Monday, October 31, 2005

Weekend update: Other things found this week:

The news is moving so fast that these last few weeks many of the links I've collected are out of date by the time I post them. Not much use for those Harriet Miers or Hurricane Wilma links now (although many of the Wilma links remain on my Herald blog)......

The other links:

  • Skin Deep, report on cosmetics from Environmental Working Group, has database of product safety info.
  • Nuclear plants operating in the U.S., list with links from EIA.
  • Drug interaction checker from
  • Living With Debt a report on Americans' changing attitutes, from
  • National Insurance Crime Bureau has a database of boats and cars damaged in Katrina and Rita. Need hull number or VIN.
  • How Much is That? several ways to calculate value of a dollar compared to previous years, from an economics prof.
  • Computer and Internet use in the U.S., 2003 from Census.
  • U.S. Prisoners, 2004, stats on inmates in state and federal prisons.
  • Fish Economics: the benefit of rebuilding the world's fish stock, report from U. British Columbia.
  • Statewide Education Data Profiles new from NCES.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball: The oft-quoted prof's political predictions.
  • Top-Earning dead celebrities from Forbes.
  • Good explanation of Plame case and indictment process on Al's Morning Meeting.
  • Westport Teardowns The newspaper in this CT town features houses that are disappearing to be replaced by bigger homes.

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    Another Wikipedia post:
    In case you missed it, Can you trust Wikipedia? in the Guardian on Monday.
    This discussion certainly resonates for news researchers. I'm a big Wikipedia fan but recognize that it is a wonderful guideline for finding where to get factual information, not necessary an ultimate reference.
    In this story, Guardian asks experts to review entries on subjects familiar to them. Some are good, some are bad. I like the TS Eliot expert's comment:
    The Waste Land is highlighted and when I click on it, a separate entry for the book pops up. There's a Four Quartets bit, too, and all the plays. And when I click on the year 1922, I get a page telling me what else happened that year. Eliot is at the centre of a whole web of other references.

    It's purely factual and not in any way analytical, but then that's all you want from this sort of thing.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Good advice for bloggers:
    Blogging for older readers, from 'Crabby Old Lady' (Ronnie Bennett).

    Monday, October 24, 2005

    More on Wikipedia:
    Tech Central Station:
    The Faith-Based Encyclopedia, by Robert McHenry, a former Britannica editor.
    "It is true, unfortunately, that many encyclopedia users, like many encyclopedia reviewers, have low expectations. They are satisfied to find an answer to their questions. I would argue that more serious users, however, have two requirements: first, an answer to their questions; second, that those answers be correct."

    Errors in the Encyclopædia Britannica that have been corrected in Wikipedia. Example:
    Britannica lists the birthname of William J. Clinton (Bill Clinton) as "William Jefferson Blythe IV" [2]. It has been confirmed by the Clinton Library [3] that the correct birthname is "William Jefferson Blythe III".

    Saturday, October 22, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:

    More hurricane links because the hits just keep coming:

  • More Wilma links from Al Tompkins.
  • 21 named storms from the 2005 hurricane season: great satellite image from Arlene to Wilma from NASA.
  • Some good Wilma references on Al's Morning Meeting Today.
  • Hurricane Crisis Imagery from Natl Geospacial-Intelligence Agency.

    The other links:

