Archive for October, 2008

Black Americans in Congress: 1870-2012

The title of this House Document says it all. It is the most exhaustive treatment( 800 pages) of African-Americans in Congress. Each scholarly entry has a photograph of the individual, along with suggested further readings and an inventory of manuscript collections. For the biographies of all who have served in Congress , past and present, you may consult the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to Present. Also, this CRS report – African Americans in Congress, 1870-2012 – provides additional information. Other online biographical resources may be perused in the biography subsection of our Reference site.

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2008 Eurostat Yearbook – Europe in Figures

Containing over 500 statistical tables ranging from the environment to international trade, this yearbook provides an in-depth look into the European Union, its member states, and candidates; it also provides comparative information for Japan and the United States. Previous editions can be accessed from this site as well. For more statistical publications, please visit our statistics section on the Library’s homepage.

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Major Report on Undergraduate Use of Information Technology

Culled from more than 27,000 survey respondents from 90 colleges and universities, this EDUCAUSE report provides wide-ranging insights into the “typical” undergraduate’s use of IT, and of how undergraduates assess their competencies. This report would benefit anyone who wishes to understand this generation which is on the other side of the digital divide.

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Piracy on the High Seas

Every year, hundreds of acts of piracy occur on the oceans. As with their predecessors, these modern-day pirates should not be romanticized or held up as paragons of virtue. So prevalent is the problem that the UN Security Council issued a resolution condemning piracy and urging nations to suppress these actions. A weekly piracy report, along with an interactive map, are hosted by the International Maritime Bureau; a similar updating service is provided by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency – the Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report. Other worthy publications include: Maritime Security: Overview of Issues(CRS); “An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization“(Journal of Political Economy); “A Plague of Pirates“(Time); “No Vessel is Safe from Modern Pirates“(BBC);The Maritime Dimension of International Security(RAND);”Suppression of Piracy and Maritime Terrorism: A Suitable Role for a Navy?”(Naval War College Review);Piracy at Sea(New York Times); and WWW Virtual Library: Piracy.

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2007 College Student Health Report

Based on a survey given on 14 Minnesota campuses with a return of 10,000 completed forms, this report can be generalized to other colleges and universities as well. Among its findings: students with health insurance had a 3.25 GPA compared to a 3.17 GPA for those without(p.10); stress and sleep difficulties were cited the most by students, 32.9% and 20% respectively(p.12); and 59.4% of those students who reported a learning disability had their academic performance adversely affected, while those who complained of allergies had only 6% experiencing academic difficulties. As this report states: “For college students, health issues that affect their ability to attend class, complete projects, write papers, or take tests can have a profound impact on their ability to succeed academically.”(p. v) A good literature review on stress and health can be read here, and this site on campus health contains valuable information. And please remember that anytime you are experiencing problems, you always have the skilled staff at the following NJCU offices to assist you: the Counseling Center, Health and Wellness Center, or the Office of Specialized Services for Students with Disabilities(Project Mentor).

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County-Level Health Insurance Statistics from the Census Bureau

The Census Burean has released statistics highlighting those who have health insurance vs those who do not. The tables can be broken down by sex, age, and income. In addition, there are maps that show health insurance along racial lines.(However, those of us who have color acuity problems may find the maps unreadable.) Look in the tables for New Jersey counties and see how we do.

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Arctic Report Card 2008

“There continues to be widespread and, in some cases, dramatic evidence of an overall warming of the Arctic system.” So reads the front page of NOAA’s(National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Adminstration) site on the Arctic. You can read here about the decline in reindeer herds, the continual warming of the sea ice since 1900, and the changing climate in Greenland. Other sites that will prove profitable include: The Far North and Taiga(Canadian Geographic); Arctic Studies Center(Smithsonian); the Arctic Institute of North Amerca, where one can browse through thousands of photos on the Arctic and read the journal Arctic back to 1948; the NSF monograph Science on the Edge: Arctic and Antarctic Discoveries; the howstuffworks polar history page, which includes videos and biographies; and the International Polar Year site with numerous links. For those wanting to read about early polar expeditions, we direct you here and here and here. In fact, one of these books, The Jeanette,  written by Richard Perry recounts numerous Arctic expeditions. Additional information is found at the Discoverer’s Web: Explorers of the Polar Regions.

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