The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 24

June 20, 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 twelfth issue of the second volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Friction Stir Welding.
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Research and Education

Council of the Great City Schools [pdf]
Founded in 1956, the Council of the Great City Schools "serves as the national voice for urban educators, providing ways to share promising practices and address common concerns." The Council itself is a coalition of 60 of the United States' largest urban public school systems, and advocates on behalf of students through legislation, research, and management designed to improve the educational experience in urban regions. From the Web site, visitors can learn more about the structure of the organization, read annual reports from 1995 to the present, and learn about the organization's latest partnerships. Persons working in the field of educational policy should look at the "Promising Practices" section of the site, where a number of current urban school district polices and programs are examined and discussed. The site is rounded out by the inclusion of the Council's primary publication, Urban Educator. Visitors can read the last three years of this interesting newsletter, which addresses policy trends and news from the various partner school districts. [KMG]
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Old Bailey Proceedings Online
Formally known as the Central Criminal Court of London, the Old Bailey is arguably the world's most well-known criminal court. Serving the Commonwealth since the 17th century, the Old Bailey has seen hundreds of thousands of trials for every offense imaginable, along with serving as the setting for many important trials of the famous and infamous. Designed as a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the University of Hertfordshire, this ambitious project aims to create a fully searchable digitized collection of the Old Bailey's entire proceedings from 1674 to 1834. Currently, visitors can browse through 22,000 trials, from December 1714 to December 1759. The Web site indicates that the entire proceedings should be online by spring of 2004, so interested persons should continue to check back frequently. From the main page, visitors can search the proceedings (and elect to read a transcription of each trial or view the original document), read about the nature of the proceedings, and read some engaging background essays on crime and punishment through the court's history. [KMG]
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Stolen Children: Abduction and Recruitment in Northern Uganda [pdf]
Authored and researched by individuals who work for the Human Rights Watch Organization, this 31-page report documents the tragic situation faced by children in Uganda. Since 1986, members of the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda have abducted close to 20,000 children, often forcing them to serve as soldiers, laborers, and sexual slaves. The report estimates that since June of 2002, almost 5,000 children have been abducted. The report is based on field research conducted in February 2003, and includes interviews with eighteen children (who are now young adults), and a number of religious and civic leaders. The authors of the report have divided the work into six primary sections, including a summary of their findings, policy recommendations, background material, and documentation of how the children are recruited into the LRA. [KMG]
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The Robert Louis Stevenson Web Site
Perhaps best known for his novels "Treasure Island" and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Robert Louis Stevenson receives a fine tribute on this site, which serves both as a compendium of links, and as a nice resource for primary documents and writings by, and about, this notable 19th century writer. Created and maintained by Richard Drury, a graduate of the University of Manchester and a professor at the Universita di Bergamo, the site contains a number of thematic sections that address Stevenson's life, available online electronic editions of his works, and extended bibliographies. Visitors unfamiliar with the life of this rather fascinating man may want to start by reading one of the online essays about his life, or by diving right into one of the electronic editions of his works. Of particular interest to Stevenson scholars and aficionados will be the "Critical Reception" area of the site that explores the ways in which his work has been received over the past century or so. [KMG]
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National Transportation Library
Established in 1998 through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, the mission of the National Transportation Library is "to increase timely access to the information that supports transportation policy, research, operations, and technology transfer activities." Maintained by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, this site will be of great interest to anyone looking for any number of reports or metadata related to transportation across the United States. The "Digital Collection" area of the site is an authoritative compendium of over 9,220 documents related to various areas of transportation and transportation policy. The site is divided into such sections as aviation, freight, laws and regulations, and public transportation. Most of these documents are available in the HTML or pdf formats, and they include the metadata utilized in each report. The reference sources section is also quite helpful, as is the "Ask-A-Librarian" feature that allows users to submit transportation reference questions, along with viewing a list of previously answered questions. [KMG]
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Minority Business Development Agency [pdf]
Created in 1969 by executive order, the Minority Business Development Agency is the sole federal agency created "to foster the creation, growth, and expansion of minority-owned businesses in America." Along with the Agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., there are also five regional offices and four district offices that provide assistance to socially or economically disadvantaged individuals. While the Agency has no authority to make grant or loan guarantees to any individual, they are able to help identify external financing sources for various business expenses. From the home page, visitors can read about upcoming seminars, conferences, and workshops sponsored by the MBDA, along with reading about such helpful subjects as e-commerce and free internet courses on how to begin a new business. The publication section here is excellent, as it contains a number of reports on industry topics, such as growth opportunities for minorities in the telecommunications and automotive fields. [KMG]
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The Brooklyn Museum of Art
Brooklyn Expedition