  • Education: The State We're In, state by state snapshot of education from Center for American Progress.
  • Census facts for Thanksgiving.
  • Immigration and Terrorism: Moving Beyond the 9/11 Staff Report on Terrorist Travel from Center for Immigration Studies.
  • Separate and Unequal: Residential Segregation and Estimated Cancer Risks Associated with Ambient Air Toxics in U.S. Metropolitan Areas, NIH study.
  • Conflict, State and Decentralisation: from social progress to an armed dispute for local control, 1974-2002 from Universidad de los Andes.
  • Healthline: this new portal site for health info is getting rave reviews from researchers, as easiest to use.
  • CommonCensus Map Project is redrawing the map of the U.S. based on how people relate to cities.
    There's also a Sports team influence Map Project.
  • PR Newswire for Journalists: RSS Feeds; get newsfeeds on dozens of different topics from PR Newswire. There's also a 'My Yahoo' and a 'My MSN' button for the easiest possible newsfeed setup.
  • InformBeta test of a new news aggregator with great features. They say it works best in IE, not Firefox.
  • Census report on work-day populaton of cities.
  • American Community Survey, from Census, now has released 2004 data.
  • Child Poverty in States hit by Hurricane Katrina, report from Natl Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia's Mailman School.
  • Latest fuel economy ratings for 2006 vehicles from EPA.
  • Digest of Education Statistics, 2004.
  • Crime in the United States, 2004, latest Uniform Crime Reports from FBI.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Consitution of the U.S., 2002 edition from GPO.
  • New Bankruptcy law explained from U.S. Courts website.
  • Latest Transparency International Corruption Index, 2005.
  • Doing Business database from World Bank, get quick economic snapshots of a country.
  • 50 years of World Press Photos of the Year.
  • Annual Report on Homeless Conditions in Florida, 2005 from DCF.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Kansas City Star's Greg Reeves is doing a Crime Scene KC blog.
  • Is your printer spying on you? that report from EFF.

  • Thursday, October 20, 2005

    A recurring topic:
    Interesting discussion on Sticks of Fire blog on whether Wikipedia is a reliable source, reacting to references in the Tampa Tribune.
    (Added 10/21:) Good summary of the ongoing Wikipedia controversy with links on Guardian Newsblog.

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    More on storing photos for linking:
    I decided not to try flickr for storing my photos, despite suggestion, because I feared the URLs wouldn't be permanent. Now I know I should have tried it, after getting a comment from Derek Willis informing me that flickr does have permanent URLs for the photos stored there. There are examples on Derek's Blandiose site.
    I've been relying on my Web space for storing photos to link on my blogs, and having space troubles as a result. Although I have lots of photos posted to the blogs (see the Highlandscam photo blog) I couldn't use them for separate display or link them on my website.
    One solution was to set up additional profiles on my Earthlink account, which could theoretically give me an extra 50 or so mb, which I hadn't done before; using one of them now has given me working room.
    But now, thanks to suggestions from Derek and Jack, I can see an alternative solution. I could move the photos to flickr and use my Web space to store text. Hope this information helps others who have been looking for a similar solution.

    I really appreciate that these journalists took the time to make suggestions and help a fellow blogger with a problem. Isn't this a wonderful thing about doing this?

    Saturday, October 15, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:

    Note at least today the logos are back. I got some good suggestions in the comments from Jack Smith, who recommended posting the photos to flickr. I did try posting them to Yahoo! photos, but the addresses there were dynamic too, and I think flickr does the same thing. At any rate, I now have the photos on a separate Earthlink website, so I think they'll be stable now. It is time for me to do a redesign, and this nearly made me do it immediately...still thinking about it, though.

    I've been posting lots on the recent tragedies in Pakistan and Guatemala on my Herald blog, but a couple good collections here for journalists:

    The other links:

  • NCORE, Natl Center for Coral Reef Research, at UM's Rosenstiel School.
  • Metro Bits, site devoted to metro and subway systems worldwide. Includes a World Metro List.
  • Double Tongued Word Wrester, fascinating dictionary of new oddball words 'on the fringe of English'.
  • New listings, the Online Books Page; find out what new books in fulltext have been added to this great Online Books guide (RSS feed also available). Note if you're into Vietnam history, a whole bunch of military reports were added Oct. 4.
  • Wikibooks: lots of textbooks online.
  • National UFO Reporting Center. Here's a great place to find locals and their stories.
  • NumSum: create free spreadsheets on the Web you can share with others; or use a 'throwaway spreadsheet' good for 7 days.
  • How to get free 411 searches using your text phone, from Wash Post.
  • Annual Report of ATV deaths and injuries, 2004
    Governments, Politics:
  • U.S. Government Manual, new 2005-2006 edition.
  • Congressional Pictoral Directory for the 109th Congress, latest version.
  • China Business Research Guide from UPenn library, good business research links.
  • HHS database of defaulted borrowers: health professionals that didn't pay back Health Education Assistance Loans issued between 1978-1998.

