The Link: Winter Doldrums

Is the winter weather getting to you? If so, this month’s newsletter has some ideas about beating the “winter blues.” This month we have some links for recipes that give food ideas for a warm and fuzzy feeling while still eating healthy. Exercise and a little light therapy will also help lift the spirits along with some silliness with the crazy holidays of January that can entertain you.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Winter Foods

Seasonal Recipes from Epicurious (find it on the ipl2)

Epicurious is a website that compiles recipes and categorizes them by type of dish, holiday recipes, and seasonal. This page for winter recipes includes recipes like roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, and butternut squash soup. Each recipe is user-rated based on “would make it again.”

Season Cooking – Winter (find it on the ipl2) is another website that collects recipes, meal planners, nutrition information for each recipe, and detailed user reviews. The site is maintained by a community of home cooks. Each page of recipes can be sorted by user ratings or title of recipe. This seasonal cooking page has recipes for foods like pumpkin pie, spice cakes, and cranberry chutney.

NEW! Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

This website is a blog maintained by a couple who lives a gluten-free lifestyle. They have also written a cookbook, which The New York Times listed as one of the top of 2010. This article is a collection of winter recipes that are gluten-free and delicious, including a roasted vegetable salad, snickerdoodles, and zucchini carapaccio.

Nontraditional Therapies

Light Therapy (find it on the ipl2)

A detailed description of how light therapy works, risks involved, and expected results on the Mayo Clinic website.  This is the official site of the Mayo Clinic whose mission is to provide “useful and up-to-date information and tools that reflect the expertise and standard of excellence of Mayo Clinic”.

Acupuncture Today: The Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Classical Points for a Contemporary Condition (find it on the ipl2)

Acupuncture Today is a monthly newspaper that has served the acupuncture community since 2000.  It has articles and information about the ancient science of acupuncture.  This article outlines specifics about the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but also gives some general guidelines for staying healthy in the winter.

How Stuff Works: Is there a link between exercise and happiness? (find it on the ipl2)

HowStuffWorks is the website of Discovery Communications, and “is the award-winning source of credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works.”  This article discusses the connection between exercise and physical health, and has links to other sites where their information comes from.

Lift Your Spirits

NEW! January, 2013 Bizarre and Unique Holidays

Have fun with that fruitcake you received for Christmas on “Fruitcake Toss Day” (January 2nd). This and other special days are explained on this website which tells a lot more about every holiday you can imagine. So check it out and read about “Bean Day,” “Blame Someone Else Day,” “National Hugging Day,” or “National Blonde Brownie” or National Popcorn” Days. These special days will lift your spirits during the month of January.

NEW! Bizarre, Crazy, Silly, Unknown Holidays & Observances

For January 2013, a list of special month names for January, such as National Polka Month or National Soup Month, is given followed by special week names (No Name Calling Week) and special day names, such as National Chocolate-Covered Cherry Day and Bubble Bath Day. One day that always comes up in January that is sure to make you feel better is National Hugging Day. Links are provided for many of the special events to give you more information.

KinderArt® January Crafts & Special Days (find it on the ipl2)

This website is sponsored by KinderArt which was created to offer art lesson plans and activity ideas to education. Click on “Seasons” and select a month to find the special days in that month with information about planned activities to help celebrate that special day. For January, each special day can have at least one special craft activity to learn more about that day.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!


The Link: Safety During the Holidays

December brings increased travel, holiday gatherings, decorating and gift giving.  These things can  increase the chance of injuries.  All of us at the ipl2 want to keep all of our readers safe, happy, and healthy! Here are some resources that will help!

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Safety on the roads

NEW! AAA Exchange: Roadway Safety

AAA was established in 1902 by a group of auto clubs with the initial purpose to promote the establishment of safe roads. Today AAA is still a non-profit organization of motor clubs that serves more than 51 million members through lobbying and education programs to support roadway safety. Their “Exchange” website contains articles, guidelines, tips, and other materials on many of the issues that surround driving—including speeding, drunk driving, drowsy driving, and general safety tips.

NEW! Global Road Safety Partnership

The Global Road Safety Partnership is hosted by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and is “dedicated to the sustainable reduction of road-crash death and injury in low- and middle-income countries, which suffer 90 per cent of the 1.3 million annual deaths and 50 million serious injuries that arise from road crashes.”

Governors Highway Safety Association: Cell Phone and Texting Laws (find it on the ipl2)

The Governors Highway Safety Association is a non-profit group “representing the state and territorial highway safety offices that implement programs to address behavioral highway safety issues”. This page has state by state distracted driving laws, ways to avoid distraction, research on cell phone use, and more.

US Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety (find it on the ipl2)

The Office of Safety at the Department of Transportation “works to reduce the number of crashes on U.S. roadways and the severity of crash impacts”. They work with advocacy groups, State and local highway agencies, and other groups to identify safety needs, and to provide highway user safety awareness and education programs.

Safety in the kitchen

Holiday Food Safety Kit (find it on the ipl2)

Sponsored by the Partnership for Food Safety Education, the Holiday Food Safety Kit includes shopping lists, recipes, and information about safe shopping, preparation, and storage of food especially during the holidays and fun activities for youth.

Keeping the Littlest Holiday Cook Safe (find it on the ipl2)

Underwriters Laboratories (UL), “an independent product safety certification organization,” presents this article with advice on how to make sure your holiday kitchen is a safe environment for youth to assist in, from paying attention to checking for hot surfaces.

Safety Tips: Four Easy Steps (find it on the ipl2)

Washing all foods, using separate cutting boards for meats and veggies, using a food thermometer to ensure doneness of meats, and refrigerating leftovers are four easy steps to make sure that your holiday meals are safe to enjoy without worrying about bacteria and food poisoning. This site, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has articles and more information about each of those four steps, as well as fun activities for youth who want to help in the kitchen.

Top 10 Holiday Food Safety Tips (find it on the ipl2)

“It takes skill, timing and organization to pull off a healthy holiday meal with all the dishes that need to be kept at proper temperature…” Written by the director of nutrition for WebMD, this article contains tips from experts about how they make sure the holiday food they serve is safe to eat. It also has advice from food safety experts.

Safety when gift-giving

Safe Holiday Gifts (find it on the ipl2)

This webpage offers a list of fun and healthy holiday gifts for all kids, young and old. There is a list of “health holiday gifts” for adults. It also includes toy safety tips from the nonprofit group Safe Kids Worldwide to suggest safe gifts for children to help celebrate the major holidays during the month of December. It also has a list of ideas for safe and creative gifts for children. This website is sponsored by WebMD.

