Monday, October 30, 2006

Climate Change report from Britain

British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated today:
"...what is not in doubt is that the scientific evidence of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions is now overwhelming. It is not in doubt that if the science is right, the consequences for our planet are literally disastrous. And this disaster is not set to happen in some science fiction future, many years ahead, but in our lifetime." Read his full comments online.

These comments are brought about in part by the Stern report, which was written to examine the economic effects of climate change on the world. This report's summary "estimates that if we donĂ‚’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more." This would beequivalentt to the Great Depression.

Want to know what the American press is saying about the report? Check out the Washington Post's "Global Warning Could Devastate World Economy, Report Says." Want to know what the British press is saying? Check out the BBC's "Climate costs: The global picture."

Flags on the Boulder campus

For those of you here in Boulder, you have probably noticed all the flags in front of Norlin library. The white flags stand for Iraqi casualties and the red flags for American casualties in the Iraq.

Today the U.S. announced the death of the 100th soldier in the month of October in Iraq (from U.S. loses 100th soldier in the Denver Post). For a complete list of casualties with names and ranks go to the Department of Defense's Fallen Warriors page.

Want to learn more about Iraq? Check out the library's country guide.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Borat Officially Invited to Visit Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Rakhat Aliyev has invited Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat) to visit his country. Alarmed at his portrayal of their country and its people, Kazakh authorities, including Rakhat's father-in-law President Nursultan Nazarbayev, would like Cohen to see the truth about their country for himself.

Borat, a character created by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, is the subject of the soon to be released "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan".

To learn more about Kazakhstan, see the Government Publications Library subject guide.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Scientific Writing Class

This is a blog entry for the ENVS3020 class. Feel free to discuss issues or any other discussions from the class here in the blog. This blog is monitored by librarians, so feel free to ask questions of us as well as each other. The handout used in this class is available online.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Which Justice is that?

The Supreme Court of the United States has a set of nine figures over the entrance. These statutes, sculpted by Rober Aitken, represent "Liberty Enthroned guarded by Order and Authority. On either side are groups of three figures depicting Council and Research which Aitken modeled after several prominent individuals concerned with the law or the creation of the Supreme Court Building. At the left are Chief Justice Taft as a youth, Secretary of State Elihu Root, and the architect Cass Gilbert. Seated on the right are Chief Justice Hughes, the sculptor Aitken, and Chief Justice Marshall as a young man" (quoted from the Court building, page 2).

Want to learn more about the Supreme Court? Check out the libraries subject guide.

Friday, October 20, 2006

ICRC President Interviewed About US Anti-Terror Law

Jakob Kellengerber, President of the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), was the interviewed yesterday about the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which was signed into law by President Bush on Tuesday. The Military Commissions Act addresses a wide range of issues. Some of them are a matter of domestic law, while others involve interpretations of international law, including international humanitarian law.

"Our preliminary reading of the new legislation raises certain concerns and questions," Kellenberger said.

"The very broad definition of who is an "unlawful enemy combatant" and the fact that there is not an explicit prohibition on the admission of evidence attained by coercion are examples," he added.

Read the full interview at the ICRC website.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New Secretary-General of the United Nations

The UN General Assembly has appointed Ban Ki-moon, current ambassador from the Republic of Korea, as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations, his term will start on January 1, 2007. He will replace current Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose second term expires at the end of December.

The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council. The Secretary-General's selection is therefore subject to the veto of any of the five permanent members of the Security Council. Although there is technically no limit to the number of five-year terms a Secretary-General may serve, none so far has held office for more than two terms.

If you would like to read more about this appointment, check out the UN News Focus page.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Finding Government Statistics

For all the readers of this blog here in Boulder, Frank will be conducting a drop-in session on "Finding Government Statistics" this afternoon from 4-5 in E160 (the room to the right of the downstairs reference desk). This session will explore links from the Government Publications Library website to resources by topic as well as a variety of databases with government statistics including American FactFinder, LexisNexis Statistical, Historical Statistics of the United States, United Nations Common Database, and World Development Indicators. The handout for the class is available online.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Feeling crowded?

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the population of the United States reached 300 million! Want to know more? Check out their Facts for Features page, which shows the difference between today and 1915and 1967 when the 100 and 200 million marks were met. If you want to watch the population grown by 1 person every 7 seconds, check out the Census's population clock.

Want more demographic information? Check out the library's subject guide on Demographics and Statistics.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Anniversary of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry

On the night of October 16th, 1859 John Brown and 21 armed followers took hostage many of the residents of Harper's Ferry, VA. The raid was actually ended by Oct. 18th with troops under Robert E. Lee's command. This action inflamed the north-south, free-slave tensions in the United States and ended in the conviction of John Brown for murder, slave insurrection and treason with the sentence of death by hanging. To read more, check out the Library of Congress's "Today in History."

Interested in learning more about the Civil War? Check out the Library's guide to Military Operations.

