The Link: International Creativity Month

Creativity is reflected in human innovation and problem-solving endeavors throughout history. It is present in arts, education, technology, science, and in almost everything we do.  Creativity encourages children’s curiosity and helps them learn to think independently and critically. For adults, creativity inspires innovation, progress, and joy.  As we evolve as a species, creativity helps us evolve as a society.

January is International Creativity Month. Founded by motivational speaker and author Randall Munson, International Creativity Month is geared towards celebrating the power of creativity across the globe. Sources in this month’s newsletter illustrate how creativity is implemented in workplaces, in education, with food, with children, and across cultures.

Creativity in Work

100 Ways to Be More Creative at Work  

 Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)

Arianna Huffington is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of ten books. She has done numerous guest spots on political talk shows and news shows. Her blog attracts many well-known political figures and celebrities who comment on various events around the nation. In the Huff Post business section, readers learn how to express creativity in their jobs by reading the list of 100 examples on how to use creativity in the workplace.

5 Benefits Of Hiring Creative Employees

NEW! Careerealism

Careerealism was founded in 2009 on the idea of helping people solve their career and job search problems. The site evaluates and approves all contributors to ensure their content is cutting-edge and relevant. There are many ways to use creativity in the workplace, but what are the benefits of hiring creative employees? It is important to understand what creative people can do for a company and how these people can make a business even better. This article provides information on the benefits of hiring creative people in the workplace.

Motivating Creativity at Work: The Necessity of Others is the Mother of Invention

American Psychological Association (find it on the ipl2)

The American Psychological Association is a Scientific and professional organization representing psychologists in the U.S. It promotes health, education, and human welfare. This article explains how connecting employees to end users and encouraging pro-social motivation can create a more creative work environment. For instance, creating events, circulating stories between employees and end users, along with collecting data on end users perspectives allows employees to become motivated to share creativity with future projects.

12 Ways to Be More Creative at Work

U.S. News Online (find it on the ipl2)

This site from US News and World Report contains a lot of free content. The World Report financial section discusses 12 in depth ways to be more creative at work. Some of the examples included in the article are embracing diversity, thinking like a boss, branching out, and writing your ideas down. The article helps working individuals understand that everyone needs to add creativity to their working environment.

12 Ways Tech Companies Boost Creativity Technology (find it on the ipl2) Technology is the premiere U.S. publication for entrepreneurship. The site provides hands-on advice, case studies, and big-picture overviews on the state of small business in the U.S. In this slide show of companies, users receive an inside look at the ways tech companies are boosting creativity on a daily basis.

Creativity in Education

Student Creativity and the Common Core

NEW! Catapult Learning

Student Creativity and the Common Core is an article provided by Catapult Learning, which is an organization dedicated to helping struggling students in K-12 improve their academic achievements. This source explains how students across America in K-12 compete globally through common core by encouraging students to think creatively and innovatively.

The Lego Foundation (find it on the ipl2)

The Lego Foundations and the Lego Group aim to encourage children to become future builders through the action of play. The Lego Foundations suggests that through play children are able to develop their skills as creative problem solvers, cultivate critical thinking, and establish a routine of collaboration. The Lego Foundation sponsors many international projects, from the World Robot Olympiad in Malaysia to robotics classes in Rural India, and from lectures on sustainable living in Copenhagen to creating global programs for children in environmental development. The Lego Foundation believes that play is training for the unexpected and attempts to give that training to children around the globe.

30 Ways to Promote Creativity in the Classroom 

NEW! Innovation Excellence

This article discusses the research of creativity in education performed by Sir Ken Robinson, David Hughes, and E. Paul Torrance, all of whom are advocates for more creative educational environments. The article offers 30 suggestions that could cultivate creativity in the classroom ranging from embracing creativity as a part of learning, the use of emotional connections to create ties to the classroom material, the use convergent and divergent thinking when creating assignments, to simply giving students time to ask questions, among many others. The majority of these suggestions illustrate the value of creativity in the classroom.

22 Simple Ideas for Harnessing Creativity in the Elementary Classroom

Edutopia (find it on the ipl2)

Trisha Richie is a kindergarten teacher who offers 22 simple ideas for using young student’s natural creativity to encourage learning and increase comprehension. She categorizes her ideas into game learning, artsy activities, creative activities for science, students’ favorite things, and using creative time savers. Riche illustrates that creativity teaches students at young ages the art of innovation, thinking outside the box, improvisation, the benefits of taking risks, how to break the mold, and gives educators the chance of professional growth.

