The Scout Report -- Volume 8, Number 40

October 11, 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 eighteenth issue of the first volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about biometrics.

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Research and Education

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music
The online collections and exhibits prepared by the Library of Congress are generally considered authoritative and of excellent quality, and this new archive prepared by the Music Division within the Library of Congress is no exception. Containing over 62,500 pieces of historical sheet music, this archive is searchable by author, subject, and song title. Clicking on a particular work will allow visitors to view the entire song, all of which have been digitally scanned into the archive. Within the site, there are also other short online exhibits such as "Music Copyrighted in Federal District Courts, circa 1820-1860" and "In Performance-Choral Works from the Collection," which features some nice audio clips of the "Music for the Nation" Singers performing some of the music highlighted in this collection. [KMG]
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The Older Foreign-Born Population in the United States: 2000 [.pdf]
The United Census Bureau periodically issues brief reports highlighting research based on the latest Census; this particular report deals with the changing demographics of the older foreign-born population in the United States. Based on a random sample of 57,000 households, the 19-page report contains information about socioeconomic characteristics of this cohort, including marital status, their geographic distribution, and their participation in social assistance programs. The report was authored by Wan He, who also commented that, "Historically, Europe has been the primary source of immigration to this country, and the European-born was the single largest group among the older foreign-born population in 2000." This report will be of great interest to demographers and persons working to develop public policy programs dealing with the aging. [KMG]
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What's in a Name? The Corporate Branding of America's Schools [.pdf]
Released in September 2002, this 40-page report from Professor Alex Molnar of Arizona State University addresses the question of private and corporate sponsorship of public education and education-related activities across the United States. In the report, Professor Malnor tracks recent trends in this phenomenon by looking at the practice of selling naming rights to various school athletic facilities, exclusive product agreements, corporate-sponsored incentive programs, and the corporate appropriation of public school space for their brand names or logos. On a more optimistic note, Malnor also notes that in recent years, several school boards (including those in Seattle and Madison) have limited opportunities for commercial activity and marketing in their schools. Overall, the report is an important contribution that addresses a subject that often goes unexplored in general media coverage of issues surrounding education. [KMG]
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The Franklin County Publication Archive Index
Researching and documenting local histories can be difficult work, as any genealogist or amateur historian can attest to. Barbara Stewart and her colleagues at the University of Massachusetts have created a valuable Web-based resource for people interested in researching Franklin County in Massachusetts. Essentially, the Archive Index allows users to search for articles (organized by subject) from the Greenfield Courier and Gazette. Currently, the database only contains articles from the years 1870 to 1872, but this type of index may serve as an important template for organizations interested in creating such an online archive. Additionally, Ms. Stewart's remarks about the process of creating and working on such an archive of local documents will be quite instructive to others interested in this process. [KMG]
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Secondhand Effects of Student Alcohol Use Reported by Neighbors of Colleges: The Role of Alcohol Outlets [.pdf]
Released in July 2002, this study from the Harvard School of Public Health examines the secondhand effects of living in close proximity to college campuses. Conducted by Dr. Henry Wechsler and his colleagues at the College Alcohol Study, the 11-page report shows that neighbors living within one mile of college campuses are 135 percent more likely to suffer from public disturbances than those persons living more than a mile from campus. The study was conducted through a telephone survey of adults from 4,661 households in the United States. The report also includes some policy proposals including limiting the number of neighborhood alcohol outlets and having local law enforcement officials increase the policing of bars and liquor stores around campus. [KMG]
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Medicine and Madison Avenue
Sponsored by the National Humanities Center, the Digital Scriptorium, and Duke University, this online exhibit examines "the complex relationship between modern medicine and modern advertising." Containing over 600 documents dating from 1913 to 1963, the collection contains different printed advertisements organized around categories such as personal and oral hygiene and household products. Perhaps the most compelling of these categories are the supplementary documents that include scanned images of internal reports from different marketing companies, along with editorials and articles from medical journals during the period. The site is rounded out with some suggestions on using these primary documents in the classroom, including materials for both teachers and students. [KMG]
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The Sonic Memorial Project
Initiated by the Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva), producers of the NPR series Lost and Found Sound, with the work of a host of collaborators, the Sonic Memorial Project collects all types of audio, from voice mail messages to oral histories, that documents the World Trade Center (WTC) area as a neighborhood and workplace, before, during, and after the events of September 11, 2001. Sonic Memorial is hosted by the September 11 Digital Archive, (last mentioned in the March 1, 2002 Scout Report). Some of the sounds have been broadcast on NPR. At the Web site, visitors can use the Sonic Browser to explore the audio collection. The Sonic Browser interface includes a background sound collage and a blue screen with wavy lines representing audio clips. Click a line to play a clip, and click again for textual information. But, don't move the mouse off a line, or the clip will fade out. Examples include a wedding ceremony recorded in 1976 at Windows on the World, the restaurant on the 107th floor of the WTC; the voices of two men collecting ashes in the street and saving them in a bottle; and voice mail from a Minnesota woman, who works for a company that maintained servers on the 90th - 97th floors of the WTC, telling that the WTC server stopped responding at 8:47 AM on 9/11. [DS]
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Yet another specialized repository from Elsevier Science, this Web site is a platform that provides access to many publications and research papers related to computer science. Full text is available for over 70 specialized journals. There are often promotions for journals that grant free online access for a trial period. This is the case for Applied Soft Computing, which is available to the public until 2003. Other publications are sorted into categories such as computational intelligence, computer vision, information systems, and several more. The site also has a powerful article submission section. Authors can select a journal that is similar to their article's topic, and the submission process for that journal is displayed. Electronic submission is included, if available. This site is also reviewed in the October 11, 2002 NSDL MET Report. [CL]
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General Interest

