Archive | September 2008

Voters’ Rights

Thanks to Doris Dixon for alerting me to these two sites:

ACLU Voting Rights –

Voter Suppression Wiki –

With the election just weeks away, it’s a good time to get up to speed on voting rights and issues.  The first link offers a thorough examination of voters’ rights and election issues.  The second site, the Voter Suppression Wiki, is a nonpartisan site that explains the various tactics that can be used to attempt to suppress votes.  The site also offers a place for citizens to report incidents of vote suppression.


Doris Dixon pointed out that we don’t have a link to Thomas on the Highway, and she’s right.  We should!  THOMAS was created by the Library of Congress to make legislative information freely and easily available to the public.  You can use THOMAS to search for bills, resolutions, schedules, treaties, committee information and more. 

For the text of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, click here.

Pew Hispanic Center

“Founded in 2001, the Pew Hispanic Center is a nonpartisan research organization that seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos’ growing impact on the nation.”  The organization conducts studies and surveys on a number of topics; their work is broadly categorized within the following headings: Demography, Economics, Education, Identity, Immigration, Labor, Politics and Remittances.

Tainted Milk From China

These are two sites from the World Health Organization that offer information on the melamine-contaminated infant formula and other dairy products that have affected over 40,000 children in China.  Other people in other countries are beginning to be affected because China has exported these melamine-contaminated products to other countries.

The second site includes frequently answered questions on melamine.

According the information from the first WHO site, melamine was what tainted the pet food that killed so many pets in the United States in 2007.

Public Health Image Library

“Much of the information critical to the communication of public health messages is pictorial rather than text-based. Created by a Working Group at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the PHIL offers an organized, universal electronic gateway to CDC’s pictures. We welcome public health professionals, the media, laboratory scientists, educators, students, and the worldwide public to use this material for reference, teaching, presentation, and public health messages. The content is organized into hierarchical categories of people, places, and science, and is presented as single images, image sets, and multimedia files. “–From the web site.

Personal Emissions Calculator — Environmental Protection Agency

“Use this online calculator to obtain an estimate of your personal greenhouse gas emissions or your family’s greenhouse gas emissions. Then move on to the next section of the calculator to explore actions you and/or your family can take to lower your emissions while reducing your energy and waste disposal costs. For each action you choose to take, the calculator displays the amount of emissions you could avoid and how that amount relates to your total emissions.”–From the web site.

CREW’s Fourth Annual Most Corrupt Members of Congress Report

The Committee for Responsiblity and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit organization that promotes ethics and accountability in government regardless of an elected official’s party affiliation.

Awareness of self-asphyxiation in children

75 percent of children (ages 9-16) have heard of or even played the “choking game,”  according to this website.   But, what’s even worse, according to the site, 25 percent of the parents do not know about the game, including parents of some victims.  This website is hosted by the Dangerous Adolescent Behavior Foundation, and gives the games’ other slang names as well as warning signs if a child has been participating in this dangerous activity.  The site is to raise awareness about this tragedy before any other senseless death occur.

The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present

With the financial crisis facing the United States, and the possiblity of another intervention by the federal government, the Congressional Research Service has issued this report on the cost of past financial interventions by the government.

Drugs@FDA — Drug Approval Reports

“To find all Generic Approvals and Tentative Approvals, you can search Drugs@FDA, using the “Drug Approval Reports by Month” feature. On the Drug Approval Reports page, select:

  • “Original Abbreviated New Drug Approvals (ANDAs) by Month” for Generic Approvals
  • “Tentative Approvals by Month” for Tentative Approvals

New approvals and tentative approvals are added to Drugs@FDA Reports on a daily basis, so you can run the reports every day to find the latest approvals.” 

And this web site includes reports on all FDA-approved drug products.

Student Voting Rights

Thanks to Doris Dixon (Raleigh) for passing this along!

Recognizing that student voters, who are generally first-time voters, have significant issues when it comes to voting, the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law created this site to help student voters understand their rights.  Click on a state to find out more about residency requirements, absentee voting, ID requirements and more. 

Example: “In Michigan and Tennessee, first-time voters who register by mail are required to vote in person, making absentee voting impossible for students attending distant schools to vote in their hometowns.”

Just for laughs

This is a fun site for all of us that have that special, snarky library sense of humor!  Enjoy!

Helping American soldiers in time of need

I first saw this website in the Commercial Appeal yesterday- more specifically, in the advice column, Annie’s Mailbox.  The columnists referred their reader to this website when he wanted to donate his unused airline miles to American soldiers in need.

After researching the site, I discovered the group does more than that for our troops.  This is directly from the website:

“The Fisher House™ program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.”

Free Movies & TV on IMDB

Thanks to Christina Barnes (Sciences) for passing this along!

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is now offering free movies, shorts, and new & classic TV on their site.  So if you’ve been dying to watch “The Love Boat,” “24” or Some Like it Hot, here’s your chance!

Ready to Vote?

The last day to register to vote for the general election is October 6, 2008

If you need to check the status of your voter registration, that can be done at the TN Department of State’s Voter Information Lookup page:

For information about the upcoming election, visit the Shelby County Election Commission:

(Thanks to Darletha Matthews and Twan Jones for passing along the first link!)