Nov 26

Subscribe to the JAMA Report via RSS

I knew that the The JAMA Report, “a weekly video and audio medical news service from the Journal of the American Medical Association,” was available from its home page at, but The MARquee points out that JAMA also posts episodes to at Even better, you can subscribe to these videos as an RSS feed.

If you want, you can even embed’s player in your Web site and let your library’s patrons watch these videos from the comfort of your library’s own intranet presence. Easy instructions on how to do this are here.

Edit: Sorry! I failed at first to link the post at The MARquee! This has been remedied above.

Nov 26

How to: Get Exactly What You Want From YouTube via RSS

Berci asked:

David, do you know how can we subscribe to searches on Youtube? I mean, I’d like to follow the RSS feed of the search term genetics on Youtube, for example.

Jan answered:

You can create RSS feeds for tags. FI: rss for genetics will be

For search related rss-feeds on YouTube you could try

The feed that Jan suggests will only contain videos that have been tagged “genetic.” It won’t contain videos that have the word “genetics” elsewhere in their metadata.

To capture videos that have “genetics” anywhere in their metadata, try this feed:

Unfortunately, this simple way of creating a search-based YouTube feed ([search terms].rss) will limit the search results to 20 items.

If we want to get more than 20 results in our feed, we need to use the YouTube API,
which is powerful and not especially difficult to play with.

If we want a feed that captures the most recent 50 videos, we can use this feed:

Neat, huh? Still, I don’t subscribe to these sorts of feeds.
Unfortunately, both the feed for the tag “genetics” and the feed for the search term “genetics” are too full of junk (including spammy, awful ringtone advertising) for me to deal with efficiently. I once had search feeds like these from YouTube fed into LibWorm, but removed them because the results returned for the search term “library” were frequently inappropriate and wildly distant from Librar*/LIS topics.

If one was determined to make such a feed useful, one could use a tool like Yahoo Pipes to filter out the worst and most obvious of the junk items, producing a feed like this one. It is far from perfect, but most of the junk is gone and little of the good stuff is missing.

(Please feel free to copy this Pipe.)

However, a Pipe used for this purpose would probably need semi-routine maintenance and updates to its Filter module to keep the junk out.Note for nit-pickers: Yes, I considered more aggressive filtering by category either through the API or Pipes, but there are valid hits across a number of unexpected categories.

Okay, that was fun! Any other feed questions?

Nov 26

BioMed Central on YouTube

BioMed Central announced on Friday that they’ve launched a YouTube Channel.

In addition to our YouTube channel, we are working with SciVee to ensure the visibility and linking of PubCasts featuring BioMed Central articles. For example, SciVee currently features a pubcast by Apostol Gramada in which he describes the research he published in BMC Bioinformatics.

Berci seems pretty excited about the prospect of more publishers doing the same, but I find myself wondering how much money and time publishers (or writers/editors) are going to invest in producing video content to compliment or promote their written works.

Should be interesting to keep an eye on, regardless.

Fun Little Hack:
If you’d like to subscribe to new videos that are posted in this channel without having to log into YouTube, you can subscribe to this RSS feed.

Nov 23

Make Your Own YouTube Clone (FOSS)

Recently stumbled across Medical Videos (“Your Online Medical Video Tube”) and found it interesting. Interesting not because I expect it to turn into a useful resource (I sort of doubt it, actually), but because of how it was made.

About a month ago, I wrote:

…Tools like Pligg let anyone make a Digg clone, so I’m betting we’ll eventually see an open-source package for making YouTube clones…

Well, Medical Videos was made with PHPmotion.

PHPmotion is a free video sharing software application that will allow you to create and run your very own video sharing website. With very little knowledge required you can now have website just like and and best of all, its 100% free to download and use.

It is free, open source software.

It has been around for at least a few months, so I’m just a doofus for not having noticed it sooner.

Whaddaya’ think? Got any ideas for a niche video sharing site?

Nov 20

Video: Meredith Farkas at Academic Library 2.0

I’ve never been fortunate enough to see Meredith Farkas speak- but thanks to UC Berkeley, now I can! Below, Meredith’s talk from 11/2/2007 at the Academic Library 2.0 Conference.

(Above: Embdedded flash video. If you’re reading this in your agregator, you may need to visit the site to view the video)

(Meredith starts speaking about 13 minutes in.)