FTC Consumer Information (find it on the ipl2)

During the holiday season, consumers are shopping more online than ever before. This website is part of the Federal Trade Commission which discusses ways to avoid fraud when shopping, to save money, to understand warranties, and other information to protect yourself when shopping for the holidays whether online or in person.

NEW! Winter Holiday Gift-Giving and Decoration Safety Guide

In this online article, “the American Red Cross in Greater New York reminds parents to use caution when choosing gifts and decking the halls.” Consumers are encouraged to make safety a top priority this holiday season and “Think before you buy,” “Play it safe” when buying for children, and using common sense when purchasing things for the holiday, whether food or decorations, in “Deck the halls.”

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!


The Link: November is National American Indian Heritage Month

In 1986 Congress passed a law asking President Reagan to declare the last week in November “American Indian Week”.  In 1990, they decided to honor the people and tribes who were the original inhabitants of this land by proclaiming the entire month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month.  The practice has continued since then, and the designated celebration encourages all Americans to learn more about the indigenous people and culture of the United States.  Here is a group of resources gathered by the ipl2 to help everyone honor the intention and find out something new or interesting about Native American literature, art, and history.

Did you ever wonder?

Q: What is the correct terminology: American Indian, Indian, Native American, or Native?

A:  All of these terms are acceptable. The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. In the United States, Native American has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms American Indian or indigenous American are preferred by many Native people. (Answer from the National Museum of the American Indian)

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Find a Great Book

Fiction or non-fiction, adult or youth, classic or contemporary—there is a great book out there to meet anyone’s criteria.  Browse through a number of sites dedicated to Native American literature and writings of all forms and formats.

Special Collection: Native American Authors (find it on the ipl2)

The ipl2 has a special collection entitled Native American Authors that includes alphabetical lists of authors, titles and tribes.  The entries contain biographical information, bibliographies of the writers, and links to other resources including interviews, and tribal websites.  Within this collection there is also a thank you page that mentions the individuals who helped put this resource together, and a list of other valuable websites that contains many books and authors.  We recommend that you visit that list for more great ideas: .

WWW Virtual Library – American Indians – Index of Native American Book Resources on the Internet (find it on the ipl2)

This is a large index of sites about native authors, books, and publishing houses.  Besides the extensive alphabetical author listing, the site contains links to book reviews, books available online, journals, libraries, and other valuable resources.  The home page of this site has a broad selection of Native American information from health and education to organizations and non-profit listings.

Native Languages of the Americas: Books on American Indian History and Culture (find it on the ipl2) 

This website seeks to preserve the history and survival of the hundreds of Native American languages through the connective power of the internet.  The Books page has a small listing of significant books about Native Americans history and culture, plus a unique listing by tribe association.

National Education Association: Read Across America-Native American Booklist (find it on the ipl2)

Read Across America is an annual event sponsored by the NEA to motivate children to read.  This list was created as a resource to support parents and teachers looking to participate in the program.  Although it is primarily a children’s list, many of the books on the Grade 9+ section would certainly be enjoyable for any adult.

Discover the Beauty

Thousands of years of Native art work—from petroglyphs to contemporary pieces—can be discovered and enjoyed by exploring the following websites.

NEW! Native Art Network

The Native Art Network is a privately-owned “for profit” company started by two Native Americans to showcase Native American art. This website has a directory to Native American artists who have registered with their site, and each artist’s page contains pictures of their work (as the artists provide pictures) and information about the artist.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Art of the Native Americans (find it on the ipl2)

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts housed The Thaw Collection of American Indian Art from October 2010 through January 2011. Though the collection is no longer physically housed at the MIA, information about and pictures of the collection are still available at this site.

Native People Magazine (find it on the ipl2)
Native Peoples Magazine is a quarterly journal that features articles about the arts and cultures of Native Americans.  They seek to respect and examine Native art’s past, but also explore the exciting world of modern Native works.  This site is also a valuable source of events and other information.

Learn some History

There are many ways to learn the history of a people and their culture—through their art and objects, exploring their environment, reading a book, or exploring a site full of interesting facts.  The following resources represent some fascinating and in-depth looks at Native American history and civilization.

National Museum of the American Indian (find it on the ipl2)

This museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and cares for one of the most expansive collections of Native American objects, photographs and media that cover the entire North American and South American continents. Interested in the prehistory of the Western Hemisphere and its people? Want to understand the native culture when the white man arrived? The collections from this museum will help you understand this part of Native America. Good site for K-12 students.

National Park Service – History and Culture (find it on the ipl2)

Want to go somewhere and see how the ancient American Indians lived? The National Park Services is celebrating National American Indian Heritage Month with links to the Ocmulgee mounds which has been continuously inhabited for the 17,000 years. Links are available to information about other Native American places, historical sites, stories and people to help celebrate the history and heritage of the Native American peoples.

Native American Facts for Kids (find it on the ipl2)

This website is designed to provide simple online information about American Indians in an easy-to-read question and answer format. This site has Native American tribes listed in alphabetical order to link to more information about each tribe. Older students are encouraged to look through American Indian tribes to find more information about language and culture of Native American tribes.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!


The Link: It’s a celebration! Smiles, Goblins, Ghouls and More

Join ipl2 in tracking down the roots of Halloween and some of its traditions. Then prepare to celebrate as the ipl2 provides tips for designing your costume and having a monster of a party. If the sites full of ghosts and ghouls become too spooky, you’ll discover there are a number of other holidays you can celebrate in October. From harvest festivals to days of thankfulness, there is something for everyone.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Halloween ~ History and Traditions

The contemporary celebration of Halloween has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain when the dead were thought to mingle with the living. Many traditions associated with this festival, such as the setting out of food, dressing in costumes, and carrying hallowed out turnips with burning embers all evolved into our modern day Halloween. As for America’s contribution to this evolving holiday, it was replacing turnips with pumpkins, which Irish immigrants found more plentiful in North America. Check out the sites below to discover Halloween history and how to have the best jack-o-lantern on the block.

How Halloween Works (find it on the ipl2

This site provides background information about where Halloween customs and traditions come from. Topics include Celtic roots (Samhain) and Christian roots (All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day), trick-or-treating, jack-o’-lanterns, bobbing for apples, and costumes. Also includes links to related material on how to carve a pumpkin, how to throw a Halloween party, how light sticks work, and more. From: HowStuffWorks.

