The Scout Report -- Volume 9, Number 47

November 26, 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 Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences

The twenty third 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 Prions. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Dynamic Equilibrium, Self-Organizing Systems, and Chaos Theory.

Research and Education

New York City Signs -- 14th to 42nd Streets

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, thousands of businesses (both small and large) advertised their wares through creative and elaborate signs painted on the sides of buildings. Of course, New York had some of the most interesting, and a few of the most compelling can be found on this website, maintained by Walter Grutchfield. Obviously it would be nearly impossible to document all of them, so he has elected to sample only a few of the many that are (or were) present in the area from 14th to 42nd Streets in Manhattan. Visitors may browse an interactive map of the area, by the date of sign construction, or by business name. For each entry, a photograph of the sign is available, along with a brief sketch of the business and its history. Guests to the site will want to take a look at the old sign for the Hotel Irving for Women and the Handin & Drapkin Furs sign on East 20th Street. [KMG]

Declare Yourself [QuickTime, pdf]

In recent years, voting by young people (especially those in the 18-29 age group) has continued to decline in the United States. The Declare Yourself campaign, founded by television producer Norman Lear, is designed specifically "to energize a new movement of young adults to vote in the 2004 presidential election." To that end, this website has been created in order to allow young voters to complete and print voter registration forms for any state, download forms to request absentee ballots, find their polling places, and learn about the candidates. The site also includes several educational films available for viewing, including a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence (featuring Morgan Freeman, Benicio Del Toro, Kathy Bates, and others) and a film about voting starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Persons browsing the website may also download fact sheets about this initiative and learn about the upcoming Declare Yourself 2004 College Tour which commences in January 2004. [KMG]

OECD / Norway Forum on Trade in Educational Services: Conference Documents [pdf]

One of the most interesting recent developments in the debates surrounding globalization is the trends in internationalization within the world of higher education. While students have long ventured on semesters abroad, more and more universities are expanding into educational enterprises that cross international boundaries -- especially through the use of online learning programs and the like. This very important subject was addressed in a recent conference held in Norway, and was sponsored by the OECD and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The materials from this conference are available on this site, and include over a dozen reports, ranging from some introductory remarks on the nature of cross-border post-secondary education and still other reports on quality assurance and accreditation issues. For anyone interested in the transformation of higher education, both in the United States and abroad, these documents will be of great interest. [KMG]

The Atoms Family [Java, gif]

The Miami Museum of Science developed this creative website to provide educational activities dealing with energy. Fourth through eighth graders will enjoy visiting the Mummy's Tomb where they will learn about kinetic and potential energy and energy conservation while Building a Better Tomb and a raceway. At the Phantom's Portrait Parlor, sixth through twelfth graders can learn about the Phases of Matter, Spectroscopes of Atoms, and the construction of molecules. Teachers looking to supplement their lessons with fun educational activities will find this website very beneficial. [RME] This site is also reviewed in the November 26, 2003 NSDL Physical Sciences Report.

San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection

Like many public library systems in major American cities, the San Francisco Public Library has begun to place a number of their historical photo holdings online, much to the delight of the web-browsing public and local residents. In total, the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection contains over 250,000 photographs, approximately 30,000 of which are available here. Visitors can search for photographs by neighborhoods, or through a list of subjects, which includes monuments, nightclubs, orphanages, parks, and stadiums. The online materials also contain a number of specialized collections, such as the James A. Scott Collection, which feature "before-and-after" images of the city, beginning with pictures from the 1960s and continuing to the present day. Searching for photographs by neighborhood may be one of the most engaging options, as visitors can go through miniature tours that offer insight into the built environment that is at the core of such locales as the Barbary Coast, Nob Hill, and Telegraph Hill. [KMG]

Drucker Archives

Born in Vienna on November 19, 1909, Peter Drucker is known around the world as the "father of management," as he helped create and articulate "the concepts that have made management a field of legitimate academic inquiry and professional practice." After receiving a Ph.D. in international law from Frankfurt University, Drucker moved to London, and then shortly afterwards came to the United States, where he began a long tenure at Sarah Lawrence College. Drucker continued on with a prodigious career, teaching at New York University, then eventually moving on to Harvard. The Drucker Archives were established at the Claremont Colleges in the 1980s, and this website contains a number of online searching aids designed to assist researchers, and a number of online features that draw on the enormous output of Drucker's writings over the past six decades. [KMG]

