June 4, 2004
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Centre for Economic Performance [pdf
- Psychology WWW Virtual Library
- Nobel e-Museum: Conflict Map
- Council for British Archaeology Online
- The Colville River Delta Alaska
- Campus Computing Project
- Utah Digital Newspapers
- Southern Foodways Alliance
- Caliphs & Kings -- Freer & Sackler Galleries
- AMG All Music Guide
- American President
- BBC: Religion & Ethics
- UN Multimedia
The twelfth issue of the third volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Animation.
Established by the Economic and Social Research Council in 1990, the Centre for Economic Performance CEP at the London School of Economics and Political Science is one of the most prominent and established economic research groups in Europe. By focusing on the major links between globalization, technology and institutions, the CEP studies the determinants of economic performance at the level of the company, the nation, and the global economy. Broadly, CEP's research programs are divided into five groups that include research into labor markets, technology and growth, and education and skills. From the prodigious site, visitors can read about CEP In the News, learn about the various staff members' research areas of expertise, and browse their related publications (including occasional papers, working papers, and the like) back to 1990. Overall, this site will merit more than one visit, as it will be of substantial interest to persons interested in the intersections between economics, education, and globalization, to name but a few of the topical areas covered under the remit of the CEP. [KMG]
Based at the University of Florida's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Psychology WWW Virtual Library provides access to thousands of websites dealing with the numerous aspects of psychology, ranging from client-centered therapy to the history of the discipline. The site is divided into areas such as academic departments, clinical social work, library resources online, school psychology, and stress management, among others. Clicking on any of these headings takes visitors to a more detailed list of websites, which are offered with a brief description so that visitors may get a general idea of what materials they may find contained within each location. The site also contains a search engine for visitors looking to tailor their searches to their various requirements. The site is rounded out by a recommendation form where visitors may contribute online psychology resources that may be of interest to others. [KMG]
Visualizing the nature of various conflicts across the world over the course of history is quite a challenge, and the Nobel e-Museum offers this rather compelling way to think about the past century or so of such engagements. Utilizing the Schockwave application, this interactive map provides answers to such question as Where did these wars take place?, Have some regions experienced more wars than others?, and Who were the main protagonists in these conflicts? A tall order to be sure, but the map succeeds nobly, and accomplishes its educational task by organizing each conflict into one of three categories (represented on the map by a small conflagration), and offering a brief explanation about each conflict as well. Additionally, the map also provides statistical information on the geographical distribution of Peace Prize laureates and nominees from the period 1901 to 2001, along with providing aggregate numbers of the total nominations, divided into seven geographical regions. [KMG]
Founded at the conclusion of World War II, the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) held as one of its original objectives the "safeguarding of all kinds of archaeological material and the strengthening of existing measures for the care of ancient and historic buildings, monuments, and antiquities." Since its inception, the CBA has continued its role as a trendsetter through its work in establishing a peer-reviewed Internet archaeology journal and the popular magazine, British Archaeology. At the site, visitors can elect to sign up for an email discussion list (BRITARCH), learn about fieldwork opportunities, read research reports dating back to 1955, and take a look at the occasional paper series, which includes work on archaeology of churches and work on industrial sites around Britain. One additional resource that is worth a look here is the CBA Briefing area, which contains a monthly update on upcoming conferences, fieldwork, lectures, exhibits, and grants in the field. [KMG]
Professor Emeritus H. Jesse Walker, a geographer at Louisiana State University, spent four decades studying the Colville River delta region in Alaska. Documenting the vast changes in the various landforms in the delta, Professor Walker amassed a cornucopia of material on the area in the form of reports, maps, field notes, tables, graphs, and various publications. The Louisiana Digital Library project has recently seen fit to create an online digital database of these helpful materials, complete with a fine search engine that allows users to hone in on items of particular relevance. For example, just typing "field notes" into the search engine returns 38 sets of field notes, ranging from the 1960s to the 1980s. For visitors who want to look for materials based on a particular location, there is also a map of the Colville River delta that will return all of the materials by one simple click of the mouse. [KMG]