  • Yahoo! Podcasts.

  • Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    Here's something else really useful:
    Bookmarklets every blogger should have, from Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion.

    Resource for librarians, and a personal note:
    Google announces they are starting a Google Librarian Center, where you can sign up for quarterly newsletters.
    There will be lots of discussion of Google Print and Google Scholar, of course, but they'll also asking about how librarians use Google and train users. Should be interesting.
    But Why not a blog? Seems like this would be a great place for real-time discussion....

    The sad news for many of my old friends this week is the news that my college, Marymount College of Tarrytown NY, is closing (New York Times story). Fordham University bought it several years ago but couldn't make a go of it. They will continue to use the campus, high on the hill overlooking the Tappan Zee and just next to the Rockefeller estate, but it won't be the same. Maybe a good thing as Marymount was somehow not keeping up with the times, it seemed. But the reaction amoung the members of our class' Yahoo! Group (Marymount '67) is great sadness.
    (The creation of this group has been a huge boon in my life. It has put me back in touch with some great women I once knew and thought I would never hear from again. Just one more thing that wouldn't have happened without the Internet. We will be keeping this group going even when the college is no longer there. And there will be a 40th Reunion.)

    Here's one of the last snapshots of Marymount's Web site when it was still Marymount, from the Internet Archive. Note the link to International Programs. Marymount made it possible for me to spend my junior year living outside London, commuting by train to the London School of Economics. I also managed to travel that year, with other Marymount students, to Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. It's something I'd probably never have been able to do on my own.
    Later I thought I wished I'd gone to a big university rather than a small Catholic women's college. But I think I was wrong.

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Worth a read:
    The Miami Herald's Debbie Cenziper has a two-day multipart series on why funding problems are preventing the National Hurricane Center from doing needed research on storms. Blind Eye in hurricane forecasts; First/Main with links to other stories.

    More blogging/newsfeed news:
    Moreover has also been sold to Verisign. (Rafat Ali Via Jeff Jarvis)

    Weekend update: Other things found last week:

    Posting again delayed by phone problems this weekend.

    In the news last week, of course, Harriet Miers. A few good resources:
    Links on Harriet Miers from Al Tompkins at Poynter; Hot Topics: Harriet Miers, links from UMich law library; Harriet Miers' campaign contributions, report from Capital Eye.

    And one addition on Katrina:
    Katrina Legal Aid Resource Center

    The other links:

  • Allergy Capitals, Fall 2005 ranks three Florida cities in top 10.
  • Complete collection of Monty Python show scripts.
  • Searchable AskSam databases of Hamlet, DaVinci's notebooks.
  • Yoga study from American Council on Exercise, finds benefits.
  • Area Connect: recommended as a quick way to find local white and yellow pages nationwide, plus weather, maps, etc. Also good for quick state info, small town info.
  • The Origins and common usage of British swear-words, fascinating BBC essay. From H2G2, the 'guide to life, the universe, and everything'.
  • Blog searches: Clusty, Google.
  • Google Reader: search for and subscribe to RSS newsfeeds.
  • Alternatives to Traditional Transportation Fuels 2004, stats on hybrids and other alternatives, from EIA.
  • Petroleum Reserves, 2004, advance version of annual report from EIA.
  • Protecting Social Security numbers from identity theft, study by AARP.
  • The effect of rising gasoline costs on older Americans, AARP study.
  • Newspaper Audience Database, fall 2005 from NAA, large PDF. Statistics in Excel format, links to pocket guide and more.
  • The AP and FOI, includes a guide to filing FOI requests.
  • The Great Reporters is a new book by a British journalist. Among the 15 reporters listed: Miami Herald's Edna Buchanan.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Saddam trial resources: Iraq Special Tribunal, The Saddam Hussein Sourcebook (National Security Archives).
  • Bush's foreign policy team, study by RightWeb shows relationships to think tanks, PNAC, etc.
    Public Records:
  • Free CARFAX check for flood-damaged cars, need VIN number.
  • OSHA's Lost Workday Injury and Illness Database, obtained and posted in Excel format by The Memory Hole.
  • Handicap Lookup from USGA. Note the WSJ used this database to find out what corporate officers were playing golf on business trips.
  • Charity Searches: search state registrations in New York, Pennsylvania.
  • Castle Garden is where immigrants entered NY before Ellis Island. Has a separate database to search.
  • Royal Naval Seaman's records, now online from UK National Archives. Covers all seamen who served between 1853 and 1923. Scans of actual service files.
  • 2006 Florida candidates: Charlie Crist for Governor, Tom Gallagher 2006.
  • Shoot First Law: Caution in Florida, site from Brady campaign.
    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Footnoted: fascinating blog that finds tidbits buried in company reports.
  • Using the Internet for research, from John Dean.

  • Top 25 film scores of all time from AFI. Number one: Star Wars.

  • Friday, October 07, 2005

    Google has now come out with their Google News Reader (in beta, of course). Haven't tried it yet but this the one? I've tried a lot of RSS readers and so far the only ones I've used regularly are Amphetadesk and My Yahoo. But I don't use those much any more, either.

    Suddenly blogs are big business, with announcements in the last couple days of Jason Calcanis' Weblogs being sold to AOL, Dave Winer's to Verisign, and a deal to distribute Gizmodo content in Europe.

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    Comment spam:
    You'll notice there is a posting here with 20 comments, all of them spam. I hadn't yet activated the comment text function of this blog which requires a commenter to type in a word displayed on the comment form before the comment can be posted. I have now.

    I'm dismayed to see that the Website has already been inactivated for the month of October. I don't know what's going on but it seems something somewhere is sending massive traffic to the site, whether by a photo link or something else, can't tell. Looks like I may have to invest in server storage to move everything to. I've been using free Web space on my Earthlink account for nearly 5 years and never had access denied. I apologize for the inactive links (and missing header photos) but it may take me awhile to figure out what to do about them.

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:

    Several links this week fit no categories except maybe the 'news' category, because they're all followups to events we've been watching recently, so I'll just list them here on top.

    The other links:

  • New map of U.S. landfalling Hurricanes, covers 1950 to 2004, from NHC.
  • Hottest new toys for the holiday season, from Toys R Us.
  • Best cities for renters, 2005 Miami 94th, Fort Laud. 87th. Move to Raleigh, top on the list.
  • Zipcodes on Google Maps: need to see where a ZIP code covers? Enter it on this map and it shows the boundaries.
  • Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculator from National Hurricane Center.
  • RollYO is a new search engine tool that lets you customize your searches. Search just the sites you want. Here's an example from The Scoops' Derek Willis, who set up RollYO to search just the Wash Post and St. Pete Times for 'Abramoff'. Note links to other people's searches on right.
  • Trends in U.S. Immigration, 1992-2004 from Pew Hispanic.
  • High Gas Prices, Emerging Technologies Spur Transit Ridership Increases, study from American Public Transprtation Assn.
  • Journalism for Dummies: John Woestendiek tells you how it works, in the Balt. Sun.
    Governments, Politics:
  • A new TRAC study says Federal prosecutions are up 31% under the Bush administration.
  • Most corrupt members of Congress, compiled by Citizens for Ethics Wow, only one from Florida (Feeney).
    Public Records:
  • IntegraScan does instant criminal background checks for $12.95 per state. Suggested in a NewsLib message.
  • Yahoo! Finance Search finds information, news stories, and links on private companies, subsidiaries, and people. (Information from Hoover's.)