The Scout Report -- Volume 10, Number 10

March 12, 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 Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology

The sixth issue of the third volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Technology and the Global Economy.

Research and Education

The Vietnam Project [pdf, RealOne Player]

A number of online archives exist already to remember major military conflicts (particularly for World War II), so it is fitting that the Vietnam War also have a significant web presence. Designed by a dedicated team at Texas Tech University, the Virtual Vietnam Archive "enables scholars, students and all interested in this remarkable period in our world history to conduct research directly from universities, schools, libraries, and homes." Currently, the project contains over 1.5 million pages of materials online, ranging from photographs, slides, audio and video recordings, and a number of oral histories. The search engine for the archive is quite powerful and simple to use, and allows users to specify dates, media format desired, language, and document title. While the site doesn't offer any thematically organized collections per se, there is a real wealth of material here. One particular highlight is the number of oral history audio files online here. These are drawn from a number of persons involved with the Vietnam War in a number of capacities. Additionally, visitors will want to check out the wealth of material related to the proceedings and history of the Vietnam Project, including newsletters and project updates. [KMG]

The Rise of New Immigrant Gateways [pdf]

Many urban areas in the United States continue to add population to their respective locales by serving as gateway communities for the millions of immigrants who come to live in the country every year. This recent report published by the Brookings Institution, and authored by Audrey Singer, demonstrates a rather intriguing pattern by which certain cities (such as Chicago and San Francisco) have effectively served as immigrant conduits for over a century; whereas other American conurbations, such as Cleveland, were only able to garner large streams of immigrants in the early 20th century. The 36-page report discusses the nature of both former gateway cities as well as drawing on Census 2000 data to look at the emergence of new immigrant gateway cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington, DC. The report also reveals several other notable findings, such as the fact that by 2000 more immigrants in metropolitan areas lived in suburbs than cities, and their growth rates there exceeded those in the cities. [KMG]

Advanced Placement Digital Library

In collaboration with the College Board, Rice University has developed this very helpful online digital library for high school Advanced Placement (AP) students and teachers of biology, physics, and chemistry. Through the website, students and teachers alike can access these materials (after filling out a free registration form), and use them at their own leisure and adopt them for individualized learning plans. These online resources are selected through a review panel that includes a higher education faculty member with in-depth knowledge of the AP curriculum, five AP teachers, two project context experts, and an undergraduate student who is studying the subject at the university level. The material itself made available here contains a topic outline for each subject, with extensive hyperlinks to the collected resources. Finally, visitors can also read about the members of the Advanced Placement Digital Library Review Panel and their backgrounds. [KMG]

DreiserWebSource [RealOnePlayer]

Designed and maintained by the Annenberg Rare Book and Manuscript Library Collection at the University of Pennsylvania, the DreiserWebSource website brings together a host of written ephemera, original essays, and electronic texts related to the life and writings of Theodore Dreiser, the prominent American author. While the site doesn't have a formal search engine, the material is divided into four primary sections: Correspondence & Texts, Scholarly Essays, Reference Sources, and Still and Moving images. The Correspondence & Texts section is a delight unto itself, as it contains a host of digitized correspondence between Dreiser and colleagues over several decades and a special section dedicated to his ground-breaking novel, Sister Carrie. Along with several editions of the complete novel there are several essays about the novel's composition and historical context, along with a virtual exhibition curated by Nancy M. Shawcross from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Penn. The site also includes a rare 3-minute silent film of Dreiser from 1938 at Mt. Kisco, New York, taken by Robert Elias. [KMG]

Cogprints [pdf]

Utilizing technology generated by the University of Southampton, Cogprints is an electronic archive for self-archive papers in a number of scientific areas of study. Some of these areas include psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, numerous areas of computer science, philosophy, biology, anthropology, and several others. Currently, the archive contains over 1200 papers ranging from 1950 to 2004. The search options for the database are quite extensive, as visitors may initiate a simple search, or perform an advanced search, which features 13 search fields. While papers are contained in a number of academic fields, the archive is particularly strong in the areas of artificial intelligence and philosophy of the mind. Visitors looking to post their own work to the site will need to register for a free account, and if they encounter any problems, may feel free to consult the help section provided here. [KMG]