The History of Halloween (find it on the ipl2)

The History Channel presents a series of video clips tracing the history of Halloween from its origins in ancient times to modern trick-or-treat. Other video clips concern vampires, ghosts, jack-o’-lanterns, and the fear instinct.

Halloween: The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows (find it on the ipl2)

An essay about the historical origins of Halloween – the “biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year.” Also includes a brief bibliography. From: the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

Reverent Remembrance: Honoring the Dead (find it on the ipl2)

Companion to an exhibit that “explore[s] the ancient Celtic roots of Halloween, the colorful Mexican Day of the Dead, mummification and other death rituals in ancient Egypt, Indonesian cliff burials, and modern American memorials, including those following the 9/11 tragedy.” The site includes descriptions of activities and beliefs, exhibit handouts, and links to related sites. From: the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Pumpkin Carving 101 (find it on the ipl2)

Lots of information on this Halloween tradition, including history, selecting pumpkins to use as jack-o’-lanterns, tools, traditional carving and carving with stencils, lighting methods, extending the life of the pumpkin, photographing, burial, and caring for a pumpkin patch. From: Halloween Online.

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Templates (find it on the ipl2)

Tips and instructions for jack-o-lantern carving and pumpkin selection. Features material on how to carve a fancy pumpkin, paint a pumpkin, decorate a pumpkin with flowers or vegetables, and printable pumpkin carving patterns and monogram templates.

Halloween ~ Let’s Party!

From the best roasted pumpkin seeds to the most outrageous costume on the block, these sites will help you prepare for Fright Night. Get great party ideas, spooky sounds to scare your friends and neighbors, and plenty of recipes for good eats to fill up your hungry ghouls. The Link has your Halloween celebration covered.

Halloween Online (find it on the ipl2)

Pumpkins, bats, and spider webs meet and “creep” you at this indispensable Halloween site. It’s been around a long time, since 1994. Everything Halloween in one click—costumes, Halloween parties, pumpkin carving, articles and more. Especially useful are the Halloween decoration tips and Halloween party resources.

Costume Idea Zone (find it on the ipl2)

Are you the creative type? Do you start planning your Halloween costume in May or June? Then, the Costume Idea Zone is the place for you. Offbeat, unusual and just downright clever ideas will set you on the path to winning a best costume contest on Halloween night.

Yahoo! Halloween (find it on the ipl2)

This directory of Halloween websites will leave you howling with joy. One-stop shopping for parties, costumes, invitations, fun sites for kids to explore, and much more. You can search exactly what you need or browse the 25 categories.

Allrecipes: Halloween (find it on the ipl2)

Think Allrecipes is only for food? Think again! This excellent site features articles on many major holidays, including Halloween. Here you’ll find not only great themed party foods (Witches’ Fingers, anyone?) but advice on staging parties and Halloween planning.

NEW! Activity Village: Halloween for Kids

Activity Village features loads of excellent activities for young children and their parents. Crafts, costumes, party games, and coloring pages are among the treats (no tricks!) you’ll find on this site. The Halloween party games page even has how-to videos for making unique and fun Halloween games.

October: Not just for Halloween!

We’re ready for Halloween, but did you know the United States is not the only country that celebrates special events in October? We’ve all heard of Oktoberfest, but what about World Smiley Day, and Diwali? Take a trip around the world with ipl2 and The Link as we view celebrations around the world.

Oktoberfest (find it on the ipl2)

In English or German. This site has everything you ever wanted to know about Oktoberfest in Munich. Includes a gallery of pictures. You can even book your hotel to become a part of this years Oktoberfest.

Polish-American Heritage Month (find it on the ipl2)

Activity ideas and resources for celebrating Polish-American Heritage Month in October, including events to mark the death of American Revolutionary War hero General Casimir Pulaski (October 15). Includes a “tracing your heritage” worksheet, guidelines for sponsoring an essay or coloring contest, posters, and related material. From the Polish American Heritage Center in Philadelphia.

NEW! World Smile Day

Always October 7th World Smile Day celebrates the ever popular yellow smiley. It also offers us an opportunity to do an act of kindness. According to the World Smile Day website, a proclamation of this day was made by the U.S. Congress. Now that should put a smiley on your face. The intent of World Smile Day is to do an act of kindness, or help one person to smile. Why not do both!?

NEW! Cirio de Nazare, Brazil

The largest festival on the River Amazon, not to mention Brazil’s biggest hoedown after the Rio Carnival, Círio de Nazaré revolves around a small statue of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré (Our Lady of Nazareth). Since 1793, pilgrims have come from all over Brazil to honour the Virgin. Having been taken from Belém to Icoaraci, the statue is carried back to the city in a river procession of hundreds of boats. The following morning, millions of people fill the streets, along with the sounds of hymns, bells and fireworks, to accompany the image from Catedral da Sé to the basilica.

The Hajj Ending in Eid-ul-Adha (find it on the ipl2)

Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice), also known as the Greater Eid, is the second most important festival in the Muslim calendar. The festival remembers the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to. This festival is celebrated October 26th.

NEW! Festivals of the Hindu Faith: Diwali or Deepavali

Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe as the “Festival of Light,” where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being. The festival is also celebrated by Buddhists of Nepal, particularly the Newar Buddhists.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


The Link: Back to School Edition

Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! It’s back to school we go! Join the ipl2 as we journey back to school in this issue of The Link with information for parents and students to navigate the twists and turns of elementary school through college. From homework help to tips on bullying, grades, test prep, staying healthy and more, the resources featured here will make the transition from summer to school a smooth one.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Back-to-School ~ The Young Set

Elementary school is where the adventure begins and Ipl2 can assist you every step of the way. So lace up your sneakers and check out the following resources to help you write reports, learn to study, and stay healthy.

POTUS (find it on the ipl2)

If you haven’t already used this ipl2 special collection, you are in for a treat. The President of the United States (POTUS) collection is one of the most famous in ipl2. Indispensable for reports, trivia battles, or simply the curious, POTUS will answer your questions about United States presidents.

KCTools (find it on the ipl2)

Created by the American Association of School Librarians, the KidsConnect Research Toolbox helps young researchers develop good writing and research skills. Children are guided through steps in the research process with appropriate text and graphics. Each phase of research is accompanied by links to more resources to assist project completion.

