The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 44

November 7, 2003

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

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 twenty-second issue of the second volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Watermarking.

Research and Education

Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research [pdf]

Throughout his long life, Lewis Mumford wore multiple hats, including those of a prolific author, accomplished chronicler of urbanism, and social critic. In 1988, a group of scholars from the University of Albany visited Mumford and his wife to discuss a plan for an academic center whose work would be both "comparative and historical in scope." The fruits of this initial idea became the Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research at the University of Albany. Headed by Professor John R. Logan, the Center has a number of research projects, including a global neighborhoods initiative and the research network of professionals concerned with working on the study of urbanization in contemporary China. For those interested on the changing demographics in the United States, the center's research reports, drawing on 2000 U.S. Census, will be particularly useful, as they cover such topics as racial segregation in the Boston region and the Muslim world in metropolitan America. [KMG]

The International Council of Museums [pdf]

Formed in 1946, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) is a non-governmental organization that maintains formal relations with UNESCO and that is "committed to the conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world's natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible." To that end, the ICOM has developed this website which pays close attention to the main themes of its work, including the training of museum professionals, the dissemination of knowledge of museums, and the advancement of professional standards. At the About ICOM section, visitors can learn about day-to-day operations, read latest press releases, and peruse the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums. The Activities area features materials about International Museum Day, a calendar of ICOM-sponsored events, and information about the triennial ICOM General Conference, which will be held next in 2004. Finally, the site also contains a number of valuable publications dealing with museum standards that may be downloaded for further consideration. [KMG]

The Aspen Institute [pdf]

The Aspen Institute was founded by Walter Paepcke, a Chicago businessman, in 1950 after he was inspired by the natural beauty of Aspen, Colorado. The basic mission of the Institute is "to foster enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues." With locations around the United States and various partner locations in Europe and Japan, the Institute sponsors a number of ongoing seminars, policy programs, and leadership initiatives. While the site does provide information on seminars and the like, most visitors interested in public policy will want to move to the section that describes the Institute's policy programs. Thematically, they include groups devoted to exploring communication and society, the nonprofit sector, and economic opportunities, to name but a few. Within each theme, users can learn about the staff members working on each project, and download a number of working papers and reports on these respective subjects. The site is rounded out with materials on employment opportunities at the Institute and an online bookstore of publications from the organization. [KMG]

Census of Marine Life Portal [pdf, QuickTime]

Given the paucity of knowledge regarding the true numbers of marine life, an examination of the Census of Marine Life Portal website could not be more timely. The Census itself is a global network of researchers from more than 45 nations currently engaged in a ten-year initiative "to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life in the oceans-past, present, and future." To get some sense of the various projects that the Census is undertaking, visitors will want to read the project descriptions, which range from the History of Marine Animal Populations project to the Natural Geography in Shore Areas project. Visitors can also read about the progress of the Census in their most recent report, "The Unknown Ocean: Baseline Report for the Census of Marine Life." Finally, the site also has some nice media resources, including recent news reports on the Census, a list of experts, and a number of images and video clips. The site is also available in a number of languages, such as German, French, Japanese, and Spanish. [KMG]

Higher Education Statistics Agency

Started in 1993 after a government white paper called for more coherence in the reporting and collection of higher education statistics in the United Kingdom, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is "the central source for higher education statistics." Not surprisingly, the site features a detailed area devoted to publications and data sets available from the HESA, some of which are available for no cost on the website, and others which may be ordered on CD-ROM. There are also a number of data sets available at no charge that may be viewed and printed, or downloaded for free. The data sets are mostly from 1994 to 2002, and include statistics on students (such as ethnicity, subject of study, and institution level), staff, and institutional incomes and expenditures. The site is rounded out with a collection of related links that lead to related government bodies and funding councils. [KMG]

Celebrating 100 Years of Flight

December 17, 2003 marks the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' historic achievement, and to commemorate the event the American Society of Mechanical Engineers has developed this site. Several notable stories of flight are documented, including the Enola Gay, the Concorde, and the Boeing 767-80, which was "the prototype for most jet transports." Teacher resources and news articles related to the centennial of flight are available. An archive of paper airplane models is also included to give children and adults something to do in their spare time. [CL] This site is also reviewed in the November 7, 2003 NSDL MET Report.