The Campus Computing Project is an ongoing study of the role of information technology in American higher education. Each year about 600 two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities participate in the Campus Computing Survey. The focus of the survey is on "campus planning and policy issues affecting the role of information technology in teaching, learning, and scholarship." The study results from 1995-2003 are currently available online, along with related reports, articles, and videos. Topics of related reports include the use of technology in teacher education and open source. Unfortunately, the reports and videos are posted without any accompanying description so you have to open the files to find out what they are about. This site is also reviewed in the June 4, 2004 NSDL MET Report. [VF]
While the Green River Journal and the Murray Eagle may not be newspapers the general public is immediately familiar with, these Utah newspapers provided small communities with local news during their existence, and give contemporary historians a glimpse into the daily activities of people in these areas. Working together, the University of Utah and Brigham Young University have placed digitized versions of these two publications (along with 16 other newspapers) online here as part of the Utah Digital Newspapers project. Since the project's inception in 2001, the team has digitized over 140,000 pages, and currently has plans and the funding to add over 240,000 more pages by September 2005. Visitors using this digital archive may browse each individual newspaper by issue, or elect to search by keywords, article titles, weddings, deaths, and births. The site also has a nice map that users can scroll over to determine which counties in Utah had newspapers that are currently archived in this database. [KMG]
Residents of the American South love food and various culinary delights, and have performed Epicurean wonders with everything from okra all the way to the legendary barbecue pits that can be found along just about every highway and byway in the region. Working with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, the Southern Foodways Alliance is dedicated to preserving and cultivating the various food cultures of the American South. These programs include an ongoing oral history project, recipe books, a series of field trips, and the annual Keeper of the Flame award, which is given to a foodways tradition "bearer of note." The site's features section includes tributes to jambalaya, South Georgia cheese, and some fine essays on legendary BBQ locales. The oral history initiative area is truly a wonder, as visitors can browse through two sections, one devoted to barbecue, and the other to the foodways traditions of the Mississippi Delta region. [KMG]
Part of the continuing series of online exhibitions from the Smithsonian's Freer & Sackler Galleries, Caliphs & Kings provides a sample of the rich history of Islamic Spain, called al-Adalus, from the 8th to the 15th centuries. Online visitors can closely examine ten artworks selected from about ninety on display at the museum through October 2004. A featured work is a 10th century ivory pyxis, or cylindrical container, probably made as a special gift for the favorite concubine of the Umayyad caliph, that includes a poetic inscription in which the container speaks in the first person and describes its function as "a vessel for musk and camphor and ambergris." There are also examples of lusterware; textiles, both carpets and bed coverings; a walnut and ivory chest from Barcelona; an illuminated Hebrew bible from the second half of the 15th century; a gold coin for 50 excelentes issued in about 1497, and a map of the world drawn by Florentine cartographer Juan Vespucci, nephew of Amerigo Vespucci, in 1526 that shows Spain as a superpower at the center of all things. [DS]
The AMG All Music Guide website is designed to complement a line of books that provide extensive reviews of thousands of music recordings, organized by genre, such as blues, jazz, rock, and so on. This website is particularly helpful as it provides all of this material at no cost, and is relatively easy to navigate as well. Using the search box at the top of the screen visitors can look for various artists, albums, songs, styles, or labels. After returning results, visitors can browse through the material, and click on any number of available hyperlinks in order to make their way to related material, such as genre, related artists and the like. For example, if one were to search for Duke Ellington, the search would return a brief essay about his work, a complete list of his recordings (with reviews), as well as additional information, such as Billboard chart information, Grammy nominations, and artists who he influenced. The site is rounded out by a series of short essays on a plethora of musical styles, including garage rock, acoustic blues, and zydeco. [KMG]
Out of the many dozens of websites dedicated to portraying the various persons who have held the highest elected office in the United States, American President.org may be one of the most thorough and well-rounded in terms of its content and organization. Originally launched in 2000 as a companion to a PBS television series on the American presidency, this current incarnation of the site was created by the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. For each president, visitors can read a biographical sketch, learn about his presidency and its legacy, and find information about various cabinet members and political appointees. The new features on this updated site include biographies of each first lady, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines on significant events in the lives of each administration. Additionally, the site now contains an Ask a Question feature, which allows visitors to pose questions to the site's editors and its research staff. [KMG]
