In the News: Labor Rights

Creative Commons image courtesy of dctim1 on Flickr

Creative Commons image courtesy of dctim1 on Flickr

After the recent factory collapses in Bangladesh and Cambodia, global attention is finally being paid to the conditions in which many employees are subjected to work. Although the majority of the blame has fallen on the factory owners and the government officials who did not properly regulate conditions, the brands who used the factories to produce their goods are also being subjected to international scrutiny. This has led to a collective agreement among brands, retailers, and trade unions called the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which will entail safety inspections of the hundreds of factories in Bangladesh and public reportings on the findings. This is a big step in the right direction to ensure safety for factory workers in these countries.

Bangladesh Factory Safety Accord: At Least 14 Major North American Retailers Decline To Sign – Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)

This Huffington Post article describes some of the stipulations of the Bangladesh Safety Accord and lists some North American based retailers who have declined to sign due to working on separate initiatives they believe will improve conditions in Bangladesh.

Ethical Shopping: How the High Street Fashion Stores Rate – The Guardian (find it on the ipl2)

“In the wake of this crisis, most concerned readers want to know: which are the ethical shops on the high street? Sam Maher, of Labour Behind the Label, says “Why not reward those companies for making a step? Choose the brand that’s signed over the one that has not.” (find it on the ipl2)

“A multimedia news website covering the stories of people fighting for fundamental human and labor rights against the goliath global clothing industry.” Features a FAQ, news, campaigns, audio and video clips, a browsable archive, and related links. Sponsored by a “global alliance of clothing workers, religious leaders, and students.”

Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (find it on the ipl2)

Formerly known as the National Labor Committee [NLC], the mission of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights is to help defend the human rights of workers in the global economy. The Institute investigates and exposes human and labor rights abuses committed by U.S. companies producing goods in the developing world.” The site contains news, articles, reports, and more.

Sam Reiss: An Eyewitness to Labor History, 1948-1975 (find it on the ipl2)

“Often referred to as ‘labor’s photographer,’ Sam Reiss used his camera to capture historic events that shaped American labor.” This online exhibit presents Reiss’s photos of labor unions, demonstrations and rallies, labor and civil rights leaders, and related subjects. Browse by year or subject. From the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University.

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In The News: Connecting Through Social Media

Social Media Word Cloud created at

Social Media Word Cloud created at

It has become evident in the last few years that social media is about more than keeping in touch. Social media has become a way for us to become connected in more ways than ever before. This week’s In The News highlights recent events in which the importance of the social media connection exists.

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

Amanda Palmer: The Art of Asking – TED (find it on the ipl2)

Musician Amanda Palmer is famous for breaking with her major recording label so that she could create music her way. She has infamously used her twitter account to connect with her fans all across the world in order to find boarding, food, musicians, and possible “ninja gig” locations. The strong connection she has with her fans allowed her to raise over $1 million in her kickstarter  project in 2012.  At the 2013 TED Convention, Amanda Palmer shares the importance of connection – online and in-person – and why no one should ever be afraid of asking for what they need.

NEW! I’m Still Here: Back Online After a Year without the Internet – The Verge

On April 30, 2012, The Verge tech writer, Paul Miller, left the internet that he thought was making him an unproductive. In this article he details his year long journey without the internet and the surprising conclusions he developed about the internet’s part in the real world and staying connected with those around you.

Social Media and the Search for the Boston Bombers – CBS News (find it on the ipl2)

This CBS News article discusses the search for the Boston Bombing suspects last month via twitter with Mashable<; Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff. In this recent crisis people turned to social media to discover information and to help with the search. Ulanoff explains that while the crowdsourcing information wasn’t always correct, the people on Twitter and Reddit would start over and get it right.

Social Media Helps Cancer Patient – Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)

Through YouTube, Reddit, and twitter, social media helped dying cancer patient Marie Sowler reach out to Sleeping With Sirens singer, Kellin Quinn. It took a less than a day for Kellin to respond and figure out how to meet her young fan.

Social Media Safety – (find it on the ipl2)

Social media is a wonderful way to stay connected with people, but it’s also important to remember the rules of online safety.  NetSmartz is supported by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and provides internet and social media safety advice for parents, teens, and children.  Stay safe!

Don’t forget to find the ipl2 on social media! Facebook Twitter , and YouTube.

Thank you for visiting 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!


In the News: U.S. National Teacher Appreciation Day

Teacher’s apple.

Rendered by Pixabay, public domain.

