The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 14

April 11, 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 seventh issue of the second volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about data storage.

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Research and Education

USDA Agriculture Fact Book: 2001-2002 [.pdf]
Released last week, the 169-page USDA Agriculture Fact Book offers a view of the broader trends in American agriculture, as well as the extent and nature of the outreach programs provided by the USDA and its related agencies. The topics are divided into more digestible smaller sections, including the food consumption of Americans, the transformation of American farms, and American food safety. All told, there are a total of twelve sections, many of which include helpful visual aids, such as tables, charts, and graphs. The chapter dedicated to rural development efforts will be of great interest to policy and planning professionals, as it details the extent to which the USDA is able to affect change and create growth within many of America's rural areas, some of which continue to experience severe population losses. [KMG]
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Henry James Scholar's Guide to Web Sites
Maintained and created by Richard Hathaway, an educator at the State University of New York at New Paltz, this site is a compendium of links and writings by and about the American writer Henry James. The site begins with a collections of electronic texts of James' works. Some of the more recent additions include short stories that James wrote specifically for The Atlantic Monthly during the 1860s. While the site cannot be searched in its entirety, a table of contents provides some assistance for those hoping to navigate its sections. The contents include such topics as Henry James conferences, Finding other etexts, The Henry James E-Journal, and an on-line discussion group. The section dealing with writings by and about James will be of great interest to scholars and students, as it includes links to study guides and musings on his great works by other noted authors and scholars. [KMG]
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Atlas of the Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands [.pdf]
Released by the Remote Sensing Team (part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), these detailed maps released in February 2003 focus on the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. This part of the island chain extends across over 2200 kilometers of open ocean, and the total shallow water area of the ten atolls encompasses over 8000 square kilometers. Most of the information for these maps was obtained through the use of high-resolution satellite imagery, along with field data collected during 2001. For each of the ten atolls covered in this project, visitors can read a brief description and history, along with viewing maps generated from the satellite images and the habitat cover of each particular atoll. Those seeking to learn more about the map development process will be pleased to find a document on this subject, and a description of the classification scheme used in the maps. [KMG]
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National Women's History Project
With the goal of providing a national clearinghouse for general information about women's history in mind, five women gathered in Santa Rosa, California in 1980 to start the National Women's History Project. In 1987, the National Women's History Project successfully petitioned Congress to make every March National Women's History Month. From their homepage, visitors can view a list of new and upcoming events dealing with women's history around the United States, and submit their won events to the online database. The Learning Place section offers a host of educational resources ranging from helpful thematic lists of relevant Web sites, women's museums around the country, and a fifteen question women's history quiz. One particularly nice feature located here is the Biography Center, which provides brief biographical sketches of women honored by the Project, including the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink, Maya Lin, and Rachel Carson. For persons hoping to learn more about the Project's mission, there is a frequently asked questions area and a catalog of related products. [KMG]
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US Centennial of Flight Home Page [Quick Time]
In 1998, the United States Congress passed the Centennial Flight of Commemoration Act, effectively establishing the organization that would assist in commemorating the Wright brother's first powered flight in 1903. Five years later, the organization has mounted an impressive Web site that contains hundreds of documents related to the history of flight. Young people will want to be sure to check out the Kids' Fly Zone, which features several films of early Wright flying machines, including the 1900 Glider. The bulk of materials fall into three main sections: the timeline, essays, and images. The essays provide helpful background reading on almost every topic related to flight, ranging from the aerospace industry, inflight refueling, air power, commercial aviation, and aerodynamics. The timeline can be searched by year, keyword, or category. The image database can be searched by category, most of which correspond to topical themes delineated by the essays. For those looking to attend events related to the centennial, a searchable calendar of events is also provided. [KMG]
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American Memory: The Chinese in California, 1850-1925
Drawn from the collections of the University of California Berkeley and the California Historical Society, this addition to American Memory presents about 8000 digitized items that document the Chinese in California from 1850 to 1925. Like other American Memory collections, both searching and browsing options are available. One nice feature is the Topical Overview section, where users can read short essays on a variety of themes, from Chinese and Westward Expansion to Sentiment Concerning the Chinese: Images from Periodicals. All topical essays have galleries of associated pictures, such as approximately 300 architectural photographs of San Francisco's Chinatown or 565 pictures of Chinese American communities outside of San Francisco. Another highlight of the collection is over 100 photographs by Arnold Genthe, many of them portraits of Chinatown's children. [DS]
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Knights Templar and the Middle Ages
While the Order of the Knights Templar exists today, the Knights are best known as one of the orders created after the First Crusades to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land and to guard various relics associated with the early days of Christianity, such as the crown of thorns worn by Jesus. Anne Veling, a resident of Holland, has created this site dedicated to discussing the importance of the Knights Templar during the Middle Ages and the Crusades. On the site, visitors can peruse a narrative essay detailing the founding of the order in the early 12th century; learn about their various activities; and browse a timeline of the Knights, ranging from their founding in the year 1119 to their eventual dissolution in the 14th century. Finally, visitors can read about other military orders during the period, along with links to Web pages dealing with the Middle Ages. [KMG]
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The Rion-Antirion Bridge [iPIX, Flash]
Located in Greece, the Corinth Gulf Strait is the site of the Rion-Antirion Bridge construction project. This Web site has a great deal of information regarding the project and its progression. When completed in 2004, the bridge will span three kilometers and will be able to withstand a collision with a tanker or an earthquake measuring seven on the Richter scale. These impressive specifications will be the result of six years of work. The engineering principles and techniques used to design the bridge are described on this site, and several pictures and panoramic views of different stages of the bridge's construction are included. This site is also reviewed in the April 11, 2003 NSDL MET Report. [CL]
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General Interest

