The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 45

November 14, 2003

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

A Note to our Readers

NSDL Scout Reports

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

A Note to our Readers

New Archive Features

The Internet Scout Project is pleased to announce new features available in the Scout Archives. These new capabilities attempt to tap into the collective expertise of Scout Report readers in order to benefit the entire Scout community. From the Full Record page for any Scout Archives entry, you can now rate the usefulness of the resource and provide comments about that resource for other readers. Also, after rating a few resources, you may now obtain recommendations on other resources (in a fashion similar to book recommendations on sites like Amazon.Com). To use these features, you will first need to register and log in (registration is brief and free). As always, if you discover any factual errors, bad URLs, or other problems, please let us know by sending a note to or via the feedback form on our website. Thanks and we hope you enjoy the new service. [JPM]

NSDL Scout Reports

NSDL Scout Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences

The twenty-second 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 Octopuses. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about the Discoveries of Marie Curie.

Research and Education

European Centre for Minority Issues [pdf]

While the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) has been in existence since 1996, its history dates back to 1991 when Kurt Hamer (a representative for issues related to various Danish and German minority groups) circulated a memorandum calling for the possibility of a joint venture between Germany and Denmark that would investigate various issues affecting minorities throughout Europe. As their mission statement notes, "The ECMI conducts practice-oriented research, provides information and documentation, and offers advisory services concerning minority-majority relations in Europe." Along with this particular facet of their operations, the ECMI is also interested in the "early monitoring, study and resolution of ethnic tension and potential conflicts in all regions of Europe." On the website, visitors can learn about upcoming events and conferences sponsored by the Centre, read about its current and proposed projects, and learn about its wide-ranging publication series. While many of the handbooks and monographs are not available as free downloads, many of the reports and working papers presented here are available for free in the pdf format. Some of the more recent working papers include investigations into educational reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina and international involvement in the South Caucasus. [KMG]

American Journeys -- Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement: A Digital Library and Learning Center

With over 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, the American Journeys Digital Library and Learning Center is the result of a collaboration between the U.S. Institute of Museum & Library Services and by private donors. Much of the work was done at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin, and visitors with an interest in digital projects and their creation and management will want to review the section that details how the website was built. Visitors with a limited amount of time will want to peruse the highlights section, which offers a number of noteworthy historical accounts, including the first encounter of Europeans with the Grand Canyon and the arrival of Captain James Cook in Hawaii. The resource section for educators is well-developed and includes suggestions on integrating documents into lesson plans, information on interpreting documents, and addressing sensitive content. As might be expected, the complete contents of the digital library may be searched in any number of ways, including by topic, author name, document type, and by keyword or full text. [KMG]

BBC: WW2 People's War

With the passing of another Veteran's Day here in the United States, many persons may be interested to learn about the everyday experiences of persons around the world during various military conflicts. The BBC has created this website in an attempt to allow people to share their reminisces of World War II, and quite a few stories and tales have been contributed thus far. Visitors to the site can browse stories by date, location, or type; additionally, stories are organized into thematic categories such as Childhood and Evacuation, Family Life, The Blitz, and Home Front. For each story, visitors have the option of commenting on each narrative, or offering their own remembrances as well. The site also offers some links to other online features offered by the BBC, such as QuickTime movies dealing with various facets of World War II and another quirky site that details how the war affected British children. [KMG]

Ice Ages [mpeg]

This online exhibit developed by the Illinois State Museum provides information about the most recent glaciation over a large part of the Earth. To gain an understanding of ice ages, students will find answers to the questions: What are Ice Ages?, When did Ice Ages Occur?, and Why do Ice Ages Occur?. The Web site's section on the Midwest U.S. 16,000 Years Ago Exhibit features amazing images, animations, and descriptions of the glacier movements, soil deposits, environments, and other landscape features. Visitors will also find extensive information about the plants and animals of the Pleistocene. [RME] This site is also reviewed in the November 14, 2003 NSDL Physical Sciences Report.

