Tuesday, June 26, 2007

CIA releases historic previously classified documents

The CIA released two collections today, they are described on their web site this way:
  • The first collection, widely known as the "Family Jewels," consists of almost 700 pages of responses from CIA employees to a 1973 directive from Director of Central Intelligence James Schlesinger asking them to report activities they thought might be inconsistent with the Agency's charter.
  • The second collection, the CAESAR-POLO-ESAU papers, consists of 147 documents and 11,000 pages of in-depth analysis and research from 1953 to 1973. The CAESAR and POLO papers studied Soviet and Chinese leadership hierarchies, respectively, and the ESAU papers were developed by analysts to inform CIA assessments on Sino-Soviet relations.

This is a historic release of material that had been discussed widely by news media in the 70s, but has never been freely available.

Want to see what else the CIA has to offer? Check out their redesigned electronic reading room.

Want to read more? Check out the Washington Post article "CIA releases Top-Secret Documents."

Still not enough? Check out the library's guide to declassified documents.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

GAO Reports for the week

Oops, Monday afternoon and you missed your GAO reports from last week, so here they are just a little late. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is often called the investigative arm of Congress. This week they investigated a variety of issues, such as the homeland security, federal workplace, and wetlands. If you would like to know more about the GAO, check out the library's guide.

Reports
Correspondence
Testimonies

Thursday, June 21, 2007

New Ozone Regulations forthcoming

The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to revise the ground-level ozone standards for the US, the new stricter standards will be the first revision since 1997 (from press release). Interested in seeing how your town ranks in the current standards? Check out these local maps from the EPA. Not all towns are monitored, but here in Colorado you can see data for the Denver metro area from 1990 to 2006.

Want to read more about this announcement? Check out the Washington Post article "EPA Announces Proposal for Stricter Ozone Standards: Call for Tougher Rules Sets Up a Battle With Business, Industry Groups."

Want more information on the environment? Check out the library's guide.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fun facts about the White House

To counteract my earlier post on governance issues at the Smithsonian, I thought I would highlight a few fun factoids on the history of the White House.


First, did you know that the White House went by a variety of names until 1901 when President Theodore Roosevelt declared the official name of "White House." Theodore Roosevelt was also the first president to travel outside the United States. These fun facts are from the White House Facts page.


There are other sources for fun facts though, such as the Rutherford B. Hayes page which announces that he was President when the first telephone was installed in 1879.


You can also view tours and photo essays on the White House History and Tours page.


If you want additional information on the president, check out the library's guide.

Investigation of Smithsonian under former Secretary Lawrence Small

The Smithsonian launched an independent commission investigation of the institution under former Secretary Lawrence Small. The final report and exhibits are available at the Washington Post. This report concluded Small "created an imperialistic and insular culture" that limited the flow of information to the Board of Regents, which is supposed to oversee the Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian has revised the governance practices of the Board of Regents in order to address some of the problems brought up under Small's administration. You can read all about the new governance setup as well as a report on why these changes are needed on the Smithsonian web site.

Want to read more about the report on Small and the second ranking official Sheila P. Burke (who resigned today)? Check out the Washington Post article "Report Slams Small's Tenure."

Want to look at the historic documents that the Smithsonian and other agencies provide for free online? Check out the library's guide.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This week from CRS

Ahh, it's Tuesday and the heat has arrived. Why not sit back in the air conditioning and enjoy a few reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The CRS is a research agency for the U.S. Congress and writes reports at their request. This week brings us reports on the Iraq, nuclear weapons, the budget, and much more. This is NOT a complete list of recent reports, only members of Congress have access to a complete list, but these are reports requested from Congress by members of the public, like you. If you want to request a report, just talk to your local Representative or Senator. Or you can check out these reports from OpenCRS and Secrecy News:
Interested in historical CRS reports? If you are here at the Boulder campus, check out the LexisNexis Congressional database, which has reports back to 1916.

Not on campus, but still want access to additional reports? The library has a guide linking to various additional sources of CRS reports.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Boulder Open Spaces Interactive Maps

Hey, did you read the lead article in Denver Post's Fitness section today, "Hike it off." If you did and got inspired, check out a new feature on the City of Boulder's Open Space web site, interactive maps! You can use these maps to find trails into the mountains as well as the best bike paths to get from here to there. There is also an interactive map of the county open spaces trails.

If you just want to learn more about Boulder Open Spaces, check out the web sites for the city and county.

Still want more information on Boulder? Check out the library's guide.

