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LII New This Week
New This Week for December 15, 2005
This Week
This week read up on John Lennon, Eugene McCarthy, Horatio Alger, Albert Schweitzer, Santa, Narnia, Baby Boomers, cheerleading, depleted uranium, the festival of Yalda, the winter solstice, photographs of Nigeria, monster movies, and the Christmas plant, Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Bon appetit from the LII team, Karen, Wendy, Jennifer, Maria, Pat, Charlotte, and Tom.

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Arts and Humanities

The Chronicles of Narnia
Devoted to Narnia, the imaginary country created by C.S. Lewis in his seven-book series, "The Chronicles of Narnia." Contains information about Lewis and the illustrators of the books; the birds, beasts, mythological creatures, and people of Narnia; and a brief description of each book, with one full-text chapter. From one of the companies that produced the Narnia movie of 2005.
URL: http://books.narnia.com/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/7320

The CyberBass Project: George Frideric Handel: "Messiah"
Practice your part for those sing-alongs! This site has MIDI files for soprano, alto, tenor, bass, and combined voice parts for the choral portions of Handel's "Messiah." You'll need your own score to follow along. From a larger site devoted to choral music and groups, created by a member of several symphony choirs.
URL: http://www.cyberbass.com/Major_Works/Handel_GF/Handel_Messiah.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19978

Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature
This exhibit "encourages audiences to examine Mary Shelley's novel, 'Frankenstein,' and its influence on science fiction, monsters and their place in history, and man playing God." Features images from the traveling exhibition and additional materials from the exhibit at Eastern Illinois University's Booth Library. Includes chapter-by-chapter podcasts of "an unabridged reading of the 1818 edition of ... 'Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus.'" Produced by the National Library of Medicine in collaboration with the American Library Association.
URL: http://www.library.eiu.edu/exhibits/frankenstein/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20046

Business

Baby Boomers' Retirement Prospects: An Overview
This November 2003 report looks at retirement preparedness and prospects "of the baby-boom generation (people born from 1946 to 1964)." It discusses Social Security, Medicare, private pensions, retirement saving rates, savings needed for retirement, and more. A table provides summaries of retirement preparedness studies from the 1990s through 2003. From the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
URL: http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=4863&type=0
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19987

Measuring the Economic Impact of Wal-Mart on the U.S. Economy
This study, released in November 2005, provides an analysis of "the national and region impact of the nation's largest retailer on the U.S. economy ... [on] the national, city, and county level." The study focuses on Wal-Mart in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area of Texas. Includes a summary and the full report. Also includes links to related articles, some of which come to differing conclusions. From Global Insight, a financial forecasting company.
URL: http://www.globalinsight.com/MultiClientStudy/MultiClientStudyDetail24...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19876

Computers

43 Things
This social networking site allows registered users to post a list of 43 goals and comment on others' goals. (Registration not required to browse site.) Browse by user, goal, or geographic area. From the Robot Co-op, "a privately held start-up based in Seattle" that is "funded by Amazon.com."
URL: http://www.43things.com
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20033

YubNub: A (Social) Command Line For the Web
This website offers "a command-line for the web." Use the commands the author created (either directly from the website or with the browser plug-ins) for search shortcuts to popular search engines, commerce directories, and other websites. Includes a blog and an option to create your own commands. From a software programmer.
URL: http://www.yubnub.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19981

Government

GAO: Aviation Security: Federal Air Marshal Service Could Benefit From Improved Planning and Controls
This November 2005 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends practices for the management of the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), which has "undergone a number of changes in recent years, including a 2003 transfer from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and a 2005 transfer from ICE back to TSA." Discusses training efforts, career opportunities, internal controls, and related topics. Opens directly into a PDF file.
URL: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-203
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20008

Health

Seasonal Depression Awareness Month: December
The shorter days and decreased light of winter can trigger "symptoms of depression, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)." This page explains the symptoms of and treatment options for SAD, and offers links to information on related mental health topics. From the National Mental Health Information Center of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
URL: http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/highlights/December2005/sad/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20002

Trouble in Toyland
This annual survey of toy safety "provides safety guidelines for parents when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards." Discusses choking and strangulation hazards, toys that could cause hearing loss, and toys that could expose children to hazardous chemicals. Includes photos illustrating potentially hazardous toys and information about online toy retailers. From the National Association of State PIRGs.
URL: http://toysafety.net/toysafety.asp?id2=20594
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/8578

