The Scout Report - February 14, 1997

February 14, 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:

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

Research & Education

HMS Beagle--From BioMedNet
Provided by BioMedNet, HMS Beagle offers a new way for biomedical researchers to stay current with the latest developments. The site contains a daily updated range of articles, debates, reviews, and editorials, as well as annotated pointers to the best biomedical web resources. The site is free to registered members of BioMedNet (which is free as well), and draws upon BioMedNet's library of 90+ biomedical journals. Abstracts of articles are presented on the HMS Beagle site, while full text may cost the user a fee (determined by the journal itself). A feature that more websites offering original content should adopt is a guide to citing the site as a source, ensuring that web authors get the bibliographic credit they deserve. [ML]
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Women in America, 1820 to 1842
"It is considered very indelicate for ladies and gentlemen to sit down together on the grass," was the response given to Frances Trollope in Cincinnati in 1829 when she proposed a picnic party to a female friend. This is just one example of the experience of women in the new republic as recorded by eighteen European travelers to the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century, now brought together by the American Studies Group of the University of Virginia. These combined travelogues "form a more complete and varied picture of the life of American women than can be gleaned from the text of [Alexis de Tocqueville's] Democracy in America alone." In addition to Trollope, excerpts from the works of Harriet Martineau, Charles Dickens, and Gottfried Duden are among those gathered here. The writings are organized both chronologically and topically, allowing readers to compare the writing of several authors on a given subject. In addition, a brief introduction to each author gives some background for their travels to the United States. [AG]
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Quality Counts: A Report Card on the Condition of Public Education in the 50 States
Text-only version:
Education Week, (discussed in the September 13, 1996 issue of the Scout Report) in collaboration with the Pew Charitable Trusts, has recently made available this compilation of over 75 education indicators. Grades were given in the major categories of "academic standards, quality of teaching, school climate, and funding." While state information can be accessed from the "US Report Card" page or individual state pages (tabular, graphic, anecdotal, and comparative data are available for each state), the easiest way to explore the site is through the index, which is clearly divided into overview, indicators, and state-by-state sections. From any angle, this site is an excellent place to get a survey of the grade American public education receives. [JS]
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Introduction to Logic for Liberal Arts and Business Majors
Stefan Waner and Steven R. Costenoble of Hofstra University begin this online textbook by assigning students to prove the existence of God. This leads them to a concise discussion not of faith but of symbolic logic. This resource covers: statements and logical operators; logical equivalence, tautologies and contradictions; the conditional and biconditional; tautological implications and equivalences; rules of inference; and arguments and proofs. Each section is accompanied by exercises, with answers provided to odd-numbered exercises. And while the user might not be able to answer the original assignment after finishing Introduction to Logic, he or she will certainly have a more disciplined idea of how to think about it. Note that navigation is through the colored buttons adjacent to the chapter titles and exercises. [JS]
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Arid Lands Newsletter-University of Arizona
The Office of Arid Lands Studies at the University of Arizona's College of Agriculture supports the Arid Lands Newsletter website. This site contains a browsable archive of current and past issues of the semiannual newsletter. Six newsletters are listed, covering the following topics: desertification, constraining geographical borders, computing and the web, biodiversity conservation, desert architecture, and deserts in literature. Arid Lands Newsletter will give visitors a whole new way to look at deserts. [TB]

To subscribe to an unillustrated version send email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe aridlands-nl
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The Black Collegian Online Black History Articles
The Black Collegian Online
This site, the online presence for a 26-year-old print "national career opportunities magazine," celebrates Black History month by presenting eleven articles on African and African American history. Included are articles on African American trailblazers in several fields, African science before the birth of the "New World," two articles each on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., an article on Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and, perhaps most interesting (as well as controversial), an article by John Henricke Clarke entitled "Why Africana History?" The articles present a refreshingly Afrocentric view of African American history. [JS]
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QStudy-L--Queer Studies discussion list update
Searchable archive of postings:
The long-running QStudy-L discussion list now offers a searchable archive of postings, available through a web interface. QSTUDY-L is a forum for academic discussions pertaining to queer theory, an umbrella term encompassing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual/transgender studies. QSTUDY-L is also intended to promote networking and information sharing between teachers, researchers, librarians, and students--anyone involved or interested in the field of queer studies. Posting announcements about relevant conferences or publications, calls for papers, job opportunities, or anything else relevant to the topic of queer studies is encouraged, though only subscribers may post to the list. It is hoped that QSTUDY-L will serve additionally as a repository for syllabi, bibliographies, and other items of interest relating to queer studies. [ML]

