Wordnik is an interesting, social approach to the dictionary.  It not only includes definitions, examples, and pronunciation, but also stats on the use of the word, a result list from a Twitter search, Flickr images, etc.  Here's a description from the site itself:

"Wordnik is a place for all the words, and everything known about them.  Our goal is to show you as much information as possible, as fast as we can find it, for every word in English, and to give you a place where you can make your own opinions about words known."

Visit Wordnik


"Timelines: Sources from History," a resource from the British Library

"Timelines: Sources from History" is a fantastic free web resource for studying the history of Great Britain. It features Web 2.0 functionality and feel with an interactive timeline and stunning digital images of important documents from British history. Via Dr. Grinnell on Facebook.

It's been added to the library's English Lit and History research guides.


Pandora: On the Screen, On the Shelf

When James Cameron's blockbuster film AVATAR hit the silver screen, two companion books hit our library's shelves.

The art of Avatar : James Cameron's epic adventure (by Lisa Fitzpatrick) explores the developmental and conceptual art used to create Avatar's fictional world, Pandora.

: a confidential report on the biological and social history of Pandora
(by Maria Wilhelm & Dirk Mathison) details the animal and plant life of Pandora's alien ecosystem and the anthropology of its indigenous people, the Na'vi.

For availability, please search the online catalog.


Dewey Music

 "1,153,927 Free Public Domain Songs by 10,253 artists"

"DeweyMusic is a new interface for Archive.org's wonderful public domain music library.  You can listen to, download, remix, and share anything you see on this site legally and for free."

Visit the site

Subscribe to Any Web Site

GoogleReader now allows you to subscribe to any web site, not just those with RSS feeds, to keep up with new content.

Read the full story

Twitter Local Trends

"Twitter began a rollout of a new Local Trends feature last week, and now the company reports Local Trends is live to all....  Once you set your location, Local Trends allows you to see what conversational trends are popular nearby."

Read the full article

Library of Congress celebrates 2 years and 23 million views on Flickr

Library’s Flickr Site Celebrates the Taggable Twos

From the Library of Congress' blog:

Jan. 16 is the two-year anniversary of the launch of the Library’s account on Flickr, the photosharing website. We started with approximately 3,100 photos in our account; today 30 additional archives, libraries, and museums from the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, and Sweden now contribute images with no known copyright restrictions to the “Commons” on Flickr.

The Commons loudly invited people to “help describe the world’s public photo collections,” which in turn inspired a spontaneous “Friends group” and website called Indicommons, where supporters write about interesting images, curate thematic selections, set up interactive games, and create new applications.

Read the full post.

Explore The Commons on Flickr.


The Face Of A Famous Skull Found On Flickr

The Face Of A Famous Skull Found On Flickr

In 1848, Phineas Gage became a medical miracle.

Gage was a 25-year-old railroad foreman, who was known for being efficient and friendly. One September day, his crew was laying track in Cavendish, Vt. As he was tamping explosive powder into a hole in the rock, the powder exploded prematurely, driving the tamping iron straight through his head.

Gage never lost consciousness. He sat upright in the ox cart that carried him to an inn, a half-mile away. He was met there by Dr. John Martyn Harlow, who performed one of the first neurosurgeries ever. Gage recovered in a matter of months, though he lost his left eye.

See the image on Flickr.

Read the full story at NPR.

Google Wave Versus the Rest

LifeHacker posted a feature-by-feature comparison table highlighting the differences between Google Wave and other online collaboration tools (email, IM, google docs, wikis, and forums) last week, which offers a good overview of the functionality included in Google Wave.

Read the article

2010 Horizon Report

EDUCAUSE released the 2010 Horizon Report earlier this month... here's the abstract:

"The annual Horizon Report is a collaborative effort between the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC). Each year, the report identifies and describes six areas of emerging technology likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression in higher education within three adoption horizons: a year or less, two to three years, and four to five years."  The areas included in this year's report are:
    One Year or Less:  Mobile Computing and Open Content
    Two to Three Years:  Electronic Books and Simple Augmented Reality
    Four to Five Years: Gesture-based Computing and Visual Data Analysis

    Read the full report


    Factery Labs’ New Fact Engine

    "Where other real-time search engines focus on hot tweets, popular links, and the like, Factery Labs skips all that and surfaces the facts behind the day’s trending news."

    Read the full story on search engine land

    Try it out:  http://facterylabs.com/


    Online Music Collections Access

    SCHEDULED DOWNTIME ALERT - January 30, 2010

    Please note that scheduled maintenance on Classical Music Library, African American Song, Smithsonian Global Sound and Contemporary World Music from the library's Online Music Collections may cause sporadic access disruptions between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 PM EDT on January 30, 2010.

    The library is open that day during the scheduled maintenance period.

