Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Swap Sites

.
Do you have books you no longer need but hate selling them to Half Price Books, etc for a pittance? Looking to swap or exchange your unwanted books for other books? Online book swap sites make exchanging easy:



.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Harnessing Google As A Supercharged Research Tool

Behind Google's simple search box (http://www.google.com/) is a hidden world of supercharged research tools that should be on the fingertips of every researcher. Here's a quick listing of the various "hidden" tools that Google offers to power searchers and researchers:
  1. Google Help's Google Cheat Sheet
    An excellent summary of the most popular tools and shortcuts for refining and improving your Google search.

  2. Secret Google Tricks: How To Search Smarter
    Do you know that Google can search for patents? search cases and legislation? This article reveals some of the more arcane yet useful google search tricks.

  3. A Complete Guide to 39 Google Apps and Services (Maximum PC)

  4. The Best Google Search Tricks (PCMag.com)

  5. 10 Simple Google Search Tips

  6. 6 Google Sites You May Not Know About
    Heard of Google Trends? Google University Search? Google News Timeline? Google Fast Flip? Google City Tours? If none of these Google resources ring a bell, then head over to 6 Google Sites You May Not Know About for an explanation of what these sites do and how you can make use of them in your searches/research.
  7. Google Scholar
    Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Google Scholar helps you identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research.
  8. Google Scholar






  9. Google Book Search
    Google Book Search offers free downloads of more than 1 million public domain books in both PDF and EPUB formats. Search for the title you want, click on the Download button and select PDF or EPUB. Happy searching!


  10. Google Similar Images Search
    Google Similar Images Search allows you to search for images using pictures rather than words. Click the "Similar images" link under an image to find other images that look like it.

  11. Google News Timeline
    Google News Timeline organizes information chronologically by presenting results from Google News and other data sources on a zoomable, graphical timeline. You can navigate through time by dragging the timeline, setting the time scale to days, weeks, months, years, or decades, or just including a time period in your query (i.e., "1977"). This is a novel way to keep track of the news if you don't have time to browse individual newsmedia sites.

  12. Finding Creative Commons Images with Google Image Search
    Google has launched feature on Image Search to help you find images that you can use for free, while respecting the wishes of artists and creators. This feature allows you to restrict your Image Search results to images that have been tagged with licenses like Creative Commons, making it easier to discover images from across the web that you can share, use and even modify. Your search will also include works that have been tagged with other licenses, like GNU Free Documentation license, or are in the public domain To enable this feature, go to Google Images' advanced image search page. Under the "Usage rights" section, you can select the type of license you'd like to search for, such as those marked for reuse or even for commercial reuse with modification. Your results will be restricted to images marked with CC or other licenses. Once you confirm the license of the image and make sure that your use will comply with the terms of the license (such as proper attribution to the image's owner), you can reuse the image.

  13. Advanced Google Search
    This site gives you instructions on how to: (1) carry out phrase searches, (2) searching within a specific website, (3) exclude specific term(s) and (4) using the "OR" operator. I find that the "search within a specific website" is especially useful since you can use it to limit searches (e.g., web pages, images, etc.) from a specific website, thereby increasing the relevancy of your search.

  14. Google Search Extra
    Did you know that the Google Search Engine allows you to search all kinds of data that you can ever think of? For example, you can search for weather, stock quotes, time, sports scores, maps or patents. You can even use the Google Search Box: (1) as a calculator, (2) to track your packages, (3) to do unit conversions, (4) as a dictionary, etc.

  15. Google Maps: When in Rome: New Street View Imagery of Historic Sites in Italy and France (Google Blog)
    Excerpts From Google Blog:
    "Starting today, you can view some of the most historic and architecturally significant landmarks in Italy and France, including UNESCO sites in Rome, the center of Florence and stunning chateaux in the French countryside. In addition to seeing the exterior of archaeological sites like the Imperial Forum and the Colosseum in Rome, you can now explore inside the Colosseum and imagine yourself viewing naumachiae—simulated sea battles for which the Colosseum was filled with water—or speaking with statesmen inside the Imperial Forum."

  16. Google's 15-seconds Search Tips on YouTube
    Ever wanted to be a power Google Search user but don't have time to plow through long instructions? You might want to head over to the Google's 15-seconds Search Tips on YouTube. Currently, there are 8 short videos teaching you how to use Google to search for:
      • weather forecast
      • local businesses
      • unit conversions
      • movie times
      • sports scores
      • flight tracker
      • dictionary
      • world time (any city in the world)



.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Online Resources for Exploring US Federal and State Government Data

.
Looking for online resources for exploring US Federal and State Government data?

Why not try one or more of the following:
  • ThisWeKnow.org: allows you to xplore US Government data about your community.

  • Datamasher.org: allows you to manipulate, compare and visualize US state government data.