Defense Department Mental Health Task Force Report

The Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health released their report on the mental health of the military last week. This report found 38 percent of soldiers, 31 percent of Marines, 49 percent of Army National Guard members and 43 percent of Marine reservists were suffering from symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, stress or other problems.

Want to read a summary of the recommendations of the task force? You can read the whole report, or just check out the press release from the Department of Defense.

Want to read media accounts? The Rocky Mountain News has "Report finds barriers to mental health care for military." The Washington Post has a special report on mental health and the Walter Reed Medical Center "Without a Scratch."

Need more resources? Check out the library's guide.

Friday, June 15, 2007

GAO releases for this week

It's Friday and despite the beautiful weather outside my window, the GAO still is releasing reports. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is often called the investigative arm of Congress. This week they investigated a variety of issues, such as the homeland security, federal workplace, and wetlands. If you would like to know more about the GAO, check out the library's guide.

Reports
Testimonies
Correspondences

Thursday, June 14, 2007

And you thought your computer crash was bad...

So sometimes computers seem to do really odd things and crash with little or no warning, but when you are up in space crashing computers can really cause a bit of a problem. No running out to the computer store to get that new battery.

The Russian computers at the International Space Station broke down yesterday after the installation by the Space Shuttle Atlantis crew of some new solar arrays. According to the Washington Post "The computers appeared to be stuck in a rebooting cycle" (see full article "Repairs Begin on Space Station Computer Failure"). There is hope that this problem will be fixed soon, but the space shuttle mission may be extended to help out the mission.

Want more resources on astronomy and space? Check out the library's guide.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tags to the right

Did anyone notice the new blog feature put up yesterday afternoon? For the past few weeks I have been tagging with subjects all the blog postings and resources mentioned in those blogs. We are now debuting the tag cloud over to the right. We have been labeling the posts for some time, but these allow you subject rather then organization access to the blog.

What does this tagging provide? Well, click on environment. You can now see not only the blog posting on World Environment Day, but also a number of resources on the environment. As the blog posts more material these categories will provide more and more links and can be used as ideas of places to go for more information on topics of interest.

This is a work in progress, but if you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them as a comment on this post!

Retail Sales Report

Over the course of the month you will often hear the phrase "The Commerce department released figures this month on..." Today, the stock market has gone up this morning on reports that retail sales surged in the month of May.

But where are these figures coming from? If you go to the Census Bureau (yes, the same guys who count the population every ten years), you will find a section on Economic Indicators. This is the source of most of those reports, including the one released today on monthly sales for retail and food services. On the main economic indicators page you can find information on when the next report comes out as well as historic time series data as well as archived press releases.

Want to read one of those newspaper articles that doesn't tell you where to find the raw data? Check out the Washington Post's "Consumer Spending Grows in May."

Still want more resources? Check out the business and economics guides from the library.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

CRS reports from this week

It's Tuesday and once more we can look at Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. The CRS is a research agency for the U.S. Congress and writes reports at their request. This week brings us reports on the Iraq, nuclear weapons, the budget, and much more. This is NOT a complete list of recent reports, only members of Congress have access to a complete list, but these are reports requested from Congress by members of the public, like you. If you want to request a report, just talk to your local Representative or Senator.

This week, Secrecy News reported that the "Congressional Research Accessibility Act" (HR 2545) was introduced on May 24 by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), along with Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and David Price (D-NC). This bill would provide access to free CRS reports, but only after a 30-day waiting period. You can read the full post on the Secrecy News blog.

But until then these are the CRS reports that OpenCRS and Secrecy News found and released this week:

Interested in historical CRS reports? If you are here at the Boulder campus, check out the LexisNexis Congressional database, which has reports back to 1916.

Not on campus, but still want access to additional reports? The library has a guide linking to various additional sources of CRS reports.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Southwell Union Workhouse

Today I thought I'd highlight some non-US resources. The National Archives of Great Britain has just released some new resources on the Southwell Union Workhouse (1834 - 1871).

This database contains: "the correspondence between the union and the central authorities. You will find letters, memos, reports and accounts bound from the loose correspondence. You will see details of individual paupers and workhouse staff as well as source material to study indoor and outdoor poor relief, education, building work, public health, local politics and labour history, such as trade unions, Chartism and friendly societies."

Want to learn more about Poor Laws in Great Britain? The library has a number of books and government reports on this topic, check 'em out in Chinook (the library catalog).

Want more resources on Great Britain? Check out the library's guide.

GAO reports for last week

For all of you who love the list of GAO reports on Friday, here they are a little late. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is often called the investigative arm of Congress. This week they investigated a variety of issues, such as the homeland security, federal workplace, and wetlands. If you would like to know more about the GAO, check out the library's guide.

