The Scout Report -- Volume 10, Number 24

June 18, 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 thirteenth issue of the third volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Alternative Fuel Powered Vehicles.

Research and Education

EPIN [pdf]

With the recent expansion of the European Union into Eastern Europe, there has been an increased level of interest around various policy issues in the region. The European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN) is one such organization that is interested in these pressing matters, and includes over 40 member think tanks spread across 28 countries. As the website notes, "EPIN aims to contribute to the debate on the Future of Europe through up to the minute, expert analysis and commentary and through providing easy access to understanding the different national debates." Given that rather weighty mission, it is not surprising that along with usual features (such a list of member groups, contact information, and so on), there are a number of very helpful and germane working papers, commentaries, and policy evaluations available here for visitors. Some of the more recent additions to the site include works such as "France, Germany and the UK in the Convention-Common Interests or Pulling in Different Directions?" and "Can the EU deliver the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice?". [KMG]

Nuer Field Notes

The complicated process of creating meaningful field notes is a problem that vexes many scholars who rely on these important primary documents, including anthropologists, geographers, and sociologists. Currently, there aren't many websites that feature digital archives of fieldnotes, but this joint project undertaken by Indiana University and the University of Michigan is one step in the right direction. The essential goal of the project is to make the linguistic field notes recorded by Eleanor Vandevort (a missionary and researcher) in the South Sudan between 1949 and 1963 available on the web. The digital archive succeeds mightily, as it includes the linguistic field notes, and also photographs from her work there, various letters from the field, and a biographical sketch of her work there in the South Sudan. Along with these materials, visitors can read Vandevort's book about her time in Africa, titled A Leopard Tamed and some fine essays on the history of colonial and missionary linguistics in the Sudan by Edward Miner. [KMG]

International Foundation for Election Systems

Since 1987, the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) has provided technical assistance in all areas of election administration and election management. IFES is a non-profit non-governmental organization which has also been a part of the electoral process in over 100 countries over the past fifteen years. On the site, visitors can learn about the foundation's ongoing research projects, which revolve around a number of thematic issues such as civil society, rule of law and governance, and many others. Visitors may also be interested in the various employment opportunities and upcoming lectures and related events. The publication area is quite extensive as well, as it includes access to the tri-annually published magazine, Elections Today, and a number of other helpful white papers, reports, and surveys, such as Public Opinion in Ukraine and the annual reports. [KMG]

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources: 1745-1799

One of the most durable and consistently helpful online electronic archives (online since 1992) is the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia Library. One of the center's projects of note is a fine collection of the works of one of Virginia's favorite sons, George Washington -- also the country's first president. The site contains a preface, authored by Frank E. Grizzard, Jr. (the senior associate editor of Washington's papers) that talks about the long history of the various attempts to preserve Washington's writings through a variety of media, including microfilm. Visitors looking for a particular letter (or subject) may use the search engine for the complete writings presented here, or may just browse through the various 38 volumes offered here.

Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry [RealOne Player]

While many persons immediately recognize the contributions of Thomas A. Edison and Alexander Graham Bell to the recording industry, some may not know the name of their contemporary: Emile Berliner. An immigrant to the United States, Berliner made considerable improvements to the recording process, including the flat-disc recordings which eventually replaced the fragile and unwieldy cylinders developed by Edison. This online collection, developed by the American Memory project at the Library of Congress, presents over 400 items from their holdings, along with more than 100 sound recordings from the disc collection. Berliner may also be described as something of a Renaissance man, as he also developed the prototype for the microphone (which remains the basic template for those manufactured today), worked on making an acoustic tile that helped improve audio projection in older auditoriums, and contributed greatly the development of the helicopter. Here visitors can read some of his many items of correspondence, his musings on the inventive process, and the last letters he wrote before his death in 1929. The audio recordings here are a real treat, as they include John Philip Sousa's recording of his own marches and a precious recording of Berliner singing songs for his young grandson, Bobby Frank. [KMG]

Purdue University: Louis de Branges' Mathematics Proof [pdf]

A Purdue University mathematician, Louis de Branges de Bourcia, claims to have proven the Riemann hypothesis. A competition, which awards a $1 million prize to the first person who proves the hypothesis, motivated this mathematician to post his results on this website, rather than wait for it to appear in a journal. According to the Purdue University press release, de Branges invites other mathematicians to examine his efforts. Four papers are currently available, including the "Apology for the proof of the Riemann hypothesis." [VF] This site is also reviewed in the June 18, 2004 NSDL MET Report.

