August 27, 2004
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Global SchoolNet Foundation
- Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
- Center on Urban Poverty and Social Change
- Council on Foreign Relations: Campaign 2004
- The Matrix Market
- National Center for ESL Literacy Education
- Nostalgia Central
- Seurat and the Making of La Grande Jatte
- NPR: Day to Day
- The Hans Christian Andersen Exhibit
- Faith in Action
- Cartographica Extraordinaire
The eighteenth issue of the third volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Information Technology and Healthcare.
Created over fifty years ago, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID) "conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases." In recent years, the scope of the institute's research activities has expanded to include emerging issues such as the possibility of bioterrorism and West Nile virus. The site contains a wealth of information on the activities of NAID, such as the most recent publications, organizational hierarchy, and funding opportunities for researchers and scholars. The newsroom area is quite thorough, as visitors have access to the database of news releases dating back to 1995 and access to SciBites, which features brief summaries of articles about NAID-funded research, updated weekly. The site is notable for its extensive special section on the growing battery of research on biodefense strategies. [KMG]
The Internet has facilitated thousands of collaborative learning environments and projects since its creation, and the Global SchoolNet Foundation has been there since the beginning. The Foundation traces its roots to the year 1984, when two San Diego teachers began linking their students to classrooms on the East Coast to participate in online writing projects. The actual Global Schoolhouse Project began in 1992, with a grant from the National Science Foundation. Currently, schools from over 100 countries participate in the various GlobalSchoolNet online projects. Simply put, both the project's mission and website are exemplars of the type of collaborative educational projects that have become possible via the Internet. First-time visitors will find much of interest here, including the collaboration center clearinghouse that contains helpful material on content, potential collaborative partners, learning tools, and implementation strategies, all related to online shared learning initiatives. Teachers will definitely want to visit the CyberFair section of the site as well. Here they can learn about this learning program where young people conduct research, publish their findings on the Web, and have the opportunity to garner accolades in one of eight categories, including local leaders, community organizations, and environment. [KMG]
The Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) is one of the London School of Economics and Political Science's research centers, and performs research into five programmatic areas, including the dynamics of low-income areas and social networks and social capital. For persons with a broad interest in sociology, social work, urban change, and interpersonal dynamics, the CASE website will warrant several visits. Users of the site can browse through sections that offer detailed profiles of the CASE mission and the organization's staff members, learn about events sponsored by the group, and read and download some of its most research publications, such as working papers and policy briefs. Some of CASE's more compelling recent works include such pieces as "Urban Social Exclusion in Transitional China" and "Ethnic Segregation in England's Schools". [KMG]
Located in Cleveland, it makes sense that Case Western Reserve University would have a dedicated research agenda to address questions of both urban poverty and social change and their interactions. In their work, the staff members of the Center on Urban Poverty and Social Change use the city of Cleveland itself as a study area, both to illuminate context-specific issues and challenges, as a vehicle for developing a broader understanding of these issues across the United States. The group's site is divided into four primary areas dealing with research, publications, education and outreach. By browsing through the research area, visitors can learn about the group's current research projects, and as a nice organizational feature, may move to directly download relevant reports and working papers that have been produced from each project. For individuals interested in the Cleveland area specifically, there is the CAN DO section, which provides access to data describing Cleveland's neighborhoods and the suburban municipalities throughout Cuyahoga County. Overall, the site is both a fine source of information on important research in these topical areas, and a model of how research centers can support both practical and scholarly endeavors in urban areas. [KMG]
The Council on Foreign Relations has been providing intelligent analysis of foreign policy choices faced by the United States for a host of groups (such as journalists and students) for close to 75 years. One of the organization's more ambitious online efforts of late is this nice site which brings together the foreign policy statements issued over the past few months by the two major candidates in the 2004 U.S. presidential election. The site includes recent commentaries by Senator John Kerry on the 9/11 Commission Report and President George W. Bush's remarks on the signing of the Project BioShield legislation. Additionally, the site contains foreign policy statements from the vice presidential candidates and former Democratic Party candidates, including Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt. The site also features some nice bonus commentaries from distinguished observers of international affairs from Saudi Arabia, Italy, Sweden, and a number of other countries. [KMG]
The Matrix Market website, provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is "a visual repository of test data for use in comparative studies of algorithms for numerical linear algebra." The repository includes about 500 sparse matrices from a variety of applications, along with matrix generation tools and services. Visitors can scan the top ten or browse the repository by collection, matrix name, or generator name. Search categories include: by matrix properties, by application area, by contributor, and in bibliography. Tools for browsing through the collection are also included. The Welcome page provides additional information on the project, as well as a few reports and technical presentations. [VF] This site is also reviewed in the August 27, 2004 NSDL MET Report.
