Green is the new black

April 28, 2008

Green initiatives have been getting a lot of coverage lately, and recently NPR did a story on e-cycling, After the Techno Lust, There’s Always E-Cycling.  According to the story, “In 2005, the EPA estimated there was about 2.2 million tons of e-waste. And about 80 percent to 85 percent of that ended up in landfills,” with mercury, lead and cadmium winding up in the groundwater and the air. “Renee Montagne discusses various e-recycling efforts with technology expert Mario Armstrong.”  From the article you can link to a variety of e-cycling resources.

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Haven’t bought a 40″ Sony Bravia LCD TV?  No plans for a home-theatre system? Here’s a story from Yahoo! News on what you can do now to prepare your older, non-digital television for 2009 when stations will stop broadcasting analog signals:  How to convert to digital TV.  In short, you’ll need a converter box to receive a picture, and if you apply now, you can receive two $40 coupons to offset the cost of the $50 to $70 box.  The program is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.  Here’s the site to apply for the coupon http://www.dtv2009.gov.

For more on the topic, check out this article from Scientific American, U.S. Lacks Plan for Digital TV Switch: Study.

A new website, OpenCongress.org, consolidates information about congress, legislation, and the news and blogs that cover them.  The web site is the topic of the radio broadcast this week, Good Day Sunshine, on On the Media from NPR, in which the origins and functionalities of the web site are discussed by host Bob Garfield and the Sunlight Foundation’s technology advisor, Micah Sifry.  Here’s an excerpt:

If you’re wondering what your Congressperson has been up to lately, you can spend hours poring over hard-to-find government databases. Or you can visit a brand new website, where it’s all in one place…

They discuss Thomas, the government’s source for congressional information, and how OpenCongress.org, differs from it, including the addition of an RSS feed to track changes to a bill.  Another excellent story from NPR, and worth a look or listen.

Looking for information about New Jersey Statutes?  A wealth of information can be found in a number of places, starting with the web site of the New Jersey  Legislature.  You can find a link to the New Jersey Statutes, view or listen to live proceedings or archived proceedings of the Legislature back to the 2000-2001 Session, access the text of House and Senate Bills back to the 1996-1997 Session, or view the Chapter Laws the final version of the bill that became the law. 

If you want to pursue the history of a law to determine the intent of the legislature, the New Jersey State Library is the place to go.  Legislative histories back to 1998 are available online.  Histories prior to 1998 are available from the Law Library.

Reference Sites on the Web

January 25, 2007

This recent article by Law Librarian, Mary J. Koshollek, lists many ready-reference resources “divided into several categories, that are some of the best resources for providing factual, accurate, and up-to-date information on any topic.”  including dictionaries, directories, atlases, almanacs, statistics, encyclopedias, and more.  The article, Reference Sites on the Web, is published in the December 2006 issue of the Wisconsin Lawyer.  Thanks to Law Librarian Blog‘s Joe Hodnicki for reporting on that.

Revealing the Invisible Web

January 10, 2007

Looking to learn more about “The Invisible Web,” those web pages not retrieved by search engines?  The Ultimate Guide to the Invisible Web from the Online Education Database is worth a look.  Particularly interesting is the section entitled, 15 Invisible Web Search Tools, including:

 Thanks to Librarian in Black for reporting on this one.

Does your law library subscribe to HeinOnline?  If so, you have access to a fantastic resource for federal legislative histories.  HeinOnline’s Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories database is derived from Nancy Johnson’s print publication, Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories: A Bibliography of Government Documents, Periodical Articles, and Books, which is often the first step for researchers who are hoping to divine the legislative intent behind the language of a law.  In addition to providing you with the citations to sources of the legislative history for public laws however, HeinOnline provides links to the full text of the congressional documents, legal periodicals, treatises and looseleaf services which are often seen as the holy grail for many a researcher.  What a useful resource.