Want to see Harper's Ferry today? Check out the National Park Service web site.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

UN sanctions against North Korea

The United Nations Security Council voted today to impose military and luxury goods sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (better known as North Korea). For more information check out the press release. For an analysis of what this means, check out the Washington Post article "U.N. votes to Impose Sanctions on N. Korea."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How many referendums are there?

For those of you lucky enough to vote here in Colorado in addition to the election for governor we get to vote on 7 referendums, 7 amendments to the constitution, state judges, and various local initiatives. Figuring out what there is to vote on, much less figuring out how to vote can be exciting. The library has put together a set of resources to help you access the various governmental guides, like the blue book and a list of who is running where. Check out the page online. We also have copies in paper of the state blue book (which discusses the meaning of each referendum and amendment and is put out by the Colorado Legislative Council) and League of Women Voters guides at the government publications desk on the third floor of Norlin Library.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Finding Foreign Information

For all the readers of this blog here in Boulder, I (Jennie) will be conducting a drop-in session on "Finding Foreign Information" this afternoon from 4-5 in E160 (the room to the right of the downstairs reference desk). The presentation will help you discover how to do things like compare emerging markets or research the history of conflicts in the Middle East or learn more about the Sudan. This session will provide you with some starting points for finding information on a particular country, how to find data, reports and more.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Today is the last day to register to vote!

If you are here in Colorado and want to vote in the Governor's race along with other referendum issues such as an increase in the minimum wage, today is the last day to register to vote. To find your county clerk to register, check out the state's page. Unfortunately, at this time you cannot register to vote online.

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea Reportedly Tests Nuclear Weapon

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency announced Monday that it had conducted its first nuclear test, a claim verified by monitoring authorities in China and South Korea. The South Korean government informed U.S. officials that the explosion, registering 3.58 on the Richter scale, had taken place at 10:36 a.m. local time. The U.S. Geological Survey detected a "seismic event" of magnitude 4.2 at 10:35 a.m. local time 240 miles northeast of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

For more information on North Korea, visit the U.S. State Department's North Korea page.

Check out items on North Korea available through Chinook, the library's catalog.

For more information on nuclear energy, visit the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Friday, October 06, 2006

House Ethics Committee Investigation

The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, better known as the House Ethics Committee has launched an investigation into "regarding any conduct of House Members, officers and staff related to information concerning improper conduct involving Members and current and former pages" (from the 10/5 press release). This investigation was brought about by the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) on September 30th and the information since released in regards to his interactions with a former page. The House no longer has jurisdiction over Foley, since he has resigned, therefore the focus on the conduct of House members. The FBI and officials in Florida are investigating Foley's actions. To read more about this check out the Washington Post article "Inquiry to look at House, not Foley." Interested in learning more about House ethics rules? Check out the House Ethics manual.

U.S. Population: Countown to 300 million

According to the Census Bureau's U.S. Population Clock, the population of the United States was 299,915,655 this morning at 6 o'clock Mountain Time. By 6:05, it was 299,915,681. This is getting very close to reaching 300 million in the U.S.

The World Population Clock stands at 6,548,646,537 this morning and is projected to reach 6,566,884,540 by the end of 2006.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Census Secrets

For all the readers of this blog here in Boulder, Frank will be conducting a drop-in session on "Census Secrets" this afternoon from 4-5 in E160 (the room to the right of the downstairs reference desk). He'll be answering questions like: Can sticking gravel up your nose cause idiocy? This session will explore what the census is and how to find what you need, from historical data, research, and commentary in the Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000 to current data, population estimates, and projections available in electronic databases like the American FactFinder. The handout for the class is available online.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New Census Data Highlights Changes in Housing Values

The Census Bureau today released new data from its 2005 American Community Survey detailing changes in housing values. According to a news release, the data include "housing characteristic information such as occupancy, units in structure, year built, rooms, occupants per room, vehicles available, house heating fuel, value, mortgage status, gross rent, selected monthly owner costs and other characteristics.... The data are available for nearly 7,000 areas, including all congressional districts and counties, cities and American Indian/Alaska Native areas of 65,000 population or more. This survey is a first look at key housing information for many communities since Census 2000 – including 75 of the top 100 fastest growing cities."

Data for Boulder City, Boulder County, or other geographical areas can be found through the Census Bureau's American Factfinder website. Just click on the fact sheet link on the left, and enter your city, county, or state.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Today President Bush stated his belief that "the United Nations should not wait any longer to approve a blue helmeted force, a U.N. force of peacekeepers to protect the innocent people [of Sudan]" (from the press release). The United Nations Security Council met on Sept. 29th to discuss the latest report on Sudan. You can read the meeting record and press release online. This meeting did not vote to implement a peacekeeping force in Sudan, an action which Sudan's government has thus far been resisting. There are currently African Union troops in the region, but they are in need of additional support.

Want to learn more about Sudan? Check out the library's Sudan Guide.