Studs Terkel: Conversations with America [Real Player]
This site, developed by the Chicago Historical Society, is a tribute to Studs Terkel, the noted oral historian, author, and radio host for over fifty years. Organized into galleries that are largely centered around the extensive interviews that Mr. Terkel did for each of one of his books, each section contains dozens of audio clips of these long-form interviews. A biography section of Mr. Terkel documents some of his many endeavors, including more audio clips of him speaking about his family history and growing up in Chicago. Complementing this section is a multimedia interview with Mr. Terkel, divided into sections featuring him talking about his books, writing oral history, and documenting everyday life in the United States. Well-designed and organized, the site provides a thorough portrait of this prodigious and talented American storyteller. [KMG]
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The Connecticut Historical Society
Founded in 1825, the Connecticut Historical Society is one of the oldest such societies in the United States, and a repository for a great deal of historical documents and other material dealing with the history of the state. On their site, visitors will find a host of online exhibits dealing with such diverse topics as Hartford in the 1850s, Connecticut in the Jazz Age, and Early American Tavern and Inn Signs. For persons interested in doing research at the Society, general information about the nature of their holdings and the availability of different primary resources are offered. Visitors interested in architecture should know that Frank Gehry, the contemporary architect, is designing the new home for the Society, which is scheduled to open in 2007. Finally, a link to Connecticut History Online from the main page leads to a searchable resource of over 15,000 images from their collection, providing a wealth of printed material from all periods of the state's history. [KMG]
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The Fitzwilliam Museum
Perhaps one of the most well-regarded university-affiliated museums in the world, the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge contains close to 500,000 different objects ranging from medieval manuscripts to coins from the Roman occupation of Britain. Visitors to the site will find that there are also several excellent online exhibits that will introduce them to the breadth of the collection, ranging from "Medieval Manuscripts: Illuminating the Law" to an exhibit of the ethereal paintings of J.M.W. Turner. For researchers, the museum is currently in the process of creating an online catalogue of their entire collection. Currently, 77,000 items (15% of the museum's total holdings) are available for online record finding. Besides the online exhibits and the catalogue, there is complete information on the museum's educational programs, hours of operation, and upcoming events. [KMG]
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Egypt: Secrets of an Ancient World
While ancient Egyptian civilization has captured the public interest and imagination in recent decades, this well-designed site from the National Geographic Society places its focus on the pyramids created several millennia ago. In the site's most compelling feature, titled Explore the Pyramids, visitors can scroll across the different pyramids, revealing their interior organization and a number of facts about their construction and so on. A brief timeline also gives some information about each of the different Egyptian dynasties. Educators will find much to enjoy here, as the site provides different lesson plans for students, complete with critical questions for discussion and lesson objectives. Finally, there is an online journal written by National Geographic reporter Nancy Gupton that documents her own personal experiences traveling around the pyramids of Egypt. [KMG]
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The University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention
The Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, founded in 1992 at the University of Wisconsin, has been a leader in researching tobacco dependence and its treatment, and their Web site contains information about their current and ongoing projects. Quite a bit of the site is devoted to providing educational material for the public, including a series of fact sheets on tobacco use in Wisconsin and the United States. Also, there are online versions of the Center's annual and quarterly reports. Appropriately, the site has numerous materials relating to smoking cessation programs, along with information about participating in one of their ongoing studies. [KMG]
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The Joe Fishstein Collection of Yiddish Poetry
"In poor homes there is so much beauty" reads the preface to this online exhibit and catalogue, which speaks much about the life and times of Joe Fishstein, a garment worker from the Bronx who had a great love for Yiddish literature, particularly poetry. After his death in 1978, his family willed his entire collection of over 2300 books to the McLennan Library at McGill University, where they still reside. The online collection has two major components: a catalogue of the collection, searchable by topic and indices (such as author and title), and a thematically organized exhibit dealing with the life and passions of Mr. Fishstein. For anyone with an interest in Yiddish literature and culture, this Web site will be quite engaging and helpful. [KMG]
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Center on Religion and Democracy at the University of Virginia
The aim of the Center on Religion and Democracy is "to provide timely and empirically ground scholarship that stimulates public learning, strengthens public policy considerations, and helps religious communities themselves re-envision a constructive role in the public square of democracy." Given this ambitious mission, it is not surprising that their site offers a wide range of materials detailing their own scholarly and public activities, coupled with influential primary texts that deal with the ordering of public life and its intersection with religion. Information in the first two sections of the site give visitors a brief overview of the academic and professional staff working at the center and the Center's partnerships with organizations such as the Etext and Pew Centers. The third section of the site deals with the public outreach programs of the Center, including conferences, lectures, and information for potential fellows. Perhaps most compelling is the Library section of the site that offers a searchable archive of crucial texts dealing with social theory, religion, and legal questions. Finally, these documents (which include the Confessions of St. Augustine, John Locke's Two Treatises on Government, and many others) are available in several different formats, including for use with PDAs. [KMG]
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Network Tools

