LII Newsletter Archive

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In January 2010, the LII Newsletter was renamed
"The Link: The Official Newsletter of the ipl2" and
was published on the ipl2 WordPress Blog.

Links listed within these archived pages are not maintained.

LII New This Week
New This Week for June 19, 2008
This Week
This week there's bird talk, hypermiling and other car matters, hospital ratings, the Ainu of Japan, 100 years of the FBI, Independence Day, and the American lawn. Bon appetit from librarians Wendy, Maria, Charlotte, and Jennifer.

Tip of the Week
Read up on fireworks -- safety, photography, public displays, and more.
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Arts and Humanities

"An Expression of the American Mind": Understanding the Declaration of Independence
This 2-part lesson plan (grades 9-12) covers the structure of the Declaration of Independence ("introduction, main political/philosophical ideas, grievances, assertion of sovereignty") and the ideological and political origins of the ideas in the Declaration. Includes background for teachers, suggested activities, and links to additional material. From EDSITEment, a joint project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and other organizations.
URL: http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=723
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26255

American Historical Periods
"LACMA's Collection of American Art serves as an excellent survey of the development of art and culture throughout the United States." View short essays and works of art by period such as early American painting, America comes of age (mid-18th century), the American West, modern urban America, and the social relevance of art. Also browsable by decade through 1945. From the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
URL: http://collectionsonline.lacma.org/mwebcgi/mweb.exe?request=exhibit;id...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26263

Lawn Nation: Art and Science of the American Lawn
Companion to a 2008 exhibit in which "[o]ver thirty artists, designers, filmmakers, scientists, and landscape architects consider America's big green carpet." Includes galleries of outdoor and outdoor works (such as time-lapse photography of "Revenge of the Lawn" in which grass grows over a furniture-shaped installation), and links to sites on using less water and fewer chemicals. From the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences.
URL: http://www.naturemuseum.org/lawn/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26260

Business

The Edmunds Green Car Guide
This buying guide features articles on fuel-efficient cars, alternative fuels and new technologies (such as biodiesel, electric, and compressed natural gas), hybrid vehicles, improving gas mileage (covering "hypermilers," who try to beat the EPA average fuel economy ratings), and oil and gas prices. From Edmunds, producers of consumer automotive information.
URL: http://www.edmunds.com/fueleconomy/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26300

Factors in Food Commodity Price Increases
Special feature from 2008 concerning "recent runup in global food commodity prices [which] reflects both long-term trends and short-term events." Topics including the Consumer Price Index, food insecurity, agricultural supply and demand, and other economic and agricultural aspects of the increases. From the Economic Research Service (ERS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
URL: http://www.ers.usda.gov/features/commoditypricefactors/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26238

Marketplace: Auto Industry
Compilation of reports on the auto industry, covering specific automakers and oil companies, auto workers and unions, car prices, alternative fuel vehicles, gas prices, fuel standards, and more. From Marketplace, a public radio business program produced by American Public Media.
URL: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/collections/coll_display.php?coll_i...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26302

Computers

Recaptcha
"A 'captcha' is a program that can tell whether its user is a human or a computer [such as those with distorted images of letters]." You can use this site to help stop receiving email spam "by asking people to solve a recaptcha before they can view your email address" (if you are running a web application that lists user's email addresses). This process uses unclear images from digitized books. From Carnegie Mellon University.
URL: http://recaptcha.net/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/25938

Government

FBI History: Radio Sound Bytes
These interviews of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) historian are "part of a special radio series called 'FBI 100: A Closer Look,' [in which the historian is] sharing his perspectives and insights into various aspects" of the history of the FBI, which began operation in July 1908. Read or listen to the brief interviews on topics such as the early days of terrorism, police corruption, La Cosa Nostra, and Elliot Ness. From the FBI.
URL: http://www.fbi.gov/radiobytes/archives.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26265

Why Vote? A POV 2008 Election Issue Special
This website compiled for the 2008 presidential election explores "attitudes about voting and issues that are most important to Americans." It features documentaries related to election issues, action items, and educator resources (such as essays and speeches on voting in a democratic society by Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others). Additional material to be added during the election year. From P.O.V.
URL: http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/election/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26294

Health

America's Best Children's Hospitals
This U.S. News & World Reports feature ranks children's hospitals in the U.S. with respect to various health conditions. View lists of hospitals for general pediatrics, cancer, digestive disorders, heart and heart surgery, neonatal care, neurology and neurosurgery, and respiratory disorders. Includes a description of methodology, glossary of terms used in the evaluation process, and links to related material.
URL: http://health.usnews.com/sections/health/best-childrens-hospitals
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26258