Chicago Metropolis 2020 [pdf, Macromedia Flash Reader, pdf]

In 1909, the Commercial Club of Chicago published Daniel H. Burham's monumental plan for Chicago and its environs, and in doing so ushered in a comprehensive approach to looking at regional planning in the United States. At the end of the century, frustrated with some of the very severe problems throughout the region, the Commercial Club sponsored a new plan for the Chicagoland region, and also convened experts and prominent leaders in order to form the Chicago Metropolis 2020 group. Over the past few years, the Chicago Metropolis 2020 organization has produced a number of thoughtful and intensive reports on various sectors, such as education, economic development, governance, transportation, and land use and housing. Many of these reports are available here for general consideration (contained within the Reports section), and there is also a press release area where visitors can find out about the organization's latest activities. [KMG]

General Interest

CBC: Anatomy of a Refugee Camp [Macromedia Flash Reader]

The Canadian Broadcasting Company has developed a first-class reputation for creating well-thought out web presentations, and this engrossing bird's-eye guide to a typical refugee camp is another such project of note. Visitors to the site are presented with a small compass in the lower left-hand corner of the site that allows them to maneuver through the overhead view of the refugee camp. Along with using the compass, visitors can also move directly to locations of interest through an interactive location map also available on the site. Some of the elements of a refugee camp that are profiled here include the food distribution point, the vehicle entrance, the water point, the market, and the shelters. Clicking on each question mark on various locations reveals a brief overview of the significance of each place within the greater hierarchy of the camp's operations. The site also includes a good selection of relevant external links, such as those that lead to Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. [KMG]

Peabody Essex Museum [Macromedia Flash Reader]

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), founded in 1799, America's oldest continuously operating museum, has a new building and a new website. The PEM site has all the features virtual visitors have come to expect at a museum site: attractive design with lots pictures, links to library and archival resources, information on current and future exhibitions, and "microsites" featuring highlights of past exhibitions, such as eight examples from Painted with Thread: The Art of American Embroidery, shown in 2001. What makes the PEM site a little different is ARTScape, a multimedia tool to help users research PEM collections. Registered users of ARTscape can retrieve and view digital images of works and associated records and then save their selections as bookmarks. In addition, ARTscape allows users to explore the connections between various artifacts, such as the fact that two pieces of embroidery were both published in the same book or created in the same town in Massachusetts, and that there is a writing desk with a painting by the seamstress' sister also at the museum. [DS]

This World: One Day of War

The investigative news program titled This World is one of the BBC's many programs dedicated to providing in-depth coverage on a number of pressing issues around the world. Their recent project, One Day of War, follows individual fighters in 16 of the wars currently going on around the world over the same 24-hour period. The centerpiece of the site is the section that offers profiles of these 16 people, along with a complete transcript of the original program that aired at the end of May 2004. Some of the people profiled here include Shushila Magar, who is fighting with the Nepali Maoist Militia, and Nati Mazuz, who is a professional solider serving in the Gaza Strip. Also available is a commentary from the series producer on how the project came to be, and a clickable map where individuals can learn more about each region featured in the personal stories of each participant. [KMG]


First entering the world of the Internet in 1997, the Mappy company provides a host of services and publications that offer the Europe-bound traveler a good deal of information about various destinations and, perhaps most importantly, how to get to these diverse destinations. On the homepage, visitors can find point-to-point directions from locations throughout the continent and Great Britain. The site also has a mapping function for forty different countries as well. For those with a penchant for aerial photography, the site also features aerial photographs of 40 different European cities, including Bilbao, Barcelona, Reims, Brussels, and Toulouse. Visitors can also zoom in and out with each different aerial photo, or send the photograph along to a friend or to their Palm Pilot. Finally, one rather novel feature on each aerial photograph allows users to manipulate the transparency of the total image, which allows for the increased visibility of street names, traffic directions, and other landmarks. [KMG]

The Bollingen Prize for Poetry at Yale [Macomedia Flash Reader]