  • GovPulse.us: US Federal Register made more accessible and searchable.




Friday, September 4, 2009

Netiquette Resources

.
Netiquette or "net etiquette" refers to those social conventions that facilitate and govern online interaction. Here is a roundup of useful netiquette resources:
.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Linux For Education

.
Link: Linux For Education Official Site

Abstract:
Welcome to the GNU/Linux Educational Server. Here you will find collections of useful courses to help you better use the applications found on the various Linux education distributions. There are also forums, chatrooms, courses, and help materials at your disposal.
.

New Academic Earth Course: Non-Violence From Gandhi to Martin Luther King

.
Link: Nonviolence From Gandhi to Martin Luther King (Academic Earth)

Abstract:
This is an introduction to the theory and practice of nonviolence, taught by Professor Michael Nagler of University of California at Berkeley. Historical overview of nonviolence East and the West up to the American Civil Rights movement and Martin Luther King, Jr., with emphasis on the ideal of principled nonviolence and the reality of mixed or strategic nonviolence in practice, especially as applied to problems of social justice and defense.
.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Download Free Fulltext Public Domain Books from Google Books in PDF or EPUB Formats

Link: Google Books

Starting Wednesday, 26 Aug 2009, Google Books is offering free downloads of more than 1 million public domain books in both PDF and EPUB formats. Search for the title you want, click on the Download button and select PDF or EPUB. Happy searching!

See original announcement: Download Over A Million Public Domain Books from Google Books in the Open EPUB Format.
.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Apps Every College Student Should Try

.
Article Link: Apps Every College Student Should Try

Abstract:
College is a horrifying time in one's personal development. Aside from being "the best years of your life," those years are also those in which your expenditures outstrip your income by more than they ever will later (with any luck and ambition on your part, at least). They can also be some of your more strapped-for-time years and attention-deficit-overload years. Here are a few tools we wish we'd had when we were still dorm-dwelling nobodies. Forward these links on to the collegiate folks in your life, and add your own favorites to the list. Together, we can rid the world of dropped classes and "ramen starvation."
.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

26 Places to Find Free Multimedia For Your Blog

.
Link: 26 Places to Find Free Multimedia For Your Blog

Looking for free multimedia resources to jazz up your classroom project, blog, course page, etc.? 26 Places to Find Free Multimedia For Your Blog gives you helpful links, strategies and tips for unearthing all kinds of free yet useful multimedia resources on a wide range of topics.
.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tips for Successfully Publishing Your Academic Article

.
Link: Perishing Without Publishing

Abstract:
Welcome to the 21st century. Journals and publishing houses are folding faster than a roomful of origami artists, while new online journals are appearing all the time. Nietzsche once proclaimed the demise of God, but the new mantra is “Print is dead!” Maybe, maybe not; but however these transformations shake out, getting published somewhere remains crucial for newcomers to academia. It's still publish-or-perish in many places, even if some of those who publish will never have a hard copy, while others will treasure that they can hold their work in their hands. As one who has served (and is serving) as an associate editor for actual paper journals, let me share some bad practice observations that could sandbag your career -- and this advice almost all applies to any online peer-reviewed journal too.
,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Top 5 Free Websites for Quality Copyright Free Photographs

.
Link: Top 5 Free Websites For Quality Copyright Free Photographs

Abstract:
Stock photography is all over the place on the Web. If you’re looking for an image of just about anything, you’re bound to find that professional, high-quality photo from various online distributors and agencies, like Getty Images, Corbis, iStockphoto, or Shutterstock. However, the downside is that all those photos are going to cost you. It’s important to understand the term “royalty-free” (RF) for those websites. RF images are not in the public domain, nor are they free to use without purchasing a license. Luckily, there are plenty of websites for copyright free photos that won’t require you to dig into your pockets. Here’s 5 of them.
.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pew Research's Statistical Data on Latino Children in the United States

.
Link: Pew Research's Statistical Date on Latino Children in the United States

Abstract:
Hispanics now make up 22% of all children under the age of 18 in the United States -- up from 9% in 1980 -- and as their numbers have grown, their demographic profile has changed.
.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

E-Learning & Teaching Resources

.
Link: Seven E-Learning and Teaching Resources

Abstract:
While the down economy continues to hurt funding to our schools, more and more teachers are looking to web-based services to help educate their students. If you're a teacher, here are seven great tools to get you started.
.

Open Source Apps For Writers & Authors

.
Link: Five Open Source Apps For Writers & Authors

Abstract:
Even if you have the perfect idea for the next Great American Novel, getting it down on paper is never easy. Standard word processors don't have the bells and whistles that make writing books, manuals, and theses as easy as possible. Fortunately, there are a few open source applications that help budding authors get stories out of their heads and into the hands of readers.
.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Finding Free Stock Photos & Images

.
Link: Finding Free Stock Photos & Images

Abstract:
A comprehensive listing of various websites that provide photos & images that can be downloaded and used for free.
.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Documentary Heaven

.
Link: Documentary Heaven

Abstract:
Documentary Heaven was set up early july 2009 to provide the public with a vast collection of documentaries spanning accross every genre out there. This site embeds videos that it sources from elsewhere on the Internet.