Leapfrog Hospital Quality and Safety Survey Results
"Each year, Leapfrog gathers and reports information on hospital quality and patient safety efforts to help patients make informed decisions about where to receive hospital care. Use the search function ... to get information on hospitals in your area. ... The information on this site is derived from hospitals' voluntary submissions." From the Leapfrog Group, "a voluntary program aimed at mobilizing employer purchasing power" of health care.
URL: http://www.leapfroggroup.org/cp
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26257

Home & Housing

Epicurious: Seasonal Cooking
Collection of resources for seasonal and local cooking, including seasonal ingredients, a peak season ingredient map for the U.S., visual introductions to foods such as peppers and mushrooms, farmer blog, and recipes. From Epicurious.
URL: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26246

Water Calculator
This site helps you calculate residential water use per day. Covers source of water supply, and water use in the bathroom, kitchen, and outdoors (including landscaping, washing a car, and swimming pools). Results include suggestions for reducing water use. Also includes links to water conservation tips and related material. From the National Wildlife Federation.
URL: http://www.nwf.org/water/watercalculator.cfm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26213

People

The 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Charles Darwin
Collection of links to material commemorating the July 1, 1858, meeting of the "Linnean Society of London at which the paper from Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace outlining, for the first time, the theory of evolution by natural selection was read. February 2009 sees the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin." Includes the paper, information about the Darwin-Wallace medals (presented every 50 years), and more. From the Linnean Society.
URL: http://www.linnean.org/index.php?id=352
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26293

Regional: California

California Government on YouTube
This is the "official YouTube channel of the California State government, linking you to videos of departments and agencies within the State." It includes videos from the Governor's office and from departments such as the Franchise Tax Board, Department of Motor Vehicles, Public Utilities Commission, and Department of Transportation. From YouTube.
URL: http://www.youtube.com/californiagovernment
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26295

Regions of the World

The Ainu Museum
The website for this Hokkaido, Japan, museum, features background about Japan's indigenous Ainu population. Illustrated essays discuss eating habits, hunting and food gathering, agriculture, clothing and ornaments, housing, religion, marriage and family life, dances, and oral literature. In English and Japanese.
URL: http://www.ainu-museum.or.jp/english/english.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26285

Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People
Website companion to a 1999-2000 "major exhibition to explore the ancient origin of the Ainu, their evolving relations with the Japanese, and the 20th century Ainu cultural rebirth." Images are accompanied by text and audio and cover topics such as spiritual traditions, trade, homes, activities of men and women, arts, language, and other aspects of Ainu culture. From the Arctic Studies Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
URL: http://www.mnh.si.edu/arctic/features/ainu/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26283

Science

Bird Talk, Bird Brains: Why Birds Talk
This site explains that a pet bird may learn "to mimic our voice primarily because the sound is interesting to him -- and it gets attention." Includes tips on how to teach your bird to talk, triggers for bird vocalization, and the science of avian vocalization. From veterinarians who run a site that sells pet supplies.
URL: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=574
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26199

Parrot Prodigy May Grasp the Concept of Zero
This 2005 article discusses how a study involving the "talking" parrot Alex "suggests that some birds may have a better grasp of numbers than the average three-year-old child" in that Alex "may understand the concept of zero." Includes links to related sites. From National Geographic.
URL: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/07/0715_050715_parrotzero...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26201

Popular Mechanics: Drive Green
Compilation of articles, video, and blog entries about energy-efficient driving and alternative fuel vehicles. Includes features on new technologies, test drives of new vehicles, analysis, tips, and related material. From the website for Popular Mechanics magazine.
URL: http://www.popularmechanics.com/drivegreen
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26301

Science Reports: Alternative Fuels
News and features about alternative automotive fuels such as ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen, electric, and biodiesel. Includes reports, case studies, classroom materials, and interactive features such as "How Does Your Car Stack Up?" that considers carbon dioxide output and fuel costs. From the PBS Online NewsHour.
URL: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/science/alt_fuels/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26299

Severe Weather in Iowa
News and background about June 2008 floods in Iowa, including breaking news, details on how to get help and how to volunteer, photos, videos, an interactive flooding map (with user-submitted photos and flood damage reports), a blog with neighborhood updates for Des Moines, and a message board. Also includes road closures, a database with bridge stability data, flood alert text messaging, and much more. From the Des Moines Register.
URL: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=FLOODI...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26310

Society & Social Science

Fourth of July Is Independence Day
Collection of links to material related to Independence Day. "Independence Day honors the birthday of the United States of America and the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It's a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a night of concerts and fireworks, and a reason to fly the American flag." Topics include fireworks, summer safety tips, and virtual visits to historic sites. From USA.gov, the U.S. government's official Web portal.
URL: http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Independence_Day.shtml
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26252


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