The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 25

June 27, 2003

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In This Issue:

A Note to our Readers

NSDL Scout Reports

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

A Note to our Readers

Independence Day Holiday
Due to the July 4th holiday, our offices will be closed next Friday. Expect both the 25th Issue of the 9th Volume of the Scout Report, and the 13th Issue of the 2nd Volume of the Math, Engineering and Technology NSDL report to be sent out, and available on the Web site, on Thursday, July 3. [JPM]

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NSDL Scout Reports

NSDL Scout Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences}}
The thirteenth 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 Giants of the Animal Kingdom. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Quarries.
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Research and Education

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Founded in 1994, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is one of "the nation's leading health policy research centers and the premier source of health policy information for California." The staff at the Center includes nearly 60 full-time and part-time staff members, who work in consort with a number of departments and schools within UCLA, including the School of Public Health and the School of Public Policy and Social Research. The focus of the Center is three-pronged, and is focused largely on research, public service, and education. At the site, users can learn about these three thematic areas and, equally important, learn about the major outreach programs including the California Health Interview Survey and the American Indian and Alaska Native Research Program. The most compelling feature of the site is the section devoted to the online publications, which are divided into sections such as "Access to Health Care," "Health Care Economics," and "Health Insurance Coverage and Programs." While many of the research papers, briefs, and reports relate to work done solely in California, there are some broad-scale works available here that are worthy of attention from those working in the field of health care research and policy. [KMG]
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Consortium for Policy Research in Education
Created in an effort "to improve elementary and secondary education through practical research," the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), brings together researchers and scholars from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From the main page visitors can learn about the Consortium's research projects (both those still underway and those that are completed), read recent news briefs, browse through online publications, and look at a list of related education links. At the informational section of the site, visitors can learn about the CPRE's mission, history, funding sources, and various subject experts who work under the auspices of the organization. Within the research section of the site, visitors can read brief summaries of current projects, along with reading about completed projects and research opportunities at CPRE. Finally, visitors can browse through selected publications from the past 18 years of research at the CPRE, organized into policy briefs, research reports, and case studies dealing with such diverse topics as charter schools, educational reform, and capacity building. [KMG]
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The International Snow Leopard Trust [Macromedia Flash Player, RealOne Player]
The International Snow Leopard Trust (ISLT), based in Seattle, Washington, "is the oldest and largest organization focused solely on developing successful strategies for protecting the snow leopard and its habitat." Visitors to the ISLT Web site can read up on interesting cat facts, find the latest related news, browse descriptions of global conservation efforts, and more. Click on Classroom to access information about ISLT's "holistic package for teachers far from snow leopard counties to help their students understand different aspects of mountain biodiversity and conservation." Overviews of lesson plans ranging from grades 1 through 8 are provided. Interested users may contact ISLT via email to receive the free lesson plans. The lessons titled "All Ears for Adaptation: A lesson in ear design" (grades 1-6) and "Prey and Predator: A lesson on Interaction' (grades 1-8) have the most direct life science focus. The site also offers terrific snow leopard photos and video footage. This site is also reviewed in the June 27, 2003 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [RS]
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World Policy Institute [RealOne Player, pdf]
The World Policy Institute, located within the New School University since 1991, is concerned with promoting and engaging the public debate and scholarship surrounding international diplomacy and world politics. As such, the Institute seeks to "offer innovative policy proposals for public debate with the goal of developing an internationalist consensus on the measures needed for the management of a world market economy" and "to nurture a new generation of writers and public intellectuals committed to internationalist thinking." From the well-organized home page, users can read current and archived issues of the World Policy Journals (one of WPI's scholarly publications), read about ongoing research projects (including those dealing with the international arms trade and counter-terrorism), and find out about events sponsored by the Institute. Perhaps the highlight of the site is the archive, including lecture and discussion video recordings, which address such topics as "The Democratic Deficit in Latin America" and "Nation Building: Does it Work?" and are viewable in their entirety. [KMG]
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USGS West Nile Virus Maps
Given the increased concern over contagious diseases and viruses spread by various host animals and insects (such as the West Nile virus), these maps provided by the USGS are both helpful in their pragmatic applications, and for those studying the spatial distribution of the West Nile virus. The Web site begins with a brief background essay on the history of the virus, how the virus is transmitted, and the symptoms that may be evident by those who have become infected. The maps track which states have tested various carriers (such as birds, humans, and mosquitoes) for West Nile virus, and where these tests have turned up positive results. The Web site is updated frequently, and where available, also contains links to state and county public health agencies. [KMG]
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GIS Dictionary
The on-line GIS Dictionary Web site is maintained by the Association for Geographic Information and the University Of Edinburgh Department of Geography. The database contains definitions for nearly one thousand terms related to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This relatively new method of mapping is becoming more popular and more commonly used by laypersons who still may need assistance when learning or using a GIS. This dictionary does a good job of providing a simple way to search or browse terms and acronyms related to the subject. Results contain brief descriptions and references as well as a related terms link for additional information. June 27, 2003 NSDL Physical Sciences Report. [JAB]
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The Wise Guide
The federal government and the Library of Congress, in particular, maintain and develop hundreds of Web sites. For the user, navigating this online labyrinth can be rather daunting. Thankfully, the Library of Congress has partnered with the Ad Council to create the "Wise Guide," which is refreshed monthly (much like a magazine or periodical), and offers links to "the best of the Library's online materials." Currently, the site has eight archived issues of the Wise Guide and the most current edition as well. In the most recent edition (June 2003), visitors can follow links to materials dealing with Father's Day, John Philip Sousa (and the recent reconstruction of his "Library of Congress March"), and an amusing collection of dance instruction manuals from 1490 to 1920. This helpful online compendium will be a great boon to those looking to keep up to date about some of the most useful online materials available from a number of federal government sponsored sites. [KMG]
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General Interest

Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph Of Flemish Manuscript Painting
Manuscript Painting In Europe
Visitors to the Web version of this Getty Museum exhibition may well have an advantage over on-site visitors. While the physical exhibition features more than 130 illuminated books produced in Flanders between 1470 and 1560, viewers at the Web site have a chance to get much closer to twenty selected manuscripts, using the Zoom & Explore functions provided. Click a thumbnail to investigate a single page, zooming, panning, "pushing" the image around with the mouse, and linking to audio and additional information. For example, Alexander takes the hand of Roxanne, from the Book of the Deeds of Alexander the Great, ca. 1468-70, shows Alexander choosing his future wife from thirty virgins assembled at a banquet. Although Alexander lived over a century before the book was created, the people depicted are dressed in the height of Renaissance fashion, and links provide more information on their clothing, hats, and hair styles. [DS]
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Infrared Zoo Gallery
Animals have been a furtive ground of exploration for artists for millennia, and they have been represented elegantly in painting, sculpture, and photographs, to name just a few of the most popular media used in their depiction. This novel online collection from the California Institute of Technology features dozens of animals in a whole new light: Infrared. Recently, a team of researchers took photographs of animals with a thermal infrared camera in an attempt to offer visual evidence of the differences between warm and cold-blooded animals. On the site, visitors can view photographs of chickens, flamingos, swans, tigers, and seals taken with this type of camera. The photos give the ability to see the dramatic temperature variations within the body of any given animal. The site also features a nice essay on the significance of being warm or cold blooded, and how these conditions affect their activity levels and what environments they prefer. [KMG]
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Colonial Williamsburg [Macromedia Flash Player]
In 1926, at the urging of the Revered Dr. D.A.R. Goodwin, John D. Rockefeller Jr. began a complex and elaborate restoration project in the quiet town of Williamsburg that sought to preserve a few of the more important Revolutionary War-era buildings around the town. The project became increasingly ambitious, and eventually grew to encompass around 85 percent of the town's area from the 18th century. Today, Colonial Williamsburg is the world's largest living history museum, and is noted for its ability to incorporate and interpret diverse perspectives on America's colonial period. Those persons unable to visit Colonial Williamsburg in person may want to first peruse the "Explore & Learn" section of the site, where they can learn about the different social and ethnic groups that inhabited the town (such as African-American slaves and colonial children), and see the various buildings within the community. The archaeology section of the site is particularly compelling, as visitors can learn about the many ongoing projects underway, and younger users can learn about the practice of archaeology through various games, quizzes, and puzzles. Additionally, users can read selected articles from the organization's popular history magazine, "Colonial Williamsburg," dating back to 1992. [KMG]
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Medieval Writing [Macromedia Flash Reader]
Developed and maintained by Dr. Dianne Tillotson, this site is a good location to begin learning about handwriting and manuscript production in the Middle Ages. Needless to say, the art and science of deciphering these manuscripts is terribly time-consuming and complicated. The site is divided into approximately thirteen sections, and first-time visitors would do well to read the "What is paleography?" essay first, in order to learn about this elaborate decoding process. The other sections of the site describe (through words, illustrations, and photographs) the life of a scribe during the Middle Ages, the tools utilized to produce the manuscripts, and the various forms that manuscripts took during this historical era. One rather delightful aspect of the site are the paleography exercises where visitors can try their hand at deciphering various passages from medieval manuscripts, including Dante's Inferno and the Book of Hours. [KMG]
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Pigments Through the Age
Various aspects of painting have long been discussed in the fields of art history and visual culture, but few have taken a close look at the nature of pigments within painting, or in a broader context. This online exhibit looks at the storied history of a number of different pigments, and also looks at the historical perceptions of their respective appearances and nuances. The exhibit begins by looking at pigments in prehistory (such as carbon black), and continues through the eventual discovery of mineral pigments, then the use of synthetic iron oxide pigments. After this introductory section, visitors can browse through a drop-down menu containing a list of over twenty-five pigments, such as Egyptian blue, cadmium yellow, and emerald green. For each pigment, visitors can learn about the history of its use, how the pigment was (or is) made, and its technical details (i.e., its chemical properties). [KMG]
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Illustrated Database of Mexican Biodiversity
Designed as a vehicle for showcasing the extraordinary biological diversity of Mexico, this well-designed site is rather user-friendly, and provides a host of material about the flora and fauna of the country. Visitors can dive right in by looking through the "Animals," "Plants," or "Places" sections of the site. Within each section, visitors can read brief essays, search for various animals or plants by their common names, and examine maps that document the various levels of plant or animal biodiversity across the entire country. The "Places" section is also helpful, as visitors can read about the national protected landscape areas within Mexico, including the Yucatan moist forests of Quintana Roo, or the Mexican Highland lakes. Finally, the site also includes a sound and photo gallery where visitors can listen to a number of mammals, reptiles, and birds that are indigenous to the different regions of Mexico. [KMG]
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Network Tools

