Monday, February 27, 2006

In the news:

Check out Gary Price's explanation on Resourceshelf about why he's joining (formerly Ask Jeeves): he sees a great future in the search portal there.

And, a wonderful use of a newsroom's forgotten archives in the Birmingham News: Unseen. Unforgotten. It's a collection of old unpublished photos from the civil rights era (1956-1965) that were found in a box marked 'keep' by a photo intern there.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

More on housing:

The Miami Herald continues its great work on housing prices, with a new series, starting with Priced out of 'the American Dream'. Along with the main story, sidebars, a searchable databases of housing by area, price, etc. in South Florida, plus a fascinating set of data from Moody's, listing percentage of income needed to buy a house in most U.S. cities, metro areas, and states, from 1970-present: Housing Affordability. Looks like upstate New York is the place to buy a house these days..and has been among the most affordable areas for years, although Danville IL leads the list. Interestingly, many of these affordable places are becoming even more affordable.
Least affordable: many cities in California and South Florida, where it can take 50-60 percent of median income to buy a house.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Weekend update: Other things found last week:

This week I had a hard time finding much of anything interesting enough to post on my Infomaniac blog, or here. Must be the late winter doldrums.
And the terrible news. It's getting so I can barely watch TV news or read newspapers lately, it seems things are spinning out of control everywhere.
Let's hope for something positive, soon.

The links:

  • 2005 World Shark Attack summary from UF.
  • #1 song on this date in history from Billboard charts, back to 1940.
  • Hurricane Spending and the Federal Government from Joint Economic Committee, United States Congress. On Katrina, Rita, Wilma.
  • Snapshot of Philanthropy's Response to the Gulf Coast Hurricanes from the Foundation Center.
  • Real estate tracking links: wonderful collection from Resourceshelf on real estate trends, costs, bubble.
  • Word on the Street: old newspaper pages from Natl Library of Scotland.
  • Digital Orchid Library at Michigan State.

    Governments, Politics:
  • Black Box Voting's report on Palm Beach voting machines; The event logs.

  • Some good Port references from BeSpacific: World Port Index and searchable database; List of U.S. Ports; List of worldwide ports; Ports in the World; Seaports of the Americas.

  • Housing Tracker tracks housing prices by metropolitan area.
  • North American Cruise Passenger Statistics (Excel spreadsheets): Summary tables 2003-2005; Detail 2003-2005
  • Fraud Update: news and research from Center for Study of Economic Crimes at FSU, St. Thomas U.
  • Flight Delays, Mishandled Bags, Consumer Complaints Up in 2005 Over Previous Year, lastest stats from BTS (Summary with link to fulltext PDF).
  • U.S. Statistical Abstract, 2006

  • Human Trafficking Search
  • InterviewsRus: Missed a celebrity interview on TV you wanted to see? This site archives them, just need to register.

  • Monday, February 20, 2006

    Weekend update: Other things found last week:

    Last week was pretty much a lost week, as we came down with a really nasty flu, like nothing I've ever had...4 days of fever and aching along with coughing. Couldn't do anything but sleep. After the fever, the cough stayed, and no sign of letting up yet. Managed to put in a couple days of work on Thu and Fri but had no energy over the weekend at all.
    This was after a week or two of a nasty cold. Hmmm. They say flu season isn't bad around here, but everyone I talk to has been sick with something, or knows someone who is...

    The links:


  • Guide to the Web from UNC's Stone Center Library for Black Culture and History.
  • Annual Energy Outlook 2006 with Projections to 2030
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-7, from BLS.
  • List of National Forest lands that may be up for sale; includes over 900 acres of the Ocala National Forest, and over 300,000 nationwide.
  • a guide to boats and boating resources from a yacht surveyor.
  • Chemical Information searchable database of nearly 400,000 chemicals from NIH.
  • Eisenhower Interstate Highway System: 50th Anniversary
  • Hunter Incident Reports, stats on hunting accidents.
  • Online archive of American folk medicine from UCLA.
  • Situation of Detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the UN report.
  • African American Resources are free for the rest of this month (but you'll be asked to register).

    Governments, Politics:
  • A Failure of Initiative: The Final Report of the Select
    Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation
    for and Response to Hurricane Katrina

  • Expedited Assistance for Victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: FEMA's Control Weaknesses Exposed the Government to Significant Fraud and Abuse, GAO report.
  • Center for Public Integrity's Katrina Watch aggregates the latest news on contracts, fraud, lobbying, FEMA, etc.
  • Election Reform: What's Changed, What Hasn't and Why 2005-2006

    Public Records:
  • Central Florida Crime Warrants from Orange County sheriff, lets you search by name or address for wanted persons.

  • New in Nexis: A huge collection of new newspapers has been added to Nexis this week, including dozens of local Canadian newspapers, several Mexican papers including Reforma and El Norte, New York magazine, and several aviation and petroleum journals.

  • Reuters Financial Glossary Wiki

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Skipease: a blog about skip-tracing, public records and people finding.
  • Study: people misinterpret tone in e-mails.

  • Saturday, February 11, 2006

    Housing boom?

    There sure has been one in South Florida the last few years,something that really hit home the other day when I tried Zillow to check home prices in my old neighborhood there. Appreciation near $100k a year, mindboggling.

    So it's good to see the Miami Herald has done a data analysis of the situation for tomorrow's paper. It's online now, with database work by Tim Henderson, including a very nice interactive feature with maps, rankings, etc. Worth a look: Signs pointing to a slower market.

