The Scout Report -- Volume 10, Number 19

May 14, 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 tenth issues of the third volumes of the Life Sciences Report and Physical Sciences Report are available. The Topic in Depth section of the Life Sciences Report annotates sites on Pollination. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Geysers.

Research and Education

Open Collections Program: Women Working

Established in November 2002 with the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Open Collections Program at Harvard University Library is designed "to increase the availability and use of textual and visual historical resources for teaching, learning, and research." The first project within the terms of this impressive remit is the Women Working, 1870-1930 digitized collection. Within this broad topical area, the documents currently available here are largely centered around the experience of working women during this period in Boston. Currently, over 450 documents are available for perusal, although at the completion of the project, over 3000 documents will be publicly available through this site. Visitors may browse through the New Additions area, look through the materials by topic (such as home labor, arts, or business), or perform a full text search. Also, users should make sure and browse through the diary of one H. Greene, a woman who lived on her family farm in Seneca County, Ohio, and who offers her recollections of the year 1887. [KMG]

Boston College Center for International Higher Education [pdf]

Under the direction of Philip G. Altbach, the Boston College Center for International Higher Education functions as a clearinghouse of material on the changing nature and form of higher education. Much of the center's focus revolves around creating dialogue and cooperation among academic institutions in the industrialized nations and those in the developing countries of the Third World. From the mainpage visitors can view carefully selected lists of weblinks designed for scholars of higher education, and one list that is specifically designed for persons interested in higher education in Africa. Perhaps the main highlight of the site is the online edition of the center's well-regarded newsletter, International Higher Education. Here visitors can read pieces about the rise of for-profit higher education in the United States, undergraduate education in Brazil, and student loan financing in Thailand. Visitors may also browse an archive of the newsletter that dates back to the first issue, which was released in May 1995. [KMG]

Dialect Survey

Sometimes individuals may find themselves wondering: "What do you call the long sandwich that contains cold cuts, lettuce, and so on?." Certainly there is a strong regional variation to this type of sandwich, as some people along the Eastern seaboard may refer to it as a "grinder," people in Louisiana may be more likely to refer to it as a "poor boy," and so on. This rather interesting dialect survey, conducted by Professor Bert Vaux (with his colleagues) at Harvard University, examines the spatial distribution of certain dialect phrases for various objects or phenomena, and also looks at the phonology behind certain words, such as caramel or lawyer. Over 30,000 participants took part in the survey, and visitors to the site can view these dialect maps and learn more about the breakdown of the participants in the survey as well. [KMG]

International Year of Rice 2004 [pdf]

The importance of rice as a basic foodstuff to over half of the world's populations can not be underestimated, and it was with this fact in mind that the International Rice Research Institute first developed the idea for the International Year of Rice in 1999. Working in tandem with the United Nations General Assembly, the Institute set up a number of partnerships, conferences, lectures, and research agendas to take place throughout the year 2004 and beyond. The site contains links to numerous important papers, such as the collection available here from the recent conference titled Rice in Global Markets and Sustainable Production Systems, which was held in Rome. Beyond various scholarly and policy-oriented resources, visitors can learn about the rice photography contest, submit recipes to a forthcoming rice-themed cookbook, and explore a kids section that offers some basic facts about rice, along with a short quiz. The site is available in a number of different languages, including Italian, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Japanese. [KMG]

GISS: Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University in New York [tar, pdf]

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) presents its work in the prediction of climatic and atmospheric changes in the 21st century. Users can learn about GISS's many research projects in Global Climate Modeling, Planetary Atmospheres, Atmospheric Chemistry, and more. The website provides news releases of its work for the general public. Visitors can download many software packages including the latest GISS coupled atmosphere ocean model, called ModelE. Researchers can find a wide range of data sets of earth observations, climate forcing, global climate modeling, and radiation. The Publications link offers almost 1500 citations and abstracts as well as over four hundred online publications. Students can discover how to become involved with GISS's research activities. [RME] This site is also reviewed in the May 14, 2004 NSDL Physical Sciences Report.

