Archive for November, 2009

Everything You Wanted to Know about the Bailouts/Stimulus Package

Thanks to the Columbia Journalism Review, we have a comprehensive guide to sites which deal with the current economic crisis. From government blogs to newspaper special sections, this guide – Bailout!Stimulus! – Your Essential Guide is just that. We highly recommend it.

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Revitalizing the Forensic Sciences

“…the forensic science community is plagued by fragmentation and inconsistent practices in federal, state, and local law enforcement jurisdictions and agencies.” So spoke Judge Harry Edwards in his testimony before the Senate Committee on the Judicary. His sentiments are reinforced by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy who opined that “Forensic science has also become critically important in supporting homeland security and counter-terrorism missions.” Both of these worthies were talking in regards to the 2009 monograph published by the National Academies Press entitled Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Foward.  This report outlines the deficits in the forensic sciences and proposes thirteen recommendations to rectify this situation. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences has issued an approval of this work. Other works of interest are: The Future of Forensic Science: The Impact of the National Academies of Sciences Report(NIJ, 2009);  Invalid Forensic Science Testimony and Wrongful Convictions (Virginia Law Review, March 2009); and Examining Forensics(CQ Researcher, July 17, 2009).

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Library Hours for the Thanksgiving Day Weekend

The Library will be closed Thursday, November 26 through Sunday, November 29. We will re-open at 7:30 am on Monday, November 30 for the final push to finals. Gooble, gooble!!

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How Do You Cook a Turkey?

Very carefully. Try this Food Network Thanksgiving site. Watch the always informative Alton Brown’s series of videos on cooking turkeys. This site from the USDA has a whole section on turkey(just scroll toward the bottom), with many of the subsections available in Spanish. And you know how you always blame turkey for making you sleepy? Wrong!! Here are some facts and figures from the Census Bureau on Thanksgiving; these can be supplemented by other tidbits from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And a previous blog entry contains a lot more relevant material on this holiday.

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Poverty Statistics for Every County and School District in the Country

These data…currently represent the only source of Census Bureau income and poverty data for each of the nation’s 3,142 counties and almost 14,000 Title 1-eligible school districts.”(Census Bureau press release) According to these interactive tables, there are 39,058 people between the ages of 5 and 17 in Jersey City; of that number, 9,380 live in families in poverty. Do the math.

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Mathematics Teaching in Early Childhood

This recent 400-page monograph from the National Academies Press,  Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity, based on voluminous research, states: :”The relative lack of high-quality mathematics instruction, especially in comparison to literacy, reflects a lack of attention to mathematics throughout the childhood education system….”(p.2) This report continues that “To ensure that all children enter elementary school with the mathematical foundation they need for success, the committee[Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics] recommends a major national initiative in early childhood mathematics.” (p.332) Such an undertaking is to involve all the stakeholders in the process: parents, families, communities, and educators. (If the truth be told, most of us parents have spent more time teaching our children to read than teaching them fundamental numerical skills.) You can read what the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has to say on this topic. This learning activities manual from the U.S. Department of Education could prove helpful. Two names that frequent the literature on early childhood mathematics are Douglas H Clements and Julie Sarama; follow the links for their biographies and for access to their online publications. See what the State of New Jersey’s position is by consulting the New Jersey Core Curriculm Content Standards for Mathematics(2004; re-adopted in 2008), and the draft version of the New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards of Quality.(2009)

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New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Published

The guidelines, available from the Annals of Internal Medicine, advise women not to have mammograms before the age of 50, and it further discourages doctors from instructing women on how to conduct a self-examination for breast cancer. This startling reversal of previous methods has provoked much press coverage; please consult the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and the AP. The American Cancer Society has rejected these new guidelines as does breastcancer.org.  Watch this ABCNews video on this topic.

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