The Scout Report
October 26, 2012 -- Volume 18, Number 43
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries
As of late, there has been a great deal of talk about the ways in which better data can improve public health problems such as obesity, rising health care costs, and other areas of concern. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is intimately concerned with the possible applications of "big data", and this site offers some fine commentary and reporting on this situation. A good place to start is the Q&A with RWJF Chief Technology and Information Officer Steve Downs. "Better Data = Better Health: Stories from the Field" looks at the applications of mobile health applications, GPS sensors in the service of tracking asthma symptoms, and much more. The footer of the site includes sections analyzing how data is transforming the overall health of communities. There are data sets, reports, rankings and access to publicly available reports that include information on the quality of care delivery, patient outcomes, and patient feedback on physicians, hospitals, and cost. [KMG]
The National Institutes of Health has an Office of Science Education committed to getting the good word out about their vast array of educational resources. This trove of material includes lesson plans, newsletters, online exhibits, fact sheets, photos, and e-books. First-time visitors should take a look at the Topics section with information divided up in 41 areas including Bioethics, Child & Teen Health, and Endocrine System. One can also use the Careers section to learn about how to become a doctor, scientist, or another related vocation. There is also a section called NIH Science Education Conversations, which includes a range of talks with persons in these fields such as Professor Justin Halberda of Johns Hopkins University and other game changers. [KMG]
The Internet Archive has created this very ambitious project to bring together over 371,000 news broadcasts of various origins since 2009. Students of communications, media, and related fields will find much to revel in here. Visitors can search all of the captions from each program on the homepage or look at the Recent Extracted Topics word cloud. Not surprisingly, some of the popular words here include "Technology," "Energy," "Defense," and "Environment." Visitors can fine-tune their search by looking for certain programs on select networks in order to get a better sense of different programming styles and nuances. [KMG]
The Teaching Science and Math website is the brainchild of David R. Wetzel; dedicated to "encouraging and supporting K-12 science and math teachers.” There are links to high-quality blogs, teaching materials, and online courses. This section of the site brings together 12 mobile learning science applications for the iPod Touch. Visitors can read about the applications of the iPod touch in the classroom and how these specific applications fare in this digital innovation. The applications here include "Particle Zoo," "Science House," "Distant Suns," "Mitosis," and "Molecules." Wetzel offers short and thoughtful comments on the practical applications of each one in a way that is informative and interesting. [KMG]
Northeastern University in Boston has partnered with several prominent Latino community groups Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion and La Alianza Hispana to create this compelling online collection that documents the community's history from the 1960s to the present day. Both of these groups worked to combat certain aspects of federally sponsored urban renewal projects and social inequities as they found them in certain parts of Boston during this tumultuous period. First-time visitors can click on the Browse Items area to get started with their journey through over 4,600 items that include posters, notices about community meetings, poster calendars, and internal documents that talk about the group's activities. It's a moving and arresting collection for anyone with an interest in urban history. [KMG]
You know you're in for a real treat when a lecture starts off with "I just happen to have with me today this bucket filled with soap solution, water, and some glycerin." That happens to be the opening line from a talk given by Professor Michael Dorff at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Dorff's talk was quite hands-on and it included a number of skeletal Zometool creations and deconstructed Slinkies, among other items. The title of the talk was "Shortest Paths, Soap Films, and Minimal Surfaces" and it is available here in its entirety. In the lecture, Dorff talks (and demonstrates) the shortest distance between four points, neighborhood accessibility, and a number of fascinating topics. [KMG]
The American Chemical Society (ACS) has created these excellent resources via the Green Chemistry Institute and the ACS Education Division. The goal of these materials is "to increase awareness and understanding of Green Chemistry principles, alternatives, practices, and benefits within traditional educational institutions and among practicing scientists." In the Online Resources section, visitors will find downloadable pocket guides to basic green chemistry principles, "Greener Education Materials for Chemists" from the University of Oregon, and more. Perhaps the best section of the site is Activities and Experiments, where visitors can look over activities like "Gassing Up Without Air Pollution" and "Cleaning Up With Atom Economy." [KMG]
This site from Harvard University allows visitors to learn about the lives of women during the Qajar era in Iran from 1796 to 1926 via a "wide array of materials from private family holdings and participating institutions." The site is most remarkable as it allows visitors to access the materials in both Arabic and English. It offers thousands of personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, publications, everyday objects, works of art and audio materials. Visitors to the site will find several thematic sections here, including clutches of documents from storied families in the region, like those from Nuzhat al-Muluk and Amir Ebrahimi. The Karen collection is particularly notable as it features a large collection of historic marriage contracts, settlements, rental contracts, divorce decrees, and other legal documents. [KMG]
The National Park Service has done a smash up job of creating thoughtful and compelling historical travel itineraries and this one is no exception. This particular tour takes visitors through the world of the American Latino experience via key sites around the country. First-time visitors will want to look through the Essays section to get a better context for all of these destinations. The essays include commentary by historical experts and provide a great introduction for visitors looking into the List of Sites. This area is quite exhaustive and covers everything from the Sitka National Historical Park in Alaska to the Assateague Island National Seashore in Virginia. Each entry includes a bit of information about each site's relationship to the Latino experience in the United States. [KMG]
Lula Belle and Scotty Wiseman were a husband and wife country duo that rose to fame in the mid-1930s. They appeared on the National Barn Dance broadcast in Chicago and their most famous song was "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?" This remarkable collection from the Moving Image Research Collections at the University of South Carolina brings together some of their home movie reels from 1938 to 1941. Visitors can browse through over two dozen films including footage of family trips to Chicago's Lincoln Park, Hollywood, and the waterfront along the Mississippi River. As a whole, these films offer a remarkable portrait of a notable musical duo during the 20th century through intimate filmed moments that are truly rare. [KMG]