Stately Knowledge (find it on ipl2)

Did you know the state bird of Ohio is the scissor-tailed flycatcher? Do you know the state song of Idaho? Learn more State facts than you pack into your lunchbox with this handy special collection developed by ipl2 librarians. These state facts provide in-depth information for Americans as well as citizens of other countries. Make sure you bookmark this page before that state report is due.

Culture Quest World Tour  (find it on ipl2)

Hungry for information about the world over? Join Ophelia Owl and Parsifal Penguin as they travel the globe in search of facts about countries on every continent. Discover parks, national holidays, flags, symbols and resources galore in this super collection just for kids.

Helping Children Succeed in School  (find it on ipl2)

The University of Illinois Extension Urban Resource Programs developed this insightful resource for parents and caregivers of school-age children. Learn how to boost school performance, support your child academically, and create routines and positive learning habits. Topics are organized by category and easy to follow.

NEW! Back to School Tips

Developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, these back to school tips cover everything from school supplies to bus safety to bullying. A useful reference for parents and caregivers, this list will help ease the anxiety that comes with the first day of school, whether it’s the first or fifth time you’ve done it.

Back-to-School ~ The Teen Years

High school can be stressful and preparing for college can be even worse. To help you cope, The Link is highlighting test preparation sites, homework help pages, and tips on improving study habits. Check out the Teen pages for even more phenomenal resources.

ACT, Inc.  (find it on ipl2)

The ACT website provides valuable information about the ACT assessment, including sample questions and test-taking strategies. Sample tests are available for English, Math, Science, Reading, and Writing. Students can also register online for the ACT.

NEW! AP Study Notes

This site provides free study notes, vocabulary terms, and practice questions for Advance Placement tests in U.S. History, U.S. Government, and English Language/Literature.

Vocabulary List: 100 Top SAT Words  (find it on ipl2)

A tool for preparing for the vocabulary portions of the SAT. Includes word definitions and examples of how the words are used in literature.

NEW! Khan Academy

Watch educational videos geared toward high school students that explain in simple terms math concepts from arithmetic to calculus and trigonometry; science, including astronomy, biology, physics, and chemistry; economics and finance; history; and art history. Also includes test prep for the SAT, GMAT, IIT, and Singapore Math.

Multnomah County Library’s Homework Center (find it on ipl2)

A huge collection of sites selected by a youth librarian to answer actual homework questions kids have asked in public libraries. When you’re doing a research project and all the books have been checked out, check here.

Study Skills Self-Help Information(find it on ipl2)

Are you spinning your wheels with school work? Do you wonder where the time goes when you are studying? You can actually calculate the time you spend studying and devise a better plan here. This site is hosted by Virginia Tech University and offer tips on time scheduling, reading comprehension, and note taking.

Back-to-School ~ College Bound

Parents: Want to send your young adults off to college on the right foot? Students: Want to start college with the right stuff? Take a look at the sites we’ve gathered for you. They’ll help you and your student become independent as you navigate this major transition—the empty nest.

Kids Health: For Parents  (find it on ipl2)

Even though it says “kids,” there’s some great advice for college students here as well. Use this link to go directly to advice about avoiding the common pitfalls of college life, like that Freshman 15 or How to Eat Healthy in a Dining Hall.

National Panhellenic Conference  (find it on ipl2)

Provides information about an umbrella organization for 26 inter/national women’s fraternities and sororities. Members are represented on over 620 college and university campuses in the United States and Canada and in over 4,600 alumnae associations.

College Planning  (find it on ipl2)

A collection of articles and resources about saving money for and paying for a college education. Topics include the College Saving Superpage (which provides tables of information about investment options and tax breaks), 529 college savings plans, scholarships, student loans, and comparing financial aid offers.

The Study Stack (find it on ipl2)

This site “was designed to help people memorize information about various subjects” by displaying “a stack of virtual cards that contain information about a certain subject.” Searchable or browsable by subject.

Study Guides and Strategies for Students (find it on ipl2)

Tips on studying, test taking, reading, and writing skills for students in junior high through college. Solid, practical advice on subjects such as procrastination, stress management, taking notes, critical thinking, memory techniques, spelling and group work. All study modules are available in 39 languages.

The Student Guide (find it on ipl2)

This new website combines information and tools from several of Federal Student Aid’s websites to make it easier for you to get the information you need to make important decisions about planning and paying for college. Here you’ll find comprehensive student financial aid information from the U.S. Department of Education. Also, checklists, scholarships, different forms of Financial Aid: grants, loans, and work study, and much, much more. This site is an excellent resource for any student wishing to go to college, adult or teen.

IIE Passport  (find it on ipl2)

This is a comprehensive search tool for study abroad programs. It features a glossary and a link to information on applying for a passport. Maintained by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

NEW! 88 Surefire Tips for Succeeding in College

Want to ensure your college success or change some of those bad habits and improve your college experience? The Online Education Database has some great tips for you. They review everything from studying to savings to dorm life. So utilize this resource for a great start to a new experience or a new start to a fulfilling college life.

NEW! Surviving College

Here’s some practical advice to having an enjoyable college experience. Everything from sleeping to studying to just having some fun. This site also contains links to understanding your finances, your health, finding a job and much, much more.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

The Link: Olympic Glory ~ Ancient, Past and Present

How does your knowledge of the Olympics rate – gold, silver, bronze, or not even qualified to compete? As Michael Jordan said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” So, team up with the ipl2 and review The Link to discover when the games began (776 BCE), Olympic trivia, and the five sports in every Summer Olympics since 1896.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Olympic Glory: Ancient

As with any competitive sport, you must first learn the fundamentals and there is no better place to start than with Ancient Greece. Travel from Olympia to Nemea to Athens. Read a first person account of competing in the Ancient Greek Olympics. Root for a team from Sparta, Athens, Corinth, Argos or Megara.

The Ancient Olympics (find it on the ipl2)

This site uses information from the Perseus Project, a digital library on Ancient Greece to exhibit information about the Ancient Olympics. It includes comparisons between ancient and modern sports, ancient artwork with themes relevant to the games and FAQ questions about the Ancient Olympics. The site is run by the classics department of Tufts University.

Olympics Through Time (find it on the ipl2)

This site gives a detailed description of the Olympics from Ancient Olympia to Athens of 1896. It also gives detailed lists of Olympic winners. It offers games, 3D renderings of Ancient sites, a first person account of the Olympics, and a bibliography.