The Relevance of Creativity in Education

NEW! Johns Hopkins School of Education

Dr.Rosa Aurora Chavez-Eakle is the founder of the Washington International Center for Creativity and works for the Maryland State Department of Education’s Council for the Gifted and talented. In the article “The Relevance of Creativity in Education” written for John’s Hopkins University, Chavez-Eakle discusses creativity, how it affects the brain and a person’s temperament, and how creativity can help childhood development for children. Chavez-Eakle suggests that the key to providing quality education is creativity.

The Art Junction (find it on the ipl2)

Art Junction is a website that promotes student arts and collaborative art making online through Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis, podcasts, photo and video sharing, social networks, and virtually. Art Junction experiments with promoting art education through web 2.0, to create Art Education 2.0.

Creativity and Food

National Geographic: Photo Gallery: Photographing Food

National Geographic (find it on the ipl2)

Learn how to find and set up creative photographs of food. This National Geographic photo gallery of gorgeous and intriguing images offers tips and advice for capturing the stories and moments surrounding food.

The Food Museum (find it on the ipl2)

Explore the eclectic FOOD Museum for articles, videos and links to discover the creative things people are doing and have done all around the world with food, about food, and to food. From vegetable gardens, to food-inspired camper vans, to a performance of “Food, Glorious Food” from the musical, Oliver, you will find inspiring ideas for getting creative with food and the FOOD Museum!

NEW! Incredible, Edible Crafts

Learn how to make creative candy bouquets and interesting fruit and vegetable arrangements on this homey and informative site. There are also recipes and instructions for food crafts for children, creative food garnishes, and helpful tips for fun food presentation.

Food in the Arts (find it on the ipl2)

This site provides a survey of the creative arts in connection with food. Themes include food in movies, music, literature, and art. Includes short essays on topics such as the movie “Like Water for Chocolate,” food in Puccini’s opera “La Bohème,” Hemingway and food, poverty, and still life paintings of food.

Poems About: Food (find it on the ipl2)

Visit this section on to discover hundreds of creative poems, classic and modern, about food. This collection of poetry is broadly representative and useful for information, reference and research.

Creativity and Children

Kid’s Crafts (find it on the ipl2)

The ipl2 provides an extensive list of resources focused on crafts for children. There are links to sites that offer free coloring pages, instructions for crafts, things to do with friends and family, and much more.

PBS Parents Creativity

NEW! PBS Parents

This site from the Public Broadcasting Company offers all kinds of resources for parents to help their children explore their creative side. The site is divided into sections to help parents find the right activities. There are plenty of hints, tips, games, activities, and more for both children and parents to use online and offline.

Art Safari (find it on the ipl2)

Part of the Museum of Modern Art’s website, this activity walks children through paintings and lets them explore and create stories as well as learn about the history behind some famous paintings.

Writing with Writers: Poetry (find it on the ipl2)

Listen to poets read their poems aloud, print up activity worksheets, or write and share your own poetry! This Scholastic site has resources for children, parents, and teachers. It also offers hints from famous children poets like Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, and Jean Marzollo.

The Lemelson Center for Invention and Innovation (find it on the ipl2)

This site offers resources for young people and curiosity seekers of all ages. There are videos and audio files as well as stories about inventions, articles, printables, and classroom activities. Anyone who wants to know more about inventions and how creativity has helped push people to make the world a better place will enjoy browsing all of the interesting parts of this site.

Creativity Across Cultures

Creativity Across Cultures (find it on the ipl2)

This source provides a PowerPoint created by Jingya Huang, Danielle Latta and Katie McCarney at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, in which they explain what creativity is, how it differs between Eastern and Western cultures, how different cultures use creativity differently in advertising, the process models for creativity, and how creativity affects society.

Understanding Creativity, Across Sectors and Across Cultures


The CREATIVE project is an EU funded research venture that analyzes creativity across cultures. The Project is led by Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. They will first document cultural differences in five different countries, then analyze reasoning skills when solving complex problems, then by analyzing the result they are able to create models for business or to encourage development. covers how professionals are applying creativity and innovation to the fields of science, technology, and medicine.

Why Diversity is the Mother of Creativity

NEW! Innovation Management

Innovation Management is a current and professional website that discusses how creativity can cultivate innovation in multiple disciplines. It provides informative articles written by international professionals in the fields of marketing, public relations, communications, consulting, and education. This article looks at how professional diversity can encourage creativity, creative thinking, and problem solving in people’s personal lives, on team projects, in companies, and how managers can coordinate creativity in team members.


In the News: World Pneumonia Day


Pneumonia X-Ray by Encephalon at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Pneumonia X-Ray by Encephalon at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

World Pneumonia Day is held on November 12 every year to bring attention to the world’s leading killer of children under age 5, and to encourage governmental action to prevent and treat the disease around the globe. Key messages of World Pneumonia Day 2013 include: Pneumonia takes an immense human toll; the Developing World is the worst affected; Proven interventions exist and must be made available to the vulnerable; and Innovation is crucial. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be caused by a variety of factors, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and chemical and physical irritants. Pneumonia is most common in Winter months and anyone can get it, although it most often attacks young children, people over the age of 65, and those with compromised respiratory or immune systems. Preventative strategies and treatments are available and several organizations are involved in implementing and tracking those interventions all over the world.

Pneumonia Fast Facts

Virtual Medical Centre: Pneumonia NEW!

The Virtual Medical Centre provides a Pneumonia Fact Sheet with definitions, statistics, risk factors, treatments, research resources and more.

Pneumonia & Children

World Pneumonia Day NEW!

The United Nations has recognized November 12th as World Pneumonia Day since 2009.  This year the theme for Pneumonia Day commemorations is “Innovation”. On November 12th, medical professionals and advocates call upon the governments of the world to invest in innovation for the prevention and treatment of the world’s number one killer of young children.

World Pneumonia Day Places Emphasis on the Biggest Killer of Children (find on ipl2)

“We can’t have the reductions in child mortality that we envisage without a concentrated, direct attack on the biggest enemy that children face,” said Mickey Chopra, Chief of Health of United Nations Children’s Fund in November, 2012.

Pneumonia & the Elderly

Pneumonia – University of Maryland NEW!

For the elderly population in the United States, Pneumonia is a serious concern. It is the most common hospital-acquired infection for seniors, and is one of the most prevalent nursing home-acquired illnesses. The University of Maryland provides excellent information on the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease in the elderly and other populations. Images and charts make this medical information easier to understand.

What are the Risks of Pneumonia in the Elderly? (find on ipl2)

The elderly are vulnerable to Pneumonia because they often have weakened immune systems and pre-existing health conditions that are worsened by Pneumonia. Common treatments are often not effective for older patients for a variety of reasons. Wisegeek discusses some of the challenges involving older patients and Pneumonia.

Symptoms & Treatment

Pneumonia – MedlinePlus (find on ipl2)

High fever, shaking chills, unproductive cough, shortness of breath– all are possible symptoms of Pneumonia. MedlinePlus, an excellent online health resource, provides plenty of information on the symptoms and treatment of Pneumonia, which is also called Bronchopneumonia.

Pneumonia – Treatment & Drugs (find on ipl2)

Antibiotics, anti-viral medications and vaccinations for children are possible responsive or preventative treatments for Pneumonia. As explained by the Mayo Clinic, treatment for Pneumonia depends largely on its type and severity.

Around the World

World Health Organization – Pneumonia (find on the ipl2)

Pneumonia affects people all across the globe, but it is most prevalent in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization fact sheets provide information about the specific causes of Pneumonia and discusses how to prevent and treat the disease with simple remedies and care.

Pneumonia – The Acute Respiratory Infections Atlas NEW!

The Acute Respiratory Infections Atlas, sponsored by the World Lung Foundation (WLF), provides maps and other information about Pneumonia around the world. Pneumonia, according the WLF, is a disease of poverty.

In the United States

American Lung Association (find on the ipl2)

The American Lung Association discusses the causes, types, treatments and costs of Pneumonia in the United States. It also provides statistics about Pneumonia in the U.S. regarding age, gender and race.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (find on ipl2)

The CDC, a participant and advocacy organization in World Pneumonia Day, reports that “In 2009, 1.1 million people in the United States were hospitalized with pneumonia and more than 50,000 people died from the disease.” The CDC also provides other information as well, including facts on the prevention of the disease through vaccination and good hygiene practices.

Strategies & Progress

What We Do – Pneumonia Strategy Overview – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (find on the ipl2)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is participating in efforts to prevent and treat Pneumonia around the world. The foundation’s “top priority is to promote full-scale delivery of currently available…vaccines and support the development of new vaccines” and to improve access to treatments for those at risk.

