The Scout Report -- Volume 8, Number 41

October 18, 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 Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences
The ninth issues of the first volumes of the Life Sciences Report and Physical Sciences Report are available. The Topic in Depth section of Life Sciences Report annotates sites on the natural history of Hawaii. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about the physics of sailing.

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Research and Education

Living on the Edge: Decentralization Within Cities in the 1990s [.pdf]
The oft-studied phenomenon of population dispersal from central city areas has often solely focused on examining the massive migration to suburban areas, but fewer scholars have examined decentralization trends within major central city areas. Written by Alan Berube and Benjamin Forman (under the auspices of the Brookings Institution), this 20-page report details the primary findings of their investigation into the growth of "outer-ring" city neighborhoods in close proximity to the nearest outlying suburban areas. Utilizing 2000 Census information for the 100 largest cities in the US, the authors demonstrate that, while many central cities grew in population since 1990, the growth continued to be uneven, and that relatively little population growth occurred in "inner-core" communities. Concluding that "decentralization is occurring even inside city borders," this analysis is a well-designed addition to the literature surrounding urban demographics and will be a good resource for metropolitan policy makers. [KMG]
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Emotions Matter: Making the Case for the Role of Young Children's Emotional Development for Early School Readiness [.pdf]
In this 20-page report (released in July 2002) from the Working Paper Series at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, Professor C. Cybele Raver offers an extended discussion of the importance of young children's emotional development in preparing for school. Throughout the report, Professor Raver reviews a great deal of existing research in order to examine whether the emotional adjustment of children can be affected by early interventions programs, such as Head Start. After this extended literature review, Professor Raver suggests that the emotional and behavioral problems of young children can be quite costly to their success rate in school, and that these problems can in fact be reduced over time. Persons working as public policy advocates on behalf of children will find a great deal of interest in this well-written report. [KMG]
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National Heritage Fellowships, 1982-2002 [.pdf]
The National Heritage Fellowships are "the highest form of federal recognition for folk and traditional artists, honoring both individual mastery of a particular art form and an artist's contribution to the cumulative heritage of an artistic tradition." The fellowships were initiated in 1982 by Bess Lomax Hawes, the director at the time of the NEA Folk and Traditional Arts Program. This 68-page publication from the NEA documents the stories behind each of the fellowship recipients over the past twenty years. Along with talking about such well-known recipients as B.B. King, the publication spends ample time discussing other equally talented standard bearers of the folk and traditional arts, such as Walker Calhoun, a Cherokee musician and dancer, and John Yoshio Naka, a bonsai sculptor. The report concludes with a listing of National Heritage Fellowship recipients by state. [KMG]
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Levittown: Documents of an Ideal American Suburb
Professor Peter Hales of the University of Illinois at Chicago has created this site to document the social, cultural, and visual history of that much maligned epitome of post-World War II suburban living, Levittown. Utilizing the photographic collections of former residents of Levittown, different sections of the site address certain facets of the community's existence. Beginning with Building Levittown: A Primer in which Professor Hales offers a brief portrait of the way the homes in the community were built and arranged, the site continues on to feature photographs donated by Levittown residents like Charles F. Tekula and Brian McCabe. The final section of the site features the photographic work of Professor Hales's reexamination in Levittown in the early 1990s and its evolution over the past fifty years. [KMG]
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Alabama Maps
Maintained by the Cartographic Research Laboratory at the University of Alabama, this collection of 3540 different scanned and digitized maps offers a valuable resource for persons doing research on the history of Alabama, or looking for contemporary thematic maps of the state. The historical maps of Alabama are divided into time periods ranging from 1803 to 1942, and can be enlarged to focus in on areas of interest. Other historical maps dealing with different themes, such as the mapping of rivers, geological formations throughout the state, and the state highway system. The contemporary map section of the site offers a host of thematic maps of a more practical nature, and deal with such topic as timber production, federal expenditures, and climate. Finally, the site also contains links to the University of Alabama's Department of Geography and the publications of their Cartographic Laboratory. [KMG]
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American Jewish Historical Society
The mission of the American Jewish Historical Society is "to foster awareness and appreciation of the American Jewish past and to serve as a national scholarly resource for research through the collection, preservation and dissemination of materials relating to American Jewish history." Constituting the oldest ethnic historical organization in the United States, the Society provides detailed information on its activities on its Web site, which includes the publication of the American Jewish History quarterly journal and its research resources available for scholars and other interested parties. These resources include a library (with locations in Waltham, Massachusetts and New York) with 50,000 volumes and an archive containing approximately 40 million documents. Information about their reference services are also available online, along with a quiz on American Jewish history. This site will be helpful to visitors hoping to do extended research on the Jewish experience in America from the colonial period to the recent past. [KMG]
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El Nino
Offered by Environment Canada, the natural resources arm of the Canadian Government, the El Nino informational Web site explores the enigmatic weather phenomenon. The site includes El Nino history and science, Canadian and worldwide effects, its current status and forecast, and La Nina facts, as well as links to further information. The Comparing El Nino page offers tables listing the years of onset of El Nino and La Nina years and links to sites containing regional information. The easy-to-understand descriptions and attractive graphics and animations make the site accessible to a wide range of audiences. This site is also reviewed in the October 18, 2002 NSDL Physical Science Report. [JAB]
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Gramene: A Comparative Mapping Resource for Grains
Gramene is a "curated, open-source, Web-accessible data resource for comparative genome analysis in the grasses," funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. The searchable database, containing data derived from related public projects, may be queried with the rice genome browser, blast search, map search, or phenotype search, to name just a few. Gramene is frequently updated; recent changes include new tracks and updated sequence alignments in the genome browser. A number of downloads are available, including genetic maps, microsatellites, sequence databases, software, and more. This site is intended for researchers investigating cross-species homology relationships in grass species. This site is also reviewed in the October 18, 2002 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [RS]
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General Interest

