The Scout Report -- Volume 8, Number 38

September 27, 2002

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In This Issue:

NSDL Scout Reports

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

NSDL Scout Reports

NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology
The seventeenth issue of the first volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about China's space program.

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Research and Education

Urban Planning, 1794-1918
Compiled by John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at Cornell University, this selection of 185 primary documents dealing with urban planning will be extremely useful to persons concerned with the subject or urban history in general. The selections on the site are searchable by author, date, subject, or key words. Documents on the site include Frederick Law Olmstead's commentary on the City Beautiful movement and continue all the way to his son's discussion of housing developments in 1919. Professor Reps has also included a supplementary bibliography for additional consideration and a general introduction to the material presented in this anthology. [KMG]
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The Scottish Parliament
Since the election of the first representatives to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, the group has been responsible for creating and enacting a wide variety of legislative acts. Much of their current work and agenda is documented on their Web site, which also includes a helpful section on the different powers of the Parliament and their procedures. One of the most engaging parts of the site lists the current activities of the different committees within the Parliament, including allowing users to watch streaming video of different committee meetings. Additionally, the site contains extensive material on the business of the Parliament, such as current bills and reports and biographies of all the serving Ministers. [KMG]
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Empowering the Way Out of Poverty: Why It Matters, How It Works [.pdf]
In this 12-page report, J. Norman Reid, the Associate Deputy Administrator for the Rural Development branch of the USDA, outlines a basic outline for assisting poor rural communities in the United States through empowerment. As Mr. Reid suggests in his paper when reviewing previous policies in this program area, "these programs did little or nothing to address the causes of poverty or provide incentives or means for individuals to escape it." Mr. Reid continues by listing several key elements for operating an effective empowerment program, including community-wide participation and building community capacity. Overall, the report will be compelling to those in the field of community development and rural policy-making in the United States. [KMG]
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Robotics Education Project
NASA's Robotics Education Project is intended to raise children's interest in robotics and promote it as a possible career choice. The Web site highlights many applications of robots, such as space exploration, medicine, and mechanical automation. Multimedia games, educational activities, and lesson plans can all be found from this page. Occasionally, NASA will have Web casts of robotics events, and these can be viewed live or after the fact from the archive. News articles about specific robot uses in industry and research are also included. Some of the material links to external sources, but this is a good starting point for teaching or learning about robotics. This site is also reviewed in the September 27, 2002 NSDL MET Report. [CL]
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Arizona State Museum
Located at the University of Arizona, the Arizona State Museum features a variety of programs and exhibits, many of which offer an introspective look into the culture of the American Indian groups in the region. One of the main highlights of the site are the several online exhibits that feature objects and photographs from recent shows. The most recent of these is the "Connections Across Generations: The Avery Collection of American Indian Paintings," which highlights selections from the exhibit that is set to open on October 4th, 2002. Also documented on the site are the numerous ongoing archaeological projects that are often joint projects between researchers at the Museum and within the University of Arizona. Finally, the site also has a variety of educational resource materials for teachers planning to visit the museum, and information about joining the Museum and volunteering in one of their many programs. [KMG]
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Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development
In keeping with the tradition of "The Wisconsin Idea," the Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development Web site features material that will be of great interest to the general public, researchers, and those directly involved in the dairy industry. Pertinent sections on the site include areas devoted to recent publications dealing with topical dairy research, the Institute's current research agenda, outreach projects, and educational tools. The educational tools section of the site offer information to those seeking to learn more about dairy science, or for those who seeking to translate dairy terms into several different languages. Additionally, all of the materials on the site are available in Spanish, and a calendar highlights upcoming events sponsored by the Institute. [KMG]
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Asian Population 2000 [.pdf]
Researched and written by Jessica S. Barnes and Claudette E. Bennett of the US Census Bureau, this 12-page report provides a brief introduction to the regional and national distribution of the Asian and Asian-American population in the United States. The report begins with a detailed explanation of the problems presented by the 2000 Census data, largely due to the fact that the questions regarding race were significantly modified from those used in the 1990 Census. Some of the key findings of the report include the fact that the majority of Asians in the United States live in the West, and that half live in just three states. This report should interest those in the fields of demography and human geography. [KMG]
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The Mead Project: Foundational Documents in Sociological Social Psychology
Compiled and created by Lloyd Gordon Ward and Robert Throop at the Brock University Department of Sociology in Canada, the Mead Project contains an array of primary documents by George Herbert Mead and his contemporaries. The stated goal of the project is to revitalize research on Mead's work and to facilitate access to his publications by bringing together many key documents in one readily accessible location. Along with a collection of seminal papers and articles written by Mead from 1881 to 1938, the site also contains a variety of supplementary scholarship produced by William James and John Dewey. Almost all of the documents are publicly available, but several will require users to register with the Project, which is free. [KMG]
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General Interest