Archaeology’s Ancient Olympics Guide (find it on the ipl2)

Run by the Archaeological Institute of America this site covers the ancient games at Olympia and Nemea. Interesting facts such as why the Greeks competed, what signals were used to start footraces, and a dispelling of myths about Olympic traditions can be found on this site. This site is geared to adults.

NEW! FOR KIDS–Ancient Greek Olympics
A fun site geared towards kids. It talks about the different city-states involved in the original Olympic Games. It has links to the British Museum, the BBC, and Tufts University’s Perseus Project. There are also links to learn about Ancient Greece.

The Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games (find it on the ipl2)

How did the ancient Olympics stack up against the modern games? Were they less political, less commercial, and less sexist? Find out at this comprehensive resource about the ancient Olympic Games. This site includes a glossary.

Olympic Glory: Past–Symbols, Traditions, and Trivia

Now that you know the basics, can you handle the details? Be prepared to train with the mental elite as you and the ipl2 master fun Olympic facts.

NEW! FOR KIDS–Olympics Fun Facts

This list of Olympic facts is a great start to learning some of the history and meaning behind the Olympic Games. These fun facts will add volumes to your Olympic knowledge.

NEW! Olympics and Paralympics Games Symbols and Mascots

Immediately after the Olympic Games finish, the Paralympics begin. The Paralympics is an international sporting competition for athletes with disabilities. This site details the similarities between the Olympics and the Paralympics, including information about the symbols, mascots, and more. GetSet is a resource for everything Olympics and Paralympics for K-12 educators.

NEW! Modern Olympic Symbols and Traditions

Olympic venues come and go but some traditions of the games remain the same. This site provides an overview of lasting Olympic symbols and ceremonial activities.

NEW! The Olympic Flag

An Olympic symposium to the Athens games compiled this excellent source of the history of the Olympic Games. The Olympic flag’s meaning and symbolism is explained in detail.

Interesting Olympic Facts (find it on the ipl2)

A collection of brief facts about the Olympic Games. Topics covered include the opening ceremonies, Olympic symbols, canceled games, and counting Olympiads. An site.

The Olympic Movement (find it on the ipl2)

The site for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) contains news, profiles of past and future games, biographies of Olympic athletes, and statistics. Use the linked tabs to find a wealth of facts and trivia, as well as in-depth information.

Olympic Glory: Present–Champions of the Summer Games

In 1896, the Olympic Games were revived and competitions were held in nine sports. Since that time, a variety of summer sports have been added and dropped. Only five have stood the test of time. Explore the five sports below to see if you can handle the competition and prevail in the ultimate race to glory.

Bicycling (find it on the ipl2),6608,,00.html?location=_*topnav*

Bicycling covers every facet of cycling with coverage of techniques and trends, expert reviews of the latest equipment, touring and racing reports, practical advice on equipment and repairs, and training and fitness tips.

Fencing (find it on ipl2)

This site provides an overview of different forms and techniques of fencing. It reviews types of equipment, gives a history of the sport, and lists Olympic participants. The site also provides a discussion of the differences between modern and classical fencing, offers training tips, and includes an FAQ page.

International Gymnast Magazine Online (find it on the ipl2)

International Gymnast Magazine gives the latest news about competitive gymnastics.

Swimming World Magazine: The World’s Leading Independent Resource for Swimming (find it on the ipl2)

This site has articles posted from each of the three magazines run by Sports Publications International, Inc.: Swimming World, SWIM, and Swim Technique. In addition to these articles, there are also links to information about swim workouts, results, and technique.

Runner’s World (find it on the ipl2)

Web version of the popular running magazine geared towards both competitive runners and those who run for fitness or to lose weight. Contains current cover stories and columns plus an archive back to 1996.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


The Link: Revolutions


History is riddled with changes and upheavals in all sorts of areas, from colonial revolutions to film.  Rise up with us and learn about various revolutions through time in this month’s newsletter.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

The American Revolution

Since this newsletter is inspired by the 4th of July, we would be remiss not to include a section about the American Revolution. Check out the following links to learn more about the birth of the United States of America!

Liberty! The American Revolution (find it on the ipl2)

This website is a companion to PBS’s Liberty! Series. While the show cannot be watched online, this site provides background to the American Revolution via articles, interactive images, and a quiz.

The American Revolution (find it on the ipl2)

This comprehensive website explores all aspects of the American Revolution, from battles to documents to key people. Also included are videos and a music player with music from the time period.

The Charters of Freedom (find it on the ipl2)

This website, produced by the National Archives, is a tour through the documents that led to the establishment of the United States of America. In addition, this site includes pictures of the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights and quotes from the Founding Fathers.

Literary Revolutions
Throughout history the human civilization has seen several literary revolutions that have changed the way we view and disseminate books and ideas.  Come with us on a journey into the literary past with the sources below.

Renaissance (find it on the ipl2)

The Renaissance was an extraordinary time period not just for artwork and science, but for literature as well  Gutenberg’s printing press revolutionized the creation of books and made literature available to the masses, not just the privileged elite, which helped accelerate the creation of literature as we know it today.  Read about this revolution on the Renaissance site, highlighted in “Printing and Thinking.”

The Harlem Renaissance (find it on the ipl2)

The Harlem Renaissance, 1919-1937, was a period when the African American community came into their own through literature, music, and the arts.  Grow acquainted with the novels, authors, and major figures of the Harlem Renaissance through this research and reference guide.

The Psychedelic ’60s:  Literary Tradition and Social Change (find it on the ipl2)

The 1960s changed the way many people viewed the world, and no realm of culture was untouched–including literature.  Famous authors such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs paved new literary roads, and books poured out of authors on all kinds of social issues.  Be a hip cat and catch up on all of the novels and writers here at the Psychedelic ’60s website.

Film Revolutions

Since its inception, the technology used to produce films has changed greatly. Along with these advances, the styles, genres, techniques and special effects showcased have also transformed. Throughout the years many revolutions within the film industry have sparked these transformations and allowed them to take place. (find it on the ipl2)

This website provides a timeline of cinema’s early years, beginning in 1827 and ending in 1905. Also detailed are the various revolutionary technologies pioneered and developed over the course of film history, which enables audience members to view movies in stunning detail today. The resource allows viewers to learn more about film visionaries and specific cinematic technology as well as explore additional sources.

