The Scout Report -- Volume 8, Number 49

December 13, 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-third 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 travel and illness. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about gyroscopes.

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Research and Education

The New National Security Strategy and Preemption [.pdf]
Released in December 2002, Policy Brief #113 from the Brookings Institution addresses the policy implications of the preemption strategy first articulated by President George W. Bush in a speech from June 2002. As defined within President Bush's National Security Strategy, preemption is the anticipatory use of force in the face of an imminent attack. Perhaps more ominous is the expanded definition of preemption to include preventive war, which is the main concern of this policy paper, written by Michael E. O'Hanlon, Susan E. Rice, and James B. Steinberg. In the 9-page paper, the authors offer a brief overview of President Bush's foreign policies over the past two years, along with exploring the potential gravity of embracing this new expanded understanding of preemption and its potential uses. [KMG]
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University of Missouri-Columbia Libraries: Digital Library Collections
For the past few years, the staff of the Special Collections Division at the University of Missouri at Columbia have been scanning a number of important texts, and creating a rather helpful collection of online materials contained within this site. Many of the texts available here are early accounts of local and regional history, including William Bryan's recollections of the pioneer families of Missouri, and W.F. Switzler's "Switzler's illustrated history of Missouri, from 1541 to 1877." In terms of social and cultural history, two other important documents written by Charles A. Ellwood on the conditions of the county almshouses and the county jails in Missouri (both from 1904) are also here in their entirety. Finally, for researchers hoping to learn more about the exact holdings of the Special Collections at the library, a directory of their holdings composed by Margaret A. Howell in 2001 is also available for general perusal. [KMG]
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National Institute for Literacy
Created by the National Literacy Act of 1991 by a bipartisan Congressional coalition, the National Institute for Literacy is the response to requests for a federal office whose prime directive would be to engage in work on the issue of literacy in the United States. The primary work of the Institute is "to ensure that all Americans with literacy needs have access to services that can help them gain the basic skills necessary for success in the workplace, family, and community in the 21st century." To that end, the Institute has developed this Web site, which contains information on their programs and services. Persons with an interest in adult literacy and education should find valuable the Equipped for the Future program, which contains content standards for adult education, and the Literacy and Learning Disabilities section, which deals with research into adult learning disabilities. Equally helpful is the literacy directory that contains information about local literacy programs and fact sheets on literacy gleaned from more than 50 research studies. [KMG]
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Wisconsin Pioneer Experience: A Digital Collection of Original Sources Documenting 19th Century Wisconsin History
The Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society have teamed up to create this excellent online collection of letters, speeches, and other writings from a diverse set of people who settled throughout Wisconsin during the 19th century. The documents featured here are available as scanned images (when possible) and as transcriptions in the instances where the original script may be difficult to read. Some of the documents deal with the emigration experience, such as that of Ingeborg Alvstad, while others, such as those of John Plumbe, deal with the promotion of small towns on the frontier. Along with browsing through the documents, visitors can search through different sets of documents on the site, either through simple searching techniques, or boolean and proximity searches. For the casual browser or for those seeking to learn more about Wisconsin's pioneer history, this site provides a good introduction to the lives and experiences of these 19th century travelers. [KMG]
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The Museum of Broadcast Communications
It is not surprising that Chicago, home of such radio personalities as Paul Harvey and Studs Terkel, should also be the home of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, one of only two museums dedicated to broadcast history in the United States. Persons doing research on broadcast history will find the online archive most helpful, as it contains a searchable database of 13,000 television programs, 4,000 radio programs, 11,000 television commercials, and 4,500 newscasts. Educators will find the online exhibits and lessons plans located here, particularly a special Museum Web site titled The Great Debate that contains video clips, photos, and newspaper articles that deal with the televised Presidential debates from the past 40 years. The site is rounded out by information for those wishing to visit the museum in person, membership forms, and an online store. [KMG]
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Internet Glossary of Soil Science Terms [.doc]
The Soil Science Society of America's maintains the Internet Glossary of Soil
Science Terms Web site. Visitors will find a searchable and browseable dictionary of hundreds of soil terms. Other resources include tables, which include terms for describing consistence of block-like specimens, pore size classification, and soil water terminology, as well as appendixes on soil taxonomy. A new feature of the site is a downloadable dictionary file of soil science terms with instructions for loading it to your computer. As a whole, the site contains some unique and helpful tools that professionals should find useful.This site is also reviewed in the December 13, 2002 NSDL Physical Science Report. [JAB]
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Two on Gold Nanoparticles Extracted from Plants
No Fairy Tale: Researchers Spin Straw into Gold
Plants with the Midas Touch: Formation of Gold Nanoparticles from Alfalfa Plants
The first Web site contains a short news article from the Christian Science Monitor about the work of two University of Texas (UT) researchers who have developed a technique for extracting microscopic gold particles from wheat, alfalfa, or oats. The researchers present their approach as a preferable alternative to the expensive and pollution-generating method commonly used to fabricate gold particles for use in nanotechnology. The second Web site, from the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, is a scientific article about this research from Dr. Gardea-Torresdey, part of the UT team. This site is also reviewed in the December 13, 2002 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [RS]
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Animated Atlas
A commercial site, Animated Atlas provides excellent audio-visual resources for teachers and students of European and American history. The resources combine maps and animation to create short video presentations on such subjects as the growth of the United States and the First World War. Though most of the videos must be ordered, the site provides free samples of its presentations, including a ten minute presentation on the westward expansion of the United States, the early history of the American Revolution, the European alliances before the First World War, and the beginnings of the Mexican American War. The site provides a timeline of American history that can be referred to during the American expansion video. Students and educators should also explore the site's listings of American history sites and primary source on the Web. [CH]
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General Interest