Monitor on Psychology

Published eleven times a year by the American Psychological Association, the Monitor on Psychology contains a number of helpful pieces for those persons interested in the broad field of psychology, and for those who may be thinking about going into the field as well. Each month features a number of helpful features, including a commentary from the APA's president, an update on psychology and public policy, discussion of ethical practices, and an editorial from a working professional in the field. Each month the publication also contains a number of extended articles on such topics as personality disorders, the importance of psychologists' in troubled schools, and the role of psychologists in homeland security. Visitors to the site also have access to an archive of previous issues that stretches back to January 1998. [KMG]

Bibliography of Dendrochronology

A very impressive resource for dendrologists, "The Bibliography of Dendrochronology is an archive of printed documents relevant to tree-ring research worldwide..." The Bibliography was compiled by Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, professor of Geography at the University of Tennessee, and it "currently contains 10,000 references dating back to 1737." The website provides a number of search engine options that allow site users to locate documents using author, year of publication, title, and more. The site links to information about ordering copies of selected documents, and for submitting references. The site also links to a Species Database and a Glossary of Dendrochronology. [NL] This site is also reviewed in the May 14, 2004 NSDL Life Sciences Report.

General Interest

Gauguin Tahiti [RealOnePlayer]

Despite living most of his life in France, Paul Gauguin is immediately identified with Tahiti, largely due to his immense body of visual art (such as paintings and sculptures) that were produced during his time there during the turn of the 19th century. One of these monumental works is an impressive canvas titled, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? At the time of its completion, Gauguin noted that "I believe that this canvas not only surpasses all my preceding ones, but that I shall never do anything better, or even like it." This extraordinary work forms the centerpiece of a current exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and is extensively profiled on this website for the web-browsing public. From this site, visitors can view in great detail an interactive presentation of this work, presented by Visitors may move a virtual magnifying glass over the work and click on fifteen separate areas that profile various segments of the painting. Each clickable fragment is further augmented by audio interviews from art historians offering their learned commentaries. Additionally, visitors can listen to an interview with exhibition curator George Shackelford, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Elizabeth Childs, professor of art history at Washington University in St. Louis. [KMG]

New England Ruins - photography by Robert Dobi

Rob Dobi, photographer and graphic artist, and recent graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, presents this gallery of abandoned factories, houses, hospitals, and other New England Buildings. Select a building name from over 50 listed - Norwich State Hospital, Metal Refinery, Brooklyn Psychiatric Center, to name a few - to see interior and a few exterior views. Long vistas down empty hallways with peeling paint, rusty machinery, and cracked and broken furniture are the norm. There are also morgue drawers in the hospitals, a few plants still blooming at the Hyde Greenhouse, several pianos, and items that seem to have been dropped only moments before. Some of the rooms still display real elegance even in their abandoned state, such as a curving hall with a row of tall windows and lunettes above at the Tautonh State Hospital, or an arched leaded glass window overlooking a garden at Pilgrim State Hospital. Also at the site is information on how to order prints of any of the photos by contacting Dobi, and links to other sites featuring architectural ruins. [DS]

National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism [pdf]

While it may seem like relatively little good came out of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, the creation of the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT) in 1999 may, in some sense, be viewed as a bright spot in its aftermath. The MIPT is currently funded by a special Congressional appropriation, and is mandated to conduct a host of research programs, including those that examine the social and political causes and effects of terrorism, along with the development of technologies to counter biological, nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Visitors to the site may check out the online virtual library, which includes documents, reports, and public testimony offered on such areas as anthrax, border security, biological weapons, and dozens of other thematic areas. Additionally, there is a conference calendar, a terrorism database, and a special section on publications specifically undertaken by the MIPT. [KMG]

Two on Carson McCullers

The Carson McCullers Project
Carson McCullers Reading from Her Works [RealOnePlayer]

Born Lula Carson Smith in 1917, Carson McCullers would later become one of the most significant American writers of the twentieth century. Some of her more well-known works include The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,The Ballad of the Sad Caf, and Reflections in a Golden Eye. Despite numerous medical problems and ailments and although she died at the young age of fifty, McCullers had a productive career. The first website provided here offers a bibliography of her work, and selections from various works, including several stories from The Ballad of the Sad Caf and a review of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter from Richard Wright, first published in The New Republic in 1940. Visitors to the site will also want to review a list of critical resources on McCullers'work and peruse the full-length article titled "Themes of Eros and Agape in the Major Fiction of Carson McCullers." The second site is equally compelling as it features audio recordings of McCullers reading from The Ballad of the Sad Caf and from the play Member of the Wedding.[KMG]