In order to celebrate U.S. National Teacher Appreciation Day (observed yesterday, May 7, 2013 as part of National Teacher Week), here are a few sites from the ipl2’s collection for teachers and administrators. Some of these sites are admittedly more fun than others, but they are all share one goal: to support educators everywhere. Enjoy them all week long!

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

NEW! Apple in Education: Resources

This is a collection of video tutorials, classroom guides, and web pages aiming to assist educators in teaching with Apple products (such as the iPad and other devices using iOS), creating classroom content, finding federal funding for projects, and looking for creative ways to support their professional development.

Education World (find it on the ipl2)

Search the web using this education-specific search engine, find lesson plans, browse employment listings, and read articles on current K-12 education issues and professional development.

The Learning Page (find it on the ipl2)

This site was created by the Library of Congress to assist teachers in using the American Memory Collections, an online archive of over 100 collections of rare and unique items important to America’s heritage, to teach history and culture. It offers educators guidance on using primary sources, as well as providing activities, discussions, and lesson plans for classroom use.

PBS TeacherSource (find it on the ipl2)

PBS TeacherSource includes more than 3,000 free lesson plans and activities. To help educators find materials quickly, resources are organized into seven subject areas (Arts & Literature, Health & Fitness, Math, Science, Social Studies, Pre K-2, and Library Media).

ProTeacher (find it on the ipl2)

ProTeacher is a Web directory of lesson plans and activities organized into thematic and subject areas for elementary school teachers and parents.

The Teacher’s Companion to Anime (find it on the ipl2)

A useful guide for teachers who might be considering using manga, anime, or related materials in their classroom as learning material. This site highlights the terminology and symbolism present in Japanese graphic novels and lists possible cultural aspects to be discussed in the classroom. It also addresses some of the “problematic content” that may not be suitable for younger students and acts as an online reader advisory for teachers and librarians alike.

Teachers Support Network (find it on the ipl2)

For teachers and school districts across the U.S., this site provides an extensive database of the best available candidates, ensures their preparedness through unique assessment tools, and offers ongoing support for long-term retention. It also offers Teacher Tools and Advice covering such things as online job hunting and landing your first teaching job.

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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: Going Nuclear

Model of atom. Vector graphic by Ahnode, public domain.

Model of atom. Vector graphic by Ahnode, public domain.

Due to its direct contribution to creation of the atomic bomb, nuclear science is a controversial topic. Since the discovery of the atom, however, this branch of physics that studies the tiniest workings of our world has shaped it in very big ways.

Learn about the history of the atom bomb, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, teaching students about the bomb, and the future of nuclear science.

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

A Brief History of the Atomic Bomb

Ernest Rutherford.

Ernest Rutherford, “Father of Nuclear Physics.” Public domain.

What began covertly in 1939 as a joint effort of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States surprised the world when the products of the Manhattan Project, gun-type fission weapon “Little Boy,” and implosion-type weapon “Fat Man,” were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Check out these resources for more information on the development of the atomic bomb that changed the world.

Nuclear History at the National Security Archive (find it on the ipl2)

The George Washington University hosts the U.S. Nuclear History Documentation Project. They have posted a selection of declassified documents through the Freedom of Information Act that have helped shape the U.S. nuclear weapons policies since 1955.

Atomic Archive (find it on the ipl2)

AJ Software and Multimedia maintains a wealth of resources pertaining to the creation and impact of the atomic bomb. Featured areas of the site cover the science behind the bomb, the history of its creation, biographies of the people who worked on the Manhattan Project, and a multimedia section complete with animation, photographs, and videos.


Have you ever wondered what if would have happened if “Fat Man” or “Little Boy” had been dropped on other locations across the globe? A historian of science at the American Institute of Physics maintains Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog. His NUKEMAP shows the predicted extent of nuclear fallout on a map, given a target and type of bomb.

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Power Plant.

Nuclear power plant in Cattenom, France. Photo by Stefan Kühn, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Nuclear energy, or nuclear power, uses sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity, and according to the International Energy Agency, it currently provides 5.7 percent of the world’s energy. The use of nuclear energy is a controversial topic, however, for both political and environmental reasons. Get down to the bottom of the debate with the following resources.

