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July 16, 2008: Links & Books

Bird Brains


Erich Jarvis Lab
On the homepage for Erich Jarvis' lab at Duke University, read about his research on songbirds and the origins of human speech.

Macaulay Library: Sound and Video Catalog
Listen to birdsong recordings and other animal calls from this Cornell University Web site.

Songbird Neurophysiology Laboratory

Dr. Santosh Helekar's lab page offers a look at his work with developing animal models of speech disorders such as stuttering.

Audubon Magazine: Birdsongs
Learn how to read a birdsong sonogram and listen to corresponding sound clips from Donald Kroodsma's book The Singing Life of Birds.

Why Birds Sing
Find out what birdsongs sound like when slowed down, and explore music and poetry inspired by this natural wonder.
Search a list of labs studying avian brains and brush up on related terminology and diagrams.

Babel's Dawn Blog
Humanist Edmund Blair Bolles hosts this blog for people interested in discussing the origins of human speech.

PBS: The Life of Birds
On this companion site to the PBS series The Life of Birds, browse interactive features with information about bird evolution, the rarity and skills of certain species, and more.


"Molecular Mapping of Movement-Associated Areas in the Avian Brain: A Motor Theory for Vocal Learning Origin"
by Erich Jarvis, Gesa Feenders et. al. Public Library of Science ONE, Vol. 3 Issue 3, March 2008.

"Bird Song Study Gives Clues to Human Stuttering"
Science Daily, June 12, 2007.

"Molecular Evolution of FOXP2, A Gene Involved in Speech and Language"
by Wolfgang Enard, Molly Przeworski, et. al. Nature, Vol. 418, 869-872, 2002.

"The Language of Song: An Interview with Donald Kroodsma"
by Jennifer Uscher. Scientific American, July 1, 2002.

"Birdsong and Human Speech: Common Themes and Mechanisms"
by Allison Doupe and Patricia Kuhl. Annual Review of Neuroscience, Vol. 22, 567-631, 1999.


The Singing Life of Birds: The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong
by Donald Kroodsma. Houghton Mifflin, 2007.

Bird Songs From Around the World: Featuring Songs of 200 Birds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
by Les Beletsky. Chronicle Books, 2007.

Language Disorders from Infancy Through Adolescence: Assessment and Intervention
by Rhea Paul. Mosby, 2006.

Space Storms


Space Weather Prediction Center
Find out the current space weather forecast, with information on solar wind speeds, extreme geomagnetic storms, and more.

NASA's current Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS) mission studies auroras and space weather using five surveying spacecraft. Learn more about these instruments and view videos on this Web site.

National Center for Atmospheric Research
Learn the basics of solar and other space weather from scientists at the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado.

University of Alaska's Aurora Forecast
Find out how to interpret aurora forecasts and read an informative Q&A page that explains aurora causes and characteristics.

Auroral Snapshot Explorer
FAST, the Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer, was a NASA mission launched in 1996 to study Earth's aurora. This Web site outlines the project's role in determining aurora fundamentals.

Tips on Viewing the Aurora
Browse a how-to page for aurora enthusiasts interested in getting a better view.

Legends and Folklore of the Northern Lights
Find traditional stories from the Eskimos and Indians of North America describing the aurora borealis as ancestral spirits, omens of war, and even a ball game in the sky.

Space Weather Center
Send space weather e-cards and play interactive games, including a solar maze and charged-particle mini golf.

NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: Studying Space Storms

View this NewsHour segment on NASA's THEMIS project and read astrophysicist and THEMIS principal investigator Vassilis Angelopoulos' answers to viewer questions.

NOVA: Magnetic Storm
On this companion site to the NOVA episode Magnetic Storm, watch a simulated flip of our planet's magnetic field and learn about the field's importance to life on Earth.


"Space Weather Forecast: More Solar Storms on the Way"
by John Roach. National Geographic, January 9, 2008.

