The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 13

April 4, 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 Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences
The seventh issues of the second volumes of the Life Sciences Report and Physical Sciences Report are available. The Topic in Depth section of Life Sciences Report annotates sites on bird migration. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about mirrors.

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Research and Education

The Global Threat of New and Reemerging Infectious Diseases [.pdf]
Authored by Jennifer Brower and Peter Chalk, working on behalf of the RAND Corporation, this 140-page online book explores an in-depth analysis of the security implications posed by the dissemination of various infectious diseases. Throughout the work, the authors draw on two case studies, namely the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in South Africa and the public health response system within the United States. The book itself is available as six separate chapters, including an appendix and bibliography. For those looking for a brief synopsis of the work, a nine-page summary is also available. The authors conclude their work by presenting several recommendations that may address various existing shortcomings, including increased coordination between public health authorities at all levels of government, integration of the private sector into overall public health efforts, and a large-scale education and information campaign. [KMG]
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Iraq: The Cradle of Civilization at Risk
As of late, there has been great consternation about the future of antiquities and archaeological expeditions within Iraq, largely due to political upheaval and military conflict in the area. With that in mind, the H-Museum mailing list has assembled a host of materials gleaned from their own discussion boards and scholarly resources that will help give visitors some sense of the breadth and importance of the material reminders of ancient civilizations located within Iraq's borders. The collection is divided into five primary sections, including a compilation of recent articles and documents that deal with the protection of cultural property and details about ongoing archaeological projects within the country. Two of the most important links on the site lead to the virtual online library of Iraq's history at the University of Kansas and the resources for Near Eastern archaeology provided by Arizona State University. [KMG]
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Irish Resources in the Humanities
Developed by Susan Schreibman at University College Dublin, this Web site serves as an omnibus of important online links dealing with Irish humanities resources. Originally online in 1999, the site was recently converted into database form, allowing greater ease of use and functionality for visitors. Thematically, the site is divided into different topics, such as architecture, history, geography, journals, literature, and music. Within each section, links are listed in alphabetical order, along with a brief description of what can be found by following each link. An advanced search option lets users search the entire site by keyword, subject, event, resource type, and historical era. Additionally, new additions to the site are prominently featured on the homepage. For persons looking for a broad range of online materials relating to the humanities in Ireland, this site will be most helpful. [KMG]
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Cases and Materials on American Federalism
Dr. Douglas Amber, an attorney and educator at Purdue University Calumet, created this online resource to provide an organized and well-thought introduction to American federalism. Maintained in part to use in American government and public policy courses, the material is organized effectively, with a preface, introduction, and various chapters dealing with the Congress, the consequences of federalism, the federal courts, and civil liberties and rights. Each chapter begins with a general outline, including hypertext links to key documents, such as Locke's Second Treatise, the Federalist Papers, and relevant court cases. Following each outline, Dr. Amber provides a number of review questions that address some of the key concepts that should be mastered from each respective chapter. Perhaps one of the most helpful features located here is a glossary of legal terms, compete with hyperlinks to other pertinent terms. [KMG]
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Teacher Learning in Context: The Special Case of Rural High School Teachers
This latest paper from the Educational Policy Analysis Archives at Arizona State University addresses the often neglected question of how high school teachers in rural settings continue to develop as educators. Authored by Jay Paredes Scribner, an assistant professor of education at the University of Missouri, the study "describes from the perspective of teachers a broad view of work context that spans across the institution of education, with each contextual level influencing teacher learning in different ways." Scribner begins by offering some perspectives of previous work dealing with conceptualizations of teachers' work context in the educational literature, and then continues to say a bit about his own methods. He proceeds to discuss his own findings, primarily gleaned through observation and long-form interviews from the three contexts of teacher work. Scribner concludes that, in order to effectively allow rural teachers space to learn and grow within their own teaching work patterns and habits, they will need to find opportunities to network and learn effectively with other colleagues. [KMG]
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Community Development Corporations and their Changing Support Systems [.pdf]
Written by Christopher Walker of the Urban Institute, this 69-page report takes a critical look at the ways in which community development corporations (which generally are nonprofit, community-controlled real estate development organizations) have assisted in the revitalization of poor communities around the United States. Funded by the National Community Development Initiative, Walker's analysis relies heavily on ten years of research in twenty-three cities. The report itself is divided into five main sections, including the changing size and nature of community development corporations over the past decade, their leadership systems, and their support systems. After addressing his primary research question that deals with the change in the nature of these groups, Walker concludes that these organizations made strong gains over the time period examined, and that they began to pursue "more comprehensive approaches to community improvement." For those persons working in urban affairs, planning, or public policy, this paper will be both thought provoking and useful in thinking about future trends in this area. [KMG]
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Storm Events Database
From the National Climatic Data Center comes the Storms Events Database. Events are included from 1993 to the present, but as is stated on the site, the site is usually 90-120 days behind the current month. Users first choose a state and then, if necessary, a county, date, and event type. Results can be limited by tornado type, hail size, wind speed, number of injuries or deaths, and even amount of property or crop damage. The generated report lists all of the events during the time period specified and, when clicked, contain specific information about that event. Although the reports can not be downloaded, this powerful resource can be an helpful addition to a researcher's toolbox. This site is also reviewed in the April 4, 2003 NSDL Physical Science Report. [JAB]
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Global Climate Change Student Information Guide [.pdf]
The Global Climate Change Student Information Guide, available through Manchester Metropolitan University, presents "a comprehensive work for geology, geography, and environmental science students studying climate change." This online text offers detailed chapters covering the causes of climate change, the empirical study of climate, climate modeling, paleoclimatic change, and contemporary climate change. While topics covered lean necessarily toward the earth sciences rather than life sciences, this Web site should prove a valuable resource for students of the highly interdisciplinary environmental sciences. One drawback: the site does not include any images or diagrams. This site is also reviewed in the April 4, 2003 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [RS]
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General Interest

