Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Earth Portal

Self-described as a comprehensive resource for timely, objective, science-based information about the environment, the Earth Portal was selected as one of Library Journal's "Best Free Reference" web sites of 2008. The Earth Portal covers the natural environment of the earth as broadly defined, from air and water to living organisms and interdisciplinary topics, including related law and policy. All content is governed by the Environmental Information Coalition (EIC), a group of scientists and scholars and the institutions and agencies for which they work. Well organized and easy to navigate, the site consists of three components: the Encyclopedia of the Earth (with a great topical browse feature); Earth Forum (commentary and discussion); and Earth News (international in scope). For environmental law background or personal interest, this is a great place to start.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The World's Ten Smallest Animals

We follow up our list of the weirdest animals of 2008 with that of the ten smallest animals. If you've ever wanted to see the smallest lizard, or--*cough, cough*--the smallest cat, then have a look.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night...

The results of the 2009 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest are released. Most likely you think of Snoopy in the Peanuts comic strip when you see the phrase "it was a dark and stormy night", but the phrase is actually part of the first sentence of the novel Paul Clifford by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton. The complete sentence is:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

The contest is an international literary parody contest that honors the memory if not the reputation of Bulwer-Lytton. The goal of the contest is simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels.

The results are usually very funny. An example, the 2009 winner for the Detective entry:

She walked into my office on legs as long as one of those long-legged birds that you see in Florida - the pink ones, not the white ones - except that she was standing on both of them, not just one of them, like those birds, the pink ones, and she wasn't wearing pink, but I knew right away that she was trouble, which those birds usually aren't.

Eric Rice
Sun Prairie, WI

So if you would like a smile, check out the present and past winners.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Spring OCIs?

There is some talk of moving the summer associate recruiting process from the 2L Fall Semester (often, in reality, summer) to the 2L Spring Semester. There is no telling whether this idea will catch on.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat