Sunday, December 31, 2006

Two of my favorite things

Hey all. First of all, I wanted to wish everyone a late Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year! I hope you are all enjoying your time with family and friends and re-charging for 2007.

I haven't posted here before so let me make a quick intro. My name is Jon Bischke and I'm the CEO and Founder of, an online portal for audio and video educational material. If you're looking to learn and want to use audio or video to do we have over 10,000 resources for you to utilize. In addition, we're planning to launch a new site next year with the mega-big ambition of revolutionizing education. More on that later... :)

For now I wanted to take just a minute to share a couple of really amazing organizations with you. I've been incredibly impressed by the positive impact they are having in the world and if you have a few free minutes this week I'd encourage you to check them out.

Room to Read – During my time back in Minneapolis I read the remarkable book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. It's the story of John Wood, a former high-powered Microsoft executive who gave up an enviable lifestyle to dedicate his life to making universal education available to children in developing nations. Since 2000, John's non-profit Room to Read has established over 3,000 libraries and touched the lives of over one million children. I'd definitely recommend the book and am a big believer in what his organization is doing.

Kiva – Kiva was one of my favorite discoveries this year. It's a non-profit organization that allows individuals to make micro-loans to entrepreneurs in third world countries. The great part about Kiva is that they are empowering people to create economic futures for themselves rather than just making people depending on government aid or charity. You can make loans in amounts as little as $25 and choose who you'd like to loan the money to (e.g., I loaned money to a man in Uganda named Richard who is starting a movie theatre). To learn more about Kiva, watch this Frontline video or listen to this Venture Voice podcast.

If you're looking for a way to help make the world a better place in 2007 I can't think of two more worthy organizations to give your resources to.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a big shout-out to my buddies Kareem and Sundeep who introduced me to these organizations (Sundeep donates a significant chunk of his valuable time to Kiva as their Marketing Director!)

Best wishes to all of you in the New Year and may it be your best year ever.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Fred's Finds: Fred TV

The Human Eye

1-hour video from Berkeley on how the human eye works.

The Armenian Genocide

A genocide denied or ignored by most of the world, esp. by Turkey. Needing Turkey as an ally, the U.S. does not want to accept or recognize that this event took place. View this BBC film and you decide.

Brain Controlled Humanoid Robot

"We have developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) for high-level control of a humanoid robot. The BCI allows a human subject to command the robot, via brain activity, to pick up a desired object and bring it to a desired location...The robot walks up to a table containing two objects and conveys the images of the objects to the human. The BCI infers which of the two objects the human wants and communicates this choice to the robot. The robot picks up the selected object and proceeds to the center of the room. The human then selects a destination for the object (again through brain activity) and the robot brings the object to this destination location."

Not sure where this stuff is going but clearly it is cutting edge and, like the Net, will play a central role in our lives. Just thinking of the potential for military use is sufficient to see the roles it might play. But then, and perhaps more important, these robots will take out the garbage for us and save me time to watch a nice fight at some professional ball game. Make sure you view the videos.

Fora TV

This is a pretty good collection of videos and speakers. You can also download in a variety of formats, such as PSP, iPod, pdf, etc.

"Every day, poets, authors, policy experts, activists, madmen, government leaders, visionary thinkers speak in public, hosted by institutions such as nonprofit councils, bookstores, universities, or public spaces. If you're lucky, their remarks will be covered by the press, edited and compressed, and hard to find when you want it.

But you can't be there. You can't express your opinions. You can't chat with other likeminded or different-minded listeners. You can’t easily search for similar content, study background material, read the transcript.

ForaTv enables a new, global media opportunity by aggregating a daily range of events, produced and electronically shipped by institutions or freelance producers, from around the world."

Free Science Online

Seen this site before, but some of the new material is very good. Cognitive Computing, Consciousness, Science Philosophy and Mind Video Lectures Series opens with funny video of humorous ads online. Check listings for each available lecture.

Sexier Feeds

Just added a couple different RSS chicklets on the sidebar. I've been using Bloglines alot recently and have come to appreciate the sites that add the various reader-specific links. Also, for you email people, there is an options to receive updates to your email through feedburner. Enter your email in the box to sign-up. Oh, and here's the standard feed link.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Take a seat...

A nice new 2.0 trend - specialization. Sure, I like AJAX, but I'm not ready to post my entire life goals, dreams, and weekly schedule just because of a slick interface with rounded-corners.

