The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 22

June 6, 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 eleventh issue of the second volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about radio frequency identification.
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Research and Education

Face to Face: Stories from the Aftermath of Infamy [Macromedia Flash Reader]
In the wake of 9/11, many Muslims around the United States faced a backlash of resentment and anger. This groundswell of emotion was not without parallel, as Japanese and Japanese-Americans faced a similar reaction after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. The Independent Television Service has developed this Web site to bring a human face to the experiences of Muslims and Japanese people in the United States by collecting these powerful interviews from members of both groups. On the site, visitors can listen to stories from older Japanese-Americans talk about their experiences on the West Coast after Pearl Harbor, and the experiences of Muslims, both young and old. The interviews are divided into thematic sections, such as "Fear," "Internment," "Identity," and "Being American." At another section of the site, visitors can respond to the stories, and a glossary of terms is also provided as background material. Overall, this site serves as a fine educational tool, and for those looking for a number of perspectives on the experience of living in America. [KMG]
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Who is Leading our Schools?: An Overview of School Administrators and Their Careers [pdf]
Over the past few years, there have been a number of concerns over whether or not school districts will be able to attract and retain enough qualified school administrators. This 258-page report, authored by Susan M. Gates, Jeanne S. Ringel, and Lucrecia Santibanez, takes a critical look at trends in the field, and also addresses several primary areas of concern for the future of attracting and retaining effective administrators. In the report, the authors find there is no immediate national crisis, but that there is a great deal of state and local variation in financial rewards along with significant barriers to entry into the field, and that a large percentage of current administrators are approaching retirement. Divided into seven substantial chapters (along with appendices and a bibliography), the report deals with movement within the school administrative career field, an overview of current school administrators, and mobility within the position of principal. For readers that may not have time to read the entire report, a six-page summary of findings is also provided. Thorough in its scope and directed in its focus, this report will be of great use to those in the field of educational administration and policy. [KMG]
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Explore Cornell: Beetle Science [Macromedia Flash Reader, QuickTime]
As this Web site proclaims, "We live in the age of beetles," and given that one out of five species of all living things is a beetle, this seems like a fairly accurate claim. This engaging site, developed at Cornell University, highlights material related to bugs and beetles in an informative and well-designed fashion. Visitors will want to start by clicking on the "Species-Scape" illustration, which symbolically portrays the relative abundances of various life forms on earth. Clicking on each image (such as an elephant or an earthworm) will bring up a text box that gives a brief overview of the species. The "Virtual Beetles" section offers visitors the ability to manipulate three different beetles, including the Japanese rhinoceros beetle. Finally, visitors also have the ability to explore the research laboratories of Professor Quentin Wheeler, an entomologist at Cornell. [KMG]
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Nation Master
If you have ever wanted to look up any number of national statistics, the Nation Master Web site is an excellent resource for finding out any number of current details about just about any country in the world. Currently, Nation Master has 335 statistical data sets, ranging from library books, forested land, Internet users, and airports. For easy reference, the main Web page features the most frequently requested stats, such as televisions and military expenditures per capita. Nation Master also allows visitors the option of creating their own graphs in order to effectively compare different nations. The site also has links to national profiles, which include the available statistics for each country, and images of the country's flag and a political map. Additionally, the site has a search engine, and a place where visitors can read short facts on the different countries. Apart from being interesting to browse through, the site will be helpful for students looking for basic statistics on the world's different countries. [KMG]
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100 Years of Flight
This overview of the past one-hundred years of flight was developed by the organization, and pays tribute to the men, women, and planes that have contributed to the technological innovation that has transformed transportation -- and, to a larger extent, how humans experience the world. Visitors will want to start by browsing the section devoted to telling the stories of the influential individuals involved in the enterprise of flight, such as Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, and William Boeing. Another section highlights twenty memorable moments in aviation, such as the first crossing of the English Channel and the arrival of Charles Lindbergh in Paris after making his way across the Atlantic. Interspersed amidst these sections are the many distinctive Time magazine covers that have served as tributes to the accomplishments of those flying pioneers, including the 1949 cover with Chuck Yeager. [KMG]
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Genome News Network
While there is a great deal of information about genes and genomes available in the mainstream media, it may be difficult for many to obtain more objective and scientifically-informed material about these complex subjects. To that end, the Genome News Network provides this bi-weekly publication that features stories about human medicine, microbes, biotechnology, and agriculture. Visitors who may be less familiar about genes and genomes will want to start with the "Quick Guide to Sequenced Genomes," or the basic overview provided in the "What's a Genome" area. The site also features news updates on topics ranging from the African-American Biobank, the first cloned mule, and how geneticists recognize cancer cells. Additionally, visitors can browse through the archives of the News Network (back to the year 2000), and elect to receive the bi-weekly report via email. [KMG]
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KiRo: The Table Soccer Robot [pdf, postscript, Windows Media Player]
The RoboCup Competition was founded with the goal of creating a robot soccer team that can beat the human world champion team by 2050. While it still has a long way to go, progress has been made on another front: table soccer. More commonly known as foosball, the game now has a robotic system that can beat inexperienced players. The system is called KiRo. By "using a camera it perceives the playing field and, (depending) upon the current game situation, it decides how the rods under its control should be moved." KiRo's homepage has pictures and video of the system, as well as a research paper that was presented at the International RoboCup Symposium in 2002. This site is also reviewed in the June 6, 2003 NSDL MET Report. [CL]
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General Interest

African-American Poetry, 1760-1900
Utilizing software developed at the University of Chicago, this online database of African-American poetry is a fine resource for people looking for a compendium of poems by numerous notable 18th and 19th century African-American poets. First-time users will want to read the users manual, which explains the software used to design the database, and how to best utilize the available search engine, which allows for a number of detailed searching methods. The database itself contains 12 million words from a total of 86 works. Visitors looking to browse the online works should consult the bibliography section, as it contains a detailed description of the authors and works covered within the database. Visitors familiar with this genre will note the inclusion of many notable poets, including Paul Dunbar, James Corrothers, and Albery Allson Whitman. [KMG]
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The Wagner Library
For many lovers of opera, there are composers who have written opera, and there is Richard Wagner. During his lifetime, Wagner wrote and staged some of the most detailed and densely-structured operas of the 19th century, including Gotterdammerung, Die Walkure, Das Rheingold, and Tristan und Isolde. Edited and designed by Patrick Swinkels, this Web site represents what is perhaps the most ambitious effort thus far to present many of Wagner's prose writings online, along with his correspondence and libretti. On the site, visitors can read reviews of his operatic productions from the 19th century, and read background essays about the myths and legends he drew on for his many works. Additionally, the site presents (in English translation) the complete text of the 1911 edition of Wagner's letters to his family, and also features links to the legendary correspondence between Wagner and Liszt housed at the Project Gutenberg Web site. It may be worth taking a look at the site just to read some of Wagner's elaborate (if not always well-structured) musings, particularly "The Artist and Publicity," which begins with a characteristically dramatic flourish: "When I am along, and the musical strings begin to stir within me, strange whirling sounds take shape of chords, until at last a melody springs forth, revealing to me the idea of my whole being." [KMG]
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G8 Information Centre at the University of Toronto [pdf]
Since 1975, the heads of state of the major industrial democracies have met annually to discuss the major economic and political issues facing their respective political entities, and more broadly, the entire international community. This past weekend, these seven main countries (with Russia joining the organization in 2006) met in Evian, France. Provided and developed by the University of Toronto, this Web site is an exhaustive guide to the most recent proceedings at this year's G8 Conference, along with substantial documents from last year's G7 gathering. Just about any type of policy brief or document from these very important international gatherings is available on this site, along with frequent updates and responses from the different representatives. Not surprisingly, much of the material is available in different languages, including French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian. For policy makers and those with a concern for international affairs, this Web site will be one of great importance. [KMG]
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Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project [RealOne Player]
Developed by the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress, this site offers visual and written testimony about the experiences of United States veterans ranging from those who served in World War I, to those who served in the first Gulf War. The documents are organized into three main topical areas, including courage, patriotism, and community. The community section features recollections of the communal experience found by many who served in the Armed Forces, including those of John Walter Earle, who was a Special Services Officer during World War II. The patriotism section contains documents that relate the first-hand experiences of seven who served, including the harrowing and terrifying account of James Walsh's time in the Korean War. Each one of the narratives contains information about the individual's time of service, primary documents, and in some instances, video clips from recent interviews. [KMG]
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Greek Gods: Medicine from the Gods to Galen
Along with their monumental achievements in the fields of architecture and philosophy, the Greeks bequeathed to subsequent generations many insights into the practice of medicine -- along with observations about anatomy and physiology. This online exhibit, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine's History of Medicine Division, offers a brief overview of these discoveries. Before reading the detailed individual profiles, users will want to read the introduction provided here, along with glancing through a timeline that outlines the historical development of medical practices and innovations in ancient Greece. Users can then proceed to read about the various figures in Greek medicine, including Hippocrates and Galen, who was a strong advocate of observation and experimentation. For those looking for additional resources, the site also provides a section offering some recommended works. [KMG]
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Mostly Medieval: Exploring the Middle Ages
After researching and writing a novel set in 13th century Scotland, Susan Wallace decided to develop a Web site that would contain information about heraldry, myths, religion, and medicine during the Middle Ages. The site is divided into seven thematic areas, including "Ballads," "Beasties," "Heraldry," and "Medicine." In the "Ballads" section, visitors can read a complete text version (or synopsis) of numerous ballads from the Middle Ages, such as the ballad of Gude Wallace, Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne, and The Unquiet Grave, where a dead woman expresses her distaste for mourning. The "Heraldry" section is one of the most engaging, as it includes a brief introduction to this time-honored practice, and features a wonderful dictionary of fabulous beasts used as part of the coat-of-arms. These fascinating creatures include the calopus (a wolf-like animal with spiked horns), and the lindorm (a huge snake-like creature). Intended for those with a casual interest in the Middle Ages, this site will be a nice diversion, and perhaps spark a trip to the library for more works dealing with the era. [KMG]
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Network Tools

Jet Audio 5.14 Basic [Windows Operating System]
For persons looking for a handy and powerful way to play numerous types of audio or video files, Jet Audio 5.14 Basic will be a welcome addition to their computer. With this latest version, users can broadcast over the internet, utilize the built-in equalizer, and control the speed of recordings, along with sixteen other features. Additionally, users can manipulate the appearance (or "skin") of Jet Audio, or create their own skin as well. Jet Audio 5.14 Basic is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and higher. [KMG]
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QuickImageCM 1.3 [Macintosh Operating System]
This tiny application allows users to display graphic image files without opening any image-viewing programs. Quick ImageCM 1.3 also has a few other helpful options, such as the ability to add or remove thumbnail icons, a copy feature, and the option to enlarge or reduce the view size. Quick ImageCM 1.3 is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X. [KMG]
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In The News

FCC changes regulations governing ownership of media outlets
FCC loosens regulations
Senators Attack FCC Rules
FCC Sets Limits on Media Concentration [pdf]
Oral Statement of Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, Michael K. Powell, On Broadcast Ownership Biennial Review [pdf]
Powell on FCC Vote [RealOne Player]
Time for Congress to save the media
This past Tuesday, in a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission relaxed some of the restrictions on media ownership, creating great rancor among public media watchdog groups and a number of concerned United States senators. Under the new changes a company can now own a newspaper and a television station in the same city, something which had not been possible for thirty years. In the largest media markets, a single company can potentially own up to three TV stations, eight radio stations, the cable TV system, cable TV stations, and a daily newspaper. Michael Powell, the FCC Chairman, remarked that it was important for the FCC to facilitate building modern rules that take proper account of the explosion of new media outlets for news, information, and entertainment. In response to this decision, on Thursday a majority of senators who sit on the agencys oversight committee responded they would attempt to roll back or modify the changes. Numerous senators expressed confusion and outrage at the FCCs decision, including Senator Byron L. Doran, a Democrat from North Dakota, who remarked that It looks for all the world like you c ould not or would not stand up to corporate interests.

The first link leads to a news article from the Chicago Sun-Times about the FCCs recent decision to modify the media ownership regulations. The second link will take visitors to a Washington Post article that reports on the response of a group of United States senators to the recent decision made by the FCC. The third link leads to a press release from the FCC that outlines the new regulations. The fourth link leads to a transcript of oral testimony offered by Michael Powell before the Committee on Commerce, Sciences, and Transportation this past Wednesday. The fifth link will take viewers to a video clip on Mr. Powell commenting on the FCC vote. The final link leads to a recent staff editorial from the Seattle Times expressing grave concern over the decision made by the FCC, and calls on Congress to intervene. [KMG]
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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

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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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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

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