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LII New This Week
New This Week for June 29, 2006
This Week
This week read up on money, insurance, climate change, contrails, crop diversity, John Cage, the Sears Tower, Spain, sunscreen, shell collecting, zinc, business etiquette, California authors and Washingtonian bloggers. Bon appetit from librarians Karen, Wendy, Pat, Maria, Jennifer, Charlotte, and Tom.

Tip of the Week
We take our annual Independence Day publishing break next week to catch up on behind-the-scenes work. Our next newsletter will be issued Thursday, July 13. Due to the severity of our budget cut for the 2006-2007 grant year, which begins July 1, for the indefinite future our newsletters will be significantly shorter, effective with the July 13 issue. In that newsletter we will update you on our plans for restoring our budget. Have a great holiday!
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Arts and Humanities

Americans in Paris, 1860-1900
Companion to an exhibit that "looked at why American artists were drawn to Paris, what they produced there, and how their art changed." Includes an audio introduction and images and notes about paintings such as John Singer Sargent's "Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau)" and James Abbott McNeill Whistler's "Arrangement in Grey and Black, no. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother, 1871." From the National Gallery, London.
URL: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/americans_paris/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21951

Business

CLUE and You: How Insurers Size You Up
Questions and answers about property claims databases that are used by insurers to generate risk profiles of potential customers. Provides details about information maintained by the two databases, Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) and Automated Property Loss Underwriting System (A-PLUS), both of which "have come to be known generically as CLUE reports." Also discusses legislation, privacy, how to get a report, and related topics. From the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
URL: http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs26-CLUE.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21989

CLUE Reports in Compliance With the FACT Act
This site provides access to the free CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) personal property and auto reports offered by ChoiceTrust. CLUE reports, which contain a five-year history of losses and which are often used by insurance companies to determine rates, can be obtained by the property owner under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The site includes a FAQ, a sample report, and instructions for disputing report information. From ChoicePoint.
URL: http://www.choicetrust.com/servlet/com.kx.cs.servlets.CsServlet?channe...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21855

CNNMoney.com: Ask Annie
This workplace advice column discusses topics related to workplace politics and office etiquette, such as common mistakes when starting a new job, cluttered desks, follow-up calls to resumes, dealing with hostile colleagues, and negotiating for a higher salary. From Fortune magazine.
URL: http://money.cnn.com/news/economy/annie/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21968

Hot Topics & Issues Updates: CLUE Claims Databases
Consumer fact sheet about property claim databases used by insurers to assess risks of loss. Discusses the two major databases, CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) and A-PLUS (Automated Property Loss Underwriting System). "Most people refer to the reports generated by either system as CLUE reports." Also covers how CLUE reports are used, and state and national legislation related to claims databases. From the Insurance Information Institute (III).
URL: http://www.iii.org/media/hottopics/insurance/clue/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21987

HRLive Layoff Reports
Weekly reports and database of large job layoffs in the United States. Database is searchable by keyword and type of industry (aerospace, high technology, retail, and more), location, number of people, and date. Reports go back to 1998. From an "employment advertising, communications and consulting firm."
URL: http://www.jwtinside.com/hrlive/layoffs.php
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21956

International Zinc Association
This site features descriptions of the uses of zinc. The publications section provides a history of zinc, a zinc guide with statistics, and material about the role of zinc oxide in rubber processing, zinc protective coatings, zinc and human health, and the supporting role zinc played "in many of the major inventions of the 20th Century. From transistors to lasers, satellites to circuit boards, photocopiers to fuel cells." From an industry association.
URL: http://www.iza.com/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21970

Zinc Statistics and Information
Statistical publications for zinc, "the 23rd most abundant element in the earth's crust. Sphalerite, zinc sulfide, is and has been the principal ore mineral in the world." Includes data on production and use, recycling, and related information from Mineral Commodity Summaries, the Minerals Yearbook, and other publications. From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
URL: http://minerals.er.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/zinc/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21965

