February 20, 2004
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
NSDL Scout Reports
Research and Education
- University Business
- UPM MIS: Museum Information System at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
- Oregon State University Herbarium: Vascular Plants Database
- The Pew Hispanic Center
- Two on Urban Agriculture
- University of Tokyo: Volcano Research Center (VRC)
- Lewis & Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition
- NASA Sun Earth Media Viewer: Live Solar Images
- Antietam on the Web
- Territorial Kansas Online
- Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2005
- Celebrating Black History: African-American Athletic Pioneers at the University of Wisconsin, 1900-1970
- National Institute of Nursing Research
- The Stan Kenton Orchestra
- Legends of our Times: Native Ranching and Rodeo Life on the Plains and Plateau
In The News
NSDL Scout Reports
The ninth 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 examines the Science of Love. The love of many, the Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about The Science of Sports.
Research and Education
For good or ill, the landscape of higher education throughout the United States is changing rapidly, and the University Business website is a good way to keep in touch with the related transformations. Visitors to the site can read the contents of the current issue, which features articles on a myriad of subjects ranging from graduate student unions to new distance education technology, or browse through the online archive dating back to 2002. The site also contains special sections such as a calendar of upcoming conferences and workshops, case studies, and white papers. Users will also appreciate the Best Of feature, which brings together the most compelling writings from University Business on finance and technology-related issues in higher education. For those who find this information particularly relevant and helpful, the website also has a place where they may sign up to receive UBDaily, the e-newsletter delivered (at no charge) every business day. [KMG]
Since 1887, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (UPM) has sponsored a number of extremely valuable archaeological expeditions to sites on every inhabited continent. With the significant financial generosity of the Mellon Foundation, the UPM has begun the Museum Information System project in order to make a good portion of these highly detailed archaeological field notes and other items (such as photographs of artifacts) available online. So far, the museum has placed materials from three sites online: the Minoan site of Gournia Crete, Pech de l'Aze IV, a Middle Paleolithic site in France, and a pre-Columbian cemetery at Sitio Conte, Panama. For each site, the people at the project have offered a brief introduction to each expedition, along with offering digitized images of artifacts from each site. In the case of Pech de l'Aze, the original field notebooks have been digitized, and are available for general consideration on the website. [KMG]
Representing the collections of the Oregon State University Herbarium, the Vascular Plants database "provides access to all known vascular plant holotypes (ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms) and isotypes..." all within three herbaria housed at Oregon State University, University of Oregon, and Willamette University. Although the Herbarium collections have a "strong emphasis on the state of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest" their scope is worldwide. The database search engine provides ten fields with pull-down menus including Genus, Species, Authority, County, and more. Furthermore, "searches can be conducted by both basionyms (the original published name) and current names (i.e., the most recent annotation of the type specimen)." Searchers can retrieve from 10 to 5,000 Records/Page. [NL] This site is also reviewed in the February 20, 2004 NSDL Life Sciences Report.
Founded by The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2001, the Pew Hispanic Center is located in Washington, D.C., and has as its prime mission "to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the entire nation." To achieve this goal, the Center has embarked on a number of ambitious projects, including a regular program of research papers, performing an annual survey of Latino attitudes, and communicating these findings to policy-makers, business leaders, and various media organizations. Visitors to the site will want to take a look at the basic information about the Center, peruse the helpful daily news digest of items related to the Latino community in the U.S., and make sure to examine the publications section, which is divided by topic. There are quite a few publications (fact sheets, research reports, survey summaries) archived here, including the recent and timely survey on Latino attitudes towards education, which was released in January 2004. [KMG]
Cities Feeding People: International Development Research Centre
Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture [pdf]
As various organizations and think-tanks continue to develop programmatic strategies to improve the welfare of the world's poor, one intriguing idea that has met with marked success is the incorporation of agriculture into the very fabric of urban areas. One such organization is the International Development Research Centre (based in Canada), and its Cities Feeding People program. At the website, visitors can learn about the centre's research agenda, read various working papers and online books on the subject of urban agriculture (such as the recently released, Urban Agriculture Policy Briefs for Local Governments in Latin America), and read news updates. In that same vein, and found at the second link, is the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture which is also committed "to promoting environmental stewardship and the delivery of science-based information." Here visitors can learn more about urban agriculture, read about creating and maintaining a successful urban agriculture, and the organization of the Center. [KMG]
This website discusses the Volcano Research Center's (VRC) work to improve predictions of volcanic eruptions by conducting research on volcanic processes. Users can find out about Asama, Kirishima, Izu-Oshima, and other VRC volcano observatories. The website features information on many continuing and recent eruptions in Japan. Visitors can view many images of volcanic eruptions and disaster relief missions. Researchers can learn about the international cooperative drilling operation at the Unzen Volcano to understand the eruption mechanisms and magnetic activity. [RME] This site is also reviewed in the February 20, 2004 NSDL Physical Sciences Report.
