The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 27

July 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 Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences
The ninth 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 Cyles of Life. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Humidity.
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Research and Education

The Brush Creek Follies: Photos, Sound & Video from the Arthur B. Church Collection [RealOne Player]
From the rise of radio in the United States there has been an interest in live-broadcasts, and the live-broadcast of country music shows has been no exception. This novel collection of visual materials (including stills and brief film clips), from the Arthur B. Church Collection and the University of Missouri at Kansas Citys Special Collections department, focuses on the Brush Creek Follies, Kansas Citys long-running radio program that featured country music. On the sites home page, visitors can enter one of several sections dedicated to different aspects of the Follies, such as various characters from the show and some of the shows favorite performers. In this last section, visitors can learn (and hear) about Tex Owens, KMBCs original Singing Cowboy and the popular female duo, Millie and Sue. Of great entertainment value are the numerous recordings interspersed through the site, such as Colorado Petes Little Girl Dressed in Blue and the Willis Brothers Warm Beer and a Cold, Cold, Woman. [KMG]
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Foreign From Victory to Success: Afterwar Policy in Iraq [pdf]
Published by the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, Foreign Policy has been well-regarded for its coverage of international affairs and policy for over three decades. In this special 24-page feature, various researchers and scholars offer their perspectives regarding afterwar policy in Iraq in an attempt to "address some of the most pressing issues." Some of the issues covered by this feature include an examination of whether the war curbed or stoked terrorism, what the best way to rebuild Iraq might be, and whether the world can reach a consensus on how to handle weapons of mass destruction. The commentators in this feature include Minxin Pei, Anatol Lieven, Marian S. Ottaway, and Jessica Tuchman Mathews. Finally, the feature concludes with a brief listing of sources for additional reading, such as policy briefs, other reports, and full-length books and monographs. [KMG]
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BioMedNet: The Endocrine Society 2003 Meeting
BioMedNet presents this detailed report on the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, held recently in Philadelphia. Journalistic coverage of the event offers an engaging account of the "startling variety of research taking place under the endocrinology banner." Readers will find presentation summaries for each day of the 4-day event, as well as profiles of a few participating researchers. As the Web site describes: "From sex reversal in alligators to ongoing controversies on the subject of hormone replacement therapy, there really was something for everyone." Users must first complete a free registration with BioMedNet to view this site, which also includes links to related full-text articles published in various scientific journals (abstracts available for free). This site is also reviewed in the July 11, 2003 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [RS]
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Pathfinders & Passageways: The Exploration of Canada
From the first ancestors of the Paleo-Indian peoples who crossed the Bering land bridge to the northward explorations of Roald Amundsen many millennia later, many have sought to explore and map the modern-day country of Canada. This fine online exhibit from the National Library of Canada (available in French and English) tells the story of these travelers and explorers through maps and essays that contain a number of helpful hyperlinks. Not surprisingly, the site is divided chronologically, with areas that address the prominent explorers from each era, along with shorter background profiles about germane topics, such as medical risks faced by these hardy individuals and their methods of transportation. Of course, no discussion of these explorers would be complete without providing material on the development and technology involved with the creation of meaningful and accurate maps. In this regard, there is a four-part essay that addresses the history of mapmaking and map production. Overall, this site offers a nice overview of the exploration of the country over its long history. [KMG]
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Humans have had a fascination with genealogy and the record of familial ties for thousands of years, and one need only look at the fastidious nature of dynastic record-keeping in ancient Egypt or the genealogies recounted in the Bible for ample evidence of this phenomenon. For the beginning researcher, or the more advanced genealogist, Genealogy will be a welcome addition to the numerous sites dealing with researching family history, both online and in archives. The site is divided into several broad sections, including Getting Started, Family History, and Research Tools. Along the left side of the sites home page are a number of additional themed areas, such as a surname search engine, Team Roots (which contains free research tools), and an area dedicated to explaining genealogy to young people. The Getting Started section may have some of the most helpful material on the site, as it addresses the nature of beginning a new family genealogy project, along with providing some information about how best to use resources such as the United States census and newspapers. [KMG]
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Environment: Oceanography Index
Practical Ocean Energy Management Systems, Inc. (POEMS) establishes a forum for ocean-based energy development that supports Research and Development on the full range of issues involved in the extraction, storage and transmission of power from the ocean. Educational material is offered on the Environment: Oceanography Index page of the Web site, which includes dozens of topics to help students understand oceanography and the environment. The subjects covered include beaches, continental drift, currents, oceans, storms, tides, tsunamis, and waves. Each of these links brings the user to the related page, which contains thorough descriptions, graphics, calculations, links, and other helpful material for students. Although the rest of the site is a bit difficult to explore, there are some additional quality materials that educators may want to include in a lesson or let students explore on their own. This site is also reviewed in the July 11, 2003 NSDL Physical Sciences Report. [JAB]
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Art of the First Cities: The Third Millenium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus [Flash]
Designed to complement "Art of the First Cities" -- an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum through August 17, 2003 --this Web site presents almost two dozen examples of Third Millennium B.C. art from the region called the "cradle of civilization," an area stretching from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean across Iran and Central Asia to the Indus Valley. The site is divided into eight thematic sections: Masterpieces, Cities, The Ruler, The Divine World, Death and Burial, Writing, Seals and Sealing, Clothing and Personal Adornment. The Masterpieces section is almost a checklist of featured items, showing images that reappear in other sections, such as the Standard of Ur, appearing in Masterpieces and The Ruler. The Cities section includes both architectural artifacts and views of the ancient cities of Troy, Uruk, Nippur, Ur, Mohenjo-daro, for example, a cone mosaic fragment from Uruk, accompanied by a photographic reconstruction showing columns with cone mosaic applied; or a nineteenth-century engraving showing Troy. Over 700 more Third Millennium artifacts are depicted in the exhibition catalog, Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus.[DS]
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General Interest

