Introducing Mideastwire

Mideastwire provides daily English-language summaries of key political, cultural, economic, and opinion pieces produced by the media in 22 Arab countries, Iran, and the Arab Diaspora. Although this resource is particularly relevant for faculty and students in Political Science, International Affairs, Journalism, and International Business, it will be of interest to anyone following current developments in the Middle East and Arab world. Automatic delivery of a daily briefing is available through RSS feed or e-mail. To enable e-mail delivery of the daily briefing, send a blank e-mail message to Please note that there are currently some difficulties with delivery to Gmail accounts; Gmail users, please see the following FAQ: A link to RSS feeds is available on the home page of Mideastwire. Additional features include:
  • Links from each translated article to the original news piece which offers users the look and feel of the original news source. Additionally, readers fluent in the language of publication may view the original.
  • Five year archive for issue tracking.
  • Basic and advanced searching of the article archive.
  • Access to the Mideastwire blog.
  • Links to related websites.
  • Alumni access.
Mideastwire enhances international news coverage already provided through other library resources, including, Press Display, Access World News, and Lexis/Nexis Academic.

Game Design and Interactive Media Lecture Series

Today, January 18, at 1:30pm there will be a lecture in the Raytheon Amphitheater (240 Egan) by Ed Fries. Ed Fries is awesome because he is co-creator of the Xbox, the creator of "Halo 2600" for the Atari 2600, founder of FingerPrints, and is a former Microsoft Vice President of Game Publishing. This event is open to both students and professionals in the area and should be an amazing talk with Mr. Fries. If you are interested in game design, interactive media, animation, or if you have just played on an Xbox before you should attend! Also, this lecture is part of an ongoing event series by the Creative Industries Program and College of Arts called the 2011 Game Design and Interactive Media Lecture Series. Keep an eye out for more terrific events like this in the future! UPDATE, 5:10pm, 1/18/11: Unfortunately, this event was cancelled due to bad weather. Hopefully it will be rescheduled. Check the lecture series' website for further updates.

Texting in the Classroom: Problem or Not?

Okay, this is a different kind of "scholarly communication" than the kind I usually write about... I've been seeing more information recently about students texting while in class, from innocuous chatting with friends all the way to sending information during exams. This morning, Inside Higher Ed posted a "Quick Take" report on a study conducted on in-class texting at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania: ⇒ Wilkes University Professors Examine Use of Text Messaging in the College Classroom A whopping 91% of the students surveyed responded that they have used their cell phones to text during class time! (Only 3% admitted to doing it to send information about an exam while they were taking it, though.) Professors have a wide range of responses to texting in their classrooms, from a Syracuse University professor who walked out on his class after seeing a student texting in the front row: ⇒ If You Text in Class, This Prof Will Leave (Inside Higher Ed) to this professor at Georgia State University who encourages his students to text during order to send questions to him, that is: ⇒ Professor Encourages Texting In Class (NPR) Faculty, students, what do you think? Is texting during class common at Northeastern? Is it a distraction, or is it no big deal? Photo courtesy of Tommy Huynh.

Sept. 29, 2010: On This Day in History

On September 29, 1987, my lovely sister Jacqueline Ratner was born. Happy 23rd sis! In other, more scholarly-related news, on September 29, 2008, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a record 777.68 points after the House voted against a $700 billion financial recovery plan. It was a very somber day that wrote this 21st-century recession in stone. Two years later we are supposedly rising out of the recession, and a lot of valuable lessons have been learned by experts, businesses, and individuals alike. As students, and for the future of this country, it is important that we learn from mistakes in the past so we can keep making that "cash-money." The library has always had books on finance, as it is one of the most popular majors at Northeastern, but now you can find newly added post-recession books on how to manage your money. Keep that beer-money coming in all of your life by taking a look at some of the great new additions to the Snell Stacks. The Roller Coaster Economy: Financial Crisis, Great Recession, and the Public Option Too Big to Save? How to Fix the U.S. Financial System Guide to Financial Markets

Friday Five for bio and health

Lately the news has been a little slow!  Everyone was either on vacation or trying to save the cat from Hurricane Earl.  A few biology and health sciences articles that did break can be read through the NU Libraries: 1. SAMe, a natural chemical often used as a dietary supplement, may alleviate depression. 2. In the latest issue of Nature, E.O. Wilson and two colleagues used mathematics to prove that even self-sacrificing altruistic behavior in animals like ants can be explained with the theory of natural selection.  For decades it has been thought that altruistic behavior was not consistent with natural selection and other theories like "kin selection" (protecting the survival of the family) were needed to explain it. 3. In sports news, an article in the New Journal of Physics explains the ideal spiral kicked by Brazilian soccer player Roberto Carlos against France in 1997.  (Watch it on YouTube here.) 4. This week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court sided with a psychotherapist, upholding patient confidentiality against Massachusetts Board of Registration, which tried to subpoena medical records from him.  The complete decision is available in Lexis-Nexis. 5. It might be a meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, but no comet or other impact 12,500 years ago killed the mammoths and other beasts, according to the latest issue of Science. And yes, we're working on that new book by Stephen Hawking...I'll let you know when it arrives!