Romanticism On the Net

Given the advent of electronic journal publication in the academic world, it is not surprising that the legitimacy of online academic publishing has continued to expand. One such journal that has been online since 1996 is Romanticism On the Net, an internationally refereed electronic journal "devoted to British Romantic studies." All of the back issues of the journal are available here, along with the current issue, which is a special issue devoted to Romantic Leisure / Romantic Labour. Current articles include pieces titled Byron, Blake, and Heaven, and Alternate Labour and Relaxation: An Introduction. The site also features descriptions of other academic journals in the field, conference announcements, and links to other related websites, such as the Women Writers Project at Brown University and the Nineteenth Century Playtext Database. [KMG] [Windows Media Player]

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine recently launched, a website developed from NIA research on older adults, cognitive aging, and computer usage. This easy-to-use website "makes aging-related health information easily accessible for adults 60 and older" and serves as "a useful tool for family members and friends who are seeking online health information for their older relatives." Topics covered include Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, exercising for older adults, and more. The website offers several options for enhancing usability, including a virtual voice that reads all text aloud. Visitors may also watch video clips (captions available), take short quizzes, or follow links to MEDLINEplus websites for more detailed information. [RS] This site is also reviewed in the November 26, 2003 NSDL Life Sciences Report.

General Interest

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University [RealOnePlayer]

Although Radcliff, the women's college affiliated with Harvard for over a century, ceased to formally exist in 1999, it became the highly regarded Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Headed by the noted historian Drew Gilpin Faust, the mission of the Institute is "to create an academic community where individuals can pursue advanced work in academic disciplines, professions, or creative arts." At the institute's homepage, visitors can learn about the fellowship opportunities available at Radcliffe, along with reading about various research programs and upcoming events, such as lectures and conferences. Perhaps one of the best features of the site are the various archived audio and video recordings of speeches and conferences that have taken place at Radcliffe in recent years. For example, visitors can view the proceedings of a recent national conference on lethal school violence or watch and listen to the novelist Zadie Smith speak on "the morality of the novel." [KMG]

Love & Yearning Interactive: Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries

The Smithsonian Institution presents this interactive web exhibit in concert with a larger show of illustrated manuscripts based on Persian lyrical poetry from the 15th to 17th centuries. The interactive website features the Haft awrang (Seven Thrones) composed by Abdul-Rahman Jami (1441-1492). The Haft awrang consists of seven poems, such as The Gift of the Free, a series of moral tales on topics such as the creation of the world, and the temptations of beauty, power and poetry. Select a poem, and browse through a series of windows, showing the full page spread in the original manuscript, zoomable details, and a summary of the story of each poem. In some cases, an audio track with captions adapted from Marianna Shreve Simpson, Persian Poetry, Painting and Patronage: Illustrations in A Sixteenth-Century Masterpiece plays as you view the images, accompanied by meditative Persian music. [DS]

The University of Wisconsin Collection

As this digital archive of documents related to the history of the University of Wisconsin suggests, "...the history of the University of Wisconsin is far too colorful and texture-rich to be told in a single document." Fortunately for those with an interest in the University's long history, this special collection of historical documents developed by the University's Digital Content Group provides access to a number of helpful resources. A number of titles may be searched or browsed, including the landmark 4-volume history of the University of Wisconsin and a number of printed materials related to the Wisconsin Union, the University's primary gathering place. Visitors can also browse through two early versions of the University's yearbook, titled the Trochos. [KMG]

USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center [pdf]

With an organizational history that dates back approximately 30 years, the mission of the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC) is "to provide scientific understanding and the technology needed to support sound management and conservation of our nation's natural resources, with emphasis on western ecosystems." From the Center's homepage, visitors can learn about the valuable work being done by various researchers at the Center and learn about the four field stations they maintain in the West. The Current News section of the site summarizes recent findings culled from ongoing research projects, such as work on sagebrush habitats and the slow increase in the U.S. bald eagle population. The Product Library section contains fact sheets on the FRESC, along with information about its geospatial activities, and online documents and data sets dating from 1998 to the present. [KMG]

World Development Report 2004 [pdf]