ScreenIndia (find it on the ipl2)

During Bollywood’s Golden Age, Hindi cinema had a profound effect on the global film industry by being the catalyst for many new movements, including the “coming of age” genre. This website is devoted to Hindi cinema and feature movie reviews, information on new releases and interviews with popular film stars. It also discusses the music used in these movies and has a section dedicated to regional releases.

Animated Films (find it on the ipl2)

Conceived in the early 1900’s and still popular today, animation devised by American and Japanese creators is a prominent genre in the film industry. This website details the rise of all types of animation and provides examples of notable films that feature this technique. Divided up into five parts, this resource also mentions well-respected cartoonists and artists.

Communication Invention Revolutions

Today people take for granted the myriad of ways to communicate with others. There are cell phones, email, instant messaging, television and, of course, the Internet. The inventions during the late 1800s are what allowed these current methods to be created. Here are some sources that will allow you to see how the telegraph, telephone and radio created such an impact.

Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress, 1791-1919 (find it on ipl2)

Samuel F. B. Morse took the use of electricity and combined it with the common practice of signally messaging over a long distance with flags. This site, maintained by the Library of Congress, bases its records on the primary sources recorded by Morse throughout his life.

A Memorial to the Bell System (find it on ipl2)

This site is intended to bring together historical facts, exhibits, and telephone enthusiasts. Within each of the menu options further information can be found regarding the history of telephones.

United States Early Radio History (find it on ipl2)

As the radio’s invention was built upon the creation of the telegraph and the telephone, this site’s creators provide information regarding both inventions as well as extensive links to the various uses of radio from its infancy through World War II.

Music Revolutions

The arts, like everything else, seem to experience sudden, revolutionary leaps. The following sites provide information about some of the rebels and their music.

Keeping Score: Revolutions in Music (find it on the ipl2)

This PBS series is the Classical version of VH1’s “Behind the Music.” The hosts focus on the biographical and historical context in which famous composer existed. Season 1, Revolutions In Music, highlights several famous composers and their revolutionary music.

Notes from Underground (find it on the ipl2)

This site reveals a map of music types using London Underground map imagery. It’s a unique way to visualize various music genres and artists.

British Beat Boom (find it on the ipl2)

The British are coming! The British are coming! It may look like this site was designed in the early 1960’s when the “British Invasion” was getting underway, but it’s actually loaded with information about the many bands that landed in America with a new, revolutionary sound.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


The Link: Disaster Preparedness

Disasters can leave behind vast amounts of destruction and devastation.  Knowing how to prepare for, survive, and deal with these events, however, can help to minimize the damage.

With the possibility of so many of these disasters happening in the coming summer months, this month’s blog provides information on how to survive:

  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Tornadoes
  • Floods
  • Zombies

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.


Hurricane season comes each year with the threat of school closings, scary winds, and property damage. As hurricane season begins, here are some sources which will help you learn about the storms.

Hurricane Resources – USA Today (find it on the ipl2)

USA Today’s Hurricane Resources page is a collection of links to graphics and articles which help people understand both hurricanes and how to prepare for them. Topics include how hurricanes are born and die, safety guides, and hurricane history.

Hurricane: Storm Science (find it on the ipl2)

The Miami Museum of Science presents this resource for kids to learn about hurricanes. It includes information about how hurricanes work and how they are tracked, stories from kids who have lived through hurricanes, and instructions on how to create your own weather center.

Katrina & Beyond (find it on the ipl2)

Five years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is still recovering. NPR’s Katrina & Beyond page is a collection of NPR segments about Hurricane Katrina and its effects. This makes a great case study for anyone interested in the impact and aftermath of hurricanes.


Terrible things can happen when the ground shakes and sways. In just the last few weeks there have been several quakes that measured at Magnitude 6.6 or higher in locations around the world.  The following sites provide a diverse mix of information about earthquakes and how to survive them.

Earthquake Image Information System (find it on the ipl2)

Containing more than 15,000 images of earthquake damage, this site also provides access to publicly funded research and development literature and other data.

U.S.G.S. Earthquake Hazard Program (find it on the ipl2)

United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) provides a wealth of information about earthquakes on this site, including an up-to-date list of earthquake events worldwide. Visitors to this site can have real-time earthquake information sent to them via RSS feeds. There is a daily earthquake fact, earthquake history, a list of myths, and much more.


Tornadoes are a natural phenomenon where air violently rotates as a column sucking items up and then flinging them out again. This destructive event can reach wind speeds of 300 miles per hour.

FOR KIDS- Tornadoes on Weather Wiz Kids (find it on the ipl2)

Meteorologist Crystal Wicker has created this site to children to learn about the different weather conditions that exist. The tornado page includes photographs, diagrams and explanations of terminology used with regards to tornadoes. There are links to active warning sites so that children can see what is currently brewing. Safety tips and lessons plans are also included so that schools can help to prepare and educate students.

Online Tornado FAQ (find it on the ipl2)

The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains this site to provide answers for specific questions regarding tornados. Included within the answers are links to articles that a user can seek for even more information.


There are many different types of floods responsible for devastating the environment and communities, including flash and slow-onset floods.  They all, however, stem from an overflow of water that submerges the surrounding area.

NEW! National Geographic: Floods

National Geographic describes how a flood occurs and the type of damage it can leave in its wake. This article also relates the ways in which governments have attempted to manage this natural disaster in the recent past.

World Health Organization: Flooding and Communicable Diseases Fact Sheet (find it on the ipl2)

In the event of extreme weather many individuals may be at risk for various diseases. This fact sheet provides information on how to prevent, treat and avoid sickness. It offers solutions that would be both feasible immediately and in the future.

NEW! NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory: Floods

NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory details the various types of floods and how each is caused. The website also provides information on how weather professionals are able to detect and forecast these events. Additional links relay safety and awareness tips should one find him/herself facing this danger.

Disaster Preparation

What should you do when disaster comes knocking at your door? These sites will help you learn what to do when to minimize damage and survive the destruction.

The Wilderness Survival Guide (find it on the ipl2)

This resource offers information about survival in many situations, including urban, wilderness, nuclear/biological warfare, and hurricanes. It boasts more than a hundred pages of information, plus videos that teach visitors such things as how to make jerky, build shelters, and make fire.

Disaster Assistance (find it on the ipl2)

Following a disaster, state and federal governments have systems in place to assist victims. This site allows users to contact the appropriate agency and find answers to their questions. Included on the site are descriptions of the possible disasters and advice on what to do before, during and after a disaster.

