Wednesday Website of the Week 11/15/2017
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade an American tradition since the 1920's
From the 2 block long parade in 1924 to this year's 2.6 mile route with more than 8000 participants, watching the Macy's parade is an annual holiday tradition for many families. Only in the World War II years was the parade canceled so that the rubber could be donated to the war effort. The first national televised broadcast was in 1948, transforming a New York tradition into a national one. The website's full of fun stuff: listen to the audio timeline of the parade's history, visit the parade shop, view this year's parade lineup of balloons, floats, performers, marching bands, special guest stars, and clown troupes. And much more! If you're lucky enough to be in New York on Thanksgiving Day, there are tips for the best viewing spots, and also where you can watch the inflation of the balloons next Wednesday (read up on balloon inflation FAQs on the site too). And if you can't be there, watch the 91st annual parade on NBC from 9am to 12 noon.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/8/2017
Following up on yesterday's Election Day across the U.S.A.,
Today's site is Archived Presidential White House Websites
Every American President from Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) to Barack Obama has a Presidential Library and Museum where records, documents, artifacts, and other historical materials are preserved and made accessible to the public. With the advent of the cyber age, Presidential websites are also important records of the administrations so the National Archives has preserved and "frozen" the sites of Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. These "frozen in time" sites are representations of the original websites and approximate the interface and functionality for easy access by the public. The pages range from the Clinton Administration's first White House website in 1995 to the Obama website on January 17, 2017, the day Barack Obama left office. NOTE: These websites are no longer updated so links to external websites and some internal pages will not work.
BONUS! Visit the Presidential Libraries and Museums
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/1/2017
Today's website is a favorite of ours here in the Library. Maybe it'll become one of yours too!
The Internet Archive
In a nutshell, the IA is a non-profit digital library which works with thousands of partners globally to offer free universal access to books, movies & music, and archived web pages. The contents speak for themselves:
• 306 billion web pages dating back 20 years in the Wayback Machine
• 15 million books and texts over 12,000,000 of which are freely downloadable. There is also a collection of 550,000 modern eBooks that may be borrowed by anyone with a free archive.org account.
• 4 million audio recordings from alternative news programs to Grateful Dead concerts to Old Time Radio, and book and poetry readings (including 182,000 live concerts) Many of these recordings are available for free download.
• 3.7 million videos ranging from classic full-length films to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts. Many of these videos are available for free download.
• 3.3 million images from maps to astronomical imagery to photographs of artwork. Many of these images are available for free download.
• 198,000 software programs including a broad range of software-related materials including shareware, freeware, video news releases about software titles, speed runs of actual software game play, previews and promos for software games, high-score and skill replays of various game genres, and the art of filmmaking with real-time computer game engines.
Anyone with a free account can borrow from and upload media to the Internet Archive; get your virtual library card here
Everybody loves free stuff, and the U.S. government has free stuff to give!
Publications.USA.gov is operated by the Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC) of the U.S. General Services Administration and is the central source of information about federal government publications helpful to citizens. It supercedes the old (but still live) Pueblo.USA.gov, offering more categories and publications available online. Searching is easy (browse by categories or use the search box) and almost all publications are free. Most publications are online or available as pdfs which you can download and print for free, and some popular publications are also available in e-reader format. A number of publications are also available in Spanish. Shipping for all print items is free within the United States. Plus you can join the email subscription list to recieve monthly notification for free publications.
Here's a sampling...
Identity Theft: Safeguard Your Personal Information
A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety
Heart Health for Women
Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for Pet Owners
"Greenscaping" Your Lawn and Garden
Paying for College: Strategies to Afford Higher Education Today
How to Become President of the United States Poster
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/18/2017
It's SUSTAINABILITY WEEK at Taft
Let's keep it going next week and beyond - our planet is counting on us!
There are lots of terrific websites promoting responsible green living and sustainability, and today we feature two.
Center for Biological Diversity brings us 12 Ways to Live More Sustainably
The Center for Biological Diversity is a respected organization whose mission is to ensure we humans live in such a way to protect the diversity of all the world's species. Every day we make choices in our lives that affect the environment, the climate and other species. From what we eat to how many children we decide to have, there's a lot we can do to “choose wild” and reduce our environmental footprint to leave more room for wild animals and plants.
The founders of Eartheasy have been living off the land for more than 30 years, which inspired them to create this website promoting information and products for sustainable living. In our Guides, we present information for people looking to live more lightly on the planet. Much of this content is based on our own experiences at living simply and close to nature. In our Shop, we have worked to identify products which are non-toxic, non-polluting and which complement the values of sustainability, conservation and energy-efficiency. Our product line is small, focused and well-priced. Every new product, regardless of its merit, requires energy and resources to produce. We believe consumers should consider used, recycled alternatives to new products, whenever possible. In selecting products to offer in our online store, we feel a product's environmental costs should be outweighed by its benefits in helping people live more sustainably.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/11/2017
Just how well do you know the world's geography?
Seterra Online Map Quizes are fun, challenging, and educational.
And they're free!
Find countries, capitals, cities, states, districts, provinces, territories, and regions in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australasia, as well as the world's islands, mountains and volcanoes, seas and lakes, and flags. Our link takes us to the English language page, but you can go to Seterra's homepage (link below) to quiz yourself in 32 other languages. Each game runs in 4 different game modes:
- Learn (Study the states or countries on a map through the Learn mode, which displays the name of a country or state for a short time after clicking it);
- Pin (this timed game mode challenges you to find the states or countries on your chosen map by clicking on the outline when you think you know it);
- Place the Labels (Label the countries or states one by one in your preferred order); and
- Type (you type the names of the locations on your keyboard. Can’t remember a name? Click the “Hint” button to get a hint!)
- If you want to practice offline, there are printable maps to download. Seterra is also available for Android, iPhone and iPad through the app stores and it runs in pretty much any browser: Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Safari or Chrome.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/3/2017
Who doesn't have too many accounts online?Today's site makes it easier to delete those you no longer want.
JustDeleteMe makes removing yourself (or an account) from the internet a whole lot easier. It's a directory of links to delete your account from the web services it lists - at the moment, over 350 web services such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc. The links go directly to the web service site (directly to the account deletion page, if available). Services are marked either easy, medium, hard or impossible depending on how difficult it is to delete that account. You can sort the list three ways: A-Z, by most popular, and by how difficult the sites are to delete. The list is also color-coded to make it easy to tell at a glance the easy from the impossible and those in-between. And for you Chrome browser users, there's a new Chrome extension: when you are on a website that is listed on JustDeleteMe, the Chrome Extension will add a small dot to the omnibar. Clicking on this dot will take you to the relevant delete page. Go for it, folks!
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/27/2017WHAT DO THESE BOOKS HAVE IN COMMON?I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
They are among the most challenged books in this century!
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/20/2017With today's site we have a simple way to live our school motto every day!
"Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret" Not to be served but to serve.The GreaterGood Network
A family of online activism sites where "no good action is too small"It only takes a few seconds each day to help people, animals, and the planet! Your click on any of the CLICK TO GIVE websites in the banner prompts advertisers to donate to the GreaterGood network, which since its launch in 1999 has contributed more than $45 million to charities. Shop for the holidays at each site's fair trade store and generate even more! So bookmark this page and click each day to help feed the hungry, put books in the hands of children, preserve acres of rainforest, provide therapy for autistic children, give meals for veterans, provide free mammograms, improve child health, support our veterans, provide funding for Alzheimer's and diabetes research, and feed homeless animals. Choose one cause or click through all. After you click to give to one of the charities, scroll down to "HOW YOU'RE HELPING" to see how your clicks really do make a difference. And you can connect with the GreaterGood Network on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Yes, there's a lot of advertising, but, remember, those advertisers are the actual donors.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/13/2017For all of you new to Taft, welcome to Wednesday's Website where we feature an interesting, educational, fun, or unusual website almost each week. Hope you'll enjoy our picks and if you know of a site you think would make a good WW, let me know.
We're excited to feature our new Library homepage with our brand new RhinoCat and circulation system
as our first website of the year.Some of the features include:
- An elastic interface that will adjust to any device (phone, ipad /tablet, or personal computer)
- Cover images
- Enhanced content from external products such as Open Library, LibraryThing, Novelist Select and iDreamBooks
- Virtual shelf browser
- Social network share buttons
- Search filtering by location, item type, subjects and more
- Login to your account with your Taft network username and password for your personalized patron experience which includes
- Ability to place your own holds
- View your checkout history
- View your search history
- Make purchase suggestions
- Ability to create private lists
- Access to account information
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/17/2017
Introducing The American Archive of Public Broadcasting
The Library of Congress and WGBH in Boston embarked on a project in 2013 to preserve the most significant public television and radio programs of the past 60 years. Digitization of approximately 40,000 hours of programs selected by more than 100 public broadcasting stations throughout the nation is ongoing. More than 7,000 historic public radio and television programs are now available for streaming and more content will be added periodically. The majority of this initial digitization consists of regional and local programs (local news and public affairs programs, local history productions that document the heritage of local communities, and programs dealing with education, environmental issues, music, art, literature, dance, poetry, religion, and even filmmaking on a local level). You can keyword search or explore the site using the interactive map of participating organizations or the Curated Exhibits (including Speaking and Protesting in America, which includes an episode from 1990 in which law student Barack Obama appears in a crowd of students protesting lack of diversity among faculty at Harvard). Browse the collection using one of AAPB's suggested topics (Children's, Cooking, Education, Humor, Music, Politics, Sports, Travel, and many more). Participate in Fix It! where you're invited to help professional archivists and history lovers identify and correct errors in machine-generated transcripts. (Your corrections will made available in public media's largest digital archive at americanarchive.org.)
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/10/2017
Earthcam Where the world watches the world
EarthCam.com, the global network of owned and operated live streaming webcams, was built as a way to transport people to interesting and unique locations around the world that may be difficult or impossible to experience in person. Providing a virtual window to the world, viewers can freely explore the globe from unparalleled vantage points, such as the torch balcony of the Statue of Liberty (closed to the public since 1916) and visit such popular places and landmarks as Times Square, the Eiffel Tower, World Trade Center, Abbey Road Crossing, Statue of Liberty, Las Vegas, the Palm Dubai, Bourbon Street, Washington Monument, Niagara Falls, Andy Warhol's gravesite, Hollywood Boulevard, Miami Beach and Petra in Jordan, a famous archaeological site inhabited since prehistoric times and dated to around 300 B.C. You can search or browse the site (Editor's Choice, Popular, Top Ten, New, or by categories including animals & zoos, wired & bizarre, weather, and more). Click on the world map and zoom in to find more webcams all over the world. Enjoy your virtual travels!
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/3/2017
This week, a belated Earth Day site Encyclopedia of Life
Our knowledge of the many life-forms on Earth - of animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria - is scattered around the world in books, journals, databases, websites, specimen collections, and in the minds of people everywhere... The Encyclopedia of Life brings together information about all life on Earth—one web page for each species. But EOL is much more than 1.9 million species pages. It's an incredible resource for text, images, video, sounds, maps, classifications and more, all freely available online. And, the true power of EOL comes from its users—users like you—who create Collections, start and join Communities, share their species images and make EOL a vibrant and ever-expanding meeting place for everyone interested in nature. Getting involved in EOL easy! Start by creating your free EOL account. From here, you can create your own online collections of species, images and more, join online communities of people with similar interests and leave comments on EOL pages. You share images, create a virtual collection, use lessons and activities from EOL and partner institutions and much more. Partners in this international iniative include Atlas of Living Australia, La Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO), Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, Marine Biological Laboratory, New Library of Alexandria and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Follow EOL on Twitter and Facebook.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/26/2017
Interested in where your tax dollars are really going? Take a look at USAfacts.org
Inspired by the four missions of the U. S. Constitution (see below), USAfacts.org is the brainchild of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Launched on Tax Day (April 18, 2017) and highly interactive, the site organizes 30 years of data from more than 70 local, state, and federal government agencies into "a data-driven portrait of the American population, our government's finances, and government's impact on society".
From the About page: ...We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining and expanding it in the future. We rely exclusively on publicly available government data sources. We don’t make judgments or prescribe specific policies. Whether government money is spent wisely or not, whether our quality of life is improving or getting worse – that’s for you to decide. We hope to spur serious, reasoned, and informed debate on the purpose and functions of government. Such debate is vital to our democracy. We hope that USAFacts will make a modest contribution toward building consensus and finding solutions....Our work includes partnerships with academic institutions and experts who help keep our data accurate and unbiased (the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), the Penn Wharton Budget Model, and Lynchburg College).
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/19/2017
April 15 to 23, 2017 is National Park Week!
American writer Wallace Stegner wrote, "National Parks are the best idea we ever had.
Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst."
Our site today, National Park Maps, contains 1496 Free High Resolution Maps of the U.S. National Parks
Begun in 2013 by Colorado park ranger Matt Holly, the site currently hosts 1,496 "free high-resolution national park maps to view, save, and download.” Holly created the site for purely practical reasons. “I’ve always found it time-consuming to visit each park’s web page and use an embedded map viewer or muddle through the website to find a nice printable map,” he writes. “So I’ve done the dirty work for you.” Now, plan a trip!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/12/2017
Celebrating our nation's Smithsonian Libraries during National Library Week! A hidden national treasure
The network of 20 specialized research libraries that make up the Smithsonian Libraries provide the Institution’s museums and research centers with resources and services that are as diverse and deep as the collections, exhibits, and scholarship they support. They truly span the range of scientific and cultural pursuits of humanity from aerospace, anthropology, and art history to business history and botany, cultural history, design, philately, zoology, and much, much more. The Libraries' physical collections comprise 1.8 million books and manuscripts, along with over 400,000 pieces of ephemera, photo collections, and a/v material. Click on the gray Main Menu bar to access online books (most of which are in the public domain and thus available to download and use without worrying about copyright), digital collections (including the Image Library, webcasts and videos), exhibitions (including online), research tools, and other resources and information.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/5/2017
From the folks who bring us those fun magnetic poetry kits for our refrigerators comes Magnetic Poetry Online with six different poetry kits: Original Kit, Poet Kit, Love Kit, Mustache Poet, Nature Poet, and Geek. And also Kids Magnetic Poetry Online. There's also a FirstWords poetry kit for the youngest readers and writers; just look at the top of the Kids page for the link. Need more words for your poems? Just click on the "More Words" button. Have fun creating original poetry (and you can also create an account to save and share your poems with friends by email and on Facebook).
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/1/2017
- Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
- The movement organized around this belief. (American Heritage Dictionary)
"Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution highlights the collective action and individual achievements of women from the 1940s to the present, exploring the power and complexity of gender consciousness in modern American life. In the spirit of 1970s consciousness-raising, we take our name from the 'click' moment when women (and undoubtedly a few men) discovered the powerful ideas of modern feminism. We hope to provoke comparable moments of truth and understanding for those who click through the pages of our exhibit." The Click! dropdown menu (top right) opens up to a number of broad topic areas (Politics & Social Movements, Body & Health, and Workplace & Family) and under each are links to in-depth essays on numerous related topics. The Resource Library is extensive, with lists of books and articles, links to historical resources and archives, interactive timelines, and film clips, each arranged by the broad topics. Click! is a featured exhibit of Clio Visualizing History which is dedicated to creating innovative online history exhibits designed to attract students and educators and appeal to a wide public audience.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/15/2017
Photos of the Week from THE ATLANTIC
Founded in Boston in 1857 as a literary and cultural commentary magazine, The Atlantic is known to be "a lively literary periodical with a moderate worldview", according to Britannica. Each week The Atlantic publishes 35 newsworthy photos from around the world on its website. The week ending February 10th featured "Long Horn Miao in China, a super catch in the Super Bowl, whales stranded in New Zealand, a banana-eating camel, an oil spill on an Indian shoreline, tornadoes wreak havoc in New Orleans, 'adult wrapping' therapy in Japan, and much more." And you can't miss the picture of former President Barack Obama kite surfing, which is picture 1! Click on the "More Photos" button after the last picture to view "photos of the week" back to May 2014. And see also photos arranged in categories including Animals, Art, Europe, Environment, People, Photojournalism, Science, Sports, and more. Enjoy!
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/8/2017
The Gallery's collection of American art includes nearly 400 works by African-American artists. This online tour offers commentary on a selection of twenty-three paintings, works on paper, and sculpture ranging from a still-life painting by Robert Seldon Duncanson to modern and contemporary pieces by Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Alma Thomas, Sam Gilliam, Barkley Hendricks, Willie Cole, Kara Walker, and Lorna Simpson.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/1/2017
Graphiq Search is a database of more than 10 billion authoritative, live-updating, and embeddable charts, diagrams and graphs known as "visualizations". These visualizations are drawn from a vast repository of data from authoritative public and private sources such as Pew Research Center, The Associated Press, Kaiser Foundation, and U.S. government agencies and offices. The homepage displays curated, trending visualizations directly from Graphiq Feed. This page will change as news breaks, and you'll be alerted on the page when there are new visualizations to display. The visualizations are organized into categories called "beats" and include Last 24 Hours, U.S., Politics, Business Headlines, Entertainment Headlines, and several sports leagues including the NFL and MLB. Create a free account to open up access to the complete visualizations library and to customize your "beats". Once you have an account you can also embed visualizations on the web, including Haiku (Lillian and I played around with embedding in Haiku and the the Copy button didn't work for us, but you can just manually select and copy the code). Graphiq Search is endorsed by Hearst Newspapers, The Huffington Post, Sports Illustrated, MarketWatch, Aol, Time, International Business Times, and Fortune and is used by journalists all over the world to enrich their work.
For a quick tutorial, click here
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/25/2017
Introducing The Daily 360 from The New York Times
Each day The New York Times features a short interactive video from the day's news that puts you, the viewer, at the center of the scene, allowing you to look left, right, up, down and behind you. Recent Daily 360 videos have taken viewers into the aftermath of a deadly tornado in Hattiesburg, MS, into the paleolithic-era Lascaux caves, on a tour of Trump's childhood home, to a rehearsal of the Alvin Ailey Dancers, and on a mission to track poachers of rhinos in India. Links to related articles are provided for many of the videos. Scroll down the page to find a selection of recent videos categorized by World, U.S., Politics, Culture, Sports, NY Region, Travel, and more. Explore other video channels of The New York Times through the pull-down list in the upper left corner (including Op-Docs, Opinion, Times Documentaries, Technology, Health, Food, Science, and more)
Where Can You Watch The Daily 360?
Desktop: Find The Daily 360 on your computer at nytimes.com/thedaily360. Click the video to begin playing. Then, click and drag your mouse around the video to explore your surroundings.
Phone: If you have an iPhone or Android phone, find The Daily 360 at nytimes.com/thedaily360 or in the NYTimes app. Tap the video to begin playing. To explore your surroundings, move your phone around or swipe your finger left and right over the screen. If you don't have the app, download it here: iPhone | Android
Tablet: Navigate to nytimes.com/thedaily360. Tap the video to begin playing. Move your tablet around or swipe your finger to see more. 360 videos do not currently appear in NYTimes tablet apps.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/18/2017
Honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., our site today is
National Museum of African American History: The newest Smithsonian museum
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
Scroll through the homepage or click on the thumbnail menu in the top left corner for links to information on visiting the museum, exploring the collections, membership and mobile apps, educational resources, the museum calendar, as well as a keyword search option. Follow the link Explore Full Collection to browse the collection by topic, by date or era, by name, by object type and by place. The museum is new and growing, and we can expect the resources available on the website to expand as well. Enjoy your virtual visit!
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/11/2017
TEENAGERS IN THE TIMES comes to us from The New York Times Learning Network
TEENAGERS IN THE TIMES is a "monthly roundup of the news and feature stories about young people that have recently appeared across sections of NYTimes.com...These teen-centric articles can be catalysts for discussions, debates, persuasive essays, research projects and even creative projects—like our Year in Rap Student Contest..." Each month's issue includes a lesson plan and an activity sheet. This month's issue was released last Friday (1/6/17) and contains articles from December 2016 arranged in the following categories: Civics, Politics, Government, Economics and Business (Sample article, The Teen's Guide to the Trump Presidency); Education (Sample article, To Boost the Economy, Help Students First); Science, Health, Technology and Sports (Sample article, What Do Teenagers Want? Potted Plant Parents); and Arts, Media and Culture (Sample article, An App Combats Bullying, One Anonymous Compliment at a Time). And for back issues ofTEENAGERS IN THE TIMES, click here
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/4/2017
Welcome back! and Happy New Year.
Here is a gallery of National Geographic's 52 best images of the year—curated from 91 photographers, 107 stories, and 2,290,225 photographs. Included with each photo is a link back to the article in which the photo originally appeared.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/7/2016
Follow Santa with Google's Santa Tracker!
For 12 years, Google's Santa Tracker has been a fun, educational and interactive way for fans to celebrate the holiday season. The experience starts with the opening of Santa's Village on December 1st. As we countdown to Santa's departure, the village unlocks new games and experiences that allow visitors to practice basic coding skills, exercise their geography knowledge, learn different languages and get to know more about charitable educational organizations. Teachers can even download lesson plans to help teach their students about holiday traditions from around the world. On December 24, the Tracker goes live allowing Santa fans worldwide to follow his progress on desktop web, mobile web (Android/iOS), Android app, Android TV app and Chromecast.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/7/2016
"December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy..."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
From the Naval History and Heritage Command, an official U.S. Navy web site
In the early morning of Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, over three hundred Japanese warplanes attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, virtually destroying the Pacific fleet and resulting in the deaths of more than 2400 Americans and over 1100 wounded. On Dec. 8, the United States declared war on Japan and within days, had entered World War II. The NHHC website presents a variety of resources including remembrances, oral histories, survivors reports; photos; artifacts; action reports from various vessels; and a series of video sound bites from NHHC historian Robert J. Cressman answering questions about the attack on Pearl Harbor and its historical impact.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/30/2016
Touch Pianist is a musical toy / instrument that allows the user to perform hard-to-play classical piano music favorites (from composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Satie, Debussy to name a few) just by tapping the rhythm of the piece's particular sound events on a computer keyboard or a touch screen. It also provides live visualisation of the pieces that are being performed. There is no score keeping, the user is free to perform the music in any way they wish. The user can also learn the pieces by watching iPad performance videos on the Touch Pianist YouTube channel.
The app works in a web-browser (controlled by the computer keyboard) and it also has iOS and Android versions (controlled by the touch screen). Touch screen controls have more expression capabilities since the user can actually choose to play the notes louder or softer by controlling the location of their touches on the screen. The browser version works best with Google Chrome. Also runs well with Safari and Firefox. The iOS version is free with IAPs for additional pieces and is compatible with iOS v7 and up.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/16/2016
Watching America Discover What the World Thinks of U.S.
From the "About Us" page
WatchingAmerica reflects global opinion about the United States, helping Americans and non-Americans alike understand what the world thinks of current issues that involve the U.S. This is done by providing news and views about the United States published in other countries.
It is not our purpose to find favorable or unfavorable content, but to reflect as accurately as possible how others perceive the richest and most powerful country in the world. We have no political agenda.
WatchingAmerica makes available in English articles written about the U.S. by foreigners, often for foreign audiences, and often in other languages. Since WatchingAmerica offers its own translations, regular users of our site will enjoy articles not available in English anywhere else. We are a unique window into world opinion.
In addition, by integrating the latest translation technology into the site, visitors are able to surf all of the content of foreign-language news outlets at the push of a button — in English.
The site is updated frequently.
We hope that the insights gained by reading various points of view will help to raise level of debate, open minds, and promote understanding among the people of the world.
If coverage of an issue, on a particular day, surprises or irritates, remember that we are reporting what is out there, and trying to show the fullest range of views. We don't endorse the content presented, or imply anything about the motivation behind or accuracy of the original sources. Watching America does not seek to influence opinion by selective presentation, but sometimes global opinion can be quite polarized. It may, therefore, fall outside the spectrum of debate in the United States or appear one-sided.
Watching America has no affiliation with, nor funding from, any organization or corporation. We intend to cover costs by running ads and receiving donations.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/9/2016
See how newspapers in the USA and around the world announce the news on today's website.
