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December 20, 2007

2008 U.S. Statistical Abstract Released

Demand for Digital Skyrockets, Says U.S. Census Bureau

Factory sales of MP3 players will rise from $424 million in 2003 to nearly $6 billion in 2007, according to projected sales. Additionally, sales of digital television sets and monitors for the same period are estimated to increase from $8.7 billion to $26.3 billion.

The transition in consumer electronics from analog to digital format is just one of the many changes taking place in American life that can be tracked in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008. Published since 1878, it is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on everything from the number of public school teachers to hotel accommodations, from online shipping to marital status.

Products are not the only things going digital; the process for acquiring them is as well. Of the $3.7 trillion in retail sales in 2005, $93 billion (2.5 percent) were recorded as e-commerce sales (Table 1019).

In 2005, electronic shopping and mail-order houses accounted for 70 percent ($65 billion) of e-commerce sales, most notably from computer hardware (14 percent), clothing (12 percent), and drugs and beauty aids (10 percent). Motor vehicle and parts dealers made up another 18 percent of e-commerce sales (Table 1019 and 1020).

Between 2004 and 2005, Internet publishing and broadcasting operating revenue increased by 19 percent. Revenue from online advertising space increased by 29 percent (Table 1116). Meanwhile, the number of daily newspapers continued to decline, from 1,611 in 1990 to 1,437 in 2006. Circulation fell from 62.3 million subscribers to 52.3 million (Table 1102).

The 127th Statistical Abstract has 64 new tables. Although emphasis in this compendium is primarily given to national data, many tables present data for regions and individual states, and a smaller number for metropolitan areas and cities.

To read more:

Merriam-Webster's [Second] Word of the Year 2007

December 19, 2007
From Friends:Social Networking Sites for Engaged Library Services

1. w00t (interjection)
expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word "yay"

2. facebook


(verb) : To upload a photograph to Facebook so that it may be viewed by others.
Have you facebooked those photos from the party last weekend?
Submitted by: Don Brady from Louisiana on Dec. 12, 2007 11:34

(verb) : To create an event entry on facebook
I am going to facebook the party on Friday so everyone knows about it.
Submitted by: Anonymous on Dec. 12, 2007 10:13

(verb) : To get on a facebook website.
Did you facebook today?
Submitted by: Anonymous on Dec. 04, 2007 14:04

(verb) : to look up someone's profile on the popular Internet social network Facebook.
I facebooked Sarah the other day and posted a comment on her wall, but she has yet to reply to my comment.
Submitted by: Anonymous on Dec. 14, 2006 17:09

(verb) : search for another person through the online directory know as facebook
2. to send a message through the online directory know as facebook
I facebooked Lauren yesterday to see where she goes to college.
Submitted by: Anonymous on Dec. 11, 2005 23:24

(verb) : To add someone to your list of friends on the "" website.
Hey, I saw you facebooked me. (also a noun, as in "Look him up on facebook.")
Submitted by: Selena from North Carolina on Dec. 11, 2005 12:03


(verb) : To communicate with others through, like "chatting" is to instant messaging.
Submitted by: Melissa Lester from Canada on Oct. 08, 2007 13:03

(verb) : It means checking out your profile or your friends' profile.
I was facebooking my friends profiles.
Submitted by: Joshua Wilson from Florida on Jan. 29, 2006 20:21


December 19, 2007

Laws of Nature, Source Unknown

December 18, 2007
By Dennis Overbye
The New York Times

''Gravity,'' goes the slogan on posters and bumper stickers. ''It isn't just a good idea. It's the law.''

And what a law. Unlike, say, traffic or drug laws, you don't have a choice about obeying gravity or any of the other laws of physics. Jump and you will come back down. Faith or good intentions have nothing to do with it.

Existence didn't have to be that way, as Einstein reminded us when he said, ''The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.'' Against all the odds, we can send e-mail to Sri Lanka, thread spacecraft through the rings of Saturn, take a pill to chase the inky tendrils of depression, bake a turkey or a souffle and bury a jump shot from the corner.

Yes, it's a lawful universe. But what kind of laws are these, anyway, that might be inscribed on a T-shirt but apparently not on any stone tablet that we have ever been able to find?

Are they merely fancy bookkeeping, a way of organizing facts about the world? Do they govern nature or just describe it? And does it matter that we don't know and that most scientists don't seem to know or care where they come from?

Apparently it does matter, judging from the reaction to a recent article by Paul Davies, a cosmologist at Arizona State University and author of popular science books, on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times.

