The Scout Report -- Volume 10, Number 1

January 9, 2004

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 first issues of the third volumes of the Life Sciences Report and Physical Sciences Report are available. The Topic in Depth section of Life Sciences Report annotates sites on Hybernation. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Black Holes.

Research and Education

Current Cites

With the ever-growing interest in information technology and digital initiatives and projects, the Current Cites website will be of great interest to persons working in these various fields. Edited by Roy Tennant (a librarian working at the California Digital Library in Oakland), Current Cites is a monthly publication that contains 10-15 annotated citations of the best literature currently available in the field of information technology. Of course, visitors to the site may elect to sign up to receive Current Cites every month, or they may peruse the contents of the publication back to its founding in August 1990. Equally helpful is the Bibliography On-Demand feature that allows users to construct their own bibliography culled from the Current Cites database of bibliographic citations. Additionally, the items that are freely available on the Internet are also retrieved and indexed so that users may perform an article search of the full-text of these various items. [KMG]

World Bank Group: Climate Change [pdf]

Located within the World Bank's Environment Department, the Climate Change team "provides resources and expertise for the World Bank's participation in international climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and provides technical advice to the World Bank's Global Environment Facility Program." Understandably, the site contains a brief explication of the key themes surrounding contemporary concerns about climate change, along with offering a detailed discussion of the various programs and research projects with which the Climate Change group is engaged directly or in tandem with other related organizations and institutions. From the main page, visitors can read about the nature of international climate change (and its disproportionate effects on the developing world), peruse a list of relevant online publications, and read press releases from the Climate Change team. [KMG]

USDA/FDA Foodborne Illness Education Information Center

Recently, there has been a great deal of concern over foodborne illnesses, particularly concerning the safety of various food products and the proper handling of certain foodstuffs that are prone to transmitting bacteria. Designed by the USDA and the FDA, this site serves as a fine clearinghouse for the general public and persons working in the field of public health. Included within the site is Foodsafe, a discussion group where individuals can network with food safety specialists from all over the world and get answers to difficult food safety questions. A nice section dedicated to other sites dealing with food safety includes several dozen links that address such important issues as children and food safety and food allergies. Finally, visitors can also read a number of food safety education success stories submitted from different parts of the United States. [KMG]

King County Snapshots

This fine photographic archive serves as both a great repository of visual historical documentation of the King County area (which includes Seattle) in the state of Washington, as a good example of a collaborative partnership between various organizations. The partnership includes bringing together the visual collections of ten small historical organizations in tandem with the University of Washington and Seattle's Museum of History and Industry. Visitors can read about the working relationship between the organizations, view training materials from three workshops (such as one on image selection), and examine a list of online resources on subjects such as scanning digital images and metadata guidelines. Lest one forget the extensive visual materials (over 12,000 items as of the last count), visitors may search across each distinct collection, or elect to browse through each one individually. To get visitors started with using the archive, a number of sample searches are provided here as well. [KMG]

HUD: Community Renewal Initiative [pdf]

Based on ideas developed in the United Kingdom, the Community Renewal Initiative (operated under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), was launched in 1994 under President Bill Clinton. The Initiative consists of a number of discrete policy initiatives, including the Empowerment Zone program and the Enterprise Communities program. As the website notes, the Initiative has "opened new businesses and created jobs, housing, and new educational and health care opportunities for thousands of Americans." Persons interested in these novel initiatives will want to peruse this site, as it contains detailed information about each of these policy initiatives and about the various incentives for businesses interested in relocating to these various locales. The site also features frequent updates on new program incentives, along with a number of important documents, such as the recent publication Tax Incentives + Businesses = Jobs. [KMG]

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership: Whooping Crane [Windows Media Player]

This thorough educational website was developed through a partnership of Annenberg/CPB, Journey North, and the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership. This coalition of non-profit organizations, government agencies, and individuals are "joining forces to bring a migratory flock of whooping cranes back to eastern North America." This site connects to an extensive selection of lessons, activities and information, facts about Whooping Cranes in question/answer format, and background information about the Whooping Crane Reintroduction Study. Users can also connect to highlights from the Year 3 Reintroduction and Migration including maps, video clips, and photos. [NL] This site is also reviewed in the January 9, 2004 NSDL Life Sciences Report.