The Newseum in Washington, D.C. is dedicated to the history of news. Every morning, newspapers from around the world voluntarily submit their front pages to the Newseum to be part of Today's Front Pages, which gives visitors an up-close look at the day's news on newspaper front pages from every state, the District of Columbia and countries around the world. View the gallery, or choose the Map view or List view (which you can sort by region). Click on a front page to view a large image that may be printed or saved as pdf, along with a link to the paper's website. The exhibit does not provide daily front pages from previous dates, but maintains an archive chronicling national and international events of historical significance, beginning with the Columbia Space Shuttle explosion on February 2, 2003.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/26/2016
See the International Space Station as it passes over the Waterbury area in the very near future! Discover when you can see it by using NASA's Space Station Tracker
The ISS is the third brightest object in the sky and easy to spot if you know when to look up. Visible to the naked eye, it looks like a fast-moving plane only much higher and traveling thousands of miles an hour faster! Using the Space Station Tracker, simply choose country, state or region, and city to learn when and where sightings are possible in the coming week. The site includes tips on spotting the station, a gallery of photos of earth from the ISS, information about the crew on board, an FAQ page, and more. You can sign up for email or text alerts and share across a variety of social media.
NASA - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration - is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/19/2016
Today's website is one of many "public domain" image collections available on the internet. Read About public domain images at the bottom to understand why it's important to develop the habit of using only "public domain" or "rights cleared" images in your projects, Haiku pages, social media posts, blogs, etc.
About public domain images
Just because an image is "freely available" on the internet and is easy to copy doesn't mean you can use it legally. A public domain image is one whose copyright has expired or never existed in the first place. These images can be used by almost anyone for personal and commercial purposes. There are lots of great sites of public domain images, including Wikimedia Commons, Flickr Commons and many more. And don't forget, our Taft Library subscription database Encyclopedia Britannica ImageQuest is awesome, with over three million images "rights cleared" for educational use from 60 leading collections such as The Bridgeman Art Gallery, Dorling Kindersley Images, Getty Images, Ingram Publishing, the National Geographic Society, the Natural History Museum, and others.
And if you're still not convinced, read one blogger's experience here: Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don't Own on Your Blog
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/12/2016
It's Nobel Prize season!
On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace - the Nobel Prizes. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden's central bank) established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Between 1901 and 2015, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 573 times to 900 laureates (prizes may be awarded and divided between a maximum of 3 persons). All 2016 prizes have been announced in recent weeks except for the Literature prize which will be announced tomorrow. Nobelprize.org is the official web site and here you will find information for every Nobel Prize since 1901, including the Nobel Laureates' biographies, Nobel Lectures, interviews, photos, articles, video clips, press releases, educational games and more.
Some interesting Nobel Prize facts
- The youngest person to receive a Nobel Prize is Malala Yousafzai, 17 - The Nobel Peace Prize 2014
- The oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize is Leonid Hurwicz, 90 - The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences 2007
- 48 women have won a Nobel Prize including
- Marie Curie who won twice: Physics 1903 and Chemistry 1911, and her daughter who won the Chemistry Prize in 1935
- Two Nobel Laureates declined the prize:
- Jean Paul Sartre who declined all honors and Le Duc Tho who was awarded the Peace Prize with Henry Kissinger
- for negotiating the Vietnam peace accord
- Adolf Hitler forced 3 German Nobel Laureates to decline the prize (1938-1939)
- Three Nobel Laureates were under arrest at the time of the award of the Nobel Prize, all of them Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
Visit the site for more!
The 2016 awards ceremonies will be held December 10, 2016.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/5/2016
Election Day 2016 (November 8th) is less than 5 weeks away!
Inform yourself on the candidates' positions 2016 Presidential Election from ProCon.org
Go to ProCon.org's 2016 Election site for reliable information on where the 4 candidates currently stand on 75 issues. Click on a candidate or scroll down to the list of issues and candidate statements. You can click on Compare Candidate Positions Side-by-Side for a quick view of where they are on the issues. And you can take the candidate matching quiz to see which candidate most accurately reflects your views on the issues. Interesting supplementary material includes Did you know? (little known Presidential facts); an article presenting the physiological differences in the brains of liberals and conservatives; candidate finances; How to Become the U.S. President; and for fun, the Top 10 Most Surprising Things in the 2016 Presidential Candidates' Online Stores (doesn't everyone want a Ted Cruz Limited Edition Christmas sweater?). There's much more on this informative and fascinating site!
"ProCon.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nonpartisan public charity that provides well-sourced pro, con, and related research on more than 50 controversial issues, from gun control and death penalty to illegal immigration and alternative energy. With more than 12,000 pages of highly curated, referenced content, ProCon.org provides a platform for people to question information, evaluate opposing views, and debate them in a respectful way."
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/21/2016
Next Monday night's debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump is probably the most anticipated in U. S. presidential debate history. For a history of presidential debates since 1988, visit today's site:
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization has sponsored all of the debates since 1988 when they took over from the League of Women Voters. Video and transcripts for each debate since 1988 is hosted on the site, as well as coverage from earlier debates as available. And don't miss the guides for hosting your own debate and hosting your own DebateWatch.
Monday's debate, moderated by Lester Holt of NBC News, will be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, starts at 9pm ET and it will run for 90 minutes uninterrupted. The format calls for six 15-minute time segments. Two 15-minute segments will focus on each of the following topics (subject to possible changes because of news developments):
- America's Direction
- Achieving Prosperity
- Securing America
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/14/2016
For all of you new to Taft, welcome to Wednesday's Website where we feature an interesting, educational, fun, or unusual website. You can view the Wednesday Websites archive by going to theLibrary homepage and clicking on Useful Links in the red menu bar. Hope you'll enjoy our picks and if you know of a site you think would make a good WW, just let me know.
Today's website is our traditional 1st of the new school year. In the words of Mr. Taft, "Non ut sibi..." The Greater Good Network where "no good action is too small"!
It only takes a few seconds each day to help people, animals, and the planet! Your click on any of the CLICK TO GIVE websites in the banner at the top of the website prompts advertisers to donate to the GreaterGood network, which since its launch in 1999 has contributed more than $30 million to charities. Shopping at each site's fair trade store generates even more. So bookmark this page and click each day to help feed the hungry, put books in the hands of children, preserve acres of rainforest, provide therapy for autistic children, give meals for veterans, provide free mammograms, improve child health, support our veterans, provide funding for Alzheimer's and diabetes research, and feed homeless animals. Choose one cause or click through all 9. After you click to give to one of the charities and get the "thank you" message, you can follow the "see results" link to see how your clicks really do make a difference. And you can connect with Greater Good Network on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. There's a lot of advertising but, remember, those companies are the actual donors.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/25/2016
Congratulations and Best Wishes to the Class of 2016!
Here's one just for you! 42 College Tips I Learned Freshman Year from the great site www.CollegeInfoGeek.com which defines college as "a concentrated dose of resources and opportunities that becomes what you make of it."
And our last website of the year is for everyone...
The Internet Movie Database is a great place to keep up with movie releases, and there are lots coming out this summer! Find them all (with links to trailers) by month and week of release.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/19/2016
Editorial cartoonists have been having a field day with this presidential campaign season! Here's a place to enjoy all their work in one place! Association of American Editorial Cartoonists
Editorial cartoons are also known as political cartoons, and their purpose is to relay a political or social message relating to current events. The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists is a professional association concerned with promoting "the interests of staff, freelance and student editorial cartoonists in the United States." And the Association's website is a treasure trove of political cartoons from years past up to this very day. Scroll through today's cartoons, browse by current popular topics or by cartoonists. There is also an advanced search that enables keyword searching along with several limiters (member type, cartoonist by name and by year). And, teachers, the AAEC Cartoons for the Classroom program (see link in left sidebar) is designed to aid educators at all levels in teaching history, economics, social studies and current events. There are currently more than 300 downloadable lessons in the AAEC library as well as a page dedicated to "History through Toons". (U. S. History students, you'll find lots of good stuff here too!)
Please note: All cartoons on the website are protected by copyright so they may not be publicly shared without permission, but you may freely link to any cartoon on the website (permalinks are available) or email a cartoon to a friend.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/11/2016
The online home for visual arts from all around the world.
An ongoing project, WikiArt's "primary goal is to make world's art accessible to anyone and anywhere." It currently features some 150,000 artworks by 2,500 artists from the classical to modern periods in museums, universities, town halls, and other civic buildings of more than 70 countries. Most of the art is not on public view. Images in the collection are of works in both the public domain and those protected by copyright. A copyright notice warns users that protected images are for instructional purposes only and should not be copied or downloaded. Artists can be browsed A-Z, by art movement, school or group, genre, nationality, or century. Artworks can be browsed by style, genre, or technique. Artist pages include brief biographies, links to Wikipedia articles (when available), and links to individual artworks which can be enlarged for detail and viewed as a slideshow. Pages for individual artworks include the name of the artist, the completion date, style, and genre. Available in 5 languages and, of course, you can post to various social media platforms. This is a visual treat!
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/4/2016
Here's a really fun educational site that everyone can enjoy!
Increase your vocabulary by playing Vocabulary.com's The Challenge, an interactive game of more than 40,000 multiple choice questions in which the user is asked to define a series of words. The site uses a proprietary technology called Adaptive Vocabulary Instruction (AVI) , so everything users do on the site adds to the AVI model. It's been described as having a personal trainer monitoring your work and suggesting new exercises to challenge you at your level. Many of the questions are based on quotations from books (I had one from The Hunger Games and another from The Other Wes Moore). Another cool function of Vocabulary.com is the dictionary which is actually linked to the user's progress in The Challenge. Every word looked up is added to the user's learning queue. Sign-up is easy with your Google or FB account, and teachers, you can create classes and use ready-made lists or create your own.
The site offers over 500,000 special vocabulary lists in the following categories:
- Test Prep (for ex: The New SAT: Multiple Meaning Words, Some Helpful Poetry Terms, Similes from Top AP English Exam Novels,30 GRE Words Beginning with "A")
- Morphology & Roots (for ex: Latin Roots, Sensational Suffixes -ify and -ology)
- Literature (for ex: vocab from Silas Marner, Freakonomics, The Tempest, Red Queen, and more)
- Historical Documents (for ex: vocab from The Bill of Rights, MLK's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", Declaration of the Rights of Women (1791), Lee Surrenders to Grant (1865), Thoreau's Civil Disobedience (1849), and more)
- Speeches (for ex: vocab from Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech (1775), Lincoln's Inaugural Address (1861), President Bush's Address on 9/11, President Obama's 2015 State of the Union address, and most recently, Donald Trump's Address on Foreign Policy (4/27/16))
- Just for Fun (for ex: vocab from "Hamilton" Act One, 75 words from Bob Dylan lyrics in honor of his 75th birthday coming up on 5/24/16, Least Presidential Vocabulary Used by Presidential Candidates during the GOP Debate (Sept. 16, 2015))
- News (for ex: vocab from the 9th Democratic Debate on 4/14/16, the 11th Republican Debate on 3/3/16, Prince and David Bowie Tribute Lists)
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/27/2016
Fans of the English language (and Scrabble enthusiasts), have we got a site for you!
The Phrontistery is dedicated to expanding the study and enjoyment of English words and wordplay through the medium of the Internet. Explore the Dictionary of Obscure Words (aka the International House of Logorrhea) with over 17,000 unique entries (with only a very few exceptions, every one is found in at least one major dictionary), 40 topical word lists under Glossaries, a Compendium of Lost Words which contains over 400 of the rarest modern words, and a variety of English language resources, including Short Scrabble Words. Having fun reading about the quirky lipograms. (According to online Free Dictionary a lipogram is a story, poem, or other text in which one or more letters of the alphabet have been deliberately avoided.) The Phronistery comes from Steve Chrisomalis who teaches linguistic anthropology at Wayne State University. In addition to his fascination with the English language,his academic research focuses on numbers, numeration systems, and the anthropology of mathematics, with a specific focus on the different symbolic notations for numbers, which he explores in the Numerals and Numeration pages of the site. Have fun!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/20/2016
FedFlix, hosted by the Internet Archive, is a collection of over 8000 films produced by the U. S. government during the 20th Century on a wide range of topics from training films to history to flat-out propaganda, from Cold War civil defense to the space program to WW II to the war on drugs. And all of these films are available for reuse without any restrictions whatsoever, which means, among other things, that teachers can upload them to Haiku pages and students can use them in class presentations. The collection is searchable and and several download options are offered for each film. FedFlix is a joint venture with the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) in cooperation with Public.Resource.Org and other government agencies including the National Archives.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/13/2016
In honor of National Library Week, come visit your Library!
And also check out The Digital Public Library of America
The free, non-profit national digital library
Launched in April 2013 with 2 million digital "objects" held in libraries, archives, and museums across the United States , the DPLA has grown to more than 11 million digitized photos, videos, audio, books, and periodicals! All can be searched, and your search results can be refined by a number of categories including format, owning institution, date, language, and location. In addition to searching, you can browse by place and time, as well as subjects (sorted either A-Z or by number of results). Explore the map and discover objects related to your birthplace, for instance. Browse the timeline by year or search it to get results from across the years. Search the Bookshelf for over 2 million books and periodicals. There are lots of interesting online exhibitions which you U.S. History students may find relevant when you are researching.. And U.S. history teachers, under the Education tab, you'll find many useful primary source sets. The DPLA is free for all, and in addition, you can create an account where you can save searches and items and create playlists for your own use or to share with others via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. The DPLA is a joint partnership of 29 institutions currently, including the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the HathiTrust, Mountain West Digital Library, ARTStor, New York Public Library, Internet Archive, Harvard, the U.S. Government Printing Office, Univ. of Virginia, and more. It's a national treasure!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/6/2016
Celebrate National Poetry Month with Poetry 180
A poem a day for American high schools
Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003, writes, "Poetry can and should be an important part of our daily lives. Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed." To that end, Collins has selected 180 poems especially for high school students, and since "a poem will live or die depending on how it is read", don't miss the video of Mr. Collins talking about how to read a poem, and some basic tips on reading poetry aloud. Read more about our current and past Poet Laureates and their poetry projects here.
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/30/2016
Here's a fun one for our first week back...
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/2/2016
The award-winning website Discovering American Women's History Online provides access to digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States. These diverse collections range from Ancestral Pueblo pottery to interviews with women engineers from the 1970s.The database offers the following features: detailed descriptions and links to more than 700 digital collections; quick access to basic and advanced searches on every page; options for browsing by subject (300+ entries), place, time period, and primary source type; options for narrowing search results by subject, time period, place, and primary source type; and RSS feeds alert users to new records in the database. A recent addition is an interactive map that links more than 500 locations (towns, schools, buildings) with relevant online primary sources.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/24/2016
Both educational and inspirational, Explore.org creates a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others..."
Since 1989, the Annenberg Foundation has given over $69 million to over 300 non-profit organizations worldwide! These organizations run the gamut from education and youth development, arts and culture, civic and community life, and health and human services to animal services and the environment. One of the foundation's initiatives, explore.org is a multimedia organization that uses film and photography to document the great work being done by the people who have dedicated their lives to these extraordinary causes and non-profit organizations. Follow Charles Annenberg Weingarten and his explore team as they travel the world to meet these leaders and identify potential grant recipients. Watch the Live Cams, Films, and view collections of Photos of the following and so much more: African animal families; bald eagle nesting; Bali; avalanche rescue dogs; schoolchildren in AnWu, China; a Buddhist debate; panda bears; African dancers; coal miners in W. Virginia; rescue puppies, kittens and even big cats. Read the exploreblog to stay up to date on the latest stories. Follow explore on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud and Tumblr
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/17/2016
Documenting Life in America during the Great Depression
In an effort to garner support for government programs initiated by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression, the United States government hired photographers to document the poverty that gripped the nation. Legendary photographers Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Gordon Parks, and many others took some 170,000 photographs, and the collection has resided in the Library of Congress for many decades. Recently a team at Yale University has created a searchable archive to improve access to this remarkable collection. You may search through the images by keyword, photographer, time frame, and geographically (by state and county). In addition are two interactive maps, one plotting the photographs geographically down to the county level, and one which plots each photographer's journey around the country. Photogrammar takes you on a fascinating journey through a unique decade in American history.
For more information on the collection, see Documenting America 1935-1943: The Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photo Collection
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/10/2016
February is Black History Month
"We recognize these champions of justice and the sacrifices they made to bring us to this point, we honor the contributions of African-Americans since our country's beginning, and we recommit to reaching for a day when no person is judged by anything but the content of their character."
President Barack Obama, January 29, 2016
THE BLACK PAST: Remembered & Reclaimed
The "Google" of African American history
These materials include an online encyclopedia of nearly 3,000 entries, the complete transcript of nearly 300 speeches by African Americans, other people of African ancestry, and those concerned about race, given between 1789 and 2012, over 140 full text primary documents, bibliographies, timelines and six gateway pages with links to digital archive collections, African and African American museums and research centers, genealogical research websites, and more than 200 other website resources on African American and global African history. Additionally, 100 major African American museums and research centers and over 400 other website resources on black history are also linked to the website, as are nine bibliographies listing more than 5,000 major books categorized by author, title, subject, and date of publication. It also features a Perspectives Online Magazine which features commentary of important but little known events in black history often written by the individuals who participated in or witnessed them. To date more than 100 articles have appeared. The compilation and concentration of these diverse resources allows BlackPast.org to serve as the "Google" of African American history.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/28/2016
Here at Taft we're very fortunate to have a dedicated and talented food service staff providing tasty and nutritious choices every day!
For information on choosing what to put on your plate, visit THE NUTRITION SOURCE
Launched in 2001 by the Department of Nutrition at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source aims to provide timely, evidence-based information on diet and nutrition for clinicians, allied health professionals, and the public. Expert faculty from the Department of Nutrition and other invited experts review all content before it is posted on the site, and all content is re-reviewed regularly, so you can be confident that you're getting the most current information. Educate yourself by spending a few minutes at The Nutrition Source where you'll learn about these and more:
- Healthy Eating Plate ...Designed to address deficiencies in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s MyPlate... The Healthy Eating Plate provides detailed guidance, in a simple format, to help people make the best eating choices.
- Sustainable Eating As one article put it, "There may be no other single human activity that has a bigger impact on the planet than the raising of livestock."
- Disease Prevention Many chronic diseases are preventable, as they're linked to poor diet and lifestyle choices including tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and inadequate physical activity.
- Recipes for cooking at home — whether for yourself, or your friends and family — as well as recipes for larger food service operations.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/20/2016
Honoring his memory The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in the Digital Public Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America, launched in 2013, contains millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. In recognition of MLK Day, follow our link to view thousands of still and moving images, text items, sound and physical objects relating to Dr. King. The results list may be refined by format, contributing institution, partner, ate, language, location, and subject.)
The success of the Montgomery bus boycott catapulted King into the national spotlight. In February 1957, Time featured his portrait on its cover and published an in-depth profile describing the twenty-eight-year-old pastor as "one of the nation's remarkable leaders." The article declared that "King reached beyond lawbooks and writs, beyond violence and threats, to win his people—and challenge all people––with a spiritual force that aspired even to ending prejudice in man's mind." When asked about the inspiration for his actions, King replied, "The spirit of passive resistance came to me from the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. The techniques of execution came from Gandhi."
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/13/2016
Google has partnered with hundreds of museums, cultural institutions, and archives in "an effort to make important cultural material available and accessible to everyone and to digitally preserve it to educate and inspire future generations." The Cultural Institute includes the Google Art Project, which features high-resolution images of artworks from museums in over 40 countries; the Historic Moments Project, which chronicles significant moments in human history; the World Wonders Project, which presents three-dimensional recreations of world heritage sites; and archival exhibitions, many in partnership with museums around the world. Visitors can search for or browse artworks, landmarks and world heritage sites, as well as digital exhibitions that tell the stories behind the archives of cultural institutions across the globe. Save personal favorites in your own galleries, and visit other user galleries too.
Not sure where to start? The Mental Floss magazine website suggests 15 of the Best Pages from the Google Cultural Institute
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/6/2016
Here's a fun way to acquire some new knowledge for the new year! Highbrow.com
"In just 5 minutes, we hope to make you just a little more knowledgeable than you were the day before...
The idea of Highbrow first came to us when we felt like there was a huge knowledge gap between what we were learning from the media and real textbook knowledge. And like most modern people, we found ourselves constantly too busy or distracted to invest the time or money to learn about something new in-depth." With Highbrow, you simply register your email address for a free account to access courses in art, health, history, literature, logic, nature, philosophy, productivity, psychology, and science. Each course is delivered via email over 10 consecutive days in segments that are "digestible in just 5 minutes". At the end of the course, you can choose to take a quiz to test your knowledge. To access your profile and start a new course simply click on "manage subscription" at the bottom of any of Highbrow's emails. You may only subscribe to one course at a time "because we want you to form a good daily habit and not tire your brain out".
If you do sign up for this neat free site, the initial emails will probably get snagged by Barracuda so you'll need to go in and whitelist them.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/16/2015
Since 1955, NORAD* (and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command) have tracked Santa's Christmas Eve flight using radar, satellites, and yes, fighter jets! Have fun following the holiday countdown and exploring the site which includes games, movies, music, stories, and gift shop. Track Santa's progress around the world starting at 12am on Dec. 24 on the website or on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ - just type "@noradsanta" into each search engine to get started. And of course, you can download the official apps to your smartphone. Available in eight languages.
* North American Aerospace Defense Command whose mission is to protect the U.S. and Canada against missile attacks
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/9/2015
As we head into exams, we want to study hard, eat well, get enough sleep, AND take time to relax and rest those weary brains. Lots of soothing activities are available right here on campus over the coming week, but if you just can't get there, try these...
DoYogaWithMe.com is a constantly expanding resource of online yoga videos created by a passionate group of experienced instructors. Our yoga videos include classes, poses, breathing techniques and anatomy videos. Also check out the free guided meditations, visualizations and relaxations. And it's all FREE!
Calm.com is a relaxation therapy/meditation website. Select a 2, 5, 10, 15 or 20 minute session, and then choose either a guided meditation or timed only (with the serene soundtrack of nature). Choose your preferred nature scene and click "I'm ready". Sit back and let the peace wash over you. And of course there's also a mobile app available from Apple and Google Play so you can take it on the road.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/2/2015
A picture is worth a thousand words...Images of Change from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 leaders of over 190 nations are meeting in Paris at the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in an effort to save our planet from the devastating effects of climate change and related stressors. NASA's noteworthy website Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. presents Images of Change, a gallery of more than 300 "images of different locations on planet Earth, showing change over time periods ranging from centuries to days. Some of these effects are related to climate change, some are not. Some document the effects of urbanization, or the ravage of natural hazards such as fires and floods. All show our planet in a state of flux." Browse through all the images, or pick from the following categories: cities, extreme events, ice, human impact, water, land cover, top picks. Images can be downloaded enabling you to zoom in for a closer look. Look at specific regions or continents with Map View.
For more information:
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/18/2015
The people of Paris are much on our minds in the aftermath of the terror attacks. Visit this week's site to see the City of Light through the lens of a more peaceful time.
Jules Gervais-Courtellemont (1863-1931) was an early master of color photography, and is arguably most famous for color pictures documenting World War I. "Renowned for his precise composition, attention to detail, and painterly use of light and color, Gervais-Courtellemont became a photographer for National Geographic...In January 1923, he photographed landmarks and scenes throughout Paris, a city experiencing a period of economic growth and optimism following the end of World War I." These photos are sublime.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/11/2015
In honor of our veterans, please take a few minutes today to listen to stories of some of those who have served our country as recorded by StoryCorps: Military Voices
The military community knows well the challenges of multiple deployments, combat-injuries, and long-awaited homecomings. Yet few civilians truly understand the complex realities of our troops' service and sacrifice. The Military Voices Initiative provides a platform for veterans, service members, and military families to share their stories. In doing so we honor their voices, amplify their experiences, and let them know that we—as a nation—are listening...StoryCorps' mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/4/2015
With the end of Daylight Saving Time last weekend, night is falling earlier than ever. Looking at the bright side though, this provides us with many opportunities to view the wonders of the night sky. See more incredible views from all over the world at today's website.
