Archive for March, 2015

The Gender Gap in Reading

This is addressed in the 2015 Brown Center Report on American Education in which girls are far superior to boys in reading. While the 2015 OECD report The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour and Confidence  concentrates more on the girls’ underrepresentation in the STEM fields and how that should be confronted, there is a section that deals with boys’ lack of reading achievement as measured against their female counterparts. And National curriculum assessments at key stage 2, 2014 (revised) from the UK Department of Education further reinforces this observation.

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Millennials Prefer Print to Ebook

At least that is the upshot of a survey undertaken by Publishing Technology that “…has revealed that young people on both sides of the Atlantic are avid readers, but overwhelmingly prefer print books to ebooks.” This format choice is echoed by a recent Pew report  A Snapshot of Reading in America 2013. And here are nine additional studies supporting these observations. You might also like to peruse this February 22, 2015 article from The Washington Post: Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.

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Hudson County’s Population. Up or Down?

Hudson County’s estimated population increased by almost 5,000 between 2010 and 2014 according to the most recent report from the Census Bureau; this same table also shows population estimates for the other counties in the Garden State. All the other counties in the U.S. are also available online. Numbers for metropolitan areas have also been released. (Jersey City is not separated out in this report as it is subsumed in the New York area statistics; those specific numbers will be released in the upcomimng months.)

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CDC Public Health Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds Image


“The Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion on major public health issues. Each session focuses on key challenges related to a specific health topic, and explores cutting-edge scientific evidence and potential impact of different interventions.” (Introduction) Dozens of episodes are available from Advanced Molecular Detection to Unusual Transplant Infections.

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FBI Review Commission Report

The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century is the report generated by a Congressionally-mandated oversight committee to examine how well the FBI is discharging its functions after 9/11. Among the recommendations are for the FBI to expand its global mission and to establish analyist managers at all top levels.(108-09) The Director’s response is here. Key findings of the report are here.

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How Much Does It Cost To Go To College?

Quite honestly, it depends on the type of institution you choose, along with what financial aid you may receive. This just-released NCES report – What is the Price of College? – is based on 2011/12 data but incorporates more current literature. This Stats in Brief title examines the tuition/fees charged and the amount of aid received to arrive at the net cost of college for publics, privates and non-profits. Compare this with the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing that includes 2015/15 data, and Trends in Student Financing of Undergraduate Education: Selected Years 1995-96 to 2011-12. FYI:  New Jersey’s in-state tuition is 4th highest in the nation, and here is NJCU’s IPEDS data, including its net price for undergraduates.

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Rapid Communications on Infectious Outbreaks

The mission of PLOS (Public Library of Science) Current Outbreaks  is to foster “…research in all aspects of infectious disease outbreaks, including respiratory pathogens as well as foodborne and travel-related outbreaks. We welcome research relevant to any infectious disease outbreak with impact or potential impact on human health, including but not restricted to the following: influenza, salmonella, haemorrhagic fever, norovirus, Ebola, coronavirus, meningitis, E. coli, zoonotic and vector-borne infections, health care-acquired .”(Aims & Scope) To date, numerous reports are available on Ebola, MERS, and vaccines. A very interesting publication is Global Climate Anomalies and Potential Infectious Disease Risks: 2014-2015.

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Two Major Reports on Boko Haram

START (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism) has recently issued two substantial reports on Boko Haram. The first report, Boko Haram: An Assessment of Strengths, Vulnerabilities, and Policy Options,  is based on open source material as well as field interviews; it is supplemented by hundreds of references, many linked. The other document is Statistical Analysis of Event Data Concerning Boko Haram in Nigeria (2009-2013) that supplies numerous charts to support its research. The report concludes that “Our findings suggest that the United States should encourage the use of local knowledge in counter-terrorist operations against Boko Haram by simply providing technical assistance for combinations of the military and vigilantes to engage in sweeps to clear Boko Haram, as well as ensuring sustained resources for local law enforcement agents to hold and operate in the territory that has been cleared.”(19)




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Full Text of Senator Cruz’ Speech at Liberty University

We are great believers in getting our hands on the primary source rather than learn about something second-hand. Therefore, you can listen to the pundits speechify about this speech, or you can read it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

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Updated Guide to Cybersecurity Resources (March 16, 2015 Version)

CRS has issued an update to its Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic. Once again, numerous sources, both inside and outside the government, are detailed, along with other pertinent CRS reports. An absolute must read.

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NASA on Climate Change

This site provides a plethora of data concerning the reality of climate change. Included here are facts, statements from major scientific organizations, causes and effects, graphs and charts.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Archives is a 138-volume set of historic documents published over a hundred year period. It includes a wide variety of material among its series: governors’ papers, muster rolls, the Revolutionary War, Council minutes, tax records, marriage licenses, journals, etc. A great resource. A guide to the entire series is available. Another source of information is The Olden time : a monthly publication devoted to the preservation of documents and other authentic information in relation to the early explorations and the settlement and improvement of the country around the head of the Ohio that was published in 1846 and 1847; this is the two-volume 1876 reprint.

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State Policies on LGBTQ Youth

This site covers “Public accommodations, social services (general), child welfare…foster care…juvenile detention/services, school and educational facilities and social worker guidelines.” Legislation and descriptions cover each of the aforementioned areas. There is a wide divergence among the states; Alabama law “…declares homosexuality to be detestable and an abominable sin….Any person who engages in such conduct is presumptively unfit to have custody of minor children under the laws of this state” while New Jersey law stipulates that “All persons shall have the opportunity to obtain employment, and to obtain all the accommodations…without discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, nationality, sex, gender identity….”