The Megalithic Portal
While Stonehenge is one of the most recognizable megaliths in the world, the lover of these man-made stone formations will find much to admire at this Web site, maintained by Andy Burnham. The absolute centerpiece of the site is an interactive map of the United Kingdom and Ireland, divided into sections that users may click upon to obtain more specific information. After clicking on a particular section, users will be directed to another interactive map containing detailed information about each particular megalith in the region, accompanied by information about the closest village and other pertinent geographical details. Another nice feature is that numerous amateur archaeologists and aficionados offer a rating of each megalith based on its condition, ambience, and accessibility. For persons seeking to learn more about megaliths, the site also has reviews of dozens of books dealing with British archaeology and the history of human habitation in the area. [KMG]
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American Experience: Jimmy Carter
Chronicling the life and times of former President Jimmy Carter is a formidable task, but the American Experience Web site established to complement the new documentary about his life offers a valuable introduction to this former peanut farmer turned global humanitarian and peace maker. Not surprisingly, the site contains a substantial amount of coverage about the Camp David Accords and the Iranian hostage crisis, two events that seem to define his time in the Oval Office. The Camp David's Legacy feature contains commentary on this historic summit meeting by political scientist Betty Glad, and 444 Days: America Reacts has media coverage (including video clips) of these traumatic events. More basic information about President Carter's life is provided in a timeline, along with a photo gallery. The site concludes with a brief essay of President Carter's many contributions to humankind in the twenty years since he left the presidency. [KMG]
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Herbert Von Karajan Center
Born in 1908, Maestro Herbert Von Karajan was probably Salzburg's most favored son since the time of Mozart. Known for his passionate and stirring conducting style, along with his elaborate opera productions, Maestro Karajan and his body of work lives on at the Herbert Von Karajan Center in Vienna. The inviting interface of the Web site offers users a section about Karajan, along with several brief multimedia clips of his recordings and a chronology of his many different activities, including his four decade association with the Berlin Philharmonic. Along with the audio clips are some video clips of Karajan rehearsing with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1965. As the Center is a massive repository of material relating to the 3300 concerts and opera performances undertaken by Karajan, a searchable database provides detailed information about each engagement. Not surprisingly, the site also has a complete archive of his hundreds and hundreds of musical recordings, searchable by composer, composition title, or musician. For anyone with an interest in one of the 20th century's most celebrated conductors, this site should not be missed. [KMG]
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Crossfade [Flash 5.0]
A joint project of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Goethe-Institut, ZKM (Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe), and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Crossfade is an online exhibit that seeks to present the computer network from interesting and experimental perspectives: as a musical instrument and as tool that enables musicians and music lovers to collaborate with each other. Available in both German and English, the exhibit provides visitors with a unique look at how the Internet has contributed to modern music and sound, both in its creation and dissemination. Mostly "commissioned media essays," the resources offered by SFMOMA span a wide range of subjects, including The Architecture of Sound, Early Network Music Bands in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ten Hours of Sounds from Japan, and Radio Free Linux. While only ten are available, each essay is fairly substantial, many including sounds clips, multimedia presentations, and/or in-depth text descriptions. Musicians and music lovers will surely find something unique, if not valuable. Users should note, though, that the site's design, while visually appealing, is not user-friendly in many instances. [TS]
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The Bauhaus-Archiv Museum of Design
Arguably one of the most influential schools of design in the 20th century, the Bauhaus movement began in 1919 with its dramatic manifesto penned by Walter Gropius, who stated, "The ultimate aim of all creative activity is a building!" Keeping the legacy of this powerful ideology alive is the Bauhaus-Archiv Museum of Design, founded in 1960, and housed in a building designed by Walter Gropius in Berlin. For persons seeking to learn more about the movement, the Bauhaus 1919-1933 section of the site contains brief essays discussing their work in the different plastic arts, including architecture, photography, and art. While the site doesn't have a searchable archive of the museums collections, there is a general overview of their holdings for persons interested in traveling to Germany to do research. Overall, the site offers a nice overview to the ideas espoused by the Bauhaus school, along with providing details about the museum and its mission. [KMG]
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Find A Grave
Looking for genealogical information about long deceased relatives can often prove to be troubling and at times expensive, to say nothing of locating where they might be buried in order to pay your respects. Find a Grave is an excellent way to locate the burial places of family and friends, and it is completely free of charge. From their site, visitors can search for the graves of relatives and ancestors by typing in their surname, which will allow the search engine to query over 3.8 million burial records. Additionally, visitors can search through different cemeteries and make their own contributions to the Web site about family members and other loved ones. Along with making contributions to the site's database (a prime reason that the site has so many burial records), visitors make join discussion forums or share their success stories about locating burial sites and so on. For visitors looking to find the burial place of a famous individual, Find A Grave has another massive database, searchable by name, location, and date, with many of the entries containing a photograph of the famous individual and some brief biographical information. While the subject of death is a rather emotive and personal one, Find A Grave has done a fine job of providing an important information source for many individuals, attested to by the many success stories posted on the site. [KMG]
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The Helmet Project
For many Americans, fall brings with it the time-honored tradition of raking leaves, apple cider, and other seasonal activities. One prominent tradition is college and professional football, although one aspect of that pastime seems to have gone unexplored by most of the major media: the helmets. Charles Arey has rectified that situation by creating this novel site, which features his own renderings of almost every existing professional league and college football helmet in the United States. In addition to providing a rendering of the current helmet, Mr. Arey has included previous helmet designs as well for many teams. The helmets are organized by division and include a few not-so-recently defunct leagues, like the USFL. The site also has a listing of defunct college football teams, including some of their old helmet designs and the date that they dropped their football program. Overall, a fun site that will be of interest to sports fans and those with a penchant for graphic design. [KMG]
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Network Tools

