Archive for March, 2011

Today in History: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Trapped in suffocating quarters amid a conflagration and with locked exit doors blocking their escape, the workers, mostly young  Jewish and Italian women immigrants, were forced to jump to the deaths while others were burned alive. In about a quarter of an hour, 146 people were dead. This happened one hundred years ago to the day. The best place to find extensive information, including primary sources is Cornell University’s The Triangle Factory Fire. Other valuable sites include: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (1911)(New York Times – access to its articles from the time); Topics in Chronicling America – Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Library of Congress – contemporary newspaper articles); The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Trial 1911 (University of Missouri); Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, 100 Years Later (WNYC); and Archival Coverage of the Triangle Fire (Jewish Daily Forward – the first-ever English translations of  contemporary Yiddish-language articles from this paper).

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Google Books Settlement Rejected

Justice Chin, in a written opinion, has turned down the Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) originally worked out between Google and copyright holders. Including a legal memo from  Germany that considers Google a “serial scanning infringer,” Justice Chin concludes that the ASA is not “fair, adequate and reasonable”(22) Background information on this important case can be found at: Google Books Settlement and Privacy (EPIC); Google Book Settlement (American Library Association, please read the informative Guide for the Perplexed: Part I, Part II, and Part III); The Google Library Project: Is Digitization for Purposes of Online Indexing Fair Use Under Copyright Law? (CRS); Google Book Search (New York Times Topics); and Google Books Bibliography (replete with many links).

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Are Public Employees Overcompensated?

As various unions enter into negotiations with the state, it would be of benefit to peruse these recent reports: Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation over 20 Years (Center for State and Local Government Excellence), Public Employees, Unions and Fiscal Austerity (Brookings), Scapegoating Public Sector Workers (Economic Policy Institute); Are Federal Workers Overpaid? (FactCheck); Government vs Unions: Are State’s Public Employees Overpaid? (American Enterprise Institute); and a previous blog entry Do New Jersey Public Employees Earn Too Much?

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The New York Times Introduces a Paywall

Starting March 28, full access to The New York Times will be through a digital subscription service; those who receive home delivery of the paper will have free access. As online versions of newspapers are not attracting the advertising support that had been predicted, papers of all sizes have instituted paywalls. The Times is the largest paper to do so. A Brief History of Paywalls, Play Paywall! (Nieman Journalism Lab), a comparison of newspaper paywalls, and paywall articles from the Columbia Journalism Review should be reviewed.

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Nuclear Power Pros and Cons

In light of the recent incidents in Japan, we thought a review of some pertinent literature was warranted: Nuclear Power’s Global Expansion: Weighing Its Costs and Risks (Strategic Studies Institute); Nuclear Energy Policy (CRS); Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power (howstuffworks); Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks (Council on Foreign Relations); Fukushima and the Global “Nuclear Renaissance” (Brookings); Nuclear Power Pros and Cons (Florida State); Key Issues (Nuclear Energy Institute); The Case For and Against Nuclear Power (Wall Street Journal); The Nuclear Option: Is Atomic Energy Clean and Green (Slate); and  Nuclear’s Comeback: Still No Energy Panacea (Time).

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Translations of pre-1700 Women Authors

This site, Other Women’s Voices, guides the reader to sites providing substantial English translations of approximately 125 women authors ranging from 2300BCE to around 1700. The translations are in modern English which adds to this site’s utility, and each entry is accompanied by biographical information.  You can search chronologically or alphabetically. Obviously a labor of love.

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Nuclear Power and Japan

With the drama in Japan still unfolding, we’d like to supply you with some informative sites. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission maintains a reading room of pertinent documents on the U.S. nuclear industry. This site can be supplemented with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s updated news section on Japan along with its many technical documents which are freely available. The U.S. Energy Information Agency provides Japan: Country Analysis that investigates Japan’s energy sector. Google Crisis Response includes a person locator, maps, and message boards while How Nuclear Power Works is an understandable primer on this topic and includes a section on the pros and cons of nuclear power; another good source is from NPR: Primer: Japan’s Nuclear Crisis. Come here to find the number of nulcear plants operating in New Jersey. News sources include The Guardian, BBC News, Reuters, The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN.

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