Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sources: Science!

Here's a list of sources I'm using to find research papers. Many of them support searching by author or keyword, so once you find one article on point, you can use its attributes to find others. Unfortunately many of them reveal abstracts only and require you to purchase full texts (but I suppose that's how they pay for the servers).
(This is not one of my amazingly witting and wittily amazing posts; it's just something I need to keep track of for myself and don't mind sharing. Hey, it's a scrapbook!)

General Purpose
  • ProQuest via KCLS: http://www.kcls.org/  (click on "Databases"). ProQuest via KCLS requires a KCLS account, which is free to King County (WA) residents. It is likely that libraries in other counties have similar arrangements. I like ProQuest because you can often get the full text of the article, not just the abstract, although you do have to affirmative select out the non-scholarly stuff.
  • RAND Corporation: http://www.rand.org/. RAND has ponderworthy stuff within its areas of interest, and you can often get the full text for free.


Health & Medicine



Sources I haven't used as much

Child Trends DataBank http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/

Penn State Population Research Institute:

  • ABI/INFORM by ProQuest
  • Cabell Directory
  • Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA)
  • Computer Science Bibliography (DBLP)
  • Computer Literature Index (CLI)
  • DEST Register of Refereed Journals
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • Documents in Computing and Information Science(DoCIS)
  • Intute: Science, Engineering & Technology
  • J-Gate: Informatics
  • The International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)
  • The Index of Information Systems Journals
  • Ulrich Periodical Directory

About Writing:


Favorite T-Shirt Goes to Another Life

What can you say about a T-Shirt that died?
It was a green T, cotton, blazoned with "Save St. Edward State Park", and gifted to me by a friend from Citizens for St Edward Park (C4SEP) at my high school reunion there. St Ed's was my high school, and now it's a park that inhabits one of the last chunks of forestland on the shores of Lake Washington.
Keeping it as unspoiled as possible while open for public use is a continuing challenge since everyone wants a piece of it: a private college wants to expand deeper into it, people who play field sports want more fields, and the main building is pretty badly out-of-code - needing a lot of money to bring into compliance with today's safety codes, and there's just not money to do it. C4SEP is a classic local citizen action group, doing what it can to help the local community control its destiny.
I wore the shirt proudly, and with it referred several citizens to the Park that it advertized. I enjoyed the comfort of its thick cotton and the joy of the gift. BUT: all things come to an end. When not merely worn spots but actual holes started appearing in the shirt, I had to think of its next place in the cycle of existence.

Rather than just trash it, I converted it to useful rags. Old t-shirts make great rags for cleaning house or car, and you can always use more! Be sure to take advantage of the existing hems when you cut them up; you can leave the neckhole intact if you like to hang a rag on a doorknob. I suppose you could take the effort to hem the raggedy edges but I never bother; these are for cleaning, not for show.

I much prefer rags to paper towels or those expensive wipes presoaked in a cleaning chemical. I trust my rags and the simple chemicals I clean with; I'm not sure what's in the presoaked wipes nor the likelihood that their formulation may change on a whim; they can be no better at sanitizing than plain white vinegar, ammonia or alcohol. Also, I have a better use for the money I save! And when I'm done, my rags are ready for re-use with a quick soak in clean water and a hanging in the sun, instead of requiring a trip to the store.

I'm sure that's the way my C4SEP T-shirt would have wanted it!

I got thinking about this when I read ReduceFootprint's latest Change the World Wednesday Challenge:
Okay ... ready for a new challenge? This week's challenge was suggested by our friend Ange of Signed by Ange. It's something that many people don't think twice about but ... it generates a lot of waste. Here it is:

This week, stop using throw away wipes and cloths (baby wipes, single use window cleaner sheets, duster sheets, etc.).

Or ...

If you never use these kinds of products, please write a post about what you use instead."
How about you? Can you take the challenge (even if it means saving a little money?)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Planted This Weekend

The Coral Bark Maple we'd been given in December went into the ground this weekend.coral bark maple It seemed much relieved; they say on the internet that it would be happy as a container plant but the tips of the shoots were turning black, and that can't be a good sign.

We put it in the southeast corner of the lot, where it'll get shade from the overgrown laurels part of the day, and will provide a colorful background for whateverelse we put in the backyard.

I also put into the ground some of the sunflower starts from a while back. They gotten lost in the move and surfaced in the process of planting the coralbark (...there was a lot of re-arranging and putting-away needed to clear out that corner.)

Another of the tomato starts went into a pot, giving us three now growing. Our plans to grow huge lots from seeds fell to the practicalities of moving, but we'll be better organized next year since we won't be moving!