The Scout Report - February 7, 1997

February 7, 1997

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Science Department, University of Wisconsin

A Project of the InterNIC

The Scout Report is a weekly publication offering a selection of new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators, the InterNIC's primary audience. However, everyone is welcome to subscribe to one of the mailing lists (plain text or HTML). Subscription instructions are included at the end of each report.

In This Issue:

New From Internet Scout

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

New From Internet ScoutKIDS Update
Text-only version:
Online KIDS Report subscription form:
KIDS (Kids Identifying and Discovering Sites), Net Scout's new service that offers website reviews written for kids by kids, has recently published two new editions. The current KIDS Report, dated February 5, 1997, was produced by students of the New Vista High School (Boulder, Colorado), and is titled "Stretching the Mind." Its ten eclectic annotations cover a range of sites from the United Nations to the Popular Mechanics Zone. The previous issue, dated January 13, 1997, produced by third and fourth grade students at the Nederland Elementary School (Nederland, Colorado), is titled "Native Americans." Its site annotations range from "Cheyenne Indian Art and Native American Art" to "Native American Dancing." Note that beginning with the February 5 edition, KIDS Reports are available in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format, as well as at the web site and via email subscription. KIDS Reports will be produced twice a month throughout the school year. [JS]

To subscribe to the KIDS Report, send an email message to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe kids Yourfirstname Yourlastname
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Scout Report Bimonthly Compilations for December-January Available
The second issue of the Scout Report Bimonthly Compilations, covering the resources announced in the Scout Reports published during December '96 and January '97, is now available on the Net Scout Web site. The resources are organized by subject area for easy browsing. These include: Arts & Humanities; Business & Economics; Law; Medicine & Health; Science & Math; Social Science; Network Tools; and Weekend Scouting. [JS]
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Research and Education

The Britannica Guide to Black History [FRAMES]
Less Graphical Entrance
Encyclopedia Britannica's online guide to African American History is arranged as a timeline, split into 5 sections, and covers the years 1619-1997. Each section is further divided into two general subsections: topic and biography. Topics include slavery and politics, civil rights and politics, arts and entertainment, and religion, among others. The strength of the site is the number of entries, and the hypertext connections between them. However, the alphabetical rather than chronological arrangement of entries under each major time category is a serious limitation for those wishing to understand African American History as a continuum. The site also lacks a search engine. [Note: This site is no longer available for free; subscription fee(s) required.] [JS]
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Pediatrics Electronic Pages Free Trial--American Academy of Pediatrics [.pdf]
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now offering an online extension of its monthly peer-reviewed print journal Pediatrics. Access is free until July 1997, at which time it will remain free to subscribers of the print edition. AAP promises to provide 6-10 exclusive research articles every month at the site. Articles are available in both HTML and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) formats. In addition, abstracts of all articles from 1997 on are available, as well as classified ads. [JS]
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RiceWeb: A Compendium of Facts and Figures from the World of Rice
Mirror site:
International Rice Research Institute
"Everything you wanted to know about one of the longest-running cereals on earth" is the phrase that heads off this well-developed site produced by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The source for much of the information here is the 1996 edition of IRRI's Rice Almanac. Visitors to the site can browse several areas, including "A Brief History of Rice," information about world production and trade, the morphology and growth of the rice plant, and summaries of current research in the field. The IRRI has also made available a 3,000-item glossary of "the terminology used in rice production and rice research" as well as an extensive list of acronyms and abbreviations representing agencies, "various rice varieties, diseases and pests, experimental procedures and more." [AG]
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Swarthmore Math Forum Elementary Teacher's Place
Elementary Problem of the Week:
Swarthmore College's well known Math Forum (formerly known as The Geometry Forum, discussed in the October 20, 1995 issue of The Scout Report), has recently added these meta-pages specifically for elementary school math teachers. The pages are divided into two parts: "For Your Classroom" and "For Your Career." The classroom sections contain pointers to lesson plans, problems, software, and fun sites for kids. The career site contains lists of pertinent discussion groups, articles, and professional organizations. One of the highlights of the Problems and Activities section is Ruth Carver's elementary problem of the week, with an interactive problem and solution archive back to the fall of 1995. [JS]
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AIP Physics News Update Enhancements from University of Exeter Department of Physics Mirror
No-tables version:
AIP Physics News
The University of Exeter (UK) Physics Department has given new meaning to the term "value added" in its mirroring of the American Institute of Physics' weekly publication, Physics News Update. The AIP Public Information Division provides the main Physics News site; it contains a browsable archive of the AIP Physics News Update, which provides concise coverage of new developments in physics, graphics "depicting important physics research topics and concepts," and a subset of more in-depth stories about breaking news in physics. Browsable archives are available at the AIP site back to 1993. The Exeter mirror provides all of the content of the AIP's Physics News Update, and enhances it by: 1) providing an archive back to September of 1990; 2) making this archive searchable; and 3) providing the reports in HTML format, with each article subject cross-referenced to any of over 25 topics from atomic physics to superconductors, allowing the user easy access to other Physics News articles on the same topics. [JS]

