Holiday treats from the BRAIN_blog

Welcome to the holiday issue of the BRAIN_blog, where we bring you mapping tools to map out your holidays, poetry, guides, seasonal e-tools and more, oh so much more!

1) Mapping out your holiday plans
Planning a trip for the holidays? To perhaps a major city in the U.S. or Paris, France? Then, we have the resource for you! A9.com that wonderful little search engine we�ve raved about in the past, has a nice feature that allows you to view photos of specific locations (city blocks) in major cities in the United States�click on a map of the city and view that area in a stream of photos. Gives you a nice view of the area before you go! The French version of the Yellow Pages (Pages Jaunes) offers the same service for Paris, France. Grab some Brie and some wine and it�s like you�re actually there! Well, sort of.

2) Microsoft joins the satellite map mix
Continuing with the maps theme�.Microsoft�s equivalent of Google Earth went live late last week: Windows Live Local. It offers some nice looking maps but again it seems they�ve left us out up here in the Great White North. Tried searching for a local establishment on the map of Hamilton and no go (Google Local works though so if you�re looking for all the Tim Horton�s in our fair land, that�s the tool to use!) Windows Live Local does offer some great aerial maps (even of us here in Canada) and you can add pushpins and notes to the maps. Google Earth is still superior for driving directions as each time I tried Windows Live I got the message that the server was busy. A great feature is the bird�s eye view � only available for a few places in the U.S. at the moment nonetheless a cool tool to play with. Check out the Horseshoe Falls for example.

3) It�s only natural: Nature archives and blogs
The journal Nature is getting in touch with its hippie flowerchild self�it has added another decade (the colourful 60�s) to its archives�now you can access 53, 069 articles from 522 issues published between January 1960 and December 1969. Nature has also recently launched 3 new blogs for discussion of articles in their various journals�.action potential for the neuroscience folks, free association for the genetics folks and nascent for the science and web tech folks.

4) I am what?
Have you heard the term �IM� and wondered �I am what?� Then this tutorial is for you. EDUCAUSE has released another great little tip sheet on 7 things you need to know about IM.

5) More new titles!
This just in! Check out the December 2005 new titles list for all the latest additions to the Library @ Mohawk collection!

6) Roses are red, violets are blue
There are better poems than that�and they are all online for you! Check out the newly launched Poetry Archive for a searchable collection of readings by poets. Very nifty indeed.

7) The latest and greatest
There�s been lots of buzz lately about a new technology that�s hitting the air waves called Web 2.0. A great resource to fill you in on all the details is What is Web 2.0 by Tim O�Reilly. Now don�t we just so keep you in the loop on the BRAIN_blog?

8) E-Resources to help you celebrate the season
Don�t forget about the fab eresources that are available to help you celebrate the season! Pandora (mentioned a few issues back) for example, is a great tool for listening to those holiday tunes! Enter the name of a seasonal song and Pandora will find similar such melodies! Hook up some speakers to your computer and you�ve got a party! Bring on the �nog!

There�s nothing like snuggling up with an ebook by the fireside during this holiday season. Check out the great titles available at the Library @ Mohawk in our electronic book collection, netLibrary. The Gift of the Magi, The Night Before Christmas, A Christmas Carol and The Night Before Festivus are just a few. (Nah, just kidding about that last one.) Access netLibrary through the Library�s ebooks page. Looking for more holiday titles? Check out The Online Books Page, which lists ebooks in the public domain (that means no copyright restrictions!)

And the Library @ Mohawk�s web site TheBRAIN is open all through the holidays � we never close! If you get tired of turkey and nog, log in and take a break with one of the thousands of electronic magazines that are available! Ahh, what could be better!

9) Francesca�s Digital Dish
Even though he hangs out with elves and drives around in a sleigh, Santa has a lot in common with many of our students here at Mohawk College. That jolly old man is totally up-to-date and wired for the future! You can bet that Santa has high-speed Internet access, a laptop and a wireless modem on his ride. He certainly listens to Christmas music on his I-Pod to keep himself warm at 20,000 feet on that chilly night. And he�s the king of multi-tasking with his PDA by his side to keep track of who�s been naughty and nice, and his cell phone to call the Mrs. back home. And of course he�d have a GPS system on-board to keep those reindeer moving in the right direction.

Whether you�re responsible for writing a worldwide naughty/nice list or writing a Sociology term paper, technology is changing everything. Think about all the resources that are available through the Library @ Mohawk: online articles, journals, magazines and e-books, advanced searches for print and video resources from all of our campus libraries, Internet resources, links to recommended sites and so much more. If it�s newsworthy, you�ll know about it instantly. Then again, so will Santa.

Oh and about those millions of letters he gets from hopeful children all over the world? He most likely scans them and saves them to his flash drive. I would know – he forgot it here in the e-library one winter night…

We know that technology has transformed Santa�s life�want to know how technology has transformed teaching?�See a new report from EDUCAUSE: The 361 Degree Model for Transforming Teaching and Learning with Technology. For more information on the latest trends in the digital world, check out a brand new report from the Center for the Digital Future at U.S.C. Annenberg School: 2005 Digital Future Report (Highlights)

From all of us at the BRAIN_blog, to all of our BRAIN_blog readers, all the best of the holiday season!

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