The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 10

March 14, 2003

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 fifth issue of the second volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about designing against disaster.

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Research and Education

Portal Wisconsin
Created by the Cultural Coalition (which includes seven statewide organizations, including the Wisconsin Humanities Council), the Portal Wisconsin site is designed to "serve as a gateway to the rich content of the Cultural Coalition partner organizations, as well as other cultural entities throughout the state." To that end, visitors to the site will find out about the wealth of cultural endeavors throughout Wisconsin, including visual arts, music, culture, and theater. Their homepage features a daily calendar of cultural events going on around the state, a helpful search engine, and links to the seven institutions that comprise the Cultural Coalition. One of the site's highlights is the ability to browse various thematically organized interest areas for event calendars, related links, and galleries. One of these galleries includes works by local artists, organized by medium, such as graphic art, ceramics, and textiles. The digital media section of the site is well organized, and visitors can take virtual tours of sculpture gardens around the state and listen to local poets read their work. Finally, visitors can join in discussion forums and look for job and volunteer opportunities. [KMG]
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The Integrating (and Segregating) Effect of Charter, Magnet, and Traditional Elementary Schools [.pdf]
Released in October 2002, this 29-page working paper from the Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies at UCLA deals with the ways in which school environments (in this case, elementary schools) may structure various social and educational opportunities within five of California's metropolitan areas. Authored by Jordan Rickles, Paul M. Ong, and Doug Houston, the paper begins by explaining their methodology for the project, along with a literature review of previous scholarship on this highly contested topic. Within this introduction, they also state their two main research questions that deal with the ways in which charter and magnet schools influence levels of segregation, and what other factors may influence school integration levels. The authors offer some interesting findings, most notably that magnet schools in the study group provide students with a more integrated environment that the local neighborhood, while charter schools provide a more segregated environment. This working paper will be of particular interest to those in public policy and educational administration, and more generally to those with an interest in early childhood development. [KMG]
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The Arabian Nights and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
"A jug of wine, a loaf of bread-and thou" reads one of the enduring lines of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayya, as translated by Edward Fitzgerald. Translations of the entire Rubaiyat and the Arabian Nights can be found online here, courtesy of the Electronic Literature Foundation. The Rubaiyat is attributed to Omar Khayyam, the Persian philosopher and mathematician who lived in the 11th century. The site includes four versions translated by Fitzgerald, and a more substantial translation by E.H. Winfield. Users can also read Fitzgerald's notes on his own translations, along with searching through all of the verses by keywords. Several translations of the Arabian Nights are also available, including those by Andrew Lang and the explorer Sir Richard Burton. Additionally, there is an interpretive essay on the translation of the Arabian Nights available here, composed by Professor Daniel Beaumont of the University of Rochester. [KMG]
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Dittrick Medical History Center
Currently operating as an interdisciplinary study center within the College of Arts and Sciences of Case Western Reserve University, the Dittrick Medical History Center was established as part of the Cleveland Medical Library Association in 1894. First-time visitors will definitely want to begin by looking through the museum's history, and then examine the museum artifacts and galleries, which represent a small sample of their holdings. The artifacts are divided into time periods and include such fascinating medical equipment as bloodletting devices, a phrenology bust, and a defribrillator from 1950. The galleries section allows visitors to take a virtual tour of the rooms within the museum, such as a doctor's office from the 1930s and a replica of a pharmacy from the 1880s. Several online exhibits are also available for perusal, such as one dedicated to Cleveland's brush with a smallpox epidemic in 1902. Utterly fascinating, though not for the squeamish, is the exhibit that details medical school photographs, many of them class photographs around dissection tables, and postcards featuring medical students and cadavers. The site is rounded out with a host of online guides and finding aids that help in using the Center's extensive collections dealing with the history of medicine. [KMG]
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John Donne
Friend of both Izaak Walton and Ben Jonson, John Donne was the most famous of the metaphysical poets of the 17th century, a group that included George Herbert and Henry Vaughan. Placing a premium on intellectual wit, learned imagery, and subtle argument, Donne's poems have remained some of the most enduring from this period. Created as part of the Luminarium Project by Anniina Jokinen, the site features the complete works of John Donne, including spoken word versions of many of his poems. The additional resources section is quite helpful, as it contains many different biographical sketches of Donne, along with a number of images of Donne from his childhood to his appointment as the Dean of St. Paul's in 1621. Scholars will be pleased to find a page of critical essays on Donne's works available here, some written by students, some by faculty, and one particularly trenchant commentary by T.S. Eliot. [KMG]
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Al Mashriq: Lebanon
Part of the Al-Mashriq online Web resource for countries located in the Levant, this site is devoted to providing a host of materials, thematically organized, about the country of Lebanon. Persons seeking to read a bit about Lebanon's early history will want to read the first chapter of Kamal Salibi's "A House of Many Mansions-The History of Lebanon," which is provided here. For those looking for a geographic orientation to the landscape of Lebanon, an interactive map provides a number of photographs and brief remarks on various important cities and cultural sites, such as Beirut and the Roman temples at Baalbak. Along with these sections, the site also offers thematic sections devoted to education, food, maps, money, politics, and religion that will be useful to those students looking for background information on Lebanon. [KMG]
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Affordable Assisted Living: Surveying the Possibilities [.pdf]
Written by Jenny Schuetz for Harvard University's Working Paper series and as part of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, this 112-page work explores the future of assisted living developments throughout the United States. For those unfamiliar with the notion of assisted living, these facilities offer a "combination of housing, supportive services, and personal care that enables frail seniors to maintain maximum independence while receiving the assistance they need." As Schuetz points out, there are more senior citizens who are seeking to maintain their independence, and that in recent years, a private market has developed to address these demands. Throughout her highly cogent work, Schuetz examines the private market developments in this sector, as well as the possibility of providing similar facilities to middle and lower income seniors. [KMG]
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The AT&T Learning Network Community Guide
In an effort to help individuals and communities realize the importance of the Internet, AT&T created the Learning Network Community Guide. The guide consists of many different resources, and it serves a variety of purposes. Two Internet introductions, separated into student and teacher versions, can be used to maximize use of Web tools, newsgroups, and other online services. Other sections of the site suggest ways to raise community awareness of information technology (IT) and facilitate access to the Internet on a large scale. Safety issues of online activity are discussed, and a glossary of many common terms related to IT is included. This site is also reviewed in the March 14, 2003 NSDL MET Report. [CL]
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General Interest