To subscribe to the email version of Physics News Update, send email to:
In the body of the message type:
add physnews
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USA Counties 1996--Oregon State University Government Information Sharing Project
OSU Government Information Sharing Project
Oregon State's well known Government Information Sharing Project has recently added the US Census Bureau's USA Counties 1996 database to its arsenal of interactive demographic, economic, and educational databases. USA Counties 1996 allows the user to choose from nearly 3,500 variables in 26 major subject categories from age to health to wholesale trade. Single county profiles can be retrieved for multiple variables; conversely, the user can retrieve multiple county, single variable profiles. Time coverage varies, and this database is meant to provide a "snapshot" of a county rather than a detailed time series, but the amount of information and the fineness of geographical detail make USA Counties 96 unique. Unfortunately, there is currently no provision for downloading retrieved information in formats that allow the statistics to be further manipulated. [JS]
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H-Cervantes--Cervantes' life, times, and works discussion list
H-Cervantes is a network for scholars and professionals active in studies related to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It encourages scholarly exchanges on all aspects of the author, his works, his circle, his times, and scholarship on the era, and welcomes participation by scholars/specialists from all disciplines. H-Cervantes is free and open to everyone with a mature and abiding interest in Cervantes studies. Scholars, writers, teachers, and librarians professionally interested in the subject are particularly invited to join. Note: a short questionnaire must be completed upon subscribing. [JS]

To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
sub h-Cervantes firstname lastname, institution
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General InterestState of the Union Addresses--Past and Present
1997 State of the Union Address [RealAudio]
Text Only:
State of the Union Addresses 1934-96
gopher to:
select: State of the Union Archive
Annual Messages/State of the Nation Messages 1790-1836
President Clinton's State of the Union Message, delivered February 4, 1997, is available in both text and RealAudio formats at the White House web site. For Internauts interested in historical perspective, a selected archive of State of the Union messages of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, along with a complete archive of all messages 1946-96 is available at the Northwestern University Political Science gopher. And Annual Messages/State of the Nation Messages are available for the years 1790-1836 (Washington-Jackson) at George Welling's magnificent "From Revolution to Reconstruction and What Happened Afterwards" site (discussed in the February 9, 1996 Scout Report). [JS]
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PR Newswire
Once offered only to its members and to subscribers of fee-based online retrieval services, PR Newswire is now freely available on the Internet. Users of the site may choose to view the day's 100 most recent stories, search by keyword, or browse by industry type, company name, ticker symbol, or state. Of particular interest to Internauts is the "Industry Focus: Technology" page (available from the list in the left frame of the browser screen): there users can view the day's technology news categorized by subject: computers, telecommunications, or multimedia. A cyberspace daybook lists live events on the net. PR Newswire also publishes four web-based magazines: MoneyTalks, The Car Connection, SnoCountry, and E-Town, all of which are linked to from the main page. Users should bear in mind that the listing of press releases and other information on the PR Newswire service is a for-fee service that not all companies subscribe to. [ML]
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Our World News Online: A World View From a Black Perspective
This site, the companion to a weekly print newspaper published by Donald L. Miller, offers "a uniquely authentic, black perspective" on the news. It carries a selection of stories on national, international, business, trends, and sports news, as well as editorials. The site also contains information on subscribing to the print edition. [JS]
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Virtual Bookshelf
[Note: When last checked by the Internet Scout team, this site URL was no longer available.]
Island Multimedia has created a virtual library of full-text electronic books, many of which are geared toward a young adult audience. The current selection of 18 titles includes works by American authors Willa Cather, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Mark Twain. The difference between this site and those of other electronic publishers is that here Internauts can register for their own free "virtual bookshelf." With registration comes the ability to highlight favorite passages to return to later, as well as the ability to state preferences for font and background color of the books on your personal bookshelf. Unregistered visitors can click on any "Add to Shelf" box to bring up a registration form. The site has also provided a toll-free phone number for a help line. [AG]
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CogSum: The Information Byway to Computers, Coffee and Cognoscenti
Proving that high culture on the Web doesn't need big money behind it (no offense, Slate), the "pilot issue" of CogSum is now online. Edited by Timothy Maloy, adjunct professor of Journalism at the American University and editor of The Internet Newsroom, the journal has a polished, minimalist look. The linking of computers, coffee, and "cognescenti" in the subtitle gives an immediate sense as to what will be found in the journal's pages: under the general categories of Fiction, the Cognitive Coffee Shop, Arts & Culture, Newsstand, InfoTech, and This Just In, readers will find feature articles, reviews (of books, of films, of coffee!), and columns on a variety of topics. This issue is dated "Winter 1997," leading one to assume a quarterly publication schedule. [ML]
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Power of Love Tour--American Gem Society
One of the highlights of the American Gem Society's web pages is its 30-page Power of Love Tour, "a graphical tour of six centuries of the diamond engagement" and wedding ring. It is an ode to diamond rings and their relationship with matrimony through history (mainly from the 16th century onward), and is highlighted by paintings of matrimonial scenes and photos of diamond rings down through the centuries. And the straightforward organization of the site (tour1.html, tour2.html, ... tour30.html) allows the user to follow the tour in a linear fashion or jump around (simply renumber the last part of the URL at your leisure). [JS]
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APH--Association of Personal Historians discussion list
The Association of Personal Historians is a group of writers, editors, oral historians, and videographers who assist people and groups in preserving lifestories. The APH list is a place to share information, ask questions, discuss problems and successes, and generally allow for professional contact in a personal, immediate, and friendly context. This list is open to anyone interested in preserving personal or family memories, oral histories, corporate histories, or teaching others how to do these things. [JS]

