The Scout Report -- Volume 10, Number 27

July 9, 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 ninth issues of the second volumes of the Life Sciences Report and Physical Sciences Report are available. The Topic in Depth section of Life Sciences Report annotates sites on Shores and Seas. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about phosphorous in soil and water.

Research and Education

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [pdf]

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) was originally created in December 1989, with the directive to "support research designed to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans." With a budget of close to $270 million, the AHRQ disburses 80 percent of those monies as grants and contracts to researchers at universities and other research institutions across the United States. Some of the AHRQ's clients include clinical decision makers, health care systems, and public policy decisionmakers. Visitors can learn about the agency's most recent work on the site, much of which is divided into sections such as Evidence-based Practice, Technology Assessment, and Preventive Services. These various areas present some of the AHRQ's recent work that takes a critical assessment of various treatments and technologies that may be used in the future. Visitors will also want to look at the online newsletter, Research Activities, which offers brief summaries of recent findings and investigations. [KMG]


Created in 1992 in Lyons, France, EuroNews is a European Broadcasting Union initiative that was started by a group of European public broadcasters interested in providing European viewers with a diverse set of perspectives of regional and international news. The site will be of interest to anyone with an interest in viewing recent news briefs about a number of important topics of relevance, such as political affairs within the European Union, cultural activities, and technological innovations within various parts of the EU. Visitors can also view a weekly schedule for EuroNews, or elect to view the latest news update from EuroNews. As might be expected, the site may be viewed in a number of languages, including German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian. [KMG]

Woman's Legal History Biography Project [pdf]

Developed by Professor Barbara Babcock at Stanford University's Law School (and the staff at the Robert Crown Law Library), this website is intended to serve as an online resource for "all who are interested in the subject of women lawyers in the United States." Working with her students and others, Professor Babcock has created an index of women lawyers; and for each entry, attached pertinent documents that are both historical and contemporary. The index includes such well-known names as Sandra Day O'Connor and others that may not be immediately recognizable to the casual visitor. Along with this index, there is an entire section devoted to the woman who started the entire project: Clara Shortridge Foltz. Foltz was the first female lawyer on the Pacific Coast (arriving from Indiana in 1878), and she kept an extensive career scrapbook, along with penning numerous letters and writing a draft of her autobiography before she died. In this section, visitors can read some of the numerous articles and speeches that Professor Babcock has authored or delivered on Foltz and her legacy. For those interested in additional works on the subject of women lawyers, there is an extensive bibliography of germane articles offered here as well. [KMG]

California Institute of Technology: Cool Cosmos

This great educational site from Cal Tech offers all sorts of great resources to assist in learning about the universe. Using the fun gear-like menu on the left of the screen, visitors can pick from site areas such as the Cosmic Classroom (which offers classroom activities, lessons, reference info., and an Ask an Astronomer option), Cosmic Kids (where kids can learn about what's in space through stories and resources like the Infrared Zoo), the Video and Image Galleries, and lots more. The site should be a great resource for teachers introducing students to the study of the universe or those visitors who are simply interested in getting lost in space for a while. This site is also reviewed in the July 9, 2004 NSDL Physical Sciences Report. [JPM]


Despite the fine coverage offered by the BBC and other news providers, finding detailed and up-to-date information about any number of African countries can be frustrating -- especially when looking for different perspectives on events that have bearing on international affairs and the like. Despite the presence of numerous advertisements, NigeriaWorld is a good way to find out about current events in the country and is a real boon for persons looking to stay current on the affairs of this region of Africa. From the main page, visitors can read news from each state in Nigeria, and browse news headlines and complete articles organized under such familiar sections as business, sports, arts, and politics. The site also contains feature columns that provide additional insight into Nigeria from such journalists as Tonye David-West and Rudolf Okonkwo. [KMG]

World Bank: Sustainable Agriculture [pdf]