Religion and ethics are some of the most debated areas of the human experience around the world, so it is fitting that the BBC has created this online clearinghouse of relevant information and news coverage about these two complex topics. The site contains a number of general interest sections that provide rich discussion of various world religions and a number of subjects in the field of ethics, such as the ethics of war, euthanasia, human cloning, and genetic engineering. Visitors can also listen to broadcasts of the BBC's many programs devoted to exploring various religions, such as Missionaries, which looks at the legacy of missionary work around the world. Equally compelling are the fractious message boards where visitors can opine about various religious topics and ethical debates. The site is rounded out by an interactive multi faith calendar, which shows the religious festivals and celebrations of eight world faiths. [KMG]
The United Nations has its own news and media service that reports on numerous topics that fall within its broad global remit, including the HIV epidemic in Africa, military conflicts in the Middle East, and economic development. On this website, visitors can learn about the UN's array of multimedia programs, including its radio programs, videos, and photographic archives. The UN News Centre will be of great interest to visitors, as they may read about the various activities of the UN, and read newsbriefs by region or various statements and briefings released by the spokesman for the Secretary General. Another section of interest is the United Nations Radio News, which allows visitors to listen to a short radio news program (approximately 15 minutes in length) produced five days a week. Visitors may also listen to previous news reports dating back to January 2004. The photo section is quite nice as well, as it contains selections from the almost 240,000 photographs taken to document the UN's activities since its creation close to sixty years ago. Visitors may browse through thematic collections (such as those dedicated to topics like East Timor and landmines) or peruse a pictorial history of the UN, which includes photographs of such important leaders as Dag Hammarskjold. [KMG]
Many individuals may want to keep in touch with news and website updates without constantly having to check up on each site individually, and this handy application is a good way to do just that. Awasu is a free news-reader that runs in the background and monitors news sites, along with providing updates from all types of sites as well, including weather updates and information about entertainment and other events. The application's homepage also features documentation for the application along with a detailed online help section. Awasu 2.0 is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and above. [KMG]
Mac users need wait no longer, as the latest version of the popular browser designed for Mac OS X has recently been released. The new features added to Camino 0.8b include a new bookmark manager, a Google search toolbar, improved cookie management, the ability to allow lists for popup blocking, and an incremental type-ahead find. This version of Camino is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X 10.1.5 and higher. [KMG]
Families Bank On Loans to Pay for College
Federal Student Aid Changes Would Be Costly to Minnesota Schools
Campus Tour for Funding Critics
Generation Debt: The New Economics of Being Young
NEA: Higher Education Home Page [pdf]
The Condition of Education 2004 [pdf]
The recent 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education has resulted in a number of retrospective studies on the question of equal and open access to various levels of education, including the contentious issue of access to higher education. Tied in with an increased interest in the subject of access to higher education are a number of other noteworthy (and potentially ominous) developments, including the retrenchment of state support for public universities and the dramatically rising cost of attending both public and private universities and colleges. A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics also indicated that the share of full-time college students who borrowed to pay for college rose from 30 percent in 1990 to 45 percent in 2000. The same report also noted that while outright grants to students in college increased over the decade, these increases were not enough to cover jumps in tuition and fees, which outpaced rises in inflation and family income during the same time period.
The first link will lead visitors to a news article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that offers a brief exposition of the report on the increasing costs associated with attending college. The second link leads to a piece from the Grand Forks Herald about what the changes to the federal student aid program would mean for various colleges and universities throughout Minnesota and, by extension, across the entire United States. The third link will take users to a recent news report from the Sacramento Bee that documents a recent tour of several campuses of the University of California system designed to protest the proposed cuts to the state's system suggested by Governor Schwarzenegger. The fourth link leads to a well-written piece from Anya Kamenetz (writing for the Village Voice) that discusses the plight of young people in the United States, and their attempts to coalesce into a political bloc around certain crucial issues, including the retrenchment of financial support to universities. The fifth link leads to a fine page on higher education offered by the National Education Association. Here visitors can read up-to-date reports on various aspects of higher education, learn about essay contests sponsored by the NEA, and read about the Higher Education Act. The final link leads to the Condition of Education 2004 website (sponsored and created by the National Center for Education Statistics), which conveys information on 38 indicators that cover all aspects of U.S. education, such as enrollment trends, education financing, degree attainment, and dropout rates. [KMG]
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