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Visit Thomas Jefferson

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Posted on 30th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


As the 4th of July gets closer, here is a way to drop by the Monticello home of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Wander through the grounds and rooms designed by the great thinker and patriot. Exhibits and Jefferson papers abound on this enlightened website. Biography

Freedom Tower New York City

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Posted on 29th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


Learn about the new design of the Freedom Tower here on the website of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. This website will track the development of the tower in coming months along with the ongoing recovery of one of the most famous neighborhoods on Earth. Engineering

Confucius says: “WuKong mobile phone interface”

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Posted on 29th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Mobile & Ubiquitous

The Feature article here picks the very knowledgeable brain of user-interface authority Aaron Marcus. Among other things the reader learns is that there really is a project underway to develop a phone interface along the ancient ideas of WuKong. The advice given in the article for regional appropriateness is extremely useful to today’s designers.
A longer-range question is even more interesting: Will device interfaces of the future retain regional guidelines or will one “best” design emerge that everyone everywhere likes and uses? My guess is there will be one design. I doubt that individual devices will retain community features, as the article describes, because the device itself lifts it owner into the global venue.

Fusion Basics

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Posted on 27th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


The basic website about fusion here is a sample of a subject website that is established, authoritative, kept up-to-date and serves as a key node in many study patterns across the internet and over time. It is a project of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, managed by Princeton University and funded by the US Department of Energy. Physics

Age Of Exploration Timeline

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Posted on 23rd June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


About 325 BC, a Greek mariner named Pytheas sailed from Massalia around Spain and north along the route in the illustration. The Mariner’s Museum has a timeline here that moves through history with links to major events of exploration. The history materials presented by the museum, like the map of Pythaes’ voyage, are interesting, significant and handsomely interfaced. History

Botany Photo Of The Day

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Posted on 21st June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


This gorgeous image of a Alangium platanifolium was posted by Daniel Mosquin as the Botany Photo Of The Day here. The website hosting the daily feature is the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research located in Vancouver, Canada. The website is an outstanding source for information and a “garden of science and beauty.” Botany.

Wow! A Webster’s Word Blog!

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Posted on 21st June 2005 by Judy Breck in Blogs, Wikis and Swarms

There is an RSS link in the sidebar here for Merriam Webster’s Word.com Newsletter. In the main panel next to the sidebar these super wordsmiths list the top 20 words looked up in May — and confess they cannot tell why inept rose from #100 in April to #10 in May. Word.com has an imaginative team that come up with original ways to spark interest and reinforce learning of words. With the RSS feed they capture the timeliness power of blogging to deliver their vocabulary gifts .

Understanding Genetics

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Posted on 20th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


The tutorials for understanding genetics here are top flight learning materials from GlaxoSmithKline. The company hosting the website researches the genetic basis of common diseases and other genetic subjects. The site also has a Genetics for Kids section here that has been reviewed previously on the Sampler.

Global Spam Proves A Point

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Posted on 20th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Mobile & Ubiquitous


Wow! Global spam. This may be old hat to you, but this morning I received my first spam in Asian characters. Its lead lines are posted in the above image. (I hope they don’t say anything pornographic :) )
The point they reinforce for me is that global delivery of information is no longer theoretical. It’s here! We should be working to deliver knowledge to learners with at least as much determination as the spammers exert to deliver their messages.

Lionel Hampton

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Posted on 19th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


The web tribute here is to Lionel Hampton, one of the great jazz muscians of the 20th century. It contains authentic biographical material and many wonderful photographs. The website is based at the University of Idaho where Hampton had a close relationship for many years in advancing music education. Biography

Dark Ages School Websites

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Posted on 18th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Schools We Have Now

The discussion here in the current Edutopia relegates school websites to the dark ages of the internet era. The article describes how school websites “are structured just like schools.” That was a failure corporate websites caught on to in the mid-1990s and fixed. They realized mirroring corporate structure in their website was an ego trip for corporate personnel, but did not function to move the corporate product into the market. It is very sad to see schools ten years behind the private sector. The product of schools is knowledge—its delivery to students. School websites should be patterned to achieve that.

Geological Time Machine

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Posted on 17th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


Go back in time by clicking through the ages of Earth history on the Web Geological Time Machine here.
The Jurassic image shown above is one of hundreds networked into the timeline by its host, the University of California, Berkeley’s online Museum of Paleontology. Visit the museum homepage here to enter this marvelous resource through other topics.

Chocolate Exhibition

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Posted on 16th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


Chicago’s great Field Museum showcases the delicious subject of chocolate here. These webpages give highlights from a travelling chocolate exhibit which has been touring museums since 2002. There are also excellent online pages with handsome presentations of chocolate “from seed to sweet.” Agriculture

APOD, The Very High Up Blog

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Posted on 16th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge


Yesterday’s Astronomy Picture of the Day [APOD] here ranked #8 in number of hits on Blogpulse’s Top Links list. This oldtimer website turns out to have been an avatar of the future! In 1995 when the two astrophysicists began their daily posting on APOD, the website could not have been called a “blog” because the word did not exist.
APOD, however it is named, does not reach for the skies only in terms of its astronomy content like the infrared image above. APOD is high up on on scales of quality, educational value and now blogs! The reason is the format of fresh daily postings that works so well for the internet, as the explosion of blogging has shown. In my forthcoming book I have pointed to the educational value of APOD as quoted in the following: (more…)

San Diego History

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Posted on 15th June 2005 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler


The San Diego Historical Society interfaces its information and artifacts handsomely here. The tower shown in the illustration is from the city’s first electric street lighting project (1886). As historical societies move their treasures from drawers and files to digital showcasing, the study of history becomes virtually accessible to all, hands on and connectible in fascinating new patterns. History