For persons who are perennially bothered when their Internet service provider disconnects their connection during inactive periods, the 1Kickthis application will be a valuable addition. When 1Kickthis is installed, the application simulates Web browsing by randomly visiting different Web sites, without taking up valuable bandwidth space. The application is small and features a simple interface. For further support, there is a user guide and FAQs section. Finally, 1Kickthis is compatible with all Windows platforms. [KMG]
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Quick Screen Capture 1.15b
Quick Screen Capture is a utility that allows users to capture full screenshots in a variety of formats, including BMP, JPEG, and GIF. The application is also customizable, as users can define a hotkey for easy use in capturing different shots. The utility also comes with an image editor, providing a host of functions for modifying and resizing images. While this particular edition is only a trial version, users can make up to 30 free screen captures before they will have to register the product. Quick Screen Capture is supported by all Windows operating systems. [KMG]
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In The News

Earliest Known Roman London Plaque Discovered
2 000-year-old Sign of London's Name Found
Council for British Archaeology
The Status of Roman London
Roman Roads in Britain
Museum of London
Earlier today, archaeologists working on a massive dig on the southern banks of the River Thames uncovered the oldest known plaque inscribed with the city's Roman name, Londinium. While the exact date of the plaque is unknown, it is believed to date from between 50 and 150 AD, and would most likely have been placed on some type of building or in a shrine. Equally important, the plaque offers some initial concrete evidence that there was an emerging merchant class in London during this period. The actual location of the plaque's discovery is near the junction of what were three key roads in Roman Britain, and the finding represents only a small portion of what may be unearthed in this 40-week archaeology project.

The first link is to a recent news story about the recent find in London. The second site leads to the Council for British Archaeology, which features numerous links to ongoing research projects within Britain and frequent updates about new findings from the field. The third site offers some perspective on the historical notion of Roman Britain, and particularly how scholars understand that epoch. The fourth site is a link to the complete work "Roman Roads in Britain," a historical study that seeks to describe and delineate the exact location of these very important Roman pathways. Information about the Museum of London, which is working jointly on this project, is provided by the fifth link. The last link, Britannia, is a nice omnibus listing of sites dealing with various aspects of Roman Britain history and archaeology, provided by the Dalton School in New York. [KMG]
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