The Scout Report -- Volume 10, Number 18

May 7, 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 seventh issue of the second volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Google's IPO.

Research and Education

OECD Nuclear Energy Agency [pdf]

Based in Paris, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is a specialized agency within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) whose mission is to assist its member countries in "maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for the safe, environmentally friendly and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." At the site, visitors can download various policy papers, obtain basic facts about nuclear power and development in the member countries, and read the latest press releases from the NEA. The homepage also serves as a basic introduction to the current activities of the organization, such as the upcoming International Youth Nuclear Congress, its work on nuclear legislation in Eastern Europe, and its latest reports on such timely topics as the regulatory control of radioactive waste management. Visitors may also opt to sign up to receive the latest publications and newsletters from the NEA electronically on this site. [KMG]

World Bank: Anticorruption [pdf[

In its many different guises, corruption around the world tends to affect the poor, who are often the most reliant on the provision of public services, and are also least likely to be able to pay the extra costs associated with bribery and fraud. The World Bank has identified corruption as "the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development," and thusly has set up this anticorruption website to serve as an online resource for policy-makers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other interested parties. On the site, the World Bank lays out its strategy for combating corruption, which includes increasing political accountability, strengthening civil society participation, and improving public sector management. The site also contains a number of helpful resources, such as toolkits for assessing government performance in this area, and information and reports on various regional and country-based approaches to dealing with corruption. The site is rounded out by a calendar of events and key strategy documents, such as "Reforming Public Institutions and Strengthening Governance, A World Bank Strategy." [KMG]

How to Influence States: Socialization and International Human Rights Law [pdf]

Authored by Ryan Goodman and Derek Jinks, this working paper from the University of Chicagos Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper series was published first in March 2004, and is due to appear later this year in the Duke Law Journal. In its 57-pages, the paper deals with the ways in which states might effectively change their human rights regime based on various processes of socialization where so-called "bad actors" might be persuaded to incorporate globally legitimated models of state behavior and, on the other side of the coin, how "good actors" might also be persuaded to act better. The paper begins by discussing three mechanisms of social influence, namely coercion, persuasion, and acculturation, then continues on to discuss the nature of conditional membership, the precision of obligations, and concludes with a section on implementation. [KMG]

A Civil War Soldier in the Wild Cat Regiment

Born in Winslow Township, Pennsylvania in 1843, Tilton C. Reynolds was a member of the 105th Regiment Pennsylvania at the tender age of 17 and served admirably throughout the Civil War for four years. This particular online collection (which includes 164 items) offers a look into "the lives of a Union soldier and members of his family during the Civil War," and includes letters that deal with the feelings of his family, his capture by Confederate troops, and various opinions on slavery and the election of 1864. The website includes a timeline that details the history of the 105th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers and a detailed profile of the entire Reynolds family. As with previous American Memory collections, the contents of this collection can be searched by keyword, document title, subject, and name. [KMG]

Two on Animal Encounters [RealOne Player]

Fruit Fly Fight Club
The Kravitz Lab Movie Page

Conflict and violence, regrettably, seem to be a commonplace element of the human condition, with certain epochs bearing witness to more of these two phenomena and, some bearing witness to a relatively absence of these behaviors. In an attempt to explain the biological factors behind such behaviors, Professor Edward Kravitz and his colleagues at Harvard University have created this witness which features fruit flies in intense combat in order to study these types of behaviors. On the first site, visitors can watch fruit flies in combat, listen to Professor Kravitz talk about the impetus and reasoning behind such experiments, and learn more about these extremely compelling studies. The second site leads to another set of dramatic short films that document lobster fights and lobster "martial arts. " Of course, information on the various fights are "scored" is also provided, along with video clips demonstrating the different phases of each encounter. [KMG]

NOVA: World in the Balance

Taking as its focus the deceptively simple questions, How has the worlds population changed over time? and How will it change in the future?, this engaging website (designed as a companion to the television program) developed by NOVA explores both of these queries through a set of interviews, interactive features, and additional resources, such as weblinks and guides for teachers. The interviews are enlightening, and feature transcripts of conversations with Ding Yihui on climate change in China, Geeta Rao Gupta on the status of women in India, and Lester Brown on population growth. The section on population control campaigns and family planning are particular nice, as they profile, through brief essays and posters, the attempts of India, China, and Kenya to promote these policies. As mentioned, the interactive features are very well-though out, and allow visitors to examine the growth of the human population from the year zero to 2050 and to take a quiz on population trends and environmental challenges. [KMG]