Monday, July 13, 2009

100+ Resources For Teaching Without Textbooks

.
Link: 100+ Resources For Teaching Without Textbooks

Abstract:
What would your classroom be like without your students cracking open their oversized textbooks everyday? Probably a lot more interesting, especially for the kiddies. There are so many other resources out there for teachers to use, online and off, that teaching without textbooks is becoming more and more acceptable. If you don’t believe us, scroll down this list of over 100 different resources — including websites, iPod lectures and field trips — that will encourage you to toss out your textbooks.
.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Free Sheet Music Resources (UPDATED)

.
Updated: 3/27/2010

Here is an updated list of my favorite sites for free sheet music downloads:
.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Free/Creative Commons Images Resources

.
Today's roundup of free (for non-profit use) and Creative Commons images resources:
  • WorldImages
    The internationally recognized WorldImages database provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project. It contains almost 75,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery. WorldImages is accessible anywhere and its images may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes. The images can be located using many search techniques, and for convenience they are organized into over 800 portfolios which are then organized into subject groupings. Faculty from many disciplines are using the images for research assignments, to create course study pages, to include in their lectures and to create on-line materials. Students are using the image database for study and research, for term papers, and to create collaborative multimedia presentations.

  • Finding Creative Commons Images with Google Image Search
    Google has launched feature on Image Search to help you find images that you can use for free, while respecting the wishes of artists and creators. This feature allows you to restrict your Image Search results to images that have been tagged with licenses like Creative Commons, making it easier to discover images from across the web that you can share, use and even modify. Your search will also include works that have been tagged with other licenses, like GNU Free Documentation license, or are in the public domain To enable this feature, go to Google Images' advanced image search page. Under the "Usage rights" section, you can select the type of license you'd like to search for, such as those marked for reuse or even for commercial reuse with modification. Your results will be restricted to images marked with CC or other licenses. Once you confirm the license of the image and make sure that your use will comply with the terms of the license (such as proper attribution to the image's owner), you can reuse the image.
.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Web 2.0 In Education Wiki

.
Link: Web 2.0 In Education Wiki

Abstract:
This site is designed to provide teachers with a directory of free webtools (currently listing: about 300 webtools) along with some suggestions as to how they may be used in the classroom. Check out the list of tools on the Site pages to the left or have a look at the Prezi presentation below which showcases a variety of resources.
.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom

.
Link: 50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom

Abstract:
Skype is a free and easy way for teachers to open up their classroom and their students to a world way beyond their campus. With Skype, students can learn from other students, connect with other cultures, and expand their knowledge in amazing ways. Teachers and parents can also benefit from Skype in the classroom. This page lists out the 50 ways that you can take advantage of the power of Skype in your classroom.
.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

25 Twitter Apps for Educators

.
Link: 25 Twitter Apps for Educators

Abstract:
Twitter is a great communication, teaching, and learning tool for teachers, but it can be made even better with Twitter applications. These web apps have built-in scripts that complement Twitter. There are currently hundreds of free apps available and more being created every day. Here are 25 Twitter applications that should be useful to teachers.
.

Friday, July 3, 2009

100 Best YouTube Videos For Teachers

.
Link: 100 Best YouTube Videos For Teachers

Abstract:
John Costilla of Classroom 2.0 Ning has compiled this list of the 100 best YouTube videos for use in the classroom. The list is organized by subject area and topic so it is very easy to use.
.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age

.
Links: The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age
Abstract:

HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) announced a new report called, “The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age,” now available at MIT Press. The report is in response to our changing times, and addresses what traditional educational institutions must know to keep up. A central finding was that “Universities must recognize this new way of learning and adapt or risk becoming obsolete. The university model of teaching and learning relies on a hierarchy of expertise, disciplinary divides, restricted admission to those considered worthy, and a focused, solitary area of expertise. However, with participatory learning and digital media, these conventional modes of authority break down.”