Pneumonia Progress Report – IVAC NEW!

The International Vaccine Access Center from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health provides data about the progress the world is making in preventing and treating Pneumonia in the 15 countries with the most child Pneumonia Deaths. Their findings? “Even in the face of significant progress, pneumonia remains the biggest threat to children’s lives, and disproportionately affects the poorest children in the world.”

In the news: 2013 – The Year of Solar Flare


The sun erupted with an X1.7 class solar flare on May 12th, 2013. This is a blend of two images of the flare from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. One image shows the light in the 171-angstrom wavelength and the other show the 131 angstroms.

Are science fiction literature authors correct when they write about solar flares causing Earth’s communications to fail and causing catastrophes worldwide or is this simply a convenient plot device? The year 2013 has seen the most solar flares since 2003 because the Sun’s magnetic field cycle is reversing polarization, as it does every 11 years. This reversal causes larger and more frequent solar flares, which explains why this year has seen a large number of these impressive solar weather occurrences in many years.  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officials say “the sun’s normal 11-year activity cycle is ramping up toward solar maximum, which is expected in late 2013” (NASA News, 2013, found below).

Early in October the Earth was treated to a wonderful display of Northern Lights, illuminating the sky with brilliant dancing colors throughout the Northern United States and Canada. A solar flare directed at the Earth sent a larger than average stream of magnetized radiation at the Earth, which reacted with the Earth’s own gravity and magnetic field, creating Northern Lights. This particular flare was a class M, which was not strong enough to disrupt any satellites or space stations orbiting the Earth but is still considered impressive by NASA’s standards.

The question remains: how will these solar flares affect technology and are they dangerous to the Earth? Below are some informative links explaining what solar flares are, how they affect technology, and how they are studied.

What are solar flares and why are they important:

Solar Flare Theory Educational Web Pages (find it on the ipl2)

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in the Heliophysics Science Division offers a detailed look at solar flares, explaining what a solar flare is, why it’s important to study solar flares, and what impact solar flares have. Additionally, this site reviews current research projects in the field of solar flares, such as the RHESSI Spacecraft.

NASA News (find it on the ipl2)

On June 8th, 2013, NASA announced that a class M solar flare had occurred on June 7th. NASA explained effects such as moderate radio blackout are common with class M solar flares. NASA officials also stated that increased solar weather activities, like flares, were likely to occur more frequently in 2013, as the magnetic field was likely to reach “solar maximum.” The United States Space Weather Prediction Center with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association predicts that the solar flare activities are likely to increase late in 2013.

The Sun Also Flips: 11-Year Solar Cycle Wimpy, but Peaking (New!)

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Terry Devitt provides an in depth explanation of the solar flare and of solar maxes, explaining that the Sun’s magnetic field reverses direction every 11 years, causing sunspots, solar flares, auroras, and geomagnetic storms.  Devitt also discusses the effects of superflares and their potential global threat to the Earth.

The not-so Northern Lights: Solar Flare Slams into Earth to Display Majestic Aurora as Far South as Kansas, Maine and Donegal (New!)

The Daily Mail Online explains how a powerful solar flare brought the Northern Lights as far south as Kansas, Main, and Donegal (a town in Ireland). The site explains the phenomena and includes many lovely photos from Paul Cyr illustrating an Amish family experiencing the Lights for the first time. The Daily explains what a solar flare is, why it occurs, and that in December of 2013 this solar flare cycle will reach its peak, undoubtedly creating more Northern Lights.

How do they affect technology on the Earth:

The Effects of Solar Flares on Technology (New!)

eHow explains the Effects of Solar Flares on Technology in a manner that is clear and easy to understand. eHow explains the Sun’s 11 year magnetic energy cycle and its effect on the rate of solar flare as it changes.  The site additionally outlines the effect on the power grids, GPS technology, and mobile devices.

Could an Extremely Powerful Solar Flare Destroy all the Electronics on Earth? (find it on the ipl2)

In Jonathan Strickland’s article with, he explains the nature of the sun, solar flares, and the potential for damage for our planet when a solar flare happens. Strickland explains that the majority of flares are absorbed in our atmosphere, creating Northern Lights and leaving the majority of people unharmed, but for people in space or at high altitudes skin cancer or irritation is a risk depending of the flare’s classification; additionally Strickland explains the vulnerability of satellites and electronics. The last super-storm from the Sun happened in 1859, when a flare so powerful occurred that Cubans saw the Northern Light. Strickland explains that if a similar flare happened today, it would take months to repair the damage.