Japanese Historical Maps from the East Asian Library at UC Berkeley
Presented by the East Asian Library at Berkeley, in collaboration with David Rumsey and Cartography Associates, this Web site features 210 high-quality scanned maps from the Mitsui Library collection, which was originally purchased in 1949. The most compelling feature of this online collection is the technology deployed on the site that allows users different levels of functionality and interaction with the maps. Users may elect to use the standard Insight browser provided here (which still has a zoom feature and several others), or they can elect to use a special GIS browser that overlays current geospatial data over many of the historical maps. In several different formats, the maps available online date back to the 17th century and cover virtually ever major urban area in Japan. The maps are uniquely beautiful and will be the source of great interest to anyone with an interest in cartography or Japan. [KMG]
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Chesterwood: The Workshop of an American Sculptor
The National Park Service has become well-known for their Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plans series, and this recent addition is a fine complement to their previous endeavors. This particular plan deals with the workshop and life of Daniel Chester French, the noted American sculptor who is perhaps best known for his sculpture of Abraham Lincoln that graces the Lincoln Monument. The lesson plan offered here suggests that this exercise might be best used to address courses dealing with American history or social studies for grades 5 through 12. The plan contains a number of helpful educational resources, including a map of the Stockbridge area where French's studio is located, three readings about French and his work, and ten images of the studio and examples of his sculptures. All of these source materials include helpful questions that can guide classroom discussion. The plan is rounded out with links to related online resources and general information about the Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plans. [KMG]
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Cowboy Photographer: Erwin E. Smith
While many are familiar with the romantic notion of the American cowboy as crafted by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, few share intimate knowledge of a lesser known artist, Erwin E. Smith. This online exhibit, created by the Amon Carter Museum in Texas, seeks to rectify that situation through this extensive archive of photographs by Smith that capture the world of the cowboy around the turn of the 20th century. Smith grew up in Texas collecting prints of paintings by artists like George Catlin and Frederic Remington. He later ended up studying art with Lorado Taft at the Art Institute of Chicago, and then at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Smith later moved back West, and between 1905 and 1912, he took thousands of photographs on ranches throughout Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The photographs available online here are divided into several main sections for convenient browsing, including Cowhand clothing, Rodeo, and Ranches. Along with a biography of Smith, the site also includes a glossary of terms used by cowboys and ranchers, as well as several teaching resources for educators. [KMG]
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Detroit Publishing Company Online Exhibit: Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
From 1895 to 1924, before movies, television, and the Internet fulfilled Americans' desire for pictures, The Detroit Publishing Company (DPC) sent photographers all over the country and to many parts of the world to bring back images to be distributed as prints, postcards, souvenirs, lantern slides, and advertisements. While thousands of DPC images are digitized in the Library of Congress American Memory collection, this online exhibit from the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village provides a look at another slice of the collection, primarily views of the Western United States, both in cities and wilderness, such as cable cars and earthquake damage in San Francisco; a New Mexican Pueblo; or the Lone Star Geyser, Yellowstone National Park. The site is arranged for easy browsing, with groups of 20 - 40 photographs arranged into categories such as Cityscapes, Everyday Life, Michigan Views, and Nature. Many of the photographs are by William Henry Jackson, probably the best known 19th century landscape photographer. Try the "DPC History" and "How Did they Do It?" sections of the Web site for more information about Jackson, other DPC photographers, and how DPC created and distributed the pictures they made. [DS]
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Jonathan Edwards
Perhaps best known for his role in the spiritual "Great Awakening" that swept through the American colonies in the middle of the 18th century, Jonathan Edwards also served (briefly) as the president of Princeton and is generally regarded as an important American theologian. This rather thorough collection of his sermons and theological writings has been compiled by Mark Trigsted, and will be a great boon to persons working in the field of American social and religious history. Visitors will want to first look at the chronology of Edwards life, which contains hyperlinks to some of his most influential writings and sermons and a number of biographical sketches culled from different sources. His writings are divided into various sections on the site, including those dealing with science, theology, and religious revivals. The site concludes with a nice bibliography that contains recent publications dealing with Edwards, conference proceedings, and books on the Great Awakening. [KMG]
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Civil Rights Oral History Interviews: Spokane, Washington [Real Player]
While there are numerous civil rights oral history projects, there are few organized around the remembrances and memories of persons from a particular geographic locale. This collection of eight oral history interviews, conducted by Rebecca Nappi, was created in part by the Washington State University Library in collaboration with the Spokane Spokesman-Review. Visitors to the site can listen to the eight interviews, which range from the experiences of Flip Schulke (a photographer working in the South during the 1960s) to the racial prejudice encountered by Emelda and Manuel Brown as they tried to raise a family in Spokane. In order to hone in on specific subject areas, a search engine allows users to search the interviews by keyword. This site will be of great interest to those interested in the history of civil rights in the United States, especially given the ability to hear the voices of those who were there during this tumultuous era. [KMG]
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The Space Age Pop Music Page
The advent of the high fidelity turntable and the launch of Sputnik may seem to be wholly unrelated events, but in terms of recorded music, they blended together to create a world-wide fascination with what later would be termed "space-age pop." The site itself covers many aspects of space age pop (and its related musical cousins such as exotica and lounge music) with great attention to detail. Visitors will want to check out the listener's guide, which includes sections on the rise in stereophonic sound (and the possibilities it created), the use of bongos in these recordings, and the chipper vocal groups that often accompanied many a melody. A biographical section titled "Who's Who in Space Age Pop" will assist visitors in reading about the many men and women who made their contributions to the genre, such as Steve Allen, Ray Anthony, Henry Mancini, and Neal Hefti. Another fine feature of the site is an area devoted to the art of the liner note, which also features the little-heard lyrics to Peter Gunn. [KMG]
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Network Tools