Related Interest: The Impending Demise of the University (Don Tapscott)
.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How Teens Use Media: A Nielsen Report on the Myths & Realities of Teen Media Trends

.
Link: How Teens Use Media: A Nielsen Report on the Myths & Realities of Teen Media Trends (PDF File)

Abstract:
In this report, Nielsen seeks to debunk the conventional wisdom that today's teens are different. Nielsen contends that teens are "normal," claiming that teens are not abandoning TV for new media, spend less time browsing on the internet than adults, watch less online video, like to read newspapers and listen to the radio, like advertisements, and have similar media preferences like their parents.
.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Social Networks in Education

.
Link: Social Networks in Education

Abstract:
A wiki listing of social networks used in educational environments or for educational purposes.
.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier

.
Links:
Abstract:
Digital Nation is a multiplatform project that includes this interactive Web site and a one-hour FRONTLINE documentary to air Winter 2010. The project aims to capture life on the digital frontier and explore how the Web and digital media are changing the way we think, work, learn and interact. Over the course of ten months, FRONTLINE's Digital Nation Web site will feature video reports from the production team, regular blog updates from the field, live online forums with a variety of digital mavens, and other interactive tools for users to share and connect around. Topics will rotate regularly and may focus on education and technology, human development, online privacy, virtual worlds and online games, technology in the military, digital media in the workplace and more. In addition, visitors to the Digital Nation Web site may contribute to a mosaic of user-generated content titled Your Digital Nation. We'll capture what we learn in the field, on our Web site and from our users and present the story in a documentary to air nationwide on PBS in Winter 2010.
.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Teaching U.S. History

.

Link: Teaching U.S. History

Abstract:
Learn more about U.S. history by going back to the original source documents, from the founding through the 20th century and beyond. Includes primary documents, lesson plans, podcasts and other resources for teaching U.S. history.
.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pew Research Center's Latest Statistical Data on Undocumented Immigrants


Links:
Abstract:
In 2008, an estimated 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants resided in the United States. The growth of the undocumented population was rapid from 1990 (when there were 3.5 million undocumented immigrants) to 2006 but it has since stabilized. Unauthorized immigrants are 4% of the nation's population and 5.4% of its workforce. The current population, however, is far more geographically dispersed than in years past as large numbers of immigrants move into states where relatively few had settled two decades ago. This is especially true in Georgia, North Carolina and other southeastern states. While long-time immigrant destinations, including Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas, have retained their appeal to undocumented migrants, the state with the largest immigrant population, California, has seen slower growth.
.

Monday, June 22, 2009

All About the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom

.
Link: All about the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom

Abstract:
This blog post provides loads of information on the various tools for setting up and running a web 2.0 classroom. It is especially useful for those who are interested to integrate web 2.0 tools in their classroom pedagogies and looking for ideas and starting points.
.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Famous Historical Speeches (mp3s for downloading)

.
Link: Famous Historical Speeches

Abstract:
A collection of mp3s of famous historical speeches (politicians, scientists, civil rights activists, etc.), hosted by The Free Information Society that you can download for research, classroom instruction, etc.
.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

50 Best Blogs About Environmental Law

.
Link: 50 Best Blogs About Environmental Law
.
Abstract:
A listing of 50 best blogs about environmental law, covering environmental violations, toxic torts, environmental news, development, and education, etc. This list is maintained by e-Justice Blog.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Smarthistory: A Multimedia Web-Book About Art & Art History

.
Link: Smarthistory: A Multimedia Web-Book About Art & Art History
.
Abstract:
Smarthistory.org is a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement or substitute for the traditional art history textbook.

For More Information: About Smarthistory
.

Monday, June 15, 2009

100 Awesome Open Courses for Those Who Want to Change the World

.
Link: 100 Awesome Open Courses for Those Who Want to Change the World

Abstract:
It’s easy to say that you’re ready to change the world, but how do you get started? Even if you don’t have a specific cause or mission in mind, expanding your education and understanding of the world will give you a solid foundation for your ultimate adventures. These 100 awesome open courses, ranging from health and medicine to engineering to religion to policy making to media will get you on your way.
.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Useful Firefox Add-ons for Academics & Researchers

Firefox add-ons are small extensions that give new functionality to complement the browser's built-in features, so that you can customize it to fit your own individual needs. This is a list of add-ons recommended by law librarians. It was created by Bonnie Shucha, University of Wisconsin Law School for a presentation at the CALI Conference of Law School Computing, June 2009.


Link: 50 Firefox 3 Add-ons That Will Transform Your Academic Research

Abstract:

Out of the box, Firefox 3 is already an incredible web browser. But when you consider all of the power tools that can be added to enhance your research, it’s even better. Check out these add-ons for Firefox 3, and you’ll take your browser to the next level and transform your academic research.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

1o Best Digital Resources for 2009

.
Link: School Library Journal's 10 Best Digital Resources for 2009

Abstract:
School Library Journal's annual “best of” list looks at products reviewed between June 2008 and the present. The past year saw many excellent and innovative projects—and narrowing them down to a top-10 list wasn’t easy. As we prepare for the next school year—or as public libraries develop the budget for a new fiscal year—these are the products for children and teens you should be advocating to add to your digital collection.
.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Open Culture's Top Cultural & Educational Video Sites