American Choices: Understanding Foreign Policy Debates

Sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and several other organizations, this intriguing site offers individuals the opportunity to determine (in a general fashion) where they stand on the "fundamental trade-offs facing U.S. policymakers." At its essence, the website asks users 12 questions about their views on foreign policy stances in order to construct a nuanced portrait of their individual foreign policy beliefs. Along with this feature, users can also offer their views on four aspects of America's role in foreign affairs: use of military power, sponsorship of democracy and human rights, efforts to expand the global marketplace, and the level of international cooperation. In this feature, users use a sliding scale to offer their opinions on these four elements through questions like "Should we increase emphasis on diplomatic or military means to secure peace?" The site is rounded out by a selection of links to outside resources, thematically organized into areas that allow online users to engage in political discussions, learn about foreign policy debates, and read commentaries from a broad range of ideological perspectives. [KMG]

Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition, History [pdf]

The very phrase, home economics, often conjures up images of women learning how to prepare a household budget, or learning about various child-rearing techniques in a somewhat less than empowering setting. However, a reassessment of this rather multifaceted discipline has begun in recent years. Professor Joan Jacobs Brumberg at Cornell University notes that "what other group of American women did so much, all over the country, and got so little credit? We must do everything we can to preserve and organize records and materials from this important female ghetto." Designed to rectify the unfortunate marginalization of the discipline's historic importance, this rather outstanding archive of digitized materials is provided by the Mann Library at Cornell University and currently contains 838 books and 7 journals, for a total of 331,695 digitized pages. Visitors will want to start by looking through the Subjects section of the site, where they may read brief essays about the various sub-disciplines within home economics, such as clothing and textiles and home management. Each essay is complemented by an extensive bibliography for further reading and scholastic inquiry. Additionally, visitors may elect to browse the entire contents of the archive by date, author name, or journal title. [KMG]

Learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun [Macromedia Flash Reader]

More and more classrooms are utilizing a number of online Internet sites to supplement traditional classroom instruction, and this recently released website produced by Jacob Richman may be a welcome addition to the growing number of materials publicly available. Designed for younger students, the site includes four educational activities, including a word search, quizzes, hangman, and a match game. In the word game, visitors can choose their skill level, then pick a set of themed words to be included in the game, such as birds or colors. In the match game, visitors can start by reviewing each thematic set of cards, which feature a voice that also says the name of the item featured on each card. Once again, visitors can elect to pick their skill level and so on. Finally the quiz allows visitors to select from different sets of questions, such as those about opposites and synonyms and queries about the animal kingdom. Overall, this site serves as a nice adjunct to classroom learning activities for preschool or younger elementary school students. [KMG]

NATURE: Hippo Beach [Macromedia Flash Player, RealOne Player]

This website is the online companion to Hippo Beach, which recently aired on the PBS series NATURE. And as the website explains, "from the study of hippos' essential relationships with birds to the discovery that hippos can communicate underwater, these mammals deserve a closer look." Students can get a closer look with "Sun, Sand, and Hippos," an interdisciplinary lesson plan for grades 3-5. The lesson guides students in researching and creating presentations on hippos and helpful weblinks, worksheets, and a teachers guide are provided. The website contains other special features as well, including video clips from the program, multimedia activities, informative essays, and more. [RS] This site is also reviewed in the November 14, 2003 NSDL Life Sciences Report.

General Interest

Society for College and University Planning

One hundred and fifty years ago, it was not uncommon for a hardy band of New Englanders to move west, then shortly afterwards decide that their new home was deserving of some sort of higher education facility. Many small liberal arts colleges were started in just this fashion. In the decades following these developments, a number of organizations were developed in order to assist those in higher education administration with the process of planning for future growth and expansion of their respective institutions. The Society for College and University Planning, founded in 1965, is one such organization. From the main website, visitors can read about various conferences and symposia sponsored by the Society and learn about its diverse set of publications. One great resource afforded here is the Knowledge section, which contains lists of higher education news media links, a job postings database, a database of approximately 4000 internet links dealing with higher education, and yet another database that links up to the Planning for Higher Education journal. Users may also elect to receive email updates on a number of related issues, including classroom design, town-gown issues, campus heritage preservation, and student services. [KMG]

Parallel Press -- University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) Libraries