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day
Each day since June 1995 NASA has featured a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe on its APOD website, accompanied by a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. The archive which is fully searchable contains the largest collection of annotated astronomical images on the internet. Follow APOD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. There are also apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
And as an extra special feature relating to APOD, take a few minutes to view the remarkable time-lapse video by photographer Luke Taylor titled Once in a Blue Moon documenting the rise of the Full Blue Moon over New South Wales in Australia on July 31st of this year. This video is made up of 1038 frames and is slowed down to as close to real time as possible. Guaranteed to take your breath away.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/28/2014
With today's dreary weather, we definitely need the beautiful pictures of National Geographic!
National Geographic has been known for its photographs since its very first issue was published in 1888. And we can enjoy the bounty of exceptional pictures anytime we want! From the Photo of the Day feature to tips from professional photographers, NatGeo's Photography webpage offers much to both professionals and amateur photographers alike. You can enter the 2015 Photo Contest (deadline Nov. 16) or just view the entries. Browse the Photo of the Day by categories (animals, nature and weather, landscapes, and more) or by month. Read the online photography journal PROOF which "showcases the voices of National Geographic photographers and editors to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the visual storytelling process." Or join the Your Shot community and "go on assignment"; NG editors will pick their favorites and turn them into stories which are published. And the pros share their expertise in Photographers on Photography.
Create a free account to access more articles per month or come to the Library where you may borrow back issues (all but the most recent issue may be checked out). And we also subscribe to the National Geographic Virtual Library database, which you can access from the Library homepage under the Databases tab.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/21/2014
The Learning Network of the New York Times
Challenge yourself (grown-ups too!) with any of the 150 free downloadable curriculum-based crossword puzzles. "Each one is written by Times crossword master Frank Longo, and each comes with links to the answers and to more Times and Learning Network content on the topic." Subject areas include American History, Civics, Economics, Fine Arts, Geography, Global History, Health, Journalism, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology, and miscellaneous topics (sports and games, holidays and seasons, skills and learning. And if Sudoku is more up your alley, that's also available free, as is KenKen and Set. Materials on The Learning Network are free to all. Check it out; it offers a multitude of excellent teaching and learning materials.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/14/2015
We are very honored that MUDBOUND author Hillary Jordan will be spending the day with us tomorrow.
Through the characters of Laura and Henry; Ronsel and Jamie; and Florence and Hap, Ms. Jordan has brought to life the shocking realities of racism that have permeated more than a century of American life. Bringing this era visually into focus is today's website:
"Using Objects of Intolerance to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice"
David Pilgrim was a young teen in Alabama when he purchased his first piece of "racist garbage", a piece he hated so much he promptly smashed it on the ground. His collection now numbers in the thousands and is largest public collection of artifacts spanning the segregation era, from Reconstruction until the civil rights movement, and beyond to the presidency of Barack Obama. Housed in a "gleaming new exhibit hall" on the campus of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan where Dr. Pilgrim now serves as Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, the museum's mission is to use "objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice".
As Pilgrim says, "I am a garbage collector, racist garbage. For three decades I have collected items that defame and belittle Africans and their American descendants...I collect this garbage because I believe, and know to be true, that items of intolerance can be used to teach tolerance."
"...Jim Crow was more than a series of 'Whites Only' signs. It was a way of life that approximated a racial caste system... Jim Crow laws and etiquette were aided by millions of material objects that portrayed blacks as laughable, detestable inferiors...Living under Jim Crow meant battling shame."
"Most of the objects 'are anti-black caricatures, everyday objects or they are segregationist memorabilia,' he said. Because they represent a cruel, inflammatory past, they 'should either be in a garbage can or a museum.'"
Please make every effort to explore the museum website. And also read about the museum at NPR's All Things Considered
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/7/2015
News from the Deep Web VOCATIV
Did you know that the overwhelming majority of the Internet isn't searchable by typical search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing? This vast area is called the Deep Web. Vocativ uses exclusive technology to search and monitor the Deep Web to spot breaking news quickly, and discover stories that otherwise might not be told.
"Often we know what we're looking for, such as witnesses near the front lines of a conflict or data related to an emerging political movement. We also uncover unexpected information, like pro-gun publications giving away assault rifles to fans of their Facebook pages. Vocativ is highly visual with a heavy emphasis on data visualizations, original video and short documentaries... Content is heavily distributed across digital platforms, and our videos air on MSNBC."
Vocativ is headquartered in New York City and employs dozens of journalists, producers, data analysts, engineers, designers, and developers.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/30/2015
Open Culture's mission is to scour the internet for free high-quality cultural and educational media, and make it all easily accessible in one place. You'll find hundreds of ebooks and audio books, online courses from the world's leading universities (Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford, etc), textbooks, movies, and language lessons in 48 languages. And it's all FREE! Subscribe to the news feed and sign up for daily emails. Get the smart phone apps. Follow on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. Open Culture makes it so easy to be a lifelong learner! Note: there's advertising directly above the content on each page; just scroll below it to get to the amazing Open Culture content.
Some of the major resource collections include:
- 1150 Free Online Courses from Top Universities
- 725 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.
- 700 Free Audio Books
- 700 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices
- 800 MOOCs from Great Universities (Many With Certificates)
- Lessons in 48 Languages: In addition to French, Spanish, etc, you'll find Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, and more
- 200 Free Educational Resources for K-12 students: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites, and more
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/23/2015
Feed a hungry person each time you play FreeRice
The award-winning FreeRice is a multiple-choice game from the United Nations World Food Programme, the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. When you play, each correct answer prompts sponsors to donate 10 grains of rice to be distributed through the WFP. Since its founding in 2007, FreeRice has raised enough rice to feed millions of people. Sign up and you can track your totals (and, of course, you can share your success on Facebook and Twitter, and even create groups). You don't have to register to play (although over a million people have).
Play the basic English Vocabulary game (there are 60 - yes, 60! - increasingly difficult levels of vocabulary with over 12,000 words) or choose one of the following subject areas:
- Humanities (Famous Paintings, Literature, World Hunger, Famous Quotations)
- English Grammar
- Math (Multiplication, Basic Math / Pre-Algebra)
- Chemistry (Chemical Symbols/Full List, Chemical Symbols/Basic List)
- Languages (German, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin)
- Geography (World Landmarks, Identify Countries on the Map, World Capitals, Flags of the World)
- Sciences (Human Anatomy)
- and last, but certainly not least, SAT test preparation!
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/16/2015
Today's website is our traditional 1st of the new school year. In the words of Mr. Taft, "Non ut sibi..."
It only takes a few seconds each day to help people, animals, and the planet!
Can you spare a few seconds each day? Your click on any of the CLICK TO GIVE websites in the banner at the top of the website prompts advertisers to donate to the GreaterGood network, which since its launch in 1999 has contributed more than $30 million to charities. Shopping at each site's fair trade store generates even more. So bookmark this page and click each day to help feed the hungry, put books in the hands of children, preserve acres of rainforest, provide therapy for autistic children, give meals for veterans, provide free mammograms, improve child health, support our veterans, and feed homeless animals. Choose one cause or click through all 9. After you click to give to one of the charities and get the "thank you" message, you can follow the "see results" link to see how your clicks really do make a difference.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/20/2015
Nothing says SUMMER like going to the movies! 29 movies are being released between now and late July. Get the previews here!
Congratulations to the Class of 2015!
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/13/2015
Musicians and non-musicians alike will enjoy today's site OddMusic.com
"Oddmusic provides a space where instrument makers, artists and musicians can showcase their inventions and creations, as well as links to other interesting sound and music sites that offer a wealth of information and sound oriented content...Oddmusic is home to unique, odd, ethnic, experimental and unusual musical instruments and resources. Tour the Gallery, see in-depth sections featuring artisans who blazed new trails or are on the cutting edge of new and previously unheard musical instruments. Look, listen, and explore music and musical instruments that aren't part of the mainstream... From gourd music to electronic odysseys, harp guitars to industrial insects, from beautiful, to bizarre, to just plain wacky. New, unique innovations, along with heavily modified hybrids of instruments once formally known as guitars, basses, keyboards, drums, wind and stringed instruments...Our goal is to help provide a space to awe and inspire, share knowledge, and hopefully provide a spark in the imaginations of children and adults of all ages...Give your eyes and ears a treat. Feed your imagination at Oddmusic!"
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/6/2015
Take a break from all the pressure with Calm.com
Calm.com is a relaxation therapy/meditation website. Select a 2, 5, 10, 15 or 20 minute session, and then choose either a guided meditation or timed only (with the serene soundtrack of nature). Choose your preferred nature scene and click "I'm ready". Sit back and let the peace wash over you. And of course there's also a mobile appl available from Apple and Google Play so you can take it on the road.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/29/2015
The ICDL is a free digital collection of over 4600 outstanding children's books from around the world. Created for children ages 3-13, the collection's focus is on books that help children understand the world around them and the global society in which they live. Most books are in copyright and were selected by experts in children's literature from the country in which the books were published. All books are presented in their original language (currently 59 different languages are represented). Various search options are available and designed for easy use by children, such as the simple search feature's fun graphical interface to browse by age group, length of book, type of book (ie picture books) and more. Users can also search award winners as well as books from different countries by spinning the interactive globe. Registering is optional, but users who register can select the language they prefer to use, return to the last page they were reading, save their favorite books in a personal bookshelf, and access these features from any computer. Apps are available for both iPhone and iPad.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/22/2015
In honor of today, EARTH DAY, today's site is the Earth Observatory from NASA* where every day is Earth Day
The Earth Observatory's mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about the environment, Earth systems, and climate that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and models.
*United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/8/2015
Looking for great eBook deals? Join the 5 million subscribers who use the free service BookBub!
"BookBub is a free daily email that notifies you about deep discounts on acclaimed ebooks. You choose the types you'd like to get notified about — with categories ranging from mysteries to cookbooks — and we send great deals in those genres to your inbox.
BookBub doesn't actually sell books. We simply alert you by email to fantastic limited-time offers that become available on retailers like Amazon's Kindle store, Barnes & Noble's Nook store, Apple's iBookstore, and others. Book publishers offer deals at these sites for promotional purposes, and our staff works with them to determine the best ones to feature to our members.
BookBub features ebooks ranging from top-tier publishers to critically acclaimed independent authors. Our team of experts makes sure that we're only featuring great deals on quality books that you'll love.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/1/2015
April is National Poetry Month! The Favorite Poem Project
Founded in 1997 by Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, the Favorite Poem Project is "dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry's role in Americans' lives. During the one-year open call for submissions, 18,000 Americans wrote to the project volunteering to share their favorite poems — Americans from ages 5 to 97, from every state, representing a range of occupations, kinds of education, and backgrounds...The collection of 50 short video documentaries showcases individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love. The videos...are a permanent part of the Library of Congress archive of recorded poetry and literature." Teachers, there's a special area for you detailing summer poetry institutes, providing lesson plan ideas, including poetry across disciplines. Enjoy exploring today's wonderful site!
The Favorite Poem Project represents a partnership among The Poetry Foundation, Boston University, the Library of Congress, and other organizations, with original funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/4/2015
March is Women's History Month!
Visit the National Women's History Museum
Last December, the National Women's History Museum announced Congressional approval of legislation calling for the creation of a privately funded, bipartisan congressional commission to study and produce a plan for a national women's history museum in the nation's capital, a museum that researches, collects and exhibits the contributions of women to the social, cultural, economic and political life of our nation in a context of world history. Until the time that a physical museum exists, the NWHM is essentially a virtual museum with online exhibitions, including the following:
- Game Changers: American Women and Sports
- Chinese American Women: A History of Resilience and Resistance
- Claiming Their Citizenship: African American Women from 1624-2009
- Partners in Winning the War: Women in WWII
- Reforming Their World: Women in the Progressive Era
- Clandestine Women: Spies in American History
You'll also find a vast collection of educational resources: activities (self-guided walking tours), a biography database (browse by name and category), lesson plans, videos and so much more. Learn about building the museum and how you can get involved in any number of ways. Follow NWHM on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/25/2015
Do you know about TEEN INK?
The nation's oldest and largest magazine and companion website written by teens for teens!
For over 25 years, Teen Ink has offered teens the opportunity to publish their creative writing, reviews (books, movies, music, colleges), art, photos, and opinions on issues that affect their lives – everything from love and family to school, current events, and self-esteem. Hundreds of thousands of students, aged 13 -19, have submitted their work and more than 55,000 teens have been published in the magazine and thousands more online. They offer online writing classes and contests too. Teen Ink is published by the Young Authors Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization devoted to helping teens share their own voices. All proceeds from the print magazine, website and Teen Ink books are used exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.
The Library has 3 years of back issues of the magazine in the Reading Room.
We circulate our back issues so borrow some and explore TEEN INK for yourself!
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/11/2015
Escape winter in Watertown with a visit to today's website! Arounder
Arounder is a free online travel magazine offering a vast collection of Quicktime virtual reality panoramas of cities and sights (including museums, natural paradises, UNESCO sites, and more) in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Ocenia, and even the moon and the planet Mars! You can explore 360 degrees of each image using the simple navigation tools that appear at the bottom of every image. And every panarama can be expanded to full screen. Share via Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Google+, email, and many other social media outlets. Arounder is produced by VRWAY Communication, a Swiss media company that is a world leader in virtual reality photography. So visit Arounder and see the world!
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/4/2015
February is African American History Month
A joint project of The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, this website honoring the struggles and achievements of generations of African-Americans offers a trove of fascinating materials. There are digital exhibits and collections galore (categories include Art & Design, Baseball, Civil Rights, Culture & Folklife, Military, Music & Performing Arts, and more), images, and audio/video materials (including webcasts, music, poetry and literature recordings). For teachers, browse ready-to-use lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids. There are treasures enough here for the entire month of February. Enjoy exploring!
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/28/2015
Tired of checking through different internet video providers to find if a movie or TV show is streaming or available to rent? Try CanIStream.It?
Selected by Time Magazine as one of their top sites of 2014, CanIStream. It is a free service that allow you to search across iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, and other streaming, rental, and purchase services to find where a movie is available. Sign up for a free account to create a list of movies and set up reminders. CanIStream.It will send you an email when your chosen service makes the movie available. And of course there are mobile apps!
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/21/2015
In honor of Dr. King's memory, today's site tells the story of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in 19 landmark photographs
"During the early 20th century in Southern states, racial segregation was the norm, and blacks had limited opportunities. But the 1950s brought forces to bear that would launch a powerful civil rights campaign. Black soldiers who had fought in the war beside whites came home expecting to work beside them. The black media flourished, spreading news of injustice. Black lawyers chipped away at legal justifications for segregation. And black students, at times disobeying their parents, planned demonstrations. Ministers saw a religious context to the civil rights struggle. Among them, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., a gifted orator who had been influenced by India's Mahatma Gandhi in his belief in nonviolent protest, rose quickly to lead the movement. It was a movement of children and adults, preachers and lawyers, sharecroppers and presidents. They all felt a sense of urgency, a sense that, no matter what, they could not turn back." The site comes from the U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Information.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/14/2015
Without a doubt the finest newsreel archive in the world, British Pathé has produced almost 90,000 newsreels and documentaries (3500 hours) throughout most of the 20th century (1896-1976 and beyond). It's a goldmine of footage on major historical events, fashion trends, travel, sport, and culture. Get a birds-eye view of such historic events as the first flight of the Wright Brothers (1903), the Battle of the Somme in WWI (1916), the Hindenburg airship crash in New Jersey (1937), the London Blitz in WWII (1940), Yuri Gargarin becoming the First Man in Space (1961), and Martin Luther King delivering his "I Have A Dream" speech (1963). And also videos of weird cultural events like the 8Foot Tall Woman (1927) and the Zombie Caught on Film? (1954). You can search by keyword or browse various categories, programmes, and galleries. In April 2014, British Pathé uploaded their entire archive to YouTube. In addition to the playlists, you'll find channels dedicated to War Archives, Vintage Fashions, and Sporting History. Have fun with these two related sites!
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/7/2015If you need statistics on countries and world issues, you need NationMaster
NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from hundreds of sources such as the CIA World Factbook and the UN, using the most up-to-date information available (be aware that it takes time to conduct, collect, publish and collate statistics, so don't be alarmed if you see some from years past). You'll find tables, maps, graphs and pie charts of data on 305 countries, 43 country groups, and 5037 categories. The menu bar enables quick searching of broad categories, countries A-Z, top stats (such as disposable income, poverty, education spending, internet usage, etc.), and country groups (such as densely populated countries, failed states, emerging markets, and more). There's also a keyword search field as well as a print option. You can compare any 2 countries and create graphs for almost any statistic. NationMaster receives high praise from respected news organizations including BBC World, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, the London Telegraph, and The New York Times.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/17/2014
Since 1955, NORAD* (and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command) have tracked Santa's Christmas Eve flight using radar, satellites, and yes, fighter jets! Have fun following the holiday countdown and exploring the site which includes games, movies, music, stories, and gift shop. Track Santa's progress around the world starting at 12am on Dec. 24 on the website or on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ - just type "@noradsanta" into each search engine to get started. And of course, you can download the official apps to your smartphone. Available in eight languages.
* North American Aerospace Defense Command whose mission is to protect the U.S. and Canada against missile attacks
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/10/2014
In keeping with the theme of charitable giving, this week's website is Philanthropedia
Pick the cause with your heart and the organization with your mind.
Philanthropedia's vision is to inspire everyone to give with impact and improve nonprofit effectiveness. They enlist experts (foundation professionals, academics, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, policy makers, and other professionals) to rate verified, financially responsible charities according to the quality of their work so that you can donate to the organizations having the most impact. Currently, 3121 experts have participated, providing reviews on 767 top nonprofits across 47 international, national, and local causes, as well as disaster relief. You can also search for organizations by name. Use the guidelines in their Guide to Better Giving to increase the impact of your gifts. Read and subscribe to their blog. Philanthropedia is a division of GuideStar, which gathers and disseminates information about every IRS-registered.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/3/2014
Today's site came in very handy the other day when I needed to speak to a living, breathing human being at Fast Lane Massachusetts!
When you need a problem-solving human on the phone, defy the phone maze and go straight to GetHuman.com where you'll find the best phone numbers for over 8000 companies in 45 countries. This cool site tells you how to circumvent the frustrating corporate "phone maze", how to have a company call you instead, best live and instant chat options, and more. And, of course, there are apps for Apple and Android devices, so you'll always have GetHuman when you need it.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/19/2014
"Turn a Quote into a Masterpiece" with ReciteThis.com
Pick a quote from any of the twenty categories provided (art, dreams, friendship, leadership, peace, work, and more) or enter one of your own, select a template by scrolling through the gallery, click "create" and voila, you have created a gorgeous image to print and post in your room, classroom, or office. You can also paste it into an online presentation or Haiku. The finished product can also be posted to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Stumbleupon and/or downloaded. A permalink is also available. My only gripe is that it doesn't credit the person who authored the quote. You can manually add it but can't format it to appear below the quote. Still it's a fun site. (The quote below is Henry David Thoreau, by the way.)
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/12/2014
Our site this week honors all of our country's veterans: Veterans History Project
Created by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Clinton on Oct. 27, 2000, "The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans [from WWI to the present] so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war." These accounts are searchable by keyword and you can limit your search to the conflict, branch of service, gender, type of material (audio, photo, etc), whether POW, if in the Digitized Collection. You may also browse by name, by war and military branch, by state of residence, or by race/ethnicity. Visit the special collectionWorld War I Remembered 100 Years Later, where you may read written accounts and view photographs of "The Great War" in which over 4 million men and women served in the United States military. Learn how you can participate in the project, whether you are a veteran, an interviewer of a veteran, or a person donating a veteran's collection. The American Folklife Center is a divison of the Library of Congress.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/5/2014
Ebates is the pioneer and leader of online Cash Back Shopping. The company was founded in 1998 by two Deputy District Attorneys in Silicon Valley who used to prosecute online fraud & identity theft before starting Ebates (so you can be sure we are very into secure online transactions!). So go ahead, sign up and start shopping now. Joining Ebates is always free - you'll never pay us anything. It's so easy: just search for the store you want to purchase from, then click on the store link and it will set up a tracking code. Once you have visited the online store from Ebates, you have thirty days to purchase what you want. And four times a year or more, we'll mail you a Big Fat Check, or transfer the money to your PayPal account if you'd prefer. We can even send the money to your favorite charity. All 100% free. Over 1700 stores are now participating and Ebates has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. If you want to explore Ebates before signing up, just close the "Join Free & Pick Your Bonus" pop-up window when you get there (in close button is in the lower right corner).
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/29/2014
The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. All of the audio has been hand-picked by established audio curators who come from all over the world, and have a wide range of experience with good music. They include freeform radio stations, netlabels, artist collectives, performance spaces, and concert organizers. Browse by curator and by genre (Blues, Classical, Country, etc). Site visitors can can set up their own accounts, make profiles, become friends with other listeners, create and share mixes of FMA music, and write posts on a their personal blogs. Listeners can also show their appreciation to FMA artists by adding them as favorites or even "tipping" them directly through the site. Every MP3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by copyright laws that were not designed for the digital era. And if you have any questions about how to legally use the music you find on the Free Music Archive, just go to Frequently Asked Questions where it's all clearly explained.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/22/2014
In follow-up to Ms. Cindy Pierce's important presentations this week, today we're featuring a valuable resource that is available through the Library: TEEN HEALTH AND WELLNESS REAL LIFE, REAL ANSWERS
THW is an award-winning, critically acclaimed online database that provides teens with nonjudgmental and straightforward self-help information and support on all kinds of topics: diseases, drugs, alcohol, nutrition, mental health, suicide, bullying, green living, financial literacy, and more. One of the great features is access to 24/7 hotlines and help lines for concerns about alcohol and drugs, depression, eating disorders, stress and anxiety, sexuality, and many more. Read real-life personal stories by teens who have successfully dealt with or have overcome challenges including academic anxiety, having an alcoholic parent, bullying, divorce, eating disorders, grief and loss, body image, break-ups and moving on, scoliosis, self-esteem and self-image, volunteering and activism in THW's Personal Story Project. All content is strictly reviewed and updated regularly by leading professionals in medicine, mental health, nutrition, guidance, and career counseling. And mobile apps are available, of course!
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/8/2014
Need a sound effect? Head directly to FindSounds.com
FindSounds.com is essentially a search engine like Google or Yahoo but for finding sound effects on the web. You'll find a huge selection of sound files here; everything from animals to musical instruments to explosions, tool sounds, and even hiccups! Just enter any word or phrase in the search box and then follow the links from your result list. It provides powerful features yet is simple and easy to use, and suitable for all ages (audio files containing obscenities are filtered out so this site is safe for children). In addition to English, you can search FindSounds in German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/1/2014
Yesterday our esteemed speaker Nikoo McGoldrick urged us all to beware of "white-washing" by the U.S. news media. Today's site will enable us all to become better informed citizens of the world.
The WWW Virtual Library International Affairs Resources
News Resources: You'll find a wealth of international news resources on this page, including search engines, gateways, and aggregators, directories of news sources as well as individual news resources with global coverage. Among the resources here you'll find:
World News Network-Highly-rated gateway to a very large number of World News Network online news sources worldwide (including specialized ones), by region, country, and topics of coverage, plus search capabilities for news items in many languages.
Big Project: From the UK, a large Internet directory of English-language newspapers worldwide.
Al Jazeera: "International news channel with over sixty bureaus around the world that span six different continents," with headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Recognized for its reporting on less-covered regions and topics.
The WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is a frequently updated Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics. These sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online. Each website is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in details of its contents and features.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/24/2014
The 1979 revolution was the first Islamic revolution of modern history and American photojournalist David Burnett was there.
Photography by David Burnett
Burnett was one of few Westerners who remained in Iran to document the revolution. In powerful images that were extensively published in Time Magazine (and ultimately in a book by the same title), he captured the fall of the U.S. supported monarchy and the establishment of the rule of Islamic law. He has won numerous awards for his work including Magazine Photographer of the Year from the National Press Photographers Association and the Robert Capa Gold Medal.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/17/2014
Today's featured website is the StartSpot Network
The editorial board of the StartSpot Network (which is comprised of BookSpot, HeadlineSpot, GovSpot, GiveSpot, LibrarySpot,ShoppingSpot, PeopleSpot, and other "Spots") carefully evaluates and selects the best, most relevant and most interesting online resources for a topic, then organizes the information to make it easily accessible. The sites have received a total of more than 100 awards and honors, including "Top 100 Web Site" from PC Magazine, "Best Reference Site" from Forbes.com and "Top 100 Web Sites for Families" from Family PC. This will become one of your favorite bookmarked sites for sure!