The Digital Human [MS Word]

The Digital Human is an Open Source Software Consortium that uses information technology tools to simulate and represent the body's processes, such as the functions of DNA molecules and proteins to cells, tissues, organs, and gross anatomy. In an effort to develop a community where researchers can share their work, the website provides links to various research centers and their work on simulations, visualizations and engineering models. Another aspect of the consortium is "to allow biomedical researchers and computer scientists to work effectively together to develop a language that will allow this to happen." Proceedings from conferences addressing these issues are available from this website. [VF] This site is also reviewed in the March 12, 2004 NSDL MET Report.

Elections 2004

Every presidential election in the United States gives rise to greater legions of so-called "spin doctors," and a number of pundits offering their opinions on the chances of each candidate who has thrown their hat in the ring. Fortunately, the University of Michigan Documents Center has developed this helpful and informative website that culls together hundreds of useful websites about the upcoming presidential election of 2004. From the homepage visitors can look through a number of helpful sections devoted to listing sites dedicated to such topics as Policy Issues, Candidates, and Campaign. Within each of these broad thematic areas are contained more specific areas dedicated to links on important subtopics such as campaign finances, media coverage, terrorism, economics, and many others. Scholars will want to take a look at the Academic Research section, which contains links to online periodical databases and some links to sites with recent working papers on the subject.

ippr: istitute for policy research

Launched in 1988, the ippr is a well-known British think tank committed to producing high quality research in a number of important sectors, including media, asylum and migration, and transport issues. As the website notes, "Our aim is to continue a be a force for change by delivering far-reaching and realistic policy solutions that we hope will produce a fairer, more inclusive and more environmentally sustainable world." The homepage allows visitors to view a calendar of upcoming events hosted by the group, read its most recent press releases, and find out about new and forthcoming publications. Most visitors will find the Research section most compelling, as here they may find general information about the group's ongoing research agenda, which ranges from work on the digital society to substantial work on social policy. [KMG]

General Interest

ABC Arts Online: Winged Sandals [Macromedia Flash Reader]

The Scout Report has profiled numerous sites on the vast world of Greek mythology before, but this most recent site is perhaps the most enchanting and visually stimulating so far. Winged Sandals, produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (in association with The University of Melbourne's Centre for Classics and Archaeology), takes visitors through the world of Greek mythology with a number of Flash-enabled movies, intriguing games, and quizzes. Visitors are led through the site by Hermes (appropriately enough, as he is the messenger god), and are transported above the city of ancient Athens, to various locales. The Storytime section is particularly lovely, as visitors can watch retellings of such important tales as the acquisition of the oracle at Delphi by Apollo or the story of Perseus's encounter with Medusa. Also of note is the games section which allows visitors the opportunity to charm Cerberus with music and to create their own musical creations in Groove Pentatonica. Designed for children age 6 to 12, this website is a fine teaching aid and a real delight for young people and adults. [KMG]

The Tibetan & Himalayan Digital Library (THDL)

As stated on the home page, "The Tibetan & Himalayan Digital Library is an international community using Web-based technologies to integrate diverse knowledge about Tibet and the Himalayas for free access from around the world." In other words, visitors to THDL can expect more than an image database and digital documents, although these materials are present. The Guide to Resources, accessed by choosing the First Time Visitors link, provides an overview of THDL resources grouped into broad categories (that appear as images on the homepage) including: Collections, Reference, Community, Education, and Tools. Collections are further organized by format, such as audio, video, or GIS-technology based materials including a gazetteer and maps of Tibet, Asia, Lhasa and Sera. There are multimedia collections based on the work of a particular individual, such as Frederick Williamson, a British political officer who took about 1700 photographs of Tibet in the 1930s. Also included are thematic collections such as Architecture, Art, Literature, History; Interactive maps and models, such as a 3D interactive model of Meru Nyingba Monastery (Lhasa, Tibet); and electronic journals. There are a number of resources to assist with Tibetan languages, such as translators and dictionaries, and digital tools for displaying fonts, and the Community section provides discussion forums, email lists, Blogs, and links to associations and individuals of interest. [DS]