Ann Arbor, 1900-1975: A Woman's Town [QuickTime]
Bringing together the perspectives of 13 different women, this site contains video clips from two different documentaries that tell about the colorful history of Ann Arbor. Assisted by the Cultural Heritage Initiative for Community Outreach at the University of Michigan, the brief video clips feature these women talking about the topics such as the civil rights movement during the 1960s and 1970s, as well as conversations about spiritual life in the community. The interviews are searchable by subject and by each individual person. For persons seeking a broader contextual setting for some of the subjects discussed, a timeline of African-American history rounds out the site. [KMG]
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The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt [QuickTime, RealPlayer]
This new online exhibit from the National Gallery of Art will be a real treat for those with a passion for the ancient civilization of Egypt. Focusing on the ancient Egyptians notion of immortality, the site utilizes a variety of audio and visual material to bring the visitor into the experience of the exhibit. Using the QuickTime application, visitors can take an interactive tour of the Tomb of Thutmose III, which provides a detailed explication of the symbolic importance of the objects and hieroglyphs in the tomb. Visitors can also experience streaming slideshows that feature the narration of various experts regarding different objects, or if they desire, they can read the transcript instead. The site also has a link to the exhibition's gift shop and different brochures produced in association with the exhibit. [KMG]
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Bob Hope and American Variety
One of the most enduring legends of American film, stage, and screen receives an excellent tribute on this online exhibit from the Library of Congress, dealing with his 70 year career, and more broadly, the enduring legacy and history of vaudeville in the United States. Different sections of the site include an essay on the early life of Bob Hope, the story of American vaudeville in the first decades of the 20th century, and documentation on Bob Hope's prodigious service abroad for the United Service Organization (USO). One of the most compelling sections of the site is titled Faces of Bob Hope, which contains dozens of the portraits and good-natured caricatures of the visage that Bing Crosby often referred to as "The Ski Slope." Another useful section contains information about Mr. Hope's voluminous joke file (over 85,000 pages), along with several scanned images of these pages. [KMG]
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Centropa: Jewish Heritage in Central and Eastern Europe
A nonprofit organization based in Vienna, Austria, the Centropa group is headed up by a team of historians, educators, photographers, and other artists and scholars. The site contains a number of different oral history and photographic archives, in addition to sections dealing with contemporary Jewish life in the region and around the world. The basic search options within each of these sections allows visitors to choose a country of interest and to highlight certain themes (such as religious figures or personal letters), so that the results will be customized appropriately. An advanced search option allows visitors to look for materials based on family surname and city. The site concludes with a section that offers suggestions for eating in different restaurants around Eastern Europe and with travel tips for the area compiled by Ruth Ellen Gruber, who has published three books on Jewish Europe. [KMG]
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BBC Learning
The BBC Learning Web site (last mentioned in the May 5, 1995 Scout Report), is now providing a series of short online learning courses for persons hoping to gain a helpful introduction to a number of topics. Current courses include Becoming Webwise; How to be a Gardener; and several on history, including Victorian Britain. Particularly helpful are the short courses in German, French, Italian, and Spanish. All of the different language courses are accompanies by audio and video clips so that users will have more a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the language in context. For those looking for an introduction to a number of subjects, these learning tools will prove quite valuable. [KMG]
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The Hermitage: The Home of Andrew Jackson
The Ladies Hermitage Association has assembled a variety of material dealing with one of the most beloved Presidential homes in the United States -- the Hermitage, the palatial home of "Old Hickory." Divided into several key sections, the site contains material on planning a visit to the home, upcoming events at the house, future programs, current exhibits, and the archaeological research in progress on the grounds. Also linked to the site are the previous incarnations of the current site, which also feature information on the former slave community and plantation operation associated with the Hermitage in the 19th century. [KMG]
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Ohio Exploration Society
Frequently updated, the Ohio Exploration Society site is devoted to documenting the history and development of numerous sites of cultural importance, including cemeteries, Indian mounds, parks, and other aspects of the built environment. Extensive photo documentation is offered on the site, with commentary on each of the locales that provides background information about the history of each site. For those who may be interested in joining the Ohio Exploration Society, membership information is provided, along with a Code of Conduct for those interested in the expeditions. The site is rounded out by a selection of links that deal with exploring different parts of Ohio. [KMG]
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Network Tools