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/10/2014
Most Wednesdays while school is in session we share an informative, educational, or just-for-fun website.
Hope you enjoy our choices! And please feel free to suggest a website for inclusion.
In support of our school motto "Not to be served, but to serve", today's website is our traditional 1st of the new school year:
It only takes a few seconds to make a difference.
Can you spare 8 seconds each day? Your click on any of the CLICK TO GIVE websites prompts advertisers to donate to the GreaterGood network, which since its launch in 1999 has contributed more than $30 million to charities. Shopping at each site's fair trade store generates even more. So bookmark it and click each day to help feed the hungry, put books in the hands of children, preserve acres of rainforest, provide therapy for autistic children, give meals for veterans, provide free mammograms, improve child health, and feed homeless animals. Choose one cause or click through all 8. You can find the "click results" for each charity under About Us.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/21/2014
Go to Rate My Study Abroad to discover the programs recommended by students
Created by students, RateMyStudyAbroad.com is committed to being the best source for high-quality student reviews of 9000+ study abroad programs in 87 countries. It has partnered with GoAbroad.com, the world's largest online directory of study abroad programs, which means every abroad program appears on RateMyStudyAbroad for students to review, and every RateMyStudyAbroad review appears on GoAbroad.com for students to read. RateMyStudyAbroad.com is committed to being advertising-free so they are not beholden to any program providers, universities or companies profiting from study abroad.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/14/2014
If you love to cook and/or you love to eat, you'll love today's site, Food411
Food411 is "a unique editorial food resource directory for everything on the Web related to gourmet food finds, online food shopping; ingredients, recipes, regional specialties, food blogs, unique food gifts, and meals delivered. Each and every resource has been carefully reviewed and hand-selected." Bon appetit!
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/7/2014
Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can't. CarbonFund.org
Yesterday the White House released the National Climate Assessment report which said that evidence of human-made climate change "continues to strengthen" and that "Americans are noticing changes all around them." The report, which is commissioned by Congress, written by a federal advisory committee, and signed off on by 13 science agencies, is the flagship federal report on climate change.
We must never give up working to save our planet. Carbonfund.org helps individuals and businesses understand climate change and develop practical and cost-effective solutions to slow, stop and reduce our climate crisis. Browse their site for information on how to reduce what you can and offset what you can't. Find tips for greening your car, your travel, your home, your wedding, your office, your life, and more.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/30/2014
Time to escape with Google Street View Treks!
Visit wonders of the natural world including the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, and more. Tour cultural and historical wonders including the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, the Eiffel Tower, and Venice where you can travel by foot or gondola. Accompany a climbing expedition up Mt. Everest! Google Street View now covers all 7 continents of the world (and in fact, the GSV car was spotted heading up Route 6 towards Taft last fall!). Enjoy your travels!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/23/2014
Yesterday was EARTH DAY! Reduce Your Impact, Improve Your Health!
Jerry Reveron and his great crew in the Dining Service offer Earth-friendly and health-smart choices everyday!
"The Environmental Working Group's Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change + Health can help you green your diet. It provides useful information about the climate, environmental and health impact of your protein choices. We hope it also inspires you to advocate for public policies that will make our food system healthier for our bodies and the planet, since improving our personal food choices is just one part of the solution." You can download the Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change + Health in pdf for your own personal reference too.
If everyone in the US abstained from eating meat or cheese just 1 day a week over a year,
it would be like driving 91 billion fewer miles or taking 7.6 million vehicles off the road
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/16/2014
It's National Library Week, so today's site is the World Digital Library
Take a fascinating tour through the cultural history of the human race!
A joint project by UNESCO, the Library of Congress, and partner libraries, archives, and other institutions from around the world, the WDL provides free access to more than 10,000 cultural treasures, including books, journals, manuscripts, maps, prints and photographs, films, and sound recordings. Browse items by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or search by keyword. The interface is available in several languages. Special features include interactive geographic clusters, a timeline, advanced image-viewing and interpretive capabilities. Item-level descriptions and interviews with curators about featured items provide additional information.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/9/2014
"A treasure-trove of English-language poets reading their own work"
"Poetry was an oral art form before it became textual. . . Hearing a poet reading his or her work remains uniquely illuminating. It helps us to understand the work as well as helping us to enjoy it. When a poet dies without making a recording, a precious resource is lost forever and as time goes by that loss is felt more and more keenly. ...The Poetry Archive has, therefore, been created to make sure that such omissions never happen again and that everyone has a chance to hear major poets reading their work."
In addition to new recordings of contemporary poets especially commissioned for the Archive, The Poetry Archive contains recordings of W. H. Auden, Anne Sexton, T. S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, E. E. Cummings, Allen Ginsberg, William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, Elizabeth Bishop, and Dylan Thomas - to name just a few. There are even several very rare recordings from the late 19th century of poems read by Tennyson, Kipling and Browning (who can be heard forgetting his own lines!). Also included are a number of video interviews with contemporary poets. Teachers will find useful materials for teaching poetry in the classroom and students will find background materials that enhance their study of poetry. Site tools include searching or browsing for poets by name and for poems by title, theme, or form, and a glossary of poetic terms. You can sign up for your own personal archive where you can save favorite poets and poems. Check out the Links to the most useful poetry resources online. And don't miss the Children's Poetry Archive where you'll "meet old favourites and make new discoveries". Happy Poetry Month!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/2/2014
April is NATIONAL POETRY MONTH
Celebrate by Creating Some of Your Own!
From the folks who bring us those fun magnetic poetry kits for our refrigerators comes Magnetic Poetry Online with six different poetry kits: Original Kit, Poet Kit, Love Kit, Mustache Poet, Nature Poet, and Geek. And also Kids Magnetic Poetry Online. Want more words for your poems? Just click on the "More Words" button. Have fun creating original poetry (and you can also create an account to save and share your poems, even - not surprisingly - on Facebook).
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/5/2014
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME begins at 2am on Sunday, March 9 ~ SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK
An idea originally conceived by Ben Franklin, Daylight Saving Time is the subject of this online exhibit from WebExhibits, an interactive, online museum of science and culture. Learn about "the history of daylight saving (or as some may say, daylight shifting), the standardization of time, and when regions around the globe spring ahead and fall back." Don't miss "incidents and anecdotes" about the impact of DST "on a wide variety of unexpected areas--from Middle East terrorism to feuding twin cities, voter turnout to time-change riots, radio stations to trick-or-treaters, and opera performances to manslaughter charges." This exhibit can be viewed in traditional page view, or the new "node" view which displays the information in little floating "clouds".
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/27/2014
A LandSat Perspective
A series of Landsat satellites have imaged the Earth's surface for nearly thirty years, providing data for applications in business, science, education, government, and national security. In this ebook freely available online in PDF from NASA, Earth's aesthetic beauty is celebrated in 75 stunning images from the Terra, Landsat 5, Landsat 7, EO-1, and Aqua satellites. Sensors on these satellites can measure light outside of the visible range, so the images show more than what is visible to the naked eye...The beauty of Earth is clear, and the artistry ranges from the surreal to the sublime.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/19/2014
The Ancient Olympic Games from Olympic.org
Each night finds many of us glued to the television watching highlights of the day's Olympic events in Sochi without a thought to the remarkable heritage of the games. What is now a 2 week spectacle of sport began in 776 BC as a one-day event, which over the subsequent 12 centuries grew to multiple days with many events before being banned by the Roman Emperor Theodosius in 393 AD. Read more about the ancient games on the official website of the Olympic Movement, Olympic.org, and then enjoy exploring the many other features on the website: the sports, the athletes, photos and videos from current and past Olympic Games, and more.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/12/2014
Explore the African-American experience through the works of poets past and present on these complementary websites. Familiar names such as Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Paul Laurence Dunbar are here, as are many who may be less familiar. Read out loud with friends, read quietly to yourself, and listen to audio clips of poets reciting their own works. And there's ample supplementary material on both sites including biographies, essays, articles, and video content.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/5/2014
Snow is falling from Wyoming to Maine today so we're all about snow! Learn 20 Things You Didn't Know About...SNOW from Discover magazine
Want to know more? Read all about Snow Science, Snow and Climate, Snow Ecology (snow and its relationship with plants and animals), and Snow and People at the National Snow and Ice Data Center's Introduction to Snow.
And now, create your own snowflake at Snow Days where people around the world have created nearly 12 million virtual snowflakes in the past 10 years! Simply click and drag to cut out your snowflake, and simultaneously view your progress in the preview window. Don't like the cut you just made? Just click Undo. Or start over by clicking Reset. Click Done to save and post your flake.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/29/2014
EB's ImageQuest contains approximately three million rights-cleared images in all subject areas and from over 50 of the best collections in the world, including:
- British Library
- National Geographic Society
- National Portrait Gallery, London
- Natural History Museum, London
- Bridgman Art Library
- DK Images
- Royal Geographical Society
All of the images are rights-cleared for non-commercial, educational use so you don't need to worry about copyright infringement. The images are perfect for use on teacher Haiku pages as well as student projects. They may also be used for school publications such as web sites, newspapers, flyers, and bulletins. Browse by subject or collection, or search using your own keywords. Add selected images to your Lightbox (Note: these images are cleared when you exit; they are not saved for future use). Copyright and technical information are provided for each image as are bibliographic citations (in MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard styles). And all images may be printed, downloaded or emailed.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/22/2014
It's so bitterly cold outside today, it's a good day for something that warms the heart.
A.A. Milne was born this week in 1882. In honor of the Winnie-the-Pooh creator's birthday, click on the link for these oh-so-wise quotes from a "bear of very little brain" and his friends.
From The Huffington Post: 14 Heartbreakingly Adorable Quotes From Winnie-The-Pooh
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/15/2014
"Though photo manipulation has become more common in the age of digital cameras and image editing software, it actually dates back almost as far as the invention of photography. Gathered [here] is an overview of some of the more notable instances of photo manipulation in history. For recent years, an exhaustive inventory of every photo manipulation would be nearly impossible, so we focus here on the instances that have been most controversial or notorious, or ones that raise the most interesting ethical questions." Clicking the thumbnail image will enlarge it, and clicking it a second time will return you to the homepage. This gallery comes from the image authentication and forensics company Fourandsix Technologies. Fascinating!
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/11/2013
Just how well do you know the world's geography? Seterra Online Map Quizes are fun (and challenging) for testing your knowledge! And free!
Find countries, capitals, cities, states, districts, provinces, territories, and regions in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australasia, as well as the world's islands, mountains and volcanoes, and seas and lakes. Our link takes us to the English language page, but you can go to Seterra's homepage (link below) to quiz yourself in other languages. Good luck! (And, students, good luck on your exams!)
Seterra runs in pretty much any browser: Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Safari or Chrome. You can run it on Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iPhone or iPad. There is also an ad-free, downloadable version for Windows.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/4/2013
As the end of term approaches, remember to take a few minutes each day to PLAY. And when you play FreeRice you're also helping to feed the hungry.
The award-winning FreeRice is a multiple-choice game from the United Nations World Food Program, the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. When you play, each correct answer prompts sponsors to donate 10 grains of rice that is distributed through the WFP. Since its founding in 2007, FreeRice has raised enough rice to feed millions of people. Sign up and you can track your totals (and, of course, you can share your success on Facebook and Twitter, and even create groups). You don't have to register to play (although over a million people have).
- Play the basic English Vocabulary game (there are 60 - yes, sixty! - levels increasing in difficulty) or choose one of the following subject areas:
- Humanities (Famous Paintings, Literature, World Hunger, Famous Quotations)
- English Grammar
- Math (Multiplication, Basic Math / Pre-Algebra)
- Chemistry (Chemical Symbols/Full List, Chemical Symbols/Basic List)
- Languages (German, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin)
- Geography (World Landmarks, Identify Countries on the Map, World Capitals, Flags of the World)
- Sciences (Human Anatomy)
- and last, but certainly not least, SAT test preparation!
"With over 2 billion people active online today, imagine what we could achieve if we all took time to 'rice up' against hunger?"
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/20/2013
Our featured site today is our Subscription Database Naxos Music Library
Please note our subscription allows for 5 simultaneous users, so remember to click the button at the top of the screen when you are finished to ensure that you clear your connection. If usage warrants we will consider increasing this number.
Naxos Music Library is the world´s largest online classical music library. Currently, it offers streaming access to more than 90,060 CDs with more than 1,310,800 tracks, standard and rare repertoire. Over 800 new CDs are added to the library every month. The library offers the complete Naxos and Marco Polo catalogues plus the complete catalogues or selected titles from over 378 classical, jazz and world music labels with more labels joining every month. Classic pop and rock music as well as Chinese orchestral music are also represented. NML can be accessed from any computer, anywhere, anytime. With the new iPhone / iPod Touch App / Android App subscribers can also access the service on the go.
The contents can be searched by composer, work, genre and label; by keyword search and by a sophisticated advanced search engine with up to 11 combined search criteria. In addition to allowing subscribers to listen to recordings, NML provides liner notes for most recordings. Listeners can create personalized playlists or use predefined Naxos Music Library playlists.
Furthermore, a vast array of background information is available. Resources include:
- Audio book transcriptions about the history of classical music and opera with listening examples.
- Libretti and synopses of over 700 operas.
- A pronunciation guide for composer and artist names.
- A glossary.
- An overview of important musical terms
- Work analyses and
- Work details with instrumentation, publishers, duration, work information and available recordings.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/13/2013
The Phillipines has been ravaged by one of the strongest storms to make landfall in recorded history. How can we help?
By sending money, not goods. (Remember, your old Nikes may thrill a child, but if his father sells shoes in the local market, it can undermine the father's ability to reestablish his business.*)
Go to Liam Stack and Robert Mackey's blog entry How to Help Philippines Typhoon Victims on The New York Times website.
*Humanitaritan aid worker Jessica Alexander, "Please Don't Send Your Old Shoes to the Philippines"
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/6/2013
It's Farm Day at Taft, and so you probably won't be seeing any giant pandas here. But you can virtually visit the panda family at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. anytime by going to THE PANDA CAM
There are actually 2 panda cams and as I write, momma and her baby girl are napping. Pandas are fascinating and beautiful animals, and you get an up-close look at their daily life and habits by checking in periodically. Follow the link provided to read more about this fascinating creature. In addition, the zoo has a number of other animal cams including orangutans, tigers (and tiger cubs), octopus, lions, Amazon River fish, and even a microscope cam to reveal the unseen world (limited hours for this one though). You'll find the link to "View All Cams" below the panda cams. Enjoy your visit to the National Zoo!
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/30/2013
This week I deviate from the routine to feature one of our recently added databases NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VIRTUAL ARCHIVE
Who doesn't love National Geographic! Even if only for the extraordinary pictures that have enthralled us for years. The NGVA contains the complete archive of this wonderful magazine since the first issue was published in 1888. Coverage is described as being current although the most recent issue in the database is Sept 2013 while we have the Nov. 2013 issue on the shelf in the Library. You can browse issues simply by clicking on the thumbnail image, or you can do simple keyword searchs. Using the advanced search feature enables you to limit by content type (such as feature articles or magazine covers) and image type (graph or drawing for instance) and publication date. Images are also searchable separately using description and image type limiters (for example, cartoon, map, painting, photograph, etc). You can generate graphs that show how often your search terms have shown up over the years. Articles can be emailed or printed and sample citations are provided. Open a personal account so you can save your favorite articles and create tags of search terms. Enjoy!!
Find the National Geographic Virtual Archive under Databases at the top of The Taft Library homepage
And in the Library Reading Room, you can find our bound volumes of NG from 1915 through June 2013
and print copies beginning with July 2013.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/23/2013
What a boon the internet is to us "lifelong learners"! Check out COURSERA
Coursera "envision[s] a future where everyone has access to a world-class education...that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in."
Coursera is an education company that partners with 92 of the top universities and organizations in the world to offer free courses online for anyone to take. "When you take one of our classes, you will watch lectures taught by world-class professors, learn at your own pace, test your knowledge, and reinforce concepts through interactive exercises." There are almost 500 courses in over 20 categories, spanning the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others. U.S. partners include Berklee College of Music, Brown, Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, UMichigan, Princeton, Stanford, UPenn, Wesleyan and Yale, and Icahn School of Medicine (formerly Mt. Sinai School of Medicine). International partners include Ecole Centrale Paris, Hong Kong Univ. of Science and Technology, Peking University, Tel Aviv University, Universities of Amsterdam, Copenhagan, Edinburgh, Geneva, London, Melbourne, and Toronto as well as many others. Also participating are the American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art, The World Bank and Exploratorium (a museum of science, art, and human perception in San Francisco).
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/16/2013
As Dr.Suzuki reminded us so eloquently last week, we must put our planet first to ensure our future! We can do that, in part, by continuing to educate ourselves and this week's website makes it easier to do just that.
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EARTH is an electronic reference about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. The EoE is a free, expert-reviewed collection of nearly 7000 articles contributed by scholars, professionals, educators, practitioners and other experts who collaborate and review each other's work. The content is presented in a style intended to be useful to students, educators, scholars, professionals, as well as to the general public. Navigation is fairly intuitive, content is keyword searchable and may also be browsed via broad subject categories. The site is recommended for their students by librarians and faculty at Princeton, Duke, Middlebury, and University of Michigan among others.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/9/2013
We are very honored to be hosting Dr.David Suzuki at Taft tomorrow. Author of THE LEGACY and one of the world's most renowned environmentalists. Please spend a few minutes today looking at the website of the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit organization incorporated in both his home country Canada and the United States. The Foundation's goal is to "Work towards balancing human needs with the Earth's ability to sustain all life...[and] to find and communicate practical ways to achieve that balance" and to "protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for the future".
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/2/2013
The World's Constitutions to Read, Search and Compare
You can now read, search, and compare 160 constitutions from around the world thanks to Constitute, a website launched last week by Google and the Comparative Constitutions Project. The site has digitized constitutions of 160 countries, making them fully searchable. Browse the constitutions using more than 300 topics like religion, political parties, or civil and political rights, or simply search by year or country. The idea behind the project was to make the world's constitutions easily available to people in countries drafting new constitutions, to give them a chance to see what others have done in the past. It also allows regular citizens to explore their own country's constitution.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/25/2013
In anticipation of Dr. David Suzuki's visit to Taft (October 10), today's site is a trove of valuable information for healthy and sustainable living
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) serves as "a watchdog to see that Americans get straight facts, unfiltered and unspun, so they can make healthier choices and enjoy a cleaner environment…and to promote healthy stewardship of our land and natural resources." To that end, EWG focuses on a number of key issues (consumer products, energy, farming, food, water, and toxins). Peruse the sight for the latest news, information and helpful tips, and then take a look at their informative Consumer Guides including guides to cosmetics, pesticides in produce, cleaning products, sunscreens, bug repellents, safer cell phone use, buying water filters, meat and antibiotics, healthier and more sustainable dairy, and a meat eater's guide to climate change and health (for instance, did you know that if everyone in the US abstained from eating meat or cheese just 1 day a week over a year, it would be like driving 91 billion fewer miles or taking 7.6 million vehicles off the road…we can so do that!)
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/18/2013
It only takes a few seconds to make a difference.
Can you spare 8 seconds each day? Your click on any of the CLICK TO GIVE websites prompts advertisers to donate to the non-profit, tax exempt GreaterGood.org, which since its launch in 1999 has contributed nearly $30 million to charity. Shopping at each site's fair trade store generates even more. So bookmark it and click each day to help feed the hungry, put books in the hands of children, preserve acres of rainforest, provide therapy for autistic children, give meals for veterans, provide free mammograms, improve child health, and feed homeless animals. Choose one cause or click through all 8. See list of charity payouts at http://www.greatergood.org/results.html
See where The Greater Good Network is at work by clicking here http://www.greatergood.org/cause-world.html
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/22/2013
One of the universal joys of summer is going to the movies! Watch trailers for biggest releases of the summer on the IMDB
This is our last website of the school year.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/15/2013
Introducing the Digital Public Library of America
No wonder the DPLA was chosen as one of TIME Magazine's 50 best websites of 2013 - it's amazing! It's essentially a catalog of more than 2 million digital "objects" held in libraries, archives, and museums across the country. All of the text, photos, videos and audio contained in the DPLA can be searched, and your search results can be refined by a number of categories including format, owning institution, date, language, and location. In addition to searching, you can browse by place and time, as well as subjects (sorted either A-Z or by number of results). Explore the map and discover objects related to your birthplace, for instance. Browse the timeline by year or search it to get results from across the years. There are also interesting online exhibitions which some of you U.S. History students will find relevant to your research, so check them out. The DPLA is free for all, and in addition, you can create an account where you can save searches and items and create playlists for your own use or to share with others via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Check out the apps for innovative ways developers are playing with the content; my favorite, Culture Collage "lets you search the DPLA's image archives and view the results as a river of images." The DPLA is a joint partnership of more than a dozen institutions currently, including the Smithsonian, the National Archives, Mountain West Digital Library, New York Public Library, Internet Archive, Harvard, and Univ. of Virginia.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/8/2013
Relieve some of that stress with today's "just for fun" site PicassoHead which is a fun way to create a Picasso-style portrait with a few clicks of a mouse. Start by choosing a head and then add eyes, ears, a nose, and other facial features. Add abstract shapes, colors, make it larger or smaller, rotate or flip it. Don't like that hair you just added? You can delete it and try another style. If you're really creative you can even create a body to go with the head! Browse the Gallery or search it by title and artist. This is a winner from RFI Studios.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/1/2013
Today's website is MIT OpenCourseWare
"The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone."
Dick K. P. Yue, Professor, MIT School of Engineering
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW), is "a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity." This is a great resource for self-improvement and for college students who would like extra guidance through courses at their own institutions. Many students like the reinforcement of studying lecture notes and materials from parallel courses. The content [with materials from 2150 courses] is amazingly rich and can include online textbooks, exams, images and sometimes video or audio clips.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/24/2013
Monday, April 22nd marked the 43rd annual EARTH DAY. Explore Scorecard to learn more about pollution in the U. S.
Scorecard is a valuable resource for information about pollution problems and toxic chemicals in America. Search by zip code to get a pollution report which highlights the worst polluters and pollutants in your county. Discover which pollutants do the most harm to our health and the environment, which areas in the U.S. are the most polluted, and compare pollution in your community with others in the U.S. You can compare communities on environmental justice where you can identify racial or ethnic groups bearing the highest burden of pollution. View rankings of geographic areas or pollution sources by health risks, pollutant exposures or toxic chemical releases. Explore environmental profiles of companies whose chemical release and waste management practices are tracked by major U.S. regulatory programs. Finally, in the left sidebar, you can explore different topics in the areas of toxics, air, water, agricultural, environmental pollution, and health hazards of pollution. Scorecard is sponsored by GoodGuide, the leading source for information on the environmental, health and social impact of consumer products today.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/17/2013
It's National Library Week, so visit the world's most beautiful libraries at BeautifulLibraries.com
A gorgeous website featuring the most beautiful libraries around the world. Browse libraries by type, for instance, English Country House Libraries, Celebrity Home Libraries (see Keith Richards relaxing in his Library below), Royal Libraries, Local Public Libraries, and even Hotel, Cruise Ship and Restaurant Libraries! View Libraries in Film and Libraries in Art, and the sadly also the page featuring Destroyed Libraries (victims of the London Blitz of 1940, the 2011 tsunami in Japan, and other events). And if you'd like to go further, there are also links to books and articles and other relevant sites. Many of these libraries are not open to the public without special permission so enjoy this special site.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/10/2013
Here's a fun site for National Poetry Month.
You know those Magnetic Poetry kits for the refrigerator? Well, now you can play with Magnetic Poetry online! There are 6 different themes to choose from: Original Kit, Poet Kit, Love Kit, Mustache Poet, Nature Poet, and Geek. There's also a kids' area with First Words for the youngest learners and the Kids' Kit. Have fun creating original poetry (and you can create an account to save and share your poems too).