Hotline Connect 1.9
Hotline Connect 1.9 is an application that allows users to create a personal and interactive Internet community. Utilizing the program, multiple users can interact live with a real-time chat feature, conferencing, messaging, data warehousing, and the capability to transfer files. Additionally, users can take advantage of the Hotline Connect server to allow other users to access their computer in a secure and controlled environment. The program also has an extensive user-friendly documentation file and is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X. A PC version is also available. [KMG]
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Privacy Defender 7.0.1
This application is designed to erase all Web-surfing history from Internet browsers, allowing for greater privacy. Privacy Defender effectively erases cookies, histories, and additionally hidden index.dat files. A "Go to URL" feature will prevent Web site addresses from remaining in the address field of any browser for increased protection. Privacy Defender also comes with a user manual, and a FAQ section that can help answer a number of queries. [KMG]
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In The News

New Computer Program May Be Able to Determine a Song's "Hit" Potential
Major Music Labels Use Artificial Intelligence to Help Determine "Hitability" of Music
Dash for Cash Puts Tech Out of Tune
Polyphonic HMI
The Billboard 200
RIAA: Top 100 Albums
Earlier this week, the Polyphonic HMI company announced that their new software program, Hit Song Science, may have the ability to pick out which songs might be chart-toppers before they are even released to the record-buying public. The program identifies certain characteristics, such as melody, harmony, tempo, and pitch, that frequently result in songs that become immensely popular. Apparently, these shared traits are not always obvious, as the rock group U2 and the works of Beethoven shared similar values, as did the music of the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Polyphonic HMI's chief executive, Mike McCready, noted that "There are a limited number of mathematical formulas for hit songs." Other commentators and music journalists have already commented that much of contemporary popular music does in fact sound much the same, due to the restrictive playlists of many radio stations, with some noting that the subtle practice of "payola" seems to be alive and well.

The first link leads to a news article on this new program from the Music Industry News Network. The second link will take users to an insightful commentary on these recent developments by ZDNet UK columnist, Rupert Goodwins. The third link leads to the homepage of Polyphonic HMI, which contains information about their work, their technology, and their partners. Persons interested in the current state of popular music's bestsellers will want to look at the fourth link, which leads to the Billboard's current top 200 best-selling album chart. The fifth link leads to a number of music charts from around the world, including some historic best-selling charts from the United Kingdom. The final site contains the top 100 selling albums of all time, as compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America, and includes a number of familiar records, such as Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and "Led Zeppelin IV." [KMG]
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