.
Link: Open Culture's Top Cultural & Educational Video Sites

Abstract:
Looking for great cultural and educational video? Then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we have compiled a list of 44 sites that feature intelligent videos. This list was produced with the help of our faithful readers, and it will grow over time. If you find it useful, please share it as widely as you can. And if we’re missing good sites, please list them in the comments below.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

100 Websites You Should Know and Use

.
Link: 100 Websites You Should Know and Use

Abstract: The Web is constantly turning out new and extraordinary services many of us are unfamiliar with. During TED University at this spring's TED2007 in Monterey, Julius Wiedemann, editor in charge at Taschen GmbH, offered an ultra-fast-moving ride through sites in many different areas, from art, design and illustration, to daily news, blogs and curiosity. Now, by popular demand, here's his list: 100 Websites You Should Know and Use

Source: TED Blog
.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Google's 15-seconds Search Tips Videos on YouTube

Ever wanted to be a power Google Search user but don't have time to plow through long instructions? You might want to head over to the Google's 15-seconds Search Tips on YouTube. Currently, there are 8 short videos teaching you how to use Google to search for:
  • weather forecast
  • local businesses
  • unit conversions
  • movie times
  • sports scores
  • flight tracker
  • dictionary
  • world time (any city in the world)

100 Professors You Should Follow and Learn on Twitter

.
Interested to tap into the brightest academic minds on Twitter? Then you would want to consult this list: 100 Professors You Should Follow and Learn on Twitter.
.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Google's "More Search Options" Goes Live

.
Google's latest innovation to its fabled search engine, "More Search Options" is now live, after having been launched at its 2nd "Searchology" conference on Tuesday, May 12. The YouTube demo video below explains how "search options" work to narrow the searches to return more relevant and accurate results:



The Official Google Blog also posted a detailed press release explaining how "More Search Options" work.

Here's how it works: When you enter a search term, Google's search engine results now has a new option entitled "Show Options" in the top left corner, next to "Web." Click that link and you'll be able to sort your data by:
  1. All Results, Videos, Forums, Reviews
  2. Any Time, Past 24 Hours, Past Week, Past Year
  3. Standard Results, Images from Page, More Text
  4. Standard View, Related Searches, Wonder Wheel, Timeline
For further reading:
.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wolfram|Alpha launches its blog

.
If you have been following the news lately, you might have read about a new search engine on the blog, Wolfram|Alpha, which seeks to dethrone the current crown, Google Search. Currently, Wolfram|Alpha is going through its final rounds of testing before being launched later this month.

If you aren't one of the lucky ones who have early access to testing the search engine, you can still keep track of its pre-launch developments on its blog: Wolfram|Alpha Blog.

Link: Wolfram|Alpha Blog
.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

.
Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an open-access fulltext refereed encyclopedia of philosophy that is maintained and constantly updated by a panel of experts in the field, which upon completion, would be a worthy competitor to the non-free (closed-access) Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Currently, this project is a work-in-progress. The Table of Contents lists both completed articles, which are fully accessible, as well as projected articles. You can read more about this unique open source project here.

See also my various blog posts about other open access databases.
.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Power Searching with Google, II: Using Google Scholar & Google Book Search

Everyone is familiar with the ubiquitous Google engine (http://www.google.com/). But not as many are aware about doing power searching using Google Scholar and Google Book Search.

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Google Scholar helps you identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research.

Google Scholar





Google Book Search enables you to search for contents in books and view portions that are relevant to your research.

Google Book Search




.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Law Schools That Are Using Twitter

.
Social Media Law Student has recently posted a listing of law schools that are using Twitter as a social media communication tool. This is a good way to find out which law schools are using Twitter and to follow those law school(s) that you are interested in.
.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Power Searching with Google, I

.
Ever wanted to harness the power of Google search to return relevant information instead of hits and misses? Most people merely type in the search terms in the Google Search Engine Box without realizing that underneath the simple interface is an extremely powerful and precise search engine that is waiting to be used. Google helpfully provides instructions and tips on how to maximize your search. Unfortunately, they are not readily apparently unless you're willing to do some sleuthing. You should bookmark the following two pages that coach you how to google like a pro:
  • Advanced Google Search: This page gives you instructions on how to: (1) carry out phrase searches, (2) searching within a specific website, (3) exclude specific term(s) and (4) using the "OR" operator. I find that the "search within a specific website" is especially useful since you can use it to limit searches (e.g., web pages, images, etc.) from a specific website, thereby increasing the relevancy of your search.

  • Google Search Extra: Did you know that the Google Search Engine allows you to search all kinds of data that you can ever think of? For example, you can search for weather, stock quotes, time, sports scores, maps or patents. You can even use the Google Search Box: (1) as a calculator, (2) to track your packages, (3) to do unit conversions, (4) as a dictionary, etc.
.