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum [Real Player]
Born in Stonewall, Texas in 1908, Lyndon Baines Johnson would later become president of the United States after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and oversee one of the most turbulent periods in recent American history. Located on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, the Johnson Library and Museum was dedicated in 1971 and is part of the system of presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. First-time visitors will want to tour the online research section, which contains a timeline of Johnson's life; information about Lady Bird Johnson; and quick facts about his presidential cabinet, religious affiliation, and favorite foods. The online primary documents are impressive, ranging from selected speeches given by Johnson during his administration, photographs, and most notably a number of oral histories. The oral histories are taken from dozens of his associates, fellow politicians, and friends, including Billy Graham and the late Senator Everett Dirksen. Visitors will also enjoy looking through the audio and video files, including conversations with Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall, and Jacqueline Kennedy. The site is rounded out by a nice section especially aimed towards young people. [KMG]
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The Nature of Things: A Look at Pain [Flash]
Beginning with the quote, "Pain is not a sensation, but an experience, an utterably lonely experience," this interactive exhibit from the Canadian Broadcasting Company offers an introspective look into how we understand, experience, and define the notion of pain. Designed in tandem with the upcoming documentary "A Disease Called Pain" (produced and directed by Vishnu Mathur), the exhibit begins with a brief introduction to the history, research, and treatment of chronic pain. The section About Pain is divided into smaller subtopics such as What is pain? and Why do we feel pain? Along with creative graphics and original music, each subtopic exploration is complemented by a brief essay on the selected theme. The most engrossing section is Living with Pain, which features three brief interviews with Catherine Seton, a former teacher, who recounts her chronic pain (diagnosed as fibromyalgia) and her insights into coping with this condition. [KMG]
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Maps of the Pimeria: Early Cartography of the Southwest
The Pimeria was a region (never defined with any exacting detail) of Spanish colonial Mexico that encompassed what is now southern Arizona and northern Sonora. Derived from the Pima Indians who live in the region, the name first appeared on a map prepared in 1696. This online collection consists of over thirty separate maps, ranging in date from 1556 to 1854. Each map features detailed cataloging information, along with a brief profile of the cartographer responsible for creating each document. A built-in viewer also allows visitors to zoom in and out of each map, as well as adjust the pixel size to their liking. The site is rounded out by a discussion of the methods used to create the online exhibit, along with credits to the respective personnel at the University of Arizona who made the project possible. [KMG]
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Online Journalism Review
Based at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, the Online Journalism Review was launched in 1998 with the intention of "evaluating the emerging field of online journalism, providing readers commentary, monthly features, and Web resource databases." The Review is also committed "to identify who is best serving the public on the Web, and who, hiding in the cloak of journalism, belongs in different garb." To that end, the Review's team of journalists reports on a host of online topics, ranging from Web site designs, private online news sources, and ongoing developments within the world of online journalism. Some of the primary resources available here include the Japan Media Review (focusing on the electronic media coverage within, and about, Japan) and a number of online forums. Additionally, interested visitors can elect to subscribe to the Online Journalism Review via email. [KMG]
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Al Parker, American Illustrator [Flash, Quick Time]
This tribute to Al Parker, the noted magazine illustrator and artist, was fashioned from extensive holdings at the Washington University Library in St. Louis. Known as "The Dean of Illustrators," Al Parker attended school at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts at Washington University and went on to become of the most prolific and important American illustrators of the twentieth century. Parker was best-known for his modernist deployment of line, patterning, and bold, flat colors, which helped shape the general "look" of the period from the 1930s to the 1960s. Using short clips of Parker's original illustrations and drawings, this exhibit offers a glimpse into his work and contributions to the medium. Of particular interest is the section devoted to Parker's famous "Mother-Daughter" covers for the Ladies Home Journal, which began in 1939 and ran for 17 years. [KMG]
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Cornell Library Historical Monographs
Beginning in 1990, the Cornell Library initiated an ambitious early attempt to create digital surrogates for materials that were rapidly deteriorating and becoming brittle. Utilizing prototype equipment developed in tandem with Xerox, the materials were scanned and placed online. Currently, the materials available include 441 entire monographs, totaling 159,961 pages. The search engine located on the site allows visitors to search the holding by author, title, and text. Additionally, visitors can browse the collection by author or title. The monographs include Shelley's "An address to the Irish people," Comte's "Positive Philosophy," selected writings of Richard Wagner, and Sir Richard Burton's "Personal Narrative of a pilgrimage to el Medinah and Meccah." The Web site concludes with a help section that contains information about searching and browsing this interesting collection of online monographs. [KMG]
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The Papers of John Jay
Contributor to The Federalist, the first Chief Justice of the United States and a two-term governor of New York, John Jay gave much of himself to the fledgling nation. Given that he was an alumnus of Columbia University, it is fitting that this institution has created this omnibus of his collected papers and placed them online. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Florence Gould Foundation, the Jay materials may be searched by the name of the writer, name of the recipient, date of composition, name of holding institution, and accession number. Along with an extended biographical essay, the site also features four background papers. The papers include hypertext links to germane digitized documents held in the archive and deal with topics such as Jay's work on the treaty of 1794 with the British and his work with France throughout the 1770s. Overall, this is a fine repository of primary documents relating to one of America's early statesmen. [KMG]
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Network Tools

Incredimail is an email application that allows users to send highly interactive messages, complete with animations, sounds, and other visual effects. From their online gallery, users can select from any number of different animations to be featured in their messages, along with other visual icons that can be added to enhance their appearance. The sounds are also fun, as users can add the noise of a kiss, laugh, or a giggle to their messages. Finally, there is a feature that allows users to record their own message and include it in the email they wish to send. This latest version of Incredimail is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]
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iFlash 1.2
iFlash is a virtual flash card application that assists users in creating a set of cards that will help them study for upcoming exams or memorize helpful information. The newest version features several additions, including the ability to import (or export) flash cards from text files and the ability to edit cards during a slide show. Users can also place information on both sides of a virtual flash card and select which side will be viewed during a given slide show. IFlash 1.2 is compatible with all systems running Mac OS 10.2. [KMG]
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In The News

Struggle to Keep the "Real Beverly Hillbillies" Off the Air Continues
"Beverly Hillbillies?" CBS has Struck Crude, Appalachia Says,0,2784085.story?coll=cl-tvent
A "Hillbilly" Hullabaloo,1,11076,00.html?yhnws
Louisiana Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 13 [.pdf]
Senator Zell Miller: Statement on the Senate Floor, February 25, 2003
The Center for Rural Strategies
Center for Virtual Appalachia
Study on Persistent Poverty in the South [.pdf]
Last August, in a nod to the long-running former sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies," CBS announced plans to develop a type of reality show that would feature a rural family (most likely from Appalachia) that would be transplanted to Beverly Hills. CBS (and its parent company Viacom) came under attack by many within (and outside of) the region, particularly when the network began circulating fliers in the poorest counties of Kentucky offering an one thousand dollar reward for information that would lead them to a suitable family. Critics labeled these tactics a "hick hunt," and most recently, Mike Smith, a senator from Louisiana, introduced a resolution that would ask CBS to not air the show if it ever makes it to the production stage. Additionally, the Center for Rural Strategies purchased full-page advertisements in several prominent newspapers protesting these actions, along with including the comment, "Imagine the episode where they have to interview maids," which was made by one CBS executive.

The first link leads to an entertainment article from the Los Angeles Times about the ongoing controversy. The second link will take visitors to an online article that deals with CBSs plans to create this "fish-out-of-water" reality show. The third link leads to complete text of the recent resolution introduced into the Louisiana legislature by Mike Smith. The fourth link leads to a statement by Senator Zell Miller from Georgia expressing his extreme displeasure with the idea of such a reality show. The fifth link will take visitors to the Center for Rural Strategies home page, an organization that advocates on the behalf of people through rural America, along with providing helpful information about their activities. Developed and maintained by the Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy at Morehead State University in Kentucky, the sixth site is the Center for Virtual Appalachia, which contains a number of excellent links to online resources about Appalachian culture, history, and demographics. The final link leads to a recent report written and researched by scholars at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, which deals with the persistent problems of poverty within the southeastern United States, along with the prospects for the area's future. [KMG]
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