The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 34

August 29, 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 thirteenth issue of the second volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Building Technology.
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Research and Education

Ben Jonson
Buried in Westminster Abbey (under a plain slab adorned with the words, Rare Ben Jonson), Ben Jonson was one of England's most renowned playwrights during the 17th century. A contemporary of Shakespeare, Jonson was born in 1572, educated at the Westminster School, and as a young man joined the theatrical company of Philip Henslowe in London. Shortly after joining the company, Jonson's second play, Every Man in His Humour, was performed in 1598 at the Globe, with a cast that included William Shakespeare. Ever the quick wit and satirist, Jonson's reputation was firmly secured by the comedies he wrote between 1605 and 1614, which included The Alchemist and Bartholomew Fair. This site, provided by the Luminarium, contains most of Jonsons' plays and lyric poetry, a brief biography (with hypertext links), additional Web resources, and a number of critical essays on Jonson's body of work. Visitors will want to make sure to read Jonson's homage to William Shakespeare, titled "To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare." [KMG]
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ProVention Consortium
The ProVention Consortium is a "global coalition of governments, international organizations, academic institutions, the private sector and civil society organizations dedicated to increasing the safety of vulnerable communities and to reducing the impact of disasters in developing countries." Organized by the World Bank, the Consortium and its Web site are dedicated to disseminating materials and resources about how disaster risk management can be best applied to mitigate the effects of various potential disasters and events. From their Web site, visitors can read about the ongoing activities of the Consortium (such as identifying and analyzing global disaster risk hotspots), and read about the grant opportunities offered by the organization. The "Resources" section of the site is very helpful, as it contains a toolkit for disaster-risk assessment, along with conceptual background articles, such as "Innovations in Disaster Management" or "Megacities, Megarisk." Perhaps one of the best features of the site is the video archive of a recent conference, "The Future of Disaster Risk: Building Safer Cities," which took place in December 2002. All in all, this site will be quite intriguing for those with an interest in the mitigation of the effects of catastrophes and disasters around the world. [KMG]
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Migration and Geographic Mobility in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan America: 1995 to 2000 [pdf]
This special 8-page report from the US Census takes a look at migration and geographic mobility across the metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of the United States. Released in August 2003, and authored by Jason P. Schachter, Rachel S. Franklin, and Marc J. Perry, the report examines 5-year mobility data from Census 2000, and specifically those persons over the age of 5. For those unfamiliar with some of the basic terms and definitions utilized throughout the body of the report, there is a short section at the beginning of the report that offers some brief explications of terms like residential mobility, net migration, and net outmigration. The report offers some interesting observations, such as the fact that residents of central cities within metropolitan areas were more mobile during this time period than those residing in nonmetropolitan territory. The report is made visually appealing and informative by the inclusion of several maps and charts that offer statistical evidence of these broad patterns of residential mobility across America. [KMG]
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National Postal Museum: The Art of the Stamp [Macromedia Flash Reader]
The Art of the Stamp online exhibit presented by the National Postal Museum is designed to complement the exhibit on display at the Museum itself in Washington, DC. The online exhibit begins with a brief description of how subjects and themes for postage are suggested, and then continues to discuss the timeline for developing a stamp, which often can take two years or longer. The main material on the site is divided into various categories, such as American History, Stamps with a Story, and Love. For each stamp, visitors can learn about the artist who created each design, along with information about the first day of issue. The Stamps with a Story section is rather engaging, containing stories about the creation of the Bugs Bunny stamp (visitors can take a look at some of the more irreverent designs considered) and of course the famous Elvis Presley stamp, which was first issued on January 8, 1993. [KMG]
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Imaging Everest
Named for the Surveyor-General of India, Sir George Everest, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, and is part of the Himalayan range within South Asia. This fine collection of images dedicated to this storied mountain was launched on May 29, 2003 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ascent to the top of the peak, accomplished by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. This online exhibit is part of a larger exhibit that is currently on display at the International Mountaineering Museum in Nepal. The images themselves are divided into nine thematic areas, such as The History of Everest, Tibetan People, Sherpas, and Tenzing and Hillary. Visitors browsing around the site will be treated to a multitude of photographs of the various expeditions to Mount Everest over the past hundred years and biographies of different Everest expedition members from 1921 to 1953. [KMG]
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3D Body Scanner [Macromedia Flash Reader]
Body scanning is a focus of research at Cornell University that uses three-dimensional visualization technology to create accurate digital models of the human body, with the goal of enabling cost effective, custom-fit apparel. This Web site describes the process of capturing a 3D image and how it can be applied to enhance online shopping. The section called Virtual Try-On illustrates how "a consumer's body scan is merged with scans of pants sized for a set of fit models." The site is heavily multimedia oriented, which allows users to see for themselves the benefits and applications of body scanning. This site is also reviewed in the August 29, 2003 NSDL MET Report. [CL]
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Indian Parliament
With one of the largest parliamentary bodies in the world, it is not surprising that the Web site for the Indian Parliament contains a staggering amount of information about its operations, its members, bills, budget proposals, and other important governmental proceedings. Visitors will want to begin by browsing through the section on the president of India (currently this is Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam) to learn about his recent statements and speeches, along with information about the beautiful presidential palace and the exquisite Mughal Garden. The other sections of the site are also compelling, and include areas devoted to the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People), where guests can read recent debates (some of which are only available in Hindi), and learn about the members of each body. Additionally, there is a frequently asked questions area that answers some basic queries about the organization and history of the Parliament. [KMG]
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General Interest