Simple Seating is a great web-application that serves a simple, focused purpose. Having an event? Here's how to make a seating chart. Choose your guest, drag 'n drop him at his table. You can even choose their menu. After you're done it's easy to print the chart and table lists. There's also all kinds of data import/export options (i.e. load your info from Excel).

This might not seem very useful or scholarly to you now, but remember this's going to come in handy so time soon.

Turntablisms and free music lessons

And if your looking to spin your own notes, Berklee Shares has a wonderful video filled lessons for that music artist waiting to be developed.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

DormItem: College Classifieds

Dorm Item is Craig's List for colleges, a free classified page for students to list items for sale. Like most good ideas, the concept is simple and well-executed (2.0 pimped-out). Although the site is only a little more than a month old, there's already a fair number of colleges and items listed (surely, the coverage from Techcrunch and others helped). But even if you're college isn't listed, DormItem is smart enough to include items at all colleges in your area. In other words, if you are looking for a bike at MIT, you'll see bikes at Harvard and Tufts, too. And the final clutcher for tentative students - post a listing and it will get fed straight to your Facebook account.

Fred's Finds: Linguists, Human Evolution, 2006 Lists

The Linguist

"The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world."

Large archives include those for over 100 different linguistics-related mailing lists.

Human Evolution

"This site looks at human evolution. Although we greet you with a smile, this is a serious site. human skull Explore our evolutionary adventure from the earliest ape to our modern man and humanity's industrial civilisation. This site looks at humanity 's ecological context. Accepting that we have evolved and continue to evolve, I also look at the long term implications of evolution for humanity. We are a part of the ecology of the earth. This evolution site is therefore included within a larger site, called Nature's Holism. Nature's Holism looks at the mechanism of evolution to establish how associations such as the bee and the flower evolved."

Lists: 2006

Yep, this page aggregates all of the 2006 lists

A list of the best and the worst that is nearly endless! The fun is
in seeing where you agree a disagree with each category. And there are some 200 (!) categories to explore. Just going through a few of these lists I have found some sites I now want to explore and bookmark.

Museums of the World

Tons and tons of links here.

"This website can help you find .. museums online .. a staggering variety of .. educational links .. scads of interactive .. virtual exhibits .. dozens of interesting .. museum shops .. specialized content for .. museum professionals .. pages devoted to .. museum jobs .. online since 1999, we now have a database of 1,000s of individual resources related to museums .."

Chat With Live Search Guides on is a new search engine where people do your searching for you. Need advice? Can't find something specific? Just ask and the search guides do their best to find what you need! I work as a search guide, and I've helped people find all sorts of things, like college admissions information, resources for teachers, and links for students working on research papers. (Of course, there are plenty of spam searches, too.)

The site still needs some work, but it is an excellent way to save time. If you need to search for something, just have a ChaCha guide do the work for you while you do something else. And I haven't tried it yet, but I imagine you could do multiple ChaCha searches at the same time and have several people doing your work for you all at once! The service is completely free, supported by ads.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fred's Finds: American Ed, Victorian Web, English in England

The Underground History of American Education

This is a book (free) for download. This book was written by John Taylor Gatto, a former teacher, and is highly regarded by many people. Gatto considers the shortcomings of public education, what it does and what it does not do, and why it is simply a useless enterprise. I was delighted to discover that it does not simply blame all things on teachers' unions! Poke around in the download (18 chapters). You may not agree with the notion that public and compulsory schooling is worthless and ill conceived. But there are many readers who agree with the author. Here, for example,is what some have said:

This book is the Silent Spring of American education.
-Diane Flynn Keith
Publisher, Homefires

A breathtaking work of scholarship and encyclopedic scope...history accompanied by an incisive and illuminating narrative. Gatto delivers for our consideration an astonishing cast of cranks while revealing the nest of special interests which profit from schools just as they are. This marvelous book should be required reading for anyone interested in the frightening truth about the enterprise we call "education."
-Adam Robinson, co-founder, The Princeton Review
Author, What Smart Students Know

The Victorian Web

All things Victorian found at this site, including all of the writers worth knowing about. Includes, too, some pre-Victorian writers.

"The Victorian Era of Great Britain marked the height of the British industrial revolution and the apex of the British Empire. Although commonly used to refer to the period of Queen Victoria's rule between 1837 and 1901, scholars debate whether the Victorian period—as defined by a variety of sensibilities and political concerns that have come to be associated with the Victorians—actually begins with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. The era was preceded by the Regency era and succeeded by the Edwardian period."