MetaJuris: Searching Free/Open Access Legal Databases

.

The University of Kansas Law School has unveiled a new search engine: MetaJuris is a search engine that enables you to search free or open access legal databases.

Link: MetaJuris

See also my various blog posts about other open access databases




Thursday, April 30, 2009

End-of-Semester Humor: Hilarious Student Evaluations :-)

Here is a humorous clip about hilarious end-of-semester evaluations. A YouTube classic! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How do I Input Chinese Characters in Windows, Mac OS X or Ubuntu?

.
Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux have built-in Chinese-Japanese-Korean (CJK) characters input support without the need to resort to third party software.

Here is a roundup of useful resources for setting up and configuring the various built-in resources in Windows, Mac and Ubuntu Linux platforms for inputting Chinese characters:

(1) Mac OS X:
(2) Microsoft Windows:
(3) Ubuntu Linux:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Four Essential Twitter Health Alerts Services from US Federal Government Agencies

.
Here are four essential Twitter Health Alerts services from US Federal Government Agencies that you should consider following:

@CDCEmergency CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response: increasing the nation's ability to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies (NB: follow this twitter service to keep track of the swine flu pandemic)

@CDCFlu Flu-related updates from the CDC

@FDArecalls Get notified about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts.

@FoodSafety The Food Safety Information Center of the USDA provides food safety information to educators, industry, researchers and the general public.
.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Roundup: Freeware Software Resources

.
This week's roundup of freeware software resources:
  • PDF Creator: PDFCreator is an open-source free software for converting documents into PDF format on Microsoft Windows operating systems. Once installed, it allows the user to select PDFCreator as their printer, permitting almost any Windows application to print to PDF.

  • John Haller's Portable Applications: The main source for portable Windows applications that run off a flash drive.

  • Nirsofer's Freeware Utilities: A collection of useful freeware utilities for Windows.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mastering Firefox's Hidden Configuration Tools

.
Over the past 12 months, Mozilla's Firefox browser has been gaining market share at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, driven in large part by Internet Explorer's vulnerabilities to malware. While many use Firefox in its default mode, not many realize that Firefox is not only highly configurable, it can also perform tasks that are accessible through its "about" URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers). For more information, see the following links:


Friday, April 24, 2009

MyEnvironment: A New Map App from EPA

.
What do you get when you overlay Google Maps with EPA's environmental data, e.g., industries, polluters, air quality index, ecological data, etc.? You get EPA's latest powerful mapping app on steroids (with all sorts of environmental data): MyEnvironment.

MyEnvironment search application is designed to provide a cross-section of environmental information based on the user’s location. The desired location is keyed in from the EPA Home Page (www.epa.gov) under the section called MyEnvironment.

This is a very innovative and informative tool for you to play around with. When I input my zip code, I found out all the industries, etc. around my house. This is especially useful if you are searching for a house and want to be sure there are no toxic dumps or polluting industries nearby :-)

More information:

Drug Digest Database

.
The Drug Digest Database, which is maintained by Express Scripts, is a noncommercial, evidence-based, consumer health and drug information site dedicated to empowering consumers to make informed choices about drugs and treatment options. You can search by drugs or herbs, medical conditions, or for news and reviews.

See also my various blog posts about other open access databases.
.

Transnational Law Research

.
Announcing a new database: Transnational Law Research, a project of the Central University of Cologne. You can filter your search by principles, materials, bibliographies or links.

See also my various blog posts about other open access databases.

.

May 2009: Celebration of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month 2009

.
In celebration of the annual Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May 2009), the U.S. Census Bureau has issued its annual Facts for Features: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2009, available as follows:
Origins of the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month:
In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed on May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration. Per a 1997 Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.
.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Medpedia Project

.
Link: www.medpedia.com

The Medpedia Project is an online collaborative project that was launched on 17 February 2009 with the principal objective of creating an open access medical encyclopedia. Institutional supporters of The Medpedia Project include Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School, the U.K. National Health Service (NHS), and others. Here is the full description of this project from the "About the Medpedia Project" page:

The Medpedia Project is a long-term, worldwide project to evolve a new model for sharing and advancing knowledge about health, medicine and the body among medical professionals and the general public. This model is founded on providing a free online technology platform that is collaborative, interdisciplinary and transparent. Read more about the model.

Users of the platform include physicians, consumers, medical and scientific journals, medical schools, research institutes, medical associations, hospitals, for-profit and non-profit organizations, expert patients, policy makers, students, non-professionals taking care of loved ones, individual medical professionals, scientists, etc.

As Medpedia grows over the next few years, it will become a repository of up-to-date unbiased medical information, contributed and maintained by health experts around the world, and freely available to everyone. The information in this clearinghouse will be easy to discover and navigate, and the technology platform will expand as the community invents more uses for it.