National Centre for Social Research [pdf]

The National Center for Social Research is widely considered to be Britain's premier research group specializing in social surveys and qualitative research for the development and evaluation of public policy. Much of the centre's work is done on the behalf of various public organizations, such as research councils, charitable trusts, and foundations. At the homepage, visitors can read about the centre's various research units (such as the Survey Methods Centre), its respective methodologies and approaches, and recent work that has been conducted. One strong highlight of the site is the inclusion of a number of reports, organized thematically into such areas as leisure, housing, political attitudes, social security, and health. The papers truly run the gamut of social science research, including works titled Attitudes Towards Discrimination in Scotland, Low-Income Families and Household Spending, and Methodological Review of the Survey of English Housing (2003). [KMG] The Media Theory Site

Launched by Professor David Gauntlett of the University of Bournemouth in January 1999, this site provides an interesting introduction to the vast world of media theory. Visitors looking for materials on media theories (and their accompanying theorists) will want to move their browsers to the section that contains resources on such individuals as Anthony Giddens, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, and a number of other scholars whose work has directly influenced the ideas of media theory, either directly or indirectly. Equally intriguing is the set of trading cards developed by Gauntlett that provide brief facts about such concepts as psychoanalysis, postmodernity, and girl power. After reading through the materials on media theory located here, visitors may also elect to take a sixteen-question quiz, featuring visual clues. [KMG]

General Interest

The Joy of Soup

As the weather here in the northern hemisphere begins to get a bit chilly and the sun bids farewell around 5 p.m., many people will begin to adjust their menus by including more soups as part of their daily fare. Those persons looking for fun new ways to prepare soup should definitely take a look at The Joy Of Soup website. The creator of the site, Sue Pleydee, has assembled a rather impressive collection of soup recipes. Many of them are organized under the Plogs section (a word created by eliding soup and blog. This section includes such soups as buttermilk, ham and tomato, and asparagus and escarole. The Let's Eat Out section features recipes taken from various restaurants and another area entitled The Joy of Cookbooks features Pleydee's musings on such classic cookbooks as In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy and The Crisco Family Cookbook.[KMG]

The Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection

The Digital Library Program at Indiana University (IU), with funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, presents this digital version of 14,500 color slides taken by amateur photographer Charles Cushman between 1938 and 1969. Cushman, an IU alum who graduated in 1917, left the University his entire collection of photographs, along with a set of notebooks, in which he recorded descriptions of the thousands of images he shot. Cushman's photographs provide wonderful documentation of the first half of the 20th century, from a girl with pigtails jumping rope on a sidewalk in Indiana, to Chicago architecture, to over 100 pictures of Istanbul, Turkey. Subject headings were added to Cushman's descriptions by image catalogers, providing the basis for the searching and browsing capabilities of the digital version. Currently, users can browse by date, location, subject, and genre, as well as viewing page images of Cushman's notebooks. In December 2003, search enhancements will be released, such as the ability to broaden or narrow a search using related terms, and browsing based on the structure of the subject heading sources. [DS]

People have been meeting in informal groups to discuss works of literature for hundreds of years, and in recent years reading groups have continued to increase in general popularity. This website, designed by a team of avid readers, provides a host of helpful resource materials for those seeking to start and maintain an effective reading group. Launched in January 2001, the site now includes over 1220 reading group guides, thematically and alphabetically organized, and filled with helpful discussion questions, along with links to websites with additional background material. Another section provides detailed advice on starting a reading group and making informed decisions about how to pick a piece to read. Not surprisingly, this section also contains a nice list of books about reading groups as well. Existing reading groups may want to sign up to be interviewed by the online staff, or just choose to browse those who have already the good, the bad, and the ugly truths about the reading group experiences. [KMG]

The Stonehenge Project [pdf, doc]

The mystical and enigmatic stone formations located England and known collectively as Stonehenge is the most substantial reminder of the ingenuity of prehistoric civilization in this region of the world. Regrettably, in recent decades the site has seen the intrusion of major roads and a general degradation of the surrounding environment. By 1993, the situation grew so dire that the setting of this important cultural landscape was referred to as a "national disgrace" by the United Kingdom's House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. Fortunately, a plan to restore the dignity of this site was developed by the English Heritage foundation and the British government, and this site provides the full details on this ongoing project. Visitors to the site can learn about the project and read about the landscape restoration project that is already underway. The Documents area is quite strong, as visitors can read a summary of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site Management Plan and read environmental reports produced by Britain's Highways Agency. [KMG]

Girl with a Pearl Earring: An In-Depth Study

The artistic endeavors of the 17th century's, Old Master Johannes Vermeer have fascinated many. Now a popular book based on one of his canvases, Girl with a Pearl Earring, has brought him squarely into the minds and hearts of many in the 21st century. Even though the picture has been studied intensely for over a century, many questions remained unanswered about various aspects of the work. This website, designed by Jonathan Janson, provides a multifaceted portrait of this masterwork, and is divided into well-organized sections that deal with its subject matter, its provenance, the methodology deployed in the work's execution, and the various debates surrounding the work. The section devoted to the genesis of the painting is particularly engaging, as it features a discussion of the work within the broader setting of Vermeer's oeuvre and possible precedents that may have set the stage for this work. [KMG]

The Hanford Site Historic Project [pdf]