Home & Housing

Buying for Equality
A buyer's guide that rates companies according to their "treatment of GLBT employees, consumers and investors." Guide available in both screen-friendly and print-friendly versions. Includes explanations for the scores. From the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
URL: http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=Resources1&Template=/ContentMa...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19886

Reverse Mortgage Calculator
"This calculator provides approximate estimates for two nationally available reverse mortgage programs." The two loan programs used for the estimates are the federally-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), and the Home Keeper Mortgage from Fannie Mae. Calculations are based on the age of the homeowner, and the value and location of the home. Includes links to additional material about reverse mortgages. From AARP.
URL: http://www.rmaarp.com
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20041

Media

Godzilla Conquers the Globe: Japanese Monster Movies in International Film Art
This website offers a virtual tour of a 2004 exhibit on the Japanese film genre known as kaijû eiga (monster movies). The exhibit feature movie posters, film programs, lobby cards, and other materials from several countries for Godzilla and other monster movies. Include descriptions of the items and images of related items such as Japanese bestiaries. From the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University.
URL: http://www.donaldkeenecenter.org/content/view/19/38/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20045

Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)
HFPA is an organization of international journalists that presents the Golden Globe Awards (held annually in January) for outstanding motion picture and television performances. The site features information about the organization and its philanthropic activities, a FAQ, and Golden Globe Award winners, history, photos, and video clips.
URL: http://www.goldenglobes.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/4187

John Lennon
Compilation of materials about singer/songwriter John Lennon, who was a member of the British rock group the Beatles and who was killed in December 1980 in New York. Includes a biography, articles, album reviews, photos, and a discography. From Rolling Stone magazine.
URL: http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/johnlennon/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20020

Religious Themes in the Movies & Television
Videography of movies and a couple of television programs with religious themes, with an emphasis on Christian themes. Also includes a bibliography on religion in the movies, and a videography of films with Jewish themes. From the Media Resources Center of the Moffitt Library, University of California, Berkeley.
URL: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/religiousfilms.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20013

Tuck Professor Uses Statistical Formula to Predict the Academy Award for Best Picture
This February 2005 news release (with a link to the full report) describes how a "professor of international economics at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth used a combination of history and statistics to forecast who will receive the highest honor in filmmaking." The "formula relies on three variables: a film's total Oscar nominations, number of Golden Globes won, and whether or not it's a comedy." From the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
URL: http://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/news/releases/pr20050225_oscars.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20023

People

AARP Policy & Research for Professionals in Aging: Boomers
Policy documents and reports on aging and retirement issues concerning the U.S. baby boomer generation of people born in the period from the later 1940s through the early 1960s. Topics include older workers, retirement plan coverage, retirement savings, financial wealth, civic engagement, travel, and quality-of-life concerns. From AARP.
URL: http://www.aarp.org/research/reference/boomers/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19986

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship: About Albert Schweitzer
Biography of Albert Schweitzer, doctor and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952. Includes many quotes reflecting his philosophy on war and peace, nuclear weapons, animal welfare, and other ethical and spiritual topics. Provides photos, annotated links to organizations inspired by the work of Schweitzer, and brief annotated bibliography of selected books by and about Schweitzer. From a health fellowship program focused on underserved communities in the United States and Africa.
URL: http://www.schweitzerfellowship.org/features/about/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20022

Eugene McCarthy, Who Galvanized a Generation of War Opponents, Dies
Compilation of material about former Democratic Sen. Eugene McCarthy, who was known for his criticism of the Vietnam War, and who died in December 2005. Includes a timeline of his life and political career, audio of speeches (such as the announcement of his entrance into the 1968 presidential race), and photos. Also includes links to sites with related information. From Minnesota Public Radio (MPR).
URL: http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/06/15_olsond_genem...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20012

Freedom of Information Act: John Lennon
Digitized FBI documents from an "investigation conducted when the FBI learned that John Lennon contributed $75,000 to a group planning to disrupt the Republican National Convention in 1972." From the Freedom of Information Act site, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
URL: http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/lennon.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/15755

Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)
Biography and information about the works of Horatio Alger Jr., "best-selling boys' series writer" of dime-store novels such as the "Ragged Dick" series. "His moralistic stories ... inspired many generations of children and taught them the virtues of industry, thrift, and honor." The site provides a list of pseudonyms, selected poems and stories, and images of some Alger letters. From the Horatio Alger Collection of the Northern Illinois University Libraries.
URL: http://www.ulib.niu.edu/rarebooks/alger/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20019