The full article is available in the Library's LexisNexis database. Off-campus users can use the Use the Library from Home link on the left menu of the Library's home page to acces this article.

December 18, 2007

Two Important Gallup Poll Publications Added to LexisNexis Academic

Two important Gallup Poll publications were added to LexisNexis Academic to help offset the loss of the Roper Polls reported last week. In addition to the Gallup Management Journal, which was already in available, subscribers will now be able to access the following two titles:

Gallup Poll News Service

Description: The Gallup Poll News Service is the internet's leading polling-based news source. It contains news centered on public opinion. Published each business day, articles from the Gallup Poll News Service analyze findings and trends in politics, business, social issues, and Americans' lifestyles.

Full source description:

Direct search link:

*Note: Updating of this source is temporarily suspended during a data format conversion; current coverage will be reinstated shortly.

Gallup Poll Tuesday Briefing

Description: The Gallup Poll Tuesday Briefing is Gallup's premier weekly online news publication. Each Tuesday, the Gallup Poll Tuesday Briefing publishes in-depth articles on the opinions and issues Gallup is investigating in government, in the workplace, in schools, in hospitals, and in faith communities.

Full source description:

Direct search link:

Those needing opinion poll data should also try using the Polls & Surveys SmartIndexing term in combination with news searches run from the Power Search form or the News search form. This will retrieve news stories that report on the contents of public opinion polls.

December 17, 2007

Pizza Night Went Successfully!

December 17, 2007

Last night’s Pizza Night event was a success despite the weather. About 60 large pizzas were ordered and distributed from 11:00 until midnight. Also there were about 300 bottles of water and cans of soda distributed. The first to arrive for fresh pizza were the students studying and working in the building; they in turn called their roommates and friends, who polished off the rest of the food. Everyone I talked to enjoyed the food, were grateful for the break, and left refreshed.

It was really a very nice event. Kudos to the students from the BSC chapter of the American Marketing Association and their advisor, Bob Wolk! The AMA students requested the funds and marketed the event; they set up the tables and had plenty of paper plates and napkins available; they picked up the pizzas and cleaned up afterwards. It was well organized and fun.

December 14, 2007

Amazon Captures 'Beedle the Bard'

December 14, 2007
From Publishers Weekly

Turns out that the final buyer for J.K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard was Amazon. The book, one of only seven copies in existence, was acquired in a heated auction Wednesday night for £1.9 million by London fine art dealer Hazlitt Gooden & Fox. Yesterday, Amazon announced it was the owner of the title, and has established a Web site, where it is posting images from the extensively illustrated work. In addition, there will be reviews of the five fairy tales that comprise the book and discussion forums. Amazon has sold 12 million copies of Rowling's Harry Potter titles worldwide.

December 13, 2007

Virus Starts Like a Cold But Can Turn Into a Killer

December 11, 2007
By Rob Stein, Washington Post Staff Writer

Infectious-disease expert David N. Gilbert was making rounds at the Providence Portland Medical Center in Oregon in April when he realized that an unusual number of patients, including young, vigorous adults, were being hit by a frightening pneumonia.

"What was so striking was to see patients who were otherwise healthy be just devastated," Gilbert said. Within a day or two of developing a cough and high fever, some were so sick they would arrive at the emergency room gasping for air.

"They couldn't breathe," Gilbert said. "They were going to die if we didn't get more oxygen into them."

Gilbert alerted state health officials, a decision that led investigators to realize that a new, apparently more virulent form of a virus that usually causes nothing worse than a nasty cold was circulating around the United States. At least 1,035 Americans in four states have been infected so far this year by the virus, known as an adenovirus. Dozens have been hospitalized, many requiring intensive care, and at least 10 have died.

Health officials say the virus does not seem to be causing life-threatening illness on a wide scale, and most people who develop colds or flulike symptoms are at little or no risk. Likewise, most people infected by the suspect adenovirus do not appear to become seriously ill. But the germ appears to be spreading, and investigators are unsure how much of a threat it poses.

"This virus has the capability of causing severe respiratory illness in people of all ages, regardless of their medical condition," said John Su, a disease investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based in Texas, where the largest outbreak is tapering off at an Air Force base after 10 months. Other outbreaks have been reported in Washington state and South Carolina, along with a single case in an infant in New York City.

The full article is available in the Library's LexisNexis database. Off-campus users can use the Use the Library from Home link on the left menu of the Library's home page to acces this article.

