The Scout Report - April 25, 1997

April 25, 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

Ethnologue: Languages of the World
Gopher site:
gopher to:
select: Quick Index to SIL Resources/Ethnologue
FTP access:
ftp to:
change directory to: ethnolog13
The thirteenth edition of this massive compendium, edited by Barbara F. Grimes and provided by the Summer Institute of Linguistics, contains links between 6,703 languages and the countries in which they are spoken. Users can look up languages by country, or consult an alphabetic list of languages to see how many people speak them in each country. Also available is the language family index, which groups languages by shared structural and lexical innovations. Language information can also include number of speakers in the world, dialects, linguistic typology, and availability of the Bible. Country information includes the languages spoken, and can also include various demographic and geographic information. The real power of the web site is its hypertext connection between language, country, and language family. Interested users should consult the Introduction before using Ethnologue to understand its components and methodology. The site can be searched from the main countries page. [JS]
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Discovery of the Electron Centennial
Life, the Universe, and the Electron--IOP and The Science Museum [QuickTime, Shockwave]
The Discovery of the Electron--AIP
To celebrate J.J. Thomson's discovery of the electron in 1897, the Institute of Physics (in collaboration with the Science Museum, London) and the American Institute of Physics (discussed in the February 7, 1997 Scout Report) offer online centennial exhibits. The IOP-Science Museum site offers sections on What is an Electron, Seeing with Electrons, and Electrons in our Lives. However, it is highlighted by Discovery, 1897, which contains a QuickTime account of the discovery, a Shockwave animation of it, and an archive recording of the great man himself discussing the discovery. The AIP site concentrates more on the discovery process itself, tracing it back to the 1850s, recounting the 1897 experiments, the response to them, and their ultimate legacy. [JS]
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Four from USDA Economic Research Service [.pdf]
Agricultural Outlook
Food Review
Rural Conditions and Trends
Rural Development Perspectives
The Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has recently made these publications available (Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only). Agricultural Outlook, the monthly short and long term commodity outlook publication, long available via the USDA Economics and Statistics system at Cornell University's Mann Library, (discussed in the September 15, 1995 issue of the Scout Report) is now available with graphics and charts. Food Review, issued three times a year, deals with "trends in [US] food consumption, food assistance, nutrition, food product development, food safety, and food product trade." The two rural development publications, each issued three times annually, "track... economic and social trends in rural America," and present "nontechnical articles on the results of new rural research," respectively. Selected archives of all four publications are available, and articles can be downloaded individually. About the only drawback to this terrific addition to ERS's electronic holdings is that the separate statistical section that accompanies AO (over 20 pages of tables), is not available at this time. This is particularly unfortunate, as these tables are one of the most valuable aspects of the publication. [JS]
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PharmInfoNet DrugDB
DrugDB is one of the many services on the Pharmaceutical Information Network, provided by VirSci Corporation. This database is very easy to use and contains a great deal of drug information on both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Drugs can be browsed by generic or trade name, or searched. Included within the information about the drug are links to lists of other drugs with similar uses, articles, press releases, Medical Sciences Bulletin reviews, and more. [TB]
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ABI World--American Bankruptcy Institute
The American Bankruptcy Institute bills this site as "the premier site for bankruptcy information," and it's a difficult claim to dispute. Among the site's features are information on breaking news in the field, several files of aggregated quarterly and annual bankruptcy statistics (by business/non-business, judicial district, and chapter), legislative news (including links to pertinent bills), selected Congressional testimony by ABI officials, selected articles from Cracking the Code ("a newsletter of insolvency issues"), and a directory of American Board of Bankruptcy Certification certified attorneys. Membership information is also provided. [JS]
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The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Education Bulletin
The ASCD currently produces a biweekly newsletter that is disseminated via e-mail. The ASCD Education Bulletin includes brief items of interest to individuals involved with pre-K-12 education. The newsletter covers topics such as curriculum, instruction, assessment, technology, equity, diversity, and continuing support for public schools. Interesting and useful web resources are also highlighted on a regular basis. [JS]

