Archive | January 2008

Rules of Thumb

I think I could spend hours browsing this site.  According to the site, “a rule of thumb is a homemade recipe for making a guess. It is an easy-to-remember guide that falls somewhere between a mathematical formula and a shot in the dark.”  This site attempts to index all of these “rules of thumb,” allowing users to add their own and rate the rules of others.  Browse by subject or search by keyword.

Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits 

The exhibition “Let Your Motto Be Resistance” consists of 100 photographic portraits of prominent African Americans. The portraits were selected from the collections of the National Portrait Gallery as part of the inaugural exhibition of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. The show will begin a national tour in October 2008. The web site is designed for browsing in chronological order, beginning with Frederick Douglass and ending with Wynton Marsalis. Short biographies, caption information, and larger views are available with each picture.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008.


“Wikiwords is a collaborative project to create a dictionary of all terms in all languages with definitions and example sentences.”  It is still in Beta, but its focus on concepts and subject areas could be helpful.  For example, you can choose a language (Spanish) and then a subject area (Accounting) to view all indexed words in that field (1792 entries as of today.)


Submitted by Kay Due (Public Services): 

According to the site, the Citizendium is “a ‘citizens’ compendium of everything,’…an open wiki project aimed at creating an enormous, free, and reliable encyclopedia. The project, started by a founder of Wikipedia, aims to improve on the Wikipedia model by adding ‘gentle expert oversight’ and requiring contributors to use their real names. We have over 4500 articles and hundreds of contributors. But we will avoid calling the Citizendium an ‘encyclopedia’ until the project’s editors feel comfortable putting their reputations behind that description.”

Kay points out that this might be a new & improved wiki encyclopedia, combining public participation with expert guidance.  Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Memphis Loves Kids

Submitted by a community member: “Now in its third year, Memphis Loves Kids, ‘The Must-Have Web Site for Mid-South Moms & Dads’ is a comprehensive resource for parents and teachers in Shelby County. The site offers information on events, classes, parties, story times, reading resources, museums, local pet adoption, kids eat free nights, fun & free activities, volunteering and more. Sign up for weekly newsletter for family-friendly happenings in Shelby County.”

2007 Tennessee Veterans Guide

There are approximately one-half million veterans in Tennessee, and all U. S. military veterans are eligible for job referral and to training programs through the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  The Veterans Guide offers information on the resources and services available to veterans in Tennessee.  Included in the guide are lists of occupations in demand in Tennessee that use military skills and information about those occupations.   A very helpful resource for veterans living in Tennessee.

Dislocated Worker Services

For workers who have lost their jobs due to layoffs or closures, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development offers this web site to help provide information and links to services, such as job search and placement assistance, classroom and occupational skills training, and many more, to assist permanently laid-off workers.  There is also information about an Employer’s responsibilities, under the federal WARN law, in the event that the Employer is planning a closure or mass layoff.

Top 101 Cities Lists

Here you can find lots of lists ranking the top 101 cities, counties or zip codes on a variety of topics (population, health factors, economic indicators, social statistics, etc.). 

Pew Report on Libraries

The Pew Internet & American Life Project “produces reports that explore the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life.”  Recently, they have released their report on internet and libraries.  The above link is a press release that gives an overview of the report, or you can read the full report here: PDF of Report.

Tennessee’s Parenting Plan

The Tennessee Administrative Office of Courts offers this page to provide information on the Tennessee Parenting Plan law that was passed to help meet the needs of children of divorcing parents.  There is a link to the Statewide Permanent Parenting Plan forms that were developed by the Administrative Office of Courts to be used by each court within the state that has the power to approve parenting plans.  There is also information on the Child Support Guidelines and more useful information.

7 Things You Should Know About Lulu

The nonprofit association EDUCAUSE offers, on its web site, this article about Lulu,  a web-based self-publishing site.  Lulu provides online access to tools that a person can use to design, publish, and print original material and gives virtually any person the ability to publish a book or other creative work.  This EDUCAUSE article offers information on exactly what Lulu is, how it works, why it is signifigant, what its implications for learning and teaching are, and more.   Lulu could revolutionize self-publishing, and this article contains helpful information about this important site.

The Discovery Channel’s Dinosaur Guide

The Discovery Channel offers explorations of  animations of different dinosaurs as well as up-to-date information on dinosaurs.  There is a link to the Valley of the T. rex where extensive information on the Tyrannosaurus rex is found, and there are links to other sites where information on the animals that ruled the earth after the dinosaurs disappeared.  One particularly helpful and interesting feature is the Interactive Dinosaur Tour which allows the user to interactively explore 20 dinosaurs using the DinoViewer.  Another good dinosaur site to add to the list of many other good ones.

Tennessee Disability Pathfinder

From the website:  “The Tennessee Disability Pathfinder is a free, statewide information and referral service for persons with disabilities, family members, and advocates.  It is a joint project of the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Vanderbilt Kennedy University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.”  There is truly a wealth of information to help people with disabilities that is easily found through this pathfinder.

State of Tennessee Digital Photo Album

Found on the state of Tennessee website, this is the state’s digital photo album.  The album is divided up into categories, under which are many, many photographs.  There is a link “See your digital photo on,” which tells the user how to submit his or her own photo for inclusion on the website.

Selective Service System

Thanks to Laura Salehi (Bartlett) for suggesting this site!

Laura has pointed out that male students must register with the Selective Service before being accepted to a public college in Tennessee.  Also, males between the ages of 18 and 25 will be automatically registered when they renew their driver license at