Those of us who are not New Yorkers probably associate the Brooklyn Museum (BMA) with modern art from the controversial exhibition, SENSATION: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, October 1999-January 2000. But the museum's permanent collection includes Egyptian, Greek and Roman, and Ancient Middle Eastern Art; American and European paintings and sculpture from the 14th century to the present; as well as decorative arts, prints, costumes and textiles, and photography. The BMA Web site provides overviews and selected images from these collections, descriptions of current and upcoming shows, and research resources, such as the Learning Center, a multimedia center for students, teachers, and families providing art books, exhibition catalogues, and computers with internet access for art research (available by appointment), and the BMA Libraries and Archives. Much of the information on the BMA Web site is helpful for planning in-person visits to the museum. But there is also one entirely online resource, the Brooklyn Expedition, a kids' access point to explore Brooklyn via collections at the BMA, Brooklyn Children's Museum, and the Brooklyn Public Library. [DS]
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General Interest
Provided as a public service by ASPCA, this colorful Web site is designed to serve as a source of information about pets and other animals for young people. The site is divided into several main areas, including a pet care guide, "Real Issues," a section on humane education, and "Ask Azula" -- where young people can write in with their questions about animals, and Azula will respond accordingly. Many of the questions (and their answers) are archived here, including such queries as "What animal has the biggest ears?" and "Are white tigers rare?" The pet care guide is well designed, as visitors can learn about how to best care for their friendly animal companions. The humane education area provides age-appropriate material on alternatives to dissection, information about animal-safe science projects, and a children's bibliography that highlights books dealing with animals in some fashion. [KMG]
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Exploratorium: Traits of Life [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]
Designed to complement the redesigned Traits of Life exhibit at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, this fine site allows visitors to view a photo gallery of the new exhibit, investigate some provocative online exhibits, and explore a host of links that are germane to the nature of biology. The exhibits constitute the core of the material available at the site, and are divided into four thematic areas, including "The Stuff of Life," "Life Needs Energy," "Making More Life," and "Change Over Time." "The Stuff of Life" is quite fascinating, as it profiles cells with a flair for the interactive. Users can learn about the workings of a cell through the "Cell Explorer" exhibit, read an interview with David Goodsell (a molecular biologist), and view a poster that describes how proteins make muscles work. The other three areas of online exhibits are similarly arranged and provide a host of educational materials that can be used as teaching aids or as compelling intellectual diversions. [KMG]
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National Park System: American Battlefield Protection Program
Working under the aegis of the National Park Service's Heritage Preservation program, the goals of the American Battlefield Protection Program are "to protect battlefields and sites associated with armed conflicts that influenced the course of our history" and "to raise awareness of the importance of preserving battlefields." To that end, the NPS developed this site which collects a host of information about historically significant battlefields ranging from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. Persons looking to learn more about ongoing and current developments in the field will want to be sure to read the group's publication, "Battlefield News," which is available here for the years 1998 to 2002. As might be expected, the online publications area is quite strong. Here visitors can read publications that tell about the importance of protecting these sites, along with various studies that have detailed the existing conditions of battlegrounds such as those in the Shenandoah Valley. [KMG]
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Philadelphia Museum of Art: Degas and the Dance [Macromedia Flash Player]
Throughout his prolific career, Edgar Degas had an enduring passion for depicting dance scenes, in particular the world of 19th century ballet. While the real exhibit of "Degas and the Dance" may have concluded in May 2003, this virtual exhibit provided by the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a lovely way to explore the various works of art created by Degas dealing with dance. Appropriately enough, the exhibit is divided into different areas that correspond to such themes as "Portraits of Dancers", "In the Wings", and "Orgies of Color". Within each gallery, visitors can view a close up of each artwork, accompanied by a brief description that describes the medium, the provenance of each piece, and a bit about the subject. For some of the artworks, there is an audio clip that gives additional information and context. Finally, the "Degas for Kids" allows younger visitors the opportunity to interact some of the paintings by clicking on various elements of each work in order to find out about the ballerinas and their art. [KMG]
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Performing Arts in America, 1875-1923
Developed with the financial assistance from the NEA, this wonderful collection created by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, looks at the exuberant and dynamic world of the performing arts from the Gilded Age to the Roaring Twenties. The main element of this site is a searchable database of approximately 16,000 objects culled from the archival materials within the library's holdings. The printed ephemera contained within the database includes sheet music, newspaper clippings, photographs of theater and dance performances, and publicity posters. Visitors to the site can also elect to browse through the collection by selecting a number of formats, including books, moving images, or drawings. Included on the site are a number of brief introductions to the various collections, such as those dealing with music, theatrical productions, and dance. Overall, this is a very fine resource for those hoping to explore this fruitful period of American performing arts culture. [KMG]
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NOVA: Spies that Fly
Spies that Fly is a NOVA episode that originally aired in January 2003. This page of the television broadcast's online companion provides a fascinating historical account of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's). It will probably come as a surprise that the earliest UAV listed on this site was flown over four decades before the first manned airplane took off. From their modest beginnings, UAV's have evolved into extremely high tech instruments; the six-inch Black Widow UAV is one of the most extraordinary items described online. The Web site also shows some of the records for UAV technology. This site is also reviewed in the June 20, 2003 NSDL MET Report. [CL]
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Network Tools