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

Updated US Population Estimates [.zip]
The US Census Bureau, in association with the Federal-State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates (FSCPE), has recently released updated population estimates on the national, state, and county level. Updated national estimates are available on a monthly basis, and annual estimates are available for 1990- February 1997 by age group, sex and race. On the state level, estimates have recently been updated through 1996 for demographic components, age groups, and sex, increasing the time series covered to 1990-1996. On the county level, 1990 and 1996 estimates are now available for population, population under and over 65, and demographic components of change. All files are available as ASCII text, with some of the larger ones compressed in .zip format. Documentation and layout of files is available. [JS]
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SchoolNet Digital Collections
SchoolNet, Canada's educational initiative meta-site, provides "over 100 collections from the holdings of Canadian archives, libraries, museums, associations, businesses, labour unions and other organizations." The sites, created by young people under contract to Industry Canada's SchoolNet Digital Collections program can be browsed alphabetically or by subject (12 major categories at present, ranging from business to geography to women). Collections include The Acadian Odyssey, Building Canada, Images of Montreal, High Flyers: Canadian Women in Aviation, and The Natural History of Nova Scotia, among many others. For those Internauts interested in various aspects of Canadiana, this is an excellent place to start. [JS]
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Two Employment Opportunities Resources Jobs
[Note: Site title has changed since the original Scout Report review. Site formerly referred to in the Scout Report as "What Color is Your Parachute: The Net Guide."]
Riley Guide: Employment Opportunities and Job Resources on the Internet
Richard Nelson Bolles has adapted a chapter from the 1997 edition of his book, What Color is Your Parachute?, into an online reference guide for job seekers and career changers. The site is divided into five topics: job listings, resumes, career counseling, making contacts, and job-hunting research. Each of these areas provides a description of what is available on the Internet, how to use it, how effective it is, and an annotated list (Parachute Picks) of resources for each. The Riley Guide, one of the earliest sites dedicated to job resources, recently celebrated its third year on the Internet. The site contains introductions and annotated pointers to resources by career field, employer type, and location. There are also sections on resume preparation, and recruiting online, as well as handouts for libraries to use with patrons wanting to use the Internet for job hunting. Margaret Riley is a columnist for the National Business Employment Weekly and is one of the co-authors of the 1996 book, The Guide to Internet Job Searching. [AG]
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US Postal Service Relaunch [Shockwave]
The US Postal Service's website has long been a valuable source of information about all manner of mailing issues, both domestic and international. Now the USPS has redesigned its site to be more intuitively navigable and, well, pretty. The standard services are still available: US address standardization and ZIP+4 coding, Express Mail tracking, postal rates and regulations, and stamps. New is an interactive rate calculator (domestic postage only at present) and two innovative features: Unforgettable Letters, which highlights the art and history of personal correspondence, and InkCredible Stories, comprised of three fictional serials--each week a new chapter is written, in which postage plays a pivotal part. It's time to start thinking of the Postal Service as delivering more than the daily mail. [ML]
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Product ReviewNet
Looking for reviews of consumer products? Rain Corporation's Product ReviewNet provides abstracts of thousands of print reviews and links to selected (about 25%) online reviews for a wide range for consumer products, including appliances, audio and video equipment, computers, sporting goods, cameras, and cars. In addition to consumer products, abstracts of reviews for compact discs, mysteries, and science fiction books are indexed here. PC World, Audio, Car and Driver, Backpacker, and Stereophile are among the print publications indexed. A few of the sources for online reviews are Salon, Microsoft Music Central, Gadget Guru, and Science Fiction Weekly. Users can search the review abstracts by keyword or by choosing one of the 59 "commonly used searches" available from the QuickSearch menu. The founders of the Rain Corporation have a combined 25 years indexing and abstracting experience with H.W. Wilson, the publishers of Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. [AG]
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LOGOV--World local government and cities mailing list
LOGOV is an unmoderated mailing list on the topic of local government, urban/city management and international cooperation. LOGOV is a forum for the distribution and exchange of information of concern to local governments and authorities of cities and metropolii of the world and their associations. [JS]

To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe logov your-email-address
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Net Tools

Excite's Channels
Whatever your opinion about the television-ization of the Internet, channels are coming to a search engine near you. Excite is the latest service to reorganize its content into channels (currently fourteen, from Arts & Entertainment to Travel & Regional). The search interface Excite users have come to know is still available, but many of the other services have been integrated into the channel lineup. NewsTracker, for example (discussed in the February 7, 1997 Scout Report) will show up both in My Channel (a customizable page with content tailored to individual tastes through the magic of cookies) and in the News channel. Users of NewsTracker in its previous incarnation will find their settings still intact when they visit the News channel. Each channel page offers current headlines, Excite services, chat and bulletin boards, and guided web tours, among other resources. If you know exactly what you're looking for, stick to the search interface; if you're in a browsing mood, check out the channels. [ML]
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Two Subject Guide Directories
The Mining Company [Frames]
Argus Clearinghouse Relaunch
Scout Toolkit coverage of Argus Clearinghouse
While search engines like Excite add "channels" of information organized by subject to help Internauts find the information they want, subject guides provide even more value: individuals maintain coverage of specific subjects, adding a level of human filtering between resources and the user. The Mining Company site at this time contains over 200 subject guides in 13 subject areas, each maintained by a "guide." Under the main hierarchy are sub-hierarchies, which can be browsed via drop-down menus. Guides are standardized and contain annotated resource lists, "best of the net" sections, and features sections that highlight specific areas of the topic. Best of all, there is a biography of each maintainer, allowing users to judge the authority of the maintainer. The Mining Company is searchable, and has the potential (although site quality always varies), to make Internet resources much more easily accessible. The Argus Clearinghouse (discussed in the November 18, 1994 Scout Report), has been doing exactly this for about four years in various incarnations, and has recently been relaunched with a redesigned subject hierarchy and more intuitive navigation. [JS]
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Two from
Banner Ad Placement Study
Webreference's 3-D Animation Workshop (discussed in the April 19, 1996 Scout Report) has recently added two interesting and thought-provoking resources to its site. The first presents the results of a study of banner ad placement at, conducted between March 25 and April 15, 1997 by three University of Michigan School of Business Administration students. The study concludes that changes in placement of banner ads affects "click-through" rates. 3-D Animation Workshop consists of a continuing tutorial that includes eight step-by-step lessons at present. Topics included in the lessons are building objects, adding light/shading, assigning surface properties, software recommendations, and animating an object. [JS,TB]
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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
Production Editor

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