Explore the Unicorn Tapestries
In the Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum, ropes and guards prevent visitors from getting too close to the Unicorn Tapestries and possibly damaging them. This new Web site provides a chance to jump the rope, disregard the guard, and get a really close look at these medieval masterpieces. Several sections of the site are primarily designed for close examination. A Closer Look allows viewers to magnify any section of any tapestry by selecting with the mouse, while Flowers, Plants, and Trees and The Birds and the Beasts provide both close-ups and extensive information about details of the tapestries. For example, find out that the lily woven into the Unicorn in Captivity is a Madonna lily, or Lilium candidum, symbolic of the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages and able to predict if a pregnant woman would bear a boy or girl -- when presented with a lily and a rose, a woman who chose the lily would have a boy, and the one who chose the rose, a girl. Other sections of the site include audio and video of Metropolitan Museum director Phillipe de Montebello telling the story of the hunt of the Unicorn, and David Rockefeller relating how his father acquired the tapestries and donated them to the Met, as well as information on how tapestries are woven, the sport of hunting in medieval times, and the Cloisters. [DS]
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Relax with a Book [Real Player]
Host of a BBC television program dedicated to books, David Freeman also finds time to compile his interviews on this Web site for consideration by the Web-browsing public. Conducted in a prestigious London hotel, the interviews run the gamut from authors of "how-to" books to those working in the genres of history and music. Visitors to the site can perform detailed searches by author name, genre, publisher, or title. The homepage features the most recent interview by David Freeman, along with a brief introduction to the author and his or her work. The site contains over 610 interviews, including one with Jamie Oliver (the popular "Naked Chef") and Joan Collins musings on her recent book about her life. Finally, visitors can leave feedback for Freeman on the site, along with the ability to listen to his weekly radio program. [KMG]
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Lewis Carroll Home Page
Born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Lewis Carroll began his writing career writing lines of verse and is best remembered today as the author of Jabberwocky and, of course, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. For students and persons looking for any number of links about Carroll's life, his works, and teaching aids and materials to be used in conjunction with his writings, this Web site should provide ample resources. The Carroll Studies section is a good place to begin, as it contains links to a number of brief biographical sketches, annotated bibliographies, and critical analyses and musings on his different works, including a piece by Joyce Carol Oates and her admiration for Alice in Wonderland. Another intriguing section of the site is devoted to the use of math, logic, and puzzles that is a pervasive element in much of his writings, most notably Alice in Wonderland. The site is rounded out by a number of links dealing with Lewis Carroll in a variety of languages, including Czech, Danish, Esperanto, Estonian, French, Italian, and Polish. [KMG]
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Becoming American: The Chinese Experience [Real Player]
Released in conjunction with a PBS television series dealing with the Chinese experience in America (hosted by Bill Moyers), this site provides a host of information, video clips, personal recollections, and other materials that serve as an excellent complement to the series. Visitors may want to start by examining the Portraits section, which highlights some first-person narratives of what their respective experiences of being Chinese in the United States has been like. Along with browsing through these narratives (which can be searched by place of origin within China and current residence in the United States), visitors can submit their own recollections and narratives as well. Within the site, users can also take short quizzes and browse an interactive timeline (complete with video clips) that begins in the 1830s and concludes in the year 2000. Educators will find the page devoted to external links and resources immensely helpful, as it contains dozens of additional Web sites and a 48-page educator's guide for utilizing the series in the classroom as an educational tool. [KMG]
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La Catedral de Girona [Flash]
Beginning with the evocative sounds of cathedral bells and the clamor of footsteps, this site dedicated to the cathedral in the Spanish city of Girona is a well-done overview of the cathedral's many compelling facets. The cathedral was begun in the 11th century (although most of the building dates from the 14th to 17th centuries), and is considered of one the finest Gothic cathedrals in Spain. The cathedral contains the world's widest Gothic nave and is surpassed in total size only by St. Peter's in Rome. Within the site, visitors are able to take a close look at the cathedral's nave, cloister, and bell tower. Additionally, various treasures of the cathedral are here for viewing, including the bible of Charles V and the detailed tapestry of the Creation. The site is rounded out by a history of the cathedral, information about the archives held on the premises, and information about visiting in person. Appropriately enough, the site is available for browsing in Spanish, Catalan, and French (along with English). [KMG]
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Austin History Center [.pdf]
Located within the Austin Public Library, the Austin History Center is intended to provide the public with information about the history, current events, and activities of the city and environs. The Center contains over one million items, most of which can be located through the online search engine on their Web site. Along with brief synopses of their specialized collections (such as maps, newspapers clippings, and architectural archives), the site also includes some research guides developed by staff members. One search tool that may be of particular interest is a 54-page African-American bibliography. The highlight of this site would have to be the dozen online exhibits that feature various printed materials held by the Center. The online exhibits featured here include Capitol Views, which deals with the construction and evolution of the Texas state capitol, and Lost Victorian Austin, which recounts the rise and fall of the Victorian architectural idiom within the city. [KMG]
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Museums of the World
Designed by a German company located in Dusseldorf, the Museums of the World Web site is an easy and helpful way to find out about events, exhibits, lectures, and other activities going on in museums around the world. The homepage is a fine way to begin exploring the site, as it contains a list of recent news regarding museum additions and upcoming exhibits, along with events sponsored by different museums. The right hand side of the homepage breaks the news items into useful subtopics, such as Museum Expansion, New Acquisition, Recent Publication, and Future plans. A similar division is provided for events listings, allowing for great specificity when searching for certain activities of interest. Additionally, users may use the database provided here to search for museums by theme, geographic location, and name. Overall, the site will be of great assistance to those persons planning a visit, or to fellow museum professionals. [KMG]
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Network Tools

