The Scout Report -- Volume 8, Number 43

November 1, 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 twenty-first 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 animal eyes. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about soap and bubbles.

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Research and Education

The Nations Report Card: Geography 2001 [.pdf]
Released in June 2002, this 168-page report offers a comprehensive overview of the state of geography education in the 4th, 8th, and 12th grades across the United States. Administered by the National Center for Education Statistics in the US Department of Education, the report presents the results of the sample survey of student achievement in geography, along with comparing the results to the 1994 study. In addition to providing overall average scores and achievement-level performance indicators in geography, the report contains detailed information on the performance of different subgroups, such as gender, race and ethnicity, region of the country, and parents' education. Some of the major findings show that the average geography scores for 4th and 8th graders were higher in 2001, while the performance of 12th graders was not significantly different. Appropriately, the report also contains an extended discussion of the survey's methodology and its sampling method. [KMG]
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Cleveland Digital Library: Virtual Cleveland History
Produced and maintained by the Special Collections staff of the Cleveland State University Library, the Virtual Cleveland History Web site is a fantastic omnibus of well-organized links to online historical resources about the greater Cleveland area. Within the site, the links are organized into four broad categories: date, format, location, and subject. The subject categories include real estate, architecture and design, and transportation. From each subject, users can click on these links that will take them to a variety of primary and secondary source materials. The format category will be helpful to researchers and scholars, as it divides the featured online materials into subcategories such as articles, books, maps, and multimedia. The second part of the site consists of a set of tools and links, which are provided to assist users with finding historical information (digital or otherwise) using search engines, bibliographies, and electronic card catalogs. All in all, an impressive collection that will fascinate persons with a passion for the local history of the region. [KMG]
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A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names
Philosophy is at times considered inaccessible to many individuals, and some people have a distinct aversion to the entire subject. Garth Kemerling, who holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Iowa, has done a fine job of offering a remedy to this problem by creating this online dictionary of philosophical terms and names. While Mr. Kemerling makes it clear that not every single philosophical term is included in his dictionary, the site contains literally thousands of entries, along with rather effective hyperlinks to additional essays and resource material. For many of the major philosophers, Mr. Kemerling provides a brief discussion of the major philosophical tenets and contributions to the field, along with providing a bibliography of primary and secondary works and Internet links. For students and persons with an emerging interest in philosophy, this site will serve as a good starting point for understanding the discipline, its concepts, and its practitioners. [KMG]
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Wisconsin State Historical Society
Founded in 1846 and chartered in 1853, the Wisconsin State Historical Society is the oldest American historical society to receive continuous public funding. Their well-designed Web site also provides a host of searchable archives that will help users find a vast array of materials contained with their collections. The first place that visitors may want to look at is the Archives Online Catalog (ArCat), which is the most comprehensive tool for searching for materials held by the Historical Society. For new users to the site, a "How do I?" section provides quick answers to using their resources, such as how to find historic sites throughout the state or how to conduct genealogical research at the Society. The site also contains numerous educational aids for teachers and students, including lesson plans and a cultural overview of the different periods in Wisconsin archaeology. Overall, the site serves as an excellent introduction to both the collections of the Historical Society and their public outreach programs. [KMG]
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United States Small Business Administration
Since 1953, the Small Business Administration has delivered tens of thousands of different services to Americans that include assistance with starting a small business or keeping an existing small business economically viable. For persons hoping to secure a loan or any one of the dozens of services provided by the SBA, this Web site will be an essential starting point. There are literally hundreds of fact sheets on starting a business, financing a business, different business opportunities, and the laws and regulations governing small businesses. Visitors can also choose to subscribe to a number of specialty email newsletters, including the Small Business Advocate, Advocacy Research, and regionally-oriented small business updates. The site also contains a great deal of very practical information for first-time small business owners, such as pieces on how to write an effective loan proposal, dealing with financial institutions, and meeting the necessary legal requirements. For anyone who has thought about starting their own small business, this authoritative and comprehensive site will answer just about any possible question that may come to mind about the world of small businesses and their management. [KMG]
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Perspectives on Urban Education
The University of Pennsylvania has one of the most respected schools of education in the United States, and, with this first edition of the online journal Perspectives on Urban education, they continue with one of their prime interest areas, namely that of urban educational outreach and scholarship. As their mission statement suggests, "The purpose of an electronic journal format is to provide a vehicle for fostering conversations about the complexities of urban education among practitioners, researchers, policymakers and graduate students, groups who often work in isolation from each other." The first edition of this journal includes articles by James Comer (founder of the Comer School Development Program), Edgar Epps, Barbara Bowman, and Susan Fuhrman, who is the Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Penn. Additionally, the online journal contains a Notes from the Field section, which features pieces by doctoral students and others about their work in urban educational settings. [KMG]
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Nevada Mountain Atlas
This Web site comes from the Biological Resources Research Center (BRRC), part of the Department of Biology at the University of Nevada-Reno. The BRRC was established to "conduct scientific research and planning efforts necessary to preserve the distinct biotic diversity of Nevada while simultaneously providing for economic viability and other needs of its citizens." The BRRC's new GIS-based Nevada Mountain Atlas is an "interactive Web application that provides data on plant, animal, and sensitive species in Nevada's mountain ranges." Users can choose from a different tools and map layers to create any number of informative maps. The Web site's mapping program does not include instructions for use, but is fairly straightforward. This site is also reviewed in the November 1, 2002 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [RS]
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The World Fact Book 2002
New from the US Central Intelligence Agency comes The World Fact Book 2002. This annual publication contains a wide range of information on every recognized country in the world. Once chosen, visitors can view a map of the country and its flag, as well as read facts on its geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues including international disputes and illicit drugs. Geographic information provided includes brief descriptions of the country location, coordinates, area, climate, terrain, land use, and more. One of the interesting features of the site is the flags of the world link, which displays every country's flag on one page, with links to larger pictures of each and a description. As a public domain document, the publication can be freely downloaded, printed, and viewed by anyone. This site is also reviewed in the November 1, 2002 NSDL Physical Science Report. [JAB]
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General Interest

