LII Newsletter Archive

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In January 2010, the LII Newsletter was renamed
"The Link: The Official Newsletter of the ipl2" and
was published on the ipl2 WordPress Blog.

Links listed within these archived pages are not maintained.

LII New This Week
New This Week for December 4, 2008
This Week
This week we added sites about economic indicators, Guantanamo Bay, and holiday preparations, including a reminder about digital TV in case you're in the market for electronics. Bon appetit from librarians Charlotte, Jennifer, Maria, and Wendy.

Tip of the Week
We also added a couple sites on regifting. For more gift-giving resources, see our holiday Gifts & Shopping section.
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Arts and Humanities

The Gift of Holiday Traditions: Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas
Lesson plan about December holidays. "December is a month of holidays, celebrations, gift giving, and ... school vacations. Before taking time off to enjoy the holidays, take the opportunity to discuss with students the way different cultures contribute to what becomes a popular holiday tradition." Includes links to material about and activity ideas for Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. From EDSITEment, a joint project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and other organizations.
URL: http://edsitement.neh.gov/monthly_feature.asp?id=83
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27261

Victory Mail
Companion website to a physical exhibit about the history of Victory Mail, "more commonly known as V-Mail, operated during World War II to expedite mail service for American armed forces overseas. ... V-Mail used standardized stationery and microfilm processing to produce lighter, smaller cargo." Includes sections on V-Mail operations and use and letter-writing in World War II, a timeline, and references. Includes lesson plans with facsimile V-Mail forms. From the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
URL: http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/victorymail/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/26882

Business

Economic Indicators
"Available from April 1995 forward, this monthly compilation is prepared for the Joint Economic Committee by the Council of Economic Advisors and provides economic information on prices, wages, production, business activity, purchasing power, credit, money and Federal finance." Searchable; or browse by date back to 1998. Available in ASCII text (charts and graphic omitted) and PDF formats. From GPO Access, a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office.
URL: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/indicators/index.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27313

Economic Indicators.gov
This website provides "timely access to the daily releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau." Includes data on retail and food service sales, gross domestic product, manufacturing and trade, construction, residential sales, and more. A chart indicates the frequency of updates for each indicator, and provides direct links to the releases. From the Economics and Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
URL: http://www.economicindicators.gov/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27312

Information on Recessions and Recoveries, the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, and Related Topics
Compilation of announcements of recessions and recoveries by the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). "The committee maintains a chronology of the beginning and ending dates ... of U.S. recessions." Covers data back to 1854, including the Dec. 1, 2008, announcement "that a peak in economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in December 2007. The peak marks ... the beginning of a recession." Also provides a FAQ.
URL: http://www.nber.org/cycles/main.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27329

Regiftable.com
Humorous website on the financial and personal aspects of regifting. Includes "Regifting 101" (with matters to consider such as the condition of the gift and keeping the regifting secret), user-submitted regifting stories, and a blog. This site also sets the Thursday before Christmas as National Regifting Day, which "according to ... unscientific research ... is the most common day for a holiday office party," where much regifting takes place. From a consumer credit counseling service.
URL: http://www.regiftable.com/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27315

Computers

Mapping the World's Fastest Supercomputers
This November 2008 graphic illustrates the top 100 supercomputers in circles "sized according to their maximum processing speed in teraflops. A teraflop is about equal to the processing speed of 1,000 personal computers." Includes a breakdown by area of use (such as research) and continent. A graph on a second tab, "Historical Computing Speeds," shows the rise in computing speeds in the U.S., China, India, Japan, and Western Europe. From The New York Times.
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/11/17/business/20081118-super-...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27255

Government

Guantánamo Bay
News and commentary from a UK perspective about the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Provides news stories, photos, interactive features, and a Q&A about the base, which "has been used as a detention centre for suspected terrorists, mainly captured in Afghanistan during the US assault following the September 11 attacks." Includes several stories about president-elect Barack Obama's plans to close the detention facility. From the Guardian UK.
URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/guantanamo
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27308

Inside Guantánamo
This photo essay published in early 2008 provides a look at people and places at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay's facility for detainees suspected of terrorism-related activities. Includes an accompanying slide show with audio commentary by the photographer. From The Atlantic.
URL: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200801/guantanamo-photos
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27310

The Plum Book (United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions)
"The Plum Book is used to identify presidentially appointed positions within the Federal Government." It features details about jobs, locations, salary, and more for "over 7,000 Federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government." Published every four years just after the presidential election. From the Government Printing Office (GPO).
URL: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/plumbook/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/116

United States Department of Defense: Guantanamo Bay
Series of stories from the U.S. Department of Defense about the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Stories relate to the mission of the Guantanamo base and proceedings (such as court rulings, transfers, and releases) concerning detainees at the detention facility. Stories are from 2005 through March 2008. Also includes a gallery of over 40 photos from the base. From DefenseLink, a U.S. Department of Defense website.
URL: http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/gitmo/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27307

