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The Power of the 21st Century Librarian


Michael D. McDonald, Dr.P.H.

It can be argued that libraries have their origins in the swarm behavior of individuals and groups acquiring and sharing cultural artifacts (e.g, pictographs, books) as the fundamental repositories of knowledge within a community and the broader society.  Librarians have played a key role in the founding and differentiation of  America at its origins.  Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, for example, played key roles in deepening and broadening the tradition of knowledge sharing within the early United States. 

 

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Jeremy Rifkin: The Third Industrial Revolution: Toward a New Economic Paradigm

 

Our industrial civilization is at a crossroads. Oil and the other fossil fuel energies that make up the industrial way of life are sunsetting, and the technologies made from and propelled by these energies are antiquated. The entire industrial infrastructure built off of fossil fuels is aging and in disrepair. The result is that unemployment is rising to dangerous levels all over the world. Governments, businesses and consumers are awash in debt and living standards are plummeting everywhere. A record one billion human beings--nearly one seventh of the human race--face hunger and starvation.

Research Brief: Is Submerged Deepwater Horizon Oil Degrading Offshore?

Research Brief: Is Submerged Deepwater Horizon Oil Degrading Offshore?

Comparison of the Chemical Signatures of Tar Mat Samples Deposited by Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011 with Oil Mousse Samples Collected in June 2010 (4 page .PDF report)

http://eng.auburn.edu/files/acad_depts/civil/oil-spill-research.pdf

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AP: BP Oil Not Degrading on Gulf Floor, Study Says

by Jay Reeves - Associated Press - September 20, 2011

      

Tar balls mix with seashells washed up near Pensacola Beach, Fla., on Sept. 14 - Melissa Nelson / AP

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Tar balls washed onto Gulf of Mexico beaches by Tropical Storm Lee earlier this month show that oil left over from last year's BP spill isn't breaking down as quickly as some scientists thought it would, university researchers said Tuesday.

Auburn University experts who studied tar samples at the request of coastal leaders said the latest wave of gooey orbs and chunks appeared relatively fresh, smelled strongly and were hardly changed chemically from the weathered oil that collected on Gulf beaches during the spill.

The study concluded that mats of oil — not weathered tar, which is harder and contains fewer hydrocarbons — are still submerged on the seabed and could pose a long-term risk to coastal ecosystems.

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WorldRiskReport 2011

submitted by Joyce Fedeczko
 
 
WorldRiskReport 2011
September 9, 2011 21:39
Source: United Nations University
 
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Supercomputer Predicts Revolution

BBC - September 9, 2011

                     

Sentiment mining showed a sharp change in tone around Egypt ahead of President Mubarak's ousting

Feeding a supercomputer with news stories could help predict major world events, according to US research.

A study, based on millions of articles, charted deteriorating national sentiment ahead of the recent revolutions in Libya and Egypt.

While the analysis was carried out retrospectively, scientists say the same processes could be used to anticipate upcoming conflict.

The system also picked up early clues about Osama Bin Laden's location.

Kalev Leetaru, from the University of Illinois' Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Science, presented his findings in the journal First Monday.

Mood and location

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'Wi-fi Refugees' Shelter in West Virginia Mountains

BBC News - September 12, 2011

       

Nichols Fox lives alone in a home powered primarily by gas just outside the Quiet Zone

Dozens of Americans who claim to have been made ill by wi-fi and mobile phones have flocked to the town of Green Bank, West Virginia

There are five billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide and advances in wireless technology make it increasingly difficult to escape the influence of mobile devices. But while most Americans seem to embrace continuous connectivity, some believe it's making them physically ill.

Diane Schou is unable to hold back the tears as she describes how she once lived in a shielded cage to protect her from the electromagnetic radiation caused by waves from wireless communication.

"It's a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner," she says. "You become a technological leper because you can't be around people.

"It's not that you would be contagious to them - it's what they're carrying that is harmful to you."

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Most Americans Unprepared for Disaster, Survey Finds

submitted by Samuel Bendett

Homeland Security Newswire - September 12, 2011

Most people still believe help will arrive within hours // Source: hsdl.org

A new survey finds that most Americans are unprepared for major disasters and that they maintain a false sense of security with regard to what will happen if a major disaster or a terrorist attack took place; contrary to reality, almost one-third of respondents believed that during a major disaster, calling 911 would bring help within an hour, while 30 percent said they believed help would come within several hours.

A new survey finds that most Americans are unprepared and maintain a false sense of security during a major disaster or terrorist attack.

The poll, conducted by the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, indicated that more than half of the families surveyed had no emergency plan in place for a major hurricane or earthquake. Even those with plans in place were lacking essential items like a flashlight, two days of food and water, key phone numbers, and extra batteries.

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Electronic Sensors Assess Contact Between Healthcare Workers

                                            

submitted by Luis Kun

Infection Control Today - September 6, 2011

Transmission of hospital acquired infections (HAI) is mainly based on contacts between patients, patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) and between HCWs only. Description and quantification of contacts at hospitals are key pieces of information for epidemiology and implementing control measures for HAIs.

Researchers in France and Italy describe the SocioPatterns project that has developed an technology based on RFID badges that provides a reliable infrastructure to detect face-to-face proximity of individuals. The system was tested at a scientific conference, in a primary school and in a hospital unit.

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Video - BOATLIFT, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience (Narrated by Tom Hanks)

While the towers burned and collapsed on 9/11, a half million people were evacuated from Lower Manhattan by a civilian flotilla of ferries, tug boats and other vessels—the largest boatlift in history. Narrated by Tom Hanks, Produced and Directed by Eddie Rosenstein

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDOrzF7B2Kg

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