June 28-July 4
With the upcoming holiday, thoughts of "gone fishing" come to mind. I can see myself on the boat in the top picture of Catfish Ed's home page. But if you're into some serious sport fishing, then you'll want to check out Fishing.com, where you'll find fishing reports, tide tables, message boards, shops, guides, lodges, classified ads, and useful articles on fishing. Better yet, forget the keyboard....go grab a pole and head out to the lake! :-)
Got a question about dog breeds? Look no more. DogInfoMat is the place you want to check out...you have to dig a little bit past the home page, but underneath, you will find layer upon layer of information related to the wide world of dogs. The different breeds are easily navigated by several criteria and news and feature stories are updated often. You'll also find breeder club information, a behavior and training section, health and genetics, a great focus on working dogs, activities, sports, breed of the month, on and on....I think you get the picture.....kudos to Sandi Dremel, the site's webmaster, on a superbly done resource.
Okay...back to more serious pursuits....one web site I have found useful for a variety of reasons is BioMedNet. Designed with the research biomedical research community in mind, veterinarians too, will find this to be an invaluable resource. It includes a full text library with over 170 biological and medical journals with abstracts; an enhanced version of the Medline database; the HMS Beagle news magazine which contains great summaries of the latest events in research; BioMedLink, a great searchable database of taregetted web sites; a job exchange; and BioSupplyNet, a huge resource for ordering supplies and equipment. You will have to register to use the site, but it is mostly free and in my experience, well worth it.
Considering what little there is worth watching on television, how could anyone not be excited about the upcoming debut of WTBS's Chimp Channel? If you haven't seen these guys in action (usually after a Braves baseball game), then you're in for a big laugh. The chimps will now have regularly scheduled satires of many popular movies and television shows, such as Treewatch, NYPD Zoo, and Ally McSqueal. Perfect for the whole family. :-)
May 31-June 6
Here's something they didn't teach us in veterinary school. As if real animals weren't hard enough to diagnose and treat, here comes Aibo, Sony's robotic dog. It's eleven inches tall, can walk and wag its tail, and be programmed to do tricks. You'll have to be able to spare the asking price ($2500) and be quick if you want to get one though....the robot dogs that went on sale in Japan sold out in twenty minutes. 2000 more are to be sold in the US this week. I can hear it in the operating room now: "Please pass the scalpel, er..I mean screwdriver". :-)
One animal-related site that really seems to be on their way up can be found at Pets.com. One of the main goals of the site is clearly pet product e-commerce, evidenced by Amazon.com being one of their chief investors. There are several other noteworthy features of the site including a locator for veterinary hospitals and emergency services, databases and directories of zoos, pet-friendly hotels, pet sitters, breeders, and boarding facilities for small and large animals. There are a wide variety of community "forums" which cover topics on dogs, cats, horses, birds, fish, ferrets and exotic pets. The site is very well designed and would be of primary interest to all pet owners.
USDA Agricultural Research Service
US Government websites in general provide excellent resources for finding information on every topic under the sun. The web home of the USDA Agricultural Research Service is no exception. Doing a search recently, I popped up on one of the many subtopics and decided to do some more exploring. ARS is the primary in-house research wing for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Here you can locate information on a variety of national programs including animal production, food safety, aquaculture, animal health and diseases, and animal well-being. The site features a "Find an expert" section where you can ask more specific questions. News and workshop information is also available. I really liked the useful navigation bars on the left that steer you through the site.....nice touch. A variety of ARS databases are located under the links section. Suffice to say that it would keep a veterinarian, student, or animal production person busy for a while.
Whole Mouse Catalog
The Whole Mouse Catalog is the most recent version of what used to be known as the Mouse and Rat research page. Since 99% of research animals are rats and mice, those who work with these species will find many useful references listed here. The site is framed and contains major headings relating to rodents at various levels from the gene up through cells, organs, and the whole animal. Organization is straightforward and uncluttered. Overall the site is a good bookmark for future reference.