Solar Flare Warning Issued by NASA (New!)

On August 21st NASA issued a Solar Flare Warning as a storm hurtled toward the Earth at 3 million mph, interrupting some satellites used for GPSs and airline communications. The article from Inquisitor explains that 3 million mph is an average speed for solar storms. Additionally the Northern Lights is an extraordinary side effect of the these storms.  When the solar radiation from the the flare hits the Earth’s magnetic field, the radiation breaks up in the atmosphere creating the Northern Lights in the sky, which are brightest at the poles of the Earth where the magnetic field is the strongest.

Solar Effects (find it on the ipl2)

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Space Weather Predictions Centers (SWPC) offers detailed descriptions of solar effects, including solar cycles, solar-terrestrial effects (the solar weather’s effects on earth), and a look at SWPC’s other solar weather operations. The table provided on this site is particularly helpful in laying out the specific effects that solar weather has on the Earth.

How do we study the sun:

Scientists have High Hopes for Japan’s Solar-B Mission Which has been Launched from the Uchinoura Space Port (find it on the ipl2)

Here the BBC’s Jonathan Amos discusses Japan’s new mission to study solar explosions. In September of 2006, Japan sent the spacecraft Solar-B into space carrying a probe, which will find out more about the Sun’s magnetic fields that cause solar flares when their 11-year cycle changes, flinging radiation into space. Amos explains that the probe will act as magnet to study the sun, giving scientists the hope that with finer detail they will be able to predict solar flares more accurate and avoid disaster in the future.

The Classification of X-ray Solar Flares or “Solar Flare Alphabet Soup” (find it on the ipl2) gives a unique look into the science of classifying solar flares. By analyzing strength of wattage, or the measurement of light admitted from the Sun, in a measurement called an Angstrom, scientists are able to determine the classifications; for example 10^-5.5 watts measures up to a class M solar event.  The site then explains how class X could lead to lasting radio blackout and radiation, class M would cause radiation in the Earth’s magnetic field and radio blackouts around the pole, and class C are unnoticed by the public.

Strongest Solar Flare in Months Unleashed by Sun (find it on the ipl2)

NBC’s Denise Chow offers a clear explanation of the class system for solar flares in a report of the event on October 9th, 2013, when at 9:48pm EDT one of the strongest solar flare in two months occurred. Chow illustrates the role of Earth’s magnetic field and how the flare could disrupt communications on Earth.

Our Sun (New!)

This children’s site illustrates the fundamentals of solar astronomy, highlighting key points like x-ray classification of solar flares, convection, thermonuclear fusion, and sun spots and winds. This site is particularly helpful because it offers HD video from NASA and the Kids Know It Network.

NASA Canyon of Fire on the Sun (find it on the ipl2)

Nasa’s YouTube Channel offers look at an eruption of solar material that occurred in late September. The video illustrates how the Sun is actually made out of plasma, and as magnetic fields change cycles, eruptions, like solar flares, can happen. This video demonstrates that by analyzing the eruption at different wavelengths, as demonstrated by the multiple colors, scientists are able to study the magnetic field around the Sun.

The Link: Everything you need to know about the Shutdown and the Affordable Care Act


Flags at the Washington Monument in DC

From the recent 16 day shutdown of the federal government and the previous shutdown of 1995, to the launching of the new Affordable Care Act (ACA), to the management of programs such as Women, Infants & Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the decisions and initiatives of the U.S. Federal government have great influence on the daily lives of regular citizens.  For information on U.S federal government programs that impact the daily life of American citizens, take a look at the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.

A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies (find it on the ipl2)

The ipl2 has resources to explore if you would like more information about the recent and previous federal government shutdowns and how they affected people across the country.

66 questions and answers about the government shutdown (Find it on the ipl2)

This informative video and article from USA Today discusses what led to the recent government shutdown, how the conflict was perpetuated, and what the effects of the closure were on federal programs, the economy, citizens, and the country.

Remarks by the President on the Reopening of the Government (find it on the ipl2)

This is the complete transcript of President Barack Obama’s remarks on the signing of legislation to reopen the U.S. federal government on October 17th, 2013. He describes the financial and political costs of the recent shutdown and discusses the future.