World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition [pdf,RealOnePlayer]

Reconstruction of the World Trade Center site has begun in earnest in Lower Manhattan, and many people are looking forward to see the transformation of the site move forward. While the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was responsible for launching the largest design competition ever to elicit submissions for the World Trade Center Site Memorial, only recently have all of the submissions been put online for the general public. Here visitors can look at all of the 5201 submissions, which came from 63 nations and 49 U.S. states. Each submission may be viewed in its entirety, and visitors may also read more detailed information about the seven finalists. Additionally, there is detailed information about the winning entry, Reflecting Absence, which was submitted jointly by Michael Arad and Peter Walker. Finally, visitors may browse through a detailed archive of press releases related to the official competition. [KMG]

Beyond Compare: Women Photographers on Beauty [Macromedia Flash Reader]

Sponsored by the Dove Company, this online exhibit designed to showcase the work of women photographers and photos of beauty complements a ongoing photo exhibition that is making its way through Canada during the spring of 2004. As the website notes, "The exhibit speaks to the uniqueness of each artist's interpretation of beauty. Each photograph is beyond comparison-beautiful on its own terms. These images which depict confidence, individuality and character are also accompanied by an anecdote or quote that explains the photographer's vision." The photographs displayed online here come from around the world, and include the work of such notable photographers as Annie Leibovitz, Tierney Gearon, and Peggy Sirota. While looking through the photo galleries, visitors can also stop to read the story behind each image, and read different comments made by the photographers as well. [KMG]

The Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection

Dayton C. Miller grew up on a small farm in Ohio in the middle years of the 19th century, and later became a well-regarded acoustician and physicist, and an avid collector of flutes and related musical instruments and ephemera. In 1941, in his bequest, Dayton Miller donated his massive collection of more than 1700 flutes and other wind instruments to the Library of Congress. In order to offer greater distributed public access to this trove of material, the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress has created this interesting archive of Mr. Miller's extensive collection. Here visitors can search or browse through some of the many wonderful instruments collected by Miller during his lifetime, including a number of rare crystal flutes, a 22-karat gold flute designed by Miller himself, and a flute presented to President James Madison. Along with looking through this archive, visitors will want to take a look at some other presentations on the site, such as a section titled Fife vs. Band Flute, which looks at the substantial differences between the two instruments, and one of the more than 3000 books and pamphlets contained within the collection, titled The Pleasant Companion: or New Lessons and Instructions for the Flagelet from 1680. [KMG]

National Portrait Gallery

Founded in 1856, the National Portrait Gallery in London was established to collect the likenesses of famous British men and women. For persons with a penchant for portraiture, this website will be a welcome addition, and one with enough material to merit a number of extensive visits. Besides information about visiting the Gallery (which is available in several languages, including German and Japanese), visitors will delight in the fact that they can search the entire collection of 50,167 portraits online here. In all fairness, only 28,539 of this total number are illustrated, but that's still quite impressive, as visitors can look at renderings of Samuel Johnson, Henry VIII, and other luminaries. Visitors to the site can also browse the Gallery as if they were there, by selecting any one of the rooms, organized by century. The site is rounded out by a nice selection of special website features, such as the most recent one added to the site, which deals with well-known Britons of the past 100 years. [KMG]