FreeBMD Home Page

Under the direction of the FreeBMD Project Founder Graham Hart, this very ambitious project has the ultimate goal to provide free Internet access to the Civil Registration index information from England and Wales. At its essence, the Civil Registration system was designed to record all of the births, marriages, and deaths in England and Wales, and has been in place since 1837. As such, it is one of the most important single genealogical resources throughout those particular parts of Britain. From the website, visitors may enter an individuals' surname, first name, and additional search criteria, such as the year of the event (birth, death, etc.) or registration district. Obviously, such a project would be unthinkable without the help of many volunteers, and there is a place on the site where interested parties may sign up and learn about volunteering opportunities to assist with the transcription of the many records that make up the database. [KMG]

Institute of Global Environment and Society and the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies [Microsoft Word, pdf, gif, Java]

This website features the work of two groups: the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES) and the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA). Both organizations were formed to improve the "understanding and prediction of Earth's climate variations and to share both the fruits of this research and the tools necessary to carry out this research with society as a whole." The Weather and Climate Data link features numerous maps and animations of the analyses of current conditions, weather forecasts, and climate outlooks for the world. Users can download GrADS, the interactive tool used to access, manipulate, and visualize earth science data. Researchers, educators, and students seeking meteorological information and maps dealing with topics such as soil moisture, pressure, and the maximum potential hurricane intensities will want to visit this website. [RME] This site is also reviewed in the January 9, 2003 NSDL Physical Sciences Report.

General Interest

Honky Tonks, Hymns & the Blues: American Music From Back Roads to Big City [RealOne Player]

Originally broadcast from July 2003 to September 2003, this rather engaging radio program explored the origins and development of America's popular music tradition in the first five decades of the 20th century. Hosted by NPR's Paul Brown, this website is designed to complement this fine series, and allow the musically curious visitor to listen to each of the eleven segments in the series. The segments include a number of fine historic performances (by such seminal musicians as Jimmie Rodgers and Kitty Wells), rare archive tape, and interviews with contemporary musicians, including Honeyboy Edwards, Taj Mahal, Alison Krauss, and Merle Haggard. From the site's main page, visitors can also elect to receive email updates about the program and find out exactly what a honky-tonk is. The site is rounded out by a special web-only program on the legendary Carter Family and their legacy in country music. [KMG]

The Science Museum of Minnesota: Mysteries of atalhyk

Courtesy of the Science Museum of Minnesota, middle-schoolers can take a virtual trip to an archaeological dig in central Turkey, southeast of the modern city of Konya. In 1998, archaeologists excavated a Neolithic settlement, that 9,000 years ago, was one of the world's major cities with a population of about 10,000 people. atalhyk is of interest to archaeologists since it was settled at a time when people were beginning to abandon hunter-gatherer lifestyles in favor of communities and agriculture. Presented in a comic book style, the website features information about the processes of an archaeological dig, artifacts found at the dig, loads of activities for kids -- make a neolithic dinner, paint a mural, play a ball game -- as well as virtual tours of both the excavation and a subsequent exhibition at the Science Museum of Minnesota that opened in 2001. There is also a glossary, timeline, maps and links to additional resources. [DS]

Designed by a trio of scientists working in Germany (Marcus Rehbein, Asif Karim, and Rolf Eckhardt), this fun and educational website is designed to facilitate the use of balloons in scientific education. More specifically, the site offers detailed instruction on how to create a variety of molecule models out of balloons, such as the octahedron, the diamond, the graphite lattice, and the Buckminster Fullerene. The site begins with a brief introduction to the art of balloon manipulation, then continues on to offer detailed visual and written explanations of how to create the knots that allow for the creation of some of the more complex balloon models. The site also contains a nice FAQ section, which answers some basic questions about the technique of creating balloon molecules. Finally, there is an online forum where visitors may submit queries and read the suggestions and comments of other visitors. [KMG]

Epicurious: The World's Greatest Recipe Collection [RealOne Player]

Produced by CondeNet, this rather prodigious collection of culinary delights contains an archive of over 16,000 recipes. The database may be searched through the use of keywords, or through a number of more elaborate specifications, such as looking for recipes that are kid-friendly, low-fat, or meatless. Visitors can create their own customized online recipe box, view a list of the most popular recipes (as noted by visitors to the site), and look through a list of the newest recipes added to the site. Some of the more compelling new additions include recipes for banana gratins, almond spice cookies, apricot chutney, brandied baked pears, and broccoli and parsnip soup. Perhaps one of the most helpful parts of the site is a collection of technique videos provided for the novice cook. Here visitors can view demonstration videos of such important culinary skills as how to poach eggs properly, how to baste a turkey, and how to boil a lobster. Overall, this site is a good resource for both experienced and beginning cooks looking for both new and traditional recipes. [KMG]

Witness and Response: September 11 Acquisitions at the Library of Congress [RealOne Player]

The events of September 11, 2001 are still very fresh in the minds of many persons across the United States and much of the world. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Library of Congress has designed this online exhibition (in conjunction with an in situ exhibition in Washington, D.C.) for the general public to peruse some of the many items related to the events of that day. Included are various visual ephemera, such as posters, billboards, and drawings by young people. The site also contains a number of audio interviews from such people as a police officer at the Pentagon and a member of New York's Police Department. Some of the more interesting items have been culled from the Library of Congress's overseas acquisitions offices in Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Nairobi, and Jakarta, and include posters depicting Osama Bin Laden and other related topics. [KMG]