    The First World War Poetry Digital Archive

    The First World War Poetry Digital Archive
    This (free, publicly available) website should prove an excellent resource for a student of First World War poetry. As the screenshot above shows, the site contains not only information about poems and their authors, but contemporary audio, video and popular culture materials. One could get lost in here, but in a good way.

    The creators' description of the site:

    The First World War Poetry Digital Archive is an online repository of over 7000 items of text, images, audio, and video for teaching, learning, and research.

    The heart of the archive consists of collections of highly valued primary material from major poets of the period, including Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, and Edward Thomas. This is supplemented by a comprehensive range of multimedia artefacts from the Imperial War Museum, a separate archive of over 6,500 items contributed by the general public, and a set of specially developed educational resources. These educational resources include an exciting new exhibition in the three-dimensional virtual world Second Life.

    Freely available to the public as well as the educational community, the First World War Poetry Digital Archive is a significant resource for studying the First World War and the literature it inspired.

    Haiti relief and the Sandor Teszler Award

    Many of us remember Paul Farmer's visit to campus in 2007 when he received the Sandor Teszler Award for Moral Courage and Service to Humankind. Dr. Farmer and his Partners in Health are in the thick of it in Haiti. Find out more here:

    Stand With Haiti

    Partners in Health Blog on how to help


    More on Cyber Attack on Google

    "Microsoft has admitted that its Internet Explorer was a weak link in the recent attacks on Google's systems that originated in China...[and has] released preliminary guidance to mitigate the problem and is working on a formal software update."

    Read the full story at BBC News

    Schubert|It - The Best PDF Viewer

    Adobe and Microsoft are still having compatibility issues for reading PDF documents on a Macintosh and any browser other than IE. Adobe Reader can't do it. If you use a MAC, here is a wonderful plug-in which will restore your ability to read PDFs: http://www.schubert-it.com/downloads/.

    Using technology to bring relief to Haiti

    Aid and relief workers are utilizing volunteer-driven technology to map the shattered city of Port-au-Prince. This resource is available on the web and as an iPhone app.

    From the article by Brady Forrest:

    "Crisis Mappers from around the world have been working around the clock to create maps and other tools for relief workers in Haiti. The earthquake caused tremendous damage to the road network and updated maps are necessary to enable food and volunteers to traverse the island.

    The volunteer-driven Open Street Map project has become a central data source for the Crisis Mappers. It is regarded by many as the most up-to-date map of the area. It combines UN damage assessment, digitized imagery, Public Domain Topos and other base data."


    Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition

    From the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture comes an important and enlightening exhibition about the intersection of American Indian and African American people and cultures. IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas explores historical and contemporary stories of peoples and communities in the U.S., the Caribbean, Central America, and the northern coast of South America.

    The exhibition sheds light on the dynamics of race, community, culture, and creativity and addresses the human desire to belong. With compelling text and powerful graphics, the exhibition includes accounts of cultural integration and diffusion as well as the struggle to define and preserve identity. Stories are set within the context of a larger society that, for centuries, has viewed people through the prism of race brought to the Western Hemisphere by European settlers.

    By combining the voices of the living with those of their ancestors, the exhibition provides an extraordinary opportunity to understand the history and contemporary perspectives of people of African and Native American descent.

    Library painting

    Library in the Key of D Major, Acrylic on paper, by Wofford College student Frances Choe. This image is now on display among other paintings by Frances Choe in the Sandor Teszler Library Gallery through January 29, 2010.


    Protecting Reputations Online

    CommonCraft released a short new video explaining the importance of protecting your reputation online.  You can find it here.

    Cyber Attack on Google

    "Google is releasing information about a “highly sophisticated and targeted attack” on their corporate infrastructure that occurred last month.... The company says that a minimal amount of user information was compromised, but has come to the alarming conclusion that the attacks were targeting the information of Chinese human rights activists."

    Read the full story on TechCrunch


    Public Domain images

    Public Domain Collection (Government Sources) , a collection created by Flickr user "pingnews.com."

    The works in this collection may be used for free. According to the source, they are believed to be in the public domain. Please note, however, that while some photos are unrestricted, others may require attribution. The general rule: identify the photographer, physical location of the photo, and any other pertinent information regarding rights.

    No Known Restrictions: "Hello! This is liberty Speaking - Billions of dollars are Needed and Needed Now" by Z.P. Nikolaki, 1918 (LOC)


    1 Million Free Books - Coming soon to an e-reader* near you.

    "Spring Design, the developers of the Alex Reader, a two-screen digital reader featuring both b&w E-Ink and full-color LCD screens, has reached an agreement with Google to provide access to more than a million public domain digital books online or through download. The newly developed Alex Reader runs on the Google-developed Android OS and offers full web browsing functionality through the color screen and the Android Web browser."

    Full story at Publisher's Weekly.

    (*No word yet on what this one will cost.)