You can ask the Library of Congress. The LOC Everyday Mysteries service has a page devoted to the question about the strongest human muscle, explaining for starters that there is no one answer because there are three different ways to measure strength. That said, three different types of muscles are described for the human body: cardiac, smooth, and skeletal.
With lots of illustrations, the question about the strength of muscles in the human body is answered in interesting detail, in an excellent article packed with information and insight. At the end there are links to related websites chosen by the librarians, and a list they have selected for further reading.
Trusting the Library of Congress to authenticate information
The Everyday Mysteries service of the Library of Congress is an example of an internet source that can be fully trusted for student research. Not only are essays and illustrations provided. The librarian recommended web sites expand into a network of authenticated knowledge about human muscles — and for the many other subjects of the Everyday Mysteries.
Chulym; Siberia, less than 10 speakers Listen to mp3 | Translation: “Where are you going; where are you from; I’ve never seen such stupid people.”
The internet is rescuing languages from oblivion.
GoldenSwamp.com is about the global emergence of what is known by humankind from the working of network laws within the chaos of the internet. A clear example of this golden mechanism of emergence is the preservation of languages. In the days, just a couple of decades ago, when language media were limited to print and tape, languages were dying off with at best fragile ways to remember them.
That has changed. Right now, with one click, you can listen to Chulym, a language now only spoken by ten living people. The mp3 file you will hear is not from a magnetic tape that must be preserved in a physical vault. It is sequences of zeroes and ones in the digital cloud, where it can network with Siberians, their children, scholars, historians, and others.
After describing a considerable flap that has been going on among neuroscientists about peer review sparked by the early release of a Perspectives article and the phrase “voodoo correlations” bouncing around online, Seed Magazine quotes Perspectives founding editor Ed Diener: “There are some very important questions that this raises for science. Most important, how can we guarantee quality in what is sent around?
“The internet is full of wonderful information — but it is also full of disinformation and errors. How can readers know whether what they are reading is solid information?”
The Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Lectures in Accounting, beginning 1973-74 in the Newman Library Digital Collections are a service of Baruch College. Baruch is a major center of thought and teaching in business fields of finance, accounting, and other topics where understanding is urgent today.
The Saxe Lectures are proof of the durability of small OER nodes. A full ten years ago, in 1999, I reviewed this early OER offering in the Top 8 newsletter I wrote for HomeworkCentral.com. What I wrote then included this about Saxe’s devotion to teaching, which endures in digits today: “We learn in these pages about Emanuel Saxe’s long and distinguished career as a teacher and Dean of Baruch’s School of Business in Manhattan. His sincere concern for his students and the college led to the School of Business being referred to informally as “Saxe’s 23rd Street”. Now the scholarship he inspired travels the information highway.”
A speck of erudition beckons learners:
This small art online node is a mere speck in the grand scheme of the internet. Yet the node can add knowledge and excellence to many, many patterns of other links. This is an ideal use in creating learning materials of the network nature of the internet. Great drawings are lifted from books published in a time of excellence of architectural rendering. Basic facts about classical column capitals and the dome are described with the illustrations. The material set loose as a URL in the open internet. A young student, an erudite professor, a working architect, a classical scholar – they all, and more, can benefit from this speck of knowledge.
Seen for the first time in this video, grizzly bears show fancy footwork as they try to kick dead salmon within reach, without getting their ears wet. Here is a lively bit of direct input from working scientists that would make classroom studies more bearable.
The brilliant folks at Maya have created this video that explains what information is. The Golden Swamp – the internet – is a new habitat that information has been flooding into for the past couple of decades. We do not understand very well yet the life of information within the swamp. I think a fundamental fact about the internet will turn out to be this: information is a happy camper in the internet because, like the internet, information is a network.
As you will see in the video, confusing information with cups and colors is not recognizing what the stuff really is. The narrator shows how he has to give the information of his color choice for us to know. The internet has vast amounts of information to give – which is a key to the future of learning.
This video illustrating blood clotting in a wound is from the new online Medpedia. The welcome page explains that Medpedia “is applying a new collaborative model to the collection, sharing and advancement of medical knowledge that, over time, will produce the world’s most comprehensive resource.” Having watched new learning content come online since 1997, I can claim some authority when I say this is the right way to do a very important thing that will profoundly benefit humankind! Wow! By networking medical knowledge among all the medical experts, this resource will be superior, comprehensive, and self-vetting. Again, wow!
