The Scout Report - February 21, 1997

February 21, 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

Interactive and Viewable Atlases
Oregon State System of Higher Education Historical and Cultural Atlas Resource [Shockwave]
The Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection
ftp to:
change directory to: pub/Map_collection/
Historical and cultural atlases usually portray their subject in a static manner. The University of Oregon History Department, Geography Department Infographics Lab, and New Media Center have collaborated to present one of the more innovative implementations of Macromedia Shockwave: an interactive atlas of culture and history. At the heart of the site are over 50 maps dealing with the Antebellum US and Ancient and Early Medieval Europe. Most of these have been created with Shockwave, allowing the user to follow Roman trade routes, the conquests of Philip and Alexander of Macedon, territorial expansion of the US to 1853, and the war with Mexico, to name just a few. Keys and help are provided with maps. The European section also contains a cultural image library of over 50 images in two resolutions. [JS]

For those without Shockwave, a collection of over 1,900 non-copyrighted "electronic maps" are available for viewing and downloading (in JPEG and GIF formats) from the Perry-Castaneda Library (PCL) of the University of Texas at Austin. The maps are indexed by geographical region and country, and dates range from the early 1800s to as late as 1995. In addition to PCL's own collection there is a link to "other map-related web sites" which has hundreds of links to cartographic reference sources, weather maps, and US city and state maps, to name a few. [AG]
[Back to Contents]

"All" Engineering Resources on the Internet--EELS
Engineering Electronic Library, Sweden
The well known Engineering Electronic Library, Sweden (EELS) has recently added a searchable database of several thousand Internet engineering resource pages. Beginning from "14 important engineering collections on the Internet, the EELS robot indexes those pages and the pages they link to in two levels." AE at present contains about 6,000 of the pages gathered. Powerful search features are available, including Boolean, proximity, phrase, and truncation searching. The site also contains hotlists of the "most cited individual engineering URLs," and "most cited engineering file directories." Like Argos (discussed in the November 1, 1996 Scout Report) and Neuroscience Web Search (discussed in the November 15, 1996 Scout Report), this is a subject-specific search engine. EELS contains over 1,200 annotated, indexed resources in civil, mining, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

Robbins Algebras Are Boolean [.ps, 13p.]
Perhaps the question, "Are all Robbins algebras Boolean?" has never kept you awake at night. But since the 1930s, when Harvard's Herbert Robbins posed it, pondering this issue has been a favorite pastime for mathematicians. In October 1996, however, speculation came to an end when a proof that solves the Robbins problem was discovered by Dr. William McCune, a staff member in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of the Argonne National Laboratory. What's even more interesting about his discovery is that the proof itself was found by the automated reasoning software "EQP." Now a pre-publication version of McCune's findings is available, which describes how he coaxed 3 UNIX machines into thinking through a problem whose solution had eluded two generations of humans. McCune's page provides a link to a New York Times story on the proof, as well as to other related information about Robbins algebras on the web. [ML]
[Back to Contents]

Black Images of Freedom--MSBET [Frames, RealAudio, QuickTime, FutureSplash]
Less graphical entrance:
This MSBET (Microsoft-Black Entertainment Television) site contains a wonderful art gallery of images of African Americans' struggle toward and then exercise of freedom during the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras. At present the site contains two major exhibits, "African Americans and Freedom in the Era of Emancipation," and "The Shaw Memorial." Both are annotated by Henry Louis Gates of the W.E.B. Dubois Institute of Harvard University. The first is composed of three parts and twenty-three images (at present) chronicling the struggle for freedom, emancipation, and the exercise of freedom. The second consists of a brief history of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment (the first African American regiment in the Civil War), as told through images from the Shaw Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts. The site also contains stories and sculpted busts of six of the members of that regiment (Soldier's Stories). Note that the FutureSplash plug-in (discussed in the December 20, 1996 Scout Report) enhances navigation around the MSBET site, but is not necessary for accessing the Black Images of Freedom site. [JS]
[Note: Resource(s)/URL(s) mentioned above is no longer available.]
[Back to Contents]