    Weekend update: Other things found last week:

    Spending a day without satellite TV, and it's very strange not to be able to consult Headline News or the Weather Channel to see what's going on. No Olympics, either, of course.
    Although I know I can get all the news I want from the Internet, that's not my first choice even now. It's still static...or at least it is when all you've got is dialup.
    At least the newspaper came today.

    The links:

  • Energy Citations Database finds documents from DoE, AEC, and ERDA back to 1948.
  • Top Ten Sources is a new site that finds best blog sources on a topic.
  • More Olympics links from
  • Lots of good background on the Islam/Muhammed cartoon furor on Al's Morning Meeting.
  • Disney Archives: get history, background on Disney characters, movies, and villains.
  • WW II military situation maps, digitized and on LoC website, cover D-day til July 1945.
  • Resources for the Saddam Hussein Trial compiled by Law Library of Congress.
  • Middle East documents from the Avalon Project: historical record in treaties, UN resolutions, protocols, and statements.

  • Global Warning from Union of Concerned Scientists, lists record years.
  • Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 1850-2000
  • Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2002 from BJS.

    Governments, Politics:
  • U.S. Budget, FY 2007

  • Economics Search Engine
  • Zillow: search an address or neighborhood and get aerial view with home values. Nationwide, although many cities are not yet available.

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Unclaimed Territory blog is blogging the NSA hearings.
  • Public Records Blog from a Callifornia P.I.
  • Jill Carroll update: latest news from Christian Science Monitor.
  • The Fishbowl: blog from the Philly Inquirer editorial board.

  • Aerial photos of Mexico City taken by a helicopter pilot, these are fascinating.

  • Friday, February 10, 2006

    Great News:
    There's news about Gary Price, creator of Resourceshelf and lots more wonderful resources for librarians over the years, as well as expert on search technology: He's been appointed Director of Online Information Resources for AskJeeves.

    Great news for Gary, and for researchers and librarians everywhere who wonder what direction our jobs will be going in. Obviously, this is a good direction.

    I was honored to share the News Division's Alice Henebry award with Gary two years ago, and have valued his advice for many years before that, starting when he was a reference librarian at GWU. Congrats to Gary...about time you had a real job again! Ha!

    Sunday, February 05, 2006

    Weekend update: Other things found last week:

    Seems that each of the last few weeks there's been a new rash of military research reports, including, this week, the new state-of-defense report the Secretary of Defense is now required to release periodically. Thanks again, as always, to the folks at ResourceShelf and Docuticker for helping us keep track of these things. It's always worth repeating that many of the links I post here come from their compilations.
    Among the recent reports:
  • Quadrennial Defense Review, from DoD, just released.
  • Revisions in Need of Revising: What Went Wrong in the Iraq War - Strategic Studies Institute.
  • Assessing the Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism Threat - Strategic Studies Institute.
  • The U.S. Military: Under Strain and at Risk from The National Security Advisory Group.

    The other links:

  • Over the counter medicines, a guide from
  • Gracenote Music Search finds CDs, tracks, with links to ITunes or other downloads, news, links, etc. With subscription it will create playlists for you.
  • World Public Opinion, good place to go to find out what the world thinks. From PIPA. Includes just-released polls of Iraqi civilians.
  • American Forests has urban forest analyses by city, record tree lists, lots more.

  • TV Eyes new search engine for TV news clips. Free for now.

  • Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft Complaint Data January-December 2005 from FTC.
  • Amnesty report on execution of mentally ill U.S. prisoners says 10% may be affected.
  • British Military casualties, Iraq: database from MoD. (100 dead now.)
  • Pulling Apart: a state-by-state analysis of income trends study from EconomicPolicy Institute finds rich richer, poor poorer. Among top five states in income gap: Florida.
  • Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters: the list from NOAA's climate center has now been revised.
  • Top ten consumer fraud complaints, new list from FTC.
  • Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatality Rates by Type and Size of Vehicle NHTSA study.
  • Worldwide cost of living survey, a summary from the Economist, which sells the whole report. (Highlight: Oslo is now the most expensive city, not Tokyo.)
  • Latest stats on drugs and crime from BJS.
  • State Transportation Statistics, 2005 from BTS.

    Governments, Politics:
  • Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, new edition just released, PDF of the book.

  • Google Help Center shows you how to use Google's special search features. This has been around for awhile but seems to offer more stuff and better descriptions now.

  • 100 Companies Receiving The Largest Dollar Volume Of Prime Contract Awards - Fiscal Year 2005

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Valleywag: a new Silicon Valley gossip blog from the Nick Denton (Gawker, Wonkette) empire.
  • Enron Trial Watch blog from Houston Chronicle.
  • Deadspin: new sports blog from Gawker Media.

  • Friday, February 03, 2006

    South Florida news watch blog:
    With all the media watch blogs in most big cities, it took a long time for South Florida to get one. But now there's The Daily Pulp, from Broward/Palm Beach New Times columnist Bob Norman. News of Jim DeFede's new radio commentary job hit here a couple days before The Herald reported it (Oh, sorry, 'Miami Herald'.)
    Thanks to Romenesko, who posted a link to their story about Herald reporters complaining about having to to 'Web duty' in the morning. More on that today on Daily Pulp.

    ( the name of the newspaper wrong the first time. Got to read more closely.)