Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu, H1N1 2009

Keep up with the latest on the Swine Flu (H1N1) with the following web sites:

H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) from the U.S. CDC U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Influenza Virus Resource from the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (EPR)
from the World Health Organization (WHO) web site.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Check the Official Google Blog: Adding search power to public data

Official Google Blog: Adding search power to public data is a potentially very useful, interesting, and truly incredible feature. Imagine the possibilities for instant comparisons as a picture (in this case a graph) is worth a million words.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Wallstrip Edge - by Howard Lindzon

The WallStrip Edge by Howard Lindzon emphasizes the importance of understanding trends to make money, specifically how to buy and sell stock in our shrinking world.

Trends are very important to those of us in the information profession and any book that helps one identify secrets to discovering new trends is a most worthwhile read for the information professional.

Information specialists often identify trends, report trends, research trends, predict trends, and create them! Trends are born, reborn, end, and die.

Lindzon reviews past trends and suggests how we might easily view trends in a business, sector, or country. He reviews popular web sites, blogs, and browsers for trend tracking, and includes the new roles of social networking. Lindzon's book is centered on stocks but the information he provides is not limited to the stock market as Lindzon is a student of the study of human nature, society, the global economy, the importance of networks, our past, and our future.

Lindzon suggests we continuously quick scan technology, headlines on the web, and "hot buttons" to keep us in the loop and up-to-date.

The book is easy and fun to read. Lindzon includes a "To-Do List" at the end of each chapter for our review. Lindzon reviews the importance of doing our "homework" in any endeavor.

Lindzon echoes the importance and power of information and includes information as the first in his list of everlasting trends. He states that "information is the most important everlasting trend because information gives people power."

Lindzon's four categories of everlasting trends include:
1. Information
2. Vices
3. War & Defense
4. Health, Wellness & Vanity

I hope that my husband will turn off the television (as Lindzon suggests) and read this inspiring book that I found in the "new nonfiction section" of our public library.

Howard Linzon's web site states it is "where pop culture meets stock culture."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Image Search Engines - Imagery

I can not believe how quickly the prototype search engine "Imagery" found images on my research topic. Almost every image was relevant. I could limit the images by adding additional terms in the search box.

Per the complicated question I have been working on as an information specialist searching for particular images, containing certain words, Imagery is another database that I am adding to my "to search list" for Rosa S. Raskin & Associates, LLC.

The search engine is user friendly with useful features. It quickly produced 100 relevant images on my topic. I especially like the option of clicking on the thumbnail to increase the size of the image so that I could read a label on a product. The enlarged image appears on the bottom of the screen so that I may compare the enlarged image with the search results (thumbprints) on the screen.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Intersection of Nanotechnology & Material Sciences

Nanotechnology and the material sciences are of great interest to me. The intersection of these two areas holds promise for innovative technologies.

Much research is centered on drug delivery. Recent news concerning a new type of non-toxic nanoparticle drug delivery system that breaks down and is excreted by the kidneys after delivering the drug to the target is most exciting.

For more information see

Biodegradable luminescent porous silicon nanoparticles for in vivo applications

The April 6, 2009, news report about this discovery, includes a picture of the nanoparticle, see MaterialsToday online - Nanoparticles deliver the goods and leave without a trace. The news report reviews the research in which doxorubicin was used to target a tumor, without any toxicity to major organs of the mouse.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

If you are ready for optimism about our world and the future of business, read and reread The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson. Anderson's book was recommended to me as a must read by my entrepreneurial mentor, Dr. William R. Sharp.

Anderson's work is the result of two years of research, interviews, and includes much analysis of the relatively new companies building on the concept of the "long tail".

What is the "long tail"?

Using Anderson's insight, the "long tail" is infinite, unlimited, unrestricted, abundant, "choice" and much more.

The book is relevant for those of us specializing in the dynamic field of research and information gathering, as well as those working in other business sectors.

Anderson includes insights into our internet-based economies, emphasizes the explosion of choices as a result of a digital world, and sums up how the future differs from the past in the subtitle of the book:

"Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Search Engine - Oparla

There are new search engines almost every week. I have a huge list of my favorites but came across an unusual one before its official launch.

I am working on an ongoing difficult question for my company Rosa S. Raskin & Associates, LLC. that involves searching for an image including two common words. Today, I found a new search engine, Oparla, that to my surprise, includes the best results to date of any search engine I have used for my particular question.

One review of Oparla is "New search engine to reward its users". The scheduled launch date for the search engine is April 14, 2009, however, I am using it before the official launch date and am beyond satisfied in regard to the information I found, two different graphic images including the two words within the image that are of interest to me.

I do not know details about being rewarded for the search I did on Oparla other than being able to find the images needed using text words that were included as text or "within the image". This was reward enough for this persistent and professional information specialist.