Majority of Americans Believe in Angels

"An overwhelming majority, almost regardless of backgrounds and religious convictions, think angels are real, according to an AP-AOL News poll exploring attitudes about Santa Claus, angels and more."

Meanwhile, a recent poll in Europe shows that a majority of people believe religion causes more harm than good. A disparity in religious convictionsh may have something to do with American history, but, if so, I am not sure what explains such beliefs in America in 2006. Is there any evidence to support a belief in angels? Pictures, witnessed encounters?

The University Channel

If you've never been on Princeton's University Channel, you should check it out. The site presents some great lectures from prominent speakers at both Princeton and other universities.

Two great lists of other university sites are on Open Culture: University Podcasts & University Online Courses and Media.

Also see the Productivity 101 podcast list.

Brain Mapping

"The purpose and goal of brain mapping is to advance the understanding of the relationship between structure and function in the human brain. Scientists in this field seek to gain knowledge of the physical processes that underly human sensation, attention awareness and cognition. These results are immediately applicable to surgical intervention, to the design of medical interventions and to the treatment of psychological and psychiatric disorders."

How long has English been spoken in Britain?

(Left: Uffington White Horse)

"Did the Anglo-Saxons bring English to Britain? Did they drive the "Celts" to the western margins of Britain? Were many of the "Celts" massacred in a wave of ethnic cleansing by continental immigrants?

Since the 17th century, it has been believed that England was invaded by immigrants from the Germanic speaking areas of north-western Europe. The earlier inhabitants, believed to be Celts, were thought to have been conquered, subjected, annihilated or displaced to the western fringes of Britain. The ancient languages of Cornwall, Wales and Cumbria are indeed similar to each other. The English language is indeed to be found in much of England and Scotland since medieval times.

But now a small group of scientists are challenging this view..."

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Hope everyone has a wonderful time with friends and family this holiday season. If you're tired of the same old CD playing year after year, see some of the links posted here last year. Also, here's some tips for cooking the perfect Christmas turkey.

Alright, time to go start cutting the Christmas pata (better than a fruitcake).

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Fred's Finds: Primary Sources, Political Review, Evolution...

Virtual Reference Desk

"The Virtual Reference Desk provides help to academic researchers on a variety of topics:
Nearly 1,000 Web pages, arranged by subject, providing access to carefully selected
academic resources...Hundreds of Internet sites have been identified for their usefulness in research. Original abstracts are being written for each of these sites to enable users to identify the contents of the site, and so that the Search engine will pick up on words in the abstracts."

Especially strong on governmental agencies and publications.

Poetry Archives

"Welcome to the Poetry Archives, an educational resource to aid students, educators, and the curious. We have collected thousands of classical poetry to provide you with a way to casually browse, recall fond memories, and even to create new ones.

Database Statistics -

Number of Classical Poets: 153
Number of Classical Poems: 5048

Size of the Database: 14236 kilobytes"

Understanding Evolution

"Understanding Evolution is a non-commercial, education website, teaching the science and history of evolutionary biology. This site is here to help you understand what evolution is, how it works, how it factors into your life, how research in evolutionary biology is performed, and how ideas in this area have changed over time."

Presented for the non-specialist in an easy to navigate and search site.

Political Theory Daily Review

If you like political issues, then this source is a link-filled wonder. I can not begin to describe it so click on the link and check it out for yourself.

Repositories of Primary Sources

In addition to the regular search engines, there is that which is called the "hidden web," that is, data bases and archives housing materials of great interest and usefulness. You can use a site like this one to get at some archived materials, but be aware that at some places, you will get descriptions only whereas at others you can actually open up online exhibits. Open this URL to get to subsections (links) that are of interest to you.

"A listing of over 5000 websites describing holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources for the research scholar. All links have been tested for correctness and appropriateness.
Links added or revised within the last thirty da
ys or so are marked {New}."

Landmarks of Britain

Click photo on home page at link.
A map opens and presents locations and sites for panoramic views (such as Trafalgar Square pictured here). 1024x768 screen resolution required. QuickTime and Flash recommended.

The Ancient Cyprus WebProject

"The Ancient Cyprus Project offers the opportunity for people at all levels of experience to participate in scholarship and knowledge sharing. The website aims to provide information such as: extensive bibliographies of works about the island; sources of funding for research; centres of study; lists of collections and access arrangements; scholar and project contact details; bulletins on excavations and projects; and full excavation reports. The site presents a list of archaeological sites in Cyprus with links, where possible, to further web resources. The site also provides links to websites that cover archaeological techniques."

