The Scout Report - April 4, 1997

April 4, 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

CSIRO Publishing Electronic Journals [.pdf]
CSIRO Publishing, the Australian scientific and technical journal publisher, has recently introduced limited-time free electronic access to eight scholarly journals (Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only). The journals cover the fields of botany, agriculture, physics, zoology, soil research, plant physiology, and wildlife research; 1997 issues only are available at this time. In the next few months, five more journals are scheduled to come online, and all will be freely accessible at the site during 1997. After this, access will be restricted to subscribers. CSIRO journals "present the latest research by leading Australian and overseas scientists..., cover a wide range of sciences, [and]... are peer reviewed with a broad international readership." [JS]
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Today in History--Library of Congress
A new and imaginative way to access the Library of Congress' American Memory Collection is through its "Today in History" page. This new feature will provide historical facts related to the current date along with links to materials from the extensive online collections. The first three days highlighted April Fool's Day, General Robert E. Lee's evacuation of Richmond Virginia, and John Burrows, a nature essayist. Previous days' sites will be archived for future reference, with the archive being updated every Friday. The "Yesterday" link allows users to view previous days' entries before the weekly archive update. [AG]
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Chemistry MPEG Movies--University of Texas-Austin [QuickTime, Chime, JavaScript]
The University of Texas at Austin Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has an excellent chemical reaction movie site. This site is broken down into three areas: Organic Chemical Reactions, Educational System Group's MPEG Periodic Table, and Welch Scholar Program movies. In Organic Chemical Reactions various QuickTime movies can be viewed through either a standard or a UT Virtual Campus version. UT Virtual Campus requires a Netscape 3.0, a 1024x768 resolution monitor, and Chime plug-in/QuickTimeVR components (both require a QuickTime player). The MPEG Periodic Table is an interactive table that currently contains 41 elements; users may choose from several reaction movies for each element. Finally, Welch Scholar Program movies contains more organic chemical reaction movies. Not all navigational graphics on the site function correctly, but the MPEG files will display properly, and are well worth the sometimes lengthy download times. [TB]
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Gesneriad Reference Web
Fifty-four new high-resolution images have just been added to Ronald Myhr's site devoted to gesneriads, a large family of tropical herbs and shrubs, including gloxinias and African violets. Almost 300 color images are available, accessible either alphabetically by Latin name, or as thumbnail photos under the corresponding genus pages (listed in the section labeled Gesneriad Genera). In addition to images, each genus page contains a brief description. A short general article on the botany of gesneriads by Dr. B. Moxley is reprinted here (Gesneriad Botany) from Flowering Plants of the World (Oxford University Press, 1993). Read through the Site Notes section for tips on monitor settings to get the best color and resolution results. Mr. Myhr is the founder of the Toronto Gesneriad Society. [AG]
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Avalon Project--Yale University Law School
Yale University Law School's Avalon Project seeks to "mount digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government." The site is simple yet powerful. The documents are presented both chronologically and by topic (under Major Collections), ranging from the Athenian Constitution to the 1992 European Parliament Resolution on the Situation in Tibet. The design of Avalon encourages comparative analysis, in that readers may follow links between related documents available on the site. The documents, unfortunately, lack background materials to put them in historical perspective, but this is an impressive and growing repository of primary sources. [JS]
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War, Peace, and Security Guide
Provided by the Information Resource Centre of the Canadian Forces College, (Department of National Defence), this meta-site links to information on military and naval forces worldwide. Major categories of information include armed forces of the world, international organizations, and disarmament, as well as military art and science, biography, and history. The contemporary conflicts section provides links to information on a frighteningly large number of world hot-spots, from Peru to East Timor to Chechnya. Each page can have up to three modes: web/gopher links, journal/document links, and mailing list/newsgroup links. The journal/document links pages specify whether abstracts, full text articles, or simply publication information is available from each source. The pages are searchable through an Excite search engine. Overall, the site is a well organized guide to military science and contemporary international military issues. [ML]
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CLASSICA--Classical Music Mailing List
CLASSICA is intended as a resource for scholars, performers, music lovers and others doing musicology research or performers connected to the artistic contributions of classical composers. Appropriate postings might pertain to work currently in progress, the development of course materials, bibliography material of interest to composers, performers, scholars or others, useful Internet resources, etc. [JS]

To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
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General Interest