This week is National Pet Week, so what better site to visit than one which deals with practically all of them. Allpets.com, recently redesigned (and with some new areas yet to come) features a vast number of pet-related content and resources, including dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, and exotic species. Each section contains hours worth of surfing and covers several health and well-being issues. A corresponding pets market and large chat section round out the site, which is pretty easy to navigate and attractively designed.
April 26-May 2
The Hampster Dance
On vacation this week, so this one is strictly for the kids....(depending on how old you think you are) the Hampster Dance is perhaps one of the silliest little pages I have ever seen on the Web. You'll need to be able to listen to Windows .wav files to get the full effect....and no, I won't tell if you send this URL to all your friends. :-)
Febreze...what the heck is Febreze? That is what I asked myself a few weeks ago when people started calling and writing to find out if this product which is supposed to eliminate odors on fabrics, could kill their pets, specifically pet birds. I presume there is some rampant rumor going around the Internet to that effect and it would appear NOT to be true. Proctor & Gamble, the product's manufacturer, has dedicated a great public service web page to provide factual information. I hope you would steer all concerned consumers there as it provides information straight from the source, not from some nebulous unknown entity such as "my cousin's sister-in-law's best friends' vet." :-)
The Horse Interactive
As I scout around the Internet looking for sites useful to veterinarians and pet owners, I enjoy finding web jewels like the The Horse Interactive, a great resource for equine health care and news. You can sign up for their free email newsletter or subscribe to their print publication. Numerous veterinarians make up the Editorial Board for this publication, which is dedicated to helping its readers breed, raise and train better horses. The horse news is always fresh and up to date and the site's "knowledge bank" is a good spot to search for horse health-related information.
If you're a fish enthusiast and want to know more about koi or goldfish, check out Dr. Erik Johnson's site, KoiVet.com. The site contains information on fish diseases, medications, pond plants, water quality, and much more. Several experts are on hand to answer questions about your sick fish on the site's useful message board. In addition, there is even a more comprehensive book and some videos available for ordering if you're so inclined. Overall, I think you will enjoy this site as it is well designed, easy to navigate, contains many colorful pictures, and most of all is very informative.
March 29-April 4
On the road and traveling from the west coast all the way to the east....this week in Sarasota and Orlando.....while I didn't get a ticket to the Big Dance (Final 4)....I have been in and around the environment of the famous Florida manatee. One of the best sites on the net to find about this rare marine mammal is at Manatee Junction, with a photo gallery, message board and links to all the other great manatee sites.
The Shamu Adventure is a website dedicated to Seaworld California's most famous killer whale. I had the opportunity to visit Shamu in person while traveling and speaking this week in San Diego. The website is informative and educational and will lead you to links about all sorts of other sea creatures, including dolphins, seals, sharks, and more. If there's daylight you can check for live pictures on ShamuCam. You can even learn how to work with animals like this if you are so inclined. All said, though...if you get the chance, go see these amazing animals in person.
Looking for a place to find out why Fido or Fluffy behave the way they do? Then you will want to click on over to the new site from the Friskies Pet Care Company called FriskyPet, the online resource for pet behavior. There are areas of discussion for everyday behaviors, an overview of training, tips for new pet owners, as well as an area for you to ask questions from various experts. Another section is devoted to behavioral issues when children are involved...good information for parents here. In addition to pet owner advice, there is a separate section for veterinarians and veterinary students, so this site has something for just about everyone. It's very well designed and will be worthy of your bookmark file.
Methodsfinder is a unique database which should be of interest to biomedical scientists. Produced by a previously featured site, Biosis, this service provides access to specific scientific protocols as well as techniques, reagents and equipment used in various experiments. The database can be searched or browsed by biological concept, methodology, scientific meeting, or source publication. The site is overseen by an editorial board and currently contains over 20,000 records. You can also apply for a free trial account to see if it would be of use to you.
Oops....I got busy and forgot to pick a site this week....so allow me to be self-indulgent once and point you to the Mosby website. This St. Louis-based and long time publisher of veterinary and medical books recently renovated their site and now include some veterinary-specific sections highlighting authors of various veterinary books and journals. They are also kind enough to feature the first book from yours truly.