BBC Radio 4: Hearing Colours, Eating Sounds [RealOne Player]
In this two-part radio series from BBC Radio 4, the condition of synaesthesia is explored through interviews with scientists and those who have been diagnosed with the condition. Synaesthesia is a condition in which the five senses intermingle, so that stimulation in one sense may give rise to a stimulation in another sense. For one example, certain letters of the alphabet may be associated with certain colors for a synaesthete. The program here is divided into two 30-minute sections. The first program explores the experiences of several synaesthetes, such as James Wannerton who tastes spoken words, and Jane Mackay, who sees shapes and colors when she hears music. The second part of the program examines the mounting evidence that we all start life with the potential for synaesthesia." The study of this condition is pushing the boundaries of neuroscience, and this provocative exploration of this condition and its study offered by the BBC is quite engaging and informative. [KMG]
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Bering Climate [pdf]
The beauty of the Web as a communication tool for scientists is the opportunity for instantaneously exchanging and sharing datasets and finding. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has developed an amazing site, offering exceptionally well organized access to its databases including the categories of Climate Indices, Atmosphere, Ocean, Fishery, and Biology. These entire project is all part of a very well stated mission to better understand the complex relationship of climatic and ecosystem changes in Arctic and Bering Sea. As the site states, this can be a tricky issue doe to the fact that "climate change impacts ecosystems, and ecosystems serve as indicators for climate change." The idea is to develop indices which will help to monitor and measure changes in the ecosystems of these area. The Web is meant to be transitional and offer date as it is summarized and prepared for download. This site should be of great use to teachers and students interested in oceanography and ecology, as well as those interested in climatology. Yet, a project like this definitely demonstrates just how interdisciplinary the sciences have become in lieu of the forces of interrelatedness of nature and climate. [JPM]
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National Trust for Historic Preservation
Chartered by the United States Congress over fifty years ago, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit organization which was formed in order "to encourage public participation in the preservation of sites, buildings, and objects significant in American history." Since that time, the National Trust has worked to preserve a host of structures that have some importance to American culture and history, along with providing stewardship to 21 sites (including the home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright) under their immediate direction. From the home page, visitors can learn about assistance programs available from the National Trust for preserving local Main Streets or structures, along with learning about the various sites administered by the Trust. Perhaps the most helpful section of the site is the area devoted to articles from the Trusts monthly publication, Preservation. Here visitors can learn about ongoing preservation issues and read selected issues from the current issue and the online archives. [KMG]
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Ballparks of Baseball
In some ways, nothing says summer in the United States like sitting outside in a ballpark and watching nine innings of Americas favorite sport. This loving tribute to the venues (past, current, and future) that have housed various professional baseball teams is a great way to learn about some of the most hallowed (and most reviled) ballparks around the country. The Features section of the site has some fun material, including updated news about ballparks (such as Citizens Bank Park, which is now under construction in Philadelphia), webcams, seating charts, and attendance figures. Within that same section, visitors can chime in and rate their experiences at the different ballparks around the country. For those looking for a trip down memory lane, look no further than the Past section, which is devoted to ballparks that are no longer in existence. Here visitors can read brief profiles and look at photographs of such legendary parks as old Shibe Park, and ones that have recently gone to their eternal reward, like the Kingdome in Seattle. [KMG]
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Remembering Harold: Photographs from the Harold Washington Archives and Collections [QuickTime]
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, the late Harold Washington made history in 1983 when he was elected mayor after receiving 51 percent of the vote. Given the citys racial segregation and at times tumultuous race relations, the victory was considered a major accomplishment in the annals of Chicago history. Drawing on the collections held by the Chicago Public Library, this online exhibit offers a small glimpse into the Washington mayoral era in the city through a collection of photographs, a brief video clip, and a virtual tour of the exhibit located in the Special Collections area of the Harold Washington Public Library in Chicagos Loop. The image galleries are divided into six sections, including politics, famous persons, and ethnic and constituency groups. In the galleries, visitors can look at a number of candid photographs of Washington with local politicians, dignitaries, and famous celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey and Frank Sinatra. The site is rounded out by a short video clip of Harold Washington announcing his candidacy in the 1983 Chicago mayoral race. [KMG]
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Planetizen: The Planning and Development Network
Over the past few decades, many ideas in the field of planning have become almost buzz-words in the popular press, including Sustainable Development and New Urbanism. With the increased interest in planning, PLANetizen was created three years ago as "a public-interest information exchange for the urban planning and development community." The site features a host of frequently updated links to recent news stories that address one of the facets of planning (such as gentrification), job opportunities, commentary, and conference announcements. Guests to the site may also elect to sign up for their electronic newsletter, and may even choose to have it delivered to any number of handheld devices, including Windows CE or Palm. The site also includes a list of the 20 "all-time greatest planning titles," which includes such familiar selections as "Good City Form" by Kevin Lynch and "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson. [KMG]
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Network Tools

