Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oscar results added to Cinema Image Gallery

 We've updated Cinema Image Gallery to take account of the results of this year's Academy Awards. So if you're looking for pictures for a class quiz, topical slideshow, or montage of war movies that have won Best Picture, you'll find all the right labels in the database, ready to go.

Cinema Image Gallery has images from all of this year's nominees in the following categories:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Actor/Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor/Actress
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Original Screenplay/Best Adapted Screenplay

We have multiple images in each category, too, so you can find the one that best suits your needs.

Don't forget that all the images in Cinema Image Gallery are licensed for use in an educational setting, so use them liberally in art, history, drama, and social studies classes, as well as in your film and media classes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Decade on from the Bursting of the Dotcom Bubble

According to some publications, today marks the tenth anniversary of the bursting of the dotcom bubble, when the price of tech stocks began to tumble and many companies went under.

A quick look in the archives reminds us that business and computing publications were aware of the impending crash: this article in Maclean's, 24 January 2000, says

...firms whose stock is overvalued because of the current mania for all things Internet should use those shares as currency to buy other companies while they still can. Otherwise, there's a risk they may "lose it" if and when the Internet bubble bursts and stocks like eBay, Yahoo! and return to earth.
Of course, we know that all three of these companies survived the crash and have gone on to be three of the most stable names in the era of Web 2.0. Other companies were not so long-lived. Despite the headline "No Bubbles Bursting Here", this article from Advertising Age, November 6, 2000, lists several information-exchange websites that no longer exist, had their domain names bought out by other companies, or exist in a completely different form today.

Although some articles, such as "The Next Bubble", from Technology Review, July/August 2008, suggest that "to the individuals who lived through the last Web bubble, this year's Web 2.0 ventures seem painfully reminiscent of the online companies of 2000", others take the view expressed in the name of an article from Computerworld, March 26, 2007, that "Consumer Demand Should Prevent Web 2.0 Bubble, Say Users, Analysts".

The articles cited and quoted in this post can all be located very easily in Omnifile Full Text, either the Mega Edition or the Select Edition.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Kathryn Bigelow wins the Oscar for Best Director

What better way to mark International Women's Day than to celebrate the work of movie director Kathryn Bigelow, who yesterday became the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director?

Bigelow was born in San Carlos, a rural suburb of San Francisco, on November 27, 1951. At an early age she loved horses and art, and initially studied art at the San Francisco Art Institute. She moved to New York City in approximately 1972 on a scholarship to the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum, and stayed in New York for the next 12 years. She crossed over into film-making when the artist Vito Acconci hired her to film a short piece to accompany a performance piece. Bigelow then won a scholarship to Columbia University's Graduate Film School, where she saw Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch and Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets, as a double feature. She describes these movies as "a turning point in my film consciousness," and indeed, she describes herself as being interested in "high-impact, high-velocity movie-making."

Her movies include The Loveless (1982), Near Dark (1987), Blue Steel (1990), Point Break (1991), Strange Days (1995), and, of course, the 2010 Oscar winner for Best Picture, The Hurt Locker (2008).

This profile of Kathryn Bigelow comes from Biography Reference Bank, and the photos (and more like them) can be found on Cinema Image Gallery.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Listen and Learn!

We're excited to announce the addition of 241 podcasts to our Arts and Humanities databases. These podcasts cover a variety of topics in fine art, music, architecture, film, writing, the classics, and more. Obviously we at Inside Wilson haven't listened to every single one yet, but we're particularly enjoying the series on Vermeer and the podcast "Balinese Music and Dance: Gamelan Mitra Kusuma," (because gamelan is a lot of fun to learn about).

So, if you have a subscription to any of these databases

you can browse the podcasts available to you by choosing "podcast" from the "document type" dropdown menu at the bottom of the main search screen. If you just want to see video podcasts, choose "video" from the "physical description" menu.

Science subscribers: don't worry. We will be adding podcasts to our science databases soon.

We really hope you enjoy this new learning tool.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss

Born in Massachusetts on March 2, 1904, Theodor Geisel was the only son of a prosperous German-American brewing family. He was intended to take over the business eventually, but Prohibition intervened and the family business was closed in 1920.

Geisel’s father took a job as the Superintendent of Parks, including the city zoo, and young Theodor was a frequent visitor to the animal enclosures, an experience that was to come out later in his cartoons featuring fantastical-looking animals.

After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1925, Geisel (who was by now signing his cartoons with his middle name, Seuss) toured Europe, then returned to the U.S. where he began his cartooning career in earnest. By the end of World War II, he had moved into writing and illustrating children’s books at a rate of about one per year.

The combination of bright pictures, simple and humorous rhymes, fun characters, and moral messages, have ensured that his work remains beloved by children and their parents all over the world, although he remained a private man throughout his life.

Ted Geisel died in 1991 at the age of 87. In 2004, the 100th anniversary of his birth was celebrated in his hometown of Springfield with the unveiling of a memorial sculpture garden.

On his birthday each year, the National Education Association sponsors Read Across America Day, when adults and children engage in read-aloud activities.

Biography from Junior Authors and Illustrators, also available in World Authors, and Biography Reference Bank.