Reports
Testimonies
Correspondences

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Letter from President Lincoln Discovered

Today the National Archives announced that a researcher discovered a previously unknown letter from President Abraham Lincoln written right after the battle at Gettysburg. Check out the press release, with a digitized version of the letter. A telegram of the letter had been available in The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies
(this is a link to the record for the print copy here at CU-Boulder), but the original had been lost.

Want to read the complete story about this remarkable discovery? Check out the Washington Post's "Lincoln Urgent in Lost Letter to General."

Want more historic documents? Check out the library's guide.

Whole Foods, Wild Oats Merger

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced yesterday that it approved a complaint to block the merger of Whole Foods and Wild Oats (which was founded in Boulder, CO).

From the press release:
"Whole Foods and Wild Oats are each other’s closest competitors in premium natural and organic supermarkets, and are engaged in intense head-to-head competition in markets across the country,” said Jeffrey Schmidt, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “If Whole Foods is allowed to devour Wild Oats, it will mean higher prices, reduced quality, and fewer choices for consumers.”

Whole Foods and Wild Oats are challenging this complaint and argue that the FTC should supermarket sector, not just the natural foods sector. Read more in the Denver Post's "FTC opposing Wild Oats, Whole Foods merger."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

World Environment Day

Today has been designated World Environment Day by the United Nations. In connection with their efforts, I thought I'd highlight a few of the new environmental resources from the UN:
  • Who's Who of Women and the Environment This is a database of influential women in the field of the environment who UNEP believes should be honored and whose work should be recognized.
  • Environment Research Guide This is a guide to international environmental resources from the United Nations Dag Hammarskj√∂ld Library.
  • UNEP Annual Report This report discusses the work of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This is the UN agency devoted to environmental issues.
  • Global Outlook for Ice and Snow This is a UNEP report on the effects of decreasing sea ice, snow cover, glaciers, etc.
Looking for more resources? Check out a selection of guides on environment and energy.

Congressional Research Service Reports for this week

It's Tuesday and once more we can look at Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. The CRS is a research agency for the U.S. Congress and writes reports at their request. This week brings us reports on the Iraq, nuclear weapons, the budget, and much more. This is NOT a complete list of recent reports, only members of Congress have access to a complete list, but these are reports requested from Congress by members of the public, like you. If you want to request a report, just talk to your local Representative or Senator. These are the reports that OpenCRS and Secrecy News found and released this week:
Interested in historical CRS reports? If you are here at the Boulder campus, check out the LexisNexis Congressional database, which has reports back to 1916.

Not on campus, but still want access to additional reports? The library has a guide linking to various additional sources of CRS reports.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Governor signs last bill from 2007 Colorado Legislature

Governor Ritter has finished signing and vetoing all the bills from the 2007 Colorado General Assembly. Ritter signed 467 bills into law and vetoed eight. Want to know more? Check out the press release or the Governor's complete list of bills and status.

Want to read the bills themselves? Check out the Colorado's General Assembly web site.

Want more Colorado resources? Check out the library's guide.

Friday, June 01, 2007

2007 Hurricane Season Begins

Today is the official start of the 2007 hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a above average season. They are already tracking two tropical storms Barry and Barbara. Want some basic facts on hurricanes and tropical storms, check NOAA's fact sheet.

FEMA has begun talking to states in preparation for the season. They have prepared a web site, Get Ready '07, with resources for individuals and businesses.

Want more climate and weather resources? Check out the library's guide.

Chinook, the Library's catalog gets a new look!

Have you checked out the new look for CU Boulder's library catalog, Chinook? You can now do a quick search from the home page, with lots of options on searching, such as a search just for online materials or journals.

When you conduct a search you will now see the call number immediately, without having to go into the record. The keyword search also has a relevancy search (in other words it ranks the material by the most useful items first).

On the page of search results if you see a link under the title that says "website" this is a link to the online version of the document.

Questions? Need help conducting a search? Feel free to add a comment to the post or send us an email.

Government Accountability Office Releases

It is time again for the list of weekly releases from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO is often called the investigative arm of Congress. This week they investigated a variety of issues, such as the Army Corps of Engineers, nuclear safety and clean water. If you would like to know more about the GAO, check out the library's guide.

Reports
Correspondences
Presentation by the Comptroller General
  • "Saving Out Future Requires Tough Choices Today" by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, on the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, Florida. GAO-07-937CG, May 30. [slides]
    http://www.gao.gov/cghome/d07937cg.pdf