The following is from the Wired Campus announcement today: Collaborative Online Medical Encyclopedia Goes Live
Medpedia, a new online medical encyclopedia relying on user-generated content from anyone with an M.D. or a Ph.D. in a biomedical field, officially became available today. The venture, which has the backing of numerous leading medical schools, was explored in an earlier Chronicle article that takes a detailed look at issues for contributors and users of the site. –David Shieh
New Mobile Learning Content Community Resource Available mLearnopedia.com partners with TechEmpower to provide information source for mobile learning
Greenville, WI February 16, 2009: With an increasingly mobile society and the need for instant information for employees and students everywhere all the time, mobile learning and mobile performance support are growing at a rapid pace. Ambient Insight recently reported that the US market for Mobile Learning product and services is growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.7%.
To provide access to the latest news and best practices a new content community has been created at http://cc.mlearnopedia.com. Content is aggregated from sites such as Cell Phones in Learning, GoldenSwamp, mLearning is Good, mLearning World, mLearnopedia, moblearn, Mobile Commons, and MobileDot. “The mlearnopedia project is a terrific idea at the right time! I look forward to being part of it,” states Judy Breck from Golden Swamp. Ben Bonnet from mLearning is Good commented “The cc.mlearnopedia.com community has already benefited me by providing exposure to content I normally would have missed.” The aggregation technology, called BrowseMyStuff, comes from Tony Karrer of TechEmpower with the support of Judy Brown from mLearnopedia.com.
The interview by We_Magazine posted in the left sidebar of this blog was done by Ulrike Reinhard. She is organizing a trip to Benin to bring computers to the children in the picture. This is not a large project, but it is a very direct one. Click on the picture of the kids, or HERE, to find out more.
The open internet gives education a new place from which to access the knowledge it teaches. Organization of that knowledge that mimics nature’s network laws will keep us from laboring in vain. Supporting evidence is found in one of the most popular listings this morning on delicious: The 15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry, which begins:
“Those who are inspired by a model other than Nature, a mistress above all masters, are laboring in vain. – Leonardo Da Vinci . Biomimicry – The practice of developing sustainable human technologies inspired by nature. Sometimes called Biomimetics or Bionics, it’s basically biologically inspired engineering.”
My personal favorite, of the 15 cases, is Lotus Effect Hydrophobia.
They call it “superhydrophobicity,” but it’s really a biomimetic application of what is known as the Lotus Effect. The surface of lotus leaves are bumpy, and this causes water to bead as well as to pick up surface contaminates in the process. The water rolls off, taking the contaminates with it. Researchers have developed ways to chemically treat the surface of plastics and metal to evoke the same effect. Applications are nearly endless, and not just making windshield wipers and car wax jobs obsolete. Lots of researchers are working on it, and General Electric’s Global Research Center is busy developing coatings for commercial application right now.
This photo from a series Macs through the ages at Silicon.com is the first laptop produced by Apple in its PowerBook 100 series. This colorful seven pounder does not look all that different from today’s laptop, yet this picture was taken in 1991, nearly 20 years ago! The biggest tech difference between then and now is today’s portable computers are usually use unplugged; they are wireless.
It is common practice to refer in education circles to using computers as using technology. But that nomenclature refers accurately only to the now hardly novel machines and their infrastructure.
In 1991 the internet was small, the World Wide Web was one year old, and browsers were still on the drawing boards. In the 1990s, content poured into the internet, including bountiful academic knowledge resources. In 1998 Google came online to replace overloaded indexes and simple keyword search engines with a usage weighted search engine.
Those of us who have spent a lot of time in the past couple of decades working with a machine like the one in our picture will not have noticed a lot going on with the machine itself. For a while it seemed important for the machine to be able hold a lot of content, but when the internet came along content and the action moved online. The cognitive resources of education moved into what I like to call the golden swamp – the internet.
Harnessing the internet for education is not about technology. Instead, organizing the internet cognitively is the challenge. Educators need to focus on optimizing the best knowledge resources so that they are findable. Subjects need to be tagged and interlinked. The gold in the swamp needs to be found, organized, and used.
The image above is taken from the Vestergaard Frandsen webpage about their product LifeStraw® . The page explains: “Half of the world’s poor suffer from waterborne disease, and nearly 6,000 people – mainly children – die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water. LifeStraw® water purifiers have been developed as a practical way of preventing disease and saving lives, as well as achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water by the year 2015.”
I have added the mobile device in a child’s hands. At least half the world’s children suffer from ignorance. Mobiles are a practical way of preventing ignorance.
The LifeStraw® story carries a very important lesson for those who would prevent ignorance: Vestergaard Frandsen makes a profit by providing the individual water purifiers, and several other refugee products. There is money to be made by giving people what they need to transform from refugee to productive citizen. The potential for making the money and the transformations is huge.