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December 2009 Archives

December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Maxwell Library wishes you a Happy Holiday Season!

The Library will be CLOSED from Friday, December 25, 2009 through Sunday, January 3, 2010 and will resume its winter recess hours after the break.

The Moral Call of the Wild

From Scientific American

I love spending time outside. From wild places like the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, to the mundane nature in my back yard, I find comfort in my natural experiences. These places are restful. Peaceful. ...

The benefits of spending time in nature have been well-documented. Psychological research has shown that natural experiences help to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote an overall increase in physical and psychological well-being. There is even evidence that hospital patients with a view of nature recover faster than do hospital patients without such a view. This line of research provides clear evidence that people are drawn to nature with good reason. It has restorative properties.

But a recent article by researchers at the University of Rochester shows that experiences with nature can affect more than our mood. In a series of studies, Netta Weinstein, Andrew Przybylski, and Richard Ryan, University of Rochester, show that exposure to nature can affect our priorities and alter what we think is important in life. In short, we become less self-focused and more other-focused. Our value priorities shift from personal gain, to a broader focus on community and connection with others.

Read more.

December 17, 2009

New Web Resource: Climate 1-Stop

Climate 1 Stop is a climate portal launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 which aims to provide a single location for proven climate change tools, resources and information. Registered users may add information. A detailed search facility is available. The portal was developed by a group of organisations including NASA, USAID, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology and the University of Alabama-Huntsville in the USA, and CATHALAC in Panama.

December 15, 2009

How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers

Executive Summary

In 2008, Americans consumed information for about 1.3 trillion hours, an average of almost 12 hours per day. Consumption totaled 3.6 zettabytes and 10,845 trillion words, corresponding to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day. A zettabyte is 10 to the 21st power bytes, a million million gigabytes. These estimates are from an analysis of more than 20 different sources of information, from very old (newspapers and books) to very new (portable computer games, satellite radio, and Internet video). Information at work is not included.

We defined "information" as flows of data delivered to people and we measured the bytes, words, and hours of consumer information. Video sources (moving pictures) dominate bytes of information, with 1.3 zettabytes from television and approximately 2 zettabytes of computer games. If hours or words are used as the measurement, information sources are more widely distributed, with substantial amounts from radio, Internet browsing, and others. All of our results are estimates.

Previous studies of information have reported much lower quantities. Two previous How Much Information? studies, by Peter Lyman and Hal Varian in 2000 and 2003, analyzed the quantity of original content created, rather than what was consumed. A more recent study measured consumption, but estimated that only .3 zettabytes were consumed worldwide in 2007.

More ...

Download report (PDF)

December 11, 2009

New Database: BizMiner Academic

The Library now has a subscription to BizMiner Academic, including more than 2.5 million national and local industry reports analyzing over 16,000 lines of business. The industry financial and market research content includes industry-wide trends as well as trends for business startups, corporations, s-corps, and sole proprietors. The database includes the following series: Industry Financial, Startup & Sole Proprietorship, US Market Research, Local Market Research (state and metro levels), Local Market Vitality (state, metro areas and counties), and Area Demographic (zip code level).

December 10, 2009

Great Web Sites for Kids

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has added recommended Web sites to Great Web Sites for Kids (, its online resource containing hundreds of links to outstanding Web sites for children.

Great Web Sites for Kids (GWS) features links to Web sites of interest to children 14 years of age and younger, organized into diverse subject headings, from astronomy and space to zoos and aquariums, from games and entertainment to geography and maps. There is also a special section with sites of interest to parents, caregivers and teachers.

December 9, 2009

New Titles Added to Credo Reference Database!

New books including subject encyclopedias and handbooks have been added to the Credo Reference database.


Guide to economic indicators


CIA world factbook


Dictionary of sociolinguistics


Bailliáere's midwives' dictionary
Mosby's handbook of herbs & natural supplements


Feminist philosophies A-Z

Social Sciences

A-Z of social research
Cambridge handbook of age and ageing
Dictionary of race, ethnicity and culture
Key concepts in medical sociology
Key concepts in urban studies
Key concepts in work
Sage dictionary of cultural studies
Social science jargon buster

December 7, 2009

New Database: Marquis Who's Who Biographies

The Library now has access to the Marquis Who's Who Biographies Database within LexisNexis Academic through a link on the Research Tools page under Biography. It contains more than 990,000 thumbnail biographies from 20 Marquis sources such as Who's Who in America, Who Was Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in Entertainment, Who's who in the East, Who's who in the South and Southwest, Who's Who in American Law, and Who's Who of American Women.