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/3/2013
In honor of National Poetry Month, our site today is the Poetry Foundation
Searching for a poem to send to Ms. Saarnijoki for poem-of-the-day? Look no further than the Poetry Foundation where you can search for poems by category, by occasion, by title, by first line and more. Poets can be searched by name, by birth or death dates, by school or period, and geographically. Find audio/visuals including printable poems "for the fridge" , book arts slideshows, and over a hundred videos (many read by the poet). Take an online poetry tour of Washington, D.C., Chicago, or New York City, Read articles on poets and poetry, and explore the children's poetry page for articles and poems, which can be searched by age appropriateness, and by category. And of course, mobile apps are available for download and you can sign up for a variety of RSS feeds. The Poetry Foundation is "committed to a vigorous presence of poetry in our culture".
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/27/2013
Women's History Month is drawing to a close, but not without a visit to the National Women's Hall of Fame
The National Women's Hall of Fame is the nation's oldest membership organization dedicated to honoring and celebrating the achievements of distinguished American women. It was founded in 1969 in historic Seneca Falls, New York where Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and and 300 others gathered at the first Women's Rights Convention in 1848. The Convention passed the Declaration of Sentiments demanding, among other things, that women have the right to vote. Thus began the struggle for American women's rights. 247 historical or contemporary American women have been inducted into the NWHF based on their importance and enduring value either nationally or internationally. Inductees for 2013 include former First Lady Betty Ford, midwife Ina May Gaskin, jockey Julie Krone (first woman to win the Triple Crown), feminist Kate Millett, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, economist Anna Jacobson Schwartz, and educator Emma Willard. You can view all the inductees, sorting by first name, last name, year born or died or honored, and you may search by keyword, field of achievement, names and dates. Also learn how to nominate a great woman for induction into the NWHF.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/27/2013
Published weekly between 1936 and 1972, LIFE was one of the most popular magazines in America, selling millions of copies each week during its heyday. With its unique emphasis on photojournalism, the magazine earned itself an important place in publishing history, bringing the immediacy of current events into living rooms across America long before televisions became a household fixture. Now, the millions of photographs in the LIFE Photo Archive, many never before published, are available to us through a joint project with Google Images. View a selection of pictures by decade, or search the archive by keyword, by people, places, events, sports, and culture.
*Come see "the real thing" at the Library where we have the complete run of LIFE in bound volumes.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/20/2013
WebMD for Pets is the leading health portal in the U.S., reaching more than 85 million visitors each month, also helps us provide the best care for our furry, four-legged family members. At WebMD's Healthy Pets site, you'll find comprehensive advice on health care, nutrition and feeding, training, and more from the WebMD veterinarians who work in collaboration with the American Veterinary Medical Association. While the site is not a substitute for taking your pet to the vet, you can find answers to all sorts of questions (you can even ask the live-vet-on-duty at WebMD's Pet Health Community), informative slideshows and videos, and other valuable information, including pet food and safety alerts from the FDA and a symptom checker. Your pets will thank you!
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/13/2013
This week's website is chock full of helpful and healthful information to help you keep the food in your kitchen safe and appetizing and to help you cut food bills by avoiding waste and spoilage.
Shelf-Life Advice answers questions about the following:
- the meanings of "use by," "sell by," and other food product dates
- the shelf life of a wide range of edible products before and after they've been opened
- the best ways to store and wrap foods to keep them safe and appealing as long as possible
- the proper temperatures for keeping foods safe and appetizing
- food safety issues related to refrigerator and freezer care, plastics used with foods, preservatives in foods, bacteria, molds, power outages affecting refrigeration, and more
- the "whys" of proper food handling
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/6/2013
February is Black History Month. Honor it with a visit to BLACK HISTORY MILESTONES from History.com
Explore important milestones in African American history from 1619 when slavery was introduced to the North American colonies to the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama on this interactive timeline. Scroll down below the timeline to find related audio and video clips, including Honor Deferred about seven men who belatedly received the Medal of Honor for their heroic service in World War II and Meet Madam CJ Walker, who was the first self-made female millionaire when she died in 1919.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/30/2013
From The Library of Congress collections Origins of American Animation
The development of early American animation is represented by this collection of 21 animated films and 2 fragments, which spans the years 1900 to 1921. The films include clay, puppet, and cut-out animation, as well as pen drawings. They point to a connection between newspaper comic strips and early animated films, as represented by Keeping Up With the Joneses, Krazy Kat, and The Katzenjammer Kids. As well as showing the development of animation, these films also reveal the social attitudes of early twentieth-century America. Search films by keyword, browse by subject, view the list by title or chronologically. All can be viewed in RealMedia, MPEG, and QuickTime formats (the highest quality files are in MPEG format from Motion Picture Experts Group).
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/23/2013
Share Your Dreams The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change
Last year we featured the newly opened Digital Archive of The King Center (see WW Archives under the Library's Useful Links tab) , and this year it's Share Your Dreams, a place where people who have been inspired by the legacy of Dr. King are sharing their dreams. Join the more than 3500 who have shared their dreams for family, for freedom, for peace, for prosperity, for equality and more. Add a Dream, view Dreams by categories, and explore the Dream Map. And while you're at The King Center site, check out the Digital Archive of more than one million documents. "Established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change ("The King Center") has been a global destination, resource center and community institution for over a quarter century. Nearly a million people each year make pilgrimage to the National Historic Site to learn, be inspired and pay their respects to Dr. King's legacy."
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/16/2013
"I Do Solemnly Swear": A Half-Century of Inaugural Images 1853-1905
As we anticipate next week's inauguration of President Obama, take a few minutes to enjoy this online exhibit from the U.S. Senate collection featuring historic engravings of inaugurals of an earlier era. By the mid 19th century advancements in printing and engraving spurred the popularity of weekly newspapers and magazines, allowing even those who couldn't travel to Washington to experience the festivities. From Franklin Pierce's swearing-in during a snowstorm in 1853 to Teddy Roosevelt's inauguration in 1905 (for which he wore a ring containing a lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair), each set of inaugural images and the accompanying story is fascinating. Double-click on the featured image on each page to enlarge it so you can see details such as the Capitol dome still under construction at Lincoln's first inauguration and completed at his second.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/9/2013
The Federal government's "one stop" real-time science data website, which is now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
What is the gas mileage of your car? How much of our state is water covered? Where can you download software that will give atomic precision to your computer's clock? These and many other questions can and have been answered by this week's site. Science.Gov searches over 55 databases and over 2100 selected websites from 13 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information. You can keyword search or browse the index. Explore selected websites by topic. Get the latest science news and view featured websites. Create alerts and Science.gov will automatically update you regarding newly available information in your specific area(s) of interest. It's a collaborative effort of 12 federal agencies including the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, Interior, Transportation, EPA, Library of Congress, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. Check it out!
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/12/2012
Have a very happy holiday, one and all! NORAD Tracks Santa
Since 1955, NORAD* (and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command) have tracked Santa's Christmas Eve flight using radar, satellites, Santa Cams and yes, fighter jets! Explore this fun site, view Santa Cam videos, enjoy the games on the Countdown Calendar, read the Santa legends and FAQ's. Sign up to track Santa's progress starting at 12am on Dec. 24. You can also follow NORAD's Santa Tracking activity on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on your mobile device. And don't miss the back-story under About NORAD which explains why and how the Santa tracker came to be. Available in several languages.
* North American Aerospace Defense Command whose mission is to protect the U.S. and Canada against missile attacks
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/5/2012
Amazing! Yesterday NASA-NOAA released an animation of A night view of Earth created from a composite of satellite images
This new global view and animation of Earth's city lights is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. The data was acquired over nine days in April 2012 and 13 days in October 2012. It took 312 orbits to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth's land surface and islands. Take 30 seconds and watch it!
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/28/2012
Today's site takes us to "where the Internet lives" Google's Data Centers
Google...is there anyone out there who doesn't use it? And most of us have probably never given a thought to who or what's behind it. Now you can take virtual tours of their state-of-the-art facilities around the world and "browse photo albums of the technology, people, and places that keep Google's products running." Along the way you'll learn all kinds of interesting things about Google including their commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of its services. Enjoy your tour!
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/14/2012
November is Native American Heritage Month. Explore the Digital Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian
Part of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the NMAI has one of the most extensive collections of Native American arts and artifacts in the world with more than 825,000 items, including archaeological and ethnographic items, arts, and photographs. The collections span over 12,000 years of history, and over 1,200 historic and contemporary indigenous cultures, representing more than 300 archaeological cultures throughout the Americas. Explore one of the Collection Highlight tours or search the website by Peoples/Cultures, Artists/Individuals, Places, Object Specifics, or use the Advanced Search option.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/7/2012
Congratulations to President Barack Obama! View today's headlines from around the world on our featured site from the Newseum, Today's Front Pages
More than 800 Front Pages from 89 Countries
The Newseum in Washington, D.C. is dedicated to the history of news. Every morning, more than 800 newspapers from around the world voluntarily submit their front pages to the Newseum to be part of Today's Front Pages, which gives visitors an up-close look at the day's news on newspaper front pages from every state, the District of Columbia and countries around the world. View the gallery, or choose the Map view or List view (which you can sort by region). The Top Ten front pages of the day are selected by a different editor each day, and may focus on headlines, photos, innovative design or something else that elevates the front pages above the rest.The exhibit does not provide daily front pages from previous dates, but maintains an archive chronicling national and international events of historical significance, beginning with the Columbia Space Shuttle explosion on February 2, 2003.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/31/2012
August 2011, Hurricane Irene; October 2011,Winter Storm Alfred; October 2012, Hurricane Sandy
350.org "Sandy is what happens when the temperature goes up a degree."
There are many great organizations working to increase awareness of climate change. One of these is 350, which was founded several years ago by environmentalist and author, Bill McKibben, and a team of university friends. The goal of the 350 network is to build a global grassroots movement to raise awareness of climate change and to cut emissions of greenhouse gases in order to slow the rate of global warming. Current membership includes over 200 local climate activist groups in over 188 countries around the world. In addition to McKibben, 350 "Messengers" include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, NASA scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, author Barbara Kingsolver, President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, and Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute. The message is a simple one based upon research by Dr. Hansen: that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. In May 2012 the atmospheric concentration of CO2 "crossed 400ppm on monitors in the "industrialized Northern Hemisphere's Arctic region." What can we do? Go to the website and read on. It will open to a call for action and a request for donations, but you can choose to go right to the homepage.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/24/2012
Election Day will soon be upon us! Let's have some election-related fun with eLECTIONS: Your Adventure in Politics
Inspired by the classic board game "The Game of Life," eLECTIONS is a free, fun, election campaign simulation for one or two players of all ages. Players select a political party, define a platform, and identify key issues. A spin of the virtual wheel takes your candidates on the campaign trail and triggers events – breaking news, lucky breaks, and skeletons in the closet – that need to be managed. This high-speed, broadband adventure uses interactive tools, video clips, rich 3-D animated graphics, fun sound effects, and self-directed interactivity. The game itself involves strategies, decisions and activities that take place in every campaign. In addition, the game is greatly enriched through featured current CNN Student News segments and C-SPAN and HistoryTM archived footage. From Cable in the Classroom, which promotes appropriate use of broadband technology, services and content in education. This should be fun for all!f
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/17/2012
For the student in each of us, our featured website this week is Open Yale Courses
OYC offers free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught in the classroom by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. The lectures are available as downloadable videos, and an audio-only version is also offered. In addition, searchable transcripts of each lecture are provided. The courses are also available on YouTube and iTunes so you can download to your iPad.
As you'll see from the sampling of courses below, all disciplines are represented:
- African American History from Emancipation to the Present
- Fundamentals of Physics
- Introduction to the Old Testament (and companion course introducing the New Testament)
- Roman Architecture
- Financial Markets
- Listening to Music
- The Atmosphere, the Ocean, and Environmental Change
- Introduction to Psychology
- The American Novel since 1945
- Freshman Organic Chemistry
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/10/2012
4 weeks until Election Day…
"The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process." Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson, 1956
In a reprise of a website from campaign season 2008, we feature The Living Room Candidate which contains hundreds of commercials from every presidential election since 1952 "when Madison Avenue advertising executive Rosser Reeves convinced Dwight Eisenhower that short ads played during such popular TV programs as I Love Lucy would reach more voters than any other form of advertising. This innovation had a permanent effect on the way presidential campaigns are run." This fascinating online exhibit from the [ http://www.movingimage.us/ ]Museum of the Moving Image (in Queens, New York - and deserving of a Wed Website feature of its own!) includes a fully searchable database and features commentary, historical background, election results, and navigation organized by year, type of ad, and issue. Register for a free account to save commercials, create playlists, and use AdMaker, which enables members to edit an old campaign commercial or use historical footage and your own video, images, and sounds to create a new ad. And don't miss the Curator's Choice of ads (all of which – no surprise – support the winning candidate). Teachers, you'll find lesson plans and lots of useful online resources.
"Television is no gimmick, and nobody will ever be elected to major office again without presenting themselves well on it." Television producer and Nixon campaign consultant Roger Ailes, 1968
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/3/2012
We're one month out from the election, and the first debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney takes place tonight. So today we're featuring a great resource on the US presidency, which comes to us from UC Santa Barbara.
The American Presidency Project is "the only online resource that has consolidated, coded, and organized into a single searchable database" over one hundred thousand documents including public papers, addresses and messages, news conferences, proclamations, election documents, party platforms, convention speeches, debate transcripts and more. In addition to documents, you'll find a "Today" in presidential history feature, an audio/visual archive of presidents beginning with Hoover, links to the Presidential Libraries, and a wealth of other data.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/26/2012
You know the feeling: you're happily using one of your favorite web sites when, all of a sudden, you're interrupted by an error message. It can be frustrating. Is there a bug in the web site, or is your Internet provider acting up again? Where can you turn to find out if others are having the same problem?
DOWN RIGHT NOW Crowd-Powered Service Monitoring
Downrightnow was created to tell you when popular web services are experiencing trouble. It pulls together information from several sources to determine when there's an outage or other disruption:
- Reports from users who visit downrightnow
- Public messages on Twitter from users who are having service trouble
- Official company announcements and status reports
- Other third-party web sites that monitor service status
Just visit downrightnow to stay informed. You'll get real-time updates on the status of your favorite web services, both official and unofficial, all in one place. And don't forget to file a report whenever you notice a service issue -- it's easy and you'll let others know they aren't the only ones having trouble.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/19/2012
Today's site is HistoryPin.com
Pin your history to the world!
Historypin is an archive of more than 176,000 photos, videos, audio clips and stories, which have been "pinned" to Google Maps. In addition to individuals who add items from personal collections, museums, local history societies, historical photo archives, newspaper archives and businesses are adding material from their own collections. The map content can be narrowed by date and by subject, and where Google Street View is available, users can overlay the historical photograph and compare it with the contemporary location. In addition to the map views, the website also features a range of tours and themed collections, including, for example, The 1906 Earthquake and Fire Collection from the San Francisco MTA Museum, The Blitz Collection from London's Imperial War Museum, and on a lighter note, The Facial Hair Through Time Collection! Tours lead viewers step-by-step through a series of pictures telling a story, exploring a place or walking through time - take the tour of historic Paris featuring photos from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the CT State Library's tour of Hartford in 1906, among others. And Historypin Channels hold everything someone has added and include stories other people have added to their content. This is really fun! Enjoy!
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/12/2012
For those of you who are new to the Taft community, each week when school's in session we feature an interesting, educational, or just plain fun website known as Wednesday's Website.
Our first site of the new school year has become a tradition. Let's all bookmark it and in the spirit of our school motto, Not to be served, but to serve, do a little good in the wider world each day.
The Greater Good Network It only takes a few seconds to make a difference.
Can you spare 8 seconds each day? Your click on any of the CLICK TO GIVE websites prompts advertisers to donate to the non-profit, tax exempt GreaterGood.org. In 2011, clicks on the network's sites generated over $3.1 million dollars for charity. Shopping at each site's fair trade store generates even more. So bookmark it and click each day to help feed the hungry, put books in the hands of children, preserve acres of rainforest, provide therapy for autistic children, give meals for veterans, provide free mammograms, improve child health, and feed homeless animals. Choose one cause or click through all 8. There's also a "Touch to Give" iPhone app for the Hunger, Animal Rescue, and Breast Cancer sites. (See list of charity payouts at http://www.greatergood.org/results.html)
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/23/2012
Bet you've never ever pictured yourself as a Lego man or woman, but now you can virtually transform yourself (and your friends and family) into a Lego creations. And parents out there, there's also a Child-Safe version which you'll find in the menu bar at the top of the page. The possibilities are endless! Have fun! (Below are some samples for inspiration!)
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/16/2012
Who doesn't love reading Top Ten lists?
Listverse serves over 10 million pages a month to more than 2 million readers. We are focused on lists that intrigue and educate, specializing in the bizarre or lesser- known trivia. Every day we present a new unique list in any one of our fifteen categories, from art & literature to science & nature." If you love Listverse, they're also on Facebook, you can follow them on Twitter and find their podcast on iTunes. You're even invited to submit your own list.ww.listverse.com
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/9/2012
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/25/2012
A poem a day for American high schools
Billy Collins, a former Poet Laureate of the United States, writes, "Poetry can and should be an important part of our daily lives. Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed." To that end, Collins has selected 180 poems especially for high school students, and since "a poem will live or die depending on how it is read", don't miss the video of Mr. Collins talking about how to read a poem, and some basic tips on reading poetry aloud. National Poetry Month may be winding down, but with Poetry 180, we can continue to experience the pleasure of poetry daily.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/18/2012
Space Shuttle DISCOVERY piggybacks on a specially modified Boeing 747 en route to its retirement at the
National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
Enjoy exploring this interactive on the Space Shuttle from NASA!
"Since 1981, NASA space shuttles have been rocketing from the Florida coast into Earth orbit. The five orbiters — Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour — have flown more than 130 times, carrying over 350 people into space and travelling more than half a billion miles, more than enough to reach Jupiter… In this feature, we look back at the Shuttle's historic missions, the people it flew into space, and its achievements."
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/11/2012
WebTitanic Truly the mother of all Titanic websites!
Titanic terms, news, stories, tours, facts, images, deck plans, animations, desktop backgrounds, construction, artifacts, puzzles, chronology, passenger lists, crew lists, myths, quotes and more (even Titanic poetry). Have fun exploring!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/4/2012
In honor of National Poetry Month Favorite Poem Project
"The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry's role in Americans' lives. Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded the Favorite Poem Project...During the one-year open call for submissions, 18,000 Americans wrote to the project volunteering to share their favorite poems — Americans from ages 5 to 97, from every state, of diverse occupations, kinds of education and backgrounds. From those thousands of letters and emails, we've culled several enduring collections... [including] the collection of 50 short video documentaries [which] showcases individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love."
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/28/2012
Read all about it! Silent Spring Institute exposes potentially harmful chemicals not listed on product labels
One of the headline news stories over Spring Break was the groundbreaking work of Silent Spring Institute on potentially harmful chemicals in consumer products, including some not even listed on product labels. "The study marks the largest investigation that actually tested the products themselves for the presence of 66 different chemicals. All 50 different categories of conventional products [including cat litters, diapers, sunscreens, and toothpaste to name just a few] contained some target chemicals. Even the majority of the 'alternative' products—marketed for having safer ingredients than their conventional counterparts—also contained chemicals of concern." Study the list of tested products for ones you use, and choose substitutes where available from the list of only 11 truly 'safer' products. Named for Rachel Carson, whose book, SILENT SPRING, inspired the environmental movement, Silent Spring Institute is "a cancer research group dedicated to researching the health risks associated with toxins where we live and work – areas that have been ignored in cancer research."
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/29/2012
With some nasty weather forecast for the next 24 hours, let's check out THE OLD FARMER'S ALMANAC
Since 1792 the go-to place for weather information and more useful information has been The Old Farmer's Almanac, one of the oldest continuously published periodicals in North America, with "tide tables for those who live near the ocean; sunrise and planting charts for those who live on the farm; recipes for those who live in the kitchen; and forecasts for those who don't like the question of weather left up in the air." In fact, the Almanac's founder, Robert B. Thomas, devised a secret formula for forecasting the weather (traditionally said to be 80% accurate) which to this day is kept under lock-and-key at the Almanac's offices in New Hampshire. Thomas's editorial philosophy "to be useful, but with a pleasant degree of humor" still guides the publication. Enjoy exploring this unique and entertaining resource!
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/22/2012
In honor of Presidents Day, which the United States observed on Monday, take a virtual tour of the White House.
But first, a brief history: President George Washington and city planner, Pierre L'Enfant selected the site for the "President's House", which is now 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The design competition was won by Irish-born architect James Hoban, and the cornerstone was laid in October 1792. In 1800, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, were the first residents, moving in before completion. The house was largely built by enslaved and freed African-Americans. It now has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels of living and work space (and for the First Family's enjoyment, a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater, and bowling lane!). The White House is the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge.
You'll start your tour on the ground floor of the residence, where you get an inside look through pictures and videos at the kitchen ( 5 chefs can produce dinner for up to 140 guests, and hors d'ouevres for 1000!), the flower shop, the library, the china room, and several other spaces. Moving upstairs you'll see the State Dining Room and other formal reception rooms.Head over to the West Wing and you'll see where the business of the Presidency is conducted. See the family theater, the East Colonnade and more in the East Wing, and then go out to the South Lawn to see the President's basketball court, the kitchen garden, and the beehives.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/15/2012
In recognition of African-American History Month THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE FUND where "African-American history comes to life in America's National Parks"
"From Historic Sites that preserve the legacies of the Tuskegee Airmen and Frontiersmen at Nicodemus, to ones that tell the stories of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune and George Washington Carver, our National Parks are rich with African American history and more! Our mission at The African American Experience Fund is to connect all Americans to the considerable contributions of African Americans throughout our country's history that are commemorated and brought to life in our National Parks."
Here's a sampling of parks and historic sites supported by the AAEF:
- African Burial Ground National Monument, New York
From the 1690s until the 1790s, both free and enslaved Africans were buried in a 6.6 acre burial ground in lower Manhattan
- Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Louisiana
Includes 67 historic structures dating back 200 years and provides extensive insight into plantation life and the institution of slavery
- Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Arkansas
On the morning of September 23, 1957, nine African-American high school students faced an angry mob of over 1,000 whites protesting integration
- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Georgia
Preserves King's birthplace and gravesite, along with other homes, a fire station, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church,
where King worshipped as a child and later served as co-pastor with his father
- Nicodemus National Historic Site, Kansas
Preserves, protects, and interprets the only remaining Western town established by African Americans after the Civil War
- Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, Alabama
Commemorates the events, people, and route of the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery and "Bloody Sunday" that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act
- The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
An ever-expanding collection of over 200 National Underground Railroad sites throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/8/2012
Honoring Charles Dickens on the bicentennial of his birth February 7, 1812
Although not a scholar in the classic sense, U.S. Government web designer David Perdue has had a passion for all things Dickens ever since he was a child, and his love is evident on every page of this website, which is "intended solely to enhance the reader's experience, providing background on Dickens; his work, times, and locations he wrote about." Peruse the characters directory for your favorites (Fagin, Artful Dodger, Uriah Heep, Scrooge, Pecksniff – they're all here). Brush up on Victorian terms, phrases and expressions in the Glossary (we all know Humbug! but you'll find lots of new ones to impress your friends and teachers here). Read profiles of the original illustrators and see their illustrations for 8 major works (all of which were originally published in serial form). View the map of London as Dickens knew it, and read the fascinating and grisly details of life there. Find links to Dickens websites and a bibliography. And lastly, don't miss your chance to order the commemorative 1858 tour gear in Zazzle's Dickens store!