Various organizations and institutions have grown increasingly concerned with developing effective strategies for promoting sustainable agricultural systems, and the World Bank has done some good work in this area as of late. The requirements of sustainable agricultural systems require that they be environmentally sound, socially acceptable, and financially and economically feasible. This site provides information about the World Bank's different sectoral programs in this area, ranging from those dealing with aquaculture to those dealing with the subject of effective irrigation and drainage. Within each respective section, there is additional information about the World Bank's latest work in each area, along with several publications that will be of great interest to persons interested in these policies and agricultural analyses. The right-hand side of the site also provides recent publications of note, including significant works dealing with creating sustainable methods of the production of coffee beans. [KMG]

UCSD-Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Marine Biology Research Division

With over 1,000 staff members, an annual budget of nearly $150 million, and its own fleet of ships capable of global travel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the most significant homes of scientific inquiry in the world. As part of its many diverse efforts, Scripps operates the Marine Biology Research Division which is presented at this website. The site, while simply designed and easy to navigate, is a great resource for students and researchers interested in learning more about the research activities at Scripps. Those interested in a certain type of research can narrow down the division into its specific labs, such as Cell and Developmental Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Microbiology, and Physiology. Visitors to the site can also access the many sub-laboratories, each focusing on specific subjects, such as Sea Turtles, Bioluminescence, Coral Reef ecology, and tons more. This site is also reviewed in the July 9, 2004 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [JPM]

General Interest

Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) [pdf, RealOne Player]

As many cities have begin to grapple with their vast areas of brownfields that dot the urban landscape, the federal government has begun to step in and provide various financial assistance in order to assist with the redevelopment of abandoned, idled and underused industrial and commercial facilities. This website, provided by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides information about the Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI), which is a competitive grant program that is meant to serve as a stimulus for local government and private sector parties to start the long redevelopment process. The site contains detailed information about the program, along with archived webcasts that talk about various success stories that have been funded with monies from the program thus far. Also on the site, information is provided about how brownfields are defined and how monies for the program have been distributed to various communities. Finally, visitors will want to take a look at the related publications available here, including those that detail various brownfields initiative and the potential long-term effects of environmental degradation. [KMG]

1000 Journals

Librarians might read the title of this website and think, "Huh, 1000 journals, my library subscribes to lots more than that," but these are the type of journals that contain stories, writings, and drawings by people all over the world. The site documents a project that consists of 1000 physical, paper and print journals that have been travelling at random throughout the world since August of 2000, with entries added by many kinds of people (although artists and graphic designers predominate). Visitors can view scans of page spreads from the journals, and find statistics on the project, such as the fact that 999 journals are in circulation, in 36 countries, 2 have been recently updated, and 227 scans are on display at the site. The site also provides instructions on how to get in line for a journal - contact someone who has one. To do this, find a journal at the site (numbers 1-700 work best) and locate the email of the last person to have it. [DS]

Classical Music In Russia [RealOne Player]

If pressed, most people could easily name some of the many Russian composers who have left their mark on the world of classical music over the past few centuries, including such remarkable individuals as Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky, to name but a few. This fine site may serve as an entre into the uninitiated, as it contains over two dozen audio recordings by some of Russian's most prominent ensembles, presented by generous support from the Soros Foundation. In the audio archive, visitors can listen to Chopin's waltzes as rendered by Nahum Shtarkman, Shostakovich's 10th Symphony, and lovely Russian choral music by a host of composers as performed by the Russian State Chamber Choir Komi. There are also a few historic gems here, such as the 1958 recording of the Laureates of the First Tchaikovsky Competition, which includes performance by that wunderkind, Van Cliburn. Overall, a true delight of a website. [KMG]