Health Physics Instrumentation Museum Directory

This particular online collection from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (a university consortium that oversees the Oak Ridge National Laboratory) contains over 1000 objects, many of which are on view at this site. The Health Physics Historical Instrumentation Museum Collection has been deemed the official repository for historical radiological instruments by the Health Physics Society, and at its essence, "chronicles the scientific and commercial history of radioactivity and radiation." This online collection is divided into sections that include atomic movie posters, radiation warning signs, radioluminescent items, ionization chambers, and electrometers. One of the more engaging sections details a number of items designed as radioactive quack cures, such as jars for adding radon to water, emanators for adding radon to water, and radium tablets and bath salts. [KMG]

The Official Site of Humphrey Bogart [Macromedia Flash Reader, RealOne Player]

Born on Christmas Day, 1899, Humphrey Bogart would become one of Hollywood's most legendary stars, with a career that spanned three decades, and included a number of memorable roles. Designed by his estate, this site will be one that Bogie fans will treasure, as it includes an extended biographical essay and a list of some memorable quotes by (and about) this legend of the silver screen. The site also includes three thematically organized photo galleries, such as one devoted to pictures of Bogart with Lauren Bacall and another that features photos of him throughout his life (including a sketch of him as a baby done by his mother). The Community section features downloadable screensavers, computer wallpaper, a listing of other Bogie tribute sites, and multimedia clips of the late actor in a few of his most acclaimed roles, such as Charlie Allnut in The African Queen and Fred C. Dobbs, the gold-crazed down-and-outer in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. [KMG]

Network Tools

Free History Cleaner 2.75 [Windows Operating System]

More and more persons are turning to internet browser history cleaners to expunge sensitive materials from their various browsers, and this application is a welcome addition to the wide variety of like-minded programs. This edition of Free History Cleaner permanently erases a browser's cache files, cleans the Windows temporary folder, and permanently cleans the recycle bin. Additionally, the application is easily integrated with Internet Explorer and each separate function can be toggled on and off. Free History Cleaner 2.75 is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]

AnaBuilder 2.35.2 [Windows Operating System]

The AnaBuilder application is a novel visualization application that assists users in the creation of stereoscopic photographs, such as anaglyphs (those photographs that are generally viewed through red-tinted glasses). The application also features a conversion tool that allows users to convert a two-dimensional photograph into a three-dimensional photograph. The website features detailed instructions on how to manipulate the application accurately and also contains a number of sample photographs and screenshots. The program is available in several different languages (including French, English, and Dutch), and is compatible with systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]

In The News

Exploring Mars

NASA: Mars Exploration Rover Mission
NASA Land Rover a Success on Mars
Mars Photos Tempt Scientists With Vast Areas for Exploration
Geology of Mars
Denver Museum of Nature and Science: Water and Life on Mars? Destination Mars
BBCi Space: Mars Guide

NASA has blasted into the new year by not only landing a robotic vehicle (the Rover Spirit) on the surface of Mars, but also by transmitting the best photographs ever captured of the red planet. With that, Spirit is now preparing to meander about the surface of Mars and collect specimens of rock and soil -- the return of which is anxiously awaited by scientists worldwide. Spirit landed and made its first transmissions to earth earlier this week. And, as was planned by NASA researchers, Sprit had landed almost directly in what looks to be an impact crater, now nicknamed Sleepy Hollow. Researchers are excited to explore that area and the many other craters and rock debris located there. While the planet appears to be quite desolate, Spirit will soon be joined by its twin, Opportunity. Opportunity is expected to land next week on another part of the planet before beginning its own exploration.

The first site takes visitors to NASA's official Mars exploration site. Located here is all sorts of information on the mission's purpose, a timeline of events, updated photographs sent by Spirit, press releases, and resources for teachers and students. The two news sites offer reviews of the mission. The first is a detailed site from and provides visitors with several stories that have been dedicated to the mission. The second of these is a review of the photos of Mars sent from Spirit. The fourth site is dedicated to the geology of Mars. This site, from Albert T. Hsui at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is a great reference for delving into the details of Mars geology (as was known pre-January 2004). The next site is from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and provides a great description of the search for water (or the past presence of it) on Mars. offers the next site which provides a great collection of teaching resources for educators wishing to bring Mars into the their classrooms. The final site, from BBCi, totes itself as containing "everything you need to know about Mars exploration." And, it lives up to its claim pretty well. This site offers a different perspective from the NASA mission by offering a look into the European Space Agency's Express Mission and the subsequent landing of the ESA version of the Spirit and Opportunity, the Beagle II.

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