-divorce/supporting...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25910

A Primer on Gasoline Prices
This 2005 primer explains "the components of the retail price of gasoline," as well as why gas prices fluctuate, why gas prices differ regionally, and why prices in California are higher and more variable. From the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent statistical agency within the Department of Energy (DOE).
URL: http://www.eia.doe.gov/bookshelf/brochures/gasolinepricesprimer/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/6257

Real Petroleum Prices
"Real Petroleum Prices are computed by dividing the nominal price in a given month by the ratio of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that month to the CPI in some 'base' period. ... Consequently, all real prices are expressed in 'current' dollars." Provides graphs showing gas prices from 1919 to the present, and imported crude oil prices from 1980 on. From the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
URL: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/fsheets/real_prices.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25991

Tortillanomics: Food or Fuel? The Competition for Mexico's Corn
Companion website for this PBS Frontline documentary that discovers that "the increasing demand for corn-based biofuel in the United States is driving up the cost of Mexico's staple food, the tortilla." Features slideshows on protest and politics, the fight between biofuel producers and tortilla consumers for the corn harvest, and effects on farmers and the urban poor in Mexico. Includes related links on biofuels and rising food prices.
URL: http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/fellows/mexico_2008/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25983

People

The Carter Center
The Center "is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health." Includes Center news; a FAQ; history of the Center; and profiles of President Jimmy Carter, Rosalyn Carter, and other directors. Also describes the Center's global peace and health programs. Click on an interactive world map to locate the Center's activities by country.
URL: http://www.cartercenter.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/6982

Edward Lorenz, Father of Chaos Theory and Butterfly Effect, Dies at 90
April 2008 obituary for Edward Lorenz, "an MIT meteorologist who tried to explain why it is so hard to make good weather forecasts and wound up unleashing a scientific revolution called chaos theory [in the 1960s]." His observations "that small differences in a dynamic system such as the atmosphere ... could trigger vast and often unsuspected results" led him to formulate what became known as the butterfly effect. From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
URL: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/obit-lorenz-0416.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25957

Recreation

Bear Safety in the North Cascades
Extensive safety tips for traveling in areas where bears are found, with specifics about black bears and grizzly bears. Provides material about identifying bear tracks, hiking (including how to react when you encounter a bear), and camping (particularly how to store food and camp sanitation). Includes related links. From the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, National Park Service (NPS).
URL: http://www.nps.gov/noca/naturescience/bear-safety.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25990

Dangerous Beaches Mapping Project
Contains worldwide maps of unsafe coastal beaches. Factors represented and discussed include geology (cliffs, rock reefs); marine organisms (sharks, jellyfish, and others); surf (dangerous waves, currents); and pollution. Also browsable by name of map. From the Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley.
URL: http://geography.berkeley.edu/ProjectsResources/DangerousBeaches/Dange...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/4470

How to Play Bingo
Background about bingo. Covers topics such as history, prizes, equipment, rules, playing tips, strategies, odds, superstitions, how to play online bingo, sampling of places to play bingo, electronic bingo, and bingo websites. From HowStuffWorks.
URL: http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/how-to-play-bingo.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25959

Origins of Bingo
Overview of the history of bingo. Describes how bingo "is a form of lottery and is a direct descendant of 'Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia' [from the 1500s]," how toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe discovered the "Beano" game in 1929, and how a woman called out "bingo" instead of "beano" when she won and that the name of the game was then changed. From the website for a 2000 documentary about bingo.
URL: http://www.strangelife.com/bingodoc/bingohist.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25958

Worldwide Shark Attack Summary
"A compilation of all known shark attacks ... from [the] mid-1500's to present." Includes maps and statistics of confirmed unprovoked shark attacks by worldwide location, as well as information about when and where attacks are most likely to occur and how to reduce the risk of a shark attack. Provides a questionnaire for reporting a shark attack. Some materials available in Spanish. Searchable. From the American Elasmobranch Society and the Florida Museum of Natural History.
URL: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/ISAF/ISAF.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/18000

Regional: California

Light Brown Apple Moth Project
Background and advisories about this insect, "an exotic pest that has recently [2007] been discovered in portions of the San Francisco Bay Area" and efforts to eradicate it by spraying pheromones. Provides an April 2008 summary of symptom reports in areas of aerial pheromone application, a map, brochures, documents about shipment and quarantine restrictions, and press releases about infestations discovered in specific Bay Area regions. From the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
URL: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/pdep/lbam/lbam_main.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/23948

Shark Research Committee
This nonprofit scientific research organization documents shark attacks from the Pacific Coast of North America and conducts "original research on the general biology, behavior and ecology of sharks indigenous to waters off the Pacific Coast, with particular emphasis on potentially dangerous species." Its website features a list of sharks of the Pacific Coast, background about white sharks, statistics on attacks, case histories, shark news (back to 2003) about current shark attacks, and more.
URL: http://www.sharkresearchcommittee.com/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25987

Regions of the World

Background Q&A: Hamas
Hamas is "the largest and most influential Palestinian fundamentalist movement." This article (updated in 2007) covers topics such as the origins of Hamas, leaders, beliefs and goals, and funding. Includes links to related material. From the Council on Foreign Relations, an "independent national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars."
URL: http://www.cfr.org/publication/8968/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20477

