Monday, September 15, 2014

The Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ)  maintains a database listing journalists killed worldwide since 1992.  Deaths are classified as "motive confirmed" if there is reasonable certainty the journalist was murdered in direct reprisal for his or her work, or killed in crossfire during combat, or killed while carrying out a dangerous assignment. If the motive is unclear, the case is labeled "unconfirmed" and investigation continues.

CPJ is an "an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal."

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Microfilm and Microfiche Cabinets Available for Free



Rice University’s Fondren Library is giving away a number of used bookshelves and microfilm and microfiche cabinets on a first come, first served basis. Institutions that take these free cabinets and/or shelves are responsible for moving, disassembling (if necessary), loading and transporting them. Cabinets and shelves must be picked up by the end of September and are provided as is.


Microfilm cabinets available (good condition):

10-12 Russ Bassett Gemtrac high density cabinets.
Tan. 90"H x 30W.
(Note: typically these are installed in pairs)
19 Russ Bassett Lower Vertical Cabinets.
11 drawers with five rows.
Dark Gray. 57.5”H x 23.75W 
9 JB Lower Vertical Cabinets.
12 Drawers with five rows.
Gray. 57.5"H x 23.75W 
2 Watson Lower Vertical Cabinets.
11 drawers with five rows.
Dark Gray. 57.5”H x 23.75W 
4 Russ Bassett Upper Overflow Drawers.
5 Drawers with Six Rows.
Dark Gray. 34"H x 25W 
18 JB Upper Overflow Drawers.
5 Drawers with 6 Rows.
Gray. 31.75"H x 23.75W 


Microfilm/ microfiche cabinets available (fair to poor condition):

We also are making available a number of microfilm and microfiche cabinets that are in fair to poor condition (e.g. stained with ink, scuffed up exteriors, mismatched drawers, loose handles, etc):
Recordak Microfilm Cabinet
  • 1 JB Overflow Upper Microfilm Drawers. 31.75"H x 23.75W
  • 3 Recordak Microfilm Cabinet (10 drawers/5 rows). 32.75"H x 23.5W
  • 5 Russ Bassett Overflow Upper Microfilm Drawers . 34"H x 25W
  • 29 Watson Overflow Upper Microfilm Drawers. 52"H x 23.5"W
  • 23 Watson Lower Microfilm Cabinets (11 Drawers/5 Rows). 57.5"H x 23.75W
  • 2 Microfiche Cabinets (no manufacturers’ label) 9 Drawers/2 Rows. 18.25H x 57.25W
  • 4 Microfiche Cabinets ((no manufacturers’ label) 7 Drawers/2 Rows. 18.25H x 51.5W
  • 3 General Firing Proof Company Microfiche Cabinets. 9 Drawers/2 Rows. 13"H x 41.75W



Bookshelves available (good condition):


95 Aetnastack double-facing shelving units. 84" H x 36" W x 16.5" D
13 double-facing gray shelving units. 36" H x 37.5" W x 12" D






Contact information: 
If you are interested in any of these cabinets or shelves, please contact:

Lisa Spiro, Executive Director of Digital Scholarship Services
lspiro@rice.edu
713-348-2480

Feel free to spread the word about the availability of the cabinets and shelves.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Online Access to Archives of Five Courts Discontinued

Due to changes in technology, online access to records of five courts through the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system has been discontinued. A notice on the PACER webpage states the locally developed legacy case management systems in the five courts listed below are now incompatible with the new PACER Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system;
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit - Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit - Cases filed prior to January 1, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit - Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - Cases filed prior to March 1, 2012
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California - Cases filed prior to May 1, 2001
A note says to contact the court directly to obtain copies of documents and dockets in the above cases. Contact information for each court is available on the Court Locator page.

A Washington Post blog article contains statements from Charles Hall, a spokesperson for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and Brian Carver, an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Information and co-founder of the nonprofit Free Law Project. The project along with Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy maintains RECAP, a crowd-sourced platform hosting free archives of documents obtained through the paid PACER system.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Copyright Publication

The U.S. Copyright Office has made available for viewing a public draft of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition, the first major revision in more than two decades. According to the announcement,
the draft presents more than 1200 pages of administrative practices and sets the stage for a number of long-term improvements in registration and recordation policy. It will remain in draft form for 120 days pending final review and implementation, taking effect on or around December 15, 2014.
More information and a link to download the draft is available at http://copyright.gov/comp3/.

For previous editions see The Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, First Edition (1973) and Second Edition (1984).

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Overview of Nonmarital Births

On July 30, 2014 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report by Carmen Solomon-Fears, Specialist in Social Policy, entitled Nonmarital Births: An Overview. CRS studied this topic because "although marriage and family life are generally considered private issues, they have become part of the public arena primarily because of public policies that help families affected by negative outcomes associated with nonmarital births to maintain a minimum level of economic sufficiency." The report "analyzes the trends in nonmarital childbearing, discusses some of the characteristics of unwed mothers, addresses some issues involving the fathers of children born outside of marriage, and offers some concluding remarks."

Africa Rising: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released an August 2014 working paper revealing "Africa will account for 80 percent of the projected 4 billion increase in the global population by 2100." The authors of the paper, Paulo Drummond, Vimal Thakoor, and Shu Yu, state that the increase in this working age population "creates a window of opportunity, which if properly harnessed, can translate into higher growth and yield a demographic dividend." To translate this opportunity into concrete economic growth, the right supportive policies fostering human capital accumulation and job creation must be in place.

For more information access working paper WP/14/143, Africa Rising: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dodd-Frank Act a Failure?

On July 21, 2014 the House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) released a committee staff report that concludes "the Dodd-Frank Act did not end 'too big to fail' as the law’s supporters claim, but actually had the opposite effect of further entrenching 'too big to fail' as official government policy. The report also examines the causes of the 2008 financial crisis and the bailouts to large financial institutions. Both a description of the report and a link to it are available from The Committee on Financial Services press release page.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Financial Literacy of Teenagers

OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) released the results of its 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) financial literacy assessment of 15 year old students from 18 countries including the United States. Results from the US include:
  • Students in the US ranked somewhere between 8 and 12 among the 18 countries represented.
  • More than one in six US students did not reach the baseline level of proficiency in financial literacy.
  • About one in ten students in the US is a top performer able to "take into account features of financial documents that are significant but unstated or not immediately evident, such as transaction costs, and can describe the potential outcomes of financial decisions."
  • In the US about 70% of advantaged students have a bank account compared to 32% of socio-economically disadvantaged students.