Health

United States Renal Data System
This is "a national data system that collects, analyzes, and distributes information about end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States." Features the Annual Data Report, which (as of 2008), "includes a volume dedicated to the Chronic Kidney Disease population, a first for public health surveillance of CKD in the United States." Also find presentations and posters, slides, a researcher's guide, and related resources.
URL: http://www.usrds.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27233

Home & Housing

Get Ready for Digital TV
Preparation guide for June 2009 when "all television stations will stop sending out program signals on their analog channels." It notes that if "you already have a digital TV or if you have cable or satellite service you most likely don't need to do anything," and provides resources for those with analog sets and no cable/satellite service. Includes links to related content. From AARP.
URL: http://www.aarp.org/money/consumer/articles/digital_tv.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27236

Hanukkah Recipes
Collection of recipes for foods served for Hanukkah celebrations. Includes recipes for latkes, jam-filled mandelbrot, letcho (Hungarian eggs with tomatoes, peppers, and onions), and other dishes. Also includes links to articles about Hanukkah, such as "A Beginner's Guide to Hanukkah." From The New York Times.
URL: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/hanukka...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27260

A Homemade Christmas
Collection of craft and food ideas for Christmas. Includes instructions for easy-to-make stockings, advent calendars, cards, games, decorations, gifts from the kitchen, recipes for party foods, and more. Also includes how-to videos on making a gingerbread house made from graham crackers, mini wreaths, and other crafts. From Disney FamilyFun.com.
URL: http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/specialfeature/christma...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27228

People

The New Team
Profiles of members and potential members of President-elect Barack Obama's new administration. Covers individuals such as Rahm Emanuel (White House Chief of Staff), Timothy Geithner (Treasury Secretary), and Eric Holder (Attorney General). Includes links to related articles and resources. From The New York Times.
URL: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/us/series/the_new_team/index.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27201

Regional: California

California Trout
Website for California Trout (CalTrout), "the nation's first statewide conservation group supported by trout fishermen with an altruistic goal: to protect and restore trout and the beautiful places where they live." Features a November 2008 report that analyzes the threatened and endangered state of the "32 native California salmonid species -- from coastal cuthroat to golden trout." Also includes news and material about conservation efforts.
URL: http://www.caltrout.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27248

Regions of the World

100 Years of the Roundel
This presentation celebrates 100 years of the roundel logo, which "first appeared on [London] Underground station platforms in 1908. The bar and circle, as it became known, comprised a solid red enamel disc and horizontal blue bar." Features an illustrated history of the roundel logo, images from a roundel scavenger hunt, a roundel matching pairs games, and sections on roundels in architecture, badges, publicity, and signs. From the London Transport Museum.
URL: http://www.ltmcollection.org/roundel/index.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27067

Christmas Season Celebrations in Australia
Learn how Christmas is celebrated in Australia, where Christmas comes at the beginning of summer. Topics include where Australians spend Christmas (often out of doors, such as at a beach or camping), how "many people no longer serve a traditional hot roast dinner" (serving cold turkey and Christmas plum pudding with cold custard instead), and Australian Christmas carols. Also includes brief information about Indigenous Australians' summer celebrations. From the Australian Government.
URL: http://culture.gov.au/articles/christmas/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27278

India Terrorism by the Numbers: Statistics From UM's Global Terrorism Database
This November 2008 press release provides a statistical summary of terrorism in India from 1970 through 2004, noting that over 4,000 terrorist incidents with over 12,000 fatalities occurred in India during that period. Includes a link to the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) from which the material is drawn and to Terrorist Organization Profiles, which "includes information on 56 groups known to have engaged in terrorism in India." From the University of Maryland (UM).
URL: http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/sociss/release.cfm?ArticleID=1797
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27311

Serial Blasts: India on the Edge
Collection of news and analysis about terrorist activities in India, with an emphasis on the November 26, 2008, terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Topics addressed include the Indian government's decision to establish a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which may have trained the Mumbai attackers, and other disasters that occurred in India on the 26th of the month. From the Times of India.
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/specialcoverage/3296778.cms
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27306

Society & Social Science

12 Rules for Regifting Without Fear
This article provides a "frank discussion" on regifting, "a grand old holiday tradition we all practice and pretend we don't." Presents a dozen rules for regifters including not mentioning that you are regifting, updating wrapping, keeping track of who gave you the gift, and not regifting certain items that are an "instant giveaway" that they are regifted (such as candles and soap). From MSN Money.
URL: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/Advice/12RulesForRe...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/27314


LII New This Week

Thanks for reading LII New This Week!

Jennifer English, Liaison to Califa Library Group
Wendy Hyman, Senior Editor
Maria Brandt, Associate Editor
Charlotte Bagby, Senior Weeder