Through a project called Visualizing Cultures, launched in 2002, MIT faculty explore, as the project link describes:
. . . the potential of the Web for developing innovative image-driven scholarship and learning. The VC mission is to use new technology and hitherto largely inaccessible visual materials to reconstruct the past as people of the time visualized the world (or imagined it to be.)
The 2008 course centered on this project is summarized:
Using new technologies, Visualizing Cultures weds images and commentary to illuminate social and cultural history in innovative ways. A narrative “Core Exhibit” not only gives the historical significance of the images, but also addresses issues such as genre and medium. Each unit comes with a comprehensive curriculum and carefully annotated digital archive of images from public and private sources.
The VC course is a superb learn node because it connects richly to closely related webpages that offer high quality knowledge substance. An example of a wonderful part of this VC network is a 2004 MIT project: Black Ships & Samurai: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan (1853-1854). To round out this learn node with something for those who prefer text to pictures, a detailed historical essay on Perry’s Japan arrival can be found in Fordham University’s Modern History SourceBook: Commodore Matthew Perry: When We Landed in Japan, 1854.
In a learn node here featuring the MIT Open Courseware on Neutron Science and Reactor Physics this chart of the Neutron Life Cycle is found in Lecture 7. The introduction to the lecture explains that:
A major objective of this course is to determine the neutron flux as a function of both position within a reactor core and the neutron energy. Neutron life cycle analysis is the first method that we will examine for this purpose. It was the principal means of design for nuclear reactors in the 1950s, before the advent of significant computational power. It remains an important tool for qualitative understanding and, in some cases, for quantitative analysis of criticality.
Cosmic perspective on neutrons, is found at the Chandra X-Ray Observatory webpages on Neutron Stars/X-ray Binaries. The image is the Vela Pulser.
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This tasty learn node includes reports of discoveries in the history of chocolate from the Los Angeles Times, New York Science Times and other open sources relaying to the public science news that is from a source is limited to its paid subscribers (in this case the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
The chocolate news from the LA Times report:
Humans began exploiting cacao beans for alcohol before they started using them to make chocolate, according to new findings that push the earliest known use of cacao back about 500 years.
Residue scraped from pottery vessels dating to 1400 B.C. to 1100 B.C. indicate that residents of Honduras’ remote Ulua Valley fermented the sweet pulp of the chocolate plant to make an alcoholic drink well before they began grinding the bitter seeds and mixing them with honey and chiles to produce the equivalent of modern cocoa. . . .
Open chocolate history, chemistry and food information are richly available online. To pick a few pieces out of the virtual chocolate knowledge box: This MIT Kitchen Chemistry page includes a topic-by-topic online chocolate topic tour. Chicago’s Field Museum has an online chocolate knowledge feast Chocolate: The Exhibition. And the US Food and Drug Administration has a page (from which the image of chocolates above is taken) on its standards for chocolate.
More learn nodes at: learnodes.com