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December 2005 - News Archive
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The Science Behind Hurricane Katrina (From NOVA)

NOAA Photo

"Unlike many news shows on Katrina, this program focuses in depth on the factors that made New Orleans so vulnerable."

"Storm That Drowned a City is NOVA's definitive investigation into the science of Hurricane Katrina, combining a penetrating analysis of what went wrong with a dramatic, minute-by-minute unfolding of events told through eyewitness testimony. What made this storm so deadly? Will powerful hurricanes like Katrina strike more often? How accurately did scientists predict its impact, and why did the levees protecting New Orleans fail?"

Although the PBS show has already aired, the entire broadcast is available online, or you can purchase the video/dvd.

The educational site also includes the following:

See also: Satellite Imagery: Hurricane Katrina's Wake · Hurricanes Katrina & Rita Web Archive

Added 12/6/05

Science Looks at The Big Questions

125 Questions. What Don't We Know?

"Science Magazine and its online companion sites celebrate the journal's 125th anniversary with a look forward - at the most compelling puzzles and questions facing scientists today. A special, free news feature in Science explores 125 big questions that face scientific inquiry over the next quarter-century"

What Don't We Know? - Introduction to Special Issue

Questions include:

See also:Online Forum - Your Comments · Editorial / 125th Anniversary Announcement

Added 12/13/05

Wikipedia vs. Britannica - Nature Compares

** March 2006 - A new study by Brittanica discounts the Nature study below - see:

Nature's Response

See also: Errors in the Encyclopadia Britannica that have been corrected in Wikipedia

"Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries, a Nature investigation finds."

Wikipedia is a highly popular, free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. One benefit of Wikipedia is how quickly it can be updated with new/updated facts (this also means that incorrect data can be posted quickly as well). Critics worry that unmoderated content may be flawed and incorrect data may unfortunately spread as factual information. Wikipedia itself is concerned as noted in their General Disclaimer. Wikipedia was recently put to the test for scientific accuracy against the illustrious Britannica in Nature magazine's:

"Internet encyclopaedias go head to head"

The Peer Review - encyclopedic entries chosen for comparison and their results

* Note that Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, doesn't recommend that anyone cite Wikipedia as a trusted source for factual information, and mentions in an NPR interview that most web resources should be "taken with a grain of salt." Citing Wikipedia: "As with any source, especially those of unknown authorship, you should be wary and independently verify the accuracy of Wikipedia information if possible"

See also: How much do you trust Wikipedia?

Added 12/20/05

Chmoogle - Chemistry Search Engine


Chmoogle ( is a free open-access chemistry search engine, launched in November 2005. Search for chemical structures either by drawing the structure or entering it as a SMILES. It supports JME, ChemSketch, ChemDraw and ISISDraw molecule editors. Search for sub-structures or exact molecules.

"Chmoogle's mission is to discover, curate and index all of the public chemical information in the world, and make it available to the public for free. Chmoogle distinguishes itself by extremely fast searches, an appealing presentation of results, high-quality chemical drawings, and powerful advanced search capabilities like persistent hitlists and hitlist logic operations."

More Information:

Added 12/28/05

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