Sidebar Omnibus

Detail from a painting by Johannes Zacharias Simon Prey, Wellcome Library

Several new links have crept into our sidebar in recent months, and we thought we’d take a moment to talk about what you’ll find if you give them a click.

The most obvious is the Linus Pauling Science Center construction webcam.  In late September 2009, we covered the ground breaking ceremony for $62.5 million building project, and what was at that time a big hole in the ground is now starting to bear some resemblance to its final form.  The Pauling Science Center, which is among the early tangible results of Oregon State University’s ongoing capital campaign, will house the Linus Pauling Institute as well as chemists from the College of Science.  At 105,000 square feet the Center will be the largest academic building on campus as well as a stunning illustration of just how far the Institute has come since its 1973 founding in a Menlo Park, California rental space.

Under the “Archives and Special Collections” sidebar header, we have added a link to the magnificent Wellcome Library blog, a collaborative venture that publishes new content virtually every day.  Based in London, the Wellcome Library is perhaps the world’s foremost repository for materials documenting the history of medicine.  Last year the Library embarked upon a major digitization effort that seeks to grant online access to a huge amount of the Wellcome’s vast collections.  Their blog – not unlike our own project – both highlights certain interesting components of their collections while simultaneously providing a glimpse behind the scenes of their various curatorial and digitization processes.  As a library and as a blog, they are an inspiration to us.

Lastly, we were delighted to find Sam Kean’s Blogging the Periodic Table site, hosted by the online magazine  Kean is the author of The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, and he’s been using his space on Slate to write about a different element each week day during the month of July.  While at first blush this may sound a bit dull, we have found that Kean’s writing is always entertaining and often enlightening.  Where else, for example, would one learn that Lewis and Clark thought to pack mercury-based laxative tablets with them as they set out to explore the new American West?


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