September 10, 2004
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Managing Editor Moving On, A New One to Welcome...
- NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology
- Legends of America
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
- Omaha Indian Music
- The Vanishing Protestant Majority
- Pittsburgh City Photographer
- American RadioWorks: Climate of Uncertainty
- Art & Science Collaborations, Inc.
- Council of State Historical Records Coordinators
- Political Communications Lab
- American Public Health Association
- UCLA Digital Library Sheet Music Project
- USA Freedom Corps
- Imperial War Museum Collections On-line Database
I would like to thank the Internet Scout Project, its readers, and the many gracious collaborators who have helped to make my tenure as Managing Editor of Internet Scout Project such a great experience. As of this report, I will be stepping down and leaving the Managing Editor duties in the very capable hands of a phenomenal successor. The Scout Reports are truly a uniquely reliable and important publication in the world of Internet resources and I have sincerely enjoyed playing a role in Scout's mission to make surfing easier.
Thus, the Internet Scout Project would like to welcome Chris Long to the position of Managing Editor. As a PhD student in Journalism and Mass Communication and with a wealth of experience in print and online journalism, Chris will undoubtedly be a great fit for the Scout Team. Please join us in welcoming Chris. [JPM]
The nineteenth issue of the third volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Subways.
Summer is quickly making an exit in anticipation of fall's blustery arrival, but that doesn't mean it is too late for a trip to the American West. This site, developed and maintained by Kathy Weiser, may provide the inspiration visitors need to pack up and make a move out to one of the Western states. Legends of America was inspired by Weiser's love for history and travel, and as such, contains a host of material on the landscape of the Western states, with a particular emphasis on the historic ghost towns, abandoned mines, mustachioed-gunmen, and other once-dominant features of the region. Visitors can click on any number of thematic headings, such as "Old West Legends" and "Legendary Route 66" to peruse a number of short essays and visual materials (such as photographs). Additionally, visitors may browse in a more traditional format merely by clicking on a specific state of interest. Finally, visitors will want to browse through the newsletter published by Weiser as it contains useful information about the latest additions to the site. [KMG]
With its international headquarters in Vienna, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OCSE) is the largest regional security organization in the world. Currently, the OCSE has 55 participating members from Central Asia, Europe, and North America. The OSCE's approach to security issues is quite comprehensive, as the organization is interested in addressing a number of issues including election monitoring, environmental security, and preventive diplomacy. Interested parties will find this site a real resource, as it features access to the organization's magazine (published in Russian and English), feature stories that profile its work in the field, and a number of fact sheets that talk about the OSCE's various activities and general mission. A real bonus is the online video (in the RealOnePlayer format) that talks about the evolution of the OSCE over the past 25 years. The site is rounded by a listing of current employment opportunities within the organization. [KMG]
The oral traditions of many North American Indian groups are generally well known, though access to existing sound recordings and the like can often be limited to on-site listening booths at major museums and archives. This nice collection of traditional music from the Omaha tribe is a fine way to begin learning about these traditions. The online exhibit was created by the American Memory project at the Library of Congress and includes traditional Omaha music both from the 1890s and the 1980s. The selections from the 1890s include 44 wax cylinder recordings made by Francis La Flesche and Alice Cunningham Fletcher. Equally compelling are the 323 songs from the 1983 Omaha harvest celebration powwow that are also available here. The collection also includes a brief introductory essay, fieldnotes from the 1983 powwow, and an original program from the 1983 celebration. [KMG]
The Protestant ethic, long a subject of great interest to numerous generations of scholars (including the esteemed sociologist Max Weber), is one of the most debated subjects within the field of sociology. This recent report authored by two sociologists at the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center brings to light the fact that for the first time in the history of the United States, members of the Protestant faith will no longer constitute the majority of the population within the foreseeable future. The 23-page report, authored by Tom W. Smith and Seokho Kim, notes that the percentage of Protestants in the national population shrank from 63 percent in 1993 to 52 percent in 2002. Another interesting finding of the report notes that from 1993 to 2002 the number of people who said they had no religion rose from 9 percent to nearly 14 percent. [KMG]
The Archives Service Center and the Digital Research Library at the University of Pittsburgh have made over 1,200 pictures of Pittsburgh taken by the Pittsburgh City Photographer between 1901 and 1969 available online. Included are views of Pittsburgh parks and recreation facilities, athletic and mayoral events, general street scenes and traffic, as well as interior and exterior shots of familiar Pittsburgh buildings, including some that have been demolished. There are also interesting depictions of home life, and the famous and not so famous people of Pittsburgh. For example, a search on Highland Park retrieves 20 images dating from 1901 - 1968, and includes families at the Childrens' Zoo in the 1960s; various views of the entrance to Highland Park; an early image of the Highland Park Reservoir (1907); and DeLucca's market on Bryant St. It is also possible to search the Pittsburgh City Photographer's Collection along with 26 other image collections at the http://images.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/i/image/image-idx?xc=1;page=searchgroup;g=imls">Historic Pittsburgh Image Collections. [DS]