Roper's Public Opinion Location Library or Public Opinion Online

The content of this publication will not be available in LexisNexis soon. The publisher has decided to opt out of the agreement that made it possible for LexisNexis to bring this content to academic researchers. The Licensing team of LexisNexis has made a very determined effort to retain academic rights, and they will continue discussions with the publisher in hopes of reinstating this content in the future. The publisher has made it clear that no reinstatement will happen in 2008, and has directed LexisNexis to remove Roper's materials from LexisNexis Academic prior to the end of 2007. However, Roper's materials will remain available until approximately December 21.

Public Opinion Location Library or Public Opinion Online covers the full spectrum of public interest including politics and government, public institutions, international relations, business, social affairs and consumer behavior and preferences. The file includes actual data from a wide variety of sources in opinion polling such as Gallup, Harris, Roper; ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC; Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal. The file is maintained by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, a non-profit education and research organization in the field of public opinion and public policy.

December 11, 2007

Copyright Alliance Proposes Wiki to Help Professors Get Permissions for Classroom Use

December 10, 2007
From The Chronicle of Higher Education

Washington — So a professor wants to show Monty Python and the Holy Grail to her class on British humor, and she wants to check with the film studio to get permission. How would she do that? As it stands, the semester could be over by the time the professor even finds the right person to ask.

A nonprofit group called the Copyright Alliance, whose members include associations for the motion-picture and recording industries, announced today that it would like to help broker such requests. The idea, described briefly at an academic symposium held by the group on Monday in Washington, is to create a Web site where professors could post questions like the the one above and get answers from an industry official. The online resource would take the form of a wiki, a communal Web site that allows visitors to easily post new comments and track the changes that have been made.

Patrick Ross, executive director of the Copyright Alliance, said in an interview after the symposium that he had been talking with alliance members from the content industry who were ready to proceed, assuming that colleges want such a system.

To read more:

Articles published in The Chronicle of Higher Education can be found in the following library databases:

Academic OneFile 1999 to present (Embargo: 1 month)
Academic Search Premier 1999 to present (Embargo: 1 month)
Education Full Text Only 2000 to present (Embargo: 1 month)
Educator's Reference Complete 1999 to present (Embargo: 1 month)
Expanded Academic ASAP 1999 to present (Embargo: 1 month)
General OneFile 1999 to present (Embargo: 1 month)
General Reference Center Gold 1999 to present (Embargo: 1 month)
LexisNexis Academic 1997 to present
MasterFILE Premier 1999 to present (Embargo: 1 month)
Professional Development Collection 1999 to present (Embargo: 1 month)
Religion & Philosophy Collection 1999 to present (Embargo: 1 month)

December 10, 2007

Gifts to the Nation: American Treasures of the Library of Congress

Next Wednesday, December 12, 2007 the librarians of the Library of Congress will offer a free, one-hour, online presentation of some of the treasures in the collections at OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) web site. Everyone worldwide is welcome to attend. There's no need to register.

This program will be beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:00 Central, noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 7:00 p.m. GMT/UTC/Zulu.

Gifts to the Nation: American Treasures of the Library of Congress

These are the gifts of generations past. They describe the exploits, strivings, accomplishments, and beliefs and attitudes of those who contributed, for better or for worse, to making us who we are as a nation. They were not given lightly –- danger lurked on the high seas or in acts of treason against the King of England; continuing failures preceded ultimate success; the spark of imagination required years of work to come to fruition.

They are here, at the Library of Congress, and now on display through the Library’s Web site, for all generations, present and future. Join us as we take you on a journey through a sampling of the more than 250 items that have been selected to represent the treasures that the Library holds.

Watch for further information about these upcoming events in the Library of Congress online series of programs:

Jan 9 - Gen. Washington and the Spy Map
Feb 13 - History of chocolate in the US
Mar 12 - Early scrapbooks and the women who created them
April 9 - Poetry
May 14 - Jefferson's Library
June 11 - All History Is Local in a Digital World

Host: Library of Congress

Quick Link for Regular Participants who have already installed the OPAL Software: OPAL Online Auditorium

Link for First-Time OPAL Users, Moderators, and Users of the No-Software-Download-Required Interface: OPAL Online Auditorium

December 7, 2007

Why winter for the flu? A virus has its reasons

December 6, 2007
By Gina Kolata, The New York Times

Researchers believe they have solved one of the great mysteries of the flu: Why does the infection spread primarily in the winter months?

The answer, they say, has to do with the virus itself. It is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry, the exact conditions for much of the flu season.

''Influenza virus is more likely to be transmitted during winter on the way to the subway than in a warm room,'' said Dr. Peter Palese, a flu researcher who is the chairman of the microbiology department at Mount Sinai Medical College in New York and the lead author of the flu study.