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/1/2012
Here's a really fun one! Google Art Project
Using Google's Street View technology, you can now explore 17 of the world's most acclaimed art museums where you can see more than a thousand works of art up-close in amazing high definition. Among the museums collaborating with Google on this project are the Frick, the Metropolitan, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate and the National Gallery in London, the Palace of Versailles, the Uffizi in Florence, and the Rijksmuseum Museum in Amsterdam. Navigate between museums and works using the drop down menus and the sidebar information. Wander through galleries and view the most miniscule details of the paintings, sculptures, and other art objects. Beside each work you will find notes on the artist and the work, even related media. You can save any specific views of the artwork to your own personal "Collection" (create with your Google account) and comment on them, and even share your collection. Art Project's YouTube channel hosts a number of instructional videos to help you take full advantage of the many features. Remember that image copyrights are owned by the museums, but Art Project enables you to share a link through email, Facebook and Twitter. And for copyright-free images for educational use, check out the Library's Image Quest database.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/25/2012
The Digital Collections of the Beinecke Library at Yale
The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is Yale University's principal repository for rare and unique material including photographs, works of art, printed items, and manuscripts, more than 300,000 of which are reproduced in the Digital Collections database. Use the pull-down menu to browse categories such as African Americana, Early Books and Manuscripts before 1600, and East Asian Collections. You can also choose to view all 104 collections. There are ancient papyrus (tip: click on "explanations" on search page and then copy and paste your selections onto the search form), map collections (such as the Lewis and Clark expedition), early books (including a political alphabet rhyme for children - well, actually "Great Boys" - from early 19th century America), photograph collections (such as 6 photo albums of the ill-fated Romanov family), author collections (Walt Whitman, James Baldwin, Edith Wharton, Eugene O'Neill,Rachel Carson, to name a few), and many other special collections. You can enlarge images and zoom for close examination. The images may be freely downloaded for "personal, research, and study purposes only" (just remember to cite The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library as the source). For information about visiting the Beinecke Library, click here.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/18/2012
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: The King Center Digital Archive
On Monday, Jan. 16, The King Center went live with its remarkable digital archive of nearly 1 million documents – speeches, letters, telegrams, scribbled notes, sermons, and more –associated with the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Using the toolbar, you can keyword search or click the gear icon to go to the advanced search page). Choose to view your results in a tile or list display (tile is the default for the homepage). Browse themes and type of content. The documents can be printed, emailed, posted to Facebook and Twitter. Abstracts are also available. "These pages will present a more dynamic view than is often seen of Dr. King's life and times. The documents reveal the scholar, the father, and the pastor. Through these papers we see the United States of America at one of its most vulnerable, most honest and perhaps most human moments in history."
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/11/2012
"The best free cultural and educational media on the web"
Prepare to be overwhelmed! Open Culture's mission is to scour the internet for free high-quality cultural and educational media, and make it easily accessible in one place. You'll find hundreds of ebooks and audio books, online courses (from such distinguished institutions as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford), textbooks, movies (including classics of Alfred Hitchcock and John Wayne westerns; Film Noir, and more), and lessons in 40 languages. In "Cultural Icons", you'll find audio and video of great writers, filmmakers, musicians, scientists, and philosophers. And it's all FREE! Sign up for the daily email. Get the free iPhone app. Follow on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. You could spend hours happily lost in Open Culture.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/4/2012
Happy New Year!
Classroom Video On Demand is a comprehensive streaming video subscription service featuring unlimited access to more than 5,000 educational programs from PBS (including Nova, American Experience, etc), BBC, the History Channel, and other respected sources. All content can be viewed in class, at the library, or from home, and spans the following core subject areas:
- Business and Economics
- Health and Nutrition
- Literature and Language Arts
- Science and Mathematics
- Social Studies
- Visual and Performing Arts
Each full-length video has been segmented into predefined clips, making it easy to find specific pieces of content quickly. Search options include keyword searching of video or segment titles, and browsing by subject and Special Collections (such as Ken Burns films, the Royal Opera House, and others). Don't miss the fascinating collection of Archival Films & Newsreels (1920's to 1960's). You can create a user account where you can store your own playlists, favorites, and set your user preferences. Enjoy exploring this amazing new resource which comes to us from Facts on File. CVOD is a joint project of Facts on File and Films for the Humanities and Sciences.
Note: to access this and other Library subscription databases from off-campus, choose Remote Access on the Library homepage to login to the school server with your network username and password. Then click onTaft Library Resources. (To access the homepage on campus, just type the word library in the URL field.)
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/7/11
Remembering Pearl Harbor on "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day" A Web exhibit of photographs, oral histories and documents from the Naval History & Heritage Command
The December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor was one of the defining moments in history. "A single carefully-planned and well-executed stroke removed the United States Navy's battleship force as a possible threat to Japan's southward expansion. America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant…The shock and anger caused by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor united a divided nation and was translated into a wholehearted commitment to victory in World War II."
Speaking of the veterans of the bombing, President Obama said today, "Their tenacity helped define the Greatest Generation and their valor fortified all who served during World War II. As a nation, we look to December 7, 1941 to draw strength from the example set by these patriots to honor all who have sacrificed for our freedoms."
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/30/11
Cyber Monday may have come and gone, but Etsy is a great place to discover unique gifts every day!
Etsy was featured here last year, but especially for those of you who might have missed it, it's worth a repeat. Described by The New York Times as a "crafty cross between Amazon and eBay", shopping on Etsy is akin to rooting around in "your grandma's basement". Items for sale include vintage and original art, photography, handmade clothing, jewelry, edibles, bath & beauty products, quilts, knick-knacks, and toys. Many individuals also sell craft supplies like beads, wire, and jewelry-making tools. It's a giant virtual crafts fair where you can create your own account, save favorites and more. Happy Shopping!
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/16/11
This week we're featuring the Archive of American Television
This collection of thousands of hours of interviews with over 700 legendary persons from all areas of the industry chronicles the birth and growth of American television from its earliest days to the present. Among the interviews, you'll find Leonard Nimoy talking about developing the Vulcan salute in his role as Spock on Star Trek, Barbara Walters on coming to terms with Gilda Radnor's "Baba Wawa" impersonation for Saturday Night Live, news commentators of the early 1960's discussing the JFK assassination, and the ensemble cast of Modern Family talking about their favorite family shows. Browse interviews by person, by show (arranged by genre), by profession, or by topic (including Bloopers, Historic Events and social Change, and Television and the Presidency). Visit periodically, as the Archives will add new interviews every year. The Archive is a division of the non-profit Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/9/11
The American Film Institute is dedicated to preserving "the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers." Several years ago, the AFI compiled the 10 TOP 10 list, the "ultimate guide" to the very best American films from 10 classic film genres: Animation, Romantic Comedy, Western, Sports, Mystery, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Gangster, Courtroom Drama, and Epic. Enjoy perusing the lists, debate AFI's choices with your friends, and take this opportunity to "discover and rediscover" some great movies.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/2/11
Remembering poring over those great maps that arrived tucked into your National Geographic magazine? Now you can do it online!
National Geographic has been producing beautiful and accurate political, geographical, historical and thematic maps for decades, and all of them are available for browsing (and purchase). Choose The World, individual continents or regions, The World's Oceans or Space & The Planets to open the list of maps under each. Once your map opens, you can click on the map to zoom in and out and use the directional arrows to move around, or use the navigational toolbox in the upper right corner of the map to do the same. Follow the link to purchase the map through Maps.com. (available in paper, laminate, or Wallzilla Adhesive format).
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/26/11
Our site this week is MapFAST
MapFAST is an experimental site for locating books about any geographic location in the world. Search a place name to generate a list of Library of Congress subject headings* for that place. You can limit the radius of your search (in km), and also the type of location: Populated Places, Regions or Government Districts, Lakes, Rivers, Streams, Other, Events, Undefined or All. Google Maps simultaneously maps the location. Then you can choose a subject heading on the left or click on the map to view results which include links to relevant books in Google Books and WorldCat, a catalog containing the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries. Should you discover a book about a favorite place, Mrs. Taylor might be able to borrow it for you on Interlibrary Loan. MapFAST is a project of OCLC, the world's largest library cooperative. (Several times as I was testing the links here, the site blacked out briefly as it was loading, but it came up a few seconds later; other times it came right up.)
* the same subject headings we use to arrange our books here at the Taft Library
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/19/11
Virtual Presentations and Interactive Games from NobelPrize.org
Since 1901, the Nobel Prizes have been awarded for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology / medicine, literature, peace, and, since 1968, economics. Now you can share in the glory when you visit the educational pages of NobelPrize.org to view presentations and play interactive games related to prize-winning achievements of past years. Here's a sampling of the games: Star Stories (Physics): Find out how stars are born, how they shine, and what happens when their light goes out; The PCR Method (Chemistry): Collect DNA material from a crime scene to prove whether those arrested are guilty ; Pavlov's Dog (Physiology / Medicine) : Train your dog to respond to the signal it will associate with being fed; Find the Authors (Literature): Find the hidden Nobel Laureate authors' names in the scramble; Prisoners of War (Peace): Can you run a POW camp without violating the human rights of your prisoners?; Trade Ruler (Economics): Help your island kingdom prosper through international trading. Most of the games require Flash plug-ins.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/12/11
Our site today is the virtual archive, Historic Cities
A joint project of the Historic Cities Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jewish National and University Library, Historic Cities is a fascinating virtual archive of historical maps and city images where you can search maps by country and city A-Z, by years from 1486 to 1800, and by mapmaker/artist. Links are also provided to maps found elsewhere on the internet. Each map is viewable in low and high resolution, and is printable using your browser's print command. Also follow links in the right sidebar to view special collections of maps of the Holy Land, Ancient Maps of Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem Virtual Library of maps, books, and photographs. A special presentation, Topography of Terror : Maps of the Warsaw Ghetto powerfully presents the story of that city's Jewish community in World War II through 22 maps and detailed descriptions, including many maps created by the German military. A great site for historians, map buffs, architecture students, artists, and armchair travelers!
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/5/11
Founded in 2007 by Dara O'Rourke, a professor of environmental and labor policy at the University of California - Berkeley, GoodGuide allows users to search or browse over 120,000 products to easily learn about the best and worst products in the following categories: personal care, food, household, babies & kids, pet food, apparel, electronics, appliances, and cars. Scroll down the home page to find links to Popular Pages: Best Baby Products, Best Makeup, Best Shampoo, Worst Household Chemicals, Worst Breakfast Food, and Worst Diet Soda. And at the Site Index, you can browse by categories, products, ingredients, companies, and brands. Are you an Amazon shopper? If so, install the GoodGuide Transparency Toolbar which will appear whenever you’re shopping on Amazon so you can see how products perform according to GoodGuide’s ratings.
Choose Request Ratings to vote on your choices of products for the team to review next. Mobile apps for iPhone and Android enable you to research product choices when you’re out and about. And of course, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/28/11
It's Banned Books Week
A national celebration of the freedom to read
Since Banned Books Week was launched in 1982, more than 11,000 books have been challenged in schools, libraries and bookstores. Each year, the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books. Our link is to the "Frequently Challenged Books" page where you can choose from the sidebar to view lists of the Top Ten challenged books for each of the past 10 years, most frequently challenged authors by year (with a separate breakdown for authors of color), statistics, challenged books by decade since 1990, and Banned & Challenged Classics. How many have you read?
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/21/11
It only takes a few seconds to make a difference.
Can you spare 8 seconds each day? Your click on any of the CLICK TO GIVE websites prompts advertisers to donate to the non-profit, tax exempt GreaterGood.org. In 2010, clicks on the network’s sites generated over $3.4 million dollars for charity. Shopping at each site's fair trade store generates even more. So bookmark it and click each day to help feed the hungry, put books in the hands of children, preserve acres of rainforest, provide therapy for autistic children, give meals for veterans, provide free mammograms, improve child health, and feed homeless animals. Choose one cause or click through all 8. There’s a “Touch to Give” iPhone app too. See list of charity payouts.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/15/11In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks,our weekly website feature returns this year with The September 11 Digital Archive
"The September 11 Digital Archive uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. The Archive contains more than 150,000 digital items, a tally that includes more than 40,000 emails and other electronic communications, more than 40,000 first-hand stories, and more than 15,000 digital images. In September 2003, the Library of Congress accepted the Archive into its collections, an event that both ensured the Archive's long-term preservation and marked the library's first major digital acquisition."
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/25/11
Our last website of the year is dedicated to the Senior class: College Life: resources and tips for college students
A selection of authoritative websites to help you “succeed academically, physically, financially and emotionally during your college years with advice on dorm life and health and finances, as well as Web tools for academic success”. From Finding Dulcinea , “Librarian of the Internet”. Congratulations and Good Luck!
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/18/11
Summer's coming, and so are lots of new MOVIES! See the trailers at Apple's iTunes Summer Movie Guide
Preview dozens of movies slated for release this spring and summer, including the final HARRY POTTER movie (opening July 15th) and the film adaptation of the best-selling novel, THE HELP (opening August 12th).
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/11/11
Our last several weeks will feature "just for fun" sites, beginning with PicassoHead which is a fun way to create a Picasso-style (or not!) portrait with a few clicks of a mouse. Start by choosing a head and then add eyes, ears, a nose, and other facial features. Add abstract shapes, colors, make it larger or smaller, rotate or flip it. Don't like that hair you just added? You can delete it and try another style. If you're really creative you can even create a body to go with the head! Browse the Gallery or search it by title and artist. This is a winner from RFI Studios.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/4/11
Here's a fun one - Yahoo! Widgets
Yahoo! Widgets help you save time and stay current by bringing an always-updated, at-a-glance view of your favorite Internet services right to your desktop. The Yahoo! Widget Gallery offers over 6,000 desktop Widgets - the most available anywhere online. Yahoo! Widgets is the only major desktop Widgets platform that works on both Windows and Mac OS. Weather, games, web cams, radio, scoreboards, calendars, mood rings…if you can imagine it, there's a Widget for it!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/27/11
National Poetry Month may be coming to an end, but the Poetry Tool is year-round!
You can search for poems by subject, by occasion, by holiday, by title, by first line and more. Poets can be searched by name, by birth dates, by school or period, and geographically. Read articles on poets and poetry, and explore the children’s poetry page for articles and poems, which can be browsed by age appropriateness, and by category. The Poetry Tool comes from the Poetry Foundation, which is “committed to a vigorous presence of poetry in our culture”.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/20/11
Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the dairy display at the grocery store wondering what the heck the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt is anyway? What about LED and LCD televisions? Do you know the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon? And how about proper usage of the words can and may? If you are challenged by any of these or other confusingly similar objects or terms, look no further than DifferenceBetween.net. Organized into categories (technology, objects, science, language, business, and miscellaneous which encompasses religion, politics, culture, and sports), it “not only facilitates your understanding of a topic, but it also enables you to differentiate two similar objects”.
Thanks to Peter Burnett for suggesting today’s site!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/13/11Our site honors both National Library Week and the 150th anniversary of the firing of the first shots of the American Civil War!
Opening this week at the Library of Congress is the exhibition, The Last Full Measure, featuring "379 Civil War-era ambrotypes and tintypes [early photographic processes] of enlisted Union and Confederate soldiers. These exceptional portraits document Civil War uniforms, hats, guns, swords, belt buckles, canteens, and musical instruments and include significant representation of African American troops and the families of soldiers. The exhibition will bring new attention to the war as a seminal event in American history and put a human face on both sides of the wrenching conflict.”
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/6/11
Poets and painters have inspired each other for centuries. Indeed, the Roman poet, Horace wrote "as is painting, so is poetry" in the 13th century BC. Shakespeare's plays inspired some 2300 paintings between 1760 and 1900 alone, according to critic Richard Altick. Today's site, The Poet Speaks of Art by an English class at Emory University presents 45 poems and the paintings which inspired them. Enjoy this sample: Poet John Stone expands the boundaries of the setting and gets into the heads of that famous couple in Grant Wood's "American Gothic".
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/30/11
March is Women’s History Month! Visit the online exhibitions at the National Women’s History Museum
"The National Women’s History Museum, founded in 1996, is largely a virtual museum at this point, as they are still seeking to have federal legislation passed to establish a physical site on the National Mall. The NWHM website includes extensive background on all eras in women’s history, teaching resources featuring biographies of and quotes from famous American women, and several online exhibits. Exhibits include women in early film, Chinese-American women, women spies in American history, women who ran for president, a history of the museum’s coalition organizations, over 200 stamps issued throughout U.S. history that have featured women, women in World War II, women in the Progressive Era, rights for women, women reform leaders from 1847-1952, women in education, women and the vote, women in industry, women of Jamestown, women and the Olympics, female printers, publishers, and journalists, pioneer female state legislators, African-American women, and young women who changed history." Enjoy!
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/2/11MuseumStuff.com
Visit this site to find museums to visit on your spring break travels or even if you’re staying home (CT alone has over 50!). You can search museums in the USA by state, world museums by country, or museums worldwide by type and genres. Browse art, history, and science museums by topic. Travel and tourism links are included on many country pages as well, especially if museum information is limited. You’ll also find a small but growing list of online museum shops, and unusual and strange collections. Don’t miss The Great Museums Showcase whose list of featured museums and zoos will change each time you refresh the page. The site is still undergoing revisions but there’s more than enough here to get you started.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/23/11
Explore the CIA’s Electronic Reading Room where you’ll find declassified documents on covert operations such as the Bay of Pigs. Check out the "thinking problems" in Activity-Based Physics from the National Science Foundation. Test your knowledge of history, geography, and more against students around the world when you play Dare to Compare from the Dept. of Education. Study original scores of Bach, Beethoven, and other great classical composers in the Moldenhauer Archives of the Library of Congress. These are among the 1500+ free educational materials (animations, primary documents, photos, videos and more) from 68 US government departments, agencies, and affiliates. Choose a subject from the map on the homepage to link to resources in that area: Arts & Music, Health & Phys Ed, Language Arts, Math, Science, World Studies, U.S. History Topics, and U.S. Time Periods. Click on See All to expand the subject listings, or Alphabetical to show an A-Z list of all topics across all the subject areas. You can search the entire collection by keyword, and get new resources delivered to you several times a weeks when you sign up for the FREE RSS feed (includes easy directions for doing so). And of course you can follow it all on Twitter.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/16/11
Have fun with this week’s website (better late than never!)
Create your own original Jackson Pollock-style picture on this award-winning site created by Miltos Manetas. From the homepage, click on Enter JacksonPollock.Org to open your blank white “canvas”. Then all you do is drag your mouse around, varying your motions to create splats, blots, and splatters. Click your mouse button (or whatever action is comparable on your laptop) to change colors. And you can print your Pollock too! There are also apps available for iPhone, iPod, and iPad.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/9/11
This list of inventions, discoveries, records set, first facts, and little known facts at Biography.com is fascinating. For instance, did you know...
- Jane Bolin (1908-2007) was the first African-American woman to receive a law degree from Yale (1931). She went on to become the first African-American woman in history to become a judge in the United States (1932).
- Otis Boykin (1920-1982) invented electronic control devices for guided missiles, IBM computers, and the control unit for a pacemaker.
- Wilt Chamberlain (1936-1999) was the first basketball player to score 100 points in a single game during the 1961 season and the first player in the NBA to score 30,000 points.
- Bessie Coleman (1893-1926) was the first licensed African-American pilot in the world. She received aviation instruction in France.
- Surgeon Charles R. Drew (1904-1950) is often credited with the invention of the first large-scale blood bank.
- Author Toni Morrison was the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1993 for BELOVED).
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/2/11
For authoritative information on this wild winter, visit the winter weather information page from NOAAWatch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The site explains the process of capturing data from a complex network of satellites, Doppler radars and other technology, which is then analyzed by the National Weather Service. Learn the difference between weather watches, warnings and advisories, why predicting the exact amount of snowfall is so challenging, and more. Links to cool information can be found in the left sidebar including current snow cover, recent snowfall maps, interactive snow cover maps, and average and extreme snowfall by state. And be very careful out there, pedestrians, drivers, and all of you who have to clear the stuff at work or at home.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/26/11
Practice your English vocab skills and provide 10 grains of rice to the hungry for each correct answer. Since its inception in October 2007, FreeRice, run by the United Nations World Food Programme, has donated 86,793,049,090 grains of rice (total as of yesterday). You can sign up to track your totals, join and create groups and more. Find FreeRice on Facebook and Twitter too
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/19/11
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, consider joining the MLK 25 Challenge, a year-long ongoing program in which we pledge to take at least 25 actions during 2011 to make a difference for others and to strengthen our communities. The Taft community does a good job living this legacy as we live our own school motto, but there’s always more we can do as individuals and as a group. So take a look at the list and choose a few, or come up some of your own. Write a soldier, tutor, donate unwanted clothes or books, help our local recycling program, plant a garden, serve at the soup kitchen, read to kids, give blood, walk a shelter dog, visit the senior center, etc.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/12/11
No introductions necessary today, this is just ALL ABOUT SNOW from the National Snow and Ice Data Center
"Visit our QUESTION AND ANSWER section where you will find answers to the snow questions that we have received. For fun and interesting bits of trivia, visit our FACTS section. The GALLERY contains historic photos of blizzards and snow from the National Weather Service."
Now, create your own snowflake at SnowDays , with over 10 million snowflakes created! Simply click and drag to cut out your snowflake, and simultaneously view your progress in the preview window. Don’t like the cut you just made? Just click Undo. Or start over by clicking Reset. Click Done to save and post your flake. And catch a falling flake on the homepage to view snowflakes recently created.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/5/11
Tour the world when you visit Earthcam.com
“Where the world watches the world”
EarthCam is the leading network of live webcams, delivering real-time live images of some of the world’s most interesting places and events. Visit cities and countries around the world, browse the directory for specific types of content such as weather, sports and recreation or personal (people from all over the world who decided to install a cam on a portion of their house, most commonly on their pets). Check out the Top 10 webcams, the New Year’s Eve Archives featuring Times Square and other new year's celebrations around the world, and the recently announced list of the 25 Best Webcams of 2010. And for some really fun stuff, don't miss Earthcam for Kids! Users can search by keyword or simply browse to see what's happening around the world right now -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/8/10
For more effective studying (or if you just want to listen to some great classical music), visit today’s site, CLASSIC CAT
Do you know about the “Mozart Effect”? It simply means that classical music (instrumental music, especially) has been shown to improve the brain’s powers of concentration and focus, especially in short-term situations such as studying for final exams. So, as you prepare for finals, check out Classic Cat, an index to 6000 free-to-download classical mp3s on the internet. Select from the Top 100 downloads lists, or search for composers, performers, and more.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/1/10
It's holiday shopping time, so visit ETSY for original, handmade gifts!
You really can’t find this stuff anywhere else. Why’s that? Because at Etsy, the focus is on changing the way commerce works, with real artists and jewelry makers and other creative types selling their letterpress calendars, ginger-lemon soaps, pearl pendant necklaces, and much, much more. Etsy is creating a new economy with real relationships between the shoppers and the creators. So you can chat with the designer who made the perfect pendant for your girlfriend, or the slippers you bought your father. Or if you want to browse handmade goods, use the Time Machine for one of the most innovative shopping experiences out there—a leap into a bounty of goods just listed, or just sold. Inspired by what you see? Visit the virtual labs, and Esty start you on your own handmade revolution.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/17/10
Today's site is Zefrank's Kaleidoscope
Have some fun and create your own kaleidoscope on this interactive site!
No time to explore our weekly website? You can find the Wednesday Website archives containing all our featured sites under "Useful Links" on the library homepage http://library.taftschool.org (Tip: when on campus, just type library in the url address line of the browser to get to our homepage)
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/10/10
Tomorrow, November 11th is Veterans Day, a day of remembrance
On the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month", in 1918, the armistice was signed bringing The Great War [aka World War I] to an end. The date is now observed by many of the allied nations from that era as Veterans Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or Poppy Day - a day set aside to commemorate the sacrifices made by those in the armed forces and their families. View this moving album of 37 photographs of last year's commemorations brought to us by Alan Taylor's The Big Picture, a photoblog from The Boston Globe/boston.com.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/03/10
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, I think we would all agree that we need some laughs after one of the ugliest campaign seasons in memory.
Best Political Humor of 2010 (So Far)
Enjoy this roundup of the year's funniest political cartoons, late-night jokes, photo parodies, quotes, slogans, and other humor. Sections include Best Political Cartoons, Funniest Pictures, Funniest Protest Signs, Best Late-Night Jokes, Dumbest Political Quotes, Funniest Political Quotes, and Funniest Political Bumper Stickers.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/27/10
Have a little fun (and maybe even learn a thing or two) with today's site...The Rudiments of Wisdom Encyclopedia
Thousands of cartoons covering almost everything there is to know!