Nov 20

The Visible Body

The Visible Body looks really neat and claims it will be released with free access (requiring registration) any day now.

(Above: Embedded video. If you are reading this in your feed aggregator, you may need to visit the site to view the video)

The Visible Body features a 360 degree, whole-body, 3D model that allows unparalleled investigation and study of human anatomy and physiology. Available on the Web, the Visible Body runs in Internet Explorer on any PC* connected to the Internet. A free, fully interactive release is scheduled for mid-November 2007.

With the Visible Body, users can:

• View highly detailed models of all body systems.
• Search for and locate anatomical structures by name.
• Click on anatomical structures to reveal names.
• Rotate and explore anatomy in a virtual space.
• Peel away layers to view relative placement of the components of all body systems.
• See placement of specific organs relative to other anatomical structures.
• View anatomical structures with or without surrounding anatomy.
• Investigate anatomy virtually, without the costly cadaver lab.

*System Requirements: Windows XP/2000/Vista, Internet Explorer 6.0 or above, Flash Player 8.0+.

I can imagine a lot of uses for such a tool…but if the free tool is everything the video claims, I can’t help but wonder why it is free. Is it just a very expensive (and cool) way to publicize what Argosy can do?

Nov 02

Friday Fun: Books of Fury

(Not new, but new to me)

This cartoon features a Buddhist Monkey who defends his/her library from book-desecrating Ninjas. Gory (but brightly-colored) violence and bookshelf-ladder chase sequences ensue.

Not everyone’s taste- but it made me chuckle more than once.

(Above: Embedded video. If you are reading this in a feed aggregator, you may need to visit the site to view the video)

Nov 01

Who Wants a Skitch Beta Invitation?


I hadn’t realized that Skitch was a Mac-only application.

See? Yet another reason I need a Mac at home (to compliment the Ubuntu machine and the three Windows machines). If you understand the grevious nature of my Maclessness, I can only advise you to remedy it by getting me a Mac. Thank you in advance and may Steve Jobs (blessed be he) be with you always.


Anyway, the first Mac user to leave a comment on this post gets my invitation to the extremely cool-looking Skitch Beta and my envy.

Oct 22

YouTube for [Fill in the Blank]

A whole lot of people like to write about the application of a popular “Web 2.0” site’s model to a specialized interest, purpose, or population.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone else.

But I’m going to go a little off-topic because I want to point out a handful of the huge number of sites seeking to be YouTube for [Fill in the Blank].

Before we go completely off-topic, we’ll make a brief stop at, a site frequently described as “YouTube for Scientists.”

Of course, SciVee isn’t the only service seeking to apply the YouTube model to the needs of scientists- there’s also (the previously mentioned) and SciTalks.


But that’s just scratching the surface of sites borrowing YouTube’s model!

There are two YouTube clones for Jews: JewTube and Yideoz.

Of course, Judaism isn’t the only religion with its own YouTube. F’rinstance, there’s IslamicTube (formerly IslamTube).

Not to be outdone by Jews and Muslims, Christian online video enthusiasts have their choice between GodTube and JesusClips.

Lest we be overwhelmed with Piety 2.0, remember that no technology exists which can’t be tasked to serve pornography. Witness if you will the example of PornoTube (I’ll refrain from linking to this obviously NSFW site). There are at least a couple of other sites like PornoTube.

A nice contrast to PornoTube is TeacherTube.

And look at the logos- they’re so stereotypically “2.0” with their sans serif fonts, horizontal reflections and grey subtitles.

But I don’t have a problem with any of these. I think that a lot of libraryfolk spend a lot of time thinking over services like YouTube and wondering how their ideas might be leveraged to serve the needs of libraries, library patrons, and librarians. Tools like Pligg let anyone make a Digg clone, so I’m betting we’ll eventually see an open-source package for making YouTube clones- any bets on how long it’ll be before there is a YouTube clone intended for librar* purposes? Quick! Register the most intuitive and sensible domain names!

But before you do, ask yourself: does the world need another YouTube clone?

Oct 12

NEJM Video: Chest-Tube Insertion

Knowing that I recently had a chest tube, Rachel thought (correctly) that I’d be interested to know that the latest video from NEJM is on Chest-Tube Insertion.

I was under conscious sedation for mine, so I learned a lot from this.