News Desk
Easily customized for a variety of preferences, News Desk is a helpful way to stay in touch with hundreds of news sources. The application is a RSS headline reader, reading headlines from thousands of sources in 25 different languages. Users can search for headlines with keyword searches and age filters, along with the ability to send headlines using emails. The program's main Web site also feature five tutorials that assist users who want to utilize the full capabilities of the application. News Desk is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]
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Thread Tracker 0.8.7
Many people working with computers find themselves joining any number of online forums, and this helpful application will help them keep track of their posts and responses. Essentially, Thread Tracker notifies users when replies have been made to their posts and threads. After entering a user name, the application will list the user's most recent posts and count the replies that have been made so far. Users can also send queries to the software development team, along with any other comments or suggestions. Thread Tracker 0.8.7 is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X and higher. [KMG]
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In The News

Puente Hills Fault System Under Los Angeles Represents New Threat to the Region
New Quake Threat Found Under LA,1,719686.story?coll=la%2Dhome%2Dleftrail
Study Provides "Disturbing" Details about New LA Fault
Southern California Earthquake Center
The January 17, 1994 Northridge, CA Earthquake
National Earthquake Information Center
The Virtual Times: The New Madrid Earthquake
Largest Earthquakes in the United States
While the media tends to cover the well-known San Andreas fault when speaking about the potential danger of a massive earthquake in the Los Angeles basin, the Puente Hills fault system may in fact be equally, if not more, threatening. Discovered four years ago, the extensive fault system is capable of generating earthquakes up to a 7.5 on the Richter scale, and it runs immediately under downtown Los Angeles. The full extent of the fault system was not revealed until 1999, when two geologists were given access to previously secret oil company exploration data that revealed geologic structures beneath the surface. Another disturbing fact was the discovery that the orientation of the Puente Hills fault is directed to focus seismic energy towards downtown L.A., particularly when compared to the Northridge quake of 1994, whose energy was directed away from the downtown area. On a more positive note, James Dolan, a University of Southern California geologist, noted that massive earthquakes do not happen with great frequency and that certain precautions could be taken to stabilize structures in the meantime.

The first link leads to a news article on the Puente Hills fault from today's Los Angeles Times. The second link leads to an article discussing the recent research on the fault system undertaken by James Dolan and his colleagues at the University of Southern California. The third link will take users to the Web site of the Southern California Earthquake Center, which contains up-to-date information on seismic activity in California, along with providing specifics of how earthquakes work and the ability to sign up for email updates from the Center. The fourth link leads to a detailed report and assessment of the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California, which killed 57 people and caused approximately $40 billion dollars in damage. The fifth link leads to the National Earthquake Information Center Web site, which features information about recent seismic activity in the United States and around the world, along with detailed scientific data about the magnitude and scope of recent and historically significant earthquakes. The sixth link takes visitors to a fascinating Web site devoted to telling the story of the New Madrid, Missouri earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, which (it is thought) measured over 8.0 on the Richter scale and temporarily reversed the flow of Mississippi River. Provided by the United States Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards program, the final site lists the largest earthquakes in the United States and provides seismic maps where available. [KMG]
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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2003. 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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