NetWatch

Science  03 Nov 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5800, pp. 733
  1. IMAGES: Neither Animal Nor Vegetable

    Yellow or green in daylight, uranium-containing autunite crystals fluoresce under an ultraviolet lamp, making the mineral a favorite of collectors. At this online atlas from geologist J. Theo Kloprogge of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, you can dig up a wealth of physical and chemical data about autunite and more than 3600 other minerals. The database lists 13 standard properties for each mineral, including hardness, specific gravity, and tenacity, or resistance to breaking. Many entries furnish photos, and Kloprogge is adding Raman and other spectra, which are useful for identifying samples and analyzing their structure.

    http://www.mineralatlas.com/

  2. LINKS: Sea Stories

    Looking for fresh information on Greenland's dwindling ice sheet? Want to know which ocean areas the United Nations recently classified as dead zones because of smothering pollution? Drop a line into the Ocean Forum. The portal from the nonprofit World Ocean Observatory in New York City hauls in marine news from the media, government agencies such as NASA, and numerous other sources. The forum also links to plenty of additional watery resources, from the U.N.'s ocean atlas to a site that's tracking seals via satellite.

    www.thew2o.net/oceanForum.html

  3. EDUCATION: Physics Club

    The target audience for I Love Physics is everyone from students struggling with their homework to professors looking for timely examples for the classroom. The site from J. Christopher Moore, a teacher at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, includes a forum in which students from high school through college level post and chew over baffling problems. In the blog section, Moore explores topics that include cheaper alternatives for fuel-cell catalysts and the optimum angle for punting a football.

    http://www.ilovephysics.com/

  4. RESOURCES: The Ultimate Darwin Library

    One of the new species Charles Darwin discovered during his round-the-world voyage in the 1830s was the South American flightless bird Rhea darwinii. But the father of natural selection and his companions had eaten most of the first specimen before he realized its significance. Darwin tells that story in the first edition of his Journal of Researches, which makes its Web debut at this new archive hosted by Cambridge University in the U.K.

    Curated by science historian John van Wyhe, the Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online holds all of the great evolutionist's publications, myriad manuscripts, and more than 150 works about him. The archive also presents the previously unpublished field notebooks from the Beagle voyage, including one volume missing since the 1980s. And it is the first Web site to post all six editions of the Origin of Species, allowing readers to trace the evolution of Darwin's thinking.

    darwin-online.org.uk

  5. RESOURCES: Back on the Prowl

    Predators such as the gray wolf and brown bear aren't just hanging on in Europe. In recent years, they have returned to parts of their former ranges, sometimes with human help (see p. 746). For background on the five kinds of large European carnivores and efforts to make room for them on a crowded continent, check out this site from the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Species accounts stocked with range maps and other basic information introduce hunters such as the wolverine (Gulo gulo), a burly weasel that's been moving from Scandinavia's mountains into lowland forests. Visitors can browse the latest news about carnivore conservation or consult a host of reports and papers on topics such as bear reintroduction programs.

    http://www.lcie.org/

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