Archive for December, 2016

How To Spot Fake News

This is the title of a very informative piece from; it’s what we librarians do on a daily basis.

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An Ebola Vaccine Has Been Developed

Here is the technical report as published in The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal. For those who would like a more understandable analysis of this breakthrough, please peruse this New York Times article and this press release from WHO.

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International Centre for Counter-Terrorism

Operating out of The Hague, the ICCT “… aims to translate its research and analysis findings into practical, solutions-oriented policy recommendations that support policymakers and practitioners in their daily work. Building on its growing expertise in these areas, ICCT aims to contribute to the design and implementation of comprehensive and more systemic global, regional and national counter-terrorism strategies and activities.” To these ends, the ICCT sponsors projects and research on terrorism topics that occur around the world. One of the more interesting research  focal points is on CT Strategic Communications, or how terror organizations use social media in their campaigns. For example, one paper details the evolution of IS media over the years; it is based on primary sources and well as in-country fieldwork. There are dozens of publications listed at this valuable site; all research papers and policy briefs have undergone peer review.

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Civil-Military Relations

In preparing for a class on this topic, I came across some valuable sites that are of interest:

CIA World Factbook (Continuously updated)

Civil Military Relations: A Selected Bibliography (US Army War College, 2011)

Civil Military Relations [Bibliography] (US Air University Library, 1993). Old but contains references easily overlooked in more recent listings. Good for historical background.)

Civil-military relations in humanitarian crises (European Commission)

Council on Foreign Relations. (Numerous reports, many on foreign countries)

Country Profiles (Though no longer updated, these volumes do provide valuable historical background.)

Defense Technical Information Center. (Over 3000 research papers, theses, dissertations on CMR, many dealing with various countries.)

European Parliament Think Tank. (Dozens of reports.)

Rand Corporation. CivilMilitary Relations.

Strategic Studies Institute (Many relevant reports).

Trends and challenges in humanitarian civil military coordination: a review of the literature (HPG, 2012)

Additional U.S. reports:

Afghanistan: changes to updated U.S. civil-military strategic framework reflect evolving U.S. role. (US GAO, 2014)

Civil Military Programs (US GAO; older report from 1998 but still relevant)

The civil society-military relationship in Afghanistan (US Institute of Peace, 2010)

Civil support, DOD needs to clarify its roles and responsibilities for defense support of civil authorities during cyber incidents : report to congressional committees (US GAO, 2016)

Defense support of civil authorities : a vital resource in the nation’s homeland security missions : hearing before the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications of the Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, first session, June 10, 2015.

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way: rethinking and refining the civil-military relationship (Strategic Studies Institute, 2012)

The limits of military officers’ duty to obey civilian orders : a neo-classical perspective (Strategic Studies Institute, 2015)

Unity of mission : civilian-military teams in war and peace (Air University Press, 2016)

An author to read: Peter D Feaver.

Another author: Deborah Pearlstein “The Soldier, the State, and the Separation of Power” (2011, very thorough bibliography)

 Another author: Samuel P Huntington. His classic work – The Soldier and the State – is excerpted online. His 1993 article  – The Clash of Civilizations? Should just be read for its prescience.





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What Is/Are the 2016 Word(s) of the Year?

It depends on whom you consult: for Oxford Dictionaries it is “post-truth“; Merriam-Webster chose surreal; selected xenophobia; and the American Heritage Dictionary, while not choosing a “word of the year” features hundreds of new words, senses, and revised usages. All the sites include extensive background information on the works and terms, and provide short-lists of candidate word as well. (N.B., the first three words of the year profiled in this entry all were given additional emphasis due to the presidential election.)

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2015 Digest of Education Statistics Now Online

This annual report presents a plethora of data from pre-K to graduate school and is considered a go-to source for its depth and breadth of coverage. As this resource is updated on a continual basis, newer data is posted here for your perusal; the online version also has “WEB-only” tables/charts . An introduction featues some salient statistics, among them that college enrollment will increase by 15% through 2025. (Chapter 3 examines higher education.) Reports back to 1990 can be perused as well.

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Guarini Library 2016/17 Winter Intersession Hours

The Library’s hours during intersession are:

December 20 – December 23    Tuesday – Friday,  8:30am-4:30pm

December 24 – January 2    CLOSED

January 3 – January 16          Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm; Saturday & Sunday – CLOSED



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Online European National Criminal Codes

A vast number of  current criminal codes have been gathered together; many of them have been translated into English. A good starting point for international law.

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Here Is Why Books Matter

The Need to Read. The article title alone says it all. Read it in light of the recent Pew report – Book Reading 2016.

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U.S. Students’ Scores in Reading, Science, and Math Are Flat Or Lower

The 2015 PISA (Program for International Student Assessment)  test results have just been released. While U.S. students scored at about the same rates in reading and science literacy (scores that are nothing to cheer about), math scores have declined. Key findings for the U.S. are available online from the OECD, the administrator of the test; statements and slides from the acting NCES Commissioner can be perused; and here is a full report. A partial answer for why the U.S. is always mid-range in the world rankings can be found in this article The 2015 PISA Results: What Do They Mean?

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Donald Trump Is Time Magazine’s 2016 “Person of the Year”

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Pearl Harbor – 75 Years Later

(This is a re-posting of a previous entry but still relevant).

A simple naval dispatch said it all : AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL The next day, December 8, President Franklin Roosevelt (his Public Papers can be consulted, and special diplomatic files are available at his presidential library) addressed a Joint Session of Congress, delivering his famous “day of infamy” speech; within an hour, the United States was at war. More information is available at: Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941: Overview and Special Image Section (U.S. Navy); Ships Present at Pearl Harbor (U.S. Navy); Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships;  Remembering Pearl Harbor  (National Geographic); After the Infamy: Man on the Street Interviews (Library of Congress); Pearl Harbor (New York Times); Pearl Harbor (Time Magazine); Attack at Pearl Harbor, 1941: The Japanese View (Eyewitness to History); USS Arizona Memorial (National Park Service); Books on Pearl Harbor, including the multi-volume Congressional Hearings (HathiTrust); Pearl Harbor: A Rude Awakening (BBC); and Videos on Pearl Harbor (Internet Archive).

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The William Blake Archive

For those of us who are enthralled with the sheer genius of this person, this site is for you. Containing digital reproductions of many of his works (in their various editions), general and specific bibliographies, a listing of institutions housing Blake’s works, Erdman’s Complete Prose and Poetry of William Blake (our copy is suitably dog-eared),  a “what’s new” feature, and back runs of Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly, this should be a destination for anyone who appreciates the manifold talents of this writer and artist.

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The American Civil War Day by Day

This unique resource from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill draws upon this institution’s vast holdings of historical material and presents daily entries composed of contemporary newspaper clippings, or official reports, or letters, or diaries. The transcriptions provided add greatly to the utility of this collection. One can search via tags or by date.

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George Orwell Archive Online

Hosted at University College London, this collection contains letters, diaries, newspaper articles, political notebooks, Spanish Civil War material, and photographs. “The George Orwell Archive is the most comprehensive body of research material relating to the author George Orwell (Eric Blair) (1903-1950) anywhere.”

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Who’s Who in Trump’s Cabinet

So far, seven out of the fifteen positions, all of whom require Senate approval, have been selected; other Cabinet positions have candidates being interviewed. The president-elect has also tapped other advisers who do not need Senate confirmation. The updated list is here.

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National Security Reports – November 2016 Update

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