Top 100 Education Blogs

Yet another post from Jimmy Atkinson at OEDb. Like the others, this post in full of lots of good links. The Top 100 Education Blogs covers one hundred great blogs in eLearning, Educational Policy, Internet Culture, Teaching, and other areas. Since the sites aren't actually ranked from best to worst, I'm just going to assume that the Stingy Scholar is ranked #1.

Librarian's Ultimate Guide to Search Engines

Thanks to everyone who's written in over the past couple weeks. We read every email and try to post every good suggestion.

Speaking of which, here's a great post from Scott Hawksworth on using search engines smartly. Rather than just listing out some good search engines, Scott explains how to use operators properly (i.e. stingy AND scholar) and includes links to other sites with further information.

Also, if data visualisation is your cup o'tea take a look at this great blog that Scott references, Information Aesthetics.

50 Greatest Cartoons

City Rag gathered online links to the 50 greatest cartoons, as voted by the animation industry in 1994. Check it out!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Fred's Finds: Fine Tuning Your Brain

Not sure all these suggestions will work but they are worth considering - Your Brain Boots Up Like a Computer

"As we yawn and open our eyes in the morning, the brain stem sends little puffs of nitric oxide to another part of the brain, the thalamus, which then directs it elsewhere.

Like a computer booting up its operating system before running more complicated programs, the nitric oxide triggers certain functions that set the stage for more complex brain operations, according to a new study."

70 Ways to Increase Your Brain Power

22 Ways To Overclock Your Brain at Ririan Project

Scientific American Mind: Juicing the Brain

"Physicians have long tinkered with ways to "improve" the human brain, but as our understanding of that organ's inner workings quickly grows, artificial enhancement is becoming more feasible. Military research is at the forefront of this work, much of it focused on drugs. The goal is to produce a better soldier, but the emerging techniques could just as easily be applied to any individual.

The military wants to juice up personnel's brains because the human being is the weakest instrument of warfare. Although for centuries astonishing and terrifying advances have been made in the technology of conflict, soldiers are basically the same. They must eat, sleep, discern friend from foe, heal when wounded, and so forth. The first state (or nonstate) actor to build superior fighters will make an enormous leap in the arms race. In the short run, researchers are trying to devise aids that would overcome a person's inherent limitations, such as mental fatigue. Long-term results could lead to individuals everywhere who are tireless, less fearful or even better speakers."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Fred's Finds: 3D Ancient Wonders, 50 Writing Tools, Museum Studies Online...

3D Ancient Wonders

"The 3D Ancient Wonders virtual museum allows you to explore ancient wonders by walking through them or manipulating them in real time web 3D online. To view you will require the free & popular educational online 3D Shockwave Player. Ancient Wonders is a virtua linteractive museum. 3D Ancient wonders is a collection of 3D interactive archeological reconstructions of ancient architecture, buildings, artefacts and relics."

Sites: Great Pyramid of Giza; Stonehenge; Viking longboat; Chariot of the Sun (Denmark); Parthenon (Greece); Ancient Egyptian Temple of Khons.

Fifty (50!) Tools which can help you in Writing

Know your grammar? Good at spellling and punctuation? Fine. But there is more to writing than what you learned from Ms Diagramthis. Now learn the tricks to make your writing really effrective. Set a goal and look at each one of these 50 tips daily, and voila, in 50 days, you will a much more effective writer than you now are.

"This is a extensive list of writing tools, but by no mean you need to apply all of them when you do any writing...You will become handy with these tools over time. You will begin to recognize their use in the stories you read. You will see chances to apply them when you revise your own work. Eventually, they will become part of your flow, natural and automatic … "

Clipmarks: Evolution

Clipmarks allows net users to share URLs with others. But this useful bookmarking service also groups bookmarked (clipped) sites by subject matter. Here, a very fine gathering of links about Evolution. Also, check out Djiezes's clipmarks. Here, Djiezes (from Belgium) has some 100 items (links) about science and computers.

Distance Education @ Museum Studies

"The Graduate Program in Museum Studies at George Washington University combines traditional academic training in both academic subjects and museum practices and the practical experience that is necessary to begin a successful museum career. We are known for our academic excellence, the strength of our faculty and our incredible local internship opportunities."

Have you considered a career in working at a museum? At this site, you can investigate the possibilities of a career by online certification:

"Announcing a new ONLINE Graduate Certificate in Museum Collections Management and Care at the George Washington University Museum Studies Program for Fall 2007."

