The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 28

July 18, 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

The Internet Scout Project would like feedback on, a project created with funding from the Claire Giannini Hoffman Fund. This new Scout project is designed to connect children to high quality materials online which will help them learn foreign languages. We would love to get your opinions about the site and, to that end, we have set up a quick survey.
Please take the time to look over the site and fill out the survey. Your feedback will provide us with information which will strengthen and improve!!
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NSDL Scout Reports

NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology
The fourteenth issue of the second volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Power Grid Issues.
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Research and Education

Global Nomads Group: Project Voice: After The War
Global Nomads Group is a Non-profit organization that promotes understanding among the world's youth. GNG transcends national and cultural boundaries by bringing young people from around the world together, face-to-face, to discuss today's world. As part of GNG's Project Voice, days before the US-led invasion of Iraq in March, 2003, a small group of Iraqi High School students from Baghdad College and American Students from the Metropolitan Learning Center in Connecticut met face-to-face via a videoconference. They discussed their lives, and the impending war. In June, 2003 the group met once again to share their post-war feelings and reactions. The Webcast of the meeting can be viewed at this Web site. There is also a very interesting online diary and a list of quality links for information on Iraq. This site is very educational and the general public could benefit from watching the Webcast. The site might also be a good educational resource for High school and College students. [TJS]
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Historic Pelham
Pelham, New York is a city rich with history, dating back to 1654 when Thomas Pell purchased the land from the Siwanoy Native American Indian tribe. The history of the city is detailed in a timeline that begins in the 1500s and includes significant event such as the Battle of Pelham fought in 1776 and the Pelhamville Train Wreck in 1885. This site also highlights some of the more famous people who have ties to Pelham. For example, it is rumored that Aaron Burr, the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in an infamous duel in 1804, spent a couple summers in Pelham with his wife. In addition to historical information on the city of Pelham, the Web site includes a section with ghost stories and legends, photographs of the city, and descriptions of historical landmarks. [KH]
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Agilent Technologies: Engineering and the Guitar
This series of five introductory modules comes from Agilent Technologies' massive Educator's Corner Web site. It is mainly intended to teach high school students about some of the most fundamental principles of engineering, using a guitar to demonstrate concepts like frequency and tensile strength. At the same time, the material stresses the importance of critical thinking and taking an analytical approach to problems -- characteristics that are the sign of a good engineer. To encourage this mentality, the modules lead the user through a basic derivation of the formula for the frequency of vibration of a guitar string. This is initially done with very little hard math; rather, the derivation is primarily based on intuition, and it can be verified with mathematical analysis. This site is also reviewed in the July 18, 2003 NSDL MET Report. [CL]
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By the Way Online
Road Age Media produces content for the heritage travel industry, focusing on back roads and main streets. Their fun and informative publication, By the Way Magazine, finds the "gems of the back roads" across America. Their colorful Web site offers the current issue as well as archived features and reports. The Features section on the site offers video reports of various interesting topics such as vintage diners on the move. The latest report follows Minella's Main Line Diner as it leaves its birthplace in Wayne, PA. Check out the gift shop to purchase back issues of the print edition, post card booklets, and a Diner Finder guide. Whether you are looking to discover gems of the backroads in your own hometown or planning a trip across America, this site and magazine are well worth stopping at along the way. [TJS]
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Amnesty International-Report 2003 [pdf]
Amnesty International recently released its 2003 Report, which "documents human rights abuses in 151 countries and territories during 2002" and "is a contribution to the work of human rights defenders struggling to achieve a safer world, a world where human rights take priority over political, military or economic interests." Those interested will find summaries of human rights situations around the world and Amnesty International's specific concerns in each. Although the full report must be ordered for a small charge, the Web site contains a significant amount of information including a message from the Secretary General, a 2002 "in focus" section, a description of Amnesty's activities, news stories, multimedia products, regional summaries, and information on each nation's specific activities. [JAB]
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Backcheck: A Hockey Retrospective [Macromedia Flash Player]
In Canada, to grow up with ice in your veins is considered a terrifically good thing. For well over a hundred years, Canadians have lived --almost symbiotically-- with ice hockey. While their American neighbors claim ownership over a multitude of cultural identities --like baseball and basketball-- to varying degrees of seriousness, Canadians truly eat, sleep, and breath hockey as the sole definition of who they are. This site, produced by the National Library of Canada, does an exceptional job of providing visitors with very well arranged material reflecting on the history of hockey in Canada. In fact, while very few Web sites provide much of interest on their home pages, the letter of introduction by Roch Carrier truly makes you want to delve into Backcheck and take in some of this fascinating history. The site includes several historical articles, the gems of the site, that take you all the way back to the patent of the ice skate and the introduction of women in hockey --including a picture of Lord Stanley's daughter playing hockey circa 1890 (thought to be the earliest photograph of women playing the sport). Also a part of the site is a small, but interesting, educational resources section including lessons for grades 4 through 12. Check it out. [JPM]
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World Heritage: Welcome to the Wet Tropics [pdf]
This Web site serves as a visitors guide to tropical North Queenslands World Heritage Area -- "the sort of place you could travel to over and over again and still not see everything." The same might be said of this incredibly comprehensive Web site, which provides pages and pages of information about Australias wet tropics. Virtual visitors can read up on the flora and fauna of the region, check out some of the sights, learn about Aboriginal culture, and much more. The site also offers a downloadable Cassowary Education Kit (for grades 5-7) and a Wet Tropics Library, providing "a comprehensive and easy to access collection of information related to the Wet Tropics and the Wet Tropics Management Authority." [RS]
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General Interest

Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks
What better way to beat the heat than to imagine diving into the deep, cool waters of Lake Superior (average temp: Ten degrees above freezing) without having to leave your desk. This exceptional shipwreck site, produced by the Wisconsin Historical Society and the UW Madison Sea Grant Institute, allows the visitor to pick her or his lake, Superior or Michigan, and explore the many shipwrecks that are chronicled there. The exhibits include photo galleries and video, taking the visitor up-close with these fascinating underwater artifacts. Deeper in the site is a section called Notes in the Field, where scientists involved in this summer's exploration of the Kate Kelly, a schooner that reefed between Milwaukee and Chicago in 1895, provide a daily log of their activities. Also off of this link is another link to the Kids' Corner, which provides all sorts of good information for kids and teachers about underwater archaeology and shipwrecks. This is definitely a site worth diving into. [JPM]
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Tate Gallery: Turner Online
This Web site is devoted to Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 - 1851), one of Britain's most famous, and somewhat controversial, artists. Turner displayed his first oil painting at the Royal Academy at the age of 21, and he remained actively involved at the Academy for the rest of his life. The site provides a brief biography of the artist as well as a timeline in which Turner's accomplishments are placed in the context of other political and cultural events. Since Turner's art was somewhat controversial this site also includes feedback from other artists and writers, such as Constable, Ruskin, and Matisse. Finally, the Web site includes Focus Sheets for teachers who take their students to Tate, the location of the national collections of British Art and international modern art. [KH]
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Simple Steps to Better Dental Health [Macromedia Flash Player]
Simple Steps to Better Dental Health is a joint project of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and the health insurance company, Aetna. The site serves as "an independent consumer dental portal," offering loads of nicely presented Web pages on just about anything youd ever want to know about dental health. The content falls into three main sections: Prevent Problems, Understanding Conditions, and Explore Treatments. The site is bursting with interactive tools and easy-to-understand diagrams, and also includes a section just for kids. From head and neck anatomy to cosmetic dentistry to your basic cavity, this Web site is a fantastically comprehensive resource that would be worth bookmarking for future reference. [RS]
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Alexander Palace Time Machine: LIfe in a Romanov Palace
This site, created by Russian history enthusiast and preservation advocate, Robert Atchison, provides abundant information about the Alexander Palace in St. Petersburg. Atchison became fascinated with the palace as a child and has traveled to Russia multiple times to push for the palace's restoration -- the beautiful neo-classical structure built by Catherine the Great had been used as a military installation by the Soviet Baltic Fleet since the 1950s. The site gives users access to a variety of types of information, including biographies (written primarily by Atchison) about those associated with the palace, floor plans, photos and links to related sites. [REB]
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The Book Report Network "is a group of websites founded in 1996 that share thoughtful book reviews, compelling features, in-depth author profiles and interviews, excerpts of the hottest new releases, literary games and contests, and more with readers every week.", which is part of a network described as "THE place online for teens to talk about their fave books --- and find the hippest new titles!" Visitors to the site will find book reviews and highlights, newsletters, author spotlights, book club information, reading guides for teens, and much more. The quality abundance of material provided on the site is in-depth enough for the hard-core bookworm and fun and inviting enough for the occasional teen reader who's looking for a summer read. [JAB]
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Choral Public Domain Library [PDF, MIDI, MP3]
Begun in 1998, the Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) is a free sheet music Web site which provides scores, primarily for choral music. It currently offers users over 5,000 scores to choose from -- most of which are in the public domain. Users can search the CPDL database using composer or title or browse by composer's name. The project lists over 200 volunteers who have contributed scores to the Web site; while new users can join CPDL and submit their scores or link their own sites and scores. CPDL also offers a newsletter which users can subscribe to and a nicely organized Related Links section. [REB]
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Network Tools