It is sometimes difficult to construct various ways to fully understand how parts of the world report (or fail to report) on various ongoing events or phenomena, and there has been a certain hand-wringing within the journalism profession about lack of coverage of certain events. Utilizing a treemap visualization algorithm, Newsmap is an application that visually reflects "the constantly changing landscape" of the Google News news aggregator. As this information is displayed visually, this format is able to "reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change across the globe." By customizing the Newsmap application, users can look at various news sectors (such as world, nation, business, technology, sports, entertainment and health), and toggle through the various coverage provided by different countries throughout the world. Although it is quite graphic intensive, this site is one that will be worth visiting multiple times and may be of particular interest to those in the fields of journalism and international studies. [KMG]

General Interest

Bodie, CA

Held in a state of arrested decay, the ghost town of Bodie, California is one of the best known ghost towns in the United States. As with many a small town in the western part of the country, the town was part of the boom and bust cycle that was emblematic of the raucous world of mineral extraction, and as the gold in the region came and went, so did most of the residents of Bodie. This whole cycle began for Bodie in 1859, when a substantial quartz ledge was located in the region, along with significant deposits of gold. In 1962, the state of California took over what remained of the town in order to create a state historic park, and today approximately 200 structures remain on the site. At the website, visitors can take a photographic tour throughout many of these buildings (with some lovely interior photos as well), peruse a timeline of the towns fortunes, and take a virtual tour of the Bodie cemetery. For persons interested in visiting Bodie, there is some helpful tips on nearby amenities and services. [KMG]

James Joyce: The Brazen Head

Enjoy a pint with James Joyce at the Brazen Head Public House, brought to you by Modern Word. Described by site organizer Allen Ruch as "...a ball of electronic twine to aid you in your travels through the labyrinth of Dedalus," the site includes core Joycean resources -- works, quotes, biography, and criticism -- as well as links to James Joyce clubs and mailing lists, news, and photographs. For example, see the Essential Canon (under Works) to find advice to the reader, synopses, and how to purchase one of the many annotated and UN-annotated editions of Joyce's major works: Dubliners,A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake. Perhaps the most fun portion of the site is the quotes, words by and about Joyce, such as these from Finnegan's Wake, "Tis as human a little story as paper could well carry" -- or the web for that matter. [DS]

The IDE Virtual Design Museum

Many of the common objects in our everyday world (such as kitchen timers, telephones, and answering machines), seem to go unnoticed until someone wonders out loud: "I wonder who designed that?" Fortunately, the good people at the Delft University of Technologys Faculty of Industrial Design have created this virtual design museum to answer that exact question, and to take visitors on a tour of some intriguing designs created by European and American designers over the past decades. Visitors are free to browse through the Famous Designers section which features the work of such icons as Raymond Loewy, Ferdinand Porsche, and Mario Bellini. Each entry includes a selection of images of some of the most celebrated designs, and in several cases a short biographical sketch is available. Visitors may also elect to look through the Famous Companies area, which brings together work by such companies as Bang & Olufsen, Braun, Grundig, and IBM. Those with only a few minutes will want to peruse such objects as Dieter Rams design for a table top cigarette lighter for the Braun Company in 1970 and Aldo Rossis 1995 coffee pot from the table service "il Faro." [KMG]

Masters of Cinema

While it is relatively easy to find information on the latest romantic comedy vehicle from 20th Century Fox or the latest apocalyptic disaster from Warner Brothers, finding substantial material online about quality foreign films and classics of various cinematic movements is a bit trickier. Fortunately for cineastes, there is the Masters of Cinema website, which provides links to information about DVD releases of such films, along with articles about their technical specifications and clarion calls to the companies providing such releases. From their mainpage, visitors can learn about upcoming releases, read articles about such auteurs as Bruno Dumont and view wish lists from well-known film critics as Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader. The site also has a nice links page, which is divided topically into areas such as directors, online cinema writing, and DVD review pages. [KMG]

Starcade [Shockwave, QuickTime]

Though there are many individuals who would rather that the 1980s had never happened, it is a verifiable fact that they did, and the decade certainly left behind a veritable treasure trove of cultural artifacts that are now being discovered by the younger set. One such product that has found its way onto the web is the curious television show Starcade. The shows rather novel (at least at the time) premise was that contestants would play video games for various prizes. To anyone who came of age during the heady days of the early 1980s, many of these games will be immediately familiar, and included such now retro classics as Frogger, Galaga, and of course, Tron. On this rather memorable site, visitors can view an almost staggering amount of material on this rather unusual television show, including screen shots of the video games, several extended program clips, information on the shows contestants (including "where are they now" information), and a list of the prizes that contestants were vying to win. For cultural theorists, 1980s devotees, and those who cant remember what Q*bert looked like, this website will be both a source of entertaining and contemplative material. [KMG]

Rendezvous with History: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt State Historical Site