To subscribe to QStudy-L, send email to:
In the body of the message, type:
SUB QSTUDY-L YourFirstName YourLastName
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General Interest

1998 US Federal Budget Publications and 1997 Economic Report of the President [.pdf, .wk1, .wk4]
Search Engine:
Downloadable information:
Detailed budget estimates by agency:
Adobe Acrobat Reader
The best thing that can be said about the US Government Printing Office's electronic release of the latest Federal Budget Publications and Economic Report of the President is that these important documents are, after a fashion, available to researchers, policy makers, journalists, and interested Netizens. Users looking for ease of retrieval or any kind of value-added data processing (particularly with respect to ERP), will have to look beyond this site. GPO has made the publications searchable (retrievals can be downloaded in text or Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format), and also downloadable directly in .pdf and .wk1 format. The problem with the latter approach is immediately apparent. Budget Publications range from 200KB to 3.7MB, although the detailed estimates by agency are somewhat more manageable in size. The Economic Report of the President runs nearly 3MB. One improvement has been made to the ERP: the appended statistical tables (110 time series covering all aspects of the US economy), viewed by many as the real value of the report, have again (after a 3-year hiatus) been made available in .wk1 spreadsheet format. Raleigh Muns and Melissa Silvestre of the Thomas Jefferson Library at the University of Missouri at St. Louis have clearly shown how the ERP can be made more accessible to the public (see the Scout Report for February 16, 1996). Perhaps the GPO webmasters should take a look. [JS]
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World of Work--Magazine of the ILO [.pdf]
French edition:
Spanish edition:
The Bureau of Public Information of the International Labour Organization now provides full text (Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only) of this magazine at the ILO web site. The present issue contains articles about the global unemployment crisis, child labor, the textile, footwear, and clothing industries, and work stress, among others. World of Work is a quarterly magazine that does not necessarily reflect the views of the ILO. Note that this is a graphically rich magazine, and the files are correspondingly large. [JS]
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Olsen and Associates 164 Currency Converter
Olsen and Associates of Zurich, Switzerland, a "developer of online forecasting technology for business and finance" has made this simple and fun service available. Simply enter the amount of currency for any of 164 currencies, the currency to be converted to, and the date of the exchange rate (back to January 1, 1990, in day/month/year format) into an online form, and presto, an exchange rate (which is then reversible) is obtained. As this is a demonstration product, neither multiple currencies nor multiple dates are allowed. Users should also read the FAQ to understand why the rate they get might be slightly different from the one their bank advertises. [JS]
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Afro-Americ@ Black History Museum [QuickTime]
Afro-Americ@, a service of the Afro-American Newspaper Company of Baltimore, Maryland, has made available this interactive set of exhibits highlighting important events and people in African American History. Exhibits include "Black Resistance: Slavery in the US," "Tuskegee Airmen: The First Black Combat Pilots in America," "Jackie Robinson," "The Black Panther Party," "Black or White: The Environment of the 20s and 30s When Black America Was on a Binge to Undo its Blackness by Concentrating on Making itself as White as it Could Be," "The Million Man March," "The Scottsboro Boys," and "This is Our War: A Compilation of Articles Written by AFRO Correspondents While Following Black American Troops During World War II." The exhibits are highlighted by articles and graphics from issues of the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper. [JS]
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Lonely Planet--Down-to-earth travel information
Lonely Planet's Text-Express (low graphics):
"Don't worry about whether your trip will work out. Just go!" This is the travel philosophy of Lonely Planet, one of the most respected publishers of off-the-beaten-path travel guidebooks worldwide. Whether you already know where you're going, or are looking for suggestions for your next trip, Lonely Planet's site is packed with information that you can actually use to plan your trip. Search or browse the section "DestiNATIONS" to find maps, facts and figures, and information on local history, culture, and transportation for 8 world regions, over 80 countries, and 20 different cities. Much of the health information found in LP's print guides is also now available here. In addition, there are links to destination-related newsgroups, tips on travel photography, and "Postcards," a forum in which travelers share experiences and give advice. [AG]
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Modern Needlepoint--Discussion list on contemporary tapestry
Modern Needlepoint is an open, lightly moderated discussion list featuring contemporary needlepointing as its main focus. Discussion covers such topics as design, who needlepoints, techniques, subjects, how-to, modern uses for finished decorative canvases and general help questions for novices and experts. Subscribers are allowed to post finished designs for use or sale to other enthusiasts. This group is not intended for the discussion of other aspects of needlework, such as cross stitch, embroidery and other smaller needle craft projects. [JS]