Palese published details of his findings in the Oct. 19 issue of PLoS Pathogens. The crucial hint that allowed him to do his study came from a paper published in the aftermath of the 1918 flu pandemic, when doctors were puzzling over why and how the virus had spread so quickly and been so deadly.

As long as flu has been recognized, people have asked, ''Why winter?'' The very name ''influenza'' is an Italian word that, some historians proposed, originated in the mid-18th century as ''influenza di freddo,'' or ''influence of the cold.''

The full article is available in the Library's LexisNexis database. Off-campus users can use the Use the Library from Home link on the left menu of the Library's home page to acces this article.

December 6, 2007

Simulations of Ailing Artists' Eyes Yield New Insights on Style

December 5, 2007
From the New York Times

For Claude Monet, 1912-22 was a watershed decade. He was perhaps the most successful artist of his time, and his genius had already assured him a place in history. But as he aged, his painting noticeably lost subtlety.

... His days as an avant-garde rebel had long passed, but some critics would later wonder whether the Impressionist was suddenly trying to become an abstract expressionist.

What has long been known about Monet's later years is that he suffered from cataracts and that his eyesight worsened so much that he painted from memory. ... Now, thanks to modern digital techniques, scientists and critics can have a better idea how cataracts changed what Monet saw.

The full article is available in the Library's LexisNexis database. Off-campus users can use the Use the Library from Home link on the left menu of the Library's home page to acces this article.

December 5, 2007

Library & Information Science Graduate Study Opportunity

The University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science (SIRLS) is now recruiting for its next cohort of Knowledge River students. Students must have an undergraduate degree in any field. These students focus on library and information issues for and about Hispanics and Native Americans. Knowledge River participants will graduate with an ALA-accredited MA in Information Resources and Library Science leading to careers as a librarian or information professional with a specific focus on Hispanic and Native American communities. Deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2008. For more information about the program, go to:

December 3, 2007

Database Trial: Keesing’s World News Archive

The Library has a trial of Keesing’s World News Archive from December, 2007 to January 31, 2008, accessible from the Library's home page. Keesing’s World News Archive includes comprehensive and concise reports on international political, social and economic events since 1931. Please try this database and send your comments to Kendra St. Aubin at by February 1st.

December Free eBook: Younger You Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Brain to Look and Feel 15 Years Younger

by Eric R. Braverman
McGraw-Hill, 2007

Finally, a pivotal piece of the aging puzzle is solved. In the December eBook of the Month, Dr. Eric Braverman reveals how controlling brain hormones through diet, lifestyle changes, key vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements can halt the aging process.

In the constant battle to stay young and feel fit, we will try any of the quick fixes that come on the market. But you don't need surgery, pricey cosmetics, or starvation to look and feel 15 years younger. With Dr. Braverman as your guide, you will unlock the secrets to living a longer, more vibrant life.

This December eBook of the Month is provided through the generous support of the publisher, McGraw-Hill Professional.

To read this free ebook on line, click the EBooks link under the Find Books, Videos, Sound Recordings... link in the Research Help section on the Library's home page. The link to the December free eBook of the Month is on the right side of NetLibrary page. Creating a free user account is required if you haven't had one.

Oxford Word of the Year

From Oxford University Press USA

The 2007 Word of the Year is (drum-roll please) locavore.

“Locavore” was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Other regional movements have emerged since then, though some groups refer to themselves as “localvores” rather than “locavores.” However it’s spelled, it’s a word to watch.


aging in place: the process of growing older while living in one’s own residence, instead of having to move to a new home or community

bacn: email notifications, such as news alerts and social networking updates, that are considered more desirable than unwanted “spam” (coined at PodCamp Pittsburgh in Aug. 2007 and popularized in the blogging community)

cloudware: online applications, such as webmail, powered by massive data storage facilities, also called “cloud servers”

colony collapse disorder: a still-unexplained phenomenon resulting in the widespread disappearance of honeybees from beehives, first observed in late 2006

cougar: an older woman who romantically pursues younger men

MRAP vehicle: Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, designed to protect troops from improvised explosive devices (IEDs)

mumblecore: an independent film movement featuring low-budget production, non-professional actors, and largely improvised dialogue

previvor: a person who has not been diagnosed with a form of cancer but has survived a genetic predisposition for cancer

social graph: the network of one’s friends and connections on social websites such as Facebook and Myspace

tase (or taze): to stun with a Taser (popularized by a Sep. 2007 incident in which a University of Florida student was filmed being stunned by a Taser at a public forum)

upcycling: the transformation of waste materials into something more useful or valuable

To read more:

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