Recently released, this annual report on the state of world development (written by staff members at the World Bank) is an important document that adopts as its main thesis that broad improvements in human welfare around the globe will not occur unless "poor people receive wider access to affordable, better quality services in health, education, water, sanitation, and electricity." From this main site, visitors can download an executive summary of the report's findings, or download any of the work's chapters, which range in content from the importance of government action and the framework for social provision. Equally compelling are the sections that detail how the World Bank worked with a wide range of stakeholders about the report's content and main ideas, and still another section that contains the transcription of an electronic discussion held about the draft edition of the report in the spring of 2003. [KMG]

London Review of Books Online

Similar in both its outlook and content to the New York Review of Books here in the U.S., the London Review of Books is a place that serves as the nerve center for a great deal of discussion about literature and authors. This online edition of the London Review of Books will be a great place to browse for those who love to read, and particularly for those persons looking for trenchant reviews of recently released books. Some of the fine pieces available here include the comments of Stefan Collini on the business of higher education and Michael Wood's reflections on the late Edward Said. Along with these types of pieces, visitors can also search through the online archive of the London Review of Books, although not all of the content is freely available. [KMG]

MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change [pdf]

Founded in 1991, the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change is an interdisciplinary organization that conducts research, independent policy analysis, and public communication on issues of global environmental change. The very cornerstone of the Program is the MIT Integrated Global System Model (ISGM) which is a "comprehensive research tool for analyzing potential anthropogenic global climate change and its social environmental change." From the website, visitors can learn more about the ISGM, personnel at the program, the program's public outreach efforts to communicate its findings, and its diverse set of sponsors. Many impressive publications are also available to visitors of the site, and include a number of forum papers, climate policy notes, and over one hundred full-length reports. [KMG]

Network Tools

Huminity 1.1 [Windows Operating System]

As more and more persons become interested in the internet and its role in forming social networks, a number of helpful programs have been released to help people "facilitate friendship." Huminity is basically a free instant messenger program that features social network, and more interestingly, the ability to navigate animated maps of connections and the additional ability to view the links of friends between users. Available in a number of different languages (including Spanish, German, and French), this edition of Huminity is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]

Orator 2.0 [Macintosh Operating System]

Orator 2.0 allows users to convert typed text into a sound file, and can also read the text aloud as well. The sound files can be read in a number of different "voices," and this latest edition of Orator also allows users to save articles off the web, and then transfer them to their iPod. Orator 2.0 is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X. [KMG]

In The News

Muslims Around the World Celebrate Eid al-Fitr

Muslims Celebrate End of Ramadan,0,7654391.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines
Prayerful Night Comes as Holy Month Wanes
The Similar Essence of Ramadan and Thanksgiving
The Blessed Month of Ramadan
Essentials of Ramadan, The Fasting Month
Ramadan: Rules & Regulations

Beginning this Tuesday, Muslims throughout the world celebrated Eid al-Fitr, which marks the conclusion of Ramadan. For Muslims, Ramadan is an important holy month, marked by fasting and other important practices and commemorations. Because the start of Islamic holidays depends on when the new moon is sighted, there is sometimes some debate about when exactly Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr begin. In Cairo, thousands gathered in the streets near the central Mustafa Mahmoud mosque and exchanged greetings after their morning prayers. On the other side of the world in Seattle, 7000 Muslims gathered in the Washington State Convention and Trade Center for a large Eid celebration. [KMG]

The first link leads to a story on the conclusion of Ramadan and the beginning of the celebration of Eid al-Fitr from the online edition of Newsday. The second link leads to a news piece from the Seattle Times about how Muslims in the Pacific Northwest are honoring their commitment to Ramadan. The third link will take visitors to a news piece from the UCLA Daily Bruin by Sabaa Saleem where she offers her perspective on the similarities between Ramadan and Thanksgiving. The fourth link leads to a site that contains a number of commentaries on the various aspects of Ramadan, such as fasting. The fifth link will lead visitors to an online version of a book written by Tajuddin B. Shu'aib on the essentials of Ramadan, complete with separate chapters on just about ever aspect of the expected behavior and rituals for this holy month. The final link leads to a site that proffers the basic rules and regulations of Ramadan, as compiled by Ishaq Zahid. [KMG]

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