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August 8, 2003 -- Volume 9, Number 31
Research and Education

American [RealOne Player]
The power of the spoken word, especially when well-delivered and articulated, is immense; and this archive of speeches and rhetoric, developed and maintained by Michael E. Eidenmuller, (an assistant professor of communications at the University of Texas at Tyler) is an excellent way to delve into this subject. The core of the site is a truly comprehensive online speech bank that contains over 5000 speeches (in a host of formats), along with other recorded media events. The links in the speech bank are arranged alphabetically by first name and are checked for errors at least once every two weeks. One particularly compelling feature of the site is an area devoted to the rhetoric of 9/11, which contains over 150 active links to speeches dealing with the events on and around that date. Here visitors can listen to a 1998 interview with Osama Bin Laden or listen to President Bush's address to the United States on that tragic day. Overall, this site will be both useful to students and teachers alike, along with the Web-browsing public. [KMG]
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William James
Raised in a highly educated household (his father was a Swedenborgian theologian), William James is rightly considered one of the most important American philosophers of the 19th century. James began his studies in art and geology as a young man before he received a medical degree from Harvard, where he later taught for thirty-five years. Today he is best known for his elaborations on pragmatism, along with works on psychology, religion, and truth. Developed by Frank Pajares, a professor of education at Emory University, this site contains writings by and an extended biographical essay on James, and links to other internet resources for those interested in learning more about his life and work. Finally, the site also contains critical interpretations and examinations of his various philosophical writings and musings. [KMG]
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The Futures Project: Policy for Higher Education in a Changing World [pdf]
Hosted by Brown University's A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, the Futures Project prime directives are to "stimulate an informed debate about the role of higher education in our new global society" and to "develop policies that ensure a skilled use of market forces to maximize the opportunities while minimizing the dangers." The Project itself is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Ford Foundation, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. One of the more compelling areas of this site is dedicated to presenting several policy alternatives as regards to what may happen to higher education in the near future, along with an area for comments and suggestions. The site also contains various articles, briefing papers, reports, and fact sheets that will be of interest to policy makers, educational administrators, and students. [KMG]
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Asian Historical Architecture: A Photographic Survey
Edited by a number of professors and graduate students from Columbia, Yale, and the University of Virginia, this site offers thousands of photographic images of Asia's diverse architectural heritage. In total, the site contains over 6450 photos of 457 sites across seventeen countries. The geographical parameters of the site are limited to areas heavily influenced by Buddhism, Confucianism, or Hinduism. From the site's homepage, visitors can click on any one of the seventeen countries covered here, and look for various items of interest. One rather novel feature is that there are numerous clickable maps of large urban areas, which visitors can use to locate specific landscapes or other aspects of the built environment. Several highlights of the site's photographic images include those locales in Afghanistan, such as the Citadel of Heart (built on the foundations of a fort built by Alexander the Great) and the Minaret of Jam, which stands in the remote Hari Rud river valley. [KMG]
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Household Products Database
The Household Products Database is a new offering from the National Institute of Health and the National Library of Medicine that contains information on over 4,000 consumer brands, allowing consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database "helps answer questions such as: What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands? Which products contain specific chemical ingredients? Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer? What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand? What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?" Users can browse or search the well-designed database by products, ingredients, or Material Safety Data Sheets to easily locate the desired information. This site is also reviewed in the August 8, 2003 NSDL Physical Sciences Report. [JAB]
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Columbia Journalism Review: Who Owns What
Created and maintained by Aaron Moore, a professor of sports media at Ithaca College, this Web page documents which publications (and other ancillary businesses) are owned and controlled by various media conglomerates around the United States. Some of the media conglomerates covered by this rather revealing site include such newer upstarts in the media business such as Clear Channel Communications (which owns hundreds of radio stations around the United States), and a few of the more venerable media moguls, including the Hearst Corporation and the Tribune Company. Along with listing the holdings of these various corporations, the site includes a number of articles from the Columbia Journalism Review that deal with media ownership. One rather fascinating article addresses the life and career of Dean Singleton, CEO of the privately held MediaNews Group, which is the seventh-largest newspaper company in the U.S. [KMG]
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