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum Web site presents a host of materials relating the life and accomplishments of the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Located in Abilene, Kansas, the museum consists of five different structures, including the home of the late President. The site contains several virtual exhibitions as well, including one on the US Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals. A feature that will be helpful for students doing research is the archive of documents dealing with the President's life, which has primary documents ranging from the D-Day Invasion to the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Along with a brief section on the museum's holdings, there is also a complete list of available audio recordings of the President that the museum owns. A FAQ section provides several fact sheets about the President, along with a list of the First Family's favorite foods, Bible passages, flowers, and pets. [KMG]
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American Transcendentalism Web
Maintained by Professor Ann Woodlief at Virginia Commonwealth University, this site was created to serve as a gathering place for information and primary documents about the transcendentalist movement in American literature and philosophy during the 19th century. Along with profiles of some of the main persons associated with the movement, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, the site also has full-text editions of some of their books, essays, and poems. Beyond the portraits and writings of these influential writers, there are also essays on other thematic topics such as "The Transcendental Legacy in Philosophy and Religion." A resource that will be useful for students doing research on transcendentalists is an extended bibliography that lists a variety of additional scholarly works on the subject. In addition, if users are so compelled, the site has links to other sites where they can join electronic discussion groups on the transcendentalists. [KMG]
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Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
For educators, students, and persons looking for information about any period in American history will find the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Web site an excellent resource containing thousands of helpful materials ranging from the colonial period to the present day. The site is divided into three main sections: Resources by Period, Resources by Topic, and the Reference Room. Users looking through the Resources by Period area will find links to online textbook chapters, readings provided by professors from different institutions, and primary source documents. The Resources by Topic section contains similar information, organized around topics such as labor history, legal history, and family. The Reference Room contains other online resources such as links to music of different historical eras and audio recordings of speeches by important figures in American history. A fun feature of the site, and one that may be of interest to educators and students alike, is the Interactive History area, where users can submit questions to the HyperHistorian and take the 1885 8th grade examination test. [KMG]
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Exploring Biodiversity [Quicktime]
This new online interactive learning exhibit from the Natural History Museum in London helps younger students begin to learn about the nature and complexity of understanding biodiversity. Divided into small sections, this interactive site includes many short exercises that will help students engage the concept of biodiversity. One of these includes an introduction to the science of classifying different animal and plant forms called "Sort it out!", where visitors are asked to watch a short video and discuss the qualities and appearance of the organism. Other resources on the site include a glossary of important terms related to biodiversity and a feature where visitors can look up species by common name, genus, and other categories. [KMG]
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George Catlin and His Indian Gallery
George Catlin is considered one of the foremost chroniclers of the Native American experience in the early 19th century, and his dramatic and honest paintings form the main part of this virtual exhibit produced by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In the 1830s and 1840s, Catlin journeyed throughout the American West documenting the transformation of different Native American groups, particularly of those forced west as of a result of the Indian Removal Act. Thirty-two of those paintings are featured within this exhibit, including those of several prominent Mandan chiefs and General William Clark. Designed specifically for educators, the Catlin Classroom area of the site contains contributions from a set of educators, Native Americans, and scholars who convened to provide commentaries on the life and work of George Catlin, along with lesson plans that incorporate materials available on the Web site and from the full exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. [KMG]
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Maritime Heritage Program
The National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program is dedicated to advancing awareness of the role of maritime affairs in the history of the United States. The Maritime Heritage Program Web site provides detailed information about their substantial preservation programs, including indices of historic ships (searchable by state), lighthouses, and life-saving stations within the United States and its territories. Along with these databases, another prime highlight of the site are the online publications located here. Perhaps most helpful for persons interested in historic preservation, they include the Historic Lighthouse Preservation Handbook (released first in 1997) and the Guidelines for Historic Vessel Preservation Projects. For persons with a penchant for maritime history and preservation, this site will be a welcome addition and provide helpful information about visiting and locating some of these historic sites. [KMG]
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Two Digital Resources from New York Public Library
Urban Neighbors
Picture Collection Online
Urban Neighbors, a New York Public Library (NYPL) Exhibition, raids the Library's vast collections for illustrations, dating from the mid-17th century to the 20th, showing the creatures that live side-by-side with humans in New York City. The show "celebrates ...the abundance of wildlife within its five boroughs. It refutes the canard that pigeons, cockroaches, and rats are the city's only local wild fauna." In the online exhibition, approximately 40 images are displayed in eight sections, such as Tiny Neighbors (butterfly, moth), Unwelcome Neighbors (cockroach, housefly, mosquito), Occasional and Unexpected Neighbors (Humpbacked Whale stranded on Rockaway Beach in 1991). Some of the pictures are by well-known naturalists, such as a bullfrog painted by Mark Catesby and passenger pigeons by John James Audubon, reproduced from plates in rare books from NYPL special collections. The exhibition also includes a sighting log that invites visitors to record unusual animals they have spotted. Part of NYPL's evolving Digital Library, the Picture Collection Online is a collection of 30,000 public domain digital images from books and periodicals, original photographs, prints, and postcards. Primarily dated pre-1923, the Picture Collections includes some of the most popular images in the NYPL collection. The physical collection is housed in folders by broad subject headings, which can be browsed online. Keyword and advanced searches are also provided. [DS]
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Network Tools