Fire Safety Campaign for Babies and Toddlers [pdf, QuickTime]
Headlined by the slogan "Prepare. Practice. Prevent the Unthinkable." the US Fire Administration launched its latest fire safety campaign this past month. Part of the campaign includes this well-designed Web site containing a host of material designed "to draw attention to the increased risk of fire death for young children, and to teach parents and caregivers how they can avoid the tragedy." The site offers a number of helpful hints such as making sure that families install and maintain working smoke alarms and making sure to practice a fire escape plan with small children. The site also features numerous fact sheets in both English and Spanish. Finally, visitors will want to take a look at the educational video available online, and the links to additional fire safety resources. [KMG]
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The Norman Rockwell Museum
With a style that is immediately recognizable, Norman Rockwell was America's foremost illustrator throughout the 20th century, working for the Saturday Evening Post for over forty years, and then for Look magazine. Located in Rockwell's longtime home of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the Norman Rockwell Museum was founded in 1969 with the assistance of Norman Rockwell and his wife, Molly Rockwell. The museum itself includes over 500 works by Rockwell, along with the Rockwell Archives, which contain over 100,000 items. The Web site provides basic information about visiting the museum and its collections, along with a nice selection of pictures by Rockwell. Visitors to the site will want to take a look at the Eye Opener section of the site, as it features some of his most famous works, including The Gossips, Family Doctor, The Four Freedoms, and The Problem We All Live With. [KMG]
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Subterranean Rome - Roma sotterranea
Presented by the Roma sotterranea association, a group of urban speleologists (also known as urban archaeologists), allow you to explore the Last Frontier" underneath Rome. Any large, long-inhabited city such as Rome always has some underground structures like catacombs, sewers, and aqueducts. In addition, in part the result of quarrying to obtain building materials and in part due to the growth of the city, hypogeums or underground chambers have formed under Rome. While some areas of the Roma sotterranea Web site are for members only, the Underground site's list includes entries on about 30 points of interest under Rome. Each entry includes a lengthy description, pictures, information on the hours open and if special permission is needed to visit, and a reservation form for booking a guided tour. Also at the Web site are maps of ancient and modern Rome, information about the organization and how to join, and a chat area for communicating with urban speleologists worldwide. [DS]
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Psychology Free Online Medical Advice
First released on July 1, 2003, this online service provides answers to hundreds of questions about lifestyle issues such as post-traumatic stress syndrome, child guidance, obesity, and eating disorders. The project is funded by the EU, and the questions are answered in full by a team of psychological and psychiatric experts from a number of European countries. Visitors can elect to send in their own question directly to an expert, or read through a list of previously answered questions organized around topics ranging from psychotherapy to depression. Additionally, users may take part in a number of ongoing forums where they can discuss their issues anonymously, and seek advice from experts. Finally, the homepage features a list of recent discussions that are currently in progress, and questions that have recently been answered. Appropriately enough, the site is also available in Greek, German, and Swedish. [KMG]
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The Ibsen Centre
The Centre for Ibsen Studies was begun in 1992 at the University of Oslo, largely to serve as a place for scholars and students to gain access (and work on) projects related to Henrik Ibsen, one of the most celebrated playwrights of modern drama. The site contains a good deal of basic information about the activities of the Centre, along with upcoming conferences dealing with Ibsen, and forthcoming and recently released publications originating from the Centre. The site offers a searchable Ibsen bibliography, and access to manuscripts and papers written by Ibsen himself (all of which are, understandably, in Norwegian). Persons interested in finding out more about Ibsen should head to the Ibsen links area, which contains a fine selection of thematically organized links to online materials, including electronic texts, exhibitions, concordances, and critical essays and commentaries. Overall, this site is a good introduction to the breadth and scope of Ibsen's works, and the worthwhile agenda of the Ibsen Centre in Oslo. [KMG]
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Great Lakes Maritime History Project [pdf]
Drawing on the fine collections of several local and regional institutions (including the Wisconsin State Historical Society and the Milwaukee Public Library), this online archive of historical photographs serves as a visual record of Wisconsin maritime history, set on the waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Maritime commerce began during the days of the French and Native American trappers, but gained significant momentum after the conclusion of the War of 1812. Over the past two hundred years, the two lakes have seen a number of passenger vessels and large bulk freighters ply their waters. The site contains hundreds of photographs, and visitors may elect to search the entire collection of keywords, or browse through a list of predefined image collections such as barges, cargo ships, and shipwrecks. Each photograph is returned along with an image record that gives a brief description of the subject, the holding institution, and the place and time the photograph or image was generated or taken. [KMG]
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Network Tools