History Detectives

Thinking about detectives in general makes most people's minds wander to thoughts of those rugged personages of television dramas or to the world of literature, with a lot of mucking about in dark alleyways or the sordid world of upper-crust intrigue and deception. PBS has elected to turn that perception on its head with its new program, History Detectives. This 10-part series is devoted to "solving historical mysteries, searching out the true facts (and falsehoods) behind local folklore, family legends and interesting objects." On this site, visitors can learn about the team of detectives (which includes an auctioneer, an architecture history professor, and a sociology professor), view clips from the program, and most importantly, about their various techniques for sleuthing. What is even better is that the site also offers overviews into various techniques (such as investigating the history of a building and examining personal papers) that allow users to get out there and do their own sleuthing in their own communities. [KMG]

OECD Observer

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes hundreds of technical reports, working papers, and development updates every year, and as a result it can be hard to stay on top of all the research the group is disseminating to the public. One way to stay on top of all of this material is by taking a close look at the OECD Observer, which is meant to complement the print version of the same name. Here visitors can browse such sections as economy, society, development, and government to find out the latest work being done at the OECD. Some of the more recent topics that have been addressed within the Observer's pages include the so-called knowledge economy, sustainable business practices, taxation, and governmental corruption. At the site, visitors may also sign up to receive email updates from the Observer. [KMG]

Childe Hassam, American Impressionist [RealOnePlayer]

The American Impressionists continue to get their due in this compelling retrospective that highlights the work of Childe Hassam, a painter who lived from 1859 to 1935. Sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this website complements an exhibition that is going on through September 2004, and is the first major exhibit of Hassam's work since 1972. Sponsored by the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation and The Bank of New York, the exhibit features over 120 oil paintings, watercolors, and pastels, along with some 20 prints. Some of the works featured here include Hassam's interpretations of Boston, Paris, and New York, along with his nostalgia-infused renditions of sites across America and Europe. Visitors can browse through the virtual gallery and make detailed close-up examinations of each work. The site also includes a detailed chronology of Hassam's life, and an interactive feature designed especially for families. The site is rounded out by a nice excerpt from a 1932 silent film on Hassam, which was originally produced by the Met. [KMG]

Network Tools

Get Left 1.1.2 [Windows Operating System]

With all the websites out there that may be of interest, it can be hard to find time to look through all of them, especially given other demands on one's time. This application offers some assistance in that area, as it has the ability to download a site (according to options set by the user), so that the site can be searched at a more convenient time. The application also supports thirteen different languages, which may be helpful when looking at sites posted from different parts of the world. Get Left 1.1.2 is compatible with all systems running Windows 95 and above. [KMG]

Ampache 3.2

Many good things have come out of Oregon, and this latest application from a group of computer programmers from that fine state is one of those good things that users will want to take a look at in detail. Ampache is a web-based MP3 manager that allows users to view, edit, and play MP3s via HTTP. The program contains support for playlists, artist and album view, album art, random play, as well as song play tracking. The site for the application contains users forums and additional information about updates to the program. Ampache 3.2 is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Long-lost relations of Genghis Khan sought by London restaurant

Eatery offers DNA test in Genghis Khan stunt

The Legacy of Genghis Khan [Macromedia Flash Reader]

Modern Mongolia: Reclaiming Genghis Khan

Official Website of the Government Organizations of Mongolia

Oxford Ancestors


DNA testing has received great prominence in the international media as of late, largely due to its use in highly publicized courtroom battles and in unraveling the genealogical histories of numerous families of note. One London restaurant (which specializes in grilled kebabs) has taken this practice one step further by offering one free DNA test each day this week to determine whether any of patrons might in fact be related to the legendary Mongol ruler Genghis Khan. The firm doing the DNA testing, Oxford Ancestors, says up to 17 million men in Central Asia share a pattern of Y chromosomes that indicates a common ancestor in their shared familial past. Since there are no verified tissue samples from Genghis Khan, these genetic tests are based on an assessment of probabilities. The response thus far has been rather overwhelming, as Hugo Malik (a bar manager at the popular London eatery offering the tests) noted recently: "We've had Mongolian people who've traveled across London to give us their details. They said, 'Grandad always used to tell us we were descended from Genghis Khan.'"

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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2003. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

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