Archive for March, 2018

Who Hasn’t Read a Book in the Past Year?

Some interesting demographic data on the 24% of American adults who haven’t opened a book (print or electronic) in the last twelve moths can be accessed here.

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New Jersey 2019 Proposed Budget and NJCU

The full budget request has finally been put online; if you don’t want to wade through this massive volume, there is a “budget in brief” for your perusal. For those interested in seeing how NJCU fares in this newest budget proposal, please go to pages D-324 and D-325.

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Congressional Photos

The 2018 iteration of the Congressional Pictorial Directory “…provides a color photograph of each member of the House of Representatives and the Senate for the 115th Congress. It also includes information about a Member of Congress’ length of service, political party affiliations, and Congressional district. Also contains pictures of the President, Vice President, and House and Senate officers and officials.”

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How Autism Is Treated in Great Britain and the EU

This House of Commons Library Briefing paper – Autism – overview of UK policy and services – provides a concise exploration of what is available for autistic individuals. Laws and legislation are discussed and these legal documents in turn inform the health, education, employment, welfare and benefits sectors and how they deal with this condition.

Autism Europe provides news and information pertaining to this topic throughout the EU; you can access the important Charter for Persons with Autism at this site.

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What Keeps College Presidents Up At Night?

Reading this report – 2018 Survey of College and University Presidents – might give us a clue. Here are some key findings:

 

• Sixty-nine percent of presidents say President Trump’s rhetoric has made it more difficult to recruit international students to their college.

 • The majority of presidents, 63 percent, remain confident that their institution is financially sustainable over the next five years. Fewer, 53 percent, agree their institution will remain viable over the next 10 years.

 • Presidents believe the business models for elite private colleges, elite private liberal arts colleges and public flagship universities are viable over the next 10 years. They are less likely to think the business model for community colleges is viable, and relatively few think for-profit institutions and other private nonprofit institutions have viable business models.

 • Nearly all presidents believe that additional colleges will merge or close this year, with 30 percent predicting that between one and five colleges will close, 40 percent between 6 and 10, and 29 percent more than 10.

 • Thirteen percent of presidents say they could see their own college closing or merging in the next five years. That is higher than the 9 percent of chief business officers who answered that way in an Inside Higher Ed survey last summer.

 • In terms of enrollment, college presidents are most concerned about enrolling their college’s target number of undergraduates and about enrolling students who are likely to be retained and graduate on time. Private baccalaureate college presidents are especially concerned about meeting enrollment targets. (6)

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Want To Know What Information Facebook and Google Have On You?

In light of the FB debacle, you might want to know what Facebook actually knows about you. To that end, please look at your archives. It is very simple to request the data, and the results might surprise you.

And don’t forget that Google follows you around as well. See what it knows about you.

And also remember that they are not the only sites that record your activities; I will assume every site you visit maintains some kind of record.

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New Jersey Assembly to Consider Six Gun Control Bills Today, March 26, 2018

The six, along with links to their texts, are available here. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

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News Coverage of the “March for Our Lives” Rallies

These videos of the Washington, D.C. rally are presented coutesy of C-SPAN; photos from other rallies can be see here. And here are more than 150 newspaper front pages covering this event.

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Who Wins in the Latest Budget Package

A lot of sectors according to this analysis from Politico. For those in higher ed, a $140M increase in the work-study program is welcome.

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Statistical Portrait of the 115th Congress

This updated version “…presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of January 3, 2018. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.”

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Stephen Hawking’s Last Scientific Paper

He was working on this – A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation – when he died. For those of us who are not physicists, an explanation in understandable terms can be found hereMany of his other papers are freely available online as well.

 

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Norman Mailer’s Relationship With Books

I would have to say it was quite stormy, and possibly not quite what you would think of such an important author.

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Immigration/Refugees Data and Policies

Below are major sources of information on the topics of immigration and how the refugee crises are being handled.

Amnesty International 2016/17 Annual Report.

CRS Reports. (The Congressional Research Service is the publicly supported research arm of the Library of Congress. Come here to find hundreds of reports on immigration policy. Read its 2017 A Primer on U.S Immigration Policy with great links.)

Country Studies (Library of Congress. provides background context of 80 different countries.)

EU Immigration Portal

European Migration Institute (EU)

Human Rights Reports (US State Department. An annual report on human rights abuses.)

Human Rights Watch. 2018 Report.

Immigration Topic (from NPR)

International Crisis Group

International Migration Outlook (from OECD)

Migration Policy Institute.( Considered one of the top U.S. think tanks, this site produces well-received documents and research reports. Look at its International Migration Statistics.)

Refugee Law and Policy. (Very informative site from the Law Library of Congress. Various countries examined.)