Health

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)
Fact sheets about "infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving treatment for other conditions or that healthcare workers (HCWs) acquire while performing their duties within a healthcare setting." Covers infectious diseases (such as Clostridium difficile and MRSA), antimicrobial resistance, and bloodborne pathogens (including hepatitis B and C and HIV/AIDS). From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
URL: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/healthDis.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21953

Sun Safety Alliance
This nonprofit coalition is "dedicated to the task of reducing the incidence of skin cancer in America." Features an introduction to the dangers of UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun, tips for avoiding harm from UV rays (such as protective clothing and sunscreen), teaching materials for young children, a glossary, and links to related sites. The alliance was founded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and Coppertone Suncare Products.
URL: http://www.sunsafetyalliance.org
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21960

Trans Fats
Fact sheets, statements, and other publications on trans fat (also called trans fatty acids), "formed when liquid vegetable oils go through a chemical process called hydrogenation, in which hydrogen is added to make the oils more solid." Topics include health effects of trans fat, foods that contain trans fat, and FDA labeling rules (effective January 2006) for trans fat. Also provides general materials about fats and healthy eating. From the American Heart Association.
URL: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3045792
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21909

Law

Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute: Wex
"Wex is an ambitious effort to construct a collaboratively-created, public-access law dictionary and encyclopedia. It is sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute [LII] at the Cornell Law School." Searchable, or browsable by category. Contributors are evaluated by LII before being authorized to add material. "In general [LII prefers] formal legal education and give preference to legal academics and distinguished practitioners."
URL: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Main_Page
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21990

History of Property Taxes in the United States
This essay describes the history of taxes based on ownership of property from Colonial times through the 20th century in the U.S. Topics include property taxes during the Revolutionary War, 19th century uniformity provisions ("property be taxed equally by value") in state constitutions, failure of the general property tax provisions in the 20th century, and California's tax revolt in 1978 (Proposition 13). Includes a short bibliography. By an emeritus professor from Wichita State University.
URL: http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/fisher.property.tax.history.us
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21993

Media

Indianz.com
This site provides "news, information, and entertainment from a Native American perspective." It publishes two to three feature articles each weekday and summaries of reporting by other media. Searchable, or browsable by topic such as arts and entertainment, business, environment, Indian gaming, and politics. Archives go back to 2004. From the economic development corporation of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and a Native American-owned media firm.
URL: http://www.indianz.com
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21930

People

Inventor of the Week Archive: George Ferris
Profile of George Ferris, who "conceived, designed and built an engineering marvel [the Ferris wheel], which astonished the world at its debut and became a mainstay of American recreation." Topics include the design, which was based on a bicycle wheel, and the debut of the Ferris wheel at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. From the MIT School of Engineering.
URL: http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/ferris.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21986

John Cage
Autobiography of modern American composer John Cage (1912-1992), covering his early life, his collaboration with dancers and choreographers (most notably Merce Cunningham), the influence of Zen Buddhism on his work, and some of his other interests (printmaking and mycology). Includes a link to a discography and discussion list. Provided by one of the record labels that published Cage's music.
URL: http://newalbion.com/NA_Artists/Cage_J/Cage_J.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21996

Ready Reference & Quick Facts

Glossary of Financial and Business Terms
Glossary of more than 2,500 terms related to business and finance. Find definitions for terms such as "bull market," "J-curve," "kiretsu," and "Pac-Man strategy." Compiled by a business professor for The New York Times.
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/library/financial/glossary/bfglosa.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21973

The United States Mint: Fact Sheets
Fun facts about U.S. coins. Topics include the composition of the cent (from pure copper to almost all zinc with a copper cladding), why some coins have grooves on the edges, the presidents on U.S. coins, women on U.S. coins, and related matters. From the U.S. Mint.
URL: http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/index.cfm?action=fun_facts
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21967