In association with Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School and other leading global health organizations, Medpedia will be a commons for the gathering of the information and people critical to health care. Many organizations have united to support The Medpedia Project. See the Record of Merit.


See also my various blog posts about other open access databases.
.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Roundup: Audio & Video Related Resources

.
This week's roundup of useful online audio and video-related resources:

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Stuff from Google Labs: Google Similar Images & Google News Timeline

.
Google Labs has announced two innovative products: Google Similar Images Search & Google News Timeline.
  • Google Similar Images Search allows you to search for images using pictures rather than words. Click the "Similar images" link under an image to find other images that look like it.

  • Google News Timeline organizes information chronologically by presenting results from Google News and other data sources on a zoomable, graphical timeline. You can navigate through time by dragging the timeline, setting the time scale to days, weeks, months, years, or decades, or just including a time period in your query (i.e., "1977"). This is a novel way to keep track of the news if you don't have time to browse individual newsmedia sites.

World Digital Library goes online!

.
The World Digital Library has gone online! I have played around with it and am truly amazed by the stunning images that have been digitized for this library. Here is my review of what I have discovered while poking around the site:
  • You can search in 7 languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish
  • You can search by keyword(s), or browse by using a timeline, place, time, topic, item type, or institution
  • You can sort your results by place, time, etc.
  • You can view your results as a list or gallery.
  • Video commentaries are available for a limited number of searches (example).
At present, the number of items are limited, but new items are added regularly. This is a truly remarkable and wonderful resource of rare visual images from the world's varied cultures that are are now easily and freely accessible for researchers, scholars and anyone who is interested in the rich kaleidoscope of the world's diverse cultures.

Happy browsing!
.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Looking for Old Versions of Freeware or Shareware Software?

.
Are you looking for old versions of your favorite freeware or shareware software? Newer versions don't work well on your older hardware? Looking for old versions of software for research/testing purposes? Then you should visit oldversion.com, which archives old versions of popular freeware and shareware. Founded in 2001, oldversion.com archives Internet-related freeware and shareware Windows software. Here is how the site explains its raison d'etre:
Sometimes upgrading to a newer version can be a good thing. Other times, your computer may not be compatible with the new version, the new version is bloated, or all the options you liked are no longer available. OldVersion.com has been supplying the online community with old versions of various programs since 2001. The service is utilized by thousands of users every day and has been featured in newspapers and magazines as well as on radio and television.

OldVersion.com has several objectives. One is to discourage the use of spyware by software companies. Also known as adware, these hidden programs come bundled with certain applications and secretly transmit user information via the Internet to advertisers. It is sometimes possible to avoid spyware by downloading an older version of a program. Use OldVersion.com and show the industry your dissatisfaction with these types of business practices.

OldVersion.com assists computer users who are unable to continually upgrade their computer. Those who find that their machine is not able to run the latest version of a certain application have no choice but to use an old version of the program. Unfortunately, the vast majority of software companies do not offer this opportunity. We are doing our small part to help bridge the digital divide by allowing everyone to enjoy the same software titles regardless of their hardware.

We believe that every computer user has the right to use a version of the product that he or she is most comfortable with, not the one dictated by the software developer, so we provide access to the files that are no longer obtainable. BulletProof Software is one company that recognized this right and helped us to build our archive. One day, we hope to see both small companies and major corporations with their very own, easy-to-find old version section.

Lastly, there is a need to archive cultural artifacts. If software is allowed to disappear into the past, a piece of history is lost. People must have access to this data in order to understand the direction of computer industry and civilization as a whole.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Roundup: Useful Web Design, Building & Publishing Resources

.
This week roundup's of useful web design, building & publishing resources:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Free Sheet Music Resources

.
Here are my favorite sites for free/low cost sheet music downloads:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Free Comprehensive Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs)

.
All serious researchers and students are familiar with OCLC's FirstSearch WorldCat database, which aggregates bibliographic records from more than 71,000 libraries with 135 million records in all formats (books, journals, videos, audio records, etc.). Unfortunately, this is a fee-based service that is only accessible through the library of one's institution. What if you are on the road and, for whatever reason, do not have access to OCLC FirstSearch? Below are three free Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs) and one fulltext digital journals collection that are comprehensive enough for most scholarly research. Unless you are searching for the most abstruse or esoteric item, these free alternatives are more than sufficent for your research:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

East Asian Cinema: China, Japan & Korea

.
Link: East Asian Cinema: China, Japan & Korea

If you are a fan of films from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan),Japan, Korea or are looking for movies to show to your students, you would want to consult UC Berkeley's Media Resources Center at Moffitt Library's East Asian Cinema: China, Japan & Korea, which provides a detailed listing and synopsis of East Asian films.
.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Resources: Asian Americans Studies