Tim Hunkin’s first cartoons appeared in a student newspaper in 1972 when he was an engineering student at Cambridge University, and went on to become a regular feature in The Observer (London) from 1973-2001. This cartoon compendium of strange but true facts, trivia and other oddities is arranged by broad subject categories such as art and architecture, sports, biology, etc. You can also browse specific articles A-Z, or Google-search the site or the web by keyword. Also includes a bonus page of off-beat experiments from Tim Hunkin’s cartoon book of experiments . This is just plain fun!
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/20/10
It's Open Access Week promoting free access to online scholarly journals
DOAJ offers free full-text access to 46,000 articles in more than 5500 scientific and scholarly journals published in 100 countries in more than 50 languages. You can browse journals by title or even better, use the expandable subject tree to browse journals by specific subject areas. Articles in 2300+ journals are also searchable by author, title, journal title, ISSN, and keywords. In order to qualify for inclusion in the DOAJ, a journal’s content must have been reviewed by an editor, editorial board and/or a peer-review system. Some journals may require registration, but it will always be free. Begun in 2003, DOAJ is a project of Lund University Libraries, one of Sweden’s oldest and largest research libraries.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/13/10
Our featured site this week is the web’s oldest and largest collection of free eBooks Project Gutenberg
Powered completely by volunteers, Project Gutenberg contains over 33,000 titles, mostly works of literature from the Western cultural tradition. The collection also has a few non-text items such as audio files and music notation files. The catalog can be searched by author, title, language or words in the full text of the eBook. Browse The Top 100, a list of the 100 most frequently downloaded titles, browse the Bookshelves (for instance, historical fiction) or go to the advanced search page to limit by language, category (such as audio books or recorded music), Library of Congress subject area (“LoCC” - which may look familiar since LC is the system we use here) or file type (PDF, etc). Use the experimental My Bookmarks feature when reading a book online, and you’re able to resume reading at your last read page. Download books to read on your computer, eBook reader, mobile phone, and other devices. PG notes that while the ebooks are free in the U.S. because their copyright has expired, there may be copyright restrictions outside the U.S.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/06/10
This week's site is American Rhetoric
A one-stop source for the world’s great speeches, American Rhetoric contains the Online Speech Bank, a database of over 5000 full text, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, and more from the ancient world to the present day. You’ll find speeches arranged alphabetically by speaker (though, oddly, by first name of speaker or title, such as "Pope" or "Chief"). Other highlights include the Top 100 American political speeches of the 20th century (and a quiz to take after you’ve read them!), great speeches from the movies (everything from Coach Brooks’ speech to the US Olympic hockey team before the game with the USSR from Miracle or the Cowardly Lion on courage from The Wizard of Oz). A special archive of the Rhetoric of 9/11 contains over 100 links to speeches and “other rhetorical artifacts” of the attacks, including Bin Laden’s dispatch to the terrorists on the eve of 9/11. And for students of public speaking, visit the page dedicated to Rhetorical Figures in Sound, a collection of audio clips illustrating 40 different figures of speech. Caveat: there's a fair amount of advertising here, and some of it is annoying.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/29/10
Since we are having our school-wide discussions of ZEITOUN tomorrow, today's site is The Zeitoun Foundation
Founded in 2009 by the Zeitouns, Dave Eggers, and McSweeney’s (the publisher of ZEITOUN), the award-winning Zeitoun Foundation “is dedicated to the continued rebuilding and social advancement of New Orleans and to promote understanding between peoples of disparate faiths around the world”. The proceeds from the book are going to the work of the foundation. Although the site can be sluggish (it’s still under construction), there are a number of things worth reading, including details on the work of th foundation; interviews with Kathy and Abdulrahman, and Dave Eggers; book reviews, including Arab-American responses; and the FAQ page, where Eggers talks in detail about the process of writing the book. There's much here to enhance your discussions tomorrow!
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/22/10
This site is a photo-essay of the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, and of America's efforts in rescue, relocation, relief, reconstruction and rebuilding. The galleries, containing some 2500 high quality images, are arranged in various categories including Survivors, Lake Pontchartrain floods, NOAA aerial photos, Animals and Pets, FEMA trailer parks, Digital Globe Satellite images, NASA satellite images, and more. “If you start at the top … and work your way down you will taken on a very compelling tour of the devastated areas that will simply break your heart”.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/15/10
Your click on any of the CLICK TO GIVE websites prompts advertisers to donate to the non-profit, tax exempt GreaterGood.org. In 2009, clicks on the network’s sites generated over $3 million dollars for charity. Shopping on each site's fair trade store generates even more. So bookmark it and click each day to help feed the hungry, put books in the hands of children, preserve acres of rainforest, provide free mammograms, improve child health, and feed unwanted animals. Choose one cause or click through all 6. It only takes a few seconds to make a difference.
Wednesday Website of the Week 6/2/10
Summer’s almost here, so the last offering of this school year highlights a few neat travel sites
- Roadside America Your guide to offbeat tourist attractions (over 9000 of them!), searchable by state or theme.
- Mom’s Minivan.com: 101 Car Travel Games & Ideas for Kids Find printable games, scavenger hunt ideas, and much more on this site, which has separate pages of activities for kids, toddlers, and babies.
- Roadfood.com Connecting travelers with over 1500 memorable eateries along the highways and back roads of America.
- HopStop.com Provides door-to-door train, subway and bus directions for major cities of the world which you can email to your computer or text message to your cell phone.
- UpTake.com Aggregates information and travelers' opinions from 5,000 Web sites -- some 20 million opinions -- and boils them down to a single rating along with the most telling traveler comments.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/26/10
Memorial Day will be observed next Monday, May 31, so today’s site, Veterans History Project, is in honor of all who have served in the U. S. military
“The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects [and] preserves…the personal accounts of American war veterans [from WWI to the present] so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.” These accounts are searchable by keyword, or you can browse by name, by war and military branch, by state of residence, or by race/ethnicity. Visit the special collection, Experiencing War: Submarines, the Silent Service, for audio and video interviews of those remarkable men* who have served beneath the waves. Click on the Students tab to access resources for students and educators, including recommended websites and books. Learn how to participate in the project, whether you are a veteran, an interviewer of a veteran, or a person donating a veteran’s collection. The American Folklife Center is a divison of the Library of Congress.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/19/10
*On April 30, 2010, the U. S. Navy announced it will recruit women into its submarine force for the first time.
Summer’s coming … learn about Amusement Park Physics on today’s site.
“You've bought your ticket and boarded the roller coaster. Now you're barreling down the track at 60 miles per hour, taking hairpin turns and completing death-defying loops… The only thing separating you from total disaster is a safety harness...” In reality, that roller coaster is much safer than you might think. Visit this interactive site to discover how the laws of physics govern the design of roller coasters, carousels, pendulum rides, and bumper cars. You can even design your own roller coaster (will it pass the safety inspection?) and experiment with bumper car collisions. Check the physics glossary to find out more about the terms used in this exhibit, and follow links to related resources on the internet. This site comes from the Annenberg Media exhibits collection.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/12/10Preserve special life stories with StoryCorps.org
Is there a special person in your life whose memories you would like to preserve? Consider using StoryCorps, an independent nonprofit oral history project whose mission is to provide all Americans with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, over 50,000 people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. To record your own story, find a StoryCorps location near you, or use the Do-It-Yourself Guide, complete with a Question Generator. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Listen to StoryCorps’ weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on the website’s Listen pages, where you can search stories by keyword or browse categories, such as Angels and Mentors, Identity, Work, Hurricane Katrina, and September 11. Subscribe to podcasts, or sign up to receive the latest stories by weekly email. There’s even an iPhone App to listen to stories or record your own story. And of course, you can follow StoryCorps on Facebook and Twitter.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/5/10
Do good and get smarter when you visi FreeRice.com
A featured site a couple of years ago, FreeRice is still a great way to make a difference in the world while brushing up on words that are bound to appear in the SATs! Practice your English vocabulary skills and provide 10 grains of rice to hungry people for each vocabulary word for which you identify the correct definition. New since we featured the site in 2008, you can now choose "Subjects" from the toolbar to answer questions in other subject areas too (art, chemistry geography, foreign languages, and math). To date, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with FreeRice.com and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University has distributed over 94 million grains of rice to the world's hungry.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/28/10
Paint a song with the award-winning site, Labuat
“When we hear a song that truly touches us, we feel an uncontrollable desire to move: to dance, to wave our hands, to express ourselves. We wanted to offer an interactive experience that would allow us to express ourselves…only with a paintbrush.” Just use your mouse to create brushstrokes across the screen pulsing in sync to the song. The strokes will vary in size and strength according to the intensity of the music, splashing with each beat. The award-winning Labuat is a unique online experience. Enjoy!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/21/10
Our website this week, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, celebrate's Planet Earth, in honor of Earth Day (April 22, 2010)
Since the early 1960s, astronauts have taken over 900,000 photographs of the Earth using hand-held cameras. These photos are now available for viewing at this award-winning site from NASA. Search for views of specific places or geographic features, browse the Weekly Top 10 most popular downloads, Earth from Space, the Cities Collection and more. Browse by topics such as atmosphere, snow and ice, human presence. Take the "Where in the World Image Quiz" and check out how to find Mt. Everest. Screensavers are available for downloading (PC only) and images can also be used to create desktop wallpaper (both PC and Mac). Photographers will be interested in the information provided about the cameras and settings used to capture each image. The site is updated daily with images from the International Space Station.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/14/10
In honor of National Library Week, today site is the World Digital Library
A joint project by UNESCO, the Library of Congress, and partner libraries, archives, and other institutions from around the world, the WDL contains more than 1200 cultural treasures, including books, journals, manuscripts, maps, prints and photographs, films, and sound recordings. Browse items by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or search by keyword. The interface is available in several languages. Special features include interactive geographic clusters, a timeline, advanced image-viewing and interpretive capabilities. Item-level descriptions and interviews with curators about featured items provide additional information.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/7/10
In honor of National Poetry Month, our site today is the Poetry Tool
Searching for a poem to send to Ms. Saarnijoki for poem- of- the- day? Look no further than the Poetry Tool where you can search for poems by category, by occasion, by title, by first line and more. Poets can be searched by name, by birth or death dates, by school or period, and geographically. Find audio/visuals including printable poems “for the fridge” , book arts slideshows, and 111 videos (many read by the poet). Read articles on poets and poetry, and explore the children’s poetry page for articles and poems, which can be searched by age appropriateness, and by category. The Poetry Tool comes from the Poetry Foundation, which is “committed to a vigorous presence of poetry in our culture”.
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/31/10
Our featured site today is eHow.com
With more than 1 million articles and 150,000 videos by both certified experts and everyday folks, eHow.com is dedicated to providing accurate, easy-to-understand advice and how-to instruction on everything from “how to donate a car to charity” to “how to increase your vertical leap”. Topic areas include arts & entertainment, electronics, food & drink, home & garden, personal finance, pets, sports & fitness, travel, and much more. Check out the eHow of the Day and the Top 10 eHows, the featured projects, and Quick Guides. Sign up for free newsletters in your favorite categories. Join the community to contribute to the site and interact with other members. There’s something for everyone at eHow.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/24/10
Today we feature UNESCO's World Heritage Centre
“Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations…
… Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world’s heritage…. [Through its World Heritage Convention,] UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.” To date, 186 countries have ratified the Convention, committing to conserve and protect 890 natural, cultural, and "mixed" sites. Explore these sites, read about endangered sites and recently added sites, success stories of conservation and preservation, and have fun traveling the world through the interactive map. And find out how to apply for an internship at a World Heritage site.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/17/10
This week's site is Academic Earth
Academic Earth contains more than 1500 video lectures from scholars and professors at some of America’s leading colleges and universities, and they're all free! Subjects span the full range of academic disciplines including architecture, history, environmental science, mathematics, physics, and literature as well as 10 AP test preparation lectures in the sciences. The lectures, many of which are grouped into courses, are searchable by subject, university, instructor and Playlists, which are “thematic collections of lectures”. In some cases, lecture notes, transcripts and even tests are also available. You can download a Quicktime version of a video to your computer, email a lecture to a friend, and even grade a lecture. Set up an account to compile at list of your favorites. RSS and email subscriptions are also available. Continuing education doesn't get much simpler than this.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/10/10
Featured here last winter, this fascinating site comes from Caltech physicist, Kenneth Libbrecht. View his photo galleries of natural and man-made snowflakes, crystals, and frost, and read all about the physics of these beautiful snow phenomena. Try out some of the different snow activities, such as snowflake watching and photography, and growing your own snowflakes in a lab. There are also special activities for kids.Now, create your own snowflake at SnowDays , with over 9 million snowflakes created! Simply click and drag to cut out your snowflake, and simultaneously view your progress in the preview window. Don’t like the cut you just made? Just click Undo. Or start over by clicking Reset. Click Done to save and post your flake. And catch a falling flake on the homepage to view snowflakes recently created.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/3/10
In honor of Black History Month, our website is The Smithsonian’s African American Cultural Heritage Tour
On this online tour of objects from the vast collections of the Smithsonian, you will see Mohammad Ali's red boxing gloves and the Woolworth's lunch counter that was the site of the 1960 civil rights sit-in, as well as read the stories of noteworthy African-Americans, including George Washington Carver, Marian Anderson, and others. Click on "Explore Objects" to get started, and enjoy the quizzes, activities, and resources that accompany this fascinating exhibit.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/27/10
The Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH)The recovery of Haiti’s devastated economy is in part dependent on the health and welfare of its 500 million farm animals which were also severely impacted by the earthquake. More than half of these animals are goats which provide impoverished families with milk and cheese. Milk and goats can also be sold to pay for medical expenses and even school tuition. Also of concern to the Haitian government is the large population of stray dogs and the potential for the spread of disease because most have not been vaccinated.
Comprised of more than a dozen animal welfare organizations around the world, ARCH is meeting with officials from the Haitian government, the United Nations, and other international agencies to define the country's most pressing animal-related problems, as well as identifying options for a wide-ranging, long-term plan which includes options for creating and improving infrastructure for veterinary care, a large-scale vaccination program and animal population control services.
To support ARCH, donate to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) or the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/20/10
Change the world by donating your old video games to DonateGames.org
Donate Games is a charity dedicated to funding research on "orphan diseases", which afflict millions of people around the world. They do this by accepting donations of new and used video games and reselling them online. If you have games collecting dust on the shelf, simply download the mailing label, pack them in a padded envelope, and send. In return, you'll receive a tax-deductible receipt for the value of the game. You can shop for games others have donated through the online catalog, which is searchable by keyword, category of game, and gaming system. Donate Games also accepts monetary donations through Paypal.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/13/10
If you love to cook and/or you love to eat, you'll love today's site, FOOD411
Food411 is "a unique editorial food resource directory for everything on the Web related to gourmet food finds, online food shopping; ingredients, recipes, regional specialties, food blogs, unique food gifts, and meals delivered. Each and every resource has been carefully reviewed and hand-selected." Bon appetit!
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/2/09
Today’s website is for the legions of ice hockey fans out there! Legends of Hockey, from the Hockey Hall of Fame includes a registry of every player who ever appeared in the National Hockey League.
“The Legends” features HHOF honorees, and is searchable by player name, team, position, induction year, and place of birth. You can also browse every player who has ever played in the NHL by name, position, team, place of birth, and achievements, including “One game wonders” and “300 plus career goals”. Don’t miss the “Time Capsule” featuring highlights from the 1960’s and 70’s (and interesting statistics about life in America then and now), Women’s Hockey, Pro Classics and Olympic Games. A click on “Silverware” takes you to “Trophy Tours” of NHL, Non-NHL, and historic trophies, and even a virtual trophy tour at the HHOF. Coming soon under “Game Time”, the free 2010 Pepsi Trivia Challenge (registration required); in the meantime, warm up with the demo game.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/18/09
Discover greatness in this week's site, ACADEMY OF ACHIEVEMENT
This truly remarkable site "brings students face-to-face with the extraordinary leaders, thinkers and pioneers who have shaped our world.” Read the inspiring stories of achievers in the arts, business, public service, science and exploration, and sports. Discover the books that most impacted their lives from The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle (Jane Goodall, conservationist) to The Song of Hiawatha (actor, James Earl Jones). View/listen to podcasts of Bono, Toni Morrison, Paul Farmer, Sally Ride, and many others. In the “Keys of Success”, Academy members including Willie Mays and Johnny Cash discuss how they have applied the six guiding principles of Passion, Vision, Preparation, Courage, Perseverance, and Integrity to their own lives. Students, don't miss the "Find Your Mentor" exercise. And teachers, be sure to look at the resources page with a wealth of curriculum and public service program planning materials (including Martin Luther King Day and Earth Day).
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/11/09
In honor of Veteran’s Day, today’s site is The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century
World War I (1914-1918), then referred to simply as The Great War ended with the implementation of an armistice, or truce, between the Allies and Germany at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November, 1918. The annual Armistice Day observance, as proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson, began in 1921 and was made a national holiday in 1938.
This PBS site, companion to an 8 part video series originally broadcast in 1996, “features an expanded map and battle section, dramatized audio recordings of letters and poems written by combatants and non-combatants in the war, as well as streaming video of archival footage taken during World War I. Additionally, the site features a new section called The Shaping of the 21st Century, where we have re-interviewed two of the series historians for their comments on how The Great War is still having an effect upon the world, even in the new millennium. The site also has an expanded and updated education resources section.”
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/4/09
Our website today is both fun, educational and philanthropic! FreePoverty.com
Test your knowledge of the world by playing FreePoverty.com’s geography game, and provide fresh drinking water to those in need. Just click on the world map to locate specific sites, which range from "easy" to "super hard." The closer you get to the correct answer, the more cups of water you donate: 10 cups for a perfect answer, 9 and under for a less accurate answer, and 0 for a completely wrong answer. So far, more than 148 million cups of water have been donated to people in need all around the world. Test yourself each day and the benefit is twofold: You provide fresh water to those in need, and you improve your knowledge of world geography.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/28/09
Documentary Heaven provides free online documentaries spanning a wide variety of categories including biographies, conspiracy, human rights, movies, sports and adventure, and many more. Created and maintained by a student at Dublin City University, Ireland, DH’s 700+ videos are sourced from elsewhere on the internet and embedded on the site purely to enlighten and entertain. The videos come from such producers as History Channel, PBS, A&E and the BBC. With videos ranging from "Who Built Stonehenge?" to a 3 part biography of Jimi Hendrix, everyone is bound to find something interesting at Documentary Heaven. Note: If you're using Internet Explorer, the Google ads may impede searching Categories from the toolbar at the top of the page so use the Categories list on the lower right instead. This problem didn't occur with Firefox or Safari.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/21/09
A treasure trove of baseball history! View online exhibits (such as "Dressed to the Nines: A history of the baseball uniform"), video biographies of the 176 Hall of Famers, photo galleries, and even video highlights of such legends as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Joe DiMaggio. Click on the Education tab to access the Online Thematic Units (such as the history of women's baseball), and Electronic Field Trips, produced in collaboration with Ball State University (free registration required). Also, everything you need to know to plan a trip to Cooperstown is here. Browse around and see what else you might find.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/14/09
"Discover the connections between some of our country’s most treasured documents" when you visit the interactive Digital Vaults of the National Archives, a fascinating selection of 1200 photographs, documents, and film clips. Search by keyword or by tag. Collect items that interest you by dragging them onto the “dock” and then use them to create posters or short movies which you can then print or email. Take a Pathways Challenge, following clues that reveal relationships between items, and even create your own Pathway. Enjoy your tour of the Digital Vaults!
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/7/09
September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. First observed as a week-long celebration in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month honors the cultures, histories, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. Enjoy exhibitions, collections, images, audio and video materials through this collaborative site from the the Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Museum, and the National Archives. Also check out our library display honoring Hispanic Heritage Month.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/30/09
THE GREAT GATSBY….TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD…BELOVED…THE CALL OF THE WILD…LORD OF THE RINGS...
What do these classics have in common? They are all “banned” books. The American Library Association is celebrating intellectual freedom this week during BANNED BOOKS WEEK. Choose “Frequently Challenged Books” in the sidebar to view lists of banned books by year, by author, by decade, view statistics, and read about the titles above and other “Banned and Challenged Classics”. How many have you read?
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/23/09
Today's site is an especially good one for English language buffs and fans of wordplay (Scrabble, anyone?), but I guarantee everyone will find something fun and interesting at The Phrontistery "Here, you will find the International House of Logorrhea (an online dictionary of obscure and rare words), the Compendium of Lost Words (a compilation of ultra-rare forgotten words), and many other glossaries, word lists, essays, and other language and etymology resources." The Phrontistery (from the Greek, meaning “thinker”) comes from Steve Chrisomalis, a professor of Linguistic Anthropology at Wayne State University.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/27/09
“There was a lot more to magic as Harry quickly found out, than waving your wand and saying a few funny words.” Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic,and Medicine Illustrated with materials from the historical collections of the National Library of Medicine, this exhibit explores the links between the fascinating fantasy world of Harry Potter and Renaissance scientific traditions, such as alchemy, astrology, and beliefs about the natural world. View panels on potions, monsters, herbology, magical creatures, fantastic beasts, and immortality. Education resources include lesson plans, online activities, and a bibliography of fiction, non-fiction, primary and secondary sources.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/20/09
Today's featured website is Medline Plus
"A goldmine of good health information from the world's largest medical library, the National Library of Medicine."
"Health professionals and consumers alike can depend on it [Medline Plus] for information that is authoritative and up to date. MedlinePlus has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 750 diseases and conditions. There are directories, a medical encyclopedia, and a medical dictionary, easy-to-understand tutorials on common conditions, tests, and treatments, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials. MedlinePlus is updated daily.”
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/13/09
When it began publication on March 3, 1923, TIME MAGAZINE was America’s first weekly news magazine. (It was the brainchild of Hotchkiss alumni Henry R. Luce and Briton Hadden,, who worked together at the Yale Daily News.) Now we can browse or search the entire archive of covers and articles from that very first issue to the present, as well as view special collections of selected articles covering such topics as the Holocaust, the Civil Rights movement, American Teens, and Baseball Greats. Read the featured “Events in Time” (“a sampling of events that changed our world”), take the cover quiz, and read “First Mentions” of such newsmakers as Martin Luther King (1956), John F. Kennedy (1939) and Adolf Hitler (1923).
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/6/09
Discover the origins and meanings of over 1200 sayings, phrases and idioms at our featured site, The Phrase Finder
“Whether you want to resolve a friendly argument over how a saying or phrase originated or whether you just enjoy words, you'll probably find something here to interest you.” Browse phrases and sayings using the alphabetical list or search via the search box in the Phrase Dictionary. View special lists of sayings coined by Shakespeare, nautical sayings, and Biblical sayings. Subscribe to the free “A Phrase a Week” email. A Phrase Thesaurus is available through a paid subscription. And for fun, take the “Phrase Origins Quiz” or the “Shakespeare Quiz”.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/29/09
This week’s website comes from the resource pages of a new reference set at the library, GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE UNITED STATES
Read what the world press has to say President Obama's first 100 days on WatchingAmerica.com “WatchingAmerica.com provides English translations of news and views about the United States published in other countries that reflect global opinion about the United States. Their goal is to help Americans and non-Americans alike understand what the world thinks of current issues that involve the United States.” (Global Perspectives xix) Articles are also available in the original language through links to foreign news outlets from all over the world, as are articles from global sources originally written in English. And through WatchingAmerica’s auto-translation technology, visitors can surf foreign language news sites in English.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/22/09
It's Earth Day! Celebrate with a visit to National Geographic’s photo gallery, “The First Earth Day – Bell-Bottoms and Gas Masks”
On Wednesday, April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans participated in the first nationwide protest to draw attention to "green issues", modeled on anti-Vietnam War demonstrations called teach-ins. The pictures and accompanying personal stories presented in this NG story are a wonderful record of that first day. The spark caught fire and Earth Day 2009 events are expected to draw a billion people worldwide. Learn more about Earth Day, its history, and living “greener” at National Geographic’s Green Guide to Everyday Living.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/14/09
Library buffs, architecture fans, and virtual tourists will enjoy these online exhibitions featuring pictures of the national libraries of Europe and special treasures from their collections. View reading rooms in the library buildings exhibit which range from the sumptuous to the austere. Among the treasures, see a Botticelli illustration for Dante's Divine Comedy and an original page from the score of Mozart's Requiem. From the European Library, a free service providing information about and access to the 48 national libraries of Europe, their services, and online exhibitions.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/8/09
This week’s website is The American Comedy Archives
The American Comedy Archives at Emerson College is “devoted to exploring the nature of comedy as an American art form” and “preserving primary source material that documents the professional activities of the ground breaking individuals who have written, produced or performed comedy..." This growing online collection includes photographs, transcripts and video excerpts of oral history interviews featuring such greats as Shelley Berman, Don Knotts, Phyllis Diller, and Dick Gregory.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/1/09
In honor of National Poetry Month, we feature Library of Congress Poetry Resources
This comprehensive guide to poetry resources at the Library of Congress includes webcasts, digital collections, exhibitions, learning materials, and other features. It also provides links to guides to finding a poem, locating poetry criticism, official state poems, poets laureate, and more. Enjoy!