To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
SUBSCRIBE APH yourfirstname yourlastname
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Network ToolsExcite's NewsTracker
A free service from Excite promises to seek out just the news users are looking for and deliver top stories in ranked order. Free registration is required (email and password, not demographics) after users define three topics they'd like to follow in the news. Specifying topics is simply a matter of entering keywords to search for if you've used Excite's search interface before, the process will be familiar. Search topics can be refined at any time; an interesting feature is NewsTracker's ability to update users' topics on the basis of which articles they find most useful. Selecting the best articles and clicking on "Learn what I like" will cause the search topic to be updated automatically. To help new users generate broad enough search topics, the service will suggest additional, related keywords to be added. The service currently claims to search over 300 newspapers and magazines, and the full text of found articles is just a click away. [ML]
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Linux Documentation Project
The Linux guru (or guru wanna-be) should bookmark this site. Linux is UNIX freeware available for Intel's x86, Motorola's 680x0, DECS's Alpha CPU and Sun's sun4c and sun4m machines, and is currently being ported to the PowerPC architecture. This meta-site contains documentation in many different languages, links to a great number of applications and utilities that run on Linux, user groups world-wide and other topics of interest. So, whether your question concerns the latest version (2.0.27) or the difference between various distributions, or if you've decided to write the next kernel, this site is a natural place to start. [ATW]
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Web66 and Web66NT--Web use in the classroom mailing lists
The Web66 mailing list is for discussion of web use in K-12 school classrooms, primarily focused on schools that are producers of WWW information. Messages should be related to the web and its use in education. The Web66NT mailing list is for discussion of Windows NT networking in K-12 school classrooms. Messages should be related to Windows NT and its use in schools. [JS]

To subscribe to Web66 send email to:
In the body of the message type:
SUBSCRIBE Web66 your name To subscribe to

To subscribe to Web66NT send email to:
In the body of the message type:
SUBSCRIBE Web66NT your name
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Copyright Susan Calcari, 1994-1997. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The InterNIC provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation: NCR-9218742. The Government has certain rights in this material.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the National Science Foundation, AT&T, or Network Solutions, Inc.

The Scout Report is published weekly by Internet Scout

Susan Calcari
Jack Solock
Matt Livesey
Pete DeVries
Amy Tracy Wells
Aimee Glassel
Teri Boomsma
Executive Editor
Production Editor

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