Friday, February 27, 2009

Lincoln Exhibit Online

The Library of Congress has just released a new online exhibit about Abraham Lincoln. The photo shows the contents of Lincoln's pockets after he was shot at the Ford Theater. Click on the blue title above to view entire collection.
Alfred Whital Stern (1881-1960) of Chicago presented his outstanding collection of Lincolniana to the Library of Congress in 1953. Begun by Mr. Stern in the 1920s, the collection documents the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as well as a large body of publications concerning the issues of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics.

The collection contains more than 11,100 items. This online release presents more than 1,300 items with more than 4,000 images and a date range of 1824-1931. It includes the complete collection of Stern’s contemporary newspapers, Lincoln’s law papers, sheet music, broadsides, prints, cartoons, maps, drawings, letters, campaign tickets, and other ephemeral items. The books and pamphlets in this collection are scheduled for digitization at a later date.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Credit Crisis Visualized

Having difficulty wrapping your head around all the components of the current economic crisis?

If your answer is yes, you should watch this video.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CNN's Black in America Encore Presentation Tonight

Don't miss an encore presentation of "Black in America: The Black Woman & Family," which premiered in July 2008. Soledad O'Brien explores the varied experiences of black women and families and investigates the disturbing statistics of single parenthood, racial disparities between students and the devastating toll of HIV/AIDS. O'Brien reports on the progress of black women in the workplace and the status of the black middle class.

The encore presentation will be available for view in the Al Harris Library's NewsRoom at 7:00pm, Wednesday February 25th.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Possibly Worse Than Kudzu

The Burmese Python is a popular (and legal) pet snake in the United States. In the last five years, there have been nearly 150,000 Burmese pythons imported into the US, and hatchlings can sell for as little as $20. But once the cute baby snakes turn into 15-foot-long beasts, owners often turn them loose into the wild. The snakes are perfectly at home in the Everglades’ water, heat, and vegetation, and they have no predators.

"All of the Burmese pythons that we see in the park are a product of the international pet trade," said Skip Snow, a wildlife biologist at Everglades National Park. Snow’s office maintains a "python sightings" hotline so people can alert them to snakes on the loose. Since the mid-1990s, park rangers have had to respond to a steadily increasing number of calls about Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park. The problem is getting much worse now because the snakes are most certainly breeding in the park. Some estimates extend to over 10,000 pythons in the center of the Everglades.

Wildlife officials are worried because the snakes, which can grow to 20 feet long, also prey on native mangrove fox squirrels and wood storks, and they could be competing with the eastern indigo snake for both food and space. The eastern indigo snake is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species. There are also increasing serious concerns about human safety as well, since the mammoth snakes are able to subdue and kill alligators, which are much stronger than human beings.
Check out a related DVD in Government Documents: Defending Favorite Places (A 13.140:IN 8/DVD). This 26 minute DVD explains how hunters and anglers can help stop the spread of invasive species.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oklahoma getting $2.6 billion from stimulus

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The compromise stimulus package approved by the U.S. House contains more than $2.6 billion for roads, schools and other projects in Oklahoma.

About $449 million of the total will go toward highway and bridge projects, according to figures supplied by a group that does fiscal analysis for the nation's governors and legislatures.

The state Department of Education is in line to get $136 million for schools that have low-income students, $155 million for special education and $7.1 million for technology improvements.

The package provides about $900 million in Medicaid funding. But availability of that money is contingent on need and the state's unemployment rate.

State Treasurer Scott Meacham says most of the funds coming to Oklahoma will bypass the governor's office and Legislature and go into existing federal programs

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wikileaks - A Billion Dollars Worth of Secret Congressional Reports

The 6,780 reports, current as of this month, comprise over 127,000 pages of material on some of the most contentious issues in the nation, from the U.S. relationship with Israel to the financial collapse. Nearly 2,300 of the reports were updated in the last 12 months, while the oldest report goes back to 1990. The release represents the total output of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) electronically available to Congressional offices. The CRS is Congress's analytical agency and has a budget in excess of $100M per year. Click on the blue title above to access website. Reports may be searched alphabetically or chronologically.

Open government lawmakers such as Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vermont) have fought for years to make the reports public, with bills being introduced--and rejected--almost every year since 1998. The CRS, as a branch of Congress, is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Most of this information has also been saved by the University of Texas at the following website:

Legendary Biologist, Pulitzer Winner E.O. Wilson Addresses USAO March 26

Legendary biologist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson will be the featured speaker during the third annual Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium March 26 at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Wilson will address the public during a lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium in Troutt Hall on the USAO campus. His presentation is The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth. He will also be a part of a panel discussion from 4-6 p.m. in the Davis Hall Amphitheater at USAO. Both events are free and open to the public.

A Harvard professor for 40 years, Wilson has written 20 books, won two Pulitzer Prizes and discovered hundreds of new species. He is considered by many as the father of the modern environmental movement.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Tracking Obama's Promises

PolitiFact has compiled about 500 promises that Barack Obama made during his campaign and is tracking their progress on the Obameter. Also, PolitiFact tracks the words of politicians and political parties to separate fact from fiction with their Truth-O-Meter.