Website aims to describe every living creature
The eye of a European Green Toad, Bufo viridis
January 10th, 2012
03:56 PM ET

Website aims to describe every living creature

By Sally Holland, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Thirty years ago, many students began their school science projects with a visit to the World Book Encyclopedia, the 22-volume set found in many homes and most school libraries covering topics from A to Z.

Now, the Encyclopedia of Life website provides students with much more information on living beings than those 22 volumes could ever hold.

"Knowledge of all biodiversity is scattered all around the world in databases and drawers and people's heads," Encyclopedia of Life director Bob Corrigan said. "If it flies, crawls, grows, spores, if it is life, we want to have one place to bring it all together."

The Encyclopedia of Life, found at, is less than 5 years old but is approaching 1 million species pages that include everything from the names of animals (the Atlantic cod has more than 100 of them in the English language) to information about their habitats (the common wasp's natural habitat is grasslands and woodlands, but it easily adapts to urban habitats) to reproduction habits (the eggs of the longnose sawshark hatch before the young are released from the mother's body). FULL POST

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Filed under: Practice • Resources • Science • Technology
January 10th, 2012
07:56 AM ET

My View: How mentors changed my life

Courtesy Ashkon Jafari by Ashkon Jafari, Special to CNN

Editor’s note:  Ashkon Jafari is the co-founder and executive director of He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Santa   Clara University. Ashkon was recently invited to the White House to meet President Barack Obama and talk to officials about mentoring and preparing students for tomorrow’s work force.

My transition to college wasn’t easy. I graduated from high school at 16 and felt thrown into a different world in college. Unlike high school where administrators proactively called my parents if I missed classes, I found out that college professors didn’t hold students to the same level of accountability. Most college professors didn’t stay after class to help me when I was struggling in their classes. I was on my own.

During the beginning of my sophomore year, my situation began to improve. I started visiting the tutoring center to receive help on calculus and physics courses. There I met Dinh, who had already received a master’s degree in my major.  Over the course of the next two years, he not only spent countless hours guiding me through difficult subjects, but he did much more. Dinh and I discussed life decisions, job prospects and career paths, and how I could succeed in my junior and senior years.

Dinh was an amazing tutor, but what I looked forward to most during our weekly Sunday morning sessions was chatting freely and openly about these topics. I may not have labeled Dinh a mentor then, but in retrospect he was an outstanding one. Without his help, I know I wouldn’t have succeeded in college.

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Filed under: Extracurricular • Practice
January 10th, 2012
07:16 AM ET

WSB: Math homework references slavery

Some Georgia parents are outraged after a math homework assignment referred to slavery and beatings. WSB reports.

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Filed under: Issues • Practice