UW-Madison Libraries' Parallel Press combines book publishing traditions with new technology to provide print-on-demand books and a series of chapbooks (small, inexpensive books featuring the works of authors and poets with a Wisconsin connection). Print-on-demand books parallel the online editions created by the Libraries' digitizing initiatives. Currently, four titles, including David Hayman's A First-Draft Version of Finnegan's Wake (originally published in 1963) and The Book of Beasts (1954), by T.H. White, are available via Parallel Press print-on-demand service. The poetry chapbook series began in 1999 with the publication of four Wisconsin poets (Elizabeth Oness, Max Garland, Katharine Whitcomb, and Andrea Potos) and has continued with six chapbooks per year. A prose chapbook series began in 2002 with American Trilogy. This chapbook consists of historical reproductions of the American Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, with introductory material by UW Professor Stephen E. Lucas, and an afterword by John P. Kaminski, Director of the Center for the Study of the American Constitution -- published as part of a one year later, university-wide reflection, on the impact of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. [DS]

Earth as Art: A Landsat Perspective

For close to thirty years, a series of Landsat satellites have imaged the Earth's surface, returning images for use in a number of business, education, government, and science applications. Of course, many of these images have a great deal of aesthetic value, as those who look at them find themselves marveling at vast deltas, fjords, and land use patterns around the globe. This fine exhibit from the Library of Congress includes images transmitted from Landsat 7. These images are are also part of an exhibit in the Library's Geography & Map Reading Room that will be on display until December 31, 2003. Visitors to the online exhibit can look at high-resolution images of remote Akpatok Island in northern Quebec, Dasht-e Kevir (which translates as Great Salt Desert) in Iran, the West Fjords in northwestern Iceland, and about thirty-five other images in total. [KMG]

HomeTownLocator Gazetteer

A number of sites provide easy access to Census information and topographical features, but the HomeTownLocator Gazetteer is certainly one of the easiest to use, and quite a bit of fun as well. On this site, users may begin by browsing physical and cultural features of the United States, arranged by individual state. From each state listing, visitors may learn about various physical and cultural attributes within each county, such as hospitals, bays, airports, oilfield, and post offices. After browsing a list of each type of feature, visitors may elect to view an aerial photograph of the feature and its environs as well. Census 2000 information may be browsed by city, town, village, county, or zip code, which is yet another nice feature of the site. Also, visitors can use the My House feature to obtain a photo of the street they live on and use a distance finder to calculate the distance between two cities, towns, or zip codes. [KMG]

Chronophotographical Projections [Macromedia Flash Reader]

The process of chronophotography was the name given by Etienne-Jules Marey in 1882 to describe the time (chronos) photographs of movement sequences. Needless to say, documenting these various temporal processes, whether it was a horse running around a track or people walking, was an immensely difficult procedure. Paying homage to this important predecessor to the modern motion picture, this website contains a host of materials on the various individuals who made substantial contributions to this field during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Along with short video clips, the site contains extended profiles of key individuals, such as Ottomar Anschutz, George Demeny, and A.M. Worthington, who was renowned for his early studies of splashes that involved dropping a ball into a pan containing a mixture of milk and water. One particular additional feature of this interesting site is a section dedicated to providing text and images of early period motion picture machines that were patented in the United States from 1861 to 1897. The patents profiled here range from Coleman Sellers 1861 "new and useful Improvement in the Mode of Exhibiting Stereoscopic Pictures of Moving Objects" to the 1897 patent filed by Thomas A. Edison for a "kinetographic camera." [KMG]

Aquaculture Network Information Center

Given the declining schools of fish in many of the world's oceans, interest in aquaculture has grown exponentially in the past few years. The Aquaculture Network Information Center (ANIC) serves as an electronic gateway to thousands of online aquaculture-related resources, and is hosted by Purdue University and the University of Illinois through the Illinois - Indiana Sea Grant College Program. ANIC was started in 1994, and currently contains links to hundreds of aquaculture publications from around the globe, visual media (such as Power Point presentations), calendars of germane conferences and events, and specialty sections for species and production systems. From the ANIC home page, visitors may join discussion groups about aquaculture (organized by species), learn about different aquaculture cultivation systems, and peruse recent and archive publications from the relevant federal, state, and international agencies. For aquaculture neophytes, a FAQ section will answer ever quandary possible about the world of pond management, the perplexity of pond construction, and the inevitable debates surrounding which form of aquaculture production is most appropriate for different regions of the world. [KMG]