Nuclear Energy Institute (find it on the ipl2)

NEI provides news articles and resources about nuclear energy, technologies, and public policy.  The institute encourages the safe exploration of nuclear energy through education, advocacy, and policy. Alternative Energy (find it on the ipl2) provides research in a pro-con format on “controversial issues” related to business, health medicine, law, politics, religion, science, technology, sex, gender, and sports. Their page on alternative energy covers how nuclear energy is made as well as whether or not it is cost-effective, safe for humans and the environment, and necessary to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

U.S. Office of Nuclear Energy (find it on the ipl2)

This site offers speeches, official congressional reports, U.S. Office of Nuclear Energy staff reports and press releases from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Nuclear Energy’s mission is to advance nuclear power through the advancement of nuclear technologies .

Virtual Nuclear Tourist: Power Plants Around the World (find it on the ipl2)

Produced by veteran mechanical and nuclear power engineer Joseph Gonyeau, this site describes nuclear energy safety systems, locations of power plants around the world, terrorism and security, types of nuclear plants and an overview of their workings, the environmental effects of producing nuclear power, and how nuclear energy compares to other ways of generating electricity.

Nuclear Weapons

B83 Nuclear Bomb Test

B83 nuclear bomb test with F-4C Phantom 1983. Photo by Zapka via the U.S. Air Force, public domain.

Although only two nuclear weapons have ever been used in warfare (by the United States against Japan in WWII), there is a constant international struggle to cease the proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Read about efforts to end the possibility of nuclear war on these sites.

North Korea and Nuclear Weapons: The Declassified U.S. Record (find it on the ipl2)

A collection of 25 documents, with a background essay, on North Korea’s possession of nuclear arms. Released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and published on George Washington University’s aforementioned National Security Archive, this site links to other related resources. (find it on the ipl2) is a project of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation providing extensive, credible information on nuclear weapons and war with the intent to “reduce nuclear dangers and eliminate nuclear weapons.” This site provides articles, treaties and non-proliferation documents, photographs of test explosions and radiation victims, ethical perspectives, biographies of scientists and government officials, timelines, and audio recordings of historical events.

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (find it on the ipl2)

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) provides the text (as well as overview information) on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) and other multilateral treaties aiming to prevent the proliferation and testing of nuclear weapons including: the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests In The Atmosphere, In Outer Space And Under Water, also known as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). UNODA’s site also provides additional links on WMD.

Teaching Students about the Bomb

Mushroom Cloud.

Mushroom cloud. Vector graphic by Fastfission, public domain.

While nuclear science/physics is perhaps a tricky subject to teach young children, the issues surrounding it, such as nuclear power and warfare especially are can be discussed in deferential and creative ways. Try using the following sites as starting points in planning your curriculum.

A Race to Build the Atom Bomb: A Resource for Teachers and Students (find it on the ipl2)

This site, developed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education in California, provides information on the science, the scientists, and the nations involved in the development of the atomic bomb. There are also lesson plans and suggested resources for further research, including Web links, print, and nonprint materials.

Race for the Super Bomb (find it on the ipl2)

As a companion to a 1999 PBS documentary, this site includes a timeline covering the development of the hydrogen bomb (also H-bomb or superbomb), map of nuclear test sites back to 1945, and video of several bomb detonations. It also provides a transcript of the program.

NEW! U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Students’ Corner

The NRC has designed the Students’ Corner as a resource for student learning and research on nuclear energy, reactors, radiation, radioactive materials, emergency planning, security, decommissioning, and radioactive waste. The NRC site contains photos and diagrams copyrighted as a U.S. Government Work but may be used for educational purposes under Fair Use.

The Future of Nuclear Science


Launch of MER Opportunity from Cape Canaveral. Photo by NASA, public domain.

Despite the environmental concerns and the controversy surrounding the potentiality of nuclear war, the future of nuclear physics appears to be bright. NASA scientists continue to further develop nuclear physics in order to achieve goals in space exploration, and some believe that nuclear power may turn out to be our only energy option in the years to come.

MIT Report on Nuclear Power (find it on the ipl2)

In 2003, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a report discussing the future of global nuclear power and utilization. This report was later updated in 2009.

NEW! Nuclear Power in Outer Space

The National Aviation and Space Administration (NASA) focuses on Aeronautics, Human Exploration and Operations, Science, and Space Technology. NASA’s Headquarters Library provides information on NASA policies, several books and e-books, articles and reports, and other informational links on how nuclear science continues to contribute to space exploration. Nuclear Stories (find it on the ipl2)

Popular Science Magazine is a longstanding science and technology magazine with the latest information on what’s happening now in both of these disciplines. Examining the nuclear tag will provide information on current events and how nuclear science is being used around the world.

Thank you for visiting 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!