Grand Canyon Skywalk: The Glass Bridge at Grand Canyon
Official website for this glass deck over the rim of the Grand Canyon. It is "the first-ever cantilever shaped glass walkway to suspend more than 4,000 feet above the canyon's floor and extend 70 feet from the canyon's rim." Includes images of construction, a comparison of the length of the skywalk with the height of tall structures, and visitor information. Available in several languages. The skywalk is operated by the Hualapai tribe.
URL: http://www.grandcanyonskywalk.com
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/23580

Shopping Morocco's Souks
Tips for what to shop for and how to bargain at bazaars in Morocco. Includes brief descriptions of carpets, leather goods, traditional dress, and Moroccan pharmacies. Tips for souk shoppers include exchanging money only at banks, carrying sufficient cash, watching for pickpockets, and negotiating prices. From TravelLady Magazine.
URL: http://www.travellady.com/articles/article-shoppingmorocco.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25936

Souk Secrets
In this 2006 article "the sheikh of chic, Majed al-Sabah, ... reveals his favorite stops at bazaars from Cairo to Kuwait City, and points beyond." Includes brief descriptions of bazaars (with items to look for) in Cairo, Damascus, Istanbul, Kuwait City, Marrakesh, Manama, and Tehran. From Travel and Leisure magazine.
URL: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/souk-secrets
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25937

Science

Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center
The website for this center includes information about alternate fuels (such as biodiesel, electricity, hydrogen, ethanol, natural gas and propane), vehicle conversions, emissions, fuel economy, hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, idle reduction, and similar topics. Includes a fueling station locator, laws, news, events, and more. From the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
URL: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/1858

Argonne National Laboratory: Transportation Technology R&D Center
Background and updates about transportation research at this national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. Provides fact sheets, publications, and other material about topics such as fuel cells, hybrid electric vehicles, powertrains, vehicle recycling, heavy vehicle idling and fuel use, combustion and emissions control sensors, modeling and computing, and materials and manufacturing. Includes links to related government websites.
URL: http://www.transportation.anl.gov/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/24526

Building the Real Iron Man
This 2008 feature provides background about the XOS exoskeleton, a project under development by the Sarcos robotics company with funding from the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that has taken the "military's 40-year-old fantasy of mechanically enhanced soldiers that can carry heavy loads and begun to make it real." Features photos, a video, and sidebar articles. From Popular Science.
URL: http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2008-04/building-real-iron-man
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25969

CompLexicon
"A cross-referenced guide to the concepts, terminology, and key figures of modern dynamics -- the main tools used to investigate complexity in nature." Topics include Alan Turing (English mathematician and founder of modern computer science), Jules Henri Poincaré (French mathematician and founder of qualitative dynamics), and Edward Lorenz (MIT meteorologist and developer of the chaos theory). Note: Linked article is not available. Part of the Complexity website from the Exploratorium.
URL: http://www.exploratorium.edu/complexity/CompLexicon.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25956

Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies
Background about this research institute whose work focuses on "how technology can make soldiers less vulnerable to enemy and environmental threats. The ultimate goal is to create a 21st century battlesuit that combines high-tech capabilities with light weight and comfort." Provides overviews of research areas, news, and related material about this Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research center.
URL: http://web.mit.edu/isn/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25970

The Rise of the Body Bots
This 2005 article surveys research and development related to exoskeletons, which "in military research labs, popular fiction, and movies, [have] come to mean a 'supersuit,' a system that can greatly augment a person's physical abilities." Includes images, sidebars about exoskeleton projects in the United States and Asia, and related links. From IEEE Spectrum magazine.
URL: http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/oct05/1901
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25971

Society & Social Science

Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation
"The Jane Goodall Institute advances the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment of all living things." The site contains a biography of the primatologist, including information on her work with chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe National Park. Also provides an overview of the biology, psychology, and conservation of chimpanzees.
URL: http://www.janegoodall.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/7406

Jesus Plus Nothing: Going Undercover Among America's Secret Theocrats
This 2003 article describes a Christian religious association called the Family. "The Family's only publicized gathering is the National Prayer Breakfast, which it established in 1953 and which, with congressional sponsorship, it continues to organize every February in Washington, D.C. ... In the process of introducing powerful men to Jesus, the Family has managed to effect a number of behind-the-scenes acts of diplomacy." PDF version only available to subscribers. From Harper's Magazine.
URL: http://harpers.org/archive/2003/03/0079525
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25964

National Day of Prayer
"The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation." It was created in 1952 by the U.S. Congress. This site provides information about this event from the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which has a mission to mobilize "the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership" in areas such as military, business, and education.
URL: http://www.ndptf.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25988

The Revealer: A Daily Review of Religion and the Press
This web journal "is a daily review of religion in the news and the news about religion. We're not so much nonpartisan as polypartisan -- interested in all sides, disdainful of dualistic arguments, and enamored of free speech as a first principle. We publish and link to work by people of all persuasions, religious, political, sexual, and critical." Archive goes back to 2003. Associated with the New York University (NYU) Center for Religion and Media.
URL: http://www.therevealer.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25965

The Weather Underground
Companion website to this PBS Independent Lens documentary about the Weather Underground (Weathermen), "one of America's most notorious radical movements" during the Vietnam War. Features background about the group and its actions (including "bombing the Capitol building, breaking Timothy Leary out of prison and finally evading the FBI by going into hiding"), an interview with Weather Underground members Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, and related material.
URL: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/weatherunderground/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25975


LII New This Week

Thanks for reading LII New This Week!

Jennifer English, Liaison to Califa Library Group
Wendy Hyman, Senior Editor
Maria Brandt, Associate Editor
Charlotte Bagby, Senior Weeder