Into the Wardrobe: A C.S. Lewis Web Site
Clive Staples Lewis was the author of the Narnia series, as well as many other books, both fiction and nonfiction. This site offers current news, biographies, articles about Lewis and his writings, links to other websites, and much more. Registration is required to post in the message forums. This site is considered unofficial, but does have the endorsement of Lewis's stepson.
URL: http://cslewis.drzeus.net/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/166

Minnesota Author Biographies Project: Eugene McCarthy
Brief biographical note and list of selected publications by former U.S. senator Eugene Joseph McCarthy, who was also a "professor, author, and poet." Includes a list of 10 books by McCarthy, such as "Ground Fog and Night: Poems," "The Limits of Power; America's Role in the World," and "A Political Bestiary." Also includes a list of sources used to prepare the author entry. From the Minnesota Historical Society.
URL: http://people.mnhs.org/authors/biog_detail.cfm?PersonID=McCa281
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20014

NORAD Tracks Santa
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks Santa’s trip around the world on Christmas Eve. The site provides biographical information about Santa Claus, a sampler of Christmas music, and brief information about NORAD. The tracker goes live the morning of December 24, but prior to that, test videos made of Santa's earlier activities in the calendar year are available for viewing. Available in six languages.
URL: http://www.noradsanta.org/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/7488

Ready Reference & Quick Facts

The Claus That Refreshes
"Did Coca-Cola create the modern image of Santa Claus?" This site discredits the legend and produces facts and evidence of his true origin. From Urban Legends Reference Pages.
URL: http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/santa.asp
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/7490

Federal Aviation Administration: Runway Safety
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) documents and data on runway incursions, which are "occurrence[s] in the airport runway environment involving an aircraft, vehicle, person, or object on the ground that creates a collision hazard or results in a loss of required separation with an aircraft taking off" or landing. The "2005 Runway Safety Report" includes detailed information about runways at specific U.S. airports. Historical runway incursion data is available for 2001 to the present.
URL: http://www.faa.gov/runwaysafety/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19991

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Christmas
The site offers over two dozen Christmas legends and myths, including Jesus' birth date, the number of wise men, the accepted meaning of the Immaculate Conception, the origin of the Yule log, the symbolism of candy canes, Christmas cards, Boxing Day, the Twelve Days of Christmas, and more, while discrediting some commonly accepted Christmas news stories. Do not miss the fruitcake page. From the Urban Legends Reference Pages.
URL: http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/5457

Recreation

Games of La Francophonie
Background about this "international cultural and sporting event in which athletes and artists from the various member states and governments of La Francophonie take part." Includes overviews of the competitions (such as judo, soccer, storytelling, and dance) at past events, which have been held in Morocco, France, Madagascar, Canada, and Niger. In English and French. From Canadian Heritage.
URL: http://www.pch.gc.ca/special/francophonie/jeux-games/index-eng.cfm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20011

Regional: California

California Climate Change Portal
"This website combines information [from state government agencies and commissions] on the impacts of climate change on California and the state's policies relating to global warming." It provides background information, policy papers, reports, legislation, and other materials on California strategy related to global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change in the state. Maintained by the California Energy Commission.
URL: http://www.climatechange.ca.gov
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19990

Outlook for a Small Farm Meat Goat Industry for California
This January 2005 research report looks at topics related to the status of the goat meat industry in California, including factors affecting consumption, goat meat production outlook, estimated potential demand, conditions in the state promoting goat meat consumption, and challenges to growth. Includes data on the goat industry and goat consumption in California and the U.S. Opens directly into a PDF file. From the University of California Small Farm Center, University of California, Davis.
URL: http://www.sfc.ucdavis.edu/goatmeatpub.pdf
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20015

Regional: Washington State

HistoryLink: Seattle's First Christmas
Essay "gleaned from much reading of local history" about the celebration of Christmas in New York Alki (the first settlement that become Seattle) in 1851, which took place "only six short weeks ... since the Arthur Denny party had made their historic landing." Includes a description of the participants and of the celebration, which included two wild geese, "a small amount of tea for the elders, and ... clam juice" for the children.
URL: http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=4138
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19914