MacResponder 1.0
With summer in full swing, many individuals may be concerned about their ability to respond to emails while on vacation. For those persons, MacResponder 1.0 may be a handy and useful application. Fully customizable, MacResponder is an automated email responder that works with multiple email accounts and also features rule-based settings to customize what is sent. MacResponder 1.0 is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X and higher. [KMG]
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AI RoboForm 5.1.4
RoboForm 5.1.4 is an application that serves as a password manager and a one-click Web form filler. RoboForm has a variety of useful features, including its ability to generate Secure Random Passwords, the encryption of passwords, and the synchronization of passwords to a Palm device. Additionally, RoboForm contains no adware, and is available as an add-on to such popular browsers as Internet Explorer and Mozilla. Roboform 5.1.4 is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]
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In The News

Le Tour Begins: Racing Globally, Biking Locally
Le Tour: The Official Tour Site
A Cultural History of the Tour de France
BBC: History of the Tour
Peddling History Bicycle
League of American Bicyclists
National Center for Bicycling and Walking
Lance Armstrong Official Site
Started as a publicity stunt for a French newspaper in 1903, the race was won that year by a popular rider nicknamed, The Chimney Sweep. Little did Maurice Garin know that he had sparked a one-hundred year legacy that leaves millions tuned in from around the world annually. The Tour de France bicycle race marks its centenary this year. A far cry from the original race that forced riders to go without sleep while riding through the night and left them dodging nails thanks to sly spectators, the race is still no cakewalk. It includes 20 stages that take riders through beautiful, flower-lined fields and around narrow streets. And then there are the mountains, described by some as the agony of the Alps. Of course, not everyone has been bothered by them. The cyclist of the century --so far-- has been a cold-blooded Texan by the name of Lance Armstrong. Fueled by a superhuman power to climb hills faster than most people would dare go down them, Armstrong has repeatedly decimated the field while in the Alps. Looking for a record-sharing fifth title, the upcoming mountain stages will be of great interest to those of us in on our couches as well as those riders hoping to stay close to Armstrong's tail. Around the world, cycling has also seen a renaissance, with citizens commuting via bike in lieu of their cars. Whether it is a gas-saving measure, an environment preserver, or a public transit reason, the bike is gaining speed on the car. Any discussion of the world's cycling focal point, Le Tour, must include consideration for those that may not want to ride the Alps and instead want to ride to work.

The first link leads to the official Tour de France Web site and is offered in eight different languages. The site includes live coverage of the race, along with detailed maps, technical descriptions of the stages, information on the centenary, a good searchable archive section, and lots more. The next two sites offer an historical look at Le Tour. The first is a Web site for a history seminar course offered at the University of Toronto and strives to analyze the "history of the worlds toughest endurance race through the twin lenses of French culture and athletic competition." Definitely a unique course offering, and a site with very good resources and links. The next is a very comprehensive and well-organized site by the BBC which offers a great collection of historical essays for several eras of the race, from 1903 to 2000. The fourth link is a site that offers a very good history of the bicycle, from those oddly engineered, and exceptionally uncomfortable, early bikes through the several iterations to today's high tech machines. The next two sites are both focused on citizen cyclists and cycling advocacy. The first is a site by the League of American Bicyclists and not only serves as a good reference for local cycling groups, but also gives very current news on pending federal legislation related to cycling. The next is a site from the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, a program of the Bicycle Federation of America that seeks to provide "information and resources to communities and professionals working to create more activity-friendly communities." The last site takes you back to the leader of the pack, Lance Armstrong's official site. Whether you loathe him, adore him, or are simply amazed by him, Armstrong's official site offers you the chance to take a ride with him -- but probably not on a tandem bike, and hopefully not near any hills. [JPM]
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