MedlinePlus: Disaster Preparation and Recovery (find it on the ipl2)

This site is focused on health information for the public. This particular page provides users with preparing for emergencies so that the fear, anxiety and loss following a disaster will not be too overwhelming. One can never be completely ready for a traumatic event, but with planning, a person can feel less uncertain about the future. Links are provided to each specific disaster to allow a user to find particulars that are needed.


Everyone knows that the worst hypothetical disaster of all is an outbreak of zombies. Learn about these undead brutes and how to prepare for the onslaught of zombie hordes with these sources!

An Exploration of Modern Monsters: Zombies (find it on the ipl2)

Based out of the University of Michigan, this site gives an excellent overview of zombies, their origins, symbolism, and folklore surrounding them. It goes through a history of the zombie in film and looks at today’s modern zombies.

NEW! FVZA: Zombies

Dr. Hugo Pecos, the director of The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency, is here to teach everyone all about zombies. His site (not actually affiliated with the government) covers the zombie virus, biology, sociology, myths, advanced-stage zombies, famous zombie victims, and “actual” U.S. zombie outbreaks.

CDC: Zombie Preparedness (find it on the ipl2)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released an official guide to preparing for and surviving zombies and a possible zombie apocalypse. Included is a graphic novella to demonstrate the necessity of preparing for this disaster, which includes a preparedness checklist; zombie posters to raise awareness; links to CDC social media on zombie preparedness; and the zombie blog, which lists all of the guidelines for preparing to face a zombie emergency.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

The Link: Mental Health Month

Mental health is an important, but often misunderstood, aspect of our lives. Understanding the various mental disorders is vital for all, which is one of the reasons that May is designated as Mental Health Month.

To learn more about several common disorders, check out the resources below. Topics include:

• Depression
• Anxiety
• Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
• Bipolar Disorder
• Alzheimer’s Disease

This disorder afflicts many American adults and is often misunderstood. The following resources help those investigating this disorder and provide resources for those who are currently affected.

Depression: Out of the Shadows (find it on the ipl2)
This specific link will provide resources about both the statistics about depression and the different associations that seek to help those suffering from depression. These are a result of the PBS-produced special dealing with the current stigma connected to depression.

Depression and Unipolar Varieties on (find it on the ipl2)
This site includes resources that allow a user to understand the symptoms and mood episodes associated with depression. Forums and Question/Answer areas are provided for those seeking personal or general information.

Depression on the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (find it on the ipl2)
This site allows individuals who suffer from depression or are close to a person who suffers to find information about the kinds of depression and treatment options. The intent is to provide users with knowledge so that they can feel less discouraged when dealing with depression. There are other publications available through the site.

This mental health issue is often related to stress. Many people who suffer with anxiety must deal with other disorders as well. Depression is one of the disorders that frequently accompany anxiety.

Anxiety Disorders Association of America (find it on the ipl2)
This association seeks to provide users with knowledge about preventing, treating, and curing disorders connected with stress. The website is constructed to allow a person with stress-related questions to find information, help, and methods to take action. There are also links to connect with a professional if needed.

Anxiety-Panic Disorders on HealingWell (find it on the ipl2)
This site seeks to provide users with practical information coupled with testimonials of encouragement. There are blogs, forums, videos, and even a live chat with a doctor.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that is found most commonly among children. Lack of attention, impulsive behavior, and issues of distraction characterize this disorder.

Attention Deficit Disorder Association (find it on the ipl2)
This resource provides information and networking opportunities to help adults with ADD. The site is also intended for professionals who serve those with ADD. It contains factual information, advocacy, lists of various kinds of resources and support, event calendars, webinars, and webcasts. (find it on the ipl2)
This site includes general information about ADHD, such as a glossary and collection of articles, links, and other resources about the condition. There are also message boards, blogs, and places for individuals and families to share their stories. It also includes information about treatments, including medications and side effects, diet, behavior modification. (find it on the ipl2) provides information and resources for school-aged people who suffer from ADD or ADHD and their families. It is also a resource for the teachers who have them in class, providing interventions, such as tips for increasing time on task and how to present your lesson to ADHD students. There are some commercial products sold.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental illness that primarily revolves around anxiety and coping mechanisms that the individual has developed in order to handle that anxiety. Many people have OCD, but it can be hard to understand. The following links provide information and resources regarding this disorder.

International OCD Foundation (find on the ipl2)
The International OCD Foundation is a resource for people all over the world that suffer from or want more information on obsessive compulsive disorder. They provide links to assist in finding help for those that need it, recommend a list of books and materials about OCD, and more. In the words of the ipl2, the International OCD Foundation is “[a]n international organization of over 10,000 members [that] offers explanations, resources, and access to annual conferences on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and related disorders.”

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (find on the ipl2)
ADAA provides a wealth of information on multiple anxiety disorders, including an in-depth section on OCD itself. They explain symptoms, treatment for OCD, news and research on the disorder, and have a special section on hoarding, which can stem from OCD. ipl2 says, “This site has descriptions and treatment options for generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It includes resources for practitioners and the public, including a therapist finding aid listing members of ADAA.”

PsychCentral: Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (find it on the ipl2)
PsychCentral, a website that has made’s 50 best websites list, has information on various personality disorders, including OCD. They give an overview of the disorder, discuss symptoms, how the disorder is diagnosed, causes, and various treatments that are available.

Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes one to go through extreme manic and depressive episodes. In addition to these mood swings, one can also experience hallucinations or delusions.

NEW! Bipolar Disorder by Mayo Clinic
This source provides background on bipolar disorder as well as various treatments, such as medicinal, home, and alternative remedies. The Mayo Clinic also discusses how one can best prepare for a doctor’s visit if one has recently been diagnosed or suspects he/she may be suffering from the disorder.

A Complete Guide to Bipolar Disorder (find it on the ipl2)
This resource is dedicated solely to helping those with this specific mental condition. It details the symptoms of the disorder and also differentiates between the different stages that one can experience. The website also offers help for parents whose children have been diagnosed and provides support on living with the affliction, including how to tell others that one is bipolar.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): What is Bipolar Disorder? (find it on ipl2)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is dedicated to helping those with bipolar disorder and their families find support and educational programs in their local area. NAMI also offers online discussion groups so one can easily connect with others.

Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease is a mental health disorder affecting one out of every eight senior citizens in the United States. It affects not only those with the disease, but also friends and family members who have to learn how to adjust to a loved one’s condition. This section provides resources for people of all ages to learn about Alzheimer’s.