Recreation

Conchologists of America, Inc.
The website of this association for those who collect shells as a hobby features an introduction to marine, freshwater, and terrestrial shells; details about mollusks; and a library of articles (most from the mid-1990s) from the association magazine on topics such as Brazilian seashells and why shells have their colors. Also includes a list of clubs around the world, a FAQ, section for children, and links to related sites.
URL: http://www.conchologistsofamerica.org
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21976

Made in Chicago: The Ferris Wheel
Brief description of the Ferris wheel, which "debuted at Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition. ... 'The World's Greatest Ride' was reused at the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904, then dynamited and sold for scrap metal." Includes links to related articles about the Columbian Exposition and the Coney Island entrepreneur who saw the Ferris wheel and ordered a smaller version. From an American Experience documentary about Chicago.
URL: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/chicago/sfeature/sf_made_18.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21984

Spelling Bees for Adults
This FAQ discusses spelling bees for adults, which "have surged in popularity in recent years." Discusses corporate and senior citizen spelling bees, study materials and lists, and the reason why Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee does not hold adult spelling bees. From the official Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee website.
URL: http://www.spellingbee.com/adultfaq.shtml
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21957

Regional: California

California Geography, Geology, Hazards, and Natural History Information
"This website presents selected examples of maps and educational reference materials about California." Features links to sites and maps of California showing population, population density, interstates and highways, physiographic provinces (such as the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert), parks, earthquake faults, volcanoes, landslides, and more. From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
URL: http://education.usgs.gov/california/resources.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21886

Climate Action Team Reports to the Governor and Legislature [California]
Report by the California Environmental Protection Agency about climate change and global warming causes and projections in California and worldwide and California actions to address climate change. Also includes the draft report, public comments regarding the draft report, and related documents. From the California Energy Commission.
URL: http://www.climatechange.ca.gov/climate_action_team/reports/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21946

Ink Spots
This article describes five of the most significant literary landmarks in Northern California: Jack London's Wolf House, Robinson Jeffers' Tor House, Eugene O'Neill's Tao House, Doc Ricketts' Lab (John Steinbeck), and City Lights bookstore (the nation's first all-paperback emporium and publisher of such items as Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl"). From VIA Magazine, a publication of the California State Automobile Association (CSAA).
URL: http://www.viamagazine.com/top_stories/articles/literary00.asp
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21972

Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories
Companion website to a KQED (San Francisco) television series of mini-documentaries about California by independent filmmakers. Find video clips, interviews, and related readings for programs such as "A Home on the Range: The Jewish Chicken Ranchers of Petaluma," "Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria," (exploring transgender activism in San Francisco), and "Nuestra Familia" (history of the Norteño street gang in Salinas).
URL: http://www.kqed.org/arts/truly/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21895

Regional: Washington State

Blogging in the Inland Northwest
Collection of links to dozens of blogs by individuals in the inland Pacific Northwest. Includes blogs from a Spokane, Washington state, lawyer, an Idaho stay-at-home dad, an operator of a bed-and-breakfast, and more. From the website for the Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington.
URL: http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/local/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21712

Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers
This industry association represents the "local, state and federal interests of oyster, clam, mussel, scallop and geoduck growers from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii." The "Shellfish 101" section of the website features consumer information such as photos of species, seasonality and safety tips, and recipes. Also includes photos, fact sheets, lists of growers, a bibliography, job listings, and links to material about specific states.
URL: http://www.pcsga.org
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21917

Washington Asparagus
Website promoting Washington asparagus, which is "produced on approximately 10,000 acres in the Columbia Basin, the Yakima Valley and the Walla Walla area." Provides recipes, preparation tips, and a small section for children. From the Washington Asparagus Commission.
URL: http://www.washingtonasparagus.com
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21321