Midnight Pizza!

Sponsored by
American Marketing Association
Maxwell Library

December 4, 2009

THE NATION; Bacteria in Gut Tied to Weight Gain

By Thomas H. Maugh II
From Los Angeles Times

A high-fat, high-sugar diet does more than pump calories into your body. It also alters the composition of bacteria in your intestines, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it, research in mice suggests. And the changeover can happen in as little as 24 hours, according to a report Wednesday in the new journal Science Translational Medicine.

Many factors play a role in the propensity to gain weight, including genetics, physical activity and the environment, as well as food choices. But a growing body of evidence, much of it accumulated by Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon of Washington University in St. Louis, shows that bacteria in the gut also play a key role.

Humans need such bacteria to help convert otherwise indigestible foods into digestible form.

Ninety percent of the bacteria fall into two major divisions, or phyla: the Firmicutes and the Bacteroidetes. Previous research had shown that obese mice had higher levels of Firmicutes, and lean ones had more Bacteroidetes.

The full article is available in the library's LexisNexis database.

December 3, 2009

FTC Website Educates Kids about Privacy and Fraud

December 2, 2009

Today, the Federal Trade Commission opened new areas of a “virtual mall” with content that will help kids learn to protect their privacy, spot frauds and scams, and avoid identity theft. The FTC Web site,, introduces key consumer and business concepts and helps youngsters understand their role in the marketplace. The FTC is the nation’s consumer protection agency.

YouAreHere presents practical lessons about money and business in a fun and familiar setting,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The new content takes kids behind the scenes to raise their awareness of advertising and marketing, pricing and competition, fraud and identity theft.

At the FTC’s online mall, visitors play games, watch short animated films, and interact with customers and store owners. They can design and print advertisements for a shoe store, investigate suspicious claims in ads and sales pitches, learn to identify the catches behind bogus modeling schemes and vacation offers, and guess the retail prices of various candies based on their supply, demand, and production costs.

[More ...]

December 1, 2009

New Database: AtoZ Maps Online, Political Science Complete, Philosopher’s Index

The Library now has the following three subscriptions:

AtoZ Maps Online is accessible through a link on the Library’s Research Tools page. The database includes outline maps, political maps, physical maps, thematic maps, climate change maps, environment maps, historic maps, hurricane maps, earthquake maps, volcano maps, fire maps, animal and plant species distribution maps, current event maps, geology maps, topographic maps, and weather maps. Additional features include 2,700 flag images and icons, 300 geography crossword puzzles, 267 geography lesson plans, 30 interactive geography games quizzes and learning tools, and 14 geography, cartography, GIS and other glossaries.

Political Science Complete contains full text for over 400 journals, and cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 800 journals, (including top-ranked scholarly journals), many of which are unique to the product. PSC has a worldwide focus, reflecting the globalization of contemporary political discourse. The database also features more than 180 full-text reference books and monographs, and over 27,000 full-text conference papers. This database replaces Worldwide Political Abstracts which will be cancelled in January.

The Philosopher’s Index database from EBSCO is a replacement for our print subscription to this resource. The Philosopher's Index, produced by the Philosophers Information Center, is a current and comprehensive bibliographic database covering scholarly research in all major fields of philosophy.

December eBook of the Month: The Modern Baker: Time-Saving Techniques for Breads, Tarts, Pies, Cakes and Cookies

By Nick Malgieri
DK Publishing, 2008

With the right teacher, simplified techniques, and step-by-step photo tutorials to guide the way, everyone can make freshly baked loaves, crisp flatbreads, savory tarts, and rich desserts – in record time.

Written by baking Hall of Famer Nick Malgieri, this collection of 150 straightforward recipes with gourmet appeal, strives to bring success to even the busiest of bakers, with the bulk of the preparation taking under one hour. Malgieri distills years of teaching and experience into these detailed recipes for baking everything from bread to biscotti to puff pastry to old-fashioned layer cakes. Recipes are thorough and include descriptions of how batters and doughs are supposed to appear at each stage of preparation. The Modern Baker is as necessary and essential as a good oven; Nick Malgieri leads cooks through the simple art of creating an international assortment of delicious sweet and savory baked goods, interweaving techniques and helpful sidebars.

The December eBook of the Month is provided through DK Publishing. Don’t miss the opportunity to share this engaging and provocative exploration of China’s remote border and interior regions. This ebook will be available with free, unlimited access December 1-31, 2009.

You can go the Library's NetLibrary eBooks web site to read this book online. (If the link doesn't work, please use the refresh button to reload the page.)

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