Social Science sites of the week

Egypt Elections Watch
Has been launched by Jadaliyya in association with Ahram Online, the Center of Contemporary Arab Studies (Georgetown University) and the Middle East Studies Program (George Mason University). This has excellent introductions to election laws, profiles of parties and key figures along with maps, legislation and links to key news feeds and facebook sites.(many in Arabic).It is a good complement to the Egypt Votes site which aims to encourage quality reporting by young Egyptian journalists. It is jointly financed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, International Trade Canada and the German Federal Foreign Office. Some of the site is in Arabic, but there is also a on the left hand side which has interesting current comment.
For further suggestions for news covering the Egyptian elections see our recent blog posting. There is also another posting on more general news and analysis sites covering the Arab Spring.

Google launches specialist US elections and politics pages
Useful for tracking progress in the 2012 presidential race!
Includes the 2012 political calendar from pbs YouTube politics videos. It has news stories, results and graphs by candidate and issue. For a handy calendar of forthcoming events see the National Association of Secretaries of State, website which has a 2012 Presidential Primary/Caucus Calendar and presidential primaries guides.

Stream Congress
A tool from watchdog, the Sunlight foundation that combines in one web based application Tweets, YouTube videos and floor updates from members of Congress, making them into a single customized news feed. Instructions given on the website. Note usage requires Google Chrome to be installed.

Also relaunched by the same group Capitol words.
Get data on the most used words in the US Congress. Compare terms on graphs or see the most frequently used recent terms. It is possible to compare words or phrases by state or party. For instance see this page of statistics on mentions of Obama . Find out who mentioned it the most, mentions over time.

New Year resolutions.
The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, an organization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a site to aid your New Year resolutions. In addition to advice on healthy eating and exercise, it also has a supertracker to develop a personalised health and fitness plan. For more on resolutions. The American Psychological Association has some good tips. They also have links to some apps to speed you on.

Arab League–Syria

The official website has details on its English language version about its involvement in Syria. See the option on the left of the screen. This has news, protocols and information about its observer mission.
Further details about the situation can be found on the United Nations website see its winds of change in the Middle East news section for the latest press releases, speeches and statements.
The Syrian observatory for Human offering daily updates on the situation some comment is translated into English.

South Asia Research Documentation Services 3 (SARDS3)
An electronic database containing bibliographic references to South Asia research articles maintained by the Universities of Bonn, Halle, Munich. Covers the period 1797-2000.
Particularly useful for tracing European language articles. A good supplement to Bibliography of Asian Studies-South Asia Index Provided by the Digital South Asia Library. This resource offers free access to a limited version. Full access is for subscribers only.

Challenger to Google maps which allows Wikipedia style contributions. It is being developed as a result of Google starting to charge heavy users of Google maps. See this article on its background from mit

Documentos Digitalizados del Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional Guatemala
The University of Texas at Austin is now providing free access to a historical archive of the documents of Guatemala’s National Police. These comprise more than a million pages. Covering the period 1870-1990s. The great site will be of great value to historians, researchers of human rights and those investigating Latin American history. Material is being added to the site as it is scanned. It is worth consulting the guidance on searching which states that ‘Results from a keyword search will show: on the left of the screen, chronological or alphabetical lists to narrow the search results; on the right of the screen, the location of search results within the hierarchical structure of the archive. This hierarchy reflects the administrative organization of the National Police, and preserves the original order of the archive. The number of documents in each category is shown in parentheses next to the date, letter, or department. Click on dates, letters, or department names to explore search results further’.

The Corner shop project
Fascinating social history archive preserving the history of English corner shops which was created by a team including Sandwell Community History & Archives Service. The original project involved community theatre however the preserve website has other useful features for economic and social historians. See archive photos. Some teaching resources on the demise of the corner shop and the history of shopping which have been devised for schools. Many materials relate to the Midlands.
Those interested in this topic may wish to consult the fascinating virtual Woolworths museum created by enthusiast Paul Robert Seaton. This has many subsections with oral histories from employees, historic photo and advertising.

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