North Carolinians and the Great War: The Impact of World War I on the Tar Heel State
This site is a new addition to the excellent online Documenting the American South collections maintained and designed by the staff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries. This particular thematic collection examines "how World War I shaped the lives of different North Carolinians on the battlefield and on the home front." Drawing on a number of primary and secondary sources, visitors will want to read a helpful introductory essay located here titled "Carolinians Go to War," written by Professor Michael Sistrom. The site is divided into topical areas, including The Home Front, Propaganda Posters, and The Soldier's Experience, which include both printed materials (such as posters and personal letters) and photographs that add a nice touch to the overall collection. Additionally, there is an image archive which users can browse by subject, ranging from agricultural implements to the transportation industry. [KMG]
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When They Were Young: A Photographic Retrospective of Childhood
Culled from the thousands of photographs and negatives contained within their collections, the Library of Congress has created this loving and multifaceted online exhibit of over 70 images that capture the experience of childhood as it is connected across time, different cultures, and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Interspersed with quotations from the Pulitzer-Prize winning author Robert Coles, the photographs contain images taken by such renowned photographers as Edward S. Curtis, Dorothea Lange, and Jack Delano. The portraits of children here include young people in the rural American South during the Great Depression, Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest, farm laborers in Puerto Rico, and African Americans in Harlem. Additionally, there is information about the book produced in conjunction with the exhibit, When They Were Young, authored by Robert Coles. [KMG]
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President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports [.pdf]
The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports was created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 to encourage American children to lead healthier and more active lives. Over the years, Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson expanded the Council's mandate, adding emphases on Americans of all ages and a prime focus on sports. Their Web site contains information about some of their most well-known programs, including the President's Sports and Fitness Awards and the President's Challenge. Also, many helpful publications for persons seeking to stay in shape are included here, such as "The Nolan Ryan Fitness Guide" and "Pep Up Your Life: A Fitness Book for Mid-life and Older Persons." Given the rising obesity rates among young people in the United States, guides designed specifically for this group are also offered, including "10 Tips to Healthy Eating and Physical Activity For You," and "Get Fit!: A Handbook for Youth Ages 6-17." [KMG]
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El Rancho Vegas Online Exhibit
The Hotel El Rancho Vegas has a notable place in 20th century American cultural and tourism history as the first full-scale casino on Highway 91, located on what would eventually become known as the "Strip" area, a place where other legendary gaming palaces would spring up, such as the Flamingo and Desert Inn. Created by the UNLV Department of Special Collections, this site documents the history of this storied place, which was built in 1941 and burned down in a spectacular blaze during the summer of 1960. The online exhibit features dozens of images, photographs, and ephemeral items (such as cocktail napkins and "El Rancho Money"), divided into convenient sections titled Casino, Amenities, and Entertainment. The section of the history of the Hotel is quite good, fully complemented by short essays and reminisces about this gaming venue by a variety of authors, including the noted essayist William Saroyan and his less-than fond comments on Les Vegas, which he describes as "a killing nightmare." [KMG]
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The Civil War in Florida: Letters of a New Hampshire Soldier
Developed by the Archives and Special Collections Department of the University of Miami (in collaboration with Dartmouth University), this Web site offers transcriptions of letters composed by Calvin Shedd to his family during the Civil War. Mr. Shedd was a carpenter from New Hampshire who enlisted in the Union Army's Seventh Regiment in 1861, serving for several years, most of which he spent in Florida. The letters contained here present an interesting account of one man's experience in the Union Army, which includes the general tedium that he felt being so far removed from where most of the intense fighting was taking place. The letters also contain many hyperlinks to related subjects and persons, including a complete roster of the New Hampshire Seventh Regiment and images and biographical data of relevant places and people. The site concludes with a page of links to related sites dealing with the Civil War, including other research centers and online photograph and manuscript collections. Overall, this site is an excellent introduction to the everyday life of a Union soldier, one that will be helpful for students hoping to capture a glimmer of the day-to-day routine of a soldier in this period. [KMG]
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Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project
The Michigan State University Library, in partnership with the MSU Museum, have created a fascinating look into American epicurean history with their online trove of influential 19th and early 20th century American cookbooks. Currently, the archive includes page images from 33 cookbooks, and when the project is completed in September 2003, the site will include page images and full-text transcriptions for 75 cookbooks. Visitors to the site will find an excellent introduction to the cookbooks in an introductory essay written by Jan Longone, a curator of American culinary history at the University of Michigan. The cookbooks on the site are divided into topical areas, such as regional, ethnic, and general cookery. Equally helpful is the ability to search the entire cookbook collection by author's name, title, and the complete text. The site concludes with a glossary that explains different terms used in these historic cookbooks, such as pippin and codlin (both types of apples). [KMG]
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The Barren Lands: J.B. Tyrrell's Expeditions for the Geological Survey of Canada, 1892-1894
J.B. Tyrrell was a famous Canadian geologist who went on numerous expeditions surveying a large portion of central and eastern Canada in the early 1890s. During these journeys, he and his colleagues created a massive cache of materials that documented the regions they traversed, and the University of Toronto's Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library has placed over 5,000 items related to these expeditions online, including images from field notebooks, photographs, maps, and published reports. The digital collection presented here is primarily composed of material describing the Barren Lands expeditions of 1893 and 1894, along with some additional materials from the Hudson Bay expeditions of 1885 and 1900. Searching the collection is facilitated by a search engine that allows full-text searches, in tandem with selecting by type of material, such as diaries, letters, maps, and photographs. Perhaps the finest features of the site are the interactive maps of the four main expeditions, which allow users to click on different parts of the maps and obtain the documents that relate to each geographical area of the journey. [KMG]
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Network Tools