What do you get when you cross an artist with a scanning electron microscope....how about this week's featured site, MicroAngela? Tina Carvalho at the University of Hawaii provides images that will be very familiar to both veterinarians and pet owners, if you're used to viewing them at 30,000X. Ever wanted to know what a cat flea looked like up close? That and much more...including info about the UH Biological Electron Microscope Facility and a good set of links to a variety of microscopy resources....awaits your next click.
Kansas State University CVM Multimedia Department
Trust me....if you do not already have a sound card and Macromedia Flash / Shockwave installed in your browser, you don't know half of what you might be missing on the website of the Multimedia Department at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Probably the coolest design for a veterinary-related site I've seen this year. While you're there, you can check out what else these guys are up to...interactive newsletters, slide shows & web site and CD-ROM development. Tip of the hat to Luke Nyswonger, T.R. Fullhart, Kevyn Jacobs and Scott Hussey for an excellent piece of work.
Westminster Kennel Club
One of America's longest running sporting events of any kind, takes center stage this week at the Westminster Kennel Club in New York City. For 123 years, various dog breeds have been receiving "Best of Show" titles and it really is entertaining to watch the best representatives of the wide variety of dog breeds in competition.....judging from past champions, your odds are better if you're a terrier! The show will be televised on Feb 8-9 on the USA Network.
I guess we'll find out February 2nd whether there will be six more weeks of winter (according to the groundhogs anyway). If you're looking for information or sites on groundhogs or any of their cousins, look no more....because you are about to enter the Rodent Zone, home to a nicely researched set of links on just about every species of rodentia on the web. Hopefully, the groundhog won't see his shadow this year :-)
Taco Bell Dog
Okay, this week's pick is not completely serious and in fact, I don't recall exactly how I found it, but unless you've been under a rock for the past couple of years, no doubt, you have heard the phrase "yo quiero taco bell" spoken by the now infamous Taco Bell Dog. Chihuahuas have long been a popular dog breed, but the successful ad campaign has probably taken that to new heights. The site does have some useful information on the breed and its health considerations in addition to the pictures, movies, t-shirts and screensavers....overall a fun place to go check out.
GrantsWeb is a website produced by the Society of Research Administrators. Some of the site is reserved for members, but its main strength is a set of links to almost all of the possible grant resources out there, including preparation, non-profits, government, medical, agricultural, the list goes on and on. This valuable resource will be most useful for anyone seeking funding for their research or projects.
Alameda East Veterinary Hospital
You can find lots of veterinarians and veterinary hospitals with websites these days, but you're not going to find too many that also have a TV show! Check out Denver, Colorado's Alameda East Veterinary Hospital. For all practical purposes, they're the the veterinary version of "ER", better known as "Emergency Vets" on the Discovery Channel's Animal Planet Network. Alameda is very involved in the local community and appears to be one of the most dynamic veterinary hospitals around. The hospital website is laid out nicely and has plenty of pictures and some streaming video. Most likely you'll be interested in seeing the television show and a schedule for 1999 is also available.
If you're an epidemiologist or even an interested bystander, check out the BioEvent Maps website. Mitretek Systems created this visual JAVA database which highlights the geographic spread of infectious diseases and biological events, both human and animal. The system currently obtains its data from a previous "Pick", ProMed and is limited to coverage in the US. However, the concept of integrating geographic information system technology and public health data is novel and noteworthy. The authors are looking for feedback, so give it a run and see what you think.
December 28-January 3
Time to ring out the old and ring in the new and what better way to do that than by highlighting the newly redesigned EDIS website from the University of Florida. EDIS, the Extension Digital Information Source, is a huge database of information on production agriculture, natural resources & the environment, forestry, human & rural development, as well as veterinary medicine. Through the years, I have set numerous pointers to specific references on their website, but I think you'll want to experience the whole site, particularly with its attractive and easily navigated new design. The content is similarly superior and you should bookmark it for many returns. Have a great '99!.
Ken Boschert, DVM
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