The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s (find it on the ipl2)
The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s is an Emmy award-winning documentary which was originally aired by PBS in 2004. This website includes the full documentary as well as stories from people with Alzheimer’s, information about the disease, and information for people who have been recently diagnosed. Most of the information is in video form, making this an excellent website for visual learners.

Alzheimer’s Association: “Just for Kids” (find it on the ipl2)
The Alzheimer’s Association’s “Just for Kids” page includes information which helps kids and teens who have family members with Alzheimer’s understand the disease, as well as resources for parents and educators. Information is provided via videos, articles, and an interactive tour.

Alzheimer’s Disease Research (find it on ipl2)
Alzheimer’s Disease Research provides a comprehensive website with information about risk factors, symptoms, stages and treatments. In addition, the site provides detailed information about life with Alzheimer’s, from legal and financial matters to everyday living. There is also an “Ask the Experts” section for any questions you may have.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


The Link: Income Taxes—An April Tradition

April 17, 2012—that’s the last day to file individual federal income taxes for 2011. (The traditional tax return filing deadline is April 15 but this falls on a Sunday in 2012 and April 16, 2012 is Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia, so the last filing date is April 17 in 2012). With so many people either writing checks to the IRS or expecting a check from the IRS, the month of April leaves many people thinking income taxes.  This month’s blog provides quick links to:

  • History of the Income Tax
  • Government Services and Income Tax Forms
  • Evaluations of Tax Preparation Services
  • Free Non-Governmental Services and Advice
  • More Resources on the ipl2

History of the Income Tax

During the first century of American history, income taxes were considered only during times of war (when expenses for military expenditures went up and income from international tariffs went down).  The first peacetime income tax was imposed by congress in 1894, but the modern income tax was created by the 16th Amendment to the constitution in 1913.  One major force behind the creation of the income tax during this progressive era was the prohibition movement.  Income rates have varied widely over the last 100 years.

Our (find it on the ipl2)
This site, maintained by the federal government, provides the text of the 16th Amendment and a brief overview of the income taxes that preceded the 16th Amendment.

The Tax Foundation (find it on the ipl2)
This site provides a discussion of the association between the Prohibition and Temperance movements and the 16th Amendment, which established the income tax.

Tax Policy Center  (find it on the ipl2)
Sponsored by the Urban Institute & Brookings Institution, this site provides tables of the top income brackets from 1913 to the present.  The top rates range from 7% (1913) to 94% (1944-45).  The present top rate is 35%.

Government Services and Income Tax Forms

Most standard tax forms are available free of charge at your post office and all forms are available free of charge on-line.  The Internal Revenue Service also provides free advice for taxpayers on many issues.  The IRS website is the usually best “first stop” for any tax related question.

The Internal Revenue Service Homepage (find it on the ipl2)
This is the home page of the IRS.  It provides links to a wide array of governmental resources and materials.

IRS Tax Forms (find it on the ipl2)
Taxpayers can find a complete list of government pamphlets and tax forms (with full instructions) on this page.

Interactive Tax Assistant (find it on the ipl2)
The IRS provides a free interactive online tax assistant.  This service provides answers to the most commonly asked questions (e.g., “Do I need to file income taxes?” “Who can I claim as a dependent?” and “Am I eligible for a Child Tax Credit?”).  This site answers all of the most commonly asked questions in plain English, which is accessible to people with average reading and math skills (the site is also linked to a Spanish language version of the site).

Evaluations of Tax Preparation Services

Many different tax preparation services and software options are available across a wide range of prices.  It can be difficult to decide which option is right for a given tax situation.  The sites listed below include reviews that attempt to evaluate tax preparation services and provide a breakdown of the functionality for each service.

Top Ten Reviews (find it on the ipl2)
A side-by-side comparison of 10 tax preparation software programs and electronic filing (e-filing) services. Factors include price, basic features, e-filing options, tax assistance support, and technical requirements. Also includes details about ratings for each program. From a publisher of product reviews for software and Web services.

NEW!  NextAdvisor Online Tax Preparation Reviews
NextAdvisor is an independent source for “comparing the most valuable new Internet services.”  Their Online Tax Preparation Review chart provides a current comparison of the best tax services along with an FAQ section that answers basic filing questions.

NEW! Top 7 Tax Software
Tax professional William Perez tests seven different tax software programs by putting them each through three tax scenarios and offering a detailed review for each service.

NEW! CNET Tax Preparation Reviews
This CNET page on tax preparation software allows users to select criteria that are important to them such as price, manufacturer, computer platform, and licensing agreements.  The search results can be sorted according to any of these criteria.  A quick snapshot of each service is provided and the user can set up a price alert.

NEW! PCMag Accounting and Tax Reviews
PCMag’s Accounting and Tax page provides editor ratings and detailed reviews for tax preparation software packages.  Users can filter by price, company, and rating and can also submit their own reviews of each service.

Free Non-Governmental Services & Advice

Preparing your taxes on your own can be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of free tools and services available on the web. Whether you’re looking for forms, have questions about exemptions or are looking to file online for free, the following sites can help.

Tax Resources on the Web (find it on the ipl2)
This comprehensive list of online resources acts as a “gateway to tax resources available on the World Wide Web.” It includes information on federal taxes, California taxes, retirement resources and news about taxes.

NEW! Web Tax Center
This tax resource offers free tax tips, tax FAQs, and links to all current tax forms (federal and state). It also provides links to a free e-file service offered through FreeTaxUSA.

NEW! AARP Tax-Aide
AARP provides free tax help for those 60 and older. This website includes FAQs and a locator to help you find an AARP tax-aide site in your area.

NEW! Tax Act
Prepare, print and e-file federal tax returns for free through Tax Act. This resource includes links to popular help topics. A tools & reference section includes a tax dictionary, tax rate calculator and iPhone tax applications.

NEW! H&R Block
Prepare, print and e-file federal tax returns for free through H&R Block. Their website includes tax calculators, tax tips and applications for mobile devices. A tax answers section provides easily searchable answers to many common tax questions.

NEW! TurboTax
Prepare, print and e-file federal tax returns for free through TurboTax. This website includes handy tax calculators, tax tips, and tax FAQs.

More Resources on ipl2

ipl2 Pathfinder on US Income Tax Preparation (find it on the IPL2)
If you are looking for more tax resources, check out this pathfinder created by the ipl2.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


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