The most important thing that I learned from the video is immense gratitude to Dr. Lim (the surgical resident who inserted my chest tube) for her generous use of anaesthesia and conscious sedation. Yikes. Just watching the video made me cringe a few times. Thank you, Dr. Lim. Thank you, thank you, thank you. A hundred times: thank you.


Oct 11

Human Embryology Resources

Two resources I stumbled across recently:

The Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo is a collaboration funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to produce and make available over the internet a three-dimensional image reference of the Human Embryo based on magnetic resonance imaging. The collection of images is intended to serve students, researchers, clinicians, and the general public interested in studying and teaching human development.

Tons of images and videos (Quicktime) available

Human Embryology

This website contains supplemental materials for William Larsen’s Human Embryology textbooks. Contents include:

1. Animations of developmental processes
2. Updates and links
3. Self-testing exercises
4. Glossaries
5. Instructor’s Manual

Oct 10

Medziva: Social Evaluation of Labs and Tests

Sure, you’ve heard of sites/services that invite consumers to rate physicians, but Medziva invites users to rate labs and comment on various tests.

From the About Medziva page:

…You can discuss amongst yourselves which lab test and which lab would be a good lab for you to get your tests done from or which labs you could recommend to your physicians to get your testing done from.

Why do we do this?

There are so many labs out there offering new tests which could help diagnose certain conditions at an early stage, which helps physicians treat you in a more effective way. There may be smaller labs which may do a better job at lab testing that diagnose conditions better and offer more detailed results than the tests offered by the bigger labs. Our effort is to discover the smaller and mid-size labs out there.

I wonder, though, if enough people will actually care about this to populate the site with the necessary minimum amount of data to be useful.

Oct 08

“The Librarians” Australian Television Show (Video)

The existence of the show isn’t news, but I just came across a video advertisement for it:

The premise of the show:

Frances O’Brien, devout Catholic and panic disorder sufferer, runs a very tight ship as Head Librarian at the Middleton Interactive Learning Centre. Her life unravels when she is forced to employ her ex-best friend, Christine Grimwood – now facing criminal charges – as the Children’s Librarian.

Suddenly, long buried feelings that Frances has suppressed since she last saw Christine nineteen years ago, rush at her like a truck. She must do all she can to contain her menacing past and concentrate on the biggest event of the Library calendar year – Book Week.

More here (PDF).

Oct 02

What is is a website that has video tutorials or screencasts for the biological sciences. Currently, these tutorials are created by researchers across various biology disciplines. In our next version, we will add the capability to let users upload their own screencasts. Our goal is to build a community of life science researchers and provide a platform to share knowledge on usage of tools that aid research.

Cool! You can view or share screencasts displaying PubMed expertise as Quicktime videos.

Aug 28

Screencast-O-Matic: Easy way to make free screencasts

The screencast below (made with Screencast-O-Matic) shows how to make a screencast…with Screencast-O-Matic.

Viewing the embedded screencast below (and recording new ones) requires Java.

Why should libraryfolk care about screencasting? Let Paul Pival help answer that question.

Aug 23

Reason vs. Superstition in Medicine (Richard Dawkins)

Although he is best-known as an outspoken atheist, Richard Dawkins is a respected biologist.

Really, if you read his work or hear him speak, you get the sense that he isn’t actually hostile towards religious people, he’s hostile towards attacks on reason. So it isn’t really surprising that in his Channel 4 special, The Enemies of Reason, he expresses strong views about superstition and the way it can impact medicine in the form of some “alternative” health therapies in the episode entitled The Irrational Health Service.

You can watch it in the embedded video below:

I particularly enjoy how Dawkins takes apart homeopathy.

Thanks for the heads-up, Graham!

Aug 22

Andrew Keen Removes All Doubt

When I first heard about Andrew Keen’s book (The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture), I assumed he was just looking to make a new career as contrarian pundit.

I mean, he came across as wrong in print “debates” (David Weinberger thoroughly and politely kicks Keen’s butt in the Wall Street Journal) but not actually stupid.

Then I saw his interview with Stephen Colbert:

I was going to borrow Keen’s book from my local public library, but after seeing this interview and hearing such appallingly moronic things come out of his mouth (e.g. “Even the Nazis didn’t put artists out of work” or suggesting that something isn’t art unless it is paid for), I can’t do it.

Please- watch the video and read the “debate” with Weinberger before wasting time or money on Keen’s book.