GoBox 2.0
This application, produced by GoBox Software, allows users to access numerous search engines, find home and business phone numbers, and get stock quotes quickly. Essentially, the application is a small box that resides on the computer screen from which users can type in their search terms, along with selecting which particular search engine they would like to use. Additionally, GoBox checks to make sure users are online and allows for fully customizable searches. Perhaps the best thing about GoBox is the fact that it takes up a relatively small amount of screen space. GoBox 2.0 is fully compatible with the Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP operating systems. [KMG]
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Switch Off 2.3
This application will allow users to perform different common operations such as shutting down their computer, locking the workstation, and several other frequently encountered tasks. It also has the option for users to schedule these different tasks, along with the ability to initiate these tasks remotely through any Web browser. The program is quite small and is compatible with all Windows operating systems. [KMG]
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In The News

Traffic Problems Continue to Grow Around the United States
Traffic Nightmares Beginning to Cost Cities
The Road Information Program
Moving Beyond Sprawl: The Challenge for Metropolitan Atlanta
Innovative Transportation Technologies
US Highways from US 1 to (US 830)
As the number of miles logged on the US Interstate Highway System continued to increase dramatically over the past decade, many major metropolitan areas have seen traffic and commuting times grow rapidly. Certain cities, such as Atlanta (among others), are having particularly difficult coping with this problem, as they have little or no effective means of public transportation. To address these problems, policy makers have suggested a variety of remedies, from allowing employees to work at the branch office closest to their home to staggering start times for the work day. While it remains to be seen how exactly different metropolitan regions will cope with this problem, most experts agree that it will most likely continue to get worse for some time.

The first link leads to an article dealing with recent traffic congestion problems faced by Atlanta and other major urbanized areas in the United States. The second site is the home of The Road Information Program, a nonprofit corporation that conducts research and writes reports on highway congestion, safety, and transportation policy. The third link is to a report on dealing with the question of sprawl in the Atlanta metropolitan region, produced by the Brookings Institution and released in 2000. The fourth link is to Innovative Transportation Technologies, which features information about a host of non-automobile technologies designed to meet the needs of moving people and goods more effectively. The fifth site provides information on the historical development of the US highway system from 1924 to the present day, complete with descriptions about older roads that were incorporated into the emerging national transportation network. Until these traffic problems get better, the last two sites will be quite helpful and provide at least some measure of solace. provides real-time information on highway commuting times in the New York, LA, San Francisco, Houston, and Hartford areas; and provides information for those seeking to lessen frustration from traffic and deal with impolite and discourteous drivers. [KMG]
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The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2002.

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2002. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

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