Teaching Reading: A Balanced, Comprehensive Approach to Teaching Reading in Prekindergarten through Grade Three--California Department of Education
1996 California Reading Initiative
As part of the 1996 California Reading Initiative, the state's Department of Education has produced this advisory, the purpose of which "is to provide guidance in the development and implementation of a balanced, comprehensive reading program in prekindergarten through grade three." The advisory is made up of two parts: the Reading Program, and Instructional Guidance and Support. The first focuses on instruction, including skills, diagnosis, assessment, and early intervention strategies. The second discusses "the planning necessary to support classroom implementation." The report is an interesting glimpse into the strategy of the US' largest state toward teaching the most fundamental of skills. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

Legal Current Awareness Eyes and Ears--Cornell Legal Information Institute
LII's Eye on the Courts: Newsworthy Decisions Available on the Net
LII's BigEar: Current Legal Resources on the Net
For anyone interested in keeping current on relevant court decisions and legal resources available on the Internet, Cornell University's well known Legal Information Institute provides valuable eyes and ears. Eye on the Courts "looks for news reports commenting on important appellate decisions from courts currently covered on the Net," and links to those decisions, as well as any background information that might be available. At present, over 40 decisions are available. Old decisions are archived as new ones are entered. BigEar "listens to a variety of law-related listservs and newsgroups" and posts relevant Internet sites filtered from them. At present, some of the lists included are LAWSRC-L, LAW-LIB, TECHNOIDS, and INT-LAW. Weekly archives (unfortunately not searchable) are available back to November 1995. Together, these two sites serve as a formidable Internet current awareness service. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

bionet.genome.gene-structure--A new Usenet Newsgroup
Charter for the newsgroup:
Archives and other information:
The purpose of this moderated newsgroup is to provide a proper forum for the discussion of issues pertaining to and involving genome and/or chromatin structure and function. Primarily it should enable those researchers who work in genome/chromatin structure or related fields to communicate ideas and information, as well as provide a chance for collaboration among national and international research groups. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest

EPA Global Warming
Less graphical entrance:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Home Page on Global Warming is served by the Waste Policy Institute for the EPA Office of Economy and Environment. This well organized site contains a great deal of information on global warming, climate change, and the greenhouse effect. It contains reports, slide presentations, and a glossary of terms, among other features. It also contains predictions on the impacts of global warming and discusses governmental policies and actions. If you would like to make a difference in the study of global warming, this site can also give you the information you need to get involved. [TB]
[Back to Contents]

Mayo Health O@sis
Site index:
This site, provided by the Mayo Clinic, strives to be "your source of reliable health information." Updated daily, all information on the site is prepared and reviewed by Mayo staff. Health O@sis contains two major sections, Resources and Newsstand. The Resources library is highlighted by a medical glossary (O@sis Library), and an adaptation of Mayo Clinic Complete Book of Pregnancy & Baby's First Year (Pregnancy and Child Health Resource Center). It also contains articles and questions and answers taken from the Mayo Clinic Health Letter on medical topics concerning cancer, diet and nutrition, and heart health. The Newsstand section contains various articles on a wide selection of health topics. There is also an Ask Mayo section that allows users to send health-related questions to Mayo doctors, dietitians, and nurses. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

ExploraNet is provided by the Exploratorium, located in San Francisco, California. It includes hands-on scientific experiments, exhibits, and "Ten Cool Sites" for the month. Current and past issues of Exploratorium's What's New in the World can be searched or browsed. The site also contains a "Digital Library" which has past images, sounds, exhibits, and Web cams. It also features educational presentations on understanding shadows, a cow's eye dissection, and more. [TB]
[Back to Contents]

Three Short Spike Lee Joints--Timecast [RealPlayer]
Timecast, the "realmedia guide," presents these three short films (ranging between 4 and 7 minutes), using the recently released Progressive Networks RealPlayer video streaming product (see below, under Net Tools). The highlight is an interview with Savion Glover, choreographer of "Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk," in which he describes his dance art in two languages (English and Tap). Also included are an interview with actor John Turturro in which he describes his craft, and a film about the computer lab at PS183 in New York City. Note that RealPlayer, like all streaming products, requires a fast connection for best results. [JS]
[Note: Resource(s)/URL(s) mentioned above is no longer available.]
[Back to Contents]