Folklore and Mythology

What makes this dictionary of folklore both different and useful is that it is arranged alphabetically by subject matter.

"Anti-Semitic Legends. A collection of legends reflecting anti-Jewish sentiment among European Christians. These tales, like their witchcraft analogs, illustrate an unfortunate chapter in human history."
This category includes some 12 different stories.

Here's another:
Cat and Mouse. Fables about cats and mice

This section has 12 tales.

In short, a useful reference tool to bookmark.

Why not Wikipedia? Well, you will discover that many teachers have a bias against Wikipedia because some entries were shown to be questionable. It makes sense then not to cite Wikipedia and be told you are not using a good source. In fact, there are some teachers who forbid the use of Wikipedia. This site, on the other hand, contains verified sources.

"We've collected authoritative facts in by licensing top-quality reference work to give you comprehensive, relevant information on each of 4 million topics. We handpicked reference content from publishers such as Houghton Mifflin, Columbia University Press, Thomson Gale, Britannica, Barron's, Computer Desktop Encyclopedia, MarketWatch, Investopedia, All Media Guide, Who2, AccuWeather and eSpindle (just to name a few), to make sure that you always have reliable and frequently updated facts on any subject you look up."

Public Library of Science

"PLoS (Public Library of Science) is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. All our activities are guided by our core principles."

PLoS is based on open access and "....Everything we publish is freely available online for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use (with attribution) any way you wish." Check it out for yourself.

Connectivism Online Conference

The University of Manitoba (Canada) is hosting a free online conference scheduled for February 2 - 9, 2007. Here's what the the U of M site has to say....

Connectivism Online Conference is an open online forum exploring how learning has been impacted by ongoing changes. The conference will run from February 2 – 9, 2007.

Key themes will include: trends in K-12 sector, trends in higher education, research and net pedagogy, technological and societal trends, and connective knowledge and connectivism.

Confirmed presenters include:

Format: Presenters will deliver a 50 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions. After each presenter, conversation will occur online in Moodle, allowing participants to challenge, critique, explore, and extend ideas presented.

Registration: The event itself is free to attend. We would, however, like to keep you informed of event changes... and in order to gauge participation, please supply your email address (we will contact you with login details and updated schedules).

Just click on the conference link and register with you email address to get on the mailing list for updated information.

Fred's Finds: Darwin, Plutarch, LoC

The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online

"This site contains Darwin's complete publications, many handwritten manuscripts and the largest Darwin bibliography and manuscript catalogue ever published. There are over 160 ancillary texts, from reference works to reviews, obituaries, recollections and more. Free mp3 downloads are available...Many of the books are signed by Darwin or belonged to his family, see: Life of Erasmus Darwin, Coral reefs, Variation or Flowers."

Plutarch's home on the Web

"But if any man undertake to write a history that has to be collected from materials gathered by observation and the reading of works not easy to be got in all places, nor written always in his own language, but many of them foreign and dispersed in other hands, for him, undoubtedly, it is in the first place and above all things most necessary to reside in some city of good note, addicted to liberal arts, and populous; where he may have plenty of all sorts of books, and upon inquiry may hear and inform himself of such particulars as, having escaped the pens of writers, are more faithfully preserved in the memories of men, lest his work be deficient in many things, even those which it can least dispense with. But for me, I live in a little town, where I am willing to continue, lest it should grow less."

Academic Info

"Academic Info is an online subject directory of over 25,000 hand-picked educational resources for high school and college students as well as a directory of online degree programs and admissions test preparation resources (SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, USMLE, TOEFL). We also offer timely news and analysis of critical events including the Iraq War, Afghanistan Reconstruction, Hurricane Katrina recovery, and the War on Terrorism."

Goes where Google stops going.

The Library of Congress

Within this magnificent library you will find online the following divisions, many of which will keep you reading and searching and busy for a very long time.

  • American Memory - Consists of primary source and archival materials relating to American culture and history, more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections.
  • America's Library - Stories and facts celebrate the library's 200th anniversary.
  • Cataloging Directorate - Provides innovative and effective bibliographic control of the Library's collections and leadership to the library and information communities in the development of cataloging theory and practice.
  • Country Studies: Area Handbook Series - A continuing series of books prepared by the Federal Research Division sponsored by the Department of the Army. This online series presently contains studies of 100 countries.
  • Jefferson's Legacy - A brief hist ory of the Library of Congress and a chronology of the collections with a selected bibliography on the library.
  • Library of Congress: Bicentenial Symposia - Biographies of speakers and commentators at the Frontiers of the Mind symposium.
  • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped - Administers a free library program of braille and recorded materials circulated to eligible borrowers.
  • State and Local Governments - The Library of Congress reference guide and index of links to organizations representing various facets of state and local governments including bodies representing executive and legislative branches of government.
  • U.S. Copyright Office Home Page - Office of public record for copyright registration and deposit of copyright material.
  • World Treasures of the Library of Congress: Beginnings - Exhibition, divided into four sections: Introduction, Creating, Explaining and Ordering, and Recording the Past.