Military Campaign Maps

Created as part of the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress, this fine digital archive brings together thousands of maps that offer great detail about major military conflicts, including such information as troop movements, defensive structures and groundworks, campsites, local buildings, topography and vegetation. On the site, visitors can also learn about how the maps were digitized, along with specific information about the various technical equipment used to capture the full content of each document. The archive of documents here is not solely historically focused, as there are maps of more contemporary conflict sites, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The entire contents of the archive may be searched in a variety of methods, including through the use of keywords, browsing through a subject list, a creator index, and a geographic location index. From some rather interesting maps of the Brandywine to a Dutch map showing locations of military importance in Pennsylvania and New York, this site will be of interest to historians, cartographers, and many others. [KMG]

International Economic Development Council [pdf]

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), was created through the merger of existing economic development organizations, effectively creating the nation's largest association working in this realm of public policy. The IEDC's mission is "to provide leadership and excellence in economic development for our communities, members and partners to build economically strong, sustainable communities." While some of the online materials are available only to association members, there is a good deal of material that may be accessed by the general public. Through the online resource center, visitors may access such materials as the Economic Developer's Reference Guide (which provides an overview of such key topics as tourism, venture capital, and empowerment zones) and an overview of ongoing legislative matters that may impact the landscape of economic development. Finally, the site is rounded out by an excellent section dedicated to brownfields redevelopment, which includes a general manual of redevelopment techniques and links to external websites, such as those offered by the Environmental Protection Agency. [KMG]

Network Tools

Estraier 1.2.6 [Windows Operating System]

Many individuals may need to pin down a certain phrase or set of words from a website, but may find existing programs or applications insufficient for their detailed needs. This helpful application allows individuals to perform full-text searches throughout websites, including those personal websites that may need searching, or within an intranet as well. Equally helpful is the fact that the application can handle various languages, including Japanese. This version of Estraier is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and above. [KMG]

Simple Cam 1.2 [Windows Operating System]

With all of the streaming content available online, some users may want to also get in on the act by broadcasting family events such as birthday parties, weddings, or other such gatherings. SimpleCam makes this possible for users who own a USB camera (or similar product), and also does not make users sign up with any particular website or service. Additionally, the program contains a setup wizard to get users started quickly. This version of SimpleCam is compatible with all systems running Windows. [KMG]

In The News

Iconic Architecture Arrives at the Campus of MIT

Frank Gehry Gives M.I.T. its Newest Experiment [Free Registration Required]
Gehry takes a Village to Create the Stata
After Buildup, MIT Center is a Letdown
The Ray and Maria Stata Center
MIT-Webcast of the Stata Center Dedication Ceremony [RealOne Player]
Frank Gehry: Great Buildings Online

MIT has officially opened the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences, opening a new era in building construction and urban design on a campus that is known for not its community-friendly designs. This 730,000 square foot complex was designed by none other than the iconic architect Frank Gehry, who has also designed such notable structures as the Experience Music Project in Seattle, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The Stata Center (named in honor of Maria and Ray Stata) was built on hallowed ground within the campus, as it is located on the site of the legendary Building 20, which was the home of the Radiation Laboratory and numerous scholars, such as Noam Chomsky. This complex of structures has to be seen to be believed, but to give an indication of its overall appearance, Mr. Gehry was recently quoted as saying "it looks like a party of drunken robots got together to celebrate." [KMG]

The first link leads to a lovely piece from the New York Times about the Stata Center that appeared earlier this week. The second link will take visitors to an architectural review piece about the Stata Center by David Eisen of the Boston Herald. The third link takes visitors to a more critical take on the Stata Center and Gehry's work there offered by Alex Beam, writing in the Boston Globe. The fourth link leads to the Stata Center website developed by MIT. Here visitors can learn more about the building's design or read various facts and figures about the structures. The fifth link is particularly noteworthy, as visitors can view the entire webcast of the official Stata Center dedication ceremony. The webcast features remarks by the president of MIT, Charles M. Vest, Ray Stata, and a number of other individuals. The sixth link leads to a profile of Frank O. Gehry provided by the Great Buildings Online website, which includes links to additional information about his other architectural works.

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