Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Measure of America 2013-2014

There are hundreds if not thousands of reports published each year measuring the economic health of the United States--its gross national product, interest and employment rates, or growth in manufacturing.  This week a report was released that focuses not on economic measures but on measures of "well-being" in the lives of Americans.  "The Measure of America 2013-2014" is a project of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), an independent, nonprofit leader in international social science research. It uses a tailored and updated version of the Human Development Index, first used by the United Nations, in order to measure the key factors in human development that shape the everyday lives of ordinary Americans, their opportunities and potential for living "freely chosen lives of value."  The latest Measure of America report is a revealing portrait comparing states and 25 metropolitan areas--and demographic groups in each--over time and with each other, based on a wide range of indicators, including most prominently life expectancy, educational attainment, and median earnings. It makes for fascinating reading and is also a good source of statistical information for public policy research.   

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, June 21, 2013

Email for the truly lazy

How many times have you typed out the same  message repeatedly (directions for the non-gps enabled?) . . .   In Gmail, you have an option for "canned responses".   To set this up, you need to go to Labs (a tab in the Settings menu) and enable the feature.   Then, type out your message in Compose.  Click on the drop-down next to the Trash and you will see an option for "Canned responses".  Highlight it, click on "new canned response" , name your response and save.

Happy Summer - enjoy some good naps in the sun!!!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Unusual U.S. Government Publications, Part Four: Sea Turtles Coloring Book (in English and Hawaiian)

In honor of the International Year of the Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service jointly produced a coloring book devoted to sea turtles, with text in both the English and Hawaiian languages. Click here to see more (the arrows at the bottom of each page allow you to click through the work).

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

“Happy Birthday to You” Hits a Sour Note

It is a song recognized by all of us.   From Stevie Wonder’s lively ditty to Marilyn Monroe’s sultry rendition, “Happy Birthday to You” has been sung by or to most of us. But did you know that anyone who performs the song publicly risks a $150,000 fine if they don't agree to pay a fee to Warner/Chappell Music?  While the music group wouldn’t come after Aunt Becky as she soars towards those sometimes ear-splitting high notes, they do claim to own the copyright to the 120-year-old, 16-word song that is widely credited with being the best-known piece of music in the English language and do request a fee anytime the song is sung on a television show or in a movie. 

Well, don’t blow out those candles just yet.  “Happy Birthday to You” is the subject of a new lawsuit against the publishing arm of Warner Music Group.  Last week, a complaint was filed in federal court that claims the song has been in the public domain since at least 1921.

Click here to read more.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Video on Instagram

If you love Instagram and have been waiting for video to arrive as part of Instagram's features, wait no more!  Instagram has announced that video has arrived.

For the basics on this new Instagram service read more here.

Do you want the quick and dirty version? Here are the facts about Instagram video in 7 steps.

And finally, if you are a Vine user...well, the war is on here where you can read about why Instagram video may be better than Vine.  You be the decider.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, June 17, 2013

Founders Online

The National Archives, with a large assist from the University of Virginia, put up 119,000 documents from the collected papers of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. The documents are searchable and they include editorial notations. The collection will continue to grow over time.

The Founders Online is available to the public without charge.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat