The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 23

June 13, 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 twelfth 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 covering Synesthesia. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about the characteristics and properties of gases.
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Research and Education

Music Theory Online: A Journal of Criticism, Commentary, Research, and Scholarship
In the past few years more academic journals have been moving online, and some have been established to be solely available via the Internet. Edited by Thomas Koozin (a professor of music theory at the University of Houston), Music Theory Online has been online since 1993. Each issue usually contains several full-length scholarly articles, commentaries on previous works, and other like correspondence. At the site, visitors can read the contents of the entire journal, as well as every issue published since its inception. Along with a chronological list of journal contents, the site has an author and dissertation index. For parties interested in submitting material to the journal, there is a complete list of guidelines for contributors. Visitors can also elect to receive each issue of the journal electronically, along with the option to subscribe to a discussion forum, mto-talk. The site is rounded out by an assortment of links to other online music journals. [KMG]
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BioMedNet: Microbiologists Take Homeland Security in Their Stride
This BioMedNet Web site contains a conference summary for the 103rd General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, held in May 2003. Readers will find engaging, journalistic coverage of conference presentations spanning a dizzying array of microbiology topics such as bioterrorism, rechargeable batteries, and Staphylococcus contamination of the shroud of Turin. Researchers and general readers alike should find this conference summary appealing and informative. The site, which requires free registration with BioMedNet, also includes profiles of each investigator who presented at the 4-day meeting. This site is also reviewed in the June 13, 2003 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [RS]
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International Year of Freshwater 2003
Near the conclusion of the year 2000, the United Nations General Assembly created a resolution to proclaim 2002 as the International Year of Freshwater. Given the importance of freshwater to all human, plant, and animal life, this designation seems altogether fitting and timely. As the resolution notes, it is hoped that many governments and political actors will use the year to increase awareness of the importance of sustainable freshwater use, management, and protection. To this end, this helpful Web site provides a host of online resources designed to educate the web-browsing public about various events related to this overriding theme, along with presenting an online library of publications about freshwater. Visitors can read the online newsletter, Splash, along with browsing a water library, organized by themes (such as water and society and ecosystems), and geographic regions. Another compelling feature are the water proverbs taken from a number of areas, including the Middle East and Latin America. Given the global mission of the site it is refreshing to note that many of the materials are also available in French and Spanish. [KMG]
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National Center for Education Statistics: The Condition of Education 2003 [pdf]
Organized and researched by John Wirt, Susan Choy, Stephen Provasnik, Patrick Rooney, Anindita Sen, and Richard Tobin at the National Center for Education Statistics, this annual report (whose production and publication is required by federal law) offers a broad and thorough inquiry into the current state of education in the United States. Drawing a number of massive data sets, the 327-page report released in June 2003 begins with a nine-page synopsis of the findings offered by Valena Plisko, the Associate Commissioner of the Department of Education. Of particular interest in the synopsis is a discussion of this year's special analysis, which examines childrens' reading achievement and classroom experiences in kindergarten and the first grade, with "a focus on the school, classroom, and home factors associated with the likelihood of children becoming good readers." This synopsis also offers overviews of the other large sections of the report, including discussions of learner outcomes, societal support for learning, and contexts of postsecondary education. Overall, this report will be of great value to educators and those working in education policy implementation and development around the United States. [KMG]
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Yellowstone Volcano Observatory
In 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey, Yellowstone National Park, and the University of Utah entered into an agreement that effectively established the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. Some of the objectives of the Observatory are "to provide seismic, geodetic, and hydrologic monitoring that enables reliable and timely warnings of possible renewed volcanism and related hazards" and "to improve scientific understanding of tectonic and magmatic processes that influence ongoing seismicity and hydrothermal activity." The Web site itself is divided into several major sections that covering collectively all current volcanic and seismic activity in the region, volcanic history in the area, and frequently asked questions. The section dedicated to volcanic monitoring includes real-time and non real-time data on current conditions, along with a monthly summary. The volcanic history section offers a long-form essay (including representative photos) that provides a general overview of the region's turbulent volcanic and seismic history. Finally, the helpful FAQ section covers such topics as the frequency of volcanic eruptions at Yellowstone and the relationship between volcanism and the geysers and hot springs in Yellowstone. [KMG]
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K-8 Kids Place
Developed by Houghton Mifflin, this site contains a number of helpful online educational, interactive materials for students from kindergarten to 8th grade. The Web site is divided into three main sections: School Books, Games, and Brain Power. In School Books, students have the ability to pick from a number of activities ranging from spelling quizzes, mathematic skills reviews, and reading activities for grades 1 through 6. Several of the activity areas here are also available in Spanish. The Brain Power section contains a number of activities designed to challenge and hone the analytic and problem-solving abilities of young people. The questions are geared for students in grades 3 through 8, and an archive containing the previous three week's questions is available for perusal. The Games section features four different activities, including Fake Out! -- where students guess the definition of a word and also have the ability to submit their own fake definitions. Additionally, Houghton Mifflin has placed a statement online regarding its commitment to protecting the privacy of children using the site. [KMG]
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National Park Service Data Information
The National Park Service Data and Information Web site contains several helpful links for data related to the Parks. The Data Clearinghouse link has national and regional data sets such as civil war and land status data, local and regional historic and scenic trails data sets, and information on the Virgin Islands in a well designed and easily browseable format. The Interactive Map Center allows visitors to explore the National Parks using interactive interfaces, while other links explain the National Park Service's standards and specifications, and how to use metadata correctly with other data. The unique and limited scope of the data makes the site a good example of how the Web is increasingly becoming an excellent source for hard-to-find free information. This site is also reviewed in the June 13, 2003 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [JAB]
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General Interest

Lost Indiana
As the classic Tin Pan Alley song says, "When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash, then I long for my Indiana home." Created and maintained by John McDonald, a local historian and photographer, this Web site is a tribute to the lost and disappearing landscapes and sites that are important parts of Indiana legend and lore. The site contains a number of profiles of disused and abandoned structures around the state, such as the massive Sheraton Hotel in downtown Gary, and the former Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. One particularly fun feature of the site is a profile of the Crown Hill cemetery in Indianapolis, which is the third largest public cemetery in the United States, and the last resting place of Benjamin Harrison and Edward Black, the youngest person to serve in the Union Army. The site concludes with a selection of other relevant links to other sites, including the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. [KMG]
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National Mental Health Information Center
Developed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the National Mental Health Information Center is an authoritative clearinghouse for very useful resources, news, and reading material on mental health issues and conditions. Some of the strongest materials on the site are covered in the "Highlighted Features" area. Here visitors will find resources on coping with traumatic events, effective communication during public health crises, and a March 2003 report on ending chronic homelessness. The site also contains a number of recent features addressing the importance of maintaining open lines of communication with children during adolescence, and an area dedicated to the mental health of children in general. The site concludes with a section that informs visitors about local and state-wide mental health resources and programs, along with national hotline numbers. [KMG]
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CBC: The Congo [Macromedia Flash Player]
Long recognized for their award-winning radio and television documentaries, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has created this visually and aurally provocative Web site that highlights five long-form radio documentaries about the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The project got off the ground in December 2002, when CBC Radio news journalists David McLauchlin, Sylvain Desjardins, and producer Bruce Edwards traveled to the country to begin this ambitious undertaking. From the home page, visitors can elect to listen to one of the documentaries, which cover such topics as diamond mining in the country, the country's long and arduous civil war, and Papa Wemba, the world-famous Congolese musician and composer. The photo diaries located here add a great deal to the overall appeal of the site, as they cover the Royal Museum for Central Africa and the tent hospitals where medical workers help to alleviate the suffering of those with malaria and other tropical maladies. In total, this site is an excellent introduction to the challenges and human potential that personify the contemporary Democratic Republic of the Congo. [KMG]
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Macau: A Selection of Cartographic Images
On December 20, 1999, the city of Macau, which for four centuries had been a Portuguese settlement, was returned to the People's Republic of China. The entire administrative region is one-tenth the size of Washington, D.C., and has a population of approximately 460,000. In order to provide scholars and other interested parties with a selection of maps and visual ephemera related to the area's history and development, the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress developed this fine online collection. The entire online collection consists of 16 maps, ranging from a 1655 Dutch map of the coastline around Macau to a 1991 map that shows the three areas that constitute the Territory of Macau produced by the Portuguese cartographic service. One gem in the collection is the map depicting Macau that was taken from the British Buccaneer Atlas of 1696 that was prepared and used by the infamous pirate Bartholomew Sharpe. [KMG]
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Arlington National Cemetery Homepage [Real One Player]
Despite the overly loud version of the Irish ditty, Kathleen Mavourneen, which greets visitors to this homepage, this site is an important resource of information about the Arlington National Cemetery. Developed and maintained by Michael Patterson (the son of a former United States Army officer), the site contains dozens of links to a number of thematic sections, including those that offer a detailed history of the grounds, and several nice sections on the various memorials located within Arlington. One particularly nice document available here is a 1929 history of the cemetery written by Enoch Aquila Chase. Other historical documents of note are also located on the site, including stereographic photographs of Arlington Cemetery and a National Geographic article on the Cemetery from 1928. The site also includes several nice audio selections from various persons buried on the grounds, including Robert F. Kennedy's remarks about the late Martin Luther King Jr. [KMG]
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Jazz Roots: Early Jazz History
Focusing primarily on the first thirty years of jazz, this site offers a nice introduction to the development of the idiom, along with information about the various musicians and composers who contributed to this truly American art form. This site was developed as a labor of love by Tom Morgan, a radio producer and host of a well-regarded jazz show in New Orleans. Visitors unacquainted with the history of jazz may do well to read over the overview essay, which contains hyperlinks to various seminal performers and composers during the genre's early period. The Early Jazz Musicians section is a compendium of Web sites that discuss hundreds of performers, ranging from Henry (Red) Allen to Fats Waller. The pictures section of the site contains a number of scanned sheet music covers, along with a short piece about the importance of the work, and its context within the development of jazz. Finally, the Fun Facts section allows visitors to find out where early jazz musicians were born and read some musings on the origins of the word jazz. [KMG]
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Network Tools

Streamripper X 1.0.5 [Macintosh Operating System]
Streamripper is a handy little application for those users seeking to download the contents of almost any radio station playing streaming music files in an easy-to-use fashion. The application initially connects to the stream in question, buffers the data, then looks for a silent point in the audio transmission in order to separate the various tracks. A number of documentation files are contained on the application's home page, including a FAQ section, a tutorial, and various forums. This version of Streamripper is compatible with those systems running Mac OS X. [KMG]
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StudioLine Photo Basic 1.1.12 [Windows Operating System]
While this free version of StudioLine Photo Basic weighs in at 27 MB, its capabilities are worth the download time. Some of the features of this program include the ability to import numerous image files without compression and the ability to share picture thumbnails. Users can also use the program to turn their computer into a slide projector and upload entire Web galleries to the Internet. The StudioLine Web site also includes several online tutorials that can be downloaded for reference use. StudioLine Photo Basic is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and higher. [KMG]
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In The News

Rarely Seen Painting by Gauguin to Go On the Auction Block this Month
Unseen Gauguin to Go Under the Hammer in London
Sotheby's to Sell Major Painting by Paul Gauguin
Sotheby's Auctions: Paul Gauguin's L'Apparition
Paul Gauguin: National Gallery of Art
Van Gogh & Gauguin [Macromedia Flash Player]
Gauguin and the School of Pont-Aven: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Recently Sotheby's Auction House of London announced that a rarely seen painting by the French post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin would be put up for auction on June 23rd. The painting, titled L'Apparition, was executed by Gauguin in 1902 on the French Polynesian Island of Hiva Oa, and is a study of a local magician and a nude. The work has been in private ownership since 1944, and if it garners its pre-auction estimate of $15-million, it would become the second most expensive painting by the artist since his work, Mata Mua, sold for $24-million in 1989. Born in 1848, Gauguin's first career was as a bank broker, a vocation he left when he was 25-years-old in order to become a painter. After initially collaborating with several members of the Impressionist circle (including Vincent Van Gogh), Gauguin traveled across France and Spain, eventually moving halfway across the world to work and live in Tahiti. There he produced some of his best-known work before dying of syphilis at the young age of 54. [KMG]

The first link leads to a news story from the Washington Post about the upcoming sale of L'Apparition by Sotheby's. The second link will take users to another article about the upcoming auction from the Netherlands News Agency. The third link leads to a detailed description of the painting and its provenance provided by Sotheby's. The fourth link takes visitors to a gallery of 35 works by Gauguin, including several of his earliest pieces, provided by the National Gallery of Art. The fifth link leads to a beautiful online exhibit from the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands that explores the relationship between Van Gogh and Gauguin. The final link leads to a small, but interesting, online exhibit that highlights the work of Gauguin and his colleagues during their time in the French village of Pont-Aven in the late 1880s. [KMG]
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