iSync 1.1 [dmg]
Gone are the days of repetitive address book and calendar management, thanks to Apple Computer's new iSync software. Mac users who maintain these items on both a computer and a supported portable device can keep them fully synchronized. Rather than having to re-enter data, a iSync simultaneously updates both devices via a wireless connection. Although the number of supported devices is still somewhat limited, it has grown since the previous version and includes mobile phones, PDA's, and Apple's iPod. Many useful features are incorporated into iSync's straightforward interface, making it a timesaving alternative to manually managing personal data. This tool can be acquired free of charge after a brief registration. [CL]
Status: E
Email: web form
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Smart Popup Killer 1.25 [exe]
Possibly the most irritating distractions when surfing the Web are pop-up advertisements. Not only do they detract from a site's intended content, but they can also reduce the speed of downloading other documents. Smart Popup Killer attempts to block these annoyances, as well as addressing other common concerns of Web users. For example, the software can "automatically clean cookies to protect privacy online." Recognizing that some popup items may be acceptable to users, the Smart Popup Killer has a list of user-defined trusted sites that are allowed to load such ads. It is available at no cost from this Web site. [CL]
Status: E
Email: none
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In The News

Bluegrass: Pickin' and Grinnin' to the Sounds of Summer
Planet Bluegrass
International Bluegrass Music Association
NPR: Honky Tonk, Hyms, and the Blues
Rolling Stone: Louvin Brothers Tribute Album Russian Band's Bluegrass Roots
The Bluegrass Museum
Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and Academy for Kids
While Jazz may be the only (disputably) American art form, the roots of traditional, and authentically American music, are deeply embedded in the hills and farms of the early colonies. Mountain Music, Country Music, or Bluegrass all called for picking up easy-to-find instruments and singing songs about daily life. This genre of music has gone through many iterations and evolutions in its history, including a huge boom and popularity of Country Music throughout the twentieth century. Yet, the foundation of the music has remained constant: Harmonies, foot-stomping rhythms, lots of fiddling and plucking, and lyrics reflecting everyday life. It may be because of this connection to people's desire to meld nature and music that Bluegrass has stood the test of time. In fact, traditional style Bluegrass has seen a resurgence as of late. With festivals all summer long, camps and schools to learn the music, and an unending sea of recordings, Bluegrass seems to be everywhere. And, on a sultry summer night, there's just about nothing better than a front porch swing and some Bluegrass in the air.

While the famous Telluride Bluegrass Festival has come and gone, summer isn't even half over. So, there are plenty of quality Bluegrass festivals to be found. The first link is to Planet Bluegrass, an exceptionally organized site providing festival information, including ticket availability, schedules, and lots more. The second site will help get you tuned up with some the culture of Bluegrass before hitting the festival trail. The IBMA site's About Bluegrass section includes a good brief overview of Bluegrass history from Jamestown to "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" And, there is a great section devoted to finding a college-level Bluegrass school for those looking for a career change or a wishing their guidance counselor would stop saying they should be a beekeeper. An ongoing series on NPR is highlighted in the third site. The series, Honky Tonk, Hymns, and the Blues "Chronicles American Music from Back Roads to Big City." Next, the fourth site is a recent Rolling Stone article reviewing the forthcoming release of a Louvin Brothers Tribute Album which will include artists such as James Taylor, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, and Del McCoury, among many, many others. The fifth site is a article highlighting a fascinating band from Russia. The group, Bering Strait, is truly emblematic of the fact that Bluegrass has everything to do with roots. The sixth site takes you to the Bluegrass Museum, a site that is rather limited in terms of content, aside from two parts. The most valuable section is their Hall of Honor link that take the user to a short biography of each Hall of Honor inductee over the past eleven years. Also valuable is a links section that directs the user to many other Bluegrass-related sites. Lastly, and very timely, is the site for the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival which is currently under way. The festival has all sorts of great Bluegrass performers, including Del McCoury, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tim O'Brien, and lots more. Also of note, however, is the Academy for Kids, which runs concurrent to the festival and offers all sorts of great learning opportunities for kids interested in Bluegrass (or parents interested in being the parents of the next Bill Monroe or Allison Krauss). [JPM]
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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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