Yearbook of Immigration Statistics (from the Department of Homeland Security)

 

 

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Online Primary Sources: The Down Survey of Ireland

The wars that tore apart Ireland in the mid-1600s and resulted in the deaths of twenty percent of the population had other repercussions as well. In order to reward his soldiers and to settle some previous debts, Oliver Cromwell awarded land to his followers. However, in order to give the land away, the government needed to know what land there was. So a massive survey was undertaken to delineate the lands in Ireland – the first time such a large-scale survey had been attempted. This became known as the Down Survey of Ireland.

This website allows some granular investigations, and it is amazing at the data that can be retrieved. For instance, one can track the forfeiture of land from a Catholic landowner in 1641 to a Protestant one in 1670, mirroring the shift in land ownership throughout the country as the English forced the Catholic population into forfeiture and registered the lands under Protestant hegemony. And the process, initiated by Cromwell was furthered by his successor Charles II.

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Online Primary Sources: The 1641 Irish Uprising

As those acquainted with Irish history will attest, the Easter Rising was the culmination of a centuries-long struggle to rid Ireland of its English oppressors. One such episode was the 1641 Irish Uprising that morphed into the eleven-year long Confederate War that was ultimately won by Oliver Cromwell.

It is not my intention to re-create this tumultuous time, but rather to act as a guide to some of the rich primary source material available. A remarkable treasure trove of information is contained in the 1641 Depositions containing 8000 eyewitness accounts of the turmoil. As described, “The 1641 Depositions (Trinity College Dublin, MSS 809-841) are witness testimonies mainly by Protestants, but also by some Catholics, from all social backgrounds, concerning their experiences of the 1641 Irish rebellion. The testimonies document the loss of goods, military activity, and the alleged crimes committed by the Irish insurgents, including assault, stripping, imprisonment and murder.” There are multiple access points, including searching by county, religion, nationality, age range, or “person type”. Free registration is required for this most unique resource.

Other sources include:

British History Online (hundreds of works from royal decrees, Commonwealth writings, parliamentary reports, diplomatic dispatches);

Calendar of the state papers relating to Ireland preserved in the Public Record Office. 1625-[1670] (8 vols, 1900-10);

A contemporary history of affairs in Ireland, from 1641 to 1652 (3 vols in 6, 1879-80. Numerous primary sources);

Early English Books Online (hundreds of full text works including reports, letters, addresses, all dated between 1640 and 1660);

History of the Irish Confederation and the war in Ireland, 1641 [-1649] containing a narrative of affairs of Ireland…. (7 vols, 1882-91. Numerous primary sources herein);

Ireland in the seventeenth century; or, The Irish massacres of 1641-2, their causes and results. Illustrated by extracts from the unpublished state papers…(2 vols, 1884);

The manuscripts of the Marquis of Ormonde, preserved at the castle, Kilkenny (2 vols, Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, 1895-99. Contains valuable papers and letters).

A word of caution. As with any conflict, especially those involving religious beliefs, the testimonies tend to be polemical at best. Also, be aware of the sources – are they themselves biased in one direction or another? For those who want a dispassionate explanation of these times of trouble, I direct you to the links first identified in this entry.

 

 

 

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2018 Hudson County Health Rankings

Find out in this 2018 edition just where Hudson County ranks as far as health indicators are concerned. Also, every other county’s health statistics are also available here along with state rankings. It is recommended that the key findings report be perused.

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What Some TV and Cable Actors Are Earning

Wowsers! Some of us are in the wrong business!

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“Gun Violence Research” Archives from the “American Journal of Public Health” Now Freely Available

This extensive selection of articles, editorial, and additional important links has been opened by The American Journal of Public Health. The writings make for a sobering read and are a very valuable contribution to the current conversation.

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Facts and Figures on Irish Americans

This annual feature from the Census Bureau incorporates various data sets that pertain to the Irish in America (and some St Patrick’s Dayinformation as well).

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The Irish/Ireland in the Printed World

A newly-established series of reports from OCLC examines the influence in printed works of specific nationalities; this report – An Exploration of the Irish Presence in the Published Record – highlights that “Ireland’s global cultural profile, and the widespread interest in “Irishness,” can be partially understood through the island’s manifestation in the published record. Using WorldCat, this publication offers reflections on the Irish presence in the published record, including its size and salient characteristics, evolving trends, and patterns of global diffusion.” (9)

Supplemented with tables and figures, the extent of Irishness in the printed world can be readily ascertained through the holdings in WorldCat, the world’s largest repository of library metadata holding more than two billion items. Who are the most popular Irish authors? The most translated? How many books deal with Irish-related topics? For such a small country, the Irish and Ireland have had, and continue to have, a significant presence in the published world.

 

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