The American Radio Works radio documentary programs have been garnering acclaim over the past few years, and their latest production is definitely worth a listen. Created by Daniel Grossman and John Rudolph (and narrated by Ira Flatow), this one-hour program addresses the effects that global warming may have on the northern half of the United States over the coming years and decades. The radio program itself is divided into three sections, including one that deals with ice cores and their use in paleoclimatology, the nature of the great ocean conveyor belt, and what might be done to prevent a climatic catastrophe. The site is also complemented by a fine selection of external weblinks, including those leading to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [KMG]
The intersection between art and science is an area that continues to be worthy of detailed exploration, and several organizations have been created in recent years to do just that. The Art & Science Collaborations group was started by artist Cynthia Pannucci in 1988 when she began to realize that there was a general lack of support for technology-based art across the United States. In the past 16 years the organization has expanded its mission to sponsor public events, panel discussions, and develop resources for artists working in this interesting area. The most compelling part of the site allows visitors to learn about artists who participate in the organization's activities, and also read about their various symposia and public projects in order to get a better sense of their very diverse set of perspectives. The Spotlight Archive will interest most visitors, as it features various developments in the field of visual arts that deal with aspects of technology from around the world, including selections from online journals. [KMG]
Established in 1975, the Council of State Historical Coordinators (COSHRC) is a national organization comprising the various individuals who serve as state historical records coordinators and their deputies. From the homepage, visitors and interested parties can learn about the various collections of each state historical records agency. The site also provides important material on the COSHRC's position on timely matters, such as the statement regarding the sale of historical public records on eBay and policy statements in support of state archives. Visitors to the site can also learn about Archives Week, which happens once a year and is designed to inform the public about what archivists do and why their work is valuable. Another section of note is the Archives Resource Center, which features important online material on Web-based archival training, educational material for teaching with primary sources, and listings of educational programs offered by each individual state archive center. [KMG]
How do polls of public opinion and political behavior work exactly? Well, it's definitely a complex answer, and when you add the mix of how exactly these polls work when done in a less "traditional" fashion, such as with the Internet, things get even more complicated. Part of the mission of the Political Communication Lab at Stanford University is "to develop and administer experimental studies of public opinion and political behavior through the use of both on-line and traditional methods". The site is a rather fascinating one, as it contains a number of informative areas on work at the Lab and on the current presidential election campaign. One of the group's projects that is worth a look is the Voter Attention Share project, in which the Lab is tracking the total number of daily references to key election issues across national TV newscasts and the 80 most widely read daily newspapers from June 1 to Election Day. Visitors can also read about the group's other projects and listen to a talk on online polling by Professors James Fishkin and Shanto Iyengar. [KMG]
For the past 125 years, the American Public Health Association (APHA) has influenced the policy-making process at the local and national level in its efforts to prevent disease and promote health. Some of the organization's primary interests include issues such as environmental health, professional education in public health, and lobbying for a smoke-free society. The Association's main programmatic areas include its publication series, annual awards, educational services, and advocacy efforts across the United States. While some of the material here is limited to dues-paying members of the APHA, there is more than enough free material to warrant several visits. For example, all of the APHA's public press releases and news updates are available here, along with sample chapters from recent and forthcoming publications. One particularly pragmatic section is the Science & Programs area of the site, which includes several sites created by the APHA to address the importance of exercise for young people and another site that deals with deep vein thrombosis. [KMG]
Whether you are a music historian looking to examine the role of popular song in the United States in the 20th century or just looking for a few songs to sing around the piano, the Digital Archive of Popular American Music at UCLA will definitely pique the interest of even the most casual visitors. From their massive collection of close to 450,000 pieces of sheet music, the specialists at the UCLA Music Library have selected over 120 songs to digitize and place online at this site. Visitors can browse the collection by keyword, selected fields (such as composer or title), and date. The songs (which include the intriguing cover pages with their fanciful art) include such favorites as "Down by the Old Mill Stream" and such lesser-known numbers as "Don't Let the Girlies Get You", which was originally popularized by one Kitty Gordon. [KMG]
Created as a way to coordinate and enhance the existing primary federal volunteer programs (such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps) by President George W. Bush in 2002, the USA Freedom Corps is committed to "strengthen our culture of service and to find opportunities for every American to start volunteering". Visitors may want to begin their visit to this helpful site by reading the mission statement of the USA Freedom Corps, browsing through the organization's annual report, and looking through some of the speeches that address the activities of the Freedom Corps over the past several years. For those looking for local volunteer opportunities, the site features a great database where users can search for various opportunities by location and category of interest, such as health or arts & culture. The site also contains information on the volunteer service action priorities identified by the Freedom Corps, which include youth achievement, healthy communities, and homeland security. [KMG]