Regions of the World

The Festival of "Yalda"
Brief information about the celebration of the winter solstice in Iran with the festival of Shab-e yalda, "which refers to the birthday or rebirth of the sun." This site presents a brief history, and description of the traditions of the Yalda festival, including bonfires, holiday foods, and prayers. Includes a list of similarities with the celebration of Christmas. From a website by two Iranian writers.
URL: http://www.artarena.force9.co.uk/yalda.htm
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19979

G.I. Jones Photographic Archive of Southeastern Nigerian Art and Culture
Collection of photos from the 1930s by photographer G.I. Jones, who researched and studied "the peoples of southeastern Nigeria -- particularly the Igbo people." Images depict festivals, masks, drums, shrines, wood figures, and other cultural artifacts. Includes a biography of the photographer and a brief bibliography. From Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
URL: http://mccoy.lib.siu.edu/jmccall/jones/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20024

God Jul! [Merry Christmas!]
This page contains an overview of Christmas activities in Sweden, including Advent, St. Lucia's Day (the oldest daughter wears a wreath and candles on her head while serving saffron buns and coffee), Christmas Eve (children set out porridge for the Jultomten, the Christmas gnome, who leaves them presents), Christmas Day, and St. Stephen's Day (for the patron saint of animals). Includes directions for making a St. Lucia wreath.
URL: http://www.bry-backmanor.org/holidayfun/sweden.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/6561

Marriage, Cohabitation and Civil Partnerships
"The website covers where you can get married in England and Wales and how to do it abroad. It also gives details on the residential and legal requirements for marriage, and what you need to do if you discover an error on your marriage certificate." Includes links to equivalent offices in Scotland and Northern Ireland and information about civil partnerships. Part of Directgov, from the government of the UK.
URL: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Yourrightsandr...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20009

Science

PSR Publications and Related Links on Depleted Uranium
Commentary and links to information about depleted uranium (DU), "uranium from which the more highly radioactive isotopes have been removed for use in weapons or reactor fuel." Publications discuss the health and environmental effects of DU. Links to websites provide other viewpoints; "PSR does not necessarily endorse the content or opinions contained on these sites." From Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR).
URL: http://www.psr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=security_nuclear_legacy_mi...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20031

ToxFAQs For Vinyl Chloride
Toxicological profile for vinyl chloride, a colorless gas that "is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is used to make a variety of plastic products." Questions and answers discuss topics related to the health effects of vinyl chloride, which is a carcinogen. Also in Spanish. From the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
URL: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts20.html
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20027

Society & Social Science

Phonemic Awareness: What Does It Mean?
Article providing an overview about this method for teaching beginning reading that involves the "use of the sound structure of oral language in learning to read." Includes information about the stages of phonological development, the roles of rhyme and alliteration, and the relationship between phonics and phonemic awareness. From EducationNews.Org.
URL: http://www.educationnews.org/Phonemics/phonemic_awareness_what_does_it...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20049

Phonics and Whole Language Learning: A Balanced Approach to Beginning Reading
This article discusses methods that adults can use to help young children learn to read, given that "the question in early childhood programs is not whether to teach 'phonics' or 'whole language learning,' but how to teach phonics in context ... so that children make connections between letters, sounds, and meaning." Includes activities to do with infants, toddlers, and pre-school and school-age children. From the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
URL: http://www.naeyc.org/ece/1996/13.asp
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20048

A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America's Collections
The report from a survey in December 2005 that concluded "immediate action is needed to prevent the loss of millions of irreplaceable artifacts" in libraries and museums. Areas of concern included permanent damage to items, lack of emergency planning, and conservation staffing. Also includes links to related information. From the Heritage Preservation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
URL: http://www.heritagepreservation.org/HHI/
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19963

Reinventing Aging: Baby Boomers and Civic Engagement
This 162-page report examines volunteering, community-based efforts, and other civic engagement opportunities for the baby boom generation (people born in the United States during the later 1940s through the early 1960s). "The main message of the Report is that there is an opportunity to help boomers create a social legacy of profound importance." Opens directly into a PDF file. From the Harvard School of Public Health-MetLife Foundation Initiative on Retirement and Civic Engagement.
URL: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/chc/reinventingaging/Report.pdf
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19989

U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features Special Edition: Oldest Baby Boomers Turn 60!
Facts and statistics about aging baby boomers. "In 2006, the oldest of the baby boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, will turn 60 years old." Includes demographics of the Boomers, geographic distribution, the most popular baby names in 1946, social behavior of Boomers, and more. From the U.S. Census Bureau.
URL: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_fe...
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20038


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