The Massachusetts Historical Society

From its auspicious beginnings in 1792, the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) has grown to be one of the major historical research libraries and manuscript repositories in New England. Along with its public outreach programs (which visitors can learn about on the site), the society also offer a number of fellowship programs for visiting scholars and persons interested in utilizing its collections. For persons interested in doing research at the society, there are over 51 digitized online finding aids available here as well, along the ABIGAL online catalog which may also prove useful. From the homepage, visitors can also view the Object of the Month feature, which gives detailed information and a digitized image of an important object in the Society's holdings, such as a dramatic photograph of the Boston & Albany passenger train from 1885. Of course, users will not want to miss the fine online resources here, including the electronic archive of correspondence of the Adams Family (including those legendary letters between John and Abigail Adams) and the wonderful electronic archive that contains many original documents and papers from Thomas Jefferson in the collection of the MHS. [KMG]

Network Tools

Web Desktop 2.2 [Macintosh Operating System]

While many applications seem to afford users the ability to effectively multi-task, this small application allows users the ability multi-task by layering a web browser over their existing desktop. The application can also be customized, as users can specify an automatic refresh interval so that the page on the desktop is automated at various intervals. Some potential uses include tracking the orbit of satellites, monitoring stock quotes and keeping track of online auctions. WebDesktop 2.2 is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X 10.2 and Safari 1.0 [KMG]

GnomeMeeting 1.00 [Windows Operating System]

GnomeMeeting is a videoconferencing and telephony application that allows users to make audio and video calls to remote users with compatible software, such as Microsoft Netmeeting. The application has a number of features such as call monitoring, audio and video call mute, and PC-to-phone calls. From the website for the application, users can review an extensive FAQ section, view a number of screenshots, and read up-to-date news on version releases and bug fixes. GnomeMeeting 1.00 is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and higher. [KMG]

In The News

International Women's Day Celebrated

Baltimore Sun: Nobel laureate decries inequality,0,1008586.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines
Al Jazeera.Net: Women Becoming Main Victims of AIDS
Cornell Daily Sun: Ceremony Recognizes Outstanding Women
International Women's Day 2004 [pdf, RealOne Player]
A History of International Women's Day
WHO: Women's Health

With historical origins dating back to the early 20th century, International Women's Day has been officially celebrated since 1977, when the United Nations made a special declaration setting the date in early March every year. This year saw a flurry of important events around the world that coincided with March 8th, including ceremonies designed to honor women of national and international importance in many countries and a number of valuable statements made on behalf regarding the cause of gender equality. A number of prominent women also gave speeches this Monday, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, who noted that "The rights of women and democracy are one and the same." A study released this past Monday by the Inter-Parliamentary Union noted that women make up a record-breaking 15.3 percent of the world's lawmakers. The country with the greatest percentage of female lawmakers is Rwanda (49 percent), followed closely by Sweden, with 45 percent. While there was much to celebrate, there were also some ominous trends noted by lawmakers and officials, including the rapid and disturbing increase of young women with HIV around the world in the past few years, a fact noted by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan during his remarks to a special UN session.

The first site will take visitors to a news piece from the Baltimore Sun that contains Shirin Ebadi's remarks made on International Women's Day. The second link leads to a news piece from Al-Jazeera that discusses the rapid increase of HIV among young women, a public health issue that is becoming endemic in certain parts of the developing world. The third link leads to an article from the Cornell (University) Daily Sun that offers details on a celebration honoring women on their campus who had worked to improve the situation of women locally, nationally, and internationally. The fourth link will take visitors to the rather comprehensive website for International Women's Day 2004 created by the United Nations. The site contains information on the events sponsored by the UN and its Women Watch website, which serves as a clearinghouse for resources on gender equality and empowerment of women. The fifth link will take users to a good history of International Women's Day, created by Joyce Stevens for the Australian Women's Intra Network. The final link leads to a well-honed site developed by the World Health Organization to highlight its own work on women's health (including special sections on work in Southeast Asia) and to bring together a number of useful fact sheets and related web-based resources. [KMG]

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