The Clinton-Gingrich 1995 shutdown (find it on ipl2)

The U.S. government has shut down before. MSNBC takes viewers back in time with a newscast from 1995 on the government shutdown, with Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams and Robert Hager reporting.  This 4 minute video gives viewers an idea of the Republican and Democratic perspectives.

Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is a brand new federal program that impacts U.S. citizens across the nation. With the new website going live in October there have been a lot of questions about what this means for people in the United States. Check out the ipl2 resources below to find out how the Affordable Care Act affects you and your family and friends.

NEW! Health Insurance Basics

This useful page on the federal healthcare website provides many frequently asked questions concerning the Affordable Care Act and related issues such as exemptions and coverage. Each question gives a short answer and provides a link to a longer explanation.

NEW! US Health Policy Gateway: PPACA

This site is compiled by the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research, which is headed up by researchers at Duke University. The Affordable Care Act is broken down into sections, which provide explanations as well as links to other sites where information can be found.

Health Care Reform Pros and Cons (find it on the ipl2)

The ProCon website provides a section with a variety of statements and sources debating the major issues of the Affordable Care Act. Their goal is to provide a balanced perspective showing the pros and cons using quotes and information from both sides of the issue.

Kaiser Family Foundation ACA Consumer Resources (find it on the ipl2)

The Kaiser Family Foundation is a well-respected non-profit that has been providing healthcare information for over 50 years. This section of their site contains videos as well as FAQs, infographics, and other tools to try to make the Affordable Care Act understandable to everyone.

The U.S. federal government oversees many programs that are intended to support and improve the lives of U.S. citizens. Two of these programs are Women, Infants & Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), which are designed to help meet the nutritional, health and housing needs of low-income families. Though you can get more information about WIC and SNAP resources from your state and local governments’ websites, here are some links to the national organizations.

Women Infants & Children (WIC) (find it on the ipl2)

Women Infants & Children (WIC) is a supplemental nutrition and education program that is funded through federal grants to states. It supports low-income mothers and their children through age five. This site describes the program and provides information on accessing individual state programs.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) United States Department of Agriculture (find it on the ipl2)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government program that helps low income families in the U.S. pay for food based on the number of people who live in the household and the household income. The SNAP program has come under great scrutiny in recent months and was considered vulnerable during the shutdown.

For a comprehensive look at the U.S. federal government’s foundational documents as well as its roles and agencies, take a look at the United States Government Manual.

United States Government Manual (Find it in the ipl2)

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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.

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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.

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In the News: All About “The Hunger Games”

Both the trilogy and the movie adaptation of the first book in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins have become smash hits not just in the United States, but across the world.  This series, which has captured the attention of both youth and adults, has been making waves for its symbolism and depiction of an incredibly dystopian future.  The following resources will prove highly useful for anyone interested in learning more about this provocative series.

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

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins on (find it on the ipl2)

This page, maintained by Suzanne Collins’ publisher, offers a wide variety of informative content.  Videos and interviews with the author are provided, along with synopses of the books and downloadable content.  Those new to the series have the opportunity to preview the first several chapters of the novels and can watch a trailer for the new movie.

The Hunger Games Discussion Guide (find it on the ipl2)

Informative and thought-provoking, this book guide is excellent for promoting insights and assisting readers of the series in understanding more of the nuances that can be found in the trilogy.  Whether the book guide is for a single reader or a group, the summaries of the novels and the discussion questions will be stimulating for all.

The Politics of ‘The Hunger Games’  (find it on the ipl2)

Paul Bond’s article discusses the political side of the trilogy and the movie adaptation, which have been making wide ripples in the world of government.  The article provides multiple views of the political messages that can be found in the books and movie, which allows the reader to see how the work has impacted the country in a fashion much larger than domestic box office figures.

NEW! The Hunger Games Film Website

This website will be highly useful for those who are interested in the film adaptation of Collins’ novels.  It provides links to the film’s social pages to make it easy for fans to connect and get up-to-date news on what is happening with the trilogy, along with links to news and articles on the film, which include discussions on the merits of the novel versus the movie and the female role model that Katniss has become, and even examples of how the series has had an impact on the world of fashion (“Capitol Couture”).

The Hunger Games IMDB (find it on the ipl2)

IMDB provides a fantastic array of information about the movie version of the first book in the trilogy.  Photos, trailers, trivia, cast information, and reviews can be found on this site, along with other facts about the film and links to over 8,000 news articles.

Thank you for supporting the ipl2. We hope you found these resources informative.

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!