One Hundred Years of the Cairo Museum

"The Cairo Museum is a portal through which the visitor is transported back to the mysterious realm of Ancient Egypt. It holds the treasures of the greatest civilization in the world. This year is the centennial of the creation of the first permanent Egyptian Museum. On December 9th, 2002 at a centennial celebration over two hundred and fifty hidden treasures of Ancient Egypt will be unveiled. I would like to recount how this new exhibit came about."

This man is very proflic . For a lot more of his work, discoveries, publications, see zahi hawass.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Global Voices Video Hub

Last weekend I stopped by New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program's Winter Show where my friend Anh presented, among other things, his meditation chamber. While walking around I noticed a table with a flier advertising the launch of the Global Voices Online Human Rights Video Hub pilot. The hub is currently in a blog format curated and supported by Witness (an organization founded by Peter Gabrial and Reebok that seeks to compile video of human rights abuses in an effort to empower humans through the dissemination of often striking video).

Although still in developing stages, the Hub has great potential. It is meant to be easily accessible to not only view video, but also to upload video; like Youtube with a social agenda. The current posts are rich in links leading to bloggers documenting and commenting on abuses in various parts of the world.

3D Modelling with Sketchup

We talked before about using SketchUp in the classroom. Today is just an update on some more of the resources that you might find helpful.

From the Google for Educators site, have a look at the SketchUp for K12 Education page. SketchUp is of course a free resource, but if you are an Educator, you can also take advantage of a free copy of SketchUp Pro 5.

In addition, if you are looking for printed SketchUp resource material you can order the SketchUp 5 Student Workbook in either hardcopy or PDF format. For even more, there is also a SketchUp 5 Instructor Guide. I just downloaded a free evaluation copy of the workbook (PDF) and will spend the next few days going through it.

Finally, if you are looking for free tutorials, check out these SketchUp Video Tutorials or these Self Paced Tutorials.

Fred's Finds: Batfish & the Well-read Economist

Study: Batfish Protect Reef in Australia

"When it comes to protecting Australia's Great Barrier Reef, it is hard to beat the batfish. A study by researchers at the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies found that the rare pancake-like white fish with brown stripes was the only one of 27 species that successfully removed the forest of algae that can otherwise overwhelm and kill off the reef."

Another example of the inter-relatedness of Nature and why we mess with it at our own peril.
Evolution it seems, then, provides Intelligent Design without a Designer.

The Well-read Economist

"An informal survey of the Carnegie Mellon Economics and Finance Faculty resulted in the following list of books which individual faculty members consider insightful and readable in the fields of Economics and Finance."

Some 30 books listed by recommender, publisher, author, title, date of publication. The list was prepared by the Undergraduate Economics Program at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.

Ancient Egypt in Ten Paragraphs

"This is the first of what I hope will be an occasional series of "Histories in Ten Paragraphs". In this installment, my aim is simply to provide the basic chronological framework for the history of Egypt for readers who have only a passing familiarity with that civilisation; I make no claims of originality of interpretation. Of necessity I have condensed many important and complex eras into brief sketches or neglected them entirely. I hope that experts will forgive these simplifications but equally I hope that they will point out my more obvious errors. The absolute chronology of dynastic Egypt is subject to many uncertainties, but for the sake of brevity I have used the dates given by Grimal throughout this essay. If there's sufficient interest in this article, I'll probably write a similar one about either Rome or ancient Mesopotamia next."

Home Safe: free shredders and erasers

If you are a bit paranoid the way I am of late, you might want to protect your computer. Here, free stuff to keep your privacy intact.

Postgraduate Research

Congratulations! Now you have your undergrad degree. Want to go on and do more? Here is a batch of useful links to such topics as "burnout prevention,""writing a thesis," talking to others at conferences, what thesis examiners look for, structure of a scientific paper and so on. And, oh, yes, Citation guides should you advance to that stage. In total, some 15 links to topics related to postgrad work.