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Online Primary Sources: Modern French History, 1500-1871

While compiling a list of sites for a history class, we thought these links might be helpful to others. The main criterion is that the works must be in English; that surely limits the results but serves many students admirably.

Primary Sources: Collections

 The constitutions and other select documents illustrative of the history of France, 1789-1901

EuroDocs. History of France: Primary Sources

France History. Online Books Page (translated primary and secondary sources)

Internet Modern History Sourcebook (translated full text and excerpted sources)

Readings in European history; a collection of extracts from the sources chosen with the purpose of illustrating the progress of culture in western Europe since the German invasions. 2 Vols.

Readings in modern European history; a collection of extracts from the sources chosen with the purpose of illustrating some of the chief phases of development of Europe during the last two hundred years. 2 vols.

Translations and reprints from the original sources of European history. 6 vols.

Specific Collections of Primary Sources

Calendar of State Papers, Foreign, 1547-1589 (while this is a British work, there are invaluable reports from British agents and diplomats in France).

Henry III, King of France and Poland: his court and times… 3 vols.

History of the reign of Henry IV., king of France and Navarre From numerous unpublished sources…. 6 vols.

Memoirs of the Duke of Sully, prime minister to Henry the Great [Henry IV] 4 vols.

The establishment of French absolutism (1574-1610)

An historical view of the negotiations between the courts of England, France, and Brussels, from the year 1592 to 1617 : extracted chiefly from the ms. state-papers of Sir Thomas Edmondes … and of Anthony Bacon … : to which is added, A relation of the state of France, with the characters of Henry IV. and the principal persons of that court, drawn up by Sir George Carew, upon his return from his embassy there in 1609, and addressed to King James I. : never before printed

The diplomatic correspondence of Jean de Montereul and the brothers de Bellièvre, French ambassadors in England and Scotland, 1645-48 2 vols.

Documents on European History in the Age of Absolutism and Enlightenment (translated documents)

Diderot’s Encyclopedia (an English translation product out of the University of Michigan)

Writings on the French Enlightenment can be found here and here.

Memoires of Henry d. Guise,,,

Memoirs of the Cardinal de Retz: containing, the particulars of his own life, with the most secret transactions of the French court and the civil wars. Translated from the French

 Memoirs of the Prince de Talleyrand / Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Pʹerigord 4 vols.

Letters and negotiations of the Count D’Estrades, ambassador from Lewis XIV. to the States-general of the United-provinces of the Low-countries. From the year 1663 to the year 1669. Consisting chiefly of original letters and instructions from the French king, and his ministers, to the said count; with his answers. Wherein are several secret transactions between the courts of England and France during that time. Translated by several hands 3 vols.

The correspondence of Prince Talleyrand and King Louis XVIII. During the congress of Vienna (hitherto unpublished.) From the manuscripts preserved in the archives of the Ministry of foreign affairs at Paris

The Deane papers … 1774-1790 5 vols.

The constitutions and other select documents illustrative of the history of France, 1789-1901

 Memoirs of Mirabeau: biographical, literary, and political. By himself, his father, his uncle, and his adopted child 4 vols.

 Speeches of M. de Mirabeau, the elder, pronounced in the National Assembly of France : to which is prefixed, a sketch of his life and character

.Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution (hundreds of translated primary sources)

Principal Documents of the French Revolution

 French Revolution Documents

 Source studies on the French Revolution  (Vol. 1, The Royal sessions, 1789)

Memoirs and correspondence illustrative of the history of the French revolution

Franco-American Diplomacy 1778-1843

  The journal of a British chaplain in Paris during the peace negotiations of 1801-2

A collection of state papers relative to the war against France now carrying on by Great Britain and the several other European powers (11 vols; the first 7 are online)

Napoleon. Memoirs… 4 vols.

The confidential correspondence of Napoleon Bonaparte with his brother Joseph, sometime king of Spain : selected and translated 2 vols.

The life and letters of Madame Elisabeth de France, sister of Louis XVI

The Revolution of 1848

 Memoirs of Count Horace de Viel Castel :, a chronicle of the principal events, political and social, during the reign of Napoleon III from 1851 to 1864 2 vols.

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2015 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools

Whether you agree with these rankings, or even with the process of ranking programs, these lists are used by prospective students, parents, and others in the higher ed sector. Among the categories available are best in business, nursing, social sciences, and library science.

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Most Snow in New Jersey for 2014/15 Winter

If we do not get anymore significant snow this season, then the rankings on this list should still hold true. Sussex County recorded the most snowfall in New Jersey – 49+ inches, putting it at the 386th place as the snowiest location in the United States, including Alaska. The snowiest regions – upstate New York where over 256 inches (that’s 21 feet!) fell. In fact New York places seven cities in the top ten snowiest places in the U.S.

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Free Article Collections from “Inside Higher Ed”

These compilations of articles from Inside Higher Ed contain reprinted material from this title that was founded by The Chronicle of Higher Education (background information here). The topics range from free tuition at community colleges to MOOCs; in addition, one can view accompanying webinars as well. Free registration is required.

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EEOC 2013 Employment Statistics for New Jersey

This document is broken down by income, race, and sex; there is also a state aggregate by job classification. These are subsets of a much larger report – Job Patterns for Minorities and Women in State and Local Government.

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Recent Reports on Cities

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Amnesty International Report for 2014/15

This latest iteration opens with a brief summary of world affairs, followed by five regional overviews and 160 country reports, including the United States. This document begins darkly: “This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones.”(2)


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