Beginning in January 2004, the Lewis & Clark National Bicentennial Exhibition was set on display in St. Louis to commemorate this rather pivotal event in American history -- the first transcontinental journey across North America. This complementary online exhibition is designed to let people follow in the footsteps of the expedition, and in the words of the introduction, "to meet people different from us in mind and time, and to learn to know them." The exhibit's materials can be accessed in a number of ways, including by theme, through following the trail with an interactive map, or by searching or browsing a gallery of the many pieces of visual and historical ephemera digitally archived here. Using the interactive map is wholly engrossing, as each site allows users to toggle the historic map of the journey with a contemporary map, listen to various sounds associated with each place, and in a few instances, listen to readings from the words of various persons on the expedition. In the themes area, visitors can browse through such topically arranged pieces on Discovering of Diplomacy, A World of Women, and Trade and Property. Finally, there is the collection of over 350 artifacts available for online viewing, including Meriwether Lewis's watch and the will of William Clark. [KMG]
Developed jointly by NASA and the University of California at Berkeley, this elegant site allows the general public to look at a number of truly astonishing images of the sun, as rendered from various telescopes and other image-capturing devices such as NASA's Image Spacecraft. On the main page, there are twelve different views (all updated daily). Visitors can zoom in and out around areas of interest and read a helpful description of what they are observing, as well as how the image was captured. The Illustrations section is another treat, as viewers can peruse 12 high quality illustrations of such important phenomena as the electromagnetic radiation into the atmosphere and the four phases of matter. Within the visualization section, viewers can watch short movies of oxygen atoms in the near-Earth environment and take a virtual tour of the Earth's magnetosphere. The site is completed with a number of interviews with scientists answering questions about solar wind, the sun, Venus, and auroras. [KMG]
Fought near the small town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, the battle of Antietam effectively ended General Robert E. Lee's incursion into the North during the Civil War, and marked a major turning point in the conduct and tone of the War Between the States. Designed and developed by Brian Downey, this fine site contains a broad overview of the conflict, battle maps, a number of well-written articles on various aspects of that fateful day, and a full listing of the participants. Perhaps one of the most intriguing features of the website is the 278 official reports filed by military officers from both the federal and Confederate sides. Of additional interest is the Exhibits area, where visitors can read about important aspects of the conflict, such as those persons honored with the Medal of Honor, the experience of Captain Edward J. Willis on the front lines, and President Abraham Lincoln's visit to meet with General George B. McClellan on October 3, 1862. [KMG]
Created by the Kansas State Historical Society and the University of Kansas, this digital collection uses photographs, handwritten letters, and other documents to present the turbulent territorial years of Kansas history, 1854 through January 1861, when Kansas joined the Union as a non-slave state. Designed for many methods of access to accommodate many types of users, from Civil War buffs to school kids, the site provides: a Google-powered search, the ability to browse a short list of annotated topics including Territorial Politics & Government, Immigration & Early Settlement, or Personalities, a complete outline of topics, and an A-Z keyword list. There is also an interactive map for retrieving information by county, a time line, and lesson plans to assist teachers in using primary source documents from the site in the classroom. Visitors to the site can page through a digital version of a portion (1854-1861) of D. W. Wilder's massive daily chronicle of significant events in Kansas, The Annals of Kansas, 1541-1885.[DS]
While it may not seem like the most enthralling piece of reading, the recently released proposed budget of the United States government for the fiscal year 2005 is an important document. As presented here, visitors may download the entire budget (but it should be noted that it is 63 MB), or elect to view specific sections dealing with various agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, or the Department of Homeland Security. Other potential sections of interest contained within the entire report include the introductory remarks by President George W. Bush, a general overview of the proposed 2005 budget, and a section titled, Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility. The report is rounded out by a very helpful glossary of terms and summary tables, both of which are available in either HTML format or as pdf files. [KMG]
While the integration of African-Americans into the world of professional sports is very well-documented, quite a bit less is known about the various African-American pioneers in the world of collegiate athletics. Helping fill this gap is a nice online exhibit dedicated to exploring the various individuals who led the way in this arena at the University of Wisconsin from the years 1900 to 1970. The site was created by Gregory Bond, a graduate student at the university, and includes a timeline of relevant events. Examples include looking back to 1875, which saw the first African-American graduate from the University, a section on pioneers in a host of various sports at the school, and a documents section that includes a faculty resolution in 1939 opposing a Jim Crow-style track meet in Columbia, Missouri. For anyone interested in this interesting (and somewhat under-examined) aspect of integration in American history, this site is worth a look. [KMG]
Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is committed to supporting clinical and basic research which "establishes a scientific basis for the care of individuals across the life span." Started in 1986, the NINR has contributed to the body of knowledge surrounding such important health care issues as the treatment of chronic illnesses (such as cancer), the quality and cost effectiveness of care, and health promotion and disease prevention. First-time visitors will want to start by looking over the section of the site that describes the organization's mission statement, its strategic plan, and a historical sketch of the group. As may be expected, health care professionals and others will want to take a look at the extensive archive of publications, which ranges from executive summaries on pregnancy outcomes in minority populations to pieces such as, Advance Care Planning: Preferences for Care at the End of Life. [KMG]
Stan Kenton was one of the great jazz band leaders of the 20th century. And, while he was a fairly decent pianist, he is probably best known for his diverse experiments in both instrumentation and arrangements. Developed by Noel Wedder, this site culls together a number of interesting materials about the many incarnations of the Stan Kenton outfit, including the heady days of the Mellophonium Band, from 1960 to 1963. While the organization of the site is a bit haphazard, users will want to take a look through the extended biographical sketch on Kenton, read about his ground breaking Innovations Orchestra, and read a number of reviews of live performances from the 1950s to the 1970s. Visitors to the site will want to make sure and look at the area titled Reflections, Observations & Anecdotes. Here visitors may read first-hand recollections about different recording sessions with Kenton and the band and read various tales about being on the road with Kenton on what were inevitably somewhat long bus trips to and from any number of performing venues.
Created to complement a travelling exhibition organized by the Canadian Museum of Civilization, this fine online exhibit from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian explores the complex relationships between Northern Plains Indians and the horse, dog, and buffalo. These relationships have been transmitted from generation to generation through various traditions, such as story-telling, songs, dances, and elaborate ceremonies. The exhibit here allows the web-browsing public to learn about these traditions through examining 14 different pieces of visual material, ranging from photographs to well-worn horse saddles. Some of the other objects available for consideration here include a photograph of Buffalo Thigh Tse-tsehese-stahase (a boy involved in ranching) and a baby board, which served as a type of cradle. [KMG]
For users looking for a novel program that allows them to watch DVDs on their computers while working on other applications, Trans Lucy 1.0.1 may be just the thing. The application lets users float the video display above other applications, effectively allowing them to make the video display translucent. It should be noted that the application can only work with computers that have video cards that support Quartz Extreme, and that this is in fact a demonstration version. Users may use this version indefinitely, but only for 20 minutes at a time. Trans Lucy 1.0.1 is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X 10.1 or higher. [KMG]
In The News
Dj vu as Fog of Argument Engulfs Stonehenge Ttunnel Inquiry
Stonehenge Tunnel Inquiry Opens
Campaign to Protect Rural England
The Stonehenge Project [Macromedia Flash Reader]
Department for Culture, Media And Sport: World Heritage Sites
English Heritage: The Future of Stonehenge [pdf]
The collection of megaliths in Wiltshire (west of London) known as Stonehenge is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known prehistoric sites in the entire world. For the past twenty years, tourism in the area has grown to almost unbearable levels, as a result, much of the infrastructure around the area (particularly the roads), are badly in need of a massive overhaul. While plans for redeveloping the area have been in the works for over a decade, the most recent plan to move the path of a highly congested road in the area into a tunnel underneath this magnificent structure has met with strong opposition. A recent inquiry was opened to hear debate about the plan, and several officials from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, although recognizing the need for the road, noted that this new development would have a "major impact" on the site. Many people hope that the government will accept that a longer tunnel for the road is an absolute must, including Martyn Heighton, the director of the National Trust, who expressed concern that the tunnel exits would be places of archaeological and "visually sensitive ridgelines." If approved, work on the tunnel and surrounding areas would start by 2005. [KMG]
The first link leads to a news article about the current public inquiry into the proposed tunnel under Stonehenge from this Wednesday's Guardian newspaper. The second link will take visitors to another article about the inquiry which talks about some of the misgivings from certain preservation experts. The third link leads to the homepage of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, and features various publications and policy statements, including the campaign's most recent commentary on the proposed road tunnel under Stonehenge. The fourth link leads to The Stonehenge Project website, which brings together a number of important documents about the proposed transformation of the site, including improving the visitor experience with better access and a new visitor center. The fifth link will take interested parties to a list of other World Heritage Sites in Britain, offered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, a government agency in the United Kingdom. The sixth link leads to the site provided by the English Heritage organization (the group responsible for the management of Stonehenge itself) that contains some basic information about the project to redevelop the facilities and infrastructure in the area, along with detailed visitor information about the site in the present.
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