The Sporting News Baseball
The Sporting News
As the snow begins to melt, the days get longer, the pitchers and catchers report to spring training camp, and baseball fans begin to fantasize about their team (no matter how bad) playing in the Worlds Serious, where better to turn than the "baseball bible," The Sporting News? And, although TSN now tries to be all things to all sports fans, it has provided coverage of baseball since 1886 (there wasn't a non-baseball cover until 1967). The site is highlighted by information and scouting reports on each major league team, written by local beat writers. In addition, there is a Sideline section with general feature articles, a Fantasy League section to help you pick your dream team, and the frames-based Conlon Collection, a rotating selection from the 8,000 baseball photographs taken from 1904 to 1942 by Charles Conlon, Spaulding Guide and TSN photographer. Although there are now many baseball magazines, TSN is by far the oldest, and still one of the best. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

I-Advertising--Internet advertising/marketing discussion list
Message archives and online subscription form:
The I-Advertising List is a moderated discussion list available in digest form by email and posted to the Web. It focuses on the discussion of Internet advertising, marketing and online commerce. [JS]

To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
SUBSCRIBE I-ADVERTISING yourfirstname yourlastname
[Back to Contents]

Net Tools

RealPlayer 4.0 Beta from Progressive Networks
Progressive Networks has entered the video streaming business with the release of RealPlayer 4.0 Beta. Presently available for Windows 95/NT and PowerMac systems, its features include video and/or audio on demand, stereo sound (for sites and machines that support it), and buffered play, a feature that is claimed to allow "video and audio to be displayed at bandwidth rates substantially higher than their connection rate would normally allow." Net Scout tested the player on several stereo offerings at AudioNet (discussed in the March 15, 1996 Scout Report) and the above-mentioned Spike Lee films, on a Windows NT machine (133MHz Pentium, 64 MB RAM and a T1 connection), and found performance on both to be surprisingly good. Performance, however, can be expected to vary depending on such factors as your hardware, connection type, and network congestion. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

The Internet: Bringing Order from Chaos--Scientific American
The March 1997 issue of Scientific American magazine presents a special report on the Internet, containing eight articles on topics including multilingualism, trusted systems, searching and filtering information, an aural interface to the web, digital libraries, search interfaces, and the possibility of archiving the Internet. Authors include Clifford Lynch, Paul Resnick, Brewster Kahle, and Michael Lesk, among others. The articles are concise, well written, and thought provoking, and provide intelligent commentary on knowledge organization on the Internet. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

UNIXNT-L--UNIX & NT server discussion list
Subscription information and list archives:
This is an unmoderated list for anyone who uses any flavor of the UNIX operating system, or Windows NT as their Internet server. List topics are open to anything that involves the setup, maintenance, administration, or use of UNIX or NT. Of special interest will be those discussions that compare aspects of each operating system and extoll the good and/or bad features of each. Subscription information and list archives can be found at the website. [JS]

To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
SUBSCRIBE UNIXNT-L yourfirstname yourlastname
[Back to Contents]

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
Matthew Livesey
Teri Boomsma
Aimee D. Glassel
Amy Tracy Wells
Managing Editor
Production Editor

Scout Report and Scout Report HTML Subscription Instructions

  • To receive the electronic mail version of the Scout Report each week, join the scout-report mailing list at the InterNIC Web Site. This is the only mail you will receive from this list. Unsubscribing from the scout-report list can also be done at this site.

  • To receive the Scout Report in HTML format for local viewing and posting, subscribe to the scout-report-html mailing list at the InterNIC Web Site, used exclusively to distribute the Scout Report in HTML format once a week. Unsubscribing from the scout-report list can also be done at this site.

The Scout Report's Web page:

Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) versions of the Scout Report:

Internet Scout
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project

Comments, Suggestions, Feedback
Use our feedback form or send email to

© 1999 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.