iCab 2.9.5
This new Web browser (designed by a German software team) is a welcome addition to the numerous alternative browsers available for the Mac. Some of the more notable features of iCab 2.9.5 include a download manager, a link manager, a kiosk mode (that effectively blocks all other applications), and a built-in pop-up ad blocker. The Web site for the application also includes a FAQ section, and sample screenshots. This version of iCab is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X. [KMG]
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Conquer Chat 4.3
With more and more individuals creating personal home pages, there is an increased interest in installing a chat server online so that interested parties can feel free to correspond with each other. This handy application allows users to do just that, with a maximum of ease and usability. With Conquer Chat, users can customize the appearance of their chat window, along with giving chatters the ability to set up their own profiles. Conquer Chat 4.3 is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]
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In The News

Important Archaeological Discovery Made at Jamestown
Forts Footprint Found,0,5186055.story?coll=dp-headlines-topnews
Tech Makes Historic Jamestown Easy to Explore Via the Internet
Jamestown Rediscovery
Virtual Jamestown
Historic Jamestowne
Secrets of the Dead: Death at Jamestown [Quick Time]
A crucial discovery was made this week by a team of archaeologists working at Jamestown in Virginia. While researchers had found evidence of the forts existence since 1996, this weeks discovery allowed them to determine how big the triangle-shaped enclosure was. Shortly after discovering the east corner of the fortification some seven years ago, the excavation team utilized measurements recorded by William Strachey (an early Jamestown colonist) as a guide for future investigations. Chief scientist William Kelso had been most concerned about the teams initial inability to find evidence of the forts west palisade, but after a fortuitous exploratory trench was dug, the west palisade was revealed under less than 12 inches of soil. Along with the west palisade, the archaeologists also uncovered a trash pit from the forts earliest existence that included such currencies as the English silver half-groat. Given the new evidence that has been uncovered this week, the scientists now estimate the area of the fort was approximately 1.12 acres, as opposed to the original estimate of 1.75 acres. Kelso and his colleagues remain confident that they will be able to compile a good picture of what James Fort looked like for the 400th anniversary of the colonys founding in 2007.

The first link leads to an engaging piece from the August 27, 2003 Hampton Roads Daily Press online edition about the recent archaeological discovery at the Jamestown site. The second link will lead visitors to a news article from the New River Current on a lovely Web site, Virtual Jamestown, developed by historian Crandall Shifflett of Virgina Tech University. The third site is provided by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities and details recent excavations and findings in and around the formerly colony at Jamestown, along with providing information about visiting the site and offering some helpful research resources, including a link to the electronic journal, the Journal of the Jamestown Rediscovery Center. The fourth link is to the Virtual Jamestown Web site where visitors can peruse a number of primary documents, such as court records, labor contracts, and firsthand accounts relating to the colony at Jamestown. The fifth link directs visitors to the Historic Jamestown Web site, provided by the National Park Service, which offers a host of photographs of the site (including some of Yorktown and Cape Henry), and information about visiting the park. The last site (provided by the PBS series, Secrets of the Dead) investigates the seamier side of the Jamestown colony, namely the reasons that 90 percent of the colonists died during the winter of 1609-1610. While many believe the settlers most likely were besieged by various contagious diseases, famine, and attacks from Native Americans, one pathologist maintains that some of the colonists may have died from arsenic poisoning, potentially administered by an operative hired by the Spanish government. The site also allows visitors to learn a bit about forensics, and to take a virtual tour of a dig site at Jamestown and a reconstructed church also on the premises. [KMG]
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