Vatican Site Upgrade [Frames]
The Vatican (Holy See) site (discussed in the January 12, 1996 Scout Report) has recently been considerably upgraded. It is divided into six sections (Holy Father, Roman Curia, News Services, Vatican Museums, Jubilee 2000, and Archive). Much of the site is informational, but it also contains a growing list of documents. Under Holy Father, documents from Popes John Paul I and II are available at this time, including homilies, letters, messages, speeches, encyclicals, and biographies. The archives are highlighted by documents of the Second Vatican Council. The site is still under construction, so some links haven't been implemented as yet. Navigation can be confusing, and users should study the "How to Navigate the Internet Site section" before using the site. The site is searchable and is available in six languages, although specific documents may be available in fewer at this time. As the site grows, it has the potential to become a monumental repository of both religious and historic information. [JS]
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Statistical Abstract of the United States 1996 [.pdf, 1022p]
Adobe Acrobat Reader
The US Census Bureau offers this exhaustive compendium of national, regional, state, local, and selected international statistics drawn from "reports and records of government and private agencies." The book (Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only) is divided into 31 topical chapters, composed mostly of annual time series data. Unfortunately, as there is no table of contents, the best finding aid is the subject index, which identifies table numbers (not page numbers). An additional shortcoming is that the Bureau has not supplied table number limits with each chapter heading, as it did with the 1995 Statistical Abstract. Still, by locating the tables of interest in the index, and then making an educated guess as to which chapter those tables would be located in, along with using Acrobat's search capability, one can actually use this book in its electronic format. This volume, published annually since 1878, is known as "the national data book." [JS]
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WeatherPost--From the Washington Post
The Washington Post makes a bid for the already crowded Internet weather market with WeatherPost. Coverage includes current conditions and four-day forecasts for 3,600 cities worldwide, as well as snapshot and time-lapse satellite maps (provided by Accu Weather). For US cities, users may also access UV and air quality maps and data, as well as seasonal maps (snow cover, tanning index, heat index, and BeachCast) and other radar images such as precipitation. Users may enter a city name into the homepage search box, or may browse by country or state/province. The historical weather database offers compiled monthly average weather data for nearly 1,000 cities worldwide; the database is searchable. An aspect of the site that sets it apart from many other weather pages is the weather reference desk, which includes a weather glossary, weather calculators (JavaScript converters for temperature, wind chill, heat index, etc.) and a page devoted to storm chasers. [ML]
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The Hill
CapWeb mirror:
The Hill has the largest weekly circulation on Capitol Hill and has a target audience composed of Congress, the Executive Branch, Cabinet-level departments as well as public-interest and lobbying groups. In short, the Hill is a highly focused window into the politics/workings of the legislative branch (and subsequent interactions with the executive and judicial branches) of the US federal government. While the online version contains only selected articles (the paper is subscription-based), what is posted is complete and timely, supplying much of the detail not covered anywhere else. The Hill isn't for everyone, but if you live and breathe to learn the best of "inside the beltway" news, it's certainly worth a look. [ATW]
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Switch: An Electronic Arts Journal [Shockwave]
Volume 3, number 1 of the electronic arts journal of the CADRE (Computers in Art, Design, Research & Education) Institute of the School of Art and Design at San Jose State University is now online, and focuses on "art of the world wide web." Articles include "Useless Web Pages: Conceptual Folk Art or Post Modern Web Dada?" and "The Construction of Art on the Internet and the Mediating Influence of the Search Engine." The essays are peppered with hypertext links, which may lead the reader to appendices or other websites or even personal homepages with relevance to the topic at hand. Previous issues of Switch have covered such topics as interactive narrative, virtual reality, and artificial life; as befits an arts journal, each issue has its own look and feel (though this can make navigation challenging). The next issue, due in July, will cover web-specific art. [ML]
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INTLBIZ--International Business Mailing List
INTLBIZ is a moderated public Internet mailing list that seeks to provide a bridge between business people in all lands and provide them a way to make contacts, find new trading partners and share resources. It will be a highly professional, polite, and information-rich business network. INTLBIZ will discuss: contacts, partners and businesspeople around the world to work with, wanted/seeking agents, sales representatives, licensees, distributors, resources including global, regional and national information sources from countries around the world, plus questions/answers to your international business questions. Web-based subscription is available (see above URL). [JS]

To subscribe send email to:
In the subject line of the message type:
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Net Tools

NETFUTURE: Technology and Human Responsibility
Steve Talbott, a senior editor at O'Reilly & Associates, produces this eclectic newsletter about the relationship between technology and humanity about once a week. Talbott, the author of The Future Does Not Compute: Transcending the Machines in Our Midst, writes much of this newsletter, but others also contribute. NETFUTURE is interesting in that it goes beyond the usual computer and networking issues to deal with how the interaction between human and technology consciously and subconsciously shapes both. Newsletters are available back to 1995, and there is also a detailed topical index (41 subjects at present) ranging from alternative culture to the Year 2000 problem. [JS]

To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe NETFUTURE your name
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Files, Files, and More Files
File Mine
File Mine, provided by TechWeb, is a freeware and shareware meta-site that contains a searchable and browsable interface to games, Internet, multimedia, education, utilities, and commercial demo software. Programs are available for several platforms, and selected software is reviewed. Users may download programs as they find them or mark them and then download them later (although still one at a time). Filez advertizes itself as "Z place for filez." It claims a searchable and browsable archive of over 75 million files on some 5,000 ftp servers. Keyword and software type searches are available, and searches can also be limited by domain or ftp archives. Filez contains a browsable interface (for Windows and Mac) on the Yahoo model, with 14 major subjects ranging from New & Corporate to Home & Hobby to Utilities & System. Numerous subcategories are available under the major categories. [JS]
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webmaster-l--WWW Webmasters Mailing List
The webmaster-l list provides a forum for discussion and information exchange concerning the role, responsibilities, activities, knowledge, skills, and concerns of webmasters and others who are involved with Internet and web server site building and maintenance including content development, design, implementation, system administration, scripting, programming, internetworking, and other activities related to a variety of servers, clients, objects, programs, and applications operating across intranets, the Internet, or computer networks generally. [JS]

To subscribe send a message to:
In the body of the message type these two lines:
subscribe webmaster-l
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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 (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

Susan Calcari
Jack Solock
Matthew Livesey
Teri Boomsma
Aimee D. Glassel
Amy Tracy Wells
Managing Editor
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