During the Manhattan Project, a number of sites were developed around the U.S. in order to assist in the production of high-grade plutonium in order to create nuclear weapons. One of the best-known sites was the Hanford Site, located in the stark landscape of eastern Washington state. At the conclusion of the Cold War, many of these nuclear weapons production facilities were mothballed, yet there was a growing interest in preserving some of these facilities as historic sites. This website documents the creation of this fascinating historic site, along with offering ample written materials on the site's history along with some visual materials, such as plans and photographs. Visitors can read the programmatic statement between the Department of Energy and the Washington State Historic Preservation Office, the curation strategy for the site, and the historic site treatment plan, which was prepared in 1998. Also, visitors can peruse a number of documents on the history of plutonium production on the site, a history of the plant facilities, and an 80-page book that documents the history of the Hanford Site in great detail. [KMG]

National Cancer Institute's 5 a Day for Better Health [pdf]

Despite mountains of evidence that indicates the paramount importance of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, many Americans are still not getting enough of either of these types of foods. The 5 a Day for Better Health Program website is designed to increase public awareness of the importance of eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables and to provide individuals with specific information about how to include both of these foods into their daily eating routine. The Quick, Easy Tips area of the site offers some easy-to-follow materials about how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into meals and about what constitutes a serving size or portion. Additionally, the site offers a number of helpful recipes and menu plans that integrate both fruits and vegetables into snacks, salads, desserts, and beverages. [KMG]

Network Tools

ReaConverter Pro v3.2 [Windows Operating System]

This handy application allows users to convert a multitude of images at one time, utilizing a command line utility so that users may process images in console mode. Users have the capability to convert images to a number of formats and may also resize, crop, rotate and mirror images. Equally interesting is the fact that users may also modify images using a sharpen tool, along with effects such as smooth, blur, and contour. This version of ReaCounter is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and higher. [KMG]

Listendo! 1.1 [Macintosh Operating System]

ListenDo! is a PlainTalk based application that provides "enhanced voice control of Macintosh computers." Using the ListenDo! application allows individuals to control most applications, such as pull-down menus, and various functions that use the mouse. Additionally, users can create their own voice commands for their preferred applications, including text macros that have the ability to type up to 32,000 characters of text. This application is compatible with all systems running Mac OS 9. [KMG]

In The News

Voyager Spacecraft Moves Towards Edge of Solar System

Voyager 1 Craft Nears Edge of Solar System
NASA: Voyager Approaching Solar System's Final Frontier
NASA: Voyager: Celebrating 25 Years of Discovery [RealOnePlayer]
Voyager Fact Sheets [pdf]
USGS Astrogeology: Voyager Mission
Voyager Golden Record [Macromedia Flash Reader]

Traveling at 334 million miles per year, the Voyager 1 Spacecraft continues to return vast amounts of important astronomical data to researchers back on Earth, and has done so since its initial launch on September 5, 1977. Most recently, Voyager 1 has been in the news because it is rapidly approaching the boundary of the solar system, and will shortly reach interstellar space. Using measurements of the solar wind sent back from the craft, scientists at the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University suggest that Voyager 1 has in fact already passed the terminal shock boundary that demarcates the transition from the solar system to interstellar space. Another piece of research conducted by a team of scholars at the University of Maryland suggest that Voyager 1 is nearing the termination shock boundary, but has yet to hit it. It is now estimated that Voyager 1 will reach the star next door to our own in about 40,000 years, though the spacecraft is thought to only have enough power to continue transmitting data until the year 2020. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a November 6, 2003 article in the Washington Post about the recent realization that the Voyager 1 will soon reach the end of the solar system. The second link leads to a joint press release released November 5, 2003 from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland about the progress of the spacecraft. The third link leads to a rather comprehensive and intriguing website designed by NASA to provide the web-browsing public with material about the spacecraft. The site includes details about the technical specifications of the Voyager and a number of amazing images taken during its 26-year journey. The fourth link leads to an 8-page fact sheet provided by NASA that offers a nice overview of the spacecraft's mission and its observations of the other planets in the solar system, including Jupiter and Uranus. The fifth link will take visitors to the USGS Astrogeology homepage of the Voyager, which again provides yet another perspective on the important work of this spacecraft. The last link lets visitors learn about the Golden Record that is onboard the Voyager 1. Designed to convey a bit of information about the planet Earth to any other sentient life forms that the Voyager may encounter, the Record contains greetings from various political figures, such as Kurt Waldheim (the former secretary of the United Nations) and different samples of nature sounds and pieces of music. [KMG]

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

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.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the National Science Foundation.

The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

Internet Scout Project Team
Max GrinnellEditor
John MorganManaging Editor
Rachael BowerCo-Director
Edward AlmasyCo-Director
Rachel SohmerContributor
Cavin LeskeContributor
Debra ShapiroContributor
Rachel EnrightContributor
David SleasmanInternet Cataloger
Todd ScudiereAssistant Internet Cataloger
Barry WieganSoftware Engineer
Justin RushTechnical Specialist
Michael GrossheimTechnical Specialist
Andy Yaco-MinkWebsite Designer
David MayerWebsite Designer

For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout Project staff page.