MereSurfer 2003 3.0 [Windows Operatinig System]
This handy application will help users stop pop-up ads, along with erasing tracks of Internet activity while browsing the Web. Designed to work with Internet Explorer 5.0 (or higher), MereSurfer function as a browser extension, and along with stopping pop-up ads, removes all cookies, cache files, and typed URLs. MereSurfer 2003 3.0 is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]
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Snapperhead 4.6 [Macintosh Operating System]
Snapperhead 4.6 is a fun little program that sends screenshots to friends and colleagues who enter an IP address into a Web browser. Snapperhead can be customized in a variety of ways, including the ability to show part, or all, of the screen, and the ability to display other information such as open applications. This version of Snapperhead is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X and higher. [KMG]
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In The News

List of Worlds Most Expensive Cities Released
Tokyo Ranked Worlds Most Expensive City,0,808754.story?coll=chi-news-hed
Cost of Living Rising,5744,6603450%255E462,00.html
New York Tops Chart for Business Travelers;jsessionid=S0AFA2QXHEWZ0CIHAEEQOCA
Midtown Manhattan is the Worlds Most Expensive Shopping Location
Bureau of Labor: Consumer Price Index Home Page
CNN/ Best Places to Live
The number of surveys about the cost and livability of various cities have increased significantly over the past decade, and many of them are as heatedly argued over as are the yearly rankings of colleges and universities across the United States. This week the Mercer Human Resource Consulting group released its list of the 144 most expensive urban areas around the world. Not surprisingly, Asian cities took five of the top ten places in the survey, which compared the cost of close to 200 items, such as housing transportation, entertainment, and food. The three most expensive cities this year were Tokyo, Moscow, and Osaka, followed by Hong Kong, Beijing, and Geneva, Switzerland. Several cities made large leaps up the list from their 2002 rank, including Dublin, which rose from 73 spots to 21 on the list, and Paris, which moved from 74 to 23 on the list. The cheapest cities in which to live were Bogota, Columbia; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay.

The first link leads to a new article about the recent rankings from the Chicago Tribune. The second link leads to a news story from the Australian (Australias daily newspaper), and deals with the rising cost of living in urban areas around Australia. The third link leads to an interesting press release from the Mercer Consulting Group about the worlds most expensive places for business travelers, which (not surprisingly) finds New York City at the top of the list. The fourth link will take visitors to an interesting story from that names the worlds priciest retail locales, topped again by New York City (specifically the corner of 57th Street and 5th Avenue), followed by the Champs Elysees. The fifth link will be helpful to those persons looking to compare varying costs around the United States, as it leads to the Consumer Price Index home page, provided by the Bureau of Labor. The final link leads to the Best Places to Live index, where visitors can find statistics on their hometown and view a number of lists organized around themes such as Desert Living or Let it Snow, that may help those in search of a new place to hang their hat. [KMG]
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