A search engine such as Oparla is a worthwhile addition to my collection of fee-based and free deep web resources. I see this search engine as one more secret addition to my sources in the realm of intellectual property. Oparla is easy to use, results appear uncluttered, and offer options as to the formatted results.

I can not verify the completeness of this new search engine, or if it was serendipity that I found the information I needed after searching so many other sources.

I suggest that a quick search of the Oparla search engine may prove useful to the professional information specialist trying to find that needle in many haystacks, or a brief overview of a subject. The search in Oparla may not be complete. but the engine is one of the best kept secrets I have found to date for text words included in a graphic.

I welcome any comments if my initial experience with Oparla was just luck, coincidence, or a treasure!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Interesting Fact - Repainting the Eiffel Tower

My interest in the material sciences includes paints and coatings. My father invented a homemade paint mixer and painted a three story house without using a ladder. My father used pulleys and bamboo poles to paint the shingles and the wood of our three story home that was beige and green in color. The neighbors would come and watch in amazement as he painted the entire house in a few days while my sister and I carefully painted each brick and mortar around our home's foundation.

In my readings as an information specialist in the material sciences for my company, Rosa S. Raskin & Associates, LLC, I remember reviewing a news report last February, 2009. The report stated that the 220,000 square meter surface area of the 120 year old Eiffel Tower will be repainted beginning this month, (April, 2009) and that the job would be completed by the fall of 2010 (click here to read the full news report). Three shades of a specially prepared paint/coating formula are to insure that the Eiffel Tower will appear uniform in color. The last time the Tower was painted was in 2002.

I imagine that the workmen repainting the Eiffel Tower will have no fear of painting at heights as my father did!

Fun Book to Read by a Behavioral Economist

After many decades, my adviser from The Ohio State University remains my mentor in my work as an independent information specialist and owner of Rosa S. Raskin & Associates, LLC. He recently suggested I read two books. I could not put the book entitled Predictably Irrational authored by Dan Ariely down until I finished reading it.

Ariely is an MIT behavioral economist, holds the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics, that has conducted many studies regarding how we make decisions. Ariely became interested in the field while a severely burned patient enduring much pain.

His pearls of wisdom include experiments where he illustrates that given three choices, most people take the second choice, that most things are relative, that first decisions turn to long-term habits, and one of my favorites, the value of offering something for "free".

Ariely describes how the realization that we are predictably irrational is a first step in improving our decision making. Ariely uses experiments to illustrate general principles. Some of his research is humorous, a pleasant surprise from a researcher from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and the book is fun to read.

Ariely's web site related to the book is

I highly recommend this book to the consumer, to business owners like me, and to anyone wanting to understand human behavior in regard to the hidden forces that influence our decisions.

In our current economic climate, I consider this engaging and entertaining book a must read!

Short Book Review of Voices of Strength: Sons and Daughters of Suicide Speak Out

The book entitled
Voices of Strength: Sons and Daughters of Suicide Speak Out
by Judy Zionts Fox, RN, LSW, and Mia Roldan, with a foreword by Senator Harry Reid, is a critical work for anyone working in psychiatry, in special or public libraries, or touched by suicide.

Zionts and Roldan, daughters of mothers that committed suicide, conducted research to create a book reviewing the haunting, long term effects of parental suicide, the stages in the grief process and the process of forgiveness and hope. The book includes their personal experiences as well as an incredible view of the effects of suicide as seen through other survivors included in their retrospective survey. This book is relevant to anyone touched by the suicide of a family member or friend.

Additional information on this book, including awards it has received, and other books of interest are detailed on my web site at

If you are interested in this subject on any level, I recommend that you obtain a copy of this book. This book should be in the collection of every public, medical, and special library including the subject of suicide.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Information Specialist Secrets - April 6, 2009

I invite you to follow "Information Specialist Secrets", created in April 2009 by me, Rosa of Rosa S. Raskin & Associates, LLC.

The URL (address) for this blog is

An information specialist is a professional researcher trained and experienced to find the "precious" information one needs to succeed.

Information specialists belong to professional organizations, generally have a Master's Degree in the field of information/library science, and often hold an additional Master's Degree in a subject specialty.

I was trained in the sciences, hold an M.S. in Microbiology (biotechnology) from The Ohio State University and an M.L.S. from Kent State University. My undergraduate work was in the biological sciences with a minor in chemistry and general science education.

My more than 25 years of experience and current interests include the material sciences, green technologies, business intelligence, and global issues.

I enjoy answering the questions you need to succeed as you Keep Askin for Raskin.

"Information Specialist Secrets" will include book reviews, interesting facts, and links to useful web sites and search engines. I hope this site will prove to be of value to you. Your comments, additions, or corrections to the site are most welcome and appreciated, as are your most precious "secrets".