Lithic Calendar 2.0
For users looking to add a calendar to their Web site, the Lithic Calendar Applet will prove to be a helpful addition. The calendar supports any language and features colorful photographs of natural scenery, such as the Grand Canyon and the Old Faithful geyser. Persons already utilizing the Lithic Calendar will want to download the upgrade provided here as well. [KMG]
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Mail This Page 2.0
Mail This Page is a utility program that allows users to email Web pages or HTML files directly from Internet Explorer. After installing this handy program, users can click on the Mail This Page icon contained within the Explorer toolbar, and the page will be converted into an email. Additionally, there is a FAQ section that answers several questions about the application. MS Windows is needed to use the software. [KMG]
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In The News

The Fame of Sir Winston Churchill's Cigars Continues at Recent Auction
Winston Suit Sold For 30,000
Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill on the Battle of France [Real Player]
Their Finest Hour [Real Audio]
Churchill and his Cigars
Sotheby's Auction House
Sir Winston Churchill, along with his prodigious powers of diplomacy, was also known for his love of a good cigar. In fact, he was known to smoke as many as 10 a day, and eventually a class of cigars was named after him. On December 12th at Sotheby's of London, one of his half-smoked cigars sold for $3,585, when the predicted auction price was expected only to reach $1,100. Quite a few items of Churchill memorabilia were on the block that day, including one of his pinstriped boiler suits (sold for $47,170) and a revolver and hip flask that he had with him when he escaped from a Boer prisoner-of-war camp in South Africa, which failed to sell.

The first link leads to a Mirror news article that offers some additional details about the recent auction. The second link leads to an excellent site that serves as a good introduction to the accomplishments and life of Sir Winston Churchill, and also contains transcripts of his many speeches and information about the Churchill Center. The third and fourth sites will take visitors to audio recordings of two of Churchill's most fondly remembered speeches, the Battle of France and the radio address on the bravery of the Royal Air Force. The fifth site leads to one of the many anecdotes surrounding Churchill and his great passion for cigars. The final site takes visitors to the homepage of the Sotheby Auction house, where the final auction prices for the recent Churchill auction may be found. [KMG]
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