Housed at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC., the National Center for ESL Literacy Foundation (NCLE) was established in 1988 by Congress. NCLE is the only national information center focusing on "the language and literacy education of adults and out-of-school youth learning English". As such, the site contains a voluminous amount of resources for people working in the field of adult ESL literacy education, such as teachers, program directors, and policy makers. Visitors looking for quick answers to various questions will want to go straight away to the FAQ section, which provides concise replies to such questions as "How many adults are studying English in the US?" and "Who are adult ESL learners?" Equally valuable to those persons teaching adult ESL is the Resource Collections area which provides an overview of resources currently available on the Internet, and from conventional published sources on specific topics, such as learning disabilities and adult ESL. Finally, visitors can also peruse (or sign up to receive) the semiannual publication "NCLEnotes" or read the organization's latest topical briefs which summarize current trends in adult ESL education, policy, and outreach. [KMG]
Started by nostalgia-hound (and Brit) David Turner in 1998, the Nostalgia Central website has attracted thousands of persons seeking to garner a bit of the past online over the past six years. The site currently receives over a million and a half visits each month, and features topical and fun material on various fads, fashions, movies, and musical movements that were representative of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Appropriately enough, visitors to the site can peruse these very topics on the site, along with a year-by-year rundown as well. The year-by-year synopses feature calendars that offer highlights of each month, including various political and cultural moments, such as the initiation of the United States' ban on trade with Cuba and the birth of future heavy-metal rocker Axl Rose. If that weren't enough, the site also includes an online forum where members can ask questions about locating various items of nostalgia, whether they be old broadcasts of Hee-Haw or those lovable Cabbage Patch dolls that swept through our lives beginning in 1983. [KMG]
Although it seems a touch odd that a museum of the caliber of Art Institute of Chicago has mounted an exhibition based on a single painting, Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884) is, as stated at the web site, "one of the most beloved, famous, and frequently reproduced paintings in the world ... the painting is an icon and a destination in itself for visitors." To elucidate La Grande Jatte, the show brings together about 130 works of art by Seurat, fellow pointillist painters Paul Signac and Lucien Pissarro, as well as Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro. Exhibition themes include Seurat's early years and his color theories, based on optical mixing of colors, and enhancing color intensity by placing dots of contrasting or opposite colors (e.g. red & green) next to each other. There are also sections on Bathing Place, Asnires, a painting that Seurat completed just prior to La Grande Jatte, and Claude Monet's Impressionist paintings of the same landscape. The web site provides enough information to both whet the appetite of those who are willing to travel to Chicago and stand in line for tickets, and to satisfy those who do not wish to make the trip. [DS]
Hosted by award-winning National Public Radio (NPR) correspondent Alex Chadwick, Day to Day is a way for regular NPR listeners to listen to smart news coverage during the middle of the day or during their lunch-hour. Fortunately, Day to Day is available online, complete with an archive dating back to January 2003. Produced in the NPR West office in Los Angeles, and includes a number of NPR regulars and contributors from the online publication Slate. Day to Day also features the helpful daily reports from the Minnesota Public Radio show, Marketplace, which is "an informative conversation about business and economic news". Other regular features on Day to Day include commentaries on recent music releases from independent music critic Christian Bordal and curious and novel exposes and reports on the "odd underbelly" of the City of Angels, direct from Southern California. [KMG]
Known as the Little Nobel Prize, the Hans Christian Andersen Medal is presented to one author and one illustrator whose body of work has made a lasting contribution to children's literature. The award consists of a gold medal and a diploma, and is presented by the International Board of Books for Young People. The good people at the Northwestern University's Library have created this lovely online exhibit to highlight all of the 27 Hans Christian Andersen Award nominees, and to complement their ongoing in situ exhibit at their own Main Library. On the site, visitors can read biographical sketches of each nominee, watch interviews with the magnificent Maurice Sendak and Quentin Blake, and view samples of each individual's work. The site concludes with an excellent section of related links for each illustrator, including links to official artist websites, interviews, and articles. [KMG]
Started in 1993, Faith in Action is an interfaith volunteer caregiving program of the well-regarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. At its core, the Faith in Action program makes grants to local groups representing many faiths who volunteer to work together in order to provide care to neighbors with long-term health needs. These volunteers provide such services as picking up groceries, providing a ride to the doctor, or just a friendly visit. Over the past decade, the program has helped to create nearly 1,000 interfaith volunteer caregiving programs throughout the United States. Visitors to the site can learn about existing programs in their own communities, learn about funding opportunities for such work offered by the Foundation, and read a series of fact sheets. For persons or organizations looking for a way to get involved in community outreach, this site will be quite valuable. [KMG]