RealOne Player for Max OS X
This week, RealNetworks released the beta version of their Player application for the Mac OS X. The application contains many of the features common to the previous versions of RealPlayer, along with a new feature that helps eliminate buffering over high-speed connections. In addition, this version of RealOne Player also contains RealVideo 9, which assists in the viewing of video clips and other images. Finally, this beta version will not override currently installed versions of RealPlayer 7 or 8. [KMG]
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Vista NetMail 5.03
Released by the InternetSoft Corporation, this small application is an electronic mail processing service that provides extensive filtering, processing, and recording capabilities. Perhaps the most effective part of this application is the anti-spam filtering function, which automatically deletes unwanted electronic messages as they are received. Also, NetMail allows for the automatic sorting of incoming messages based on user-defined criteria, such as header fields or the sender's address. There is also a user's guide to the program, which is supported by the Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP platforms. [KMG]
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In The News

Woman in Vietnam May be World's Oldest Person
Vietnamese Woman May Be World's Oldest Person
NIA Panel on the Characterization of Participants in Studies of Exceptional Survival in Humans
Americas Face Challenge of Aging Populations, PAHO Report Says
Health, United States, 2002: National Center for Health Statistics
Aging on the World Stage [.pdf]
Obesity Threatens to Reverse Gains in Longevity
2002 Guinness Book of World Records for the Category "Longevity Records"
The quest for youth and longevity has been an interest of humankind for millennia, so it is not surprising that recording statistics on human longevity is done with great interest. On September 26, 2002, it was announced that Vu Thi Dao of northern Vietnam may in fact be the world's oldest person, although her birth certificate only lists the year in which she was born, and not the exact date. Officially, the oldest living person is Kamato Hongo, a Japanese woman who celebrated her 115th birthday on September 16th. Currently, the oldest living man is 113-year old Yukichi Chuganji of Japan. For the past few decades, the average life-span of Americans has been increasing, with a report released on September 12th, 2002, by the National Center for Health Statistics indicating that the life-expectancy of Americans stands at 76.9 years. Unfortunately, the report also indicates that the death rate from diabetes, largely the result of increased obesity, is rising dramatically.

The first link leads to a news story on the recent information regarding the Vietnamese woman who may be the world's oldest person. The second site is a recent report by the National Institute on Aging about the survival and coping strategies of the aging. The third link leads to a recent press release from the Pan American Health Organization regarding the public policy implications of providing adequate support to the aging throughout the Americas. The fourth and fifth sites are longer reports dealing with the current trends in aging and health in the United States and across the world, respectively. The sixth link is a news article profiling the work of Professor Andrew Prentice of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and his research into obesity in the United Kingdom and the United States. Finally, the seventh site provides information about the current longevity record-holders from the Guinness Book of World Records. [KMG]
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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2002.

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