Explore National American Indian Heritage Month

Under the theme Strengthening the Spirit, the National Register of Historic Places (in tandem with the National Park Service) has developed this site to showcase various historic properties listed in the National Register and National Park units that celebrate the achievements of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The site was also produced to draw attention to National American Indian Heritage Month, and to assist educators with the process of incorporating into the curriculum field trips to these places. Some of the featured places on the site include the Campus Center in Alaska, which served as the location of the Alaska Federation of Natives conference in 1971 and the Southwestern Range and Sheep Breeding Laboratory Historic District in New Mexico, which was a part of a New Deal program to improve sheep breeding. Educators will want to look through the Teaching with Historic Places modules available here that profile additional historical landmarks and sites that capture important aspects of American Indian history throughout the country. [KMG]

Network Tools

ohNotes 2.0 [Macintosh Operating System]

Those with a penchant for keeping notes around their computer's desktop will want to take a look at this recently released application. The latest release of ohNotes allows users to organize their small notes at various locations on the computer screen, along with the ability to specify fonts and styles for each new note. For those who want to take a look at the appearance of the application before downloading it in full, the software page provides four different screen-shots of ohNotes at work. This edition of ohNotes is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X. [KMG]

ScreenSwift 3.0 [Windows Operating System]

ScreenSwift 3.0 is a handy application that allows users to convert Flash movies into screensavers. Using the application's interface system, users can customize the available display properties, along with using the application to modify other settings (such as the size of the movie screen and the background color). The application does not require any additional plug-ins, and supports most versions of the Macromedia Flash program. ScreenSwift 3.0 is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and higher. [KMG]

In The News

Famed Chicago Newspaper Columnist Passes Away

Columnist Irv Kupcinet Dies
Northwest Indiana Times: A Kup-ful of memories
Kup's Chicago [pdf] Letter from Truman to Irv Kupcinet, August 5, 1963
1948: "A Good Time to Be Alive"
The Museum of Broadcast Communications: In Memory of Irv Kupcinet [RealOnePlayer]

Following in the grand tradition of Finley Peter Dunne and Ring Lardner, Irv Kupcinet was one of Chicago's most legendary journalists, writing Kup's Column for sixty years. This past Monday Kupcinet passed away at the age of 91 due to complications arising from pneumonia. Born in 1912, Kupcinet grew up in the predominantly Jewish North Lawndale neighborhood in Chicago's West Side, where he later edited his high school's newspaper, then went on to school at Northwestern University and the University of North Dakota, where he played football. Before beginning his journalism career full-time, Kupcinet played for the Philadelphia Eagles and later presided over the 1940 football championship game between the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins at Soldier Field. Kup's Column debuted in 1943 and, after several decades, became the longest running column in U.S. newspaper history. Kupcinet was also a television pioneer, as he replaced Jack Paar on NBC's America after Dark in 1957, then proceeded to start his own television program, which ran from 1959 to 1986. During the show's tenure, it garnered 15 local Emmys and the renowned Peabody Award. At the funeral service held for Kupcinet this Wednesday at Temple Shalom on the city's North Side, Mayor Richard M. Daley remarked that "Chicago has been the home of many great writers...but only one has been called 'Mr. Chicago.'"

The first link will take visitors to a news piece from the Chicago Sun Times that profiles the life of the late Irv Kupcinet. The second link leads to an article from May 2003 from the Northwest Indiana Times that talks about Kupcinet's long career in journalism and a recent tribute held in his honor. The third link takes visitors to a special insert from the Sun-Times that features a number of photographs of Kupcinet at work and special essays written by a diverse set of Sun-Times journalists, including Roger Ebert, Richard Roeper, and his longtime assistant, Stella Foster. The fourth link contains a letter sent from former President Harry Truman to Kupcinet in 1963 that addresses the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan in order to bring a swift conclusion to World War II. The fifth link leads to a Chicago Sun-Times special feature where Kupcinet comments on the year 1948, which was originally published in 2000. The final link leads to a rather nice tribute to Kupcinet from the Museum of Broadcast Communications which includes several clips of his long-running television show. [KMG]

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