The Bollingen Prize for Poetry at Yale University was established in 1948 by Paul Mellon, and over the past five decades has honored some of the most revered names in American poetry. The prize is awarded every two years for the best volume of poetry published in those years or for a poet's lifetime achievement in his or her art. Some of those honored over the years include Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, E.E. Cummings, Robert Creeley, Mark Strand, and Richard Wilbur. This website provides brief biographies of each recipient and includes a list of recipients by year and alphabetically by last name. The site is rounded out by a selection of external links of note, such as those that lead to the homepages of the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Society of America, the American Verse Project, and the Electronic Poetry Center. [KMG]

Center for Digital Storytelling [pdf]

There are many ways to tell stories about communities and individuals, and new developments in multimedia offer some rather compelling ways to do just that. One such organization interested in these types of projects is The Center for Digital Storytelling. In their work they offer workshops for organizations and individuals, along with providing a clearinghouse of information about resources on storytelling and new media. At the site, visitors can read about the center's work and view a number of case studies that exemplify the approach adopted and promoted there. These case studies include work done with the BBC, the W.K.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Kansas City Symphony. The site also includes some other materials on the process of digital storytelling, including several helpful interviews with practitioners in the field and newspaper articles on digital storytelling. [KMG]

Network Tools

Video Ads Blocker 1.0b

These days all types of advertisements can intrude on the web-browsing experience, and some of them can be quite noxious in their character and appearance. One particularly annoying type of ad is the short video clip that may sometimes appear in various guises. The Video Ads Blocker 1.0 is a good way to block out these types of ads, along with animated .gif files, Macromedia Flash movies, and other background sounds as well. The application is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and above. [KMG]

Connect Daily Web Calendar 3.0.5

Figuring out various meeting times and other scheduling enigmas can be hard, especially if individuals are spread across any significant distance. This application aids in that particular problem, as it allows users a way to stay connected to friends, family members, and business associates. While visitors are only allowed to download a demonstration version, this program is quite helpful and also features the ability to send reminders to various joint program users, receive updates when calendar items are modified or rescheduled and so on. The application is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Centenary of Bloomsday Celebrated Around the World

Celebrations Mark Joyce Centenary
Joyce Remembered with Bloomsday Centenary Breakfast
Bloomsday Blog,8097,1239486,00.html
ReJoyce Dublin 2004
The James Joyce Society
Ulysses for Dummies

From Detroit to Dublin, James Joyce fans gathered on June 16 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of the most well-regarded (and to some, inaccessible) works in Western literature, his monumental book Ulysses. Joyce set the entire work on June 16th, chronicling the peripatetic wanderings of salesman Leopold Bloom through the streets of Dublin, and a variety of other characters who move in and out through the book's pages. Understandably, some of the most storied celebrations of this important literary milestone happened this week in Dublin. Thousands of Bloomsday celebrants sipped on pints of Guinness, ate hearty breakfasts (as in the book itself, where pork kidneys are consumed), and some were even decked out in Edwardian dress. Tributes were also noted around all of Europe, including a German newspaper that opted to leave its headlines behind, and to turn their June 16th edition into a reworked version of the novel. All of these frenetic celebrations and festivals are quite interesting, especially when one considers the words Joyce penned twenty years after the first publication of Ulysses that asked the question: "To-day 16 June 1924 twenty years after. Will anyone remember this date?." [KMG]

The first link offered this week will lead visitors to a news piece by the BBC that discusses the multitude of celebrations that took place on June 16 in Dublin in honor of Bloomsday. The second link takes visitors to an article from the Scotsman that talks about the rather prodigious breakfast that took place in Dublin, and which was visited by such dignitaries as Irish President Mary McAleese. The third link will whisk visitors away to a blog provided by the Guardian that features the musings of reporter Fiachra Gibbons as he recreates the Bloomsday experience. The fourth link leads to the website provided by the Irish government that provides information on all the ongoing festivities related to the centenary of Bloomsday, and which also provides visitors with materials to gain an understanding of Joyce and his works. Offering a bit more of a Stateside flavor is the fifth link, which leads to the homepage of the James Joyce Society, which was founded in New York City in 1947. Here visitors can learn about the society's various activities, which include reading groups, lectures, and some nice online features, such as a gallery of Joyce-related ephemera. The last link is a rather humorous one, as it provides a very, very cursory overview of the events of Ulysses, presented in stick-figure drawings. [KMG]

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

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