Safari Bookmark Exporter 1.0.2 [Macintosh Operating System]
This handy little application is designed to export bookmarks from the Safari Web browser program to a host of other Web browsers. After downloading the Exporter application, users can select the desired browser, click on "Export Bookmarks," and then save the bookmark file to the appropriate location. Safari Bookmark Exporter 1.0.2 is compatible with all systems running Mac OSX and higher. [KMG]
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Phase Out 5.0 [Windows Operating System]
Phase Out 5.0 is a fully customizable Web browser designed for use with all systems running Windows 98 and higher. Some of the features included with Phase Out 5.0 include the ability to receive and send emails through various email clients, the ability to send photos quickly (provided a Web-cam is installed), and the ability to preview numerous Web sites and view their download progress. Finally, users can also download any one of the ten skins developed for Phase Out, which range from the more traditional to more forward-looking arrangements of command tools and tabs. [KMG]
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In The News

Centenary of George Orwell's Birth Celebrated
A Seer's Blind Spots
Blacklisted Writer Says Illness Clouded Orwell's Judgement,3604,983764,00.html
Gates Says Big Brother Not Necessarily Bad
BBC: Christopher Hitchens on George Orwell [RealOne Player]
George Orwell, 1903-1950
George Orwell: Voice of A Long Generation
This past Wednesday, many persons and groups around the world paid homage to George Orwell, the author who wrote such important works as "1984" and "Animal Farm." Born Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903 in Bengal, Orwell (his pen name) was educated at Eton, and spent part of his youth in Burma. Orwell was best known for his distrust of authoritarianism and, though he had published several novels, leapt into the public eye with his 1945 work, "Animal Farm." The work was a satire of Stalinist communism, and contained such trenchant commentaries on its inherent paradoxes as: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." While Orwell's literary notoriety and merit remains largely secure today, his devotion to the causes he espoused came under question when it was revealed that he turned over a list of "crypto-communists and fellow travelers" to a British Foreign Office propaganda unit in 1949.

The first link leads to a recent piece about the legacy and life of Orwell, written by Glenn Frankel of the Washington Post's Foreign Service office. The second link will take visitors to a story from the Guardian in which one of the supposed "crypto-communists" named by Orwell discusses the reasons Orwell may have created such a list. The third link leads to an online Globe and Mail article that talks about a speech given by Bill Gates recently where he notes that technology can "prevent the nightmare vision of George Orwell" from becoming a reality. The fourth link will take visitors to several video clips (and a printed transcript) in which Andrew Marr of the BBC interviews Christopher Hitchens (author of "Orwell's Victory") about what Orwell might think about the world today. The fifth link leads to a site that offers a number of sections devoted to the writings and musings of Orwell, including his famous essay, "A Nice Cup of Tea." The final link leads to a biographical essay about Orwell written by Sir Bernard Crick.
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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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