Monthly Archives: January 2008

Selected Websites

Civil Engineering Virtual Library

This site is an extension of the WWW Virtual Library project from WWW Consortium specializing in information directly related to the field of Civil Engineering.

Connected Earth

Connected Earth is the story of our ongoing quest to communicate better, from the first simple messages to today’s sophisticated global communications.


Evergreen is an enterprise-class library automation system that helps library patrons find library materials, and helps libraries manage, catalog, and circulate those materials, no matter how large or complex the libraries.

History of Programming Languages

This site is concerned with the idea-historical treatment of the development of programming languages as a means of human expression and creation.


A free service from Calvin College, which helps you write citations in three different styles.


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A Professor’s Tips for Using Twitter in the Classroom


from The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog

Twitter at first seemed like a bad idea to David Parry, an assistant professor of Emerging Media and Communications at the University of Texas at Dallas. For those not in the know, Twitter is a service that lets you micro-blog your life by dashing out very short notes (140 characters max) to a select group of friends or other subscribers, who can receive them as text messages on their cell phones. Mr. Parry’s first instinct was that Twittering would just encourage students to speak in sound bites and self-obsess.

But then he gave it a try, and he now sees Twitter as a useful classroom-communication tool.

How is that? He outlines several “Ways to use Twitter in Academia” on a post on the blog AcademHack.

Last semester he required the 20 students in his “Introduction to Computer-Mediated Communication” course to sign up for Twitter and to send a few messages with the service each week as part of a writing assignment. He also invited his students to follow his own Twitter feed, in which he sometimes writes several short thoughts each day. Yesterday morning, for instance, he sent out a message that read: “Reading, prepping for grad class, putting off running until it warms up a bit.” Last week, one of his messages included a link to a Web site he wanted his students to check out.

The posts from students also mixed the mundane with the useful. One student twittered that he just bought a pet rabbit. Another noted that a topic from the class was being discussed on a TV-news report.

The immediacy of the messages helped the students feel like more of a community, Mr. Parry said in an interview Monday. “It was the single thing that changed the classroom dynamics more than anything I’ve ever done teaching,” he said.

One downside: Some students have to pay a small fee for each text message they receive, and that means all this Twittering can add up to real money. Students can avoid such charges by setting their Twitter account so that they receive e-mail messages instead of text messages, but that eliminates much of the point of the service.

Should more professors use Twitter? Have you tried it in your classroom? —Jeffrey R. Young

Link to Wikipedia article about Twitter

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Welcome to the Friday Brainteaser from Credo Reference: Which Film?


Check your knowledge of cinema by naming the films in the clues below.

1. Which 1954 film starred Marlon Brando as Terry, a former boxer who achieves heroic status in the struggle against the waterfront mafiosi?

2. In the 1976 remake of which 1933 film about a giant ape did Jessica Lange take the part originally played by Fay Wray?

3. Which 2000 film by Baz Luhrmann explored the Paris of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec through music and song?

4. Which 1981 film was about the rivalry between two British runners – Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell – competing in the 1924 Olympics?

5. Which 2001 computer-animated film was about an ugly smelly green ogre with a heart of gold?

6. Which 1970 film starred Mick Jagger as an Australian outlaw?

7. Which was the last film in Sergio Leone’s “Man With No Name” trilogy of spaghetti Westerns?

8. Which 1978 film musical had its title changed to “Vaselino” in Mexico and to “Brilliantine” in France?

9. Which 2003 film brought screenwriter and director Sofia Coppola international attention? It earned her the 2004 Academy Award for best original screenplay.

10. In which 1999 film did Angelina Jolie gain critical acclaim for her performance as a charismatic, controlling psychopath?

Find out the answers here, or copy and paste this link into your browser address bar:

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Author Uses Blog Comments to Peer Review Book


“Blogging has already changed how I work as a scholar and creator of digital media. Reading blogs started out as a way to keep up with the field between conferences — and I soon realized that blogs also contain raw research, early results, and other useful information that never gets presented at conferences,” said Wardrip-Fruin. A community of respected peers has sprung up around Grand Text Auto, according to Wardrip-Fruin, one that he hopes to tap into for comments on his latest book. “This is the community whose response I want, not just the small circle of academics,” he told the Chronicle of Higher Education.


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Popular Desktop Apps And Their Online Alternatives

Outfitting your computer with the latest software can be expensive. Time and money aren’t things to be wasted. With sky rocketing prices for desktop applications, you need to arm yourself with the right alternatives.

Fortunately, there is a great alternative out there: the Internet. As hard as it is to believe, just by surfing around online, you can access most of the desktop app functionalities you need without shelling out a cent.

To prove it, here’s a list of 25 online alternatives for the most popular desktop applications that you use, want and simply must have when working online.

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House Construction Image Gallery

from HowStuffWorks: Daily Stuff Feed

Ever wonder what’s involved in building a house? Find out and browse pictures in our image gallery!

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