.
Here are useful resources for Asian American Studies:
.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Richard Florida

Richard Florida discusses his new book "Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life

Internally Displaced Persons: Guide to Legal Information Resources on the Web

.
Link: Internally Displaced Persons: Guide to Legal Information Resources on the Web

This is a very useful collection of international, national and regional documents and resources on "internally displaced persons" (or in plain-speak, migrants, undocumented persons, refugees, etc.). According to the United Nations, internally displaced persons (IDPs) are
persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border" (Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, 1998, Introduction, para. 2).
.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Newly Released 7th Ed MLA Handbook Favors Web Citations

Article source: Ars Technica

For those of you who use the MLA Citation Style, the recently released 7th edition of the MLA Citation Handbook has, among other things, new rules on citing web sources:
The Modern Language Association's (MLA) new handbook for academic citations does away with the primacy of print, along with the need to include URLs for Web citations. All hail the rise of the Internet.
...

Even more interesting is the MLA's decision to ditch URLs in citations. URLs "often change, can be specific to a subscriber or a session of use, and can be so long and complex that typing them into a browser is cumbersome and prone to transcription errors," says the book. "Readers are now more likely to find resources on the Web by searching for titles and authors' names than by typing URLs."

...

For those in academics, though, the move is just further evidence of the Web's mainstreaming. Print, for long the superpower, now sees itself reduced to just one more format among others. As archives like Project MUSE and JSTOR continue to digitize old journals and projects like Google Book Search digitize old books, even information that originally appeared in "print" is increasingly accessed through electronic systems, read off of screens, or (rather ironically) printed again by the ream in campus computer labs.

Now, we'll wait and see whether the other citation bible, the University of Chicago/Turabian Style follows in the footsteps of the MLA.
.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Online Resources for Turabian Style

.
Yesteday, I blogged about online resources for the MLA Style. To continue, here are excellent resources for the Turabian Style that is favored in the humanities:
If you know of other sites, please let me know in the comments section. I'll be happy to add your recommendations to this list.
.

Friday, April 10, 2009

YouTube's Research Resources

.
Beyond user generated and other time wasting videos, YouTube is fast becoming a useful resource for documentaries, as well as archival, historical and scientific clips. Many video clips that once languished in library archives have now been uploaded to YouTube for easy research. Here are my recommended YouTube Channels for your research or curiosity:
Happy viewing!
.

Online Resources for MLA Style

.
Several universities' libraries have created online resources for the MLA style that are very useful for on the fly consultation. Recommended ones include:
If you know of other sites, please let me know in the comments section. I'll be happy to add your recommendations to this list.
.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Time Traveling with the Wayback Machine

.
Link: Wayback Machine

Have you ever wondered how you could travel back in time to see how the web looked like in bygone years? Now, the Wayback Machine allows you to do exactly that. You enter the URL into the search block and click the "Take Me Back" button. This brings you to the next screen which lists all the archived pages available for that link. This is an excellent tool to do "virtual archaeological digging" into web history. While it is certainly fun to see how Google looked like in Dec 1998, this archival search engine offers lots of possibilities for researchers who need to go back in time to study news and other information on archived or defunct websites.

For more information, please read this Computerworld article.
.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Statistics on Violent & Property Crimes against Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders

.
Link to the news release and reports

In its March 2009 report, the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Department of Justice states:
The nation’s Asian, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander population had the lowest rates of violent and property victimizations among all racial and ethnic groups between 2002 and 2006, according to a study released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders comprised about four percent of the U.S. population between 2002 and 2006 but were victims in two percent of nonfatal violent crimes and three percent of property crimes per year.
Read the summary & access the full report.
.

Directory of Online Law Reviews & Journals

.
Link: Directory of Online Law Reviews & Journals

Very useful directory for searching online law reviews and journals.

Credit: Adjunct Law Profs Blog
.

Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning

.
Link: Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning

The University of Manitoba's Learning Technologies Centre's Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning is an excellent resources for educators who are looking to incorporate technologies in their teaching and classroom learning.

Also available: PDF Version
.

How Much Energy Goes into Making a Bottle of Water

.
Link: How Much Energy Goes Into Making a Bottle of Water?

Answer: way too much!

An informative discussion from the physorg.com website.
.

Data of Federal Prosecution of Immigration Cases for Dec 2008

.
Data of Federal Prosecution of Immigration Cases for December 2008

SUMMARY: The latest case-by-case data from the Justice Department show that in December 2008 the government reported 13,457 new prosecutions. This represents an increase of 14% from the previous month, but a significant 27% decrease from September's high of 18,434 new filings. The immigration category continues to dominate the DOJ's caseload, accounting for 59% of all new cases filed in December in U.S. Federal Court.

Link: Data of Federal Prosecution of Immigration Cases for December 2008
.