For many decades (or even centuries in some parts), the student newspaper at colleges and universities around the United States has been a venerable and enduring part of the higher education experience. The student newspaper of the State University of New York at Oswego is called The Oswegonian and it is part of this vast lineage of campus tradition. This archive was created as part of the Northern New York Library Network's digitization project and includes all of the issues from June 1935 to April 2010. Visitors can view a list of the issues in chronological order or perform a detailed keyword search across select issues. Interesting keywords to check out here include "Buffalo," "Finger Lakes," "upstate," and "football." Overall, it's a nice way to get a sense of the various activities that have gone on around the campus over the past eight decades. [KMG]
The Baylor College of Medicine is renowned for its BioEd website, and it's a great resource for teachers and the general public. One of the recent additions to the site is found within the Lessons-Safety and Lab Techniques section which has thematic areas: Tools of Magnification and Magnifying and Observing Cells. Each of these areas features instructional video clips, slides for classroom use, and great files for explanatory purposes. The slides include keyword listings, notes, and dynamic graphic content. This is a great resource to share with colleagues and young people seeking to learn more about the ins and outs of basic laboratory techniques. [KMG]
Professor Robert Schenk of Saint Joseph's College in Indiana has created this fantastic digital economics textbook for those with an interest in the so-called "dismal science". In the introduction, Professor Schenk notes that the work is "an easy-to-read approach to economics with a variety of interactive problems and questions." The site includes a table of contents, complete with chapters such as "What is Economics?" and "Actions and Results." The site also includes helpful materials that cover the logic of choice, measuring the economy, and financial markets. Visitors can also look over the "Extra Features" section to view additional video clips and the "Whimsy" section, which includes humorous asides on gas prices and grading policies. [KMG]
It is hard to tire of the Old Masters, and this delightful traveling exhibition from the Kenwood House in London offers a taste of the expertise of Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Gainsborough. This site was created as part of the traveling exhibit that has passed through a number of cities, including Milwaukee. The American Federation of Arts and English Heritage arranged the exhibit; it also received financial support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Barbara and Richard S. Lane. This website provides access to some of the 48 masterpieces in this collection, which primarily come from a collection created a century ago by Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh. Visitors can browse through the Image Gallery to peruse works like Thomas Gainsborough's "Countess Howe Mary" and J.M.W. Turner's "A Coast Scene With Fishermen Hauling a Boat Ashore." Be sure to take advantage of the Artist Biographies and the helpful Teachers Guide. [KMG]
This remarkable site was created by a team of researchers at MIT, including Professor Tunney Lee, James Madden, and Alpita Masurkar, "to provide a comprehensive and accessible history of Boston's development for planners, students, and anyone interested in our city." The materials on the site are divided into six sections: Eras, People, Places, Planning, Stories, and Maps. The Places section is a great place to start as it contains profiles of communities like Beacon Hill and the West End, which have gone through dramatic changes over the past three centuries or so. The Maps area is a great way to experience the expansion of the urbanized area (complete with details on political boundary changes) from the Salem south to Quincy. The Planning area contains well-developed sections that examine affordable housing, parks and open space, and participatory community planning. [KMG]
Looking for an application to keep tabs on your social activities and related matters? Crowdspottr may be worth a look, as it allows visitors to use existing social networking sites to find out who is doing what, where, and when. Visitors can download the application and check out the online tutorial to get started with their explorations. This program is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]
If you are looking for a way to clean up your desktop remotely, you'll want to give this handy desktop organizer a try. This application allows users to move their files around and perform important tasks like creating and modifying existing folders and other functional tweaks for your system cleanup. This particular version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and up. [KMG]
India and China: Unsettled for a long time yet
The Sino-Indian War: 50 Years Later, Will India and China Clash Again?
China lauds Ratan Tat's 'positive' role in Sino-India ties
Remembering the India-China border war
India's remote northeast: the road to Tawang
China and India, 2025
Fifty years ago, a brief conflict occurred between India and China that has many commentators and policy wonks wondering if there might be trouble again in the future. On October 20, 1962, a Chinese offensive moved into Kashmir's Aksai Chin plateau and made its way the tea-growing regions in Assam. After a month of off-and-on hostilities, a cease-fire was declared and China withdrew from northeastern India. Today, tensions remain in the region despite a booming trade between the two countries that totals over $70 billion. There is great dispute over the 2,100-mile long border shared by the two countries; it remains one of the most militarized stretches of territory in the world. The most recent formal political boundary was drawn up in 1914 and remains a rather imprecise and meandering line conjured up by British colonial officials and representatives of, what was then, the independent state of Tibet. It's a situation that will bear close examination over the coming months and years, as these two world powers will no doubt find themselves reexamining this vast region. [KMG]
The first link is a great piece from The Economist about this long-standing border dispute between India and China. The second link is a piece by Time's Ishaan Tharoor about the current state of affairs between the two nations. The third piece is from Saturday's India Today website about how Indian businessman Ratan Tata is helping bring the two nations closer together. The fourth piece is provides commentary from the Lowy Institute for International Policy authored by Nitin Gokhale: the Security and Strategic Affairs Editor with NDTV in India. The fifth piece is a cultural and geographic commentary on the remote northeastern provinces of India courtesy of The Economist. The sixth piece will take curious visitors to a report on the relationship between China and India via the Rand Corporation.
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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout
Internet Scout Team Max Grinnell Editor Carmen Montopoli Managing Editor Edward Almasy Director Rachael Bower Director Andrea Coffin Metadata Specialist Autumn Hall-Tun Internet Cataloger Sara Sacks Internet Cataloger Tim Baumgard Web Developer Corey Halpin Web Developer Zev Weiss Technical Specialist Debra Shapiro Contributor
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