Regions of the World

Catalan Studies: The Catalan Language
Brief overview of the Catalan language, with a listing of the areas where it is spoken (such as the Catalonia area of Spain, the Balearic islands, and Andorra). Includes a map and photos. From the University of Birmingham, England.
URL: http://www.hispanic.bham.ac.uk/catalan/language.shtml
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21975

Science

Contrails
Brief introduction to "the condensation trail left behind jet aircrafts ... called contrails. Contrails form when hot humid air from jet exhaust mixes with environmental air of low vapor pressure and low temperature." Includes a brief discussion of how contrails "reduce the terrestrial energy losses of the planet, resulting in a warming." From a professor of atmospheric and ocean sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
URL: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/wxwise/class/contrail.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21948

Crop Diversity: What is Crop Diversity
This presentation looks at crop diversity and its importance in agriculture and food security. It discusses the conservation of crop diversity (including gene banks), threats to crops, and priority crops such as bananas, maize, sorghum, and cassava. From the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an organization whose mission is "to ensure the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide."
URL: http://www.croptrust.org/main/whatis.php
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21980

Dimming the Sun
Companion to an April 2006 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Nova program about how "new evidence that air pollution has masked the full impact of global warming suggests the world may soon face a heightened climate crisis." Features material about history of this phenomenon going back to volcanic eruptions during the 18th-century, how contrails (vapor trails from aircraft) may influence the climate, and information about clean air technologies. Includes a teacher's guide and transcript.
URL: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sun/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21949

FieldGuides: Seashells
Visually pleasing guide to North American species of seashells. Browsable by type; "types are based on shared characteristics or relationships, and the silhouette illustration shows a representative species from each." Types include cones, helmets and conchs, limpets, abalone, cockles, oysters, and more. Listings feature photo, description, habitat, and range. From the National Wildlife Federation.
URL: http://enature.com/fieldguides/intermediate.asp?curGroupID=9
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21981

High Confidence in Surface Temp Reconstructions Since A.D. 1600
This June 2006 report concludes that "there is sufficient evidence from tree rings, retreating glaciers, and other 'proxies' to say with confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years. ... There is less confidence in reconstructions of surface temperatures from 1600 back to A.D. 900." Includes an audio briefing and link to the full report. From the National Academy of Sciences.
URL: http://www.nationalacademies.org/morenews/20060622.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21942

How Does Suncreen Work?
This page describes how "sunscreen works by combining organic and inorganic active ingredients. Inorganic ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium oxide reflect or scatter ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Organic ingredients like octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC) or oxybenzone absorb UV radiation, dissipating it as heat." Includes links to related sites and a short bibliography. From the Library of Congress Everyday Mysteries website.
URL: http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sunscreen.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21962

MIND: Modern Inventors Documentation Program
This site "promote[s] the advancement and diffusion of knowledge about American inventors" by providing a database that "identifies the locations and contents of invention-related archival materials in the United States." The database is browsable by subject (such as agriculture, air and space, maritime, and medicine) or searchable. From the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
URL: http://invention.smithsonian.org/resources/MIND_Search_Basic.aspx
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21958

Society & Social Science

Foreign Language Test Database
A searchable database of secondary and college level language proficiency exams for languages other than English. "[I]t currently contains [information about] more than 140 tests in 63 languages." Test profiles list test author or publisher, how and when the test is administered, format, and other details. Find tests by language, target population, intended test level and use, and areas assessed. A project of Georgetown University, The George Washington University, and the Center for Applied Linguistics.
URL: http://www.cal.org/calwebdb/fltest/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21943

The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other
This June 2006 public opinion survey "analyzes how people in predominantly Muslim countries and non-Muslim countries view each other," relations between the West and Muslims, and related topics such as Islamic fundamentalists, the rise of Islamic extremism, the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden, and the controversy over cartoon depictions of Muhammad. Includes data and analysis and quotations from survey participants. From the Pew Global Attitudes Project, a project of the PewResearchCenter.
URL: http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=253
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21947


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