"Digital Age Means We Must Care More About Space Weather"
by Robert Lee Hotz. The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2007.

"Space Weather Forecasting Gets a Cosmic Boost"
by Mark Kaufman. The Washington Post, March 5, 2007.


An Introduction to Space Weather
by Mark Moldwin. Cambridge University Press, 2008.

The Aurora Watcher's Handbook
by Neil Davis. University of Alaska Press, 1992.

Profile: Yoky Matsuoka


Yoky Matsuoka's Home Page
Learn about Yoky Matsuoka on her University of Washington site.

Roboticist Rodney Brooks
On Rodney Brooks' Web page at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, watch video demonstrations of his current robotic projects and see a detailed list of his publications.

Back From the Future
This segment from New Hampshire Public Radio features Matsuoka and other forward-thinking professionals, from scientists and artists to politicians and business leaders.

The New Yorker: Neurobotics
Matsuoka explains the emerging field of Nerobotics at a 2008 Conference in this video from The New Yorker.

Neurobotics: The Future of Thinking
This offering from London's Science Museum examines a potential future merging of the fields of engineering and neurology.

National Library of Medicine: Ambroise Paré
Flip through the sketches of a 16th-century French surgeon, whose vision for prosthetic limbs was years ahead of its time.


"Robotic Systems for Rehabilitation, Exoskeleton, and Prosthetics: Now and for the Future"
by Brian Dellon and Yoky Matsuoka. IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Magazine, Vol. 14, 30–34, 2007.

"On the Design of Robotic Hands for Brain Machine Interface"
by Yoki Matsuoka et. al. Neurosurgical Focus, Vol. 20, 1-9, 2006.

"3-D Brain Centers Pinpointed"
Science Daily. August 6, 2007.

"Science Has Designs on Your Brain"
by Jane Elliot. BBC News, October 11, 2006.

"Bionics: Help for the Disabled"
by Nilesh Kakade. Information Technology Magazine, February 2006.


Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us
by Rodney Brooks. Knopf, 2002.

More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement
by Ramez Naam. Broadway, 2005.

Smart Bridges


United States Department of Transportation: Deficient Bridges
Locate structurally dangerous bridges in your area on this page from the Federal Highway Administration.

Deficient or Obsolete Bridges by State
This interactive feature from MSNBC allows you to find out which bridges in your state may be structurally deficient.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: After the I-35W Collapse
Read recent news about the 2007 Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse, view a memorial page with victims' stories, and watch live images of the new bridge's construction.

Context for World Heritage Bridges
This site provides a great overview of bridge history, showing design progression and differences according to geographic location.

Worst Bridge Collapses in the Past 100 Years,29307,1649646_1421688,00.html
View a photo slide show provided by Time Magazine recounting a history of bridge disasters.

I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis
View images and video from the Minneapolis Bridge collapse on this site.

PBS's Building Big: Bridges
On this companion site to the PBS series Building Big, learn about different types of bridges and see how forces like tension and compression can affect a structure's stability.

NOVA Online: Super Bridge
Browse the companion Web site to a 1997 NOVA program on bridge-building.

Secrets of a Master Builder
The PBS Web site for this American Experience program tells the story of 19th-century engineer James Buchanan Eads, designer of the first large-scale steel bridge.


"Sensors Detect Bridge Flaws", August 7, 2007.

"Health Care for Bridges: A Search for Diagnostic Tools"
by Matthew Wald. The New York Times, November 1, 2007.

"From Fresh Ideas and Better Steel, Safer Bridges"
by William J. Broad. The New York Times, August 7, 2007.


Understanding Bridge Collapses
by Bjorn Akesson. Routledge, May 2007.

Bridge Engineering: Substructure Design
by W.F. Chen and Lian Duan. CRC Press, 2003.

Bridge Builders
by Martin Pearce and Richard Jobson. Academy Press, 2002.

Bridges of the World: Their Design and Construction
by Charles Whitney. Dover Publications, 2003.


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