Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Build Your Vocabulary and Feed the Hungry

International Aid ― A Solution

"Almost all of the deaths from hunger and disease that you see on this site can be stopped. The cost to do this is about $195 billion a year, according to the United Nations. Twenty-two developed countries below have pledged to work towards each giving 0.7% (a little less than 1%) of their national income in international aid, which would raise the $195 billion. Some countries are slow to meet their pledge."

FreeRice
"The website FreeRice (http://www.freerice.com) has two purposes. First, they want to help people improve their English vocabulary. The site gives you a word and four possible synonyms. Get it right, and you advance to a higher level with tougher words. At the same time, advertisers who appear at the bottom of the screen donate 10 grains of rice per correct word to the World Food Programme, which in turn sends it to countries in need around the world. As of now, FreeRice has paid for just under 4 billion grains of rice, hovering at around 200 million grains per day. Not bad considering it launched on October 7 with 830 grains!" LIS News 28 Nov.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Books Make the Best Holiday Presents

To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence
National Endowment for the Arts, Research Report #47, November 2007

Nearly half of all Americans ages 18 to 24 read no books for pleasure.
The percentage of 18- to 44-year-olds who read a book fell 7 points from 1992 to 2002.

By the time they become college seniors, one in three students read nothing at all for pleasure in a given week.

Teens and young adults spend less time reading than people of other age groups.

15- to 24-year-olds spend only 7–10 minutes per day on voluntary reading—about 60% less time than the average American.

By contrast, 15- to 24-year-olds spend 2 to 2½ hours per day watching TV.

58% of middle and high school students use other media while reading. Students report using media during 35% of their weekly reading time. 20% of their reading time is shared by TV-watching, video/computer gameplaying, instant messaging, e-mailing orWeb surfing.

The number of books in a home is a significant predictor of academic success.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Need Something to Be Thankful For

"DailyGood is a free, daily email service that delivers a little bit of inspiring goodness to 65,374 people without any costs, advertising or agendas. Simply to spread the good."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Finding Articles-Writing Outreach Today at 3:30

Writing Outreach today at 3:30 (till about 4:20) in the Library Auditorium will demonstrate some of the best databases and some research strategies you may need to write a good research paper. Bring your topic so we can explore specific databases relevant to your topic.

If you missed your EH 102 library session, this is really important for you.
See you there. Jan Sauer

Monday, November 05, 2007

Watch Wikipedia Being Edited

This slightly strange website shows Wikipedia edits from around the world. These are anonymous editors with IP addresses so the location can be noted. I got it from a list called ResearchBuzz. This is what RB says: "I like tools like this because they put a nice element of randomness in my brain -- pages and topics presented with no context or introduction. It's like a mint for my skull."

Try it for a couple of minutes and offer your brain a mint.
Wikipedia Vison http://www.lkozma.net/wpv/index.html

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Class assignment: Write an original Wikipedia article

Students might learn an awful lot about writing for a real audience, good researching, objectivity, and the value and limitations of Wikipedia if their instructors would make the assignment this one did.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/11/01/wikipedia.assignment.ap/index.html

Wikipedia actually has an exhaustive list of "stubs"--those topics that need more info.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Stub_sorting/Stub_types

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oblique Strategies

You know how sometimes when you are trying to write you hit a wall--the famous "writer's block." I don't know how I actually got to this website, but I found these cards which are supposed to get you to think differently, change direction, break through the block by offering truly oblique, and often enigmatic, directions or allusions. Even if they don't seem relevant, the writer is supposed to try them. It is kind of like opening the Bible, or one's own sacred text, and reading a random passage when having to make a decision. It breaks the old, stale train of thought and offers new insight [and verifies that one can read almost anything into a particular text.] However it works, it may be useful to all those trying to write termpapers or articles or books and get stuck in the clich├ęd.

Download the new editionfrom this webpage. Print them. Cut them into cards. Choose one. Viola, brilliance will emerge from your pen or brush!



"The deck itself had its origins in the discovery by Brian Eno that both he and his friend Peter Schmidt (a British painter whose works grace the cover of "Evening Star" and whose watercolours decorated the back LP cover of Eno's "Before and After Science" and also appeared as full-size prints in a small number of the original reeases) tended to keep a set of basic working principles which guided them through the kinds of moments of pressure - either working through a heavy painting session or watching the clock tick while you're running up a big buck studio bill. Both Schmidt and Eno realized that the pressures of time tended to steer them away from the ways of thinking they found most productive when the pressure was off. The Strategies were, then, a way to remind themselves of those habits of thinking - to jog the mind." from this webpage