Among the many family homes that have served as places of tranquility for U.S. presidents, the grounds and buildings of Hyde Park, New York loom large within the life experiences of the Roosevelt family. This site, provided by the Poughkeepsie Journal, offers a virtual tour of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Historic Site, complete with 360 degree views, essays, and a timeline of important events related to the family estate. Visitors will want to begin by perusing the fine interactive map of the grounds, as they can take an inside look at such buildings as the Presidential Library, the Henry A. Wallace Visitor Center, and the historic home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Springwood. The stories section really brings out the spirit of both FDR and Eleanor, as they talk about their lives and legacies, along with providing transcripts of some of FDRs most well-known speeches, such as the Four Freedoms delivery and the declaration of war against Japan. Finally, visitors will want to also take a look through some of the 360-degree views offered here, including a tour of the famed room where the Fireside Chats were delivered and FDRs bedroom. [KMG]

Stevensons Fables

Robert Louis Stevenson was enamored with many literary forms, including fables. After his death his own work, appropriately titled Fables, was published in New York by Longmans Green in 1902. This particular edition was digitized and placed online for public perusal by the staff of the University of Wisconsin Digital Projects initiative, and includes six etchings done to accompany the work by Ethel King Martyn. The work itself begins with a brief discussion of Mr. Stevensons long-standing fascination with the fable as a form of literary expression, then proceeds to the thirteen fables in their entirety. Some of the fables made available here include The Two Matches, The Penitent, and The Yellow Paint, which deals with the hubris (or lack thereof) of youth and the alleged properties of a coat of seemingly magical paint. [KMG]

Network Tools

Laughing Man 0.3 [Macintosh Operating System]

With all of the rapidly changing websites out there, it may be a bit time-consuming to keep track of those of greatest interest. Stepping into the fray is the webpage monitoring tool, Laughing Man. With this tool, users will be alerted each time a webpage changes, utilizing each individual web servers "last modified date," or otherwise merely generating a hash number based on the contents of the page. Laughing Man 0.3 is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X and higher. [KMG]

Movable Type 2.661 [Windows Operating System]

After viewing the seemingly innumerable number of weblogs out there in the virtual world, many visitors may think to themselves "I wouldnt mind trying my hand at that." And with the application Movable Type, they will be able to do just that with relative ease. Essentially, the application is a personal publishing system for creating weblogs or news pages and is appropriate for use by technically adept users or businesses with customization needs. Movable Type is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]

In The News

Noted Environmentalist Urges Immediate Action to Save Worlds Great Apes

Worlds Great Apes Are Running Out of Time
Fences Can Help Apes Survival
GRASP: Great Apes Survival Project
The Leakey Foundation
Kenya Wildlife Service
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
This week the well-respected environmentalist and scientist Richard Leakey made an impassioned plea for assistance in the continued attempt to protect the worlds Great Apes, which include chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans. Current estimates from the United Nations indicate that there are approximately 450,000 Great Apes left in the world, and there is increased concern that they may become extinct within 10 to 15 years if no action is taken in the near future. Leakey suggested that fencing in large areas of habitats for these animals could dramatically reduce poaching, which continues to be a problem. He also noted that while there are some definite success stories (such as the improvement of the situation in Rwanda), overall the picture seemed rather bleak. Leakey also called on the worlds more affluent countries to buttress some of the costs associated with such a program, noting that "The world must wake up to the fact that poor countries cant bear the financial burden and arrest their development simply because the richer countries feel sentimental." For his own part, Leakey is in charge of the U.N.-based Great Apes Survival Project, which seeks to raise a minimum of $25-million to be utilized over the next three years. [KMG]

The first link leads to a recent online news piece from the Independent Online, which is based in Zimbabwe. The second link leads to news coverage provided by the BBC, and offers some discussion about Richard Leakeys proposed solution to the disappearance of Great Apes across the world. The third link will take visitors to the Great Apes Survival Project website (sponsored by the UN), where visitors may read fact sheets about the various Great Apes, look at media coverage of this growing problem, and may also view a world-wide atlas of Great Apes distribution. The fourth link leads to the Leakey Foundation homepage, where visitors may read biographies of the various Leakey family members, learn about their various events, and learn about new findings arising from the work of the Foundation. The fifth link leads to the website of the Kenya Wildlife Service, which was under the direction of Richard Leakey from 1989 to 1994. Here visitors can read about their various conservation efforts throughout Kenya and their wide-ranging outreach programs. The final link leads to the homepage of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Visitors can peruse various materials and fact sheets on the rather severe nature of this phenomenon, and also read in-depth material about the issue of bushmeat, which weighs heavily on the situation of certain Great Apes. [KMG]

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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

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