Archive for December, 2012

Victorian Plays Online

There were literally hundreds of plays or dramas written and produced during the 19th century in England. The Victorian Plays Project (VPP) allows access to 350 texts of plays during that time period. One can search via author, title, year, keyword, quotes, stage directions, etc. Its catalog allows one to search through 1500 plays and provides basic information on them – theater and date of first, title and subtitle, and the playwright’s name. This project is based on the 100 volume Lacy’s acting edition of plays, dramas, farces and extravagances…. compiled by Thomas Hailes Lacy (92 of the volumes are represented here in HathiTrust.). These 92 volumes provide almost all the 1500 plays indexed in VPP, but there is no centralized index to review all these volumes; the VPP provides that service through its catalog which presents a volume by volume contents list. The VPP provides a valuable service in allowing one to search through the whole corpus of works on its site, and with that information in hand, one can then look at the 92 volumes available through HathiTrust. So, if one cannot find the full text of the play in VPP, then come to the 92 volumes online through HathiTrust and find it. The VPP offers multiple search options not available in HathiTrust; HathiTrust offers almost all the plays in full text which VPP does not.

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How Does Santa Do What He Does?

If you want to find out, please visit this Planet Money broadcastWithout Magic, Santa Would Need 12 Million Employees.

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Live Coverage of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on the Attack on the Benghazi Mission

This hearing is underway now; it also comes with closed captioning. It will be permanently archived by C-SPAN.

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History of Gun Control Legislation in the United States

With the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT still fresh, and President Obama’s apppointment of V-P Joe Biden to head a task force on gun control, this topic will once again become contentious. This report – Gun Control Legislation – from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides a wealth of information presented through statistics, figures and tables. These data are supplemented by a list of major Federal statutues on control control since 1968. (These statutues are public laws. The full text of these laws are available from Thomas, the Library of Congress’ legislative portal.) A timeline of federal gun control legislation can be perused as well as this Second Amendment section from the Law Library of Congress. For those who may have forgotten the exact words, here is the Second Amendment to the Constitution with annotations supplied by CRS. There are additional historical documents on this amendment. State gun control laws are online as are hundreds of articles from prestigious law reviews. Americans and Gun Control is a recent program that aired on the always-informative Diane Rehm Show (listen to it or read the transcript). The C-SPAN Video Library contains thousands of videos on this subject.

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President Obama is TIME Person of the Year for 2012

Read all about it here. Photos, videos, the shortlist of nominees and links to previous POYs are also available.

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State Department Report on Benghazi

The unclassified report of the Accountability Review Board for Benghazi has been released; the main findings are summarized by Reuters. The report does not paint a pretty picture: “Systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department…resulted in a Special Misssion security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.” (4) The two bureaus in question are the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. A lengthy list of recommendations is included. Reportage/analysis is at The New York Times, CNN (with an Arabic translation available), The Washington Post, and Politico. This Libya section from the Council on Foreign Relations provides valuable information on Benghazi as does this Libya – the Benghazi Attacks feature from The New York Times. C-SPAN carries videos of Congressional press briefings on Benghazi.

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Best Books of the Year for 2012

Well, here we go!  Best NonFiction, Fiction, Case Books (Mysteries) of 2012 (Wall Street Journal);  Page Turners (The Economist); Best Books of 2012 (Financial Times);  Books of the Year 2012 (The Guardian); 100 Notable Books of 2012 (The New York Times);  Books of the Year 2012 (The Atlantic);   Best Books of the Year: Top 100 Picks for 2012 (Amazon); Best Books of 2012 (Barnes & Noble);  Best Books and Media of 2012 (Library Journal); Outstanding Academic Titles, 2012: Top 25 Books (Choice); Best Nonfiction of 2012 (Kirkus Reviews); Best Books 2012 (Publishers Weekly); and Top 10 of 2012 (Slate). There’s still time to go out and buy a book for someone, no matter the format. We’ll be spending our down time with OUR present (we know, we know, we’re not supposed to know) – Peter Brown’s Through the Eye of a Needle, along with several books of British naval fiction.

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