Absolute Shield Internet Eraser Lite 2.32
This application will help users protect their privacy by completing cleaning up all the records left by Internet browsing and various computer activities. Fully integrated with Internet Explorer (from version 4.0 and up), Eraser Lite can erase the browser cache, history, cookie, typed URLs, recent documents, the temporary folder, and so on. Additionally, all of these files will be completely removed from the hard drive, making it almost impossible for them to be recovered by any software or hardware methods. Eraser Lite is compatible with all Windows operating systems. [KMG]
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Google Monitor 1.0
Google Monitor allows users to find and track the ranking of any Web site (including their own) or any other URL within the Google search results. Users can either enter a URL and a keyword to find the top results, or select a URL and finds its ranking for several keywords simultaneously. Finally, users can also store different statistics for the URLs and keywords. Google Monitor is compatible with all Windows operating systems. [KMG]
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In The News

Contention Over Uses of Public Space Continues in the United States and Britain
Towns Mull Life in Got Milk? California
Got Milk?
City Weighs Price of its Good Name
Cities Consider Ads on Police Cars
Hand to Brand Combat,6000,371869,00.html
Telephone Kiosk Glass Advertising
Arguments over the appropriate uses of public spaces and municipal facilities are the focus of many local debates, particularly over the renaming of certain places, like stadiums, for corporate sponsors. In some cases, corporate sponsors have even sought to rename entire towns or cities. In the most recent manifestation of this phenomenon, the California Milk Processor Board (best known for the "Got Milk? Ads) has asked 24 towns in California if they might be interested in changing their name to Got Milk? California, in exchange for being the centerpiece of a new ad campaign, which would bring increased tourism and revenue to the area. Other publicly-owned "spaces" are also being courted by advertisers, including the sides of police cars. Across the Atlantic, public advocacy groups are calling for strict rules and regulations on advertising in telephone kiosks, utilizing the fact that they are almost always located in the public way.

The first link leads to an article in the Sacramento Bee that discusses the proposition to rename one of twenty-four towns in California to Got Milk? The second Web site is to the Got Milk? home page, which describes the history of the popular ad campaign and provides information about this most recent proposition. The third link leads to a New York Times article that tells how Halfway, Oregon, changed its name to for one year in return for approximately $100,000 (free registration is required). The fourth site is a USA Today article on attempts by a corporation to place graphic advertising on police cars around the United States. The fifth link is to an interview from the Guardian newspaper in Britain with Naomi Klein, author of No Logo, a recent book that addresses the increasing pervasiveness of corporate brands and logos around the globe. The final site is a document prepared by the Civic Trust (a public advocacy group in Britain) that deals with the thorny issue of advertising in telephone kiosks, which has been the subject of great debate there for several decades. [KMG]
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