The nature of war and its aftermath has served as the inspiration for numerous creative works, including those in the visual arts, poetry, film, and photography. Of course, wars themselves have been well-documented in general, particularly with the explosion of various technological innovations that allow individuals the opportunity to capture various moments both on the battlefield and the home front. The Imperial War Museum Collections Online Database allows the intrepid web-browser access to over 150,000 records relating to items in their holdings. Out of these 150,000 online records, approximately 3,000 of these items are fully available on this site, and their number includes photographs, works of art, "soundbites", and other visual artifacts. As searching the entire collection may be daunting, the staff at the Museum has created a number of thematic categories as a way of introducing some of their more prominent materials. Some of these categories include "War in the Air", "Truth & Propaganda", and "Burial & Remembrance". Overall, this is both an engaging and well-thought-out site. [KMG]
As Labor Day has come and gone again, it means that most colleges and universities are back in the full swing of things, and thousands of students are actively seeking out new activities and organizations on campus. For those persons who may be working with those students (or just for students interested in these types of affairs), StudentAffairs.com is worth a look. On the site, visitors can learn about job opportunities in the field of student affairs, join electronic mailing lists that focus on student affairs, and read the current and back issues of "Online", the quarterly online magazine about technology and student affairs. The current issue of the magazine (Summer 2004) contains a number of compelling articles, such as the use of weblogs by undergraduates and the use of course-specific websites among higher education faculty. [KMG]
As pop-up ads and their ilk become more sophisticated it is always worth taking a look at new applications designed to prevent them from ruining a perfectly good web-browsing experience. Smart Popup Blocker effectively blocks most pop-up ads and messenger pop-up spam, and also cleans cookies and guards the default Internet Explorer home page. The application resides in the system tray, and is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and above. [KMG]
The Scout Report likes to keep an eye out for helpful applications, and this latest release of the Metadot Portal Server may be a nice addition for some of our readers. The program is an open source portal system that is designed for ease of use (and as such, is relatively simple to figure out) and can be used to create websites and portals in a short period of time. One obvious use of the program is to allow far-flung users to collectively collaborate on various projects through the use of their file and document management capabilities. For users looking for ideas of what can be done with Metadot Portal Server 6.2b7, they may look at the online portfolio of live implementations created with the program, including those created by NASA and the World Health Organization. This version of Metadot Portal Server is compatible with all systems running Mac OS X and Linux. [KMG]
Suicide around the world every 40 seconds
Global suicide toll exceeds war and murder
International Association for Suicide Prevention [pdf]
WHO: Suicide Prevention [pdf]
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention [pdf, RealOnePlayer]
NPR: Clues to Depression Sought in Brain's Wiring [RealOnePlayer]
A report with disturbing implications was released this week by the World Health Organization indicating that suicide claims close to one million lives each year, and that this figure could rise to 1.5 million by 2020. The report also noted that suicide kills more people each year than road traffic accidents in most European countries, and that worldwide, suicide claims more lives than homicide and warfare combined. The report was released in anticipation of World Suicide Prevention Day, which happens to fall on September 10 this year. The report also contains suicide rates for different parts of the world, including the finding that the highest rates are found in Eastern Europe, and that the rates tend to be relatively low in Muslim countries. Not surprisingly, firearms tend to be the preferred instruments of suicide, primarily due to the fact that "few people survive attempts to shoot themselves." On a slightly more upbeat note, Lars Mehlum, the president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention commented this week that suicide "is largely preventable if the public is made more aware of the problem and governments show the political will to tackle it."
The first link leads to a news report from MSNBC about the report on suicide issued by the World Health Organization this week. The second link will take visitors to additional coverage of this subject from this Wednesday's New Scientist online edition. The third link leads to the homepage of the International Association for Suicide Prevention where visitors can learn about the group's activities and also about World Suicide Prevention Day. The fourth link leads to a very thorough site on suicide prevention created by the World Health Organization. Here visitors can read suicide reports on many countries around the world, learn about advocacy efforts, and look over empirical research on the subject of suicide. The fifth link will take visitors to the very pragmatic and helpful site created by the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention program (contained within the Department of Health & Human Services) that offers a number of resources for suicide prevention and numerous materials in Spanish and English. On a related note, the sixth link leads to a recent report from National Public Radio on current genetic research that is helping reveal what causes depression and what the best options for treating this condition may be. The final link provides a brief outline of Emile Durkheim's famous study of suicide that may pique visitors' interest in this emotional and sensitive topic. [KMG]
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