To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe modern needlepoint firstname lastname
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Net Tools

AltaVista's Refine [Java]
LiveTopics help:
Massive indexes of the Web generally have one drawback; they are massive indexes of the Web. They will often return tens of thousands of pages in response to queries, perhaps leaving users no closer to the information they seek. Now AltaVista offers search term refinement assistance in the form of LiveTopics, currently in beta release. Available from any search results page, LiveTopics offers the user additional, related terms to add to a particular search query. The HTML version presents categorized tables of related terms, allowing the user to add or exclude individual search terms and then resubmit the search. The Java implementation, however, goes far beyond this by constructing a topic map consisting of the same categories visually linked into a conceptual structure. Drop-down lists of terms underlie each category. This assistance in refining searches will be welcome to those users with broad areas of interest; in fact, the service works best when the user begins with the broadest possible search term. LiveTopics is an exciting glimpse into the future of intelligent searching on the net. [ML]
[Note: Site title has changed since the original Scout Report review. Site formerly referred to in the Scout Report as "LiveTopics."]
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Final Report of the International Ad Hoc Committee: Recommendations for Administration and Management of gTLDs
Microsoft Word and Postscript versions [31 p.]:
This report, recently released by the International Ad Hoc Committee, a coalition of Internet community organizations including ISOC (The Internet Society), IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), IAB (Internet Architecture Board), and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) among others, calls for a seismic change in the way generic top level domain names (gTLDs) are organized. The current gTLDs are .com, .org., and .net. The IAHC report calls for the establishment of seven additional gTLDs (.firm, .store, .web, .arts, .rec, .info, and .nom) because "creation of such additional gTLDs would... creat[e] alternate entry points for access to the gTLD domain space, ...preventing the operators of any particular gTLD from assuming the role of a monopoly provider." In addition, the report discusses choosing gTLD registrars, registry governance, and domain name trademark disputes and challenges. [JS]
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Ten New Modules Added to the 15 Minute Series
ftp to:
change directories to NIC-support/15min
15 Minute Series updates
InterNIC Information and Education Services 15 Minute Series, (originally discussed in the August 30, 1996 issue of the Scout Report) a program of modular, extensible slide presentation Internet training materials, has recently added ten new modules. Under "The Basics," new topics include viruses, domain names and Internet Service Providers. Under "World Wide Web," coverage of HTML and web page components has been added. New "Tools" topics include Lynx and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Packets, WAIS, and IPv6 are new in the areas of "Technology," "Indexing and Search Services," and "The Future," respectively. The series now contains a total of 41 modules. These presentations are available for viewing and downloading in both Microsoft PowerPoint and compressed HTML versions. To keep current on 15 Minute Series updates, see the monthly InterNIC News, a publication of InterNIC I&E. [JS]
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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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