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/4/09
"Spring forward, Fall back" Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 am on Sunday, March 8
An idea originally conceived by Ben Franklin, Daylight Saving Time is the subject of this online exhibit from WebExhibits, an interactive, online museum of science and culture. Learn about “the history of daylight saving (or as some may say, daylight shifting), the standardization of time, and when regions around the globe spring ahead and fall back.” Don’t miss “incidents and anecdotes” about the impact of DST “on a wide variety of unexpected areas--from Middle East terrorism to feuding twin cities, voter turnout to time-change riots, radio stations to trick-or-treaters, and opera performances to manslaughter charges.” This exhibit can be viewed in traditional page view, or the new “node” view which displays the information in little floating “clouds”.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/25/09
2009 marks both Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday (February 12th) and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species. This online exhibition,a collaboration between Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections and the Museum of the Earth, “explores the scientist’s life and work during the 22 years following the 1859 publication of the Origin.” The exhibit features annotated images on topics ranging from Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle, to his later research on plant and animal behavior, mating ritual and the expression of emotions. See also the resources pages for links to additional sites about Darwin; his home, Down House (an English Heritage site); the Darwin Bicentenary; and more.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/18/09
The Newseum in Washington, D.C. is dedicated to the history of news. On this interactive website, you can view today's front pages of hundreds of newspapers from the United States and countries around the world, and sort by region if you wish, or view in list or interactive map format. Look at the front pages archive for national and international front pages that chronicle selected historical events of the past five years. Visit current exhibits, including "Manhunt: Chasing Lincoln's Killer", as well as past online exhibits. Choose "Journalists Memorial" to read about the "1843 reporters, photographers, and broadcasters who have died reporting the news". All ages will enjoy the "Fun and Games" page where you can take a virtual tour of the museum, play the "Newsmania" game, or "Be a TV Reporter". Also find the information you need to plan a trip. Enjoy your visit!
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/11/09
Tomorrow, February 12 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, so our website today is the official U.S. government site dedicated to the year-long celebration of the Lincoln Bicentennial. Read all about Lincoln’s life and legacy; travel the interactive timeline of his life and view the virtual tour of historic sites; read his most famous speeches; find educational resources such as lesson plans and reading lists, as well as podcasts; and there’s even a special page for kids where they can take the “Honest Abe Quiz” and play the "Abraham Lincoln Crossroads" Game.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/4/09AFRICAN AMERICAN ODYSSEY
“The exhibition The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases the incomparable African American collections of the Library of Congress. Displaying more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings, this is the largest black history exhibit ever held at the Library, and the first exhibition of any kind to feature presentations in all three of the Library's buildings.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/28/09Snow Crystals: your online guide to snowflakes
This fascinating site comes from Caltech physicist, Kenneth Libbrecht. View his photo galleries of natural and man-made snowflakes, crystals, and frost, and read all about the physics of these beautiful snow phenomena. Try out some of the different snow activities, such as snowflake watching and photography, and growing your own snowflakes in a lab. There are also fun snowflake activities for kids. And now create your own snowflake at Make-A-Flake
It took me a couple of minutes to get the hang of this, but basically you align the scissors along the paper’s edge until the pivot turns from red to green, and start to “snip” using mouse clicks. A trail of stars will follow your snips until you touch the paper edge again and the selected area will fall away. To see your creation, click on “Preview flake”. You can also save and email your snowflake. From Barkley Interactive. (You’ll need the Flash 6 plug-in which you can get through Make-A-Flake if needed)
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/21/09Support the Dream with Every Search
"You can help raise funds to build the Memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC simply by searching everyday using your favorite web browser and the MLK Memorial toolbar. For every search you perform using the toolbar $.05 will be donated to the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation."
For more information, including a virtual tour of the memorial, go to www.mlkmemorial.org. To download the toolbar to your personal computer, choose “Support the Dream”, and then “Download the MLK Toolbar”. Versions are available for Internet Explorer and Firefox.
"Dr. King's Memorial site is a four-acre plot on the north east corner of the Tidal Basin... The approved site creates a visual 'line of leadership' from the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous 'I Have a Dream' speech, to the Jefferson Memorial." Construction on the memorial began in November 2008 and the dedication and unveiling by President Barack Obama is tentatively scheduled for 2010. $104 million of the $120 million needed to complete construction has been raised to date.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/14/09Presidential Inaugurations: Invitations and Tickets in the U.S. Senate Collection
We can't all receive formal invitations to the Inauguration next week, but on today's site everyone can see what an invitation to a presidential inauguration looks like: This site from the Senate Historical Office includes images of invitations and tickets for inaugurations of the president and vice president of the United States from the 1925 inauguration of Calvin Coolidge to the 2005 inauguration of George Bush . In addition, it outlines the history and the events of inauguration day. It also provides the number of words in each inaugural address and an interesting fact about each ceremony, such as Harry Truman's swearing-in, the first ceremony to be televised.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/7/09How do you make a GPS mount that fit’s in your car's cup holder? Where can you learn how to play Frisbee Shootout? Want to bake a fractal gingerbread house? Our site this week has to be one of the most fun in all of cyberspace!
“The world’s biggest show and tell”
The brainchild of a group of MIT graduates, Instructables is a community where people share guides they have created for a wide variety of do-it-yourself projects in areas of art, crafts, food, home, kids, music, pets, science, sports, tech, and more. You can register for a free account which enable you to upload your own “instructables”, as well as rate and comment on someone else’s. You'll be busy and amused all winter with projects that are ingenious, weird, useful, clever, fun, and sometimes all of the above.
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/10/08The FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was founded in 1908 to serve as the investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice. This fascinating site opens the doors of the FBI to all of us. Follow breaking news and top stories, read about the “investigative priorities “of the agency, learn how to “be crime smart” to protect family, community, and workplace, and check out the most wanted lists of terrorists, bank robbers, and other fugitives. Look under “Our 100th Anniversary” for the new Centennial history (available in pdf full text), Top Ten Myths and Top Ten Moments in FBI history. Listen to the weekly podcasts, and sign up for email alerts and news feeds, and much more. There’s even a special page for children. Enjoy your visit!
Wednesday Website of the Week 12/3/08LIFE Photo Archive
Published weekly between 1936 and 1972, LIFE was one of the most popular magazines in America, selling millions of copies each week during its heyday. With its unique emphasis on photojournalism, the magazine earned itself an important place in publishing history, bringing the immediacy of current events into living rooms across America long before televisions became a household fixture. Now, the millions of photographs in the LIFE Photo Archive, many never before published, are available to us through a joint project with Google. The archive is searchable by keyword, by people, places, events, sports, and culture, or by decades from the 1860s to the 1970s. * Come see "the real thing" at the library where we have the complete run of LIFE in bound volumes.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/19/08No doubt we're all looking forward to the turkey and other delicious foods we'll cook and consume one week from tomorrow, so this week's site is The History of Thanksgiving
Beginning with the first harvest celebration in 1621, this fun and informative multi-media site explores both the historical facts and the myths associated with the holiday. Watch video about the first Thanksgiving Day football game in 1934 (between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears), a tradition that continues to this day. Follow the design and building of a float for the famous Macy’s Day Parade, now in its 82nd year. Listen to interviews with Pilgrims Myles Standish and Ellinor Bilington (portrayed by actors at Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum) about their perceptions of that first feast. Follow links to related sites, such as Plymouth Plantation, the Library of Congress, The White House, and even AllRecipes.com. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about Thanksgiving, you’ll learn something new here.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/12/08“Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today” President-Elect Barack Obama
Our featured website this week is CHANGE.GOV
The official website of the Presidential Transition Project “Throughout the Presidential Transition Project, this website will be your source for the latest news, events, and announcements so that you can follow the setting up of the Obama Administration. And just as this historic campaign was, from the beginning, about you -- the transition process will offer you opportunities to participate in redefining our government. Come back often as we define new programs and possibilities to engage and be part of this administration."
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/5/08In honor of the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, our featured website today is American President: An Online Reference Resource An invaluable resource on U.S. Presidents, this site features biographies and essays on each President, his First Lady, and Cabinet, as well as essays considering the legacy and impact of the President and his administration. Additionally, a series of essays on the President at Work examines the “function, responsibilities, and organization of the modern presidency and traces the history and evolution of presidential duties.”
Other programs of the Miller Center, accessible from the American President page, include the Presidential Recording Program, featuring transcripts and recording of thousands of hours of secret meetings and phone conversations between the years 1940 (F.D. Roosevelt) and 1973 (Nixon), and the Presidential Oral History Project, which is collecting interviews with officials of each administration since that of President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981). The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia is a public policy institution dedicated to the study of the governance of the United States, with particular interest in the role of the presidency.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/27/08This week's featured site is the Election 2008 page of RealClearPolitics.com
One week from today, America will have voted and with any luck, the victor will be known. Follow the national and state polls through these final days on RealClearPolitics.com, the site of choice for many a political commentator. "Updated every morning and throughout the day, RCP culls and publishes the best commentary, news, polling data, and links to important resources from all points of the political compass and covering all the important issues of the day. RealClearPolitics has become a trusted filter for anyone interested in politics." "RealClearPolitics is the first web site I check every morning. It's an invaluable tool for anybody interested in politics or public affairs." - David Brooks, The New York Times "I check RealClearPolitics every day. It is the best collection of political commentary on the web." - Brit Hume, FOX News "Absulutely indispensable." - Peter Beinart, The New Republic
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/22/08For the latest in nutrition information and eating smart, look no further than the Food and Nutrition Information Center
This site from the USDA National Agricultural Library contains such a wealth of information that it's hard to do it justice in a single paragraph! Designed to be easily accessible to professionals and consumers alike, the FNIC allows you, the user, to search by keyword or to browse subject categories or TOPICS A-Z to find the best and most recent information. The site contains over 2000 links as well as numerous resource lists compiled by nutrition information experts. The “Consumer Corner” provides answers to questions most asked, and includes interactive tools, such as personal menu planners, fitness and health planners, and a Body Mass Index calculator. And, parents, don’t miss the special section just for children with games, videos, and fun interactive activities. Researchers and professionals will find useful statistics and surveys, grants information, links to research databases, historical information, legislation and policy, and career resources.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/15/08This week's featured website is The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2008
This online exhibition from the Museum of the Moving Image presents “more than 300 television commercials from every election year since 1952, when the first campaign TV ads aired...The site includes a searchable database and features commentary, historical background, election results, and navigation organized by year, type of ad, and issue. There is a playlist feature that allows visitors to select, annotate, and share their own groups of ads, and to view playlists by guest contributors. Each selected commercial is accompanied by a list of related ads. There is a transcript for each ad and a feature that allows visitors to search the entire database by title and by words in the transcripts.”
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/8/08Yesterday's speaker, Stephen Donaldson, advised us all to become more mindful shoppers and now we can with GoodGuide.com
Increasingly we’re all looking to buy safer, healthier, and greener products but it can be hard to know where to start. Originally conceived as a UC Berkeley research project, GoodGuide.com has partnered with leading socially responsible research firms to score companies and their products on their health, social, and environmental impacts. With GoodGuide, you can search or browse over 60,000 personal care and household chemical products to learn what’s actually inside the container. Signup for a free membership and you can create a personalized shopping list of products to buy, as well as maintain a list of products to avoid. Visit the blog for articles on health and environmental issues, and even get the latest news and recall information from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/1/08Today we feature the GREATER GOOD NETWORK of charitable sites. Your click on any of these CLICK TO GIVE websites prompts advertisers to donate to the non-profit, tax exempt GreaterGood.org. In 2007, clicks on the network’s sites generated $1.7 million dollars for charity. So go ahead and click each day to help feed the hungry, put books in the hands of children, preserve acres of rainforest, provide free mammograms, improve child health, and feed unwanted animals. Choose one cause or all 6. Through the Greater Good Network, it only takes a few seconds to make a difference.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/24/08NPR's On Point
While the Taft community is studiously occupied from 10am to 12noon each weekday, Boston’s National Public Radio station, WBUR is broadcasting one of its most popular talk shows, On Point, hosted by award-winning journalist, Tom Ashbrook. Each program consists two one-hour episodes focusing on issues that matter, from breaking news to the arts, with lively conversations between notable newsmakers, scholars, artists, scientists, and ordinary citizens who call in from around the world. Luckily for us, we can visit On Point’s web page anytime and listen to the day’s broadcast, or search the archives of past programs and listen via streaming audio. You can also subscribe to an Mp3 podcast via iTunes, Odeo, or Podnova. Our local NPR station carrying On Point is at 90.5 FM.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/17/08“There's slime in your inbox, attack ads on TV and falsehoods on the radio. Welcome to election season”! Get the facts at FACTCHECK.ORG
During this hotly contested presidential campaign, FactCheck.org provides an invaluable service by monitoring the accuracy of what is being said by the candidates and others in debates, speeches, interviews, news releases, TV ads, and even bestselling books. In addition to the regular reports, users may subscribe to email or RSS feeds to receive the latest information, and don’t miss Ask Factcheck, where frequently asked questions of fact are answered. Search the Archives month by month back to December 2003. The Annenberg Political Fact Check is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. FactCheck.org is a winner of several 2008 Webby Awards for excellence.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/22/08
Practice your English vocabulary skills and provide 20 grains of rice to hungry people for each vocabulary word for which you identify the correct definition. "The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen." The rice is distributed by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). Also includes a FAQ and a list of total donations by date back to October 2007.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/14/08
Today's website is a great one from Mr. Trombly in the Business Office.
When you need a problem-solving human on the phone, try these numbers and their short cuts. This is a list of secret 800 numbers with their voice mail short-cuts that allow you to bybass automated phone system get an actual live person on the line.
Wednesday Website of the Week 5/7/08
The parent site to LibrarySpot, GovSpot, HomeworkSpot, TripSpot, GourmetSpot and more, StartSpot has been recognized with more than 100 awards and honors for excellence. The Startspot Network's "editorial team carefully evaluates and selects the best, most relevant and most interesting online resources for a topic, then organizes the information to make it easily accessible." So pick your favorite Spot and have fun exploring this remarkable set of resources!
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/30/08
"Who are Democratic super delegates? These nearly 800 Democratic party leaders and officials, who may vote independently of their state's primary or caucus results, will comprise 20 percent of the total delegate pool at the 2008 presidential nominating convention." This site provides a list of superdelegates with endorsement information and news updates. Part of the Online NewsHour site for the 2008 presidential election.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/23/08
In Pictures is a collection of free, and very easy-to follow illustrated tutorials for software and computer programs such as Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver, Photoshop Elements, HTML and CSS, My SQL, PHP, and Perl. These tutorials were originally developed as part of a U.S. Department of Education study to help people with learning disabilities learn computer skills. They are simple, black & white screenshot style tutorials which focus on common tasks rather than special features. From Visibooks.
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/16/08
This is National Library Week so Today's Site is: The Library of Congress
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with more than 138 million items on approximately 650 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 32 million books and other print materials, 2.9 million recordings, 12.5 million photographs, 5.3 million maps, 5.5 million pieces of sheet music and 61 million manuscripts. (For more fascinating facts about the LOC, go to http://www.loc.gov/about/facts.html ) Explore the library's vast digital collections, search the online catalog, watch the video "More than a library" and more
Wednesday Website of the Week 4/9/08
DailyLit.com So many books, so little time...
Inspired by the NYT which serialized several classic works a few years ago, DailyLit.com sends books in installments via email. Each installment is intended to be read in 5 minutes or less. The offerings, which include 400 free books, are browseable by author, title, and genre. Readers can choose to receive an installment every day, only on weekends, or three times a weeks. If you want more of the same book on a particular day, you can choose to receive the next installment at any time. DailyLit also features online forums in which readers can discuss the books.
Wednesday Websites of the Week 4/2/08
In celebration of National Poetry month I am bringing back one of last year's featured websites, Poet's Corner. This is one of the largest and most well organized poetry resources on the Internet. It has Author, Title and Subject indexes as well as links to other great poetry sites.
Wednesday Website of the Week 3/26/08
From the International Museum of Women. This online exhibition, based on a project begun in 2001, features "film, photography, music, poetry, and personal essays -- all responding to the question 'What Defines Your Generation of Women?'" Explore the exhibit by selecting a theme such as love, money, war and dialog, motherhood, and image and identity. It also includes material about activism opportunities and is available in several languages.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/27/08
Since March is Women's History month, I have chosen a site which provides a chronology of women's history in the United States. Each section includes a timeline that links specific events with highly relevant online sources, followed by a guide to research sources (e.g., census, newspapers, secondary sources) that are appropriate for the specified time period.
This site also includes links to sites about notable women, states, and specific topics. From librarian Ken Middleton of Middle Tennessee State University
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/20/08
ExpertVillage.com is the world's largest how-to video site, and growing. It contains over 72,318 videos from 5,343 experts. This is a fun one where you can learn anything, including self defense techniques, free magic tricks, cooking tips, guitar chords, computer programs and nearly everything in between.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/13/08
Do you really know where the candidates stand? Learn about the candidates through their platforms, not their personalities. This quiz features some of the issues that have gained traction this campaign season. Also includes an "Election Issues" section (top menu, once you enter the quiz) with candidates' statements about health care, immigration, energy, Iraq, abortion, and other issues. From WBUR and the Online NewsHour.
Wednesday Website of the Week 2/06/08
Did you know you can view many NOVA programs online for free? They are both browsable and searchable, and are conveniently divided into chapters. Very interesting.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/30/08
This is a portal to more than 600 webcasts, gathered by the Library of Congress. Each webcast has a photo of the speaker, title of the presentation, date of the the original presentation and running time. The categories of the webcasts include:
- Biography, History
- Culture, Performing Arts
- Science, Technology Select the featured webcast, from a list of the top 10 favorites, or search for a specific topic using the directory.
Wednesday Websites of the Week 1/23/08
"Shocking photos brought the civil-rights struggle to all America. Relive it now through the eyes of photojournalist Charles Moore." Includes photos of leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., protests, riots, and related topics. From Kodak.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/16/07
This site is from professor Doug Linder at University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Law. It's fun, easy to use, very informative and well worth a visit. He tells the stories of famous trials by using a fascinating collection of images, transcripts, maps, pictures, audio clips, primary documents and essays.
Wednesday Website of the Week 1/9/08
Type in the name of your favorite band, and within moments this site will be streaming a radio station, featuring songs from that band and similar ones, to your desktop through your browser--no registration and no downloads required. There is also a searchable database with information on various artists and their music. It's a good way to discover new artists who sort of sound like the bands you already like. Courtesy of the Music Genome Project.
Wednesday Websites of the Week 12/6/07
How Stuff Works explains how a wide variety of things work. The author uses terms and language that is easy to understand along with tons of illustrations. The site includes links for further exploration, pictures and diagrams.
How Products Are Made Made explains and details the manufacturing process of a wide variety of products, from daily household items to complicated electronic equipment and heavy machinery. This is a fun site and includes a wide variety of products—chewing gum, refrigerators, shaving cream, fireworks, frisbees, baby carriers, Braille publications, you name it—it tells you about the history of the product, the raw materials, and the manufacturing process.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/28/07
All you budding videographers, this one is for you.
FourDocs is an online documentary site provided by Channel 4 (a public-service British television station). It allows viewers to upload their own documentaries to the site for other people to view. It focuses on documentaries of between 3 and 5 minutes. The website also includes an archive of classic documentaries, interviews with documentary film makers, and short educational guides to documentary-making.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/14/07
Who doesn't love getting a bargain? The Bargainist scours the Web for the best bargains, coupons, and free offers, from garden supplies and beauty products to movies and computers. Click on Tips to read about ways you can save money on gas, eating out, and more. The Stores section reveals bargain links to over 50 retailers and online stores.The Bargainist updates multiple times per day, so stop by often to check out the latest deals.
Wednesday Website of the Week 11/7/07
LibraryThing is a new site for book lovers and it's basically two sites in one. It helps you create a library-quality catalog of your books and it connects you to people based on the books they share.
LibraryThing is VERY easy to join - just a user name and a password. You can look at your catalog in either "list" or "cover" view. You can search your books, sort your books, edit book information, and apply "tags." You can rate your books and write reviews. Your profile connects you to people who share your books. With over 250,000 users and 19 million books in the system, you'll find some "eerily similar" libraries. LibraryThing knows how books connect, providing some of the best recommendations on the web. LibraryThing can analyze your entire catalog and come up with 100 or so books you might want to check out. The UnSuggester will give you humorous recommendations of books you probably wouldn't enjoy.
This is really a fun site for book lovers.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/24/07
Environmental Working Group provides a treasure trove of consumer safety information. The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG specializes in providing useful resources (like Skin Deep the cosmetic safety database with reviews of over 20,000 products, and the Shoppers Guide to Pesticide in Produce) to consumers while simultaneously pushing for national policy change.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/10/07
Physics to Go is a collection of websites where you can learn physics on your own, through games, webcasts, and online exhibits and activities. Also included are physics on the road programs, which bring demonstration shows, and in some cases hands-on activities, to you, the audience. To find the resources you want, you can browse the collection or search the database by content topic, resource type, and grade level.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/7/07
This site is a searchable and annotated subject directory of Internet resources selected and evaluated by librarians.
How is this different from a search engine like Google? These sites are hand selected by human beings, Librarians in fact, and a Google search is an automated search done by machine. These are websites you can trust. This site is also listed on the Library's Useful Websites page.
Wednesday Website of the Week 10/3/07
Produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
The Second World War was fought in thousands of places, too many for any one accounting. This is the story of the war from an American perspective and, in particular, it is the story of four American towns - Waterbury, Conn., Mobile, Ala., Sacramento, Calif. and Luverne, Minn. and how their citizens experienced the war.
Seven years ago Ken Burns, director of such acclaimed documentaries as The Civil War, Baseball, and Jazz felt an urgency to make this documentary when he learned that veterans of WWII were dying at a rate of over 1,000 per day. He needed to hear the stories while there were still veterans able to tell them.
Note: Our neighboring city, Waterbury, still known today as "The Brass City" for its once-flourishing brass industry, played a very significant role in supplying the American and Allied forces with much needed equipment (even providing parts for the atomic bomb). Throughout the film, Burns notes the contributions of Waterbury residents both on the homefront and on the war front.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/26/07
The Hearst-Argyle Television stations nationwide have committed a minimum of five minutes of nightly airtime to candidate-centered coverage. Their online website also features in-depth, original coverage with real-time livestreaming webcasts of candidate debates, blogs, exclusive research poll data, podcasts, expert analysis, candidates' appearance schedules and issue grids.
Check out the issue grid called Compare the Candidates. It briefly lists each candidates position of 14 major issues with links to the sources used to determine the candidates stand. One can also compare two candidates side-by-side.
Wednesday Website of the Week 9/19/07
This easy-to-use site offers baseball history, awards, records, feats, humor, lists, quotations, statistics, poetry, songs, U.S. presidential baseball trivia, rules, scoring, recommended reading, and a "year in review" section starting from 1901 for the American League and from 1876 for the National League. All features are searchable, including the quotations and "Fast Facts" located on every page.