David Rumsey has been delighting the cartographically inclined by placing some of his own private collection of maps online for several years now, and this latest online collection is no exception. The collection contains every map contained within his latest publication, Cartographica Extraordinaire: The Historical Map Transformed, which he coauthored with cartographer Edith M. Punt. All of the maps from the book are made freely available for the web-browsing public on this fine site, and are made even more exquisite through the Insight browser, which allows visitors a great deal of control in looking at various minute details of each map. All told, there are 118 maps in the collection, including gems such as a map of San Francisco from 1852 and an exploration map of Oregon from 1845 based on the expeditionary work of John C. Fremont. [KMG]
It may happen that some Internet aficionados may want to download entire websites for easy access sometime in the future, or if they have to go offline for a period of time. SiteSucker 1.6.3 may be able to help, as the application has the ability to copy any site's web pages, images, backgrounds, movies, and other files to a local hard drive. This version of SiteSucker is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X and higher. [KMG]
Hackers continue to plague both large mainframe servers and individual home computer users, many of whom may not be aware of this problem at all. This free version of Zone Alarm is designed to protect users' DSL- or cable-connected PC from hackers. The program includes four interlocking security services: a firewall, an application control, an Internet lock, and zones. The zones feature is quite nice as it monitors all activity on the computer, and alerts users when a new application attempts to access the Internet. This version of Zone Alarm is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and above. [KMG]
Complaint Links Rock Band to Dumped Sewage
NBC5.com: Police Finger Band's Bus in Slime Saga
Dave Matthews Bank Spins Gold Into Green
Office of the Illinois Attorney General: Illegal Sewage Dumping
Howstuffworks: How Does the Toilet in a Commercial Airliner Work?
Friends of the Chicago River
The Dave Matthews Band has delighted audiences around the world for the past 15 years with its Grateful Dead-inspired musical stylings, infused with a passion for vigorously supporting various environmental causes. According to a civil complaint filed this week by the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the band's tour bus and its driver apparently shared a bit too much of the band several weeks ago as the bus passed over the Chicago River. The complaint, which was filed this week, states that on August 8, the Dave Matthews Band tour bus driver (Stefan A. Wohl) polluted the Chicago River by dumping liquid waste from the septic tank, effectively unleashing close to 800 pounds of human waste into the river as it passed over the Kinzie Street bridge. Additionally, a number of unsuspecting passengers riding on a vessel as part of a well-known architectural tour were sprayed with the raw sewage. While Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline says his department has videotape footage from nearby businesses showing the bus pass over the bridge at the time of the incident, the members of the Dave Matthews Band issued a statement this week noting "Our driver has stated that he was not involved in this incident". [KMG]
The first link leads to an article from this week's venerable Chicago Sun-Times that talks about the complaint filed by the Illinois Attorney General against the band and its tour bus driver. The second link leads to another news report from NBC5 in Chicago that talks about the evidence gathered by the Chicago Police Department that links the bus to the scene of the alleged illegal sewage disposal. The third link leads to a news article from April 2004 from the Virginian Pilot that discusses the many laudatory contributions the band has made to environmental causes through the group's charitable foundation, Bama Works. The fourth link will take visitors to the official press release issued August 24 by the Illinois Attorney General's Office that spells out the exact nature of the alleged sewage dump and its ramifications for public health and the Chicago River. On a somewhat related note, the fifth link leads to a rather interesting article from the Howstuffworks website that provides a detailed answer to the question of how a toilet functions in a commercial airliner. The sixth and final link whisks visitors away to the homepage of the Friends of the Chicago River organization, which works to create new recreational opportunities along the river and to share in the environmental stewardship of this waterway. Visitors may be keen to find out that the organization is opening a river museum at the Michigan Avenue Bridge Towers in 2006. [KMG]
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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout
Internet Scout Project Team Max Grinnell Editor John Morgan Managing Editor Rachael Bower Co-Director Edward Almasy Co-Director Nathan Larson Contributor Valerie Farnsworth Contributor Debra Shapiro Contributor Rachel Enright Contributor Todd Bruns Internet Cataloger Barry Wiegan Software Engineer Justin Rush Technical Specialist Michael Grossheim Technical Specialist Andy Yaco-Mink Website Designer
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